Return to Transcripts main page
CNN SUNDAY MORNING
U.N. Beefs Up Syria Presence; Culture of Corruption; John Edwards' Conspiracy Trial
Aired April 22, 2012 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): From CNN Center, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
Sex, money, betrayal -- we'll hear how these themes played in the 2008 presidential campaign as we look ahead to the trial of John Edwards which begins tomorrow.
Desperation in Syria as reports of more government atrocities mount. Syrians swarm the newly arrived U.N. monitors. And a new warning from the U.S. to Assad's regime.
Plus, a perfect game for number 41. We'll bring you the final pitch that led to last night's victory.
And later, "The New York Times'" Nick Kristof joins us to talk about his column. How money and power have created a path to corruption in China and what it means for the U.S.
KAYE: Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. It's 8:00 on the East Coast, 5:00 a.m. on the West.
A lot to tell you about this morning so let's get you straight to the news. We start with a look ahead.
Tomorrow, former presidential candidate John Edwards heads to federal court. Prosecutors say Edwards used nearly $1 million in campaign contributions to deceive the public. They say he was hiding an affair and a child.
The mistress, Rielle Hunter, is expected to be the star witness at the trial. She has immunity. Edwards and his attorneys say he did nothing wrong.
We'll have much more on the case later this hour.
And to Syria now. The United Nations Security Council has decided to increase their involvement from 30 observers to 300. Now, you may think that sending in 300 unarmed monitors doesn't seem like much, but listen to the reaction in Homs, Syria, when the first monitors arrived there yesterday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is the first day since two months in Homs without shooting, Homs without killing, Homs without fire, OK? It's very important for us, at least understand, because of that we want you to stay. Please stay.
This is what we want. This is our interest. When you stay, when you come, killing stop. When you come, killing stop. It's our blood.
(ENDV VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: A cease-fire that went into effect earlier this month has not held. Syria's U.N. ambassador says his country's security forces will exercise restraint. At least seven people were killed across Syria today.
One senator is now calling the White House into question over the Secret Service scandal. Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley asked the Secret Service director if any White House employees shared hotel rooms with the offender agents in Colombia. The White House quickly denied any involvement.
Six agents have already resigned. Six more still under investigation.
A major figure from the Watergate scandal has died, Chuck Colson. Colson was the first of Richard Nixon's aides to be convicted. He was the president's special counsel but was also known as Nixon's hatchet man. Colson took his punishment, seven months in prison and turned his life around.
Here he is in 1999.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK COLSON, FORMER NIXON AIDE: We've healed a great deal from what happened in Watergate. But it took a long period of time for people to recognize what they had done wrong. I apologized for what I did, went to the people I had offended, and felt a repentant attitude throughout.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: After leaving prison in the mid-1970s, Colson founded the Prison Fellowship. It's an outreach group, providing spiritual support for scores of prisoner. His humanitarian work earned Colson redemption in the form of the presidential citizen medal in 2008. Charles Colson was 80.
Investigators looking for answers into the disappearance of a New York boy 33 years ago say they have found a suspicious stain. They discovered the stain on a concrete wall yesterday while tearing apart a Lower Manhattan basement about a half block from where Etan Patz's parents still live. FBI agents and New York police spotted the stain after spraying a chemical that apparently can indicate the presence of blood. But for now, officials are only calling the stain an area of interest. Patz vanished back in 1979.
A little piece of baseball history with this out. Chicago white sox pitcher Philip Humber became the 21st pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw a perfect game. No runs, no hits, no errors, no walks, absolutely perfect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SPORTS ANNOUNCER: The 21st perfect game.
PHILLIP HUMBER, 21ST PITCHER TO THROW PERFECT GAME: It's a lot of joy and just excitement, and most of all just gratitude. Just thankful for where I'm at and thankful, that was just an awesome -- what just took place was just awesome.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
KAYE: Absolutely, just awesome.
After the game, Humber's first phone call was to his pregnant wife. She's due to give birth in two weeks. He was calling to make sure the excitement didn't send her into labor early.
In case you didn't know or you just forgot, it is Earth Day, the day set aside to focus on the world's environment is now in its 42nd year. So, of course, we want to know what the forecast is for the big Earth Day.
Reynolds Wolf is keeping his eye on that for us.
REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning.
