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Desperation After Super Typhoon Haiyan Hits Philippines; MacNeill Convicted; Honoring our Veterans

Aired November 11, 2013 - 08:30   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For transparency and to prove what we're saying is that we're not going after a nuclear weapon. So what you have here is still a massive wall of mistrust between all sides, plus the fact that the Israelis do not want to see any deal, certainly the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu, don't want to see any deal short of Iran basically bending over and crying uncle and capitulating. And most people think that, listen, if that hasn't happened yet, it's not going to happen in the future. There won't be a capitulation.

So here's the other thing you need to know, that as one former George Bush official quoted recently, the only thing -- the only feeling the U.S. Congress has greater than their love of Israel is their aversion to a military conflict. So what we have here is a choice between a negotiated deal or military conflict. And I think that's the thing that people have to focus on.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Well, that's not a choice at all, especially for Americans right now.


CUOMO: The last thing there is, is an appetite for more conflict.


CUOMO: But, Christiane, I've got to leave it there. They're yelling at me. As intelligent and you are, as insightful as you are, as much as I need to hear this, they're forcing me to move on with the show. Thank you so much, Christiane. As always, appreciate the perspective. Be well, my friend.

AMANPOUR: Thank you, Chris. Good-bye.

CUOMO: Michaela, over to you.


Time for the five things that you need to know for your new day.

At number one, classified access revoked for two senior naval intelligence officers. They're part of an investigation into a defense contractor accused of giving prostitutes and bribes to military officers. An apology from CBS' "60 Minutes" after it says the program was misled by a security officer's account of the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi. The contractor's story didn't match what he told the FBI.

The woman who was fatally mauled by a cougar at a wildcat sanctuary in Oregon may have violated sanctuary rules. Investigators believe head keeper Renee Radziwon was alone in the enclosure when there should have been at least two other workers in the pen at the time.

Just in time for the holidays. The U.S. Postal Service has struck a deal with online retailer Amazon to deliver the company's packages on Sundays in Los Angeles and New York. The deal goes into effect immediately.

And on this Veterans Day, events across the nation will honor the service of military men and women. President Obama will have breakfast for veterans and their families and will lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

We always update those five things to know, so be sure to visit for the very latest.



Well, let's get straight back to the growing crisis in the Philippines now. Many saying they've never seen anything like it before. CNN's Anna Coren got a very unique view of the devastation from the air.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Above the vast blue sea that separates the thousands of islands that make up the Philippines, a rescue mission is underway. We're traveling with the military to a remote group of islands devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan, yet to be reached by authorities. From the air, we can see the carnage. Home after home, village after village, nowhere has been spared. On the ground lie the injured with broken bones and internal bleeding. They've been waiting for days for a medical evacuation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't seen anything like this before. I thought I'd only see this on television.

COREN (on camera): There's a real sense of desperation here on the ground, while the focus is obviously on the sick and the injured and getting them to safety. The people of this hard-hit island need food and fresh water. They've been without it for days. And despite assurances from the government, it has yet to arrive. The problem facing authorities is logistics, getting these supplies to these hard- hit and remote areas, and to the people who need it.

COREN (voice-over): This air field in Cebu has become the staging ground for the country's biggest relief operation. C-130 Hercules fly in survivors, all shell shocked from what they've just lived through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot say anything yet. I'm still in shock. I am so sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people are dead. Our friends are dead. Some of our family members are dead. So it's really devastating.

COREN: As the death toll grows by the day, families here desperately wait for news of their loved ones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the only survivor of the family and I want to know then if they are still alive.

COREN: Having had no contact since the typhoon hit, many say hope is all they can hold on to.

Anna Coren, CNN, Cebu, the Philippines.


BOLDUAN: All right, Anna, thank you so much for that report.

Come up next on "NEW DAY", Utah Doctor Martin MacNeill found guilty of drugging and drowning his wife Michele. We're going to talk with her sister and niece about that verdict.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Dr. Martin MacNeill has been convicted of killing his wife. His own daughters were huge for prosecutors in making their case. His wife's sister and niece were there as well. They're going to join us now from Provo, Utah. Linda Cluff is Michele MacNeill's sister, Jill Harper- Smith, Michele's niece.

