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CNN NEWSROOM

Health Secretary: Obamacare Site Changes Coming; Parent Files Bullying Complaint After Loss; Apple Unveils The iPad Air; Fears Of Australian "Megafire"; Murder Mystery In Doctor Trial

Aired October 22, 2013 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: The nation's rate of unemployment ticked down again in the month of September, but the number of jobs created has analysts frowning today here. Take a look with me. This is a monthly look at the jobs picture. The Labor Department says the economy created 148,000 new jobs, so that is a bit less than average for the past 12 months. The rate of unemployment dropped 0.1 percent to 7.2 percent. But the findings may have been skewed by the recent government shutdown. Now, new information coming out this hour on the trouble-plagued Obamacare Web site.

There she is, Alison Kosik joins me now from the New York Stock Exchange. Alison, tell me about that.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are literally just getting the information now. This coming from Kathleen Sebelius, she's the secretary of Health and Human Services. She is actually calling this a technology surge. You know, I think it's safe to call this a scramble for help to make it so Americans can actually access healthcare.gov because of all the problems with the web site.

What's going on now is the department announced it is bringing on a slew of experts to diagnose and to fix these problems plaguing this web site so it can be up and running so people could actually sign up for health insurance.

So what the department has done is, its hired people to help clean up the code of the web site so it can actually be used. There's one report that the government has actually asked the site's main contractor to add staff and put its "A" team in the effort.

Many are wondering, why wasn't this team brought on earlier? But you're seeing a lot of the big guns are being brought on to help this effort and trying to get this web site up and running.

BALDWIN: Before I let you go, I want to ask you about consumer reports because we know they clarified their position on Obamacare. So what did they say this morning?

KOSIK: Well, what they're saying is they are actually recommending that healthcare.gov and they are supporting Obamacare. In fact, they've put out a statement saying, our advice remains the same, that the best place to buy coverage on your own is through the health insurance marketplace in your state. Translation, they're saying use healthcare.gov.

Consumer Reports are saying that Obamacare will wind up lowering deductibles and co-pays, this according to Consumer Reports. I know this whole controversy got started when all these technical problems started on the web site. There was a blog post on Consumer Reports saying stay away from healthcare.gov, at least for a month to allow the software to be fixed.

Some Republicans latched on to that. They tweeted out that Consumer Reports was actually recommending staying away from the site. This really caught a lot of attention because a lot of people go to Consumer Reports as their go-to place to comparison shop for many things. It's got this great reputation.

So now you've got Consumer Reports coming out and saying, wait a minute, we're OK with the web site. Our words are being twisted so that's why they're clarifying.

BALDWIN: Clarification today. Alison Kosik, thank you very much for me in New York. Now this -- you've heard the saying go big or go home, right? Well, one Texas high school team ranked number one in its state division might have taken that phrase a tad too far.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM BUCHANAN, ALEDO ISD COACH: I would never ask our kids not to play hard. I would never tell them, go out there and let them score. That's not what you want to teach kids.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: The Aledo High Bear Cats crushed Ft. Worth's Western Hills High 91-0 last week. Now a parent from the losing team has dropped a bomb here, a bullying complaint against the school that clobbered them, the parent tells our TV affiliate, KTVT, the coach should have told his players to pull back. Is he right?

CNN legal analyst, Danny Cevallos, is joining me here. I got to say this is the first I've heard as far as a team clobbering another and this being equated to a form of bullying. Are there rules? I know there are rules against being unsportsmanlike, but does this qualify?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this kind of lop-sided win is nothing new. In fact, the record is about 256 points to nothing for lop-sided high school victories. So this isn't even half of that. However, the issue of bullying is that bullying has been defined broadly in most statutes to include any kind of aggressive or unwanted behavior that involves a power imbalance.

The problem with defining it so broadly is that you could arguably could say this is bullying. However, I want to be very, very clear. It is highly unlikely that it is, mostly because high school sports are consensual. They're sanctioned. The idea of the power imbalance involved here is the essence of the game.

We would never have high school sports or pro sports or any kind of sports where we would literally handicap the other players with, say, tying a weight around their neck or something like that. It's inconceivable that the coach should have been expected to tell his players to pull back.

It should be noted he did run the ball almost entirely. He snapped the ball with his starters about 21 times and that's it. If you look at the stats, this coach was not in it to run up the score at all.

BALDWIN: OK. Listen, you played sports. I played sports. Bottom line, you know, you want to win and you run plays in order to score that win. Do you think, I don't know, in this case maybe the school districts are lopsided, maybe this is an issue for going down to a lower level division and maybe this isn't really -- I mean, the word bullying, we have to be careful with that word, I think.

CEVALLOS: Once again, if that's true, it's the fault of the administrators and the people who put them in that division. It's certainly not the kids' fault. Once you have your opponent, you're there to play. The coach, like I said, he ran the ball on a running clock. That means time was running without any stoppage starting in the third quarter. This coach did everything he could short of telling his players to essentially physical little hold back, which is a really dangerous thing to have a coach tell his players to do. He did almost everything he could as a coach to run out the clock and avoid running up the score.

