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Pope Francis: A New Era; Another Cruise Nightmare?; Kids Taking Drugs To Focus At School

Aired March 14, 2013 - 06:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It is the dawn of a new era. Pope Francis now on the job leading the Roman Catholic Church.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: The boss on the hot seat. TSA Chief John Pistole facing questions a few hours from now about knives on planes.

BERMAN: And developing at this hour: passengers aboard a cruise ship telling CNN the bathrooms all backed up. This sound familiar?

SAMBOLIN: That's something we want to share first thing in the morning, but you need to know.

BERMAN: We'll tell you all about it.

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

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is Thursday morning. Thirty minutes past the hour.

(AUDIO GAP) new pope and the dawning of a new era for the Catholic Church. History is unfolding in Rome this morning as Pope Francis prepares to hold a private mass at the Sistine Chapel with the cardinals who elected him. The new pontiff was also supposed to meet with Pope Emeritus Benedict but the Vatican now says it's not likely to happen today.

And this morning, we're learning a lot more about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, fondly know in Argentina as "Father Jorge", and what his election might actually mean for the Roman Catholic Church moving forward.

Our coverage begins with my Miguel Marquez. He is live in Rome.

Good morning.


Well, Papa Francesco or Pope Francis was at the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore today, St. Mary the Major here, it's one of the oldest in Rome.

Interestingly enough, while there, he went to the tomb of St. Ignatius of Loyola who was the founder of the Jesuit order, the order that he is part of. He prayed to the Virgin Mary there, clearly pray for some help in a very big job ahead.

For now, it is a lot of joy and celebration here in (AUDIO GAP) the newspapers here, the national newspaper. Papa Francisco is one of them, Pope Francis, of course, is one of them. Here's one, "Corriere Della Sera," "La sopresa di Francesco," surprise of Francesco. And this was really sweet last night. He came out last night after he spoke and he came out again and he thanked the people for showing up, "Grazie Roma," is all what they say. Thank you, Rome.

This is the coolest paper ever, even the newspapers here in Italy are beautiful, a real collector's item, celebrating the new pope in Latin on "The Observatory." And amazing night all around.

Just an incredibly touching to see everything happen last night -- when that moment of silence happened across the square, it was -- it was a very moving moment -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Is that your take away, was that like the most special moment of the evening? Because we were riveted watching and watching the crowds and everybody that you stopped seemed to be excited.

MARQUEZ: Yes, it was that. It was the sense of nationalism and coming together but when he -- you know, he took -- he left the balcony. When he came back out and almost sheepishly thanked people for coming out, wished them well and a good night, it was a very sweet and humbling moment with 100,000 people watching. Amazing how intimate it was.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. And the order was kept. It was really very special. We were watching and we were super jealous as well.

Miguel, thank you for all the coverage. We appreciate it.

BERMAN: You know, so the name Cardinal Bergoglio was not on many short lists to be pope here in the United States, but full disclosure here. The first time I heard the name was from our very own Chris Cuomo who had been hearing rumblings and first reported it well before we saw the white smoke from the chimney. Take a listen.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: A name we have not heard yet that was offered up to me is Cardinal Bergoglio, which you may or may not know, John Allen reported to us many times, that what we believe from the last conclave is that Bergoglio was number two to then Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI emeritus, pope emeritus.

Bergoglio is the perfect compromise candidate, 76 years old. But that he could be a unifier.


BERMAN: Clearly, Cuomo had sources inside the closed off conclave there. The emotion surrounding the announcement of Pope Francis really has been spilling over from Vatican City all around the world, including in his home country of Argentina.

Shasta Darlington joins us now with reaction from Buenos Aires. Good morning.


And that's right. It took Argentines by surprise, as well. People have been expecting that possibly another Argentine cardinal could become a pope, but this was the big surprise.

Hundreds of people came right out here to the cathedral right behind me where now Pope Francis celebrated mass. They were jumping up and down in the streets as though they had just won a soccer match. So, it was a lot of excitement.

Now, this is a man who is celebrated here because of his dedication to the poor. In fact, when he was named archbishop he rejected the official residence. And instead, chose to live in a simple apartment right here on the other side of me, the third floor. He cooked his own meals. He traveled by bus.

