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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Self Defense Or Murder?; Crime Of Passion; Assange To Snowden: "Go To Latin America"; Santa Monica Shooter Heavily Armed; Plane Diverted After Bomb Threat; Chad Johnson Slaps Lawyer On Backside; Kobe Bryant And Parents Settle Auction Feud; Report: Tim Tebow To New England And Patriots; Koreas Meeting Cancelled; DSK Sex Charges May Be Dropped; No Surprises At Apple Announcement

Aired June 11, 2013 - 07:30   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Was it murder? Those are the key questions for the neighborhood watch volunteer facing murder charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. This morning we expect more twists and turns in the complicated task of selecting a jury.

CNN's George Howell is covering all angles of this trial. He is live in Sanford, Florida, for us this morning. Good morning, George.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, good morning. So a lot of what happened yesterday it was closed to the media, but one thing we did get to see, we saw the defensive prosecution pose critical questions to these prospective jurors, questions like, you know, did they know anything about the case or what local or national news outlets did they watch. And one thing became very clear. The judge in this case is moving things forward at a rapid pace.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL (voice-over): Day one and George Zimmerman's defense team said it wasn't ready, requesting a delay of trial, but Judge Deborah Nelson wasted little time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Third motion for continuance is denied.

HOWELL: The next step, jury selection. With a pool of 500 potential jurors to choose from, 100 people were called to fill out a questionnaire Monday. From that number, 21 were selected for individual questioning by the prosecution and the defense, the goal of both sides to qualify a panel of six jurors and at least four alternates. Several prospective jurors answered questions out of camera view to conceal their identities.

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Do you recall hearing anything about the case even though you didn't pay attention to it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I probably heard in the news but never paid attention to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like you to tell me one or two things you heard about the case. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was two people being in the wrong place at the wrong time and two people instigating something that probably could have been avoided.

HOWELL: It was the first time for George Zimmerman to see the people who could decide his fate, charged with second-degree murder for the admitted fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman's brother spoke to the media.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S BROTHER: I think it's important that jurors get to know that George is a real person. He's not just whatever images people flash across the screen or whatever narrative people write about. He's a sensitive person. He's generous. He's very likeable if you actually get to meet him.

HOWELL: On Monday alone a total of four people were individually interviewed by attorneys for possible jury duty. CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin says she's not surprised.

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALSYT: They only need six jurors in Florida, 10 probably including the alternates. This judge moved at such a quick speed, I just can't imagine that this is going to take longer than a week. I know there have been estimates about two and three weeks, but I don't think this judge will allow for that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: So a pool of 500 potential jurors, we've already gone through 100 of them and John, we expect to see more of the same today, possibly another 100 prospective jurors as this court tries to narrow down a panel that will put any bias aside and base their decision on fact and law.

BERMAN: The judge seems to be accelerating this case as fast as possible. All right, George Howell for us this morning in Sanford. Appreciate it.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, was this a crime of passion, a world renowned cancer specialist is accused of poisoning the coffee of her lover and fellow doctor with a chemical found in antifreeze.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is following this very bizarre story for us this morning. He is live in Houston. Hi there, Ed.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. Well, Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo has been charged with aggravated assault and she's been put on administrative leave from her prominent position here at the M.D -- Cancer Research Center in Houston.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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 all the more stunning. Houston police investigators say she tried to poison her lover, George Blumenschein. A fellow cancer doctor at MD Anderson as well.

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

(voice-over): Blumenschein 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 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, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: 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 Blumenschein survived, but he has suffered severe damage to his kidneys, even needing dialysis to try and repair the damage.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: And the doctor's attorney also tells us they've had several meetings with prosecutors. The defense attorney says that they believe the police jumped the gun and they're hoping the prosecutors will take a new fresh look and as Mark Geragos kind of alluded to the attorney here in Houston saying this is totally out of character for this doctor -- Christine.

ROMANS: Certainly a bizarre story, Ed Lavandera. Thanks, Ed.

BERMAN: All right, 36 minutes after the hour. Some stories we're watching at this moment. Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, offering advice to NSA surveillance leaker Edward Snowden. Assange says go to Latin America and ask for asylum. Assange spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper last night from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He's been holdup there for nearly a year and faces arrest if he leaves. Assange calls Snowden a hero for revealing the government's secret data mining operation and he insists that President Obama is not being truthful about the program.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: No one gave Obama the mandate to engage in a worldwide surveillance program on nearly every person. You've seen a lot of double rhetoric, you see Obama come out and say it didn't include the identities of the subscribers, but it includes their phone numbers. This is the sort of duplicity in the conversation, which means you can't trust any sort of statement that the white house is making on the issue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Assange is wanted in Sweden to face rape allegations. That's what he's hold up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He says he fears Sweden will transfer him to the U.S. where he believes he could face the death penalty for publication of secret documents.

