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CNN NEWSROOM

Anti-NSA Rally in Washington; Family, Students Mourn Teacher's Death; Bullied to Death; Barney's Accused of Racial Profiling; Portugal Reopens Madeleine McCann Case; MLB Concerned about Concussions; Tainted Treats Kill Hundreds of Pets; DUI Confessor Sentenced to Six-year Plus Sentence

Aired October 26, 2013 - 13:00   ET

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


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. I am Fredricka Whitfield. Welcome to the third hour on the CNN NEWSROOM. Straight ahead, the top stories we're following for you, the U.S. admits it's spying on some big allies, tapping phones and e-mails, snooping on friends France, Germany, even Mexico. And right now, activists are gathering in Washington, D.C. to protest our spying policies. A live picture right now from the protest, their message, stop watching us.

And it's been six years since Madeline McCann vanished. Now that police reopened the investigation, we take a look at some of the disturbing avenues they could be now looking at.

And hundreds of dog deaths linked to treats made in China. What's being done to get these tainted treats off the shelves?

Anger over claims the NSA is spying on people around the world is spilling into the streets of Washington. People are rallying right now in the nation's capital. Their message, very clear, stop watching us.

Erin McPike is live for us right now in Washington.

So, Erin, what are we expecting to see as people continue to gather there in Washington at this rally?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, pretty soon we will hear from many of the speakers, including from Dennis Kucinich, a very liberal Democrat, and Justin Amash, a very conservative Republican, who is still in Congress. So this spans the political spectrum. But as far as what we will see, one of the things is a giant parachute with essentially -- the word constitutional right, not NSA mass surveillance.

We're also supposed to see 100 giant cell phones and laptops, and again, the message is to stop this kind of mass surveillance without more government oversight -- Fred. So a lot more that's still to come today, but interesting visuals for sure on the National Mall today.

WHITFIELD: And we know among countries that have expressed their, you know, dissatisfaction here, Germany, but what about the international response in general to these claims of NSA spying? MCPIKE: Well, certainly a number of countries who have begun to hear more about this are angry. Germany seems to be the angriest of all. Of course they're sending a delegation to the United States to have some meetings, but on top of that, Germany and Brazil want a U.N. resolution to sort of stop some of this more innocent espionage, they say, and on top of that, Germany and France want some sort of conference to discuss this more broadly and out in the open, Fred.

So we're hearing from a number of big countries right now who are just not happy with this kind of surveillance.

WHITFIELD: All right. Erin McPike, thanks so much. We know you're going to continue to watch the gathering there in the nation's capital, what appears to be a blustery day in Washington as people gather for that rally. Thanks so much, Erin.

All right, tomorrow on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," Candy Crowley will talk exclusively to Congressman Mike Rogers about the latest developments on the NSA surveillance. Congressman Rogers is chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. That's "STATE OF THE UNION," tomorrow morning, 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

All right, family and friends will say their goodbyes tomorrow to a high school teacher killed in Massachusetts. Police say one of Colleen Ritzer's students killed her with a box cutter that he brought to school.

Alexandra Field joining us live now with more on this.

Clearly the community is still reeling from what happened.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Fredricka. And the key part here is that people want answers, they've got questions about what happened, this is the kind of crime that doesn't make a lot of sense to anyone. They are searching for a motive and prosecutors haven't publicly identified any kind of motive at this point.

They are raising questions about Philip Chism's background. They want to know whatever they can learn about this 14-year-old. But a source close to the investigation says at this point there is nothing in his past to suggest that or foreshadow the possibility that he would have been linked to the allegations that he now faces.

That same source is also saying that reports that he may have had a crush on his teacher seemed to be at least at this point unfounded, but again, still a lot of questions to ask and to answer. This is an investigation that continues to unfold.

Ritzer's body was found just a few feet away from the high school where she taught -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Alexandra, we're having some audio problems. But if you're able to hear me, what is the school doing to help kids and even faculty feel more comfortable about getting back in class?

