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Bitter, Blistering Cold; Arrest in Texas College Shooting; New Mexico Shootings; Facing a Grilling on Benghazi; Jill Kelley Speaks Out; Davos Day 2; JP Morgan Chase CEO Defends Banks Complexities; Beyonce's Anthemgate

Aired January 23, 2013 - 06:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Bone-chilling deadly cold affecting millions this morning with wind chills dipping into the negative double digits.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: About Benghazi. In just a few hours, Hillary Clinton's long awaited and long delayed testimony on the attack that killed a U.S. ambassador.

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

BERMAN: Say it ain't so. Say it ain't so. Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans this morning for you. Zoraida Sambolin is on assignment at Sundance in Utah. She's going to stop by and join us in just a bit, but it's 6:00 on the East, so let's get started.

BERMAN: And it is cold, way cold on the east. Reports of at least four deaths linked to this bitter cold snap hitting parts of the upper Midwest, the mid-Atlantic and New England right now.

People in some areas bracing for the coldest day in two years, bundling up to protect skin from subzero zero wind chills and it's so cold in Fargo, North Dakota. It's so cold in Fargo, North Dakota, that hot water vaporizes then freezes in mid air. That really happens, folks.

Meteorologist Jennifer Delgado is at the CNN Weather Center in Atlanta tracking this bitter chill for us. And everyone wants to know will it warm up ever?

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it is going to warm up, but it's going to take a while. You know, John, a lot of us have done that science experiment when you go outside and you throw the water and just to see it freeze, and that's how cold it is outside.

In the last six hours, we've had wind chill values once again in the double digits, as Christine said, minus 20 in parts of Pennsylvania. Now once again, dealing with an area, of an advisory with the wind chill, that is spreading from the upper Midwest towards New England. And New England, they are going to feel the brunt of it today. We're going to see some wind chill values from minus 30 to minus 40, and this advisory in some of these places are in effect until later this evening. Now this is what it feels like right now.

In New York, it feels like zero. So good for you, you are above freezing, for providence, minus 3 and then for Albany, minus 8. Now when you add in the wind, of course, with the cold temperatures out there, that could lead to potential frostbite, hypothermia or even death as we've been reporting.

So you really want to make sure you are dressing warmly out there. As we through the next couple of days, you want to know when we're going to see some relief. Well, look at Detroit, average high should be 32. By Friday, you're still going to be well below average.

For New York, you can see typically about 38 degrees for this time of the year, today, only high of 21 and then for Thursday and Friday, 22, 25 degrees. Now, as we show you some storm totals for the snow yesterday, some locations nearly 2 feet of snow. More snow on the way, lake-effect snow.

But we have a new feature as well. We're talking some snow developing through West Virginia. There's also a very slight chance we could see some of this popping up in Central Virginia. Not very confident with that, but I can tell you this. We are confident it is cold and you need to be cautious out there. Bundle up this morning.

BERMAN: Good advice. A lot going on, a lot of cold temperatures, minus 40. Wow!

ROMANS: Minus 40.

BERMAN: All right, Jennifer Delgado, thanks very much.

ROMANS: All right, in other news, a 22-year-old man is under arrest charged with aggravated assault following a shooting incident that left three people wounded on the campus of Lone Star College in Houston.

The suspect was one of three people wounded. He was seen arguing with another man on campus. A maintenance worker described the incident where a bystander was also struck by gunfire. Students described a chaotic scene on campus with some hiding under desks while others ran for their lives.

CNN's Ed Lavendera live for us in Houston. What happened and why?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this all started with apparently an altercation between two people there on the campus of Lone Star College and it's not clear if both of these -- both of the people involved in the altercation were students.

We've been told by authorities that one of them had a student I.D., but we haven't been told if the second person involved was a student at Lone Star College as well. But that altercation and that argument escalated with one of the men pulling out a handgun and beginning the shooting, which left one person wounded as well as the shooter, ended up getting wounded as well.

And then that person standing by, a maintenance worker, was shot in the leg, and is also being treated in the hospital. Nobody was killed, and then a fourth person in all the melee, suffered a heart attack, so a chaotic situation.

Investigators have filed aggravated assault charges against 22-year- old Carlton Barry. It's not clear if any more charges will be filed as well. But a chaotic scene as you can imagine after shootings in Aurora, Colorado, Newtown, Connecticut, many students in the early moments as the gunfire was erupting were wondering if they would be at the scene of another massacre.

