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Eric Holder Announces Increased Rights For Same-Sex Couples; Sage Kotsenburg Wins First Olympic Gold for Team USA; Update On Michael Dunn's Murder Rrial; Iran Reportedly Sending Warships Toward U.S. Maritime Borders; Republicans Trying To Court Women and Minority Votes; Social Media Campaign Underway To Free Kenneth Bae
Aired February 9, 2014 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Martin Savidge. These stories are topping our news at this hour.
And historic decision on same-sec marriage is about to go into effect. Gay couples will soon have of the same federal rights as heterosexuals couples do. And that has some conservative groups outraged. The controversy coming up.
A gold rush in Sochi, Russia. Olympic athletes are battling it out for eight gold medals today alone. Here which copies are on top.
And the flapy bird. It's about to fly away for good? Maybe. The creator of the insanely popular smartphone game says he's pulling the game from apps stores. We'll tell you why this hour.
Hello. I'm Martin Savidge. Thanks very much for joining us. It is good to with you.
A milestone for gay rights. Starting tomorrow, same-sex marriage will get expanded recognition under federal law, even in states where it's not legal. Attorney general Eric Holder made that announcement at the human rights campaign gala last night.
Erin McPike is following the story from Washington.
And Erin, what's the significance of this, say for holder and for the justice department?
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Martin, Holder is taking the federal government to its farthest point yet, to recognize same-sex marriage in this country. And he did have a receptive audience at the Waldorf, New York last night as you mentioned annual gala for human rights campaign.
Well, he previewed the new policy the justice department will announce Monday to expand rights, at least in federal legal matters, to married same-sex couples even in those states where gay marriage is not legal. And the Obama administration has pushed to recognize same-sex marriage and gay rights in a way that's shaping Holder's legacy. So in his remarks, Holder made the case that this is personal to him and that this is a pivotal moment in America's history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Just as was true during civil rights movement of the 1960s, the stakes involve in this generation is trouble for LGTB equality could not be higher. Then, as now, nothing less than our country's founding commitment of the notion of equal protection under the law is at stake. So the justice department's role confronting discrimination must be as aggressive today as it was in Robert Kennedy's time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCPIKE: So the changes will allow married same sex individuals in all of the states to decline to give testimony in federal cases that could incriminate a spouse and file for bankruptcy with that spouse as a couple. They will have full visitation rights to see the spouse in federal prison and they can collect survivor benefits from programs like September 11th victim compensation fund and the public safety officer's benefits program. And it will also apply to couples in the 34 states that have not legalized gay marriage as we noted at the top.
We should also mention the number of states that have done so, legalized gay marriage in the past two years has doubled to 16. It will be 17 in June when a new Illinois law goes into effect. So in other words, Martin, this could impact millions of people.
SAVIDGE: Interesting. So how are same-sex marriage opponents responding to this?.
MCPIKE: Well, we did get a statement last night from Brian Brown who is the president of the national organization for marriage. And he basically said that this undermined state's authority and sovereignty. We also heard from New Hampshire Republican senator, Kelly Ayotte. She made a point that New Hampshire has legalized gay marriage so this does not affect their state. She made very much the same the point that she thinks that this maybe an example where the Obama administration has done something to usurp state's rights.
But we heard from constitutional lawyers today who said that that's not quite the case. We'll have to see what Republicans and opponents at this sort of thing say over the next few weeks. Martin.
SAVIDGE: We'll be watching. Thank you, Erin McPike.
Earlier today, I spoke to constitutional attorney Page Pate and I asked him why the justice department might be taking this action now?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAGE PATE, CONSTITUTIONAL ATTORNEY: Last year, the United States Supreme Court in the Windsor case finally held it is unconstitutional to not recognize same-sex marriages for purposes of federal benefits. So, the department of justice and other parts of the administration, now, they have a green light to go ahead and say, look, we can't wait on Congress necessarily to do everything, but we can do what's within our power to at least change things we have control over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Attorney general Holder is expected to issue that memo tomorrow.
