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U.S. Diplomat Killed In Afghanistan; Rick Warren's Youngest Son Dead At 27; U.S. Missile Test Being Delayed; Louisville Beats Wichita State

Aired April 7, 2013 - 17:00   ET

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


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Another U.S. service member was killed in a separate attack. We'll have details.

North Korea could be days away from testing a missile. Tensions are so high on the Korean peninsula, it is creating a ripple effect. A U.S. missile test is being delayed so as not to send conflicting messages to North Korea.

All right, the new season of "Mad Men" is starting tonight. Straight ahead, we will talk with a cast member who says he never dreamed he'd actually work on his favorite television show.

To Afghanistan now, where six Americans were killed in two separate attacks yesterday. One of those being remembered is a 25- year-old diplomat named Ann Smetinghoff. She was in the military convoy delivering books to schools in southern Afghanistan. U.S. secretary of state John Kerry spoke about her today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: When I was in Afghanistan she was part of my team and she was someone who worked hard and put her life on the line so that others could live a better life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Athena Jones is at the White House for us now.

So Athena, what else is being said?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon, Fredricka.

Well, we are hearing from Ann Smettinghoff's parents that she died doing what she loved. This is a young woman who joined the foreign services right out of college three years ago. Her father spoke to one of CNN affiliate. Let's listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM SMETTINGHOFF, ANNE SMETINGHOFF'S FATHER: We always knew in the back of our minds that this was a possibility. She did it all. She went everywhere. She usually told us about it afterwards. But she never expressed any fear at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: So, that's what we are hearing, that this young woman was fearless and optimistic. I should mention that her Chicago area neighborhood is being decorated with flags and flowers in remembrance of her, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Too sad.

All right, there was also a NATO air strike in Afghanistan that Afghan leaders claim killed 18 people, including children. What more do we know about those air strikes?

JONES: Well, we know that NATO's international security assistance force is investigating this incident, that their spokesman said we take these reports of civilian injuries very seriously. And so, we expect to learn more about that as they learn as well, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Athena Jones there at the White House.

JONES: Thanks.

WHITFIELD: North Korea could test a missile this week according to South Korea. Seoul based that assessment on the north urging workers to leave an industrial complex near the border by April 10th.

Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is live for us now from Washington.

So Barbara, we know the U.S. has delayed a planned missile test to avoid any kind of misconceived notions about the intent. What is the latest response from Washington?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Fredricka.

A minute man missile test, a U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile long planned test now being delayed because they don't want to send any signal that could inadvertently or perhaps deliberately cause North Korea to believe it is a provocation. That's a pretty extraordinary step to take.

We are also seeing the U.S. really trying to sort of tamp things down, really kind of talk the line of diplomacy there. In fact, a U.S. military meeting with the South Koreans that was scheduled for Washington this week which the top U.S. commander in Korea was going to attend. All of that has been put off now. Those officials believe they need to stay in Korea and monitor the situation. And as you said, a lot of concern, however, about this upcoming April 10th day when South Korean workers are told to be out of this industrial area in North Korea that they work in - Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And, Barbara, a lot of politicians have been looking to China to put pressure on North Korea. Listen to what the former ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, had to stay on "State of the Union." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON HUNTSMAN (R), FORMER UTAH GOVERNOR: They have economic leverage. Does the north listen to that? No. They lie and they cheat as it relates to China as well. But people do busy with people. In the old days Mao Tse-Tung (ph) had a relationship with Kim Il-Song. I don't think Kim Jong Un, the 29-year-old who is now in power, has spent any time with these leaders at all. In fact, it is probably safe to say Dennis Rodman, the American basketball player has probably had more face time with Kim Jong Un than the president of China.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And so Barbara, are those some of the same concerns being expressed to the pentagon?

STARR: Well, I think this economic issue really is the one that people are looking at right now. China, in fact, is probably the only country minimal though it may be that North Korea really talks to on a regular basis. China today saying they don't want the North Koreans to unsettle the region, to cause trouble on their own agenda, if you will, that's going to upset Asia.

