Return to Transcripts main page


Inside Shooting Suspect's Apartment; "It's An Act"; NCAA Slaps Penn State With $60 Million Fine; Syria Threatens Use of Chemical Weapons; Housing Market Bottoming Out?; Romney's Big Test; Rigged to Kill; NCAA Sanctions Penn State

Aired July 24, 2012 - 06:00   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you, it's not the way you want to start a wedding, right? Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Berman. It's 6 a.m. in the east. Also coming up, Penn State, a once proud football program sacked by crippling penalties, a live report just minutes away.

SAMBOLIN: Plus, the housing market may have finally hit rock bottom. Christine Romans on what that might mean for the value of your home that is coming up.

BERMAN: But first, brand-new exclusive details this morning about the explosive rigged apartment of James Holmes, the suspected Colorado shooter. A law enforcement official described to CNN video taken from inside that apartment.

He says it was set up like something out of Iraq or Afghanistan. Holmes' living room scattered with about 30 improvised grenades, rigged dual control blocks in the kitchen and glass containers filled with ten gallons of gas allegedly for the purpose of adding more fuel to the fire in an explosion.

CNN's Jim Spellman is in Aurora, Colorado right outside the theatre where the shooting happened. Jim, again, this exclusive video, the details of it is exclusive to CNN. What else can you tell us about it?

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The police here tell us that this apartment was designed to kill with a trip wire right at the front door, designed to set off these explosives to when the door was open.

Now, it took two days for police here to be able to figure out an approach to rendering this safe. They had to use essentially a water charge to take out the control panel, which then rendered the rest of them inoperable.

These are filled with black powder, essentially a series of grenades made out of something that's similar to what is used in fireworks then as you mentioned with this gas.

When they were able to extract these things from the apartment and take them out into a rural area and explode them in a field, it was a huge fire ball, unbelievable the damage that would have done to the apartment if it had gone off.

Especially if it had gone off as it apparently was designed to do when police and first responders entered that apartment -- John.

BERMAN: Jim, perhaps tragically today, James Holmes' face all over the newspaper. You can see his face on the cover of every newspaper. Everyone talking about his disposition in the courtroom, his eyes and hair, you were inside that room. How did he seem to you?

SPELLMAN: I mean, to me he just seemed small and petty and lost and nothing like this sort of super villain that apparently persona he tried to sort of occupy allegedly during this event.

For the people that were there, the family members, they were looking at him though. You could see as hard as it is to see this guy's face plastered everywhere, the family members couldn't take their eyes off of him.

I mean, they all were just staring at him for the entire 15 minutes or so that he was in the courtroom, you know, and he really didn't stare at them at all. I didn't see him look towards the family members at all.

He just kind of blankly looked forward with this expression that we've seen so many times in pictures and video, just kind of looking more or less at the judge and looking very out of it.

Hard to know what to read into it, expression like that, but also hard to attach someone who seems so weak essentially to such a horrific act.

BERMAN: And inside look at what's going on there, thanks. Jim Spellman in Aurora, Colorado.

SAMBOLIN: What's the world that got its first look at James Holmes yesterday as well and of the course, as Jim just mentioned, his victims.

The suspected gunman in the Aurora movie theatre made his first court appearance and it was quite a spectacle. Holmes' hair dyed orange. His expression alternating from blank to bewildered and the newspaper showed them actually dozing off.

For two of his alleged victim, the first sight of Holmes evoked anger not because of what he was accused of doing, but of his demeanor in court.


CORBIN DATES, MASSACRE SURVIVOR: He has no right to come in court looking like he has a sad face. It is not something that's going to be believable.


DATES: Yes. He had this thought out very well.

LAH: Do you think the hair and this face this is all part of this act?

DATES: It's an act.

JORDAN GHAWI, BROTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM JESSICA GHAWI: This guy is nothing, a coward and genius. He knows what he's doing. He's playing the system. I don't believe for a second that he's sitting there, his wide eyes and pretended to be incoherent. He knows what he's doing.


SAMBOLIN: Holmes will be back in court on Monday that's when prosecutors are expected to file charges against him.

BERMAN: The family of James Holmes in San Diego is standing by him. Yesterday, their attorney, Lisa Damiani, told reporters they are doing as well as they can under the circumstances. They're getting a lot of support from their church. But when it comes to details about their son, they are not ready to speak.


