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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Commerce Secretary Accused of Hit & Run; Three Killed in Auburn Shootings; Commerce Secretary Accused

Aired June 11, 2012 - 05:00   ET

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


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN HOST: U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson accused of felony hit and run after two car crashes in California.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Manhunt in Alabama. Police search for a gunman who killed three Auburn University students, two of them former football players.

SAMBOLIN: Out of control in Colorado. A wildfire doubles in size in a single day chasing hundreds from their homes.

BANFIELD: And swamped in the Deep South. Torrential rains leave parts of the Gulf Coast flooded with more wet weather expected later on today.

Good morning, everybody. Welcome to the Monday edition of EARLY START, I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We are bringing you the news from "A" to "Z." It's 5:00 a.m. here in the East. Let's get started.

BANFIELD: And we begin with this, it's breaking news. The United States secretary of commerce, John Bryson, cited for felony hit and run after a series of crashes this weekend.

Christine Romans has been working this story. She joins us with the live latest. This is shocking news.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: It's not very often you hear the commerce secretary involved in a felony hit and run investigation. According to the police and the "L.A. Times" and the "Pasadena Star" -- this all happened Saturday in San Gabriel, California, around 5:00 p.m. Bryson rear-ended a car that was stopped waiting for a crossing train. Bryson in his Lexus pulled over, told the driver the other car something to the effect of let's exchange our information.

But then instead, according to the people whose car he hit, he got back into his own car and left the scene and he hit the same car again as he was leaving the scene as he drove away. The people in the first car was two men and a 17-year-old young man, they followed him. As they followed him, he went and hit another car. Police later found him unconscious behind the wheel of his car.

Bryson right now is in the hospital. Police say preliminary alcohol tests came back negative but blood alcohol test results have not come back yet.

Again, this was in California. This was at 5:00 on Saturday and he has been charged with felony hit and run. That happening in the hospital where we're told by police in San Gabriel where he still is, guys.

BANFIELD: So, Christine, just quickly, he was cited in the hospital. That's where he told them he'd be charged.

ROMANS: Yes.

BANFIELD: But at this point they don't think -- at this preliminary investigation, they don't think drugs or alcohol are an issue.

ROMANS: The preliminary investigation, early indications is that there were no drugs or alcohol involved here. Now, they're trying to figure out what exactly happened. But he has been charged with felony hit and run.

Again, this is very unusual. This is someone who is the United States secretary of commerce. He's a long-time CEO. He was a CEO of Edison International, maybe 18 years as a top manager.

He sits on, has been sitting on boards of well known companies, a seasoned manager who helped push or, I guess you'd say pull California through its energy crisis in October 2011, became the commerce secretary of the United. And now, a series of car accidents, along about five miles on Saturday, still under investigation.

BANFIELD: Unbelievable. All right. We'll continue to watch. Christine, thank you.

SAMBOLIN: You're welcome.

Up first, campus in shock and an all-out manhunt for a killer in Alabama. He is wanted for shooting six people, killing three others and weekend pool party near the Auburn University campus. Two of those killed were former Auburn football players. One of the wounded is a current player.

The suspect, 22-year-old Desmonte Leonard has been charged with three counts of capital murder. Auburn police say people are still trying to process the tragedy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOMMY DAWSON, AUBURN POLICE CHIEF: This is a trying time because it's -- not only university students and athletes but it's young people. It's six young people that have been shot. We're, as you can tell, the community is shaken by this and grieving today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: CNN's David Mattingly is following all the developments for us. He's live in Atlanta.

Anything new on the suspected killer?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Only thing that is new this morning is that that manhunt continues.

You heard the Auburn police chief talking about how senseless all of this was. Everyone can't understand how an altercation at a party ended up in gunfire with so much tragedy following behind it. But it started at an off-campus party Saturday night.

And the way witnesses described it, there was an argument over a woman. That argument turned into a fight, gunshots were fired. When it was over, three people were dead and three wounded. Among the dead are two former Auburn football players, Edward Christian. He left the team with a back injury and Ladaris Phillips, a reserve fullback. He had also left the team recently with plans to play somewhere else.

Among the wounded was Edward Mack. He's currently on the team, an offensive lineman. He was treated and released after being shot in the hip. Police are quick to point out this entire incident really was not precipitated by or had nothing to do with the fact that these three young men were part of the Auburn football team, that they are all victims of just a senseless act of violence.

