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Asiana Removes Defamation Lawsuit; "Rolling Stone's" Controversial Cover; Anderson Cooper Interviews Juror; Costa Concordia Capt. Wants Plea Bargain; Same-Sex Unions Legal in Britain

Aired July 17, 2013 - 12:30   ET



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Asiana Airlines has changed its mind now. It is not going to sue a San Francisco area TV station, after all.

KTVU caused an uproar when it reported what it thought were the names of the pilots at the controls when that jet crash landed July 6th.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: One of those, what were they thinking moments? Not only were the names wrong, but they mocked the Asian culture. They were likened by many to racial slurs.

The airline said it was humiliated. KTVU immediately apologized.

MALVEAUX: So in dropping the suit, Asiana Airlines said it will instead, quote, "concentrate all of our efforts on dealing with the aftermath of the accident."

And you might remember that, of course, three people died in that accident.

HOLMES: Yeah, and dozens now also filing suit, so their legal ramifications just beginning.

Meanwhile, "Rolling Stone" magazine creating a lot of controversy and angst, especially for those in Boston.

MALVEAUX: It puts the Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's picture -- you'll see it here. It's on the cover. It's a place usually that's set aside for rock stars, celebrities, even an occasional politician.

Well, here's the cover, and critics say that "Rolling Stone" is glamorizing terrorism, giving him kind of like this rock star status, if you will.

HOLMES: Yeah, boycott "Rolling Stone" campaign has already appeared out there on the Twitter-sphere, comments on social media ranging from tasteless and sickening to "free Dzhokhar." The magazine hits the newsstand on Friday.

MALVEAUX: And to be fair, of course, CNN has reached out to "Rolling Stone" for comment. We have not heard back yet from them. But a lot of people chiming in on social media. I want you to check this out.

This one here, "Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs, should be on the cover."

Shawn Anthony says, "Don't make martyrs out of these people."

And this, "Maybe a pic of the little boy that was killed by this piece of garbage would have made a better cover. Cancel my subscription."

MALVEAUX: I want to bring in TV media critic Eric Deggans to tell us a little bit about putting this in context, if you will.

First of all, do we know whether or not this photo is doctored? Is it airbrushed? Do they make him look even better? Because it is a very flattering photo here. How did they do this?

ERIC DEGGANS, TV, MEDIA CRITIC: From what I understand it's a photo that they have gotten from his Facebook page. And as far as I know, they haven't doctored it over much.

They may have changed the tint a little bit to match what they wanted the cover to look like, but as far as I know, they don't do anything significantly to alter it.

I think people are just concerned because he looks attractive on the cover and it's a sympathetic portrait on the cover of a magazine where the cover images are usually reserved for big stars like Johnny Depp and Metallica.

HOLMES: Yeah, "Rolling Stone" does do articles on things other than rock stars and the like, though, and the content of the article is far from flattering. It's more of an examination of the path to where he ended up.

Do you think people are being fair by just looking at cover and not looking at the article?

DEGGANS: I think that's exactly the problem. Number one, they're just looking at the cover, and number two, everyone has so much angst. They have so much frustration and anger wrapped up in what happened.

And seeing someone who was at the heart of all of this and who has been accused of setting off these bombs, featured in this way, of course, has struck some people the wrong way.

But what we want is we want journalism. We want to find out more about this person.

And what it does is it shows that someone who could do something this horrific could also look like the person next door, could also look like someone that you went to school with or that your children are going to school with, someone who is attractive enough to be on the cover of "Rolling Stone."

MALVEAUX: You said it's a sympathetic picture. Is that simply because he's on the cover?

Why do we attach -- why do you attach sympathy to the photo itself when you say a "sympathetic view?"

DEGGANS: Well, one of the things -- first, I would say he looks attractive, and that's one thing that may bother some people. They prefer to see him in leg irons or see him, you know, under custody by police or something like that.

But also, I think in an odd way he resembles some of the photos that we've seen of rock stars, the sympathetic portraits of Kurt Cobain or people have compared him to Jim Morrison because of his hairstyle in the picture, framed in a way that he just -- he looks attractive.

But, you know, we saw so much journalism at the time when authorities were looking for the bomber that described them as dark men or dark- skinned men or, you know, casting some idea that these people had to be furtive and dark looking.

And now we can see that he looks like someone that you deal with next door, just the American boy next door.

And in a way, I think that is the message of the story, as well, how a kid from an average school who seemed to be an average kid who liked America went bad.

HOLMES: Make some very good points there, Eric, and the article itself is a pretty substantive piece of writing, too.

Eric Deggans, thanks so much. Appreciate that.

I suppose if you're going to sell magazines, certainly everybody's talking about it.

MALVEAUX: It's interesting because a certain set feels like this guy's attractive, so they want to read more about him. And the others are like, cancel my subscription.

HOLMES: Yeah, yeah.

MALVEAUX: I don't want this guy to be presented this way.

