tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 19, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
from cnn center this is "cnn saturday morning." saturday, may 19th. good morning, everyone. i'm randi k yi kaye. the clind activist that broke free from china is on a flight to the u.s. president obama hosting world leaders at his retreat in maryland at this hour. the first commercial mission to the international space station is a dud. debt, defense, and diplomacy the theme at the high-stakes g8 summit. president obama welcomed world leaders a short time ago, laying out the ground work they hope to cover.
>> this morning we'll be spending a lot of time on economic issues, obviously the eurozone will be one topic. and all of us are absolutely committed to making sure that both growth and stability and fiscal consolidation are part of a overall package that all of us have to pursue. >> cnn white house correspondent brianna keilar following the developments near camp david. brianna, good morning to you. tell us the latest from there? >> they have gotten under way with the welcoming sessions. we saw president obama make some remarks this morning. you can see it's sort of casual here. really trying to get down to brass tacks and deal with the issue of the eurozone crisis. you could almost see how weighty of a subject this is, randi. last night, by some of the arrivals. i looked and saw angela merkel, the head of germany arriving,
and president obama asked her how she was doing and she kind of should goed, and president obama said you have things on your mind. europe really looks to make some kind of change. the eurozone crisis going into year three. done a lot of belt tightening, cut government spending, haven't seen their economies really be able to take off. and angela merkel under pressure to change course as she's looking around and seeing some of the new faces no doubt at the summit. there are some leaders, france italy, who have really paid the political price during this really tough time. >> sort of the weekend of summits if you will. the nato summit tomorrow. what do leaders plan to focus on that? >> nato is going to be all about afghanistan. while this summit, some focus on iran and syria and the eurozone crisis being the big thing, it's really about next steps forward in afghanistan and interesting because there are some new players to the game as i
mentioned. the g8 summit, same with nato, and the president hosted the new president of france, francois holdlande, and you can see there are differences between the two. hollande campaigned on pulling french troops out of afghanistan by the end of this year. the plan for nato and the u.s. is the end of it2014. some agreements have been reached. but we'll see more details coming out of nato summit in the next couple of days, randi. >> brianna keilar, thank you very much. president obama leaves for chicago late today for a second round of marathon talks, as we mentioned at the nato summit. heavy security to head off protests already taking place. most of the demonstrations we're told have been peaceful. bound for freedom, a blind chinese human rights activist that pulled off a houidini like
escape from armed guards in china and found his way to the u.s. embassy is on a plane headed to new york. chen quangcheng's departure happened quickly. just before departing beijing, he spoke to a human rights group. we will talk about today's dramatic revelations. a last-second technical snag has put space x's rocket launch on hold, delaying plans to be the first private company to send a spacecraft to the international space station. john zarrella has been watching all morning. >> reporter: history on hold, randi. i talked three weeks ago with the ceo of space x, and he told me, you know, i always knew rocket science was hard, but it's even harder than i thought it was is what he told me. and it's even harder than what he thought he thought it was
now. it's turned out that it is certainly difficult. space x finding out. what happened today, one of the nine rockets on the falcon rocket that was going to lift into orbit the dragon spacecraft, one of those nine was registering too much pressure in the engine compartment, so with half a second left before the liftoff, the computer system, automated computer system shut the whole thing down. now, the president of space x at a news conference today, from the kennedy space center, talked about what's next. >> what we're doing now is we are detanking the vehicle, saving the flight termination system, doing a ttep sweep, which basically clears the ignition fluid and we should have some technicians into that engine about noon today. >> so if they find it's not a serious issue with the engine,
they may be able to try again on tuesday morning, early morning hours if it's something more serious, they could have to change out that one main engine. randi, this is hugely important. a validation of the nasa philosophy. this entire change in direction, nasa retired the space shuttles, turning over to the commercial companies flying to the station with astronauts and cargo. so this is the first step, a validation flight, getting the first commercial company off the ground so to speak, and didn't go so well today. >> off the ground or not off the ground. if this is successful, john, do you think this could start a space race for private companies too? >> i don't think there is any question. there are half a dozen companies out there who are all in the mix right now, vying for nasa money to fly to the station with crews and cargo. and beyond that, you have a lot of other companies talking about
hotels in space, small space stations, so, yeah, no question that this -- the dawn of the age of airplanes, now you're looking at commercial airliners and now you're look telling dawn perhaps of a new age of space exploration. >> exciting to be living in it, isn't it? >> yeah, sure is. >> john zarrella, thank you very much. a love relationship gone bad ends in a suicide bombing. a man took his girlfriend hostage, set her free, and then blew himself and her home up. the man went to the home yesterday, ordered her four kids and current boyfriend to leave at gunpoint. >> and then i heard the children screaming. came to the front window and saw the two girls running out of house hiss tar call and crying. i ran to the front door and as i got to the front door, another man i have not seen with a smaller child came running out,
screaming at the girls to run. >> the fourth child escaped through a window the bomber was still distraught over the breakup from two years ago. the ad war has begun in the race for the presidency. see how combative the first round of campaign commercials are. sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers. that bringing you better technology helps make you a better investor. with our revolutionary new e-trade 360 dashboard you see exactly where your money is and what it's doing live. our e-trade pro platform offers powerful functionality that's still so usable you'll actually use it.
