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tv   CNNI Simulcast  CNN  May 11, 2014 2:00am-3:01am PDT

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right now, people are voting for autonomy in eastern ukraine. we'll give you a live report from donetsk. painful accounts from nigeria. how this government feels his family wasn't saved. and hear the drag queen win the euro vision song quest. lots of interesting stories to get to you today.
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welcome. welcome to our viewers in the u.s. and around the world, this is "cnn newsroom." i appreciate you joining us on this sunday. let's get right to our top story. balloting underway in a controversial referendum in eastern ukraine. the polls opened today despite calls by both kiev and moscow to cancel the election. the referendum asked a simple question -- do you support the active independence, yes or no. this comes just after deadly clashes between pro russian militants and ukrainian troops in the region. at least seven people were killed in mariupol. and we have several reporters and we'll speak with everybody. and you are at one of the many
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polling stations there. talk about how the turnout is and who is turning out. >> well, turnout has been quite good. we have been to at least two stations here, we have seen dozens of people come out across the morning. on the right, you can see people are coming in and they have to show passport or i.d. in order to register. but they're working off an old electoral roll here. what that means a lot of people are registering may not be on that roll. so they're saying they can add you on to the register as long as you show your i.d. you can cast your vote here, but one thing to note, you can see that's the flag of the donetsk people's republic, the self-declared donetsk's people republic and they have organized this rushed through referendum. the entire vote is on whether or not they should even exist.
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so that gives you and indication of the bias of the vote that's happening here. as far as how voting is taking place and where it -- how it's going across the polling stations, we have seen one man vote twice. of course, there's a lot of concerns that voters could go from polling station to polling station, registering as many times as possible to vote. so a lot of questions as to how that can be straightened out and whether or not it is going to be a fair vote. so this is going to go on throughout the day from 8:00 in the morning until 10:00 in the evening. now we understand shortly after the 10:00 cutoff time, there will be results announced but i don't think that's any question in many people's minds as to which way the vote will go. errol? >> precisely. and people are casting their ballots. you can see many journalists tweeting inside. everyone is voting yes it seems so far. kind of a forgone conclusion. but this is not seen as
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legitimate by any entities outside the self-declared republics, so what happens next? this undermines the police and the military efforts which were already woefully inadequate. we have the presidential elections coming up in just two weeks from now. how does this set the stage for that? >> yeah. i have to say the one thing that is undeniable, there are people coming out to vote. now, we don't know of course what the voter turnout is going to be and i don't think anybody expects it to be an accurate reflection of opinion throughout the region here, but what we have been hearing from people is that frustration and anger with the government in kiev for being either unwilling or unable to regain control and just keep the streets safe. you know, people we talked to say they want to change because they just want to get back to normal living and that's their biggest concern. that's actually why people come
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out and they cast their ballots. how does this set the stage for elections coming up? unfortunately many people fear that it will raise tensions again. but what people want to make clear by coming here to vote, they don't want to see any more violence and they want to see a change however it happens. >> and hang the nail on the head, many people don't feel this is an accurate representation of what people want there. 70% of eastern ukraine want to stay part of the larger country, but we'll keep our eyes fixed there as this referendum continues. at this moment, let's turn to the kidnapping of the nigerian school girls. the military says two battalions are searching for the girls on the northeastern border of chad. and family members have been spoken to and they're waiting in
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anguish and frustration for weeks now, as you see isha joins us live. in other tragedies from malaysia, governments set up communication systems and they create a mechanism to create with the families. how are the relatives of the kidnapped girls being treated? >> reporter: hi, there, errol. the feeling we have got as we have spoken to the kidnapped girls there's little in the way of effective communication with them. when i got here a little over a week ago, there was an information plaqueout here on the ground. the government was providing very little in the way of communication information about what they were doing to find these girls. that has since eased up somewhat. although we still want more details on the search and the rescue mission. for the families this has been a time of utter anguish and desperation. just not knowing enough, being on the ground add and as they
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tell cnn not seeing much in the way of urgent action, at least at the beginning of this tragedy, and it's coupled with just a feeling of disappointment. huge disappointment. you may remember, errol, that the former secretary of state hillary clinton said in public remarks last week that the nigerian government has been somewhat derelict in its responsibility to protect the people of the north for a number of years now. so i asked this father, this father who lost two daughters in this attack on the school. and i said, do you feel that the government has failed you? take a listen to what he had to say. do you feel the government failed you? >> i said even if we are not in nigeria -- [ inaudible ] it's an ill attack. at this time, we heard that the
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national security is coming in. we know that something would be done definitely. we have hope. >> reporter: six of your family members have gone, have been abducted. two are your own daughters. tell me what they're like, their characters, their personalities. >> the girls are very, very good. they are beautiful in the house. one is playing hand ball or volleyball. i have their volleyball coat in my house. >> reporter: tell me about life in chibok right now. >> nobody is sleeping in their house, fear of attacking. every day, every night. some sleep on the street. some sleep on the mountain. some sleep in the bush.