FIELD: Well, Fred, right off the bat when this all unfolded, school was cancelled district wide. That's seven schools in the Danvers district. No one went to school on Wednesday morning after Ritzer's body had been found. The kids were kept home for the next few days. But students did return to the high school on Friday. Obviously a tough place to return to.

Grief counselors were on hand as the kids headed back and went to class for the first time after a couple of days, but mostly they're turning to each other for support and trying to understand something that again seems so senseless.

Here is what one of the students told us as they headed back to class.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLLIN BUTLER, JUNIOR, DANVERS HIGH SCHOOL: Yes, pretty much just shocked, you know, just trying to return to some sense of normalcy, you know.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did you know Miss Ritzer?

BUTLER: Yes, I had her in class for a little bit. She's a real nice teacher. I think we all loved her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FIELD: Conversations will be continuing, of course, in school as the kids head back to class again on Monday. Students are paying tribute to their teacher. They're laying flowers outside the school, tying pink ribbons to the trees, calling hours for Colleen Ritzer will be held tomorrow evening, her funeral is on Monday -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Alexandra Field, thanks so much in New York.

In Newtown, Connecticut, contractors have begun tearing down Sandy Hook Elementary School. The demolition is expected to take several weeks. Workers are being asked to meticulously destroy all materials. Twenty children and six adults were killed in a shooting there last December. A new school is expected to open in about three years.

OK. Well, it probably felt pretty chilly in your neck of the woods. That's the way it felt for most people across the country this morning. Frost advisories and freeze warnings stretch across dozens -- a dozen states.

Karen Maginnis is at Atlanta's Piedmont Park where they had a little puppy parade earlier today and even the puppies were bundled up.

(LAUGHTER)

Including yourself, Karen.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: They were. I know. And I was bundled up. It is warming up very nicely. But yes, the temperatures started out way below normal for what they should be this time of year. They were more reminiscent of what would happen in mid November. Now they weren't record setting but you were hard pressed to tell the difference because it was so chilly out there.

Let's show you some of the forecast for the southeast. Now even though we started out very chilly this morning, and temperatures running a little bit below normal, they will be above normal going into the beginning of next week. Look at those 70s. Almost mid 70s. New Orleans in the 80s, above normal.

All right. What are the temperatures forecast for this afternoon. In the west, for southern California, we're looking at temperatures right around 81 degrees there. It will be 59 in Denver, 53 in Seattle. If you're traveling to New York, 55, 80 degrees coming up in Houston. But there's a big shift coming.

The jet stream has been dipped across the southeast, it's going to trek to the north. The cold air is going to retreat some. But guess where it's going to be. It will be across the interior west.

And, Fred, I have been talking all morning with people who have come to the farmer's market here, and some folks and some critters are a little less enthusiastic about getting out in the cold. Take a look at this.

WHITFIELD: OK.

MAGINNIS: All right. Well, this particular puppy is Bugsy. And we looked at Bugsy, and we Bugsy was a winner to begin with.

But, Fred, we weren't exactly sure about the costume. I don't know if you can guess what he is.

WHITFIELD: Yes. I see like little paint swatches.

MAGINNIS: And that's what I thought as well. But this dog was in a "50 Shades of Gray" costume that the owner --

WHITFIELD: Yes.

MAGINNIS: She said I got the idea from Facebook. And we were thinking it was solar panels, or paint chips, weren't exactly sure, but the dog was adorable and a winner. There were some cute ones as well. Dogs dressed like Napoleon.

WHITFIELD: My goodness.

MAGINNIS: You would have enjoyed it.

WHITFIELD: That's cute. Well, you know, I like all things dog, so that's cool.

(LAUGHTER)

And it literally was kind of cool this morning for you.

All right, Karen, thanks so much for bringing that to us. Appreciate it.

MAGINNIS: OK.

WHITFIELD: The big chill across the country.

All right, very serious stuff straight ahead, bullying. It was so bad for a 12-year-old girl that she took her own life. Now her accused tormenters say they're the ones being bullied by the justice system.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A tragic case of online bullying that ended in suicide could lead to a change in how law enforcement handles cyber bullying. Two young girls, 12 and 14, are now facing felony charges after Florida authorities say they drove a classmate to take her own life.

