Return to Transcripts main page


Mom of Alleged Teacher Killer Issues Statement; Der Spiegel: U.S. Spying for a Decade; Retail Racial Profiling Lawsuits; Cop Buys Shoplifter Groceries; Syrian Snipers Targeting Most Vulnerable; Many Cameras Vulnerable to Hacking; Freezing Temps Before Halloween

Aired October 26, 2013 - 17:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone, to our live coverage. I'm Don Lemon. We're going to start with breaking news.

This is just in to CNN: the mother of a boy who police say killed his teacher with a box cutter and dumped her body behind a school is speaking out. Colleen Ritzer's algebra student Philip Chism has been charged with her murder which that took place Tuesday in Danvers, Massachusetts. As a matter of fact, at Danvers High School, in a bathroom there. And so now Philip's family has been silent.

CNN's Alexandria Field is here with the very latest on this story. Alexandria, this is your neck of the woods, this is where you came from, you know this community very well. What's going on? What's his mom saying?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Everyone has been waiting to hear from this family because obviously there are a lot of question of who Philip Chism is. So, for the first time today, his mother Diana Chism is breaking her silence. She spoke out in a statement that she issued through her attorney. It says essentially that, two families were unexpectedly and inconceivably changed forever. Ms. Chism's heart is broken the Ritzer family and the loss of their daughter and sister Colleen Ritzer. She goes on to say here that her son was born in love and is dear to her.

She also says, she's struggling to understand this and respectfully asks for some time to process this. The statement raps up down here where she says that she cares for the world's hurt over this and greatly hopes for your prayers for the Ritzer family, the Danvers community for her son and for all those affected by this tragedy. We know this is certainly a tragedy that has affected that community deeply and widely.

LEMON: Absolutely. And there is interest in this not only just, you know, in the Danvers area, in the Boston area, and Massachusetts, but really worldwide. People want to know why. Yesterday I went to the Ritzer home and they were very kind and I said, how are you guys doing, and it was the only thing I think that they said since this happened. They said, we're doing as well as can be expected. And I just said, thank you for talking and left.

And I also went to the Chism home as well. There was an older lady there and a police officer and the police officer said to us it is believed that the mother is back in Tennessee now with the two younger siblings. I don't know if that is for sure. But that is what the police officer told us. And that is him in court this week. And, you know, Alexandra, he has a court-appointed attorney now who is not making any statements. But everyone is going to want to know why even though this mother is speaking out, the question still is and I'm sure she's asking herself is why.

FIELD: And your experience here has been typical with the experience that all reporters have had covering this case. People are very eager to speak about Colleen Ritzer, she was much beloved, a well-liked teacher, she taught algebra, she taught geometry, she was popular with the students and she was only 24-years-old and had made a tremendous impact on the community. Philip Chism on the other hand, we know much less about him. We're told from some of the students that you and I have spoken to Don that he was a nice kid, seemed like a bright kid, he was a talented university soccer player.

But he transferred to Danvers High School from Tennessee earlier in the year, he had only been on campus for, you know, a month or two so he may not have been as well known and broadly known as deeply known as some of the other kids on campus. Now, investigators really have their work cut out for them trying to figure out who this kid is and what could have motivated him toward what he is alleged to have done.

LEMON: You have the statement but I think the language was he was born in love or conceived in love because I think it's interesting that she's saying that because some people have pointed towards family trouble at home, because they had filed for divorce and did not go through with them. The dad didn't live with them. They moved there from Tennessee to Massachusetts with just the mom and the two siblings. He, his mom and his two siblings and so they may be looking at some trouble at home.

FIELD: A lot of questions being raised. You have to look in to this child's, this teenager's past when he faces accusations and charges like the ones he is facing. We don't have answers at this point. People are searching for a motive. When you have a crime like this one that seems so senseless, people want an answer. We know that the prosecutors aren't obligated to lay out a motive. It can certainly help with their case before a jury. Their job, though, is to present the evidence and that will include learning what we can about Phillip Chism.

LEMON: Good information. Thank you, Alexandra Field. The mother of that young man is speaking for the very first time. Thank you. I appreciate your reporting.

