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Assistant Coach Resigns Amid U of L Scandal; Patricia Now a Category 1 over Mexico; Flash Flooding South of Dallas; Bush Downsizing Campaign; Katy Perry to Perform at Clinton Event in Iowa; American Rides Out Storm in Puerto Vallarta; American Soldier Killed in ISIS Hostage Rescue Returns Home; Royals Head to the World Series; Accused Mob Boss Vincent Asaro on Trial; Raising Awareness about Youth Fitness. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 24, 2015 - 07:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My thing is, how could he not know?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At Louisville's tipoff luncheon, Coach Pitino said he knew nothing about the allegations but he would get to the bottom of it.

COACH PITINO: If there was any wrongdoing -- it's a big if -- and people have to pay for their crimes -- and that's an if -- I hope those ifs are not true because, to me, that building means a great deal to me.

SCHOLES (voice-over): While the allegations at Louisville are shocking, former blue chip recruit Jalen Rose, who ended up signing with Michigan, says this type of activity is not uncommon on recruiting trips.

JALEN ROSE, MICHIGAN RECRUIT: What you see at a bachelor or a bachelorette party is what happens on the recruiting visit. And as a 17-year-old kid, first off, if I'm not getting laid, I'm not coming, I'm not signing.

SCHOLES (voice-over): Coach Pitino has called for Andre McGee to come out and tell the truth. So far McGee has declined to comment on the allegations but his attorney says they are untrue.


SCHOLES: Now, Pitino says he won't resign and has called for Andre McGee to come out and actually tell the truth.

And, guys, the big question remains.

If all these allegations are true, where was all the money coming from to pay for all this?

And they said Andre McGee was a graduate assistant.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: I still can't get over (INAUDIBLE) your own daughters and there are so many things wrong with this, I just can't even wrap my head around it.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: All right. Andy Scholes, thank you so much.

PAUL: Whew.


BLACKWELL: We got to get through this monster storm that moved on the shore in Mexico, bringing heavy rain, high winds, evacuations as well. Hurricane Patricia now moves through Mexico and heads toward Texas.

PAUL: And in Texas, flash flood warnings already with waters rising, six inches of rain expected to fall just this morning.

BLACKWELL: And it's a big night for the Democrats, a major rally and dinner tonight, Clinton and Sanders at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, but could this be a game-changer night possibly for Martin O'Malley?

BLACKWELL: Good morning to you, I'm Victor Blackwell.

PAUL: I'm Christi Paul. Always so grateful for your company.


PAUL (voice-over): Listen to those winds, that is some of the video we are getting in of the most powerful hurricane ever recorded as it made landfall along Mexico's Pacific Coast. At its peak, Hurricane Patricia was gusting at a whopping 235 miles an hour.

The winds have now slowed down to a category 1 as Patricia is continuing to move into the mountains of Mexico here. It's still a hurricane, though; some 12 hours later, extremely dangerous, torrential rain capable of triggering flash floods mudslides, which is a big concern now. And it's already contributed to flooding far to the north in Texas.

Numerous drivers had to be rescued overnight when they got stranded in high rushing water. Ed Lavandera is south of Dallas in Ellis County, where much of the rain is concentrated.

And, Ed, has it stopped raining there?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, it has been a steady rain. It has continued to fall for most of the overnight hours, which is leading to problems here. We are here along the service road of Interstate 45 that connects Dallas to Houston, I'm here about 15 miles north of the town of Corsicana, where throughout most of the night, the interstate, about a 30-mile stretch of it, has been shut down for this. Much of it has been covered in water, we are told.

And emergency officials just a short while ago saying they are starting to reopen the interstate here, so, as you can imagine, it is a backed-up situation here. As you look around, this was the point of no return here, basically, all the cars that have stacked up here throughout the overnight hours. And we are looking down towards the south here. But when you come back out this way, you can see for miles and miles, the cars that have been stacked up here throughout the overnight hours, trying to make their way between Dallas and Houston.

