Return to Transcripts main page


Samaras Wins Greek Election; Greece Avoids "Drachmageddon" For Now; Europe Debt Crisis And Your 401(K); World Watching Greece; 181 Homes Destroyed By Colorado Wildfire; China Completes First Space Docking; Avalanche Kills Four Climbers On Mt. McKinley; Rodney King Dead At 47; A Hot Putter And A Few Prayers; The Politics Of Immigration; G20 Summit Aims for Economic Recovery; The Battle Against Bath Salts

Aired June 18, 2012 - 05:59   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN HOST: You're money in the stock market and in your 401(k) likely to be influenced today by these elections in Greece. Find out how coming up.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: China making a statement in the final frontier, a major milestone in space, as the United States is still left hitching a ride.

SAMBOLIN: King James now just two wins away from getting his first NBA crown. Lebron huge in game three in that win. We'll have the highlights coming up.

Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. Thanks for being with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BANFIELD: Hi, everybody. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. We have the news from A to Z for you this morning. It's 6:00 a.m. in the east. Let's start with this, shall we?

A big election in Greece, did you hear? Sure to impact your 401(k) and the U.S. markets later this morning. Antonis Samaras of the New Democracy Party won yesterday's parliamentary election in a vote that was seen by many as a 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 people back to prosperity.


BANFIELD: Well, now it's up to Samaras to form a coalition government quickly to keep the Greece afloat. Something the U.S. and other eurozone nations are really hoping he can do and that would be an understatement.

Christine Romans is here with us live this morning. She's not only monitoring the world markets this morning. Poor girl did not sleep all weekend.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I was worried about this. I was really worried about this.

BANFIELD: Here's the deal, while I think a lot of Americans say let them play it out and have their thing and let me know how it affects me, it's kind of an immediate thing.

ROMANS: Yes, it's been playing out 221 days without an elected government in Greece and at the same time, it is surviving on bailout money, bailout loans from the rest of Europe.

So this is the weakest link in the European chain and it looked like it was going to break off, but at least for now this vote means it stays on there. Here's what people were really worried about.

They were worried about the possible repercussions if Greece's crisis spreads, a credit freeze in Europe, U.S. stock market potentially plunging, the euro sinking against the U.S. dollar.

Many people told me that would have been what would happened if this had gone toward an anti-bailout party who would say we don't want the crushing terms of the euro.

We want to going back to the drachma, that's what many people thought would happen. I want to bring you in on a lexicon of the Greek crisis too.

Because you've heard a lot of things, drachmageddon, that's what people were saying would happen if this vote went the wrong way. It could potentially be Europe's Lehman movement.

What do we mean by that? It means that we don't even understand the unintended consequences of an economy breaking away from the eurozone area and potentially it could lead spiralling, you know, knock on problems with all of these other countries in the banking system.

You hear that a lot, Greek leaving the euro zone. It has avoided today for now. Here's why stock futures in the U.S. are lower today. They are lower because this country has a lot of work to do.

Because now you have a government, potentially if they can form a coalition, you have a government. How long does the government last? There's a mid-June deadline for how it's going to make sure it is actually abiding by the terms of the bailout.

Runs out of money in mid-July and "The Telegraph" has this amazing story about how, in the island of Naxos, the tax collector came and a local radio station put out his license plate number so people could hide from them. Corruption and tax evasion still a problem. So look, you got a lot of problems in this country.

BANFIELD: They've got three days to make that coalition government. Talk about speedy work.

ROMANS: That guy has the hardest job in the world right now.

BANFIELD: Yes, all right, Christine, thanks.

SAMBOLIN: We'll try to figure out if that can happen in three days. Other eurozone nations and the U.S. are urging Samaras to act quickly to once again try to form a coalition government in Greece.

Matthew Chance is live in Athens this morning. Matthew, can Samaras pull this together after failing just six weeks ago?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the hope is, Zoraida, that he will be able to succeed where he failed six weeks ago. The situation is slightly different back then.

He had a much lower proportion of the national vote. This time, he's coming away with 129 seats. He needs 151 to command a majority in the parliament.

