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New Zealand Mosque Shootings Suspect Pleads Not Guilty; Video of Boy Studying under Streetlight Sparks Generosity; Blaming Iran for Attacks on Two Tanker Ships; The Press Secretary Stepping Down; A President's Remark on Taking Foreign Help; Leadership Vote in the U.K.; How North Korean Leader Was Raised. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 14, 2019 - 00:00   ET


[00:00:00] NATALIE ALLEN: The United States says Iran attacked two tankers and has the evidence to prove it but the truth in the Gulf of Oman is likely a lot murkier.

The man accused of opening fire on several mosques in New Zealand pleads not guilty to 51 murder charges. We'll go live to Christ Church about that.

Also, ahead this hour, at an age where many kids can't be bothered with homework, a boy in Peru went to extremes to get his work done. Now, his community is reaching out to help. We'll have his story for you -- these stories coming up this hour.

Welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

Thanks again for joining us. Our top story, the Trump administration flatly accusing Iran of attacking two tanker ships in broad daylight as they sailed through the Gulf of Oman. It is the second time in a month that commercial vessels have been targeted in the strategic waterway.

The U.S. Central Command released footage it says shows an Iranian naval vessel coming up alongside one of the stricken tankers and removing an unexploded mine. Hours after the initial attack, that tanker belongs to Japan and the incident came as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting with Iranian leaders in Tehran.

The U.S. says these photos show what appears the unexploded device on the side of the Japanese ship. U.S. officials believe that the Iranians were seeking to recover evidence of their involvement in the attack. Iran's foreign minister suggests it is being set up.

Here's a tweet, "That the U.S. immediately jumped to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence only makes it abundantly clear that the #B_Team is moving to a #PlanB. Sabotage diplomacy -- including by @abeshinzo -- and cover up its #EconomicTerrorism against Iran."

All right. For the latest on what we know, here's CNN's Barbara Starr at the U.S. Defense Department. BARBARA STARR, CORRESPONDENT: Two commercial tankers in flames. Their crews forced to abandon ship after being hit in the busy waterways of the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz. The secretary of state pointing directly at Iran.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today. This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapon's used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation.

JONATHAN COHEN, ACTING U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: It's unacceptable for any party to attack commercial shipping and today's attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman raise very serious concerns.


STARR: At 6:12 and 7:00 a.m. local time, the U.S. Navy picked up two early distress calls and immediately sent the nearby destroyer, USS Bainbridge, to the scene. It took on 21 merchant mariners from one stricken ship.

The crew from the second damaged tanker picked up by a commercial ship and then transferred to Iran where they remain. Additional U.S. Navy ships are on the way to conduct security patrols in the busy shipping lanes.

Iran's motivation, the U.S. believes Tehran is responding to pressure from oil sanctions.


RAY MABUS, FORMER SECRETARY OF U.S. NAVY: It at least appears to me that it's trying to send a message that if you apply maximum pressure in the words of the Trump administration to Iran, that they're going to strike back in some way.


STARR: U.S. sailors reported seeing an unexploded mine on the side of one of the tankers. The same type of mine suspected at being used in the May attack on four oil tankers anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

But this time, an attack in those shipping lengths. Both hit at or below the water line in close proximity to the engine room while the vessels were underway. The attacks came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was wrapping up a visit to Iran looking for ways to defuse tensions.

Iran admitting nothing. In fact, the foreign minister tweeting that the attacks were suspicious. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

[00:05:00] ALLEN: Let's talk more about it. CNN's Gul Tuysuz joins us live from the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Gul, good to see you. Walk us through this new video released by the U.S. and why they believe it is significant.

GUL TUYSUZ, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL PRODUCER, CNN: Let's just look at the video. You can see very clearly that there is a small boat that approaches one of these big tankers that was attacked yesterday.

You can see it pull it right up next to it, very close and at which point you can see someone on the smaller ship removing something from the hull of the attacked vessel. You can see it very clearly. They remove it and seem to be putting it on the smaller boat.

Now, the United States released this imagery and what they say is this, that the big ship, of course, is one of the attached ships. The small ship, in fact, belongs to the Iranians and you can see that they are, in fact, according to the U.S., removing an unexploded mine from the hull of one of these ships.

There were explosions -- of course, we've reported this yesterday. There were explosions and fires on these ships and crew members had to be evacuated in this very strategic bit of water here where so much of the world's oil transits through.

