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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

North Korea Readies Missiles; Fukushima Cooling System Operational Again; Colorado Theater Shootings; Texas D.A. Captured On Video; Remember Hero Husband, Not His Killer; Obama Budget Proposal; March Jobs Report Out Today; Remembering Roger Ebert; TSA Agent Assaulted At Honolulu Airport; Missing Hiker Rescued; March Jobs Report Out Today

Aired April 5, 2013 - 06:00   ET

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


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Look at that, caught on camera saving the day at the airport. Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: 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 -- 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. This comes with escalating rhetoric from the north, which accuses the U.S. of pushing the region to the brink of war.

CNN's Jim Clancy is live in Seoul, South Korea. Jim, new reports that North Korea has moved a second midrange missile to its east coast, you know, what sort of message does that send? And how much of these actions are aimed at impressing people in their own country rather than a threat to other countries?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, it's always for that domestic audience. But this we can say, this is a message that he wants to send to the world, for everybody to see.

The U.S. and South Korea can have these huge military maneuvers every year but little tiny North Korea, the hermit kingdom, can still make a superpower turn around and jump and make moves. Why? Well, listen to Victoria Nuland, 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 in treaty commitments, you have to take it serious. You don't have any other choice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: All right, let's take a look at a map, John, explain why. It's believed that this is going to be a Musudan missile, medium range, 4,000 kilometers. That would include not only South Korea, but Japan and U.S. air and naval bases on Guam. That's why the U.S. has moved some special radar platforms, anti-missile systems, into Guam.

Two years ahead of schedule, that's why the South Koreans are moving their spy ships. That's why the U.S. has two destroyers off the coast of the peninsula here. There are a lot of things that North Korea thinks it can show the world with this. Back to you.

BERMAN: Jim, North Korea is accusing the U.S. of pushing the region to the brink of war. The U.S., it seems, really trying to step back from that. Is there room for diplomacy here?

CLANCY: Yes, there's room for diplomacy, but it's going to be really, really difficult. Everybody knows North Korea is the one that's pushing it. These are annual exercises and every year North Korea reacts. This is Kim Jong-Un's only second year, I believe, where he's in this.

So, diplomacy is possible, certainly, but think of what has to be overcome. There's no record. Diplomacy has been an abysmal failure in the past. He's got prison camps holding everyone. There's all kinds of issues that are going to block the way the U.S. has signalled it's willing, it's open, to continue. John, back to you.

BERMAN: All right, thanks, Jim Clancy in Seoul, South Korea.

ROMANS: Developing overnight, all systems go again at Japan's crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant after the cooling system went down for several hours. It's designed to keep spent atomic fuel cool at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant. This is the second cooling system failure in a month.

BERMAN: New this morning, documents show a psychiatrist who treated Colorado theatre shooting suspect James Holmes warned police that Holmes was dangerous a month before the massacre. The psychiatrist with the University of Colorado contacted a campus officer about Holmes and warned he had made homicidal statements. The newly released affidavit said Holmes had stopped seeing Dr. Fenton and was sending her threatens text messages.

ROMANS: New video shows the murdered district attorney of Kaufman County, Texas, was thinking about protection the day before he and his wife were found shot to death in their home. Mike McLelland was caught on camera shopping at a gun store.

The store's owner said McLelland wasn't shopping for himself, but for people who worked for him in the D.A.'s office. They were apparently on edge following the fatal shooting of an assistant D.A. outside the county courthouse back in January.

Funeral services will be held today for Mike and Cynthia McLelland. A memorial service for the couple was held Thursday.

BERMAN: While authorities search for his killer or killers, the family of Colorado Prison Chief Tom Clements is preaching forgiveness in the face of just unimaginable grief. Clements was gunned down at his home. His widow and two daughters talked exclusively to CNN. Jim Spellman has more on that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the courage and strength most of us could only hope for, Lisa Clements, widow of slain Colorado Prison's Chief Tom Clements, along with daughters Rachel and Sarah, sat down with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, AC360: What do you want people to know about your husband?

LISA CLEMENTS, WIDOW OF TOM CLEMENTS: That there's so much being said about who he was, and his career, and what he did in corrections. And certainly he had a significant impact, and he was a leader in his field. But for me, much more significant, is the integrity of the person that I know and love. And that he really, truly cared about other people.

SPELLMAN: Something she saw in Tom from an early age.

COOPER: He met when you were 19?

