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Live Coverage of O.J. Simpson Trial; Bangladesh Survivor Speaks to CNN; Wall Street On Winning Streak

Aired May 15, 2013 - 12:30   ET


O.J. SIMPSON, CONVICTED OF ROBBERY, KIDNAPPING: And they claimed they didn't have it.


And when did the plan become "we're going to have a fake fire be involved?"

SIMPSON: The weekend before I came to Vegas.


So tell me about what happened with the changing of the plan or the evolving of the plan.

SIMPSON: I believe it was the Saturday, Friday or Saturday before I came to Vegas, which was the following Wednesday, I think, Tuesday or Wednesday. I get a call from Riccio and he's in a panic.

He's telling me, O.J., they're selling your stuff. And, I mean, he is, your mother's stuff, your baby's stuff, this stuff. Man, I can't believe you don't want this stuff. They're selling it.

He was in New York, so I'm assuming they were selling it in New York. I said -- I got mad at him and said, man, I ain't coming to New York. So there's nothing I can do about it if they've done that. I'm not getting on a plane and coming to New York.

He said, well, man, I cannot believe that, you know -- I said, man, yes, I would love to have it. I said, look, if whatever they haven't sold, you can get next week, I've got to go to Las Vegas for a wedding. I'll fly to L.A. from Las Vegas, so try to get whatever's left, you know, next week.

And he said you're coming to Vegas? You're going to Vegas?

And I said yes. He said, let me call you back. And shortly, he called me back and said, this stuff is in Vegas.

And I asked why is this stuff in Vegas? Well, his answer was, because they had turnover orders in California. I didn't know Bruce lived in Vegas.

And he says, well, would you want to do it in Vegas? And I said, yeah. PALM: OK.

SIMPSON: I said, I'll call you back.

PALM: And prior to this time, had you consulted -- from when Mr. Riccio first contacted you to right before you coming to Vegas, had you consulted any legal counsel regarding getting that property back?

SIMPSON: I talked to Yale about it two or three times. You know, it came up because we still didn't know exactly who they were, but we were pretty sure it was Beardsley.

And Yale had evidently had some contact with Beardsley and thought he was different, and Beardsley's a little different. And, yeah, we talked about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me, your honor.

At this juncture, if Mr. Simpson is going to be discussing conversations that he claims he had with Mr. Galanter, I would ask that foundation be laid as to when and where these discussions took place and who else, if anybody, was privy to these discussions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Mr. (inaudible).

PALM: And I can do that.

Do you recall exactly ...


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Let's get to Paul Callan from New York, one of our legal analysts; also Danny Cevallos, a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia.

So, Paul, first to you. We've been listening to O.J. Simpson. What do you think of his demeanor and how he has explained his story so far? He seemed kind of emotional about it really.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think his demeanor is very good. He's actually very low-key, and he's sounding very reasonable. And he's basically trying to establish that the material that was stolen, allegedly, in this robbery was his own personal stuff.

And, of course, what he's trying to prove here, Suzanne, is that this is not the material that was under court order as owe and dueing to the civil litigants to the $33.5 million suit in California.

Remember, all of his assets had been ordered to be turned over to the plaintiffs in that case. So he's trying to establish here, you know, this stuff wasn't part of that. This was just personal family stuff that I wanted to recover, trying to show he really didn't have an economic stake in this. It was just personal property involved.


And, Danny, let's bring you in here. He appealed this verdict, originally, all the way up to the Nevada supreme court and lost.

How does he get to be back in the courtroom today? And how do you see these tactics unfolding?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that's the way a habeas petition works.

First, a defendant must exhaust -- and that means pursue -- every avenue of what we call direct appeal, and he did, all the way up to the Nevada supreme court.

Once the Nevada supreme court says, you've got no issues, your conviction stands, only then can he collaterally attack it in what we're seeing now. This is called habeas petition.

So, procedurally, he's done everything. Any individual, any citizen has this right to bring a habeas petition. So it's not really another "at-bat." It's not another free swing at the ball. He's got a very high hill to climb.

