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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN
Courtroom Drama in Pretoria; U.S.-Russian Relations Tense Over Adopted Boy's Death; Surprise! Two Sets of Identical Twins; Report: Chinese Cyber Division Attacking U.S.; Raising Awareness
Aired February 19, 2013 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. We begin with breaking news this morning as we follow the Oscar Pistorius murder case. The court has now adjourned for the day. There's been no decision made on the bail in this particular bail hearing. The Olympian, though, telling the court his side this morning.
He said this: "I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend." This was a statement that was read. In that statement, he also said that his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, died in his arms. The premeditated murder charge makes it very unlikely that the Olympian will be granted bail.
Steenkamp was laid to rest today just about 550 miles from that courthouse along South Africa's southern coast.
Robyn Curnow just got out of that courthouse where they have wrapped up in Pretoria, South Africa. Let's talk a little bit about Pistorius' side of the story. The prosecutors laid out their side of the story earlier. What is he saying happened that night?
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there. Well, I have with me here the affidavit, the document that was read out in court here this afternoon. And it's the small details, the sense of what their relationship was and what happened that night.
According to Oscar Pistorius, he said on Valentine's eve he was lying in bed watching television without his legs on, without his prosthetics, and Reeva was doing her yoga exercises. They went to bed. In the middle of the night, Oscar said he woke up, he was terrified. It was dark; he heard noises in the bathroom. He thought a burglar had crawled through a window in the bathroom. He said he didn't have his prosthetic legs on.
He hobbled over on his stumps, and by that stage, he had picked up his .9 millimeter gun which he keeps under his bed for protection. He shot at the door and only then, he said, he turned around, looking for Reeva, telling her to call the police, realized she wasn't in bed. And that's when he said he bashed down this bedroom door and then carried her downstairs. She was still alive and he said she died in his arms downstairs.
O'BRIEN: Robyn Curnow updating on what happened according to Oscar Pistorius. Now we know that the court adjourned without making a decision, Robyn, on the bail hearing. They come back tomorrow. Is it expected that in fact, that it's likely at all he'll get bail considering the upgraded charges?
CURNOW: You know what? I didn't hear you again. We're standing next to a rather loud road here and everybody is honking their horns. Can you please repeat your question?
O'BRIEN: I was going to ask you the likelihood of Pistorius getting bail, considering the charges have been upgraded to premeditated murder.
CURNOW: You know, I think there is a real sense earlier on this morning that there was an unlikeliness, that there would be extra pressure on his team to try and get bail. However, with him reading out this statement, there is a sense from those who observed it and who watched inside -- I was outside on air and I've got it and I've read it now -- they get a sense that he really gives a heartfelt sense of what happened that night.
Are these the exceptional circumstances that will convince the magistrate about what happened, that it wasn't premeditated murder? And if that is the case, then magistrate is more than likely to give him bail. But all that will happen tomorrow and we can't really speculate on what the magistrate's thinking at the moment. But indeed, a very emotional and quite dramatic day in court here in Pretoria.
O'BRIEN: Robyn Curnow for us this morning. Thank you, Robyn, for the update. Want to turn right to John Berman, who's got a look at the rest of the day's top stories.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Soledad. Growing tension between U.S. and Russian officials this morning over the death of a West Texas boy that local officials are now calling suspicious. Three-year-old Max Shatto was born in Russia and adopted by American parents. Now a Russian official blames Max's death on inhuman abuse.
Last hour, we heard from Adam Pertman, author of "Adoption Nation". He says with U.S. adoptions all but stopped in Russia, this case probably will not have any additional impact on the process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM PERTMAN, AUTHOR, "ADOPTION NATION": There may still be a handful of people waiting to see if their adoptions are finalized but for adoptions, per se, from Russia, it's not likely to have an impact except Russia's now going to be able to say, "See? We told you so."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So CNN's Phil Black is live with us in Moscow for more now. And Phil, this is a case, obviously, of a tragic death but also international tension.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, indeed, John. Some very heated language used by Russian officials in describing the circumstances surrounding the death of 3-year-old Max Shatto. They refer to him by his Russian name, the name he had before he was adopted, Maxim Kuzmin. They say, as you've mentioned, that his death is the result of inhuman, cruel abuse because of all that took place in his adopted family's home.