We have some new developments on another big story that we're following right now. New allegations just in the past few hours could be a serious new test of U.S. relations with its closest allies. A German magazine is reporting now that the NSA has been spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone for more than a decade going all the way back to 2002. And Der Spiegel says, it was even going on when President Obama was visiting Berlin.

For more on the backlash against the NSA and both the U.S. and overseas, we're going to turn to our correspondents, CNN's Erin McPike is in Washington where hundreds of tenths of the protests today, but we'll going to start with our Jim Boulden in London. Jim, what can you tell us?

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, that's right. This allegation coming from Der Spiegel magazine just from a few hours ago. Now, Der Spiegel is one of the news agencies here in Europe that has been getting leaks from the Edward Snowden files over the last few months. So it's just been breaking news on these files and these allegations along with the "Guardian" newspaper here in London. But what Der Spiegel is saying is that, it's actually lengthening the timeline as you say that possibly they've been listening in to the chancellor's phone or the potential since 2002.

Der Spiegel also says that the U.S. has been eavesdropping on the entire Berlin political area, the political district at this time and as you're saying, but I think very importantly, that if this was in case happening it was happening just before President Obama came to Berlin. You remember he went to the G-8 in Northern Ireland and then he had his bilateral and spoke very eloquently at the Brandenburg Gate and this allegation is that this snooping was taking place just up until the time he came here -- Don.

LEMON: Yes. And got a warm welcome that President Obama was pretty popular in Europe. How are our allies taking the news, Jim?

BOULDEN: Well, Angela Merkel has been very, very upset about this and she's been very vocal, more than I've seen her in any other situation with the U.S. You had the French going against the U.S. on this as well, Spain calling in the U.S. ambassador. It is interesting here, this is an important point, it's not just doing it as the EU, or it's not just a nameless and faces officials from the EU who say we need to talk to the U.S. about this more, these are the leaders of these countries who are saying one-on-one, I want to talk to President Obama, I want to know more about what's been happening and I want them to promise me that they're not still listening to my phone.

LEMON: Jim Boulden, London, thank you Jim. We appreciate your reporting.

Germans aren't the only one sick of the spying. Today, Americans at the nation's capitol against NSA's activities saying keep your nose out of our e-mails, our phones and our lives. Erin McPike, you know, you've been covering it in Washington, joins us now with more. Erin, tell us about this protest.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don. This protest is actually about the domestic piece of it of course as you mentioned, data collection from American citizens, private citizens and their phones and their laptops. What's interesting about this particular protest is that Edward Snowden, the whistle-blower, who brought this entire controversy to light earlier this year, gave it his stamp of approval. Now, he provided a statement from where he is in Russia to the ACLU and a representative at the rally read part of it today. I want to just read a little bit to you. He said, "We declare that mass surveillance has no place in this country. It is time for reform. Elections are coming and we are watching you." Which I thought was a very interesting way to end that statement -- Don.

LEMON: All right. Listen, the president is clearly taking a lot of flak for this NSA spying. How's the White House reacting to all of this? Are they saying anything?

MCPIKE: Well, Don, the White House isn't really responding to the protests per se and the domestic piece of it, if you will. But they are talking today about the issues that are arriving with foreign leaders and we've seen spokesmen for the White House for the national security council come out and say that they understand that there's a delegation from Germany coming in the coming weeks and they intend to meet with the Germans, but they haven't given any details yet about that meeting. But they understand that this has created some tension with our allies -- Don.

LEMON: Erin McPike in Washington. Erin, thank you very much. Tomorrow on the CNN's "State of the Union," Candy Crowley will talk exclusively to Congressman Mike Rogers about the latest developments on NSA surveillance. Rogers is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. "State of the Union" tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern and at noon as well.

Two big retailers Barneys and Macy's hit by racial discrimination suits and one involve a Hollywood star. That report is next.

And students escaped a bus engulfed in flames. Their dramatic rescue straight ahead.


LEMON: Today's weekly GOP address, well, it focused on the ailing ObamaCare enrollment process. Congressman Fred Upton said, because of all the problems with the requirement that nearly all Americans buy health insurance should be delayed. Upton's response comes after contractors who worked on blame the government for the problems that have riddled the state.

