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Top Football Prospect Acquitted; Congress Again on Vacation; Mayor of Toronto Back in Action

Aired December 5, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, lots of questions over a wildly controversial decision involving Florida State University`s quarterback sensation. This guy`s name is Jameis Winston, one of the top football prospects in the entire country is no longer a rape suspect.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

Prosecutors say their decision to not charge the front-runner with the Heisman trophy with sexual assault was about lack of evidence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We carefully examined all the evidence in this case and have concluded no charges will be filed against anyone in this case.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s off the hook. That`s right, the 19-year-old sports star was accused of attacking another student last year. This female accuser claims Winston raped her at an off campus apartment. The female student told cops she and Jameis Winston were drinking in a bar to the whole bunch of shots. Now, Jameis` DNA was actually found on the woman`s clothing, but the football star and his attorneys say that sex was consensual.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re completely satisfied that this was done. He was very happy. I can tell you he gave me a hug. It was nice. Not relief, because he knew he didn`t do anything. And he was like, you know, I knew it just took time for the truth to come out.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, you got to remember, there was still an accuser here. Cops say she actually went silent during their investigation and decided to stop cooperating. But her attorney is saying, no, we did not. That never happened.

Who is telling the truth? Tell me what you have to say about this case. Call me 1-877-JVM-SAYS. 1-877-586-2797.

Straight out to the fantastic lion`s den tonight.

Everybody is talking about the story. Florida state is number one, the number one team in the country. And this young man is the top candidate for the Heisman trophy and they are voting on that right now and will be for the next few days.

So we have a timing issue here. Got to start out with Areva Martin, attorney of the L.A. Bureau.

Have we put this case to bed for good or are there lingering doubts because of the timing and his fame and some of the circumstances surrounding this case?

AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: Absolutely, Jane. There are doubts and you know, listening to the lawyer for Winston, he says the truth has finally come out. But that`s far from the truth. We haven`t heard the truth. What we heard the state`s attorney general say is there`s not enough evidence, and in terms of prosecuting someone from rape, that`s all that matters. What can you prove in the court of law? And the state`s attorneys says we don`t have enough evidence primarily because the police botched the investigation. The DNA samples were tested until months after the complaint was made by the victim.

And this was really a sad case because we don`t know what happened. And we don`t want young women on college campuses to be chilled or in some way, you know, prohibited from coming forth for fear that they`re going to be drug through the mud and an investigation will not be handled properly and the guy gets off. So I`m very troubled by the entire case and what it means for women and girls.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But let`s remember, (INAUDIBLE), and let`s remember that not every accusation is necessarily the truth. I mean --

MARTIN: You`re right! You`re right. She is entitled to -- the law enforcement is obligated to conduct a thorough and timely investigation, and it appears that didn`t happen in this case. And if she wasn`t telling the truth, let it come out. But when you have a botched investigation, you can`t have trust. You can`t have confidence in the outcome such as what happened here today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s what really bothers me, and I have to rant on this because this is what infuriates me. Jameis is in the running, as we mentioned, to win college football`s highest honor, Heisman, but since these allegations went public, it certainly put a huge dark cloud over the sports star obviously.

Now, the accuser`s family claims, are you sitting down, a detective warned her, hey, Tallahassee is a big football town. And if you pursue the assault case against this guy, you will be made miserable. Are you kidding me?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: There were concerns with the police, the investigators, the detective, that this was color. That this was tainted. His entire career could be derailed and there are questions on whether or not they were saying to the accuser, you know, hey, you may not want to come forward with this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And yes, apparently the attorney for the accuser is claiming that the detective said, look, you better think long and hard about going forward because they`re going to rake you over the coals. If that`s true, that poisons the entire investigation in my opinion. I mean, I don`t know what happened that night. I wasn`t there. Regardless, there is a criteria, a set of rules to follow.

And I have to go to Simone Bienne, behavior expert. It is completely and utterly inappropriate to intimidate an accuser, especially in the case of rape, by saying the person you`re accusing is so important, the most famous college football player in America, so you better think long and hard because, honey, they`re going to rake you through the coals and over the coals. That`s outrageous.

SIMONE BIENNE, BEHAVIOR EXPERT: Yes. It is outrageous, Jane. My stomach turned when I heard that. My stomach also turned just a moment ago on your show when we heard the lawyers say, he gave me a hug. It wasn`t a guilty hug. I mean, this is just absolutely absurd.