BALDWIN: OK, Danny Cevallos, thank you.

And any moment now, Apple is set to unveil its new line of iPads, but they're not the only ones showing us new tablets today. Katie Linendoll, nice glasses, Katie Linendoll, she is joining me live with all the latest techie, cool stuff.

Plus, a line of fires nearly 1,000 miles long may quickly become the worst-case scenario. We are now getting an up-close look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Seconds ago Apple just updated its web site to unveil the new iPad. Voila. Take a look. The official announcement is happening right now in New York. Our tech expert, Katie Linendoll is here to walk us through what is going on. Katie Linendoll, I swear I would just love to walk in your closet and see how your collections of glasses. I digress. What was this is unveiling today?

KATIE LINENDOLL, TECH EXPERT: Yes, well, no one conjures up the tech news quite like the Apple brand. And don't call it an iPad. We had two new unveils today. They have lots of announcements, but the big ones for the consumer was on the iPad side. It's now the iPad Air. This is exciting because thinner, lighter, two times faster. It weighs just one pound, making it one of the lightest tablets in the world. Also comes in space gray, black, white, and also silver. The cool part is November 1st it will be available at $500.

Also, the other announcement was the iPad mini is going to be faster. It comes with that retina display everybody's been asking about. Also comes in silver, white, gray, and black, and starts at $399. It will be shipping later in November, but exciting for consumers too because they're keeping the older iPad mini on the market for only $300.

You know, Apple has lots of stats when they hit the stage with these kinds of presentations. They've sold 170 million iPads to date. They have 81 percent of the consumer market share. This is huge news.

BALDWIN: It's huge news, but the competition is trying to stay in there. What's this other tablet? There are other brands competing with this, right?

LINENDOLL: Yes, try they will. Let's call it tech tablet Tuesday. Today alone Microsoft unveiled their Surface Pro and Surface 2, which have hit the markets at retail. Also, Nokia has entered into the tablet space. I think you know the tablet world is locked up by Apple, but I think there's a chance in the corporate world.

I do think Samsung when we talk about tablets and phones. They have a really good shot on the phone side in their Galaxy line up to compete with Apple. As the holidays press on, it's always exciting as we hit the fourth quarter. It's like a tech advent calendar. Everybody is coming out with a new device every single day.

And as I say, we have to grab some popcorn and watch this play out because lots of new technology and lots of stay tuned and shop for in the holiday season.

BALDWIN: I love your excitement. What did you call this, tech tablet Tuesday?

LINENDOLL: Yes.

BALDWIN: Say that three times fast. Katie Linendoll, always a pleasure. Thank you.

LINENDOLL: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Right now in Australia, the country's most populated state is burning. Frightened folks are being warned get ready to run because the worst is yet to come. Look at these pictures. Several uncontained fire fronts emerging on the outskirts of Sydney. A line of fires nearly 1,000 miles long now gaining intensity as these hot winds are fanning the flames, pushing the fire fronts altogether.

Now, these fires have already carved a trail of destruction in an area -- just to put this in perspective, about the size of Los Angeles. More than 200 homes reduced to ash. Firefighters warning people not to expect to be rescued instead, the advice, run. Here's a terrifying look at what happens to the lucky ones rescued as a wall of flames closes in.

All that smoke. You heard the coughing. Now this, this is what the skies of Sydney looks like, some of Australia's most famous landmarks framed by black smoke and the red glow from the horizon.

Coming up, is that mysterious blond girl found in Greece American? The parents of a long-missing baby are reaching out very hopeful.

Plus, the daughter of a doctor accused of drugging and drowning his own wife expected to take the stand and testify against her dad. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Jurors in the trial of Dr. Martin Macneill heard some pretty puzzling testimony today because what they listened to, or who, were these first responders. They were talking about his behavior at the time of his wife's death. The words they used to describe this behavior, loud, angry, but does that add up to suspicious?

Prosecutors say Macneill killed his wife, Michelle, with a toxic combination of drugs prescribed after he pressured her to have a facelift. All so he could continue his relationship with his alleged mistress, their nanny, a woman by the name of Gypsy Willis. Today, first responders gave jurors plenty to think about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was the defendant like at the emergency room?

MARC SANDERSON, PLEASANT GROVE FIRE CHIEF: His behavior continued to the point where the E.R. staff was required to call security.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And when you say continued, will you describe that?

SANDERSON: Just his angry demeanor, loud, disruptive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And physically, what was he doing?

SANDERSON: He was back and forth in the trauma bay, out into the hallway, around the nurse's station. He was very mobile about the E.R.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Let's talk about this testimony and what this means here. Jane Velez-Mitchell joining me, keeping a close eye on the trial. Jane, when you hear those words, the E.R. staff called security, that his behavior was angry, what are prosecutors trying to do here with this testimony?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Well, they're trying, Brooke, to prove that he's a liar, he's a manipulator, and he's a really, really bad actor. Now, we've had a slew of first responders who arrived at the home, for example, when we found out that Michelle was in the tub unresponsive who have now testified that this guy was hysterical, and he was screaming and he was cursing and he was yelling and he was pacing and he was disruptive and saying, why, I told her not to have the surgery, why did she have to have that surgery.

