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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

North Korea Moving Missiles; Bird Flu Strain In Humans For First Time

Aired April 5, 2013 - 05:30   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Missile launchers on the move. U.S. intelligence keeping a close eye on North Korea's coast this morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: No lunch for you. Middle school kids ordered to throw out their food because their meal cards came up negative.

BERMAN: So, didn't commander in chief cross the line? President Obama called out for talking about a top prosecutor's looks.

ROMANS: And Prince William denied. It turns out his charm just wasn't enough to win over this little four-year-old girl.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN (on-camera): Heisman (ph) for the prince.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS (on-camera): I'm Christine Romans in for Zoraida Sambolin. It is Friday, April 5th. Friday, and it's 30 minutes past the hour.

Big story we're following this morning, missiles on the move. New developments out of North Korea. South Korea's news agency reports two missiles are now being hidden on North Korea's East Coast. A U.S. official tells CNN the missile and launch components were transferred over the last few days and that they are consistent with a missile that has a range of 2,500 miles. That could pose a direct threat to South Korea, Japan, and U.S. bases in Guam.

CNN's Jim Clancy is live in Seoul, South Korea. Good morning, Jim. New reports that North Korea has moved a second midrange missile to its east coast. What sort of message does this send to the world? And how much of this message, Jim, is aimed at internal politics and not saber rattling on the outside?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it is really meant to poke an eye -- a finger in the eye of Washington and Seoul. These joint military maneuvers are really the focal point of all of this. These always perturb North Korea. This is a deterrence that the U.S. and South Korea are determined to maintain. They want to be able to stand up to North Korea and all of its threats.

The North Koreans now want to send the message. Well, we can come right back, and we're going to do something that we know you don't like, and that's launch one of our missiles, or now, perhaps, two missiles. This is said to be a Musudan missile that is not really well-tested. That's not been confirmed by South Korea's defense ministry.

But you know, tested or not, if it goes into this phase, if they fire it, it's going to certainly cause everyone else to react and react they did. This is the state department spokeswoman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICTORIA NULAND, SPOKESWOMAN, STATE DEPARTMENT: When you have a country that is making the kinds of bellicose threats that they are making and taking the steps that they are taking, and when you have allies and treaty commitments, you have to take it seriously. You don't have any other choice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: Don't have any other choice, because look at the range of this missile. Four thousand kilometers, that means Japan, Guam, and of course, South Korea are all within range. No one expects North Korea to aim it at any of them. But they expect it to do is to try to show off its ballistic missile technology, and perhaps, win some more sales.

And there's always the hope that like other launches, the North Korean's missiles are not all that reliable. It could also, like they have in the past, blow up on the launch pad. Back to you.

ROMANS: Jim, you know, North Korea accusing the U.S. of pushing the region to the brink of war, saying the U.S. is the problem here. The U.S. is trying to -- I don't know, step back. Is there room for diplomacy? Is there room to just cool this whole thing down?

CLANCY: You know, there's always room for diplomacy, but it is going to be tough. John Kerry going to Beijing next week. The Chinese have said very clearly that they want to see some talks. They want to see somebody sit down and try to defuse all of this. So, there is room for diplomacy. The Chinese, though, are going to have to be behind it -- Christine.

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

BERMAN: A developing story this morning. Rescuers still searching the rubble of a collapsed building in Western India. At least 35 people have been killed, dozens more injured. The building was under construction. Authorities say the first four floors were illegally occupied. Five children were among those pulled to safety after the cave-in (ph).

ROMANS: Gunfire inside police headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi. A homicide detective and the murder suspect he was questioning dead, following an apparent altercation. The slain detective identified as Eric Smith (ph), a husband and father of two teenage sons. It's not clear if the gun used in the shooting belonged to Smith.

BERMAN: A break in the killing at Ft. Knox. A combat soldier now in custody and charged with murder. The FBI says Marquinta Jacobs (ph) shot a civilian worker Wednesday in a parking lot. He was arrested yesterday in Tennessee where his mother lives. Authorities say the killing was not random. They think Jacobs had some kind of disagreement with the victim.

ROMANS: A couple of East Texas jail breakers are back behind bars after two days on the run. One of them is a murder suspect, the other is a convicted drug offender. They found a way over or around the jail fence Tuesday in Sulphur Springs, Texas. They were captured yesterday in a barn about 20 miles away.

BERMAN: Chinese authorities closing down poultry markets in Shanghai and slaughtering birds because of growing concerns over H7N9 also known as bird flu. Scientists say the strain had not appeared up in humans until now. It's left six people dead in the Eastern China. CNN's David McKenzie is in Beijing with the details this morning. David, what's the latest? Do authorities know the source of this infection?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, they don't know the source, John, and they're certainly working very quickly and closely as well with U.S. authorities to try and figure out the source of this new bird flu. H7N9, as you described, six people dead, 12 people or more than 12 infected at this point in Southeast China. No idea exactly where it comes from. This is the first time humans have been infected by this.

