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Georgia Storm Damage

Aired June 6, 2013 - 05:30   ET


JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A few months ago around March, shortly after major league baseball filed a lawsuit against Tony Bosch, Bosch decided to go to Alex Rodriguez and ask him for money. Now, according to the "Daily News," when Bosch asked A-Rod for money, he asked for hundreds of thousands of dollars. A-Rod said no to Bosch.

Well, major league baseball got word of this, and they became concerned that Bosch might turn to other players for financial help. That's when they decided to step in and strike a deal with Bosch. Now, baseball and Bosch are expected to start talking tomorrow. Of course, baseball officials are certainly hoping that he's going to provide them with enough evidence to suspend Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and possibly 18 other players.

Now, we've got new video from yesterday in Tampa, Florida, A-Rod has been in Tampa for the past five weeks, rehabbing from left hip surgery. He didn't speak to fans. He didn't speak to media after his workout. But his teammates who played an afternoon game in New York did go to his defense.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's like a brother to us. You know, he's been here for a long time. And, you know, we'll let that whole situation play out however it's going to play out. But, you know, until everything is said and done and the facts come out, you know, we're not going to jump to any conclusions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, you know, everybody makes mistakes, you know? Just have to wait and see, like I said. But, you know, I think there'll be nothing but love and support here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whenever they reach a decision, you know, we'll face the facts when the time comes. But for right now, you know, we'll support him and stay in touch with him and, you know, hopefully, like I said, hopefully, his rehab is going well. And right now, I know he's focused on getting back on the field.


CARTER: now, John, there is no specific time line as to when A-Rod is expected to rejoin the Yankees. They say sometime after the all-star break in early July, excuse me. But at this point, no timetable for his return. Obviously, this is all pending on whether or not baseball comes back with a suspension or what's going to happen over the next few weeks. JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, the Yankees were supportive there, Joe, but it seemed like qualified support. They have to be exhausted answering questions about A-Rod, which they've been doing now for years and years, but what about the rest of the baseball? What else have we been hearing about what players and managers saying about the scandal?

CARTER: Well, the word that we're getting is that players want to get past this, that they've seen enough and heard enough, and that they want these violators, whoever they are out there, punished. I mean, they're not actively rooting against those that are on that list, but the feeling is that they want to move past this whole steroid era, this whole steroid thing.

I mean, players have certainly made their concessions. They've done HGH blood testing. They certainly made strides. I mean, baseball was behind the 8-ball per se, but now, they're starting to get in front of this. But, all this news, this list, Tony Bosch, the entire situation really kind of damages the credibility of this new drug testing program in baseball, John.

BERMAN: And like I said, I think they're just sick of talking about it, sick of being asked about it, and there are still people in the game who are trying to get around those rules. Joe Carter for us in Atlanta this morning. Thanks, Joe.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. People in the Tampa Bay area this morning already starting to feel the effects of tropical storm Andrea. The outer bands are coming ashore and already a tornado has hit the ground in Manatee County. A tropical storm warning is in effect now from north of Ft. Myers to south of Tallahassee.

BERMAN: Storm activity overnight is closing roads -- causing road closures and forcing evacuations in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Part of a road there has been shut down as workers try to stabilize a nearby dam which was damaged by the storm. The rough weather also caused a gas leak which forced officials to evacuate 100 residents from an apartment complex.

The Red Cross is on the scene helping those who are displaced by the storm. Let's get more now on all this weather. We're going to turn to meteorologist, Indra Petersons, who's been tracking this storm and its every move. Hey, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, yes. Good morning. Remember, we had tropical storm Barbara on the pacific now that residual moisture that made its way into the gulf has now formed tropical storm Andrea. So, that's what we're currently watching. Steady winds about 60 miles per hour. It's not expected to strengthen too much, heading toward the big bend area in Florida.