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>> reporter: nobody is sleeping in their house, people are sleeping in the bushes. this not the first parent that cnn has spoken to that has told them that. we spoke to another family that recounted the same tale, a feeling of not being safe. . so they have taken the matter in their own hands, they feel the threat of boko haram is so urgent, that's what they have to do to feel safe. >> this is really -- we are seeing such a nigerian response to this problem. i know beyond the bring back our girls campaign and that twitter and hash tag that is out there, yesterday, the protesters are saying they're going to hold the demonstrations every day to keep up the pressure on the government. do we know anything else about this pressure plan i guess you could call it that? >> reporter: i think, you know, it's just a continuation. people around the world, whether
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they're using social media or taking to the streets around the world or here, they want to keep that pressure on. you have to remember that when this first started, just a couple of days after the girls were taken there was a statement put out by the nigerian military saying all the girls apart from eight had been returned to their families. so that as we all know now turned out not to be true. that's caused a lack of trust between the ordinary government and the nigerian government. it's essential that they keep asking for more details about what is being done. because they were told, one, they would be utterly false in the past. you have to provide the information so that people will now believe you, you're doing everything you can to find these girls and the protests, they continue. the people here say they'll keep coming out on the streets every day until the girls come back. errol?
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>> for many people, it's legitimacy on the line here as we all wait for answers. isha sesay live for us, thank you. now, we want to return to our top story next matthew chance is standing by at a polling station in moscow where ukrainian expatriates are voting in a controversial referendum already. we'll check in with him after the short break. stay with us. thit's not the "limit yoursh hard earned cash back" card . it's not the "confused by rotating categories" card. it's the no-category-gaming, no-look-passing, clear-the-lane-i'm- going-up-strong, backboard-breaking, cash back card. this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one. unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every single day. i'll ask again...
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welcome back. a controversial referendum is underway in a number of eastern ukrainian self-declared republics but let's get the view from russia because matthew chance has expatriates voting in
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this referendum. certainly the fact that you have something like this makes it look more likely russia has a hand in what's happening in ukraine. walk us through what's happening where you are. >> reporter: yeah, hey, errol, we found a makeshift polling station that's been set up of course not in eastern ukraine but right in the heart of the russian capital. right in the center of moscow. these are the polling boxes right here. the officials who have been organizing this, somebody is coming to vote now. at least 1,000 people, expatriates from ukraine, have come here from donetsk, and luhansk in the east of the country, to cast their ballots in the autonomy referendums that are being staged across that region this weekend. vladimir putin had called on the groups in eastern ukraine to postpone this referendum and he voiced his support for the
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presidential elections in ukraine. but there have been serious doubts emerge as to his sincerity. of course, the separatists on the ground of course have gone ahead and staged the polls despite what vladimir putin the russian president says. on the one hand, it undermined that idea that vladimir putin was pulling the strings of the separatists on the ground in eastern ukraine. but you see here in the russian capital overseen by the russian police over here on the one hand, and cossacks on the other hand, and they're allowing the voting to take place here in moscow. clearly, they couldn't be that against it. errol? >> and matthew, you know, one thing analysts have said as they look at what could possibly be putin's motivations for this, they see the annexation of crimea. we have seen the efforts by pro russian separatists in odessa and now the self-declared republics in the east taking this vote. some are saying it may be land
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locked ukraine. i know you talked to some people there. does anybody else have that view, that this -- the big picture, long term strategy here is about control of ukraine's political outcomes, specifically that presidential election coming up in two weeks? >> reporter: yeah. i think the kremlin made no secret about their objectives. they say what they want in ukraine isn't to occupy or to annex eastern ukraine, for instance as in crimea. instead, they want the country to adopt a federal constitution. that would give the russian speaking areas of the eastern and the south of the country a greater say. the reason for that, according to the kremlin and to those on the ground, they need to have their language and their rights guaranteed in the ukrainian constitution. but, you know, i think the analysis of it is that potentially it would open the door for the kremlin to essentially control that
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russian-speaking, ethnic russian area of the ukraine. you see people here in moscow extremely enthusiastic. got it. okay. donetsk is the area where the people here are from. everybody is voting yes to break the autonomy. and of course, that leads to later on down the line to perhaps a union with russian which of course is what people here in eastern ukraine want. many others want to say within a federal ukraine. errol? >> there you have it. we can see and hear all the enthusiasm. i see finger wagging as well, as some expats from ukraine vote in today's referendum. thank you very much.
