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NATO Summit and Afghan Exit Strategy; All Eyes on Facebook IPO; Rubio Attacks Obama; NATO Summit, More Protests Expected

Aired May 21, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: War and peace. Protesters battle with Chicago Police in Chicago where NATO signs off on an exit strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

ASLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Another disco icon gone. Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees loses his battle with cancer.

SAMBOLIN: And our eyes is also on tropical storm Alberto. The latest track of the storm straight ahead.

BANFIELD: And ring of fire. Millions watch. A rare sight in the sky. Solar eclipse.

SAMBOLIN: Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

Welcome back, Ashleigh. We got you a new look.

BANFIELD: Good to be back. I love the graphics, the music.

SAMBOLIN: How do you like it?

BANFIELD: It's such a special day. I'm just going to assume it's for me.

SAMBOLIN: It is for you.


BANFIELD: I knew it --


SAMBOLIN: It's really nice.

BANFIELD: Yes, kidding me. It's nice to have you here with us. We're bringing you the news from A to Z, 5:00 Eastern, very early in the morning so let's get started.

SAMBOLIN: We're going to start here with breaking news. Just came in just minutes ago. New trouble for the former IMF chief, Dominick Strauss-Kahn. He could face new charges in the alleged gang- rape of a Belgian prostitute, during a party at her hotel in Washington, D.C. This was almost two years ago. French prosecutors now saying they are launching a new investigation, based on statements two escorts made to Belgian police.

Dominick Strauss-Kahn held one of the most powerful positions in the world as IMF chief. You may remember he was also arrested after a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault. But he was cleared after her story fell apart.

BANFIELD: Also making news right now world leaders gathering in Chicago to decide the exit strategy for the war in Afghanistan. It is all part of the NATO summit. You've been watching the coverage throughout the weekend. And as expected, things did turn violent in the streets between the protesters and the police there.

President Obama is playing host. And he is facing a lot of pressure from the allies who really want out of Afghanistan. A lot sooner than the planned 2014.

The president met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday. All the while, demonstrators are making their voices heard like this outside in the streets. Check out the chaotic scene right near the summit site. So far at least 45 people have been arrested.

CNN's Elise Labott is live in Chicago.

Is a lot of the work that is being actually done by the leaders being overshadowed by what's going on in the streets outside?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ashleigh, it's ironic. Not really at all. And if you look at reports from Kabul and Afghanistan, they don't even notice what's happening either. A lot of this is happening miles away from the conference site. And so obviously President Obama and his aides are keeping abreast of what's going on. But they feel that the Chicago Police are handling it. Obviously those pictures are just tremendous about all of these protesters protesting. The war and other things using this occasion of NATO leaders. But it's really not overshadowing what's going on here, I would say.

BANFIELD: And so what is going on there? There's a lot on the docket. But Afghanistan seems to be issue number one.

LABOTT: Yes. Well, yesterday, they talked about issues like missile defense and sharing resources in this time that everybody's budgets are shrinking. As you mentioned. Today, it's all about Afghanistan and that's about getting out of Afghanistan. And how do you do that? At first, by the end of 2013, Ashleigh, they want to hand over all of the Afghan provinces to the lead of Afghan security forces, handling security for the country.

And then by 2014, obviously all NATO troops will be out. And so what the leaders are going to be discussing today, is how to make that transition. How to move from helping the Afghan secure -- all the securities leads and then training and assisting them in getting them out in the way to do that is to sustain them. To pay for training and advising and sustaining them over the next few years.

President Obama is really going to have his hat in hand today, asking allies to help fray the costs. And at a time that everyone's budgets are shrinking, what President Obama is going to make the case is this is how we get out of Afghanistan. We make sure that there's an Afghan force that can stabilize the country once NATO forces leave.

BANFIELD: And so about that hat in hand, it's a $4 million ticket per year going forward. How much of that is expected to be shouldered by the other 28 of the allies? And how much is expected to be shouldered by us?

LABOTT: Well, the U.S. will pay about $3.2 billion. Afghan security forces about $500 million. And the rest works out to about $1.3 billion. And that's what President Obama is asking allies to foot the costs. Not only NATO allies but all those other 60 partners in the coalition. And what U.S. officials tell me, is they think they're quite on their way to almost about a billion . Obviously still short, some nations be making their announcements, some already made them, some will be making them today.

But the U.S. making the case that this is the way to get out of Afghanistan. And this cost is really important. We don't want to lose all the gains that have been made over the last few years by not continuing support the Afghan forces.

