Return to Transcripts main page


Commit To "Zero Tolerance"

Aired March 5, 2013 - 05:30   ET


JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You're not seeing any snow out there. But as we go through mid-morning as well as late morning, we're going to start to see that snow kicking. It's still about 50 miles to the west of Chicago. Very close to DeKalb. Now, what we're expecting is messy commute for our commuters out there during rush hour, and the same goes for the evening.

We'll be combining in winds of roughly 20 to 30. So, that's going to reduce visibility. So, that's going to hamper drivers on the roadways as well as air travelers. Now, of course, they need some snow around here because it's been pretty pitiful if you think about it. We've only picked up about 4.8 inches just back on February the 26th.

But, what this is going to mean is a lot of snowfall, a lot of digging out. So, that's going to be good news for those businesses that are selling some of those last minute shovels, trying to get a little bit of that salt out there. But right now, you can see, I'm on magnificent mile. And the commute right now is magnificent. It's 4:30 in the morning, of course. Traffic doesn't kick in for quite a while.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Always helps for the commute if you get out at 4:00 a.m. All right. Jennifer, our thanks to you.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: I think she's in the middle of Michigan Avenue.

All right. So, this storm will first hit the Dakotas and then Chicago, but as early as tonight, the nation's capital and surrounding areas could see five to nine inches of snow. It could mean more flight delays at D.C. area airports with a domino effect when it happens across the east coast. So, let's go to Karen Maginnis in the Severe Weather Center in Atlanta right now. Tell us what we can expect?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right. We have some pretty good confidence that right around the nation's capital, you will see a moderate to heavy snow event. But across the Midwest and the Great Lakes, this could rank as the top five snow events for March in Chicago. Certainly, it's going to rank up there.

But for Chicago, we move on for the mid-Atlantic and just to the west of Washington, D.C., certainly, at some higher elevations, you could see more than a foot of snowfall. Right around the metropolitan area, running along Interstate 95, four to eight inches of snowfall, gusty winds, but it's beyond this point in time that it is by the next 24 to 36 hours, there is low confidence as to what this storm system is going to do.

If it stays off the mid-Atlantic coast, the bulk of this snow event is going to be in the mid-Atlantic, extending into Philadelphia. For New York, less so. But, if the storm system continues to wind its way across that northeastern coast, you could get wallop with a very significant late winter storm. So, for Chicago, four to eight inches expected there.

I just took a look at the weather conditions and the snowfall totals out of Minnesota. Some areas have picked up as much as 11 inches there already and more is to come. All right. You can see that we do have winter storm warnings out where you see this pink shaded area mostly for Western Virginia, West Virginia, portions of Kentucky and into Maryland.

But right around the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, we think that that four to eight inches is going to be some of the common amounts that we can expect. For the afternoon drive, Chicago, watch out. Slippery roads. And John and Zoraida, it looks like O'Hare and Midway could be greatly impacted for the afternoon. Back to you.

BERMAN: And that could be a problem for all of us. All right. Karen, thanks to you.

MAGINNIS: Exactly.

BERMAN: 5:33 here right now. If it's Tuesday, it must be Abu Dhabi or Doha. Right now, John Kerry is in Qatar or Qatar, defending on how you like to say it, the last stop on his marathon first official overseas trip as secretary of state. He began the day in the United Emirates. Our Jill Dougherty is traveling with the secretary. She will have a one-on-one interview with him this morning, and we will bring that to you live, hopefully, at 8:00 a.m. eastern time.

SAMBOLIN: It's still kind of weird to call him secretary of state, right?

BERMAN: It takes a minute to get used to.

SAMBOLIN: It takes a minute.

All right. Thirty-three minutes past the hour. A manhunt is under way in New York City right now. Police are searching for the suspect in a hit-and-run crash that claimed the lives of two parents and their newborn baby. Police are looking for 44-year-old Julio Acebedo (ph) who was arrested last month on drunk driving charges. Expectant parents, Nathan and Racy Glober, both 21, were killed while en route to the hospital early Sunday morning.

