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CNN NEWSROOM

Cuba Returns Parents, Abducted Kids; Stocks Hit Record Highs; Two in Good Condition After Stabbing; Breakthrough on Background Checks; Preventing School Shootings; Gun Rights Expand After Newtown; Blue Angels Grounded; Obama Presents $3.77 Trillion Budget; Senator Campaign: Ashley Judd "Unbalanced"

Aired April 10, 2013 - 10:00   ET

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


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CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, two kidnapped kids taken to Cuba back on U.S. soil and on their way home.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, we're just looking forward to getting them home and hugging them.

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COSTELLO: Their parents in jail accused of kidnapping them.

Plus, fantasizing about murder, a college student goes on a stabbing rampage.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I give up right away. And I was just on top of him like why did you do this? What made you want to stab these girls?

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COSTELLO: And CNN's day long look at guns in America, stopping gun violence without gun control legislation.

And the famous Blue Angels grounded by forced spending cuts. We're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Good morning. Thanks so much for being with us. I'm Carol Costello. We begin with some big overnight developments in the arrest of the Florida couple accused of snatching their young sons and fleeing to Cuba. This is new video in Florida.

Where Josh and Sharyn Hakken are now locked up and waiting to appear in court. That could come at any time. In fact, as you can see in our exclusive video, it was a CNN crew that first found the family hunkering down inside their sailboat out of Havana, Cuba, Marina.

First, let's hear from the grandparents who have legal custody of these little boys. This is what they said after learning the boys were found safe and sound.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our grandchildren are safe we had an opportunity to talk with them before they left Cuba. They're on their way and they'll be home soon. Right now, we're looking forward to sitting, hugging them and being with them and getting them home where they'll be safe again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: CNN's Patrick Oppmann is in Havana, Cuba. Patrick, you approached this couple, you spoke to them. What did they say?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, they certainly didn't act like fugitives on the run. They were in this marina as there were lots of boats from around the world, including some from the United States and their son was playing on the top deck, their older boy.

And I wouldn't have thought it was them except that I recognized the boat, of course, from the police photographs and then as I went up to Josh Hakken and he immediately confirmed who he was. And that's when I knew that CNN had, in fact, tracked down this fugitive couple here in Cuba.

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We're outside where there's a lot more security than were here earlier and then we were able to look for the Hakken's boat. Back up in this area here, it matches the description. We saw the "Salty," there was one much smaller boat.

And as soon as we got there and filming, I saw him get out of the boat and he asked me who I was. I said I was an American reporter and he confirmed who he was, and then immediately got back in the boat. Cuban authorities came out immediately, some of them packing pistols and told us we need to leave.

But we were able to convince them before they kicked us out, go up and speak to him. They're obviously keeping a very close eye on him. They let me go to the boat, he wouldn't speak to me, but his wife confirmed to us that both the sons were with them and they're doing fine.

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OPPMANN: Now, Carol, the big development has been how closely Cuban and U.S. authorities coordinated on this in a very short amount of time, was able to send this family back. And there have been some concerns that maybe the family would find safe haven here.

But you know, it's very interesting that we saw Jay-z and Beyonce here a few days ago. You know, it looks like, certainly from here in Havana, that Cuban authorities are much more interested in having American pop stars, movie stars. People who are going to help their tourism industry rather than have dangerous fugitives and today the Cuban authorities are receiving some very rare praise from their U.S. counterparts to diffuse what could have been a dangerous situation for these young children -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Wow, Patrick Oppman reporting live from Cuba this morning.

OK, we have a bit of developing news to tell you about because, boy, the Dow and the S&P 500 hitting record highs yet again. Heading even higher, maybe, who knows? Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. Tell us more.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Brand spanking new record highs not just for the Dow but for the S&P 500. So the Dow now is sharing the spotlight, seemingly, almost on a daily basis with those record high levels.

And the S&P 500 is good to watch because it's a broader index. It gives us a better idea about the market and how your investments are doing, the health of your investments because the S&P 500 includes 500 stocks, many, many more stocks than the Dow, which includes just 30 stocks.

So obviously the S&P 500 includes a wider range of companies and certainly mirrors what maybe the 401(k) or your mutual fund is doing, as well. Now, stocks in general, stock prices are reflective of consumer confidence, of investor confidence and how companies are doing.

But this is an interesting time to see the S&P to see the Dow breaking the records because right now it's first quarter earnings season and it's not expected to be all that. In fact, Thompson Reuters says it's expected that first quarter earnings are expected to rise only 1.6 percent compared to 6 percent during the fourth quarter.

