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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  September 2, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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thanks so much. good to talk to you. >> thank you. >> that will do it for me. thanks for watching "around the world." good to be back. see you tomorrow. "cnn newsroom" starts now. syria may be on hold in the united states but the civil war still rages on. a big meeting at the white ho e house. in less than an hour the president meets with john mccain and lindsey graham. pl members of congress are being vocal on where they stand. some support, some do not. all of them still have a lot of questions. >> the president why he said to the congress we want your input and we want your support. it's better for the u.s. and
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it's better for the world. we're capable of acting on this and then going onto other things. i think ti'm basically in support. >> i need to hear more. i'm going to continue to listen but the broad authority the president asked for, i think creates lots of concern with me and others there. plus, swiller diana nyad set to make history. it could happen in the next hour. she's swimming from cuba to florida and only had a couple of miles to go. digging for answers in florida. an throe po they have started unearthing the remains of dozens of children buried on the grounds of a former reform school. this is cnn newsroom.
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the debate over what to do about syria is revving up. now russia says it's going to send its own delegation to congress to make exactly the opposite argument. the russians insist there's no proof that the assad regime used chemical weapons against its own people. defense secretary chuck hagel, secretary of state john kerry is prepared to testify tomorrow. they will explain the president's strategy. i want to bring in athena jones. republican senators have said that the president's plan for limited action in syria would send the wrong signal. they want more action. they want a stronger more robust military response. what do we expect to come out of this meeting? how important is this for the president? >> reporter: it's certainly important. the white house is hoping they can convince mccain and senator graham to go along and convince their colleagues on capital hill
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to go along with supporting this resolution. the votes are very much up in the air now. we expect senators mccain and graham to use this meeting to make the case. they both want to see a clear plan and a strategy for how military action in syria will work and what the goal is they want to accomplish. they've been pushing for the president to go further. they want military strikes to take out bashar al-assad's control towers and military targets with the goal of shoplifting the balance of power against bashar al-assad. the white house has said the goal is not regime change. it's to punish assad for using th chemical weapons. there's some disagreement there. this meeting will be important in the white house's push. i should add the white house has said the president doesn't necessarily have to have the support of members of congress
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but since they put this on the table, they'll be working very hard to make sure they get it. >> thank you. appreciate it. what is behind the president's decision to seek congressiona c approval of military action? >> reporter: secret briefings on capital hill. the white house making its case to skeptical lawmakers. on cnn, secretary of state john kerry revealing new evidence to back claims the assad regime killed hundreds with nerve gas. >> blood and hair samples that come to us have tested positive for signatures of cak sarin. >> reporter: the president's team moving quickly after his decision to put a syria strike on hold saying congress should
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approve. >> the noes have it. >> reporter: friday he sends kerry out to argue for urgent action. >> what is the rirvsk of doing nothing? >> reporter: later that day he signals second thoughts. >> nobody ends up being more war w we weary than me. >> reporter: at 7:00 he tells national security staff sparking a heated debate. saturday morning he calls his top team to the situation room to finalize his plan. phones congressional leaders and then heads to the rose garden to stun the world. >> i will seek authorization for the use of force from the american people's representatives in congress. >> going to congress high stakes
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strategy for the president. he's not guaranteed to get approval for taking military action. in fact, the president is getting lot of push back from both parties. listen to what lawmakers said earlier on cnn. >> i think when all facts are known and legislatures in both parties see what's best for the united states, i think the vote will be overwhelmingly yes. >> i think we waited a couple of years too long to act in the middle east. i think time is of the essence. we've got to move quickly. i think we'll have an important debate about how congress ought to deal with the response and give the president the power to intervene. i think we'll be fully engaged this next week. >> i want to bring in dana bash. i want to show some of these pictures of the lawmakers. interesting bedfellows.
