Return to Transcripts main page


Teen Nearly Dies Smoking Fake Pot; Oscar Nominees Gather

Aired February 4, 2013 - 15:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Now this. Top of the hour. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Want to let everyone know here, 3:30 Eastern time, so in half an hour, we have compiled a fantastic group, multiple voices to talk and debate all the hot topics from the Super Bowl, including the blackout, the ratings, here she is, Beyonce's performance, and all those ads. Don't miss it. That's in half an hour.

But, first, we begin with the story that has a lot of people talking today. You have any teens in your house? Call them over to the television right now because this story could save their life. You may have seen these. You have seen these packets in convenience stores? It is so-called synthetic marijuana.

These chemically involved treats, these herbs, are sold in packaging, usually brightly colored, attracts the eye, looks like candy. But they are anything but harmless. Smoking one nearly killed 17-year-old Emily Bauer of Houston.

The experience landed her smack dab in intensive care unit on life support and her family expected she would die. These pictures are of Emily from last December.

Want to bring in CNN's legal analyst Sunny Hostin here.

We have talked about synthetic marijuana in the past. It is the kind of thing, the stores and the packaging, it almost creates this illusion that they're harmless.


BALDWIN: Looks like candy. Young people grab them. In actuality, they're linked to, what, thousands of medical emergencies.

HOSTIN: That's right, thousands.

What is so fascinating, and I went to a convenience store to look for it, because, I thought, gosh, it looks like candy.

BALDWIN: Really?

HOSTIN: Here in New York, I couldn't find it.

But what is fascinating about this is these items aren't legal. In 41 states, including Puerto Rico, or -- and Puerto Rico, they're just not allowed. And so law enforcement is sort of on to it now, but kids are still buying it. This kid bought it in Texas, where it is illegal. So it still made its way on to the store's shelves and it can be really dangerous.

Get this, Brooke. It is 100 times more potent than marijuana in many settings. So I don't know why it is still kind of there, but I suspect...

BALDWIN: Who makes it?

HOSTIN: I suspect it is because of who makes it. Sometimes, it's a college kid trying to make a little bit of money, and sometimes it is these underground manufacturers that are making heaps of it using a cement mixer.

BALDWIN: A cement mixer?


HOSTIN: There is no quality control here and that's one of the reasons why I think law enforcement has had a bit of trouble with it, but new legislation is being passed. And I will say this also. They're smart. Whenever law enforcement gets kind of close to catching them, they switch the ingredients on it so it doesn't...


HOSTIN: ... these guidelines. They're smart. They're savvy. And it is a significant, significant problem.

BALDWIN: What about Emily Bauer? She was in the ICU. Her parents thought she was...


HOSTIN: Well, I would love to say she's doing great, but she suffered severe stroke. She has brain damage.


HOSTIN: And so, you know, day by day , her family says she's getting better. She's in physical therapy and other kinds of therapy, but she was severely injured by this. I just hope folks that are watching will speak to their teens, will speak to their kids about this because this is still out there on the shelves killing people.

BALDWIN: We have a dad on the show, I will never forget it, spoke to me teary-eyed. His son had taken his own life because he had just -- I don't know what the effects of the stuff was on him, it was too much for him to handle.

HOSTIN: Unbelievable.

BALDWIN: Sunny Hostin, thank you very much.

HOSTIN: Thanks. BALDWIN: King Richard III has been found. His skeleton was unearthed last September beneath a parking lot in England and today positive identification the bone belongs to his royal highness.

CNN's Richard Quest joining me here.

This is just one of those -- so, Richard Quest, this is 500 years since King Richard died. How the heck did researchers even know where to look? That's what I want to know.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, come on. This is amazing, Brooke. Come on.

Here you have a mystery that has been 500 years in the making. And they found the bones and the body on the first day that they were excavating this parking lot in Leicester, which is a city in middle England. They knew where to -- they have been knowing where to look for some years because they know that the final battle, the Battle of Bosworth, which took place in 1485, and they knew that after he was killed, he was buried in a church.

But that church had long since gone. And so for -- I was going to say years, decades, for centuries they have been wondering where it might be. This was the last bit of open space that they could actually dig down to and in August of last year, they dug down and just -- it wasn't that deep, is the first thing. It wasn't that deep and they found it on day one.

BALDWIN: Wasn't he -- he was hunchbacked. There were attributes to his bones. They just -- they knew it was him.

QUEST: Yes, well, well, not so fast. They saw they -- first of all, the feet are missing. So you have the long skeleton lying out. And then if you show that picture again, you will see the spine and you see it is not a hunchback.

It is known as scoliosi.

BALDWIN: Scoliosis.


QUEST: Yes, even better, which is a deformation of the spine, but it does create a full hunchback in the sort we have seen in Shakespeare's "Richard III." It's more of a leaning to, a shoulder shrug, it would be like.

