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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Security Versus Privacy; Senate Debating Immigration Today; Will Bachmann Run Again In 2016?; Woman Pleads Guilty In Newtown Scam; Ruling Could Help Second Child; Tony Parker Lifts Spurs Over Heat; MLB Subpoenas Companies In Probe; 2-Year-Old Sensation Defeats NBA Legend; From Russia Without Love; Jackson Family Source: Paris Can't Wait To See Friends; Twin Sisters Give Birth On The Same Day

Aired June 7, 2013 - 07:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And also there is a tornado threat in coastal Virginia and North Carolina. So, here's the big picture. Maximum sustained winds at 45 miles per hour. But you know, predominantly those are off the coast over water where the heaviest rain bands are.

Center of circulation, northeast of Savannah, Georgia, way down here, heaviest rain well to the north and east, and that's really what we're going to see. Here's where the heaviest rain, as you can see southeast of Atlanta even, the Eastern Georgia rain, 4 inches to 6 inches of rain, already seen that, more to come.

From Norfolk to Raleigh, Eastern North Carolina and Virginia, heaviest rain falling now, we're going to watch this all move to the north. Here's a look at where it is now. Here's the time stamp on it. Here's this morning. Look what happens by this afternoon. About midnight tonight, center of circulation south of Washington, heaviest rain New York and Boston. Overnight rain and then it clears the coast.

Believe it or not, tomorrow afternoon things will be dry. At 1:00, Halifax is where this is. Some rain showers around Washington, that's kind of tropical moisture. There's a cold front that was going to bring rain to this area anyway. It's just all that tropical moisture ahead of the front kind of enhancing the amount of rain we're seeing.

So here we go. What we've seen, 2 inches to 4 inches, again another 2 to 4 from New York down to Norfolk, but again, rain and the tornado threat again, and North Carolina and Virginia, coastal areas, that's kind of what we'll be out for looking out for today.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Alexandra, thank you so much. The good news, moving more quickly than we initially thought.

PETERSONS: Absolutely racing.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, now to the story that has some Americans worried. We are living in a big brother society, reports of the NSA collecting extensive phone and internet data from citizens. Let's take a listen to what Glenn Greenwald, "The Guardian" journalist who published the Verizon story Wednesday and the prism story Thursday said in an interview with Piers Morgan last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN GREENWALD, COLUMNIST, "THE GUARDIAN": There is a massive apparatus within the United States government has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but in the world. That is not hyperbole. That is their objective.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Obviously serious allegations that have ignited a debate, privacy versus security, among government officials and among American citizens and among all of us. Joining us now is Jim Harper. He is the director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. Jim, a whole lot of new information has come out in the last two days.

First, these major telephone companies making their data available to the government and now this news that the government is having access to major internet companies as well. In your mind, does this go too far?

JIM HARPER, DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION POLICY STUDIES, CATO INSTITUTE: Well, I'm comparing what we've learned in the last few days, even coming out late last night, new information, with what General Keith Alexander said at the American Enterprise Institute just under a year ago. He was asked flatly by a reporter, do you have information on American citizens and he said flatly no, we do not.

So someone's not telling a straight story here. The problem underlying all this is secrecy. There's a secret court, issues secret rulings and this is the one leaked to Glenn Greenwald that he reported on so well. That's inconsistent with our system of government, the secrecy.

And so if we're going to have a debate about privacy versus security let's have it in the open, oversight of the National Security Agency and let's have some oversight on the part of Congress, we and the public need to oversee our Congress much better because they're not doing their job so far.

ROMANS: Well, it sounds like they are doing their job. They keep -- this is legal. Congress passes laws allowing administrations to be able to look at this kind of data. I mean, do you think there should be pressure on Congress to bring this out of the shadows?

HARPER: Yes. It is Congress's job to decide what's legal and when it makes bad decisions, it is up to us, actually, in the public to oversee this. They passed in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein, was the leader on this, a senator from California. She was the leader at the end of the year last year in the sleepy time between Christmas and New Year's, of a push to reauthorize this power that was used to now collect millions of Americans' phone call information, indeed probably all Americans' phone calling information.

Let me just go into that. Today, if you make a phone call, a record of that will come to rest at the National Security Agency. If somebody calls you, a record will come to rest at the National Security Agency. All of us, innocent law abiding American citizens are under surveillance. We learned this over the last few days. Let's have that debate. Let's decide for real, not in the shadows and not at the last minute. Let's have a wide open debate about this in the Congress.

