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Zimmerman Juror Releases Statement; Weapons on Seized Ship; Children Poisoned by School Lunches in India; Unmanned Drone Crashes in Florida; Royal Baby Watch;

Aired July 17, 2013 - 12:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I feel bad that we can't give them a verdict that they wanted, but legally we could not do that.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Cloaked in darkness, a George Zimmerman trial juror speaks out and she has a new statement released just moments ago.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: And new information about hidden weapons on a North Korean ship. Now, Cuba says they were just old ones being sent for repair. So why were they hiding behind bags of brown sugar?

Plus -

HOLMES: Protests in India after kids die from eating poison in their school lunches. In the tainted food, a nerve agent related to sarin gas.

MALVEAUX: Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

HOLMES: Good to have you back.


HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes.

MALVEAUX: It's nice to be back. I was on a jury for a couple of days. Good to be back.

HOLMES: And doing your duty.

MALVEAUX: Thank you.

Well, we are talking about this, the only juror, this is to speak publicly about the George Zimmerman trial, has just released this new statement. Now, the woman known as juror B37, she spoke earlier in an exclusive interview with our Anderson Cooper.

HOLMES: Yes. In a new statement now she talks about her sympathy for Trayvon Martin's family and also reports she was indeed pursuing a book deal. Was. She says this, quote, "thank you for the opportunity to vent some of the anguish which has been in me since the trial began. For reason of my own, I needed to speak alone."

MALVEAUX: And, "there will be no other interviews. My prayers are with all those who have the influence and power to modify the laws that left me with no verdict option other than not guilty in order to remain within the instructions."

HOLMES: Yes, "no other family," she goes on, "should be forced to endure what the Martin family has endured." She then also goes on to say, "as for the alleged book deal, there is not one at this time. There was an agreement with a literary agent to explore the concept of a book which discussed the impact of sequestration on my perceptions of this case while being compared to the perceptions of an attorney who was closely following the trial from outside the bubble."

MALVEAUX: "The relationship with the agent ceased the moment I realized what had been occurring in the world during the weeks of my sequestration. My prayers are with Trayvon's parent for their loss, as they have always been. I now wish for me and my family to recover from being selected for this jury and return to a normal life. God bless."

HOLMES: Now, in her earlier interview, of course with CNN, juror B37 said George Zimmerman was justified in shooting Trayvon Martin and that Martin played a role in this own death.

MALVEAUX: She also says that she feels bad that the jury couldn't give Martin's family the verdict that they wanted and that she is sorry for their loss.

We want to show you more. This is Anderson Cooper's exclusive interview. Watch this.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S "AC 360": Did you cry in that jury room?

JUROR B37: I cried after the verdict. I didn't cry out when they were reading the verdict out in the jury room because we were all crying before we went in. And then --

COOPER: What do you mean you were crying before you went in?

JUROR B37: Well, we were in a separate room when -- when the foreman hand the bailiff our verdict. And then we were crying back there before we went into the jury room. So they gave us about 20 minutes to try and get everything together.

COOPER: What do you think you were crying about?

JUROR B37: The pressure. The pressure of all of it. And everything just kind of came to a head. Because I kind of tried to keep everything out, emotionally out during the whole process and then it just flooded in after it was done.

COOPER: But you want people to know, and the reason you're speaking is, you want people to know how seriously you took this? JUROR B37: I do. I don't want people to think that we didn't think about it and we didn't care about Trayvon Martin, because we did. We were very sad that it happened to him.

COOPER: And you want his family to know that as well?

JUROR B37: I do. And I feel bad that we can't give them the verdict that they wanted. But, legally, we could not do that.


MALVEAUX: Want to analyze B37's latest comments here. Bring in our criminal defense attorney, Danny Cevallos, live from Philadelphia.

And, Danny, I want us to really go through the statement, if you will. This is somebody who obviously has been very seriously impacted by this experience. She was sequestered. She didn't really have a sense outside in terms of the people who were watching and how they were responding to this. And it sounds like, to me, from her statement, I'll just read the last part here, she says she wishes to -- for me and my family to recover from being select for this jury and to return to normal life here. What do you think she is going through at this time?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I have a lot of thoughts on this. I mean you could see from Anderson Cooper's interview, which I've watched completely, that she is very emotional. She's still -- this is all very raw for her.

