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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Northeast Braces for Blizzard; Manhunt for California Murderer Continues; The Signs of a Killer?; Activist Investor Takes on Apple; The New Big Dream
Aired February 8, 2013 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: New developments in the all-out manhunt for a suspected cop killer right now. Police blanketing a California Indian Reservation after a reported sighting just hours ago.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Bracing for a still making monster powerful blizzard taking aim right now at the entire northeast. Major cities like Boston and New York right in the path of this thing. Thousands of flights already canceled.
Good morning. It is Friday. Welcome to EARLY START. There's so much going on and the big storm coming up the northeast. I'm Christine Romans.
SAMBOLIN: I love all your energy. Great to have you.
ROMANS: It's going to be a big weekend. Shoveling snow. That's what Berman is probably doing.
SAMBOLIN: Boston is really getting hit hard. I'm Zoraida Sambolin, Friday, February 8th. It is just about 6:00 a.m. in the East, so let's get started here for you.
Up first, we are bracing for that big one. Right now, millions of people from Maine to New Jersey are waiting for a blizzard that could actually rewrite the history books, folks. Take a look at the radar of this storm right now. Forecasters are using words like epic, historic, to describe this massive storm. You're looking at a live picture from New York City.
The Big Apple is preparing for really dangerous winds. That's probably going to be our greater problem. And up to a foot of snow or more, although, I suspect people are going to have fun in that. Twenty-three million people are under blizzard warnings this morning. Air travel, it is a complete mess. Nearly 3,000 flights scheduled for today and tomorrow have already been canceled.
In Boston, this is what we're concerned about. There are fears today storm could be worse than the 1978 blizzard. That killed 100 people and it destroyed thousands of homes as well.
The forecast in Bean Town calling up for 34 inches of snow today, we have got you covered like no other network. Meteorologist Jennifer Delgado is tracking it from the CNN Weather center.
Alison Kosik is in New York, where people spent last night waiting in very long gas lines. But let's begin with Indra Petersons, do you know where she is? She is live in Boston where shovels and bottled water are very hard to come by right now. What we're worried about, 100 people that died in another storm very similar to this one.
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, absolutely. Keep in mind we've been talking about it in Boston, a very mild winter so far about 15 inches below normal, but with this coastal area developing off the coastline. We could potentially today set some records.
We could be 24 inches of snowfall in 24 hours. We could set the all- time record for the blizzard here, which is of 27.5 inches of snow. All of this has made residents very concerned. You saw the mad dive to get out of town. The airports were slammed.
Getting into the city actually was tough traffic. It was a complete standstill. But you know, take a look at what the mayor had to say. People here are ready.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR THOMAS MENINO (D), BOSTON: It's a very serious storm. We have many staff out there, right behind me you see several departments that will be called on to deal with the emergency. We are hearty New Englanders. Let me tell you, we are used to these types of storms and we want to remind everyone to use common sense. Stay off the streets of our city. Basically stay home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PETERSON: Six hundred snow plows ready to go, 4,500 on standby. The National Guard is on standby and today you will see complete change as of noon today. All cars will be off the roads at noon today, no one to park in the emergency areas and temperatures, right at the freezing mark.
Winds just in the last hour have started to pick up here. Visibility is key, I want to show you behind me. Again, we're looking at the Customs Tower, clear and easy to see. With blizzards we will be talking about between 2:00 and 5:00, heavy snow bands of 2 to 3 inches per hour.
We'll talk about strong winds. Snowdrifts today will make them go near zero. Today, we could be seeing snow drifts even higher than myself so all of this is expected, again, as we through late afternoon all the way through the overnight hours and even all through tomorrow. The only upside here, of course, it will weaken and people can ride out the storm.
SAMBOLIN: Wow, Indra Peterson live in Boston, thank you and be safe.
ROMANS: That's some great perspective showing at the tower now. It's going to be white later and drift that could be higher than New Yorkers bracing for a foot or more of snow today along with dangerous winds. It won't be so bad where Alison Kosik is, but there's going to be a lot of snow. She is near Columbus circle, near Manhattan's central park this morning. Good morning, Alison.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Actually there is a blizzard warning starting right now, 6:00 a.m., until tomorrow around 1:00. So that blizzard warning is in effect. Clearly, bone dry out here. Look at this not a drop of water, but fast forward about 24 hours from now.
It will look very different if the maps you have been showing are any indication. And New Yorkers are getting ready for this. I was on Long Island last night. My tank was empty, went to the gas station to fill up and what did I see, but a flashback to Hurricane Sandy. Gas lines, 20 cars deep. People pretty much in a mini panic.
