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Obama in Berlin; TWA Flight 800 Bombshell; Making the Case for Surveillance; Vitamins: Healthy Or Harmful?

Aired June 19, 2013 - 08:00   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: From the "San Jose Mercury News": the city of San Jose, California, is suing Major League Baseball for refusing to let the Oakland A's move there. They're fighting the MLB exemption from federal anti-trust laws.

And in "The New York Times", the Great Lakes mystery that might be solved. Divers may have found a French explorer's ship that disappeared 300 years ago in Lake Michigan.

What a discovery.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It is. You have to remember how big Lake Michigan is.

Time now for Nischelle Turner has what's going on in pop news.

Good morning.


Season four of "The Voice," season four now in the books and the winner is, saw this one coming (ph), 16-year-old Danielle Bradberry. It's also third year in a row when Blake Shelton's mentee has won.

So, who's the most popular artist on YouTube? Rihanna has just passed Justin Bieber. She now has 9 million subscribers compared to 5 million for the Biebs.

And now, Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels are on board. "Dumb & Dumber To", by the way, it's a go. The actors were reprise roles as Terry and Lloyd in Farrelly brothers sequel. Cannot wait for that.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I will be watching. That is for sure.

Finally, our Indra Petersons in the weather center with what you need to know before you head out the door this morning.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, the heat is on. That is not a good thing in the Southeast. Look at the temperatures soaring today and humidity dropping. A bad combination for fire weather.

If you are looking for the rain, head out, one to two inches anywhere along the gulf. Heaviest rain in Florida, about two to four inches expected in those heavier thunderstorms, and we got wacky weather out towards Denver, Colorado. Today, we have a slight risk, that is Colorado, all the way down to Texas and even portions of Montana, and if you saw that video yesterday.

Just a reminder, you have to stay vigilant. We saw how quickly that tornado form out towards Colorado. Definitely, stay aware.

BOLDUAN: All right, all right. We'll watch it. Thank you so much, Indra.

We are now at the top of the hour, which means, of course, it's time for the top news.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was convinced that the part had been damaged by a high explosion.


CUOMO: What brought down TWA flight 800? Crash investigators now come forward saying the official report got it wrong.

BOLDUAN: Fifty terror threats. That's what the head of the NSA says his agency's controversial surveillance program prevented. How real were those threats?

PEREIRA: And could those vitamins you take every morning be harming you? The new debate this morning. Sanjay Gupta weighs in.

CUOMO: Everybody, NEW DAY starts right now.


ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These individuals deprived this woman and her child of the most fundamental of American rights, freedom.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

CUOMO: I want to be Kate.

BOLDUAN: You see a green target, shoot it.

CUOMO: Pull.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.


BOLDUAN: Good morning, everybody. And welcome back to NEW DAY.

I'm Kate Bolduan, here with Chris Cuomo and Michael Pereira. Of course, it's Wednesday, June 19th, 8:00 in the east.

Hope you're having a good morning so far.

Right now, President Obama is on a state visit to Germany. He's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before a big event. The president will be delivering a speech at Germany's historic Brandenburg Gate, less than an hour from now and this is an important speech.

And that's where we find CNN's Brianna Keilar live in Berlin.

What are we expecting to hear from the president, Brianna?


Well, as far as speeches about the state of the free world, this is it. Berlin is where it is at, Kate. We're expecting President Obama to talk in broad strokes in a very historical site, the Brandenburg Gate.

But we're expecting him specifically to be talking about nuclear disarmament and how he wants to cut down on the strategic nuclear weapons arsenal by a third, and that he'll be wanting Russia to do this, as well. Want to negotiate with Russia. He did make some news here this morning in a press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

You know, here in Germany a lot of folks are concerned about these newly revealed NSA programs. They think U.S. intelligence is snooping on them.

So, President Obama really sought to try to reassure German specifically and Europeans in general as he defended these NSA programs as effective. Here's some of what he said.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information a, not just in the United States, but in some cases threats here in Germany. So, lives have been saved. And the encroachment on privacy has been strictly limited by a court-approved process.


KEILAR: Now, President Obama also said that his administration will try to declassify more information about these programs. He also addressed the news that the Taliban is opening an office in Doha, Qatar, which is seen as a big sign that it's ready to step into the long-stalled peace process in Afghanistan. President Obama welcoming that news and also saying it is going to be a difficult process. It's not going to be easy.