But it sounds like the waters have receded enough where emergency officials think it's safe enough to reopen portions of the interstate and allows traffic to start moving through but it has been a treacherous situation throughout the night, Kristi, several dozen high water rescues along the roadways here in the Corsicana area.

A emergency management official tells me that in a little more than 24 hours since these rains started they've received 17.5 inches of rain, more than 20 inches in some parts of the county around Corsicana.

So a great deal of water that they've had to deal with. And they that say the rains will continue to fall. Although it's been falling, this is about as light as we have seen here throughout the overnight hours.

So that is some good news, and perhaps give the waters a chance to recede here in this area as the storms continue to move --


LAVANDERA: -- through. It has been a treacherous and unrelenting downpour that we have seen here in this part of Texas -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Well, Ed Lavandera, you take good care there, you and the crew. Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: So we see there are major problems for Texas but Hurricane Katrina -- Patricia, rather -- is not done with Mexico yet. For the latest let's go to Sara Sidner in Guadalajara, just north of where this hurricane made landfall.

Sara, what are you seeing? Still predawn hours, but what do we know?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this point what we're hearing is from the officials, from the president himself, President Pena Nieto saying this is still a very dangerous situation that people need to shelter in place. It has dropped, though, to a category 1.

But the reason why he is saying that is because he is extremely worried, as are many of the people who live along the coast, about flash floods, about mudslides and landslides. Those are real and present dangers. They want to make sure that the residents understand this event is not over yet.

However, the good news coming from the officials are that, so far, the reports they've gotten -- mind you, it is not light out so they can't yet see the damage.

But the reports they've gotten from the areas that were hardest hit are that this damage was not catastrophic, not what they were expecting, not as terrible as they thought it would be, considering this is a historic storm, the strongest ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

And so there is a lot of talk this morning about exactly what actually got hit and we're hearing that Those small fishing villages that may have the worst damage and as you might imagine, those villages are places where people are impoverished. So we will have to wait and see until the light comes, just how bad the damage is.

We did manage to talk to some of those folks who were getting out as they were getting out of Puerto Vallarta. The hurricane did not hit that directly but, certainly, it felt the effects of this massive hurricane, as it came in as a category 5 and they told us that when they left, they took the last bus out and it took them seven hours.

It's normally a four-hour drive to where we are in Guadalajara. We are expecting that a lot of roads will be closed and a lot of folks will be stuck where they are.

BLACKWELL: All right, Sara Sidner there for us, Sara, thank you so much.

Now the winds have now dipped below the catastrophic levels that they were about 12 hours ago. But, again the rain is continuing to cause problems, not just for Central Mexico but now in Texas. Houston could be especially hard hit.

PAUL: Let's go to CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray. She has the details from the CNN Hurricane Center here in Atlanta.

Jennifer, help us understand the trajectory here and the strength as it moves along.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Right. So this storm is weakening considerably. However, just like Sara says, still a huge threat. We are still going to get a lot of rain across portions of Mexico and, because of the mountainous terrain, we are going to see the possibility of flash flooding as well as mudslides.

You have to remember, this storm made landfall with 165-mile-per-hour sustained winds. It did not hit Puerto Vallarta, it actually, most likely had hurricane force winds there but not the category 5 hurricane force winds.

So when you go to those towns today, when the sun comes up, when we see those pictures, there is not much that can withstand winds of that magnitude.

As this moisture continues to rise to the north, it is going to fill over Mexico. We are going to continue with that flash flooding across the mountainous areas. We could see additional 4-6 inches as we go over the next 24 hours or so.

But all of this moisture from the remnants of this storm is going to combine with a system that's already in place across Texas. That's going to pump incredible amounts of moisture, additional moisture into Texas. We've already had record rainfall across places in Texas. We've had

water rescues overnight. So the flooding is happening now and when you add additional moisture to this situation, it is only going to get worse.

We're looking at all of East Texas, even the Hill Country of Texas, and that's when we could see major flash flooding.

