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Petraeus Apologizes; Defining Moment For Marriage And Families; North Korea Cutting Key Hotline; Aftershocks Rattle Taiwan; Standoff Ends Peacefully; North Dakota Enacts Anti-Abortion Law; Shooter Dispute; Pierson Named Secret Service Director; Dow Closes At Record 14,559; Will Amanda Knox Be Extradited? U.S. Healing, Europe; Hurting; Petraeus Apology; Defense of Marriage Act on Trial

Aired March 27, 2013 - 06:00   ET



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.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 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.

PETRAEUS: I join you, keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now than I was a year ago. I'm also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing.

WIAN: His undoing was an affair with Paula Broadwell, the woman who co-authored his biography, both were married. It came as a shock to many when an FBI investigation into an unrelated matter uncovered his relationship with Broadwell.

He resigned as CIA director flee days after President Obama was re- elected and ten days before he testified about the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi. Now Petraeus has re-entered the public stage and is reported to be talking to potential employers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General Petraeus is just an enormously, gifted, talented guy. He had a great career. He can have a great career going forward. He's got to navigate through this the right way. It looks like he's starting in the right direction.

PETRAEUS: I know that I can never fully assuage the pain that I inflicted on those closest to me and on a number of others. I can, however, try to move forward and as best possible to make amends to those I have hurt.

WIAN: Chief among them, his wife, Holly, who did not attend Petraeus' speech.

(END VIDEOTAPE) WIAN: The event was hosted by USC, a university that has a long- standing tradition of close ties with the military, yet is comfortably located all the way across the country from the hot spots, Washington, D.C., the Pentagon, and the CIA. I should also point out, Zoraida, that reporters were kept far away from the general, not allowed to ask him questions.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Casey Wian live for us in Los Angeles. Appreciate it. Coming up on "STARTING POINT" at 7:00 Eastern, CNN military analyst, General James "Spider" Marks will give his take on Petraeus' public apology and also his future plan.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, day two, round two of potential game changers for same-sex marriage. In a few hours, the historic legal battle between tradition and equality shift for California's prop 8 to the defense of marriage act, DOMA. DOMA denies same-sex couples access to federal benefits under its definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Shannon Travis is outside the Supreme Court for us. Shannon, how are the justices leaning on same-sex marriage after hearing those arguments yesterday? Can we glean any kind of information from what they've said?

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've been trying to read the tea leaves to see exactly how they might be leaning, Christine. I mean, the conservative justices pretty much asked a lot of questions, and imposed a lot of pointed arguments in line with their conservative line of thinking.

The liberal justices get a little bit of the same. But Justice Kennedy, you know, that he is often a swing vote on a number of issues before the court. He seemed genuinely conflicted about whether or not to support same-sex marriage or to strike it down.

Take a listen at this one piece of sound that he was talking about entering into uncharted territory when it comes to actually standing in favor of same-sex marriage.


ANTHONY KENNEDY, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: The problem with the case is that you're really asking, particularly because of the sociological evidence, for us to go into uncharted waters. And you're doing so in a case where there is a -- a substantial question on -- on -- on standing. I just wonder if the case was properly granted.


TRAVIS: And, again, this is what everybody's watching Justice Kennedy because he could be the deciding factor. Should the justices align under normal kind of polar opposites of the conservative versus the liberals -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right, today the court looks at DOMA. That's, you know, what are the arguments for and against DOMA focus on? How will that be a little bit different than the Prop 8 argument?

TRAVIS: Yes, I mean, this really centers on the one central question of whether or not the federal government can deny federal benefits to same-sex couples. We're talking about things like tax benefits and Social Security and pension benefits.

Also there's a question of whether or not same-sex couples that are married in states that allow it, whether their marriages could be recognized nationally, Christine. We've got some new CNN/ORC polling on that very matter, on that same question.

Should the federal government recognize same-sex marriages performed in states that allow it, 56 percent of the people in our survey say yes and 43 percent say no. Just goes to show you how the majority of Americans are backing, beginning to back this notion of same-sex marriage.

ROMANS: All right, Shannon Travis. Thanks, Shannon, in front of the Supreme Court. In the 7:00 a.m. hour of "STARTING POINT," senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin breaks down yesterday's arguments and looks ahead to what we can expect today.

