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CNN NEWSROOM

The Most Unequal Place In America; Neighbor To Hand Out Halloween "Fat" Letters To Obese Trick Or Treaters; Marine Facing Disciplinary Action Despite Exposing An Insider Threat In Afghanistan; Fed Reiterates Economic Growth Is "Moderate"; Low Production Uncorks Global Wine Shortage; City Sues Over Hot Sauce Smell

Aired October 30, 2013 - 14:30   ET

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


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Like one woman who you met who sent her kids away because she was afraid they wouldn't graduate, right?

JOHN SUTTER, CNN COLUMNIST, CNN OPINION: Yes, Delores Gilmore, she works as an overnight prison guard. She sent her kids to Texas to live with a family member because she thought that the schools there were failing them.

BALDWIN: Let's take a listen to what she told you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DELORES GILMORE, MOTHER SENT TWO SONS AWAY FOR HIGH SCHOOL: I love them too hard or something. I didn't want them to go, just like my daughters, I didn't want them to go nowhere, but I want them to better themselves. They were like, how are we supposed to better ourselves here if you don't want us to leave? I don't know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: To do better, she wants to send them away. In part of this piece, you talk about also beyond the financial. It's this empathy gap between folks so far away on the spectrum. They cannot at all understand one another.

SUTTER: Yes, I think even despite that, there's an incredible amount of hope in this place. I do want to underscore that, but I do think there is an empathy gap there and across the country. If you're looking up from the bottom of the economic ladder, a person like Dolores sees no opportunity like she can't get the jobs there at the very top of the ladder, which are all that exist in this place.

If you're looking down from the top, I met people who think poorer people in town are lazy and need to try harder, that government programs are a crutch for them. So I think like the wider this gap gets, the more people stop understanding each other. I think that's the real heart of the debate about income inequality.

It's about what this does to the way people relate to each other and the way our society functions more than just the money, the dollars and cents. It is part of it, but the societal impacts I think are the real part of it. BALDWIN: There is hope. I'll take your word for it. Read the piece. John Sutter, thank you very much to you and your crew at cnn.com. You can read and watch the story. It is the most unequal place in America. You can read it at cnn.com.

Halloween is the one time most of us are allowed to indulge our sweet tooth and not feel too badly about it. We still try not to go too overboard when it comes to the trick-or-treats, but there is a woman from Fargo, North Dakota. She is using Halloween's candy tradition as a lesson in childhood obesity.

So instead of giving out the sweets, this lady is passing out a letter to those trick-or-treaters who she determines are a little overweight. The woman who did not want to be identified dialed into a local radio program to explain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight. I think it's really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just because all the other kids are doing it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've heard enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would probably say that it's nobody's business, really.

KENT WILD, FARGO RESIDENT: This is more an issue that parents should be working with their kids on. I -- it seems inappropriate to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I mean, I remember those houses of people trying to pass out the apples instead of the -- I don't know, Butterfingers, but is this crossing the line? Let's talk to Jenny Hutt. She is a lawyer and Sirius radio talk show host. Jenny Hutt, nice to see you.

JENNY HUTT, LAWYER AND SIRIUS RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hi, Brooke.

BALDWIN: So in reading and knowing a little about you, I understand this really hits home for you because you think maybe once upon a time you would have been on the receiving end of one of these.

HUTT: Maybe, for sure. I was a chubby kid. I would have been one of those kids targeted by this mean lady, which frankly, this mean lady is sort of what the mean lady written about in the fiction books coming to life. I think she needs to turn her lights off and pretend she's not home because Halloween is not meant for her unless she wants to be the wicked witch, which she seems to already be.

BALDWIN: Let me read just the last line of this letter from this wicked witch, according to you. She said my hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits. But what if you found out she's a doctor or a dietician, a nurse? Would that change your opinion?

HUTT: Absolutely not. Then I think she was a poor doctor and a poor nurse because this is not the way to go about educating parents and children about healthy eating. We don't take Halloween, the night of candy, a day of candy, to say don't eat candy. It's like saying on Christmas, don't have presents, or Hanukkah, don't have presents or on Thanksgiving, don't eat turkey. Come on. It's mean spirited.