So many students terrified, as you described it, chaotic situation as people reacted to the gunfire that erupted on the campus -- Christine.

ROMANS: Because of the frequency of those sorts of events, you know, there's so much emphasis on gun laws and what kinds of guns used whether they're legal. What can you tell us at this point about the gun used?

LAVANDERA: Well, it's a handgun and that's all the information we've been given. We've asked, you know, if it was a gun that was purchased legally or own legally. But what we do know is that it shouldn't have been where it was.

There is a concealed handgun law here in the state of Texas, which allows people to carry guns, but even if you have that license, it's not like you can carry it anywhere.

There is a long list of places where you can't carry the gun, churches and school campuses being some of the more prominent locations where you can't take a handgun. So questions about that as well.

It also comes, Christine, at an interesting time because here in the state of Texas, there are lawmakers, and the state legislature is in session, there are lawmakers who are pushing to allow students to carry guns onto campus.

So this comes in the midst of that debate, which will be picking up steam here in the state of Texas as well -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Ed Lavendera in Houston. Thanks, Ed.

BERMAN: Another shooting to tell you about, the New Mexico teenager accused of murdering members of his family says he had hoped to go on a killing spree and die in a shoot-out with police.

The 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego was arrested Saturday night after deputies found the bodies of his mother, father, brother, and two of his sisters in their Albuquerque home. Griego told investigators he was frustrated with his mother and hoped to end his shooting spree inside a Wal-Mart store.


DAN HOUSTON, BERNALILLO COUNTRY SHERIFF: We also know at this time Nehemiah had been contemplating this for some time. The information that Nehemiah had contemplated going to a local Wal-Mart and participating in another shooting there is accurate.


BERMAN: Griego allegedly used a .22-caliber rifle and an AR-15 semi automatic rifle in these killings. Prosecutors say he will be tried as an adult.

ROMANS: In a few hours, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faces a grilling of the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi. She is expected to face aggressive questioning from members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Among their likely questions, revisiting why requests for additional security by officials on the ground in Libya weren't heeded? In October, Clinton told CNN she accepted responsibility for the attack. That attack which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others Americans.

Keep it here because coming up at 6:30, we'll talk with Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. He is a major in the International Guard. He was just tapped to serve on a House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, his perspective on Clinton's upcoming testimony in our next hour.

You can join Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper who will anchor our special live coverage of the hearings starts at 9 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

BERMAN: Our welcome to Jake Tapper here at CNN. It's 7 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.

She is the woman who claimed she was being threatened by Paula Broadwell, General Petraeus' biographer and ultimately his mistress. And Jill Kelley is speaking out for the first time since being wrapped up in this scandal.

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

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

ROMANS: All right, it's probably your number one investment, your biggest asset, biggest debt, the biggest bill every month. It's your house. Coming up, the housing market, something we haven't seen in this country in five years. I have some good news for you.


ROMANS: Mind your own business, John Berman. "Minding Your Business," that's our business segment. Stock futures trading mix this morning, but you know what? I've got some good news for you. The S&P and the Dow yesterday, five-year highs, Berman, both at the highest level since December 2007so that's good news for your 401(k).

Markets got a boost from strong corporate earnings. And another piece of economic news that you'll probably feeling -- maybe you're feeling this more than you're feeling it in your 401(k), home sales, another five-year high for home sales.

In December, existing home sales were up nearly 13 percent from a year ago. The chief economist at Zillow tells us the worst in housing is behind us.


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


ROMANS: We've got a long way to go since we're back to 2007 levels, but I am telling you that almost everyone is forecasting rises in home prices and home sales this year, a slow, steady advance.

Also, it's day two of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Chief business correspondent, Ali Velshi, is there. Tell me about Jamie Dimon and what the JPMorgan Chase CEO is saying about banking reform and regulation -- Ali.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So Christine, as you know, you've been here. It's highest city in Europe here in Davos in Switzerland. The air is a little thin and people say things that they might not otherwise say in more formal settings.

I wouldn't put Jamie Dimon into that category though because as you know, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, outspoken, strongly in defense of the banking sector. Basically he said this morning on a banking panel. He said everybody needs to back off the banks a little bit.