SAMBOLIN: New this morning, North Korea claiming it has cut off an important military hotline to the south. The hotline is key because it allows South Koreans to cross the border to work at a jointly run industrial complex in the north. Tensions are already high as you know on the Korean Peninsula and this shows yet another breakdown of what's left of inter-Korean cooperation.

Also new this morning, buildings shaking in Taipei, aftershocks jolting Central Taiwan after a powerful 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook the island. This was earlier this morning. Take a look at that there.

People are recording it as it's happening. This is what it looked like, what it felt like from inside the television station. Taiwan is said to be largely unscathed. There are no reports of any major damage. "The Wall Street Journal" reporting at least eight people injured, most of them by falling objects.

ROMANS: A peaceful end to a dangerous standoff with a gunman in Washington State. It began Tuesday afternoon when the suspect began shooting at homes in the five-point neighborhood near Tacoma. The 67- year-old Mike McPhee surrendered hours after strolling through the neighborhood firing randomly. Police say he also pointed his gun at people but did not shoot them. No one was injured.

SAMBOLIN: And North Dakota has enacted one of the nation's toughest anti-abortion laws. Governor Jack Dalrymple signing the measure yesterday admitting it is a direct challenge to Roe V. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision making abortion legal. The governor even asking North Dakota's legislature to set aside money for expected legal battles. The law bans most abortions after six weeks. About the time experts say a fetal heartbeat can first be detected.

ROMANS: A CNN exclusive, a Navy SEAL who was part of the team that killed Osama Bin Laden, that SEAL is disputing another account of the raid that appeared recently in "Esquire" magazine. The SEAL in the "Esquire" article known only as the shooter claims to have fired three shots at the terrorist after a pointman intercepted two women in the hallway.

But now, another member of the SEAL Team Six tells CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen, a completely different SEAL team member fired the fatal shot.


PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: The account was inaccurate. The shooter that described in that article who killed Bin Laden it was, in fact, the point man who fired the first shot at bin laden and hit him in the head.


ROMAN: "Esquire" magazine sent CNN a statement saying its story is well sourced. "Esquire" stands by it.

SAMBOLIN: The Secret Service has a new director. It is Julia Pierson, the first female to ever head up the agency. A headline in the "USA Today" reads Secret Service pick breaks up boy's club. So she's been chief of staff there since 2008. Pierson inherits $1.7 billion, 7,000 employees and a department tarnished by scandal with agents allegedly patronizing prostitutes in Colombia ahead of a visit by the president last year.

ROMANS: Records falling away on Wall Street. Stocks surging again yesterday, the Dow up 111 points to close at a record 14,559. All eyes on the S&P 500 this morning. The index closing yesterday at 1,563 that's just two points shy from an all-time high. Market futures pointing lower this morning for all major averages suggesting a possible sell-off at the opening bell.

SAMBOLIN: It's 8 minutes past the hour. New this morning, a bus driver in China is being called a hero for somehow stopping his bus after a light pole came smashing through his windshield. Look at this.

This is incredible surveillance video. It will make you want to duck. That is exactly what the driver did with only a split second to spare. He suffered a ruptured spleen, but managed to bring the bus to a stop, unbuckle his seat belt and escape. There were 26 passengers on board. Despite his injury the driver helped each and every one of them off the bus. No one else was hurt.

ROMANS: Wow. Amanda Knox finds her future hanging in the balance this morning. Italy may want her extradited to stand trial again for murder. Could that really happen?

SAMBOLIN: Plus the alleged plot to smuggle prison contraband to Charles Manson.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. It is 11 minutes past the hour. The big question facing Amanda Knox this morning is whether she will be extradited to Italy to stand trial for murder yet again.

Her conviction in the death of her college roommate in Perugia, Italy, in 2007, was overturned by an appeals court in 2011. Yesterday, Italy's Supreme Court ruled Knox should be tried a second time now.

Foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty is at the State Department for us this morning. Good morning to you, Jill. So what do you think the chances are that Amanda Knox will be extradited?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this case doesn't get any easier, does it, Zoraida? It's complicated. And experts really disagree because so much of this right now hinges on this extradition treaty between the United States and Italy from 1984. And, as is most things legally have to check the fine print.


DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Amanda Knox has been back in Seattle for a year and a half.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give them some time.

DOUGHERTY: Trying to live a normal life. So does Tuesday's decision mean she has to return to Italy?

DAVID LAUFMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: The question of whether she would have to go back to Italy for a trial will come down to how the extradition treaty between the United States and Italy is construed.

DOUGHERTY: Former Federal Prosecutor David Laufman says if Amanda Knox had been convicted and acquitted in the United States, she'd be protected by double jeopardy, which prevents a defendant from being tried for the same crime twice. But it happened in Italy, which has a more flexible legal system. So Italy could, he says, ask the U.S. to extradite her.

LAUFMAN: Now, that doesn't mean the United States is necessarily going to extradite her. There will likely ensue a fevered dialogue between, you know, justice ministry officials in Italy, and the Department of State lawyers, maybe Department of Justice lawyers, possibly even the head office of formal extradition request.

DOUGHERTY: In other words a diplomatic and ultimately political solution. But Amanda Knox's attorney is hoping any new trial would end up with the same verdict, acquittal.

THEODORE SIMON, ATTORNEY FOR AMANDA KNOX: There's no reason to believe that any further review will result any differently. Keep in mind, there was no physical evidence against her, and anything that was reviewed was considered unreliable, inaccurate, and insubstantial.

(END VIDEOTAPE) DOUGHERTY: And here's another question. Could she be tried in absentia? In other words, if she were not physically in Italy or in that courtroom and there is precedence, because there were CIA officers who kidnapped a terror suspect, and they were convicted in Italy in absentia. They are in the United States. They're free. But if they go back to Europe, they do risk being arrested -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: And meantime, there's, you know, huge legal expense, and then all the opening of the wounds again for these families. Jill Dougherty live at the State Department for us. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, it's about 15 minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date. David Petraeus back in the public eye, 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 the family and friends and supporters. His wife, Holly Petraeus was not in attendance.

SAMBOLIN: The historic legal battle between tradition and equality shifts focus from Proposition 8 to the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA as it's 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: A California man who is a follower of Charles Manson is accused of trying to smuggle a cell phone to the convicted murderer. Craig Hammond was arrested on Sunday. Officials say he tried to bring a wristwatch cell phone into the prison where Manson is serving a life sentence for a series of murders in 1969. Hammond has been released on bail.

SAMBOLIN: Canadian police are on the hunt for at least three suspected scammers who are trying to sell fake gold rings and necklaces they say belonged to Osama bin Laden. They claim the jewelry was smuggled into the country from Iraq. A 50-year-old man, unfortunately, has already fallen victim to the group. He paid $760 for three gold necklaces and four gold rings. That, of course, turned out to be bogus.

So, it's a draw. Last night's World Cup qualifier between the U.S. and Mexico ending in a nil-nil tie. This is a big disappointment for Mexico. They traditionally dominate the U.S. team at the Azteca Center. The Mexican team has many more opportunities to score, taking 10 shots compared to just one for the U.S. team.

The World Cup will be held next year in Brazil.

ROMANS: What may have been conceived as a bold ad campaign has turned into a career killing move. New developments in the story behind these offensive drawings, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SAMBOLIN: Oh, that is gorgeous. Take a minute to come over to your TV set. Good morning to you, New York City. That is the George Washington Bridge all lit up.

Temperature not so great this morning. At least earlier, it was 38 degrees. But we are headed to 50 degrees and some sun for you as well. Eventually, it will get up to 70 degrees.

We are minding your business this morning.

ROMANS: Not today.

SAMBOLIN: Not today, that's right. The S&P 500 is just two points away from hitting record highs.

ROMANS: You know, futures have just turned lower after markets in Europe opened lower so the record may have to wait. But we'll closely watch.

New this morning, story many of you were talking about yesterday, and say some employees at Ford's ad agency in India have been fired following those offensive drawings that hit the web this week.

You may remember the images. One depicts former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi driving a Ford Figo with three women tied up in the back.

Another image depicts Paris Hilton driving what's meant to be the three Kardashian sisters tied up in the back.

The ad agency says the drawings were not ordered by Ford, and that they should never have been created or distributed.

