Return to Transcripts main page


Dorner Suspected Dead After Shootout; Hagel Nomination Moves to Full Senate Vote; Matt Damon Tackles Clean Water Crisis; Olympic Wrestling on the Chopping Block; Rocking A Mohawk At State of the Union; Acapulco Fights To Attract Tourists

Aired February 13, 2013 - 12:30   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL": The president wrapping up his remarks there, pretty brief.

Of course, he's going to be here in Atlanta tomorrow. He's going to be taking his show on the road and talking a little bit more about job creation and the push for further tax reform.

Now, this guy, he's the star of some of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood. And he's also 2008's Sexiest Man Alive. Matt Damon, going viral again. Well, this time for refusing to use a toilet. We're going to explain.


MALVEAUX: Thanks for staying with NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL where we take you around the world in 60 minutes. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. Here's what we are keeping our eyes on now.

This is what you're listening to. This is what you're hearing. This is what police believe was the final deadly shootout with a fugitive ex-cop.

They think the man who killed four people died in that last violent showdown. We're talking about, of course, Christopher Dorner who barricaded himself in this cabin near Big Bear Lake, California, yesterday.

So, the shootout happens, then this fire erupts. The cabin burns to the ground. Forensics tests will determine whether or not the body found in those ashes is Dorner.

We're going to have much more ahead on the dramatic developments at the top of the hour.

And while a gun battle was going on in California, as you saw it there, the president was getting ready for his State of the Union speech in Washington.

He addressed everything from gun control to immigration to tax reform. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit. We can get this done.

The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms and more time expanding and hiring, a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can't work the system and pay a lower rate than their hardworking secretaries.

Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants, and right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, faith communities, they all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Now is the time to do it. Now's the time to get it done.

Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. Now, if you want to vote no, that's your choice, but these proposals deserve a vote because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.


MALVEAUX: Of course, Republicans on the tea party movement aren't onboard with the president's plan.

Right now in Washington, the nomination of President Obama's choice for defense secretary is now moving to the full Senate, the armed services committee narrowly approved Chuck Hagel's nomination yesterday, but the vote was right along party lines.

Senator John McCain blasted Hagel's performance before the committee.


SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The performance before this committee was the worst that I've seen of any nominee for office.

He refused to answer a simple, straightforward question as to whether the surge was a success or not and whether he supported it or not.


MALVEAUX: In London, there is a new phone-hacking scandal at a tabloid already brought down by hacking. We're talking about Rupert Murdoch's old newspaper, "News of the World."

Police say six former staffers have now been arrested, accused of listening to people's private voicemails. The victims have not been identified in this case.

Now, police say the incidents happened somewhere between 2005, 2006, that is around the same time "News of the World" was implicated in a much bigger hacking scandal involving crime victims, celebrities, even the royal family. Actor Matt Damon, he's on strike, not from Hollywood, but from the bathroom. Yep. We'll let him explain.


MATT DAMON, ACTOR: Until everybody has access to clean water and sanitation, I will not go to the bathroom.



DAMON: I'm not going to go to the bathroom.


DAMON: Yeah, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you mean literally, like you won't go to the bathroom, but you'll go somewhere else. Like maybe a swimming pool?

DAMON: You're the reporter. You do the math.

... asking all of you a question, November 19th ...


MALVEAUX: That's so funny.

Damon created -- it's a fake news conference, of course. He's trying to draw attention to a big problem, the world's water and sanitation crisis.

He's behind a project to provide safe water, clean water for hundreds of communities.

Now, the video, of course, it's featured on website Clean water, it's been a mission of Damon's since 2009 when he co- founded Pretty funny stuff.

It's an ancient sport, it's one of the world's oldest, so why is the Olympic committee suddenly dissing wrestling?


MALVEAUX: It's one of the world's oldest sports, might actually now be cut from the Olympic games.

Wrestling has always been a part of the Olympics, but yesterday the International Olympic Committee recommended that it be dropped from the summer games beginning in 2020.

Don Riddell is joining us here. Don, why? Why wrestling?

DON RIDDELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL WORLD SPORT: Well, the IOC had to pick on one sport. They want to keep the Olympics in check. Of course, with every passing games, it becomes more and more popular in terms of the number of athletes arriving, and they want to keep that number at about 10,500.

So, they decided they wanted to get rid of one sport. Everybody thought it was going to be the modern pentathlon, but it's ended up being wrestling, the IOC picking on its declining popularity, or at least that's their argument.

