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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Mistrial In John Edwards Case; "Hero" Saved Lives In Seattle Rampage; JPMorgan Subpoenas?; May Jobs Report Due At 8:30 A.M. ET; Monster Wildfire Spreads In New Mexico; Return Of The Dragon; California Dreaming; Reversing Paralysis In Rats; Big May Jobs Report; Mistrial in John Edwards Case; Sixteen Ounces Or Less

Aired June 1, 2012 - 05:59   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN EDWARDS, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: While I do not believe I did anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN HOST: He does say that he is guilty of being a bad husband, and that's it. Former presidential candidate, John Edwards' fate is still in the balance after nine bizarre days of jury deliberations.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Coffee house hero. A man who refused to duck and cover gets credit for saving lives.

SAMBOLIN: And are you smarter than an eighth grader? Probably not this one. The National Spelling Bee champ wins with a word most of us have never even heard of. So, we're going to enlighten you here shortly.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. We're happy you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BANFIELD: Good morning, everybody. I'm Ashleigh Banfield, and we're bringing you the news from "A" to "Z." Ashleigh and Zoraida. 6:00 a.m. in the east now. Let's get you started.

Up first, the story of John Edwards, not guilty, but maybe not quite so innocent either is the headline on this one. A jury acquitting the former presidential candidate on one count of campaign finance fraud, and the judge declaring a mistrial on the five remaining counts after the jury said they just couldn't get out of the deadlock.

Now prosecutors have to decide whether or not to get at this again and retry John Edwards. Legal experts really don't expect it to happen. Listen to our own Jeffrey Toobin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I don't see any rationale for going forward with this case. John Edwards is humiliated. He is discredited. He is appropriately out of American politics, but I don't see any reason why this case should go forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: The jury deliberated the case for nine days. Outside the courthouse, John Edwards was happy, but he was contrite.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN EDWARDS, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER: While I do not believe that I did anything illegal or ever thought I was doing anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong, and there is no one else responsible for my sins.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: CNN's Joe Johns has been covering this trial and was there every day waiting on that verdict. He's live in Greensboro, North Carolina.

So I think the big headline here is, is this thing over now, Joe, or are we going to all be meeting on this again after about a year and having to do it all over again.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: I think there are a lot of people who are hoping we don't have to meet again. It's pretty clear that it's not going to get any easier for the government because so many of the critical people did not testify in this trial.

If the government were to go ahead and decide we'll retry it, they'd still have those challenges, Fred Baron, you know, is the Texas trial lawyer who didn't testify. He gave a whole lot of money that was at the center of this case.

Bunny Melon, another person who didn't testify, probably wouldn't testify again. She's 101 years old. Elizabeth Edwards is deceased. Fred Barons is deceased.

So there's a bunch of reasons why the government wouldn't want to do this including the expense, of course, and then when you look that statement from John Edwards yesterday on the courthouse steps, he was clearly calibrating this to try to encourage the government not to retry the case.

Talked a lot about his family, including his daughters, especially Quinn, who is the daughter he had with Rielle Hunter, his mistress, while his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, was alive. Let's listen to what John Edwards said about Quinn.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EDWARDS: And then finally my precious Quinn who I love more than any of you could ever imagine, and I am so close to and so, so grateful for, so grateful for Quinn.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: We haven't heard a lot from the family. We did see a tweet just a little while ago from Cate Edwards. This is the daughter of John Edwards who is a lawyer and spent a lot of time in the courtroom with him, behind him, throughout this trial, throughout the jury deliberations.

That tweet going out essentially saying she'd really like to see things getting back to normal and I think that probably speaks for everyone in the Edwards family.

The lawyers meanwhile are still being diligent as you could imagine, Ashleigh. We haven't heard a lot from them on the defense side. They still don't know whether the government might actually try to come back with another retrial of this case.

BANFIELD: Notwithstanding Cate's tweet the world may not be upright again. Obviously these prosecutors have a big decision to make. They have a lot to access. Do you have any idea, Joe, if they had a chance to debrief the jury?

And if anybody is going to get an idea what the jury split was because that often plays heavily to whether there's a need to retry a case.

JOHNS: That's a very good question and we don't know. What we do know is the judge, Judge Katherine Eagles, can't tell them not to talk to the media or not to talk publicly.

