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Christie Win Sparks Presidential Race Speculation; Twitter Going Public; Starbucks Hiring Military Vets; Marvel Comics Intros Muslim Super Heroine; Al Qaida Runs City in Syria; Virtual Girl Lures Online Sex Predators

Aired November 6, 2013 - 12:30   ET



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: All right, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's reelection has everybody talking about his likely presidential bid in 2016. Christie handily beat a Democratic challenger in a mostly Democratic state where the state house is run by Democrats. But is he conservative enough for Republicans to put him up for the White House?


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Do you think of yourself as a conservative? Do you think of yourself as a moderate? How --

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I'm a conservative. And you know, I've governed as a conservative in this state, and I think that's what's led to some people disagreeing with me in our state, because it's generally a left-of-center, blue state.

But I think that the difference has been, I haven't tried to hide it or mask it as something different. I just tell people this is who I am.


MALVEAUX: CNN political commentator, Maria Cardona, a Democrat, joining us from Washington, and CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson joining us from Dallas. He is a Republican.

And good to see you both, as always.


MALVEAUX: Good to see you.


MALVEAUX: Ben, I want to start off with you here. It was fascinating when you saw how all of this played out yesterday and last night.

But first of all, Christie really prides himself on reaching across the aisle, working with Democrats, working with those in the Democratic state there, and got into some heat when he thanked the president, really worked well with him after Superstorm Sandy.

So, you know, let's start off with you. Tell us what you think he needs to do to prove that he's not too moderate for the Republicans, that he does have a base that he can count on.

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think you got to look at New Jersey, and he has done the best that he can, living in a state that is moderate, some would say, at best. And he's been able to do that incredibly well.

But he's also been able to be true conservative. He's taken on teachers. He's gotten in people's faces that get in his face. He's not afraid to fight back. And I think a lot of conservatives love that about Chris Christie. He's blunt, he's bold and he's real. He's not calculated in the political ways of kissing babies and shaking hands. What you see is what you get. I think it can work to his advantage if he decides to run for president.

I think the hardest part for him is, there are a lot of really core conservative people that see him compromising with Democrats, being moderate on some of the issues that he is in New Jersey as saying, well, he's not one of us.

And sometimes there's going to be a fight there. There's going to have to a compromise there. And some people aren't going to like Chris Christie. But overall, I think he's got a good shot at being the Republican nominee next time if he chooses to do it.

MALVEAUX: Maria, I want to talk a little about these polls. I think it goes to what the Republican Party is trying to do here.

But you have the early exit polls, which show that Christie won 63 percent of the men, 57 percent of the women, made progress with Hispanics, winning 51 percent compared with 32 percent back in 2009. And if you take a look at African-Americans as well, winning 21 percent compared to 9 percent.

So is he a threat to the Democrats here when he is able to actually win over some of the base of the party, and particularly the moderates, as well?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think he certainly has shown a kind of pathway for Republicans, in terms of how to win in a blue state.

But I think there's still some major obstacles, and Ben talked about one of them, which is, can he actually get through a Republican primary. I can see the ads already, Suzanne. I can see Ted Cruz running an ad bludgeoning Chris Christie for the hugs that he gave President Obama when they were working on Superstorm Sandy. I can see the ads about Chris Christie's immigration reform stance, which is one of the reasons why he got a majority of the Latino votes, but he will get pummeled in the Republican primary because of it. So I think it's very doubtful that he will actually get through the Republican primary process with today's Republican base. That could change, but I would also say let's not read too much into it.

One of the exit polls was, if Hillary Clinton were to run, who would you choose? Majorities of New Jerseyans chose Hillary Clinton for president, as opposed to Chris Christie.

FERGUSON: See, I disagree with the primary, him not being able to get out of it and here's why.

If you do have Ted Cruz, and you have a Mike Huckabee, and you have a Rick Santorum, and other hard conservatives like that running in the primary, they're going to be sharing a lot of people's votes.

We saw that even last time in the primaries that we had with the Republicans, and so a guy that was not a hard conservative, Mitt Romney, came out as a victory because there were so many people fighting for that core conservative at the very beginning.

That can actually play, I think, to Chris Christie's hand here. And I think you're right; he's going to have a tough time in the primaries. It would be much easier, I think, for him in the general election. But if you look at Mitt Romney, you look at John McCain, they also were sitting in the same boat that we're now seeing Christie sitting in, and both of them came through.

MALVEAUX: Maria, 10 seconds to wrap.

CARDONA: But here's the problem with what happened with Mitt Romney. He didn't stay as the moderate. He ran so to the right, Ben, that he was way to the right of all of those conservatives that you just mentioned. So unless Chris Christie does that, I don't think he's going to get through the process.

FERGUSON: I think he was a boring candidate.

MALVEAUX: All right, you know what? We've got to leave it there. There's going to be a lot more excitement, let me tell you.