And I think what's happened, probably in just the 24 hours since, that she's had a chance to at least get some feedback. I mean, the amount of feedback today on social media, Internet, otherwise is just unprecedented. So one of the things, I think, that she probably got some blowback about was her perceived insensitivity towards the family of Trayvon Martin.

And I saw some commentators observe that she seemed to give too much sympathy to Zimmerman and not enough to Trayvon Martin or that she viewed them as equally tragic figures. And I think, in many ways, that she's trying to back pedal from that perceived position. I don't necessarily think it was her position. I think it's just her responding to questions. And this seems to me to be her way of sort of remedying that perception.

HOLMES: Does it speak to the wisdom of jurors speaking out at all? I mean it's a peculiar thing to the country, really, where jurors often will come out after big trials and be interviewed and go public. You know, maybe they shouldn't.

CEVALLOS: Well, certainly there's a clamor for them to come out and speak. I mean we want to hear what they say. In fact, attorneys -- the trial attorneys routinely interview jurors after cases, so that's not really unprecedented at all. The only thing that's unusual is the amount of media attention in a case like this. But jurors routinely talk to both winning and losing attorneys from both sides after a trial. I think here the question becomes, how much does the public attention on this case affect their willingness to speak? But they certainly have that privilege, they may do so.

MALVEAUX: Danny, talk about - I mean I just served on a jury, two days, traffic accident, no big deal here. But, I mean, talk about the experience. If she says she regrets serving to begin with, we have a very unique and special system set up here in the United States where we all can participate in this process here. If you have a situation where now people don't even want to participate and they see what could be on the other end of this, does it do something to our society, does it do something to the desire for people to go ahead and be a part of the judicial system?

CEVALLOS: Not a whole lot. And here's why. Jury service is not an option. It's mandatory. What you may see is more people who try to get out of it, however, which they shouldn't do, but however, that's already a pretty high ratio as it is. I can't imagine it getting too much higher. But jury service is not an option. So, reluctance to serve on a jury is nothing new. It's been a problem for centuries, probably. So, I don't know that you're going to see any large-scale revolts against serving on juries.

But, look, jury service is, at best, boring, and at worst, grueling. I mean they have been sequestered away from their family for some time. It is a service that is imposed upon us as citizens that is no small service at all. It is quite an obligation.

MALVEAUX: All right, Danny Cevallos, thank you. And it's interesting to note, too, a lot of people focusing on the stand your ground law out of Florida. Really staying, look, this -- the law needs to be changed here because some people look at her position and say she was in a very difficult position there.


MALVEAUX: Based on the law that was handed to those jurors and what they came back with.

HOLMES: Yes. And you do have to look at it from the human side. Say you just did a jury duty and no big deal, but some people, you don't know what you're going to get. You might get the traffic accident with no big deal or you might get a Zimmerman trial where your life is impacted and you're put under all kinds of pressure even after the trial. It's a difficult thing. Yes.


HOLMES: All right now, as we did mention, juror B37 says Trayvon Martin did play a role in his own death. You're going to hear what she believes a little later this hour.

MALVEAUX: She also explains why she thinks George Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin. We're going to have much more of the interview up ahead.

Also, international intrigue topping our show as authorities in Panama intensify their search, this is of a North Korean ship that is loaded with hidden weapons. HOLMES: Yes, hidden under the sugar. Now, that ship is at a Panamanian port where it was seized. Now Cuba is saying the weapons were obsolete, they were going to Pyongyang, North Korea, to be repaired. We're talking about Soviet era stuff. Anti-aircraft missile systems. A couple of mig jets hidden among the sacks of sugar.

Now, May Lee is on the phone. She is in the port of Mozinilo (ph) in Panama.

May tell us about the latest that is going on with the ship because we've only looked, really, at a portion of the ship. There's a lot more to search, right?