One important bit of good news at this point is that there's no indication that people can transmit this to each other. So, they need to really find what caused it and develop a vaccine as soon as they can -- John.

BERMAN: David, we've heard bird flu before for years coming from China. What's different about this strain?

MCKENZIE: Well, what's different about it is the fact that it's a new strain in terms of infecting people. Also, it's a very severe strain. More severe than some other strains of bird flu. It's very severe respiratory illness. The people have died quite quickly who have contracted this. Again, no evidence that people can transmit this to each other, but Hong Kong and regional airports looking very closely at Chinese passengers coming in.

Center for Disease Control in Atlanta working on a vaccine that could take several months. There are some suspicion here in China with citizens looking at the response of the government because of its spotty record in the past of clamping down on any potential outbreak. At this point, no cause for real alarm but something that needs to be watched very closely, indeed -- John.

BERMAN: All right. We will be watching it very closely, indeed. David McKenzie live in Beijing for us this morning.

Officials in a middle school in Attleboro, Massachusetts are coming under fire this morning after students with negative balances on their prepaid lunch cards were told to go hungry instead of being allowed to eat their meals. About 25 children left the lunch room with empty stomachs after cafeteria employees at the (INAUDIBLE) middle school ordered them to throw out their lunches after discovering the kids couldn't pay for them.

School officials and the company that operates the cafeteria are blaming lunch room workers for making a bad call. This frustrated mother owed just one dollar on her son's card.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JO-AN BLANCHARD, PARENT: This is bullying. That's neglect, child abuse. He was mortified. All his friends were staring at him because he couldn't have a lunch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So, students are supposed to receive a grilled cheese sandwich along with some fruit, vegetables, and milk when their lunch card comes up short --

ROMANS: OK. That is just ridiculous. We all know that kids have to have a full stomach so they can learn. We all -- we have zillions of programs to help kids, you know, get fed at school because we know it's better for the learning environment. And then to turn them away --

BERMAN: Not just turn them away, they dumped out their food.

ROMANS: I wonder how much of these, too -- so many of the schools are contracting out their lunch room. You know, they're not operating -- when I was going to school, in a public school, you know, it was the school district that ran the kitchen. It's not really like that in a lot of schools anymore. So, sometimes, there's conflict between the schools and the charter. That deserves a little more digging.

All right. The president may have some explaining to do with the first lady. At fundraiser in California yesterday, the commander in chief had plenty of praise for state attorney general, Camela Harris. He called her dedicated, tough, brilliant, quote, "and by far, the best looking attorney general in the country," end quote.

The president has taken a lot of online heat for that remark. One blogger even suggesting he needs, the president of the United States needs gender sensitivity training.

BERMAN: Yes. A lot of people upset about that. I'm sure not just Michelle Obama. I think a lot of women and a lot of men raised their eyebrows when they heard that.

ROMANS: Well, Joe Biden said it. Joe Biden often says things about someone's mother. You know, like Joe has these charming things he tries to say. We kind of dismiss it as a Bidenism. The president is not really known for making remarks that would get that kind of attention.

BERMAN: It did catch everyone's eye. We'll say that.

Someone else who seem to always catch peoples eye, Prince William. He's found his princess, but he may be losing his charm, apparently. William and his wife, Kate Middleton or the former Kate Middleton, touring Scotland yesterday when they encountered a little four-year- old girl holding a single red flower. Watch what happens when the prince stops to greet her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: You want a kiss?

(CHANTING) Oh!

PRINCE WILLIAM: Oh, no! There you go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Oh! That's like a total Heisman (ph) there. I guarantee you Prince William is not used to rejection like that.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Wow! And right before that, the prince asked the little girl if the flower she was holding for him, and she pulled it away. Get the hint, William.

ROMANS: I want that guy (ph). I wanted to see the princess.

BERMAN: Not interested. Not one bit. Not her type, apparently.

ROMANS: All right. He was not a movie star. He was not a fame director, yet, few people in Hollywood had the power Roger Ebert had. A look back at his incredible life coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. So, just yesterday, we were telling you about Roger Ebert taking what he called a leave of presence from movie reviewing to deal with the recurrence of cancer. And later in the day came word that the legendary film critic had died at the age of 70. "Showbiz Tonight's" A.J. Hammer looks back at the career of a man that "Forbes" magazine once called the most powerful pundit in America.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

A.J. HAMMER, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: His quick wit and thumbs up thumbs down movie reviews earned Roger Ebert fame as one of America's most prominent film critics. Illinois native said his love of cinema came at an early age. ROGER EBERT, MOVIE CRITIC: I started going to the movies when I was a child like everybody did. My aunt would take me to the grown-up movies. My dad took me to see the Marx Brothers. And, I just love movies.

