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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
MLB Suspensions; Wild Weather; Protests in Turkey; Chrysler Says No to Recall
Aired June 5, 2013 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Up to 20 major leaguers reportedly connected to doping who might be caught in a punishment they could face.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Wild fires, flood and the widest tornado on record ever. Severe storms wreaking havoc across the country.
BERMAN: And brace yourself. A 1300 pound killing machine. Look at that. It's possibly the largest shark ever caught. Better them than me. We will show you more if you dare.
Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.
ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It's Wednesday, June 5th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.
BERMAN: And this morning we're waking up to some big news. News of what could be baseball's biggest cheating scandal ever.
Two of the game's biggest names, past MVP, the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun of the Brewers are among some 20 players that Major League Baseball were reportedly looked to suspect in connection with a Florida clinic that allegedly dispense performance enhancing drugs.
ESPN says that the clinic's founder Tony Bosch has agreed to cooperate with investigators. That's a big deal. And when you look at the scale, the number of players who could be involved here, you really are talking about potentially the biggest drug scandal in American sports history. No exaggeration.
Pamela Brown has more now on this developing story. She is live at Yankees Stadium.
Good morning, Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, John. That's right, the highest paid player in baseball. And one of the league's most valuable players at the center of this widening steroids scandal. This one may be for the record books. The history books for American sports. But it's a record breaker that no player wants to be a part of.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BROWN (voice-over): ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball is preparing for an unprecedented wave of player suspension that include Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and the Brewer's Ryan Braun. Rodriguez, Braun and some 18 other players are allegedly linked to a Miami area clinic at the center of an ongoing performance enhancing drug scandal.
On Tuesday night, Ryan Braun refused to talk about it after his game.
RYAN BRAUN, MILWAUKEE BREWER: I'm not answering any further questions regarding the whole situation, you know. I dealt with it for a long time over the last year and a half. And aside from that, I don't really have anything further to say.
BROWN: Yankees manager Joe Girardi was peppered with questions at a postgame news conference.
JOE GIRARDI, NEW YORK YANKEES MANAGER: I think we all had hoped that we kind of got through it. But obviously we're not through it yet.
BROWN: Major League Baseball issued this statement following the ESPN story. "We can't comment on an ongoing investigation."
ESPN reports that Tony Bosch, the founder of this now closed clinic near Miami, has reached an agreement to cooperate with the league's investigation. The "Miami New Times" first reported in January that Bosch's biogenesis clinic was a pipeline to performance enhancing drugs for several players.
TIM ELDRINK, MIAMI NEW TIMES: It's clear that Biogenesis, like a lot of anti-aging clinics was selling an awful lot of HGH. A number of other drugs, you know, that are widely banned in sports.
BROWN: Representatives for Alex Rodriguez issued a denial after the January report. "The news reports about the purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch's patient. He was never treated by him and was never advised by him."
According to ESPN, players could be suspended for 100 games, a penalty usually given to second offenses. If upheld, the suspensions may be the largest in American sports history. A-Rod fans disappointed.
TREVOR KAUFMAN, YANKEES FAN: I look up to him when I play baseball. Because he's usually (INAUDIBLE), I really like him. And just likes in (INAUDIBLE).
BROWN: Not only is the legacy of these baseball giants at stake, but more importantly, that of America's pastime.
GIRARDI: I worry about baseball being affected as a game, the whole thing. And what it's been through in the last 15 years and that's my concern.
BROWN: Now back in 2009, A-Rod did admit to using performance enhancing drugs when he was with the Texas Rangers but he's denied using any drugs since then. Of course we won't know anything until Bosch sits down with investigators. At that point, we'll know if history is actually being made or if this investigation was all for nothing.
Back to you.
BERMAN: And, of course, Pamela, A-Rod hasn't played a game this season because he's injured and the Yankees say he may never live up to that giant contract.
Pamela Brown, thanks so much.
ROMANS: For more now on what this could mean for Major League Baseball, CNN's Joe Carter joins us live this morning from Atlanta.
Good morning, Joe. So Bosch's Biogenesis Clinic originally flagged for distributing illegal drugs to professional athletes back in January. But players like A-Rod deny the connection. So how critical is Tony Bosch's cooperation to nailing these players accused of using performance enhancing drugs?
JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, I think that Bosch is absolutely critical. I mean he's everything to Major League Baseball's case against these 20 or so players.
