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Pro-Bailout Party Wins Greek Election; Nearly 200 Homes Burn in Wildfire; The Battle for Latino Votes; Lawmaker To Recite "Vagina Monologues"; Supreme Decisions Coming

Aired June 18, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Your money and the stock market and your 401(k) likely to be influenced by these people in this election. Find out how, coming up.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN HOST: Plus, new developments this morning in the death of Rodney King, the neighbors heard something right before a big splash in the pool. What they heard, straight ahead.

BANFIELD: And 200 homes burning to the ground, what is now the most destructive wildfire in Colorado's history. That story coming up this hour on CNN.

Good Monday morning to you, everyone. It's good to have you with us. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We are bringing you the news from "A" to "Z."

It is 5:00 here in the East. So, let's get started.

And up first, big developments in Greece that are sure to have a ripple effect on U.S. markets this morning. Antonis Samaras of the New Democracy party, winning yesterday's parliamentary election, in a vote seen by many as an endorsement for the survival of the euro.


ANTONIS SAMARAS, GREECE NEW DEMOCRACY LEADER: I will make sure that the sacrifices of the Greek people will bring the country back to prosperity.


SAMBOLIN: So now it's up to Samaras to form a coalition government quickly to keep Greece afloat -- something the U.S. and other eurozone nations are hoping that he can do.

Christine Romans is monitoring world markets.

And, you know, when we started, we said, ah, a little bit good news here. You just said, not so much.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Futures have turned lower. And I saw this described as a stay of execution for Greece. Others have described as the status quo. Greece has decided, Greek citizens have voted for the status quo.

What is the status quo? That is relying on other monies from other countries to stay afloat, to basically not go broke and it still has an awful lot of work to do here.

But voters chose to stay in the euro. And that is the positive here. But that means the people need to endure the crushing term of their bailout and they're up for more money, believe it or not, in the middle of July, so this new government -- however it gets formed -- will have to make sure it gets more money.

The Greece vote means it says in the euro for now. You won't need this folks, you won't need this drachma that I have here in my hands --

BANFIELD: How did you get those?

ROMANS: I borrow with my producer. She has a whole bag.

There you go. You won't need this drachma right now. You'll still be using the euro here. But that would have, could have crushed the stock market if this vote have gone in a different direction.

Why do I mean that? I want you to look into possible repercussions. That Greece's crisis spreads. And again, status quo is maintained right now. But these are what people feared. People feared a credit freeze in Europe. People feared that the U.S. stocks could plunge. People feel that euro could sink against the U.S. dollar if Greece had what is called a Grexit, it was leaving the eurozone, went back to that drachma, which I just gave you, and it basically became its own party, its own currency once again.

I want to tell you about the lexicon of the Greek crisis. Drachmageddon, that has been avoided for now. Europe's Lehman moment, what if Greece were to spiral out -- what kind of contagion could it be, that has been avoided now. The Grexit, Greece leaving the eurozone. That has been avoided for that. But there's so much work to do.

And that is why futures are down this morning for U.S. stocks.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Christine, we're going to continue the story. Stay with it.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BANFIELD: Also, other euros in nations in the U.S. are urging Samaras to act quickly to once again try to form a former coalition government in Greece.

Our Matthew Chance is live in Athens this morning.

And this didn't go so well the first go around. Is there any thought, at this point six weeks later, from the last round of elections, that Samaras is going to able to actually pull off a coalition government, oh, in the next three days?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that the hopes are much higher this time than they were six weeks ago when the New Democracy party, the anti-Samaras got a much large proportion of the votes. This time, he's got many more seats. The final result gives him 129 seats in the parliament and he needs 151 to command a majority. So, he's going to have to get that much more in the negotiations with the other parties which are expected to begin probably later on today and the latest tomorrow to try and forge a coalition.

He hasn't come here yet to the presidential mansion in the middle of Athens. He's expected to be invited over the course of the next half an hour or so. He'll officially be given the mandates to try and form a coalition. Only then for the possibly problematic negotiations, again, with the various other political parties, to join with this party to form some kind of stable government, the kind of government that many Greeks want -- hopefully, within the next three days, Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: So, Matthew, what changed? Because this candidate wasn't a bailout supporter originally. All of a sudden he is a bailout support, and all of a sudden, the Greeks seemed to have switched their allegiances to the bailout even though they come with really tough austerity measures. What happened?

