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Mad Dash for the White House; American Held in Tokyo; Sandusky Child Sex Abuse Trial; Ruling Dissolves Egyptian Parliament

Aired June 15, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: The gauntlet thrown down. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama on a mad dash in the race for the White House. You'll hear from both candidates, straight ahead.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN HOST: Plus, a Florida boy is set on fire, survives and now faces a teenager accused in the attack in open court. Coming up, hear what he had to say on the stand.

BANFIELD: And it's a great day for a walk, but a walk across Niagara Falls on a really, really skinny wire?

SAMBOLIN: Good gracious.

BANFIELD: You betcha.

Got that story and a whole lot more, coming up this hour on CNN.

Oh, that's a beautiful shot, isn't it?

SAMBOLIN: Hopefully, he'll do it when there's broad daylight.

BANFIELD: Do you think he's awake right now doing one of these? Calm the jitters.

SAMBOLIN: Especially because he will be tethered and he's not used to being tethered.

BANFIELD: So, the advice might be -- lay off the caffeine this morning.

SAMBOLIN: Good advice.

BANFIELD: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to EARLY START. Nice to have you with us. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We're bringing you the news from A to Z. Five a.m. here in the East. Let's get started.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BANFIELD: We begin with this, this morning. Brands new details on the two American men arrested in Japan after a Nicki Minaj concert. Police are now holding one of them, a 19-year-old, on suspicion of murder in the death of a 21-year-old Irish exchange student, a woman who disappeared after that concert and was killed.

The other, 23-year-old James Blackston, is charged with groping the alleged victim's friend. We're going to have a live report from Tokyo on this developing story, straight ahead on the program.

SAMBOLIN: Mitt Romney's kicking off his every town counts bus tour today in New Hampshire, while President Obama's back in Washington. His campaign, $2 million richer after big money fund- raiser last night at the New York home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker. Yesterday, the candidates were doing a hard sell for their economic policies and taking shots at each other in the battleground state of Ohio. Romney saying the president has failed the American people. The president warning voters not to believe the scary voice in Romney's ad -- his campaign ads.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's not my fault. But I can't fix it because I think government is always the answer or because I didn't make a lot of money in the private sector and don't understand it or because I'm in over my head.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He describes his plans for making the economy better, but don't forget, he's been president for 3 1/2 years. And talk is cheap.


SAMBOLIN: "Politico" reporter Jake Sherman is live in Washington, D.C., this morning.

Nice to see you.

So, both of the candidates are in the swing state. President Obama carried that state back in 2008. But no Republican has ever ascended to the White House without taking Ohio. So, talk to me about how critical it is for both of these candidates.

JAKE SHERMAN, POLITICO: It's a huge state. And you're right, no Republican has won the White House without Ohio. George W. Bush obviously, notably.

George Bush is playing a big role all of a sudden in President Obama's campaign. He is saying he inherited this from George Bush, he inherited this mess. Don't blame him.

And Mitt Romney is saying, listen, this guy's had four years. It's time for a change because it has not worked.

Those are the dueling messages that you're hearing. And President Obama is gambling that he can blame the last three years, the staggering economy, high unemployment numbers on inheriting an economic mess from his predecessor. And that's a risky gambit. It's something that plays very well to the base. But Mr. Romney's aides would argue that the independent voters, the swing voters across the country don't want a blame game.

SAMBOLIN: OK. So, Jake, let's focus on that for a minute, and let's listen to precisely what it is that Obama said about that Bush fiasco that you're talking about. Then we're going to chat about it.


OBAMA: I don't believe that giving someone like Mr. Romney another huge tax cut is worth ending the guarantee of basic security we've always provided the elderly and the sick and those who are actively looking for work.

ROMNEY: Talk is cheap. Action speaks loudly. Look what's happened across this country.

If you think things are going swimmingly, if you think the president is right, when he said the private sector is doing fine, then he's the guy to vote for.

OBAMA: They promise to roll back regulations on banks and polluters, on insurance companies and oil companies. They'll roll back regulations designed to protect consumers and workers. They promise to not only keep all of the Bush tax cuts in place but add another $5 trillion in tax cuts on top of that.


SAMBOLIN: All right. So that is the moment I was trying to get at.

So, let's look at the latest Gallup poll on this one. When asked who's to blame for the U.S. economy, 68 percent former President Bush, 52 percent President Obama.

