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Final Preps For Super Bowl Sunday; "Super Bowl Boulevard" Takes Over Times Square; Dow Pressured By Emerging Market Woes; Scarlett Johansson In Political Controversy; Film Traces Two Friends' Road To Excellence; Armless Kicker's NFL Dream; Governor Christie Faces New Allegations

Aired February 1, 2014 - 11:00   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And that will do it for us today.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Go make some great memories but keep it here. So much more ahead for you in the next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM and we have to turn it over to our colleague Fredricka Whitfield. Hi -- Fred.


BLACKWELL: Hi -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Hey we're going to punt from here.

BLACKWELL: All right.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, guys. I appreciate it. Have a great day.


WHITFIELD: This is the 11:00 Eastern hour of the NEWSROOM beginning right now.

The Super Bowl is just a day away and security is all so tight; law enforcement on the ground and in the skies. We'll take you behind the scenes of that massive security team ramp up.

And a former ally to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie turns against him claiming the Governor knew more about those controversial lane closures and he's admitting the accusations and Christie's response is coming up.

And Amanda Knox is vowing to fight tooth and nail to stay in the U.S. and out of an Italian prison. She's speaking out about her recent murder conviction and a possible extradition.

Two of the biggest sporting events in the world getting underway in the next week and they come with major security challenges the Super Bowl in New Jersey tomorrow and the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Friday. Authorities are on every level getting ready from local police to the FBI to the military of both countries.

Alexandra Field is live for us on Super Bowl Boulevard in New York and Ivan Watson live for us in Sochi, Russia. So Alexandra let's begin with you what's going on there today to prepare for tomorrow's big game?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Fredricka we have seen such strict security in place all week right here in Times Square at Super Bowl Boulevard. But the focus tomorrow will really shift to MetLife Stadium. And we've got an up close look at exactly that will work. We're not just talking about securing the stadium, it's that but we're also talking about the size above it.

We were given a ride with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents who showed us some of the aircraft they will be using to do that job. They will be up there in Blackhawk helicopters enforcing a 10-mile perimeter around the stadium. If there is an intruder, if anyone breaches that perimeter, they'll get an up close look at the Blackhawk team. Those are the interceptors for tomorrow's Super Bowl.

A lot going on, on the ground, too -- we were able to get a look at a secret command center that has been staffed around the clock. Agents from 100 different local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have been working together. They're sharing intelligence in real time, they're gathering data and they're monitoring a vast network of cameras.

We spoke to the Super Bowl's incident commander Lt. Col. Ed Cetnar. He told us what else is being done today to prepare for tomorrow's big game.


LT. COL. ED CETNAR, NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE: This will be check in the rails to make sure that nothing is going to be disruptions on the rail lines. You know our pilots will be flying with infrared capabilities as well as night vision capabilities that you know 24 hours a day to make sure that nobody is trying to penetrate our perimeter right now around the stadium.


FIELD: The Lieutenant Colonel tells us that when the game kicks off tomorrow he actually will not be inside that secret command center. He says he will be in the stadium with a small team. He says that's the best way for him to be able to order as immediate response should any type of response be needed -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right Alexandra Field thanks so much, in New York.

Moving on now several thousand miles to the east from East Rutherford and New York City to Sochi, Russia -- a completely different set of security concerns around the Olympic game. Ivan Watson is there for us live. Ivan, what are officials doing there to prepare with just a week to go before the opening ceremonies?

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Russian authorities insist that it's going to be the safest games ever but there is an awful lot of talk about security, about the threat of terrorism in large part because Sochi is located right next to one of the most turbulent regions in Russia -- the Caucasus region. And also because just at the end of last month twin suicide bombings hit the city of Volgograd hundreds of miles to the north of here killing more than 30 people.

Take a look at this report.


WATSON (voice over): Russia is tightening its ring of steel around the upcoming Olympic Games. Security barriers include warships patrolling Sochi's Black Sea coast, tens of thousands of Russian security forces have been deployed here to stop terrorists who have threatened to target the more than two weeks of pageantry and sports when many of the world's eyes will be on Russia.

(on camera): It's clear that there are some extra security measures in place here but most of the Russians we've been speaking to here in the sleepy port of Sochi, they tell us they're not really worried about terrorism. They're simply excited about the eminent launch of the winter games.