What we are saying here is because he is important and he is famous that she is less important. Let`s go to town here. How hard is it, if somebody has experience, any kind of sexual violence or any kind of physical assault, how hard is it to go to the police?

And what is disgusting, Jane, is she reported it to the college, and the college said, but it happened off campus, go elsewhere. That needs to be stopped in colleges because a lot of this happens there. Women need our support.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, a key factor was the accuser`s version of events. And the attorney for Jameis said, hey, you know, her story just didn`t add up. She says the night that Jameis allegedly raped her, and again, he has now been clear by authorities. They had been drinking at a Tallahassee bar with friends. She told cops they took several shots. However, her blood alcohol level was just 0.04. That`s not very high.

So listen to Jameis Winston attorney seemingly take a jab at the woman when heist asked why she would subject herself to an invasive sexual assault case if she was making the whole thing up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes you have regret. Sometimes you have embarrassment. And sometimes you don`t want to come forward with what really happened. I have never spoken to the woman. I don`t know. I wasn`t there that night.

All I know is what the reports say, the lab reports, what the I- witnesses that were there. I think certainly any woman that is sexually assaulted should come forward.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, in answering that question, Siggy Flicker, TV personality and social commentator, should he have simply said, look, I don`t know what was in her mind. I`m not her attorney. You should ask her attorney. Did he take a jab at the accuser?

SIGGY FLICKER, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think that there`s a lot of missing pieces to this puzzle. First off, anybody feeling violated or sexually assaulted, according to my reports, she waited one month to go to the proper authorities, one month.

First off, the night started at a place called Pot Belly`s where everybody was drinking and having a good time, all good, all fair, nothing wrong with that. But after midnight, her friends are leaving her at this place. If she`s drunk, why did her friends leave her there? If she is drunk and --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, people do that all the time, though. I mean, people do that all the time.

FLICKER: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But she is getting drunk just the province of frat boys. If women get drunk, do they have to pay the ultimate price?

FLICKER: No, but there`s nothing wrong with getting drunk. But if your drunk, then your friends should not be leaving you at a bar, a.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s irrelevant.

FLICKER: B, you should not be getting in the cab --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s irrelevant.

FLICKER: But she got in the cab with him, went back to his place, now I don`t know what happened, but the point I`m trying to make for all the college students, all the women out there, if you are being violated after you say no, if you are being sexually assaulted, don`t wait one day, five days or a month. You get to the hospital immediately and report it immediately.

MARTIN: Wait, no, no, no.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Areva, even the attorney for Jameis Winston said this was not a case of waiting a long time. That the tests were done in a timely manner. He said that today.

MARTIN: Jane, you know, it sounds like we are blaming the victim. She had every right to be in a bar, if she`s of drinking age, she has every right to be drinking. She has every right to go to an apartment with them. And then she has the right to say, no, you cannot rape me. You cannot sexually assault me.

So, I get really disturbed when women say things like, you know, if you don`t want to get raped, then don`t go out with a guy. The lesson here is, guys, when a woman says no, no means no. So, be careful about the message that we`re sending here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. But let`s remember, this man has been cleared by the authorities, by the state attorney, OK. So, he is not a suspect. He is not being prosecuted.

MARTIN: We have to be careful about the messages we`re sending to other women and others in the same situation, that it`s not OK to say to go further when a woman says no, and we can`t blame the victim simply because she goes out drinking or she goes to someone`s apartment.

No, I know there`s not enough evidence in this case, and if there`s not enough evidence, then don`t prosecute him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to the phone lines. We got a hear from a guy. Art in Pennsylvania, what do you have to say, Art Pennsylvania?


Actually, if someone, whoever it is, man or woman, make accusations and the prosecutor takes the case, you have to keep the ball rolling. If not, you should be actually prosecuted. And I wanted to know about to cases you went over. One was the microwave baby, and the other was the drop off a 12-year-old girl to McDonald`s.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, those are other cases for another day, sir. But, I think that this is a very, very difficult case because first of all, I would have loved to have heard from the attorney for the accuser tonight. I mean, we have to speak out if we want to get our across as women. And if we can`t speak out, we have to have our representatives speak out.

At this point what we heard was from the state attorney and for the attorney for Jameis Winston. We did not hear the other side. We`re going to stay on top of the story and bring you the very latest as it unfolds later.

