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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Manhunt for a Killer; Is Hagel's Confirmation in Jeopardy?; Day 4 in Alabama Hostage Standoff; Church Removes Priests Involved in Sex Abuse Scandal; Cod Shortage in New England; Spin Class Sex Riot; Markets Hit New Highs

Aired February 1, 2013 - 05:00   ET

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


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Masked gunman on the loose. Police say he killed a prosecutor in broad daylight, right in front of the courthouse.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So did Chuck Hagel roll it? President Obama's pick for Defense Secretary roughed up by his former colleagues in the Senate.

SAMBOLIN: Geraldo Rivera for Senate. The TV host says he's truly considering run for office.

BERMAN: You know, if Geraldo says it, it must be true.

SAMBOLIN: Really?

BERMAN: Absolutely.

SAMBOLIN: Do you recall some special moments with Geraldo when he said and it wasn't true?

All right. Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. We're happy you're with us. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. It's Friday, February 1st. February already.

SAMBOLIN: I know.

BERMAN: Rabbit rabbit.

It is 5:00 a.m. in the East. And up first, the big and intense manhunt going on right now for one, possibly two suspects after an assistant district attorney was gunned down outside a courthouse in Texas. Mark Hasse, a prosecutor in Kaufmann County, which is about 30 miles outside Dallas, killed after being shot several times as he got out of his car in the courthouse parking lot yesterday. Authorities are pleading for leads. The FBI is helping in the case and his boss had a message for those responsible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE MCLELLAND, KAUFMAN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I hope that the people that did this are watching because we're very confident that we're going to find you, we're going to pull out of whatever hole you're in, and we're going to bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Our Drew Griffin is live in Kaufman, Texas, this morning. Good morning, Drew. What's the latest?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. Really, there has been no developments overnight, as far as we know. They are looking for what they think is a suspect, possibly in a sedan, brown or silver. There were many witnesses, but they are apparently telling police many different stories, not even sure if they are looking for one or two suspects.

Mr. Hasse, arriving at work about 8:00 yesterday morning in this very parking lot. According to the police chief, there was a slight altercation, perhaps somebody waiting for him, and then he was just simply shot dead. There's been a lot of speculation, was this tied to his work at the courthouse, cases he prosecuted. The prosecutors here each, there's about 13 of them, they handle hundreds of cases.

But his boss yesterday said, you know, they don't know exactly what is behind this, but there are certain inherent risks of this job.

(BEGIN VIDEO LCIP)

MCLELLAND: Simply the nature of the beast, when you deal with bad people on a regular basis, there is always the potential to do something bad, because they already did something bad to somebody else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: That said, they aren't sure if this has to do with his case work. He was under no death threats at the time. He prosecuted DUIs, lots of drugs in this county, and also some white supremacist type of people. But again, they have no idea, John, who, why he was killed. We're going to get an update later on this morning on how this investigation is going on -- John.

BERMAN: Wow.

Drew Griffin in Texas, a manhunt underway and still, so many questions, thanks for being with us.

SAMBOLIN: In another developing story for you this morning, rescuers have pulled a survivor from the rubble and crews are still searching for people who may be trapped after an explosion that tore through the offices of a stat-owned oil company. The complex includes one the city's skyscrapers, excuse me. This is Mexico City.

Authorities say the blast killed at least 26 people and injured more than 100. That powerful explosion happened in the basement of a neighboring building and it collapses two floors as well. BERMAN: So, it was a grueling day for Chuck Hagel at this confirmation hearing and that might be an understatement. President Obama's choice for Defense Secretary spent much of the day on the defensive with Republican senators grilling Hagel about his past statements and positions specifically on Israel and Iran.

This was not pretty. But was it enough to secure a Cabinet position? Here's CNN's Chris Lawrence.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They attacked Chuck Hagel from all sides.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: Why do you think the Iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination for Secretary of Defense?

LAWRENCE: Calling him soft on Iran and tough on Israel.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Give me an example where we've been intimidated by the Israeli/Jewish lobby to do something dumb?

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY NOMINEE: Well, I can't give you an example.

LAWRENCE: At times, Hagel stumbled through his answers.

HAGEL: What I meant to say, should have said --

LAWRENCE: And had to repeatedly correct himself.

HAGEL: By the way, I have just been handed a note that I misspoke.

LAWRENCE: Leading one senator to say --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to clarify the clarify.

LAWRENCE: But in the muddle, some things became clear. Hagel supports a negotiated reductions in America's nuclear weapons. He'll push for spouses of gay and lesbian troops to receive benefits, and he believes the U.S. should talk with Iran about its nuclear program.

HAGEL: That's not negotiation. Engagement is not appeasement.

