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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Holy Week in the Vatican; Actor Richard Griffiths has Died; Bedtime Bandit Strikes; "Dear World" Photo Project; Drilling Down on Success

Aired March 29, 2013 - 08:30   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Our senior international correspondent Jim Bitterman is following all of this in Rome. And Jim, really does seem to be doing things very differently almost every day now.

JIM BITTERMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I think we'll see a very different style from this pope. He's made it pretty clear all the way along that he wants the same style reflected by his clergy. He said several times in the ten days he's been pope basically that they should get out, get out of their churches, get out on the streets, get out with the people. And he's emphasized again and again the whole need to address the poor. He said at one point, apparently this is a report going around here, that he's told the other cardinals when he was talking to them to the general congregation, that the vanity of power is a sin for the church, and what he meant by that is that the trappings of power are sins for the church, and that is to say, the kind of things we have seen already is abandonment of the red shoes, for example, his simplistic way of dressing, his iron cross. A lot of different things that he himself manifests are exactly the kind of things that reflect his belief of where the church should be, John.

BERMAN: Of course, we're waiting to see what we might hear from him in Easter weekend. Jim Bitterman in Rome, our thanks to you.

A new arrest to tell you about in the baby killing case in Brunswick, Georgia. Two teens are ccused of shooting to death a 13-month-old baby. Now, a city commissioner is charged with witness tampering and obstruction. He allegedly prevented an investigator from talking to the mother of one of the shooting suspects.

A zoo keeper in Quebec hospitalized and in stable condition this morning after surviving an attack by a Siberian tiger. The keeper was cleaning the tiger pen when he was attacked by a female Siberian. The animals are supposed to be kept in a separate enclosure whenever their pen is cleaned. An investigation underway to determine why the tiger was even there.

The Obama administration moving to require cleaning blends of gasoline in vehicles that emit less pollution. Reports say the EPA is set to announce the new rules today. They would require less sulfur in gas and cleaner vehicles on the road by 2017. The oil industry claims it could send gas prices up 9 cents per gallon. The government and some environmental groups say it's more like a penny. So a new diet book is climbing to the top of the "New York Times" bestseller lest. "The Fast Diet," also known as the "5:2" diet, allows normal eating five days a week and fasting eating just 500 to 600 calories for two nonconsecutive days. The author, British medical journalist Dr. Michael Mosley. Discovered this while working on a TV science show as the human guinea pig.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. MICHAEL MOSELY, CREATOR, THE FAST DIET: I agreed to be tested. Quite painful. Prodded, measured, and monitored to find out what it takes to feel younger, look better and maybe even live longer. This goes against absolutely everything I was taught when I was in medical school.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The health, diet and exercise focused science series comes to PBS Exploration Wednesday. Premiering April 3 at 10PM eastern time. And you can check our interview with Dr. Mosley on our blog at startingpoint.blog.CNN.com. Dot. Dot. Dot

(LAUGHTER)

British actor British actor Richard Griffiths has died. This is sad. He was best known in America, by many people, young people especially, for his role in "Harry Potter" films. He was a terrific actor though. Griffiths played Harry's unsympathetic muggle guardian Uncle Vernon. His agent says the doctor died of complications following heart surgery at a hospital in Coventry, England. Griffiths was 65.

An incredible story to tell you about out of Illinois. A state trooper saved a man who was hit and pinned underneath a sliding car during snowstorm on Monday. He lifted the car off the man.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TROOPER BRIAN, SCOTT, ILLINOIS STATE POLICE: I told the guys next to me we were going to count down to three, and we'll lift and I said you pull him out.

ETHAN ASOFSKY, RESCUED BY TROOPER: And in one swoop, just, I was out from under the car. And just thank God. Like there is no way I should be here right now or at least in this capacity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMANS: Scott reunited with Ethan Asofsky yesterday under much better circumstances and they got a surprise visit from Governor Pat Quinn. Quinn called the rescue inspiring. He then unwrapped a framed commendation for Scott.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, my goodness. Wow. Amazing.