In just a moment, Toronto`s Rob Ford, yes, crack mayor, he`s at it again. You will not believe who cops say he was partying with and the transaction that was going on. It will blow your mind. Coming up.


MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: Mark my words, friends, this is going to be outright war in the next election. And I`m going to do everything in my power.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Mayor Ford, Your time is up.

FORD: Everything in my power to beat you guys.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Little patience for lawmakers bickering in Washington.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Nearly 150 bills passed by the house yesterday acted on by the Senate.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Act before they leave on their own,

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- idiots elected who will do absolutely nothing but hold our government hostage.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am so fed up with this do nothing Congress. This I`m always on vacation Congress.

You know, the average American gets about 12 days of vacation, and only uses about ten days of vacation. I don`t even want to tell you how many days these members of Congress take off. OK. There are some published reports that claim it`s in the neighborhood of 200 days! I mean, let`s cut it in half. Let`s say it is 100 days off. Are you kidding me?

OK, right now it`s vacation time, right? They`re not tackling any of the problems that they`re supposed to be tackling. They`re still on vacation from thanksgiving. Hello. Thanksgiving ended a while ago. Why are you still on vacation?

I want to go straight out to Keli Goff, columnist with the "Daily Beast" and "the Root."

I mean, you know, it would be one thing if they were working hard at passing bills, but when they are in session, they`re reading children`s books and filibustering or naming buildings. You know, let`s name that air traffic control tower the xyz building.

This Congress is beyond -- it`s beyond foolish. It`s an embarrassment., Keli.

KELI GOFF, COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST/THE ROOT: They are not just reading children`s books, Jane. Let`s not forget they`re actually acting like children most of the time. I mean, these children deserve a major time out, possibly a spanking. And when I heard you say you`re fed up, guess who else is fed up, Jane? Everyone else in the American public.

You look at the latest poll on the approval ratings. You want to take a guess where approval rating is? They have a nine percent, Jane. Just think about that. And my first question was, who comprises this nine percent? I`m guessing it`s the members of Congress, their family and possibly their staffers. But I don`t personally know anyone who is happy with the job that they`re doing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, I hear the gentlemen chuckling and laughing. And I`m glad that it makes us laugh. And I know that, you know, it is fodder for Saturday night live and all the other shows. But really, our lives are in these morons` hands, sir.

RYAN CLAYTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WOLF PAC: Yes, that`s totally true. I mean, let me put that nine percent figure in context. That`s literally less popular than the king of England at the time of the revolutionary war. Congress is less popular than the king of England at the time of revolutionary war. I mean, that`s just ridiculous, you know.

The number one issue in this country now is the dysfunction in our government. It is above even the economy. For a long time, the number two issue had been the corruption of our federal government. And the problem is, is even when they`re in session, they`re really not doing their job. They`re not going to pass a budget. They`re not going to pass bills to fix the campaign finance. They`re not going to pass immigration reform. So what are even they doing when they`re in session, you know? I have a feeling that the way that we are going to solve all of our problems, the thing that is going to fix it is not going to come from Washington. It`s going to come to Washington from around the country.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s the thing. I`m almost saying I have so little trust in these people that I`m glad they`re on vacation because they could do a lot of damage. Serious damage if they actually went to work because they`re morally corrupt.

Let`s face it. The problem with Washington is it`s all about money. It`s all about of the jobs they are going to get when they leave Congress. It is all about their little tats for tats with the lobbyists. It`s all follow the money when you are dealing with moral corruption and spiritual bankruptcy.

Keli, our government is spiritually bankrupt, and that`s a serious problem.

GOFF: All I have to say is I agree. I don`t have a lot to add because I think you hit the nail in the head. That 90 percent of the problem is because we`re not focused on the job they`re supposed to be doing. They are focus on the job as they want to do someday, whether that is run for president, you know, work as a lobbyist. And so, it`s a real problem when people are constantly having their eyes on the big money, the big payoff, the big gig down the road as opposed to the gig we entrusted them to have, which is to do a job that we`re paying them to do which is not to take vacations, by the way, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, this has infected all the agencies. Because every agency I`ve ever investigated, whether it is writing a book or doing a story, the agencies are controlled and run by the industries they`re supposed to monitor.