Their baby boy was delivered after his mother's death, but died yesterday from his injuries.

BERMAN: They say vicious bullying killed their son. Heartbreak for a Pennsylvania family, mourning the loss of a son and big brother who was only in the sixth grade. Bailey O'Neill's (ph) parents says a schoolyard bully punched him in the face last month breaking his nose and causing a concussion.

Doctors checked him out and released him, but a few days later, Bailey started having violent unstoppable seizures. He was taken off life support Sunday, a day after his 12th birthday.


ROB O'NEILL, BAILEY'S FATHER: It's the toughest decision I ever made in my life. You know, no parent wants to make that decision. I don't have anybody to call me daddy anymore. You know? No more phone calls from him. No more hanging out. No one to say daddy, you know? It's -- this is the worst feeling.


BERMAN: No one to call me daddy. That's heartbreaking. The father of Bailey's alleged bully told a local TV station that his son, quote, "isn't the monster that everyone is trying to make him out to be." Surveillance cameras recorded the fight, and police right now are investigating.

SAMBOLIN: Well, the charges getting more severe. Twelve former Florida A&M University students now face manslaughter charges for the 2011 hazing death of drum major, Robert Champion Jr. Ten of them had been previously charged with felony hazing resulting in death.

They were notified yesterday that the charges were upgraded to manslaughter. They face a maximum 15-year sentence if they're convicted.

BERMAN: A new vantage point of that giant deadly sinkhole near Tampa. Demolition crews exposing what's left of the room after the sinkhole opened up under 37-year-old Jeff Bush's bed. Look at that. He is presumed dead after the hole swallowed him up. Crews stopped on several occasions to return personal effects to the Bush Family like a bible, a family portrait before tearing down the walls.

SAMBOLIN: His brother desperately tried to save his life. Such a tragic story.

And a second sinkhole just three miles away has that neighborhood really on edge. It opened up in a backyard yesterday. There was no structural damage to the homes, though, a fence dividing two homes was damaged. The family who lives there was home at the time. They told the local station that they're really shaken up, and they would like to move now.

BERMAN: The Senate Intelligence Committee votes this afternoon on the nomination of John Brennan to be the next director of the CIA. He is expected to win approval in committee. Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, wants a full Senate vote this week, but Republicans are demanding more answers about last year's attack on the U.S. consulate on Benghazi. And Republicans are threatened to hold up the process. SAMBOLIN: The White House responding to former NBA star, Dennis Rodman's, attempt at basketball diplomacy. Rodman returned from recent tour of North Korea while a message -- with a message for President Obama from North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. The message, "call me." Here's what White House spokesman, Jay Carney, and veteran journalist, Dan Rather, had to say about it.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The United States has direct channels of communications with the DPRK. And instead of spending money on celebrity sporting events to entertain the elites of that country, the North Korean regime should focus on the well-being of its own people who have been starved, imprisoned, and denied their human rights.

DAN RATHER, HOST, AXS TV'S "DAN RATHER REPORTS": With Dennis Rodman, I would say that, look, I've been to goat ropings and space shots. I've been in Antarctica and deepest Africa. I've never seen anything quite like this.



BERMAN: Not even a goat ropings.

SAMBOLIN: Rodman is taking some heat from the White House and from journalists like Rather, but he did get a lot closer to Kim Jong-un than most U.S. diplomats have ever done when the two shared courtside seats at a basketball game in North Korea. He calls him his friend now.

BERMAN: So an American cardinal in Rome just a short time ago with a strong message for the next pope. We will have the details coming up.

SAMBOLIN: Plus, the FBI's secret file on Whitney Houston revealed.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. An American cardinal is addressing the child sex abuse scandal head on, delivering a no holds barred message to whomever is chosen as the next pope. Commit to zero tolerance.