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mitt romney and president obama playing nice. but necessarytive commercials still out there, just not from the candidates themselves. paul stine hauser takes a look. >> good morning, randi. would you wonder if mitt romney would do as president on on the first day in the white house? a new campaign commercial spells it out. >> day one, president romney immediately approves the keystone pipeline, creating thousands of jobs that obama blocked. president romney introduces tax cuts and reforms, that reward job creators, not punish them. president romney issues ordered to replace obama care with common health sense reform.
that's what a romney presidency will be like. >> the ad which hit key battleground states yesterday is the first general election spot by romney and pretty much stays positive seems right now romney is letting others do the dirty work on tv. >> president obama's agenda promised so much. >> we must help millions of homeowners that are facing foreclosure. >> promise broken. one in five mortgages are still underwater. >> a new ad out this week by the independent pro republican group crossroads. they are spending big bucks to run the spot. >> his mother got him up before dawn to do schoolwork. she knew what it meant for his future. with hard work and student aid, his life was tran formed. >> president obama's team also staying pretty much positive. >> he capped federal student loan payments, passed the largest college tax credit ever. >> this spot hit tv stations yesterday. a huge ad by the re-election team. but they, as well as an
independent pro obama group, spending some money to attack romney. >> they closed it down, filed for bankruptcy, without any concern for the families of the communities. >> the plant that employed steel worker was bought and years later, shut down by the private equity firm romney founded. all of those ads in just a week and guess what? we have 5 1/2 months to go. for those who live in battleground states, watch out. randi. >> thank you, paul. adopting kids from another country can be tough, both financially and emotionally. we'll bring you the story of one mom who fought hard to bring her kids home. and if you're just leaving the house right now, a reminder for you. don't turn away continue watching cnn from your mobile phone and watch cnn live from your desk top. go to cnn.com/tv. [ kristal ] we're just taking a sample
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by americans, the number hovered around 10,000 last year. falling steadily since 2004. the high-end numbers, more than $40,000 for domestic adoptions and more than $64,000 for international adoptions. for some going outside america's borders just makes more sense. fiona hall has adwopted two children, one from nepal and one from china good morning, fiona. thank you for joining us. why did you go outside the u.s. to adopt? >> you know, that was pretty simple for me. i had a friend who adopted three children from china, and i knew they had a proven process and after i got a divorce and i knew i wanted to have a family, she didn't of steered me in that direction, really nothing more than that. >> and before awe adopted graham, you got pretty far in the adoption process from what i understand for another little boy in nepal, only to have him yanked away from you. but you saw he wthought he was
be yourself. is that correct? >> that is absolutely correct. i blame the agency for that. they gave me the picture of a little boy and said this is your son and matched me to him. and quite candidly, the day after the check cleared, he said they might not be yours, they just changed the government, so we'll hang tight. and i said how do we advocate for this child? i was devastated. and a couple months later, i found out they had given the child my picture and told him he had a mommy and he was actually going to school. one of the parents told me that it was game on. i had to take it on myself. the agency was not supportive. i went to nepal to fight for that child. >> and you spent some money. not only emotionally but financially as well. helping to improve the orphanage. >> oh, huge. the living conditions, we had no concept of it in this country. it was awful. there was medical care. a child passing away, i got a nurse to i htake care of him.