CHANCE: Well, to be fair, I mean, the New Democracy party is one of the parties led by Samaras that essentially backs the bailout in the first place. So they did have reservations about the kind of austerity measures that were being passed. And they said this time, they'll be elected and support the financial commitments to their international creditors.

But they do want to renegotiate as much as they possibly can some of the terms of the loans that have been imposed on Greece already, to make it a bit easier, to make growth of it stronger in the country. And also, I think, to address your other points -- I mean, the party only got 30 percent of the national vote. It's 70 percent of Greeks who voted yesterday did not vote for his party. And that's a significant figure, obviously.

BANFIELD: Well, let's hope that you and I are having this conversation in another six weeks because they couldn't form a coalition and had to start all over again.

Matthew Chance live in Athens, Greece, for us this morning -- thank you. Also, we want to let you know we're going to continue to monitor the world markets for you as things develop. You can always check out for the very latest on how this is going to affect your money.

SAMBOLIN: Six minutes past the hour.

Fears of a power struggle and more bloodshed this morning as a Muslim Brotherhood claims victory in Egypt's historical presidential election. A count by state media shows the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi leading, but with millions of votes still uncounted. Military leaders meantime have not only refused to give up power, but they've grabbed more of it, dissolving parliament before the election and saying they will make the laws until a new body is picked.

BANFIELD: A giant leap for China. A Chinese spacecraft successfully docked in an orbiting space lab this morning. And this makes China the third country to complete a manned space docking behind the United States and Russia. The mission also sent the country the country's first female astronaut into space.

SAMBOLIN: The prosecution is expected to rest this morning then the defense will begin presenting its case in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial. Yesterday, Sandusky underwent psychological testing that was requested by prosecutors and approved by the judge. His lawyers reportedly plan to argue that he suffers from histrionic personality disorder. That's a condition that can cause someone to be excessively emotional and inappropriately provocative.

BANFIELD: Dangerous conditions on Alaska's Mt. McKinley, prompting the search for four Japanese climbers to be suspended. Park service officials say they believe the climbers were killed in an avalanche. A fifth member of their group survived. Mt. McKinley is the highest peak in North America, standing more than 20,000 feet. Those climbers were just 12,000 feet when the avalanche swept them away.

SAMBOLIN: In Colorado, a really serious situation. The High Park fire burning near Fort Collins is now officially the worst in the state's history. It has destroyed a record 181 homes, more than 1,600 personnel are working on that fire which has blackened 86 square miles and is now 45 percent contained.

BANFIELD: We've got new details this morning on the death of Rodney King. His neighbors told the "L.A. Times" they heard, quote, a bit of a commotion late Saturday and early Sunday which they say was out of character for their typically quiet neighborhood. His fiancee found him dead in his swimming pool yesterday.

King's controversial beating sparked riots one year after the beating in 1992 after four officers involved in the beating were acquitted, two of them were later found guilty. However, in a federal court guilty of civil rights violations. King also sued the city of Los Angeles and was awarded $3.8 million in civil damages. King was 48 years old.

SAMBOLIN: Excuse me.

President Obama has arrived in Los Cabos, Mexico, for the start of the G-20 summit. The eurozone crisis is expected to dominate the agenda for the next two days. The World Bank calling on the leaders of the world's largest economies to stop buying time for short-term fixes and implement deeper reform to ease the global debt crisis.

President Obama is expected to meet this morning with Vladimir Putin for the first time since his recent return to the Russian presidency.

And a hot putter and a few prayers on the final three holes helped Wake Forest grad Webb Simpson capture the U.S. Open golf championship on Sunday. Did you see it? There you go.

Simpson shot a final round, 2 under par 68 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco to win his first major championship and move up the rankings to number five in the world. But he had to watch nervously from the clubhouse with his wife before it was decided, as former U.S. Open champ McDowell had a birdie putt on the 18th hole to tie and force a Monday playoff. McDowell missed. The 26-year-old Simpson taking home the title and the $1.4 million first place purse.

BANFIELD: And the pretty girl. You notice that?

All right. This is a strange one. When redecorating nearly turns deadly, honestly. Neighbors realize they haven't seen a woman for a couple of days. You see the house. You can't see her.

