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Lowest Jobless Rate Since December 2008; Dow Closing In On 15,000; 165,000 New Jobs In April; White House Reacts To Jobs Report; Suspects Planned July 4 Bombing; Man Slowly Recovers After Bombing; 2,000 Homes Threatened By Raging Fire; Boston Amputees Face New Challenges

Aired May 3, 2013 - 10:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, breaking overnight, California inferno, walls of flames burning through the L.A. area.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to stay until I know our house is still here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long as our family and our dogs are safe, we can get through this.


COSTELLO: Also July fourth attacks, the Boston bomber suspect telling investigators they initially planned an Independence Day attack in downtown Boston.

Plus, Reese under arrest, the arrest and the tapes.

And the family of the woman gone missing 11 years talks to CNN. Brenda Heist' daughter is not mincing words tweeting she hopes her mother rots in hell.


PIERS MORGAN, HOST, CNN'S "PIERS MORGAN LIVE": Do you want to see her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As of right now, I don't -- I don't think she deserves to see me.


COSTELLO: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Good morning. Thank you so much for being with me this morning. I'm Carol Costello. We are following breaking news on the economy. This morning we're seeing the lowest jobless rate since December of 2008. The new number is 7.5 percent, that's the unemployment rate. That's because 165,000 jobs were created in April and that's many more than the experts had predicted. Christine Romans will break down what the numbers mean. Jessica Yellin is in Mexico with the president. She'll have the White House reaction for you, but first let's head to the New York Stock Exchange because stocks are going crazy. We could hit the 15,000 mark.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It looks that way, 30 points from that 15,000 market. The bulls are running, Carol, and not just with the Dow, but the S&P 500 too. It hit its own milestone at the opening bell, hitting, 1,600, I'm really just blowing through it, right now at 1613.

That's significant because the S&P 500 includes just that. More stocks on the Dow so it's more representative of the market. It is also is more representative of most investments that Americans hold. This is happening because of that positive jobs report showing that employers added 165,000 jobs in April.

As you said, and the unemployment rate ticking lower to 7.5 percent. Of course, Wall Street hoping that this trend continues, especially with those revisions of March and February showing that more jobs were added than first expected -- Carol.

COSTELLO: The S&P not doing so shabby either this morning.

KOSIK: Exactly. We are certainly watching that because what's interesting about the S&P 500 is that it takes longer for it to reach these milestones. So the fact that it even reached this milestone today is amazing. But also to watch it really just blow path there, it is a good indicator for that sort of wealth effect that we're seeing in the market as well. The market often moves by this sort of technical levels. So the S&P 500 hit that level and it's basically giving more ump to the rest of the market -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Unbelievable. Alison Kosik, thanks so much. You stick around. We're going to get back to you.

But let's head to New York City now to check in with Christine Romans. I want to show you something that's on the Drudge Report this morning, Christine. I'm going to pick my computer up. There you are. Look. Switch back to me so we can see. The Drudge Report has a big smiley face.

And I show that because it is unusual because the Drudge Report is a conservative web site. It doesn't really have much positive to say about the economy or President Obama, yet there's this big smiley face. What should we take away from that?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Everybody likes to have jobs grow. I just heard Alison mentioned, you know, the revisions and I wanted to show you, Carol, exactly what she is talking about. This beginning of the year has been stronger than we thought. When you look over the past year, it's about 173,000 jobs created on average.

That's enough to lower the unemployment rate. That's what you want to see. What I would really like to see -- you see this little spike right here in February. I would like to see a lot of months like that, but it's nice to see one. That's the best that we've seen since the census numbers.

I want to show you too, Carol, where these jobs are because this is pretty interesting. Retail jobs 29,000, health care jobs, every month we see a net creation of health care jobs, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing flat. That's hasn't been a real source in the last couple of months.

Retail trade, professional and business services, 73,000, those are where we are seeing the jobs created at this point. One thing that some economists like to point out to me a lot is that we're starting to create jobs again, Carol, but they're not the same pay and benefits as the jobs we lost.

That's going to be a problem for middle class buying power. That's something that the structural issue we've got to deal with, but you are starting to see jobs come back here. The last number I'll give you --

COSTELLO: Can we stick on that for just a second?


COSTELLO: Because there is a big increase in service sector jobs. Service sector jobs traditionally don't pay all that much. The wage gap is wider than ever in this country, right?