The court is going to be very reluctant to re-examine or attack what a jury decided or what the Nevada supreme court decided and left alone back at the jury trial with all the exhaustion of the appeals.

But keep in mind the only time you can bring that habeas petition is after he's already exhausted those other appeals. So that's why he gets another day in court.

Does it mean he gets another trial? Absolutely not. That's a very high burden for this petitioner to meet.

HOLMES: All right, Danny Cevallos, thanks so much. Also, Paul Callan in New York, appreciate it.

And we're going to keep watching this, that's for sure.

We'll be right back with other news as well.


MALVEAUX: We're watching several major news events developing right now, one of them in Vegas. That is where O.J. Simpson now on the stand in a courtroom under oath.

We're taking a look at live pictures of Simpson. He is trying to ask the judge for a new trial.

HOLMES: Yeah, he blames his legal advice from the original trial for that kidnapping and robbery four years ago. The conviction was serving 33 years right now. And obviously he's looking to get another chance.

We're also watching for more fireworks during today's White House briefing scheduled to begin any time now.

MALVEAUX: The White House under fire over the scandal involving the IRS targeting conservative groups and the Justice Department seizing journalists' phone records.

We're going to be monitoring the briefing and, of course, bring you the latest developments.

HOLMES: And we're live on Capitol Hill. There's a lot happening today.

Attorney General Eric holder, he's going to be facing some tough questions about 30 minutes or so from now. He is in the cross hairs over those phone records that were seized from the Associated Press.

MALVEAUX: Now, Holder defends the move. Now, he says it's part of an investigation into one of the most serious national security leaks.

Well, he is going to be testifying before the House judiciary committee. One of his deputies also defends the subpoena of these phone records.

Critics are saying this goes way too far.

HOLMES: Well, it is a growing problem for the military, the number of allegations of sexual assaults within its ranks on the rise, and now it appears another scandal is breaking.

MALVEAUX: So this time, this is Ft. Hood, Texas. This is a soldier assigned to coordinate the sexual assault program under -- well, now, he himself under investigation for sexual assault.

I want to bring in Barbara Starr who's following this story from the Pentagon. And, you know, what kind of trouble is he in?


As you say, this is a sergeant. Sort of think of it as a mid-grade enlisted person in charge of a single office at Ft. Hood for sexual assault prevention. Could not be more embarrassing for the Pentagon. Could not be bigger trouble at Ft. Hood.

This person, we are now told is facing allegations, not charged yet, allegations, of pandering. There is a suggestion, we are told, that he might have forced someone into prostitution. They're looking into that. Other allegations? Abuse of sexual contact and maltreatment of subordinates.

But as you both say, this comes at a time when this scandal, this rise in sexual assault cases, is really causing a lot of consternation, a lot of concern.

In fact, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at his regular meeting with the White House yesterday with the president had to tell him about the Ft. Hood case, the president already on the record saying he wants this problem fixed.

Hagel now ordering some re-training of personnel, but looking for some real answers on how to get to this problem beyond the criminal prosecutions, how to stop it before it happens.

HOLMES: The damage, I mean, the allegations are bad enough. The position that this guy holds just -- I mean, it's head shaking, isn't it?

What sort of damage is this doing to the military and its reputation when it comes to trying to deal with this core issue?

STARR: Well, I mean, it's very disheartening for everyone, I think. That's fair to say.

There's something like 3,000 sexual assault prevention personnel in the military. So they've been putting more and more resources towards this, but nothing seems to be working.

And one of the things that Hagel's been talking about, what happens when you suddenly have parents in America looking at this and saying I don't want my kid joining the military, I don't want my daughter to run into this kind of trouble?

Hagel's making the point, this becomes a national security crisis beyond the very appalling criminal behavior that apparently is going on as people get convicted of these crimes.

But if this is the aura that surrounds the U.S. military, there are going to be a lot of parents across the country who are going to say, I don't want my kid in the U.S. military, I don't want them to have to deal with this.

HOLMES: What a good point. Absolutely.

Barbara, thanks so much. Barbara Starr.

MALVEAUX: This is -- you know, if these allegations turn out true, that's absolutely outrageous, you know?

HOLMES: It is.

