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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

The King's New Face; Deadly Tour Bus Crash; Menendez Answers Prostitution Questions; Piers Morgan In Gun Country; Can Congress Come Together?; Obama's Call to Arms; Hagel On The Hot Seat; Ravens Victory Parade Today; Lebron James Has Career Night; What Singles Want

Aired February 5, 2013 - 07:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up, Nevada Senator Dean Heller reacts to President Obama's call on Congress to move on new gun control laws. Does he think that Congress can work together on this?

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: We will talk to him about that. The special pins he wants people wearing state of the union.

Also match.com is releasing the largest study on singles in America exclusively, right here, STARTING POINT, 20 minutes.

BERMAN: It's a big deal.

BALDWIN: It's kind of totally a big deal apparently. It's looking at dating habits and I'll read it, bedroom trends across the country.

BERMAN: Thank you for reading that.

BALDWIN: You're welcome. Meantime, Christine Romans, save me.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's not even 7:30 in the east coast, my goodness.

All right, thanks, Brooke and John. New this morning, a team of scientists unveiling the face of long lost British King Richard III. He is probably the most controversial British monarch and the last English king said to have died in battle in 15th Century.

This mock up is based on the skull remains found at a dig site 90 miles from northwest of London. You know what, they are all controversial, one of the many controversial monarchs.

OK, just yet today, archaeologists confirmed that this 500-year-old skeleton is indeed that of the long lost king. Erin McLaughlin joins us now from London. What does the discovery mean?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christine. Well, this means that beyond any reasonable doubt, they have, in fact, found the remains of Richard III. But it also means that we have some more clues as to how he died. We know that he was 32 years old when he rode into the battle of Bosworth. We know that he likely died due to blunt trauma to the back of his head. Scientists think that his naked body was then strewn over a horse and carried to a shallow and ill fitted grave. He was tossed inside without any sort of shroud or coffin.

We also have a better idea of what Richard III looked like. Scientists have actually used 3D printing to make a reconstruction of his face. I got to take a look at in this morning and speak to one of the experts responsible for painting the face. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANICE AITKEN, UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE: It's very difficult to tell. We had to use both the references from the skull and references from contemporary portraits.

MCLAUGHLIN: The facial construction of the face itself is pretty accurate because it's based on the skull?

AITKEN: Absolutely. Yes. The structure, the sculpture itself is very accurate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Now, Richard III enthusiasts or Ricardians as they are known here, really hope that these clues will paint a very different picture of Richard III than the one with a monster, the villain, that Shakespeare portrayed.

They are hoping that it now shows a man who was a warrior for his country that valiantly rode into battle and died. So it's a very different portrayal there, Christine, of Richard III who walked England over 500 years ago.

ROMANS: A man who was more well known for killing his nephews and we can talk about it later. Erin McLaughlin because we are going to talk to Philippa Langley later on STARTING POINT of the Richard III Society.

The person behind the whole excavation project is going to join us to discuss this incredible historical discovery. Even the DNA part of it is so interesting. They found descendants of his sister, another generation, might not have had that DNA material.

OK, well, federal investigators combed through the wreckage of a deadly bus crash in Southern California. There's word the tour bus owner failed more than a third of safety inspections over the last two years.

Officials say faulty brakes may have led to the weekend crash that killed seven people and injured dozens more. This bus was heading back to Mexico from a ski resort when it crashed on a mountain road.

Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez finally answering to shocking allegations that he tried to solicit prostitutes during trips to Dominican Republic. He spoke exclusively with CNN chief congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, and called those allegations smears.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Can you just answer the allegation that has been out there --

SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: The smears, the smears.

BASH: -- that you were with prostitutes.

MENENDEZ: The smears that right-wing blogs have been pushing since the election and that is totally unsubstantiated. It's amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a web site can drive that type of story into the mainstream.

But that's what they have done successfully. Nobody can find them. No one ever met them. No one can talk to them. That's where we're at. So the bottom line is all of those smears are absolutely false and that's the bottom line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: In an interview with Univision yesterday, a woman accused of being one of the prostitutes says she has never met Menendez and never worked as a prostitute.

CNN anchor, Piers Morgan, bringing his gun control cause to the heart of America's gun country. Morgan broadcast his show from near Houston last night. Piers admitted it was exciting to fire a semi-automatic weapon at a local gun range. But things really turned fiery when he squared off with rocker and NRA board member Ted Nugent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED NUGENT, NRA BOARD MEMBER: Do you care about murders or do you only care about murders with guns?