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all right. moving on to other stories now, protesters clash with police in the streets of caracas on saturday. they demanded the release of 200 people detained in protest against the president. police used tear gas to disburse the crowd. and less than a week after shinalack was ousted, they say installing an unelected leader could lead to civil war. in south africa defense attorneys for oscar pistorius say they could wrap up their case as early as tuesday. kelly phelps was asked about the coming weeks. >> reporter: we're coming to the end of the defense's case. how much ground have they made? >> well, they struck at the heart of the murder case. they have relied on the evidence
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of the woman heard screaming and wound ballistics. and the defense have presented neighbor evidence suggesting that only a man was heard screaming from neighbors who were much closer than the state's neighbors and they have put together a well respected forensic expert to cast doubt on the state's interpretation, of the ball listics evidence. >> looking forward, we have three or four more days left of the defense's case. who do you expect to take the stand? >> it remains to be seen whether they'll call the witnesses pertains to the charges or deal with them in the closing arguments alone. there's the much anticipated psychological evidence and that will really be crucial evidence with regard to the culpable homicide charge. the lesser offense on murder. and it will try to place
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pistorius' frame of mind in the challenges. >> we'll bring you updates on the trial throughout the week. all right. the polls are now open in eastern ukraine as we have shown you. voters casting their ballots right now on a controversial referendum. coming up, we'll bring you a live report from ukraine. plus, how a bearded drag queen stole the show. up. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante.
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welcome back, everyone. police in the u.s. state of virginia are looking for a third person that was riding in a hot air balloon when it burst into flames. two bodies have been recovered, but a heavily wooded area is hampering the search. erin mcpike has more.
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>> we are transitioning from a rescue to a recovery operation to a time. >> reporter: virginia authorities confirming the terrifying hot air balloon accident was deadly for the three people on board. >> the air borne hot air balloon appears to be still smoking and pretty high there. >> got a report that the basket has come off. so we're trying to find that right now. >> advise all units that we need to locate the basket. >> reporter: authorities still haven't located that basket, but they have retrieved two of the three victims and are still looking for the third. searchers have also retrieved debris and other items that would have been on the balloon. >> they have been a tremendous help. there have been between 20 and 30 calls to whose who witnessed it to here at the festival, to neighbors, people driving within the vicinity. it's been a tremendous help. >> reporter: more than 100 people searched saturday. and civil air patrol assisted.
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challenging because the basket and balloon separated after snagging a power line and catching fire. leading two of the passengers to jump or fall. >> my boyfriend came running out, oh, my god, look at this guy, the balloon is on fire. we saw things falling from the sky. >> reporter: as you know, there were three people on board. the pilot and two others. we have learned that the two passengers worked for the university of richmond women's basketball program. erin mcpike, virginia. the los angeles clippers are in the second round of the nba playoffs. actually really good for them, but much of the focus is still on their owner donald sterling. in the first round, players on the team staged a protest against his racist rant. alexandra field explains the consequences of butting heads with the owner. >> reporter: clippers players still playing. donald sterling still talking.
