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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Tornado Rips Through Northern Iowa; Wildfires Spark Fear And Anxiety; Senator Paul Challenging NSA Surveillance; NSA Leaker Snowden Still In Hiding; Philadelphia Building Collapse; Pleading "Not Guilty"; Day Four Of Jury Selection In George Zimmerman Trial; NASCAR Driver Jason Leffler Killed; Three Overtime Thriller; Kate to Christen Cruise Ship; Sarah Murnaghan Gets New Lungs
Aired June 13, 2013 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Speaking of the Windy City, absolutely lived up to its billing (ph), Chicago saw 50-mile-per-hour wind gusts yesterday coupled with dime-sized hail.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: In Northern Iowa, two tornado touchdowns confirmed. The Wright County Sheriff's Office reporting extensive damage, downed power lines and lots of debris. Two businesses took the brunt of this twister's wrath. A restaurant owner says she left just in time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEB ABEL, BUSINESS OWNER: It felt like it getting closer so we locked the door and took off for town and probably hit about 2 minutes after that.
JEREMY HOGREFE, WRIGHT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: To me it looked large and scary to see the debris. We weren't sure if there were any injuries at that point in time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: No injuries reported but there were power outages.
BERMAN: We have check out this amazing really beautiful image of lightning hitting Chicago's Willis Tower formerly known as the Sears Tower. If you look closely, you can see the bolt hit two buildings in downtown Chicago. That is quite the picture.
ROMANS: Nothing pretty about the threat of tornadoes looming large again today. Indra Petersons, from the Midwest to the north east, even D.C.
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. We're talking about a huge swathe in the United States dealing with the threat for severe weather. Yesterday we had reports of tornadoes. Of course, we had strong winds. We even had hail and today everyone talking about a derecho. Lot of people have been asking, a fast-moving long-loved wind storm.
You need wind gusts as fast as 58 miles per hour over a long distance so over 240 miles so that's what we've been watching. This has had that potential with the stationary front over the Midwest yesterday. OK, we can see in a 12-hour loop how far this storm has moved, it's gone 500 miles. Yes, that is over 240 miles, but not all of the wind reports were close enough at the ground or surface to be called a derecho.
However, that risk is still out there today as we have the low in the Midwest yesterday, now farther to the east the jet stream has kind of dipped down and we're seeing a little bit more enhancement today so the threat for severe weather definitely still here today. It just shifted farther to the east.
So here is the outline today of where we're looking for the severe weather, of course, we're looking at more of a moderate risk here and then 70 million people are in the threat for severe weather. Now it's not just the tornadoes and strong winds we've been talking about, keep in mind many places in the mid-Atlantic and northeast are five, six inches above normal for rainfall.
So take a look what is expected to be added on to that, now you have these strong winds, the ground is saturated, very easy to blow over trees and see a lot of power damages out there and of course, we also have the threat of wildfires out in the west, red flag warnings out there.
Dan Simon, I know you're out there. What does it look like, a lot of conditions out there.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Indra. The advantage of it being night time is that it does provide some temporary relief in the form of cooler temperatures and calm winds, but it is temporary. This fire is becoming such a problem that federal authorities are taking control of the operations. A federal incident commander is on the ground getting briefings, getting ready for the transition.
SIMON (voice-over): Multiple wildfires burning out of control across Colorado, forcing thousands more to flee their homes. Hundreds of firefighters trying to gain control of the wind-whipped flames as the evacuation areas grow.
TERRY MAKETA, EL PASO COUNTY SHERIFF: We've had incredible wind shifting and the winds have remained pretty consistent and that has done a lot of things we were not really expecting.
SIMON: On Wednesday the fires roared through thousands of acres in mere hours fuelled by hot temperatures, dry brush and gusty winds.
TED ROBINSON, DENVER FIRE VICTIM: We watched the plumes of smoke as the fire was rolling over our neighborhood.
SIMON: And there is no sign of slowing down. This Boy Scout camp is heeding the warnings and heading out of harm's way.
PAULA WARREN, EL PASO COUNTY RESIDENT: We want to be sure they're going to be safe.
SIMON: House and horses taken to safety and this baby deer carried out by a firefighter as the out of control inferno puts everything and everybody in danger.
WARREN: The sheriffs came down and said you're going now and this part not knowing whether I have a house or don't is the worst.
SIMON: About 60 miles to the southwest, a smaller wildfire threatening the iconic Royal Gorge suspension bridge. Its structural integrity now being evaluated and this sobering image snapped at a local baseball game gives a glimpse of the incredible size of these unpredictable fires.