HAMMER: Ebert began writing film reviews for the "Chicago Sun Times" in the late 1960s. And in 1975, he was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. In 1970, he dabbled in screenwriting, co-authoring "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" with Russ Meyer.

In 1976, Ebert teamed up with a competitor, "Chicago Tribune" film critic, Gene Siskel, to host a weekly movie review program on local TV. Within a few years, it was put into syndication and Siskel and Ebert's thumbs up/thumbs down rating system soon became their trademark.

EBERT: Two thumbs up had never been applied before in human history to anything. The phrase two thumbs up was not in use. People said thumbs up. And so, today, when people say I give it two thumbs up, they're quoting us. And so, that's what we trademarked, because we didn't want every film critic in the country to start doing that.

HAMMER: In 1999, Siskel died from complications stemming from a brain tumor operation. The show's title was changed to "Roger Ebert and the Movies." A short time later, fellow "Sun Times" columnist, Richard Roeper became permanent co-host of the show which was later titled "Ebert and Roeper."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then, you have all of these great actors, Roger.

HAMMER: Roger Ebert also published annual collections of his film reviews as well as several film guides. Not one to be left behind, Ebert embraced social media, actively tweeting, never losing his voice despite battling both thyroid and salivary gland cancers and undergoing numerous surgeries in recent years.

EBERT: My legacy, if there is one, will have to do with supporting films that people might not have seen and supporting directors that -- that deserve support. Of course, I review the big blockbusters and the commercial films. But from the very beginning, it's been very important to me to go out and look for independent films, documentaries, first films by young directors, and foreign films, because those are the ones people need to hear about.

Until then, the balcony is closed.

HAMMER: A.J. Hammer, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: His legacy goes way beyond film. He inspired just really a generation of writers. There's so much wonderful stuff being written about Roger Ebert today. I encourage (ph) you to take a look at all of it. ROMANS: All right. Relieved of his command. Coming up, army brass firing a top general in the field.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS (voice-over): South Korea's news service says North Korea has now moved two intermediate-range missiles to an undisclosed facility on its east coast. A U.S. official tells CNN that Pyongyang has been moving missile and launch components over the past few days. The components appear to be for a missile that has a range of about 2,500 miles. That could pose a threat to South Korea and Japan.

BERMAN (voice-over): Connecticut did earlier this week. Now, Maryland has done it. Lawmakers in (INAUDIBLE) passing a sweeping overhaul to state's gun laws. Maryland's governor has promised to sign this. The bill bans assault-style weapons, requires gun buyers to be fingerprinted and puts a ten-bullet limit on magazines. Opponents are threatened to petition the bill and put it on a ballot for voters.

ROMANS: The U.S. commander in charge of the horn of Africa is out of a job. A defense official in Washington says Major Gen. Ralph Baker (ph) was fired late last month. There are reports circulating it had to do with alcohol and sexual misconduct. Baker is appealing.

BERMAN: All right. Fifty minutes after the hour. You have to check out this fan in last night's Mariners/A's game in Oakland. A wicked, slicing ball coming right at -- oh, he just reaches out and grabs it bare handed. But, I want you to look at this closely. Perhaps, the most impressive thing at all, every precious drop of his beer remained in the cup, in the other hand. He did not spill a thing

ROMANS: Where was this, Oakland?

BERMAN: This is Oakland. Clearly, priorities in order. Look how he celebrates.

ROMANS: I mean, that could have been a $12 beer. I mean, you can't afford to wait in line and then spill any of that.

BERMAN: And there it is, right there, celebrating the only way possible with a sip of that precious beer that he worked so hard to save. Congratulations to him.

ROMANS: That's so cool. That's very cool.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (on-camera): And now, he's following his --

(LAUGHTER) ROMANS (on-camera): It's a wet start for the east coast, from the south, the northeast. Jennifer Delgado live in Atlanta Center for us. Good morning.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. You know, Christine is always watching the money for you.

(LAUGHTER)

DELGADO: Even when it comes down to beer. Good morning, guys. Yes. We are starting off with wet conditions down in Florida from the keys to areas including Miami, Ft. Myers, getting pounded with showers and thunderstorms. We'll continue to see that throughout the day. Right now, we don't have any warnings out there, but we did have some earlier in the morning hours.

