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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Looking for Peaceful Solution; Buried by Avalanche; Finally an Aussie Takes Augusta; Spectacular Prison Break in France

Aired April 15, 2013 - 05:30   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: North Korea's elusive leader comes out of hiding. New this morning a rare public appearance by Kim Jong-Un amid fears he will soon call for a missile launch.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: And swallowed by a deadly avalanche, still no sign of this hiker missing from Washington State mountainside since Saturday.

BERMAN: Plus, the manhunt for a modern day gangster who blasted his way out of prison with dynamite and then he simply disappeared.

BALDWIN: Fit for a movie, this story. I tell you.

BERMAN: This is crazy.

BALDWIN: Yes.

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

BALDWIN: Good morning. I'm Brooke Baldwin sitting in for Zoraida this morning. It is 31 minutes past the hour on a Monday. Want to begin here with new developments in the high-stakes effort to defuse North Korea's nuclear threat. The U.S. now renewing its call for authentic and credible negotiation. Those are our words. But Secretary of State John Kerry is making it crystal clear North Korea has to make the first move toward mothballing its nuclear ambitions.

Jim Clancy is up for us in Seoul, South Korea with the very latest here.

And, Jim, let's just begin with this rare public appearance. We haven't seen this young leader in a number of weeks publicly. Where was he? What was he doing?

JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he slipped out of the shadows. We assume that he was right there in the leadership position in Pyongyang. He just wasn't being seen in public but he emerged exactly at the stroke of midnight to go to the Great Hall where the bodies of his grandfather Kim Il-Sung, the founder, first leader of North Korea alongside his own father Kim Jong-Il are entombed in glass coffins there paying as we were told the humblest respects to the leaders.

The day is being celebrated in North Korea. Obviously there's a two- day holiday today and tomorrow that it's Monday and Tuesday, and it's not expected for that reason that there is going to be any attempt at a missile launch, a test missile launch that we've talked so much about in recent days. At least that's the opinion of South Korea's Defense Ministry.

At the same time, Brooke, it really gives Kim Jong-Un time to think about what Secretary Kerry had to say. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: What I simply did was repeat that we are open to talks, but the conditions have to be met where the North has to move towards denuclearization, indicate its seriousness in doing so by reducing these threats, stop the testing and indicate it's prepared to actually negotiate on denuclearization. Those are the conditions and that's what we need to see met.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: Now, the North has said that it's still attached to that nuclear program, Brooke, and what we see right now is the two sides are very far apart, indeed. Back to you.

BALDWIN: What we know that John Kerry, he was in Beijing, he was in Tokyo over the weekend but the big question is China. Right? China, a longtime friend of North Korea's. Maybe China can step in and talk to North Korea.

How did -- how did Kerry's talks in Beijing go?

CLANCY: Well, I think it went pretty well because I think what happened with all of the intense rhetoric from Pyongyang, a lot of people think that Beijing's view of the future of the Korean Peninsula is close -- more closely aligned with that of Washington's than Pyongyang's. Listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY: I'm very hopeful that in the days ahead we will work -- we are going to work because we've agreed to very closely with China to try to change this dynamic from the past and not simply keep repeating this, you know, year to year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: That's essential, you know, to try to get off the nickel. We've been through this so many times. China doesn't want a nuclearized peninsula and Kerry says the United States doesn't either. The U.S. and China very much on the same page on that one -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: OK, Jim Clancy, we appreciate it so much this morning for us from Seoul. Thank you.

BERMAN: So the Secretary of State John Kerry, he will be making a special stop on the way back to Washington from his Asian tour.

CNN has learned that Mr. Kerry will stop in Chicago today to visit Ann Smedinghoff's family. You remember she was the young foreign service officer killed earlier this month in that suicide attack in Afghanistan. Five other Americans were also killed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY: She was trying to deliver books to students in their own language and help them educate themselves to have better opportunities in life. She was really doing the best kind of work that so many of our foreign service officers do in the State Department and various parts of the world full of enthusiasm, full of energy, full of high ideals, and tragically she lost her life to an IED, to a vehicle IED and, you know, I think we all honor what she was doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So that was a conversation between the Secretary of State John Kerry and our very own Jill Dougherty.

