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Alleged Stowaway Trips Up TSA; Sure Beats A Gold Watch; Senate Cancels Recess; Bulger Back In Boston Court; Mayor Says Illegal Guns Threaten Security; Freed Journalists Back In France; Alleged Mistress Testifies In Casey Anthony Trial; Alleged Mistress Paid $4,000 For Story; Most Expensive U.S. Colleges; Under Fire In Afghanistan; Casey Anthony Will Not Testify; Thriving San Antonio; Kate and William Visit Canada; Perry Visits California, Again
Aired June 30, 2011 - 12:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's talk about this. Check points and pat downs, body scans and bag inspections all aimed at making sure airlines and homeland security know exactly who's getting on airplanes and keeping potential evildoers off. So how did a man with no valid ID and someone else's boarding pass actually fly across the country last Friday from New York's JFK to Los Angeles? The Nigerian national was arrested in Los Angeles, five days after that Virgin America flight from JFK. So in LA he was trying to board a Delta flight bound for Atlanta. And, again, he allegedly carried a bogus boarding pass and authorities say they found several other phony boarding passes in his luggage.
The Transportation Security Administration says they can't say much because the FBI is investigating, but a spokesman did say this, quote, "every passenger that passes through security checkpoints is subject to many layers of security, including thorough physical screening at the checkpoint. TSA's review of this matter indicates that the passenger went through screening. It is important to note that this passenger was subject to the same physical screening at the checkpoint as other passengers," end quote.
So at least for now, the man is charged only with being a stowaway. Authorities say there are no indications for now of terrorism. Still, it's an unsettling case and I want to put some questions to Erroll Southers. He's a former FBI agents, former security chief of the L.A. airports and former nominee to head the TSA. He is now a security consultant and adjunct professor at USC.
All right, good to see you, Erroll.
ERROLL SOUTHERS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, TAL GLOBAL CORPORATION: Good to see you, Fredricka. Thank you very much.
WHITFIELD: OK, so is this a big deal? Are you worried that this man was able to fly across the country with alleged bogus IDs and boarding pass?
SOUTHERS: Well, I am concerned because first, as long as we have systems that focus on objects instead of human beings, we're going to have this concern. What's interesting here is that he breeched the system not once but twice. He had identification that didn't match a boarding pass in New York, again in Los Angeles, was able to successfully board an aircraft. So, the first thing that comes to my mind, what would motivate him to have to do that?
WHITFIELD: Right, and then apparently, he was at least a few days on the ground in Los Angeles before turning back around and getting to LAX and wanting to fly across country. There are an awful lot of layers that all of us as travelers have to go through to make sure the ID is checked, the boarding pass - to make sure that the boarding pass is legit. So, are you concerned about some of the cracks in the layers?
SOUTHERS: Well, yes. The first crack is with the transportation document checker, where that person is supposed to be looking at identification - government-issued identification matching the boarding pass. It would appear that that system did not work. Again, when he got to the jet bridge and was required to submit the boarding pass to the airline representative, he did, and that system, I understand now the airline admitted a mistake, in that they did not notice the alert indicating that the boarding pass didn't have the correct date for the flight, so they did admit the mistake. And then unfortunately, after getting to Los Angeles and being investigated here and released, he then took that same identification with another boarding pass that didn't match, was able to get past a transportation document checker again in Los Angeles.
WHITFIELD: You see a problem within the system?
SOUTHERS: I see a huge problem within the system, because the system is now depending on human beings to vet other human beings without the capabilities of technology enhancing that performance.
WHITFIELD: And so, you are also an advocate of this trusted traveler system. Explain what that is and how that might have made an impact if it were instituted here.
SOUTHERS: Well, I am fortunate to be working with a couple of other nations that are using technology to enhance the skill sets to vet human beings. We are working on a global secure traveler system that is able to use biometrix and it's able to have people go through the system so that we know that, be it a ira scan, palm print, a smart passport, and perhaps even a PIN number, so that we know the person holding the boarding pass is the individual.
What this does for us now is it gives those scarce resources in staffing, they can focus on people that aren't in the system, and that's where the risk is greater. So, we're reducing the risk, but what happened at the two airports here, where a person is looking at identification and looking at a boarding pass and they don't match is inexcusable.
