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Back and Forth Battle to Control Aleppo; First Presidential Debate Wednesday Night in Denver; Another Mona Lisa Painting Appeared in a Market; A Bounty Program in Tustin, Red Cobras Revealed
Aired September 29, 2012 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM.
We start in Syria where there's a relentless back and forth battle to control Aleppo. Once considered a regime stronghold.
The opposition says 94 people have been killed in fighting across Syria today alone. The total in the civil war according to another opposition group is more than 30,000, and a along with the fighting and dying, some of Syria's cultural treasures are being destroyed.
Mohammed Jamjoom is joining us live now from Beirut.
So, this war is horrible, and it seems like there isn't any end, but are any experts saying there might be a turning point on the horizon?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, you know, the opposition in Syria has said for the last two days that there's a decisive battle that's been launched in Aleppo in Syria's largest city by the rebel forces that they're trying to drive out the regime forces from that city once and for all and take control of Aleppo.
But effectively what you have going on in Aleppo is a see-saw battle, a steal mate. And one of the reason is even though the rebels have been able to push into areas that regime forces may not have imagined that they could force into before and get a stronghold in some areas of the city, the fact of the matter is that they're outgunned, outmanned by Syrian regime forces and the Syrian government has the air power. They control the skies. They have the helicopter gunships, they have war planes. And because of the relentless shelling we keep hearing going on there, it's hard for rebels to take control of that city.
We heard from activists the past two days the fighting is as fierce as it has been since the clashes in Aleppo began in July and it's only getting worse. The death toll is spiraling out of control. A lot of concerns right now and nobody thinks that, this battle, the people that we speak within Aleppo that it will end any time soon -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: What about all of the lost cultural treasures, historically very important. Of course, it seems, you know, irrelevant when you think about the number of lives that some say have been lost over the past, you know, year, 30,000. But what do we know about the cultural treasures and why it is so important to try to preserve?
JAMJOOM: That's right, Fredricka, it is an important question. And since the fighting began in Aleppo, there have been concerns about the rich cultural and historic legacy of that city. The heart of that city has the centuries old citadel. The heart of the city is a UNESCO world heritage site. Today, we're hearing from opposition activists because of intense clashes between regime forces and between rebel forces, that there was a blaze that was sparked, a fire that started in the medieval Suks (ph) which is the mark place. Essentially it's like a maze of covered alleyways where everything from souvenirs to food to clothing is sold. It's a major tourist attraction, or it was, in a city filled with getting tourists and one of the reasons why the city is the country's commercial hub.
Well today, we hear there's a fire sparked there. We don't know how much may have burned, if it's under control. But it's very disturbing. All of the sides that we have spoken is conflict to since the fighting began in Aleppo, have been concerned about what would happen to the cultural sites in Aleppo if the fighting got worst. And now more concerns are being sparked today because of use of this fire -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: And you know, Mohammed, secretary of state Hillary Clinton mentioned that there's this U.N. so-called, you know, friends of Syria, and they pledged more than $50 million for the opposition, whether it be in weapons or whether it be to help refugees, et cetera. Has that message gotten to the opposition? And if so, what is their reaction and when do they expect that assistance?
Well, Fredricka, the message has gotten to the opposition. But you know, the opposition is grateful for this assistance, and they have been. The U.S. and other countries have given, you know, have given money and aid in the past. But the opposition, and especially the rebels have said from day one what they need more than anything is they need more artillery. They need more firepower. They need anti- aircraft guns and anti-tank guns. They say they are either running low on supplies, they don't have those supplies.
The U.S., since they started aiding the opposition, has said that they don't want to further militarize this conflict. That they only want to send in nonlethal assistance, things like satellite phones and computers or food or medical supplies.
And so, you have this divide between the opposition, some are very grateful of this assistance, but also the rebels and other opposition members are saying this isn't going to do it for us. It's great we're getting this training that we're getting all this assistance, but we need a lot more in order to prevail in this conflict that is going on in this country and rid the country of the Bashar Al Assad regime once and for all -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Mohammed Jamjoom. Thanks for the update.
