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WEEKEND EARLY START

Facebook's Role in NSA Surveillance; U.S. Fears Snowden May Defect; Colorado Fires; Dry Conditions Expected in West; Murdoch Files for Divorce; to Offer Small Arms, Ammunition to Syrian Rebels; Whitey Bulger on Trial

Aired June 15, 2013 - 06:00   ET

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


ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world's headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I either have a house or I don't have a house. There's nothing I can do about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Flames have destroyed almost 500 homes and scorched an area the size of Manhattan. And now evacuees of the Black Forest Fire are wondering if they have anything to go back to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MIKE ROGERS (R), CHAIR., HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Does he have a relationship with a foreign government and is there more to this story?

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KOSIK: He leaked United States' secrets and now he's on the run, but some think he's already working for another government.

BLACKWELL: And the mystery of a teenager whose death was ruled an accident gets stranger. How his now exhumed body might reveal what his family calls a murder cover-up.

KOSIK: Good morning. It's Saturday, June 15th. I'm Alison Kosik.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thanks for starting your day with us.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KOSIK: And we begin this morning with stunning new information revealed overnight about the National Security Agency's surveillance of American citizens. With the government's permission, Facebook is now coming forward to reveal its role in those National Security requests. This is the first time we're learning about specific government requests for information in the wake of the NSA leaker.

According to the site's lawyers, in the last six months of 2012, Facebook received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for information that affected as many as 19,000 accounts. That breaks down to about 55 requests per day. CNN's Money correspondent Laurie Segall, she's been following this story and joins us now on the phone.

Good morning, Laurie.

LAURIE SIEGEL, CNN MONEY (via telephone): Hey there.

KOSIK: What do you make of this latest revelation?

SEGALL: You know, Alison, I look at this and this is a huge deal. I mean the idea that Facebook is coming out, as well as some other companies, and being very transparent about this data, it's a big deal. And we see that this has been at Facebook and a lot of these other companies we know so well are a huge resource for national security. We're finally learning about it.

And we're also getting a look at what exactly these requests are. If you look at some of these Facebook requests, they kind of go into detail. They're -- you know, they're talking about a sheriff looking for a missing child, or a federal marshal trying to track a fugitive. You know, the police department looking for this kind of information. And they say that they've been able to use this to track down a national security threat.

So, you know, I think we're just beginning to kind of grasp the idea that right now our lives online and the idea that social media has become such a big part of the government and investigation, and now we're really beginning to see that transparency, which is very important.

KOSIK: Yes, before all this news about the leaker, you know, I, you know, would go on Facebook and "like" and see what my friends are up to. Wouldn't even think that, you know, maybe I could be the person being watched. Maybe you could be the person being watched. You know, what does a revelation like this mean for everyday users who go - who, you know, go on Facebook, you know, like you and me?

SEGALL: You know, I - look, I spoke to a major founder in Silicon Valley who didn't want to go and put his name out there because he's a little bit nervous about this, but he said this is time to have a discussion, I mean I think at the end of the day it's -- now we, normal users, can wrap our head around the fact that our data and our information is out there and that law enforcement is using this kind of stuff to track down threats. So I think it's something that we need to be aware of.

And this -- the whole NSA prism debate, I mean what really became clear is the fact that law enforcement is using social media, is using a lot of the - you know, a lot of the Internet companies that we use on a daily basis to track down these threats. So we need to be aware of what we're putting out there and aware that, you know, it's 100 - you know, not 100 percent going to be private at the end of the day.

KOSIK: All right, Laurie Segall, thank you.

SEGALL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And Attorney General Eric Holder says the leaks about the U.S. surveillance program are extremely damaging to American safety. He vows the person responsible will be held accountable.

KOSIK: And while Holder didn't name names, Edward Snowden stunned the world when he exposed the NSA was snooping on Internet and phone use. Now there are concerns Snowden may defect to China. Let's get more now from CNN's Brian Todd.

Good morning, Brian.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison and Victor, given the information he allegedly handed "The Guardian" about NSA monitoring, plus the other classified information he says he has access to and the fact that his exact whereabouts right now are a mystery, there is growing concern here in Washington that Edward Snowden may fall into a rival's hands.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): Top U.S. officials are now openly worried, will Edward Snowden defect?

REP. MIKE ROGERS (R), CHAIR., HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Does he have a relationship with a foreign government and is there more to this story? Clearly there is. We're going to make sure that there's a thorough scrub of what he is - what his china connections are.