WHITFIELD: All right. So right now, this suspect, this person is charged with just being a stowaway. Do you suppose investigators are still trying to figure out, and how might they go about figuring out exactly what his business may or may not have been? Why would he try to maybe even kind of test drive this system to see how easy it is to get through security with a bogus ID and boarding pass?
SOUTHERS: Well, I don't know the details of this investigation, but like other instances where citizens report suspicious behaviors or suspicious activity, we have to assume that there was something going on behind the scenes in terms of the law enforcement looking into this matter. So, trust me that if he were an imminent threat when he arrived in Los Angeles last week, was investigated by the FBI, he would not have been released. So, these investigations take time, they take patience, I would assume that it's on going, and it will certainly be looking into him, and perhaps any other associates or activities that happened while he was on the ground, and what happened before he was in New York, and even where he was going to go after he departed from Los Angeles.
WHITFIELD: Arroll Southers, thanks so much it was good to see you, appreciate it.
And our "Sound Effect" is a pat on the back from the president of the United States. This is the last day on the job for defense secretary Robert Gates. And President Obama wouldn't let him go without some fanfare. Mr. Obama is the eighth president Gates has worked for at the Pentagon, the CIA, the National Security Council and the White House. You may think a guy that like would be pretty hard to surprise, but President Obama surprised him. Take a listen.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can think of no better way to express the gratitude of the nation for Bob Gates than with a very special recognition. Bob, this is not in the program, but I would ask you to please stand. As president, the highest honor that I can bestow on a civilian is the presidential medal of freedom. It speaks to the values we cherish as a people and the ideals we strive for as a nation. And today, it is my great privilege to present the presidential medal of freedom to America's 22nd secretary of defense, Robert M. Gates.
ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I am deeply honored and moved by your presentation of this award. It is a big surprise, but we should have known a couple months ago you are getting pretty good at this covert op (ph) stuff.
WHITFIELD: All right, Gates pretty moved there by that moment. So, Gates will be succeeded tomorrow by outgoing CIA Chief Leon Panetta.
All right, no recess after all for the U.S. Senate next week. They are canceling the July 4th week break this year to work on legislation to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and cut the deficit. Lawmakers must raise the nation's $14.3 trillion borrowing limit by August 2nd or risk runny out of money to pay the nation's bill. Senators will take Monday, July 4th, off but return Tuesday the 5th.
Reputed mobster, James Whitey Bulger, is back in court in Boston this hour. The judge is considering a proposal to drop racketeering charges against Bulger and focus instead on the murder charges. At a separate hearing later today, a magistrate will consider who should pick up Bulger's legal tab. Bulger was arrested last week in California along with his long-time girlfriend, after 16 years on the run.
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said illegal guns are a threat to U.S. security and he warns that terrorists groups like Al Qaeda are looking for loopholes in American gun laws.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (L), NEW YORK: Congress is just unwilling to face the fact that the second amendment doesn't protect terrorists. I don't think anybody thinks that Al Qaeda was in the minds of the founding fathers. They have a gun show loophole where if you say I am a casual seller, you don't have to do the background check that's required to meet the first set of requirements.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Bloomberg is leading a bipartisan group of mayors airing a public service announcement against illegal guns using a recent allocated message.
Our two French journalists held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan for 547 days are back home. And today, they are talking about their harrowing ordeal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERVE GHESQUIERE, FRENCH JOURNALIST (translator): I could listen to the PBC world service. And then I was taken to a place where I could not get reception, so I had no news, apart from what Stephane could tell me when we could see each other. But from what Stephane was telling me, I really understood that we had this amazing support back home from our colleagues, and we knew even if we were going to stay for six months, things were happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: The two were kidnapped on December 30, 2009, in northeastern Afghanistan. France says no ransom was paid for their release.
Casey Anthony's dad and his alleged affair. What he told his reported mistress about Caylee's death. The explosive new details coming up.
WHITFIELD: A day after George Anthony's emotional and damaging testimony in his daughter's murder trial, the defense went into attack mode today. Casey Anthony's family all back on the stand, but not before they brought in Crystal Holloway, who is a key witness for this reason.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KRYSTAL HOLLOWAY, KEY WITNESS: I did have an affair with George.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Keep in mind, Casey's dad has repeatedly denied having an affair, but Holloway gave explosive details about their alleged intimate relationship and George's so-called confession, all of it could put George's credibility on the line and call into question how Caylee died. This stunning turn comes as the defense wraps up its case.
