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Tensions Rising in The Koreas; Clerical Error Allows Prisoner to Go Free; Jodi Arias Juror Accused of Misconduct; Ban on Tans: NJ Restricts Tanning Beds to Over 18; Kevin Ware in Recovery; One-on-One with David Beckham

Aired April 2, 2013 - 05:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, North Korea playing nuclear chicken, their plan to ramp up production of bomb fuel.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: No comfort for the families of murder suspect Evan Ebel. They've learned a clerical error set him free when he should have been behind bars.

BERMAN: Mark Sanford's big chance. Can the disgraced former South Carolina governor get back on the comeback trail? Well, the political victory today. Interesting.

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

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans, in for Zoraida today. It's Tuesday, April 2nd, it is half past the hour. Let's get you up to speed.

New and potentially dangerous developments this morning from the Korean Peninsula. The north announcing plans to restart a shuttered nuclear power plant as the U.S. moves a navy destroyer close to the Korean coast, the "USS McCain" capable of shooting down any medium or long-range missiles that might be fired by the communist north. The military move comes as South Korea's president lowers the bar for a military strike.

CNN's Jim Clancy live for us this morning from Seoul, South Korea. Jim, North Korea plans to restart this nuclear complex, a complex shut down back in 2007. What, in your view, is the significance of this?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, half a dozen years ago, Yongbyon was all in the headlines as the world was trying to get North Korea to shut it down. They largely succeeded. By 2008, the cooling tower had been collapsed. It was out of service. Things went south from there in terms of the relationship between North Korea and the rest of the world.

It was still listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. It was still trying to sell its missiles to other rogue regimes around the globe. And so, well, we arrive at this location today, and that is when they're saying they're going to restart that facility. That means that it's going to enhance their nuclear weapons program, and they say it's also going to be used to generate electric power, but therein lies a challenge.

You know, North Korea doesn't have a great safety record. There's not going to be any outside inspectors in there to insure safety standards. And some, like Daniel Pinkston of the International Crisis Group, say that's a problem.


DANIEL PINKSTON, DEPUTY PROJECT DIRECTOR, NORTH EAST ASIA PROGRAM: The recent accident of Fukushima. Even very advanced countries like Japan had this accident. We saw the accident at Chernobyl at Three- Mile Island. And as far as safety standard goes, North Korea's probably near the bottom of the list.


CLANCY: It's a very troubling announcement. Both the South Korean and the Chinese foreign ministries, they terming it regrettable -- Christine.

ROMANS: Jim, the U.S. now positioning more military in the Korean Peninsula, but despite saying that it does not believe the country's rhetoric at this point. So, talk about the American military move. Why? What's the concern?

CLANCY: Well, you know, the U.S. military's watching the situation closely. They have said that they don't see, you know, any unusual troop movements. At the same time, they're moving in the "USS John McCain," the destroyer. They're moving in a radar platform. This indicates they suspect, perhaps, the next move by this young North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, is going to be to test fire some of his missiles.

This is a long-held pattern. He had the long-range test fire. They launched a satellite into orbit. They got sanctions for that. They had an underground nuclear test. What's left are some of the short and medium-range missiles, and I think they expect him to do that. This move is not as much a signal, perhaps, to North Korea, but to the U.S. allies in the region, we've got your back -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Jim Clancy for us this morning in Seoul. Thanks, Jim.

BERMAN: Six thousand lives lost in Syria last month. The opposition says that is the deadliest month since the country's civil war erupted a little more than two years ago. Now, CNN cannot independently verify these numbers. This tally does not include people who are held in detention centers or people who've been kidnapped by rebels. Their fate unknown.

ROMANS: Court officials in Colorado this morning apologizing for a paperwork error, a paperwork error that allowed Evan Ebel (ph) to be freed from prison four years too soon. Ebel was released back in January. He's suspected of killing Colorado's corrections chief and a pizza delivery driver last month. Ebel later died in a shoot-out with police in Texas. BERMAN: The death penalty remains on the table for alleged Colorado movie theater killer, James Holmes. The prosecutor rejecting a plea deal to avoid execution if Holmes is convicted, saying he will seek the death penalty. Last summer's rampage left 12 people dead, 58 others wounded. Holmes' trial will not begin until next year. His attorneys say they intend to pursue an insanity defense.

ROMANS: OK. So, the Jodi Arias trial could end today in a mistrial --


ROMANS: -- because of a juror who was accused of misconduct. Details are sealed, but Arias' lawyers says Juror 5 has been talking to other jurors about the case. At the very least, they want her booted from this jury. The judge is expected to rule on the defense's request today.

