Return to Transcripts main page


Booker "Very Upset" at GOP; Task Force: Prostate Cancer Test Not Worth Risk; Private Rocket Launch Makes History; Hunt For Escaped Inmate

Aired May 22, 2012 - 06:00   ET



ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The first successful commercial launch this morning to the International Space Station. We go live to Florida in just a few moments.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus Newark, New Jersey mayor, Cory Booker, speaking out again about the whole Bain private equity debate. Hear what he had to say late last night about his critics and about the president.

SAMBOLIN: And all this controversy is over Bain Capital and private equity. An explanation of private equity, and we'll hear from Bain as well. Straight ahead. They put out a statement this morning.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Good morning. And welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BANFIELD (on-camera): Nice to have you with us. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. And we're bringing you the news from "A" to "Z." It is just two seconds to 6:00 a.m., bing, there you are.

All right. So, boldly going where no private spacecraft has ever gone before. Take a peek.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one, zero. And launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as NASA turns to the private sector to resupply the International Space Station.


BANFIELD: And that's a beautiful thing. Rocket built by the commercial space light (ph) company, SpaceX, blasting overnight from Cape Canaveral, launching the unmanned dragon capsule to the International Space Station. It is the world's first commercial space station supply flight. Take a look at those flames in the night sky.

The hopes are here, NASA is wondering if this mission is going to be the one that can really help to replace those retired space shuttles which are now basically sitting in museums. Nice to see but not helping us out any in space. Earlier, we spoke to the NASA administrator who said this is one giant leap toward not having to rely on the Russians anymore.


CHARLES BOLDEN, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: What's really important is not control as much as it is the fact that the United States will once again be in the lead. We'll be providing our own vehicles to take our own astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station. It's fine to rely on partners, but that's not where the greatest nation in the world wants to be.

We want to be taking astronauts and cargo on our own vehicles. Today was a huge day in the step to getting there.


BANFIELD: John Zarrella is live in Miami. And this is pretty exciting stuff, John. This is unmanned. So, it's exciting as that is to watch. How far away are we from getting astronauts and, you know, people like you and me on board those flights?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, astronauts probably, Ashleigh, about three or four years. People like you and me, that's another story entirely, but the astronauts certainly in about three or four years. NASA, this summer, is expected to go ahead and make a decision on which commercial companies will get the contracts to take astronauts, the manned missions.

SpaceX is one of about four or five in the running for those human-rated flights, and it will be probably 2016 before we see that. Now, you know, lots of glad handing and slaps on the back, pats on the back, handshakes today from all of people at NASA and at SpaceX for the successful launch.

And just a few minutes ago, the CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, speaking from Hawthorne, California, where they have their mission control headquarters, just talked about the excitement out there at the moment of liftoff.


ELON MUSK, CEO, SPACEX: Most of the company gathered around mission control, so -- and really seeing the fruit of -- they're seeing the fruit of their labors and wondering whether it's going to work, and there's so much hope riding on that rocket so when it worked, and (INAUDIBLE) people saw their handy work in space and operating as it should, again, it was tremendous relations (ph). It's like, I guess, for us, it's like winning the Super Bowl.


ZARRELLA: And you know, there's still a long way to go. I think, maybe, they drew the first touchdown in the Super Bowl, but to actually win the Super Bowl in this flight, they've still got to rendezvous at the space station, go through a whole bunch of test maneuvers to make sure everything is working, all the autonomous controls on board dragon are talking to the International Space Station.

And then, early Friday morning, they will attempt to berth with the International Space Station. So, still a long way to go, I think, before they can actually say they won the Super Bowl, but I think we get the point.

BANFIELD: It's going to make some great pictures, though, when that actually happens.

ZARRELLA: Oh, yes.

BANFIELD: So real quickly, when Elon Musk was just talking a short time ago, what did he say about the story of the 300-plus human remains including Scottie from "Star Trek" and Gordon Cooper, the mercury astronaut? Did he confirm or deny it?

ZARRELLA: He said, "I am not aware of any human remains on board." Now, maybe, somebody else put -- that could be his plausible deniability there saying he's not aware of it, and somebody -- but they're actually on there. He clearly said, "I am not aware of any human remains."

BANFIELD: 300, though. You'd think the guy who puts $100 million into this company might have an inkling or something. Zarrella you look like a kid in a candy store on this story.

