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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Mom Busts Alleged Child Predator; FEMA To West, Texas: No More Money; Spotlight On Hillary Clinton; Representative Franks Clarifying Controversial Remark; Texas Stun Gun Incident; Carnival Triumph Back In Service; Saved By An Air Pocket; Hero Guide Dog; High Anxiety In Manhattan; Blackhawks Win In Triple Overtime; Nets Hire Jason Kidd As Head Coach; U.S. Open Gets Underway Today; Kate's Last Solo Event

Aired June 13, 2013 - 07:30   ET

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


INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The speed of the winds gets added to the speed of the system itself. That's why we talk about the threat of winds being as strong as the tornadoes. Now we're also watching the jet stream dipping down a little bit today. So that low that moved its way to the east has a little bit more energy with it.

So we're still looking at that enhanced severe weather threat as we go through the afternoon. You could tell that lines up perfectly with the moderate risk area, but we're talking about a good 70 million people really extending all the way from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, all the way down now even towards the gulf so all of you under that severe threat. And we're still dealing with not only heavy rain but flooding and the winds. We keep talking about six inches of rain above average. Add strong winds the trees get lifted like nothing.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thanks, Indra.

Now to a crusading parent who saved her 11-year-old daughter from a possible sexual predator. A mother known simply as Carolyn pretended to be her own daughter using social media to turn the tables against this alleged predator. Here's John Zarrella.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Carolyn could not believe what she was reading. Quote, "are you still a virgin" nor what she was seeing, nude pictures.

CAROLYN, MOTHER WHO BUSTED ALLEGED PREDATOR: I was just overwhelmed, unbelievable. I couldn't believe it. I thought it happened to other people, not right here in my home.

ZARRELLA: It all started last month, late one night, Carolyn, who we will only identify by her first name decided to check her 11-year-old daughter's phone. She found a bunch of Facebook messages, no big deal if they were from other kids but they weren't.

CAROLYN: We see this guy and he's actually a grown man, so that's what sent off the alarm in me. ZARRELLA: The man now charged with sending lewd texts and pictures is this man, 23-year-old Michael Jerome Bradley, but Bradley might still be out there if not for Carolyn's dogged pursuit. At first, police told Carolyn they did not have enough to arrest him so pretending to be her daughter she gave Bradley her phone number. He kept texting so she picked up the phone and called him.

(on camera): What do you say to him?

CAROLYN: I called him up and I said, you know this girl that you're texting that you keep harassing on the phone she's only 11 years old. I'm like, if you don't stop calling her phone and texting her I'm going to call the police.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Carolyn says Bradley still didn't know he was texting mom and mom was texting him back.

CAROLYN: All the while he's thinking it's her.

ZARRELLA: Quote, "You know it's my birthday just passed. I just made 12. I know I got a gift when I see you." Response, "Yes, birthday sex, and another allegedly from Bradley, "You want me to pick you up from school, let me know something. I know you don't have much freedom." Finally, Carolyn had enough. Bradley, she says, went on and on wanting a picture.

CAROLYN: I was looking into Sunday's paper and I just boom, my eyes fell on the perfect picture so I sent it to him.

ZARRELLA: It was this photo. A young woman from a Target ad, after that, Carolyn says is when Bradley sent more explicit texts and the nude photos. Now police had enough to pick him up on several obscenity charges and unlawful communication.

CAROLYN: But the scariest part is, you know, you're like, my God, what if, that's the biggest problem, the what if.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZARRELLA: Now we reached out to Bradley's attorney, but so far we have not gotten a response. As for Carolyn's daughter, well, she no longer has a phone and mom says it's going to be quite some time before she gets one back -- Christine.

BERMAN: Decades.

ROMANS: I'll say. Thanks, John Zarrella. You know, I think what this story tells me is that you have to just watch what your kid is doing online. You know, 11 years old is so young, but my gosh, Facebook page 11, how old are you supposed to be for Facebook page?

BERMAN: It's 36.

Checking some of our top stories now this morning, FEMA is denying a request for the city of West Texas to be declared a major disaster area following the massive explosion at a fertilizer plant. This means they cannot get extra federal funds. The city says they need more than $100 million to repair the damage. Texas state officials accused President Obama of betraying his promise to help people rebuild, 15 died in the blast.

