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CNN NEWSROOM

U.S. Embassy Attacked in Turkey; Super Bowl Preparations

Aired February 1, 2013 - 15:00   ET

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


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour here for you on this Friday. We're less than one hour away from the closing bell on Wall Street on what could turn out to be a milestone day for stocks. We're watching that 14,000 mark very, very closely.

All day, the Dow Jones Industrial average has been flirting with 14,000 even surpassing it a couple of times. Keep in mind, that is a level we have not seen since 2007, October of '07 when it was at 14,164.

Take a look at this.

The S&P 500 as well, which is used for many of those popular index mutual funds, also crossing a milestone, approaching record territory.

Again, quick look at the Big Board, and we saw that number just under the 14000 mark. There it is.

(STOCK MARKET UPDATE)

BALDWIN: Want to broaden this out, though, big picture, talk to Jill Schlesinger. She's the editor at large for CBS MoneyWatch.com.

And, Jill, I knew I liked you. I was reading a piece today where you quoted the Grateful Dead in talking about the ups and downs of the Dow Jones. Give me that line.

JILL SCHLESINGER, CBS MONEYWATCH.COM: Well, it has been a long, strange trip. Come on, now.

Just think about this, in the summer of 2007, we first crossed 14000. And that was well before anyone really, the broad public understood we're about to become like literally sucked into the precipice of disaster by the financial sector. So, of course, 14000 doesn't feel quite as good this time around, and frankly a lot of retail investors have not yet gotten back into the market after these last five or six bruising years. Who could blame them? It has just been agonizing.

BALDWIN: But here's my Debbie Downer question, right? We talked so much about the excitement on Wall Street today, of course. But Wall Street and Main Street, they don't always go hand and hand, because we were talking the last quarter reports, 2012, the economy contracted.

You look at the jobs number out today, we didn't quite add as many as expected. What gives? What is the deal with that, I don't know, it is not all mirroring one another. SCHLESINGER: Well, look, there is always a dichotomy between the stock market and the economy. They are two different things. But let's talk about the economy for a second.

We added a bunch of jobs in January, 157,000. We got positive revisions to 2012 that really helped the numbers, so on average we added 181,000 jobs last year. It is good. It is not great.

And, frankly, we have not recovered all the jobs that we lost during the recession. And so go tell us one of the 12 million people who were unemployed that the situation is getting better and they will kind of say, thanks a lot, but not better for me. What is happening in this economy is we're in a slow growth recovery.

There is no way you can sugarcoat it -- 2 percent or 2.25 percent, that's not robust growth. It's subpar for recessions and recoveries from recessions. And as a result, we're just not creating enough jobs to put a dent in our unemployment rate -- 7.9 percent, hey, I'm glad it is below 8 percent. That's still really high.

BALDWIN: Right. No. I know. We talk so much about the numbers, the Dow at 14000, which is significant, of course, directly, but, yes, the 8 percent mark, it's such a psychological thing as well. it's good for the economy. Needs to get better. Jill Schlesinger, thank you so much.

SCHLESINGER: Thanks.

BALDWIN: In the Turkish capital of Ankara, a suicide bomber has attacked the U.S. Embassy, killing himself and a Turkish security guard. Take a look here. This is the Google Earth. You will see the scene just outside the embassy today.

Police there on the ground, they are scrambling, as are U.S. officials, trying to find out who did this and why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: A suicide bombing on the perimeter of an embassy is by definition an act of terror. It is a terrorist attack.

However, we do not know at this point who is responsible or the motivations behind the attack. The attack itself is clearly an act of terror.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: No Americans were hurt, but all personnel were moved into safe rooms inside the building. And you can see, look with me here, there is a gaping hole in one side of the building. This was the tourist embassy entrance.

And now this. You're going to see the man, here he is, Turkish police have identified as the suicide bomber, a man also involved in attacks on a police station in Istanbul back in 1997. Our senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson, joins me now from Istanbul.

Ivan, I know you have visited this embassy multiple times. How secure is the compound?

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it looks like it worked. This was the first real line of defense, the bunker-like structure that visitors and embassy personnel have to go through.

