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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Earthquake and Risk of Tsunami in Japan; Egypt Protesting President Morsi; Paquiao v. Marquez; The Campaign for Colbert

Aired December 7, 2012 - 05:30   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): We continue to follow breaking news out of Japan where a powerful earthquake hit off the coast this morning. The quake was so strong it was felt in Tokyo. The details straight ahead.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus, check out what happened when an escalator malfunctioned at a Macy's department store. The story behind these pictures straight ahead.

SAMBOLIN: And one of the most anticipated boxing matches of the year. Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez battle it out tomorrow in Vegas. And this hour, our own John Berman sits down with Manny. Very cool. I'm looking forward to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

ROMANS (on-camera): And I'm Christine Romans. I'm in for John Berman. It's Friday morning, December 7th. It's 30 minutes past the hour.

Updating you on breaking news, a massive earthquake rocking Japan. It hit off the coast about 300 miles northeast to Tokyo, rattling buildings and raising the risk of a tsunami. Japan's meteorologically does warn a 6.5 foot tsunami could hit the country's Miyagi Prefecture, which was of course the area hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami that struck in March 2011. There is no widespread threat of a tsunami in the pacific, though.

SAMBOLIN: It is 31 minutes past the hour.

We're anticipating a new swell of rage after Friday prayers in Egypt this morning. Opponents of President Mohamed Morsi are expected back on the streets in protest. Last night in Cairo, they called on Morsi to resign saying that his government has lost legitimacy. Morsi's opponents are angry at his degree two weeks ago where he granted himself sweeping new powers. They also don't trust a new draft constitution that is backed by him. In a televised speech last night, Morsi defended his actions.

Ian Lee is live in Cairo this morning. Ian, what is happening right now?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right now, we're watching protesters slowly fill in -- file in to Tahrir Square. We're expecting massive demonstration today as all political forces that are opposing President Mohamed Morsi have called for demonstrations against the constitutional declaration and the draft constitution, the continuation of the large protests that have gripped this country.

SAMBOLIN: Ian, President Obama actually called President Morsi. What was that conversation like? What was said?

LEE: President Obama wants President Morsi to open up for a dialogue with opposition and to come out with some sort of agreement that both parties can move forward with. And President Morsi did offer to have a dialogue tomorrow with opposition forces, but that the invitation was a bit vague on who he was going to invite.

And opposition forces say that shows that he's not sincere in the dialogue with opposition. They also say it's not something they want. They don't want to have a dialogue. They want declaration, the draft constitutional declaration that both of those to be scrapped and to start over.

SAMBOLIN: And the protests that are happening, do these represent the majority of Egypt? Is there any way to gauge that?

LEE: It's very hard to tell where Egypt lies in all of this. We've seen both sides call their supporters out into the streets, and we've seen large numbers presented by both sides. The brotherhood is a bit more organized. And we've seen them bus people in from around the country to their protests, but they've -- both sides have shown a lot of support.

It really would come down to the constitutional referendum if it does move forward to see where Egypt does lie on this issue. Very contentious. Egypt is deeply divided right now.

SAMBOLIN: Has Morsi responded at all?

LEE: Well, President Morsi has been very firm about everything that's going on. He called the protesters instigators and saying that financers are behind it. He's bound to root out who they are and find out who is behind them. I want to point out something that we've been watching. We have not seen really any violence in these protests or at least deaths.

We've seen violence but no deaths until the brotherhood called for their supporters to go and support the president, which just so happens at the same time we had anti-Morsi protesters at the presidential palace. That call saw the two sides clash, and that's what led to the deaths we saw the other night.

So, Morsi -- but Morsi is adamant that these people -- that are in the streets against him are not from the revolution. They're of the old regime. This is what he said about them.

SAMBOLIN: Ian, I have one more --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOHAMED MORSI, EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The blood that was shed during the incident in the past two days will not be wasted. And those who have supplied arms and money and -- are being now called to the -- will be held to account.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEE: Definitely President Morsi taking a hard line against the people he sees as instigating the violence.

SAMBOLIN: One last question for you, Ian, and that is that the people get to vote on this draft constitution. Why not just wait for the outcome of that?

LEE: The protesters -- the people are saying that it doesn't ensure that once this happens that President Morsi would actually go through with it. They don't trust him. That's what it basically comes down to the protesters in the street when you talk to them. They say they don't trust the president, that things will move forward if it does go through.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Ian Lee live in Cairo for us.

