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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Back From Havana; North Korea's Next Move?; 14 Injured In Texas College Stabbing Attack; President's 2014 Budget Released This Morning; UConn Wins 8th NCAA Title; Expanding Background Checks On Gun Sales; Newly Grads' Employment Woes; Abducted Kids Returned

Aired April 10, 2013 - 06:00   ET

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


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: They're back in the United States. New this morning, two boys abducted by sailboat, taken to Cuba, returned a short time ago to their grandparents in Florida.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR Was it a sick fantasy turn brutal reality? New information on the suspect in a mass stabbing at a Texas college.

SAMBOLIN: And it could happen at any moment. The United States and the entire world waiting with North Korea expected to launch a ballistic missile.

BERMAN: Do we have a breakthrough on background checks? We're just hours away from a bipartisan Senate announcement on gun control in America.

That will be interesting to see. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is Wednesday, April 10th. It is just about 6:00 a.m. in the East.

And we have new developments overnight. The parents accused of abducting their two young sons and sailing from Florida all the way to Cuba are back in the U.S. this morning. They are under arrest. You're taking a look at their pictures right there. Cuban officials turned the Hakken Family over to the United States after they were spotted Tuesday by a CNN reporter at a marina in Havana.

Florida authorities sent a plane there to bring the Hakkens back to Tampa. That happened overnight. CNN's Victor Blackwell is live in Tampa this morning. What is the very latest there, Victor?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the very latest, the good news, those boys, Chase and Cole, at home with their grandparents. It was a week from start to finish. Last Wednesday when authorities say Joshua Hakken went into his mother-in-law's home, took those kids. Now, a week later, they are back in that home.

The parents are in jail. We've got the first video of them being taken into a local jail which is actually just a few hundred yards from me where they were questioned. And we know that this started once the state department received information that the Hakkens were headed south to Cuba and were in Cuba, and that started the wheels turning.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann found the boat, found the Hakkens, spoke with Joshua Hakken and Sharyn Hakken, and then the authorities flew to Havana. We know that the grandparents, Robert and Patricia Hauser were able to speak with those boys before they boarded the plane on the way back.

Here's what Robert Hauser said last night as he awaited those boys' return to their home here in Tampa.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT HAUSER, GRANDFATHER; Right now, we're just looking forward to sitting, getting them in our arms and hugging them and being with them, getting them home where they'll be safe again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: And before they were taken into custody the big question was, was this going to be some international mess, like Elian Gonzalez in reverse? Well, the FBI spoke about the cooperation of the Cuban government. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE COUVERTIER, SPECIAL AGENT TAMPA BAY: In talking to the State Department, and our coordination, you know, the U.S. officials with the government of Cuba, they've been very supportive and they were very cooperative, and all our requests and trained to make sure that we got the family back safely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: So a safe, local, and federal now international cooperation to bring these boys back home, and their parents, authorities say, to justice -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: I know yesterday, Victor, we were talking a lot about the fact that there's no extradition treaty and what would actually happen. And this morning I was reading, which I thought was really fascinating, is that they were left on the boat.

They were not allowed to get off the boat. And they said if, in fact, they would have been housed in a hotel perhaps that could have been a sign that there was some trouble looming?

BLACKWELL: You know what? Patrick Oppmann spoke about this, about the protection of that boat, and keeping the family there. He says that there were agents there, police officers with the state, who some were uniform, some in plain clothes, who came up and kept people away from that boat.

Also, as we understand now, to likely keep them on it to make sure that this did not become some international incident. But we know once they got on the plane they were separated from their children. Once they got on the ground they were taken to one jail, questioned. Now they're in another jail. They're going to make their first appearance, I'm sure, sometime today or either tomorrow. And we're hoping to hear, also, from the grandparents and the boys. They have said they will make themselves available to talk more about this week- long ordeal -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Those parents facing a lot of charges this morning. Victor Blackwell, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

BERMAN: Right now in Washington, and Tokyo, they're waiting nervously for North Korea to make its next move. One U.S. official tells CNN the White House believes that it is likely the North could test-fire a mobile ballistic missile at any moment.

And based on intelligence reports Pyongyang has already completed the necessary launch preparations. Jim Clancy live from Seoul, South Korea this morning. Jim, at this point, any reason to doubt that North Korea is go to go ahead with these tests?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, I don't think so. Everybody in South Korea that I've talked to, and I did sit down with the unification minister today and talk with him at some length, everyone is convinced there's going to be a missile launch.