LISA DAMIANI, HOLMES FAMILY ATTORNEY: The family wants to reiterate that the hearts go out to the victims and their families. The Holmes family would like to maintain their privacy. So at this time we will not be discussing James or his relationship to the family.


BERMAN: Damiani says everyone in Holmes family is concerned about the possibility of their son facing the death penalty.

SAMBOLIN: It's 4 minutes past the hour here, Penn State's football future hanging in the balance this morning after the NCAA slapped the program with devastating penalties for turning a blind eye to Jerry Sandusky's abuse of young boys.

A $60 million in fines, that's over five years, a postseason ban from Bowl games for four years, a reduced number of scholarships for four seasons. And the team has been stripped of all wins. This is going back to 1998.

So that drops Joe Paterno from first in all time wins to eighth. Susan Candiotti is live from State College. Susan, you sat down with the university's top brass yesterday after the devastating sanctions. This is something that they have inherited. What did they tell you?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they said that they are going to survive and that they are counting on support from alumni, from fans and from donors.

But they know they are going to have a tough job ahead of them trying to rebuild, especially their football program. I spoke with the athletic director on how he plans to recruit players.


DAVID JOYNER, PENN STATE ACTING ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: This certainly is a challenge. We've been placed in an unprecedented situation and Coach Bill O'Brien is a person that firmly committed to this university, this program and his football players.

There have been some comments made today by a couple of football players, one said that out of the hottest fire comes the strongest steel and that's the kind of attitude and the kind of players I think that are going to want to come here.


CANDIOTTI: But rebuilding will take time -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: A few critics are accusing the NCAA of piling it on. They want to know why did they come down so hard on Penn State?

CANDIOTTI: Really the NCAA said this was just a tremendous amount of failure of leadership that led to horrific child abuse. So they wanted to send a very clear message to everyone in college sports, that things will have to change.


MARK EMMERT, NCAA PRESIDENT: Our goal is not to be just punitive, but to make sure the university establishes an athletic culture and daily mindset in which football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.


CANDIOTTI: But as you know, Penn State will have to pay millions in fines, a loss of scholarship, a tremendous loss of prestige, and of course, they are also expected to pay millions of dollars to victims of child abuse and those pending civil lawsuits -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely. There's far more to come. I was watching the press conference as it was happening live yesterday. We were covering it and culture was mentioned so many times, a change of culture. So no doubt that is going to happen.

Susan Candiotti live for us, thank you. I know John, you're going to be talking to a former football player. The big question you were asking was, would you go?

BERMAN: That's right. I want to ask Tiki Barber, former New York Giant great one. I'm going to ask him, would you stay at Penn State if you were a player there right now. I don't know what his answer is yet. SAMBOLIN: It will be interesting.

BERMAN: All right, it is 8 minutes past the hour now. Looking overseas now, growing concern in Israel and the U.S. this morning about chemical weapons possibly coming into play in Syria.

Fierce fighting between rebel forces and government troops continuing overnight in the city of Aleppo. The Assad is regime desperately clinging to power there.

This is the development that's getting everyone's attention. A spokesman for Syria's foreign ministry publicly threatening to deploy chemical weapons against any foreign intervention.

Here in the U.S., Senator John McCain says he is taking that threat seriously.


JIHAD MAKDISSI, SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: The stocks of this weapon that the Syrian public army possess are monitored and guarded by the Syrian army. These weapons are meant to be used only and strictly in the event of external aggression against the Syrian republic.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: There is a danger of chemical weapons that presently under Bashar Assad's control from flowing to Hezbollah, presenting a grave threat to the security of Israel.


BERMAN: President Obama warns the Assad regime, it would be a tragic mistake to use chemical weapons and Syria will be held accountable.

SAMBOLIN: It's 9 minutes past the hour. Happy day of celebration turns into a fight to survive. Look at this. Coming up, a dramatic rescue caught on camera after a wedding caravan plunges into raging rapids.

BERMAN: Crazy.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It is 12 minutes past the hour. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Thanks for being with us. We are minding your business this morning. Is the housing market finally bottoming out?