Of course, everyone at this hour, just as they were all day yesterday, are looking for 22-year-old Desmonte Leonard. There's a $15,000 reward out for him. They want to find this guy pretty fast. They've been putting out word that they would like him to turn himself in.

They know that there's a lot of witnesses to this. They feel pretty confident that this is exactly the guy they want. They're also looking for two other persons of interest in this.

SAMBOLIN: All right, David Mattingly, live in Atlanta for us. Thank you.

BANFIELD: Also happening right now, we're tracking extreme weather this morning in the form of fire and rain. In Colorado, an out-of-control wildfire near Ft. Collins is growing, really growing. Officials say there's no hope of containment for this.

It's called the High Park Fire. It grew from 2,000 acres to 20,000 acres just over the weekend. The firefighters are attacking it from the ground, from the air as well. You can see the overhead spraying.

But one official says this fire is just running crazy. It's forced hundreds of evacuations already. Meantime, more rain is expected in parts of the Florida panhandle and coastal Alabama, areas already under water after torrential rains over the weekend. More than 20 inches of rain falling into the Gulf Coast and flash floods forcing people in Pensacola, Florida, to improvise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After we helped a couple guys in the front yard, we saw five or six cars in a trail cutting through the gulf course. Figure that's probably the safest way out of the neighborhood right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: The National Weather Service is warnings of dangerous rip tide currents today as well.

BANFIELD: Alexandra Steele is tracking all of the extreme weather for us and just regular weather. She's live in the Atlanta weather center.

So touch first if you would, Alexandra on the hot, dry, windy conditions that are causing problems in Colorado.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, absolutely -- fire and rain, a classic James Taylor song, right?

BANFIELD: Right.

STEELE: That's right. Extreme weather.

We'll show you pictures of the fire and what we've seen. It's really Colorado and New Mexico and some of the smoke making its way into Denver, Colorado. Winds exacerbating these fires, yesterday gusting to about 40 miles per hour. Today coming down a bit, between 10 and 20 miles per hour.

Humidity is low. You know, at one point, we were watching these fires spread about 11.5 miles an hour. So, certainly rough to contain and also the terrain has really been very difficult and because of those strong winds, some of those aircraft had been forced actually to be grounded.

So, that's story number one. Of course, here's story number two. Just an inundation, actually historic flooding in the Southeast, Louisiana, and into Mississippi. Take a look. This is the legend. The white, 10 inches in the last two days alone. But between last Saturday and next Saturday, 20 to 30 inches expected.

Thus far, look at West Pensacola, over 21 inches, Mobile over 15.5 inches. You get the perspective. What we have, this tropical moisture coming up from the Gulf, coupled with a disturbance here, an upper level disturbance in the atmosphere. It's just bringing this inundation of moisture.

Now, this is the next 48 hours. We're going to watch the axis of the rain move a little bit further North and Northeast.

But this area not out of the woods and really won't be until Wednesday or Thursday.

BANFIELD: All right. Alexandra, thank you for that.

I also want to note that the Supreme Court is in full swing this morning, orders and opinions are expected at about 10:00 Eastern this morning. That means that we could finally got the rulings in the pivotal cases like the constitutionality of the president's health care reforms. Everyone calling them Obamacare if you're against them, health care if you're not. And also, Arizona's controversial new immigration law could be answered to today as well.

SAMBOLIN: The Los Angeles Kings hoping the third time is the charm. They'll be trying to win the Stanley Cup for the first time ever when they take on the New Jersey devils in game six tonight. Well, they had a 3-0 lead in the series but the Devils have stormed back with two straight wins.

BANFIELD: Who was that cheering on the Kings in the studio? Who was that? What a game on Saturday night.

Mixed emotions if you're a Kings fan. Yes, bummer to see a loss but if you're a hockey fan, awesome to see another game in the series, right?

SAMBOLIN: That's true.

BANFIELD: They say the same thing about tonight's game, too.

By the way, this just in. Are you ready? Average price of a gallon of gas dropping again, $3.54 per gallon this morning. That's down 0.2 cent. That's happening overnight.

Gas prices now, if you've been following them now, they've fallen for the 26th day in a row.