When you look at the fact that Tony Bosch could bring forth sworn testimony, that he could bring forth evidence and this could go as far as phone records, this could go as far as receipts. This is go -- we know that there's been some handwritten notes out there since January that have implicated these names. And -- implicated these players. So he's the connection. He's the missing link. And he could be the smoking gun, if you will, for Major League Baseball to have a strong case against these 20 or so players.
ROMANS: Joe, why is he cooperating now, do you think? Why has he changed his tune?
CARTER: Well, I think it's because Tony Bosch has been essentially backed into a corner. I mean, he needs Major League Baseball as much as Major League Baseball needs him. Right now Major League Baseball is threatening a massive lawsuit against Tony Bosch. So he has no opportunity or money or finances or power to fight Major League Baseball's lawsuit.
His clinic is closed. He's broke. Apparently he's living with family and friends. So his options there are very limited. He also could possibly be facing criminal charges. Major League Baseball saying you cooperate with us, you bring us your evidence, you tell us everything you know and not only will we stop our lawsuit and drop a lawsuit against you, we'll also provide you protection for any harm that might be out there and we'll also put in a good word to any law enforcement agencies that might be bringing criminal charges against you.
So really Tony Bosch has very few options out there right now. BERMAN: And of course, baseball needs him because there are no positive tests. They need his corroborating testimony and documents, whatever he has, to prove this.
Joe, one of the things I was surprised by is they're talking about 100-game suspensions for A-Rod and Ryan Braun.
BERMAN: That's what you get for a second offense. How can they justify that in Major League Baseball?
CARTER: Well, Major League Baseball is basically saying we're going to -- it's going to be a two strike policy here. That one strike is for the link to performance enhancing drugs. The second strike would be for lying about it or denying it. So 50 games for the first strike, 50 games for the second strike. That's 100 games for two former MVPs, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.
This is unprecedented. But this fight is certainly not going to be an easy fight, if you will, for Major League Baseball. If these players decide to appeal the suspension or fight the suspension, this could drag on for months and months because it would obviously have to go in front of the players association. They would be fighting for the players. It would have to go to a court, then an arbitration panel.
And that's where it could drag on and drag on for months and months and months before we see any sort of punishments begin.
ROMANS: All right. Joe Carter, I mean, we're going to continue to cover the story all morning. So we'll talk to you again very, very soon about what is really a bombshell in baseball world.
BERMAN: It is huge.
ROMANS: Thanks, Joe.
Authorities in Oklahoma now say 19 people were killed in last Friday's storms. At 2.6 miles wide. What you're looking at there, that tornado, the National Weather Service says this powerful EF-5 tornado that hit El Reno, Oklahoma, is the widest tornado ever recorded in this country.
As CNN meteorologist Chad Myers reports the Oklahoma tornadoes are just part of a string of wild weather related events across the country.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): Tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, leaving 24 dead including seven children from a leveled elementary school raising questions about why more storm shelters weren't available.
MIKI NIXON DAVIS, PARENT: There should be a place that if this ever happened again during school that kids can get to a safe place. MYERS: Just two weeks later this monster storm, an EF-5, touched down in El Reno, Oklahoma, less than 30 miles from Moore.
(On camera): When the unthinkable happened here in Moore, it was a mile wide. An EF-4 and EF-5 damage as far as you can see. The storm in El Reno was 2.6 miles wide, twice as far as here.
(Voice-over): That's wider than the island of Manhattan and the widest tornado ever recorded in the U.S. The El Reno storm surprised chasers by shifting directions suddenly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, now. Go south. Fred, if you don't go south, we're going to die.
MYERS: They were lucky but three other professional chasers lost their lives including Tim Samaras. He was an experienced chaser caught in this mangled car. On the West Coast wildfires are raging. Firefighters have battled more than 2,000 wildfires this year, nearly twice the five-year average.
The power house fire burning near Los Angeles has charred more than 32,000 acres and destroyed six homes so far.
MONIQUE HERNANDEZ, FIRE VICTIM: The flames were 200 feet high. It was -- it was horrible. We couldn't breathe. There was nothing but smoke.
MYERS: Hundreds of homes are also threatened in New Mexico and Colorado fires. And now dangerous flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Several levees have been breached and officials have urged the evacuation of more than 300 residents in the St. Louis area.
HEATHER WENDLE, EVACUATING RESIDENT: I want to be safe than sorry. You know? I don't want to take the chances.
