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Facebook's Price Tag; Mary Kennedy Found Dead; Mystery In the Sky Over Denver

Aired May 17, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

ALI VELSHI, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Ali Velshi. Ashleigh Banfield is on assignment.

It is 5:00 a.m. -- did you sleep well last night?

SAMBOLIN: I slept very well. How about you?

VELSHI: At least one of us did.

Let's get started.

SAMBOLIN: But we certainly hope you slept well.

Up first here -- it is a frenzy over the Facebook IPO. Exactly how much it will cost you to get a piece of the social network, I think, when it goes public. There's a lot of talk about this on our studio.

There's so much interest that Facebook is now boosting the amount of shares it will offer to the public. The eight-year-old company could be worth more than Citigroup and McDonald's by happy hour tomorrow night.

So, let's bring in Christine and we'll keep you here as well, Ali.


SAMBOLIN: Because this conversation this morning, while the cameras are now rolling folks, I've got to tell you. So, let's get to it.

ROMANS: Look, we're talking about institutional investors, you know, the windows has closed for them to say they want to get in. Those are the big guys.

And now, the little guys are waiting to find out what the stock price will be, the IPO price will be and then put in your limit orders. That's what I keep advocating. What price do you think you want to pay for Facebook stock when it starts trading under the ticker symbol FB?

Now, one reason there's just so much hype around this initial public offering is because this is a company that everyone knows, right? I mean, you got 900 million people around the world who are on Facebook.

Take a look at this. This is a graphic that shows the connections between users worldwide through Facebook. It's a company that has changed how we talk to each other and brought us together with new people in new ways all over the world.

I want to show you something else. Twenty minutes on Facebook, 1 million links are shared in 20 minutes on Facebook.


ROMANS: Friend requests, 1.9 million are accepted in just 20 minutes on Facebook. Photos uploaded, 2.7 million photos are uploaded every 20 minutes on Facebook.

Typical 20 minutes on Facebook has almost 2 million status updates, 10 million comments made on Facebook.

This is why all of you know it and all of you are asking us, how do you get a piece of it. And this is where Ali and I disagree a lot. I say --

VELSHI: Don't.

ROMANS: No, no, that's not what I say. Based on the advise from a lot of people that we talked to, I feel it's risky. I feel it's risky. We will learn a lot more about this company in the next year. And so, people like Ryan Mack, for example, says wait a month -- wait a month, see how it's going and then decide if you want a piece of it.

SAMBOLIN: Sometimes you feel like you missed out on the opportunity then. I was listening as you all were talking. You call it a paradigm shift.

VELSHI: Yes, I think this is -- all that you stuff you talked about, those stats you gave about Facebook, you can't do that on Google. I mean, this is an engagement. This is the new Internet.

The Internet from the last 10 years has been about looking stuff up and getting really good answers. This is a paradigm shift, this is about engaging, this is identifying the people you like and having them help you select your entire life.

ROMANS: But, a public company has to make money. Now, when you invest in a company, if you buy the IPO or buy the stock after the IPO, you become an investor in Facebook. You want a return on your investment. What will Facebook do about the mobile threat?

VELSHI: It doesn't advertise well on mobile service.

ROMANS: Right.

VELSHI: Zoraida's question was, what's it's to cost, right? It's going to price today at 4:00 for institutional investors probably at $38. OK?

ROMANS: You think it will be the high end?

VELSHI: Which means hedge fund managers and mutual fund managers get it at 38 bucks. Tomorrow, at 9:30, lists on the NASDAQ. Now, remember brand new IPOs, Christine, think back to IPOs. They don't always trade at 9:30.


VELSHI: It takes 30, 40 minutes to figure out the price. I think the first price is going to be in the $50 range and maybe as high as $90 tomorrow.

If you're a regular investor, you may have to pay 90 bucks to get the stock.

ROMANS: And Ryan Mack from Optimum Capital Management and many others have said, look, there are some people pushing the hype of $100, to get to $100 on the first day --

SAMBOLIN: So, the people who have it can unload it, make a ton of money, what do I make?

ROMANS: That's exactly like, when you're buying it at $90, assuming it gets there, someone that has been in there a long time is making a boatload of money and you're the person giving them the money. So just remember that.

See the look on Ali's face?


VELSHI: It's too early to be this -- viewers in California are still in a bar listening to this, listening to you saying, don't buy Facebook. It's risky.

ROMANS: I didn't say don't buy Facebook. Ali --

SAMBOLIN: Be cautious is what Christine Romans says. Thank you. Both of you, thank you.

ALI: Long day to talk about this all day tomorrow.

All right. To some other news for a moment.

