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Can Cell Phone App Take Over Airplane?; School Bullying

Aired April 12, 2013 - 15:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN: It's the dark part of social media. Word today of another teenage gang-rape and suicide, parents, teens blamed. We're going there. I'm Don Lemon. Roll it.

(voice-over): A hacker says he's got an app that could hijack your plane.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My family had decided to commit suicide because the three days we didn't have anything to eat.

LEMON: A daring escape from North Korea and the soldier who helped.

Plus, Jane Fonda playing Nancy Reagan. Not everyone is happy.

And a man who lost his teenage brother to murder, now he's best friends with the killer.


LEMON: Hello, everyone. Don Lemon here. Brooke is off today.

We're going to begin with a very disturbing trend that we're seeing among teenagers, unsupervised house parties, lots of alcohol. Girls, they get drunk. Boys allegedly rape the girl, rape the girl, pictures of rape posted online, the girl blamed, and then bullied and commits suicide.

California police say 15-year-old Audrie Pott was a victim of just that. Audrie committed suicide after learning pictures of her being gang-raped were posted online. Three teenage boys now face charges of sexual battery and then on just Wednesday, just Wednesday, we told you about a 16-year-old Canadian teenager who took her life after the same chain of events allegedly happened to her.

Her mother says she was gang-raped and then she was bullied.


LEAH PARSONS, MOTHER: One girl that was her friend put on her status, "Sluts need to leave the school anyway," just bullying and boys that she didn't know send her messages, want to have fun, you did it with my friends, why don't we get together? It just was nonstop.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: It's right there in our memories right now, really close. Who could forget the Steubenville rape trial in Ohio? This photo of the victim was posted online. Two high school football players were convicted of raping her that night.

She apparently passed out after being drunk. Want to bring in now psychologist Wendy Walsh and CNN's legal analyst, Sunny Hostin.

Ladies, thank you, both, for joining us.

When did this become cool? It seems to be prevalent in the subculture among teens.

First to you, Wendy.

WENDY WALSH, FAMILY THERAPIST: OK. So, we know we have a highly sexualized culture. We talked about that, Don.

But let's also talk about the moral teaching of young boys. As we're seeing this enormous rise of women, I think guys are thinking women are, you know, just sort of one of the guys. We also know that young women cannot -- and old women -- cannot metabolize alcohol in the same way men do. I don't think that message is out there clear enough.

But at the end of the day, how is it possible to sexually assault a classmate at a party, and it is happening -- to be a trend in our culture, and there is not an outcry? Parents of boys need to step up here.

LEMON: Wendy, that was my question, because I know this story. You're very passionate about this story, and you're the mother of two girls. And what can parents tell their children about posting pictures and information on the Internet?

WALSH: OK, here's what you have to understand about the Internet is that it used to be in the olden days, if a kid went to school and got shamed or bullies, in the evening they could go to their Girl Scout group or they could go to their volleyball team or whatever extracurricular activity they could be restored with a new group of friends who would remind them, you know, how cool they were.

And they could come home to their family. But the Internet actually takes away all the boundaries and creates one giant world with no compartments where you get shamed around the world. And even strangers will jump into the fray and put comments on. So parents have to be their kids' Facebook friends, they have to be their Twitter follower, they have to be involved in the village, the online village with their kids.

LEMON: To Sunny now, our legal expert.

Sunny, in the cases where the victim commits suicide, can the accused be held responsible for those deaths? What more needs to be done to protect victims?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think that we're there yet with the law. We all watched the terrible case with Tyler Clementi and clearly the young man who was involved in that was not indicted for murder, but he was indicted for that cyber-stalking, for that bullying.

And so even in the case like this, the law doesn't really provide for these bullies then being charged with a death, in connection with the deaths of these victims. But I suspect there will be some crafty prosecutors, some creative prosecutors that will start looking at these cases like this, because something needs to be done.

