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Cardinals Voting Inside Sistine Chapel; Smoke Signals; Americans In Rome; L.A. Archdiocese Settles Four Sex Abuse Suits; Standoff Over In Oregon; Alabama Factory Up In Flames; Kim Jong-Un Visits Military Unit; (Sink) Hole In One; Search for Missing Teacher; Some Tax Refunds Delayed 6 Weeks

Aired March 13, 2013 - 06:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- beginning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. And at 12:30 this afternoon all eyes will be back on the Sistine Chapel awaiting another smoke signal from the cardinals. Really it is a day of watching and waiting with immense anticipation right here.

Let's get you out to Rome. CNN's Chris Cuomo anchoring our coverage of this historic day. Chris, we seem to be past the first period this morning where we could have seen white smoke.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Right, if we're going to see any smoke, John, it would have been white because it would have been the first vote. It would have been successful. We believe right now they're in the process of their second voting.

Remember, there are no speeches, no politicking. It's like a prayer service. This second thing, they've gone immediately. It takes about an hour and change. So we'll be waiting for smoke when it finishes, could be black or white.

Thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square because this is a big deal. Is it likely there could be a pope? Maybe, maybe not, but certainly, as I bring in John Allen, our senior Vatican analyst and the inimitable Anderson Cooper here with us on smoke watch.

This is a big day you've been saying, John, because this is the day that if someone's going to be a favorite they must show or go, right?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Yes. I mean, to use the American political language, yesterday was the New Hampshire primary. Today, we got our first test of who might have legs as a candidate. Today is Super Tuesday even though it's Wednesday.

Because this is the day where the frontrunner either closes the deal, whoever that frontrunner may be. And of course we don't know because this balloting is going on behind closed doors, but somebody had the most votes last night.

Whoever that person is either going to show he's got the potential to get to that magic two-thirds threshold or 77 out of the 115 votes, or he's going to drop back in which case this thing becomes much more wide open and potentially could go on a bit longer. CUOMO: The idea of countries. We've been doing the math. Italy has the most, Europe has the most as a group, America's got more than South America, how much does that matter? How much national attachment a real voting bloc?

ALLEN: Well, I don't think it's the top issue. Because first, Chris, is these guys don't go into the Sistine Chapel to vote for a passport. They go in to vote for a man. They're looking for a particular set of qualities. Things like global vision, the ability to inspire people to the faith, the ability to govern and to get the Vatican bureaucracy under control.

If they can get that profile, they'll take it no matter what country the guy comes from. But it does come into play in another sense in that, for example, if one of the Latin American candidates looks like he had real legs, then I would expect a number of the other Latin American cardinals who would be tremendously excited at the idea that one of their own might be elected would come on board.

Same thing for the African, same thing for the Asians, and frankly same thing for those 11 cardinals from the United States, I mean, I think if it looks plausible that one of the American cardinals might break through, I think he would carry those 11 American votes with him.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S "AC 360": How much of an adjustment period is it for the new pope? Especially if it is a pope who has not been working inside the Vatican for many years?

ALLEN: Believe me, there's some on-the-job training that has to go on if you're not a preacher, you know, a product in the Vatican. There's a famous story told about Pope John Paul I who had been Cardinal Lugani from Venice who was not a Vatican insider.

He was elected in the evening on the second ballot. Came out and did his blessing on St. Peter's Square, came back in and turned to the Vatican official who was standing with him and said, do you know where we eat?

He had no idea even where the lunch room, so to speak, in the Vatican was. It's an enormously complex role. I mean, Anderson, think about what we want popes to be? We want them to be Fortune 500 CEOs.

We want them to be intellectual giants. We want them to be political heavyweights. We want them to be media rock stars. I mean, one of these things is hard to do on a good day. The expectation that you're going to do all of them at once is awesome. All popes have to grow into the judge.

COOPER: It's also important the team that the popes have around them, I was reading the educational background of a lot of these cardinals, I think only one of them really has an economics background. So there's not a huge diversity of educational backgrounds here.