Under attack from six air tankers, and 500 fighters -- this is the Gladiator Fire in the Bradshaw Mountains in Arizona. The thing is double in size this morning. The fire is devouring nine square miles. It's only 5 percent contained. Three homes have been destroyed. And fire officials warn several more homes could burn down in the next few days.

SAMBOLIN: Closing arguments this morning in the corruption trial of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards. The jury could begin deliberating by tomorrow. The defense rested yesterday, calling only seven of the 65 people on their witness list.

Edwards and his daughter, Cate, were not called. And neither was Rielle Hunter, Edwards' former mistress.

The former presidential candidate could get 30 years behind bars for allegedly using nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions to cover up his extramarital affair with Hunter.

VELSHI: The story we've been following gets even stranger. There's word of a second woman being infected with a rare flesh-eating bacteria. The case does appear to be less severe. Lana Kuykendall was diagnosed just days after giving birth to twins. Her husband says following surgery, he hopes the infection is on its way to healing.

Meanwhile, we've been telling you about 24-year-old Aimee Copeland. She continues to fight for her life in a Georgia hospital. Her father says she's courageous and amazingly resilient. Aimee had her leg amputated and is expected to lose fingers due to the infection.

SAMBOLIN: Really bizarre. Elizabeth Cohen is going to join us later to talk about that.

And we have new questions this morning about how Sanford police handled the Trayvon Martin shooting. "The New York Times" revealing a series of missteps in their initial investigation.

Among the findings, they took just one photo of George Zimmerman's injuries at the scene. Zimmerman's vehicle was not secured as part of the crime scene. Police didn't properly cover the crime scene and rain may have washed away critical blood evidence. Zimmerman was not tested for alcohol or drug use that night either.

George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder and he claims he shot martin in self defense. The teenager's family alleges their son was profiled by Zimmerman and the shooting was racially motivated.

VELSHI: An autopsy will be performed later this morning on 52- year-old Mary Kennedy. The estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was found dead in her Westchester County home yesterday. New York medical examiner expects to announce the cause of death today.

Mary Kennedy struggled very publicly after her husband announced he was filing for divorce in 2010. She was arrested twice for DUI that same year. She leaves behind four children. She was 52-year- old.

SAMBOLIN: And we could be witnessing the start of debt ceiling debacle part two now. The White House warning Republicans not to hijack the U.S. economy after the president's high-profile lunch yesterday with Senate and House leaders.

Congress will have to raise the debt ceiling again at the end of this year and Republicans are vowing to block the move if it's not offset by spending cuts. Behold the beginning of a budget stalemate ranted by Vice President Biden and House Speaker Boehner.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Where is the president's plan to tackle our looming debt crisis? It's time for us to deal with the big issues that are affecting our country and our society. We've spent enough time playing small ball.



SAMBOLIN: It's pretty fired up there.

The president and GOP leaders did agree on one thing during yesterday's White House lunch, the need to reach agreement to prevent the student loan interest rate from doubling in July.

VELSHI: Just in. AAA reporting average price at the pump dropping this morning to $3.72 per gallon of self serve unleaded. They're basically giving it away now.


VELSHI: That is down six-tenths of a cent. Six-tenths of a cent, that's a big drop from yesterday's national average.

One of these days I might start driving again. But look at the weight I'm losing walking.

SAMBOLIN: We were celebrating because we were almost at $5.

VELSHI: That's right.

SAMBOLIN: Isn't that crazy?

All right. You know what they say about karma, right? Police say a bike thief's crime was caught on camera. But that is not all you get to see. Watch as what goes around comes around, coming up.


VELSHI: Good Thursday morning to you all. You're watching EARLY START. It's 12 minutes after the hour.

Let's get you up-to-date. Here is Christine Romans -- Christine.

ROMANS: Good morning again you, too.

In a few hours, we will know Facebook's price tag. The company setting its stock price today -- the social network going public on the NASDAQ tomorrow. The price range expected to be as much as $38 a share.

The FBI now says one man is responsible for mailing more than 380 letters laced with white powder. The mysterious letters have been sent to addresses in 48 states. Officials believe they're all coming from one man in north Texas. Tests show the powder, by the way, is not dangerous.

But officials believe the mystery mailer is now targeting daycare centers and schools. The FBI is offering up to $150,000 to information leading to an arrest.

Protests outside the Alabama state house has lawmakers approve a new bill to revise the state's controversial immigration law. Critics say the new measure would make the nation's toughest immigration law even worse. Final approval rests with the governor who said to be reviewing the legislation.

A collision at sea between an 844-foot U.S. Navy assault ship and a refueling tanker happened yesterday morning in the Pacific, 120 miles off the coast of southern California. A Navy spokesman says the USS Essex was approaching the tanker to refuel when it apparently lost its steering. Both ships were damaged. No one was hurt. The vessels were able to make it to shore under their own power.

