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Doctor Charged with Poisoning Her Lover; Tornado Dead Names Released; Feds Drop Morning-After Pill Appeal; Tim Tebow Inks Deal with Patriots

Aired June 11, 2013 - 06:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A twisted tale of love gone wrong, when a Texas doctor is accused of poisoning her lover's coffee.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Plan B is now an option for all. The Obama administration drops its fight to keep the controversial drug out of young people's hands.

BERMAN: And splash landing. An epic stunt fail when a Jeep proves -- no, folks, it is not meant to fly. Maybe swim but not fly.

ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Thirty minutes after the hour right now.

We are finding out more this morning about the stunning charges facing renowned cancer doctor in Houston. Prosecutors say she poisoned a colleague, spiking his coffee with a chemical commonly found in anti- freeze. That doctor was also her lover.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is following the story for us.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDETN (voice-over): Dr. Anna Maria Gonzalez Angulo is a breast cancer specialist researching the most aggressive forms of the deadly disease at a MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She was featured in this Susan G. Komen Foundation video highlighting a day in a life of a breast cancer doctor at one of the most respected cancer hospitals in the country.

DR. ANNA MARIA GONZALEZ ANGULO, CANCER DOCTOR: One of my aunts died with lung cancer when she was 35 and I was 10. So that was when I made my decision this is what I wanted to do.

LAVANDERA: Which makes the allegations swirling around her more stunning.

Houston police investigators said she tried to poison her lover, George Bloomenshine, a fellow cancer doctor at MD Anderson as well.

(on camera): According to court records, back in January, George Bloomenshine was behind these gates at the home of Anna Maria Gonzalez Angulo. According to those records, she made him a cup of coffee, he started drinking it but told her it tasted too sweet. She told him finish that first coffee and she'd put Splenda in it, but that she would make another one. He drank both cups of coffee, 16 hours later he was in the emergency room.

(voice-over): Bloomenshine started losing his balance, suffered slurred speech and loss of motor skills. According to the court records, doctors found ethylene glycol in his system, a potentially deadly chemical used in antifreeze.

But MD Anderson officials told investigators it's also a chemical commonly found in labs at the cancer center.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos says it could be a tough case to prove in court.

MARK GERAGOS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: What you always have to take a look at what the prosecutors will always look at in a case like this is the motive. Why did somebody want to do it and why did they want to do it in this way, and rule out other environmental factors.

That's where the defense is always going to go. Was there a motive? Would somebody have done this? Do they have the character to do this?

LAVANDERA: A lawyer for Gonzalez Angulo says she's, quote, "completely innocent" and that these allegations are, quote, "totally inconsistent with her personal and professional life."

Neighbors around her gated home say she is a quiet woman who kept to herself.

George Bloomenshine survived but he's suffered severe damage to his kidneys, even needing dialysis to try and repair the damage.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Houston.


ROMANS: All right. Let's go back now to Istanbul where protesters are battling with rioting police, firing tear gas and water cannons to try to get the protesters out of Taksim Square. The protesting lobbing Molotov cocktails and rocks back at police. Police firing back, the battles going on for hours now, it's so bad that our crew in the square now wearing their gas masks to protect themselves from the tear gas wafting through the air.

Prime Minister Erdogan is set to meet with protest leaders tomorrow.

BERMAN: More NSA secrets will be revealed soon. That's what a reporter for "The Guardian" is promising as the source of the leak, Edward Snowden, goes back into hiding. He's vanished. Snowden is still said to be in Hong Kong, but where very much a mystery this morning.

The White House now saying it welcomes the debate over the electronic surveillance programs that Snowden exposed and the White House said it's open to changes if the national debate shows the public wants them. Federal agents are still building a case against Snowden and FBI officials says computer forensics would factor in a major way if the investigation keeps moving forward.

ROMANS: Powerful storms continue to spin off tornados across the U.S. Officials in Howard County, Maryland, that's near Baltimore, believe a twister touched there around 6:30 last night. It downed several trees. It destroyed a garage and a shed in the town of Woodbine, Maryland.

BERMAN: The extreme weather absolutely continues to across the country. There are heat waves out West and storms spinning out of control, tornadoes to the East.

Indra Peterson is here with the forecast.

What can we expect today?


We're still going to be looking at more wet weather our in the Northeast. But that system currently is starting to lift out, but it kind of stalls out right around Maine. So, you can heavier amounts rain expected in the next 24 hours. They are about two to four inches. The farther to the south, we'll see those numbers down, only about one to two inches, for northern portions of New York today.

