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Day Seven For Five-Year-Old Hostage; The Blackout Bowl; Sandy Hook Kids Sing Before Game; Kerry's First Day As Secretary Of State; Super Bowl's Memorable Moments

Aired February 4, 2013 - 13:00   ET


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: -- into orbit. He says he wants to make the trip to support his country's space program. Last week scientists in Iran did send a monkey into space.

No comment. That will do it for me. NEWSROOM continues, though, with Ashleigh Banfield in New York. Over to you, Ash.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Michael Holmes. He has been held captive for a week now, how a five-year-old autistic boy is being held in an underground bunker. It is a hostage standoff.

And was it an accidental theme at the Super Bowl, gun violence? How singer Jennifer Hudson, whose mother, brother and nephew were killed in a shooting, sang with the kids from Newtown Elementary. And the score was Baltimore 28, San Francisco six when, snap, the lights go out. So, who exactly is to blame for this? And where are the fingers being pointed today?

This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ashleigh Banfield in for Suzanne Malveaux. And hello, everybody. We are entering day seven of the hostage standoff in Alabama. And when police start getting requests for what they call comfort items during a crisis like this, there is a world of difference between what a 65-year-old man might want and what a five- year-old little boy would like. The 65-year-old Vietnam vet is suspected of holding the child who was snatched off a school bus late last week after the driver was shot and killed.

CNN's Victor Blackwell joins me now from Midland City, Alabama. Victor, what do we know about this? We've had a -- sort of an unexpected update from the police at the last hour. Do we feel like we're any further ahead in this crisis?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ashleigh, I can tell you that there have been news conferences called every day. Several a day, often -- more often than not, they are cancelled. This one feels different and I'll tell you why because it was scheduled for noon Eastern, of course, we're now at 1:00 Eastern. There's been a person who came out to tell us that the Dale County sheriff, Wally Olson, was coming out. He came out twice. And they've told us that they are now going to come back and give us an update on when that will be.

I'm checking my iPhone now because I've been communicating with the spokesperson, who is part of this task force, and, typically, I ask him before these conferences are we going to get new information? And he'll be pretty honest with me. And I'm waiting for that update to see what maybe we'll get out of this one. But I can tell you from what we learned in the last 24 hours, you talked about those comfort items, and, again, you say that it's a difference between a 65 year old and a five year old . The details we've learned is that a red hot wheels car and Cheez-Its were taken to this bunker. Things that, of course, a five-year-old would prioritize. We still don't know what Jimmy Lee Dikes, the 65-year-old, what he wants, what his motivations are, what his demands are. They're keeping those facts close to the vest. I doubt we'll get those details at this news conference, but hopefully we'll get more information as, yes, we are in day seven of the standoff here in Midland City -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Now, Victor, obviously, this is such a sensitive operation. I know that you are quite a ways away from where the police are trying to do their very intense and important work. But do we know anything about the parents of this little boy? And if they've had a chance to come and speak through that PVC pipe to comfort this child? Have they been involved? Or is that being held close to the vest?

BLACKWELL: Well, when you say parents, the only mention I've heard from anyone, including the mayor, including officials, is a mother. We have not heard much about a father in this situation, and, of course, those questions have been asked. But I did speak with the mayor of this town, his name is Vergil Skipper, and I asked if those parents had been to this site. He's been in contact with them. He says, no, they have not been but the mother is getting updates every hour as requested. We know also that the communication there, you probably have the animation going, is through this PVC pipe, 60 feet from the road, down to this bunker and that's how they're communicating with Jimmy Lee Dikes consistently every day since this started.

We've been told by authorities that there is no reason to believe that the boy has been harmed. His medication has been passed on. We have been told by an Alabama state senator, that this five-year-old has Aspergers Syndrome and ADHD and daily the medication has been passed on to him. We've been told that there were more -- there was more than one delivery, as is what they're called, to this bunker, yesterday. Hopefully we'll get more details when this news conference starts, already now more than an hour after it's been scheduled. But they're holding us here hopefully to get some details from Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: All right, Victor Blackwell. Stay on it for us and please update us the minute you hear from the authorities down there. I appreciate that.

Onto the other big story. And before actually I do move on, I want to let you know that this hostage suspect is considered a survivalist. And so tonight at 8:00 Eastern on CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, is going to take an inside look at the underground survivalist movement. That's 8:00 Eastern time.

All right, so now that other big story. News from the Super Bowl. It wasn't just who won but it was that the lights went out. Pow. Look at that, right? At the start of the second half. About 90 seconds into the third quarter with the Ravens leading 28 to six and about half of the Superdome, the lights went out. The referee had to call a halt to the game. Stadium officials had to work to try to fix that problem. The players were forced to sit there on the field wondering and then stretching, having a chitchat with one another. I mean, what else are you going to do, right? The more than 71,000 fans, however, mostly stayed in their seats, also waiting for those lights to come back any moment. But it took about 35 minutes before the power was back on and the game once again resumed.