Any celebrations outside on the eastern coast, well, the East Coast, is going to be rainy for the most part. Carry the umbrellas with you. And it looks like some of the rain might be especially be having in parts of the extreme Northeast. We're talking about two to four inches of rainfall, some isolated flooding is going to be possible later tonight into tomorrow.
Also, snow is going to be in the forecast for the eastern Great Lakes, namely south of Buffalo where you might see anywhere from, say, eight to maybe even 10 inches of snowfall. We'll have more on that coming up in just a few moments.
KAYE: OK. A soggy day, a soggy Earth Day, Reynolds. Thank you.
WOLF: You bet.
KAYE: More eyes on Syria this morning. United Nations is giving a go ahead to more observers, but what effect will it really have on the peace process? A live report is next.
You're watching CNN SUNDAY MORNING -- where news doesn't take the weekend off.
KAYE: Let's get back to the Syria story for a moment now. As I told you earlier, the United Nations has upped the ante, approving an increase from 30 to 300 peace plan monitors.
But U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, says more needs to be done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSOR TO THE U.N.: Precious little progress has been made on the issue of humanitarian access, with an estimated 1 million civilians still in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The United Nations Security Council has called upon the government to take concrete actions. The Syrian government has ignored this council. In the United States, our patience is exhausted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Joining me from Abu Dhabi is Rima Maktabi.
Rima, good morning to you.
So, how will the presence of now 300 U.N. observers stop the violence?
RIMA MAKTABI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, these 300 unarmed military observers are supposed to look after the cease-fire. They have to ensure that the cease-fire is happening.
However, with all the decisions that have been made in New York yesterday, today just before noon four people have been killed already in Syria, and there has been violence and shelling in one of the suburbs of Damascus, the capital. The city of Homs was under shelling and even the state news agency reported an attack on a train carrying bread, wheat, and six were injured in one of the cities in Syria.
So far, violence is still carrying on.
KAYE: And, Rima, any reaction to all of this from the Syrian government?
MAKTABI: Well, we have heard from the ambassador, Syrian ambassador to the U.N. He said that the Syrian security forces will maintain maximum self-restraint. However, he said they will attack and defend the country and attack any terrorist groups.
And this has been the problem with the Syrian government. How do they define terrorist groups? The opposition says political dissidents are not terrorists, and they're just they just want freedom -- whereas the government accuses some of them of being terrorists and Islamists.
So, it's still vague. And the Syrian government has really a chance with the national community to make the peace plan work.
KAYE: Rima Maktabi -- Rima, thank you very much for that update.
A political scandal is brewing in China and it could be one for the history books. One of the country's top leaders is now out of a job and his wife -- she is under suspicion of murder.
I spoke with "New York Times" columnist Nick Kristof, who is the author of the paper's "On the Ground" blog, about the controversy China's history with corruption and why a new leader may turn things around.
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, NEW YORK TIMES: This is the biggest political scandal in China in two decades and it has real implications for the power struggles that are always unfolding in Beijing. This politician who was implicated Bo Xilai was a member of the politburo until he was kicked off and he was a contender -- he was really campaigning to be on the top organization, the politburo standing committee.
Now, all of a sudden, he's out of his job, his wife is under investigation for murder. His son, who has been in the headlines for after wild parties at Oxford and now he's at the Kennedy School of Government, has mysteriously vanished. I mean, if you made a movie about this, the script would be rejected as just totally implausible.
KAYE: What would her motive have been?
KRISTOF: The rumors -- and, you know, everything at this point is a rumor. The rumor is that Bo Xilai's wife was trying to move millions of dollars outside China, move her ill-gotten money out of China and this British businessman Neil Heywood was doing that for her. That they disagreed about his cut and he to get leverage threatened to expose her and she in turn ordered people to poison him.
KAYE: You also write about how you have watched as how China has grown steadily more corrupt over the years. Can you give us some examples? I mean, what have you seen?
KRISTOF: Sure. Well, China is very impressive in the caliber of the officials, the intelligence of the officials whom it appoints, but those officials have also become steadily more crooked. And one friend of mine is a judge in white collar criminal cases, and I was always a little surprised by his wealth. I gradually realized that even though he was a judge in corruption cases, he was making a living off of taking bribes from defendants in those corruption cases.