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>> i'm talking to a girl. i'm trying to have sex with her. >> reporter: the latest recording released by radar online is believed to be sterling offering some kind of explanation for his racist rant. >> what the hell, i'm talking to a girl. the girl is black. i like her. i'm jealous that she's with other black guys. i want her. >> reporter: sterling could be forced through a vote by nba owners to sell the team. this week, his estranged wife shelly sterling said she's a partial owner and she wants to keep it. clippers coach doc rivers. >> i think it would be a very hard situation if you want -- i'll say that much. i think it would be very difficult. i guarantee you every person would be on board with that. >> reporter: players have protested donald sterling, turning their shirts inside out. mark edelman said they could turn to social media too. beyond that there are consequences. >> everybody so quick to say that the players should do when they don't have any skin in the game. but for a player they have to be
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cognizant of their contract and the fact if they do not show up to the game where they have an obligation to appear, they do run the risk of termination. >> reporter: a team rarely publicly goes up against its owner. there is an extreme example. eight players including the infamous shoeless joe jackson on the 1919 chicago white sox team were accused of conspireing with gamblers to lose the world series in an apparent act of retaliation against an unpopular owner. >> this goes to show what could happen if all levels of respect between an owner and a player were to fall apart. all right. you're watching "cnn newsroom," live from cnn center. coming up for you, protesters demand more action to find the hundreds of kidnapped nigerian school girls. a controversial referendum is underway right now in eastern ukraine. you see there voters casting their ballots.
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we'll bring you a live report fr from ukraine after this. woman: vamanos. driver & passenger: vamanos. woman: gracias. driver & passenger: gracias. passenger: trece horas en el carro sin parar y no traes musica. driver: mira entra y comprame unas papitas. vo: get up to 795 miles per tank in the tdi clean diesel. the volkswagen passat. recipient of the j.d. power appeal award, two years in a row. improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we'll raise it yet again.
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you're in the "cnn newsroom." here are top stories right now. despite western fears it can create more instability in ukraine, greater autonomy is now underway there. pro russia separatists organized this, although vladimir putin asked that it be delayed. in nigeria protesters are
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vowing to protest every day until the government gets back the 276 school girls kidnapped last night. the nigerian army says two battalions are focusing on the northeastern border air near chad and cameroon. anti-government demonstrators clashed with police and the protesters are demanding the release of more than 200 people detained for demonstrations against the president. tear gas was used. and conchita verse of australia performed as an alter ego and the winning song "rise like a phoenix" is a call for tolerance. now, returning to news out of the african continent. the school girls taken by boko haram three weeks ago.
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there was a rally saturday in abuja to get a deeper sense of how the nigerians are reacting. >> reporter: many are keeping the pressure on the government, demanding they do more to rescue over 200 school girls still missing nearly a month after they were kidnapped by the islamist terror group, boko haram. this young mother sees herself in the kidnapped girls. >> if 23 years ago had killed my dreams where would i be today? i might be dead. for nobody to care -- some of the parents were here yesterday and they said they have nothing. all they have is the hope in their children. >> reporter: a sentiment echoed by first lady michelle obama. >> in these girls, barack and i see our own daughters. we see their hopes and their dreams and we can only imagine
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the anguish their parents are feeling right now. >> reporter: these protesters have been coming out here for 11 days straight and they say they are protesting the nigerian government's indifference to bringing these girls home. they say they'll continue to come out here every day until they see positive news, a search and rescue operation on the ground to bring these girls back. this is one of the demonstration organizers. >> we have nothing from the president, until this protest. >> reporter: on saturday, the nigerian president promised to bring the girls home. as teams from the united states, britain and others assist in the search and rescue operations. >> we are happy that people all over the world are supporting this initiative and helping our open government. >> reporter: like this 7-year-old who only wants one thing -- >> bring back our girls right now.
