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Deep Freeze Across U.S.; Heated Exchanges on Benghazi; Manti Te'o Interview Airs Today; "Catfishing"

Aired January 24, 2013 - 05:30   ET



ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: How low can they go? Subzero temperatures cause health warnings from the Midwest to the Northeast.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Tough talk from North Korea, a threat of more missile tests with America in mind.

SAMBOLIN: In line of fire, just released video from a wild police chase and gun battle with bank robbers. This is real video, folks.

BERMAN: That looks like a movie.

SAMBOLIN: I know. Right?

BERMAN: Crazy.

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. We're happy you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is Thursday, the 24th. It is 30 minutes past the hour right now. And man, you better bundle up. It is going to be another bitterly cold day across so much of the country. Take a look at Providence, Rhode Island. This guy wasn't trying to steal a car. He was trying to chip his way into his car.

Many people are waking up to subzero wind chills right now and potential record lows. This is what it feels like right now. That's just cold. And this morning, parts of the south could be slippery and really dangerous with some overnight freezing rain and sleet coating the roads. Jennifer Delgado is tracking this deep freeze for us. Jennifer, good morning.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, John. You're right. We are certainly still really deep with that deep freeze out there. In the last 24 hours, want to give you an idea of just how cold it's been in some parts. In New Hampshire, we're talking in Mt. Washington, the wind chill clocked in at minus 85 degrees.

That's what it felt like yesterday morning, and it's still rather cold out there. Now, we are seeing just a slight improvement of the numbers across parts of the Midwest. You can see for some areas like Chicago, current temperature right now, seven degrees, in Minneapolis, minus 6, International Falls, i'm feeling for you there with a reading right now of minus 35 and 15 degrees in New York. Now, when you add in the wind, of course, it still feels cooler out there. And you can see, for Portland as well as into Boston, it still feels like 15 or minus 13 below. As we go through today and tomorrow, notice the temperatures are still going to be well below average. Normally for areas like Washington, D.C., you should be seeing a high of 44. Today, only high of 31. In fact, in D.C., there is light snow coming down.

Here's the radar. I want to point this out to you, because you are going to be looking at a messy commute out there. Be aware of some slick roads and the same for areas just to the southeast of Chicago. For South Bend, we're going to be looking at snow as well, but really, in this area right here, we're talking mainly about an inch of snowfall.

Most of the advisories are going to end right around nine o'clock in the morning. We'll see a chance for more snow flurries to pop up right around the Norfolk area up until about one o'clock, but again, that lake-effect snow in full effect right off Lake Michigan.

Now, John, we're going to send it back over to you and Zoraida, but certainly, people need to bundle up. The wind chill advisories are still going to be in place through a good part of today. Bitterly cold out there.

BERMAN: The biggest jacket you own.

DELGADO: And don't forget the pets. Don't leave your pets outside. That's just wrong.

BERMAN: No. Very true. Very true.

DELGADO: I know it's hard to get them out there to go potty.


BERMAN: If you got to go, you got to go, but still, make it quick, right? Jennifer Delgado, thanks very much.

SAMBOLIN: All right. It is 32 minutes past the hour.

After all the delays and all the build ups, secretary of state, Hillary Clinton's, testimony on the siege in Benghazi was filled with drama. Her voice cracking as she talked about the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, then, steely, as she tried to defend what the Obama administration knew about the attack and when they knew it.

Foreign affairs correspondent, Jill Dougherty, has been following all of the developments for us. Jill, how was her testimony received?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was pretty hot, I think you could say. And Zoraida, you know, she's going to be back up on Capitol Hill again today in just about 4 1/2 hours this time, at the Senate confirmation hearing for the man we expect is going to succeed her as secretary of state, and that is Senator John Kerry. But that testimony on Benghazi is still making waves.


DOUGHERTY (voice-over): If she was tired by more than 5 1/2 hours of testifying on the deadly attack in Benghazi, the recently ailing secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, denied she was holding anything back from Congress.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: That's not who I am. That's not what I do.

DOUGHERTY: There was no doubt how personally Clinton took the death of the four Americans in Benghazi.

CLINTON: I stood next to President Obama as the marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children.

DOUGHERTY: But Republicans leveled angry charges at the state department, and the Obama administration did not see the danger signs.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: I categorically reject your answer.

SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: Had I been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post.

CLINTON: We have no doubt they were terrorists, they were militants, they attacked us. They --

DOUGHERTY: Clinton was, at times, defiant and not afraid to push back.


