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U.S. Supreme Court Will Take on DOMA, Prop 8; What Will U.S. Do About Syria?; Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Ongoing; Interview with Matt and Melanie Capobianco About Adoption Case

Aired December 8, 2012 - 10:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. Some are calling it the next Roe v. Wade or Brown v. Board of Education. The issue the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take on that will make history.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: All of those who argued for nonintervention because of the things that might happen have now happened because we failed to intervene.


KAYE: When is enough enough? That is the question many are asking about Syria, as the death toll climbs and concerns mount over chemical weapons. Now some lawmakers are saying it may be too late to stop mass destruction.

And a toddler taken from the only parents she ever knew because of a little known federal law. Now they're fighting to get her back, and may be on their way to the Supreme Court. I'll talk with them live.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. It is 10:00 on the East Coast, 7:00 on the West. Thanks so much for starting your day with us.

It was supposed to be just for laughs. Humor. The listeners with a lighthearted prank. Two radio deejays called the London hospital where the duchess of Cambridge was being treated and tricked a nurse to get details about her condition. Well, two days later, that nurse, 46- year-old Jacintha Saldanha, took her own life, leaving behind a husband and two children. And now the deejays who played the prank are off the air.


RHYS HOLLERAN, CEO, SOUTHERN CROSS AUSTEREO: Southern Cross Austereo and the hosts have mutually decided that this show will not return until further notice out of respect of what can only be described as a tragedy.


KAYE: CNN's Matthew Chance has more now on the story generating outrage around the world.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what? They were the worst accents ever.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was meant as a lighthearted Aussie prank. Even after the station issued an apology, the two deejays who duped the hospital were making light of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were sure 100 people at least before us would have tried the same thing.

CHANCE: Now they've been suspended from their jobs, and one of the nurses they humiliated and fooled is dead.

JOHN LOFTHOUSE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, KING EDWARD VII HOSPITAL: It is with deep sadness that I can confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha. We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital.

CHANCE: Hospital officials say Saldanha was the nurse who transferred the prank call to the royal ward. Personal details about the condition of Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge, who was being treated for severe morning sickness, were disclosed.

Two days later, Saldanha's body was found in staff accommodation, a short distance from the hospital door.

There had been a suggestion some kind of complaint from the royal family about the prank call may have put pressure on the nurse. But a royal source tells CNN no such complaint was ever made. Also, this hospital rejects any suggestion that it may have disciplined the nurse for transferring the call, saying it's been supporting her throughout this very difficult time.

The duke and duchess of Cambridge, so happy on leaving the hospital earlier this week, issued a statement expressing their deep sadness at the nurse's death and thanking hospital staff for looking after them so wonderfully well. If you can believe that the uplifting news that a royal baby is on the way has taken such an ugly, tragic turn.

Matthew Chance, CNN, London.


KAYE: To Washington now, where the debate hasn't changed. Taxes versus spending. Deciding how much of each is what's holding up any deals on averting the fiscal cliff. Negotiations are pretty much at a standstill, but if you ask House Speaker John Boehner, he has an idea of who's holding things up.


REP. JOHN A. BOEHNER, R-OHIO, HOUSE SPEAKER: There are a lot of things that are possible to put the revenue that the president seeks on the table. But none of it's going to be impossible (ph). The president insists on his position. Insists on my way or the highway.


KAYE: In his weekly White House address this morning, President Obama responded to Boehner's remark.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm willing to make more entitlement spending cuts on top of the $1 trillion in spending cuts I signed into law last year. But if we're serious about reducing our deficit while still investing in things like education and research that are important to growing our economy, and if we're serious about protecting middle-class families, then we're also going to have to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates. That's one principle I won't compromise on.


KAYE: Holiday hiring may have given a big boost to the jobs report released yesterday. Retailers hired more people in November than in any other month on record since 1939. That's according to the Labor Department. 146,000 jobs were added to the economy last month, and the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.7 percent, partly because thousands just have simply stopped looking for work.

More good news for your wallet. Gas prices are down to an average of $3.36. It is the 16th consecutive time the price has dropped. The highest price for a gallon of regular is in Hawaii, where it's $4.02.