They are not evil. We do a lot of good. He, in fact, made a specific reference to the fact that big banks like JPMorgan fund the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the FDIC, that saves small banks or saves depositors when small banks go under.

He also took issue with critics that say the banking system is opaque. It's just not transparent. Listen to what he said.


JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE: Businesses can be opaque, they are complex. You don't know how aircraft engines work either, OK. There will be a financial services business. Loans equity, capital markets, mortgages, all those things will be required.


VELSHI: So he's painting a picture about how they are complex businesses. You know, Richard Quest and I, have been discussing that the aircraft engine thing, while I get the point he was making.

You know, when an aircraft engine doesn't work that becomes a very serious problem, and those of us who don't understand them work harder to understand them. Basically we want them to work.

So with the banking sector like an aircraft engine, it stopped working, but it affected the global environment so a lot of discussion about those kinds of comments around here, but as you know, Jamie Dimon very direct in saying back of the banks, it's not all the banks -- Christine.

ROMANS: Let's talk quickly, Ali, about the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor heading to Davos today, and we know that House Republicans, looks like they are trying to defuse at least for now some drama in the debt ceiling.

VELSHI: Yes, they're going to vote on the idea they put it off -- they don't put it off. They suspend the debt ceiling, which is an idea that a lot of people think should be in place forever. They should just get rid of it. Only two countries have a debt ceiling. They're going to do this for three months. So, April 15th, we'll get back to this debate.

And they sort of folded a little bit because they said they absolutely wouldn't deal with the debt ceiling. So, it's a kind of a half measure, they're just going to suspend it. Eric Cantor, getting on a plane with a number of other members of Congress, coming here to take part in a panel on Friday afternoon about economic dynamism.

I'm surprised that anybody from Davos is inviting Americans to talk about this right now and I'm not sure what he will get out of it. But the fact is he'll be here and if he's here, we're going to get a chance hopefully to speak to him about what's going on in the U.S. and in the world -- Christine.

ROMANS: Yes. Over the last 10 years, I will tell you that U.S. and Europe leading the world, not so much. When you go to Davos, they are talking about other big players.

VELSHI: Not so much. Right. That's right. ROMANS: All right. Ali Velshi in Davos -- thanks, Ali.

BERMAN: Fifteen minutes after the hour right now. Let's look at some other news around the world 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 in New York City, and well below zero in Fargo, North Dakota. This arctic blast is reportedly blamed for at least four deaths so far.

ROMANS: And in that cold, more than 300 firefighters had to deal with 7-degree temperatures to battle a raging warehouse fire on the south side of Chicago. The flames broke out around 10:00 in an empty warehouse on South Ashland Avenue. It took crews, fire crews two hours to bring it under control.

The Chicago Fire Department says this one, this fire was one of the biggest blazes to hit the city in years.

BERMAN: Serena Williams upset at the Australian Open. She wasn't happy about it either. Serena taking it out on her racket. Look at that after she missed the shots in the third set.

Sloane Stephens would go on to upset Serena in three sets, 6-5, 5-7, 4-6. Nineteen-year-old Sloane Stephens playing very well, moving on.

ROMANS: Look at the racket.

BERMAN: Serena Williams going home. The racket going in the trash bin.

ROMANS: She needs a cup of chamomile tea and just think about it, because that is one crunched racket.

All right. Seventeen minutes past the hour. Time for your local reads, that's local news making national headlines.

"The New York Times" details about how and when Manti Te'o fake girlfriend story came to light. ESPN apparently had the details, but debated releasing it for nearly a week. During that time, the sports Web site, Deadspin, came out with it. ESPN says it came down to a question for journalistic standards for ESPN.

BERMAN: You always want to be right in this day and age, but news move so fast. You can't sit on stuff.

ROMANS: You have to be right and first.

BERMAN: Seventeen minutes after the hour.

In "The Washington Post", new proposed rules could send the government's remaining 450 research chimps into retirement. Under these recommendations, chimps could only be used on projects that couldn't be done with people or other animals like rats, mice or monkeys. The paper says just two of the 30 current federally funded chimpanzee projects would meet proposed criteria.

You know, I've been to a chimp retired home in Louisiana called Chimp Haven. It's a wonderful place for chimps like this to end up.

ROMANS: Really?

