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Remembering Our Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day; China's Bling Dynasty; Mayor in Japan Caught in Controversial Comments; Caught New Fabric Repels Mosquitoes; Making Money Off Marijuana

Aired May 27, 2013 - 12:30   ET







BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every American can do something, even simple. As we go about our daily lives, we must remember that our countrymen are still serving, still fighting, still putting their lives on the line for all of us.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: President Obama laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and praising those who have served their country on this Memorial Day.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: The president called on the nation to honor those who serve every day, not just on Memorial Day, and also to always remember their sacrifice to the country.

MALVEAUX: The Tomb of the Unknowns is a sacred place, it is guarded by one of the most elite groups in the U.S. Army.

HOLMES: The Tomb Sentinels, they watch over the site 24/7, but on Memorial Day their sense of duty especially strong. Take a look and listen to their story.



SPECIALIST NATE CHARTIER, TOMB SENTINEL: It's an honor being able to work at Arlington National Cemetery.

There are some days where you just get that like hair-raising-on-the- back-of-your-neck feeling that, like, this is just right. That is just perfect. You wouldn't want to work anywhere else for the rest of your life. Every one will work on each others' uniforms evenly. You'll have somebody else around you, taping you off, making sure there's no lint debris or anything in there.

It may not look as good or it may not look uniform to the other soldiers on the plaza.

The reason why some of us may have certain things going out the door is because it just worked for us during training to kind of calm us down before we go out the door.

One of those things that just gives you motivation to be like, hey, I'm going to crush this guard change. This guard change is going to be amazing.


You have the sun hitting the plaza and then, with it being so bright, it bounces off and hits you back. And it just feels like the temperature's even warmer than it is like if you're in regular clothes.

I did not think I was ever going to be guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

I want people to realize that their freedom isn't free. It really isn't. You have thousands of soldiers that die for our country.

I don't look at it as just three unknown soldiers that I'm guarding. I'm guarding the 300,000-plus soldiers that gave their life for this country.



HOLMES: Welcome back. Remember when the Powerball lottery hit $590 million last week? Everyone fantasized what you could buy with that kind of cash. I know I did.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, too bad.

In China many people are living that dream and then some. The country might soon be home to more billionaires than anywhere else in the world.

David McKenzie shows us that these guys have got the big bucks, they've got the bling and they know how to spend it.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A luxury convention in Tianjin, from jade to Jaguars, but the question is, what is luxury in China?

Joining the golf club? Maybe a red Ferrari or Lamborghini? A supercar like this will be out of most people's price range, but consider this. China could soon have more billionaires than anywhere else on the planet.

They're calling it the Bling Dynasty. Is it all about showing off?

HONG HUANG, CULTURAL COMMENTATOR: It is. Because China has found a new religion for our 21st century living, which is we worship money.

MCKENZIE: So when I think luxury, I don't think caravans.

Chinese are not familiar with the concept right now, he says. When they get to know it, it will change the way they live completely.

So luxury can mean camping with flat screen TVs and Burberry blankets.

HUANG: There's a bit of binging going on and a little bit of starry- eyed and bushy-tailed about all things luxury, aristocratic.

MCKENZIE: It's hard to miss the luxury pitch here in Tianjin. And it's frontier cities like this that are the new frontier of the luxury market.

And the number of millionaires in China is growing rapidly as entrepreneurs take their companies public.

There are around 1.5 million millionaire households in China. That's why luxury is taking off.

Our clients are the people of Tianjin, says Dong Zhi-An. There are a large number of new rich whose lives have been changed dramatically. They used to drive cars. Now they want choppers.

China's new elite likes to spend and to be seen spending.

David McKenzie, CNN, Tianjin.


HOLMES: It's not your daddy's communism, is it?

MALVEAUX: What do you do with a little helicopter? I don't know. No, thanks. No, thanks.

HOLMES: You want to be in a helicopter that size with a new billionaire? I don't think so.

MALVEAUX: Mosquitoes can ruin any Memorial Day barbecue, right? Well, one man in Egypt, he's got a solution.

HOLMES: This is amazing, insect-repellent clothing. We've heard that before, but this is different. We'll show it to you, next.


HOLMES: That's an amazing video for you. Look at this rescue in China. A 13-year-old fell down a river dike while he was out swimming.

MALVEAUX: So he actually became stranded, ad as you can see, the water just raging, just all around him.

It took local firemen about 30 minutes to pull him out of the water, and he was taken to a hospital treated just for minor injuries. Really lucky there.

HOLMES: Lucky young man.

And in Japan, this has been a bit of a row going on, the mayor of Osaka trying to explain comments that set off an international fire storm. His name is Mayor Toro Hashimoto, and he did apologize today for suggesting that U.S. service members use adult entertainment to relieve their sexual frustration.

MALVEAUX: But he says another comment he made was taken out of context. He was talking about women forced to become sex slaves for Japan's imperial army during World War II.


