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Cambridge Refuses to Bury Tsarnaev; Referee's Family Heartbroken; "Iron Man 3" is Box Office Gold; Texas Church Preaches Gun Safety

Aired May 6, 2013 - 06:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Backlash over a burial. The family of Tamerlan Tsarnaev have claimed the body, but they've not found a place to bury the suspected bomber.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Violence on the soccer field. The referee is dead after a player punches him in the head during a game.

ROMANS: And in Texas, one house of worship offers something a little different on a Sunday morning, gun safety classes. We'll tell you why.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. John Berman is off today.

And today is Monday, May 6th. Twenty-nine minutes past the hour. So, let's get started here.

Two weeks after dying in a shoot-out with police, Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev still has not been buried. And there may not be a cemetery in Massachusetts, perhaps even in America, that is willing to give him a final resting place.

Tsarnaev's uncle says he should be buried in Cambridge, but the town, they just won't hear of it, insisting that the people already buried there deserve to rest in peace.

Susan Candiotti is live from Boston with the latest details on this new struggle, Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Zoraida. And certainly on a singular or one-to-one basis, not everyone in the Boston area is objecting to the burial of Tamerlan Tsarnaev here. But nevertheless, no cemetery, no burial plot for him as yet. And you have a funeral director wondering what he's supposed to do next.

Now, the city of Cambridge on Sunday went so far as to issue a statement about this saying it doesn't want to play a role in the burial either. It reads in part, quote, "The difficult and stressful efforts of the citizens of the city of Cambridge to return to a peaceful life would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests, and widespread media presence at such an interment." Well, in the meantime, the uncle of Tamerlan Tsarnaev spent Sunday at the funeral home, preparing the body for a burial if they can find a cemetery plot. He cannot understand why, he says, Tamerlan spent 10 years living in the area, why he shouldn't be allowed to be buried here.


RUSLAN TSARNI, UNCLE OF TAMERLAN TSARNAEV: I'm left alone to deal with this matter, and I also stress that Tamerlan Tsarnaev has no other place to be buried, and there is no other place who would accept his body. And reasoning to it would be that he lived in America, he grew up here and last 10 years, he resided here in Cambridge.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: The uncle there, right, having to deal with all of this, saying he's left to try to figure it out.

Let's turn back to the investigation. There's a bail hearing today for a friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the three arrested after the bombing. What do we expect to happen today?

CANDIOTTI: That's right. Well he is the one who is charged with lying to investigators about going to the dorm room of the suspect in this case, Dzhokhar, and removing items from that dorm room that they later found in a landfill. So he's charged with lying.

He is asking the court, this American-born student, to allow him to be granted bail pending trial. Whether he will get that, it's unclear what the government's position will be on this. But he maintains that he is not going to run away, and that he doesn't pose any safety or security threat to this area, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: And, Susan, we see that you're standing right there by the memorial. You actually met one of the victims. It was her first time outside of the hospital.

Can you tell us about that?

CANDIOTTI: That's right. Her mother took her out for some fresh air after leaving the rehab hospital, and she told me that this Adrianne Haslet-Davis, she's a dance instructor who lost part of her left foot in the bombing, and she said when she came by and saw the memorial, she couldn't believe how many people recognized her, and wanted to hug her, hold her hand, and pose for photographs with her. I asked her what that must have felt like.


ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS, BOMBING VICTIM: After seeing the memorial and seeing people there and seeing the respect, and hearing people tell me that I was an inspiration, that everyone, all of the victims, an inspiration. I know that I wish that the other people that are still in recovery could be here right now seeing it with me. They deserve to see it. (END VIDEO CILP)

CANDIOTTI: And for those who recognized her, it was a real thrill. And it was for us, too, to see her here -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, it's nice to see her out and about. I guess she didn't realize that she's a household face and name, right?

CANDIOTTI: That's right. She can't believe the outpouring of support she has had. She's very positive, a very, very optimistic person. We hope that she will do well.

SAMBOLIN: We certainly do. Susan Candiotti live in Boston for us, thank you.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: An update now on a heartbreaking story we've been following. Forty-six-old Ricardo Portillo, a soccer referee, a father of three, losing his fight for life after calling a foul on a player.

Here's Stephanie Elam.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At a vigil Sunday evening in Salt Lake City, members of the community came together to remember a dedicated family man.

JOHANA PORTILLO, RICARDO PORTILLO'S DAUGHTER: He took a part of me with him. He took my daddy away from me.

ELAM: Police say soccer referee, Ricardo Portillo, probably never saw the blow coming, the blow that would ultimately end his life.