MALVEAUX: Is it really declining in popularity? You always see these guys in high school that are wrestling and the only place they've got to go, right, is the Olympics. That's where they compete.

RIDDELL: And there are an awful lot of countries up in arms about this.

I mean, the United States are livid. Russia are furious. Countries like Bulgaria, Cuba, Iran, Japan, these are countries that have a rich history of wrestling and they're not happy about this at all, especially when I don't think they really saw this coming.

Modern pentathlon is a sport that everybody thought was going to go. That, by the way ...

MALVEAUX: How come?

RIDDELL: Well, how popular is that? I mean, I personally have been to ...

MALVEAUX: Tell me what it is.

RIDDELL: Modern pentathlon is shooting, fencing, 200-meter swimming, show-jumping, and a 3K run. I mean, you can do all those other things in the Olympics anyway, why do you have to have that whole event just for that?

So, and I think the truth is modern pentathlon was very well organized. Their lobbyists are very strong. They knew how to safeguard against the politics and the internal politics of the International Olympic Committee.

And wrestling just wasn't as organized. But it might not be the end for them. The chief of the International Olympic Committee has spoken today and it sounds like wrestling might get back in.


JACQUES ROGGE, IOC PRESIDENT: The vote of yesterday is not an elimination of wrestling from the Olympic games. I want to be very clear on that.

First of all, wrestling will participate in the games in Rio de Janeiro, so to the athletes who train now, I say, continue training for your participation in Rio, and I'm saying you federation is working towards the inclusion in the 2020 games.


RIDDELL: The IOC are definitely hearing the backlash from wrestling fans all around the world, but what it's got to do now is persuade the IOC that it's worth being put back into the Olympics.

And it's going to have to go back up against seven other sports that are also trying to get in.

MALVEAUX: Talk about the seven other sports because something's got to go, right?

RIDDELL: Well, that's right. So, there's now eight sports that are trying to get back in for 2020, baseball and softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu, which is, effectively, artistic martial arts.

Those and wrestling are now going to be campaigning to be allowed back in. The IOC are going to make a recommendation in May and vote on it in September.

MALVEAUX: I'm going with karate. I'm a blue belt in tae kwon do. You probably didn't know that, so I'm going with karate.

RIDDELL: Oh, I'm glad I know now.

MALVEAUX: Don, nice to see you. Get back to us. Let us know which one makes it.

RIDDELL: Will do. Sure.

MALVEAUX: Thanks again.

Well, just because you're a rocket scientist doesn't mean that you can't rock a hot haircut. We're going to introduce you to NASA's Mohawk man.


MALVEAUX: In Belgium, European ministers, they are meeting right now over a horse meat scandal. That is right. Products labeled "beef" were part horse meat. They were sold in Sweden, U.K. and France. This meeting comes a day after British police, they raided a slaughterhouse and a meat company in West Yorkshire, England. It's believed to have supplied horse carcasses to a firm that then sold the meat as beef for kabobs and burgers. European health minister, they say that eating horse meat is in no way a health hazard, but critics have questioned whether or not the horse meat contained a drug used by vets on horses.

And in London today, you might call it the royal rumble. That is right. The angry Buckingham Palace in one corner, Italian gossip magazine in the other. It's all about Katherine, the duchess of Cambridge. Of course the wife of Britain's Prince William. And the magazine now, well, it's running vacation pictures of the couple on a beach showing the obviously pregnant duchess in a bikini. The palace calls it an invasion of privacy. The magazine's publishers, they say that the royals are overreacting. That the pictures simply show a couple in love.

Some big names in the audience for the president's State of the Union Address last night. Of course on the guest list, everybody you'd expect, Supreme Court justices, cabinet members, friends of the president. But, apparently, if you help send a rover to Mars and you rock a cool hair style, you also get an invite. Jeannie Moos reports on NASA's Mohawk guy.


JEANNIE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His Mohawk blasts her bangs right out of this world. Remember Mohawk guy? The Mars rover flight director who cried when Curiosity landed on Mars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Touchdown confirmed. We're safe on Mars.

MOOS: Bobak Ferdowsi gave a high five. And ever since, at least his hair's been high.

MOOS (on camera): Leaning forward so we can see the top.


MOOS (voice-over): He is definitely no show off, though he will show all sides. This is his State of the Union look.