And this morning, we're learning that people have lost their jobs over that.

SAMBOLIN: I was a little confused by that. How did they actually end up out there?

ROMANS: Some sort of internal exercise, not sanctioned by Ford, but it was drawings of a ford car. Very offensive, many said. And those people who did that we're now told are gone.

Now, if you took a flight last year, you took a flight last year, chances are your plane was packed, right? A trade group Airlines for America says that nation's biggest carriers posted an average occupancy rate of 82.8 percent in 2012. That's a technical term for packed, because it's the highest since 1945.

Airlines are being forced to operate more efficiently because of fuel prices and labor costs that are rising. That caused a number of flights to drop while the number of passengers increased. So, airlines are flying smaller, more fuel efficient planes and they're packing them to the gills so they can make more money.

SAMBOLIN: And there's less room for carry-on bags. So be careful with that.

So, what is the one thing that we need to know about our money?

ROMANS: The one thing -- the U.S. economy is feeling, we've got signs of it every day. But Europe is still hurting. That will be the conflict for investors going forward. It's a big week for U.S. economic data.

So far in the U.S., mostly positive, solid gains in home prices. A large jump in sales of big manufactured items.

But Europe is in a deepening recession. The bailout in Cyprus this week reminded investors of the major problems, Zoraida, that continue.

So, as we look at all of these highs, remember that we've got some trouble here.

SAMBOLIN: I want to end on a positive note, so tell me about those home prices again.

ROMANS: Home prices up 8.1 percent, as the biggest jump year over year in home prices in this country since 2006, December of 2006. We're not back to those peak levels by any stretch of the imagination. But you are seeing gains again in home prices. That's helpful.

SAMBOLIN: And some people say we never will be, right? We'll never be back to those prices again.

ROMANS: Well, we shall see.

SAMBOLIN: I hope so. Hope remains eternal here.

Twenty-three minutes past the hour.

The rescuer actually becomes the rescued after dramatic highway crash -- this was all caught on camera. It is a story of incredible survival. And we're going to bring that to you, ahead.

ROMANS: Plus, a hiker saved from certain death by this dog.

SAMBOLIN: Moli (ph).

And if you're leaving the house right now, that's a name of the dog, you can watch us any time on your desk top or mobile phone. Just go to


SAMBOLIN: New this morning: David Petraeus in his own words. For the first time, the former CIA boss talks publicly about the sex scandal that brought him down.

ROMANS: Mystery on the high seas. The search for clues after a woman turns up dead on a cruise ship.

SAMBOLIN: A supreme showdown. Now just hours away, justices set to hear new arguments that could lead to a landmark ruling on same-sex marriage in America.

Welcome back to EARLY START. We're glad you're with us. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It's Wednesday morning, 28 minutes past the hour.

Let's get started. New this morning, David Petraeus back in the public spotlight and apologizing for all the pain he caused. The disgraced former director of the CIA saying he's sorry for the affair that forced him to step down in a speech last night at the University of California. Petraeus saying he hopes to move forward after, quote, "slipping my moorings".


DAVID PETRAEUS, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: 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.


ROMANS: The retired general has reportedly hired an agent and is shopping a book proposal.

SAMBOLIN: In a few hours the Supreme Court takes on DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, hearing arguments for and against its repeal. DOMA denies same-sex couples access to federal benefits under its definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

But a new CNN/ORC poll shows a majority of Americans, actually 56 percent, believe the federal government should recognize same-sex marriages from states where it is legal.

Shannon Travis is right outside the Supreme Court for us this morning.

Shannon, some arguments yesterday seemed to foreshadow today's arguments. How are the justices leaning on this issue? I might add that the "The New York Times" says justices may be wrong for ruling on gay marriage.

TRAVIS: Yes, it is, kind of guess from yesterday's argument exactly where they'll go, Zoraida. We'll probably all be wrong trying to decide that.

I mean, again, the conservative justices tend to skewer, point that line of thinking, pointing the questions, the liberal justices, the same exact way, Anthony Kennedy, Justice Kennedy seemed to be a little bit more in the middle. He seemed to be genuinely conflicted. He's typically a swing vote.

But take a listen at Chief Justice John Roberts. He asked a question about this whole notion of redefining labels on what it means to be married.