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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Boston Marathon Terror Investigation; South California Wildfire; Kentucky Derby Security Stepped Safety; Reese Witherspoon Apologizes

Aired May 3, 2013 - 06:30   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to start with major developments right now this morning from the Boston marathon terror investigation.

CNN has learned that the bombs allegedly detonated by the Tsarnaev brothers were built in Tamerlan Tsarnaev's apartment. And the Boston marathon was not their original target. The brothers allegedly planning a Fourth of July attack. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev telling investigators the date was moved earlier because the bombs were ready faster than expected.

Also this, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body finally claimed by his family. We could find out as early as this morning the actual cause of his death. His parents are demanding an independent autopsy.

And then, there's Tamerlan Tsarnaev's widow Katherine Russell staying with her parents in Rhode Island. Did she know about the attack ahead of time? A source tells CNN that investigators still do not have an answer to that question. Obviously, a key question.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed.

Thirty minutes past the hour.

Happening right now: Thousands of homes in harm's way as a massive wildfire burns out of control. This is southern California. About 50 miles from Los Angeles. It's already blackened 8,000 acres.

And fire crews are facing a triple whammy now. High temperatures, dry conditions, and very strong winds.

CNN's Stephanie Elam live in Ventura County, California.

And, Stephanie you know, earlier when you were showing us what was right behind you, I was a little nervous for you.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, we made sure we were in a safe place, Zoraida. But thank you for worrying about us.

But yes, it was definitely colorful a couple of hours ago. Entire hillside behind me was just engulfed in flames and that's exactly what firefighters were fine with because all it had to do is race down the mountain and jump over the highway and then go into the ocean. The ocean is right here to my left. So, because of that, there was no concern of it going any further. But, still on the other side of these hills, you can still see the smoke and fire that is burning so intensely that they've had to evacuate some people.

But keep in mind that this is just one fire. There's also another fire burning that's about 140 miles from here. It's called the Summit Fire. We drove out there yesterday to take a look.

It turns out they've got a pretty good handle on it. It's now about 55 percent contained. And that's a really good number.

But things to keep in mind here are just the winds, which could kick up and change the direction of these flames. And that's what firefighters will be watching.

This is really the calm time of the day. If only it stayed like this, they would be a lot easier to tackle.

But as the day wears on and it's very dry and it's been very hot, I think it was in the 90s around this area, a little bit inland yesterday. With those conditions there, that means the fire can really, really spread -- Zoraida and John.

SAMBOLIN: So, Stephanie, what had been some of the challenges in fighting the fires specifically in southern California?

ELAM: Well, for one thing, yesterday it was the wind, we were getting whipped around out there at the Summit Fire.

And that really did change the ball game for that fire, because it was changing, heading one direction, changed course, and as one of the fire chiefs told me, it was like a freight train that went right at this one house -- the only house that was taken out in that area yesterday.

So the wind is one issue, that also means they may not be able to drop water from the sky. And then the terrain, it's rough, it's rugged, and it's also very rocky and then the temperatures, the heat that these firefighters are battling to get into these areas with their shovels and their picks and make way so that the fire will burn where they want it to, and not burn in areas where there are homes that are threatened.

And there's several people not far from here who are very worried about their homes.

SAMBOLIN: I know we were watching earlier, they were saying they were waiting to see what happens. So, you're really concerned about them and the firefighters in the area.

Stephanie Elam, thank you so much for joining us this morning. Appreciate it.

BERMAN: The big question now, of course, is what will today bring? Will the weather help? Will the weather hurt the firefighting efforts?

Let's go straight to Jennifer Delgado to get the forecast.

Jennifer, what are they looking at?

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, guys. Actually the weather is not going to help in about the next couple hours. By 5:00 a.m., we're going to start to see the winds gusting up to about 30 miles per hour. It looks like we'll start to see this subside.

As we go into the late morning, as well as into the early afternoon. Expect some wind gusts in some of those mountains up to 45 miles per hour. The red flag warnings, though, expire at 5:00 in the evening. That is local time.

Now, from fires we go to snow as well as flooding. And heavy rainfall coming down through parts of the Midwest.