So in terms of the figures it's going to be easier for him to attract some -- enough support to form a government. In terms of whether he's going to be able to do that or not, it may be just as difficult.

Same parties are out there. There are still ideological differences between the New Democracy and the other parties that are represented in the parliament now.

But Antonis Samaras, the man likely to be the next prime minister of Greece, now has three days constitutionally to conduct the negotiations with the other parties and to forge some type of working coalition.

The meetings with those parties will begin in about a few hours from now here in Athens at the parliament building where all the attention is moving to now. As I say, three days to conclude, maybe it will happen before then.

SAMBOLIN: Percentages, the differences between election this time and last time were very small and that lower voter turnout, is that the lowest ever there?

CHANCE: Yes, I mean, I think that low voter turnout reflects the apathy with which, you know, many people in Greece have towards the political process here. Remember, they have seen five years of recession, unemployment is sky high, I mean, well over 22 percent nationwide.

It's over 50 percent for the age group between 16 and 24. And a whole category of people are totally disillusioned with the class in this country. There's very little hope that whoever forms the coalition inside the parliament building is going to be able to solve some of those very tough economic problems inside Greece.

I think what many Greeks, what most Greeks understand is what they've elected this time is sort of continuation of the process, it's not a solution, not much hope for that.

SAMBOLIN: Matthew Chance live in Athens this morning, thank you very much.

We'll continue to monitor the world markets for you as things develop this morning. Remember to check out for the very latest.

BANFIELD: It's 6 minutes now past 6:00. In Colorado, the high park fire burning near Fort Collins is now officially the worst fire in the state's history. It's destroyed a record 181 homes. More than 1,600 people are working on this fire. It's blackened 86 square miles and it's just 45 percent contained this morning.

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

BANFIELD: Dangerous conditions on Alaska's Mount McKinley are prompting the search for four Japanese climbers to be suspended this morning. Park service officials say they believe the climbers were killed in an avalanche there.

A fifth member of the group did survive. Mt. McKinley is the highest peak in North America standing more than 20,000 feet tall. The climbers were just below 12,000 feet when that avalanche swept them away.

SAMBOLIN: New details this morning on the death of Rodney King. His neighbors told the "L.A. Times," they heard a bit of a commotion late Saturday and early Sunday, which they say was out of character for their typically quiet neighbor.

His fiance found him dead in the swimming pool yesterday. King's controversial beating sparked riots one year later. In 1992, after the four officers involved were acquitted.

Two of them were later found guilty in a federal court of civil rights violations. King also sued the city of Los Angeles and was awarded $3.8 million in damages. King was just 47 years old.

BANFIELD: Here's a power struggle and more bloodshed this morning as the Muslim Brotherhood is claiming victory in Egypt's historic presidential election.

A count by state media shows the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi leading, but there are still millions of votes to be counted. Military leaders in the meantime have not only refused to give up power, but they grabbed even more of it.

They dissolved parliament before the election and they say they are going to make the laws until a brand-new body can be picked.

A very dependable putter helped Web Simpson capture the U.S. Open golf championship on Sunday. Simpson shot a final round two under par 68 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco to win his first major championship and then also move up in the rankings to number five in the world.

Simpson had to watch anxiously from the clubhouse with his wife before that tournament was actually decided. As former U.S. Open champ Brian McDowell had a birdie putt on the 18th hole to tie and then force a playoff on Monday.

McDowell missed though, and Simpson took home the $1.4 million first place prize, not to mention all of the bragging rights. Nice cup.

Nobody has talked about Tiger Woods though this morning. He faded into the final round yesterday and didn't end up being a factor at all.

We're going to interview Woods, yes, we are. We're going to interview another one of the Woods family in fact. It's his niece that's coming up a little bit later on in this hour.

Cheyenne Woods is going to us live after making her debut on the LPGA Tour this weekend so how about that?

SAMBOLIN: Very cool, can't wait to hear it. Jackie Joyner Kersey is also going to be here, very exciting.

It's 9 minutes past the hour, four days under furniture, neighbors realize they haven't seen a woman for a few days and they called the police. Wait until you see where they found her.


