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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Jodi Arias Trial Resumes Today; Police Investigate CPR Refusal; Martha Stewart Testifies; Indiana Schools Awarding Cash for Good Grades; Interview with Khalil Edney; Writer Uncovers "Secrets" of Happy Families; "Greedy, Lying Bastards"

Aired March 5, 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: Milwaukee is looking at 2-5 inches; Indianapolis, 3-5 inches. Right now, Chicago bracing for 4-8 inches; some people are saying actually it's going to be more expected by tonight. And that would make it the most of the season.

John Berman is looking at that and other stories for us this morning.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Soledad.

In just a few hours when her murder trial resumes, Jodi Arias will be back on the witness stand for a 15th day. This will be another day of redirect examination for the defense.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN (voice-over): The extra day, a day filled with testimony, again, about her sex life with victim Travis Alexander. Arias faces a possible death sentence if convicted of murdering Alexander. He was shot twice, stabbed 27 times and had his throat slashed. Arias, of course, says it was self-defense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Police in Bakersfield, California, are now investigating the circumstances surrounding that 87-year-old woman's death at an independent living facility after a staffer refused to give the dying woman CPR. The resident services director for Glenwood Gardens told the 9-1-1 operator she was not permitted to administer medical care to residents and refused to let anyone else perform CPR on the woman.

Fire officials say the facility would not have faced any liability issues if the staffer had simply followed operator's instructions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY GALAGAZA, BATTALION CHIEF, BAKERSFIELD FIRE DEPARTMENT: It's not uncommon for them to try and give instructions over the phone. It's refused or the person may be a little squeamish.

They do it through a card system. And those dispatchers are trained through that card system where emergency medical services will accept that liability at that time.

BERMAN (voice-over): A facility spokesman tells CNN the home is by law not licensed to provide medical care to any of its residents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Chris Christie thinks he knows how to get Democrats and Republicans to cut a compromise deal on those controversial forced spending cuts that kicked in last Friday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN (voice-over): He says just get both sides in one room and don't let them out until there's an agreement, the New Jersey governor blasting the president for a lack of leadership and calling out Congress for doing nothing to stop the so-called sequester.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), N.J.: If the federal government can't cut one cent out of a dollar, and not bring the economy and the country to its knees, then the government is in awful shape to begin with. Unfortunately, the president has overplayed this in a major way. And I think you see them starting to back it back now a little bit. Planes aren't going to be falling out of the sky.

BERMAN (voice-over): Christie says the worst thing about the cuts is that right now nobody is discussing spending on entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Martha Stewart expected to arrive at the courthouse in Lower Manhattan at any moment. Stewart is expected to testify in a civil trial that's pitting Macy's against retail rival JCPenney over a partnership with her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

An unusual standoff off the coast of California: police say two men and a woman stole an 82-foot luxury sailboat from a marina near San Francisco and packed it with pizza and beer.

The boat ran aground about 20 miles south in Pacifica. The suspects, the two men and a woman, refused to surrender to police for hours. They were finally pulled off the yacht -- presumably when they were full of the pizza and beer -- by sheriff's deputies. They were placed under arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a party, dude.

BERMAN: It's a party. Did not end well for them, of course.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN (voice-over): So cash for good grades? Thanks to a $7 million grant from the University of Notre Dame several high schools in Indiana will be able to pay for students for high scores. It's set up as an incentive to get more students to enroll in advanced classes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: It works like this. When a student scores a 3 out of 5 or better on an advanced placement test, they'll get a check for 100 bucks. And get this: their teacher does also. Study. Sounds like a good deal.

O'BRIEN: Yes. How do we feel about that? Paying people to achieve in school? Or shouldn't we do it the old-fashioned way? Like you should get a good grade on your AP test because there's a payoff down the road?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aren't there bonuses on jobs?

O'BRIEN: Yes. But they're students. It's not a job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but still, if folks get paid, get bonuses on their jobs --

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: -- Should we put that money into teachers and put that money into afterschool programs?