ZARRELLA: You know, Ashleigh, I did ask him in my interview with him three weeks ago if there were any surprises on board because he has, in the past, he took a wheel of cheese up on the last flight they made when they actually orbited the earth successfully and he told me, we'll just have to wait and see if there's any -- so, you can bet there's something on board that thing that's a surprise.

BANFIELD: Very exciting stuff. Good work out there. Thanks, John. Nice to se you.

ZARRELLA: Bye, Ashleigh.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: It is five minutes past the hour.

First, the secret service, now, the Drug Enforcement Administration.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): A Congressional source telling CNN three DEA agents are accused of hiring prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia. The source says the incident is separate from the one involving military personnel and secret service agents who hired (INAUDIBLE) in advance of a presidential trip to Colombia.

BANFIELD (voice-over): A new poll is showing President Obama and Mitt Romney are in a dead heat over who can fix the economy. Overall, the president leads Mr. Romney by just three percentage points in a new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll.

But, on issue number one, to the voters anyway, they're knotted up at 47 percent. More than half of those asked said the economy was the number one issue going into this election in November.

And one year ago today, a deadly tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing 161 people and destroying 8,000 homes and businesses. President Obama traveled to Joplin yesterday, spoke to the graduating class at Joplin High School. He called the students and their town an inspiration and he reminded them that they are tough enough to overcome any obstacle.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, will you encounter obstacles along the way. I guarantee you, you will face setbacks and you will face disappointments. But you're from Joplin, and you're from America. And no matter how tough times get, you'll always be tougher.


Volunteers from all over the country are headed to Joplin this morning to help with the continued rebuilding efforts.

There's a plane in the front yard of this house. Take a good look at your screen. Yes. Don't blink. It's true. More than 1,600 people without power overnight after that small plane took a powerful and crash landed in the front yard of a house in Glendale, California.

According to the "L.A. Times," the pilot, who was the only person on board, was able to get himself out of that wreckage and expected to be OK. FAA tells us that the pilot reported engine trouble and was trying to make it to the nearby Van Nuys Airport when, instead the plane went down where you see it.

SAMBOLIN: A controversial recommendation from a government task force that says men should no longer get routine PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer. Health experts say the tests may lead to unnecessary treatments that do more harm than good. 33,000 American men die of prostate cancer each year.

Twenty million get the PSA test to detect the disease early. Urologists insist the PSA test saves lives.

BANFIELD: Newark, New Jersey mayor, Corey Booker, an Obama supporter and a rising star in the Democratic Party is hopping mad this morning and he's firing back after an ad from the Mitt Romney campaign used him and his own words against him.

When he described as nauseating the president's campaign attacks on Mitt Romney, the businessman, that was used in the commercial. So, he went on MSNBC last night, and he said the GOP crossed the line with this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR COREY BOOKER, (D) NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: I am upset. I've been taken out of context. I've been used to support a cynicism. If there was any honor in what they were saying, Mitt Romney would have come out and said, you know, lot like Obama did, Citizens United decision is going to hurt our Democracy.

He would have come out and said the negativity on our side, I'm going to talk about us, has got to stop. If he wanted to come out and stand with me, he would say, you know what, I stand with Corey Booker. Let's stop the Super PAC money. Let's stop the negative campaigning. Let's talk about the issues.


BANFIELD: Well, you know, it's politics playing out. President Obama even doubled down on the attacks on Bain Capital saying this is what the campaign is all about.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): So, this whole issue of Bain Capital brings into question, what is private equity? Christine Romans is here to explain that this morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. So, if this is what the campaign is all about, let's talk about what private equity is? Here's sort of the definition of private equity. And we've got a full screen for you. Finance equity in a business that is raised from private sources as opposed to shares that could be traded publicly.

That's what private equity is in the dictionary. There you go. Translation, it's rich investors like pension funds, university endowments, wealthy people who pool their money together to invest in companies, new technology, anything that can make them money. It's about making money. Often, they zero in on failing companies like steel mills and paper mills, right?

The private money comes in, the restructures sales divisions, closes failing parts have reached the benefits from the good parts. That, in its essence, is what Mitt Romney and President Obama are fighting about. That's what this is all going to be about, whether Mitt Romney just tried to make money.

Mitt Romney says making money makes jobs. It's impossible to know how many jobs were created or lost, because private equity is private, but Mitt Romney's entire career isbuilt on the private equity business.

