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California Burning; Tragedy Along Tornado Alley; Angelina Jolie Returns to Red Carpet; Anti-Government Protests Rattle Turkey; Ten- Year-Old Needs Lung Transplant to Live

Aired June 3, 2013 - 06:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thousands of acres up in smoke in California and New Mexico. Massive evacuations as homes threatened.

We're going to have the latest on the Western wildfires coming up.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Fireworks on the street of Istanbul as protesters demand change and the government fires back with tear gas and pepper spray. We're live in Turkey's largest city.

BERMAN: That is a serious situation.

Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie wows on the red carpet. This is her first public appearance since announcing she underwent the double mastectomy. What she's saying now about that powerful decision.

ROMANS: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Thanks so much for joining us.

ROMANS: All right. Let's start with the so-called Powerhouse Fire north of Los Angeles. It's living up to its name this morning. It has destroyed at least six homes and burned more than 25,000 acres now. Thousands of homeowners still in harm's way, they've been told to evacuate.

The fast-moving fire is far from under control. Officials say this fire is only about 20 percent contained.

BERMAN: The tornado death toll in Oklahoma now stands at 16 and we're getting another look at just how dangerous and powerful these storms can be. Watch as a tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma, sucks this tractor trailer backwards before flipping it. Oh, my goodness. That is powerful.

Oklahoma City's fire chief saying they recovered five bodies yesterday, several miles from a storm drain where they likely sought shelter during Friday's storm. The search continues today for six other people who were still missing. Among them is an 8-year-old girl.

ROMANS: Some states once reeling, now recovering from tornadoes should get a reprieve today but they aren't completely in the clear here.

Meteorologist Indra Peterson's has today's look.

Good morning.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning. We're actually watching as that same storm system pushed to the Northeast. We're seeing that cold front extending from the Northeast straight down the Eastern Seaboard and with that some points of heavy rain today even chances for hail and thunderstorms out there.

The other thing we've been talking about are those wildfires, a lot of heat in the West Coast, gusting up to about 40 piles per hour of the Palmdale area and Lake Hughes. We're seeing that current wildfire. And, unfortunately, the heat is on. It's only expected to warm as we go through the weekend.

Next thing we're going to be watching the low coming out of the Rockies and that means more severe weather right along the plains, guys. Tough.

BERMAN: All right. Indra, thanks so much.

ROMANS: It didn't take Angelina Jolie to return to the spotlight. Looking more radiant than ever.

The superstar actress stepped back on to the red carpet for the first time since her double mastectomy.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin live for us this morning from London. Good morning.


Well, Angelina looked radiant at this premier. She took time to sign autographs and take pictures with fans and for the first time she talked to the press about her medical ordeal.


MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Hundreds of photographers and thousands of applauding fans greeted Angelina Jolie for her return to the red carpet.

ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: I feel great. I feel wonderful and I'm very, very grateful for all the support. It's meant a lot to me.

MCLAUGHLIN: Angelina didn't disappoint. She was a vision in a backless floor length St. Laurent gown. Her best accessory, long-time love Brad Pitt in matching black.

Angelina was on hand to support Brad at the premier of his zombie movie, "World War Z." It was Angelina's first red carpet appearance since she announced she had a preventative double mastectomy.

The mother of six was at times emotional. REPORTER: Have Brad and the kids been really supportive?

JOLIE: Oh, they've been -- I get moved to talk about it.

MCLAUGHLIN: It was her decision after testing positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation which increased her risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ever since Angelina Jolie announced she had a double mastectomy, everyone was wondering what she was going to look like and when she appeared on the red carpet with Brad Pitt she looked absolutely stunning.

MCLAUGHLIN: She has become an inspiration to millions since her brave revelation.

JOLIE: I've been very happy to see the discussion about women's health expanded and that means the world to me and after losing my mom to these issues, I'm very grateful for it.

MCLAUGHLIN: Angelina's biggest fan says he is thankful to have his fiancee healthy and happy by his side.