Worry for the well-being of a young actor this morning. Thirty- two-year-old Nick Stahl, who starred alongside Arnold in "Terminator 3", has been missing for more than a week. According to TMZ, his wife reported him missing last Wednesday. She fears he may have gotten tangled up in, quote, "bad stuff" in downtown L.A.'s infamous skid row, possibly drugs.

Surveillance video we could watch on a loop all day. A bike thief caught on tape, epic face plant during the getaway. He just ripped off a $50 bicycle from a store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Cameras from a nearby store caught him wiping out. Watch it.

Ooh. On his way out.

VELSHI: You want to steal a bike, you got to know how to ride a bike.

ROMANS: Do the crime, pay the time.

And if you're leaving the house right now, you can watch us any time on your desktop or on your mobile phone. Just go to -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, I love the idea of karma there. Thank you so much, Christine.

It is 14 minutes past the hour here. Dangerous fire conditions persist out west.

Rob Marciano live with the very latest.

Arizona wildfires?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Arizona is a state that's getting burned up quite a bit with four fires. But there's also one burning in Colorado, just outside Ft. Collins. This is the video of that particular fire, over 600 acres burned here. They're having a tough time of it. You can see some breezy conditions, only 5 percent contained. And they're battling that one.

Two fronts. Arizona and Colorado. Yesterday, the winds were light in Arizona, even though that fire grew. But it was still very, very hot. Now, the winds are going to pick up as we get a little system coming in.

The next two to three days will be particularly worrisome. They'll have to deal with winds on top of the heat and dry conditions. Gusty winds, 30 to 40 miles per hour. A number of advisories and watches up and red flags and warnings as well for the good junk of Nevada.

Meanwhile in Florida, you're starting to pile up some rainfall. You need it a little farther north. Nonetheless, South Florida, including the keys and Miami getting some rainfall this morning -- kind of the tail end of a front that has finally pushed across the northeast. This part moving faster.

You'll get into nicer weather, albeit on the cool side, across the Great Lakes and parts of upstate New York. Daytime highs will be cooler than yesterday, lower 70s. But we've got frost and freeze advisories across Upstate New York for later on tonight.

Want to take you across the pond into southern parts of Switzerland where a landslide happened yesterday. About 300,000 cubic meters of soil ran down this hill. This is a village Preonzo, which is near the Italian border there. The problem with this is that they've got another half a million cubic meter of land and rock, they think is going to slide down as well.

So, dramatic stuff there. There's a village down there. They've had to evacuate that and wait for this land to settle down just a little bit.


MARCIANO: That part of Switzerland --

SAMBOLIN: Scary stuff coming your way there.

MARCIANO: All right, guys. Good weather across the Northeast. No land slides or anything.

VELSHI: Yes, it's nice out here. I almost tweeted on my way in to say what a beautiful morning it is. I walked into work this morning, except I walked in a little late so I didn't really want to tweet I was still walking into work.

Rob, Zoraida has been tweeting out, she wants to know -- because you're interviewing what's his name?

SAMBOLIN: Spurlock.

VELSHI: Morgan Spurlock, about his new movie about man, something -- about male grooming. She's asking how much guys spent a month of growing. And I said without hair, it's like five bucks. I steal hotel soap.

SAMBOLIN: And, by the way, everybody thinks he's lying.

VELSHI: You don't have to buy soap and you've got no hair, how am I going to cross 5 bucks?

MARCIANO: Well, the most money I spend is waxing the back of my hand. I've got to do that --

VELSHI: Wow, there you go.

SAMBOLIN: It's a serious question I want you to answer on Twitter. He says five bucks, but I don't get it with all the facials that he -- no, no, lot of facials.

VELSHI: We'll talk more about our grooming --

MARCIANO: Important to pamper yourself, emotionally.

SAMBOLIN: Apparently it is for guys, much more than we originally thought. Thank you.

All right. So, listen to this story. Time for morning reads, 22 minutes -- 17 minutes after the hour. Not so good at that.

This is a story that I don't think makes a lot of sense. Kindergartners in Georgia may soon help decide if their teachers get raises or get fired.

SAMBOLIN: I think it makes a lot of sense.

VELSHI: Really?

SAMBOLIN: I'll explain why. Go ahead.

VELSHI: All right. "The Washington Post" is reporting on a new pilot program where kids from kindergarten through high school evaluate their teachers. I'm OK with the high school part. Their feedback could influence teacher job ratings.

Now, research suggests the relationship between student performance and what kids say about their teachers. I even get that part.