You know, this is the economic powerhouse. The Chinese want to see economic stability in the region and they know North Korea has the ability to upset that if they conduct these missile tests or even another nuclear test possibly.

So the Chinese, the fact this they're even talking about this right now, could be a hopeful sign that they're going to get involved in trying to ratchet things down.

WHITFIELD: All right. Barbara Starr, thanks so much in Washington.

Mega church pastor Rick Warren is mourning the loss of his youngest son, Matthew Warren, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Friday. His father says the 27-year-old Warren had a life-long battle with mental illness.

In an e-mail to his congregation, Warren and his wife said quote "no words can express the anguished grief we feel right now."

Nick Valencia joining us live from outside the Saddleback church in southern California.

Nick, what is being said by the community there? And then, what about even an investigation as to where the gun came from, if he purchased the gun on his own, is that kind of conversation taking place among law enforcement?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the conversation here at the church, they're being very tight lipped about the details they will receive. We know there's already been a coroner statement and the autopsy is expected to be conducted this week. But outside here, Saddleback church, in Lake Forest, California, it was a very solemn sermon, a lot of very sad faces. You get the sense this is more of a family than a church. It explains why Pastor Rick Warren's congregation is so large, Fredricka. It numbered over 20,000 people.

Matthew Warren, 27-year-old son, youngest son of Pastor Rick Warren, was a very important role here - played a very important role here at the church. He was more of a quiet leader though. He worked in the mail division of the church.

Earlier today, the church provided us with two people who knew Pastor Warren's son. They told me that he was extremely sweet, just a very compassionate individual, the type of person that could tell when somebody was in pain because he himself was going through so much.

Earlier, I spoke to one of his friend and asked him how Matthew Warren would have wanted to be remembered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE CONSTANTZ, SADDLEBACK CHURCH MEMBER: He was one of those young men who even in his most challenging times, when other people would kind of share their problems and their suffering, he would just enter into those times and express his concern for them and how he wanted to somehow try to help them and reach out to them even in some of his most challenging times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALENCIA: Today's sermon was delivered by Matthew's uncle, Tom Holladay. It was the first in a series of sermons on getting through tough times. Today's sermon was titled "how to survive your worst day." Now, Pastor Rick Warren is recovering from a case of pneumonia. He's not here today. But on Saturday, he released a statement about the death of his son. I just want to read you an excerpt of that. He says, "I'll never forget how many years ago, after another approach had failed to give relief, Matthew said dad, I know I'm going to heaven. Why can't I just die and end this pain."

There are so many people here 340u mourning the loss of 27-year- old Matthew Warren. And of course, Rick Warren, his church says he's always been there for his members. Now it is time for his members to be there for him -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: So sad.

So, Nick, is the family or anyone elaborating on what kind of mental illness are we talking about as it pertains to Matthew?

VALENCIA: You know, we asked those questions to his friends. And in fact, one of his friends that we spoke to didn't even want to convey that she knew that he had a mental illness. The other friend did tell me that he was aware of the conditions, they traveled together to Rwanda about nine years ago and he said over time he realized the condition and the illness - the debilitating illness that Matthew was suffering from. But, Fredricka, we can't emphasize enough how tight-lipped people are being here about the condition of Matthew and what he went through.

But, we do know from the statement from his father, Rick Warren, that this was something he battled with his whole life. It was something that led to him taking his own life.

WHITFIELD: So terribly sad.

All right. Thank you so much, Nick Valencia.

Crews are searching the Gulf of Mexico for two boys believed kidnapped by their parents. Joshua Hakken and his wife, Sharon, are accused of taking the two and 4-year-old boys from their grandparents' house in Tampa. The grandparents have custody of the boys. Hakken and his wife are believed to be anti-government and police say they may all be on a sailboat like the one you just saw.

All right, police now say this little girl left on a doorstep is Zoey Brown of Marietta, Georgia. Brown's parents were arrested Friday night. A man found Zoey on his doorstep in South Carolina Tuesday night. The 4-year-old is doing OK. She's in a foster home until officials can try and locate any relatives who may be able to care for her.