We've got until 2016 to play all this stuff out, so we're just getting started.

Maria Cardona and Ben Ferguson, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

CARDONA: Thank you, Suzanne.

FERGUSON: Thanks for having us.


And, of course, the president uses Twitter.

Actually, as well, Twitter helping start a revolution in the Middle East Coming up, now you can actually own a piece of Twitter. It's going public. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: It has sparked revolutions and launched international diplomacy. Now, Twitter is about to go public. Twitter stock goes on sale to the public tomorrow. Traders find out the stock price in just a couple of hours, as Wall Street closes today. Without a doubt, Twitter has transformed the world.

Our Laurie Segall's breaking down the evolution of how this has all worked.


LAURIE SEGALL, CNNMONEY.COM TECH CORRESPONDENT: It began like any tech start-up, a couple of engineers in a small room surrounded by computers, and now Twitter, valued at nearly $14 million, will hit the public market this week.

It started in 2006 as a service borne from the simple concept of the text message. A tweet of 140 characters could be broadcast to anyone. It was mocked at first.

DAVID LETTERMAN, TV HOST: Have you hooked yourself up to the Twitter thing?

SEGALL: But the world paid attention when they saw a revolution tweeted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To think that a demonstration that began through the internet, through Facebook and Twitter have now resulted in one of the Middle East's longest-standing dictators stepping aside is something that no one, not just me, but the entire region, ever imagined could be possible.

SEGALL: And a miracle on the Hudson, documented. The first picture came from Twitter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw that there were survivors on there, so I just took a picture.

I happened to be on Twitter, so I just did a quick twit pic and posted it.

SEGALL: And here at CNN, a race for followers.

ASHTON KUTCHER, ACTOR: If I beat CNN to a million followers, I will literally go and ding-dong-ditch Ted Turner's house.

LARRY KING, FORMER CNN HOST: Do you think you can take on an entire network? Do you know how big we are? Do you know what CNN is? CNN will bury you.

SEGALL: Let's just say he hash tag won.

And now the start-up has spread its wings. Shares will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker, TWTR. JOHN MULLY, TECHNOLOGY ANALYST: I think a lot of people are watching the IPO because of the expectations of what happened with Facebook.

Why everybody is so "a-Twitter" is because of what's going to happen now. This is the next big public-facing technology company to go public.

SEGALL: So what's next for the company?

MULLY: There's always a lot of challenges, relevancy, continuing to stay relevant, continuing to show that you're growing users and improving on the value proposition that you sell to advertisers.

SEGALL: Those micro-messages will translate to millions, if not billions for investors and founders.

Co-founder Evan Williams could now be worth between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion. CEO Dick Costolo's stake, $191.9 million. And board member Peter Fenton, his stake could be as much as $789 million.

LETTERMAN: It's stupid. It's just crap, I'll tell you.

SEGALL: No longer the butt of the joke, investors will now see if shares of Twitter will soar.

Laurie Segall, CNNMoney, New York.


MALVEAUX: And Starbucks wants 10,000 new employees. They are actively now recruiting from a very specific talent pool. We're talking about the U.S. military veterans, as well as their spouses.

The world's biggest chain of coffee houses is now the latest major company to announce a push to hire former service members.

The Starbucks CEO also plans and -- shows plans to open more cafes near military bases, and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is now on the Starbucks board of directors.

And Marvel Comics has taken the wraps off of its latest crime fighter. This is pretty cool. Meet superhero Kamala Khan.

She is a 16-year-old Muslim living in New Jersey. Her power? She's able to grow and shrink, and is learning to shape-shift. Pretty cool.

And smoking, hair salons, cameras are all banned. Women must cover up, and violators are threatened with violent punishment.

How Al Qaida is taking over an area of Syria, this is right along the border with Turkey, our CNN exclusive, up next.


MALVEAUX: The U.S. wants to make sure that Syria gives up its entire stockpile of chemical weapons. More than one U.S. official now tells CNN that new classified information suggests that Syria might try to keep some chemical weapons secretly, after they destroy the inventory already declared. Now we are told the Pentagon, State Department and the White House are all going over this new information.

And now this is something that you're only going to see here on CNN. It is disturbing. Our CNN camera crew managed to get inside of a city, this is in Syria, that used to be modern, liberal. Well now, Al Qaida is in charge. It is right on the border of Turkey. So smoking is forbidden. Women have to be covered up. And even taking pictures can get you beaten or killed. Here's Nick Paton Walsh.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what happens when Al Qaida claims they came to help, but instead decide to rule. This man beaten for spraying graffiti.

"Every 15 minutes someone poured water on me, electrocuted me, kicked me and then walked out," he said. He was dragged from the city streets of Rakka into this church that Al Qaida had torched and marked as their base. They tortured many.

"When a person's tortured in front of you, you feel responsible. That's the hardest. One guy still inside used to call me dad as I taught him about democracy."