So really, if this video is, in fact, the Iranians trying to remove a mine and in fact removing a mine from the hull of one of these attacked ships, it could be damning if, in fact, the narrative holds that it was the Iranians that attacked the ships and then later went back to try to cover up evidence of their sabotage against these commercial vessels. Natalie.

ALLEN: Right. So many questions about this and the instability this could cause in the region. And you also pointed out this is a very important waterway to so many countries internationally and it could have ramifications if this type of thing continues.

TUYSUZ: Absolutely. I mean experts say that some third of the world's oil supply passes through these waters. We're talking about the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.

And again, experts are saying that if these waters become unstable, unsafe, unviable for commercial shipping that you could really be talking about a major disruption to the oil supply for the western world. And that's nothing to sneeze at.

But of course, Natalie, at the same time, this is the Middle East. So it's a very tough neighborhood and oil, of course, is a big concern.

But more importantly, what happens if the ratcheted tensions here continue to escalate? They get bigger and bigger. What kind of cascading political even military effect could something like this happen?

We have been seeing it over the last month. There was a very similar incident about a month ago.

Just two days ago, there was incoming fire at a Saudi airport. Tensions are really high.

You have Saudi Arabia's lock, on the one hand, facing off against Iran, all across this region in proxy wars, in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq. But really, there hasn't been a direct confrontation yet.

But when you look at that, again, sliver of water, the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, you see how close these two blocks are to each other and with these kinds of incidents taking place, you have to fear and everyone is fearing the possibility that these proxy wars that these two blocks have been waging against each other could end up becoming direct confrontations.

ALLEN: Gul Tuysuz, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

David Rohde is a CNN global affairs analyst and executive editor of "The New Yorker" website. He joins me now from New York.

David, good to have you. Thanks for being with us.


ALLEN: First up -- yes. The U.S. was quick to point the finger now at Iran and said it has intelligence to prove it. And tonight, the U.S. has released video of what it claims is an Iranian boat removing an unexploded mine from the side of one of the tankers after the attacks. Iran denies it was responsible but does this video dispute that?

ROHDE: I think it is pretty convincing evidence that Iran might have carried these out. These appear to be Iranian boats. This is a kind of tactic that Iran has used in the past. So it's not definitive intelligence but it does appear that Iran was involved in this incident.

ALLEN: And so, if so, why? Does it make sense that Iran would want to attack [00:15:00] tankers in the Gulf of Oman?

ROHDE: Well, I think it's a sign to the Trump administration that they can push back on this American pressure, that the Trump administration needs to potentially back off or negotiate with Iran and this could show that hard-liners in Iran have grown in influence and they are able -- they have enough power to carry out this kind of incident.

This is already driving up oil prices worldwide. They're up by three percent. And these waterways at choke point is an opportunity for Iran to pressure sort of the entire world economy.

ALLEN: Well, if, as you say, these are hardliners taking advantage of the situation, where might this go as far as escalation? What's the danger?

RHODE: The danger is conflict in the Persian Gulf. You have this one narrow passageway where roughly a third of all oil carried by sea passes through that one area. The American economy is less dependent on that oil but China is enormously dependent. Europe is normally dependent. So if you have images like the ones we're seeing now, it will drive up oil prices if this continues. If this escalates, it could impact large parts of the world economy.

ALLEN: Right, an instability in the region for sure. What might the White House be able to do, if it wants to, diffuse the tension with Iran?

RHODE: So the interesting thing is that today, Prime Minister Abe of Japan was in Tehran. It was his first visit since Iran took American hostages in 1979. And Prime Minister Abe was carrying a note from President Trump to the Iran Supreme leader.

There does seem to be a desire on President Trump's part to negotiate but, again, Supreme Leader Khamenei, he rejected the note, he rejected any negotiations, and he also denied that Iran had any role in these attacks.

So there's a real tension inside the Trump administration. John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, the national security adviser and secretary of state want to confront Iran militarily but President Trump does not. He's made it very clear he doesn't want war.

So this is a big moment for the Trump administration. It's a test and how they respond in the next 48 hours will be crucial.

ALLEN: Absolutely. And Iran has said over and over we don't want war. Do you believe that?

RHODE: I don't think anyone wants war. It will be good for either side. But I think the economic pressures brought on Iran by the Trump administration sanctions is causing them to push back and saying there's a price to this aggressive stance that the Trump administration has taken.

So it's -- again, this is a major test for the president. Does he escalate this? Does he push back with tough talk? Does he deploy even more American forces in the region? Or does he look for conciliation? Will he step back? So it's a big -- I think it's a big test for President Trump.