Since the rover landing, he's changed his Mohawk to note accomplishments on Mars. The dots symbolize chloromethane, which an instrument found on Mars. And these symbols are Morse Code for the jet propulsion laboratory.

When President Obama's science adviser called to tell Bobak the first lady was inviting him to the State of the Union.

FERDOWSI: I told them I needed a minute to breathe.

MOOS: It's been a whirlwind from being mentioned by the president in a phone conversation with the Mars rover team.

OBAMA: I understand there's a special Mohawk guy that's working on the mission.

MOOS: Fans have painted him, turned him into a yarn doll, and used a lookalike to create a parody music video to the tune of "Sexy and I Know It."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Yes, I got stars on my hawk and I ain't afraid to show it, show it, show it, show it. We're NASA and we know it.

MOOS: Bobak thinks it's all great, though he gets shy about the marriage proposals and fan love.

MOOS (on camera): One tweet, "I'd let that Mohawk dude land his rover on my red planet any time."

FERDOWSI: Uh, yeah, hmm.

MOOS: His hair style, by the way, is not some do-it-yourself Mohawk.

MOOS (voice-over): It's done by a salon.

MOOS (on camera): Don't worry, I'm not going to ask how much it costs.

FERDOWSI: That's all right.

MOOS: But how much does it cost?

FERDOWSI: Ha, ha, ha.

MOOS: Of all the tributes floating around the Internet, this is one of Bobak's favorites.

MOOS (voice-over): "You'll never get a good job with a haircut like that." But you might get to the State of the Union.

Jeannie Moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): We're NASA and we know it.

MOOS: New York.


MALVEAUX: Congratulations to him.

So what does the Love Boat, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor all have in common? We're going to take you on a trip to Acapulco. Of course, the vacation spot that is now in jeopardy after a violent crime.


MALVEAUX: Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, they used to vacation there. But for years, Acapulco, Mexico, has been struggling now to regain its star status. The recent rape of six Spanish tourists, of course, did not help the resort's reputation. But officials, they're hoping to restore tourist confidence and boost the numbers. Nick Parker tells us how.


NICK PARKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one of Acapulco's most celebrated spectacles. Nighttime cliff diving still attracts tourists, but the city's security problems have taken a toll.

ANGEL DAVID, CLIFF DIVER: A couple of years ago we received like maybe 25, 30 boats here in Acapulco. So now we have none.

ANA MARIA LOPEZ, TOURIST: When I came, I really I was scared. But the people say there is no word about -- worry about it. So we are all right now. PARKER: In its heyday, the city leant glamour to Hollywood blockbusters. Memories of famous visitors are preserved at this hotel. The hotel says its occupancy has actually come back from the depths of 2011 when drug cartel violence was at its worst. A high-profile presence of security forces in tourist areas has helped.

SALOMON GROMAN, MANAGER, MIRADOR HOTEL: As you can see, and you can tell by the number of tourists coming back to Acapulco, that things in that Acapulco area are getting safer and better.

PARKER: The resort city remains heavily dependent on tourism, which officials say last year brought in more than $2 billion. Now mostly from Mexican tourists.

PARKER (on camera): Acapulco was blessed with great natural beauty. This iconic bay is surrounded by mountains. It has a white sandy beach. And it's sunny nearly all year round.

PARKER (voice-over): It's a glossy image being marketed by "Gossip Girl Acapulco," a Spanish language version of the U.S. TV show. The international production may help improve the city's violent reputation.

We visited the set, which was just along the coast from the downtown area in so-called New Acapulco. Roberto Paliazuelos is one of the stars and his family are powerful business figures in Acapulco.

ROBERTO PALIAZUELOS, ACTOR AND BUSINESSMAN: It's not really that bad, you know. We're filming here and nothing has happened. I see all the people walking on the beach. But, you know, in this business, in the tourist business, if you get a bad publicity, then you don't get the people.

PARKER: It is a pivotal time for Acapulco. Tourism numbers had improved in recent months and the overall impact of the latest violence remains an open question.

Nick Parker, CNN, Acapulco, Mexico.


MALVEAUX: The next story, we love this one, "Gangnam Style." And, of course, it was the dance craze of the decade, so you might think. Well, watch this. We are watching the "Harlem Shake." People around the world dancing to this. We're going to show you how it's done.


MALVEAUX: The world hit by a new dance craze. Watch this.