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DOMA On Trial; Call Him "Pay-Dro"

Aired March 27, 2013 - 05:30   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: DOMA denies same-sex couples access to federal benefits under a definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but a new CNN/ORC poll shows a majority of Americans, 56 percent believe the federal government should recognize same-sex marriages from states where it is legal.

Shannon Travis is outside the Supreme Court for us this morning. So, Shannon, tell us a little bit about what happened yesterday in the courtroom and how the justices are leaning on this issue?

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. I mean, there were substantive arguments obviously pro and against this issue of same-sex marriage, Zoraida, but if we're listening for any clues for how they might decide, keep listening. Hopefully, to day two, we might get those. The justices seemed pretty much conflicted.

You saw the typical split conservatives asking more conservative questions and liberals sticking with that point of view. But just to give you an example, take a listen at Justice Scalia, one of the more reliable conservatives, ask a pointed question about this issue of when did same-sex marriage become actually constitutional?


VOICE OF ANTONIN SCALIA, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: The California Supreme Court decides what the law is. That's what we decide, right? We don't prescribe law for the future. We decide what the law is. I'm curious, when did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage?


TRAVIS: Now, obviously, that was a rhetorical question to the lawyer arguing for same-sex marriage. On the other side, there's this issue of whether or not, if you allow same-sex marriage, whether it will prevent or harm procreation, man and woman being able to have children. Take a listen at Elena Kagan, Justice Kagan, make a pointed question about that point.


VOICE OF ELENA KAGAN, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: Because we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we're not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55. Would that be constitutional?

VOICE OF CHARLES COOPER, ATTORNEY FOR PROP 8 SUPPORTERS: No, your honor, it would not be constitutional.


TRAVIS: So, Zoraida, as we've said, we've heard these different points of view, these different lines of questions, which makes it really hard for us to guess exactly where the court will go.

SAMBOLIN: A really interesting to read it as well and listen to it, and a little bit of humor, I think, as well, happened yesterday in the court.

TRAVIS: Absolutely.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, today the court looks at DOMA. At issue here is whether House Republicans have standing or legal authority to make the case. How might this affect any DOMA ruling?

TRAVIS: Yes. Let's just explain what that actually means, right? So, the Obama administration is not defending DOMA. They basically abandoned it. So, the House Republicans picked up the baton. So, the Supreme Court will have to decide whether the House Republicans even have the legal authority to even decide this.

So, that's one of the questions. That could actually impact whether this case goes forward, the DOMA case goes forward, or is actually thrown out -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. It's really nice to have you, Shannon, in the morning. We appreciate it.

TRAVIS: Yes. I have tears coming out. It's so cold.


SAMBOLIN: Sorry about that. We can't control the weather for you. We'd like to.

TRAVIS: No worries.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. A developing story this morning. The FBI investigating what it calls the suspicious death of a 64-year-old passenger aboard a royal Caribbean cruise ship. The Virginia woman was found dead by her husband in their cabin on Sunday. The ship, Enchantment of the Seas, returned to Baltimore on Monday following a seven-day cruise to Florida and the Bahamas. No word on why investigators called the death suspicious.

SAMBOLIN: And new developments this morning in the murder of a 13- month-old Georgia boy. The mother and aunt of one of the teens charged in the case have been arrested, accused of making false statement to writing (ph). This is according to an official complaint. The women have been released on bond.

Two teenage boys are accused of shooting the baby to death last week. The child's mother saying they tried to rob her before firing at her baby and shooting her in the leg.

ROMANS: A court appearance this morning for the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Etan Patz. The six-year-old child disappeared on his way to school in New York City in 1979, but it was only last year that 51-year-old Pedro Hernandez was arrested and charged in this case. He worked in a store in neighborhood (ph) at the time the child vanished.

SAMBOLIN: And new this morning, a fire captain from Dayton, Ohio, in serious condition after attempting to rescue a driver from an overturned vehicle on an icy road. Look what happens when another car comes crashing into them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get to the side!


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Oh, my goodness.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Captain Barry Kron (ph) was thrown 25 feet through the air, but fellow firefighters were able to carry him to safety and get him to an area hospital as well. We are told the 20- year veteran firefighter's injuries are not life-threatening. Can you believe that? After looking at that, Captain Kron (ph) was trying to help one of the drivers involved in a 12-car pileup on U.S. 35 that took cruise several hours to clear.

ROMANS: Reports of another possible sinkhole in the same Florida neighborhood where one man was swallowed and killed in his own bedroom. Two families who live in these two blocks in Seffner, Florida evacuated yesterday after they discovered cracks in the floors and walls. Fire rescue and co-enforcement officials came out to check the home. It's still not clear if the problems are being caused by a sinkhole under the house.