All right, now stateside to Pennsylvania where six teen girls have been charged as adults in the vicious beating of a mentally disabled woman. It happened on Tuesday in Philadelphia and was caught on cell phone. The video was posted on facebook. Police say the woman was beaten and stomped. They say the girls chased her inside and beat her with a chair, a shoe, and their fists. The girls' ages range from 15 to 19 years old. Two of them are sisters. Here's how one mother reacted to the incident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never talked to my child since she went to school yesterday. I have to talk to her yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What about your other daughter?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know the story. I haven't talked to her since yesterday. Can you pull back?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: She apparently was the instigator if you look at the video.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Well, I haven't seen the video and haven't talked to my child. Sorry for the things that happened but I have nothing else to say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have been charged with aggravated assault and related charges, being held on $50,000 bail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: The lawyer for one of the girls is speaking out on the case. He says his client, a 16-year-old, is innocent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENRIQUE LATOISON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My client never made any physical contact with the victim in this case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: She did not throw any punches?
LATOISON: No. She didn't throw any punches.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Or throw anything at her?
LATOISON: That's correct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: The victim was taken to the hospital. Officials say she's being treated at an undisclosed locate. .
WHITFIELD: All right, let's turn to the race for the presidency.
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are about to go head to head for their first presidential debate. It happens Wednesday night in Denver. Senator John Kerry is standing in for Mitt Romney in President Obama's debate rehearsals. On the other side as defense here, Senator Rob Portman will fly with Mitt Romney to Colorado on Monday. He is playing the role of President Obama in Romney's practice round.
While the candidates prepare for that debate, their running mates are courting voters in battleground states. Republican Paul Ryan is in New Hampshire and Ohio today. He said President Obama's economic policies were contributing to a lower standard of living.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're either part of the problem or part of the solution. And you know what? President Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And vice president Joe Biden is wrapping up a two-day swing through Florida. At a rally in Fort Myers, he blasted Romney and Ryan on Medicare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If what the Republicans -- if what Romney and Ryan are saying about Obama and Biden is true on Medicare, why would the American medical suggestion endorse our position? Why would the national American hospital association and most importantly, why would AARP endorse us?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: President Obama and Mitt Romney face-to-face as American voters weigh their choice. The first presidential debate starting Wednesday night October 3rd, watch it live at 7:00 Eastern time, right here on CNN and CNN.com.
A group of fishermen lucky to be alive after their boat capsized. Their dramatic rescue was caught on tape.
A tropical storm overturned their stripping vessel off Mexico's coast. They were thrown into the rough water there. But all eight of them managed to cling on to the rope before they were hauled to safety. One had to be treated for taking in too much water. The rest, just lucky to walk away with a few bumps and bruises.
All right, closer to home, and a rescue of a different kind. A hiker had to be air lifted out of a canyon after slipping off the edge of a waterfall in a Georgia state park. The 22-year-old suffered broken bones in the lower part of his body.
Today, ten miles of one of the busiest freeways in America closed, and people in Los Angeles are calling it carmageddon two. Last summer, drivers feared a similar closure on interstate 405 that it would cause a monster traffic jam. But it actually went smoothly because most drivers stayed home to avoid all that. Well this weekend, officials are once again asking people to stay of the main roads and the 405 scheduled to reopen Monday.
It's one of the world's most famous paintings. But this week, an art foundation unveiled what it said is a younger version of the Mona Lisa. Do you think it's real? Hmm, is the resemblance there? You be the judge when we get back.
WHITFIELD: A tiny Renoir painting worth a small fortune, but the story of how it was stolen from a Baltimore art museum 60 years ago, then bought for $7 at a flea market, to be priceless, the FBI is now on the case, still, no idea who stole it or how it wound up in a flea market. And after all that is figured out, there's still yet another question. Who owns it, the museum, the woman who bought it $7, or the insurance company?