Let's bring in our CNN Sports Anchor Joe Carter who is still in New Orleans for us. And the big question, Joe, is how, why, who's to blame? And that seems to be still sort of a nebulous topic.

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, very much so, Ashleigh. Yes, people are pointing fingers at each other, as you would imagine. You've got basically two players in this. You've got Entergy which is the power company that supplies power to the Superdome. And then you've got SMG which is the operator of the Superdome, and they released a joint statement basically saying that there is a machine that monitors the amount of power usage that's distributed throughout the Superdome and that machine detected an abnormality. And so, what it did is automatically shut off the power, the auxiliary power then kicked in and that's why the entire Superdome didn't go completely dark, thankfully because that would have caused, as you would imagine, I'm sure a lot of panic from the fans and from the players.

But the outage lasted, as we have documented, over 30 minutes. And during that time, the auxiliary power kept some of the lights on in the concourse for fans to be able to move around but the escalators and elevators were shut down, credit card machines were shut down so fans weren't able to purchase vending items or souvenirs during that time, unless they had cash. All radio communication for the media and for the players and coaches were shut down during that outage. And basically, the auxiliary lights were put on through the concourse so people were able to move around. This, obviously, lasted just over 30 minutes so it caused a lot of chaos and confusion.

But what we are understanding now is that the lights on the outside of the dome only went off in a quadrant and we know that no lights around the Superdome went out. So, it's actually a centralized outage that -- something that just happened within the Superdome and around the Superdome and that the Mayor Landrieu, basically he released a statement saying, this is an unfortunate situation for an otherwise outstanding week for New Orleans. I talked to a few fans just after the outage yesterday and that they said this is an embarrassing moment for New Orleans, plain and simple that it doesn't how they viewed their week and it doesn't affect the Super Bowl. And then, Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL addressed the situation this morning in a press conference.


ROGER GOODELL, COMMISSIONAL, NFL: And the power outage was an unfortunate incident that we are looking in to try to get the facts. There were no safety issues at any point in time. The dome personnel did an outstanding job. I salute our fans and our personnel, our teams, I think everyone stayed calm and worked through the issues.


CARTER: Yes, Ashleigh, fans actually did stay very calm during the outage. There was a wave that started for about 10 minutes during the time. So, people kept in good spirits. This is, obviously, the first time a power outage has ever happened in a Super Bowl. We did see it happen last season during a Monday night football game between the 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. That outage actually happened two different times. And then, we also saw it happen in the Stanley Cup finals of the NHL in 1988 and then 1990. But this is, certainly, a Super Bowl first -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Joe Carter, thanks for the update. Keep us posted when you hear more about who's to blame about this craziness. Joe Carter reporting for us live.

Here's what else we have going on this hour. He wrote the book "American Sniper" and appeared in the reality show "Stars Earn Stripes." But this weekend, Navy Seal Chris Kyle was gunned down himself at a shooting range. We've got the latest on the killing and the suspect.

And Rosa Parks was born 100 years ago today. How the civil rights activist is being remembered. This is CNN NEWSROOM.



JENNIFER HUDSON, SINGER: Oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain. For purple mountain majesty above the fruited plains.


BANFIELD: What a way to start the Super Bowl, 26 school children from Sandy Hook Elementary joining in song with superstar Jennifer Hudson for a moving version of "America the Beautiful." As you know, 20 of their classmates and six educators died in a massacre there in December. And you may also remember that Jennifer Hudson has her own tragic connection to gun violence. Her estranged brother-in-law murdered her mother, her brother and her seven-year-old nephew back in 2008. Jennifer Hudson lives in Chicago.

And our Ted Rowlands is live in Chicago right now. This is a city that is no stranger to gun violence and gun deaths. What can you tell us to Jennifer -- tell us about Jennifer Hudson's connection to singing at the Super Bowl, and herself to the tragedies of gun violence in that city?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ashleigh, according to the NFL, they chose Jennifer Hudson to sing with the Sandy Hook Elementary school just by coincidence. But for everybody in Chicago who figured that it wasn't by coincidence, it was a perfect choice because when her seven-year-old nephew Julian King was killed it was so emotional and what she went through going to court every day with her sister really grabbed this city.

So, seeing her on the stage with those youngsters really did hit home for people and not only here in Chicago but across the country. Of course, Chicago as you mentioned, has had a tough year already after a bad year last year with homicides. Gun violence has already taken the lives of more than 40 people in the city of Chicago. Last week, we lost a 15-year-old girl. This city, more so than any other, has had to deal with just horrible gun violence. And the fact that the gun debate is out on the national level has really captivated Chicago and other cities that are dealing with this.

