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AROUND THE WORLD
Obama Told of Website Problems; Buffetts Target Ending World Hunger; Murder Charge for Boy in Teacher's Death; Royal Baby Christened; Obamacare website Glitches
Aired October 23, 2013 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Now, a 14-year-old is now in custody and is going to be charged with murder.
We want to get the very latest in Massachusetts from Alexandra Field in Danvers. So give us a sense of, first of all, how is this going to play out today?
Do we know -- he's in custody. Do you expect that he's going to face charges later this afternoon?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, WHDH REPORTER: We expect him to be arraigned later this afternoon. He is 14-years-old, so there has been back and forth with investigators and prosecutors whether he'll be charged as a juvenile or as an adult. So that's something we'll be keeping an eye on.
Of course, if he's charged as a juvenile, that would be a closed door kind of situation. Cameras wouldn't be allowed in for that, but we will let you know. Investigators are still trying to sort that process out.
In the meantime, though, there are a lot of other children, teenagers, students, who need a lot of attention and care right now. School was shut down this morning, not just here at Danvers High School, but at seven schools throughout the Danvers district.
Parents and students woke up to this gruesome news, a beloved 24-year- old teacher found dead behind the high school. Some students are still showing up at the school today talking to us simply about how stunned they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just thinking back on it, it's just surreal that how quickly someone can go and how much we take for granted every day.
She was like the nicest teacher you could ever have, and it's just -- I don't -- I can't believe it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FIELD: Colleen Ritzer was reported missing when she never returned home last night. Her body was again found in the wooded area behind the high school. Investigators say they also found blood in a second- floor bathroom.
Now, while the school is shut down today, detectives are still out here. They're also searching in the woods right now with canines.
Students again have been coming out. They're looking for people to talk to. They want to talk about Colleen Ritzer. They're telling us that she was simply a very well-liked teacher, a kind woman who would stand outside the door, greet her students by name.
She offered extra help. She stayed late in the day. She certainly was what you could call a beloved teacher. She was young, 24-years-old.
She had only been here for the last two years, but from everyone we have talked to, she certainly had made a tremendous impact on these students' lives.
And now they're trying to understand along with their parents what could have happened here.
MALVEAUX: It is so, so sad when you hear that kind of story.
Can you give us a sense, do you know why investigators or police closed down all seven of those schools in the district? Were they looking for additional suspects?
Why did they respond that way? Do they feel like there is something to be learned in any way from shutting down seemingly seven schools?
FIELD: We have not been told that there was a search for any more suspects. We know only about the one 14-year-old suspect who will be arraigned on the murder charge later today.
So if that was a concern among investigators, it's something they have not released to the public or the press at this point.
Certainly, though, we talked to some parents who are saying that they felt that shutting down the schools was the right decision. They want to handle this with their kids themselves this morning.
This is a tough topic to take on, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of questions here about what actually happened, how this teacher ended up killed, why she was left behind the school.
Some parents are saying it was just a good idea to have students home with them today. They are, though, bringing students by. They're leaving flowers here and doing a lot of talking today.
This community is a small, and a tight community. They're trying to come together in the face of something that is tough to understand.
MALVEAUX: Obviously trying to deal with emotion and feelings and trying to get information, as well.
I understand we have more some information, new details now emerging from the district attorney.
I want to see if we can listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN BLODGETT, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: As a result of a missing person's report filed with the Danvers police department late yesterday afternoon, Danvers police initiated an investigation to locate a 14-year-old male who had not returned home from Danvers High School earlier in the day.
At approximately 11:20 p.m. last evening, Danvers police received a report that a Danvers High School teacher had not returned home from work and was not answering her cell phone.
As a result of that report, Danvers police initiated a search for the teacher and discovered blood in the second-floor bathroom at Danvers High School. The school was immediately secured.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: A lot of questions, a lot of emotions, of course, surrounding the death of that very beloved teacher, Alexandra, thank you so much.
We're going to be looking more and more into this story as the day develops.
We're going to take a quick break.
MALVEAUX: It's a big day for the newest member of the British royal family. We're watching this.
Prince George, the 3-month-old baby of Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, was christened today, look at him, the service at St. James' Palace just wrapping up this past hour.
Our CNN royal commentator Kate Williams joining us live from London. We've been watching, Kate. We love this, love this stuff. I mean, he's adorable.
Tell us how this is any -- how is it different this go-round than, say, Prince William's christening?
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Very different. What we saw today was a real family christening, only 23 guests including the godparents.