SAMBOLIN: It is 10 minutes past the hour.

Lady Gaga recovering this morning after a frightening accident on stage. The video that captures what fans at the show saw. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Opening statements in the trial of Jerry Sandusky get under way in just a couple of hours from now. That's former Penn State coach is facing 52 counts of abuse tied to 10 different boys. At least one of those boys, now a man, could take the stand today.

Court has set up a special 10 to the shield the witnesses as they enter the courtroom. You can see it on your screen. But the judge has not shielded those witnesses from having their names read out in open court.

Sara Ganim is a reporter for the "Patriots News" and she's also a CNN contributor. She'll be headed into court a little later on this morning.

All right. Sara, so let's just start off the bat. On day one of any trial, one of the big questions is usually, is there any shot, any shot at all, that this trial will not get under way, perhaps there were last-minute plea arrangements. I know in this case that's a really easy question to answer but maybe not always.

SARA GANIM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Ashleigh, of course, it's always a possibility. However, Joe Amendola, Jerry Sandusky's attorney, has repeatedly said he is innocent of all these charges. He slams the fight. He actually told me -- and this is Joe Amendola, who is known for this county for getting a really good plea deals. He's -- people are used of him for that ability.

He said to me, I know I'm known for getting a good deal but I am also known for trying a case. And this is the case where there can be no deal. It was a couple of months ago, but like you said, there's always a possibility, but I do expect to be sitting in that courtroom for opening statements this morning.

BANFIELD: And, you know, really, any plea deal that would be acceptable in this case because of Jerry Sandusky's age would be tantamount to a life sentence anyway. That's a tough one.

But let me talk about the potential for opening statements, getting to heart of it, getting to the evidence and getting to the witnesses. It's expected we could hear from one of the first witnesses, victim number four today.

And there are some significant issues with regard to victim number four, a very powerful witness. Twenty-eight years old, this is the witness who apparently Sandusky reportedly wrote love letters to. He's been involved apparently or alleges more than 50 incidents of abuse. He was the young man who allegedly shared a hotel room during a charity golf tournament and traveled to the Alamo Bowl in 1999.

The power of this particular witness leading off the parade of ten, can you speak to that?

GANIM: Well, you know, he's one of just a few, maybe two or three witnesses, that we expect to take the stand and accuse Jerry Sandusky of prolonged amount of abuse. So almost like a relationship kind of abuse. He has said that Jerry Sandusky was like a surrogate father to him, who was also abusing him.

There's really only one or two others, maybe three others like that. The rest of them allege one or two incidents of like grabbing a leg or a group shower with a hug. And really, these are the situations that -- victim four who we expect to take the stand first alleges much more severe abuse. That's the impact he would have if he takes the stand first.

BANFIELD: And, Sara, just quickly, something peculiar in Pennsylvania state law, you can't have expert testimony. These expert witnesses that we usually see paraded in to try to mitigate somehow some of the alleged behavior, that's not going to happen here. That's a pretty big deal.

GANIM: Right. They can't talk about, for example, why an alleged victim of abuse would wait many years to come forward. There's no experts can take the stand and talk about that or why they might continue having a relationship with someone who is abusing them.

So, that's an issue that advocates have been talking a lot about for years but especially with the high-profile nature of this case, they're bringing that up again, hoping to get some change in Pennsylvania and there is actually a state commission now, a group of people are meeting, including judges, prosecutors, advocates and defense attorneys talking about possibly recommendations for changing laws.

BANFIELD: Sara Ganim, interesting day ahead of you. Thanks for that. Appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: Seventeen minutes past hour. Let's get you up to date.

Here's Christine Romans with this morning's top stories -- Christine.

ROMANS: Good morning, ladies.

New this morning, U.S. secretary of commerce, John Bryson, has been cited for a felony hit and run after a series of crashes Saturday. Police in San Gabriel, California, say Bryson hit a parked car twice, left the scene and hit a second car. The cops later found Bryson unconscious behind the wheel of his own car. He's now in the hospital. A preliminary alcohol test has come back negative.

A police manhunt in the Alabama for the suspected accused -- the suspect accused of fatally shooting three people and wounding three others at a pool party near the Auburn University this weekend. Two of those killed were former Auburn football players. Police say the alleged shooter, 22-year-old Desmonte Leonard, is charged with three counts of capital murder.