There is the snow that we've been following. It's from Fayetteville, Arkansas, all the way up towards parts of the Upper Peninsula. We're expecting one to three inches and we do have winter weather advisories in place until 1:00 local time.

But down in Florida, they have been getting hammered with the heavy rainfall. Video coming out of Fort Lauderdale shows you a very rough commute. This is yesterday.

People driving through flash flooding. A very dangerous situation, and the problem is, more of that rain is on the way when some of those locations yesterday picked up four inches.

As I take you over to our graphic, want to show you where the heaviest rainfall is going to be -- up towards the northeastern part of Florida, including Jacksonville, as well as Daytona Beach. We're talking potentially 10 to 13 inches of rainfall for the next 48 hours. Then the Midwest, this is a whole different other system, this is going to bring three to four inches of rainfall right on top of St. Louis, Missouri. Of course, the Mississippi River where some parts are still at moderate to major flooding.

And, also I want to point out to you, Louisville, Kentucky, Kentucky Derby this weekend, yes, rain coming on Saturday.

SAMBOLIN: No way!

BERMAN: Mudders.

DELGADO: Way.

SAMBOLIN: It is bad for your rain boots with the cute little dresses.

Thank you very much.

DELGADO: And your hat.

BERMAN: Those hats are going to get wet. Jennifer Delgado, thank you so much.

Thirty-five minutes after the hour.

The sister of a U.S. citizen who's been sentenced to 15 years in a North Korean labor camp says she doesn't want her brother to be used as a political pawn. North Korea state news agency says Kenneth Bae is guilty of hostile acts against North Korea. They're not saying what those acts are.

Here's what his sister Teri Chung told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TERRI CHUNG, SISTER OF KENNETH BAE: We'd just pray and ask for leaders of both nations to please just see him as one man, caught in between, and just ask that he be allowed to come home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Chung says her brother owns a travel agency and was in North Korea on business. She claims he visited North Korea five times without incident last year before being arrested this time.

SAMBOLIN: And for the first time ever, a woman appears on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list. Sixty-five-year-old Joanne Chesimard now known as Assata Shakur was convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster. That was in 1973.

She escaped from prison in 1979 and has been living under political asylum in Cuba since 1984. The FBI says Chesimard received VIP treatment and regularly attending government functions in Cuba.

Later this morning on "STARTING POINT," a live update from CNN's Patrick Oppmann in Havana.

BERMAN: A mix of old and new with this year's Kentucky Derby. Of course there will be horses, big hats and mint juleps. But in the wake of the Boston terror attacks, this year's derby will also have much tighter security.

Our Pamela Brown who knows a thing or two about the Kentucky Derby is in Louisville this morning.

Good morning, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. That's right I am a Kentucky native.

I tell you, this year has a very different feel from years past in the wake of what happened in Boston. Officials have only had a few weeks to put new security measures into place here. And they're scrambling to get the word out to people. It's made the headline here in Louisville's main newspaper, which is "The Courier Journal".

Officials want to make sure that the only headline that comes out of this year's derby is who won and who lost. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN (voice-over): It's one of horse racing's biggest events, the first of the Triple Crown races -- a place to see and be seen.

But this year's Kentucky Derby is happening just weeks after the Boston bombing.

Security at Churchill Downs now understandably tightened.

JOHN ASHER, CHURCHILL DOWNS: The marathon bombing occurred and we were on the phone immediately with our law enforcement partners and had meetings the next day. We had to move really quickly if changes were warranted, we had to get the word out pretty quickly.

BROWN: Changes were made. In addition to the ban on backpacks in place since 9/11, the new security restrictions include no camcorders, cans or coolers of any size. And women with purses larger than 12 inches will have to leave them at home for the big races.

And the estimated 160,000 people going through the gates can expect to have more thorough bag inspections, and magnetic wand searches.

ASHER: We hope not a single person that gets to the gate is surprised and trying to bring in something that's not allowed.

BROWN: Twelve hundred federal, state and local officers were also be out in force, an increase of about 100 since the bombing.