MALVEAUX: You know, the guy in charge?

HOLMES: It's outrageous to say to begin with, but when you have somebody in that role accused of these things, it just defies belief. Unbelievable.

MALVEAUX: Well, she saw cracks in the walls of the clothing factory where she worked, but her bosses, well, they told her, don't worry about it. It's still safe.

HOLMES: Yeah, coming up, the Bangladeshi woman found after 17 days in the rubble. She shares her story of being in the dark for most of that time with us when we come back.


HOLMES: Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD. We've got our eye on a courtroom in Las Vegas right now. MALVEAUX: We're taking a look at live pictures here in the Vegas courtroom. You recognize him, O.J. Simpson, on the stand, telling a judge that bad legal advice led to his conviction for armed robbery and kidnapping back in 2008. He's being questioned by his own attorney now.

HOLMES: Buried in the rubble, meanwhile, of a collapsed clothing factory in Bangladesh. Just imagine this. A young seamstress, 19 years old, she spent 17 days in pitch black darkness fearing, of course, she'd never be found.

MALVEAUX: Yes. And what's amazing is that she actually survived the disaster without any serious physical injury. Well, now, in a CNN exclusive, she is -- we are actually speaking to Leone Lakhani about this agonizing experience and how she got on the other end.


LEONE LAKHANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pulled out of the rubble after 17 harrowing days, Reshma's rescue was hailed a miracle. We meet her at a military hospital where she's recovering. No broken bones or serious injuries, but she's still weak. We're asked not to rattle or move her. From her hospital bed, she describes her unimaginable ordeal.

RESHMA, BANGLADESH COLLAPSE SURVIVOR (through translator): I keep sleeping off and on. I couldn't see anything. It was so dark.

LAKHANI: Cracks in the building had already been detected, but I asked her if she'd been warned not to go to work.

RESHMA: No, no one told me. Everyone was looking to see which parts were cracked. So I went in and I see that there's a wall where a little bit is cracked. The manager said this is just water damage and you guys can work.

LAKHANI: Day after day, as the rescue efforts carried on above her, she lay in pitch dark savaging for food and water.

RESHMA: There was a hole. I didn't know if it was dirty water or what type of water. I was thirsty, so I drank.

LAKHANI: She had no idea how long she'd been inside. I asked if she heard the people outside during the rescue efforts. She heard nothing and saw nothing until the 17th day when it all changed.

RESHMA: Suddenly I heard the call to prayer. Then I heard sounds. I heard the sounds of voices. And I wondered, where is the sound coming from? Where is the sound coming from? I was really, really happy and I said, God, save me, God.

LAKHANI: Images of Reshma's rescue were seen the world over. Rescuers had thrown in a flashlight, allowing her to find a fresh set of clothes to change into.

RESHMA: The day I got out, all of my clothes had torn off me and I didn't have my clothes on. I was thinking, how was I going to come out in front of all those people.

LAKHANI: She tells me she's unsure about her future, but she knows she's not going back to the garment business.

RESHMA: Everybody, please pray for me.

LAKHANI: With the world's eyes upon her, many already are.

Leone Lakhani, Salvar (ph), Bangladesh.


HOLMES: Yes, I love that story.

MALVEAUX: That's a nice story.

HOLMES: A nice result from a dreadful, horrible event.

MALVEAUX: Good to see her.

HOLMES: Well, today, by the way, staying in Bangladesh, it's the last day for major retailers to sign this pact that they've drawn up to increase safety standards in the garment industry in Bangladesh.

MALVEAUX: And so far many of the companies that have joined are from Europe. They include Benetton, Mango Marks & Spencer. PVH, which is the company that owns Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, is the only American company to sign that agreement.

HOLMES: Now this five year plan calls for independent safety inspections and for the reports to be made public. Companies currently hire their own inspectors, a result not usually publicized.

MALVEAUX: Well, there are two notable companies that have not signed up, Wal-Mart and The Gap. Now, Wal-Mart says it's doing its independent inspections of all 279 factories in Bangladesh. That they're going to make the results public. Meanwhile, Gap says it wants to sign the agreement but it does not want it to be legally binding.