You know, remembering what happened, Christine, after Hurricane Sandy when the power was out for so long and gas stations couldn't meet the supply of people trying to fill up. So, you know what you see are people trying to really get ahead of the game this time around.
But do you see those gas lines in and around at least long island, also seeing salt trucks in and around Long Island and from Pennsylvania to the city, lines of salt trucks, plows, getting ready for what is expected to come this way.
ROMANS: All right, Alison, we'll be watching you closely throughout the day.
SAMBOLIN: All right, so let's get the latest on the forecast. Meteorologist Jennifer Delgado is tracking the storm from the CNN center in Atlanta. Good morning.
JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, ladies. You know, we've already seen Alison in New York and Indra in Boston, blizzard warnings in effect. It extends from Newark up to Maine. This lasts until tomorrow afternoon. Of course, we're talking about very gusty winds.
Winds blowing snow around and it will lead to a dangerous situation. Also, we're going to be looking at a storm surge in some of these parts two to three feet. We mentioned Superstorm Sandy, some of the areas damaged across the region, they could be looking at some coastal flooding as well as erosion.
Now here's more on the radar and here is what's happening. We have our two storms, one in the Great Lakes and the other one in the mid- Atlantic. You can see a lot of rain right now really up and down Interstate 95.
Some light snow coming down through the Washington, D.C. area. But for New York, you are going to start off with some rain out there, and then later in the day we see it change to snow later in the afternoon.
But for areas like Boston as well as in the Providence and Hartford, you are going to see that snow starting to work in, 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., and then as we take you all the way through the future, at 10:00. This is when the two storms are going to really merge.
We'll see that snow taking over and some of these locations, we're talking 1 to 3 feet of snowfall and it all comes to an end Saturday afternoon. As we talk more about some of these totals, notice for yourself, 34 inches in Portland, 30 in Boston.
And when you combine all that snow out there with these winds, look how gusty they are going to get especially as we go late tonight as well into tomorrow. That's when blizzard conditions are going to get worse for Providence.
Notice at midnight, winds, 63, Boston, 55. It's going to be bad. We're talking about power outages and dangerous travel. Don't travel. Park it in the house and wait it out.
SAMBOLIN: Great advice. Jennifer Delgado live at the CNN Weather Center, appreciate it.
ROMANS: All right now, to the manhunt in Southern California for a former cop who has declared war on the Los Angeles Police Department. We got word overnight that the suspect may have been spotted near the Verona Indian Reservation in Lake Side, California.
But so far police tell us that the tip from a caller is unfounded. This man, 33-year-old Christopher Dorner is suspected of killing three people including a police officer and a former police official's daughter.
In a rambling online manifesto, Dorner vowed to target other cops. He vowed to target their families too. Authorities tracked him to an area around the Big Bear Lake Ski Resort in San Bernardino, California where his burned out truck was found.
Casey Wian is following all of these developments for us. A lot of, I don't know, speculation that they are moving in on him, getting closer, but we don't know yet.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We certainly don't, Christine. That's one of the reasons that police officers throughout Southern California, many agencies have ordered officers to pair up in patrol cars because of the potential threat against police officers.
While they are trying to protect potential targets of Christopher Dorner, they are also trying to find this suspected killer.
WIAN (voice-over): A possible break in the hunt for Christopher Dorner as authorities found his truck burning on a remote road in Big Bear Lake, California. Police fanned out, rifles drawn as search nearby woods and go door to door.
SHERIFF JOHN MCMAHON, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: So we'll keep working on it until we can locate the suspect or determine he's no longer in the big bear valley. WIAN: Dorner, a former Los Angeles cop has threatened to hurt L.A. police officers and their families. Police say in retribution for being fired in 2008. He allegedly laid out his plan in an online manifesto.
Saying I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own. I'm terminating yours. He sent a parcel to our Anderson Cooper. A hand labeled DVD with a post it note that said I never lied. A coin wrapped in duct tape inscribed with thanks, but no thanks, Will Bratton, the former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chances are he would have received it from me. It would have been the custom when someone was activated into the military, heading to overseas.
WIAN: CNN is cooperating with authorities. Police say it began Sunday in Irving when Dorner killed two people Monica Quan, the daughter of a former of a LAPD captain who represented Dorner in front police board that eventually fired him and her fiance.
Three days later in San Diego, police Borner attempted to hijack a boat. Then early Thursday, Dorner fires at police officers in Corona, assigned to protect someone connected to Dorner's threats.
