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CNN NEWSROOM

Young Bomb Suspect's Friend To Court; "One Fund Boston" To Unveil Payout; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Can't Bury Him Here; City, Cemeteries Shun Older Suspect; Update On The Bombing Survivors; Jodi Arias Verdict Watch; Bride, Four Friends Die In Limo Fire; Senate Expected To Pass Internet Sales Tax; Florida Teen Recovering From Shark Bite; Beyonce: Cuba Criticism "Shocking"; Report: 42 Syrian Soldiers Killed

Aired May 6, 2013 - 10:00   ET

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


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CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, anywhere but Cambridge.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever it is, whoever he is, in this country we bury people. I don't care who it is.

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COSTELLO: Burying suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He shouldn't be here. He shouldn't be buried here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't really care where he is buried. To me, he's dead already.

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COSTELLO: So where should he be buried?

Also, a bachelorette celebration turns into tragedy.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got calls of the smoke coming from the limousine.

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COSTELLO: New information this morning on the deadly limo fire, five including the bride to be unable to escape. Police asking what really happened.

Plus, verdict watch -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Jodi Arias makes it to death row, it will be years before she is executed.

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COSTELLO: We're live at the court. Will we know Jodi Arias' fate later this week.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is it that you have no memory of stabbing Travis? After all the lies you have told. Why should we believe you now?

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COSTELLO: And box office iron. "Iron Man 3" blasts the Box Office, 175 million strong. We're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Good morning. Thank you so much for being with me. I'm Carol Costello. We begin in Boston where new developments pushed the bombing story back to the forefront. Later today, 19-year-old Robel Phillipos is due in court. He is one of the three friends accused of helping the younger bombing suspect cover up his crime.

Investigators say he lied to them. Also today, "One Fund Boston" will unveil how it plans to distribute $28,000,000 in donations to the bombing victims and their families. The man overseeing the payout tells CNN the money will fall short of compensating them for losses or long-term care.

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KENNETH FEINBERG, ADMINISTRATOR, "THE ONE FUND BOSTON": First of all, never underestimate the charitable impulse of the American people. It's a great deal of money. It will be distributed wisely, but enough, absolutely not.

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COSTELLO: In the meantime, the area's raw emotions cast the accused master mind of the attack in limbo. More than two weeks after the older bombing suspect was killed in a police shoot out the city of Cambridge says, he cannot be buried there. Cemeteries across the area are also shunning requests to bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev on their grounds. The funeral director tasked with making those arrangements is asking the public to rise above the anger and allow him a burial site for the sake of human compassion.

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PETER STEFAN, TAMERLAN TSARNAEV'S FUNERAL DIVISION: Well, at this point, any outcome will be better than nothing. We do have to bury the person. Regards to what he did, as I said earlier, this country we bury the dead. Funeral directors have done this for years and continue to do it. When there's no problem, it's very easy with the cemetery, but this say big problem. Somebody has to step in and say look, we're going to have to do something here and we have to. I have gone as far as I can go with it.

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COSTELLO: Our next guest agrees the dead bombing suspect deserves a burial, but says there is no place for him at a Muslim holy place. Ibrahim Rahim is the presiding imam of Yusuf Mosque in Brighton Chestnut Hills, Massachusetts. Imam, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

IMAM IBRAHIM RAHIM, YUSUF MOSQUE, BRIGHTON/CHESTNUT HILL, MASSACHUSETTS: Thank you.

COSTELLO: You said you will not preside over Tamerlan Tsarnaev's funeral, why?

RAHIM: It's not in the public interest of the membership of Yusuf Mosque nor would it be in the public interest of any mosque in the common wealth of Massachusetts and America for that matter, to bury such a controversial individual that has done something -- who is alleged to have done something very heinous.

We look to the greater good of the community. We are the neighbors of all Bostonians and bay staters. I am a born and raised Bostonian. So we have deep feelings about what has happened. For those reasons, we go back to the family for a private disposal of their affairs.

COSTELLO: When you say it's not in the public interest, what do you mean by that?

RAHIM: This man has done something that is very, very evil, or he is alleged to have done something that is very evil. And we don't stand with evil. We are people of conscience and our conscience dictates we do not support evil. So it becomes a family matter for us.

How his family wants to dispose of his body, his relatives. That matter resides with them. We do not interfere with it and there's no obligation on us as Muslim clergy to do the funeral for the family. There's no obligation from Islam, from Islamic lore, from the Holy Koran, from Prophet Mohammad that requires us to do so. So we don't, we abstain.

COSTELLO: If an imam in Massachusetts did agree to preside over the funeral, would that imam fear backslash?

RAHIM: Certainly and rightly so. We are very concerned. We are concerned with how our neighbors perceive us. That is very important to the Muslims. So we don't want people looking at us as though we are empathetic in any way to what has happened at the hands of this man and his brother. So, for that reason, we want to be very clear that we are Bostonians, we are bay staters and we are with our fellow citizens.