Keep this in mind, John. The last thing that North Korea wants is for this missile not to go right. In other words, if it were to be a failed launch what a huge embarrassment for North Korea and it may be that they've got some problems with the missile.

They don't want to take that risk. It may be they're not quite ready yet. We're moving towards the birthday of the founding father Kim Il- Sung. They're going to have sporting events and other things going on in Pyongyang to celebrate. What better way to celebrate than with the launch of an intermediate range missile that threatens all of your neighbors. Back to you, John.

BERMAN: Jim, Reuters reporting that South Korea has actually asked China to step in and try to help with this whole diplomatic mess right now. What's the status there?

CLANCY: Well, they have. The foreign ministry says that they asked them. I kind of wonder why, John, because China has been playing the role here, telling everybody to tone it down. I think what they were calling on China to do here was to make some specific steps to end the provocation.

You know, they're on a higher state of alert here in South Korea. There's a lot of talk about sleeper cells. You know, some of the North Korean defectors that came to South Korea, some of them are thought to still be loyal, and people say well that's the kind of an attack you really can't retaliate for.

Could that be some way that Kim Jong-Un could up the ante here? So they're on alert for those kinds of things and they believe that they're ready for it -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Jim Clancy in Seoul, South Korea. Again that test launch from the north could come at any moment. Thanks, Jim.

SAMBOLIN: There's an interesting op-ed piece in "The New York Times" today, and it's titled stay cool, call North Korea's bluff. It's very interesting read with all the details there.

It's 5 minutes past the hour this morning. New developments this morning about a frightening scene on a college campus in Texas, it is a stabbing rampage. The suspect under arrest, 20-year-old Dylan Quick is accused of injuring 14 people in yesterday's attack.

There he is there. Officials say Quick told investigators that he planned the assault and that he fantasized about stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school. CNN's Ed Lavandera is live in Cypress, Texas, for us. Good morning to you, Ed.

ED LAVANDERA: Good morning, Zoraida. Well, things are scheduled to resume here, back to normal on the campus of Lone Star College here in Cypress, Texas. But for a few moments yesterday afternoon, it was all but normal and extremely scary.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Investigators say Dylan Quick unleashed a rapid and frightening attack on 14 people, as he walked through a hallway of the lone star college campus in Cypress, Texas. Cassie Foe says it was surreal to watch the horrific scene unfold. She was in a classroom when she heard students screaming.

(on camera): How in the world does someone stab 14 people?

CASSIE FOE, WITNESS TO STABBINGS: He used his back pack as a shield and he gets close to the person, kind of bumps into them and stabs them at the same time.

LAVANDERA: That quick.

FOE: It was that quick, just and then out. And down the other way.

LAVANDERA: This guy's walking and he's just leaving this trail of pain behind him, right?

FOE: Basically. He's just stabbing anyone in his way. There was no pattern. There was no method. It -- it was completely random.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Fourteen people were wounded in the surprising assault. Four had to be airlifted to hospitals. For many, it was all over before they could figure out what had happened. The wounds were gruesome.

A piece of a blade broke off in one victim's cheek. Others were stabbed in the throat and face as students ran from the chaos a group of three students went after the attacker. One of them was Steven Maida.

STEVE MAIDA, CHASED AND TACKLED THE SUSPECT: The next thing was there's a guy stabbing girls in the face. I was like, all right, we got to go in there.

LAVANDERA: Maida says he and two other students started chasing Dylan Quick through the buildings, and finally caught up with him outside by a parking lot.

MAIDA: Jumped back on him, and I didn't want to take a chance, I put him on his stomach, put his hands behind his back and that's when the first cop came and put the cuffs on him.

LAVANDERA (on camera): When you guys get on top of him, what did he say?

MAIDA: He said I give up right away. I give up. I was just on top of him. Why did you do this? What made you want to stab these girls?

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Maida said he didn't get an answer, but investigators said Dylan Quick said he's had fantasies of stabbing people since he was in elementary school and had planned this attack for some time. Investigators also say Dylan Quick used a razor-type knife and has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: And, Zoraida, this morning, the last we heard there were two victims that were still in critical condition, so we'll continue to monitor their conditions throughout the day, and whether or not more charges will be filed against Dylan Quick because of this rampage here on the campus of Lone Star College -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right, Ed Lavandera reporting live. Thank you very much.