All right, now for another mystery, this one involving one of the most famous paintings in the world. We are talking about Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. A private Swiss art foundation says she's not alone. There's another Mona Lisa out there. And they unveiled it on Thursday. So let the debates begin.
We brought in John Mann, CNN international. His expertise and his, you know, piercing eye can help nail it down for us.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You think that Renoir was viable? That's jump change to a Mona Lisa which may in fact, and here's the debate, wasn't the first Mona Lisa. What this foundation in Zurich is trying to convince the art world is that Leonardo De Vinci didn't just paint the most famous painting of all time, the most famous woman, perhaps, of all time. He painted her twice. And he painted her once before the painting that is now so famous that hangs in the Louvre and if you're willing to fight through 400 tourists, you yourself can see.
Well, those of us who have been lucky enough to fight our way to the front to see it, very few have sign these painting. This was in a Swiss vault for 40 years. And people wondered, well, did Da Vinci paint an earlier version of this painting? There was some historical evidence he might have possibly that he did. And now, they're saying this is, the art foundation is saying, this is it. And what we are looking at on the left is the Mona Lisa. You can see she's a little bit darker --
WHITFIELD: More shadows.
MANN: There are finished landscapes behind her. We are looking at the Mona Lisa on the left. I think we have another shot of the one on the right, there you go. And you notice the landscape is not complete. You will notice the shadows on her face are not as developed. And if anything, she seems younger. So, if that's the adult Mona Lisa, maybe this is the high school graduation photo, this the facebook page.
The whole debate hinges on really two things. Did Leonardo paint this because if he didn't it's a copy by someone else. Did he paint the whole thing or just a part of it? The foundation says he painted at least a part of it. But the other question is, was this the first painting of Mona Lisa or the second, because once again if it was the second, it is in essence a copy of the great masterpiece that the whole world knows, or not. I mean, if you look -- you stare at them.
WHITFIELD: I'm looking.
WHITFIELD: OK, you know, what I'm looking at is the similarities of the bumps and ridges of her hair, nearly identical. So, how that can be, that even if time elapses, who sits in the exact same position with the head at the exact same angle? Can it just be an issue of lighting where the one appears lighter to make her appear younger?
MANN: It could be also.
WHITFIELD: The lips are a little more pink.
MANN: Two theories here. Two theories, the one on the right, is the Botox Mona Lisa, that, I think started so right into this canvass, historically probably not going to work. But what if he had painted her as a younger woman and didn't release that, he kept it, and then he painted her again in her absence as an older woman?
MANN: So, but here's what the experts are saying that discounts that possibility. The Mona Lisa that the whole world knows has been x- rayed and they know that the Mona Lisa that the world knows was changed from the way it first appeared.
Now, if it's different than it first appeared that earlier painting would not look like it. It would look like it's meant to look. Instead, we see the earlier painting looking almost exactly like the later Mona Lisa. It's a mystery. It is an extraordinarily valuable painting if it's real. If it's not, it's just fun to talk about.
WHITFIELD: It's fun to talk about it. Again OK. So, again, with the two images there, we had one that was a little wider and you could see the neck line of the outfit. Exact same outfit, too? Come on, you guys.
MANN: OK. The skeptical journalist there.
WHITFIELD: I'm so skeptical. I could not see that you just did too. Or, I mean, except from the sitting, there are just too many similarities.
MANN: OK. You're not buying it.
WHITFIELD: No, I'm not.
MANN: OK. You're more of a $7 Renoir.
WHITFIELD: But, I love the story and I love the discussion, I really do. But I'm just -- I'm a tough sell right now. But you did a great job. MANN: Well, thank you. Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right, John Mann, I love it. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.
All right, it's quite a proposal. Would you accept $64 million to marry this man's daughter? If you are game, we have details.
WHITFIELD: A Hong Kong billionaire is making an offer many bachelors might find hard to refuse, $64 million to marry his daughter. So, why is this dad doing that and are there any applicants?
Our Pauline Chiou finds out.
