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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Knox Now Faces Re-Trial in Italy; Sex-Same Marriage Hangs in Balance; Google Glass Ban?

Aired March 26, 2013 - 06:30   ET

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


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Amanda Knox will be retried for the murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. The decision came down about an hour ago. Knox spent four years in prison before an appeals court overturned the original 2007 conviction. Kercher was found dead in their apartment with her throat slashed.

CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Rome with the latest developments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito must stand for a retrial. This came after lengthy deliberations on Monday in which the prosecution argued that the broad body of evidence collected by the investigators was enough to bring them back to retrial.

They argued that the defense focused on the botched investigation by the police, but that did not mean, they said, that these two are innocent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are upset. But at the same time, we're looking forward to read the motivation. We don't know exactly what are the motivation behind the decision. And we are ready again to fight. I spoke with Amanda. Amanda is upset, surprised, because we thought that the case was over, but at the same time, as she did in the last five years, she's ready to continue and willing to fight.

WEDEMAN: Now, according to the judges, they have 60 days to submit the reasoning for their ruling. The defense and the prosecution then has 45 days to put forward their cases. A trial is not expected -- a retrial is not expected, until sometime early next year.

I'm Ben Wedeman, reporting from Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: And Friday night, be sure to watch Anderson Cooper's special report, "Murder Abroad: The Amanda Knox Story". That's at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: We're also following what will become a historic case for the U.S. Supreme Court. A few hours from now, justices begin hearing arguments on the issue of same-sex marriage. The arguments will stretch over two days, and include both Prop 8, California's ban on gay marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act.

Some people have camped out for the better part of a week. They are vying for 250 seats available to the public.

Shannon Travis is at the Supreme Court.

Shannon, today, the justices examine the constitutionality of Proposition 8. What's each side arguing?

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we expect for them, for those arguments, to be pretty passionate, and certainly substantive, Christine.

On the pro side, those proponents of Proposition 8, that California ban on same-sex marriage, we expect them to basically recite what a lot of conservatives have long said, that the definition of marriage has long been in America between one man and one woman. We also expected them to argue loudly that this is a voter-approved referendum -- something that the voters approved back in 2008.

On the opposition side, opposition of Prop 8, we expected them to basically say that the Constitution under the Equal Protection Clause guarantees same-sex couples the right to be able to freely marry. We also expected them to say, listen, Supreme Court justices, you have to place a much higher level of scrutiny any time you're talking about discriminating against same-sex couples, because this is a class of people, gays and lesbians, that have traditionally been discriminated against -- Christine.

ROMANS: If the justices say that Prop 8 has to be overturned, there will be about three ways to do it. If they choose to oppose Prop 8, which path do you see, Shannon, is the most likely?

TRAVIS: Yes, there are three different paths that we're kind of looking at. Obviously, any number of ways this could go. But let's key in on three particular paths, because California is the only state, Christine, that granted this rate to same-sex couples and then took it away with Prop 8, you could see the court basically saying, you know what, California, you can't do that, we're going to rule against Prop 8 but this only applies to that state.

Another path you would potentially see is the court saying that civil unions doesn't go far enough, that if you don't allow marriage that it's discrimination.

So for the states, only for the states that allow civil unions that those states then also have to allow same-sex marriage.

And the last and probably least likely scenario is for the court to overrule gay marriage ban, same-sex marriage bans across the nation. That's probably least likely.

One last thing, Christine, we expect for Chief Justice John Roberts' cousin, his first cousin, she's a lesbian, an open lesbian, who's openly campaigned against Proposition 8, to be in the court with her partner -- Christine. ROMANS: Wow. It must be interesting. All right. Shannon Travis -- thanks, Shannon.

Other top stories that we're following this morning:

Two teenage suspects charged with killing a baby in Georgia make their first appearance in court today. Seventeen-year-old DeMarquis Elkins let his lawyer do the talking. He did not enter a plea. A 15-year- old suspect was also in court.

The pair is charged in the shooting death of a 13-month-old baby boy while attempting to rob the baby's mother. The mother was shot in the leg but survives.

SAMBOLIN: Some answers in the mystery of a Russian businessman who was found dead in his home. British investigators say Boris Berezovsky died by hanging with no signs of a violent struggle. Berezovsky moved to England after a falling-out with the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin. That fueled a lot of speculation about his death. But police say there is no evidence a third party was involved.

Berezovsky apparently was having some money problems. Toxicology test results will take several weeks still.