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some of the democrats who have teamed up. how does the president manipulate, cojoel when you have a large swath of lawmakers who do not believe it's the right action? >> reporter: it's very difficult especially since the people who don't believe it's the right action, many of them believe it for many different reasons. some of those reasons contradict each other. to give you an example, the white house or white house officials just got off a conference call with house democrats. it lasted for about 70 minutes. according to a member on the call, it was very lengthy but very impassioned when it comes to the argument that administration officials made especially john kerry. very forceful about the need to do this. on the flip side, the q and a didn't last that long. i am told that there were some very tough questions from the
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president's own party. one member asking if the administration is suffering from historical amnesia because of the what happened. i'm told that john kerry responded by saying as a former prosecutor he feels this is something he has beyond a reasonable doubt. that gives you insight to what's going on behind the scenes on this conference call. one piece of news i want to report to you is we already flow there are going to be public hearings tomorrow. we've been reporting that. chuck hagel and john kerry will be testifying. we just got word that martin dempsey will be testifying. they added a second public hearing on the house side on wednesday. it looks like kerry and clapper are going to testify there. on top of that they'll have classified briefings pretty much all week. every day all week. tomorrow at 11:30. every day except for wednesday.
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white house says they are flooding the zone. this is flooding the zone. >> you have all those briefings going on. any reaction to the fact you have russian lawmakers who are planning on meeting with members of congress? >> reporter: isn't that interesting. we were talking about it within our team to try to figure out what the reaction will be. nobody's here. they are coming in and leaving. we're trying to get reaction to see if anybody will meet with them. >> it's going be a busy week. we'll be following you closely. we'll be on your toes. thanks again. more u.s. fire power is led headed to the region as well. several u.s. navy ships are in the red sea. another u.s. official says the aircraft carrier is not expected to participate in combat operations but the ship is there for greater u.s. military presence in the region even as the possibility of this missile
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strike is delayed. here is also what we're working on. they crippled a new york sometimes website last week. now they have targeted the u.s. military. we'll show you the message one group of hackers supporting syria's assad regime has now for the marines. this. love this story. it's a goal she's been chasing for 35 years. she's so, so close. diana nyad about an hour away from the florida coast. we'll have a live update on her quest to swim from cuba to the united states. how much do you love it? animation is hot...and i think it makes geico's 20 million drivers message very compelling, very compelling. this is some really strong stuff! so you turned me into a cartoon...lovely. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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but for all these symptoms, you also take kaopectate. new kaopectate caplets -- soothing relief for all those symptoms. kaopectate. one and done. we're getting all kinds of reaction from a possible u.s. strike on syria. this is a group that got into the u.s. marines recruitment website and sent visitors to a totally different site. debra is following how they did this. the marines are not calling this a hacking incident, but what was this exactly? >> last week the target was the new york times and before that the washington post.
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the new target is and the message was posted on the recruitment site urging marines to not attack syria saying the syrian army should be your ally and not your enemy. the letter suggests they are patriots fighting al qaeda. the actual site was not breeched or hacked. what happened is people were redirected to another site. chris lawrence was told by the marines there was no evidence that confidential or personal information was compromised. this is consistent with the other high profile attacks by this group. you can see the pictures there of uniform marines. we've not been a i believe to identify if those are actual marines holding actual signs. >> you mentioned about whether or not information was compromised. how can we be so sure? >> that's one of the things they look at. the way these attacks happened.
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the past have been routine phishing attacks. i spoke with a cyber security expert who has investigated the syrian electronic army. he tells me the hackers could be doing a lot more damage. they are able to control what people see and where they go. it seems the intention of this group is to spread pro-syrian information as opposed to spreading malware or a virus which is so much more dangerous. this group was hacked in april with somebody gaining access to its information. the group says no, that didn't happen. clearly any claims of responsibility are incon clk in at best. ahead, she's almost at her goal. it's so close. diana nyad close to completing her 103-mile swim from cuba to the united states. we're so excited. we'll have a live report up next.
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in california finally some real progress to tell you about in that massive yosemite park wildfire.
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the fire is still growing but the u.s. forest service says that it is about 60% contained. almost 350 square miles have burned. thousands of homes and businesses are still being threatened. full containment of that fire is not expected for at least another couple of weeks. in nevada, fast moving flood waters swamped roads, overwhelmed some drivers. this is in the las vegas area trapping them inside their cars. >> all of a sudden all this stuff started coming down really quick. >> two women were stranded in their car with a baby for about 45 minutes. with crews were getting ready for a swift water rescue when the waters receded. they were able to pull everybody out to safety. off the coast of florida today, history being made here for the fifth time. diana nyad is trying to swim from cuba to florida.