Now, no one has been charged. An investigation is under way in Texas over this. But at least one Russian official, the president's commissioner for children's rights, says this child was killed by his mother and that that death is in fact a murder.
The spokesman for Russia's foreign ministry has released some details that they say points to responsibility for this child's death. They say the child suffered injuries to his head, abdomen, legs, internal organs and had been forced to take some sort of what they describe as a psychotropic drug for an extended period of time. Russian government officials say they hope all of this is proven in court and ultimately the people responsible will be severely punished.
Now, all of this comes at a time of very tense tensions between the U.S. and Russia, particularly on the issue of adoptions. At the start of this year, U.S. nationals were banned from adopting Russian children because of concerns here about the way that Russian children were being treated. And now as a result of this case, Russian officials are saying, "We told you so." And they say it justifies the decision to implement that ban. John.
BERMAN: All right, Phil Black, thanks very much. A case being watched very closely on two continents right now.
Back here in the U.S., a Georgia death row inmate just hours away from execution. Convicted murderer Warren Lee Hill is scheduled to die today by lethal injection. His lawyers are making one final attempt to show that Hill, who has an IQ of 70, is severely mentally disabled and cannot, under the U.S. Constitution, be put to death.
Now Georgia is the only state in the nation that requires "mental retardation," those words, to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Some interesting legal developments in Colorado this morning. A package of four Democratic gun control bills cleared the Colorado House Monday; the plan is heading to the Senate where the vote really could be close. And today, police and Denver public school officials will sign an agreement that specifically defines when police officers should step in, and when educators should instead handle problems with students. They're hoping the agreement will cut down on the number of Denver students ticketed or arrested in schools. Now, those gun control measures in Colorado, a lot of people looking at the state of Colorado really as a test lab for federal laws.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And Colorado trending from purple to blue, but also emblematic of how far apart the states are moving on this and other issues. You look at the red states and the blue states, and they're going in very different directions on everything, starting with guns.
CHARLES BLOW, OP-ED COLUMNIST, "NEW YORK TIMES": And I think that's a huge problem because now you have a Swiss cheese kind of legislative landscape for gun debate. And when we hear people say, well, we have thousands of gun laws on the books, well a lot of those are state laws and so you can get kind of washover from state lines because the guns don't necessarily stay within state lines.
ABBY HUNTSMAN, HOST, HUFFPOST LIVE: That's why Prop 8 and DOMA will be so important. We see the results, I think it's in June or something. Interesting.
O'BRIEN: All right, this is probably my favorite story today. There's a couple that was hoping for a little brother or a little sister for their 2-year-old son, and they ended up not with one other child, not with two other children, not even with three additional children -- they ended up with four more boys. Yes, two sets of identical twins were born to the couple; they were not using, apparently, fertility treatments. The four little guys arrived on Valentine's Day.
And joining us this morning from Houston, Texas, are the proud parents, Tressa and Manuel Montalvo. Their doctor, Dr. Brian Kirshon, is with us as well this morning.
This little guy, I think this is Dylan, who is sort of, kind of waking up, it looks like. Nice to have you guys with us. First, Manuel and Tressa, congratulations to you. You look amazing considering all that you have been through. Walk me through, Tressa, the names of the babies and how much they weighed.
TRESSA MONTALVO, GAVE BIRTH TO TWO SETS OF IDENTICAL TWINS: Thank you. The names of the baby we just decided it would be easier for the family to keep up with the order that they were born, so we decided to stay with the A, B, C, D theme, and our 2-year-old son being named Memphis, we thought of let's get something maybe like a little Vegas theme going on. And we decided to go with Ace, Blaine, Cash and Dylan.
O'BRIEN: So Manuel, I've got to ask you, when did you know that it was going to be four babies? And I guess it's not really accurate to say quadruplets, right, because it's really two sets of identical twins. How did you take that news?
MANUEL MONTALVO, FATHER: I was happy. First thing I was telling my wife, "Home run," and I was jumping up and down for joy.