Dramatic testimony this weekend in the loud music murder trial. Michael Dunn is charged with first degree murder for opening fire into an SUV full of teenagers and killing one of them. Dunn had been arguing with them for playing loud music. Yesterday his fiancee took the stand and our Tory Dunnan has more.
TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Court is in recess now, but the third day of the trial proved to be an emotional one. Dunn's fiancee took the stand and described the night the shooting took place as lasting forever.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you hear?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard pop, pop, pop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you heard those noises did you know what they were?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I didn't.
DUNNAN (voice-over): Michael Dunn's fiancee cried as she recalled the moment she knew something was wrong. Surveillance video in court captured reaction as she shopped inside the convenience store.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God. Somebody is shooting. Somebody is shooting in their car.
DUNNAN: She said she had no idea who because shooting. But minutes earlier, she end up pulled up next to a red SUV playing loud music. 17-year-old Jordan Davis and his friends were inside.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the defendant say anything about the music when he parked the car next to the red car?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did the defendant say?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hate that thug music.
DUNNAN: Rauer testified she and Dunn left the scene, never calling the police.
MICHAEL DUNN, SHOT AND KILLED JORDAN DAVIS: I shouldn't have left the scene but I left the scene because I was afraid.
DUNNAN: By his own admission, Dunn said he pulled out a gun he kept in his glove compartment. After arguing with the occupants of the SUV about the loud music, the same gun shown by prosecutors, and then he fired in self-defense after he heard threats and saw a weapon. That's when Jordan Davis was fatally shot. Rauer testified they checked into a hotel and ordered a pizza. She said they sat by elevator believing police were coming but then went to bed and woke up to this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you see something on the news.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At that time did you learn a teenager had been killed at the gas station?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I did.
DUNNAN: Rauer said they then drove home to get everything in order.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you tell them it was your fault going home because of what you testified to today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
DUNNAN: Court will be back in session 9:00 Monday. An attorney for Jordan Davis's family said they don't expect the trial to go beyond this week.
TORY Dunnan, CNN, Jacksonville, Florida.
SAVIDGE: In other news, the U.S. is cautioning against the claim by Iran that it's reportedly sending warships toward U.S. maritime borders. Iran state media says it is a response to America beefing up its naval presence in the Persian Gulf. A U.S. defense official calls the claim an announcement, not a deployment.
The music means we are heading to Sochi, Russia, now for a look at today's Olympic events. It's a jam-packed schedule with a total of eight medals that are being awarded. We have the spoiler alert now. If you like to not know things before you get see them, turn away. The U.S. won bronze today in the team figure skating event. Skater Ashley Wagner tweeted, "I am an Olympic medalist. Thank you to my incredible team. Also huge thanks to our fearless leader Charlie White who led us two bronze."
We get more from Ivan Watson in Sochi.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martin, this has been a big weekend for American snowboarding, team USA, with U.S. snowboarders sweeping a brand new Olympic event, that is slopestyle snowboarding. Jamie Anderson winning on Sunday with the female event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIE ANDERSON, U.S. OLYMPIC MEDALIST: I was one of the last riders to drop. And it just felt so good to be able to do something that I knew I could do and I believed it but having that passion and determination to really do what I'm capable of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: And that follows Sage Kotsenburg, his victory on Saturday. This 20-year-old Park City native who has really become a bit of a media sensation, especially with some of his snowboarding, surfer style language.
I just listened in on an interview he gave to our own Rachel Nichols where he was describing the night before the race eating chocolate and onion rings before the opening ceremony. Not exactly the dinner of champions and saying one of the beauties of slopestyle snowboarding is you don't have to be a mega athlete to excel.
Meanwhile, an upset in the marquis event of the alpine sports, the downhill skiing where the favorite, U.S. skier Bode Miller scored eighth place. Meanwhile, an Austrian skier by the name of Matthias Mayer, he won the gold there. That's a bit of a disappointment for team USA.
