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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Fugitive Adam Mayes Dead; I-5 Serial Killer Linked To Three More Deaths; JP Morgan Chase's $2 Billion Bombshell; AIDS Preventing Drug Nearing Approval; Party At Clooney's!; Biden Apologizes To Obama; High School Incident Haunts Romney; Beer and Facebook; POW Parents Reveal Talks with Taliban; FBI Search For Stolen Art
Aired May 11, 2012 - 05:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: We're happy you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We are bringing you the news from "A" to "Z". 6:00 a.m. here in the east, so let's get started.
BANFIELD: And we begin with this family tragedy ending with some fairly good news. Two missing Tennessee girls alive, and at this point, unharmed. They were rescued last night in Union County, Mississippi. Fugitive, Adam Mayes, shot himself after being cornered by police and he later died.
Mayes was accused of kidnapping 12-year-old Alexandria Bain and her sister eight-year-old Kaliyah after murdering their -- after being accused of murdering their mother and their older sister. The FBI had just put Mayes on the top of its most wanted list.
CNN's George Howell is following the developments in this case. He's live in Atlanta. George, obviously, all eyes are on these two little girls and their condition as they're under observation. What do you know?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this point, let's talk about them. These two girls who from what we've read very likely knew that their mother and older sister had been killed.
We know that they were both found alive and physically unharmed. They were rushed to a Memphis hospital where they are currently being treated.
And we got this from one federal investigator who tells us, quote, "the girls are suffering from the experience of being out in the woods, from being kidnapped. They are suffering from dehydration and exhaustion, but appear OK," end quote.
So that's what we know about them at this point. Let's also talk about Adam Mayes. We know that authorities found him in a wooded area in Union County, Mississippi. This is that same Guntown area that they had been focusing in on.
Apparently, authorities got a call from someone who spotted a vehicle that they believed belonged to Mayes. These were officers, a task force from Mississippi's Highway Patrol Special Operation SWAT team and also officers from the State Fish and Game Department.
These officers, they were in that wooded area and they heard a gunshot, as they were closing in. As they got closer, they saw Adam Mayes and determined he shot himself in the head. Mayes was rushed to a hospital, either died en route to a hospital or died at the hospital -- Ashleigh.
BANFIELD: George, what about the father of these girls, who has obviously been through utter hell as these girls have been on the lam with Adam Mayes. And obviously he suffered the loss of his oldest daughter and his wife, where do these two girls go now, to him?
HOWELL: We know obviously that Gary Bain, as you mentioned, in seclusion, distraught from all of this from weeks of not knowing where his daughters were.
We do believe at some point they will be reunited with their father. Again, the girls are currently in Memphis, Tennessee. That is where we believe that will happen as they are being treated there, but Gary Bain, again, will very likely be reunited there.
BANFIELD: Thank, God they're alive and our hearts go out to them and the entire family. George Howell, thanks for that. Appreciate it.
HOWELL: Of course.
SAMBOLIN: And also making news this morning, police in Portland, Oregon, using DNA technology to connect three cold cases to a serial murderer, the so-called I-5 killer.
Investigators say they are now able to prove that Randall Woodfield killed a total of seven people during a 1980s crime spree in Oregon and California.
BANFIELD: J.P. Morgan Chase is the stock to watch this morning after the banking giant's CEO dropped a bombshell, a $2 billion bombshell yesterday.
Jamie Dimon absolutely stunned Wall Street by admitting in a conference call that a trading portfolio that was designed to help JPMorgan actually hedge its credit risk. Lost $2 billion and could actually lose another billion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE (via telephone): The new strategy was flawed, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored. The portfolio has proven to be riskier, more volatile and less effective an economic hedge than we thought.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BANFIELD: JPMorgan Chase's stock took a 6 percent hit yesterday and could be headed lower again today. It's down sharply in pre- market trading.
SAMBOLIN: The drug Truvada already approved for treating AIDS may soon be approved for preventing the disease in high risk patients. An advisory committee recommending the Food and Drug Administration bless Truvada as preventative medication by a 19 to 3 vote.
The FDA does not have to abide by a committee's recommendation, however, but it often does. Truvada works by preventing the AIDS virus from replicating in the body.
BANFIELD: Did you get your invitation to the party at Clooney's place last night? Me neither. It was starmageddon in Studio City, California at the estate of actor George Clooney.
President Obama was smoothing with 150 well heeled guests. How well heeled you asked? Each of them had to donate 40 grand for the privilege of being at that star-studded fest, among them in attendance, Barbara Streisand, her husband actor James Bolin and Toby Maguire. That fundraiser brought in a stunning $15 million in contributions to the president's re-election campaign.
