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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Deadly Cold; Hillary Clinton to Testify on Benghazi Today; Lone Star Shooting; Anthem-Gate: Beyonce Lip-Syncing; JP Morgan CEO: Worst Behind Us

Aired January 23, 2013 - 05:00   ET

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


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Brr. Americans are shivering. Deadly cold affecting millions this morning. Wind chills dipping into the negative double digits.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Mega brr.

All right. About Benghazi. In just a few hours, Hillary Clinton's long awaited and long delayed testimony on the attack that killed one of her ambassadors.

ROMANS: Anthem-gate. Was Beyonce's breathtaking rendition of our national anthem pre-recorded?

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans. Zoraida Sambolin, she's on assignment this morning to Sundance Film Festival. We are going to talk to her in just a couple of minutes.

BERMAN: Yes. And I'm John Berman. We are completely live this morning. It is Wednesday, January 23rd, 5:00 a.m. in the East.

Up first, bitter, blistering, freezing and deadly. Reports of at least four deaths as an arctic blast slams into the Upper Midwest, the mid-Atlantic and New England as well, and the cold will not loosen its grip for a while.

Meteorologist Jennifer Delgado is following the severe cold from the CNN weather center in Atlanta. Hey, Jennifer.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, John. I know you're probably wondering when are we going to start to see some warmer temperatures. But we are still dealing with the bitter cold out there and this is still going to be dangerous.

Look at some of the wind chills that have been reported over the last six hours. Minus 20 in Oakland, Pennsylvania. Now, right now, of course, it's bitterly cold out there.

Look at the numbers for parts of the Midwest. We have seven degrees in Minneapolis, certainly an improvement over the last couple days. But keep in mind we are still talking about wind out there and it that wind is what's providing that deadly wind chill.

We talked about this over the last couple days. Say if you're outside for roughly about 10 minutes and minus 30 wind chill, you could suffer frostbite. Now, if you look across parts of the Northeast, all that cold air has been spread over toward areas like Pennsylvania as well as New York where we have a reading of 6 degrees right now in Altoona, Scranton, and you add in the wind, it feels like minus six.

For New York, I imagine going out to work this morning, it was mighty cold out there. Minus one it feels like there. And for areas like Portland, minus 14.

So what is going to happen today? Well, we still have this wind chill advisory in place for parts of the Upper Midwest, the Northern Plains, we could still see the wind chills dropping down to about minus 25. As we spread into areas like Cleveland, up to buffalo, especially areas that are dealing with the lake-effect snow, it's going to feel like minus 10 to minus 120.

So what this means is you really want to make sure you are putting on a lot of layers outside if you work out doors, maybe you can try to see if you can go to work maybe next week sometimes. John, because you really need to avoid these conditions.

We're going to talk more about the lake effect though coming up in about 20 minutes.

BERMAN: Those numbers are eye-popping.

DELGADO: Eye-popping.

BERMAN: And I can tell you from personal experience, it was really, really cold this morning.

DELGADO: I know it was.

BERMAN: All right. Jennifer, thank you very much.

DELGADO: I'm sure you didn't walk.

ROMANS: A 22-year-old man facing assault charges following Tuesday's shooting on the campus of Lone Star College in Houston. Three people were wounded, including a campus maintenance worker.

Another person on the scene was treated for what appeared to be a heart attack. Students describe a scene of utter chaos on campus. Some people hiding under desks, others just simply ran for their lives.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is live for us in Houston this morning. Ed, what's the latest? Tell us what happened and why?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, overnight, we have learned from authorities here in Houston that they have charged 22-year-old Carlton Berry with aggravated assault and he's still being treated for wounds that he suffered in the hospital, as well. It's not clear if other chances will be filed, but that's the latest that the authorities here in Houston have released. As apparently Mr. Berry and another man got into an altercation, an argument that according to witnesses just started escalating when the shots were fired.

Multiple shots were fired that wounded the second person as well as that maintenance worker who was just standing nearby and was wounded in the leg. He is also being treated in the hospital, as well.

So, a chaotic situation and you can imagine for these students who were just going about their business on this campus. The echoes of all the different types of news stories that we've heard across the country shocked them and frightened them tremendously as these shots were ringing out throughout the campus.

ROMANS: One person charged.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA VASQUEZ, STUDENT AT LONE STAR COLLEGE (via telephone): All of a sudden I heard backfiring and people started running in the hallways. And few students even came to our room and (INAUDIBLE) everything could happen to you.

(END VDIEO CLIP)

LAVANDERA: One of the interesting things that happen, we're near the airport here in Houston, so that was an airplane flying over as we were beginning to go talk here. But one of the students and witnesses talking yesterday said that it was bizarre how everything escalated so quickly and from the altercation and some witnesses that were standing just a few feet away, they were trying to figure out how it could have escalated to something so serious when it didn't seem like it needed to get there.

