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Obama Wants Creative Negotiations on Iran; GOP Hopefuls Talk Hillary in New Hampshire; Scars Remain 20 Years After Oklahoma City Bombing. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired April 19, 2015 - 07:30   ET


[07:30:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Also right now, rescue crews are searching for possibly 650 plus migrants after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean. They were apparently running from Libya. They were headed for Italy.

So far, crews have pulled 23 bodies from the sea, including some children. Rescue teams have been able to save 49 people so far. The survivors are saying there may have been as many as 800, though, onboard that boat.

JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, President Obama is asking negotiators on the Iran nuclear deal to find a solution acceptable to all sides. Iran is insisting that all sanctions be dropped as soon as the deal is signed.

Earlier, the U.S. had wanted the sanctions lifted in phases, but now, President Obama says there should be a system to reinstate sanctions if Iran doesn't stick to its end of the deal.

Let's bring in CNN correspondent Sunlen Serfaty.

Sunlen, what else did President Obama say about this?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joe, President Obama says that he wants his negotiators to get creative as they head into the next round of nuclear talks this week, really underscoring how precarious this deal actually is.

And one of the biggest areas of contentions are over sanctions. There seems to be two differing narratives at how quickly sanctions will be lifted. Iran saying they should be lifted on day one once this deal is signed.

And US is saying quite the opposite, saying that they should be lifted gradually as Iran complies with the deal. The president, though, he has been recently downplaying these discrepancies over timing, over how fast the sanctions will be lifted. He says more important now is something called a snapback provision -- how sanctions will be reinstated if Iran violates the term of the deal.

Here's what he said at the White House this week.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our main concern here is making sure that if Iran doesn't abide by its agreement, that we don't have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops in order to reinstate sanctions. That's our main concern and I think that goal of having in reserve the possibility of putting back and applying forceful sanctions in the event of a violation, that goal can be met.


SERFATY: All of those key details still needed to be worked and negotiators will get back to it this week. They will head to Vienna for the next round of nuclear talks with Iran -- Joe.

JOHNS: So, Senator Marco Rubio at the summit in New Hampshire apparently made some remarks about Iran. Give me some sense of what he was talking about, Sunlen.

SERFATY: Yes. Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, senator from Florida, really trying to play up his foreign policy credentials on the campaign trail. In New Hampshire this weekend, he spoke about how he doesn't think this is a good deal. He says it's troubling and he basically said that he believes it's the option between military force and potentially a nuclear Iran.

JOHNS: Sunlen Serfaty --


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I am not cheerleading for war. I don't want there to be the need to use military force. But a nuclear Iran is an unacceptable risk for the region and the world.


SERFATY: And many Republican candidates on the campaign trail have been talking about this deal. They don't believe the United States should have entered into these negotiations with Iran in the first place. They -- many of them believe the economic sanctions were working. Joe, we will likely hear a lot from them in the days ahead -- Joe.

JOHNS: For sure. That just continues to be a source of controversy. Thanks so much for that, Sunlen Serfaty.

PAUL: Well, 2016 Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton is set to make her way into New Hampshire tomorrow. Before her arrival, you know that a lot of her GOP rivals took shots at her during a two-day summit in the crucial state there. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, along with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker were among the headliners that took the stage.

Here's CNN's Athena Jones. She's in New Hampshire with more.



For the most part, the candidates and not yet candidates speaking at this summit here stuck to conservative talking points -- cutting taxes, cutting government spending. We've also heard quite a lot of criticism of President Obama and of Hillary Clinton who, as you know, is the only person on the Democratic side to have officially thrown their hat in the ring.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: As I was coming up, I was a little bit startled because I could have sworn I saw Hillary's Scooby Doo van outside. And then I realized it couldn't possible be that, because I'm pretty sure y'all don't have any foreign nation paying speakers, right?

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I doubt the presumptive nominee for the other party has ever been in Kohl's before, let alone shopped in the last 18 to 20 years.