An apology to the boss from the vice president. Senior administration officials say Joe Biden has apologized to President Obama for putting him in a tough spot on the same-sex marriage issue.
It's a story our Jessica Yellin broke first here on CNN. Mr. Biden came out in support of same-sex marriage on a Sunday morning talk show and some believe that was what forced the president to make his own announcement, but ahead of schedule.
We're told the president responded by telling Joe Biden that he knew he was speaking from the heart.
SAMBOLIN: And Joe Biden is not the only high profile politician handing out apologies. Up next on EARLY START, why Mitt Romney is saying he's sorry for an incident that occurred nearly 50 years ago when he was in high school.
SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. It is 8 minutes past the hour. Mitt Romney's apologizing for what he insists was a high school prank that he doesn't even remember and that has his campaign staff doing damage control this morning.
The likely Republican nominee says he is sorry for an incident that took place in 1965 at the Cranbrook School in suburban Detroit. Witnesses say Romney and a group of friends held down a student who was thought to be gay and cut off chunks of his hair.
The "Washington Post" quoting several Romney classmates who witnessed the incident. They didn't see it as a prank. One of them calling it a "vicious hack job." Another saying he is still troubled by it to this day. Here is Romney's reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't recall the incident myself, but I've seen the reports and I'm not going to argue with that. There's no question, but that I did some stupid things when I was in high school and obviously, if I hurt anyone by virtue of that, I would be very sorry for it and apologize for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: CNN political editor, Paul Steinhauser is live in Washington for us. And Paul, some people jumped right on this and called it bullying way before we were even using that word. It was almost 50 years ago. Is this really going to hurt him?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: It's definitely a story for a day or two. No doubt about that. Will it hurt him come November? Unlikely. But right now, we are talking about it, it's on the front pages of some newspapers this morning and we're talking about it on cable news as well.
You have quotes from some of the people who witnessed the incident. Our Jim Acosta, our national political correspondent spoke to one of them last night, Philip Maxwell. He said I'm a lawyer. I know what an assault is. This kid was scared. He was terrified, that's an assault.
Maxwell told our Acosta that he does still consider Romney a friend. You know, Romney campaign put out some other quotes from other former classmates of Mitt Romney that were much kinder.
I guess, it was may be an attempt to maybe counter the criticism. Here is what Kevin Madden, senior adviser to the Romney campaign said last night, on CNN's Erin Burnett "OUT FRONT."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN MADDEN, SENIOR ROMNEY ADVISER: He did apologize for anybody that would have been offended. I think that's what, you know, people take away from this. This is a long time ago, 50 years is a long time and I think that this is not going to define him. What defines him is how he acts today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: That's what a lot of Republican pundits are saying this morning. You know, we're making too much of this, we being the media and they're saying what about President Obama? How come nothing's been coming up on that.
But let's go back four years ago and his comments in one of the books he wrote of his use of illegal drugs in high school was for a little while a topic on the campaign trail and we talked about it in the media -- Zoraida. SAMBOLIN: You know, people do evolve, right, Paul. But at the end of the day, I found it unusual he says he doesn't remember anything about it.
STEINHAUSER: That is interesting. Yes, that's something people will talk about that he can't remember. That is something you would remember, you would think.
SAMBOLIN: Absolutely. All right, so Mitt Romney is speaking at Liberty University today. Do you think he's going to continue to address this? What can we expect?
STEINHAUSER: No, I think he would like to be done addressing this. Yes, today, North Carolina, he's going to be talking about the economy and he may be talking about same-sex marriage, of course.
And then you mentioned the big commencement speech at Liberty University in another battle ground state, Virginia. The campaign put out some excerpts just this morning on that and here's what he's going to say.
You are ready for jobs that were supposed to be ready for you. He's talking to the students there, of course. Millions wait on the day when there are jobs for everyone willing to work and opportunities to match your hopes and your goals.
But don't lose heart because that day is coming. So you can here he wants to pivot back to the economy. Of course, Liberty University as you know, Evangelical school founded by the late Jerry Falwell, maybe he'll be reaching out to social conservatives he did not do well with in the primaries partially because of his Mormon faith. We will see -- Zoraida.
SAMBOLIN: And he needs those young votes. Paul Steinhauser live for us. Thank you very much.
At 7:30 Eastern on "STARTING POINT," Soledad O'Brien will talk about the incident in 1965 when she's joined by Kerry Healey, Mitt Romney's campaign adviser.