And guess who has been assigned to fix the mess government contractors helped to make of the site? A government contractor, a company called QSSI. Just got the job of getting fully operational by the end of November.

The senator who led the recent charge against ObamaCare spoke in Iowa today.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Let me tell you all right now, the single biggest lie in politics. It is that Republicans are the party of the rich. What complete nonsense. For a long time I've advocated what I call opportunity conservatism which is that every policy we think about, we talk about should focus like a laser on easing the means of the ascent up the economic ladder, on how it impacts the least of those among us, how it impacts those who are struggling.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Republican Senator Ted Cruz made his fourth speech in Iowa in less than three months. And last night, Cruz delivered the keynote address at the Republican fund-raiser in Des Moines. Cruz stepped into the national spotlight during the recent 16-day national government shutdown. Also, Cruz easily won a presidential straw poll done by a conservative group earlier this month and some consider the values voter. Some say straw poll to be an early indicator of support in the Republican primary campaign.

In New York, stinging accusations of racial profiling hit two of the city's highbrow retail icons Macy's and Barneys New York under investigation for allegedly targeting some African-American shoppers and one of them a Hollywood star from the HBO series Treme. Here's CNN's Nick Valencia.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, Jay-Z is no stranger to social issues, we saw him and his wife in fact at the Trayvon Martin rallies earlier this year and now the rap superstar finds himself in the middle of another social issue as he prepares to launch his high-end holiday collection at the luxury retailer Barneys, there are some people that are asking him to reconsider.


(voice-over): Next month, Jay-Z is set to sell a new fashion line at Barneys but a 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 $2,500 Celine bag at Barneys New York.

KAYLA PHILLIPS, CLAIMS SHE WAS RACIALLY PROFILED: I bought my favorite bag. I wanted this bag. I deserved that bag. And then to find out, you know, I'm 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 Barneys in April. Both shoppers want damages from the store and the New York Police Department.

TRAYON CHRISTIAN, CLAIMS HE WAS RACIALLY PROFILED: Undercover cops on the left side with regular clothes stopped me from the left side and asked me like, oh, I just got a call from Barneys saying your card is not real.

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

The 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 or even when he'll get involved and he'll know 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 the 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.


Now, Macy's says they are investigating but they wouldn't comment on ongoing litigation. As far as the petition asking Jay-Z to sever his ties with Barneys it's already collected more than 5,000 signatures -- Don.

All right. Nick Valencia, thank you Nick. I appreciate that.

Actor Rob Brown is talking about his experience, he gave a firsthand account to reporters yesterday in New York City.


ROB BROWN, ACTOR: This card isn't fake. It's my card. I have so much ID on me. This is my card. It's not a fake card. I just bought this watch. They weren't hearing it. All I kept hearing was it's a fake card. You're going to jail.


So, Brown says he was buying his mother's graduation gift, a $1,000 Nevada watch, when undercover police officers arrested him. He's also suing the New York City Police Department.

A close call for a group of high school students from Kentucky, and this video bears that out. The students got out of this bus just before it was engulfed in flames in I-75 in Tennessee. They were on a field trip to the Great Smoky Mountains when someone noticed smoke at the back of that bus.

Crime and punishment. Next, in-depth analysis of the recent attacks on schoolteachers. A live panel after the break.


LEMON: OK. Well, you can call it coincidence or you can call for alarm. It can call for alarm. Two teachers in two states were killed at school this week just days apart. Each allegedly by a student. Police say a 12-year-old boy gunned down a teacher Monday in Sparks, Nevada, before killing himself. And then in Massachusetts a 14-year- old boy was charged Wednesday with murder in the slaying of his high school math teacher. He allegedly used a box cutter to kill her in a school bathroom. Police say he then slashed her body and stashed it, excuse me, in a recycling bin, rolled it outside and then dumped the body in the nearby woods. Meanwhile in Washington State, an 11-year-old boy is accused of bringing a gun, knives and 400 rounds of ammunition to his middle school on Wednesday. There were no injuries and no shooting. You can't help but ask, are we as a country doing something wrong with all the conversations on violence in schools, why does nothing seem to change?