TODD: A former senior NSA official and a former CIA officer told me the Chinese government has likely at least made contact with Edward Snowden. One analyst says, over the past few days, it's looked more and more like someone is shaping Snowden's behavior, possibly "The Guardian" newspaper, maybe the Chinese.

So what kind of information does he have? To hear him brag about it to "The Guardian," besides the NSA's telephone surveillance and Internet monitoring programs --

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: I had access to, you know, the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world, the locations of every station, we have what their missions are and so forth.

TODD: Senior U.S. officials say they doubt Snowden really has all that information. Snowden has said his intent was not to harm the U.S. But former CIA Officer Robert Baer says there's no doubt he's being closely watched.

ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OFFICER: You and I cannot hide in Hong Kong. It's impossible. Chinese intelligence has that place riddled with sources, people cooperative, police, the rest of it. It's impossible to hid in Hong Kong.

TODD: Baer says because of that there's little chance the CIA could capture Snowden through some secret rendition or other method, even if they wanted to. Snowden told a Hong Kong newspaper that the U.S. government has been hacking into computers in China for years. If Snowden were to defect, what would the Chinese want most from him?

JAMES LEWIS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: What the Chinese don't have is, they don't have a knowledge of where we've been successful. Whose phone has been hacked. Whose computer has been hacked. They don't know that. And so if he can tell them places, specific places that have been hacked, they can go and close off the source.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: We've tried several times to make contact with the Chinese embassy in Washington, asking if their government has made contact with Snowden, and, if he wanted asylum, would they grant it? They haven't responded. Alison and Victor.

KOSIK: Brian Todd, thank you.

As Brian mentioned, it's believed Snowden may still be in Hong Kong, although no one seems to be sure where he is. Heavy rain in Hong Kong today pretty much washed out a planned demonstration in Snowden's support. Said (ph) the groups organized a rally to protest any U.S. efforts to extradite Snowden. Only a few hundred people turned up and half of them were reporters. Several Hong Kong politicians have also sent a letter to President Obama urging the U.S. government not to pursue charges against Snowden.

BLACKWELL: Let's go to Colorado now where what's believed to be the worst wildfire in the state's history has destroyed 473 homes. Hard rain on Friday helped firefighters north of Colorado Springs get some control over the Black Forest Fire. It's now 30 percent contained. And to the south, another fire in the Royal Gorge Park is now 65 percent contained.

But there's now a new fire and lightning is blamed for starting that one in the western part of the state. Across Colorado, 800 firefighters and support workers are battling these flames. Let's bring in Paul Vercammen now. He's in Colorado Springs.

Paul, when I was with you yesterday in Colorado, firefighters seemed to have turned a corner. They were optimistic for the first time in days. Are conditions helping them today to build on their progress?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Victor. And what was the big change? Mother nature. Right now it's 54 degrees. You'll probably recall at the same time a couple days ago it was 70. It was blast furnace meets wind tunnel. Those winds have died down and those temperatures have come down. Right now, also 69 percent humidity. Just a huge factor. And as you pointed out, we had these after thundershower. What a relief. The sheriff here had made a joke about everybody should go ahead and wash their cars and perhaps we will get rain. Indeed they got the rain. So he was feeling a lot better about things. Let's listen to what he had to say last night.

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SHERIFF TERRY MAKETA, EL PASO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: We're still sitting around 38,000 people impacted by this fire. We have affected about 93,000 acres. One of the good signs, I think, is the fact that we've been able to narrow down the impacted acreage. It's right around 1,300 to 1,500 acres.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERCAMMEN: And let's talk about the property damage. They say 473 homes destroyed, 17 partially damaged. That number rose dramatically. And why? They had not been able to get into every single neighborhood and carefully comb through it. And once the sun came up and thing had calmed down on those brutal fire line, they went through those neighborhoods and suddenly they discovered many more homes had burned than initially first thought.

Alison and Victor.

BLACKWELL: And, Paul, has the sheriff or the federal incident commander, has either of them said that they know exactly how long it will take to get these fires under control?

VERCAMMEN: They've alluded to several days. And one thing about the incident commander, he said, we still have problems in the middle. And what he means by that is, there is just so many hot spots. And the big fear is the weather conditions change again. Those winds come back, the heats come back and these ashes, these embers, these things get stirred up again and you have a whole new raging battle. So he said the focus is on the middle and I'm sure that's what they're going to go after today. And I'm sure they'll go after it both by, you know, like ground crews and hit it hard in the air with helicopters dropping water and some of those planes that we all saw dropping retardant on the flames.