BANFIELD: It's 12 minutes now past 6:00. And that's a good time to get you caught up on the top stories. They are safe and they are physically unharmed, two young girls missing for two weeks now rescued.
It happened last night in Mississippi. Adam Mayes, who is accused of kidnapping them and who was on the lam after allegedly murdering their mother and sister, well, authorities say he shot himself in the head as the police closed in and later died.
SAMBOLIN: And a third suspect has now been arrested in the death of a Marine's wife in California. The 36-year-old Dorothy Maraglino was arrested by San Diego Sheriff's deputies last night in the connection with the death of Britney Kilgor.
Kilgor's body was found in April while estranged husband was serving in Afghanistan. Two other suspects have been arrested in connection with her death as well. Both have pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
BANFIELD: A disoriented passenger in police custody this morning accused of trying to open the cabin door while the plane was still flying in the air. U.S. airways commuter flight from Maine to Philadelphia had to be diverted to Boston. A spokesperson for the airline says the passenger was subdued by one of the flight attendants.
SAMBOLIN: The John Edwards corruption trial comes to a crossroads. The defense plans to ask the judge to dismiss all charges against the former senator claiming prosecutors haven't proven their case. The prosecution rested yesterday without calling Edwards' former mistress, Rielle Hunter to the stand.
BANFIELD: Not expected to affect the price of your fill-up, but gas pumps are going to get a makeover. The EPA is planning phase out all those rubber fitting on the pump handle that are designed to capture gasoline vapor.
Apparently more than 70 percent of cars that are on the road now have the stuff on them that does just that. So don't need them on the pumps. Some 31,000 gas stations across the country should be affected by this.
SAMBOLIN: Well, it looks like it may come up short. One World Trade Center, which recently became New York's tallest building may miss out on becoming the tallest building in the country on a technicality.
Here's a rendering of what it will look like in a couple of years. The design calls for a 408-foot needle to be placed atop the building, which would top it out at 1,776 feet.
But a design change could change the classification of a needle from aspire to an antenna, which means the Willis Tower in Chicago would still technically be on top.
BANFIELD: It's 14 minutes now past 6:00. If you take a really close look at your screen, to the left of it you can see what is the tallest building now in New York City, the Empire State Building, as the sun rises over Manhattan and warms up some of those chilly buildings.
Wait a minute, you know what? The world trade center became the tall nest New York last week, but the Empire State had that after the tragedy in 9/11. So there we wanted to show you a nice live picture of the reflective sun.
SAMBOLIN: And you know what he good news is? There is no rain. No rain, folks. So, that's what you're waking up.
And if you are leaving the house, you can watch us at any time watch us on your desktop or mobile phone go to CNN.com/TV.
BANFIELD: Rob Marciano is joining us now live with a look at what we can expect weather-wise right across the country.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, guys. You mentioned rain in New York, a gorgeous day expected there.
But plenty of rain in Texas. This video out of Midland, Texas., where a year ago bone dry and extreme drought. This spring the opposite -- the gullies, drainage ditches, rivers and streams filling up and overflowing, yesterday, causing all sorts of problems across central and southern Texas. Dilley, Texas, seeing four inches, Harper, 3.5 inches, 2.70 in Austin, that's a record, also a record in Corpus Christi at two-and-a-half. And Midland record rain as well.
That's going to press off to the east and flood watches for southeast and upper Texas coastline and much more for southern Louisiana later on today, two to four inches of rainfall expected.
We also had 14 reports of tornadoes across Texas, some of those doing damage outside of Austin and near Corpus Christi as well. And right now, we have a tornado warning for Cameron County, Texas, just north of Brownsville. This cell is moving off to the east, probably be allowed to expire.
And the heavy rains now out of Houston, heading towards Lake Charles, and most of the heavy wind with the system is offshore. But this system will make its way across the northern Gulf States over the weekend. So, kind of a wet weekend there. But high pressure in control for much of the Eastern quarter of the country for a good looking day today. It will be breezy across the Northeast but that will hold looks like most of the dry air through Saturday.
Sixty-nine degrees is the high temperature, a little bit of a breeze. I think you'll take that, Zoraida.
SAMBOLIN: Oh, you better believe it. We were feeling a little waterlogged around here. So thank you for that.
MARCIANO: You're welcome.
SAMBOLIN: It is 16 minutes past the hour.
