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Buffet Backs Son; Jerky Treat Mystery; The Human Factor; Officer Protects and Serves; The Royal Baby Blessing

Aired October 23, 2013 - 08:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back to NEW DAY. It is time for the five things you need to know for your new day.

At number one, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius telling CNN she has no plans to step down. She blames enormous volume for issues with the Obamacare website and says the president did not know about the problems with the site before it launched.

The parents of a 12-year-old Nevada boy who shot a teacher and two students before killing himself could be facing criminal charges. Police are now investigating whether they mishandled the gun that took their son -- that their son took to school.

A top White House national security official fired for tweeting. That is Jofi Joseph, accused of using a fake Twitter name and criticizing the likes of John Kerry and Sarah Palin, among others.

A big recall. More than 11 tons of chicken, ham and beef products recalled over concerns they're contaminated with listeria. Those products were sent to retailers and distributors in 27 states. So far no reports of illnesses from the foods.

A low-key christening in London today for Prince George. That's what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wanted, saying only close family members are invited to St. James Palace for the ceremony. We will bring you a live report on that coming up.

And we always update those five things to know. So be sure to go to for the very latest.



Billionaire Warren Buffett back in the headlines, backing his son's mission to end world hunger. Howard Buffett, a farmer and philanthropist, has seen the ravages of malnourishment firsthand. He's armed with $3 billion from his legendary father to do something about it. CNN's Poppy Harlow is bringing us that story.

A very different look into the Oracle from Omaha.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. I mean and his -- none of his kids, his son certainly didn't follow in his father's footsteps. He's literally a farmer in Illinois, but he's using his money to help people learn how to farm better around the world.

When you look at the numbers, it's pretty astonishing, 842 million people in the world do not have enough to eat and legendary investor Warren Buffett's son Howard Buffett and his son have been on a mission to change that. They detail it in their new book "Forty Chances." So we sat down with three generations of Buffetts to hear what they're doing with the Buffett fortune and why.


HARLOW: Your goal is to feed the world, frankly.

HOWARD BUFFETT, WARREN BUFFETT'S SON: 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 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.

HARLOW (voice-over): Much of their work is in conflict zones, like in Africa and Afghanistan, detailed in their new book "Forty Chances."

HOWARD 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, HOWARD BUFFETT'S SON: We spent over a year in a specific community in western Afghanistan working with the farmers 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.

HARLOW: Howard has learned a lot from his father, but credits his mother most of all.

HOWARD 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.


HARLOW: And that's really what stood out to me from the interview, Kate. They'll do better if they lived in the world than looked at the world as a billionaire's son. And they do have gobs and gobs of money, but all three of his children have chosen to do good with it. And Warren Buffett has always said, I don't want to give them too much that they can't do nothing.

BOLDUAN: And what's unusual, and we were talking about this, about Warren Buffett and his family, is you might hear from another billionaire that he wants his kid to be just like every other kid.

HARLOW: Right.

BOLDUAN: But Warren Buffett is just so unusual in that he is quite normal and so are his kids.

HARLOW: He's quite normal. You were talking about, you know, at one point seeing him get into a taxi. He drives his own car to work.

BOLDUAN: Yes, he does it.

HARLOW: And he tries to be as normal as you can for a billionaire. He's given most of his fortune to the Gates Foundation, but a few billion to his kids and their work, too.

BOLDUAN: A billion here, a billion there.


BOLDUAN: Poppy, thanks.



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Kate, we'll take a quick break here. When we come back, two must sees. First, pet treats that kill. We're going to give you the information about what's going on with dogs and what they're eating and what you need to know to keep your best friend safe.

And a cop with a conscience. Find out why a Florida officer decided to feed a shoplifter instead of just arresting her. We'll talk to her live. A great message in that one.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

A warning now for pet owners, some popular treats that you like to give your dogs and cats could actually be making them sick and it's unclear what's causing it.


PEREIRA (voice-over): It's a mysterious treat-related illness that can be deadly for your pet.