ROMANS: Academy-award winning actress Angelina Jolie meets with Syrian refugees who just completed the dangerous crossing into Jordan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS (voice-over): Jolie, who's a special envoy to the U.N. refugee agency, listened to family stories of life without electricity, without food, water, or safety. Close to half a million Syrian refugees have been registered in neighboring countries since the conflict began. Hundreds of thousands more are not registered yet, but they're expecting to come forward over the next few months as they run out of basic resources.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Attorneys for John McAfee, the Internet security pioneer, are fighting to keep him in Guatemala to avoid his extradition to Belize where he's wanted for questioning in a murder. Yet, the case took a strange twist yesterday.

CNNs Martin Savidge is Guatemala.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is where John McAfee is staying in Guatemala City, that building right there. He's actually up on the third floor, and he's got it all to himself. That's really not a jail. It's definitely not a hotel. What it is is a detention center for illegal immigrants. They get a lot of them, actually, passing through Guatemala, trying to get them actually going and then eventually to North America. It was here this afternoon where John McAfee suffered whatever the illness was that he had, and he was rushed from here in an ambulance and taken to a nearby police hospital where he was checked out for several hours. We went over there. The authorities said that, really, it looked like he was suffering from stress and maybe was also suffering chest pains. His attorney, though, says it was actually a minor heart attack. Either way, he was released a couple hours later and brought back here.

Now, the question is, what happens next. We already know the president of Guatemala has denied asylum for John McAfee. It's possible his legal team could try for some of the maneuver, maybe a stay or maybe even go all the way to the country's Supreme Court. It's also possible he may be headed back to Belize where, I've spoken to authorities, they're waiting for him and will take him in for questioning. We'll wait for him as well.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Guatemala City.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: A Northern California man is being held without bail for allegedly holding his ex-wife prisoner in his attic. The victim says 23-year-old Lawson Rankin (ph) sexually assaulted her repeatedly over a two-week period. Police say they arrested Rankin after catching him in the act of sealing off the attic with drywall with his ex-wife still inside.

SAMBOLIN: Four people had to be taken to a hospital last night after an escalator malfunctioned at Macy's store. Fire officials in Bellevue, Washington, say man actually suffered minor injuries. Three others including two young children were also checked out as a precaution.

They're not sure what caused the escalator malfunction, but what it is to say several of the steps were not where they were supposed to be.

ROMANS: All right. Still ahead, he's a pugilist and politician. Maybe Manny Pacquiao can help rescue us from the fiscal cliff?

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: I don't know. John Berman squares off with the champ on the eve of his next big fight with his archrival. You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START. Tomorrow night in Las Vegas, boxers, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, will brawl for an incredible fourth time in the past decade. It's a rivalry practically unmatched in sports. Pacquiao is a fighter by trade, of course, but there are many sides to this champ.

Our John Berman spent time in the Pacquiao camp and found out what makes him tick.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Manny Pacquiao has won titles in eight different weight classes.

When you hit the bag like this, do you see your opponent's face? Do you look in this bag and you see Marquez in the bag here?

MANY PACQUIAO, PROFESSIONAL BOXER: Yes. You imagine that is your opponent, and you hit the head, you hit the body.

BERMAN: This will be his fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. All have been close, all have been tough victories for Pacquiao. Freddy Roach is Pacquiao's friend and long-time trainer. A former boxer himself, he's been living with Parkinson's disease for years.

What's different about this fight, do you think?

FREDDIE ROACH, PACQUIAO'S TRAINER: The first two fights were really competitive, compelling fights. They fought great together. And in the third fight, he had a lot of personal problems during the fight. And we just didn't fight our fight.

BERMAN: One of your goals going in to this is to be more aggressive. You're looking for a knockout here. Why?

PACQUIAO: I want this fourth fight to be the answer of all the doubts that in his mind.

BERMAN: In his mind. Do you feel like there are other doubters besides him out there?

PACQUIAO: His fans, you know, they still claiming they won the fight.

BERMAN: Bob Arum is a legend in boxing. He's been promoting fights since the 1960s.

Why do you think this fight is so important to Manny Pacquiao?

BOB ARUM, BOXING PROMOTER: This is the fourth fight that he's had with Marquez. Every fight has been an exciting fight. Every fight has been a close fight. Every fight has been fought by both guys with some caution. This fight, each guy is determined to just throw caution to the winds and go after each other.

