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FBI To Weigh In on Sikh Temple Rampage; Sikh Temple Shooter Killed Self; Sons Discuss Mother Shot at Temple; All-American Volleyball Final; "Curiosity's" Camera's Trip to Mars; Medical Emergency at Antarctica
Aired August 8, 2012 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much, Carol. Hello, everyone, I am Kate Bolduan. It's 11:00 here on the East Coast, 8:00 out West.
A lot going on today, including the FBI is due to weigh in any second now on the Sikh temple rampage and its aftermath in Wisconsin. And through the tears of grief-stricken families, the world learns more about the victims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was a great mom. She lived for us. She worked for us. Everything she did, it was for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Plus, a breathtaking landing on Mars captured by a camera that was out of NASA's price range. Much more on that to come.
And there's no good place for a medical emergency, of course, but Antarctica is especially bad. A Medevac mission at the bottom of the world.
But first, as investigators dig deeper into Wade Michael Page's past and really search for a possible motive in the temple shootings, police have made an arrest in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Page's ex- girlfriend, Misty Cook.
She was taken in on a weapons charge. Cook's arrest was part of a joint investigation between the FBI and police. And we should learn more details about Cook's arrest and really the investigation into Page at this news conference. You're looking at live pictures right there from the room.
This news conference will begin any moment now and we will be bringing that to you live.
But first, let's get straight to David Mattingly who is on the ground and has been following all of the developments. Hi, there, David. So, David, what are you learning -- what more are you learning about this woman, Misty Cook? DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the FBI tells CNN that Misty Cook, when they went to search her apartment, she agreed voluntarily to let them in to search their apartment. As they were doing that they found this firearm. As a convicted felon, she's not allowed to have one.
The FBI stressing, however, to CNN, speaking to CNN's Ted Rowlands, saying that this is not part of their investigation into Wade Page. But they are saying that they were accompanied by South Milwaukee police and those police, the local police made the arrest on that firearms charge.
So, the arrest itself and the firearms charge will be handled by police and not by the FBI.
BOLDUAN: So, as we are waiting to obviously hear more on this investigation into Wade Page's background and anything more we can gather from this arrest of his girlfriend, Misty Cook, what are you learning about the temple? When will it be opening? And what more are you hearing from the community?
MATTINGLY: Well, the last we heard from the FBI, the special agent in charge said that her heart goes out to people who worship there. They know that they want to get back into the temple just as soon as possible.
She was saying, because of the meticulous nature of this investigation, they are having to take their time. And she said it may be, the earliest date possibly would be Thursday before they could be allowed to get back in there.
But today, the roads are still blocked going into that temple behind me. The police are still there on the scene. The mayor of the town here telling me yesterday that the difficulty was because of the shots fired that were fired into the police vehicles. They have to leave everything on site exactly as they found it, so they can track the trajectory of all the shots fired and make sure that every possible detail of this killing was documented properly.
So, that's what's going on. They say it's just taking a matter of time and the FBI saying they are very conscious that they want to make sure this gets back into the hands of the worshippers there just as soon as possible.
BOLDUAN: Yes, and taking time is, obviously, understandable when you are undergoing this type of investigation.
Real quick, David, what kind -- are you getting an inkling of what we could be learning in this update from the FBI and from other authorities on the ground there? What big questions remain in your mind to be answered today?
MATTINGLY: Well, obviously ,the big question is about motivation. What prompted him to carry out these deadly attacks, what associations he might have had that contributed to that? At this point, there's been no mention from any investigating authority on this crime to tell us that there's been any sort of indication of a wider conspiracy. So far, all the FBI is telling us that they've received tips that he was potentially involved with other groups, but so far, they're saying that they were confident that he was acting alone as he was carrying out the killings.
BOLDUAN: And, David, I know you're going to be wanting to watch this, as well, so let's dip in live now because this press conference with the FBI and other authorities on the ground there in Milwaukee to give us the latest on the investigation into this temple shooting is going on right now. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN LIVE COVERAGE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our speakers today will include Teresa L. Carlson, special agent in charge of the Milwaukee division; James Santelle, United States attorney, eastern district of Wisconsin; John Edwards, chief of police, Oak Creek police department; and Jeff Magee, assistant special agent in charge, ATF Milwaukee.
At this time I introduce you to special agent in charge, Milwaukee division, Teresa Carlson.