ROMANS: Yes. In some cases these are part-time jobs people are getting. We know from these numbers that there are more people working part time, but would like to be working full time. Companies are adding jobs but cautiously. We know -- Stephen Moore from the "Wall Street Journal" has pointed out.

I mean, companies got very mean and lean and cut to the bone. If you see the economy start to grow, they're going to have to hire more robustly. Is that something that's finally going to be around the corner? I mean, these are numbers, Carol, we look at the stock market for example. This is a good jobs report. This is a good jobs report, but this is a weaker than normal recovery and that's just the truth.

COSTELLO: All right, Christine Romans. You stick around. We want to head to Mexico now for a White House reaction. Jessica Yellin is traveling with the president. What's the White House saying?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. It's a measured reaction from the White House. The president's chief economist putting out a statement saying that today's report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the great depression.

But going on to point out and argue that if Congress and Washington were more functional in their view, this picture could be even rosier. I'm paraphrasing the exact quote from Allan Krugar, quote, "now is not the time for Washington to impose self-inflicted wounds on the economy. The administration continues to urge Congress to replace "The Sequester with balanced deficit reduction." So specifically pointing out that those across the board spending cuts we've been talking about for so many months now are holding down economic growth. And arguing that, were they not in place, the point here is our economic recovery would be even stronger.

The White House also argues in this statement that we shouldn't read too much into one month's job numbers because these can be volatile as Christine has been pointing out. The numbers from the last few months were revised upwards. So don't read too much into it. Republicans already taking an opposite approach saying if the president (inaudible) in effect, the taxes where they are, good picture would be rosier for Republican reasons as well.

COSTELLO: OK, so let the politics begin. Jessica Yellin, thanks so much, reporting live from Mexico this morning.

Now the latest updates on the Boston bombings investigation. Today, we could find out exactly how Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during his confrontation with police. A hearse presumed to be carrying his body was spotted at a funeral home. We learned this morning, Tsarnaev's sisters and his uncle have claimed the body, but the body will not be buried until an independent autopsy is complete. That's what the family wants and then the body, it will not be returned to Russia. Relative say insists that Tamerlan Tsarnaev will be buried in Massachusetts.

We're getting shocking information on the original bombing plans. CNN's national correspondent, Jason Carroll has that part of the story.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A U.S. law enforcement official tells CNN the Tsarnaev brothers initially considered a suicide attack during the Fourth of July celebration when Boston's Charles River Esplanade is typically packed with spectators for an open air concert and fireworks.

All of this according to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who told investigators they moved up the date to the Boston marathon because the bombs were ready sooner than expected. Bombs Tsarnaev says built in the very home his older brother, Tamerlan, shared with his wife and child.

Late Thursday, a van believed to be carrying Tamerlan's body transferred it to a funeral home outside of Boston. All this, as investigators continue to focus on his widow, Katherine Russell. Yet it is unclear what, if anything, Russell may have known or suspected. Russell's attorney says she continues to cooperate with authorities.

Authorities also have more questions for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's three friends from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth now facing charges for obstructing justice and lying to authorities. One of whom led authorities to Tsarnaev's laptop, which could provide more clues.

As the investigation continues, so too does the recovery for victims like Marc Fucarile who lost a leg in the bombing, the other leg shattered, his arms riddled with shrapnel.

MARC FUCARILE, BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVOR: I was scared because it was dark. I thought I was dead.

CARROLL: Fucarile says he draws strength every day from a photo of his 5-year-old son.

FUCARILE: Every time they stuck me with another needle or they cut me or they put something or did something, when they're ripping and changing bandages, I'm looking at that picture. That's what got me through it.


CARROLL: A little bit more, Carol, about the planning of all this. We're being told that since the bombs that were made at Tamerlan Tsarnaev's apartment, since the bombs were made early, the decision was then made to move up the attack date to the date of the Boston marathon. Apparently that decision made just a day or so before the Boston marathon, a last minute change, but still a deadly change nonetheless -- Carol.

COSTELLO: I do want to talk more about that. Jason Carroll, many thanks to you. We want to bring in our CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem from Boston. She is also a columnist at the "Boston Globe." Welcome, Juliette.


COSTELLO: So let's talk about that. Supposedly these suspects built the bomb fast. They had planned to detonate these bombs on July Fourth along the Charles. Then they thought, wow, the bombs are all made. Then they started casing police departments and then they decided on the Boston marathon. Does this sound like a well organized plot to you?

