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Seeking "Credible Negotiations" with N. Korea; Buried by an Avalanche; Immigration Reform Proposals in the Senate; Daring Prison Escape in France; Adam Scott Wins the Masters

Aired April 15, 2013 - 06:30   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty-eight minutes past the hour. North Korea's elusive young leader comes out of hiding. New this morning, here it is. This rare appearance by Kim Jong Un amid fears he will call for a missile launch.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Swallowed by a deadly avalanche. Still no sign of a hiker missing from a Washington state mountainside since Saturday.

BALDWIN: And the manhunt for a modern-day gangster who blasted his way out of a prison with dynamite, then disappeared.

BERMAN: That's a crazy story.

BALDWIN: Quite a story. We'll share it with you on this Monday. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Brooke Baldwin.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. It is Monday, April 15th, Tax Day. Twenty- nine minutes past the hour right now.

And the question is this, do they want to talk, or do they want to fight?

On a pivotal day in the Korean nuclear crisis, there is a new call from the U.S. for what they call authentic and credible negotiations. But Secretary of State John Kerry is making it clear the burden on ending the north's nuclear aggression falls on Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un resurfacing today for a tribute to his father and grandfather but the scene was far different in South Korea's capital.

Jim Clancy has the latest from Seoul.


JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Brooke, John, yes, there were major celebrations going on this day in North Korea to mark the 101st birthday of Kim Il Sung, the founding father of North Korea.

Kim Jong Un emerged from two weeks of absence. He appeared to be flanked by members of his military as he visited the glass encased coffins of his grandfather and his father to pay what the North Koreans said was the humblest of respects.

Meantime, in South Korea, people got up, they had breakfast and they went to work. They opened up the daily newspaper. It wasn't Kim Il Sung un on the cover, no. It was Psy and the release of his new single. That's what people are more interested in hearing.

In fact, the media here came under a little criticism because of the way that they have described these lavish celebrations in North Korea at a time when so many people there are hungry. The North Koreans lashed out at them saying that it was not at all the kind of thing that they should be saying on a day like this.

Meantime, there is still some focus, of course, on Mr. Kerry's trip here. It is thought to have been a very positive trip and especially some of the comments he made in Japan.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We need to make it clear that they have to move towards the denuclearization. They need to stop the threats. They need to stop the missile test, stop the nuclear tests. And we're prepared to come to the table under the meeting of the obligations.

CLANCY: Kerry's trip is thought to have really turned down the temperature here on the Korean peninsula. That's the biggest takeaway from all of this. It also put the ball into Kim Jong Un's court. It brought China a little bit closer to the U.S. point of view by exploiting the extreme rhetoric of the North and, of course, it reassured U.S. allies in the region, Japan and South Korea.

There's also an assurance to Beijing there that the U.S. wants a non- nuclear Korean peninsula.

At the same time, there's been no positive response that has been heard from the North. It's still early yet. They expect them to more or less change the subject entirely now with Kim Il-Sung's birthday and perhaps sometime down the road, we'll hear from them -- Brooke, John.


BERMAN: Our thanks to Jim Clancy on the ground in Seoul, South Korea this morning.

BALDWIN: Meantime, John Kerry will be making a special stop on the way back to Washington from his Asian tour. CNN has now learned that secretary of state will stop in Chicago today to visit Anne Smedinghoff's family. She was killed earlier this month in a suicide attack in Afghanistan. Five other Americans were also killed.


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 -- what she was doing.


BALDWIN: And we should point out it so happens that Smedinghoff met John Kerry in Afghanistan about two weeks before her death.

BERMAN: Rescuers in Washington state's Cascade Mountains are awaiting daylight to see if it's safe to resume their search for a missing hiker who was buried by an avalanche. Sixty-year-old missing hiker Mitch Hungate was snowshoeing on Granite Mountain Saturday when this avalanche struck. Rogue conditions forced crews to call off their search on Sunday. A female hiker was killed by a second avalanche Saturday on nearby Red Mountain. The conditions there are just awful.

