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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

"If You're Cooperative, I Won't Kill You"; Newly Released Video Of Tamerlan Tsarnaev; Boston Terror: "Danny" Speaks; FBI Affidavit In Ricin Investigation; Vigil For Leila Fowler; Plane Part Removal At WTC Site; Parliamentary Punches; Rare May Snowstorm Targets Several States; Amanda Knox Breaks Her Silence; Yahoo Extends Maternity Leave

Aired May 1, 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: -- that just surfaced. Pamela Brown is in Boston where she met with the carjacking victim. Good morning to you, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Zoraida. That's right. I spoke with the carjacking victim face to face for an hour and 15 minutes here, getting unique insight into the two brothers turned suspects, from this carjacking victim who spent a harrowing 90 minutes in the car with them as he feared for his life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN (voice-over): For days after the Boston marathon bombings, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hit in plain sight, until investigators say they killed M.I.T. Police Officer Sean Collier, and then carjacked a Mercedes SUV, the man inside that SUV, a Chinese immigrant who had moved back to Cambridge only two months earlier. He wants to remain anonymous and is calling himself Danny. He describes his terrifying minutes with the two alleged bombers in a taped interview with CBS News.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He asked me a question like, do you know the Boston explosion on Monday? I said, yes. And then, you know, I did that and I just killed a policeman in Cambridge.

BROWN: Danny told me that face-to-face conversation off camera that the older brother was talkative, outgoing, but also threatening. At one point warning him, don't be stupid. If you're cooperative, I won't kill you. Danny finally found his chance to make a run for it when they pulled over for gas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was counting one, two, three, four, and I just do it. And I did it. And I can feel Tamerlan trying to grab me. I was running. I was just running as fast as I can and I never, I never looked back.

BROWN: This has investigators continue painstaking forensic work. Sources say they found a fingerprint on the remnants of one of the bombs, but as of yet, no match. Scrutiny of a different sort as critics question the FBI's handling of intelligence received from Russia about the older brother. The president staunchly defending the agency's handling. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The FBI investigated that older brother. It's not as if the FBI did nothing. They not only investigated the older brother, they interviewed the older brother.

BROWN: And for the first time we're hearing Tamerlan talk introducing himself in this boxing video that aired on "Entertainment Tonight."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you excited?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Why not? You know.

BROWN: Meanwhile Tamerlan's widow has given the medical examiner's office consent to release his body to his family.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And as for that carjacking victim, he says he remembers hearing the word Manhattan when he was in the car with the two brothers. It turns out that they had made spontaneous plans to go to New York and set off more explosives in Times Square, according to authorities. So had Danny not escaped, setting off a massive manhunt, more lives could have been lost. Still, Danny told me he does not consider himself a hero.

SAMBOLIN: And Pamela, you sat down with the carjacking victim, we understand, for over an hour. What did he tell you specifically about that night that stood out to you?

BROWN: Well, Zoraida, what really stood out to me was how he described the dynamic between Tamerlan and Dzhokhar. He said it was clear Tamerlan was the ringleader from the get-go, from the very beginning of the carjacking Tamerlan was the one that walked up and got in the car while Dzhokhar followed along.

He said that Tamerlan, once Dzhokhar got in the car was firing off orders and Dzhokhar seemed to be at his beck and call, such as telling Dzhokhar to go get money out of an ATM. He said Dzhokhar just quickly jumped to do that. So anything Tamerlan said, Dzhokhar would do.

So he said basically that it was clear Tamerlan was the ringleader here and that Dzhokhar sat in the back seat in the car and was very quiet. He didn't really ask any questions. He said the only question he can remember that was a personal question was, how much he paid for his Mercedes SUV.

He said Tamerlan, on the other hand, was very outgoing, very talkative, kept asking him questions about his Chinese heritage, so there was a stark difference here. I spoke to a criminology professor about the relationship with the two brothers and he said the fact that Dzhokhar followed behind in the car, was in the back seat, is symbolic of the relationship between these two brothers.

SAMBOLIN: You know, interesting, because his uncle also said the same thing, right? That he was basically manipulated by his older brother, a young brother there. Thank you so much, Pamela Brown, reporting live for us in Boston. Appreciate it.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We have some new developments this morning in the Mississippi ricin investigation, and the arrest of suspect James Everett Dutschke. He is the man accused of sending letters tainted with ricin, which is a deadly substance, to President Obama and also two others.

An FBI affidavit says items recovered from Dutsschke's former martial arts studio tested positive for ricin and that traces of the poison were found on the floor of the studio and also inside drains. The affidavit also says a witness told agents that Dutschke claimed to know how to make ricin, but there was no next of a possible motive.

