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Lion Air Plane Crash in Indonesia; Kerry in Beijing; North Korea's World of Child Indoctrination; Hero Chef Bruno Serato Continues to Make a Difference

Aired April 13, 2013 - 09:00   ET


ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Alison Kosik.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 9:00 on the East Coast, 6:00 out West. Thanks for starting the day with us.

We are getting some new information on a plane crash in Bali. Here it is. Amazing pictures of this crash at the Bali International Airport. You see the passengers on the wing. It was a Lion Air flight, missed the runway, actually skidded off the runway and hit the water. 108 passengers and crew members survived the crash.

KOSIK: A spokesman for Lion Air spoke a short time ago and here's some of what he said. He said that right now only one person was injured. That's amazing. And that 18 people were being checked out at the hospital. You think over 100 people were on this flight. Truly amazing to see the shape the aircraft is in.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and we have the reports earlier from Indonesian officials that said as many as 50 people were hospitalized. We still don't know the cause of the plane to have missed this runway but you can see a huge crack there near the rear of the plane.

We have learned from the airline that they've only been flying the plane for less than a month so that begs the question if there are some mechanical problems. The questions there we don't yet have the answer. Of course there will be an investigation and we'll stay on top of it.

KOSIK: Just amazing video.

All right. Let's go to North Korea and the tensions over possible missile firing by the north. South Korea is on alert and so is the U.S. military.

BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, secretary of state John Kerry is in China where he met with his counterparts to talk about North Korea.

CNN's Anna Coren is in Seoul, South Korea. Foreign affairs reporter Elise Labott is in Washington.

Let's start with Elise, what is John Kerry hoping to get from China, Elise?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER: Well, Victor, in a word, wants China to get tough on North Korea. China is North Korea's most important economic and political backer and they want them to use that influence to not only tell North Korea to stop these acts, to stop these threats, and get back to the table talking about denuclearization but it also wants China to be a little more stringent about stopping the illegal flow of money and weapons that are helping build up its nuclear program.

KOSIK: Anna, let me ask you this. What is the reaction there in South Korea to the threats? Do they think the north will really fire a missile?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison, that was certainly the thinking by the South Koreans and also the U.S., that's what the intelligence was pointing out, that there would be a missile launch, that we know. That those two missile, medium range missiles are positioned on the east coast of North Korea and then there was this information that perhaps there would be multiple rocket launches.

I think what's really important to note, Alison, is that North Korea has never actually once said that it would conduct a missile test. So this is all from intelligence but you would have thought it would have happened by now.

It hasn't. There's a big day coming up on the North Korean calendar, the 15th of April, that of course is the anniversary of the birth of North Korea's founder Kim il-Sung, who is the grandfather of Kim Jong- un. So who knows, Alison, perhaps things are escalating here on the Korean peninsula.

BLACKWELL: Hey, Anna, Secretary Kerry was there in Seoul yesterday and we thought a lot about the unknown Kim Jong-un but there's a new president there in South Korea as well, President Park. What was his message for her and for their government and the people of South Korea?

COREN: As you say, John Kerry was here yesterday and the United States is a very good friend of South Korea, so he is basically pledging his support to this country and said that if there is any provocation from the North, the U.S. will be standing right beside it, supporting it and obviously Japan. So his message was one of, you know, tough words to North Korea, to not go ahead with the missile test and basically to, you know, come to the table and talk.

The U.S. would be interested in talking, in entering diplomatic talks with North Korea if they were serious about denuclearization but this of course, is the sticking point, this is the problem because we know that North Korea is gung ho on developing its nuclear weapons program. They've said their weapons program is not for sale so where it goes from here, who knows but certainly the door for diplomacy has been opened. We'll just have to see what the reaction is out of North Korea?