What does, though, Don, bother me about this particular case, all these cases are very troubling, but it is odd to me that law enforcement took so long to, you know, to start digging further into this case...

LEMON: Why is that?

HOSTIN: ... and to bring these boys up on these charges. I don't know why. I don't think we know enough about this case.

But this is not a new fact scenario. Date rape, and I think Wendy will agree with me, has been around forever. But right now, what we are seeing is this kind of date rape or teens drinking in combination with rape and then social media.

And it is just these two worlds being hurled together. It is the worst possible circumstance. And it is something that we need to start talking about more. We have been talking about bullying, yes. But we now need to start talking about the sexual assault of young women as well.

LEMON: Sunny, Wendy, thank you very much for your insight on this. We appreciate it.

We will talk North Korea now. It is fast becoming one of the most Googled terms in years. U.S. Web users typing that phrase into browsers more than gun control or even President Obama. But a new Pew poll shows despite the U.S. obsession with North Korea, a lot of people still don't really know what is going on and what North Korea is actually capable of doing.

She found that 47 percent of Americans think that North Korea is capable of launching a nuclear missile that can hit the United States. For the record, this is false. North Korean experts do not believe the country has the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead small enough to be strapped to a missile.

Adding to the confusion, though, reports from the Pentagon seem to suggest they were nuclear-capable. Listen to what Secretary of State John Kerry said about the assertion while he's in Seoul today.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It is inaccurate to suggest that the DPRK has fully tested, developed or demonstrated capabilities that are articulated in that report. So we do not operate on the presumption that they have that fully tested and available capacity.

But, obviously, they have conducted a nuclear test. So there is some kind of device. But that is very different from miniaturization and delivery and from tested delivery and other things.


LEMON: So most of what we know about this isolated country comes from those who have been brave enough to flee.

Angus Walker of ITV News talked to one of those defectors about life inside North Korea.


ANGUS WALKER, ITN REPORTER (voice-over): Under the cover of darkness, smugglers cross a frozen river from North Korea into China, taking enormous risks, and food and fuel back to their impoverished country.

This was filmed a few weeks ago. The footage even shows an armed soldier who's been paid to cover their tracks at first light. Bribing the border guards and following in the smugglers' footsteps is how people escape from North Korea.

Now in hiding in South Korea, this woman defected shortly after Kim Jong-un came to power. We have protected her identity because she had to leave some of her family behind. Fighting back tears, she tells me she got out, risking death if she was caught, so she could live.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My family had decided to commit suicide, because for three days we didn't have anything to eat. We decided to starve to death. We said, let's die. But then I wanted to survive. I sold the house for 30 kilos of rice.

WALKER: Millions have little food. This footage smuggled out was filmed last month. Reports from inside North Korea suggest food prices have tripled in a year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): To survive, I had to eat grass. People pick grass and leaves. They used them to make soup.

WALKER (on camera): What do you think of Kim Jong-un and what do you think of what he's threatening to do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Kim Jong-un is trying to be more extreme than his father and trying to distract the North Korean people from their own problems and complaints.

WALKER (voice-over): "Gangnam Style," South Korean pop in North Korea, on a smuggled DVD, the sights and sounds of the 21st century for those trapped in time in an Orwellian nightmare.

It's a glimpse of another world so near and yet so far away.

(on camera): And some of those who managed to escape told me today that when they finally made it to freedom here in the South, they began to realize in their words that farm animals are treated better in the outside world than human beings back in North Korea.

Angus Walker, ITV News, Seoul.


LEMON: All right, Angus, Wolf Blitzer will host a special hour focusing on the North Korean threat. That's on THE SITUATION ROOM tonight 6:00 Eastern here on CNN.

Next, taking control of an airplane by using a smartphone app? A researcher who is also a pilot says he's developed the program to do it and now he's alerting airlines. Lisa Sylvester just talked to him about how the app works and how the airlines are responding. You will hear what he said next.