SIMON: Well, this fire has gotten so bad that one of the evacuation shelters had to be evacuated itself because the smoke had simply gotten so thick. At this point, this fire is still zero percent contained, but you now have had 24 hours of aircraft dropping water, dropping retardant, that combined with all the crews on the ground hopefully it will start making a dent. John and Christine, we'll send it back to you.
ROMANS: -- soon. Dan Simon, thanks, Dan. FBI Director Robert Mueller faces off with members of the House Judiciary Committee later this morning and sure to feel some very pointed questions about the federal government's wide-ranging surveillance and data mining operations.
On the Senate side, Kentucky's Rand Paul, is vowing to spearhead a class action lawsuit on behalf of millions of Americans claiming those operations are unconstitutional all while the high school dropout who revealed the secret programs is dropping more bombshells. Here's Dan Lothian.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Edward Snowden is hiding out with his secret perhaps in a Hong Kong safe house, now accusing the U.S. government of a global hacking operation. Thousands of miles away on Capitol Hill, the director of the agency's Snowden once worked for argues the controversial surveillance programs work.
GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY: It's dozens of terrorist events that these have helped prevent for both here and abroad and disrupting or contributing to the disruption.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Out of those millions, dozens have been critical?
ALEXANDER: That's correct.
LOTHIAN: Most of the details he says are classified, but Alexander was more than willing to admit this intelligence helped stop a plot to attack the New York subway system, leading to suspect Imanajibul Azazi who pleaded guilty to terror-related charges in 2010.
But the target of the investigation, former NSA contractor Snowden remains defiant believed to be in Hong Kong telling the "South China Morning Post," I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts.
He accuses the U.S. of hacking network backbones like huge internet routers, targeting Hong Kong and China and proclaims he's neither traitor nor hero, but what to call him is less of an issue than how a high school dropout ended up privy so the super secret surveillance programs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask you if you're troubled that he was given that kind of opportunity to be so close to important information that was critical to the security of our nation?
ALEXANDER: I have great concerns over that. The access that he had, the process that we did and those are things that I have to look into and fix from my end and across the intel community.
LOTHIAN: Dan Lothian, CNN, Washington.
BERMAN: Glenn Greenwald, one of the reporters who first told us about the NSA's wiretapping program, is firing back at a congressman who is calling for journalists to be prosecuted for their involvement in the leaks.
New York Republican Congressman Peter King has said that Greenwald should be investigated because he, quote, "has said that he has the names of CIA agents and assets around the world and is threatening to disclose that." Greenwald was asked about that by Anderson Cooper on "AC 360."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN GREENWALD, COLUMNIST, "THE GUARDIAN": The last thing I would try and do is read the mind and what goes on internally in the swamp of Peter King's brain. I know he has a history of radical and extremist statements. He himself was a supporter of terrorism for several decades when it was done by the IRA. So I don't know if he decided to completely make that up or if he hallucinated or what, but I do know the claims he made on national television about me were utterly and completely false and they were very serious charges that I think he ought to be held accountable for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Congressman king did not respond to a CNN request to clarify his comments.
ROMANS: A stunning new development in last week's deadly building collapse in Philadelphia. WCAU TV reporting that the building's lead inspector has committed suicide. The station cites multiple law enforcement sources who say the man shot himself in the chest inside his pickup truck and was found dead around 9:30 last night less than a mile from his home. He didn't leave behind a suicide note, but sent a text to his wife before pulling the trigger.
BERMAN: That's awful. The man accused of holding three women captive in his Cleveland home pleads not guilty. Ariel Castro kept his head down and did not speak during yesterday's arraignment. He is facing 329 criminal charges including two counts of aggravated murder for allegedly causing one of the women to have a miscarriage. Castro's attorney says his client is open to a plea deal if prosecutors will dismiss the murder charges, which would eliminate the possibility of the death penalty.
ROMANS: It's the fourth day jury selection in George Zimmerman's trial in Sanford, Florida. He is, of course, the former neighborhood watch volunteer, charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17- year-old Trayvon Martin last year. And there was a bit of courtroom drama yesterday, one potential juror dismissed after perhaps being caught in a lie under questioning he denied forming an opinion about the case, but later admitted posting comments about it on Facebook.
BERMAN: James "Whitey" Bulger now on trial for 19 counts of murder. Federal prosecutors called the reputed mob boss a hands-on killer in their opening statement. The government claims that Bulger continued to commit crimes even while working as an FBI informant. The 83-year- old was captured back in 2011 after 16 years of hiding. His trial is expected to last about three months.