BERMAN: You concerned at all he's fading?

ROACH: I think he's becoming too nice a guy, sometimes.

BERMAN: Too nice a guy in the ring or out of the ring?

ROACH: In the ring. In the ring. But, I don't think he's fading yet.

BERMAN: Another boxer I want to ask you about. you get asked about a lot, and that's Floyd Mayweather. Do you think you'll ever fight him?

PACQUIAO: I'm willing, everything.

BERMAN: You're willing. You're waiting on him?

PACQUIAO: Yes. I'm waiting for him.

BERMAN: If you had to bet a million bucks right now, would you bet on this fight ever happening?

ARUM: I would love it to happen. I would do anything to make it happen, but I don't believe it will happen.

ROACH: Everyone wants to see that fight. I want to see that fight. I want to get him ready for that fight. I want the challenge.

BERMAN: Pacquiao is a legend back home in the Philippines. He was elected to Congress there in 2010. Why politics?

PACQUIAO: I like politics to serve people. I'm the one who fights human trafficking, to stop that. I know what's the feeling of being poor. So, I know the people in the Philippines live in poverty and I wanted to help them.

BERMAN: Besides Congress, you do a few other things, too. There's the singing.

(SINGING)

BERMAN: There's the acting.

PACQUIAO: Our hero is William Wallace. William Wallace from Scotland.

BERMAN: If they ever do a "Braveheart 2," I think you're (INAUDIBLE). So, if you're not fighting, you're not politicking, you're in Congress. You're not singing, you're not acting, you know, what do you do for fun?

PACQUIAO: I like sports.

BERMAN: Do you lose at anything?

PACQUIAO: Sometimes lose, sometimes win.

BERMAN: You said you think there's only one or two fights after this for Manny.

ROACH: Yes.

BERMAN: Is there a lot of nostalgia then as you're sitting here training?

ROACH: It will be a sad day, but I want to see Manny Pacquiao go out on top.

ARUM: If Manny is victorious, that will be a signature achievement for him in his career.

PACQUIAO: I feel excited for the fight. I'm ready.

BERMAN: Do you feel like you have something still left to prove?

PACQUIAO: Yes, I can still prove that I'm still young and I can give a good fight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: Wow. What a great piece.

SAMBOLIN: Are you going watch the fight?

ROMANS: I think I'm going to try to watch.

SAMBOLIN: OK. So, here are the details. MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas if you cheer (ph) to go. And if you can go to tickets, it's Saturday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.

ROMANS: Hmmm. All right.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Forty-six minutes past the hour. Time Square has the naked cowboy. He's not really naked, but one town has a naked jogger, and yes, he really is, shall we say, letting it all hang out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Updating breaking news from this morning. A tsunami warning issued for Northeastern Japan has now been lifted after a massive earthquake struck off the coast 300 miles to the northeast of Tokyo. It rattled buildings there for several minutes. There were no immediate reports of deaths or any serious damage. And there is no widespread threat of a tsunami in the wider pacific.

Little good news there. Meteorologist Rob Marciano is in Atlanta. Rob, what have you heard about this earthquake?

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, as far as the tsunami is concerned, there's a few remote sensors out there, and we haven't seen much more than a couple of feet as far as the water rise goes, as you mentioned. What wave did develop is gone now. So we're just looking for reports across the eastern shores of Japan to see exactly what was done.

This is smaller than what happened in March of 2011, and that was a mega thrust fault. This one is more of a reverse fault, so the ocean floor dives south. So, that's one of the reasons we didn't expect a huge tsunami. This area right through here is where they possibly saw one to as much as five or six-foot wave there. So we're just kind of waiting for reports to come in.

Back here across the U.S., lower 48, rainfall pushing its way into the Allegheny and atop the Appalachians. A little bit snow mixed up north -- the most part. This is a warm sector event. Chicago, another warm day. You're looking at a bit of rainfall there. Will you break a record? Talk more about that in a second.

So, here's your little front. Another system moving across the Pacific Northwest. That will bring in some cooler air and tap some of the stuff in Canada here over the next few days. So, temperatures above average but will start to sink below average across the Western Great Lakes and the Northern Plains.

Nine degrees expected in Bismarck, but still in the 40s by Sunday in Chicago. We mention that because they are going on 277 days without measurable snowfall. The record is 280 set back in 1994, similar record for Milwaukee. There's a chance over the next four, five days to see some snow. But at this point, they may very well break that record. It's been a warm one.