ROMANS: When Hillary Clinton speaks, the rumor mill turns. When she doesn't speak, the rumor mill churns. She has a speech at the meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago, likely to fuel a more speculation about a presidential run in 2016. Earlier this week, Clinton debuts her Twitter account, which hinted that her future is in politics with a TBD, to be determined.

BERMAN: You know, there was just another controversial rape comment from a U.S congressman, Arizona Republican Trent Franks insisting this morning he was taken out of context while discussing his proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks. Here's the comment that landed him in hot water after he was asked about possible exceptions in cases of incest to rape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPRESENTATIVE TRENT FRANKS (R), ARIZONA: Before when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject because the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Congressman Franks insists he meant to say the number of abortions resulting from rape after the start of the sixth-month of gestation would be low. He's now blaming Democrats for distorting his words.

ROMANS: Caught on tape, is this a case of police misconduct in Texas?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're under arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands on the truck. You're under arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just assaulted me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get ready to get tased.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For what?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The video captured from the officer's own body cam. Danny Henshaw said what happened to him was unfair, but what you don't see is what happened before the stop. Police say Henshaw drove away from an accident scene, evaded the cops and then refused to pull over. Henshaw denies all of that saying he will fight these charges. The police say they have received no complaints about the incident. BERMAN: After $115 million worth of renovations the Carnival "Triumph" is going back into service. The ship departs Galveston, Texas, today on a sold out cruise to Mexico. Back in February, the Carnival "Triumph" had to be towed back to port in Mobile, Alabama following an engine power. Passengers, you will remember, spent five days in what many describe as squalid conditions with some floors of the ship a washed in waste.

ROMANS: After spending two and a half days trapped in freezing cold water, breathing from an underwater air bubble in a capsized tugboat late last month 29-year-old Harrison O'Keen said he was sure he would die, but somehow South African divers found him alive. O'Keen says he spent another two and a half days in a decompression chamber to let his body pressure return to normal. If he had been exposed to outside air immediately, he would have died. Ten of the 12 people on board died and the remaining crew member has not been found.

A guide dog in training is also a life saver after alerting trainers to a potentially deadly situation in San Rafael, California. Surveillance cameras captured the scene as the dog and two handlers just barely escaped an out of control car that came barrelling down the street in reverse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TODD JUREK, GUIDE DOG TRAINER: I think the dog looked before I did, and I don't know what the dog would have done if I didn't grab Danielle. That's something you'll never know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In my mind it seemed forever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The driver was a 93-year-old woman. Police believed she accidentally put the car in reverse. The driver, her passenger, the trainers and the dog all walked away with no injuries.

BERMAN: Good dog.

Two maintenance workers left hanging 45 stories in New York after their scaffold snapped hundreds of feet above the ground. This type of scaffold is unique to the zigzagged shaped building. Firefighters had to get creative.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Familiar site turned into a high-rise rescue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This drama first started to unfold on the 44th floor.

BERMAN (voice-over): This dramatic scene played out more than 550- feet above the New York City streets for 90 terrifying minutes two maintenance workers dangled outside the first tower, one of the city's most recognizable skyscrapers, stranded when their scaffolding buckled and broke in the middle. Instead of hoisting the men up, firefighters determined it was safer to cut a hole in the double-sided window on the 44th floor. This is what it looks like from the inside. Watch as they carefully crawl through and enter the building.

MOSES NELSON, PARAMEDIC ATTENDED TO THE MEN: They're used to being out on the scaffolding. They didn't have complaints. For being there for such a long time tensions were high.

BERMAN: It is a dangerous job. Last October, this Washington, D.C., construction worker dangled from his safety rope in midair when one side of his scaffolding failed. D.C. firefighters used a ladder to get him down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rescue workers inside that window.

BERMAN: In this high-rise in Yonkers, New York, where two men clung to the side of the building into the night their scaffolding hanging off the side of an apartment building. Rescue workers helped one man climbed through the window, the other lowered to the ground. Fortunately Wednesday's frightening ordeal also ended safely and paramedics that attended to the men after the rescue say they both smiled through it all.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Can you imagine smiling through that whole thing? Neither of the men was injured and authorities say people below were never in danger either. The scaffolding was firmly secured they say the entire time despite what it looks like.

