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Tornado Threat Looms Large; Out of Control Car Crashes Onto Sidewalk; Kate's Last Solo Event; Arthur Rosenberg Found; 93,000 Killed in Syrian Civil War, United Nations Says

Aired June 13, 2013 - 06:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Severe storms slamming a huge part of the country, tornadoes, hail, rain, not over yet. This morning, the massive system moves east with millions and millions of people in its path.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A terrifying crash caught on camera. An out of control cab comes barreling toward a mother and her baby. Amazing video you have to see.

BERMAN: And royal watch, we're doing this live. Kate the Duchess of Cambridge making her final solo appearance before the birth of her child. We have live pictures of this event. There's the band right there.

Plus, we will sit down with a royal expert who knows all the ins and outs of the royal family who will talk us through the pageantry of the morning.

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

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

ROMANS: Let's begin with the severe weather and extreme conditions expected to affect some 74 million people across the country today.

First, in Colorado, unpredictable wildfires are the big concern there. At least five different fires are burning, two of them major infernos charring more than 11,000 acres, dozens of homes gone.

BERMAN: In northern Iowa, there were two confirmed tornado touchdowns, reports of extensive damage including downed power lines and debris, two businesses took the brunt of the twister's wrath. Luckily, no injuries reported but there were power outages.

ROMANS: Storm chasers spotted funnel clouds yesterday in Paw Paw, Illinois, about 130 miles southwest of Chicago. Speaking of the Windy City, it lived up to its billing. Chicago saw 50-mile-an-hour gusts, yesterday, coupled with downsized hail.

BERMAN: Look at this picture from the height of the storm, lightning hitting Chicago's Willis Tower that used to be the Sears Tower as well as, a second building in downtown Chicago, but that's an amazing photo.

ROMANS: Sure is.

BERMAN: The threat of tornadoes is looming large from the Midwest to the Northeast.

ROMANS: Meteorologist Indra Petersons is following all of this extreme weather for us. Good morning.


There's so much out there. We've been talking about the threat of tornadoes but also the long-lived straight line winds, the severe thunderstorms with large hail and with that, of course, comes heavy rain and flood, so long all of this still in the picture.

We have reports of just yesterday, 18 tornado reports, we had 137 wind reports, and, of course, many reports of large hail out there, and all this continued to spread to the east today.

Now what we've noticed is the low progressed farther east and the jet stream has actually dug down. So, what that means to us in the weather world is a little bit more enhancement, a better chance for more of these thunderstorms to continue to develop as we go through the afternoon today.

So, with that, a moderate risk is still out there. You can easily see, we have 15 million of you in the moderate risk, about 70 million of you still looking at that slight risk so a lot of severe weather, when you mentioned, when you look at that, most people just think tornadoes but to take a look.

That low is going to produce heavy rain, and even once the low exits off, we're going to see that back around moisture really produce anywhere. I mean, look at these numbers, three to five inches of rain in Pennsylvania, a good two to four inches of rain possible in the mid-Atlantic going up into the Northeast as well. I mean, unbelievable damage.

BERMAN: There's nowhere left to put that rain so you could see street flooding and worse, all right.

Thank you so much.

In less than four hours, it will be FBI Director Robert Mueller in the Capitol Hill hot seat. He's expected to get grilled by the House Judiciary about the government's controversial data mining and surveillance operations. Yesterday, the director of the NSA, General Keith Alexander told the Senate committee he believes the programs are saving lives by uncovering dozens of terrorist threats.

ROMANS: The high school dropout who revealed Washington's secret surveillance operations to the world, he's dropped another bombshell. Edward Snowden telling the Hong Kong newspaper the U.S. has been hacking foreign computers for years, thousands of the targets in China. Snowden is also vowing to fight extradition to America. Insisting he'd rather stay in Hong Kong to take on the United States in court. BERMAN: The shakeups tell you about at the CIA. Deputy Director Michael Morrell announcing he's retiring after 33 years. The move comes just a month after Morrell took the blame for editing the Benghazi terror attack talking points. Morrell says he's decided to retire so he can spend more time with his family.

ROMANS: A young mother in New York City nearly lost her 8-month-old daughter. She was pushing the young child in a stroller Tuesday afternoon when a delivery cab jumped a curb and crashed into them on the sidewalk, shocking scene captured on surveillance.

Mary Snow shows us what happened.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's terrifying to watch, a young mother and her baby walking on the sidewalk. Then in a split- second, a car careens out of control and hits them both.

Seventeen-year-old Alondra Gervacio is grateful for what is, that she's now safe at home with her daughter, Perla. But it's the nightmare of what could have been that keeps playing over and over in her mind.