Now, I want you to listen to what Newt Gingrich told Piers Morgan last night. Remember, Newt Gingrich was the first one to go after, to go after Mitt Romney about his career in private equity saying that he was the king of Bain, remember? That he was looting some of these failing companies. Listen to what he said last night, though.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NEWT GINGRICH, (R) FMR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How can you be the president with the worst unemployment record since the great depression, the longest period of deep unemployment since the 1930s, and pick a fight over job creation?

I mean, there's a point here where this becomes ludicrous, and in effect, what Obama is saying is that government investment is smarter than private equity.


ROMANS: And that's what this election is going to be about, who is better at creating jobs, the capitalism of Barack Obama or the capitalism of Mitt Romney? And they're both going to be fighting about it.

I can tell you for sure that both campaigns have rows and rows of DVDs or maybe they're on a hard drive somewhere that show every single company that Mitt Romney has had his hands in one way, shape, or form, and whether it created jobs or lost jobs. There's going to be soaring music or scary music, and they're going to all be trying to appeal to people who have lost their jobs.

Now, I want to give the response from Bain Capital about the most recent attacks from the Obama administration about this company's record in creating money and losing jobs. "Despite political attacks that emphasize the few companies that have struggled, the facts are that during Bain Capital's ownership, revenues grew in 80 percent of the more than 350 companies in which we've invested."

I want you to throw in a one word there, "revenues increased." The president is going to try to show is that revenues are different than jobs. If you are creating revenue at the expense of jobs, that's not good for America. So, the very way that we've done business over the past 20 years is an existential drama unfolding this summer, political drama about what kind of America do you believe in.

BANFIELD: There've been plenty of, you know -- "Wall Street Journal," "New York Times" have done an assessments of Bain Capital, and it's across-the-board successes ad the numbers of jobs that it actually did create. And there's been some very positive reporting about Mitt Romney's tenure there.

ROMANS: Staples, Dominos -- I mean, this week, there was AMC, the big movie chain, was sold to the Chinese. That was -- had a big investor, and it was Bain Capital. You talk about failing companies, it's private equity that goes in and takes this risk, not just Bain. I mean, there's lots of different companies like this.

But who -- you know, is it Bain's fault that a paper company failed or did Bain come in and take advantage of a failing paper company but grow business somewhere else? That's what this is all about.

SAMBOLIN: Well, thank you for clearing that up, because at the end of the day, when you try to understand the arguments, maybe you make an important decision, when you decide which candidate you're going to support, right?

ROMANS: Right. There's a lot of -- like I said, 30-second videos, lots of dramatic -- a lot of music, don't buy the politics, folks, on both sides.

BANFIELD: Drama, drama.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BANFIELD: Thank you, Christine.

Twelve minutes now past 6:00. "Oceans 11" this ain't. How two men tried to take down a Las Vegas casino using the very sophisticated method of sunglasses and a bad wig? I kid you not.


SAMBOLIN: It is 16 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START.

Let's get you up-to-date here again, Christine Romans.

ROMANS: Ladies, it's liftoff of the first private mission to the International Space Station, a rocket built by the commercial space flight company known as SpaceX blasting off at 3:44 this morning, launching the unmanned Dragon capsule to resupply the ISS.

Was it exactly the perfect crime? Far from "Oceans 11" just a dumb guy in a wig, a man scheduled to appear in court after police say he tried to pepper spray a black jack dealer and grab some $115,000 in chips at the Bellagio.

The eye-in-the-sky, of course, is always watching in Sin City. Casino staff wrestled him down quickly. His wig and sunglasses fell off in the struggle while a suspected accomplice got away.

Beer all over the place in Daytona Beach. Tractor trailer hauling 55,000 pounds of bottled beer overturned early Monday morning on Interstate 95, took workers seven hours to clear up the beer and glass from the highway. The beer truck trailer driver told police another driver swerved in front of him, causing him to go off the road but there were no skid marks on the roadway -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: Is there a Homer Simpson sighting, Christine?

ROMANS: I don't know.

BANFIELD: Can you just mind? Thank you.

It is 17 minutes now past 6:00.

The struggle to contain wildfires in Arizona continues to rage on. Rob Marciano is here to give us an update. This one even has a name and I thought that was unusual, I've covered wildfires before, but are they always named? ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Lately, yes. It usually has to do with some sort of local geography, air river or mountain nearby. This one is called the Gladiator Fire and honestly, I don't know why.

