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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Will Amanda Knox Be Extradited?; Investigating Ebel's Car In Texas; Mother Leaves Baby Behind; Powerball Payday; Dog Saves Trapped Hiker; North Dakota Enacts Anti-Abortion Law; Day Two Of Same Sex Marriage At Supreme Court; From Unknown To Tournament Darling; Nora Ephron's Final Act; Interview with Actor Courtney B. Vance

Aired March 27, 2013 - 07:30   ET

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


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: We were talking about that yesterday with her attorney. After an Italian court ruled that she could be retried in the death of her roommate in Perugia, Italy. The big question this morning is could she be forced to go back in order to stand trial.

Foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty is at the State Department for us this morning. Hi, Jill. Good morning.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Soledad. You know, it's a complicated question as a lot of legal questions are. And you can bet that lawyers here at the State Department are looking at this anticipating what might happen.

But all of it is governed by this agreement, an extradition treaty between the United States and Italy that was signed in 1984. And as in most legal things you have to look at the fine print.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Amanda Knox has been back in Seattle for a year and a half.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give them some time.

DOUGHERTY: Trying to live a normal life. So does Tuesday's decision mean she has to return to Italy?

DAVID LAUFMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: The question of whether she would have to go back to Italy for a trial will come down to how the extradition treaty between the United States and Italy is construed.

DOUGHERTY: Former Federal Prosecutor David Laufman says if Amanda Knox had been convicted and acquitted in the United States, she'd be protected by double jeopardy, which prevents a defendant from being tried for the same crime twice. But it happened in Italy, which has a more flexible legal system. So Italy could, he says, ask the U.S. to extradite her.

LAUFMAN: Now, that doesn't mean the United States is necessarily going to extradite her. There will likely ensue a fevered dialogue between, you know, justice ministry officials in Italy, and the Department of State lawyers, maybe Department of Justice lawyers, possibly even the head office of formal extradition request.

DOUGHERTY: In other words a diplomatic and ultimately political solution. But Amanda Knox's attorney is hoping any new trial would end up with the same verdict, acquittal.

THEODORE SIMON, ATTORNEY FOR AMANDA KNOX: There's no reason to believe that any further review will result any differently. Keep in mind, there was no physical evidence against her, and anything that was reviewed was considered unreliable, inaccurate, and insubstantial.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DOUGHERTY: And then there's another question. Could she be tried in absentia? In other words, not physically being in the courtroom or being in Italy. There is precedent. There were CIA officers who were convicted in Italy without being there in absentia. They kidnapped a terror suspect and they are free, but if they go back to Europe they do risk arrest -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Interesting. So they were never extradited so that's probably pretty good answer on the first part of that. Jill Dougherty for us this morning. Thank you, Jill.

Friday night, we should watch Anderson Cooper's special. It's called "Murder Abroad: The Amanda Knox Story." It airs 10 p.m. Eastern on Friday.

Let's get to Christine now. She has got a look at some of the other stories making news this morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Soledad. Good morning again. Investigators in Texas say they found bomb making materials in a car that belonged to Evan Ebel. He's the suspect in the shooting death of a Colorado prison official.

Ebel died in a shoot-out with sheriff's deputies in Texas last week. One Texas deputy stopped and approached Ebel's vehicle before the deadly shoot-out was grazed by a bullet to the head. He lived to talk about his encounter with the suspected killer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEPUTY JAMES BOYD, MONTAGUE COUNTY, TEXAS: As soon as I approached the passenger side, stuck my head over, all I saw was a gun. At that point in time, I remember seeing the gun shoot off a number of times and I could see the car just fly out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Texas officials also say they found handwritten directions to the home of Tom Clements. He's the Colorado prison chief who was killed.

Who would do this? Take a look at surveillance video from a Philadelphia train station. A mother and daughter team were so busy trying to figure out how to dodge the train fare they both took off in different directions, leaving the baby behind in the middle of a busy station. You see the baby there in the covered stroller. Transit police decided not to arrest the women.

Quite a payday for a New Jersey man who claimed the fourth largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. Pedro Quezada held up his Powerball check like a champion as he claimed his prize. The deli owner bought the winning ticket at a local liquor store. He chose the cash value option for $338 million jackpot. So now he'll end up with about $151 million after taxes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not bad.