Alondra says when the car headed towards them, she tried frantically to get her baby out of the way, but the stroller was swept under the car. With no time to think, Alondra pulls herself up and rushes to get far enough underneath the car to bring her 8-month-old baby to safety.

(on camera): When you look at that videotape, what do you think?

ALONDRA GERVACIO, MOTHER: God help us. I said, "God help us."

SNOW (voice-over): Alondra says she screamed for help, that everything happened so fast, she had already rescued her daughter by the time people ran to her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard a big bang and all of a sudden I'm hearing a baby, a baby and then the car hit in front of our store.

SNOW: The driver of the livery cab that hit them, police say, suffered a heart attack and lost consciousness behind the wheel. He later died.

(on camera): Does this all feel like a bad dream?

GERVACIO: Normally, I don't want to remember it. But it keeps going around my head. So I'm scared now to go outside by myself.

SNOW: You're scared to go outside by yourself?


SNOW (voice-over): This is not the first time we've witnessed close calls with babies in strollers. Just last month a mom save her 14- month-old in a stroller after it fell into the train tracks in a west Philadelphia train station.

And watch this video of an SUV running ride over a stroller, carrying a 4-year-old child in Scottsdale, Arizona, amazingly, the girl was not hurt. She bounced underneath the SUV and missed the tires running over her. Another fortunate mother and child.

In the latest case, both mother and daughter escaped serious injury. After spending a night in the hospital for observation, baby Perla is lucky to be home safe.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: That was a terrifying story. And we're so glad that turned out well and we have live pictures Southampton, England. That's the duchess of Cambridge, Kate.

BERMAN: That is some dress.

ROMANS: Right. She looks great.

To christen an ocean liner, The Royal Princess. This is the last public appearance she'll make by herself until after the royal baby is born, which is expected to be sometime in the next month.

Joining us now is Victoria Arbiter, an expert on the royal family, who grew up in Windsor and Kensington Palace.

Nice to see you.

Tell us what is happening here right now. I mean, Kate has arrived, the duchess of Cambridge has arrived and this is a ceremonial thing for her but her last solo appearance before the baby is born.

VICTORIA ARBITER, ROYAL FAMILY EXPERT: Well, Kate has kicked off many firsts in the royal family since marrying in. And today, she's kicking off, christening her very first cruise ship. She will become godmother of the ship. So, as we can see she just arrived. It's the band of her majesty's royal marines, all part of the tradition and ceremony that comes with christening a ship.

It's not her first foray, though, into smashing the bottle of champagne for the hull, which does take some skill. It's very important as a bad omen. Her first official engagement with Prince William shortly after they became engaged was christening a life guard boat in Anglesey. She's done the small ones. She's obviously on a much larger scale.

BERMAN: Can I ask you about the dress? It looks like to be a snow leopard print of some kind.

ARBITER: It's very glamorous. It looks like a coat over her dress. She's been a big proponent of coat dresses during her pregnancy.

BERMAN: It's very interesting. You said this is her last solo public appearance. We do expect her to, I believe to see her this weekend in the public celebration of the queen's birthday where the queen's husband, Prince Philip will not be.

How important is the duchess' presence now at these public royal events?

ARBITER: It's hugely important that the duchess be there. She is one day going to be the queen consort, alongside Prince William. And so, with the queen at 87, you're not going to learn from anyone better than her. She has decades of experience.

So, I think Kate is very keen to spend as much time with the royal family as a whole. Also, as you mentioned, Prince Philip isn't going to be there on Saturday, so there's a real sense the family rallying around the queen so she feels supported as she enjoys her birthday.

ROMANS: This is Natasha Bedingfield is singing. It's part of the festivities here today. Let's listen for just a second.


ROMANS: Let me ask you about the pregnancy of the duchess of Cambridge, everyone's been watching her style and every event she goes to. How does she handle all this attention in?

ARBITER: She's really handled herself with grace and class, which is what we've come to expect from the duchess of Cambridge. She's been criticized for her coat dresses perhaps being on the shorter side.

BERMAN: Not from me.

ARBITER: We've got one happy viewer. But I think she's also been quick to try and sort of distract from her baby bump. I don't think there's even one photograph of the queen actually pregnant. So we live in a very different age now where every single aspect of this pregnancy has been heavily photographed.

BERMAN: There's all this speculation what happens after the baby is born, where will they go after, where will the first months be.

Do you have any insight on this?