That's completely different to Prince William's christening. It was a huge event at Buckingham Palace, very formal. Sixty people then went to have a large banquet afterwards, whereas now they're just eating a bit of cake.
It's very informal. So it's informal, it's about family, it's really an intimate event.
MALVEAUX: And who are the lucky ones who got to attend?
WILLIAMS: Well, there were the -- there were some royals. There was the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Harry, Charles and Camilla, William and Kate, of course, the archbishop of Canterbury, and the Middleton family, the immediate Middletons, and then the godparents of their spouses and that's it, no further people.
So the absolute minimum. It was as stripped down as you can possibly imagine.
And, you know, it's a (inaudible) strain for a baby to have a big christening. Prince William cried all the way through his christening until Princess Diana gave him a cuddle.
But he wept the whole time through, so, number one, it's quite hard to wear that big, big puffy gown that's been going since 1840, and, you know, it's a bit hard on the baby, so I think they were thinking of him.
MALVEAUX: That was something passed down.
And, also, tell us the seven godparents for the royal here? I mean, seven? Who are these guys? Why so many?
WILLIAMS: Why so many? Well, we expect to see six, so I think all of us royal watchers were shocked to see seven.
Most people get three in the Church of England, so seven is quite a lot. And the big surprise was there's no Harry there, so Prince Harry isn't a godfather. Pippa, Kate's sister, isn't a godmother.
The only royal we have is Zara, who is Princess Anne's daughter, but actually, she's even not a princess. That's not her title.
The rest of them are friends, friends from university, and also one of Princess Diana's close friends. Apart from that, it's a load of chums.
And what they're trying to say there is we don't want Prince George to be part of the royals. We want him to be part of our friends, as well, and friends are so important to William and Kate.
MALVEAUX: Yeah, they seem to really like those intimate, low-key events. It seems like that's the kind of thing that they're making a statement about.
WILLIAMS: They're really making a statement. They're saying. look, you're not going to get loads of photos.
In the old days, there were photos in the christening. There was no camera, so we don't know (inaudible) tomorrow until the official christening photos come out, but they're saying we don't want all the royal pomp. We just want something little.
And so what they're eating now in the party is actually the wedding cake. You remember that amazing wedding cake for their wedding in 2011. They saved the top tier, the eighth tier, they saved that, and that's now what they're eating.
So it's a budget christening, as well, because you just saved the extra bit of cake.
MALVEAUX: That's amazing, Kate, so they actually froze the cake and they're eating it from last year, yes?
WILLIAMS: That's -- well, from 2011. So, two years ago, that's what we do in Britain. We save the top of our wedding cakes and eat them as a christening cake, one of our stranger customs.
MALVEAUX: Well, as long as it tasted good, I'm sure that's fine.
Kate, thank you. Appreciate it.
WILLIAMS: Good to see you.
MALVEAUX: Good to see you.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says that the president did not know the potential for problems with the healthcare government Web site until the day it launched.
Hear what CNN "CROSSFIRE" co-host Newt Gingrich things about all of that, up next.
MALVEAUX: New questions and outrage over the Obamacare website fiasco after an exclusive CNN interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
I want you to listen to what she told our Dr. Sanjay Gupta about what President Obama knew and when.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you know when he first knew that there was a problem?
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Well, I think it became clear fairly early on, the first couple of days, that --
GUPTA: So not before that, though, not before October 1st? There was no concern at that point, either in the White House or at HHS?
SEBELIUS: I think that we talked about having testing, going forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: I want to bring in our CNN "CROSSFIRE" host Newt Gingrich, who joins us live from Arlington, Virginia.
Always good to see you, as always here. Republicans, of course, they are talking about that statement and Sanjay Gupta's interview. What do you make of the fact - of the fact, you know, that the president didn't necessarily know at the time or before that there was a problem, a potential problem with the website?
NEWT GINGRICH, HOST, CNN'S "CROSSFIRE": Well, I mean, it's possible. But it strikes me that this is the biggest single project of social engineering in American history. It's the most complex. If he didn't know, he was utterly totally irresponsible. And if she didn't tell him -- this is why so many of us are now calling for Secretary Sebelius to be fired -- she was irresponsible.
But let me draw you to today's activities. You're going to have a secret meeting in the White House between insurance executives and their lobbyists and senior White House people, the enforcers of this administration. Now, I think that meeting ought to be open to the public. I can't imagine with the total mess that we're now seeing how the president could think that we're going to tolerate all these insurance company executives in a secret meeting in the White House. Are they rigging the game? Are they trying to organize their story? You know, the North Dakota insurance company said they've been told they couldn't tell people what had actually happened.