ALLEN: David Rhode, we appreciate your insights. Thank you so much.

RHODE: Thank you.

ALLEN: Now, the story involving President Trump is another change within his administration. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month.

President Trump announced the long-expected move saying Sanders should run for governor of her native Arkansas. Her departure won't bring much change at the White House since she hasn't given a news conference in 94 days. Meantime, the president is defending his stunning statement that he would accept foreign help in the 2020 campaign and would not necessarily tell the FBI. More on this from CNN's Abby Phillip.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's not an interference. They have information, I think I'll take it. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ABBY PHILLIP, CORRESPONDENT: President Trump's unprecedented declaration that he would accept dirt from a foreign government about a political opponent coming under fire from all sides today.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president gave us once again evidence that he does not know right from wrong.


PHILLIP: Trump defending himself on Twitter comparing foreign interference to his conversations with world leaders like the Queen of England and the president of France. But Democratic lawmakers see it differently.


PELOSI: It's against the law. It's so against any sense of decency.


PHILLIP: Even some Republicans who are normally hesitant to rebuke the president are speaking out


Yes, my reaction is he should reach out to the FBI.

The appropriate action to take is to call the FBI.


PHILLIP: Privately, the president's allies cringed in response to Trump's comments. One senior Republican source telling CNN that if a president took information from a foreign government, that would be impeachable.

But not every Republican lawmaker was willing to say the president was wrong. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy appeared focused on helping Trump shift the blame to Democrats.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I watched in the last Campaign, the Democrat [05:15:00] presidential campaign spent $6 million to a foreign entity to travel the world to try to find something. And when they could not find it, they made false accusations.


PHILLIP: And Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the president's closest allies was also sharply critical of Trump's answer.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): That's not the right answer. The right answer is no.


PHILLIP: But later, Graham issued a statement accusing Democrats of accepting foreign help in 2016. The top Republican of the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sticking to silence, ignoring questions as he headed to the Senate floor. And some Republicans are saying this is Trump being Trump.


SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R-OK): This is the president. He doesn't operate the way anyone else does. His secrecies have served him pretty well I think in the past.


PHILLIP: And on Capitol Hill this afternoon, Democrats in the Senate sought unanimous consent for a bill that would require that campaigns go to the FBI if a foreign government offered them help during the campaign. But as expected, that bill failed when Republicans objected.

Abby Phillip, CNN, the White House.

ALLEN: I want to bring in Peter Matthews now, professor of political science at Cyprus College, joining us this hour from Los Angeles and a frequent guest. Peter, good to see you.


ALLEN: Well, first, let's begin with your reaction to the president welcoming apparently foreign influence. These are the information on presidential candidates and saying if he received it, he would not go to the FBI.

MATTHEWS: It's totally outrageous. First of all, it's illegal. It also opens up to blackmail and he could also be carrying favors. They could carry favors with him if they did him a favor by helping him with information that he calls opposition research.

He's totally Ludacris to even equate that with a foreign country giving him help. And I believe it's time to call him on this. And it's limit the emoluments clause that the founding founders within said that no president or elected official could, in fact, receive any benefit or emolument from a foreign country because that means a foreign government can control the United States' foreign policy and domestic policy.

The founders are very adamant about that and yet here's this president doing this -- flaunting that whole principle. It's very very disturbing.

ALLEN: Well, Nancy Pelosi said the president doesn't know right from wrong when she was reacting to what he said and Democrats are now renewing efforts for impeachment over this. The question is how serious is this statement by the president? Or will this like other egregious statements we've heard from him cause outrage and just blow over?

MATTHEWS: It's very serious but it seems to confirm the assertions that he may have actually -- or his campaign could have colluded with the foreign country like Russia. He's saying it's not a problem if we did because I'll take intelligence. They want to help me out, I'll be happy to get elected with their help.

But the question is what will he owe the other country once he is elected? It brings back the whole scenario of what Robert Mueller was investigating. It's very, very serious.

ALLEN: Well, on another front, let's talk about the development with Sarah Sanders, the Trump spokeswoman who will be stepping down. She fiercely defended this president through thick and thin. The thick is what we have just been talking about right now. How did her support effect his presidency and what might her legacy be after serving for this White House?

MATTHEWS: Quite amazing. They seem to both be birds of the same feather working together for all of these years and finally, she is stepping down. And she has been advised to run for governor by the president, governor of Arkansas.