LISA CLEMENTS: Yes.

COOPER: At school.

LISA CLEMENTS: Yes.

COOPER: What was it about him that drew you to him?

LISA CLEMENTS: He is fun. He's kind and passionate about life. And so at a very early age, I was very -- it was very interesting to me.

SPELLMAN: Tom Clements loved the outdoors in Colorado and hiking with his daughters. As the public focuses on his career, Sarah and Rachel see a different man.

SARA CLEMENTS, DAUGHTER OF TOM CLEMENTS: He was my hero. He intervened in my life so many times and just really changed my path, that I just want people to know that, you know, he's my dad.

RACHEL CLEMENTS, DAUGHTER OF TOM CLEMENTS: I would like people to see how he lived his life, and that that is so much more upon than how he died. That he loved his life with such passion, and such compassion for other people.

SPELLMAN: In his professional life, that compassion extended to the inmates in his prison. And even though it appears that one of those very prisoners gunned him down, his wife is already searching for forgiveness. LISA CLEMENTS: I've heard Tom in our years together so many times talk about victims, who describe their entire lives falling apart, their marriages falling apart, their health falling apart because of the rage, and the lack of forgiveness toward the person who harmed their loved one or took the life of their loved one. And conversely, victims with whom we've spoken who simply said I have to let go so I can live my life. And that's what I choose.

SPELLMAN: Though it appears her husband's killer was released from prison early due to a clerical error, she vows to not let resentment or hatred dominate her life.

LISA CLEMENTS: For the rest of my days, I could be angry that someone made a mistake and didn't capture what a judge conveyed, but it won't bring Tom back. And then my life is lost in that and my ability to be a good mother to my children. So -- so I choose not to make it a focus.

SPELLMAN: A choice to let the light chase away the darkness.

LISA CLEMENTS: In scripture they're talking about when darkness overtakes the godly, light comes bursting through. And I think that -- that scripture captures exactly what I would like people to know about Tom.

That that horrific night, and, you know the sound of that doorbell, and all that happened, was just unmentionable darkness. But, I -- I trust that people will see light coming through. They'll see that a man lived a good life and people's lives were impacted by that.

SPELLMAN: A light that will be remembered long after his killer is forgotten. Jim Spellman, CNN, Denver.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: President Obama's upcoming budget expected to include cuts to Medicare and Social Security, along with some new tax increases. It will be unveiled Wednesday. White House officials said the cuts are meant to show the president is willing to compromise with Republicans.

His budget includes an offer President Obama made to House Speaker John Boehner of $400 billion in savings to Medicare over 10 years. The White House hopes this will help kick-start talks on a long-term deficit reduction view.

ROMANS: All right, it's the most important factor in the economy, the jobs market, and your ability to get and keep a job. We're going to know more about that in about 2-1/2 hours when we get the jobs report for March.

We're expecting to hear about 190,000 jobs were created last month. That's not as good as February when job growth took a surprise by surprise and was more than 200,000. We have been adding jobs for almost 2.5 years, but slowly and in the past week or so there have been reports on manufacturing, jobless claims, another private sector employment report came in a little weak. So the estimates for March have been dialed back. As for the unemployment rate, that's what the chart looks like. We're expecting it to hold at 7.7 percent. You can see it's been improving since it hit that peak in 2009. But it has been a slow improvement.

I'm going to have the report for you at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time and I can't stress enough, John, how important it is the jobs market get healthy because you cannot really have economic growth that everyone shares in if you don't have a more robust job.

BERMAN: Every one of these reports, huge news. It's 9 minutes after the hour right now, if you are rating the career of Roger Ebert, it would have to get two thumbs up. The legendary film critic died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.

Ebert became a household name reviewing films on television, first with long time colleague Gene Siskel, later with Richard Roeper. Last night, Roeper shared some of his memories on "AC 360."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD ROEPER, FILM CRITIC: With Roger what you saw on TV, Anderson and what you read in his blog or if you saw his tweets, what you saw is what you got. That was Roger. You know, he was a larger than life guy. He had a great passion for the movies. You mention how long he's been doing this.

When I joined the show he had already been a film critic for 30 years. He had already reviewed literally 10,000 movies, and he would still get excited every time the lights went down and the curtains parted in the screening room. He was always rooting for a movie to be good. But if it wasn't good, you'd know about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Roeper says working with Roger Ebert was like winning the lottery every day.

