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Watching the Sistine Chapel Chimney; Search for Missing Teacher; Stubenville Trial Underway

Aired March 13, 2013 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN BERMAN, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Cardinals have some idea and it's possible that the black smoke we saw this morning, the whole world saw this morning, could turn to white by this afternoon.

All we know was anything close to certainty is that right now the 115 cardinal electors who are trying to choose the next pope are filing back into the Sistine Chapel after their midday break.

That is where we find my colleague Chris Cuomo. He is keeping watch nearby.

Chris, we were at this all morning together. And these cardinals seem to be doing it fairly efficiently so far?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly. That's the right way to put it, John, because they have moved more briskly than expected through the votes of this morning.

Why that is, we don't really know, but it's certainly the case. And right now is when the excitement returns. Here's why. Very shortly, the 115 cardinals will finish their sessions of talking and the only real opportunity they have for heavy politicking during the conclave and they will turn in the votes.

So, why is this special? Here's why. Here's a big reason why today, right now, this moment, is the time to be watching. Because this is when in the last conclave, this vote is when Pope Benedict the XVI was chosen.

So, even though we hear this conclave may take longer than last time, this was the vote that they're about to start right now, so it's a good time to be on "smoke-watch."

Now, we had some headlines today. There was a Vatican presser, an opportunity there where Father Lombardi and a couple others came out and were talking.

We're going to play you a little sound from it if we have it. Do we have the sound to play? We're going to play you a little bit of sound because they said they were getting a lot of phone calls about smoke in the Sistine Chapel. Take a listen.

All right, we don't have it, so I'll tell you what they said. They said, we got a lot of reports about smoke in the Sistine Chapel, but the cardinals are all OK and the frescoes, the paintings are all OK. They did not say there was no problem with smoke and, when I bring in John Allen in a little bit, you'll understand why there is a basis for that cause of speculation, given what's happened in the past.

We also learned that the pope emeritus, Pope Benedict the XVI has been watching on TV a little of these goings-on, the entrance to the conclave, the ceremony and, of course, his influence still very real to these 115 cardinals.

Now, we also know, as I check over my shoulder, the weather here not hospitable, but it hasn't dampened the spirit of expectation. People are in the square at St. Peter's, waiting especially for this vote because of what I told you.

Let's get over to Miguel Marquez. He is monitoring from that position. Miguel, what is the mood?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the mood is, once again, wet. Get us an ark there, Chris.

But people are starting to gather. We believe that they are in there voting right now. It went pretty quickly the last time. And, you know, the prospect, as you pointed out, of this being a positive vote and a new vote being elected -- a new pope being elected is possible, so people are starting to pile in here.

I can say that the monitors have not gone on inside the square at the moment, so we don't expect that we're going to see anything immediately, but we're guessing in the next half hour, 45 minutes or so, we're going to start watching very intensely and the crowds are clearly gathering.

Here comes some folks right by me now. Guess where they're from? Looks like they're American, I'm guessing.

So, it's starting to gather again. We're probably going to see a very, very big crowd here tonight, a lot of anticipation.

Chris?

CUOMO: Miguel, we're going to be keeping the chimney on the screen at all times. Stay with me, though, because I have a question about something else.

So, we'll have "chimney-watch," full time. You want to be on "smoke- watch," you can watch the chimney right in the corner of your screen.

Miguel, let me ask you about something else that is relevant in the conclave right now, news of a story that you have been covering out of Los Angeles in America, a settlement in a sexual abuse case involving a priest that also involves Cardinal Mahoney. What do we know about the latest?

MARQUEZ: Well, look, this was a very old case in his defense. Preceded his time as archbishop.

This was a case in which four alleged victims in civil court settled with the current archbishop several weeks ago. It became public now.

A spokesperson for the L.A. diocese says that this is about, you know, press attention by the attorneys representing those individuals. They also point out that Mahoney had nothing to do with that.