Here is CNN's Ed Lavandera.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fourteen-year-old Guadalupe Shaw and 12-year-old say Kaitlin Roman say they're not guilty of stalking their classmate Rebecca Sedgwick. Shaw's family tells CNN Guadalupe is not a bully.

VIVIAN VOSBURG, MOTHER: My daughter is not that type of person that would do something like that.

LAVANDERA: Investigators in Lakeland, Florida, say both girls tormented Sedgwick for months in social media posts with messages like, "I hate you, you seriously deserve to die," and "Why don't you go kill yourself?"

Sedgwick's mother says the taunting started over a boy and involved as many as 20 students harassing young Rebecca. In September, 12-year- old Rebecca Sedgwick couldn't take it anymore. She climbed to the top of this cement silo and jumped.

TRICIA NORMAN, VICTIM'S MOTHER: I just don't understand how anybody could be cruel to another human being like that. It just -- it makes me sick and it just -- I'm more upset with the parents than the kids because they had to learn this behavior somewhere. This is how they're being taught to be.

LAVANDERA: But the nasty social media messages didn't stop after Sedgwick's death. A few weeks later this message appeared on Guadalupe Shaw's Facebook page. "Yes, I know I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself, but I don't give a blank." Guadalupe's parents say their daughter didn't write the incriminating post and suspects someone hacked her account.

JOSE MARTINEZ, GUADALUPE SHAW'S FATHER: The computer to her room. And the only other time that she could have used to send this message was my cell phone and my cell phone is always with me.

LAVANDERA: After that interview with CNN Vivian Vosburg, the woman who has helped raise Guadalupe with the girl's father was arrested on unrelated child abuse and neglect charges. Investigators discovered a Facebook video allegedly showing Vosburg punching and screaming at two young boys. She's still in jail and has not posted bond.

Meanwhile Rebecca Sedgwick's mother has hired a team of lawyers and they're preparing to file civil wrongful death lawsuits against all the students who taunted Rebecca, their parents and the school district which she says knew about the abuse and didn't do enough to stop it.

NORMAN: I think the parents of the bullies failed and I think the school failed because they didn't take it seriously when Becca kept coming to them and telling them, you know, this is what -- I went down there myself and showed them stuff that was posted on Facebook by these girls.

LAVANDERA: Ed Lavandera, CNN, Lakeland, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And in New York, a luxury store is now under fire for allegedly racially profiling some of its customers. Two people are suing Barney's in New York. They claim store clerks called the police after they purchased big ticket items at the store. And now angry fans are asking rap star Jay-Z to get involved to end his multi- million dollar deal with Barney's.

Our Nick Valencia has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Next month, Jay-Z is set to sell a new fashion line at Barney's, but a change.org petition is calling for him to end all partnerships with the New York retailer. That's because a second African-American college student has come forward to allege racial profiling, saying undercover officers stopped and questioned her after she bought a $2500 Celine bag at Barney's New York.

KAYLA PHILLIPS, CLAIMS SHE WAS RACIALLY PROFILED: I had good intentions, I went, I bought my favorite bag. I wanted this bag, I deserved that bag. And then to find out, you know, I am being accused of using someone else's card, I just really felt demeaned.

VALENCIA: Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Phillips came forward after 19- year-old Trayon Christian made headlines claiming he, too, was racially profiled after purchasing a Ferragamo belt at Barney's in April. Both shoppers want damages from the store and the New York Police Department.

TRAYON CHRISTIAN, CLAIMS HE WAS RACIALLY PROFILED: Undercover cops, they have regular clothes on, stopped me from the left side, and acting like I just got a call from Barney's saying your card is not real.

VALENCIA: In a prepared statement, Mark Lee, CEO of Barney's New York, said, quote, "No customer should have the unacceptable experience described in recent media reports and we offer our sincere regret and deepest apologies. We want to reinforce that Barney's New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. Our mission is to ensure that all customers receive the highest quality service without exception."

New York Police Department says it's investigating the incident. Jay- Z's representatives have not commented, but Kayla Phillips hopes they do.