(voice over): Vladislav (ph) and Yadislav (ph) -- both 21 years old, they came here from the Russian city of Yekaterinburg two weeks ago to work at a hotel.

"We're not afraid of any threats," the young man tells me. "Security is at a much higher level and there are many police at places like the train station."

"Nyet", Sit Lamiyashimyev (ph) says when I asked her if she's afraid of terrorist attacks. "The Olympic park is the safest place in Sochi," she says. "Look how many police officers and Cossacks we have on the streets."

She's right. You can spot those Cossacks wearing tall fur hats outside many Olympic venues walking alongside uniformed police. One week before the games, anticipation is clearly building though we also find some residents of Sochi who just can't wait for the Olympics to be over.


WATSON: Fred, that last man I spoke with, he's a laborer in the port of Sochi and he said he views these games very negatively. He is worried that he won't be able to get to work and back easily when the games begin. He said that he has to carry three different travel documents to get through all of the police checkpoints and lines.

And when I asked him, "Hey, are you worried that your city could be bombed like that other city Volgograd that I mentioned was hit by two suicide bombers." He said, "Of course. You can protect the venues but you can't protect an ordinary store. Anybody could just throw a bomb into a trash can." So some of the people on the ground here are worried and are very frustrated after the inconvenience of all the construction that's taken place here.

One last little topic. You see over my shoulder the Olympic park here.


WATSON: Five minutes drive away in this direction is an international border to a place called (inaudible) which is an entire separate country. A war was fought there about 16 years ago and it's still in dispute between local residents and the country of Georgia. That's part of why security is a big issue here -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Understandably lots of anxieties. Thanks so much Ivan Watson. I appreciate that from Sochi.

All right now, back in this country. New accusations against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former top appointee claims that he has evidence disproving Christie's comments about those notorious lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.

Erin McPike joining us now from Washington. So Erin, these new allegations are all about what Christie knew about the lane closures and when he knew it. What's the evidence as we understand it to be?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, that top appointee you mentioned is former Port Authority official David Wildstein. And it was Wildstein who carried out the order to close the access lanes to the GW Bridge. Now you may remember Christie's deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly e-mailed to him, time for some traffic problems in Port Lee and then Wildstein replied "got it." Well he resigned in December over the scandal and the Port Authority already refused once to pay Wildstein's legal fees so his lawyer wrote this letter Friday urging them to reconsider.

And in this letter the attorney claims that evidence exists tying Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures while they were closed. A direct contradiction to what Christie has been saying publicly over the past month.

But it's important to point out there is no indication of what that evidence is or if Wildstein himself even has it. And so the revelation may be less damaging than initial reports suggested yesterday because it doesn't necessarily state that he knew about the underlying scandal at the center of the investigation.

Well in response, the Christie administration doubled down in a statement Friday evening and that reads, "Mr. Wildstein's lawyer confirms what the Governor has said all along. He had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened. And whatever Mr. Wildstein's motivations were for closing them to begin with. As Governor said in a December 13th press conference, he only first learned lanes were closed when it was reported by the press and as he said in his January 9th press conference, he had no indication that this was anything other than a traffic study until he read otherwise the morning of January 8th."

Well there's still some lingering confusion about the Governor's timeline. There have been a few discrepancies but he's sticking by the bottom line that he didn't know about the closings ahead of time.

But if Wildstein's bottom line is true, and that's still a big if at this point Fred the New Jersey "Star Ledger" has an editorial this morning calling for Christie to resign -- Fred.


WHITFIELD: All right we're going to talk more about that later on this hour. Thanks so much.

Erin McPike in Washington.

So those new allegations didn't stop Governor Christie from appearing at a very public event Friday night. He attended a 60th birthday bash for radio talk show host Howard Stern at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. The Governor made a few jokes before introducing one of the night's big musical acts, that of Jon Bon Jovi.

Here's an audio portion of his comments.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Don't be disappointed. I'm not the Representative of New Jersey who you want to see right now. The representative of New Jersey you want to see right now is not -- wait. It's not Baba Bowie. No, the Representative of New Jersey you want to see right now is one of New Jersey's favorite sons, one of my good friends and a great artist. Ladies and gentlemen, Jon Bon Jovi.