ROMANS: And you think you have a harrowing job, their job or the firefighters, two tough jobs.

All right, ahead on STARTING POINT, Major League history, a first pitch thrown from more than 1,800 miles away. We'll explain how next.

BERMAN: And a big day for the Duchess of Cambridge, her final solo appearance before she gives birth. You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: I am still in a daze this morning because of hockey. What a way to start the Stanley Cup Finals. It took nearly five hours to decide game one between the Bruins and the Blackhawks. Andy Scholes joining us now with more on the "Bleacher Report." Hi, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, "BLEACHER REPORT": Hi. Good morning, guys. What a game this was. It began around 8:00 Eastern last night, but it didn't come to an end until the wee hours of this morning. Now this is the first ever finals between the Bruins and the Blackhawks. Boston had a 3-1 lead in the third period, but that's when Chicago would get two goals.

The second coming when Johnny Oduya's shot deflects off a Bruins skate it goes in and we're headed to overtime and they'd need three overtimes to settle this one, the Blackhawks finally said enough is enough, this shot is redirected by David Bolland and Andrew Shaw, it goes in, and Chicago wins 4-3 in triple overtime, it was the fifth longest game in Stanley Cup Finals history. Game two is Saturday night.

ROMANS: Fans got their money's worth.

SCHOLES: Yes, they sure did. Now 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.

Kidd has never coached at any level, but his knowledge of the game and relationship with Darryn Williams reportedly gave him the edge over other candidates. Kidd will be introduced at a news conference.

Later tonight, it's game four of the NBA finals, pretty much a must win for the Heat as they trail the Spurs 2-1 in the series. Tip-off is at 9:00 Eastern.

Well, the grounds crew at Marion Golf Club has been working overtime trying to get 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 bad weather is predicted for the start of play today.

Weather could delay the start of one of the anticipated opening threesomes top three players in the world, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott will be grouped together for the first two rounds of play, the first time that Tiger and Rory will be paired together in a major, scheduled to tee off at 1:14 Eastern this afternoon.

BERMAN: Weather not looking good for that.

SCHOLES: Definitely not looking good for play. Well, for the first time in Major League history, check this out, a telerobotic pitching machine threw out the first pitch at a game. Nick LeGrande is an A's fan, has a rare blood disorder and doesn't allow him to attend games.

So Google built a replica baseball stadium from his home in Kansas City and from 1,800 miles away Nick threw the pitch and at the same time, the robot follows into A's reliever Ryan Cook behind the plate in Oakland. This is really cool.

Apparently an Android device as Nick threw it the robot threw it at the exact same time and a camera on the robot live screaming back to Kansas City and nick was up on the big screen at the park. He got a standing ovation. Cool to see how far technology has come we can do these things. It helps out kids like Nick.

BERMAN: Nick has a great arm but the robot could use some work.

ROMANS: Ahead on STARTING POINT, it's the last solo appearance in public for the Duchess of Cambridge before the royal baby arrives. Did today's event lead to more Diana comparisons? You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: It is her last solo engagement before the royal baby is due next month. Kate's Duchess of Cambridge christening a new Princess cruise liner this morning. CNN's Richard Quest live in Southampton for details. Good morning, Richard.

RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNNI'S "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": Good morning to you from Southampton. This is where she did the deed. It is where she named the ship. I named the ship Royal Princess. May God bless her and all who stand on her. The new ship part of the Princess cruises and it was from here, of course, that she then cut the rope.

When she cut the rope, the bottle smashed out. Have a look at the pictures as it actually happened. It was, of course, always champagne that they use for this sort of thing. The best part of 20 bottles of champagne and it smashed just on cue. They did it the old-fashioned way.

BERMAN: Highly successful smashing and we're all relieved to see that.

ROMANS: Smashing success. Is that where it comes from?

BERMAN: It might. How did she look to you, Richard? That's what we all want to know. You know, she is like a month away from giving birth, she looks strong to us.