ROMANS: Not bad. Firefighters in Riverside, California, say a dog named Mole is a hero for leading his master to a hiker who was trapped in some rocks on a mountain. The man was trapped for several days. The victim had no food, no water. Listen to Ramon Llamas, Mole's owner explain what happened yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAMON LLAMAS, DOG OWNER: He pulled me over, pulled me, crying, and I said what's going on, boy? So it was dark, still dark. And see this face with the eyes and I thought it was an animal. And I talked to the person, he don't talk to me. He was too weak.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Wow. He gave the victim water, called for help. A rescue team pulled him out of the rocks, took him to an area hospital where he's being monitored this morning.

O'BRIEN: Terrible. Good luck for him. This morning the state of North Dakota has one of the nation's toughest anti-abortion laws. The Governor Jack Dalrymple signed a measure yesterday confirming it's a direct challenge to Roe V. Wade the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion.

So this law bans most abortions after six weeks of conception and that's roughly the time that a fetal heartbeat can be detected. It's also roughly many people are pregnant well past six weeks before they even realize they're pregnant. Dalrymple is asking the legislature to set aside money for legal battles he is expecting.

This is really interesting. And of course, clearly the governor points out that the strategy is exactly that, to do this so that they bring this legal challenge to the fore. I think this could be politically a challenge.

CHRIS FRATES, REPORTER, "NATIONAL JOURNAL": I think so. I think what you see with what the governor is doing, what struck me so much, was the parallels to the same-sex marriage arguments today, right? We're looking for a definitive ruling from the Supreme Court but clearly, we have a definitive ruling 30, 40 years ago on abortion.

But states are still trying to make laws still challenging it that this is kind of a never-ending process. So even if we get to the definitive out of the Supreme Court in June on gay marriage that won't stop stating from continuing to try to push the boundaries as South Dakota is doing.

ROLAND MARTIN, HOST, "WASHINGTON WATCH WITH ROLAND MARTIN": The thing is to be as definitive. You can look at Supreme Court making decision in the affordable care act. Where is the battle now, on the state level, as well.

So states have always made the argument, look, there are state's rights and federal rights and that's part of the problem here. And so the real battles in public policy are not taking place in Washington, D.C. on the state level, you have 30 Republican governors in this country. Republicans now control more state legislatures than Democrats, as well. Don't just focus on D.C., look at 50 states.

JOE SOLMONESE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GAVIN/SOLMONESE: That has been the fight since Roe to roll back reproductive rights in this country state by state in some rather nefarious ways. They've generally gone at zoning issues. They go at Planned Parenthood. Redefining Planned Parenthood so that for instance in some states you have to have a pharmacist on duty for 24 hours.

O'BRIEN: Everyone is figuring out what transvaginal sonogram actually meant.

MARTIN: Yes.

O'BRIEN: That was a low point in that state.

MARTIN: The Mississippi law where they say you have to have credentials at a local hospital and then the hospital wouldn't grant credentials.

SOLMONESE: But it's interesting that you bring up the parallel to same-sex marriage because if you rarely find anyone nowadays who finds the notion that you're going to undo Roe to be a palatable political argument, boy, there are lots of ways around the edges that they can go at this. And I wonder, you know, about what that forecast could be around same-sex marriage and how they might go about that.

O'BRIEN: Absolutely. We're also waiting for day two of that same-sex marriage debate happening at the Supreme Court. The justices are going to hear arguments for and against DOMA, which stands for the defense of marriage act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

DOMA also prohibits same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits of marriage regardless of what their state law says. Joining us to talk a little bit more about that is Governor Rick Scott from the state of Florida. It's nice to see you, Governor. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate it.

GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: So, Soledad, are you moving to Florida? Everybody's moving to Florida.

O'BRIEN: You know, I'm thinking about taking a little vacation to Florida. I've got a little time coming up. I love Mia, going to visit my friends in a few days. Yes, you know, let's talk about that, Governor. Let's talk about this first, actually.

SCOTT: Sure.

O'BRIEN: Give me a sense of where you think this conversation around same-sex marriage is going? Because I was trying to figure out if this was something that you were -- I believe you were against it, just from some of the things that you said about your -- your opponent back in 2010. So why don't you state your position on the record for me.

SCOTT: Well, first off, as you know, in Florida we're a traditional marriage state. In 2008, the voters put in the constitution that marriage is between a man and woman. As you know, I've been married since I was 19. So I believe in traditional marriage.

But, Soledad, in Florida, we're focused on jobs. We -- and that's why you probably saw the ad we put up that we are -- we are -- we're going to become better braggers than Texas about how we are getting more jobs to turn our economy around, there's a stunning contrast to the four years before I became governor. It's jobs, jobs, jobs.

