tv CNN Newsroom CNN November 30, 2013 2:00pm-3:01pm PST
challenge, it's easy to do, logon to cnn.com/fitnation and you can sign up there and upload your video submission. that's all the time we got for "sg md." time now to get you back to the "cnn newsroom" with rosa florez. you're in the "cnn newsroom." i'm rosa florez in for my friend don lemon. thank you so much for being with me on this saturday. we have a lot to get to, and we start with obama care take two. the white house said that it's a train wreck website that would be fixed by the end of november. well, tomorrow is december 1st. and if the site isn't fixed, president obama could see his approval ratings drop even lower. cnn's tory dunnan is covering the last-second fix-it from washington. >> reporter: it's been a frenzied race to fix
healthcare.gov and today november 30th, is the day when president obama promised the website would be running smoothly for the vast majority of users. >> by the end of this month, we anticipate that it is going to be working the way that it is supposed to. all right? >> reporter: it's been two months since the botched rollout on october 1st. sparking a firestorm in congress, and forcing the administration to set a self-imposed deadline. >> the assessment that we have made is that it will take until the end of november for an optimally functioning website. >> reporter: the latest from jeffrey zions, the man the president brought in to turn things around, is that the fix is on track, that the website should be able to handle 50,000 users at the same time, double what it once could. and overall, more than 800,000 users per day. but there's a caveat. >> to be clear, november 30th does not represent a relaunch of healthcare.gov. it is not a magical date. there will be times after november 30th when the site,
like any website, does not perform optimally. >> reporter: and too many people trying to log in could still spell trouble. the administration said they'll be put in a virtual queue and will be given an e-mail with a better time to sign on. troubleshooters have been working around the clock, including at this command center in columbia, maryland. one expert we talked to said even if the 50,000 concurrent users' goal is met, how much time they're spending on the site could be a headache. >> so, the challenge isn't how many lanes do you have on the highway, it's how fast the cars can go down the highway. because if there's any breakdown, you'll have a big traffic jam and pileup behind you. >> reporter: republican critics like congressman fred upton aren't letting up. he's taking aim at the administration's claim that running smoothly for the vast majority of users means an 80% success rate. saying, quote, the situation is so bad that a 20% failure rate is the goal. >> and cnn's tory dunnan joins
me now. is the white house confident that this is going to work? are they like all of us and have their fingers crossed? >> i think everyone has their fingers crossed, but the latest from the administration is that healthcare.gov is actually performing well on deadline day with what officials are saying is heavier-than-usual weekend traffic. now, we do know the site was shut down overnight for fixes and updates, we're told there will be more of that tonight but that they're, quote, on track. and they are managing expectations saying it's not like turning a light switch on or off and we should probably expect to see some problems down the road, but the main focus, of course, is what happens at midnight, what happens tomorrow and the days to come. >> that's right. is it going to work. all right, tory dunnan, thank you so much. we appreciate it. >> sure. and president obama has a lot riding on the reboot of the health care website. the site's rough start has taken a serious toll on how americans view the president. last night on abc he said he's
aware of what's gone wrong but that not enough attention is given to what's going well. >> it's hard to sit opposite you, mr. president, and say this, but a lot of the criticism is personal. people just don't think you're trustworthy. >> well, i don't think that's true, barbara, you know, the truth of the matter is, is that i got re-elected in part because people did think i was trustworthy and they knew i was working on their behalf. i think the bottom line is, barbara, that i don't know any president who hasn't gone through certain periods during their presidency, maybe george washington might be the exception -- >> i remember, i interviewed him. >> yeah. well, he probably would have told you, if that were true, that there are going to be moments where things aren't going as smoothly as you want. very rarely are the good things that happen get the same attention as the things that aren't working as well.