So wait until you find out where police discovered her.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Fourteen minutes past the hour here.

We're playing politics maybe, or was it just the right thing to do? Mitt Romney is not mincing his words. He insists President Obama's decision to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants is nothing more than an attempt to win over Latino voters.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with illegal immigration in America, this is something he would have taken up in his first three-and-a-half years not in the last few months.

BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS: So he did it for politics?

ROMNEY: Well, that's certainly a big part of the equation.


SAMBOLIN: Joe Johns is live from Washington this morning.

What's the White House saying about Romney's accusations, Joe?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Zoraida, the Obama people think immigration is a good thing for them and they're quite naturally slamming Romney for not coming up with what they say are solutions. And the Obama camp at least say they've offered a temporary solution to one piece of the immigration issue that administration rule that they announced, that you have to have come to the United States by the age of 16, lived here like five years, graduated from high school, gotten an honorably discharge from the military, no crime convictions, and then you can get a work visa.

So, they say they've offered a temporary conclusion. They're saying Romney hasn't offered any solutions at all.

It's made worse by the fact that over the weekend on CBS, he essentially was asked three, four, five times if he would repeal the administration position. And he wouldn't say.

This is also complicated, as you know, during the primaries, Mitt Romney actually said he supported some deportation, and that was pretty much ridiculed even by people in his own party.

So a little bit of a tough situation right now for Romney, as he sort of develops his position on this.

SAMBOLIN: And he has flip-flopped on the DREAM Act as well. We know that the president won 67 percent of the Latino vote. Does this move tell us anything where the White House's head is with Latinos?

But I do want to qualify that President Obama did campaign with this issue back in 2008 and it took him all this time to do something about it. Will that adversely affect him with Latinos?

JOHNS: Well, it's a very peculiar situation when you look at it sort of the 30,000-foot view. The administration has an advantage, at least in the polling with Latinos in the United States. However, the administration has also deported more Latinos than any other administration, and they did not come up with a comprehensive immigration policy like they promised they would.

Still, Romney's also in a bad position, and it looks like at least right now, a lot of Latinos in the United States are going with the Obama administration.

So what we're seeing is Obama, the White House trying to shore up their position with Latinos because that's obviously going to be a crucial vote in November.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Joe Johns live in Washington, D.C. for us -- thank you.

BANFIELD: Now, 17 minutes past 5:00 a.m. on the East Coast. Let's get you up to date with top stories forming this morning, and that's what Christine Romans has been busy doing.

Hi there.

ROMANS: Good morning, you guys.

Antonio Samaras has emerged victorious in Greece's parliamentary elections and will then be faced with the challenge of putting together a coalition government there. His victory yesterday is seen as a referendum on keeping the eurozone impact. And Asian markets grew sharply on the news, although U.S. stock futures have now turned lower.

New developments in the Trayvon Martin case. Prosecutors have turned over crime scene photos. FBI reports and witness statements to the attorney representing George Zimmerman. And this week, they plan to release 151 phone calls Zimmerman recently made from jail. Some of those calls led to his bonding revoked, as well as the arrest of his wife on a charge of making false statements.

Concerned neighbors thought she died, but it turns out 67-year- old Virginia Cartier was trapped and you a dresser for four days. The Oregon woman lives alone she was moving when a dresser fell on her. Neighbors called police, kicked down her door and rescued her. She's out of the hospital now, staying with friends while she recovers.

And the Miami Heat taking a 2 to 1 lead in the finals. The Heat pulled out a 91-85 win over the Thunder last night. Oklahoma City blew a 10-point lead in the second half. And LeBron James on him, superstar Kevin Durant scored just four points in the fourth quarter. And Soledad O'Brien is very -- she's a happy woman this morning.

SAMBOLIN: I know she's happy, I'm not. I want Oklahoma to win, the underdog.

ROMANS: A CNN rivalry, I like it.

BANFIELD: I just want hockey to come back. I just miss hockey, you know.


SAMBOLIN: OK. Thank you, Christine.

It is now 19 minutes past the hour. A group of nuns gets into a bus and travels across the country all in support of a cause. It's called "Nuns on the Bus." Find out what they're fighting for right after this quick break.

