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CNN NEWSROOM

North Korea to Launch Another Missile?; Former Boxer on Trial for Murders; Capturing an Asteroid; Preview of NCAA Men's Basketball Final

Aired April 8, 2013 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: This Wednesday, that is when North Korea may launch a missile, the U.S., very so much so watching the movement of these two missiles, and now it has its own missile defense system in here, locked and loaded.

Now, North Korea's missiles are widely to be (inaudible). They're medium-range missiles, potential range, 2,500 miles, which would put American bases in Guam, as you can see here, within this -- within that circle, in reach.

This, as North Korea severs its last tangible ties to the South after kicking South Korean workers out of this shared industrial Kaesong complex.

Today, North Korea ordered its own workers to leave, located there right on the border.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent, joins me from New York.

So, Christiane, let's do the ifs. If one or two perhaps of these missiles are launched from North Korea, they, of course, would be tracked and shot down by U.S. destroyers.

What happens then? North Korea loses face?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, that's anybody's guess.

I think it is important to say what people think might happen. I was just talking to Gary Seymour, President Obama's former top nuclear adviser, and he said that it is very, very, very unlikely that there could be a hostile missile strike on American targets or on populated areas, much less any kind of nuclear attack.

What might happen is some kind of missile strike, as you say, or some kind of missile launch on an area that is either just a test in the water or somewhere sort of sparsely populated, reminding us which they actually did that to one of the islands, South Korean islands, a few years ago.

Then the question is, what do you do in response? Well, there is the possibility and the ability to have the missile shield up and to intercept those missiles, and then to decide what to do next, which would be anybody's guess.

The preferred option right now is to continue with the -- what they have been doing over the previous cycles of these kinds of provocation, and that is go back to the U.N., you know, have all these sanctions and keep going in that route.

But they have to figure out how to respond in a way that shows North Korea that what they can do is not cost free, and, yet, not in such a way that would cause a bigger outbreak of war in the region.

BALDWIN: What do you think about -- there has been talk about opening up the line of communication.

I was talking to former New Mexico Governor bill Richardson recently, and he was saying let's do out of the box diplomacy. He was saying maybe not President Obama picking up the phone and calling up this young leader of North Korea, perhaps a special envoy.

Do you think that that would be beneficial? Do you think that would even happen?

AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, obviously there is no way the president is going to be seen as rewarding or there is any reason to call the young leader right now, even though all we know is that he's asked that to happen.

However, what it appears is the United States is not thinking in that way at all right now. They're talking to their allies who have, let's say, met with Kim Jong-un, for instance, various European diplomat in North Korea, in Pyongyang, and the biggest real reliance for the West, for the United States, is on China.

They are really trying to hope and trying to persuade China that they need to step up and really bring Kim Jong-un into line, and also suggesting, not so discreetly, that, you know, China, if it is worried about the U.S. buildup in Asia, the so-called to pivot to Asia, one of the reasons would be to keep North Korea in line.

So if China doesn't want to see a huge buildup by the U.S., they need to take that kind of thing seriously.

So they hope that China might try to put not just a diplomatic squeeze on Pyongyang, but also the economic squeeze.

BALDWIN: Christiane Amanpour, thank you very much.

AMANPOUR: Thanks, Brooke.

Coming up next, he has a rap sheet more than 100 pages long. It could soon be getting longer.

A former boxer ready to go on trial, charged with killing three people and now investigators say DNA evidence could link him to multiple murders as well. We're live in Los Angeles, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Police now across the country are going back decades to look at old murders because of one man, Samuel Little. He's 74 years of age. He's a former boxer, now facing trial in Los Angeles for the deaths of three women stemming from the 1980s.

DNA technology wasn't available before now, now has investigators in at least nine states trying to match unsolved murders with Sam Little's whereabouts over the years.

Casey Wian is following this story for us from L.A. And, so, his rap sheet, like 100 pages long. Police say he may even be a serial killer. How did he end up in L.A.?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, here's what happened, Brooke.

Cold case investigators here in Los Angeles had DNA evidence from two unsolved murders in the 1980s. They say they linked that evidence to Samuel Little who was found living in a homeless shelter in Kentucky.

They arrested him. He was successfully extradited here to Los Angeles. He now faces charges of three murders here in Los Angeles from the 1980s. He has pled not guilty to those murders.

But investigators here say he could have ties to killings in as many as 24 states. He has been arrested more than 50 times in those 24 states.

One investigator involved in the case telling me today that the scope of this investigation, this potential serial killer investigation, is unlike anything she has ever seen in her career, Brooke.

BALDWIN: But looking at his previous crimes, he was smacked with serious crimes, though he spent something like less than 10 years in prison. How did that happen?

WIAN: Well, one of the reasons, investigators say he moved around so much, you mentioned also the DNA technology was not as sophisticated back in the 1980s.

Also, he was convicted of crimes of violence dating back to the 1970s. One alleged rape case was pled down, apparently, to a sexual assault. He only did three months in jail for that.