The championship game for college basketball's national title is just over 24 hours away now. Louisville and Michigan are the last of the 68 teams standing. Last night Louisville knock off Wichita state and Michigan ousted Syracuse. And tomorrow night, we will have a winner when the cardinals and wolverines square off right here in Atlanta.

But as we wait for that tip-off that thousand of sports fans who have flood the city are having a whole lot of fun right there. Can you believe that crowd? That is Centennial Olympic Park turned into a big free concert area.

And our Nischelle Turner has found a way to be right front and center of it all.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Grace Potter is on stage right now. She has got the crowd hopping already. You know, when she first started singing, folks started running toward the stage to get in place to enjoy the concert.

Now, after her at 6:00, Sting is going to take the stage. OK? Sting will be taking the stage. And after him, Dave Matthews will close out the show. And I'm told there will also be a fireworks show here at the big dance concert series.

Now, people have really been coming out here in droves. I was trying to figure out if I can get an official count. Last year in New Orleans about 140,000 people over the three-day period came out for the concerts. I tried to count myself but I stopped at about 53.

There are tens of thousands of people out here. It is packed and everyone is that having a great time. They are taking a break from basketball today. They will get back at it tomorrow, but today, it is all about the music -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Yes. All about some good free music.

All right, Nischelle Turner, thanks so much.

All right up next, gun control, the issue is back in the center spotlight as President Obama heads to Newtown, Connecticut tomorrow. Candy Crowley will be here to discuss what the president is trying to do to keep his promise to the victims of the Newtown massacre.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: This week President Obama heads to Connecticut trying to make good on a promise he made to the victim of the Newtown shooting there.

Earlier I spoke to our Candy Crowley about what's at stake and what lies ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: OK, Candy, so the president heads to Connecticut this week. He's hoping that perhaps Connecticut's new gun laws will help him promote tougher national gun legislation?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He's keeping the pressure up. And it is incumbent upon him to do it because he promised the families of Newtown and other families of victims of gunfire that he would do it.

Whether the fact that Connecticut, which is a heartbeat, you know, away from the tragedy in Newtown, whether they are passing strict gun laws - let's remember, they already had some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, somehow moves the U.S. Senate where gun reform goes next on a federal level, it is a hard case to make. But the president does know and toss feel that he has to make that case regardless of the outcome, simply because he has made so many promises to do so.

So what he, frankly, has said and what some of those around him have said is, give me something that makes the situation better. Maybe it won't be about assault weapons. Connecticut had a bill that added 100 new weapons to their assault weapons ban. Maybe it won't be about restricting the number of rounds that can be in a magazine. That probably won't happen on Capitol Hill. But the president and those around him, while they continue to fight for that, understand the political reality of that and what they want is something they can sign to fulfill a promise they feel the nation made post Newtown that will, as one aide put it recently, make things better.

WHITFIELD: And Candy, you spoke exclusively with governor Dan Malloy. And you know, he is imploring everyone to get on the bandwagon. He says not doing more is really counterintuitive. Just take a listen.

GOV. DAN MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: Tell me again why I can't get on a plane without someone doing a background check but I could walk into stores or to gun shows in the United States and no background check is done. It doesn't make any sense. That's why 92 percent of the American public wants to see legislation that requires universal background checks.

CROWLEY: Governor Malloy was very passionate in this interview, understandably so. He was there in that room with those parents when they first learned that their children had been murdered. But what is doable in Connecticut is not necessarily doable on a federal level.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Candy Crowley, host of CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," thank you.

All right, for the last team standing in the NCAA tournament, basketball has become more than just a game. Final two go head-to- head tomorrow for the ultimate prize. We will take a look at their chances next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: From 68 college basketball teams down to two. Louisville and Michigan. They will square off right here in Atlanta tomorrow night for college basketball's national title.

Our Rachel Nichols has been covering it all. She joins me now along with NPR's sports correspondent Mike Pesca.

We got in the house now. Good to see both of you.

This is going to be, really, an incredible duel, you know, for the championship. We are talking about Louisville, it's been since '96 being at the big dance, '93 for Michigan. But, do they come into this kind with equal footing, Rachel?