And this is just so widespread. Everywhere you turn, there are these extraordinary stories. When I lived in China 20 years ago, corruption might be a cop taking a $10 or $20 bribe. These days, the average take in one central bank report, the average amount stolen by officials was $7 million. KAYE: China though has been and is one of the most successful economies in the world. So, is it buckling under pressure? I mean, is it crumbling?
KRISTOF: That's a fascinating question. There have been other countries like Taiwan, like South Korea that were fantastically corrupt, but because they were delivering the goods, they were raising living standards, the leadership was able to get away with it. And until now, that has also been true of China.
But it does seem to me that China's greatest success maybe has been in educating the country and creating a modern middle class. And in doing so, I think it's sowing the seeds of its own -- of the demise of the authoritarian system. The urban middle class now, you know, they're not content with a system that is catastrophically corrupt.
KAYE: So, what does all of this mean? Everything that we've talked about -- I mean, what could all of it mean for the U.S. and the U.S. economy?
KRISTOF: China has really been kind of unmoving. It's been in a political stalemate for the last 10 years under Hu Jintao, the present supreme leader. That is going to change in a few months. A man called Xi Jinping is going to take over as sort of the de facto of China.
We don't know a lot about him but there's some reason to think he may be more of a reformist than China has been lately, and I think that in the long run, it would be good for China and also good for the U.S.
KAYE: And my thanks to Nick Kristof for another fascinating conversation.
You can read his latest column, "A Body of Scandal in China," at NewYorkTimes.com.
A first of its kind -- a film that includes footage from every country on the earth and it's being shown in more than 160 nations on this Earth Day. I'll talk live with the men behind it, next.
But first, it is a beautiful day in Washington, D.C. Certainly looks like it's shaping up to be one there. Nice shot of the capitol. Good morning from U2. Good morning from us at CNN.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning. My name is James Harnett (ph). I'm in Jordan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: What you just saw is the result of 19,000 filmmakers in over 160 countries with more than 3,000 hours of video. But it all began with just one idea.
Joining me now are the men behind this idea, Kyle Ruddick and Brandon Litman. They are the director and executive producer of "One Day on Earth," a documentary that highlights the lives of millions of people in every country on the planet on one October day two years ago.
It debuts today, of course, in honor of Earth Day. Another art form, music was the inspiration for the film apparently.
Welcome to you both to the program.
What specifically about music made you decide to produce a documentary?
KYLE RUDDICK, DIRECTOR, "ONE DAY ON EARTH": Well, music is this universal language, and musicians from all over the world can sit down in a room and make music together in a matter of minutes. And I believe that cinema is a universal language that can be understood across borders and languages as well. And music has this immediacy and I wanted cinema to have this immediacy so I had this idea, what if we had as many people across the world film during one day and make a film out of it.
KAYE: And was there any significance? It is such a cool idea. I mean, it's a great concept. It's really enjoyable to watch some of the footage. It's incredible how much footage there is.
But was there any significance on the date on which "One Day on Earth" was shot, which was October 10th, 2010, or 10/10/10.
BRANDON LITMAN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "ONE DAY ON EARTH": It was a blank slate holiday. You wake up in the morning and you notice the day. So, you might want to do something significant. And we ask people to film with us.
And it was easy day to remember and hopefully, you know, we get to continue to do this. We did it on 11/11/11. We'll do it on 12/12/12 and figure it out after that.
RUDDICK: "10/10/10" just means something for everyone, and that thing is different, and we were celebrating diversity. So -
KAYE: So, with every country in the world represented, I mean, the differences among cultures is fairly obvious. But what would you say were some of the common threats that you found, if any?
RUDDICK: I'd say children, love, marriage, music.
LITMAN: Yes. There was joys and struggles all over the world every single day. So you get to see these and experience these stories, and you come to realize doing this project and having done it twice now, these common threads exist everywhere and it's just a matter of, for us, how deep can we go and how far can we go in order to aggregate these stories together. But you definitely get a sense of the joys and struggles of everyday life.
KAYE: One of the central characters of this film is Vincent, a young man in the Netherlands. I want our viewers to watch a clip of this and then I want your thoughts on it.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
KAYE: All right. We don't have the exact tape but I know Vincent played a critical part in this film. How so?
