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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Cruise Ship Captain Gets Day in Court; Sharp Tone at South Carolina Debate; Wisconsin Governor Facing Recall; Is your Orange Juice Safe?
Aired January 17, 2012 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And a very good morning to you, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We are bringing you the news from A to Z.
It is 5:00 a.m. in the East. So, let's get started here.
An Italian coast guard recovered the first black box from the deadly shipwreck. We're getting our first look at a recorder conversation between the captain and the port authority. Pretty damning stuff in there. What's happening right now? The captain is being questioned.
And new this morning, the number of the missing much higher than we first reported.
BANFIELD: And, also, in politics, when you're the front runner, it's like you've got the bull's eye on your back.
That would be Mitt Romney last night where Rick Perry and everyone else, Rick Santorum, all gunning for Mitt Romney. The South Carolina primary is in just four days. So, he is taking heat.
And the race is tight between Gingrich and Romney. We're going to break it all down for you.
SAMBOLIN: And you're going to have to dig a little deeper when you fill up this morning. The highest January gas prices. Could we see $5 gas this summer?
BANFIELD: And if you're about to pour some O.J., think about the folks picking the O.J. Where did the oranges come from? Because if they're from Brazil, we sent our reporter there to find out just what they're spraying or putting on those oranges to fight diseases, and it ain't something that our country likes. Not one bit. We'll tell you more about that in just a moment
SAMBOLIN: We're going to begin this morning with breaking news on several fronts in the Italian cruise ship disaster. The Italian navy blasting a hole in the ship.
Watch the lower left of the screen. The blasting of this hull will allow search teams to enter and exit the cruise liner more easily.
BANFIELD: And, also, we've got some just phenomenal pictures that have been coming into CNN from our crews around the world. Look at this. Divers underwater.
If this isn't harrowing, imagine these divers having to smash windows so that they can swim through into the hull and get through hallways clogged with debris. There are now 29 people who are unaccounted for. And that's obviously the first mission of those divers.
But in the meantime, they still were able to uncover the first black box. It's already providing a lot of very important information about just what happened when this cruise liner ran aground off the coast of Italy. The Italian coast guard says it has also located the second black box, divers actually trying to get their hands on it.
SAMBOLIN: And more break news here. We have the transcript of the recorded conversation between the port authority and the captain. This is from the Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera."
Port authority: "Concordia, we ask you if all is well there?"
Concordia responds, "All is well. It is only a technical failure."
Port authority: "How many people are on board?"
Schettino, who is the captain, "Two-three hundred.'
BANFIELD: The port authority continues to say, "How come so few people?" Remember, 4,000 on board.
The Captain Schettino says, "No, I am not on board because the ship is keeling. We've abandoned it."
The port authority responds, "What? You've abandoned the ship?"
Captain Schettino says, "No, what abandon? No, I'm here."
Port authority says, "You must return on board, climb the ladder," assuming the rope ladder, "Return to the fore, stem, that's the front of the ship, and coordinate the work."
Captain Schettino doesn't reply at that point. And the port authority goes on to say, "You must tell us how many people are on board? How many women? How many children? You have to coordinate the rescue operation.
Commander, this is an order. Now I'm in charge, you've abandoned ship and now you are going to the stem, again, the front of the ship and coordinate the work. There are already dead bodies."
SAMBOLIN: And Schettino replies, "How many?"
Port Authority, "You should be the one telling me this. What do you want to do? Do you want to go home? Now go back on the stem and tell me what to do."
Schettino, "OK, I'm doing it."
The newspaper reports the captain never went back to the ship.
BANFIELD: It's absolutely unbelievable.
Now, we're not clear whether that's cell phone transmissions or whether that's radio transmissions, but that newspaper from is a bona fide newspaper.
BANFIELD: Really, just remarkable material. You can bet your bottom dollar that that is going to end up in court at some point if not today. There's a court appearance a little later on today as well.
But we do want to get you up to speed on what's happening now. That captain who steered the ship into the rocky Italian coast is about to go before a judge and be questioned today. He says he just hit rocks that weren't on his charts.
CNN's Barbie Nadeau has been in the courtroom and she's joining us now on the line.
So many questions, I think, Barbie. But just give us the rundown on the first thing that's happening in court is with regard to this captain.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): That's right. The captain is in court right now. He's sitting in front of a female judge, whether that's going to make a difference or not in terms of the view of this court, we don't know. But he's sitting in front of this female judge with his lawyer and the prosecutor who has very damning information against him right now.
But his lawyer is going to focus on getting him out of jail. This captain has been in protective custody, sharing his cell in a local jail with two other inmates not related to this case since his arrest on Saturday. He wants to get out of jail.
So, his lawyer is going to apply for his release into house arrest or another form of protective custody because he says he's emotionally unstable. He torn apart by this, he suffers the pain for all of the deaths and, you know, people's lives who are destroyed.
