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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Cardinals Voting Now; Standoff Over in Oregon; Sink Hole in One

Aired March 13, 2013 - 05:00   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Smoke watch at the Sistine Chapel. A live picture right here, the world waiting for the signal with cardinals voting right now on a new pope.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: A dramatic finish to an intense manhunt. Police storm a motel room to catch a suspected killer.

BERMAN: Sinkhole-in-one. A golfer --

SAMBOLIN: This is crazy!

BERMAN: -- suddenly swallowed up in a sand trap of a whole different kind. This you will not believe.

SAMBOLIN: You will when you see the pictures.

BERMAN: It is crazy. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Nice to have you with us. It's Wednesday, March 13th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

(MUSIC)

SAMBOLIN: Such official-sounding music.

Welcome to CNN's special live coverage of conclave day two, the selection of a new pope.

And, right now, everyone is fixed on the copper chimney that sits atop the Sistine Chapel with cardinals voting again right now.

So, yesterday, we saw black smoke, signaling they had failed in their first attempt to produce the next spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

Just 30 minutes ago, the cardinals re-entered the Sistine Chapel to vote again. And 30 minutes from now, at 5:30 Eastern, we could see white smoke if a new holy father has been chosen. If not, we will again see black smoke or white smoke at 7:00 a.m. Eastern, marking the end of the morning voting session.

And if necessary, the cardinals will return for afternoon voting. That is beginning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. We are truly on papal watch. Let's get you out to Rome. CNN's Chris Cuomo anchoring our coverage on this historic morning for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

And today's really the first full day that we will see.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This is a very important day. Good morning to you, Zoraida.

You're talking about that chimney, so simple, yet so poignant. Everybody has their eyes on it. It means so much too so many people, whether or not you're Catholic.

And if you take a look this morning at St. Peter's Square, there are people out there, and I'll tell you, the weather is not hospitable. It's cold here, it's raining on and off, but there's expectations.

(SPEAKING ITALIANO) We're waiting. That's what they would say in Italian here. At least that's how I was taught to say that.

And what we know is this -- this is a very big day for several reasons. Why? There are a lot of issues on the table. And even though the voting procedures as we have learned are very solemn in occasion, it's not politicking like a political convention, but the names are out there, and what has to be done, priorities must be set.

And just as a little key (ph), we had a graphic up there. If you want to bring it back, you can, for smoke watch. But as you're going along your day, moments to start paying attention locally would be 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m., because that's when you may see white smoke early.

Why? Well, if there's a vote and it's successful, then there could be smoke right away. If not, and there are two unsuccessful votes or two votes, then you could have white smoke at about 7:00 or black smoke certainly at 7:00, because every two votes, they burn ballots if they're unsuccessful.

Then, again, at about 12:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., on the early side, 12:30 a.m., you get white smoke, that means they've been successful. At 2:00 p.m., white if they're successful in the second vote, or certainly after that fourth vote, you would then burn and be black.

Now, those are the times. You also have moods.

Let's get to Miguel Marquez because he is getting a sense of how people are in terms of anticipation of smoke.

Miguel, can you hear me?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes! Chris, bonjourno. How are you?

CUOMO: Bonjourno regatso (ph).

MARQUEZ: We're on smoke watch here at St. Peter's square, and I'm joined by two Americans here, Victoria and Norah, who are down here on smoke watch as well.

How did I know you were American, Nora? Look at this, walking around with the American flag. Isn't that brilliant?

So, why are you down here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're actually here studying abroad and we're here to see when the pope's going to get elected and hopefully, we'll be here for the white smoke.

MARQUEZ: You watched the smoke last night at dinner and realized we should be down there, yes?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it, I had class, but I know that when I'm not in class, I will be here waiting.

MARQUEZ: Why is it so -- this place was packed last night when the smoke came out. Why? Why is it so important to see that smoke?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's such an exciting experience and it's part of history, and just to say that I was here for a new election of a new pope, it's amazing.

MARQUEZ: You're both Catholics. You're both active in the Catholic Church. How important is this vote?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very important. I mean, the pope is the leader of our church, and he's such a model. So we really need someone who is strong and who can lead us.

MARQUEZ: The church has also had a rough time in recent years. Is this a more important pope and a more important choice than in previous years?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that, obviously, every election for a new pope is very important, and I think this one is very important as well. And yes.

MARQUEZ: Thank you very much. Have a great time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much.

MARQUEZ: And I hope you see some smoke soon. We're all watching that chimney up there. Chris, we'll hand it back to you for now.