PAULINE CHIOU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In his opulent 16,000 square foot mansion, real estate tycoon Cecil Chao enjoys the beautiful artwork, the serenity of an indoor waterfall and an ocean view.
But one of Hong Kong's richest men is unsettled by a simple desire, finding the right person for his only daughter.
CECIL CHAO, HONG KONG BILLIONAIRE: Gigi to me is a nice girl, very loving daughter and deserves a good life and she should have as wide a choice as possible.
CHIOU: Sounds simple enough for 33-year-old Gigi Chao who is executive director of her father's real estate empire. But various media outlets have reported that Gigi is already married to her longtime female companion. Her father said those reports are false and have ruined her chances of finding a man so he's offering an incentive, $64 million to any man who can win over his daughter.
Aren't you worried about the types of people who will apply? I mean, they're just after the money, don't you think?
CECIL CHAO: I'm not going to worry ability these things until Gigi has found somebody who loves her. If somebody loves her just for her money, I mean, she is old enough to find out herself, and I will advise her.
CHIOU: More than 1,000 offers have come in. Gigi Chao said she finds her father's offer entertaining.
GIGI CHAO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHEUK NANG HOLDINGS LTD.: I wasn't angry at all. I was moved by daddy's announcement. I mean, it's really his way of saying baby girl, I love you and you deserve more.
CHIOU: CNN asked her about media reports of her marriage to a longtime female partner. She said she's not in a position to verify this.
Cecil Chao said he's open minded when it comes to issues of sexuality, but he has his concerned.
CECIL CHAO: If she is not gay, she should straighten it out, not let the people be misled.
CHIOU: But if she is gay, are you OK with that the.
CECIL CHAO: That is for her to decide what she wants to be.
CHIOU: Both father and daughter says the publicity has been overwhelming. On her facebook page, Gigi Chao says for the sake of her family's sanity, she hopes her father retracts his offer. But money talks and interested suitors continue clogging up the office faxes and e-mails.
Pauline Chiou, CNN. Hong Kong.
WHITFIELD: And up next, a story that has had America fascinated for decades. A tip lead police to look for Jimmy Hoffa's remains again. I will tell you what they found in a house near Detroit.
WHITFIELD: New information in a decades old mystery. The disappearance of former Teamster Jimmy Hoffa, crews are digging under a shed for his possible remains say they didn't find any bones but the investigation isn't over. Soil samples have gone to a lab for testing.
CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti has more.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Could these carefully wrapped tubes of soil carried out among a sea of cameras possibly hold the remains of Jimmy Hoffa?
CHIEF BERLIN, ROSEVILLE MICHIGAN: This is kind of like an open wound that won't go away.
CANDIOTTI: A wound that just might be partially closed Monday when lab results put to rest whether these are human remains let alone Hoffa's.
BERLIN: Stranger things have happened so it's possible.
CANDIOTTI: Possible maybe, but not probable. The dig inside a shed came after a witness recently told police he saw a body buried there about the same time Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in 1975. But the police chief says the timeline doesn't add up. In part he says an alleged bookmaking operation at the house didn't happen until years later.
BERLIN: I don't think it was Mr. Hoffa.
CANDIOTTI: Neither does retired FBI agent John Anthony who worked the Hoffa case. He gives the tip zero credibility.
JOHN ANTHONY, RETIRED FBI AGENT: Whether they find a body or not, I don't know. I doubt that. But if they do, I guarantee you it's not Jimmy Hoffa.
CANDIOTTI: Anthony says the FBI has a good idea who pulled off the hit and where, but it sure wasn't in this neighborhood. Why could the FBI never find the body?
ANTHONY: Because there is no body. The body, in our opinion, was cremated or was thrown into a vat of acid or whatever.
CANDIOTTI: Whatever happened, the mafia backed teamster boss is legendary. Celebrated in movies like this one, going up against U.S. attorney general Robert Kennedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The justice department has plenty on you Mr. Hoffa.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't impress me. I don't need $300 million and my brother elected president to (bleep).