BANFIELD: And this may be stating the obvious, Elise. But this entire global scene is extraordinarily exhausted after more than a decade of war. And is this boding badly for Syria? Do you think they're even going to get to the heart of what this -- of what -- at least this coalition can do to help the Syrians?

LABOTT: That's a really good question, Ashleigh. And the answer quite simply is yes. Yesterday I asked both U.S. officials and NATO secretary general, (INAUDIBLE) Rasmussen, what about Syria? You know, you went into Libya with NATO, with a partnership. What about the people of Syria? Obviously the violence still continuing and this Annan peace plan isn't working.

What the secretary-general, what the U.S. officials said, is NATO has absolutely no intention whatsoever of getting involved in Syria. Obviously as you mentioned there's a lot of fatigue. But they also say that they don't want to further militarize the complex by adding more weapons into the country -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: CNN's Elise Labott doing a great job this morning, live in Chicago. Thank you.

SAMBOLIN: Meantime police in Chicago are bracing for more summit protests today. At least 45 people were arrested yesterday in clashes near the summit site in McCormick Place. You can see a police van nearly running over some of the demonstrators. Officials say the cops were the ones being assaulted.


SUPT. GARRY MCCARTHY, CHICAGO POLICE: We have at least four officers that went to the hospital. Non too seriously. Bumps and bruises. One officer was stabbed in the leg. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: The violence marred a day of mostly peaceful protests.

And this story is going to be developing all morning long. We'll bring you live pictures of the protests as they happen here on CNN throughout the day.

BANFIELD: Also in the news, thousands of survivors are living in tents this morning after one of the words quake to hit northeast Italy and Centuries with a 6.0 magnitude quake and seven people were killed. Fifty people injured on top of that as well. The quake knocked down a clock tower, reducing buildings that have stood for hundreds of years to rubble. And then it also destroyed $65 million worth of cheese. And that's in a region that is known for its parmesan product or production.

Sad news to report this morning. Bee Gees singer, Robin Gibb, has died after a very long battle with liver and colon cancer. Gibb, along with his brothers, Morris and Barry, helped to define the sound of the disco era with their "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack, which included the hit you're hearing, "Staying Alive." And also the other one everybody loves? "How Deep is Your Love?" Robin Gibb's death comes to face after the passing of disco queen, Donna Summer. Robin Gibb was 62.

SAMBOLIN: And this morning authorities in Mississippi are trying to figure out what turned a normally quiet prison into a deadly battleground. Some minimum security prison but fierce riots broke out yesterday at the Adam County Correctional facility. That's in Naches. A 23-year-old guard was killed. It was blunt head trauma that he died off.

Five prison workers and an inmate were injured. Things were finally brought under control late last night. The prison houses over 2,000 illegal immigrants mostly charged with low security crime. Officials say none of the inmates escaped.

And the only person ever convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, over Lockerbie, Scotland has died. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was 60. Two hundred and 70 people died in that 1988 bombing. The former Libyan intelligence officer served eight years in prison before being released three years ago on humanitarian ground because he was suffering from prostate cancer.

At the time Scottish official say al-Megrahi's death was imminent. Outraged many victim's families. The bomber's death gave them little satisfaction.


SUSAN COHEN, DAUGHTER DIED ON PAM AM 103I: I think it's appalling that he died in Libya comfortably with his family around him. And my daughter, 20 years old, with everything to live for, died a brutal horrible death.


SAMBOLIN: And right up until his death al-Megrahi claimed that he was not --

BANFIELD: Sentencing day in the Rutgers Web cam spying case. Dharun Ravi could got 10 years in prison for hate crimes against Tyler Clementi. A jury convicted him of spying and intimidating his gay roommate. Clementi jumped off New York's George Washington Bridge and killed himself after Ravi used the Web cam to spy on him with another man.

SAMBOLIN: Tropical storm Alberto, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season is creating choppy seas, cancelling some cruises but forecaster say it is expected to stay away from Georgia and South Carolina. June 1st was the official beginning of hurricane season.

Let's check in with Rob Marciano. Good morning.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Zoraida. Well, we're getting it going a little bit early, aren't we.

And the Eastern Pacific season got going a day early, also. This is the first time that we've seen both the Eastern Pacific hurricane season and the Atlantic hurricane season start early. Now Alberto six years ago was kind of early as well, although it's in the first week of June.