Police use a taser to subdue an autistic teenager and, of course, the family is very upset to say the least. It happened in Johnston, Iowa. Four officers say they were unable to control 15- year-old John Pilmer. He was fighting with another teenager in a movie theater lobby. The boy's mother said police had other options.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERI PILMER, MOTHER OF AUSTISTIC TEENAGER: First, get on the phone to me and talk to me, so I could explain what they need to do to calm down the situation so the situation had not gotten as escalated as it did.
LT. LYNN ASWEGAN, JOHNSON, IOWA POLICE: That individual, whether autistic or not, was a threat to himself and a threat to the public and we were needed to neutralize that threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: You understand both sides of the story, right? The autistic teen is now in juvenile detention, facing numerous charges including assault.
I have to tell you that in the state of Illinois, you can actually register your autistic children with the police department and the police officers have training so a situation like this does not have to escalate. So check your state.
BANFIELD: Seventeen minutes now past 6:00.
And 20 dogs are getting a second chance at life after being rescued because they spent seven years in a California research kennel. These little beagles -- look at them -- getting on to the grass for the very first time in their life. Never touched grass before. They had spent their entire lives in a test laboratory.
Experts say Beagles are often used in animal testing because they are so trusting. The dogs were released to an animal rescue group because scientists no longer had use for them. The rescue workers will not reveal where those dogs came from.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we were to reveal the name of the facility, they would never release to us again so it's a double-edged sword and it's awful. I hate teetering that line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: They sure look happy now. Look at them, all 20 beagles are now up for adoption.
SAMBOLIN: They have a lot of energy, those little beagles.
It is 18 minutes past the hour.
Still ahead, where the hoodie meets the hops. What can Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg learn from a Boston beer guy about an IPO? I'm dying to learn more.
Alison Kosik is going to be here with that.
BANFIELD: And also, for an expanded look at all of our top stories, you can head to our blog at CNN.com/EarlyStart. Lots on there.
BANFIELD: Twenty-two minutes now past 6:00. And we're minding your business this morning.
Just one week out from Facebook's initial public offering, that IPO -- cool lingo. That's what I'm told by Alison Kosik. Apparently, they thought to put the start date back. So, depending on how the investor road show goes.
SAMBOLIN: CEO Mark Zuckerberg, you know, he was in New York this week, wearing his famous hoodie, meeting with potential investors.
Alison Kosik is in for Christine Romans this morning.
The hype machine is in overdrive?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And you know what? And the questions are coming out is Facebook living up to the hype.
There's one report out of "Bloomberg" today that says it's not living up to the hype. On this road show, it's being discovered, coming out that it's not getting the demand that was expected. There's concern how Facebook is going to grow, other reports its ad growth isn't keeping pace with the increase of users on Facebook. In fact, there's a poll from "Bloomberg" showing the majority of responders say Facebook is overvalued.
So, you know what? I asked one CEO about this, the CEO of Boston beer company also known as Sam Adams, a very popular beer, on how to generate interest from average Joes to buy into this Facebook IPO, you know, get people who actually use Facebook to buy into the company.
So this is a great case study because Sam Adams went public 17 years ago on the NYSE and did something radical. I talked with Jim Koch on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and he said it was important to let his beer drinkers become his owners.
So, what he did was tagged six-packs, you go out and buy in the store, telling drinkers to send in, get information, get a prospectus and buy shares directly even at a lower price being offered to institutional investors, the price being offered to institutional investors was $20, 15 bucks for the average Joe. He said he did this because these are the people that mattered most to him.
Here is more of our conversation. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM KOCH, CEO, SAM ADAMS: To the rest of the world of Facebook IPO it's a big financial transaction but as the entrepreneur and the founder, it's also a statement of what your values are.
KOSIK: Are you going to buy into this Facebook IPO next week?
KOCH: I'm not an investor. Alison, I make beer. Ask me about hops. Don't ask me to pick stocks.
Well, you want to have a beer with me?
KOSIK: I would love to have a beer with you. The mid-morning drink.
So what do we have here?
KOCH: This is the original Sam Adams. This is the beer that I started making in my kitchen 28 years ago.
KOSIK: How'd that go?
KOCH: It helped start an entire craft beer revolution in America.
KOCH: Cheers, the original social network.
KOSIK: Oh, yes.
(END VIDSEO CLI)
SAMBOLIN: I love that.
KOSIK: Having a beer, you can't go wrong with that.
BANFIELD: What did he call it?
KOSIK: The original social network.
BANFIELD: No, the craft beer. I thought it was microbrew.