She did tell them she'd prefer they didn't do that and she also went as far to say she wasn't going to release their names publicly until next week.

And all of this is in a posture of several of the counts ending up in a mistrial and the concern this case might have to be retried again.

So she told them, I can't tell you what to do, but I'd prefer if you didn't talk about this case publicly, and that's because the government still has a decision to make.

Maybe publicly, but I for one hope that the attorneys get a chance to find out what was going through the minds of those jurors. It's always so enlightening.

Joe, great job, long, long work and well done. Thanks for that.

JOHNS: Yes, thanks. Thanks.

SAMBOLIN: Just who is he remains a mystery, but Seattle police say he is a hero who saved lives during a shooting rampage that began inside a coffee house.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASSISTANT CHIEF JIM PUGEL, CHIEF OF DETECTIVES, SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: He was sitting next to the suspect when the suspect started shooting, and the suspect had two guns.

The hero picked up a stool and threw it at the suspect, hit him, picked up another stool, as the suspect is shooting and now pointing at him and hits him with another stool.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: They say he saved at least three lives. Police also released 911 calls from the cafe shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: What are you reporting?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I'm at Roosevelt and 59th, Cafe Racer. There's been a shooting. Somebody came in and shot a bunch of people. I'm hiding in the bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Hold on, sir --

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: We need help right away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: All five people were killed in two separate shootings. The suspect identified as Ian Stawiki took his own life. Police have no motive, but say the suspect's family described him as mentally disturbed.

BANFIELD: The investigation into the multibillion-dollar losses at JPMorgan Chase is getting wider this morning. "The Wall Street Journal" reports that the enforcement division of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is now issuing subpoenas requesting e-mails and other internal documents from the financial giant.

The fraud probes focusing on JPMorgan's traders and what the traders told their supervisors and their staff about their wrong way bets just as those bets started to go south.

The big jobs report for may set to be released in just a little under 2.5 hours from now and Wall Street is going to be watching this really closely.

Analysts surveyed by CNN Money say they expect to see about 150,000 jobs added last month, with unemployment staying steady at 8.1 percent.

Now that would be better in terms of job creation than we saw back in April, but it's still a whole lot less and slower than the numbers we saw back in January and February.

Right now, New Mexico is battling the largest wildfire in state history and folks this is getting even bigger. Take a look at this. Nearly 200,000 acres are now destroyed.

The fire is only 5 percent contained. That massive fire started in the Gila National Forest two weeks ago, but it is now spread in all directions about a dozen homes so far have been destroyed. Rugged terrain is making it very difficult to put out the fire that has consumed those dozen homes so far.

BANFIELD: Cargo from the first commercial mission to the International Space Station is set to be arriving at NASA and that has the owner of SpaceX saying, this mission was, quote, "a grand slam."

And you can see it, grand slam, right into the ocean, the capsule splashing down into the Pacific two minutes ahead of schedule, happened yesterday morning, about 560 miles off the coast of Baja, California.

After dropping off supplies to the International Space Station it actually picked up a little bit more came back with a heavier cargo including trash, that's good, you shouldn't leave your trash out and scientific experiments as well. It's going to arrive at NASA tomorrow, a 48-hour deadline for the mission to be a success so looks like they're on target.

SAMBOLIN: It's 8 minutes past the hour, are you smarter than an eighth grader? If it's 14-year-old Snigdha Nandipati you're in good company. The San Diego teenager is the new spelling bee champ sealing the deal with this word.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SNIGDHA NANDIPATI, WINNER, SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE: Guetapens, g-u-e-t-a-p-e-n-s, guetapens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And guess what? We have a champion of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: You could see the stress, couldn't you? This new champ who reads encyclopedias for fun called her victory a miracle, she finished 27th in last year's national spelling bee.

She plans to use $30,000 in prize money to save for college of course and the winning word guetapens is French meaning ambush, snare or trap, which I'm sure she knew as well.

And Snigdha Nandipati will be Soledad's guest on "STARTING POINT." That's at 7:30 Eastern Time. You're not going to want to miss that.

BANFIELD: Think about that folks, guetapens, g-u-e-t-a-p-e-n-s. Even people who speak French might be struggling with that.

SAMBOLIN: No doubt.