Here is a question for you. What would you do for a pillow pet? Would you break and enter someone's room and steal it? BERMAN: What would you do?

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Here is a little bandit right there. A 2-year-old, his name is Kyle Moser and when his sister's toys started going missing, she pointed the finger at him. Parents set up a sting operation in the hope of catching somebody in the act and struck gold video wise. Kyle's parents Joann and Mike Moser are in Salt Lake City and they join us this morning. Oh my gosh, we were watching that yesterday, that is hilarious to see. What made you think it was the 2-year-old, your son Kyle who was the breaking and entering?

JOANN MOSER, MOTHER OF "BEDTIME BANDIT": Our daughter came and told us that he was the one going in there, and he liked to play in her room and get into her toys and we know he's a wanderer at night. So that's kind of how we knew.

O'BRIEN: So, you set up a camera. How long did you have to wait before you got some evidence?

MIKE MOSER, FATHER OF "BEDTIME BANDIT": About three minutes. Right after we put him to bed.

O'BRIEN: Really?

J. MOSER: We put him to bed. Made sure her door was locked, turned on the camera, walked away, and within a few minutes, we heard the door open. I walked over to the hall to listen and mouthing to my husband, he's doing it.

O'BRIEN: What exactly was he doing? The door was locked. He really was like picking the lock. How was he doing that?

J. MOSER: He -- we didn't realize until later, after, we had videotaped it and went in and looked underneath the pillow, he was using a fingernail clippers, a little pair of fingernail clippers he flipped open.

O'BRIEN: Wow.

MOSER: We were quite surprised at that.

BERMAN: I have 6-year-old twins who I think are destined for a life of crime, much like this. And when I see things like this I am always struck with a combination of admiration and also fear. Which is it for you? Is it admiration for ingenuity or fear for what may be to come?

M. MOSER: There's a little of both. He's definitely one that likes to figure things out. And he's always been that way, but we need to direct him in a positive way.

J. MOSER: We have to give him a good sense of right and wrong now, because he's going to do whatever he wants later.

O'BRIEN: Or look at reform schools, might be another option.

J. MOSER: Right.

O'BRIEN: What did you do? He's 2 years old, do you punish him, tell him not to break into his sister's room, change the lock?

BERMAN: High five?

J. MOSER: The next day we just went in and talked to him and said we don't open locked doors and he really hasn't bothered it since. He figured out oh, okay. I'm not supposed to open locked doors gone on his way and not opening them anymore.

BERMAN: Say that's awesome and never do it again.

O'BRIEN: For god sakes, he just wants a pillow pet, will you get him his own pillow pet so he doesn't have to steal one from his sister?

J. MOSER: We're going to consider that.

O'BRIEN: Listen, do the pillow pet now, don't worry about the reform school later is what I would say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I bet what he's plotting right now, he's trying to figure out how to overcome your video surveillance.

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: It was very, very cute to see that video yesterday. We'll check in about 16 years, see how it's going for you.

J. MOSER: Hopefully we're on a good path.

O'BRIEN: Joann and Mike Moeser, the parents of a little bedtime bandit. So cute.

Got to take a break. Still ahead on STARTING POINT. A visual social experiment began in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continues through other major disasters too, including Superstorm Sandy. The founder of "Dear World," Robert Fogharty, and a New York City first responder are going to join us live to talk about how they are using photographs to spread the message of recovery.

You're watching STARTING POINT, back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody you're watching STARTING POINT. The photo started as a love note to New Orleans after Katrina. "Dear World" has since grown into a movement of sorts. Portraits of people with words on their hands or arms, expressing their thoughts. The most recent project, is in Breezy Point, New York, which of course was devastated after Hurricane Sandy. Robert Fogarty is the founder and photographer behind "Dead World," he joins us along with one of the men he photographed, Sebastian Danese who is a New York City police officer and also Breezy Point volunteer firefighter. Nice to have you both with us.