Now about a fifth of the companies, Carol, they've already issued negative guidance. But for some reason, we're seeing stocks move higher. It looks like maybe investors know that earnings are going to be bad. They're getting in before the bad news rolls in -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, Alison Kosik reporting live from the New York Stock Exchange.

It's 6 minutes past the hour, time to check our other top stories. New intelligence this morning that North Korea could be planning multiple missile launches any moment. That's on top of expectations Pyongyang will testify fire two mobile missiles from the east coast.

Japan has beefed up its defenses posting two anti-missile batteries in the heart of Tokyo. In the meantime, South Korea has officially accused the north of orchestrating cyber attacks last month on its major banks and broadcasters.

Two people attacked in a series of stabbings on a Texas college campus are now in good condition. In all, 14 people were stabbed on Tuesday. The school did reopen earlier this morning. The 20-year-old student, the suspect is under arrest.

He's undergoing a psychological evaluation. Dylan Quick told investigators he had fantasies of killing people and that he had planned the attack. He'll make his first court appearance tomorrow.

Beginning this week, some 13 mortgage companies will begin shelling out money to homeowners who slogged through the foreclosure process. They didn't have to lose their homes in 2009 or 2010 to be eligible. Payouts will range from $300 to $125,000. The biggest check will go to service members whose homes were repossessed while they were on active duty.

Now for a CNN special this morning, "Guns Under Fire," all day we're focusing on background checks, their impact and the arguments for and against them, a subject that's on target because, yes, there is a breakthrough in the Senate on that very thing background checks.

In about one hour, we'll hear from Senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey who will announce a bipartisan deal. It's expected to expand background checks for gun shows and internet sales. It could be up for debate on the floor of the senate as soon as Thursday.

This all comes as a new CNN/ORC poll shows nine out of 10 Americans support background checks. In the meantime, some people have been working to stop mass shootings, especially school shootings before they happen without passing any new laws. CNN's Nick Valencia is covering that story. Good morning.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. In the national debate after school shootings, we hear a lot about regulating firearms. But a collaborative program between mental health clinicians and police in Los Angeles is working on preventing violence before it happens.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I were a teacher, I would go mad. I would have an AK-47 disguised as an umbrella. Then when I see my class, I will pull the gun out, shoot the kids and then save the last bullet for me.

VALENCIA: And this is from somebody eight years old?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight years old. It's an 8-year-old child.

VALENCIA (voice-over): For the last few years, Dr. Tony Beliz and his team at the Los Angeles County Mental Health Department have worked to try to prevent the next school shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how are we going to impact this kid?

VALENCIA: One of the things they've found is that students who show a strong potential for school violence are getting younger and younger.

DR. TONY BELIZ, LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH: We don't always get the classic school shooter on his way to school with a handgun or semiautomatic, but see kids in significant distress. And we know that if we intervene early, those things will not become so incapacitating in the future.

VALENCIA: While they may not be able to predict a violent outburst, his team looks at indicators including communications like letters and drawings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never felt that he was a danger to others. He always was more of a danger to himself.

VALENCIA: As the mother of a boy debilitated by mental illness, Lynn Goodloe saw the warning signs when he was in high school. A surgeon for more than 30 years, she says she struggled with understanding her son's condition. With mental illness, there's no clean diagnosis.

DR. LYNN GOODLOE, MOTHER OF SON WITH MENTAL ILLNESS: You identify a problem, you cut it out, done, finished, it's done. But with mental illness, it's a very emotional roller coaster and it is heart wrenching.

VALENCIA: Her experiences led her to champion a mental health intervention program for high school students in L.A. It's another resource in the city that many regard as a model in addressing the issue. The LAPD works hand in hand with Dr. Beliz and the L.A. County's Department of Mental Health.

DET. CHARLES DEMPSEY, LOS ANGELES POLICE: Absent this program or absent the strategy and the dedicated work of the clinicians and officers who work here, we would be another front page news item.

VALENCIA: Something Tony Beliz hopes will never happen here.

BELIZ: The program has been effective in identifying individuals on a pathway to violence and our follow-up has shown that they haven't acted out.

VALENCIA: But with nearly 700,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, it's a daunting task.

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VALENCIA: Carol, it is a daunting task, but Dr. Beliz and the LAPD say the follow-up is the most important part. Last year in 2012, they identified more than 30 students. They say were close to carrying out a school attack because of this program none of them did -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Wow. Nick Valencia reporting live this morning. Thanks.