That's where the bomber seems to have set off his or her explosives. And sadly it is the Turkish guards who work in that location who bore the brunt of the blast, one of them being killed. And the U.S. ambassador in Ankara had the following to say about this casualty. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCIS RICCIARDONE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY: Right now, we are all dealing with our sadness at the loss of our fellow member of our embassy. We salute his bravery, his service to Turkey and to Turkish- American friendship. Our hearts go out to his family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: And there was also a woman, a Turkish television reporter named Didem Tuncay. She was seriously injured and is hospitalized right now in the wake of this suicide bombing -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Tell me, Ivan, just what more do we know about the suspected suicide bomber himself.

WATSON: Well, the Turkish authorities have pointed to one group in particular that they have identified as an illegal leftist terrorist organization.

And sources have told our sister organization, CNN Turk, that it is known by the acronym DHKP-C, or the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party Front. And they have also singled out the man they think carried out the bombing, a man by the name of Ecevit Sanli.

And the reason they know him is because in 1997 he was convicted of firing a rocket at a Turkish police headquarters and served jail time and was eventually released after having gone on hunger strike and suffering some kind of brain damage. The fingers are being pointed at this leftist organization that just last month Turkish security forces arrested dozens of suspected members of this group, the DHKP-C.

So, again, that's who are the prime suspects in this terrorist attack right now, Brooke.

BALDWIN: OK. Ivan Watson in Jerusalem, forgive me, not Istanbul, Jerusalem -- Ivan, thank you very much.

Football fans counting down the hours until Super Bowl Sunday, the game of the year pitting the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Baltimore Ravens. You have West Coast vs. East Coast, brother vs. brother. Coaches Jim and John Harbaugh will battle one another for the title of Super Bowl XLVII.

Next family meal might be kind of awkward. Sorry, bro, you beat me. Here's what we know for sure. One Harbaugh brother will celebrate a big Super Bowl win and the other one goes home a loser. You can bet on that.

And CNN and Turner Sports' Rachel Nichols joins me live from New Orleans.

Welcome, welcome, welcome. How is it going down there?

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Brooke. It's going great. It is New Orleans. If anyone complains about this, they really don't know how to have a good time, right?

BALDWIN: I totally agree. I was there New Year's Eve. Crazy.

Anyway, give me a little behind-the-scenes atmosphere here a couple of days before the game.

NICHOLS: Yes. It is a lot of fun here.

It is an interesting mix on the Friday before Super Bowl, because you have some of the crazy stuff going on. You have the last press conferences by the coaches, which in this case was a family affair, John and Jim Harbaugh on the stage together, which is a Super Bowl first, pointing out their 97-year-old relatives in the crowd, their mom, their dad.

We don't usually get that at a Super Bowl. That was a little bit of fun, telling stories how they broke windows as a kid and just who exactly got in trouble for what. On the other hand, you have the serious part of the day. The commissioner gives the state of the state, state of the union press conference with the NFL and some very serious issues in that as well.

Had a little bit of everything and then of course it is New Orleans. So everyone is out enjoying the town, having fun and celebrating the fact that after Hurricane Katrina, when at one point they didn't know if the Saints were going to come back to the building, much less be able to host events like this. They're having a Super Bowl.

BALDWIN: Yes. It is quite a new Superdome there in the city.

Let me just ask you quickly back to Roger Goodell, commissioner of NFL, giving the news conference we know in the wake of President Obama's interview with "The New Republic" basically making news because he said, look, if I had boys, I might think twice about them playing football. Goodell, he acknowledged that, didn't they?

NICHOLS: Yes, absolutely.

Unless there is something Mrs. Obama isn't telling us, this isn't going to become an issue for the president, but still it's certainly an issue for parents. And that's what he was getting at around the country.

Football used to be the thing everybody sent their kids into. "Friday Night Lights," there is this whole culture in small towns built around the high school football games. And now the question is, is it something you want your kid playing? And that's what Obama was tapping into. Commissioner Goodell addressed that today. He was gracious, thanked the president for his concerns and that he welcomes that kind of talk.