ROMANS: Well armed and ready to inflict maximum harm, that's how police are describing suspect -- Santa Monica gunman, John Zawahri, in the moments before last week's deadly rampage that killed five people. According to law enforcement officials Zawahri had multiple firearms about 1,300 rounds of ammunition stuffed into a double bag when he allegedly shot and killed his brother and father and then set their house on fire. After randomly shooting at strangers and cars, and on the campus of Santa Monica College, the suspect then was shot and killed by police.

BERMAN: A scare in the air for Southwest Airlines passengers. The FBI says agents did not find any explosives on a flight headed from L.A. to Austin after someone phoned in a bomb threat. The pilot made a 180-degree turn over Arizona, landed in Phoenix. The passengers were interviewed, their bags re-screened before they were sent to Texas aboard another plane. The FBI is trying to find out who made that threatening call.

ROMANS: All right, ahead on STARTING POINT, Tim Tebow's NFL career has been resurrected. How many are we going to do? Can he make an impact in New England after flaming out in New York?

BERMAN: And is the world souring on Apple? Why some analysts are now predicting the downfall of the tech giant.

ROMANS: Do you know how much cash it turns out?

BERMAN: We will talk about their new products. Will this save Apple?

ROMANS: They're making so much money they don't know what to do with it.

BERMAN: Stay with us. Stop listening to her. You're watching STARTING POINT. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Rule number one in a U.S. courtroom you don't show up the judge and NFL wide receiver, Chad Johnson, learned that lesson the hard way. Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good morning, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, "BLEACHER REPORT": Good morning, guys. Chad Johnson was sentenced to 30 days in jail yesterday for a probation violation in a domestic violence case and he could have avoided it if it wasn't for one wrong move. The former NFL wide receiver was about to have his plea deal accepted.

When the judge told Johnson he should thank his attorney for his good work, Johnson slapped him on the butt. Now the whole courtroom started laughing, which did not make the judge very happy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's an excellent attorney. He 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: On the line-up section on Bleacherreport.com, 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 part of a settlement between Kobe and Golden Auctions.

Last month, the Lakers star filed a lawsuit against Golden Auctions saying he had never granted his mother ownership of his old stuff nor the right to auction it. In the settlement Golden Auction was allowed to keep 10 percent of the items to auction off including some of Kobe's old high school jerseys.

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

Now to the big story of the day, Tim Tebow is heading to New England. According to reports, the Patriots are going to sign Tebow today and he will take part in the team's three-day minicamp. 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. By joining the Patriots, Tim Tebow is reunited with Josh McDaniels. McDaniels is currently the Patriots offensive coordinator and he was the head coach of the Broncos when they drafted Tebow in the first round.

And Coach Belichick is expected to announce the Tebow signing at a news conference later this morning and 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!"

BERMAN: So Andy let's talk here about this because this is really a story we can't go on without talking about the most important story of the day. Like a breaking news banner.

He's not going to play QB in New England because Tom Brady is, let's face it, perfect. So what is he going to be doing there? What is Bill Belichick's master plan, the smartest man on earth has to have a plan for Tim Tebow.

SCHOLES: We don't know for certain what it is yet. We know Josh McDaniel wants to develop him into a quarterback so that might be it down the line. But we know Bill Belichick is great at using players that are good at football. He uses some of his wide receivers to play cornerback when they needed it in the past.

He's used linebackers like mike Vrabel as tight ends in goal line situations. We've seen that in the past. So you got to think there's going to be some wrinkles put in there and he's going to find a way to get Tim Tebow out on the field and put him in a position to where he is going to be successful.

BERMAN: There have been clubhouse issues in Denver and in New York with Tebow, sometimes players resent the fact that he tends to outshine them at least in the media spotlight. Any risk of that happening in New England?

SCHOLES: You got to think there's not just because Tebow's coming in knowing Tom Brady is the man. You know, I could never expect to supplant him as the quarterback of the New England Patriots. So that was kind of the rift in New York. Mark Sanchez clearly struggled last year so some fans were calling for Tim Tebow to start. He never really got his chance with the Jets so that causes a rift with the whole Sanchez/Tebow thing. You'll not see that in New England with Brady and Tebow because Tebow himself does not expect to ever start over Tom Brady.

ROMANS: Two big personalities and celebrities, you know, pop culture celebrities both of them.

BERMAN: One of whom is good at football. The other isn't so much so there really isn't much of a controversy there. It's going to work itself out. Andy Scholes for us, the "Bleacher Report, thank you so much. I think you've calmed my nerves on this one. Really appreciate it.

ROMANS: Ahead on STARTING POINT, Apple unveiling its new operating system and a new brain and a new voice for Siri. John has been trying out for the voice.

BERMAN: Hello, Christine.

ROMANS: Some analysts say it's not enough to keep the tech giant on top.

BERMAN: This might cost you a little bit $3 million but it's worth it because there is no RV like this on Earth.

ROMANS: You think you can get financing?

