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Couple Shares Embryo Donation Story; Crackdown on Commercial Buses; Facebook CEO Outlines Foundation; Kelly Clarkson Calls Clive Davis a Bully; Largest Private Yacht Stuns in New York

Aired February 20, 2013 - 13:30   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: But nothing worked until they met another couple who had frozen their embryos.

Heather Graf from Seattle affiliate KING reports that both families are part of a new kind of modern family. Check it out.


RACHEL VICTORIN, ADOPTIVE PARENT: She has got such a personality. She's hilarious. She loves to make people laugh.

Can you drink it?

HEATHER GRAF, KING REPORTER: At 16 months old --

R. VICTORIN: You want some more?

GRAF: She's the center of her parents' world.

R. VICTORIN: More, please.

DIONY VICTORIN, ADOPTIVE PARENT: I mean I know that she has a purpose. She has a destiny. She was born for a reason on this planet.

GRAF: Of course, any mom and dad probably feel the same way. But when you hear how hard it was for Rachel and Diony Victorin to get their baby.

R. VICTORIN: We went through four rounds of IVF, and they didn't work.

GRAF: You start to understand.

R. VICTORIN: This is -- the embryos that they transferred into me when I got pregnant for Esther. So one of these is Esther.

GRAF: Because this little girl was stored as a frozen embryo for three years, left over from another couple's in vitro fertilization, and adopted, implanted, and nine months later --

R. VICTORIN: This is Esther at a few days old.

GRAF: The Victorins' miracle arrived. D. VICTORIN: It was like, wow, that is amazing. You know?

GRAF: But the story doesn't end there.

R. VICTORIN: Is that baba?

GRAF: And neither does their family.

R. VICTORIN: It was January in 2012, and I contacted the agency, and I said, you know, Diony and I really feel like it'd be great if Jodi and Larry could know Esther as a baby at this age.

GRAF: Jodi and Larry Dilworth biologically created Esther, which makes their daughter Bobbie Esther's biological sister.

D. VICTORIN: It's hard, isn't it? I mean, it's hard to explain to people.

R. VICTORIN: There's baba.

GRAF: While it might be unorthodox, Rachel desperately wanted her daughter to know her roots, after seeing the alternative firsthand.

R. VICTORIN: I have two adopted brothers, and it was always something in their life that they really missed and really longed for was that biological family.

GRAF: The relationship that followed was documented initially through home videos and photos of their happy extended family. And then in the pages of "People" magazine as one of the first open embryo adoption arrangements in the country.

R. VICTORIN: And it's been so good because it just makes her life richer. It makes our life richer.

Good job, babe.

GRAF: Now Esther is a gift shared by all of them.

R. VICTORIN: People are drawn to her.

I'm a pigeon.

GRAF: One baby loved twice as much.

R. VICTORIN: Neigh, good job.


MALVEAUX: She's adorable. Elizabeth Cohen joins us to talk about this.

Wow, the -- the embryo now a baby, looks like the couple, too. I imagined that's something that they could ask for, correct?


If -- for example, if you both have blond hair and blue eyes, you -- the husband and wife, you can say find me another couple that made embryos and those parents have blond hair and blue eyes. You can ask them for that.

MALVEAUX: So why was it that -- this couple, their embryos did not -- did not take, but then they -- she was able to go ahead and give birth through this donated embryo? Why did that happen?

COHEN: Right. So her embryos, the embryos that she and her husband made, didn't work. It could be because her eggs were old, there were genetic problems. There's a lot of reasons why an embryo doesn't work. And so that's why this has been so useful for so many families. You go to another couple whose embryos are good, and you ask them to give them to you.

MALVEAUX: And some people don't even know about this. How -- how could you even find information about getting an embryo?

COHEN: The best place to start is with your fertility doctor. And so you can ask them, hey, do you have embryos -- other people's embryos that I can use? And if they don't do that, and most of the time they probably won't, you can ask them to refer you to someplace else. You may have to travel to do it. This isn't necessarily the easiest thing in the world to do. It's going to take some work likely.

MALVEAUX: And it's not something new. I mean, people have been doing this for a while. What was new about your story was that these two families actually -- they have a relationship with each other because they're siblings, biologically they're siblings.

