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MLB Players Linked to Miami Clinic; Workers Trapped in Quarry Landslide; Execs Got Big Bonuses Under Bailout; Boyfriend Murder Trail Defense Starts

Aired January 29, 2013 - 14:00   ET


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: It's one of the most controversial issues in America. And why this hour President Obama announces his plans on immigration reform.

I'm Poppy Harlow. Roll it.

Death defying and terrifying. Why a tragic accident at the X Games is raising eyebrows about the sport of extremes.

Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This 13-hour procedure was performed by a team of 16 plastic orthopedic and microvascular surgeons.


HARLOW: A war vet becomes just the seventh person in the country to have his arms replaced.

And Hillary Clinton's exit interview. This hour, CNN sits down with America's top diplomat in her final days as secretary of state.

Hi there, everyone.

A dramatic report out of Miami is focusing new attention on baseball and that sport's ongoing battle against performance enhancing drugs. This in the news again. The Miami "New Times" newspaper has published the names of big league players allegedly connected to, of all things, an anti-aging clinic located in south Florida. The paper says this follows their three-month investigation. One of the big names, folks, A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez. Just to be clear here, A-Rod has, in the past, admitted to doping, but has denied taking any performance enhancing drugs after 2003. He has also never been suspended for any drug violations.

I want to bring in CNN's Richard Roth. He joins us from New York.

Richard, just update us. I mean this story just coming out. What do you know so far?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, according to that three-month investigation, Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees -- I'd say star third baseman, but he hasn't shined exactly on the field lately -- is mentioned in these reports based on a clinic run by a man named Anthony Bosch. Now, Rodriguez has never been suspended for any performance enhancing drug use, but he admitted that between 2001 and 2003 he took them. He said it was stupid. He wasn't sure what he was doing.

Now, the Miami "New Times" report says that in the last three years, though, according to records they obtained from a former employee and others at this now defunct clinic, that Alex Rodriguez's name was mentioned and linked to receiving performance-enhancing drugs, human growth hormone, creams and alike.

A statement released within the hour by Alex Rodriguez, and referring to the now defunct clinic's owner, he says, "the news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch's patient. He was never treated by him and was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story, at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez, are not legitimate." The New York Yankees in another statement say they "fully support the commissioner of baseball's drug prevention program. The matter is in the hands of the commissioners." They'll have no comment.

Another statement, if we could look at, from Major League Baseball --


ROTH: Reacting to this newspaper report said, "we are extremely disappointed to learn of potential links" -- that's the statement from Alex Rodriguez. "We are extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance enhancing substances. These developments, however, provide evidence of the comprehensive nature of our anti-drug efforts. Through our department of investigations, we have been actively involved in the issues in south Florida. It is also important to note that three of the players allegedly involved have already been disciplined under the Joint Drug Program."

Now, Poppy, we don't know based upon that Major League Baseball statement which three players Major League Baseball was talking about. Three Major League players with reported links to south Florida were suspended in the last year or so for involvement with performance enhancing drugs. Still a lot of questions related to this story, as there always seem to be, baseball, the America's past time sport, and performance enhancing drugs.


HARLOW: Well, and I think it's interesting too, Richard, when you read this article, it says that apparently they got these documents from a former employee of that clinic and that the clinic closed last month. So there's going to be a lot of questions on the sourcing of this as well.

Richard Roth, thank you very much. I appreciate it. And just in to CNN, folks, I want to tell you about a federal judge in Louisiana, a very big decision here, accepting a guilty plea from oil giant BP. This is over that Deepwater Horizon oil spill. That plea includes -- this is very important -- manslaughter charges. So pleading guilty to manslaughter charges. It's not yet clear what the terms of that settlement are. But keep in mind, back in November, BP agreed to pay more than $4 billion. That was a record settlement with the U.S. government. We're going to update you more on this as soon as we have it.

Now some of the top stories today in our flash. "Rapid Fire." Let's roll it.

Right now as many as two people are trapped inside a landslide at a Canadian quarry. It's happening north of Montreal. Our affiliate CTV reports that one man was able to get out after a wall of rock and mud slid into the quarry, but now rescuers are having a very difficult time reaching the others because the ground there is simply not stable. We're going to have a live report coming up for you shortly here. So stick with us for that.

A new presidential term and another cabinet member reveals he's not going to be around for it. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announcing today he is stepping down. He is the only Republican in the Obama cabinet. And at least the sixth member to exit as President Obama starts this second term. It's not clear where LaHood is headed or what he'll do next. He does say he'll stay until the Senate confirms his replacement.