I want to bring in now clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere, he joins me here in New York and then criminal Defense Attorney Holly Hughes joins us from Atlanta. OK, this one really gets me going, right? Because I think it has a lot to do with the parents.

Dr. Gardere, you first, two communities, an opposite sides of the country, and again my question is, are we as a society doing something wrong? Do we need an intervention as parents? I'm not blaming the parents, they didn't do it themselves, but you are responsible for a child's life from the moment of conception until that child is an adult and sometimes later and can go off and fend for themselves?

JEFF GARDERE, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: And I agree you even until later, because the buck stops with the parents, whatever is going on with the child psychological, you have to look at what happened with the upbringing. We don't know what happened with these parents. And I will tell you being a parent of four children myself, sometimes we try to do our best, but what we also know is when we're dealing with undetected mental health issues, and believe me we're dealing with mental health issues here for someone who would kill someone, shoot other people, end up taking their own life, someone who ends up using a box cutter and then rolls out a body in a bin, in a recycle bin, you know, these are monstrous things, we are not recognizing as parents that there are mental health issues and even when we do, we are sometimes helpless to get to the help for those kids.

LEMON: Yes, sometimes helpless and people say, what am I supposed to do? Who do I turn to? I didn't know that my child was going to have these issues. But when you take on the responsibility of having a child, that all comes with it. That child can be a straight "A" student and can be summa cum laude and that child can also have mental issues, that child can also have some sort of birth defect but that's what goes with having a child and once you decide to have that child, that's your responsibility for life!

GARDERE: The responsibility is yours. But here's what happens with parents and I'll make it quick because I know Holly wants to jump in, the issue becomes as parents we love our children so much that we're in denial or we're afraid that they're having these issues and then we don't tackle them fully.

LEMON: The kids are always angels, not my kid or you don't want to say that your kid has any sort of problem because the kid is some sort of odd, I don't know, extension of yourself. Narcissistic extension of yourself and if someone criticizes a kid and there's something wrong with a kid there's something wrong with you.

GARDERE: No, you're also afraid that in a world that likes normality that your child will be considered abnormal and you don't want that for the child and therefore you also tend to look the other way. You're afraid for that child.

LEMON: Holly, let's talk about the legal system here. Go ahead, go ahead, Holly.

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But we're seeing the end result of looking the other way is a slew of dead bodies. Twenty children in Newtown. I mean --

GARDERE: You're right.

HUGHES: We cannot continue to put these blinders on and say, no, no, not my Johnny. And, Don, you wrote a fantastic blog on this. When are we going to step up? I know certain parents say, well, I'm afraid my child is going to call DFCS (ph). Well, would you rather be investigated for DFCS? There's a huge difference between discipline and abuse and I think Dr. Gardere will back me up here. Just because you disciplined your child doesn't mean you are abusing your child.

LEMON: That's true.

HUGHES: So, step up parents. How do you not know, and Don you mentioned this specifically in your blog, if I had a gun under my bed like you said, not only would my parents know about it, but it would be sitting on the kitchen counter when I got home and my mother would say, what the hell is this.

LEMON: What the hell is this?

HUGHES: It would be followed by a butt whooping to put it politely.

LEMON: A butt whooping. Right.

HUGHES: Exactly.

LEMON: And as I said. I'm not advocating violence, but this whole thing, listen, I think when we have call them educated fools, right? When you say, oh, time-out. Time out only allows someone to go into their room during a time-out to contemplate more bad behavior. We need more time-ins. Time in the garage cleaning it out.


LEMON: Time in the kitchen doing the dishes.

GARDERE: Yes. Time talking with the kids.


GARDERE: To help them resolve their issues. I would never advocate hitting your child but I would advocate spending time figuring out what's going on.

LEMON: Well, we're different with that. I don't have any kids, but I think I might have to whip them if I did have a few kids because I needed plenty when I was a kid. Stay right there. We'll going to continue this discussion and we're going to talk about some other things as well. Police officer helps a shoplifter. We'll examine the twists to the next story.


LEMON: Back now single mom down on her luck was caught shoplifting at a Miami supermarket, but she didn't get hauled off to jail. Instead the officer responded to the call from the public supermarket did something that brought the suspect to tears.