CNN's Miguel Marquez has more.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 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. I thought 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: It was pretty scary, pretty steep slope.

MARQUEZ: All 12 survived but a dog alerted them to another buried snowshoer nearby. They dug her out 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 DEPT.: And they literally went 1,279 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.


BALDWIN: New developments this morning in this case of the controversial Port Canaveral, Florida, police officer who's been dismissed. He's Sergeant Ron King. He's a firearms instructor. He says he did absolutely nothing wrong for having paper targets that resemble Trayvon Martin, Florida teenager who was shot and killed last year.

Take a look with me. These targets, they show a faceless figure in a black hoodie, you see in the right hand, holding Skittles and iced tea. These are two items Trayvon Martin was holding at the time he was killed.

King said the targets were to be used as a training tool, representing a real-life incident.


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.


BALDWIN: King's superiors called the situation unacceptable. He has since apologized to Trayvon Martin's family.

BERMAN: There could be more charges coming in the rape case that put Steubenville, Ohio, right in the national spotlight. Two Steubenville high school football players, Trent Mays and Malik Richmond were convicted of sexually assaulting an intoxicated 16-year-old girl after a party last summer. Now prosecutors will present evidence to a grand jury investigating whether other crimes were committed in this case.

BALDWIN: And immigration reform appearing to be moving closer to reality here. A bipartisan group of senators will unveil legislative proposals tomorrow that seek to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants to the United States.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a member of the group, the so-called gang of eight, hit the rounds Sunday to talk shows with a preview of the plan which includes three main policy steps.

Here he was.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: First of all, a universally E-Verify system, which means you won't be able to find a job in the United States if you can't pass that check.

Secondly, an entry/exit system. You know, 40 percent of our illegal immigration are people enter legally and they overstay their visas. And we don't really know who they are because for the most part, we only track when people come in. We don't track even when they leave.

And third is real border security, including fences.


BALDWIN: Senator Rubio insists the plan does not amount to amnesty. He claims millions of undocumented immigrants now in the U.S. would not be able to become citizens for more than a decade.

BERMAN: He made seven Sunday shows yesterday.

BALDWIN: Record setting.

BERMAN: You know, he went all in, in this. It will be interesting to see how that goes this week.


BERMAN: Thirty-eight minutes after the hour.

Look at some of the stories trending this morning. Was this just Bieber being Bieber? The singer and pop legend getting some heat for what he wrote in the guest book during a visit to Amsterdam's Anne Frank's house where Frank and her family hid from the Nazis.

The museum posted what he wrote. He wrote, "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully, she would have been a belieber."


BERMAN: That's a term for his fans.

Now, these comments triggering some serious Bieber backlash. For example, someone posted this, "She would have been a what? That little idiot is way too full of himself. She's an important historical figure, so show some respect."

I guess it should be noted the museum says they had no problem with Bieber's remarks.

BALDWIN: She would have been a belieber? I don't know. Maybe insensitive much.

There is a new Bush baby. Jennifer Bush Hager, daughter of former President George w. and his wife Laura, gave birth to a daughter over the weekend. This is their first grandchild. Margaret Laura Hager was born Saturday night in New York City. She is named for her grandmothers. The family plans to call her Mila.

BERMAN: You know, someone tweeted over the weekend. Now, we know who's going to be president in 2064.

BALDWIN: Mila Bush.

BERMAN: All right. Thirty-nine minutes after the hour.

So, this reads like a Hollywood script, a really good one, too. Coming up, the manhunt for a repeated gangster who blasted his way out of a high security prison.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. Forty-two minutes after the hour. So, guess who's hosting "STARTING POINT" this morning.

BALDWIN: We are.

BERMAN: All right. Here's a closer look at what's ahead.

BALDWIN: OK. So first up, something we were talking about this morning, obviously, Secretary of State John Kerry, fresh round of warnings for North Korea this morning about their plans to launch a missile. But he's also putting an offer on the table for direct talks. Will the regime listen?

We are talking with CNN's military analyst James "Spider" Marks and Ambassador Chris Hill.