So this, today, is a very technical hearing. The lawyer or the captain is going to try to get him out of jail. And then the judge is going to ask a few questions based on the previous investigation. So far, that's about a hundred crew members and passengers that they have interrogated over the course of the last 72 hours.
The magistrate is expected to ask about a half a dozen questions, as we understand it, and then make a decision whether or not to keep the Captain Schettino in jail or not.
SAMBOLIN: Now, Barbie, we're just receiving these transcripts right now. And you may have said this earlier and I didn't hear you. Are they going to be using these transcripts in court today?
NADEAU: These transcripts are part of the investigation. And the lawyer for Schettino is also going to try to stop further publication of these transcripts because he feels that this is going to hurt him in the court, hurt his client in the case in the court of public opinion. It is, theoretically, illegal to publish transcripts during an on going criminal trial in Italy. But in practice, it does happen quite frequently.
And we've seen that. "Corriere della Sera" is a very reputable newspaper and these transcripts, we've had confirmation to CNN from the prosecutor hear in (INAUDIBLE) where the court is being held that those transcripts are bona fide transcripts.
Whether or not they'll get into the details of those transcripts in terms of the questioning of the captain today, that we won't know until after this hearing has ended. It's expected to last less than an hour, we're told. And then the lawyer has said he will make a brief statement to reporters gathered here after the hearing.
And then we'll know, they'll likely set a court calendar for another hearing and we'll understand whether or not Captain Schettino will be remanded in custody or whether he'll be able to enjoy the investigation in his own private home.
BANFIELD: So, Barbie, while they're assessing which we would probably here in the U.S. consider bond or bail hearings for him, I'm just sort of curious to the list of charges that we've been hearing about that could be in the works for him, multiple counts of manslaughter. I think about six dead but 28 missing at this point.
Shipwreck, which is also a charge under Italian law, and then abandon ship, which, as I understand, and correct me if I'm wrong, can carry up to 15 years on itself. And with that transcript that Zoraida and I were just talking about, it sounded pretty clearly like of an admission of, no, we abandoned the ship. It's keeling.
NADEAU: Exactly. And I think by design, these charges are meant to carry the maximum weight possible that abandoning ship and shipwreck, shipwreck, which is a charge that carries at least three years on itself. That is like if you're in an automobile accident, you caused the accident. It's the maritime equivalence of that. It's his fault is what they're basically saying.
But the abandoning ship is a serious maritime offense. And that's the one that they're going to make (INAUDIBLE). And I suspect that these transcripts are going to be crux of that investigation.
Again, the Italian port authority ordering the captain back on the ship. It's going to be hard for any defense team to defend a captain on that. The port authorities got those transcripts. It's every conversation between the port authority and the captain of the ship recorded.
And so, this is a legal, there is no contest document, basically, or transcript. So, this will all be used against him. The manslaughter charges are six dead so far, but there are 29 or 28, the numbers may have changed in the last few hours.
SAMBOLIN: We have 29, yes.
BANFIELD: Twenty-nine, I stand corrected, 29.
NADEAU: Twenty-nine still missing. So this --
BANFIELD: I was just going to say --
NADEAU: -- line, definitely.
BANFIELD: Keep us apprised of what transpires in court. This is fascinating, especially with these transcripts that have come. Barbie Nadeau reporting live for us from Giglio, Italy, today.
SAMBOLIN: And every morning, we give you an EARLY START to your day by alerting you to the news that's happening later and stories that are just developing right now but will be the big story tonight, in addition to this one, of course.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker could become just the third U.S. governor in history to be recalled from office. Today, his opponents are expected to submit 540,000 signatures. That would be enough to force a recall election. Walker came under fire last year of scrapping collective bargaining rights for most public workers.
BANFIELD: And welcome back to work, Congress, at least those of you in the House who are returning back. The Senate is ending its winter break next week. But those congressmen, well, they better get their Kevlar on because a new CNN poll is finding just 11 percent of us good old Americans approve of what they've been doing when they go to work every day.
SAMBOLIN: And President Obama's job council heads to the White House today. The panel of business leaders will urge the president to call for a corporate tax overhaul, expand domestic drilling and new regulatory reforms.
Ten minutes passed the hour here.
We'll be watching Europe very closely this morning after Standard and Poor's downgraded many of the E.U. countries on Friday after markets closed here.
BANFIELD: I know I'm always supposed to think that's really important and I have to pay attention to those numbers. But when you start talking gas prices, that's when I really pay attention.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And you're right, and gas prices, there's a forecast out there that gas prices in some parts of the county could go up to $5 a gallon by December. And that's probably the parts of the country that usually see --
BANFIELD: Like Nome, Alaska.
ROMANS: Well, like Chicago, California, like New York City.
ROMANS: And they've been moving up here. And what's really interesting is you got a couple of things going on. Slow recovery in the U.S. economy. You've got Brazil, India, China, they are competing with the U.S. customer, the U.S. middle class for supplies around the world.