Thank you both for joining us this morning.



CUOMO: Linda, starting with you. Can you please tell us about who your sister was? Up until now she's just been the function of this murder case. But who was lost? We know she was beautiful. We know her daughters felt she was so devoted to them and a great mother. But how did you know her?

CLUFF: She was a wonderful sister as well. Growing up with her, she was such an achiever. She was great in school. She was fun-loving, had many friends, one that would always go for any activity, cheerleading, drama, just had so much potential that we all looked up to her in admiration. And she just had so much potential. And just had a funny sense of humor as well. She could make anybody laugh. She was one that had so many dreams and the ability to achieve them, and just a wonderful sister. Opened her heart to many people.

CUOMO: Jill, you -- this has been many years in the making from the time that you lost your aunt until this prosecution. You kind of grew up with this. As you got into this actually being the trial, did you have concerns that as horrible a man as the prosecutors were painting Martin MacNeill, that they may not make the case? Were you worried?

HARPER-SMITH: I was worried, to be honest with you. Part of - part of that worry comes from the fact that there is so much more to Martin than even anybody out there that's been following the trial knows, just that we know as family. And so, you know, how -- if somebody had all the information we had, would there be worry, no. But the fact that not all of that can be brought out in a trial did cause worry. No matter how bad Martin is, nobody really knows besides those that were around him like we were.

CUOMO: Now it's interesting you say that because we did get hints of that through this trial that, boy, this guy has a lot in his background that makes him so terrible, will it amount to the making of a murder case, we weren't sure. Now we know the answer to that.

But, Linda, a little bit of insight on that point. There were adopted kids in this family. That was very important to your sister. Martin MacNeill wanted one of them given back and you rescued her. Tell us about this.

CLUFF: Yes. The way that came about actually is my daughter, Jill, went over to visit and she just wasn't at the home. And we ended up being able to contact her about 10 months later and get in touch with her and my daughter flew over and found her and brought her back and she lived with us.

CUOMO: I mean, look, it's -

CLUFF: And -

CUOMO: Thankfully it ended that way. But when we heard this story, it gave insight into the character of somebody that started to piece together who would take their wife's life, you know, who would do it for these types of motives. But, obviously, it all came down to your cousins, your nieces, and their powerful testimony on the stand. Yes, forensic testimony mattered also, but for daughters to testify against their father, tell us, Jill, your cousins, what motivated them to have to do this, as difficult as it was?

HARPER-SMITH: It boils down to, it's the right thing to do. They lost their mom. And even if it meant losing their dad, too, you have to just do, you know, what you know is right. And they knew within their hearts. And, you know, with all that evidence as well that their dad did do this. And so it sacrificed both parents for them, but they also lost a brother because of all of this, my cousin, Damian, and, you know, it was - it was the right thing to do as a whole, you know, to get - get justice for their mom and for their brother, who have lost their lives because of this and because of their dad.

CUOMO: Is there any doubt that Martin MacNeill intentionally administered drugs, intentionally did things when they found your aunt, your sister, in that bathtub, to cause her death?

HARPER-SMITH: Zero doubt in my mind. CLUFF: Yes, there's no doubt at all.

CUOMO: How will the family move forward from this now? How do you help these women heal? How do you all heal?

CLUFF: I don't know. We just bond together as family and be a support for each other. That's what my sister would have wanted. She was -- the most important thing to her was her family, and has always been family, and so you just move forward by bonding together as family, and being a constant support for each other.

CUOMO: Well, it's the right point to end on here, Linda, because from the beginning what has been so intriguing about this case, as an observer, was what was going on in the family dynamic behind. And even though now the mother is gone, the father is going to be put away, but there's still kids, there's still a family that needs love and support and it's good to know that they have those around them who love them.

Linda Cluff, Jill Harper-Smith, thank you very much for opening up about this, this morning on NEW DAY. Good luck to you going forward.