>> the president's approval rating has fallen since the rollout of healthcare.gov. a cnn poll of polls compiled thursday put his rating at 41%. near a low for his five years in office. a helicopter crashed through the roof of a pub, killing at least eight people in glasgow, scotland. a band was playing for a crowd hanging out in the pub when suddenly the police chopper smashed through the roof. three of the dead were the helicopter's crew. five others were killed in the bar. 14 people have serious injuries. earlier we heard from a witness who saw the terrifying crash. >> i could hear this noise above me, but i couldn't see what it was, and then i looked around and in front of me, about 1,000 feet, between 500 feet and 1,000 feet in the air i could see a helicopter in distress, and then suddenly it just completely lost power and fell from the sky like a stone, really dramatic and
terrifying moment. it really did plunge at huge, huge pace towards the ground and it was completely out of control. there was absolutely no -- i wouldn't believe for a second that the pilot was in control. >> investigators searched into the night for the others who might be buried in that rubble. cnn's richard quest is tracking the story in glasgow. >> reporter: the police were asked out at the news conference earlier this evening. they said basically that the helicopter had crashed through the roof of the building and was now dominating the room. and until they were able to remove the helicopter, which would be a sensitive and complex task, they really wouldn't know what's underneath. so, we're going to have to wait quite some time, because what we've seen over the last few hours, we've seen a long crane. in fact, you can see it now over my shoulder. a long crane with rescue workers very gingerly going over the pub's roof, going down to the helicopter, but being careful
not to disturb it. because obviously the entire structure is very fragile and extremely unstable. the air accident investigation board, which is the british equivalent of the ntsb, they are already here in glasgow, and they will be the lead authority in to why this police helicopter came down. it's quite common for the police helicopter on most days i'm told it is flying over glasgow, and it was on its approach pattern into the city heliport, which is about two miles up the river. so, we don't know why, but the -- but the eyewitnesss say it appears to have been the sound of a sputtering of engine. the rotors appeared to have stopped. and then the helicopter just fell out of the sky. there are other people who are suggesting that actually what was happening was that the pilot was trying to do a controlled, emergency landing on the roof of the building and got the helicopter on down, and then, of course, it crashed through the
ceiling. it will be some time obviously before an investigation puts those details into perspective. for the moment, the way scotland is looking at this, rosa, the first minister of scotland described it as a black day for scotland and for glasgow. >> and that's our richard quest in scotland, and, of course, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those people. we move on now to alaska. the ntsb is investigating a plane crash last night that killed four people including the pilot and a baby. police say ten people were on board the single engine cessna. so far there's no word on how the six other survivors are doing. the charter plane crashed in a remote area in southwestern alaska near st. mary's village. health officials in las vegas have a medical mystery on their hands. an illness sent about 40 adults and children at a youth football national tournament to the
hospital with flu-like symptoms. many of the patients were st staying at the rio all-suites hotel in las vegas. several of the people affected were from santa monica, california. the rio hotel said it's working with officials to figure out the cause of the problem. for every ten shoppers this weekend, let's be honest, there's a few lookers as well. seeing what's available only to go home and then buy it online, hopefully for less, but stores have caught on, and that benefits you! the shopper. we're talking about it next. and later, a man sent to prison for 25 years for murdering his wife. but there's one problem. he didn't do it. we're looking at the case and asking how does an innocent man serve time and come out being a better man.