So that's obviously one of the things that investigators will be looking at, as well -- Christine.

ROMANS: Let's talk about gun laws because I know they're considering gun laws in Texas that would allow someone to carry a concealed weapon on a campus. They can't do that now, right?

LAVANDERA: Well, it's interesting. The Texas legislators have gone through this debate several times. Many years ago, they passed a conceal handgun law where you can hear a handgun and that's what was used in this incident. But there are places where even despite having that license, you can't carry a handgun. Churches and school campuses are one of those.

Ironically enough, there are lawmakers in Austin that want to change that aspect of the concealed handgun law here in Texas and allow students to carry guns on to campus. So we'll see how this plays out in that debate, as well.

ROMANS: All right. Very good. Ed Lavandera, thanks so much, Ed.

BERMAN: Six minutes after the hour. Investigators say the New Mexico teenager accused of murdering members of his family had hoped to go on a killing spree and die in a shoot-out with police. The 15-year-old Amaya Griego (ph) was arrested Saturday night after deputies found the bodies of his mother, father, brother and two of his sisters. The boy told investigators he was frustrated with his mother and hoped to he said his shooting spree inside a Walmart store. Authorities say the teen used a 22 caliber rifle and AR-15 semiautomatic rifles in the killings.

ROMANS: In less than four hours, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faces a grilling over the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi. She's expected to face aggressive questioning from members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Among the expected questions, revisiting why a request for additional security by officials on the ground in Libya weren't heed.

In October, Clinton told CNN she accepted responsibility for the attack which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans you see there.

Keep it here. Coming up at 6:30, we're going to talk with Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. He's a major in the Air National Guard. He was just tapped to serve on the House subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa. His perspective on Clinton's upcoming testimony in our next hour.

And join Wolf and Jake Tapper who will anchor our special coverage of the hearings. That starts at the 9:00 Eastern Time right here on CNN.

BERMAN: Nice to have my friend Jake Tapper here on CNN.

ROMANS: I know. Welcome aboard, Jake.

BERMAN: Welcome, Jake. Nice to see you.

Seven minutes after the hour. A top general caught up in the scandal that forced former CIA director David Petraeus to resign has been cleared of any wrongdoing. A U.S. defense official tells CNN that General John Allen has been cleared of charges that he wrote inappropriate e-mails to this woman, Jill Kelley. There she is. She's the woman whether claimed she was being threatened by Paula Broadwell, General Petraeus' biographer and mistress.

ROMANS: Speaking of Jill Kelley, she's speaking out for the first time since being wrapped up in the Petraeus scandal. There she is again.

The Florida socialite says she's upset with both law enforcement and the media's handling of the story and she agonizes over the loss of her family's privacy. In a "Washington Post" opinion piece, she said, quote, "We've experienced how careless handling of our information by law enforcement and irresponsible news headlines endanger citizens' privacy."

As a result, she and her husband Scott are asking Congress to consider stronger electronic privacy protection against law enforcement.

BERMAN: Can we get to the story everyone is talking about? Beyonce?

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: Did she or didn't she? Millions of Americans saw, millions of Americans heard. But only a few know for sure if Beyonce's performance on Inauguration Day was live or recorded. What's the truth? We will take a closer look, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Did she or didn't she? Did Beyonce fake it at the inauguration?

Conflicting reports still this morning. Let's give one more listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEYONCE KNOWLES, SINGER (singing): And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: And Marine Corps band sort of stirred up the controversy by saying yesterday she, quote, "did not actually sing." But then released this statement, quote, "Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."

We're still waiting for comment from Beyonce. We did hear from reps for Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor, who also performed, they both confirmed those two artists did sing live.

Let's bring in Jawn Murray. He's the editor-in-chief of the entertainment site AlwayAList.com.

Did she sing? Do you think she was singing?

JAWN MURRAY, ALWAYSALIST.COM: Christine, I'm more surprised that Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor actually sang live. It's an epic historic event. And artists who err on the side of being perfect and err on the side of caution in situations like this, you know, they want to give the best showing. These are going to be in the history books. People will be playing these tapes for years and years to on come. So you want to give your best.

So, most artists do pre-record vocals and Beyonce released photographs the night before of her pre-recording for vocals with the band. But most of them do just in case you wake up with laryngitis, just in case the elements prevent you from being at your best.

ROMANS: Right.

MURRAY: So I'm not surprised that she did lip sync if she confirms that she had.

ROMANS: Well, here's the thing. If she confirms that she has, we don't really know here. And the Marine Band offering some conflicting accounts. Earlier they say she lip synced. Later, they released a second statement.