ROMANS: All right, surveillance video you just have to see from the airport in Honolulu, Hawaii. A woman barging into the security checkpoint area, and she was attacking a female TSA agent. Then out of nowhere.

BERMAN: Boom.

ROMANS: California police officer jumps a barrier to rescue the agent, and body slam the suspect. The hero cop, Justin Rogers, says, he was waiting to go through the body scanner on his way back from vacation apparently was very well-rested and alert because he heard the commotion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORPORAL JUSTIN ROGERS, TOOK DOWN SUSPECT ASSAULTING TSA AGENT: Police officer or not, the woman was being assaulted. She was defenceless. Had her arms up trying to defend herself, and somebody really need to help her, and luckily I was close enough to be able to help her out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The TSA says Rogers' actions, coupled with the quick response by airport security, assured that the integrity of the airport's sterile area was maintained, minimizing disruptions to the traveling public.

BERMAN: I'm happy for the integrity of the airport's sterile area right there.

Also impressed by that guy's two-point takedown. All right, we're just chock full of amazing video today. Talk about the nick of time. Searchers find a missing hiker clinging for dear life to the side of a canyon. We're going to have details on these amazing pictures and the rescue next in a live report.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.

A dramatic ending to the search for a second hiker missing in the back country of Orange County, California. A search team able to hear 18- year-old Kyndall Jack's frantic screams but not see her, until she finally managed to get her attention by waving her one functioning arm.

And one of the rescuers falling 60 feet in the process. Amazing.

Nick Valencia is in Los Angeles with the latest. Hey, Nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, it took a handful of days but authorities said given how young and healthy the two teen hikers were, they never lost confidence that they would be found.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, everybody is celebrating for our success. And regardless of how hard they worked or how tired they are, or hungry they are, it's a tremendous victory for them.

VALENCIA (voice-over): A victory for search and rescue teams, and a reason to celebrate for the friends and family of the two teen hikers who had been missing since Easter.

Nicholas Cendoya and Kyndall Jack called police sometime Sunday to say they couldn't find their way out of the heavily wooded area in southern California's Cleveland National Forest. Their cell phone battery died before authorities could track them.

Early Wednesday, Jack's father said the two Orange County teens were unprepared for more than an afternoon hike.

RUSS JACK, FATHER OF MISSING TEEN: I want my daughter found. And I want Nick to be found as well. So, we're not going to give up until they're found one way or another. VALENCIA: With more than 100 law enforcement officers and volunteers as part of the search, Cendoya was found first late Wednesday evening, wearing only a T-shirt and board shorts, he was plucked from the dense canyon brush, severely dehydrated and delirious. But Cendoya's rescue gave authorities hope that Jack would also be found.

Officers said she was spotted on Thursday morning, pretty close to where Cendoya was rescued. Both were expected to survive their injuries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a complicated environment, and before you know it you're lost. And you don't have the resources available.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VALENCIA: Officials were obviously thrilled at the outcome of this rescue but they also used it as a point to remind the public how inexperienced and unprepared hikers can encounter a certain danger -- John.

BERMAN: After four days in the woods, how are the hikers doing this morning?

VALENCIA: Just an incredible rescue effort by the team there. Handful of days in the wildlife in Cleveland National Forest, they're both being hospitalized, still remain in the hospital. Kyndall Jack is being treated for hypothermia and dehydration. "The L.A. Times" also reports she's undergoing some tests. We're unclear what those tests are.

As far as her hiking companion, he's alive, he's alert, he's thanking God he survived this fall. He's also expected to survive his superficial injuries -- John.

BERMAN: Thanking God I bet they are. They're lucky this morning.

Coming up at 7:00 Eastern on "STARTING POINT," we're going to talk to members of the brave crew who saved those hikers.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Seventeen minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date.

South Korea's news agency says North Korea has now moved two missiles to a secret facility on its east coast. A U.S. official tells CNN the North has been moving missile and launch components to the coast over the last few days. They appear to have a range of about 2,500 miles. That poses a threat to South Korea and Japan and U.S. military bases in Guam. The North Koreans say the U.S. is pushing the region, quote, "to the brink of war".

BERMAN: Days after her husband was shot and killed, Rosie Crum choking back tears as she takes over as Mingo County, West Virginia's new sheriff. She was sworn in just blocks from where her husband was murdered.

( (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me God.