BANFIELD: So the impossible may actually now be possible. We want you to take a look at some amazing video of a rat walking and what is so incredible about that?

The rat is paralyzed. We have more on this incredible treatment and why that experiment may have ramifications for humans as well. We'll explain it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: It's 13 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. This is a ray of hope for people paralyzed by spinal cord injuries. Look at this folks. Scientists in Sweden report they have successfully used electrical stimulation of the brain to train paralyzed rats to walk again, even run.

Ten rats all had the nerve connections to their hind legs surgically severed, but scientists stopped short of completely severing the spinal cord.

They then began stimulating the motor area of the brain and the spinal cord below the injury and within three weeks the rats began regaining use of their paralyzed legs, as you are seeing there. Researchers are working on plans for a human trial.

BANFIELD: That is awesome. Just awesome to look at. It's 14 minutes now past 6:00. Time to get you up to date on top stories. Christine Romans now with all the details.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Ashleigh.

The threat of prison time is no longer hanging over the head of former presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards was acquitted on one count of campaign finance fraud.

But jurors were deadlocked on five others leaving the judge to declare a mistrial. Legal experts say it's not likely the federal prosecutor will retry Edwards who is accused, of course, of misusing campaign funds to cover up an affair.

Nancy Reagan endorsing Mitt Romney for president, the former first lady had the Romneys over for cookies and lemonade yesterday.

BANFIELD: Oh, she's so sweet.

ROMANS: And she put out this written statement, saying her late husband, quote, "Ronnie would have liked Governor Romney's business background and his strong principles. And I have to say I do too. I look forward to seeing him elected president in November."

A surprise guest on the last day of school, a 200-pound bear tracked down by animal control in Bakersfield, California, wandering outside of a school of an elementary. It also crashed a middle school graduation ceremony that was going on next door.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Girls came in running, "There's a bear" and right in front of the school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A really big bear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Authorities cornered and tased the bear, inside an apartment complex. It was then released back into the wild later in the day.

And the Indiana teen who was stuck in Mexico because of a visa technicality is back in the U.S. this morning. She'll be able to graduate with her class after other.

Elizabeth Olivas, who was born in Mexico, was trying to obey the law when she returned to Mexico to apply for a visa 180 days before her 18th birthday. Because of a miscalculation, Elizabeth was one day late and had to stay in Mexico as a result.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH OLIVAS, BACK HOME AFTER VISA GLITCH: I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible but I had to continue to wait, but it was worth it, because in the end, I'm good. And I can continue to pursue my dreams.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Her dreams, of course, she's speaking at her graduation, and she has some kind of ungodly good GPA and she's got a very bright future so we're glad she's back.

BANFIELD: Valedictorian, good to have her back. Great end to the story.

SAMBOLIN: It really is. Glad to be back.

BANFIELD: Sixteen minutes, yes.

First day of June, if you're checking your calendar. Also happens to be unfortunately the first day of hurricane season, so sorry about the Debbie Downer moment.

Rob Marciano joining us live.

Is there any way to predict the season to look ahead and se how bad or good it's going to be?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, these forecasts come out every year and you look at the water temperatures in the Atlantic, you look at whether it's an El Nino or La Nina. This year, we're going into a neutral face. Last year was La Nina face, which typical could bring us more hurricanes and storms, and we have that last year. This year it may be average or even below average as far as storms go.

So just to get you up to the Debbie Downer hurricane season you can get discounts into the hurricane zone, you want to go to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, it's a little bit cheaper this time of year because you may have to deal with a tropical storm.

Right now, all is quiet on the western front with the exception of what's going on down here. This is the favorite area of development, the Gulf of Mexico, the eastern Gulf during the month of June. So, we watch that carefully. But there's actually a little something down here but this probably won't develop into anything tropical. Just more heavy rain across the south of Florida. We've seen a ton of rain in the past four weeks and likely we'll see more in the next couple of days.

Rainfall in the form of showers and thunderstorms moving across the Great Lakes, eventually up and over the Adirondacks and Appalachians. Slow-moving front will bring somewhat cooler air to the region later on, the next couple of days. Today, though, severe storms possible across the mid-Atlantic and the Carolinas.

Cool temperatures across Chicago but still hot across the Desert Southwest, 62 degrees in Chicago, low levels of humidity and 94 degrees in Albuquerque.