SAMBOLIN: Wow. That is very scary. And firefighters in Riverside, California say a very alert dog named Moley (ph) is a hero for leading his master to a hiker who was trapped in some rocks on a mountain for several days. The victim had no food or water. Listen to Ramon Llamas, Moley's owner, explain what happened yesterday.


RAMON LLAMAS, DOG OWNER: He pulled me over, pulled me and crying. And I said, what's going on, boy? So, it was dark, still dark. I see these strange eyes. I thought it was an animal. And I talk to the person, and he didn't talk to me. He was too weak.


SAMBOLIN: Llamas gave the victim water and called for help. A rescue team pulled him out of the rocks, took him to an area hospital, where he is being monitored this morning. Hip, hip hooray for Moley, huh?

ROMANS: Remarkable.

While you were sleeping, big changes were taking place on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. That's coming up.

SAMBOLIN: Plus, imagine being suddenly rich --


SAMBOLIN: -- like uber rich, like unbelievably rich. Coming up, CNN up close with America's newest multimillionaire gazillionaire.


ROMANS: A new era begins this morning on San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Bridge. Every toll on the span is now electronic. Drivers handed over flowers as well as cash to toll takers on their last day of work yesterday. Officials say the move will save $2 million a year by eliminating 28 toll taker jobs.

But some drivers are worried traffic will stop moving as confused motorists hesitate while driving through the tolls.

A sad new chapter for singer, Dionne Warwick. Despite selling millions of records over 50-year career, the 72-year-old performer had to file for bankruptcy in New Jersey last week. She blames her financial troubles on bad management in the 1980s and 1990s that left her owing $10 million in tax penalties to the IRS and to the state of California.

An unusual guest at a five-star resort in Southern California. Aha. A rescue crew from Sea World was called to the hotel after this malnourished and dehydrated California sea lion decided need a little rest and relaxation. The human guests didn't seem to mind too much. The pup is now resting comfortably at Sea World this morning -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Imagine running into that, right?


SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you.

So, it is official. A day after he ran around his New Jersey neighborhood, telling everyone who would listen to him that he won a huge Powerball jackpot, lottery officials confirmed what Pedro Quezada already knew. He is a very rich man. CNN's Jason Carroll has his story.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pedro Quezada beamed like a champion as he held a huge check high in the air, feeling joy, as he put it, over becoming Powerball's latest multimillionaire. He and his wife, Ynez, showed up for the winners news conference.

When asked how many family members he has, he joked, "they're growing, they're growing. Every day I have one more." Quezada owns a bodega, a combination deli/mini market in heavily Hispanic community of Passaic, New Jersey. He says it's a tough way to make a living, long hours and the constant threat of robbery.

Quezada came to the United States 26 years ago from the Dominican Republic from what he called a poor and humble family. How did he find out he won? He heard about the liquor store that sold the winning ticket, the same place where he had bought his ticket. He dropped by, saw the commotion, reporters and camera crews, and went in.

He says, "When I handed him the ticket, the man said to me, congratulations. And that's when everyone started shouting."

(on-camera) Most people who play Powerball dream about whether or not they'll take the lump sum payment or the annual payout. Quezada took the lump sum, $211 million. After taxes, that translates to about $151 million.

(voice-over) In Passaic, neighbors see themselves in Quezada, someone who has known hard times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a modest, humble man. He's not going to go buy himself yachts and stuff like that. I'm sure he's going to take care of his family first.

CARROLL: Quezada has five children and says he wants to help his family and others. As for work, he's retiring. His son was working at the bodega but not anymore. He says, "Would you, with all those millions, let your son work at a deli like that? Maybe not."

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: So, my advice to Pedro, we've seen so many of these big, big wins. You know, give everyone in your family something right away, and then set up a fund.

SAMBOLIN: You actually said 10 percent. Is there a reason why you --

ROMANS: Well, because 10 percent, usually, you know, the rule is 70- 10-10-10. You live on 70 percent of your money, you give away 10 percent, you invest 10 percent, you put 10 percent in savings, right? He should probably give something away as a nice gift, but then, set up a trust and not get to that money.

The mistake lottery winners make is they think about they're going to spend their millions. You need to grow your millions and spend what you're making from it, and then it lasts for generations. It doesn't just last your lifetime.

SAMBOLIN: I thought setting up a trust was a really good idea. He's from the Dominican Republic. He has a lot of family. And so, a lot of people to take care of.

ROMANS: Yes. I mean, --

SAMBOLIN: But $151 million, Christine, goes a long way.