He served his state as a Republican, left the party, turned independent, and now former Florida Governor Charlie Crist is a proud Democrat. Crist posted a Twitter photo Friday showing his registration papers, tweeting he is proud and honored to join the party in the home of President Obama. Crist ran for the U.S. Senate as an independent in 2010, but was defeated by Marco Rubio. Some are speculating this move is in preparation perhaps for another run for governor of Florida, this time against incumbent Republican Rick Scott in 2014.

The Supreme Court has decided to take up two major same-sex marriage cases -- the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8. DOMA denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, while Prop 8 makes same-sex marriage illegal in California. Same-sex marriages are legal in nine other states and the District of Columbia. A decision on these cases is expected sometime in June.

Korean pop star Psy is making headlines for a whole other reason than you might think this morning. His music video may be the most watched video in YouTube history, but now an old video from 2004 has surfaced of Psy calling for the death of American soldiers in Iraq. That performance resurfaced on CNN's iReport in October.

In his apology, Psy said his performance had been emotionally charged, and quote, "While I'm grateful for the freedom to express oneself, I've learned there are limits to what language is appropriate, and I am deeply sorry for how these lyrics can be interpreted. I will forever be sorry by any pain I have caused by those words."

On the 21st, Psy is scheduled to perform at a charity concert in Washington. President Barack Obama is also planning on attending that event.

Speaking of President Obama, he's issuing a stern warning to Syria. Don't even think about using chemical weapons against civilians. I'll talk with CNN's Christiane Amanpour about the implications coming up next.



HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We have sent an unmistakable message that this would cross a red line, and those responsible would be held to account.

OBAMA: If you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences, and you will be held accountable.


KAYE: Syria appears to be at a turning point. There are reports of the government preparing chemical weapons, the rebels securing the airport, and more than 40,000 people dead. Now some high-profile senators are saying that we may have passed the point of no return.

That's our focus this morning. When is enough enough? And yesterday, I asked that question to a witness of some of the worst humanitarian crises in generations, CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. She's also global affairs anchor for ABC News.


KAYE: Christiane, thank you so much for joining us. I want to start by playing a very famous clip of you speaking to then President Bill Clinton back in 1994 about the Bosnian war, which at that point was going into its third year and had claimed tens of thousands of lives.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As leader of the free world, as leader of the only superpower, why has it taken you, the United States, so long to articulate a policy on Bosnia? Why in the absence of a policy have you allowed the U.S. and the West to be held hostage to those who do have a clear policy, the Bosnian Serbs, and do you not think that the constant flip-flops of your administration on the issue of Bosnia sets a very dangerous precedent, and would lead people like Kim Il-Sung or other strong people to take you less seriously than you would like to be taken?

BILL CLINTON, U.S. PRESIDENT: No, but speeches like that make them take me less seriously than I'd like to be taken. There have been no constant flip-flops, Madam.


KAYE: So, Christiane, is this a question that we should be asking the Obama administration about Syria?

AMANPOUR: Well, you remember, Randi, that President Clinton was really angry with me when I was asking that question from Sarajevo. The fact of the matter is that the question didn't prompt intervention, but there was intervention more than a year later, and it stopped the war, and the president enacted a peace settlement, and the war stopped, and peace still endures in Bosnia.

And I think that the issue of Syria raises some very important questions. President Clinton himself just earlier this year said that the longer it goes without being stopped, the bigger the chance of bad actors getting involved. And that is precisely what's happened, Randi. And that is one more reason that the administration is reluctant to intervene, because now it's not just the ordinary rebellion that it started out as, with people demanding reform. It is now being joined by all sorts of jihadists and extremists, al Qaeda type affiliates, and all sorts of other types of Salafists. And this is what's really worrying the United States and the region.

But this is, if you like, a self-fulfilling prophesy. So long has this war been left to fester that it is now at the state that it is.

KAYE: Right. And when you talk about a red line for Syria, it seems that the red line that President Obama drew back in August, the moving of the chemical weapons, may have already been crossed. Let's take a listen to this.


OBAMA: To the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemicals weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.


KAYE: Now, it is somewhat subjective, how you look at that, of course, but what do you think? If moving weapons has already happened, have we crossed that red line that Obama drew?

AMANPOUR: Well, already there is a sort of a moving red line, if you like. The president clearly said movement of weapons or the preparation of such weapons to be used. Now, we've seen the last several statements from the administration have just said using those weapons. If they were used, that would be a red line.

