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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Royal Family, Global Leaders And Public Gather For Queen's Funeral; A Day Of Mourning In United Kingdom As Queen Is Laid To Rest; Devastating Storm In Puerto Rico; FL Biden, Other World Leaders Attend Queen's Funeral; Amanda Gorman Debuts New Poem On Societal Issues Including Hunger, Poverty At United Nations; Judge Vacates Adnan Syed Murder Conviction. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired September 19, 2022 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Their poise and their grace and as they are now realizing what lies ahead for them.
Thanks so much for watching.
I want to hand it off now to Anderson Cooper who, tonight is at Windsor Castle.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening from Windsor Castle, which sits behind me with the lights now dark.
About four hours ago, Britain's longest reigning monarch, Elizabeth II was finally laid to rest. The Chapel here named after her father, King George VI. It was a private moment ending 10 days of public grieving unlike anything this country has seen in 70 years or might ever see again.
Yet despite that possibility, despite the changing monarchy in the kingdom, there was a timelessness about today, every sight and sound every ceremonial step, starting with a procession to Westminster Abbey was a reminder that say, for color video, instead of black and white newsreel footage, this might just as well have been the 1926 of Elizabeth II's birth, not the 2022 of her passing.
The funeral was no different.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
COOPER: Two thousand voices filling Westminster with "The Lord is My Shepherd," said to be the Queen's favorite song at her wedding; also here, 75 years ago. The Archbishop of Canterbury invoking another song and another bridge from past to present.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOST REV. JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: Her late Majesty's broadcasts during COVID lockdown ended with "We will meet again," words of hope from a song Vera Lynn. Christian hope means certain expectation of something not yet seen.
We can all share the Queen's hope, which in life and death inspired her servant leadership.
Service in life, hope in death, all who follow the Queen's example and inspiration of trust and faith in God can with her say, "We will meet again."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The funeral ended with a simple incantation, the buglers blowing "The Last Post," the British counterpart to "Taps."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It followed two minutes of silence throughout the country and Commonwealth, Big Ben chimed once for every one of the Queen's 96 years and the procession continued, accompanied by troops from across the kingdom and the Commonwealth and Londoners saying their final farewells.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
COOPER: And at Wellington Arch, the King, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, William and Harry at all at attention, their children and grandchildren nearby as the coffin was transferred to a hearse for the final trip west to Windsor Castle.
Three decades ago, a fire consumed the Castle ending a year of tragedy and scandal, the Queen herself lamented. Well, 30 years later, with the monarchy in flux, she returned home.
Two of her beloved Welsh Corgis, Sandy and Mick were waiting for her outside St. George's Chapel, where, in yet another sign of continuity with the past, some of the music was composed by Sir William Henry Harris, the organist here that taught young Elizabeth piano when she was a girl.
After a brief ceremony, before the lowering of the coffin, we saw a sequence of steps and sight to never before televised signifying the end of her reign, and the beginning of the next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the name of the Holy Spirit, who strengtheneth thee, in communion with the Blessed Saints.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: With me now, Jayne Fincher. She has photographed the Royal
family for more than 25 years. She is the author of "Diana: Portrait of a Princess."
Jayne, thank you so much for being with us.
JAYNE FINCHER, PHOTOGRAPHER: It's a pleasure.
COOPER: For you to watch the images today, I mean, obviously it brought back, I'm sure, a flood of memories from your career with the Royal family, but what did you think of how this day went?
FINCHER: I thought it was beautiful, really. I mean, it makes you very proud to be British on days like that. I think, at a time when Britain struggling with a lot of things, it sort of restored our faith in a lot of good things about this country and the beauty of the ceremony.
I mean, I've traveled the world so many years with The Queen, and the ceremonies, you know, they never fail to excite you and to impress you because they are so macular, but today, I think it really surpassed everything.
COOPER: I kept thinking given all the troubles that, you know, that face us all in the world, but in particular, right now, you look at Windsor Castle, it's a thousand years old. It has seen great troubles and great triumphs in that time and it still stands.
I feel like the continuity that we saw today, the tradition on display, I found it hopeful sort of in the long run.
FINCHER: And quiet, to actually feel London and Windsor to be so quiet. You know how mad everything is in the world now. There is always noise planes, everything going on, just to have that peace and quiet and listen to the marching of the feet, and there was something calming about it, very calming.