furnished the whole orphanage. very careful it was never cash. always good. stocked the kitchen with food. it's something you don't believe until you see it. >> did you ever find out what happened to him? >> i fought for him all the way through the process. as a matter of fact, he has a family italy and the mother and i are in touch. >> oh, that's great news. >> i'm sorry. i have a picture of him getting off the plane in milan, italy, and his hears are touching behind his head, he's smiling so big. >> between nepal and china, which would you say gave you a harder time in trying to adopt? >> oh, my goodness. china was smooth sailing. a great agency, been in business for 20 years, about the children. except for the wait time, which is about the government of china, not the agency. and nepal, china was an adoption, and nepal was a rescue. we didn't know what would happen until the very last minute.
childhood obesity is a growing problem in the u.s., but earlier this morning, i spoke with a preteen who struggled with it and then he decided to do something about it. he has even written a book, called "portion size me." i asked him why he made the change in his life. >> a kid the next day at school started bullying me, and i got tired of it, and sort of a heat of the moment decision, i went to my mom and said, mom, let's do something to, you know, fix ourselves. we were all eating really, really bad. and after i thought about it for a couple of minutes, i thought that was a really good idea. >> yeah, it was a really good idea. but, mom, alexandra, i want to ask you, what was your reaction? you have marshall coming to you, telling you not only does he want to change what he's eating, he wants to change the whole way your entire family eats.
>> it was -- i had kind of a two fold response. my first response was i was hurt and shocked that he was hurting so much. i kind of wasn't really tuned in to his emotions at the time. and then the second thing was i was actually excited about doing a family project together. it gave us an activity and a responsibility to each other over the summer. it was -- it was really fabulous thing. >> marshall, let's talk about your weight. because you lost what, like 36 pounds, right? >> um-hum. >> yeah. and we -- >> what is -- what is the plan, though? it's not just about portion size, right? >> yeah, it actually starts with six goals. we all sat down to sort of come up with easy, smaller goals to help achieve one big goal. and all these goals all go into, you know, eating real foods, reading ingredients, exercising,
and we noticed a lot of the times like we'd go into the grocery store and buy a can of peas. and it ends up, there is high fructose corn syrup in a can of peas and high fructose corn syrup is fake sugar, and we wanted to stay away from fake sugars like that. >> we wanted to take the opportunity to view food differently and make it a part of our life instead of just a reaction in our life. we wanted to view food as fuel, and we didn't want to -- as a parent, i didn't want to put this measurement of weight or a specific -- that type of definite goal. mostly i wanted to be able to step back and view food as nutrition and have a healthy relationship with it. that's why we developed these six goals to have a healthy relationship long term with food. >> i love when you talk about portions. it's incredible when you look at
what a true portion is. isn't it? watch portion sizes, and you get moving as you were saying, but alexandra, you're a busy mom with a couple of kids and at the time of all of this, your husband stationed in iraq, you were eating out a lot. so how has it been for your family and how much weight have you lost? >> that's not fair to ask on tv. >> i'm sorry. >> it's motivating, though. it's very motivating. >> i will say i have dropped pounds, but mostly we all have a lot more energy. we have a lot more endurance, more stamina, and we're happier. i don't know exactly -- i'm not a now televisiutritionist or do. i don't know how you end up being happier when have you good food, but it's true. a unique site.
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welcome back. top stories, a committee niece human rights activist at the center of a human rights firestorm is headed to the u.s. right now chen quangcheng and his wife and children unexpectedly boarded a plane for newark liberty this morning. china has granted chen permission to pursue studies in new york. a big disappointment today for space x after their rocket failed to lift off. nasa says it was a last-minute engine malfunction, engineers hope to reschedule for tuesday.