Happy hurricane season.

SAMBOLIN: A tweet coming from somebody saying it is really cold in Wisconsin.

MARCIANO: Yes, they had frost advisories, a little bit warmer today. You're going to get a little, you know, last taste of winter or at least spring.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my gosh.

All right, Rob, thank you very much.

Head to Puerto Rico and enjoy a hurricane instead. Thank you.

BANFIELD: Might not need your sunscreen.

SAMBOLIN: That's true.

Eighteen minutes past the hour. The man responsible for the best political tantrum of all-time now explaining what made him lose it. First, if you haven't seen the original rant you have to.

Here is Illinois State Representative Mike Bost throwing a major fit on the House floor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE REP. MIKE BOST (R), ILLINOIS: Not the American way. These damn bills all the damned time come out here at the last second and I have to try to figure out how to vote for my people! You should be ashamed of yourselves. I'm sick of it, every year!

We give power to one person. Enough! I feel like somebody trying to be released from Egypt. Let my people go!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Wow! Bost explained that outburst on CNN's "OUTFRONT", telling Erin Burnett he got upset when state Democrats presented a last-minute bill to overhaul Illinois pension program.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOST: It had been an extremely rough day with 200, 300-page bill that had been changed that we had been working on for a year and a half, and now all of a sudden it was time to vote and they came in 10 minutes before the meeting and decided now we would hand you a bill brand new with all of the things we had not supported. So, yes, there was a problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Illinois Democrats have dismissed Bost's meltdown as a stunt. That's what they're calling it.

BANFIELD: I don't know, I thought he was genuinely mad.

SAMBOLIN: Genuinely mad. He was mad.

BANFIELD: Imagine if we did it? This script was so last minute. I can't handle it, ugh! Imagine for a minute?

SAMBOLIN: Great TV, Ashleigh. Great TV.

BANFIELD: Get to go on Piers Morgan.

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIED: OK. So it wasn't a last-minute script but this is issue number one in the race for president. It is jobs, jobs, jobs. We're hours away from getting a critical report on jobs growth in this country and Christine Romans is on it. Why might it be a downer, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Twenty-three minutes past 6:00 in the morning on this Friday morning. Yes, it's Friday. Hopefully, that's good news for you this morning.

We're minding your business. U.S. stock futures down ahead of the jobs report coming out later this morning. The U.S. markets all in the red right across the board yesterday and why, you ask? A lot of negative reports on jobs and growth in the economy and that was dragging the markets down.

SAMBOLIN: Christine Romans has a preview of what we can expect in the jobs report today. Not good news.

ROMANS: Hi there.

Well, maybe. I mean, look, they're looking for 150,000 jobs to be created in the month of May and an 8.1 percent unemployment rate. If you get 150,000, ladies, that's enough to absorb all the new people coming into the labor market and enough to add the few more jobs for people who are looking.

So, this is the estimate for May, 150,000. The reason why it's so critical this month, every month it's critical but this month especially because in April this was the slowest job creation in six months so people are keen to find out if you had a little more robust job market activity last month or if this was the beginning of something that happened like maybe last year, when you had a slowdown into the summer.

BANFIELD: Well, what was April's problem? Could it have been a blip?

ROMANS: Maybe. We see these things revised all the time so that's why every month we parse over the data, that's why it's the most important economic report in the world because of the American labor market and how the American worker is doing is the driver of global growth, the biggest economy in the world still. Well, China will be the biggest economy soon in the next 20 or 30 years. But right now, it's still the U.S.

I want to back up here, too, because this is really important because this is a political story. I can almost tell you now what the press releases will be from each camp, whether they get 150 more or less, because this is what we're fighting over, politically. Fighting over what the recovery has been since this horrible, horrible job debacle here.

This has not been robust enough economic growth. This has not been robust enough jobs growth and there's been a lot of fighting about why. Mostly because we've never seen something like this in our lifetimes or our parents' life times -- something this horrible.

So, this recovery since then has become very, very political, and this is why it's so key, while we watch. We want to make sure that the slowdown isn't going to be a slowdown that you're going to have a pickup there.

So, bottom line I think if you get more than 150,000 jobs that will be good. I think if you get less than 150, that will be bad.

