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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

U.S. Children Kidnapped by Parents and Brought to Cuba Now Back in U.S.; Student in Texas Goes on Stabbing Spree; North Korea Continues Preparations for Missile Test; Guns Under Fire: a CNN Special Report; Yahoo! and Apple to Team Up; Terrible Bosses

Aired April 10, 2013 - 07:00   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. Our STARTING POINT this morning, breaking news overnight. Two brothers abducted to Cuba by their parents are back home in the U.S. now. We're in Tampa and in Havana where CNN was the first to find them.

BERMAN: New this morning, intelligence reports saying North Korea could launch a missile at any moment. The world watching to see what Kim Jong-Un will do next. We are live in Seoul with the implications.

ROMANS: And a student goes on a stabbing spree, injuring 14 people, terrifying his classmates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He started stabbing anyone in his way. And there was no pattern. There was no method. It -- it was completely random.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: But why did he do it? We're talking to the sheriff of Harris County who has got some answers for us.

BERMAN: Plus, you know, we may be hours away from a major deal on background checks to buy guns. It's part of our day-long special coverage, "GUNS UNDER FIRE."

ROMANS: And the women huskies make history.

It's Wednesday, April 10th, STARTING POINT begins right now.

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ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BERMAN: And it's breaking news this morning. The parents accused of abducting their two young sons and sailing to Cuba. They are back in Florida this morning and they are under arrest. Josh and Sharyn Hakken and their two boys were spotted yesterday at a Havana marina by a CNN reporter. CNN's Victor Blackwell is live in Tampa this morning where the boys have been reunited with their grandparents. Good morning, Victor.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. Those parents are in jail here in Hillsboro County in Florida. They face state charges, Joshua Hakken, the father, faces a federal count of flight to avoid prosecution.

But we know now from the FBI and the local sheriff's office that what happened was the state department initially received the information that the Hakkens had moved to Cuba, had moved by boat to Cuba and were there at the marina. It was CNN's Patrick Oppmann in Havana who confirmed it, saw the boys, saw the boat, and actually spoke with Joshua and Sharyn Hakken there in Havana. And after that, we're told that authorities here, both state and federal authorities boarded a plane, flew to Havana, and brought the kids and the parents' home. They were kept separated on the plane.

The major question politically was in the beginning, how would this happen considering the inconsistent and unpredictable extradition history between the U.S. and Cuba? Would Cuba cooperate? Here's the answer from the FBI.

(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: Once that plane landed here in Hillsboro County the boys were separated again from their parents. The boys went with their grandparents where they are this morning. The parents were taken to a jail a few hundred yards away from me where they were questioned for several hours. They're now at a different jail. We're expecting them to make their first appearance in court pretty soon.

And we should learn more over the next 24 to 48 hours as the grandparents have said that they will make themselves and the two boys, Chase and Cole, available to talk about the last week, and their terrible ordeal. John?

BERMAN: Victor, we're wondering here, how do you explain to a two- year-old and four-year-old what's gone on? It's got to be so difficult. Victor Blackwell live for us in Tampa, thanks so much.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: As Victor said, it was CNN's Patrick Oppmann who first found the family in Havana. He's in Havana for us this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is how we started our search for Joshua and Sharyn Hakken. Right now we're heading out to the Marina Hemingway, one of the larger marinas in Cuba, where a lot of foreigners go to keep their boats here and where they stay when they're coming to Cuba.

To get past the marina security it helps to keep your camera out of view. The guards soon tell me to leave. We're being bothered now by the security. They're asking us to leave.

We're outside the Marina Hemingway where there's a lot more security than when we were here earlier. Then we were just able to drive in and immediately start looking for the Hakkens' boat. We went back up in this area here and there are lots of boats from the United States, but none that match the description we've gotten from police. We're going to the last boat slip that we saw the Salt. It really stood out because it was a much smaller boat, and as soon as we got there and started filming I saw Josh Hakken get out of the boat. He asked me who I was. I said I was an American reporter. He confirmed who he was and immediately got back in the boat.