So, how big of a concern is this for the Romney campaign?

SHERMAN: I'm not sure it's a huge concern, because I'm not sure people are going to vote on that. That is a big percent. People do think George W. Bush is largely responsible for the economy. But when people are going to the ballot box, George Bush is not on the ballot.

The interesting thing with Mr. Romney is the president is trying to try Mr. Romney to congressional Republicans who have extremely low approval ratings, basically scraping the bottom of the barrel. That's a problem for Mr. Romney. And Mr. Romney's going to be campaigning with Speaker John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House this weekend.

That's also an interesting dynamic that's going to continue to play itself out.

SAMBOLIN: So, very quickly, let's talk about what appears to be for some people a problem for Obama. That is on the heels of his economic speech, he travels and makes a lot of money hobnobbing with a lot of celebrities. He was here in New York. Sarah Jessica Parker sponsored him. I think folks paid about $45,000 in order to spend some time with him.

So, how do you think that will fare for him?

SHERMAN: I think people generally understand that he needs to raise money to win campaigns. And Mr. Romney does the same. And he does it as much, if not more than President Obama. He raised more money than President Obama last time around.

So, I think people understand that elections are expensive and that's a dynamic that's constant in every campaign across the board.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Jake Sherman, congressional reporter for "Politico" -- thanks for being with us. We'll talk to you again in our 6:00 hour.


BANFIELD: Six minutes past 5:00 on the East Coast.

And the high court has a ruling in Egypt that's led to absolute government turmoil in that country. Yesterday, Egypt's supreme constitutional court declared the parliament invalid. The court is considered partial to that old regime that was led by Hosni Mubarak and in the wake of the ruling, the country's interim leaders have declared full legislative authority there.

SAMBOLIN: Prosecutors wrapping up witness testimony in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial. Eight accusers in all took the stand this week. The final alleged victim delivering some of the most disturbing testimony yesterday -- victim number nine telling the courtesan dusky became increasingly aggressive with him and he screamed for help during one incident.

The former Penn State football coach is accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. The state is set to rest its case next week.

BANFIELD: Chris Brown taking it on the chin, literally. Look at the picture. That troubled singer, an alleged victim of a, quote, "brutal attack" at a New York nightclub. He tweeted this photo of a nasty looking injury.

Sources say the rapper Drake and his entourage were at the same club early Thursday morning. There are reports a fight erupted between the two camps in an argument over pop star Rihanna. Incidentally, both men had dated Rihanna.

For his parts, Drake's reps are saying the rapper did not participate in any wrongdoing and was on his way out of the club when altercations began.

You may remember that Chris Brown is on probation right now after pleading guilty to assaulting Rihanna back in 2009.

A Florida teenager who survived being set on fire is facing his alleged attacker in court 2 1/2 years after the attack. Michael Brewer explaining the horror that he felt in the moment back in 2009 when he realized he was burning.


MICHAEL BREWER, BURN VICTIM: I just remember a cold liquid going down my back and I started walking and I started feeling burning, and then I started running.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you see it at any point or after you felt the cold liquid, did you see him with stuff, with a jug or anything like that?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. You started feeling the burning at that point?



BREWER: I started running towards the pool, then I jumped a fence and dove into a swimming pool. I felt like I was going to die.


BANFIELD: The alleged ringleader of the attack, Matthew Bent, is on trial for attempted second degree murder. He faces up to 30 years in prison. The prosecutors say he set Brewer on fire because he was angry at the middle schooler for refusing to buy drug paraphernalia from him.

SAMBOLIN: In Oregon, an experienced mountain climber on an easy trail on Mt. Hood has fallen 1,000 feet to his death. Fellow climbers saw 56-year-old Mark Cartier take a bad fall yesterday.

Crews went out looking for him. They were hoping for the best. But as soon as rescuers reached Cartier, there was heartbreak.


ERIC BROMS, ATTEMPTED RESCUE: The training and everything that you've learned over the years just kind of kicks in and, you know, you do your job. A number of people die every year on Mt. Hood on the so- called easy route. So, you know, it's not as easy as you think sometimes.


SAMBOLIN: Cartier is the second climber to die on Mt. Hood this year.