ALLEN: Well, I mean, most of these candidates, of course, come out of Catholic seminaries where they study theology or canon law or biblical studies. I mean, although there are a few candidates who have an interesting background, the cardinal from Peru trained as an engineer.

But most of them do have a pretty similar academic formation. You're right about that. So the team does become very important. And it's even more important this time because I think one of the central criticisms of Benedict's papacy among these 115 cardinals is that while he was a great teacher, he didn't always have a good idea for management.

He didn't always put the right people in the right positions to make the trains run on time. They want to be sure the next pope has a bit more developed capacity to spot administrative counts.

COOPER: Interesting, Chris, and I and you and Father Beck have been talking about over the last several days is this idea of reformers versus people more part of the Vatican establishment. But when we talk about reform, I mean, we're not talking about a huge amount of change very quickly. This is the Catholic Church, after all.

ALLEN: Yes. I mean, look, you know, reform is one of those concepts like change or hope. I mean, everybody's for it. The hard part is how you define it. You know, I don't think the kind of reform these 115 cardinal electors are looking for is reform on the issues.

That is change to marriage or abortion or things like that. When they talk about reform they're talking more about business management. They mean a Vatican that is more transparent, both internally and externally. They mean a Vatican that is more accountable and a Vatican that is more efficient.

COOPER: And also more centralized versus greater power towards the bishop.

ALLEN: Well, I think fundamentally what they want is to inject a dose of 21st Century business practices into this centuries old institution.

CUOMO: John, the point last night that they'll say that they're still implementing the changes from Vatican II. You know, that just shows you how much time it takes. Yet there's so much anticipation of who's going to be the next pope.

The weather here are not so great, rain starting to come down a little bit more. People still gathering however at St. Peter's Square. Miguel Marquez is there tracking the crowd. Miguel, how is it now?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- Christopher, but so far things are going great. The crowds are gathering. People believe that we're all obsessed just watching this chimney. I've never been so obsessed over smoke I think in my life.

I'm with two Americans who are also here watching this, Michelle and Joey from New York and from New Jersey. You were here last night.


MARQUEZ: What was it like to see it? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To see the smoke?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's exciting. The energy is really high. There's like very positive vibes around. You kind of just get excited from the energy of the crowd.

MARQUEZ: You're both Catholics?


MARQUEZ: Why is this such a big decision?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that it's really exciting because to see like what -- like this is really important to a lot of people so it's really exciting --

MARQUEZ: The church has had a tough time the last decade or so. Is this a bigger decision for this pope than previous years?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably, probably so.

MARQUEZ: You think so?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's like pretty unique given the circumstance. So I think everyone's just kind of confused. Is this something they're going to try to do quicker than usual because there's no one right now or is it something they're going to take a little bit more time to talk over like we don't know? It's kind of like everyone's -- I think they're a little bit confused. When we first got here, the cab driver just said we're all a little confused.

MARQUEZ: We're all feeling a little confused these days.


MARQUEZ: You're sticking around for the next puff of smoke whatever happens.


MARQUEZ: All right, have fun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much.

MARQUEZ: Chris, the crowd is gathering here at the Vatican. Everyone hoping for smoke.

CUOMO: For sure. Thank you, Miguel. John, let me get one thing before we go back to New York. You heard those young women there who were watching. If they come out of this conclave with more of the same, someone who is not a, wow, he'll get it done.

Given the sex abuse scandals, given the urgency of bad leaks and the idea that management is just poor there, do you think they understand that they have to make a big move with this decision?

ALLEN: Look, I think the 115 cardinals who went into the Sistine Chapel yesterday are profoundly aware that the hope of the world have been raised that this is going to be a dramatic moment of change and they're anxious to deliver.

The hard part, as you and I and Anderson have been talking about the last couple of days is they also want a nuts and bolts manager. Now an inspirational visionary and nuts and bolts manager don't often come in the same package. That's what makes this job search, so to speak, the world's most unique job search so difficult.

CUOMO: Let's get back to you, John, Zoraida, in New York.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thank you, Chris.