MYERS: More rain is forecast for that area this week. A week that also marks the official start of hurricane season.
Chad Myers, CNN, El Reno, Oklahoma.
ROMANS: All right. El Reno is still under the gun. A slight threat of severe weather looms again today. And meteorologist Indra Petersons has a look at that and the other weather headlines for us this morning.
Good morning, Indra.
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. Once again we're seeing that news about that El Reno tornado. And I wanted to show you again now that we know how wide this thing was. Keep in mind, when this thing went southeast instead of to the northeast, people had to make a choice. They had to make a choice, they're going to go south or east. But this thing grew from one mile to 2.6 miles wide in 30 seconds. So really no matter which way they went, unfortunately a lot of people found themselves in the wrong place. Unbelievable.
And keep in mind those winds in those individual vortices that were spinning around the major vortices, they were going 295 miles per hour. Unbelievable out there.
Now look at this instability we continue to see this morning so, yes, we do have a slight risk out there. Pretty much hanging out right on the cold front so with that we're kind of seeing that slide a bit more of an eastward reduction. So now into the south, Louisiana and also Mississippi under the gun. Of course, Oklahoma City still under the gun today for that severe weather threat. So it looks like yes, we're going to continue to monitor the plains. And unfortunately it looks like a flash flood watch still in effect for them as well.
It's never ending, guys. It's never ending.
ROMANS: And as Chad Myers reported at the beginning of hurricane season, too.
PETERSONS: All at once.
BERMAN: We got that going for us.
ROMANS: Thanks, Indra.
BERMAN: The attorney for California State Senator Ron Calderon says his client has done nothing wrong. FBI agents raided the Democratic lawmaker's office and that of the Latino legislative caucus. They raided that yesterday. What they were looking for, not at all clear. The federal warrants are sealed and the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento would only say the searches are not in response to anything recent and have nothing to do with public safety. The FBI says it is not planning any arrests.
ROMANS: We're getting to know more now about the mind and motivation of the Boston marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev and his younger brother trained at a Boston gym less than three days before the terror attack and owner and manager of that gym told our Piers Morgan that Tamerlan's demeanor and attitude changed dramatically once his dream of becoming an Olympic boxer died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ALLAN, WAI KRU GYM: You know, after 2010 when he wasn't -- he wasn't sent to the Olympic trials. He definitely changed. You know, and he would even at certain points with another member, another Chechen member, begin actually to (INAUDIBLE) pray in the gym which was very out of place and very strange.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Meantime, the surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told his mother by phone that people are sending him money. The "Boston Herald" reports those donations now total nearly $10,000.
BERMAN: So -- some incredible images of the biggest shark ever caught. Ever. This Mako was reeled in by a group of sports fisherman, some brave ones, just 50 miles off the coast of southern California. That shark is 11 feet long, eight feet in girth. It weighs more than 1300 pounds. It took two hours and a quarter mile of -- look at those teeth. A quarter mile of fishing line to bring it onboard.
More likely than not, the shark, we are told, will likely be donated to research. A good day for those fishermen. I have to say a pretty bad day for that shark. Did not end well for him.
ROMANS: Yes. All right. Coming up, dangerous times for a key U.S. ally. A violent protest rage overnight. Is there an end to this in sight?
BERMAN: And is Chrysler standing in the way of safety? The government says that three million Jeeps could be dangerous. But the company says no to a recall. What's going on here?
BERMAN: Let's talk about the unrelenting clashes in Turkey. A top Turkish official's apology over police aggression during the initial demonstration in -- in the Istanbul bull park that is doing little to calm nerves. Overnight there were more clashes in Istanbul and police used tear gas and water cannons against rock throwing protesters in eastern Turkey.
Nick Paton Walsh is in Turkey's capital Ankara where protests are going on right now.
We can see them behind you, Nick.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, John. Behind me, we've seen two groups of unions that have converged very noisily in this center of the Kizilay Square here. Now it's important to point out that while this is very noisy and populated, two things have changed. The crowd is a lot older. These are adults, presumably part of the strike action for today and the police.
We're not really seeing them. They've obviously decided to hang back. But there is an air of tension here because the municipal authority in Ankara has written the protest asking them not to have unauthorized demonstrations. So there is concern, of course, as to how long this will necessarily go on for.
