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Threat to U.S. Economy; Gay Marriage Fallout

Aired May 13, 2012 - 08:00   ET



RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): From CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

The U.S. economy facing new obstacles: Greek austerity threatens our markets. The Dow had its worst week of 2012. And JPMorgan's trading gap drives investors away. We'll have a live report.

Plus, one senator says the president's reversal on same-sex marriage, quote, "couldn't get any gayer."

And it's a bittersweet mother's day for one mom. We'll bring you the inspirational story of her 9-year-old son and how you can make a difference. We'll talk with her live.


KAYE: Good morning, everyone. And happy Mother's Day. I'm Randi Kaye. It's 8:00 in the East, 5:00 a.m. out West.

We begin with the firestorm that has followed President Obama's revelation that he supports same-sex marriage. It's become a major talking point as we move deeper into election season, especially for Mitt Romney.

Romney was giving the commencement agrees at Liberty University yesterday, and as he was talking about personal values, this.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Culture, what you believe, what you value, how you live matters. Now, as fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate from time to time. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.


KAYE: While same-sex marriage was on Mitt Romney's mind, there was this banner flying over the event. It says "GOP equals higher school debt". The left-leaning group paid for that banner. Democrats and Republicans have been battling in Congress over plans to keep student loan interest rates from doubling. Apparently, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum would have been proud of Mitt Romney's same-sex marriage comments at Liberty. Santorum says the issue could be a, quote, "potent weapon come November".


RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a very potent weapon, if you will, for Governor Romney if he's willing to step up and take advantage of a president who is very much out of touch with the values of America.


KAYE: And then there's this from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Listen to what he said while speaking to a group of Republicans in Iowa where, by the way, same-sex marriages are actually legal.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: The president recently weighed in on marriage, and, you know, he said his views were evolving on marriage. Call me cynical, but I wasn't sure his views on marriage could get any gayer.


KAYE: Paul's sarcastic comments drew big laughs, as you heard right there from the crowd. CNN's calls to his office haven't been returned. Rand Paul, of course, is the son of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

And we want to know what you think about Senator Rand Paul's remarks about President Obama's support of same-sex marriage. Were they inappropriate, homophobic, or did you think that they were funny? Were they right on? Tweet me at RandiKayeCNN. I'll read some of your thoughts later on in the hour.

And now to your money, on the line with several factors weighing heavy on the economy. Overseas in Greece, newly elected leaders met this morning to try to put together a coalition government, but the meeting broke up a short time ago and no deal. That new government was supposed to bring them out of the financial ruin that has sent shockwaves to our own economy.

You see, banks bet that big on Greece's recovery and the failure is being passed on (AUDIO BREAK) noticed, to its worst week all year.

Add to that the $2 billion investment mistake by JPMorgan Chase. Their stock alone dropped around 10 percent this week.

But help may be on the way. The much anticipated Facebook IPO coming this week. That could pump some life in investors and into the market.

A key member in the peace process in Afghanistan has been killed. Maulvi Rahmani was gunned down on his way to work. He is a former Taliban cabinet minister who was currently part of President Hamid Karzai's High Peace Council. They are responsible for bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table. The Taliban says they had nothing to do with this assassination.

One Boston University student is in critical condition this morning after a deadly crash in New Zealand. Three other students died when their van veered off the road and crashed. The students had gone to visit locations used in "The Lord of the Rings" movies.

Back on campus students held a candlelight vigil for the victims. B.U.'s president said that their prayers go the students and their families. In all, there were 26 students on that trip to New Zealand.

Imagine riots on the field after the Super Bowl? Well that's pretty much what happened in Istanbul.

Take a look here. Fans stormed the field, lit flares, battled with police all after the home team lost the Turkish soccer championship. And then it all spilled onto the streets where fans took out their frustrations on store windows, cars, and police.

Topless protesters have stuck again in Ukraine. Keep an eye on the blond woman in red. She's next to the prizes trophy for the upcoming European soccer tournament. Oh, yes, there she goes. The top comes down, security comes up. Didn't take them long to cover her up.

She's part of a women's rights group known for going topless to make a point. They're afraid the Euro championship will encourage sex tourism in the country.

Not sure she made her point there.