DIANE LEVITAM, VMD, VETERINARY INTERNAL MEDICINE SPECIALIST : The most severe symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea, but the real underlying problem causing the symptom is kidney disease.

PEREIRA: The Food and Drug Administration linked pet jerky treat products, most of which were made in China, to 580 deaths, more than 3,600 illnesses in dogs since 2007. But it's not just affecting man's best friend. At least 10 cats have also fallen ill. The FDA says more "than 1,200 jerky pet treat samples have been tested since 2011," looking for things like "pesticides" and "salmonella."

RENEE SMITH, VETERINARIAN: They have to not only narrow it down to which product, but then which ingredients in that product and then to see how many different product that one ingredient's in.

PEREIRA: Investigators claim to be meeting with regulators in China to share its findings, but experts are still stumped as to what's making the animals sick.

In a last ditch effort, the FDA sent a letter to veterinarians around the nation Tuesday requesting a urine sample and blood work from ill pets who consume jerky pet treats.

LEVITAM: It's very important to educate veterinarians so that we can educate our clients and stopping them from eating the treats could reverse any damage that's been done.

PEREIRA: Nestle Purina, Canyon Creek and Nestle-Coors, Milo's Kitchen are voluntarily recalling their products while the FDA investigates.

SAUNDRA MCKENZIE, DOG OWNER: If it's unhealthy and they're warning you against it, then, no, you shouldn't be giving it to them.


PEREIRA: Well, Since the FDA inspection, they found that one firm in China used falsified receiving documents for the ingredient glycerin. Since then Chinese authorities seized their products, suspended exports in hopes that they can find out what is killing our four- legged friends. So far there is no clear evidence, though, that glycerin is the culprit. So to be careful, maybe if you -


PEREIRA: If you know that those are the products on your shelf that you're giving your pets, hold off on it for now.

BOLDUAN: Good advice.


CUOMO: All right, let's take a turn now to a story of a young man doing what he can to end bullying. Just a decade ago, Jaylen Arnold became the youngest ever diagnosed case of Tourette's syndrome, but he isn't letting the condition stand in the way of his goal. Here is Dr. Sanjay Gupta's with today's "Human Factor."


JAYLEN ARNOLD: I'm Jaylen and I have Tourette's syndrome. And I used to get bullied for that a lot.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cool, calm, confident, 13-year-old Jaylen Arnold is on a mission to banish bullying for all.

ARNOLD: I've felt the pain of being bullied, and I know - I have been bullied bad, but I know there are over 100 kids that are being bullied 100 times worse than I was.

GUPTA: You see, Jaylen has Tourette's syndrome. It's a neurological disorder which causes repetitive, involuntary movements and sounds called tics.

ROBIN ECKELBERGER, JAYLEN'S MOTHER: Jaylen began ticking at the age of two. We went through several doctor appointments. The pediatrician was like, oh my goodness, I think this is classic Tourette's case. And he was only diagnosed at three because in order to be diagnosed with Tourette's they have to observe the behavior for one whole year.

ARNOLD: And we came up with Jaylen's Challenge because we - I wanted to stand up and I wanted to do something and make a difference.

And it hurts to think about how much torture and how miserable a kid's life can be just because one person is causing them to feel they're worthless, you know.

DASH MIHOK, ACTOR: Can we get a "no bullying, no way!"

KIDS: No bullying, no way!

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


CUOMO: The guy with Jaylen there was actor Dash Mihok, who also has Tourette's and is, you know, now of Ray Donovan fame. But he is trying to get the message out and it's a beautiful one. We've got the bracelets, right? PEREIRA: That's right.

BOLDUAN: We've got the bracelets,, everybody. Remember.

PEREIRA: And on the back it says, "no bullying, no way." Had to read it upside down.

CUOMO: Bullying, no way.

PEREIRA: Yes, this is great.

BOLDUAN: That's good.