MAJ. KELLY JONES, LOUISVILLE METRO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Basically just areas of command.

BROWN: But Major Kelly Jones says they're relying on alert spectators to report anything suspicious.

JONES: We get used to things sometimes, and so what we've learned is, folks have got to be vigilant. We've got to be vigilant. People have to be the eyes and ears of this community.

BROWN: That message seems to be getting through.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know if I see something, I'm going to say something. Probably more so now than ever before.

BROWN: For others, it's still all about the derby.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an event that everybody wants to experience, that they look forward to every year, and just to come out and have a good time, the mint juleps. I don't think it's going to be a concern at all.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And those new security measures will be put into place today with the big race the Oaks, which is something that happens the day before the derby. So, this is sort of a trial run before the big race tomorrow.

Officials tell us, though, because it's controlled access, because you have to go through gates to get in here, that there is a level of comfort there, more security, and it's easier, obviously, for that reason -- John.

BERMAN: Pamela, as we said, you are a Kentucky native. Like I said, you've probably been there many times before. What's the sense from the fans? How are they reacting to the new restrictions?

BROWN: Well, for the most part, John, fans are, you know, understanding, that they're taking this in stride. They understand that this is all for their safety.

But I will tell you what sparked a lot of discussion is the limited purse size. As you heard in the story, purses can only be 12 inches. So, we're hearing that department stores are actually have rulers on the counter to measure purses before people buy them to bring here.

BERMAN: Oh, no.

BROWN: I know. And I have to tell you, people -- I'm telling you, people plan out their outfits their purses months before the derby. So, I'm sure a lot of women are going to have to change their game plans.

BERMAN: I imagine the purse has got to match the hat, and the hat is a big deal. Am I right about that?

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely.

BROWN: Absolutely. You have to coordinate.

BERMAN: I didn't know about that. But thank you for clearing that up for us.

SAMBOLIN: Obviously you did, John Berman.

BERMAN: Pamela Brown, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: And coming up on EARLY START, she may be legally blond, but apparently she doesn't know the law. Wait until you hear the earful Reese Witherspoon gave the officer who arrested her. It is newly released police dash cam video.

BERMAN: Yes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back.

Christine Romans is joining us with a look at what is ahead on "STARTING POINT."

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning again to both of you. Ahead on the show this morning, the Boston bombing suspects had another day in mind. Another day in mind to unleash terror -- a national holiday. What we're learning now about the Tsarnaev brothers' alleged plot and why they moved up the date of their attack. We're live in Boston.

Right now, firefighters desperately trying to contain wildfires burning out of control in southern California. Today's winds could make things worse. We are live in Ventura County top of the hour, talking with a woman whose home is in the line of danger.

Then, the April jobs report, less than two hours away, could be bleak. We're going to break down what the new numbers mean for you and the economy with Grover Norquist, president of the Americans for Tax Reform, and Ken Baer, former associate director of Office of Management and Budget. And I'll show you where there is jobs growth.

Plus, Jets coach, Rex Ryan, is here. He's sharing how he lost an incredible 100 pounds and kept it off. We're also going to talk all things gangrene, including the release of Tim Tebow. He's saying he lost 100 pounds a year ago, and he lost about 200 some pounds last week.

BERMAN: A lot to talk about with Rex Ryan.

ROMANS: Oh, yes. Can't wait.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right. So, a lot to talk about here, too. Her a-list arrest last month made Reese Witherspoon seem more like a diva than one of Hollywood's sweethearts.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Now new video of her arrest in all its dash cam glory.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Hollywood golden girl, Reese Witherspoon, is accustomed to the spot light. But since her disorderly conduct arrest last month, she dodged public appearances.

REESE WITHERSPOON, ACTRESS: All i can say is I just panicked.

SAMBOLIN: That is until her very public apology on "Good Morning America" Thursday.

WITHERSPOON: It's one of those nights. You know, we went out to dinner in Atlanta. And we had one too many glasses of wine. We thought we were fine to drive and we absolutely were not. And it's just completely unacceptable and we are so worry and embarrassed. And we know better.