Here is the video. And for the past week and a half, they've been struggling to contain this and it's grown to almost 15,000 acres at this point. They've got over 1,000 personnel trying to battle the flames back. Still only 19 percent containment and the weather is expected unfortunately to get worse. They have air assets on there, too.

First off the temperatures the last three days, 108 to 112 degrees the expected high temperature going through today and possibly through tomorrow as well, and the winds will pick up as well. When you get the winds cranking that's going to be the biggest problem fighting the fires, especially tomorrow, I think, extreme fire danger is going to be the call. They certainly would love to get rain, that's not in the cards.

But if you live in the Northeast, it is. You saw some yesterday, you're going to see some today and actually, you'll see some for the next several days, kind of on and off. I mean, it's not a washout but maybe light on your feet or keep the rain gear handy in case.

Behind us a very stalled front is some dry air. Chicago, you're looking good, south towards St. Louis. Memphis will be 80 degrees there. Not too shabby there.

I want to point this out -- tropical storm Alberto is now a depression. So it's weakening and it will continue to move out to sea, just waves along the coastline. But tropical depression Bud in the Eastern Pacific has formed. And this could get interesting and developing to a hurricane.

Here is the forecast from the National Hurricane Center potentially bringing it to the western shores of Mexico, closer this weekend. So we'll be tracking Bud throughout the week.

Guys, back up to you.

BANFIELD: I still can't believe you said it would be 108 to 112 where the fires are. It's May.

MARCIANO: Yes, but you know it's Arizona and the sun gets strong. But they're in a warm pattern now obviously and it gets hot and they're deserts.

BANFIELD: Man, that's unbelievable. All right. Thanks, Rob. Appreciate it.

Twenty minutes now past 6:00.

Nobody likes to wait in line at the airport. The right luggage can make a difference, did you know that? How you can be part of the solution and not part of the problem, that's coming up.


SAMBOLIN: Twenty-three minutes past the hour. Everyone hates standing in long lines at airport security, especially if you're stuck behind a traveler who is a bit unprepared. So, make sure you're not holding up the line.

Christine Romans is here with an expert packing tip in today's "Road Warriors" segment, a little bit of a show and tell.

ROMANS: I know. So, if you're a road warrior, you know, that's usually the person in front of you, not you, right?

Frequent flyers know the routine to take off your shoes, empty your pockets, you place your liquids in the bin, take off the belts and take your laptop. That's one step you can skip if you have a checkpoint friendly bag like this. Computers stay in the bag in the screening.

Each bag has a separate compartment like this, without pockets, metal, zippers or straps. It folds out. You could lie it flat, right like this, you lie it flat on the belt right.

So security screeners have a clear view, just like. Store the power cords, zip drives, and other accessories in the part of the bag. When the TSA approved the use of these checkpoint-friendly bags, it was four years ago, right? But they didn't have everything to choose from. Now, there are a variety of styles, prices from $30 to $500.

Keep in mind security can still ask you to remove your laptop so even if you spend a lot of money, and this is an expensive one, they can still tell you take it out anyway but the key is to make sure this can be flat.

You had an iPad, you pull it out of the sleeve, put it in a bin by myself.

BANFIELD: No, I don't do that anymore.

SAMBOLIN: You leave it through your bag and put it through as long as it's not a laptop.

ROMANS: You should see when we're going through a shoot it's a 35-minute experience.

BANFIELD: Try doing it in Israel.

ROMANS: I was thinking Newark, but hey.


ROMANS: The one thing you need to know about your money today, a reminder to folks here: IPOs are risky. Facebook is turning into a great example of why IPOs are risky. The stock is down 19 percent since its IPO Friday, down nearly 11 percent yesterday.

SAMBOLIN: You got a good tweet about that. ROMANS: A very nice man tweeted me to say he put $5,000 aside for Facebook stock and listened to us on the program and said I'm going to wait a month.

SAMBOLIN: Like you said.

ROMANS: So thank you.

BANFIELD: You're so magnanimous to say he listened to us. He listened to you.


ROMANS: You're getting a pizza.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BANFIELD: By the way are you going to keep that bag?

ROMANS: I'll take it away.

BANFIELD: I knew she would, Romans!

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-six past the hour.

