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Miami Heat Wins 2nd Straight NBA Title; Dow Falls 353 Points; Zimmerman Jury Chosen

Aired June 21, 2013 - 05:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Down to the wire. What a game. What a series. What a champion.

The Heat and LeBron James take the title. And this morning, South Beach celebrates.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Wall Street does not. Nervous (INAUDIBLE) on Wall Street this morning. What happens after the biggest stock plunge this year and how you can protect your money?

BERMAN: And look at this water. A city under siege. Neighborhoods just sinking as hundreds of people evacuated from their homes. Look at that.

ROMANS: All right. Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is Friday, June 21st, happy summer.

ROMANS: It's Friday.

BERMAN: It's Friday. It's like a twofer today.

It's 5:00 a.m. in the East. That's the only downer.

We begin with the party this morning that I'm sure is still going on in Miami. In the middle of the night, LeBron James leads the Miami Heat to their second NBA title. They beat the Spurs, 95-88 in the winner-takes-all game 7. It was a thrilla.

LeBron James saved the best for last, with 37 points, including five three-pointers. Really good. He picked up his second straight finals MVP award.

And this is the celebration. The party that's been going on all night long. In Miami, you know, they know how to throw a party.

Andy Scholes this morning, breaking down the Heat's dramatic game 7 victory.

Good morning, Andy.


Well, often the hype of a game 7 is a little too much to live up to. That was not the case last night between the Heat and the Spurs. This game was another instant classic.

Neither team led by more than seven points the entire game. Miami up when Shane Battier got knock down this three pointer. He was six for eight from downtown in the game. That put the Heat up by six.

The Spurs, though, they would not go away. Tim Duncan, the one, that took the lead back to three. Then down by two under a minute to go. This is a play Duncan will never forget. He misses the point-blank shot.

On the very next possession, the King, LeBron James puts this one away with a dagger. He finished with 37 points and 12 rebounds. That 37 points tied the record for most points in an NBA finals game.

Heat won 95-88. They play back-to-back NBA titles. LeBron is the final MVP guy for the second straight season.

BERMAN: Indeed. He really did earn it. He seems to know he earned it based on how he was posing for the picture.

Andy Scholes, great to see you. Thank you so much.

ROMANS: As we mentioned, the party is still on in Miami this morning, as Heat fans celebrate their team winning back-to-back titles. It's a good bet. The championship hangover will continue right through Monday with the heat having this parade. They will be honored in a parade.

CNN's Rachel Nichols has more on the final series that definitely, definitely lived up to its billing.

BERMAN: I think Rachel Nichols does not have it.

ROMANS: She is still on the streets of south beach where she's gathering intelligence as we speak.

BERMAN: She's right in there. If you look carefully, you can see Rachel Nichols in the middle of the party. Perhaps that's why the package is not here. But rest assured, it was a good one. It talks all about how this is a thrilling championship.

ROMANS: And the happiness you are seeing is not matched by investors quite frankly. No happiness this morning on Wall Street. Another day, another big plunge. And there's growing worry that this bull market may be turning.


ROMANS (voice-over): It was the worst single day for the Dow this year, dropping a whopping 353 points. No sector was immune to the selling. Banks battered. Manufacturers mauled. Home owners toasted.

So, what happened? Experts say there are two reasons behind the sell off. The first started Wednesday when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Federal Reserve may slow down the amount of money they are pumping into the economy each month. BEN BERNANKE, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Will ease the pressure on the accelerator by gradually reducing the pace of purchases.

ROMANS: The second, overnight Thursday, bad news from China. Manufacturing production fell for the first time in eight months, a sign that one of the worlds most powerful economies isn't growing as fast as it had been.

The pros on Wall Street say this was bound to happen after months of gains and record highs. In fact, the Fed pulling back might be a good sign the economy is getting better.

JONATHAN CORPINA, NYSE TRADER: There's no fear, there's no panic that's going on. But I think we do know it's going to be a nice, slow, orderly process to see if our economy can stand on its own again.

ROMANS: But that doesn't make yesterday any prettier and stocks were only part of the bad news. A metal meltdown: two and a half year lows for gold and silver. Gold, the shelter from the storm in a recession, is dropping like a rock, losing a quarter of its value so far this year.

But don't be afraid to peek at your 401(k). Even after yesterday's dramatic drop, the Dow was up more than 12.5 percent this year.


ROMANS: Absolutely everything was moving yesterday. Interest rates on treasury bonds also hit a two-year high. That means higher mortgage rates potentially, higher car payments could be around the corner.