PIERS MORGAN, HOST, CNN'S "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT": I care about all deaths.

NUGENT: I don't think you do. I think are you obsessed with guns. The 99.99 percent of the gun owners of America are wonderful people that you are hanging around with here today, perfectly safe, perfectly harmless, wonderful, loving, giving, generous, caring people. Will you leave us the hell alone?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Nugent insists there is no such thing as gun violence, only criminal violence.

BERMAN: Interesting. Of course, guns a big issue all over the country right now, a big issue in Washington. One of the big battles brewing in Congress is over gun control. President Obama is calling on Congress to move forward with gun control legislation. BALDWIN: Second, the federal budget and haven't we been before as well? House Republicans blasted President Obama for missing yesterday's legal deadline to release an annual budget. Both issued could, of course, spark a bitter partisan standoff.

BERMAN: Senator Dean Heller is a Republican from Nevada and a member of the "No Labels Campaign," a group that promotes bipartisanship. Not an easy hall in Washington right now. Senator, great to see you this morning.

SEN. DEAN HELLER (R ) NEVADA: Great to be on the show with you. Thank you very much.

BERMAN: I want to start with the issue of guns because yesterday, the president called for something interesting. He says he wants Congress to at least vote on an assault weapons ban. At least vote on the idea of banning these semi automatic weapons. Do you think Congress owes that to him to vote on those subjects?

HELLER: Well, I don't know. He has a no guns, no budget policy moving forward, and I don't understand either one of those. I think we ought to bring these issues to the table. Let's discuss about -- let's have a discussion about guns, but have the same discussions about mental health, violence on TV, the movies and video games.

So bring it all to the table. If it's just about assault rifles, just about guns this is all political, and I think most people see it as being political. We need a much broader discussion than just trying to ban certain types of guns.

BALDWIN: Obviously, Senator, you know, it's one thing to bring an issue to the table. It's quite another to have it pass through members of Congress, such as yourself. You talk to a lot of people on the Hill as we have and they say, look, this whole idea of assault weapons ban passing is likely a no-go.

But the one idea that seems perhaps palatable among Republicans and Democrats is this idea of universal background checks. Do you -- you're there on the Hill. You're talking to these men and women. Do you see -- do you hear consensus for that?

HELLER: Actually I do. I think what is more important is what we're hearing back at home though. You know, when I talked to my constituents or for that matter we had the sheriffs from across the country in Washington, D.C. last week.

Of course, I had discussions with my sheriffs back in Nevada, what they feel about the assault rifle ban and some of these issues, and I think the consensus was with the sheriffs, the problem isn't assault rifles.

The problem is criminals and people with mental health needs with assault rifles, and so somehow we have to make that connection. So it's what we're hearing back at home, but as you said, I think there is discussion or at least chatter about strengthening and improving the background checks. BALDWIN: But I want to take it beyond discussion and chatter. I mean, can we get you on the record saying that you think that that will likely pass through Congress, the idea of universal background checks?

BERMAN: And is it something you can vote for?

HELLER: No, I think it's a reasonable step forward. But let's put everything on the table, let's do put guns on the table, mental health issues, let's make sure that we're talking about Hollywood, video games, so on and so forth. Let's bring it all together and have a real discussion.

BERMAN: One of the other issues on the table right now before the Senate is Chuck Hagel, the nominee to be the next secretary of defense. Let me get you on the record on that. Do you think he is someone you can support for that job?

HELLER: Well, I had him in my office a couple of weeks ago. We had a pretty good discussion. We're having some follow up discussions now. So I haven't taken a position yet on the Hagel nomination.

But would anticipate as soon as this -- and, of course, following the committee closely also. I'm still reading the transcript, trying to figure out what direction I want to go on this particular nomination. So I'll leave at that.

BERMAN: Senator McCain says that he will fight any efforts to filibuster this. So you said you are not sure how you will vote on an up-or-down vote, but would you at least oppose a filibuster?

HELLER: You know, I don't know at this point. I probably would, but I don't know at this point. You know, I think he deserves an opportunity to come forward and make his -- make his arguments. I think he's doing that now in the community -- in the committee itself. I will continue to follow this closely.

BALDWIN: Senator, let's talk about the "State of the Union," right, one week from today. I don't know if that's the pin you have there on your left lapel. I know you're part of this no-labels campaign, right.