Can you believe that? And she didn't lie outright. She said that there were dozens or many FBI employees that were happy that President Trump fired James Comey. A complete lie which she admitted to Robert Mueller later on.

So it's probably a good thing that she is gone but who will replace her? Someone like her once again?

This is very concerning especially in terms of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. She blocked the press conference for 94 days. It's amazing.

ALLEN: Right. I want to talk about that. What about the role itself? As you said, who will replace her of White House communicator under this president?

She killed the White House briefing and it had been tradition for decades. And as you said, because she had not held a briefing for 94 days. What does that indicate, Peter about transparency and openness of this White House moving forward?

MATTHEWS: There's a complete lie to the transparency. There's no transparency here.

You know, press briefings are at least something close to what we have in Britain where they have the prime minister question time when the prime minister has to answer questions from parliament.

At least, the press secretary's most answer certain questions regarding the president's position. That's the closest thing to it.

She cuts it off for 94 days. There's no transparency whatsoever. It's very very bad for democracy especially.

ALLEN: Right. Peter Matthews, we really appreciate your insight. Thank you so much.

MATTHEWS: You're welcome. Thank you.

ALLEN: History has just been made in pro basketball. In case you weren't watching, here it is.

The Toronto Raptors [00:20:00] have become the first Canadian team to ever win the National Basketball Association championship defeating the Golden State Warriors 114 to 110 Thursday, just about 30, 40 minutes ago.

Raptor superstar Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points and was named the most valuable player in the series. The Warriors meanwhile fell short of winning their third straight championship.

They were playing without all-star Kevin Durant who had ruptured his Achilles tendon in the previous game. So no doubt, fans in Toronto are celebrating.

Ninety-two charges against the New Zealand mass shooting suspect and he pleads not guilty to all of them. We'll have the latest from the court ahead here.

Also, new details of the shooting case of baseball star David Ortiz as nine suspects now face charges.


ALLEN: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. Boris Johnson is way ahead in the race to replace British Prime Minister Teresa May. The former mayor of London won Thursday's vote in a landslide.

The next series of votes begins next week. CNN's Phil Black breaks down the latest in the contest for Conservative Party Chief and Prime Minister of Britain.

PHIL BLACK, CORRESPONDENT: The opening round of voting for the Conservative Party's leadership contest saw three candidates knocked out because they did not meet the required threshold of 17 votes.

It also showed what has really long been suspected. That is that Boris Johnson is the overwhelming front runner in this contest, that he is the candidate to beat or perhaps from another point of view, it is his competition to lose.

Given that he's a politician with a reputation for being unpredictable and sometimes causing political self-harm. He secured 114 votes, enough if he maintains that level of support to ensure he will be among the final two who are then voted on by the broader grassroots Conservative Party membership.

The first round of voting also showed the other candidates are a long way behind. The closest is Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign secretary. He secured 43 votes, so less than half of Johnson's total.

What that means is in the coming days, ahead of further votes next week, those who really want to stay in the contest will be lobbying colleagues hard to try and meet the next threshold which is even tougher. Anyone with [00:25:00] less than 33 votes will be knocked out.

Others could be doing some tactical reflection if they survive, didn't perform as well, and it comes to the conclusion that they can't win this, they may pull possibly pull out of this competition, throw their support behind one of the leaders in the hope of securing a big government job in the event that it goes on to win.

But by the end of next week, we should know who the final two candidates are. They will then campaign across the country trying to win the support of what is still a limited electorate, just 160,000 people. The Conservative Party membership, who will choose not only the party's next leader of course but the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Phil Black, CNN, London.

ALLEN: The U.S. president says he is confident he has a very good relationship with North Korea's leader. This after Mr. Trump received a birthday letter from Kim Jong Un but experts on North Korea say the letter was a calculated move by a man whose entire life has been focused on leaving the world's most restricted country. Here's more from CNN's Brian Todd.

BRIAN TODD, CORRESPONDENT: New indications that North Korea's violent young dictator is carefully calculating his approach to President Trump. A new letter from Kim Jung Un to the president administration, sources tell CNN, was a birthday greeting for Donald Trump wishing him good health but the letter contained no substance.

No details on how to move the stalled nuclear talks forward. Still, administration officials tell CNN, they view it as a "reset", setting the tone for a possible third summit. And the president is predictably pleased.


TRUMP: I just received a beautiful letter from Kim Jong Un. I can't show you the letter obviously but it was a very warm, very nice letter. I appreciate it.