JESSICA ROBLES, HELPED BY OFFICER: She came out and asked, do you even have food at the house? And I looked at her, you know, her face and I told her no, I don't.

OFFICER VICKY THOMAS, MIAMI-DADE POLICE: I made the decision to buy her some groceries because arresting her wasn't going to solve the problem with her children being hungry, so I went in and bought her some groceries.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A hundred dollars worth of groceries.

THOMAS: Yes, $100.


LEMON: Amen, sister. I want to bring back our clinical psychologist Dr. Gardere. Criminal defense Attorney Holly Hughes. First, let's be clear, the woman was charged with a misdemeanor, she was charged and the cop gave her a ticket to show up for a court date but the officer chose not to arrest her and take her to jail which I think is a good thing and take her away from her kids. Holly, what do you make of this?

HUGHES: Well, that's exactly right. And this is just what we were talking about with our last story. It is assessing the situation, looking at it, and determining, how can I help. This is common sense and compassion -- meets the law. This officer could have just done, right down the line, of taking you to jail. But if this woman can't afford food for her children, she can't afford bail money, Don. So what did she do? She listened to this lady. Just like Dr. Jeff said, sit down, talk to people, spend the time. And when she determined what the problem was, she nailed it in the little clip we just watched.

LEMON: Yeah.

HUGHES: Arresting her was not going to solve the problem. The problem is her children are starving.

LEMON: Yeah, I'm going to play devil's advocate here because there are people that are going to say, what about the responsibility for the children to realize she couldn't afford three kids. Everybody --

HUGHES: She's going to court.


LEMON: Everybody falls on hard times at some point.

HUGHES: Right.

LEMON: So you can't -- nothing -- it's not that black and white. Nothing is that concrete. The officer said --


Did you want to weigh in before I --

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Why would she do something like this? Why would she put herself in danger of going to jail and possibly using custody of her kids? So for her to do something like this means she was really desperate.

LEMON: Right, right. Again, as I said, you don't know what it was like. She could have kids. She could be unemployed now. Lots of people are on unemployment and the unemployment rate is really high. I think it's important to be compassionate.

The cop said she was a single mother at one point, Dr. Gardere, and fallen on hard times.


LEMON: Do you think -- I think cops maybe need a little bit more leeway to be more compassionate.

GARDERE: Not only was she being more compassionate, and you're absolutely right about that.

LEMON: She's a woman.

GARDERE: She's a woman, which makes her superior.

LEMON: Right. Amen.

GARDERE: To us, just like Holly. But the other thing that I think is important is she said, now I want you to go out and give back to someone else --

LEMON: Right.

GARDERE: -- in the future. So, this cop was smart enough to analyze the situation and come up with a solution. Yes, she gave her the desk appearance ticket, but came up with a solution that will actually work better and not overtax the system.

LEMON: And then she will realize, instead of being away from her kids, this is -- it's almost like a scared straight kind of thing, oh, I can't be doing this.

GARDERE: Absolutely, and compassion.

LEMON: And you're right, women are the more evolved of the sexes, don't you think?

GARDERE: Absolutely. If women ran the world --


-- we'd be a much, much better place.


HUGHES: Don, can I point one thing out as well?

LEMON: Go ahead, Holly.

HUGHES: Very quickly, what the police officer did was she checked this woman's criminal history, and there wasn't any.

LEMON: Yeah. Right.

HUGHES: So she did assess the situation and realize this is not a repeat offender. This is a woman who steals and uses her children as an excuse. She said this is a woman, who as Dr. Jeff said, is desperate, and she made the right call.

GARDERE: Smart policing. Smart policing.

HUGHES: That's exactly what it is, yeah.

LEMON: We're all in agreement on this one. It's a very compassionate thing to do, and more people should be like that.

Thank you, Jeff.

Thank you, Holly.

Appreciate it.

HUGHES: Thanks, guys.

LEMON: We'll turn now to a really deadly story. There's a new tactic in Syria's bloody civil war. But I want to warn you, the story features graphic images. And we'll tell you how snipers are now targeting some of Syria's most vulnerable.


LEMON: From a ruthless killer to protesting women, we're going to go to news making headlines around the world.