LEMON: So we hear of new smartphone apps every single day. But a new one may be considered the deadliest ever.

A German consultant who is also a commercial pilot says he has a new smartphone app that could be used to hijack a plane remotely.

Lisa Sylvester is in Washington with the latest now.

Lisa, this is unnerving, to say the least. And you talked to this security consultant. What did the consultant say?


But, first, you know, Don, I got to tell you this is a very troubling story. It has received a lot of attention, a lot of buzz online and it raises an interesting question. You know, how safe is the flight management system of commercial airplanes?

If you think about it, planes nowadays, we're really talking about giant computers. As we all know, computers can be hacked. So Hugo Teso, he's a security consultant. He was able to develop an app, an Android app that on a flight simulator could affect the flying conditions, including changing the plane's altitude, changing what is on a pilot's display screen, for example.

But we should mention a caution with all of this. First of all, he did this on a flight simulator, so it was not a real aircraft for obvious security and safety reasons. And the other thing to emphasize, he says the app alone is not enough, that are going to actually need the proper hardware, the flight hardware.

We reached out to the FAA. The agency says the planes that we fly every day, they are not in any kind of risk because this app that he's talking about doesn't work. It only will work on certified flight hardware, and that's actually the ones that is used in the plane.

The FAA saying -- quote -- and we have a statement here -- "The described technique cannot engage or control the aircraft autopilot system using the FMS, flight management system, or prevent a pilot from overriding the autopilot. Therefore, a hacker cannot obtain full control of an aircraft as the technology consultant has claimed."

Now, Teso himself acknowledged that it is true, that the pilots, they would be able to override the autopilot and would be able to take back control in such a situation, Don.

LEMON: All right. So national security concerns with this, I mean, how concerned should we be about this?

SYLVESTER: Well, first, you know, there is -- why is he doing all of this? He's a security consultant. He does also have his commercial pilot license. And, as we mentioned, we did talk to him via Skype, and we can play you a little clip. But basically he says airlines need to focus on safety and they need to also focus on security. Let's take a listen.


HUGO TESO, APP DESIGNER: FAA aircraft manufacturers, and these people have better and deeper knowledge and understanding on how their system works, but also we have better and deeper understanding on how our attack works, because we didn't disclose all the technical details for safety reasons.


SYLVESTER: And, Don, that's really a key point here. They did not make public everything that they know for the obvious security reasons. But the reason why he's doing this is basically saying to programs like the FAA, you need to take a look into the airlines. You need to take a better look at your flight management systems, because they could potentially be vulnerable, Don.

LEMON: All right, Lisa Sylvester, thank you. Lisa, we appreciate it.

We have got some breaking news that we want to tell you about here on CNN again. Again, some breaking news we want to tell you about here on CNN. We're getting word that two people have been shot at the New River Community College. It's in Christiansburg, Virginia. That's according to our affiliate WSLS and WDBJ.

Both of the affiliates are reporting that the suspect is now in custody and according to them, we're hearing again the suspect is in custody, two people shot at the new River Community College that's located within the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg, Virginia. CNN is checking on this. As we get new information here, we will bring it to you. Only thing we know, two people shot, suspect in custody, that's according to our affiliates there in the area.

More news right after this break.


LEMON: Now amazing video just in to us. It's a wrestling match between a 10-foot python. It was a showstopper for tourists in Florida. Two guys wrangled a Burmese python. Watch.





LEMON: That's right. A guy grabbed the python underwater and let it coil around him. He says the python was about three times the size of his arms. The other guy cut off the python's head with a knife he only used before to cut oranges.

And just a short time ago, I spoke with tour guide Tommy Owen and he told me about the snake jujitsu, the move he did on the python.


