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3 Missing Women Found; Mother of Gina DeJesus Never Gave Up Hope; Mother of Amanda Berry Died Before Found; Survivors Talk About Limo Fire; President Obama, President Park Give Press Conference.
Aired May 7, 2013 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: North Korea did keep up its threats. A U.S. official says the North has withdrawn two mobile ballistic missiles from a launch site. Live coverage of the news conference, that's coming up.
We're also following a remarkable story unfolding now in Ohio. Three, young women, missing for years, found alive in a house in Cleveland. Amanda Berry disappeared in 2003, Gina DeJesus vanished in 2004, Michele Knight missing since 2002.
Police rescued them, and arrested the owner of the house, Ariel Castro, and his brothers, Pedro and O'Neal. Brand-new mug shots -- take a look -- just released of the suspect. They're just coming in to CNN. That's Ariel Castro right there.
The dramatic developments all came after a neighbor heard Amanda Berry screaming for help. And now authorities are trying to piece together the details of how the young women were abducted and held for all those years.
Gina DeJesus was 20 years old when she disappeared April of 2004, nine years ago. But her aunt says, in all of that time, Gina's mother never gave up hope.
Sandra Ruiz says her sister's faith gave the rest of the family strength.
SANDRA RUIZ, SISTER OF GINA DEJESUS: My sister had the strength of a thousand women. She knew, she knew, and she kept -- we had the strength, she kept us on the strength and that's, you know, I give her -- I don't know how she did it. If it was my daughter, I don't foe. She's my niece and I -- I survived day by day with God. Amanda's part of our family.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Right.
RUIZ: So will Michele. Michele will be with us. Thick and thin, for the rest of our lives, those two women.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I wonder, when you last saw them they were girls and when you see them now they're women.
RUIZ: They're women.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What can you tell us --
RUIZ: They're stronger than you, you, you, and me.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I believe that.
RUIZ: Trust me, they are.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How --
RUIZ: They're great.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: If they helped one another, did you see signs of that? I'm sure that helped them get through.
RUIZ: Let me tell you, sisterhood, women that -- those girls, those women are so strong. What we do out here, what we have done in 10 years is nothing compared to what those women have done, together, to survive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Sadly, Amanda Berry's mother didn't live to be reunited with her daughter. When she passed away back in 2006, people said she died of a broken heart. Amanda disappeared while walking home from her job at Burger King a few blocks from her home. It was the day before her 17th birthday.
Brandi Sauers Rucinski is a former TV reporter who covered the Amanda Berry story and developed a special bond with Amanda's mom.
So, thanks for joining us.
So what were your thoughts, first of all, covering the story? Tell us about the mother.
BRANDI SAUERS RUCINSKI, FORMER WJW REPORTER: I tell you what, Wolf, you know, it's one of those stories you know you cover typically missing person, missing child, and you know you collect it out and you see, is this a runaway, a feeling as a reporter how this is going to develop. So I got to know the mom. And once she invited me into her home and Amanda's bedroom, showed me around, and talked to her, I talked to her for a while, I knew right away, you know, this is more than just a runaway. This wasn't something that was, you know, going to end good because you felt the closeness between the mother and the daughter. And she was so persistent all the time about finding her daughter and she kind of had that instinct, she was still here. She's somewhere. And she felt helpless because only thing she could do is reach out to us and we did our best to you know get the word out. But for 10 years we didn't know, obviously. Here we are today with good news and -- but still, at that time, you have that mom who is gone now and still never knew what happened to her daughter.
BLITZER: This notion, you knew her, she died -- she was a relatively young woman, she actually died of a broken heart. Do you believe that?