Many African-Americans say they support President Obama, but they don't support his view on same-sex marriage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There will be some that will absolutely turn against him because, again, we hear it happening as we speak.


KAYE: Could this key voting bloc snub the president in November? We'll talk about this growing political divide.

But, first, we want to wish a very good morning to our viewers watching from New York City. Lady Liberty there in the harbor. Beautiful day on tap for New York.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joe, you've been locked inside your room all day. What's wrong?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's wrong? Are you serious? Do you really not get it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does this have something to do with the whole gay marriage thing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ah, doy! It's not fair. OK? I was the first one who said it should be legal, but now you're the one getting all the credit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, oh yes? Oh, really? Then why are you all dressed up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to a gala with Lady Gaga and Elton John.



KAYE: And although Elton John and Lady Gaga might praise Obama for his support of same-sex marriage, many are wondering will the African-American Christian community continue to back him?

CNN's Sandra Endo talked with a pastor who isn't so sure.


REV. RALPH MARTINO, FIRST CHURCH OF WASHINGTON: Give us the insight and the revelation.

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pastor Ralph Martino leads a prayer for President Obama.

MARTINO: Same-sex related marriages can become one. It contradicts Scripture.

ENDO: He says the president's recent declaration of support for same-sex marriage is troubling.

MARTINO: We're concerned, definitely disappointed.

Genesis chapter number two, verse 21 --

ENDO: He reads the Bible passage describing a marriage between a man and a woman, a strongly held belief among Christians.

As faithful as the African-American community has been to the first African-American president, this issue is creating some tension.

MARTINO: There will be some that will absolutely turn against him because, again, we hear it happening as we speak.

ENDO: But Reverend Martino and many of his 800 congregants aren't rushing to renounce their support for Obama.

MARTINO: We're here to, again, to pray for him and to help him to understand you have the support of those that are willing to pray with you, pray for you, but understand, you need God to counsel.

ENDO: Voters we spoke with are giving the president a pass.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't necessarily agree with the marriage issue, but it won't stop me from supporting him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with him. When you have co-workers, you have friends, it's hard -- you can get married, you tell them they can't get married.

ENDO: And many African-American worshippers may forgive the president for his position come November.

MARTINO: All of us go astray. We've all sinned and come sort of the glory of God.

ENDO: Sandra Endo, CNN, Washington.


KAYE: Coming up at the bottom of hour, I'll talk with a leading black pastor here in Georgia who supports President Obama and same-sex marriage. He'll tell you about his change of heart on the issue as well.

Eight people in North Carolina were arrested after protesting the state's new constitution ideal amendment banning same-sex marriage. Twenty couples showed up at a county office to apply for marriage licenses knowing that the clerks would deny them. It was illegal for same-sex couples to get married even before amendment one passed.

Eight protesters sat down on the floor and refused to leave and that's when police handcuffed them and took them out.

Are women, empowered women, the key to a more successful world? Noted columnist and author Nick Kristof joins me next with his answer to that question.

But first, "Fortune" magazine is out with its list of the top 500 companies, and we're taking a look at some of the businesses making the list. This company had a huge loss after the death of their CEO, but with new leadership in place, they haven't missed a beat.


REPORTER: Apple is the world's most valuable tech company and a staple on the Fortune 500 list. It revolutionized the way we live, work, and play with popular devices such as the iPad and iPhone. After the passing of CEO Steve Jobs last year, Tim Cook took the helm. Cook joined Apple in 1998 after Jobs personally sought him out. A fitness enthusiast, Cook has been known to quote cyclist Lance Armstrong in apple meetings. He also serves on the board of Nike. (END VIDEO CLIP)


KAYE: Welcome back. On this Mother's Day, many of you are no doubt taking a moment to honor the women who have made a profound impact on your life. But in some developing countries, that influence is absent due to women's oppression.

Joining me now is Nick Kristof, columnist for "The New York Times" and co-author with his wife of the bestselling book "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide."

Nick, good morning to you. Thanks again for being here.

NICK KRISTOF, NEW YORK TIMES: Good morning, Randi. And happy Mother's Day.

KAYE: Thank you very much.

So, in the book, you say the struggle for women's equality is the paramount moral challenge of our era. Tell us why you feel that way.