You've also got those concerns we've talked about in the Strait of Hormuz with Iran and all of the sort of the saber-rattling that the Iranians are doing and this important oil that ships through there.
But also, you know, you've got people talking about going into the springtime and the summertime, that summer driving season, that you could see prices going up. I want to be very careful about forecasting exact gas prices because I think it could really be unpredictable this year.
But I want to show you gas prices. I hope you can see this. The darker it is, the more -- the higher the price is. And then when you look at gas prices by a state, when you look at how much you spend on your income, when you put income and gas prices together, you can see that in the South, people spend an awful lot of their income on gas prices.
Mississippi, 14 percent of their income is spent on gasoline. The darker, that's gas prices and percent of income, look at where all of these primaries are coming up, guys. You're going to have politics playing out in a place where people spend a lot of their money on gasoline prices.
BANFIELD: Is that just gasoline? Or are that gas, heating oil and all the rest as well?
ROMANS: That's just gasoline, because they pay less for heating oil and stuff because it's the South and a little bit warmer.
ROMANS: But this is what we're going to be hearing a lot about. When people are paying more for gas, the economy becomes that much more important, and that much more front and center, even as fewer people are saying that the economy is very bad right now. Our latest polling showing that two people are saying the economy is very bad, still eight out of 10 saying, you know, poor, somewhat poor, not going in the right direction. So, gas prices will be (INAUDIBLE).
And 47 percent say approve the president's handling of the economy, or his job rather. That's pretty much steady. In November, it was 49 percent. It's pretty much holding steady.
But when you start talking about gas prices, long term unemployment, these are some of the challenges that we'll be hearing about in the campaign trail.
SAMBOLIN: Five dollars, that's outrageous. I mean, I know you don't like to talk about specific dollars.
ROMANS: I know. I know.
ROMANS: And it does. But that's why I just think it could be a little unpredictable this year because if you get Iran, not as big a deal, maybe gas price will come down.
BANFIELD: It always does this. Thank you, Christine.
ROMANS: You're welcome.
SAMBOLIN: It's 5:13 here in the East.
Still to come, what's in your orange juice? We go to the source for a lot of America's orange juice. Find out what growers are using that could be affecting you. Should you be worried this morning?
We're going to let somebody else chime in and let you know that. You're watching EARLY START. We are so happy you're with us.
SAMBOLIN: Good morning to you, Tampa. It is 49 degrees. It's going to be sunny and 77 today -- later today there.
BANFIELD: I love it, but it always gives me the manggo (ph) hair, you know, when it's so humid.
SAMBOLIN: Manggo hair? You're going to have to show me manggo hair.
BANFIELD: All girls know what I'm talking about.
SAMBOLIN: I'm feeling you.
BANFIELD: You get the frizz, the bad --
SAMBOLIN: Manggo hair.
BANFIELD: Manggo hair. That's the word of the day, my friends.
It is 16 minutes past 5:00 am -- if you need a word of the day at this hour.
We do want to get you up to speed on some top stories because we've been getting a lot of developments into CNN overnight.
And new for you this morning, the Italian navy is now blasting a hole into this ship to allow the rescuers to get access because, of course, it is very difficult for those divers you're looking at to get in at the listing angle that that ship is at. Right now, captain of the Costa Concordia, there's the picture, he's in a Italian courtroom to answer some serious, serious charges relating to the grounding of that ship. Six people known dead, 29 remain unaccounted for, including two Americans.
SAMBOLIN: Meantime in Syria, opposition groups say 13 people were killed by government security forces. And the latest violence coming just after Qatar became the first country in the region to suggest Arab troops intervene militarily in Syria.
BANFIELD: And if you were watching the debate last night, I don't know, debate number 3,244 --
BANFIELD: Or something like that. All of these candidates, look at them looking right at Mitt Romney. And there's a good reason for it. The bull's eye was on that man.
Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, everybody going after Mitt Romney. But, of course, then there were five. And look at him just laughing it all off.
The front runner is certainly hoping to seal the deal on the GOP nomination, trying for that victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary. Before the vote, the candidates are going to take part in our big CNN debate. It comes across your screen right here on Thursday. John King is going to be involved in that.
It will be the best of the 17th and, by then, debates.
SAMBOLIN: All right. So, let's start with that.
Up first, Mitt Romney's rivals trying desperately to take down the Republican front runner. It's really a tight race between Gingrich and Romney. Perry says to Romney, show me the money.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mitt, we need for you to release your income tax so the people of this country can see how you made your money.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My record is out there. Proud of it. And I think that if people want to have someone who understands how the economy works, having worked in the real economy, that I'm the guy that can best post up against Barack Obama.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: In case you missed it last night, and you want a synopsis, from Washington, Jamal Simmons, former DNC communications adviser; from Charleston, South Carolina, CNN political editor, Paul Steinhauser; and from Little Rock, Arkansas, Alice Stewart, former communications director for the Michele Bachmann campaign.