One officer hurt. Later in Riverside, two officers fired upon on a cowardly ambush. One seriously hurt, the other killed. Dorner's manifesto states the attacks will stop when the department states the truth about my innocence, publicly.
SERGIO DIAZ, RIVERSIDE POLICE CHIEF: He has told us what he intend to do, and so far he's done it.
WIAN: Leaving the community on edge, wondering when the violence will stop.
WIAN: The search in the Big Bear area is continuing tonight. One potential complicating factor, snow is expected, some good news though perhaps for local residents there. The San Bernardino area says schools expected to reopen today. Some were closed as a precaution while the manhunt intensified in the Big Bear area -- Christine.
ROMANS: And Casey, what about local residents. They have been told to stay inside?
WIAN: They've not only been told to stay inside. They've told to not answer their doors to anyone unknown to them or anyone in a law enforcement uniform, very clearly a community on edge and a region very nervous.
This manhunt is going on through nine Southern California counties and the longer this goes on, the greater the possibility that he may be out of the area -- Christine.
ROMANS: All right, Casey Wian, following it all for us. Thanks, Casey. Coming up at 6:30 Eastern, we're going to talk to David Clinger, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He is also a former LAPD officer.
SAMBOLIN: But first, we try to get inside the head of this suspected cop killer. Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen taking a look at what could have made him snap.
SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. It's 13 minutes past the hour. We are following the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, trying to figure out what may have triggered all of the violence.
Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen tells us that psychologically he is very different from other suspected killers. Elizabeth, what actually sets Dorner apart? I have to say, we've been -- Christine and I have been talking about this. And if you look at the smile, he looks so normal, affable. What is so different about this guy?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's right. It's interesting you mentioned that because think about the pictures we saw, for example, of James Holmes, the accused Aurora killer. A lot of us said that it looked like there was something off about this guy.
And it turns out that he thought he was the joker from Batman. Other killers say they heard voices that told him to kill her. God told them. That is not Dorner. That is not this man.
He seems to have a firm grip on reality. He does not appear to be psychotic according to a psychiatrist I spoke who specializes in these kinds of cases. That's very different. Again, he does not seem to be psychotic, not seem to be insane in the way we usually use that word -- Zoraida.
SAMBOLIN: Actually, when you read his manifesto, it's well written, and his thoughts are so organized.
SAMBOLIN: Why do you think he allegedly did it then?
COHEN: You know, that's exactly right. They are organized and go on and on. And the psychiatrist I was talking to said you feel like he's been ruminating on these details of people who did him wrong and it's been ruminating in his mind possibly for years.
The psychiatrist said that he thinks this is a very angry man and even more so, a very narcissistic man. This is a man who says, I'm a whistleblower, I know what's right and I know how to deal with this situation.
Let's look at a little piece of the manifesto. He says, "I always stuck to my personal code of ethics, ethos and my shoreline and true North. I didn't need the U.S. Navy to instill honor, courage and commitment in me. It's in my DNA."
This is a man who thinks a lot of himself. And, in fact, Zoraida, when you look, it is addressed from him to America. He thought the whole country needed to hear what he had to say. That's sort of the definition of grandiose.
SAMBOLIN: Wow. Yes. Clearly felt he was wronged.
And also in the note that he left to Anderson Cooper, what he said I am not a liar. It seemed like that was so important to share that with America.
We do know that this guy was in the military. Could PTSD have played a role in him snapping like this?
COHEN: The psychiatrist I talked to said it's possible it played a role. But he said he treated a lot of people with PTSD, and that Dorner doesn't feel like someone where that's a major factor. People with PTSD are more impulsive. They don't write sort of well- organized, well-thought out kinds of things. They have sort of quicker episodes.
So, PTSD if, indeed, he had it, of course, we don't know. It may have played a role, but he said it doesn't appear to be the major factor.
SAMBOLIN: All right. Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, we appreciate your insight this morning.
ROMANS: All right. To Washington now, where there is a clear rift being revealed in Syria policy. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifying that the White House turned down a proposal from security leaders to arm Syrian rebels. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CIA Director David Petraeus were among those who weighed in last summer. Panetta and Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey said they had backed the plan, but the White House would not budge.
A U.S. official familiar with the deliberations said the issue is dead, at least for now.
SAMBOLIN: John Brennan, the president's choice for the CIA director, defending the administration's use of drone strikes at his Senate confirmation hearing. Brennan was the architect, and he says strikes are critical for national security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR NOMINEE: I think there is a misimpression on the part of some American people who believe that we take strikes to punish terrorists for past transgressions, nothing could be further from the truth. We only take such accidents as a last resort to save lives when there is no other alternative to take action that's going to mitigate that threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: That hearing was interpreted several times by protesters. They were objecting to the drone strikes. At one point, Senator Dianne Feinstein stopped the proceedings and actually had that room cleared.