BERMAN: All right. On his way out the door, former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin roughly doubled his staff's payroll. Salary figures show that in the last three months of 2012, Akin paid his 14- person staff nearly $400,000, which is twice as much as the quarterly payroll for the rest of last year. Akin's former communications director says it was a separation package for staffers who lost their jobs after the congressman was beaten by Claire McCaskill in the Missouri Senate race in November.

ROMANS: It was sabotage. That's the claim from a friend of Ashley Judd who says Kentucky politics had both Democrats and Republicans working against her possible run for the Senate.

Jonathan Miller spoke last night on Erin Burnett's "OUTFRONT."


JONTHAN MILLER, ASHLEY JUDD'S FRIEND: Some of them wanted another candidate, secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes, and for good reasons, they wanted her. They thought she'd be a stronger candidate, but others sought to either profit from her, working on her campaigns or would love to have a friend in the U.S. Senate.

And then, kind of ironically, on the other side, you had people who weren't friends of Secretary Grimes who wanted to push her into the Senate race so that she wouldn't be running for governor or lieutenant governor back home, because she might be a rival of one of their preferred candidates.


ROMANS: Miller claims others circulated lies about statements reportedly made by Judd as well as President Clinton's involvement in the race.

BERMAN: Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford finds out today just how much voters are willing to forgive and forget. Sanford is a Republican runoff election. He will face off next month against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch for the opening Congressional seat in South Carolina's first district.

Today, he faces former Charleston County councilmember, Curtis Bostic. Sanford held the first district seat there for three terms in the 1990s. He's really trying to rebuild his political career after disappearing from the state four years ago, only to return and confess he was having an extramarital affair.

ROMANS: All right. New Jersey governor Chris Christie makes it official. Kids under the age of 18 cannot use tanning beds in the Garden State. He signed a bill into law that was initiated after that woman, a North Jersey mother, made headlines and briefly faced child endangerment charges.

An extremely tan Patricia Krentcil denies taking her young daughter into a tanning booth with her. The charges were later dropped, but she became sort of infamous about the whole thing.

BERMAN: I think infamous is the right word there.

ROMANS: I think jersey kind of became a little infamous from that whole episode.

BERMAN: Thirty-six minutes after the hour.

Louisville guard Kevin Ware appears to be bouncing back quickly from his gruesome leg injury. He said to be up and walking on crutches and eager to rejoin his teammates as they shoot for the NCAA championship. Ware's mother also spoke for the first time, recalling the conversation she had with her son right after that awful, awful injury.


LISA JUNIOR, KEVIN WARE'S MOTHER: He didn't say hello. He didn't say anything. All he said was, "I need you to calm down," and he kept saying that, and him saying that, it made me do that. I mean, he knew that I would be devastated about what happened and not, you know, be able to help him in any way, but he was OK, and him being OK helped me be OK.


BERMAN: I mean, he really seems like one of the most calm and cool, collected people throughout this ordeal. After visiting the injured player, Coach Rick Pitino said Kevin was in good spirits and anxious to get out of the hospital.

Eight o'clock this morning on "STARTING POINT," former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann joins us live. He knows a lot about this type of thing. We're going to talk to him about the broken leg he suffered in 1985 and what lies ahead for Kevin Ware.

So, you probably remember punk singer, Michelle Shocked's, anti-gay rant a few weeks ago and left bands fuming? Now, she explains why and whether she's even sorry.

ROMANS: Then, one-on-one with David Beckham. He just moved to Paris to play, but he may already be looking to return to his roots.


BERMAN: The sports world this morning mourning a big loss. Jack Pardee, he was the head coach who helped turning the Chicago Bears around in the 1970s, leading to their first postseason in 14 years. Pardee started his football career as a legendary high school linebacker in Texas.

His coaching career began after he played for the Rams and Redskins between 1957 and 1972. On Monday, Jack Pardee's family announced his death from cancer at the age of 76.

ROMANS: Michelle Shocked apologizing for an anti-gay rant at her concert last month in San Francisco, where she slammed same-sex marriage and suggested that God hates homosexuals. The singer says people misinterpreted her comments. She told her side of the story to CNN's Piers Morgan in this exclusive interview.


MICHELLE SHOCKED, SINGER, SONGWRITER: I admit I made a mistake, Piers. If I had the chance to go back and do it again, I don't think I would have taken the audience up on their choice. In no way do I disavow the LBGT community in the same way that I don't disavow my faith community.

PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Do you have any problem with gay marriage?