And, of course, Kate, as you mentioned, the big event today is his speech. Very historical. It's on the eastern side of the Brandenburg Gate, something that no U.S. president, some place no U.S. president has ever spoken and the bar is pretty high. We're almost to 50 years since President Kennedy gave his favorite "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech and no, I'm not very good at German.

BOLDUAN: Better than I and you sure have a lot to track this morning. There is a lot going on over there.

Brianna Keilar, with the president -- thanks so much, Brianna.

CUOMO: Six members with the team that investigated the TWA flight 800 crash are now trying to force the federal government to reopen the investigation. They claim the NTSB falsified the cause of the disaster and kept them silent until now.

Rene Marsh is monitoring the developments live from Washington.

What do we know, Rene?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, there is a twist this morning in the case of one of the deadliest plane crashes in U.S. history.

Now, some of those former investigators who you mentioned, they actually handled evidence at the scene and they say they have proof this was no accident. It was 1996 when TWA flight 800 exploded mid- air off the coast of Long Island. All 230 people onboard the 737 died. And after a four-year investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that a short circuit near the fuel tank caused the explosion.

But, now, here's the twist: six retired members of the original investigation team said that is false. They say they have the radar and forensic evidence to prove it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would your analysis have been?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The primary, the primary conclusion was the explosive forces came from outside the airplane, not the center fuel tank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would that statement have been in your analysis?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I got the right one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The agenda was that this is an accident, make it so.


MARSH: Well, in a new documentary, they are challenging the NTSB's findings and calling for the investigation to be reopened. You heard it there. They believe the explosion happened outside of the plane.

One theory, the NTSB considered and rejected at the time was that a missile was responsible. So, we do know that this film is slated to premiere next month on the 17th anniversary of this crash -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Thank you, Rene.

Let's bring in Tom Stalcup from Boston. He is live and the co- producer of the "TWA 800 Flight" documentary that premieres July 17th on the 17th anniversary of the crash.

Thank you very much, Mr. Stalcup, for joining us.

Let's deal with what will be the arising suspicions from this documentary, OK? And you can deal with them one by one. Here is what will be on people's minds.

First, why now? Why didn't the men come forward at the time or in the years afterwards or immediately when retiring? Why now?

TOM STALCUP, CO-PRODUCER, TWA FLIGHT 800: Well, when they were in the investigation, they were barred from speaking publicly. TWA was barred from speaking publicly or else thrown off the investigation.

Hank Hughes did publicly at the Senate, at the U.S. Senate, hearing by Charles Grassley, but his statements were relatively ignored and his career didn't do so well after speaking publicly. So, he decided to wait before he was retired before he spoke up, again. And I don't blame him. Whistleblowers in this country sometimes do not get a fair shake.

And when he did retire, we did contact him and it took us a couple years to make this documentary. So, he along with other whistleblowers all came forward saying the same thing. There was an external force, not from the center wing tank. There's no evidence of that. But there is evidence of an external explosion that brought down that plane.

CUOMO: Why would the government avoid terrorism as an explanation of this?

STALCUP: Well, that's the question that should be answered when this investigation gets reopened. We're submitting a petition with the NTSB today, signed by former senior NTSB investigator Hank Hughes and other investigators asking them to reopen this investigation because of the new evidence that we're presenting in this documentary.

CUOMO: So, you actually have new evidence. This isn't just opinions or analysis from those at the time. You have new things, because in the documentary, it comes short of explaining the reason of the explosion, right?

STALCUP: Well, of course. We did that on purpose. We're not going to speculate of the reason of explosion, but what we show in the documentary is solid proof that there was an external detonation and that's in the form of, of course, everybody knows about the eyewitness statements.

We also have corroborating information from the radar data. And the radar data shows an asymmetric explosion coming out of that plane, something that didn't happen in the official theory.

CUOMO: What do you want to happen here? What good could come from this?

STALCUP: The family members need to know what happened to their loved ones. This investigation was -- no, not one single eyewitness was allowed to testify. That's unheard of. Let the eyewitnesses speak publicly at a government hearing and reopen the investigation and stop the facade that has been going on for too long.

CUOMO: And just finally, because I just asked you, why would the government be shy of this? What would be their motive to hide the possible explosion? Why do you think they would do that?