CARDINAL FRANCIS GEORGE, ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO: So, whoever is elected pope, he governs by law. We all do, not by whim or desire on our part. So, we're governed by law in all particulars. The church is not a tyranny. So, he obviously has to accept the universal code of the church now which is zero tolerance for anyone who has ever abused a minor child.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: That's Chicago's archbishop, Cardinal George. The cardinals are meeting again this morning, and we're waiting to see whether we're going to find out today when the conclave will start. CNN analyst and correspondent for the "National Catholic Reporter," John Allen, is in Rome, and he's joining us this morning. So, these are pre-conclave meetings. Do we know what is being discussed in these meetings?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN ANALYST: Hi, Zoraida. Well, what we know, we know in general what the topic here is. In general, the topic includes a kind of state of the church conversation. What are the issues they're going to be facing, the next pope? And also, what qualities does the next pope need to have and ultimately, of course, who is that guy going to be?

Now, in the meantime, as you indicated, there is one other bit of business which is they have to set a date for this conclave. We do not expect them to do that today because there is at least one of those 115 cardinal electorates who will vote for the next pope who is not yet here, not getting in until tomorrow morning.

And the rules are they can't really make that decision until everyone is here. So, it probably will be tomorrow at the earliest before we get that date.

SAMBOLIN: So, John, do we have any insight into what are the most important factors as they see them in picking a new pope?

ALLEN: Zoraida, I think we do. One of the remarkable things about this conclave as opposed to 2005, last time, the cardinals reached a kind of gentleman' agreement. They weren't going to talk to the media. So, it was all guesswork. This time, they've been talking much more openly. So, I do think we do have a sense of what's on their checklist.

Three things. One, they want a pope with a global vision who can embrace the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, two-thirds of them living outside the west. Second, they want an evangelizer, the secular word for that is a salesman, someone who can move the catholic product, so to speak, in a very crowded lifestyle marketplace. And third, they want a governor, somebody who can get the ship back on course beginning with reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.

And within that, somebody who can move the ball in terms of cleaning up the damage of the child sex abuse scandals.

SAMBOLIN: And John, my last question to you, have they thought about age? Do you think they're looking for somebody young or are they going to go with the wisdom of an elderly? Well, not elderly, because you can't be over a certain age, right?

ALLEN: Well, actually, he can be as old as they want. But I mean, typically it works like this. You don't want a papacy that's too long so you don't want to elect somebody who's in their mid 50s. You don't want a papacy one that's too short so you don't want to elect somebody in their 70s or early 80s. So, I mean, usually, they try to split the difference. They're looking for somebody in the 60, 65 age range. But you know, the truth is, age is the second area with (ph) consideration. If they can find somebody who ticks off all the items on that checklist I just gave you, they'll take him no matter how old he is.

SAMBOLIN: All right. John Allen reporting live in Rome, thank you very much. I guess it's that 84 voting, right, in the conclave. That is the cut off age. Yes.

BERMAN: Below 80 to vote.


BERMAN: Forty-four minutes after the hour right now. Whitney Houston's private FBI file now a matter of public record. Officials released the singer's 128-page file from the 1980s and 1990s. It reveals three separate investigations, one concerning an alleged extortion attempt, two others involving threatening letters sent by fans. Ultimately, the FBI did not file charges in any of these cases.

SAMBOLIN: And we're getting an intimate look this morning at the relationship between former president, George Herbert Walker Bush and his sons. Coming to bookstore shelves today, "All The Best: George Bush, My Life and Letters and Other Writings," contains (ph) letters, some of them heartbreaking written by the nation's 41st president like this one to a friend in the days after hurricane Katrina as his son, George W. Bush, faced public outrage over his response to the disaster.