Cuban authorities came out immediately, some of them packing pistols and told us that we needed to leave. But we were able to convince them before they kicked us out to allow me to go up without a camera and speak to Josh Hakken. They let us go up to the boat and he wouldn't speak to me but his wife confirmed to us that both their sons are with them. As she said, they're doing fine.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN Havana.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Terrific reporting from Patrick.

ROMANS: Unbelievable.

BERMAN: New developments this morning in the tensions with North Korea right now. One U.S. officials telling CNN the White House believes it is likely the north could test-fire a mobile ballistic missile at any time. And based on intelligence reports Pyongyang has already completed the necessary preparations. Jim Clancy is live from Seoul, South Korea this morning. Good morning, Jim. What's the latest there?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, we're sitting, we're watching, we're waiting. You know, it's amazing. We haven't heard a word from the North Koreans about this. Are they afraid this missile might fail? We do know that privately they voiced -- they were crestfallen, John, when the U.S. decided to cancel its own ballistic missile test from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The North Koreans apparently wanted to see that happen. I talked with University of Georgia Professor Han Park.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PROF. HAN PARK, ASIAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: I spoke with some North Korean personnel. That's exactly what a sovereign state should be doing. It's a U.S. right to test their weapons from their territories. That's exactly what we did. How come they're doing and we are not allowed to do? That's the kind of mentality North Korea's coming from.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: All right, it may be that the North Koreans had a propaganda campaign all set to go if that minuteman three went skyward and they were disappointed they didn't get to use it, John.

BERMAN: Interesting notion, Jim. Jim Clancy for us in South Korea, thanks so much.

ROMANS: New this morning, we're learning what may be behind a stabbing rampage on a Texas college campus. And 20-year-old suspect Dylan Quick is accused of injuring 14 people at Lone Star Community College. Officials say Quick told investigators he planned the assault and that he has fantasized about stabbing people since he was in elementary school. CNN's Ed Lavandera liv in Cypress, Texas, where classes are resuming. Good morning, Ed.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. Disturbing details that investigators have released in this about their conversations with Dylan Quick in the moments after he was taken into custody. But it all came to a quick end, because of three students who jumped into action.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: 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. Kathy Foe says it was surreal to watch the horrific scene unfold. She was in a classroom when she heard students screaming.

How in the world does someone stab 14 people?

CASSIDY 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 was completely random.

LAVANDERA: And 14 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 SUSPECT: He said there's a guy stabbing girls in the face. I was like, all right, we got to go in there. See what I can do.

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

MAIDA: I 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: 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: 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 Christine, one of the things that really stood out to me in our conversation with Cassidy, that first witness that you heard from, the young woman who is a nursing student here at Lone Star College, when she first emerged from her classroom, she heard several of the victims making frantic phone calls to loved ones. She was convinced that several of them did not think they were going to survive this attack and this morning there are still two of those victims that are in critical condition. Christine?

ROMANS: Ed Lavandera, thanks, reporting for us.

BERMAN: Let's bring in the Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia whose department responded to the initial 911 call and detained the suspect at the scene. Good morning, sheriff. Thank you so much for joining us. Let's start with Dylan Quick. Can you tell me if you have any criminal record, any documented history of any mental illness?

SHERIFF ADRIAN GARCIA, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: John, thank you for having me. First of all, let me just say that our prayers are here in Harris County go out to the victims in this particular case to the staff and the faculty, to everyone affected. To your question, we don't have any information that Dylan had any previous criminal history or anything to indicate that he would be prone to this type of violent behavior.

BERMAN: We hear that he's been fantasizing of using a knife, stabbing people since elementary school. As you say, no documented history so no early warning signs that anyone should have been able to pick up? GARCIA: Not that we know of at this particular point. Maybe more information will come forward but at this point, there's nothing to indicate that there would be any red flags that would have alerted us to this type of a situation.

But to that end, one of the things that we do want to encourage citizens here in Harris County to do is to download their free mobile phone apps called "I Watch Harris County." It's a way for us to know about suspicious activity that may be planned, things that are occurring and that it could help us prevent these situations from occurring in the future.

ROMANS: We're told that Quick was well-known on campus. He's 20 years old. We're told, you know, some people on campus said he used to carry around a monkey sock puppet. Can you tell us a little bit about his behavior on campus and what your investigation is revealing?