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and now we turn to this, syria's ancient city of homs lays in ruins as residents return there after three years of constant fighting. take a look at this. rebel fighters were granted safe passage out of the city under an agreement reached with the damascus government. earlier we asked the former u.s. ambassador to syria if this could be a turning point for president bashar al assad. >> i think the fact that haunts this family, fallen to his troops is extremely important. homs maintains the north-south highway between damascus and aleppo and secondly, it also controls the road to the coast. there's an old crusader castle that overlooks the valley that leads to the coast where the cities are. so in effect, assad's consolidating his hold on some of the most important areas of
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syria in terms of their population and in terms of the ability of the syrian forces to move from damascus to their ancestral homeland in the mountains overlooking the cities. >> the move will be a boost to president assad ahead of the presidential election set for early june. we'll of course keep our eyes looking out for that development. and now to this news out of north africa. the son of deposed libyan dictator moammar gadhafi returns to court today. he is facing crimes during his father's reign including the bombing of civilians back in 2011. now to a more dated regime that used to rule libya the romans. the ancient ruins have seen a lot since they were built around the seventh century, but not many people have seen them. we have more on the ruins left
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unguarded and in magnificent condition. >> reporter: i went to libya in 2004. when the country was still under the iron grip of former dictator moammar gadhafi. ten years later i went back to libya for first time after the revolution that toppled him. the on going political turmoil and rampant violence have limited the country's visitors these days to those seeking headlines, money or dangerous thrills. i drove out two hours from the capital of tripoli to the coast in search of something far more captivati captivating. the ancient ruins of liptus
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magna. overlooking the mediterranean sea and the hometown of roman emperor, this was one of the largest and most unspoiled roman ruins in the world. i roamed around the open-air museum with unlimited access. no guards, no guides, no tourists anywhere to be seen. the city's magnificent public buildings were once the meeting point to exchange information. today, the walls bear only the exchanges of graffiti tags. as i walked through the city's remains, i imagined how the market and the imposing theaters must have once swarmed with residents. now completely abandoned except for three sisters eagerly looking for a more glorious part of their libyan history.
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well, all right, we'll return to our top story after the break. today's controversial referendum in a number of eastern ukrainian cities. nick peyton walsh will connect with us in moments. stay close. tartar means less scraping. so i'm going pro. [ male announcer ] new crest tartar protection rinse. the only rinse that helps prevent tartar build-up and cavities. a little swishing. less scraping. yes! [ male announcer ] new crest pro-health tartar protection rinse. it helps you escape the scrape. tartar protection rinse. ♪ make every day, her day with a full menu of appetizers and entrées crafted with care and designed to delight. fancy feast. love served daily.
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welcome back, everyone. let's check the global weather forecast, shall we? there are more storms rolling across the u.s. we have all the details from the world weather center. ivan? >> again, today, we are looking at storms rolling through the u.s. yesterday, we had numerous tornado reports and also hail reports as well along the midwestern part of the united states. on the eastern seaboard as well. some of these did touch down with some damages. i think today even worse we'll show you where that area is going to be. look at the record rainfall, 90
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millimeters in a short amount of time. that fell within a few hours causing significant flash flooding in new orleans. and so for today, showers and storms are going to roll through parts of texas and extending up into the north and in fact on the back side of this system, snow is going to be falling with winter storm warnings in effect for parts of the rockies, that includes denver there. and where you see the red here, that's indicative of where we are likely to see some significant storms later on. so we'll watch that closely. in china, it's been raining heavily here with also plenty of lightning as well. some of these thunderstorms that do blow up, shangchuan getting heavy rainfall. and korean peninsula getting
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involved here. wet weather, with more rain on the way. and the monsoon still not here, and it shouldn't be. we are still early, but this is a time of year because of lack of rainfall that high sun angle. temperatures are going to be very warm. upper 30s to lower 40s. there have been some pockets of explosive thunderstorms here. not monsoon-like yet. that hasn't lifted into the north here, but nevertheless, 153 millimeters of rainfall. >> ivan, thanks very much. i'm not sure how much this next story will surprise you. dennis rodman has made stunning comments about what's going on in secretive north korea. and maybe the most jaw-dropping allegation concerns the uncle of leader kim jong-un. >> this night was really different. >> reporter: far from being contrite, dennis rodman still glowing about the trip he made to north korea in january.