Meanwhile, I have to say on the ground here in this Russian port city, the atmosphere after all the talk of terrorism and security threats is remarkably relaxed. The crowds are not huge. They actually seem kind of sparse. But there's a massive security presence. The Russian Olympic committee said it sold about 30,000 tickets. There were about 30,000 spectators on Saturday. And there are estimates set there are more than 30,000 Russian security forces deployed to protect these games. You do the math. It's pretty remarkable if you consider those numbers. Martin.
SAVIDGE: It is, indeed, Ivan Watson, thanks very much.
The U.S. ambassador to Russia said last week he's going to step down from his post after the Sochi games. Appearing earlier on Fareed Zakaria GPS, Michael Mcfaul talked about the cooperation U.S. had with Russia leading up to the games.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MCFAUL, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: I do know we've been working closely with the Russian government for the last two years since I've been here in preparation for these games. Our focus, number one, of course, is security. As of today we have about 150 people from the embassy and from the United States here working closely with the Russians to focus so we have a safe and secured games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Well, it hasn't even been two weeks since the winter storm since it paralyzed parts of the Deep South, now another system is on its way.
This, women and children literally run for their lives as they try to flee the violence in Syria. We're live there for the latest.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SAVIDGE: A very dangerous weekend in war-torn Syria as what was supposed to be a humanitarian pause in fighting turned into frantic evacuation and aid mission.
CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom is live for us now from Beirut, Lebanon. And we know there's a delay, so we'll deal with this.
Mohammed, this was supposed to be a three-day cease-fire. What happened?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, what happened over the weekend in Homs in Syria, really a stark reminder of just how volatile it remains on the ground there. Let's not forget to get to this cease-fire it took weeks of protracted painful negotiations between the regime and rebels. Well, Friday there was a glimmer of hope as dozens of people were actually evacuated out of the old city of Homs. That's an area that's been under siege for over 600 days. You can imagine where there have been reports of starvation. That's how bad it is there.
By Saturday though, it was complete and utter chaos. Yesterday, even though finally a humanitarian corridor was established, that the U.N. and other aid agencies were able to get inside, they soon came under fire. Some of their staff were actually injured. While nobody claimed responsibility for attacking the U.N., they were trapped there for several hours. They couldn't get out. It really showed just how bad it was there and the U.N. staff got to experience firsthand how hellish it could be for residents inside of old Homs.
Today, it has been a little bit better but still fraught with tension. The cease-fire is still very shaky. But at the very least we've heard hundreds of people have been evacuated today. We've seen video, amateur video, showing dozen of women and children running towards aid convoys there, just a few vehicles. As you hear blasts going on close by. It's still a terrible situation and there are still hundreds of people trapped inside. But at the very least, it is a little bit of progress even though it's still very dangerous and volatile on the ground there, Martin.
SAVIDGE: And of course, it's horrible for civilians caught in the cross fire. But there is also a problem for the aide groups and those trying to provide humanitarian help. Is this going to change the way they operate?
JAMJOOM: Well, the U.N. said that they are undeterred. The fact they back in the day that they got in to the old city. That is a sign of progress. It does show how determined they are to try to continue their mission.
But I've spoken to a lot of aid workers over the course of the last few weeks. They have been perpetually frustrated. They have been at the ready wanting to deliver aid to the parts of Syria that have been most affected, the people mostly in need. But they say it's so difficult and logistics have been so hard, any little impediment can stop an aid convoy from actually getting to the people that it needs to get to and that will remain the case for the time being -- Martin. SAVIDGE: CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting to us from Beirut. Thanks, Mohammed.
News made today on CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES," the reporter who broke news of the U.S. government surveillance program that says or he says, rather, the world can executive more revelations when he launches a new Web site. Glenn Greenwald said that the news stories would start to appear online early this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Will you be revealing new information about these surveillance stories on the site?
GLENN GREENWALD, COLUMNIST, THE GUARDIAN: Sure. There's a lot more really significant stories left to reveal, as I've said for quite some time and that continues to be true and a big part of why this appeals to us so much and maybe the opportunity that to build a new Web site, a new media outlet really is to be able to continue aggressively reporting on these materials that have informed democratic debates around the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: If you didn't figure it out. The source of budget remorse (ph) reports, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has sought asylum in Russia. Greenwald has stayed meanwhile in Brazil because he fears he could be prosecuted if he comes to the United States.