So they got a pretty good idea it was Richard III. Then they did the DNA samples, comparing those bone samples with known living relatives of the Plantagenets that they had DNA from and, bingo, they were able to put two and two together.

BALDWIN: It's incredible. Archaeology is fascinating, as you point out, centuries old. Richard Quest, thank you, sir.

And now to a pretty tough, sad one, America's deadliest sniper shot dead by a fellow war veteran. Wasn't killed on the battlefield. This shooting wasn't an accident either. Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield, they decided to take Eddie Ray Routh to a gun range in Texas.

Routh was thought to be showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. These two men thought just they could take him out, try to help him. But less than two hours later, both Kyle and Littlefield were dead and former Marine Eddie Ray Routh is charged with their murder.


TOMMY BRYANT, ERATH COUNTY, TEXAS, SHERIFF: Apparently, Mr. Kyle works with people that are suffering from some issues that had been in the military. And this -- this shooter is possibly one of those people that he had taken out to the range, to mentor, to visit with, to help him. You know, that's all.


BALDWIN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, I want to bring you here in the story because, look, we don't know for sure if this shooter had PTSD. But when you look sort of at his resume, if you will, three tours of duty, Marine, would that be a first thought of yours, PTSD?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think it would be pretty high on the list.

People had described him as having those sorts of symptoms. Look at the statistics. One in five, one in six, roughly, returning veterans have PTSD. The numbers are pretty high. And keep in mind, this is post-traumatic stress disorder. It's a magnified response to things that would otherwise not be scary. A loud noise, even a smell can trigger these sorts of things. Just statistically, this is something I think a lot of people have to think about.

BALDWIN: What about the fact that Littlefield and Kyle they were taking this veteran out on the range for what they called exposure therapy? What is exposure therapy?

GUPTA: Yes. I heard that that was possibly why they were doing it as well.

I should start off by saying PTSD is hard to treat. There aren't great treatments. So over the last decade or so, exposure therapy is a sort of therapy where you think of it almost like a vaccine. You're slowly exposing somebody in this case to a traumatic situation with the hope that they can slowly start to get over it.

It is still relatively new in the scheme of things. I tried this form of it known as virtual reality exposure therapy. You see it there when I got back from Iraq again slowly exposing you to a traumatic situation and then talking you through it. I think that's a really important point, Brooke. This is something that is -- it should be done in a controlled setting, by a licensed professional. I don't know what exactly the goals were on the gun range as you were describing there. But that's not typically how it would happen. You would have somebody who is in fact trained in this area and it's much more of a controlled setting.

BALDWIN: What about though the fact, if you are someone who suffers from PTSD, you said it is pretty hard to treat. Do they tend to act out, act violent?

GUPTA: They might. This is a difficult question because there is all sorts of different types of violence. The violence that is more associated with this is a reactive violence, not a predatory violence, not a preplanned violence.

If you take all violent episodes across the country, most of them are perpetrated by people who do not have PTSD, do not have mental illness. It is very hard to say that these are -- PTSD as a diagnosis is going to be at the root of a lot of the things. It just isn't. But it can happen, for sure.

And when you talk about this sort of immersive or exposure therapy, small studies have shown it can be up to 80 percent effective in terms of reducing symptoms of PTSD, maybe not treating it altogether, but again compared to things that hardly work at all.


BALDWIN: OK. Sanjay Gupta, thank you.

GUPTA: Sad story.

BALDWIN: It is incredibly sad, especially think of this Navy SEAL in Iraq so many times.

GUPTA: Brooke, yes, it is tough, tough to imagine.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

GUPTA: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Sanjay's new show, "Monday Mornings," we should also point out here, premieres tonight on our sister network TNT at 10:00 Eastern. A lot of the episodes of the show are based on Sanjay's book, his novel, and also real-life experiences as a doctor and a journalist. For a look behind the scenes of the show, go to


BALDWIN (voice-over): It certainly appears the man holding the young boy hostage is listening to media. Wait until you hear how police are now changing their tactics.

Plus, critics pouncing on the Super Bowl ads and CBS' coverage. You're about to see crazy technology that followed real-time reactions of a test audience.

And some of Hollywood's biggest stars today gathering in one room. We will take you inside the Oscar luncheon. The news is now.



BALDWIN: When it comes to the Oscars, just being nominated is an honor enough. You get the buzz, you get the swag and you get a free lunch. The 85th Academy Awards nominees luncheon is happening right now.

And Nischelle Turner joins me live, poolside, at the Beverly Hilton.

Nischelle Turner, nice gig. Talk to me about this luncheon. Just getting started, right?


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they're just getting started. I loved that you quantified that. Yes, I need to let everyone know so I get the hate e-mails for getting the good gig today that I'm poolside at the Beverly Hilton here in Beverly Hills.