I just talked to the man who sold him his newspaper every day. He came out, bought his newspaper and chat with the homeless people who slept here on the streets on his way to get the newspaper.

On the other hand, there is controversy around here, not the same controversy about in relation to the church, and that what some observers say was his proximity to the Argentine dictatorship. They feel he didn't do enough to those who suffer disappearance, torture, and perhaps even enabled it. That, is of course, never been proven. But that's the controversy here, John.

BERMAN: Some interesting reaction from his hometown of Buenos Aires. Shasta Darlington, our thanks to you.

SAMBOLIN: And if Pope Francis takes his place as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, many of the faithful hope he will address the priest sex abuse problem more aggressively than his predecessor did.

So, let's bring in Anne Barrett Doyle. She's co-director of It is a watchdog group that is the largest library of documented sexual abuse within the church.

We are very grateful to have you this morning, Anne.

So, what was your first reaction when Bergoglio was elected pope?

ANNE BARRETT DOYLE, CO-DIRECTOR, BISHOPACCOUNTABILITY.ORG: Well, my first concern was that the cardinals chose not to make a statement that clergy sexual abuse would be the next pope's priority. They did not choose a cardinal who has dealt extensively with this issue.

Of course, I am hopeful. I was in St. Peter's Square when the white smoke came out. And as a Catholic, I feel profound hope but I have to say nothing in Bergoglio's past is making him seem like a particularly promising leader on this issue.

SAMBOLIN: (AUDIO GAP) not had the extensive experience that, let's say, in the United States we've had with the sex abuse scandal. I was looking to see what is his position. So, I found in a newspaper where he stated that he had profound embarrassment and he felt profound pain because of the sex abuse scandal. It was directly relating to one priest in Argentina. But he did -- his words were very strong.

DOYLE: And that is good and let's cling to that and hope it man vests itself in strong action because so much needs to be done. We don't know yet, the crisis has not yet emerged publicly in South America and for that matter in the Jesuit institution in South America we know very little.

We know that the abuse crisis exists there. It's erupted in the U.S., Canada, Australia, but Africa and South America are the two continents where we know there's tremendous problem but it's been suppressed.

This cardinal so far has not spoken out with notable courage on the issue. He did express sorrow for the victims of that particular priest. Of course, I am hopeful.

Right now, though he does not seem to be someone who will be a reformer on the issue. We need someone who's going to require reporting of all allegations to police. We need someone who is gutsy and outspoken.

Let's hope this particular cardinal now Pope Francis has a change and becomes the leader that we desperately need to resolve this issue.

SAMBOLIN: I think there are a lot of people within the Roman Catholic Church and outside that would absolutely agree with those statements you just made and hope that will happen.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director -- we appreciate your time this morning.

BERMAN: Thirty-eight minutes after the hour right now.

This just in to CNN: four people now under arrest in the latest investigation into Britain's phone hacking scandal. The journalists all work at the "Mirror" group newspapers in 2003-2004. Authorities say it's being treated as a separate conspiracy from the two involving the now defunct "News of the World". The hacking scandal led to the shutdown of Rupert Murdoch newspaper.

SAMBOLIN: And a developing story right now as well, word of problems aboard a cruise ship, another one. It is Carnival Dream. It's docked right now in St. Maarten.

Several passengers telling CNN, are calling us with stories of power outages and overflowing toilets. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bathrooms are not working. They're backing up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The toilets are backing up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Go ahead. You said the elevators?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The elevators have not been working. They've been turning them on and off, on and off.


SAMBOLIN: When told about the complaints, the carnival representative told CNN he wasn't aware of a problem. Several calls since to the cruise line have gone unanswered. The U.S. Coast Guard said there were no reports of an incident.

So, last month, an engine fire left the carnival cruise ship triumph crippled in the Gulf of Mexico. You remember that. Stranding thousands on board without power and working toilets for four long, long days.

BERMAN: Forty minutes after the hour. Kids taking drugs for ADHD even though they don't have ADHD. A warning about an alarming trend that really a lot of parents are part of. We'll tell you all about it, coming up.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Forty-four minutes past the hour.