KOSIK: Elise, let me ask you one more question about China, if China isn't on board with us can the U.S. hope to get North Korea to back down on the rhetoric? LABOTT: Well, U.S. officials, Alison, all admit and analysts say all roads lead to China. China is so important here. They really see China as key because China has the pocketbook. China can all of a sudden stop aid to North Korea, be a little bit tougher, say listen those fuel shipments are running a little bit late but I think we might be overestimating China's influence here. You've seen China over recent years talk to the North Koreans, warning them to not make a nuclear test, not to do a missile test and North Korea goes ahead anyway.

But there is a big debate right now in China from senior officials on up to President (INAUDIBLE) to saying "Listen, North Korea might be, our relationship might be a little bit against our national security and we're just not really getting much bang for our buck with North Korea." So I think it remains to be seen over the coming weeks and months how cozy China remains with North Korea. The U.S. has tried to get China to crack down in the past, hasn't had too much success but China might be reaching its end point.

KOSIK: All right. Elise Labott, Anna Coren, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Some of Kim Jong-un's most passionate supporters the young people. That's because they're taught at a young age to pay homage to their leader and to hate America.

Brian Todd met one man who went through it as a child.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A captivating sight in Pyongyang Friday a rally staged by the Korean Children's Union. They pledge allegiance to the state and get their red scarves.

At another similar event, a young lady could barely get her words out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My heart is pounding. It's my first time seeing the venerated leader Kim Jong-un and I'm deeply touched by his love and care.

TODD (on camera): Look familiar to you?


This is what I did all the time when I was in North Korea.

TODD (voice-over): Daniel Choi grew up in North Korea's world of child indoctrination. Choi now 24 says from as early as he could remember he had to sing songs at school paying homage to Kim Jong-il and his father, the founder of North Korea, Kim il-sung. He often had to visit monuments in their honor, and bow before them, marching military style was routine. Kids who failed to tow the line he says saw this happen to their families.

DANIEL CHOI, NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR: They sent to farms or a very cold place.

TODD: An official with Amnesty International tells us North Korean children are taught to monitor each other. Daniel Choi says even math class involved propaganda.

CHOI: There is five Americans, American soldiers invade North Korea, and brave North Koreans kill them all Americans and how many left like that.

TODD: In school, Choi says stones were used to simulate hand grenades.

CHOI: They practice to show how far or how little.

TODD (on camera): And that's for gym class.

CHOI: Gym class, there's targets - they make targets of American soldiers.

TODD (voice-over): Analysts say North Korean children are in effect brainwashed from the time they're first cognizant. There are youth cells for the army, experts say, as well as for factories, government agencies, farms.

Analyst Gordon Flake visited a place called The Children's Model Farm in 1996.

GORDON FLAKE, MANSFIELD FOUNDATION: They brought all the kids out to greet us and they came out again with that kind of well rehearsed kind of glassy-eyed stare saying hello in Korean or good-bye and again in a remarkable way that there's a degree of indoctrination.

TODD: Getting the red scarf means you're in the young pioneer core, the parallels to previous dictatorships, Flake says are stark.

FLAKE: I don't need to make the comparison. It's obvious. This is clearly a highly indoctrinated totalitarian state where the children are tools of the state, just like it was in Hitler, just like it was in Stalin's Soviet Union.

TODD: Designed to get children to follow their leaders to the very end. Choi was lucky, he was smuggled out at age 14.

CHOI: Until I escaped from North Korea, I could die for them.

TODD: What does Choi think of Kim il-Sung and his family now. He says "nothing special, ordinary men."

(on camera): Gordon Flake says North Koreans have been so heavily indoctrinated from their youth that many who escape have a tough time functioning in modern democracies with high levels of unemployment and alcoholism, among some he says, there's even a desire to go back to North Korea.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


KOSIK: The retrial of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak got under way this morning. A minute later though it was over. That's because the judge withdrew himself from the case, putting it on hold. Chaos erupted as the judge walked out. Mubarak watched the whole thing from a cage in the courtroom. He faces charges related to the killings of protesters during Egypt's 2011 uprising.

BLACKWELL: Tiger Woods could be heading home this morning.