CANDIOTTI: Over the years, many failed attempts to find him. Tips had him buried in cement at the end zone of old Giants stadium. They looked through blood stains on the floor board of a Detroit home and dug up a horse farm in 2006, all dead ends.
Hoffa's middle name was riddle and so is trying to pinpoint why his fate still captivates so many people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a gifted individual. He was powerful. He was a negotiator. Combine that with his mysterious disappearance and the connection with the underworld and the mob.
CANDIOTTI: So now the question is, will police crack this case or will it remain an unsolved mystery?
Susan Candiotti, CNN. Roseville, Michigan.
WHITFIELD: A retired FBI special agent John Anthony who worked on the Hoffa case, you saw him in that piece, is joining us live now from Detroit.
So, you said in that report, no, you don't believe it. Remains are not going to be found in that location that could be related to Hoffa. Why are you so convinced of that?
ANTHONY: Absolutely. His body was destroyed within eight hours of his abduction. Keep in mind on July 30th, the abduction happened somewhere around 2:00 in the afternoon. And it's the FBI's opinion based on our extensive investigation that the body was cremated, destroyed, chopped up, whatever that evening, and his body or any part of his remains will never be found. Keep in mind, within eight months of the abduction, the case was solved by the FBI. WHITFIELD: So, you think it's a waste of time, waste of resources?
ANTHONY: Well, I think it is. I mean, the FBI spent a lot of time. Their last entry into this area was a tip on a farm in Milford that was owned by a former organized crime teamster official and that turned up nothing. This has to cost several thousand dollars and it led to where I always thought it would lead, and that is nowhere.
WHITFIELD: I spoke with the police chief yesterday and he said they were compelled to follow up. It seemed like the tipster was fairly credible. And the reason why the tipster took this amount of time, three decades to actually come forward because of fear, simple as that.
You know, at the same time, do you feel like, you know, police jurisdictions are going to be constantly, be on kind of a wild-goose chase, if you want to call it a wild-goose chase, because it is a legendary, you know, kind of urban myth. It's a mystery that continues to fascinate so many?
ANTHONY: You're correct. It is a mystery that continues to fascinate a lot of people. It will go on and on. But you know, right away, as soon as this happened, the thing that destruct me was, the tipster refused to take a polygraph examination. You know, weight the way that's got to tell you something. And the timeline was not correct either. But, law enforcement, local law enforcement can do what they want to do and they drilled a hole and it came up empty. And as my grandson told me many times when confront with some of the situations, it's a bunch of crapola. It doesn't mean anything. It never will, and it's never going to be solved. We know what happened. We know who was involved. Unfortunately the people who were involved who could be prosecuted are down to only two or three individuals.
WHITFIELD: So, what point will jurisdictions say case closed? We are never going to really be able to tie this up, conclude it succinctly. But, we realize it's just a mystery that will forever go down in infamy as just that, a mystery?
ANTHONY: Well, the investigation itself as to who, what, where, when, and why is well known and has been well known to the FBI and law enforcement for a long period of time. The mystery surrounds the body itself. Where is the body? And it's our opinion, the FBI, based on our investigation that the body was disposed of in a bottle of acid, chopped up, in a crematorium, wherever, so that it could never, never be found. And that's what we believe happened. And all these tips from now on are going to lead nowhere.
WHITFIELD: All right, retired FBI special agent John Anthony. Thanks so much for your time from Detroit today.
ANTHONY: Appreciate it. Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right, we're going to talk about your grocery bill coming up. You can get farm fresh produce and dairy even in the middle of the big city. We will show you how one Web site is bringing the farmer's market to you. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: You can get farm fresh food with just a click of a mouse. A Web site called Farmigo matches up farmers with local shoppers.
CNN Money tech reporter, Laurie Segall explains how it works.
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: See this tomato here? Well, every time you buy a dollar's worth of these at the supermarket, the farmer's cut is only 20 cents. That's pretty much true of just about everything the farmer grows.