Now, as we move up the coastline, for Jacksonville, wet there, including the southern part of Georgia. Atlanta, we're starting off with wet conditions. We'll see some travel delays there. If you're going to be flying out in the mid-Atlantic, look at this rain coming down from Dover as well as in Washington D.C., and some light stuff coming down through Richmond. New York, you're going to be dealing with some scattered showers out there as well up until about one or two o'clock.

And then, the sky is going to give way to some sunshine and the evening will be nice. On a wide view, though, we do have a boundary system that's going to be ushering in some snow as we move into Saturday. A fire threat setting up for areas including New Mexico and western parts of Texas. That means no burning out there, of course, today and potentially tomorrow.

We are going to see some wind gusts up to about 40 miles per hour. Temperatures are finally starting to rebound. For Dallas, you're back into the upper 70s. The same for Kansas City, 10 degrees above average as we make it through Sunday. And then, for New York City, a high of 62 degrees. It's only, actually, the second time you've had that for this year.

So, you need a break from the cold weather. Now, we talk about final four, March madness, the big fans (ph), well, there's a lot of activities coming up as we go through the weekend. For Sunday, things going to be here will be dry. In fact, let's show you a live view out at Centennial Olympic Park, and everybody is getting excited about this.

You look very quickly, there is the Ferris wheel. It is wet, but conditions improve. And there's a little windshield wiper up there as we go through Saturday as well as into Sunday. Guys, let's send it back over to you. I'm excited about that. I don't know about you.

BERMAN: All right. Thanks, Jennifer. Appreciate it.

Coming up, president meets president. What happens when kid president takes over the oval office?

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: And we'll show you Louisville's Kevin Ware taking on Letterman's top ten.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: All right. Welcome back at 56 minutes, 57 minutes past the hour. Trending online this morning, call it a different kind of White House summit. President Obama meeting with his third grade counterpart, the kid president. It's nine-year-old Robby Novak (ph). They were in the oval office. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What grade you in?

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Third.

OBAMA: Third?

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Mm-hmm.

OBAMA: Third grade?

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Mm-hmm.

OBAMA: How's school going?

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Good.

OBAMA: It's going pretty good? OK, because I know you got all these other activities.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Yes.

OBAMA: So, I want you to balance on your time, try to balance being president and being in the third grade, you know? That's a lot of stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Mm-hmm.

OBAMA: You seem to be handling it pretty well.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Very well.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: That kid no intention to give up that seat, by the way. He's not going anywhere.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: And he's managing it all very well.

BERMAN: Yes.

ROMANS: His school life balance is working quite well for him.

BERMAN: Being kid president and a school kid, apparently, not that difficult.

Kevin Ware taking on Letterman's top ten last night. The subject, the top ten things going through Ware's mind last weekend when he suffered that awful leg break against Duke.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEVIN WARE, INJURED LOUISVILLE GUARD: What was that loud cracking sound?

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Number nine.

WARE: I hope this doesn't leave a bruise.

LETTERMAN: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number eight.

WARE: Hey, look, my tibia.

LETTERMAN: That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number seven.

WARE: Ouch!

LETTERMAN: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number six.

WARE: Did it go in?

LETTERMAN: Mm-hmm.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number five.

WARE: Oh, boy, hospital food.

LETTERMAN: Mm-hmm.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number four. WARE: Tape it up, coach, I'm staying in.

LETTERMAN: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number three.

WARE: They fired Leno?

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number two.

WARE: Heat then ice or ice then heat?

LETTERMAN: Nobody knows. And the number one thought going through Kevin Ware's mind at the moment of the broken leg?

WARE: At least my bracket is not busted.

(END VIDEOTAPE) (LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: That was awesome. Good for him. Love that.

ROMANS: EARLY START continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN (voice-over): New this morning, North Korea not backing down. Another missile moved into position and poised for a possible attack.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My days, I could be angry that someone made a mistake, but it won't bring Tom back.

ROMANS (voice-over): Forgiveness in the face of devastating loss. An emotional CNN exclusive with the family of murdered Colorado prison's chief, Tom Clements (ph).

BERMAN: And saved from the side of a cliff. Check this out. The dramatic rescue of a missing hiker rescued after four days in the woods.

ROMANS: Takedown at the security gate. An off-duty cop. Look at that. Caught on camera saving the day at the airport.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS (on-camera): Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN (on-camera): And I'm John Berman. Zoraida is off today. It is Friday.

ROMANS: Friday.

BERMAN: Friday, April 5th. It is 6:00 a.m. in the east. And missiles are on the move this morning in North Korea. the South Koreans, the north -- I say (ph) South Koreans -- the north is hiding two intermediate range missiles in a secret facility along their east coast. U.S. officials tell CNN that missile and its launch components were transferred in the last few days and have the range to strike South Korea, Japan and U.S. bases in Guam.