BANFIELD: And if you're leaving the house right now, you can watch us anytime on your mobile phone. Kind of nice. Also on your desktop when you get to work. Just go to


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

There is extreme fire threats in the West. Our Rob Marciano has been following this.

And, Rob, I think we're entering into week three for these terrible fires in Colorado.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: A little bit of containment of that fire out there just West of Ft. Collins got 45 percent containment. But it is a huge, huge fire and we're going to have winds again today.

Ahead of that system are some thunderstorms that created some havoc last night across South Dakota and Minnesota, now moving through Green Bay. This will clip Chicago if you're in that area, or traveling through that later on today.

Also, a weaker line of thunderstorms from Williamsport, back to D.C. It kind of fall apart as it gets to the New York City area, but certainly Baltimore, Philadelphia, you may see a thunderstorm.

This is where the main severe threat is for Minneapolis again, through Green Bay, the upper Great Lakes and parts of the western Great Lakes as well, for large hail and some damaging winds.

Back to the west we go, the fire threat, another system coming through the Intermountain West. It's going to kick up the winds here. We had 50 to 60-mile-an-hour winds yesterday. We'll see the same deal today. Red flag warnings out for southern California, all the way up to northeastern parts of southern Wyoming. And that's where we have the issue with the fire.

Another fire sprung up yesterday, got 450 acres. This was is west of Colorado Springs. Four hundred fifty acres right now, much smaller than the High Park fire to the north. But nonetheless, this was growing, and obviously, not a whole of rain in the forecast, and the air assault was on the air.

And the heat is building, guys -- 99 degrees, the expected high temperature in Denver today. They broke a record yesterday. And the heat's going to stretch from Denver all the way to Chicago where temperatures will also get into the lower 90s. So, it's starting to feel more like summer for sure.

BANFIELD: Yes, but not in a good way. All right. Rob, thanks very much.

MARCIANO: All right.

SAMBOLIN: It is 24 minutes past the hour. We're getting an early read on local news that is making national headlines.

Members of the band Radiohead say they are shattered by the loss of a crew member killed in a stage collapse in Toronto. Scott Johnson, a drum technician, got pinned underneath all of the rubble after the entire stage and scaffolding came tumbling down. It happened as a crew was setting up for the sound check. Three other people injured there.

BANFIELD: That's a huge loss in the music world.

In just a couple of hours, a group of Catholic nuns is going to be holding a rally denouncing Congressman Paul Ryan's budget proposal. Politics and religion intersecting.

The sisters say the budget cuts would harm millions of poor Americans and they're kicking off a two-week bus tour this morning to protest that Republican plan. "The Des Moines Register" is saying that the Iowa group Nuns on the Bus will visit nine states, ending in Washington, D.C., apropos that they would be ending in Washington, D.C.

SAMBOLIN: And a new celebrity caught up in the Chris Brown/Drake bar fight. NBA star Tony Parker said he was hurt in the brawl and suffered a scratched retina. That injury could jeopardize his Olympic hopes. "The San Antonio Express" newspaper said parker now has to put off training with the French national team.

And also new, the club where the fight started is shut down. New York police say eight people were injured in the melee, including singer Chris Brown. Police are not certain what actually caused the fight. But witnesses tell officers Drake's entourage confronted Brown as he was leaving the bar.

BANFIELD: And it might actually affect your kind of drinking habits in New York, too. As if you couldn't get a 16-ounce soda. There's now a New York politician that wants to ban bar service in bars, that's a bottle service that you get because they were tosses bottles around, she says.


BANFIELD: Drinking bottles as weapons. And she said that's dangerous. So, she now -- Christine Quinn who wants to be mayor of New York City wants to ban bottles in the bar in New York. So there's that.

SAMBOLIN: Just plastic.

BANFIELD: Or sippy cups, I think most people say. Why not sippy cups? How about that?

SAMBOLIN: All right. Twenty-six minutes past the hour.

State representative is going to perform the play called "The Vagina Monologues" on the steps of her state capitol today. Find out what she is protesting by this bold move. That is coming up.


SAMBOLIN: The global markets reacting to the news that the elections in Greece. How it's going to influence your money today?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus, Sarah Palin slamming the president on drugs and what he ate as a child. This, all at a conservative blogging conference in Vegas. You'll hear from her straight ahead.