PHILLIPS: When he hears about it, when he gets involved, and he knows that is not right, and he will make the right choice.

VALENCIA: And Jay-Z isn't the only star getting caught in the middle of a high end store controversy. "Treme" star Robert Brown filed a lawsuit this week against Macy's. Brown says he, too, was the victim of racial profiling. He says police accused him of using a fake credit card and detained him back in June.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. Let's bring in Nick Valencia now.

So what else is being said about this. Certainly, you know, the Twitter sphere is lit up.

VALENCIA: Yes.

WHITFIELD: People have strong opinions about the store, the response, all of it.

VALENCIA: It's not just strong opinions about what happened. People are saying it's happened to them as well. They're alleging racial discrimination, as well, Fred. They're going on Barney's Facebook page, posting on their own Facebook page. They say, you know, this is not -- this is a common thing, this is nothing new that's happening at Barney's. They say Barney's doesn't speak for the hip-hop community. So that's what someone like Jay-Z who has this deal with them should back out. That's what they're saying.

WHITFIELD: And any response from Jay-Z since we last spoke?

VALENCIA: No, no. He's still -- mum's a word with Jay-Z's camp. He is on a tour in Europe and he was asked by some reporters there, but he wasn't prepared to answer. I think, you know, he might be seeing how this plays out. Maybe he'll weigh in, maybe not. But we're working a on comment from Jay-Z.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Nick Valencia, for bringing that to us.

VALENCIA: All right.

WHITFIELD: Appreciate that.

All right. A warning now for dog lovers out there. Tainted treats are being linked to hundreds of deaths.

Coming up, we'll show you what's being done to get to the bottom of that problem.

Plus, police are reopening an investigation into the disappearance of Madeline McCann. Up next, I'll talk to the president of the International Center of Missing and Exploited Children about how her case sheds new life on a worldwide problem.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Police in Portugal are reopening the case of Madeline McCann, a little girl who has been missing since she was three. The blonde haired, British toddler vanished in Portugal more than six years ago. She was on vacation with her family.

Earlier this month, British Police said they were working on a new investigation as well, and a special aired on the BBC, including new details of a person who may have been seen near the Portuguese resort. Officials said afterward they were flooded with calls.

So Madeline McCann's parents say they have never given up hope. And one expert says they shouldn't.

Ernie Allen, president and CEO for the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, joining me now.

Good to see you.

ERNIE ALLEN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN: Thank you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: So we don't know that Madeline is a victim of child trafficking, but you have worked with her parents several times, talking with them as well. Is it at all encouraging to you that Portuguese police are reopening the investigation that there is this description of a person who may have been near this Portuguese resort?

ALLEN: Fredricka, I think it's enormously encouraging. Portuguese police have reopened the investigation, Scotland Yard and the U.K. is taking this case very seriously.

The message that we have delivered to the McCanns and to so many other searching parents is that there's hope. Most of the children abducted, even in the most serious stranger abductions, are not killed, so these children, particularly when they're taken when they're very young could be anywhere and won't even know that they're missing.

WHITFIELD: So in your conversations with the McCanns, what are their instincts tell them? Are they convinced that their child may have been abducted and that their child might still be alive?

ALLEN: Well, I think they certainly recognize the potential that this could have a tragic ending but there's so much uncertainty, and there's a lot of frustration. For these searching parents, these cases never go away. They're always in the -- in the back of their minds. And so what we have said to them because she was taken when she was so young, she could have been taken by someone who wanted a child.

She could have been a victim sold in black market adoptions. She could have been trafficked for sex, for labor, for a host of other things. There are many scenarios, many of them not very positive, but in many of these scenarios, Madeline McCann could still be out there alive, and it's important that the world not forget and that the search go on.

WHITFIELD: So all those things you mentioned, black market adoption, sex, labor rings, how prevalent is that worldwide?

ALLEN: Well, it's very difficult to estimate. We estimate at least two million children are being used in the sex trade. Those who are being used for purposes of labor, or begging or other economic purposes, the numbers are far greater than that. Many of the children involved in these kinds of illegal commercial enterprises are not even technically missing. These are poor children, provided by their families or sold by their families into this.