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Yes. Louisville has not been to this stage since '86. And for them that defensive press. We are going to see how that is going to holds up against Michigan's star-packed offense. Michigan's got a bunch of kids on their team who are the children of NBA players. Some real big names. People are great bloodlines. But, we will see how all of that matches up.

And then, of course, Louisville's coach, Rick Pitino, has had such an interesting career. I actually thought it was great he spoke earlier today about some of the battles he's had over the years. He failed spectacularly when he was the coach of the Boston Celtics. He talked a little bit about what that experience taught him humility. He said that he wishes earlier in his career, not the wind that he had wished he had more of. He wished that he been a bit more humble. He learned his lessons. And in any field, we have seen politicians, actors, who found through that same process and he said that he get to the stage, now great back up at the top of his profession with a different perspective. So, we will see if he wins tomorrow what he brings to the table. WHITFIELD: Has this, Mike, this stage, this arena, this season, is it bringing college basketball to a whole new level? Because it seems like the excitement is different this go-round. I don't know if it is all because of Kevin Ware, but is there something else that really kind of shines the spotlight on college basketball and how these young men really are playing like pros?

MIKE PESCA, NPR SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know what it is? I think a couple things. If you ask the college basketball cognizante, they would say it was a really bad year in terms of quality of play. That people can't make fouls and there were tons of fouls. But, last year Kentucky was so dominant and they were seemed so inevitable, and no one could slay goliath. And so maybe, the casual fan wouldn't have been drift by things.

So here, in the postseason you have this Kevin Ware injury. Then have you his substitute Tim Henderson that who made four three- pointers the entire year, it two key ones to really help propel them help propel them over Wichita state. So, you add it all up. It seems like no matter what happens with the regular season in college basketball, people get into their brackets, people get into the hoopla, the pageantry, and then in the finals, if you look at the ratings, they're up. In the finals people come together to watch what should and great game.

WHITFIELD: And no matter what, you know, irrespective of who wins, the star of the show here is clearly Kevin Ware, even with his injury. You brought in the facemask earlier everybody's walking around with. And we saw Ludicrous on stage yesterday wearing the jersey, you know, of Kevin Ware.

NICHOLS: (INAUDIBLE).

WHITFIELD: Yes. It's very cute. You know, and Nike and some other, you know, manufacturers have come out with the jersey or his number or something about Kevin Ware. They're making money off it. You can't help, you know, but follow up on that question with, well, what about Kevin Ware? Does he come out the winner in all this or is the support around him, those supporters come out the winners?

NICHOLS: Well, Adidas has definitely scaled back its "profiting" off of Kevin Ware's injury. They have seen this is not good PR for them, much less not the right thing to do. So, they have stopped putting together these t-shirts that were saying "win for Ware," things like that and donated some of the money that they did make. So, that issue is a little bit behind him.

Right now, what he is trying to sort of contribute to the team. Because, here you have a kid, he was a big part of this team and now all of a sudden they are at the biggest stage, maybe that they will ever get to when he is on the team. And he has to sit there on the sideline with his leg wrapped up. So, that's been a little bit of challenge for him himself. And I think he has found ways to do that. He came on to the court, hopped on up the steps and screamed defense at them when they were down the other day. He's been trying over these next 24 hours to try to sort of be that supportive person and I think the rest of the country is falling so in love with all of the things that he's trying to do, even without a leg, that --

WHITFIELD: So, so not Nike, strictly Adidas and other manufacturers.

PESCA: But I don't think they were being mercenary. It was requested by the school, do a shirt for Ware. And they didn't want to take so many of the profits. Believe me, I would be the first to point a finger in somebody was trying to take advantage of a situation. This case, I don't think they are.

I think what the Ware thing shows, kids have injuries all the time. This was public. This was gruesome. Triumph over adversity is the staple of sports. But it really does show that, as many problems as the NCAA and sports have, these teams, these players do not play for money. They kind of play for the love of each other. And Louisville, I think exemplifies that and so does Michigan. You know, and it is easy to say, well, everyone says and I'm sure Mike Rice went to his throwing ball t this kids, public kids would probably saying, our team loves each other.