BANFIELD: It's nice to see you this morning. It's 13 minutes past 6:00 on the east coast.

When President Obama decided to change America's policy and stop deporting some younger illegal immigrants, was it election year politicking or was it the right thing to do?

It depends on where you stand in this election and Mitt Romney is not mincing any words. He insists that this decision was nothing more than an attempt to win Latino voters.


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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he did it for politics?

ROMNEY: That's certainly a big part of the equation.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BANFIELD: Kind of a damned if you did or don't thing, isn't it? How do you actually legislate in an election year without getting the credit or without getting the criticism?

Joe Johns is live from Washington, D.C., this morning, which is why you are such a busy man, Joe Johns because you are tasked with parsing all of this. So give me the lowdown on how this is shaking out?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, the polls tell the Obama people immigration is a good issue for them at least right now. They are slamming Romney for not coming up with solutions, Ashleigh.

The Obama people say, well, we don't have a complete solution, but we have come up with a stop gap, a temporary solution, one piece of the immigration issues that's been bounced around.

They say they have sort of come up with this idea to let people who came to the United States by the age of 16, lived here for up to five years, say they graduated from high school or got an honorable discharge from the military, no crime convictions, then they can get work permits.

So that's just a piece of this. They say they've done more than Mitt Romney has come up with at least so far, Ashleigh.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: They have come up with this idea to let people who came to the United States by the age of 16, lived here for up to five years, say they graduated from high school or got an honorable discharge from the military, no crime convictions, then they can get work permits. So that's just a piece of this. They say they've done more than Mitt Romney has come up with at least so far, Ashleigh.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: So, Joe, we have this itty bitty taste of how Mitt Romney reacted to this over the weekend. And then Bob Schieffer -- God bless him -- did what all of us are taught to do from day one in journalism school --

JOHNS: Right, he's one of the best.

BANFIELD: Isn't he, though? He's pushing it, push it, push it, and get an answer. He asked him point blank, so, if you are President Romney, would you repeal this -- and it was incredible. Walk me through it.

JOHNS: Yes, this is really interesting. Several times and I think it was three or four or five times he asked if Romney would repeal the Obama policy that I was just talking about. Do we have that sound? Can we listen to it?

BANFIELD: We do. Have a listen.


BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS: Would you repeal this order if you became president?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, let's step back and look at the issue.

SCHIEFFER: Well, what would you do about it?

ROMNEY: As you know, he was president for the last three and a half years, did nothing on immigration.

SCHIEFFER: But would you repeal this?

ROMNEY: Well, it would be overtaken by events if you will by virtue of my putting in place a long term solution.

SCHIEFFER: I won't keep on about this but to make sure I understand, would you leave this in place while you worked on out a long-term solution or would you just --

ROMNEY: We'll look at that -- we'll look at that setting as we reach that.


BANFIELD: He gets right in there, right, Joe?

JOHNS: Yes, absolutely. This is compounded by the fact that during the primaries, Romney said he supports self-deportation and that's the kind of thing, of course that got him ridiculed even from Republicans who were supposed to be in his own party. It's a tough position this immigration issue for Romney right now.

BANFIELD: OK. Stay on it, my friend. Let's see how this shakes out today.

Joe Johns, always great to see you. Thanks for getting up early.

JOHNS: Good to see you, Ashleigh.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: It is 16 minutes past the hour.

Let's get you up-to-date. Here's Christine Romans with our top stories.

Good morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And the top story is Greece, ladies. For the second time in six weeks, Antonis Samaras has emerged victorious in Greece's parliamentary elections and will again begin be faced with the challenge of putting together a coalition government.

His victory yesterday is seen as a referendum on keeping the eurozone intact. Asian markets grow sharply on the news. Although, U.S. futures are down a little bit this morning.

The defense is scheduled to begin presenting its case today in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial. Yesterday, Sandusky underwent psychological testing that was requested by prosecutors and approved by the judge. The former Penn State football coach faces more than 50 counts of sex abuse and his lawyers plan to argue that he suffers from a condition called histrionic personality disorder.