O'BRIEN: And Tressa, how's Memphis doing? He's 2 and maybe he was hoping for a little brother or sister. Now he's been overwhelmed by the younger siblings. How he's doing? Does he even understand what's happening?
TRESSA MONTALVO: I'm not sure that he does. I'm not sure that he understands that the babies are actually outside of mommy's tummy versus being inside of mommy's tummy, because he was constantly kissing my tummy and rubbing my tummy through the pregnancy, and even yesterday he was doing the same thing. So he got to meet his brothers for the first time yesterday and he seemed pretty excited. O'BRIEN: I have a set of twins, twin boys, they're fraternal, not identical, and my daughters, my two older daughters, were always like, "This is great. Can we send them back now?" They've been enjoyable, let's send them back.
I want to ask your doctor a question, if I may. How likely is it, I mean, what are the odds that you'll have two sets of identical twins when you're having quadruplets?
DR. BRIAN KIRSHON, MATERNAL FETAL MEDICINE SPECIALIST: Well, it's extremely uncommon. First, the risk -- the incidence of spontaneously quadruplets is approximately 1 in 500,000. Now, the instance of two sets of identical twins that make up the quadruplet set would be one in many, many million, so it's an extremely rare event.
O'BRIEN: So what are the risks to the mom? Because I look at Tressa and I feel like she looks amazing, and through her pregnancy, apparently, I was reading articles where she talked about how great she felt. That must be very unusual not just for having quadruplets but two sets of identicals.
KIRSHON: Sure. So the risks are substantial. The risks are the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and then, at the time of delivery, hemorrhage, the need for a hysterectomy, even the risk of maternal death. So the risks are substantial and the risk for the babies are substantial -- congenital abnormalities, growth restriction, early delivery. So there's maternal and fetal risks associated with such high order multiple gestation.
O'BRIEN: Oh my goodness. That must be terrifying, to hear that list of things, but I'm sure you knew that when you were delivering quadruplets. So Tressa and Manuel, you look like you're feeling well. The babies look like they're big for quadruplets, certainly, in the three pound something range. When do you get to take them home? Is everybody healthy? Are you feeling good?
TRESSA MONTALVO: Yes, I'm feeling really good and I was told maybe four to six weeks before I get to bring the babies home. But they are doing really well and I am just as shocked as everyone else that they're so tiny, yet so big, and I can't believe those four were in my tummy at three pounds.
O'BRIEN: Oh my goodness. So, Manuel, I'll give you the final question here. You thought you were going to come home with just --have two kids at the end of this. Now, you've got five. You went from one to five, a basketball team as Ron Brownstein points out. What have you had to do to your house? How have are you going to manage all this?
MANUEL MONTALVO: Actually still working on it. She told me yesterday we were going to be on TV, so I had to put the tools down and come up here to do this interview. It's an ongoing process to the house.
O'BRIEN: An extension and bunk beds eventually.
MANUEL MONTALVO: Maybe, yes. O'BRIEN: Many, many beds. Manuel and Tressa Montalvo, Doctor as well, thank you for being with us this morning. We certainly appreciate it. Congratulations. Glad to see that the babies are al fine.
Three of us around this table have twins.
BROWNSTEIN: The people without twins are in the minority.
BLOW: When my ex said that the doctor said she was having twins, I figured that's not true. I could not believe it. And I went to the next sonogram and I was like, I need to see two babies on one screen. Because they kept giving you, like, one shot, this is the other. No, no, no, I need one shot with two babies. I could not believe it.
O'BRIEN: It's an overwhelming but it's also the greatest thing in the world. To have twins is awesome.
BROWNSTEIN: The only thing I want to know is Memphis, Cash, Dylan -- was there a music theme going here?
O'BRIEN: That's what she said! She said, it's all Vegas. Congratulations to them. That's so exciting and great.
We're going to continue to update the breaking news. A new report says that Chinese military is secretly hacking American companies from this building right here in Shanghai. Should we be concerned about our national security? We'll have a live report coming up next.
O'BRIEN: New report out says a secret unit of the Chinese military is behind a massive computer hacking campaign against the United States. The report comes from U.S. security firm Mandiant and says the cyber division the People's Liberation Army is responsible for the hacking and they might be operating out of this white 12-story tower in Shanghai, China.