HOLMES: I think Eric makes a good point. It's an illustration of how ordinary this kid can look, so, yeah, and where he ended up.

MALVEAUX: Not the bogeyman, right.


MALVEAUX: A juror speaks exclusively now to CNN, says Trayvon Martin played a role in his own death.


JUROR B-37: When George confronted him and he could have walked away and gone home. He didn't have to do whatever he did and then come back and be in a fight.



MALVEAUX: The woman known as Juror B-37 has just issued a new statement about the Zimmerman trial.

She spoke earlier, of course, in an exclusive interview with our own Anderson Cooper.

HOLMES: Yeah, and she's followed it up.

In this new statement, 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 reasons of my own, I needed to speak alone. There will no other interviews."

MALVEAUX: She goes on to say, "My prayers are with all of those who have 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: And she goes on, "No other family should be forced to endure what the Martin family has endured."

Now, as for the alleged book deal, there is not one at this time, she said.

MALVEAUX: In her earlier interview, the juror says she wanted to find George Zimmerman guilty of not using his senses, but she insists he did not do anything illegal.

She says Zimmerman started the ball rolling, but Trayvon Martin went on the attack after Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and started following him.

HOLMES: Now here's more of her exclusive interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.


ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR, "AC 360": Do you think Trayvon Martin played a role in his own death, that this wasn't just something that happened to him, that this is something he also ...

JUROR B-37, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL: I believe he played a huge role in his death.

He could have -- when George confronted him and he could have walked away and gone home.

He didn't have to do whatever he did and come back and be in a fight.

COOPER: And the other jurors felt that as well?

JUROR B-37: They did. I mean, at far as I -- my perspective of it, they did.

COOPER: So you think, based on the testimony you heard, you believe that Trayvon Martin was the aggressor?

JUROR B-37: I think the roles changed. I think George got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn't have been there.

But Trayvon decided that he wasn't going to let him scare him and get the one over, up on him or something. And I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him.

COOPER: You called George Zimmerman "George." Do you feel like you know him?

JUROR B-37: I do. I feel like I know everybody.

COOPER: You called Trayvon "Trayvon" as well.

JUROR B-37: I did. Trayvon wasn't as well known by us because there wasn't as much said about him.

All we really heard about Trayvon was the phone call that he had and the evidence they had found on him. We basically had no information what kind of a boy Trayvon was, what he did.

We knew where he went to school and that was pretty much about it and he lived in Miami.

COOPER: What would you say to Trayvon Martin's parents, to Tracy and Sybrina.

JUROR B-37: I would say I'm terribly sorry for your loss. It's a tragedy.

That's pretty much all I can say because I don't -- you know, I didn't know him, but I felt their pain because of his death.

COOPER: What do you hope for for George Zimmerman now?

JUROR B-37: I hope he gets some peace because I'm sure he's going to be onslaught by media for months at a time. I hope his family can live a normal life after a while.

I don't know how he's ever going to do that, but I hope he can. He'll never forget, but I hope he can.


HOLMES: A relaxing vacation that turned into a nightmare, now the cruise ship captain on trial.

MALVEAUX: A question on everyone's mind, why he allegedly left the ship with passengers still trapped on board.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: You might recall that deadly cruise ship accident. This was off the coast of Italy. It was last year. Well, the ship captain is now asking for a plea bargain.

HOLMES: He is. The trial is getting underway. Francessco Schettino faces three criminal charges, including involuntary manslaughter. In the disaster, 32 people died when the ship turned on its side after it hit rocks. This happened off the Italian island of Giglio.

MALVEAUX: Well, Schettino went on trial today and he requested the plea deal in exchange for a sentence of three years and five months in prison. Our Barbie Nadeau has more.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Captain Francessco Schettino was in court today to face charges of multiple manslaughter, causing a maritime disaster and causing personal injury to 150 people when he slammed the Costa Concordia cruise ship into rocks off the island of Giglio last January 2012. Thirty-two people lost their lives in that accident.

The court today heard how each and every one of them died, including whether or not they were wearing life vests. In addition to the criminal charges, Captain Schettino is also being sued by 250 civil plaintiffs. That includes the island of Giglio, the Italian environmental ministry and a number of parties who fell damage by this disaster. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

The court continues this week and then it will be adjourned until October. We're expecting at least a year of hearings and trials before we know if he's found guilty in these charges.

Suzanne. Michael.

HOLMES: Barbie Nadeau there in Italy. Thanks so much.

Well, same-sex marriage now legal in England and Wales.

MALVEAUX: We're going to tell you when couples can head to the altar, up next.


MALVEAUX: Same-sex marriage now legal in Great Britain. Well, most of Great Britain. Today, Queen Elizabeth II gave her official endorsement of the bill that cleared parliament yesterday.

HOLMES: Indeed. The House of Lords voted, the queen puts a signature on it and it's done. It's one of those royal formalities. Now, it doesn't mean that same-sex couples are running to the chapel today. It will probably be a year before the first actual wedding ceremonies take place.