A violent weekend in Chicago, six people killed, more than three dozen others wounded in weekend shootings across the city. The youngest victim, a 16-year-old boy shot on his front porch. Police say they believe that shooting was gang-related.

The verdict watch continues in a landmark priest abuse trial in Philadelphia. Jurors will resume their deliberations this afternoon when Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. official charged with covering up allegations of child sex offenses by priests. His co- defendant, James Brennan, is accused of attempting to rape a 14-year- old.

Check this out. You can see a singer, Lady Gaga during a concert in New Zealand getting hit in the head with a pole. Ouch. The superstar was clocked by a backup performer mid-show. You can actually see her background in rubber head before leaving the stage.

Gaga did comeback and finish the night despite having a concussion. Of course, we wish her a speedy recovery.

BANFIELD: But the weird thing is it looks like she was picking up a prop that appeared to be a gun.

ROMANS: Oh, my.

BANFIELD: I can't tell but look at that. Didn't it look like it?

ROMANS: All I saw was the pole.

BANFIELD: Yes, I know.

ROMANS: And the big goose egg I'm sure.

SAMBOLIN: (INAUDIBLE) with a concussion. Good for her, how the show must go on.

BANFIELD: Hope she's OK. I'm a fan of hers.

Thank you, Christine.

SAMBOLIN: Nineteen minutes past the hour here. Facebook's not happy with you and all of your friends. The company wants way more than that.

Coming up, Facebook's plan to conquer the world.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BANFIELD: Welcome back.

Five-twenty-three on the East Coast. We're minding your business this morning.

U.S. markets ready to kick off the week with a strong smart this morning, the stock futures up about 1 percent right now. U.S. stocks closing higher on Friday, too.

SAMBOLIN: The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 gained more than 0.75 percent or more. Christine Romans is here.

The question why are the markets up worldwide? We were reading about Spain on Friday.

ROMANS: Yes, E.U., eurozone finance ministers have agreed to $125 billion, that's a 100 billion euro bailout infusion into the Spanish banks. That's got investors around the world excited overnight.

It means more money and more infusion for Spanish banks. Spain is a very important country. It's the fourth largest economy in Europe. It's a country that, its banks have been healthy quite frankly. It's got a big real estate bubble that burst there.

So, this isn't a case of Spain spending beyond its means, which is what Greece's problem was, this is a banking problem because of bad real estate loans. So, this has got everybody (AUDIO GAP) 4 percent, European stocks up 2 percent and futures in this country up 1 percent.

So, we should se a pretty good -- we'll see a rally probably.

BANFIELD: Why was Spain freaking out so much about not wanting it could be called an infusion or bailout?

ROMANS: There's all this semantics about bailout. Look, it's money into the Spanish banks. Everyone, like me, who's been covering this kind of stuff for a long time say --

BANFIELD: Take it.

ROMANS: It's a bailout.

Look, I want to show why this is so important. When you look at the map of Europe, you can see that there are 12 countries. All those in yellow are countries that are in recession.

BANFIELD: Wow.

ROMANS: The eurozone is the largest destination for American exports. When 12 European countries are in recession, that's why all of us are watching so carefully what's happening with the banks and the governments of these countries, Spain is one of those countries that is in recession -- so is Belgium, Cypress, Denmark, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, et cetera, et cetera.

So, watching all of that very, very closely. And then Greek elections are next weekend. We start the week with Spain and end the week with Greece.

And speaking of the global picture, I want to talk about Facebook quickly. Even as the company has been reeling from its botched IPO. It is still expanding globally. This is a company globally that is doing quite well.

I want to show you where some of the biggest customers are. Look at this. This unbelievable. These are countries where --

SAMBOLIN: Wow.

ROMANS: You can see the map there. Interesting, huh?

The biggest customer is Europe, 232 million users, North America, 222 users, Asia, 219 million users. You can see Facebook is by far the leader around the world.

But not in Russia, China. Facebook is in blue. Not in China, Iran, because of censorship, of course, Vietnam, Latvia. There are other social networking sites that are doing better there.

BANFIELD: Don't you think they're underground in China and Russia?

ROMANS: No.

BANFIELD: Really? No want to hack into them and get them out there?