ROMANS: Great for him. I know. You can buy a company. So, you can buy companies and invest for the future. It's amazing. Amazing.

All right. Window shoppers, beware. Coming up, the store where just looking will cost you.

SAMBOLIN: And if you're leaving the house right now, you can watch us anytime on your desktop or your mobile phone, just go to


ROMANS: Forty-seven minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date this morning.


ROMANS (voice-over): David Petraeus publicly apologizing for the extramarital affair that ended his career as director of the CIA. The retired four-star general told an audience in Los Angeles last night that he regrets the pain he caused his family, friends, and supporters. His wife, Holly, was not in attendance there.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): The historic legal battle between tradition and equality shifts focus today from Proposition 8 to the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA as it is known. In a few hours, the Supreme Court will hear arguments for and against DOMA's repeal. DOMA denies same-sex couples access to federal benefits under its definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

ROMANS: Texas investigators say have found bomb making materials in the car that belong to Evan Ebel (ph). He's the suspect in the shooting death of a Colorado prison official. Ebel died in a shootout with sheriff deputies in Texas last week. One of the deputies who approached Ebel's vehicle was grazed by a bullet to the head. He talked about his encounter with the suspected killer.


DEPUTY JAMES BOYD, MONTAGUE COUNTY, TEXAS: At that point in time, I remember seeing the gun shooting off a number amount of times, and I could see the cartridge just fly out at which point I blacked out. I had no clue whether I was standing, sitting, laying, whatever.


ROMANS: Wow. Texas officials also say they found handwritten directions to the home of Tom Clements, the Colorado prison chief who was killed.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SAMBOLIN (on-camera): And the school voucher program in the state of Indiana has been upheld unanimously by that state Supreme Court. Supporters of the program maintained that it gives Indiana families no matter what their income more options to educate their children, but opponents called the voucher program unconstitutional, claiming it takes money away from public schools.

ROMANS (on-camera): Lebron James and the Miami Heat continuing their historic run tonight in Chicago. They'll be going for their 28th straight win, and they're going to try to do it against the Bulls. If they get it, they'll be just five victories short of an all-time record of 33 wins in a row set by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1971.

It's been 53 days since the Heat last lost. They've got to go through the Bulls. They've also got the Knicks on the agenda. I mean, I was looking yesterday at the --

SAMBOLIN: Quite a roster that they have to beat. That's right. I'm a little worried. I think they may beat our Bulls tonight.

All right. Just looking. That will cost you at one Australian retail shop. The specialty grocery store, Celiac Supplies (ph), in Brisbane implementing a new policy, charging customers five bucks just for looking. If you don't want to pay the fee or buy something, you're invited to get out. The owners say they have to do it because so many people use the store for pricing references before purchasing goods elsewhere.

ROMANS: Oh, I don't know --

SAMBOLIN: That fishy. Fishy.

ROMANS: Lingering snow and below average temperatures still hanging around much of the country. So, what will your day look like? And will spring weather finally arrive in time for the holiday weekend? Jennifer Delgado --


ROMANS: No matter what you tell us, we still love you.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Thank you. I'm glad you love me more than Punxsutawney Phil --


DELGADO: But, let's talk about temperatures out there. Guys, it is cold outside. We have a lot of 30s, we have some 20s out there. And for areas including the northeast down towards the south, we are talking very chilly conditions. Look at that, 30 degrees right now in Atlanta, 38 in New York City, and we have freeze warnings. Once again, we said this yesterday. Very likely the setup. And we're seeing them now.

From Arkansas spreading over towards Georgia, South Carolina, and we're also talking into Florida. You can see Central Florida, even including Glades County. What this means is we're going to see those temperatures flirting with the lower 30s as well as into the upper 20s. And we're not worried about the Florida citrus crop because it usually takes a couple of more hours before we start to see more damage setting up there.

But on a lighter view, high temperatures are starting to warm up. You see that yellow out towards the southwest. That's going to start to build in. It's going to share that warmth, and it's going to eventually spread over towards the east, and we'll start to see temperatures rebounding even as we go into the holiday weekend.

Here's your forecast for today. Just some very light snow flurries for areas all the way up to the north, including Maine as well as right along the southern parts. Otherwise, high pressure is in control. New York City, you are going to see some sprinkles around, we'll tell you up until about noon, one o'clock, and then partly sunny skies.

Here's a look at your high temperatures. As we go through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, notice you get back to seasonal conditions. Much warmer down towards the south. But speaking of the south, let me show you something kind of creepy caught off the Florida Keys. This is a bull shark, and that's the bull shark's baby.