SHOCKED: No, I don't.

MORGAN: You support it?


MORGAN: So, you support full gay rights?

SHOCKED: Absolutely.


ROMANS: Shocked claims she was expressing the way other people feel about same-sex marriage. The rant costs her several gigs that were canceled after her outburst.

BERMAN: Now, to our one-on-one with David Beckham. Soccer superstar, devoted dad, spouse to Posh Spice, rather handsome men, he just moved to Paris after kind of further cementing his superstar status, not that he needed it when he back-to-back major league soccer titles with the L.A. Galaxy. His Paris team is now gearing up for a huge champions league quarterfinal clash tonight against Barcelona.

The Paris Club president already trying to convince Beckham to stick around past his current five-month deal, but as Beckham told our Pedro Pinto, he's holding out hope for a return to his home team.


PEDRO PINTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you think continues to make you so popular? What do you think people want from you all the time? Because no matter how long you go in your career, the attention doesn't stop.

DAVID BECKHAM, SOCCER SUPERSTAR: Yes. No, you know, I've had the attention almost everywhere I've played or everywhere I've gone or everywhere I've lived, and that's it. You know, the attention, I've gotten used to. There are other things that come with me and that come with me coming to a club, like you said, but I think the thing that people always look at is the professionalism.

PINTO: You mentioned your family, and I believe they're in London. You're here in Paris. You go back and forth all the time. How is it being back in Europe and being so close to London?

BECKHAM: I mean when you speak about the sacrifices, that's obviously the sacrifice that I have to make as a father and as a husband, you know, being away from my family. You know, it's only for a short time, but it's difficult being away from the children, you know, being away from the children every single day. But you know, they understand it. They understand that daddy works hard.

PINTO: Has it been a challenge, sometimes, trying to explain to your kids how famous you are, how their life is not like other kids' life, how there are certain things that they just can't do and --

BECKHAM: Yes. I mean, my oldest now is at the age where he kind of wants to do things and wants to go places. And you kind of ask -- you have to hold him back or we have to hold him back, because you have to kind of explain to him that there are certain things that he can't do. But to be honest, with our children, we let them do 99 percent of the things that they want to do, because we want them to lead a normal life.

PINTO: What about your future with England? Did you ever see yourself put on the England shirt again? I know how passionate you are about it.

BECKHAM: One of the reasons why I've never retired from the England team is because if there's ever an opportunity to play for them again, then I'm available. If there is any chance of me playing for my country again, I would never turn that down. So, you know, I'm, like I said, I'm almost 38 years old, so chances are very slight, but you never know.


BERMAN: It would be shocking if England took him back on the team. Beckham not closing the door on the Paris Saint-Germain team either. He says he's open to extending his stay in Paris, saying it's always nice to be wanted. You know, I think David Beckham is frequently wanted.

ROMANS: Yes. BERMAN: One way or another.



Coming up, a crook trying to make a clean getaway meets a clean window head on! So embarrassing. We'll be sure to show it again and again and again and again.

BERMAN: And again!

And if you're leaving the house right now, you can watch it again and again and again any time on your desktop or mobile phone. Just go to


ROMANS: Good morning. Forty-nine minutes after the hour. Let's get you up to date.

New this morning, North Korea has announced it plans to restart a nuclear power plant that's been closed for six years. The Yongbyon Nuclear Complex is said to contain both the uranium enrichment facility and nuclear reactor. It was moth balled in 2007, part of an agreement with the United States and four other countries. Meanwhile, the U.S. has moved a navy destroyer, the "USS McCain," closer now to the Korea Coast.

BERMAN: Production of the popular MTV show "Buckwild" has come to a halt after one of the cast favorites died. Twenty-one-year-old Shain Gandee and two others, including his uncle, were found dead inside a Ford Bronco on a muddy road Monday morning in West Virginia. Officials say there are no signs of foul play. Causes of the death still under investigation.

ROMANS: A man who spent more than four decades in prison for a 1970 Tucson, Arizona, hotel fire that left 29 people dead, he's expected to be released today. New evidence suggests 58-year-old Louis Cuen Taylor (ph) may have been wrongfully convicted. He's expected to plead no contest to murder in an agreement that sets asides original conviction gives him credit for time served.

BERMAN: The coast guard investigating why an oil tanker broke away from a pier and hit a bridge linking Maine and New Hampshire. The collision damaged the heavily traveled Sarah Long Bridge yesterday, crossed that little time (ph), closing it to traffic. The Coast Guard says there's no sign of a spill. No reports of injuries.