BLACKWELL: They are making progress. Paul Vercammen in Colorado Springs for us, thank you.

So they're making progress, but will the weather bring some help? Will there be any relief in Colorado today. Let's bring in meteorologist Jennifer Delgado in our CNN Severe Weather Center.

Jennifer, the winds in the early part of the week were what were creating the biggest problem, and now they just need some rain and humidity.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right. And right now on the radar, you can see for yourself, the rain that they got yesterday that helped them out, it's come to an end. And as we go throughout the afternoon (ph), we are going to still look at the chance for showers and thunderstorms to pop up. But right now, as we just saw Paul live out in Colorado Springs, it is dry but there's still a lot of dry air out there. And as we go through the afternoon, the relative humidity values will be dropping, so we are still looking at not favorable conditions but certainly they are improving. As we go for Saturday and Sunday, a 40 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms. Now, yes, we want the rain, but the problem is, if we get some lightning out there, that could trigger more storms - or I should say more fires across the region.

Now, keep in mind, areas, including Colorado Springs, they're not under a red flag warning, but in southwestern parts of Utah, as well as into areas including Colorado, we do have a red flag warning in place. We're expecting winds to gust up to 45 miles per hour with a dry air in place. Yes, we could still see more of those fires erupting in nearby Utah.

A slight risk for severe storms today. You could see anywhere in the gold, that includes parts of the Midwest, as well as the Plains, from Des Moines all the way down to areas including Denver, Colorado. So that means some of these storms will be producing damaging winds, as well as hail.

On a wider view, the northeast is looking nice. And down towards the south, we will see some showers popping up in Florida. But the good news is, guys, temperatures running about 5 degrees cooler, especially in areas including the southeast, as well as in areas including Colorado. So let's send it back over to you. So there's a bright side to some of the bad news this morning.

BLACKWELL: Always great to end with some good news. Jennifer, thank you.

DELGADO: Right.

KOSIK: A second blast in two days has left another person dead at a chemical plant in Louisiana. This latest incident happened last night at a plant about 40 miles south of Baton Rouge in Donaldsonville. The plant manager said nitrogen was being unloaded from a tanker truck when a small vessel ruptured killing a 55-year-old man and injuring eight others. Two people died and more than 100 were injured on Thursday at a nearby plant.

BLACKWELL: And now to California where police say the suspect in the Santa Monica shootings left a farewell note, apologizing for killing his father and his brother. They say more of John Zawahri's letter was a goodbye to his friends. Policy say the letter was conversational without overall hatred of anything. But he did not explain why he went on that rampage a week ago. Five people were killed. Police also say that Zawahri tried to buy a gun in 2011 but was denied because of a Justice Department notice about it. They say he instead used gun part to build a gun that is illegal to own.

KOSIK: Coming up, the things politicians say. What Jeb Bush said about immigrants that set Twitter afire.

BLACKWELL: Plus, 82-year-old Rupert Murdoch is divorcing his 44-year- old wife. And now people are wondering what will happen to his $11 billion fortune.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KOSIK: With conservatives calling for his head, Attorney General Eric Holder now says he'll give Republicans in Congress some of the answers they want. Holder will send a House Judiciary Committee more information about reporters and leak investigations. A committee aide told CNN that Holder will submit his answers in writing by Wednesday. The GOP wants to know whether he was truthful during earlier testimony. Holder's also expected to meet with committee leaders at some point.

BLACKWELL: Democrats are rallying to keep John Kerry's old Senate seat. They are making the trek to Massachusetts to campaign for Ed Markey. Next week, Vice President Joe Biden will become the fourth national Democrat to stump for the congressman. Former President Bill Clinton will appear with him at a rally today. I wonder what is going on with that shot. President and Mrs. Obama have already attended campaign events. Now, Republicans say Democrats are nerve, but the Demes disagree. They say they're just playing it safe.

All right, 17 minutes after the hour now. And from time to time, we like to take a closer look at our politicians.

KOSIK: Why not.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And some of the things they say and, well, maybe they should not have said. Yesterday, it was Jeb Bush with his comment on immigration. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile and they love families and they're more - they have more intact families and they bring a younger population.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Yes, he said that immigrants are more fertile.