And it's going to start to make a northeasterly turn, expect to make landfall later today. Now, we're going to be watching, though, as it kind of makes its way all the way up the eastern seaboard, eventually, becoming a depression, but really bringing heavy rain with it all along the way. Now, keep in mind, Florida has already had so much rain out there. This is already a tough situation with a lot of flood watches that are going to be out.

Also, the threat will be tornadoes. We've seen a couple reports of tornadoes already in the area. And the reason for this is that right front quadrant. We kind of dissect it that right front quadrant, remember it goes over clear, kind of glassier conditions on the oceans. A lot smoother. Once it hits land, it encounters friction, and that spawns up this light tornadoes very quickly, usually without warning.

So, a tough situation there, and a lot of people to confuse with that -- hurricane they can definitely happen together. We're watching this four to six inches of rain, isolated amounts of eight inches of rain, and then it's going to make its way up the coastline. And remember, that tropical moisture really enhances the thunderstorm activity. So, heavier rainfall amounts are going to be up there even as it makes its way all the way up towards New York.

So, two to four inches of rain still expected. Of course, we had the storm surge amounts as well, anywhere from two to four feet with that -- of course, the strong winds out there. So, really, a lot more going on. We got two seasons now, tornado and hurricane (ph).

BERMAN: That looks like a mess. A lot of rain coming our way. Indra, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. New this morning, North Korea offering an olive branch to the south. It's a state-run media reporting Pyongyang has proposed restarting operations at their shared manufacturing zone. North Korea suspended work there during recent tensions. A statement from South Korea says it welcomes the talks as a joint opportunity to, quote, "build trust."

BERMAN: Some images from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting may now off-limits. Lawmakers approved and the governor assigned the bill blocking the release of crime scene photos and videos from the school. Law enforcement can decline to release the images if they constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of the victim or victim's surviving family members.

The bill extends those same protections to any Connecticut homicide victim. Critics are concerned laws like this could be used to limit open access to government records.

ROMANS: Time is running out for Boston marathon bombing victims to get their share of a fund set up to help them. Those eligible have until next Saturday to file a claim. But administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, tells "The New York Times" only 50 applications have come in. The One Fund Boston has collected nearly $40 million so far.

BERMAN: The federal appeals court says minors should be allowed to buy a so-called morning after pill. The three judge panel ruling the government must allow the sale of a two-pill version of the controversial drug without age restrictions or a prescription. But the judges did temporarily block unrestricted sales of a one-pill version, while the government appeals a lower court ruling. The Obama administration says it is reviewing the decision. ROMANS: Small knives still on the no-fly list. The TSA has backtracked on its plan to let passengers bring some long-banned items on planes like small knives, golf clubs, and some souvenir baseball bats. The agency said those items don't pose a threat. The lawmakers, airlines, and groups representing pilots, flight attendants, airport screeners said the move would jeopardize safety. TSA screeners confiscate some 2,000 small holding knives every single day.

BERMAN: Rutgers University's embattled new athletic director is speaking out. Julie Hermann told report she's learned from her experiences and the problems she encountered make her more qualified for her job. Hermann has been under fire since former players on her volleyball team at the University of Tennessee accused her of verbal abuse.

She was also (INAUDIBLE) discrimination lawsuit filed by a former assisting coach. Rutgers University's president says he remains behind her.

ROMANS: An update now on the possible lawsuit against singer, Miguel. He's the one who, of course, fell on top of a fan at the Billboard Music Awards last month. Khyati Shah's lawyer says she may have neurological damage. She's considering suing.

Now, reps for the singer disputing claims that he was warned not to take the ill-fated leap saying, "The reports claiming that Miguel was warned by producers not to jump are completely false. Khyati's well- being is of the utmost concern to Miguel." Billboard is not commenting.

BERMAN: So, coming up, yes, look at that. I mean, honestly, he should never have tried it to begin with.


BERMAN: It was probably painful for him, too, the way he landed. Let's just say.

High-speed mayhem. Wait until you see this guy on a motorcycle and what he did to try to get away from the cops.