RUDDICK: Well, he's this young boy. He turns 10 on 10/10/10 and Vincent has a nerve disease, which his life expectancy is that of 10 years.
For me, I know that he was such a powerful story because he represents living beyond expectations and living another day and having that choice to live another day. And I think that really sort of typifies every day we're alive, we have choices.
And I think that sense of gratitude -- I mean, Vincent is still alive today. I know his family is watching the film probably pretty close to right now, and, you know, I think that there's just a really beautiful mother/son story that was kind of one of the main true lines of our film.
LITMAN: I mean, every day is a gift for Vincent and every day could be a gift for all of us.
KAYE: Absolutely. "One Day on Earth," it has several themes. I mean, some of them are lighter like love and music. And there are more serious issues like water scarcity and poverty. Was that part of your goal here? I mean, is there a message to this?
RUDDICK: Absolutely. I think that, you know, we wanted to make a film that had a message, that carried some weight, that exposed some of the challenges around the world. But we really wanted people to walk out of the theater going, my God, I have hope to make a choice, to make this a better place, too. Not just the sense of despair that we have all these challenges, but we also have huge opportunity.
KAYE: Brandon, just quickly, a final thought from you.
LITMAN: I mean, one of the ways that we went about and did this was by partnering with some of the world's most respected NGOs and the United Nations. And, you know, forming these partnerships, we were able to dive deep into these issues and, you know, it's exciting to be able to deliver it back to the community.
We have screenings right now in over 160 countries. You can go to our Web site or Tagged.com and see the film and order the film into your community. And we hope people could gather around the film and explore these issues together and hopefully talk about it after the film.
RUDDICK: Yes, we're having amazing community effort to make this screening happen and that's been beautiful as well.
KAYE: Kyle Ruddick, Brandon Litman, director and executive producer of "One Day on Earth" -- thank you both very much. And good luck with the film.
RUDDICK: Thank you.
LITMAN: Thanks for having us.
KAYE: Time right now, about 24 minutes past the hour. Let's check out some of the stories making news around the nation.
It's not just Fenway Park that's celebrating a milestone this weekend. Seattle's Space Needle is 50 years old. The structure was built to the 1962 World's Fair and has since become a symbol of the city.
A man was badly burned after a truck carrying two propane tanks exploded near a McDonald's in Coachella, California. He was actually trying to stop one of the tanks from leaking when firefighters say static electricity caused the propane to ignite. Three people, including two children inside the truck escaped. Incredibly -- also, no one inside the McDonald's was even hurt.
Two men have been arrested and charged with reckless endangerment after allegedly rigging a Utah hiking trail with booby traps. Forest service officer found the tracks. He noticed a trip wire near a shelter entrance. Police say that wire, along with a second one would have set of two different devices. Both men have confessed to setting these traps.
A bright political future down the drain. John Edwards seemingly had it all but did he take advantage of the public trust? That's what a jury will decide. We'll break down the trial next.
Stay with us at CNN SUNDAY MORNING -- where news doesn't take the weekend off.
KAYE: I could take the morning train in L.A., right? To avoid all that traffic. I don't know how many people are taking the morning train yet.
But it looks like -- Reynolds, are we keeping you awake there?
WOLF: No, I'm just listening to this wonderful music. You know, music is amazing.
KAYE: I thought you were yawning.
WOLF: No, no. Music has a great effect on some people. Sometimes it can make you happy, sometimes it can make you sad. KAYE: I love that.
WOLF: Sometimes it can make blood just explode from your eyes. That's one of those songs.
WOLF: Yes, pretty much.
KAYE: I'm not going to ask you why because I like that song. I think that's a great song.
WOLF: I'm just teasing. It's one my favorites. Let's celebrate Sheena Easton's entire collection. It's a great one.
Hey, you know, one thing we're going to be celebrating today, if you're hoping for some rain, you will be a happy camper today -- from Philadelphia southward to Washington, D.C. and Richmond. Some intermittent showers, some have been heavier than others, especially back towards Raleigh.
If you will notice from Norfolk, you've got one band of shower activity moving through but heavier storms to the south. When we're talking about storms, we're not talking about anything severe for the time being. But later this afternoon, when you have a little more heat that's going to be in the picture, it might cause the atmosphere to destabilize further and you might get a rumble of thunder.