BANFIELD: All right, Ted Rowlands reporting for us live in Chicago. Thank you. And tonight, Piers Morgan is going to continue his look on the debate over gun violence. That's at 9:00 p.m. Easter right here on CNN.

Hillary Clinton is out and John Kerry is in. It's his first day as secretary of state. What he needs to do to fill Hillary Clinton's shoes.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Everything I do will be focused on security and safety of our people. We have tough decisions to make but I guarantee I will do everything I can to live up to the high standards of Secretary Clinton and her team put in place.



BANFIELD: Chances are you spent this weekend watching a little football, checking out the Super Bowl. But John Kerry spent his weekend chatting with world leaders about issues like North Korea and Mideast peace. John Kerry spending his first day, his formal first day as secretary of state, today. And he faces some pretty tough challenges as the country's new top diplomat. And joining me to talk about that is presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who's a professor of history at Rice University.

Doug, thanks for being with us.

I wanted to get your take as a presidential historian on what John Kerry means to President Obama's legacy, specifically as we discuss foreign policy and the next four years.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, it's going to mean a great deal. After all, I mean, two of the accomplishments Barack Obama is trying to claim is going to be, he got us out of the war in Iraq and he's now getting us out of one in Afghanistan. By 2014, we've got to withdraw 66,000 troops from Afghanistan.

Now, the military will deal with that, but John Kerry is going to have to do a lot of the diplomacy with Pakistan, who are not really sure whether we can trust right now. And so I think the key for Kerry is going to be whether he -- when we move equipment and personnel out of Afghanistan through the transit routes to Pakistan, Kerry can get done deals out of that country that they live up to.

BANFIELD: And, of course, Americans know him as a multi term congressman. Thirty years in Congress in the Senate. But what do the rest of the people around the world think of when they think of John Kerry? And what message are they getting as he embarks on a job that will, more than likely, see them land in one of their countries?

BRINKLEY: Well, look, Hillary Clinton just did 1 million miles. And, you know, that's a lot of transit for secretary of state. Kerry will be doing that, too. But he's very much wants to get control over the building at foggy bottom. I spoke to him a few weeks ago and he was very interested in finding out how respected Colin Powell and George Shultz, for example, were as secretaries of state within the Washington culture. You're not just meeting world leaders, but you've got to run that large bureaucracy. And also I would say, keep in mind, Kerry grew up in World War II and the Cold War years and his heroes are the so-called wise men of eastern establishment of John J. McCloy and George Kennan and George Marcel (ph) and all of them. So he's seen around the world as part of the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

BANFIELD: Is he seen or even remembered, and this is going back a ways, but, you know, when he came back as a Navy lieutenant after the Vietnam War, he led a protest movement against that war and tossed his medals back at the White House saying, thanks but no thanks. That's known here as well. Is that known overseas as somebody who's well educated and as a solar was able to question foreign policy of the United States publicly?

BRINKLEY: I think so. I mean we all are familiar with that story. I mean here's a man who was an ivy leaguer who volunteered for Vietnam, had swift boat (ph) duty and won three purple hearts, a silver star and a bronze star. And as you say, he came back and rejected them. He talked about how immoral the war in Vietnam was.

That played well around the rest of the world. There's still a lot of swift boat veterans for truth and groups that hold -- are angry at Kerry for that. But, globally, that played pretty well. Now Kerry, who was -- got well known by denouncing Vietnam, is in charge of getting us out of Afghanistan. So there's an ironic link between the two wars.

BANFIELD: So I would be remiss if I didn't use this opportunity while you're on live with me to just show quickly a very long list of all the books that you have written. And one of them happens to be the biography of Rosa Parks. And today is -- would be Rosa Parks 100th birthday. And there's a commemorative stamp that's being released today. It's a significant moment in U.S. history. What are some of the more surprising things that you learned about Rosa Parks in all of your research for the biography?

BRINKLEY: Well, I'm here in Detroit. We're celebrating her 100th birthday. I'm actually wearing a Rosa Parks stamp. We just had an unveiling of it. Her bus, a famous December 1, 1955, bus is at the Henry Ford Museum here in Detroit. People don't know about Mrs. Parks, is it wasn't just she was a tired seamstress. She was a civil rights activist, she was the secretary for the NAACP. And she was feisty. You know, once Martin Luther King was in Birmingham with her and a guy ran up on stage and smacked King in the face, and King just dropped his hands to show nonviolence, I won't swing back. Rosa Parks administered aspirin and a Coca-Cola to Dr. King. But in an interview with me she said, you know what, at that day, I thought Martin was crazy with this nonviolence. I would have punched that guy back in the face.