Now one thing about your money today, one thing that you can control about your money today -- mortgage rates, ladies, are at new record lows. The 15-year fixed is now below 3 percent for the first time ever.

BANFIELD: Holy cow!

ROMANS: Unbelievable how low they are. If you already refinanced, you might have to refinance again because the rates keep going down and they keep going down in the near future as well.

BANFIELD: If you refinance this year and you paid all those costs, I mean there are a lot of costs involved, it could be worth it to do it a second time.

ROMANS: Carefully do the math, carefully do the math but there's some people holding off a refinancing, I just did it 18 months ago. It might be time again.

ROMANS: Good advice.

BANFIELD: Below 3 percent.

SAMBOLIN: It's incredible. I got an e-mail yesterday because I'm thinking of buying and it was incredible the rates they quoted me. I thought really? Am I misreading this?

ROMANS: It's all about qualifying, though, right?

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: And some people are pulling their hair out because they don't qualify or are underwater and that's the unfortunate part.

BANFIELD: Lost all the equity in the houses and so frustrated it's dangled in front of you and there's nothing you can do about it.

Christine, good news and bad news, thank you. I love you.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-seven minutes past the hour. Just another Monday and day at the bar, changed in the blink of an eye. We showed you this -- when a pickup truck plows right through a wall, pinning people up against the bar. We're going to talk to the man who helped pull them out and the guy that was behind the bar as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Against all odds -- a bartender in this bar coming within inches of being crushed by an out of control truck, and he's here with us to talk about it live today.

SAMBOLIN: And too big for the Big Apple, New York City trying to ban those super size sodas. We're talking to both sides of the issue this morning.

BANFIELD: Plus, torture me, Elmo? Seriously? The Pentagon confirming what we have suspected for years:that muppets are a secret weapon in the war on terror.

SAMBOLIN: You're going to stick around for that one, aren't you?

BANFIELD: Welcome back to EARLY START.

SAMBOLIN: Kids who are watching that.

BANFIELD: By the way, I have said for years this music has been torturing me.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, it brings back good memories.

BANFIELD: I'm Ashleigh Banfield, nice to have you here with us.

SAMBOLIN: I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is 31 minutes past the hour.

And we were looking at this amazing video yesterday. We need to look at it again.

An afternoon at the bar turns into a chaotic scene as a pickup truck plows through the wall, pinning the patrons in the bar, covering them in debris. It happened when a 51-year-old woman had a diabetic reaction, losing control of her truck and driving into Gordie's Place, that is a bar in Little Canada, Minnesota.

It is tough to look at those pictures. Yesterday, we were so worried about the folks who were there.

So, this morning, the two men who were there, Jim Cossack, whose father owns the bar, helped free the pinned customers and bartender Pat Sazenski is also joining us this morning.

Thank you, gentlemen for being with us. We really appreciate you time.

Jim, I'm going to begin you. Your dad is the one who owns the bar. And I just to know, the folks who were hit in that video, how are they doing this morning?

JIM COSSACK, FATHER OWN'S GORDIE'S PLACE: For what we've heard, most of them have been released now and the one lady we haven't heard from, the most injured one, we haven't heard what's up with her yet but most of the people have been released.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Do you know what the injuries are of the one that's still in the hospital?

COSSACK: When she went in we heard she had two broken legs and I didn't hear anything other than that.

SAMBOLIN: We're just happy to hear that everybody's alive. When you look at that video you are shocked to believe anybody survived that.

Pat, we can see you behind right there. Take us through exactly what happened.

PAT SAZENSKI, BARTENDER, GORDIE'S PLACE: Well, I just moved to that spot like a minute before, I was trying to hear what Chuck, the customer at the end, was saying, and as I was walking over and leaning over the bar, I had noticed the telephone pole going through the parking lot and then I heard a bang, and then the truck came through, and then all of a sudden -- I was rushing out of the bar, there was a dead silence and the next thing I know, I just looked and everybody was like they were, put their heads down sleeping on the bar, and I was just a terrifying experience.

SAMBOLIN: And what did you do?

SAZENSKI: We just jumped into action. Chuck, the guy I was talking to, jumped into the truck, and shut the truck off. I dialed 911, as I was dialing 911 the Ramsay County sheriff's department showed up.

Jim and Becky came in. It was just like everybody that we needed to be there was there at the correct time, and it was just amazing that everybody walked out alive because I thought the other way.