Nik Wallenda, are you serious? Are you nervous? The 33-year- old high wire artist just hours away from his most daring stunt ever -- a tightrope walk across Niagara Falls. Wallenda will try to become the first person in over a century to walk from one side to the other on a high wire.

These are live pictures. It's going to be nice and bright hopefully by the time he attempts to do this. He's going to start on the U.S. side and attempt the third of a mile sky walk to Canada.

Oh, my goodness. Check this out. It's beautiful this morning, isn't it? We are wishing him well.

BANFIELD: We are indeed.

All right. So Miami Heat snatching home court advantage from the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 100-96 win in game two. How the NBA finals, LeBron James leading the way with 32 points as the Heat held off a late rally by the Thunder. That series is now tied one apiece. Oh, boy, doesn't get closer than that.

Game three Sunday night in South Beach. Set your DVR or get your popcorn now. It's going to be good.

SAMBOLIN: Florida's governor, Rick Scott, went to a voting booth and was told he couldn't vote.

BANFIELD: What, the governor?

SAMBOLIN: You know why? Because he was dead. The details, straight ahead.


SAMBOLIN: Breaking news. Two Americans, a 19-year-old American man suspected killing a female Irish exchange student in Tokyo is being held by Japanese police, and a second American is being charged with groping the dead woman's body.

Kyung Lah is live in Tokyo with the very latest.

What can you tell us?

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNTIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zoraida, what I can tell you is Tokyo police here are now zeroing in on the 19-year- old for connecting him to perhaps the murder of this 21-year-old Irish exchange student, Nikola Furlong.

Now, he has been held by the police for 20 days on a separate charge. But today, they decided to arrest him again in connection with the murder of the Irish exchange student. That's the 19-year- old. He is not being named because he is a minor.

They are looking at 23-year-old James Blackston. What happened to him is he is now officially charged under Japanese law. It's a little different legal system than it is in the United States. He's officially charged for groping her friend.

Now, this all stems back to something that happened more than 20 days ago early in May, in the end of May. These two suspects according to police were at a concert with these two Irish girls and one of them, Nikola Furlong, ended up dead in a hotel room. So, at this point, police are still trying to unravel what happened.

But it, Zoraida, appear that they are trying to nail all of this on the 19-year-old.

Well, we know that these are late-breaking details. So, as it continues to develop, we'll continue to check in with you. Kyung Lah, live in Tokyo -- thank you very much.

BANFIELD: Sixteen minutes now past 5:00 on the East Coast.

Wildfires continue to spread in New Mexico and Colorado.

And Rob Marciano has been busy looking at this. I feel like this is a story that is going on a week. I think by my math, it's about seven days starting tomorrow, right?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, the High Park Fire for sure. The ones in New Mexico have been burning longer than that.

Good morning again, Ashleigh.

We are going to get a change in the weather, specifically some thunderstorms that may bring some rain. But typically out west, especially here in the Colorado Rockies, they don always bring rain. Not always a good thing. Once it gets toward Sunday and Monday, we're looking at turning the heat back on.

Here's a threat for thunderstorms. Some of these actually might be severe across the Front Range at some of the high plains with this little weak front. This front will not cool things down very much, especially across the western Great Lakes. Things are going to get pretty toasty for a significant number of days.

Thunderstorms rolling through Oklahoma City and Tulsa right now. These have strong winds and another batch towards Wichita Falls, heading towards Dallas. If you're heading towards Dallas or making up in big "D" this morning, you've got some thunderstorms you're going to need to deal with in the next couple hours.

Miami, some afternoon boomers, Fort Lauderdale, it's the season. And in San Francisco, maybe some winds there delaying your arrival and departures and causing havoc for round two of the U.S. Open.

Seventy-one for the high in S.F., 90 for the high in Chicago. I think we'll see several days at 90 or better for Chicago and the western Great Lakes. Meanwhile, 78 degrees, looking pretty good in New York City.

Tropically speaking, here's tropical storm Carlotta looking at Acapulco as potentially seeing this thing, 71-mile-an-hour winds. It's forecast, speaking of hurricane, likely a category one, maybe two, that scrapes the coast line of Mexico tonight and really through the weekend, heading towards Acapulco, hopefully weakening as it does so.

BANFIELD: Hopefully.

SAMBOLIN: Hey, you know, Rob, if you could check the weather in Canada. Nik Wallenda is doing that trek from one side to the other. We'd love to know what the weather is going to be like for him.