MALVEAUX: And the law only applies to people in England and Wales. Now, debate over gay marriage in Britain, pretty similar to the arguments that you've heard here in the United States. Want to bring in Atika Shubert live from London to tell us a little bit about that debate.

I understand Prime Minister David Cameron was for legalizing same-sex marriage but it didn't actually sail through parliament. That was part of the problem.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. No, he was really pushing it through. But, in fact, the stiffest resistance was from within his own party, the conservative party. There were a number of people who really took a stand against this. And one of the big arguments was that religious institutions might open themselves up to lawsuits if, for example, they refused to conduct a same-sex marriage.

So what they've done with this law is they've put in a clause, it's an opt-in clause for churches or other religious institutions allowing them to conduct a same-sex wedding if they wish to, but it leaves also a space for other institutions to not go that route if they want to. So it's definitely a great day for same-sex couples that do want to see, not just civil partnerships recognized, which has long been legally recognized here, but to actually get married in a church of their choosing. So it is a big day for them.

HOLMES: Yes. David Cameron had a lot of opposition from his own party. This, though, is just England and Wales. What about poor old Scotland and northern Ireland?

SHUBERT: That's right, Scotland and northern Ireland are going to have to go through their own debate. That's something that they're going to be dealing with their debate and passing it themselves. So that could still be a while away.

MALVEAUX: All right. Atika Shubert, thank you. Good to see you, as always.

This is an amazing story here.

HOLMES: It is.

MALVEAUX: A blind, deaf, but unlike many visually impaired people she can't read braille with her hands so she actually reads it with her lips.

HOLMES: Unbelievable story. And she's an incredible woman. Mandy, her inspiring story coming up next.


HOLMES: You know it's interesting when you talk about the number two man in the Taliban or al Qaeda, it's normally because they've been killed. It's often described as the worst job to have in that business. And that's why we're talking today about that man, Saeed al- Shihri.

MALVEAUX: According to this announcement uploaded onto several jihadi websites, al-Shihri as killed in a drone strike. This was back in April in Yemen. He was widely regarded as al Qaeda's number two man in Yemen, and once an inmate at Guantanamo Bay. Welcome back to AROUND THE WORLD. Here are some of the top stories that we are following.

HOLMES: China says it is going to provide more than $72 million to help people devastated by flooding in four regions. These floods have been huge. At least 58 people killed, 175 others missing.

MALVEAUX: Officials say the relief money will be used to help rebuild damaged homes and provide victims with emergency housing.

And next, an amazing story. This is a high school student in Hong Kong who -- making top marks. And this is against all odds.

HOLMES: Absolutely. Tsang Tsz-Kwan, Mandy (ph), as her friends call her, she is blind and deaf, but her challenges don't end there.

MALVEAUX: Mandy lacks feeling in her fingertips. So she has learned to read braille using her lips.

HOLMES: Unbelievable. She does it extremely well, by the way, receiving one of the highest scores on her college entrance exams.


TSANG TSZ-KWAN, HONG KONG STUDENT: I discovered I had weak sensitivity in my fingers, which makes my reading much more difficult than other blind students. I tried many other diff - other methods but in the end I could only resort to using my lips.


HOLMES: Unbelievable. I just can't imagine.

MALVEAUX: That is incredible.


MALVEAUX: I have never seen anything like that, ever.

HOLMES: Nothing like that. By the way, she wants to study translation at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which is a good school, by the way.

MALVEAUX: Good for her. So inspiring.

HOLMES: It is.

MALVEAUX: When we see stories like that, you know, we can do - overcome just about anything.


All right, now a movie about the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, is trending on Twitter, as things do.

MALVEAUX: It is called "The Fifth Estate." This is a clip here of the debut trailer. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if we could find one moral man, one whistle- blower, someone willing to expose those secrets, that man could topple the most powerful and most repressive of regimes.


MALVEAUX: It's a fictional account of the rise of WikiLeaks. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch plays Julian Assange, the man who leaked classified information about U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, of course, to many reporters.

HOLMES: WikiLeaks condemning the movie, says it's propaganda. "The Fifth Estate" hits theaters October 11th.

MALVEAUX: I guess that's it for us.

HOLMES: It is. That flew by, didn't it?


HOLMES: Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD.

MALVEAUX: CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

Good to be back. (INAUDIBLE).

HOLMES: Yes, nice have to you back.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S "AC 360": Would you like to have seen him on the stand so he could be cross-examined?

JUROR B37: I don't think it would have done any - been any different.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: More of Anderson Cooper's conversation with the juror known as B37 in the Zimmerman trial. Plus, the latest statement she has just released.

Also, the attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder, blasting the stand your ground law. Does that mean we can expect changes in the law? We'll examine the possibilities.

And it is certainly the question a lot of people in the northeast are asking right now, when will the heat end? We'll try to have an answer.

This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.

The only juror to speak publically about the George Zimmerman trial has just released a new