So, Alice, let's start with you. Last night was probably some of the most contentious exchanges. Does Romney just need to release his tax returns in order to stop all of the asking? And my second question would be if he does, is it going to be like President Obama releasing his birth certificate where people just continue to talk about it?
ALICE STEWART, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, BACHMANN FOR PRESIDENT: Well, like he said, time will tell if he actually does do that. That was certainly big news of the night. But more importantly, what we did get out of this is we were able to show that Romney was able to withstand all of the attacks that came out throughout the night. He did unveil a good more details of his job creation plan, which is important for the people of South Carolina.
Currently, they're looking at an unemployment rate of near 10 percent and far above 8.5 percent. So, that's what they want to hear about. They want to hear what the candidates can do for them. Not necessarily their own income tax papers. But they want to see what they can do.
And a lot of the candidates did very well showing how they will help not only create jobs, but, also, how they want to reduce the income tax. So, that was important that came out of this debate.
Whether or not this was a game changer for the candidates that were trying to secure the consistent conservative anti-Romney vote, time will tell. But certainly, Gingrich came out of this very strong. He certainly shows that he is a fantastic debater. But more than anything else, Romney was certainly the guy out there with the target on his back. And he came out of this very well.
SAMBOLIN: So, Jamal, let's talk about that. "The Washington Post" called Newt Gingrich the winner last night. Apparently had the crowd eating out of his hand.
So, let's listen to what he said on jobs creation and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All unemployment compensation should be tied to a job training requirement. If somebody can't find a job --
GINGRICH: -- and they show up and they say, you know, I need help, the help we ought to give them is to get them connected to a business-run training program to acquire the skills to be employable. Now, the fact is 99 weeks is an associate degree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: So, Alice was just talking about the fact that this is a contender, right? The not-Romney guy.
You tweeted out last night, "Newt is en fuego." You're a Democrat. What do you think? Did he move up here?
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think for that crowd, listen, I don't like much of what Newt Gingrich has to say. But for a Republican crowd, they seem today really react very positively to him.
You know, I want to go back to what you just asked about Mitt Romney's tax returns. My experience working on campaigns, being involved with how these decisions get made, if it was an easy answer, if it was nothing in the tax returns to worry about, they would have released them a long time ago.
There's a reason why Mitt Romney is delaying letting out his tax returns. He's delaying it to April I think hoping that the primary season will be over and they'll have time to deal with whatever the problem is. People should ask for those tax returns sooner rather than later.
SAMBOLIN: All right. Paul, why don't you weigh in on that and then we'll talk about Gingrich reestablishing himself?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Again, this has been a bone of contention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRICH: This is typical of what vote Senator Santorum and I have complained about with Governor Romney's super PAC, which he apparently has no influence, which makes you wonder how much influence he'll have if he were president.
ROMNEY: Speaker Gingrich, I already said at our last debate, that anything that's false in PAC ads, whether they're supportive of me or supportive of you, should be taken off the air and fixed. I've already said that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: All right, sorry about that. We wanted to discuss super PACs a little bit later. So why don't you weigh in?
SIMMONS: It's early. We'll give you guys a little leeway.
SAMBOLIN: Push the wrong button there for a second.
All right, Paul.
STEINHAUSER: Super PACs were a huge topic in this debate. And Romney, right off the bat on the defensive, about 20 minutes in, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania hammering Mitt Romney as well over a pro-Romney super PAC that's criticized Santorum over voting rights for former felons.
Romney was put on the defense there. It was the first time I've really seen Romney kind of out of his game since our debate in Las Vegas, which was way back in October. Santorum really got into Romney's territory there and it seems to unsettle Romney for a few minutes. He did recover.
Super PACs, a huge issue in this campaign. So much has changed this presidential cycle compared to four years ago. But all of these campaigns, I think, are guilty in some ways when it comes to super PACs. It's not just the Romney story.
SAMBOLIN: Yes, but as a candidate here, you really can't go in and tell the super PAC what to do or whatnot to do. They're kind of all guilty, right?
STEINHAUSER: Exactly. Romney may be the worst offender because his super PAC is putting up so many ads. But all of these candidates have the same problem when it comes to super PAC doing their dirty work I guess you could say.
SAMBOLIN: All right. Paul, before we actually put that sound byte out there, you were going to weigh in on tax returns. So, I want to give you an opportunity to do that. But supposedly, we'll see in April.
STEINHAUSER: Yes, this is -- this was, I guess, the biggest news out of this debate of Romney finally saying he will put his tax, "maybe" put his tax returns out in April. It is a bone of contention. And until he does it, his rivals are going to continue to hammer him. And if he makes it to the general election, of course, the Democratic National Committee, for instance Jamal, will be hammering him as well.
SAMBOLIN: All right. Paul, Alice, Jamal, thanks for joining us this morning.
