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Clashes in Turkey; Replacing Sen. Lautenberg; Report: MLB To Pursue Rodriguez, Braun Suspensions; Tony Bosch To Work With MLB; Wild Weather; Rivers Overflowing; Subway Scare; FBI Raids California Lawmaker's Office; Holmes Insanity Plea; Marijuana Mom Busted; "The Mom Got In The Workplace"

Aired June 5, 2013 - 06:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- enhancing drugs. ESPN reporting that Major League Baseball is preparing to suspend some 20 players including the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez and Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, those are both past MVPs. They could be suspended in connection on 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.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, John. The highest paid player in baseball and one of the league's most valuable players at the center of this widening steroid scandal, now this one may be for the history books in American sports.


BROWN (voice-over): ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball is preparing for an unprecedented wave of player suspensions that include Yankees star, Alex Rodriguez, and the Brewers, 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 BREWERS: 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. Aside from that I don't really have anything to say.

BROWN: Yankees manager, Joe Girardi, was peppered with questions at a post-game news conference.

JOE GIRARDI, NEW YORK YANKEES MANAGER: I think we all had hoped 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, founder of this now closed clinic in 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 ELFRINK, "MIAMI NEW TIMES": Well, it's clear that Biogenesis like a lot of anti-ageing 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 looked up to him when I play baseball because he was a really good player before and I really liked him. It just saddens me kind of.

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: A-Rod admitted back in 2009 that he used performance enhancing drugs when he played for the Texas Rangers, but he has denied using drugs while he's played for the Yankees. Right now he's out recovering from an injury. He has several years left on his 10-year contract. We don't know what's going to happen here until Bosch sits down with investigators. At this point, we don't know when that's going to happen.

BERMAN: Complicated story keeps getting worse for A-Rod. Pamela Brown outside Yankee Stadium for us this morning. Thanks, Pamela.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: So what does the new drug scandal mean for Major League Baseball? CNN's Joe Carter joining us this morning from Atlanta. Good morning, Joe. Let's start with the Biogenesis Clinic, Bosch's clinic, originally flagged for distributing illegal drugs to professional athletes back in January. Players like A-Rod denied any connection. How critical this morning is Tony Bosch's cooperation in nailing these players?

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, he's absolutely essential. He is totally critical to their case. I mean, with no positive tests out there against these 20 athletes, Tony Bosch, his sworn testimony and the potential evidence that he could bring forward is absolutely critical.

I mean, he could bring forward phone records, receipts, notes, photos, DNA, you name it and that's what Major League Baseball needs in order to make a strong case against these 20 players. You can call Tony Bosch the smoking gun, if you will. ROMANS: Smoking gun who could save his own skin to a degree if he begins cooperating with authorities. So explain that to me.

CARTER: Well, he's painted into a corner right now. He's back into a corner and that's because Major League Baseball is threatening a massive lawsuit against Tony Bosch. They're also saying, you know what, if you cooperate with us, you work with us, tell us everything you know, bring forward everything you have, we'll not only drop our lawsuit.

We'll protect you against any harm that may be out there and we'll also put in a good word with any law enforcement agencies that might be coming forward with any criminal charges against Tony Bosch. So really his options are very limited. He needs major league baseball as much as Major League Baseball needs him.

ROMANS: A 100-game suspensions. So you expect that the players are going to appeal if, indeed, they get those suspensions? I mean, is that too much for what would essentially be a first offense? A 100- game suspension is for a second offense usually, right?

CARTER: Well, this is -- I mean, there are a few things that are unprecedented about this. Obviously, the names on this list, when you've got two former MVPs, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun are on this list. That's unprecedented and then you get the punishment. Baseball is going after these guys with not only one strike but two.

The first strike would be 50 games for the link to performance enhancing drugs. The second strike would be a 50 game suspension for denying it. They're trying to hit them with 100 games total. This fight, if they choose to take it on, meaning the players decide to appeal the suspension, would include the players union.