You remember that Smedinghoff met Secretary Kerry in Afghanistan about two weeks before her death.

BALDWIN: A little later this morning rescuers in Washington State's Cascade Mountains will be hoping to resume the search for a missing hiker who's buried Saturday by this massive avalanche. Sixty-year-old Mitch Hungate was snowshoeing on Granite Mountain when this avalanche hit. Rescue teams, they are now having to wait for first light just to see if they can pick that search back up again. A female hiker was killed by a second avalanche Saturday on nearby Red Mountain.

CNN's Miguel Marquez has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An agonizing search for a hiker swept away by snow. The clues eerie, a ski pole buried to the hilt. Crews painstakingly searched an area a quarter mile long and eight feet deep. Rescue dogs digging furiously.

The late spring storm creating perfect avalanche conditions catching snowshoers by surprise in two nearly simultaneous avalanches.

CHRIS SOHN, AVALANCHE SURVIVOR: I thought that I'm dying.

(LAUGHTER)

I thought that I'm dying but I was hardly breathing because the snow continuously covered my body and then my face and then I couldn't see anything.

MARQUEZ: Lucky to be alive Chris Sohn was in a group of 12 swept away by a river of snow. The novice snowshoer was buried, unable to move his body. Under the weight of the snow, he could only wait as his friends dug him out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very scary. Pretty steep slope.

MARQUEZ: All 12 survived but then a dog alerted them to another buried snowshoer nearby. They dug her out of five feet of snow alive.

SOHN: After two hours, my members stay in the mountain. They found her.

MARQUEZ: But with conditions so harsh, the group so remote, search and rescue couldn't get her out fast enough. She died before reaching the command center.

The same concern for the snowshoer still missing from the first avalanche. In seconds, the three men in that group were swept far and fast. A GPS device recorded their harrowing slide.

SGT. KATHLEEN LARSON, KING COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: And they literally went 1279 feet in that avalanche at speeds of up to 53 miles an hour.

MARQUEZ: None of the men was wearing an avalanche beacon. Two of them managed to save themselves.

A hard week for avalanches in Utah, 34-year-old Craig Patterson, a highly experienced avalanche forecaster, was killed when he was caught in a small avalanche on a very steep slope. Late heavy snow packed on to icier older stuff, perfect and unforgiving avalanche conditions.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Some controversy this morning in the Port Canaveral, Florida, police department, a sergeant who's been fired insisting he's done nothing wrong. So Sergeant Ron King, who was also a firearms instructor, was let go for possessing paper targets that resemble Trayvon Martin. The Florida teen who was shot to death last year.

The target shows a faceless figure in a black hoodie with iced tea and Skittles. Those of course two items that Trayvon Martin was holding when he was killed. King said the targets were to be used as a training tool representing a real-life incident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON KING, FORMER PORT CANAVERAL POLICE OFFICER: And the target was something that I viewed as an example of a no-shoot situation. While others have used it as a novelty. I view it as a tool for scenario- based firearms training.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Even with that explanation King's superiors called the situation unacceptable. He has apologized to Trayvon Martin's family.

BALDWIN: Also new this morning, Ohio prosecutors trying to figure out if other crimes were committed in the Steubenville rape case. They will present evidence today to a grand jury investigating additional charges. You know the story, two Steubenville high school football players, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond were convicted of sexually assaulting an intoxicated 16-year-old girl after a party last summer.

BERMAN: So a totally fascinating question this morning before the Supreme Court.

BALDWIN: Yes.

BERMAN: Can human genes be patented? This case involves Myriad Genetics, this is a Utah bio-tech company that discovered two genes, one associated with breast cancer, the other ovarian cancer. National Public Radio reports the company patented its discovery but a lawsuit has been filed claiming the patent invalid -- the lawsuit essentially says you can't patent genes because genes are just part of the body.

BALDWIN: All kinds of questions about this. We'll be talking to Elizabeth Cohen. This is the case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court later this morning. It's fascinating.

BERMAN: It is.

BALDWIN: Fascinating.

History at the Masters. For the first time ever, an Australian put the famous green jacket on.

BERMAN: Greg Scott or Adam Scott winning a heart stopper of a playoff at Augusta National. Adam Scott, you'll remember, was the guy who just blew it with an epic collapse of the British Open last year. This was no collapse this time, though. The Masters win totally going to help him heal.