At one point the police may feel they need to intervene. They've had a helicopter in the sky above me for the past hour or so. But the major issue here is we get to see the police intervene in that violent way of the park with tear gas. These protests significant in number and right in the heart of the capital here meters away from government buildings. What do the police do now? Do they tolerate this indefinitely or step in -- John.
BERMAN: All right, Nick Paton Walsh for us in Ankara this morning where we can see those protests behind you. Calm enough for now. But Nick says the tension is very much rising. Thanks, Nick. ROMANS: All right, coming up, iPhones, iPads banned? That could happen after Apple lost a patent fight, a very big patent fight. Which models are affected and what it means for you.
ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back to EARLY START.
Let's mind your business this morning. The super Tuesday rally I told you about yesterday, it's over. The Dow had posted gains --
BERMAN: So much for that.
ROMANS: Twenty straight Tuesdays in a row. Can you imagine? Twenty- two days in a row the Dow rose. But concerns about the slowing global economy hit stocks yesterday. Today, you know, all good things come to an end. Today Dow futures are down about 40 points. The major indexes are all up about 16 percent this year. On Tuesday this year, the Dow was up 1500 points. It had to stop at some point.
BERMAN: You stopped the streak. You kept the longest streak going on Wall Street. Single-handedly.
ROMANS: By the time we formally recognized it, that was the moment when the streak ended.
All right. Let's talk about Apple. Some Apple products that could soon be banned. I'm not kidding. The iPhone 3, 3 GS, the iPhone 4 and the iPad and iPad 2, AT&T versions only. This comes after the International Trade Commission ruled those products violated a Samsung patent. The ban also goes into effect if Apple's appeal fails and the decision is upheld.
Some analysts say it shouldn't hit the company's bottom line too much because it doesn't affect Apple's newer, more popular models. But it is a blow for Apple in what has been an endless patent war with Samsung.
And it's really interesting. I mean, Apple and Samsung have been fighting, fighting, fighting in court in Europe and the U.S., basically all over the world they've been fighting over this patent. Apple lost and now an international trade court saying --
BERMAN: Actually I'm holding up my iPhone 4 and my iPad.
ROMANS: By the time the appeals process is over, though, there'll be like three more iterations of all of them and so who knows, you know?
So other big businesses right now. Chrysler is taking on federal safety regulators rejecting a request to recall nearly three million Jeep vehicles the government claims are defective and prone to fires in rear end collisions. Let's get more now from CNN's Athena Jones.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a rare act of defiance, car company giant Chrysler refuses to recall almost 2.7 million vehicles as requested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For nearly two decades, some Jeep SUV models have had a tendency to burst into flames after a rear end collision. The NHTSA is requesting that upgrades to the older models be installed to keep fires from starting.
JOAN CLAYBROOK, FORMER NHTSA ADMINISTRATOR: The definition of a safety defect is if it's a bad design, if it's harmful to people, and if it occurs repeatedly. And that's all been the fact here.
JONES: The models in question are 1993 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002 to 2007 Jeep Liberties. The company says it's been working with the government on the fuel tank fire issue since 2010. Chrysler says their SUVs met the minimum standards for rear end collision.
But in a June 3rd letter from NHTSA to Chrysler, the agency said bluntly, quote, "The existence of a minimum standard does not require NHTSA to ignore deadly problems." Chrysler responded in a statement saying, "We believe NHTSA's initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data and we're committed to continue working with the agency to resolve this disagreement."
But it's the data that's scaring some consumer advocates. The Center for Auto Safety says it's data shows the risk of fire for a Grand Cherokee in the model years in question is more than 20 times greater than the risk in a comparable Ford Explorer.
PETER VALDES-DAPENA, SENIOR AUTOMOTIVE WRITER, CNNMONEY: Chrysler contends that their gas tanks on these vehicles were built according to government safety standards available at this time and basically that there is no problem that the number of people who've died in rear end collisions is far lower than safety organizations are alleging. And at any rate, it's less than the industry average for that type of vehicle built at that time.
JONES: Recalls aren't unusual. But this is the first time since 1996 that an automaker has challenged a recall demand from the NHTSA. That case also involved Chrysler and the company prevailed in a two-year federal court battle.
Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.
ROMANS: So I'm just looking at the value of the bailout from the American government to Chrysler, you know, when it went into bankruptcy in 2009. The U.S. government gave it billions of dollars. It's just sort of interesting that on the other end you got now Chrysler telling the government, no.