KOSIK: He created that Boston Lager. That was the original, so we both drank that first and I said you know what? Summer's coming. Let's try the summer ale, so we cracked open a little summer ale on the floor of the stock exchange and sipped a little bit of that.
BANFIELD: Our fanatic is in my ear right now. He lived in there actually. He's teeny, tiny. His name is Steven Samaniego (ph) in our control room, and he says it used to be called microbrew and now they have evolved craft beer.
KOSIK: There you go. OK. Live and learn.
BANFIELD: How about that?
KOSIK: You know, I got to say Jim Koch is amazing. He said you know what? Never forget the people who drink your beer. He said I don't forget the people who are drinking my beer and never forget to say thank you.
And his point with Facebook is, he hopes that Facebook doesn't forget that either, who his users are.
SAMBOLIN: It's very important, seemed genuine. Thank you.
I wanted to ask you how the beer was but we'll talk about it off camera.
SAMBOLIN: So, he is the only known American POW in Afghanistan, missing for almost three years. Now his parents leaking sensitive information about the negotiations to try to get him back home, because they say the military is not doing enough to get their boy back home. We are live at the Pentagon.
BANFIELD: Twenty-nine minutes now past 6:00. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
Let's get you caught up on the top headlines at half past the hour.
Two missing Tennessee girls found alive and physically unharmed today. Adam Mayes the fugitive suspected of kidnapping them and murdering their mother and sister dead. The FBI says he shot himself in the head.
Mitt Romney apologizing for a high school incident nearly 50 years ago that he insists he does not even remember. The likely GOP nominee allegedly held down a classmate who was thought to be gay and cut of chunks of his hair. Romney is saying he is sorry for what he describes as a high school prank, although some students who witnessed it said it was more like an assault.
The drug Truvada might soon be approved for preventing the disease in high risk patients. An advisory committee recommending the Food Drug and Administration bless Truvada as a preventative medication by a 19-3 vote. And that is a big deal -- Zoraida.
SAMBOLIN: Thirty minutes past the hour.
New details this morning in the only known U.S. prisoner of war in Afghanistan. The parents of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl are speaking out for the first time in over a year, revealing secret attempts to free him ands details of a possible prisoner swap in the works. The Taliban captured Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl back in June of 2009 and he's appeared in at least five Taliban propaganda videos since he disappeared.
Barbara Star is live at the Pentagon.
Earlier, Barbara, we said this is sensitive information being released now. Is it?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Zoraida.
You know, the administration is now acknowledging that yes, indeed, there were talks with the Taliban about exchanging five prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay in the return for the release of Sergeant Bergdahl. This was late last year, parts of the talks the U.S. was having with the Taliban, so-called reconciliation talks.
The potential release of the Sergeant Bergdahl was one of those so-called confidence-building measures. The Taliban allegedly would release him. The U.S. would release these five prisoners. It was not being widely discussed but was understood to be happening, now that Sergeant Bergdahl's own parents are speaking out yes the administration is going ahead and publicly acknowledging it. Lot of questions of course about what is being done to recover this young man.
Here at the Pentagon a good deal of discussion about it and questions whether he really is remembered every day by the U.S. military.
Have a listen to what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: If you go to the CentCom Command Center, where, you know, their conference room, there's about a four by six-foot poster of Bowe Bergdahl sitting in front of the podium to remind them and therefore us every day that he remains missing in action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: So even with these exchange talks having collapsed some months ago, now the Pentagon coming out and talking about it and saying yes, they are doing everything that they can to get him back.
In a few short weeks, Zoraida, it will be three years that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has been in captivity.
SAMBOLIN: You know, you have to understand the frustration of the parents, right? And I was reading somewhere online that the parents had reached out to the Taliban directly. Do you know anything about that?
STARR: Well, they're trying to, I think, is fair to say. Mr. Bergdahl has made some videos where he is speaking Pashtun just a little bit, saying assalam alaikum, trying to make these messages public to the Taliban, that they would like their son back, that they understand what is going on in the region and make these appeals to get their son back. So far to no avail.
SAMBOLIN: And, Barbara, is there good reason to believe he is still alive?
STARR: According to the source, everyone we have spoken to yes, they do believe he is alive, that he is being held in Pakistan by the so-called Haqqani Network. This is one of its most active and terrorist-capable networks in Pakistan, across the border.
That's one of the problems, the U.S. says. They do believe he's being held inside Pakistan.
SAMBOLIN: All right. Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon for us, thank you very much.
And at the top of the hour, Soledad will be joined by Michael Berg, who's son was murdered by insurgents in 2004, one of the few people who know what Bowe Bergdahl's parents are going through.
