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King Children Sue Over Bible, Peace Prize; Global Rescue Helps U.S. Olympic Athletes' Security; Korean Family Reunions; Mexican Teacher Turned Meth Drug Lord

Aired February 6, 2014 - 12:30   ET



SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CO-ANCHOR: The late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s two sons are now taking their sister to court.

And this is what they're fighting over, the Bible, a Bible that belonged to their father, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize he received back in 1964.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CO-ANCHOR: Martin Luther King III and Dexter King, they want them. Their sister, the Reverend Bernice King says no way. Those items are now, she says, safe and they are hidden.

Now, Victor Blackwell is in downtown Atlanta right now inside the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Victor, Reverend Bernice King spoke to reporters a short time ago, gave her side over this disagreement over her father's historical items.

What did she say? Just recap for us.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, Suzanne, Bernice King said if she were willing to sell her father's traveling Bible and the Nobel Peace Prize, it would haunt her conscious for the rest of her life.

Now, I know you're going to be speaking with her in a moment, so I'll leave that conversation for you.

But we learned today that this all started on January 20th when Miss King says she was contacted by her brothers, Dexter King and Martin III, about selling those two items.

Now, in the lawsuit that was filed on the 31st, there's no mention of selling them. We've reached out no fewer than half a dozen times to get the brothers' side of this story. We have not received a response.

We can also tell you that we've learned today that there were conversations, according to Miss King, between the 20th and the lawsuit being filed on the 31st to try to resolve this issue, but those were unsuccessful.

We also heard today from Miss King that she's actually thinking people and media to refrain from grouping her with her brothers because they're different people with different perspective, and she says this is not a sibling squabble although there have been several over recent years.



BLACKWELL: Their father was an icon of a movement of non-violence, but the King children are fighting each other, again

This time brothers Dexter and Martin Luther King III are suing their younger sister Bernice, demanding she hand over Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and Dr. King's traveling Bible -

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear --

BLACKWELL: -- the same Bible used during President Obama's 2013 inauguration

The complaint, filed on behalf of the estate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Incorporated, alleges Bernice is hiding their father's Bible and medal in an undisclosed location, and if something were to happen to them, they could be lost forever.

In a statement, Bernice fought back, admitting she has them and refuses to hand them over to the estate, she says, because her brothers want to sell them.

Bernice calls that plan spiritually violent, unconscionable, historically negligent, and outright morally reprehensible.

She writes, "Our father must be turning in his grave."

This is not the first time the King children have thrown legal punches at one another.

In 2008, Martin III and Bernice teamed up to sue Dexter, alleging he was diverting funds from the King Center to another account for personal use.

The siblings settled before Dexter's day in court

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love each other. We'll always love each other and we're going to move forward and do what's best for the legacy, overall.

BLACKWELL: In 2006, it was Martin III and Bernice threatening legal action when Dexter and late sister Yolanda King reportedly wanted to sell the King Center to the National Park Service.

A change in leadership at the King Center ended that dispute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernice and I understand to differ with those who would sell our father's legacy and barter our mother's vision, whether it is for 30 pieces of silver or $30 million.

BLACKWELL: Representatives for Dexter and Martin III have not returned calls for comment.

This is the latest tussle amongst siblings, fighting over money and their father's legacy of peace.


MALVEAUX: Joining us now live from the church where her father was pastor, the reverend Bernice King. Thank you so much for joining us.

You and I have spoken on numerous occasions. You even showed me that Bible. I had a chance to hold it and see it for myself, just the historic and personal significance this has for you and your family, as well as the nation, with your father's notes in that Bible.

So you say that this is a moment where your father would be turning over in his grave, for you guys to be fighting over this.

We learned today that you've been talking with your brothers, trying to work this thing out privately before the lawsuit.

What went wrong? What happened? Why couldn't you come to an agreement?

BERNICE KING, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.'S DAUGHTER: Well, I can't speak specifically to that, but I do want to clarify that Bernice A. King is not fighting over money because of that, or the case, the Bible and the Nobel Peace Prize would be sold. And we wouldn't be having this conversation.