So they`ve got, you know, the people who are tight with the drug industry running the FDA and in the major committees, and it`s the same thing with the interior department. And it`s the same thing with USDA, you know, it`s --

GOFF: Look, I think this will never happen. But I would say one of the solutions I would love to see, and I don`t think it will every happen at the federal level, is constitutionally it`s top, I would like to see what actually they would do if they have term limits, you know, which is something we have in New York at the council level which is to say to people, you are not sitting on your rear forever and essentially letting -- taking money from the American people and from the taxpayers to just sit on your rear and do nothing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ryan, let me ask you this. What can we do? I mean, we had the tea party on one side. We have Occupy Wall Street on the other side. And believe it or not, they do have things in common like they both hate most of the people in there. But is there any way that we can bring any kind of, you know, moral integrity to the U.S. government?

CLAYTON: Yes, I think, you know, one way we could all agree that we could fix this problem is we can pick 535 people randomly off the street from around the country, and probably they would do a better job than Congress is doing right now, you know. I think regular common sense every day Americans could be trusted a lot more than the people we sent to Washington, D.C. and spent the majority of their professional life here.

What we have to do is change the people who set in the seats of the Congress. And the only way you`re going to do that is fix the issue of money and politics. We have to create a separation of wealth and state. We have to amend the constitution to say that, you know, if you have a lot of money, you don`t get to determine who controls our political affairs in this country. We got to give a free and fair elections in this country.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is not helping in that regard and has opened the flood gates to all sorts of corporate funding.

CLAYTON: For sure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In insidious ways. And so, I don`t see -- I really do see a decline and fall of an empire if we don`t turn it around.

GOFF: I vote for a psych test for anyone running for Congress. You have to pass a psych test and an actual constitutional test. How about that?

CLAYTON: That would be a good start.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know what? The people of Toronto wish that their mayor had to pass a sight test because you will not believe what this guy is doing. He is actually making U.S. sleaze bag politicians look good. Mayor Rob "crack head" Ford, stars in the now infamous video that allegedly shows him smoking crack. He admitted that he smoked it. But, what else was on the video? We`re getting glimpses and it is a jaw dropper.


FORD: I hope none of you have ever or will ever be in that state. And that`s all I can say. Obviously, I was extremely, extremely inebriated.




FORD: I`m not an addict. You guys can spit it. You can tell me whatever you want. These people know that I`m not- do you ever got a --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not being truthful.

FORD: I`m not being truthful. Have you been in the house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no interest being in the house. I`m not a crack user.

FORD: Reason I drank or did drugs was not because of stress. It was out of sheer stupidity.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I agree with that. Sheer stupidity.

Tonight`s big story, the crack mayor of Toronto is back in action and up to some new tricks, or maybe old ones. OK.

Well, we are learning now, there`s a 450-page police wiretap that reveals a whole bunch of new shocking allegations. At the very top of the list, that Mayor Rob Ford allegedly did not stop at crack but used heroin, too. Heroin.

Plus, charges that Mayor Ford offered the drug gang that he was working with allegedly, at least, five grand and a car in exchange for handing over that infamous and mysterious video of him puffing on a crack pipe. Of course, Rob Ford has never been one to shy away from a microphone or an elderly legislator.

During a radio interview this morning, he responded to the claims that he tried to buy the incriminating video from a bunch of gang members.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What do you say to that? These are wiretaps from gang members who say that you offered $5,000, if not more, $150,000 and a car to confiscate the video of you doing crack on the tape. What would you say to that?

FORD: Number one, that`s an outright lie. And number two, you can talk to my lawyers about it, but I`m here to talk football.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He wants to talk football. All right, good luck with that.

Listen. He also denied smoking crack and then finally admitted it. This is the same mayor, OK, who has zero credibility. Oh, no, that`s wrong. I never smoked crack. And then, well. Yes, I did smoke crack.

So now, he`s saying he never tried to buy the tape of him smoking crack from gang members.

Hey, let`s go back in time and revisit on memory lane.


FORD: But do I? Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors. Probably approximately about a year ago. I answered the question. You asked the question properly. Yes, I`ve made mistakes. All I can do now is apologize and move on.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Straight out the lion`s den. And we`re delighted to be joined by correspondent Jean Casarez.

What do you know about the heroin charge?

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION: I have learned so much new terminology, and maybe you are going to learn it, too, Jane. Because in the intercepted phone calls with what police are saying, are Somali drug lords, they talk about Rob Ford. Constantly they talk about him. And once, they may say is there`s so much pictures of Rob Ford doing the heza (ph). Heza (ph) a slang term for heroin. And so, then the other person says, well, take pictures of that, it could worth something. But, it also says that no pictures showed up abrupt towards doing the Heza (ph).

