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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Countdown to the Conclave; North Korea Declares 1953 Armistice Invalid; Six Teens Killed in Ohio SUV Crash; Hagel Meets with Karzai; Knives on Planes Backlash; Sandberg Urging Women to "Lean In"; Pay Gap in America

Aired March 11, 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: Countdown to the conclave. Cardinals right now meeting at the Vatican with the first vote for a new pope fast approaching.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Tragedy and mystery in Ohio. What caused a rollover crash that wiped out six young lives?

SAMBOLIN: And the big controversy over small knifes. Outrage grows over the TSA plan to let people carry them on to plane.

Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. Thanks for being with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Great to see you today. It is Monday, March 11th, 6:00 a.m. in the East, and we are in the final countdown to the conclave, with really the whole world watching. The 115 cardinal electors tasked with choosing the next leader of the Catholic Church will vote for the first time tomorrow.

Remember, it takes two thirds of them to elect a new pope. And yesterday, we had such a fascinating spectacle. The cardinals fanned out across Rome. Each of them assigned to preach at a designated church. Many people really saw this as a final audition.

Two U.S. cardinals seem to be in the mix and could potentially become the first American pope, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley who is Boston's archbishop.

Miguel Marquez is just outside the Vatican right now. Miguel, I have to imagine the atmosphere getting pretty tense heading into this conclave.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's -- you could start to feel the energy here and we've actually moved into Vatican City itself. So this is the first time we've done that for CNN. I want to show you exactly how this is going to work. So we're in Vatican City.

If you look off to the right there, you can see that little tiny chimney up there, that is the chimney that will -- the smoke will come out. White smoke will tell the world that there is a new pope, but to be extra sure, because sometimes the pope's a little -- or the smoke is a little gray. Sometimes you can't tell black or white. That bell, the biggest bell at the cathedral here, that will toll and tell the world there's a new pope.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUEZ: And now what you're looking at are those burgundy curtains, those red curtains that have just been hung there this morning on the basilica. That is the balcony where the pope, once he is selected, will greet the thousands gathered here in the 1.3 billion Catholics around the world, the sense of excitement here is really starting to get going.

Today is the last day that the cardinals sort of have some freedom. They go into seclusion after today. They go into conclave tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time is the first time smoke will come from that chimney. Only question is, will it be white or black? Back to you.

BERMAN: Miguel, what a view you have. You have the chimney, you have the bell, you have the balcony, you are within plain sight of history. Miguel Marquez, it's great to see you this morning. Thanks very much.

SAMBOLIN: 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. We're going to get a preview of the papal vote.

BERMAN: Here's some news just in to CNN. The North Korean Army declaring that the armistice agreement that ended the fighting during the Korean War in 1953 is now invalid that's by the North Korean Military.

This announcement follows the start of joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea. These exercises scheduled to last two months. North Korea is calling the drill an open declaration of war, and is also threatening a nuclear attack against the United States. Clearly North Korea is raising the rhetoric right now on the Korean Peninsula.

SAMBOLIN: It is 4 minutes past the hour. Grief counselors will be on hand this morning at schools in Warren, Ohio, after a weekend crash that killed six teenagers. There's now a makeshift memorial at the site of that accident and police say an SUV carrying eight teenagers was speeding when it went off the road.

It flipped and it ended up in the water. Two of the passengers managed to survive. They ran to a nearby home. They called 911. CNN's Shannon Travis is following all of the developments for us. He is live in Washington. Shannon, what more can you tell us about this?

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Zoraida, this is such a tragic event there in Ohio. The SUV was supposed to be carrying just five passengers, but as you mentioned, eight teenagers were crammed inside. It's unclear where they were coming from and where they were going to.

That's just one of the many questions investigators will be looking at as they survey this truly horrific scene.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRAVIS (voice-over): After one of the deadliest wrecks in recent memory in North Eastern Ohio. It happened around 6:50 Sunday morning. Eight teenagers, packed into the SUV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The vehicle was traveling southbound at a high rate of speed.

TRAVIS: It went off the road, hit a guardrail, overturned and landed in a pond, partly submerged.