SAMBOLIN: And having a steak dinner in space? It's just not possible. It's especially not possible on the planet Mars. We'll show you what they will be eating on the red climate, and here's a hint, looks a bit like dog food.

BANFIELD: Space food, always does, doesn't it?

Hi, everybody. Welcome back to EARLY START. It's 31 minutes now past five o'clock. Nice to have you with us. SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin. "Minding Your Business" this morning. European and Asian markets are up this morning after Greek voters picked the pro-bailout candidate to lead the country through the debt crisis.

BANFIELD: The U.S. stock futures are down right now, and Christine Romans is here to give us the lowdown, hicks as (ph) low down because everything every seems to be down. It seemed like an up story and then it's becoming a down story.

ROMANS: There was an initial reaction that was released quite frankly in overseas markets, and that's because, you know, Greece will stay in the Euro Zone. That's what this vote was about. But a lot of people came out, guys, and voted to say, hey, we don't want to be part of these bailouts.

We don't want this crushing burden of having to qualify for these bailouts. And so, that shows you the coalition going forward is going to have a lot of trouble. Let me tell you about the troubles ahead for Greece and why you have futures down right now. Five years of deep recession. People are not feeling great in this country.

Two years with a financial crisis. Concerns, as I said, of the coalition, however, it's formed lasting because, look, you've got a bailout deadline at the end of June and you got bailout money, the cash runs out mid-July. So, this has been described as a vote for the status quo, and the status quo was very difficult for Greek citizens and the rest of Europe.

It's also been described as a stay of execution, because the country still has a lot of work to do. And look at it this way, if you're only as strong as your weakest link, the weakest link was Greece. The weakest link stays on the chain, but now, this chain is weaker as well.

You've also got a lot of people talking about Spain and Italy, how borrowing costs have been rising there and how every time there's a new development in Greece's problems, people worry about other problems, different, but similar problems for some of these other much bigger, more important European economies.

So, we'll closely watch futures today to see if you get a little bit of relief from the U.S. or if instead, everyone is saying, stocks are up last week in the U.S. Now, we're still very concern about the situation in Europe. G-20 happening in Mexico today as well.

We're starting to get all of the responses from the political leaders who are there about their hopes and their reservations, quite frankly, about what goes on next in Greece.

BANFIELD: I'm glad you put it that way. You're only as strong as your weakest link, because so many people are confused as to why this teeny tiny Mediterranean State could be affecting global politics --

ROMANS: These countries, for years, have been only coming together with no exit strategy. Now, it's really been tested. And for now, for now, Greece stays in the Euro, and that's the good news. A lot of works still do.

BANFIELD: For now. Thirty-three minutes past now 5:00. Thanks, Christine.

A man believed to be high on bath salts has died in custody. Police say that he was standing in the middle of the street in Galveston, Texas, and shouting incoherently but then later died after a brief struggle with officers. And of course, why is this making such news? Because it follows that horrifying attack, that zombie attack in Florida that also involved bath salts.

The next hour, the drugs -- Gil Kerlikowske is going to join us to talk about the bizarre behavior that people are exhibiting on this drug bath salts and what the government is planning now to do about this.

SAMBOLIN: Sarah Palin rallying the troops with the familiar refrain. The former Alaska governor headlined the conference of conservative bloggers in Las Vegas Friday night.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): She mocked the president for his cocaine snorting and for eating dog as a child. (INAUDIBLE) as he made in his memoir. And she also targeted what she calls the lamest stream media.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: Let's be bold and courageous to win our country back. We can do it because we have the time-tested truths on our side, and we will do whatever it takes to defend those truths. We will defeat that goliath of the old media that still seeks to deceive this most exceptional nation.

SAMBOLIN: Palin also making headlines for what she didn't say. No mention of Mitt Romney and still no endorsement of the presumptive nominee.

BANFIELD (voice-over): The Michigan lawmaker who was banned from speaking during a legislative session after making a reference to her vagina is planning to perform "The Vagina Monologues" on the state capitol. And she's planning to do so in protest today. Her name is Lisa Brown. She's a Democrat. She'll be joined by Tony-winning playwright, Eve Ensler (ph).

