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Countdown to the Conclave; Six Teens Killed in Ohio SUV Crash; Hagel Meets with Karzai; U.S., South Korea Begin Military Exercises; TSA to Allow Small Knives on Planes

Aired March 11, 2013 - 05:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Countdown to the conclave. Cardinals right now are meeting at the Vatican with the first vote for a new pope fast approaching.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Tragedy and the mystery in Ohio. What caused the rollover crash that wiped out six very young lives?

BERMAN: The big controversy about small knives. Outraged grows over the TSA's plan to let people carry them on to airplanes.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is Monday, March 11th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East. So, let's get started here.

It is countdown to the conclave. The 115 cardinal electors tasked with choosing the next leader of the Catholic Church will vote for the first time tomorrow with more than 1 billion followers looking on. If two-thirds agree, they will have a new pope.

Yesterday, the cardinals fanned out throughout Rome, each of them assigned to preach in a designated church whenever they're in the city. Two U.S. cardinals are in the mix and could potentially become the first American pope, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Boston's archbishop. But really who the next pope will be is anyone's guess.

Miguel Marquez is in Rome with glimpses of the American cardinals, as well as a few other contenders.

So, we heard a lot about Dolan and O'Malley. What is the short list? Who is on it?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are several cardinals from world the world. Cardinal Scherer from Brazil, there's cardinals across Europe. Certainly, the European cardinals are strong because there are so many European cardinals, and that's what we'll be watching as this conclave gets under way.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Crunch time at the Vatican. The chimney, the chimney that will announce to the world whether there's a new pope is placed atop the treasured 500-year-old Sistine Chapel. It is delicate work. Upholding a tradition where white smoke billowing from the chimney signals a new pope has been named.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: The last thing they want is for the Sistine Chapel to turn into a smoke-filled room.

MARQUEZ: It is after all where Michelangelo applied his hand. The special stove and chemical who enhances the smoke's color goes along with the chimney. It does take time for the smoke to go from gray to either white or black.

ALLEN: One of the bits of drama about a conclave is that the Catholic Church normally is a highly scripted, imminently predictable enterprise. You know exactly what is going to happen and you know when it's going to happen.

But when the conclave in a sense all bets are off.

MARQUEZ: The conclave, their decision shrouded in secrecy and tradition, and some modern twists. Electronic jamming equipment ensures no one inside or outside knows the result before it's ready to be announced.

CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK: I'm ready to go home. I ran out of sock.

MARQUEZ: The front-runners out in force in Rome.

There's Cardinal Odilo Scherer of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Could he be the first pope from the new world?

One of the front runners, Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, Italy, said mass at Rome's Church of the 12 Apostles.

And there's of the dark horse candidates, Boston's Sean O'Malley, could he be the first American pope?

CARDINAL SEAN O'MALLEY, ARCHBISHOP OF BOSTON: Let us pray that the Holy Spirit roam at the church to choose a new pope who will confirm us in our faith and make more visible the love of the good shepherd.

MARQUEZ: The public politicking nearly over. Once the conclave starts, the cardinals go into deep seclusion until a decision is made.


MARQUEZ: Now, extraordinarily enough, Cardinal Dolan from New York was actually kissing babies at the church yesterday. That's the level of politicking we're seeing amongst some of these cardinals. Today is the last day that will begin. Tomorrow, that conclave gets under way for real. All those cardinals go into a special residence. They go into seclusion until a pope is chosen.

The first time we will see smoke rise out of that chimney is at 7:00 local, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We just don't know whether it will be black or white. Back to you, guys.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, it's fascinating to watch. Miguel Marquez, thank you very much.

And in our next half hour, we'll talk with Monsignor Rick Hilgartner, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, secretariat on Divine Worship. He's going to give us a preview of the papal vote.

BERMAN: Meanwhile, here at home, police in Ohio investigating a tragic accident that left six teenagers dead. It happened near Warren, Ohio. The victims ranging in age from 14 to 19, were in a SUV that hit a guardrail, flipped over and landed in a pond yesterday morning.