TOMMY OWEN, WRESTLED PYTHON: It was just pure instinct. I had him -- you know, I had him and he had me, but unfortunately he's stronger than I am. He literally started to cut the circulation off in my right arm. And so that's why you see me kind of lifting up out of the air and I'm literally thrashing him in the water, causing him to release me and that's where the jujitsu came, because he was able to release and then I grabbed him with left arm and try to uncoil him around my right.

And that's when he coiled around my left. And so it was just back and forth. And then when he coiled around my left, I was able to bash him again in the water, thrash him and then he uncoiled and I uncoiled him with my right and then he coiled around my right. So it was just back and forth. And luckily being a very powerful snake, you're very strong but not for very long.


LEMON: And Tommy the tour guide says he's OK, just got some flesh wounds from his python wrestling.

Since 2005, one chef has been serving up generosity to struggling families in California, giving them free meals and making sure they don't go hungry. Now this CNN Hero is going farther to give these families a chance at a better life.


BRUNO SERATO, CHEF: Who likes pasta?


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Every night, Chef Bruno Serato serves free meals to 300 motel kids in Anaheim, California. It's work that he was honored for last year as a top ten CNN Heroes.

BRUNO SERATO: It was the most amazing moment in my life. After the CNN show, a lot of people call me. What can we do for you?

COOPER: But it was Bruno who wanted to do more to help families living in area motels.

SERATO: When I send the kids back to the motel, I always had a very sad moment because I know where they go back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now you guys can all share those markers. Sit right here and color.

COOPER: It's a hard life to escape. Just ask the Gutierrez family, who lived in a motel with their five children for more than a year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is our living room, our bedroom. Me and my husband sleep in here. And then the rest of them sleep sardine style on this bed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He got laid off. I started working just a month ago. It's really hard for us to save up to get into an actual home.

SERATO: I came over to say, well, let's pay the first and last month.

COOPER: By providing rent and a deposit, Bruno now helps families leave the motel life behind for good. Working with a local nonprofit, 22 families have now gotten a fresh start in a home of their own.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, the kids just run around, explored, found their rooms.

SERATO: This is yours?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations!


SERATO: And my heart is really full of joy. We're putting back people to their own home!

COOPER: Bruno hopes to move 74 more families by the end of next year. CNN hero with a new recipe for helping others.

SERATO: Pasta!



LEMON: All right, the breaking news we told you about.

There were two people shot on a college campus. We're hearing it is two adult women. This is from Christiansburg, Virginia. Just getting it over the wires here. Christiansburg 911 dispatcher received a call at approximately 1:55 p.m. of a subject with a gun at the New River Community College, a satellite location. It's located inside the New River Valley Mall, as we reported to you just moments ago.

Those are the pictures now that we're getting in from our affiliate WDBJ. We will get those back up in just a moment here, but we're getting the new pictures in.

The caller said -- located inside the New River Valley Mall -- the caller recalled hearing shots fired. OK? And then the officers were on the scene at about 2:00 p.m., so five minutes later, officers were there. Two adult females with gunshot wounds were located, and this is according to the police report. One victim was airlifted. The other was transported via ambulance to a local hospital.

No information on their identities or their present conditions. The suspected shooter was taken into custody. The mall is presently, we're told, being cleared of shoppers, and to ensure there are no further victims as well as no other possible suspects.

There is that video right there from Christiansburg, Virginia, from our affiliate WDBJ, this all taking place not very long ago. At the time, they don't believe that there was any continuing threat to the community at large.

The Montgomery County schools, which is where that is, were briefly locked down as a precaution. That lockdown has since been lifted. And there are a number of agencies who are responding to this, including the Christiansburg Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, Blacksburg Police Department, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State Police.

And we will get more information from authorities just as we get it here. But again we want to tell you two people shot at this college, shot at Christiansburg, Virginia. It is at the New River Community College there, satellite location, located inside the New River Valley Mall. And that's according to a police report here that the caller called in at approximately 1:55 p.m.

They're saying that they heard gunshots, shots being fired. Within five minutes, the officers were on the scene.