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Time Running Out to Move Brain-Dead Teen; Obamacare Gaining Momentum; Poll Shows Lowest Support for Afghan War; YouTube Clues May Lead to Missing Doctor.

Aired December 30, 2013 - 11:30   ET


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And according to the mainstream medical community, it is the same thing as being dead. So one can sympathize with this family, though they've been trying to secure a facility that can take her for obviously a very long time.

And, unfortunately, they've been unable to locate such a facility that would take her in part because it would require the hospital to perform more surgeries on her and according to the hospital they say that would not be an appropriate medical practice on what they claim is a deceased person, John.

So it's just a heartbreaking case and, as we said, time is really running out because the judge has said that the ventilator can be removed at 5:00 p.m. local time today.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The details are so difficult to hear. You said that there's no sign that an appeal will be granted to the judge's ruling. Any other possibilities for a delay, that this period could be extended past 5:00 p.m. today?

SIMON: It does not appear so, John. The hospital has been pretty firm saying that, you know, it's appropriate in this situation to remove ventilation support. The question now is whether the family will once again turn to the courts to try to get things extended but at this point we have not heard from the lawyer that the family will do just that. John?

BERMAN: All right, Dan Simon for us, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

The story has sparked a national conversation about life support and who should be able to decide when it's time to remove life assisting machines.

Joining me now to discuss this HLN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, Joey Jackson; and defense attorney, Danny Cevallos.

Joey, the California law here, is that the end here? A judge says remove the life support, done, finished, no more discussion?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, John, it's never in law the end because there are so many remedies, but there's a couple sides here. One is the human side, of course. And you mentioned at the outset that any parent could sympathize with this, any person. When you have a 13-year-old who goes in for a routine procedure and something like this happens, we all pause and we say how could it happen?

And then of course the family from the human he element they want to exhaust all resources and possibilities which goes to your question, John, and that is that, yes, legally is brain death the sale as cardiac death? Apparently it is the same and it's on that basis that the judge said that the hospital is in their rights to do it.

However, as you though, the family has turned to California as well as New York to look for other types of approaches that could happen here. If that's going to happen, however, they would have to exhaust the resources of a court of law to see whether there would be some stay in the fact, meaning don't put -- don't take ventilator support off at 5:00 p.m., extend it, so we can ensure anything possible that can be done is done.

BERMAN: I want to listen to a spokesman from the hospital who commented on this case yesterday. Let's take a listen to that.


SAM SINGER, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OAKLAND: She's deceased. She is on a ventilator. She has no chance of coming back under any circumstance. When 5:00 comes around, the ventilator will be removed.


BERMAN: That's clearly the opinion of the hospital. It's also now clearly the opinion of one California judge. Any other legal recourse right now for this family?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it looks like they've been given the opportunity to appeal but the deadline is 5:30 today. And I think what's really interesting about this case is it raises an issue -- because of our almost god like advances in technology, we as a culture have had to redefine what death is. I mean, death was pretty clearly identifiable in the 16th century but now we have brain dead. We have cessation of heart activity. We have all of these different definitions.

But I think the parents in this case, their rationale is, look, because we would be able to dictate health care for our daughter if she were still alive we should be able to now why is the court involved? Why is the hospital involved? But the real argument here is because she is technically dead for California law purposes, they no longer have that discretion and it's sad, painful, but the truth.

BERMAN: It's incredibly sad, very difficult to talk about. Sometimes it's tough to talk about the ancillary issues, also. I want to talk about money here. If this family had unlimited resources, would they have the right to take her out of the hospital and, you know, do whatever they needed to do to maintain that life support?

JACKSON: You know, John, money, unfortunately, plays a large role in everything and we see it, of course, in our criminal justice system every day. We were talking about a story a couple weeks ago about someone, $450,000 facility who could have gotten jail. Another story, another time.

Money, of course, plays a large role and you have to wonder if the family did have the resources to move the child or had connections at some other hospital, some other place, whether or not we would be having this discussion. Unfortunately, money plays a large role in everything.

BERMAN: Thank you so much. A tough story and your heart goes out to that family.