As the Catholic faithful wait for news of a new pope, the church's dark side has again been rearing its head. Los Angeles Archdiocese has agreed to pay nearly $10 million to four different victims who filed child sex abuse lawsuits involving a former priest who is now in prison.

The suits alleged Cardinal Roger Mahoney knew of the priest's behavior and allowed him to continue in his position. Right now, Mahoney is in Rome taking part in the conclave to elect a new pope.

BERMAN: This morning a standoff over in Oregon with double murder suspect Michael Boysen captured. He is accused of killing his own grandparents within his first day of his release from prison. You know, they picked up Boysen and even had a welcome home party for him right after his release. Dan Simon breaks this all down for us.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was certainly the outcome that authorities here in Lincoln City, Oregon, had wanted, the suspect 26-year-old Michael Boysen now in custody after a nearly 12-hour standoff with police.

A SWAT tactical team went into his hotel room where he'd been holed up. They somehow were able to get him out. Nobody was injured except for some apparent self-inflicted cuts to the suspect.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a tactical advantage that we were able to take advantage of.


SIMON: Boysen was released from a prison last Friday in Washington State. He served a year behind bars for burglary. His grandparents picked him up. They had a homecoming reunion for him. The next day, they were found dead, an extremely puzzling double murder.

Boysen then fled. Hit the road, driving some five hours away here to Lincoln City, where he wound up in this motel room. Police tried to get him out for several hours. He wouldn't come out. That's when they decided to go in and forcibly remove him. Dan Simon, CNN, Lincoln City, Oregon.

SAMBOLIN: Our thanks to Dan. Happening now, a factory in flames, at least 40 to 50 firefighters are on the scene battling this, a huge blaze. It's a vacant factory in Eastern Alabama. It was reported around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night. That's about 60 miles east of Montgomery. The plant had been closed since 2008 and so far no injuries have been reported.

BERMAN: New video to show you right now of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, visiting a front line artillery unit that faces South Korean Marines. "The New York Times" reports that North Korea is now evacuating some of its people into tunnels and putting camouflage on buses and trucks.

South Korea says the North's tactics are nothing new, saying that North Korea has a history of using these tactics during tense times to build up support among its people.

SAMBOLIN: All right, if you're not near the TV, come on over. Talk about a hole in one. At one golf course in Waterloo, Illinois, you can add sinkholes now to the list of hazards. Here is why.

The 43-year-old Mike Mihal was playing the 14th at the Ambrier Golf Course Friday when a sinkhole swallowed him up in the middle of a fairway. Mark plunged 18 feet into a pile of mud, and instantly knew, of course, that he was in big, big trouble until his foursome buddies literally jumped in.


MARK MIHAL, FELL IN SINKHOLE: Just darkness down there, so I was just -- I was just like someone get me out of here now.

ED MAGALETTA, HELPED RESCUE GOLFER: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think you'll ever golf again?

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


SAMBOLIN: What are the chances? Mihal says until this week the only worry that he has ever had at the 14th hole is whether the girl with the beverage cart will return before he reaches the 18th. That is insane.

His arm is aching a little bit, but that's not preventing Mark Mihal from sharing his encounter with that big sinkhole. He joins Soledad O'Brien live at 7:40 Eastern on "STARTING POINT." I would never go back there again.

BERMAN: That was the last thing on your mind if you're lining up a shot. I'm going to fall through the ground right now.

SAMBOLIN: Swallowed up by the earth.

BERMAN: All right, it's 12 minutes after the hour right now. There is a desperate search under way for a bright young teacher who has been missing for days. What witnesses say about the night she vanished, coming up.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START.

It's been nearly two weeks now and still no sign of a schoolteacher who went missing in New Orleans. Twenty-six-year-old Terrilynn Monette was celebrating her nomination for Teacher of the Year award on the night that she vanished. Now, her friends and family are fearing the absolute worse.

CNN's Nick Valencia is following all of the developments for us. He is live in New Orleans.

What can you tell us, Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Zoraida.