BERMAN: This is Notre Dame. (Inaudible) private funding, obviously, here.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) program that you profiled in "Black in America"?

O'BRIEN: I'm not taking a position. I'm just throwing it out to the panel. How do we feel about it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any way you can get it done, obviously there may be better ways of getting it done. But if you can motivate your kid in some way to do better on a test, I mean, why not take that route? You know, I think it's -- you know, we'll see whether this actually pays dividends for the kids.

O'BRIEN: Yes, if it really works, I guess.

It's also --

BERMAN: Of course, rewarding teachers for performance, which is something --

O'BRIEN: Yes. Hey, listen, I'm a parent. I believe in bribery and blackmail. That's really what my entire parenting strategy is.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

DARYL HANNAH, ACTRESS AND DIRECTOR: I don't think testing actually leads to learning.

O'BRIEN: Right. So the question is, what does lead to learning, I guess is the question. OK. So let's talk to this kid, the best buzzer beater ever in the history of forever. Didn't happen at the NBA. Happened at a New York high school sectional championship, a senior whose name is Khalil Edney let the 55-foot shot rip with 1/10 of a second remaining on the clock. The insane basket propelled ninth-seeded New Rochelle High School to a 61-60 victory over third-seeded rival Mt. Vernon.

Khalil joins us from the gym this morning. He's also got his coach with him, Rasaun Young, (inaudible) in the background. We've got the regional state finals this afternoon.

Khalil, nice to have you. OK. So walk me through how it went down. Give us the play-by-play while we show everybody the video, because we love this shot.

KHALIL EDNEY, BASKETBALL PLAYER, NEW ROCHELLE HIGH SCHOOL: It was a designed play. You know, we run it every day in practice. They were double-teaming Joe Clark (ph) and I had to get the ball and fire it before the five-second call.

So I'm on the ball and (inaudible) ball got intercepted by Mt. Vernon. And he -- I guess he wanted to celebrate by throwing the ball in the air. He didn't throw the ball high enough in the air. So I jumped for it and I caught it. I just heaved it in the air.

O'BRIEN: And the rest is history because you guys -- you score -- there was only a tenth -- a tenth of a second on the clock. And at first, people didn't think that you'd made it in time.

So what was -- what did you think? Like you make the basket, and they're like, yes, no basket, sorry.

EDNEY: When it went in, I didn't hear the ref saying it was no good because my team was celebrating and I was underneath the pile at that time. So me hearing that no-good call was -- I didn't hear it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) wonder when did you know it was good? (Inaudible) in the air, did you think this is going in? We're going to win this game?

O'BRIEN: The minute it left your fingers?

EDNEY: I knew it was good once it hit the ground and it went in and the crowd went crazy. That's how I knew it was good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coach, I got to ask you. Let's just be honest. You had to be ticked off. Your guy turned the ball over. You looked up. I know you were going, how did this guy turn the ball over? Come on, Coach. Be honest.

RASAUN YOUNG, BASKETBALL COACH, NEW ROCHELLE HIGH SCHOOL: You know, it's a tough pass to make, you know, full length of the court. And, you know, Mt. Vernon is such an athletic team. You know, they knew he was going to pass to Joe Clark (ph). You know, he's been our go-to guy all year.

And they double-team him and they stole the ball. But the (inaudible) a pass on (inaudible) so we lucked up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Y'all are playing now. So I take it you're telling your players if we have the game won, you cradle that ball like a baby.

YOUNG: Absolutely. Hold the ball. Let them foul you. You know, secure the ball. Secure the ball.

O'BRIEN: So, Khalil, as you guys are preparing for the state finals, the regional state finals, right? That's what you're practicing for now? How are you feeling going into that?

EDNEY: I'm just ready to play, you know. I had a bad first half against Mt. Vernon. And this game here, I'm feeling 100 percent now. So just ready to go.

BERMAN: You made up for that bad first half (inaudible) at the end of the second half there. Are you working on the -- more plays for these 60-foot shots? Is that what's going on in practice here right now?