COSTELLO: It is against your religion to be cremated so what do you suggest to the family they do with this man's body?

RAHIM: If he is from Russia or wherever he is from, they should probably put together some money and take his value back out of this country to his country and lay him to rest according to the dictates of their own understanding of Islam in terms of burying him there in his country of origin. That's probably the best solution for them.

COSTELLO: I reached out on Facebook and on Twitter and asked people what should be done with Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body. I got to tell you the comments were not kind. A lot of people saying they should dump his body in the dumpster. They bury him at sea right next to Osama Bin Laden. What do you say to those people?

RAHIM: Well, you know, I would respond to that, but what I would say is today I stand here in memory of Martin Richard and I stand here in member of Lu Ling Su and the countless others here, Bostonians and people who were here at the marathon who are hurt. We're more concerned with the victims.

We're not that concerned with the Tsarnaev's and their family matters, how they intend to dispose of the body of the older brother. We look in anticipation to see what will happen to the younger brother, that he's been apprehended, that the law is fully met out with regard to him and that he is brought to full justice for what has happened. So we're not concerned with the family at all.

COSTELLO: Imam Rahim, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

RAHIM: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Now, let's shift the focus back to where it belongs, as the imam said, the victims. Here's a quick update on some of the survivors.

At last night's Boston Bruins hockey game, Jeff Bauman waved the team's flag and the crowd went absolutely wild. The image of a smiling triumph of Bauman is much different than when the nation first saw him. Maimed and bleeding profusely, his wounds proved a sobering reminder of the carnage unleashed by the bomb.

Bauman, you may remember, helped put investigators on the trail of the brothers. You may remember the story of 7-year-old Jane Richard. Her brother was the youngest victim killed in the attack. Her mother suffered a serious brain injury and she herself lost a leg. The little girl was an avid student of Irish dance.

And that community, the dancing community turned its support to her. Across Metro D.C., groups held fundraisers to help the family pay the mountains of bills and I'm talking about dance clubs all over the country not just in Washington, D.C.

About two hours from now, jurors will resume deliberations in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Of course, she is accused of killing her ex- boyfriend Travis Alexander back in 2008. The jury will decide if Arias killed in self-defense or planned it. And police are investigating why a limo suddenly burst into flames on a bridge over San Francisco Bay. The limo was carrying members of a bachelorette party. Four of them and the driver made it out alive, but the bride and four of her friends, they died in the fire.

Our Dan Simon is in San Mateo, California. Do investigators have any idea yet what caused this fire?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They don't, Carol. Other than to say that they believe it started perhaps somewhere in the trunk area. They don't suspect any criminal activity whatsoever. It seems to be just one of those freak occurrences and it's just absolutely heart breaking, Carol.

Here you have a 31-year-old woman who is about to get married. She is going to return to her native Philippines. So what does she do she has a bachelorette party. She is a nurse and she gathers up all of her friends in Oakland and they hopped on in a limousine.

And somewhere along that right behind me on the San Mateo Bridge they realized that there's smoke in the back of the limousine. They alert the driver. He pulls over. Four of them get out, they're OK. They're rushed to the hospital. But five of them are unable to get out of the limousine and they're burned to death.

And we spoke to -- at least our affiliates spoke to friends of these nurses and this is what one of them had to say.

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GRACE KANU, CO-WORKER, COMMUNITY REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: We have an inside joke when it's time we are so busy and we will say is it time for tea. So Friday, for some reason, that was the only night, we didn't say is it time for tea. And now she's gone.

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SIMON: The driver was unhurt. He has spoken out and he basically says at a certain point, he thought that the nurses were asking if they actually could smoke in the limousine. So he was confused and then he realized that they weren't asking if they could smoke. They were complaining about the smoke. It took anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute to pull over and obviously the flames just advanced so quickly -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Dan Simon reporting live for us this morning.

Beyonce breaking her silence on her controversial trip to Cuba with her husband Jay-Z. Hear what she has to say about visiting Havana, next.

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COSTELLO: The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a proposed internet sales tax law today. It's called the Marketplace Fairness Act. If approved the law would allow 45 states in the District of Columbia to require online retailers to collect taxes on purchases.

Dana Bash is live in Washington with more. So is this bill expected to pass?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It actually is, at least the Senate. That's the first stop later today. You know, Carole, often times people watch Congress and they say, are they really doing anything that impacts my life? Well, today the answer will be yes in the Senate because if you're one of millions that likes to shop online, this something you need to listen to.

Now if you buy online most likely you're doing it for convenience, but you also have a perk of avoiding most sales tax and this bill would change that. It would require online retailers to tax all purchases sales tax just like they would if you're going to a store and buying it.

