May 13th, 2014
04:24 AM ET

Donald Sterling: Magic 'Should Be Ashamed of Himself'

Why did Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling take so long to say he's sorry for the racist remarks that got him banned from the NBA?

Magic Johnson, he claims, told him to stay quiet.

"Wait, be patient, I'll help you, we'll work it out," Sterling said the NBA legend told him.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Sterling spoke publicly for the first time since a controversial audio recording of him sparked a firestorm and put his ownership of the Clippers in jeopardy.

He repeatedly apologized and denied accusations that he's racist, claiming he'd been "baited" into making what he called "terrible" remarks. But while he defended himself for much of the interview, he went on the offensive when Johnson's name came up.

Sterling, 80, slammed the former Los Angeles Lakers player's character and his battle with HIV, saying Johnson hasn't done anything to help others.

"What kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV? Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about?" Sterling asked. "I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn't do anything."

Johnson has been a central figure in the controversy since the recording of Sterling speaking with friend V. Stiviano surfaced last month on TMZ.

In the recording, which drew widespread condemnation from fans, players and the league, Sterling chastises Stiviano for posting pictures online of her posing with African-Americans, including Johnson. He tells her not to bring Johnson to Clippers games.

"Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don't put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me," he said.

As criticism over the recording spread, Johnson was among the first to say that Sterling should be forced to sell the team.

Now, as Sterling faces a lifetime ban from the National Basketball Association, a $2.5 million fine for the remarks and the possibility that fellow NBA owners could force him to sell the team he's owned for more than 30 years, he claims Johnson is angling for control of the Clippers.

Sterling said that he waited so long to apologize about the recording because Johnson, who led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships, called him and told him to remain silent.

"I know the girl, don't do anything. I'll help you," Sterling says Johnson told him.

"I think he wanted me to just do nothing so he could buy the team," Sterling said.

Johnson hasn't indicated whether he would pursue a Clippers ownership position.

Watch more of Anderson Cooper's interview with Donald Sterling on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. Cooper will also speak to Magic Johnson.

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May 6th, 2014
10:06 AM ET

Colorado Mother Rescued After 5 Days in Wrecked Car Will Lose Feet

Doctors will amputate the feet of a Colorado woman who was missing for five days before being found in her wrecked car just off a scenic highway, a family spokesman said Monday.

Kristin Hopkins is in critical but stable condition at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Brian Willie said, reading a statement from the Hopkins family.

"Doctors were not able to save her feet due to the severity of her injuries," he told reporters, adding the amputations would be done Monday afternoon.

Hopkins, a 43-year-old single mother of four, was reported missing on April 29. She was found May 4, still in her car, about 140 feet from U.S. 285 just north of Fairplay, the Park County Sheriff's Office said.

he Hopkins' family statement thanked a man who found Hopkins in her car and drove to the sheriff's office to report finding a car with a possible body inside. The man was not identified by authorities, who said he slipped out of the sheriff's office after reporting the accident.

A firefighter who treated Hopkins at the scene said it appeared she had written notes on the white portions of a red and white umbrella and was trying to use it to signal passersby on the highway.

Lt. Jim Cravener, a firefighter with the North-West Fire Protection District in Park County, said, "(The notes) were hard to make it out. One of them appeared to say 'Please help doors won't open.' Another one (said) 'Please help, bleeding, need a doctor' and another one said, 'Six days, no food, no water, please help.'"

Cravener said Hopkins was "really severely dehydrated."

The man who spotted the car had stopped to take photos at the top of a pass near a sharp curve, Cravener said.


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April 15th, 2014
09:36 AM ET

Malaysian Plane Sonar Search Cut Short

Time to try this again.

The first deployment of an underwater vehicle to hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was aborted early, sending the drone back to the surface before expected.

The Bluefin-21 vehicle was supposed to take 2 hours to get to its designated depth Monday, spend 16 hours searching, and 2 hours coming back up.

Instead, it spent about 7 and 1/2 hours in the water, including descent and ascent times, a source said.

Search officials analyzed data from Bluefin-21 and found no objects of interest, the U.S. Navy said Tuesday.

Crews will try to send the probe back into the Indian Ocean later Tuesday, weather permitting.