STEWART: Thank you.
SAMBOLIN: And you can keep it on CNN now through November for the best political coverage on television.
At 7:00 a.m. Eastern, on "STARTING POINT," Soledad O'Brien goes one-on-one with the cofounder of the Senate Tea Party caucus, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.
BANFIELD: Twenty-four minutes past the hour. That's 5:00 a.m. on the East Coast.
And still to come, in just a bit on EARLY START, there is a frenzy like you've never seen before in China. You may have noticed this outside the Apple Store the other day. And the Chinese uphold the iPhone 4S from the store.
So how is it they're still getting them? Can you say white phone black market? You're watching EARLY START.
BANFIELD: A chemical fungicide lead to liver, tumors and animals has been detected in our orange juice, and it's raising questions about whether you need to be careful about the O.J. you're drinking -- whether it's safe in this country at all.
SAMBOLIN: I will tell you what the FDA is saying. We'll take you right to the source, talking to orange growers at a plantation in Brazil.
You're watching EARLY START.
BANFIELD: Hi, everybody. And welcome back to EARLY START. It's nice to have you here with us.
It is a very EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is 5:29 in the East. So let's get started here.
Time to check the stories making news:
Brand new video of rescuers in Italy carrying out controlled explosions to blast holes in the capsized cruise liner to actually allow firefighters and the scuba divers to enter parts of the ship that have not been searched yet. Breaking within the hour, authorities also releasing new taped confers between the captain and a court official.
BANFIELD: And a big debate last night, Mitt Romney and his finances. Tax returns, to be exact, under attack at the Republican debate in South Carolina. Rick Perry demanding that the GOP frontrunner cough up the tax returns. He wasn't really answering to that.
And in the latest CNN/ORC poll, Newt Gingrich is running neck in neck with Governor Romney in Saturday's South Carolina primary.
SAMBOLIN: Democrats and union officials plan to submit over half a million signatures today to recall Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker. Walker has become one of the most polarizing figures in American politics in just one year in office. This was after gutting collective bargaining powers for public workers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: Also, the big story that we've been following, getting a lot of images and information throughout the evening, the captain of that capsized cruise ship in Italy is in court, as we speak. All of this, as we have some incredible infrared video from the Italian coast guard as they fly over that lilting ship. Take a look at these pictures.
BANFIELD (voice-over): You can just see those black dots on land to the right of the screen and now right here along the hull of the ship. Those are people on the side of a ship that looks as though it is sinking. And for all intense and purposes, it is dark to them. It is cold. They're clinging to the side of the vessel. You can see the gash in the side of the hull.
Look how far down that one person is to the base of the hull. These are people who have no idea if there are lifeboats anywhere to be seen or if rescuers are going to make it to them, but it is remarkable to see how many of the 4,000 passengers on board that ship were at least able to scramble to the upper side of the hull.
SAMBOLIN: All right. It's really tough for the relatives, I would imagine, to take a look at that. And also new this morning, we have some shocking transcripts showing the conversation between the port authority and the captain. So, this is from the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, and this is after the captain reports just 200 to 300 hundred people are on board.
Port authority says, "how come so few people? Are you on board? "Schettino," who is the captain," says "no. I'm not on board because the ship is keeling. We have abandoned it. Port authority says, "What? You've abandoned the ship?" Schettino replies, "No? What? Abandoned? I'm here."
BANFIELD: And also new this morning, the Italian navy is blasting a hole into the hull of the ship to allow search teams to get in and out of that cruise liner more easily looking for bodies.
SAMBOLIN: And also getting a look of what it was like inside the cruise ship after it struck the rocks. You know, they lost the electricity, and the lights are all out, passengers and their life vests waiting for direction.
BANFIELD: And some of the images that are just remarkable inside the ship, there are equally remarkable images outside. Look closely. That dark part of the hull shows a massive gash. If you're wondering how big that is, a 160 feet long in the side of the ship. Obviously, that's why the ship started taking on the water.
So much still to be known as to why it was listing the other way and which compartments filled and which didn't. Twenty-nine people still missing. They are searching for them.
BANFIELD: But we do know this, at this point, six people are dead.
SAMBOLIN: And among the missing two Americans. BANFIELD: Two Americans who are on their sort of lifetime retirement trip from the Midwest. It's a really sad story.
Lauren Moore is one of the people who was on board the Costa Concordia, and she joins us on the phone now, luckily, from Bowling Green, Kentucky. Lauren, can you hear me?
LAUREN MOORE, PASSENGER ON THE COSTA CONCORDIA: I can hear you. Thank you.
BANFIELD: You're back home.
MOORE: I am. It feels great to be home.
BANFIELD: I'll bet your family is ecstatic that you're OK and you're back in their arms.
MOORE: They really were. They brought a huge crowd to the airport. It was really nice with so many people.