Here is what I don't get. Kids as young as 5 are possibly too immature to effectively evaluate their teachers. Kindergartners, who could barely read and write would be asked to score teachers by circling a smiling face, a neutral face or a frowning face. Statements like my teacher knows a lot about what he or she teaches. Or my teacher gives me help when I need it.

I'm OK. Just little kids can't be evaluating their teachers.

SAMBOLIN: Of course they can. Because you know what? They are the ones that are brutally honest and absolutely tell the truth and don't worry about consequences.

So, at the end of the day, I'd rather be evaluated by a little one.

VELSHI: OK. So, a 5-year-old who's getting a lot of treats from their teacher you don't think --

SAMBOLIN: Not treats. I mean, I'm sure the questions they're asking are really good questions.

VELSHI: You can bribe kids. That's all I'm saying.

SAMBOLIN: You can bribe those high schoolers. That's what you can do.

And students in Florida are failing their state's writing exam. The Florida school board called an emergency meeting after nearly -- listen to this -- 75 percent of students failed the writing portion of the state's FCAT exam. Last year, more than 80 percent of the students passed it. But this year, the school board raised the standard, increasing the score required to pass.

The board has now decided to lower the bar back to 2011 levels. The writing exam is regarded as the easiest of the FCAT test. Officials are now bracing for the release of the reading and math scores.

VELSHI: That's the way to do it, lower the bar. We're not hitting the scores, lower the bar.

SAMBOLIN: All right. For an expanded look at al our top stories, heads to our blog,

VELSHI: And a family tragedy strikes the Kennedy clan once again with the sudden death of Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s estranged wife, Mary. Just ahead, more on her death and the last troubled months of her life.

You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: It is 23 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START.

The Kennedys rocked by yet another family tragedy. An autopsy will be performed today on Mary Kennedy, the 52-year-old estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. She was found dead in her New York home yesterday.

Alina Cho is here with the very latest.

Really heartbreaking.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just a heartbreaking story. You heard the Kennedy curse. You know, when I read this story, I thought here we go again.

Good morning. Good morning, everybody.

You know, the Westchester County medical examiner could actually announce a cause of death as early as later today. But for now, police are keeping a very tight lid on what might have happened to Mary Kennedy. They will not say how she died and they are not providing many details about what they found at her home in Bedford, New York, other than her body, which was discovered in what they describe as an outbuilding of the property, not the main house.

One thing we do know is that the last few years certainly were not kind to Mary Kennedy. She battled a lot of demons.

SAMBOLIN: Now, we heard it was very troubled. Do you have details on that?

CHO: Yes, I sure do. Her life was rocked when her husband, Robert Kennedy Jr. back in May 2010 -- remember, he is the nephew of President John F. Kennedy -- filed for divorce. The couple has four children. The divorce, by the way, was never finalized.

So, at the time of her death, they were still officially married. Now, not long after her husband announced plans to leave her, Mary Kennedy's life began to unravel. She was arrested for driving under the influence twice in 2010, once for alcohol, one for prescription drugs. One charge, by the way, was reduced, the other was thrown out.

There was also a domestic incident the night after Robert Kennedy filed for divorce, during which he told authorities his wife was intoxicated.

Kennedy biographer Laurence Leamer spoke to our Erin Burnett last night about Mary and Robert Kennedy and the very public demons that they battled.


LAURENCE LEAMER, AUTHOR, "SONS OF CAMELOT": Her husband or soon to be ex-husband was a heroin addict. And he quit, heroically came out of that and became one of America's great environmental leaders. But I remember Kathleen Kennedy Townsend saying she enjoys going to Hyannis Port for Thanksgiving now. She said it used to be a bunch of drunks and now it's an AA meeting.


SAMBOLIN: I got to tell you, I was reading the details this morning. And she has four children --

CHO: Right.

SAMBOLIN: -- under the age of 18. I should say that.

CHO: Right. Again, just a heartbreaking story and just a tragedy, another tragedy for the Kennedy family.

You know, they are releasing two statements, both Mary Kennedy -- her family released a statement. In part it read, "We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister, Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her. Our heart goes out to her children, who she loved without reservation."

And, by the way, Robert Kennedy released a statement saying, quote, "Mary inspired our family with her kindness, her love, her gentle soul and generous spirit."

You know, she made quite an impact in her short 52 years. She was quite an accomplished architect. I did not know that. And she -- her firm once worked on the vice president's residence.

She also was a champion of green design. One thing I did not know, there's a charity in New York called the Food Allergy Initiative.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, that's right, I did read about that.

CHO: Quite prominent in New York. She was the founder of that charity. She was quite community minded and again made quite an impact in a short life. It's just a tragedy.

SAMBOLIN: It's unfortunate that we don't learn these details until after someone dies, right?

CHO: That's right.