So honestly, we're not quite sure what it means. And are we going to have to see them be used before there's some kind of reaction, or will they know when they're about to be used? It's still rather unclear.

And actually, it's a little indicative of the entire approach to Syria. It's very unclear what the strategy is, and what the end result will be. And I feel that with all the conversations I've had with U.S. officials, that they are extremely worried about another Iraq. In other words, they don't want to get involved in a war that might drag on for as long as Iraq did.

You know, a lot of people talk about, well, isn't Syria the same as Libya? Why did you intervene in Libya instead of -- and not in Syria? A lot of people ask me, isn't Syria like what happened in Bosnia? And so many, including U.N. officials, have said what's happening in Syria is very similar to what's happened in Bosnia, with the wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians.

But I think from the administration's point of view, they're looking at Iraq, and they don't want to get into an Iraq type of multi-year operation.

KAYE: And former Senator George Mitchell has said the United States needs to stay out of Syria, while Senators McCain and Lieberman said Thursday that the U.S. must get involved. What is the fear if the U.S. does get involved?

AMANPOUR: Well, precisely that, that they don't want to get bogged down. Obviously nobody is talking about putting American boots on the ground or any other boots on the ground. The question is, can you take other military measures that will stop this war? But I think what you have now, most sort of seasoned observers and most people who look at what could possibly be done to mitigate this nearly two-year war now in which more than 40,000 people -- men, women, and children -- have been slaughtered, and after nearly two years of this administration saying, you know, the -- Assad must step down, and it not happening, the best one can hope for, perhaps, is that some kind of intervention that shortens this war. Because without intervention, it's going to be a long war.

U.S. officials have told me that despite the gains by the rebels recently, they don't see any sign that Assad or his regime are going to crack or break anytime soon. So they believe that this could go on for a long time.

So again, the question is, could you do something to shorten this brutal, dirty civil war, or are you going to do nothing or continue along the path that you are right now, and have a long, extended war?

KAYE: And if we are waiting on Russia to come around and pave the way for the U.N. resolution, similar to that in the case of Libya, do you think that that waiting will pay off?

AMANPOUR: I don't think so. It's hard to imagine Russia, at this point anyway, from my vantage point -- maybe I'll be proved wrong -- approving of a U.N. resolution. And even in the latest talks that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has had with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, it's not like it's suddenly kumbaya and everybody's on the same page. They're not.

Obviously, the Russians are looking at this very closely, because they can see that their client, Bashar Assad, is in a very tricky situation. And do they want to be on the losing side? But by the very same token, you know, the U.S., without being involved, now really has not many friends on the ground in Syria.

So what happens if Bashar Assad somehow falls? Who do you then talk to? Who do you then have relations with on the ground? I know they've come up with this coalition, this opposition coalition. But that too has yet to fully prove itself as an effective and consolidated opposition to Bashar Assad. And not just that, a coalition that can encourage the Alawites, his core group of supporters, to defect, to break, and to basically come over to the other side.

KAYE: Terrific insight. Christiane, thank you so much for your time this morning.

AMANPOUR: Thanks, Randi.

KAYE: Well, she lived in three different centuries and used to drive a Model T. The world's oldest person died this week. We'll take a look at the fantastic life of Besse Cooper.


KAYE: What a day that was.

Well, in Oklahoma, two deaf 8-year-old girls experienced a life changing moment when they heard for the first time. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you hear mama? Can you hear me? Can you?


KAYE: Ruby and Kate were adopted from Ethiopia a year ago and moved to Oklahoma. They just had Cochlear implants. And you can tell their parents were thrilled.


CHRIS SHASTEEN, MOTHER: I had a huge lump in my throat. I mean, I really thought I was going to lose it.

Having their communication issue in a country like Ethiopia, where your future is not entirely bright.


KAYE: Friends and family will remember the world's oldest person today at her funeral. Besse Cooper died on Tuesday. She survived more than 11, yes, 11 decades. Here is CNN's George Howell with more on her life.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She saw the turn of the century twice, living 116 years, the world's oldest person. Her 77-year-old son tells her story best. SIDNEY COOPER, BESSE COOPER'S SON: She was a very determinant person, and she thought that if she wanted to do it, she could do it, and she did most of the time.