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welcome back. it's 12 minutes past the hour. walmart says more than 22 million people converged on its stores yesterday. jumping the gun on the traditional black friday holiday sales. in many places security had its hands full trying to keep shoppers from surging into stores, possibly even triggering a stampede. the day was marred by several unfortunate incidents, we should add. a shopper in las vegas was shot and wounded when someone tried to rob him of his tv that he had just bought. now to virginia, a fight over a parking space led to two different arrests. now, police say they arrived at the walmart to find one man holding a rifle on another who had a severe knife wound. tough pictures there. and in philadelphia one woman pulled out a stun gun as she tussled with another woman
inside a mall. police are investigating. now, have you heard the term showrooming? it's when someone goes to the store. they find what they want. then they go home and, well, buy it online, usually a lot cheaper. but now brick and mortar stores, they're catching on. they're stepping up their game and taking a web page out of the online retailer's book. that's why cnn money's tech expert is joining us. you're talking about something called shopping 2.0. what is that? >> i coined it, that's right. you know, look, it's all about stores getting to know you better. think if you walk in and the stores know more about it and it's very futuristic, but it's actually happening now, check it out. >> reporter: this holiday season look for shopping to get a little bit personal. welcome to shopping 2.0. where stores know your gender, they know your mood. >> hello, welcome back to the
gap. >> reporter: with one new technology they can even anticipate what you might want. that's cakeo, a cupcake store in san francisco trying out tech built by a company called index. it helps retailers target products to you based on your taste. >> if you like red velvet, you probably like cream cheese as well as cocoa cake and we would recommend the pumpkin cheesecake. >> we looked to amazon as the backbone for a lot of things we've done. a lot of it has to do with their ability to recognize who you are. >> reporter: they want to bring that experience offline. >> offline retailers need to be able to recognize you really on any channel you engage with them, whether it be online, social or in-store. >> reporter: the technology which you opt into is baked into their payment system to collect your buying behavior. it's also integrated into a store's app so you'll get push notification when you enter the store. >> it will say, welcome back, mark. it might suggest a new product. maybe provide you with an
incentive to try something new. >> reporter: they were previously behind google wallet but this technology doesn't require a phone to pay. >> you don't have to pull out your phone or wallet. you walk up and you enter an index p.i.n. and you effectively log into the store. >> reporter: right now it's limited to smaller stores but they are hoping that eventually the technology will be in major retailers. and imagine this, by walking into a store, you're actually logging into that store. ads are getting smart, too. imagine technology that knows your gender. knows how you feel. immersive labs is making this possible with digital ads on phones or tablets that use the webcam to analyze your reaction and whether you are excited by the product or not. other entrepreneurs set out to change how we pay and less might be more. >> my wallet is filled with cards. credit cards, debit cards, reward cards, gift cards. filled with them. too many. this is a coin. >> reporter: the connected
device digitally combines all your credit cards into one. >> all these cards are inside my coin. >> ended up choosing the wallet you'll be choosing on the coin. >> reporter: it works on an app, users swipe their card and take a picture and keep one card for all purposes. >> all you need is one coin for all your cards. >> and you can imagine this kind of technology, think about this, you walk into a restaurant. they know who you are. they know the dishes you've ordered in the past. they give you recommendations. they know if you're a vegetarian or not. this is technology being built right now in silicon valley. it's not just one company, it's many companies working on it. >> to me it's a bit scary because it's almost, like, they have too much information about you it's almost, like, oh, my gosh, could they skew how much you are going to pay for certain things, let me give you a coupon so you can buy or what is it? >> privacy is also huge. i spoke to the folks from immersive labs and they said we don't collect the data. this is anonymous data but there
need to be people like us asking these questions while the technology is actually out there being built. >> thank you so much, we appreciate it. lots of good stuff, thank you. an american held captive at north korea admitting to war crimes. yes, crimes, he says he committed while serving in the korean war more than 60 years ago, but will those words set him free? ♪ ♪ ♪ verizon now has the gifts everyone wants. that's powerful. verizon. i get out a lot... except when it's too cold. like the last three weekends. asthma doesn't affect my job...