But in this case, if Louisville wasn't so coal-piece, if they didn't sacrifice for each other, they wouldn't be on this stage they are today. See, there's a fair amount of inspiration you can fairly take from it, absolutely.

WHITFIELD: OK. And is there an explanation? There was a moment with the Syracuse coach. He was asked a question about whether or not you'll be there next year. And he has been asked that question before but this time after a loss maybe it didn't feel so good. Let's take a listen. Then Mike, I want your analysis on the back side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM BOEHEIM, SYRACUSE HEAD COACH: Why ask that question? Do you -- you going to ask John Beilein that question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Well, we ask 19-year-olds the same question and they handle it better than you are.

BOEHEIM: You ask a 19-year-old kid if he's going to retire. Really? If you're going to say something smart at least say something smart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Oh, boy. That was a tense moment. Is that because of the loss?

PESCA: That is exactly what it is.

WHITFIELD: Yes?

PESCA: Well, they hunt feel that Jim Boeheim feels he's addressed the question. He says he is probably going to be back. But people honestly ask the question or reporter asked the question and did he it a little confrontationally. That's batch reporter style. But it was a fair question. Happened to be first in the press conference. It is not the first thing Boeheim wants to answer. But the week before, I was in Washington, he was there. The question was asked rather nicely. He had a breezy discussion.

WHITFIELD: So, it did have the question to ask maybe.

PESCA: I think it is all context and coming off a win he talk about, Al McGuire took a left inside of a right. That's how he knew it is time to retire. But, when after a loss you just want to throttle that guy. That you know, got a lot of tension.

NICHOLS: Rick Pitino, the Louisville coach talked about that whole incident today. And he said remember, when you ask someone who's over 60, hey, you going to retire, it reminds them about their mortality in a way that it doesn't maybe -- if you're after a win or a little bit younger. In a way it is just a human response.

WHITFIELD: That's what he said. Do you ask someone who's 19 that question? I think that's where that was coming from.

PESCA: He was said, don't pushed me out in an ice floe just yet.

WHITFIELD: Yes, come on. I'm still at my peak.

NICHOLS: Exactly.

WHITFIELD: All right, Rachel Nichols, Mike Pesca, it is good to see both of you. Thanks so much.

NICHOLS: Thank you.

PESCA: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Enjoy all the madness as it continues.

Speaking of mad, you guys big on "Mad Men"? It premiers this evening. One of the show's cast members will be chatting with me next.

And later, at 81, singer and actress Rita Moreno is sharing all of her secrets, and I mean all of it, from Brando to Elvis. Nothing is off the table. That interview is straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: It's slick and sexy. Mad Men delving into the lives of Madison Avenue ad men back in the 1960s. The popular TV show returns for a new season tonight. I talked with actor Ben Feldman, who plays the character Michael Ginsburg.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN FELDMAN, ACTOR: I could never imagine being in that because it was - I don't know. It just seemed like a completely different world that I would always just be a fan of. But then all of a sudden it happened, and it still kind of feels like a dream. WHITFIELD: So your character -- the Jewish heritage, the big part of his story line, it was the reason he got hired and a big part of his back story. So, being born in a concentration camp. What has that been like for you trying to kind of channel that into this story line and this character?

FELDMAN: Well, you try not to channel -- you try not to channel anything and you try not to be a voice for religious people or any sort of group of people, whether ethnicity, race, whatever. I think that just played into sort of -- Ginsberg is an "other." He's different from everybody else. He stands out in every other way whether he's socially -- he doesn't have a filter. He doesn't know how to communicate with other people. And I think that's just one other element. I think he's -- he is from a different world than the rest of the characters on the show. And that's just one example.

WHITFIELD: In fact, let's watch an example of your character in this story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FELDMAN: I didn't pick this profession. It picked me. I didn't have any control over it. Turns out it's the only thing I can do.

ELISABETH MOSS, ACTRESS: Your work's very impressive, but --

FELDMAN: Here are some other advantages. I have no hobbies, no interests, no friends. I'm one of those people who talks back to the radio. No girlfriend, no family. I will live here.

