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CNN SUNDAY MORNING
Chuck Colson Dead at 80; Army Cancels Ted Nugent Show; U.N. Beefs Up Syria Presence
Aired April 22, 2012 - 07:00 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 into the 2008 presidential campaign as we look ahead to the trial of John Edwards which begins tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) -- please stay.
KAYE: Desperation in Syria. As 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, do you see what Pete sees? We'll have Pete's take on some of the week's most interesting stories.
KAYE: And good morning, everyone. I'm Randy Kaye. It is 7:00 here on the East Coast.
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. She has immunity. Edwards and his attorneys say he did nothing wrong.
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 council, but he 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 that I had offended and 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 support for scores of prisoners. His humanitarian work earned Colson in a form of presidential citizen medal in 2008. Charles Colson was 80 years old.
Wal-Mart could be facing federal scrutiny over allegation that is it paid millions of dollars in bribes to Mexican officials. A "New York Times" investigation found that Wal-Mart's operation in Mexico paid $24 million to secure permits to expand throughout the country. It is now the largest private employer in Mexico. "The Times" alleges that key executives were informed and looked the other way.
Wal-Mart could face punishment under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
More fallout now over Ted Nugent's recent anti-Obama rant. The Army has canceled Nugent's upcoming concert at Fort Knox.
At the NRA convention a week ago, Nugent said that he would be dead or in jail if President Obama was re-elected. He says he never meant anything as a threat against the president. But those comments still led to a meeting with the Secret Service.
China and Russia are playing war today. Warships from both nations are in the Yellow Sea right now for six days of war games. There are more than 20 ships and a couple of Chinese submarines as well taking part in this. They simulate a hijacking and rescue and work on strategies for defending against attacks.
To Syria now and an outpouring of emotion from people in Homs. They were talking to the first United Nations monitors to come into the embattled city. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is the first since two months (INAUDIBLE) most on trial. It's very important to us, at least understand so because of that, we want you to stay. Please stay. This is what we want. This is our interest. When you come, killing stop. When you come, killing stop. It's our blood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Yesterday, the U.N. Security Council agreed to send even more unarmed monitors into Syria. Three hundred now, up from the 30 that were originally promised.
And joining me now from Abu Dhabi is Rima Maktabi.
Rima, good morning to you. Tell me what difference are the monitors supposed to make there? What's their mission?
RIMA MAKTABI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Randi, there are 300 monitors, and they are unarmed military monitors. They're supposed to maintain the ceasefire. They have to really observe what's happening on the ground, talk to the Syrian government officials, and talk to the activists and normal citizens in Syria.
However, there are only 300 monitors over a big country like Syria with 22.5 million people living there, and they're going to spread over 10 locations. So, there are a lot of questions about the mission of these monitors and how much they're able to really maintain the ceasefire.
KAYE: And what is the reaction, Rima, from the Syrian government about this?
MAKTABI: Well, the Syrian government yesterday, the U.N. ambassador said that the security forces will maintain self-restraint. However, he said that they will defend themselves, and they will target any terrorists.
And the problem has been over the past year, how the Syrian government fines terrorists. Sometimes even political dissidents and opposition members are defined as terrorists by the Syrian government. So, this has been the stand that the government has been taking.
KAYE: So is that it now? I mean, is the U.N. finished?
MAKTABI: Well, this is the U.N. mission. It just started. We are waiting for things to happen on the ground. We already have an eight-member team on the ground, and this mission is expected to last for 90 days. However, it is not yet known if it's going to be a successful mission.
As we are speaking, Randi, there are four people killed today already in Syria just before noon, and the city of Homs is in another shelling and other district suburb of Damascus.
So, it's a very fragile ceasefire.
KAYE: Rima Maktabi watching it for us -- Rima, thank you very much.
And Reynolds has his eye on the weather for us.
So, what do you have coming up, Reynolds?
REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, we are keeping an eye on not what's coming up, but what's coming down. The heavy rainfall through parts of the East Coast, and get this, Randi, there's a chance of some flash flooding in parts of the Northeast and maybe even heavy snow by late tonight and into tomorrow for the eastern half of the Great Lakes. We're going to have that coming up for you, Randi, in just a few moments.
KAYE: A wet, wet day -- WOLF: You better believe it.
KAYE: -- coming our way.
All right. Reynolds, thank you.
I want to say a big good morning to Washington, D.C. as we head to a quick break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIP HUMBER, 21ST PITCHER TO THROW PERFECT GAME: Just a lot of joy and excitement, and, you know, most of all you 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 CLIP)
KAYE: Just a little bit awesome.
That's Chicago White Sox pitcher Phillip Humber talking about his perfect game. Humber is just the 21st pitcher in Major League's history to have an el perfecto after beating the Seattle Mariners. He said he just can't believe that his name is on that list. The list includes names like Cy Young, Sandy Koufax and Randy Johnson.
Here's another pretty awesome story this morning. More than a year after Japan's earthquake and tsunami, look what washed ashore in Alaska -- a soccer ball from a school in Japan. It's believed to be one of the first pieces of debris to arrive in the U.S. The person who ran across it also found a volleyball. Both had Japanese writing them. The school's name is stenciled right on the ball.
The man who found it says that he hopes to return it one day to the school.
Reynolds joins us now once again.
Reynolds, isn't that amazing?
WOLF: It truly is.
KAYE: To Alaska.
WOLF: Yes, very eerie to think about all the things, the small items like this and personal like a soccer ball that belongs to some kids at a school that made its way all around the current in the Pacific. Currents are an amazing thing, and the currents on the Eastern Seaboard actually flows from south to north. It's called, of course, the gulfstream.
As we take a look at the gulfstream and what's happening close to it, of course, you've to the shoreline, and with it you have heavy rain falling the outer banks this morning. Anyone riding along parts of Highway 12, along the outer banks, you're going to be dealing with the scattered showers to a good part of the day. Although you see the showers moving from south to north, the front is moving from west to east. We're going to see that rain continue.
And not only is it going to continue for parts of the outer banks, but as we make our way up along parts of New England, you're going to see that frontal boundary, that area of low pressure continue to pull its way to the east, bringing some heavy rain, possibly two to four inches of rainfall back into the Berkshires, all the way up into Maine, as far south as the Jersey Shore. Even into Philadelphia where we could see two to four inches of rainfall. Flood watches and warnings will be into effect as we make our way through the afternoon and into Monday.
Now, snow will also be an issue, but farther back to the west, the reason why is we got a lot of cold air advection. Translation? Cold air movement coming from the south to north, and as we head that overrunning moisture from the Great Lakes, we're going to see anywhere from eight to 16 inches of snowfall.
It's not going to come in one fail swoop. Not in just a matter of, say, minutes. But rather, it's going to be a long day as we make our way into later tonight, into tomorrow and into Tuesday. You could see eight to 16 inches of snowfall south of Buffalo, and also north of Pittsburgh.
Now, something else you'll be noticing across parts of the Central Plains. Anyone making a drive from, say, Oklahoma City southward into Dallas, you're going to have picture perfect conditions along I-35, out to the west and the four corners, warm and sunny. A few scattered clouds for the West Coast, and with it temperatures will be a little bit cooler than they were yesterday.
You got close to 80 degrees in San Francisco yesterday. Today, 73 is the expected high. Wrapping it up towards Billings with 77, 57 in Minneapolis, 69 in Memphis, 81 in Dallas, 55 in Washington, D.C., among the cherry blossoms, and in Atlanta, 67.
That's a quick shot at your forecast. Let's send it right back to you, Randi.
KAYE: OK, Reynolds. I'll take it. Thank you.
WOLF: You bet.
KAYE: And now an update to a story that we first brought you yesterday. You may recall I spoke with 14-year-old Alex Boston, along with her father and their attorney. They are suing two of Alex's school mates for libel because of this fake Facebook page that her school mates set up. In it, you can see there they warped the picture of Alex, making her appear overweight, littering the page as well with racial slurs and very obscene language, and then they friend requested her entire school.