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the u.s. has volunteered to destroy the most deadly and volatile portions of syria's chemical weapons supplies. the united nations and the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons have been inspecting and seizing syria's chemical weapons sites since october. the u.n. has set a deadline for the middle of next year for all of the chemicals to be destroyed. the destruction is expected to happen at sea on board a u.s. ship. in iran, meantime, the president says it will not dismantle any of its nuclear facilities as part of any future deal on its nuclear development. in an interview with the "financial times," he was asked if dismantling the nuclear facilities amounted to a red line, he answered, quote, 100%. ir iran, of course, cut a six-month deal last weekend to limit its
nuclear development. israel has said any long-term deal must lead to the dismantling of iran's nuclear capability. in north korea the state-run news agency says an 85-year-old american veteran who has been detained for about a month has apologized for his actions, including killing troops and civilians during the korean war. the white house is responding to meryl newman's apology saying in part, given mr. newman's advanced age and health conditions, we urge the dprk to release mr. newman so he may return home and reunite with his family. the white house is also asking for fellow detainee kenneth bay to be released, the question now, of course, will newman's apology help him get released. here's cnn's karl penhaul in tokyo. >> reporter: state media is reporting that the north korean authorities are accusing american retiree meryl newman of hostilities toward north korea, of infringing on its sovereignty
and dignitdignity, and it sound mumbo jumbo until you look at the detail what they're accusing him of. they are focusing heavily on mr. newman's record as a u.s. officer. they say that he engaged in espionage, subversion and sabotage activities during the korean war and also significantly during a short period after the war ended. in a taped and written confession, mr. newman says that he did train and advise a covert and clandestine group of anti-communist parties and guerrillas who operated behind enemy lines inside north korea. that unit is the sixth infantry regiment a group that military historians say was controlled by the united states and also the united nations and also coordinated closely with the cia. fast-forward, then, to oct of this year, and that is when the north korean authorities say that mr. newman returned to north korea on this tourist
package and attempted to re-establish contact with some of the former guerrillas that he had trained and also with their families and their descendants. in his taped confession, mr. newman does say that he asked the tour guide to help him make contact with some of those people. now, of course, we don't know whether this statement by mr. newman was made voluntarily or whether it was coerced. we don't know whether the words are his own or whether the text was written by the authorities and simply passed to him. we also don't know whether the names and events alluded to in that text are, in fact, accurate. what we do know, though, is that statement was signed on november the 9th two weeks after he was arrested as he prepared to leave north korea. we don't know why it's taken the north korean authorities three weeks to make this public. now, some of the political analysts i've been speaking to say that this confession could satisfy the north koreans, for
propaganda purposes and they may now be preparing to release mr. newman. one should, however, remember the case of kenneth bay, a korean-american who was arrested in north korea a year ago now and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. those political analysts have said even if the north korean authorities are preparing now to release mr. newman, they may insist on some kind of diplomatic contact with the united states to work out logistics. they may also insist on handing him over to a high-level delegation. karl penhaul, cnn, tokyo. and up next here on cnn, a young mother murdered. her husband convicted of the crime, but there's a big problem here. he didn't do it. we're looking at this case from multiple angles, all that is up next.
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25 years in a texas prison for a crime he did not commit. a juror's search for emotion on the stand and a defendant's effort to suppress it seemingly led to a life sentence. >> i guess i kept looking at michael and just notice hadding that he just didn't seem to have a lot of feeling about him. i guess i kept looking for some emotion that would let me know something about him, what was going on. >> michael had an amazing capacity to compartmentalize things so that he didn't bring his grief into the office. i don't know what he did with it. >> i didn't think i was going to get convicted. it was going to be a longish trial, but then it would be revealed that there can be no there there. there's nothing to convict. there's nothing hard. there's nothing that says, look, this guy did it. there's nothing beyond a
reasonable doubt. and i couldn't imagine what could possibly be manufactured to make 12 people think that i'd killed my wife. >> what led -- what led a jury to convict michael morton of murder? find out when cnn films premieres "an unreal dream" next thursday at 9:00 central -- 9:00 eastern right here on cnn. now, truth matters. that's the phrase at the center of this film, and it's one of the only things that held michael morton not give up hope while he was in there. and joining me to discuss this film is criminal defense attorney holly hughes in atlanta and clinical psychologist dr. jeff gardere here in new york. and i've got to say, this is right off of "shawshank redemption" when i was watching it. it reminded me of this. let's talk about his psychology, because initially he was -- when he first got convicted, he was
very bitter. he was very angry. and then he had some -- we could call it, like, a god experience. >> a transformation. >> and it all changed. >> exactly. you're left with two things. first of all, you never think this can happen to you or anyone. we've been taught if you tell the truth, then the truth shall set you free. you'll be okay. it didn't happen here. he told the truth. he went to jail incredibly. so, what are you left with? at this point, yes, you become bitter, but you either die or you thrive. not survive, thrive. and that means completely changing your life, having that god experience that you talked about, rosa, and making something completely different than you ever were before. that's the only way that you go on from something like this. >> oh, my gosh, i cannot even imagine. and, holly, let's go to you. there was no murder weapon. no physical evidence, yet jurors said something, like, there wasn't enough evidence to show that he didn't do it.