EDNEY: No. Actually, I'm not. I'm just practicing with my team, taking normal shots now. So it's -- just ready for today's game.

O'BRIEN: Hey, Coach, can I ask you a question? I heard that Khalil is also a standout football player, too.

YOUNG: Yes. Yes. Yes, he is. He's a better football player than he is basketball. He won a state championship in football, starting quarterback. So that speaks volumes.

O'BRIEN: That Khalil guy is all right, I guess. Now, he's a senior. So what happens when this double threat, highly valued player for both teams graduates?

YOUNG: You know, Khalil have options. We have to wait and see exactly what he want to do. I want him to go to school for football. Like I say, he's a much better football player than he is basketball. And I think his future would be nice with football. Go to school and most of all get the education.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, Coach, but the NBA has guaranteed contracts. NFL doesn't. I would say go the NBA route.

O'BRIEN: I vote for the education. Don't listen to either of them. Don't listen to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree. I agree.

O'BRIEN: Education, education.

So, Khalil, can I put you on the spot?

YOUNG: Education. That's right. School, school, school.

O'BRIEN: Exactly. See? Yes. And you can also play basketball and football. But education. Get your MBA. You make a lot of money that way, too.

Listen. Grab a basketball. Make that shot for me again. Can you do it?

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) free throw, man. (Inaudible).

(Inaudible).

O'BRIEN: You know, like, give him a basketball.

EDNEY: Right there.

O'BRIEN: Right there.

(Inaudible)?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go.

O'BRIEN: All right. No pressure. No pressure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See what you got.

O'BRIEN: Oh! Khalil, congratulations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not playing baseball.

O'BRIEN: Congratulations on the game the other day and to your coach, too. And congratulations on all your success. And get --

EDNEY: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: -- the education. We're rooting for you.

EDNEY: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: Appreciate you being with us this morning.

Got to take a break. Still ahead on STARTING POINT -- I love that guy. I love that kid. Love that kid.

Superstorm Sandy, we're going to talk about that, the nor'easter that hit the East Coast. All these things, are these signs of climate change? A new movie looks at the evidence supporting climate change and those -- the power of those who are denying climate change.

Daryl Hannah has been on our panel all morning, is the executive producer of this new film. And she's going to talk about that straight ahead.

(MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, everyone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN (voice-over): The Senate intelligence committee will vote this afternoon on the nomination of John Brennan to be the next CIA director. He is expected to win the approval of the committee. But Republicans are demanding more answers about last year terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. They are threatening to hold up the vote in the full Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN (voice-over): New details coming out right now about a plan to merge the government controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is a step towards shrinking Uncle Sam's role in the mortgage market.

The Obama administration unveiled a plan in 2011 to slowly dissolve Fannie and Freddie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The two firms helped finance about two-thirds of U.S. home loans and they relied on $180 billion in taxpayer money to stay afloat during the housing crash.

O'BRIEN: "The New York Times" columnist and best-selling author Bruce Feiler was battling a rare form of bone cancer when he asked six of his friends to become a kind of council of dads for his daughters if, in fact, he were to die during his treatment.

In this week's "Human Factor," Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us how the father beat the disease and then returned to his passion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): I first met Bruce Feiler three years ago when he was trying to rebound from a cancer diagnosis, grappling with the possibility of dying, before his twin daughters, Eden and Tybee grew up.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

GUPTA (voice-over): Facing his own mortality --

BRUCE FEILER, CANCER SURVIVOR AND AUTHOR: I could just feel my body sort of slipping away.

GUPTA (voice-over): -- he makes an extraordinary request.

BRUCE FEILER: Will you help be their dad? GUPTA (voice-over): Thankfully, Bruce and his family got through that. And today Bruce has no evidence of cancer in his body.

With all that behind him, he has resumed doing what he does best: writing. His new book is called "The Secrets of Happy Families."

GUPTA: What inspired you to write this book?

BRUCE FEILER: We were always on the defense. And that's what it's like, you know, to be a parent these days.