KAYYEM: Not at all. There's two parts to it that seem incompatible, right. The one is they were really sophisticated at making these bombs. That's why there's still speculation and still an investigation about how they actually learned to make the bombs and so quickly.

But the decision, the sort of tactic and strategy of putting them wherever was sort of most convenient and it happens to be April 15th then will put them at the Boston marathon, is completely inconsistent with most sophisticated terrorist planning. It is inconsistent with how international terrorist groups think about attacks in America.

And so that's -- it just reflects as we've been saying the last couple of weeks the sort of -- I don't know, just sort of carelessness of how they did this and they had no exit strategy and they seemed to just show up at the marathon.

So this seems consistent with the story line of these guys with their friends who are planning something that's really, really violent. But nonetheless, one that did not have the kind of strategy that you saw, the we've seen in sort of very successful terrorist attacks in the past.

COSTELLO: And then the other part of this, there are reports these guys considered suicide attacks, but then they changed their mind.

KAYYEM: Right, which is convenient for them, I guess.


KAYYEM: I always thought that, something seemed odd about calling them a bunch of names related to Jihadism or whatever until we knew the facts because these were people not willing to die for their cause. So careless about their planning that they didn't even try to cover it up. They didn't have an exit strategy. They get identified three days later.

They're asking their friends to hide things and then they have this sort of shootout that Thursday night. So this is, you know, part of putting a narrative together about what happened both because we need to find out whether any terrorist organizations abroad knew anything about it or helped them plan it.

But also to try to figure whether there were clues in the community and elsewhere that can help us stop at the next time. But this is consistent with something, from the beginning, I have been saying -- just because I'm from Boston, this seemed like a particularly Boston- related attack.

Even the marathon, even though the world knows it, it really is a Boston event. The fact they would have picked July Fourth, which is also a huge celebration here, much more (inaudible) does not have, you know, a finish line, a starting line. It's just a big event on the river, would have been actually more violent.

COSTELLO: Juliette Kayyem reporting for us from Boston, thanks so much.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Let's talk about the families of the victims who were killed in the Boston bombings. They could get more than $1 million each. Survivors that also lost more than one limb could get more than $1 million. Twelve other amputees could get close to a million each. The "Boston Globe" reporting the "One Fund Boston" will unveil a plan to distribute the money next week. That fund, as you know, has raised about $28 million and counting since the bombings.

High winds bringing more worries to Southern California. Fire crews are scrambling to try to contain these fast moving wildfires. This is what it looked like right now. These are live pictures, and we'll take you there live next.


COSTELLO: OK. Let's take a look at the Dow. As you can see, it's up 159 points. The S&P also set a record. It hit 1600 today. That all on the basis of the job report for the month of April, 165,000 jobs added to our economy. The unemployment rate slipped a bit to 7.5 percent. You can see where the stock market is headed. We'll check back periodically throughout the day, throughout this hour so stay with us.

But now we must talk about what's happening in Southern California because firefighters, dozens of them, are battling several wild fires. High winds today will not help them either. The biggest fire is still in Ventura County. That's where 8,000 acres have already burned. About 2,000 homes could go up in flames. As you can see the pictures are just unbelievable. Check out the condition Paul Vercammen found yesterday.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The smoke is just absolutely horrific. It's encircling this entire neighborhood and these people are right now trying to evacuate.


COSTELLO: You can see the flames. They're inching closer to these neighborhoods as homes sit empty as their owners waited out in safer locations. Stephanie Elam now joins us from near the fire line. Take us on a tour, Stephanie.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, now that the sun has joined us here on the west coast, Carol, I thought you could actually see what we've been up against. We just got a little sprout of fire popping up on the mountain side here. But this is along the beautiful Pacific coast highway.

This mountain range will just drop right down, right over the highway here. As you can see, there's some smoke billowing up. We've seen bursts of red fire up there. I just took a walk down around those little canons here and you can see that the fire is burning all the way along it.

It already burned down and jumped over the PCH earlier this morning. In fact, overnight we watched that happened and watched it burn down towards the beach now. As you come down from the fire, it is quite a beautiful sunrise. As one of the firefighters told us overnight that it's a beautiful thing to see as the sun comes through the smoke in the morning.

There's more fire over there. Just to give you perspective, now that you can see, there is the beautiful Pacific Ocean right up against where this fire is coming on down towards us. So this is where we've been all night -- Carol.