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, Heza. So not just crack, but Heza.

I have to go to Simone Bienne, behavior expert, or I would call it bad behavior expert at this point.

You know, crack is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. There are many cases of them getting hooked off on crack after one hit. And now, we are hearing, him being connected to Heza, a.k.a. heroin, and then of course, there is the drunkenness. I mean, that is a potent combination.

BIENNE: It is a potent combination. And you see, Jane, I think that you may, and all of your viewers, and the American public, are missing the point. Rob Ford isn`t crazy. He is just trying to get into the next Quentin Tarantino movie. Right? You`ve got crack, you got the prostitutes, heroin now, if you are sitting on defense, that tends you worry about. I mean, this guy, just go home, shut the door, and don`t come out for a long time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you look a little like Uma Thurman. But he looks nothing like John Travolta. I don`t want to see him dancing that dance. Although, I do like -- I would like to see him tied up. You know, the scene where they`re tied up in that Quentin Tarantino movie, in a very bad way. That may be a good thing for them.

So let`s get to the key issue -- this mystery tape that he is so desperate for nobody to see, ok. That he was allegedly willing to pay $5,000 for. Will it resemble the other hidden camera performance we`ve seen from this crack mayor? And we have to study this again because it`s just a classic.





FORD: (EXPLETIVE DELETED). (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I will tie him up. I will (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I`ll make sure (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I need (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ten minutes to make sure he`s dead.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Areva Martin, attorney -- I mean, ok -- reporters say they`ve seen this 90-second clip of him smoking from a crack -- glass crack pipe. And now we`re hearing that he was dealing with them, was trying to get this tape. I mean is it really that difficult to come up with a charge against this guy?

AREVA MARTIN, ATTORNEY: You know, Jane, I don`t understand what`s happening with the prosecution in this case. I`ve been saying all along since I`ve been following this that there are criminal acts being committed by the mayor. But yet the prosecution seems to be really slow.

We have what would be considered, you know, really good evidence here putting this guy in all kinds of criminal activities yet we don`t see charges being brought. We don`t see any action being taken.

You know, I don`t really get what`s going on Jane. I hope thought that now that we see --


MARTIN: -- there`s a, you know, bribery charge is enough to put this guy in jail. Get him out of governing --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Put him in jail. Siggy, I`m going to give you ten seconds. Ten seconds to talk to this nut.

SIGGY FLICKER, TV PERSONALITY: Only ten? I say this guy deserves his own reality show. He`s been stripped of all his powers but he`s bent on -- he`s saying, "Hell no, I won`t go." And he won`t admit that he`s an addict. I mean please, somebody get him some help. He needs help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I would like him to see -- have a reality show behind bars -- ok. In prison, the first prison reality show.

Hey, everybody. Check this out. Like it or not selfies taking over the planet. There I am this morning, selfing it out. And we`re going to show you the biggest, most important, most obnoxious selfies of 2013 on the other side.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s beginning to feel a lot like -- that time of year where we decide what`s the most important this, that or the other in 2013. We make all these lists.

You know what the word of 2013 is? Selfie. In honor of that we are looking at some of the most important -- or should I say self-important -- selfies of 2013.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone takes a selfie nowadays.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And to cap it off, we`re going to take a selfie.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight`s buzz -- love them, hate them, you can`t deny 2013 is all about the selfie -- officially declared the word of the year by Oxford dictionary. Selfies taking over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram -- everybody from celebs to the Pope are getting selfie. That`s right, the Pope.

Armed with a list of some of the most popular selfies from this past year, I took to the streets to find out who does it best.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It would have to be Kim Kardashian.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time`s changing. They`re going to (inaudible). Everyone takes a selfie nowadays.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s the Pope taking a selfie with a bunch of admirers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why can`t the man take a selfie?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We can`t forget about the selfie heard around the world. The one taken by, you know -- no, not Chelsea, not Hillary; the one and only -- not Geraldo Rivera. These are all top selfies. But no. Not Anthony Weiner, either. No.

We all remember this revealing pic from Instagram. Yes -- the booty.

Siggy, you got to hand it to her. She`s got the booty and knows how to shake it and she knows how to selfie it and send it to the world. And we`re still talking about it.

FLICKER: Yes. So what is wrong with it? I love selfies -- actually I brought this for you. This is going into all my children`s stockings this year. I have four kids.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not one of your children.