O'BRIEN: So, I've been married since I was 30, which is probably a couple years less than you've been married and actually I'm sort of a believer in --

SCOTT: A couple years now.

O'BRIEN: About two years almost, we're working on. And I kind of believe that marriage is, you know, pretty much for anybody who feels like they want to enter into what can be kind of a crazy time.

I'm curious to go back to that before we go to jobs. How do you feel that these two cases that are now before the Supreme Court are going to turn out? Prop 8 and DOMA. Give me a sense of where you realistically they they're going to end up.

SCOTT: You know, Soledad, I'm not very good at picking what the Supreme Court's going to do. I'm not a very good pundit of those things. If you ask me about where jobs are going, but I'm very good about how picking where the Supreme Court goes.

O'BRIEN: I capitulate. Let's talk jobs for a moment, sir. Clearly we're not going to be talking about marriage or the Supreme Court. Our hands are tied. Let's move on.

So you have a new web site that, that -- that talks a lot about your job record and I want to play a little of that before I ask you a question about that. Let's play a little bit, guys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: I've been fortunate enough where since I've run this facility I've had the opportunity to hire over 150 people. Put food on the table, takes care of the families. What do we want more in Florida? We want more Florida jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: OK, so you've raised a lot of money already for this and so I guess we're already looking at, at 2014 and your re-election campaign, right? I mean, that's what that ad is saying even though we're only at the beginning of 2013?

SCOTT: What it really is, is I want Florida to learn to be a better, brighter than Texas. We've had a stunning contrast in the last few years as far as you know what's happened. The four years before I became governor we lost 800,000 jobs. In less than two years, a little over two years we generated about 300,000 jobs.

So Governor Perry is always bragging about how great Texas is. Look, 230,000 people moved here last year, almost 300,000 private sector jobs, a little over two years. First time in five years we're below the national average in unemployment.

So there's a stunning contrast, so I want everybody to go to it's workingflorida.com and see what we're doing. And I want you to move to Florida. There are 260,000 job openings right now in the state and you'll love it. We have better weather.

O'BRIEN: I thought you were just asking me personally. Now you're just opening up to pretty much anybody. I see how it is. When you look at the polling --

SCOTT: Soledad, I'll just focus on you.

O'BRIEN: OK, thank you. As the anchor I always appreciate that. Listen, let me ask you seriously about your challenges. When you look at the polling and this is a Quinnipiac poll, vote For Florida Governor, Looking At Registered Voters, You're Far Behind Charlie Crist if he is going to challenge you in the election were today, you would lose handily.

SCOTT: Well, as you know, the election is not today. So, it's November 2014. And the real poll that matters is the third Friday of every month, is what unemployment is. Now, you know the president's going to come down on Friday, down to Miami, and he's going to brag about what we're doing.

And as Ronald Reagan said something like it doesn't, it -- you don't care who gets the credit, you can get a lot of things done. I'm glad that Florida families, all families, have the opportunity for a job now.

O'BRIEN: Governor Rick Scott, always nice to talk to you, sir. You know my last day is on Friday so that's might be our last opportunity unless something happens in the great state of Florida between now and then.

SCOTT: I'm sure you'll be down here. We'll get to work together again.

O'BRIEN: Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

MARTIN: You can keep trying. It's all good.

O'BRIEN: Moving on. Ahead on STARTING POINT, pity the fool who challenges Mr. T. on ice. We'll tell you why he suited up at the Chicago Black Hawks game that's coming up next on the "Bleacher Report."

And then Tom Hanks is making his Broadway debut in Nora Ephron's final work. We're going to talk with his costar Courtney Vance about his highly anticipated play. It's called "Lucky Guy."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Time for "Bleacher Report." Joe Carter joins us with today's sports. Good morning, Joe.

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad. Andy Enfield, the head coach of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. This guy, Andy Enfield, virtually unknown last week, and seems a lot of people are talking about him and his team this week.

Of course, they're the Cinderella story of the NCAA Tournament. Enfield and his wife, Amanda, who is a former cover girl model, sat down with CNN's Rachel Nichols yesterday and it's clear during their discussion that their three kids also enjoying dad's basketball success this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My oldest daughter's focus is to go to Target, buy dinosaur from the dollar bin because that was the -- that was promised after we got back from the tournament.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told her if she won the first game she could get a dinosaur, and my other daughter would get a Barbie.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do they get if you win game three?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They get more. I've already agreed to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARTER: All parents can definitely understand that kind of bribery. The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles shocked the sports world. They are the first 15 seed to advance to the sweet 16. They will play Friday night against third seeded Florida. That game is at Cowboys Stadium, tip- off time 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

The story getting the most buzz this morning on bleacherreport.com has to be Manti Te'O, the linebacker made up for a disappointing performance from the NFL Combine by running a faster 40 yard dash at Notre Dame's pro day yesterday.