ROMANS: And talk about lucky. An 84-year-old grandma comes forward to claim that big Powerball jackpot. We're going to have her story.

BERMAN: Nana. My nana.

ROMANS: Love it.


ROMANS: Raging rivers have overwhelmed much of Central Europe with Germany and the Czech Republic especially hard hit.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ROMANS (voice-over): Thousands of people have been forced to flee the city of Dresden after the Elbow River spilled into the streets. Look at that. At least 16 people have died, four others reported missing. Thousands more had to be rescued from the roofs of their homes. Some homes are submerged in as much as ten feet of water. The river is expected to crest today.

BERMAN (voice-over): All right. See if you can follow this. A homeless man known for portraying an evil version of the "Sesame Street" character, Elmo, he's in trouble this morning, accused of trying to extort $2 million from the Girl Scouts.

New York City prosecutors say 49-year-old Dan Sandler (ph) allegedly threatened to spread false rumors about sex abuse in the Girl Scouts unless officials gave him a high-paying job or two million bucks in cash. Sandler is pleading not guilty to the charges. No idea what the evil Elmo connection is there, but apparently, he's into that, too.

ROMANS: Motorcyclist is in custody this morning after leading police on a bizarre high-speed chase spanning two counties and three freeways in Southern California. Suspect reaching speeds, look at that, at 90 miles an hour and was seen punching other vehicles as he passed them.

BERMAN: Defenseless vehicles.

ROMANS: At one point, he was standing on his bike and making obscene gestures at cops.

BERMAN: What kind of obscene gesture?


ROMANS: The chase ended -- sort of like the one I give you every now and then.


ROMANS: The chase ended when the driver laid down his motorcycle at a construction zone and surrendered.

BERMAN: He was punching cars.


BERMAN: What's the up side in that?

ROMANS: Wow. Lucky nobody got hurt.

BERMAN: We have a more charming picture, I think, to show you this morning. This little guy, he's a bit out of place. A sea lion pup is on a San Diego highway on-ramp. this is the second time this particular sea lion was picked up by animal control officers as indicated, I think, you can see by those marks right there.

ROMANS: Shave marks. BERMAN: Shave marks, yes. He or she, I'm not sure how you tell on a sea lion, frankly, has just been returned to the sea last month. This time the pup was taken to Sea World for treatment for dehydration, expected to make a full recovery.

ROMANS: Comfortable little way to, you know, -- he likes that little spot right there.

BERMAN: Just like in the ocean, pal.


ROMANS (on-camera): This morning, the $590 million question has finally been answered. An 84-year-old Florida woman coming forward to claim the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. It took her 18 days, but no doubt, the wait was well worth it. More now from CNN's John Zarrella.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Speculating is over, finished, finally we know, this woman walked out of Florida lottery headquarters in Tallahassee so wealthy, all you can say is wow!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the winner of the $590 million jackpot is Mrs. Gloria C. McKenzie, 84 years of age of Zephyrhills, Florida.

ZARRELLA: Gloria McKenzie's pot of gold, a Powerball ticket, the lump sum payout she took before taxes, nearly $371 million. She did not appear or talk at the news conference announcing the winner. Instead, the lottery's secretary read a message from her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We bought the winning ticket as a single ticket, even though we bought four other tickets before the drawing. While in line at Publix, another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning quick pick ticket.

ZARRELLA: Talk about luck. Someone lets her go first and it's a quick pick ticket? Not even favorite numbers? You've got to think someone upstairs really likes Gloria. She certainly appears to have lived humbly, across the street from a cow pasture in a tiny duplex. The sticker on the door reads, "private, no soliciting." Her neighbors say they'd only seen her once since the May 18th drawing, but she never let on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. And that's really smart, because you know, who are your friends? Who are you going to find out who your friends are if they think you have a lot of money? Everybody's your friend, right?

GEORGE TRAPERO, NEIGHBOR: I asked Gloria, I don't see you, what's going on with you? Her son told me she was sick, a little bit sick. She's at home with me. That's what they told me.