A store of called Farmigo is trying to take out the middleman between you and the farmers who grow your food.
BENZI ROMEN, FOUNDER, FARMIGO: We want to make sure that the farmers are making a higher percentage. So, 85 cents on the dollar selling direct versus 20 cents if they sells through wholesale.
SEGALL: And that means, you get you food cheaper too.
Here's how it works. On their Web site, you enter your zip code and what you would like from the farm. They will find you a location to pick up your boxed personalized farmer's market.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, they go out and do my shopping at all the local farms.
SEGALL: Farmigo host locations try to make pickup an event.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On Tuesdays when it is Farmigo pickup day, everybody comes. They have a little cocktail, a glass of sangria, a little bite to eat while they here to pick up the vegetables.
SEGALL: Not everyone wants to turn food shopping into a social event, and there are plenty of things you want in a grocery store that you can't get in a farm. But Farmigo is targeting a group they say is growing called local goers.
ROMEN: Today, the brand local is now stronger than the brand organic.
SEGALL: And you're making more money, right?
PATTI POPP, FARMER, SPORT HILL FARM: Exactly. That never hurts.
SEGALL: Tell me a little bit about this.
POPP: I make more money in my pocket, but people are also enjoying healthier, fresher food than you get in a grocery store.
SEGALL: They raised $10 million in funding from several venture capital firms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the most important industry to support because it's huge and it has benefits well beyond just disrupting the economic model.
SEGALL: Those benefits, Farmigo says, are that they encourage healthier eating.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have lots of trucks pulling up with food across America and we have lots of people stock in supermarket shelves. Technology is mobile is going to eat all that. In Farmigo, we just simply connect the farmer and consumer.
SEGALL: But, there are some things the internet won't change on the farm.
POPP: Unfortunately, as a farmer, I can't press a button and hit the in box and have my potatoes appear overnight.
WHITFIELD: All right, so now Laurie Segall is joining us from New York. We are just a click of the mouse away. You can still get to Farmigo, right? So, Web sites like this, is this going to give traditional supermarkets a run for their money?
SEGALL: Well look, I mean, it's not like they are going to completely be able to take on something as huge as a supermarket, but that being said, a lot of people want local. A lot of people want to connect with their farms, want to connect with the community, but they haven't really been able to figure out how to go about it.
So, now the ideas Farmigo is really giving people the opportunity to create a digital supermarket. You can go online and say I want this and I want that and you'll be connected to farms in your area that will bring it to you. So, I think for them to actually really do well, they're going to have to scale. They're going to have to have people like us say we're going to commit to buying a certain amount. We're going to start these pickup locations at our schools and that kind of thing. That's where I think they'll be able to give the supermarkets a run for their money, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: So, is there a way for people to get involved beyond being, you know, a customer, a patron of it?
SEGALL: Sure, you know, what you can do is you can start communities. So, let's say you really want to do this, and to be honest, Fredricka, for me, I have to figure out the cooking thing before I actually go and do this.
But let's say I decide I want to do this at CNN. I have to get 20 other people in my community interested, and I can go online. I can go to farmigo.com. I can click start a community. And I can commit and get 20 other people to commit to buying local produce and doing this about once a week, and then when you do that, you know, you can fill out an application. They'll review it, and connect you to people in the community and bring you your boxes full of your fresh groceries straight from the ground. And then you know, next step, you start cooking. So, it is a pretty interesting idea.
WHITFIELD: Sure. Everybody loves fresh. All right, thanks so much.
Laurie Segall, always good to see you from New York.
SEGALL: Nice to see you.
WHITFIELD: So for more, a high-tech ideas and reviews, go to CNN.com/tech and look for the gaming and gadgets tab.
WHITFIELD: All right, in Afghanistan, many young girls risk their lives just walking to school. But, one woman is risking her life to see that they get an education.
WHITFIELD: A roadside bomb kills a police trainer and an interpreter in western Afghanistan. It happened in (INAUDIBLE) province. The group was on their way to a police training center when their car hit an explosive device. Two police officers were also wounded.