SAUERS RUCINSKI: Oh, definitely. I would say shattered. You know, broken is a good way -- she died of heart failure. And I think you have been hearing that a lot, she died of a broken heart. It's truly was one of those bonds between a mother and a daughter, you can tell they had a closeness. I hope Amanda knows that. She's watching this and hears this. Her mother did everything she possibly could to try to find her. She really did. She reached out, called every week. She would do whatever we could to get her daughter on the news. She never had a dry face. The woman would call. you could tell she had been crying. I go to interview, we'd reach out, we'd hug. Her face is so wet, covered in tears. Your heart broke for her.
BLITZER: I know you tell the story that you would hold her hands and try to get a smile off of her but that was virtually impossible. The woman was so, so sad, so distraught on every occasion you saw her?
SAUERS RUCINSKI: This is true. And you know, you try to do things to bring a little light of hope, you know, glimmer of hope and cover the stories. But it's one of those things you can only cover the story so many times, you know? When there's a vigil we would cover it or the slightest tip. There's nothing concrete.
I worked for WJW, and we couldn't cover it every day because, after a while, you know, it's the same story. And unfortunately, we did the best we could. And I think a lot of the community, that's why people rallied around so much, because they felt a closeness to Amanda because her mom did a very good job of getting the word out and letting people know this was something more than a runaway, or someone who is playing a joke. There was something more to it. I think she really felt that. It was a motherly instinct.
Wolf, one more thing. A lot of times, you have kids and you lose one in a store for two minutes your heart sinks. As a mom -- I have four children now -- I can't imagine, I can't fathom what she was going through all those years not knowing. I mean, I just wanted to call and pick up the phone and say, we found her, we found her. But as soon as I heard the news yesterday, I dropped what I was doing and -- I felt helpless. I was overjoyed and relieved, and I just wanted to share that with her.
BLITZER: It would have been nice if she would have been able to be reunited with her daughter. Our heart goes out to that family.
Brandi thanks for sharing thoughts with us.
SAUERS RUCINSKI: My pleasure.
BLITZER: A distraught survivor of the tragic limo fire speaking out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED LIMO FIRE SURVIVOR: She saw the smoke in the back of the car, where one of her friends is sitting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: You'll hear why she says the limo driver did not, repeat, did not do enough to help.
BLITZER: It may be weeks before we know what caused that limo fire that killed bride-to-be and four friends. They were headed to a bachelorette party when the limo caught fire on a bridge near Oakland, California, Saturday night.
While investigators worked the case, we're hearing from survivors of this terrible fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED LIMO FIRE SURVIVOR: I said I told you, there's smoke and then a spark came out. I said there's a fire. Stop the car. Stop the car. When he stop the car, he get out from the car, he just get out from the car. Then he get out from the car. He just opened the door, that's all he did. I asked him, help me, help me, bring out my head from the compartment and say, help me, so I could squeeze myself over and slide myself. Open the door, open the door. He didn't do anything.
When I ran back, Jasmine was saying, I cannot get out. Help! I cannot get out. So I tried to pull her out. I tried to check if I can pull out one more, but it's already too dark, I can't see anything anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The limo driver's also speaking out. He got out safely and managed to help one or two of the women escape. He says it all happened so fast he wishes he could have done more to save the others.
We can soon find out where the Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, will be buried. The latest information we have, the funeral home in Worcester, Massachusetts, where the terror suspect's body was taken, says it expects a resolution perhaps as early as tomorrow. That's after trying unsuccessfully for several days to find a cemetery that would accept the body.
There's help on the way for the victims of the Boston bombings. The Boston One Fund has raised at least $28 million so far. The head of the fund, Kenneth Feinberg, says families of those killed in the attack will each receive more than $1 million but he's cautioning there's only so much the money can do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH FEINBERG, ADMINISTRATOR, BOSTON ONE FUND: I'll tell you right now, whatever we do with this fund is inadequate. And everybody, I suggest, lower your expectations about this fund. If you had a billion dollars, you could not have enough money to deal with all of the problems that ought to be addressed by these attacks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The fund is aiming to distribute money to victims by the end of June.
We're told that momentarily the president of the United States and the visiting president of South Korea will go into this room over there at the White House. You see the flags of the U.S. and South Korea there. They will hold a joint news conference.