what do you make of that? >> what i make of that is a little something in the law that we call burden shifting. it is always incumbent upon the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. that doesn't appear to be what the jury thought was happening here. they thought that he needed to prove himself innocent. and this film, our viewers are in for such a treat. i had the privilege of previewing it. and what these jurors have to say is just amazing, because you need to understand as a trial lawyer, and i've been a prosecutor and a defense attorney, it's our job to educate them. and some of the jurors talk about his lack of emotion. well, if that's the case, i would have liked to have seen the defense during the original trial address it. you need to address your strengths and your weaknesses, and they should have told that jury, just because he doesn't react like you think he should, he's not grieving like you would grieve, that doesn't make him guilty. this was a purely circumstantial
case. and it just comes down to the jurors not understanding how the system worked. >> it's unbelievable. and let's keep on that topic of the jurors. because the jurors later realized that they had convicted an innocent man. and i can only imagine what would be going through them. and i know, let me tell you, folks, when you watch this film, it's a roller coaster of emotions. can the jury get over this? >> well, i think they learn a lesson. just like morton, they were transformed also. they understood that they made a very big mistake. they were looking for emotion in this man. he's so understated, just as this documentary is very understated, but also very powerful. so, i would think the only way that they could make it is to say, yes, we made a mistake. but now this has taught us a very tremendous lesson about life. >> and these jurors were in tears after this. now, holly, we've got to talk
about emotion, because i know that one of the things that was driving this was the fact that he did not show any emotion in the courtroom. it's one of those things where, you know, he's -- he says a lot of the times he was in a lot of pain. he was going through all this as well, but in this case, emotion, showing no emotion, works -- worked against him. >> right. and that's why you need to personalize your client for the jury. whether you are the state and your client is the victim of the crime, or whether you are the defense attorney and it is the person sitting in the chair next to you, you need to explain to the jury this man doesn't express emotion like you do. you know, ask him that question when he's on the stand, if you put him on the stand, say to him, why aren't you crying? didn't you cry when your wife was killed? you need to explain to the jury why he is reacting this way. you can't assume that they're going to know, because when you spend so much time with a client, you get to know them.
you sit with them, whether it's interviewing them at the jail or your office, you can't assume the jury is going to understand that's the way this man is. and it's fascinating when you see this film, you understand. because even now, this is a man who could be bitter, he could be resentful, he could be angry, and eyes understated. i think dr. jeff used that word, and he is even talking about this horrible injustice, he is so compartmentalized and so understated that we as citizens, when we sit on a jury and we as lawyers, we need to be careful not to let emotion overrun the law. and the letter of the law. we need to be a little bit suspicious of purely circumstantial cases, rosa, because if there's no direct evidence, then we need to really ask ourselves is that proof beyond a reasonable doubt. >> and i tell you, folks, there are so many magical moments in this film. another reminder for you, cnn
films, "an unreal dream" premieres thursday at 9:00 eastern right here on cnn. and criminal defense attorney, holly hughes, clinical psychologist, dr. jeff gardere, don't go anywhere, folks. i want to get your thoughts on this story -- a former mexican cartel hit man released from prison, back in the united states. he's a free man, or should we say a free kid. you see, he's only 17 years old. we'll be back. as a business owner, i'm constantly putting out fires. so i deserve a small business credit card with amazing rewards. with the spark cash card from capital one, i get 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. i break my back around here. finally someone's recognizing me with unlimited rewards! meetings start at 11, cindy. [ male announcer ] get the spark business card from capital one. choose 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day. what's in your wallet? i need your timesheets, larry! what's in your wallet?