KOSIK: OK. If you think that's bad, how about Arizona Republican Congressman Trent Franks. This is his response to Democrats who wanted a race and insect exception to his 20-week abortion ban.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. 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, you know, the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: And no surprise there, that comment drew immediate outrage. Franks tried to explain what he meant, basically saying that what is rare are pregnancies from rape that are carried past the 20th week.

BLACKWELL: All right, now let's talk about Texas Congressman Ralph Hall. He's 90 years old. Republican. An outspoken supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act. So it came as a huge surprise when he showed up at a LGBT reception on Capitol Hill. Had he changed his stand on DOMA? No. Was he ready to openly support gay rights? No. It seems he walked into the wrong reception in the wrong room. But it took a considerable amount of time and probably a few crab puffs before he realized he made a mistake.

KOSIK: All right. Well, let me put a bow on this whole thing that we're talking about with the words of a Japanese official speaking at a United Nations conference on human rights and torture.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HIDEAKI UEDA, JAPAN'S HUMAN RIGHTS ENVOY TO THE U.N.: We are one of the most advanced country in this sphere. Don't interrupt! Why you are laughing? Shut up. Shut up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Seems he's none too happy with critics who think Japan doesn't have a spotless human rights record. Although saying "shut up," you know, I hear it all the time in New York, "shut up."

BLACKWELL: Yes. And, you know, the idea that there is someone in the audience just laughing at the idea that he would make that statement --

KOSIK: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Says a lot.

KOSIK: All right. We are just two days away from the premiere of our all new morning show here on CNN, "New Day." It begins Monday morning, 6:00 a.m. Eastern. Be there.

BLACKWELL: You all know the music. "It's a new day." All right, I'm not going to sing. Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, Michaela Pereira will start your day with everything you need to know. You won't want to miss this. "New Day" starts Monday.

KOSIK: OK. She once fought off a pie-wielding attacker for him.

BLACKWELL: Yes. But now Wendi Deng and Rupert Murdoch, they're calling it quits. We'll take a look at what could be a billion-dollar divorce.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Well, from tabloid boss to tabloid star. That's what some people on Twitter are saying after media mogul Rupert Murdoch declared he's divorcing his wife.

KOSIK: He's 82 years old, she's 44, which caused some people to call her a gold digger, even though she was successful before marrying him. Now people are wondering, what's going to happen to Murdoch's $11 billion fortune? CNN's Alina Cho with more now on the breakup fit for the headlines. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The marriage of Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng was a partnership in every sense of the word. He, the 82-year-old chairman and CEO of News Corp. with holdings that include Fox News and "The Wall Street Journal." One of the richest men in the world. She, age 44, nearly half his age, a glamorous third wife with a taste for high fashion and high-powered friends.

But this is what made Wendi Murdoch internationally famous. 2011, smacking a protester who tried to throw a shaving cream pie at her husband, as the media tycoon testified before Britain's parliament about his newspaper's practice of phone hacking. The video went viral, earning her the nickname "tiger wife."

Now their divorce, first reported by deadline.com, is front page news. This is Rupert and Wendi Murdoch in happier times talking to our Piers Morgan at this year's Academy Awards.

PIERS MORGAN, CNN: And how do you feel about CNN doing so well against Fox at the moment?

RUPERT MURDOCH, CEO, NEWS CORP.: I think we're OK.

CHO: The Murdochs met in 1997 at a News Corp. party in Hong Kong where the Yale-educated Wendi worked at Murdoch Properties Star TV. Two years later, the couple married on his yacht at New York Harbor. They have two young daughters and all the benefits that come with being super rich. No word on what Wendi could walk away with, but Murdoch, worth $11.2 billion, paid his last wife a reported $1.7 billion in what was billed as the most expensive divorce settlement in history.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHO: Rupert Murdoch's spokesman has confirmed that $1.7 billion settlement figure, saying it actually was in excess of that. Now, as for what caused the split, of course, there are all kinds of rumors flying, but so far nothing at all has been confirmed. Rupert Murdoch's spokesman would only site the divorce filing, which states, and this is pretty standard, quote, "the relationship between the husband and wife has broken down irretrievably."

Victor and Alison.

BLACKWELL: All right, Alina Cho, thank you.

KOSIK: I have one question though.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KOSIK: Is he going to marry again?