BALDWIN: Listen, I have a sweet tooth like the best of them. I remember trick-or-treating and remember trying to fill up my pillowcase to the tip, tip top, and my parents saying, eat it tonight. I'm yanking it tomorrow. When you look at obesity stats, this is from the CDC. The last 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled, tripled in teens. Curbing candy consumption isn't a bad thing. You're a mom. What's your solution?

HUTT: Hold on, Brooke. Of course, curb candy consumption. My kids bring the candy home. I go through it. I put it in my pocketbook. Yes, I carry candy every day of my life. There's a bag of Hershey's kisses in my pocket book, but I ration it, and with my children, they ration the candy. They don't get to eat it all day long, but I think there are 364 other days of the year we can monitor the candy consumption.

On Halloween, let the kids be kids. By the way, she doesn't have to doll out candy. Like you said before, there are pre-packaged apple slices. There are baby carrots, nobody is going to like her, but feel free. Giving a letter to these children is at the very minimum bullying behavior. I think it's super detrimental and cruel because those kids are going to read it, and they know they're fat. I remember being Halloween like, yay!

BALDWIN: Jenny Hutt, thank you so much for yours perspective. Happy trick-or-treating to you and your little one.

Coming up next here, this highly decorated Marine officer sends a potentially lifesaving e-mail hoping to warn others and save lives. But now he's facing a possible discharge. We'll tell you why this Marine could be punished for his courageous act.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: A frantic e-mail from one Marine's Yahoo account warning that his fellow Marines were in great, great danger. That e-mail contained what some are now calling potentially life-saving information, but it was also classified information. For that, the Marine may be punished. Despite his warning, what happened next was deadly as Ivan Watson reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jason Brezler is not just a New York City fireman. He's also a highly decorated officer in the U.S. Marine Reserve serving four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, now facing possible discharge on less than honorable terms after serving 13 years. KEVIN CARROLL, JASON BREZLER'S ATTORNEY: For a man like Jason Brezler, being asked to separate from the Marine Corps that he loved so much would be an even worse punishment than jail.

WATSON: Legally, Major Brezler cannot speak about his case because it's still under review, so his attorney, Kevin Carroll, is speaking for him. Here's what he says happened. Brezler was in the U.S. in the summer of 2012 when he received an urgent message to his Yahoo e- mail account from his fellow Marine officers in Afghanistan's turbulent Helmand Province.

CARROLL: The subject line of the e-mail he received said, in all capital letters, with three exclamation marks, important, Star War John is back.

WATSON: Brezler had a history with Star War John, an Afghan police commander.

CARROLL: When Jason was serving in Afghanistan in 2010, he caused Star War John, an Afghan police official to be fired from that position because he was raping children.

WATSON: Brezler responded, attaching a classified document, warning the Marines that John was a threat. CNN has repeatedly tried to get an official account of what happened next, but every major military agency involved has declined to comment. The Marine Corps has only said that due to the mishandling of classified information, Major Brezler has been ordered to show cause for retention in the U.S. Marine Corps. They say his use of an unsecure Yahoo account breached security, but others say the warning could have saved lives.

(on camera): What do you think would have happened if the commanders had listened to the advice of Major Brezler?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would have my son.

WATSON (voice-over): Less than two weeks after Brezler sent the Marines that e-mail warning about John. Greg Buckley's son, Lance Corporal Greg Buckley Jr. was shot and killed along with two other Marines at the same base.

GREG BUCKLEY SR., FATHER OF SLAIN MARINE: He was in the gym with his friends just working out. He walked in with an AK-47 giving to him by the chief of police and at about 8:30 at night on August 10th, executed three Marines.

CARROLL: The only reason that the shooter was on that base and had access to weapons is because he was the child sex abuse victim of the Afghan district police chief.

WATSON: The suspected shooter was reportedly a teenage servant of Star War John. Afghan official say they do not know their current whereabouts. Fourteen months later, U.S. central command has yet to publish the results of an investigation into the incident. The only person facing any charges is Major Brezler for using an unsecure e- mail account. REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: It's wrong to be going after the one person who seems to have done by all accounts, the right thing.