BANFIELD: I had goose bumps just hearing you say that, Lauren. Just take me into that ship for a moment, if you will. I get the idea it was passed nine o'clock in the evening. This is just three hours into the ship, actually, going off for the voyage. Lots of people at dinner. Where were you? What happened? Walk me through it?
MOORE: Sure. I was at dinner when it happened. We had a late seating that night at dinner. And, we heard the initial impact sitting there, and it sounded like someone made a comment that, was that an engine blowing? And all of the sudden, we heard plates and dishes and dinner ware just start hitting the ground, and it started shattering, and the boat started leaning. And it just didn't stop leaning.
BANFIELD: Just right away? Right away it started to keel like you started to notice that the dining room you were in was on an angle?
MOORE: Oh right away, because everything just started sliding off the table and just started shattering and people started getting up and running out of the dining room.
BANFIELD: Did you know right away what was happening, Lauren?
MOORE: Not right away. The first announcements that came on overhead were, "ladies and gentlemen, please stay calm. This is an electrical problem. It's the generator.
BANFIELD: Did you believe that?
MOORE: Well, you don't really know what to believe. I've never been in a situation quite like that. So, you know, we had our life vest on. And, other people were grabbing life vests even though we hadn't been told to do so.
And, after the boat started leaning so badly that it was coming difficult to walk and it was making me seasick, me and a friend realized that we've got to find a lifeboat. We have to get out of here.
BANFIELD: And remarkable that we're finding -- that even as you were into this voyage, there's still 24 hours legally before they have to give you the lifeboat drill. So, that had not happen. It was planned for the next day. We were looking at some pictures, a second ago, Lauren, that were so harrowing, they were infrared images that a helicopter flying over the hull of the ship as all of these passengers were sort of scrambling to the high part of the ship.
Did you ever get that feeling like no matter what happens, walk up, walk up, get to the top part of the ship?
MOORE: Yes, and I was actually -- when we went to the lifeboat, we went to the part of the boat that was leaning up that was facing sky. And, I guess, it's just natural instinct to walk up, and you don't think about that until you're in that kind of situation. And that's the way we went.
BANFIELD: Did you see these people? We're seeing on our screen these people who just seem to be clinging to the side of the boat as it's over on its side. Did you see them? Were you among them?
MOORE: I was luckily, and I didn't know it at the time, luckily, some of the first people off the ship. And this was what we're looking at was far into the night when so many lifeboats had already left and taken people to the island. And these people are some of the last people that did not manage to find a lifeboat in one of the first evacuations.
BANFIELD: So, my guess, is you're at home and you're able to see some of these images now, knowing that you were a part of all of this. Are you able to sort of come to terms with what you're seeing on your television screen knowing that you were there, you were in that, and that, there are still 29 people unaccounted for?
MOORE: It's so terrifying. And seeing that infrared image with those people right there, it's just -- I'm so lucky, like, those people, I don't know what I would have done if I had been in that situation. And I didn't realize at the time how lucky that I really was, and even though, I was in that horrible situation.
But some of those people never made it out. And those people were clinging to the side and I just -- I feel so blessed in the situation that I was in.
BANFIELD: God bless you, Lauren. And we are very glad that you are home and safe and the best to you and your family.
MOORE: Thank you. Thank you so very much.
BANFIELD: I get chills just thinking about that, what she was going through.
SAMBOLIN: Yes. Thirty-seven minutes passed the hour here. We have a message from the Food and Drug Administration. The orange juice in your fridge, they say is still safe. Last week, the FDA put temporary freezes on all orange juice imports. Why? Because they found low-levels of the unimproved fungicide carbendazim. It is found in shipments from Brazil, yet, they halted all the shipments.
BANFIELD: Yes. I suppose just to be on the safe side. Some of the first orange juice shipments that were tested by the FDA have now been cleared. Some small business owners, though, are a little bit worried and saying, hey, made in the USA is always a real good label, in case you're wondering. U.S. imports a lot of its O.J. from Brazil. And some of those fungicides are legal there, well, they're not legal here.
So, we sent CNN's Shasta Darlington right to the source, and she is live in Sao Paulo. OK. We've been -- it's great to see you for starters, and I'm glad you went to do this story for us because we've been getting our orange juice from Brazil for a long time. Why are we just now hearing about fungicides that they use that may not be allowable here.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a very good question, and that was actually something that the growers asked me. I went out into the state of Sao Paulo which is kind of like Brazil's Florida, and they say they've been using this fungicide carbendazim for 20 years. That it's allowed not only across Latin- America, but across all of Europe.
And they say they didn't even know that the United States started to ban its use in 2009. Now, the good news is there are alternatives. And these guys say they want to keep the American consumer happy. They're willing to use the alternatives. They already rotate some of those alternatives in. They don't want to lose this market. It's their second biggest one after Europe, and they'll do what it takes to keep consumers there happy even if they feel that carbendazim is safe.
SAMBOLIN: Well, how long does it actually take to cycle this fungicide out of the oranges?