The main reason, though, investigators say that he's been able to get away with it for so long is because his victims were often on the fringes of society.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DETECTIVE MITZIE ROBERTS, LOS ANGELES POLICE: I think Samuel McDowell, Samuel Little is a monster who preyed on vulnerable people.

DETECTIVE RICH JACKSON, LOS ANGELES POLICE: He basically is targeting high-risk females who are -- some have been prostitutes in the past.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIAN: Another complicating factor in these investigations, Brooke, and I don't want to get too graphic here, but generally in rape cases, the DNA evidence is found inside the victims' bodies.

Investigators say that the DNA evidence in these cases is found on fingernails, clothing, outside the victim's body.

And so if investigators weren't looking for that at the time, that DNA evidence may not have been preserved.

But they say, the district attorney telling CNN this morning, they're very confident they have enough evidence and they have got other evidence besides the DNA that they believe that they're going to be able to convict this guy.

They also think that they could potentially seek the death penalty in this case, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Wow, Casey Wian. Thank you, Casey. We'll follow it with you.

72 years of age. he is.

Coming up, news on everyone and everything, including Kid Rock. making a rare move involving his ticket prices.

Plus, Condoleezza Rice with a big first for women.

And NASA has a new plan to capture an asteroid.

All that and more coming up in the "Power Block."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Technology, sports, business, health, science and showbiz news. We're hitting it all right now, beginning with the "Power Block" and this.

Kid Rock wants all seats to be the cheap seats. The Motor City rocker says every ticket for his upcoming summer tour will be 20 bucks.

He is partnering with Walmart to keep the price low and calling it the "$20 Best Night Ever" tour.

But you can bet if you buy your tickets online, you have to pay the pesky convenience fees.

New to us this afternoon, the Senate has unanimously confirmed President Obama's nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White.

The president nominated White in January. She is a former federal prosecutor for from New York who built a reputation there as one tough lady, taking on everything from financial fraud to organized crime, even terrorism.

And in Augusta, Georgia, yesterday, this is the picture you have to see, first female member of the Augusta National Golf Course. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice became the first woman to wear one of the famous green jackets.

These are worn by members of the club, and the winners of the Master's golf tournament, which, by the way, kicks off this week.

She teamed up with golfer Phil Mickelson for a practice round yesterday, and so those pictures are from the official Master's website.

OK, this next story, kind of sounds like something out of a Bruce Willis movie, but this is real. NASA is announcing plans to catch an asteroid and put it in orbit around the moon.

Seriously, Chad Myers, I'm thinking, like, I have this vision of lassoing an asteroid.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, kind of shooting a rocket into it, attaching itself and then hauling it back to the moon, about the size of a bungalow, a house.

BALDWIN: How are they going to pull that off?

MYERS: I don't know. 2013 now, it will be done in 2025, and it will cost $2.6 billion. You better go.

BALDWIN: Ok. I'm running, in heels.

MYERS: You've got to go, and I'll tell you where she's going in a second.

The asteroid is out there. They're going to go get it, they're going to capture it, they're going to put it around the moon and then they're going to take a rocket ship with people in it, with men in it or women, and they're going to land on it and then keep going and come back to Earth.

Why in the world would we want to do this? Because if we really want to go to deep space, we're probably not going to have enough propellant, or for that matter, water, on a single rocket ship.

We may have to land somewhere else, mine that asteroid and then launch off again and then continue farther into space.

So NASA has this idea coming out of the Keck Institute that if we can take and see if we can mine an asteroid. First of all, find it, grab it, bring it back to the moon, put it in orbit around the moon.

We don't want to bring it back to Earth because that would defeat the point. The point is to get it somewhere where we can land on it, and then leave it again.

This is a pretty amazing thing. It's going to be a bunch of years before this happens, and a lot of money. But it could happen anytime here around 2025.

Now where is Brooke? Oh, where, oh, where has she gone? She's going to the NCAA big board downstairs with Miss Nichols. She'll report from here.

Now the final game is happening about 500 feet from right here in Atlanta, hundreds of thousands of people descending on this site right now.

Join Brooke in two minutes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUAN SOSTHEIM, OWNER AND FOUNDER, RANCHO MARGOT: My father thought I was nuts for taking the job, but I took a job working at Burger King.

I became operations manager and director of Burger King in Europe.

Juan, he's coming from a very strong corporate sector and he says he's now paying for his sins.

Now I want to use the knowledge that I gained and give it to others. So I'm creating this living university here, so that people can come and enjoy themselves and, by osmosis, if nothing else, take over everything that we know.

Hello, everyone, my name is Juan Sosthein, and I'm the owner and founder of Rancho Margot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: OK, so, hello, I made the mad dash, and I'm going to pull this out because I can hear myself. Made the mad dash all the way from Studio 7, seven floors above, in heels, thank you very much, down here. This is the center of the atrium.

You've been seeing the big board. Of course, we've all been playing our brackets and had them demolished by this past March Madness. Tonight is the big night.

Without further ado, Rachel Nichols, ta-da, here with me ...

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm your own personal little Vanna White up here.

BALDWIN: I appreciate that. I love seeing you in person.