As far as the severe weather, it shifts today. We're going to be looking at the slight risk area in between the warm, moist air by the warm front and the cold, dry air in Canada. So, that sliver in between coming from Montana, all the way through Indiana, that's where we're looking for storms to be firing up as we go through the afternoon today. But, again, just a slight risk.

The other big story really is the heat. I mean, look how much of the country is dealing with this above normal heat, all of that continuing to spread all the way to the east today, so very dry air out there, now a little bit more moisture, of course, towards the Gulf. There, you're going to have the hot and humid air.

But we're really talking about the fire danger. I mean, look at these temperatures, we saw some record 99 degrees in Denver, we saw 100 for a record in Salt Lake, you add in the heat index and, of course, this feels like triple-digit heat. So hot and dry or hot and humid. We know which one is worse, hot and humid.

BERMAN: It has been a destructive season for weather, to be sure. Indra Petersons, thanks so much.

Of course, the tornadoes in Oklahoma some of the worst damage.

ROMANS: Oh, yes.

BERMAN: We know the names of all 21 people who died in last month's Oklahoma twister. The Oklahoma medical examiner releasing the list of those killed by the EF5 tornado on May 31st, including six children who were killed, another 115 people were treated at hospitals.

The National Weather Service says the tornado at 2.6 miles across was the widest ever to hit this country.

ROMANS: BP and the Coast Guard announcing the cleanup is complete in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, three years after the worst oil spill in this nation's history. Coast Guard officials say the shorelines of those three states have been restored as close as possible to conditions that existed before the Deepwater Horizon disaster. There is still, of course, cleanup work to do along Louisiana's 84-mile coast where tar balls are still washing up. So far, the spill has cost BP more than $30 billion.

BERMAN: The FBI is investigating a telephone threat that forced schools in Newtown, Connecticut, to be placed on modified lockdown. Nearly six months after the Sandy Hook massacre, parents raced to pick up their kids after receiving an e-mail Monday informing them of a threat against staff and students at the Holly School. That's less than two miles from Sandy Hook. All of the districts locked their doors for about an hour. And even though nothing was found teachers and parents had to relive the nightmare.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People have changed, people are kinder and I think Newtown people who work and live here, they've been through enough, they just need to be left alone.


BERMAN: Two days from now, House Republicans John Boehner and Eric Cantor plan to meet with families from the Newtown strategy. Spokesman wants to hear their stories and discuss ways to reduce the culture of violence in America.

ROMANS: Hillary Clinton welcome to Twitterverse. She already has more than 300,000 followers. Her first tweet, thanks for the inspiration. I'll take it from here, refers to supporters who created the Twitter and Tumblr accounts, "Text from Hillary," very funny.

But it's her bio that maybe the most telling. It includes: dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker and here's what gets Berman so interested -- TBD, three little letters being interpreted as a sign she'll make a run for the president in 2016.

BERMAN: Every step of the way, every few months, there's a little hint, a little crumb for people to keep them interested. It feels deliberate to me.

ROMANS: I think she could wake up in the morning and walk out the front door and people would say, "It's a sign she's going to run!"

BERMAN: And it would be, absolutely would be. It would definitely mean something.

Thirty-eight minutes after the hour right now. And more appeals and more prayers this morning for Nelson Mandela, raising concerns that his condition this morning is very fragile. The former South African president and anti-apartheid revolutionary has been in the hospital since Saturday. He's still in intensive care. He's been fighting a reoccurring lung infection. You know, he had tuberculosis while he was in prison for 27 years.

Family and friends are gathering. His ex-wife canceled a speech to be by his side. His estranged ex-wife and their daughter arrived for a visit yesterday.

ROMANS: It's not often you can look at a picture and say that man changed the world. He changed the world, everyone praying for him.

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, India, rescuers looking for survivors under a collapse apartment, at least seven people were killed and six injured. Authorities think a dozen, at least a dozen more people are trapped. It was believed this building gave way after heavy monsoon rains pounded the areas.

BERMAN: All right. Do not try this at home.

You know, they didn't really seem to think that one through. It was a group of Canadians -- always the Canadians -- they tried to jump a Jeep over a swimming pool. So, as you can tell, it didn't make it, it wound up in the pool instead, no one was hurt except, as I suppose you can say, the pool. The man who posted the video insists the Jeep still runs fine.

Perhaps they'll think twice before trying that again. Although, you know, in Canada, you'll never know.