BERMAN: Yes, thanks for your money but, no, we're not going to take your suggestions for the recall. That's nice. Good investment.
ROMANS: Coming up, a baseball bombshell. The commissioner said to be ready to suspend 20 players for doping. Twenty players. We're live with the latest.
BERMAN: Say it ain't so. Not again. Could baseball's biggest heroes be cheating? New accusations overnight facing as many as 20, 20 Major League players. We're live with the story.
ROMANS: Courtroom outbursts. Incredible drama after the woman accused in the murder of an aspiring model is set free.
BERMAN: Crashes, fires, power outages, passengers stranded at sea. So, with so many problems plaguing cruise ships, we examine, are they still safe for passengers?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.
BERMAN (on-camera): And I'm John Berman. Great to see you. Thirty minutes after the hour right now.
ROMANS: Our top story this morning, a new doping scandal rocking major league baseball. According to ESPN, Commissioner, Bud Selig, is preparing to suspend 20 players, including the Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Milwaukee's Ryan Braum in connection with the Miami area clinic at the center of a performance enhancing drug probe. And the report says the clinic's founder is ready to reveal all.
Both A-Rod and Braum are looking at 100 game suspensions. Basically, a double penalty hit for two infractions at once. Our Pamela Brown live outside Yankees Stadium for us this morning. Good morning, Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, Christine. This widening scandal may be one for the history books in American sports, but this is a record-breaker that no player wants to be a part of. ESPN is now reporting that major league baseball is preparing an unprecedented wave of player suspensions that's include baseball's highest paid player, Alex Rodriguez, and the Brewers Ryan Braum.
Rodriguez, Braum, and some 18 other players are allegedly linked to a Miami area clinic at the center of an ongoing performance enhancing drug scandal. The now closed clinic was said to be a pipeline for performance-enhancing drugs for players according to the "Miami New Times," and now the owner of that clinic, Tony Bosch (ph) says he will talk with investigators and possibly verify documents MLB obtained back in January.
Braum reacted to the latest report from ESPN by denying the allegations once again. Let's take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN BRAUM, MILWAUKEE BREWERS: I addressed this in spring training. I will not make any more further statements about it. The truth does not change. I don't know the specifics of the story that came out today. But, I've already addressed it. I've already commented on it, and I'll say nothing further about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: ESPN says the players and this widening steroid scandal could be suspended for up to 100 games. That would be the largest in American sports history. Now, last night, the manager of the Yankees, Joe Girardi, said that right now he is focused on A-Rod recovering from his injuries and he wouldn't address anything related to these allegations. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE GIRARDI, NEW YORK YANKEES MANAGER: MLB is handling it. And I will let them handle it. And, you know, I'll see how - you know, I check to see how he's doing all the time physically. But as far as talking about that, no. You know what I worry about? I worry about baseball being affected as a game, the whole thing, and what it's been through in the last 15 years.
And that's my concern. But I always worry about my players. Always. Because I think, you know, one thing you never want to forget is they're human beings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: At this point, we don't know what's going to happen until Tony Bosch (ph), the owner of that now closed clinic in Miami sits down with investigators and possibly verifies what was in those documents that MLB obtained back in January. So, we'll see what happens.
ROMANS: All right. Pamela Brown live in front of Yankees Stadium for us this morning. Thanks.
BERMAN: Thirty-three minutes after the hour. We've been following all kinds of extreme weather across the country this morning. So, let's get you up to date. Authorities now believe that a tree that fell on to power lines may have sparked a wildfire burning in north central New Mexico. The traced fire (ph) has scorched more than 8,600 acres so far.
Also, the Mississippi River is more than ten feet above flood stage in St. Louis, Missouri. A levee breach in West Alton forced authorities to evacuate more than 40 homes yesterday. And the National Weather Service confirms as well that an EF-1 tornado touched down Tuesday in South Carolina, damaging a chicken farm in Orange (inaudible) County.
Meteorologist, Indra Petersons, is following all this extreme weather for us. What we have in store today, Indra? INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, right. It's not tough enough that we have tornado season. Of course, we now have hurricane season. What we're currently watching is all this moisture in the gulf trying to form a circulation. So, with that now, we have about a 40 percent chance (INAUDIBLE) 20 percent chance that it could build into a tropical depression.