DARLINGTON: Well, the problem is that this latest crop has already been affected in the sense that they used it. They rotated it with other fungicides, but it's there. The latest crops that they're pulling off of the trees right now that we went to see, they've already used the fungicides on those. That crop won't be available in the United States if they decide that they can't have any, even the lowest levels of carbendazim.
But the next crop, the oranges that are already blossoming on the trees, well, they won't use carbendazim if that's what it takes. They say, you know, the Brazil is the single biggest exporter of orange juice in the world. In fact, they count for 85 percent of all orange juice exports. But they say that this market is important for them. They don't want people to feel unsafe. That by 2013, they can have a crop without this carbendazim.
SAMBOLIN: Wow. i have a question. Was this just a random testing that happened on this? DARLINGTON: Well, my understanding is, again, it was sort of leaked by the "Wall Street Journal" that a company said that they had discovered low levels of it in not only their products, but competitor's products. Then, the FDA came out with this temporary freeze, and then, it came back to Brazil, but hey, that's not allowed.
This is what the growers here say. They said they didn't even know that it wasn't allowed. That they were being told three years after it was banned in the United States that they weren't allowed to use it.
BANFIELD: I'm starting to wonder how many other countries are using it, too, and who we import from. Shasta Darlington, good work. Thanks for doing that.
Ahead on EARLY START --
SAMBOLIN: I've got a couple more things that I wanted to show. Just because this worries because I have kids, and you know, when they say, don't toss out the orange juice that you have in your refrigerator, it starts to concern me. So, they revealed that, perhaps, liver and kidney damage to rats and mice when they tested this. I don't know what the levels are, but this is what I do know.
That Tropicana has pure premium juices that definitely do not have any of the oranges used in that region. PepsiCo naked juice also.
BANFIELD: -- that Coca-Cola (ph) mentioned Tropicana was part of all of them.
SAMBOLIN: It's pure premium juices, in particular.
BANFIELD: To be specific.
SAMBOLIN: Yes, pure premium juices. And it's also PepsiCo's naked juice product and Florida's natural. And then, you're safe. So, those are the things that you --
SAMBOLIN: At least, you're safe on this particular issue.
BANFIELD: So bizarre that they've been using this stuff all along, and we're just starting to figure it out.
IPhones, iPads, we all love them. But apparently, they really love them so much that there's violence in China, and now, China's having to really put a crack down on selling them in stores. But guess what, that hasn't stopped other people from selling them. We're going to tell you what's behind the black market live from Beijing in a moment.
BANFIELD: Good morning, Chicago. It looks dark and a little bit cold from where you are. It's 40 degrees in Chicago if you're just waking up, and there's a bit rain, a little bit of snow.
SAMBOLIN: I miss you, guys.
BANFIELD: And Zoraida is very sad to see these pictures without her smack dab in the middle of them.
SAMBOLIN: No, no, no, that's not true.
SAMBOLIN: I'm very happy to be here. But I miss my hometown.
BANFIELD: Or weather is very much the same in New York as it is here? We woke up with rain and snow here as well. You're expected to go up to about -- sorry, go down to about 36 today, as well. Boy, the craze over products. Electronics.
SAMBOLIN: Yes. Apple products, in particular, created such a frenzy in China. Fake Apple stores are now popping up everywhere. They're selling black market iphones at premium prices.
BANFIELD: Black market iPhones, you know (ph). They've got everything from the white Apple logos. The workers in the stores are wearing the blue shirts. Apple has decided, you know what, we've got to suspend the sales of the iPhone 4s in those stores, because it just got to be too violent. Look at the pictures.
Our Stan Grant sent these shots to us a few days ago of the riots, because folks were lining up and angry that they weren't going to get access to get the iPhone 4. They were egging the store. They were actually attacking the security personnel there. Oh, look at that.
SAMBOLIN: So, Stan Grant is live in Beijing. So, now, they're banning all iPhone products?
STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, actually. Zoraida, good morning. What they're doing here is taking the iPhone 4s off the shelf. Now, those pictures that we sent to you last week, they were taken as they were trying to launch this new iPhone. What happened was there were hundreds of people waiting outside the store, amongst them, gangs of scalpers.
Now, what these people like to do is to get into the store, buy up all of the stock, therefore, depriving the normal customers and then flip it for a profit on the black market. Well, we decided to follow the money trail. We went back through checking out some of these gangs of scalpers. We found people hanging around outside the official Apple store who were trying to sell these black market goods.
Then, we found fake Apple stores themselves. They look like Apple stores. They have the same logo. They have the staff inside. All of the products are real. But they're selling them for sometimes up to 20, 25 percent higher prices than you would normally pay inside the store. So, who pays in the end? The ordinary consumer, but they love their Apple products so much, they're prepared to cough up the big bucks.
BANFIELD: So, is Apple angry about this? Are they're going to be able to fan out and start policing all the fakies?