Since Newtown, we've had a lot of support for clamping down on who could buy a gun and the kind of weapons that can be sold in the United States. But in the past four months, more have expanded the rights of gun owners rather than tighten them.

CNN national correspondent Deb Feyerick is in New York. You've been looking into this. Tell us more.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Carol, despite President Obama's urgency to restrict and control access to guns, twice as many states, have passed laws making it easier to carry firearms.

Now five states including New York, Connecticut, and Colorado have passed some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Ten states, however, eased gun restrictions passing 17 new laws. And to better understand this, the reason for this, take a listen to Tennessee lawmaker, Joshua Evans.

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JOSHUA EVANS, TENNESSEE STATE HOUSE: The president said we needed to have a national discussion on gun control and I think he's right. Because any time you set up a place where guns are restricted you're telling criminals this is an area that you can come and prey on people.

And so those gun-free zones do exactly the opposite of what the opponents think they do and so we want to -- I think we need to have a discussion. I think we need to work toward eliminating those zones and giving people the ability to carry and protect themselves and their families whenever they go.

And so the president couldn't be more wrong on taking us the wrong direction on taking away what will actually put more people in danger.

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FEYERICK: Now, Tennessee signed a law last month allowing people to carry guns in restaurants that serve alcohol and the woman behind that law that took years to pass, and actually pass soon after Sandy Hook, her name is Nikki Goeser and she explains why.

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NIKKI GOESER, GUN RIGHTS ADVOCATE: My husband was murdered in front of me by a man that had been stalking me. This occurred in a restaurant that served alcohol when my husband and I were working.

And Tennessee state law at the time says that you could not have your legal handgun for self-defense inside of a restaurant that serves alcohol. Myself being a permit holder, I left my legal handgun, walked in my car.

But the man that was stalking me did not have a permit, he bought that gun illegally and put six bullets in my husband right in front of me and about 50 patrons right in the middle of the restaurant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: So as strongly as people feel following Sandy Hook, others who have also suffered tragedy take it from an opposite direction. Now Tennessee also passed a gun in trunk law. That allows people to take their guns to work as long as they keep the guns locked in the trunk of their car.

Other states, Arkansas, gun owners can now carry guns in churches and on college campuses. South Dakota, Indiana, teachers and other school staff can carry a firearm. And Carol, I've spoken to a lot of gun owners, people from the NRA, what's happening is really an urban rural divide.

Gun owners cannot understand why people don't carry guns and those who don't carry guns can't understand why anyone would want to in the first place. And even if you look at the semiautomatic rifles, some people see those as weapons that can cause maximum damage, but others see them as competitive sports rifles. So there really is a cultural divide -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Well, and it'll be interesting to hear a debate on background checks. Set to take place, we think, tomorrow. So we'll see if any of this comes up and I'm sure it will. Deb Feyerick, thanks so much.

Police in Ohio are using a new tool to keep school safe. Officers can now access every security camera from a laptop inside their cruiser. That means an officer can monitor the hallways, the gym, the cafeteria, parking lots while on patrol elsewhere. Cameras even have night vision. Officials say the schools save money because it takes fewer officers to keep an eye on them.

The Blue Angels, a powerful promotional tool for the U.S. Navy, but not even this precision flying team can overcome those forced spending cuts. Now the Blue Angels are grounded.

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COSTELLO: It's 18 minutes past the hour, time to check our top stories. Alabama's governor signs into law tough new restrictions on abortion clinics. New rules say any doctor providing abortion services must also have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Planned Parenthood has criticized the law saying the requirement will be difficult for providers and would likely shut down the clinic.

President Obama lays out his plans for the nation's budget today. He's proposing a nearly $4 trillion plan. It includes a $50 billion stimulus for infrastructure and increases for early childhood education programs. It also included controversial cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

Jay-z is cashing out a small stake in the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA so he can expand his new sports agency into basketball. That's according to Yahoo Sports. Jay-z owns less than 1 percent of the team, but NBA rules forbid sports agencies from having any ownership.

Force spending cuts will ground one-third of the Air Force's fighter jet fleet and that includes the Blue Angels, the Navy's precision flying team. No more air shows, no more performances. Casey Wian has more for you.

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CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since 1946, the Blue Angels have been dazzling Americans with their displays of aero aerobatics. Now for the first time since the Korean War, the Blue Angels are grounded.

COMMANDER TOM FROSH, BLUE ANGELS: The Navy has announced the official cancellation of the Blue Angels 2013 air show season. We held off on that decision as long as possible with the hope we would salvage a portion of our season. Unfortunately, we reached the point where that was no longer possible.