Well, this story fascinates me. For years this -- look at that map. Almost nothing on it. This is all we knew of North Korea's roads and cities. Not much. Just really a blank canvas. But then the Google chairman, Eric Schmidt, visited the country. Now we have this. With the help of citizen mapmakers on the ground, one of the most isolated countries in the world has been mapped out. Now, Eric Schmidt, after he took this visit, says that this timing is just a coincidence.

Well, a close call in Australia. Major flooding across the northeast is churning up sea foam. You got to see these pictures. It is blowing on shore. Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, look, there's a wave. Oh, that's a car. Oh.


HARLOW: Not snow, sea foam. And in some areas that was nearly 10 feet high. You see folks playing in it here. The foam is actually a result of algae blooms, believe it or not, creating a thick sudsy residue. And kids having a lot of fun in there.

Well, look at this. It's another sign that the housing market is clawing its way back. A new report out today looking at the average home price across 20 of the biggest cities in America, showing the biggest jump, folks, that we've seen in six years. Those prices up more than 5 percent.

Well, this is where you pray there is no strong gust of wind. Nik Wallenda, the daredevil of the famed Flying Wallendas, in a death defying high wire walk today, 180 feet above U.S. 41 in his hometown, Sarasota, Florida. It was to promote his family's upcoming performance in a local circus, but there was nothing routine about this. Wallenda did not have a safety harness or a net below. The 600 foot walk took him an easy 10 minutes.

Up next, tragedy at the X Games as a daredevil stunt goes terribly wrong. You're about to hear what the family of 25-year-old Caleb Moore is saying about that tragic accident.

Plus, we are minutes away from President Obama kicking off his push for immigration reform. This is big. What will his plan mean for the millions, the 11 million people here illegally?


HARLOW: Well, we all know the X Games is made for daredevils. But no one can really believe is when they see something like this happen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comes up short. Digs his skis into the landing. Not only drags him into the snow.


HARLOW: Twenty-five-year-old Caleb Moore was critically injured when he came up short trying to perform a back flip on a snowmobile. That machine weighs 450 pounds. His grandfather tells "The Denver Post" that the prognosis for Caleb is not good. If he dies, it will mark the first fatality in the X Games' 17-year history.

As those games have grown more popular, the stunts have become even more aggressive. The family issued this statement saying, "the Moores want to express their gratitude to all of Caleb's fans, friends and family for their strong support and ask for continued prayers in the coming days." We'll keep a close eye on that, of course, for you.

To Canada now where a landslide has at least two people trapped, two lives at risk. The first challenge for rescuers, just trying to make sure that the ground doesn't give way under their feet as they try to rescue these people. This is happening as we speak at a quarry outside of Montreal. Our affiliate CTV says the landslide started at 11:00 this morning. CNN's Paula Newton is live in Ottawa.

Paula, first question, what do we know?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All we know right now, and I can tell you I was on the phone with the head office for this company and things are pretty chaotic. The ground gave way. They don't know why. They're not investigating that at the moment.

When the ground gave way, there were two trucks and a loader that seemed to fall into this pit. And very dramatic pictures right now, Poppy. Exclusive pictures that we bring you right now of the scene. Police trying to do their best to find out who is under there. There are at least two workers trapped, perhaps three. They don't know. One called in to say, look, I'm injured, but I'm here. Come find me. They do not know if there was one or two others trapped in what is a mountain, right now, of dirt and debris.

Poppy, not really knowing right now what they're looking for. They haven't seen any signals about where to actually look for these people. If when they were thrown from the vehicles, when the vehicles fell into the quarry, or if they still are trapped beneath them.

But what a scene now in Quebec.


NEWTON: You know, these pictures showing us exactly how frantic the search is. They have a few rescue dogs there right now to try and look for those workers as they remain trapped in that quarry.


HARLOW: Paula, you said you talked to the company. Can you tell us what company this is, what business they're in specifically? And do we have any idea what kind of work these people were performing there in the quarry? Do we know what they were doing when this happened?

NEWTON: Yes. It's Missmo (ph) Excavating and Paving. It is a Quebec company. The head office is in a place called Quartier (ph), Quebec. This is one of their quarries that are scattered throughout Quebec.

As you can imagine, frantically trying to figure out what happened right now and trying to figure out which of the workers were there. But you could imagine the kind of landslide that must have secured on the scene. You're talking that this pit swallowed up two trucks and a loader.