Coming up in just a few moments at 6:30 Eastern, we'll talk with a student at Lone Star College who was on campus yesterday as all of the violence unfolded. She was taking pictures. We're going to chat with her about her experience yesterday.

BERMAN: Also new this morning, President Obama's budget for fiscal year 2014 will be released in just a few hours. Copies will be delivered to the capitol to both the Senate and the House.

Then later this morning in the Rose Garden, the president will make a formal statement. His budget will propose changes to Social Security and Medicare and call for some new tax increases.

SAMBOLIN: In France, the Senate passing a key portion of the marriage for all bill. This would make marriage and adoption legal for same- sex couples. French President Francois Hollande vowed to make same- sex marriage legal during his election campaign.

BERMAN: And U-Conn Lady Huskies celebrating their record-tying NCAA basketball championship this morning. How many do they have? Eight.

SAMBOLIN: How many do they have? I thought it was nine. BERMAN: Eight, eight, eight. Brianna Stewart scoring 18 of her 23 points in the first half as the Huskies crushed Louisville 93-60. This was the most lop-sided win ever.

SAMBOLIN: I know. So many people were rooting for Louisville because you know they would have made history, too.

BERMAN: Not, however, Connecticut. U-Conn tying the University of Tennessee for the most women's national titles as we said with how many?

SAMBOLIN: Eight, eight, eight, I was going to give them nine. Congratulations. We could find out in a matter of hours whether a deal's been reached to turn a major gun control proposal finally into reality. Details coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. We've learned that a bipartisan deal may be near in the Senate that would expand federal background checks on some gun sales. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senator Pat Toomey, have scheduled a news conference for 11:00 a.m.

And a new CNN poll shows there is overwhelming support for background checks. Nearly nine out of ten Americans favor them. All day today on CNN we're taking an in-depth look at the legislation, the debate and what's at stake in our coverage "Guns Under Fire: A CNN Special Report On Background Checks." Here's Brianna Keilar.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Family members of some of the 26 students and teachers killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting visited Capitol Hill, lobbying lawmakers to take up gun legislation. Jillian Soto, whose sister Vicky, died at Sandy Hook Elementary School, met with Democrats and Republicans.

JILLIAN SOTO, SISTER OF SLAIN SANDY HOOK TEACHER: It's hard to even wrap your arms around this that this ever even happened. We're just taking it day by day and you know, going to Washington, and demanding something happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

KEILAR: The high-profile visit come as the Senate's top Democrat, Harry Reid, announced he will force a vote this week on whether to start debate on tougher gun laws. And they coincide with a week-long White House offensive.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Safer for our children, so let's do the right thing.

KEILAR: Monday, President Obama pressed the Senate from Connecticut with a campaign-style event. Tuesday, at a White House event with law enforcement officials, Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder applied more pressure, as a growing group of Republicans say they plan to block the Senate from even debating the Democratic offered bill.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Won't even proceed. Now maybe between now and the time it gets to the floor they will, as my mother will say, they will have seen the light. Maybe that will change. What an embarrassing thing to say?

KEILAR: Democrats are hoping for support from at least a handful of Republicans like Georgia's Johnny Isakson. He met with the Newtown families Tuesday and told CBS News that despite his opposition to the bill, he won't filibuster it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I think it deserves a vote up or down.

KEILAR: Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: Our thanks to Brianna. It is 15 minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date.

The Florida couple accused of abducting their own two sons and sailing off to Cuba are back in Florida this morning where they have been placed under arrest. The parents have. Cuba turned the Hakken family over to the United States yesterday.

They were first spotted right there, by a CNN reporter, Tuesday, at a marina in Havana. Florida authorities sent a plane to fly them back to Tampa overnight, along with those two precious little boys, who have been returned to their maternal grandparents.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Imminent is how one U.S. official describes the threat of North Korea test-firing a mobile ballistic missile. And it could come without any advance warning.

Intelligence reports indicate the North has already completed launch preparations. Pyongyang now telling foreigners in South Korea to leave the country.

SAMBOLIN: And a sad story this morning in Canada. A 17-year-old girl has committed suicide. Her family says that (INAUDIBLE) Parsons could no longer take being bullied. She was sexually assaulted a year and a half ago by four boys. And a photo taken during that incident was posted online as well. And that led to relentless harassment in her high school.

No charges were ever filed in the sexual assault and police said they just did not have enough evidence to prosecute.

BERMAN: That's awful.

SAMBOLIN: Unbelievable. Tragic.