BERMAN: Yes, it's a really great place. They take these chimps that have been used in science and other things and they give them a place to live out the reminder of their lives.

ROMANS: Really interesting. All right. For an expanded look at all of our top stories. Head to our blog, You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. You can search for EarlyStartCNN.

And it is the battle after the battle. And clinical psychologist Skip Rizzo is on the front line of veterans struggles with PTSD. He developed a virtual reality therapy for vets. Now, he's focusing on a preemptive strike.

Check this preview of "THE NEXT LIST".


SKIP RIZZO, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: War is going to be changed. It's just a reality.

On the other hand, PTSD is a significant challenge. It's not about being weak. It's about having an experience of stress that really has a neurological impact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've seen now potentially hundreds of thousands of veterans who may be returning from Iraq or Afghanistan with post- traumatic stress disorder. Conservative estimates say one in five folks coming home.

RIZZO: We want to prepare people to deal with stress better and if that doesn't work out, to help them fight through the challenges in the aftermath of stress.

I'm Skip Rizzo, clinical psychologist at the University of Southern California Institute of Creative Technologies.


BERMAN: And you can check out "THE NEXT LIST," Sunday, January 27th, 2:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

ROMANS: Millions of Americans saw and heard it. There she is. And only a few for sure know if that performance was live or recorded.

Was Beyonce singing? Why does anybody care? Why won't they clear it up?

We're going to take a closer look, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: So did she or didn't she? Did Beyonce fake it at the inauguration?

Conflicting reports still this morning. Give it another listen.


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 --


BERMAN: The Marine Corps Band stirred up the controversy by saying she did not actually sing. But then they released this statement saying, "Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or prerecorded."

We're still waiting for comment from Beyonce. We did hear from reps for Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor, who also performed. They confirm they both sang live.

So, let's bring in Jawn Murray. He's the editor-in-chief of the entertainment site,

I got to tell you, Jawn, I was down there on a platform just over Beyonce watching the whole thing. I couldn't tell whether she was singing or not. What do you think?

JAWN MURRAY, ALWAYSALIST.COM: That's a sign of a professional, John. A good professional will lever never let you know if they are lip- synching.

Here is the deal. Beyonce can sing live. We know that. We've been to her concerts. We've seen plenty of live performances.

For an historic event of this magnitude, if she chose to use the prerecorded vocals, we give her a pass. Just like iconic singers like Whitney Houston and Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond, have all done at the Super Bowl.

There are certain events, because of the elements, the wind, the rain, the idea that, you know, your voice is an instrument. You have laryngitis. You want it to be perfect for events of this magnitude. So, we give Beyonce a pass if she did lip sync because she has not spoken.

BERMAN: A lot of people are doing a forensic analysis of the performance and they see that she took her earpiece out at one point. Does that indicate anything one or the other?

MURRAY: If you've ever seen Janet Jackson or Britney Spears at concert, they have earpieces too and they lip sync the entire show. You still need to hear yourself. You still need to hear the music in order for your mouth to be in sync for what's prerecorded. You've got to make sure the sound is balanced out.

BERMAN: Now, if she did lip sync and we don't know for sure, she would be no way the first to do it in big performance. I have to admit, I saw Milli Vanilli once in concert. Ashlee Simpson performed last "Saturday Night Live" famously lip syncing poorly.

But is there something different about doing it at an inauguration, at a big national event like this?

MURRAY: Well, here's the difference between Milli Vanilli and Beyonce -- Milli Vanilli lip synced to someone else's voice. Beyonce sang to her own and it makes all the difference in the world. And let's not forget, four years ago, cellist Yo-yo Ma did a prerecorded version of himself playing an actual instrument.

So, if the person who's actually playing an instrument can't to it live, the one with an audible sound, she gets a pass.

BERMAN: Does Beyonce need to tell us the truth about what happened?

MURRAY: I don't think she owes us anything. Here's the thing -- I know modern technology and all of the gadgets, everything we have going on, makes everything so accessible. We know better than anybody that Beyonce can keep a secret. And if she doesn't want us to know something, she's never going to answer it.

BERMAN: Oh, man, that's too bad. I like to hear what she has to say about it. John Murray, editor-in-chief of "Always A List" -- thanks very much. Nice to see you this morning.


ROMANS: All right, John.

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