STALCUP: Again, you know, I just can't speculate. I'm here representing this documentary. There are a bunch of senior NTSB investigators standing behind me in this documentary. I'm not going to speculate to motive.

But history has shown they have gotten it wrong before. They got it wrong this time for sure.

CUOMO: It will matter, though, because it's a heavy allegation.

But, Mr. Stalcup, thank you for coming on and we'll see what comes when the documentary is aired. Thank you very much.


BOLDUAN: The NSA, the National Security Agency, giving more information to Congress today about the terror plot it says they foiled, they have foiled with their surveillance programs.

With so much about the program still classified, it's so difficult to tell if Tuesday's hearing will convince critics that these programs are warranted or how effective they are.

Dig a little deeper on this with Peter Bergen, our CNN national security analyst. He's joining me from Washington.

Peter, it's great to see you this morning.

You wrote a very interesting op-ed for, along with one of your colleagues, on this very issue of what we know, how much we know and how effective these programs are. I want to read for our viewers just part of what you said and then get your take on it.

You wrote in your op-ed, you said, "The NSA surveillance programs are wide-ranging fishing expeditions with little to show for them. We also say the public record, which is quite rich when it comes to jihadist terrorist cases suggests that the NSA surveillance yielded little of major value to prevent numerous attacks in the United States."

When I read that and I also listen to General Keith Alexander yesterday, it seems very counter to what he said in hearings. What you heard from him, has it changed your opinion any?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think the NSA certainly moved the ball forward yesterday, Kate, with greater description of what the attacks are being prevented by the programs. At the end of the day, they can point to any one significant attack that was foiled in this country, which was undoubtedly significant -- an al Qaeda plan to blow up a bomb in the Manhattan subway in 2009.

And the other cases are cases of people doing nefarious activities overseas. And in one case, a very nascent plan to attack the New York Stock Exchange, so nascent that the people involved were actually convicted. This plot wasn't mentioned in the conviction.

So, I mean, I think for critics of the program, I'm not sure that what was said yesterday publicly is necessarily going to satisfy them. I think for a lot of Americans, the fact that one serious attack was averted by NSA programs is going to do it. But, you know, there's still more to come because, of course, in this hearing yesterday which we're seeing on the screen now, it -- they talk about 50 other plots that they can't talk about publicly that they're going to describe to House Committee Intelligence members.

BOLDUAN: Peter, here's one key question about al of this, 10 of the 50 they say were plots that were foiled that were targeted to the U.S.

But I want to get your take. Do you think the surveillance programs that we're talking about played a central role in foiling these plots, or do you think that the NSA, as they're trying to make the case for these programs, might be exaggerating how key they were?

BERGEN: Well, it depends what you mean by plot. I mean, if you look at the public record of real plots in the United States, it doesn't look like NSA has a significant role in any one other than what I already described.

So, because most of these plots were stopped by conventional policing, Kate, meaning informants, undercover officers, tips from the local community, suspicious activity reports. That's the way these things get foiled.


BERGEN: So, I think what the NSA may have done is create an expectation that they're going to -- that they're going to be able to point to multiple plots they averted in this country and that's simply not the case.

BOLDUAN: All right. Peter Bergen, it seems this created more questions than answers and they're coming forward and, as you said, maybe moving the ball forward in this conversation.

Peter Bergen, thanks so much.

BERGEN: Thank you.

CUOMO: Busy news morning we have today. So, let's get over to Michaela for the top stories -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: Right, Chris, Kate, thank you so much. In the headlines, new developments out of Afghanistan this morning. President Hamid Karzai has suspended security talks with the U.S. But as of now, a planned meeting between the U.S. and the Taliban tomorrow is still happening. Taliban has claimed responsibility for a deadly rocket attack that killed four Americans.

The internet is filled with tributes today to a popular "BuzzFeed" journalist, Michael Hastings. He died in a car crash in Los Angeles Tuesday. Hastings was just 33 years old. He had been working for "BuzzFeed" for the last year when he was hired to cover President Obama's re-election campaign.

Hastings was best known for 2010 "Rolling Stone" profile that led to the sudden resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. "Buzz Feed" editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, says Hasting was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story.

A nine-year-old boy hailed as a hero. Brannon Brown says a man tried to steal his mother's car with his five-year-old sister inside.


BRANNON BROWN, BROTHER: He came running up, jumped in the car, and he like put it into reverse and tried to back up and I shoved it back into park.