TERESA CARLSON, SPECIAL AGENT, MILWAUKEE FBI: Thanks, (INAUDIBLE). Good morning. Thank you all for coming today.
I understand that you guys have a lot of questions and that you're anxious for information. Please know that we have been working around the clock since Sunday on this investigation in an effort to make sure that it is thorough and efficient and that we get you the best information possible.
Obviously, the investigation is ongoing and there's going to be details that I can't discuss today, but I do want to give you an update of some things that happened since the last time we spoke.
First of all, after having conducted an extensive investigation, we can still say that we have not identified anyone else, other than Wade Michael Page, as being responsible for these shootings.
On Sunday evening, we did identify Misty Cook as the ex- girlfriend of Wade Michael Page. The FBI accompanied by the South Milwaukee police department interviewed her at her residence. She was cooperative.
The police officers, while there, observed a weapon and they arrested her for felon-in-possession at that time. The cause of this arrest is not connected to the shootings in Oak Creek and has no relation to this investigation.
Second, I want to mention that, at the previous press conference, we talked a little bit about what other references there might have been to Wade Michael Page in FBI files. I want to note that -- reiterate, as we did before, that we did not have an open investigation on him prior to the shootings. I want to clarify that a reference can be anything from a complainant, a witness, a background, a referral, a liaison. It could be any number of things, not necessarily derogatory.
As the investigation stands now, we have conducted over a hundred interviews, nationwide, includes those of family, associates, employers, neighbors of Wade Michael Page. We have issued 180 federal grand jury subpoenas. As of 8:00 this morning, we have 101 leads pending, nationwide. I'm sorry, worldwide.
As of this morning, the evidence response team is continuing the process of the crime scene at the temple. It is a large crime scene. As you can imagine, the temple consists of several rooms over sixteen- thousand square feet that need to be meticulously searched.
We recovered approximately 139 items from the parking lot, alone. We are reviewing voluminous electronic records from Page's e-mail accounts, his telephone. We're combing through Department of Transportation traffic videos, neighborhood security videos.
I will say that the video coverage from inside the temple was not on at the time, so there is no video of the shooting from inside the temple.
We have conducted physical searches of his residence, his vehicle, a rented storage locker, and also space he had at a former employer.
I want to reiterate again that, after all of this work, we still have identified no one else responsible for this shooting other than him. We also have not clearly defined a motive at this point.
Another thing I want to note is that the evidence indicates that the second responding officer who shot Page in the stomach, thereby neutralizing the threat -- and, by the way, I've seen the video. It is an amazing shot and thank goodness. Subsequent to that wound, it appears that Page died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The person of interest we talked about at the last press conference, thank you for getting that photograph out. It enabled us to identify him promptly. We have located him, we have interviewed him and he is cooperative and he's continuing to cooperate.
So, at this point, I want to turn the podium over to U.S. Attorney Jim Santelle who's going to talk a little bit about community engagement.
JIM SANTELLE, U.S. ATTORNEY: Teresa, thank you. Good morning, everyone. Again, my name is Jim Santelle. I'm the U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Wisconsin. I want first to reaffirm the statements that our special agent --
BOLDUAN: This press conference is ongoing. I just want to dip in to make sure we reiterate the headline that we heard right there from the FBI special agent in charge, Teresa Carlson.
She just said that, from what they have gathered from the video that they have, they see that when the second officer arrived on scene and shot Page in the stomach, after that, according to the FBI agent, Page appeared to die of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
This is the first time we're learning this kind of detail, coming out of this temple shooting massacre. I think we have David Mattingly miked up. David, are you there?
MATTINGLY: Yes. Yes, I can hear you. That fact that you're bringing out, absolutely very important.
And if you put it into context, as we saw Brian Todd reporting earlier today, that he had an experience when he went to the officer, the officer who shot Page there at the scene, when he went to his home to ask if he could interview him, multiple police cars showed up.
Police seemed to be very edgy, their hands on their weapons at the time, to find out who they were and what they were doing there, showing a great deal of sensitivity about approaching that officer's home.
He later found out they are concerned about possible retaliation from white supremacist groups in some fashion. So, that's why they were nervous about this. And, now, by putting this out there, they are saying that Page took his own life.
That police officer did shoot him when he arrived on the scene, the FBI calling it an amazing shot, but then Page himself dying from a self-inflicted gunshot to his head.
So that could be possible that, in that context, putting that out there to let anyone know who might be thinking about retaliation of how Page actually died in this confrontation.