HOWELL: Well into her hundreds.

COOPER: Oh, yes, well, into her hundreds. And she lived at home alone until she was 105.


COOPER: Out in the country.

HOWELL: Born in 1896, Cooper moved from Tennessee to Georgia to teach during World War I, and Sidney Cooper remembers she was very passionate about learning.

COOPER: She kept up with the politics. Read the paper every day. And later when TV came on, she watched the news on television.

HOWELL: She was also a pioneer in the women's suffrage movement.

COOPER: I think she understood that that just was not right that women could not vote, could not be -- have a voice in this country, in this democracy that we have.

HOWELL: What was the event, out of all of those years, what was the biggest event that had the most impact on her, do you think?

COOPER: I think it would have been the Depression. That was a very difficult time. It taught them to be very frugal. They didn't waste anything.

HOWELL: Never in her life did Besse Cooper ever have a driver's license, so she never got the opportunity to drive over this bridge that was named after her just outside her hometown here in Georgia. She did, though, at one point drive, during a time when you didn't need a license. And the only car she ever drove, the Model T.

COOPER: After my father died, she was 68 years old, and she said -- she wanted to start driving again, learn to drive, because she lived in the country. And my father had a car, of course. But we talked her out of it, because we thought she was too old. Now I look back now, man, she was young.

HOWELL: Besse Cooper died peacefully December 4th, 2012.

COOPER: We got kind of tickled about the fact that, you know, she went -- just like she was getting ready to go. She went and got her hairpiece (ph). She looked beautiful.

HOWELL: What would you say people could learn from her?

COOPER: I think to be positive in all aspects. Her philosophy was hard work and honesty would get you a -- be truthful and honest.

HOWELL: George Howell, CNN, Monroe, Georgia.


KAYE: Money problems are at the center of the fiscal cliff debate, but should that debate be kept behind closed doors? Maria Cardona and Amy Holmes coming up next.


KAYE: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. Here are a few stories that we're watching this morning. In our first story, a royal prank takes a tragic turn. And now two Australian radio hosts are off the air. This after the nurse who took a call from those deejays about the pregnant duchess of Cambridge committed suicide. The nurse, who had worked at King Edward VII hospital for four years, leaves behind a husband and two children.

The Secret Service is red faced today after revelations the agency lost sensitive computer tapes. The tapes, which contained information on agents and even investigations, were accidentally left in a pouch on a subway train. It actually happened back in 2008, but the tapes have never been found. An investigation is under way, and changes to agency protocol have already been made.

One of Italy's most controversial former leaders is eying a comeback. Silvio Berlusconi plans to run to become prime minister for a fifth time. The media tycoon says he's returning, quote, "sadly" to public service out of a sense of responsibility. The 76-year-old resigned last year amid Italy's deepening economic woes. He still faces allegations he paid for sex with an underage prostitute. Berlusconi denies that.

To politics. He served his state as a Republican, left the party, turned independent, and now former Florida Governor Charlie Crist is officially a Democrat. Crist announced Friday on Twitter he had signed papers switching his party. Some are speculating he made the move to position himself to run against Republican Governor Rick Scott in 2014.

The latest now on the fiscal cliff. There has been very little actual movement this week on it. Both sides have their proposals on the table, but it seems like no one is sitting at those tables. There's been a lot of back and forth on television, but what's really getting done, if anything? Joining me now, as they do every week, CNN contributor Maria Cardona, and Amy Holmes, anchor for real news on the Blaze. Good morning to both of you.



KAYE: I'm sure you've been watching all the back and forth. It's getting kind of ugly. The disagreements have been pretty harsh and certainly pretty public. Grover Norquist suggested that negotiations be fully televised. But would that work or would it be better to just lock them in a room away from the cameras? Amy, I'll start with you on this one.

HOLMES: Dana Milbank of "The Washington Post" had a column this week where he said Republicans had not merely thrown up the white flag, but the white bed sheet. And I think you have seen movement on the part of Republicans that they're willing to give the government $800 billion of revenue, and the president hasn't been willing to meet that because of his fetish about raising tax rates on the top 2 percent.

But as for negotiations, I rather like Jeff Sessions, the senator's suggestion, that these are really big issues and very big decisions that should be made by our elected representatives in the Senate and in the House. I'm not sure I like this idea that the president and the House majority leader, a Republican, get to meet behind closed doors and make enormous fiscal decisions just between the two of them.