But we do not anticipate a severe weather outbreak in terms of strong storms. However, heavy rain a possibility. With that, we do have a flood watch that will be in effect for parts of the Northeast, including Boston, south of Bangor, Maine, certainly south of Burlington, not far from New York and Philadelphia. The places that are going to be most susceptible are place was poor drainage. You should keep that in mind.
Also, Buffalo, I know winter is over, spring is here, but that doesn't mean the snow is out of the picture. Eight to 16 inches of snowfall possible mainly later tonight, all the way through Tuesday. That lake-effect activity will be a big difference maker.
Plenty of sunshine for the Central and Southern Plains, a mix of sun and clouds up towards the west.
As you wrap it up, your high, 73 degrees in San Francisco, 72 in Los Angeles, 62 in Kansas City, 67 in Atlanta, 53 in New York.
You are up to speed. Let's send it back to you, Randi.
KAYE: OK. Reynolds, thank you.
WOLF: You bet.
KAYE: Former presidential candidate John Edwards will take his place in federal court tomorrow in his home state of North Carolina. His once promising political career is in shambles, as prosecutors prepare to tell a jury the tale of a candidate out of control, personally and financially.
CNN's senior correspondent Joe Johns has more.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This political soap opera started at a bar in New York City where Edwards met self- proclaimed filmmaker Rielle Hunter in early 2006. She was quickly hired by Edwards to hire webisodes, casual '09 videos of the former senator. The video showed just how close Edwards and Hunter had become.
JOHN EDWARDS: That is a great speech.
RIELLE HUNTER: So glad you like it.
EDWARDS: I like it. Wait until you hear me give it live.
JOHNS: Immediately, those close to Edwards suspected an affair.
Behind the scenes, the government argues that Edwards was orchestrating a massive cover-up. Loyal and wealthy donors paid for his pregnant mistress to relocate and personal aide Andrew Young would claim paternity.
In the fall of 2007 a tabloid published a story on the affair. Immediately the campaign went into defense mode.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you were running for president, you flat out denied having a relationship with Rielle Hunter. Is -- did you give me a truthful answer? Were you were telling the truth then?
JOHN EDWARDS, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.
JOHNS: After being chased by reporters, eventually he admitted personal failure.
EDWARDS: There is no question that I have done wrong and I take full responsibility for having done wrong.
JOHNS: Once a prominent politician preaching two Americas, Edwards himself was living two lives. He had fathered a child with his mistress while his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, was dying of cancer. It got worst. In 2011 the government indicted Edwards on six counts, including conspiracy, issuing false statements and violating campaign finance laws. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
EDWARDS: We're conditioned to say the same things. We're conditioned to say what say -- we're conditioned to be political and it's hard to shed all of that.
JOHNS: Edwards has spent the last year preparing for his trial, shuffling his legal team and undergoing surgery for a heart condition. Former top aides are expected to testify at his trial. Rielle Hunter has immunity. EDWARDS: And I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I have caused to others. But I did not break the law and I never, ever thought I was breaking the law.
JOHNS: Experts say the government has a tough, unprecedented case to prove in the arena of campaign finance. But no matter what the outcome, it is the ultimate fall from grace for Edwards, who was once adored as a son of the south.
Joe Johns, CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: And coming up in about 20 minutes, we're going to talk with Mark Schwartz SIC), a legal expert and we'll talk about this Edwards trial which begins tomorrow.
And now some top stories. We begin in Syria where the violence is escalating. While the U.N. has agreed to send 300 U.N. monitors to Syria, opposition activists say the Assad regime has resumed assaulting and shelling the besiege City of Homs. That after the attacks quieted down on Saturday while a small group of U.N. monitors were in the city. The presence of these U.N. monitors is meant to hold the government accountable and to push troops to uphold a ceasefire.
The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice had this warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: In the United States our patience is exhausted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: So far today at least seven people were killed according to a human rights group.
In France voters are heading to the polls today in the country's presidential elections. President Nicolas Sarkozy cast his ballot with his wife, Carla Bruni, in Paris. Sarkozy's bid for the election is shaping up to be a challenging fight with nine other candidates. The economy and jobs have been a key sticking point Sarkozy.