MARIO VASQUEZ, SOCCER LEAGUE PRESIDENT: I'm in shock, because besides a ref, he's a friend of mine.

ELAM: It happened during an April 27th match for a recreational soccer league just outside Salt Lake City after Portillo called a foul on a 17-year-old goalie.

VASQUEZ: The goalie pushed one of the forwards from the back.

ELAM: The goalie retaliated by punching the 46-year-old referee in the head.

PORTILLO: When he was writing down his notes, he just came out of nowhere and punched him.

ELAM: Portillo was taken to the hospital with what was believed to be a minor injury, but doctors found that he had suffered serious internal head injuries, police said, and lapsed into a coma. After a week in that condition, he died Saturday night.

Johana Portillo, the referee's eldest daughter, had spoken with CNN's Jake Tapper the day before he died. She told him her father had lived for his three daughters and for soccer.

PORTILLO: His passion was, you know, being there the whole weekend, just refereeing. He loved soccer. And it was just really bad. We never thought that this was going to happen. He loved what he did and it was his passion.

ELAM: The family knew the chance of recovery was slim.

PORTILLO: The doctor says only a miracle will bring my daddy back.

ELAM (on-camera): The teen who's not being identified because of his age was arrested two days after the soccer field incident on preliminary charges of aggravated assault, charges that will likely be upgraded now that Portillo has died.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.


CANDIOTTI: Thirty-six minutes past the hour.

New clashes overnight between police and Islamic protesters in the capital city of Bangladesh. Authorities say at least 15 people were killed in the violence in Dhaka. Dozens more were wounded. Demonstrators are demanding the government implement an anti-blasphemy law. Meantime, the death toll from last week's building collapse in Bangladesh now stands at 657.

And the government is actually considering some new sort of safeguards because critics are saying it's modern slavery in those factories. Factories that, you know, the -- the audience, the target demographics for what's made in those factories is us, U.K., Europe and American consumers. So --

SAMBOLIN: Such horrific --

ROMANS: Wet week --


ROMANS: I know. A wet weekend means watchful eyes in the Southeast, emergency officials keeping close tabs on rivers and creeks that could come out of their banks. Some of the most widespread flooding is along Black Creek, near Jacksonville, Florida.

SAMBOLIN: So, let's check in with Jennifer Delgado. She's in the CNN weather center. What can you tell us?

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Christine. Hi, Zoraida. We are looking at some of the rainfall totals over the weekend. For Florida, yes, they are going to get a break from the heavier rain fall but for parts of the Tennessee Valley, as well as into Georgia, Alabama, they picked up a tremendous amount of rainfall over the weekend. Some locations, four to six inches of rainfall.

And that's why right now we do have some flood warnings and watches in place. A lot of these areas in green are going to expire later today, but still looking at some minor flooding in some of those rivers.

Now, still, that rain is coming down on the radar. The radar has been giving some action out there and right alone the border of Alabama, as well as in to Georgia you see precipitation working through and then it spreads up towards the north affecting parts of the Ohio valley. That's where we're going to see the rain today. It's really going to kind of stop right in southern parts of PA, and then eventually that rain works in to parts of New England, as well as in to the Northeast as we move into Wednesday.

But on the wider view for today, this is where the rain will be, another two to four inches in some spots. Ridge of high pressure, and then South and then for California, they're still getting some showers out there. That's good news for those fires that are burning. We're at a 50 percent containment. High temperatures today, in the 70s, as well as in the 60s.

Still very cool in the South, and speaking of the South, and of course, you have the big race at Talladega, had some images for you of the rain. Of course, the rain caused a lot of problems out there. There were delays of nearly 3 1/2 hours. But luckily they have that new Air Titan System and this is the super blow dryer basically and it speeds up the drying time by 80 percent.

So, a lot of umbrellas. The good news is the new dryer has a smaller carbon footprint. So --

SAMBOLIN: Oh, the super blow dryer.

ROMANS: We could all use that.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

DELGADO: You're welcome.

ROMANS: All right. President Obama sending Ohio State grads off into the real world with a dare, to do better and be better. He also talked about citizenship in his commencement speech yesterday.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've seen courage and compassion, a sense of civic duty and a recognition we are not a collection of strangers, we are bound to one another by a set of ideals and laws and commitments, and a deep devotion to this country that we love. And that's what citizenship is.


ROMANS: The president also called on grads to tackle issues like gun violence, education, and the environment.