BLACKWELL: Maybe. Maybe. I'm sure that was a question after the last divorce.

KOSIK: He's 82 years young. BLACKWELL: Yes, he's still got to - you know, a lot of gas in the tank.

KOSIK: Really?

BLACKWELL: But, you know, the idea -

KOSIK: You sure about that?

BLACKWELL: The idea -- I don't know about his tank. But I will say that after watching that video of the pie slam, she became an international star. And I don't think many people knew much about her before that. But there were some cheers for a wife who would protect her husband that way.

KOSIK: Yes.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll take a quick break. We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

`*30

KOSIK: It's 30 minutes past the hour. Welcome back. I'm Alison Kosik.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thank you for starting your day with us. Here are five stories we're following this morning. Number one, 473 homes in Colorado have now gone up in flames in what's believed to be the worst wildfire in that state's history. But hard rain on Friday helped firefighters north of Colorado Springs get some control over the black forest fire, it's now 30 percent contained. So, to south, another fire in the Royal Gorge Park is 65 percent contained. But in western Colorado lightning is blamed for a new wild fire. Across the state, 800 people are battling those flame.

KOSIK: A blast at a chemical plant in Louisiana killed a 55-year-old man and left eight other people injured. The plant manager insists there was no explosion and no fire, but says a nitrogen vessel ruptured and the deadly blast looks like a balloon popping. This incident comes one day after an explosion at another plant ten miles away. Two people were killed and more than 100 were injured there.

BLACKWELL: And number three, investigators are examining what's left of an outdoor deck at a popular sports bar in Miami. Listen to this. They're trying to figure out how it collapsed into the water on Thursday night. Sending some patrons into the hospital with critical injuries. Imagine just being at this bar and then falling in the Biscayne Bay. We're also hearing some of the 911 calls that were made the night of that accident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miami-Dade county police and fire. Where's the emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm shocked (ph). Bar, the deck totally and completely collapsed. There's at least 100, at least, people in the water right now. Other people are going in to save them, but it's horrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: About 100 people were on the deck when it collapsed.

KOSIK: At number four, Iranians are waiting to find out who their next president will be. Vote counting is under way. Officials say, there was a 70 percent turnout in yesterday's presidential election. Six men are running to succeed controversial incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Early tallies give the lead to Centra's (ph) candidate Hassan Rouhani (ph). If no one wins the majority of the vote there will be a runoff next Friday.

BLACKWELL: Five now. Supporters of Syrian President Bashar al Assad are brushing off the White House decision to provide arms to the rebels. Two sources have told CNN that the U.S. will offer the rebels small arms and ammunition. The administration hopes that will push both sides to discuss a peace deal. Now, President Obama will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. And a lot of people in this administration think Moscow could help broker a deal. A deal, though, could be hard to come by. Especially now that Syria's ruling regime things it has the upper hand. And loyalists don't appear worried about the White House's decision. In fact, they're accusing the Obama administration of lying.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is in Damascus, Syria, and he has this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAP)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With the U.S. saying it's now sure the Syrian government used chemical weapons, and the prospect of Washington increasing its aid to the opposition as a result, the possible shift this may cause in the conflict is a big topic on the streets of Damascus. Government supporters remain defiant.

"America is inventing stories about chemical weapons," this man says. "The Syrian government never used chemical weapons. The rebels have used them. Not the government. So they are inventing stories because our army is winning." The regime around embattled President Bashar al Assad feels the momentum on the battlefield is shifting its way. With government troops backed by his (inaudible) fighters taking back territory from outgunned rebels in central and northern Syria, causing the U.S. to contemplate anything from light weapons deliveries to a no fly zone to help the opposition hold its ground.

Assad's supporters say they don't believe U.S. aid will make much of a difference.

"We've had this war for two and a half years now and have managed very well," this man says. "What are they going to do? Air strikes on special military areas? They can do that, but we Syrians have proven we can manage, and we're patient and we will win." The Syrian government has denounced Washington's assessment of chemical weapons used by the Assad regime calling the evidence, quote, "Full of Lies."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: CNN's Frederik Pleitgen joins me now from the Syrian capital.

Frederik, do you see any desire in a peace deal or do they want the government to crush these rebels?