SAMBOLIN: Now, Jim, we're taking a look at al of the damage there and I know that this has been very difficult for your family. You've had this bar for years. Everybody in the community loves going there.

Do you think any of this is going to be able to be salvaged?

COSSACK: Yes, we lost the bar and part of the wall and floor but that's not much, if everybody made it out we can replace those things, be the same little neighborhood bar it's always been since 1938, something like that.

SAMBOLIN: So, Jim, have you heard from the driver at all? Do you know if anybody is going to press charges against the driver?

COSSACK: I haven't heard that, no.

SAMBOLIN: Well, gentlemen, we're very happy to see you.

COSSACK: I don't think there'd be a reason.

SAMBOLIN: No reason to press charges? All right. Pat and Jim --

COSSACK: From what we've heard.

SAMBOLIN: I really appreciate your being with us this morning. Glad everybody's OK and we hope the person who is still in the hospital makes it out well. Thank you.

SAZENSKI: Thank you very much.

COSSACK: Thanks a lot.

BANFIELD: I think if you go through something like that you're just so rattled to the core. It's really hard to get past, to get over that.

SAMBOLIN: I can't imagine. Everybody's alive, which is fantastic.

BANFIELD: It is a miracle to say the very least.

It's 35 minutes past 6:00, the Pentagon's secret weapon has been revealed. Here he is. Barney. How Barney has reportedly been deployed in the war on terror. I kid you not.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Thirty-nine minutes past 6:00 on the East Coast. Let's get you up to date on the top stories of the day with Christine Romans.

Hello.

ROMANS: Good morning. Thank you, Ashleigh and Zoraida.

That sound you hear is John Edwards exhaling after a jury reprieve. A jury acquitted on one count of illegally using campaign funds to cover up his affair and the jury deadlocked on five other counts leading to a mistrial. Federal prosecutors could try for a second bite at the apple but legal experts say that's not likely.

The U.S. targeting Iran in cyber space. "The New York Times" reporting the Obama administration conducted a wave of super secret cyber attacks against computer systems that operate Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities. The president decided to accelerate the attacks when a computer worm accidentally became public in 2010. More on the story coming up on "STARTING POINT."

All right. It's Green Lantern, we've been talking about it. But now we know who D.C. comics is relaunching as a gay superhero. "The New York Post" reporting readers will be tipped of earlier the formerly earlier married father of two is gay when he's welcomed home by his boyfriend with a kiss.

Writer James Robinsons says the super hero still the same guy. He's the pinnacle of bravery and idealism. He's also gay.

The sign says it all -- London about to go royally wild for the huge diamond jubilee celebrations kicking off this weekend. Queen Elizabeth commemorating 60 years on the throne. She's the oldest monarch to rule except Queen Victoria.

Folks in the U.K. going crazy for the queen spending more than $650 million in jubilee-related memorabilia, everything from jelly molds of the queen's face so lawn gnomes of her likeness.

It might be enough to make you confess of the Kennedy assassination.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARACTER: C is for cookie, that's good for me, C is for cookie, that's good enough for me --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Come on, cookie, torture, come on now. Cute now, but imagine Sesame Street on a loop for a day. The Pentagon confirming reports we've heard from years -- music is regularly used to punish prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. It's believed that they forced prisoners at Gitmo, to listen to kids show, like Barney and Sesame Street for 24 straight hours. Officials insist it is not torture. I call it raising a preschooler actually

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: I was going to say what is this about? We hear this 24 hours a day, Christine, you and I have children under 6, this is normal.

SAMBOLIN: I could join the two of you in a sing-along.

BANFIELD: You remember the songs.

SAMBOLIN: I do remember them. Thank you very much, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

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

Good morning to you.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN HOST, "STARTING POINT": Good morning to you, ladies.

Ahead this morning on "STARTING POINT," the big monthly jobs report will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, what does it mean for the economy? We're going to break down these numbers. Get reaction from the vice chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Texas Congressman Jeb Hensarling.

Also, the champ is here. And she's 14-year-old Snigdha Nandipati, joins us live. She is the winter of the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee. So, find out her secret selling tip and what it's like to be a spellebrity.

BANFIELD: Spellebrity?

O'BRIEN: Yes, I just made up that word right there.