ROSIE CRUM, SHERIFF: So help me God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, sheriff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Eugene Crum was shot twice and killed Wednesday as he sat in a parking lot. The man suspected of killing him, 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard, is in critical but stable condition. He was shot in the chest during exchanging gunfire with the sheriff's deputy after the chase.

Rosie Crum will serve out her late husband's term which runs through the end of the year. Amazing.

ROMANS: All right. There are new calls this morning for Rutgers athletic director and president to resign over their handling of that case involving the basketball coach Mike Rice. Rice was fired after video showed him verbally and physically abusing players. Now, one of Rice's assistant coaches Jimmy Martelli has followed him out the door. Martelli was also seen on tape berating players and hurling basketballs at them during practice.

BERMAN: So, a new poll says most Americans think marijuana should be legal. This is the first time a majority said yes to legalized pot since Pew start asking the question more than 40 years ago, 52 percent support it, 45 percent said no, 72 percent said the cost of enforcing the current laws, not worth it.

Back in 1969, a Gallup poll found only 12 percent of Americans said legalize it. So, from 12 percent in '69 to 52 percent now.

ROMANS: A couple of different issues, including same-sex marriage, over the past generation have moved so profoundly in the polls. It's a generation that's really seen a lot, a lot of change in public perception.

BERMAN: Big, quick changes, to be sure.

ROMANS: In the boys club world that is finance, one woman could go where no other woman has ever gone before, there she is. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. We are minding your business this morning.

It is a huge day on Wall Street, one of the most important economic reports we get.

ROMANS: One of, it is the most important!

BERMAN: Correction, the most important economic report we get it's coming out at 8:30 Eastern.

ROMANS: It's the monthly jobs report. And we expect 190,000 jobs in March, down from 236,000 in February.

A job creation has been improving, but Ben Bernanke, the Fed chief, warned last month of a spring slump, saying job growth over the past two years has been strong in the winter but then it's tapered off. Stock futures are pointing to a lower open as we wait to see what those numbers will be.

OK. Could this woman be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve? We'll show you her picture. The 100-year-old Fed has never been led by a woman. But word on the street is that Janet Yellen is a front- runner for Ben Bernanke's job. She's currently the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Now, technically, Bernanke hasn't said one way or another if he's stepping down, but after eight years on the job, including during the financial crisis, he's expected to call it quits when his second term ends in January.

It's been quite -- I can't think of any other term that's been quite --

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: Now, look at that guy on the left of your screen, Jeff Skilling, former Enron CEO. He could be getting out of prison early. Skilling isn't scheduled to be released for another 15 years. But the Department of Justice is considering a new sentence agreement against with him.

According to an appeals court decision, Skilling's original sentence was done under improper guidelines. The DOJ is announcing this so that victims can participate in the hearing. Skilling was sentenced to 24 years back in 2006. He was convicted of fraud, conspiracy, insider trade, lying to auditors, basically orchestrating the biggest corporate fraud in U.S. history.

Remember Enron? Took down the company. Took down everyone's confidence in corporate America. Really a big story.

It was before the financial crisis, that was the financial crisis.

BERMAN: A lot less than 24 years. We get (INAUDIBLE).

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: So, what's the one thing we need to know about our money?

ROMANS: Mortgage rates. Mortgage rates getting close to their record lows again. Freddie Mac says 30-year fixed is now 3.54 percent. Record low 3.3 percent.

So mortgage rates continue to fall, home sales are up, construction is up. Prices are rising. I want to be really clear. If you have a mortgage right now in the 5 percent, people call me they have 6 percent mortgages, run, run to refinance. You're leaving money on the table. No reason to have a -- no reason to have a loan still in the 5 percent range.

BERMAN: It is great advice.

Twenty-five minutes after the hour right now. And fans of "Mad Men" -- pretty much everyone on the planet Earth -- counting down to the season six premiere this Sunday.

ROMANS: Is that Tapper?

BERMAN: But before you see the premiere, that, that is CNN's Jake Tapper. Not Don Draper. That was Jake Tapper. He gets a taste of life in Don Draper's world. He's just as dashing. We'll tell you all about it straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Missile launchers on the move. U.S. intelligence keeping a close eye on North Korea's coast this morning.

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

BERMAN: So, did the commander-in-chief cross the line? President Obama called out for talking about a top prosecutor's looks. Interesting.

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

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. I'm in for Zoraida today. It is Friday, Friday, April 5th. And it's 30 minutes past the hour.