COOPER: You taught yourself photography, really taking pictures on Polo Grounds. The Prince Charles playing polo got noticed. That started to get published. You start working with the Royal family.
Your first trip with the Queen was to Africa isn't it?
FINCHER: Seventy-nine, I went on my first official tour with the Queen I was a very young photographer. It's very daunting.
COOPER: You were 18 then, weren't you?
FINCHER: I was about eighteen or nineteen, yes, very young, and we hadn't had a clue why I was there really.
COOPER: And you were in what -- Zambia, Malawi.
FINCHER: Zambia, Malawi, Botswana -- I mean, all over.
COOPER: I read she was flying on the very nice plane. You were in the plane with no seats.
FINCHER: We were in the military planes back, yes, hanging on to the next --
COOPER: We are just showing the pictures you took.
FINCHER: With all of the Queen's luggage.
COOPER: Of the Queens -- and --
FINCHER: Well, that was funny, really, because the Queen went on safari, and we were excited that she was going to stand there and look at all these animals, and absolutely not one animal turns out.
There was nothing, she just stood there with the binoculars.
COOPER: Not even some corgis?
FINCHER: There was nothing. She just did there. But we got very excited because the day wasn't roaring, because we got very excited to the fact she was wearing trousers, which sounds really stupid, but you've never seen a Queen in trousers.
And when you are working in the Royal circle, anything like that would come up, photographers will get very excited, but it was like, "Oh, the Queen has got trousers on." So, the day wasn't really wasted, but certainly --
COOPER: What was it like to see her on a frequent basis up close?
FINCHER: It's really weird because you spend so much time staring at the members of the Royal family, but they spend a lot of time staring at you. So, you have this sort of rapport where you notice things about them and then when you get the chance to speak to them they will quiz you about something they noticed about you.
Has one of us got in a new car? Has one of us got a new pair of shoes or --?
It's quite astounding because you know, you forget that. You stand there staring at them taking pictures of them, but they are sitting there looking like this at us.
COOPER: And sometimes, they have a lot of times just standing around during ceremonies, so they have to look at --
FINCHER: Yes. They just stare at us and think -- you know, you'd often get questioned by some of them, you know, "Has so and so got a new boyfriend yet? Or what's going on with this?" You know, the they were quite curious in the same way as we were curious about them.
COOPER: Charles also noticed you early on when you were taking pictures at the Polo grounds. There weren't many women photographers. FINCHER: No. I mean, most of my career, there wasn't any women --
other women. And I was this little pipsqueak of a girl and he used to run up, go, "Hello, who are you?" And I go, "Jayne." And he was just standing there and posed for me.
And I think over the years, they quite liked having a woman because you know, so many photographers, all of their cameras and pushing and shoving, and I would just come along and stand quietly and they quite like that.
COOPER: What did you make -- I mean, you've spent a lot of time looking at Charles. What did you -- when those images of him today at St. George's, what did you see in his face?
FINCHER: My heart went out for him, actually. I saw, yes, a very broken man today, wasn't he? And exhausted, he really needs a good break, doesn't he? A good sleep. Yes, my heart went out for him because he does wear his emotions on his face.
You know, I mean, unlike the Queen's you know, she was very good at controlling her emotions. I think Charles doesn't hide them as much, which I think you'll probably see that a lot in ensuing years. He'll share his emotions a lot more. And -- but I did -- yes, my heart went out to him. He was really struggling with it.
COOPER: Well, Jayne, thank you so much for talking with us again.
FINCHER: It's a pleasure.
COOPER: It is really a pleasure.
COOPER: What a career.
I want to talk more with our next guest about what lies ahead for the monarchy, even at the end of such a really remarkable display of continuity with tradition.
Before we do, I want to play for you a bit of footage today that would have seemed odd at least to our other -- to our own earlier traditions, an American President along with scores of other world leaders singing "God Save the King."
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
COOPER: "God Save the King."
Joining us now, CNN Royal historian, Kate Williams; CNN Royal correspondent, Max Foster; chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward.
What is the next -- what happens tomorrow? I mean, there has been such focus on obviously this last week, Max, for the Royal family, for King Charles, obviously, they have a continued mourning period. But for the monarchy, what changes? MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is that moment wasn't
it, seeing Prince Charles -- King Charles sitting in the Queen's seat. She has been sitting there for 70 years today in the chapel, seeing -- that was quite profound and then his tears in his eyes watching the coffin go down.