So this is -- you'll be wearing a pin that reads "Stop fighting, start fixing." You want your congressional colleagues to wear this pin next Tuesday night. Who do you have signed on for this so far?

HELLER: Could you repeat that question?

BALDWIN: Who has signed on? You have a lot of colleagues saying OK, we'll wear this pin?

HELLER: You know, Senator Manchin and myself that are really pushing this hard. Obviously we have our colleagues in the House that are doing the same thing. Jim Cooper from Tennessee, he is pushing the "No Labels" concept, trying to bring both sides together, let's just start solving some problems. Obviously, as you are aware of and as you know, the budget is probably the biggest issue. Something that we haven't passed in four years and has been out there. You have heard this, but the iPad wasn't invented the last time we passed a budget here in Washington, D.C.

So it's a concept of no budget, no pay, no labels coming together trying to move this country forward. If we don't budget, we won't move this country forward.

BALDWIN: So is a date night a couple years ago, and now you are getting pinned. Senator Dean Heller, thank you so much for joining us.

HELLER: Thank you. You bet. Good to see you too.

BALDWIN: It is a big bet to lose. How one big play in the Super Bowl is costing one company $600,000 in merchandise?

BERMAN: How are long-term relationships changing in America today? An exclusive new dating study from match.com unveiled right here on STARTING POINT and the results will shock you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: The game is over, but not the partying. Rest assured. The city of Baltimore has big plans for their Super Bowl winning team today.

BALDWIN: Bleacher Report's Vince Cellini joins us this morning with details of the Ravens big victory tour. Vince, good morning.

VINCE CELLINI, BLEACHER REPORT: Good morning, John and Brooke. Yes, this is Super Bowl party, day three. Now Tuesday is not an official holiday in the city of Baltimore, but thousands of kids won't be in school. Local businesses are going to close their doors, all to honor the world champion Baltimore Ravens, centerpiece of a morning downtown parade.

The players arrived back in town on Monday after Sunday's Super Bowl win. Fans were waiting for them, eager to celebrate the city's first football championship in 12 years. The party continues with a downtown procession starting at 10:45 a.m. in front of city hall. Back in 2001, 200,000 people showed up. Perhaps they will get even more this year.

Meanwhile, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had a detour before making his way to Baltimore, the annual Disney World parade. The game MVP carried out the tradition that started back in 1987 with Giant quarterback Phil Simms. Baltimore is going to be slightly chillier than Orlando. Temperatures in Baltimore expected in the low 40s under cloudy skies.

Meanwhile, this is a great story. Gardner's Furniture in Baltimore told customers who bought items there between January 31st and 3 p.m. day of the game, that those items would be free if the ravens returned either the kick off or third quarter kick off for a touchdown. And Jacoby Jones did in the third quarter. It appears now the store is going to give away $600,000 in furnishings. Fortunately, they have an insurance policy to cover them. The policy cost $12,000. Store advertising was priceless.

And finally this, the reigning NBA MVP, Lebron James, out did himself Monday night, 31 points for the Miami Heat. That was impressive, but he was 13 out of 14 shooting from the field, a career best, 92.9 percent shooting.

He also had 8 rebounds, 8 assists. It marks the league's best shooting performance with at least that many attempts in the last 18 years and also it helps that Lebron was playing the worst team in basketball, the Charlotte Bobcats.

Don't forget, you can check out a complete breakdown on Lebron's big night on bleacherreport.com as well as the rest of your entertaining sports news. So if you win a Super Bowl, John and Brooke. Yes, you continue the party 24, 48, 72 hours later. Party on.

BALDIWN: I'm still stuck on the $600,000 of merch that this store has to give away to these people, you know.

CELLINI: Nice sectional maybe a coffee table, lamps. Signed up? You are good.

BERMAN: There is something called prize indemnity insurance. When you are a store that offers things like this, you actually buy the insurance. It's crazy. They sound like they had a good deal, 12,000 bucks.

BALDWIN: Do you know what I just heard in my ear? She called you a nerd.

BERMAN: But it's true. Jordan's Furniture, up in Boston with the Red Sox won the World Series a few times. They were insured.

BALDWIN: The things I learn sitting next to you for two hours I'd tell you.

Coming up next, do you have a friend with benefits? Are you trying not to get attached and failing. Help me.