All right. This satellite picture, obviously not looking all that impressive. The circulation is just offshore the -- of the Georgia, Florida, border. Here at about 100 miles and the radar, not even bringing a lot whole of rain into the coastlines at the moment. But heavy, heavy surf is going to be an issue with this. And the track is going to bring it offshore. Keep it offshore but heavy surf conditions from Florida to Georgia through the Carolinas expected and we'll go through more of the forecast a little bit later on the program. Guys?

BANFIELD: Thank you, Rob. Nice to see you.

Last night's solar eclipse. Holly molly, a once-in-a-lifetime event for so many people. You can stare at your screen because that's safe. But what's different about this eclipse? What makes this one special? We're going to let you know in a moment.


SAMBOLIN: It is 14 minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date. Here's Christine Romans.

Good morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good Monday morning to both of you. It's day two of the NATO summit in Chicago. Job one for President Obama and NATO allies, charting a course for post-war Afghanistan.

Meantime, police are on alert for more violence after Sunday's protests near the summit site, 45 people were arrested.

Meantime Chicago Police have arrested three men in an alleged terror plot. Officials say the suspects -- Jared Chase, Brent Betterly, and Brian Church -- were plotting a series of attacks in Chicago. They allegedly planned to target President Obama's campaign headquarters and the home of Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

Actor Christian Bale says he's hoping to meet with Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng now that Chen has arrived in New York City. Chen, a vocal critic of the Chinese government, fled his country and will now be studying law at New York University. Bale tried to visit Chen back in December while he was under house arrest in China. He and a CNN film crew were chased away by security guards then.

President Obama is visiting Joplin, Missouri, today one year after a devastating tornado destroyed a third of the city killed 161 people. The president will be speaking at the graduation ceremony for Joplin High School. Families in Joplin still recovering from that devastating tornado. Hundreds are still living in FEMA trailers unable to rebuild their homes.

We're on verdict watch in the John Edwards corruption trial. The jury was dismissed Friday after a first day of deliberations. The former presidential candidate accused of using campaign cash to cover up his affair and focusing six counts of campaign fraud and conspiracy -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Christine Romans, thank you. Appreciate that.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BANFIELD: Fifteen minutes now past 5:00.

Parts of Kansas ravaged by a tornado over the weekend. Our Rob Marciano has been watching that story, looking into it for us and has the latest from Atlanta.


MARCIANO: Hey there. You know, the month of May has been incredibly quiet as far as tornadoes go.


But over the weekend especially Saturday there were over 20 reports of tornadoes. This one out of Kansas. And the video striking a little bit of minor damage there. It's been quiet since then. But the storm chaser caught at this -- this funnel cloud, out there in Kingman County to actually -- there you see it touching down just over that (INAUDIBLE). No real threat for severe weather today or at least or tornadoes today. Although we have a decent front that's pushing across the Appalachians. This one, Alberto, which will stay offshore as we mentioned earlier but some rain from that and also rain from another disturbance, will keep it rather wet across the Delmar and then parts of the East Coast behind us. This is kind of cool and raging but still very, very hot across parts of the desert southwest, where they're battling those fires.

Highs today once again will be up well up in over 100 degrees. So we've got heat advisories out for the extreme parts of southeastern California and southern parts of Arizona. And dry and windy conditions as well, 25- to 35-mile-an-hour gusts. SO that will only exacerbate fire conditions there.

Eighty-four degrees with a high temperature in Denver. Will be 67. And about a look today in Chicago and 62 degrees. Kind of cloudy in New York, 76 degrees expected in D.C.

Well, if you've missed it or you live in a spot that saw it, the eclipse happened last night. In the West Coast -- folks on the West Coast got to see it. The celestial bodies lining, the moon passing in front of the sun because the moon, this new moon was a little bit farther away than it normally would be. It didn't cover up quite the entire disc of the sun. About 94 percent of it. So you saw that ring of fire, nonetheless.

That is -- that one is spook. That's my favorite one there. Huh? Come on. Who doesn't love a solar, that's pretty rare stuff. We'll have a total one here I think in 2017. And parts of the -- parts of North America. So Doesn't come around all that often, that's for sure.

SAMBOLIN: I know you really wanted to go out to see those. This is beautiful.


BANFIELD: That looks like something out of "Twilight."

MARCIANO: Exactly.

SAMBOLIN: You know?

MARCIANO: So all those "Twilight" fans should have been out there. And actually where that -- where that book is based out in the Pacific Northwest they got a little bit of view of it. Just a little bit.


BANFIELD: That's gorgeous.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Rob.