Well, I'm happy to report immediately after our interview aired yesterday, Facebook deactivated the fake page and apologized to Alex for not taking it down sooner. They contacted us and asked how they could help. So, we thanked them for that.
And thanks to all of you for your responses to the segment on Twitter.
To continue the conversation on bullying, you can tweet me at RandiKayeCNN, and use the #bullyingstopshere.
A seemingly unbelievable assertion from a disgraced Secret Serviced agents. So, what's Pete's take? Stay tuned to find out.
There's Pete Dominick getting all fired up, downing some caffeine. And you'll be ready to go right after this break.
But, first, thinking about retiring any time soon? Well, you might want to pack up and move to a southern college town. The folks at Washington Economics Group compiled a list of the best places to retire based on climate and affordability. And here are the top cities.
My hometown in Atlanta rounded out the list at number five. Number four, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Number three, Athens, Georgia. Number two, Memphis, Tennessee. I'll tell you what city topped the list, next.
KAYE: Before the break, we were counting down the best cities to retire. Atlanta, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Athens, Georgia, and Memphis rounded up the top five. So, the number one city on that list, Tallahassee, Florida. That's according to the Washington Economics Group which compiled the list. It's a nice play. I've been there many times.
It is time for a different look at some of the week's top stories for Pete's take. And that means Pete Dominick is back with us, like he is every Sunday morning.
Good morning to you, Pete.
PETE DOMINICK, SIRIUS/XM HOST: Good morning, Randi. Tallahassee, huh?
KAYE: Yes, it's a nice place.
DOMINICK: Maybe I'll retire.
KAYE: Maybe, when you retire, if ever.
All right. Let's -- as you get fired up with a little more caffeine, I knew you'd need it. It's early.
I want to start with Ted Nugent. So, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED NUGENT, SINGER/ACTIVIST: If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.
You're -- why are you laughing? You think that's funny? That's not funny at all. I'm serious as a heart attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Yes. They don't call him the Motor City mad man for nothing. And now, Pete, Nugent says that he didn't mean it as a threat. What do you think?
DOMINICK: Well, first of all, when he said why are you laughing -- I was laughing right at that time. I thought he saw me. I thought that was live for a second. That's how funny this is. That's how ridiculous it is.
Listen, Ted Nugent knows exactly what he is doing. He has created a brand and it woks for him. But there are limits to free speech. Really, one, you can't threaten the president, which is pretty clear that that's what he did there.
And now, he just got removed from performing for the troops of Fort Knox. That's the latest development.
And, Randi, I think you can expect that. If I were to go off on some Fortune 500 CEO, I'm thinking maybe I wouldn't get invited to perform at their annual Christmas party.
KAYE: Probably not. As you mentioned, the Army, they have canceled his appearance at Fort Knox.
And I'm curious, which is sadder, though? The fact that Nugent had his appearance canceled or that he is touring with REO Speedwagon and Styx?
KAYE: I'm sorry.
DOMINICK: I am appalled at your shot at REO Speedwagon and Styx.
KAYE: I'm a big fan.
DOMINICK: I'm just wondering if he is opening for them or if they are opening for him. Or if they all have that horrific mullet at this point that Ted Nugent is rocking.
KAYE: But what about free speech? I mean, does he have a right here at all?
DOMINICK: I mean, listen, I'm a comedian. I'll defend everybody's free speech from Rush Limbaugh to Ted Nugent, as much as I despise what they're saying. But we do have a limit. It is a felony to threaten the president of the United States. There is that limit on freedom of speech in this country.
And so, you really are not supposed to say those kinds of things, and you are probably not supposed to say them at an NRA annual convention where if you watch that video, he is saying it while guys are walking around holding machine guns behind him. Probably not the best idea.
KAYE: Good point.