CUOMO: A good message any way you read it.


BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, remember this story? We told you about it. A police officer doing the right thing, helping an accused shoplifting.

PEREIRA: Great lady.

BOLDUAN: Instead of arresting her, helping her. Well, we're going to talk to the officer about why she did it, why she did what she did. It's better, it's the better stuff, next.


CUOMO: I'm waiting for this all morning. It's time for a very special edition of "The Better Stuff". Now on Tuesday we told you about a Miami-Dade police officer, Vicki Thomas. She was dispatched to the scene of a shoplifting but instead of just arresting this desperate mother of three for attempting to steal groceries to feed her family she charged her with a misdemeanor then walked into the store and purchased the food herself.

That act of let's call it mercy is sending ripples around the world, may have helped put this young mother's life back on track.

Officer Vicki Thomas joins us now. Officer, can you hear us? Thanks for being on NEW DAY.

VICKI THOMAS, MIAMI-DADE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

CUOMO: No, the pleasure is ours. Do you know what you did, Officer? Do you know what you did here? Do you know what's happening now? Do you take responsibility?

THOMAS: Yes, I do. I didn't know what was going to happen when I did it. I did it just because I needed to.

CUOMO: Now explain that to us, right. Because your sense here there was the shoplifting, you had the crime, you had what you were supposed to do procedurally but then something else happened. Why?

THOMAS: She touched me. When I asked her why she did it, and she said she needed to feed her children, I could relate. I was a single mom and without the help of my family, that could have been me.

And so I needed to do my job, but I also needed to help her.

CUOMO: And what did it mean to you when you went in there and got those groceries and knew what they meant to that family, those kids?

THOMAS: At the time, I didn't know exactly, because I hadn't met her children until a little bit later. I knew that I needed to feed her and I bought enough groceries that would last her approximately a week. And I figured by then she could get on her feet or at least get some other assistance.

CUOMO: Now, I understand -- you tell me if this is right, I don't want to over embellish -- but that you didn't really tell a lot of people about this afterwards. You had to do a little bit of explaining of why the particular case went the way it did but beyond that it's not too much. Is that true?

THOMAS: That's true. I -- the partner that was with me knew. And I think we mentioned it to one or two other people, my sergeant, and that was about it.

CUOMO: So then look what happens. You do this, you kind of not forget about it but you take it in the course of your day, then we get this story right because the media has got the big mouth.

We love this stuff on "The Good Stuff". We put out the story. The mother gets contacted, she gets a job interview, other people want to help her with her family. All because of what you started. How does that make you feel?

THOMAS: It feels amazing. I was so pleased that everything has worked out for her. She has touched me. Her daughter really touched me. The little boys, I am so, so happy that I could help this family.


CUOMO: To protect --

THOMAS: It makes me feel like a million.

CUOMO: To protect, oh, a million, don't be so small. It's like 10 million, it's like 100 million -- why? Because we don't see it today enough, do we? We have too many stories about the wrong thing happening.

You have "protect and serve" as part of your mandate and mission. But to do something like this, to know that this mother has got a job now, to know that her kids have food, to know that people have seen an example of service that we don't usually see from officers or anybody, all from something you did apparently just out of instinct. THOMAS: Yes. It's amazing. It's so hard to explain, because I do a lot and it's -- "thank you" is very seldom heard in my profession. Most of the time when we go, no one is happy to see us, so this was just, it's overwhelming. It's -- I'm so, so very proud.

CUOMO: Give me a one line for people. What you want them to know about how they should treat one another?

THOMAS: Treat them like you want to be treated.

CUOMO: Simple, but strong. Thank you so much, Officer, for joining us. You gave a beautiful example, happy to make you part of the NEW DAY family on "Good Stuff".

THOMAS: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure.

CUOMO: The pleasure was ours. The pleasure was ours.

Let us know what you think, tweet us with #newday. What a story, Kate, huh?

BOLDUAN: What a story. That is one good woman. Thank you for that.