SAMBOLIN: It is unimaginable heartache in a small California town, mourners gathering at the Jenny Lind Elementary School in Valley Springs, California, yesterday to hold a vigil for 8-year-old Leila Fowler. The little girl was found stabbed to death in her home on Saturday. Here's CNN's Stephanie Elam.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMY HASSELWANDER, PRINCIPAL, JENNY LIND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Leila was beautiful and strong. She was kind. I remembered that Leila liked purple.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In an array of pinks and purples, hundreds turned out for a candle light vigil to remember Leila Fowler. The 8-year-old girl stabbed to death in her Northern California home on Saturday. The motive for her killing is still a mystery.

PAM SMILEY, LEILA'S 3RD GRADE TEACHER: It does not happen to a person you know, much less a child you know. And this cannot happen to a child in your very own class. She will be carried in our hearts forever.

ELAM: Leila's family stood front and center, arm in arm as the vigil began. Before moving to the stage so they could see all the people present to remember their little girl. The family also spoke for the first time.

KRYSTAL WALTERS, LEILA'S MOTHER: I just want to thank the entire community and all of our family and friends for the overwhelming amount of support that you've given my family. It will never be forgotten.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not saying goodbye to Leila. I'm going to say, I'll see you later. There are no goodbyes -- take care of my sister.

ELAM: Maddison was friends with Leila for three years.

MADDISON, 9 YEARS OLD: She was very kind to everybody and she helped everybody. She made everybody feel good.

ELAM: Her mother says she's having a hard time understanding that her friend is gone.

KELI ISERT, MADDISON'S MOTHER: She's going to be here the next day. No, she's going to be here. We have a play date on Friday, and it's like, no, baby, I don't know what to say.

ELAM: Kailea used to live across the street from Leila. She sobbed uncontrollably during the vigil.

KAILEA, 8 YEARS OLD: She would always over at my house. She said she would sleep over for one day and she would sleep over for like a week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her and my daughter became friends and Leila spent every summer with us. We were just talking about spending this summer together and what we were going to do. Our summers have changed forever.

ELAM: Stephanie Elam, CNN, Valley Springs, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Awful. What a tragedy. Our heart goes out to that family. New York City Police preparing to remove a plane part discovered at ground zero in less than three hours. It's believed to be from one of the jets that crashed into the World Trade Center in 2001. The rusted chunk of wing flap support was found last week in a narrow alley between buildings. Crews are expected to begin hauling it away. That will begin at about 8:30 a.m. this morning.

SAMBOLIN: In Venezuela, life after Hugo Chavez is proving to be chaotic. That country's disputed election leading to an all-out brawl in parliament. Look at this video. It captured some of the mayhem, opposition leaders trading punches with members of the United Socialist Party. The opposition is angry that they were not allowed to speak unless they first agreed to recognize Nicolas Maduro as Chavez's rightful successor. Maduro won the election with just 51 percent of the vote. The opposition is protesting the results.

BERMAN: You do never see this between John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi.

SAMBOLIN: I hope you never see something like that on our soil.

BERMAN: All right, new this morning the threat of historic snow in May. A winter-like storm front bearing down on the Rockies and the high plains, and unprecedented snowfall is a real possibility.

Jennifer Delgado is tracking the system from the severe weather center and Jim Spellman is live right in the middle of it. Jim, let's go to you.

SAMBOLIN: It looks like it's getting nasty there.

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's really starting to snow. Here's what's going on. Take a look. Surfaces like this bench already piling up, maybe half an inch of snow or so. But on the ground, it's not, because the ground is so warm here. Yesterday it was 66, Monday 78 here. So, that warmth, it's been just sunny, beautiful here. The hippies would normally be out here, Pearl Street Mall in Boulder this time of year. Now with the snow coming down though, not sure if we are going to see them later today or not. Great news here because we need the moisture for the drought, we need it to help prevent wildfires later in the summer.

Not so good news for Illinois, Missouri, and some other states in the Midwest down to the south, already at flood levels there along some of the rivers. In that region they're going to get a lot of this moisture as this storm works its way east, so sort of a mixed blessing.

Here I don't think we're going to have huge problems because the ground is so warm. I don't think we're going to have any school closures or massive traffic backups. The plows will be out and they'll be de-icing at the airport -- John.

BERMAN: All right, throw that snow ball. Go for it. Nice try, missed us. Jim Spellman missing us in Boulder, Colorado. Thanks so much, Jim. There we go. Nice try, keep trying, buddy.

SAMBOLIN: I told him you were talking about him. All right, 10 minutes past the hour. Conditions have to be just right this late in the season for a storm to dump accumulating snow. Apparently they are. Just what are the conditions and who is on deck to get the worst of it? Jennifer Delgado live in the CNN Weather Center. Good morning.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Zoraida and John. You know, I have to tell you, I think Jim needs to work on his baseball game. That throwing arm was really weak. I'm feeling for the hippies as he said. They're going to be suffering. They're not going to be able to go outside.