First, he backtracked and now, he's fighting back. Rising Democratic star Cory Booker says the GOP crossed the line, twisting his words in the Bain Capital controversy. You'll hear from him coming up.


SAMBOLIN: Do not get a prostate cancer test. That is the word from a government task force on preventative health care. Find out why they are saying that, coming up.

BANFIELD: Plus, a Mexican drug lord arrested and charged with decapitating nearly 50 people. Find out how that man in the middle was caught, straight ahead.

And a woman finds $1,800 at an ATM in cash just sitting there all by its lonely self. What does she do? You're going to see. You'll hear the story straight from her ahead on CNN.

And welcome back.

SAMBOLIN: Great story.

BANFIELD: Awesome. It will make your week if not your month.

I'm Ashleigh Banfield, everybody.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We're very happy you're with us this morning.

It's 30 minutes past the hour. And Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker -- Obama supporter and rising star in the Democratic Party -- is really mad this morning and firing back after an ad from the Mitt Romney campaign used his own words against him about the Obama campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney the businessman.

Here's what he said on "Meet the Press" Sunday.


MAYOR CORY BOOKER (D), NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: This kind of stuff is nauseating on both sides. It's nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity.


SAMBOLIN: So here's the ad that Mitt Romney camp came out with after Booker made those comments.


BOOKER: Look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they've done a lot to support businesses and grow businesses.

NARRATOR: Even Obama's own supporters have it.

BOOKER: It's nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough.


SAMBOLIN: Oh, there's more. Mayor Booker went on MSNBC last night and said the GOP crossed the line.


BOOKER: I'm upset. I've taken out of context. I've been used to report a cynicism -- if there was any honor, Mitt Romney would have and said, you know what -- like Obama did, Citizens United decision is going to hurt our democracy, he would have said the negativity on our side, I'm going to talk about us has got to stop.

He wanted to come out and stand with me, he would say, you know what, I stand with Cory Booker, stop the super PAC money, let's stop the negative campaigning, let's talk about the issues.


SAMBOLIN: CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser is in Washington.

And we were talking about this same time yesterday. I said watch them use his words against him. They did. And is he mad.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: This is another case of surrogates gone wild and trying to fix the damage, maybe. Maybe. Yes. Right, we were talking about this yesterday morning.

We knew the Republicans were going to capitalize on this and they did. You just showed that video from the Romney campaign.

President Obama is talking about this as well at a NATO summit yesterday in Chicago. And he was asked about booker's comments and asked about the Republican reaction. And he said this whole talk about Bain is not a, quote, "distraction". He said this is part and parcel, a key part of the campaign.

Take a listen to what else he said.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reason this is relevant to the campaign is because my opponent, Governor Romney, his main calling card for why he thinks he should be president is his business experience. He's not going out there touting his experience in Massachusetts. He's saying I'm a business guy and I know how to fix it and this is his business.


STEINHAUSER: The Romney campaign firing back yesterday as well. Mitt Romney himself the former Massachusetts governor saying that, quote, "The president confirmed he will continue his attacks on free enterprise," and went on to say the president needs to own up that his policies are failing.

So, again, Zoraida, no doubt about, we were called on this Sunday morning and knew it would be a flare-up. And it will be probably continue to be for another day or two.

SAMBOLIN: But the Obama campaign, are they taking any heat over that ad?

STEINHAUSER: They're taking a little bit of heat over that ad and this morning you'll probably see another video from the Obama camp or from a super PAC that is tied to the Obama camp that is supportive of the Obama camp on Bain Capital. They've decided attacking Bain Capital is a key issue for them.

Listen, Mitt Romney makes it obvious when he runs for president. He's going to say I can do a better job creating jobs than President Barack Obama and points to his time at Bin and corporate world.

So, yes, the Obama camp feels that it's a fair game, fair ground to attack Mitt Romney on Bain Capital.

SAMBOLIN: What really matters is what the American public thinks and do you have a recent poll for us on that and how they feel both candidates are doing?

STEINHAUSER: I got a poll probably a few hours old. ABC/"The Washington Post," while I was sleeping but you were probably awake.

SAMBOLIN: Love it.

STEINHAUSER: The economy, 47 percent for the president, 47 percent for Mitt Romney on who can best fix or jump-start the economy. You know, Zoraida, the poll also indicated the economy by far still remains the top issue and every other poll shows the same thing, every national poll indicates the same thing. The economy, the economy, the economy. I know same-sex marriage was big in the news over the last week or two but that's the top issue.