KRISTOF: Well, if you look around the world, then you encounter discrimination in country after country that is not only, you know, paid discrimination, inappropriate behavior, but is lethal. In many places, girls don't get the same medical care and food as boys with the result that there are more males than females in the world.

Women live longer, there should be more females. Because of this discrimination there is actually more males, which is one gauge of the scale of this.

But maybe the other side of this, Randi, is that putting aside the injustice, if you simply want to look at how you can get leverage to address all kinds of global challenges, from global poverty to insecurity, (INAUDIBLE). There's perfect solution but empowering women, educating girls and educated women into the labor force gives you more bang for the buck than just about any other intervention.

KAYE: I'm curious, because "Half the Sky" was inspired by the reporting that both you and your wife did at the "New York Times," especially in Africa and Asia. Tell us some of the things you saw during your travels there.

KRISTOF: Well, in some ways really the idea for it came when Sheryl and I were living in China, and we were trying to understand why it was that East Asia was so economically successful because the economic model in South Korea was different from the model in Singapore from Malaysia, from China. But it struck us that really the common thread was that these countries took girls who traditionally had not been a major part of the economy and educated them and brought them into the labor force and that essentially doubled the country's output.

And there was one occasion in particular where one community because of an article we wrote by accident ended up getting $10,000 to educate girls in that community. At it was fascinating to watch what happened. All these educated girls ended up getting great jobs in ways that benefited everybody, the men as well as the women in that community.

KAYE: What really struck us here were the numbers, the statistics on women and global poverty. We're half of the world's population but 70 percent of the world's poorest people. We also work two-thirds of the world's working hours but only earn 10 percent of the world's income.

And you look at several issues, including economic empowerment, education, gender based violence -- but what would you say is the number one barrier do you think to women's equality?

KRISTOF: I'd say that it's education. And, of course, that is not the issue here in the U.S. or in the industrialized world. Here, women tend to be more educated than men. Girls go farther. Two- thirds of the members of honor societies in American high schools are girls.

But if you look elsewhere around the world, there is still far more boys than girls going to school. Girls tend to be pulled out of school maybe in fourth, fifth grade, often married off. In that case they never really join the economy. They never really join the society.

KAYE: Yes.

KRISTOF: And you can get them educated and get them into the economy and get them out of the margins into the center. That has a huge impact on the nature of the whole country.

KAYE: The book certainly has now become a movement. It's attracted some very powerful supporters. Not all of them women. How important do you think is it for men to join in this fight? It sends a bit of a message, doesn't it?

KRISTOF: Oh, absolutely. That was one reason why Sheryl and I wanted to do this together and likewise were now working on a TV documentary for PBS and this is very much a joint effort.

If this is only something that women are advocating, it's really lost at the start, and when we look at it, the Holocaust wasn't just a Jewish issue. Civil rights weren't just a black issue. Gay rights aren't just an issue for gays. That when everybody sees these as major human rights issues, then they get traction, they get more attention, and I think that's true of women's rights as well.

KAYE: Well, you have certainly done your part to get some traction there. Nick Kristof, thank you so much.

KRISTOF: Good to see you, Randi.

KAYE: You too.

And to read Nick's latest column, be sure to follow me on Twitter @RandiKayeCNN. I always post it for you every Sunday.

An 89-year-old put on his cap and gown to finally get his college degree. He started working on his degree before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hear why he decided to finish it.


CAPT. JAMES HALE, U.S. MARINE CORPS: My name is Captain James David Hale with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. I just want to say happy Mother's Day to my mom, Maria Hale. I look forward to seeing you soon. I look forward to enjoying some good home cooking foot. I love you.



KAYE: Welcome back, everyone.

Checking stories across country.

In Arkansas, a man graduated in college more than 70 years after he started classes. Eighty-nine-year-old Charlie Ball attended Arkansas Tech in 1941 but joined the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor. He decided he needed to complete his degree and get his diploma to inspire his grand kids.


MADALINE MEATTLE, GRANDDAUGHTER: I said what are you doing, Grandpa Charlie? He said, I'm graduating from college.

CHARLIE BALLL, GRADUATES COLLEGE: They thought it was good. I said the reason I was doing it so it would get them all enthused, my grandchildren would get their degrees, too.


KAYE: Ball is the oldest person ever to graduate from Arkansas Tech. He studied public relations.