So that's this huge concern, guys, as we go into today, tomorrow, even into Monday. You can see the moisture that's feeding in over the top of that storm, all of that moisture is going to head into Texas and that moisture that's already in place that we have been seeing, it's only going to add to it.

So that's the concern; Texas is going to be the big story, guy, as we head into the next 48 hours or so.

BLACKWELL: All right. Stay on top of it. We'll check back soon. Jennifer Gray, thanks so much.

PAUL: Meanwhile, the Democrats take the race for 2016 to Iowa. Clinton, Sanders, O'Malley all on stage tonight. The message they need to convey to take the presidential campaigns' state to the next level.


PAUL (voice-over): Plus Jeb Bush is downsizing, slashing staff and salaries. And he has a lot of people wondering, what does it mean for his campaign's future?


JEB BUSH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: This means lean and mean, and it means I have the ability to adapt.


BUSH: And the circumstances when we started the election were different. I have not met a person that thought Donald Trump would be the front-running candidate.




PAUL: For the Democratic presidential candidates, the road to the White House makes a critical stop in Iowa today. Lincoln Chafee dropped out yesterday, so there are now just three left in the running, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, and they are all gathering in Des Moines for the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

This is a huge fundraising event that's been a turning point for a lot of presidential campaigns in the past; it, in fact, helped propel then-senator Barack Obama to a stunning win in Iowa in 2008.

CNN national political reporter, Maeve Reston, joining me now live from Des Moines.

So talk to us about this dinner.

Any surprises?

Do we think there is any chance we will see somebody gain huge momentum such as we did in '08?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is such a huge opportunity for the candidates; Hillary Clinton, obviously, has a lot on the line. She's had a really strong couple weeks, is looking to build off of the momentum, off of the Benghazi hearings this past week.

And, of course, Bernie Sanders is here as well, looking to galvanize his troops. This was a huge moment for Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign. It was the moment when a lot of his supporters in the audience thought they saw a president and kind of stuck with him for the duration.

So it is the time when the campaigns want to galvanize their supporters, get people really excited for the caucuses. And we have got some really good warm-up acts here this afternoon in Des Moines with Katy Perry, who's going to be here with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton for a rally.

Then the dueling rally with Bernie Sanders --


RESTON: -- also in Des Moines. So it's a big day for all of the candidates.

PAUL: You mentioned Bill Clinton. This is the first time that he is hosting an event for his wife.

So is this the beginning of more Bill Clinton appearances that we're going to see, something for Hillary?

RESTON: Definitely. They've said that Bill Clinton will be out on the campaign trail a lot more this fall for Hillary Clinton, he over the summer kind of let her have her moment in the spotlight.

Now it is really moving into try to seal the deal with voters, obviously, Hillary is facing a very tough challenge from Bernie Sanders and Bill will be out there galvanizing her supporters, particularly African Americans and Latinos, getting them around her campaign, committed to her, they're going to be organizers, going through the crowd today with caucus commitment cards, in between the Katy Perry songs, so it will be a big moment for the campaign.

PAUL: All right. And Maeve Reston, we so appreciate it, thank you for being with us. RESTON: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk about the Bush campaign, is it in trouble? Because the campaign announced the slash of salaries, jobs being cut, moving of resources, a look at whether his run to the White House is maybe nearing its end or at least a very difficult period.

Plus, we're continuing to follow the breaking news, watching the flooding now moving into Texas. Some areas seeing many rescues, bands from Hurricane Patricia dumping up to 20 inches of rain in some areas, we'll check into where the storm is going next and who will feel it the most.





BLACKWELL: Is Jeb Bush's campaign in trouble?

A question a lot of people are asking, because there are some new moves that may indicate that. The polls show him stuck far behind the GOP front-runners, languishing in the single digits in polls.

His campaign has decided to cut staff, reduce salaries and put the brakes on travel to consolidate resources and focus on the early races.

His campaign spokeswoman said this in an email, "We are making changes today to ensure Jeb is best positioned to win the nomination and general election. Jeb is the one candidate with a proven conservative record, bold ideas and the strong leadership needed to fix the problems America faces.