We're hearing the trial could be in the hands of the jurors by the end of the week. Let's bring in Holly Hughes who is a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. So Holly, I know you've been watching this trial very closely, listening to this testimony. George's alleged mistress claiming that he told her this about Caylee's death. Just take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLLOWAY: I didn't think that he could raise somebody that was capable of harming her child, and that's when he said it was an accident that snow balled out of control. But I was caught off guard with it, and by the time I looked up he had tears in his eyes, and I - just I didn't - I didn't say anything after that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So, Holloway goes on to talk about a text message from George that said, quote, "I need you in my life." OK, so Holly, how will jurors see this? And really, what's important here is context as well.
HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. And I have to tell you, I find her, despite some of the problems she had, I find her to be credible, I really do. And you know, I think that George Anthony should have just admitted, yes, I did have an intimate relationship. We forgive people of that, we forgive President Clinton. I mean, you know, unless you're married to George, it's really not your business.
WHITFIELD: What does the affair have to do with this murder case? Why would the defense call her?
HUGHES: They are saying George Anthony is a liar. And Fredricka, if he is lying about an affair, which by its very nature, must be covered up, it must be deceptive in order to get away with an extra marital affair.
WHITFIELD: The defense wants to be able to say that he would be lying about what happened to this child, about his alleged sexual assaulting of the defendant.
HUGHES: Absolutely. They want to be anyone to call him a liar, and they put up Krystal Holloway to be able to say something opposite of what George said, so they can say, if you believe her, then he is the liar here. That's what they're doing here. They're trying to (inaudible) him with that.
WHITFIELD: -- risky move for the defense, might this also backfire?
HUGHES: It very well may backfire because George Anthony, I mean, if you saw him on the stand yesterday when he was talking about how much he loved that little girl, and how he was willing to commit suicide, Fredricka, he was going to kill himself to go and be with that little child. And when you watch that raw emotion, that was real, and you know he loved that child.
And I don't believe that there is any way - and even Krystal Holloway said, I don't believe that he did cover it up. I don't think he knew anything about the drowning. What she said was, he said, I think it was an accident, I believe it was an accident that got out of control and she covered it up, she meaning Casey. That was something that Krystal Holloway said in her original statement to the police in a prior deposition. Now on the stand, there was some confusion about that. The prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, went back and said, George never said I know for a fact, I was present, I saw it, and Krystal said, no, he didn't say that.
WHITFIELD: Well, Krystal's credibility also on the line and especially since she apparently got paid $4,000 to tell the "National Enquirer" about this affair. Why is that significant?
HUGHES: What the prosecution wants to do with that is show that she has a motive to make the story a little juicier than it normally would be. Because if you say, I knew George Anthony, I was a voluntary on the campaign. They're going to say, so what, you and 8,000 other people, lady.
But if she says I slept with George Anthony, suddenly that's salacious. America loves sex. Sex sells. We know it. So if she can say that and get paid for that story, the prosecution is trying to say to the jury, she's making it up to get that money.
WHITFIELD: Now the judge also gave some instructions or some guidance to the jurors on how to handle all of this. What was said and why?
HUGHES: Right. That's called a limiting instruction in the law. And what happens is, there are certain purposes for which evidence is allowed in. Otherwise, it's inadmissible. The statement of somebody else, that's words, is hearsay. You know, that's something somebody said outside of court in other context and you can't typically bring it in. However, when it's used to impeach, and impeach is the fancy legal word for prove a liar. Prove you're lying.
So when they used George Anthony's statement on the stand, when Krystal Holloway was testifying, and she said, hey, by the way, you know, he said this in another context, but this is what he said to me, they're using Krystal to impeach George. Now, the judge has to be very clear to the jury, you can't take that to mean that an accident really happened and that he knows for a fact. So you can't use that for this purpose. You can you it to say George is a liar, because he made inconsistent statements, but you can't use it to say Casey is innocent, it was an accident, or she's guilty because George knows for sure.
WHITFIELD: This is a big job. These jurors have their heads spinning.
HUGHES: Yes, it is. Oh, huge.
WHITFIELD: All right, Holly Hughes, thanks so much. Appreciate that.
WHITFIELD: We'll check back with you throughout the afternoon.
All right, so here's a question for you. What is the most expensive college in America? Is it your alma matter? Hopefully not where your kids want to go. We'll tell you after the break.