BERMAN: Moving on now, a dangerous chill in the upper Midwest today. Wind-chill advisories have the temperature feeling like 20 to 30 degrees below zero. And that kind of cold you can get frostbite within 30 minutes of exposure. The highs we're talking about be 20 degrees below average for that area today.

A pregnant nurse in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, says she was fired for refusing to get a flu shot. She says she had three miscarriages and was afraid of having another. She says the studies of the vaccine's effects are unlimited. Getting a flu shot while pregnant is the best protection for women and their babies.

Incredible video of a highway that collapsed in Mexico this weekend. Tourists use this to travel. One of the holes is more than 40 feet deep and 200 feet long. A cement truck got stuck when it -- when the ground started shifting. The driver was able to make it out safely. The truck ended up in the pacific.

More than one million people have signed up for Obamacare, but can the administration get the six million more it wants signed up by March?


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone.

After a bumpy start Obamacare may finally be finally gaining some momentum. More than one million people have now signed up using The White House calls it a welcome surge with the majority of those signups taking place just this month. Coverage is set to kick in for the people who sign up already this Wednesday.

CNN senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein, joins me now.

A heck of a rush toward the end of the month in December. The question is, is this enough to solve the political problems for the White House and is it enough to get this program where it needs to be by March?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And the answer is not yet but certainly in the right direction. It worked out exactly the way the administration and people who have experienced the Massachusetts example, the one precedent predicted that there would be a big rush.

It's not only the 1.1 million people who signed up on the federal site, states running their own programs had about another 900,000 people signed up so there are about two million on the private exchanges, maybe four million more on Medicaid. And if this precedent holds to March, which is the end of the open enrollment period, they may not get to the seven million that the Congressional budget office has estimated but they could have enough to begin changing perceptions of the program.

BERMAN: There could be millions of people who did not have insurance who now do have insurance and they certainly hope that changes the politics and the public perception. We've been reading today, Ron, the administration wants to start telling the success stories of Obamacare where people start actually getting the coverage in a few days. Will that be believable given all the trials and tribulations since October 1? Will it seem like a pr stunt?

BROWNSTEIN: I think it's really difficult for them to change the over all public perception in the near term. They have faced skepticism and it's similar to what we saw under the Clinton debate and the Nixon debate and the Truman debate. 85 percent of Americans have health insurance and the trajectory has been historically as the debate goes on those with and they are caught in that.

But if they can sign up a large number of people for the program, I think they change the long-term politics anyway because it becomes much more difficult to envision taking it away not only from those individuals but from the hospitals and doctors and pharmacies that have come to expect and depend on that expanded client base.

So whatever happens in the near term with the public opinion I think is going to be tough for them in 2014 but the facts on the ground could change the prospects of Republicans ever having a realistic chance of repealing this in 2016.

BERMAN: Ron, I want to turn now to a poll number which caught my eye this morning. A new CNN/ORC poll asks questions about the war in Afghanistan. It found that support for the war there has dipped below 20 percent. Look at that. Just 17 percent favor right now the war in Afghanistan making the effort there arguably the most popular, unpopular war, the most unpopular war we've ever seen. That's a very low number, Ron. Does that surprise you?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Not entirely. Time is a goon. This is the longest war and the history of our wars over time. You see the effects already. The entire Syria debate was enormously colored by the backlash really in the American public about Afghanistan and Iraq, the feeling that the use of American force has not produced the results we expected.

And I think this is going to be a lasting effect in the same way that Vietnam was through the '70s that you are going to see a great deal of skepticism in the public about committing American forces to tray to change the dynamics of middle eastern countries. This simply has not worked out the way the public it shall the planners, for that matter, had hoped.

BERMAN: Ron Brown, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it. Happy New Year to you and yours.

BROWNSTEIN: Happy New Year to you, John. Talk to you soon.

BERMAN: All right, thanks.

A young doctor has been missing nearly a month now. So investigators are looking at these YouTube videos where she is sending a message to someone. The question is who? And could this be the clue that they need to find her.