CUOMO: All right. Thank you, Miguel. Let me bring in John Allen, CNN senior Vatican analyst, and Father Beck, CNN contributor, Passionist priest.

OK, a brilliant line I read this morning, that although it is Wednesday, this is the first full day of voting and it's like Super Tuesday in American politics, the big clearing house day. What are you rooting? Is that right?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: I just was going to ask, what brilliant mind did you collect that insight from? Yes, listen, to use the American political metaphor -- yesterday was the New Hampshire primary, the first test for the candidates after an endless round of speculation and armchair handicapping and so on. Last night, those 115 cardinals found out who might have legs and candidates in this race.

Now, today becomes what we Americans would think of as Super Tuesday, because it's the make-or-break day for the front-runners. I mean, either they close the deal today -- that is, it looks like they're going to get across that magic two-thirds threshold of 77 votes and become the next pope, or it's going to become clear to the electors that none of these candidates are going to get to that threshold and they're going to have to go back to the drawing board. That's the drama today.

CUOMO: And again, because unlike American presidential politics, if you have people neck and neck and the cardinals don't believe we don't know either of them can get it, they literally start looking for a third, so it's unusual compared to presidential politics.

Father Beck, we understand this is about setting priorities. There are big issues on the table and that perhaps no one potential cardinal as pope can deliver on all of them. As a priest, as a member of the Catholic family, what do you believe? If you were going to pick for just one reason, what should that reason be?

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, if I could take it from the perspective of people that are talking to me as a priest, there's two things that come up.

One is, they want a reformer. Not only the reforming of the sexual abuse you've seen in-house, but people have seen there's been mismanagement at the top, and it hasn't really been pope Emeritus Benedict's fault, it's been those that surrounded him that are supposed to keep the trains running on time, supposed to organize things, (INAUDIBLE) all that's going on at the top. So, they want a reformation of that organization.

Secondly, they say we want someone who can communicate to the masses. They long for John Paul II again, who can stand up on a world stage and elicit excitement about the church, about the vision of the church, someone who can inspire youth once again as well.

CUOMO: Two very different qualities in a leader, though, someone who can batten down the hatches and someone who can inspire people.

ALLEN: Father Tom Reid, a colleague and a friend of ours, said what these cardinals seem to be looking for is Jesus Christ with an MBA, and that's a hard profile to go looking for in this College of Cardinals.

CUOMO: All right. Thank you very much.

John, I'm going back to you. The Italian lesson for the day is something somebody told me, what's going on in there right now? (SPEAKING ITALIAN) -- slowly, slowly, but then we'll get there. BERMAN: Wow, I can't get enough of you speaking Italian, Chris.

All right. Thank you. Chris Cuomo in smoke watch in Rome this morning.

SAMBOLIN: You can't get enough of him?

BERMAN: It's fantastic. Multilingual to boot.

Eight minutes after the hour here.

And while we wait for smoke at the Vatican, the Los Angeles archdiocese is paying $10 million to settle four sex abuse lawsuits involving a now-imprisoned ex-priest. The suits claim that Cardinal Roger Mahony knew of the priest's behavior and allowed him to continue in his position. Right now, Mahony is in Rome taking part in the conclave to elect the new pope.

SAMBOLIN: A lot of criticism about that, that he's participating.

Eight minutes past the hour.

Standoff over. Twenty-six-year-old Michael Boysen, suspected of killing his grandparents in Washington state, then stealing their car, has been captured. Boysen was just released from prison on Friday. His grandparents had picked him up. They were found dead the next day.

A tactical team forced their way into his beachside motel room in Oregon. That was last night. They used water cannons to blast down parts of the front door. Boysen reportedly suffered self-inflicted cuts and was placed in a waiting ambulance after his capture.

BERMAN: The standoff over, but still a lot of questions.

Meanwhile, a mysterious new SARS-like virus called coronavirus claims another life. The Saudi health ministry says a 39-year-old man who was hospitalized died earlier this month. The World Health Organization says there have been 15 confirmed cases so far. Nine people have died.

Symptoms include severe respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing problems.

SAMBOLIN: And happening now, at least 40 to 50 firefighters are on the scene battling this huge fire. It's a vacant factory in eastern Alabama. It was reported around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night in the town of Opelika. That's about 60 miles east of Montgomery. The plant has been closed since 2008.

So far, no injuries have been reported. Is that Opelika?

BERMAN: Opelika.

SAMBOLIN: Opelika, there we go. BERMAN: Some big business news to report now. The FAA approving a fix for battery problems that led to two fires and the grounding of Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The fix includes a redesign to minimize the odds of battery short-circuiting. The Dreamliner first needs to pass a series of safety tests before the FAA will approve the redesign. Until then, the plane will stay grounded.