If it includes the players union then it would have to go to court, would have to go in front of an arbitration panel. This could take months and months and months before any punishments are started. Now the player does have the option to go ahead and accept the punishment and say I'll see you in August or potentially next season, that, again, is up to the player either take the punishment or to appeal it -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Joe Carter. Thanks, Joe.

BERMAN: It will be a long, complicated, contentious appeals process. It's 6 minutes after the hour. The death toll from last Friday's storm in El Reno, Oklahoma, now stands at 19 people. At least 2.6 miles wide, the powerful EF-5 tornado that hit the city is the widest ever recorded in this country.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has more on that wild weather that's really wreaking havoc across the U.S.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): In May, a devastating tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, leaving 24 dead, including 7 children from a levelled elementary school. Raising questions about why more storm shelters weren't available.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 in Moore it was a mile wide. 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. 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: No! Turn now! We're going to die!

MYERS (voice-over): They were lucky, but three other professional chasers lost their lives including Tim Samaras.


MYERS: 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 powerhouse 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 horrible. We couldn't breathe. It was nothing but smoke.

MYERS: Hundreds of homes are also threatened in New Mexico and Colorado fires. Now dangerous flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, several levees have been breached. Officials have urged the evacuation of more than 300 residents in the St. Louis area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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, let's get to meteorologist Indra Petersons with the latest on this weather headlines, wild weather headlines. Good morning, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. Yes, unbelievable. I want to talk about this El Reno tornado. One of the things we were talking about is how quickly this thing widened. We're talking about the widest tornado now on record. It went from one mile wide in 30 seconds. Imagine that, 30 seconds to 2.6 miles wide.

Now typically these tornadoes move in a north easterly direction. When this thing dove to the south people had to make a decision. Were they going to go south or east? It looks like either way they were going to be in trouble solely because this thing was so huge on top of the erratic behavior. It was already displaying unbelievable tornado.

Of course, we still have the risk out there today. Look at all the instability again this morning right around Oklahoma City. Look at all of that lightning. A slight risk will be in the area today. A lot of this instability is going to be right along the cold front.

So yesterday, we saw it a little more northerly. Now we're going to see it shift a little more easterly. So we're going to see the slight risk area expand all the way to Louisiana and Mississippi as well. We're seeing a little bit of the upper level winds helping that out, enhancing that just a hint out there.

Otherwise, keep in mind, with all that rain continuing to fall right now we have a flash flood watch still in effect. Of course, as we go through the afternoon we look for the thunderstorms to build up even more. We'll continue to monitor that so a lot going on out there.

ROMANS: Sure is. OK, Indra, thanks. We'll check in with you again soon.

New this morning, also a cable fire in a train tunnel forces thousands of commuters to flee one of Moscow's busiest train stations. At least 31 people needed medical attention, four of them taken to the hospital. The fire at the metro station near the Kremlin happened during the morning's rush hour.

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 yesterday. What they were looking for is not at all clear. The federal warrants are sealed. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento will 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: Colorado movie theatre massacre suspect James Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The move accepted by a judge means Holmes will undergo months of psychiatric evaluations. Holmes was arrested moments after the massacre at a theatre in Aurora. A massacre that left 12 dead and dozens of others injured. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in this case.

BERMAN: A mother from suburban New York City is facing federal drug charge this is morning. Investigators say Andrea Sanderlynn ran a pot growing business out of a warehouse in Queens. The DEA says it found $3 million worth of hydroponic marijuana and about 3,000 plants inside. The mother of two girls faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. People are saying this is like the real life "weeds."

ROMANS: All right, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant pointing a finger at working mothers for America's declining education system. Bryant was participating in an education forum sponsored by "The Washington Post" yesterday when he was asked why the state of our schools has become so mediocre. Listen to his response.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think parents became -- both parents started working and the mom is in the workplace. It's not a bad thing. I'm going to get in trouble. I can just see -- I can see the e-mails tomorrow.