BERMAN: Keep it with us. You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, everyone. Looking at some of the top stories right now, planned talks between North and South Korea are on hold again. The South announcing the two sides will not be meeting tomorrow because they could not reach an agreement on who would lead the delegates. Representatives from north and south were set to talk in Seoul about reopening a shattered industrial complex and other issue stemming from the recent ramp up and tensions.

ROMANS: Prosecutors in France are recommending that prostitution- related charges against former IMF chief, Dominic Straus Kahn be dropped due to a lack of evidence. He was being investigated in connection with a hotel sex parties. A judge will decide whether to act on that recommendation. Strauss-Kahn stepped down as head of the International Monetary Fund back in 2011 after sex charges were filed against him in New York.

BERMAN: So, tech company Apple is beloved by millions for really the sexy gadgets that revolutionize our lives, so whenever an iPhone or iPad has been announced, you know, you kind of expect it be life changing and companies will be struggling to keep up with Apple. However, times have changed. It was kind of a lackluster worldwide developer conference with no big announcements and now many people are wondering if Apple has what it takes to stay on top.

Laurie Segall joins us now with more. I may be cruel to call it lackluster. They had some interesting rollouts, but just not sexy so much.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, Apple's whole motto is think different. People expect quite a bit. I was actually with an investor friend of mine. He invested in all different types of tech companies. He pulled out a smartphone, John, and said I have an iPhone now, but the next phone I'm going to get is going to be an Android. There was a lot of pressure on this Developers Conference for Apple to come up with something completely innovative. Did they do it? Some say yes, some say no. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a great thrill that I announce IOS 7.

SEGALL (voice-over): Your iPhone and iPad will soon look very different.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now double click and swipe between your running applications.

SEGALL: Also baked-in services like a flashlight and apps that automatically update, all part of Apple's newest tech on display at the company's annual Developers Conference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OS 10 Mavericks. Now Mavericks is a release with deep technology focused on extending battery life and providing responsiveness.

SEGALL: An update to the Mac operating system and the much- anticipated music streaming service.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We call it iTunes Radio.

SEGALL: Apple long known for surprises didn't have any in this keynote. Most of the offerings were heavily anticipated by the tech world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before Steve Jobs died, he put up a slide with a screen that said, 2011: the year of the copycats, talking about how they were all copying Apple's innovation, but iTunes Radio is a Pandora radio and Apple is doing what everyone else has den, copying it.

SEGALL: Steve Jobs was known for his dramatic presentations, introducing a new category of tech with a simple sentence.

STEVE JOBS: Now there's one more thing --

SEGALL: A line that introduced many of Apple's most famous inventions. So can Apple continue to innovate? It's a question the company faces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't innovate my --

SEGALL: That's a statement from Apple's marketing chief. He previewed the long awaited new Mac Pro.

ROCCO PENDOLA, THESTREET.COM: They are using Steve Jobs bravado to back up non-Steve Jobs-type innovation. This is an incredibly expensive computer, very powerful, is it innovative? Yes, within a vacuum of geeks, power users, designers, musicians, editors, the type of people that are going to spend a lot of money for a computer, not a mass product like the iPhone, iPod or the iPad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SEGALL: A lot of people I think wanted that. One more thing, people look for Apple to come out with a television. They want that kind of thing, but we can't say this was insignificant. The technology built in is going to be interesting. They have a tech building in cars IOS. We're seeing tech move beyond the smartphone. It's a matter of time, they have to stay competitive. ROMANS: Apple itself set the bar so high. So now when they are just great, people say, well, why aren't you terrific this week?

BERMAN: The curse of impossibly high expectations.

ROMANS: Summer is coming that means road trips. You can have this too. The 40-foot-long space age element is the most expensive mobile home ever, a 40-inch flat screen TV, even a fire place and push-button pop-up rooftop terrace. This puppy reaches 93 miles an hour.

BERMAN: You're good at this.

ROMANS: It will run you about $3 million.

BERMAN: The low, low price of $3 million.

ROMANS: I have no idea what the miles per gallon is on this but I expect less than one.

BERMAN: In the meantime, ahead on STARTING POINT, the latest on the NSA's secret surveillance program. We're going live to Hawaii where neighbors of the man who leaked the story are speaking out.

ROMANS: Hillary Clinton joins the Twitter verse. Why a three-letter tweet has everyone buzzing this morning.

BERMAN: It says so much.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Our STARTING POINT, who is Edward Snowden, the man behind the NSA leaks left behind his home in Hawaii and headed for Hongkong. We're live in Honolulu as we trace his steps from obscurity to one of the biggest leaks in history.

BERMAN: Riot erupting in the streets of Istanbul. Police are inside the city square firing off tear gas and water cannons at protesters. We are live in Turkey. Our reporter Nick Paton Walsh has been following these protests all morning. We'll bring you the latest.

ROMANS: And Hillary Clinton sets the Twitter verse on fire, how?