Eighteen minutes past the hour. It's time for your "Early Reads." New Jersey is considering whether to decriminalize marijuana possession. The "Times of Trenton" reporting on a new bill that proposes treating marijuana possession more like a traffic ticket. People caught with less than 15 grams would face a $150 fine on their first offense. Currently, people caught with small amounts face up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. A hearing on the proposal is scheduled today.

BANFIELD: Something tells me it's like 420 people who'd be really happy about that story. My inside joke.

OK, so "The Seattle Times" has this amazing story about a teenager who spent eight hours trapped between two waterfalls. Got a good ending, though. This is the Wallace Falls in Washington state. Don't know if you've been there. They're very pretty. But turns out they're pretty dangerous because this 13-year-old was just wading in the river.


BANFIELD: But he slipped and he fell down a 10-foot waterfall. Now you might think a 10-foot waterfall isn't that big a deal.

SAMBOLIN: Well, that looks pretty impressive.

BANFIELD: Yes. And he just missed falling down the second waterfall.


BANFIELD: And the second waterfall is a 270-foot drop. SO that little guy climbed out on to a rock. And he had to crouch there, all throughout the night, spending eight hours before he finally was rescued. And you can imagine how cold that would be. The police who got him, authorities there said he was wet, he was cold, but lucky for him he was not hurt.

SAMBOLIN: No kidding.

BANFIELD: Beautiful scene, but scary. Nonetheless for the guy.

For an expanded look of all our top stories, by the way, you can just head to our blog. Lots of good stuff there.

SAMBOLIN: And after Facebook's rather modest debut, the publicly-traded company, the company faces a crucial week on the Nasdaq. Christine Romans with why the new IPO may have been a tough go. You know, she warned you about this.

BANFIELD: She warned us so many times.


BANFIELD: You need to listen to Christine Romans early and often.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BANFIELD: Hi, welcome back. Twenty-three minutes past 5:00 now. And we're "Minding Your Business" this morning. It's going to be a bit of a rough week ahead for the stock markets because I hate to sound like a broken record. But I will. Greece, still an uncertain future.

If you are watching last week, the markets had their worst week of the year. And on Friday, all three major indices were down. The Nasdaq losing the most ground. Yes, the Nasdaq, where Facebook was.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, you know, we're still talking Facebook. The stock will be watched closely this week. It closed pretty flat on Friday. Just a wee bit.

Christine Romans is here to talk about what we can expect this week for the stock and the weeks ahead.


SAMBOLIN: Fair warning, I have to say, on Facebook, you were saying, you know, I don't know if it's everything that everybody says it's going to be.

ROMANS: I mean I don't mean to spike the football but I said strike it, they're risky. IPOs are risky. You don't know how they're going to do. And this is a company that had so much hype, I think a lot of the week, a lot of retail investors, that's you and me, we're saying I don't know. I know Facebook. But I don't know about Facebook as an investment. And that's exactly what happened on the market.

Anytime an IPO doesn't close 5 percent, 10 percent higher, it's a disappointment. This was not a healthy opening by any stretch of the imagination. It's almost certain that the, quote-unquote syndicate, that's the underwriters of the stock, were in there making sure it didn't close lower because that would have been a disaster on the day. So you had an underperforming day for Facebook and a lot of questions.

Other brokers involved in the -- people who are -- the brokers were trying to sell the stock who said that you know, by late Thursday, it was pretty clear that's investors didn't want in some cases all the shares they could have bought, and that's when they started to notice that the demand might be a little bit weak for this things.

There was also a problem, a technical problem at the Nasdaq. And the Nasdaq CEO says this was not our finest hour. For many of you, if you were placing orders, you couldn't get trade cancellations. You couldn't find out if your order had been placed or filled, in some cases for hours. So there is this technical confusion on top of week demand, that really made it a pretty icky day for the Facebook IPO.

Add on that, the worst week for stocks in a year. It was really tough timing for the company.

Speaking of timing, however -- speaking of timing, a lot of people thought they were going for the graduation party for Mark Zuckerberg's girlfriend.

BANFIELD: It'll probably do their best Facebook story.

ROMANS: Priscilla Chan, and instead they showed up. What a week for Mark Zuckerberg and his now new wife. She graduates from med school. He has an IPO. Turns 28 and they get married. And he announced it via a status update. Today --

BANFIELD: So he changed his status on Facebook. That's how he did it.

ROMANS: And now her status update is changed to be married to Mark Zuckerberg. So --

BANFIELD: You think they had a prenup?


ROMANS: Congratulations. Speaking of money, by the way, and them. You know in 90 days, the insiders will be able to start selling their stock, as well. So there are some who think there could be some more selling pressure on Facebook as the next week's (INAUDIBLE), as some of these early investors and employees start to --

SAMBOLIN: Because they're millionaires on paper.