Yes, snow is coming down through parts of Denver and it's really starting to change over as well as to the north eastern parts of Colorado. Now today for areas like the Front Range, the eastern slopes, they could pick up a foot of snowfall. But it's not just Colorado. We're talking about Cheyenne, as well as into Nebraska, even Iowa.

They're going to see some snow. And the moisture you're seeing on the radar right now, that is going to be changing over to snow. And that means areas like Minneapolis, you're going to be picking up snowfall. We're getting to the totals. We start off right now across Nebraska and Colorado, as well as Wyoming, 6 to 12 inches in some parts.

For Denver, we're thinking 4 to 7. As we move into the upper Midwest, 6 to 9 for Minneapolis. And for areas in the western part of Wisconsin, 3 to 6 inches of snowfall. By about midnight tonight all that snow is going to be done for areas like Denver, but of course, as I said, up towards the northeast.

And as it does, we're still talking potentially snow coming down through Friday morning on the backside of that low, affecting parts of Minnesota. But want to point out to you, look where that freeze line is, so again, Minneapolis we're expecting snow but for areas to the north as well as to the south, they are going to be looking at some rain.

On a wider view today, severe storms across the Midwest. Of course, the snow means colder air in place. Look at the high temperatures today and look at that gradient there, 75 for Kansas City, 34 for Denver. This is after 80s, and of course the northeast looking good, the southeast some showers and thunderstorms out there. But, last time we saw snow was back in 1944, it was 7.8 inches in Denver. So we could potentially get close to that.

BERMAN: Wow.

SAMBOLIN: And that was on May 1st?

DELGADO: No -- yes, May. I was having a blonde moment there.

BERMAN: Jennifer Delgado, thank you so much. Still ahead, Amanda Knox in her own words, she is speaking publicly for the first time about her murder conviction. The years spent in an Italian prison and even thoughts of suicide. We'll tell you all about it. You're watching EARLY START.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.

We have new some revelations from Amanda Knox. She is speaking publicly for the first time about her long legal ordeal.

Back in March, Italy's Supreme Court ordered the 25-year-old to stand trial again for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Knox and her former boyfriend spent four years in Italian prison before their convictions were tossed out in 2011. Now, she is out to set the record straight.

We have more now from CNN's Nick Valencia.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANDA KNOX, AUTHOR, "WAITING TO BE HEARD": I was in the courtroom when they were calling me a devil. I mean, it's one thing to be called certain things in the media, and it's another thing to be sitting in a courtroom, fighting for your life, while people are calling you a devil. It's not true. For all intents and purposes, I was a murderer, whether I was or not.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Amanda Knox opened up for the first time in years about her murder conviction and her ordeal in the Italian courts and prison.

Speaking to Diane Sawyer, Knox talked about her roommate Meredith Kercher, the girl she was convicted of murdering, and what happened a day in 2007 that would change her life.

KNOX: It bothers me when people suggest that she wasn't my friend. I was stunned by her death. She was my friend.

VALENCIA: But that's not how much of the media saw it at the time, as prosecutors painted a picture of a kinky sex game gone wrong, Knox was dubbed the femme fatale, and the media ate it up.

At the crime scene in the immediate aftermath of her roommate's death, it was actions like this, kissing her ex-boyfriend, who would eventually be convicted along with Knox in Kercher's death, that made critics question her innocence.

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: People kept saying, where is the anguish? Where is what we think we would do if this happened to our friend?

KNOX: I've seen the same picture, like the kissing just can't stop. And that's not what that was. I want the truth to come out. I'd like to be reconsidered as a person.

VALENCIA: Which is why she agreed to the interview and released a memoir. She hopes it will help clear her name.

SAWYER: Did you kill Meredith Kercher?

KNOX: No.

SAWYER: Were you there that night?

KNOX: No.

SAWYER: Do you know anything you have not told police, that you have not said in this book? Do you know anything?

KNOX: No. I don't. I wasn't there.

VALENCIA (on camera): Amanda Knox's freedom is now back on the line. An Italian court has ordered a retrial of her appealed conviction, and Knox may once again finding herself pleading her case in an Italian court, proclaiming her innocence -- John, Zoraida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: It is so interesting to see her speak, you know, in her own words for the first time.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. And you kind of understand. She's got this demeanor, you know, which Diane Sawyer was alluding to, you have no emotion. That's what people are really questioning.

BERMAN: People are going to look at this and judge her, no doubt.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, they are.

BERMAN: Eighteen minutes past the hour.