WHITFIELD: And, of course, there were plenty of other celebrity guests at Stern's party including singers Adam Levine, Steven Tyler and late night talk show host David Letterman.

A soda maker is now being criticized for setting up shop in the West Bank. Later, I'll tell you how one of Hollywood's biggest actresses got caught up in that controversy.

And Amanda Knox says she will not go back to Italy willingly. We'll find out what her next move just might be now that she has been convicted, again, of murder.


WHITFIELD: Amanda Knox says there's no way she's going back to Italy willingly. The American woman who was convicted, then acquitted, has been convicted again of murdering her roommate in Italy more than six years ago. Knox is devastated but says she will keep fighting.


WHITFIELD: Here's Erin McLaughlin.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amanda Knox gave a very emotional interview to the American network ABC. At times her voice shaky, other times she sounded very, very strong, especially when she was talking about how she would never willingly return to Italy.

Take a listen to what she had to say.


AMANDA KNOX, CONVICTED OF MURDER IN ITALIAN COURT: I will never go willingly back to the place where I -- I'm going to fight this until the very end. And it's not right and it's not fair and I'm going to do everything I can. Granted, I need a lot of help. I can't do this on my own and I can't help people understand this on my own.


MCLAUGHLIN: We also heard from Meredith's brother and sister, Lyle and Stephanie. They said that nothing will ever bring Meredith back and that we may never know exactly what happened to her that night over six years ago.

Take a listen.


LYLE KERCHER, BROTHER OF MEREDITH KERCHER: No matter what their decision and when it is finally upheld or not, you know, nothing is, of course, going to bring Meredith back. You know, nothing will ever take away the horror of what happened to her. The best we can hope for is, of course, finally bringing this whole case to a conclusion, you know, in a conviction and everybody can then move on with their lives.


MCLAUGHLIN: The Kerchers also say they would support Amanda Knox's extradition from the United States should it come to that. Their attorney has long supported a conviction in this case. He told CNN that he is happy with that decision.

As for Rafael Sollecito, well, he was detained overnight in northern Italy. They found him at a hotel at 1:00 a.m. in the morning near the border of Slovenia and Austria. They brought him in to a police station. They had been looking for him under court orders to confiscate his travel papers. His lawyers tell CNN that he was not trying to flee the country.

Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Florence.

WHITFIELD: So will Amanda Knox be brought back to Italy and thrown in prison? We'll get some answers when our legal guys join us next hour.

All right. Now to Indonesia where a volcano erupted a short time ago in north Sumatra killing at least 11 people; a spokesman says the victims were hit by hot ash clouds. They were all found in a village close to the volcano's crater. The volcano has erupted hundreds of times in the past month. In January it forced 22,000 people to clear the area.

In New Jersey, he's supposed to be basking in the glory of being the Super Bowl host but a new revelation in that bridge scandal is stealing Governor Chris Christie's limelight.



WHITFIELD: A former top appointee of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says there is evidence contradicting what Christie has said about the notorious George Washington Bridge lane closures back in September. David Wildstein resigned his position at the Port Authority in December.

And now the state's largest newspaper is weighing in bluntly. The "Star Ledger" editorial board saying this, quote, "If this charge proves to be true, then the governor must resign or be impeached," end quote.

Marc Lamont-Hill is a CNN political commentator and professor at Columbia University in New York and a liberal -- good to see you.


WHITFIELD: Joining us from Philadelphia actually today.

And Will Cain is a CNN political commentator and conservative columnist on the He's joining us from New York. Good to see you as well.


WHITFIELD: Ok. So Will, you first. Wildstein says there is evidence but of course we don't know what that evidence is. Is the other shoe dropping?

CAIN: Yes, well, let's see what the evidence says. I mean, the shoe will drop if the evidence proves he knew something about it. I mean look, Fredricka, I suspect that Chris Christie did know. I mean what kind of manager wouldn't know?

But my reaction to that, I think is not so different than most Americans. It's a little bit of a collective yawn. You mean, Chris Christie is a vindictive politician? Wow, that must make him a rare bird.