Now to Texas where an 18-year-old is accused of trying to rob a police station. Yes, you can't make this stuff up. Police say Keithan Manuel demanded money from a dispatcher and told her he had a gun. He really just had a towel covering his hand. He swears it was all a joke.


KEITHAN MANUEL, SUSPECT: I had my hand just like this. I said where you money at? I said I'm just playing.

CHIEF VICTOR KEMP, WILMER, TEXAS POLICE: Well, it's not a joking matter. When you tell someone you have a gun and you're acting nervous and you have your hands concealed with a towel, what is a person to think? (END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Manuel faces several charges, including robbery.

And four people and a poodle were rescued in San Francisco after their paddle boat was caught in a rip current and swept out to sea. Rescuers say the only one wearing a life vest -- yes, there he is right there. The poodle. No one was hurt but firefighters gave them a stern warning, as you can imagine, about boater safety.

Several leading black clergy are speaking out about President Obama's stance on same-sex marriage. I'll talk with a pastor here in Atlanta who not supports the president, but same-sex marriage as well. He'll tell us how he's evolved on the issue and how his church feels about it.


KAYE: Some say President Obama's public support of same-sex marriage could cause many in the African-American community to lose faith in him. While the nation is nearly evenly split on the issue with 50 percent supporting same-sex marriage and 48 percent opposing it, that number changes among African-Americans, just 39 percent support same-sex marriage.

Now, some leading black clergy are speaking out, saying they're disappointed with the president's stance.


MARTINO: If this stance continues as-is, it will create some issues and challenges, and it will make it very difficult for individuals to say I can publicly acknowledge and vote for the current president.


KAYE: But my next guest supports the president and same-sex marriage.

Kenneth Samuel is pastor for the Victory Church, just outside of Atlanta.

Good morning to you.

Thank you very much for being here.

So, I want to start by asking you why there seems to be more of a resistance to supporting gay marriage in the African-American community?

KENNETH SAMUEL, PASTOR, VICTORY FOR THE WORLD CHURCH: Well, a number of things. There are those who will cite Biblical passages, and we've heard that argument. We know biblical passages were cited to support slavery and segregation. So, that's one issue. The other issue I think has to do with the severe critical shortage of the eligible black men in the black community who can serve as husbands and fathers. That's a critical need. However, demonizing gay people is not going to get women in the black community the husbands they need.

KAYE: No, certainly not. When you consider the history of marriage in this country, take a look here. Slaves were once forbidden from marrying without consent and not until 1967 did the Supreme Court allow interracial marriage.

Why do you think some in the African-American community don't see the same struggle for civil equality as gay and lesbians today?

SAMUEL: Well, sometimes we play this issue of whose oppression is greatest? And what we failed to understand is that according to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. In order to move our country forward on the critical issues that are common to people across the board, jobs, education, equal opportunity, we've got to build coalitions between gay people and black people. Many gay people are black, women, Latinos, other people who have a vested interest in seeing our nation move forward.

KAYE: You yourself made an evolution -- we've heard that word a lot this week about the President -- but you made -- you yourself made the same evolution on gay marriage. Can you tell us about that?

SAMUEL: Well I certainly did. I was raised in a traditional church. I was taught that marriage was between a man and a woman only. When I was 14 years old, a 16-year-old friend of mine committed suicide. He was a gay young man. And in our little church where there was so much love at the same time he was taught that he embraced his identity as being gay, he would have to face the hatred of God. And he couldn't take it --


KAYE: And we're still seeing that today, which is so sad.

SAMUEL: We still see it -- we still see it today. I had no theological intellectual resources to explain what was going on when my friend committed suicide, but years later, now that I'm a pastor myself and I have the opportunity to help people think about God and -- and understand what the gospel means in terms of our relationships with one another, now I'm in a position to try to make a difference. And that's what I'm trying to do.

KAYE: I'm curious how it was received though, your point of view? I mean how do they take in your church?

SAMUEL: Well it's a mixed -- it's a mixed bag.

KAYE: I'm sure.

SAMUEL: You know, but I'm happy to say that people's thinking, like the President's thinking, is evolving. At least people are talking. At least people are saying, well, let me hear why you support this.

And I think that when that happens, then we have the opportunity to clear away the phobias, the fears, the misconceptions and really get to the heart of the matter, which is how we relate to one another as -- as sons and daughters of God.