BOLDUAN: That's a very, very interesting point, David. And, again, to reiterate to all of our viewers who may just be joining us, a big headline coming out of this press conference that's still ongoing that we are monitoring is that when the second officer arrived on scene outside the Oak Creek temple and he shot Wade Michael Page in the stomach, the FBI is now saying that it appeared Wade Michael Page died subsequently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, that he killed himself there in the parking lot of that Sikh temple.
Also, other headlines, the FBI reiterating in this press conference that they have still identified no one else other than Wade Michael Page to be responsible for this shooting.
And, obviously, they say the investigation is ongoing and they have a very large crime scene that they are still trying to comb through and they still do not have a motive that they are at least announcing at this point.
We are going to continue monitoring this press conference, maybe some more big news coming out from this. We'll bring these headlines to you as they come to us. Let's take a break. We'll be right back.
BOLDUAN: To presidential politics now. President Obama is on his way to Colorado where, compared to 2008, he seems to be facing a bit of an uphill climb.
A brand new Quinnipiac/CBS News/"New York Times" poll shows likely Colorado voters favor Mitt Romney over the president by a five- point margin right now. In 2008, Mr. Obama defeated John McCain in Colorado by nine points.
And Mitt Romney had a morning event in Iowa where last night he raised $2 million in a single appearance. That's an Iowa record. He's also due to raise more cash in New Jersey this coming afternoon.
CNN's Jim Acosta is covering Team Romney in Des Moines this morning. Hey there, Jim. So, what was Romney's message to voters in Iowa this morning?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the message to voters in Iowa has basically been the same message that he's been putting out there the last 24 hours and it's a controversial one. It is that President Obama, in his words, has weakened the worker requirements in the welfare program.
It all started, really, this controversy, with an ad that the Romney campaign debuted yesterday that accused the president of weakening those work requirements in welfare, noting that it was President Bill Clinton who signed that into law back in the mid-1990s.
And even though the ad itself has been ruled "pants on fire" by PolitiFact, it's gotten four "Pinocchios" by "The Washington Post." Check this out. It's on the front page of the "Des Moines Register," "Welfare change sparks tiffs."
So, the Romney campaign has gotten it desired effect. It is getting people talking about it out on the campaign trail and, earlier this morning here in Des Moines, Mitt Romney doubled down on this accusation against the president. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As a result of putting work together with welfare, the number of people on welfare was cut in half. Poverty was reduced five straight years. The level of poverty in this country came down. It was an extraordinary success.
Back at that time, then Senator Obama was opposed to putting work together with welfare. Now, he's president and, just a few days ago, he put that original intent in place. With a very careful executive action, he removed the requirement of work from welfare.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ACOSTA: Now, we should note that former President Bill Clinton did put out a statement last night. He doesn't do this much, doesn't usually get into the fray out on the campaign trail, but he put out a statement, calling Mitt Romney's ad not true and misleading, pointing out that there were some Republican governors who were seeking some waivers in the welfare law, waivers that would have given them more flexibility in helping people get from welfare and back into jobs.
And that basically is what the Obama campaign is putting out there today. They've got a web video out this morning, going after Mitt Romney on this.
But the Romney campaign, Kate, also has a web video out, doubling down on this. Pointing out that Joe Biden supported welfare reform back in the mid-1990s.
And, of all people, the RNC has put out Newt Gingrich today. They had Newt Gingrich out on a conference call earlier this morning, Kate. It was kind of entertaining, if you read some of the remarks that he made during this conference call. He referred to the president as the "anti-Clinton." He was really dishing out the red meat on this conference call.
And also called the secretary of Health and Human Services a radical. So, I think this was probably entertaining for a lot of Republicans to hear out there.
But I'm sure there are also a lot of Democrats out there who are saying, wait a minute, this is out of bounds, which is, of course, something that Newt Gingrich doesn't mind very much. He likes getting out there and mixing it up.
BOLDUAN: Yeah, it's obviously a race to the finish and, as some say, a race to the bottom, in terms of the rhetoric here. It will interesting to see if this tactic, this latest tactic by the Romney campaign is resonating with voters, something I know you'll be watching very closely.
Jim Acosta in Iowa for us. Thank so much, Jim. We'll talk to you soon.