MAY LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, what you're looking at right now, Michael, is a live shot of that ship that's been here for a couple of days now. The searchers are going on with investigators on board.

It's been quite active all day here except for a tropical storm that blew through. I think that delayed the search for a little while, but they're back on and we've been watching them lift cargo out of this ship. Remember, they've only been able to go through one of five cargo holds up to now, so they have four more cargo holds to go through and search through. So it's going to take some time to get all that cargo out and then dig underneath to see what's hidden underneath all that cargo. Obviously they have found some weapons so far, missile parts, airplane engines, et cetera. But they are very curious about what else they're going to find in this ship.

MALVEAUX: And, May, what is Cuba's role in all of this?

LEE: Sorry, Suzanne, can you say that one more time.

MALVEAUX: Sure. Tell us what Cuba's role, what role they play in all of this.

LEE: Well, that is the million dollar question now, isn't it? We know that this ship from North Korea was traveling from Cuba with all of this weaponry on board on its way to North Korea. Now, yesterday, Cuba did put out an official statement saying that, yes, there are 240 tons of weaponry on board, but it's all antiquated, obsolete, Soviet era weapons that just need to be repaired. So that's their official statement.

Now, whether or not that's true, whether or not indeed North Korea's going to repair it and return it to them or this is some sort of arms swap deal, that's what everyone's trying to figure out right now. And those are the questions everybody wants the answers to.


MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: May Lee - you know, that's funny, this story has so many more questions than answers. I mean why -- if Cuba wanted them repaired, their Soviet era things, why didn't they go to Russia? MALVEAUX: Right.

HOLMES: Why didn't they fly people in to repair them on site, knowing all the laws against shipping them over to North Korea? The crew fought for three days before the Panamanian authorities were able to take the ship.

MALVEAUX: It's very mysterious circumstances surrounding this.

HOLMES: The captain tried to cut his own throat.

MALVEAUX: Right. Geez.

HOLMES: I mean it's a bizarre story. There's a lot more to come on that one.

MALVEAUX: We are also working on other stories for AROUND THE WORLD this hour.

A suspected terrorist looking like a rock star. That is right. "Rolling Stone" magazine catching a lot of heat for their newest cover.

HOLMES: And royal baby fiver. Do you have it? As the world waits to meet the future king or queen. But giving birth a lot different overseas than it is in the U.S. We're going to talk about that. Not in too much detail, I hope.


HOLMES: A terrible story, this. Outrage over the deaths of at least 22 schoolchildren in India.

MALVEAUX: Officials say that the children died after eating free school lunches that were poisoned with insecticide. This happened in the northeastern state of Bihar.

HOLMES: Yes, all of these victims age between five and 12. And it's not over yet either. Twenty-five other children are in hospitals, several of those in serious condition.

MALVEAUX: The tragedy has infuriated the entire community. It's also triggered violent protests.

Parents and their loved ones in shock now, demanding how did these lunches provided by the government get poisoned?

Joining us live from Mumbai, Mallika Kapur. And, Mallika, first of all, the free lunch program, it is the biggest in the world. It basically combats the huge malnutrition issues and it helps get these kids in school.

How do they -- how did this happen? Is there any explanation?

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the only explanation is, you know, really, really poor hygiene conditions in the kitchen of the school.

We heard from the minister of education for the state of Behar a short while ago who said that the cook who was preparing this hot lunch for the children noticed that there was some problem with the oil, that the oil was off.

And she brought it to the attention of the headmistress who rebuked her, brushed her aside, and told the children to carry on eating the food that was prepared with this bad oil. That's one of the reasons.

Also as you mentioned, the problem with the insecticide, this food which consisted of this meal of rice, of (inaudible), of soybean was probably contaminated with organophosphorus, an insecticide that's very commonly used in farming and agriculture here in India.

So perhaps the food hadn't been washed properly before it was prepared for the children.

So the only explanation is very poor hygiene conditions in this kitchen.

HOLMES: Yeah, and it is -- Mallika, I spoke to the minister, too, for education for Behar state, said the same thing.