Urban Outfitters has this t-shirt for sale on its store's Web site. And it is drawing some sharp criticism for the design. Take a look critics say it resembles the Star of David Patch worn by Jews during the holocaust. The anti-defamation League of Philadelphia is blasting the store for what it calls new low. We've reached out to Urban Outfitters for comments but have not heard back.
You are looking at a design of a church that will temporarily replace the Christchurch Cathedral 14 months after an earth nearly destroyed it. Believe it or not, this transitional church will be made of cardboard. You heard me right there, cardboard. It will be made up of hundreds of cardboard tubes along with timber, steel and a concrete base. Once completed the $4 million structure will be able to hold up to 700 worshippers.
Church on the Web? We'll talk to one pastor who is spreading the gospel via the social network. We'll be right back.
KAYE: Welcome back, everyone, to CNN SUNDAY MORNING. I'm Randi Kaye. It is just about the bottom of the hour now.
And this morning many of you probably have plans to go to church. But did you know that you don't have to physically be sitting in the pews to attend a service anymore. Instead, you can just surf the Web. It's that easy. Many churches have Web sites, some even stream sermons live and more are turning to social media like Christ Fellowship Church in McKinney, Texas. Want to make church donations? Well, they even have an app for that. You could say Sunday service at church has gone high-tech.
Bruce Miller is the founding and the senior pastor at Christ Fellowship Church. Good morning Pastor, thank you for coming on the program.
BRUCE MILLER, SENIOR PASTOR, CHRIST FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: Good morning.
KAYE: We talked about this a little bit. Your church is non- denominational. About 2,100 people attend on Sundays. So why did you start this online services, why the digital outreach?
MILLER: We want to reach people who can't come to church whether that's physically or emotionally. They're just not quite ready to walk on the physical campus but they can walk on to an online campus on their computer.
KAYE: So how does it work? I mean are there -- are there live chats during the online sermons or digital bible study or what is there in addition to the sermon.
MILLER: Yes, there are hosts who are online. So when you walk on, on your computer so to speak, then there is someone to greet you and say, "Welcome, Randi, we're glad you're here, how is your mom? We were praying for her last week." And then the service appears in a window on your screen and there's chat available just like on Sunday morning when you elbow the person next to you or pass a note, you can be talking during the service with other people who are participating at the same time.
KAYE: Are you at all concerned just as I listen to that, you know, I can't imagine attending a service online. Are you at all concerned that it's -- it's too impersonal?
MILLER: Well, actually you know through the Internet oftentimes people are more willing to open up because of the feeling of anonymity. And we also have a private ability to -- for someone to pray for someone on a separate chat line where they're able to have a private conversation with someone who can reach out to them personally.
KAYE: I know the Christian church has seen a decline in its membership certainly over the past five years among the young. Is this a way to try and get the youth back into the fold?
MILLER: Well, we're hoping that being able to speak the technological medium of our day that we can communicate with people who are familiar with using Facebook. Ours is -- our online campus is through a Facebook application. So if you can use Facebook, then you can do it.
KAYE: And then, how has it been received?
MILLER: It's really been received well. Not only by young people, but we're finding people who are older often have more health limitations that prevent them from coming on a Sunday morning, and yet they're able to participate through the Internet.
KAYE: And -- and what about the older church members? I mean, do you find that they're -- they're taking part in this as well? Have they figured it out?
MILLER: They really have. The number of people who are older who are on Facebook as you know, is a large number and so they're able to participate. We even find family members who are across the country who will come visit their children on a holiday and tell me we were watching online and able to discuss the sermon and the service with our children even though we live in different cities.
KAYE: So where do you go from here? Do you plan to expand your digital outreach?
MILLER: Yes. We have a number of opportunities during the week where you can participate in an online service, and we want to increase the number of those, and we're also about to start a Spanish service online. We have a Spanish service in our church and we're now going to move that onto an online campus.
KAYE: Well that sounds -- that sounds really great. I like what you're doing and I'm glad that you're getting a nice reaction. Pastor, thank you very much.
MILLER: Thanks, Randi. Thank you very much.
KAYE: And for more stories on faith be sure to check out our widely popular belief blog at CNN.com/belief.
John Edwards in court; the conspiracy trial starts tomorrow. So how is his legal team going to defend against his mistress taking the stand?
We'll check it out. You're watching CNN SUNDAY MORNING, where news doesn't take the weekend off.
KAYE: Welcome back.