Coming up next, defying convention yet again -- Prince George is being christened this morning but his parents are making it a private affair. That's pretty unusual for the royal family. We're going to take you to London next.


PEREIRA: And welcome back to NEW DAY.

Let's give you a quick look at your "Top Stories". Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius saying President Obama didn't know about the website issues before the Web site went live and in an interview with CNN insisting she will not resign despite the site problems.

Chilling new details and 911 calls from the shooting at a Nevada middle school. A witness tells CNN the shooter fired at least four to five times injuring two students, killing a teacher before turning the gun on himself.

In Australia, 70 wildfires continuing to rage, driven by high temperatures and low humidity -- a bad combo; thousands are evacuating their homes near Sydney.

Those are your headlines.

CUOMO: All right guys before we get more on the royal christening, shall we off to the couch?

BOLDUAN: Yes, please.


BOLDUAN: I actually still want to know what do Brits call a couch or sofa?

PEREIRA: A chesterfield.

BOLDUAN: Oh there you go.

Arguably the most anticipated christening of the year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge bringing Prince George to church this morning for the blessed event. Let's go live to, who else, royal correspondent Max Foster with the latest. Good morning.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kate. Yes in about an hour this service will take place. It's a really small service, only 23 guests in total, but seven godparents -- would you believe -- in charge of the spiritual upbringing of its future king, a future supreme governor of the church of England no less and these godparents come from every part of their lives, friends from school, friends from university, one of Diana's friends and one of Charles' friends and then number one close aide as well.

So it's going to be a small service in the Chapel Royal, where George will be baptized with water from the River Jordan, and then afterwards they'll have cake, which will be a tier from that grand wedding cake, 2 years old now but I'm told it's still fresh, it's fruitcake. We sort of do that sort of thing in this country. We eat fruitcake a couple of years after we've made it.

BOLDUAN: Hey you know if it keeps, it keeps. So are we going to get a glimpse of little George?

FOSTER: Well we hope so. That's what everyone is holding out for isn't it but actually no cameras are allowed in at all so we'll catch the arrivals. There is an official photographer inside that will take pictures after the service. Those pictures will be released tomorrow night, though, so there's a chance we might not see them today.

BOLDUAN: All right well we will all wait for that. We're all still kind of startled -- seven godparents?

PEREIRA: That's good coverage.

FOSTER: It's pretty good.

CUOMO: They take their -- they take their religiosity very seriously there.

BOLDUAN: It's that how the Brits say it?

CUOMO: That's it. That's what they call it.

PEREIRA: That's it.

BOLDUAN: Thank you, Max.

CUOMO: Seven godparents. He's not going to be able to escape the calling, will he?

BOLDUAN: That's the whole point.

PEREIRA: A lot of people to visit when you're older.

CUOMO: It's true.

BOLDUAN: A lot of graduation gifts.

CUOMO: There it is. That's what I was talking about.

BOLDUAN: There you go -- eye on the prize.

CUOMO: All right so it's great we're looking forward to that. I can't wait for the photos of course, by we I mean them.

Time for the NEWSROOM now let's get to Carol Costello, also anxiously awaiting the gorgeous George christening pictures.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Man, I've been waiting since last Tuesday. Are you kidding? Thanks, guys.

BOLDUAN: Sarcasm -- we do not sense at all.

COSTELLO: None at all. Have a great day. Thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: Bye, girl.


Happening now in the NEWSROOM -- a CNN exclusive.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Did you ever talk about resigning to the president?

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: What I talked about is doing the job that I came here to do.


COSTELLO: The woman behind the flailing, floundering Obamacare website one-on-one.


GUPTA: Why didn't they bring their "A" team in, in the first place?

SEBELIUS: I can't tell you.


COSTELLO: Also cross-continent custody drama.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the estimation of Maria she may be six, around five or six years old.


COSTELLO: A blond-haired, blue-eyed little girl and a new twist in the case.

Plus a royal affair.