TORO HASHIMOTO, MAYOR, OSAKA, JAPAN (via translator): I have never condoned the use of "comfort women." I place the greatest importance on the dignity and human rights of women as an essential part of the universal values in today's world.

It is extremely regrettable that only the cutoff parts of my remarks have been reported worldwide and that these reports have resulted in misunderstood meanings of the remarks, which are utterly contrary to what I actually intended.


MALVEAUX: Now the mayor disputed that the Japanese government organized the trafficking of these so-called "comfort women." Very controversial.

HOLMES: A loaded term in Japan.

Meanwhile, an Egyptian scientist so annoyed by mosquitoes he actually set out to find an easier way to keep them from biting.

MALVEAUX: This is kind of cool. He came up with this innovative insect-repellent fabric. It's also turned into something that could be a big business for this guy.

Reza Sayah explains.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are tiny insects, but giant pests, six legs, four wings and a thirst for human blood. A shrill and maddening buzz is the first sign of trouble, then comes the attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bug. Bug in my ear.

SAYAH: You can swat them, smack them, but when mosquitoes attack, humans often run for cover.

Those pesky mosquitoes can be dangerous, too, when they carry diseases like malaria, Dengue fever and the West Nile virus.

(voice-over): But in Egypt, mosquitoes may have finally met their match in this man. Mohamed Hashem is a Ph.D. in textile chemistry and a self-proclaimed enemy of bugs.


SAYAH: Hashem says his hatred of bugs inspired him and his team at the Egyptian government's National Research Center to make Egypt's first- ever insect repellent material designed to make any bug buzz off.

HASHEM: If it stay for a long time, it will be (INAUDIBLE).

SAYAH (on camera): Yes. So if they're exposed to it for too long, they'll be knocked out?

HASHEM: Knocked out.

SAYAH: Or they can be killed?

HASHEM: They will be killed.

SAYAH: Here it is, the insect repellent material. It doesn't feel any different than your average cotton fabric.

SAYAH (voice-over): But this cloth is infused with what scientists call a natural and environment-friendly plant extract that chases bugs away. We tried to find out what the chemical is, but Hashem wouldn't budge.

SAYAH (on camera): What do you put in it exactly?

HASHEM: Yes, it is some sort of secret.

SAYAH: It's a secret?

HASHEM: It's -

SAYAH: You can't tell me what you put in it?

HASHEM: And we have (INAUDIBLE) I have to protect this patent.

SAYAH (voice-over): Mosquitoes love sugar. At a government lab we tried to lure mosquitoes to fly to the insect repellent cloth by putting sugar on the fabric. The blood suckers didn't go near it.

SAYAH (on camera): So they don't like this solution?

HASHEM: Yes, they don't like the solution, of course. SAYAH (voice-over): Hashem says similar insect repellent clothing is available in the west, but now that Egypt has its own, regional manufacturers can buy it for much less and start making bug repellent clothes. He says there are also plans for the Egyptian armed forces to use the fabric. If successful, it's a small victory for mankind in a never-ending war with mosquitoes.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Cairo.


MALVEAUX: We could use some of that here, don't you think?

HOLMES: Yes. A bit worried, though, when they won't tell you what's in it.


This is an interesting story. In less than a year or so you're going to be able to buy, if you like, pot in Colorado for recreational use.

HOLMES: Not just medicinal. That has a lot of business owners a bit nervous. We'll explain why and take you inside a marijuana store. We'll be right back.


MALVEAUX: It's a big idea for states that need a lot of cash. If people don't - if they want pot, they can simply sell it to them legally now. That is what states like Colorado are getting ready to do.

HOLMES: You were saying before, it just seems like a different era now. you know, this is last year what happened was voters there approved a measure to allow pot to be sold legally for personal use in retail stores.

MALVEAUX: And now lawmakers are trying to figure out just how this potentially lucrative industry is actually going to work. Jim Spellman has the story.


JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like many small businessmen, Shaun Gindi has employees, a warehouse, retail stores and his fair share of headaches.

SHAUN GINDI, COMPASSIONATE PAIN MANAGEMENT: I make this business work paycheck to paycheck.

SPELLMAN: But his product is anything as usual. Gindi grows and sells marijuana.

GINDI: So this is what a flower room looks like.

SPELLMAN: He grows the cannabis in this warehouse in Denver and has two medical marijuana dispensaries in the suburbs.

GINDI: I have about 20 people working for me. They do anything from growers to trimming to working as care givers in the stores.

SPELLMAN: So far his business has been limited to medical marijuana, selling only to Colorado residents with a doctor's recommendation and state-issued red card. But last year voters passed Amendment 64 legalizing recreational use of marijuana. The state is still working out regulations ahead of January 2014 when recreational marijuana stores are expected to open. Dispensaries like Gindi's are expected to be able to convert and sell to anyone over 21, but there are several catches.