ROMANS: Australian police trying to track down a purse-snatcher who made a painful ouch exit --


ROMANS: -- from the scene of the crime. Surveillance cameras captured the suspect smashing through the wrong end of a sliding glass door. Hey, he was very busy.

BERMAN: Let's see it again.

ROMANS: He's knocked out and shoppers run to his aide, but an accomplice scares them off and then drags the hapless thief to a getaway car. Investigators are checking DNA from the blood he left behind.

BERMAN: That's some crazy picture. I'm sure we'll show that again and again and again.

ROMANS: That's a very clean, clean window.


ROMANS: Before he ran into it.

BERMAN: There it is. There it is. One last time.

All right. Sea lion pups have been popping up everywhere along the California coastline. This guy right here, awfully cute, had to be rescued from a garden at a condo complex in Carlsbad. He appeared to be malnourished. Look at the poor guy. So far, more than 250 stranded sea lions have been rescued this breeding season. Scientists think there may be a shortage of sardines and other foods that the sea lions need to survive.

ROMANS: Oceanographers really go out and try to figure out what's happening. There's something happening in the ocean when you see something like this, 250 of these guys in past months.

All right. Yesterday, a beautiful spring day here in the northeast, but it's a different story in the southwest where they're starting out with storm.

BERMAN: Jennifer Delgado live with details in the CNN Weather Center. Jennifer, the cold, is it coming back?

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, you know, the cold is coming back, but we are going to start off right now with the big problem spot for you this morning. The storms across parts of the south. And Texas as well as Oklahoma, we do have some storms with lightning out there, and this is going to be a bit messy out there for your morning commute. We're also talking about some travel delays for areas including Dallas, Oklahoma City this morning.

If you're traveling on Interstate 40, try to (ph) slow. Now, today, we are going to see some severe storms popping up, and this means across southwestern parts of Texas. That includes San Angelo as well as into Austin. There is a possibility we could see some of these storms producing hail as well as damaging winds, but the big thing that's going to be happening is the very heavy rainfall.

Look what's going to be popping up as we go through the next 48 hours. We're talking three inches of rainfall. Houston, you're going to get it as well. As we look on a wider picture, sunshine from the south all the way up towards the northeast. As we talk more about the northeast, your temperatures are running 15 to 20 degrees below average for this time of the year. So if you were wondering, yes, is the cold going to return? It is returning. It's not going anywhere.

Here's a look at your high temperatures for today, and then, we move it ahead to tomorrow, even cooler in some spots. For New York City, we're only talking a high of 44 degrees. John, I think we both can agree that Christine looks really nice in that yellow, springy sweater that she's wearing, but you need to bundle up, honey! It is going to be cold out there with some winds right around 25.

ROMANS: John has not told me, though --



ROMANS: He has not said a word about my yellow sweater.

BERMAN: Thanks for making me look bad here.

DELGADO: He's probably still on that high from baseball yesterday. So, we can't blame him.

BERMAN: Ah, yes, that high from baseball.


BERMAN: Jennifer Delgado, thank you so much.

DELGADO: You're welcome.

BERMAN: So, will a duet end the rumors of a feud between Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno? This was amazing. Do not miss it. "West Side Story" style, coming up next.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. Fifty-eight minutes after the hour. Trending this morning, did you hear this one? Princess Diana sneaking around gay bars dressed as a man with Freddie Mercury. That's the former British TV star Cleo Roco's plans in her new book. It describes one night when the Princess of Wales allegedly put on a camouflage army jacket, a leather cap, and dark aviator sunglasses so she could grab a beer and a glass of wine at a gay hotspot unnoticed.

ROMANS: Interesting. All right. Jimmy Fallon versus Jay Leno. A lot of buzz over who will win the battle to host "The Tonight Show." The two late-night stars deciding to set the record straight with a duet. Here's late-night laughs "West Side Story" style.


JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": (SINGING) Tonight, tonight, who's going to host tonight? Is it going to be Jimmy or Jay? Tonight, tonight, where will they tape tonight, in New York, will it stay in L.A.?

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": (singing) Tonight, tonight, my ratings were all right. Twenty years and I'm still in first place. Tonight, tonight, I've got it on the line or maybe I could take over for Dave. Tonight, tonight, why do they say we fight. I like you, you like me, we're ok.


ROMANS: Is it funny or touching?

BERMAN: Well, it's hilarious, but it is also very touching. If you watch the whole thing there, there's an element of sweetness to it. It's also very poignant. Really interesting. Worth seeing. Visit our website. I'm sure you can see it there.

EARLY START continues right now.