BRAD PITT, ACTOR: It's actually her own decision to want to take that, and to go beyond that and share it with others, because she realizes that this is not available for everyone and that it should be.


MCLAUGLIN: Because Angelina was in London by Brad's side, she was unable to attend her aunt's funeral, Debbie Martin who also tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, passed away a week ago from breast cancer. Angelina reportedly has been in touch with the Martin family offering her support, Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Erin, thank you so much.

So many people wanted to see her and see her look healthy and she looks great and radiant.

BERMAN: Terrific.

Joining us now from Atlanta to discuss the medical aspects of Angelina Jolie's recovery, both mental and physical now, CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

Elizabeth, I want to talk about the challenges she may have faced along the way after the double mastectomy, because it was just a few weeks ago, we learned it happened and now she's out on the red carpet.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. But it's important to remember that she actually had the surgery four months ago. I mean, we just learned about it, but she had the surgery four months ago.

But I actually shouldn't say the surgery. She actually had three surgeries.

And I was speaking with women who have gone through these surgeries and, you know, it's tough. The first six weeks are tough. You're recovering from anesthesia, you're recovering from surgery. You know, as some women said, you just don't feel like yourself for a while. You're not sort of bopping around.

But as you can see her, she looks so incredible and so healthy and I think this is going to help so many women make the choice about getting genetic testing and what to do afterwards.

BERMAN: So what about any ongoing issues she may face now and in the future.

COHEN: You know, hopefully, she won't have any. I mean, hopefully, she's done. She's had her three surgeries. But it is possible. I mean, sometimes, implants you do need to go back and fix them or do things to them and that happens.

But really, these surgeries, they've got this down to a science and they usually have very few long-term complications.

BERMAN: One of the things Angelina Jolie has done is put this very much in the public's face right now with a lot of people talking about this, much more openly that they ever did before.

So, you know, what can other women take away and learn right now from this?

COHEN: You know, I think sometimes family history can be scary and sometimes you just don't even want to think about it, but I think what she's taught us is that if women in your family had breast and ovarian cancer, actually, men had breast cancer, you need to stop and think and speak to someone, try to talk to a genetic counselor, try to talk to a doctor who really knows something about this.

You may want to get BRCA testing. And, once you do you can think about what steps you want to take after that, but you don't have to be scared. There's tests you can take and be proactive and empowered.

BERMAN: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much, really appreciate it.

ROMANS: All right. Happening now -- Turkey's government calls for calm as it braces for a possible fourth day in a row now of violence after protesters and police clashed overnight. What began as a peaceful sit-in against plans to demolish a park in Istanbul has snowballed into a nationwide protest against Turkey's prime minister. Clashes have been reported in 67 of Turkey's 81 provinces and in the capital Ankara.

CNN's Ivan Watson on the ground at the protests in Istanbul for us.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The unrest is far from over here in Istanbul. Thousands of people were about to get gassed now facing off against riot police over there. We've got to move because this is just too painful when it starts. Let's go.

What are you trying to do here tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The tear gas, we're trying to break through the police. We're trying to break through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not forwarding. We're defending. We're not forwarding. We are defending.


WATSON: Now, the demonstrators are bringing in people who have been wounded in these clashes into this 150-year-old mosque for treatment. That boy is clearly bleeding from the head. There are medics here taking care of the wounded. People are getting hurt out here and every person that gets hurt, it seems to make the crowd even more angry at their government.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Istanbul.


WATSON: Now, John, daylight has brought relative calm to the streets of Turkey's largest city. The big square that demonstrators have occupied, it's still in their hands. They're still holding scattered protests and the pattern we've seen is they're likely to get bigger as the day progresses. A lot of demonstrators say they have to go to work or to their university classes now that it's Monday, but they will be back when they get out of work.

There's been a case of arson it looks like, demonstrators setting fire to one of the ruling political party headquarters in the port city of Izmir. The Turkish prime minister taking a confrontational tone in statements he made before leaving the country on an international trip, saying these people are breaking laws because they can't win elections the way my party does. Wait 10 months until the next election and you'll see who has the support of the majority of the people -- John.