Either way, all this moisture is going to be sucked up in the stream here bringing enhanced rainfall not only to Florida but watches. They had so much rain already down in the south coast of Florida. They've already had a foot of rain. Look at this rain accumulate, and then, eventually, this low will make its way all up the eastern seaboard.
Why does this matter? Heavy rain? A lot of people are asking -- weekend. So, yes, looks like a lot rain in the forecast. I know. It's horrible, right? Also, we're talking about the flooding, of course, in Missouri. We're still talking a couple showers out in the forecast today. Yes, ten feet above flood stage. There, in that major flooding stage.
But keep in mind, this isn't the only problem. Once this water trickles down all the way to Louisiana, we're talking about a higher water level. And of course, that could affect when you have low level places like Louisiana in hurricane season. Less room before you breach a levee there. So, it's really lot to think about here, and of course, the storm rest (ph) today right back in Oklahoma.
BERMAN: And a lot to think about, including ruining everyone's prom. All right, Indra.
BERMAN: Thanks so much for that. Appreciate it.
All right. We have more news. A stunning ending to the trial of the defendant who was called the female James Bond. Forty-seven-year-old showed no emotion as the jury declared her not guilty in the 2008 murder of an aspiring actress. But the victim's family had plenty to say. CNNs Kyung Lah has the emotional reaction to that verdict.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Find the defendant, Kelly Soo Park, not guilty.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Minutes after the stunning acquittal freeing Kelly Soo Park --
LAH: An outburst by the murder victim's friends and families.
LAH: Without speaking to reporters, a distraught family of Juliana Redding left court. Redding came to Hollywood to pursue a modeling and acting career. She appeared in a music video, landed some small acting roles. She was just 21 when she was strangled in her rented condo in 2008. Then, investigators announced a stunning twist to the case.
The suspected killer, Kelly Soo Park, prosecutors called her, quote, "the female James Bond." She was the muscle, they contended, hired to kill Redding by a physician, Dr. Munir Uwaydah. Uwaydah say police dated Redding briefly and Redding's father pulled out of a business deal with Uwaydah five days before her death. Prosecutors say Uwaydah left the country after Parks' arrest.
Park was nabbed after a DNA was found at the murder scene. Park's attorneys, shortly after the verdict, told us that the DNA evidence was inconclusive and the 47-year-old Park wasn't strong enough to strangle a 21-year-old victim with her bare hands.
MARK KASSARIAN, ATTORNEY FOR KELLY SOO PARK: There's nothing to be happy about here. It's understandable what the victims' family is going through. This was a dreadful murder. Our client didn't do it.
LAH: The L.A. district attorney's office did not speak on camera but said in a statement, "We fought hard and fair in the court of law to obtain justice, although, we disagree with the verdict, we respect our system of justice."
(on-camera) Legal analysts say juries have a harder time convicting women in murder cases. Jodi Arias being the high profile exception. But that is of little comfort to the family of Juliana Redding, the victim in this case.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
ROMANS: All right. Thirty-eight minutes after the hour. Surveillance camera captured the shocking execution of a California teen on a sidewalk. Chaos erupted in Oakland Sunday when a masked gunman began firing at a crowd in broad daylight. As others scrambled for safety, the teen later identified as 17-year-old David Manson Jr. lay on the sidewalk after firing several shots to the fleeing crowd.
The gunman walks up to the buy, shoots him several times at point blank range. So far, there have been no arrests.
A top Senate Republican under fire this morning for what he said about sexual assault in the military. During a hearing Tuesday, Georgia Saxby Chambliss said that hormones may be partly responsible for the epidemic of sex assaults in the armed services.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS, (R) GEORGIA: The young folks that are coming in to each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23. Gee whiz, that's the level of the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: That drew a sharp rebuke from both sides of the aisle. Ohio Republican congressman, Mike Turner, who co-chairs a caucus on military sexual assault said that kind of thinking helps perpetuate the problem.
ROMANS: The army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Ft. Hood is due back in court today. Major Nidal Hasan representing himself in this case. On Tuesday, he told the judge his alleged 2009 rampage was in defense of Taliban commanders in Afghanistan. It's part of his defense strategy arguing he was compelled to act to protect lives.
The judge has asked those sides to submit written arguments on the so- called defense of others and scheduled a hearing for this afternoon.