HARLOW: Right.

NEWTON: Absolutely, Poppy, fell right into this pit. And I think that's what the company is trying to deal with. They tell us they will have more information at a press conference on the scene in the next few hours and they are hoping, Poppy, that by that time they'll have some good news about having found these workers alive. And right now really not clear about whether they're rescuing two or three workers.

HARLOW: Absolutely. Their -- everyone's families, I'm sure, watching very closely.

Paula, thank you very much. Appreciate it. We'll come back to you as soon as we know more.

And, folks, listen to this. Executives at companies bailed out by you, the taxpayer, kept getting big paychecks, big bonuses, during the bailout. Up next, we're going to hear how these companies justify those salaries. Plus, the Dow, you're an investor, the Dow getting closer and closer to an all time high. We'll take you live to the New York Stock Exchange.


HARLOW: Well, a new report out says that executives at companies bailed out by you, the taxpayer, under that TARP program, continued to receive very big paychecks. I want to bring in Alison Kosik from the New York Stock Exchange.

Alison, I was reading over this report and the Treasury Department actually takes some issue with it. But what's the big headline here? What did they find?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: OK, so this is all coming from the government's top bailout watchdog. And that's the one that keeps tabs on these bailouts that were handed out to these big banks, these firms. And what it's basically doing is blaming the Treasury Department, so this special inspector for TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program. What it says is that the government failed to keep pay packages at AIG, at GM and Allied Financial from getting excessive. That these pay packages were getting excessive.

Now, all three took these big government bailouts during the financial crisis, but for some reason their CEOs still got hefty bonuses. Now, Christy Romero came out and said that the firms continued lack of appreciation for their extraordinary situations and failed to view themselves through the lenses of companies substantially owned by the U.S. government.

Now, what the Treasury Department was supposed to do was oversee executive pay at these companies that received the government money. And Treasury was supposed to make sure executive pay at these companies was in line with pay for those who work at a similar level in their industry.

So to give you an example, let's say the CFO at GM should be paid a similar amount to a CFO getting paid at Chrysler. But Romero says, that hasn't happened. Instead, last year she says Treasury approved pay packages of $3 million or more for half of the executives at these companies. And listen to this. Of the almost 70 executives the government signed off on --


KOSIK: All but one received $1 million or more.

But, you know what, there's always another side to this, Poppy. These pay packages, yes they seem huge, but these companies are saying, hey, they're necessary to retain top talent. Though I don't think that argument's going to fly when, you know, when you hear about these big pay packages, Poppy.

HARLOW: Well, I know these companies came out with responses to this report. General Motors said, look, we've had 11 profitable quarters since the downfall. They said they complied with TARP. Do we have any sense of what AIG is saying in this and the others?

KOSIK: Well, AIG no longer -- the government no longer has any stake in AIG.

HARLOW: Right.

KOSIK: So AIG is kind of stepping aside. But then, you know, you talk about GM. GM, the government still owns 19 percent of GM. And then you look at Allied Financial. The government still owns, what, 74 percent of that company. So, you know, so when you see this watchdog come out and talk about these things, this is why this kind of report has legs because the government still has these big stakes in this company.

Now, keep in mind, these are -- these are pay packages from 2012. We don't know yet what's going to happen with these pay packages for this year.


HARLOW: There's also the big question of legal enforcement. I mean it's one thing to report this. What can actually be done, if anything? We'll see.

Quickly, Alison, the Dow, higher, higher. I know we had some good earnings out of Pfizer. That's helping the blue chips. Close to 14,000.

KOSIK: Right. Yes, the Dow is a stone's throw from 14,000. A big milestone here. It's at a five-year high. We haven't seen levels like this on the Dow since October of 2007. And would you believe it, the Dow posted gains every single week this year.

So, yes, what's going on here? Well, corporate earnings, they've been pretty upbeat. We've got some decent economic data. That's helping momentum as well. One analyst puts it this way saying, this is when all the people who have been reluctant and hesitant to invest in the stock market, they begin realizing this isn't the New York City subway system, there's not going to be another train coming. So they try to get on board now. Although the thing is, once the Dow hits 14,000, Poppy, there could be a pullback because some people are saying that the market could be overbought at this point.

HARLOW: And I have to say, for everyone watching out there that's still struggling to find a job, we have such high unemployment, they look at this market and they say, my main street doesn't feel like this. So there is always, always that divide.

KOSIK: Right.