The FBI wants to know who tampered with the chemical settings at a water treatment plant in northern Georgia. About 400 customers are now unable to drink water from the Carters Lake treatment plant because of increased chlorine and reduced fluoride levels. Investigators believe someone broke into the plant last Friday.

SAMBOLIN: And tiny robots called Quadrotors told big promise in the future. In time the technology in these autonomous mini aircraft could be used for surveillance, and it actually may save lives.

We took a trip to the University of Pennsylvania to check them out in this edition of "Technovation".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): They navigate through windows, fly in formation and take off and land with ease. And these tiny unmanned aerial vehicles called Quadrotors are doing it on their own.

MATTHEW TURPIN, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: This is a robot that completely is autonomous. And by that I mean there is no remote control in the background.

SAMBOLIN: Most of these test flights are done here at the University of Pennsylvania's grass lab, decked out with a state-of-the-art motion capture system.

Students give the Quadrotors simple commands via computers but the vehicles decide how they will go from point A to point B on their own.

TURPIN: We have the bicon (ph) system or the red light which allow us to figure out where the robot is. Then we're able to send it commands about what we'd like it to do and group behaviors that you'll see.

SAMBOLIN: Other Quadrotors at the lab have worked together to carry cargo, build structures and have been equipped with cameras and lasers to create 3D images inside buildings. With better batteries and a bigger payload capacity, they could one day be used in the real world for surveillance and search and rescue.

TURPIN: We can send these in ahead of people, and detect for dangerous situations. And this is potentially life saving for first responders.

SAMBOLIN: For now, most of the research on these remarkable robots is still done in the lab. But you could say, their potential is sky high.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: They're pretty cool.

SAMBOLIN: They are very cool. And to know that they could save lives one day. Yes.

BERMAN: All right. Twenty minutes after the hour right now. And, remember she took a lot of heat when she banned telecommuting at Yahoo!

Coming up, Marissa Mayer takes another benefit move, one that a lot of workers may like. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-four minutes past the hour. Good morning to you. We're "minding your business.

A record-setting day on Wall Street. The S&P 500 will open today at a new record high. Isn't that good news?

Most-watched stock index also closed the books on April with a gain -- its sixth monthly gain in a row.

BERMAN: Other big news, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer making headlines again. A few months ago, it was the ban on telecommuting. But now she's got a new parental leave policy for workers, and it's more generous than before.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BERMAN: Interesting.

CNN's Zain Asher here with the details.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right. So, Marissa Mayer faces scrutiny for absolutely everything she does. At least this time, it is positive, absolutely great news for any expectant mother who works at Yahoo!

Yahoo! actually said in a statement and I'm quoting now, that doing this is to support the happiness and well-being of Yahoo! and their families.

Let me break down what you get now if you work at Yahoo! Fathers get eight weeks of paid leave. Mothers get double that, 16 weeks of paid leave. She's also throwing in free cash, $500 worth of free cash for people to sort of spend on baby clothes, groceries, that kind of thing.

SAMBOLIN: On diapers.

ASHER: Yes, that kind of thing.

So, it does sound great. But, by the way, it's actually a little bit behind what other tech companies offer. It's behind Google, which offers 18 to 22 weeks for new moms.

Facebook, by the way, check this is out, this is amazing, 16 weeks of paid leave for both moms and dads, by the way. They also offer $4,000 in baby cash. So it's a huge amount. And dads get 16 weeks of paid leave, as well.

So, Marissa Mayer clearly trying to revive perks, she wants to retain talent. She wants to be competitive in that sense. But she's also sort of trying to right the wrongs, right? You mentioned the whole telecommuting ban. That was just a scandal, obviously, a P.R. nightmare.

And also, you know, she only took two weeks off when she had her baby.

SAMBOLIN: Maybe she gave it a little bit of thought. Not such a great idea.

ASHER: People said she's setting a bad example.

But, by the way, I also want to mention, Zoraida, that she is making headlines in another way -- by the way, this time around, it's her pay package. She made $6 million since she started at Yahoo! That's basically a million dollars every single month. I know --

SAMBOLIN: Good for her.

ASHER: And her pay package is worth $71 million, all through 2017. Includes stocks and things like that.

SAMBOLIN: All right. What is the one thing we need to know about our money? We know how much she made. What about our money?

BERMAN: Forget her money. What about ours?

ASHER: Right. This may be the beginning of a really weak period for stocks now. That's why traders say, sell in May and go away.

But, with recent record-setting runs does that still hold up? Some analysts say that as long as the fed keeps pumping money into the economy, the old adage might not carry as much weight as usual.

SAMBOLIN: All right, Zain, thank you very much.

Twenty-six minutes past the hour.

Next on EARLY START, the new rules for the morning-after pill that some parents may have a big problem with.

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