COSTELLO: It is just unbelievable. So as far as we know, most people have evacuated their homes in the danger zone. They've listened to firefighters and they've left.

ELAM: Right. I guess, I also should point out too that this particular fire, the springs fire expanded to 10,000 acres over night. That much we know. So it continues to expand. Firefighters obviously trying to get their handle on it, but they only have 10 percent of it contained at this point, Carol.

They are watching the evacuations if they need it. They were telling people if you feel threatened to get out. A lot of people feeling that they just want to get their children out, their animals out. Hotels where we're staying, they're booked up solid with everyone trying to get away from the fire to make sure their loved ones are safe -- Carol.

COSTELLO: That's good to hear. Stephanie Elam reporting live for us this morning.

It's the new normal. Victims of the Boston marathon bombing forced to relearn tasks all with artificial limbs. We'll show you some of the filmed therapy when we come back.


COSTELLO: All right, take a look at the numbers on Wall Street. This is the Dow. You see we're very, very close to hitting that 15,000 mark, just by fractions, right? Of course, all this is due to the better than expected jobs report released for the month of April. Let's head to the New York Stock Exchange and check in with Alison Kosik. I thought we're going to do it there a moment ago, but no.

KOSIK: No, we did hit 15,000 on the Dow. In fact, if you thought you'd missed it, they cheered on the floor. They cheered. I heard a few bells go off. A little excitement, and then it pulled back ever so slightly. I wouldn't be surprised if it hits it again. What's helping the Dow move forward as well is the S&P 500.

Look at the level that's at. The Dow gets all the headlines, get all the bells and whistles, but the S&P 500 is more representative of the market. It contains 500 stocks instead of 30 like the Dow does. The S&P 500 hit 1600 at the opening bell and blew right past that. It's trading at 1617. These are fun levels to watch. I don't think this is like watching paint dry.

COSTELLO: It is fun today. OK, we'll check with you Alison. Thanks so much.

Many Boston marathon victims suffered amputations as you know and they'll have to relearn simple tasks with their new artificial limbs. CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta gives us a glimpse of what those victims will have to go through in the weeks and months ahead.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It takes time, about six week post surgery for an amputee to take this first step.

(on camera): So one of the most important thing is that this wound around the amputation has to heal up completely, this incision line that you see over here. After that is done, they actually have to shape the remaining area of the leg and then actually put something on to short of shrink those tissues so the prosthetic can go on.

(voice-over): Every patient that suffers an amputation goes through tailored therapy, to learn how to use their new limb. Peter who lost his leg due to complications from diabetes has had his prosthetic leg less than two weeks.

(on camera): The signs of progress can be small sometimes, but look, no hands there. He was using one hand earlier, two hands before that. Let me show you something else. When you actually look specifically at what's happening with this over here, he's stepping up with his good leg over there. Look what's happening with the prosthetic, the heel to toe rock. That doesn't come naturally. That's something that he has to practice.

(voice-over): Surprisingly everyday tasks like making coffee is part of therapy as well.

(on camera): He is not holding onto anything right now. He's able to actually keep his balance on the zone, just trusting his leg. He is distracted, not thinking about that and he's a lot of balance that he's testing and successfully testing by actually moving around the kitchen here.

He's never done this before. It is an uneven surface. He has to bend his knees, a lot harder than it looks with a new prosthetic device.

(voice-over): The first month of therapy is all about the basics for lower limb amputees. Taking those first steps to learn to live independently.

(on camera): Some people say this is going to be a new normal for these patients, but you say it is actually more just normal.

DR. BRUCE POMERANZ, KESSLER INSTITUTE FOR REHABILITATION: Once they look back on this situation, this will all be a nightmare. Yes, there is a loss that's permanent. They have every reason to expect they're going to be able to go on and live the same happy, satisfied lives.

GUPTA: In fact, thanks to advance prosthetic technology, most amputees go on to not only live a normal life, but to push themselves even beyond previous expectations.

POMERANZ: The future is really much brighter than they can imagine at this point in time.


COSTELLO: That was Dr. Sanjay Gupta reporting. We are waiting for President Obama to speak. He is about to speak in front of a group of college students in Mexico City. He's got to highlight the role they can play in Mexico's future. After the president gives this speech to hundreds of students here, he'll meet with Mexican businessmen and that he'll fly off to Costa Rica. When the president begins speaking, of course, we'll dip in for you. We'll be right back.