Concerned neighbors thought she died but it turns out 76-year- old Virginia Cartier was trapped under a dresser for four days. The Oregon woman who lives alone was moving furniture when the dresser fell on top of her. Neighbors called police who kicked down her door and rescued her. She's now out of the hospital and staying with friends while she recovers.

The Miami Heat taking a 2-1 lead in the NBA 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. Brutal.

And LeBron James, superstar Kevin Durant scored only four points in the fourth quarter. I mean, that was an exciting second half of that game.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, it was. I'm still waiting for Oklahoma to pull it all the way through. They get this close and let it go.

BANFIELD: How many games in the series?


BANFIELD: Seven games and they are 2-1? OK, it's exciting.

All right. I'll give you that. I miss hockey, I'm in my funk.

Thank you, Christine.

Eighteen minutes past 6:00 on the East Coast.

Hey, when was the last time that you made something? Think about it. Really made something -- a sculpture, beer, maybe your own rocket?

You're about to meet a man whose mission it is to make more makers. Dale Dougherty says all of us were born makers and he is making it his business to get us working.


DALE DOUGHERTY: For many years or many almost decades, we've kind of talked ourselves out of being makers, that we're smart shoppers or consumers. And I really want to turn that around and say we are makers. We make our world.


BANFIELD: If that music doesn't get your going, how about this? Dale created a magazine and festival to encourage Americans to get making, go on, get out there. You can find out more on "THE NEXT LIST." It's this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. It's Sanjay Gupta, needy say more?


BANFIELD: He's awesome.


BANFIELD: I would watch Sanjay sit there.

SAMBOLIN: You know, they replayed the organist this past weekend, it was fantastic. If you missed it, you should go online and watch it.

Nineteen minutes past the hour.

The world's largest economies buying time now. President Obama joining other leaders at the G-20 Summit with the crisis in Europe on everyone's mind. We are live in Mexico with the latest.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. It is 23 minutes past the hour.

The most important, powerful world leaders, including President Obama, are meeting face to face this week at the G-20 Summit. It is in Mexico. The immediate priority: reenergize the sagging global economy.

Brianna Keilar joins us live from Los Cabos this morning.

And, Brianna, the eurozone crisis is the key at the summit. I think perhaps it's on the agenda but for three days. But can they actually make real progress?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zoraida, I will tell you -- the White House is downplaying that there are going to be any solutions here to solve the eurozone crisis, pointing to the fact that there are only four of the seven nations here now. They are big ones, Germany, France, Italy is here as well.

But the White House really pointing to that meeting, that E.U. meeting in Brussels at the end of the month is really where you're going to see more hopefully solutions and what they're really trying to do here, what President Obama is trying to do is pressure the nations to say, you need to get it done. You need to deliver some solid steps towards solutions and he wants to see more of an abstract commitment in that regard, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Brianna, can this actually have an impact on President Obama's re-election?

KEILAR: Yes, very much. In fact, this may be the one thing that is having not only a very big drag on the U.S. economy but then, of course, a very big drag on President Obama and his re-election prospects because this is an election about the economy.

But the thing is, the White House won't miss an opportunity to try to remind people that this is a very big deal. That this is hurting the economy and the U.S. but it's one of those things where Americans think, this is something happening over there. And it doesn't really resonate with them. It's a bit of political challenge for the president.

SAMBOLIN: I don't know. But we're seeing the markets affected by the elections in Greece.

So, I want to talk about something that your probably excited about here, right? Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting with Obama this morning. We're thinking you would like to be a fly on the wall there.

What are they going to talk about?

KEILAR: Definitely. This is coming at a time of tremendous tension between the U.S. and Russia. And a couple of big things they'll be discussing, Iran, because as this summit is going on here in Cabo, in Moscow, there are talks going on with the U.S., Russia, other U.N. Security Council nations, and Iran, as they try to stop Iran from pursuing its alleged nuclear weapons program.

But the really big topic and source of tension is really Syria. The U.S. and Russia are not on the same page here. The U.S. wants to see Bashar al Assad go as part of a political transition in Syria.

And Russia has many interests, financial interests. It has a naval base in Syria. There are actually warships they are moving into the area. So, this is going to be a very interesting discussion and certainly I think we'll see the tension continue after this.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Brianna Keilar, live for us in Mexico -- thank you.