It has been 38 years since Texas voted for a Democrat for president. And one group where one GOP senator I should say is sounding the alarm the lone star state might be turning blue again.
SAVIDGE: If you're deep in the froze of the winter blast, here is something to warm your heart, congressional midterm election is just 268 days from today. And in about a thousand days, American will pick the next president. That's 2016.
If Republicans are counting on women and minority voters, they have some work to do. Our new CNN/ ORC poll shows that a majority of Americans and women in particular, do not believe that the Republican Party understands the problems and concerns of women. Fifty-five percent told us the GOP does not understand women. That number rises to 59 percent among all women we asked and 64 percent of women over 50 say they don't believe the GOP understands women problems.
Candy Crowley is our chief political correspondent, anchor of "STATE OF THE UNION."
And nice to see you, Candy. That last number, 64 percent of women over 50, I would think it has to be a concern because, of course, we think of older women as being likely Republican voters.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And likely midterm voters. The older you are, the more likely you are to vote in a midterm. So, absolutely.
But across the board it's troublesome for Republicans. And the truth is it has been within reach before. In fact, married white women tend to vote Republican. So there is a base upon which to build. It seems every time the party starts to reach out, somebody says something untoward which sets them back, so much so that Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican National Committee said not too long ago, we need to watch how we talk to and about women. So, they -- it's a steep learning curving right now for some of these Republicans. But it's something they are not unaware of and have been aware of for some time now.
SAVIDGE: Last night, the Kentucky senator Rand Paul made a statement that might be music to Democrats' ears but also a warning to Republicans in his home state of Texas. And he was doing that while speaking in Houston. So, let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Texas will be a democrat state within 10 years if you don't change. That means -- that doesn't mean we give up on what we believe in but that means we have to be a more welcoming party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: So, how ironic is that, that a man who just, you know, a few years ago offended so many people with his comments about 1964 civil rights act. He's asking the same people to get on board with the GOP, I guess, potentially campaign for his presidency as well, be a part of that.
CROWLEY: Well, I have to say that Rand Paul is not so much asking those voters to get on board. He's saying -- he's talking to Republicans now. We need to get on board. There need to be a way for us to reach out. Obviously, the demographics is what he's talking about, Texas with the Latino vote and growing it as a greater and greater part of the electorate. Texas and frankly in a lot of different places to be as recognizing that reality. I have to say of those Republican candidates that we tend to think of as possible 2016ers, Rand Paul, has been the one that has gone, this doesn't happen to be up to the time, these are Republicans he's talking to, but he has gone to minority communities and reached out over the past couple of years. He at least talks that talk.
Now, Republicans understand that this is not just about voting, it's about survival because they came out of the last election with the president winning more than 60 percent of Latino voters saying we have to change. We have to change the way we talk. We have to lo at our policies. We have to have outreach. And that's much of what Rand Paul is talking about here.
SAVIDGE: Candy Crowley in Washington, thanks. Have a great week. Wonderful to see you.
CROWLEY: Thanks, Martin. Good to see you. Thanks. SAVIDGE: OK, how about this. The game app so addictive people can't stop playing. But soon, I don't think they will have a choice because flapy bird is going to be no more. Yes.
And next, U.S. gold medalist Jamie Anderson describes what it felt like right before she made her near perfect run.
SAVIDGE: It's been a brutal winter across the country. The folks in the southeast, we can certainly attest to that. Who could forget the winter storm that paralyzed Atlanta nearly two weeks ago. Well, I guess another storm is now threatening the Deep South.
Our Karen Maginnis tells us when.
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Marty, we hesitate to say but looks like this is going to turn out to be another one of those situations where the Deep South is going to see ice, freezing rain and snow. It could be potentially devastating for the next several days across Tennessee River valley towards Ark-La-Tex.
Several weather ingredients come together, one with that cold air with just dipping pretty far to the south. Another warm moisture coming up in the south. So, there is that thin line where some folks are just going to see ice. And we tell you where those areas are right now.