SAMBOLIN: I know the autopsy is scheduled. So, hopefully, we'll have more details on the autopsy as well. Ms. Alina Cho, thank you.

CHO: You bet.

SAMBOLIN: We'll be right back.


SAMBOLIN: Your day is starting out right. It's 30 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Here is what's happening at half past the hour here.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): In a matter of hours, we will know how much it's going to cost you to own a piece of Facebook. The company is setting its stock price today. It is expected to be as high as $38 a share.

VELSHI (voice-over): A rare flesh-eating bacteria strikes a second victim. A new mother from South Carolina diagnosed just days after giving birth to twins. Now, this comes as doctors fight to save a Georgia grad student whose body has been ravaged by the disease.

SAMBOLIN: Closing arguments begin this morning in the corruption trial of disgraced former senator, John Edwards. The defense rested its case yesterday. Edwards and his daughter, Cate, were not called to testify. Neither was Rielle Hunter, Edwards' former mistress.

Edwards faces up to 30 years behind bars for allegedly using nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions to cover up an extramarital affair with Hunter.


VELSHI (on-camera): Twenty-eight hours to go before Facebook lists on the NASDAQ. What you want to know is whether you should buy Facebook or not. Christine Romans is with me now. These are our reasons why you should or shouldn't buy Facebook. Bear with me for a second for the big reason.

It is the second transformation of the internet. Those of you out there old enough to remember those disks you used to get for AOL, you take them home, you dial up, compuserve. The internet used to be the screens, these portals that gave you all this information that you didn't have somewhere else to go.

That ended and became about search. That's why when you go to Google, it's a simple page with one bar. Facebook wants to change your internet experience from search to this curated (ph) experience.


VELSHI: No, I'm just telling you.


VELSHI: This is history. This is history because they are changing it into way curated (ph) search. Your friends are going to tell you what you like --

ROMANS: Here's where I am. Here's where I am. IPOs are risky. This is why not anyone can just call up your broker and get in, because sophisticated investors usually do IPOs. We don't know what this company will do. It's got a lot of challenges. It's got a lot to prove. And you know, the pricing on the day that it go public, it could be $38. It could run right up to 90, maybe.

VELSHI: On the low end might be --

ROMANS: How do you what it means? OK. So, here's the other thing. (INAUDIBLE) sluggish ads. What's it going to do about ads? How is it going to make money on mobile? Mobile is how everyone is accessing the internet right now, right?


ROMANS: How is it going to make -- just GM this week said it was getting rid of a $10 million ad buy because people weren't clicking on the ads to go buy a car. So, how is Facebook going to make money because when you're a public company, that's what an IPO means, when you're public company, you've got to make money and you got to be moving fast and proving to your shareholders that you're --

VELSHI: But I'm not a public company. I'm an investor. And when you buy a stock, you're not supposed to worry about all of these things. You're supposed to worry about the fact that you can sell that stock for more money than you bought it for.

So, if you get Facebok at a good deal as a retail investor on Friday and you think it's going to go up from there in a year, that should be enough justification, whether it's Facebook or General Motors or Dupont, you buy a stock to sell it. Not to get a --

ROMANS: And I'm going to use that same one and turn it in another direction. And that is, you're going to have a lot of sophisticated investors who gotten in at $38 a share or whatever it's going to turn out to be. And then, when it runs up, if it runs up, and you get in, they're going to get out.


ROMANS: So, they have bought a stock to sell it and you're the guy who left told (ph) me that.

VELSHI: Just because they made money on you doesn't mean you can't make money on somebody else.

ROMANS: Well, I will say one thing, don't you think a lot of the people who are asking questions about buying into Facebook, they're thinking of it like it's a lottery ticket. I mean, it's an investment in a company.

VELSHI: It is an investment. I think we agree on that. Do your research. Don't back up the truck. Zoraida, don't do it just because it's available for sale. Do it because you think it's a right thing. And by the way, in an hour, I'm going to show you exactly how you buy the stock. If you decided that you're siding with me, I will show you how it's done.

SAMBOLIN: OK. But wait, I have a question for both of you.


SAMBOLIN: What would be a deal? Dollar amount. Magic dollar amount. Do you agree on that?

VELSHI: Christine feels it's a deal if you get it at the IPO price, which will be about 38 bucks. You're not going to get it at that price. SAMBOLIN: No.

ROMANS: And the point of an IPO is that they're trying to value this company, right? I mean, eight years ago, this was in his dorm room in Harvard trying to value a company. I guess, why it's so risky and so volatile.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, but I'm kind of putting you both on the line here. We know we're not getting it at $38 a share, right? So, what does --


SAMBOLIN: -- when you say don't go beyond.