But he did say that not only was his own youth football experience, of course, some of the best memories he has, expected him to say that, but that he talked about the advances the NFL and the league is trying to make. One thing is they will now put independent neurosurgeons on the sidelines.

BALDWIN: Oh, wow.

NICHOLS: These won't be doctors who are paid by the teams. These will be doctors that players can then consult with individually to see if it is in their interests to go back out on the field. That's a pretty major step. And then also talking about some of the increases in fines, suspensions, things like that for on-field hits that could cause some of these injuries.

But I got to tell you there is controversy over this. You have a large player contingent who thinks Goodell is not addressing the right issues. In fact, the NFL Players Association released a survey saying nine out of 10 of the current players on the field today don't have faith in their team medical staff. They don't think that they're being taken care of the right way, preventatively.

BALDWIN: Wow.

NICHOLS: That's a big question. Is it a matter of the hits on the field, do you fine and suspend and that kind of thing, or is it on the other side? Ed Reed, the future Hall of Fame safety who is playing in this game for the Ravens, he said I wish they would take some of the money they're fining us and put it into the training rooms. We will have to see how this all shakes out.

BALDWIN: That is a big question and a big number when you think of those players.

Rachel Nichols, since I have you, I just wanted to have a little fun before I let you go as this is your first appearance on my show, a little welcome if you will. So roll with me here. I want to play a little word association game with you. We will keep it pretty much sports related. I will say something, you tell me what immediately pops into your head. You game?

NICHOLS: I'm all for it. Let's go.

BALDWIN: OK. Ray Lewis.

NICHOLS: Squirrel. I can explain these later if we need to.

BALDWIN: We will be tweeting about that later. New Orleans.

NICHOLS: You weren't expecting that.

Fun.

BALDWIN: Beyonce.

NICHOLS: I'm sorry. Beyonce. More fun, I hope.

BALDWIN: Manti Te'o.

NICHOLS: Invisible? I was going to do the arm around the girlfriend, my fake -- my fake companion here.

BALDWIN: How about your real companion, your new Turner colleague Charles Barkley?

NICHOLS: Loud.

BALDWIN: And, finally, one of my favorites, and since you were on his show last night, Piers Morgan.

NICHOLS: Fried chicken. And I say that because if you watch Piers' show later tonight, we will have an in-depth discussion on fried chicken. Is that a good teaser for thank you?

BALDWIN: That's a great teaser. I'm sure Piers and Jonathan Wald appreciate that as well.

Rachel Nichols, awesome job. Welcome. Thank you. We will look for you this weekend in New Orleans.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: And before you watch Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, find out what it means to the city of New Orleans. Want you to watch Rachel's CNN Bleacher Report special, "Kickoff in New Orleans." It airs tomorrow 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: The man accused of holding a child hostage inside a bunker is being called a loner, a survivalist. So what makes an extremist tick? I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.

(voice-over): An "American Idol" contestant tells an emotional story about his time in war. But something doesn't quite add up.

Plus, he's a legend, a Hall of Famer, and now Steven Tyler has a legislative bill named after him. Wait until you hear this.

And a couple's terrifying race to keep their newborn alive in one of the world's most dangerous places. Trust me, it is a story you will never forget.

(END VIDEOTAPE) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

BALDWIN: And a huge stash, hundreds of never-seen-before photos of the Beatles now discovered. Take a look for yourself. Here's the Fab Four meeting with their guru, a couple others, behind-the-scenes photos from when right band was shooting the film "Help" in the Bahamas.

Apparently, this photographer found these negatives for these photos from some time ago and published them.

Make sure you go to CNN.com. We have all kinds of never-before-seen photos of the Beatles. It is fantastic stuff. Again, CNN.com for that.

Coming up next, want you to stay with me for a very special story, the race to save a baby born way too soon and half-a-world away, where equipment and expertise to save a tiny life are scarce. The faith and the teamwork it took to pull this off is entirely inspiring. Meet this special family and hear their story. This is a personal one for me. We will explain next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Want to share a story now with you that is a personal one for me. And we're going to tell you my connection to this here in just a moment.

But this story is about this young American couple, and what sounds to be a pretty harrowing race to keep their little baby boy alive. The backdrop of this whole story, a country all too familiar with violence, with child soldiers, with rape, the South Sudan.