And so you have had your work cut out for you the last couple of days, the last several weeks, I suppose.

So we're at CNN. For people who don't know the lay of the land, this is the CNN mother ship. How far away, Rachel Nichols, is the Georgia Dome?

NICHOLS: I'm going to say maybe three football fields. I'm going to put it in that phrasing for you. How about that?

BALDWIN: Three football fields away. And so that is where the game will be played.

NICHOLS: Not far. You could walk there. I'll take you along with me later.

BALDWIN: OK, deal. I have tickets, but I'll take VIP Rachel Nichols tickets as well.

So tonight we have Louisville and we have Michigan. What are you watching for?

NICHOLS: Louisville has the newly minted, Hall of Fame coach, Rick Pitino. They're certainly the favorites. That's not to say that Michigan can't win. Very, very talented.

Louisville, though, has won 15 games in a row. This is a very experienced team.

And then, of course, they have that emotional push that they've gotten from Kevin Ware, his gruesome injury last weekend, the gracious way that he's handled this so far and the way the team has really bonded around him.

And I've got to say, I don't know if you know this, they cut down the nets -- I know some of our viewers may have seen them cutting down nets after teams win the NCAA championship.

Each player gets to take home a little piece of the net. It's a nice signature for them have.

And I asked Kevin Ware, OK, you've got a bum leg. How are you going to cut down the nets if Louisville does, in fact, win tonight. Take a look at what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN WARE, INJURED LOUISVILLE BASKETBALL PLAYER: I think they should have a special escalator made just for Monday night, you know, just to get me up there so I can cut my peels of net off.

LISA JUNIOR, KEVIN WARE'S MOTHER: Well, as long as, you know, it's going to take an escalator because you said something about a ladder and that's not happening.

WARE: No, I can't climb a ladder.

JUNIOR: He had to think about it.

WARE: Can't climb no ladder.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NICHOLS: He'll find a way to cut down those nets if they win tonight. BALDWIN: Yes, I'm sure he'll get a piece of the nets. I was there Saturday night. You could see all the guys on the bench, wearing number 5, obviously, in honor of ...

NICHOLS: Ludacris has been wearing his number around town. He was excited about that.

BALDWIN: So then Michigan, let's give Michigan a little love. There's a lot of Michigan. I see a lot of Michigan over here.

NICHOLS: Yes, Michigan in the crowd. Michigan extremely talented team. These are some of the sons of former NBA players.

BALDWIN: Who didn't actually make it to their only Final Four.

NICHOLS: Not this far, so a little pedigree in the building and just a lot of talent. They have the national Player of the Year in Tray Berke, and it's a team that's really gelled over the course of the year.

They're a fun team to watch. Trey Burke can shoot the lights out. We'll see how he does against the Louisville press defense tonight.

But of those things that's funny to look at, the difference in experience, John Beilein, their coach, this is his first Final Four, so, of course, it's his first championship game.

Rick Pitino, the Louisville coach, it's his seventh Final Four. He's trying to become the first coach to ever win at two different schools.

And John Beilein, the Michigan coach, said that when Rick Pitino was putting out all these instructional coaching videos, he was buying them.

BALDWIN: He was buying them.

NICHOLS: So I was buying Rick Pitino's instructional how-to DVDs. Now he's coaching against him in the national championship game.

BALDWIN: Listen, you've been doing this sports thing for a minute. This is actually fun having it in Atlanta. I'm actually an Atlanta native, so it's fun to just see these people ...

NICHOLS: Everybody's coming down.

BALDWIN: ... to actually see coming down, the concerts over the weekend. Have you had a minute to play? What have you thought of this particular Final Four?

NICHOLS: Seeing all those people at those concerts last night was just crazy. I now understand the value of a free ticket because there were tens and tens of thousands of people wandering around.

BALDWIN: Sting, Dave Matthews in Centennial Olympic Park.

NICHOLS: And it's fun to see all the people here. And just remember, too, New Orleans where the women's Final Four is going on, has been a real beehive and buzz of basketball activity, too, and the Louisville women's and men, they could become only the second team ever to win both titles. We'll to see if that happens tonight.

So all over the South, there is some fun stuff going on right now. The atmosphere has been great.

BALDWIN: They're just slightly excited about this basketball game that's happening tonight.

We'll be right back, "CNN Newsroom," right after this.

Thank you, Rachel Nichols.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: This is the final championship game to see who will take home the trophy for the best men's basketball team.

Let's switch gears and talk football, some video that's pretty amazing. This comes from Nebraska this weekend. Spring football has never meant as much.

The 7-year-old battling brain cancer got the opportunity to live out a dream during the Nebraska intra-squad scrimmage. Jack Hoffman took a handoff and raced 69 yards.

You can see the crowd of 60,000 cheering on. His whole team took part. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it was pretty special. I mean, it was very special. You know, I told coach and all these coaches, you foe, they've given jack so many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Pretty awesome little kid there.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks so much for being with us.

Big game tonight here in Atlanta, but I'm going to send things to Washington. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.