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Senator Ted Cruz Holds Rally In Pennsylvania; High Court Win For Families Of Terror Victims; Bathroom Discrimination Fight; Ship Sinks In Mediterranean. Aired 10:30-11:00a ET

Aired April 20, 2016 - 10:30   ET


[10:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because our constitutional rights are under assault. And because America has receded from leadership in the world and it has made the world a much more dangerous place.

And yet I'm here this morning with a word of hope and encouragement. All across Pennsylvania and all across this country, people are waking up and help is on the way.


This next election is going to be about three issues --


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. You hear a bit of Senator Ted Cruz talking to supporters in Hershey, Pennsylvania, because that state is included in the next round of states to vote in this very interesting primary we're having right now.

I've got to take a break. I'll be back with much more in the NEWSROOM.


[10:35:33] COSTELLO: Breaking news out of the U.S. Supreme Court that could mean billions of dollars for the families of victims of terror attacks. Our CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown joins us with more on this. Good morning.


This is a very big case this term. The Supreme Court ruling in favor of victims of terrorism and their families, clearing the way for them to collect nearly $2 billion from the Central Bank of Iran. In fact Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg writing for a 6-2 majority (INAUDIBLE) this law that says the victims had relied upon (INAUDIBLE) in that it provides a new standard clarifying that, if Iran owned certain assets, the victims of Iran sponsored terror attacks will be permitted to execute against those assets, applying laws implementing Congress' policy judgments with fidelity to those judgment as common place for the judiciary. So, Carol, the issue here is whether Congress exceeded its authority when it passed this law in 2012 aimed at freeing up the assets to be given to the families while the case was still pending in the courts. And at the center of this lawsuit was the 1983 Beirut Marine Corps barracks bombing.

The court had determined that the Hezbollah terrorist attack was under the direction of Iran and then the survivors and the family members of that attack and other Iran linked terrorist attacks filed suit for $1.75 billion in Iran assets that was being held in an account in New York. So today the high court ruled in favor of those families and of course in a sensitive time in U.S./Iran relations as they work on the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal. Carol.

COSTELLO: So does this at all affect the 9/11 family members and their efforts?

BROWN: Not really. Because the statute, this 2012 law that Congress passed was specifically aimed at these cases, the 1983 bombings and other Iran linked terrorism cases saying that assets should be freed up and money should be freed up for these specific survivors and family members. So it doesn't really have a link to that 9/11 bill. Carol.

COSTELLO: All right. Pamela Brown reporting live for us from Washington. Thank you.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, a courtroom victory for a transgender teen who sued to use the boys' restroom at his high school. Even North Carolina's controversial bill could feel the fallout. I'll talk to him next.


[10:42:08] COSTELLO: A transgender student in Virginia who was born female but identifies as male has won a federal law suit to use the boy's restroom at his high school.

The federal appeals court that issued the ruling covers five states, including Virginia and North Carolina. It could be a big boost for opponents of North Carolina's so-called bathroom law affecting transgender people.

The Virginia case pre-dates North Carolina's new law and hinged on Title XI, the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in schools. North Carolina's governor said the ruling was disappointing.


GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I think that's bad precedent and I don't think it's traditional way we do things. The way I think we should have done them is allow the high schools to make the appropriate arrangements for those students who have unique circumstances, but this is the federal government, very similar to the Charlotte government forcing something -- brand-new standards that we've never seen before. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Gavin Grimm is the 11th grader who sued to use the boy's bathroom at his high school.

Good morning. And thank you so much for joining me.

GAVIN GRIMM, WON RIGHT TO USE BOYS' ROOM AT SCHOOL: Good morning. Thank you for having me.

COSTELLO: Gavin, are you feeling victorious this morning?

GRIMM: Yes, I'm feeling pretty good about how everything has happened.

COSTELLO: So, tell me about this fight because you've been at it a long time. How has it been for you?

GRIMM: Well, I mean, you know, of course it has been very hard. It has been very, you know, exhausting at times and difficult as well, but I definitely think that the end has justified the means in this case and it's very much been worth it.

COSTELLO: So are you now allowed to use the boys' restroom?

GRIMM: I don't -- we haven't really talked about the specifics where that's concerned so right now I'm not sure how that's being settled. But I haven't been back to school since the ruling anyway.

COSTELLO: I was just going to ask you, how have other students reacted to all of this?

GRIMM: Well, you know, I don't know. I've gotten a lot of support from my friends and supporting messages, but I haven't been in school like I said so I'm not sure.

COSTELLO: When you listen to North Carolina's governor say that it should be left up to individual high schools to work out, you know, how the restroom should be used. What goes through your mind?

GRIMM: Well, you know, I respect that he has an opinion and, you know, that's fine by me. And I can't really -- you know, I guess speak to what his stance on it is. But I can say that, you know, the federal court ruled in a different way than what he thinks is preferable and that's fine.

COSTELLO: What do you think everyone is so afraid of?