And Rosa Flores is here with that.

What do you have for us, Rosa?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good evening, Don. We start off in Saudi Arabia. Women there are not only getting behind the wheel in protest of the country's ban on women drivers, take a look at your screen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translation): I'm driving through a street. I'm taking my sister --


FLORES: That's right, they are also taking video of themselves driving and posting them on YouTube for all of the world to see. At least 35 of these videos have been shared as a part of this movement to defy authorities. No arrests so far. But the Saudi interior minister issued a warning that women who are caught will be punished.

The Nigerian navy is still, still looking for two Americans kidnapped by pirates from a supply ship. The men, believed to be the captain and the engineer, were taken from the "Sea Retriever" on Wednesday off the coast of Brass (ph), Nigeria. The ship is at now at port but a U.S. official did not disclose the exact location.

The member of the notoriously dangerous gulf cartel is arrested in Mexico after being linked to 79 murders. Juan Pablo Vazquez is only 20 years old. He's accused of killing rivals, a police officer, a stripper, bystanders and the list goes on and on. Here's what's shocking. Mexican authorities are not surprised by the crimes or his young age, saying he is not the most ruthless, not the youngest, and not the worst killer they've seen out there.

Psychologist Alfred Moore calls the war organized murder and torture. In Syria, a place where brutality is the daily norm, it's gotten uglier than that. The U.N. said more than 100,000 people have already been killed. And now this deadly new tactic. Hear this. Snipers are setting their sights on pregnant women.

I've got to warn you, some of the video that you are about to see is very graphic and disturbing.

Here's Atika Shubert.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a chilling image of just how horrific the Syrian civil war has become, a sniper's bullet in the skull of an unborn fetus. The pregnant mother was the victim of a sniper attack.

British surgeon Dr. David Nott volunteered at several hospitals in northern Syria with the charity Syria Relief.

DR. DAVID NOTT, BRITISH SURGEON: You see the bullet hole here going from one side of the uterus to the other side and the baby was caught in the middle. SHUBERT: These images are graphic, but they are all survivors. The doctor says 90 percent of the surgeries he performed on any given day were sniper wounds, up to 20 gunshot wounds a day.

Syria Relief provided CNN with these pictures of sniper victims in order to raise awareness of the growing violence.

The doctor says he believes snipers are specifically targeting pregnant women and sometimes children in a vicious game of war.

NOTT: For one day, we received, say, 15, 16 gunshot wounds, of that, 8 to 9 were targeted in the left groin only. And then the following day, they were targeted in the right groin only. I think definitely there was a game going on.

SHUBERT (on camera): A targeting game?

NOTT: A targeting game.

SHUBERT (voice-over): In this video from Aleppo, men, women, and children try to outrun snipers' bullets as they cross from the regime- controlled enclave of the city to the rebel-held areas.


SHUBERT: It's not clear who is pulling the trigger in this video. But innocent civilians are literally being caught in the cross fire. They risk their lives because food and provision are on the rebel side, but their homes and families are on the regime side. Desperate, they make a dash for supplies. But not everyone makes it through.


SHUBERT: It is a scene reminiscent of another conflict, Bosnia. But at that time, the U.N. operated humanitarian corridors to ensure a steady amount of food and medical aid despite the fighting.

Dr. Nott was there.

NOTT: It's wonderful to see the lories coming in, white lories with UNHCR written on them, which you knew were full of provisions and food and medical aid for the besieged town. Because that was an area of conflict with various different factions and so on, working, but at least they got their act together that time. And I would like that to happen again for Syria.

SHUBERT (on camera): Do you think it can?

NOTT: Yes, I do.


SHUBERT (voice-over): Without that humanitarian corridor in Syria, he and other doctors warn these horrific images will not go away.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London. (END VIDEOTAPE)


FLORES: Those are difficult images to see. Just when you think the senseless killings can't get any worse, you see this, targeting pregnant women and unborn children.

Unbelievable, Don.

LEMON: Really awful.

Thank you, Rosa, I really appreciate it.

What an awful story. What an awful story.

Do you know I spend a big part of my day, like now, being watched by complete strangers, although, it's you. I feel like I know all of you. It's my job. But it's likely not your job but you may have complete strangers watching you in your house all day, too. The details on how to stop it, next.