SPELLMAN (on camera): This is still against federal law. That must create an unbelievable amount of stress for you.

GINDI: Yes, it does. I am talking to you right now. There is a voice in the back of my head that -- there's an innate nervousness to being in this business.

SPELLMAN (voice-over): A bill in Congress would bar the federal government from going after people in states that have legalized marijuana, but it's unclear if the bill has a chance of becoming law.

SPELLMAN (on camera): Are you afraid that all that you've built here will be taken away from you?

GINDI: Yes. I can't even keep my face straight right now saying that. That's such a real fear.

SPELLMAN (voice-over): Nate Laptgard (ph) runs the warehouse.

SPELLMAN (on camera): I want to learn more about exactly how you grow marijuana on essentially an indoor farm. So where does it start?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it starts here in the lab.

SPELLMAN (voice-over): With cuttings known as clones.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get a little gel on there.

SPELLMAN: That go into these tanks for about two weeks, then to this room for about five weeks under simulated sunlight in a CO2-rich environment.

SPELLMAN (on camera): Each of these plants gets its own bar code?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. Every single plant, when it comes out of the cloner, once it gets into here, it's coded individually. And we're able to trace that plant from this stage all the way to the end product.

SPELLMAN (voice-over): Then the light is cut back to simulate the shorter days of autumn, triggering the plants to flower and finally it's off to be trimmed and dried. The entire process is regulated by the state. After a criminal background check, employees are issued a Colorado Marijuana Worker ID Card. Every time a plant is moved, the employee logs it using this software. A fingerprint scanner tracks the employees at every turn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no scar face here. There's no AK-47s. There's none of that stuff. We have inspectors from the state in here all the time.

SPELLMAN: Even though Gindi pays sales and income tax, marijuana is still against federal law, so expenses cannot be deducted from federal taxes and FDIC-backed banks won't take their money.

GINDI: There's nothing glamorous about this business. It's a struggle trying to operate without a bank account, trying to run a business without being able to take deductions.

SPELLMAN: At his dispensary, Gindi operates in a highly competitive marketplace. About 500 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado compete for the business of the 108,000 people on the medical marijuana registry.

SPELLMAN (on camera): Have they become more connoisseurs about their marijuana?

LEAH, BUDTENDER: Definitely. Definitely. You don't ever see, quote/unquote "swag" any more. It's all chronic, all hydroponic.

SPELLMAN (voice-over): Competition has driven prices down to half of what they were just three years ago, creating razor thin margins. But could that change when more people, even pot tourists from out of state, are able to legally buy weed? Gindi isn't so sure.

GINDI: There's a risk that come along with it.

SPELLMAN (on camera): That might push the federal government into acting where they were comfortable not acting with medical marijuana?

GINDI: Right. And I have to make that choice soon.

SPELLMAN (voice-over): These marijuana pioneers will probably never convince all of their critics that pot should be legal, but they see themselves as the good guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every single person that comes here that works for me, when they clock in, they put their finger on a sensor. And, you know, they're committing a federal crime. So every single person that works in this industry are all here for one reason and one reason only, it's because we believe that marijuana prohibition is immoral and that we have to do something about that.

SPELLMAN: Jim Spellman, CNN, Denver.


MALVEAUX: All right. Michael, this happens a lot. Imagine, right, talking on your phone, only to have somebody literally take it from your hands. Don't you dare steal this. HOLMES: It's very common. And that's actually called "apple picking." That's what they call it. Next hour, the rise of cell phone theft and, look at that, ways to stop it. This is going on a lot and there's a lot of money being made too.


HOLMES: All right, how much would you pay for the holy grail of personal computers? Yes, $671,000?


HOLMES: That's a heck of a lot.

MALVEAUX: That is what an anonymous bidder in Germany forked over for the original Apple computer. It is one of only six known to be in working condition. Two hundred Apple 1's were made back in 1976 in a garage, of course, by co-founder Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

HOLMES: Yes, the author of a book on the Apple 1 called it the holy grail of collectible technology. Rather quaint when you look at it that way.

Now, let's have a look at what is trending online.

People tweeting about "Fast and Furious 6." Why?

MALVEAUX: It was the number one movie in the world this weekend. It grossed $98 million in the U.S. and more than $275 million worldwide. Now that's the second best movie opening this year behind "Iron Man 3."

HOLMES: Oh, my goodness. The action-packed "Fast and Furious" movies have earned, wait for this, $1.8 billion globally in the last 12 years. Those actors are getting smart now. They take a percentage of that figure.

MALVEAUX: Oh, yes. Then it goes on and on and on. They (INAUDIBLE).

HOLMES: I've got to go. I'm sorry, but I have to leave you. But I will see you again tomorrow.

MALVEAUX: (INAUDIBLE). Have a good holiday.

HOLMES: I will.

MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: I'm going to head out to a barbecue.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thanks. Yes, good.