ROBERT FOGARTY, FOUNDER, DEAR WORLD: Thank you for having us.

O'BRIEN: We talked before. You shot amazing pictures in Joplin, Missouri, New Orleans, and Breezy Point, the photos will take your breath away. Why are think the photographs are so effective when they are combined with magic marker-scrawled message.

FOGARTY: I have always enjoyed portraits and I think adding a level and a layer of a person's voice right into the pixels is an important way to convey a message. We started running with the idea and just keep moving toward asking people to share stories. So I think our Breezy Point work is indicative of everyone has a story.

O'BRIEN: It's breathtaking and Sebastian, you are the focus in one of the photographs. Is it annoying when a photographer comes into a disaster, and you're a police officer and firefighter, and someone wants to come in like at the lowest moment. What was your first reaction?

SEBASTIAN DANESE, NYPD/FDNY VOLUNTEER: Yes, it gets annoying sometimes, but Rob came in with tact and class. He called us ahead of time. We knew it was going to happen. Not someone throwing a camera in front of your face. It was all volunteer. So, it was done right.

O'BRIEN: Tell us about

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Write on your hands.

DANESE: Well, that's good too, because when you deal with the press, you say a lot of things but if you don't say the right sound bites, you never know what's going to get on TV. With Rob, at least, you have your message right there.

O'BRIEN: Tell us about the night in Breezy Point, when superstorm Sandy was rolling through. You are a New York City police officer, but you started in Breezy Point to help with rescue. What was that like?

DANESE: Yeah, I'm a volunteer with the Point Breeze volunteer firehouse. It was my day off from NYPD work and we got a call that the FDNY was pulling out but that most of the residents stayed behind. We had to make a choice to stay or go, they were going to close the bridge at 7:00. We had a powwow, decided we would stay. It was scary, hurricane Sandy was devastating for my community, but we stayed, rescued 40 some odd people, and us and the other two volunteer firehouses there, and in the end no one died. In our community, we had horrible structural damage and property damage.

O'BRIEN: Oh, my gosh, the fire horrific, I remember covering that as a reporter, no one lost their lives.

DANESE: Not a single person died.

O'BRIEN: Tell me about what you wrote on your body. Uncommon valor was a common virtue. DANESE: We were trying to decide what to write. The guys were kind of milling around and people wanted to say a lot of hopeful stuff, which is good. I was thinking back to the night of hurricane Sandy, the night of the fire, on a couple of situations we should have all died three or four times, and we kept going, and we kept the fire contained with all the FDNY that was able to show up so, I wanted to say something about bravery. And I was thinking back to the history books and I remember Admiral Nimitz used that quote to describe the war in the pacific and the men who fought there. So I thought it was appropriate.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Rob, you are conveying a message and story as you said, but also producing pieces of art. Are you helping people like Sebastian with that message? Is there an editing process? Or does he get to put on his body whatever he chooses?

FOGARTY: The project, I keep pretty universal. I asked them to share one message to someone or something they care about, and I think what is really beautiful about the project, we kind of get out of the way, so all the messages are pretty much come from the heart, the minds of the photo subject.

MARTIN: As the photographer, are you thinking about setting and all of the other pieces as well?

FOGARTY: Of course, yeah. That's our job. So, we had a team out in Breezy Point I want to that David Reese (ph) who was a co-director of mine, lives in New Orleans. So we think, we make the lighting and all of that work. It's really the message comes from them, but I think our job is to make something beautiful and their job is to come up with something that is meaningful to them.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What's your favorite portrait?

FOGARTY: I would say -- you know today, it's Sebastian.

LIZZA: You know if there's a part of the present company excluded.

FOGARTY: This was --

LIZZA: Yes.

FOGARTY: -- in all honesty, Sebastian is an amazing individual that I've gotten to meet. And also from Breezy Point, Time Brennan, he wrote the reason why we follow so we can get up -- get up again and so between these two guys, they are wonderful people to know, and I'm just honored to have them in the collection.