FLICKER: But you know what, it`s good to take a picture of yourself. If you don`t love yourself, who is going to love you? You`ve got to love - -


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I need that -- show me, what is that? What is that? Why do I need that to take a picture?

FLICKER: Because this is a bluetooth selfie. So you hold the phone and you could snap away like this as opposed to, you know, getting your finger on the phone. It`s fun. It`s harmless. Take a selfie of yourself. Who cares?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can take -- I don`t need that to take a selfie. I took a selfie this morning. I just showed it to you. Look, selfies are popular. There also seem to be a number of people who have discussed the selfie, including our very own associate producer Shannon Carol.

Shannon, come on. I`m going to give you 30 seconds to put down the selfie once and for all. Do it.

SHANNON CAROL, HLN ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: I don`t have a problem with the selfie. What I have a problem with is people who don`t take correct selfies. Now, if you have the duck face, you know what I`m talking about - - please stop it. Jane, you`re with me. You love the ducks. The ducks don`t even like the duck face.

And be aware of your surroundings. I mean Kimye you took a selfie in a public restroom. I don`t even like taking my phone into the bathroom let alone taking pictures of myself and somebody else in a public restroom.

I say in 2014, we revamp the selfies. It`s the word of the year right now. That`s great. But in 2014, we`re going to have better selfies, because why #nomoreduckface.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No more duck face.

CAROL: Be aware of your surroundings. Look, Michelle Obama, that`s a good one right there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a good one. That`s a good one. That`s actually a portrait of a selfie.

This is a portrait of a selfie. Well, she knows how to work it.

Rihanna does too.

Listen, on a very serious note. Earlier we told you about a Florida state attorney deciding not, not to prosecute college football star Jameis Winston for sexual assault. We now have a statement from the accuser`s attorney quote, "The victim in this case had the courage to immediately report her rape to the police. And she relied upon them to seek justice. The victim has grave concerns that her experience as it unfolded in the public eye and through social media will discourage other victims of rape from coming forward and reporting," end quote.

And we invite her or her representatives on any time to tell their side of the story. We`ll continue to follow it.

And on the other side, a story you must see -- absolutely must see.



JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Really kind of a miracle here down in the Florida everglades. Those whales, 40 of the 50 survived. A lot of people will tell you the whales were mourning the ones that had died. They`re very bright creatures. And that once the process was over, they all moved on.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A miracle. 40 whales seemed to be dying stranded off the Florida coast; last night the whole world watched and rooted for these majestic and very intelligent creatures to survive.

When authorities went back to check on the whales yes, ten had tragically died. Thirty however, found their way back to deep waters. That`s a great miracle.

But right now on the other side of the world in Japan there`s a horror going on.

These are the whales that got out ok, but on the other side of the world, we have a horror, a horror going on in Japan. OK. The slaughter, the slaughter of the dolphins in that place called The Cove, made famous by a documentary called "The Cove". Check this out.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was actress Hayden Panettiere crying because she saw the slaughter of the dolphins.

Simone Reyes, animal rights activist and my dear friend, you have just returned from Japan. You also saw what was happening to these dolphins. Describe what you saw and how it felt to you.

SIMONE REYES, ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: It`s very encouraging how many people here stateside were praying and hoping for those pilot whales to be reunited with their ocean families in the pods. Because what people aren`t so quick to realize is that there are tens of thousands of dolphins being killed in countries like the Farrow Islands (ph) and Japan where I just was in Taiji.

And what is horrifying is the way that these beautiful marine animals are being killed. I was there with Sea Shepherd as a cove guardian. And there are actually no words to describe what I saw. But I`ve been blogging about it and we livestream every single kill. And if you actually see the way that these boats are going out into the wild, driving families of dolphins into the killing cove, panicking them, terrorizing them, and then brutally butchering them to death in a long and painful process, the other so-called lucky ones get a life of enslavement at a marine park.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, another reason not to visit marine parks. This is the ugly back story that people don`t want to think about. Also join Sea Shepherd -- go to Get involved. They can`t speak for themselves.

Simone Reyes, thank you for your courage to bear witness to this horror.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey chew on this. No, it`s not your imagination. A new study says you are 100 times more likely to catch a cold in a plane than on the ground. But here`s how to fight back against that annoying sneezeer strapped in right next to you.