BERMAN: And this is fascinating legal and medical question: can human genes be patented? The Supreme Court is taking up a major case today that really pits science and nature against medicine and law. We're going to break down the implications of the ruling.

BALDWIN: And she is an international superstar ready to achieve her lifelong goal. I love this as a fellow space geek. She wants to go to space. Singer Sarah Brightman joins us live with an update on her mission to the International Space Station, her new album, her tour. I'm so excited.


BALDWIN: I know. Can't wait.

BERMAN: All right. Forty-three minutes after the hour.

BALDWIN: We won't do that.

BERMAN: We will not sing ever again.

New this morning, an op-ed in "The New York Times" under the title, "Gitmo is Killing Me." This is fascinating. It's written by a man from Yemen who's imprisoned by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay.

He claims that he and other inmates are suffering. He's asking people around the world to pay attention to their plight. His name is Samir Naji al-Hasan Moqbel, and he writes, quote, "I've been detained at Guantanamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with a crime. I have never received a trial."

Moqbel also says that he and 40 others are on a hunger strike right now but they're being forcibly fed by staff.

BALDWIN: Now to the stunning story, this prison break out of France. There is a manhunt under way, right now, all across Europe for this notorious French gangster.

What did he do? Blasted his way out of this prison just this past weekend. Four guards were briefly held hostage, not injured, but held hostage here.

The big question this morning, how the heck did he get a hold of these explosives in a prison? CNN's Dan Rivers is in Lille, France, this morning.

DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's an amazing story, isn't it, Brooke? Yes, Interpol has issued now what they call a Red Note. It's like an arrest warrant worldwide for Redoine Faid. He's a notorious armed robber, a gangster here in France. He's courted the media in the past boasting how he's inspired by Hollywood blockbusters like "Heat" and "Scarface".

But in this instance, you know, you just wouldn't believe it if you saw it in a film. He busted out of this prison behind me. You can see right there, there are masked armed guards standing by there now. They weren't there, unfortunately, when Faid made a run through it. He blasted his way through five separate security doors, using explosives, taking four of the guards hostage, as you mentioned, coming out with guns to the temple of one of them.

He came out here. Once he got clear of the prison walls, he made a run over that grassy knoll over there and ran towards a freeway where there was an awaiting getaway car. They sped off, the car was dumped and burnt out. They switched vehicles, and the trail has gone cold.

And of course, they are very concerned he's going to strike again (ph) somewhere, and this being Europe, the borders are open. You can drive to any one of 26 countries pretty much with no border stops at all. Belgium is just a few hundred yards away, in fact. So you can get into lots of different countries from here very easily, making it really difficult to work out where he is.

BALDWIN: Dan, what about -- just tell me more who he was in his previous past lives, you know, as a criminal. I know he wrote this autobiography talking about the things he's done. Tell me about those things.

RIVERS: Yes, he did. He wrote a book called "Robber: From the Suburbs to Organized Crime," which was basically his story of how he went from being a petty thief in the rough, tough suburbs of Paris to being one of the kind of experts on armed robbery across Europe. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for one armed robbery and served ten years before getting out on parole. He was actually awaiting trial for another armed incident, which he was alleged to have masterminded, in which a French policewoman was practically killed. And it was because he'd breached the terms of his bail -- his parole that he was even here. This is not a super max prison but it's still pretty secure, so they thought, anyway.

His publicist actually has given an interview, the editor of his book, saying he lives his life like a hero from a Hollywood film. He likes to be known as the greatest gangster, public enemy number one, and that's certainly how he's being described in the French papers here this morning. And of course, his editor is saying that will just embolden him further. That's exactly the kind of notoriety that he desires.

BALDWIN: I'm sure he's enjoying every minute of being in the spotlight here after this blast. Dan Rivers, thank you, Dan. You know, you don't often think of someone that loudly making such a scene escaping prison with explosives.

BERMAN: Someone so public.

BALDWIN: So public. What a story.