BERMAN: The facts in this are murky and still a lot more we need to know and don't know about this. The records certainly seem to live there. The government seems to be warehousing these records. In order to get access to them again, in order to investigate them further, it does seem like there needs to be some other legal step.

Let's just state that right now. Lindsey Graham, senator from South Carolina, says we'd be crazy not to be doing this right now. The government would be crazy not to be using these resources. You think differently, not just from a moral sense, you think this kind of data is not particularly effective in keeping us save.

HARPER: Well, that's right. Obviously, we have yet to learn how they're using this data to try to secure us against terrorists or criminal enterprises. But collecting all of the data about all Americans' phone calls can't possibly be useful for link based investigation, link based. That's the idea of learning something about a bad guy and then figuring out who his contacts and relations are pursuing them to find out what they've done.

This is probably used for data mining. That's searching through massive data to search for patterns that reflect terrorism, for example. It works when it comes to seeking out credit card fraud because there are tens of thousands of examples of it for years. You can find patterns that reflect credit card fraud, but you can't do that with data about terrorism.

I wrote a paper on this five years ago, nobody has refuted it, but I'm guessing that in the National Security Agency right now they're trying to come up with a way. The thing they're doing is using our private data about that. They are using private data about our phone calls and even more data as we learned last night in a program called prism, which gloms on to the major internet providers, Google, Microsoft, Apple and more, to gather data about all of our comings and goings online.

BERMAN: Jim Harper, Director of Information Policies at the Cato Institute. I have a feeling this debate will be going on some time and I think the volume will be rising in the coming days and weeks. Thank you so much for being with us.

ROMANS: You know, when I cover business and in business this is what companies do. This is what brands do. This is what consultants do. They want to know everything we do. Everything we do and want to mine that data for patterns that they can try to make money on. To me it sounds like the government trying to mine that data for patterns --

BERMAN: It's in a different level, though. I think what bothers people like Jim Harper, the Cato Institute, is that every phone call you make it appears lives in a government warehouse. It's the every part of it.

ROMANS: Wow. The debate on a sweeping potentially historic immigration bill begins today on the Senate floor. Some Republicans have already said they think the bill has serious flaws and are skeptical about its chances of passing. Four of them including co- author Marco Rubio of Florida laid out nine areas they say need to change before the bill can pass the full Senate.

BERMAN: Michele Bachmann leaving open the possibility of another run for the White House. In her first interview since announcing she's leaving Congress, the Minnesota Republican tells Fox News she is not retiring and not going silent and as for 2016, Bachmann says, quote, "I am not taking it off the table."

ROMANS: A New York woman pleading guilty to a scam involving the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Authorities say she posed as the aunt of a child victim and solicited donations for a funeral fund that didn't exist. She pleaded guilty to wire fraud and making false statements. Sentencing will be later this summer.

BERMAN: We've been telling you about 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan's struggle against cystic fibrosis and her family's attempts to get a lung, despite some of the rules that are in place in the system. A judge has ordered Sarah put on an adult transplant list so she has a better chance of finding a donor, they say.

Now word that ruling could help a second child, 11-year-old Javier Acosta is in a Philadelphia hospital waiting for a new pair of lungs. Murnaghan's lawyers are trying to get him on the adult list as well. The organ transplant group that helps set national policy will meet Monday to review the situation.

And ahead on STARTING POINT, game one of the NBA finals, an upset in Miami, the Spurs impressive, Tony Parker, unreal. You're going to have to see this one a lot of times to believe it. We'll have the highlights ahead.

ROMANS: And the Russian president and his wife make a rare appearance together on state television last night. A live report on their surprising announcement up ahead. You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: It was really thanks to a crazy wild circus shot by Tony Parker that the Spurs beat the Heat last night in game one of the NBA finals. Andy Scholes joins us now with more on the "Bleacher Report." Good morning, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, "BLEACHER REPORT": Good morning, John. The veteran San Antonio Spurs continue to just find ways to win games. Last night's nail biter was the team's seventh straight win in the playoffs and they have now taken the home court advantage away in the Miami Heat. Lebron James picked up right where he left off in last year's NBA finals as he had 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists for his second straight finals triple-double, but his effort wasn't enough thanks to Tony Parker.