"We are moving our resources into the states to ensure that voters in primary and caucus states are introduced to his record and vision for the future."

Let's bring in Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator, Maria Cardona, along with Republican strategist Kayleigh McEnany.

I'm sorry. Let me get that right.

McEnany, right?


BLACKWELL: Got it. All right. My apologies.

Kayleigh, I want to start with you. They say they're moving these resources to introduce Jeb Bush and his record. If there was one thing people knew, especially GOP voters moving into this session this cycle, it was that Jeb Bush was running and people know Jeb Bush. Is this a larger problem?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It is a larger problem. And look, a lot of people don't realize that Jeb Bush actually was quite a conservative governor. It's ironic that he is painted as a moderate when his record in Florida was very conservative.

So there is that aspect. He wants to introduce voters to his staunch conservative record. But there is a big problem for Jeb Bush and that problem seems to be that he is not an outsider.

We see Carson and Trump jostling for those top ranks, but Jeb Bush is falling very far behind. He is desperately moving resources to New Hampshire. It looks like the only state he really has a long shot in and it's a long shot at this point.

BLACKWELL: Maria, let's take a closer look at the cuts because we understand that they are reducing payroll, the costs here by 40 percent, downsizing headquarters staff, cutting travel costs by 20 percent, moving people from Miami into the early states.

Can Bush turn this around?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, certainly, there is a possibility of that, Victor. You know, one of the things we all know in politics is that anything can happen.

But the fact of the matter is that these are definite warning signs and most of the time, -- and, again, there could be exception -- but most of the time these moves signify the beginning of the end of a campaign.

And for Bush I think it is extraordinarily jaw-droppingly serious, because this was a guy that when he announced that he was going to be running, everyone thought that he was going to be the prohibitive front-runner. He has a PAC that still has you know tens of millions of dollars in it. But we all know from a campaign standpoint, if you are not bringing money into your campaign, it signifies lack of enthusiasm. It signifies lack of confidence that voters and the base think that you have what it takes or that they want you as their nominee. And you can't continue without the kinds of resources in your own campaign that you need to in order to make the introductions that they now think they need to make.


CARDONA: Which again is indicative of very a bad turn for this campaign.

BLACKWELL: Let me come to you, Maria, and then to you, Kayleigh, on Hillary Clinton and I guess the aftermath of that 11-hour marathon hearing. And I want you to listen to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe during the DNC Women's Leadership Forum, I believe. This is a rally, actually, and this introduction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TERRY MCAULIFFE, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: I don't know if any of you, you want to talk about a fighter, how about those 11 hours of testimony yesterday?


MCAULIFFE: That's what I'm talking about.


BLACKWELL: Clearly works well with the crowd there but, Maria, should the campaign be careful here because there is an investigation going on and hearings and testimony over the deaths of those four Americans now being an applause line, could that be dangerous?

CARDONA: Well, I will say the campaign does certainly need to be careful in not thinking that this is it for her and thinking they now have a smooth ride to the nomination and into the presidency.

Though I have to tell you, a lot of Democrats are very enthusiastic about her momentum this week and I think with good reason. But she needs to wake up every single day thinking and believing and running like she's the underdog because that's the Hillary we have seen in the last several weeks.

That is when she is at her best. That is when she is at her most authentic. That is when she is at her most passionate. That's the one that we saw in the Democratic debate. That's the one --


CARDONA: -- that we saw in the hearing. I believe that will be the Hillary that we will see tonight. So her campaign will continue to fight for every single vote. But I got to tell you, the Benghazi committee hearing, you know, even though, yes, absolutely the issues are serious.

But it was the ninth investigation, the ninth committee that has investigated this. And nothing new came out of it.


CARDONA: -- Republicans have even said that she was the huge winner that night.

BLACKWELL: Kayleigh, let me come to you with that.

Is that something we're going to continue to hear from the Republican candidates? We heard from Carly Fiorina, who has been very critical of Hillary Clinton, that she did well. We heard praise for her performance at the debate.