Soledad O'Brien joins us with a look at what's ahead on "STARTING POINT".

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Lots happening this morning.

Pope Francis is going to hold his first mass today as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. We're going to look this morning at what this historic means with live reports from Rome and from Buenos Aires.

Then, it is believed police surrounded a man suspected of going on a deadly shooting spree in Upstate New York. We're live with the very latest on this developing situation.

And conservatives across the nation are gathering for the Conservative Political Action Conference today, or CPAC. Can the GOP find its message and its standout leaders, too? We're going to talk with Wyoming Senator John Barrasso about that. He will be joining us.

Then, Texas A&M University surprised President George H.W. Bush with a flash mob line dancing. You showed this yesterday. Well, this morning, the story behind the line dancing. Interesting. We talked to the students who helped craze this viral tribute. That's ahead this morning. All on "Starting Point" right at the top of the hour.

BERMAN: -- here about that. That was so cool.

O'BRIEN: So cute, right?

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thanks, Soledad.

BERMAN: Forty-five minutes after the hour right now. Here's an interesting question. Have you ever given your child a pill to sharpen up his mind, make him more focused? A prescription med to give him a little edge at school? You know, there's a name for that, it's called neuro enhancement. And a new report says it's not just illegal, it's also just plain wrong.

Our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, joins us now. And Elizabeth, explain this to me. What exactly are parents doing here?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This group of pediatric neurologists got together and said, hey, we're noticing that parents are coming in and saying they want their child to have an ADHD drug, not because their child has ADHD, but because they want their child to do better in school. These drugs work because they help you focus better.

So, even if you don't have ADHD, they will often help you focus better, and they're hoping their "B" student might become an "A" student. Some parents even go so far as to Google the signs of ADHD and then parrot them back to the doctor in the hopes that he'll diagnose them with ADHD even when they don't have it.

So, here's what's interesting. If you take a look at these numbers, you will see that they just don't add up. So, the number of kids with ADHD has gone up 21 percent over a certain period of time, but the number of ADHD prescriptions has gone up 46 percent. So, in other words, there's a big chunk of kids who don't have ADHD who are getting ADHD medications.

And it doesn't make sense. We only medicate children when they're actually sick. And these neurologists have gotten together to say this is wrong and parents need to stop.

BERMAN: That just seems crazy to me and like such a big risk. I mean, what are some of the possible side effects of giving your child the medication that they don't need?

COHEN: Right. There are side effects and a lot of parents think and even kids think, oh, well, you know, it's just ADHD drugs, like, all my friends do it, like, what's the big deal. It's like, you know, eating candy, but in fact, it's not. So, here are some of the side effects that can come from ADHD drugs, irritability, insomnia, loss of appetite, and even in unusual cases, heart arrhythmias.

So, this is not just like, you know, taking candy. This is a serious drug and it can have these side effects. And John, as far as long- term side effects go, we don't even know because we haven't studied kids who are on these drugs for years and years. We don't know what that means for them later in life.

BERMAN: Who are the doctors who are prescribing these drugs? And it sort of sounds like Dr. Feel Good For Kids.

COHEN: Right. In some ways, it really is. So, sometimes it's doctors who just want to acquiesce the parents. You know, doctors like to make their patients happy and so they just make them happy and they say, oh well, maybe he's having a little trouble focusing. We're going to prescribe it. Sometimes, doctors are tricked by parents who make up these symptoms when they don't really exist.

BERMAN: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, our thanks to you.

COHEN: Thanks.

BERMAN: Kind of alarming, I have to say.

SAMBOLIN: It really is. You know, I thought my child's had ADHD, and the doctor said to me, I'm sending you to a specialist before I prescribe any medication. So, there are some doctors that absolutely push to do the right thing.


SAMBOLIN: Forty-eight minutes past the hour.

TSA administrator, John Pistole, will testify today before the House Homeland Security Committee. He is expected to defend his controversial decision to allow small knives on planes. This is starting next month. Earlier this week, he confirmed that he was going ahead with the plan. The new policy is designed to reduce waiting time at airport security checkpoints. Three major carriers, Delta, American, and U.S. Airways, oppose this plan.