SAMBOLIN: And just ahead on EARLY START, "Iron Man" takes off at the box office this weekend. That's an understatement. Will it help kick off the summer movie season? We're going to go live to Los Angeles when we come back. Plus, a simple cure for men who are going gray? Details ahead.


YOSEF ABRAMOWITZ: This will be the 40-megawatt solar field.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: They told him he can never do it.

ABRAMOWITZ: It is a disruptive idea.

SUSAN SILVERMAN, WIFE: He said, someone's got to bring solar energy to this place. I was like, please not you.

ABRAMOWITZ: It will be the field with the best security in the whole world because we have two armies guarding it.

GUPTA: Yosef Abramowitz and his real first solar field on "THE NEX LIST."

SILVERMAN: Whatever he can envision, he can figure out how to make it happen.

ABRAMOWITZ: It's stunning.

SILVERMAN: If he can see it, he can do it. It's incredible.

UZI LANDAU, FORMER ISRAEL ENERGY & WATER MINISTER: Well, like a bulldog, he just put his teeth in something and doesn't give it up.



ROMANS: Turns out Iron Man does have a super power. He's a box office magnet. The latest installment "Iron Man 3" had a blockbuster opening weekend, earning more than $175 million.

SAMBOLIN: Ka-ching. CNN's Nischelle Turner up really for us in Los Angeles with all the "Iron Man" buzz.

Good morning to you, Nischelle.


SAMBOLIN: And this opening is breaking big records. And I understand you saw it, so you have all the perspective.

TURNER: Yes, Zoraida and Christine, some of that $175 million came out of my pocket. I did go see it yesterday, afternoon, about 1:00. And I have to tell you, there were only two open seats in the theater that I went to on a Sunday afternoon at 1:00. So, if that gives you any indication. I had a lot of company this weekend at the movies.

It tore up the box office like you said. This is really impressive, considering this is the third "Iron Man" film, because usually sequels don't quite keep pace with the first film in the series. This is the second biggest opening in history. That's when you talk about breaking records, behind only another movie featuring a whole stable of the Marvel superheroes and that was "The Avengers."

Now, to give you a sense of the domination of "Iron Man 3," think about this for me. Of the major movies in release, 83 percent of all the tickets sold this weekend, all of them, were for "Iron Man 3."

That's the market share there. And 45 percent of all of those were for 3D screens. Now, that's a sign that 3D is alive, well, and not going anywhere, and Hollywood definitely likes that because at most theaters, they charge more, of course, for those 3D showings, although, my ticket was $15.50 and I didn't see it in 3D.

Now, that drove up the box office here, as well. Overall "Iron Man 3" is well on its way to collecting more than, listen to this, a billion dollars worldwide. Combining what it made in North America this weekend, ladies, and all of the business overseas, it now stands at $680 million. That's how much it's made so far.

SAMBOLIN: Here's a big question. I haven't seen one or two, will I enjoy three?

TURNER: Oh, yes. You know what? That's the funny thing. I don't really think you have to have seen those movies, the first two. You know the general gist of "Iron Man" and the fact that he's a superhero so you go in to it with that. There are some really great moments in this movie. All I have to say is Ben Kingsley, fantastic in this movie.

And there's this little eight-year-old kid name Ty Simpkins that steals every scene that he's in with Robert Downey Jr. It's such a cute pairing. I think they're really, really good together. It's a good one. It's a really good one.

SAMBOLIN: It looks like a thumbs up, don't you think?

ROMANS: A really good one says Nischelle Turner.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you.


TURNER: All right.

ROMANS: OK. Could gray hair be gone for good one day?

SAMBOLIN: I hope so.

ROMANS: We could be close, folks, to the day when you could rub something on your head and watch the gray fade away. Yes. Does it come in a box? Well, anyway a new research report published in the Online Journal FASEB shows people who've gone gray actually accumulate hydrogen peroxide in their hair follicle which causes hair to bleach itself from the inside out, but they say it should be able to be treated with a simple topical cream that will return the hair to its original color.

The Science World Report says European researchers are testing out a process that appears to return gray hair to its original color back to its roots. No word yet when this would be available.

SAMBOLIN: Hmm. So, it's activated by the sun. Here's what I want to know. Earlier, we had said -- we tease that this was for men. I suspect that women also can use this. I know that I volunteer, though, right when something's new I always want to wait until they test it out and figure it out.

ROMANS: What if you don't want your original hair color.


SAMBOLIN: Then, you have a problem. Then, you have a problem.