All right. Just to -- not that I want to pile on, but I'm going to pile on. Nugent has now agreed, as you may have heard, to plead guilty for an illegal bear hunt. Can it get any worse for this guy?
DOMINICK: This is -- no, this is good for him. It's all good for his image. He gets paid. He gets paid to perform for people who love guns, and agree with what he is saying. This all feed in to his narrative.
That he killed a bear, Randi, that's not bad. That's good. He killed a bear. Aside from he baited it and then killed it.
But no, this all works for Ted Nugent and raises his profile because his music hasn't been doing that for him in the last 25 years.
KAYE: No. Certainly not.
All right. Let's change topics here. Enough about Ted Nugent. Let's talk about the Secret Service scandal. I know you have a lot of thoughts on that. We've been talking about it a lot this weekend, looking at the culture of the agents.
How bad do you think this is? I mean, this scandal -- I mean, is it a big deal, or do you think folks like the media maybe are making too much out of it?
DOMINICK: We might be making too much out of it. I mean, the sad thing is there's 3,200 Secret Service agents that do protection. I know a lot of these guys. And they're amazing at what they do.
Can you imagine how difficult that is to be that focused all the time? I'm having a hard time now just getting distracted by the lights here in my home studio, Randi.
So, these guys -- I feel bad that they're all getting painted with this broad brush, but this is an important issue, and it's not really a scandal to the way that we look at scandals. I don't think it's going to get connected with the president.
These guys are idiots. It's more proof, Randi, that men, no matter what happens, we -- we're idiots. We can't control ourselves sometimes. It's another example.
KAYE: Yes. Which may explain why apparently the agents' assertion that they didn't know that the women were prostitutes -- I mean, come on. Really? Is it possible?
DOMINICK: I tried for hours to figure out how that could be a defense, Randi. But even the dumbest men knows when a woman is a prostitute because in that exchange, the woman says for this, you are going to have to pay me.
KAYE: Yes. I mean, whether you are an escort or a prostitute, right, whatever they call themselves if there was talk of money.
DOMINICK: Yes. I don't know what they call themselves in Colombia, Randi. But it's the world's oldest profession, and men and women both know what happens there. These guys are smart guys.
They -- that's not going to work as a defense, unfortunately.
KAYE: No, I don't think so.
All right. Well, Pete, that was fun. I'm glad you are fired up. Glad you woke up.
And the new home studio. You got some new lighting. It's looking good.
DOMINICK: Randi, I had great lighting. I went out right before. So, I'm back to the old desk lamp.
But it's always fun to be on with you in the morning. You're doing a great, great job.
KAYE: Well, I thought the new lighting took the shine off your head a little bit, so it's looking good.
DOMINICK: Another shot. Is my hair messed up, by the way?
KAYE: Yes, it's unruly today.
DOMINICK: I meant this -- oh.
KAYE: All right, Pete. Thank you very much for the kind words. Have a great Sunday.
DOMINICK: Thanks. Yes.
KAYE: A check of the morning's top stories is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there. And thanks for joining us this morning. A lot to get to, including a new push to end medical research chimpanzees -- a very controversial issue.
Plus, the man behind the music of drake. His own producer on living with M.S., what that's like. First, a look under the microscope.
As you may have heard -
(END VIDEO CLIP) KAYE: -- in their search for clues in the disappearance of Etan Patz. The stain was discovered on a concrete wall as investigators dug up a Lower Manhattan basement yesterday. It's unclear if the discovery is significant. He vanished from that area more than 30 years ago.
Chuck Colson who played a big role in the Watergate scandal has died. Colson was known as the hatchet man for President Richard Nixon. He served as Nixon's special counsel and served time for the scandal. His death comes three weeks after suffering a brain hemorrhage. Colson was 80.
In Peru, environmental experts are investigating a disturbing mystery washing up on its beaches. At least 877 dead dolphins have been found. Peru's deputy environment minister says the dolphins may have died from a virus. Official test results are expected next week.
I'll see you back here at the top of the hour.
"SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." begins right now.