Well, prosecutors say that's a big lie, that he was the one who pressured his wife to have the plastic surgery that she didn't want. She was a former beauty queen, that he is the one who gave her this cocktail of sedatives and painkillers in a plot to kill her.

BALDWIN: So flip this around, what does the defense do? What's their strategy in countering those arguments you just laid out?

MITCHELL: Well, I mean, this is a very circumstantial case. This happened six years ago. I mean, here's the problem. Originally the authorities said nothing to see here. This was not a crime. The original medical examiner said that she died of natural causes. It was only after the two adult daughters convinced that their father was a killer launched a campaign. I mean, they went to the governor. They went here, there, and everywhere.

Finally they got their dad charged with murder. But even now the state's forensic experts cannot say 100 percent for sure that based on the medical and scientific evidence this was a homicide. So this is about circumstances. That's often a hard case to prove.

BALDWIN: What about the family, the children specifically? I think there are eight children, but it's this daughter's testimony that is expected that could be pretty damaging against her own father. What is she expected to say?

MITCHELL: Well, she's going to get up there, and unfortunately, it's sad that she can't say some of the most incriminating things she has to say, namely that her own mom told her, listen, if anything happens to me, make sure dad didn't do it. The jury isn't going to hear a lot of incriminating stuff she's itching to say.

But she can make the case. She's the one who launched the campaign against her dad. What the defense is going to do with her, they're going to say she's a bitter daughter who has been disinherited by her dad, who was is upset because her dad was a cheater, having an affair, a man who had a secret life, had a mistress, and he may be a cad, but he's not a killer. That's the defense.

BALDWIN: What about, Jane, we heard last week there was testimony from some of these neighbors who testified that Macneill, once he found her drowned in this bathtub, and he says he tried performing CPR, neighbors saying he was faking CPR. When we heard from first responders today, what did they say about that?

MITCHELL: Here's the thing. The 911 call is absolutely extraordinary. It catches him in a lie about the CPR because he is screaming and yelling and hysterical, of course, hangs up three times, by the way, while the dispatcher is trying to get the address. Over the course of these 911 calls, he says, she's in the tub, and I'm trying to get her out. Then she asks a question to the effect of, can somebody do CPR? He goes, I'm doing it. Well, you can't do CPR in a tub properly. So right there he is caught in a lie.

BALDWIN: Jane Velez-Mitchell, we're following the case very closely along with you. Watch "JVM" each and every weeknight 7 p.m. Eastern on our sister network, HLN. Jane, thank you.

MITCHELL: Thanks. BALDWIN: Coming up, I'll talk live with a Republican judge who said he's had enough of his party and is becoming a Democrat. We'll hear his reasons live on the show.

Plus, my top videos of the day, including what a young girl found at a state park.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Now to some of the hottest video of the day. We call it "Hit Play."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN (voice-over): He shoots, he scores. It's a dream come true for a star basketball player from Georgia born missing the lower part of his left arm. He's now committed to play as a Florida Gator. Gator's Coach Billy Donavan says he will be treated just like any other player.

Ladies, they say diamonds are a girl's best friend, right? Well, this 14-year-old found a big one in the dirt, 3.8 carats. She was out digging in a state part in Arkansas and uncovered this yellow tear- drop shaped diamond.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's a marble. I placed it in my hand and I realize it's not. I clutch it as hard as I can.

BALDWIN: She says she's going to keep it for a ring. If it's worth a lot, she says it could help pay for college.

Melissa McCarthy hitting the red carpet in L.A. last night giving her side of the recent controversy surrounding the "Elle" cover photo.

MELISSA MCCARTHY, ACTRESS: I was completely surprised by it. I had a great little black dress on, and then it was summer and I was like, God, is summer ever going to end? I want it to be coat weather. So I grabbed the coat. I thought it was like -- I thought it was a fantastic coat and really chic. I didn't steal the coat, which now I regret.

BALDWIN: It's sergeant Calvin Munoz's first trip home in ten months, serving overseas in Afghanistan. Now he's steps away from a surprise reunion with his mom. And that's today's "Hit Play."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Could the mysterious blond girl found in Greece be an American baby? Baby Lisa's parents and other hopeful couples are now reaching out. I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now. The operation to free inmates through bogus paperwork is actually much more common than we thought. CNN investigates.

Mold in the locker room, long bus trips, football players are grumbling stage a boycott. We will take you inside the story.

Plus, I'll speak live with a Republican judge who says he's had enough consider him a Democrat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: You'll hear why. And breast-feeding, marijuana, can't show that stuff on Facebook but beheadings? Sure. No problem.