PEREIRA: He says he was heard the door of the car closed. The thief tore away the vehicle. The little girl, thankfully, was found nearby, and also thankfully, she was found unharmed.

And finally, former U.S. marine, Alex Minski (ph), lost his leg in the Afghan war, but now, after a very difficult recovery and adjustment to his new body, Misnki has found his comfort zone. Check him out. He's an underwear model. He is now hoping to inspire others through his journey on Facebook.

Last month, in fact, he posted, quote, "Even bad days must come to an end eventually. All we can do to make each individual day the best we can make it."

This young man, too, is giving back a lot of his money to the wounded warriors project because he says they were the ones really helped them get back on track to get clean. He turned to alcohol for a while. So, dark spirit in his life, certainly.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Many do very hard and come back from war with a lot of injuries. Some seen, some unseen, but it's great that he's come back and great that he's helping with --

PEREIRA: And inspiring others, too, which I --


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good stuff. That is good. Coming up next on NEW DAY, are multivitamins actually bad for you? A new book says yes, but we're going to ask Sanjay Gupta for his take on this.

CUOMO: Yesterday, I took out my co-anchors for a little fishing. Today, time for the Kate show.

BOLDUAN: Check out --

CUOMO: -- picks up a gun and shows us the joy of shooting. She's actually a very good shot.

BOLDUAN: Don't be nervous.

PEREIRA: We are not.



BOLDUAN: Part of your morning regimen may include popping a multivitamin or two, but a new book, "Do You Believe In Magic: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicines," that's the title of the book, will have you wondering if you're doing the right thing.

PEREIRA: Yes. The book goes even further in challenging the limitations and possible dangers of taking some supplements. Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us now. And you had a chance to sit down with the author, Dr. Paul Offit. I have to ask you, I had my multivitamin today. Is it good for me or not? Now, I'm starting to worry --

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: He does not mince words on this, Michaela. He's very definitive. And he says that not only does he think that they don't help, he thinks that they can be harmful. And Paul Offit, he's a controversial guy. He's a pediatrician. He's out of Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania.

He made a sort of tip (ph) by talking about the fact that vaccines don't cause autism, and he spoke about that for years. Now, he's sort of targeting the vitamin industry and specifically looking at what goes into these vitamins and what do they really do. Listen to what he said specifically about how he compares it to some well-known meds.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly, the mega vitamins is something you have to -- you should absolutely avoid. It amazes me, actually, that we don't know this. I mean, we're this regulated industry, we would know it, but we don't and it's sad. So, for example, when Vioxx was found to be -- to increase one's risk of heart disease by two-fold if you took a fairly high amount of Vioxx for 18 months. We knew about that in a second.

I mean, Vioxx became synonymous with the word poison, I think, for some people, because the FDA regulated it. They put out immediate release. It became very clear that this was a problem. And ultimately, the company that made it took it off the market.

Mega vitamins, large dose of vitamins, I think it's worse than Vioxx, and yet, we don't know about it because the industry knows that they can market that away. Unless people are reading the journals, they're not going to know about it.

GUPTA: Vitamins can be worse than Vioxx.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's right.


GUPTA: What he really is saying, he thinks a lot of these alternative therapies, vitamins included, get a free pass.

CUOMO: Nutraceuticals.

GUPTA: Nutraceuticals. Exactly. You know, when it comes to these pharmaceuticals, a lot of regulation, a lot of scrutiny, and all these other drugs, which are drugs because of what they're doing in your body, no one really regulates them or looks at them.

BOLDUAN: This obviously makes you wonder. I mean, he's making a very strong statement saying some vitamins are as strong or worse than Vioxx. I mean, that's a very strong statement and he's really kind of turning conventional wisdom on its head with what we thought about vitamins all along and vitamin supplements. Why are we just hearing about this now?

GUPTA: Well, I asked the same question, and I think in large part it's because there isn't a lot of regulation of this. And, you know, it's expensive to do these studies, as well. I mean, some of the studies, the clinical trials cost tens of millions of dollars. If you're not forced to do it, you're not going to do it.

And also, the idea that you'd put 50 times the amount of vitamin that you'd normally get in food, is that really natural? Can you call that natural? That was the (INAUDIBLE) he said. We talked to the Consumer Product Safety Union about this as well, about Dr. Offit's book, and they have this to say. The consumer should always caution when considering mega doses of any supplements.