LAWRENCE: The most heated exchange goes back years to a disagreement over Iraq.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: You said that the surge would be the most dangerous policy blunder in this country since Vietnam. Were you correct or incorrect? Yes or no?

HAGEL: My ref -- my reference to the surge being --

MCCAIN: Are you answering the question, Senator Hagel? The question is, were you right or wrong?

LAWRENCE: Hagel seemed surprised by questions he to know were coming. It got so bad near the end, Senator Inhofe softened his question on Iran's endorsement.

INHOFE: Do you consider that to be a disrespectful notion on my part?

HAGEL: No, it's a legitimate question.

INHOFE: Thank you very much.

LAWRENCE: Some senators were stunned by Hagel's performance. They came out of the hearing not sure if they vote for him or not. But Hagel met with about 60 senators before the hearing. And his aides are going to continue that aggressive push, hoping that personal one- on-one meetings can overcome any of the mistakes that he made.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: The question is, is his confirmation in jeopardy?

BERMAN: Well, I mean, the Democrats think they still have the votes there, but most people say Hagel did not do anything to help himself. And all of our reporters, Dana Bash reporting that the senators were just stunned at his performance. It was a 7 1/2-hour hearing, a long, long hearing and it was tough.

SAMBOLIN: We have to mention, it was rude at times as well, right?

BERMAN: There are a lot of people who think that some of the Republican senators went too far in their line of questioning, maybe that will backfire. But again did little to help himself as the message is being sent.

SAMBOLIN: I read this morning that he was like a wiggle, he wobbled but he didn't fall down. That's the most interesting thing I read there. They don't think he actually fell.

BERMAN: Well, that's the best thing he hoped for.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, exactly, exactly.

All right. Six minutes past the hour.

When it comes to jobs, did we sprint or stumble out of the gate this year. We're going to find out when the January jobs report comes out, it's a little more than three hours from now. Forecasters expect to see maintained momentum, predicting 165,000 net new jobs added. That's up slightly from the 155,000 added in December. They expect the unemployment rate to stay at 7.8 percent.

BERMAN: Of course, Christine Romans will be here to break down the numbers as soon as they come out. That will happen at 8:30 live on "STARTING POINT." It's a big deal, so stay with us for that. SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BERMAN: So for the first time in a long, long time, Hillary Clinton will be sleeping in on Saturday. Today is the secretary of state's final day on the job. The former first lady, former senator, former presidential candidate, logged almost a million miles in the air since joining the state department four years ago.

This week, Secretary Clinton told CNN she is looking forward to getting some rest, but for how long? You know what I'm talking about -- 2016?

SAMBOLIN: She's also penning a memoir, so she's going to be a little bit busy.

BERMAN: She'll be writing.

SAMBOLIN: She'll be a little bit busy.

All right. Geraldo for Senate. FOX News host Geraldo Rivera says he is considering a run for a New Jersey Senate seat in 2014. Rivera telling his radio audience that he's been in touch with Republican Party officials about a possible run against Frank Lautenberg or Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

BERMAN: He never disappoints, Geraldo, always entertaining.

Eight minutes after the hour right now. Tense negotiations underway at this very minute to try to get a gunman to give up and let his 5-year- old hostage free. We're going to get a live update, coming up.

SAMBOLIN: Plus, cough syrup being recalled. You want to pay attention, especially if you have little ones at home.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Eleven minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START.

There is a lot going on this morning. It is now day four of a tense hostage standoff in Alabama where a five-year-old is being held by a gunman inside an underground bunker. Neighbors in Midland City say Jimmy Lee Dykes has been working on a bunker for more than a year now. Police believe he had stayed there for eight days at a time.

Late last night, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen offered this update to reporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLY OLSEN, DALE COUNTY SHERIFF: I can tell you that negotiators continue to communicate with the suspect and there is no reason to believe that the child has been harmed. They ask that everybody continue to keep the child and the family and all who are part of this investigation in your prayers.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: George Howell has been covering this from the beginning. He is live in Midland City. So, George, we just heard him say there is no reason to believe that the child has been harmed.

So what do we know about this child?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Zoraida, when you try to talk about these investigators about what's happening, they are very tightlipped, they only offer updates every so often, and when they speak, everyone listens.

And, you know, at this point, what we know is exactly what we said, that this young boy remains physically unharmed. That is the most important we heard. Also, that they were able to get this young boy, the medications, the daily medications that he needs. But, again, he remains held up against his will inside that bunker.