I think what happens now is, it is all on him and that's what that moment signified. They have still got a week of mourning, so we won't see much of them. We're not being told what they're doing tomorrow. We're being told we won't see them tomorrow.
They've got to recalibrate. They've got a look at their diaries. And now the King is in charge of those diaries and will be stepping into what the Queen would be doing in the past. I think that that is going to take a whole load of recalibration, because underneath him, it all falls to the other two as well.
So, you know, the Prince of Wales has now got to get his head around the Duchy of Cornwall, a billion dollar estate. He has got to start running that, and Prince George was there today, which was incredibly hard for him, I think to see all of this unfold.
But you know, it is the reality. You know, he is stepping up as well. He is second in line to the throne.
COOPER: Prince George is how old?
FOSTER: He is nine years old.
COOPER: Wow. And so when you say he is stepping up, does -- I mean, does he have lessons in this sort of thing?
FOSTER: This is a lesson. These are the lessons. This is what happens at a Royal funeral, a State Funeral and that is the training.
And, you know, he needed to see that, the greatest monarch that ever lived according to some historians, Kate, may not agree, but she will probably put her in the top three, right?
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: I think, definitely. I think we will look back on her in history as, I think, as our most successful monarch and the monarchy will not be the same in the aftermath.
I think what we have, what historians will be looking at, this great dating we've seen today, this is an outpouring of emotion for the Queen or for the monarchy.
And when you've spoken to so many people, we've been chatting to people, haven't we, all of us, and so many of them are talking about their respect for the Queen, their admiration for her. How does King Charles translate that into support for his monarchy, and that is his challenge, I think.
COOPER: Also, Clarissa, you know, so many people have alluded to it, but the problems facing Great Britain -- economic and other. There is a brand new Prime Minister. She is still finding her sea legs, obviously. It is not smooth sailing ahead.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's certainly not smooth sailing, and I think, especially for Prime Minister Liz Truss, because the country has basically been on pause now for the last 10 days. The last time she tweeted publicly about government issues was talking about a sort of an energy tariff plan to try to deal with the soaring inflation and energy prices in this country.
So she has got her work cut out for her starting from tomorrow, and I think she has also really got to now try to define who she is and set her mark.
There was a rather awkward moment during the service at Westminster Abbey today, we're an Australian network incorrectly identified her as a minor Royal, which granted, she is relatively new on the scene, and maybe not so well-known to an international audience, but this will really now be the moment where she has to step up to the plate, confront some of these major challenges facing the United Kingdom, and really try to put her own mark on how she is going to tackle them with her government.
COOPER: Is what -- Max, I mean, how organized is the transition. Obviously, we've seen the funeral plans have been, you know, incredibly organized, but the Charles waking up, King Charles waking up tomorrow morning, and it does it all -- is it all already organized that he receives the daily diaries or --?
FOSTER: Well, there are different roles. There is, you know, the head of the family, which he is now. It is the head of nation, which is the more emotional side appearing in moments of celebration and of grief and being identified as someone that's part of the pattern of daily life, and you'll see him giving the Christmas messages, as well as part of that.
But then there's head of state, which is a very formal role, and he is now already opening the red boxes, he receives them every day from the government. These are government papers saying what's going on in government, he has got to be completely across that and he has been doing that ever since the Queen died.
COOPER: So he has been taking over, I mean, gradually, duties that she normally would have done over the last year or so.
FOSTER: Yes. And you know, you'll never have a holiday as a monarch, you've got to read those red boxes every day. And he'll be doing that.
But I think that the pressure is that the Queen didn't have any sort of training. She just got dropped straight into it. And you know, that might have helped her. He's had the longer sort of training- apprenticeship ever.
But you know, the pressure that comes with that, you have been thinking about it all these years and suddenly, you've got to put it into action. It can be very overwhelming, I imagine and it is a very lonely place to be being monarch.
So, he is going to have to rely on the Prince of Wales heavily, I think as part of that, but I think we've seen as well, haven't we, Princess Anne, stepping up as well and Prince Edward. I think they're going to have much more prominent roles going forward.
COOPER: Clarissa, what is the expectation, you think, for King Charles, how he will be different?
WARD: Well, I think that, you know, from people who work closely with him, he is known for being incredibly hard working. I mean, at his desk until midnight, up at six in the morning, passionate about a lot of issues.
You heard Jayne talking before the break about how you can really see the emotions on his face when he is moved, when he is cross. He has had these issues that he is very passionate about. Obviously, he is going to have to pull back from some of those.