And one other thing, I think you play the sound earlier, another surrogate gone wild, Newt Gingrich last night right on CNN. I'll leave it with that.

SAMBOLIN: I thought you were going to play it again for us. But we did enjoy it. Thank you for mentioning it in.

Paul Steinhauser live in Washington.

BANFIELD: I actually thought the pregnant pause was just as effective as the sound bite itself. You were missing the ba-doom- boom.

It's 34 minutes now past 6:00.

And this might be just what the doctor ordered but the new guidelines say the routine prostate cancer screenings that you've been hearing about so much, may not be worth the risk. Find out how this could impact your health.

SAMBOLIN: But, first, a quick check of today's weather with Rob Marciano.

MARCIANO: Good morning, guys. The threat for rainfall will continue across the Northeast. You had it yesterday. You have it today and probably continue through tomorrow.

Here is the radar showing that, most of it is just light. This is not from tropical storm Alberto. As a matter of fact, Alberto decreased in intensity and gone out to city. We're tracking another something in the eastern Pacific

And this complex of thunderstorms is weakening headed across Alabama and Georgia But later on today, with the stalled frontal boundary which will create the unsettledness across the East Coast, a threat for severe weather across the Southeast. In between, though, lovely weather in places like Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, 70 for the high temperature there, 71 in New York City and 63 in Boston. Keep the rain gear handy.

Thirty-five minutes after the hour. EARLY START is coming right back.


BANFIELD: Think about getting screened for prostate cancer? You might want to reconsider, because in a controversial move, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is recommending men do not undergo regular prostate screening for cancer, saying it does more harm than good. I know it sounds surprising but CNN's Alina Cho has been digging into this one.

It sounds reminiscent of the breast cancer issue with mammograms we had a few years ago. It's serious.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is serious and I'll tell you something, it's counterintuitive. And we've heard for so long, let's get screened -- let's get screened for cancer.

That's why so many people are surprised about this and it affects at least 44 million American men, Ashleigh.

Good morning. Good morning, everybody.

You know, if you think about it, it's really something for many people is just hard to understand, why wouldn't you get tested for prostate cancer? Well, an influential federal panel says it's not always best to catch cancer as early as possible. We're going to explain that in just a minute.

But that is why essentially the United States Preventative Services Task Force is now recommending against what's commonly referred to as the PSA test. It's a simple blood test.

And the task force is saying at best PSA screening may help 1 in 1,000 men avoid death from prostate cancer and may do more harm than good because most prostate cancers found by screening are slow growing and not life-threatening, and will not cause a man any harm at all during his lifetime.

What can actually is the treatment. Most men who are in the words of some over-diagnosed will suffer serious side effects from treatment like radiation and surgery, treatment they may not need and the side effects include impotence, incontinence, and possibly even early death.

BANFIELD: This is not the first time the panel has weighed in, in a controversial way with regard to medicine.

CHO: That's right. You referred to the mammogram story. We all remember that, women in particular.

Right. This is the same panel that waived when it recommended women in their 40s should skip routine mammograms. As for the PSA test which is a simple blood test, while the American Cancer Society has not recommended that routine PSA screenings since the late 1990s should occur, the American Urological Association still recommends that men get baseline screenings at age 40, if they wish to be tested.

The bottom line from the task force is the evidence shows that the benefits do not outweigh the risks in this case. It's really interesting, again, counterintuitive.

BANFIELD: Counterintuitive, and when you hear the headline on your morning news program saying don't get this screening, it's going to cause a lot of waves. What has the reaction so far been?

CHO: Well, it's interesting. It was swift, as you might imagine and pretty forceful. The Urological Association condemned the finding, no surprise there, standing by the PSA test, and says, quote, "It is inappropriate and irresponsible to issue a blanket statement against PSA testing particularly for at-risk populations." They go on to say that what could happen as a result is many men will no longer get tested because they think they don't need to and prostate cancer a PSA could have caught early may go unnoticed.

Obviously, people on the other side have a different point of view and one doctor said -- it's so interesting, Ashleigh -- I'm quoting, "We've been told for decades to be terrified of cancer and the only hope is early detection and treatment. The reality is," she said, "you don't need to detect all cancers. We don't want this to be the answer" -- meaning the PSA. "We want to screen for the ones that are going to be aggressive, manage those early and leave everyone else alone."