TODD: An indication which a biographer of Kim Jong Un says shows that Kim knows what buttons to push with Donald Trump, an instinct developed through years of tutelage in the most cutthroat of dynasties.


ANNA FIFIELD, AUTHOR, THE GREAT SUCCESSOR: He was chosen by his father at the age of 8-years-old. At his 8th birthday party, he was presented with a little general's uniform, an olive green uniform with applets and brass buttons.

And he was called the little general, comrade general, and real generals came into his birthday party and saluted him and bowed to him.


TODD: How did Kim's father, Kim Jong-il, have that gut instinct about his younger son? "Washington Post" reporter Anna Fifield, author of the new book, "The Great Successor," says the older Kim might have gotten that intuition a couple of years earlier.

Fifield writes that when he was only 6, Kim Jong Un and his older brother, Kim Jong-chul, little princes they were called, were introduced by their father to their new sushi chef, Kenji Fujimoto. She writes the older brother was polite, deferential to the chef, but not Kim Jong Un.


FIFIELD: He stared down this 40-year-old man and almost dared him to say hello. He refused to shake his hands.


TODD: Fifield, whose book is based on interviews with relatives and former aids to the Kim family, writes that Kim Jong Un wanted for nothing as a child. Huge playrooms filled with toys. A modified car he could drive at age 7. A Colt 45 pistol he wore when he was 11.

Bears and monkeys were kept in cages on family compounds but with all of this, she says, there was also loneliness.


FIFIELD: They did bring other children into the compounds to play basketball with him is what Fujimoto said but these are kind of like friends for hire. He didn't have genuine relationships with people.


TODD: Boarding school in Switzerland followed where Kim is said to have trash talked on the basketball court. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOAO MICAELO, FRIEND OF KIM JONG UN: He didn't like to lose. Basketball was everything.


TODD: Later, Kim Jong Un solidified his grip on power by using powerful people who could help him like his uncle, Jang Song-thaek then purging or executing them. Analysts believe Kim has executed well over 100 senior generals and officials since coming to power seven-and-a-half years ago.


TODD: Is he a psychopath?

FIFIELD: He is not a psychopath. He is brutal and he is a tyrant but he's not psychopathic. He is not irrational. Like he has approached this task in a very cold, kind of clinical ruthless way.


TODD: I asked Anna Fifield what if anything could bring Kim Jong Un down? She says he has been so ruthless and calculating, she doesn't think he would be vulnerable to a coup. His biggest risk, she says, a heart attack brought on by his poor diet, chain-smoking, and drinking.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

ALLEN: Just ahead here, the man accused of opening fire at several mosques pleads not guilty to 51 murder charges. We'll take you live to Christ Church.


NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. Let's update you on our top news this hour.

[00:33:21] The U.S. military says video shows an Iranian vessel removing an unexploded mine from the side of a Japanese tanker. That ship was one of two attacked early Thursday in the Gulf of Oman. The Trump administration says it believes Iran was responsible, which Iran denies.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving her job at the White House at the end of the month. President Trump made the announcement Thursday. Sanders had a combative relationship with the press. She hasn't held a formal briefing for -- for more than three months.

The suspect in the New Zealand mosque attacks has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Brenton Tarrant is accused of shooting worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15. He's facing 51 murder charges, 40 attempted murder charges, and one charge under the Terrorism Suppression Act. Let's talk more about it with journalist Donna Maria Lever, joining us

now live from Christchurch.

Donna, thanks so much for being with us. First of all, what was the reaction from families of the victims to the suspect's not-guilty plea?

DONNA-MARIE LEVER, JOURNALIST: Well, as you can imagine, it was a very emotional day in court today. Friends, family, survivors of the mosque attacks packed out the courtroom. So much so that the judicial system here opened two extra courtrooms to allow for everybody to follow this process.

It was met with hugs, hand clasps by some. Some were very teary, overwhelmed by what they were hearing. Others, it provoked anger.

[00:35:08] As those not-guilty pleas were read out on the 51 charges of murder, those 40 charges of attempted murder, and of course, the new charge late today under the Terrorism Suppression Act, something that hasn't been used in New Zealand before, Brenton Tarrant himself could be seen on a large screen in the courtroom. And as his lawyer read out those not-guilty pleas, he was seen smiling but silent. And of course, a lot of emotion came with that as many friends and family watched on.

The courthouse here providing special assistance to those people. Lots of information in multiple languages is available so that they can try and understand this process.