All the way from the Ark-La-Tex could start out like ice, places like Oklahoma City and Tulsa, then we make our way to northern Mississippi, Huntsville, the sink area of Alabama, Birmingham, Atlanta may start out as ice or freezing rain and then we're expecting some snowfall. How much? Well, a lot of the computer models initially are saying a couple inches like in Huntsville, Alabama, could be two or four. For Atlanta, a couple of inches. On top of ice, watch out. Those roadways could be very razz did you say, interstate 20 particularly. And then the storm system will gradually make its way into the Carolinas carrying with it the same factors the ice and the snow.
We're going to get wedged in that cold air that is going to piles up across the southeast. Very typical this time of year but the timing couldn't be worse. We'll keep you updated. Back to you.
SAVIDGE: All right, Karen. Thank you, I think, very much.
It's an extremely busy day in Sochi, Russia. A lot of gold of medals handed out, eight in all.
Lara Baldesarra joins me now.
And Lara, we should probably give our viewers, we always do this, the spoiler alert. So, if you really think you're going to watch this later and be surprised, plug your ears.
LARA BALDESARRA, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm going to break it all down for you. There is going to be no surprises left for you later on today. We are going to start with Slopestyle because the USA had an absolutely clean sweep of this brand-new event that debuted at these games. Now both gold, they belong to Americans with really, the pioneer of this event, her name is Jamie Anderson, she won the ladies gold.
Now, Anderson, she simply demonstrated why she's the best slopestyle snowboarding in the world with her perfect combo of flair and technique. Now, she's a girl noted for her jumping. She actually landed two 720s on route to her win, which in snowboard speak that's some quote "big air" for you there.
Now Anderson, she is really free-spirited person, let's say, very happy, very fun loving which really comes out in her snowboarding and after winning a gold medal performance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: It's been such a long road to Sochi and the moment was here. I just had to visualize and trust and really believed that I could land that run I wanted to and to remember to have fun along the way because it is snowboarding and it is what I love to do. But I was processing a lot at the top. Just kind had to take a moment and ground my energy and go have fun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDESARRA: I do not think (INAUDIBLE) without a smile. The 23-year- old South lake resident wins her gold one day after Sage Kotsenburg claimed his gold in men's snowboarding slopestyle. Now, those medals, they bring USA's medal count up to four in total putting them three back from those early medal count leaders Norway and level with the Netherlands. But all three of those, they level on gold with two apiece. However, really, everyone thought that at this point, the USA would actually have one more gold.
Now, Bode Miller, he was the huge, huge favorite to win men's downhill gold medalist, especially after setting the fastest time in two of the three training races. But in the race that really matter the most, Miller lost time as this race progressed. He finished eighth. He started fast at the top of the course, he skied aggressively, he took risks just like he always does but finished over a half second behind the winner who is a relatively unknown Austrian named Matthias Mayer. The good news is, though, the Olympics, they are not done for Bode yet. He's in the super combined later in the week.
Now, also looking for another shot at shall we say redemption will be figure skater Ashley Wagner. Now, she's a skater that was kind of controversially picked for the USA team after finishing fourth in the nationals. At the team conference, she also placed fourth. She was not a happy girl with the scores. Check out that face right there. She could just be the McKayla Maroney (ph) of the winter Olympics. And if you are wondering despite the low marks, the American went on to win the bronze in the team event. Wagner, she just tweeted about it. She says quote, "I'm an Olympic medalist, thank you to my incredible team. Also huge thanks to our fearless leader Charlie White who led us to the bronze." I like that face. It really -- very expressive. SAVIDGE: It did, 1,000 words were contained there and none of them any good.
All right, Lara, thanks very much for that. Appreciate it. You snowboard use, by the way, is perfect. You really, it great translation.
Tomorrow morning on "NEW DAY" by the way, Rachel Nichols talks to snowboarder's Sage Kotsenburg. He is the first American to win gold.