ARBITER: Well, I think we're going cagey on details because they don't want to give the paparazzi a head start. Really, it comes down to common sense, where does it make the most sense for them to be. In my mind, it's Kensington Palace. It is secure. It's prepped for -- taking care of the royal family.

But also, all of this talk about them going to the Bucklebury for the first six weeks -- yes, any girl wants to be around her mom when the baby is born.

But let's face it, is the queen going to go down to Bucklebury for a cup of tea to visit her new grandbaby? I don't think so. So, this is all about making sure the whole family, both sides have access to seeing this new baby and then perhaps two weeks, Kate will pop in for a while.

BERMAN: Victoria Arbiter, thank you for being here. We will be watching this all morning, the minute that bottle breaks and a sure you it will break.

ARBITER: It has to break. Poor Camilla had rotten luck in 2007 and three weeks later, half the ship came town with the norovirus.

BERMAN: We hope that doesn't happen this time. We'll bring it to you. We'll be right back.


BERMAN: The discovery of a major piece of World War II history is expected to be confirmed later this morning by federal officials. It is the diary of a top figure in the Nazi party, Arthur Rosenberg, who was a close confidant to Adolf Hitler. The pages chronicle everything from Nazi Party infighting to Rosenberg's own theories on racial superiority. But the diary's whereabouts remained a mystery for 70 years.


JOHN MORTON, ICE DIRECTOR: This is one of the great detective stories of our time. It was, in fact, smuggled out of Nuremberg into the United States probably by Dr. Robert Kempner (ph) who was one of the prosecutors for the United States in Nuremberg.


BERMAN: The diary was found in the possession of an academic in Buffalo. How it ended up there is now the subject of a criminal investigation.

ROMANS: The United Nations this morning said this morning that 93,000 people have been killed in Syria's ongoing civil war. Meantime, Bill Clinton's registering disagreement with President Obama's limited support for Syrian rebels. According to "Politico," Clinton said this week that United States should ramp up help to the rebels to give them a fighting chance especially now that the Assad regime is getting increased support from Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah fighters.

BERMAN: 2016 may sound like a long time away, but New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, looking more and more, perhaps, like a candidate, not just anybody gets to slow jam the news with Jimmy Fallon and the roots, something President Obama has done before, and here's what happened last night in case you missed it.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: Special election is not about plain politics, it's about doing the right thing.



FALLON: Now look at you, sounding all presidential like.


FALLON: You got something you want to announce on the show right now?

CHRISTIE: Come on, Jimmy. Do you really think I'd come on this show to announce a presidential run?

FALLON: Say whatever you want, but we all know in 2016 -- (SINGING) baby you were born to run.


BERMAN: Only time will tell if Jimmy Fallon and the roots had it right. Chris Christie looking like he knows what he's doing there.


ROMANS: So, what do you do -- what do you do after winning $590 million in the lottery? It appears that 84-year-old great grandmother, Gloria Mackenzie (ph), is keeping it simple. She's been spotted shopping at Wal-Mart, grabbing some dinner with her son and his partner at a crab shack near her home in Zephyrhills, Florida. Gloria is sharing her fortune with her 57-year-old son and the "Daily Mail" says Mackenzie has invited her son's partner to move in with them.

BERMAN: It's nice of her to share.

ROMANS: She's got a lot of money to share. A lot of money to share.

BERMAN: The conservative Christian group, One Million Moms, thinks a Kraft salad dressing ad is a little too zesty. The ad shows a man enjoying a picnic, shall we say, al fresco. Yes. He's not wearing very much. This ad appeared in "People" magazine, and One Million Moms not fans, calling it "the most disgusting ad we have ever seen Kraft produce."

As you can see or as you saw, the ad features a naked man lying in a picnic blanket with a small portion of the blanket barely covering his genitals. That word is genitals. One Million Moms really did cover vowels in naked and genitals with asterisks.


BERMAN: I don't really know. I get still -- with the word was.


ROMANS: Wow! That's quite an ad. When you book a trip, you're supposed to, you know, you use to the higher (INAUDIBLE), right? Now, hotels are getting in on the game. Here are a few things to look out for as if mini-bar prices aren't pricey enough to begin with. Some hotels may start charging a restocking fee for removing just one item. The restocking fee can range from $2 to $6. So, be really sure you want that candy bar.

And if you arrive before check-in at your hotel and you want to see the sites without carrying your bags around, leaving your bag at the hotel may cost you. Some hotels charge around $2 per bag and that doesn't include tip. You heard of a late checkout fee, now, there might be an early departure fee. If you booked a room for a certain amount of days and you need to check out a day early, the hotel may charge you the full rate for the extra day --

BERMAN: Ooh, really?