HARLOW: But if you've got a 401(k), savings, IRA, this is good news for you.

Alison, thank you. Appreciate it.

KOSIK: S&P's doing well, yes.


Hey, tech geeks, heads up. Apple, today, unveiling a new version of its iPad. It looks just like this one. Just like one you might have, the iPad 2, except it has twice as much memory, 128 gigabytes. This is really aimed at business folks that need a lot of memory or movie buffs or gamers. Basically anyone who needs a lot of space to save things.

Now on to the bigger question, though, and this is Apple's future. I had a chance to sit down with Mark Cuban. He's a big tech investor, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, chairman of Access TV, to talk about a lot of things tech, including Apple. Here's what he told me.


HARLOW: Do you have any sense of whether Apple can lead in this space like they have with smartphones. I mean they don't have the majority of the smartphone market. But if you ask many people, you know, who they think did best in phones, they're still going to say an iPhone, even though they don't have as much of the market as an Android.

MARK CUBAN, CHAIRMAN, AXS TV: Hey, I've got a Samsung here with the extra battery.

HARLOW: Right.

CUBAN: My backup phone was an iPhone 5 and I trashed it for a Windows phone, right, because I like Windows better than iPhone. The reality is that just the history of Apple's technology and all technology companies is, they're hot, they're hip, they're cool and then they're not. And then they go through a refresh period and they -- and if they're able to refresh, then they do it.

HARLOW: So there's a lot of questions about Apple right now after their earnings. A quick take on Apple right now.

CUBAN: I mean Apple's a great company. There's no doubt about it. They make a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) money and they're going to continue to for a while. Even when they were in their down days, for the most part, you know, unless you go back to the '80s, they were making a lot of money. But in terms of what's new, hip, cool, if your parents are using it, it's not going to be cool, right?

HARLOW: It kind of depends who your parents are, but, yes.

CUBAN: Not if you talk to my kids, trust me.


HARLOW: All right, interesting take there. Very opinionated, as always, Mark Cuban.

Also talked to me about the future of the Internet versus television. He thinks TV wins. Go to his blog, You can read a lot more about that. And, folks, coming up, it could save lives and reduce injuries by a lot. A football helmet lined with a sort of safety bubble wrap. Coming up next, I'm going to talk with the Harvard quarterback, now doctor, who designed it. Hear how he stumbled on the idea while searching through his medicine cabinet. That's next.


HARLOW: Now to the trial of sex, lies and video that could end in a death sentence for an Arizona woman who has the voice of a choir singer. Take a listen to Jodi Arias.


JODI ARIAS, (singing): O hear the angel voices, o night divine, o night when Christ was born.


HARLOW: She won that 2010 inmate talent contest, but will the 32-year- old Arizona woman win over jurors. Her defense begins presenting its case today. Arias is accused of murdering Travis Alexander. You see a photo of them there. A victim of multiple brutalities. His throat was slashed. He was shot in the face. He was stabbed 29 times. Police say Arias told multiple lies during their investigation. After telling them she hadn't seen Alexander for more than a month before he died, then she later said a man and a woman killed him and then threatened her. So that would put her there. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were they going after Travis? For what reason? You tell me this, but you give me no reason.

JODI ARIAS: They didn't discuss much, they just argued.


ARIAS: About whether or not to kill me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For what reason?

ARIAS: Because I'm a witness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A witness of what?

ARIAS: Of him, of Travis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of Travis' murder?

ARIAS: Yes, but I didn't really witness it or see much.


HARLOW: I want to bring in defense attorney Joey Jackson.

With different versions here, really different stories coming from the defendant, at this point, what's the basis of her defense?

JOEY JACKSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: All right. Well, she's going to do this, Poppy. What she's going to do is say, listen, I had no choice here. This was self-defense. And this stemmed from a whole pattern of persistent abuse at the hands and at the control of this defendant. So they have a lot of explaining to do with regard to why she would stab someone 29 times, slitting their throat and then, of course, shooting them in the face. But she's going to set that up by saying she was a product of his control. He was a sexual deviant and she did what she need to do.

And finally, Poppy, with regard to the inconsistencies, I'm sure the defense will have to explain that. And they're going to say, look, she was scared. She knew that if she said at the outset to the police that she engaged in self-defense, that she would have to out a person she loved and talk about this sexual deviancy. She didn't want to go there. So I think that's what they're setting up. It's going to be a tough lift for them to do, but starting today they're attempting to do it.

HARLOW: So there's multiple versions here. Really three different versions.