They have been meeting earlier in the Oval Office at the White House discussing the very, very explosive, tense situation on the Korean peninsula, given the recent threats from North Korea and its new young leader, Kim Jong-Un. They have been working out a joint strategy in recent days. In recent days, U.S. Officials say the North Koreans apparently have removed some missiles that were threatening earlier but the situation there remains very, very tense.
Remember, along that demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, there are to the north about one million North Korean forces heavily armed with artillery, missiles and rockets. There's about almost one million South Korean troops, some 30,000 U.S. troops in between.
There's the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, first woman president of South Korea. And here's the president.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody, please have a seat.
Let me again by saying it is a great pleasure to welcome President Park and our friends from the republic of Korea.
We are greatly honored you have chosen the United States as your first foreign visit. This, of course, reflects deep friendship between our people and the great alliance between your nations, which is marking another milestone.
I'm told in Korea 60th birthday is a special celebration of life and longevity, (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).
This year, we're marking the 60th anniversary of the defense treaty between the nations.
Yesterday, President Park visited Arlington Cemetery, a memorial to our Korean War veterans. And tonight, she's hosting a dinner to pay tribute to the generation of American veterans who have served in the defense of South Korea. And tomorrow, she'll address a joint session of Congress, an honor that is reserved for our closest of friends. And in this sense, this visit reflects South Korea's extraordinary progress over these six decades. From the ashes of war to one of the world's largest of the economies, from a recipient of foreign aid to a donor that helps other nations develop, and, of course, around the world, people are being swept up by Korean culture, the Korean wave. And as I've mentioned to President Park, my daughters have taught me a pretty good Gangnam style.
President Park, in your first months in office, South Korea's faced threats and provocations that would test any nation yet displayed calm and steady resolve that has defined your life. Like people around the world, those of us in the United States have also been inspired by your example as the first female president of South Korea. And today, I've come to appreciate the leadership qualities for which you are known, focus and discipline and straightforwardness, and I very much thank you for the progress that we've already made together.
Today, we agreed to continue the implementation of our historic trade agreement, which is already yielding benefits for both our countries. On our side, we're selling more exports to Korea, more manufactured goods, agriculture products. Even as we have a long way to go, automobile exports are up nearly 50 percent, and our big three, Ford, Chrysler, G.M., are selling more cares in Korea. And as President Park and I agreed to make sure that we continue to fully implement this agreement, we believe that it's going to make both of our economies more competitive. It will boost U.S. exports by some $10 billion in support of tens of thousands of American jobs and obviously it will be creating jobs in Korea, as they are able to continue to do extraordinary work in expanding their economy and moving it further and further up the value chain.
We agreed to continue the clean-energy partnerships that help us enhance our energy security and address climate change. Given the importance of a peaceful nuclear energy industry to South Korea, we recently agreed to extent the existing civilian nuclear agreement between our two countries, but we also emphasize the need to continue to work diligently toward a new agreement. As I told the president, I believe we can find a way to support South Korea's energy and commercial needs even as we uphold our mutual commitments to prevent nuclear proliferation.
We agreed to continuing modernizing our security alliance. Guided by our joint vision, we're investing in the shared capabilities and technologies and missile defenses that allow our forces to operate and succeed together. We are on track for South Korea to assume operational control for the alliance in 2015 and we're determined to be fully prepared for any challenge or threat to our security and obviously that includes the threat from North Korea.
If Pyongyang thought its recent threats would drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States or somehow garner the North international respect, today's further evidence that North Korea has failed again. President Park and South Koreans stood with resolve. Faced with new international sanctions, North Korea is more isolated. The days when North Korea could create a crisis and elicit concessions, those days are over.