ZARRELLA (on-camera): Right. Can you say smoke screen? But you know, winning that kind of cash is enough to make anyone dizzy. Now, the folks in Zephyrhills can settle down, exhale, quit looking at each other wondering, is it you?

John Zarrella, CNN, Zephyrhills, Florida.


ROMANS: Really build legacy with that money, too. I mean, that's an awful lot of money. There's so many things she could do. I mean, I hope that she has good counsel and people around her, helping her really make a difference with the money, because I mean, she could spend as much money she want for now, for the next ten years and not spend all that money.

BERMAN: It does make you think twice, though, about having good manners, because some person in line was nice enough to let her go first and just lost out on $590 million. That's where being polite can get you. My takeaway for this morning.


BERMAN: Have a lovely day.

ROMANS: You are so cynical.

Coming up, it's a CNN exclusive. The first lady goes head-to-head with a heckler and she stands her ground. We have the video this morning, next.

BERMAN: Seriously. Someone --


BERMAN: Welcome back. It was a side of Michelle Obama we really haven't seen before. The first lady was speaking at a Washington fundraiser Tuesday night when she was interrupted by a heckler. What happened next caught everyone a little off-guard. Here's Erin McPike.


ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are exclusive images of Michelle Obama Tuesday night, speaking at an exclusive fundraiser hosted by a lesbian couple at their Tony, Washington, D.C. home. She was given an impassioned speech on one of her favorite topics, children.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Because they are counting on us to give them the chances they need for the futures they deserve.

MCPIKE: But one woman in the crowd wanted to talk about something else, gay rights.


MCPIKE: It's hard to hear, but that's Ellen Sturtz (ph). Sturtz is from the activist group, Get Equal. She interrupts the first lady to ask her why the president hasn't signed an executive order that would bar a company that does business with the federal government from discriminating for sexual orientation or gender equity. It didn't go over well with Mrs. Obama or the crowd.

MICHELLE OBAMA: And I don't care what you believe in. We don't -- wait, wait, wait. One of the things -- one of the things that I don't do well is this.


MICHELLE OBAMA: I can take the mic, but I'm leaving. So, you all decide.

(CHANTING) No, no!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need your husband to sign -


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, please don't it the leave.


MCPIKE: She made her way back to the podium to make her point.

MICHELLE OBAMA: So, let me make the point that I was making before. We are here for our kids!


LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF CHICAGO SUN TIMES: Someone, in a sense, verbally got in her face, and she didn't like it.

MCPIKE: Lynn Sweet is the Washington bureau chief of the "Chicago Sun Times" and she's covered the Obamas for years.

SWEET: I think Mrs. Obama is very disciplined. She rarely goes off script. She rarely puts herself in a position where she could have something happen unexpected.

MCPIKE: The first lady's unscripted response was different than how her more practiced husband tends to handle hecklers. Like he did just two weeks ago during a major foreign policy speech at National Defense University.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, this is part of free speech is you being able to speak but also you listening and me being able to speak.


BARACK OBAMA: All right?

MCPIKE: A softer touch, maybe, than Michelle's tough talk. But today, the White House gave her performance a rave review.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's my personal opinion that she handled it brilliantly.

MCPIKE (on-camera): President Obama has been saying for years that Michelle Obama is one tough cookie. But this fundraiser was one of the first times that Americans really got to see it.

Erin McPike, CNN, Washington.


BERMAN: -- this question to you. Is she taking it out on the heckler, though, or the audience there, because she basically told the audience, you know, you take care of this or I'm leaving?

ROMANS: She was definitely frustrated. And I think it's bad manners at a private fundraiser to have, you know --

BERMAN: A heckler --

ROMANS: A heckler, yes.

Coming up, Hollywood, Hollywood looking for someone to play Hillary Clinton in a new movie, and the apparent top choice might surprise you, really surprise you.

BERMAN: Shock you.

ROMANS: We're going to check what's trending next.