So I wanted to make that clear because that continues to be misinterpreted as it relates to me.

I am standing on principle that these items that my father himself would not sell. He gave away every dime of the Nobel Peace Prize money, and I believe if he were here today he would feel that way.

And so I can't speak to, you know, what went wrong and why my brothers have voted to sell those two items. I just know that I am absolutely opposed to them. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that my father would be opposed.

MALVEAUX: And just to be clear here, because I want to be very, very precise. How do you know that their intention is to sell these things? I am assuming that that is what the conflict was about.

KING: I participated in a meeting where it was voted on. And I voted against it.

HOLMES: And, Reverend King, to whom and why?

KING: Those are questions I really can't answer at the advice of legal council at this particular time.

MALVEAUX: It must be heartbreaking for you. I think it's heartbreaking for all of us to see Dr. King's family divided like this.

I mean, it seems very ugly. You mentioned before that this was an ugly situation and just unconscionable that this is happening to your family.

How do you feel about this? Do you have any concern at all that your father's legacy in some way is going to be tainted by this fight over these items?

KING: No, I don't feel his legacy will ever be tainted because he's a world icon.

He's a visionary leader that so many people around the world draw strength from, direction from, and I think that's well-established in the annals of American world, global, history.

He's a leader, an icon of the ages, and so for us, though, you know, that's one of the reasons why it was important for me to make it clear that I be on the right side of history so 20, 30, 50, 100 years from now it will be known that Bernice A. King did not support the selling of these sacred items.

HOLMES: It does seem all very tawdry. Can you tell us where the items are now and where you think they should be?

KING: I'm at the advice of legal council, I'm not able to say where they are. But my brothers are aware of where they are.

And, you know, it was my hope, even when the Bible returned from the inauguration, that it could have been on display at the King Center.

Just as a footnote, that particular traveling Bible had been on exhibition at the King Center for years. And so, you know, it's my hope that one day it can be on display again.

HOLMES: And the medal?

KING: With now the signature of the president.

HOLMES: And the medal?

KING: The medal's a little different. I mean, it's -- you know, as you know those medals are 23 percent, 24 percent gold.

It requires extreme security, as you can imagine. I'm not sure of many medals that are displayed, consistently.

But at some point, you know, it would be my hope that it -- for a limited time period.

But we do have, just so you know, we do have a replica of the Nobel Peace Prize here at the King center on display.

MALVEAUX: And Reverend King, I know you mentioned before that your father, he copyrighted I Have a Dream Speech and other works, that there wasn't anything inherently wrong with some sort of financial gain from his work moving forward.

But you said you draw the line and you draw the line at the Bible here because of principle, because of the items that you say they are trying to sell.

Is there any way that you think you can work this out with your brothers so that it doesn't get farther than it is, that the lawsuit goes away and these precious things that this country values is put back on display and people can appreciate your father's accomplishments in that kind of way?

KING: Well, that's my hope. And that's my prayer, that that will occur.

MALVEAUX: All right. Reverend King, thank you so much.

We certainly know that your father's legacy and his good works, of course, can never taken away from the family.

We really do hope this all gets sorted out. So thank you very much for taking the time.

And again, we would like to reach out to the brothers and invite them again to come on television and explain their side of the story.

So far we have not been able to do that. They have refused.

HOLMES: Thank you, Reverend King.

KING: Thank you.

HOLMES: It just seems that they're icons of great historic value to the country.

MALVEAUX: Yeah. And I'm being told they haven't refused, they have just not responded to our inquiries. So we certainly hope that they will respond.

All right, the last of the U.S. Olympic athletes now arriving in Sochi at this hour amid a new terror alert.

The Department of Homeland Security now says terrorists could hide explosive materials in toothpaste tubes.

HOLMES: Yeah, they can be smuggled onto airplanes or into the Olympic city itself, perhaps to be put together onsite in Sochi. That's the fear here.

Now, the U.S. ski and snowboarding team adding an extra layer of protection. They have hired their own private security firm.