SAMBOLIN: Witherspoon's contrite appearance came just hours before police dash board video showing her contentious arrest was posted by the website, TMZ. WITHERSPOON: I'm a U.S. citizen. I'm allowed to stand on American ground and ask any question I want to ask.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead.

WITHERSPOON: You better not arrest me. Are you kidding me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I told you --

WITHERSPOON: I'm an American citizen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told you to get in that car and stay in there, didn't i?

SAMBOLIN: Witherspoon's husband, Jim Toth, was shown being arrested for driving under the influence, tries to quiet her without success.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reese, can you please be quiet.

WITHERSPOON: I have to obey your orders?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you do.

WITHERSPOON: No, sir. I do not.

SAMBOLIN: Seemingly unable to deter the officer from taking her into custody, Witherspoon takes a different line of approach.

WITHERSPOON: I'm now being arrested and handcuffed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

WITHERSPOON: Do you know my name, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't need to know it.

WITHERSPOON: You don't need to know my name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not quite yet.

WITHERSPOON: Oh, really, OK? You're about to find out who I am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's fine. I'm not really worried about you, ma'am.

SAMBOLIN: Perhaps that's what Witherspoon meant by embarrassing. Her explanation?

WITHERSPOON: I have no idea what I was saying that night. When I saw him arresting my husband and I literally panicked. And I said all kinds of crazy things.

SAMBOLIN: Adding --

WITHERSPOON: It was so disrespectful to him. And I have police officers in my family. I work with police officers every day. I know better. And it's just unacceptable.

SAMBOLIN: When asked about what she learned from the incident, Witherspoon wrapped up her damage control interview with a touch of humor.

WITHERSPOON: When a police officer tells you to stay in the car, you stay in the car. I learned that for sure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): So, you're just mentioning the timing of this was very interesting, right?

BERMAN: Yes. Her interview where she's apologizing was before everyone saw the dash cam video. I'm not sure -- the dash cam video in some ways may be worse than people thought.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, absolutely. I'm sure she's incredibly embarrassed because she never expected this to be all over the place, right? She also said in that interview that she told the police officer that she was pregnant. "I don't know what was coming out of my mouth. I even told him that I was pregnant," and she cleared up that, indeed, she is not.

BERMAN: One movie, one film here she is no doubt not proud of.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Some people actually gave her a lot of credit for coming forth, apologizing, calling the police department, apologizing.

BERMAN: We have to. What are you going to do?

SAMBOLIN: Right. What are you going to do?

BERMAN: Damage control.

(LAUGHTER)

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BERMAN: All right. One woman stands alone with a chance to make sports history at this weekend's Kentucky derby. More on her and her Triple Crown dreams coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. Fifty-two minutes past the hour. This weekend is the 139th running of the Kentucky derby, and for one rider, it is a chance to make history. Andy Scholes joins us with more in today's "Bleacher Report." Good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Good morning, guys. It's been 43 years since the first female jockey rode in the Kentucky derby, and this weekend, 25-year-old Rosie Naprovnik will look to become the first to win it. And her chances aren't that bad. Naprovnik is already the most accomplished female rider in the sport's history. Two years ago, she finished ninth in the derby, which is the best finish ever for a woman.

Last year, she became the first female rider to win the Kentucky Oaks Race, which is the second biggest race of the weekend. Now, her dream is to win the Triple Crown, and Saturday could be the beginning of that dream as she rides Mylute in the derby.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUBEN GUERRERO, ROBERT GUERRERO'S FATHER: We're going to beat up that woman beater. The one that beat up his wife, man, his wife in front of his kids. You guys like that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) like this guy woman beater? He must have learned that from his dad. Woman beater, baby, we're going to beat that woman beater.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Oh, man. Well, Saturday's Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero fight needed any more hype. Guerrero's father definitely provided earlier this week, calling Mayweather out for his domestic abuse. Tomorrow night's fight will be the first for money Mayweather since serving two months in a Las Vegas jail last summer.

In spite not fighting nearly a year, the undefeated Mayweather is an overwhelming favorite to beat Guerrero.