WHITFIELD: All right, these days you can comparison shop just about anything online. Cars, flights, insurance. But there has been one big holdout -- colleges. That all changes today because of a new government website. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange with details on that.
So, Alison, tell us about this new site and how it works.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you look on the website, Fredricka, you'll find out that the most expensive four year public school is actually Penn State sitting at $14,000 a year. The most expensive private school is Base College, that's in Maine, for $51,000.
Now, what this website does is it ranks the most expensive and the least expensive, but not anywhere in the middle. Now it's called the College Adorability and Transparency Center. You can go to collegecosts.ed.gov. And just so you're aware, the Education Department actually had to set up this site after Congress passed a law saying it had to.
WHITFIELD: OK. So what is the point, really? I mean to help parents comparison shop? Who is this helping the most?
KOSIK: It's pretty much for two reasons. One is accountability. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says hopefully the information is going to encourage schools to make education more affordable, but it's really, really about that comparison shopping for parents because it helps them make a more informed decision because the site also tracks how much schools have been raising tuition over the past several years and that's really good to know when you pick a school because some schools may be more prone to tuition increases, and that would be good to know well in advance.
Now, we are seeing the biggest tuition increases at four-year public colleges at the following. At Northern New Mexico College, 51 percent -- tuition's up 51 percent over the past three years.
WHITFIELD: Oh my goodness.
KOSIK: We're also seeing increases of 40 percent or more at Florida State, San Diego, Georgia, California. And, Fredricka, that's mostly because of those state budget problems. In dollars and cents, what does that mean? That if you pay $5,000 a year as a freshman at Georgia State, guess what, by the time you're a junior, you're paying an extra $2,500 a year.
WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh, that doesn't seem fair at all. So are there any penalties or ramifications when a university does that, they jack up the prices by such a giant proportion?
KOSIK: You know what, I think all that they're left to do is really explain, because these schools that have the biggest increases, they have to submit a special report to the government. They'll have to explain why they have this big increase and what they're going to do about it. But to be honest with you, beyond that, there aren't any ramifications. Some government spokespeople do say, hey, there could be additional regulations considered in the future. But, hey, you know what, at the very least, this website makes us more informed consumers when we're sending our kids off to college.
WHITFIELD: All right, Alison Kosik, thanks so much. Appreciate that.
WHITFIELD: All right, so it's 21 minutes after the hour. Time to check in on some of the top stories that we're following for you.
Hundreds of thousands of British teachers, air traffic controllers, customs officers and other public sector workers went on strike today. The government, a coalition of conservatives and liberal democrats, is trying to slash government spending in the face of huge deficits. The National Union of Teachers says the government is planning to cut pensions, forcing them to work longer for less money. Police in London say they have made 24 arrests as of this afternoon.
Mitt Romney is in Pennsylvania today, at the same time as President Obama, in a political move to hit the president over his handling of the economy. The former Massachusetts governor will hold a news conference outside Allentown Metal Works, a closed down Pennsylvania factory President Obama visited back in 2009 while touting the economic stimulus package. Meanwhile, the president will attend two fund-raisers for the Democratic National Committee.
On to New Mexico now. Firefighters have made critical progress against the wildfire threatening the Los Alamos National Laboratory. They say stockpiles of toxic and radioactive waste are safe and secure. Even with the progress, the laboratory will stay closed through Friday. Arlene, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, barreled into Mexico's eastern coast this morning with sustained winds of 65 miles an hour. The U.S. National Weather Service warned the storm could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage.
And the British are coming to Canada for a nine day tour. We'll show you the royal couple's itinerary after the break.
WHITFIELD: Some of the heaviest fighting in the war in Afghanistan is taking place in the strategic Kunar province bordering Pakistan. It's a rugged mountainous area swarming with Taliban fighters. For some of the remote U.S. military outposts in the area, deadly Taliban attacks are part of daily life. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is with American troops at one of these bases and filed this exclusive report of the base under attack.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everywhere you look here in Kunar, on Afghanistan's eastern border, the choices aren't good. Outpost Purtal (ph) King (ph) is caught between hills full of Taliban. If the Americans leave, militants from Pakistan will flow through the valley. And if they stay, then every few days this happens. The mortars hit the base.
The last attack was long enough ago there's panic. They're worried the Taliban have been preparing a big one.
WALSH (on camera): After days of nothing, the insurgents have finally amassed around the compound, giving an attacking from all side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Huckle (ph) up. Grab it and get ready.