She was not just this pacifist type of person. In fact, here in Detroit, she was very close, became close to Malcolm X and some of the black power movement. But also she was a part of a -- a deaconess) in the AME church, which is the African Methodist Episcopalian Church, and was a Buddhist later in life. She was -- believed in kind of one love, universalist themes and spent her whole life really trying to help young people.

BANFIELD: It's fascinating. Great reading. The anecdotes are remarkable and that's particularly a favorite.

Doug Brinkley, good to see you. Thank you. And happy birthday, Rosa Parks.

BRINKLEY: Thank you.

BANFIELD: Coming up, he wrote the book "American Sniper," and appeared in the reality show "Stars Earn Stripes," but this weekend, Navy Seal Chris Kyle was gunned down at a shooting range. Did post traumatic stress disorder figure into this?


BANFIELD: So what was the most memorable moment at the Super Bowl in your opinion? Some people are saying it was this, the moment the coaches, the brothers, John and Jim Harbaugh, did not hug each other after the game ended but had a moment. It was something nice. Or was it this, early in the third quarter, half the Superdome just going black after a power outage.

Let's bring in former NFL player Coy Wire.

Coy, you played for the Buffalo Bills and the Atlanta Falcons. You know the pressure that goes into all of this and I'm only assuming that this was a lot to take in. And I want to start with the Harbaugh brothers. I think a lot of people were talking about the moment. They were expecting the two to cross the field and, I don't know, do something more brotherly than just the handshake and the fast touch. What was your take on it?

COY WIRE, FORMER NFL PLAYER: I don't know if I was going to go that far just because we've seen Jim Harbaugh literally almost knock another coach over after a slap in the back. But it was a little bit cold. Had a lot of mixed emotions that you could really feel that tension there. I can only imagine what their parents were going through, where in every play of the game, they wanted to cheer, but then they also wanted to get sad. So it was an interesting dynamic there in that game, obviously. BANFIELD: And I think also, you know, for John, I'm probably getting his words wrong, but he also said that it felt awful at the moment that he knew his brother had lost. So that had to be a really tough set of emotions to wrangle with all those people looking on and all those cameras and the confetti, et cetera.

Let me move on to the mojo factor. When the lights went out and all those players, people I'm sure you can identify with, were having to figure out what do we do now? We can't leave the field. We can have a chitchat with one another, maybe stretch, maybe kind of try to think about some plays. Is that a real mojo killer? Because things really changed after this.

WIRE: You know, I would like to think that it would be. But then I started putting myself back into the -- my shoes when I was a player. And I remember not being able to fall asleep until 3:00 in the morning after a day game because the epinephrine, the adrenaline, the amigalas (ph) bouncing -- you know, everything is rolling. These guys did not lose any adrenaline or momentum, I guarantee you that. This is the biggest stage in sports in all of the -- in the whole world. So I think they were internally ready to go. You saw them on the sidelines stretching and trying to stay warm and catching passes. So it's one of those things that unthinkable, but I think that nothing was going to stop the momentum. But what was interesting is, after that, it seemingly did have a benefit for the 49ers. So I don't know if they did some sidelines coaching --

BANFIELD: Seemingly? Holy franoli (ph), seemingly? Man, they got a ton of points on the board after that.

WIRE: Yes.

BANFIELD: I mean it really looked like all of a sudden, you know, the Ravens were shell-shocked. And I don't know football.

WIRE: Right. And so, you know, think maybe one thing that you could think of is that the coaches were on the sidelines and had more time to correct some of the errors that had occurred in the first half. Because there was some obvious changes there. Going from 28-6, and then after the power outage, they come right back to get in that football game, become the first -- one of the only games in Super Bowl history to go 30 points or more by both teams.

BANFIELD: OK, last question for you. The Ray Lewis factor. He's walking out of this sport with two Super Bowl rings and a lot of lore, not the least of which was the 2000 murder case in which he was involved, but also this allegation about the performance enhancing deer antler spray. What do you think people are going to take away after this Super Bowl and this big win when it comes to Ray Lewis?

WIRE: What a fascinating story. I mean there's such a dichotomy here. This is -- you have a guy who's polarized. I mean there are people who love him or they hate him. And, you know, he obviously is an inspirational leader for that team. So we know well about that saga, that journey, and how that story has now ended. But you've got to look at guys like Ed Reed also and a guy like Joe Flacco, who's gotten a lot of flak over the years for not -- seemingly not being able to perform in a big game. Well, he's now your Super Bowl MVP. Went out, finished the season with a bang.