So it is a deep, dark, hard problem to probe and it's one of the reasons why there needs to be so much greater attention on the plight of these kinds of children.

WHITFIELD: And so what's it going to take in your view to solve a missing child case like that of Madeline McCann? If she is alive, after six years now, she'll of course look very different from all the photos that people have seen worldwide. They may not necessarily know what she would look like, but what would it take in your view to try and crack a case like that?

ALLEN: Fredricka, it takes one caring person. If somebody out there knows what happened to Madeline McCann, somebody knows where she is, we just need to reach that one person and have them come forward with the key information. So the fact that Scotland Yard has generated the latest age progression, showing what Madeline probably looks like now --

WHITFIELD: And I think that's the image that we're seeing right now.

ALLEN: It is.

WHITFIELD: She may look like if alive.

ALLEN: And that they're asking for help regarding a suspect whose never been investigated before. It is important that law enforcement continue to work these cases using a variety of scenarios. You can't just focus on the family or those closest to the children.

WHITFIELD: Ernie Allen, president and CEO for the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Thank you so much.

ALLEN: Thank you, Fredricka. WHITFIELD: All right. You know it, there have been a whole lot of discussions about concussions in the NFL. But Major League Baseball also has similar worries. And now there's talk of changing that game.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Here are five things crossing the CNN news desk right now.

Number one, today, Republican Congressman Fred Upton says healthcare.gov is still not ready for prime time. He spoke in the GOP weekly address about hearings this week on the Web site's problems. Upton says he's worried there will be more problems in the future. The Maryland tech company is now in charge of fixing the site. The official who's overseeing the fixes says the site will work for most people by the end of November.

And number two, Sarah Palin is back in the political spotlight after laying low for much of the year, the former Alaska Governor will soon visit the politically critical state of Iowa. She is also considering making a series of endorsements for the 2014 elections and launch a book tour.

And number three, this week's gripping testimony at a murder trial of a prominent Utah doctor. Dr. Martin McNeill is accused of killing his wife Michele in 2007. His mistress on the right of your screen there, Gypsy Willis, took the stand yesterday. She said McNeill texted her the morning his wife was found dead and during her funeral.

Prosecutors claim the doctor drugged and drowned his wife to be with Willis. The defense says McNeill's wife died of natural causes.

And number four, the Navy in Nigeria hasn't been able to find two U.S. citizens kidnapped off an oil supply ship like this one. Pirates attacked the ship this week off the country's coast, taking the captain and the chief engineer. U.S. officials aren't giving a motive for the attack but it's not uncommon for pirates to take crew members for ransom.

And number five. A group of high school students from Kentucky escaped a massive fire that broke out on their bus on a Tennessee highway. They were on a field trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when a passenger saw smoke coming from the back of the bus. Thirty-three people were on board, including the driver. No one was hurt. The exact cause of the fire is unclear, but bus company officials suspect a bad alternator.

All right. Brett Favre started 321 straight games as an NFL quarterback, often playing through the pain or worse cobbled by injury. But now three years after retiring, Favre is talking about fear, the fear of memory loss.

He spoke to Washington Sports Talk 570 Radio about not being able to remember one of his daughters' soccer season.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRETT FAVRE, FORMER NFL QUARTERBACK: I don't remember my daughter playing soccer one summer. I don't remember that. I don't -- I got a pretty good memory, and I have a tendency like probably we all do, you feel it, where's my glasses, and they're on your head. I have that, I was -- but this was a little shocking to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Head injuries and their lingering effects have gotten a lot of attention this year. In August, thousands of former football players and their families reached a settlement with the NFL in a lawsuit. The deal calls for the NFL to pay $765 million on medical exams and research on concussion related injuries.

And it's not just football players that are worried about the impact of concussion. Major League Baseball is concerned as well. The league has implemented the disabled list specifically for concussions and is looking into banning collisions at home plate. But those new measures are too late for the family of one player.