PLEITGEN: That's a very good question. You know, one of the things that we've just been talking about, is, of course, the U.S. in rush hour trying to get some sort of peace conference under way. Right now, it's not really clear whether or not that's going to happen. I think what the Syrians are trying to do right now, the Syrian government, is if this peace deal is going to happen, they want to own as much territory here in this country as possible. Have a strong position, that's why they've launched this offensive. That's why they have the Hezbollah fighters on their side, fighting side by side for them. And that's why they're trying very hard to take back as much territory as possible before such a peace conference could even start.

Now, if the peace conference for some reason evaporates, if the two sides can't decide whether or not they actually want to do this, then, of course, they're going to try and do their best to crush this rebellion. And right now, it seems they are pretty much on track. I can tell you over the past couple of days, Victor, I've been going around this town, I've been going around Damascus where some districts are actually in the hands of the opposition. But the Syrian army fighters, surrounding those areas, the pro-government fighters, I have never seen them more confident than they are now. Of course, that has to do with the fact that generally, the Syrian military is making a push right now. But they've never talked to me more openly, they've never been seemingly more confident than they are now, but, of course, all of them know that all of that could change very quickly if, indeed, the U.S. gets more heavily involved in this conflict. Small arms like rifles aren't going to make a difference, but certainly advanced weapons, anti-attack weapons, anti-aircraft weapons could make a difference if, in fact, the U.S. decides to do that somewhere down the line, Victor.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Frederik Pleitgen in Damascus for us. Thank you.

A family out for justice. Police say the 17-year-old's death was an accident. But the family argues the bizarre circumstances just do not add up.

KOSIK: Now, they hope the exhumed body of their son will give them the answers they want.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Coming up on 20 minutes before the top of the hour, and we're starting today's "Crime Block" with remarkable new video CNN obtained of the Castro brothers in Ohio. These are the first moments the brothers were in police custody. About six hours after three missing women escaped from Ariel Castro's home last month. This is in Cleveland. Now, the current suspect, Ariel Castro, there in the center, appears impassive throughout the tape. Now, his brothers, Onil and Pedro who had no part in this alleged crime, seem visibly upset with their brother. There's no audio, but at one point, Onil has some sort of physical outburst you can see. Deliberately running head first into that glass wall. Not once, you saw him do it twice.

Now, earlier this week, Ariel Castro pleaded guilty - or rather not guilty - pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and rape. And he's expected back in court Wednesday the 19th.

KOSIK: He's one of the most famous mob bosses in U.S. history, James "Whitey" Bulger. After a 16-year manhunt, the reputed mafia kingpin, he now sits in a courtroom facing 19 counts of murder, as well as allegations of racketeering, extortion, money laundering and firearms violations. Deb Feyerick is in Boston following the trial for us. Deb?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison, this is a trial that many people here in Boston thought they would never see. Now, James "Whitey" Bulger who spent most of his life trying to avoid attention is front and center for everyone to see.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FEYERICK: These are some of the images seen by the jury. Whitey Bulger, 30 years ago, at the height of his power. A crime boss feared throughout Boston. Prosecutors introduced clip after clip of Bulger meetings with members of both the Italian and Irish mafia here at a garage where Bulger ran his criminal enterprise. That enterprise said his own lawyer was made up of drug trafficking, extortion, and loan sharking, and was worth millions upon millions of dollars.

Bulger has pleaded not guilty to charges he killed 19 people. Prosecutors emphasized those murders in opening statements, saying, this, ladies and gentlemen, is what this case is about. Underscoring the violence that characterized Bulger's so-called reign of terror from the '70s to mid-'90s, prosecutors presented an arsenal of weapons found at Bulger hideouts. Those weapons included dozens of fully automated machine guns and military rifles, sawed-off shotguns, semiautomatic pistols and double-edged knives, enough to go to war.

Bulger's role as an FBI inform essential to this trial. One of the first witnesses to testify was retired Massachusetts police colonel Thomas Foley. He led the Bulger investigation in the '80s and said, he felt betrayed by corrupt FBI agents who "for the higher priority protecting their informants than on protecting public safety."

The most colorful testimony came from a former bookmaker who said he paid Bulger thousands of dollars every year for nearly 14 years. Richard O'Brien seen on the right described a meeting between Bulger and a man who owed him money.

(END VIDEOTAPE) FEYERICK: O'Brien testified that when the man balked at paying, Bulger apparently replied, we have a business besides bookmaking, killing people like you. O'Brien used the racier word that "people." And Whitey Bulger who'd shown little emotion in the first days of trial threw his head back and laughed. Seeming to enjoy a good story by an old friend, not afraid to look him in the eye. Alison?