That said, the Survivors Network and others who are involved with this say, look, Mahoney was archbishop after this. He dragged his feet in this.

Mahoney also came under fire for even attending the conclave here when he, you know, gave his solemn vow the other day here. That was probably received by a lot of abuse victims with a lot of regrets and frustration because they did not want him to attend this conclave.

They wanted him to exempt himself or for the other cardinals to ask him simply not to attend, much like Cardinal O'Brien out of Scotland. You know, at least SNAP believes that O'Brien exempted himself under pressure and did not examine here to Rome to take part in this conclave.

So, they were hoping that they -- that Mahoney would not. He did. But SNAP, of course, have issues with other cardinals in there. They do agree that it is their right to be there, but they believe that this sex abuse scandal has hurt the church so badly that it's incumbent upon them not to attend.

But they will work along with the new pope when they are named and -- to the degree they can and hope to get beyond some of these sex abuse issues.

Chris?

CUOMO: All right, Miguel, thank you very much. Please keep your eyes on the roof. I know we're a little bit early, but you can't be watching too soon.

I've missed the last two, so do me a favor. Keep eyes on that chimney so let me know so I don't miss it this third time.

Right now I'm going to turn to John Allen, our senior Vatican analyst, also the senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.

What Miguel was just talking about with respect to the settlement of the case in California, these aren't suggestions about Archbishop Mahoney. This was -- or Cardinal Mahoney. This was in these lawsuits that they believed they had proof that showed that Mahoney knew what was going on with this Father Baker who was the accused in the lawsuit.

Not to dredge up the past, that's not the point of this question. The point is, he's in that conclave right now. You could argue that there is no bigger issue of public perception facing the Catholic Church than this one.

And Lombardi came out, Father Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, and said, we have looked at it, we have reason to believe he belongs in the conclave.

Your reaction?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, you know, Cardinal Mahoney has insisted from the very beginning of this controversy and not just the recent settlement but, of course, when the archdiocese released the files, when his successor, Archbishop Gomez, sort of publicly shamed him by saying that he had been relieved of all of his administrative and public responsibilities, when all of that broke, Cardinal Mahoney's argument was, yeah, I made serious mistakes at the beginning of my tenure, but at the end, I had turned a corner and Los Angeles had become a leader in the fight against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

So, I'm not surprised to hear Father Lombardi on behalf of the Vatican echoing that argument.

But, look, Chris, to your broader point, I think the vast majority of the 115 cardinals who are in the Sistine -- who will be, again, in the Sistine Chapel this afternoon, they get that this has been the biggest black eye, the biggest blow to the moral authority of the Catholic Church, in their lifetime.

And so, therefore, I think among the various things they are looking for in the next pope, it is critical to them that the next pope profile as a reformer on the sex abuse crisis, that is, as part of the solution, not as part of the problem.

CUOMO: And to say -- to have Lombardi come out and say, we think he belongs here, it's going to be a little controversial on a situation that's always a sore subject, to be clear.

So, let's turn now to what we believe may be going on inside. They came out of what could be a politicking session. They are in there.

I got a chance to do some reporting finally, you know, when I'm not here listening to you all the time, and there are some suggestions to bring up.

You have said very well that the past teaches us that if two big names don't get to 77 or don't see a clear path there among the 115 cardinals, they may look for a third.

A name we have not heard yet that was offered up to me is Cardinal Bergoglio, which you may or may not know. John Allen has reported many times that what we believe from the last conclave is that Bergoglio was number two to then Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict the XVI Emeritus, pope emeritus.

Bergoglio, as the perfect compromise candidate, 76-years-old, but that he could be a unifier, your thoughts?

ALLEN: Well, I mean Cardinal Bergoglio was an enormously respected figure. That's precisely why he was the runner-up, so to speak, in 2005. He's a Jesuit, comes from the Society of Jesus, which a religious order respected not only for its intellectual accomplishment, but also its social activisms.