O'BRIEN: How is Breezy Point doing? I mean, I remember the days after originally there's the smouldering ruins it was really a crazy story to cover as a New Yorker but who's reporting you know kind of a little bit from the distance on that story. How -- how are (inaudible) in Breezy Point?

DANESE: We are rebuilding. You know it's just one day at a time. It's still -- it's still a little bit of a disaster, but you know, we're doing ok.

O'BRIEN: If folks want to see your photos, Robert where can they go?

FOGARTY: They can go to Dearworld.me.

O'BRIEN: Dearworld.me to take a look at the photos are absolutely -- it's heart-stopping to people.

FOGARTY: Thank you so much for having us.

O'BRIEN: Nice to have you as well. Robert Fogarty and Sebastian Danese joining us this morning. I appreciate it.

Excuse me.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, a wrong way accident sends a truck over the edge of an overpass. We'll tell you what happened there. Dire looking pictures. We're back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, everyone.

Chief Justice John Roberts, a victim of credit card fraud? Apparently someone stole his credit card numbers. He was overheard talking about this at his favorite Starbucks, he had to use cash to pay for his coffee because he canceled the compromised card. I figure the Chief Justice can get good credit though and find another card for you.

Checking out this teetering truck in Huntsville, Alabama, police say the pickup was going the wrong way on an overpass last night when it hit two cars. The driver lost control, the truck ended up crashing over the guard rail dangling on the edge.

Rescue crews did get to the driver who was pinned inside. Two people were seriously hurt one with some life-threatening injuries.

Just look at these pictures right now, check out this convenience store clerk in Virginia, turning the tables on a shotgun wielding robber. The suspect enters the store with the weapon raised the clerk just rushes him and takes the gun right out of his hand. The thief then ran away, gunless no one was hurt.

O'BRIEN: That's pretty brave.

MARTIN: Yes that's a convenient store --

BERMAN: A lot of brave people out there.

MARTIN: Yes indeed.

O'BRIEN: Camden, New Jersey, is apparently one of the most violent cities in the country and if that's not enough it has -- also has one of New Jersey's lowest high school graduation rates.

So this week's CNN Hero is on a mission to turn that around. Keeping kids off the streets and helping them beat the odd. Meet Tawanda Jones.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAWANDA JONES, CHAMPIONING CHILDREN: Who are we?

It's very hard for children growing up in Camden today. It's dangerous. You can hear gunshots almost every other night. These kids want more. They don't want to be dodging bullets for the rest of their life.

My name is Towanda Jones and my mission is to empower the youth of Camden, New Jersey through the structure of drill team.

What I try to do in order for them to go to the right path is simple. If you instill discipline -- drill team is really just a facade to bring these children in because it's something I love them to do. And once I have them, I introduce them to college life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: CSS takes me a whole lot. My dad was shot and killed. When my dad passed, I stopped going to class, I started hanging with the wrong people.

JONES: Did you complete your homework? Let me check it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is my second mom. Without her, I don't know where I would be right now.

JONES: In Camden the high school graduation rate is 49 percent, but in my program, it is 100 percent graduating. We have never had a dropout.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My grades now, I have a GPA of a 3.0. I want to be a sports manager.

JONES: We need to take back our city and most importantly, take back our youth, let them know that we really care about them.

I don't think people really understand how important it is to have these children succeed. When you do this, you get great rewards. It's better than money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Amazing. If you want to learn more about Tawanda's work you can also nominate someone who is doing their part to make the world a better place. Go to CNNHeroes.com.

"End Point" is up next. We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: All right, it's time for "End Point". And who wants to start. Will Cain.

CAIN: You want me to start this?

O'BRIEN: Why not?

CAIN: Well listen, I think many will know this is your last day.

O'BRIEN: Yes Lord.

CAIN: And I'm really happy you've had the chance to allow me to enlighten you over the past year.