SAMBOLIN: Wow! When they do, they'll get pummeled probably.

ROMANS: I know, right?

MARCIANO: Exactly.

SAMBOLIN: Thanks, Rob.

ROMANS: All right. House Speaker John Boehner asking Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate to step aside so he and the President can meet one-on-one to work out a fiscal cliff compromise, that, according to reporting from "The New York Times." The report says everyone is on board with the idea.

America goes over the fiscal cliff in 25 days triggering the beginnings of massive tax hikes and spending cuts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Two! One!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: And the First Family firing up the National Christmas Tree. The Obamas pushed the button to light up the big blue spruce on the looks in Washington. Some 17,000 people were on hand last night for the 90th annual tree lighting ceremony. That is beautiful, isn't it?

ROMANS: Georgious.

Police in Springfield, Massachusetts, are on the lookout for a jogger who runs in the buff. They say people on their way to work Wednesday morning reported a man, probably in his 50s, who is running without any clothes on. No shoes either. Police say they're concerned about why he's doing it and that he's reportedly done it before.

ROMANS: All right. A packed hour ahead on EARLY START, including breaking news out of Japan. A tsunami warning in the same area where the big one hit after another earthquake strikes of the coast shaking buildings in Tokyo for minutes. We're live in Japan, top of the hour. SAMBOLIN: It can be one of the most exciting plays in football and also one of the most dangerous. Could kickoffs become a thing of the past to save players a future of pain? We're going to talk about that with former linebacker Chris Draft.

ROMANS: Plus, sweet crying Jesus. Two weeks before Christmas, is this portrait of Christ weeping?

SAMBOLIN: But first, reporting for duty. South Carolina right on cue, the Twitter campaign to get Steven Colbert to the Senate.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Fifty-six minutes past the hour. I'm Zoraida Sambolin along with Christine Romans, and we are taking a look at the top CNN trends on the web this morning.

ROMANS: All right. He once ran for President of the United States of South Carolina, now Stephen Colbert for Senate maybe? With Republican Jim DeMint of South Carolina leaving the Senate before his term is over, of course, there's already a groundswell of support on the web for Colbert to take that seat.

Someone has already created an @Colbert for Twitter account and scooped up the Colbert for Senate website. GOP governor, Nikki Haley, she gets to appoint someone to finish DeMint's term. So, Colbert, better start his campaign.

And late night goes up in smoke. Clearly, the hosts were high on the idea of the punch lines about legalized pot last night.

SAMBOLIN: Conan O'Brien also jokingly recognized First Lady Michelle Obama and former president Bill Clinton for their Grammy nomination.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Marijuana became legal in the state of Washington, which makes --

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

LENO: That makes 19 states which have now legalized marijuana, which, of course, raises the question, how the hell did Hostess go bankrupt? How did that happen?

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": An entrepreneur in Colorado's rafted an ice cream that's infused with marijuana.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

FALLON: Which is why when you go to put it in the freezer, it's like I'm already chill, man.

(LAUGHTER) CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": As of today, Washington State has legalized, legalized both marijuana and gay marriage.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

O'BRIEN: That's a true story. Yes. Yes. So, today men all over Washington have two different reasons to say, I love you, man.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: The Grammy nominations came out, and this is interesting, both Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton were nominated in the category Best Spoken Word album.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

O'BRIEN: That's good. Good for them. Yes. Yes. True story. Michelle was nominated for the audio version of her book "American Grown", and Bill Clinton was nominated for the audio version of "50 Shades of Grey."

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: EARLY START continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS (voice-over): Breaking news right now near Tokyo. A powerful earthquake hit off the coast. A tsunami warning issued and then lifted. We go live to Japan straight ahead.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): And "The New York Post" photographer who took the picture of the man on the subway tracks right before he was hit sits down to tell us his side of the story. We'll hear from him this hour on CNN.

ROMANS: And imagine a professional football game without kickoffs.

SAMBOLIN: What?

ROMANS: It's just one of the suggestions to improve the safety of the game for players. The details this hour on CNN.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): I'm curious as to how everybody feels about that, right?

ROMANS (on-camera): I know. Absolutely. All right. Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START this Friday morning. I'm Christine. I'm in for John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is Friday, December 7th. It is 6:00 a.m. in the East.