ROMANS: Speaking about clear, how about extinct? Two new studies published in the Journal Science reveal an enormous asteroid or comet slammed into earth some 6 million years ago dramatically changed life on this planet forever. That caused extinction of the dinosaurs and gave way to the era of mammals, including men and women. And if dinosaurs weren't extinct, we would not be here.
SAMBOLIN: What do you want to be when you grow up? Kids used to say baseball player or rock star. Well, not anymore. We're going to share their new big dream.
ROMANS: Good morning. Minding your business this morning.
U.S. stock futures are still basically flat as the corporate earning season continues. Stocks essentially hit the pause button yesterday. But take a look at the S&P. It is up around 6 percent so far this year. And Dow and S&P still within shouting distance of their all- time highs.
Apple, one investor taking on Apple, publicly calling on the company to give some of its massive stockpiles back to investors in the form of preferred stock. David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital is suing. He said in a release Thursday, quote, "Apple has $145 per share of cash on its balance sheet. As a shareholder, this is your money."
Take a look Apple down 35 percent after hitting its all-time high of 705 bucks a share in September. In response, Apple said it would "evaluate," Einhorn's proposal.
Back in the day, kids want to be firefighters, doctors, maybe an astronaut. But the new big dream -- entrepreneurs. A January Gallup poll found 43 percent of students grade 5 to 12 said they aspire to be entrepreneurs. Almost 60 percent say schools offer classes on starting a business. That's up from 50 percent in 2011.
Wow. Isn't that interesting?
SAMBOLIN: My kid is in that bunch. He is 14 years old and says he is not working for anybody.
ROMANS: It's the Zuckerberg. It's the Steve Jobs of the world. It's the self starters that I think --
SAMBOLIN: It's the way you grow up then.
SAMBOLIN: The school makes that way also, is where can you find the most entrepreneurs, where do they come from? ROMANS: And all these people I just mentioned dropped out of college. You kids do not drop out of college.
SAMBOLIN: Certain colleges, right?
So, when is 17,000 miles too close for comfort? Well, when we're talking about outer space and the human race. More on what astronomers are saying, coming up.
SAMBOLIN: About to be buried. It is a monster blizzard and it's bearing down on the Northeast. By this time, one New England city could be digging out from three feet of snow.
BERMAN: Just in to CNN, police thought they were hot on the trail of a suspected cop killer, only to come up empty. More details ahead.
Welcome back to EARLY START this Friday morning. I'm Christine Romans in for John Berman.
SAMBOLIN: Nice to have you. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Twenty-eight minutes past the hour.
So, it is a beast of a storm that could dump several feet of snow on parts of the Northeast today and bring transportation to a complete halt. Take a look at the radar.
Right now, the storm moving its way up the East Coast with heavy snow expected to start really soon now. You are looking at a live picture from Boston there. By this time tomorrow, they could be digging out from three feet of snow and you may not be able to see the sight right there. New York is expected to get a foot or more. People are lining up for blocks at gas stations to fill up before the weather gets really bad.
And even before the first flakes fall, nearly 3,000 flights scheduled for today and tomorrow have been canceled.
Meteorologist Jennifer Delgado is tracking the storm from the CNN weather center. But we're going to go first to Zain Asher. She is live from LaGuardia's airport this morning, where it's already a mess.
I know that yesterday at O'Hare, they had a lot of cancellations and that just trickles down, doesn't it?
ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Zoraida, a lot of cancelations right now. We have 30 minutes into a blizzard warning that actually started at 6:00 a.m. And, as you know, blizzards and travel are like oil and water, they certainly do not mix.
Thirty-three hundred flights across the Northeast, as you mentioned, completely canceled. Not delayed, simply canceled. Airlines are not taking any chances.
Now, when we spoke to you about an hour ago, things were relatively calm here, but they're slowly, slowly starting to pick up. We're seeing lines form here in LaGuardia.
I just want to show you this radar map, showing you what's happening in the air right now. Those blue dots actually represent flights that are in the air right now and as you can see, pretty jammed. People are desperately trying to get out right now before the storm hits later on this afternoon.
I spoke to a couple of people who said they initially had flights booked for this afternoon and tomorrow, they weren't taking any chances, they decided to call ahead and actually get their flights rebooked and they were successful.