COHEN: Right. So you can choose -- when you take on these embryos, you can choose to make it open or closed, just like a regular adoption. So you can say, I want to know the biological parents of this embryo or I don't. And this couple said, you know what, we want to know them. They are the biological parents of our child and there's a sibling out there, too.

So you get to make that decision and you should make that decision and delineate it, put it in a contract, put it in writing. You don't want there to be any question afterwards.

MALVEAUX: Sure. That's a -- fascinating story.

COHEN: It is. And a beautiful little girl.

MALVEAUX: Isn't she adorable?


All right. Thanks, Elizabeth. Appreciate it.

You might be afraid of flying, rather, but flying actually safer than driving. One reason, because buses and trucks, they are not regulated the same way as planes. What you need to know before you travel. Up next.


MALVEAUX: You're looking at a live picture inside the White House. This is a special day for 18 Americans who are receiving the nation's highest honor for public safety officials, including police officers, firefighters, wildlife officers, state trooper. These are folks who risk their lives every day. It is called the Medal of Valor.

You can see there, the Vice President Joe Biden, he is actually presenting these medals today. Attorney General Eric Holder is also part of the ceremony.

Lots to talk about when it comes to the Boeing 787, the Dreamliner. For all the problems in the last two months, it has not crashed. No one has been killed. But the same cannot be said for, say, commercial tour buses.

Rene Marsh, she joins us from Washington with the very latest about the transportation situation on the ground.

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Suzanne. You know what we're finding out is that the safety regulations aren't quite the same for pilots and planes when you compare it to buses and their drivers. And some advocates say that's a big problem.


MARSH (voice-over): December 30th, Pendleton, Oregon, a tour bus operated by a company with a history of safety violations slides off a mountain highway, killing nine, injuring 39.

February 3rd, San Bernardino, California.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: CHP with a transfer on the 38 just north of Bryant on a tour bus that overturned.




MARSH: A tour bus operated by another company, also with a history of safety violations, careens down a mountain road and strikes a car, eight dead, 32 injured.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She says the tour bus overturned. There's multiple injuries. Apparently, it may have lost its brakes.

MARSH: In both cases, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records show numerous violations before the wrecks, but the feds found justification to shut down the companies only after the fatal crashes. Some question whether enforcement is strict enough.

DEBORAH HERSMAN, NTSB CHAIRMAN: We've got to have regulations with teeth and the penalties have to be a deterrent.

MARSH (on camera): Larger buses can carry just as many people as a regional jet. In recent years, there's only been one major plane crash in the United States. Colgan Air went down near Buffalo, New York, killing 50 people.

Meantime, roughly 300 people die on board buses every year, according to the Department of Transportation.

HERSMAN: We would never see hours of service violations in aviation. Pilots will not bust their hours. But we see it routinely on the highways.

MARSH: The DOT says it's launching a crackdown, targeting high risk motor coach companies like those involved in the fatal crashes. Even representatives of the bus industry say it's about time.

DAN RONAN, AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION: The 53 or 55 people who get on a motor coach, their safety, their well-being, is just as important as the 53 or 58 people getting who are on an airplane flying from Charlotte to Washington, D.C., on a regional jet.


MARSH: While the Department of Transportation, they encourage travelers to look at its safer bus application, to check the company's safety records. But truth be told, that wouldn't have helped those on the Oregon bus that crashed. The application gave actually very little detail about the company's past violations -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Hey, Rene, do we know when the feds are going to start cracking down, making sure that the buses are safe as well?

MARSH: Yes. The Department of Transportation saying that the first wave of this project that they're calling the National Safety Sweep, that will take place over the next two months. So what does that mean? It means that they're going to be checking on these vehicles. They're going to be scrutinizing the drivers, they're going to look at the equipment to make sure everything is safe, and they're zeroing in on those problem bus companies.

MALVEAUX: All right. Rene, thanks. Appreciate it.

Coming up, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, he's making a big announcement today. Could change the lives of 11 people.


MALVEAUX: In Kansas City, Missouri, a massive explosion blew off the roof of this restaurant, this is during happy hour yesterday. Shot fire into the sky. You see it there. Customers inside J.J.'s Restaurant said they smelled gas for about an hour before that explosion. At least 15 people are hurt. Sadly one person has died. The body has been recovered. They have not identified who that is.

Firefighters believe a work crew hit an underground line near the restaurant filled the building with natural gas.