A very humble man, I mean, when he was installed as the cardinal of Buenos Aires, he made a decision that he was not going to take his chauffeur-driven limousine; he was going to take the bus to work.

And the people in Buenos Aires knew, if you wanted to talk to the cardinal, you got on that bus and you could have an audience with him.

CUOMO: Cooks his own meals.

ALLEN: Yeah, cooks his own meals.

CUOMO: Stays in his own simple apartment.

ALLEN: He's an extraordinarily attractive figure.

The problem, Chris, is that on the heels of a pope who just resigned, citing age and exhaustion, I think it is going to be difficult for some of these 115 cardinals to see a 76-year-old man who has had his own struggles with fatigue, as the logical successor.

CUOMO: And there is a little bit of speculation about his health, fair point.

But, again, as we're thinking about if the big names don't deliver early on and they have to look for an alternative, interesting suggestion from a retired cardinal, Bergoglio, don't count him out.

ALLEN: Listen, Chris, just to recall, in 1978, the second conclave of '78, there were two strong Italian candidates. They canceled each other out.

The cardinals went shopping for an alternative and they shocked the world by giving us the previously obscure cardinal of Krakow in Poland, Karol Wojtyla, who took the world by storm as John Paul the II. Do not rule out another surprise solution to this conclave.

CUOMO: All right, so, we're going to have to be hearing more about what happens. We're going to be on "smoke-watch" here the entire time.

Right now, John, as we go back to you in New York, they are beginning the vote that gave us Benedict the XVI in the last conclave.

We think it's going to go longer this time, but you never know. That's why we're watching the chimney, my friend.

BERMAN: We are certainly watching. Chris Cuomo, our thanks to you, also John Allen and Miguel Marquez.

I should tell you this. A heads-up to all of our viewers, you can watch the chimney on the Sistine Chapel any time, all the time, live, at CNN.com. If you don't want to miss a thing, go to CNN.com. Check it out right now.

Meanwhile, other news, in New Orleans, a deepening mystery over the disappearance of an elementary school teacher. Terrilyn Monette was nominated teacher of the year and out celebrating almost two weeks ago.

She was last seen about 4:00 a.m. on March 2nd speaking with a man in a bar in this parking lot.

Her mother talked with CNN earlier saying she believes her daughter was abducted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONI ENCLADE, MOTHER OF MISSING TEACHER: I just want them to know to please bring my baby back home to me. Please. It's very hard. It's very hard.

I can't sleep at night. I can't sleep at night. I can't eat. I keep thinking about my child and where she could be. I just want her back.

So, please, if you're listening and watching this, please bring Terrilyn home. Please. That's all I want. I want her home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So hard to hear. Our hearts definitely with that family.

Also missing is Monette's 2012 black Honda Accord. Anyone with information on this should contact New Orleans police right away.

About 30 miles south of New Orleans, two members of a tugboat crew were rushed to the hospital when their oil barge struck a natural gas pipeline. Flames shot up into the air about 1,000 feet.

The Coast Guard is letting the flaming tug and barge and pipeline burn themselves out at this point.

An H&R Block software glitch is delaying some 600,000 tax refunds up to six weeks. You're affected if you claimed education credits using Form 8863.

Block says you're OK if you filed after February 22nd. The problem is fixed now. It is working with the IRS to get people their money as fast as they possibly can.

A 16-year-old allegedly raped by two star high school football players in Ohio town and shock and outrage as the trial opens.

Next, we will have the latest from Steubenville and we will hear from our legal experts. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. You are looking at live pictures of Vatican City right now. Everyone has their eyes on a very small chimney on top of the Sistine Chapel. The cardinals inside, some 115 cardinal electors have been working. They've had three votes so far. We believe they're voting again at this very minute. They've been ahead of schedule a little bit so it is not altogether impossible that some time in the next 45 minutes or hour, not impossible there could be smoke coming out of that chimney. We will bring you that news the second we see anything.