One person who knows about that bunker is the same neighbor I spoke with, who says that Dykes fired a pistol at him and his family back in December. He took some time to describe the bunker where Dykes is hiding out. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIMMY DAVIS, JR., NEIGHBOR: He --

HOWELL (voice-over): Jimmy Davis Jr. and his family have been neighbors to Jimmy Dykes since he moved to this area and brought property here more than a year and a half ago, and Davis says he's seen the bunker first hand.

DAVIS: He told me U.S. a storm shelter and I -- I have not seen it in probably eight to nine months. Not sure what he's done to update it or anything. HOWELL (on camera): So, when you saw that bunker, I mean, what did it look like? How wide? How deep was it?

DAVIS: It's like a 15 by 15-foot, you know, wide in length, and about 12 foot deep and it was lined with bricks, little red bricks.

HOWELL (voice-over): Davis says Dykes' travel trailer, where he lives, sits about 20 yards off the road on his property. Just behind the trailer is massive steel shipping container that Davis says Dykes used as a shed. And behind that, slightly to the left, sits the underground square bunker.

DAVIS: It actually had cinder blocks going down for steps and it was covered with two sheets of plywood nailed together with hinges and stuff and as a door to open to it.

HOWELL: Davis saw the bunker early in its development. He says it had a tarp and sand over top. He also noticed a PVC pipe buried in the ground that went from the bunker all the way to the front gate. Dykes told Davis that he put it in so that if he was in the bunker, he could hear people or cars approach the front gate.

(on camera): Did he ever give you any indication why he built this bunker?

DAVIS: A storm shelter. That's what he told me, he said back when he lived -- I forgot where he told me he used to live, but back where he lived, there were a bunch of tornadoes and it would always get to close to his house, so he was preparing for it, and he wanted to make sure he had somewhere to get in.

HOWELL: Davis says his relationship with Dykes quickly deteriorated though just in December. He says Dykes fired a pistol at him and his family while they were in their pickup truck. The two men were due in court Wednesday, where Dykes was to face a charge of menacing.

But since allegedly kidnapping a child and killing a man, Dykes is now in much deeper, hiding out underground.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: And this is not Dykes' first brush with the law. We know that he was charged with improper exhibition of a firearm back in 1995, and in 2005, he was arrested for illegal possession of marijuana. So, not his first brush with the law, and we're all waiting to see what happens here tonight, or this morning rather.

SAMBOLIN: George, we have one concern. We understand temperatures are dipping into the low 30s. Are they concerned about conditions inside that bunker?

HOWELL: Right. And, you know, right now, right around 40 degrees here. It has been much colder. In fact, as you mentioned, you know, 30 degrees not out of the average, not out of the normal here these last few days. So it has gotten very cold.

But it's still unclear exactly how sophisticated this bunker is. Is there electricity? Is there heat? These are questions that are still unknown. There has been some speculation that there may be electricity in that bunker. But no way for us to really know at this point.

So at this point, just investigators doing their best to monitor that situation and stay in touch with Dykes, hopefully to get him out.

SAMBOLIN: Good gracious. We're really feeling for the parents of that little boy.

George Howell, live for us in Midland City, thank you very much.

BERMAN: Sixteen minutes after the hour right now. Let's bring up to speed on other news.

Christine Romans here with the headlines.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And good morning. Good Friday morning to both of you.

We begin with an intense manhunt to find a person who gunned down a prosecutor outside of a courthouse in Texas, and there may be more than one suspect out there. Investigators looking into the possibility that assistant D.A. Mark Hasse was targeted because of a case he was working on. His boss says he may have been working on as many as 300 different cases.

The world of extreme sports taking a hard look at itself this morning after the death of snowmobiler Caleb Moore. He was injured when his 450-pound snowmobile flipped on top of him during a back flip attempt the Winter X Games last week. ESPN, which produces the X Games, says they are reviewing the sport. They'll adopt a new appropriate changes at future X Games

Our hearts go out to his families.

Check your medicine cabinet before you leave the house. Drugmaker Novartis is voluntarily recalling two dozen different types of Triaminic and Theraflu cough syrups because the seals on the bottle caps are defective. The seals are not child proof.

The company says it receives four reports of accidental ingestion. One patient had to get medical attention but did recover. The products, rather, involved have probably been used up. Novartis says the last batch was distributed more than a year ago, but always with these recalls, please take a look in the medicine Cabinet.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you for the warning. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Eighteen minutes past the hour. It's time for your "Early Reads". It's your local news that is making national headlines.

And we're going to start with "The L.A. Times." A dramatic announcement, some say long overdue by the Catholic Church, in response to the priest sex abuse scandal. Cardinal Roger Mahony, who led the L.A. archdiocese from 1985 to 2011, is being removed from public duties, that according to an announcement from the L.A. archbishop. Santa Barbara Bishop Thomas Curry will also step down.