Ex-NFL players, they are doing it, charity workers are doing, even folks at the Social Security offices, they are doing it, too. We are talking about the U.S. attorney for South Florida saying that all kinds of folks are committing identity theft, using stolen names and Social Security numbers. Criminals, they are filing phony electronic tax forms and then claiming the refund.

The IRS has launched now a nationwide investigation and a crackdown as well. The U.S. Treasury Department saying the illegal industry could cost the country $21 billion over the next five years. While most states are having problems with this, officials say it is running rampant in Florida.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and two of his high-profile Silicon Valley pals, well, they are launching now -- it's a new foundation that could change the lives of 11 folks today.

Ali Velshi, he's going to find out a lot more about that in an interview, it's an exclusive with Zuckerberg. That's at 3:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. But first, Dan Simon taking a look at how Facebook is doing.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO AND FOUNDER: Our mission is to make the world more open and connected.

DAN SIMON, CNN SILICON VALLEY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expanded the mission when he recently unveiled the company's latest innovation called Graph Search. A new tool to help users dig for what their friends have posted.

ZUCKERBERG: It's something no other company has. It's the reason why we're able to build a product like this.

SIMON: Wall Street so far seems impressed with the company's focus, pushing the stock up in recent weeks to a five-month high after its tumultuous debut.

It has been a wild ride since the company went public last May. The stock, which debuted at $38, briefly climbed to $45, then went spiraling. Eventually tumbling to a low of $17.

(On camera): Here at Facebook headquarters, the memory of that day quickly faded as the stock price took a nose dive. There were renewed questions about the company's ability to generate revenue and whether it can stay well ahead of the competition.

(Voice-over): Google Plus, Twitter, and now even Yahoo! with its promising photo app Flickr are each trying to slow Facebook's momentum.

GREG GRETSCH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SIGMA WEST: Mark Zuckerberg doesn't lay awake at night thinking about Google Plus. He lays awake at night thinking about the next Instagram. SIMON: That was Silicon Valley venture capitalist Greg Gretsch prior to the IPO and shortly after a cautious Zuckerberg took rival Instagram off the table, buying it for $1 billion. Questioned at the time, most Valley insiders see the large price tag as a worthy investment.

GRETSCH: I think it was definitely a smart acquisition. You know, the challenge is, in some sense, they were playing with funny money. You know, the value that the market was giving them for their company was so high that, you know, do you give up 1 percent of your company to a small company that has the chance to take over your entire user base? It's an insurance policy and it's a small price.

SIMON: The jury is still out on Facebook's other moves, such as Gifts, the company's entry into e-Commerce, as well as smart phone advertising, increasingly seen as the key to Facebook's growth.

GRETSCH: On mobile, they're doing a very good job now and putting a lot of focus on mobile, but they haven't really addressed the monetization challenge on mobile yet.

SIMON: No one is quite sure how smart phone ads will evolve on Facebook, given the smaller real estate compared to a desktop or laptop. What is clear is how its CEO has evolved. Zuckerberg appears more confident each time he steps into public view. He's come a long way. This is one of his early interviews with CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How did the company start?

ZUCKERBERG: Well, it didn't start as a company. I was a sophomore at Harvard, and we needed to, I guess -- I've never really been asked how the company was started before.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How did Facebook start? You can answer.

ZUCKERBERG: Now I'm all embarrassed.


You would think that I would have been asked that like a ton of times.

SIMON: The more seasoned executive also is getting more political, agreeing to host a fund-raiser for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He's kept a low profile when it comes to partisan politics, supporting both Democrats and Republicans alike.

As for Facebook, while its stock has now apparently stabilized, questions remain whether it can truly be the cash cow so many investors were banking on.

Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.


MALVEAUX: Again Ali Velshi sits down with Mark Zuckerberg for an exclusive interview at 3:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Well, he is credited with making Kelly Clarkson the musical force that she is, but Clarkson says that Clive Davis is really a bully. Why she's enraged over the things that he wrote about her in his new memoir.


MALVEAUX: Things getting a little heated between singer Kelly Clarkson and record exec Clive Davis. Clarkson, she's taking exception to the way she's depicted in Davis' memoir, "The Soundtrack of My Life."

For one thing Clarkson says Davis belittled her work saying she was a lousy writer, although Clarkson says he used a more vulgar term. Davis says he's sorry for the way Clarkson feels about his book but he stands by every word.