And then actor Jason Patrick opens up about his custody battle. Tune in tomorrow morning starting at 6:00 a.m.
SAVIDGE: A college basketball star under scrutiny today after he shoved a fan in the stands. But he says there's more to the story.
Nick Valencia joins me now live and he's been looking at the other top stories as well as this one that are buzzing today.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. A lot of people talking about a lot of things. Let's get you caught up to five stories that are people are talking about.
Let's go to number one, Martin. Start in Lubbock, Texas, where the 19th ranked Oklahoma state cowboys who are taking on big 12 rival Texas Tech. About six seconds to go in the game, Oklahoma State Marcus Smart tries to go for the block, ends up out-of-bounds. And this is what happens next. That push there, he stayed on the bench until the final buzzer, was given a technical foul. He said he pushed the fan because the fan called him the n word, use a racial slur. A big 12 officials said after the game, they would review the matter and decide on Smart's punishment.
The number two now, from one fight that almost happened to another we now know will not. Controversial celebrity boxing down between George Zimmerman and infamous rapper DMX has been called off. The potential match largely seen as a publicity stunt and that generated strong backlash and the celebrity boxing promoter, Damon Feldman,, posted on twitter saying this was wrong. He's the wrong person to put in the ring to define celebrity boxing, referring to George Zimmerman.
Number three now, popularity was a little too much to handle for the developer of flapy bird. I don't play this Martin. I have never been heard of the game until today, actually. It was released last year. Very popular with so many here the U.S. and beyond. But the game has been removed from the apps store by his creator. On Saturday, he posted, I'm sorry. I cannot take this anymore. The game was pulled from existence on noon Sunday. But some good news, we hear if you have the apps already you can still play. It was the number one free downloaded app at Google stores.
Number four now, outrage created by AOL's head is not dying down. Tim Armstrong caused uproar after his controversial comments about cutting 401(k) benefits at his company. He blamed two staffers at their distress babies for costing AOL millions of dollars in benefits. He later apologized and reversed those cuts.
Now today, one of those mothers wrote an op-ed for slate.com blasting the CEO for gross insensitivity. She wrote -- take a look at this. I take issue with how he reduced my daughter to a distressed baby who cost the company too much money. How he blamed saving her life for scaling back employees benefits. More mother advocates have jumped on board. We will take a look at the fallout as it continues this week.
And lastly, number five, from one faux pot to another, the dashing house Valentino apologized for press release that touted actress Amy Adams for carrying one of its expensive handbags to Philip Seymour Hoffman's wake. The company's spokesman said in a statement that it didn't realize the photos of Adams posted on the released were snapped at the memorial. They called it an innocent mistake and said they regretted the publicity stunt and said Adams was not aware of the PR effort.
And now, statement being released from Amy Adams' camp saying that they were disgusted with instant activity by the fashion house to even take, you know, take advantage of the photo-op, so to speak.
SAVIDGE: Sad to see. All right, Nick, nice to see you though.
VALENCIA: Nice to see you too.
Well, the family of an American being held in North Korea for more than a year wants help to free him. He wants your help, actually. According to the state department, Kenneth Bae is back in a labor camp after being in a hospital.
Meanwhile, a social media campaign is now under way. It is called Bring Bae back to raise attention about his plight.
CNN's Don Lemon spoke exclusively with Bae's sister, plus a sports agent putting the campaign together and also Congressman Charlie Rangel.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Terri, what do you make of this news that Kenneth Bae has been moved to a labor camp?
TERRI CHUNG, KENNETH BAE'S SISTER: We're deeply concerned and it's devastating. It's such an emotional roller coaster. One day we're excited and encouraged the President Obama is, you know, showing his support and commitment. And the next day, we learn that Kenneth has been moved to the labor camp. So, we are really discouraged and concerned.
LEMON: David, tell us about this news social media campaign to free Kenneth Bae?
DAVID SUGARMAN, LAUNCHING NEW EFFORT TO FREE KENNETH BAE: We need to get the world and the American people behind us. When I looked at a petition that was signed by 150,000 people as recently as three days ago, it was a concern to me. More people are voting on "American Idol" versus, you know, voting or voicing their opinion or support of Kenneth Bae. It was something that I really felt passionately I had to get involved in.