LEMON: Search teams trying to find a missing 14-year-old New York City teen with autism say they are losing hope. For three weeks, authorities have been desperately trying to find Avonte Oquendo. He disappeared after walking out of an unmonitored door at his special- needs school in Long Island City. His mother refuses to believe the worst.


VANESSA FONTAINE, MOTHER OF AVONTE: My son, he's alive. He's out there, you know? We're not looking in the right places.


LEMON: Police have scoured all 468 New York City subway stations because Avonte likes trains. They also employed sonar, video camera scans, and roaming audio vans to find him.

Matthew Cordle finally got his justice for what he was seeking, justice he did to a 61-year-old, Vincent Cansani (ph), a victim of Cordle's drunken driving. This YouTube video went viral back in September. It was his confession. Now he's been sentenced to six and a half years, telling CNN his jail time will never make up for what he did.


MATTHEW CORDLE, CONVICTED OF DRUNK DRIVING: 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 family can have some measure of closure. And I hope that they find peace throughout this. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, the victim's daughter spoke at Cordle's sentencing, saying, unlike Cordle, her dad got, quote, "a death sentence."

Maybe you picked up a cheap webcam hoping to Skype with a friend in Indianapolis, or a friend in New Zealand, wherever it is. You're practicing first and then maybe you're not ready for prime time.

But as our Laurie Segall tells us in this week's "Technovations," you may already have an audience that you don't know about here.


LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECH CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this living room a stuffed animal on the couch.

UNIDENTIFIED SECURITY RESEARCHER: We're looking actually at a live shot of a friend's house. It's not an individual we don't know but it is a live shot of somebody's home and there are many others out there.

SEGALL: How did we get this view? The camera you used to chat online, hacked, giving outsiders a window into your home.

(on camera): How rampant is this?

UNIDENTIFIED SECURITY RESEARCHER: I would say many, if not more than half of the I.P. cameras at least have an issue where it doesn't prompt the user to change the default user name and pass word or it has a vulnerability where you can bypass security and get right into the camera.

SEGALL: It's not just your webcam. Any camera connected to the Internet could be vulnerable.

Here we're looking at a traffic camera.


SEGALL: Kyle is a security researcher. His goal is to call attention to these problems.

UNIDENTIFIED SECURITY RESEARCHER: Many times, you can actually manipulate the cameras themselves if you can actually get into the code where you can turn the camera, you can turn the LEDs on and off.

SEGALL: Baby monitors and children's laptops, they've all been compromised.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are looking at vendors putting the products to market without doing thorough research in to security.

SEGALL: Sometimes, they accuse the camera itself. Other times, it's the router connected to the camera.

The flaws Kyle uses to get access have yet to be fixed by the manufacturers.

JAMES YOUNGER, CYBER SECURITY INSTRUCTOR, TRAINACE: Many of these newer attacks can be done from anywhere around the world.

SEGALL (on camera): I certainly don't want someone turning on my webcam at home. What can I do to protect myself?

YOUNGER: First and foremost, change your defaults. Change your default user name, change your default password.

SEGALL (voice-over): If you want to be careful you can always turn off remote access to your camera.

YOUNGER: By default, we can set them up so we can remote into the cameras from other locations. So let's say I'm at work and I want to see what's going on at home. That's one of the main benefits of having the cameras but that's also one of the main vulnerabilities, because usually if I can from work to home, then anyone can remote from anywhere in the world to my home.


LEMON: CNN Money's tech pro, Laurie Segall, is here with me.

Listen, this is frightening. I thought, like if the camera came on, the light comes on and you know it. Wait a minute, the light is on, who is watching me. This is beyond dancing around to your favorite sound track. I remember the beauty queen, someone was spying on her. This is a bit more serious.

SEGALL: This is where we see the scope of the problem. Someone can turn it on to see if you are home in case they want to go in and rob you. But as you mentioned, Miss Teen USA had someone turn on her camera, record her changing, and then try to blackmail her with that information. And it took a high-profile case like this to get the police on board and to understand really what was going on. But right now, I should say, a lot of problems Kyle showed us, they haven't been fixed.