CLINTON: It still --

JOHNSON: Again, we were misled that --


JOHNSON: -- there were supposedly protests and then something sprung out of that, an assault sprung out of that. And that was easily -- ascertain that that was not the fact

CLINTON: But, no --

JOHNSON: And the American people could have known that within days, and they didn't know that.

CLINTON: With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? REP. JEFF DUNCAN, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: Madam Secretary, you let the consulate become a death trap. And that's national security malpractice.

CLINTON: I think I've made that very clear, congressman.

DOUGHERTY: For the first time, she explained why it was U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, and not she who delivered those misleading talking points.

CLINTON: I have to confess here in public, going on the Sunday shows is not my favorite thing to do.

DOUGHERTY: In a day of heavy questioning, a rare light moment.

VOICE OF REP. STEVE CHABOT, (R) OHIO: Madam Secretary, first, let me thank you for your service and I wish you the best in your future endeavors, mostly.



DOUGHERTY (on-camera): A laugh on that. Future endeavors, of course, you can read 2016, the presidential campaign, and Hillary Clinton is one of the people, of course, that could be a candidate from the Democrats.


DOUGHERTY: And what made for really some fireworks at that Benghazi hearing was the fact that some of the people who questioned her could be GOP candidates in 2016 as well -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: You know what, Jill, if we just look at that, we would think that it was all very fiery, but there was also a lovefest going on, wasn't there?

DOUGHERTY: YES, there was. And I think that was what was really interesting, because she combined so many things there. You had the people who respect her, you know, have worked with her as a senator, the people who think she did a very good job as secretary of state, and then, you also have the dynamics of her as a politician, you know, the scolding person, the angry person, the happy person.


DOUGHERTY: She's really -- it was a very interesting thing to watch, especially since it's one of the last things she's going to do officially as secretary of state.

SAMBOLIN: I would rarely say that that's must-watch television, but I have to tell you, I was riveted. Hanging on every word. Jill Dougherty, thank you so much. We appreciate that.

All right. It's 36 minutes past the hour. And this story developing overnight out of Asia.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Quite troubling here. North Korea says it plans to carry out new nuclear testing and further long-range rocket launches as part of a new phase of confrontation with the United States. North Korea's national defense commission called the U.S., quote, "the sworn enemy of the Korean people."

And this happened just after a U.N. security council resolution passed on Tuesday, condemning that country's recent rocket launch and expanded existing sanctions against them.

BERMAN (voice-over): So, for a lot of people just hearing Charlie Brown's voice might take you back to your childhood.

UNIDENTIFIED Kid: This time I'm going to kick that football clear to the moon! Ahh!

BERMAN: So, the real-life person behind that voice is now in jail. Fifty-six-year-old Peter Robbins (ph) faces a dozen felony charges. He's accused of stalking his ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her plastic surgeon as well as a San Diego police sergeant. Robbins has pleaded not guilty. When he was a child, he voiced Charlie Brown in some of the most popular "Peanuts" movies, including the "Great Pumpkin," "Charlie Brown," and "A Charlie Brown Christmas."


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Are you a fan of Charlie Brown?

BERMAN (on-camera): I love the "Charlie Brown Christmas."

SAMBOLIN: I thought it was found on American advice (ph) that I wasn't a fan of Charlie -- I know, right?

BERMAN: You do sound un-American.

SAMBOLIN: I know. Terrible, but I'm not.

Thirty-eight minutes past the hour. We just have some heart-stopping video to show you this morning.

The moment a Houston area police officer came under fire during a bank robbery that turned into a police chase. This is -- look at this. This is dash cam footage of an officer getting pelted, pelted with 15 rounds of AK-47 fire. He was hit in the head. He was hit in the arm. He did survive.

That chase happened two years ago. The footage only now coming to light because the alleged getaway driver is on trial. The robbery suspect was killed by deputies when the 20-minute chase came to an end on a dead end street. The suspected getaway driver surrendered.

BERMAN: That is some crazy video.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my good -- it does look like a movie, right?

BERMAN: So, now to Wales and a pro soccer match. Is this a cheap shot on the ball boy or just a misunderstanding? You make the call. A replay showed Chelsea's Eden Hazard (ph) kicking the teenager after the ball had gone out of play. Yikes! The referee gave him a red card which means, you know, he's out of the game.

Hazard later said he was trying to kick the ball, not the boy and apologized. You know, police say they -- said they will not bring charges but Hazard could be banned from several more matches. That did not look one bit good.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, you might make fun of Manti Te'o, but he's not the only one. Coming up, inside the world of catfishing where things online are not always what meets the eye.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. It is 42 minutes past hour. Notre Dame football star, Manti Te'o, has finally spoken out on camera to ABC's Katie Couric about the controversy surrounding his internet love affair that, of course, turned out to be a big hoax. He has admitted to exaggerating a bit about the relationship. Katie asked him why.


