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Daring Prison Escape Leads To European Union-Wide Manhunt; Anybody's Game At The Masters; Saving Kim Yeun Soon; Ways To Pay For College

Aired April 14, 2013 - 14:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield with a look at our top stories this hour.

A French robber has busted his way out of prison today in true gangster style. We'll tell you how he made his daring getaway.

In Kaufman County, Texas, a former justice of the peace has been charged with making a terroristic threat. Eric Williams is being held on a $3 million bond. No other detail have been released.

And U.S. secretary of state John Kerry visits Japan. Another high-level meeting ends with calls for North Korea to stand down. But ill the messages from the U.S., South Korea, China and Japan make any difference to the North?

We start with a daring escape from a French prison and now a manhunt. It happened in a town (ph) you probably thought only existed in the movies. French police are looking for Redoine Faid. The modern day gangster fashioned himself after criminal characters in Hollywood movies like Robert de Niro in Heat. Faid allegedly held five people including four guards at gunpoint before blasting the prison doors with explosives to escape.

Our Frederick Pleitgen is live from London right now. Fred, how is it believed that Faid got explosives to allegedly do this?

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's really the big question. If you look at the security in that prison, it really seems as though there were some serious lapses. One of the things we're hearing, apparently that prison has way too many inmates in it, and also that it's simply not equipped to deal with people like that.

One of the things that seems unbelievable, Fred, apparently people, the guards, at that prison, they are not allowed to search the prisoners all the time. They can only do that on a random basis. It's believed someone might have just brought the explosives in there. And it's got to be a substantial amount of explosives because he didn't bust up just one door. He blasted open five prison doors, and then went through those with his four hostages that he had. The prison guards. He went out of the prison, got a getaway car, dumped that somewhere, set it on fire. Got another car, and now he's on the loose and European authorities are trying to find him. But a lot of questions here, Fredricka. WHITFIELD: Apparently French authorities have launched a manhunt in 26 countries. What it about those countries that they suspect he may have some kind of tie with?

PLEITGEN: Well, he could basically go anywhere inside the European Union. One of the things that we have to keep in mind, there's no border controls or anything in the European Union. So, they have to put out a warrant for him in every single European country for the police to actually look for him there. One of the countries they're looking at is Belgium.

But one of the other things that's really surprising is everybody seemed to have known that this man was very, very smart and very, very dangerous. He's someone who's been almost a criminal celebrity in France. He's been a part of heists and robberies, of armored vehicles carrying cash since the early 1990s. He was put in jail in 1998 originally for 20 years. He got out after ten years in 2010, but then was put back in the locker in 2011 for violating the terms of his parole.

So, certainly he is someone who was known authorities and one they really knew he had a lot of criminal energy, but also a lot of criminal intelligence. So, a lot of people in France will have to answer some very tough questions, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Real-life mystery. All right, thanks so much. Fred Pleitgen, appreciate it from London.

At the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, a brawl between inmates and guards. The incident happened yesterday. Officials say the inmates attacked the guards with improvised weapons as guards tried to move them. The situation was contained, and the inmates have now been moved into individual cells. No official serious injuries reported.

All right. Now to Florida, where a Port Canaveral police sergeant fire ford owning shooting targets that are meant to resemble slain teenager Trayvon Martin. Martin was the teen shot and killed last year by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. CNN affiliate WESH reports Sergeant Ron King brought the targets to a gun range earlier this month and then offered them to other officers.


JOHN WALSH, CANAVERAL PORT AUTHORITY: He offered one of our other officers a target that was the profile of Trayvon Martin. The officer rejected that, and told him to, you know -- that he should put those back in the car, shouldn't even possess something like that.


WHITFIELD: Fired officer Ron King went on YouTube to defend himself. He says the Martin targets were a no-shoot training aid.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RON KING, FORMER PORT CANAVERAL POLICE OFFICER: The target was something that I viewed as an example of a no-shoot situation. While others viewed it as a novelty, I view it as a tool for scenario-based firearms training. Although to date, targets have never been used, I did possess the targets for those training reasons.


WHITFIELD: The police department calls King's behavior unacceptable.

The search for a hiker caught in an avalanche has been called off indefinitely in Washington State. Rescuers say conditions are too bad to look for him. He was swept away in one of two avalanches on Granite Mountain yesterday. A woman died after getting caught in the second avalanche. It happened as heavy snow fell ito the area.