BERMAN: A beautiful young doctor missing for almost a month and a mystery love interest, two players in a case now that has baffled investigators in two states. 30-year-old Teleka Patrick did not show up for work December 6 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The night before her car was found abandoned in Indiana. And now new videos uploaded to YouTube show Patrick singing to someone. The question is who?

Alexandra Field looks into this.



ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators are examining YouTube videos of Teleka Patrick serenading an unidentified love interest in their search for clues in her disappearance.


FIELD: In the video, she apparently called herself Teleka refers to someone as love and baby.

PATRICK: Hi, love.

FIELD: Investigators wonder if this person may have information about what happened on December 5, the night Teleka vanished.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The search has been intensified but to date no leads.

FIELD: Surveillance footage from that night shows her trying to check in at the Radisson Hotel, the place she was last seen boarding the hotel shuttle bus that took her to her car parked at the medical center where she worked in Kalamazoo.

The 30-year-old had just graduated from medical school and was months into her residency at the hospital. Just hours after she was captured on this surveillance camera, authorities found her car abandoned with a flat tire off interstate 94 in Indiana, about 100 miles from where she worked. Inside, a credit card, some cash, and her driver's license. Her bizarre disappearance has investigators in two states stumped after their all-out searches have turned up nothing. These new videos are raising more questions than answers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are desperate to hear something.


BERMAN: Alexandra Field joins me now to talk about this.

This is such a tragedy and so many questions unanswered here. What's her family doing at this point to try to help find her?

FIELD: You can hear the desperation in their voices. They're doing everything they can at this point, John. They have offered a $15,000 reward for anyone who has information that could lead to her safe return. They are adamant they do not believe their daughter would just take off voluntarily. In fact, they say she even bought plane tickets to visit them over the holidays in Florida so this does not add up.

BERMAN: And that empty missing car with her I.D. in it. Certainly wouldn't take off and leave the car sitting there by choice.

FIELD: It's stumped investigators for almost a month now. So the hope really is whoever she is speaking to in the video could have information.

BERMAN: Alexander Field, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.

A "New York Times" investigation says al Qaeda was not behind the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Four Americans including the U.S. ambassador were killed there. "The New York Times" says the attack was likely carried out by independent Libyan militias and that those fighters were, in fact, infuriated by that anti-Muslim movie.

A nationwide hunt for a bank robber over the weekend. Mario Garnett apparently started his crime spree a week ago when he tried to rob a bank in Atlanta. Hours later he robbed a bank in tupelo it, Mississippi, killing a police officer in 2010. He was accuses of threatening President Obama.

They could have easily been killed but two hikers who triggered an avalanche on Mount Washington survived with a fractured arm and bumps and bruises. The avalanche carried them 800 feet over rocks, cliffs and ice. They had to climb 200 feet before they could reach rescuers yesterday. You have to check this out. This could be the ultimate photo bomb.

Also ultimately terrifying. Two kids with their boogies boards. And, yes, that is what looks like a great white shark behind them in that wave. June Emerson says she was looking over the photo she took at Manhattan Beach, California, and made this terrifying discovery.

The pope is the one getting props for his fashion sense. Pope Francis is "Esquire" magazine's best-dressed man of 2013. No joke. The magazine admits the choice is unconventional but says his modest attire, his new take on Catholicism and his approachable attitude helped him score the win.

You our CNN viewer have voted for the top-10 stories of 2013. Coming in at number 10 is the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. Number nine the kidnapped women in Cleveland and their rescue. Number eight Syria's civil war. Seven is the typhoon in the Philippines. Number six is the Obamacare rollout and the debacle surrounding that. We'll have our top five when we come back.


BERMAN: We're looking at the top-10 stories that you the CNN viewers selected as the top ones of 2013. The top five includes the federal government shutdown, the Edward Snowden NSA leaks. Number three, Nelson Mandela's death. Number two, the Boston Marathon bombings. And the number one story selected by viewers is the new pontiff, Pope Francis.

There's also a tough race for the top film of 2013. Now is a great time to catch up if you haven't already. The Oscar nominations will be announced next month.

Becky Anderson looks at five of the best films you certainly want to check out.