if all goes well, space x will be the first private space company to send a spacecraft to the international space station. one child has died from a bombing outside a school italy. this happened in the coastal town of brenzi. someone remotely set off three gas cylinders. no known motive. but one fears it could be the mafia. the blast happened as kids were arriving for class at a vocat n vocational school. police looking for a man trying to take a shot at a school bus in georgia. he fled when a resident ran after him. george howell with more on this. are police any closer to catching a suspect? >> they are not saying exactly what they have on the person that they are looking for, but you do get the sense they are putting a lot of attention on one particular neighborhood, the gray stone neighborhood there in hampton, and all day we saw a great deal of police presence
there. you get the sense from everyone you speak to, from police to residents that everyone is taking the threat against a school bus very seriously. on the last day of school in clayton county, georgia, this is the last thing any parent wanted to see at a school bus stop. the heavy police presence here since a man pointed this rifle at a school bus comes as welcome news to many. >> there is the helicopter over your neighborhood, are you surprised by that? >> i've been seeing it all week. i'm happy to see it each morning i'm out here. >> reporter: from an eye in the sky to dozens of squad cars on the streets, clayton county police essentially moved into this neighborhood after the threat was reported monday. their main focus? to keep close watch of grade school students as they make their way to and from school and reassure parents. >> i am nervous. i have two kids in the clayton county school system. just a little nervous and scared. >> what is your protocol to
taking the kids to the school bus in the morning. i see you are out here? >> yes, sir. i'm patrolling my kids. watching them as they get on and off the bus. >> reporter: witnessed spotted this man on monday, crouching down in someone's backyard, pointing a rifle at a school bus. one of the witnesses yelled at the bus, he dropped the rifle and a notepad with information on it that investigators are looking into and took off on foot. another witness gave chase, and police say the suspect then pulled a handgun and fired one shot, but missed. are you any closer to finding this person? >> well, we've had a lot of information come in, we're working several leads. and we're hoping that will lead to a suspect. but right now we don't have a suspect. >> as police talked with neighbors to determine a description of the man they are looking for, the clayton county school district suspended all outdoor activity as a precaution. >> how do patrols like that help
you? >> it builds confidence, builds confidence not only for the school district, but also in the community as well. >> even as bus drivers make their final rounds through this neighborhood, people here hope patrols will continue until the alleged gunman is caught. >> and back now here with george howell. do police have any idea who this guy might be? >> early on, there were a few descriptions that came out. police thought initially it was an african-american male. then another witness gave some information to lead them to ask is it a hispanic male? they've backed off initial descriptions and trying to put together all the information they got to put together a composite sketch. >> what a frightening time for parents and kids for sure. thank you. >> thank you. >> police are urging anyone with information to come forward. these people have discovered something really exciting after digging forages, they have unearthed a 150-year-old secret.
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history buffs in georgia are thrilled with this discovery. they have unearthed a prison camp that is 150 years old and offering a unique look into prison life during the civil r war. reynolds wolf joins me to talk about this. how exactly did historians just stumble upon this. >> believe it or not, it all came from a former inmate at this place who kept a diary some 5,000 pages long, a whole bunch
of water colors, and what he did years ago brought clues to the civil war site and what they found. this is truly amazing. take a peek. deep in the georgia woods. archaeologie archaeologyologists are excavating the most pristine civil war site ever discovered. each shovelful brings them closer to a story 150 years in the making. >> it really is a unique site. >> this is camp lawton. a confederate civil war prison. >> we were here 150 years ago, would you be standing in a recently cleared field surrounded by a wall about 12, 15 foot high. they were pigeon roosts as they were called, guard towers, around the exterior of the stock aid. and within the stock aid, there was what was called the deadline, it was called the deadline, because to cross it was death. >> it was the largest camp in
the civil war. slaves built it to ease overcrowding in the anderson prison. everyone evacuated as the fiery march to the sea was begun. >> a lot of them wouldn't have taken time to gather their equipment. >> reporter: this discover happened by accident. >> when kevin came in to see me, and wanted a thesis project. i said i have a foj fproject fo we won't find anything, and you can move on. >> reporter: kevin chapman took on the project, and stumbled onto the site. >> the first day of the survey, we within 20, 30 minutes, found a u.s. large cent. to find that, meant the site was fairly pristine. >> reporter: what are we seeing here? >> this is called a feature, just a stain in the soil.