KOSIK: Deb Feyerick in Boston, thanks.

There's a major development in the case of Kendrick Johnson. He's a 17-year-old high school sports star in Valdosta, Georgia, who was found dead in a rolled gym mat.

BLACKWELL: Authorities say Kendrick was standing on the bleachers reaching into the center of that mat for a shoe, but then slipped into the mat, got stuck while no one was around. It was a tragic accident. This is a photo of Kendrick in that mat. His family says he was murdered.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We examined all the alternatives that were presented to us and the only one that fit the physical evidence, and the forensic evidence and the testimonial evidence that we received, was this is an accident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no foul play. He had no bruises. No nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you believe that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you still don't believe it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As handsome as my son was, you see him like that. It's crazy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: There's a graphic photo of Kendrick's face after he was pulled from that mat. Now, thanks to a new court ruling, the family has been allowed to exhume their son's body. It happened Friday morning at 6:00 A.M. in Valdosta. They're hoping to get the closure they need through an independent autopsy. Now, up until this point, there has been, Alison, a theory from the family. A theory from their supporters that this was more than an accident. But now there is an official document that contradicts the story from the sheriff's office from the state autopsy. The paramedics report, the first on the scene, they note that there was bruising in his right jaw. That's written in their report. There's no mention of bruising in the autopsy from the state, and they're looking now for more evidence that this was more than an accident.

KOSIK: How difficult was it for the family to exhume their son?

BLACKWELL: Well, this was something that they wanted to do for some time. They now have an attorney, and - from the dates of the petition to get an exhumation, to the order from the court, not very long. But it is, of course, something that doesn't happen often because there are laws that are against disturbing the dead.

KOSIK: All right. Very interesting. You know, thanks for staying on it. I mean, you know, the first thing that comes to mind is how he was found, how can that not be foul play?

BLACKWELL: And that's what the family has asked. How can this be an accident? Lots of questions. And we'll continue to try to get some answers.

The NFL, changing gears, they're angering fans, male and female alike.

KOSIK: Banning most bags and purses from stadiums in the coming season. The details are coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: If you want to check out a pro football game this year, make sure to leave your big bag or your big purse at home. Seriously. Citing safety measures, the NFL is sidelining things like purses larger than a clutch. Only clutch, Alison, when you go into game.

KOSIK: I remember that.

BLACKWELL: Coolers, backpacks, fanny packs, even seat cushions. OK. You shouldn't have a fanny pack anyway --

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: I just want to put that on the table.

So, what can you take? Well, not much. A small clear, plastic vinyl or PVC bag.

KOSIK: What's wrong with the fanny packs?

BLACKWELL: Fanny packs went out in like '87. I'm just saying. A PVC bag that does not exceed 12 by 6 by 12.

KOSIK: Major League Baseball has handed down eight suspensions as result of Tuesday night's bench clearing brawl between the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks.

BLACKWELL: Do you still have a fanny pack?

KOSIK: I do. I use it when I travel overseas.

BLACKWELL: You should give it up!

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes joins us now with more of the "Bleacher Report."

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Guys I'm actually wearing a fanny pack right now, you just can't see it.

KOSIK: Oh!

SCHOLES: Below my --

BLACKWELL: It's not a good look.

SCHOLES: All right, guys, what (inaudible) is going to be, is some big time punishments handed down after Tuesday night's brawling. And it looks like the Diamondbacks got hit the hardest. Starter Ian Kennedy who hit Yasiel Puig in the face and then Zach Greinke got the worst punishment of all. He suspended ten games, that's the longest suspension handed down by Major League Baseball for on field conduct in seven years. Eric Hinske, he received a five-game ban while a couple of Dodgers players along the hitting coach, Mark Bliar (ph) received two games. Both team managers, they served their one game suspension the last night. The Dodgers' rookie phenom Puig who was in the middle of the brawl only received a fine. The majority of the players suspended are appealing the decision.

Well, only two golfers were able to shoot under par through yesterday's second round of the U.S. Open, and one of them was Phil Mickelson, lefty who has placed second a record five times at the U.S. Open is looking for his first ever win at the major. He had an up and down day on round two. But he would finish strong on 18 right here. Knocking down the 20-foot birdie putt. Mickelson tied with Billy Horschel for the lead at one under. Tiger Woods is still in the hot despite being a three-over at tournament, he shot even par yesterday in his four shots back off the lead. Round two was suspended last night due to darkness. It will finish up this morning before they begin round three.