ROMANS: The censorship is very strong. I'm sure there is some sort of a -- in China in particular, there's a couple of different ones that are very -- QZone has 560 million users. It has more users than America has people.

BANFIELD: In one country.

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: I'll be watching stocks today. I'll be back in the next hour to tell you more about what we're expecting for U.S. stocks and your 401(k) as the today and the week begins.,

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Christine.

ROMANS: Good morning to you.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-six minutes past the hour.

The news broke overnight of what could be big legal trouble for a member of President Obama's cabinet. Commerce Secretary John Bryson accused of hit and run. More details coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Breaking news this morning. The U.S. commerce secretary, John Bryson, accused of felony hit and run in California.

BANFIELD: The race for president could not get any closer. President Obama and Mitt Romney locked in a dead heat with five months to go.

SAMBOLIN: A mega church pastor arrested and accused of punching and choking his own daughter. See him tell his side of the story from the pulpit.

BANFIELD: And beaver fever. Watch as a serious news reporter, our own Miguel Marquez, is swept up in the screams and hysteria -- oh, Miguel.

SAMBOLIN: He looks excited. Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: They just shove him aside, right? Bieber!

Welcome back, everyone. Nice to have you with us. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. This is EARLY START.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It's 31 minutes past the hour here.

BANFIELD: All right. Let's get you caught up on the top stories of the day. A brand new this morning, this is a big one. United States commerce secretary, John Bryson, has been accused of felony hit and run in California. This is all breaking right now. Police in San Gabriel say that Bryson was involved in a series of wrecks on Saturday.

Police say he hit a stopped car twice before leaving the scene and then hitting a second car. Police found Bryson unconscious behind the wheel. He remains in the hospital this morning. Police say a preliminary alcohol and drug test has come back negative.

SAMBOLIN: When President Obama and Mitt Romney trying to recover from their Friday follies. The race for the White House couldn't possibly get any tighter right now. Brand new for you this morning, a fresh CNN poll of polls showing that two candidates locked in an absolute dead heat. CNN political editor, Paul Steinhauser, is live in Washington this morning. We're always talking about statistical ties. This is the first time it's a dead heat, Paul?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: A dead heat, and five months to go, it can't get any tighter, Zoraida, no doubt about that. And you just mentioned, I guess, you can say, both gentlemen kind of stepped in it, and you know what I'm talking about on Friday. Which one stepped in a little worse? Maybe the president. It was capping a very tough week for him politically.

You know the comments, you saw the news conference on Friday morning, the private sector doing just fine. Well, obviously, it didn't take long for Mitt Romney to respond. He did on the campaign trail. His campaign also putting out a web video over the weekend. Take a look at it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The private sector is doing fine where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy and have to do with state and local government.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've seen layoffs, cutbacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it's all said and done I'm making $200 a month.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been looking for a job for two years, haven't found any.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: My guess is it won't take long for what you just saw there to become an actual TV campaign commercial on cable, on broadcast as well. This is part of the Romney campaign's message here. President Barack Obama just doesn't get it when it comes to the economy. He wants another stimulus.

He wants to grow the government and not the private sector. So, I think you're going to see a lot more of that from now until November 6th. And what they're trying to do is also remind you, remember John McCain four years ago said the fundamentals of the economy were sound as was Wall Street was crashing.

That was very damaging comment for John McCain. Well, this be as equally damaging comment for President Obama, we'll see. You know, when he was responding on Friday, Zoraida, Mitt Romney got a little bit of trouble as well talking about do we really need more cops, more firemen, more teachers? Yes.

Well, it didn't take long for the Obama campaign to capitalize on that. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER: You know, we get what Mitt Romney is trying to do here. You know, he's trying to say that the president is definitely trying to push big government but don't mention firemen. Don't single out first responders, cops. Don't single out teachers. That's a no- no. So, I think Romney did step in it there as well.

And guess what, that could soon become a TV commercial. So, both gentlemen having a little bit of problem there. Zoraida, what do the polls show? Who they think? Who the Americans (INAUDIBLE) better job in the economy. Guess what, like that first number you showed me, they're divided. They think each man would equally maybe help or hurt the economy, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Boy, you're just full of information for us this morning. How about some notable stuff for both campaigns this week? What can we expect?