Brown was arguing against the proposal for tighter regulations on abortion when she told Michigan's speaker, quote, "I'm flattered that you're also interested in my vagina but no means no." After that, Republicans refused to allow her to speak about an unrelated bill the very next day.

SAMBOLIN: Supreme Court justice scrambling to finish up 14 cases before the end of the month. Among them, the president's healthcare reform law and Arizona's controversial crackdown on illegal immigrants. Opinion days this week are scheduled for today and also for Thursday. So, decisions could be handed down as early as this morning.

BANFIELD: In suburban San Antonio, a teacher is in trouble for trying turn the tables on an alleged class bully. Apparently, telling the boy's kindergarten classmates to line up and hit him.


AMY NEELY, PARENT: Twenty-four of those kids hit him, and he said most of them hit him twice. He had friends in that classroom. They didn't want to hit him, but she instructed them to hit him.

STEVE LINSCOMB, SCHOOL SPOKESMAN: This kind of activity, you know, just can't go on.

BANFIELD: The six-year-old never told his parents. But another teacher who witnessed all of this came forward two weeks later. The teacher who told the students to hit the boy and then said hit him hard will not be hired back. She now may face charges.

And we're hearing that she initially -- the teacher who initially failed to report the incident will be coming back to the school next fall.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-six minutes -- 37 minutes past the hour. Fifth grader Cameron Slade (ph) has found himself in the middle of a censorship scandal. The 11-year-old won the right to compete in a school wide speech competition, but became the subject of controversy after his principal told him to change topics or be banned from competing.

Why? Well, his speech was about same-sex marriage. The story does have a happy ending, however. Cameron will give his original speech today after a ruling over the weekend by the Department of Education.

BANFIELD: OK. Get your geek flag up. This one rocks. Call this top chef Mars edition. Yes, Mars, the planet. About 700 applicants to space simulation have been whittled down to nine. And their mission -- to cook food on Mars that that's healthy and appetizing.

DR. YVONNE CAGLE, NASA MANAGEMENT ASTRONAUT: Space anorexia can set in just sort of a loss of appetite and that means your nutritional intake can go down and you're at risk for health and performance impacts just because you're not maintaining your calories or the nutrients that you need.

BANFIELD: Final six of the nine participants are going to spend four months in a Martian-like habitat. Apparently, they found that on a volcano in Hawaii. The idea is to develop the strategy to feed a human colony on Mars.

SAMBOLIN: Because that's right around the corner.


BANFIELD: And why?



SAMBOLIN: So, the animals of "Madagascar 3" stampeding over the box office competition clinching the number one spot for the second week in a row with $35.5 million. Sci-fi thriller, "Prometheus," remained in second place. But newcomers "Rock of Ages" and "That's my Boy," both box-office bomb, finishing at third and fifth respectively.

BANFIELD: And when you have a five and six years old, you see "Madagascar" twice.

SAMBOLIN: My daughter has also seen that twice.




It's great.


BANFIELD: I'm just saying. It's a great movie.

SAMBOLIN: All right. The second most dangerous city in the country is Detroit, Michigan. The number one city, according to the FBI, coming up after this quick break.


BANFIELD: Good morning, Atlanta. As the sun begins to rise over your fair city, it's a nice 65 degrees right now, heading up to 88 degrees. So, while your windows are open now, you might want to shut them, thinking about the A.C. a little later on today. Good morning to all of you as well, and thanks for being with us on EARLY START.

In just a few hours, prosecutors are expected to rest their case and then the defense begins in earnest presenting its side of the story in Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial. The former Penn State football coach is facing more than 50 criminal counts with jurors already hearing stories of unthinkable child sex abuse from eight of his alleged victims.

Our CNN national correspondent, Susan Candiotti, joins us live now from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. You know, Susan, whenever you wrap up a prosecution case, it looks awful. Everything looks awful, almost insurmountable. But the defense gets to start today.

They have a long road to hoe, but in their efforts, there was a psychological investigation that was underwent by Jerry Sandusky this weekend. Can you explain how that fits into the case as it moves forward?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And the jurors are constantly reminded, you have to wait until all the evidence is in before you make your decision. But yes, Jerry Sandusky apparently has now been examined by two psychologists, one for the prosecution, one for the defense.