BERMAN: And there she is running for Congress. Former Miss America, Erika Harold, launching a primary campaign for the Illinois House seat now held by freshman Republican, Rodney Davis. Harold was crowned Miss America back in 2003. She is not the only beauty queen thinking about a political career these days.
Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000, has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.
ROMANS: Remember this frightening moment last month -- from last month's Billboard Music Awards? Singer, Miguel, attempted to leap over the crowd but came down hard on one fan's head. She seemed OK afterwards, even appearing with the performer backstage. But now, her attorney says she has cognitive difficulties and could have a neurological head injury.
And just to add another wrinkle, TMZ now reports the producers warned the singer not to do that, not to attempt the jump. No comment yet.
BERMAN: Given the epic nature of his failure, it was probably a good warning.
BERMAN: When he may be should have heeded (ph).
BERMAN: Coming up, you think you're heading out on a peaceful ocean vacation then trouble strikes. So, who is keeping crews passengers safe?
ROMANS: And a father's frantic call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife is in labor. Oh, my God! I can see the head. He's crowning! (END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: What dispatchers did to bring a new little boy into the world over the phone?
BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. We're about to hit the height of the summer travel season, and some of you may of you have booked what you hopeful be your dream cruise. But lately, cruise lines have been plagued with those headline grabbing problems, crashes, fires, stalls, gross conditions.
So, what's really going on in this industry? it's tough to know for sure. Drew Griffin explains why.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE UNIT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Deadly crashes? Stalls? Fires?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not a drill.
GRIFFIN: What is going on with cruise ships? According to critics of the cruise industry like maritime attorney, Jim Walker, we may never know because companies register most of their ships in small countries across the globe. They are, he says, very reluctant to tell the public or the U.S. government much of anything.
JIM WALKER, MARITIME ATTORNEY: So, it's a secretive industry. It's an industry that doesn't like to reveal the number of fires or collisions or disabled incidences like that. They like to keep that information secret.
GRIFFIN: Just take a look at three recent fires, 2010, the Carnival "Splendor," registered in Panama, the incident report done jointly by the Panamanians and the U.S. Coast Guard. It's still not published. The Carnival "Triumph," now famous for what became known as the poop cruise, is registered in the Bahamas and while the U.S. Coast Guard and the NTSB are involved in the investigation, the Bahamas maritime authority is taking the lead.
The same applies to Royal Caribbean's "Grandeur of the Seas" damaged by fire just last week. Walker says don't expect much.
WALKER: There's no legal obligation to comply with any of the recommendations made by the flag state. The overseeing body, the international overseeing body, called the International Maritime Organization, the IMO, can issue only recommendations.
GRIFFIN: U.S. senator, Jay Rockefeller, has lobbied for tougher monitoring of the cruise industry and essentially got little for his efforts.
SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER, (D) WEST VIRGINIA: So kind of in a world of their own. And when you're in a world of your own, you can do what you want. And that's exactly what they do.
GRIFFIN: He says because the companies fly those foreign flags, they don't have to abide by strict U.S. regulations even though they operate out of U.S. ports and carry mainly U.S. passengers. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
ROMANS: All right. The parents of an Ohio newborn are crediting 911 dispatchers for helping them deliver their baby over the phone. James Dean (ph) called for an ambulance Monday night, but by then, it was way too late. His wife, Jennifer, was in labor and starting to give birth. Dispatchers told James to stay put and deliver the baby at home instead of rushing Jennifer to the hospital by car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife is in labor. Oh, my God! I can see the head. He's crowning!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Listen, this is what you need to do. She needs to lay down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wasn't waiting. He wanted to come out. But he's here. He's healthy. That's all that matters.
ROMANS (voice-over): Did you hear how he said oh, my God? That was terrifying. 911 dispatchers say they were relieved when they heard the healthy six-pound newborn Baby James crying over the telephone. Was it the dad crying over the telephone or the baby crying?
BERMAN (voice-over): I think the middle name is 911.
BERMAN: Baby James 911.
ROMANS: Oh. We're so glad that that all worked out.
ROMANS: It is interesting how many times 911 operators have to be telling somebody what to do, you know?
BERMAN: That is fantastic.
BERMAN (on-camera): All right. Coming up, intruders force their way into a home. They're armed, they're dangerous, but a brave 10-year- old got them out. Wait until you hear what he did to protect his home and his family.
ROMANS: And the first lady faces off with a heckler. What was said and who won that war of words?