STEINHAUSER: A busy week. No holiday for these men. You're going to see President Obama in two crucial battleground states this week, Pennsylvania and then Ohio. And on the day he's in Ohio, guess who's going to be there as well? Mitt Romney. He also reaches out to conservative voters this, Romney does, at a faith and freedom forum, social conservative voters.

He struggled within the primaries. And on Friday, he's going to kick off what we believe is going to be a week-long bus tour. That bus tour is going to kick off in New Hampshire. No slowdown this summer for these two men -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Paul Steinhauser live in Washington, D.C. for us. Thank you.

STEINHAUSER: Thank you.

BANFIELD: It's 35 minutes now past 5:00 on the east coast. And happening right now, a raging wildfire in Colorado.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BANFIELD (voice-over): Take a look at your screen. Officials there say this one, quote, "has a mind of its own." It's called the high park fire. It's near Ft. Collins (ph), and it grew from 2,000 acres to 20,000 acres just this weekend. About 250 firefighters are battling these flames, not only from the ground but also from the air. So far, though, bad news. It is zero percent contained.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): And happening now, three of Britain's most powerful men are scheduled to testify this week about their relationship with Rupert Murdoch. Former British prime minister, Gordon Brown, testifying before the Levison (ph) inquiry. He'll be answering questions about his ties to Murdoch and his News Corp media empire. Brown has accused News Corp of being a criminal media nexus that engaged in law breaking on an industrial scale.

Prime minister, David Cameron, is on the stand later this week and another former prime minister, John Major, testifies tomorrow.

BANFIELD: Mega church pastor, Creflo Dollar, is defending himself after being arrested and accused of simple battery, family violence, and child cruelty, and also, after spending 12 hours in a jail cell. The alleged victim, his own 15-year-old daughter. She called 911 saying that she felt threatened in the home.

She claims Dollar slammed her to the ground, choked her, and punch her in the face and then hit her with a shoe. Deputy's photograph he scratched (ph) on the girl's neck. Dollar is denying those allegations in a sermon on Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PASTOR CREFLO DOLLAR, WORLD CHANGERS CHURCH INTERNATIONAL: I should have never been arrested. The truth is, she was not choked. She was not punched. There were not any scratches on her neck, but the only thing on her neck was a prior skin abrasion from eczema.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Pastor Dollar is claiming that the incident escalated from an argument, but he said he never intended to harm anyone.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Thirty-seven minutes past the hour. In what is a truly amazing accomplishment, 100 percent of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School graduates are going to college. Fifty-one seniors graduated from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minnesota over the weekend. And all have been accepted to a two or four-year college. So, what does the school think is the reason for the students' success?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICKI O'FLYNN, COLLEGE COUNSELOR, CRISTO REY JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL: I think it's about belief. It's that the students believe they can achieve. We, as a school community, believe they can achieve, and their families believe it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Cristo Rey is actually a network of schools across the country. And they students do very well. Students say the school's one of a kind higher four-ed work (ph) study program helped them understand what it takes to be successful.

BANFIELD: A salute to Broadway's best. The 66th Tony Awards held last night here in New York City after Neil Patrick Harris hosting for the third time in a row. Musical! All right. IF you haven't heard it of yet, you will. It's called "Once." The bitter sweet Irish love story was the big winner last night taking home eight Tonys, including the biggest Tony of them all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Tony Award goes to "Once."

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Best musical. How about that? Some of the other major winners during Broadway's big night, Clyburn Park named Best Play. Porgy and Bess won for revival of the musical, and Mike Nichols won a record sixth Tony for his direction of the play, "Death of a Salesman." Diane Sawyer in the audience looking on with pride.

SAMBOLIN: Bieber fever gripping Mexico. The teen mega star is putting on a free concert tonight in Mexico City. Over 150,000 fans are expected to fill or surround the capital's central plaza. Teenage girls are traveling hundreds of miles. They're camping out just to get close to the Biebs. Check out CNN reporter, Miguel Marquez, trying to get through a standup.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is a big happening right down the street there. The last debate of the election, the president's election, is happening down there. Tens of thousands of people are gathering here, but there's a bigger thing happening in the Zocalo tomorrow, and I have to tell you about it.

(CHEERING)

MARQUEZ: Justin -- ladies, ladies.

What you're looking at right now is the Zocalo that's the central square in Mexico City.