And, they're trying to prove to jurors is that he suffers from something called a histrionic personality disorder. That he is self- absorbed, and its one explanation the defense will argue for the so- called creepy love letters that he wrote to his alleged victims. One of them, here's an example, Sandusky writes about himself in the third person.

And it reads, quote, "Jer may not be worthy, but he needs a best friend. Jer will not forget and always care." So, prosecutors are arguing that this is one example of grooming techniques used by sexual predators. However, the defense is arguing, no, this is not it. It's a personality disorder and nothing more -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: What about his wife, Dottie Sandusky? She could fulfill two roles here. She could try to humanize him as the husband and father, but she under cross-examination would really have some answering to do for the allegations of screaming coming from the basement from these alleged victims.

CANDIOTTI: That's right. Now, we'll have to see whether she does take the stand. It is very likely that she will. But yes, she could defend her husband but also answer those tough questions. Did you hear anything? Did you see anything? Of course, defense experts say, on the other hand, she can't say, well, I was with my husband every time he took a shower with a boy.

And he has said that he has showered with young boys. Anyway, besides talking to Dottie, defense attorneys could also challenge the timeline offered by some of these victims. And as we've heard, they will probably attack the alleged victim's testimony, that -- they will say that they're just in it for the money and simply plan to sue Penn State and make a mint off this case.

Those are some of the things we expect to hear.

BANFIELD: And you know, Pennsylvania trial rules don't -- don't suggest that the defense has to share all of its strategy before trial time. So, there could still be some big surprises that are coming down the line. I think the biggest surprise that everyone's waiting to find out is if Jerry Sandusky, himself, will take the stand, especially since we've heard from him in interviews, leading up to this trial. And those interviews did not go well.

CANDIOTTI: That's right. And, of course, jurors already heard one of those interviews that was played and taped during the prosecution case that now infamous interview that he did with Bob Costas on NBC. But, again, defense attorneys said in their opening statements, you will hear Jerry's words. Were they referring to that or will he make that bold move and take the stand? If he does, as you know, Ashleigh, not only would he get a chance to tell the jury what he wants to tell them, but he would also face some, no doubt, blistering cross-examinations by prosecutors, but we'll see.

BANFIELD: And so, we've had this legion of accusers who've taken the stand, one after the other, eight of them. Are we expecting to see other kids who are now adults, who are either part of the Second Mile or had an experience with Jerry Sandusky that might come forward with entirely different stories, character witnesses?

CANDIOTTI: Oh, I think it's entirely possible. Although, others argue, I don't know how far that would get because -- just because some people said they didn't doesn't necessarily mean that it also didn't happen. So, jurors will have to struggle with this. But, you're right. Usually, there are always surprises in defense cases.

We'll see if we get one this time. And, Ashleigh, the defense is probably only going to take two to three days. So, it's very possible that including a rebuttal case and closing statements this could be in the jury's hands by the end of the week.

BANFIELD: And we all thought this would take, you know, at least three weeks or so, but we're only in week two. All right. Susan, excellent reporting. And this will be a fascinating day. Difficult but certainly fascinating. Susan Candiotti reporting live for us from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Thank you.

SAMBOLIN: Forty-eight minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date. Here's Christine Romans with this morning's top stories. Good morning.

ROMANS: Good morning again. Let's start with Greece, shall we?

Antonis Samaras winner of Greece's parliamentary election by a very slim margin, and for the second time in six weeks, he'll be faced with challenge of putting together a coalition government for Greece. His victory yesterday has seen as an endorsement of the Euro and keeping the Euro Zone intact.

Asian and European markers rising this morning on the news, but U.S. stock futures are slightly lower.

High winds and extreme heat remain a volatile mix for cruise in Colorado. The high park fire burning near Ft. Collins has now destroyed at least 181 homes, the most in that state's history. The fire scorched some 86 square miles, and officials say it's about 45 percent contained.

The FBI has issued its report on the most dangerous cities in America, and two cities in Michigan topped this list. Let's check out the top five, shall we? Memphis is in at number five. It bucked the trend of declining crime rates in major U.S. cities.

Oakland, California, comes in at number four, St. Louis, number three, Detroit, number two, and Flint, Michigan is number one. Violent crimes long been a problem there, and Flint mayor has said there are too many guns on the street.