KOSIK: There is the possibility, the world's number one golfer could be disqualified from the Masters. It's all over a simple shot he took yesterday. Rachel Nichols joins us from Augusta, quite the surprise I'm thinking, Rachel, for the four-time Masters champion, hmm?

RACHEL NICHOLS, : Absolutely. I mean, this is not what we all expected when Tiger left the course yesterday but if you take a look at the rules and first of all, it was such a flukey shot. This is a shot he took that actually bounced off of the flagstick, something that once in a very, very many rounds chance, went into the water and now he has to try to figure out where to drop the ball.

Golf rules say that he actually has three different options, and the option that he chose was to take it close as possible to the original spot of his shot. Now, close as possible is something that is of course up for interpretation. When Tiger was talking after his round yesterday, he said in two separate interviews that he took that drop about two yards away from the original spot.

If you look at replays, it's a little bit closer than that. It looks like more like a few feet away, hard to tell, depends on the angle but that of course, it's up to the rules committee to decide is that as near as possible?

It's, of course, a matter of opinion and that is where things become murky because the people have questions. Are you going to show favoritism to a four-time Masters champion? Was he actually doing what's within the rules?

Remember, Tiger was disqualified from a tournament just a couple months ago, first time it's ever happened to him in his career, because of a rules violation. We'll have to see what happens here, Masters officials are huddling up right now.

KOSIK: OK. Rachel, what about the play of Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters champ, proving he's still got it?

NICHOLS: Yes, absolutely. It's certainly refreshing to see him and he loves this course. You can tell. Golfers play well at courses that they love and he is of course the '92 champion. He has a real affection for playing here. He talks about it quite often and you can see that in his play. We have to see if it stands up through the weekend, but certainly he is having a good time here and one of the nice heartwarming stories of the tournament so far.

BLACKWELL: All right. Rachel Nichols live from Augusta, thank you.

KOSIK: And let's not forget the 14-year-old who keeps making headlines at the masters. Tianlang Guan is the youngest player ever to make the cut at a major championship but it's not going completely smoothly. Guan was penalized one stroke for slow play despite several warnings but he'll play on the rest of the weekend. Guan is three over par in the tournament, he's seven shots behind the leader, Jason Day of Australia.

BLACKWELL: Another week of fireworks in the Jodi Arias trial. We'll tell you what the defense witness said that actually helped the prosecution.


KOSIK: An update now on the Jodi Arias trial. The prosecution went after the defense's domestic violence expert. At one point the expert admitted the victim in this case, Travis Alexander, was actually scared of Arias.

Ted Rowlands is following the case for us in Phoenix -- Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison, the defense domestic violence expert Alice Laviolette was on the stand more than anyone is this trial except for Jodi Arias. A lot of that time was spent sparring with the prosecutor Juan Martinez but she also had to take some pretty tough questions this week from the jury.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to continue to ask the jurors' questions.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): Many of the questions for defense expert Alice Laviolette showed that some jurors don't seem to believe Laviolette's testimony that Jodi Arias was a victim of domestic abuse.

SHERRY STEPHENS, JUDGE: We have a gunshot to the head, a four inch deep slit throat, and close to 30 stab wounds delivered by Jodi to Travis. Is not the perpetrator of the greatest domestic violence Jodi?

ROWLANDS: Jurors had more than 150 questions for Laviolette who spent 11 days on the witness stand, many of those days were spent sparring with prosecutor Juan Martinez.

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: Isn't that an indication of stalking behavior?

ROWLANDS: Jodi Arias had to sit and watch as Martinez used Laviolette, her expert witness to argue his case including that Jodi Arias was stalking her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, before killing him in 2008. At one point Martinez was able to get Laviolette to admit that Alexander was afraid of Arias.

MARTINEZ: Isn't it true that Mr. Alexander was extremely afraid of the defendant, Jodi Arias, based on her stalking behavior?

LAVIOLETTE: He was afraid of her, yes.

MARTINEZ: Because of her stalking behavior, correct?

LAVIOLETTE: Correct. ROWLANDS: Jodi Arias is charged with pre-meditated murder, which carries a possible death sentence for shooting Alexander in the head and stabbing him almost 30 times. Arias claims she killed Alexander in self-defense.