WIAN: No longer possible because of the federal budget crisis. Ending the Blue Angel's performances is expected to save between $20 million and $25 million this year.

FROSH: We don't want to jeopardize any of the resources our deployed forces have. I've been over there and you don't want to find out you've been -- you don't have the equipment you have because of an air show so to speak.

WIAN: Blue Angel pilots will continue to fly a minimal schedule at their home base in Pensacola, Florida, just enough to remain proficient and maintain their aircraft. For now, the Navy says all 130 members of the Blue Angel's squadron will keep their jobs.

FROSH: Naturally it was very disappointing. We put a lot of effort into this, into learning the demonstration. But they understand that this is one of many steps that focus efforts toward the deployed forces.

WIAN: Even before the announcement, some hosts of Blue Angel events, including the Indianapolis Air Show canceled their performances because of the federal budget uncertainty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had one $10,000 sponsor drop out yesterday.

WIAN: Not only will millions of fans miss seeing stunts like these, the Navy will lose a valuable public relations and recruiting tool, especially for Americans living far from naval courts.

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WIAN: The Air Force's Thunder Birds have also canceled their shows for the rest of the year. Both groups hope to be flying again by 2014 money permitting. Casey Wian, CNN, Los Angeles.

COSTELLO: A secret recording reveals how Minority Leader Mitch McConnell plan to stop actress Ashley Judd from taking his Senate seat. But, who was responsible for recording that campaign meeting? The FBI now wants to know.

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COSTELLO: A strange story of campaign politics out of Kentucky. Actress Ashley Judd has decided not to try to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell next year. But before she filed out, McConnell's staff was plotting her defeat and their plan was not pretty.

We know that because their secret strategy session was caught on tape and now the FBI is involved. Here's CNN's national political correspondent Jim Acosta.

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JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even though he's not up for re-election for more than a year, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been gearing up for a muddy Kentucky horse race.

In an audio recording obtained by the liberal magazine "Mother Jones," McConnell can be heard in what sounds like a typical strategy session discussing his potential opponents with his campaign advisers back in February.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: I assume most of you have played the, the game Whac-A-Mole? This is the Whac-A-Mole period of the campaign when anybody sticks their head up, do them out.

ACOSTA: Later on, a strategist runs through the campaign's opposition research on actress Ashley Judd who at the time was considering a run for McConnell's seat. Judd has since announced she's out of the race.

UNIDENTIFIED MCCONNELL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Jesse can go in chapter and verse from her autobiography about, you know, she suffered some suicidal tendencies. She was hospitalized for 42 days when she had a mental breakdown in the '90s.

ACOSTA: Convinced they were bugged, McConnell campaign staffers contacted the FBI, which is now looking into the matter. A campaign manager told CNN the meeting was in a private, closed, locked conference room, among a half-dozen long-time McConnell aides like a family meeting. The campaign insists this was no leak. More like a Watergate-style break-in.

MCCONNELL: Quite a Nixonian move.

ACOSTA: Asked about the incident, McConnell blamed a liberal group called "Progress Kentucky," which is already smeared the senator's wife.

(on camera): The opinion of your campaign staff in Kentucky that your office there was bugged and was it appropriate for members of your staff to talk about Ashley Judd's bouts with depression as a potential campaign issue?

MCCONNELL: Well, as you know, last month, my wife's ethnicity was attacked by a left-wing group in Kentucky and then apparently they also bugged my headquarters.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Outraged that McConnell staff would target Judd's past struggles, a spokesperson for the actress said in a statement this is yet another example of the politics of personal destruction that embody Mitch McConnell and are pervasive in Washington, D.C.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can never anticipate what is going to push me over the edge. ACOSTA: The McConnell campaign once had its sight set on Judd as a potential challenger including her in a web video even though the senator said back in February he wasn't sizing up his opponents.

MCCONNELL: I'm not going to start handicapping who might be a -- my opponent.

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ACOSTA: "Mother Jones" magazine says it was not involved in the recording of McConnell's campaign meeting and that the audio came from an anonymous source. A source close to the McConnell campaign said there's nothing wrong with discussing Judd's personal history.

The source added quote, "Any campaign would do that." It should also be noted McConnell has not heard responding to the discussion of Judd's mental health on the tape. Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.

COSTELLO: Republican Rand Paul hitting the road, taking his message to an unlikely place in a bid to expand his base. We'll tell you where he's headed.

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