SAMBOLIN: So, the game of golf is tough enough with all that water and those frustrating bunkers, right? But one golf course in Waterloo, Illinois, you can add sinkholes to the list of hazards there. Take a look.

Forty-three-year-old Michael Mihal was playing the 14th hole at the Annbriar Golf Course on Friday when a sinkhole swallowed him up in the middle of a fairway. He fell 18 feet down into a pile of mud and instantly knew that he was in a heap of trouble. That is when his buddies literally jumped in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK MIHAL, FELL IN SINKHOLE: There's just darkness down there, so you know, I was just, I was like, someone get me out of here now.

ED MAGALETTA, HELPED RESCUE GOLFER: And I knew he couldn't get up the ladder by himself, and the longer he stayed down there, the worse it was. So, I felt that somebody had to do it.

MIHAL: They put a rope around me, pulled me out from the top and he pushed me from the bottom.

REPORTER: Do you think you'll ever golf again?

MIHAL: I hope so. I love it. I probably will. I don't know if I can play that course or that hole again. I mean -- but it's just -- it's so freaky that, you know, we're still amazed, like we can't believe that just happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my -- that is freaky! Mihal had played the Annbriar course dozens of times before and he says ordinarily, the only worry at the 14th hole is whether the beverage cart will return before he gets to 18.

BERMAN: I guess it's worse than that.

SAMBOLIN: Look at that hole! Oh, my goodness! It swallows you up.

All right, his arm is hurting a little, but that's not stopping Mark Mihal from sharing his ordeal. He's going to join Soledad O'Brien live at 7:40 Eastern on "STARTING POINT."

BERMAN: And no sinkholes here when he gets here, I should tell you.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BERMAN: As far as he knows.

There is a desperate search under way right now for a bright, young teacher who's been missing for days. What witnesses say about the night she vanished, we'll tell you about that coming up.

SAMBOLIN: Plus, the next George Bush. Politics runs in the family for this Texas political newbie.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone.

There is growing concern this morning about the fate of an elementary school teacher in New Orleans who has been missing for nearly two weeks now. Twenty-six-year-old Terrilynn Monette was celebrating its special teaching honor when she disappeared. A search by hundreds of volunteers and police has so far come up empty and it has her family fearing the worst.

CNN's Nick Valencia is following developments. He is live this morning in New Orleans.

Good morning, Nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.

I spoke to Terrilynn's mother yesterday, and as you can imagine, she was just swelled with emotion. The 26-year-old went missing from this bar behind me, and as we enter our 12th day, authorities tell CNN there are no new leads.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VALENCIA (voice-over): It's well into its second week, an intense search by New Orleans police for a missing, recently honored school teacher. After all this time, her family and friends are growing increasingly desperate.

TONI ENCLADE, MISSING TEACHER'S MOTHER: I might be sitting here, I might look strong, but inside I'm just breaking. I'm just breaking. I just want my baby back. I just want her back.

VALENCIA: Police say Terrilynn Monette, the 26-year-old transplanted Californian who taught second grade, was last seen in March 2nd at this popular bar in the Lakeview area of the city. Friends told CNN affiliate WWL Monette was out celebrating her recent nomination for Teacher of the Year, for turning one of the lowest performing classes in one of the highest achievers in a matter of months.

The bar's general manager told CNN Monette appeared to have had too much to drink and was cut off by a bartender. Police then say she decided to sleep it off in her car.

Police say a witness saw her in a parking lot talking with a man around 4:00 a.m. Officers questioned him, but he has not been named a suspect and is not being held. Her car, 2012 black, two-door Honda Accord has not been found either and Monette's mother believes foul play was involved.

ENCLADE: I really, truly believe someone took my daughter. Someone literally got in her car and took her. That's what I feel like. You know, I could be wrong, but that's how I feel.

And I don't think she let someone into her car. If she did, it was someone she knew. I don't think she would let a stranger into her car.

VALENCIA: Police are checking tips, searching surveillance tapes from local businesses and searching local parks and waterways for any clues in the teacher's disappearance.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VALENCIA: John, this morning, Equusearch, that mounted search-and- rescue team out of Texas, they're expected to arrive in New Orleans today. They'll be searching nearby waterways and lagoons, looking for any sign of Terrilynn Monette -- John.

BERMAN: All right. Nick Valencia in New Orleans, our thanks to you.

And later this morning on "STARTING POINT" at 8:15 Eastern Time, we're going to speak with the missing teacher's mother.