WATSON: Unanswered questions leading many to come to the Major Brezler's defense.

BUCKLEY: He should be given a medal, not prosecuting him.

WATSON (on camera): We're told the Marine Corps is not commenting further on Major Brezler's case to avoid influencing the three officers he'll face at his board of inquiry next month.

(voice-over): Until then, Brezler will focus on his current job, fighting fires and saving lives. Ivan Watson, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: You just heard there from a father, Greg Buckley Sr. and just like the Marine now facing disciplinary action, his son, Greg Buckley Jr., also sensed an attack was coming, telling his dad, I am going to be killed over here, in our base. And I talked with that dad just about a year ago about his son's prediction. And what he told me live during the show is as emotional as it is chilling.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BUCKLEY: The Afghani officer was tormenting him and saying that they didn't want him there, didn't need him, just kept going, repeating it over and over again.

BALDWIN: You hear this on the phone. What are you saying to him and then what does he say to you in the fateful call in November?

BUCKLEY: Well, first, he started -- he was upset and you know, he just said, dad, I just want to come home. He goes, these people don't love us. They don't care about us. They're cold, they're vicious people. But then out of nowhere, he turned around and said but the children, the kids are so great. After they turn a certain age, they're just vicious people through and through.

Me and my fellow Marines, we all want to leave here. They don't want us here, and if I don't leave here soon, you have to be able to tell mom and Justin and Shane that I'm not going to be coming home because if I don't leave soon, they're going to murder me here.

And as a father, it's heart wrenching because I couldn't get him and I tried to talk to me and they said, it's never going to happen. You'll never get your son until they let him go. My son was executed in the gymnasium with a pair of shorts and a tank top, lifting weights. This man came in, 25 years old, after they said he was 15, he wasn't.

He was 25 or in his mid-20s, walked into the gym, walked over to my son, a 165-pound boy, a Marine who just turned 21, and put an AK-47 right to his chest, 5 feet away, and pulled the trigger, and then shot him again. At the end of the day, my justice is to another parent won't feel the heartache that I feel.

I'm done inside. They tore my whole heart out. I have a hard time going to bed. I think about him every day, every minute. His brothers kill me when I look at them because they're hurt. His mom is hurt so bad, but they didn't just take my son. They destroyed my family, and I don't want other families to feel the pain I'm feeling.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Greg Buckley, Sr. says the Marine who e-mailed the insider threat warning, Jason Brezler, was only trying to save lives. Brezler's case is now before an officer misconduct board.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Just in to us here at CNN, the fed announcing it will continue the stimulus program, saying the U.S. economy is expanding at a moderate pace. One interesting tidbit here included in this decision, the fed claims the budget battles in Washington are, quote, "restraining growth." Of course, the battles win continue for at least the next couple months as we all know because lawmakers set a new deadline after ending the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling until after the New Year.

You can see the Dow pretty flat, down just about 77 points, as we're a little above an hour before the closing bell.

And too much demand, not enough supply. The world is in the midst of a global wine shortage, yes. New research from Morgan Stanley says that wine production dropped more than 5 percent last year. Folks, its lowest level was back in the '60 until now, worldwide consumption, good news, on the upswing. Experts blame the shortage on bad weather in France and Argentina. In case you're curious who is imbibing the most, France, then the U.S., and then China.

How strong is the smell of hot sauce? Strong enough to sue, apparently, folks in this small Southern California town of Erwin Dale, they are complaining of burning eyes and throats and headaches. Why? You're looking at it because of this nearby food plant that produces a line of hot sauces.

So the city has filed a public nuisance complaint in court demanding the company seize operations until it could stop this odor, the wildly popular, Sriracha, anyone the hot chili sauce, the company's best known product characterized by the clear plastic bottles and those green cap, that stuff is hot, but the founder and a spokesman for the company said they were surprised by the suit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID TRAN, FOUNDER, HUY FONG FOODS, INC.: Not so strong, and if strong, my walker cannot walk.