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what that i cmakes this unique, talking about no shark cage or flippers. she's a couple of miles away from the coast. very close to key west. i want to bring in john zarella over the phone. it must be amazing the excitement and anticipate on shore as all those people are gathered with you to watch her come in. >> reporter: that's exactly right. the beach has really filled up. a couple hundred people, at least, here to watch and waiting for diana nyad. it looks more now as if it's a matter of when and not if she makes it. we can see them kind of hovering offshore. we had a crew out on a boat just a little while ago. they got some spectacular images, pictures of her swimming and you can see one of the great advantages we had today and throughout most of the swim is just how calm the water is there. she's not fighting any waves.
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she's not getting beat up too badly out there but she's stopping and she's getting some nutrition either water or this material that they give her through a tube. then she picks it up again. she starts going. you know that the adrenaline must just be flowing now as she's probably within a mile of the shoreline. >> wow. >> reporter: i'm sure she can taste it. >> that's so awesome. she's been trying to do this for 35 years. we've had an opportunity to speak with her several occasions. the fourth time when she failed and the third time when she failed. she was so inspiring with this message of like i'm just going to give this one more shot. here's what she said. >> i think the message is be your best self. i can look back at those 30 hours of yesterday and i can say i couldn't be my best swimmer. the asthma, shoulder, weather conditions. i was just not gliding along the
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surface like i can do. that hurt me. that hurt my pride and my distance made. i was the best person i could be. >> what makes this time around different than the last couple ones? no big challenges here, yeah? >> reporter: i think one of the big keys is this prosthetic mask that they made for her, that they molded for her. it took them almost a year to do it. that was to try to protect her from those box jelly fish which were so poisonous and really derailed her last attempt. it was those jelly fish that were the main culprits. this time we did not hear of any reports of any significant jelly fish stings or bites and no reports of sharks out there, which is always a good thing. yeah, she really didn't face the hurdles or obstacles this time that she had in the past and that certainly, not to belittle this attempt but it certainly helped and made it a lot easier
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for her to pull it off this time than id t did in the past. she's 64 years young and '4" ye absolutely amazing fete. going 110 miles when she makes landfall here. it could have been an amazing fete for anybody at any age. >> it's pretty awesome. we'll be watching closely. we expect within the hour or so that she will be finishing that long, long swim. thanks, john. quite an inspiring story. ahead, making case for military action inside of syria. the white house is sending both the secretary of defense as well as the secretary of state to the hill. we have a live report, up next. , she's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. [ claira ] after the deliveries, i was okay. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously?
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making the case to congress. president obama scheduled to meet with republican senators john mccain and lindsey graham in about 30 minutes or so to discuss his plan for military action inside syria. tomorrow defense secretary chuck hagel and john kerry and joint chiefs chairman general martin dempsey will testify about the plan the president wants congressional approval before taking military action inside syria. samples collected inside syria will be delivered to labs in finland and sweden to be analyzed. nato is calling for strong international action. the arab league is calling on them to stop the crimes. it doesn't by u.s. claims that syria's president used chemical
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weapons on its own people. there is more u.s. fire power headed to the region. a u.s. official says several navy ships are in the red sea. another u.s. officials tell us that the aircraft carrier is not expected to participate in combat operations over syria but the ship is there for greater u.s. military presence in the region. john kerry will testify tomorrow. he will get added ammunition. i want to bring in barbara starr about what we expect to hear. you have these officials really trying to present case. >> and present a unified case.