The Spurs' star point guard scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and this is the play everyone is talking about. The Spurs up two, Parker dribbles around, falls down, gets and bangs home the shot. That put San Antonio up by four with 5 seconds to go. The Spurs hold on to win game one 92-88.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEBRON JAMES, MIAMI HEAT: Made me go back to that play, I mean, Tony did everything wrong and did everything right in the same possession. That was the longest 24 seconds that I've been a part of.

TONY PARKER, SAN ANTONIO SPURS: It felt forever too. I was like, it was a crazy play. I thought I lost the ball like three or four times and didn't work out like I wanted to. At the end, I was just trying to get a shot up and felt good when it left my hand and I was happy it went in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Game two of the finals is Sunday night.

Major League Baseball has subpoenaed FedEx, AT&T, and T-Mobile in an effort to gain more evidence against players they suspect of receiving performance enhancing drugs from the Florida clinic, Biogenesis of America. The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez is one of the players being investigated.

Yesterday A-Rod commented on the ongoing investigation for the first time saying in a statement, "Myself and others are being mentioned in a media report before the process is even concluded. I will monitor the situation and comment when appropriate."

Did you ever wonder if Shaq was better at shooting free throws than a 2-year-old? Well, Jimmy Kimmel helped answer that question last night. Titus Ashby, the 2-year-old YouTube sensation, took on Shaq in a shoot-out.

John, look at this, Titus just dominating the competition, made eight shots in 30 seconds. Take a look at Shaq, still struggling from the free-throw line. He didn't even make a shot, but did give Titus his big old size 24 shoe right afterwards.

BERMAN: I mean, the kid is awesome, Andy, but the news here is like even in retirement Shaq can't hit a free throw. The guy is terrible.

SCHOLES: He's got a lot of TV shows. He's on TNT shows, so he doesn't have much time for that free throw practice.

BERMAN: He didn't while he was playing either. Sooner or later he'll get there. Thanks, Andy. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: On the season finale of "PARTS UNKNOWN" Anthony Bourdain samples a new adventure in Congo. We've got a preview for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": I've had something of a multi decade obsession with the Congo. It's been kind of a personal dream, if you will, to travel the Congo River and now for better or worse, I get that chance. We've rented a vessel and I shall dub the Captain Willard.

All right, can you load the chickens? Finding food along the way, it's anticipated, will be a challenge. Refrigeration of any kind is impossible. OK, I'm psyched. My dream has finally come true. Blocked by officials, this could be months. OK, let the probing begin. We need this boat to move now. How do we do this? Let's get under way before they figure a new tax to levy on us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: What happens to that?

BERMAN: I know. You are going to have to tune in to see what happens to the goat. That is the mystery there.

ROMANS: You can see the entire season finale episode of Anthony Bourdain "PARTS UNKNOWN Congo," Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

BERMAN: The goat strikes back.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, Russians getting a dose of reality television last night, President Vladimir Putin and his wife appeared on state TV. They made a stunning announcement. We will bring you the details in a live report after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. And the next "Real Housewives of Moscow," Russia's former first lady adjusting to life after the Kremlin. The country is still buzzing this morning about President Vladimir Putin and his wife getting divorced. The news broke last night on state television.

CNN's Phil Black is following the story for us. He is live in Moscow this morning. Good morning.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. Most Russians hadn't heard from Russia's first lady in, well, years and then suddenly she popped up on state television last night announcing the end of her marriage. So the news itself was sudden and the methodology in delivering a little unusual, but the news itself wasn't unexpected because she hasn't been seen for so long.

Her profile has been so low here that most Russians or many Russians certainly started to believe that something was going on quite some time ago. But last night on state television, Vladimir Putin and his soon-to-be ex-wife tried to explain to the nation why they have agreed to what they described as civilized divorce. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLACK (voice-over): It started as a pretty ordinary Russian version of date night, going to the ballet. It has never been anything ordinary about Russia's first couple. During a break, they walked into an empty room to stand in front of a camera and review the show. Excellent they said. Then the reporter asked a question that many Russians have been wondering about for a long time. Is it true you no longer live together?

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (through translation): This is true, all my activities and work are related with publicity, with the total publicity. Some like it and some don't.

BLACK: Not the clearest answer so Lvudmila Putin had to spell it out.

LVUDMILA PUTIN, VLADIMIR PUTIN'S EX-WIFE (through translation): Our marriage is over because we barely see each other. Vladimir is completely engaged with his work, our children have grown up. They are living their own lives. So it happened that we both have our own lives.