ROMANS: A sad story this story this morning from the world of stock car racing. NASCAR driver Jason Leffler was killed last night in an accident at Bridgeport Speed Way in New Jersey. He was taking part in a 25-lap event when the car he was driving crashed. Leffler was 37 years old. In a statement, NASCAR said it extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening. For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed.
BERMAN: All right, more sports news of a happier nature for some people, it was an incredible game the opening night of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Chicago Blackhawks battling the Boston Bruins forever. This game was going on and on and on forever, tied 3-3 going on to overtime, back and forth and then midway through the third overtime, just around 1:00 a.m. Look at this. That deflection off the Hawks, Andrew Shaw that wins it, almost 5 hours after the game started. This was an epic game.
ROMANS: Fans really got their money's worth.
BERMAN: The Hawks taking the first game of the series, they play again Saturday in Chicago.
ROMANS: All right, coming up, we're watching the Duchess of Cambridge's last solo public appearance before, what's going to happen pretty soon for her, something important?
BERMAN: I hear it's coming. Why this man was tased. He calls it misconduct. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back to EARLY START. They are getting ready this morning for a royal ceremony in Southampton of England where the Duchess of Cambridge is about to become a godmother to a cruise ship. The christening ceremony will be Kate's last official solo appearance before the birth of her baby next month.
CNN's Richard Quest is live for us in London this morning. Good morning, Richard.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNNI'S "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Good morning. Southampton is cold, wet, windy but a perfect royal occasion and that is where her royal highness the Duchess of Cambridge will launch or name actually the ship's already been launched so it's a naming ceremony for this particular ship "The Royal Princess."
And over there is the (inaudible) of champagne, 20 bottles in one, she'll cut the rope and the luck of it all, it's supposed to swing against and smash and said to be bad luck if it doesn't break. But the experts have checked it carefully, they've gotten into the science of it and when her royal highness cuts the rope, it will smash, so I'm told.
ROMANS: Any details, Richard, on the plan leading up to the delivery, not of the ship but of her baby? That's what everyone is so interested in. We know where she'll be staying after she gives birth, right?
QUEST: I could tell you lots of details about the delivery of a ship but the delivery of the baby is a very different matter. There's an enormous amount of rumor, speculation and gossip and downright misinformation. Is she going to go back to her parents in Bucklebury, will the baby be delivered in Reading, where she was, or at King Edward's Hospital in London? Will she stay at Kensington Palace where she lives?
These are the facts, these are the rumors, these are the speculation. The truth is the palace isn't commenting and the best I can tell you from Southampton today that it will be a heavily pregnant duchess that will launch a very large ship.
ROMANS: Richard Quest, thank you so much.
BERMAN: This is turning into the best show ever.
ROMANS: I know, having been pregnant three times -- being pregnant and launching a ship the parallels between those last two weeks of pregnancy and feeling like a ship or pretty --
BERMAN: Did you get to launch a ship when you're pregnant?
ROMANS: I did not, but I felt like a ship a couple of times.
Coming up at the bottom of the hour, we're going to talk with royal watcher Victoria Arbiter about this, duchess' last solo engagement before --
BERMAN: It's all going to happen live on our show. So, stay with us for that.
BERMAN: Other news: today, Sarah Murnaghan begins a brand new chapter in her life. The 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl received a new set of lungs yesterday in a transplant operation, lungs that came from an adult donor. Doctors call Sarah's prognosis good.
CNN's Jason Carroll is in Philadelphia, Jason has been on the story from the beginning.
Good morning, Jason. What's the latest?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sarah is resting comfortably -- her parents and her family by her side. She's heavily sedated, John, and they want to be there for her when she wakes up. The surgery lasted for about six hours, the family saying doctors telling them that they had no special challenges to resizing the lungs to fit Sarah. She's been in the intensive care unit, a six-hour operation.
You can imagine how the parents felt Tuesday night when they got word donor lungs were available.
At this point, the family saying what they have to take it one step at a time and one day at a time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON RUDDOCK, SARAH'S AUNT: We expect her to be doing some things within the next couple days and taking her first breaths so we can't wait for that and she really did well. So, we're very, very, very excited and we're very, very thankful. We're quite certain we were down to the last week so that wonderful family gave us the best gift ever, and we are really happy for that. We can't imagine their pain but we're thankful for what they did for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: Once again, Sarah is doing well considering what she has been through but she still has a very long road ahead of her, John. As you can imagine, there's always the risk of infection, always the risk her body will reject these new organs. But, once again, as you heard there, the family is just taking things one day at a time and they're overjoyed that they've come this far -- John.