WALSH (voice-over): They use mortars first, aiming for Taliban dug into the hills. But the incoming fire is very accurate here. Their arrange cover from heavy machine guns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, grab the round and see if they go (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, (INAUDIBLE).
WALSH: But the bullets are too close.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never mind!
WALSH: Locals scatter, just before huge American firepower has the last word.
Four massive air strikes across the hills and then the Taliban fall silent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say high to Osama for me.
WALSH: America knew why it came here, but isn't sure why its staying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we get like a police call for like brass and cigarette butts when you -- no?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cigarette butts first.
WALSH: Ten minutes later, jets swoop in to stray (ph) for hills. A show of force, but the Taliban are now either gone or dead. At least five killed by the soldiers' count.
The next morning, it starts again. Mortars and rocket propelled grenades pound the base.
WALSH (on camera): For the second time in just 15 hours, the base is under attack. Much heavier this time. And it appears they've taken casualties.
WALSH (voice-over): More air strikes. This valley is vital strategically, but doesn't want to be conquered. The medics fly in to collect one soldier. His injuries are not life-threatening.
There's no real victory to be had here, though. Just the question of how long they will stay growing louder.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kunar, Afghanistan.
WHITFIELD: Here stateside, more of the Casey Anthony murder trial in Orlando. We'll take you there momentarily.
WHITFIELD: All right, bottom of the hour. Let's update you on some of the news you may have missed. Investigators have charged a man with being a stowaway after he allegedly took a flight from New York to Los Angeles without a proper boarding pass. According to the FBI affidavit, the airline did not discover that he was on board until the flight had already taken off.
He was questioned when he landed, but not arrested until a few days later, he returned to LAX and tried to board a different flight, this time bound for Atlanta, with an expired boarding pass that was not in his name, either. A law enforcement official told CNN there's nothing at this point to indicate terrorism is involved.
And after a slight recess now, testimony is about to resume in the Casey Anthony murder trial in Orlando. George Anthony's alleged mistress, Krystal Holloway, took the stand earlier today. She testified that George told her that Caylee's death was an accident. She also said that she had an intimate relationship with George for -- that lasted for a few months, a claim that George has repeatedly denied.
With the defense expected to rest today, many people are wondering if Casey Anthony, the defendant, will be called to take the stand. If that happens, you can see it live right here on CNN.
Reputed mobster James "Whitey" Bulger is back in court in Boston this hour. The judge is considering a proposal to drop racketeering charges against Bulger and focus instead on the murder charges. In a separate hearing later today, a magistrate will consider who should pick up Bulger's legal tab. Bulger asked for a public defender, but agents found $800,000 in his apartment after his arrest. Bulger was arrested last week in California, along with his long-time girlfriend, after 16 years on the run.
Two French television journalists held hostage for 547 days in Afghanistan arrived home today. They were captured by Taliban militants in December 2009 while working on a story in a volatile area northeast of Kabul.
They spoke to reporters this morning in Paris.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANE TAPONIER, RELEASED FRENCH JOURNALIST (through translator): I'm very well. I'm good in mind and body. We had no idea how long we would were going to be kept in captivity, but we could have kept going. But I can tell you, we are happy to be back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: The circumstances surrounding their release are still not clear, but France insists no ransom was paid.
All right, Tiger Woods has been hired as the pitchman for a Japanese heat rub used to relieve muscle and joint pain. This is his first endorsement deal since his 2009 sex scandal. Injured Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is also a spokesman for the product. Woods has not played in a professional tournament since May 12th, when he withdrew from the Players championship after only 9 holes with knee and Achilles injuries. He said Tuesday that he has no planned timetable for his return to golf.
So here's a question for you. What's your favorite fast food? "Consumer Reports" released its first ever fast food survey today, and some of the top names ranked near the bottom of the list. McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell and Arby's were few notable franchises that received low marks. In-n-Out Burger, Chick-Fil-A and Chipotle Mexican Grill were top in their individual categories. Nearly 37,000 people participated in the survey and judged the restaurants in categories ranging from speed of service to the quality of food.
In a Southwestern city, a blossoming Latino population helps it thrive. Where is it? We'll take you there live next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: All right, this just in, and back to the Casey Anthony trial there in Orlando. Judge Perry right there -- you're looking at him -- he just gave instructions -- instructions for Casey Anthony, the defendant, to make a decision whether she will indeed take the stand. And apparently, she has refused that privilege. She will not be taking the stand.