ADAM HOLLIDAY, HUY FONG FOODS, INC: There is no smell at all and my head is directly over the unit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: OK, CNN's legal analyst, Danny Cevallos joins me now. Danny, help me understand, first, what exactly is a nuisance law?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, nuisance can take one of two forms. Public or private, but the general idea is this. We have a concept called tress pass. That's when someone comes on your property and interferes with your right to possess that property, but nuisance is a little different. Nuisance is about interfering with your right to enjoy your property.

Whereas no one has put anything physical on the property, although in the case of odors, since all odors are particulate, you could make the argument it is also a trespass, but that's basically the gist of a case like this. The government has said you have created a public nuisance with this odor that emanates from your factory and it interrupts or disrupts everyone else's enjoyment of their property.

BALDWIN: OK, that has to be tricky because we're talking about something intangible about an odor. According to our affiliate there, the city is now recommending that the company bring in this new filtration system. It's not cheap, like $600,000. And the company on the other hand, they don't want to install something they say they don't need. How do you think this plays out?

CEVALLOS: Well, it's difficult to say because in addition, this is not just a typical odor. Sometimes you get odors that are just bad smelling, sometimes they're good smelling but --

BALDWIN: Hershey, Pennsylvania, anyone?

CEVALLOS: Pardon?

BALDWIN: I said, Hershey, Pennsylvania, anyone?

CEVALLOS: Sure, wouldn't mind that as a nuisance. The reality is this is some weapons-grade hotness. I should know. I am a Sriracha addict. The problem is once it vaporizes, there may be an issue with not just a smell but a burning sensation. After all, that's what it's doing to the back of your throat.

So as an odor, this might rise to the level of a nuisance, and so if it can be detected, see, it's problematic, because how do we detect odor. Everyone detects it differently. From an objective standpoint, it's interfering with the use and enjoyment of people's property then the state or individual private citizens may have a cause of action against the factory.

BALDWIN: Well, the next time you pick up a bottle of Sriracha, you'll feel bad for the folks who are breathing the stuff in. Danny Cevallos, thank you very much.

Coming up, we got a list for you. "Forbes" is revealing a list of the world's most powerful people, and a couple of choices surprised us. We'll break that down for you. Also, new glasses allow you to manipulate 3D images. Maybe not the best look in the world, but it's kind of cool, something that may one day replace your computer, your smartphone. You have to see this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: A tech start up is creating these eyeglasses that could one day replace your smartphone, your tablet, your computer, take a look at this week's "Technovation."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN (voice-over): Someday soon, anyone could be like Tony Stark in the movie "Ironman" manipulating 3D images in thin air. A Silicon Valley start-up called "Meta" is creating augmented reality glasses that will allow you to interact with virtual objects in the real world.

MERON GRIBETZ, META FOUNDER AND CEO: It elicits a magical effect where you could literally place holograms on the real world, reach out and touch them with your hands.

BALDWIN: The 28-year-old Meron Gribetz, founded Meta in 2012. He lives and works with a team of 25 employees in a Los Altose mansion to create what he's calling the next generation of wearable computers.

GRIBETZ: This fundamental game-changer allows you to take your phone, tablet, and soon personal computer, and project them in 3D in your environment when they're not actually there.

BALDWIN: How would it work?

GRIBETZ: The 3D output display allows you to see the holograms in 3D, and the scanner scans your environment and tells the computer where to place the 3D graphics relative to the user and the world.

BALDWIN: As this video provided by Meta shows the glasses could be used to sculpt a virtual vase with your fingers or play laser tag with your friends. Unlike Google Glass, which has a smaller screen, controlled mostly by your voice, Meta Glasses could one day have an infinite screen controlled by your hands.

GRIBETZ: It really represents a huge shift from 2D computing.

BALDWIN: The company says the first version will be available in December for about $700. Within two years, Gribetz say the glasses will be as sleek as a pair of Ray-Bans.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Live during this show, the president addresses the Obamacare debacle as his deputy apologizes. I'm Brooke Baldwin. The news is now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not in Kansas anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Kathleen Sebelius says the health care web site has never crashed. Even though it was down as she testified.

As the pope is named one of the world's most powerful, a little boy didn't seem too intimidated.

Plus, the world is running out of wine. We'll tell you why.

And --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want Devon to have the best Christmas he's ever had.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: A town comes together for a teen who has just weeks to live.