ROMANS: Right.

SAMBOLIN: Only right now.

ROMANS: They're millionaires on paper. Maybe they're going to want to buy a house in the south of France. Once thing to know about your money today, you're waking up to lower coffee prices, folks. After a year of higher coffee prices, prices are now down. It means brands like Maxwell House, Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts will be 4 to 6 percent lower when you buy them at retail stores.

BANFIELD: You didn't say Starbucks.

ROMANS: I don't know if Starbucks -- but it is J.M. Smucker and Kraft are the two big companies who've said they're lowering their retail coffee prices on some of their brands.

BANFIELD: And maybe that will pressure Starbucks.

ROMANS: There you go.

SAMBOLIN: That would be fantastic.


BANFIELD: Full of great stuff today. Every day Christine.

Thank you.

Prom night, about to make some serious memories. And not like normal, though. Are you ready for this? They're going to be talking about this one in Miami over the weekend. Mostly because of the porn. Yes. Yes. You're coming back after the break for this one.

SAMBOLIN: And if you're leaving the house right now, you can watch us anytime on your desktop or your mobile phone. No need to lose us. Just go to



ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): President Obama is called one of the most divisive and destructive political figures the country has ever seen. Find out who said it? Coming up.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus, Newark, New Jersey mayor, Cory Booker, now backing off comments he made criticizing President Obama. We'll tell you about his change in tune straight ahead.

BANFIELD: And you will not believe just how much money Babe Ruth's 1920s jersey went for auction this weekend. And we have a little hint for you. Keep going. Even when you think you're at the high range, up, up, up, into the millions.


BANFIELD: Remarkable.


BANFIELD: Just incredible stuff.


BANFIELD (on-camera): Thirty-one minutes now past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We are very happy to have you this morning.

NATO allies are expected to sign off on President Obama's Afghan exit strategy. They call for an end to NATO leading combat operations next year and complete withdrawal by 2014. Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, supports the Obama plan. So, how is it playing out on the streets of Kabul? CNNs Nick Paton Walsh is live in the Afghan capital? How are folks there feeling about this?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the key question, and to be honest, many people in Afghanistan really aren't paying that much attention to the Chicago summit simply because it doesn't affect their daily life as they see it each day. But I think the question that afghans are really be asking themselves, what exactly does that mean for the number of foreign troops who are going to be here in the years and months head The key phrase you're going to hear in the next coming day is milestone 2013. That's the point in the middle of next year when the Obama administration wants to see Afghan security forces taking over the lead for security in the country. The key question is here, what the ISAF and American troops then do?

It depends who you are listening to. If you listen to the president, he makes it sound a bit like that becomes the end of the war and then moving to a support role. If you listen to the top American military commander here, Gen. John Allen, that sounds more like a stay, potentially fighting if necessary but taking on a bit more of a supporting area (INAUDIBLE).

Now, that's not because there's daylight between the two men. I think it's more because they're trying to play to different audiences. The president facing re-election wants to make it sound like it's more to an end. And General Allen trying to make sure NATO allies and Afghan people don't think they're being walked out on -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: You know, you started talking about how the Afghan people there feel about it, so I, guess, the Americans want to know what does it really mean? Will America still need 68,000 troops?

WALSH: That's the most important question for the American public because you absolutely said -- I'll be hugely surprised if we move into a non-combat supporting role. Combat isn't really our main job. But you still need that many thousands of troops. Remember, Obama said the troops should coming home at a steady pace at the end of this summer.

There's going to have to be some kind of reduction in number. That change in the job also suggests that right now.

But frankly, given this tense election campaign, given how Afghanistan is becoming potentially an issue, the debate with Mitt Romney, the presumptive challenger, is going to be difficult for the Obama administration to make an early call about (INAUDIBLE) regardless of how popular that may be domestically, because it opens up from attack from Republicans about running away from this decade- long war -- Zoraida

SAMBOLIN: All right. CNNs Nick Paton Walsh live in Afghanistan for us. Thank you.

BANFIELD: 5:34 and here at home, Florida senator, Marco Rubio, getting his fellow Republicans fired up, with a verbal assault against President Obama. He picked up on a line of attack used by the party's presumptive nominee and possibly his running mate, Mitt Romney.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: For all the policy disagreements that we may have with the president, it is hard to understate how much he inspired people across this country four years ago with his promises to unite America and lift it up. The man who, today, occupies the White House and is running for president is a very different person. We have not seen such a divisive figure in modern American history as we have over the last three and a half years.