Well, Chris Bosh's wallet is now $5,000 lighter after he was fined by the league for one of the worst flops in NBA history. It came during the second quarter of game for Bosh and Duncan collide. But look at this, Bosh takes a full step before he decides to go flying in the air. Duncan was called for a foul on the play. Now, the fine was only $5,000, guys, because this was Bosh's first flopping offence.

Game five of the NBA finals is tomorrow night in San Antonio. If Bosh flops again, as a second offence, he'll be fined $10,000.

BLACKWELL: Ow!

SCHOLES: But I still think in NBA finals, you've got to bump that fine up, we can't have these kind of things going on, especially when (inaudible) is so important at this point.

BLACKWELL: But it was really dramatic. I'm going to fall. Come on. Come on.

SCHOLES: He stole that well.

BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes, thanks

KOSIK: We are just two, two days away from our new morning show called "New Day." Kate Bolduan and Chris Cuomo are going to take you through the morning's news.

BLACKWELL: And while you might have noticed a little bit of a height difference between Alison and myself --

KOSIK: What height?

BLACKWELL: About 13 inches. We've got nothing on the differences that Kate and Chris have. I asked CNN's newest anchors and surprising thing they just about learned each other. Actually --

KOSIK: I asked them.

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

All right, how about that? Alison, we'll find out what they told you next.

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: I don't know if you've heard --

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: But there's a new morning show coming to CNN. "New Day."

KOSIK: Yes. It's called "New Day."

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KOSIK: There's actually a song. Alicia Keys sings it.

BLACKWELL: Do you want --

KOSIK: (inaudible) in my car.

BLACKWELL: You want to give us a little --

KOSIK: No, you were going to do that.

BLACKWELL: No, I wasn't. No. Not going to do that.

KOSIK: All right. "New Day" --

BLACKWELL: Monday at six -- .

KOSIK: -- begins Monday at 6:00. 6:00 A.M. I actually got a chance to chat with anchors Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan who gave me a little bit of a preview of what we can expect.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We know this, here's the headline, news is back in morning news.

(LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: -- when "New Day" starts. We're really going to emphasize story count.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.

CUOMO: Having the broadest palate, letting people know what's going on, not just here, but around the world. It's going to be an obvious emphasis right from jump.

BOLDUAN: And it's going to be a broader definition of news. Obviously, the big headlines of the day, and those drives are - will drive the show as it drives any show. But there's also going to be a variety of stories that maybe viewers haven't seen in the past. And so, there's going to be a little bit for everybody. Or I would actually argue a lot for everybody. Because everyone has a variety of interests. And we're going to pack it all in. We have three hours, as you well know, Alison, so there's a lot of time to pack a lot of news in.

KOSIK: Is this show going to redefine morning TV from what we know now?

BOLDUAN: I think that's setting a hard bar for us.

CUOMO: Yes.

BOLDUAN: I think it's - morning news is morning news. We're not going to be reinventing the morning news wheel. I mean we are not - it is what it is. But we're going to be doing it our own way. It's going to have a very different feel from other morning shows. And the fact is, I think there's space in morning TV for that. Agreed? Show's got its niche and every show's got its own angle. And we're going to be finding as well. And we've got a big team of people to be playing off of it. It's not just Chris and I. It's also Michaela Pereira as well. So, and the three of us would bring our own prospective and our own backgrounds, each of the stories that we approach. And we're going to be playing off of that a lot during the show.

CUOMO: Every show, Alison, you know, distinguishes itself by the people who are doing it and the choices that it makes. So that over time, they start to distinguish themselves. But, you know, at the bottom of the analysis, we're all trying to do the same thing. We're all trying to get information out to as many people as possible ...

BOLDUAN: Right.

CUOMO: -- and take up their cause. How you do it, how often you do it, how well you do it, that's how we'll define "New Day."

KOSIK: Well, I'm excited to watch on Monday. Chris and Kate, very excited for the show. Once again, I will be watching. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Alison. KOSIK: And "New Day" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira debuts Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. to nine A.M. Eastern time. Looking good in New York to set (ph).

BLACKWELL: Looking forward to it.

KOSIK: Thanks for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: We've got a lot more to come on "CNN SATURDAY MORNING" starts right now.