Of course, we've heard that there is a trial date set for May the 4th next year. It's a long wait for these people. And many of them, of course, don't understand the court's process, and it's the first time many of them would have actually been in a courtroom, as well. So a long and anxious wait and still very emotional, and those emotions very raw in Christchurch still.

ALLEN: I can imagine. Yes, they are just beginning to process this. And as you say, this will be a hanging over the heads of the country, in fact, as they wait for this trial to begin so many months from now.

You mentioned that this is the first ever terrorism charge in New Zealand. What impact has that had, or is having?

LEVER: Look, it's obviously the first time it's been used, and it will be a decision that has not been made slightly.

The Terrorism Suppression Act came out in 2002. It's some 17 years old, was brought into law here in New Zealand after the 9/11 attacks. Never been used before, but they have decided that they will use it on this occasion.

Along with those murder charges, that particular charge holds the maximum penalty of life in prison. So the -- so it's, you know, in terms of the overall picture, it does have that same weight.

But again, this is something that will have to be proved in court. It will be up to the crown now to prove that particular charge, and -- and that, of course, will play out next year.

ALLEN: We thank you so much, Donna-Marie Lever, for us from Christchurch. Thank you.

The nine people accused in the shooting of former baseball star David Ortiz have been arraigned at a court in the Dominican Republic. Among them, alleged gunman Rolfi Ferreira-Cruz. He is also wanted in the state of New Jersey for armed robberies.

All the suspects who appeared in court Thursday were charged with being accomplices to attempted murder. Police say a tenth suspect is still at large.

The wife of Ortiz says the former Major League Baseball star is recovering now at a Boston hospital.

American actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is denying he was involved in an alleged groping incident. The Oscar winner pled not guilty to forcible touching and sex abuse when he appeared at a New York court on Thursday. He's accused of groping a 29-year-old woman at a Manhattan bar last Sunday. This video posted by TMZ appears to show the alleged incident. But police have not yet commented on its authenticity. Gooding's lawyer says the actor did not act inappropriately.

Viral videos can sometimes lead to life-changing opportunities. Next, how images of a young boy in Peru inspired an international response.


[00:41:09] ALLEN: A dramatic scene in eastern China. Watch this. A landslide buried a road, sweeping away all of those parked cars. Chinese state media says one man died. He had been trapped in his car for more than three hours before rescuers were able to dig him out, but he died on the way to the hospital. Authorities are investigating what caused that landslide.

In Peru, video of a boy studying under a street lamp has gone viral, inspiring an outpouring of generosity from a local mayor and a businessman in Bahrain. Here's CNN's Robyn Curnow with a look at this heartwarming chain of events.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR (voice-over): It all started with this image: an 11-year-old boy doing his homework under the faint light of a street lamp in a Peruvian town.

CESAR ARTURO FERNANDEZ BAZAN, MOCHE, PERU MAYOR (through translator): We saw Victor studying under a street lamp, and it caught our attention. Within an hour, we were at his home, fixing the problem.

CURNOW: The mayor's office stepped in, installing a power box in the Martin family's home so Victor could study at home. Even giving his sister a job so the family could pay their electricity bill. The mayor's office also posted the story on their Facebook page, and

Victor's plight soon went viral. He received a scholarship, free books and school supplies.

Then the boy decided to lobby for his school. He wrote a letter to Peru's president, telling about his fears that an earthquake could cause the school to collapse. Then Victor recorded a video about his school, and it was posted on Instagram. And that's when he got another lucky break, from a wealthy businessman in Bahrain.

YAQOOB MUBARAK, BUSINESSMAN FROM BAHRAIN (through translator): I want to improve the state of the primary and secondary school. I want them to have independent installations and equip the computer lab with the latest technology. I want that room to be named after Victor.

CURNOW: Moved by Victor's story, Yaqoob Mubarak travelled all the way to Peru to donate money to the child's school. The mayor's office says Mubarak also pledged to build a two-story home for the Martin family and give them $2,000 for food and expenses.

Yaqoob also helped two other sick kids with their medical needs and told CNN that he has plans for a church and other projects in the region.

It's an incredible example of kindness and generosity, all sparked by an image of a boy studying under a street lamp.

Robyn Curnow, CNN, Atlanta.


ALLEN: How about that one? We'll end there. Thanks for watching. I'm Natalie Allen. WORLD SPORT's coming up next. I'll see you back here in about 15 minutes.


[00:45:30] (WORLD SPORT)