BERMAN: Could former Congressman Anthony Weiner be considering a political comeback? The answer is yes. Weiner stepped down in 2011 after he was caught sending out explicit messages on photos -- on Twitter. But now there are reports in "The New York Times" Weiner saying that he is polling New York City residents to see if they will consider him as a candidate for mayor.

Weiner still has more than $4 million in his campaign war chest and he still maintains a campaign office.

SAMBOLIN: We were talking about these disgraced politicians who rerun for office and we came up with quite a list, right?

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: Certainly --

SAMBOLIN: It's growing.

BERMAN: It is growing by the day.

SAMBOLIN: It continues to grow.

Minority leader Mitch McConnell has called in the FBI to investigate what he calls Watergate-type tactics by his political opponent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: As I indicated, last week they were attacking my wife's ethnicity and apparently also bugging my headquarters, much like Nixon and Watergate. That's what the political left does these days.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Secret tapes from a strategy session at McConnell's office revealed the Kentucky Republican was considering attacking then prospective candidate Ashley Judd over her religious views and battles with depression. The actress released a statement responding to what was said in the tape saying in part, quote, "We expected nothing less from Mitch McConnell and his camp than to take a personal struggle such as depression, which many Americans cope with on a daily basis, and turn it into a laughing matter."

BERMAN: So you just got your college diploma, now you have to get a job. Christine Romans with a reality check for new grads. What you need to do to get that job coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: We are "Minding Your Business" this morning. Oh, take a look at that. New York City. How lovely you look this morning. I think -- what did I see, was it 78 today?

BERMAN: Just perfect. Yes.

SAMBOLIN: I don't know. But I'm guessing, and if it's not, don't get mad at me. It's a busy day for business news. Lots of money stories out there, including the Dow at another record high and on track to add to those gains at the Opening Bell today.

Christine Romans, you got a lot going on.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I know, investors. Look, investors have really been rewarded over the past year. And you've got the Dow poised for probably another record this morning if these futures hold true. At the same time, here's this two Americas, right? Good for investors. But look at the news out for college seniors.

A really important new report from the left-leaning economic policies, who find the class of 2013 faces a very difficult labor market. Fifty-two percent of their slightly older colleagues are working in jobs that do not require bachelor's degrees. That's right. You now need a bachelor's degree to work in a job that doesn't -- didn't require a bachelor's degree for the people who graduated even 10 years ago.

8.8 percent of recent college grads are unemployed, 18 percent are unemployed. Both of those figures are much higher than they were in 2007. The recession really accelerating these trends.

And average hourly wages have been falling for young college graduates who do have jobs. They're down 7.6 percent since 2007.

Now the report says the best way to improve the situation for college grads is of course to improve the overall labor market. And we do have more evidence and this is the good news, more evidence of that that is happening. There are now just slightly more than three job openings for every unemployed person in America. For every job seeker there are three job openings. That sounds daunting. You've got to beat out two other people for a job but you know what? It's much better than the peak of the recession when you were -- when seven people were looking for every job opening.

The Labor Department's job opening and labor turnover survey finding 3.9 million job openings in America in February.

And that's -- the one thing you need to know about your money today, banks about to begin sending checks to 4.2 million of you. That's right. Banks are going to be giving 4.2 million people money. Why? Well, because they have to because these people lost their homes or suffered other financial damages as the result of unlawful foreclosure proceedings. $3.6 billion to be paid out and all the biggest checks going to military service members whose homes were repossessed while they were on active duty. That's illegal.

SAMBOLIN: That's shameful.

ROMANS: And banks -- that is illegal and banks did it. They took the homes of people who are on active duty. And it's interesting because those people are going to get up to $125,000. People -- it's going to be a $300 to $125,000 is the range for what people are going to be getting back from the banks. They were notified back in March. So you know who you are. But those checks are going out this week. And it is -- it is -- (LAUGHTER)

It's absolutely necessary. Especially in the case of those military veterans.

(CROSSTALK)

SAMBOLIN: The fact that it's illegal and they did it anyway, that's just outrageous.

ROMANS: They did it in more cases than you would -- it was outrageous and they'll have to pony up. The banks will have to pony up.

SAMBOLIN: All right, Thank you, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: And new this morning the parents who abducted their children and took them to Cuba are now in U.S. custody facing a lot of charges. The latest in the case when we come back.

BERMAN: If you're leaving the house right now, watch us any time on your desktop or mobile phone. Just go to CNN.com/TV.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)