Meterologist Karen Maginnis has more on this late winter storm.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Fred, it's not atypical to see snowfall during the month of April, but to see so much, that is a different story. And some folks from Aberdeen to Bismarck to Fargo to Duluth could see 6 to 12 inches, but could top 15 inches in some places.

Right along the Interstate 74 cutting across North Dakota, that kind of is the zone where we're going to see major winter weather. And in the orange shaded areas, blizzard warnings. This is the month of April. No tulips, no daffodils, not just yet anyway. And the cold air remains in place with temperatures in the Kansas City going from the 70s into only the 40s coming up by Tuesday.

In Chicago, 70s for Sunday afternoon. Only into the 40s by Tuesday. So that grip of cold air is still going to linger even into the workweek. And the outbreak of potentially severe weather could see thunderstorms, heavy downpours, lightning, hail, risk of tornadoes from Missouri on Monday, Oklahoma and Texas on Tuesday. Then marches ahead towards the east as we go into Wednesday with the potential for a severe weather outbreak then.

And we'll continue to watch that as our frontal system makes its way towards the east. Watch out for the heavy downpours. But still, the big newsmaker is the snow in the northern plains. And, Fred, the icy grip of winter doesn't want to give up yet.

WHITFIELD: No it doesn't. Thanks so much, Karen. What a mixed bag there.

All right. At the Masters golf tournament, Tiger Woods is just about to tee off in a final round as the Augusta National Golf Club. Golf's No. 1 player is tied for seventh after being penalized two strokes. CNN sports anchor Rachel Nichols is in Augusta.

So, Rachel, we know there's a tie for the lead between former champion Angel Cabrera from Argentina and America's Brandt Snedeker, but it seems really all eyes are on Tiger Woods? RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Absolutely. If Tiger Woods is going to win today, he going to have to do something he's actually never done before in his storied career. And that is come from behind top win a major. He's four strokes behind the leaders. Would have been easier without that two-stroke penalty. But he certainly says he is comfortable in this situation.

Now, the Masters is different from other major tournaments. We really see a lot more movement on Sunday because of the difficulty and topography of the course. So, the old adage here is that if you're within six strokes, not just at the beginning of the day on Sunday but really when they start the back nine, you have a chance to win here. So, Tiger knows he has a shot. He spent some extra time on the putting green last night just to get in last-minute practice.

You know he'll be thinking, though, Fred, if he finishes the day two strokes off from the winner, about that drop, we'll see how much that affects his thinking as he goes through his round today.

WHITFIELD: Yes, that would hurt. Meantime, what about that 14- year-old Chinese sensation? Is it (INAUDIBLE)?

NICHOLS: Yes, absolutely. You know, as he's just wrapped up his round, he was one of the first ones off today because he is in the bottom part of the group. But really a great success and a great showing here. He finished at 12 over. Completely respectable tournament long score, and really finished ahead not only of a couple people playing over the weekend here, but think about all the people who missed the cut that he finished in front of. Web (ph) Simpson, last year's U.S. Open winner.

And it's considered a huge victory, not just for him to be able to come here and comport himself so well, stand up to the pressure, make the cut, play so well at Augusta. But also in terms of opening up China to the golf market, to the PGA tour. China, obviously, one of five people in this world are Chinese, but they don't play a lot of golf there. It's not as popular as other parts of Asia. So, there's been this push to try to get more golf clubs in the hands of more Chinese, and they really feel that the way this kid handled himself will popularize the sport there maybe in way they have never seen before.

And, in fact, Fred, the most interesting thing I've heard over the past couple of days is the controversial with him getting that stroke off for slow play, actually could help the popularity of the game in China, because of the way he handled himself. And the way the perception was that they weren't showing any favoritism toward him. And that's very big culturally. The idea that there isn't favoritism towards any one golfer, that went over very well over there and made him even more popular. We'll see how it goes from here, but certainly a great showing for him.

WHITFIELD: Wow at the bottom, but a huge accomplishment. All right, thanks so much, Rachel Nichols, appreciate that in Augusta.

North Korea getting a clear message from its neighbors: knock it off with the threats. Now the U.S. secretary of state is sending his own message about possible talks.

And we've got some tips on how to get the best financial deal out of those college acceptance offers.


WHITFIELD: Today, U.S. secretary John Kerry urged North Korea to stop the provocations and come to the negotiating table. Secretary Japan spoke in Japan on the latest stop of his Asian tour. And while he left the door open for possible talks, he made it clear the U.S. stands behind its allies.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It is very simple that the United States will do what is necessary to defend our allies, Japan, Republic of Korea and the region against these provocations. But our choice is to negotiate. Our choice is to move to the table and find a way for the region to have peace.