But there's a larger issue. A lot of security researchers have difficulties going to these bigger companies saying, hey, I found this flaw. A lot of times, these bigger companies say, we're going to sue you if you put this out there.

LEMON: Are they -- I guess they have the capability of taking over home security systems, right?

SEGALL: Yeah, absolutely.

LEMON: What if you need it, like a baby monitor or a home security system? Because you can't just unplug them those things. You need them.

SEGALL: Our smart homes completely connected to the Internet. I joke, and I'm really old school, but you can put tape in front of your camera. Right now, the ball is in the court of the bigger companies to bake in the security, which a lot of them aren't doing that. And now, we hear about crimes happening offline. We are beginning to understand, really, the scope of the problems happening online.

I spoke to someone at the NYPD. They have a whole cyber security division devoted to this kind of hack because this is the future.

LEMON: I'm going to the technical crew to get a piece of black tape.


It's going on my computer. Wow.

Thank you. Good stuff, Laurie.

SEGALL: Right.

LEMON: Appreciate it.

A winter like blast hits the U.S. from the Midwest to the Deep South. When will the warmer temperatures come back? It's not even winter, yet. Come on. They are not coming back until next summer.


LEMON: The FDA will be doing some spying on its own, on pet food. The Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to make animal feed and pet food safer. Scientists hope to keep it free of disease- causing bacteria, chemicals and contaminants. Right now, there are zero regulations over production of most animal food. Learn something new every day.

America is in the midst of an unseasonable cold snap. The mercury plunging from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic to the Deep South. And in Cleveland, take a look at this, Halloween decorations in the window and snow on the ground. Kids frolicking in the first snow fall of the year.

Meteorologist MaGinnis has more on the freezing temps -- Karen?


MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It felt more like November rather than late October this morning.

(voice-over): Across a large area of the U.S., the deep freeze is on with this morning's low temperatures dipping into the double digits below average.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A surprise coming this early. It's still October. Not used to that.

MAGINNIS: Cleveland area residents got hit with an early Halloween trick, up to five inches of snow in some places, downing power lines and neighborhood trees. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've all been kind of bored and pacing around. We are used to having our electronics on. Then, you know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to talk.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. We were forced to all sit in the same room. It was driving us crazy.

MAGINNIS: These winter-like conditions are stretching this morning from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic and Deep South.

The winter-like conditions are also causing treacherous driving on the roads. In South Bend, Indiana, black ice caused several accidents. Fortunately, no one was injured. But in Saugatuck, Michigan a multi- vehicle accident turned deadly. Two people were killed, including a Good Samaritan, after a car slide off the side of the interstate.

Still, for some, this early sign of winter was a treat, a chance to fine-tune the snowman or hit the links for just one more round.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got a vest. It's actually made here in Milwaukee. And, as you can see, it's electronic, so it has coils running through it.

MAGINNIS (on camera): As cold as the temperature started out this Saturday across the east, they will warm up rather nicely over the next several days. But as temperatures reach near normal status, coming up, it looks like, for the west, we'll be watching a winter storm brewing.


LEMON: MaGinnis, thank you very much for that.

I want you to take a look at this adorable baby panda learning to walk. As if I have to say adorable. All baby pandas are adorable until they grow up. This is in Taiwan. The cub is a few months old and its toddling down the all at the zoo. But momma bear is a concerned parent. She steps in and grabs the cub by the neck and drags her back. Giant pandas like this, incredibly rare. Only 1600 exist in the world. There she is. Come on back here. Don't be doing that.

Two giant panda twins have been named here in the U.S. Instead of cub "A" and cub "B," Zoo Atlanta now has MaLoon (ph) and MaQuan (ph). They are the first surviving pair of giant panda twins ever born in the U.S. The names originate from the Chinese saying that means something indescribable and magnificent. Cute.

One Georgia teenager has a lot to cheer about. She's now a Guinness Record holder. This is the video that got her that record.





LEMON: Who can't do that? Kidding. It's amazing. 16-year-old Michaela Clark broke the record for the most consecutive back hand springs. The previous was 36. Michaela managing an incredible 44 of them. That's pretty cool. Congratulations, Michaela.