I want to turn now to the White House and Dan Lothian. Just -- Dan Lothian is there for us. So, Dan, when you hear exactly what Jim is talking about in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Romney strategy, we also know that President Obama is traveling to Colorado, as we said earlier. So, just how important is Colorado to President Obama's re- election bid?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is an important battleground state for the president. He is leading in some of the other battleground states, but not in Colorado. The most recent poll there, the Quinnipiac poll showing the president trailing Mitt Romney by five points. So, that's why the president has been spending a lot of time in that state since he announced his re-election bid. This will be the seventh time he visited that state and he will be making stops, four official stops, in Denver, Grand Junction, Pueblo and Colorado Springs over two days.
But in Denver, while the president broadly will be addressing the economy, he'll be focusing on women's issues and, in particular, talking about how his healthcare law will benefit women.
In addition that, you have seen, not only in Colorado, but other battleground states, the Obama campaign rolling out an ad going after Mitt Romney's policies, issues on women, specifically replaying some of his earlier comments when he talked about eliminating Planned Parenthood.
So the president and Mitt Romney, both going after this critical group, women voters, especially in a key battleground state of Colorado, Kate.
BOLDUAN: And you hear Jim in Iowa talking about kind of the Romney campaign doubling down on the latest salvo in the welfare war, if you will. I mean, it's putting the Obama campaign a bit on defense.
But it sounds from what I can hear that it's a fight that the Obama campaign is welcoming. What are you hearing from inside the campaign on this?
LOTHIAN: That's right. And not just the campaign, but also the White House. You know, oftentimes, when these ads are put out, we will ask the White House to comment. Jay Carney, at the briefing, will often say, you know, if you want to ask specific questions about ads, then go directly to the campaign.
But yesterday, he really addressed this issue, saying this ad on the president, attacking the president on welfare is simply untrue. It's blatantly dishonest.
And, so, they're putting out this web ad, as Jim pointed out, trying, as they believe, to straighten out what Mitt Romney is putting out there, saying that the president's policies on welfare reform have only strengthened the program, not hurt it, as Mitt Romney is saying.
BOLDUAN: Yes and, as I think you will agree, we're seeing a lot more name-calling these days than we are talk on substantive issues, but alas, we continue to cover it and they continue to talk about it.
Dan Lothian at the White House, thank you so much.
To remind you all, the president is due to speak in Denver this afternoon at 3:20 p.m. Eastern, about four hours from now, and you will see him live, right here on CNN. We'll be right back.
BOLDUAN: On the ground in Syria, heavy fighting rages on for control of Aleppo, the country's largest city and communications hub.
Rebel fighters say parts of the city are being pounded by fighter jets, helicopter gunships and tanks. This video shows massive damage -- just look at it -- from recent shelling in a rebel-held neighborhood. All signs indicate an all-out Syrian military offensive to retake the city could come any day now.
Our Ivan Watson is monitoring the developments from Istanbul. Hey, there, Ivan. So, what can you tell us about the situation in Aleppo right now? It seems to just be deteriorating more and more by the day.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's no question that Syria's largest city, large parts of it, are being destroyed in this struggle for control of it.
Syrian state media, Kate, is reporting that the neighborhood of Salahuddin in the southwest of the city has been "cleared out," as they put it, "cleaned out," and that a number of terrorists, as the euphemism goes from the government, its description of the rebels, and foreign mercenaries have been captured.
But rebel commanders are telling us the opposite, saying that they are battling still for control of that key neighborhood, a neighborhood that the rebels first really moved into in force when they moved to infiltrate the city a couple weeks back, in part because it is a poorer neighborhood with a much more socially conservative population that tends to support the opposition.
Our own Ben Wedeman just got out of Aleppo a few hours ago, a dangerous journey. And he said he saw fighter jets repeatedly bombing neighborhoods of Aleppo and artillery shelling residential neighborhoods, indiscriminately.
BOLDUAN: And, Ivan, we've been watching these images for now, 17 months of the fighting that's been going on in Syria. You've covered uprisings in Egypt and Libya.
For our viewers who are just seeing these images, over and over again, how would you compare the fighting and the violence in those uprisings to what we're now seeing happening in Syria?
WATSON: Well, the first of the two revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring, Egypt and Tunisia, they were violent, but the period of conflict only lasted for a few weeks and the uprisings were not armed. They were able to overthrow Western-backed dictators within a matter of weeks.
Libya took much longer and it involved intervention by the NATO military alliance, a very robust, aerial bombing campaign, as well as huge amounts of guns to back the Libyan rebels who, ultimately, were able to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi.