and as you can see, it is square shaped, and that's exciting to us, because nature doesn't do square. this stain right here could be possibly where a timber has been cut and squared off and sunk into the ground and deteriorated and left a trace for us to find today. >> reporter: each shovelful unearths a new discovery, buttons, a key, a picture frame, a pipe from scotland. a coin from argentina, treasures that belonged to prisoners so far from home. has there been anything that surprised you? >> absolutely. the amount of ingenuity we are seeing in the artifacts, the will to survivor. the levels of society they developed. this is about the little people, the men who fought in the front lines, whose names didn't get recorded by history. that's what we're doing is telling their story. >> that's a great story. is it hard for you to believe it
hasn't been looted before? >> it's very rare. just finding the site to be honest with you is a rarity. think about the most popular civil war sites, most people would lean toward gettysburg. not too far from philadelphia. the most visited sight. have you millions that visit every year and these sites are combed over by looters, people searching for that stuff. hard to find places like that. this one really pristine, a lot of treasures there. >> you got down and dirty, digging away. what was the most exciting thing about it? >> the thing that was exciting about it, this happened 150 years ago and you can find one item that links you to a person in the past. now, granted, these people were prisoners, going through some of the most traumatic experiences of their entire life, and some of the people forgotten in history. you find this one thing, a belt buckle, nail, coil. something that's a connection, a link and that connection is pretty amazing. >> you weren't allowed to put anything in your pocket?
>> absolutely not. i would love to, but didn't do it. >> reynolds, thank you for that. >> you bet. newly released evidence in the trayvon martin case answers some questions, but may raise even more. a lime tacos. [ man ] delicious! [ male announcer ] it's festival of shrimp! for $12.99 try any two shrimp creations like new barbeque glazed shrimp. offer ends soon. we're servers at red lobster. and we sea food differently. we're servers at red lobster. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines
a trove of evidence just released in the trayvon martin investigation is giving us the most detailed look yet what happened that fateful february night in florida. the information does shed light on notable contradictions, many questions still remain. the first bit of ambiguous evidence, these pictures. george zimmerman, who says he killed trayvon martin in self-defense, says trayvon
attacked him, slamming his head into the concrete. if that's true, are these wounds consistent with a head hitting pavement? zimmerman had abrasions to his forehead, bleeding and tenderness to his nose and a small laceration to the back of his head. if it's so bad, why didn't zimmerman go to the hospital? zimmerman declined to be transported to the hospital, even after he told officers his head hurt and that he felt light headed. and there's this. if there was a prolonged struggle, would zimmerman's dna be on trayvon martin's hands. an analysis of scrapings from underneath the teenager's finger nails did not contain any of zimmerman's dna. but the autopsy does show a cut, 1/4 by 1/8 inch small abrasion on the left fourth finger, an indication that he might indeed have been punching zimmerman. and new details also reveal the first neighbor to encounter zimmerman after the shooting found him winded. >> he was having a hard time,
cause he -- he looked like he had gotten his butt whooped. so he was a little more -- not shark shocked, but just getting up type thing. >> there is also this question. who was it that neighbors heard yelling for help? one police sergeant heard someone yelling help me 13 times. listen to this 911 call. you can hear someone yelling in the background. >> so you think he's yelling help? >> the discovery documents show competing versions of the events. of those who say they heard the struggle, some told police they thought they heard a young boy screaming for help. one witness, witness six as he's called in the documents, thought it was the voice of a grown man. >> there was a black man with a black hoody on top of either a white guy, or now that i found out i think he was a hispanic guy with a red sweatshirt on on
the ground, yelling out help. >> the fbi looked into this too. but their audio analysis was inconclusive. and it was extreme emotional state of the person yelling. and overlapping voices. the fbi said there was insufficient voice quality on the recording. and what about that racial slur zimmerman, a white hispanic allegedly used when describing trayvon. >> the back entrance. >> the fbi analysis released thursday said they could not identify the word zimmerman used due to weak signal level and poor recording quality. that word is key to the racial discrimination argument, and legal experts say without definitive evidence, he used a racial slur, the chance that zimmerman might be charged with a federal hate crime diminished. an interview, also part of the discovery with one of
zimmerman's former coworkers says something else. the man, middle eastern, says zimmerman was a racist and bully. >> i was portrayed like -- i don't know if you've ever watched comedy, this guy called ahmed the terrorist. >> no. >> okay, this guy so it's a little guy with a weird voice and that was me in the my acce into, no, i kill you. >> okay. >> he kept going and going and going. >> finally the question of drugs in trayvon martin's system. in his 911 call just before the shooting, zimmerman indicated the teenager looked like he was on drugs or something. but even though we now know trayvon's blood had thc in it, the active greed yen in marijuana, that may not mean he was high. one toxicolostocktoxicologist s linger for days and spike after death. hln's dr. drew penske warned
marijuana typically doesn't make someone more aggressive. with all the details released this week, you'd think we'd be closer to what happened. really, the one thing we know for sure is that a single gunshot fired straight into the chest of trayvon martin killed him. >> the witness described as witness six who said he heard it was zimmerman yelling for help later said he wasn't sure who it was. just more questions. newsroom continues at the top of the hour with fredricka whitfield. hello. >> good to see you. of course our legal guys will be along and talking more about that mountain of evidence. >> 183 pages. >> to whose advantage, defense or prosecution. they will examine that. our legal guys will talk about suspended nfl player, new orleans saints player. eaves you turning the tables and
suing because of the bounty scandal involving new orleans saints. similar to at home pregnancifest, how about at home hiv tessing. some medical experts say it is just as effective as in the doctor's office blood test, at home saliva test to see if you test positive for hiv. we're going to be exploring that. cloud computing. what is it? is it more effective, this form of computing, more effective storing the information from your computers on hard drive or is cloud computing the way to go? is it secure for information. we're going to go through that cumulous matter. >> i'm trying to figure it out. remember when blog was the new word. cloud is new, blog is part of our every day. cloud isn't something i've embraced yet.