Two of the eight teens onboard did survive the crash. Police say it appears the vehicle was speeding when it crashed.

CNN's Shannon Travis is following the developments. He is live in Washington for us this morning. Shannon, what happened here?

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, that's exactly what investigators are going to be looking into, exactly what happened.

But as you mentioned it appears this Honda Passport was packed with those eight teens and that, as you mentioned, it hit this guardrail and essentially wound up in the pond, partly submerged. Six of the teenagers -- excuse me, six of the teenagers were actually trapped in the water. Two of them escaped, managed to find a house and call 911.

Another scene of the horror, five of the teenagers found in the SUV, John, one of them was found underneath. We have an affiliate there in the area, John, that says apparently not only was the car packed but that no one was wearing a seat belt -- John.

BERMAN: When something like this happens in any community, it simply has to be devastating. How is the town handling this loss?

TRAVIS: Yes, absolutely. There is grief and mourning. Many of the family and relatives and friends of those that are lost visited local area schools, churches or what have you.

Take a listen as some people remember the people that were killed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was heartbreaking to see the students walking in and just reaching out to some of their teachers. It's going to be a rough week. It's going to be a rough rest of the school year.

UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: You never know what can happen. Tomorrow is not promised to anybody.


TRAVIS: Tomorrow is not promised. That will be the feeling, obviously, among many of the people that are grieving this loss today there in the area -- John.

BERMAN: What a tragedy, six teenagers dead in Warren, Ohio.

Shannon Travis, our thanks to you.

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

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel leaving Afghanistan after a visit that really showed the growing split between Kabul and Washington. Hagel meeting privately overnight in Kabul with Afghan President Hamid Karzai after Karzai accused the United States with colluding with the Taliban to keep Afghanistan destabilized.


CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We did discuss those comments. I told the president it was not true. The fact is any prospect for peace or political settlements, that has to be led by the Afghans.


SAMBOLIN: Karzai insists the U.S. is supporting the Taliban in order to justify a continued American presence in Afghanistan past 2014.

BERMAN: Happening right now:

Keep your eye on the Korean peninsula. The United States and South Korea are beginning joint military exercises. These are scheduled to last two months. Now, North Korea is calling the drills an open declaration of war. North Korea is threatening a nuclear attack against the United States.

SAMBOLIN: The Transportation Security Administration under fire this morning for its controversial decision to allow small pocket knives on passenger planes. Lawmakers, unions and airline heads are demanding the TSA reverse itself, calling the ruling a safety threat. It takes effect in six weeks.

CNN national correspondent Rene Marsh live from Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, this morning. A lot of controversy surrounding this one.

RENE MARSH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Good morning, Zoraida. You know, some lawmakers are saying small knives like these on airplanes are a bad idea and say not only is it bad for security, it's also unsafe for the crew members on board.


MARSH (voice-over): In a few weeks, knives like these may be allowed through airport security if a new TSA policy goes into effect. But some lawmakers are vowing to fight it.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: And today, I am asking the TSA to rescind that ruling and say small knives, any knives are not allowed on planes. MARSH: New York Senator Chuck Schumer joins unions representing flight attendants and federal air marshals in publicly opposing the plan.

Delta Airline's CEO also expressed his objection in a letter sent to the agency, saying the change will, quote, "add little value to the customer security process flow, in relation to the additional risk for our cabin staff and customers."

Under the TSA's new policy, knives with blade shorter than 2.36 inches and less than a half inch wide will be allowed, provided the blade does not lock in place. Larger knives, razor blades and box cutters are still banned.

TSA Administrator John Pistole says the change will allow screeners to focus on things that could bring down an aircraft like bombs.

JOHN PISTOLE, TSA ADMINISTRATOR: The key factor for me is that that may detract us, may detract us from that item that could be catastrophic failure to an aircraft.

MARSH: The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says TSA's highest priorities must be securing commercial aviation from the type of threats and weapons that could bring down an aircraft.

But Schumer says a knife does pose that risk, and given everything already banned, keeping them off planes only makes sense.