ROMANS: Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota is expected to announce his retirement today. If he does, he'll be the fifth Democrat to retire before it the 2014 election. He's scheduled to speak today at the University of South Dakota. Johnson was first elected to the Senate back in 1995. He has served three terms. He survived a near-fatal brain hemorrhage, remember, in 2006, and went on to win re-election in 2008.

SAMBOLIN: Former U.S. presidents cost the federal government almost $3.7 million last year alone. George W. Bush got more than $1.3 million to cover his pension, office space, and $85,000 in phone bills, as well. Bill Clinton cost the government a little less than a million dollars. George H.W. Bush is expensive, came in at $850,000.

And the least expensive former president, want to guess? Jimmy Carter, who only required $500,000 in federal funds last year.

ROMANS: I'm surprised how low those numbers are. You know why? When you look at a CEO, even a CEO who doesn't do very well, they tend to get much bigger packages, very big exit packages. So when you think of the president as a former CEO, still representing the country wherever they go, need security because of their jobs -- you know, I'm actually surprised.

SAMBOLIN: (INAUDIBLE)

ROMANS: I think those numbers are kind of low. I mean, just I'm -- I cover business so I think of how CEOs are treated and they get way more money than that.

All right. From the depths of the ocean to the bright lights of Las Vegas, jewelry from the wreckage of the Titanic on display at the Luxor Hotel and Casino. The 15 pieces were discovered in a purser's bag during a 1987 research and recovery mission. The exhibit will be on display until May 31st. It includes diamonds and sapphire rings, brooches, necklaces, cuff links, gold pocket watch.

SAMBOLIN: They're absolutely gorgeous. There will be a lot of knockoffs based on that.

Stories trending online this morning:

Supermodel Kate Upton appears to be trying to gently let down a California teen dreaming of taking her to his prom. "The Sports Illustrated" cover girl said she'd like to be Jake Davidson's date after the 17-year-old Los Angeles senior posted a direct appeal on YouTube. But now, Upton tells "People" magazine her schedule may be too full to actually make the date.

I'm sure he would take a date on another night. It doesn't have to be prom night.

ROMANS: Customer complaints rolling in about yoga clothing maker Lululemon's return policy. They say they're forced to put on pants they want to return and bend over to prove the pants are too sheer.

SAMBOLIN: No! Good gracious!

ROMANS: This --

SAMBOLIN: Just put your hands through it.

ROMANS: Lululemon story has become lu-ludicrous.

The company recently announced a recall of pants that were somewhat see-through. Lululemon says it's not official policy but acknowledge some customers are being asked to prove the items are too sheer.

And a CEO actually in a call with analysts was asked, how do you find out, how do you know if you got a defective pants, she said the only way to know is to put on the pants and bend over.

SAMBOLIN: Just stretch -- no, no, no stretch it with your hands, then put it up against the light, if you can see through, that is the same thing. That is insane.

All right. Thirty-eight minutes past the hour.

A push to implement a pay what you weigh pricing system for obese airline passengers is being called way out of line this morning. A professor writing in "The European Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management" said there are fuel and other costs associated with transporting heavier passengers, so they should pay more. But one travel expert says people already pay for extra baggage and calls imposing a so-called fat tax "distasteful".

ROMANS: Hmm. All right. They're not even on the market yet but one state's already considering a ban on Google's glasses. You've seen a prototype there. We're going to tell you what the ban is all about. Details next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Soledad O'Brien joins us now with a look at what's ahead on STARTING POINT.

Good morning.

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

Ahead on STARTING POINT: the Supreme Court is going to hear arguments challenging the constitutionality of Prop 8, California's ban on same- sex marriage. Tomorrow, they take a look at the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, as we like to call it.

So, how could the court's decision affect the definition of marriage in this country?

We're going to talk this with CNN's senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin. Also, California's lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, will join us, as well.

Then, convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky issuing strong denials from prison about key testimony from his trial. Why is he talking now? We'll talk with the attorney for Sandusky victim number four. Jeffrey Fritz is the name of the attorney. We'll get his take on this latest word from Jerry Sandusky.

And then one of my favorite people in the whole world, Wendell Pierce, you know him from "The Wire", you know him from "Treme", now he is using his star power -- those are some shots from "Treme", of course -- using his power to open a supermarket chain to help give low income residents in New Orleans healthy options. They talk about a food desert --

SAMBOLIN: Desert, right.

O'BRIEN: -- where no one can get fresh food. He's not only an actor. He now is running a supermarket chain. We'll talk about that.