LEMON: But certainly, why would you get involved? Why are you so impassioned by this? And how do you think your efforts is going to help?
SUGARMAN: I reached out to the Bae family after these basketball players came back from North Korea. I'm an agent. I work with Kenny Anderson and these players came back and I sent this heartfelt e-mail to the Bae family saying, you know look, if there's anything I can do to help you, whether its raise money or raise worldwide public awareness, I'm here to help. And after a dialogue with them, we decided to launch a campaign that we are going to #bringBaeback, right, which we can develop momentum and millions of people to start with to follow.
LEMON: You are not involved in the planning of this campaign with this David, but of course you support any effort to free your brother. Do you think social media can really make a difference here, Terri?
CHUNG: I hope so. And I'm so thankful for David and his team for reaching out to us and offering their support. As a family, we don't have resources to launch this kind of social media campaign. And we appreciate advocacy and for everyone else who is stepping forward to make sure that Kenneth Bae is not forgotten. And you know, we can't rest easy until this American comes home.
LEMON: We put the clock up and we showed the hours and days and really the minutes that your brother has been held there. Is there a moment that goes by that you don't think about him and your family doesn't think about him. What are you dealing with right now?
CHUNG: You know, it's all consuming. This is our whole life, you know. I've taken a leave from my job. And you know, my full-time job right now is advocating for my brother's freedom. And we will not rest easy until his feet touch U.S. soil.
SUGARMAN: We need American people to get behind this campaign. We need American people #bringBaeback. It is our responsibility as American citizens. We have the opportunity to be able to do this. We need to get behind this gentleman and bring him home, the United States of America and the family.
REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: That same from the churches, and synagogues, and the mosques. This is not a political issue. It's a moral issue.
SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, imagine having the Beatles as your opening act. Fifty years after their debut in America, meet a man who has that claim to fame and a lot more.
SAVIDGE: Oh, how the time does apply. It was 50 years ago this week that the Beatles played their first U.S. concert.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
SAVIDGE: That show was at the old coliseum in Washington just two nights after their debut on the Ed Sullivan show. And one of the opening acts that night was American top Tommy Rowe who already scored his owned number one hit song, "Sheila."
So, to celebrate the anniversary, Tommy Roe will be reenacting his performance and it s part of the concert that is being held at the sight of the original show. And he has been kind enough to join me now here in the studio.
It is great to see you, Tommy, by the way.
TOMMY ROE, SINGER: It is good to see you, Martin. Pleasure.
SAVIDGE: You are, of course, an extremely talented individual of your own right. But you ended up going from a man who had one time had the Beatles as his opening act but it changed.
ROE: Let me clear it up. I did my first concert in Great Britain with headlining match for his concert with Chris Montes and a supporting act on or show was the group called the Beatles. We are in 1963 nobody knew who the Beatles were. So, we did a couple of shows and we knew right away that this wasn't going to work. So, Chris and I had a meeting and we decided, let's fix the show. We had six acts on the show and each had to have their time to do their spots. So, you know, we are going to have to put the Beatles closing in the show. So, from that point on, the Beatles were the closing act. But it was filled Chris Montes and I were headlining the tour. So, it was kind of odd situation.
SAVIDGE: You toured, I should point out, that you went all the way through England with the Beatles.
ROE: Three weeks on a bus tour.
SAVIDGE: And you know, I have to ask, this was before they really took off.
ROE: Our tour was really the spring board for the Beatles. Because if you remember "Hard Days Night," I'm sure they got a lot of the ideas for that movie from our tour because that is exactly how our tour was.
SAVIDGE: I mean, you were all very young and you are witnessing this incredible.
ROE: I'm 20-years-old, right? And we all are wearing in our egos on our sleeve anyway, you know. But they used to chase the Beatles from the stage door to the hotel or from the stage doors to the bus. And if they didn't see the Beatles, they chase Chris and I because if you breathe the same air as the Beatles, they chased you. So, it was just one of those deals where it was hectic, it was chaos, constantly.