WHITFIELD: The rising tensions between North and South Korea bring back painful memories of the Korean War. Many U.S. military veterans are haunted to this day. But one retired airman found a way to ease some of the pain by tracking down a young Korean girl he saved so many decades ago. Here's CNN Kyung Lah.


RICHARD CADWALLADER, KOREAN WAR VETERAN: Aircraft is strafing on -- went down through this field here.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sixty years is a lifetime ago for most of us.

CADWALLADER: My guess was it would have been right over there.

LAH: But not for Korean veteran Richard Cadwallader, who has spent every day of those past six decades thinking about this airfield.

CADWALLADER: Unbelievable.

LAH: Cadwallader was 22 years old in 1953, an enlisted airman who landed in the final year of the Korean War at a remote base on the Yellow Sea. A bloody war with heavy American casualties.

Now 82, Cadwallader to this day can't talk about what he saw, except the story of this 10-year-old girl.

CADWALLADER: We found that she was burned very badly, from her waist all the way up to the neck and right to the bottom chin. In fact, even her ear lobes appeared to be burned off.

LAH: The girl's mother carried her five miles on foot in the brutal winter to Cadwallader's base.

CADWALLADER: She stood on her feet in front of the medic during that two hours, and what's remarkable is she never shed a tear or made a sound.

LAH: Cadwallader, just an airman second class, begged the highest ranking officer he could find to airlift her to a burn unit before she died of her infections. That saved her life.

(on camera): You didn't even know her name.

CADWALLADER: I didn't know her name. Hardly even knew where she lived.

LAH: But he never forgot that brave little girl. Repeating the story again and again for 60 years, a story that made its way here to Korea.

Earlier this year the government put out this flyer nationwide, hoping to find that little girl. They found her.

(voice-over): Before national Korean media, the now elderly woman met the American veteran once again. Her name is Kim Yeun Soon, now age 72. She married and raised three children. She bears the scars of her childhood wounds and, since that day she was hurt, carried the memory of the American who saved her.

(on camera): Why you call him your American father?

(voice-over): "He's the hero who saved me," she says. "He healed me. Wouldn't you call him that, too?"

Arm's length with Cadwallader and his wife, they remember the war that never truly ended, a divided nation still in conflict today. But for this veteran, being here closed some old wounds we can't see.

CADWALLADER: The time spent over here was worth it.

LAH: The Korean War is often called the forgotten war. But it's good to know that even in war, some things are worth remembering.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Hwaseong, South Korea.


WHITFIELD: And it's that time of year when, if you're lucky, the college acceptance letters start rolling in. But then the reality sinks in. How are you going to pay for it? We've got some great tips on how to make it all happen.


WHITFIELD: It can be one of the most exciting times of your life. Getting the acceptance letters to college. If you're lucky, you have a few different offers from which to choose. So how do you find out where to get the most help financially? Jordan Goldman is a founder and CEO of, which specializes in getting students and parents ready for college. He's joining me right now.

All right, Jordan. Good to see you. Thanks for joining me. What's the first step in evaluating the college offers?

JORDAN GOLDMAN, FOUNDER/CEO, UNIGO.COM: So, a lot of families, they've now gotten in and they are moving on to the next part, which is how do I pay for this? And it's a legitimate concern. The cost of college since 1975 has gone up more than 250 percent. And in 1975, about 35 percent of students were taking out additional student loans in addition to what the school gave them.

Today that's 65 percent. So families are saying, how can I handle this increased financial burden? One of the most important things we tell them to do is work with an expert. So, normally when you're doing taxes you'd work with an accountant. Someone who knows how the process works. We recommend you do the same thing here. On, we actually offer free 15-minute phone calls, and we'll match people up with college counselors who can help them with the financial aid process and help them figure out what are all the loopholes, how can you get as much money from each college as possible?

WHITFIELD: Sometimes you have to know what to ask for. And that's the problem. A lot of parents and teachers don't even know the lingo. How to decode all of this. All of these offers and what's available to them?

GOLDMAN: Yep. That's exactly it. Every college when they give you their financial aid offer, the form looks different. Different number, different terms, different places. One of the things we recommend is you literally sit down, make a graph and say how much does school X give me for a Pell Grant? How much does school Y for a loan? So you can compare everything side by side.