BANFIELD: Tough words. The Democratic National Committee spokesman is firing back saying that Rubio's attacks are, quote, "as dishonest as they are desperate."

SAMBOLIN: Newark, New Jersey mayor, Cory Booker, is now backing off comments he made criticizing President Obama for his attack on Mitt Romney. On Sunday, Booker appeared on NBC's "Meet The Press" and said attacks on Romney's record at Bain Capital made him uncomfortable.


MAYOR CORY BOOKER, (D) NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: I'm not about (INAUDIBLE) private equity, if you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they've done a lot to support businesses to grow businesses. And this, to me, I'm very uncomfortable.


SAMBOLIN: Booker now is examining Romney's record at Bain is fair game or that's what he's saying now. He's released a new YouTube video where he says the president is, quote, "reasonable to scrutinize Romney's business record."


BOOKER: I believe Mitt Romney, in many ways, is not being completely honest with his role and his record. Even while a business person and is shaping to serve his political interest. and not necessarily -- not necessarily including all the facts of his time there.


SAMBOLIN: Booker says his earlier remarks were meant to express his frustration at negative campaigning. Booker is supporting President Obama in this year's election.

BANFIELD: This morning, a company in China has announced it is taking over the AMC theater chain in a $2.67 billion deal. The company already offered at the group of theaters in China, but the acquisition of AMC will create the largest cinema chain in the world. AMC currently operates 5,000 screens, most of them right here in North America.

SAMBOLIN: It was prom night and porn night. The Miami Beach Convention Center played host to two events on Saturday night.

BANFIELD: Hello, what?

SAMBOLIN: The Miami Beach high senior prom and Exotica. That's exotica with XXX, a porn convention.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't even know about this whole convention thing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think now that you know?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Things happen everywhere, you know?


SAMBOLIN: It's odd. It's Miami. The school says they chose the convention center over a hotel to discourage drinking.

BANFIELD: Oh, right.

SAMBOLIN: This was one of the few available dates that they had, and, that it was still the safe choice despite all the skin being shown off right next door. Imagine that.

BANFIELD: And sometimes, those prom dresses can be mistaken for -- anyway.

So, if there is classified (ph) and the big news last week was the passing of an era, a queen of a disco era, Donna Summer, going to be buried today. It's a private funeral in Nashville. five-time Grammy winner, and she lost her 10-month battle with cancer on Thursday at just 63 years old.

SAMBOLIN: Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, giving a tearful tribute to her mother. This was at the Billboard Music Awards just last night. The late singer was honored with the Millennium Award, and Bobbi Kristina accepted it.


BOBBI KRISTINA, WHITNEY HOUSTON'S DAUGHTER: I want to say thank you to everyone who supported us through it all. Not just from when it was good, but when it was bad, too. Just everything. Thank you so much for how showing that much love, because she deserves it.



SAMBOLIN: So many people were happy she showed up to accept that.

Also remembered last night, late disco queen, Donna Summer, Robin Gibb, and the Beastie Boys founder, Adam Yauch. Singer, Adelle, won the most awards last night. She took home 12 trophies.

BANFIELD: Thirty-eight minutes now past the hour.

Hundreds of pet owls are being abandoned in the U.K. And from the looks on your screen, you probably know that authorities are blaming the end of the Harry Potter craze. "Daily Mirrors" reporting that demand for owl soar the popularity of Harry Potter, the book and the film. Owls serve as messengers in the stories, and Harry Potter has a pet owl.

Now that the movies and the books have wrapped up, fans seemingly getting rid of their pet owls. And they're doing it by the hundreds. I know. Awful. Authorities are worried now that many are being illegally released into the wild because they don't have skills to feed themselves, being pet for so long, those owls can starve to death.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, that's terrible. You see the stuff happens so often when these animals are popular in movies.

All right. So, he is Hollywood's iron man, but now, Jackie Chan says he is done playing the action hero? What? The 58-year-old actor who is famous for performing all of his old stunts, announcing that the film "Chinese Zodiac" is his last action hero movie.

Chan says he spent seven years working on the movie, writing, producing, directing, and coordinating the fight scenes. At some point, you got to hang it up.

BANFIELD: You know, I'm not a fight movie fan, but you can't help but know Jackie Chan.



SAMBOLIN: But I would imagine, at some point, you just got to stop it. It's going to be really hard on the body.

BANFIELD: Yes. No kidding. Oh, well.