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Throughout the year, the movie industry has been vying for your attention. Endless interviews have been conducted and miles of red carpet walks but now the competition begins to heat up. The awards campaign season. We start with the current front-runner "12 Years a Slave." Steve McQueen's harrowing depiction of Solomon Northup's enslavement between 1841 and 1853 has put him in line for a best director award.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Kidnapped. Sold into slavery.

ANDERSON: A powerful performance in the lead role puts him in the race for best actor.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I want to survive. I want to live.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I felt a responsibility of it. The responsibility to Solomon Northrop and his descendants, the responsibility to a story from inside the slave experience which I had never seen than film.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: My name is Jordan Belfort. The year I turned 26, I made $49 million, which really (EXPLETIVE DELETED) me off because it was three shy of a million a week.

ANDERSON: Howling its way into the awards contention is the "Wolf of wall street".

DICAPRIO: The real question is this, was all this legal.

ANDERSON: This is Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's collaboration.

DICAPRIO: Absolutely not.

ANDERSON: The film is based on the explosive autobiography of financial con man, Jordan Belfort in the hedonistic and greed fueled 1980s.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: The land of opportunity.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You just tried to bribe a federal officer.


DICAPRIO: People come from all over the world to see this.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Yeah, he's good, yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What did you think?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It's impossible.

ANDERSON: Set in the 1970s, true life scam artists and swindlers are also the subject of David O. Russell's film "American Hustle."

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: The master. The painter or the fortunate?

ANDERSON: A member of the stellar ensemble cast which includes Oscar winners Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence will surely steal at least one acting award.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We have to go, go, go.

ANDERSON: Since its world premier happy Venice festival, the space thriller "Gravity" has held a steady trajectory towards the awards podium.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Permission to retrieve Dr. Stone.

ANDERSON: Co-written by Alphonso and his son the film charts a course of calamities which befall a pair of astronauts following a spectacular encounter with lethal space debris.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Man down. Man down!

ANDERSON: Both the film features invented use of 3-D visual effects and the tour de force performance are bound to be recognized.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: No. UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You must detach. If you don't detach, that arm's going to carry you too far. Listen to my voice. You need to focus. In a few seconds, I won't be able to drag you. I can't see you anymore. Do it now.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Houston, I've lost visual of Dr. Stone.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE, ACTRESS: It took anything that I knew as an actor. It left me enclosed in a box for 10, 11 hours a day with no one to talk to and no life form around me. You know, everything that they developed was pioneered. It was the first of its kind. It was a prototype. They invented it. They didn't know if it was work till the day we got into it, but it worked.

Christian, this is mission specialist rhinestone. I am off structure and I am drifting. Do you copy?

As alienating and frustrating and as cumbersome as it was, you knew you were a part of doing something that no one else had done before. So you just sucked it up. As crabby as I was most days, it worked. I didn't want to be very comfortable. The character wasn't comfortable so it made things easier for me.

ANDERSON: A real challenge to Bullock's reign can come from Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine."

CATE BLANCHETT, ACTRESS: A nervous break down, there's only so many traumas a person can withstand before they start screaming

ANDERSON: Her portrayal of a social east unraveling into depression is tragic and mesmerizing

BLANCHETT: No one wants to get out as fast as I do.

ANDERSON: Blanchett's might situate a jury away from "The Space Odyssey."

Becky Anderson, CNN.


BERMAN: Man, I want to see them all.

Thanks so much for watching today. AROUND THE WORLD starts right now.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Another bombing in Russia just weeks ahead of the Olympic Games. Straight ahead, we're going to look at security concerns for athletes as well as tourists.

Plus, he's one of the world's most famous race car drivers. Well, now he is fighting for his life after a skiing accident. An update on Michael Schumacher's injury up ahead.

Also --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ice breaker coming to rescue us.



MALVEAUX: Close, yet so far away. Dozens of people are stuck on a ship in the frozen Antarctic. Rescue teams are not able yet to reach them.

Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

A second terrorist attack in Russia in just two days coming just weeks before the Olympic Games. Well, that is where we begin this hour. At least 14 people were killed in today's suicide attack on a packed trolley.