JONES: Now, Hillary Clinton will be here in New Hampshire on Monday. And Senator Rand Paul made some of the interesting remarks of the summit. Without naming names, he criticized some of the other Republicans in the race for being too supportive of military solutions to the world's conflicts. As I mentioned something else that could be a major theme of this next campaign season, Senator Paul was unique among the speakers in talking about his vision for the Republican Party and how it needs to expand beyond its traditional base to be successful in 2016.

[07:35:10] SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: But the one thing I'd like to leave you with is I'd like you to think about how we are going to move forward and how we are going to win. And I think we need to stay true to principle. I don't think we need to dilute our message but I do think our message needs to be carried to new people.

We need to talk --


PAUL: We need to talk to business owners and we need to talk to the workers. We need to talk to rich, poor, white, black, brown. We've got to get out there and go places we haven't been going.

JONES: So, a big weekend here in this first in the nation's state and it's only the beginning -- Christi, Joe.


JONES: That's Athena Jones in New Hampshire.

Coming up, incredible video of New Jersey police racing to rescue a trapped driver after she flips her vehicle -- her life is on the line and officers do everything they can to save her, you'll see how it all plays out.


JOHNS: OK, this is something you just don't see every day. A dramatic rescue caught on camera.

PAUL: A convertible crashes, overturns, leaving the driver trapped inside. So here is an officer racing to the scene. Discovers just how dire the situation really is.

Reporter Christie Duffy with our affiliate WPIX has more.


CHRISTIE DUFFY, WPIX REPORTER (voice-over): A police cruiser takes off speeding down a winding wooded road.

[07:40:00] A private citizen just tipped them off to a driver who was swerving all over the place. Around the bend, smoke is already coming out of her car, a 2006 Toyota Solara convertible is now flipped upside down but the driver is inside and she is knocked out cold.

Her horn is stuck on blast. The two officers, Mark Erinburg (ph) and Ricky Periolora (ph) realize they need to get her out of there and fast.

OFFICER: Try to unbuckle per. I'm going to try to pull her out.

DUFFY: But they can't. With the car already starting to burn, her seatbelt has her trapped inside.

OFFICER: You got a knife?

DUFFY: Two minutes later, the officers are struggling and the smoke is only getting thicker. They have to use a knife to cut off her seat belt. They are finally able to pull her limp body from the wreck dragging her to safety. Less than 30 seconds later, the smoke is now billowing and you can see flames. The officers try to revive the woman across the street.

OFFICER: Can you hear me?

DUFFY: Just a couple of minutes later, a small explosion. The car now fully engulfed.

(on camera): Why did you want the public to see this video?

OFFICER: Most importantly is because if it wasn't for the citizen interaction by calling the police of an erratic driver, this individual who is driving would have -- it would have been a fatal motor vehicle accident.


PAUL: And police tell us the driver was charged with having an open container in the car and driving while intoxicated. But she is OK which is the good news.

Thanks again with Christie Duffy with our affiliate WPIX.

JOHNS: Twenty years after homegrown terror attack in Oklahoma City, officials say home-grown terror is still a threat.

Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating will weigh in about lessons learned since that devastating attack and what officials are doing to make sure it never happens again.

PAUL: And tonight on CNN, marijuana gains momentum. A CNN special "Weed 3: The Marijuana Revolution." Plus, a new original series, "High Profits." What happens when cannabis needs capitalism?


ANNOUNCER: Sunday night is smokin'. Times a changin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just legally purchased marijuana.

ANNOUNCER: A new movement is growing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never thought I would be smoking weed in the hospital.

ANNOUNCER: And business is booming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what happens when you legalize marijuana.

ANNOUNCER: One night, one network, one ground-breaking event.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to say, I'm kind of stunned.

ANNOUNCER: So grab your favorite munchies and get ready for a night you wouldn't expect on CNN, the premieres of "Weed 3" and "High Profits" starting at 9:00.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every day should be like this.



[07:46:20] JOHNS: It's the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history and it happened 20 years ago today. After the Oklahoma City bombing, the threat of home-grown terror remains.