BERMAN: Forty-eight minutes after the hour right now. And just like Rocky and Apollo at the end of "Rocky II," take a look at this. Wow! Two fighter go down at the same time. Who wins? What happens? Stay with us.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. The Lakers Kobe Bryant hurt his ankle pretty bad last night after stepping on a defender's foot, and he's not happy about at all of t it went down.

BERMAN: Bleacher Report's Jared Greenberg is here with more on that.

JARED GREENBERG, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes. This is the worst kind of loss. A painful loss for the Lakers, clinging to the final playoff spot in the western conference. L.A. fell in Atlanta and that's the least of their concerns. Down by as many as 14 in the third quarter, Kobe Bryant rallied the Lakers within two.

Final seconds, Kobe with the chance to tie it. Tough shot, doesn't go, more importantly, Kobe in serious pain, straight to the x-ray machine. Results negative. However, the Lakers say he's out indefinitely. Did the Hawks win because of a dirty play? Kobe things Dante Jones didn't allow Kobe a safe landing and that Jones did it on purpose. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KOBE BRYANT, PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER: First and foremost, I think officials really need to protect shooters. Defensive players -- you can't walk underneath players. It's dangerous when shooting (ph).


GREENBERG: Jones with 134 character responded (INAUDIBLE) "Tape doesn't lie. Ankle was turned on the floor after the leg kicked out that knocked him off balance. I would never try to hurt the man." All right. You decide.

Nothing slowing down the hottest team in the NBA, Miami won its 20th straight. The Heat built a 13-point lead in the second half before Philadelphia put the streak in serious jeopardy. Late fourth quarter, enter that man, and rub (ph) it. Lebron James misses not once but twice. His sidekick, Dwyane Wade is there to steal the Heat win. Miami becomes the fourth team at NBA history to win 20 games in a row.

One of NFL's most sought after free agents is exchanging future Hall of Fame quarterbacks a fan favorite in New England, Wes Welker is leaving Tom Brady to become Payton Manning's featured target. Welker reportedly signed a two-year contract worth $12 million.

You may know him as Kim Kardashian's ex-boyfriend. Reggie Bush is hoping his new relationship with the Detroit Lions will last (ph) longer. The running back inked a four-year deal.

A must see fight where nobody wins. Don't blink. Here it comes. A man down. No, wait, Two men down! Just 14 seconds into the fight. It's a double knockout. You've heard of the saying there will be two hits. Me hitting you and you hitting the floor. This is two hits and they both fall flat. It is ruled a no contest.


GREENBERG: Nothing worse in sports --

SAMBOLIN: No kidding.

GREENBERG: You like to see somebody win.

BERMAN: All right. Jared Greenberg, amazing. Our thanks to you.

GREENBERG: All right.

SAMBOLIN: All right. EARLY START back right after the break.


BERMAN: That is EARLY START for this morning. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "Starting Point" with Soledad O'BRien starts right now. O'BRIEN: Welcome, everybody. Our "Starting Point" this morning, the world welcomes Pope Francis. He is from the first from the new world, the first Jesuit, the first Latin-American to be elected pontiff. We're live in Rome for you this morning, also in Buenos Aires with a look at the man who will lead the world's Catholics.

And then, one month after a Carnival cruise ship got stuck in the Gulf of Mexico, another ship might be having some trouble as well. We'll tell you what passengers on the Carnival "Dream" say is happening right now on their boat.

BERMAN: A standoff under way in upstate New York right now. Police surrounding the suspect wanted in a shooting spree that killed four people. We are live on the scene.

And he's a man who may have led to the downfall of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. Hear from the bartender who filmed the infamous 47 percent comments. We'll tell you why he did it.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Work on the job and work at home, how much time men and women spend working versus doing their chores or raising kids? This new information might surprise you.

O'BRIEN: It's Thursday, March 14th, and "Starting Point" begins right now.

Welcome, everybody. Our team this morning, Monsignor Richard Hilgartner is back with us. He's the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop Secretariat on Divine Worship, also joining us this morning, Bishop David O'Connell from Trenton, New Jersey. Nice to have you both with us. Appreciate your time.