Thirty-nine minutes now past 5:00. We're working on a whole lot of stories for you, including the deadly earthquake in Italy over the weekend. Here's something odd. This could actually affect your dinner table here in the U.S. We'll make that connection and explain it to you in just a moment.


BANFIELD: Good morning, Manhattan. Look at that. Beautiful shot at Central Park. A little bit of cloud cover there. Some showers and 65 degrees later on today in case you're heading to the big city. And I encourage you to do so.

We have some new information on that mother of newborn twins who's trying to fight off that rare disease that's eating away her body. Lanny Kirkendoll's (ph) brother says the 36-year-old has now undergone a series of operations to remove dead or damaged tissue in a South Carolina hospital, but the infection appears to be contained to her legs.


BRIAN SWAFFER, BROTHER: She does respond sometimes. You can see in her blood pressure or she has opened her eyes a little bit at time, but that's pretty much about it.


BANFIELD: Kirkendoll was admitted to the hospital 10 days ago after giving birth to those twins. She saw what seems like a bruise on her leg, but that discoloration started to spread very quickly. It was diagnosed as that rare flesh-eating bacteria. A second case reported in less than a week.

You probably remember the young Georgia student named Aimee Copeland also in critical condition. Doctors removed of one of her legs. She'll lose both of her feet and her hands to this disease. And we've now learned that Aimee is -- and this is good news -- finally breathing on her own.

SAMBOLIN: Good gracious. You know, the mom of twins, I was reading last week that it was her husband who insisted that she go to the hospital. So, he saved her life, probably.

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



ROMANS (voice-over): Police in Chicago are bracing for new demonstrations and more violence at the NATO summit there today. President Obama and the allies are focusing on an exit strategy for NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Meantime, protesters demanding an end to the war, confronted police in the street Sunday nearby the summit site. At least 45 people were arrested.

From the street to cyber space, hackers striking back at what they perceived as police brutality against summit protesters in Chicago. The group Anonymous is claiming responsibility for taking down the Chicago Police Department website.

A Mississippi prison rocked by deadly riots. A 23-year-old guard was killed yesterday at the Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez. Five prison workers and an inmate were injured. Things were finally brought under control not until late last night. The prison houses more than 2,000 illegal immigrants most charged with low- security crimes. Officials say none of the inmates escaped. All right. That deadly magnitude 6.0 earthquake that shook Northern Italy. Several towns there crumbled a clock tower, destroyed centuries old buildings, and also destroyed $65 million worth of cheese. The region is known for making parmesan cheese. An Italian farm officials say some 200,000 huge round cheese wheels were also damaged by that earthquake.

Three young men have now been charged in the assaulted carjacking of popular Detroit pastor and gospel singing icon, Marvin Winans. The suspects are being -- or each facing possible (INAUDIBLE) unarmed robbery, carjacking and conspiracy charges.

The 54-year-old pastor was attacked Wednesday at a Detroit gas station. Police say suspects stole his SUV, a Rolex watch, and his wallet with cash and credit cards in it.

Did you see it? Did you tweet it? Incredible pictures coming in of yesterday's solar eclipse. Millions looked into the skies to catch a glimpse of the ring of fire. The eclipse, the first of its kind in 18 years, created a golden ring around the moon silhouette.

It was visible on the west coast and in Asia. There it is. It also lit up social networks. People sharing their photos. The next one happens in 2023, ladies.


BANFIELD: Such a great shot, isn't it? You remember when you were a kid? We're not that far apart in age, but we watched the total eclipse of the sun. Way back when? Don't leave me hanging, Christine.


BANFIELD: You saw it.

ROMANS (on-camera): Was that between reruns of "Brady Bunch" --


BANFIELD: Oh! Romans!


SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Christine. It is 47 minutes past the hour.

Everything is going digital these days, even Tebowing. How your virtual self can get down like the New York Jets newest star? That's coming up. >

BANFIELD: And if you're leaving the house right now, no worries. You can watch us anytime on your desktop, your mobile phone. Just need to go to All the infos there to get you mogul and smart. Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BANFIELD: Time to take a look at what's trending on interwebs, and if you want to know why so many people take public transportation in New York City, here's the reason. Manhattan is posting its first million dollar parking spot. If you're about to hit the market --


BANFIELD: Can you imagine -- that is the cost --

SAMBOLIN: To park a car.

BANFIELD: To park a car, yes.


BANFIELD: More than -- I mean, many times more than the average family home. This is a private parking spot that's located inside an eight-storey luxury condo building.

SAMBOLIN: So, it's heated.