Bush 41 writes, quote, "My heart went out to him. Here's a guy who cares deeply, who wants every possible resource of the federal government brought in to bear to help people, yet, he is being roundly accused of not giving a damn. The critics do not know what is in 43's heart. How deeply he feels about the hurt, the anguish, the losses affecting so many people, most of them poor."

BERMAN: I spent a lot of time covering George W. Bush and the relationship the two of them have as a father and son. The relationship with 41 has with all his children incredibly special. He chokes up whenever he talks to any of them. They choke up whenever they talk about him. You know, it's a big crying family when they talk about their relationships, but there's a lot of respect there as well.

SAMBOLIN: It's really nice to get a glimpse into that.

BERMAN: Definitely.

SAMBOLIN: That's great.

Forty-six minutes past the hour. For more on Bush's 41's new book, keep it right here on CNN this morning. Doug Wee, presidential historian and former special assistant to President George H.W. Bush is going to join Soledad O'Brien at 8:15 eastern.

BERMAN: Coming up, standoff (ph) at sea over a stolen yacht. Ooh, it's my kind of stolen yacht, packed with pizza and beer.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Forty-nine minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date. Here's Christine Romans.



ROMANS (voice-over): A lot going on this morning and a late season snowstorm has already blanketed parts of the Dakotas. It's extending its wrath to cities from Minneapolis to Chicago this morning. Up to 11 inches is expected there and threatening serious travel delays out of lovely O'Hare International. Now, the nation's capital is next. It could see five to nine inches of white by tonight.

We're following new developments on possible sanctions against North Korea in response to its nuclear test last month. The U.N. Security Council is set to meet in just a few hours to discuss a draft resolution reportedly agreed to by the U.S. and China. In the past, China has blocked action against its ally.

It's the third time North Korea has conducted a nuclear test. No word from Dennis Rodman on how to proceed from here.

Changing of the guard in China. The National People's Congress has convened in Beijing, a new president, vice president premier will be chosen to complete China's once in a decade transition. Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, will assume the title of state president.

Overland college in Ohio investigating hate related events on campus after a student reported seeing a person wearing what appeared to be a Ku Klux Klan hood. This follows a string of recent hate-related incidents there, 15 in the last month alone. Classes Were Suspended Monday so students, faculty, and staff members could gather in small groups to discuss racism.

They stole a luxury yacht, stacked it with pizza and beer, and then hit a snag. An unusual standoff along the shore of Pacifica, California. Police say two men and a woman stole an 82-foot luxury sail boat from Sausalito, California and packed it with those supplies before they beached the thing about 20 miles south.

They refused to surrender to authorities for hours but were finally pulled off the boat and arrested. Among the most bizarre stories out of California.


SAMBOLIN: John actually volunteered to go and save the day.

BERMAN: I'll take care of the yacht if they had a pizza and beer.

(LAUGHTER) BERMAN: I can guard it --


BERMAN: All right. So, you think you have a rough commute? You do if you're one of the 600,000 Americans who have to endure a mega commute five times a week. New data from the U.S. census shows that 600,000 full time workers in the U.S. commute at least 90 minutes and 50 miles to work. That is each way, folks.

SAMBOLIN: A lot of people.

BERMAN: The national average is 25.5 minutes, and 4.3 percent of the workforce -- do not tell Marisa Mayer, -- 4.3 percent work from home because of that trend and high unemployment. It takes the typical American worker no longer to get to work in 2011 than it did in the year 2000.

SAMBOLIN: Wow! That's a really rough commute --


BERMAN: But you know, people got to work.

SAMBOLIN: It's the good news about working this crazy schedule, very short commute times.

BERMAN: Not a lot of traffic at 2:00 a.m.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Fifty-two minutes past the hour. He has a mistake but not Christian Bail's physique. Police this morning trying to find out the identity of a real life Batman who nabbed a suspected criminal.

BERMAN: He looks OK.