Careful researches of these choices are important, but they should consult the health care professional with questions. You know, Michaela, I'll tell you, antioxidants, that's the buzz word.


GUPTA: Dr. Offit says we need some oxidants in our body. We need oxidation in our body for it to function normally. When you slam it with so many antioxidants, you're sort of altering the body's normal function.

PEREIRA: I got to ask you, Sanjay, because we get a lot of information from these studies everyday about what's good for us and what's bad for us. Somebody sitting at home is trying to figure out what they're supposed to do. This is one voice. Are there other voices that are saying, yes, he's got a point here?

GUPTA: I think there a lot people who are saying that he's got a point and that, look, for a long time we've used vitamins to try and substitute what would otherwise be just a good diet.


GUPTA: And without maligning anybody or anything, it's very hard to take broccoli and put it into a pill. As much as we'd like to believe that that's possible and true, you know, we kind of intuitively know that it's not. So, his best advice, and I think the best advice is to eat real food and you're probably going to get all the stuff, the good stuff that you need out of eating real food.

CUOMO: Yes, but we don't eat the right foods and then doctors tell us to take the supplements to help. You know your D, your fish oil, you know?

GUPTA: A couple of things, I think. Vitamin D, I think, is an interesting one and I think it's been more in the news lately, but you know, 600 international units of Vitamin D is probably not a bad idea and some fish oil, I take that, as well.


CUOMO: I take glucosamine and chondroitin. I take it all. You know, I don't take these remedies that he's talking about, but you know, certain supplements, you know, might as well, I'm not getting it in my food. I don't have to balance (ph) enough diet.

GUPTA: Yes. And the glucosamine -- look, he'll say if you look at the studies, and you know, studies are out there, it just may not work. So, you know --

CUOMO: Don't tell me that. It's in my mind, Sanjay. It's in my mind.


CUOMO: Thank you very much, doctor. Appreciate it. You can catch more of Sanjay's interview with Dr. Offit this weekend on "Dr. Sanjay Gupta MD," Saturday at 4:30 p.m. eastern, at Sunday 7:30 in the morning right here on CNN.

You hear that? You're going to love this, Sanjay. Stick for this. People always say news is dark. You're only telling me that vitamins are going to be bad for me, there's no good news, but here it is. Here's the good stuff. Every day, we feature stories here on NEW DAY about the good stuff that's going on. Stories about people doing the right thing.

In today's edition, imagine being a five-year-old girl. You see your daddy collapse on the floor. One little girl in Ohio, she knew exactly what to do. She jumped into action, calmly, and quickly using her father's cell phone to call for help. Listen to this little child describe what happened and her father's relief. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED KID: I walked downstairs and then I saw daddy laying down on the floor. I thought he was going to die. I just pushed the phone button and then I found her picture and they pushed it

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard (ph) to pick-up the phone and I'd be OK. Amazing that someone her age could do what she did and kept totally calm. There was no, you know, she knew what to do.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: I love him very, very much.



BOLDUAN: What a sweet, sweet girl.

CUOMO: It gets you in the right way. There's no vitamin for that. That little girl saved her daddy's life on Father's Day. All right. I mean, just a beautiful story. There's so many out there, you know? I told you to tweet me @ChrisCuomo, @KateBolduan, @MichaelaCNN.

BOLDUAN: Send us the good stuff.

CUOMO: And we know what's going on in your communities. Tell us about it. And you can use the #NEW DAY and put on Facebook as well. We want to tell the good stories that are going on out there that warm your heart.

PEREIRA: It make us all feel good.

CUOMO: Vitamin G for good.


PEREIRA: Isn't it the good stuff?

CUOMO: That's why you teach the kids 911, you know? Your home watching me right now, that's why I say 911. You look at me -- she saved her daddy's life.

BOLDUAN: They'll save yours, too.


BOLDUAN: They do every day. They do every day.


BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, nothing says home to me like going to the shooting range, right? I've done it since I was a little girl and I took my colleagues (ph) here along. You don't want to miss this one.

CUOMO: Vitamin A for ammo. And she's back. Cher out with a new single. We have the live performance that has her fans very excited.

BOLDUAN: Vitamin C for Cher?

CUOMO: Vitamin C for Cher.

BOLDUAN: Vitamin today.