BANFIELD: A kindergarten teacher fights back against a bully by lining up the kids in the class then telling them to have at it, hit the bully, kindergarten. Yes, that's coming up next.


BANFIELD: Was a state representative barred from a fight over abortion, after she referred to her own private parts? Just ahead, that story and what she has planned today in protest.

SAMBOLIN: And a designer drug may be turning people into zombies. You've heard al about this. The White House drugs czar on the bizarre behavior of people who take bath salts and what the government is doing about it.

BANFIELD: And leveling the playing field. We're looking at the significance of Title 9, 40 years later. And who best to do that, three time Olympic gold medalist, Jackie Joyner Kersee.

SAMBOLIN: She is in the studio. We're very excited about that.

We're very excited about you being with us this morning. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BANFIELD: Good morning, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. It is 31 minutes past the hour.

And guess what? It might sound like a song to you, but it's a mantra for many. Greece is the word this morning. The entire world is watching Athens in the wake of last night's parliamentary elections.

Antonis Samaras of the pro-bailout, New Democracy party, winning by a slim margin in a vote seen by many as an endorsement in the survival of the euro.

Christine Romans didn't sleep a wink, shall I say. She's minding your business this morning.

So, I like that you say that Greece could be considered the weakest link in the chain.

ROMANS: That's right.

BANFIELD: And that that's why this is so significant?

ROMANS: Look, the question was whether the anti-bailout people were going to win and then you would have basically an exit down the road from the euro. What would that look like? What would be the ramifications?

There was a lot of fear around the world that would happen if the Greek crisis spreads and it were to exit the euro and not be able to pay its bills, right? You would have a credit freeze in Europe. You would have a stock market plunge.

Some people are telling me that global stocks could plunge by 15 percent, if something like that were to happen. You would have the euro sinking against the U.S. dollar, and the reason why today we have so many concerns, U.S. stocks have now turned lower and stock futures are down a little bit. It's not a big rally in the U.S.

And that's because of the troubles ahead for Greece. Many people are saying the work has just started. It's had five years of recession, painful recession. It's had a lot of questions whether the coalition will last. The bailout deadline by end of June and then the cash runs out by mid July.

So we still need to see that Greece can abide by its crushing bailout terms. It can survive on the money that's being given by the European Union and it can fix its economy, it's structural economy and get going here.

I was telling you earlier about a telegraph report, and newspaper report that the island of Naxos, the local radio station was broadcasting license plate number of the tax collector when he came to town because some people don't want to pay their taxes and corruption is still a big problem.

So, watch this space. I say that a lot. But the Greece story is just beginning. Also talking this morning about Spain and Italy and higher borrowing costs for those countries. Europe problems still simmer.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Christine.

Thirty-three minutes past the hour.

Supreme Court justices have to decide 14 cases before the end of the month. And among them, the president's health care reform and Arizona's controversial crackdown on illegal immigrations. Opinion days this week are scheduled, that's today and Thursday. So, decisions could be handed down as early as 10:00 this morning.

BANFIELD: The Michigan lawmaker who was banned from speaking during a legislative session after making a reference to her vagina is going to planning to perform "The Vagina Monologues" on the steps at the state capitol. That's in protest supposedly for later today.

Her name is Lisa Brown and she's a Democrat. And she's going to be joined by Tony Award-winning playwright Eve Ensler. Brown was arguing against the proposal for tighter regulations on abortions, when she told Michigan's speaker that she was flattered by everyone's interest in her female anatomy.

Brown admits that while she has asked for a reason why she was banned, she's never been told directly. The next day, Republicans refused to allow her to speak on the floor about an unrelated bill.

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


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

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


SAMBOLIN: That little 6-year-old never told his parents but another teacher who witnessed it came forward two weeks after it happened. The teacher who told the students to hit the boy and then to hit the boy harder may not be hired back and she may actually face charges. And we're hearing the teacher who initially failed to report the incident will be back in the fall.

BANFIELD: We have all heard about these violent attacks by people using the drug referred to as bath salts.