Now, China has been blacking out CNN's broadcast signal whenever we talk about hacking out of China, no surprise there. Grady Summers, the Vice President of Customer Success at Mandiant, nice to have you with us. Walk me through the proof, what you know about not only the hacking scandal but what ties it to this particular building.
GRADY SUMMERS, VICE PRESIDENT OF CUSTOMER SUCCESS, MANDIANT: Sure, Soledad. What we've done is lay out 60 pages of evidence in our report, including 3,000 digital indicators and actual video of the attackers doing their dirty work on victim machines. So this is not a baseless, casual allegation. This is based on six years of research and we provide a lot of data to back up our assertions.
O'BRIEN: Walk me through the victims back in the United States, who actually were the targets. Is it government targets? Is it corporate targets? Is it individual targets? SUMMERS: Sure. It's actually mostly commercial, corporate targets. It's really a who's who of American companies. Of the 141 victims worldwide, 115 of them were in the U.S. and it's a blue chip roster of companies in aerospace, defense, transportation, financial services, biofuel, clean technology -- 20 different industries that we counted were targeted by this group APT1.
O'BRIEN: You name this group Comment Crew. Talk to me about Comment Crew and sort of how they came together and what they do.
SUMMERS: Right, Comment Crew is a name that a lot of security researchers had given to this group we called APT1. They're called that because of the way that they do of what's called command and control, the way they talk to their servers on the Internet. But what's most important is the evidence we provided that links this Comment Crew, or APT1, to a unit of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Unit 61398.
That's important, because this is the first time that researchers like Mandiant have been able to establish that link. We've long thought that these attacks have come from China. Now we've given evidence to show that not only do they come from China but they are actually sponsored by the Chinese government.
BROWNSTEIN: So Mr. Summers, Ron Brownstein from the "National Journal". Is the response only to toughen our defenses, or can you go on the offense once you know what the target -- who is -- who is generating the attacks?
SUMMERS: Yes, we actually don't advocate going on the offense, which in fact creates more problems than it solves. It's really a popular thing to talk about nowadays, but we believe there's no technical or legislative problem -- solution to this problem. We think it's going to be a combination of better defense by organizations, but also diplomatic pressure that Washington can bring to bear on Beijing on this matter.
O'BRIEN: When you listen to the Chinese officials, their answer in part has been, yes, well, we're the target of U.S. hacking, so there. So how do you bring diplomatic pressure if that's kind of the starting point?
SUMMERS: I think it's very different. Certainly, they're alluding to the things we've all read about in the past where certain countries are attacking other countries, but never before have we seen one state-sponsored entity like Unit 61398 of the Chinese PLA attacking helpless commercial organizations in other countries. This is not government against government. This is a very well-financed, well- resourced government entity attacking organizations who aren't prepared to deal with that kind of an onslaught.
O'BRIEN: It's a scary report. All right, Grady Summers with us this morning. Thanks, I appreciate the update from you this morning.
SUMMERS: Thank you. O'BRIEN: We've got to take a short break. Still ahead, a rare disease cripples a young man to the point where he cannot walk. He's in a wheelchair. But by a pretty drastic effort by his brother, he's out of bed, now even driving a car. We'll tell you how he turned his life around, coming up next.
O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. So what would possibly inspire a large group of people to run in the dead of winter wearing only their undies? It's a good cause and it's happening in 15 major cities around the world to try to raise awareness for a very rare disease which is known as NF.
Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the explanation in this week's "Human Factor."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What would compel thousands of people to run a mile in their underwear in the middle of winter? They're raising money to help this man, Drew Leathers, and many others like him who suffer from neurofibromatosis, or NF. It causes noncancerous tumors to grow in the body.
Drew grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, and when he was 16, he was diagnosed with this rare disease.
DREW LEATHERS, NF PATIENT: By senior year of high school the pain was a daily experience for me.
GUPTA: By the time he was 23, the tumors were so bad he says he was no longer able to walk. Little was known about the illness or how to treat it. Drew's struggle inspired his brother Chad to do something drastic. He gave up his successful graphics company and joined the Children's Tumor Foundation to raise money and awareness for NF.