SCHUMER: Does anyone think this which are not allowed to bring on a plane, a bottle of shampoo, is more dangerous than this, a sharp and deadly knife?


MARSH: All right. Well, the TSA telling CNN that knife you saw Senator Schumer holding up actually would not be allowed on board planes simply because it had a razor blade edge like this knife and it did not retract like this knife. Still, though, Schumer says if the TSA does not repeal this new policy, he would consider introducing legislation.

Zoraida, back to you.

SAMBOLIN: Rene, I just want to be clear, you're holding in your left hand, is that a box cutter that you're holding?


SAMBOLIN: That's not allowed, right?

MARSH: Senator Schumer -- it is not allowed and the knife that Schumer was holding had an edge just like this one, which some would say it's a box cutter-type razor blade edge which obviously not allowed on the airplane.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, anything that locks into place. All right. Rene Marsh, thank you very much. We appreciate that.

At 8:15 Eastern on "STARTING POINT," Soledad O'Brien will talk about the TSA decision to lift the ban on pocketknives with Sara Nelson, vice president of the Association of Flight Attendants.

I'm talking about this on Facebook this morning because I'm curious how people feel about this, if they feel very strongly about those knives not being allowed on a plane. My question is why would you? You eliminated it. It seemed like a good idea.


BERMAN: Well, if you listen to what the TSA says, is it allows them to look for things that can take down an airplane, things that might explode. The TSA is distracted looking for the small knives which really are not a threat to take down an aircraft.

Although, you know, look --

SAMBOLIN: They can do harm.

BERMAN: They can do harm. It's highly emotional.

The other thing is that the rollout on this took a lot by surprise. You don't want to surprise people with things like this and that may be part of their problem right now.

SAMBOLIN: A lot of controversy surrounding this one. Weigh in on Facebook.

BERMAN: Please, let us know.

Eleven minutes after the hour right now. One of the most successful women in America says not enough women are getting ahead in the workplace. You might be surprised where she places the blame. More from Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, coming up.

SAMBOLIN: And the big Hollywood gamble on reviving "The Wizard of Oz" -- did it pay off at the box office?


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. So, if Sheryl Sandberg was hoping to touch a nerve with her new book "Lean In", she succeeded. Facebook's chief operation officer examines why there are so many few women at the top in corporate America. And the problem, she says, may just be the women themselves.

Here's CNN's national correspondent Susan Candiotti.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sheryl Sandberg wants women to succeed and says it's alarming how far they haven't come.

SHERYL SANDBERG, AUTHOR, "LEAN IN": The very blunt truth is that men still run the world.

CANDIOTTI: In her first televised interview to debut her new book "Lean In" she tells "60 Minutes" that leadership roles for women are alarmingly small, only 21 female CEOs in the Fortune 500.

SANDBERG: This is deeply personal for me. I want every little girl who someone says they're bossy to be told instead you have leadership skills.

CANDIOTTI: Sandberg lays a good deal of the responsibility on women themselves. Facebook's 43-year-old chief operating officer says women too often don't compete for promotions because they're worrying too early about the future.

SANDBERG: They start leaning back. They say, I'm busy, I want to have a child one day. I couldn't possibly take on any more. Or I'm still learning on my current job.

I've never had a man say that stuff to me.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): Though she also blames discrimination at work and a lack of affordable child care, her views have made her a lightning rod.

LESLEY JANE SEYMOUR, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, MORE MAGAZINE: Instead of saying that doesn't work for women and it won't work and let's change the system, she's going backwards and saying let's change you instead. That's probably where most of the anger is coming from.

CANDIOTTI: But Sandberg isn't apologetic.

SANDBERG: I'm not trying to say that everything I can do, everyone can do. But I do believe that these messages are completely universal. The things that hold women back hold women back from sitting at the boardroom table and they hold women back from speaking up at the PTA meeting.

CANDIOTTI: Sandberg, a mother of two, also says leaning at work requires men to share the workload at home.