QUEST: All right, she looked extremely real good health. First of all, she had to navigate those steps in six inch heels. She was wearing a dress the Dalmatian Mack is about $104, $150 worth of Mack. It's beautifully put together so although she is heavily pregnant you couldn't really tell. As for her demeanor, she laughed. She was engaged and enjoyed it. She seemed thoroughly part of the proceedings. This is the first time that she launched a ship and what a ship she's launched.

ROMANS: I don't know, heavily pregnant. Having once been heavily pregnant. I don't like that phrase very much, Richard.

BERMAN: I think he meant it in the nicest possible way. Richard Quest, thank you so much. Great to see you.

ROMANS: Let him defend himself.

QUEST: I don't think I can win on this one. I don't think I can win on this one. I'm quitting while I am ahead.

BERMAN: I sit next to her every day. No way of winning on this one.

Let's bring in Victoria Arbiter right now. Victoria is an expert on the royal family who grew up in Windsor. Can I start by asking the Mack? I thought it was a snow leopard print. It's Dalmatian.

VICTORIA ARBITER, ROYAL EXPERT: I quite liked your description. It retails in the U.K. for around 169 pounds, which is $264, but, reportedly, sold out. So, the Kate effect is in full force today.

ROMANS: The last time we'll see Kate alone until after the baby is born. What do you think this event means to her?

ARBITER: This event was a lot of fun today. The original Royal Princess was named by Diana Princess of Wales in 1984. Now it is somewhat Kate's compared to her late mother-in-law, but this seem very fitting that she be there to launch the ship today. Royal ladies have a long history of naming ships. Aubrey Hepburn, Margaret Thatcher so she is a godmother before becoming a mom in a few short weeks.

BERMAN: She is making another public appearance with most of the royal family.

ARBITER: Yes, she will be this coming Saturday, the queen's official birthday parade. Prince Philip will be missing and his absence will be felt. There's been a lot of talk about whether or not the queen will ride alone in her carriage. The Duke of Kent had a stroke recently and he would normally be riding. I think we'll see him sit alongside the queen.

ROMANS: Where do you think they'll live after they have the baby?

ARBITER: They are going to be at Kensington Palace. That is their main base. The house they've been renovating is a large house. It will not be ready in time. They have a small two-bedroom apartment on the grounds.

ROMANS: Do you think they know the sex of the baby?

ARBITER: I really don't believe they do. Traditionally British people don't find out. I think by not finding out it releases them from any potential slip-ups.

BERMAN: Victoria Arbiter, thank you so much for being with us this morning. A Dalmatian Mack sold out. Don't even try to get it. It's unattainable.

ROMANS: All right, nice to see you. Ahead on STARTING POINT, 74 million Americans in the path of possible tornados, thunderstorms, high winds, hail right now at this moment, the Midwest already feeling Mother Nature's wrath.

BERMAN: And jaws in the flesh. A group of fishermen get really, really close to a great white shark. Way too close. You have to see this. Yes, not sure I want to see that. You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Our STARTING POINT, a tornado touches down as a monster storm system stretches across the U.S. Millions of Americans now on alert for heavy flooding and dangerous hails. As wildfires smother Colorado and smoke and flames forcing thousands to flee their homes, we're live on the ground.

BERMAN: Lawmakers challenge the NSA over its leaked surveillance program, but is the spying keeping Americans safe? ROMANS: And take a look at this, a group of fishermen get up close and personal to a great white shark off the coast of New Jersey. We'll talk with one of the fishermen about this scary sight.

BERMAN: Way too close to here.

ROMANS: Good morning. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. It is Thursday, June 13th. Welcome to STARTING POINT.

ROMANS: We begin with what could be an epic day for a ferocious severe weather. An estimated 74 million people in the path of thunderstorms, high winds and hail. 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 a twister's wrath. A restaurant owner says she left just in time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEB ABEL, BUSINESS OWNER: Kind of looked at it and kind of felt like it kept getting closer. We locked the door and jumped in and took off for a town and I kind of think it probably hit about 2 minutes after that.

JEFFREY HOGREFE, WRIGHT COUNTRY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: To me, it looked large and scary to see the debris. We weren't for sure what it was hitting or if there was any injuries at that point in time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)