But don't despair. Some overseas markets are recovering a bit this morning, and stock futures in the U.S. are up a little bit so far. We'll keep monitoring it.

BERMAN: Still, you used a swear word before we went on air to describe what happened yesterday.

ROMANS: I did actually. My grandmother watched this program, I said, darn, that was a horrible day in the markets. I can't wait to see what happens today.

BERMAN: But it was really bad.

ROMANS: It was ugly. It was fierce. It's a cross market, you've got just every kind of category of assets moving and that shows you there's really a shift, a change happening in psychology.

BERMAN: Worth watching this morning as it all develops.

Five minutes after the hour.

Developing this hour: a state of emergency in the city of Calvary. That's in western Canada, due to just really big-time flooding. As many as 100,000 people could be forced from their homes, torrential rainfall wiping out roads and bridges.

Here is how it looked to one terrified resident.





That is just crazy. A dozen communities in southern Alberta are under states of emergency this morning. There was more rain in the forecast. I can't get over the force of that.

ROMANS: Here in the U.S., fire is threat out West. In Arizona, the season's first major wildfire is spreading, threatening more homes. And this was one is just 10 percent contained. Dry conditions and wind gusts fueling the Doce Fire in the Prescott National Forest.

The blaze already burned 6,400 acres now. It's forced the evacuation of 460 homes. The cost of the fire fighting operation is said to be as much $2.6 million. Officials believe this is a manmade fire, the exact cause still under investigation.

BERMAN: There's good news on the fire lines in Colorado this morning. The black forest fire, one of the most destructive in the state's history is now fully contained. Another fire close to Denver forced evacuation there of some dozen homes. Indra Petersons is tracking all the weather this Friday. What's the weekend going to be like?


Hey, guys. It's the first day of summer, right? We are loving that. No rain, at least in the Northeast. So beautiful weather in store.

A lot of people are saying, it's summertime. What is the summer going to look like? Well, we have the three-month outlook that just came out yesterday above normal temperatures unfortunately, just where we do not want to see them.

But also in the Northeast, we're talking about above normal temperatures. And this is for July, August and September. As far as rainfall, it goes together. We are talking below average rainfall here. But even n the Pacific Northwest looking for less rain for the summer months.

Yes, we are talking about this weekend's forecast. It's a Friday. It's beautiful, finally seeing the lovely 80s and even some 90s that go anywhere from the Northeast up to the mid-Atlantic this weekend, a couple showers could be seen in the mid-Atlantic over the weekend.

But overall, we are talking perfect temperatures out there. Well, we are watching the low that's persistent now over the Dakotas and Minnesota. Heavy rainfall and flooding concerns, two to four inches expected in Minnesota today. We are going monitor that. We are talking a ridge of high pressure close to low pressure. The reason it's important, we are talking southwesterly wind pumping into the areas. That means strong winds, low humidity is not good news for them.

ROMANS: All right. Indra Petersons -- thanks, Indra.

The investigation under way this morning after two planes came dangerously close. The FAA looking at why a Delta 747 landing at New York's Kennedy Airport came close to a shuttle America commuter flight taking off. Some reports say the two were less than 100 feet apart.

This happened Friday afternoon, last Friday afternoon. Both planes did land safely.

BERMAN: New revelations this morning about the NSA's eavesdropping program.

"The Guardian" newspaper reporting new documents show that the NSA can and does collect the details of American's phone calls and e-mails, not just those of foreigners, only if the officers believe the conversations contain information that can help with intelligence overseas and only if they got the data inadvertently while monitoring foreigners. "The Guardian" says the NSA can keep the information for up to five years.

ROMANS: The prosecutors said to be building a criminal case against the man who leaked details of the NSA program, Edward Snowden. Word now that the private company that conducted Snowden's background check is under criminal investigation. Senator Claire McCaskill says USIS is being looked for conducting a faulty review. USIS is saying it hasn't been informed of any investigation.

BERMAN: Later today, President Obama expected to officially name James Comey to be the next FBI director. Comey has been rumored to be picked for weeks. He was a deputy attorney general under George W. Bush.

ROMANS: It took nine days but a jury has now been selected in the trial of George Zimmerman. He's the Florida neighborhood watch captain accused of murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The six-person jury is all female. Five are white, one is black and Hispanic according to prosecutors.

And as Alina Machado tells us, many share something in common.


ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Most of the six women who will be deciding George Zimmerman's fate have had a connection to firearms. It's a common thread shared with half of the 40 perspective jurors in the pool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My husband has a 9mm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My brother-in-law has hunting rifles. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I fired a gun one time in my life and fell on my butt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have two handguns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any problems in terms of shooting a gun yourself --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can shoot a gun.

MACHADO: Those answers are not surprising to people familiar with Florida, a state where there are more than 1 million concealed weapon permit holders.

CORD BYRD, FIREARMS LAW ATTORNEY: Florida is a very firearms law friendly state.

MACHADO: Cord Byrd has spent more than 15 years handling firearm law cases in both state and federal court. He says having an all female jury could actually help Zimmerman's defense.

BYRD: As Samuel Colt said, God made man, but Sam Colt made them equal. Meantime, that anyone can use a firearm to defend themselves against a larger, stronger assailant. So, I don't think it's necessary. I think the women will understand the self-defense aspect of this case.

MACHADO: Also important, the level of comfort jurors may have with firearms. We saw defense attorney Mark O'Mara (INAUDIBLE) on Thursday.

O'MARA: Firearm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you're pretending it's a firearm.

O'MARA: Are you worried?


O'MARA: OK. Who is worried, I have a firearm in my hand? How about now? It's in my pocket, you know it's there. Who is concerned? Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I don't know you. I don't know how responsible you are with that.

MARK NEJAME, FLORIDA DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What the defense is wanting to do is make sure that jurors are not alarmed or bothered by the fact defendant Zimmerman was, in fact, carrying a gun in a public place.

MACHADO: Factors that will inevitably play a role as the jurors tries to weigh Zimmerman's guilt or innocence.

Alina Machado, CNN, Atlanta.


BERMAN: Our thanks for Alina for that report.

Eleven minutes after the hour.

A day of celebration near Washington, D.C. was extra special for one high school senior. Nick Balenger was paralyzed in a swimming accident last summer. But he brought the crowd to their feet at their high school graduation this week, walking across the stage to collect his diploma.


NICK BALENGER, PARALYZED STUDENT: Since I first went back to school, I said my goal was to be on stage walking across and going down the steps. It feels great to finally accomplish it.


BERMAN: Good for him. He used a wheelchair at school. So, very few people there knew he had regained limited ability to walk after months of physical therapy.

ROMANS: It makes me want to cry. Good for him.

Coming up, new details emerging this morning about the death of "Sopranos" star, James Gandolfini. The 40-minute fight to save his life.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone.

New this morning, an autopsy has been completed for the late "Sopranos" star, James Gandolfini. The actor died Wednesday in Italy of an apparent heart attack. He was 51. The results of that autopsy, they are expected later today.

We are finding out more this morning about Gandolfini's final hours.

Nischelle Turner has the latest.


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gandolfini was staying at this hotel with his family when he fell ill at the bathroom. His 13-year-old son reportedly making the frantic call for help. Doctors attempted to resuscitate him for 40 minutes but were unable to restart his heart.

Gandolfini was also traveling with his wife Deborah Lin and their 9- month-old daughter Liliana.

As his family waits for autopsy results in Italy, his television family is sharing more about the man they describe as generous, loyal, humble.

JAMES GANDOLFINI, ACTOR: She can stay with us, if she wants. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you sure?


TURNER: Edie Falco, who played his wife Carmela on the "Soprano" says she's devastated by his sudden passing, saying, "My heart goes out to his family as those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmella was one of the greatest I have ever known."

Gandolfini's television daughter Jamie-Lynn Sigler says she's heartbroken, saying I spent 10 years of my life studying and admiring one of the most brilliant actors, yes. But more importantly, one of the greatest men.

Jim had the ability unbeknownst to him to make you feel like everything would be all right if he was around. The Emmy Award winning actor touched the lives of those he worked with and started a television transformation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was never a character as dark as Tony Soprano on American television. Gandolfini sort of created an archetype. Tony Soprano became the catalyst for so many other dark, secretive characters.

TURNER: Outside the Gandolfini family New York apartment, fans are leaving tributes to a man whose work and presence they'll deeply miss.

Nischelle Turner, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: The FDA is giving its go ahead to allowing anyone to buy the morning-after pill without a prescription. The agency Center for Drug Evaluation and Research saying wide access to the Plan B pill that has potential to decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies. The FDA approval comes just weeks after the Obama administration dropped its appeal and agreed to go along with the judge's decision that the pill must be available to people of all ages without seeing a doctor first.

