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They're Out?; "Anchorman" to get Exhibit at Newseum; Kelly Soo Park, Not Guilty; Calls for More Cruiseship Regulation

Aired June 5, 2013 - 05:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): New accusations overnight facing as many as 20 -- 20 major league players. We're live with this story.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Courtroom outburst. Incredible drama after the woman accused in the murdering 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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. (SHOUTING)

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.

BERMAN: Terrible.

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.


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.


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!


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?


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.

BERMAN: Congratulations.

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 canceling 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE) 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."




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 props, 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.


WILL FARRELL, ACTOR: I love scotch. That is good.

FARRELL: You look nice tonight. Maybe don't wear a bra next time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're on the air right now. FARRELL: Ooh.


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

ROMANS: Put your cigarette out for a minute. EARLY START continues right now.


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?


ROMANS (on-camera): All right. Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN (on-camera): And I'm John Berman. It is Wednesday, June 5th, 6:00 a.m. in the east. And up first, a new chapter unfolding in baseball steroid scandal performance-enhancing drugs. ESPN reporting that major league baseball is preparing to suspend some 20 players, including the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez and Milwaukee's Ryan Braum. Those are both past MVPs.

They could be suspended in connection with the performance-enhancing drug investigation centered on a Miami area clinic. The report says the founder of that clinic, Tony Bosch, is ready to talk. That is a big deal.

Our Pamela Brown is live at Yankee Stadium with more on this developing story. Good morning, Pamela.