CHO: She does a point but it is scary.

BANFIELD: No matter how you slice it, probably the best advice is to talk to your doctor and do what's right for you and your doctor will help guide you.

Alina, that's weird stuff and I don't think that's the end of it. Thank you. Appreciate it. Zoraida?

SAMBOLIN: Soledad O'Brien joins with us a look at what is ahead on "STARTING POINT." Good morning.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: Oh, so much. Good morning to you, Zoraida.

Ahead this morning on "STARTING POINT," taxpayers are picking up roughly $1 million tab for a group of judges to go to a conference in lovely Hawaii. You look at the picture. Don't you wish you were going on the trip? We'll talk with Senator Chuck Grassley, he's outraged about the cost of the trip and why it might be time to end conferences like these all together.

Plus, we'll look at what's happening in Joplin, Missouri, a year after a tornado wiped out a third of that town. We'll meet the photographer behind a powerful new project that features photos of survivors who write messages on their bodies, illustrating the struggles and their hopes. Absolutely beautiful work.

And the potential threat to America's security -- how did fake military parts from China get into the hands of our troops? Senator Carl Levin is launching a legislation into counterfeit items. He's going to join us this morning to talk about why every American should be outraged about that.

That and much more coming up when we start at 7:00 a.m. Eastern on "STARTING POINT." I'll see you there right at the top of the hour.


BANFIELD: It is now 47 minutes past the hour. Time to get you up to date on the top stories. Christine Romans doing that for us. Good morning.



ROMANS (voice-over): The first private space capsule in history on its way now to the International Space Station. A rocket built by the commercial space flight company known as SpaceX blasting off at 3:44 this morning, launching the unmanned dragon capsule to resupply the space station.

New this morning. Tragedy in India. Right now, at least 14 people there killed in a train accident, 35 people were injured. Officials believe the driver of a passenger train missed a red light and crashed into a cargo train. Three coaches of that passenger train were involved in the wreck.

Back on Earth (ph), there's a police manhunt for an escaped inmate in Michigan. Authorities say Everett Allen Robinson (ph) got away while being driven to a court appearance yesterday in Arenac County. He attacked a sheriff's deputy, stole his gun, and then drove off from the deputy's patrol car. Police have warned area residents that he's armed and dangerous.

A mom in trouble for allegedly using her kids as decoys as two guys stole a $3,000 dog from a pet store. And it was caught on tape. Video shows two little girls petting the English bulldog puppy when two guys came over and grabbed it, and they all ran out.

Police used this video to track down the dog-nappers. The puppy was found shaking in a closet. The puppy was OK. Police say they will be charged with felony theft -- Zoraida.


SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Christine.

If you are leaving the house right now, you can watch us any time on your desktop or your mobile phone, just go to More EARLY START coming up.


SAMBOLIN: Good morning, D.C. It is, let's see, do we have some degrees for you right now there, your weather? No. But I can tell you this, it's 52 minutes past the hour. Not quite sure what your weather looks like today, but perhaps, a little hazy and cloudy.

BANFIELD: Very pretty to see the capital --

SAMBOLIN: You know what, it looked a little hazy to me, not quite clear. Anyway --


SAMBOLIN: So, Apocalyptic. That's what Joplin, Missouri looked like one year ago today after deadly tornado destroyed nearly a third of the town. It's been a year. A 161 residents killed, hundreds more injured, thousands of businesses and homes were destroyed. Joplin High School devastated just hours after the class of 2011 was awarded their diplomas.

And last night, President Obama delivered the commencement address to this year's graduates.

You know what, we're going to talk in a minute here to Erica Tremblay, because she documented a lot of the heartache and the struggle and the losses that went on there. And she has this wonderful film that she's about to release. And she's going to shed some light on what she saw.

And she actually has a great story of somebody who made promises to what they wanted to do after this disaster and actually has followed through. So, we're going to talk to her shortly here.

BANFIELD: In the meantime, there's this great story that we want to bring to you. It's one of the stories that makes us proud to be an American. And you need to remember this name all day today, Adriana Allen, because this woman on your screen drove up to an ATM in Boca Raton, Florida.

And you know, she just wanted to take out a little bit of money, but, there was something in the way, $1,800 in cash was in the way, left over by somebody before her. So, instead, of just making off with it, Adriana called 911, and the police came. The bank said they are going to try to find the rightful owners of the $1,800 using the cameras and the computers and the records.