Are we going to hear Benghazi more considering the general reception of the former secretary's performance this week?

MCENANY: There is no doubt about it. Look, you won't hear about it during the Democratic primary. Bernie Sanders seems to be very conciliatory in with the Clinton campaign, to a certain extend, vowing and defending her over her email scandal.

But during the general election, there's no doubt about it. You will hear more and more about the Benghazi hearings.

And to say no new facts came out of it, that's absurd. You look, we find out that Hillary Clinton was emailing her daughter, saying that this was a terrorist attack. She was emailing -- she had spoken with the Egyptian prime minister, saying that this was an Al Qaeda attack.

Then days later, showed up at Andrews Air Force Base, saying that this was blamed on a video and saying that to the families of the dead Americans.

So there were new facts. And you will undoubtedly hear about it on the GOP side now and going forward into the general election.

BLACKWELL: I got you there. But those are the words from the chairman of the committee, Trey Gowdy, I mean, when asked twice after this, he said pretty much he hadn't said anything that she hasn't said before. But we will see where this moves as we move forward.

Kayleigh, Maria, thank you both.

MCENANY: Thank you.

CARDONA: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: Flash flooding right now in Texas we want to tell you about. Hurricane Patricia making its mark obviously as it pushes inland, dumping more than 10 inches of rain in some areas.

But it looks his sights are now on Texas, which is already seeing some of those flood issues there.

Also, an American soldier killed during a raid on ISIS, what the Defense Department is saying about this mission.





BLACKWELL (voice-over): Hurricane Patricia barreling across Mexico and towards the U.S., that storm now feeding into another system. It already dropped more than 6 inches of rain in Texas. And it is now past 16 inches coming down when you add the bands of Patricia.

Flash flood watches and warnings are in effect across the state. One judge says that crews had to rescue at least four drivers in the town of Corsicana, as torrential rains turned creeks into rivers, streets you see here into just standing water, feet of water up to that car's nearly the door handle.

Officials throughout the region are warning, turn around and don't drown. Don't drive through this mess. A grim reminder that just 2 feet of water is enough to wash away any car or truck.

PAUL voice-over): Patricia, the hurricane, of course, drenching Mexico right now, though, dropping at least a foot of rain as it makes its way across the country's center.

BLACKWELL (voice-over): And forecasters predict the storm will be downgraded again later this morning sometime with Mexico's mountains helping to tear apart this storm's strength.

Our meteorologist Jennifer Gray is here to explain.

Jennifer, what is happening now?

GRAY: You are exactly right. Those mountains just shred these storms. That's why it is weakening as rapidly as it is, but with that said, it still contains a lot of rainfall. Still dropping a lot of rain across this mountainous terrain in Mexico.

And because of that, we are going to see the possibility of mudslides so the situation there is still incredibly dire, as this storm continues to weaken; most likely not 75-mile-per-hour winds now. I would say this storm is already a tropical storm. It has just shredded apart very, very quickly.

We are still going to see a lot of rainfall across Mexico, 4-6 inches, possibly, still along the coast. They have already received quite a bit over the last 24 hours. But all of this moisture is going to pump into the south U.S. and combine with another system that's already in place and just add more moisture, more rain, across Texas and into Louisiana as we get into the later part of the weekend, Louisiana more so on Monday.

But we could see an additional 4-6 inches across portions of the Hill Country, 6-10 inches of rain in some places around Houston, isolated amounts even higher and so the flooding is going to be a huge concern across Texas.

We've already seen water rescues, we've already had flash flooding. We are going to get this rain on top of what we've already seen there. And so this is going to be the huge story as we go forward over the next 48 hours or so, guys.

So all of this moisture, the remnants of Patricia will continue to get pumped into the South and combine with that upper level low that's already in place. So we will go from bad to worse, I'm afraid, as we get into the latter part of the weekend, guys.

PAUL: All right. Thank you for the heads up nonetheless, Jennifer. We appreciate it. Thousands of people, though, evacuated the resort town of Puerto

Vallarta ahead of the storm's arrival yesterday. At least one American said, I think I'm going to stay and ride this thing out. So let's talk to him.