CNN's Carol Costello reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NORMA VARGAS, RYAN FREEL'S MOTHER: He was always very active, very impulsive person. I couldn't understand why would he be depressed when he basically had it all.

CAROL COSTELLO, ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: And Ryan Freel did have it all, a career in the Majors and fans loved him. After all, his style of play was fearless, but it cost him dearly. As many as 10 concussions in eight years, something his mother constantly worried about.

VARGAS: I kept saying to Ryan, Ryan, why don't you go to a doctor, have, you know, have some tests done. And -- I'm fine, I'm fine. I'm not sure that Ryan thought that his problem was the concussions at all.

COSTELLO: Three years after Freel retired, he took a shotgun and killed himself. He was 36 years old.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Someone has a concussion and it's not recognized because people aren't paying attention to it in a sport like baseball, and then they get another concussion on top of it, that's not just potentially a small problem, but that is a potentially lethal problem.

COSTELLO: Increasingly, concussions are sidelining some of baseball's brightest stars. This season alone, 28 Major Leaguers suffered concussions. Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Phillies outfield Dominick Brown, and Tigers catcher Alex Avila, among them. Other players including San Diego's Nick Hundley now wonder if they'll be healthy in retirement.

NICK HUNDLEY, PADRES CATCHER: You're responsible to your family first. And if you continue to play through concussion stuff and, you know, through the long term effects of it, I just had a daughter, it makes it -- puts some perspective a little bit more.

COSTELLO: Major League Baseball says it's trying to better protect its players. It implemented a seven-day concussion disabled list, separate from the normal 15-day disabled list to encourage more players to admit they have a problem.

DR. GARY GREEN, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, MLB: Now that we've started to identify these injuries, we're going to start to do is focus on ways of reducing it. And one of the things we've done is start to study catchers' helmets.

COSTELLO: MLB is especially concerned about catchers. But Green also says reinforced hats are a possibility for pitchers possibly as soon as next season. Something Tigers ace Max Scherzer told me he welcomes.

MAX SCHERZER, TIGERS PITCHER: I'm kind of in a vulnerable spot. And there's a lot of balls that come back at me that I don't -- I react later than most pitchers. So, you know, if it is something that's comfortable and something that's practical, I think I know personally I would want to wear it.

COSTELLO: But other players and managers are not sold on the idea, in spite of the danger. But for Ryan Freel's family, the risks are not worth a life.

VARGAS: I ask myself just about every day what could I have done to save Ryan, but you know what, I felt like I did a lot. Even the day before he took his life, I went to his house and I remember holding -- he was in bed, and -- I held his hand, and I said son, let's go to a counselor. He already had -- seeking for counseling, and he said don't worry it, mom. I will Monday, I will start on Monday.

COSTELLO: Carol Costello, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: The FDA says hundreds of pets have died from tainted treats. I'll tell you what officials are doing to get to the bottom of it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: An investigation by the Food and Drug Administration shows that some of the treats that we're feeding our pets may be making them sick or worse. The FDA is now investigating popular pet treats that have been linked to hundreds of dog deaths. Some manufacturers are voluntarily recalling their treats until investigators get to the bottom of the problems.

CNN's Michaela Pereira has this tale.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAELA PEREIRA, ANCHOR, CNN's NEW DAY (voice-over): It's a mysterious treat related illness that can be deadly for your pets.

DIANE LEVITAN, VMD, VETERINARY INTERNAL MEDICINE SPECIALIST: The most severe symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea, but the real underlying problem causing the symptoms 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 3600 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 1200 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 ingredient in that product and then to see how many different products that one ingredient is 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 consumed jerky pet treats.

LEVITAN: 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 Corp's 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: So the FDA has announced it is proposing new rules that would govern the production of pet food.

Wayne Pacelle is the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

So -- you've got a friend there, Dwayne.

WAYNE PACELLE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE U.S.: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Your best friend Lilly.

PACELLE: Yes.

WHITFIELD: And Lilly is just chilling there.

PACELLE: She's thrilled.