BANFIELD: Thirty-four minutes now past 6:00.
And when voters in Indiana headed to the polls earlier this week, one was turned away before he could cast his ballot because he was carrying a gun. He's a former marine. His name Clay Edinger. He carries his weapon with him everywhere he can for protection. He's licensed.
But when he walked into the polling center at Warren Township Fire Department, the elections official spotted the gun and then alerted the assistant fire chief. Clay was asked to step outside, was told state law forbids him for bringing a firearm into the voting booth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDINGER CLAY, FORMER MARINE: I have no reason to take it off unless they can come up with a law that tells me that I can't carry a gun in here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BANFIELD: And as it turns out, there is no law in Indiana that stops anybody from carrying a gun into a polling place. By the way, Edinger never did get to vote. He says it's more important at this point to show all people who carry guns are not bad.
SAMBOLIN: Thirty-five minutes past the hour.
Reporter by day, stripper by night. Listen up, there are a lot of layers to the story. The "Houston Chronicle" has fired a woman named Sarah Tressler who was working as the society section of the paper, after they found out she also worked as an exotic dancer and did not disclose that when she applied for the job.
Tressler wrote a blog called "Diary of an Angry Stripper" where she gave readers a peek into her double life.
Now she is suing for gender bias.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH TESSLER, FMR. REPORTER, HOUSTON CHRONICLE: I feel that women should not be denied other employment because they have worked as exotic dancers. Some young women will use dancing as a way to make ends meet while they study to prepare for the career that they hope to be able to have for the rest of their lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: Ms. Tressler holds a masters degree in journalism from New York University. She also is an adjunct professor at the University of Houston.
BANFIELD: One smart cookie.
BANFIELD: Have you ever tried to ride a unicycle? It is not easy. Look at how this guy decided to give it a go and naked unicycle romp on a bridge. Why? Where? And how do you think that officer was handling all of this -- it's all coming up.
BANFIELD: And it's morning friendly. We blurred it out.
But, first, a quick check of today's weather with Rob Marciano. Good morning.
MARCIANO: Good morning.
Boy, we're heavy on the stripper stories.
BANFIELD: Equal opportunities.
MARCIANO: Maybe that young man is studying for his journalism degree.
All right. Look at the rainfall, going to be heading across the southeast part of Texas, and also southern Louisiana, looking at rainfall here of two to four inches, so flood watches in effect. We also saw several tornadoes yesterday which caused damage and minor injuries no, fatalities thankfully outside of Houston. And the rainfall pushing into the Gulf of Mexico and into southern Louisiana.
East Coast, most of it except for northern Maine and southern Florida, will be wonderful, a bit breezy, and a little bit of a warm up tomorrow. Southwest corner of the U.S. looks to be pretty toasty later on today. Sixty-nine, good day in the Big Apple.
You're up-to-date weather, EARLY START is coming right back.
BANFIELD: Forty minutes now past the hour. Let's get you up to date.
Two missing Tennessee girls safe this morning. Their suspected kidnaper, fugitive Adam Mayes, dead. FBI officials say Mayes shot himself in the head and later pronounced dead. The girls were found in a wooded area near Mayes' home in Union County, Mississippi.
SAMBOLIN: Florida A&M University's band director is out of a job this morning. Julian White stepped down yesterday in wake of a hazing scandal. White had been with FAMU for 40 years. He was placed on administrative leave in November after the death of Robert Champion.
Police say Champion died in a hazing incident. Thirteen people had been charged in his death.
FAMU's board of trustees is meeting next week to discuss the future of the band.
BANFIELD: After a string of worker suicides and reports of sweat shop conditions, Apple has announced that it's going to share the costs of improving the lives of workers at plants in China who make your iPhones and your iPads. It's going to work with key text supplier Foxconn. There's a deal in place to raise the wages by up to 25 percent.
SAMBOLIN: Former "News of the World" editor Rebekah Brooks testifying in the U.K.'s phone hacking and press ethics inquiry. The Leveson hearing is examining the relationship between media, politicians, police and the public in Great Britain. Listen to Brooks fielding a question about the way Rupert Murdoch's papers present stories to the readers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You present issues with a certain spin, a certain slant, don't you?