Scott Hall is on the phone with us.

Scott, thank you so much.

First of all, can you --


SCOTT HALL, STORM RIDER: My pleasure, good morning.

PAUL: Thank you, can you help us understand what it's like there right now?

HALL: Well, it has stopped raining, the town is very quiet. But everyone is safe and sound.

PAUL: So where are you?

Did you go to a shelter?

Did you stay in the resort where you were --


PAUL: -- where you were visiting?

HALL: I -- no, I live here, and I have a business here and so I closed my business and went home.

I do not live on the ocean but I live up on a hill and so I just went home and removed my patio furniture and hoped for the best and did the best we could, because the storm just grew so fast and in intensity. And so luckily, everything went well for us here in Puerto Vallarta.

PAUL: So other than a rain event and maybe some wind, you haven't seen anything treacherous?

HALL: Not whatsoever. In fact, we did not get any wind here in Puerto Vallarta since the storm did not arrive here in Puerto Vallarta. We just got rain and the rain was a light-to-steady rain.

PAUL: So we talked about all these people that evacuated Puerto Vallarta.

Why did you decide not to?

HALL: Well, to be honest with you, we didn't really have too much time to evacuate since the storm approached and grew really fast. So I decided to just stay in my apartment and do the best we could, fearing the worst. But luckily, things went really fortunate for us here in Puerto Vallarta. PAUL: Well, Scott, we are glad that you are OK. We hope your business is OK as well. And thank you so much for sharing what you are seeing there this morning.

HALL: My pleasure, thank you very much.

PAUL: Take good care.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, an alleged crime state out of a movie plot. Some are calling this a sequel in real life to the fictional "Goodfellas." It's happening in a New York courtroom. We'll take you there.




PAUL: Well, today the body of afternoon American service member killed in Iraq will return to the U.S.

Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler lost his life during a daring rescue mission, which ultimately led to the liberation of 70 hostages. But this marks the first U.S. death by enemy fire since 2011.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Ash Carter says (INAUDIBLE) doesn't mean that the U.S. has returned to a combat role in Iraq. But he did say similar raids in the region are likely.

CNN's Ryan Nobles is joining us now with some new details.

Good morning, Ryan.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kristi, and Defense Secretary Ash Carter will be in Dover, Delaware, today when Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler's body returns to the United States.

Meanwhile, Secretary Carter is clarifying the role of the U.S. military in Iraq. Now U.S. forces are not there in a combat role but instead to advise and assist Iraqi forces. Now Carter said, though, they should and can engage if the situation warrants.

Now in this case, Wheeler, who is a member of the elite Delta Force, was supporting a team rescuing those hostages at an Iraqi compound in Northern Iraq, an ISIS compound. Now many of these hostages were Iraqi special forces and they were facing imminent mass execution.

Now as the Kurdish force were overwhelmed, U.S. Special Forces Command on the ground made the decision for the U.S. forces to engage. It was during that gunfight that Wheeler was shot and killed.

Now Secretary Carter said that events like this are rare in Iraq but it's something that U.S. military forces need to be prepared for.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ASH CARTER, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: When we find opportunities to do things that will effectively prosecute the campaign, we're going to do that. And this is an example of a case where we could do something we alone had the capability to do. And I'm absolutely prepared to do that. So raids is a -- is one of those categories and I suspect that we'll have further opportunities in the future.


NOBLES: Meanwhile, Carter said he was proud of Master Sergeant Wheeler. This was a man who was a 20-year military veteran and a father of four. He had been awarded the Bronze Star 11 different times and was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart.

Now Carter did not go into specific detail about the operation itself but he did say that Wheeler was attempting to save the lives of others when he lost his own life -- Christi.

PAUL: Going to be a tough day for his family. Certainly thoughts to them.

Ryan Nobles, we thank you.