ROMANS: Cool.

SAMBOLIN: Wonderful.

O'BRIEN: Yes, he's fantastic.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you so much, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: You bet.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Forty-three minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date on this morning's top story. Italian Supreme Court justices ruling that American Amanda Knox should again stand trial for the death of her roommate. Prosecutors also say they are still convinced that Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are responsible for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher. Knox's attorney does not expect Knox to return to Italy but says that she's ready to fight.

ROMANS: Searchers from Philadelphia to Boston will be back on the trails today of a missing college student. Sunil Tripathi hasn't been seen since March 16th. He left his apartment in Providence, Rhode Island, without his wallet or cell phone. The FBI is helping in the search. Tripathi's family says he's been struggling with depression.

SAMBOLIN: Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Paris after making an unannounced visit to Afghanistan. Kerry is meeting with President Hamid Karzai followed weeks of verbal sparring between the U.S. and Afghanistan over control of Afghan prisoners, and accusations that the United States had been working with the Taliban. The U.S. has now turned over control of the prison at Bagram military base to the Afghans. And Kerry says President Karzai understands the United States is only interested in the Taliban if they are ready to come to the table to make peace.

ROMANS: Boeing clears a big hurdle. It says its 787 Dreamliner's first test flight with a new lithium-ion battery went according to plan. Boeing says it wants the Dreamliner back in service by May 1st, but one expert told Reuters it will probably be three to six months after that because the FAA will want to make sure these batteries work as promised. Regulators grounded all 50 Dreamliners in January after batteries overheated on two planes.

SAMBOLIN: The new Google glass internet headset isn't even on the market yet, but, already one state lawmaker is leading an effort to keep drivers from using the high-tech eye piece while they are behind the wheel. West Virginia state representative, Gary Howell, has introduced legislation that would expand existing laws against texting while driving to also prohibit using a wearable computer with a head mounted display.

Howell says that he fears drivers could be easily distracted by these kinds of gadgets. Of course, they could. Who would wear something like that while they're driving?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Apparently many people.

ROMANS (on-camera): People do really dumb things all the time. You probably stepped outside this week and asked yourself, where is spring? Jennifer Delgado, where is spring? I want the truth.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You want the truth. The truth is, it's buried underneath snow and cold air.

(LAUGHTER) DELGADO: And it's all because of the jet stream. But we're going to see a return, guys, by the weekend, just in time for Easter. Yes, I know Zoraida is excited. You know, a lot of people are getting ready for their Easter holiday outfits. Well, make sure it's kind of warm for you. But, I want to show you some of the temperatures. We're in the 30s this morning. You can see 30 degrees in Charlotte, 34 in Columbus.

For New York, 36 degrees and 32 degrees in Atlanta. Today, the morning starting off very cold, because we have all this cold air all the way down towards the south. In fact, we do have freeze warnings in place from Central Texas all the way over towards the Carolinas, and we're very likely to see this setting up for tomorrow as well as we see temperatures once again flirting with the lower 30s, as well as the upper 20s.

So, make sure you're protecting that vegetation. So, the answer to Christine's question, why are we so cold? It's the jet stream. It's been pulling all that cold air down towards the south. By the end of the week, it's going to start to retreat, and that means some of that warm air is going to be spreading over towards the east just in time for Sunday.

It's not going to be balmy, but, it's certainly going to be an improvement. Here's a look at some of your high temperatures for today. We have 40s and 50s, and 30s out there for Kansas City. Of course, still snow covered there. Dallas, 59 for you, and then, for New York, 48 for a high, and Atlanta, 49 degrees.

Now keep in mind, we are still tracking just a wee bit of snow out there moving through the Ohio Valley. We could see about an inch for areas like Eastern Kentucky, really right along the lower. So, we'll start to see those higher accumulations, but really, nothing to talk about after especially yesterday.

Across parts of the northeast, clouds around, just maybe a few sprinkles at times. But overall, ridge of high pressure building back in and that means some of that sunshine will return for areas that are still trying to dig out from the snow. So, I hopefully I answered your question. Hopefully, you still are happy and maybe one day, we'll please everybody.

SAMBOLIN: We're just going to hold you accountable --

DELGADO: I know you will.

SAMBOLIN: -- because it's hard to find those Easter eggs underneath the snow.

DELGADO: You beat up on Punxsutawney Phil and then now me.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, and on Jennifer. Thank you so much.