KAYE: As you know, the day before the President gave his opinion on same-sex marriage and said that he approves it African-Americans voted two to one on the ban of same-sex marriage in North Carolina. That was also really big news. Were you surprised at all by that?

SAMUEL: No I was not surprised. I'll continue to be saddened. You know sometimes black Christians and black people have not been in the vanguard of other liberation movements as we have been in our own. Sometimes we forget that Martin Luther King, Jr. did not really ever enjoy the majority of black church support. He got a critical few who were willing to march and take the risk of their churches being burned and bombed in order to march with him.

I just think it's now time for the -- for the -- for African- American believers and Christians and people just across the board, Christian and non-Christian, to understand that we have a stake in advancing democracy and equality for all.

KAYE: All right. That was really an interesting conversation. Thank you so much for your time.

SAMUEL: Thank you so much.

KAYE: I don't want to make you late for church on this Mother's Day.

SAMUEL: On my way. It's Mother's Day. I'm going to be in the pulpit.

KAYE: So we are going to let you go. You better get there. Pastor, thank you very much.

SAMUEL: Thank you so much.

KAYE: And for more stories on faith, be sure to check out our widely popular belief blog at

Earlier we told you how Senator Rand Paul told a crowd of Republicans that President Obama's reversal on same-sex marriage quote, "Couldn't get any gayer". I asked you all to weight in and here is what some of you are saying.

Tony tweeted, "Obviously Rand's view can't be anymore hateful."

And Doug said "I began thinking Paul could never sound more immature. Senator freshman? Sounds more like High School freshman."

And Reverend Harry Rix writes, "I'm a minister. Paul's 'joke' in quotes, is not funny. Faith-and-freedom Christians should follow Jesus' love-your-neighbor commandment."

Of course we'd like to hear much more from you. Send us your thoughts on this. You can tweet me @RandiKayeCNN.

He is 9 years old and he's also dying of cancer. And a group of students hope to help his name trend high on Twitter. They say it is his last wish. I'll talk with his mom about it when she joins me live.


SGT. MARINE CLAYTONO COKER, U.S. MARINE CORPS: I'm Sergeant Clayton Coker, Third Marine Aircraft Wing, Camp Leather Neck, Afghanistan. I'd like to wish a happy Mother's Day to my mother and my good friend Ashley Olmer. I love you guys and I'll see you home soon.



COSTELLO: Today on CNN's "Next List" they call it "Urban Bee Keeping" and it's getting a ton of buzz.


NOAH WILSON-RICH, CHIEF SCIENTIST, BEST BEES CO.: It's bizarre. And when a beekeeper goes into his hives, he'll find a queen. She's healthy, laying eggs. Find maybe food, some honey, pollen stores. You won't see many signs of disease outright, but the bees are gone, and it's so mysterious. Where did they go?

We just don't know. And that's what we call colony collapse disorder. My name is Noah. I'm a beekeeper.



KAYE: Welcome back. Let's head to Washington now. CNN's "State Of The Union" coming up at the top of the hour; host Candy Crowley joining me for a bit of a preview. Good morning, Candy.


KAYE: So Mitt Romney coming off a pretty important day yesterday and his speech, of course, at Liberty University. How do you think his campaign is reacting? Do they think he close the deal with Christian conservatives? And what about yourself?

CROWLEY: Well listen I don't think you close the deal with a single speech. I think that there is enough skepticism about the Republican -- the presumptive nominee that Evangelicals who have been skeptical throughout the primary season will take more than -- than one day. They're going to watch him through the whole thing, and the question isn't, are they going to vote for President Obama or are they going to vote for Mitt Romney. If they are conservative Evangelicals, they're going to stay Republican. The question for Mitt Romney is can he galvanize that group.

There's the -- this is a group that is key in many states to getting out the vote, manning the phone banks, stuffing the envelopes, all of that. So that's really the question for Romney, and he can't do it in the speech, but it is -- it came at a good time for him.

The gay marriage issue obviously is also central to the Evangelical vote. He mentioned that in his speech at Liberty University. So it was a -- I'm sure that he, even the Romney campaign, would call it a start. It's certainly not the finish.