Well, except for one aspect, I really mean this. It's comparable to Anthony Weiner. When we found out that Anthony Weiner was posting pictures of his junk on the Internet, I don't care. If that's what you're into, if that's your thing, I don't really care. Until he sat with Wolf Blitzer on this network and bold-faced lied to him, you know, and said, "wasn't me, wasn't me." Then we found out that was -- WHITFIELD: Well then, wouldn't this be tantamount to that?

CAIN: Yes. Yes. And that's point.

WHITFIELD: When you have Chris Christie in that press conference -- very believable.

CAIN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: And really opening himself up to any question saying I knew nothing of it and then this evidence, if there is indeed evidence --

CAIN: Fred -- that's my point. Fred that's my point.

LAMONT-HILL: This is true.

CAIN: The law, the lying, the going out in front of the podium and saying "I did not know." If we find out he did know, the lying, that's what people will be able to condemn, the sociopathic lying. That's what you can look at and go, wow, I hope that's rare. Vindictive politician, not rare -- sociopathic liar, I hope rare.

LAMONT-HILL: I disagree.


LAMONT-HILL: I disagree. I think that first of all, the American people don't see how the sausage is made in a day-to-day sort of experience. In other words, yes, all politicians are vindictive but when we get to actually see it in real life, it's troubling to people.

People are not shocked but no one wants to know that the governor of New Jersey is that kind of person. It's just like Anthony Weiner. Plenty of people do that stuff, myself and Will excluded, but once you know it for a fact it creeps you out.

I think people are going to be creeped out by Chris Christie and it doesn't matter whether or not he actually knew ahead of time. And the letter doesn't suggest that Christie knew ahead of time. It simply suggests that Christie may not have been completely honest about knowing when the lane closures began.

WHITFIELD: And again, we don't even have the evidence. But I wonder if just this latest accusation damages Chris Christie --


WHITFIELD: -- proven or otherwise.

LAMONT-HILL: It does because for one, we're still talking about it. It's never a good thing when you're running for an office or potentially running for an office when people are still talking about whether or not you're a bully and a liar and responsible perhaps for a disaster, at least a crisis. It's not a good thing. It gives the opponent something to run on. CAIN: I think, Fredricka, how it damages him.


CAIN: I think that's interesting because Chris Christie up to this point, his image has been, "This is who I am. Bluntly, I'm showing you. I'm overweight, I'm fat, I tell the truth, I stand up to people. This is who I am."

But if it turns out who you are is legitimately a bully, like legitimately a politician, vindictive politician, bully, that all those other things that used to be appealing, the bluntness, the truth-telling, even the weight become detriments. Instead of an asset his charm now becomes something he has to fight against. It takes away his number one weapon, his number one asset.

WHITFIELD: So with all these dark clouds kind of hovering does he need to step down from being leader of the Republican Governors Association, Will?

CAIN: No. No. Not until it's proven. Again, I mean if it's proven, then it's proven that he was a liar, then that's something you need to step down for. I mean again -- I don't think being a vindictive politician -- I think it's an abuse of power. I think it's bad. I also don't think it's rare.

And I don't think -- until these things are proved --

LAMONT-HILL: How cynical is that, Will?

CAIN: -- and he's proven to be a liar, he steps down.

WHITFIELD: All right. And Marc, punctuate it all?

LAMONT-HILL: Will is being very cynical right now. I'm shocked, you know. That's usually my job.

CAIN: I'm a realist.

LAMONT-HILL: Come on. Everybody is vindictive? All politicians do this. All politicians don't do this. And we can't accept that that's a reality and American voters won't. And no, he shouldn't step down -- I hope he doesn't. But it will be to the detriment to himself and his party if he continues to have this cloud hanging over him.

WHITFIELD: All right. Will Cain, Marc Lamont-Hill, thanks so much, gentlemen, appreciate that.

We've got to get you a better light on that camera there, Marc. All right. Thanks so much.

All right. Let's talk Super Bowl. Something fun maybe? Who is going to win? Broncos or the Seahawks? Vegas has its odds but some say the smart money is on a different animal. We'll show you some funny and rather surprising Super Bowl betting facts.