SAMBOLIN: Seventeen minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date on this morning's top stories.

It is day two of the conclave to elect a new pope, and right now, 115 cardinal electors are inside the Sistine Chapel. They are voting for the next spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

At 5:30 Eastern, just a few minutes from now, we could see white smoke if a pontiff has been chosen by two-thirds majority.

BERMAN: The Coast Guard now says it's going to let a barge and pipeline fire off the Louisiana coast burn itself out. The explosion of fire started when a tugboat pushing the barge hit a natural gas line. Flames shot up into the air about 1,000 feet. This is a big fire.

Affiliate WWL reports one person on the tugboat was burned over 70 percent of his body, now in critical condition. A second person was reportedly injured when he was knocked off the boat. All four people on the tugboat have now been accounted for.

SAMBOLIN: Look at that fire. Terrible.

Eighteen minutes past the hour.

Another generation of the Bush family is entering Texas politics. George P. Bush, the son of Jeb Bush and grandson of George H.W. Bush, is running for Texas land commissioner. It's a position seen as a jumping off point for more prominent, statewide office. He's released a new ad asking Texans for their vote in 2014.

BERMAN: So, George P. is Jeb's son, the former governor of Florida. But George P. Bush actually worked for George W. Bush in his campaign, was a big part of the 2000 campaign, moved to Texas and is now trying to enter Texas politics.

SAMBOLIN: Is he the one who speak Spanish?

BERMAN: Well, yes, Jeb.

Nineteen minutes after the hour.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: One tiny mistake will mean weeks of waiting for hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who hired a pro in hopes of a fast refund. Did it happen to you?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Twenty-three minutes past the hour.

We are minding your business this morning. It has been an amazing run on Wall Street.

BERMAN: Absolutely.

SAMBOLIN: The Dow closed at a record high yesterday. The blue chip has risen for eight straight sessions, marking the longest winning streak in two years. And right now, stock futures are pointing to a mixed open.

BERMAN: Keep it going!

SAMBOLIN: Oh, yes.

BERMAN: So, Google has reached a multimillion settlement over how it collected its map images. The tech giant is saying 37 states a total of $7 million. Google admitted three years ago when it sent around cars with cameras to collect images for the Streetview component, the cameras also collected information like passwords and e-mails from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks.

SAMBOLIN: Bad, bad, bad.

All right. Six hundred thousand people will have to wait an extra six weeks for their tax refund. The IRS says some tax refunds that claimed educational credits were filed improperly. The agency isn't saying who is to blame, but H&R Block does acknowledge that it encountered errors when filing some returns. H&R block says the problem is now fixed that it's working with the IRS to get the refunds out as fast as possible.

BERMAN: So, the long national nightmare is over. Twinkies are coming back. SAMBOLIN: Thank goodness!

BERMAN: I know, right? They could hit the store shelves by this summer. Now, we can solve the sequester, everything will get better.

This comes after a group of private equity firms agreed to buy bankrupt Hostess for $410 million. Hostess has not been making any new Twinkies since November, when the company filed the liquidated business after a bakers union strike.

SAMBOLIN: Now I can stop hoarding my Twinkies.

BERMAN: That's right. You can start eating them.

SAMBOLIN: I don't normally eat sweets, but I grew up on Twinkies. So --

BERMAN: You're just having them.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, I have, I have.

All right. Twenty-five minutes after the hour. Ahead on "EARLY START," we're keeping an eye on Vatican City for any possible word of a new pope.

Plus, you sure like them, you post them on your wall, but do you really know them? Your Facebook friends.

BERMAN: And one man is making it his mission to meet all of his Facebook friends. Is that even possible? We will tell you about his journey, coming up.

SAMBOLIN: Depends on how many friends you have.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Waiting for a sign. All eyes are on the chapel chimney with a secret vote for a new pope under way right now.

BERMAN: Major airlines taking on the TSA. At least two of them coming out strong against the knives on planes policy.

SAMBOLIN: Invasion of the monster mosquitoes. Bugs so big, they'll bite through your clothes.

BERMAN: Oh, no.

SAMBOLIN: Isn't that great?

Good morning to you, on that note.

BERMAN: Oh, no!

SAMBOLIN: Thanks for being with us. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is Wednesday morning. It is about 29 minutes past the hour right now.

(MUSIC)

BERMAN: It is day two now of the conclave, and at this moment, we are monitoring the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel very closely, because 115 cardinal electors are voting right now for a new pope.

We could see white smoke at any moment if a new holy father has been chosen. Otherwise, we're going to have to wait a bit.