Here's more of what they said, "There was no opportunity for Ms. Knowles-Carter to rehearse with the Marine Band before the inauguration so it was determined that a live performance was ill advised for such a high-profile. Each piece of music scheduled for performance in the inauguration is pre-recorded for use in case of freezing temperatures, equipment failure," et cetera, et cetera.

You say it's pretty standard. And then she pulled out her earpiece, which suggests some sort of feedback. Some are saying was she singing to her own voice in a pre-recorded band piece. We just don't know.

MURRAY: Whether her voice was -- whether she was singing live on top of a pre-recorded track or not, the earpiece could have been sound that she was getting. It could have been turned up too loud. It could have made her uncomfortable while she was performing. She didn't think that her lips would sync up to her own music if possible.

But she's in great company. Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, they've all lip synced the national anthem at major events and you know what? I respect them all for doing so because we know they all can deliver live.

ROMANS: Yes, I mean, this is clearly voice. This is someone who clearly has -- I mean, her pipes are excellent. Anyone who has seen her life knows this woman can sing, dance, run.

She can do the whole thing, which is why I think some are saying it was just one song in front of the president. It wasn't 10 degrees out. You know, it was 30 degrees. Why not just sing it if the other musicians did.

MURRAY: A vocalist knows their instrument and you know what you and you cannot do. You know what nerves will do on a day of. But this is a singer who can sing live. We're not talking Britney Spears or Paula Abdul. We're talking somebody who sings live for a living.

Strip away the music, stand flat foot and sing. We know Beyonce can do that. So I give her a pass on this day. And this is coming from a person who's been very critical of singers who lip synced on talk shows and award shows because there, you should sing live.

ROMANS: You know what? If it weren't a mystery still, I think it'd be over. But since no one knows -- you know what I mean? I mean, it's almost -- the conflicting reports make the story still live.

Jawn Murray, editor-in-chief, "Always A List", nice to see you this morning. Thank you.

John?

BERMAN: Beyonce strangely silent up until this point, only adding to the mystery.

Sixteen minutes after the hour. We want to bring you up to speed on all the headlines going on right now. From the Upper Midwest to the mid-Atlantic and New England, we are seeing and feeling the coldest temperatures so far this winter. It feels like seven degrees in Washington, D.C., near zero here in New York City and well below zero in Fargo, North Dakota. The arctic blast is reportedly blamed for at least four deaths so far.

ROMANS: More than 30 firefighters had to deal with seven degree temperatures as they battled a raging warehouse fire on the South Side of Chicago. Flames broke out around 10:00 inside an empty warehouse in South Ashland Avenue, quickly spread to another building. It took crews about two hours to bring the fire under control in those frigid temperatures. The Chicago Fire Department says it was one of the biggest fires to hit the city in years.

BERMAN: One year after college football coaching legend Joe Paterno's death, supporters are paying tribute. Affiliate WHP reporting hundreds of people braved single digit temperatures yesterday to visit a mural in downtown State College featuring Paterno and other prominent Penn State figures. Following assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's child sex rape scandal, a halo above Paterno's head was removed and an image of Sandusky was painted over.

ROMANS: All right. Latin superstar Shakira is a mom. Congratulations.

The 35-year-old Colombian singer and her 25-year-old Spanish boyfriend welcomed a baby boy Tuesday night in Barcelona. They named the little guy Milan, but not after the city in Italy. The name apparently has a few meanings including dear, loving and gracious in Slavic.

BERMAN: And our congratulations to Shakira.

ROMANS: I know.

BERMAN: Well done.

Seventeen minutes after the hour. Time for "Early Read" -- your local news making national headlines.

And we're going to start in "Los Angeles Times." Chris Brown became the latest victim in what's being called celebrity swatting on Monday. Police were called around 5:00 p.m. to respond to a domestic violence situation where the caller claimed his mother may have been shot.

Law enforcement turned up at what happened to be Chris Brown's house to find no begun, no fight, no nothing. No Chris Brown either. Only a few staff members were at the home at that time.

ROMANS: A prank, but a waste time for law enforcement.

All right. Talk to the hand. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey making his first public comment on Newark Mayor Cory Booker's decision to run for his seat. He told "The Philly Inquirer" Booker is behaving like a misbehaving child and needs a spanking.

Lautenberg who turns 89 today hasn't announced he is retiring. In fact, he is staying busy. Yesterday, he introduced legislation that would make it illegal to manufacture or sell a magazine that contains more than 10 rounds.

BERMAN: A spanking. This is going to be an interesting political decision over the next six months.

ROMANS: I think it will be.