WHITFIELD: So thanks so much for joining us. You know, this, of course, has alarmed a lot of pet owners because, you know, they give their treats, thinking they're giving their animal a little reward, and then come to find out so many are making our little friends sick. So what's the best advice, you know, that you give to people about, you know, how they can make sure that they're not giving their dogs or cats something that's dangerous?

PACELLE: Well, you've got to be an alert pet owner. Obviously you've got to pay attention to their behavior and their health, and I think first off because more than 3600 animals have been sickened over the last six years and more than 600 have died, which is one every three days, definitely no treats, certainly not jerky style treats from China.

And I think if you have been feeding your animals, you know, from a certain type of product, it's probably OK to continue with it, but please do carefully watch your animal, and notice if there's any loss of appetite, loss of vigor, obviously any vomiting or diarrhea, you've got to get the animal to a veterinarian.

But I think what this has illuminated, which the 2007 scare did where thousands of animals died, is that our whole kind of pet food supply chain is very fully monitored. There is federal legislation that passed in 2010 to give FDA more authority on pet food, but we still have a largely unregulated circumstance.

WHITFIELD: So the FDA, that it is proposing new rules that would somehow govern the production of pet food and treats. How encouraging is that to you and -- you know, and how far are you hoping the FDA would take it?

PACELLE: Well, the pet food scandal of 2007 where there was one major ingredient manufacturer that was frankly they were labeling different pet foods, 95 or so different companies. They were fundamentally producing the same product. It showed that we really have a global food supply for pets as well, and a lot of that food is coming from China, which is still the largest food exporter to the pet food industry here in the United States.

And it was a bit of a canary in a coal mine situation. Our human food supply chain was not properly monitored either. So what the pet food scandal did is it opened up this larger issue, how does the FDA regulate foreign produced or manufactured food products for pets or for people.

So FDA's action yesterday is an important step but it doesn't solve everything. A lot of this is still prevention. A lot of it really rests on the pet owner to monitor your animals.

You know, at home we bake some treats for Lily and she loves them, sweet potato treats, and we make some others. And on our Web site, humanesociety.O-R-G, we have some recipes if you want to make treats for the animals.

Of course, treats are not nutritionally needed for your animals. You need to give them the proper meals and proper food, but don't jeopardize their lives for treats. WHITFIELD: OK. Yes, all in moderation. All right, and you know, just Lily was just so relaxed there. I understand she's a rescue dog and she has been a great partner alongside you there for today.

So, Wayne Pacelle, thank you so much of the Humane Society. Appreciate it and thanks to Lily. I guess she deserves one of those home baked treats you were talking about.

PACELLE: Yes. She does.

WHITFIELD: About right now.

(LAUGHTER)

All right. Thanks so much, Wayne. Appreciate it.

PACELLE: Thank you so much. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. The man who confessed online to a deadly DUI crash said he'd accept whatever punishment the judge would give him. We'll hear how he feels now that he has his sentence.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: The DUI driver who confessed online to vehicular homicide is serving a 6 1/2 year sentence. Matthew Cordle killed 61-year-old Vincent Canzani on June 22nd. His YouTube video was played in the courtroom during his sentencing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEW CORDLE, KILLED A MAN WHILE DRUNK DRIVING: My name is Matthew Cordle. On June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: "NEW DAY" anchor Chris Cuomo talked to Cordle earlier this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, CNN'S "NEW DAY": So did you know this day was always coming? Or did you hold out hope that leniency would mean no jail time?

CORDLE: I 100 percent knew this day was coming, I accepted it a very long time ago and I'm very relieved that now that it's over.

CUOMO: Relieved. What do you think of the sentence? 6 1/2 years, could have been about eight or so. Do you think it was fair?

CORDLE: As I said in the courtroom, there is really no fair sentence when it comes to the loss of life. It's just time and time won't bring back the victim, unfortunately. So, you know, I'm just glad that a family can have some measure of closure and I hope that they find peace throughout this. CUOMO: I'm sure you're reliving everything that happened all the time, something as horrible as this. That night, what is the main memory that you have?

CORDLE: Waking up in the hospital very delirious and uncontrollable state.

CUOMO: What do you remember being the first wave of emotion you had when you realized that Mr. Canzani was dead as a result of the accident?