Today, some of the FBI's highest targets range from white supremacist to antigovernment extremists. The Department of Homeland Security warns the threat of right wing domestic terror is just as high as the threat from Islamic terror groups.

According to officials, since 2010, there had been 24 violent, sovereign citizen related attacks on the U.S.

So, could another Oklahoma City bombing happen today?

Let's ask someone who remembers the carnage of that day very well, former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating.

And, former Governor, I know your city is holding a ceremony today to remember the victims from that attack. What is going on to your mind -- in your mind right now?

FRANK KEATING, FORMER OKLAHOMA GOVERNOR: Well, I think, Joe, everyone has conflicted emotions. I repeatedly think to myself on a day like this, I wish it had never happened, I wish it had never happened, I wish it never had happened -- but it did. I think Oklahoma City showed itself to be extraordinary.

I mean, there was no active looting and 302 damages were destroyed or damaged. People stick together. No one had to pay for anything who came in many of thousands of rescue workers from the urban rescue teams from FEMA. So, there was a good that came out of evil. But again, we wish that it never had happened. I remember early on in your point and your introduction, some of the TV stations said it was a Middle East terrorist events.

I remember saying we have a lot of Muslim Americans in Oklahoma City that are fine citizens, let's don't jump to conclusions. Well, the guy who it did looked like me. McVeigh was as evil as they come. And we just wish and wish and wish it had never happened.

JOHNS: Certainly, something like this changes a country and it changed the United States. But there in Oklahoma and in Oklahoma City, how did the local community change after the bombing?

KEATING: Well, I -- you know, Oklahoma has suffered dust bowls and oil busts. I think everyone had their chin on their chest. We had just had some tough economic news and when we saw how well people handled this, the professionalism, the police department, the fire department, the National Guard.

As a matter of fact when the FEMA teams came, James Lee Witt, who was President Clinton's very capable FEMA director, told the fire chief he was in charge here and the FEMA people would follow him. That rarely, rarely, rarely, if ever, happens. The feds always thinking I'm a former FBI or U.S. attorney and the like and think that, you know, we will control the scene. They didn't to that here because it was so competently handled.

And, just you know, again think that no act of looting, 302 buildings damaged or destroyed here, and money was raised to put every child through college who lost one or both parents. We had 30 children who lost both parents, we had 170 children who lost one parent.

So, the good news that came from this was very positive spiritually, morally. It was an uplift to the community. You know, now, we have the Oklahoma City Thunder. That's a big deal and a lot of that renaissance, if you will, came as a result of some of the rebuilding here in Oklahoma City.

JOHNS: Do you think we have the kind of domestic intelligence now to root out more individuals who might perpetrate an Oklahoma City bombing?

KEATING: Well, it's hard to say. Your comments at the outset of the kind of people who get mad -- you know, McVeigh was angry about what happened two years before this incident and that was the Branch Davidian compound event down in Waco, Texas.

[07:50:09] You know, are there people who harbor grudges? I just can't imagine someone destroying 19 children's lives and all these wonderful people who were killed to make a political statement. But we have a lot of twisted people, radical Islamist, we have radical people who have a chip on their shoulder, they want to make somebody hurt, somebody suffer.

But I think the FBI now and the Justice Department, they no longer have that wall between national security and criminal investigations. The FBI now seeks to prevent crime from happening as supposed to investigating it after it happens. That's a very different cultural shift.

So, I think we're in good shape and a much better position to protect ourselves, defend ourselves, but you never know, people can slip through the wire.

JOHNS: That's for sure. Information sharing, prevention, important things we hear out of Washington every day when we talk about fighting terrorism, even domestic terrorism.

Frank Keating, former governor of Oklahoma, thanks so much for joining us today on NEW DAY.

KEATING: Sure. Thank you, Joe.

PAUL: And another city still marked by the scars of terrorism, of course, is Boston. But, you know, right now, preparations are underway for marathon Monday, two years after that deadly attack at the Boston marathon finish line. Tens of thousands of runners are expected to participate in tomorrow's big race.