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and the basketball exhibition he staged for kim jong-un's birthday. >> i was so amazed to see the people crying. mine up, literally crying. >> reporter: some of the video was videotaped, but rodman wanted the audio recorded. he said that his uncle was still alive when he was there. >> that's his girlfriend, his -- >> the uncle is alive? >> reporter: the interviewers were skeptical. asking if the uncle was alive. >> he was standing right there. >> reporter: this despite reports from north korea's own government news agency that kim had had his uncle executed for treason. other allegations -- he said he paid the other nba stars who
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accompanied him $30,000 each out of his own pocket. he said he's held kim's baby and portrayed the uneven volatile young dictator as a cruise director. >> he loves playing table tennis. and he has a -- he has a real band of his own girls. >> did you ever sing? >> they play rocky and dallas. >> reporter: rodman has admitted he was drunk for part of the time and he said he went to rehab after returning from north korea. but he remains the only american ever to have personal face to face meetings with kim jong-un. rodman says he wants to change that. >> he really really wants to talk to obama. he can't state it enough, he doesn't want to kill americans. >> reporter: rodman told du jour
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that the president only wants nuclear weapons to defend his country. he was in denial over the human rights record. when asked about the hundreds of thousands of people suffering in labor camps there, his response, which country does not have that? brian todd, cnn, washington. >> i don't know that rodman is the best person to get involved in international relations, but that's just my opinion. it's irrelevant. but one place where opinions are relevant is the eurovision song contest. the winner has a face as distinctive as her voice. check this out. >> the winner is austria! >> you can't miss a face like that. nope as the bearded lady for obvious reasons, drag queen conchita verse took the trophy. she won with the tune "rise like a phoenix." this is the first victory in this competition for 48 years. as to how she keeps her beard looking that groomed, just ask
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25-year-old singer tom noiva, he's under all that hair. he started to dress as the character back in 2011. as for winning, she said winning is a dream come true. >> this eurovision family is a family i only wanted to join. because this project is based on tolerance, acceptance and love. and so it really felt like coming home actually. and i know there's a different world besides eurovision song contest. but i believe that also the people outside of the eurovision are thinking hopefully the way i do. >> all right. unique look, but a universal message of tolerance. since austria won the competition it will host next year's contest. i don't know if you're expecting to jump in the water
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in this weekend. the divers are plunging into the cliff diving world series. we have more on the brave and the bold. >> reporter: i'm on top of the elmoro castle. it is 27 meters down to the water below me. the fortress is being used as a launch pad for some of the top divers to compete for the first time in cuba at the world series of cliff diving. a special platform has been built behind me to go further out over the water. any kind of collision would most likely be fatal. the fiver who completes the best four jumps wins the competition. cuba is famous for the athletes. among them champions boxers and
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baseball players. the cliff diving isn't popular here. no cubans are competing. but still, havana loves a spectacle and thousands are crammed here to see them making their death defying leaps into the water. people are cheering and people seem to be enjoying the show. at least from a safe distance. patrick ottman, cnn, havana. >> oh, a bit too close to the shoreline for me. still ahead, we'll look at an extreme endurance race. that's well, excuse me language, one tough mudder. see what we mean after this.
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lot's get back to the top story. the controversial referendum in ukraine. we'll connect now with nick
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paton walsh. he joins us on the phone. what's interesting about where you are, there's still a military standoff in that city. kind of speaks to the tense climate in which this vote stake taking place. >> reporter: now we move into the building, which is effectively held by the military. and the check points are the ukrainian military. and we have seen intense scenes where the pro russian militants are maneuvering around one road which the military has been moving down as well. it's hard to paint an accurate picture as to what's happening overnight. we have heard from residents, reports of shooting on the outskirts. and there are no reports of casualties coming in. rather than be caught in the cross fire here, people are obviously deeply concerned about
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the possibility of military intervention by kiev. talk about the voting. although in one place we went to, it was extraordinarily busy. a lot of people there. putting their mark on the ballot. point out, this isn't a normal democratic process. there's no debate in public about who should think what. there's an argument made by both sides. and it's an endorsement to make through the ballot box which is what the military has done here, saying it should be close to russia if not part of russia. but certainly in that ballot area too it was quite clear that the potential for regularities for example you want to vote, you have to arrive with your passport. you have to show you're registered as a resident of the donetsk region and you have to explain you don't live around the corner from the voting station, why you come to this simple place, there's a potential of them moving around and voting more than once. i think what the people behind what the demonstration is showing, there's an adequate presence in the voting stations.