It'll be very interesting to see what his coronation is going to look like. Is it going to look anything like his mother's, which, of course, was an extraordinary event. Eight thousand people from 129 different countries.
I think the expectation is that this will be somewhat leaner, and more slimmed down, and also reflective of a very different Britain, more diverse, more emphasis on multifaith, which is something that, you know, King Charles feels quite passionately about, and I do think you'll see him really endeavor quite soon to try to put his own stamp on things.
COOPER: And Kate, his coronation will be -- do we know when?
WILLIAMS: Well, we are expecting it to be, starting, I'd say May June next year. So hers was in June 1953. Now, I think he does want to get started quickly, but it is certainly -- coronations tend to be in the final weather. So, I do expect May-June.
But certainly I agree with Clarissa. I think we will see some of the stance of his reign in that coronation. The Queen's -- this great moment in 1953 coming out of the postwar misery, the first televised coronation, this incredible moment of being on over the world. It was really -- it was a propaganda moment selling Britain to the postwar world and the post Imperial world.
COOPER: And what Charles will do, I think is very different. And it will have to be more slimmed down. But certainly, I think, what you would expect to have is that Camilla will be crowned with him, that he will have Camilla crowned with him as Queen Consort and that will be quite significant because we haven't, of course, seen that the Queen was crowned on her own.
COOPER: Kate, Max, Clarissa, thank you so much. Appreciate it. Thanks for staying up, a long day. A live report from Puerto Rico next, where at least two people are now
dead as much as the island is still without power after Hurricane Fiona tore through the island.
And later, 2024 presidential politics, the question of whether the current President will run again. A question he addressed this weekend without quite fully answering or giving some hints.
COOPER: A world away from here, but close in the thoughts of millions of Americans tonight, the destruction to Puerto Rico and now death in the wake of Hurricane Fiona.
COOPER: At least two people have now died, hundreds of thousands without power and the rain continues to cause problems for people still recovering from Hurricane Maria five years ago.
Joining us now from San Juan, CNN's Leyla Santiago.
What are you seeing there tonight, Leyla?
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Anderson, we're in the capital, the northeastern part of the island. I have talked to families tonight in the interior as well as the southern part of the island because that is what was hardest hit. They are in the dark tonight and wondering when will the rain stop?
SANTIAGO (voice over): Almost the entire island of Puerto Rico remains in the dark after Hurricane Fiona slammed into the southwestern coast of the island Sunday afternoon.
Pounding rainfall causing catastrophic mudslides and flooding, the storm coming just as parts of the island were finally recovering from Hurricane Maria's destruction five years ago.
JUAN MIGUEL GONZALEZ, RESIDENT AND BUSINESS OWNER: It's been rough. We've been just working to get back this neighborhood, get it back from Maria that everything was destroyed.
Restaurants, houses, everything was destroyed, and we just -- we just -- not, all the way back but we just have a way back. A lot of people more than Maria lost their houses now. They lost everything on their houses because of the flooding.
SANTIAGO (on camera): This is the barrio, the neighborhood where the National Guard had to come in to rescue people. Still a lot of flooding. I can hear generators powering the homes and it is still pouring down with rain.
Neighbors looking out wondering exactly what will come next as Hurricane Fiona, the remnants of it, continue to demolish this area. SANTIAGO (voice over): The family rescued overnight now safely in a
(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)
SANTIAGO (on camera): She says this was worse than Maria.
(MAYOR BONILLA COLON speaking in foreign language.)
SANTIAGO: She is pointing out that they've already been underwater for 24 hours and the rain is still coming down, so she is concerned about the 2,500 families that she says are impacted by this here.
SANTIAGO (voice over): About a thousand people rescued from floodwaters, hundreds more rescue efforts still underway as emergency responders try to navigate through difficult to reach areas.
In Utuado, the interior part of the island, 25-year-old Leomar Rodriguez watched this bridge come apart in just minutes and washed down the river.
On the west side of the island, rainfall swelling the Guanajibo River in Hormigueros, surpassing its previous record highs at 28.59 feet set during Hurricane Maria, now gauging to over 29 feet, the National Weather Service said.
While a few hospitals have regained power, emergency workers are racing to get electricity back to the island.
THOMAS VON ESSEN, FORMER FEMA ADMINISTRATOR FOR PUERTO RICO: It takes so long to get things back up because so many of the systems are connected, and some of the main lines go through the hills there. And if those main lines get damaged, they don't have the ability to get the other sections up and running.