CHAD LEATHERS, DREW'S BROTHER: To see a life that you see so promising being stripped away, you know, the only thing to do is to reach out and do your best to try to find a solution and educate other people about it.
GUPTA: Four years ago, the Cupid's Undie Run was conceived. The first event, held in D.C., raised approximately $10,000. Now the event has gone international and race officials say more than $1.3 million will be raised this year.
At 25, Drew is benefiting from his brother's efforts. After being bedridden for years, he's in a clinical trial that uses a cancer drug to shrink those tumors. He has less pain, he's out of bed, drives a car and he plans to go back to school next fall.
D. LEATHERS: The fact that we have an option to stem the tide of that suffering in any way makes it the most important thing I could do with my life.
GUPTA: And Drew gives a lot of credit to his brother and their friends who are working to help him and others suffering from NF.
C. LEATHERS: Through all of this, you know, he's just been a stalwart, he's been so strong, he's had such faith and it has been because of the community that's been around him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: You know, Soledad, I love this story. It's two brothers, you know. They are just such good friends and they just took such great care of each other. But NF is pretty rare. As a I mentioned, about one in 30,000 children are born with it and it can have a wide variety in terms of the types of complications. You notice he's in a wheelchair -- it affects the nerves, it can cause disfigurement in some cases, but there are clinical trials like the one Drew is now in.
O'BRIEN: Well, it's good for them. It's good for him to take care of his brother. I appreciate that, Sanjay. Thanks.
GUPTA: You got it.
O'BRIEN: I've got to take a break. "End Point" is up next.
O'BRIEN: Our "End Point" this morning. I'll start by looking forward to what happens in this bail hearing as it wraps up tomorrow for Oscar Pistorius. We heard from the prosecution which has now upgraded those murder charges to see, you know, so I think that makes it much less likely that he's going to get any kind of bail. But we will see tomorrow.
HUNTSMAN: There are still so many questions that people ask --
O'BRIEN: So many questions but his side of the story is fascinating.
BROWNSTEIN: Right, that's why we have trials.
O'BRIEN: Well, yes, and that's why we also speculate ahead of time. He said in court today that he -- she died in his arms and that it was dark and he thought she was in bed with him and reached for his gun when he heard a noise coming out of the bathroom and fired into the bathroom, did not have his prosthetic legs on and he was fearful is what he told the court, fearful for his life.
"End Point" -- where do you want to start?
CHARLES BLOW: I actually think the cyber terrorism thing is huge, just because I don't think it registers with people. I don't think, as much as we hear about it, it doesn't resonate in the same way that other kinds of terrorism, but it's a big, big deal.
O'BRIEN: When you think about it, going from government to government and not government to business. BLOW: Right. And now you have, if this is to be believed, a government attacking individual American companies. That's a big change.
HUNTSMAN: This will be one of our greatest challenges in the 21st century. It's more than China just flexing its muscles. It's a serious situation.
I'm going to talk about Simpson-Bowles offering up a deficit fix. It was tossed in the garbage can a year ago by the President. I think, you know, the country -- the majority of the country wants a deal to be made and this is a bipartisan one and one that needs to be taken seriously.
O'BRIEN: You get our final word today, Ron Brownstein?
BROWNSTEIN: I'm going to try. I'm just struck over the last year in the show, how many stories we've done at every different level. No, hundreds -- the vulnerability that we have in this interconnected world on every level, whether it's people's Twitter accounts or their Facebook accounts or government to government.
HUNTSMAN: Or Burger King.
BROWNSTEIN: I mean,the way in which the world is changing is making us more connected but more vulnerable as well.
BERMAN: It's the challenge when it pales in comparison to the challenge of having two sets of identical twins.
O'BRIEN: And as three sets of parents of twins, we can tell you those people will never sleep again. Once those babies come home, that's it. For five years, no sleep.
Coming up tomorrow on STARTING POINT, we're going to talk to R&B singer and now author Keith Sweat. The actor Alex Krapovsky who plays Ray on "Girls" will be joining us as well. That's tomorrow on STARTING POINT.
"CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins right now. We'll see you back here tomorrow morning.