Meanwhile, other news, in New York, one amazing coincidence, volunteer firefighter Michael Cosgrove and his colleagues rushed to battle a fire engulfing this house in the hamlet of Selden. As they got there he realized it was his own house. The fire started when a truck crashed into the house. Cosgrove's wife and two children were inside at the time. They escaped unharmed.

Mississippi is taking aim at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his war on sugary drinks. State senators in Mississippi approved by a 50- 1 vote a bill that would block efforts to ban the sale of large sugary drinks. That move came the same day a judge blocked Bloomberg's plan to limit the sale of such drinks in New York City. The Mississippi measure is now under review.

In Ohio, be an emotional rape trial got under way this morning in the small town of Steubenville, throwing an unwanted spotlight on its big red high school football team and two star players charged with raping a 16-year-old girl. Some residents accused police of a cover-up to protect the players who are often treated like heroes. Others blame social media for distorting the actual facts of the case.

Poppy Harlow has been reporting on the story for months. She is in Steubenville with more on the case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This picture sparked outrage. A photo of a seemingly unconscious teenage girl carried by two young men. Now, about to stand trial, accused of raping her. Ma'lik Richmond on the left, Trent Mays on the right. Both 16. Both star players on the powerful Steubenville high school football team say they are innocent.

ADAM NEMASS, TRENT MAYS ATTORNEY: At this point, we have denied the allegations.

WALTER MADISON, MA'LIK RICHMOND'S ATTORNEY: She voluntarily got herself intoxicated, not once did you hear her say or any witness the state produced say, she didn't want to do it.

HARLOW: Not so, says the prosecutor.

MARIANNE T. NEMMETER, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: She was unresponsive and not in a position of consent and they knew about it. And let's be clear, they knew she was drunk.

HARLOW: Police say the alleged rape occurred during all night partying on August 11 after a varsity football scrimmage. Three days later the accuser's mother went to the police with a flash drive including tweets and other possible evidence. Social media was abuzz with tweets and videos by fellow teens referring to that night in a vulgar manner. "Song of the night is 'Rape Me' by Nirvana."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if that was your daughter?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it isn't. If that was my daughter I wouldn't care. I would let her be dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Richmond and Mays were arrested, but critics like internet hacking group accused law enforcement of not being aggressive enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a football player, you get to do what you want as long as you have a winning season.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has preferential treatment been given to these boys because they're part of the football team?

SHERIFF FRED ABDALLA, JEFFERSON COUNTY, OHIO: No. That's not true. They're facing charges. No.

HARLOW: Sheriff Abdallabelieves some of what is being posted on-line and social media about the case is false.

ABDALLA: They give us a black eye. When you have people continue to put false information out there, you know, it's tough to make it go away.

HARLOW: Steubenville police chief Bill McCafferty says despite many pleas few witnesses came forward.

CHIEF BILL MCCAFFERTY, STUBENVILLE POLICE: The thing I found disturbing, depending on who actually was there, why didn't somebody stop it?

HARLOW: This once thriving eastern Ohio steel town, now a shell of its former self, struggling economically. Big red football, one of the few bright spots. Today it's this alleged rape that has the town in the spotlight. Poppy Harlow, CNN, Steubenville, Ohio.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Both of the accused are being tried as juveniles. As a result, the case will be decided by a judge and not the jury. I should also tell you, we just got news from Poppy inside the courtroom, in Ohio, or was, defense attorneys for the defendants have withdrawn their motions to dismiss rape charges against their clients. Court has been adjourned for approximately an hour. The judge is in chamber talking about the admissibility of some evidence. So again, this is going on as we speak.

Joining us now on their expert's take on this case, TV judge and former juvenile court judge Glenda Hatchett and David Young, court certified mediator and former Florida circuit court judge. Let me start with you, Glenda, we heard that the defense has filed motions, withdrawn their motions to dismiss the charges against them. Does that have any significance?