MALVEAUX: One of the things we're learning from our Jim Acosta at the White House is that Republicans are going to be brought into the fold, that they will be briefed by HHS and other White House officials about what potentially happened and what went wrong. Do you think that that would be an adequate avenue? At least you've got some Republicans in the room who can go for it and explain this to the public.
GINGRICH: No. No, I - look, I'm -- that's the website problem. But there's also the fact that today they have the arrogance to bring in the insurance executives and their lobbyists and to meet in secret. Now, the president has become the national insurance commissioner. None of these companies are going to take on the government. None of them are going to risk being punished.
And so, you have to ask yourself, why is this a secret meeting? Why isn't this a public meeting? We see a continued effort by this administration to not allow the American people to know the truth about something which is life and death and something which is the largest single sector of our economy. Today's meeting is one more example.
And my point is, people should be demanding, frankly the news media should be demanding access to this meeting to make it transparent, to find out exactly what are these companies meeting in secret with their lobbyists and with the president's staff on a matter of life and death for every American.
MALVEAUX: We do know that Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary, she is going to be testifying next week before a hearing to answer questions about what went wrong and what they're doing to fix the problem here. What do you want to hear from her? Because this is the White House effort to combat this thing that, you know, they -- the objection here and the accusation that there has been too much secrecy. What do you want to know from her in that hearing next week?
GINGRICH: Look, I don't actually want to hear anything from her. She's the person who presided over a total absolute fiasco. Why would - you know, she's going to come in, she's going to say, gee, it's really hard. We really feel bad. We're now, quote, "surging." This is a word that first became famous about the Iraq War. We're now surging tech support.
If the government is this bad at running a website, can you imagine what they're going to be like a year from now trying to oversee health care? I think this is the most vivid example of why we shouldn't have a centrally run bureaucratic system you could have. And I can't imagine any -- that Secretary Sebelius is going to say which will be particularly useful.
MALVEAUX: And so where do we go from here? I mean people have to - they obviously have to sign up. March is the deadline. Do you, like other Republicans, suggest that they push back this deadline, this mandate in some way? I mean, do you spend time in hearings or do you spend time trying to fix here what is wrong?
GINGRICH: Well, I mean, first of all, the secretary of health and human services is not involved in fixing anything because she's not a programmer. She's not a technical specialist. So she can go to the hearing. I mean let the technical people stay behind.
I would say the number one challenge we should have for this administration is to be open and honest with the American people starting with this afternoon's insurance company meeting. But, for example, report every week how many people are signing up and what are they signing up for? If they're signing up for Medicaid, but they're not signing up for Obamacare, they're going to face a very big problem in a few months because there won't be enough young people in the Obamacare program to sustain it financially, and it will literally just burn out.
MALVEAUX: All right, Newt, we got to leave it there. We've run out of time. But, clearly, "Crossfire," you will pick that back up where you started there. Thank you. As always, we appreciate it.
GINGRICH: Thank you.
MALVEAUX: A lot of questions and, of course, Kathleen Sebelius in the hot seat, as well as other White House officials, and we will continue to try to get information on those meetings that are taking place in the White House as well. Thank you, Newt.
Three generations of Warren Buffett's family now teaming up to fight world hunger. Hear the unusual way that they're going about it, up next.
MALVEAUX: Well, John F. Kennedy used to say, "for those whom much is given, much is required." Well, billionaire Warren Buffett, his son and his grandson have taken those words to heart. People who are starving all over the world, of course, and so they are devoting millions to help feed them by teaching them better ways to grow more food. The Buffetts are targeting places where not just weather and poverty are obstacles, but war as well. They sat down with our own Poppy Harlow to talk about it.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Your goal is to feed the world, frankly.
HOWARD G. BUFFETT, CHAIRMAN & CEO, THE HOWARD G. BUFFETT FOUNDATION: That's kind of a big goal, but I think we're - we're -- it's a goal to shoot for.
HARLOW (voice-over): Howard Buffett and his son think the best way to fight hunger is to learn how to farm better.
HOWARD G. BUFFETT: You know, when you think about that there's tens of millions of farmers that can't feed their families, you know, that's just wrong. You don't have the infrastructure, you don't have the political leadership. You have corruption. You don't have the governance you need to do it. The huge part is, you don't have the knowledge and you don't have a way to distribute the knowledge.
HARLOW: Howard's father, legendary investor Warren Buffett, has given billions to their cause.
HARLOW (on camera): Is the return on investment coming through?