We'll have to talk to George Stroumboulopoulos to find out if, in fact, there's a rash of these Jeep crashing into pool incidents across Canada.

BERMAN: All right. Coming up, Plan B gets an OK from the White House. The administration changes course. It will let the drug be sold over the counter to all.


ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back to EARLY START.

The Obama administration pulling the plug on its appeal of a judge's decision allowing girls of all ages access to the morning-after pill. The move means the emergency contraceptive will soon be available over the counter with no restrictions.

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joining us from Atlanta with more details.

Elizabeth, what exactly happened here?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. It gets complicated. So, I'll try to give you a kind of the "Reader's Digest" version.

So, in late 2011, Christine, the Obama administration said, look, we do not want Plan B sold to girls 16 and under over-the-counter. Plan B is what you take within a day or two or three of getting pregnant. So ,we don't want girls buying this over-the-counter, only over the age -- only 17 and older.

And so, they fought this, but they stopped fighting it, basically. So, the news today is they said, you know what, we're not going to fight this anymore. We're done. So, eventually, this drug will be sold over the counter to girls 16 and younger.

ROMANS: Why did they back down?

COHEN: You know, we're trying to figure that out. We've been, you know, contacting the White House, trying to get an answer to that. We haven't heard back from them yet. However, what we do know is that some critics have said, look, when the Obama administration opposed Plan B back in 2011, that was really to get reelected, basically.

That was sort of what they perceived is the right thing to do to get reelected. And now, that he's reelected, he's kind of backing down. That's what some critics have said. My guess is the White House would argue with that and we're trying to get a hold of them to find out why this changed.

ROMANS: So, how soon will these drugs be available over-the-counter, because that would mean a 14-year-old girl would be able to walk up to the pharmacy counter at any drugstore and just ask for this, right?

COHEN: Right. Or a 13-year-old girl or a 12-year-old girl, right, exactly of any age. It's not going to be any time really, really soon and here's the reason, Christine. The company that makes Plan B has to reapply all over again for permission to sell this over-the- counter. So, they have to start the process again. So, it's not going to be over-the-counter really quickly. I don't think it will take years and years, but it's not going to happen tomorrow.

ROMANS: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you, Elizabeth.

COHEN: Thanks.

BERMAN: Shipwreck hunters in Lake Superior have discovered the wreckage of a ship that sank nearly 100 years ago. The 525-foot long freighter, "Henry B. Smith" went down with its crew of 25 during a massive great lake storm in 1913. The ship is sitting largely intact off the coast of Marquette, Michigan in 535 feet of water.

ROMANS: Interesting.

BERMAN: Coming up, unleash the frenzy! Tim Tebow headed to the Patriots. The big question we all want to know, will this ruffle Tom Brady's perfectly quaffed feathers? " The "Bleacher Report" next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START everyone. So, despite her history of, let's say, issues, actress, Amanda Bynes may be able to add hip-hop artist to her resume. "Radar Online" reports the head of Chinga Chang Records, a major hip-hop label wants to be in the Amanda Bynes business. Daniel Herman says he's offered Bynes a deal to produce her own album. Bynes has expressed some interest in a hip-hop career.

The music producer says he thinks the former Nickelodeon star is, quote, "even more gangster than Drake."

Erin Brokovich Ellis is apologizing with her boating while intoxicated arrest. Oh-oh. Authorities in Las Vegas have released a mug shot of the environmentalist activist taken after she was trying to dock a boat on Lake Mead. Brokovich that day -- after a day in the sun with no food. She did not realize the impact a couple of drinks would have on her, but she says she was not operatiung the boat in the open waters of Lake Mead. It was simply moving it within its slit (ph).

BERMAN: All right. Can we get to the most important story of the day right now? We're waiting for this one for a long time. Tim Tebow, apparently, headed to the New England Patriots. What on earth does this mean? We need answers. That's why we have Andy Scholes for this morning's "Bleacher Report."

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes. Good morning, guys. Reports are that Tim Tebow is going to sign with the Patriots today and take part in the team's three-day mini-camp. And for a while there, it looked like Tebow may not resurface in the NFL this season, but if any team can handle Tebow mania, it's the New England Patriots.

Now, reports are that Tebow is signing with the team as a quarterback, but we all know he's not going to be competing with Tom Brady for playing time, but he could be used in certain situations. Bill Belichick loves tough, versatile, smart players, and he always finds a way to use them. And by joining the Patriots, Tebow has reunited with Josh McDaniels.