KAYE: Yes and meanwhile both Romney and the President are saying they're not going to make the same-sex marriage issue a big issue on the campaign trail. That it's about jobs and the economy.


KAYE: Can they really stick to that?

CROWLEY: They can. I don't -- I don't know that that means there will be sort of a blanket ban on talking about it. I think before certain groups the President will bring it up, and I think before certain groups Mitt Romney will bring up his opposition to it.

So I -- I think it will be used sparingly. I don't think it's a general here we are at a rally, you know, and here is my speech. I don't think it becomes part of the list of things that some -- that either of those candidates do in those speeches.

KAYE: Yes.

CROWLEY: But I think they will use it at certain points because it is helpful to both sides in getting their base revved up.

KAYE: Turning to national security this morning, the world certainly amazed to learn about that mole who foiled the al Qaeda plot to bomb the U.S. plane, but the reaction was -- was really a little different in the Obama administration, which is trying to find out who leaked the story. I mean any idea where things stand with that investigation?

CROWLEY: Just that they're investigating. I mean, you know, it was an amazing story, but I think on Capitol Hill, the White House, it was a little horrifying. Because obviously if you have someone out there and it comes out you had a mole in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, that's huge. And that compromises that particular CIA operative, a Saudi, we are told. It compromises any of those who may still be undercover in al Qaeda.

So there's just -- there are a lot of things wrong with it. We want to try to kind of get to the bottom of it and say what is the primary worry here? We have Senator Joe Lieberman and Congressman Peter King on both heads of their Homeland Security Committees on both sides of the Hill. So we will be talking about that.

KAYE: And speaking of Congress now, what does Congress think these days about President Obama's to-do list for them?

CROWLEY: I can tell you that Republicans say that's all he's ever done is give us to-do lists. But I think it brings up the real question because there are some tough things ahead for Congress. There are a lot of things that expire at the end of the year. Once again the payroll tax is going to expire. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire. There are lots of cuts that are slated to go in -- big, deep cuts in programs.

So Congress has to deal with all of this, and they're not because neither side wants to give the other an edge in the political scene. So they're all talking about this lame duck session.

KAYE: Yes.

CROWLEY: And the question is are they going to do anything at all this year or should they just go home and campaign and do what we all think they're doing anyway.

KAYE: I was just going to say that, exactly. Candy, thank you very much. Nice to see you.

CROWLEY: Thanks.

KAYE: And keep it here, of course, for "State Of The Union" with Candy Crowley. It starts in about 15 minutes or so at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, 6:00 a.m. Pacific right here on CNN.

He's 9 years old and he's dying of cancer. And a group of students hope to have his name trend on Twitter. They say it's his last wish. I'll talk with his mother about it.


KAYE: If you're just waking up and joining us this morning, take a moment to remember and love your mom. It's Mother's Day and for 9- year-old Ryan Kennedy, it will be his last. Ryan is dying from a rare form of brain cancer, living out his final days at home. After years of surgeries and painful treatments, the fourth grader told his mom he'd had enough and decided to stop any type of treatment.

His story has touched so many people. A group of local students decided to make his name trend on Twitter by tweeting it was Ryan's last wish. His mom Kimberly Morris-Karp is joining me from Detroit this morning. Kim good morning to you; many thanks for joining us on this Mother's Day, I'm sure this is a very difficult time, certainly a very difficult day for you. How is Ryan doing?

KIMBERLY MORRIS-KARP, MOTHER OF RYAN KENNEDY: Ryan is doing pretty good at this point. He is holding his own. He's sleeping most of the time, but he has very cognitive clear moments at times where he communicates very well with us. But he's just hanging in there.

KAYE: And what can you tell me? We mentioned that he has a rare form of cancer. What kind of cancer is that and when did you realize there was something very wrong?

MORRIS-KARP: His type of cancer that he was diagnosed with was diagnosed in March of 2007. He has ependymoma brain cancer. He was walking into the walls. His head was tilting to the left, and he just was vomiting quite frequently and it took us at least three weeks to try to figure out what it was.

We would go to the doctor and they told us he had a double ear infection. They told us that he had a viral infection and as a mom you think a viral infection, ok, that lasts two to four weeks. We expected it to clear up. And it just never went away.

So I kept calling the doctor, and she finally got an appointment scheduled for a CAT scan on March 29th. And on the 29th about 1:00 p.m. called and said that he had a brain tumor.