VELSHI: The smartest people I've talked to say that it's going to get to somewhere between 50 and 90 on day one. That's what they say is a fair range in which to buy. If it gets beyond that, you're probably -- you're now -- you're into completely speculative territory.

ROMANS: But remember, you got stock market right now --

VELSHI: I'm not telling anybody buy the stock at 50, 60, 70, or 80 or 90.

ROMANS: And we don't know what happens in a month or two months or three months if it's higher than that or not. There are some people who say maybe it's got 10 percent more beyond that, but it's got an awful lot to prove.

VELSHI: But that's why we have a stock market, because we never really know what's going to happen two or three months beyond.


SAMBOLIN: That is a very good point. Thank you very much.

VELSHI: All right.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-five minutes past the hour. Missile scare near Ft. Hood, Texas. About 100 homes were evacuated after a hellfire missile fell from an army apache helicopter into a residential area. Take a look. The six-foot long device wasn't active, but people on the ground were stunned.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My little boy said, dad, it dropped and just got into the grass like boom. It was cool. I was like cool? What if it blew up? He said, I don't know. Called it EOD and then they had me take pictures and I texted it to them and they text me back saying get away from it. Then, they texted the MPs. I texted the mps. And then, they texted back, said get away from it. then, we called KPG and they came out.


SAMBOLIN: Apparently, he didn't listen to the advice the first time, "get away from it." An explosive ordinance disposal team from Ft. Hood identified the missile as a training device. An army spokesman says they regret the inconvenience.

VELSHI: I wouldn't have to wait for somebody to tell me get away from it.


VELSHI: All right. Go ahead and mess with a guy before he had his morning coffee. Police say a man outside Detroit stopped two armed robbers on bikes by tossing scalding hot coffee in their faces. He just picked up a cup of Joe at the 7-11 across the street and was walking to work.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He started pulling the gun out. When I saw the gun, I just reacted fast on instinct. If I didn't have that coffee, things probably would have went differently.


VELSHI: He says the suspects started shooting at him as he ran. The gunmen did get away, but without any cash. And 7-11 gave the guy a new cup of coffee on the house.


SAMBOLIN: That was nice.

All right. Some of the jokes were older than she is. The Friar's Club roasting 90-year-old Betty White last night. She's used to slinging the insult. Now, her turn to be on the receiving end, and CNN was on the red carpet.


JEFFERY ROSS, COMEDIAN: Oh, my Lord. We'll find out if Betty has thick skin under all those wrinkles. She has a new movie coming out, "Weekend at Betty's." She's our woman of the hour, which is also her life expectancy. Her transcript (ph) is written in sandscript. That's how hold she is.

GILBERT GOTTFRIED, COMEDIAN: The first show that I did with Betty White I think was Hollywood Squares, and I only got that because I had sex with her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there one thing that you haven't done that you want to do?

BETTY WHITE, ACTRESS: I usually answer that question with Robert Redford.



VELSHI: That was good.

SAMBOLIN: I love her.

VELSHI: All right. A mystery in the skies over Denver, Colorado. This is interesting. A pilot claims a close encounter in mid air. What he swears he saw from the cockpit? We'll tell you about it after the break.


VELSHI: OK. Some mysterious flying object in the skies above Colorado almost caused a mid air crash, if you believe the pilot. Earlier this week, a corporate jet pilot reported seeing a, quote, "large remote controlled aircraft," unquote near his plane while flying over Denver. Beautiful skies over Denver, by the way.

Investigators say the object didn't show up on radar, but radio transmissions between the cockpit and air traffic control captured the moment. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't know if it's a remote controlled aircraft or what. Something just went by the other way. About 20 to 30 seconds ago. And it was like a large remote controlled aircraft.


VELSHI: Now, the FAA is investigating. The question is, was it an unmanned drone or a remote controlled aircraft? Aviation safety expert and former FAA official, Steven Wallace, joins us right now from D.C. Steven, good morning to you.


VELSHI: You know, I think people's minds go to drones these days. Are there drones flying around America that this could have been?

WALLACE: Well, there are drones flying around in America but under very, very strictly controlled regulations. The FAA has a process. These drones are particularly used by the military and government entities now. There's increasing interest in them. So, there are more than 100 active certificates authorizing operation of drones, but very strictly controlled, restricted air space.

If they're anywhere near other aircraft, they have to be equipped with transponders so they can be seen on radar. They have to be visually guided if they're in a situation where the air space isn't restricted, and they're depending on kind of the normal see and avoid, collision avoidance, someone has to be in visual contact either from the ground or chase plane.

So, yes, they're up there. They're very, very carefully controlled. So, I'd be surprised if, in the approach control air space into Denver, there was a drone.