Al Qaida-linked militants, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS, have in the past month put an end to the liberal lifestyles of Rakka. They put up posters asking women to cover their beauty. They roam at night, preaching to a cafe that smoking will be banned. By day, they bun confiscated cigarettes. Life looks normal, even though just filming it could get you flogged. But look closer -- women's rights are vanishing. There are new rules, wear Islamic clothing, don't see a male doctor, don't leave home without a male relative.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They're closing hair salons. Women can't go out at certain times. They spat on one girl for disobedience. It's like Afghanistan. Now people call Rakka, Tora Bora.

WALSH: This Islamist school indoctrinates Rakka's youngest the first steps in Islamist caliphate, unimaginable in Syria just months ago. At the weekend, one nearby town awoke to signs saying thieves would have their hands cut off. ISIS has, in this graphic video filmed by activists, their own form of justice. In May, ISIS swept in. Their brutality against these alleged regime thugs, an antidote to the weak and chaotic rebels.

You can hear the crowd's fury for blood revenge here. The hole in society Al Qaida slipped into. But soon ISIS's heavy hand sparked protests. They began arresting other rebels who didn't agree with them, like this girl's father.

"They've had daddy for a month," she says. "I miss him very much."

Today, locals complain using graffiti, they don't dare protest and only dare film this at night. The revolution sprang to life because the regime tortured boys for graffiti. Now Al Qaida does the same. And many wonder if the revolution itself is dead.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Gaziantep, Turkey.


MALVEAUX: Very disturbing.

In just 10 weeks, she helped track down 20,000 sexual predators. But, get this, she is not real. How technology is being used against sexual predators trolling the Internet.


MALVEAUX: A virtual child is being used as bait, as an online operation. Now it targets potential cybersex customers and pedophiles. A children's rights group says that more than 20,000 predators have approached this virtual girl. Now Becky Anderson introduces us to how this works.


SWEETIE: My name is Sweetie. I'm 10 years old. I live in the Philippines. Every day I have to sit in front of the web cam and talk to men.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When she logs online to internet chat rooms, Sweetie is bombarded by requests.

SWEETIE: The men ask me to take off my clothes. They undress.

ANDERSON: Men from all over the world, three, four, five times her age, ask her to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam.

SWEETIE: As soon as I go online, they come to me, 10, 100, every hour. So many.

ANDERSON: But Sweetie also has a secret.

SWEETIE: But what they don't know, I'm not real. I'm a computer model made piece by piece to track down these men who do this.

ANDERSON: She's the creation of Dutch NGO Ted Asan (ph). They use her avatar to pose on internet chat rooms, baiting men who go online to prey on young children. In 10 weeks, the charity says some 20,000 men contacted Sweetie with 1,000 offering her money for explicit acts. A number the charity's director says illustrates the demand.

HANS GUIJT, TERRE DES HOMMES: With the extension of the internet, with the decreasing prices of the internet, it will get more and more accessible, not just for the western part of this globe, but also for the developing world, which means that there will be more victims, there will be more children exposed to this phenomenon.

ANDERSON: The charity has launched a campaign to end so-called web cam tourism, where men go online to pay children from developing countries to perform sex acts. GUIJT: We have shifted our attention to the demand side. If nothing is being done about the source of the problem, this phenomenon will only increase even further.

ANDERSON: The charity has given the identities of the 1,000 men who offered Sweetie money to authorities. While Sweetie's true identity is now known, it's hoped she'll act as a deterrent. The project serving as a warning to predators that they can also become prey.

Becky Anderson, CNN, London.


MALVEAUX: Now this.

Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, he's going to be out of the pool for a little bit because he had a run-in with a teenaged girl in Florida. We can explain this. According to "USA Today," the five-time gold medalist severely injured his left knee after an over-zealous female fan tried to jump into his arms. Lochte fell, slamming on his knee on a curb. Well, he is expected to make a full recovery. But it's unclear when he's actually going to be able to compete again. And the girl, by the way, she's OK as well.

Well, that's it for us for AROUND THE WORLD. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now. Have a good afternoon.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Right now we're waiting to hear from the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, just hours after his landslide re- election victory.

Right now, Kathleen Sebelius, she just finished facing some very tough questions over the problems plaguing the Obamacare website. The Health and Human Services secretary testifying before the Senate Finance Committee.

And right now, it's a record day on Wall Street, the Dow hitting an all-time intraday high this morning. Right now it's up, up 98 points right now.

Hello. I'm Wolf Blitzer, reporting today from Washington.

You can stick a fork in election 2013 -- it's done. Now the pundits and the politicians, they are busy reading the tea leaves to see what the results mean going forward. Was this a referendum on Obamacare? And if so, how worried should Democrats be? What do the results say about the Tea Party and the fight within the GOP? We're going to get into all of that.

But first, Chris Christie's landslide win in the New Jersey governor's race is seen by many folks out there as a warm-up for the 2016 presidential race.