WARREN BUFFETT, CHAIRMAN & CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: On my 82nd birthday I doubled the commitment. And I wouldn't have done that unless I felt terrifically about what they're doing. They're tackling tough things. I mean they could go out and, you know, add a hospital wing or do something with a library or something like that. They are tackling real problems.
HARLOW (voice-over): Much of their work is in conflict zones, like in Africa and Afghanistan, detailed in their new book "Forty Chances."
HOWARD G. BUFFETT: What we've learned is that you can't wait for the conflict to end. So one of the most important things you can do is find the small or large, but find the investments that you can make at the time that things are not stable and they'll lead to stability.
HOWARD W. BUFFETT, CO-AUTHOR, "FORTY CHANCES": We spent over a year in a specific community in western Afghanistan working with the farmers, understanding exactly what it is that they needed and what their hopes were. And, over time, we were able to provide them with the linkages that they were missing so that they could grow better crops, they could get those crops to market, they could have more income and economic stability for they needed for their families and their community and that they would have the long-term infrastructure to do it for generations to come.
HARLOW: Howard watched and learned from his famous father. HOWARD G. BUFFETT: I remember all these things, the conversations and watched how he thought and how he analyzed and what were the things that were important in a decision. And I learned some of that. I mean I learned that it is much better to make a decision quickly and - I mean a well-informed decision but quickly, than not make a decision.
HARLOW: But he credits his mother most of all.
HOWARD G. BUFFETT: I don't think I would have made those choices, the choices that we make today in a lot of what we do, if I hadn't had her influence.
W. BUFFETT: He got his values from his mother, no question about that.
HOWARD: Another influence, public school.
W. BUFFETT: They saw America as most Americans see America, rather than from some rarefied perch. I want my children to understand the world that they live in from the -- through the eyes of the people of that world and the fact they've got some money to do some good things is great, but they'll do them better if they've lived in the world rather than looked at the world.
HOWARD W. BUFFETT: I have a grandfather who has armed with his principles and determination grown what was one of the world's largest fortunes and turned it into one of history's greatest gifts. And in doing that, empowered my father to change the world with that. And both have been a true testament to what an individual can accomplish in one lifetime.
MALVEAUX: Poppy Harlow joins us from New York.
And, Poppy, I think I misspoke. I said millions. It's billions, right, that they've actually invested in this.
MALVEAUX: That's pretty darn impressive. Howard Buffett and his son, they've partnered, right, with the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, in Africa -
MALVEAUX: To move forward with fighting hunger as well. Tell us about that.
HARLOW: Yes, I mean it's about $3 billion so far that Warren Buffett has given to his son's foundation. So not chump change. A lot of money here. Partnering, yes, with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Africa, focusing on conflict zones. For example, they're investing $41 million this year in the Congo. So they're not afraid to take risks and go to places where it's certainly not easy to get things like this off the ground. I will tell you, though, a lot of people read this book and they say, well, it focuses on Africa, Afghanistan, what about the United States. The foundation is spending about 50 percent of their money here in the United States where, believe it or not, Suzanne, 48 million Americans, about one in six Americans, is food insecure, doesn't know where their next meal is coming from. So they're focusing globally, but also here in the United States.
MALVEAUX: All right, a good cause, as always. Thank you, Poppy. Appreciate it.
MALVEAUX: Several stories caught our attention today, the photos as well.
I want you to take a look at this. This is in Australia. This poor baby wallaby caught in the line of fire. He was lucky, though. Look at him. Volunteers rescuing him from the bush fires. He suffered a few burns on his body, but he's OK.
In Japan, they celebrated their annual Bamboo Lantern Festival. Now the festival featured more than 1,000 paper lanterns on long bamboo poles. You see it there. Participants attempted to knock down each other's lanterns.
And in Malaysia, Legoland opened its largest water park in the world. It contains almost 800,000 gallons of water, more than 20 water slides. The water park is the latest edition in the Legoland Malaysia resort.
Good for them. Looks like a lot of fun.
Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now. Have a good afternoon.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much.
Right now, every school in a Massachusetts town is shut down. A teacher's body is found in the woods behind a high school. A 14-year- old boy now in custody. Investigators looking for answers.
Right now, the Obama administration is scrambling to fix the government's health care website. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius answering questions from our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
And right now, a fired national security official is apologizing for his inappropriate tweets. The White House canned him after his identity was revealed. I'll talk with the man who broke the story. That's a little bit later this hour.
Hello. I'm Wolf Blitzer, reporting today from New York.
But we'll start in Danvers, Massachusetts. That's a town in mourning right now.