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the justification for the u.s. of force. hagel will make the military case that it is military fire power that must be used that show of force to punish the assad regime for its use of chemical weapons. diplo diplomacy hasn't worked. the president has already said he wants to undertake military action. he wants congress to approve it. what the next step may be is for hagel to make the case but where he may run into trouble is trying to convince members of congress that it's going to change anything on the ground in syria. this will be a very limited operation and many people will tell you it's very doubtful it's going to make the assad regime change its behavior. >> barbara, can you describe for us what you think this military plan will look like. what are some of the details of
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this plan? >> let's go back. we'll start in the eastern mediterranean where now for several days there's been five u.s. navy warships equipped with tom hawk miladainian tomlinsott. very lethal and precise. it would be a huge problem if that were to happen. that's the first thing. this show of force in the red sea is more about presence. there's no expectation that those fighter jets off the deck of the carrier nimitz will be used. this is sending a message to assad and the region that the u.s. military is still there. politically, it's still awaits a decision by congress. >> all right. thank you. appreciate it.
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just ahead, when president obama went to the white house he wanted to end wars, not start them. now he's taking quite a risk with syria. cnn security analyst joins us to talk about that, next. these chevys are moving fast. i'll take that malibu. yeah excuse me. the equinox in atlantis blue is mine! i was here first. it's mine. i called about that one. it's mine. customers: [ echoing ] it's mine, mine, mine. it's mine! no it's not! it's mine! better get going. it's the chevy labor day sale. [ male announcer ] the chevy labor day sale. just announced: $500 labor day cash now through september 3rd on most 2013 chevrolet vehicles! starts with freshly-made pasta, and 100% real cheddar cheese. but what makes stouffer's mac n' cheese best of all. that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care for you or your family.
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with intelligence showing that chemical weapons were used on syrians, the white house is ready to strike against the assad regime. some say the president should have acted long ago. joining us now cnn national security analyst peter bergen. your latest op-ed, you write the president came to end wars and not start them. there's a real question how he
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will be judged. how do you see this latest development being played out seeking congressional authorization but also saying i think this is what we should do. we should strike. >> i began that column with an important speech the president gave on may 23rd when we said we need to start a national conversation about ending the seemingly endless wars we've been in since 9/11. i think that represents his real position. events changed. what happened in syria changed and he's in the portion of authorizing a war against syria. i don't think it's necessary surprise he's gone to congress for that authorization for two reasons. first of all, by temperament he's somebody that wants to make wars less easy and more easy. he's a former constitutional law
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professor. the speech on may 23rd is he wants to wind down the wars. one way is to make it harder for presidents to unilaterally go to war. the other element is there's no international authorization for war. there's no u.n. resolution. nato has said some nice things but said it's not going to participate in some sort of operation and the arab league has made clear it won't sign off on military operation. in the absence of international partners except france or some role for turkey, you need congress and also it's a matter of precedecedencprecedence. it's important that if the operation happens it's done with congressional approval. >> this does allow the president some political cover. you had more than 200 lawmakers sign a petition saying he should
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get congressional authorization before any kind of military strike and now he's calling their bluff. not only consultation but authorization. he's giving them the responsible if there's a military strike that it's members of congress who are also responsible? >> sure. it's a risk. i think he's a calculated risk taker. it was a calculated risk for the junior senator from illinois to take on hillary clinton and to take out bin laden when many top advisors were saying if this goes wrong it would be damaging for your presidency. this is a calculated risk. we don't know how it turns out. on the right, the republicans who are sort of saying we're skeptical about this will have to answer the question, if they're skeptical about this, why is it they are so concerned about iran which has a nuclear weapons programs. what signal would it send to
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iran to do nothing. then for those on the left who are generally suspicious of military action, if you're not going to react in the circumstance with 1400 people have been killed by sarin nerve gas many of them children, when are you going to react? >> peter, this is a congress that the president has had a difficult time with getting things done. he's said in his second term he's doing a lot of executive orders. he's making enrons around congress. is there anything in this scenario where congress would get on board and authorize a military strike? >> clearly the administration feels the actual facts, factual case is very strong. i think if the administration can also make a case about what the long term strategy is here beyond military strikes which is a very legitimate concern people have had, i think that will tilt the balance. >> all right.
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thank you so much. appreciate it as always. still to come, we're going to take you to florida. this is a gruesome task being performed. they're digging up the graves of dozens of young boys whose deaths are deemed suspicious.