MARCIANO: And the wind would affect him, right?

SAMBOLIN: I would say so.

BANFIELD: Do you know what, Rob, he trained with sprayers so the cable would be wet when he was doing his training on a parking lot so the mist of the falls and potential rain wouldn't throw him off. How do you like that?

MARCIANO: Much like a method actor.

BANFIELD: Look at you.

MARCIANO: Good luck to him. I think the weather will be OK.

BANFIELD: Good to know.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thanks, Rob.

Nineteen minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date.

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

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, ladies.

President Obama and Mitt Romney butting heads over the economy in the Buckeye State. Both made appearances Thursday in that key battleground state of Ohio. Later, the president picked up $2 million at a fund-raiser at actress Sarah Jessica Parker's Manhattan home, while Romney prepares to kick off his five-day, six-state every town counts bus tour that starts today.

After visiting Ohio, the president made his way to New York where he attended a briefing at 1 World Trade Center, 1,300 feet tall, this unfinished Freedom Tower is already the tallest skyscraper in New York. The president signed a steel beam that will be placed atop the structure once is reaches a height of 1,376 feet.

Turmoil in Egypt. Yesterday, country's supreme constitutional court declared the parliament invalid. That court is widely considered loyal to the old regime lead by Hosni Mubarak. Their ruling means Mubarak's prime minister is now eligible for a presidential runoff election this weekend. Egypt's interim military leader is now claiming full legislative authority.

In Oregon, that 65-foot long Japanese dock that washed up off the coast a year after the tsunami is carrying troubling cargo. In all, seen tests say the dock was carrying two tons of living sea creatures and some species are not native to the U.S. coast and could devastate the local sea life.

Texas billionaire Allen Stanford slapped with a 110-year sentence for pulling off one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history. The disgraced financier convicted of orchestrating a $7 billion fraud. His sentence, just 40 years lighter than what Bernie Madoff received.

Prosecutors called Stanford a ruthless predator. He still maintains his innocence.

BANFIELD: He's not used to wearing those clothes, is he?


All right. Christine Romans, thanks very much.

It's 21 minutes past 5:00. It's good time to get the early read on the local news making national headlines.

Total shocker in Florida over that purge controversy, the voter purge controversy. That is the Florida governor. His name is Rick Scott. He's revealing to the "Miami Herald" he himself was told he could not vote back in 2006 -- you ready for this -- because he was dead. Not kidding.

He says he pulled out his voter ID or his ID at least to prove he was alive and well and could vote and he was able to cast a provisional ballot, he says. He also says that he hopes this story of his will ease all of the fears that everybody seems to have right now in the push to purge the state's rolls of noncitizens.

He says the actual citizens are mistakenly removed they can cast a provisional ballot just like he did when they told him at the polls, I'm sorry, you're dead.

SAMBOLIN: All right. The force was definitely with him. Little Darth Vader doing well after open heart surgery. Seven-year- old max page is the actor from the popular Toyota Super Bowl commercial. He was born with a congenital heart defect. This week, doctors replaced his pulmonary valve. His grandfather says Max came through it just like a champion.

I'm really happy for that little tyke.

BANFIELD: So adorable. Stole our hearts.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, he did.

The eurozone is in dire straits. Millions of Americans out of work. So, why did the market rally ahead of the close yesterday? Christine Romans minding your business, next.


BANFIELD: Twenty-six minutes now past 5:00 a.m. on the East Coast. Nice to have you with us.

We're minding your business this morning. U.S. stock futures trading higher -- I said higher -- this morning. We had a rally at the end of trading yesterday.

SAMBOLIN: The Dow closed up 1.25 percent, The NASDAQ more than 0.5 percent, the S&P 500 gained over 1 percent.

Christine Romans is here explaining the rally.

ROMANS: This is going to sound crazy you guys, but stocks rallied because things are so bad. Let me say it again.

BANFIELD: Say that again.

ROMANS: Stocks went up because things are so bad. Europe has been a smoldering fire for two years. The fire is flaring again.

In the U.S., there are signs that consumers are flagging. That really raised concerns because we've been thinking that the American economy was healing a little more robustly. Now, we're concerned about the consumer in the United States.