SANTIAGO (voice over): Sunday morning, President Joe Biden approving an Emergency Declaration for Puerto Rico that authorizes all emergency measures needed, including FEMA.
ANNE BINK, FEMA'S ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR RESPONSE AND RECOVERY: There's 300 responders on the ground from FEMA working hand in glove with the Commonwealth and their emergency management structure.
COOPER: Leyla, how long do officials expect recovery efforts to go on for?
SANTIAGO: Well, you know, that's the big question right now is how quickly can crews respond, but you know, with some areas still flooded. It may be a safety question as to how quickly they can actually get in, but already, LUMA, the private power company in charge of the power grid here has said it could be days before they can really start to restore power here on the island.
I should also mention, Anderson, about 66 percent of customers do not have water either. So, not just power, not just flooding, but also water a big issue right now and the timing of this. Tomorrow marks five years since Hurricane Maria struck this island.
So, there is a lot of anxiety and sort of flashbacks if you will, to what they went through five years ago -- Anderson.
COOPER: Terrible anniversary. Leyla Santiago, thank you.
Coming up, presidential politics. In an interview that aired over the weekend, President Biden was less than definitive about whether he decides to run for a second term. He is quite honest about it.
Could the Democrats be in for a nomination fight? David Axelrod and CNN's Audie Cornish join us tonight.
COOPER: Among the world leaders gathered here today for the Queen's funeral with President Joe Biden. He and First Lady Joe Biden paid their respects the Queen as she was lying in state over the weekend. They also signed condolence books and attended a reception that included King Charles III.
Now before he arrived, he recorded an interview with "60 Minutes" that aired last night, and during the conversation, he suggested that there's still a possibility he might not run in 2024.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Look, my intentions and I said to begin with, is that I would run again, but it's just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I've run again, that remains to be seen?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now we should note that Biden sided election laws as a reason he's not announcing a firm decision. Also, if he does run, he later mentioned that he's in quote, pretty good shape.
Perspective now from CNN's Audie Cornish, CNN senior political commentator, David Axelrod, a former senior advisor, President Obama.
David, President Biden is often known as pick off the cuff. Is there any political rationale for him to not commit to running for reelection?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think that there is. One is it is very early, as he said, to formally announce their legal reasons why you shouldn't there are political reasons why you want to put that kind of announcement off. But he also I thought, was very candid. Look, we've never experienced this before. If you were 60 years old, or 50 years old, there wouldn't be any question about him running for reelection. He's not, he's going to be 80 in December. And what he said was, I'm a believer in fate. It's my intent to run and I'll make that decision at the appropriate time. And I think there was a certain honesty to that was, was commendable.
COOPER: Audie, there's this idea that if President Biden commits to only one term, he could be more free to make difficult for unpopular decisions because after a run for reelection. There's others who say, you know, if you say you're not going to run again you lose a lot of power, leverage.
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, in this political environment, I don't really know what the popular decisions would be. I mean, he's done a lot of things over the last few years, and they have not really bumped up those numbers as high as he would like in terms of his approval. The other piece of context here is that, you know, it has taken him in the past a long time to decide to get in the race in 2016. And correct me if I'm wrong, David, he took so long he couldn't really even mount a credible race, even if he wanted to jump in. So, he's one of those rare candidates who really would say out loud, well, I'm not so sure about this.
And then lastly, he's got to wait for midterms. Right? That is really going to show whether or not his agenda and whether his term so far is something the party can actually run, run with successfully.
COOPER: David, if President Biden chooses not to run for election, what does that do to planning for Democratic presidential hopefuls? How much advance warning would they need to start raising money building an organization?
AXELROD: Well, I think a fair amount, which is why he is making a decision in the near term is important. Not now. But certainly, after the midterms and before the first quarter of next year. Because Democrats there is no obvious candidate for the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party desperately needs a primary campaign to surface again. Remember, Bill Clinton was at 1%, when he started running for President Barack Obama was considered a very, very long shot when he got into the race in 2007. And the campaigns are where you prove yourself. But if the campaign is short, because the President decides not to run any announces that late, it really curtails the ability to have the campaign that the party needs?
COOPER: Audie, do you think of it frozen button does run again, he would face a primary challenge from the left?