BERMAN: Christine Romans has the new data on the recovery in housing and what this can mean for you and the value of your home. Christine, do we want to hear this?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You've been hearing me say for some weeks now, right, that the worst has got to be behind us here.

Now Zillow and saying yes, there's a bottoming happening here and we're right there at it. I can show you graphically what they are saying. The way they calculate home prices and they strip out for closures, by the way, because those are just distressed sales.

So they're looking people who are buying and selling homes. Look at this. They are seeing home prices up a little bit. This is the first time that I have seen them rise in five years. Home values rose two-tenths of a percent, median price, $149,300, this is down 25 percent.

But then a little bit of a bounce, stability there. That's why they are saying it's a bottom. This is the housing markets that have hit bottom already and it's the green you want to focus in on.

So take a look at this, California, Arizona, one of the biggest gainers over the past year or so it has been the Phoenix metropolitan area by the way. Some of these spots that really got hammered in the speculative bubble are now starting to come back.

Look at the green, anywhere on this map on green, this is bottomed. The housing market has bottomed in these places, look how much different places, parts of Florida and I've been hearing that anecdotally a lot.

There's been a recovery under way of sorts in Florida. Parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, right here. OK, so let's move along and talk about where it's going to go from here.

OK, because these are the forecast for home value so where do you live, right? If you live in Minneapolis, they are saying you're going to see your home values increase another three tenths of a percent.

Chicago, pretty much stable there, maybe down a little bit more. Washington, D.C., that's been actually a decent market in part because there is so much money for lobbying that comes into Washington, D.C.

New York, this area, maybe down a little bit more.

Hartford down 1.2 percent.

Miami, look up 6 percent. Miami.

Atlanta, down 1.6 percent.

Let me pull you back here. Denver, up a little bit.

There's the Phoenix market, 10 percent is the forecast there.

San Jose and Portland on the West Coast, you're seeing some stability as well. This is the biggest investment, probably your biggest asset and biggest debt, really, really important what happens going from here in home prices.

SAMBOLIN: I'm really happy to see that in Florida because they took a really monumental hit there. So --

BERMAN: Arizona, too.

ROMANS: In some cases, maybe they'll never get back to the speculative heights but as least it's still not dropping like a rock.

BERMAN: Some good news at least this morning. Thanks, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: Checking this morning's top stories.

Exclusive new information about the explosives discovered in the apartment of suspected movie theater gunman James Holmes. A law enforcement official describing video taken from inside that apartment. He says it was set up like something you'd find in Afghanistan or Iraq. The suspect's living room littered with 30 improvised grenades rigged to a control box in the kitchen, and glass containers filled with 10 gallons of gas to enhance the thermal effect of an explosion.

SAMBOLIN: And this just in out of the U.K. Charges will be brought against key figures arrested as part of the "News of the World" phone hacking scandal.

British prosecutors say Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks will be charged with offenses link to the hacking. Coulson was former aide to Prime Minister David Cameron and close confidant of Rupert Murdoch. Brooks was the former executive of Murdoch's News International.

A total of 24 people, including 15 current and former journalists have been arrested since the investigation was launched 18 months ago. Most of the arrests happened after a shocking revelation that some journalists hacked into the voice mail of 13-year-old Milly Dowler who was abducted and murdered. That was back in 2002.

The hacking scandal resulted in the closure of the "News of the World" last year. That is big news.

BERMAN: Yes, that was big development. That story we've all been watching.

SAMBOLIN: And now, I want to take a look at the video that we've been taking about this morning. A dramatic rescue in flood- ravaged China. Dozens have been killed there by the heaviest rain to hit that country in six decades. But one victim lived to tell about his ordeal.

You have to look at these two cars in a wedding caravan that plunged 30 feet into a river after a bridge collapse. Harrowing.

Rescuers lowering themselves down with ropes and breaking the sunroof there to pull the driver to safety. The victim suffered from head trauma and some broken bones. But, man, is he lucky it is not worse. He is expected to be OK.

SAMBOLIN: Wow. What a horrible ordeal, a wedding day.

BERMAN: But they are going to be OK. Hopefully, it all works out.

SAMBOLIN: Good news. Hope the marriage is better.

All right. The economy takes a back seat for just a moment in the race for the White House. Today, Mitt Romney with a big address on foreign policy. We're going to have a little bit of a preview for you coming up.