BERMAN: A shocking new report this morning on violence against women. This one really did surprise me. The World Health Organization says one in three women worldwide have been physically or sexually abused, one in three. Asia has the highest abuse rate. In the West, including the U.S., a quarter of all women are said to be victims. The WHO says taboo stand in the way of more women talking about it. One in three.

ROMANS: The plan to put rear view cameras in new cars has again been delayed. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood telling Congress more research is needed. The regulations were supposed to be finalized in time for the 2014 model year but have been repeatedly pushed back. LaHood is now setting 2015 deadline to get the rules in place.

BERMAN: So, is this finally farewell to turning off your electronic devices in flight? "The Wall Street Journal" reporting that the FAA is closed to relaxing the ban on using some gadgets during take off and landing. It's a recommendation from a panelist who's been studying the matter. Cell phones would still be off limits, though. A final decision is not expected until the fall.

I think Kindles and things like that you could use. That would be kind of cool.

ROMANS: Coming up, world market is reacting after the biggest Dow drop in a year, in fact, the biggest Dow drop in a year and a half. What this means for you and your money, next.

BERMAN: Why Romans was swearing about it.


ROMANS: It's a beautiful, calm, placid morning in New York. It's not like anything we saw yesterday.

BERMAN: You're masking the turmoil lurking beneath.

ROMANS: Even after a big decline in stocks, boys and girls, the sun always rises.

Welcome back to EARLY START. It's money time.

It was the Dow's worst one day performance this year. The S&P's worse showing in nearly two years. But we could have a rebound.

Dow futures are up this morning, so is the NASDAQ, so is the S&P 500.

In Asia, we have a mixed bag. In Japan, the Nikkei closed higher, but in Hong Kong and Shanghai, stocks were unable to pull it out, they were unable to close positively.

In Europe this morning, the tone has been positive with the London's FTSE, German's DAX Index, the Paris' CAC Index, all a little bit higher.

You like that?

The commodity markets got slammed on Thursday, but they seem to be coming back a bit this morning. Gold. Gold yesterday, unbelievable, 2 1/2 year low. It's now rebounding slightly. Oil prices are also slightly positive this morning. But, gold, for you out there, if you are buying it thinking it's a safe haven, gold has lost 25 percent of its value this year.

So, just when might the terrible taper begin, that's when the Federal Reserve may start to cut back on the $85 billion in bonds, it's currently buying every month. The idea that the Fed would start to trim these purchase is what threw investors yesterday.

According to Bloomberg survey of 54 economists, 44 percent said they thought the taper would begin in September. Economists saw the buying ending completely in 2014. And in China, today, an important measure of short term interest rates fell substantially after the people's bank of China reportedly added money to the system. The so-called one day repo rated dropped 3.84 percentage points. The interbank lending rate seems the critical linchpin in China spiked to control a broader credit crunch in an economy showing signs of slowing, all incredibly important.

The concerns about what's happening with the interest rates and the credit situation in China, one of the reasons the markets were really thrown yesterday. If the Fed pulling back at the same time China is slowing quickly, bad news, bad news for stocks, for interest rates, for commodities, for everything. That was a concern.

BERMAN: Chock full of key information.

ROMANS: Happy Friday. Happy Friday.

BERMAN: Thank you, Christine.

Twenty-five minutes after the hour. Coming up, new questions this morning for an NFL star entangled in a murder mystery. Police in the search near the home of Aaron Hernandez, and what they are revealing about the dead man found nearby.


ROMANS: The NFL star entangled in a developing murder mystery. New information this morning about how a Patriots star knew the man killed near his home.

BERMAN: All eyes on Wall Street this morning. What happens to your money today after the biggest stock drop of the year?

ROMANS: And an incredible life-saving catch. A toddle falling from the building's fifth floor, the catch caught on camera. That's coming up.



BERMAN: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.


ROMANS: I know, I know. This is like terrifying. I'm Christine Romans, 29 minutes past the hour.

BERMAN: So, the Miami Heat and their fans can finally exhale. There's been plenty of that and a lot of other things beside exhaling going on overnight in the streets of Miami as people celebrate back- to-back titles. The Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 95-88. You know, it was actually closer than that. A thrilling game seven.

LeBron James had 37 points, 12 rebounds. He was dominant last night and he was the finals MVP. A championship parade is set for Monday in Miami. Now, I'm sure that everyone down there will be talking of three-peats.