GRANT: It's really difficult. I mean, it's so hard to track down these things. Yes, they're angry about it, though. That's why they wouldn't sell the product the other day, because they saw how many people were outside. They are concerned about these scalpers. They, of course, don't endorse these fake stores. The problem is, though, when they run out of stock, where do people go?
People have to go to these fake stores. They have to buy them at premium prices. I was just in the main Apple store, the legitimate Apple store in Beijing today, and it was reamed by security. So much security inside the store, keeping an eye on the scalpers to make sure that they don't get inside and try to sell to customers there as well.
They're really grappling with a column of smoke. You get ahold of it. The change is shaping it moods. It was (INAUDIBLE). They'll find a way here.
SAMBOLIN: All right. Stan Grant, live in Beijing for us. Thank you for that.
Forty-seven minutes passed the hour here. From page faces coming up next, an online store, Zappos, to be specific, was hacked. Twenty- four million people affected. The personal information is now compromised. We're going the tell you how to protect yourself. We're hoping. You're watching EARLY START.
SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. It is 5:50 in the east. I'm Zoraida Sambolin along with Ashleigh Banfield.
SAMBOLIN: Thanks for joining us this morning.
We have front page faces for you. A popular online store you shopped here, Zappos. It has been hacked. Twenty-four million customers have been targeted here. So, what do they have? They have your name, they have your number, they have your address and passwords have been compromised, as well, as well as the last four digits of your credit card number.
What should you do to protect yourself? With us, via Skype, is John Abell, New York bureau chief and face of wired.com. John, we just want to know how do we protect ourselves if we shop on Zappos.
JOHN ABELL, NEW YORJ BUREAU CHIEF, WIRED.COM: Well, the good news is that the information the hacker got isn't terribly important. Your credit card number in its entirety isn't -- hasn't been breeched. So, that's good. The general rule, though, is if you don't have to store information on a site, don't do it. It's a convenience to do it if you're a repeat customer. It's very important to the company to have that information, but it's not all that important for you.
SAMBOLIN: You know, oftentimes, we hear that it is so safe to shop online. And we keep on hearing all of these compromises, these breaches in security. Is it a bad idea to shop online?
ABELL: No. Actually, it is quite safe. The proof is in the pudding here. The information that's been stolen is pretty trivial. In fact, if your credit card has been stolen and was used by this person, you wouldn't be liable at all. So, in terms of safety --
SAMBOLIN: But it's a hassle, right? That it's a hassle. It is a hassle, right -- it's a hassle right if you end up having a compromise, then you've got to prove that they're not your charges. So, I just wonder, sometimes, if it's just better to go into the store?
ABELL: My answer is still no. It's not really a big hassle to change your card out. Credit card companies have zero liability for these things. We all pay a little bit more in interest charge, I guess. But the convenience of being able to shop online and the overall safety is a pretty established fact, I think.
SAMBOLIN: OK. And my last question for you is, how long was that information out there before the authorities actually found out?
ABELL: Well, we don't know. Generally speaking, companies are pretty adept at knowing pretty quickly when information has been compromised, especially in a case where information that isn't terribly important like this, no offense, has been compromised.
So, probably a few hours, Zappos has excellent customer service, excellent customer relations. So, it's highly unlikely that they sat on this information for very long.
SAMBOLIN: All right. So, they're notifying their customers. We're letting you know, as well. And just for the record, John, I do shop online all the time, and I've never had a problem.
ABELL: There you go.
SAMBOLIN: So, sometimes, it unusual. Thanks, John. We appreciate it.
BANFIELD: Fifty-three minutes passed by the clock on the east. And if you like to wiki, you're going to have to take a big break. Wikipedia is going to go offline, and they're not the only ones. We'll tell you what's behind this big, old, online protest. You're watching EARLY START.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. It's just about six o'clock in the east. We're keeping you in the pop culture loop this morning by taking a look at what's trending on the web and in social media.
BANFIELD: Or the internets as we like to call it, sometimes.
SAMBOLIN: Wikipedia to shut down on Wednesday. Why? The site is protesting anti-piracy legislation that is being considered by Congress. It's called SOPA. It's a version of anti-piracy legislation, a version of it. So, SOPA (ph) opponents hope to draw attention to -- let me see, to language insult.
But according to some is too broad and could hurt free speech. So, if Wikipedia blacks out as promised, they expect 25 million people to be affected daily. So, the advice to students who might rely on the site, do your homework early.
BANFIELD: Yes. It's like Wikipedia is occupying itself. Does that make sense?
All right. So, we're keeping an eye also on a lot of breaking stories overnight. And we have some transcripts that have just been released, and you will not believe some of the things that we're being said by not only the captain of this vessel but also the port authority. Are you ready for this?
It's only a technical failure. Find out what happened just after that was said and what these new pictures are going to reveal with regard to finding anyone who may have still survived this and is waiting to be rescued. You're watching EARLY START.