MANTI TE'O, NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL PLAYER: My story, I felt was a guy who in times of hardship and in times of trial really, you know, held on to his faith, held on to his family. And I felt that that was my story.

KATIE COURIC, ABC ANCHOR: Even if that hardship was, perhaps, exaggerated?

TE'O: No. It was -- what I went through was real. You know, the feelings, the pain, the sorrow, that was all real.


SAMBOLIN: So many more questions. Katie Couric's full interview airs later today on ABC, John.

BERMAN: Doesn't it seem a bit far fetched to you falling in love with someone online whom you've never met. Well, apparently, it happens all the time. CNN's Deb Feyerick has more on what is called catfishing.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As crazy as it sounds, what apparently happened to Notre Dame football player, Manti Te'o, happens every day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, I mean, people who are really smart. FEYERICK: Private investigator, Dawn Richey (ph), says she's spoken to hundreds of men and women who get conned after falling deeply in love online.

What is it they're hoping for?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody just wants to feel needed and loved and find that romance. The scammer just knows how to pull them into it.

FEYERICK: It's called catfishing, a term popularized by the 2010 film "Catfish" about a man who has an online love affair with the ideal woman who turns out not to exist. It's a scam built on trust, one e- mail, one text, one phone call at a time over months or Manti Te'o's case, perhaps, years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He fell in love with a fictional character.

FEYERICK: Richey believes Te'o is like many of her clients, the target of a cruel hoax.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bottom line is that there's money. They'll always ask for money.

FEYERICK: Te'o told ESPN he never gave money to his so-called girlfriend though admits she wanted to send him money and asked for a checking account number. He says he refused to give it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very hard for people to accept the fact that this person doesn't exist. Nothing's going to match up, phone numbers aren't going to match up, addresses aren't going to match up.

FEYERICK: In most cases, once the money dries up, the scammer disappears. In Manti Te'o's case, his girlfriend faked her death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My clients are truly embarrassed of what has happened to them in their life. They don't want to talk to their friends, their family. They've depleted their bank account. They feel completely humiliated.

FEYERICK: Humiliated and left facing questions, how could it happen in the first place?

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


SAMBOLIN: It is still shocking though, right?

BERMAN: You know, I think there are questions that will never be answered here to people's satisfaction, but it will be very interesting to see how he tries to answer some of them later today.

SAMBOLIN: No doubt. I'm curious. Definitely.

Forty-six minutes past the hour. Coming up, this is really amazing, folks. A little baby who beat the odds. You want to stick around for this because this is really an incredible story, a miracle. What she's had to overcome will absolutely amaze you.


BERMAN: Forty-eight minutes after the hour right now, and we're bring you up to speed in all the headlines. Christine Romans here with that.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And the big headlines is the weather again this morning, you guys.

Extreme cold gripping much of the country with overnight wind chills at ski resorts in New Hampshire negative 84. That is not a typo. That's right there. At least three people have died now due to exposure to the cold. So, be careful out there, folks.

The late Junior Seau's family is suing the NFL. They say his suicide last year was due to the violent hit he took during a 20-year pro- career. The family claims the league knew the long-terms risks but sat on that information. Doctors say Seau had brain disease caused by repeated hit to the head.

Florida governor, Rick Scott, says he wants all full-time teachers to get a $2,500 pay raise next year. During his announcement yesterday, Scott said the money would come from Florida's first budget surplus in six years. You might recall, he angered teachers last year after backing a three percent pay cut for teachers in the form of a pension contribution. Scott is up for re-election next year.

And singer, Adele, announced Wednesday she will perform her Oscar nominated hit "Skyfall" at the academy awards in Los Angeles next month. This will be the first time the British song (ph) will perform the "007" theme like anywhere or live anywhere. "Skyfall" is the first Bond theme to be nominated for an Oscar in over three decades.

And we love Adele. She's had a baby. It will be lovely to hear --

BERMAN: Is she going to sing it herself or is it going to be like Beyonce style?



BERMAN: Just asking. Just asking.

SAMBOLIN: Well, it depends. If her voice is strong and nothing happens, right, then she's going to sing it herself. But if she is weak, she will probably lip sync. Don't you think?

BERMAN: Just like the rest of us every morning.


SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Christine. ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: Fifty minutes past the hour. I love this story. A Texas baby had a really rough start, but she is finally going home. Listen to this, Audrina Cardenas (ph) was born in October with about a third of her heart beating, listen to this, outside of her body.