NOBLES: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: There are some who remember the Lufthansa heist. Some say it's a part of cultural history. Well, now decades later, there's the trial in the real-life drama. Coming up the family, some would say snitch, had millions of dollars that never were seen again.

And the Royals are making a return trip to the World Series. Talk about what's coming up.

PAUL: First, though, CNN has announced the Top 10 Heroes for 2015. And we would like you to meet another one of them right now. Her name's Monique Pool and she helped save our environment by saving sloths. Listen.


MONIQUE POOL, CNN HERO: Saving the sloths for me, it's not about saving the sloths. It's about what they stand for. It's about losing habitat. It's about the importance of environmental protection for everybody.


PAUL: For more of her story, just go to And while you are there, you can meet all the top 10 heroes. Vote once a day every day for your candidate, all 10 will be honored at "CNN Heroes," an all-star tribute that's hosted by Anderson Cooper December 6th. Only one will be named, of course, CNN's Hero of the Year, though.



BLACKWELL: All right. So this just in to CNN, Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, says that Moscow is now ready to give air support in the fight against ISIS. Now Lavrov tells Russian state television -- listen to this specifically -- "We are ready to include the patriotic opposition, including this so-called Free Syrian Army, to provide it with aerial support."

Now this seems to contradict, at least the sentiment if not the direct statements of President Putin, who said that their task was to stabilize and support the, in his words, "legitimate government" of Bashar al-Assad. We will talk next hour about what this means for the fight there in Syria.

Well, a dramatic retelling of a box office classing playing out now in a Brooklyn courtroom this week. It's the so-called "Goodfellas" trial of Vincent Asaro, 80-year-old reputed mobster, who prosecutors say got a $750,000 cut in the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist at JFK International Airport.

PAUL: Now Asaro is on trial for murder, racketeering and his alleged role in the heist, itself.

Our Jean Casarez takes a look for us.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, you know how it's always said, oh, it's only in the movies. But prosecutors are saying in a New York courtroom right now, no, this is real life.


CASAREZ (voice-over): The blockbuster 1990 motion picture was "Goodfellas," day-to-day life inside a New York Mafia crew, a crew that hit a criminal jackpot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a daring predawn ride at the Lufthansa cargo terminal at Kennedy Airport, the FBI says $2 million, Port Authority police say $4 million. The city --

CASAREZ (voice-over): It was one of the largest heists in this country's history. The multi-million robbery of cash and jewels at Lufthansa's air cargo terminal at New York's JFK Airport in 1978.

And now for the first time, one of those fellas is being prosecuted in New York City for murder, racketeering and robbery. The 89-year-old defendant, Vincent Asaro, an alleged captain in the Bonanno crime family, isn't portrayed in the movie because at the time his identity wasn't known.


CASAREZ (voice-over): But prosecutors are portraying Asaro as the mastermind of the crime with now deceased Jimmy "the Gent" Burke, portrayed in the movie by Robert DeNiro. Star witness in this prosecution, 37 years later, the defendant's own cousin, Gaspare Valenti, who wore a wire and recorded Asaro, a member of the crime family, too, who turned to help prosecutors after believing he didn't get enough of the loot.

Valenti was one of the masked gunmen who actually stormed into the airport warehouse and helped take millions out of the vault in cash and jewelry and got away in this van.

As Asaro could be seen in court saying, "Liar," Valenti testified he remembers packages of money that contained $125,000 in 100-dollar bills, burlap sacks of gold chains, crates of watches, diamonds, emeralds and stones, total estimated value, $6 million. And none of it was ever found.

Asaro's former defense attorney said he didn't do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty much all the people that did it got murdered. So the fact that my client didn't get murdered would suggest that he didn't have anything to do with it.

CASAREZ (voice-over): Prosecutors also say defendant Asaro conspired and murdered by strangling with a dog chain Paul Katz in 1969 after it was believed he was cooperating with law enforcement. In June 2013, investigators found remnants of Katz's remains embedded in a basement floor where prosecutors believe Asaro helped hide the body.

Four other defendants allegedly played minor roles, including Asaro's son, have already made deals with the government.