And for an expanded look at all of our top stories, head to our blog,


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Twenty-one minutes past the hour.

Mitt Romney getting ready for what could be the biggest challenge of his candidacy. The former Massachusetts governor heads overseas today, visiting the U.K., Israel and Poland. But, first, he delivers a big foreign policy speech to the VFW convention in Reno. Voters getting their first real chance to size up the presidential candidate's foreign policy credentials on a world stage.

CNN political reporter Peter Hamby live from Washington this morning.

Nice to see you, Peter.

And based on the latest polls, Romney has ground to make up against the president on foreign policy matters. What do you have for us?


We did a poll here at CNN at couple of weeks ago on the question of which candidate would do better on foreign policy. President Obama, 53 percent said him, 41 percent said Governor Romney.

So, you're right. This does represent a challenge for Romney. His strength is seen to be the economy. And this is his first chance to sort of make an impression.

The Obama campaign had a chance of sort of prebut Governor Romney yesterday. Obama spoke to the VFW convention in Reno and accused Romney of not offering enough specifics on foreign policy on Afghanistan, for instance. Romney faced a lot of criticism for not being specific enough on health care, immigration, foreign policy, a range of issues. And the Obama campaign is really pressing that message ahead of Romney's speech today.

But again, the topic will turn to foreign policy because Romney is leaving tonight to go to England, Israel and Poland. So, we're going to be talking a lot about foreign policy in the next couple of weeks which is good for Romney, so we're not talking about Bain Capital and his tax returns, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. So, this is really an opportunity for Romney to change that perception.

HAMBY: Right.

SAMBOLIN: So, I want to talk about an Obama ad that's out. It's pretty remarkable in its simplicity. Let's watch it and tell me how you feel about it.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the next four months, you have a choice to make, not just between two political parties or even two people, it's a choice between two very different plans for our country. Governor Romney's plan would cut taxes for the folks at the very top, roll back regulations on big banks and he says that if we do, our economy will grow and everyone will benefit.

But you know what? We tried that top-down approach. It's what caused the mess in the first place. Sometimes politics can seem very small, but the choice you face, it couldn't be bigger.


SAMBOLIN: Peter, as we're watching and everybody is saying, I can't believe he said his name. Are you surprised?

HAMBY: Yes and no, from a tactical perspective it is surprising to see a campaign -- this early in the campaign go with a straight to camera ad, a sort of closing argument kind of ad, with nice soaring music and clear contrast laid out in the message.

But this is in keeping with the Obama campaign's strategy of trying to define the choice early in the campaign, as much as George W. Bush did with John Kerry in 2004. In June, they spent $38 million in TV ads criticizing Mitt Romney. This is sort of a gentler message that voters are going to see on television during the Olympics.

So, aggressive strategy from the Obama campaign and definitely an interesting one, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: And also, he appeals to folks. So, it is probably really good strategy.

Peter Hamby -- live in Washington for us -- thank you very much.

BERMAN: It is 24 minutes past the hour.

Nothing can turn your stomach or maybe make you bite your fingernails more than a bumpy plane ride.

SAMBOLIN: Or pray.

BERMAN: You need to hear about in recent story of severe turbulence aboard a Miami-bound flight that sent five people to the hospital. This is some of the video of the people who are heard.

SAMBOLIN: But never fear, Christine Romans is here, with ideas to ease your anxiety in the today's "Road Warriors" segment.

ROMANS: Business travelers and family travelers get concerned about when you have kids on a plane. You're like a projectile if you're on a plane. It's more disruptive than dangerous and did you know fewer than 60 people every year get hit by turbulence while not wearing seat belts, fewer than 60, that's according to the FAA.

So the best way to protect yourself, you have to buckle up, even when the fasten seat belt sign is off. Just keep it, belt it, all the time.

You want to tried to avoid a bumpy flight, you can travel in the morning, thunderstorms usually strike in the afternoon. So, pick a morning flight. Pick a seat by the wings because you'll likely have a smoother ride because you're sitting in the center of gravity.

BERMAN: That's interesting.

ROMANS: It makes sense.