LT. BRIAN HOLT, OHIO STATE PATROL: Two of the occupants were able to escape from the vehicle, and subsequently ran to a nearby residence where they called 911.

TRAVIS: The other six of those teens were killed. They ranged in age from 14 to 19. Five were found in the SUV, another, underneath in the water. The driver, 19-year-old Alexis Cayson.

ASHIA CAYSON, VICTIM'S SISTER: She's in my mind so many days and I kept seeing people walk around, I thought it was her and it wasn't each time.

TIM CAYSON, VICTIM'S UNCLE: I just had to walk, you know, walk and identify her body, and it was her.

TRAVIS: Many of the victims' families and friends went to the scene.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I knew Alexis. That was my friend and she's gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Want to know how --

TRAVIS: Even though it was Sunday some friends went to their schools to find solace and comfort.

MICHAEL NOTAR, SUPERINTENDENT: It was heartbreaking to see the students walking in and just reaching out to some of their teachers.

TRAVIS: Grief counselors will be at the schools today.

NOTAR: It's going to be a rough week. It's going to be a rough rest of the school year.

ASHIA CAYSON: You never know what can happen. Tomorrow is not promised to anybody.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TRAVIS: Zoraida, the speed limit posted on that road that the vehicle was traveling on was 35 miles an hour. Clearly, they were going faster than that. Also, one last thing, investigators are waiting toxicology results, Zoraida. But police say they have found any signs of alcohol or drugs -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: You know, I was reading a report that said none of the passengers were wearing seat belts. Do you know anything about that?

TRAVIS: Yes, according to our affiliate WKBN there in the area, none of the passengers were wearing seat belts.

SAMBOLIN: Just a horrific tragedy. Shannon Travis live for us. Thank you. It is 7 minutes past the hour. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel leaving Afghanistan this morning after a visit that really showed the growing split between Kabul and Washington. Hagel meeting privately overnight with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, after Karzai publicly charged the U.S. with colluding with the Taliban to destabilize Afghanistan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Karzai claims the U.S. is supporting the Taliban to create fear among the Afghan people and to justify continued American military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

BERMAN: The Transportation Security Administration is taking a lot of heat this morning for its decision to allow small pocket knives on passenger planes. Politicians, union bosses, all demanding that the TSA reverse itself calling the ruling a threat to safety. But so far the TSA is not budging, and the new guidelines take effect in six weeks.

CNN national correspondent Rene Marsh is live from Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia this morning. Good morning, Rene.

RENE MARSH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. You know, there are some lawmakers out there who are pushing back against the TSA, saying that they should not allow passengers to carry on pocket knives like this one. They say not only is the proposal scary for passengers, but they also say it's a danger for the crew members on board.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARSH: All right, well the TSA told CNN that that knife that you saw Schumer holding up there actually would not be allowed on planes under this new policy, simply because the TSA says that the knife that Schumer had a razor blade edge similar to this box cutter here.

They also say that it does not recoil, kind of like this pocket knife. Those are two problems that they say is the reason why that would not be allowed on board. Meantime, Schumer is saying that if they don't repeal it, he may go ahead and introduce legislation to prevent it -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Rene. Those distinctions may be confusing to a lot of people. Rene Marsh in Washington today, thank you very much.

At 8:15 Eastern on "STARTING POINT," Soledad will talk about the TSA decision to lift the ban on pocket knives with Sara Nelson, who is the vice president of the Association of Flight Attendants.

SAMBOLIN: One of the most successful women in America says not enough women are getting ahead at the workplace. You might be surprised where she places the blame. More from Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg that's coming up.

BERMAN: Plus Hollywood's big gamble on a brand-new "Wizard of Oz." Did it pay off at the box office? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. If Sheryl Sandberg was hoping to make people a little uncomfortable with her new book "Lean In", she has definitely succeeded. Facebook's chief operation officer examines why there are so few women in positions of power in corporate America and the problem, she says, may just be the women themselves.

Here's CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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 (voice-over): 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's 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SAMBOLIN: We're taking an in-depth look at the challenges women face at home and on the job. Watch "What Women Want: Work and Family" starting today on CNN.

And Soledad O'Brien is sitting down to talk to Sheryl Sandberg. We'll bring you that interview next week.