Well, it sort of had twins. That's a double headed fetus that you're looking at. It's pretty rare. They've only seen about six of those. And if you're wondering whether or not -- how the fisherman got this, of course, got the fish, the bull shark, but they said that the fetus would not have survived.

I guess, they would have had some trouble swimming around with double heads. Isn't that kind of gross?

SAMBOLIN: That kind of makes sense, right, that they would have trouble swimming around. I saw that yesterday and I wondered how common are these things? And we just never know, right?

DELGADO: Apparently six of them.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. All right. Thank you very much.

DELGADO: You're welcome.

ROMANS: Thanks, Jennifer.

SAMBOLIN: And a new Nike ad featuring Tiger Woods. Take a look. Is it too much too soon? Back after the break.


ROMANS: Trending this morning, a whole lot of red, white, and equal showing up on Facebook profiles. Here's why. Users who support same- sex marriage have been replacing their profile pictures to this equal sign in red, symbolizing marriage equality. The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments, of course, this week over same-sex marriage in two cases. Proposition 8, that's California's ban on same-sex marriage, and the legality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

SAMBOLIN: And a new Nike ad for Tiger Woods is triggering a social media backlash. Take a look for yourself. You decide. The online ad shows a picture of the number one golfer in the world, because he is number one again, with a quote from him that says, "Winning takes care of everything."

It's supposed to celebrate Tiger's return to form and the top of the golf world after a very public fall from grace, but critics are slamming it. They're calling it inappropriate in light of Woods' past marital problems.

ROMANS: Looks like Prince William could be out of a job. The British government announcing Tuesday its search and rescue helicopter service, which employs the duke of Cambridge, is being taken over by an American company, Bristow Helicopters. And it's unclear whether Bristow plans to keep the same crew employees. The deal will end 70 years of service run by the royal air force and royal navy squadron.

To check out other top CNN Trends, head to

SAMBOLIN: And now, a lighter look at the president's Passover dinner, the Amanda Knox's trial, and New Jersey Powerball.

ROMANS: Time now for some later night laugh.


CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": Interesting story. Last night, President Obama celebrated Passover by hosting a Seder (ph) at the White House. Isn't that nice? Yes.


O'BRIEN: That's cool. There was an awkward moment when Sasha asked, hey, I thought we were Muslim.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": You know who I'm talking about when I say Amanda Knox?



LETTERMAN: Well, these Italians, they said we're going to overturn the acquittal, and she's going to have to stand trial for murder again. Oh, my God, what a nightmare. It's like this will never end. But here are the conditions of the retrial. She was not arrested, does not have to leave her house, and does not have to go to the trial. Ooh, that sounds serious.

(LAUGHTER) LETTERMAN: They're not kidding around.


JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": A 44-year-old New Jersey man has won the $338 million Powerball jackpot. He said on the news today he will use the money to fulfill his long life dream or his lifelong dream, rather, which is to get the hell out of New Jersey. That's what he said.


LENO: Just get the hell out of New Jersey.


ROMANS: Hey, that's not nice. EARLY START continues right now.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): New this morning, David Petraeus breaking his silence. The former CIA chief's first public words since the sex scandal that cost him his job.

ROMANS (voice-over): History in the making at the highest court in the land. Justices now just hours away from hearing a case that could redefine marriage in America.

SAMBOLIN: And new this morning, and shaken and scared. The first moments of a deadly earthquake. It was all caught on camera.

ROMANS: Dramatic new video this morning. Take a look. A camera captures a bus driver's close brush with death. Almost hard to watch.


ROMANS (on-camera): Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans. John Berman is off today.

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Fast reflexes that guy has. I'm Zoraida Sambolin, Wednesday, March 27th, 6:00 a.m. in the east. So, let's get started here.

We begin with an apology from former CIA director, David Petraeus. New this morning, the retired four-star general making a return to public life five months after resigning in disgrace over an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Casey Wian is live for us in Los Angeles.

And Casey, Petraeus has been laying really low since November. What is his strategy here behind last night's public appearance and very public apology?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's clear, Zoraida, that that apology is an effort or the beginnings of an effort to try to rehabilitate General Petraeus' public image. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WIAN (voice-over): Retired General David Petraeus picked a receptive audience to launch his comeback from the sex scandal that cost him his job at the CIA and his reputation with the military.

DAVID PETRAEUS, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: So, please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret and apologize for the circumstances that led to my resignation from the CIA and caused such pain for my family, friends, and supporters.

WIAN: Supporters once were abundant. Petraeus was a four-star general who commanded American forces during the surge in Iraq. He also wrote the field manual for how U.S. troops fight insurgents.