O'BRIEN: I so appreciate that Mr. Cain.

LIZZA: What (inaudible) you change your mind based on Will's commentary?

O'BRIEN: Absolutely nothing. Thanks for asking.

CAIN: We've had our ups and downs, we've had our debates on various issues. I want to say that over the past year, I have really enjoyed getting to know you as a person.

O'BRIEN: Well, thank you. I appreciate. Don't suck up to me now.

Ok. Roland, what have you got?

MARTIN: I flat-out enjoyed being on the panel for the last year. Of course, you and I have had a remarkable friendship in my six years here. Last show for you, my final day at CNN next week as well.

And somebody was named NADJ journalist of the year.

MARTIN: Absolutely. And you won the award in 2011. I appreciate it. Thank you very much. And so I will absolutely miss working with you but also the crew. Fantastic folks in the studio as well.

O'BRIEN: That's very true. Ryan Lizza.

LIZZA: Well, I've been privileged being on the show.

O'BRIEN: Can you top that? Because they have been really nice.

MARTIN: What's the question.

LIZZA: (inaudible) politics and I just -- a shout-out to a year's worth of some of the best interviews with politicians --

MARTIN: That's right.

O'BRIEN: Thank you. Thank you.

LIZZA: -- during the 2012 campaign. You should be very proud of that body of work.

O'BRIEN: Thank you. Thank you. Actually I am for our entire team. Mr. Berman.

BERMAN: Well, you know, John Sununu could not be here this morning.

LIZZA: I know. I speak for him.

O'BRIEN: Or shout for him.

BERMAN: I know I speak for him when I say, you know, it's been incredibly interesting, incredibly exciting and I just want to thank you for letting me sit here and watch and be a part of a really interesting, fantastic year.

O'BRIEN: That's so sweet. Thank you. Thank you with all the shouting.

So my "End Point". I'm going to do "End Point" this morning.

MARTIN: All right. Go ahead.

O'BRIEN: Because the "End Point" is really the "End Point". My tenure obviously at the helm of the show ends today. And I'm not going to be covering daily news for CNN after today.

Over the last decade at CNN I have had a really great chance to cover some of the biggest stories, I think it's fair to say, of our time, like the Asian tsunami and the earthquake at Haiti and our entire political season last year and Hurricane Katrina obviously.

I want to take a moment just to highlight something that was really important and made me very proud when we were covering Hurricane Katrina. We had spent the first two weeks living in an RV on Canal Street and we pretty much were disgustingly dirty and hadn't showered in weeks and we were -- at the end of the two weeks, leaving out of the Baton Rouge airport and we had our CNN baseball caps on, because we were just a mess. And we walked into the airport and everyone gave us a standing ovation, because we had covered the story so well.

And at that moment it really made me incredibly proud to be a reporter, working with really great journalists. So I think if I have learned anything over the past year, it's that facts matter and we shouldn't be afraid to have tough and honest conversations and maybe even argue a little bit when there is a lot at stake. And yes, Governor Sununu, I am talking to you.

Up next for me, I'm going to continue to focus on the 25 girls that we serve -- we send girls to college with my foundation. Continue focus too on good journalism, examining the critical issues that our country faces from jobs to poverty and focusing on the people who have stories to tell in this country and often those stories don't get told.

Huge thanks to my colleagues here at STARTING POINT. We have worked some very insane hours to bring strong journalism and important stories to our viewers. And a big thanks, of course, to the crew. I have known most of these guys -- mostly guys -- over the last ten years. My kids have literally grown up in this building, and it's been a really wonderful organization to have been a part of.

That is it for STARTING POINT as we like to say. Have a great weekend. I will not see you back here on Monday, but have a Happy Easter everybody. "CNN NEWSROOM" with Fredricka Whitfield begins right now.

Thanks guys.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, all the best, Soledad, and we'll miss you. And I know we'll cross paths again because we always do.

All right. Happening right now in the "NEWSROOM", a dentist's office, described as a menace to public health.