You can also check out to see maps forecasting the potential for turbulence anywhere in the world, although that really is the pilot's job and I think they probably do a pretty good job of that since only 60 people a year get hurt.

If you do hit a rough patch, breathe easy, literally. This is what the experts recommend. Close your eyes, take slow, deep breaths and relax. This prevents you from hyperventilating.

BERMAN: Good luck with that.

ROMANS: Zoraida recommends just praying.


ROMANS: For those think a stiff drink might be the answer, think again. One might help you relax but it will make you feel less in control and you're more likely to have to go to the bathroom.

BERMAN: Ladies room for you --

ROMANS: I was going to say ladies room but -- there you go.

But I was surprised that fewer than 60 people hurt if you keep the seat belt on.

BERMAN: Sit near the wings and breathe easily.

All right. Christine Romans, thanks very much.

SAMBOLIN: One drink.

BERMAN: The big news in the U.S. -- dozens of IEDs ready to explode. It's not in Iraq or Afghanistan, this was the Colorado apartment building. Exclusive details about what bomb experts found in the Aurora shooting suspect's home. That's coming up.


BERMAN: Inside a living room death trap. CNN with exclusive details on what was found in the Aurora shooting suspect's apartment.

SAMBOLIN: It is quite a list, folks.

Penn State slammed. The penalties for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal expected to impact the once proud football program for many years to come.

BERMAN: High speed sacrifice. A police officer risks his own life putting his cruiser in the path of a wrong way driver. Amazing video.

SAMBOLIN: A hero right there.

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Thirty-one minutes past the hour. We're happy you're with us this morning.

We have brand-new details this morning about the booby-trapped apartment of James Holmes, a suspected Colorado mass shooter. A law enforcement official has described exclusively to CNN video taken from inside that apartment.

Holmes' living room scattered with about 30 explosive devices rigged to a control box in the kitchen, glass containers filled with 10 gallons of gasoline meant to ratchet up more flames in an explosion.

CNN's Jim Spellman is in Aurora, Colorado, right outside the theater where the shooting happened.

And, Jim, what more can you tell us about this video?

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this law enforcement source who saw this video and told Poppy -- CNN's Poppy Harlow about this, described this control box as being center of this web of spaghetti like wires that link this altogether. Fortunately, there was not a timer involved but rather this was attached to this trip wire to the front door of the apartment, designed to basically go of with the first person to open the door.

So, they had to go through the window to figure out what these 30 IEDs were about and how it worked. When they finally did, they used water to disable the control box that rendered all of the IEDs safe. They were able to take them all out in the big dump truck full of sand, out of the middle of nowhere and blow them up in a field.

When you see the aerial video of that exploding in the field, it's unbelievable to imagine the damage it could have done in this small apartment complex. Police say they think it was designed to basically kill them, police. That when this timer that went off, that set of this loud tech know music, somebody would complain, make a noise complaint, police would arrive, and it would explode.

Fortunately perhaps his timing was a little off. By the time the downstairs neighbor called the police to complain about the noise, they were already responding to the theater and there was no way they could and respond to a noise complaint with such a huge event going on Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: There's a big of good news. Jim Spellman, live for us in Colorado, thank you very much.

BERMAN: The tragedy in Aurora is fueling the debate over gun control this morning. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is continuing his push for tighter laws. He's pressuring Mitt Romney and the president to make it part of the debate. While Romney and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie insist existing gun laws can get the job done.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I think we've got enough gun laws now and it's time for us to aggressively enforce the gun laws that we have.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I still believe that the Second Amendment is the right course to preserve and defend and don't believe new laws are going to make a difference in this type of tragedy.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: Some day, there will be a shooting which you would think would trigger in the American psyche this -- I'm not going to take it anymore. I don't know what it is. We obviously haven't gotten there yet. But we just -- this cannot continue.


BERMAN: Mitt Romney's position, by the way, has seemed to change over the years. He signed an assault weapon ban as governor of Massachusetts.

Here's President Obama. He's been laying low in the issue of gun control lately. During his visit to Aurora over the weekend, he didn't bring up the subject. And gun control advocates are expressing their disappoint with him.

SAMBOLIN: Maine police releasing video fit for an action flick. Take a look at this -- a state trooper chasing down an elderly driver going the wrong way on the interstate. This was last month.