REBEKAH BROOKS, FORMER NEWS CORP. EXECUTIVE: Well, depending on the paper, yes. You can do. I wouldn't say spin. I would say attitude.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or perspective then?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: Brooks is expected to answer questions about her friendship with current Prime Minister David Cameron and her relationship with former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Chanting, build it, build it. The NFL's Minnesota Vikings just one signature away from getting the stadium that they have wanting for years. The plan cleared final approval in the Minnesota state Senate yesterday setting the wheels in motion for a new billion-dollar stadium. The public is on the hook for $348 million of that price tag and the plan is now headed to the governor's desk.
SAMBOLIN: That's a lot of moolah.
Can't a guy just get a ride on a unicycle naked anymore? This is in the running for the greatest traffic stop of all time.
Police in Texas pulled over a naked guy, that one right there in a unicycle, on a bridge, right outside of human. He is being accused of indecent exposure after police say he was distracting drivers and he was creating a hazard.
But they say at least he had a good reason.
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GREG RIHARD, KEMA, TEXAS POLICE DEPT.: He said he liked the way it felt. Really don't know what he meant by that but that's what he said.
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SAMBOLIN: Police say his clothes were found at the base of the bridge.
BANFIELD: I just can't speak to how that feels. Sorry. It seems to me it wouldn't feel that good, but I don't ride a unicycle.
SAMBOLIN: I think he meant the air, I don't know that he meant actually sitting on the unicycle.
BANFIELD: I sure I hope he didn't mean that sitting on a unicycle feel good.
It's 44 minutes now past 6:00.
We're working hard on a lot of other stories for you. We've got some new clues in a 22-year-old mystery, the biggest art heist ever involving some of the world's greatest masterpieces. And this morning there's a question: were they hidden in an alleged mobster's house or backyard? We've got more after the break.
BANFIELD: Welcome back. It's 47 minutes now past six o'clock.
A dramatic search in Connecticut linked to one of the greatest unsolved art heists ever. It is a big story, folks. Twenty-two years ago, two guys who are dressed as cops just talked their way in to the Isabela Stewart Gallery in Boston and then made off with 13 priceless pieces of art.
And we're not just talking any art. Masterpieces from artists like Rembrandt, Manet, Degas. The total haul was about a half billion dollars. And now, the FBI has a lead, and they have raided 75-year- old Robert Gentile's home in Connecticut.
Police say he's a reputed mobster, and they say he was arrested on gun charges back in February, and when they searched the home back then, they say they turned up four guns, ammo, home-maid dynamite, a stun gun, $20,000 stuffed into a grandfather clock with a set of brass knuckles, that's just to name a few of the items that they found, but they did not find any stolen art.
And so far, in this recent search, Thursday, didn't find any stolen art, that they're telling us anyway. Gentile's lawyer Ryan McGuigan is with me now live to talk about this case. Thanks so much, Mr. McGuigan, for joining us on this. What exactly is it that the police think connects your client to this 22-year-old art heist? A. RYAN MCGUIGAN, ATTORNEY FOR ROBERT GENTILE: They do not think that he had any direct role in the theft of the art. I believe they have information that they've generated from a grand jury whereby they've had some people pointing their fingers at my client.
I'd say the majority of the information comes from incarcerated criminals who are trying to get out, most of them are now in their 70s. They're septuagenarians and octogenarians. And it looks like they're pointing fingers at anybody that they possibly can in exchange, giving up information in exchange for early release.
BANFIELD: So, why is the warrant for what the police are doing, and we're looking at the pictures on our screen right now of the tent that set up over the yard. They're using this ground-penetrating radar in order to try to search for weapons.
Why does the warrant say that they're looking for weapons when, in fact, the suspicion here is that they're looking for those masterpieces or information that will lead to the whereabouts of the masterpieces?
MCGUIGAN: Well, that's a very good question. They have to ostensibly say that they're looking for firearms in connection with a drug case, because the statute of limitations has already run on the theft of the art, and therefore, they could not get a search and seizure warrant for a crime whereby the statute's already run.
So, therefore, they have to come up with a new crime that they can attach a search and seizure warrant to it and search my client's house, which is the whole intent of his entire underlying criminal case, the whole -- sorry.
BANFIELD: If that's the case, pardon the pun, if that's the case and the statute of limitations for the search has forced them to actually make the warrant all about guns and not about art, what happens if they find art or what happens if they information about art? Does the statute still exist? Is that limit still there? Could he be charged with this?
MCGUIGAN: No, he couldn't be charged with it. However, under common law, if you have property that doesn't belong to you, you cannot keep it. And so, the art would then be rendered back to the rightful owner. He wouldn't have a valid ownership claim over the property.
He couldn't be charged with possession of it, but the property would then go back to the museum.