(CHEERING)

MARQUEZ: One minute, one minute, there is a very big event happening there tonight, but there is a bigger event happening tomorrow. Justin Bieber will be playing in that square. (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: He gave up.

SAMBOLIN: The kind of enthusiasm is not for the presidential debate. So, we're happy to report Miguel did make it out there alive. There will be 6,000 police officers deploy tonight to keep that crowd under control. Good luck with that.

BANFIELD: I love that. Miguel is such a hard-working -- I mean, this guy has covered war. He's been in the toughest assignments. Miguel Marquez, a great guy. What is this? This is ridiculous. I've never had such working conditions.

Anyway, what will Apple think of next? Coming up, we're live as software developers are flocking to San Francisco today to find out what new CEO, Tim Cook, just might have up his sleeve.

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BANFIELD: Thousands of the world's leading software developers are on a pilgrimage to San Francisco this morning. Like moths drawn to a flame, they are headed to Apple's Annual Developer's Conference for a chance to partner with the tech giant and then really find out firsthand what's in store for the future.

Dan Simon is live from the city by the bay. And it -- we have a note to our viewers here, Dan, that it is 2:45 in the morning where you are. It is dark, and yet, if I can peek behind you, there are people waiting in line like overnight waiting to get into this thing.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's exactly right. These are really the true Apple diehards. Not only did these people start getting in line last night, but these are also the folks who make their money, who earn their livings off of designing those cool apps we see on the iPhone and the iPad.

Let's talk to a group here. Some of these guys are from Canada who got here last night in line. What's the most important thing you want to see today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely new iPhone hardware and the software that goes along with it.

SIMON: How about you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hopefully, an Apple TV. SGK (ph).

SIMON: The Apple TV. Well, I tell you what, Ashleigh, I don't think we're going to see an APPLE TV today. But let me tell you what I think we're going to see Tim Cook deliver on the stage. According to all the rumors and all the blogs we've been watching and our knowledge of the industry, we think they're going to update the operating system that powers the iPhone and the iPad, the IOS, that's number one.

Number two, we are going to see some hardware in the way of max. We think they're going to update their entire line of Macintosh computers. So, that will be significant. The one unknown here is, like the guy said, he wants to see an Apple TV. Might we see something in that regard? I don't think so, but you never know.

Apple is known for their secrecy, but we'll get a better sense when things kick off a bit later this morning.

BANFIELD: And Dan, I'm a big Google maps fan. And I've been hearing all sorts of rumors that it's possible Apple may be coming out with some software to try to rival and compete with Google maps. Is that what they're talking about this morning?

SIMON: Yes, in terms of the operating system, we believe Apple's going to drop Google as being the default application for its maps. It's been gobbling up mapping companies with some of its billions of dollars. So, look for Apple to unveil something pretty interesting with maps today.

BANFIELD: OK. I've got the name for it, Mapple. I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Let's not get that out there. Dan Simon, it's good to see, and thank you for getting up or did you bother even going to bed is really the question? But we'll check in with you a little bit later and see how things develop. Thanks, Dan.

SIMON: OK.

SAMBOLIN: He's trying to think.

(CROSSTALK)

SAMBOLIN: No. He was trying to figure out the whole bed thing.

All right. Forty-seven minutes past the hour. Time to get you up to date. Here's Christine Romans with this morning's top stories. Good morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. New this morning, U.S. secretary of commerce, John Bryson, has been cited for a felony hit and run after a series of crashes Saturday. Police in San Gabriel, California, say Bryson hit a stopped car twice, left the scene and then hit a second car a few miles away.

And the cops later found Bryson unconscious behind the wheel of his Lexus. He is now in the hospital. Preliminary alcohol test has come back negative.

It's a slow going for crews battling an out-of-control wildfire near Ft. Collins, Colorado. The high park fire has grown from 2,000 to 20,000 acres in just a couple of days. It destroyed nearly two dozen structures, forces hundreds of people from their homes. Former congresswoman, Gabby Giffords, determined to have a say about her successor. Giffords' campaigned this weekend for her former aide, Ron Barber. He is running for her House seat. Giffords didn't talk much Saturday. Her husband, Mark Kelly, speaking for her. Barber is facing Republican Jesse Kelly, a business and marine corps veteran in that election tomorrow.