GLENDA HATCHETT, FORMER JUVENILE COURT JUDGET: It does. What happened late yesterday afternoon is that the Supreme Court in West Virginia responding to a writ about these juveniles who are in West Virginia, that the defendants want to testify in Ohio. It's a little bit complicated. Bottom line at the end of the day, the Supreme Court in West Virginia said, listen, the court in West Virginia must have a hearing to determine whether they should come back. My guess is, based on them withdrawing this motion this morning, that they have worked that part out and that these juveniles will be coming back to Ohio to testify. I think one of the conditions will be is that they cannot be shown on camera because they, too, are juveniles. I think that that's what we're seeing going on. The motion itself was based on the fact that they needed these witnesses and without these witnesses, they could not adequately defend their clients.

BERMAN: Okay. So it sounds like mostly a procedural measure right now.

HATCHETT: Yes.

BERMAN: David, do we get the sense that this case will be different than any other case of high school students charged with rape?

DAVID YOUNG, COURT CERTIFIED MEDIATOR: I don't think so. That's one of the beauties of juvenile court, is you don't have a jury, you have a judge who assumedly is very sensitive to the issues surrounding about juveniles and what they go through and the types of programs that are available. You know, what was interesting to me in this case, is that it was kept in juvenile. It's obvious that the victim, as well as the prosecution, as well as the defense, have all come together to say hey, listen, we don't want this to affect anyone's lives on a permanent basis so let's keep it in juvenile, give them sanctions if, in fact, the judge finds they are delinquent and let's move on.

BERMAN: One of the things that does seem to be fairly unique about this case is the role of social media. It plays a huge role in the event as it happened. It played a role in how people found out about them over the ensuing months. Glenda, how will that play in the trial?

HATCHETT: Well, it will be admissible, particularly because the prosecutor is going to rely on that clip that we've seen, where she appears to be motionless. You know, the prosecutors are going to say that she was unconscious and, therefore, could not possibly have consented to any sexual encounters with these kids. Now I'll tell you, though, what really troubles me most about this, not only as a judge, but as a mother, is that there were other people there and apparently didn't do anything to intervene. So I think that for parents, I hope this will be a teachable moment that we'll have a conversation with our teenagers. BERMAN: As we said, this trial has really gripped the whole nation. A lot of people watching right now. Judge Glenda Hatchett, David Young, thanks for being with us. You will be back in a second.

We'll be back in a second too. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. You're looking at live pictures of the Vatican right now in what has to be the most watched chimney in the world. 115 cardinal electors inside in the middle of we believe their fourth vote now to determine the next pope. We will bring you news the minute we have it, if we see smoke, rest assured, we will tell you immediately.

Meantime a few other stories to tell you about. Floridians brace yourselves for a new pest. A giant aggressive breed of mosquito is expected this summer. Known as the gallinipper, it's about 20 times bigger than other mosquitoes and has a stinger that can penetrate clothing. Fortunately it doesn't carry the West Nile virus or encephalitis. But its sting feels like getting poked by a knife.

Finally good news for Boeing's troubled 787 Dreamliner. The FAA has greenlighted Boeing to conduct new flight tests. This coming after approved Boeing's fix of the plane's lithium ion battery systems, but it still may be a couple months before commercial flights resume.

So if you're counting the number of dead and decomposing pigs that turned up in a river in Shanghai is fast approaching 6,000 and still Chinese officials insist that the tap water drawn from the river is safe. It is believed the pigs died of a virus that does not cause any disease in humans. Still, awful pictures to look at right now.

Meantime back at the Vatican, we are watching and waiting as Catholic cardinals have started their afternoon session of the conclave on this second day in their fourth vote, we believe at this very moment. Once again, black smoke signals no pope. White smoke means new pope. Chris Cuomo will join us again from Rome after this quick break. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)