So late yesterday, you had a report from "Reuters" that said as these big leaders for the G-20 prepare for their big meeting, they're preparing for how they can use their central banks to flood the world with money to make sure that the ATMs still work in Greece, make sure the U.K. is protected from all the things happening on the continent, that the continental economies are able to keep moving forward. Twelve of them are in recession right now.

So, stocks rallied because people are so concerned by what's happening there and rallied because everyone thinks central banks are going to make sure that nothing goes south, that the ATMs work in Europe. That's why the stocks rally.

Now, the next big headline I'm going to tell you about today is the cost of raising a child. This is a USDA number that comes out every year, $8,000 more. So, save us ladies, because, yes, each kid is $8,000 more. Raising a kid got a little bit more expensive.


ROMANS: The number now is $234,900 is the number. This is based on a middle income family. And the government labels middle income $59,000 to $103,000 a year.

So, a child cost less or you'll spend less on a child if you make less or if you make more than $102,000 a year, you're going to spend more. You're going to spend like $389,000 per kid.

What was going up, the things that were going up were things like transportation, child care, education cost -- education is the big part of that -- and food. Those were the things going up.

When the government first started tracking this number, they said it was about 25 grand a year back in 1960. I will say something about this. I'm a child evangelist. There's an economy of scale and the government also admits this.

The more kids you have, they don't all cost that same amount.


ROMANS: Because they're sharing --

BANFIELD: Add something important to that, and that does not include college, folks. That does not include college.

ROMANS: No. That's until the age of 17.


ROMANS: There you go, everybody. Things are so bad, stocks went up and it's going to cost you more to raise a kid. That's not very happy on a Friday. Sorry.


SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BANFIELD: Christine Romans for us, thank you.

Twenty-nine minutes now past 5:00 on the East Coast.

Jerry Sandusky trial, you know, it's just captivating headlines all over the news, all over your papers, all over social media. But it's also causing a controversy with tourism officials in Ohio. Scratching your head? So are we.

SAMBOLIN: You can probably guess this one. Think, think, think Ohio and why.

BANFIELD: We'll explain, coming up.


SAMBOLIN: Accused child rapist, Jerry Sandusky, faced with his most damning accuser. Coming up, how the final witness for the prosecution may have sealed his fate.

BANFIELD: Plus, a dramatic rescue by a man in a kayak. He saved a man who fell into the Chicago River. We're going to show you more of this video. And you'll also hear from the 17-year-old rescuer right ahead.

SAMBOLIN: And let's say you're walking down the street with a cocktail in your hand. One judge in New York says police will have to do more than just sniff the drink to determine if it's alcoholic. Interesting story.

BANFIELD: Take a little sip?

SAMBOLIN: I don't think so.

BANFIELD: I cannot imagine that.

Welcome back, everyone to EARLY START. And we're glad you're with us this morning. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Thirty-three minutes past the hour.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

SAMBOLIN: We do have breaking news this morning. Brand new details on the two American men detained in Japan after an Irish exchange student was found dead in a hotel room. Police are now holding one of them, a 19-year-old, on suspicion of murdering the 21- year-old woman. We cannot release his name because he is considered a minor.

The other 23-year-old James Blackston has officially been charged with groping the alleged victim's friend as they returned from a Nicki Minaj concert. Police say the pair met both women at the concert and accompanied them to their hotel where the exchange student was later found dead.

Four chilling days of testimony. You really can't describe it any other way. Eight accusers, all of them with stomach-churning details about being sexually abused by former Penn State football coach, Jerry Sandusky. The final three alleged victims taking the stand yesterday with their stories.

One of them said he screamed for help during an attack, he says, in the basement of Jerry Sandusky's Home, saying that he hoped Mrs. Sandusky upstairs would help. The prosecution getting ready to rest its case when the trial resumes next week.

Our Susan Candiotti is live in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. She's been covering this since the beginning. Susan, notwithstanding the brutality of what we've been hearing about day after day, there haven't been that many days, and the prosecution seems to be wrapping so much sooner than we expected.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And because -- Ashleigh, good morning -- because there is no court today, both sides are going to be very busy preparing what is sure to be a big week ahead. For example, prosecutors are, in fact, preparing to rest their case after taking care of some legal matters on Monday. They'll do that.

And then, I spoke with the lead defense attorney for Jerry Sandusky, and he said it's been a very hard week. And he does expect to begin his defense on Monday, too.