You're right. This is the annual Oscar luncheon, Brooke. And, first of all, let me just give a little idea of where we are. If you can see, you might get a little more jealous. All of the major outlets here in Hollywood are set up here around the pool at the Beverly Hilton. And what happens is all of the nominees for this year's Oscars, for this year's Academy Awards, come here to the Oscar luncheon.

Afterwards, they come down, they may sit and talk to us, and have a little chat about how excited they are about this year's awards. The great thing about the Oscar luncheon is that you can have the person that is nominated for the smallest documentary come to this luncheon and meet the likes of Ben Affleck or meet the likes of Jessica Chastain, all of those people that are nominated.

It is really a good time and it gives kind of that Hollywood community a chance of everybody to get together. Where they are right now, they are inside the Beverly Hilton at the lunch. And after they get done noshing and fellowshipping, then that's when they come down here and hang with us media types.

I'm eating cheese pizza, by the way, not the same lunch that they're eating.

BALDWIN: I was wondering, very nice, glamorous pizza shot. Thank you, Nischelle.

So post-nosh, what do they get? Do they get a trophy, do they get a plaque, other than schmoozing?

TURNER: Yes, this is what -- they come and they get their recognition. What they do is, they come through the arrival line, they get their recognition certificate of being nominated, and it is kind of just their attaboy because of course we know everybody doesn't win.

This is the kind of time where they actually get that recognition of, yes, I was nominated for an Academy Award. It is a really good day. You see people, they're so happy, they're so excited. I remember talking to Siedah Garrett here last year. She was nominated for best song and you could not tell her that she was not the queen of the universe. It was so neat to see. She was so joyous. And there are those types of stories that are really fun to tell.

BALDWIN: It's fantastic. It looks so calm, so un-red-carpet- like, Nischelle Turner. Enjoy the pizza. We will look for you a little later, my friend. Nischelle, thanks so much.


TURNER: We miss you out here in Beverly Hills, though, Brooke.

BALDWIN: I miss you. Love to L.A. Love to L.A. Thank you.

You also know very well here the story of this young courageous woman Malala Yousafzai, the teen targeted and shot by the Taliban all because she wanted young girls to get an education. Well, now, for the very first time since that brutal attack, we hear from Malala herself as she talks about what she's calling her second life.


BALDWIN: Some of the hottest stories in a flash, rapid fire. Roll it.

First, some gratitude and then Secretary of State John Kerry getting down to business on day one in the office. Here he is.


SEN. JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: What other job can you have where you get up every day and advance the caution of nation, and also keep faith with the ideals of your country on which it is founded and most critically meet our obligations to our fellow travelers on this planet? That's as good as it gets. And I'm proud to be part of it with you. So now let's get to work. Thank you very, very much.


BALDWIN: Secretary Kerry clearly following his own advice from the weekend. Not long after his confirmation, the new top diplomat talked to leaders in Japan and the Middle East.

Elections in Cuba brought out one voter who has not been seen at least publicly for months and months. Here he is, Fidel Castro, the country's retired leader, at a polling place in Havana. In fact, his last public outing was all the way back in October. It was brief. But yesterday the octogenarian spent more than an hour speaking to the press and to voters. Castro says he gets daily reports about the health of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez.

And the story of Malala Yousafzai really truly continues to astound everyone globally here. This teen activist from Pakistan, here she is, walking. This is her in the orange shoes going through the door there. Last October, you know the story, Taliban gunmen shot her in her head, point blank range, because she publicly advocated young girls getting an education. Want you to listen to her, her own words as far as how she's doing.


MALALA YOUSAFZAI, ACTIVIST (through translator): Today, you can see that I am alive. I can speak. I can see you all. I can see everyone. And today I can speak and I'm getting better day by day. It is just because of the prayers of people, because all the people, men, women, children, all of them, all of them have prayed for me.


BALDWIN: Incredible. Her British doctors say Malala will not need any more surgeries.

And Harvard forced dozens of students to withdraw after school officials finished a cheating investigation. So, about 100 students had nearly identical answers on this take-home exam from last spring. So the school kicked out half of those students, put the others on disciplinary probation. The school paper reported that the cheating happened in an introductory to government class.

And take a look at the market here as we are half an hour away from the closing bell. Dow down about 103 points here. It was flirting with the record levels last week, right? Keep in mind it closed above the 14000 mark. The highest it was, 14164 October of 2007. Now this.

Love that song. The Grammys announcing that Bruno Mars and Rihanna and Sting will perform together this weekend. Bruno Mars and Rihanna both nominees. And we are also getting word this is our last night, you will be seeing Beyonce and you will see Prince joining the awards show as presenters.

And now we're going beyond the games, folks, just in, Super Bowl ratings. Did this year's power outage fiasco drive viewers away? From ads to Beyonce's performance, we are covering it all next.