BERMAN: It is 18 minutes after the hour. Let's bring you up to speed on all the top news.

We could find out as early as tomorrow who the next pope will be. The 115 cardinal electors at the Catholic Church will get down to business tomorrow afternoon, meeting and making their very first vote. If about two-thirds of the conclave agrees on one man, that man will be the next pope.

SAMBOLIN: New developments in the race to succeed Hugo Chavez as president of Venezuela. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles has announced a candidacy. He will battle acting president, Nicolas Maduro, there on the left who was sworn in last week following the death of Chavez. Election day, April 14th.

BERMAN: Nelson Mandela has been released from a hospital in Pretoria, in South Africa. He is back in home in Johannesburg this morning. The 94-year-old former South African president was admitted for tests Saturday to treat a pre-existing condition. He has not made any public appearances really since 2010.

SAMBOLIN: And they were of to see the wizard this weekend, in droves apparently. Disney's "Oz: The Great and Powerful" lived up to its blockbuster billing, taking in more than $80 million. It is the year's biggest movie opening so far. After "Oz", it was a huge drop to second place, "Jack the Giant Slayer," 10 million bucks. "Identity Thief" was third with $6.3 million.

BERMAN: A lot of money it brought in.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, it is. Cha-ching.

BERMAN: All right. So, 19 minutes after the hour. You just heard Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg talking about women falling behind in the quest for equal footing in the workplace. We're going to take a closer look at the pay gap in corporate America coming up. This is part of our special coverage "What Women Want." Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-three minutes past the hour. We're minding your business this morning.

What a rally on Wall Street. Stocks hit record highs four days last week. But for now, it doesn't look like today will be number five.

BERMAN: Oh, man.

SAMBOLIN: I know. Futures are pointing to a lower open. BERMAN: There's something else interesting going on here. When it comes to wages, women took a step back last year. The gap between men and women, it widened, and Zain Asher is here to tell us about that.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, guys. Yes. So, it seems counterintuitive, it seems like a step in the wrong direction. I'm going to explain why.

But let me start by telling you, that -- let me break down the numbers first. In 2011, women made 82 percent of what men made. So, for every dollar a man made, women made 82 cents on that dollar.

In 2012, it fell slightly. Can you believe it? Women made 80.9 percent of what men made. It's not earth-shattering, but it is significant. Primarily because, if we keep at this pace it's going to take us 45 years to catch up to men, which is -- which is crazy.

Also, you know, in terms of why people are asking, why is it that during an economic recovery, you're seeing the gender wage gap actually increase? It's primarily because you're seeing the disappearance of middle-paying jobs.

You're also seeing the jobs report come out on Friday, 236,000 jobs added. A lot of those jobs minimum wage jobs. So, retail, catering, things that women might fall into. Also, women hold a disproportionate number of public sector jobs. We saw on a jobs report on Friday that 10,000 public sector jobs were actually cut. So, in that sense.

But I also do want to mention one other thing that's quite interesting. I have a chart for you. And it's the gender wage gap by race. Let's take a look.

In 2012, black women made $599 a week. Black men made $665 a week. So they're close in terms of pay, right? Interesting.

Asians make the most. So, Asian women make the most out of all women. Asian men make the most.

But, in terms of the gender wage gap, it's actually the widest. So, on the one hand, step forward, on the other hand, you know, there's still work to be done in that sense.

BERMAN: Very interesting. What's the one thing we need to know about our money?

ASHER: I was going to say, the one thing you need to know about your money today is that more people are taking mass transit and it could be a good sign for the economy. Ridership on public transportation in 2012 was the second highest on record with 10.5 billion trips. Most of those trips are workers who are commuting to their jobs.

The thinking is more strap hangers means more jobs added to a community.

BERMAN: That's interesting. I always like these things (INAUDIBLE), to find out if there's a recovery. So, mass transportation is another of these things.

SAMBOLIN: But those numbers on women, just astounding.

ASHER: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you for sharing that. Appreciate it.

All right. Twenty-five minutes past the hour. The lead singer from Motley Crue forced from the concert stage. Why the show could not go on for Vince Neil. That's coming up.

BERMAN: Say it ain't so.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)