BANFIELD: Let me ask you, Susan, about strategy. As I was listening to victim number nine's descriptions, it was so over the top. It was so much more than what we had heard from all of the other accusers before him.

And it made me think that prosecution did what prosecutions often do. They save the best or the worst, shall I say, for last. They put a pin in a case by really letting that bell ring long and loud in that court room. CANDIOTTI: That's right. They want to leave something powerful in the minds of jurors as they get ready to rest their case, and this date (ph) may very well have been it. We heard from alleged victim number nine who is only 18 years old. He said he first met Jerry Sandusky back in 2004-2005, and he would often spend a lot of weekends over at his house.

He said he stayed there maybe 100 times. And it was really horrific details that he testified to, saying, for example, in one case, that when he was staying in the basement, Sandusky, quote, came in the room, pulled his pants down, laid on top of me, kind of forced it in.

And then, prosecutors let it sit there for a moment and said, why didn't you stop him? And his answer was, what was I going to do? He's a big guy, way bigger than me -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: It's so disgusting to have this discussion, and yet, it's completely necessary in a courtroom when these kinds of charges are being leveled. Just quickly, if you would and button (ph) this up for me, Susan, I have seen this depicted two different ways, that the defense is playing for fumbles as Richard Meehan (ph) wrote in his blog.

I have also heard it's describe as Marcia Clark (ph), the famous prosecutor said, this defense is in a struggle because these stories are consistent but not conspicuously identical. What exactly is this defense going to do next week?

CANDIOTTI: Well, it's obviously going to be tough acknowledging that. We've already heard a lot of their plan because during cross- examination, challenging some sort of a conspiracy or implying one, implying that these alleged victims are out for money, and that's why they've hired attorneys.

The question is could his wife, Jerry Sandusky's wife, take the stand to try to defend her husband, say perhaps, I was home. I never heard anything. I never saw anything and any of these cases over the years, and I would have done so. And of course, the big question is, will Jerry Sandusky take the stand?

And more and more criminal defense experts are saying they wouldn't be surprised at this point if he does. Listen to one expert.


HOWARD JANET, ATTORNEY FOR ALLEGED VICTIM NO. 6: He's got those tapes of interviews that he did with Bob Costas (ph), that he did with "The New York Times," but much of that has already been heard. So, from his perspective, he might say, what do I have to lose? At least, it will give me an opportunity to try to explain it away. I'll tell my story. He may decide to take that chance. I don't know.


CANDIOTTI: Ashleigh, it would be a very bold move. I'm sure you would agree.

BANFIELD: Oh, wow! I mean, bold to say the very least, but you know what, a bit of a Hail Mary, too, because there's not a lot more that this defense has. It's been a struggle from day one. Susan, great work. Thank you very much.

I just want to add to this that when Jerry Sandusky's lawyers begin presenting their case next week, they may decide to call Joe Paterno's widow. Susan was just talking about her. Actually, no, Susan wasn't talking about her, but Joe Pa's widow and one of his sons could end up as defense witnesses.

And by the way, this is news to them. They said they had no idea that their names were on the list of about five dozen potential defense witnesses. Legendary coach, Joe Paterno, he died in January, just weeks after being fired in the fallout from the Sandusky trial.

And then, there's this. You can file this one under the story of best laid plans. A tweet that was meant to promote a father's day getaway to a Cedar Point amusement in Sandusky, Ohio. Unfortunately used the hash tag Sandusky, and then, you guessed it. Instead of getting details about the Father's Day deal in the amusement park, people instead got the latest on the lurid details and headlines from the Jerry Sandusky child rape trial.

Unfortunate, yes. The tourism officials are saying they will not be using that hash tag again until well after the trial when, perhaps, the name Sandusky can return to be something more familiar to the people who like to go to that amusement park.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-nine minutes past the hour.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Egypt is in turmoil this morning after the country's supreme constitutional court declared the parliament dissolved. That court is widely considered partial to the old regime led by Hosni Mubarak. The ruling means Mubarak's former prime minister is now eligible for a presidential runoff election this weekend, dealing a serious setback to the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood.