It's a story that has a lot of people talking here in New Orleans, especially at this bar right behind me where 26-year-old Terrilynn Monette went missing in March 2nd and local authorities tell CNN there are no new leads.

It's well into it's second week. An intense search by New Orleans police for a missing recently honored schoolteacher. After all this time, her family and friends are growing increasingly desperate.


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 just 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 say she then decided to sleep it off in her car.

Police say a witness saw Monette 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 that she knew. I don't think she would let a stranger into her car.

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


VALENCIA: Zoraida, you may be asking yourself, why haven't authorities tried to check the cell phone? Terrilynn's cell phone battery died just a few hours before she went missing, so authorities have been unable to use that to try to ping her and her search.

Also worth pointing out, Equusearch, the mounted search and rescue team from Texas, they are expected to arrive here today and help with the search and rescue effort. They'll be looking at local waterways and lagoons for any signs of the 26-year-old teacher -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Nick, you mentioned in that piece that the mom talked to her daughter every day. Did she speak to her right before this happened, do you know?

VALENCIA: She did. The mom lives in California, long beach area, and spoke to her daughter about an hour before she went missing. And I asked her, Toni, the mother, if there was any signs, you know, that something was wrong, any red flags? She said no, Nick, this is just a normal conversation. We said I love you before we got off the phone.

SAMBOLIN: That poor mother.

All right. Nick Valencia, thank you very much for that.

A little later on "STARTING POINT" at 8:15 Eastern to be exact, we'll talk with the missing teacher's mother Toni Enclade.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Fire on the water too intense to approach. The coast Guard now says it's going to let a barge and pipeline fire off the Louisiana coast burn itself out. The explosion and fire started when a tugboat pushing the barge hit a natural gas line. Flames shot up into the air about 1,000 feet.

Affiliate WWL reports one person on the tugboat was burned over 75 percent of his body. He is now in critical condition. A second person was reportedly injured when he was knocked off the boat. All four people on the tugboat have been accounted for.

SAMBOLIN: Nineteen minutes past the hour.

Hundreds of thousands of people who hired a tax pro hoping for a fast refund are instead finding out they'll have to wait because of a mistake. We'll explain all of it to you coming up.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. We are minding your business this morning.

The Dow will try for its ninth straight win today.

SAMBOLIN: Go for it.

BERMAN: Blue chips have been rallying with some upbeat data on the economy and Zoraida is cheering it on.


BERMAN: Today, Wall Street will get a new report on retail sales.

We are expecting an increase but investors will be watching to see if higher gas prices and the expiration of those payroll tax cuts cause shoppers to pull back.

SAMBOLIN: Google has reached a multimillion dollar settlement over how it collected its map images. The tech giant is paying 37 states a total of $37 million. Google admitted three years ago that when it sent around cars with cameras to collect images of its Streetviews component, the cameras also collected information like passwords and emails from unencrypted Wi-Fi network.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) like a friendly thing --


BERMAN: Six hundred thousand people have to wait an extra six weeks for their tax reform. The IRS says some tax returns claimed educational credits were filed improperly. The agency is not 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 and that it's working with the IRS to get the refund out as quickly as possible.

SAMBOLIN: Signs of life on Mars. Coming up, why some astronomers say we're closer than ever to answering the big question.


BERMAN: Waiting for a sign. All eyes on the Sistine Chapel chimney, with a secret vote for a new pope under way right now.

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

BERMAN: Invasion of the monster mosquitoes.

SAMBOLIN: Sounds like a movie.

BERMAN: It's worse. Bugs so big they will sting through your clothes! You're going to want to stick around for that.

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

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

Really nice to have you with us.

Twenty-nine minutes past the hour.

For the next 30 minutes, we could find out if the world's 1.2 billion Catholics have a new pope. We're closely monitoring the chimney right there atop the Sistine Chapel because 115 cardinal electors are voting right now. At 7:00 a.m. Eastern, we are expecting to see more smoke, black or white, 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. Then, at 12:30 this afternoon, all eyes will be back on the Sistine Chapel chimney waiting yet another smoke signal from the cardinals.