BERMAN: Next, an exclusive study from match.com about sex and dating in America.

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BERMAN: Only on STARTING POINT this morning, match.com is out with its third annual singles in America study, covering everything from dating habits to bedroom habits and how people feel about the issue of commitment.

BALDWIN: Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist with the Center for Human Evolution Studies at Rutger's University. She is also chief scientific adviser to the internet dating site chemistry.com, a division of match.com. So Helen, good morning.

DR. HELEN FISHER, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC ADVISER, MATCH.COM: Good morning.

BALDWIN: Lots to talk about, internet dating etiquette, sexting, female roles and courtship and marriage. But let's begin with some numbers that I thought were kind of crazy that fact that it's doubled, friends with benefits.

FISHER: Has doubled in the last year, in 2011, 20 percent of American singles had friends with benefits relationship.

BALDWIN: Friends they were smooching.

FISHER: Well, more than smooching. They're going home and having a more --

BERMAN: It's more than smooching, Brooke.

FISHER: But you know what's really interesting as an anthropologist it's the emergence of the pre-commitment stage in the whole courtship process. You know, in fact, 45 percent of the people who had had friends with benefits relationship actually had a relationship that turned into a long-term partnership. So it's as if singles are starting earlier with the sex to figure out who this person is and moving into a stage before that it's long-term and serious.

BERMAN: That's really interesting. It's just happening now?

FISHER: That's what we see now. This is the third year we've done it. We're not measuring the match.com population. It's based on the U.S. Census so we have the right number of blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos, gays, straight, every rural, urban, every part of the country, every age group.

So we're beginning to find these trends and these friends with benefits seemed to be an interesting one. Another one that really blew my mind, really blew my mind was 33 percent of American men will not date a virgin.

BALDWIN: Boy.

FISHER: Will not date a virgin. Now this is the end of a 5,000-year tradition. I mean, it's been a core value of the western world to have virginity at marriage for some over 5,000 years and in one generation we're seeing a dramatic change.

ROMANS: Do we know why? We know the numbers but don't know why?

FISHER: There are all kinds of reasons why. You know, there's a lot of optimism in relationships right now. Ninety percent of people think that when they do marry they'll marry the right person and stay married forever. So I think they're trying to understand, trying to understand who these people are before they marry, before they make this long-term commitment.

BERMAN: Let me talk about something that doesn't make me blush so much. Where are singles meeting now?

FISHER: They are meeting online. When we asked about where you met your last person, 27 percent said that they met that person online, almost all of them on dating sites. It's way down the amount of people meeting on Facebook. It went down from 11 percent last year to 7 percent. So you're meeting your friends on Facebook and on the other social networking sites.

BALDWIN: I love the fact though that it was 48 percent of single women, they do their homework and research whether it's on the Googles or Facebook and the guys are saying that's not OK for to you do the research to meet me.

FISHER: Maybe men are worried that people will think they're spying or stalking, by doing that. I was looking at that data to wonder why it is men are resistant to looking up somebody.

BERMAN: Do you think the cat fishing thing, the Manti Te'o-ification of the world will change how we date online?

FISHER: I don't think it's dating online. It's introducing online. You know, I studied the brain. Match.com they say go out and have a coffee and get to know the person and during that, the ancient human brain kicks in. And we do the courtship so it's a new way to meet, which makes sense because you know, we're not marrying the boy we met in college or the girl we met --

BALDWIN: Some of us are, 20 years this one, 20 years.

BERMAN: So this study is about singles, but you also did find out some interesting things about marriage.

FISHER: Yes, every year we take it, we focus on some things and this year we had over 1,000 people who were married and one of the most wonderful pieces of data I thought was we asked the question have you, would you remarry the same person again and 80 percent of married people said yes.

ROMANS: Awesome.

BERMAN: I like that.

BALDWIN: Would you marry Mrs. Berman 20 times over?

BERMAN: She didn't take my name, but I would still --

FISHER: Wait would you take her name?

BALDWIN: Helen Fisher, thank you. That was interesting.

Now to the story that Christine is so excited about this morning after 500 years, DNA tests confirmed the remains of Richard III and helped actually reconstruct his face, the head of the project that made this discovery, started the whole thing, she joins us live from London coming up. BERMAN: And our top story, really, relief around the country, a kidnapped 5-year-old boy rescued from that underground bunker in Alabama. Why the FBI decided it was time to rush in after waiting nearly a week?

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