BANFIELD: So, just to wrap it up, literally, if he can't be charged with it, if he knew where anything was, if he had the art, there's a $5 million reward being offered by the museum, he could get the money and not face any charges, right?
MCGUIGAN: He could get the money, not face any charges, and it's my understanding that he would have a very amicable resolution to the underlying criminal charge. And any criminal attorney would recommend this to his client. I have. He's given them the information that he has. He has no more information, and it would take a nut not to take this deal.
BANFIELD: Ryan McGuigan, it's good of you to join us this morning. We'll keep watching this. And if there's resolution, we'd like to have you back.
MCGUIGAN: Thank you very much.
BANFIELD: Thanks very much.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: It is 52 minutes past the hour. Time now for your royal weather report. Prince Charles takes the clicker as he hangs out with the commoners at the Bieb (ph).
BANFIELD: And if you're about to leave the house, you can actually take us with you. I know that sounds weird, but all you need to do is go to CNN.com/live, and you got all the --
SAMBOLIN: It's a great idea.
BANFIELD: As we say normally, though, please don't walk and watch, please don't drive and watch. Just get yourself a nice seat at the bus station or train station and watch. Back in a moment.
BANFIELD: It is 55 minutes now past six o'clock, and it's time to take a look at what's trending on the interweb.
President Obama had that change of heart, hugely, you know, posted, I believe, in same-sex marriage, and it turns out that was so re-tweeted it's setting a record. All we can tell you this is that moments afterwards, when he tweeted out "same-sex couples should be able to get married," we found out that it may be the most re-tweeted message of all-time.
Twitter, apparently, only monitors up to 50 re-tweets, but we're getting this information from a hacker who says he runs the site retweetingobama.com and says he knows exactly how many times this message was re-tweeted. And he claims it is 56,700 and counting since yesterday. And if you think that sounds low --
SAMBOLIN: It does.
BANFIELD: It might sound a little low, but there is something else to the story that might make it sound more plausible, and that is Twitter is announcing that President Obama's announcement generated, generated about 1.6 million tweets from people who are reacting to that news.
And you probably saw all the celebrities who tweeted out thank you, Mr. President. This is terrific news. Probably some others saying what were you thinking. So, with all of the pluses and minuses on it, lots of tweets and lots of re-tweets.
SAMBOLIN: I expect that re-tweet number will be way higher.
SAMBOLIN: All right. So, he's sprinted up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, but who knew that Rocky was actually in a classic painting. Take a look at this and you decide for yourself. An American College student who was vacationing in Italy spotted a dead ringer, right there on the left-hand side, for Sylvester Stallone in a Roman fresco.
Rocky was the Italian Stallion, you know, and it even looked like he took a clever lang (ph) left hook in the painting. You know, I know nothing about this. But -- so, there it is. I wish we could put them side by side so that you can compare and decide whether you think they look alike.
The Rafael painting called "The Cardinal and Theological Virtues," was done in 1511, and it shows Pope Gregory IX approving papal laws and Rambo in the background.
BANFIELD: So, that's the -- the guy in the orange if you look real close.
BANFIELD: That's a nice profile.
SAMBOLIN: When you put them up close and together, then you absolutely see the resemblance, but when you put the two separately, not so much.
BANFIELD: I said it before, I'm going to say it again, I think all 16th century art has people in it who look like Rocky. They just have that face, you know?
We have another one for you that you'll probably really enjoy. If you're an anchor and you're tossing to your weatherman, you're probably not expecting it's going to be this guy. That's the prince, Prince Charles, taking a tour of the BBC facilities in Glasgow, Scotland.
SAMBOLIN: When she tossed, did she say, your royal highness?
BANFIELD: I think she did. And in fact, he was getting a lesson from the crew and from weatherman on how to use the clicker, and he actually did a pretty good job of it, so take a look at the crash course and the results.
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PRINCE CHARLES, GREAT BRITAIN: Well, it's an unsettled pictures we head towards the end of the week. This afternoon, it will be cold, wet, and windy across most of Scotland. We're under the influence of low pressure. And this weather front pushing northwards is bringing cloud and outbreaks of rain.
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BANFIELD: Well, what you didn't hear was when he read one of the scripts up on his teleprompter that he didn't like, and he actually said "who the hell wrote this stuff?" which was adorable. I mean, he truly did a great job, very entertaining and certainly replayed on cable networks all around the world.
That, by the way, would do it for us at 58 minutes past the hour. It's the news from "A" to "Z." I'm Ashleigh Banfield.
SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "Starting Point" with Soledad O'Brien starts right now.