KAYE: So, Maria, do you think more would get done if they did this in front of the cameras?

CARDONA: I actually think, Randi, it should be either one extreme or the other. They should either lock them behind closed doors until they get something done, let them hash it out, and then come out and announce the deal that we're not going to go over the fiscal cliff, or put everything on television. Because I don't think I thought I would ever say this, but I do agree with Grover Norquist, that that could give a hint to the American people about what each party is doing and who they are protecting.

I think, frankly, the Democrats and the president would come out looking good on this, because from the very beginning they have said that they want to protect the middle class, extending middle class tax cuts. Frankly, tax cuts for everybody on the first $250,000. And Republicans, frankly, are saying no to that, simply to protect tax cuts for the top 2 percent of the wealthy.

Let's put that on camera. Let's let the American people see where each party is, who they want to protect, who they want to see move forward, who they want to make sure gets these tax cuts and who doesn't. And I think that would basically make them go somewhere.

KAYE: People just might buy tickets to a battle like that one.

HOLMES: I think we could sort it out right here, actually.

KAYE: You think?

CARDONA: Absolutely. Let's do it.

KAYE: Listen, the big shocker though in the Senate was the announcement by South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint. Listen to what he told Wolf Blitzer.


SEN. JIM DEMINT, R-S.C.: After this last election, it's apparent that we need to do more as conservatives to convince Americans that our ideas and our policies are going to make their lives better. This will give me the opportunity to help take our case to the American people and to translate our policies into real ideas.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: So you think you could be more influential within the conservative movement as the leader of the Heritage Foundation as opposed to a United States senator?

DEMINT: There's no question about it.


KAYE: Maria, to you first. Can he really do more for the Republican Party from outside the Senate?

CARDONA: Well, it seems to me that he didn't think he was doing -- that he wasn't really making that much of a difference in the Senate. I mean, the Republicans are in the minority there. And frankly, he doesn't have a tremendous legislative record. He doesn't have any big legislative accomplishments. And what he is known for is messaging. What he is known for is for being a strong spokesperson.

So I actually think it is a good move for him. It is a good move for the conservative movement, if what they need to do is to change their message, to change their policies, and to really try to come up with a message that resonates with the American people. Because clearly, the one that they had this year, the one that they had in 2008 does not work.

KAYE: Amy, I want to ask you about something that's kind of funny, but I'm wondering if you think it's stunt or serious. Comedian Stephen Colbert wanting DeMint's seat.

HOLMES: Well, he can certainly run for office and try to earn it, if he can. But Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, will be choosing who will replace Jim DeMint. And I have to say, I worked for the former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and he had a joke as majority leader, that it's like being undertaker. 99 people under you and no one listening. So perhaps Jim DeMint felt that no one was listening.

But as someone who actually believes in service and in the honor of being a United States senator, I don't exactly agree with quitting your term midway after all the people who worked so hard for you, who raised money, who went to the polls to support you. You know, it's going to stay in our seat because the governor of South Carolina is a Republican, so it does not really tip the balance. Yet I think that Jim DeMint did owe his constituents a little bit more than two years.

CARDONA: I actually agree with Amy on that. And unfortunately, he's getting a lot of comparisons with Sarah Palin, which can't really be a good thing.

KAYE: What about just very, very quickly, because we're almost out of time, Amy, I'll ask you first, Hillary Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York apparently approached her about running for mayor. She said no. Do you think she'll reconsider and should she?

HOLMES: I hope she will, and I hope she'll lift the ban on 16-ounce sodas. We would really appreciate that here. And all the bus lanes that apparently taxicabs can't use because of all the traffic.

Hillary Clinton of course is a political powerhouse. Whatever she chooses to do next, I think that we will all be watching on the edges of our seats.

KAYE: Maria, very quickly on that.

CARDONA: I don't think she should reconsider that. I think she should consider running for president in 2016. I think there are a lot of people who agree with me on that.

KAYE: Yes, well, maybe the big gulp probably won't be an issue in 2016, but we'll see. So I'll leave it at that. Thank you both. Nice to see you again. Amy Holmes, Maria Cardona. Have a great Saturday.

CARDONA: You, too.