Now, McDaniels is currently the Patriot's offensive coordinator, and he was the head coach of the Broncos when they drafted Tebow in the first round. Now, Coach Belichick is expected to announce the Tebow signing at a news conference later this morning, and it looks Like patriots nation is ready for Tebow mania. Check out the front page from today's "Boston Herald." "It reads "It's Our Tebow Time, good God!"

It looks like that Tiger-Sergio feud has finally been put to bed. The two men face-to-fate yesterday on driving range at the U.S. Open for the first time since Sergio made a fried chicken comment directed at Woods. The two had a brief exchange and then shook hand. U.S Open kicks off on Thursday. Tiger is part of an all-star opening threesome of himself, Rory McIlroy, and Adam Scott.

On the line up section on today, you'll see that Kobe Bryant's parents have issued an apology to their son for trying to sell some of his old memorabilia. The apology came as the part of the settlement between Kobe and Golden Auction. Last month, the Lakers star filed a lawsuit against Golden Auction saying he had never granted his mother ownership of his old stuff nor the right to auction it.

In the settlement, Golden Auctions was allowed to keep 10 percent of the items to auction off including some of Kobe's old high school jerseys.

In a Florida courtroom yesterday, things didn't go as well for Chad Johnson. The former NFL wide receiver was about to have his plea deal for a domestic violence charge accepted but when the judge told Johnson he should thank his lawyer for his good work, Johnson slapped him on the butt. Now, the whole courtroom started laughing, which did not make the judge very happy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your attorney did a great job for you, sir. Do you have any questions? This isn't a joke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't do it as a joke.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody in the courtroom was laughing. I'm not accepting these plea negotiations.


SCHOLES: Oh, man. Now, Johnson is serving 30 days in jail, guys, just for giving his lawyer a little good hustle which the judge asked him to do really.

BERMAN: Yes. I mean, you can't show up a judge in any courtroom in America.

ROMANS: And the reason why he's there is a very serious case. I mean, domestic abuse is a serious case, too. She was clearly ticked off.

BERMAN: Back to Tim Tebow for a second, as Andy points out, there's no quarterback controversy in New England. I mean, Tom Brady is taking all the snaps. It's not even clear that Tebow is going to make the team no, guarantee. They didn't carry three quarterbacks last year. He would be the third quarterback on the roster. He heads to mini-camp right now and we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

SCHOLES: Yes. It looks like the plan right now they got Ryan Mallett on the team as well. Looks like -- Josh McDaniels was a big fan of Tebow when he was at the Broncos. That's why he drafted him in the first round. He was a believer that he could turn Tebow into an NFL quarterback.

Now, he's back with the Patriots as their offensive coordinator. And you know, I'm sure he was in that room when they were deciding to bring Tebow in and who knows, maybe five, six years down the line when Tom Brady eventually does move on, maybe it is Tim Tebow that will be the Patriots quarterback in the future. BERMAN: Tom Brady is never retiring. He's going to play forever. Andy Scholes, thank you so much.

ROMANS: You won't even let your brain go there.

BERMAN: No, no. I don't think about that. Unthinkable.

All right. We want to take another look right now live at Istanbul where protesters are battling with riot police. This scene has become more chaotic as the morning has progressed. Police using water canons, tear gas to try to move the protesters out of the square.

ROMANS: We're keeping a very close eye on situation there. Much more to come. That's EARLY START. "STARTING POINT" begins right after the break.



ROMANS (voice-over): Our "STARTING POINT" this morning, where is Edward Snowden? The man behind the NSA leak has checked out of a Hong Kong hotel, but where is he headed now? We'll go live to Hong Kong for the latest on his whereabouts.

BERMAN (voice-over): And chaos on the streets of Istanbul unfolding live before our very eyes. Riot police have entered the city square. They're firing tear gas, water cannons at protesters. We're live in Turkey with Nick Paton Walsh where things really do appear to be getting worse by the day.

ROMANS: And then a bizarre story you have to fear (ph) to believe. A world renowned cancer specialist stands accused of using chemicals found in anti-freeze to poison the coffee of her lover. We have that story.

BERMAN: Strange, strange story that is, too.


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

ROMANS (on-camera): I'm Christine Romans. It's Tuesday, June 11th. Welcome to "STARTING POINT".

BERMAN: We begin this morning with new developments in a new vow that more NSA secrets will soon be revealed. That's what a reporter for "The Guardian" is promising this morning just as the source of the leak, Edward Snowden, goes back into hiding. They don't know where he is. Snowden is still said to be in Hong Kong. No one knows where, though. He simply vanished.