Zain Asher takes us to the company's headquarters.


ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: War zones, natural disasters, remote rescue operations.

DAN RICHARDS, CEO, GLOBAL RESCUE: We're used to these types of environments where there are threats and not quite necessarily sure where those threats might come from.

ASHER: Meet the man who will be watching the Olympics more closely than most and not for the athletics.

Dan Richards runs Global Rescue, a private security firm that will provide additional security for the U.S. ski and snowboarding team in Sochi.

RICHARDS: When it comes to information and intelligence, we actually have our own teams of intel analysts located in our operation centers here in the United States and some of our other global locations. And they're constantly feeding us information.

ASHER: Global Rescue has had people on the ground gathering intelligence in Sochi for months. They include former Navy SEALs. and army rangers trained and dispatched from this command center in Boston.

SCOTT HUME, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, GLOBAL RESCUE: The strength for our guys on the ground is for them to be able see multiple options simultaneously and immediately, right? Understand what the spectrum of capability they bring.

How do you get everybody together? How do you communicate? What are your options?

ASHER: The U.S. ski and snowboarding team will compete here at the (inaudible) ski resort in Sochi, an area with sparse, narrow roads and rugged terrain.

Does that make evacuating the U.S. ski team from an area particularly challenging?

RICHARDS: Well, any time you have a limitation on entry and egress points, it definitely presents a level of challenge.

ASHER: But how much can a private security firm really do in the event of an attack?

LOU PALUMBO, ELITE INTELLIGENCE & PROTECTION GROUP: In our city for example if we have an incident, the first thing they do is close bridges and tunnels.

The same thing's going to happen over there. They're going to lock it down.

No private security firm's going to walk in there and suddenly have them abandon their procedures.

ASHER: Global Rescue admits that, while the Russians are in charge, their value lies in providing an extra layer of protection, especially when the athletes are traveling to and from the Games. PALUMBO: If you're on the outside, you're pretty much on your own. And that's unfortunately the reality of this situation.

ASHER: But Richards points out there is a silver lining.

RICHARDS: This terror threat to the Games, which should represent the world coming together in friendly athletic competition is actually bringing us together in ways we might not have expected.

We're being forced to come together and unite and try to confront this threat in a united way, which is interesting.

ASHER: Zain Asher, CNN, Boston.


MALVEAUX: And this is a highly emotional issue in the Koreas. This is a day after setting a date for family reunions, North Korea is now threatening to pull out.

We're going to tell you why, coming up next.


HOLMES: Something of an emotional roller coaster ride for Koreans. They've been hoping to meet relatives they hadn't seen since the Korean War.

MALVEAUX: Well, now, North Korea is threatening to cancel family reunions planned for later this month. The North is upset over the South's annual military drill with U.S. forces. Our Paula Hancocks reports, for some elderly Koreans, this could be their last chance to meet family that they haven't seen for 60 years.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One hundred South Koreans who were preparing to be reunited with relatives in the North are once again in limbo this Thursday. Just one day after setting a date for family reunions of the 20th to the 25th of February, North Korea is now threatening to pull out. The National Defense Commission says it does not make any sense to carry out the reunions during what it calls a dangerous nuclear war practice.

Now, it's referring to the U.S./South Korean annual military drills which start at the end of this month. These war games have often angered the North, especially last year, although the U.S. and South Korea say they aren't (ph) defensive in nature. Pyongyang has called on them to be canceled, but even after today's warning South Korea's defense ministry says they will go ahead.

The family reunions are a highly emotive (ph) issue. Millions of families were split after the Korean War more than 60 years ago. Tens of thousands have applied to see family members one last time. And many of them are now in their 70s, 80s and 90s. So time is running out. Some have passed away already without seeing their relatives for one last time.

There is a precedent for this. In September of last year, Pyongyang pulled out of planned family reunions just days before they were expected to take place. They would have been the first since 2010.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


HOLMES: And you're about to meet a schoolteacher turned crystal meth drug lord. That's right. Mexico's answer to that hugely popular TV series "Breaking Bad." We're going to go to the state in Mexico where the cartel leader known as La Tuta rules through fear and intimidation. Our extraordinary piece coming up after the break.