(LAUGHTER)

DELGADO: Bye. SAMBOLIN: Forty-eight minutes past the hour. Tiger Woods back in the number one spot and he's also sharpening his martial arts skills. Details next on the Bleacher Report.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Look who's back for the first time since October of 2010. Tiger Woods is on top of the golf world after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational. A lot has happened in the last three years.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, no doubt. Andy Scholes joins us now with more in the Bleacher Report. Good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Good morning, guys. After the rocky divorce, loss of sponsors, and injured knee, Tiger fell all the way down to 58th in the world rankings at one point, but 124 weeks later, he's back on top and he may be playing better than ever. Like his dominating performances in the past, Tiger was never really challenged in the final round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

He had the putter going all week as he cruised to a record eight win at Bay Hill. After the tournament, Tiger said he knew he would get his game back once he was fully healthy. That sure looks like it's the case now as he has won six of his last 20 starts on the PGA tour. Tiger's return to number one in the world comes just one week after announcing that he is dating skier, Lindsey Vonn.

And after yesterday's win, Vonn tweeted "number one." Tiger was asked if there was any correlation to his success and dating Vonn and he answered, "you're reading way too much into it."

The high-flying Florida Gulf Coast Eagles received a hero's welcome yesterday. They returned to Fort Myers. At some point, it seems like they're going to make a movie about this Florida Gulf Coast team. Their Cinderella story is awesome and so is the story of their head coach.

Not only is Andy Enfield a self-made millionaire and a good leader, but maybe his biggest achievement is how he met and married supermodel, Amanda Marcum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDY ENFIELD, FLORIDA GULF COAST HEAD COACH: From Oklahoma State from Oklahoma City and we went to Boston, I drove her and her friend from New York City to Boston to go to the Oklahoma State first and second round. And, when I picked her up in the car, I didn't know at the time, but I knew as soon as she got in my car, it would be a great trip to Boston.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: No Dwyane Wade, no problem once again for the Heat as they cruise past the Magic last night for the 27th straight win. The Heat and their streak now head to Chicago for a match-up with the Bulls on Wednesday. Miami now just six wins away from tying the 71-72 Lakers for the longest winning streak in NBA history.

Well, Tiger's golf game is back and it looks like he's added martial arts to his bag of tricks. In his latest ad for his souvenir (ph) game, Tiger and Arnold Palmer showing off more than just their golf skills. To see the entire commercial, head over to BleacherReport.com.

The masters still a little over two weeks away, guys, but I bet you can guess the overall favorite to win it.

SAMBOLIN: No kidding when you're number one. All right. Andy Scholes, thank you very much.

ROMANS: All right, in defense of the groundhog, who's taking the blame now for the awful weather lately and saying hey, don't blame Punxsutawney Phil? Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: All right. To the prosecutor in Ohio who wants Punxsutawney Phil indicted for botching the winter forecast might actually be backing down. The groundhog's handler says he's the one who should be thrown under the bus, not poor Phil. You know the man that we're talking about, the one with that big hat and those really thick gloves.

ROMANS: Yes. Now, he's saying Phil actually did predict six more weeks of winter but he, the handler, he misinterpreted Phil's message. He didn't get the signal straight from the groundhog. And the prosecutor is now thinking maybe he'll issue some (INAUDIBLE).

All right. That's EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "Starting Point" with Soledad O'Brien starts right now.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome, everybody. Our "Starting Point" this morning, breaking news, a stunner in Italian court. A retrial has been ordered for Amanda Knox for the murder of her British roommate. This morning, we're hearing from Amanda Knox, talking to her attorneys, live in Rome.

The other big story we're following for you this morning, thousands of people gathering outside the Supreme Court as justices will take up the issue of same-sex marriage. That starts in just a couple of hours. CNN's legal expert, Jeff Toobin, will tell us what we should be watching for.

And then, he's back. Tiger Woods says there's only one reason why he's number one in the golf world after a 29-month slump.

ROMANS: A developing story. North Korea saying it's going into combat-ready position, ready to attack the U.S. and american interests. We're live just outside North Korea with details.

Plus, how much money were you making when you were 17? Meet this British kid. His app just earned him $30 million and a job at Yahoo! Oh, yes, and he hasn't graduated from high school yet.

O'BRIEN: It's Tuesday March 26th, and "Starting Point" begins right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

O'BRIEN: Welcome, everybody. We start with breaking news from overseas this morning. Italy's Supreme Court is ruling that American Amanda Knox must once again stand trial for the death of her former roommate. The decision came down about two hours ago.