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in florida, families are hoping they'll get some answers. this is as workers dig up this
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secret cemetery. this is on the grounds of a former reform school. this is west of tallahassee. explain this story for us. why are they doing this? >> reporter: they're trying to uncover a mystery that's haunted the grounds of this school. five years ago, many former students started coming out with stories of abuse and horrid torture that might have happened at this school. now about a year ago, researchers from the university of south florida discovered in this area there were bodies buried where many people didn't think there were bodies. we're in the middle of an incredible rainstorm. this is where they are starting to process of exhuming bodies over the course of this weekend. they're trying to dig up two of the bodies. there could be many more in the area we're standing around. these researchers are looking
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for buried secrets, exhuming bodies, perhaps as many as 50 in all from this hidden cemetery in the florida panhandle. the question is will the dead help unlock the sinister secrets of what happened on these grounds decades ago. >> the bones will tell the truth. they'll be able to study whether there's a fracture or a bone broke or whatever and that will help to bring out the truth and some closure to this whole situation. >> reporter: the reform school for boys closed in 2011, but it's painful legacy still haunts this place. over the last few years dozens of former students have come forward and told stories out teachers dealt beatings and even murder 450 years ago. they insisted 31 boys were buried but the bodies were never proply accounted for. a team from the university of
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south florida made a stunning discove discovery. using high-tech equipment they found evidence of at least 19 more bodies buried in this area. the research of school records showed the bodies of another 22 boyed who died at the school were never accounted for. >> we approach this with a goal to identify everyone. that's our objective. we know that realistly that won't happen. owen was sent here in 1940 and his family never saw him again. school officials said he died of pneumonia. another said he was shot and killed by school administrators. >> i believe to this day they shot my brother that night. i think they probably killed him. they brought him back to the school and buried him. >> reporter: john and his family visited the cemetery site on this day and they are hoping to find the body of a relative who was sent here in the 1930s. >> we have to dig up the past in order to build a better future.
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we cannot continue to live like zombies, the walking dead, as if the past doesn't mean anything. >> reporter: before dr dr. kimmerly's discovery an investigation determined there no criminal activity. one former school administrator has denied the accusations but admits spankings did take place. many called that a cover up and an attempt to white wash the school's brutal past. right now these research crews are working in quite a storm. this is a slow, tedious process to uncover the remains and it will take several months to complete and get a handle on this. many of the former students that were sent here are hoping for some sort of clue that will explain or provide some concrete
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evidence about what happened to them and prove to the eyes of the world they're not making up these stories. that's something they grappled with for quite sometime. >> thank you. we'll take a quick break and we'll have more. to possible collision threats. and in certain situations it can apply the brakes. introducing the all-new 2014 chevrolet impala with available crash imminent braking. always looking forward. while watching your back. that's american ingenuity to find new roads. and recently the 2013 chevrolet impala received the j.d. power award for highest ranked large car in initial quality. could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. yep, everybody knows that. well, did you know some owls aren't that wise? don't forget i'm having brunch with meghan tomorrow. who?
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all right. you're looking at live pictures there. this is out of key west,
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florida. the excitement of this moment as we get much, much closer now. diana nyad is a 64-year-old swimmer. this is her fifth attempt to swim from cuba to florida. she's less than a mile away. if you can only imagine what people are feeling. they've entered the water. they're not going to wait for her to get on the beach. they want to greet her and see her come in as she makes this historic, historic trip. this is somebody who has tried this five times and previously, it's more than a hundred mile swim. previously came under attack from these huge box jelly fish, waves and currents and bad weather. this go around it looks like she's going to bring it home. i want to bring in elizabeth cohen to talk about the
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challenges, the physical challenges that she has to deal with here. we've talked to her several times on this show and she kept saying should i go? should i try again? i'm going to do it again. >> she's amazing. i had the pleasure of meeting her a especially considering her age. she's doing this and she's in her 60s. the physical challenges are incredible. one of the things she does as she swims, suzanne, as that she sings songs to herself to keep the pace. this whole time she's been singing, i think, the beatles "i've got a ticket to ride." that's one of the songs she sings. cnn medical producer matt sloan has spent a lot of time with her and her camp. they've been with her for years. all the people you see cheering and dancing, they've been with her for years. team diana. they have mapped out every little bit of this. what she needs to eat, when she
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needs to eat. remember, she's not sleeping. she's not sitting down. there's no chairs in the water. they're just feeding her food. it's just incredible what she's done. >> what makes this unique from previous attempts here is that she does it without any protection. it's very minimal protection here. we see the specially designed mask that she's wearing to protect her from the jelly fish. but no shark cage. no wet suit. no flippers. that is what makes this a one of a kind event. we're still looking at a whole bunch of people with cameras. you can see them holding them up to make sure that they stay dry. that they're out of the water there. literally all these people, what looks like they are approaching where they anticipate she will actually swim to shore. >> right. they want to be there to greet her. again, you're absolutely right. what's notable here is not so much the distance that she swam this distance, but, as you said, did it without a shark cage. did it without a wet suit. did it without slippers.