WHITFIELD: All right. The gridiron is ready. The halftime acts are set. The fans and teams cannot wait for kickoff -- Super Bowl XLVIII just a day away. And our Andy Scholes is live for us in Super Bowl Boulevard, Times Square with a preview where you are teaming with people, fans. What's going on there?


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS: Fredricka, lots going on. As you can see, Times Square is packed. They've transformed 13 blocks here on Broadway into what they're calling Super Bowl Boulevard. There are tons of fun things for NFL fans to come out here and do. How do I know? I've actually been out there doing them all week.

Now, the best thing out here has got to be the 60-foot Toboggan run. It's the only thing that's not free. It's 5 bucks but it's well worth it. Now, as I said, there are plenty of other things to do as well. You can kick a field goal. You can get your picture taken with the Lombardi trophy. You can get autographs from NFL stars. You can listen to live concerts, so much fun things to do out here.

Now this year's Super Bowl is on pace to be the biggest bet football game in history. That's right. Now, according to, an estimated $10 billion, that's right, billion dollars, is projected to be wagered on this game worldwide. More than half of adult Americans are expected to have some money on this game.


SCHOLES: That could be football squares, that could be betting on the actual game, that could be betting on how long the national anthem is. There are tons of different things you can bet on. If you're betting on the actual game, 70 percent of the bets are actually backing the Broncos.

Now, before a lot of people make their wager on the game they like to see what the animals around the world are picking. Now, we've been playing some of these throughout the past week and this, I think today is the best ones we've gotten so far.

At a Tennessee zoo, Li Li, the panda, made his pick. Now, as you can see, he wrestled with this for a little while before he finally decided to go with the Denver Broncos. His buddy, Gabby, the sea turtle in Myrtle Beach also going with the Denver Broncos. You have the panda, sea turtle, manatee picked the Broncos yesterday.

I'm thinking these animals, they might know what they are talking about the Broncos are the favorite. Not only are people picking them to win the game, the animal kingdom has spoken. They think so as well.

WHITFIELD: My goodness. They're not even thinking about what like might be the sentimental favorites. They're just going for it? That's fun.

SCHOLES: I guess so.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Andy. Appreciate that. I know you have company out there because our Don Lemon is also on Super Bowl Boulevard. I understand that you have been kicking out there without your kicks on, barefoot?

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I have. I was just going to say, you know, everything -- that guy said, Andy, because he's been doing everything I've been doing. I haven't done the Toboggan yet. I'm a little worried about that.

WHITFIELD: Come on. Why are you worried? You can do it.

LEMON: I paid a lot for these teeth, Fred. I don't want to mess them up. No, seriously, I'm out here throwing with Roger Staubach of all people.

WHITFIELD: Yes, that's pretty impressive.

LEMON: I know, I was surprised, he said, yes, come on, go long, go long. I did it. He said, Don, you have really good hands. You need to talk to a sports agent. Maybe there's still hope for me in the NFL, who knows? But, also, you said without -- I had cold weather boots on the other day and I kept trying to kick a field goal.

Steve Weatherford from the Giants told me to put the boots off and I did it, barefoot, first try. You will see that a little bit later on tonight. I've also been talking to Joe Montana who is also a Super Bowl winner and he's telling me about what he's been doing since he retired, sort of interesting. He's focusing on military members and their families and his own family as well. Take a listen.


JOE MONTANA, FORMER NFL QUARTERBACK: Until last year I had two boys playing in college and now I'm down to one. So we spend a lot of time with them and whenever a free moment I get to try to help if they're looking for help in some area, I go down and visit and we work through little things. That's what it's all about. Now I miss my girls growing up through that stage so I didn't want to miss the boys and felt bad about that part of my life with the girls.


LEMON: So it's interesting. He said, you know, this used to be the priority in his life, now it's his family. He did tell me, Fred, when he was playing ball he didn't get a chance to take it all in. And, you know, sometimes players, you just sort of live in the moment, take it all in. So focused on the game and focused on the winning they can't really do it.

WHITFIELD: I do understand that. So meantime, I understand you also took a break, maybe kicked up your heels a little bit, what is this, the Budlight Hotel? I'm presuming you kicked up your heels and, I don't know, maybe learned how to drink a beer or something?

LEMON: Don't tell anybody. There were pictures of it.

WHITFIELD: We've got the evidence.