GRIMM: I'm not sure because when you consider certain, you know, I guess arguments or what have you, it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. But I think a lot of it is just misinformation and people haven't had a chance to really deal (ph) with transgender people in any meaningful way.

[10:45:06] COSTELLO: Well, I think that some of the fear comes from that, you know, you'll -- I guess you'll go into the boy's restroom and do something -- it's just -- I don't know.

I mean, I'll ask you again, what is it they fear you'll go in there and do something wrong or look at someone in a way you shouldn't or what?

GRIMM: And again, I'll say, I'm not positive. You know, I understand -- you know, I've heard what people say and what have you but I don't think it stands up to scrutiny.

COSTELLO: Will you go back to school?

GRIMM: Yes, definitely. I'm not like out on hiatus or anything like that. I just hadn't been since.

COSTELLO: Why not?

GRIMM: Just because, you know, when the ruling came down I've been very busy so I was just sort of taking a day to collect everything done that I needed to get done.

COSTELLO: Do you envision a day one day soon when we won't have to talk about which restroom you'll be able to use?

GRIMM: Yes, certainly. I think it's very unfortunately that we had to talk about it in this case but hopefully this ruling will make steps towards a future where they won't have to happen anymore.

COSTELLO: And a lot of entertainers have become involved. In fact in North Carolina, in light of passage of the law there, a lot music groups have pulled out, a lot of businesses say they won't do business in North Carolina anymore. How does that make you feel?

GRIMM: It's emboldening. I think it's very nice that these people have chosen to take a positive stance in support of the transgender community and the LGBT community in general. That it shows a message of solidarity and a message that says, you know, this does have effects not just on the people that the bill is targeting but on everybody.

COSTELLO: What is the one thing you would like everybody to understand about transgender people?

GRIMM: I mean, I guess just that we're people. We're not, you know, this weird alien thing or concept. We're just sort of people that are trying to live their life and be theirselves.

COSTELLO: Gavin Grimm, thanks for joining me this morning. I appreciate it.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, reports of what may be the deadliest migrant tragedy this year. The heartbreaking details from Europe next.


[10:51:18] COSTELLO: All right. As we've been telling you Donald Trump won big in the state of New York in last night's primary. In fact he picked up 85 delegates. Senator Ted Cruz picked up zero. He came in third after John Kasich.

Donald Trump said it's time for Senator Cruz to get out of the race. Senator Cruz is in Hershey, Pennsylvania and he sees things very differently. Listen.


CRUZ: Manhattan has spoken. And if the rest of the voters would quietly go home now and allow him to give the general election to Hillary, all would be better. And the media repeats this with great excitement.

By the way, here are a few facts that they may not tell you. State of Wisconsin, I won 13,000 more votes in Wisconsin than Donald Trump did last night in New York.

State of Texas, we won more than twice as many votes in Texas as Donald did in New York. And there's a reason Donald wants all of the lap dogs in the media to say that the race is over because the three weeks that proceeded yesterday, there were total of five states that voted. Utah, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming. In all five we won a landslide.

1.3 million people voted in those five states. By the way, that's more than voted in New York. And you want to talk about different states, you have mountain west states, you have a state like Wisconsin and upper Midwest and industrial blue color state. You have a state like Colorado, a libertarianish purplish state that just legalized pot. And Colorado is providing brownies after this event.


But you look at the diversity of those states and in --


COSTELLO: All right. You get the gist. I don't think Senator Ted Cruz will be leaving the race any time soon. He's going to take it all the way to Cleveland to the convention and hopes for now quite frankly a contested convention and that he'll win the number of delegates he needs to pick up the nomination. I'll be right back.


[10:58:19] COSTELLO: We're following a tragic story out of Europe this morning, CNN has learned as many as 500 migrants are dead, drowned after their boat capsized on Saturday in the Mediterranean somewhere between Libya and Italy. Ben Wedeman is following the story from Rome.

Hi, Ben.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hi, Carol. Yes, as you mentioned according to the UNHCR, as many as 500 dying at this catastrophe at sea. Now the UNHCR spoke to some of the 41 survivors who recounted that they were on a boat with somewhere between 100 and 200 people. They left Tobruk in eastern Libya. Somewhere in the middle of the Mediterranean they met up with a larger ship which had several hundred people on board. And they were told to transfer on to that larger ship.

Now as that process was going on, the larger ship capsized and sank. Now some of the 41 people were on the larger boat and managed to swim to the smaller boat. Now that smaller boat drifted at sea for three days before being picked up by a merchant ship flying a Filipino flag and those 41 survivors were taken to Kalamata in Greece where they're being taken care of in a stadium there.

Now this comes just almost exactly one year after a similar disaster at sea whereas many as 850 migrants and refugees died when their ship capsized. Carol.

COSTELLO: So sad. Ben Wedeman reporting live from Rome. Thank you.

And thank you for joining me today.