SANDBERG: There is an awful lot we don't control. I am saying that there's an awful lot we can control and we can do for ourselves to sit at more tables, raise more hands.

CANDIOTTI: Challenging women to lean in and listen.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.


BERMAN: So we're taking an in-depth look at the challenges women face at home and on the job. You're going to want to watch "What Women Want: Work and Family". It starts today on CNN.

And Soledad O'Brien is going to sit down and talk to Sheryl Sandberg. We will bring you that interview next week. SAMBOLIN: You know, all the proceeds of that book actually go to the organization that she founded, My big question is, what is she going to do with that organization or foundation? Hopefully, we'll get an answer.

Eighteen minutes past the hour. Let's get you up-to-date.

We could find out as early as tomorrow who the next pope will be. A hundred and fifteen cardinal electors at the Catholic Church will get down to business tomorrow afternoon, meeting and making their first vote. If two-thirds of the conclave agrees on one man, that man will be named the next pope.

BERMAN: New developments in the race to succeed Hugo Chavez as the president of Venezuela. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles has announced his candidacy. He will battle acting president, Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in last week, following the death of Chavez. The election will be held on April 14th.

SAMBOLIN: Former South African President Nelson Mandela was released from a Pretoria hospital Sunday. According to a statement from the presidential office after a medical examination and an overnight stay, doctors say the 94-year-old is doing well. Mandela has been recovering from a lung infection and gallstone surgery at his home near Johannesburg. He hasn't made any public appearances since 2010.

BERMAN: So, it was a great and powerful weekend for Disney's "Oz" movie.

SAMBOLIN: No kidding. Wow.

BERMAN: This blockbuster prequel lived up to its billing. It took in more than $80 million. That's a lot of money. This is the year's biggest opening so far. There's a huge drop off after "Oz."

The weekend's second place film was "Jack and the Giant Slayer," $10 million. Eighty million versus 10 million. "Identity Thief" was third at $6.5 million.

SAMBOLIN: I can't wait to go see it. A lot of folks saw it and said it was pretty good.

BERMAN: Fantastic.

SAMBOLIN: All right. With the Dow on a record run, it's tempting to want a piece of the action. Coming up, why certain investors need to be extra careful.


SAMBOLIN: Good morning, welcome back. Twenty-three minutes past the hour. We are minding your business.

Stocks opening at record highs after the Dow closed at an all new time high on Friday.

BERMAN: You're pretty happy, I'm probably, to check your 401(k). However, not everyone is making money in these rallies.

CNN's Zain Asher is in for Christine Romans today, here to tell us the real deal.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: All right. Well, you know, on the surface, right, the Dow reaching record highs obviously are a huge wealth opportunity for investors, but it's actually the younger generation who are going to benefit from this the most, right?

The people between of ages of 25 and 34, they're going to have a more aggressive mix of tax in their portfolio and they're going to benefit from this.

I want show you this chart right now. So, younger workers between the ages of 25 and 34 in the past two years have seen gains in their 401(k) of 60 percent to 100 percent compared to people between the ages of 55 --


ASHER: Right, 55 and 64 only seeing gains of 30 percent to 40 percent.

Another point I want to raise, yes, if seniors are convinced that the Dow's record of just under 14,400 is as good as it's going to get. Sure, they're going to sell their equities, but the question is where do they put their money?

And, of course, lastly, when the Fed stops its bond-buying program then, you know, what happens then? I mean, is it all going to end in tears for retirees?

BERMAN: We keep hearing this phrase, TINA, "there is no alternative".

ASHER: There is no alternative, that's right.

BERMAN: So we're just stuck with this, huh?

ASHER: Hope for the record high (INAUDIBLE).



ASHER: Still feed to be careful.

BERMAN: All right. Zain Asher, thanks so much.

Twenty-four minutes after the hour right now. So, don't blame the Big Mac or the Big Gulp. Coming up, what doctors are learning about modern man from 3,000-year-old mummies.

SAMBOLIN: And if you are leaving the house right now, you can watch us any time on your desktop or your mobile phone. Just go to