LEMON: There is a brand new Norwegian cruise ship that has been transformed into the Budlight Hotel, 3,000 VIPs, 3,000 lucky people will get to stay on this ship, party on this ship. It is actually docked in the Hudson River, very icy Hudson River the other day.


They'll get to drink, eat, party, and have a great time, concerts. They'll get fallout boy, a whole lot of other acts that will be there. It's a really great venue. They have a big concert event right across the street from that and it's right where the "Intrepid" is docked as well.

WHITFIELD: That is cool stuff. I've covered three Super Bowls. Had a chance to do the NFL experience in all of those places, but, New York, I mean, this is so innovative and creative. I don't think we've ever seen anything quite like this before.

LEMON: Listen, and usually this street is filled with traffic right now of a different kind, usually on wheels. Now it's people on foot now. From 34th Street all the way up to 47th Street in Times Square, Super Bowl Boulevard.

WHITFIELD: That's fun. Get in line for that Tobaggan before the line gets too long and I want to see pictures of that. Make it happen, Don.

LEMON: I'll report back.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much. Have fun out there.

This programming note, one day before the biggest game of the year, join CNN's Rachel Nichols and NFL stars at the center of the action. Super Bowl Boulevard is where it's at. It all starts today at 4:00 Eastern Time right here on CNN.


WHITFIELD: More cause for concern on the markets.


Losses are starting to mount, adding up to the Dow worst January since 2009. Zain Asher has a look in this "Wall Street Wrap."

ZAIN ASHER, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE/BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, it was a volatile week on Wall Street. The major average has all ended suddenly in the red partly thanks to mixed earnings. Now big named companies like Amazon, Chevron, and Mastercard, all disappointed investors with their report cards. Major drag came from worries about emerging markets.

Wall Street is concerned that liquidity crunch in places like India, Turkey, and Argentina could affect corporate profits here. If American companies are not making enough money they won't grow, invest, and hire. The week's volatility was especially notable in the Dow. It ultimately rose and then fell in all five sessions.

Some of frustration was also tied to latest Federal Reserve meeting. As expected, the fed reduced economic stimulus by another $10 billion per month. But investors wanted policymakers to in some way address the turmoil in emerging markets. The central bank didn't even acknowledge it in its closing statement was a disappointed to Wall Street.

The meeting did not the last with Ben Bernanke at the helm. The now former chairman's term expired on Friday. Ben Bernanke is widely credited with steering the economy through the worst financial crisis since the great depression.

Janet Yellen takes over the top spot next week. She becomes chairwoman with the market in a jittery place and she will be certainly monitoring it closely. Especially if it turns out that the recent losses means where the start of the corrections that many have been expecting -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Zain. All right, first, actress, Scarlett Johansson's stream Super Bowl ad was rejected for taking shots at Coke and Pepsi. It's since been revised and accepted for air during this Sunday's big game, but now the company's factory in the West Bank is accused of violating international law. Johansson has been caught up in that controversy, too. Ben Wedeman has the story.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The production line seems a model of efficiency, high tech, and productivity. The workers at the Sodastream factory are busy assembling a device that carbonates water for export around the world. Soda Stream Director Daniel Birnbaum shows me around the floor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have robots make the valve and human beings puts them together, a lot of assembly.

WEDEMAN: Here Sodastream employs 1,300 people including Palestinians and Israeli Jews and Arabs. It would appear to be one of those rare bright spots where old enemies work together in peace and harmony. There's a problem, however. The factory in the Israeli occupied West Bank and, thus, according to the United Nations is in violation of international law. Sodastream has become a target of a growing international boycott movement aimed at Israeli and other companies working in the West Bank. Birnbaum is exasperated.

DANEIL BIRNBAUM, SODASTREAM CEO: Now the dilemma is do we get out of here or do we stay here? The problem is that if we get out of here, we're going to have to fire 1,300 employees including 500 Palestinians who probably won't find another job.

WEDEMAN: Unemployment in the West Bank tops 20 percent. Here Palestinian workers are paid much higher Israeli wages plus benefits. Shift manager, Roni Abedrado, from Jerusalem says he has no complaints.