ROMANS: Mississippi's Republican governor went on to say a lack of investment in our schools is also contributing to the decline.

BERMAN: It's 11 minutes after the hour right now. Coming up, more violence on the streets of a key U.S. ally as protesters and government troops face off in this key nation. We are live just after the break.

ROMANS: And why some Republicans aren't happy with one of their party's most popular politicians. Chris Christie's decision that has them up in arms.


BERMAN: Welcome back. Big developments in Syria this morning. Rebel leaders admitting that the border city of Kasire that had been their stronghold for so long has fallen to government forces. This as U.N. Human Rights investigators say it appears that some chemical weapons have been used in Syria's civil war, but they are not sure what side is responsible. Investigators have been denied access to their country.

ROMANS: To Turkey now where protesters continue to take to the streets. A top Turkish official apologized for the police response to the initial demonstrations. But that's doing little to calm nerves. And overnight there were more clashes in Istanbul.

Nick Paton Walsh is -- in Turkey's capital this morning where protests are also going on.

Good morning.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. I'm going to show you behind me a large, noisy, and for the first time pretty well organized demonstration here at the very heart of Ankara, meters away from where the government and foreign minister building. So again, what's interesting about today, though, is two things have noticeably changed.

Well I said the protests are organized. But the protesters are a lot older. You've seen in the past few days young men, often young female students being part of the demonstration.

The second big difference is we're not seeing the police really around at all amid crowd. The occasional helicopter buzzing overhead. And substantial numbers up there towards government buildings. They clearly are giving protesters space.

And mark difference the past few days where even the smallest gathering would have got teargas. And that itself fueled so much more protest as a response. There is a slight air of tension here because we understand the protesters, those municipal authority has written to them starkly saying no unauthorized demonstrations.

We don't know what that means for the future of this protest here. But you can see there are for the first time large loud speakers blasting out this protest music. Large numbers of adults waving flags for various unions and opposition parties here.

For the first time we've seen organized protests. Bear in mind, this is the very heart of the Turkish government -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Nick Paton Walsh for us this morning. Thank you.

BERMAN: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden will speak later this morning at the funeral for New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg. He died Monday at the age of 89.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he will appoint an interim replacement to fill Lautenberg's Senate seat for the next four months but what he's really done that's caused some heads to shake back and forth is schedule a special election for October. Just a few weeks before a general election.

As national correspondent Jim Acosta reports, that has some Republicans shaking their heads in disgust.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was vintage Chris Christie as the New Jersey governor who's running for re-election celebrated his victory in the state's Republican primary.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: New jersey will lead America to a new year of honesty, responsibility and prosperity, and we'll do it together.

ACOSTA: But it's another race in New Jersey that's stealing the spotlight. The one Christie himself set to replace the late Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg. Opting against the appointment of a Republican successor to serve out the remainder of Lautenberg's term as many in the GOP wanted, Christie set a special election for October 16th. Three weeks before his own election.

CHRISTIE: I understand the political advantage that would come to me if I just -- if I was the person, the sole person who decided who would be in the Senate representing New Jersey for 18 months. But I just did not feel comfortable doing that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is proud to say, we're from New Jersey. Chris Christie. The governor.

ACOSTA: Critics say the decision is all about Christie. Insisting the governor just wants to keep Newark mayor, Cory Booker, now the Democratic favorite to win the Senate race off the November ballot. Why? Because of big democratic turnout for Booker could help Christie's opponent, Barbara Buono. who admits in her own ad she's not that well known.

BARBARA BUONO, GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: So let me be clear. This guy is Bono. I'm Barbara Buono.

ACOSTA: Christie shrugged off the charge.

CHRISTIE: It's a no. There's no political purpose to this.