So what went awry the first time?

"In this case, the vehicle's programmed to fly 30 meters over the floor of the ocean to get a good mapping of what's beneath and to the sides, and the chart we have for the area showed that water depth to be between the 4,200 and 4,400-meter depth," said Capt. Mark Matthews, who heads the U.S. presence in the search effort.

But the water was deeper than expected - about 4,500 meters.

"Once it hit that max depth, it said this is deeper than I'm programmed to be, so it aborted the mission," Matthews said.

David Kelly, CEO of the company that makes the Bluefin-21, said the device's safety mechanisms have triggered such recalls in the past.

"Although it's disappointing the mission ended early, it's not uncommon," Kelly said. "We've operated these vehicles around the globe. It's not unusual to get into areas where the charts aren't accurate or you lack information."

Mathews said the initial launch Monday night took place "in the very far corner of the area it's searching, so they are just shifting the search box a little bit away from that deep water and proceeding with the search."

It is unclear how much of the area - 5 kilometers by 8 kilometers (3.1 miles by 4.9 miles) - the Bluefin scanned during its first attempt. It could take up to two months to scan the entire search area.


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March 6th, 2014
11:14 AM ET

Police: Woman Who Drove Van With Kids Into Ocean to Get Mental Evaluation

Tim Tesseneer was driving along Daytona Beach on Tuesday with his wife when they noticed the minivan driving through shallow water as it headed south.

That was unusual enough. But then they heard the screams. It was two children crying and waving for help out one of the rear windows.

Tesseneer threw the car in park and raced over to see whether he could get the children out of the minivan.

One child was screaming, Tesseneer recalled Wednesday to CNN's Piers Morgan. "Please help us, our mom is trying to kill us."

The other child he could see was wrestling a woman for the steering wheel.

But the woman just kept saying, "We're OK. We're OK. We're OK," as another man joined Tesseneer trying to get the driver to stop.

Then she mashed the accelerator, turned left and shot into the cold, heavy surf of the Atlantic Ocean touching the shore of the Florida city.

It was now a battle against the pull of the water, and the second man, Stacy Robinson, opened a door and pulled out the two panicked children.

There was a good chance if he and Tesseneer hadn't been there, the children, ages 10 and 9, would have drowned inside the van as it pitched in the water, officials said.

"I have siblings their age, so it was like the big brother came out in me," Robinson said.

But there was one more child, a 3-year-old girl strapped in a car seat. A lifeguard dove in through a front window and unbuckled the child and handed her to another lifeguard. The vehicle was bobbing in water about 3 feet deep.

The mother just walked away, Tesseneer said, silent with a strange, almost "possessed" look on her face.

A day later she was at a hospital in Daytona Beach awaiting a mental evaluation, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said. Her children, including her unborn baby, were fine.

No charges had been filed, Johnson said, as the investigation into why she drove into the ocean was just beginning.

CNN is not identifying the children or the woman, who was stopped earlier in the day after her sister called police to let them know how concerned she was for her sibling's mental state.

According to a Daytona Beach Police report, the woman was stopped by an officer, who questioned her. In the back seat the kids sat calmly with smiles. The woman told an officer that she feared for her safety and was worried her former husband would harm them.

But the officer was concerned that she might have a mental illness. He asked a detective who was there to talk to her while other officers called the sister back.

In the report, the officer writes of discussing the woman's behavior with the detective.

They came to the same conclusion; she couldn't be held under a Florida law that allows for detention of people believed to be impaired by mental illness and who possibly pose a risk of harm.

They told her she could go; one officer followed her for a short time.

Almost two hours later, she was driving on the beach, outside the traffic lane, drawing the attention of beach patrol and bystanders like Robinson and Tesseneer, on vacation from North Carolina.

Sheriff Johnson said the children are now in the state's care. They had been interviewed by detectives from his agency, which was taking the lead because it has more investigators than other departments.

The woman had yet to speak with detectives.

Johnson said his team will try to determine whether this was a criminal act or one that resulted from a medical issue.

No one in his department knows how long the woman had been in town or why she was visiting from South Carolina. She did have family in the area, the sheriff said.

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