Now supporters argued that this protects bricks and mortar businesses including small businesses who already had to charge tax and they're having a hard time competing with the tax for internet, but opponents argue it actually hurts small businesses because they sell online too and it subjects them to new paperwork and regulations and it will cost them money.

COSTELLO: So what are internet retailers saying?

BASH: It's interesting, Carol. The biggest, like amazon.com, they're really pushing for this because they feel it would simplify their complicated tax issues, but there's another big name on the internet, eBay, they're fighting tooth and nail. A CEO argues it would hurt the small businesses and private sellers who use eBay.

But we should know even after this does pass the Senate and again, it is expected to later today it still has to go to the House where Republicans are in control and they are pretty wary of voting for anything that can be viewed in any shape or form as a new tax or tax increase.

COSTELLO: Yes, it's always something. Dana Bash, thank you.

It's 17 minutes past the hour. It's time to check our top stories this morning, a Florida teenager is shrugging off a shark bite that sent him to surgery. The 16-year-old was catching waves off Melbourne Beach when a shark attacked his foot as he dangled his foot from the board.

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MICHAEL ADLER, SHARK BITE VICTIM: One of my last waves in and I kicked off the wave and I was off my board. When I went to go back on the board, the shark bit me right in the foot and immediately tried to yank it out. It was crazy how I didn't even feel it.

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COSTELLO: The teenager is recovering from an operation that repaired his damaged tendons. Doctors say he will make a full recovery.

Beyonce now responding to criticism about that recent trip she and her husband, Jay-Z took to Cuba. Lawmakers like Senator Marco Rubio questioned the trip noting that law bans U.S. tourists from going to Cuba. The singer spoke to "Good Morning America" during a break from her current world tour.

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BEYONCE KNOWLES, SINGER: It was such a beautiful trip. I met some incredible children, visited incredible entrepreneurs. I learned so much about so many people and the country and it was actually quite shocking.

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COSTELLO: This morning a flood threat hangs over much of the southeast. Many areas have seen record rainfall, totals of five inches or more since Friday. This overflowing creek is in Clay County, Florida. That's southwest of Jacksonville. Today, the heaviest rainfall stretches all the way up to the Southern Appalachians.

Syria accusing Israel of air strikes within its borders and calling the incident a declaration of war. Now Israel ramps up it's defenses. We'll take you live to Israel, next in the NEWSROOM.

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COSTELLO: According to new reports from the Syrian observatory, 42 Syrian soldiers were killed after a series of massive air strikes at the nation's capitol. Syrian officials say the Israelis are behind the attacks calling the move a declaration of war. Syria's deputy foreign minister spoke exclusively to CNN.

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FAISAL AL MEKDAD, DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER OF SYRIA: This is a declaration of war. This is not something that is strange, but we dealt with this on several occasions and we retaliated the way we want and the retaliation was always painful to Israel. And they will suffer again.

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COSTELLO: Sara Sidner is live Haifa, Israel, where the government deployed antimissile batteries to guard against retaliation. First of all, Sara, though, is Israel confirming its behind these air strikes?

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is not confirming, not publicly or officially saying it cannot confirm or deny that it had anything to do with these air strikes. We're talking about two air strikes just over the past three days.

What we can tell you now is that we are now hearing into CNN from U.S. officials who are confirming that they believe it was Israel that struck inside of Syria, twice, one Thursday night into Friday and Sunday. The U.S. officials saying that they believe the first place that was hit was actually the airport where there was a weapon's storage site.

The second place hit was the research facility that may have been housing a large amount of weapons as well. One of the weapons mentioned is this weapon and we were able to speak with the former head of Israel's missile defense system program and he talked about the danger of this particular missile saying if this particular missile got into the hounds of Hezbollah, an organization that exists in Lebanon.

That is a proxy for Iran and is an enemy to Israel, both consider it a terrorist organization, that this missile could easily, because it is a long range missile, hit into any part of Israel and it is extremely accurate. The near is the accuracy because there are long range missiles that they know both Syria and Hezbollah both possess, but the accuracy is not as great.

With this missile the accuracy is much better. There's a concern that those weapons will be transferred into the hands of Hezbollah and at some point in time used against Israel. Israel not confirming or denying that it hit inside of Syria. There has been movement here of certain things such as the iron dome anti-missile systems, those have been put in place here in the north.

Just a couple of batteries in case there is any kind of movement coming over the border here near Lebanon. The big concern that Hezbollah will react when Syria has a difficult time reacting because it's been dealing with its own internal problems, a war that's gone on for two plus years now.

COSTELLO: Sara Sidner eporting live from Haifa, Israel this morning.

Coming up in the NEWSROOM, a statement by the NRA over the weekend is raising quite a few eyebrows today. One of gun lobby's leaders says more homeowners should be been packing heat during the search for one of the Boston bombing suspects. Is that a legitimate argument? We'll talk about that next.

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