BANFIELD: How do you spell that?

O'BRIEN: I get to that later.

Marilyn Monroe like you've never seen her before -- literally pictures that have never been released before. Bestselling author Lawrence Schiller will join us, sharing some rare pictures and also the rare story of the private Marilyn Monroe that he says he knew nothing like I think history remembers her.

That and much more coming up at the top of the hour on "STARTING POINT" on CNN.

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BANFIELD: The fallout from a controversial new policy proposal here in New York City. A war on soda is actually raging this morning. The mayor here, Michael Bloomberg, is facing some very sharp criticism over a proposal that's brand new that would limit the amount of soda that can be sold in a single container.

Now, the critics are saying, wait, the city is really overstepping its bounds here. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, though, is defending the idea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: We're not taking your right away to buy soda in a supermarket which we don't regulate. You can still buy a 32-ounce can of full sugar drinks or bottle, but in a restaurant, they can't serve more than 16 ounces in any one cup.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: So, the limit is also set to apply to movie theaters, and food carts, concession stands, and it's being submitted to the city's board of health on June 12th.

Here to tell us more about it, talk a little bit about it, New York City's health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. Dr. Farley, thanks so much for coming in to talk to me about this. I'm sure you have heard the chorus of criticism that erupted so quickly after this became public.

And the biggest headline for those who criticize this idea is that this is just nanny nation, stay out of my business. Why is anybody wrong to tell you to stop telling them what to do?

DR. THOMAS FARLEY, NEW YORK CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: Any time you have a new idea, it takes some time for people to adjust to it. But, you know, we have smoke free bars and restaurants in New York City, and we don't have trans-fats in our food. And those are very popular now.

No one has ever come up to me and said, please, put trans-fat back in our food. And we have a crisis in obesity in New York City and the nation as a whole. And we think that putting a cap on the sort of the default size of sugary beverages makes an awful sense. If people want more than that, they can, but the default size would be a lot more promoting of health than what we have right now.

BANFIELD: But are you targeting the right thing? And the reason I ask that is because there's a CDC study that has said that people really only tend to get small amounts of their sugar from soda, actually less than 10 percent of their sugar coming from soda. So, I sort of am curious about why you chose soda. Look at the stats on the screen, kids between the age of two and 19 are only getting up to 8.2 percent of sugar from soda and adults that goes up to only 8.8 percent.

FARLEY: There's many studies that come out over the last ten years or so that have showed particular link between sugary drinks and weight gain. And it's not entirely clear why. But somehow, when you put sugar and water, it makes it so much easier for people to consume that and add it to the total calories in the diet.

We've seen huge increases in the portion size as a sugary beverages over the last 30 to 40 years. When I was a kid, a standard size of Coca-Cola was 6 1/2 ounces. What we're proposing is capping it at three times that.

It was advertised in the 1950s that 16 ounces was enough to serve three people. Now, we have portions sizes like this. This is half a gallon that has 800 calories.

BANFIELD: I mean, I've always been amazed that people can actually get all of that liquid down, but that is a choice, and I do remember those days when the servings were very little. So, I guess my question, Dr. Farley is, by limiting the cup size, do you really think you're going to limit the intake, because I can still buy two or three cups.

FARLEY: Absolutely. You can buy two or three cups if you want to, but there are a number of studies that have been done over the last few years that demonstrate that people are very much influenced by the portion sizes that are given to them.

So, if you give people something twice as much, they'll consume more and they won't notice that they have consumed more, and they won't feel any different about it. So, if you give people something a 16-ounce cup, they'll probably consume less. I think the studies really suggest this would have a big impact.

BANFIELD: Let me play something just for a moment of levity, shall I say? Jon Stewart, on "The Daily Show," took on this issue last night. Let's have a look at that and I want to ask you something serious about it on the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": All of this is legal in New York City!

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Until, God forbid, I want to wash it down --

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: -- with a little something as pure and refreshing as a mountain dew.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: OK. So, it's funny and I can see you're laughing as well. But I think there's a good point to be made here. There is a veritable cornucopia out there on the streets of New York City and all across America, from blooming onions to Snickers bars that are the length of my arm. Again, soda is the only focus here at this point. Why not the candy and the heavy fats in the restaurants and the menu items that are 10,000 calories like the quadruple bypass burger?