This week's CNN hero is making a difference for girls in Afghanistan. This week, we're shining a spotlight on the top ten CNN heroes of 2012. And this week's honoree is risking her life to help young girls in Afghanistan get an education.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAZIA JAN, CNN HERO: In Afghanistan, most of the girls have no voice. They are used as property of a family. The picture is very grim.
My name is Razia Jan, and I'm the founder of a girl's school in Afghanistan.
When we opened the school in 2008, 90 percent of them could not write their name. Today, 100 percent of them are educated. They can read. They can write. I lived in U.S. for over 38 years. But I was really affected by 9/11. I really wanted to prove that Muslims are not terrorists.
I came back here in 2002. Girls have been the most suppressed and I thought I have to do something. It was a struggle in the beginning. I would sit with these men and I would tell them don't marry them when they're 14 years old. They want to learn.
How do you write your father's name?
After five years now, the men are proud of their girls when they themselves can't write their names. Still, we have to take precautions. Some people have so much against girls getting educated. We provide free education to over 350 girls. I think it's like a fire that will grow every year, my hope becomes more. I think I can see the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Earlier, I spoke to Razia Jan by phone from Afghanistan, and I asked her what it's been like for her since opening the school. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAN: This is the fifth year, and the girls, I mean, it's amazing. And it's just a joy to see them, that they can read, they can write, and they're working on computers. And they have -- they are learning really three languages which is (INAUDIBLE) and also English which would really help them as they grow older. And my dream is for them to continue their education and continue giving them the best education that is possible under the circumstances and to keep them safe, really. That's my goal.
WHITFIELD: And it hasn't been easy for them. It hasn't been easy for you. Give me an idea of what some of the obstacles, the roadblocks, what have they been?
JAN: You know, as I said before and I am repeating, you know, a woman really, and girls especially, they don't have any rights, and they are not only, you know, dominated by their father but then the brothers and uncle and grandfather. So it's not one person, you know, giving them permission to go to school. But, you have to go through, you know, a lot of obstacles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Razia is one of our top ten honorees eligible to become the CNN hero of the year and receive $250,000. So, who will it be? You decide. Go to CNNheroes.com online and on your mobile device to vote up to ten times a day every day for the most inspirational hero to you.
He battles cancer as a boy and turned it into a crusade in the kitchen. How a young man and his mom are picking up ways to help children being treated with the disease.
WHITFIELD: Eight years ago, one man was diagnosed with cancer. He still lost his appetite and finding foods that he could eat became essential to beating the disease. Well, now he and his mom have teamed up to help other kids.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more on their story in today's human factor.
DOCTOR SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fabien Navidi Kasmai is what you call an old soul. He has always been advanced. When he was ten, he won a writing contest that gave him an opportunity to interview first lady Laura Bush. He has been constantly challenging himself. But at age 11, Fabien faced his biggest challenge at all. He was diagnosed with stage three cancer.
FABIEN NAVIDI KASMAI, CANCER SURVIVOR: And then it becomes like a blur, you know, the tests and all kinds of scans, and they put me in surgery.
GUPTA: His mother, Danielle Navidi, watched Fabien go from a happy, healthy boy to a very sick child.
DANIELLE NAVIDI, FABIEN'S MOTHER: There is no greater nightmare. He was left more ill as a result of the treatment. You know, the re- building was such a journey, getting him back, his trait back and his health back.
GUPTA: With chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Fabien began to lose his appetite. His mother became frustrated looking for new ways to feed her son. The things he used to like, no longer tasted any good. So Danielle kept experimenting with foods, cooking things he would eat, but were also healthy for him so he could fight the cancer.
FABIEN NAVIDI KASMAI: It still boils down to the fact that you can do it or you can't do it. And we are going to do it. So we have to do it the best way we can.