MOSS: And you're like everyone else?

FELDMAN: I've never been accused of that, but I really am trying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So, when you're in a successful show like this, how far ahead are you looking into the evolution of the character. The what's next?

FELDMAN: That was my audition scene, by the way.

WHITFIELD: Really?

FELDMAN: Yes. It was that, but with different -- when you go in to the audition there are different character names so you don't know who you're actually going to be acting with.

WHITFIELD: So what do you think when you look at that again, then?

FELDMAN: It kind of reminds me of how terrified I was that day.

(LAUGHTER) FELDMAN: It was John Hamm was directing. It was like my first day -- first or second day on set. And it was, you know, I was playing this kind of lunatic as far as I was concerned. And up against Elizabeth Moss, who's an incredible actress herself.

So as far as looking ahead, on this show you just kind of focus on what's happening that day. You don't try and read too much into stuff because then you might find yourself playing something that's going to happen down the line. And the last thing anybody wants to do on this show is give anything away.

WHITFIELD: So, then I'm kind of giving you whiplash now that you told me that was also your audition scene. So I'm wondering when you went back to do it for the real thing, did you do anything differently versus how you played that role during audition?

FELDMAN: Yes. I mean we did it -- I must have done that take maybe ten times or more potentially. There is a lot of different stuff. There were a lot of notes. You've got Jon, who's an incredible director directing. And then sometimes Matt Weiner would come down on the set, and he had some ideas as well. So yes, there were some adjustments.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, Ben Feldman, thanks so much. Good luck on tonight's premiere of Mad Men.

All right, 50 children may not have known how lucky they were when they were taken out of Europe during the Holocaust. Their lives were saved. Now, the amazing story of the couple who rescued them is being shared.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: During the Holocaust, many Jews in Nazi occupied countries tried to find any way to escape. Friends, relatives, and in some cases strangers helped them avoid the horrors of Hitler's death camps. "Fifty Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. And Mrs. Kraus," is the HBO documentary of an ordinary American couple who displayed extraordinary courage and compassion to save 50 Jewish children from the Holocaust, risking their own lives in the process.

I spoke to Liz Perle, the Kraus' granddaughter, and Robert Graun, one of the 50 children the Krauses saved. I asked Liz why she decided to help tell this story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIZ PERLE, THE KRAUSES' GRANDDAUGHTER: I always knew about it in the background but I think it was only as an adult that I realized this story has to be told.

WHITFIELD: And it is an incredible story how your grandparents just made this decision knowing that it would be a very risky one to go overseas, to go to Vienna, and try and find 50 children who could be adopted, who would be willing -- whose parents would be willing to let them go to come to the States. Tell me more about what their vision was and why 50 kids.

PERLE: Well, the 50 kids is the easy part. There was -- my grandfather was part of a fraternal order called Brit Shalom (ph), and they had a summer camp. They'd build an ancillary building with 50 beds. Fifty beds, 50 kids. One of the members of the fraternity, Louie Levine, had come to my grandfather and said we got to save these children. And he knew who he was dealing with. My grandfather was a pistol!

And once he got this in his head that this could be done, he figured out a way to do it. And I do think he somewhat dragged my grandmother into it a bit. She quickly took to it.

WHITFIELD: And Robert, how old were you when Liz's grandmother, Eleanor Kraus and her husband, Gil, selected you to come to America?

ROBERT BRAUN, ONE OF THE "50 CHILDREN": Almost 11. My sister, who was in the same group, was 13.

WHITFIELD: And how were you approached? How -- did your family discuss with you, here's what's about to happen? How did this news come to you at the age of 11?

BRAUN: Well, I was quite excited because -- I recall I wasn't sad at all because in earlier years, as a 10-year-old, I was fascinated by books written back a hack writer named Karl Nye who wrote German fantasy novels for young boys about the American Wild West and Indians and buffaloes and mountain men and trappers. And I was quite carried away with that.

My father explained to me I would be going to America and they'd eventually join us. They couldn't join us. No, my parents were unable to get a visa to emigrate the United States. They survived the war in Vienna with difficulty.