And up next, we're going to talk to the White House drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, about what the federal government is planning to do about this strange, new phenomenon in drug use. He's standing by. He'll live, next.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Thirty-nine minutes past the hour.

Through a string of bizarre incident, a designer drug known as bath salts went from being virtually unheard of, to taking the national spotlight in what many are calling a drug epidemic.

It all started late last month when Rudy Eugene, suspected to be under the influence of bath salts allegedly attacked a homeless man and bit off over 80 percent of the victim's face before being shot and killed by police. There have been at least four our violent incidents across the country, since then and U.S. lawmakers are now scrambling to try to find a solution to this.

And joining me now from Washington is Gil Kerlikowske. He's the director of White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

It's nice to see you this morning. Thank you for being with us.


SAMBOLIN: I want to start talking about explaining bath salts, because I know we've had this information a lot out there. But I just want to be very clear that this is not what you buy to use in a bath. So, if you can explain that quickly.

KERLIKOWSKE: Absolutely. They are marketed as incense, bath salts or plant food, not for human consumption. These are a variety of different chemicals are incredibly powerful and cause that you just mentioned, not only violent incidents but a lot of psychotic episodes with young people.

SAMBOLIN: And they are bought under a lot of names. I have to tell you this, Cloud 9. We went on the Internet and we could purchase this off the Internet.

KERLIKOWSKE: Well, one of the things that we're really hopeful is new federal regulation that will ban this. Many of the states have already banned it. But what happened is that the people that sell and market this who are truly bottom feeders change their chemical compilation and then are able to skirt the law. But hopefully federal legislation is going to work to stop that.

SAMBOLIN: Tell me a little bit about that federal legislation. You talked about the chemical compilation, you're banning certain chemicals that are used in it?

KERLIKOWSKE: It's over 28 different substances. And when these are put together and sold as things we just mentioned, that was the significant problem. Federal legislation also will allow the department of justice and others to be able to stop them from being imported in the form that they are in.

SAMBOLIN: So this is a growing problem. I want to throw up some statistics here. The number of calls went up from 304 in 2010 to 6,138 in 2011. There have been already more than a thousand calls this year alone.

Would you consider this an epidemic?

KERLIKOWSKE: You know, I wouldn't consider it an epidemic because we've heard of waves of problems different drugs over many years that have come forward. But I guess the most important part is that we want to alert parents and the partnership at along with the Department of Justice actually developed a kit.

You know, parents are pretty good at being able to talk to their kids about alcohol and marijuana and cocaine. But they really didn't have the information until recently to talk to their kids about these synthetics.

SAMBOLIN: So, what is the time line you're talking about to fix this problem?

KERLIKOWSKE: Well, we're very hopeful with the work of Senator Schumer and Senator Klobuchar and others, that the federal regulation will move forward.

But remember, a number of states have already taken action. I guess the most important part is, it isn't going to be just about law enforcement or a particular law. It's also about educating young people with a trusted voice like a parent, a coach, police officer, to tell them about the dangers. I mean, the people that sell and market this stuff are truly low lives.

SAMBOLIN: And when you look at the list of priorities for you. Where do you rank this?

KERLIKOWSKE: Well, it's difficult to rank one drug as more dangerous or more prevalent or more of a problem than others. I mean, we have our own prescription drug problem which you all have remarked about quite a bit.


KERLIKOWSKE: And we certainly see an increase in use of these synthetics with young people. The question was asked last year on a survey for first time ever and what we saw was one in nine high school seniors who talked about using this synthetic. And I think that should be a great concern to all of us.

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely. And we really appreciate you wanting to raise awareness about this. I think we have a Web site that we're going to put up here for folks who want more information. If you can tell us where to go, it's at Is there anywhere else?

KERLIKOWSKE: will also give you some more information. And, again, these kits for parents give them the information they need to warn people about this dangerous substance.

SAMBOLIN: Well, Gil Kerlikowske, we appreciate your time -- White House drug czar. Thank you.


BANFIELD: Now, 43 minutes past 6:00.

Soledad O'Brien joining us now with a look at what's coming up on "STARTING POINT".