The trooper got the call during a traffic stop. Instead of chasing the car the wrong way down the highway, the officer floored it to an exit ahead of him, went up the exit ramp and bumped him with his own car about 50 miles per hour. The trooper says the decision paid off because people would have died if he just kept going.

BERMAN: Good news for him.

All right. It is 35 minutes past the hour now.

What's the weather going to be today? We all want to know that. Let's get a quick look at our travel forecast today. Here's Rob Marciano.

Rob, what it's going to look like?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Not too shabby, a little thunderstorm rolling across eastern Massachusetts right now and another round later on today is possible. This one heading across Buzzard's Bay, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, and then it will be mostly dry for the day and humid, another round with a cold front coming through later.

Upper Midwest, Minneapolis towards Chicago, these cells south of Milwaukee are severe and will be heading to Chicago in the next hour. So, if you are in Chicago or traveling through there, rough stuff coming at you. So be prepared.

The threat for rough stuff all way to the mid-Atlantic later on today -- large hail, damaging winds, isolated tornadoes possible with this. We're trying to get this rain south in the drought zone. We'll have better luck I think tomorrow and then again on Thursday. In the meantime, it stays mostly north.

Hot and hazy and humid conditions expected. More heat advisories in effect for eastern parts of Nebraska, Kansas and to St. Louis and in through parts of the mid-Atlantic before those thunderstorms roll through later on today.

One hundred three is the actual high for Kansas City, 89 Albuquerque. Near 100 in Phoenix again today.

Here's a video of yet another dust storm, happening yesterday across Phoenix, a thunderstorm north of town blew up and this --


MARCIANO: -- dust was kicked up by those gusty winds, reducing visibility to less than an eighth of a mile at times and coating everybody once again with a coating of dust.

SAMBOLIN: We're going to have a haboob forecast on a daily basis.

MARCIANO: Yes. If we have another video, if we have haboob today, we're going to have to have a festival tomorrow.

BERMAN: The festival of haboobs. Rob Marciano, thank you very much from Atlanta. Take care.

MARCIANO: All right.

SAMBOLIN: That did not sound right.

BERMAN: The NCAA comes down hard on Penn State football for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. But will it be enough to change the college football culture? We want to talk to former NFL and college star Tiki Barber. And we're going to do that, coming up.


BERMAN: And welcome back, everyone. I'm John Berman.

We are talking about the future of Penn State football. And this morning, it is in serious doubt after strict penalties handed down from the NCAA for the Jerry Sandusky scandal, including this -- $60 million in fine over five years, a banned from bowl games for four years, the loss of 20 scholarships a year for four seasons, and team stripped of all wins going back to 1998. That means among other things Joe Paterno is no longer the winningest coach in Division I college football history. He's now way down on the list.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said the goal is to change the culture.


MARK EMMERT, NCAA PRESIDENT: One of the grave dangers stemming from our love of sports is that the sports themselves can become too big to fail, indeed, too big to even challenge. The result can be an erosion of academic values that are replaced by the value of hero worship and winning at all costs.


BERMAN: Tiki Barber is a former running back for New York Giants. He's a sports analyst. He plays college football for the University of Virginia.

And, Tiki, when you heard these penalties and there are a lot of them, what was your first reaction?

TIKI BARBER, FORMER NY GIANTS RUNNING BACK: I thought it was harsh, I think especially stripping the wins with something that wasn't really that important. I think it was a slap to Joe Paterno, someone who can't defend himself because he passed away. I think that the NCAA is trying to take steps towards where the NFL is, where if you get situations like this, you come down as hard as possible to set an example.

Will it work? I think that's yet to be seen.

BERMAN: Sending a message for all of the colleges around the country.

BARBER: Well, they're to send a message for all the colleges around the country. Let's not forget that the NCAA has just instituted this playoff system, there's going to be more money coming in to college football. There's going to be more attention being paid to what's happening on the field.

And so, they need to take control of any type of situation coming up. Obviously, this is unprecedented with Jerry Sandusky did at Penn State. But there are a lot of sanctions like this that are going to start happening around NCAA because violations happen frequently.

BERMAN: One of punishment against the Penn State football program was this -- that players there now, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, they can transfer and play immediately.