BANFIELD (voice-over): A Brooklyn judge says public drinking sniff tests will not pass the sniff test. Need an explanation? If police want to issue a summons, they say that officers need to do more than just smell someone's cup. They need to prove that the alcohol content in the drink exceeds the 0.5 percent threshold under the city's open container law.

New York police wrote more than 124,000 summons' like this last year for drinking in public. That's far more than any violation. What we don't know at this point is what exactly are the police supposed to do to prove that? Because even the sip test wouldn't prove that.

SAMBOLIN: That probably wouldn't be very smart either. A teenager saves the life of a man of a victim who almost drown in the Chicago River. Police say the victim fell into the water after suffering an unknown medical emergency. Seventeen-year-old, Emmanuel Gonzales, was kayaking when he saw the man floating face down. He says he pulled the unconscious victim out of the river and waited for rescue crews to arrive.


EMMANUEL GONZALES, 17-YEAR-OLD KAYAKER: I was nervous. I was shaking. My stomach hurt (ph). And I just did what I could to get him out of the water as fast as I could.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The actions of this Good Samaritan citizen were very critical to this man's live saving.

SAMBOLIN: Emmanuel is a hero. Cruise rushed the victim to the hospital where he remains now in serious condition.


BANFIELD: It's now 41 minutes past 5:00 on the east coast. And it's Friday. Happy to report that to you, but here's something that, perhaps, isn't so good. Egypt is in turmoil again, yes, Egypt. Now, why some people think we could end up seeing a repeat of all of that rioting in Tahrir Square. And where is this going, anyway? You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: Stunning, sweeping political changes in Egypt again. The country's high court declaring its newly elected parliament invalid. And with tensions already high, there are concerns this could lead to unrest, and perhaps, renewed protests, the same kind of protests that drove former president, Hosni Mubarak from power last year.

Ben Wedeman is in Cairo. He is following the latest developments. Some are calling this a soft coup, suggesting that, perhaps, it could reignite an Egyptian revolution. How are the Egyptian people reacting, so far?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Actually, so far, Zoraida, it's surprisingly calmly to the decision by the Supreme Court to nullify the Muslim Brotherhood dominated parliament. We were outside the constitutional court yesterday when the ruling was handed down and the 200 or so protesters were quite angry.

They called on everybody to go to Tahrir Square to have a huge protest there. We went to the square, and there was hardly anybody there. It may be a function simply of exhaustion after a year and a half of non-stop uproar and political change, possibly simply because it is so hot.

Now, we do know that some youth movements are planning a million man march in Tahrir Square, which oftentimes usually ends up to be several thousand people. But by and large, it appears that many Egyptians were, in fact, happy to see the Muslim Brotherhood cut down to size.

Somewhat disturbed that the sudden new powers the military council has assumed, but so far, we have not seen an outpouring of anger as of yet -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Let's talk about the upcoming elections. Egypt matters to the United States, right? It has vested interest in Egypt, giving over 1.5 billion in aid this year. How does the high court's ruling affect this election and what kind of political climate will Egypt's new leader be stepping into?

WEDEMAN: Well, the constitutional court looked at two cases, the case of parliament and another law that would have banned former officials from the Mubarak regime from holding high public office.

But they declared that law unconstitutional, allowing for Ahmed Shafiq, the former head of the Egyptian air force to be one of the two presidential candidates in addition to Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

So, tomorrow morning at eight o'clock local time, the polls will open for the second round of the elections. And at this point, it is not at all clear who will come to power, whether it's Ahmed Shafiq or Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. As far as the United States goes, both have made it very clear that they want to continue a friendly relationship with the United States.

Obviously, the Muslim brotherhood has a different opinion of U.S. Middle East policy, but by and large, they are ready to do business with the United States -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Ben Wedeman live in Cairo for us. Thank you.

BANFIELD: Now, 48 minutes past 5:00 on the east coast. Time to get you up to date on the top stories for the morning, and Christine Romans has been busy compiling those. Good morning.

ROMANS: Good morning.


ROMANS (voice-over): Mitt Romney hitting the campaign trail the old-fashioned way, kicking off his every town counts bus tour today in New Hampshire. He's going to hit six states in five days.

President Obama is back in Washington this morning after attending a pretty high profile fundraiser in New York at the home of actress, Sarah Jessica Parker. Now, he and Romney both made campaign stops in Ohio Thursday to trade jabs about each other's economic policies in that key battleground state.