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: So much ahead. So so much, a lot.

Yes. David Maraniss has written a new biography of President Obama. And, of course, you know, the president had written his own biography. The two differ a little bit. We're going to compare and contrast some of the areas in which they are not saying the same thing.

Also, this man has been Mitt Romney's biggest supporter on the campaign trail. Does that mean Tim Pawlenty could get a spot on the ticket as V.P.? You know, he's been appropriately demurring oh, well, maybe, maybe not. We'll talk to him this morning live.

Rock history through this man's lens. He's the only photographer to have shot album covers for the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who. It's all in the new book from Ethan Russell. He'll be joining us live as well.

Don't forget, you can watch us on your computer or on your mobile phone if you're heading to work, We'll see you at the top of the hour.

BANFIELD: Happy birthday, Title IX.

O'BRIEN: It's not my birthday.

BANFIELD: Not you, girlfriend. You'll know, there will be a cake with people jumping out.

No, (inaudible). And so what exactly does that mean? You probably would want to know from some of the best in the business. Top female athletes, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Cheyenne Woods. That sound familiar? Niece of Tiger Woods? Coming up, joining us live to talk about the influence on their lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm excited about this.


BANFIELD: Ready? I meant it when I said happy birthday, this week marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the landmark 1972 law that ensured equal treatment of women and men in all federally funded institutions.

That law had a huge impact in women's sports in particular, which is the subject of what you're seeing on your screen, a brand-new documentary called "Sporting Chance," which is going to premiere this weekend on ESPN 2.

And tonight in New York at Lincoln Center, a cast of prominent female athletes, including legendary three-time Olympic gold medalist, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, going to hold a panel discussion on Title IX and its impact over the years.

And I'm not only joined by Ms Joyner-Kersee herself, but she's joined by Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, who herself made her pro golf debut a week ago and who's going to be on tonight's panel.

Welcome to both of you. Very nice to see you.

And congratulations on the big debut.

CHEYENNE WOODS, PRO GOLFER: Thank you so much.

BANFIELD: So, so much to talk about with regard to Title IX.

Jackie, I want to start with you. I was just sort of looking over your bio, because I was thinking, wow, Jackie Joyner-Kersee is younger than I am; I wonder how much time she's had to benefit from Title IX and, girl, it has been almost your whole life. I cannot believe it.

JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE, PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE: I know, you know, I'm very, very fortunate. I'm excited about tonight with Coca-Cola and NCAA presenting this panel tonight so we can really talk about the celebration of Title IX and how it has impacted all of our lives.

And for me, in 1972, when it came into effect, I didn't know what to expect. But I know that as I continued to dream about wanting to do great things and knowing that my parents couldn't afford for me to go to the college of my choice, and because of Title IX, it made a big difference in my life.

BANFIELD: So do you ever look specifically to what happened after Title IX? I mean, did you see changes in the way the gyms were structured that, all of a sudden, you said, hey, I could get that? I could get on that team or, hey, there is a team for me to join?

JOYNER-KERSEE: You know, what I was able to notice, coming up through my, I guess, middle school or junior high school as well as high school, that I wanted to do sports. And one of the things was that the girls weren't allowed to practice right after school. We only had one gymnasium. And so we would have to come back at 6:30 or 7:30 in the evening. My mother wasn't going for that.

And then the coaches still impacting and making sure that they really enforce the law, the Title IX. So then after school, then we were able -- we being girls -- were able to practice right after school and allowed us to continue to pursue our dreams.

BANFIELD: Six medals, six Olympic medals, three of them gold, do you think you ever would have achieved that had this not happened?

JOYNER-KERSEE: You know, I think it would have been extremely tough, because even doing training and trying to become one of the best and realizing how difficult -- stepping back, realizing how difficult it is. And I still see there's a lot of challenges today, but Title IX made it all possible.

BANFIELD: So you had almost your entire life to benefit from Title IX.

You on the other hand, 21?

WOODS: Twenty-one.

BANFIELD: Oh, good heavens. Baby. I'm wondering, Cheyenne, it might be tricky to think through this sort of live on television. but I've been really thinking this through.