BLACK: This breakup appearance, the first time they have been seen together since Putin's inauguration as president over a year ago. Over 13 years, he has dominated political life in this country. Sightings of his wife have become increasingly rare. In 2008, a Moscow newspaper reported he was planning to divorce her and marry the Russian Olympic gymnast.

Putin angrily denied that and the newspaper shutdown soon after. This time, as Lvudmila Putin, had confirmed the divorce she explained she doesn't like flying or publicity. That had to be a big problem if you are married to a man famous for traveling across the world's largest country attracting lots of attention with highly publicized tough guy stance.

Despite those differences, a marriage lasted just short of 30 years. They have two adult daughters. Lvudmila Putin says her soon-to-be ex- husband is a loving father and someone she will always be close to.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACK: Christine, no obvious sign of bad blood there in that brief televised exchange. Mr. Putin's spokesman has said today before the divorce is not yet formalized, that still to come, but they won't say when. And they insist that that broadcast, that interview was not orchestrated in any way. It was a spontaneous reaction to a journalist question they say. That's very different to the Vladimir Putin's behavior that we've seen for so long now where he has been very reluctant really quite angry to even begin discussing any aspect of his personal life -- Christine.

ROMANS: Interesting story. Phil Black in Moscow, thank you.

BERMAN: Back in the U.S., Paris Jackson said to be doing well and smiling again and can't wait to see her friends. That's what a family source told "People" magazine. The magazine says Grandmother Katherine, Mother Debbie Rowe, Brother Prince and Aunt Latoya, have all visited her in the hospital. "People" magazine also reports that earlier this week, Paris cut her wrist with a kitchen knife and took as many as 20 ibuprofen pills. It was an apparent suicide attempt.

ROMANS: And this is pretty incredible, twin sisters, who found out they were pregnant at the same time, gave birth on the same day. Kayla and Kortney Dutton's babies are born only 90 minutes apart in a Kansas hospital. None of it was planned. The new moms say they are happy they went through this together, they told us their sibling rivalry carried into the delivery room.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAYLA DUTTON, TWIN SISTER GAVE BIRTH ON THE SAME DAY: She was asking me if I wanted to go first, she wanted to go first, because she was older, but I told the doctor that I got pregnant first, and I wanted to go first.

KORTNEY DUTTON, TWIN SISTER GAVE BIRTH ON THE SAME DAY: While she was in there, just went back there and she came at 10:37.

KAYLA DUTTON: We don't think it was that big of a deal. We've been twins our whole life and everybody else isn't used to this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Get this. The girl's older sister is now pregnant and due at the end of the month.

BERMAN: Check the water in that family's house, something crazy going on.

So we have an exciting programming note, this Sunday after the season finale of "ANTHONY BOURDAIN'S PARTS UNKNOWN," it is the all new series premiere of George Stroumboulopoulos' new show. It is called "STROUMBOULOPOULOS." He will be joined by guests that you will simply not believe. It is a super fun show, super great interviews, kicks off Sunday night at 10:00 Eastern only on CNN.

ROMANS: What is the possessive of Stroumboulopoulos?

BERMAN: Stroumboulopoulos'?

ROMANS: All right, ahead on STARTING POINT, new details of a massive government surveillance program. Just how much do they know, what they might have on view? CNN's Candy Crowley here with us this morning to weight in.

BERMAN: And Tropical Storm Andrea has already left its mark on Florida, seriously injuring one woman. It is now headed up the eastern seaboard. What is up next in its path? You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Our STARTING POINT, big brother is watching, apparently a lot. Think twice before you hit send. Stunning new reports shows the NSA accessing our e-mails and internet activity. What are they looking for? Is any of this legal? The outrage is growing. We have all of the angles covered.

ROMANS: Tropical Storm Andrea's path. Where is she heading? The latest on where the weather system is and how much worse it will get.

BERMAN: In just 30 minutes, the latest jobs report set to be released. Is the economy slowing or growing? Stay with us for the high anticipated report.

ROMANS: Check out this video, the Norwegian Navy blowing up one of its own ships to test out a new long-range stealth missile, the full video straight ahead.

BERMAN: Good morning. It's great to see everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Friday, June 7th. Welcome to STARTING POINT. A lot of Americans are waking up this morning, wondering who is watching them. First it was phone records, now data mining is a big controversy unfolding this morning on Capitol Hill. New reports that the United States intelligence agencies are tapping directly into the servers of the country's biggest internet firms, it's been happening for years. That means your e-mails, photos, Facebook post, they have been mined.