HARPER-SMITH: Thanks, Chris.

CLUFF: Thank you. Thank you.

CUOMO: Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris.

Coming up next, it is Veterans Day and we are talking with a distinguished veteran, recipient of the Purple Heart, J.R. Martinez, also of "Dancing with the Stars" fame. What does Veterans Day mean to him? That's next.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

He is an actor. He is a Purple Heart recipient and a retired Army veteran. He's also an author of the book "Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength and Spirit." No title could be more true. There is no better person to talk on this Veterans Day perhaps than Mr. J.R. Martinez. J.R. always been a pleasure.

J.R. MARTINEZ, ACTOR & U.S. ARMY VETERAN: Great to see you.

CUOMO: We all say we support the troops.


CUOMO: But is it the truth that there are a lot of needs back home that the families have and that returning service members have that are not met?

MARTINEZ: Absolutely, absolutely. I mean there's a lot of gaps and that's unfortunate, especially when you're talking about individuals that are willing to make that sacrifice. Now as vets we need opportunities. We need jobs. We need employment. We need small businesses. We need big businesses. I mean if -- if you're suit store, if you can provide a suit at a discount, or maybe tailor it for a service member or maybe help put a resume together.


CUOMO: Now remind people. So many know your story, right, you are the one who sacrificed. Tell us about your injury.

MARTINEZ: Well I joined the Army right after high school in 2002 and I deployed seven months after I joined and on the 5th of April of 2003, as an 11 Bravo Infantrymen we were providing security for a convoy in Karbala, Iraq when my front left tire ran over a landmine, ran over this roadside bomb and literally exploded. I was trapped inside for five minutes, and as you can see there was burns throughout 34 percent myself body.

I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I mean let alone a career, I was never going to be able to go back to the military that was taken away from me. But you know what really helped me is I got an opportunity, is I got a chance. And as a vet, I'm representing all the vets that exist in this country and that I'm saying listen, all we want is an opportunity. Give us a chance to do something.

CUOMO: It started off you wanted to be an actor, obviously. So you get, you're on "All My Children" right.


CUOMO: And we're all watching you, this is amazing. I can't believe J.R. did it.

MARTINEZ: You watched it, too.

CUOMO: Of course I did. Because we wanted to follow this, you know, this dream. Will it actually happened, will he be accepted and now you have the book and you have "Safe". Tell me about the show and we'll finish with the book.

MARTINEZ: Yes I have "Safe." It's a new show; it's from the creator of "Baywatch." But now it's this new action series, and it takes place in Malibu. And literally what "Safe" is about, an elite division of the Malibu Fire Department and it's a team of individuals that are experts at what they do. And they create this team called "Safe" and they go out and they pretty much save lives.

And my character in the first episode is injured, is burned saving a young girl, and you follow his story of trying to get back to being a part of the team again. It's great to get back into acting and work on that craft, because I did fall in love with it.

CUOMO: Can anyone be a champion of "Dancing with the Stars?"

MARTINEZ: No. No absolutely --


CUOMO: Could I -- can I do it.

MARTINEZ: I mean we would just have to have a couple secret lessons. I'll hook you up.

CUOMO: It bothers me.

MARTINEZ: If you do it, I'll hook you up man. Because I -- I got some mean footwork. And the great things that I loved about the show and the opportunity that they gave me is to show the world that yes I have scars, yes, I was in the military, yes I was injured, yes I spent a long time recovering, but that's a part of my journey.

Like I am this whole other person. I have a personality. I can persevere. You know, I can dance, and those are things that you wouldn't necessarily associate with someone that was in the military and has gone through what I've gone through.

CUOMO: And look, you're living the dream, there's no question about it. The book has a message that is you've got to believe. What do you want people to take from the book?

MARTINEZ: That life is always about adapting, you know, nothing really happens the way we want it to. I mean you know they tell us in school write down you know your five-year plan, your ten-year plan, your 40-year plan, whatever it may be and it's great to have those goals and those dreams but those things will change because life is life and things happen.