CORNISH: You know, that's a really interesting question. It's hard to see, given how loyal people are to him, I think he does have a good reputation inside the party. But that doesn't mean that there wouldn't be an -- there wouldn't be a challenge or maybe with a representing a generational shift, so to speak. That's something that Biden himself has talked about. But, you know, right now, though, the language is not there. It's a little bit like what you're seeing on the Republican side, where people aren't saying, I'm definitely going to run because Trump isn't running, right. They're just laying the groundwork very publicly. And I think that when Biden makes more space for people to do that, if that's what he decides to do, you will see people fill that vacuum. I think David is in a better position to say whether or not that would invite direct challenge.
AXELROD: Yes, and I don't, I don't think -- I think if Joe Biden runs, Joe Biden will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. One thing that's happened over the summer is his numbers, which were lagging among Democrats has have bounced back, in part because of the legislative victories that he had over the summer. I think there's affection for Joe Biden, Biden within the Democratic Party. If he has a primary challenger, I still think he's going to be the nominee, it will impede his ability to win. But I don't think any of the I don't think his calculation, and I've said these many times, is a political calculation. I think his calculation is an actuarial calculation. And whether he feels at his, you know, he'd be 82 when he took office a second time, whether he thinks that that's appropriate and whether he thinks he's up to that.
COOPER: Yes. David Axelrod, Audie Cornish, really good conversation. Thanks so much.
Just ahead, I'll be joined by the young poet who became a sensation after appearance of President Biden's inaugural. Today, Amanda Gorman debuted a new poem at the United Nations focusing on global challenges from poverty to hunger. We'll hear it from her next.
COOPER: A concern of the new king climate change was one of the many global challenges front and center the United Nations today. One of those onstage to focus on these societal concerns was an American poet, Amanda Gorman. You may recall the poem she read during President Biden's inauguration where she spoke of quote, a nation that isn't broken but simply unfinished. The following month she became the first poet to perform for the Super Bowl. Her new poem is called an Ode We Owe, and her words stay focused on the issues afflicting not just a country but a planet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANDA GORMAN, POET AND AUTHOR: How can I ask you to do good when we've barely withstood our greatest threats yet? The depths of death, despair in disparity atrocities across cities, towns and countries lives lost climactic, costs, exhausted, angered, we are endangered not because of our numbers, but because of our numbness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And I'm very pleased Amanda Gorman joins me now. Amanda, it is so lovely to see you. And thanks for all you're doing. Tell us about the background of the poem and what you inspired you.
GORMAN: Thank you so much. It's great to be here again. And to tell you a bit about the poem. I was really excited at this opportunity to have poetry represented at the United Nations and what's more, to use it to speak to some of the most pressing issues of our time, whether it be the climate crisis, poverty, gender and equity. All of these issues are connected and making solutions means we need unity and solidarity.
COOPER: Is there a particular part of the poem that resonates with you most something maybe you could read or share?
GORMAN: Absolutely. For me one of the parts that felt resonant for me was the ending because I want it to be a call to action. So here is an excerpt. This mourn let it be sworn that we are one human kin grounded not just by the griefs we bear, but by the good, we begin to anyone out there. I only ask that you care before it's too late that you live, aware and awake, that you lead with love and hours of hate. I challenge you to heed this call, I dare you to shape our fate, above all, I dare you to do good, so that the world might be great.
COOPER: I love that. What was the line the griefs is not just grounded by the griefs we share, but by the good we --
COOPER: What was it?
GORMAN: One human kid and grounded not just by the griefs we bear, but by the good we begin.
COOPER: Good. I love that. And I will think about that a lot tonight.
GORMAN: Thank you.
COOPER: What do you want people watching and listening to take away from this poem? And how do you -- I mean, how do you write poetry? I mean, how long does it take you to do something like this? And do you -- have do you have -- do you have to have a concept first? Or does it just sort of do the words come and then they fit together?
GORMAN: Anderson, we ain't got time for my poetic process, to give you a snapshot really my poem start with the heart of the matter. So, to answer your question, the things that I want people to take away from my poetry. That's where I begin, I begin with the wound, I like to think of it I begin with the place of pain. And then I like to feel a movement towards what brings us together, where's hope in the darkest of hours? And that dictates what I write and have.
COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) should I begin with the wound. That's fascinating. You recited this from the United Nations to draw attention to Sustainable Development Goals. Can you talk a little bit about what those are what they mean to you, for people who may not be up on this?