They were over there doing peace building ministry work and had not exactly planned to have this little baby in one of the most rural areas of the world. But that is precisely what happened and they're here today with me to share their story.

So, I want to bring in Shelvis and Nancy Smith-Mather and baby Jordan. And full transparency, we went to high school together. Shelvis is a dear, dear friend of mine. And this is the first time I'm meeting Jordan.

So, I will try to keep -- you guys might want to have a Kleenex, a warning now. It is incredible to see you guys. And it's so special to have you on the show.

Nancy, you're in the South Sudan, you're pregnant. The plan was to get you back to Atlanta to have this baby. That plan didn't happen.

No.

BALDWIN: What happened when you started -- where were you when you started having contractions? NANCY SMITH-MATHER, MOTHER: We lived in a town Yei, South Sudan.

And we were just at home. It was early one Saturday morning, and were scheduled to leave three days later to come back to Atlanta. So, we woke up with contractions about 6:00 a.m.

BALDWIN: What kind of medical equipment? I presume there are no major hospitals in the South Sudan. Tell me what you had to go through.

N. SMITH-MATHER: We were extremely fortunate in that there is a hospital that opened the first month of our pregnancy that was started by a couple coming from Colorado, specifically to focus on maternal and child health

It's about two miles from where we are. So we went to that hospital, took us about 45 minutes because the road is very bumpy and we were having contractions, but we were very grateful to be able to go to that hospital.

BALDWIN: So you have this little one in this clinic that had just been built, right? And how early did he come?

N. SMITH-MATHER: He was seven weeks early.

And when we got to the hospital, they told us they felt comfortable that we would be able to deliver there, but they didn't know if they would have the medical equipment that he would need coming so early.

BALDWIN: Because he was so early, daddy, were you nervous?

SHELVIS SMITH-MATHER, FATHER: It was a stirring time.

But the crazy thing about this, Brooke, was that in the midst of all of the chaos and the anxiety, we felt cared for the entire time. We felt cared for when we were met by Dr. Jeff Perry. We felt cared for when his medical team fashioned together a makeshift device that helped in this child's breathing.

We felt cared for when the evacuation team landed on a dirt airstrip and took us out of there. We felt cared for when my wife was admitted to the hospital, my son in intensive care. She was discharged on Friday. I was admitted into the emergency room on Saturday for malaria. The entire time, though, food was given to us, clothes were provided for us, the Presbyterian church, reform church in our -- and the folks at RECONCILE just really loved us and cared for us.

BALDWIN: This landing strip, we have pictures of this plane. They put Jordan in this incubator, the only incubator in town, on the plane. You guys go to Kenya. You have to be in Kenya for a little while before you can come home to finally have your family meet the baby. Have you had a chance to catch your breath?

SMITH-MATHER: We have enjoyed being home for the holidays. It has been great.

BALDWIN: So, before I let you go, this is baby number one.

S. SMITH-MATHER: Baby number one.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: Baby number one. This is the first American ever born in the South Sudan.

S. SMITH-MATHER: That's what they have told us. When we arrived in Nairobi, a representative from the embassy came to the hospital and she explained that, to the best of her knowledge, and to the best of the embassy's knowledge, he's the first American born in South Sudan of American-born parents.

BALDWIN: And I'm so glad we got you on the show today because tomorrow you're hopping a plane, my friends. You're going back to Africa like this. Just tell me about the work you guys have been involved in.

S. SMITH-MATHER: We work with an ecumenical South Sudanese administration that is addressing issues of trauma and conflict in South Sudan.

And, specifically, Nancy and I are working with the RECONCILE Peace Institute. And that's bringing leaders from all over the nation, and helping to train them so they can better address trauma and better address conflict in their communities.

N. SMITH-MATHER: We're excited to go back.

BALDWIN: I'm excited for you. I'm excited for you.

I feel like I'm having a bit of an out-of-body experience because I have known you guys for so, so long and meeting him. Congratulations. I love you both.

N. SMITH-MATHER: Thank you. Thank you.

BALDWIN: And we will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)