ROMANS (on-camera): Good morning. Welcome back to EARLY START.
ROMANS (voice-over): The Susan G. Komen Foundation is cancelling some of its signature races. The breast cancer charity says a lack of donations means it won't put on its three-day races in seven cities next year. Seven other cities will continue to hold the events.
And this year's races -- this year's races are not affected. Some supporters pulled their money from the group after it tried to cut its funding for Planned Parenthood in 2012.
BERMAN (voice-over): A pair of robbers in New York City did not count on a quick thinking 10-year-old boy when they planned a home invasion. Surveillance video shows someone opening the door of a home in Brooklyn to a man dressed in a FedEx uniform. Instead, two armed men came in demanding money. Look at that. That's terrifying. One robber grabbed his gun when someone inside the home slammed a door on his arm.
The boy picked it up, fired one shot. The other gunman fired back, but both bullets missed. The robbers ran away empty handed. They're still on the loose. That's terrifying.
ROMANS: Wow! What quick thinking for that kid.
A rare face-off between the first lady and a heckler. Michelle Obama was speaking at a private fundraiser in Washington yesterday when an activist confronted her, demanding President Obama take action on gay rights. The first lady told the woman only one of them could speak and she'd leave if the woman didn't stop. The activist was escorted out of the event.
BERMAN: And an update now on that Taco Bell worker who has really outraged fast food's -- sorry -- outrage. I can't even talk because I'm so grossed out by this picture.
BERMAN: This guy, he's outraged people everywhere with this picture getting awfully fresh with those taco shells. Now, Taco Bell says that he has licked his last taco. This man has been fired. Why? I wonder. They say those shells never made it to customers. They were just used in training.
They were never served. Get this, though. The photo was apparently taken for a contest showing workers enjoying a new product. I guess, you would say he really did enjoy that product.
ROMANS: Yes. That just -- ugh. That is a hard way to start the day looking -- licking those tacos. Coming up, has Miley Cyrus ditched her good girl image once and for all? Did she still have any good girl image left? That's what I want to know. Why her new song has jaws dropping, next.
BERMAN: And this is kind of a big deal. The museum in D.C. staying classy with a tribute to Ron Burgundy. We'll have detail next.
BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Taking a look at the top CNN Trends on web this morning. So, Miley Cyrus now officially lightyears away from Hannah Montana. Said to be singing about cocaine and ecstasy in her new single "We Can't Stop."
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BERMAN: So, in case you missed it, the subtle lyric you just heard, "everyone in line in the bathroom, trying to get a line in the bathroom." Cyrus also sings about dancing with Molly which is a slang term for ecstasy, but her producer tells TMZ she's not singing about the drug. And if that's not enough, you have to check out these racy pics teasing the song and teasing others and its upcoming video which MTV says will debut next week.
ROMANS: I will make no comments about class or good judgment.
All right. Also trending this morning, the winners of the cutest couple award at Carmel High School in New York, Dylan Meehan and Brad Taylor. The two seniors have become an internet sensation ever since becoming the first gay couple to win the title in the school's year book.
The principal says it's really not a big deal. And in this day and age, it shouldn't even be a big news event. Brad and Dylan say all the attention has been surreal.
BERMAN: You need to hear all of us. Ron Burgundy, the legend just keeps on growing. The best anchorman ever is getting his own exhibit at the newseum. It will feature crops, costumes and sets from the beloved Will Ferrell movie. The exhibit opens in November, just in time don't you know, for the release of "The Anchorman" sequel.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love scotch. That is good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look nice tonight. Maybe don't wear a bra next time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're on the air right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ooh.
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BERMAN: Oh, yes.
BERMAN: Will Ferrell's anchorman, the legend continues hits theaters on December 20th (ph).
ROMANS: Is it wrong that I like it so much?
BERMAN: It's only funny because it's true.
BERMAN: To check out other top CNN Trends, head to CNN.com/Trends.
ROMANS: Put your cigarette out for a minute. EARLY START continues right now.
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BERMAN (voice-over): Major league cheaters, possible performance- enhancing drug scandal rocking major league baseball this morning. Up to 20 players affected.
ROMANS (voice-over): Tornadoes, floods, wildfires, violent weather storming parts of the country. Where the worst hit and what's still to come?
BERMAN: And controversial comments putting a popular governor in the hot seat this morning. Why he is pointing the fingers at workings mothers?
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