BERMAN: A lot of spankings in politics.

For an expanded look at all of our top stories, head to our blog, CNN.com/EarlyStart. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook. How you do it, you search for EarlyStartCNN.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, the housing market. I have got good news for you on your biggest asset, your biggest debt, your biggest investment -- your house. Something we haven't seen in this country in five years.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Oh, my. Minding your business this morning. U.S. stock futures are mixed. I wish I could give you something more definitive. This is what I will you that's definitive. Yesterday, the Dow, S&P 500, five-year highs for stocks. Again, closing at the highest level since December 2007.

BERMAN: That's definitive.

ROMANS: All that bad stuff that happens is behind -- I wish.

Good news for your 401(k). Markets got a boost from strong correspondent earnings. We're kind of the beginning of the earning season, so we'll see where it goes. But so far, companies have been squeezing out profits, not necessarily the hiring, and that's been good for their stock prices.

Now, home sales. This is something maybe you feel a little bit more directly. Five year high for home sales. In December, sales of previously owned homes, those are existing homes, the kind of thing that most of us are buying and selling a used home, up nearly 13 percent from a year ago.

We spoke to the chief economist at Zillow and asked if the worst is behind us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STAN HUMPHRIES, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ZILLOW: Definitely the worst is behind us. After housing recession that's been almost five years in many parts of the country, we finally had our first full year of home value appreciation. Home values were up almost 6 percent from where we were last December 2011, and we expect a pretty robust appreciation in 2013, as well, about half that, 3.3 percent appreciation next year.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: And have you seen these mortgage rates? I'm telling you right now, if you have a 5 percent mortgage or 6 percent mortgage, you still need to refinance immediately, run now, because that's how you're going to get money out of your house and into your pocket and into budget.

Now, switching gears. Day two of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

CNN chief business correspondent Ali Velshi, he is there. He's hobnobbing. He's talking to CEOs and bankers and kings and princes.

And Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, spoke to a big banking panel this morning. What did he say?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: He said kind of what you were saying. The worst is behind us. You know, look, we've seen increases in employment. We've seen increases in home sales. We've seen increases in the stock market.

He was basically saying don't dwell on the past, stop being so hard on the bankers and by the way, that whole London whale thing that looked bad for JPMorgan last year, he's sorry about that. Listen to how he apologized.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMIE DIMO, CEO, JP MORGAN: The Whale mistake we just had up there, I just want to point out, no customers (INAUDIBLE) terrible mistake. I mean, if you're a shareholder of mine, I apologize deeply, OK? But we did have record results and life goes on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELSHI: That was that big series of trades that took place, the big series of trades that cost JPMorgan billions of dollars, ended up costing stock holders in sheer price, he basically waved that off and said don't worry about it.

He also talked about critics who say that the banking system is opaque. Now, remember, Christine, Jamie Dimon has long been not only golden child of the banking industry, but one who has stood up in defense of the banking sector. He said it's not opaque, it's complicated and he followed it with the line: "you don't understand how aircraft engines work either, do you?"

So, you know, it seemed a little flippant. You don't have to actually know how aircraft engines work. You have to know that they're going to work and when they stop working, you start investigating them a little more closely, which is exactly what we've done with the banking sector.

So his comments were a little strident and a little surprising this morning, Christine.

ROMANS: I would call that vintage Jamie Dimon, too. Vintage Jamie Dimon. VELSHI: Yes.

ROMANS: OK. Let's ask you about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. He's heading to Davos today.

VELSHI: Yes. So the Republicans are going to vote on sort of suspending the debt ceiling which, by the way, a lot of people think it's a good idea to do forever. But they're going to suspend it for a few months. They're not going to have much opposition with that.

And then, Cantor, with a congressional delegation, they're going to come over to Davos, he's actually going to be in a panel on Friday, something about economic dynamism. But we'll talk to him when he gets here about the budget, about the debt ceiling debacle in the United States and about whether or not America can sort of capture this economic dynamism that you and I talk about so much in the face of all of these problems that are going on in Washington, the intransigent Congress and inability to get anything done. Can that actually -- can we actually overcome that and have a great year, Christine?

ROMANS: All right. Ali Velshi, in Davos -- thank you, Ali. So nice to see you.

You know, John, so interesting, too, they talk about a lot of Davos this year especially. We're talking about how the future will not be a U.S. and Europe-led world. You know, it's China, it's India, it's some of these emerging markets. I mean, they talks about the next 100 year, not necessarily the next quarter all the time.

BERMAN: That's where the biggest decisions are being made.

ROMANS: That's right.

BERMAN: Twenty-six minutes after the hour.

High drama below ground. Coming up, the race to save a woman who falls on to the subway tracks.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)