Warren Buffett firing one of his CEOs for using company money on a junket to Bermuda with his corporate staff. Benjamin Moore (ph), the paint company, a company owned by Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway's firm finally turned a (INAUDIBLE) sales increase for the first time in years after frozen salaries and lots of layoffs.

So, the CEO, Dennis Abrams (ph), took his big corporate staff to Bermuda and Warren Buffett fired him for taking them to the islands to celebrate.

Researchers say by 2050, we could get 80 percent of our electricity from renewable resources sounds really ambitious, but some researchers in Colorado say, hey, it's doable and many components of the plan are already in place. They point to some encouraging developments.

The cost of solar is dropping and advances are being made with wind and plant-derived technologies. Researchers say the grid could use an overhaul. That's an understatement.

BANFIELD: Eighty percent? Eighty?

SAMBOLIN: Pretty remarkable.


ROMANS (on-camera): Ambitious.

BANFIELD: Those numbers reverse like 08 percent.

ROMANS: I know.

BANFIELD: Amazing.

ROMANS: Caught (ph) to solar dropping, watch the space.

BANFIELD: About that. Watch the space. Thank you, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BANFIELD: Fifty minutes now past 5:00 on the east coast. Check this out. Don't you just love that new book, "Smell?" Some people do.


BANFIELD: It's a fresh week (INAUDIBLE).

SAMBOLIN: Speaking of newspapers, right? I don't like that smell, but this, I don't know.

BANFIELD: Paper passion. How passionate could you get over this?

SAMBOLIN: Yes, over a good book? Very passionate. BANFIELD: Smell of it, sometimes a bit musty. Oh, well. We'll let you know what the story is all about coming up.


BANFIELD: It's now 54 minutes past the hour. Time to take a look at what's trending on the interwebs. It's like a walk in the park anytime, anywhere. Are you ready for this? Brand-new company has created grass flip-flops. Look at your screen. If you're brushing your teeth right now, you've got to see this.


BANFIELD: It's that layer of artificial turf so that you feel like you have fresh grass between your toes at all times.

SAMBOLIN: It's a great gag gift.


SAMBOLIN: You know, for Christmas? I like gag gifts.

BANFIELD: You know what, I kind of think I wouldn't mind this, but something about the stinky factor has set me off on this one. I'm not so sure how clean this gets.

SAMBOLIN: You can put them in the washing machine or the dishwasher --

BANFIELD: Grass for your toes, folks. I like it.

SAMBOLIN: Feels good. Feels good. All right. This is a real page-turner. A new fragrance called the "Paper Passion" puts the smell of a freshly printed book in a bottle. "Wallpaper" magazine commissioned the new perfume that is supposed to take you back in time to a library.

Remember those at a time when e-books have taken our noses out of the experience. Well, it costs $115 for this little itty-bitty bottle that comes hidden inside the pages of a book.

BANFIELD: That's a library.


BANFIELD: Paper passion. I like the bottle.

SAMBOLIN: It's beautiful.

BANFIELD: It looks cool.

SAMBOLIN: I want to smell it.


BANFIELD: It's a little whiff. See what it's like. I'll let you be the guinea pig.

And it's a go-kart powered by a Boeing engine.

SAMBOLIN: This is so cool.

BANFIELD: Insane. Boeing, as in jet engines, got a custom-built go kart for you. A top for sale on eBay. Currently, the bid stand, what, at $8,100, I think, is one of the latest one. It is said to reach speeds over 100 miles an hour.


BANFIELD: Go-cart, folks. It's propelled by more than 200 pounds of trust from a reclaimed Boeing gas turbine engine.

SAMBOLIN: Good gracious! This is fabulous.

BANFIELD: You know, wear your helmet on this one.

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely.

BANFIELD: The guy who created it as a surplus aircraft parts filler (ph). He wants to provide as a jet engine for a bat mobile replica. So, you could have your own bat mobile go cart. How about that?

SAMBOLIN: Put on my perfume and go drive.


BANFIELD: The go-kart track is just too small for that.

SAMBOLIN: Now, this is the open road.


BANFIELD: Definitely, the drag racing. Go kart drag racing.

Tiger Woods at the U.S. Open. He was looking good. And then what? We're going to show you the other side of this. The story after this break.