The golfers coming out of China just keep getting younger and younger. Last month, Tianlang Guan became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters after winning to China Open at age 14. Now, 12-year- old ye Ye Wocheng is taking his shot at qualifying -- at the qualifying tournament. He's the youngest golfer to ever play in European tour. He's holding his own.

Check out this shot right here, chips in from 40 feet out. Now, Ye probably won't win the event like Guan as he shot a 7 over 79 in the first round. But again, he'll have plenty more chances because he's only 12 years old.

As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. That's not the case in the Midwest. Snow in Kansas City forcing the Royals to postpone their game with the Rays last night. But it did give the players a great chance to work on their tarp sliding skills out in the snow. Boy, it looks like a lot of fun out there.

In warmer weather down in Houston, the Astros hosting the Tigers last night. Check out this great pitch. One arm holding his baby, the other one with the hat reaches over. One hand. Guys don't want to think about what would have happened if he would have fallen over trying to --

SAMBOLIN: No kidding.

(CROSSTALK)

SAMBOLIN: -- he would have been.

SCHOLES: At least in Houston, you know, they're in last place. You've got a lot of room to move around out there -- fans out there.

NBA playoffs last night, the Bulls falling to the Nets. That series heading to seven games, Zoraida, I'm sure you're pretty down on your Bulls this morning.

SAMBOLIN: I'm really depressed about this. Can we talk about kudos to Nate Robinson for playing the way that he did with the flu?

SCHOLES: Yes. He definitely did. He hung in there and tried to stick it out. But, this one's going seven. There's four game sixes tonight in the NBA including, John, your Celtics. They're taking on the Knicks trying to hang in that series see if they can push it to seven tonight in Boston, see if they can send it back to New York. I know you're going to be keeping an eye on that.

BERMAN: We're feeling good about that, Andy. We really are.

SAMBOLIN: Really?

BERMAN: Appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: Sure.

(LAUGHTER)

SAMBOLIN: OK.

BERMAN: Andy Scholes, appreciate it. Thanks so much.

SAMBOLIN: Fifty-five minutes past the hour. New Hampshire man caught red-handed stealing items from a thrift store says the name of the shop led him to believe the items were there for the taking.

Ruben Pavon didn't want to go on camera while admitting he took a grill, DVD player, another items from the Finders Keepers thrift shop. He says he thought the items were free because of the sign and the fact that they were left on the store's porch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUBEN PAVON, ACCUSED OF STEALING: The sign did say finders keepers. So, I took that DVD player, you know, took it home, and a couple weeks later, the stuff is still there on the porch so I'm thinking to myself, you know, it's probably finders keepers, they probably just put stuff out there for people to take.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Seriously. So, Pavon returned the items after he saw the story on the news. So far, no charges have been filed there.

BERMAN: "Starting Point" is up next. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: That is it for EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Have a great weekend. "Starting Point" with John Berman and Christine Romans starts right now.

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

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. Our "Starting Point" this morning, disturbing new developments in the Boston bombing investigation. CNN learning it was another holiday the suspects planned to target. We're live in Boston.

BERMAN: Then, wildfires burning across Southern California. Hundreds forced from their homes, 8,000 acres burned, and it may only get worse. We will have a live report.

ROMANS: Plus, this is one unexpected and unwelcome passenger. How did a bear get inside this man's truck? Locked the doors.

Friday, May 3rd, "Starting Point" begins right now.

BERMAN: We begin with major new developments this morning in the Boston marathon terror investigation. CNN has learned that the bombs allegedly detonated by the Tsarnaev Brothers were built in Tamerlan Tsarnaev's apartment. Also, the Boston marathon allegedly not their original target. They had a bigger one in mind.

Also, Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body finally claimed by his family. His parents are demanding an independent autopsy, and there is controversy about where the body should be buried, so let's go straight away right now to CNN's Jason Carroll who is live in Cambridge, Massachusetts with the latest. Good morning, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, John. And we are live outside of Tsarnaev's apartment. And what we're learning, as you are learning, is not only disturbing, it's also insightful. The original plan was not to detonate these bombs on Patriots Day. The original plan was to detonate the bombs on Independence Day.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL (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.