Our two nations are prepared to engage with North Korea diplomatically and, over time, build trust. But, as President Park has made clear, the burden is on Pyongyang to take meaningful steps to abide by its commitments and obligations, particularly the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
And we discussed that Pyongyang should take notice of events in countries like Burma, which, as it reforms, is seeing more trade and investment and diplomatic ties with the world, including the United States and South Korea.
For our part, we will continue to coordinate closely with South Korea and with Japan. And I want to make clear the United States is fully prepared and capable of defending ourselves and our allies with the full range of capabilities available, including the deterrence provided by our conventional and nuclear forces. As I said, in Seoul, last year, the commitment of the United States to the security of the republic of Korea will never waver.
More broadly, we begin to continue expanding our cooperation globally. In Afghanistan, where our troops serve together and where South Korea is a major donor of development assistance, we're on track to complete the transition to Afghan-led operations by the end of next year.
We discussed Syria, where both our nations are working to strengthen the opposition and plan for a Syria without Bashir al Assad. And I'm pleased our two nations and our Peace Corps have agreed to expand our efforts to promote development around the world.
Finally, we're expanding the already strong ties between our young people. As an engineer by training, President Park knows the importance of education,
Madam President, you've said, and I'm quoting you, "We live in an age where a single individual can raise the value of an entire nation." I could not agree more. So I'm pleased we're renewing exchange programs that bring our students together. And as we pursue common-sense immigration reform here in the United States, we want to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs and foreign graduate students from countries like Korea to stay and contribute to our country, just as so many Korean-Americans already do.
So, again, thank you, President Park, for making the United States your first foreign trip. In your inaugural address, you celebrated the can-do spirit of the Korean people. That is the spirit that we share. And after our meeting today I'm confident that if our two nations continue to stand together, there is nothing we cannot do together.
So Madam President, welcome to the United States.
(END LIVE FEED)
BLITZER: Very strong statement from the president of the United States. And now, a response from the president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye. We'll monitor what she's saying. I assume she's also going to salute the very strong U.S./South Korean relationship, and also in the face of the latest threats coming from North Korea.
We'll take a quick break and continue to monitor what is happening at the news conference at the White House. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: Checking your money right now, there you see the Dow is over 15,000 once again. Take a look at this, up about 78 points right now. You might remember the Dow passed the 15,000 mark for the first time ever on Friday. But it hasn't closed above that big psychological mark. We'll see if it does later today.
We know a college degree makes a huge difference when it comes to getting a job. The unemployment rate for workers with college degrees is half of the national average. But what you study can also make a huge difference in your job prospects and even how much money you wind up making.
Christine Romans explains in this week's how to speak money.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math, STEM. And these fields are driving the good paying jobs. It is no secret that students studying STEM make more than those studying liberal arts when they graduate. According to Pay Scale, STEM majors make almost 20 grand more a year right off the bat.
But a new report from Glass Door shows they can also make a lot of money even before they graduate. Look at the top five highest-paid internships. VMWare, a software company, claims the number one spot. Interns there make about $6700 a month on average. Annual, that adds up to more than $80,000. EBay comes in a close second, paying $6500 a month. ExxonMobil landed third spot, followed by Facebook and Google.
Notice a trend? Those internships are mostly at tech companies or petroleum engineering. These companies need to fill high-tech jobs like software engineers, and they'll pay to get the best. Something to think about as you're getting those college acceptance letters.
Remember, STEM jobs are the future. They'll drive the growth of the industries that are paying the most money for students. The U.S. is lagging behind China, India, and others on STEM education. We can't afford to lose that edge in integration. And you can afford to have a $200,000 degree that leaves you unemployed. Be very careful what you're studying, what you're good at, and what the economy is rewarding.
And if you're not a math guru, if you're not a science freak, don't worry. Liberal arts majors can still make very good living if they are working in fields that are STEM related.
Back to you.
BLITZER: Christine Romans, thanks very much.
That does it for me. I'll see you at 5:00 p.m. eastern in "The Situation Room."
Brooke Baldwin has much more from Cleveland, right after this.