Let's head to Washington now. CNN "STATE OF THE UNION" coming up at the top of the hour which means we get a preview now from Candy Crowley. Good morning Candy.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Good morning.
KAYE: So you have from what I understand an exclusive interview with Florida's Republican Senator Marco Rubio, he's campaigning with Mitt Romney apparently saying no to the VP run. But do you think, you get the feeling maybe they are testing the waters a little bit?
CROWLEY: You know, well, I think listen, any time -- Marco Rubio is certainly a rock star inside the Republican Party. When he got elected everyone said this is the Republican's Barack Obama, young guy, he's exciting, et cetera, et cetera. So anytime you can get him to campaign with you, I think the Romney campaign would take them up on that.
But obviously, we're going to look at it as a tryout.
What's interesting to me is you're right, Rubio has been saying in a lot of different forums, I'm not going to be the vice president and that means no, I don't want it. I want to stay senator.
I asked him the exact same question when we did our interview, and he has a different answer. It's not yes, but it's, well, you know, I'm not going to do that anymore, we're going to respect the process. That was all theoretical before, now the process is ongoing and I'm sure Mitt Romney will pick a good vice president.
So it is interesting to me that suddenly we have a slightly different answer. I don't know if folks said, hey, if you don't want it, tell him privately, not publicly, so he's backing off, or whether people have said keep an open mind here. But nonetheless, it's a markedly different tone.
KAYE: Right, and I'm sure you saw that clip this week where he kind of goofed and he said "when I'm vice president" but that's not what he meant to say.
CROWLEY: Yes. You know, calling Dr. Freud, yes.
I know you're also going to speak with Representative Elijah Cummings, of course, talking about the Secret Service prostitution scandal. What do you think he's going to tell you? We spoke with him briefly yesterday and it seems like he still has confidence in the Director Sullivan at the Secret Service.
CROWLEY: Yes. And I must say that seems to be -- there are some calls certainly for Sullivan to resign, but by and large there is a real -- there's such a kind of respect as a whole for the Secret Service that I think people don't want to go there yet. I think you'd have to say it depends -- most people don't want to go there yet -- I think it depends on (AUDIO GAP).
What I want to know from the congressman is, is there more to be found out? I mean, do we know the parameters now? Do we know what happened? Or is there more going on than meets the eye?
KAYE: Yes, and of course, now with word of it spreading possibly to a second hotel --
KAYE: And questions to the White House even if there were anyone from the administration that was in the same hotel as well.
CROWLEY: Sure, exactly. And there are plenty of advance teams down there from the military, the Secret Service, the White House, certainly the political arm. They send advance people down there to make sure the lighting is right at whatever time of day he's going to show up some place. So lots of folks were down there.
KAYE: All right. Candy, I look forward to the program today.
KAYE: We'll be tuning in. Thank you.
And, of course, keep it here for "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley. It starts in about 13 minutes, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, 6:00 a.m. Pacific. Right here on CNN.
The difference between a campaign contribution and a million dollar gift -- that distinction will be at the center of the John Edwards' trial. It starts tomorrow and we'll break down the challenges for both sides coming your way next.
KAYE: Former presidential candidate, vice presidential nominee and senator. John Edwards is facing 30 years in prison. Prosecutors say Edwards used nearly $1 million in campaign funds to cover up an affair. Edwards contends that the money was just a gift from friends. His federal trial starts tomorrow as we've been telling you, in North Carolina.
Joining me now is criminal defense attorney David Schwartz to talk about this. David, Edwards is charged with one count of conspiracy, four counts of illegal campaign contributions, and one count of making false statements. Which would you say is the big one here, conspiracy?
DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, yes, certainly the conspiracy because the conspiracy laws are so broad that you could find a person one percent guilty of a conspiracy and they're guilty of the conspiracy.
So certainly -- look he has to take this seriously -- the conspiracy, the campaign fraud, and the false statements. The false statements are the ones that he may go down for actually.
KAYE: So how hard do you think it's going to be as we look at what's on the table here for Edwards' team to prove that the money was a gift, as they say, and not a campaign contribution to try and cover up an affair and a mistress.
SCHWARTZ: Well, let me just rework that premise for a second, Randi because it's the prosecution's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Viewers should know that the defense team could sit on their hands during this trial. If the prosecution can't prove their case, then he's not guilty.