But in the meantime, that fabulous woman, the most honest among us today, should be heralded by all of us as extraordinarily honest. I talked to her a little bit earlier on today about what this whole experience was like. Have a listen to what she had to say to me.


VOICE OF ADRIANA ALLEN, RETURNED $1,800 FOUND AT ATM: I come from a Cuban family with a very strong belief that you are what you earn. So, the only money you keep is what you earn. And that's the way to do things. I mean, I did with my heart told me to do.


BANFIELD: Did what her heart told her to do. Her mom was in the car with her which is awesome, but she said that wasn't what did it. Actually, what she said because I have an 11-year-old boy. These are the lessons that we need to teach your children, I'm a Cuban-American, and you are what you earn.


BANFIELD: Fabulous words to live by. So, again, that name, Adriana Allen, my favorite person of the day, maybe of the week, maybe of the entire year. Yes.

SAMBOLIN: There you go. That's a great story.

All right. We're going to get back to Erica Tremblay. She is the one who has documented the heartache in Joplin, Missouri on this one-year anniversary. She has a new film. It's called "The Heartland," and she joins us now live from Joplin.

So nice to have you with us this morning. Thank you. So, we know that you grew up right outside of Joplin, and you have a lot of family that still lives there, and when the devastation happened there, what caused you to want to actually create a documentary out of it?

ERICA TREMBLAY, DIRECTOR, "HEARTLAND": You know, I think after the first couple of days where everything was just crazy and, you know, things started dying down, everyone was kind of across the nation and especially the people that were from Joplin were just like, you know, what can I do, what can I do?

And I didn't really know what the answer to that question was, and my producing partner at the time, Bernard Paruhm (ph) was like, why don't we just get some cameras together, get a crew together, and go back there and let your friends and family and your neighbors that you've known your whole life kind of tell you their stories.

SAMBOLIN: It must have been a really difficult journey for you because it was personal.

TREMBLAY: Absolutely. I mean, you know, we started out to make this disaster documentary and over the past year have kind of turned into this story about, you know, the human spirit and how you heal from a tragedy that is just so massive as this.

So, I mean, it's kind of been, you know, two-sided. On one hand, it's been an extremely amazing healing process for me, but it has also, you know, been super difficult to be thinking about it and in the middle of it, you know, every single day.

SAMBOLIN: There's one person in particular that you talked to in your documentary, name is Mrs. McPherson. She took you on a tour of her destroyed home. I want to play you a little bit of this and then talk to you about it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You find random pictures. This isn't even mine. I try to pick them up and send them all to Abbey that's doing the film photos. I don't know where all our pictures went. I don't know. I need to stop. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Really difficult moments to watch there, but some really beautiful things that came out of this. And, she mentioned this Joplin found photos project that surfaced because of this. Can you tell us about that?

TREMBLAY: You know, I think one thing that kind of gets lost in this whole tragedy is you think about the loss of life and that's the first thing, and obviously, that is something that's, you know, very hard to deal with, but the thing that kind of gets lost is the actual loss of, you know, poems and photographs and heirlooms and that sort of thing.

So, we kind of wanted to showcase that part of the tragedy as well, if that's even the right term. Abbey Almendinger (ph) has started creating the project called "Joplin's Found Photos" where she was taking thousands and thousands of misplaced photos and putting them online so that people could recover those. And in some cases, they were the only photos that they got back.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, yes. There was one story here of a man who's the only photo that he had of his mother. You know what, I teased this earlier so I just very quickly if you could tell me about Luke Leonard (ph) that you interviewed in the film. He helped storm victims. He made a promise. Tell us about that.

TREMBLAY: Luke is just such a wonderful kid. He graduated last night from Joplin High School. You know, throughout the film or throughout the days after the tornado, he was helping rescue people. He was pulling bodies out from the rubble at 17 years old.

From this whole process and from, you know, the past year and dealing with the tornado, he'd made a promise that he was going to become a firefighter when he graduated, and he actually has been hired on as a firefighter and will start, you know, working for the fire department in the next couple of months.

So, we're just super proud of Luke and congratulations to him for graduating last night.

SAMBOLIN: Well, congratulations to you as well. Erica Tremblay, the film is "Heartland." Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

TREMBLAY: Thanks for having me.

BANFIELD: And it is just one minute now before the top of the hour. That's EARLY START: 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.