HOLMES: Yes. They're worried about that. And in Europe, a lot of the European countries are frowning on the U.S. not getting involved, saying no thanks, not for the moment. So, yes, still a lot more to come on that.

And, meanwhile, here's more of what we're working on for AROUND THE WORLD this hour.

MALVEAUX: Europe's regional economy stuck in its longest recession ever, while U.S. markets reaching record highs. Why the big difference and what it could mean for your investments. We're going to go live to the New York Stock Exchange to find out.


MALVEAUX: Welcome back. This is AROUND THE WORLD on CNN.

Right now, Las Vegas, O.J. Simpson testifying under oath and on camera.

HOLMES: Yes, we're keeping an eye on this for you. This is actually the first time he's done that in nearly 20 years of trials and hearings and civil cases, charges ranging from murder to kidnapping. In court today, what he's asking for is a new trial on those charges going back to 2007.

MALVEAUX: That's when he and some other men confronted some dealers, sports memorabilia dealers, believing that they actually stole his stuff.

Wall Street on a winning streak now, but how long is the market going to keep up this kind of event? Alison Kosik is live at the New York Stock Exchange.

So, Alison, U.S. market reacting to the news that now France is back in a recession. Explain to us the difference here.

HOLMES: Reacting by going up.


HOLMES: I mean this is the U.S.'s biggest trading partner. They're in recession. And buy, buy, buy.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. So, yes, you're seeing the broader market take this in stride, Suzanne and Michael. In fact, the Dow's up 80 points. So it's having a really great day.

We are, however, seeing some individual stocks getting hit by this news. You look at tech company Hewlett Packard. Shares are down 2 percent. HP is actually one of the many companies during the first quarter earnings season to report how weak sales in Europe hurt overall results. Although you look at the Dow and the S&P, they're headed for yet another record high today. You look at the Dow. It's closed at a record high 19 times so far today. So it looks like it's going for number 20.

But, you know, one thing to keep in mind, and you alluded to this, is that, you know, traders never like it when they see the trade go straight up or straight down. You know, one trader puts it this way saying, Greek keeps you from selling, and the record highs make it hard to find stocks to buy. And investors have been looking for some kind of pullback for months, but the rally just keeps oncoming.

One thing to keep in mind what's keeping stocks higher is that stocks are being propped up by the federal stimulus, but also higher corporate profits. So that strength will hopefully keep the market higher. Also, the economy is a lot better here than it is in Europe when you make that comparison.

Suzanne and Michael.

HOLMES: So - yes, sorry. So what you're saying is that there is substance, it's not just all hot air and optimism and sentiment and all of that. There are reasons for it being where it is? Or are some people worried it could go south?

KOSIK: Exactly. Well, I mean, and it wouldn't be such a bad thing to see a little bit of a pullback because, as I said, you know, some traders get worried when all you see is up, up, up. So you actually see a lot of traders right now shorting the market right now, waiting for that day for it to go ahead and turn around.

But, once again, the reasons for stocks to move this high continually, even on the downbeat news, you know, that France is in recession, that Europe continues to be in recession, is really the Fed stimulus that's moving investors, which is pushing down interest rate, that's moving investors from let's say investing in bonds. It's moving them to stocks and it's creating that wealth effect here. Some may say it's not necessarily -- some may say it is actually smoke and mirrors. Others may say it's real.

HOLMES: Even Germany's growth was tiny and their stocks went up too.

KOSIK: Exactly.

HOLMES: Which just goes to show that I know nothing. And, Alison, thank goodness you're there. I still don't get shorting. I don't know what it means. I don't get it.

MALVEAUX: Alison, we'll bring her back to explain that.

HOLMES: And we'll chat.

MALVEAUX: And this is your favorite story, right?

HOLMES: Oh, we've got to go.

MALVEAUX: Oh, we've got to go already.

HOLMES: They just told us.

MALVEAUX: Jodi Arias coming up.

HOLMES: We were going to tell you something else, but we're not now. We got to go. Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD.

MALVEAUX: CNN NEWSROOM starts after this.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's a blockbuster day for three big stories across the country. In Las Vegas, O.J.