But, as I put to him, one of the issues here, this is a massive program, 120 million kids, and it's very important program for malnutrition and for literacy to get the kids into school.

But when you have a program that big, there's been enormous problems of distribution, inadequate stocks, overstocking some places and also self-interest. The minister said that the oil that the cook suspected came from a grocery store that was run by the husband of the headmistress.

So there's all sorts of issues involved here.

KAPUR: Absolutely. You hit the nail on the head.

The biggest problem here is the size. This program is frankly just too big for India to handle. One-hundred-twenty-million children, that's a lot of hungry mouths to feed. Seventy-three-thousand elementary schools, that's a lot of schools to cover.

And what India needs for that is infrastructure, it needs manpower and India just doesn't have that.

The main problem, you know, we always talk about that, what is the biggest problem that holds India back, holds India's economy back? It's the lack of proper infrastructure.

We just don't have that infrastructure here to support such an ambitious program. We don't have warehouses. You have a school which doesn't have a storage room. We don't even have proper schools with sanitation or bathrooms.

Where are you going to have enough place to store rice and cereal and grains properly? They're just going to begin to rot.

MALVEAUX: And, Mallika, we're looking at these pictures. They're just heartbreaking when you see the parents taking their children out of that ambulance there. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

And there are violent protests because some people feel like there's nothing else they can do.

HOLMES: Exactly. There has been violence, and they're hoping that it doesn't get out of control at the moment, a lot of vehicles burnt and attacks on the government officials as well, so ...

MALVEAUX: Yeah, you can't imagine if you bring your kid to school and they're poisoned by the school lunch.

HOLMES: By their only meal of the day, yeah.

MALVEAUX: Unbelievable.

An unmanned drone crashed today while trying to take off from Tyndall Air Force Base. This is near Panama City, Florida.

HOLMES: Yeah, fortunately, no one was hurt, but police did have to close a nearby highway, as a precaution. That's because the drone caught fire, and it does have a small self-destruct explosive device on board.

MALVEAUX: The QF-4, it's reusable. It's a full-scale target drone, simulates enemy air craft. The Air Force uses them to test its air- to-air missile systems.

HOLMES: Don't want it self-destructing as you approach, do you?


HOLMES: All right, any day now, the duchess of Catherine -- Duchess Catherine, rather, is going to join a new club, the one of being a mom.

MALVEAUX: Love it. But things kind of different for moms in Britain.

For one, they actually get a year -- I'm telling you -- a year of paid maternity leave.

HOLMES: Oh, yeah. A year paid.

MALVEAUX: That's pretty amazing, isn't it?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So this, this is kind of instead of an epidural.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So she grabs onto this and feels better?




HOLMES: Ah, yes. People around the world on the edge of their seats today, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest member of the royal family, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, of course, and Prince William's first child.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, the baby now four days overdue, so we're all on baby watch here.

During a public appearance, the Queen was asked about the birth of her grandchild by a little girl in the crowd, so listen to what she said.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want Kate's baby to be a boy or a girl?

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: I don't think I mind. I would very much like it to arrive. I'm going on holiday.


HOLMES: Well, the waiting game for the baby's birth isn't just generating a lot of excitement.

MALVEAUX: That's right. It's actually setting off this betting frenzy. A lot of people think they know what the sex is going to be.

Elizabeth Cohen explains.


COHEN: The bets are in, literally. Brits are wagering on not just when Kate will give birth, but how.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will she be too posh to push? It is going to be a Caesarean section or is it going to be a natural birth?

COHEN: Most people are putting their money on a C-section, but that may be a bad bet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wants to the new people's princess. She wants to be normal.

COHEN: And in England, normal is natural. C-section rates are about 30 percent lower than in the United States.

Kate's royal birth may be a royal pain. In England, fewer than three- out-of-10 women have epidurals, compared to six-out-of-10 women in the States.