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jelly fish stings have really been her nemesis. that's what's really gotten to her before and why she had to pull out early. they've deviced this mask. she said it's not the most comfortable thing. not the most fun thing to swim in. but it keeps the jelly fish away. that's what's important. >> explain to us. some people think, look, i've been on the beach. been on the water. get stung by a jelly fish. these things are huge? >> they're massive and their poison is very significant. that was the reason why the fourth go round and the third go round she just could not complete the swim. because of the level of poison that she was dealing with inside of her own system. >> right. she would come out of the water with these welts. she would come out not being fully with it. obviously physically drained by the whole thing. but it was really those jelly fish bites that really got to her. there are so many different challenges along here. one of the things that's impressed me as i've watched her go through all these different tries is that they've been so systematic at combatting each of them. every time she does it and it doesn't work, they learn from it, and they make particular attempts to fix it.
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that's big. to learn from your failures really important. >> i want to welcome not only our viewers here in the united states, but around the world. because this really is one of those experiences of a human triumph, really. i was so fortunate to be able to talk to her in the last failed attempts, the fourth attempt and the third attempt. you ask her, you know, what keeps you going? what are you doing this? some people think it's crazy. why would you do such a thing? we're seeing our own john zarrella getting ready for the live shots in her approach. she turns around and she says, look, you know, this is about proving that you can be your best self. whatever it is. whatever you set out to do. and this is what she wanted to do. and this is a 35-year journey for this woman. she's now 64 years old. but she started a long, long time ago. so much has changed since then. you're talking about communications. the fact that we can in realtime, we know where she is. we know how far out.
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i want to bring in our john zarrella to just set the scene for us, john. you're there. you're on the beach. this is incredible. >> reporter: yeah. you know, it was unbelievable. there were hundreds and hundreds of people where i am right now. and when they realized that diana nyad was going to land about 200 yards down, this entire throng moved. they moved all of these barricades at the same time. the fire rescue folks were here. they have a gurney with them. they've got ivs on that gurney, assuming they're going to put her on there and give it to her right away. >> i don't know, let me ask you this if you can. if you can hear me, is she -- can you confirm whether or not she's actually finished the swim? that she's on the beach? has she actually arrived? >> reporter: no, i can't tell either. we cannot tell if she's on the beach yet. is she on the beach? nobody down here can see it that far away. that's the problem. we can't tell if she's actually on the beach. but the kayaks that were with her are right up by the water's
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edge. we're assuming she is. but, again, it's at least a couple hundred, maybe 300 yards down the beach where she's actually landed. so it's impossible to tell from here. >> all right. i didn't mean the interrupt. go ahead. give us a sense. maybe there's somebody there. i see people running towards you. maybe there's someone who might have seen her land that you can grab. give us a sense of what this is like. >> reporter: well, it's just a fascinating experience. because this morning, suzanne, you know, there were five people, ten people that come up to you, hey, is she still in the water? how is the swim going? how close is she? then as the day wore on, more and more people started to gather. but then when it became very evident about an hour, hour and a half ago, that she was really close to making history, that she was about to make history, this place got packed. and as your video shots can show you, that whole area where she is down there is absolutely --