All right. It's the Pentagon's coming out party, if you will. The Defense Department planning an event later this month to commemorate LGBT pride. Senior officials are expected to take part. Meantime, President Obama is holding a White House reception today marking Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

A Mexican crime reporter has been found dead in the city of Xalapa, the state capital of Veracruz. This is hours after he was abducted. The death of Victor Baez comes a week after the state's governor announced he was forming a commission to protect journalists.

Veracruz has been at the center of a bloody battle for control of drug trafficking route between two gangs, the Zetas and the Gulf cartel. Nine journalists have been killed in Veracruz over the past 18 months.

Now, an update to the latest round of doping allegations against Lance Armstrong. His attorneys are demanding access to evidence anti- doping investigators gathered, including the names of witnesses who said they saw him take performance-enhancing drugs.

In its letter to Armstrong, the anti-doping agency said it had conducted "face-to-face meetings with more than ten cyclists as well as cycling team employees" -- Ashleigh and Zoraida.


BANFIELD: All right. Christine, thank you.

And still ahead at 5:50, pop singer, Chris Brown, injured in a brawl in the Big Apple. Look at this. Hold on. Look at our papers here in New York City, "The Daily News" and "The Post." They are splattered with a mess, bar brawl, broken bottles all over the place. This makes for big Friday reporting, folks.

And guess what, reports are the fight was because of Rihanna. Can you believe this one? We'll go out to Rihanna.

SAMBOLIN: All right. If you're leaving the house right now, you can watch us anytime on your desktop or your mobile phone, just go to


BANFIELD: Fifty-four minutes now past 5:00. And we got a look at what's trending on the interweb.

Singer, Chris Brown, says he was brutally attacked at a New York City nightclub. He actually tweeted this picture of a nasty looking gash on his chin. Sources say that the rapper, Drake, was at the same club that night. Drake's rep insists the rapper was not involved in any kind of altercation, but Brown is currently on probation after pleading guilty to assaulting pop star, Rihanna, in 2009.

And there were pictures of broken bottles and destroyed nightclub, you know, (INAUDIBLE). All over the papers -- the New York papers this morning. Little known story, yes. Remember that thing last year where Chris Brown went bananas in the sort of backstage at "Good Morning America" after interviewing with Robin Roberts who did the good journalist thing and asked him the tough questions.

I was there. I was there, and I witnessed this whole thing. I wasn't allowed to say anything at the time. We were all trying to be very quiet about this. We didn't want to get involved in it, but it was awful, and the staffers at "GMA" were afraid. And also, we were told to get into dressing rooms and lock the doors.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, wow.

There were about 40 or so of his entourage who were still there when he broke the window, threw a chair, and stormed out and then really menaced a producer that I worked with and just stared him down. And everybody was very fearful that something was going to get very violent. But I'll tell you what, you don't want to be in the middle of this stuff --


BANFIELD: --when this goes down.

SAMBOLIN: Especially with that entourage.


SAMBOLIN: Yes. All right. A new zombie prank caused a panic on the streets of Melbourne, Australia.






SAMBOLIN: So, video shows unsuspecting people running for their lives, chased by a man dressed as a blood-soaked zombie. One frightened woman pedaling furiously on her bike trying to get away. The prankster says he was inspired by a recent video in Miami showing a fake zombie scaring the daylights out of frightened victims.


SAMBOLIN: One of these people is going to get shot one day, right?

BANFIELD: Yes, or beaten up, you know? And a woman had a baby carriage for heaven's sake. Did you see that?

SAMBOLIN: Terrible.

BANFIELD: You know what, I'd say that that is, without question, a criminal charge. When you menace people like that and cause that kind of a public disturbance --

SAMBOLIN: You could cause somebody to have a heart attack.

BANFIELD: Endangered that child's safety, too. I didn't see if there was a baby in that baby carriage. That's -- I'm sorry -- that's off the rails. And by the way, you think that's funny? That's not funny.

All right. So, do you feel like going on a brisk walk this Friday morning? Take a look at that briskness.


BANFIELD: That is a live picture of Niagara Falls, folks, this morning. And what you don't see is the itty-bitty tiny little wire that's suspended between Canada and the United States that Nick Wallenda (ph) just plans to walk across later today, yes, walking across the royaling falls below. It's all going to be live, too. We'll tell you about it in a moment.