The church says it released several confidential files showing Mahony and Curry discussed hiding cases of molestation from law enforcement.

BERMAN: You know, Roger Mahony, a towering figure in Los Angeles, really a huge figure in the American clergy as well.

SAMBOLIN: Some want this to go much further though.

BERMAN: Big, big development.

Now to the fish fracas in New England. This from the "New Hampshire Union Leader". A dramatic reduction in the number of cod available to New England fishermen. It's threatening to put many out of business. The legal harvest of cod in the Gulf of Maine has been slashed by 77 percent for the fishing season beginning in May because of dwindling stocks. Back in September, the Commerce Department issued a disaster declaration for New England's ground fish industry but fishermen have yet to see any emergency relief money. This is just a huge, huge deal up there. The stocks are perilously low, and what's happening to try to replenish them any way they can. But again, a lot of fishermen are suffering across the --

SAMBOLIN: It's terrible. I had no idea. I love cod. Love cod.

BERMAN: So, we are counting down. There's some brand new job numbers for that and the economy. They will be released in just few hours and we're going to have a preview straight ahead.

SAMBOLIN: Plus, what Bradley Cooper reportedly did that caused a riot, folks.

BERMAN: Not just a riot. But a sex riot.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BERMAN: A sex riots, folks.

SAMBOLIN: Heart attacks, the whole nine yards. We've got the full story, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: We are minding your business this morning. Stock futures are up ahead of January's monthly jobs report.

SAMBOLIN: Despite closing lower yesterday, markets have been on tear so far this year.

Christine Romans, so excited, breaking it down for us this morning.

ROMANS: Party like it's 1994. What a good year that was. The last time you had stocks rise as much in January, it was 1994. That's right.

So, yes, it's been an amazing start to the year, and, yes, it's been a long time since we've seen it.

Let me show the final numbers that are in for the month of January, the beginning of the year. You can see the Dow up 6 percent, the NASDAQ up 4 percent, the S&P 500 up 5 percent.

The Dow and S&P are at the highest level since October 2007 and they are within spitting distance of the best levels in history. So, there's something really amazing going on in the stock market right now, and that's why a lot of people are starting to pile money. And they don't want to miss this last part of the bull market if it's going to go any further.

I asked Zanny Minton Beddoes, economics editor of "The Economist," I asked her, why -- why are stocks near records? This is what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES, THE ECONOMIST: I think the kind of serious fear of going off the fiscal cliff is now gone. We have not solved the financial problems, and we put off a few of them, but that since of real fear that was there for a lot of 2012 has lifted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: You got the Fed putting money into the system. The Q.E., quantitative easing, for several years now, pushing money into the system, that's a main, main driver of stocks. You also got housing recovering, the jobs market slowly healing. We're going to hear more about the jobs market later today, 8:30, the jobs report. We're expecting 180,000 jobs created, 7.7 percent unemployment.

BERMAN: We have one more business story. It is easily our favorite story of the day and maybe the most important as well.

Look at this. Bradley Cooper reportedly starts a sex riot, in a spin class.

So, this is what happened. Apparently, Cooper was in a New York City spin class --

SAMBOLIN: (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: This is serious reporting. So, Cooper in a spin class and reportedly takes off his shirt. You know, it's that simple. He took off his shirt and according to the "New York Post" several women in the class literally fell off their bikes.

So, it turns off our own Christine Romans knows a little something about Bradley Cooper. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What? We have run out of things to say. But, now, we're like two girls in a bar, this is terrible.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Darn it!

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: What's next for Bradley Cooper?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Really? Really? That's how it goes? That's how it is.

ROMANS: I'm sorry. I've never been that way with you. But that's Bradley Cooper. SAMBOLIN: Wait, wait. Christine, you should be that way with him. Take a look at this. I want to show you something. This is amazing. If you only knew what lies underneath -- here is a picture.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: Serious stuff. Bradley cooper.

Oh, that's --

ROMANS: There is Berman.

SAMBOLIN: We'll ogle over Berman a little bit. At the end of the day, you had no idea he was hiding all that.

BERMAN: You want to fall off your bike. That will give you something to fall off your bike. You want a sex riot? That's a sex riot?

SAMBOLIN: There you have it.

ROMANS: Bradley Cooper, John Berman, they go together.

BERMAN: You still have jobs reports at 8:30. I just want you to know. You got to get yourself together.

ROMANS: I won't be spinning with Bradley Cooper. Something about that guy.

SAMBOLIN: It's 27 minutes after the hour. Thank you, Christine.

An emergency high in the sky. The pilot of a packed jumbo jet forced to make an emergency landing after something goes wrong with the plane's captain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)