ROMANS: Welcome back. Fifty-seven minutes after the hour. Taking a look at the top CNN Trends on the web this morning, she could be the most powerful woman in America --


ROMANS: Not me. A Brit made it (ph) to play around the silver screen. The Hollywood reporter says "Great Gatsby" actress Carey Mulligan is the leading contender for the role of Hillary Clinton in an upcoming film. The film will focus on the early days of Clinton's political career and her relationship with future president, Bill Clinton. Several Americans -- Americans also reportedly in the running, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Chastain, and Emma Stone.

BERMAN: You know, "Primary Colors" is the film, it wasn't about the Clintons exactly, but it really was. Emma Thompson, a Brit, played Hillary Clinton --

ROMANS: That's right.

BERMAN: Maybe there's something to that.

Speaking of Brits, Pippa Middleton is the newest contributing editor at "Vanity Fair" magazine. A great move from "Vanity Fair." Prince William's sister-in-law will be writing a series of columns for the magazine, including a personal guide for Wimbledon Watches this summer. She also has a one-on-one with reigning Wimbledon champ, Roger Federer.

Pippa is really very busy these days as we all know. She's written a book about event planning and is reportedly planning the baby shower for her sister, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

ROMANS: It's tough for her, because she's got all of this fame, but she has to be careful about capitalizing on it in the business sense, because she can't embarrass the royal family, you know? It would be a tough line to walk. You can write a book, but you can't really promote it.

BERMAN: She can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned.


BERMAN: I just heard Pippa Middleton.

ROMANS: That's all you heard.

All right. It's one of planet Earth's most faithful thing, TV ads that are much louder than the show. Now, lawmakers are asking the FCC for an update on what's being done to remedy the problem. Congress passed the colmac (ph) last years. Quiet (ph) broadcasters to make sure the volume is consistent between the program and the ads

Does everyone comply with this? The lawmakers want to know if complaints continue to come in and if passing the law made a difference.

BERMAN: I have some complaints about this. I think there are still some ads that are a lot louder.

ROMANS: Me, too.

BERMAN: To check out other top CNN Trends, you can head to

ROMANS: All right. We've got two big exciting announcements to tell you about here on CNN. This Sunday night is the season finale of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," 9:00 p.m. eastern. He's going an incredible adventure on Congo River. And right after is an all-new series premiere of George Stroumboulopoulos new show, Stroumboulopoulos -- that's how we say it. Stroumboulopoulos?

BERMAN: We'll skip (ph) to me. You sound great.

ROMANS: He'll be joined by Martin Short, Wiz Khalifa, and Eckhardt Tolle. And it kicks off Sunday night, 10:00 eastern --

BERMAN: You need a wide screen TV to actually see the entire title of the show.


ROMANS: I know. It's a strong name.

BERMAN: But it is worth every second, I assure you.

ROMANS: He's a very exciting, very funny, and entertaining guy.

BERMAN: Great interviewer.


BERMAN: EARLY START continues right now.


ROMANS (voice-over): Big brother is watching. New reports that the U.S. government may be monitoring your phone calls. A live report straight ahead.

BERMAN (voice-over): Bracing for impact. Tropical storm Andrea just hours from Florida's coast. We're tracking the storm.

ROMANS: And pulled from the wreckage. Overnight, more survivors rescued after a building collapse in Philadelphia.


BERMAN (on-camera): Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS (on-camera): And I'm Christine Romans. It's Thursday, June 6th. It's 6:00 a.m. in the east.

BERMAN: And we're going to start with this news. The U.S. government may have your number. Developing right now, the feds reportedly obtaining a top secret court order requiring Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions and millions of Americans to the National Security Agency, the NSA, on a daily basis.

We're talking a lot of phone records here. The newspaper, "The Guardian," reports that the order was issued at the request of the FBI. The information being turned over to the NSA includes originating and terminating telephone numbers, who's calling and who you are calling as well as location, time and duration of all these calls.