Syria hasn't gotten any of that foreign support. The rebels have been pretty much on their own, starting as a peaceful protest movement, morphing into armed opposition. And it is clearly the longest of the uprisings that we've seen, 17 months and counting, with unquestionably the highest death toll, as well.
BOLDUAN: Yeah, the images coming out of there are just amazing and awful to look at on a daily basis. I'm sure you've seen more than you ever wanted to. Ivan Watson, thank so much. We'll talk to you very, very soon.
In addition to the battle for Aleppo, there's been no let-up in fighting across Syria and the World Health Organization says there are severe shortages now of medical and pharmaceutical supplies. And I'm sure of much, much more.
We'll be right back.
BOLDUAN: An update now on our top story this hour, the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin. Just moments ago, the FBI told for the first time that the suspect, Wade Michael Page, killed himself with a shot to the head after an officer shot him in the stomach on the scene at the Wisconsin temple. Initially, it was believed that Wade Michael Page was killed by that officer -- that police officer. Police tell CNN also that there are concerns white supremacists may attempt to retaliate against the police officer who shot the suspect. Also, some of Page's neighbors confirm or tell us that he played in a hate rock band. Also some new information. A man who says he served with Page in the Army says Page talked about a racial holy war in the 1990s. But police say they have no clear motive for the attack.
The message from the community is clear in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Family and friends summed it up with one word -- peace. But the grief, shock and anguish we are seeing is palpable in that community. Their wounds, still very raw as the families prepare for their loved ones' funerals.
Over the past few days we have come to know some of the six victims killed. Among them, one woman, a wife, a mom and a devout believer.
Poppy Harlow spoke with her sons about her loss in an exclusive interview.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It didn't take long for Kamal Saini to learn what happened to his mother.
KAMAL SAINI, SON OF SHOOTING VICTIM: My aunt said there is a shooting outside. We need to leave. Rather than just leaving she wanted to bow down and pray for the last time and then get up and leave. As she was getting up, she was shot in the back.
HARLOW: Murdered in her sacred place.
SAINI: She collapsed there. She didn't have a chance. They said she was dead on the spot.
HARLOW: Paramjit Kapur, 41 years old.
SAINI: I called her phone. I went to the scene and they wouldn't let us through.
HARLOW (on camera): You went to try to find your mom.
SAINI: Yes, I told the police officer my mom is there, you have to let me through.
HARLOW (voice-over): 20-year-old Kamal left his younger brother, Harprit (ph), at home trying to protect him. As survivors emerged, Kamal searched among them.
SAINI: I went in the basement where the rescuers were, searched for my mom. She wasn't one of them.
HARLOW: Reality sinking in.
SAINI: I had an idea that she didn't make it. But I just didn't want to believe it.
HARLOW: Paramjit Kapur went to the guwara every Thursday and Sunday, often arriving early to help prepare food.
HARPRIT (ph) SAINI, SON OF SHOOTING VICTIM: She was a good woman. She was a great mom.
SAINI: She lived for us. She worked for us. Anything she did was for us.
HARLOW (on camera): What was she like when she walked into a room? What was she like?
SAINI: Always had a smile. She always had a smile.
HARLOW: What were your mother's dreams for you?
SAINI: She just wanted us to be educated. She told us education is everything here.
BOLDUAN: Wow. Such an emotional and powerful interview that you conducted. Absolutely such a powerful story.
Poppy joining me live now from New York,
I found what's so incredible about the story, and really these two young men, is that both of them want to go into law enforcement. What more did they tell you about that? HARLOW: They do. Kamal, the 20-year-old older brother, is studying criminal justice. They wanted to go into law enforcement before this happened. This strengthened their resolve. They wanted their mom to see them in uniform. She won't be able to do that. They said they even more now want to make her proud.
What was interesting is Kamal told me, I was always thought this was the land of opportunity. I asked, do you feel it is your land of opportunity. He said, it took my world away. He's wrestling with the opportunity that America brought the family that came here eight years ago and what happened here because they were there in Wisconsin.
I will tell you one bright spot to the story. The whole family -- that's a picture of their trip to India just a month ago. They went to celebrate Harprit's (ph) 18th birthday. The mom saved up for eight years, every penny, Kate, to take the family to India. They were there for a month. They got that experience together. Thank goodness they did. They obviously didn't think they would lose their mother. That was really the only silver lining to this horrific story. Sitting there, hearing the anguish, it's unbelievable. Their question is why this had to happen. They are not going to get an answer to that.