It is a first -- quite the story, as well, from Australia. It was a thrill for golf fans anywhere. Coming up, the Bleacher Report with the Australian in the Green Jacket. Forty-eight minutes past the hour.

BERMAN: It's a big day for Vegemite.


BERMAN: So 66 years after he broke baseball's color barrier, Jackie Robinson, he is box office gold. The film "42" debuted in first place this weekend, taking in $26.3 million. This is the best opening ever for a baseball film.

BALDWIN: Got to see that. Also, big news in the world of golf. Adam Scott made his home country pretty proud.

BERMAN: A whole continent.

BALDWIN: A whole continent pretty proud, becoming the first Australian to win the Masters yesterday. Jared Greenberg is here with today's Bleacher Report. They say you drive for show; you putt for dough. I remember that back in the day when I was learning how to play.


Well, it is a celebration to remember, one that has some calling the greatest victory in the history of Australian sports. Adam Scott collected his very first Green Jacket and his first major all while becoming the first Aussie to ever win in Augusta. Four shots off the lead entering Sunday's final round, Scott was brilliant on 18 for birdie. Scott right here, takes the clubhouse lead. An historic victory appears to be all but in the books -- that is until the 2009 Masters champ said, "Hello, friends, I'm still here." Angel Cabrera, calm, cool and collected on 18. A phenomenal second shot. The Argentine also birdies, sending Scott back out into the range for a sudden death playoff.

It took a second hole to determine the winner. Scott finds the bottom of the cup, an emotional win. His first major. Now he's just got to figure out what color shirt goes with a Pantone 342 jacket. That's also known as Green for those of you who aren't art majors.

Tiger Woods made a push, three birdies on a five-hole stretch but a couple of bogeys early on and of course that two-shot penalty from Friday's round really hurt Tiger's cause. He finished tied for fourth. The drought continues, nine years since Tigers' last Masters championship. And while the mission wasn't accomplished, Tiger said he still felt the love from the patrons.


TIGER WOODS, FINISHED TIED FOR 4TH: They were fantastic. I had so, so much encouragement out there. They were absolutely incredible. You know, especially yesterday. Starting out the day, I was -- I couldn't believe the amount of support I had, and everyone was trying to get me to shoot a low one (ph) and I was very thankful for that.


GREENBERG: From Tiger failing to pick up his 15th win at a major to Adam Scott winning his first, what were the biggest surprises from the 77th Masters? Log on to for an in-depth look back at the week that was in Augusta.

You think your morning shave is annoying? Well, the Dallas Mavericks asked the question, "How much hair is too much hair?" Dirk Nowitski (INAUDIBLE) made a pledge they wouldn't shave their beards until they evened their records. After a few failed attempts Sunday, the Mavs got to 40-40. Nowitski wasted no time -- after the win he grabbed the razor and went to work. He's a new man now.

And a dream come true at a baseball game. A foul ball comes your way. Dad says, "Hey, son, here's the pearly white." "But hey, Dad, look at my arm." Oh, no! oh! he fires the ball back onto the field. Possibly a once in a lifetime experience. His brother can't believe it.

BALDWIN: He's got an arm, this little guy.

GREENBERG: He does have a good arm. But there is a positive takeaway from all of this. There's no crying in baseball and you'll learn that at least you made EARLY START on CNN.

BALDWIN: I think finally they come back, they give him the ball. He's like, "Mom, why did he throw it away?"

BERMAN: And of course he does have that consolation, as Jared points out, of being really the star of EARLY START this morning.


GREENBERG: Not Adam Scott, not anybody else.

BERMAN: It's the kid at the A's game. Jared, thank you so much. Great to see you this morning.

GREENBERG: Thanks for the words of wisdom on the sport of golf.

BERMAN: Yes, what do you say about putting again?

BALDWIN: This was when I started learning how to play. They say drive for show -- drive for show, putt for dough. Easy for me to say. There you go, Pantone 342.

BERMAN: All right, Jared. Thanks for that. That is all for EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

BALDWIN: And I'm Brooke Baldwin. We're not going anywhere; we hope you don't either.

STARTING POINT up next after a quick break.