ROWLANDS: Next week the prosecution begins what we expect to be a relatively short rebuttal case and then after closing arguments, it will be time for this jury to begin deciding Jodi Arias' fate. Alison.

KOSIK: All right. Ted Rowlands thanks, reporting from Phoenix.

BLACKWELL: Psy, you know Psy, that guy, his new single and some new moves, can it live up to "Gangnam Style's" success? See for yourself. It's coming up.


BLACKWELL: Two years ago we recognized the California chef as a top 10 CNN hero for providing free meals to children living in motels with their parents. Well, now Chef Bruno Serato is doing even more. He's helping families exchange their room key for a chance at a better life. Look.


CHEF BRUNO SERATO: Who liked the pasta?


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Every night Chef Bruno Serato serves meals to 300 motel kids in Anaheim, California. Work that he was honored for in 2011 as a top 10 CNN hero.


It was an amazing moment in my life.

After the CNN show, lots of people called me, what can we do for you?

COOPER: Bruno wanted to do more to help families living in area motels.

SERATO: When I send the kids back to the motel I always say there is that moment because I know we have to goodbye.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys can share the 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/bedrooms. Me and my husband sleep here and then the rest of them sleep sardine style on this bed. He got laid off, I started working just a month ago. It's really hard for to us save up to get into an actual home.

SERATO: I came over to say 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 non-profit, 29 families have now gotten a fresh start in a home of their own.

SERATO: What do you think?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The kids run around, explored, found their rooms.

SERATO: This is yours?


SERATO: Congratulations.


SERATO: My heart is very full of joy. It's putting back people to their own home.

COOPER: Bruno hopes to move 70 more families by the end of the year. CNN hero with a new recipe for helping others.

SERATO: Pasta!


BLACKWELL: Secretary Kerry spoke in Beijing a few moments ago on North Korea. We're going to go to Seoul, South Korea, to get an update or rather Beijing to get an update on what he said in just a moment. Stay with us.


BLACKWELL: Secretary of state John Kerry is in China today. He arrived this morning after a stop in South Korea. Now, in both places, the talk is centered on of course North Korea, and the threats of the missile strike.

KOSIK: Foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty has been traveling with the secretary of state. She's on the phone with me now from Beijing. Jill, what did we hear from Kerry this morning?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're awaiting a news conference, a press availability as we call it with Secretary Kerry, and what we've heard is a consistent message of trying to let's say push, encourage China to do as much as it can to put pressure on North Korea. After all, the United States and Secretary Kerry believe that China really is, because of its tight relationship economically and in many other ways, with North Korea, that it is the country that can do the most.

So in somewhat diplomatic terms, but very strong terms, Secretary Kerry met with senior leadership of China and in every message he brought that home, that we have to, we China and the United States have to work together to really resolve this peacefully and the way he would argue that you resolve it peacefully is for China to exercise whatever influence it has.

Now one thing we were hoping to hear was some specificity in terms of what China would do. One of the top officials right after the latest meeting that the secretary had did say that China is committed to resolving this peacefully but there really were no, I think you'd have to say, specifics.

So at the press series that will be coming up very shortly, we want to find out what is China committing to, if anything specific, certainly the rhetoric is there, and the intent to work together is there, and they say that they are going to be holding more talks, more meetings to try to put some flesh on the bones, but we will hope that we will hear a little bit more this evening.

BLACKWELL: Let's listen to what Secretary Kerry said a little earlier today.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I bring you the president's greetings and his hopes that these meetings will do exactly what you describe, that we can provide a road map, as you've talked about, that we can raise the dialogue to a higher level, and over the course of these next hours we have an opportunity to do that.


BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Jill Dougherty, traveling with the Secretary Kerry.

KOSIK: Thanks for watching today. I'm going to see you right back here at the top of the hour.

BLACKWELL: "YOUR BOTTOM LINE" starts right now. Thanks for watching this morning.