KAYE: Ryan is certainly aware from what I understand of this outpouring of support and outpouring of love for him on Twitter. There are celebrities tweeting. Everybody is tweeting. But this was not his last wish, right? This is from some local kids who put this together. So what is his last wish?

MORRIS-KARP: Ryan just -- I think Ryan and I as a family, we want people to know that brain cancer is out there, and it's a very deadly disease, and the more we talk about it, the more that I'm finding out from people that it is in their lives even, and it's just one of those things where we wish that we had a cure and that we had something that would help him, but at this point there isn't.

And so what we want is the message to be communicated out there that there is brain cancer, that it's underfunded, and that we need to raise the awareness and funding for brain cancer. And he said to me before I left, he was very grateful for all of the support that people have been giving him and he was very grateful for that.

KAYE: How did he at just 9 years old come to the decision, which would be a difficult decision for anyone, to stop treatment? Is this something you discussed with him?

MORRIS-KARP: Yes. From the very beginning of this, we have been very honest with him. I didn't think there was any other way to handle this except to tell him the truth. There was no sugar coating that he had cancer. There's no sugar coating that you have to have surgery and that you have to have radiation treatment and that you have to take medication all the time to try to get rid of this cancer.

And so we have always just told him the repercussions and what could happen from this whole entire journey that we've been on. And so we discussed it when we were told in February that, you know, he had -- his tumors had actually doubled in size from the November scans. And we just discussed it as a family and he just decided he didn't want to take any more pills. He didn't want any more surgery because it hurt. He just wanted to live the rest of his life and just live.

He wanted to go and do the things he wanted to do. So we booked a family vacation. And he wanted to go swimming and we went swimming. We have just tried to accommodate and fit as much in as we possibly could of things that Ryan has wanted to do.

KAYE: He sounds like such a strong little boy and certainly the support for him has grown so fast that an account rep from Twitter got in touch with you. I'm curious what they had to say.

MORRIS-KARP: Yes. He just sent me an e-mail and stated that, you know, this was trending and he asked me what our message was that we wanted to really get out there because I kind of explained to him that Ryan really wasn't the one who wanted to trend on Twitter. I mean, he's 9. He doesn't have a Twitter account. He really doesn't even know what Twitter was. The closest thing he has is a Facebook account that supports that he had to work to be able to interact with the Oakland University baseball team that had adopted him.

But he had no idea what was going on, but the Twitter account rep he just shared with us the statistics of how he was trending, and he was trending worldwide. It wasn't just in North America or Detroit. He was all across the globe.

KAYE: And he has two siblings, right? You have two other children. How are they handling all of this?

MORRI-KARP: You know, I honestly think that the Twitter has helped my kids be able to cope with this. They're finding that people are very compassionate and, you know, they're just -- they've just come to realize and I've come to realize because I thought that in this society that there was no compassion anymore because people were so focused on themselves and what they could get for themselves.

And my kids and myself even and I think my whole entire family are just, you know, overwhelmed at the compassion that we've seen in our community and the things that they want to do to bring awareness to brain cancer. And it's just, you know, an awesome thing to see my kids like -- you know, Nathan is out there tweeting. Mackenzie, she logs onto twitter to read the tweets that are going on. And it's really just kind of nice for them to be able to see the outpouring of compassion that people have.

KAYE: And how will you spend your last Mother's Day with your son?

MORRIS-KARP: Probably doing whatever he asks me to do. He wants Gatorade and so probably I will make a stop to get him some Gatorade today; a Pepsi, whatever he wants. Rub his feet. Help him with whatever he needs. I just plan on being there and just loving him through this.

KAYE: Kimberly, thank you again. I cannot even imagine how difficult this is for your family. We do appreciate your time and please give Ryan is big hug from all of us here.

MORRIS-KARP: Thank you, Randi.

KAYE: If someone is looking for more information about this rare form of cancer, you can visit You can also help Ryan Kennedy trend on Twitter. Just go to Twitter and type in #Ryan Kennedy.

We'll be right back.


KAYE: Welcome back. We're getting you ready for all the news in the week ahead with our "Week Ahead" calendar. So let's take a look at what's coming up your way this week.

