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IOC Bans the Russian Olympic Team; CVS Moves to Buy Aetna; Supreme Court Hears Arguments Involving Same-Sex Couples` Rights and Religious Freedom

Aired December 6, 2017 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Kicking off your midweek edition of CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz.

The IOC, the International Olympic Committee, made a major announcement yesterday about the upcoming 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The Russian national team would be banned from the events. The decision followed a long investigation into the alleged doping of Russian athletes.

IOC officials found the Russian Olympic Committee guilty of illegally giving some of its athletes drugs to help them perform better.

This doesn`t mean that all Russian athletes would be kept out of the games. The IOC says that clean athletes from Russia can participate, but they`ll

have to approve by a panel first. They`ll be competing under the neutral Olympic flag, not the Russian flag, and if they win any events, the Olympic

anthem, not the Russian one will be played. So, Russia won`t officially win any Olympic medals in 2018.

Some Russian officials are pushing for a boycott of the games, with one lawmaker calling the IOC`s decision a humiliation and an insult, and a

shame for the athletes. "The New York Times" reports that Russia`s Olympic Committee will likely appeal the decision in court.

In the U.S. Capitol, Democratic lawmaker John Conyers announced yesterday that he`d give up his seat in the House of Representatives. The 88-year-

old from Michigan was the longest serving member in the chamber, but he was under pressure to resign after multiple accusations came out that Conyers

had sexually harassed women who worked with him.

Conyers was one of the several U.S. politicians, Democrat and Republican, who`ve been accused of this in recent months. But he`s the first lawmaker

to resign as a result. Several news and entertainment personalities have also been accused of harassment.


AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

What are Aetna, Cigna and Humana?

Are they all health insurance companies, pet food distributors, investment organizations or constellations?

These are the names of three health care companies in the United States.


AZUZ: And one of those insurance companies, Aetna, could soon be bought by a pharmacy company named CVS. It`s offered $69 billion to take over Aetna.

If this goes through, it would be the largest health insurance deal in history, and could affect tens of millions of people.

As things stand now, 23 million have Aetna insurance, and 90 million are customers of CVS and Caremark, a mail order pharmacy that CVS owns.

There are more than 9,700 CVS pharmacies around the country and 1,100 minute clinics, where people can walk in for vaccinations, lab tests and

treatments for common illnesses like strep throat.

The head of CVS says the merger would lead to lower health care expenses and better service for providers and patients who could get their health

care and medications in the same place.

But consumer advocacy groups like the Coalition to Protect Patient Choice say these mergers haven`t gone well in the past and that patients wind up

paying more money and having less choice when it comes to medications. CVS`s purchase of Aetna is not a done deal. It will first have to be

approved by antitrust regulators with the U.S. government, ands they`ve been skeptical of similar health care mergers in the past.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Now that we`ve announced the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2017, it`s time to show you how you can help decide who should be

CNN Hero of the Year and receive $100,000 to help them continue their work.

Just go to, where you can learn more about each hero and when you`re ready, just click on vote. Log in using either your email address

or Facebook account and choose your favorite. Then confirm your selection and you`re all set.

And this year, you can also vote through Facebook messenger. You can vote up to ten times a day per method every day through December 12. Then rally

your friends by sharing your vote on social media.

My friend and co-host Kelly Ripa joins me to reveal the 2017 Hero of the Year live during our 11th Annual CNN Heroes and All Star Tribute, Sunday,

December 17th.


AZUZ: The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a closely watched case that involves some major issues in America. One is the rights

of same sex couples. Another is religious freedom. The courts scheduled the arguments to last an hour, but they went over that, an indication of

how significant the case is.

It involves the owner of a bakery that opened in 1993 and two men who requested a wedding cake for their marriage in 2012. At that time, same

sex marriage wasn`t legal in Colorado. The week would have been for their wedding in another state.

Following is a balanced report on what happened in the words of those involved.


DAVID MULLINS: Like any couple getting married, we had a million details to penalize. On this particular day, it was special to us. We had a

binder full of ideas.

JACK PHILLIPS, OWNER, MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP: They said that they were here to look for wedding cakes.