GUPTA: It has been nearly ten years after sin Fabien was diagnoses, and after a year of treatment and countless follow-ups visits, he remains cancer-free. His mother is now certified nutritionist. He teaches other families how to cook other meals that taste good for children who have cancer. Some of her recipes can now be found in a cookbook entitled "happily hungry," which Danielle and Fabien collaborated on because there is so very little information available to help children with cancer, eat healthier during their treatment.
DANIELLE NAVIDI: You have to look at it as an opportunity to rebuild them the best way possible.
GUPTA: The book is filled with colorful recipes, designed with a child in mind. It is categorized by a symptom describing why each recipe is important. The Navidis hope the children will get well, just like it did for Fabien.
Today Fabien is a senior at Temple University in Philadelphia studying film. He is back to challenging himself by graduating from college next May at the age of 19.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN.
WHITFIELD: Great inspiration, be sure to watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta MD today 4:30 Eastern time and then Sunday, 7:30 a.m. eastern time.
All right, allegation is paying football player bounties for hard hit. And we are not even talking about the NFL. This involves kids playing in a Pee Wee league.
WHITFIELD: Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati reds pitched a no-hitter last night, beating the pirates 1-0. It was the seventh no-hitter in major league baseball this season, tying a record. Bailey struck out ten batters and was nearly perfect walking only one. The teen major league, they are celebrating with him, blue berry happy team. All right, offering kids big cash for big hits? That is what the coach of a Pee-Wee football team in Tustin, California is accused of doing, running his own bounty program. This was allegedly going on for months before the scandal involved the New Orleans saints program, before that came to light.
Our Casey Wian has the story.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 2011 Tustin Red Cobras football team went undefeated in the regular football season.
FRANK MICKADEIT, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: This was a team that knew it was on the verge of greatness, and indeed it went through the pop Warner super bowl in Florida. And because it knew it had the players in place to get that far, it was probably willing to push the boundaries of what was acceptable. And they got carried away.
WIAN: John Zanelli, then an assistant coach for the team of 10 and 11-year-olds now says other coaches on the team offered the boys 20 dollar cash bounties for big hits on opposing players.
Zanelli declined to speak with CNN, but off camera confirmed details of the alleged bounty program, first reported by the Keith Sharon and Frank Mickadeit of Orange County Register.
MICKADEIT: All in all, we now have six parents and players saying that this happened, six out of a team of about 22, confirming this happened. So there is -- there is no doubt in my mind that this happened.
WIAN: We spoke with one player from the 2011 Tustin Red Cobras team whose parents didn't want them identified because they feared retaliation. Players told us, coaches did discuss cash incentives for big hits and that after games players would vote on which player would receive the money. He also said he saw the coach give the player cash.
Darren Crawford, head coach of the cobras, calls those claims nonsense. Did you ever suggest or pay for a player to hurt a player on another team?
DARREN CRAWFORD, COACH, TUSTIN RED COBRAS: Absolutely not. I think that they're trumped up charges. I think that John Zanelli made these charges up in his head and wrote them down in paper and submitted them. I believe to national top owner. Nothing like that ever happened on my team.
ELIZABETH CHILDS, TEAM MOM, TUSTIN RED COBRAS: I have been a team mom for him for two of those four years. So, I am not what you would consider a casual bystander on the side lines. I was at practices. I was at the games and I never once heard anything mentioned in a nature of any kind of bounty.
WIAN: The local conference initially investigated the claims and called unfounded or overstated. Late Thursday, the national Pop Warner organization suspended Crawford and the Tustin Red president saying, in light of new information and players coming forward who did not participate in the league investigation, National Pop Warner will intervene to investigation.
Crawford and other parents with boys still on the team says, Zanelli's claims are the result of a vendetta coming from long running disputes with the local Pop Warner conference. Zanelli has since left and formed his owned team within the league.
The cobras 2011 season ended with a loss in the national semifinal, a successful season tarnished by a bitter rift among the team's coaches, parents and players over allegations that players were paid to play hard.
Casey Wian, CNN. Tustin, California.