All right. Forty-seven minutes past the hour. Coming up, a game of bumper cars turned into a spectacular 16-car pileup at Talladega. All the highlights ahead.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Fifty-one minutes past the hour. Our top story this morning, the corpse of suspected Boston bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is in limbo this morning. There's not a cemetery anywhere near Boston that seems willing to take his body.

His uncle wants him buried in Cambridge, but the town is refusing, the city manager saying quote, "The difficult and stressful efforts of the citizens of the city of Cambridge to return to a peaceful life would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests, and widespread media presence at such an interment."

ROMANS: California highway authorities say they won't speculate on the cause of a deadly limousine fire until the charred vehicle is fully inspected. New video released overnight shows the limo fully engulfed on a bridge over San Francisco Bay. It was carrying nine women to a bachelorette party Saturday night. Five of those women were killed, including the bride-to-be.

Four others and the driver managed to escape. Reports say the women were all nurses. they were just minutes from their destination when that limo burst into flames, four minutes away. And the groom is said to be waiting at the hotel for them to arrive.

SAMBOLIN: And a Baptist church near Dallas had a different kind of message this weekend. It offered a concealed handgun class in the sanctuary. The class was free for anyone who met state eligibility requirements.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot of crazy stuff going on in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: School shootings, movie theater shootings. You just never know what's going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to be able to protect myself and protect my friends and family.


SAMBOLIN: The Texas house passed a bunch of gun bills over the weekend. One of them could put armed marshals in public schools.

ROMANS: It was an action packed weekend.

SAMBOLIN: It sure was.

ROMANS: Basketball, NASCAR, horse racing, and baseball players dressed like "Star Wars" characters.


SAMBOLIN: I miss the "Star Wars" characters. Andy Scholes is here with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, guys. It was a very busy weekend in the sports world. Let's get things started with the big NASCAR race yesterday at Talladega. After an over 3 1/2 hour rain delay, HLN's own, Robin Meade, on hand. She kicks things off singing the national anthem. We saw a couple crashes in the race. A big one coming with just six laps to go here.

Look, Kurt Busch barrel rolls, ended up on top of Ryan Newman's car. Luckily, everyone would be OK. After the restart, David Ragan passes Carl Everett to take the checkered flag for his first win of the season.

On Saturday, Orb galloped its way through a very muddy Churchill Downs to win the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. Up next for Orb is the Preakness Stakes on May 10th, which is the second leg of the Triple Crown. Now, later this morning, Orb's trainer Shug McGaughey will join "STARTING POINT" to talk about the derby win and Orb's quest to become the first Triple Crown winners since Affirmed (ph) back in 1978.

The second round of the NBA playoffs kicking off yesterday in the East. The Knicks were looking to build on their first round win over the Celtics, but the Pacers had other ideas. Behind a balanced attack Indiana built a commanding second half lead and held on to beat New York 102-95. Interesting fact here, the Knicks have never won a playoff series after losing game one at home.

Well in the west, the top-seed Thunder were in trouble late in game one of their series against the Grizzlies, but Kevin Durant came to the rescue. KD knocking down the clutch jump shot here with 11 seconds to go. Thunder win the game 93-91.

Sunday, Lebron James was named the league's MVP, making him the youngest player to win the award four times. Lebron was nearly the first unanimous MVP selection, but Gary Washburn from the "Boston Globe" actually voted for Carmelo Anthony. Now, that's definitely a head scratcher there. But Lebron isn't too worried about the voting process or winning individual awards.


LEBRON JAMES, 2013 NBA MVP: This really doesn't mean much to me. I'm humbled, and I'm happy about it, but I wish there were 15 of these up here, because I'm with a great group of guys that allow me to be the MVP each and every night.


SCHOLES: All right. Well may the force be with you. The Toledo Mud Hens getting in the spirit of the May 4th "Star Wars" holiday this weekend. Players wore Chewbacca-like jerseys and fans came dressed as their favorite "Star Wars" character. Look at that Chewbacca, the life-sized seven feet tall. There's Darth Vader with the light saber.

Guys, this is pretty awesome. Only been better if all the players maybe wore storm troop costumes for the entire game. It's still pretty awesome. Check out the kids. Their favorite "Star Wars" costumes and the players with those Chewbacca jerseys. The force maybe wasn't so strong with the Mud Hens this weekend.

They lost both games wearing those uniforms. Unfortunately, but still a lot of fun out there at the ball park.

ROMANS: That looks so cool.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Andy Scholes, thank you.

It is 55 minutes past the hour. That is it for EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. "STARTING POINT" begins right after this break.