The bottom line is though I'm sure you're going to see a very aggressive defense in this case, and this case hinges on the fact that these funds were never campaign funds in the first place. And it's almost scary that the prosecution would bring a case like this. This case is unprecedented, and it's a complete stretch. These funds were never deposited in the campaign of John Edwards.
KAYE: Yes. But of course, you have the go-between, Andrew Young who, of course, will be a key witness for the prosecution; I mean he's the one -- he's probably the reason why this case is even going to court, and he was a go-between to try to work with Edwards to figure out how to get the money and how to pay for Rielle Hunter, the mistress.
SCHWARTZ: Yes, but, you know, we have to analyze this case in the abstract. Number one, the money that went in, it was a gift, ok? So it never entered the campaign funds. I understand it went to Young, and Young has credibility issues also, which is going to be a second line of defense for the defense team because Andrew Young is accused of stealing the money and putting it towards his house. So that's going to be another line of defense for the defense team.
The prosecution has a lot of hurdles to overcome in this case but a jury can do anything.
KAYE: We mentioned Rielle Hunter. Does Edwards need to be especially concerned about her testimony given that she has immunity?
SCHWARTZ: Yes. Obviously, what the problem with the Edwards' case is, he's a hateful human being right now in the eyes of the public, in the eyes of that jury. So the testimony of Hunter, the testimony of his then-girlfriend who he fathered a child with while running for the highest office in the land while his wife is sick with cancer is going to be devastating to John Edwards to come over and, you know, cases are won and lost in jury selection.
You know, I'm sure they've voir dired heavily on the fact that you can't convict their client -- you can't convict John Edwards based on the fact you don't like him. You have to convict him based on the evidence at the trial. KAYE: Excellent point. David Schwartz, thank you so much; nice to see you on this Sunday.
SCHWARTZ: Thanks, Randi.
KAYE: All right. Let's take a look at the week ahead. We have our new "Week Ahead" calendar which we have devised here. Let's tell you what's coming up.
On Monday, of course, as we've been talking about, John Edwards' trial begins. That's what we've been talking about there with David Schwartz. He's accused of using those campaign funds to help cover up an affair with Rielle Hunter and the child that they had together. The team of course, Edwards' team says that the money was to help with a personal problem and not a campaign donation.
Also on Monday we have some campaigning. Mitt Romney and Florida senator, Marco Rubio campaigning together outside Philadelphia; wonder what's in the works here, right?
On Wednesday the Supreme Court is set to hear the arguments in the Arizona immigration law case and at the heart of this case you may recall is the question about police questioning the immigration status of people that they pull over.
Also on Wednesday we have the United States Secret Service scandal which has been unfolding in Colombia. There is a hearing now scheduled for Wednesday with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
And on Saturday something fun, the White House Correspondents Dinner. Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is going to host the 98th White House Correspondents Dinner.
So there you have it, the "Week Ahead". Look for your invitation in the mail. I'm still waiting on mine as well.
Well, as a prostitution scandal rocks the Secret Service, we're getting new details on the person who helped start (ph) the investigation. You're watching CNN Sunday morning, where news doesn't take the weekend off.
KAYE: Checking top stories now.
Opposition activists say seven people have been killed today in Syria one day after the U.N. voted to bump up the number of observers from 30 to 300 to monitor a cease-fire that has failed to end the violence. The besieged city of Homs got a brief break from the shelling while two of those monitors were on sight. A local man reportedly begged the U.N. to stay saying quote, "When you come, the shelling stops."
George Zimmerman's release from jail may be delayed, that's according to his attorney who says there are concerns that his family may not be able to raise enough money. They must come up with $15,000. Zimmerman faces second-degree murder charges in the shooting death of Florida teen, Trayvon Martin.
And a newly promoted supervisor helped the Secret Service uncover one of the biggest scandals in its history. The "Washington Post" reports that Paula Reed had 11 agents sent home from Colombia after learning of their involvement with local prostitutes. Reed then told her superiors that she had found proof of quote, "egregious misconduct". Six agents have resigned so far; six more are under investigation.
Well, that will do it for me. Thanks for watching CNN SUNDAY MORNING. You can always continue the conversation with me online on Twitter @RandiKayeCNN.
"STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley starts now.