MULLINS: As soon as we sat down with the owner, he asked who the cake was for.

PHILLIPS: They were sitting at our wedding desk, had my wedding book open with wedding pictures in front of them.

MULLINS: We told him it was for us.

PHILLIPS: Right away, I know that it`s not a cake that I would be able to create for them. Told them, sorry, guys, I don`t do cakes for same sex

weddings. They looked at me, like, what do you mean?

MULLINS: We were horrified and just embarrassed and hurt.

PHILLIPS: I will make you birthday cake, shower cakes, cookies, brownies. Basically, I will sell you anything else in the store. But that`s just the

cake that I can`t do and the conversation didn`t go any further. They got mad, stood up, stormed out of the shop.

MULLINS: In the parking lot, we were -- we were very emotional. It`s embarrassing to admit, but I cried.

PHILLIPS: I didn`t want to use my artistic talents to create something that went against my Christian faith.

MULLINS: We haven`t spoken to Jack since this all began.

SUBTITLE: Craig and Mullins, represented by the ACLU, already won win the lowers courts of Colorado.

Their case made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

MULLINS: This case is about more than us and it`s not about cakes. It`s about the right of gay people to receive equal service.

PHILLIPS: I don`t see this as a case of discrimination. Discrimination is saying you people are not welcomed in my shop. But I always, always,

always welcome everybody in my shop. They`re just an event I don`t create cakes for, this was one of them -- but the two gentlemen that came are

welcome on my shop any day.

To turn away somebody because of their sexual orientation, that would be discrimination. To turn away an event, the opportunity to create for an

event is not discrimination.

CHARLIE CRAIG: This isn`t about our artistic expression. I don`t feel like we asked for a piece of art, or for him to make a statement, we simply

asked him for a cake and he denied that to us simply because of who we are.

PHILLIPS: I feel like I`m being compelled to create artwork for an event, an inherently religious event that goes against my faith. And I`m being

compelled to do so under threat of penalty of jail time and fines for not complying.

MULLINS: Religion is an extremely important part of many people`s lives. That`s why it`s protected under the Constitution. But you cannot practice

your religion in a way that demeans others or excludes them from public life.

PHILLIPS: Fundamentally, I believe that marriage is a picture of Christ in the church and that god designed marriage to be a man and a woman.

MULLINS: A win in the Supreme Court would validate and affirm what the Colorado courts have decided at every level, which is that Masterpiece

Cakeshop discriminated against us and denied us service based upon who we are.

PHILLIPS: The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that for now on, I have to make cakes for same sex weddings and rather than disobey that

ruling, we decided that a way around that, obeying the law and the ruling, would be to try and continue business without making wedding cakes at all.

SUBTITLE: Recently, the Department of Justice expressed support for Masterpiece Cakeshop`s position in a legal brief.

PHILLIPS: The hardship has been substantial, sacrificing that aspect of our business. That was 40 percent of our business. The day these two

gentlemen came in, I had 10 employees working for me. Now, I have four, including myself.

MULLINS: If the court rules against us, it would open the door to many forms of discrimination that had long been outlawed in our society, and not

just regarding gay people but against many protected groups.

PHILLIPS: I am hoping that at the end of this, I do have the option of making wedding cakes, but this case is much bigger than just Jack Phillips

get to make wedding cakes. This case is about our fundamental freedoms, freedom of speech, freedom of artistic expression, freedom of exercise --

free exercise of religion in our day to day lives.


AZUZ: Hear ye, hear ye, there`s a castle for sale in the U.S. It`s a replica of an actual 15 century Spanish castle, but it`s as close as

Pennsylvania. The home is new construction, but it still needs some work. The exterior, for example, needs to be covered with stone.

But for $1.69 million, you could own 15,000 square feet of castle and 25 acres of land. And because it`s designated as residential property only,

the owner could truly be king or queen of the castle.

You don`t have to be Renaissance man to buy this sort of draw-bridge to the past. But you can`t be a peasant. It`s royal opportunity for the baron or

baroness who knight consider high walls embattlements a sweet security system, and with the lake nearby, an additional water feature is a moat


I`m Carl Azuz bidding you good day for CNN 10.