GARCIA: Again, everything is still in its early stages. All that we have right now is we're focused on the facts of the case. We have charged Dylan with three counts of aggravated assault. We're focused on the recovery of the victims. And we know what you have already stated, that he has fantasized since elementary school about stabbing individuals, and that he has planned this particular incident apparently for quite some time.

ROMANS: Did he choose the victims on purpose or was it random, do you know?

GARCIA: Apparently it's all random at this point.

ROMANS: All right, Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Harris County, Texas. Thanks for bringing us up to speed this morning.

BERMAN: Zoraida has the rest of the top stories.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to both of you. Happening now, some streets around the nation's capital have just reopened after authorities had closed down several blocks there. The secret service and police were investigating a suspicious vehicle parked very close to the White House. It was reported just before 5:00 a.m. eastern time. We'll continue to follow that.

Also this morning, a powerful spring storm that blanketed a large part of the west grounded hundreds of flights out of Denver and dropped hail on Kansas and Nebraska. It's slowly on the move this morning. Where will it go next? And what will it be bringing with it? Jennifer Delgado is here to tell us. Good morning.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Zoraida. You're right, it's moving very slowly right now. And along with it we're dealing with showers and thunderstorms, as well as that wintry mix. What you're seeing in pink, and more snow on the way for areas of you towards the north. Lightning right now is really firing up from areas including Dallas all the way over towards parts of Michigan.

Now, snow today. We're not done with it. This is going to go all the way through Thursday. We're talking a foot of snowfall possible for areas like Minneapolis and the same for Green Bay. And in the purple, that is freezing rain. We're talking ice accumulation. It's going to be bad out there today. Down towards the south the ice warnings will really come to an end as we go later into the afternoon.

On a wider view, this afternoon, with the clash of the two air masses, we are going to be looking at severe storms from Houston all the way over towards Maryland with this boundary system. We are going to see a few more clouds around. But for New York City, we'll see partly sunny skies, high of 78 degrees. And then, for areas like D.C., getting very close to the 90 degree mark, but all the bad cold air is out towards the west. It almost looks like my graphic is having a weather glitch. It's not. It's just Nother Nature playing around, being a little moody this morning.

SAMBOLIN: It's like flip flop. It should be the other way.

DELGADO: It is, exactly.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you very much. Jennifer Delgado live for us. A busy day ahead for president Obama this morning his budget for fiscal year 2014 will be released. Copies will be delivered to Capitol Hill around 8:30 a.m. then at 11:00 eastern he'll address it in the rose garden. His budget will propose changes to Social Security and Medicare, and it's going to call for new tax increases. And it's sure to be a topic of discussion tonight at the White House when the president hosts a dozen Republican senators that are scheduled to go to dinner.

And new this morning, former New York congressman Anthony Weiner is now planning a political comeback. Weiner stepped down in 2011 after he was caught sending out sexually explicit messages and photos on twitter. "The New York Times" reports that Weiner has spent $100,000 in polling for the New York mayor's race. Weiner still has more than $4 million left in his campaign war chest and maintains a campaign office as well.

And the UConn Lady Huskies are national champions again. Freshman sensation Brianna Stewart unstoppable last night, scoring 18 of her 23 points in the first half. And the Huskies routed Louisville, look at this, 93-60. It was the most lop-sided win ever in the title game. UConn trying -- or tying that is, Tennessee for the most women's basketball titles, eight apiece.

BERMAN: They are so good. What a program.

SAMBOLIN: I know you were rooting for them. I kind of wanted Louisville to win.

BERMAN: Upset already?

SAMBOLIN: It would have been fun.

ROMANS: Thank you, Zoraida.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, as the Senate positions itself to vote on new gun control laws we may learn about a new compromise on background checks. Does it stand a chance on Capitol Hill? Part of an all-day look, that issue right here on CNN.

Then, Memphis soul takes over the White House. The president honors soul music, and we have one of last night's musicians live, legend Booker T. Jones. You're watching STARTING POINT.

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BERMAN: Word those morning about a possible bipartisan deal in the Senate that would expand federal background checks on gun sales. Our Dana Bash telling us we will learn more about the details of this plan, which really will be a breakthrough at 11:00 eastern time when Democratic senator Joe Manchin and Republican senator Pat Toomey are scheduled to hold a news conference.