CNN Rachel Nichols reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Back in 1996, 15-year-old Adam Scott skips school to watch his hero Greg Norman at the Masters. But that day, Norman blew his six-stroke lead in a historic collapse. And Scott sat in front of the television crying.

Seventeen years later Scott finally became the first Australian to win here and he told me how the seeds of this victory were planted that day in front of the TV.

ADAM SCOTT, 2013 MASTERS CHAMPION: That was hard to watch, for sure, and, you know, a whole nation stopped that day and felt for Greg. You know, it was just so hard to see your hero not come up with the goods that day like he normally always did, but, you know, I learned lessons out of that day and, you know, it's an amazing journey, the whole golfing career. And I've played a lot of majors and to finally get one means a lot.

I've knocked on the door a couple of times recently. And to get over the hurdle hopefully is the start of something to come. NICHOLS: What do you see when you look at this guy?

SCOTT: That's a happy man right there when I look at that. It's quite a feeling to make a couple of putts to win the tournament. It's what every kid dreams about so for it to finally happen is amazing.

NICHOLS: Scott said he dreamed of this moment for most of his life. But that having it actually happen exceeded anything he'd imagined. Because, well, he never has to wake up from this.

For CNN, I'm Rachel Nichols, at the Masters.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: So when Scott hit the putt at 18 he hit his --

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: He had some more moves.

BERMAN: Yes.

BALDWIN: On the green.

BERMAN: Totally. By the way, I don't know golf but if I did I would have hit the putt at 18 like Adam Scott.

BALDWIN: Clearly.

BERMAN: When he sunk it he slapped his caddie's hand so hard that everyone was worried that he injured himself. You know, I was concerned when he went into the playoff that he wasn't going to be able to play because he slapped the guy's hands over.

BALDWIN: You were concerned for the caddie.

BERMAN: I was concerned for both, the caddie and Adam Scott. I have a deep concern for everyone involved in this situation.

BALDWIN: To go back and find the video.

BERMAN: It's really worth watching.

BALDWIN: Thanks, Berman.

Coming up, this is a -- this is a crazy story, it really reads like a Hollywood script. We're going to talk about this manhunt for this reputed notorious gangster who blasted his way out of a high-security prison. They're looking for him right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: There is a developing story out of Europe this morning that really resembles something out of an action movie but this situation is very real and potentially dangerous. A manhunt is on across the continent for a French gangster. He blasted his way out of prison over the weekend. Four guards were briefly held hostage and this is the big question this morning. How did this inmate get ahold of explosives?

CNN's Dan Rivers is in Lille, France.

Good morning, Dan.

DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, yes, it's an amazing story. Isn't it? You would not believe it if you saw it in a movie and the crazy thing is this guy, Redoine Faid, claims he's been inspired by Hollywood films like "Heat" and "Scarface," and that he's taken sort of much of his career, if you like, from those films.

He had written an autobiography about his rise from sort of petty thief in the suburbs of Paris to a kingpin in the organized crime network here, a specialist in armed robbery. He got out of this prison behind me blasting his way through five different doors using explosives. The last door you can see over -- I don't know if you can see it.

The repair, how he got the explosives inside there, we don't know. Anyway, he came out with a gun to the head of one of the guards who he'd taken hostage and made his way across the front of the prison running over in this direction over behind these vans over a grassy mound to a waiting getaway car on a highway.

The car was later found burned out as they switched cars and now the trail has gone completely cold and, of course, they're worried with such a dangerous criminal on the run where has he gone? Will he strike next and can they catch him?

BERMAN: I mean, Dan, there's so many questions here. You know, the explosives, where did he get them, and then the fact that this guy was fairly well-known. He had sort of a notorious past and was something of a criminal celebrity.

RIVERS: He was exactly a criminal celebrity. As I say he'd written this book. He busted out of prison before in Switzerland. He'd already on 10 years of a 30-year sentence for armed robbery. In fact the reason he was here was that he had broken the terms of his parole while awaiting trial for another armed robbery in which a policewoman is killed.