So will the defense be resting soon in this case? Many analysts have said that the defense would be resting as early as this weekend and perhaps this case will be going to the jury. We'll find out about those instructions. But as for now -- this just in -- Casey Anthony saying she refuses that opportunity to take the stand. She will not be taking the stand as the defendant in this murder trial.
All right, on to San Antonio, Texas. It is the seventh largest city in America and has a growing Latino influence. What makes the city tick? And where do they plan to go from here? CNN's Ed Lavandera takes a look.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's fitting that for almost 300 years, this very spot in the San Fernando cathedral has been the epicenter of San Antonio. Inside this Spanish-inspired church rest the tombs of Texas's Anglo heroes like Davey Crockett. In this city, cultural history is intertwined, and San Antonio's mayor, Julian Castro, says that puts his city on the cutting edge today.
MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: There's been this terrific confluence of cultures and this great Texas history. All of that has come together here in present-day San Antonio to provide a backdrop of a city that is one where people live well together, they work well together.
JORGE CORTEZ, OWNER, MI TIERRA RESTAURANT: My family, my father that started the restaurant.
LAVANDERA: When Jorge Cortez's grandparents emigrated to the United States, they looked for work in the historic Market Square.
CORTEZ: Market Square is like the Ellis Island of San Antonio.
LAVANDERA: This is where the Cortez family launched their Mi Tierra restaurant empire. They have three massive restaurants and 600 employees, and a large mural honoring his family hangs inside. He calls it the American dream.
CORTEZ: I had a dream of doing something to honor this American dream of my father.
LAVANDERA: Cortez says in San Antonio, you'll find the Latino population blossoming.
CORTEZ: I feel that we need to invest and reinvest in this American dream. I feel that the Latinos are going to have a lot to do with what this great country is all about. LAVANDERA: That influence is only growing. San Antonio is now the seventh largest city in the country, 63 percent of the population is Latino.
RAMIRO CAVAZOS, PRES. & CEO, HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: I think we're the best kept secret in America.
LAVANDERA: Ramiro Cavazos of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says it's the city's creative business spirit that's driving growth. He says 85 percent of the city's jobs are created by businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
CAVAZOS: We work harder, I believe, because we don't think we're a major city. So if anything, we're hungry as a marketplace, and I believe that that's what's sustaining us for -- and will sustain us for years to come.
LAVANDERA: Mayor Julian Castro says San Antonio still has big dreams to reach.
CASTRO: What we want for San Antonio is for this city to be a brainpower community that is the liveliest city in the United States.
WHITFIELD: All right, Ed Lavandera joining us live now. So Ed, you know, what does this population boom in places like San Antonio actually mean for the nation as a whole, as well as for the upcoming election?
LAVANDERA: Well, that's interesting. We're going to take a look at that tomorrow as we continue our tour of the defining (ph) America here through Texas. And what it -- what it has done is it has created because of the population boom in this last Census count here in this state, four extra congressional seats. So this state will be able to send four more representatives to Washington, D.C.
That creates quite a redistricting fight here in the state of Texas. Democrats say that, Look, it was minority growth in the state that has driven the growth. They deserve more representation. Republicans are saying, Look, this is a conservative state. We deserve most of those seats. So we'll see a really knock-down, drag-out battle over redistricting in this state. We're going to take a closer look at that tomorrow -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right, look forward to that. Thanks so much. Ed Lavandera in San Antonio, appreciate it.
All right, any minute now, Prince William and his new wife, Catherine Middleton, are expected to arrive in Canada. We're going to take you there live next.
WHITFIELD: All right, want to update you on what's taking place there in Orlando. You're seeing some procedural things that are taking place in the courtroom in the Casey Anthony murder trial. The defense says it has rested, but the trial is ongoing.
The jurors have been dismissed from the room. And right now, a few procedural things, the defense resting after testimony from the defendant's father's alleged mistress. The father, George Anthony himself, Casey's brother over time, her mother, as well, as well as a grief expert -- all those witnesses called by the defense, now the defense saying it's resting, but still unclear whether there will be any rebuttal witnesses from the prosecution. We'll update you as the proceedings carry on.
All right, meantime, Britain's royal newlyweds are crossing the pond to Canada, where they will spend eight days criss-crossing the country. Max Foster joins us now from Ottawa, where he is a part of the more than 1,300 accredited journalists following William and Kate's every move. So Max, what's on the schedule for the couple today?