GUPTA (voice-over): Are there ground rules? Are there things that cannot be said, for example?

LINDA FEILER: No. You are allowed to criticize the parents.

BRUCE FEILER: Just the other week they were saying, you know, "Dad, you were yelling too much. In fact, we have this iPad and we recorded you yelling."

(LAUGHTER)

BRUCE FEILER: Linda (ph) loved this; she was like giving them a high- five. And they said, "Yes, Mom, but we got you cursing, too."

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BRUCE FEILER (voice-over): It turns out there's only 10 minutes of productive time in any meal. Research shows you can take that ten minutes and put it at any time of the day and still have the benefits. Can't have family dinner? Have family breakfast. Meet for a bedtime snack.

Should we play the game?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

GUPTA: A frog.

FEILER: Suddenly I'm a ballerina.

Here's my favorite thing from "The Secrets of Happy Families". Researchers at Emory gave kids a simple do you know test. Do you know where your grandparents were born? Do you know where your parents went to high school? If children understand that they're part of a larger narrative, then they're more capable of coping.

So you should spend time telling and retelling the story of your family's positive moments and the negative moments and how you overcame them.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up next, Daryl Hannah's new documentary, "Greedy, Lying Bastards" takes us a look inside the enormous power of those who are fighting to deny climate change. We'll take a look at that coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Daryl Hannah has been with us all morning. She's also executive producer of a new movie which is called "Greedy, Lying Bastards". It's causing some major buzz not just for the name. The film takes a look at campaigns that deny climate change. Let's play a little clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We actually have had no significant warming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The breakup of the ice at the North Pole is not unusual.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. There is no scientific basis for alarm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you guys funded in part by Exxon?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry but why did you imagine that Exxon give you money?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fossil fuel industries having an enormous amount of clout.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Koch Brothers for example gave millions and millions of dollars to Republicans efforts to not do anything to fight climate change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They basically are in the business of selling doubt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: That's one of the most powerful lines. They're in the business of selling doubt. And it's that doubt that keeps this conversation, I think, about global warming going.

DARYL HANNAH, ACTRESS, ACTIVIST: It's true because there is actually a consensus that it is happening. And that it is also human caused. However -- and even -- what's really interesting, is even Rex Tillerson from Exxon now has finally acknowledged that climate change is actually happening. Even the Koch Brothers I mean, you know they will publicly come out and acknowledge it.

But then yet they will still funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to make sure that climate legislation isn't passed. That there's false information put out about the climate crisis and also about clean energy and its possibilities.

So while they -- they want to, you know, not sound like idiots and say, well, nothing is happening when you can -- obviously it's so clear now. We've got epic droughts. I mean, unprecedented droughts in the Midwest, in our bread basket of our country. We've got wildfires and superstorms and floods. And I mean, Arctic ice sheets melting in unprecedented fashions, et cetera. It's impossible to deny those facts, simple facts.

Like you put the pH strip in the ocean, it's 30 percent more acid than it ever it has been.

O'BRIEN: What was your personal interest in this? I mean, why climate change and environmental issues overall for you? You've gotten arrested because of your passion for some of these topics.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Many times.

O'BRIEN: Yes a handful of times.

HANNAH: Well you know first of all, I don't think that that's something that's really so bad. I mean, Martin Luther King was arrested 30 times before he was the age of 39 to right incredible wrongs. And we're at a time of extreme crisis. I mean, we are facing a possible threat to our very life support systems.

I mean, a week and a half ago, the World Bank, the World Bank, who financed most of these large fossil fuel projects, you know, mega dams, et cetera, put out their own report on the climate crisis. And it was, like, the worst horror film I've ever seen in my life. It was the scariest scenario.

They said that if we raise the temperature of the earth four degrees Celsius, essentially it's total systems collapse, mass starvation, mass extinctions, disease. I mean the picture that they portray in their report was so horrifying that they had no choice but to make urgent recommendations to make radical changes, to stop fossil fuels immediately.

O'BRIEN: Do you think you're getting --

HANNAH: And that's from the World Bank.

CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY, WALL STREET JOURNAL: You know what's the take away here? What do you want people who watch your film to do when they leave the theater?

HANNAH: Well, to -- to hold these fossil fuel companies accountable. Because, see, I believe that they're -- first of all, I believe Citizens United needs to be eradicated. This ruling that gave corporations the right of a person because now politicians are doing the bidding of corporations and not doing -- not doing representing us, we the people.

They're representing the corporations because now corporations can give them money to their campaigns. They can, you know, basically send hundreds of lobbyists to make sure that they keep the pressure on so that the politicians are doing their will.

And when that's all the messaging that they get --

FARLEY: Right.

HANNAH: -- they're going to do it. You know, what did Upton Sinclair say? You know you can't -- a guy is not going to do something when his salary depends upon him doing it.

MARTIN: Daryl how do you -- how do you counter though, the economic argument because what happens in this country any time you try to present any change, folks are going to say oh it's going to cost us billions. It's going to wreck the economy. We're going to lose jobs. And then all of this calls that somebody that go --

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: Are you picking the environment over human beings?

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: Right people go, oh, my God. We can't lose jobs.

HANNAH: Well here's -- here's the deal. What we're talking about is protecting our ability to survive and our -- and our vital life support systems. Now, there's a way to do that. And still create jobs that are domestic jobs with safe, clean energy. And that's where we should be putting all of our resources. Not just allowing these companies who are essentially raping and pillaging our ecosystems because they are making record profits. Even in this economy.

The oil -- the fossil fuel industry is the wealthiest industry in the history of money. In the history of money and yet we're still paying, you know, through the roof just for our gallons of gas to go to, you know, to take our kids to school.

It is unethical, it's wrong. And now we're going to extreme forms of extraction just to get that fuel because we've run out of the easy to get stuff. We have to blow up entire mountain tops. We're just decimating our oldest mountain range in the Appalachians.

MARTIN: Keystone.

HANNAH: The Keystone which is a -- this is something I think we would all be united on because it's not a polarizing issue. It's a foreign company coming into our country, taking our farmers and ranchers' lands through eminent domain, which is supposed to be only used for national security. But in this case this pipeline which is going to be carrying corrosive tar sand sludge, they have to be pushed through at 150 degrees with toxic chemicals, is only going down to the Gulf of Mexico so that they can export it. They say that in their own documents. This is not for energy security for America. This is not going to affect our gasoline prices except for possibly to raise them because the price per barrel that they can get down in the Gulf of Mexico to export is $20 higher a barrel.

O'BRIEN: The issue is a tough one.

HANNAH: And they try to confuse you. That's what it is.

O'BRIEN: Well that is --

(CROSSTALK)

MARTIN: Why are you passionate about it?

HANNAH: It's very infuriating. I mean, it's outrageous. It should be illegal to do what they do. It should be illegal.

O'BRIEN: The film is called "Greedy, Lying Bastards". Opens nationwide in theaters on Friday.

We've got to take a break. "End Point" is up next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: And it's time for "End Point". We're going to give it to Christopher John Farley this morning.

FARLEY: You know, the story that stood out to me in a different kind of way was that New Rochelle High School last second shot.

O'BRIEN: That's because you're from New Rochelle.

FARLEY: I'm from New Rochelle. I always turn sports events into metaphors. But I moved there because I love the public schools. I have a commitment to public schools. Our kids go to public schools there. It was great to see on your show win in the last second shot. See the guy who made the shot seems like a nice young guy. I hope he has success in life.

O'BRIEN: Me, too.

FARLEY: And I hope it encouraging other people to get excited about schools in New Rochelle. So I love seeing that.

O'BRIEN: We second that. And we hope it goes on to great education as well.

MARTIN: Absolutely.

O'BRIEN: Thanks guys. Appreciate it. Great to have you today, Daryl. Thanks for being with us. We've got to leave it here. "CNN NEWSROOM" with Christi Paul begins right now. we'll see everybody back here See you tomorrow morning. Hey, Christi.