The next really important thing is people don't realize most schools have at least a one-time financial aid re-evaluation policy. Which means in practice --

WHITFIELD: One time?

GOLDMAN: Yes, one time. But you can go back to them and say you know what? The money you gave me isn't enough. I need a little more. Or school x gave me $10,000 more than you did.

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh, it's like negotiating your credit card, you know, percentage. APR, right?

GOLDMAN: Exactly. And people don't treat it that way. If you don't, you really miss out. Treat this like a negotiation. Call the school. And you can let them know, a family member got laid off or I'm helping to support my grandparents. Or I have a brother or sister in college. All of that stuff actually does weigh for you getting more financial aid. You just need to bring it to the college's attention.

WHITFIELD: Okay. And so yes, you can use a professional, just as you offered. But sometimes just need to deal with the financial aid or the administrative office at the university or college directly?

GOLDMAN: Yes. Exactly. You can't be afraid to pick up the phone and call.

Another thing you can do, a lot of schools offer merit aid in addition to the scholarships and loans they gave you. But those are programs you apply for. They won't just give it to you. You have to look for it. So if you go on, there's a list of all these schools that offer merit aid. And you can go and apply and you can find yourself with $5,000, $10,000 more.

There's also a website called They're group of colleges including big names like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, who have come up with some really innovative ways to pay for college. So, projectonstudentdebt shows you some of these schools and what you have to do --

WHITFIELD: What are some of the examples?

GOLDMAN: What's that?

WHITFIELD: What are some of the examples of what you would have to do?

GOLDMAN: One quick example, Harvard has a program now where if your family makes under $180,000 a year, you qualify for this program. The cost of going to Harvard is only going to be 10 percent of your family's annual income. So, depending what your family makes, that could make Harvard cheaper than some state schools. But a lot of people don't know they have the program. So, if you go on projectonstudentdebt, you can see all these schools with the programming you can try to get into.

WHITFIELD: And that's really smart information to know even before you apply. Say, for the next round, because so many people would be interested in a certain college or university, but they won't even apply because they figure I'm not going to be able to afford it. So, essentially you've giving them the formula. Go ahead and apply to those places. Figure out the money thing later.

GOLDMAN: Exactly. And I mean, I think more and more people need to be really scrappy about paying for college. They can't look at the financial aid offer they get as the be-all and end-all. They need to look at it as a starting place. This is where I'm going to start negotiating, and then this is the number I'm going to supplement with grants and scholarships and merit aid.

Another thing with scholarships, a lot of people will assume that by the time you've gotten in, it's too late to apply for scholarships. That's not the case. So, go on or go on There's still plenty of scholarships you can apply for. You can also ask the school. There tends to be scholarships that you can only get as a freshman, sophomore or junior and senior in college. And a lot of these are again, $5,000 $10,000. So you can say to a school, how can I supplement the amount you gave me, not just now but over the next four years? And I've seen people get an extra $50,000, $100,000 over their four years, which really takes down the cost of going to some of these expensive schools.

WHITFIELD: Oh, that's fantastic. You're offering a whole lot of encouragement. Because I know, folks get really stressed out over those numbers and figures, even after they get the relief of finally getting an acceptance letter.

Jordan Goldman, thank you so much.

GOLDMAN: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Okay. Jackie Robinson, he made history when he broke major league baseball's color barrier in 1947. Now his story is in the theaters, but was this highly anticipated movie a box office success? Find out, next.


WHITFIELD: All right. Here's a look at what's trending right now. The story of the first African-American to play in major league baseball is number one at the box office. "42," the movie based on how Jackie Robinson broke the league's color barrier, made just over $23 million this weekend.

CNN's Jason Carroll caught up with Yankees slugger Robinson Cano for his reaction. He was actually named after Jackie Robinson.


ROBINSON CANO, NEW YORK YANKEES: If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here right now and wouldn't be telling these stories. And being trained (INAUDIBLE) guys. Not only myself, but (INAUDIBLE) how he says, the African-Americans, and he's the guy that opened the door for all of us.


WHITFIELD: Catch more of Jason Carroll's interview with Robinson Cano tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And I'll be back at the top of the hour. 4:00 Eastern time with more news, including how this SUV right there caught fire and what happened to the man who was sitting inside.

But first, coming up on "THE NEXT LIST," Costa Rica's Juan Sostheim, a former fast-food exec turns sustainable farmer on "THE NEXT LIST," right now.