On Monday it is -- here we go, here we go -- Monday big day. It is the deadline for the Secret Service to respond to questions from the senate committee that's investigating the Colombian prostitute scandal.

Thursday, of course, is a big day for Facebook and the IPO of Mark Zuckerberg. This is a huge stock market event. The IPO is expected to price anywhere from $28 to $35 a share.

And on Friday Obama, President Obama, will host a G-8 -- there we go, ok, this is sticky this morning. He'll host a G-8 at Camp David, of course. It was originally scheduled for Chicago and it was moved because of possible protests from Occupy groups.

And then on Saturday, yes, you got, it. The Preakness -- that's in Maryland. "I'll Have Another" will shoot for a second win in his quest for the Triple Crown.

So that is a look at your week ahead.

A Florida daughter gives her sick mother a very special Mother's Day gift, a kidney to save her life. We'll have more on this amazing story.


KAYE: Earlier we told you how Senator Rand Paul told a crowd of Republicans that President Obama's reversal on same-sex marriage, quote, "couldn't get any gayer". I asked all of you to weigh in.

Here is what some of you are saying.

DDLundy tweets, "Rand Paul has made a bigoted comment once again. Bigotry like this should not be tolerated in America. He should apologize."

And Doug said, "I began thinking Paul could never sound more immature. Senator freshman? Sounds more like high school freshman."

And Reverend Harry Rix writes "I'm a minister. Paul's joke is not funny. Faith-and-freedom Christians should follow Jesus' love your neighbor commandment." Keep those tweets coming in; I love to know what you think. I'm on twitter this morning reading all the tweets. Tweet me randikayecnn.

Well, it's Mother's Day, of course, and Reynolds and I are spending it together.

REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: This sounds weird doesn't it? It's a little bit weird.

KAYE: Part of the day at least.

WOLF: Yes.

KAYE: Until you get to go home to your kids and your wife. But there are a couple stories that caught our eye. One of them is really touching, right, don't you think?

WOLF: I'm blown away by it. I mean it is incredibly touching. It really is the gift of life.

KAYE: It certainly is. This is a story where a daughter has actually -- it's the nicest gift you and ever give your mother really. I mean she made her mother truly happy, here in south Florid. She really puts us all to shame.

The 27-year-old gave her kidney to her mother after she was diagnosed with lupus which, of course, is this chronic inflammatory disease that damages parts of the body. Just listen to this.


YOLANDA MIXON, MOTHER: We're here today, my daughter gave me the gift of life, and she's in my debt forever.

LEKISHA MIXON, DAUTHER: I feel like my mom has given me the most wonderful life. I have never had to want for anything.


KAYE: Of course, there's no cure for lupus. The transplant surgery was a success though and doctors believe that her health is going to improve. It's incredible, right?

WOLF: It makes my gift of flowers seem pretty lame. Wow.

KAYE: Well, flowers are nice, too.

WOLF: Pretty generous. Yes.

KAYE: Flowers are nice too.

But the coolest discovery -- I know you're excited about this.

WOLF: I'm blown away by this. This is incredible.

KAYE: Take us through it.

WOLF: Ok. Let's start with this. A World War II plane has been found just sitting quietly in the Egyptian desert. How cool is this? Take a look at it. Conditions are perfect in the desert in some regards. It's very, very dry, tends to be very, very hot, and with the lack of moisture, they found this plane that has been perfectly preserved.

Now, this is a plane that was actually on a mission. It's a P-40 Warhawk. It was a Royal Air Force plane flown by a British pilot on maneuvers, apparently got lost, crash-landed in the desert. They found the plane in remarkably great shape. They even found parts of his parachute close by. They think he survived. The mystery is now whatever happened to the pilot.

KAYE: They have no idea, right.

WOLF: No idea. Just --

KAYE: I mean they think he got out.

WOLF: Without any problem at all, yes.

KAYE: Right. In the desert, you probably can't survive very long.

WOLF: Probably not, unfortunately.

KAYE: Yes. All right. Well, listen, we're going to let you get home. You have to get home for Mother's Day.

WOLF: Big day. Big day.

KAYE: Be good to mom today everyone -- Happy Mother's Day. Thanks so much for watching today. You can always continue the conversation with me on twitter @randikayecnn. "STATE OF THE UNION with Candy Crowley starts right now.