Want to bring in Nischelle Turner from L.A.

So what's the beef here between these two?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: That's a good question, Suzanne. First of all, this is not a new feud. It's resurfaced now because of Clive Davis releasing his, by the way, 551- page memoir here.

Now we first heard of the Kelly Clarkson/Clive Davis rift back in 2007 when Kelly was set to release her album "My December." This was an album that she wrote most of the songs for. At that time Clive made it clear that he didn't think this was a good album especially coming off her smash hit "Breakaway." Now he also said they'd had creative differences because she told him she hated the song, "Since You've Been Gone," and "Behind Those Hazel Eyes" from "Breakaway" which became two of her biggest hits.

Now in the memoir he recounts a tense meeting that he and Kelly had after she recorded these songs. He said in that meeting that, quote, "It was a very tough conversation and it didn't get any easier when Kelly burst into hysterical sobbing. We all just sat there as she cried for several minutes. No one knew what to say. Then she left to go to the ladies' room. When she came back, the tension in the room was so thick."

Kelly, of course, takes exception to this. She released a statement yesterday on her official Twitter account in which she says that she did not break into hysterical sobbing and that his stories are mixed up. She says she did cry in his office but only after she played him a song that she wrote called "Because of You." That song also became a huge hit. And she says he told her he hated it and that she was a terrible writer, although he used a different word.

She said that he said she should, quote, "be grateful for the gifts he bestows upon me." She also said that he told her she should just shut up and sing. Kelly says she's responding to these things in the memoir because in her words, "I refuse to be bullied and I just have to clear up his memory lapses. It feels like a violation."

She also said, Suzanne, that, "Growing up is awesome because you learn you don't have to cower to anyone, even Clive Davis."

Now for what it's worth, Clive does go on to say in the memoir that she was a young woman fighting for the right to self-expression and that he does believe she is supremely talented. However, I'm not really sure that jives with Kelly at this point -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Well, I hope they get together, have a drink or coffee, and you know, work it all out. You know? I mean, successful people, come on.

TURNER: They're so -- both so talented, and yes, exactly.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thanks, Nischelle. Appreciate it.

So if you're looking for a happy place to live, look no further. Researchers went through millions of tweets to map out where Americans are happiest and saddest. They counted on how many tweets contained happy words like LOL which of course stands for laugh out loud. Also words like good, nice, and sleep. Turns out Hawaii has the happiest folks. Maine came in second followed by Nevada, Utah, and Vermont.

Coming up after the break, we will find out where the saddest Americans live.


MALVEAUX: All right. A study based on tweets charted where the happiest Americans live, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada. Well, now there's a look at where the saddest Americans live, supposedly. Louisiana came in number one followed by Mississippi, Maryland, Michigan, and Delaware. People who lived in these states used the most sad words in their tweets like mad, hate, no, and jail.

By the way, the study's author says the list might be a bit skewed. People living in these states use the most swear words which counted towards their sad count.

I don't believe the study.

Today is the same day that, of course, your tweets, are getting even shorter. Instead of using 140 characters, you're going to have to figure out how to say what you need to say in just 117 if you have a link to your tweet.

You know how Twitter automatically shortens the link, well, Twitter has changed the way it does that. It now takes up more space.

Want to take a look at what is trending right now around the world. In New York a Russian billionaire turning some heads with this giant luxury yacht. You've got to check this thing out. The biggest private yacht on earth. Almost the length of two football fields. If you want to see it, it's actually docked on New York's West Side. And it costs more than New York City penthouse. It's $1.5 billion.

Here's why it's so expensive. It has got, yes, 30 large cabins, nine decks, two helipads, that is of course to land the private helicopter, a submarine, and a military grade missile defense system. Armor plating and bulletproof windows. So if you think it costs too much to fill up your gas tank, check this out. This guy pays $650,000 to gas it up.


That's it for me. Frederica Whitfield back in the house, takes over from here.

Good to see you, Fred.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Yay, good to be back. Thanks so much. Good to see you, Suzanne.

Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in for Brooke Baldwin. Here are the top stories we're following for you right now.

We begin with new details on that Valentine's Day murder in South Africa. Prosecutors are making their case at a bail hearing against the man known the world over as the blade runner.