ACOSTA: Republicans are grumbling the special election estimated to cost nearly $24 million benefits Booker, who's already raised millions for his campaign. Conservative blog hot air said Christie thwarts GOP again. No surprise, Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate, have different reactions.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: I won't question the path that he's chosen.

SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: I'm happy with what he's done.

ACOSTA: As for who Christie will name as Lautenberg's temporary replacement until the October election, the governor's office said no decision has been made. Meanwhile a senior adviser to Cory Booker said the mayor will make his decision at the appropriate time. But some Republicans are furious over this. One top GOP strategist told CNN it would have been, quote, "very helpful had Christie waited until 2014."

Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.


ROMANS: So who's the biggest winner for an October 16th date?

BERMAN: There's one winner here. And that's Chris Christie. I mean, politics being played at an extremely high level in the Garden State right now.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, it may be the future of pizza delivery. Why Domino's is testing out a drone to get you that piping hot pie. The story next.


ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back to EARLY START. "Minding Your Business" this morning, stocks headed for a second decline in a row ahead of new data this morning on the job market. But look at this rally. Can I just show you the rally? I mean, before you get too freaked out about the market coming down a little bit look, the Dow is up nearly 16 percent this year. It's the same for the Nasdaq, the same for the S&P 500.

Toyota shares this morning down nearly 3 percent in premarket trading. Toyota is recalling nearly a quarter of a million hybrids. Eighty- seven thousand of them are in the U.S., the 201 Prius and Lexus HS- 250h.

All right. The $1.29 iTune song it might cost you more than you think. A growing number of states are enacting sales tax laws. Specifically for digital goods. Thins like iTunes, movies and music, netbook subscriptions, e-books. Minnesota will be the latest one to join in with its new tax kicking in next month. The law varies by state. But overall downloaded music is one of the most commonly taxed.

In Mississippi, a $12.99 album comes with a 91 cent tax, 78 cents in Vermont. You can go to for a look at your state.

All right. Check this out. A flying pizza. Domino's testing out delivery by drone.


ROMANS: A Domino's franchise in the UK came up with the technology which delivers two pizzas in the company's signature heat wave bag. Don't get too excited. The FAA doesn't allow unmanned aircraft to be used for commercial purposes. But what an idea.

BERMAN: I would order a thousand pizzas.

ROMANS: No traffic. You know, it would be like it'll be there in 30 minutes. Although they always say it's going to be 30 minutes. So I won't use Domino's.

BERMAN: It can spy and deliver pizza.


And gathers intelligence and feed you.

ROMANS: 00 Domino's.

BERMAN: So what's the one thing we need to know about our money?

ROMANS: Clean up your Facebook and Twitter accounts, teens. Especially if you're job hunting. Especially if you've just graduated from college. A new study from on device research says one in 10 young people have been rejected for a job because of their social media profile. Most of -- kids, though, aren't worried about it. Young people are more likely to change their profile to look good to their friends instead of prospective employers.

I'm kind of an evangelist about this. Because I've talked to CEOs and hiring managers and they told me, they have -- they have withdrawn offers to people because they looked at their Facebook and don't like what they see.

BERMAN: It turns out the beer funnel is not a job qualification.

ROMANS: No, it really isn't. So it doesn't matter what your friends -- that your friends think you're cool. It matters that your employer thinks you're cool. I'm sorry. I mean, you have freedom of speech and all that stuff. But you know, you want to look professional.

BERMAN: Twenty-six minutes after the hour. Coming up, big league crackdown. What the commissioner of baseball is said to be considering as the league takes another look at doping. Some of the biggest stars in the spotlight.


ROMANS: Major League scandal. Reports of doping by some of Major League baseball's most popular stars.

ROMANS: The IRS on a spending spree. The agency in charge of keeping you financially responsible accused of wasting millions.

BERMAN: And danger south of the border. Murder. Kidnapping. Robbery. Not to mention false arrests. Is it safe for Americans to spend their summer vacation in Mexico?