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is she on -- >> she is. >> reporter: what's your name. >> it was pretty intense. it was pretty hectic. definitely she's in another world. but it was amazing. >> reporter: were you just watching it? >> yeah. i was just watching. came down with my son. just want to see history. >> reporter: it's mary ann? >> yes. >> reporter: last name? >> jakowski. >> reporter: fascinating. did you just decide to come here because of this experience or were you planning on coming to the beach for labor day anyway? >> no, no. i live here. i've heard about it for years. i just wanted to witness it. >> reporter: you sound like you're about as excited as she probably is. >> it was amazing. >> reporter: what did she look like? did she look like she was in good shape down there? >> she did. she was walking. >> reporter: she was walking? >> yeah. i mean, it's pretty shallow when you first -- >> reporter: she walked out of the water without any help. >> absolutely. had people pushing,
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onlookers away. she had to get to land or it wouldn't count. it was awesome. >> reporter: do you know if they put her on that gurney to give her ivs or not? >> i don't know. i started to walk away. my son's with his grandfather. she made it on. collapsed into a team member's arms. >> reporter: everybody cheering there, i assume. it must have been just bedlam. >> absolutely. >> reporter: glad you got to see it. wonderful. there you go. that's a firsthand account of what it was like down there. mary ann is running off to go get her son right now. i tell you, she did seem as if she was about as excited, you know, as diana nyad must be. but you heard, she made it on shore on her own. then she collapsed into the arms of one of her folks up there. but she did complete the swim. we estimated about 110 miles it turned out that -- 110 miles and 300 yards away from us is where she is actually made landfall. >> so how long was this swim? do we know? how much time did it take her
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this go-round to complete this swim based on when she landed? >> reporter: well, you know, it was -- yeah. it was 46 hours at about 8:00 this morning. what is that? another six hours? so 52 hours, roughly, is what i would say. i'm not quite -- i'm not sure, but i think that might be a record as well. certainly a record that -- her record that she made it here, endurance, speed, everything. she shattered every record. >> she's shattered every record. awesome. elizabeth, now that she's shattered every record, are we all going to get out there and try this? i mean, that was one heck of a physical feat there. >> oh, it really -- it really is amazing, what she's done. actually, we have our cnn medical producer matt sloan with us. he's been following diana, keeping in touch with her for years now. what do you know? >> i'm down here on the beach. i'm a little bit farther down from where john zarrella is standing. right at the last minute diana actually was a little farther down than everybody expected.
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this crowd of a few thousand people went running down toward where she was getting out of the water, which is why i'm a little out of breath now. she did complete the swim. she looks good. she was able to walk up on to the beach. she pumped her fist. there was a medic standing by with a gurney and a couple of iv bags. as you know, she's been going nonstop for the last over 50 hours now. just incredible. as you said, we've been following this story for 3 1/2 years now. i have to tell you, it's emotional even for me to see her finally complete this dream she's had for 35 years. >> matt, what have you learned from her, spending all those years with her in this journey? >> there is nothing you can't accomplish if you set your mind to it. i have to be honest with you, there are a lot of people that were saying that she was crazy and that she shouldn't try this again. why does she expect this to be different than any other time. but she proved all those people wrong. >> matt, what made the difference? why did she succeed the fifth time and not the first four? >> from what i understand, we actually just got into key west not that long ago.
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it was all such a crscramble. from talking to the boat crew i did on the beach, they said it was a combination of something to do with the phase of the moon and the salinity in the water. it's things as minuscule as that that can make a difference. they actually only ran into one jelly fish the entire time. as you guys know, that's what plagued her in the last three attempts were these deadly jelly fish. they are potentially deadly jelly fish stings. >> matt, we're going to have a lot more of a conversation with you in the moments to come. history being made. diana nyad completing that swim from cuba to florida without a shark cage. we're going to turn our coverage over to brooke baldwin who takes it from here. >> we'll take it from here, suzanne. thank you so much. welcome to all of you. we are watching this incredible feat playing out live here on cnn. two boxes on your screen. live pictures. left side, smathers beach, key west,