Some experts say his new time greatly improves his draft status, up to a possible first round pick. Others are saying we're not quite convinced he's an NFL star quite yet.

Chicago native, Mr. T., yes, Mr. T. was at a Black Hawks game last night. The legendary '80s actor had this to say before a shoot the puck competition.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your prediction for shoot the puck?

MR. T.: Pain! I pity that puck! I pity it!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARTER: Mr. T. was involved in a slap shot contest during an intermission of the Blackhawks game. Look at that. He took three shots, made the third one. Crowd went wild. I don't know what's better, Soledad, the prediction or the shot itself. I pity the puck.

O'BRIEN: Equally good. And you know, that's a man who has taken a line and just run with it for his entire career. We celebrate that. He's working that.

MARTIN: Work your brain, baby. Work your brain.

O'BRIEN: Thank you, Joe.

Ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, he starred in the hit show "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Now Courtney b. Vance is back on Broadway.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: From Hollywood to the great white way, Tom Hanks making a Broadway debut as "New York" newspaper columnist Mike McLary. Two- time Tony nominee, Courtney B. Vance says the play's editor three-time academy Norah Ephron's final work.

The play is getting rave reviews, and the line up, George H. Wolf, won a couple of Tonys. I mean, it's just an amazing cast. Tell me what it feels like to do something that is incredibly special.

COURTNEY B. VANCE, ACTOR, "LUCKY GUY": I'm so thankful to be aboard. We did the reading about a year ago, and I -- it was amazing. I got a nice note from Norah afterward, we spent four days with her, with George C., and I thought that was the end of it, and I heard it was back again.

And I have to say that George C. Wolf's vision, I think we all agree, the cast would agree, the vision is so enormous, we had no idea the play was as big. He always says -- rehearsal, he says there is an easy way to do this play and we're not doing it. It's massive, complex.

O'BRIEN: The logistics are hard. You are in a way, set the tone with the way you sort of set up the feeling of sort of tabloid New York at times, maybe a little slower. What did you like about the role of the guy who is editing, a guy who is a little out of control? VANCE: Right, a very interesting journey, because I was just about to get starting talking to Harrison's wife at the beginning of the rehearsal process, and we couldn't talk to them, the producer asked us not to talk to the people for legal reasons, and by the time I was freed up, I heard I could traumatic to her, we were in the middle of rehearsals and I didn't have time.

I didn't have a chance, and it was like Harrison was like a ghost. I couldn't find anything on him. So the fact that this play is -- has been done, it's -- it means so much to Harrison's wife and family because he was an editor so there is not a lot on him, the information is really on McElroy. So I'm just thankful that because of this, people get to know a little bit about Harrison. I couldn't find anything on him.

O'BRIEN: You're a two-time Tony Award nominee. Last time, you were on Broadway, it was 20 years ago.

VANCE: Had to say it.

O'BRIEN: Do you have the anxiety? You know Tom Hanks must be having, making his broad way debut.

VANCE: I did a play with my wife about eight years ago at the gut Rhode Island. And I had anxiety. As soon as I stepped on stage, it all came back. She said, well -- we were on stage together and I took off. Wait, hold on. It's in my body, it's in there. As soon as you step on the stage, it starts again. I'm glad to be back. Been a couple of years, and I'm glad to be back.

MARTIN: You normally play these cool, reserved characters, like are you right now. Do you want an outrageous role where get to be buck wild crazy?

VANCE: Yes. Because you said that --

O'BRIEN: Now it's done.

MARTIN: Watching all of your movies, you are the cool man, but never just outlandish crazy.

O'BRIEN: The play is "Lucky Guy." Buck wild. Nice to have you, Courtney. Courtney B. Vance starring in "Buck Wild."

Let's move on. David Petraeus speaking out publicly for the first time since his affair went public and he had to leave the CIA.

And Julia Stiles back on the big screen with a new comedy about the end of the world. She joins us with a look at her new movie called "It's A Disaster." You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Welcome, everybody. Our STARTING POINT this morning.