BANFIELD: So, it's heated. So there's that, you know, the price of oil. The owner is going to have to pay maintenance fees just like it's a condo. All of this according to "the New York Post." Feast your eyes on the million-dollar parking spot.


BANFIELD: It finally happened.

SAMBOLIN: OK. And I heard that they can probably build a lift also so that you can get two cars --


BANFIELD: Maybe he can, I don't know, auction off the $500,000 upper deck. I don't know.

SAMBOLIN: Never ceases to surprise me.

All right. So, the man, the myth, the memorabilia. An anonymous bidder bought a game-worn Babe Ruth jersey from his first season with the New York Yankees in 1920 for a record $4.4 million yesterday. Experts were able to authenticate the jersey because of the placement of the "Y" in New York. That's right above the button.

I guess, that makes it authentic. The jersey also has the Bambino's name, Ruth G.H. for George Herman written right inside the colar.

BANFIELD: I wonder how many people know that George Herman, that's was his name.

SAMBOLIN: I have no idea.

BANFIELD: Yes. SAMBOLIN: $4.4 million.

BANFIELD: It's incredible, right? What are you going to do with it? You're going to frame it? Hang it on your wall in the office? I mean, it's really remarkable. There are fans out there --

SAMBOLIN: A lot of money to spend.

BANFIELD: Obviously, right, in this economy. Heavens.

All right. So, Tim Tebow going digi. I kid you not. The creative director of the very, very popular madden video game franchise has tweeted that tebowing is going to start appear in the next version of the game. How about that? It's not really clear whether this is going to be reserved for just Tim Tebow who's, of course, starting his team, remember shifted at the New York Jets.

But the game is set to release on August 28th. Keep an eye on that. You find out if you get to make your favorite players Tebow or if it's just Tim that will be doing so digitally.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, boy. All right Mick Jagger rocked the house seeing "Saturday Night Live" season finale with his best Steven Tyler impersonation to boot (ph) -- it was. I loved it. And a touching stand-off for SNL leading lady, Kristen Wiig. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our guest host tonight is from "American Idol" and those weird burger king commercials. We're lucky to have here. Steven Tyler.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd just like to thank all the reptiles that gave their lives for this jacket. Yes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love this. (INAUDIBLE). It keeps my head from falling off.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the past seven years. She got held back. So, our music department got together and prepared a song to say goodbye. This one's for you.




BANFIELD: Man, that is awesome. First all, who could ever stand (ph) their career they got to dance with Mick Jagger as part of their sendoff from "The Office."

SAMBOLIN: What a tearjerker.

BANFIELD: -- such massive loss for that show, that cast. She is such a great but absolutely hysterical. Look at her. Oh.

SAMBOLIN: It's very touching.

BANFIELD: We have not seen the last of Kristen Wiig, though.

SAMBOLIN: oh, gosh, no.

BANFIELD: Man, that girl is just money (ph) make in heaven in Hollywood.


BANFIELD: Awesome.

All right. So moving on, Chicago is bracing for more ugliness out on the streets. The protesters clashing with police. You probably saw some of this.

SAMBOLIN: You know, it started very peacefully. I was there this week. And it's started with the nurses' rally very peaceful, and then, it's been escalating.

BANFIELD: Yes. Really sort of --

SAMBOLIN: Far away from the NATO summit. Very far away.

BANFIELD: So, terrorism charges also during a NATO protest. We're going to have a live report at the top of the hour on all of this.


SAMBOLIN: War and peace. Protesters battle with police in Chicago where today NATO signs off on an exit strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

BANFIELD: Inmate uprising. A fierce riot at a low-security Mississippi prison leaves one guard dead.

SAMBOLIN: And our eye is also on tropical storm Alberto. The latest track of the storm straight ahead for you.

BANFIELD: And the ring of fire. Millions watch a rare site in the sky. A solar eclipse of the sun. Fabulous.

SAMBOLIN: Not of the heart.



BANFIELD: Good morning, everybody. It is getting off to a nice start this morning. It's an EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: Thanks for being with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We are bringing you the news from "A" to "Z". It is just about 6:00 a.m. in the east, so let's get started for you.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Up first, another day of protest on tap in Chicago as President Obama and world leaders meet again at the NATO summit. Thousands of people hit the streets Sunday to vent their opposition to the war in Afghanistan. At least 45 people were arrested when things turned pretty violent.

The protesters are happening blocks away from where world leaders are meeting. At the summit, itself, the U.S. and the allies are trying to agree on a way to get troops out of Afghanistan without giving up what has been accomplished so far.