ROMANS: Yes. Even if you have a refundable rate. Good news is, if you plan, well you can avoid a lot of these fees like stopping by the store to get some snacks before you check in. The restocking fee of the mini-bar, that's a new one.

BERMAN: Not cool. Not cool.

All right. Coming up, this was an unbelievable game. Honestly, it just ended. It took nearly five hours, three overtimes and it gave one team some may say the wrong team the edge in the Stanley Cup finals. This is, honestly, one of the most incredible games you'll ever see. We'll tell you all about it in the "Bleacher Report" next.


ROMANS: Live pictures now of South Hampton England. The duchess of Cambridge, that is not the duchess of Cambridge.

BERMAN: Boy, she's changed.


ROMANS: She's there to christen an Oceanliner "The Royal Princess." This is the last public appearance she will make by herself until after the royal baby is born. That is not the royal baby. That's expected to be sometime in the next month. Expected any moment to swing a big bottle christening that ship and it must smash. The champagne bottle must smash, because it's bad luck if it doesn't.

BERMAN: And until that happens, we will talk about sports for a moment, because what a way to start the Stanley Cup finals, took nearly five hours to decide game one between the Bruins and the Blackhawks, quite an ending. Andy Scholes joins us now with more on the "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, John. I guess, you saw this result that pretty much ruined your morning, right?

BERMAN: Not so --

SCHOLES: All right. The game one between the Bruins and Blackhawks, it was great. It began around 8:00 eastern on Wednesday night, but it didn't come to an end until the wee hours of this morning. This is the first ever finals between these two teams. And Boston had a 3-1 lead in the third period, but Chicago, that's when they got two goals. The second coming when Johnny Oduya shot deflects off a Bruins skate, it goes in. So, we're headed to overtime, and they would need three overtimes to settle this one after nearly five hours The Blackhawks finally said enough is enough. This shot is redirected by David Bolland and again by Andrew Shaw.

It goes in. Chicago wins 4-3 in triple overtime. It was the fifth longest game in Stanley Cup finals history. Game two is Saturday night.

Less than two weeks after retiring from the NBA, Jason Kidd is back, but he's trading in his jersey for a clipboard. Yesterday, Kidd was named the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. The move reunites Kidd with the franchise he led to consecutive NBA finals in 2002 and 2003. Brooklyn was also considering Brian Shaw for the position but Kidd's close relationship with Nets star, Darren Williams, reportedly gave him the edge, even though he has no coaching experience.

Now, Kidd will be introduced at a news conference later today. And later tonight, it's game four of the NBA finals. Pretty much a must win for the Heat. They trail the Spurs 2-1 in the series. Tip-off is at 9:00 eastern.

The grounds crew at Marion Golf Club has been working overtime trying to get the course ready for today's opening round of the U.S. Open. More than six inches of rain has fallen on the course since Friday and more poor weather is predicted for the start of play today.

Now, weather could delay the start of one of the most anticipated opening threesomes in quite some time, the top three players in the world, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Adam Scott will be grouped together for the first two rounds of play. It will be the first time that Tiger and Rory will be paired together in a major. They're scheduled to tee off at 1:14 eastern this afternoon.

For the first time in major league history, a telerobotic pitching machine threw out the first pitch at a game. And here's why, Nick LeGrande (ph) is an A's fan that has a rare blood disorder that doesn't allow him to attend game. So, Google built a replica baseball stadium for Nick near him home in Kansas City.

And from 1,800 miles away, Nick threw the pitch, and at the same time, the robot on the mount fired into A's reliever, Ryan Cook, behind the plate in Oakland. And guys, this is really cool. Apparently, they have an android device as Nick threw it, the robot threw it, at the exact same time and there was a camera on the robot live streaming that shot right back to Nick in Kansas City and then Nick was up on the big screen in the stadium.

He got a standing ovation. Pretty cool moment. It's pretty cool to see how far technology has come that we can do these kind of things.

BERMAN: That is an awesome moment. All right. Andy Scholes, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

That is all for EARLY START. I'm John Berman. ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. "Starting Point" right after the break.



BERMAN (voice-over): Our "Starting Point" this morning, a tornado touches down as a monster storm system stretches across the United States. Millions of Americans now on alert for heavy flooding and dangerous hail as wildfires smother Colorado in smoke and flames, forcing thousands to flee their homes. We are live on the ground.

ROMANS (voice-over): Then, the NSA chief defending his agency's controversial surveillance program on Capitol Hill claiming they saved lives. Will the FBI director face a similar grilling today?