Take echinacea. It`s the herb that boosts your immune system by stimulating the white blood cells -- the infection fighters in your body. Start taking it five days before you fly. And keep taking it for five days after you come back. Three times a day.

Then there`s Vitamin B6. It also helps you keep a healthy immune system. And it`s in some of my favorite super foods like potatoes, spinach, beans and whole grains.

All good things to know the next time you get on a plane.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Finally tonight as we look at live pictures from Harlem outside the famous Apollo Theater, you`ve probably heard Nelson Mandela has died. I want to take a moment to reflect on this incredible man who showed us that one individual with courage can really change the world. He showed us that we can do very brave things without lowering ourselves to violence, like Gandhi. He showed us the way to peaceful nonviolent protest, and civil disobedience even in the face of cruelty and the pure evil of that racist system called apartheid that he dismantled.

Tonight stars are tweeting about Mandela`s death. Samuel L. Jackson saying he never met a better person in his life. William Shatner, "Mandela will be remembered as an icon for equality."

CNN`s Robyn Curnow tells us how Mandela changed everything.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was here in Johannesburg that Nelson Mandela`s political consciousness was awakened. An amateur boxer and trainee lawyer, as well as the leader of the youth wing of the African National Congress or ANC, the young Mandela made a crucial decision to fight the increasingly oppressive apartheid state with force.

He was prepared for the worst, even when he and others were tried for treason and sabotage, acts punishable by death.

NELSON MANDELA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA: It is an idea for which I am prepared to die.

CURNOW: Those words read from this original transcript from the year 1964 still resonate. Says one of his legal team from that case George Beddoes (ph)--

GEORGE BEDDOES, MEMBER OF MANDELA`S LEGAL TEAM: "If needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." They are words which I think will live forever.

CURNOW: They were the last words Nelson Mandela would utter in public for the next 27 years. Mandela got life in prison and was sent to Robben Island. While in prison, Mandela continued to work toward freedom which seemed so far away.

Because South Africa`s townships were burning, a state of emergency was in effect and the apartheid regime never seemed stronger. But he took a chance and started to secretly negotiate with the apartheid government.

Remembers Ahmed Kathrada, another former political prisoner --

AHMED KATHRADA, FORMER POLITICAL PRISONER: Because he has said on occasion that there comes a time when a leader has to lead.

CURNOW: An apartheid minister at the time and the eventual president, F.W. de Klerk remembers his first meeting with the man he considered a terrorist.

F.W. DE KLERK, FORMER APARTHEID-ERA PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA: My very first meeting with him, he was, I didn`t know what to expect. There he was standing straight as an arrow taller than I expected. Being courteous, being obviously a man of integrity.

CURNOW: In his own act of political bravery de Klerk released Mandela in 1990. In the next four years, ever the astute lawyer, Mandela spearheaded the negotiations for a new constitution and democracy. It was only in these years just before South Africans voted in its first democratic election that Mandela and the ANC renounced violence and their armed struggle. It had been a long war.

MANDELA: So help me God.

DE KLERK: On the day when he was inducted as president he stood there on the terraces of the (inaudible) and he took my hand age he took it up and he put his arm around me, and he showed a unity, which I think resounded throughout South Africa and across the world.

MANDELA: I will count myself as among the powerful societies.

CURNOW: Mandela`s presidency was marked by reconciliation but Mandela gave up much more than he acknowledged. He admitted he would have liked to have spent more time with his family in a rare interview with CNN on his 90th birthday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there anything you wish you had done differently? I`ve spoken to your wife and to many of your grandchildren. They suggested that perhaps you would have wished to have spent more time with your family? Is that something you think about as you look back.

MANDELA: I`m sure many people have that wish -- and I also have that wish that I spend more time with my family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that a regret of yours?

MANDELA: I don`t regret it, because the things that affected me were things that led to myself. So I don`t regret it.

CURNOW: A man who went looking back over his life, acknowledged that sacrificing his family life was for the greater good.

Robyn Curnow, CNN, Johannesburg, South Africa.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: As Abraham Lincoln said, "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men." Mandela was never bullied into silence. His voice should inspire all of us to speak out whenever we see cruelty, unfairness or evil.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to Pujo, Sami and Kresie -- getting ready for the holidays. Jingling Bailey -- you are ready to party too. I think you`re headed for a hot tottie. And Pappyquiles -- I hope I pronounced your name right but you know, at a party sometimes these things go awry. Skylar -- I see you`ve made the scene too. You are stunning.

Nancy next.