The delivery rooms at Homerton Hospital in London are actually designed to avoid epidurals. Instead, moms can have "aqua-durals." So this is a birthing pool. Women give birth under water. Now, in the United States, water births are considered, well, kind of fringy, but here in Britain, they're normal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The water may be all that she needs.

COHEN: If Kate wanted a tub, William could be right there with her.

So Dad is in the pool, too?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We encourage them to wear trunks and a T-shirt.

COHEN: There's also a birthing chair. If Kate wanted one of these contraptions, she'd sit in front and William behind her.

And so this, this is kind of instead of an epidural?


COHEN: So she grabs onto this and feels better?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. Also, it probable helps in pinching their husbands with the pain.

COHEN: Now a pain drug, almost unheard of in the U.S., is quite common here, laughing gas.

APRIL RICHARDS, PREGNANT MOTHER: It doesn't make you laugh, though, even though it's called laughing gas.

COHEN: So nothing's funny right now.

RICHARDS: No, nothing is funny.


MALVEAUX: Elizabeth Cohen joins us back from London. Yeah, you went over there.

COHEN: It was wonderful.

HOLMES: Who would get in the pool?

COHEN: You wouldn't have got in the pool with your wife when you had your baby?

HOLMES: Heck, no.

COHEN: It's such a beautiful moment.

MALVEAUX: Our producer said that the hanging from the -- that that would not help her pain. That would not do the job. HOLMES: Resting your hands around the husband's throat might help.

COHEN: That might help. That really would help. I think they try to prevent that, yeah.

MALVEAUX: So tell us about this. Tell us how it's different.

COHEN: You know, having given birth four times, I was really struck by the differences because there, from the very top of the National Health Service, they emphasize something they call normal birth.

And so they really do not want you to have a C-section. They say, really? Do you need that epidural? I mean, they don't just sort of give it to you like is often done in this country.

So the epidural rates are much higher here. The Caesarean rates are much higher here. It's very different.

HOLMES: And is that for legal reasons in many cases, or cost?

COHEN: You know, I think it's much of it is just a difference in philosophy.

The philosophy there is that giving birth is normal thing. It's not a medical condition. And we're just going to try to do this as normally as possible with as few interventions as possible.

MALVEAUX: And talk a little about after the baby is born because, I mean, we've got maternity leave here for ...

HOLMES: Ten minutes.

MALVEAUX: It's weeks, you know.

COHEN: Right, 10 minutes. Right.

Right, the maternity benefits in European countries are more generous than they are here.

And something that I found really interesting is that, in the U.K. they send a nurse to a new mom's home to check on her and the baby. Like, I mean, not because you're sick, but just because, just to see how you're doing.

Yes, if a nurse knocked on my door and said, hey, I just wanted to check on you, I probably would have fainted.

HOLMES: In Australia, we sort of grew up with all of that happening, too.

But also -- and, also in Europe, too, generous maternity benefits or paternity benefits for the guys.

COHEN: Right. Exactly. There's just more of that.

There's no -- I mean, here in this country, you -- they have to give you leave, but they have to pay you.

MALVEAUX: And it's a whole year, right in Britain?

COHEN: I don't know the exact amount, but it's more generous than here.

HOLMES: It's kind of a scaling thing, full pay for six months and half pay for six. They can't take your job away.

COHEN: Right. That's nice.

MALVEAUX: All right.

HOLMES: No surprise.

MALVEAUX: Well, we're on baby watch.

COHEN: So am I. So am I.

MALVEAUX: All right, good to see you.

COHEN: Good to see you.

MALVEAUX: In the next hour, we're going to go live to the hospital in London. That is where the royal birth's going to happen.

HOLMES: Poor Max Foster, he's still there. He wants the baby delivered.

Tomorrow night, tune in for the CNN special, "Will and Kate Plus One." That sounds like a cable show, doesn't it?

MALVEAUX: It certainly does. You're going to hear from the royal couple's family members and friends. That's 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Thursday night.

HOLMES: Yeah. All right, now it is usually reserved for celebrities and rock stars, but on the front of this issue, a suspected terrorist.

MALVEAUX: Up next, the outrage over "Rolling Stone's" decision.