The French open men's tennis champion will be crowned this afternoon. Rain putting the brakes on yesterday's finals with Spain's Rafael Nadal leading top rank's Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Two sets to one. It's the first time since 1973 the French open has been pushed into a third week because of bad weather.

And a kid friendly weekend at the movies, folks. The animated "Madagascar III: Europe's Most Wanted" taken the top spot at the box often. They made $60 million in its debut weekend. "Prometheus" which also opened this weekend was second with $50 million in tickets sales. "Snow White and the Huntsman" was third with $23 million -- Zoraida and Ashleigh.

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SAMBOLIN: Have you seen any of them?

ROMANS (on-camera): None. But I want to see "Prometheus." That's what I want to see.

(CROSSTALK)

SAMBOLIN: I would have thought "Madagascar."

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: My kids are still too little --

BANFIELD: It depends on what that question was. Do you want to or do you have to?

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: I have never seen more animated pictures in my life than in the last six years.

(LAUGHTER)

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you.

Forty-nine minutes past the hour. Most graduation speakers take the opportunity to help praise the graduating seniors, right? Not this one. His message, "you're not special."

BANFIELD: What?

SAMBOLIN: Yes. You're going have to hear it.

BANFIELD: Tough love. SAMBOLIN: Coming up.

And if you're leaving the house right now, you can watch us anytime right on your desktop or your mobile phone, just go to CNN.com/TV.

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SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Let's take a look at what's trending on the web.

This is either the best or the worst commencement speech of all time. We're going to let you decide. A teacher at Wellesley High School near Boston telling grads, "you are not special."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID MCCULLOUGH, JR., WELLESLEY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER: You're not special. You're not exceptional. Yes, you've been pampered, (INAUDIBLE), doted upon, helmeted, bubble wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again.

And now, you've conquered high school, and indisputably here, we all have gathered for you the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building, but do not get the idea that you're anything special because you're not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANFIELD: Holy cow!

(LAUGHTER)

SAMBOLIN: OK. So, local reports say no parents have complained to the school district about the graduation address. And I was reading that the kids actually liked it. Maybe that's what they need, a little tough love.

BANFIELD: Well, you know -- this whole argument over the generation of praise and what praise has done, it's actually had the opposite affect on lot of our kids. They think I am so special, I got to run from anything challenging lest I mess it up.

SAMBOLIN: Can you imagine the kids sitting there?

BANFIELD: It's like what?

(CROSSTALK)

SAMBOLIN: Everybody tells me I'm special.

(LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: You're right. I can see a lot of parents saying, that's right. You got to work for that special thing.

SAMBOLIN: I've been dying to see this, so, thank you. Coming up.

BANFIELD: The super soaker.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BANFIELD: Super soaked and smiling. Vice President Joe Biden, the annual media picnic that he has. Oh, look at this. How adorable. Turned into a total water war. Kevin Costner, can you imagine this? Biden gave water guns to the journalist. The kids had attended the picnic, but then, all of a sudden, the kids turned the water guns on the vice president and just totally doused him.

He was drenched, but he was not the only one. He actually tweeted a photo of President Obama running around the pool with his water gun as well.

SAMBOLIN: I heard they got Wolf Blitzer, as well. That's what I was hoping to see.

BANFIELD: I would think he'd be target number one.

SAMBOLIN: He was.

BANFIELD: Maybe right after the president.

(CROSSTALK)

SAMBOLIN: Wolf first, then the vice president.

All right. Stunning new images of giant space, Vesta (ph), snapped by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. NASA added color images to a model of Vesta based on Dawn's observations. The images highlight the complexity of Vesta surface too subtle for the human eye to see.

Scientists are working to determine what the colors actually mean. For example, they believe green shows an abundance of iron. Vesta is classified as a protoplanet. It is the second largest object in the main asteroid belt.

BANFIELD: Honestly, that looks like somebody's science experiment. Like, you know, their science fair project. That is so spectacular. Good Lord! That's not going to make a space fan out of kids, I don't know what will.

It is now five minutes to the top of the hour, and we're following some breaking news this morning. A pair of car accidents involving not just anybody, the U.S. commerce secretary, John Bryson. Police are accusing him of felony hit and run. We've got full details on it coming up in just a moment.

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