WHITFIELD: Did you ever get to see your parents again?

BRAUN: Exactly -- let's see. We left - we left in 1938. Was it '38? Yes. I saw them again in 1947.

WHITFIELD: Putting this project together, reading the journals, so many children would not be reunited with their families. The outcomes would vary just as the children's lives would vary. What did that mean to you to share that part of the story, to help reveal that story? And involve the 50 children in their own words in the story as adults?

PERLE: Well, it was really powerful. You know, you grow up, you think of your grandparents and your grandparents. But as my husband was putting this film together, I started to see these people as an adult and the incredible guts it took for the parents of these children to send their children off to who knows what.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WHITFIELD: "50 Children" airing on HBO tomorrow night.

Up next --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RITA MORENO: My relationship with Marlon Brando was really chaotic and turbulent and tempestuous. Very sexy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: She's the sizzling star of stage and screen who defied stereotypes. A personal interview with Rita Moreno, about her remarkable career, life and loves.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RITA MORENO, ACTRESS: (SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh, forever fantastic! She may be best remembered as Anita from "West Side Story." But there's so much more to Rita Moreno. In her newly released memoir, the 81-year-old actress details her intriguing career, life and legendary loves. Loves including Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando.

RITA MORENO, ACTRESS: My relationship with Marlon Brando was really chaotic and turbulent and tempestuous. Very sexy. Very fun, as the kids would say now.

But it was also -- we were addicted to each other. We were obsessed with each other. If you know anything about obsession, it is like addiction. He was my drug. I was his. and we were not good for each other.

WHITFIELD: You write that he was actually very cruel. He could be very cruel with you.

MORENO: He was abusive, emotionally abusive. Yes. But you know, I was the kind of girl, or child, who was brought up to believe by my very Latina mother that you had to please everyone. And especially men.

WHITFIELD: It is a very personal memoir, but there's a little bit of the kiss-and-tell. You talk about Marlon Brando. You talk about her --

MORENO: Well, I have to talk about Marlon Brando because that goes beyond -- that's not even kiss and tell because he played a huge part in my life. He changed my life.

WHITFIELD: Was shaping it. MORENO: We were together almost eight careers. So, that's hardly just the old kiss-and-tell. There were a couple of dishy other things there. No question.

WHITFIELD: So then even though he describe him as being cruel, very abusive, what did you learn? How did that relationship, that eight-year affair, really shape you, make you stronger, more resilient? What were the words you would use is it.

MORENO: I became much more resilient and eventually I -- but I've always been resilient. That's so much a part of my DNA. I knew if I get tossed over on the floor, I get up as they say and dust myself off and go on, move on. That's just so much a part of my nature. My mother was like that, also. It is something you learn when you come into a different country where you don't speak the language and have to put up with some very bad behavior on the part of many, many people.

I don't call it tough. I call it resilient because tough implies that you get a very hard shell about you. I've never had that. But I am able to bounce back, and I did learn that from my mom.

But you know, the way I got even with Marlon was kind of terrific because at the time that I was really having a hard time with him -- one of the many times -- Elvis Presley let it be known through a gossip columnist that he would love very much to meet me.

WHITFIELD: And he did.

MORENO: Of course I read that, and the Colonel called me up. I love this conversation. "Miss Morena, this is Colonel Parker." No kidding. He said, "My client, Elvis, would like to meet you. Would you like to meet him?" And at the time I was so angry at Marlon for finding somebody else's clothing in his house. And I thought, why not? I said, yes, I would!

(LAUGHTER)

WHITFIELD: And what was that relationship like, with Elvis?

MORENO: Well, it was interesting because it was very surprising in many ways. Number one, I don't really think he was handsome. I think Elvis was almost pretty. He was kind of beautiful. And I don't mean that in a derogatory way at all. But it was just very different kind of looks. He had the most gorgeous profile I've ever seen. Perfect teeth. Gorgeous shiny, thick black hair.

And a very sweet fellow. He was -- there's that snarly look he had when he sang? Nothing even remotely like that. He was bashful and -- but he didn't have a whole lot to say. When you have been with Marlon Brando for a long time as I was at the time, I found it kind of dull.