But the goodfella prosecutors believe is the real deal is Asaro and they hope to finally put him behind bars and, at the same time, bring justice to victims from generations of crimes never solved.

CASAREZ: So wiretap recordings are going to play a large role in this trial.

Right now, the jury's hearing recordings between the defendant and his cousin, who is still on the stand. And he started recording the defendant in 2008.

In 2011, there's a recording that the jury has heard, where the defendant, Asaro, says, you know, we didn't get our fair share of this stuff because Jimmy "the Gent" Burke got it all.

And so the prosecutor asked the witness, well, what is he referring to?

He said he's referring to the Lufthansa heist, the $6 million right there. And just in 2013, there's a recording the jury heard where Asaro is saying to his cousin, you know, you've done some good things and you've done an awful lot of bad things.

And so the prosecutor said, well, what are the good things?

The cousin says "Well, I buried a body for him after the Lufthansa heist. And the bad things, I borrowed money and I gambled it all away."

The trial is set to take place for the next four to five weeks -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All right. Jean Casarez, thank you so much. Appreciate it. We'll be right back.





BLACKWELL: Well, CNN's Tom Foreman, he wants your kids to get moving, wants them to be fit. And to help America's youth get in the spirit, he is practicing what he preaches.

PAUL: He's running -- I can't believe this -- five marathons, in five days, across six states and the nation's capital.


We're talking 131 miles altogether. His quest is outlined in his new book, "My Year of Running Dangerously."


PAUL: I love it.

And he joins us live on his marathon route right now to tell us more about this.

Where on Earth are you finding the energy for this?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this is something that all the runners out there know, it builds energy. It doesn't take energy, it builds energy.

So about eight miles in this morning to the first marathon and I'll look around here and (INAUDIBLE) and tomorrow there's a Marine Corps Marathon I'll be running in, a variety of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and finishing in New York on Wednesday on Central Park.

And then I'm going to take a few days off before I do the New York City Marathon, because, you know, you should rest for a marathon.


BLACKWELL: Especially when you're running so many of them.

Hey, Tom, tell us how you got to this point. And if you can also throw in the foundation you're raising money for an awareness. FOREMAN: Well, basically, what happened is my 18-year-old daughter, Ronni (ph), went on to her first year in college and she's studding aerospace. She wants to be an astronaut. So she wanted to be fit. And she said, can you help me train for a marathon?

And really, I tell you, (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE) 50 and I thought it was beyond me. I had done it when I was (INAUDIBLE) but I thought I couldn't do it. But many of us thinks that these 25, 30 or 40. And I just started easing into it a step at a time and building smartly and reasonably. And I now I just about can't imagine life without it.

It just feels so much better to be outside every day and to stretch your legs and to do something, if you're running or walking, I don't care what it is. And I think that does start when you're very young.

So the reason I want to encourage young people to get out and do this, and by young people, I mean anybody under 50, it because it's good for you. And it's good for all of us.

PAUL: It's so true. It does make you feel so much better.

How can we follow your journey, tom?

FOREMAN: Go to my Facebook page is the easiest thing, TomForemanCNN. You can follow where I'm going. I'll be posting maps and where I've been for the day various pictures and little videos as I make my way across the country. I hope I make it. This is a lot of running. Like I said, I've got eight miles, so what does that leave me with? Some 123 --


PAUL: Oh, my goodness. You're going to make it. We have full faith in you.

BLACKWELL: We certainly do.

PAUL: Tom Foreman.

BLACKWELL: Tom Foreman.

FOREMAN: Thank you so much.


PAUL: Thank you.

FOREMAN: Good seeing y'all.


PAUL: All we've been doing is sitting in this chair.

BLACKWELL: Yes, yes.

PAUL: That makes me feel a little -- BLACKWELL: Five marathons.

PAUL: Good for him.

There is so much more news that we want to talk with you about this morning.

BLACKWELL: Certainly, your NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: Breaking news we're following this morning. I'm Christi Paul. So grateful to have your company.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.