BERMAN: Always delicate and always complicated.
Jason, this week, the age restrictions for transplants were lifted only for one year. So what's the reaction from the medical community this morning now that the surgery looks to have gone well? Do you think we can see these age restrictions lifted permanently? CARROLL: I think it's a possibility in all honesty. I mean, on Monday, as you know there was this huge meeting that took place with United Network for Organ Sharing. This is the organization that helps maintain and oversees the wait list for organ donations and during this meeting, it was a call-in meeting -- I was listening in on this meeting.
There was a lot of discussion about this issue, emphasis weighing in, concern about putting together a policy that would be fair to children and adults and over this one-year period of time they'll study the issue and that's what Secretary Kathleen Sebelius really wanted, thoughtful insight and discussion and study into the issue.
And so, over this next year, hopefully, that's what we'll get. At the end of the year, we'll see what happens in terms of a permanent possible change to the policy -- John.
BERMAN: Jason Carroll in Philadelphia, outside the hospital where Sarah Murnaghan is recovering from her operation this morning -- thanks a lot, Jason.
An incident in Texas has some people asking whether it was police misconduct or a justified act. Look at this for yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are under arrest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands on the truck. You are under arrest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just assaulted me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get ready to be tased.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: The video captured from the officer's own body cam. Donny Henshaw (ph) was the one being tased. He says what happened to him was unfair but what police say is that Henshaw drove away from an accident scene, evaded the cops and then refused to pull over. Henshaw denies that saying he will fight the charges. The police have received no complaints from other people besides Henshaw about the incident.
Coming up, big news in the market. What is happening out there? Just a huge, huge sell-off in Asia. We're talking epic 6 percent. The question is how will that affect U.S. markets when they open in a few hours?
ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START.
Minding your business this morning: Dow futures down 70 points after a sell-off overseas put Japan's Nikkei now in bear market territory. That's a 20 percent drop from its recent high. Tokyo's main stock index plunged 6 percent overnight. Hong Kong, Shanghai followed suit and now, you got investors worried about Japan's long-term growth strategy.
Here at home, concerns about the Fed pulling back on its stimulus program. The Dow rose 100 points during yesterday's session, but then ended down 100 points. So, a really wild day yesterday.
Good news for the housing market foreclosures in May increased just 2 percent, nowhere near as bad as we were at this point last year. Foreclosures are down 28 percent from May 2012. Analysts say the housing market's getting back to normal, prices are rising, inventories are tightening. Demand is recovering.
Last month's increase was caused by a rise in repo sessions as the banks moved foreclosures through the system to take advantage of higher prices.
What cars retain their value the best? Edmonds is out with a new list with its top picks for 2013. Leading the pack in the Sedan category is the Ford Focus. It's best among models going for under $20,000. In the $30,000 and under category, the Honda Civic.
Looking at the price here, sedan, the Dodge Charger and the Porsche Panam -- what is that?
BERMAN: Oh, it's good for you. The Porsche Panamera.
ROMANS: I don't --
BERMAN: So, your car will retain its value.
ROMANS: I can't even -- I'm so out of the Porsche market I don't know how to say the name of the car.
The cars that retain the most value are the ones that look at the most value when you try to recycle.
BERMAN: Lamborghini, by the way, though. I'm not sure.
ROMANS: Well, the Maserati, that was just to make me feel powerful and strong.
BERMAN: All right. What's the one thing we need to know about our money?
ROMANS: There are fewer homes for sale.
A new study from Zillow says listings dropped 12 percent this morning compared to a June 2012. Areas like Las Vegas, L.A., Sacramento, Atlanta, seeing the biggest declines, that pushes up prices.
BERMAN: All right. Coming up, it's every parent's nightmare -- a car coming right at your baby on a city street.
ROMANS: Oh, my.
BERMAN: What do you do? My goodness. We'll have one mother's story.
ROMANS: But first live pictures in Southampton, England.
BERMAN: Bag pipes.
ROMANS: That's right. Just weeks before she's expected to give birth, the duchess of Cambridge makes her last solo public appearance. We're joined by royal watcher Victoria Arbiter.
BERMAN: Royal history, live.
BERMAN: Severe storms slamming a huge part of the country, tornadoes, hail, rain, not over yet. This morning, the massive system moves east.