ROMANS: Ten months is a long time away when you've had four nights like that in Turkey. Thanks so much, Ivan Watson.

BERMAN: It starts as a protest in a park and grown, very, very large events.


BERMAN: All right. Now, to a case of a quirky science with big potential. Inventor Izhar Gafni invented a cardboard bike that is deceptively strong, cheap to make and it has the potential to revolutionize transportation around the world.

Here's an excerpt.


IZHAR GAFNI, INVENTOR: Best way to test bicycle, take them and go ride. Go ride across the USA, go ride across this road.

My name is Izhar Gafni. I invented and built the cardboard bicycle.

It's a bicycle like any other bicycle, holds the same, drive the same, only difference, cardboard it's extremely cheap, very durable and can be fully recycled.


This Saturday on "THE NEXT LIST", the cardboard bike guy, Izhar Gafni.


BERMAN: A bike that is fully recyclable. That's kind of cool.

ROMANS: And cheap. Cheap. Could transform transportation. Very interesting.

All right. Coming up, asking for help.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn't politics. This is a human issue.


ROMANS: Why this Pennsylvania mother is begging the authorities to make an exception so her little girl can live. Her story, straight ahead.


ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back. The family of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who may only have weeks to live is hoping and praying for a miracle this morning. Sarah Murnaghan has end stage cystic fibrosis.

She desperately needs a lung transplant, but because of her age and federal guidelines that no one seems willing to challenge frankly, her parents' fear Sarah has been left to die. Here's CNN national correspondent, Susan Candiotti.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sarah Murnaghan's lungs are getting weaker and weaker. The 10-year-old with cystic fibrosis is now in intensive care. Wise beyond her years, Sarah knows she needs a transplant and is in a battle for her life.

SARAH MURNAGHAN, NEEDS LUNG TRANSPLANT: No. I'm never going to -- never, never.

CANDIOTTI: Sarah's parents also are not quitting, frustrated because Friday, the federal government refused to intervene.

JANET MURNAGHAN, SARAH'S MOTHER: Somebody needs to stand up and say this isn't right. This is a human issue. This isn't politics. This is a human issue.

CANDIOTTI: Even though Sarah's at the top of the child's transplant list in her region and has been waiting for 18 months, federal guidelines disqualify her for an adult lung until she's 12, unless, every other adult on the waiting list turns down a donor lung.

In an e-mail obtained by CNN, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Sarah's parents she's not authorized to intervene but is ordering a transplant policy review, adding, quote, "I know this is not the answer you were hoping to receive. My prayers are with you."

JANET MURNAGHAN: She says, oh, I'm so sorry. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear. It is in her legal authority. We're going to let a kid die over red tape?

CANDIOTTI: It's a battle Sarah shares with other children, comparing her lungs' disease with CF to a boat filling with sand.

SARAH MURNAGHAN: Close your eyes and pretend that you're on the boat, but sand sinks your boat, but we're going to be OK.

CANDIOTTI (on-camera): Tell me what you think her chances are now given that the secretary did not step in?

JANET MURNAGHAN: If you directly donate your loved one's lungs to Sarah, the law cannot change that. And Sarah will use them and create a positive, wonderful life and legacy for your loved one. I'm praying that somebody sees this story and is in a position to save my baby.

CANDIOTTI: For now, Sarah says life is all about possibilities.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: Janet Murnaghan, the mother of 10-year-old Sarah, is going to join us live in the seven o'clock hour of "Starting Point" this morning. And we'll talk to her more about their case and their hopes for finding a pair of lungs. EARLY START back in a moment.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The NBA has fined Pacers center, Roy Hibbert, $75,000 for using profanity, including an anti-gay slur during his postgame press conference Saturday. Jared Greenberg is here now with this morning's Bleacher Report. Good morning, Jared.