SAMBOLIN: Surgeons put it back inside where it belongs, and now, she is well enough to leave the hospital. About eight babies out of a million are born with this kind of condition, the one that Audrina (ph) has but most only live a few days. So, they actually took the skin and pulled it over the heart.

And you know, this is absolutely a miracle baby. They found this -- she had this condition when the mom went to have an ultrasound. And so, they were able to make all of these plans, and luckily, she's going home. They got to watch her very closely, though.

BERMAN: They have to actually reconstruct her sternum which is why you saw that interesting brace with the heart sort of beating in a hole there, but it's such a lovely, lovely story.

SAMBOLIN: Isn't that incredible?


SAMBOLIN: Yes. I love modern times. Once upon a time, that baby would have never made it. So --

BERMAN: All right. We have a lot going on in this show. Drunk driving is now legal in one county. So, people don't have to drink alone and feel all bummed out about it. And you'll never guess where this is.

SAMBOLIN: Actually, you probably will guess where it is. Think a little bit and you probably will guess.

BERMAN: We'll have the details, next.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. Fifty-five minutes after the hour here. John Berman along with Zoraida Sambolin, taking a look at the top CNN Trends on the web this morning.

SAMBOLIN: So, it goes against the stats and conventional wisdom accumulated over the past 75 years, but a small county in Ireland has voted to allow some drunk driving. You heard me right. The Irish county of Kerry voted to legalize drunk driving in order to make it easier for people who live in very remote, rural areas to go out and get a drink and socialize.

One counselor claims it would help prevent depression and suicide in isolated areas where roads are empty, public transit is not an option, and were strict DWI laws have trapped people inside of their homes.

BERMAN: Can I tell you? I've driven in Kerry County, and I've never been more scary in my entire life. I mean, it is crazy. There's a windy, small little roads there. That is nuts.

SAMBOLIN: Well, I wanted to know how many drinks, and they say between one and three should be OK. What do you think?

BERMAN: I think no. I think no. That's crazy to me.

All right. So, the artist who painted the first official portrait of Katherine the duchess of Cambridge is now defending his work. Critics dissed this big time --

SAMBOLIN: Big time.

BERMAN: -- when it was unveiled early. You know, it made her look like a ghost or just really old. British artist, Paul Elmsley, is now firing saying people should go see the painting with their own eyes. It just doesn't photograph well, he said. Interesting thing is the "London Evening Standard" says postcards of his work are the fastest selling of any painting at the National --

SAMBOLIN: That's because she's hugely popular. When I took a look at it, I looked at the lips, and I thought that was kind of awkward and odd.

BERMAN: How do you screw -- I mean, how do you screw that up?

SAMBOLIN: Right. Right.

BERMAN: -- the picture of her. It's like that'd be the easiest thing in the world to paint and make look pretty.

SAMBOLIN: Well, we'll see. You've got to go see it in person before you judge.

All right. So, here's something to warm you up on this really frigid morning. it Is a sneak peek at the new Mercedes Super Bowl ad.

BERMAN: Oh, my goodness.

SAMBOLIN: Look, look, look. It's featuring "Sports Illustrated" cover girl, Kate Upton. What's she doing? Let's see. I hear she's washing a car. Sex sells. That's nothing new, but some critics are saying it's too sexy for Super Bowl. One poster on the Mercedes-Benz Facebook page saying "Hot girl, great car. And somehow, I think, this is the worst ad Mercedes has ever made."

What do you think, Berman? Is it the worst ad ever?

BERMAN: I'm sorry, you talking to me?


(LAUGHTER) SAMBOLIN: All the guys in here are mesmerized. They are staring at the TV. All right, which is exactly what they want, right?

So, to check out other top CNN Trends, head to

BERMAN: Some late-night laughs now. Stephen Colbert looking for a play on words that sticks for a growing scandal.


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": An ongoing scandal threatening to engulf Barack Obama's second term.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Big questions for Beyonce.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was Beyonce really singing live or just acting the national anthem?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Late today, Travis (ph) and I confirmed that Beyonce lip synced that incredible rendition of the national anthem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's so much going on regarding the Beyonce gate.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The latest on the Beyonce lipgate.


COLBERT: Yes, lipgate, Beyonce gate, the crisis in lipia --


COLBERT: Beyonce-ghazi. Was there a second singer on the grassy knolls?


COLBERT: We're still working on it. We're going to get -- we have a graphics package and everything eventually. We were all moved by Ms. Knowles performance, none more so than Joe Biden --





COLBERT: That man either loves his country very much or Chuck Schumer just ripped one.



BERMAN: All right. EARLY START continues right now.