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people putting their mark on the paper and they're suggesting to me, it's as high as 30%. the numbers today are probably higher than perhaps the reality. but at the end of the day, the statement being made here, not necessarily the kind of legitimacy of the vote, because most outside observers know it's happening under extraordinary circumstances. >> and it's evident everywhere, we connected with matthew chance in moscow where they set up a voting location for expats, they're enthusiastic, and atika shubert observed people voting twice, but at the polling times and the locations, it was only communicated i understand on one russian channel. can you talk to us about that, about how people knew when and where to vote. >> reporter: well, we're watching one russian channel and only the russian 24 news channel
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which is in russian and run by the kremlin, the russian government, about every 10 or 15 minutes appeared a banner which said specifically to the town that we were in at this time that you should go to an opposite area at a certain time and bring your passport with you if you want to vote on the public referendum. we checked the other tv channels, the ukrainian ones at the same time, and they were not broadcasting a similar banner. it was specific to russia 24 and to that geographical location. telling people where they are, exactly what they have to do in order to vote. town specific. so here vladimir putin said the referendum should be delayed. well, that's one thing and we are seeing the tv stations that he controls, no doubt about it. state run, state controlled. in the media climate no doubt about that. they are giving specific instructions to people in the town where they are, how they
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can vote in this referendum. that doesn't sound like russia is trying to delay it. >> we see russian fingerprints all over the referendum. nick paton walsh on the line with us from slavyansk. we are keep our eyes fixed to ukraine. first, michael sam has been selected in the nfl draft. that makes him the first openly gay football player picked. he burst into tears after receiving the good news. he was chosen by the st. louis rams in the final round. president obama later gave the defensive lineman his congratulations as well. back in february, sam publicly revealed his homosexuality. he had a decorated collegiate playing career and whether he would be drafted that became a highly discussed topic in the u.s. although he's been picked, sam still has to make the rams' final roster. he said he's ready to get down to work. >> i'm proud to give everything i got for st. louis. so many people are proud of the
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st. louis organization for being the one to make history. >> and now to another kind of extreme race, extreme endurance racing. they take toughness, strength, stamina and perhaps most of all, mental grit. chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta looks at one of the originals, seven mile, 17 obstacle course that some might consider pure hell. >> reporter: it was four years ago this month when this phenomenon started to catch fire of extreme endurance challenges. nowadays you have all sorts of different races. you have the warrior dash, the spartan race, but back then it was just one. it was called the tough mudder. one of our producers ben tinker decided to partake and we decided to go along for the ride. >> you guys have really pumped up. >> yeah. we're here to enjoy all the people. and we like the challenge. i think it will be fun. >> we have been talking about doing an adventure race for a while now.
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>> i have committed to doing this race. i'm not sure if that's a good idea. when i signed up, i thought there would be all the shapes and sizes of people here. everyone here is in really, really good shape. and i'm starting to wonder if i can cut it. >> all right. so we have reached the top of the hill. i have my number. sophie says it's too late to turn back. so mark me up. >> yeah, too late now. >> three, two, one. >> let's go. come on, come on. >> great job. >> started off with the guys. at the beginning of the race they were ahead of me. i hope they gave everything they have got at the beginning. i can catch up right now. >> mud up. >> come on, mud up. >> got it. all right. >> come on. >> almost at the end.
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how you guys feeling? >> a little tired. >> how about you? >> fantastic. >> yeah. >> it's going to be something of a test for everyone. for every different person it's a different fear and the one thing about a tough mudder course it tests all those fears in one day. >> don't stop. >> what you saw there was a lot of camaraderie and that's i think one of the big assets of the types of events. people really supporting each other. so grab a friend, get outside. and try and get fit. >> that's right. it's all about comraamaraderica. it's difficult to report and run the race at the same time. who wants to join me? crickets. no team work here. thanks for joining me. "new day" is up next and for everyone else, i'll have your headlines next after this break. we've never sold a house before.
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(agent) i'll walk you guys through every step. there are a lot of buyers for a house like yours. (husband) that's good to know.
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-- captions by vitac -- be. with the 249th pick of the 2014 draft the st. louis rams select michael sam, defensive end. >> an historic moment. michael sam becomes the first openly gay player to be drafted by the nfl. we've got the reactions including a special congratulations from the president. and we now know two of the victims who died in that hot air balloon crash. this morning, the recovery is under way for the third victim. also it's voting day in eastern ukraine.