VELSHI: All right. So, we're talking about around 8,000 feet, which, you know, limits the possibilities of what it was. The pilot wasn't seeming to claim it was anything other than that. He said a remote controlled aircraft, which would suggest to you that it's a smallish aircraft.

The reading I've done on this suggests that there are sort of, you know, PR firms and photographers who use some of these devices to go up. Would that be 8,000 feet in the air?

WALLACE: I would think not. But 8,000 feet, I mean, the pilot said a -- I'm glad I just heard the tape on your show for the first time, because what he said was not absolutely definitive. Is it drone or something? So, you know, I mean, I understand there are ten-foot wing span pelicans in that area at that altitude.

So, I'm not dismissing what the pilot said, and the FAA certainly isn't either. But, again, I'd be surprised if, at the end of the day, it turns out to have been a remotely piloted aircraft.

VELSHI: Zoraida has kind of a puzzled look on her face right now. What's that?

SAMBOLIN: The pelican, you know? I mean, you can tell the difference between a pelican, and perhaps, a plane, right? There is no similarity there between the two. It seemed odd to me that --

WALLACE: That's absolutely right. But you know, you could be operating at 250 knots, below 10,000 feet there. And so, things could go by very fast. And pilots -- again, I'm not dismissing what the pilot said. You know, I think that to just kind of speak on what I think is the public's real concern here is that what if one of these things hit an airliner full of people?


VELSHI: That's exactly the point. What if? I mean, is this something that the FAA should be taking extremely seriously and absolutely figure it out or what you're saying is sort of could have been anything, probably not a big deal?

WALLACE: Well, the FAA will do the best it can. They've already reviewed the radar data. They don't see anything. They listen to audiotapes to see if other pilots saw something. I think that the public can take some comfort in the fact that we operate 32,000 scheduled flights a day in this country. The last mid air collision with a U.S. airliner was 34 years ago.

VELSHI: Steven Wallace, good to talk to you. Thanks so much for shedding a little light on this thing. Steven Wallace is the aviation safety consultant, commercial pilot, and former FAA director of Accident Investigation. That was a guy who was on a plane that got hit by some birds the other day. A little sensitive to the whole idea, but sounds like it might not have been much.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, but you can tell the difference between a bird, especially if you're a pilot, right? You can tell the difference between --

VELSHI: Something going in the other direction and it's small at that speed, I don't know.

SAMBOLIN: You don't know?

VELSHI: I don't know.

SAMBOLIN: All right.

OK. Forty-five minutes past the hour here. Let's get you up-to- date. Here's Christine Romans. Good morning, lady.

ROMANS: Good morning.


ROMANS (voice-over): OK. Will the price be right for you? Facebook announcing how much it will cost to own a share of the social network today before going public tomorrow. The price range expected to be as high as $38 a share.

The godfather of go-go has died. Legendary musician, Chuck Brown, died yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was admitted earlier this month, suffering from pneumonia. The singer, guitarist, and songwriter developed his brand of funk and soul in the mid 1970s. Brown was 75.

A California cop is on trial for the kidnapping and rape of a woman in 2010 is trying to beat the charges by using a Zoloft defense. Attorneys for former Westminster police detective, Anthony Orbon, (ph) trying to convince a jury their client was not responsible for this crime because he was under the influence of the anti-depressant, Zoloft, and was mentally unconscious, they say, during the attack.

Cops in Arizona on the hunt right now for an inmate who literally walked out the front door of a jail. The Maricopa County Sheriffs Office says he stole another inmate's I.D., an inmate who was about to be released. Rock Marquez (ph) considered armed and dangerous. He was in jail on charges of perjury, forgery, witness tampering, and weapons charges.

An exciting discovery 4,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico. A wooden ship believed to be more than 200 years old. Scientists have been able to view it using sonar technology and a remotely operated underwater vehicle named Little Hercules. So far, they've been able to see anchors, navigational instruments, glass bottles, ceramic plates, canons, and a rare ship's stow. Wow!

(END VIDEOTAPE) ROMANS (on-camera): All right. The one thing you need to know today about your money. Oil prices are down 13 percent this month. That's going to act like a little stimulus for the economy, Ali.

VELSHI: Because you're paying less for something that you buy the same amount of.

ROMANS: That's right.

VELSHI: All right. Thanks, Christine.

Well, they're one of the hottest acts on the charts right now. So, why is Lady Antebellum playing at a high school prom?

SAMBOLIN: Oh! How cool is that?

VELSHI: We'll tell you why after the break.


SAMBOLIN: -- house right now, you can watch us anytime on your desktop -- I want to listen to her a little bit more.


SAMBOLIN: Or on your mobile phone and watch her.


SAMBOLIN: Go to Take us with you.




SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START. It's 50 minutes past the hour. And we're going to check what's trending this morning. I really like this.

Lady A. lending a huge hand. The Grammy-winning country group, Lady Antebellum, threw a prom for students at Henryville High School in Indiana, two and a half months after the tornadoes nearly destroyed that town. That was in March. Their school was torn to shreds, and the band also held a concert for the town and raised $300,000 for their rebuilding efforts.

VELSHI: That's great she do that.

SAMBOLIN: Fantastic.

VELSHI: OK. This story is something else, my little seeing pony.


VELSHI: Illinois may now allow many horses --

SAMBOLIN: Look at these folks, on your screen, please.


VELSHI: Service animals. The state Senate voted to add miniature horses to the list of service animals --

SAMBOLIN: He has little shoes on.

VELSHI: Oh, my goodness. He does.

SAMBOLIN: -- little shoes on.

VELSHI: These are animals, like dogs, can accompany blind people and those with other disabilities. Now, miniature horses like the kind you see here are generally between two and three feet tall. They weigh as much as 100 pounds. Just like a big dog.


VELSHI: The law would allow them in schools and stores if they're specially trained, and people who train them say they prefer them over dogs because they don't get distracted as easily. There's, perhaps, another downside to having a little 100-pound horse.


VELSHI: Are they better trained than dogs, because I live in New York and my mow is dodge in the little road apples (ph).

SAMBOLIN: Big poop.


SAMBOLIN: Big poop. And here's the other problem --

VELSHI: It's a little too early to be saying big poop.

SAMBOLIN: I'm sorry, but -- well, it's clean, right? The kids who see these little ponies, I think that's where it's going to cause a problem, right?

VELSHI: Right.

SAMBOLIN: They're so adorable, and so, they may not be able to do their job.

VELSHI: Everybody's going to want one.

SAMBOLIN: It's adorable. Fifty-two minutes past the hour. They're not candles. They're called mandles. Yankee candle not just for women anymore, apparently. For the guys who can't bring themselves to buy something called lilac blossom, they've actually come out with a whole new line of scent for dudes.

VELSHI: I like candles. I don't need them to smell like a riding mower.


SAMBOLIN: Or perhaps the first down. What does that smell like?

VELSHI: That's really a name, first down?


VELSHI: Two-by-four? Really? A candle that smells like wood?


SAMBOLIN: I'm sure the guys won't bust your chops now for lighting one in the man cave before you pop in the "The Notebook" DVD.


VELSHI: Again.

SAMBOLIN: I don't know. I'd prefer -- I do want to know what they smell like. Some things -- you'll try them out, right?

VELSHI: I try them out. I love candles. I love candles. But, you know, I like candles I take the label of so that nobody knows that I'm buying lilac blossom, but really, still I like the smell.


VELSHI: All right. It might be the most unenthusiastic endorsement of all time. George W. Bush going for Mitt Romney and making headlines in the late-night TV set.



JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Mitt Romney picked up another high-profile endorsement yesterday from former president, George W. Bush. Bush gave a speech in Washington, D.C. And as he was getting into the elevator afterward, a reporter from ABC News asked who he's supporting and as the doors to the elevator were closing, he said, I'm for Mitt Romney.


KIMMEL: Then, he tried to give a thumbs up, but he got caught in the door.

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": I understand George W. Bush coming up for Mitt Romney, because President Obama, if you think about it, has really done a terrible job of cleaning up the mess Bush made so you can understand why Bush would want to --


KIMMEL: Little Ron Paul made a big announcement on Monday. He said he's effectively dropping out of the race for president. This is Ron Paul's third race, third run for president. He ran in 2008 against John McCain and against Lincoln in 1860, I believe.


LETTERMAN: Took a lot of guts for George W. Bush to endorse Mitt Romney. I mean, if you think about it. It took a lot of guts for this guy to endorse Mitt, the Mittster, the Mitten. It took a lot of guts. I mean, especially when all the other candidates have dropped out. It took a lot of guts for him to step forward and say, I tell you something --


LETTERMAN: Bush said not only does Romney have my support, but he can also have my crooked Florida voting machine.



SAMBOLIN: You know, I was thinking it wasn't funny until the very end.

VELSHI: Right. That's right.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Fifty-four minutes past the hour. The Facebook craze comes to ahead in just a few hours. Do you know how many? I know you're counting it down.


VELSHI: Well, not -- 12, 13, something like that.


VELSHI: When we find out how much it's going to be.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, that's right. How high could the price for a share go? A closer look coming up after the break. It's actually really fun TV to watch.

VELSHI: And take a look at this, the Statue of Liberty, sun's up in New York. She is as beautiful as ever. Good morning, New York. Get out of bed. There is work to do today.