so you can see like right here i can just... you know, check my policy here, add a car, ah speak to customer service, check on a claim...you know, all with the ah, tap of my geico app. oh, that's so cool. well, i would disagree with you but, ah, that would make me a liar. no dude, you're on the jumbotron! whoa. ah...yeah, pretty much walked into that one. geico anywhere anytime. just a tap away on the geico app. welcome back. as promised, back with me clinical psychologist dr. jeff gardere here in new york with me and criminal defense attorney, holly hughes in atlanta. mexican authorities have freed a former cartel hit man who served three years in prison for torturing and beheading at least four people. but get this, he was only 14
years old at the time. let's get the backstory from cnn's ed lavandera. >> reporter: even in a country ravaged by years of drug cartel fueled violence, it was a shocking scene. in mexico, three years ago, a baby-faced american teenager accused of working as an assassin for the south pacific drug cartel was paraded in front of reporters. edgar jimenez lugo was 14 years old when this was filmed. he laid out gruesome details of his life in organized crime. he said he was 11 years old when he started killing and slit the throats of four victims himself. he also said drug cartel leaders picked him off the street and forced him in to carrying out the assassinations and that he was high on drugs when he killed cartel rivals. he was convicted as a juvenile and sentenced to three years in prison. now he's 17 and was released
from prison tuesday in mexico. news cameras captured the release. he was quickly deported back to the united states, flown to san antonio, texas, where he disappeared back into american society. u.s. customs and border protection officials say they helped facilitate his return, but say privacy laws prohibit the agency from releasing more details. he was born in san diego. he's a u.s. citizen. he served his prison sentence and does not face any criminal charges in the united states, so he's free to move around like anyone else. when the young man landed here in san antonio, we're told he was turned over to an aunt and will spend some time in a rehabilitation center, but it's not exactly clear where that will be. state child protective services here in texas say they are not handling his case and many people will be watching with interest to make sure this young man doesn't return to a world of violent crime. ed lavandera, cnn, san antonio, texas.
>> all right. so, holly and jeff, let's discuss this. holly, let's start with you. he served his time. he's back here in his home country, in the united states, legally. is three anything that police can do to track him? >> no. not legally. i mean, they can keep an eye on him. they can conduct surveillance from afar. but they cannot interfere with his right to move about. he was sentenced in mexico under their juvenile code. he served the max that he was, you know, allowed to serve as the law stands there. so, here in america, he is a free man, and as we say, he has paid his debt to society. >> and, jeff, to you, does a child this age even understand what he is doing? >> well, we're talking about a person who has a brain that's not fully formed yet, impulse control judgment is extremely poor. he explains and we can only take his word for it that he was on drugs, probably placed on drugs by the cartel, brainwashed by
the cartel, threatened by the cartel that if he didn't kill these people, murder these people, that he would be killed, too. that's what he says, so we take him at his word for it. and let's look at this politically and i think holly would agree, why wot border patrol get involved, why would the u.s. government get involved in helping as far as repatriation and as well getting him back together psychologically, emotionally. they feel that he was taken advantage of, as i think many of us do, despite the horrific crimes, because he was so young. my fear for him, the fear everyone may have for him, let's hope he wasn't so brainwashed that he had gotten positive reinforcement, a thrill from those killings, and in a time of stress doesn't revert back to that kind of behavior while he's going through the psychological rehabilitation right here in the united states. >> oh, my gosh, what a mess. and, holly, to you, he served three years in prison. do you think that that's an appropriate sentence? >> well, no, of course, i don't.
he beheaded four people and he admitted to it, but unfortunately under the law in mexico, that was the maximum he could receive, rosa. but i do know in reading through what is called the federal civil code there in mexico, they work very closely with their juvenile offenders to try to rehabilitate them and i know that this young counseling.eived constant they have worked on not just trying to deal with what he did, but why he did it. and if we think about it, this is not such an unusual story. let's think about the manson family murders, where adults, complete, total grown people were made to do these horrific things because they were brainwashed. they were influenced. they were led down that path. so, when you think about a little boy, and being kidnapped at 11, he was a little boy. so, when you think about what he did and why he did it being threatened, being brainwashed, hopefully all of the work that they've done with him, while he was serving that prison sentence, and they are going to
continue that counseling here in the united states. you know, i've read reports where they have referred him to resources here, so hopefully it will work. >> yeah. we have our fingers crossed on that one. >> sure. >> criminal defense attorney holly hughes in atlanta and clinical psychologist dr. jeff gardere -- >> pleasure. >> -- here in new york. thank you so much for helping us make sense of this. we, of course, are working on a lot of other stories. some people spend years trying to play classical music. the man you can about to meet can barely feel his own fingers. ♪ but as you can hear right there, he has no problem making beautiful music. his story, after the break. [ male announcer ] this store knows how to handle a saturday crowd.