MAX FOSTER, ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's going to be very, very busy. And you say they're Britain's royal family. They are, of course, but they are also the Canadian royal family. And this is really being used by the Canadian government as a real opportunity to showcase these young members of the royal family, who are also big showbiz stars, in a way, as well.
And the politicians are lining up to be next to them and to showcase them around the country, to showcase the country to the world, really, as you say, so many hundreds of journalists following their every move.
William's visited Canada before. He was a huge hit as a young boy. But I have to say, this time it all seems to be about the duchess, all about Catherine, and everybody is fascinated how she is going to be. This is them leaving Heathrow early today in London.
Everyone is fascinated to see how she's going to -- how she's going to be. And I have to say, when you meet her in real life, she's very statuesque, very beautiful, very poised and people will be struck by that.
But she's nervous about the trip. She's never been to North America at all before. She doesn't want to do any public speaking. She's not ready for that.
So, it's going to be interesting to see how the Canadians connect with her because the Canadians love their royals, it has to be said, generally, very supportive. So, it's going to be a fascinated trip.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And so, Max, how excited are the Canadians? What do they plan, you know, for the, I guess, rolling out the welcome mat for this couple?
FOSTER: Well, I have to say, they are keeping them very, very busy. As soon as they land at the airport, which is going to be in around 15 minute's time, they're going to go to the War Memorial, and they're going to mark the deaths of veterans there. Big crowds expected there. And then they're going to go to the governor general's office to meet the prime minister and to meet lots of young people. It's going to be -- the public is going to be allowed in there.
And I think you're going to see a new, sort of, informal royalty, really. You're going to see them chatting with young people, the next generation of royals, and also interacting with people, who told you don't necessarily have to call them by their proper titles, but there is a lot of formality as well.
And, then, you know, they got eight days crisscrossing the whole country with several events every day. They're going to be exhausted I'm m sure by the end of it. Catherine is going to be a lot more comfortable in front of the cameras.
WHITFIELD: And they have to keep those smiles painted on no matter how tired they are.
Max Foster, thanks so much, from Ottawa. Appreciate that.
All right. Time now, 46 minutes after the hour, a look at the top stories right now.
Greece's parliament today passed a law needed to implement a crucial austerity package. The move was demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund, opens the way for more loans from those two groups. The austerity package, which includes tax hikes, pay cuts, among other measures, has triggered strikes and violence protests in Athens and across the country.
In France, a security scare for President Nicholas Sarkozy today. Take a look. Yes, close call right there, while shaking the hands with people. A man grabbed him by the soldiers. You saw him pulled him against the barricade.
Police quickly then wrestled the man to the ground, as you saw right there. Just another look at slow-mo.
Officials say the 32-year-old suspect who worked at a local music school was taken into custody.
Sarkozy was not injured.
MSNBC News Network today suspended political analyst Mark Halperin after he used a four-letter word that starts with the letter "D" to describe President Obama. Halperin apologized on air to viewers and to President Obama for his remarks. It happened on the "Morning Joe" program. Halperin used the insult when criticizing President Obama for attacking Republican lawmakers during a news conference yesterday.
Halperin is an editor at large for "TIME" magazine, a CNN sister publication.
All right. What country had a brand-new high-speed train that is twice as fast as any U.S. train? The answer -- and we'll take you aboard -- right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: So, every day we do a segment called "The Big I." It's all about big ideas, innovations and solutions to problems.
So, today, we're going to China, where the world's fastest train is making its debut, completed in just three years for $229 billion. The high-speed rail will link Beijing and Shanghai, China's political center and commercial hub, in less than five hours. It runs at 186- mile-an-hour, more than double the average speed of America's fastest train.
While the White House has earmarked $8 billion for rail projects for fiscal year 2012, the Chinese government plans to pour more than $400 billion in its program in the next five years.
CNN's Eunice Yoon was invited to take an early look at China's new ride.
EUNICE YOON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fast, quiet, comfortable -- one of the world's most modern trains linking a political capital to a financial hub. No, we're not talking about Washington and New York. This is the first high-speed train between Beijing and Shanghai, in China.
On average, this train travels three times quicker than the fastest in the U.S., at about 300 kilometers or 200 miles an hour. That cuts the travel time in half to under five hours.