>> this is a how to, suits you and your lifestyle. who didn't love donna summer and her music. upon her death, hearing the collection of her music and just remembering all the great songs from the '70s and '80s, many of which resonated well into the 2000s, lots of artists sampling. we're going to be talking with a notable music author who is going to talk about the legacy, the look of donna summer, the sound of donna summer. her style. how it has left an indelible mark on music overall. >> stunning and so talented. >> a lot coming your way beginning at noon eastern time. >> thank you, fred, very much. coming up in a moment the daughter of cuba's leader is coming to the united states. find out why critics say the u.s. is not taking advantage of her visit like it should. ♪ ♪
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you need lifelock, the only identity theft protection company that now monitors bank accounts for takeover fraud. lifelock: relentlessly protecting your identity. call 1-800-lifelock or go to lifelock.com today. wind-driven wildfires are burning with a furry in arizona. gladiator and sunflower fire have devoured more than 23,000 acres. meteorologist reynolds wolf with a look at that. how bad is it. >> it's quite a mess attachment a look at this. see what you have yesterday. numbers are mind boggling. 65,000 acres burning in the sunflower fire. the gladiator fire over 13,000, 2,000 in bull flat. the good news there, it's about 80% contained. one of the issues, incredibly strong wind over the last few
days. dry conditions difficult for the wildfires to really be hampered or stopped. we do expect the winds will die down and do so briefly. human still low. we do expect winds to accelerate as wets into tuesday, wednesday, and thursday next week. really every hour is going to make a big difference this weekend in terms of stemming the blaze. hopefully they will get a good handle on it. back to you. >> it's that wind that does it. >> certainly it. all right, reynolds. thank you. the rile of a gay rights activist next week is drawing fire. not because of what she does but her last name which happens to be castro. his is correspondent jean dougherty. >> reporter: her fame name says it all, castro. she's coming to the united states, daughter of cuban leader raul castro grant add visa by the state department to attend an academic conference. in havana, some neighborhoods
are furious. >> she's coming here to spread communism, because that's what it is. they are coming under false pretense to try to lift the embargo. >> the 53-year-old drebts the center for sex education in havana. she's an activist for gay rights in cuba which were nonexistent in the early years of fidel castro's regime but changed in recent years. in the 2008 interview with cnn castro is brushed off her communist pedigree. >> translator: the only advantage the person who is president is my papa and i can talk to him. but don't think i can talk to him a lot. the bush administration granted a visa in 2002 but some lawmakers say it's an outrage to do this time. >> people in hunger strikes, dissidents in cuban jails. nothing has improved. it's all gotten worse. here it's all systems go for the obama administration.
raul castro's daughter wants to come to the u.s., sure, she's an academic let her come. >> she points to alan gross, an american imprisoned in cuba on charges of diversion. they won't comment on the case but says about 100 cuban academics were invited to the conference in san francisco. 77 applied for visas, as of friday 60 got them, 11 were denied, 6 were still being processed. a u.s. presidential proclamation rules out visas for high-level officials of the cuban government for communist party. they can make exceptions if there are no security concerns and the reason for applying is legitimate. raul castro's daughter appears to have passed that