JARED GREENBERG, BLEACHER REPORT: John, Christine, good morning. That mandated cooling off period from the end of the game to the time when players are available to the media apparently not long enough for Roy Hibbert. Facing elimination, Hibbert's dominant on-court performance spoiled by homophobic postgame comments.


ROY HIBBERT, INDIANA PACERS: I really felt that I let Paul down in terms of having his back when Lebron was scoring in the post or getting to the paint because they stretched me out so much, the homo, and --



GREENBERG: He's not laughing now. Hibbert later apologized for the insensitive remarks. However, the NBA still slapped the Pacers' big man with the $75,000 fine for using inappropriate and vulgar language. He said it just after scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds as the Pacers beat the Heat to stay alive in the eastern conference finals, forcing a decisive game seven which will be played tonight in downtown Miami. The winner takes on the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals.

Weekend Warriors here's your chance to feel like Tiger Woods. Second worst four-round tournament ever played by Tiger. On the course, he has historically dominated the defending champ, but the Memorial couldn't find the bottom of the cup. Tiger finished tied for 65th carding a 296.

That put him 20 shots behind the winner, Matt Kuchar, seals the deal with this 20 footer and then his son supplying the awe moment of the weekend, getting the high five from a legend, Jack Nicholas. Kuchar moves up to the four spot in the world rankings.

Bernardo LaPallo don't look a day over 110 years old. No, really, I'm serious. This pride-looking Arizona resident says he's 111 years old. Saturday, he was honored by the Yankees while meeting Derek Jeter, he recalled the memory of once meeting Babe Ruth. Some media reports are calling into question his birthday claiming the only available documentation shows LaPallo is really 101, but either way, August 17th, he puts another candle on the quake. And the real question is, what do you get a 102 or 112-year-old man?

This is the easiest, cheesiest sports joke ever written. "Who let the dogs out?" The loose husky isn't a mascot for either team but still managed to take center stage during an NCAA baseball tournament game. Peaceful. And just checking out the scenes, seeing what's going on. After a brief 90-second delay, the dog made his way out of the stadium, allowing Arizona State and Cal State, Fullerton to proceed with the baseball game. Don't you just love it when jokes or scripts write themselves?


BERMAN: I prefer a dog on the lam. I would go with dog on the lam, but who let the dogs out was pretty good.

(LAUGHTER) ROMANS: Thanks, Jarred.

GREENBERG: Give us a little bark at some point this morning.

BERMAN: All right.


BERMAN: Jarred, thank you so much.

GREENBERG: Maybe next hour.

ROMANS: He's not going to take that -- and this is adorable, too. On Sunday is the San Diego Padres honor members of the U.S. military. But before the Blue Jays and Padres could play ball yesterday, one soldier had to ask his girlfriend a question.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And others. What's going on here? Oh! And the theme last night, a proposal. Oh, she's totally taken back, isn't she? Oh, my.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's awesome. Oh. Beautiful. Congratulations.


ROMANS: And that was, as you can see, a yes. Very sweet. Loved it.


BERMAN: I love just the nod. The nod. She said yes. Yes.


BERMAN: Congratulations to them. That is all for EARLY START this morning. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. "Starting Point" begins right after this break.



ROMANS (voice-over): Good morning. Our "STARTING POINT," California wildfire, thousands fleeing from their Southern California homes. Strong winds are making the fire that's already tripled in size completely unpredictable.

BERMAN (voice-over): Tornado terror in Oklahoma. Just incredible pictures of the sheer force of a twister as a semi-trailer truck gets flipped like a toy car. This, as three storm chasers were killed tracking a tornado. The death toll now stands at 16.

ROMANS: The search for a teen swept over a 600-foot waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park is on, but is it possible to survive a fall like that? We'll go live to Yosemite for the latest.

BERMAN: And Angelina Jolie returns. The stunning actress back on the red carpet and opening up about her double mastectomy. Is she happy with the national dialog that she started? Her answer coming up.


ROMANS (on-camera): And good Monday morning to you. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN (on-camera): And I'm John Berman. Great to see you. It is Monday, June 3rd. Welcome to "STARTING POINT."