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he believes his talent must be god given. >> i have been on the streets since i was 6 years old. i don't know how to play music, but i like what i hear in my head. sometimes i don't know what key i'm pushing. i let the music play the music. >> he's been living ton streets of vancouver so long, his fingers are numb from the cold nights. that doesn't stop him from playing the music he plays. for the past year, he's come to the music store to play the piano. of course you could say they don't mind him stopping by. here at cnn we are preparing for cnn heroes, an all-star tribute. it's a celebration of the top ten heroes of the year and their work helping others. it airs tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern. right now, we would like to introduce you to one of the heroes, dale, a wounded soldier
making sure every veteran gets the support at home that they need. >> all veterans have been taught to be responsible for the guy to your left and the guy to your right. and no matter what, people go to bat for them if they need you. >> go ahead. >> last man, go. >> we wouldn't leave one of our soldiers behind on the battlefield, but we do it so often here at home. i did three tours in vietnam. my injuries include my right leg, left elbow and lower back. for 35 years no one cared. >> every war is forgotten when the next one starts. people welcome me home and say they love us and i'm their hero.
i knew after meeting other veterans that wasn't the case for all of us. these other guys who struggle, they need a hand up. it is my mission to help other veterans get the support and homes they need from their communities. >> this is the young man why we are all here today. >> it's just getting the community engaged around a couple simple changes to someone's house or an entire house built from the ground up. we want to make their life easier, safer, just better. >> i could not get my wheelchair in and out my front door because i had steps with no handrail. it made me less of a social person. >> we are able to build a deck and a ramp. there used to be a concrete sidewalk here. we busted that up, got it out of here. doesn't sound like a lot, but the impact it made was
tremendous. their emotions are being reh rehabbed as well. >> they made me realize the challenges that i have had to endu endure meant something. >> they jump started me back into life. purple heart homes said welcome home. it's great to be home after 40 years. >> regardless of when you serve, where you served, we are all the same. we are all veterans. they need to know somebody does care about them. >> there's much more after the announcement of cnns hero of the year. don't miss the act of generosity that brought the entire audience to its feet. watch tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern only on cnn. [ imitating engine revving ]
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imagine being on the edge between life and death. having a chance to return to this world or go to the next one. well, many people feel near death experiences can shed light on what heaven is. i explored the work of one artist who says heaven is an art. heaven inspires curiosity. for this man, heaven is in new york. for lady ga gargor lady ga garg heaven. sr. if this japanese artist, heaven is an art. her exhibit at the david's warner gallery in new york is called, "i who have arrived in heaven." >> it's about gazing into on
oneself. >> people wait in hours to glimp inside it. >> happy and oh so sad. >> i felt the timeless part of it. >> tentacles and mirrors are a reflect of the after life. >> it's like clouds moving you up and up. >> webster's dictionary defines heaven at the spirit of the righteous after death. most people go to a different scrip for the answer. perhaps the bible, the koran. if you ask a religion professor, the answer depends on your faith. >> christianity clearly argues for an after life, a heaven. for muslims, on the other hand, they view paradise in much more concrete terms.
the jewish community, one achieves ones immortality in a sense through ones family. >> reporter: it's safe to say, one thing holds true across time, the definition of heaven is intensely personal. you can hear more of these extraordinary stories when you watch "to heaven and back" tomorrow night, 7:00 eastern here on cnn. here in the cnn news room, i'm rosa florez in for don lemon. we start with north korea. a plea from the white house, a requestions to release american