SAMBOLIN: Really? Yes, he does. He looks fabulous. We're back in a moment.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. It is 56 minutes past the hour, taking a look at the top CNN Trends on the web this morning. A chance to get experienced all over again. Forty-eight years after his death, Jimi Hendrix new album hits shelves today, and he still has the sound that sets him apart.

"People, Hell and Angels" includes 12 tracks. Hendrix recorded in 1968 and 1969. The first single from the album already shot to number one on Billboard's hot singles chart.

BERMAN: I got to say I'm very excited for that.

All right. Holy muffin top, Batman. Check out this bizarre surveillance video. Authorities in Britain were totally baffled when they say a real life super hero, a man dressed in a full Batman outfit, fills it out nicely. He showed up to the station and drop off a suspect wanted in a burglary. They even mentioned the Batman in the official press release on the incident.


BERMAN: But they say his identity remains unknown. That's Bruce Wayne, guys. Sorry.

SAMBOLIN: Wow! Really? His identity --


SAMBOLIN: All right. To check out other CNN trends, head to

BERMAN: To your late night laughs now, here's Conan O'Brien last night.


CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": Mitt Romney finally surfaced. He hasn't given any interview, but he finally surfaced and spoke to the media. In his first interview since losing the election, Mitt Romney said it kills him to not be in the White House. He said he'll always think of it as the one house he couldn't buy.


O'BRIEN: Sad. Yes.


O'BRIEN: In the same interview, in the same interview, Ann Romney blamed the media for her husband, Mitt Romney's, defeat. She's saying it's the media's fault. Yes. Her quote was, "It's not fair. They kept reporting exactly what he said."


O'BRIEN: The search for a pope has begun. You excited about this?


O'BRIEN: True story. Yes. The cardinals are all starting to gather in Rome right now. Yes. It's like a "Star Trek" convention but less celibate.


O'BRIEN: President Obama has nominated Wal-Mart executive, Sylvia Burwell to be his budget director. Yes. President said he's excited by her experience at Wal-Mart. Sylvia Burwell says she's excited to be making more than $9.85 per hour.


O'BRIEN: Good stuff.



SAMBOLIN: EARLY START continues right now.


BERMAN (voice-over): Heavy snow falling right now as a winter storm rolls through the upper Midwest for Chicago and Washington, D.C. right in its path. Plan for trouble. Airport cancellations and widespread effects across the entire country.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): And developing this morning, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez takes a turn for the worse in his fight with cancer.

BERMAN: Guns and race cars. The NRA teams up with NASCAR in a primetime publicity push.

SAMBOLIN: Call it the towel trial. Martha Stewart headed back to court today in the middle of a fight between two corporate giants.

BERMAN: Towels and sheets.


SAMBOLIN Yes. That's true.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Good morning -- and furniture. And welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN (on-camera): And I'm John Berman. It is Tuesday, March 5th. It is 6:00 a.m. in the east right now, and we are going to begin with weather, because right now, millions of people in the Midwest either bracing for or already dealing with several inches of snow. It is all thanks to this powerful winter storm making its way east. It's already creating a mess dumping snow and ice from North Dakota to Ohio.

We're going to look at the scene right now in Minneapolis. This late season storm dumped seven to ten inches around the twin cities. Severe weather warnings are still in effect for much of that area. Jennifer Delgado is in Chicago where she is in wait right now. We could see some of the biggest snowfall there of the entire season. Shannon Travis is live in Washington D.C. where preps are under way to be totally paralyzed by the storm which happens every time the snow is there.


SAMBOLIN: And Karen Maginnis monitoring the storm at the CNN Weather Center. Jennifer, we're going to start with you in Chicago. What are things look like there? DELGADO: Well, I can tell you right now. No snow out here. It's still roughly about 50 miles away from Chicago. So, we're expecting the snow to come mid-morning, late morning, and it's going to be heavy at times. We're talking some of that snow, add to a snowfall rate around one to two inches, and then later into the evening, of course, that snow kicks in.