Now this is not a super max prison. Yes, it's a reasonably secure prison but it's not the most secure in France so questions about why they put such a dangerous potential jail breaker, someone like this, and as you say, how on earth did he get explosives smuggled in. Some suggestions perhaps that his wife helped to smuggle it in hidden in handkerchiefs during visiting hours.

BERMAN: All right. Dan Rivers in Lille, France. Amazing to see right where this prison break occurred on the grass where the getaway car was parked nearby.

Dan Rivers in Lille, thanks so much. BALDWIN: Apparently just quickly, I was reading his autobiography and the character, De Niro's character in "Heat" and "Scarface" sort of inspired his life -- his life of crime.

BERMAN: Quite a source of inspiration.

BALDWIN: Yes. So a teen football player severely injured on the field. His parents pointing the finger at the company that made his football helmet. That court ruling coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: All right, 52 minutes after the hour. Let's bring you up to speed, beginning with a defiant North Korea celebrating as a nuclear crisis looms. Leader Kim Jong-Un making what's believed to be his first public appearance in two weeks. The celebration honoring his grandfather, North Korea's founder Kim Il-Sung and his father Kim Jong-Il.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry renewed the call for authentic and credible negotiations but vowed to protect America's allies in Asia against any provocative acts.

BALDWIN: And a football helmet company ordered to pay more than $3 million in this negligence lawsuit. Here's the story. Colorado teen was wearing one of these helmets, this Riddell helmet, when he suffered a concussion during practice. He up with severe brain damage. The family claimed Riddell didn't give enough warning about the concussion dangers. Thousands of former NFL players have made similar complaints. Riddell plans to appeal.

BERMAN: So the Jackie Robinson film "42" is a big hit with moviegoers. The story of Robinson breaking Major League Baseball's colored barrier debuted in first place, taking in $27.3 million over the weekend. That is the best opening ever for a baseball film.

BALDWIN: Cannot wait. Top of my list.

Speaking of "42" Major League Baseball will honor Jackie Robinson today. This is the 66th -- easy for me to say -- anniversary of his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Every player on every single team will be wearing the number 42 on his uniform today even the umpires. Forty-two is the only number officially retired from baseball.

BERMAN: I love that tribute.

BALDWIN: Special when they do that.

BERMAN: It really is.

BALDWIN: "42".

BERMAN: All right. So most young baseball fans fantasize about someday catching a homerun or a foul ball.

BALDWIN: Like you. BERMAN: Like me. I've actually done it. It's great. Check out this family at yesterday's A's-Tiger game in Oakland. So the fan gives the ball to the kid which you're supposed to do.

BALDWIN: Thrown it back --

BERMAN: But the kid tosses the ball on to the field.

BALDWIN: Look at that. Look at his arm. Pretty good arm, that little guy.

BERMAN: He does a great arm. Everyone a little upset about the whole thing. You can see the little kid crying after he realized that he lost the ball.

BALDWIN: Why did I do that, mom?

BERMAN: There it is. Look at that.

BALDWIN: The mom is like, why did you do that?

BERMAN: You know, there are scouts all the over country signing that kid up right now. But a few minutes later what happened -- it ends with a nice ending. An usher retrieved the ball and returned it to the boy. Yes, the moral of the story here is --

BALDWIN: There's no crying in baseball.

BERMAN: Exactly.

BALDWIN: There you go.

Justin Bieber under fire this morning. Coming up what he wrote that has some saying he needs a bit of a history lesson. Fifty-four minutes past the hour. Happy Monday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START. Here's a look at what's trending this early morning. Some cringe-worthy comments from the Biebs, Justin Bieber, during a visit to the historic Anne Frank House in Amsterdam over the weekend.

The museum posted his guest book entry on its Facebook page, quote, "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber."

Um, OK, so this is a term for his fan, the comments triggering huge Bieber backlash. For example, quote, "She would have been what? That little idiot is way too full of himself. She's an important historical figure. So show some respect, Biebs."

It should be noted the museum had no problem with Bieber's remarks.

BERMAN: I love that, "She would have been a what?"

BALDWIN: What?

BERMAN: Yes. All right. Justin Bieber.

BALDWIN: No words for this. No words.

BERMAN: Fifty-nine minutes after the hour. And EARLY START continues right now.

BALDWIN: Right now?

BERMAN: Right now.