GORMAN: Absolutely. The Sustainable Development Goals are around 17 goals that have been highlighted by the United Nations. And they range from things such as, you know, facing gender inequity, education for children, goals around poverty and hunger. And what makes them so supportive as these were a hymns that collectively are oriented for the world. So, we're not just talking about towns, cities, countries, here, we're talking about the globe. And more often than not, these are goals that our governments can get to on their own. They really need the activation and the engagement of people, and I think, especially young people. So if you don't know about the SDGs please look them up because we would love to have your leadership.
COOPER: Amanda Gorman, it's always a pleasure. Congratulations on all you're doing.
GORMAN: Thank you so much.
COOPER: All right. Coming up, a reversal of fortune for the man profiled in the true crimes podcast Serial. Why judge throughout the murder conviction about Adnan Syed and where the search for answers and young woman's death goes from here. That's next.
COOPER: Back in the U.S. tonight for the first time in more than two decades, Adnan Syed is not behind bars and he may be never again. A Baltimore Judge they vacated his murder conviction and life sentence in the killing of his ex-girlfriend. Now, you may remember the case drew national attention from the first season of the hit podcast Serial. Alexandra Field shows us what led prosecutors to their extraordinary reversal and why nothing about this case is closed.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Free from prison after 23 years behind bars a crowd swarmed Adnan Syed outside a Baltimore Circuit Court moments after a judge vacated the murder conviction against him. Syed didn't stop to speak, whisked away in a car and ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet until the state decides whether to pursue a new trial against him or drop all charges in the death of Hae Min Lee, his ex-girlfriend, a high school student strangled to death in 1999. Her body was discovered weeks later.
MARILYN MOSBY, STATE'S ATTORNEY, BALTIMORE CITY: We're not yet declaring, not yet declaring Adnan Syed's innocent. But we are declaring that in the interest of fairness and justice, he is entitled to a new trial.
FIELD (voice-over): Syed has maintained his innocence since he was convicted in 2000. Defense attorneys have repeatedly tried to have him exonerated.
UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: It felt like they got to the wrong guy.
FIELD (voice-over): A popular HBO series raised new questions about the case against Adnan Syed in 2019.
UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: Young lovers from different worlds. FIELD (voice-over): But it was the hit podcast Serial that brought the case and the possibility there had been a miscarriage of justice to national attention in 2014. Lee's brother Yung Lee telling the courtroom this isn't a podcast for me. This is real life. And tearfully adding, whenever I think it's over. It's ended, it always comes back. But the judge ruled in favor of the motion filed by prosecutors who had asked for Syed's immediate release following a year long reinvestigation into the case against him. That turned up a slew of failures Syed in a 21-page court document. Among them the unreliability of (INAUDIBLE) used in the original trial advances in DNA testing and most critically, newly developed information about two alternative suspects and the state's failure to disclose critical information about those suspects to the defense at the time of the trial.
MOSBY: Our investigation uncovered that one of the suspects threatened Ms. Lee saying he would make her disappear, he would kill her. We also received information that provided motive for that same alternative suspects.
FIELD (voice-over): A final decision on whether to actually proceed with a new trial will likely hinge according to prosecutors on the results of touch DNA testing of some items recovered from the crime scene, a technology that didn't exist at the time of the crime. Still, for throngs of Syed's supporters, this is the first victory more than two decades in the making. For the family of Hai Min Lee the start of another search for answers in the death of their beloved.
STEVE KELLY, ATTORNEY FOR LEE FAMILY: This family is interested in the pursuit of justice. They want to know more than anybody who it was that killed Hai Min Lee.
COOPER: Alexandra Field joins me now. What recourse if any does the victim's family have right now? Does everything hinge on what the prosecutor decides to do?
FIELD: Oh, well, actually the attorney that's representing family now says that they have some options for an appeal the decision to release Syed from prison, they are considering whether or not to pursue that. It still seems too soon for them though, the attorney says the family is really very much in a state of shock for more than two decades. They have believed that Adnan Syed was the murder of their daughter. They feel that today's decision signals that prosecutors and the court have changed their opinion. They're also said to be disappointed by how quickly this happened.
Prosecutors have responded by saying they understand the family's disappointment, but they are holding up the importance of ensuring a fair and just process for the defendant as well, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, Alexandra Field, appreciate it. We'll continue to follow up. Coming up much more from here outside Windsor Castle as England says its final goodbyes to Queen Elizabeth. The most unforgettable moments and a look the special bond between the Queen and her only daughter. That's ahead.