So, Tiki, put yourself in their shoes. You're a freshman, you're a sophomore. Level with me, are you staying?

BARBER: It depends, because there's two type of guys who go to college to play sports. There's one that just wants to play in the National Football League. They may by accident get a college degree, but they want to go play in the National Football League. Those guys will probably transfer.

But let's not forget the academic side of intercollegiate athletics, especially that university like Penn State, they have great degree programs. You can't get away from the fact that a lot of guys are good at football but also want a great degree in education. Those guys won't leave.

I think it's going to be -- it's going to be interesting to see how this community reacts to this. Happy Valley is very insular, very tight knit, a lot of people are predicting that the program is going to fall off. I'm not sure that will happen.

BERMAN: It's interesting, though. You're saying if you're there to go to school, you stay. If you're there to go pro, you're getting out.

BARBER: Probably, because you don't -- you're not going to get seen. The hardest challenge in college sport is to get seen and recognized by NFL scouts and NFL people around the league. If you're not on television regularly, if you're not getting a lot of promotion around the things you're accomplishing on the field, that's not going to happen.

BERMAN: If you were one of the players, and you know a lot of them who played from 1998 until 2011, if you had your wins vacated, how would you feel about that?

BARBER: You know, it's largely ceremonial, as I said at the beginning. It's a way to slap the legacy of Joe Paterno to posthumously bring him down a notch, which is kind of tacky in some ways, but if you're a player, you still did those things. You still put on the uniform, you still busted your butt, you beat Florida State or Miami, whoever it may have been, and you can't take that away.

BERMAN: Doesn't mean, though, you condone what happened while you were there with Jerry Sandusky?

BARBER: Absolutely not. You can never condone that. And honestly, that's the one thing that I think is getting lost in the hoopla about the sanctions, the athletic program, is that there are still dozens of victims who may -- who don't see how this affects them or helps them. I think the biggest benefit of the fine system and there's an additional $13 million fine that the big 10 levied on Penn State, the biggest help is going to come from that is that that money, and it's a lot of money is going to go to help victims of child abuse.

And that's the most important thing that I take away from this. These sanctions for the program are less important when you think about the victims who are affected for the rest of their lives.

BERMAN: Tiki Barber, former New York Giants star, thanks very much for being here.

BARBER: I appreciate it, John.

SAMBOLIN: It is 45 minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date this morning's top stories for you.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Exclusive new information this morning about the explosives discovered in the apartment of suspected movie theater gunman, James Holmes. A law enforcement official describing video taken from inside that apartment. He said it was set up like something you would find in Afghanistan or Iraq.

The suspect's living room littered with 30 improvised grenades rigged to a control box in the kitchen. Glass containers filled with ten gallons of gasoline to enhance the thermal effect of an explosion.

BERMAN (voice-over): An update for you right now in the UK charges. They will be brought against key figures arrested as part of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. British prosecutors say Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks will be charged for the offenses linked to the hacking.

Coulson was a former aide of Prime Minister David Cameron and a close confidante of Rupert Murdoch. Brooks was the former chief executive of Murdoch's News International. A total of 24 people, including 15 current and former journalists have been arrested since the investigation was launched 18 months ago.

SAMBOLIN: That's Rebekah Brooks you're looking at there.

And Mitt Romney preparing for a critical speech on foreign policy when addresses the VFW Convention that is in Reno today. President Obama got his turn yesterday, touting his record on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the killing of Osama Bin Laden. After Romney lays out his foreign policy vision today, he will travel to England, Israel and Poland. The White House challenging him to offer Americans clear foreign policy ideas during this trip.


BERMAN (on-camera): Soledad O'Brien is going to join us now with a look what's ahead on "Starting Point."

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, we got lots ahead this morning. We're going to talk a little bit more about the shooter in Colorado. There are some new details from inside the rigged apartment building. 30 IEDs, ten gallons of gasoline, they're in glass jars designed for maximum damage.

We're going to walk you through exactly how it was set up. Also, if you saw him in court yesterday, he appeared kind of (inaudible), aloof, making always weird facial twitches at point. The big question of course now is, will the mental state of the suspect prevent him from standing trial?

Criminal defense lawyer, Lisa Wayne, is a woman who helped train both members of Holmes defense team. She's going to talk us about what they might do as they proceed.