RONI ABEDRADO, SODASTREAM EMPLOYEE: We came here. We talk together, we eat together. Sometimes we chat together. We laugh together. And at the end, you know, they pay us the same.

WEDEMAN: Sodastream recently signed on actress, Scarlet Johansson, as its spokesperson and will run an ad featuring Johansson during the Super Bowl. Her endorsement inspired advocates to do a little tongue and cheek publicity of their own playing on Sodastream's slogan, set the bubbles free. In a statement Johansson said, "Sodastream is a company that is not only committed to the environment, but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefit, and equal rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just amazing how it was all set up.

WEDEMAN: Not good enough, says Omar Barghouti, the Palestinian co- founder of BDS, the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement, which aims to pressure Israel to end its 47-year occupation.

OMAR BARGHOUTI, CO-FOUNDER, BDS: Ayone who allows herself to defend a business, a business that is in direct violation of international law, is selling her soul to the devil.

WEDEMAN: Whatever the reality inside the factory, outside its occupation is usual. Just over the hill from Sodastream, a Palestinian man lives with his wife and seven children in a ram shackled dwelling.


If you want to pray in Jerusalem, you have to get a permit, he tells me. To go to hospital, get a permit. To work on a settlement, get a permit. They have no electricity wand get their drinking water from just one jerry-rigged faucet. No bubbles included. Ben Wedeman, CNN, on the West Bank.


WHITFIELD: Next, two young boys' American journey. What happened when they left their New York City neighborhood to attend a private elite school on Manhattan's Upper East Side?


WHITFIELD: Our next story is about two boys who grew up in middle class New York, but find a whole new world when their parents put them in private school. The boys and the subject matter are part of a documentary 13 years in the making called "American Promise." CNN's Anderson Cooper introduces us to the boys and their journey on their road to excellence.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S "AC 360" (voice-over): It is 1999 when we meet best friends, Idris Brewster and Shaion Summers, both just 5 years old, both excited to start kindergarten. They have been selected to attend the Dalton School, a private school located on Manhattan's Upper East Side, a school I went to as a child.

Idris' parents, Michele Stephenson and Joe Brewster, decided to document the boys' academic journey. As a result we get to know these boys and their families in a truly intimate way over the next 12 years of their lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dalton will open doors for him for the rest of his life.

COOPER: That is the hope for both families. But in time the boys find themselves struggling not only with the typical growing pains, but also with issues of race, class and gender.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They decided our son is a problem. He is not a problem at home.


He is not a problem in the community. He is a problem at Dalton. The question is what it is about Idris that makes him disruptive.

IDRIS BREWSTER, FORMER STUDENT, THE DALTON SCHOOL: Always have this thing where people have to dance with the girls is one part and I don't like that part because I don't get to dance with the girls. They usually say no. I don't know why. They just say no, which makes me feel bad.

COOPER: A quality education is a priority for both families but at what cost.

MARTHA EDELSON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR CURRICULUM, THE DALTON SCHOOL: There is a cultural disconnect between independent schools and African-American boys. We see a high rate of kids not being successful and the question is why.

COOPER: The boys part ways at high school. Their journey doesn't end there. This film offers an inside look into two families of color and the everyday challenges and choices they face all questions raised and open the door left wide open. Anderson Cooper, CNN, New York.


WHITFIELD: "American Promise" has its national broadcast premier Monday night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on TBS's POV series. We'll be right back.


WHITFIELD: A high school football kicker born without arms has helped his team achieve an undefeated season. Now, he has his sights set even higher. Here's CNN's Poppy Harlow. POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Fredricka. Well, imagine being born without half of your limbs, but not letting that stop you from being an absolute star on the football field. That is Isaac Lufkin.


He is a remarkable and fearless 14-year-old tackling huge challenges on and off the field with absolute grace.


HARLOW (voice-over): There's a lot more to this kick and a lot more to Isaac Lufkin than his winning field goals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to play in the NFL, the Ravens or --

HARLOW (on camera): You want to keep wearing purple.


HARLOW (voice-over): He's still riding high from an undefeated season and the freshman football state title. He led his division and onside kick recoveries this year. Remarkable considering this is what Isaac goes through just to suit up.

(on camera): You don't want anyone's pity?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't like pity. Pity just makes me weaker.