We know security is expected to be really tight, safety precautions, in fact, include high definition cameras along the course, thousands of police officers will be out, and spectators that want to be at the finish line have to be screened. We also know that back ups, costumes and strollers have all been banned this year. So, just be aware if you happen to be going.

What I wish my teacher knew, I guess a simple question for an elementary school teacher. But, oh, it is providing a world of insight into her students. And it's starting a worldwide conversation, too. We are talking to that teacher, next.

And coming up, the latest on the wildfires in southern California, more than 300 firefighters on the scene, and hundreds of homes have been evacuated. We'll take you there.

Stay close.


[07:55:40] PAUL: I can't get enough of this story. A Denver teacher's project to really understand her students has gone viral with the #Iwishmyteacherknew. Basically, she asked her students to write down anything they wanted to tell her, and these kids' responses are so candid. I mean, it -- they are teachable moments all over this thing. One response was, "I wish my teacher knew I do have friends to play with". Or this one, "I wish my teacher knew sometimes my reading log is not signed because my mom is not around a lot."

You just -- you hear this and you think, man, kids teach us so much, don't they?

Let's talk to the woman behind the project, Kyle Schwartz of Doull Elementary.

Ms. Schwartz, thank you so much just for this project and for talking to us. But this was -- I understand you are calling it a reality check, I kind of calling it a wake-up call. What is your thought?

KYLE SCHWARTZ, TEACHER, DOULL ELEMENTARY: Absolutely. This has been eye-opening. I really have been able to understand my students more and understand where they are coming everyday when they come to school.

PAUL: You know, I was reading demographics about this, and I think a lot of people may not know, and Joe and I didn't know this either, most of your students are primarily Hispanic, about 90 percent receive free or reduced lunch, and 70 percent of children live in poverty in Denver. Do you feel like some of the responses reflect that struggle?

SCHWARTZ: You know, I think it is a big struggle. I think there is not a lot of awareness about the realities our students face, and we have so many students in Denver who face these same challenges. And while these notes are poignant and heartbreaking, their stories are not rare. I hope that's a message that can come through with all of this.

PAUL: Was there one particular, one or two, that stuck with you? And was there anything that encouraged you to even reach out to that child?

SCHWARTZ: You know, all of them helped me to reach out to the kids. So, you know, some of them were like I wish my teacher knew I want to learn more about dinosaurs, so I can give them more dinosaur books.

I think the ones that really stick with me are the ones that are saying I wish my teacher knew how it's affecting me that a parent is not able to be with me or a parent is not able to be present in my life, and those are heart-wrenching because there's not a lot I can do about it.

PAUL: Have any parents reached out to you since this project started?

SCHWARTZ: Yes, absolutely. I was on the phone yesterday with parents, and I am getting e-mails from them. You know, all the parents knew that this was happening, and I think they're really glad that the sense of community, that the family that we've created in our classroom is getting shared beyond our school doors.

PAUL: So, we know #iwishmyteacherknew is huge. You got a new project called #bookproject. Tell us about it.

SCHWARTZ: Yes, so many people have reached out, and they become aware of some of the needs the kids face, and they said, how can I help?

So, we are starting a hashtag, #bookharvest. And this is as simple as bring your old books, I know you've got them at home, bring your old children's books to your nearest schools that's in need, and get these kids reading, because there are also this huge statistics that children that live in poverty don't always have access to books at home, just having access to a book, just having access to books at home can start to level the playing field for them.

PAUL: Absolutely. So, #bookharvest, go look it up and see what we can do it with.

Kyle Schwartz, listen, I come from a family, a long, long line of teachers, and my mom was a kindergarten teacher for 30 years, you all I know kind of take on a parenting role these days in some aspects as I have heard -- so thank you so much for what you have done. You started conversations not just in the classroom but with parents at home and with their kids, too. So, best of luck and keep in touch, OK?

SCHWARTZ: Thank you so much. I hope the message can get out there.

PAUL: Absolutely. #bookharvest folks, let's get it started. Thank you, Kyle. Take good care.

And thank you so much, everybody, for starting your morning with us.