WHITFIELD: Really!

MORENO: Well, yes! I mean he's a country boy. I was a little Puerto Rican spitfire, and we didn't have a whole lot to say.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Now only Rita Moreno can get away with that. She is spicy all the way through. Her memoir is on book stands now.

All right. Tiger Woods want to make history again in Augusta. He's about to get on the very important green with the best in golf.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, more of the NEWSROOM straight ahead with my colleague. Don Lemon is here to give us a preview straight ahead. Hi!

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, my gosh. How beautiful is it outside? Everything is going on here today in Atlanta.

WHITFIELD: I know, lots of excitement.

LEMON: Lots of excitement, lots of excitement.

WHITFIELD: Sorry, I haven't seen the weather. So I'm like, is it? Okay, good, good to know.

LEMON: You've been reporting the story about the American diplomat killed in Afghanistan. In just a few minutes, I will talk with Anne Smetingoff's father. He says that the world lost a truly beautiful soul today, but she enjoyed working directly with the Afghan people. She was killed with four other Americans while delivering books to a school. Sad story. We will be talking to him.

And the president's budget comes out Wednesday, Fred. Cutting entitlements. How is that sitting with folks on both sides of the aisle? Does it even stand a chance? We'll talk about that.

And what is all this fuss about? You know this - Jay-Z and Beyonce visiting Cuba.

WHITFIELD: You know what the fuss is about, they're in Cuba! And there are restrictions on Americans being able to go to Cuba. So now, I guess questions are being asked.

LEMON: People are saying, do you know how they treat people, Don? Why are they there? That's a question. I'll be talking with LZ Granderson and Ana Navarro.

Also, you have to see my interview with former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson. He is asking President Obama to right an historic wrong and issue a presidential pardon for boxer Jack Johnson. Johnson's crime: dating a white woman, then eventually marrying one. He was convicted in 1913, and that crime tarnished his name and his legacy and he really couldn't work after that. So I spoke with Mike Tyson. It will be interesting to see what he has to say.

WHITFIELD: He's always fascinating. He always has something interesting to say. LEMON: He does. To say the least.

(LAUGHTER)

WHITFIELD: OK, very good. We'll be watching. Thanks so much. Don Lemon, good to see you. .

Okay, what do Tiger Woods, immigration reform, Jackie Robinson all have in common? They're all part of our look at the week ahead, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, if you missed it before, we've got to show you this again. A seven-year-old boy who battling brain cancer got to play on the field of his favorite football team. Jack Hoffman suited up with the University of Nebraska, the Cornhuskers, for a scrimmage game yesterday. He has met a lot of those players before and has actually won their hearts. How could that not happen? So, they called him out right on the field for a play, and you've got to see what happens next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A fun moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got blockers out in front.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he's running. Midfield. Listen to this crowd. And Jack Hoffman, a young man that, as I mentioned, has really been adopted by this football team.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And that is too sweet! You heard the crowd out there. And of course, in the end, as you see, they are lifting him in the end zone. Putting him on their shoulders. ANebraska player told "Omaha World Herald" the team came up with the play just 30 seconds before it actually happened! And he said, he's a fast little guy. So sweet of a moment.

All right. Time to look at the week ahead. After two-week break, the U.S. Senate heading back to the Hill Monday. An immigration bill and Pentagon budget cuts topping their agenda.

Also tomorrow, President Obama heading to Connecticut to keep pushing for tougher gun laws.

And on Wednesday, another big issue for the president. He will reveal his new budget proposals while tens of thousands are expected for a massive rally urging Congress to pass immigration reform.

On Thursday, it is round one of the Masters. Can Tiger Woods win yet another coveted green jacket?

And on Friday, he broke major league baseball's color barrier in 1947. You can see Jackie Robinson's inspiring story in the new movie "42," which opens that day.

All right, that's going to do it for me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We'll see you again next weekend, and of course, through the week. But there's much more on NEWSROOM straight ahead with my colleague, Don Lemon. Have a great week.