HARLOW (voice-over): He means it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes me feel like I can't do it. I drop my backpack and someone helps me pick it up, I drop it again because if I can't do it, no one else is going to do it sooner or later.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For me, I see him put on his football jersey and I'm just filled with pride because he's my little football star.

HARLOW: There's no question Isaac has overcome an unimaginable challenge, moving beyond the arms he was born without to the perseverance born within.

BOB PALAZZO, CLASSICAL HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: As soon as he walked in, I pointed and said you're our place kicker.

HARLOW: His potential was immediately obvious to classical high school athletic director, Bob Palazzo.

PALAZZO: I would not be the guy that would want to tell him he could not do something, put it that way.

HARLOW (on camera): What does he do for his teammates?

PALAZZO: I think he gives them hope. You see a guy with no arms, strap up and put a helmet on and launch himself into a violent pile. You know, and get up and smile.

HARLOW (voice-over): Palazzo calls Isaac's knack for accuracy a skill that's tough to teach.

(on camera): You want to do more than kick?

ISAAC LUFKIN, CLASSICAL HIGH SCHOOL PLACE KICKER: Yes, I want to be a defensive lineman. Hit people. They can't grab my arms, my jersey. The only thing they can do is actually block, but I can still crawl under them. It's not like they can sit on me. They've got to let me through.

HARLOW (voice-over): His determination was clear from the beginning. This is Isaac learning how to dress himself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, don't. Don't give up. There you go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There. Very good, there!

HARLOW: Here he is throwing a football as a toddler with his shoulder.

LORI LUFKIN, ISAAC'S MOTHER: He never gave up. It wasn't easy for him, but he never gave up.

HARLOW (on camera): Is he disabled?

LORI LUFKIN: No. I don't find him disabled at all. I never looked at him that way. I was also know that the sky was the limit.

HARLOW (voice-over): Today, Isaac can do nearly anything on his own. Eggs sunny side up, no problem.

(on camera): High five.


LORI LUFKIN: He's not always going to have somebody there to do everything for him, so that was my greatest gift to him was to be independent.

HARLOW (voice-over): He's learned how to do remarkable things with his feet, eating ice cream, playing the keyboard even video games. As a child, Isaac navigated the world with his toes. Now in high school, he has learned to use his chin, shoulder and what he calls his stub. There have been bullies --

ISAAC LUFKIN: There was this one kid, he didn't stop. He's whack me over the head with notebooks, take my sleeves, tie them around my throat.

HARLOW: But football -- and his killer onside kick have brought a new sense of pride and acceptance.

(on camera): Some say you're like a secret weapon on the team. Is that true? ISAAC LUFKIN: Yes, it's because at first, I first do my onside kick, I run up to a guy, he'll have to block me. I'll fly backwards, I'm easy to block. The second time, I'll just juke him and I'll go hit again and he won't expect it so he won't block me and then I get him at his weakest point.

HARLOW: What do you think you've done for your football team this year?

ISAAC LUFKIN: Now they can't be lazy because no matter what, they have no excuse not to show up for practice, catch the ball or run the ball or block because if I can kick a ball and do my own thing, they can do their own thing.

HARLOW (voice-over): In what may be even more astonishing, Isaac's not the first armless kicker at Classical. Exactly 50 years ago in 1963, Chris Shoemann led the Classical varsity football team to the state championship title, prompting President Kennedy to send him this letter. It's an example that has opened the door for Isaac to dream big.

ISAAC LUFKIN: I want to see if we can go undefeated for four years straight.

HARLOW (on camera): Is he destined for greatness in one way or another?

PALAZZO: I think he's already achieved it.


He's overcome things that I don't know if I could overcome and he's managed to bring our whole program to another level.

LORI LUFKIN, ISAAC'S MOTHER: I knew it before he was born. He will be great and he will be everything that everybody said he wasn't going to be.

HARLOW (voice-over): And in so many ways, he already is.


HARLOW: And hats off to Isaac. He is truly an incredible young man. It was an honor to meet him and to help tell his story. We will certainly be watching and hoping that Isaac one day does make it to the NFL just like he dreams of doing.

WHITFIELD: Well, the sky's the limit. I love him. Thanks so much, Poppy.