Penn State's football program has been decimated now by the NCAA. $60 million in fine, hundreds of win stripped scholarships cut, no chance at a ball game for four years. Are the current players being unfairly punished? I'm going to talk to NCAA president, Mark Emmert. He is the man who awarded those penalties. We'll ask him what he thinks about some people saying not fair.

Also, Oscar-winning producer and movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, is going to join us this morning. He has the new film out. It's called "The Intouchables," about the unlikely friendship between a guy who's a quadriplegic millionaire and his street smart ex-con caretaker. He also is a huge supporter and fundraiser for President Obama.

We're going to talk about both those things with Harvey Weinstein this morning. All that and much more as "Starting Point" gets under way in about 12 minutes. We'll see you right at the top of the hour. Back to you, guys.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: You bet.

SAMBOLIN: So, the entire world will be watching when the 2012 games kick of next week in London. Look at this. This is a live look of the stadium from London. We also have a preview of what you can expect. A lot of details are leaking out.

BERMAN: Secret details.

SAMBOLIN: Wait until you hear. It's coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: That's a nice new animation and music from us this morning. Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It is 52 minutes past the hour right now. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We're going to start here with some breaking news, and this is coming out of London. The British government is going to deploy an extra 1,200 troops for the Olympic security. Remember that they've had some problems with security. The company there, the contractor, G4s, had promised to provide enough security for the Olympics and was not able to do so.

So, they have called up 1,200 troops for Olympic security. That's on top of the 3,500 that they already had. So, that is a late breaking details out of there. Let's go to Jim Boulden. He is live at CNN's Olympic site in London, and he's going to share all of the exciting details that are happening in London.

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. Well, the stadium behind me, there was a practice for opening ceremony last night. And despite organizers hoping people wouldn't leak information, we are hearing a bit more about it. Some people who were here, actually, said they could hear Paul McCartney singing.

So, we know he's going to be part of the opening ceremony. There's talk that Mohammed Ali might be a part of it, and David Beckham, the great soccer player, as well. And we know there's going to be lots of farm animals. They want to really play up Brit at this place with lots of farm animals. So, we know that there's going to be cows and sheep and ducks, and they're going to have a lot of fun --

SAMBOLIN: I got to tell you, Jim, we're trying to figure that one out --


SAMBOLIN: We're trying to figure that one out. The farm animals and how they will play into everything.

BOULDEN: Yes. The inside is going to look like a farm as well. So, they've got to put in all this dirt and grass, and they're going to have these animals, live animals. Some people are upset they're going to use some live animals, but you know, it's all part of the fun really.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Jim, thank you so much. We can't wait. We're very excited. We hear the music and we get all perked up. So, thank you for that.

BERMAN: Old McDonald had an Olympics, I guess, right?


BERMAN: All right. Today's "Best Advice" --

SAMBOLIN: Watch. You are going to be blown away by it.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE). The "Best Advice" today comes from artist, Cyndi Lauper. You are not going to want to miss it. She talks about why she never complains about the past. Stay with us.


SAMBOLIN: "Starting Point" with Soledad O'Brien is coming here in a little bit. But first --

BERMAN: You know, we wrap it up as always with "Best Advice." And thank goodness, Christine Romans is here for that.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And you don't take my advice, today's advice comes from singer and activist, Cyndi Lauper. We asked her about the best advice she's ever received, and this is what she told us.


CYNDI LAUPER, SINGER & ACTIVIST: It was something my mother told me when I was complaining. She said, listen, Cyn, I can't change the past. I can change the present and I can change the future. And I thought about that, and I thought, absolutely right. You don't have to sit, you cans let it go. That was the best piece of advice.


ROMANS: You can let it go. You can only control the now and then tomorrow, not the yesterday. Boom! I like Cyndi Lauper's mom.

SAMBOLIN: I think this is one of the best pieces of advice, right?

ROMANS: Very good.

BERMAN: And it comes from Cyndi Lauper.


BERMAN: Of course, it does.

SAMBOLIN: Almost exactly the same.

ROMANS: I know. You can't control some of the 1980s costumes she wore.


ROMANS: That's in the past. She can only control what she wears tomorrow.

BERMAN: All right. That's EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

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