Do you think you're benefitting from Title IX or do you think you're benefiting from Jackie's benefitting of Title IX?

WOODS: I would say a combination of both. Title IX really got it started and then women like Jackie Joyner-Kersee really started the foundation for female athletics. So I'm so thankful for women like you and then also Title IX for helping female athletes getting to where we are today.

BANFIELD: So I guess this is a question for both of you.

Why don't you start, Cheyenne. Is the playing field level? Do we still need Title IX? I mean, if you're already sort of there, right at 21, do we still need Title IX?

WOODS: Yes, I think so. It's always good to set that equal playing field. And I think with it, it will really set it and help us continue the progress in female athletics.

BANFIELD: What do you think, Jackie, do we need it?


BANFIELD: I mean, a lot of critics who say, come on already, we're done. You know? JOYNER-KERSEE: No, you can never be done. We still need it. We still need more women in decision-making positions, from athletic directors, from presidents of universities, to make sure that they don't try to do away with Title IX and try to change that playing field, because there's always people out there trying to figure out a way where, no, the women are again is no.

It's still -- we're still not on an even playing field. It's great that we're talking about it. It's great that we're talking about the celebration and I am very, very thankful for Coca-Cola and NCAA, because Billie Jean King, the great legendary tennis player; Summer Sanders, great swimmer; are all going to be here tonight, joining us, talking about the empowerment of women, but also what Title IX has been able to bring to female athletes.

BANFIELD: And it's nice to have another Woods on the golf course and doing well. So did you talk to your -- I hate to say Uncle Tiger because it seems you're the same age almost. But did you talk to Uncle Tiger about how things went last weekend?

WOODS: Yes, I did. I mean, he was proud of me, followed me the whole week. So it was really nice to have his support and the support of my entire family through this process and beginning of my career.

BANFIELD: OK, I'm no sports reporter, but I'll ask you this, what happened to Tiger last weekend?

WOODS: I don't know. I mean, he showed a lot of promise and I think he's playing really well. So it's exciting to see him out there. And I know that he's going to continue to play well and it's just always exciting when he's out there.

BANFIELD: Cheyenne Woods, it's just as exciting to see you now coming up in the ranks. And we'll be watching a lot to see how you do in your career.

WOODS: Thank you.

BANFIELD: And Jackie Joyner-Kersee, always a pleasure to see you. By the way, the building is buzzing that y'all are in the building. So you'd better get your autograph pens ready to go.

Thanks to both of you.

Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you again. I saw you in Sydney.

WOODS: Thank you.

BANFIELD: (Inaudible) the first time.

Zoraida, over to you.

SAMBOLIN: And get ready to say cheese, because we have got our cameras ready as well. All right, 54 minutes past the hour. Up next, we get today's best advice from one of the CEOs of one of the most successful businesses in the country right now, the head of Starbucks. Stay with us.


SAMBOLIN: "STARTING POINT" less than a minute away and we wrap it up with "Best Advice". Here's Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And today's "Best Advice," let's call it a tall skim half caff soy latte, right? It comes from Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz.


HOWARD SCHULTZ, CEO, STARBUCKS: The best advice I ever got was from my mother, who said, "Believe in your dreams, they can come true."


ROMANS: See what I mean? Tall, short and sweet, that was it. Believe in your dreams, they can come true, another piece of advice from Mom. So far Mom has the wrap on best advice in our -- well, (inaudible), typical --


BANFIELD: But I still have to say my favorite comes from your grandmother.

ROMANS: Yes. You have two ears and one mouth, act accordingly.

BANFIELD: I love that. I think it's fantastic.

ROMANS: Apparently it's a Greek -- there's this some -- Greek mythology has something about it, too, but --

BANFIELD: Did you really want to start and end the show in Greece? Is that what that was about?


ROMANS: Yes, there you go, Greece is the word, my friend.

BANFIELD: It stays with you, doesn't it? Those little bits of nugget that mom always gives us.


BANFIELD: Christine, you're the bomb, baby.

That is it. That's the news. That's EARLY START and the news from A to Z. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "STARTING POINT" with Soledad O'Brien starts right now.