While America's high-speed program has stalled over a lack of financing, in China, it's full steam ahead. In next five years, the government plans to spend over $400 billion to create the world's largest high-speed rail network, keeping the investment and jobs coming.
PROF. TOM CALLARMAN, CHINA EUROPE INTL. BUSINESS SCHOOL: It makes China more competitive. It gives people more options to move and to move around. It gives people more options to move to where the jobs are.
YOON: And it's attracting increasingly affluent and discriminating passengers in China's richest region.
(on camera): This is a second class cabin. Seats are pretty comfortable. I can recline. There's quite a bit of leg room. I can watch TV or a movie, if I want. And all of it for only $85, which is a pretty good price when you consider how expensive it is to fly here.
(voice-over): But like in the U.S., many here worry that China's plans could be derailed. The government has taken on massive loans, and with tickets still pricey for many Chinese in poorer provinces, the trains aren't expected to make money any time soon, if at all.
For now, rail authorities have slowed down some of the bullet trains. "Strategically, we can talk about a great leap forward in the industry," he says, "but tactically, we have to do things step by step" -- to ensure China's railway ambitions and the nation's competiveness stay on track.
Eunice Yoon, CNN, onboard the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train.
WHITFIELD: So, for more on China's high speed rail, check out Randi Kaye's Facebook page /RandiKayeCNN, and don't forget to tune in tomorrow for the latest "Big I" of the week -- same "Big I" time, same "Big I" channel.
All right. He's still not officially running for president, but Governor Rick Perry is making a second swing through donor-rich California. Shannon Travis will tell us what this all means.
WHITFIELD: All right. Time now for a CNN political update.
Shannon Travis, part of "The Best Political Team on Television," joining us right now from Washington.
So, what's hitting the ticker right now, Shannon?
SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: Well, hey there, Fred.
Well, today, what we're watching is a very big day in the presidential race. Why? Because this is the close of a very important fund- raising quarter for the presidential candidates. President Obama, he's hitting two fund-raisers in Pennsylvania. Democratic officials -- DNC officials, to be specific -- tell us that an afternoon event, ticket prices start at $200, and officials say that another event at a private home, that those ticket prices start at $10,000.
Now, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, he said on a conference call today that he predicts that possibly President Obama after these event could haul in $2.5 million.
Fred, another person that we're watching who could possibly face off against the president is current Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Now, our Kevin Bohn, CNN producer Kevin Bohn, is reporting that Governor Perry is in California, meeting with politicians and some businessmen who could potentially -- potentially -- be backers to a Perry campaign should Perry decide to run. We, of course, know that he's seriously considering running.
Kevin Bohn reports that he yesterday met with a co-owner of the San Diego Chargers and that today, he'll be meeting with politicians and businessmen throughout California.
Perry's spokesperson says that this is not, this is absolutely not connected with a possible presidential run. But one GOP consultant told CNN that Perry, quote, "charmed the birds right out of the trees" -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: OK. So, why else would he be in California, the Texas governor, if not putting out feelers for the national race?
TRAVIS: You know, that's what we're wondering, but his spokespeople say that he's there to try to drum up more jobs for Texas. You can't be mad at that, of course. But any time a sitting governor who's thinking about being a presidential candidate visits like a large state like California, it's got to fuel speculation, Fred.
WHITFIELD: Oh, yes. All right. Shannon Travis, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
All right. Your next update from "The Best Political Team on Television" is just an hour away.
WHITFIELD: All right. The defense has just wrapped up in the case of the Casey Anthony murder trial. Still, the trial is ongoing. Live pictures right now. Discussions between the attorneys and Judge Perry there.
We now know that Casey Anthony will not be testifying in her own defense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, ORANGE COUNTY COURT: Do you understand that your decision to testify or not testify is solely your decision and your decision alone?
CASEY ANTHONY, DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
PERRY: And it is your decision not to testify?
ANTHONY: Yes, sir.
Have you had ample time to discuss this matter with your attorney, that is, the pros and cons of testifying or not testifying?
ANTHONY: Yes, sir.
PERRY: And has anyone used any force or pressure in making you arrive at that decision?
ANTHONY: No, sir.
And that decision is your decision freely and voluntarily?
ANTHONY: Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Right now, live pictures again. There are still proceedings ongoing right there in that Orlando courtroom. But the jury, we understand, has been dismissed temporarily while this goes on.