ROMANS: Meanwhile, a new CNN poll shows nearly nine out of ten Americans support tougher background checks. They're part of a gun control bill that Senate majority leader Harry Reid intends to bring to the Senate floor tomorrow.

BERMAN: And all day today on CNN we're taking an in-depth look at the legislation, the debate, and what's at stake here in our coverage "GUNS UNDER FIRE," a "CNN SPECIAL REPORT" on background checks. Brianna Keilar is at the White House this morning for us. Good morning, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, John and Christine. You also have First Lady Michelle Obama getting involved here. She'll be delivering remarks in Chicago today, her hometown which recently has been plagued by gun violence, as the White House and newtown families urge Congress to act on a gun bill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: 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 dealing, you know, 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 comes 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: 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- authored (ph) bill.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Won't even proceed. Now maybe between now and the time it gets to the floor they will, as my mother would 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.

SEN. JOHN ISAKSON, (R ) GEORGIA: But I think it deserves a vote up or down.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: You're hearing that increasingly from a number of Republican senators. But right now the holdup on a bipartisan bill is background checks. Yes, Americans overwhelmingly support them. But Republicans are concerned it will lead to a national gun registry that would allow the federal government to know exactly who owns guns, so that ultimately they might be taken away. Christine and John, and the key here, of course, are those two senators, Senators Manchin and Toomey who are having that press conference at 11:00 a.m. They've been talking about this issue. We'll see if they've been able to strike a deal.

BERMAN: They will, and the details of that deal will be very, very revealing. Brianna Keilar at the White House, thanks so much.

In just about 20 minutes CNN's Dana Bash talks with former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly. That, of course, about the status of guns in America.

ROMANS: Can't wait to see that. Interesting, interesting preview yesterday. I want to see the rest.

BERMAN: It's a great interview. Ahead on STARTING POINT, are Apple and Yahoo! making a deal? What this could mean for fans of the iPhone next. You're watching STARTING POINT.

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ROMANS: Welcome back. Minding your business this morning. Stocks headed for a higher open. The Dow hit a record high yesterday. You've heard me say it again and it happened yesterday. Investors have their eye on the Obama budget as well as minutes from the Federal Reserve's March meeting.

Watching tech stocks, Apple and Yahoo! reportedly talking about a bigger partnership on the iPhone. That would mean more Yahoo! sports news and search content on Apple devices. Yahoo! wants to get more involved in mobile, as you know. CEO Marissa Mayer has called that a top priority. Apple wants to reduce its dependence on Google.

And has your boss ever asked you to do something a little odd? This really cracks Berman up. A new survey from Career Builder uncovered some strange stuff. Here's some of our favorites. A boss asked an employee if she knew of anyone who could hook him up with illegal substances. Bad idea. A boss asked an employee to go online and post false good comments about him. A boss asked an employee to come up with a science fair project for her daughter. One asked an employee to clip her dog's nails. Another boss asked an employee to bail out a coworker from jail. I saw an episode of "Mad Men" like that. Despite all this, most people give their bosses a good grade. Sixty-five percent of bosses get a B or better from their employees.

And I went and I asked Twitter and Facebook, people who follow us on Twitter and Facebook some of their strangest -- I got a lot of strange ones. One woman said a boss asked her to sew up the fly of his pants because it was gapping in a meeting. While he was wearing the pants.

BERMAN: That sounds like an awful pickup line.

ROMANS: Another one asked -- asked a woman, he said would you call my wife and please make sure that it's okay we're friends? Weird.

BERMAN: My own personal favorite. There's a SARS epidemic in Toronto. We want you to go cover it.

ROMANS: That was you.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Twenty-six minutes after the hour right now. Ahead on STARTING POINT, the world bracing for North Korea to launch a missile test. Is Pyongyang really trying to start a war here? We're going to talk with Ambassador Jack Pritchard. He's been to North Korea eleven times. He knows that place really well.

ROMANS: Then, imagine winning $40,000 in the lottery only to realize it's actually $40 million. It happened to one lucky woman. Her story right after the break. Oh, and her reaction is priceless.

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