CORDLE: Denial and shock, I would say. I just really didn't want to believe it. It's one of the worst things I can imagine happening and being responsible for.

CUOMO: Now was this just a bad night and a terrible, poor choice by you? Or is drinking something that you struggle with as a problem?

CORDLE: Drinking's definitely something I've been struggling with my whole life since I began it. I've always drank heavily and drank often. I think the bad statistic is that first time DUI offenders drink and drive 80 times before they get caught and that is definitely a category I fall under. It's just, you know, I can't believe I didn't see something like this coming. That was one of the biggest emotions that I had throughout this is frustration with myself.

CUOMO: Now we're going to talk about what made you popular, obviously, the video. But in terms of raising awareness, did you raise your own? Have you gotten help for the problem?

CORDLE: Yes, not as much as I want to get yet. But as much as I could before this legal issue took place. After the fact that I got out of the hospital, I put myself into a partial hospitalization program through Dublin Springs in Dublin, Ohio, and successfully completed that. But my road is just beginning on recovery.

CUOMO: Now the video, you waited a little period of time after this actual accident. How did you make the decision that I'm going to go this direction? This is how I'm going to handle this situation. I'm going to do a video?

CORDLE: At the beginning, as you said, I waited a few months. I had a roller coaster of emotions, wasn't sure how, you know -- wasn't sure how to, you know, bring some good out of this. I fell into a deep depression. Initially contacted -- because I said I would to get some ideas for possibly speaking out against this and raising some awareness towards it.

You know, we decided to make the video and put it on social media because young drivers are the ones who mostly drink and drive and young people are also the ones who mostly use social media. So we thought that was the best platform to raise awareness.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: The victim's wife wrote in a letter, quote, "Nothing will bring Vincent back. I know what pain Matthew feels, the pain will stay with him until his death," end quote.

Risking jail time. Simply for driving a car. That's what women in Saudi Arabia are doing today. Their bold acts of defiance next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Here's Christine Romans with a sneak peek at what's ahead in "YOUR MONEY."

CHRISTINE ROMANS, ANCHOR, CNN'S YOUR MONEY: Hi, Fredricka. It was a week of tablet showdowns and soaring tech stocks were coming up. You're going to meet an 18-year-old with autism who's never spoken to his parents until now. Finding a voice. There's an app for that. We'll see you at the top of the hour -- Fredericka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Christine.

All right. Saudi Arabian authorities are warning women across the kingdom not to break the unofficial ban on female drivers, but some are defying the order and getting behind the wheel to pressure the government to grant women the right to drive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Through Translator): I'm driving through Najah Street in Al-Ahsa. I'm taking my sisters out so they don't have to wait for any drivers to pick them up. We decided to do it ourselves.

We're driving to Alamal Salon. I have a driver's license, I know how to drive, god willing, there will be no risk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Campaign supporters say at least 10 women have driven today and there are no reports of any women drivers getting arrested.

All right. New documents show a grand jury wanted to indict John and Patsy Ramsey in the death of their daughter JonBenet but the murder mystery remains unsolved after nearly 17 years.

Coming up at the bottom of the hour, the former lead investigator in the JonBenet Ramsey murder reveals his thoughts about a potential new lead in her death.

And then at 3:00 Eastern Time, the government has all kinds of safety regulations for the food that we eat with nearly no laws for what we give our pets. What one group is doing to try to change that.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield, and "YOUR MONEY" starts right now.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The stock market is up but you're feeling down.

I'm Christine Romans, this is YOUR MONEY.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ROMANS (voice-over): The S&P 500 at record highs, the Nasdaq up 30 percent this year. But much of America isn't feeling any richer.

WARREN BUFFETT, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY CHAIRMAN AND CEO: Corporations, businesses doing very well in this country and a large segment of the population is not riding along with it.

ROMANS: Only half of Americans invest in the market. For everyone else, it's about a job and jobs aren't coming fast enough. 148,000 jobs added in September, 45,000 fewer than August.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That pace in job creation is below what we can be fully --

(END)