SAVIDGE: It must have been fun, though.
ROE: It was terrific fun and it was great for everybody because as I say it was the launching pad for the Beatle's career and it was also the launching pad for Chris and I in England because we work over there. We still work over there to this day.
SAVIDGE: So, when you get done with that tour and you come back to the states, the Beatles has the favor of.
ROE: Right. I developed a relationship with Brian Epstein. Brian and I were talking about management. Brian or the Beatles didn't have a clue what fate had in store for them. Brian was forming like a group of acts he was going to managed. So, we were talking about that. He said look, when you grow back to the states, I know you are like the golden boy, the ABC paramount records, take the Beatles records and see if you can get them to sign on.
ROE: So, I did. I took the Queen Elizabeth from England back to New York City and I called ahead and hike to everybody on it, the executives at ABC paramount and my producer. My producer met me at (INAUDIBLE) in New York. And he had already -- he had a meeting setup. We went right up from the docks to the office in Broadway. And I walked in, they congratulate me on the tournedos thing. You had a great tour in England and felt intelligence as you found this act you like for us to hear. And I said, yes. And they were phenomenal. It is best thing since then.
SAVIDGE: And you have the record.
ROE: I have a little Beatle promo pack that Brian gave me, a little gratitude of bag full of, you know, a bio and it has the album in it. So, he said, well, let's see what you have kid.
SAVIDGE: We are almost out of time. So, I want to jump ahead. But let me ask you real quick, though, what was the reaction? What about they say?
ROE: Well, he dropped the needle On the Record, played a few bars and he picked it. I tell you what, kid, that is the worst piece of wrap I have ever heard in my life. Let us be the talent scout. So, you just continue writing us some nice hit songs, OK?
SAVIDGE: That is incredible.
ROE: I me I felt terrible and I said never again will I put myself on the line like this again.
SAVIDGE: What a marvelous month in history.
ROE: Nine months later, the Beatles were the Beatles as we know them today. And these executives would run for the exits when they saw me coming.
SAVIDGE: And you would be the opening act to them. ROE: In Washington. We are going to recreate that this Tuesday. D.C. preservation, they wants to preserve the Washington coliseum for historical value. And so, they ask me if I would come and recreate my opening which was not much. I did two songs, you know "Sheila" and Everybody. So, we are going to do it this Tuesday, February 11th.
SAVIDGE: Tommy, good luck to you. Thank you very much.
ROE: Good to see you. Thanks for having me on.
SAVIDGE: Nice to meet you.
SAVIDGE: Well, for millions of Americans fitness may be an obsession. Brothers, that's a challenge. Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to a group of people who have teamed up for the Fit Nation competition. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there.
You know, we used called this team, the six pack.
But after meeting them, we decided called them the sassy six. They are Connie, Sia, Karen, Mike, Ron, and Jamia. And they stormed the town for a fit annual CNN fit Nation took off weekend and they are amazing people to me. They are going to inspire you. They are going to touch you. Many of them have health challenges ranging from heart disease and diabetes. One is a cancer survivor, another has gastro bypass surgery and they are as mentally tough as they are expecting to be physically tough.
But they decided, well, we are hoping you decide as well, that the time to make huge full self changes to their daily routines, from nutritional fitness to how they schedule their lives through work training.
So here is how we did things. We got them fitted for bikes. We had them trained like the NBA Atlanta Hawks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready stance.
GUPTA: And they swam laps, many of them back to back and even climbed stone mountain. What is so fascinating about the teams is that they end up bonding and supporting each other on a daily basis now. And they are all together putting their reset button from now until they cross that Maldives (ph) on finish line on September 14th.
I have no doubt they are all going to do it. Good luck to you. Back to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Thanks doctor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SAVIDGE: Coming up in the NEWSROOM Nick Wallenda, that's right, Wallenda wows the crowd at the Georgia dome. He will be 100 feet up and without a net. We will have much more just ahead of the NEWSROOM and, of course, it all starts right now.