KAYE: A law designed to protect Native American families has ripped this little girl away from the parents who love her. Now they're petitioning the Supreme Court to get her back. Matt and Melanie Capobianco will join me with their story.


KAYE: Welcome back, everyone. 41 minutes past the hour now. A married couple has filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking custody of a little girl that they planned to adopt. But that plan changed last new year's eve.

Baby Veronica's biological father took her back after a South Carolina court ruled in his favor. He waived his parental rights long ago, and Veronica's mother put her up for adoption. But Dustin Brown, the biological father, insisted on having her back. And took her with him to Oklahoma.

Matt and Melanie Capobianco raised Veronica for two years since her birth, and their petition to the Supreme Court revolves around a little-known law designed to keep Native American children in Native American households. Veronica is part Cherokee, just like her biological father. The attorney general for the Cherokee Nation explains it.


TODD HEMBREE, CHEROKEE NATION ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's not anyone's ever intent to rip a child away from a loving home. But we want to make sure those loving homes have the opportunity to be Indian homes first.


KAYE: But Matt and Melanie Capobianco, the couple fighting to get Veronica back, see it differently. They join me now from Columbia, South Carolina. Good morning to both of you. I know this is such a difficult situation for you. You and I have talked about this a few times. You have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court. So I'm curious, Matt, I'll start with you on this. Why do you think the case should be heard?

MATT CAPOBIANCO, LOST CUSTODY OF CHILD WHILE TRYING TO ADOPT: Oh, it's just wrong. It's just wrong. We've had so much support from so many people, from so many different walks of life. And everyone that looks at it just is baffled and just can't believe it. It's just unjust. It's unjust. It's not right. There's no reason for it.

KAYE: This is a case that -- the law, going back to 1978, the Indian Child Welfare Act, is the reason that Veronica was taken from you and given back to her biological father. But do you think that this case, Matt, isn't a good fit for this act?

MATT CAPOBIANCO: No, not at all. I understand the reason for the law. It's just being misused, incredibly misused. In our case, it just doesn't apply. She wasn't taken from an Indian home. Any other situation, there wouldn't have been any contest. And any -- if it wasn't for the Indian Child Welfare Act, this would have been just dismissed in a lower court, within hours, I believe.

KAYE: Right. Melanie, what has it been like? She's been gone now for almost a year. What has it been like without her?

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: Well, like anyone would expect, I mean, our lives have been turned upside down. And our home is empty without her there. And, you know, but we've just tried to just move forward despite that, and we've had a lot of support. So, I mean, I guess that helps a little bit. But you know, what would any parent feel like if their child had been removed out of their home abruptly and with no contact whatsoever? It's unbearable.

KAYE: And you were actually -- I know this all comes down to this Cherokee heritage, Melanie -- but this was something that you and your husband understood. This was something that you would help instill in Veronica, is that right?

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: Absolutely. I mean, when we found out she was actually Cherokee, which we didn't know until much later, you know, we wanted to be -- you know, involved and teach her what we could. We read books about it. We contacted the Cherokee tribe in North Carolina to get tapes on the language. We would be willing to do whatever she needed to learn about her heritage.


KAYE: Sorry, Matt, you wanted to add to that?

MATT CAPOBIANCO: No, I was just agreeing. It's absolutely -- you know, she's also, you know, a large part Mexican, and we would certainly want her to know about that part of her heritage.

KAYE: Depending on what happens here, does this have to be one way or the other? Could you foresee any type of situation where she's able to be with both you and her biological father? Is there any type of possibility of that?

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: It depends on the court. MATT CAPOBIANCO: Yes, it depends on the court. But that's something that we would have certainly entertained from the beginning. Had we ever been asked to grant visitation, we certainly would have. But unfortunately, that was never an option. It was just -- it was kind of all or nothing.

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: It was an open adoption from the beginning, so obviously that wouldn't have been a problem for us.

MATT CAPOBIANCO: We would never deny her knowing her side of the family. We wouldn't do that to her. It wouldn't be right.

KAYE: Right. And Matt, when was the last time that the two of you had any contact with her?

MATT CAPOBIANCO: The day after they took her. We called, and they answered the phone, and they actually let us speak to her for a minute, and we just, you know, were trying to keep it together and said hello and we love you, and she said, hi, mommy and daddy, and I love you back, and that was it. That was the last time we got to speak to her.