CUOMO: Let's end on what today is really about. What do you want everyone in America to remember today?

MARTINEZ: Well, I want people to know that there are men and women that you know that are still serving this country, and you know that they're still sacrificing and they're still putting their life on the line, they're still leaving their kids behind. And let's also remember that they don't just work on Veterans Day. They don't work just on 11/11; they work 365 days out of the year so just give us an opportunity, listen to us, believe in us, and if do you those things, you'd be surprised what you'll get out of every single veteran.

CUOMO: On Veterans Day I thank you for your service.

MARTINEZ: Thank you sir.

CUOMO: For the great work you're doing acting and for showing that a man can dance -- J.R. Martinez. Kate, over to you.

BOLDUAN: All right, Chris.

Coming up on this Veterans Day, what does a shave, a haircut and a new suit really mean. For one veteran down on his luck, it means everything, the extraordinary video straight ahead and also how you can help.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to "NEW DAY". Let's give you a quick look at our "Top Stories".

So much devastation and hardship in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan's deadly blow. More than 10,000 people are feared dead. U.S. Marines are delivering food, water and supplies now to that nation. Pope Francis sending $150,000 to help victims.

Richie Incognito says he's not the man he's being portrayed as. The Miami Dolphins admits he went too far dealing with teammate Jonathan Martin but says they were friends and that he's no bully.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the West was ready to make a deal with Iran over its nuclear program but the Iranians would not go along and negotiations fell part over the weekend.

Those are your headlines at this hour -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, guys, it's time for "The Good Stuff." Are you ready? We have a Veterans Day edition. But before it, lets head over to the couch, shall we?


CUOMO: Fix the cuffs, fix the jacket, looking for camera and the way we got. It's time for "The Good Stuff" Veteran's Day edition.

We all say we support the troops right and yet far too many are homeless, struggling, like Jim Wolf, he's battled alcoholism and poverty for decades but thanks to a Michigan filmmaker and stylists who worked for free, Jim is getting a new lease on life.

This YouTube video has been viewed by more than 10 million. In it, Jim gets a haircut as you can see, color, shave, all the stuff, new clothes, the end result is simply stunning, take a look at the process.

PEREIRA: Amazing.


PEREIRA: Amazing.

CUOMO: Appearance and perspective are not always different. Change, of course, is about the inside more than the outside. We all know that but it did help Jim see his potential as Nick was saying. And since that video, Jim has secured housing. He's attending AA meetings for the first time, and he's trying to turn his life around.

So what's the message for us, here? Good stuff on these people for helping this one veteran but on this day especially November 11th we are supposed to be remembering the family, the men and the women. Consider giving to charities that help our veterans, no one who has served or serves this country should be homeless.

PEREIRA: Or forgotten, they give the ultimate sacrifice. Never forgotten.

BOLDUAN: it's a great example of the little things you can do that can make a big impact.

PEREIRA: Got a chance to see himself differently, right.

CUOMO: And Jim looked good. I know it's a tough process. I go through it every morning, especially that foil -- sculpture. The worst hopefully is behind you. Good luck going forward and let us know how we can help.


BOLDUAN: We'll keep cleaning him up. And that's it for us today. Time now for "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

CAROL COSTELLO: Hi Kate. Have a great day. Thanks so much.

Happening now in "NEWSROOM" --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The United States government, first of all, is going to respond to this crisis.


COSTELLO: Marines on the ground and on the front lines in the Philippines. A typhoon transforming the country into a place called worse than hell.

Plus this --


RICHIE INCOGNITO, NFL PLAYER: It sounds like I'm a racist pig. It sounds like I'm a meathead. It sounds a lot of things that it's not. And I wanted to clear the air just by saying I'm a good person; my actions were coming from a place of love.


Coming as clean as he can, saying his racist and vulgar language to teammate Jonathan Martin was just how their friendship was, the interview everyone is talking about straight ahead.

And just in time for the holiday shopping rush, big news for this morning and you.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.