BOLDUAN: No, they won't. But I can tell you and I can be very sure the trip takes on a new significance in their mind.
Poppy, thanks so much. Great work out there. Thank you
BOLDUAN: A wake and visitation for the victims is scheduled for Friday morning. Temple leaders have said their doors will remain open to all.
BOLDUAN: I am not a psychic but I can guarantee a U.S. team will win gold and silver today in the same event.
Zain Verjee joins us from London's Olympic Park in London to explain why.
Zain, I wish I could say I'm that good but I think it's a foregone conclusion.
And it's in my favorite sport. Tell us more.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, no, unfortunately, you're not that good, Kate.
VERJEE: But, fortunately, I am that good.
VERJEE: And I can tell you the U.S. will win gold and silver, so congratulations, Team USA. And Team USA, you've got a showdown in beach volleyball between Missy Maytrain (ph) and Harry Walsh Jennings (ph), who have been playing together since 2001. They've already got two Olympic golds under their belt. They hope to make it another one. And afterwards, the team will retire.
You know what, Kate, they have been playing together so long, actually they have been going to relationship therapy to make sure their dynamics on the beach are still good enough. They are going to be playing against Jen Kessy (ph) and April Ross (ph), who are totally fed up being called "the other team." So they have something to prove here. At least they are still talking, all four of them, and having dinner together.
And by the way, we found out a short while ago Prince Harry has got tickets --
-- to the final of the beach volleyball. Why am I not surprised?
BOLDUAN: Why are we not surprised at all? It will be an amazing showdown. They know the other teams so well, it will be fabulous to see.
I can't let you go because I want to talk about one other sport, a person who made a lot of headlines previously and it's been interesting to watch. A South African runner, Caster Semenya, she is making her Olympic debut after being the subject of a gender controversy three years ago. How is she doing?
VERJEE: I watched her a few hours ago. She came second in her heat. A lot of commentators were saying she looks in really good shape and could win the 800 meters, which is what she's running. But they were also saying because she's not been competing for the last year, because of the gender controversy around her, she's felt humiliated. And they were questioning has she lost her focus because she had to go through drug tests and gender tests to see whether she can compete. We'll see how she does.
I have to say, my fellow countrymen or countrywoman is competing in that event. Her name is Pamela Jelimo, the Olympic defending champion for the 800 meters. I want Caster Semenya to do well, but my money is on Kenya.
BOLDUAN: No bias at all. It's OK, Zain. It's just sports.
BOLDUAN: Zain Verjee in London.
VERJEE: I'm psychic. She's going to win. (LAUGHTER)
BOLDUAN: Oh, good. We'll see.
Zain, thank you so much.
Also today, the ladies jump in the ring in three boxing semifinals. These games mark the first time women's boxing is part of the Olympic program. Congratulations to everybody.
BOLDUAN: So did you see the "Curiosity" rover fly toward the Martian surface this week? How could you miss it? It was spectacular video. Makes you feel like you were right there during the descent. Can you believe how far away it is? It was made possible because of the Mars descent imager. Interestingly enough, it almost never happened.
I want to bring in John Zarrella from Pasadena, California.
Could there be more drama and excitement with this Mars landing? It's pretty amazing, John. Tell our viewers why this camera didn't almost make it to Mars.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Kate, we may get more images from that descent imager today, a couple of high resolution pictures, if nothing else. We should have that in about an hour and 15, hour and 20 minutes when the news conference begins here.
I know that because I talked to Mike Malin yesterday. Malin is the man who is responsible, who created that camera. As you pointed out, it might never have made -- we might never have seen these pictures. A few years ago, NASA, in an effort to cut costs from the mission, said, look, we are not going to fly the descent imager. They had already spent a million dollars on it. Malin went to a friend at another project, the Phoenix Project. There was some extra money there for a descent imager they didn't use. He used that money and then put in the rest of his own money to finish the camera.
Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE MALIN, PRESIDENT, MALIN SPACE SCIENCE SYSTEMS: So I paid for the camera. The Phoenix project paid to put it on the MSL rover. NASA headquarters said, OK, under those circumstances, do it.
ZARRELLA: How much did it cost you out of your own pocket?
MALIN: About $80,000. Do you think it was worth it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(LAUGHTER) ZARRELLA: Now, Malin has cameras on half a dozen spacecraft, Kate. His cameras are responsible for sending back nearly half a million images over the years -- Kate?