FARLEY: Sure. Well, portion sizes have increased in foods over the last 30, 40 years, but not nearly to the degree of soda. Again, this year is about ten times the size of a soda in the 1960s. And also, there have been these studies that have shown a particular association between these sugary drinks and weight gain and increasingly sugar drinks and diabetes.

BANFIELD: But is it blooming onion next? I mean, that's really my question. If you're going after the soda, is the blooming onion and things like it next?

FARLEY: No, it isn't. We haven't considered portion sizes regulation anything other than sugary drinks which have this real unique association with this particular epidemic, which is a crisis. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese now. One in four military recruits is denied because they're overweight. We have to do something about that.

BANFIELD: OK. Dr. Farley, if you can stay with us for a minute. I want to bring in somebody else who is clearly on the opposite side of this argument, and that's Dr. Rhona Applebaum who is the vice president of science and regulatory affairs for Coca-Cola, and she joins me live from Chicago.

Dr. Applebaum, thanks for doing this. And you've just been able to listen in on that interview with Dr. Farley. Doesn't he make a good point? I mean, aren't we out of control when we're drinking drinks the size of our torsos?

DR. RHONA APPLEBAUM, S.R.A. VICE PRESIDENT, COCA-COLA: First and foremost, the one thing that I can agree that Dr. Farley said is the issue of obesity is very serious and it's very complex. But to try to get a simple answer to this complex problem is not going to fix it.

The points that were made as it relates to the other parts of the diet focusing exclusively on soft drinks just makes no sense, and the data that was discussed has no -- there's not any cause and effect associated with it.

So, I think in terms of the proposal, though intriguing, is not going to be effective and what we should be doing is focusing on those interventions and those solutions that are going to make a difference in our public's health.

BANFIELD: Public health, I'm glad you said that, because for those who say, you know, keep your laws off my body and I get to choose what I want to do, and it's my business if I want to drink myself into diabetes, that may not necessarily be the case because there are some pretty serious national statistics that show 25.8 million Americans are diabetic and the cost for treating that disease is somewhere between 174 billion in 2007 and beyond. President Clinton even decided to weigh in on this last night right here on CNN. He was on Piers Morgan's program being interviewed by Harvey Weinstein. He had something to say about it. Let's have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think he's doing the right thing. You've got this explosion of diabetes in America among young people. For the first time, type II diabetes showing up in nine-year-olds and among the baby boomers who are retiring.

And together, these things are going to bankrupt us. It's a terrible human tragedy, and it's basically too much sugar going into the body. We can't process it all. So, if you get rid of these giant full sugar drinks and make people have smaller portions, it will help.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: So, Dr. Applebaum, look, we are in crisis in this country and our kids, as the former president mentioned, are in crisis. Doesn't what Mayor Bloomberg has done show a form of leadership that, perhaps, we really need? Some call it nanny nation, others call it for God's sake, we got to do something.

APPLEBAUM: You know, stepping into traffic is some people would also define as a leadership moment. Being gutsy is not necessarily being right, and it is a tragedy, but what's even a bigger tragedy when we're talking about our children and a travesty is the fact that we've taken physical education and physical activity out of our schools.

If you look at the data, if you really want to see data that's going to make a difference, and we're not saying that the diet should not be addressed. Absolutely. We want our public and our consumers to have a sensible balanced diet, but they also have to have regular physical activity.

So, if they want to put their money where their mouth is, let's look at our built environment and let's look at our schools, let's increase physical activity. You know, one of the things that's really concerning is this non-invented here. You know, New York wants to be different. There's a lot of information out there and there's a lot of blueprints that have been demonstrated to work.

We have a national physical activity plan. Right here, we have the academy of nutrition and dietetics. We have a number of stake shoulders that have good ideas and proven interventions. Let's work together and find solutions that are really going to make a difference.

BANFIELD: Dr. Rhona Applebaum, it's great of you to join us this early in the morning, and Dr. Thomas Farley, thank you, as well, for being part of this debate. Methinks it's not the last time I've heard from both of you. I think we're going to have this conversation as we move forward. Good morning to you both.

APPLEBAUM: Thank you.

BANFIELD: We will be right back after this.

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BANFIELD: Hey, everyone. That is EARLY START, the news from "A" to "Z." I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

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