KAYE: Melanie, are you at all concerned? She's so young, but she certainly has memories. But how long will those last? I mean, does she have the memory of the two of you, do you think, still? Are you concerned that she might forget you?

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: I think that anybody who has a child that age knows that they have those memories for a very long time. They might not be able to verbalize them, but I mean, parents sometimes have to leave their children for long periods of time, and certainly when they come home, if they're in the service or something like that, they absolutely remember their parents, and I think she'll remember us. Absolutely.

KAYE: Well, she's a beautiful little girl, who looks so happy. I guess we'll all wait together and see what the Supreme Court decides, and if they decide to hear your case.

Thank you for your time again. I know it's a difficult situation. Our very best to you and Veronica in this.

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: Thank you for having us.

MATT CAPOBIANCO: Thank you very much, Randi.

KAYE: Matt and Melanie Capobianco.

A top men's basketball coach says he's got a second chance at life. Now Brigham Young University's Dave Rose wants to make sure others get one, too.


KAYE: The men's basketball coach for Brigham Young University says fighting cancer is very personal for him. Dave Rose is now a three- year survivor of pancreatic cancer. His focus remains on the court, his team and on helping others win their cancer battles. Here's CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a cause that's close to his heart. And this year for the first time, Dave Rose got to take his BYU basketball team to the Coaches Versus Cancer classic tournament. What made it all the more poignant for him is the battle that he fought with pancreatic cancer that started three years ago.

DAVE ROSE, BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY MEN'S BASKETBALL COACH: If we can do something to try to help raise awareness, help find a cure, it's personal to me. I understand how these people feel.

GUPTA: His symptoms came on suddenly, on an airplane, in fact, returning from a family vacation.

ROSE: I got really sick, to where I was lightheaded. I couldn't even actually sit up. So they laid me down. Moved some of the passengers, and then they brought oxygen, cleared the plane, and then brought the medics on, and carted me off the plane and took me to the hospital. I had 10 units of blood transfused, and they found the mass and then went ahead and removed it, and told me I had cancer. So that was the process. That was about a 48-hour process that really -- that changed our whole life.

GUPTA: The operation was a success. The doctors removed the tumor from Rose's pancreas along with his spleen. They also removed a blood clot that had developed after surgery. He was back on the court just two months after surgery. He continued to take his team to the NCAA tournament. He led the Cougars to their first appearance in the Sweet 16 in 30 years.

ROSE: When the guys leave here today, they'll feel different than when they came in.

All right, on the line. Good job, Boyd (ph). On the line.

GUPTA: Now three and a half years after the day he collapsed, Rose is still cancer-free.

ROSE: I feel like I've been given a second chance. There was a real possibility that my time here was going to be numbered, and now I feel like everything I get to do is really just a blessing for me, and that I really hope I can appreciate.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.



KAYE: Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. The eight-day Jewish celebration is also known as the festival of lights. It commemorates the Hebrews' victory more than 2,200 years ago to reclaim a sacred temple.

In a statement, President Obama said, quote, "Hanukkah is a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but it is also an opportunity for people of all faiths to recognize the common aspirations we share. This holiday season, let us give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, and remain mindful of those who are suffering."

Time now to see what's trending on the Web. He once ran for president of the United States of South Carolina. Now Stephen Colbert for Senate? With Republican Jim DeMint of South Carolina leaving the Senate before his term is over, there's already a groundswell of support on the Web for Colbert to take over his seat. Someone's already created an @colbertforsc Twitter account and scooped up the ColbertforSenate web site. But alas, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is dashing the dream of Colbert fans everywhere. In a Facebook post, Haley says Colbert forgot a key fact about his home state, that South Carolina's state drink is milk. But she did thank the comedian for his interest.

Sushi, anyone? Take a look at the size of that fish. It might be the largest yellowfin tuna ever caught with a rod and a reel. Just look at that, compared to the fisherman. The fisherman is John Petruscu (ph), and he battled the big fish for two hours in Mexican waters about 1,000 miles southwest of San Diego. The official weight isn't known yet. It probably won't be known until Sunday when they pull into port, but in a telephone interview, the boat's skipper said it weighed in at a record 459 pounds. Wow.

Well, we have much more ahead in the next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING, which starts right now.