ZARRELLA: Do you think it was worth it?
BOLDUAN: Exactly. I think everyone at home was going, yes, I think so. Shows what a little passion and a lot of determination will get you. We would like to thank you, sir, for making that camera happen.
BOLDUAN: John Zarrella, thank you for your great work over there. Appreciate it.
BOLDUAN: For more information on the mission and the latest pictures from the Martian surface, you can visit NASA.gov.
BOLDUAN: There's a medical emergency unfolding right now, and get this, at the largest research station in Antarctica, in the dead of the brutal Antarctic winter when there's no daylight for six months. And we understand that the person who needs to be evacuated is in stable condition.
For more, we bring in Chad Myers.
Do you have more on the extreme conditions that the rescuers are up against as they try to medevac this person out? What do you know about the station that we are talking about here -- Chad?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Certainly very cold and certainly very dark for at least most of the day. There is a slight light period in the highest part of this noon hour where the sun is not even over the horizon yet, but getting better and lighter everyday. You have to understand they are in the dead of winter like we are in the dead of summer, but as they get closer to the spring, the days are longer.
Right now, the temperature at McMurdo is 18 degrees below zero. The minimum for the jet to fly is 15 below before the jet fuel turns to jelly and is not useable at all. Visibility is great. And visibility is perfect out there, and 7 to 10 miles. But the problem is VFR has to happen. Visual flight rules only. And let me show you why that is a problem, because this is a live shot from McMurdo station. There is no visibility, because literally there is no light. That is what it looks like right now, and here is McMurdo, and Christchurch up here where they have stationed the plane. And I will show you that in a second. And they are going to fly here to an ice field.
And why is VFR a problem? VFR isn't a problem in the United States when you have lights on the runway and you could see. And they wouldn't have to do VFR with the clear skies. But when you have a runway built on ice and kind of volcanic rock, but ice right there with no lights, you have to be able to see it. They can't light it up, and if you can't light it up, you can't see it. There's no beacons. You have to see the runway and line up. And in the dark, you can't do that -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Talk about treacherous conditions, treacherous flying conditions, I can't believe this. We will follow this one closely then.
MYERS: It appears that it is easier to land on Mars than Antarctica.
BOLDUAN: And that tells us something.
Chad Myers, great to see you. Thank you so much.
MYERS: Good to see you. All right.
BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.
BOLDUAN: In 2000, Martha Runyan became the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympics. And today, she is helping visually impaired children keep their goals and vision of live alive. Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, caught up with her for this week's "Human Factor."
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyday at Camp Abilities, it starts the same way, with care to share.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I hit three shots on the basketball court last night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I ran three miles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did my first back-flip on the rings at gymnastics. (CHEERING)
GUPTA: All of these children are visually impaired, and they have come to the Camp Abilities for a one-week developmental sports camp. Their inspiration this year is Marla Runyan, who was diagnosed with Stargardt's Disease, a form of juvenile on-set macular degeneration. She was diagnosed when she was just 9 years old.
MARLA RUNYAN, HAS STARGARDT'S DISEASE: We all know, whether you are sighted or not, physical a activities plays a role, and running became my choice of sport after I abandoned soccer and had trouble seeing the ball, obviously, so I went out for my high school track team.
GUPTA: And, boy, could Runyan run. After running track and field in high school and college, she turned pro, eventually becoming the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympic Games.
Runyan says she reached her full potential by competing against the best athletes in the world. And now she is giving these campers the first taste of sports.
RUNYAN: It is about teaching them what they can do and giving them opportunities that they are not otherwise available to them at public school or afterschool programs.
GUPTA: And there is a lot to choose from, sports like beat baseball, goal ball. And they learn how the ride bikes and practice judo and, of course, run track.
RUNYAN: When my vision changed, but the desire to participate in sports never did.
GUPTA: And just like the mantra of the camp says, a loss of sight does not need to be a loss of vision.
RUNYAN: The motto of the camp is believe you can --
GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
BOLDUAN: Sanjay, thank you so much.
Don't miss "Sanjay Gupta, M.D.", this weekend, you'll meet a man who developed imagining software to separate fact from fiction. Plus, a 14-year-old girl who got "17" magazine to change their photo editing policies. Saturday, 4:30 p.m. eastern and Sunday at 7:30 in the morning, right here on CNN.
Thanks so much for joining me this morning.
NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL with Michael Holmes starts right now.