MALVEAUX: Former schoolteacher turned into a crystal meth drug lord sounds like the TV show "Breaking Bad," but we're actually talking about reality here. We're about to introduce you to somebody who really has this story.

HOLMES: Yes, he's the leader of a notorious Mexican drug cartel. His name is Diermo Glavo (ph) and take us through his - Diermo is going to take us to his hideout. But we want to warn you first that some of the images in this report are obviously graphic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): It's early evening. We're driving through the lawless state of Michocano (ph), on our way to meet one of the most wanted men in the whole of Mexico. I wanted to investigate the state that's effectively ruled by a drug baron. His name Servando Gomez. He nickname, La Tuta. He leads the notorious Knights Templar drugs cartel. They have carried out thousands of gruesome murders among people who don't obey their rules.

La Tuta is on the run, $2.5 million on his head. A former schoolteacher who turned to cooking crystal meth, he's Mexico's answer to "Breaking Bad." As we arrive, all cameras are turned off.

Then, there he is. Whiskey in hand and a gun in his back pocket. He insists we talk in front of a white board to disguise his hideout. The atmosphere extends (ph) we are surrounded by heavy armed guards. So I try to make some small talk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (on camera) (through translator): "Breaking Bad" means turning (ph) bad English. And for me, it's one of the best TV shows (ph) -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If you (INAUDIBLE) it, is made, you'd think the people who take it (INAUDIBLE). It's made from acid, the acid from car batteries (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it makes your teeth fall out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything falls out.

I repeat - we are not going to fix the world. And that's business. There are people who dedicate themselves to business (ph), but we all know that this is business (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Despite its beauty, the state of Michopan (ph) is riddled with violence. La Tuta rules here like an unofficial governor. This is his kingdom. Everything has been corrupted. The Knights Templar, who move through a mixture of fear and intimidation. With guns and money, La Tuta has a bizarre celebrity status. Despite being on the run, he makes the occasional public appearance. He hands out money to the mothers. With money, you can buy entire towns here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Ever since I was a little boy, I was always altruistic. (INAUDIBLE) me 35 years ago (INAUDIBLE) never have any money (INAUDIBLE) always giving it away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As we told you, we are (INAUDIBLE) evil (ph). Unfortunately - or (INAUDIBLE) if we weren't', another (INAUDIBLE).


HOLMES: What a story.

MALVEAUX: Oh, that's so sad.


MALVEAUX: And so tragic for the people who are there.

HOLMES: Absolutely. Diermo Glavo with that story.

And that nickname, by the way, La Tuta means "the teacher." He says he actually left the profession of teaching because it wasn't satisfying.

MALVEAUX: Can't (ph) beats satisfying, you know, drugs, selling drugs.

HOLMES: A chilling story.

MALVEAUX: Very much so.

Well, somebody bought this pretty cool looking motorcycle today. And for $285,000.

HOLMES: It (ph) really sold for about 20 grand, by the way.

MALVEAUX: You got to wonder why, because the seller, the head of the Catholic Church's Pope Francis put his 2013 -- what is it?

HOLMES: That's a Dyna Glide.

MALVEAUX: Dyna Super Glide.

HOLMES: Dyna Super Glide, yes, on the auction block for charity. It only sells, I think, around $16,000 or $18,000. It was a gift from Harley Davidson, by the way. Nobody knows if the pope ever really rode the motorcycle, but you can see his name on it there. And a different buyer scored a leather Harley Davidson jacket, also signed by the pontiff. That one went for $70,000.

MALVEAUX: Yes. Well, that's pretty amazing if you think about it. Like the pope gets a motorcycle.

HOLMES: Well, you know, out of all the popes we've had in recent times, this is the one you could see riding it around perhaps.

MALVEAUX: That's so true.

HOLMES: Yes, exactly.

MALVEAUX: I could see that.

Well, thank you for watching AROUND THE WORLD. CNN NEWSROOM starts in just a moment.