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FAA Investigates Near-Miss Between 2 Planes; Senate Pressures House to Pass Immigration Bill; Interview with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Group That Tried To "Cure" Gays Closes

Aired June 21, 2013 - 08:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: He is hearing now. We're going to tell you how it happened and how they're moving on with their lives.


And "A.C. 360's" Anderson Cooper is waking up early to join us live, coming up this morning.

CUOMO: Great stuff.

Look, we have Anderson in the green room because the boys were tearing it up.

BOLDUAN: Anderson was like, I have to bring some order to this. Adorable.

Lots more to come, obviously.

But, first, this morning, FAA is investigating a near disaster in New York City. Two planes nearly colliding. One on its way to JFK airport and the other leaving from LaGuardia.

Rene Marsh is joining us live from Washington with the latest details on this close call.

Good morning, Rene.


You know, how and why did this happen. Those are the questions that we have been asking the FAA this morning. But they tell us that their investigation is just getting under way.

But here's what we know so far.


MARSH (voice-over): The incident happened here at New York's JFK Airport. A shuttle America Embraer E170 was taking off just as a Delta 747 was preparing to land. That 747 then peeled out of its landing in a standard procedure called a missed approach. The two planes then came way too close. The FAA will not confirm just how close. In a statement, it said, "The two aircraft were turning away from each other at the point where they lost the required separation. Both aircraft landed safely."

It is the latest in a string of near-misses across the nation's airports in the past few years. Last year in Washington, D.C. at Reagan National Airport, three planes barely avoided slamming into one another after a control tower miscommunication. And a frightening near multiple collision in Denver just before last Thanksgiving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Traffic alert. Traffic one o'clock less than two miles at same altitude descend immediately.

MARSH: A passenger plane caught on radar steering directly into the line of several aircraft.

In 2010, a pilot at Boston Logan Airport takes a wrong turn, right into the path of another aircraft. An air traffic controller frantically works to avoid a disaster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: JetBlue 1264 hold right there. JetBlue 1264 hold. Hold.

MARSH: Thankfully, the pilot hears him just in time. Crisis averted.


MARSH: And in this latest case, again, we have no specifics from the FAA right now on exactly how close these two planes came to each other, but they say the standard separation of aircrafts in situations like these should be about three miles. So, we know at the very least, they were less than three miles apart.

Back to you.

BOLDUAN: They may sound faraway, but when you're flying those heights and you're flying with that many people -- that's too close.

Rene Marsh, thanks so much.

CUOMO: The Senate is pressuring the House to pass an immigration bill with a new deal designed to attract Republican votes. The bipartisan plan calls for dramatically increased border security, 700 miles of new fence along the Mexican border, 20,000 additional border patrol agents.

Dana Bash is live in Washington where she has been talking to Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Does the senator believe, Dana, that this deal can get it done?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He does. He believes it will lure some Republican colleague who will not vote for this at all. In fact, sources that we talked to say maybe 10 to 12 senators will vote for this now. And supporters believe that it's important because the Senate vote is critical, a big Senate vote is critical to giving immigration reform momentum and heading to its next stop -- that, of course, is the House. And based on conversations with House Republicans, positions, they are there actually seem to be hardening against immigration reform.

Chris, what is so fascinating, this issue was shelled for more than five years. Immigration reform only came back to life because of the 2012 immigration results. Mitt Romney got 27 percent from the Hispanic vote, a huge drop that George W. Bush got.

Republican leaders and those with ambition for higher office said that you have to pass immigration reform with earned path to citizenship to get these Latino voters back to the fold and a lot in the conservative base that say, uh-uh, this is amnesty and this is really splitting the Republican Party, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Dana, thank you for the reporting.

Let's do a little bit more here on the immigration deal, as well as what many call a different issue. It's a very important. They're calling it a cancer -- thanks to Dana Bash -- affecting our nation's military.

We're going to be joined right now by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She's live on Capitol Hill this morning.

Senator, thank you very for joining us.

Two big issues to get to. We want to talk about immigration and we want to talk about sexual assault in the military and what is or is not being done about it.

Let's start with immigration. You know the deal, of course. You know all the particulars better than I.

Here's the question: $50 billion added to secure the border. Does anyone in the room, anyone who's making this deal believe that that will make our border completely impermeable?

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: But one reason why this bill is so important, Chris, it's really going to strengthen our economy. You're going to have an increase in people earning the minimum wage, they'll be actually part of our economy. They'll be investing in Social Security and Medicare. They'll actually have much more economic input in terms of high skilled workers.

So, there's much opportunity here for the economy and that's one of the reasons why I think folks should focus on it.

And for New Yorkers, it's also about our families. It's about our community. Our country was founded on immigrants and part of our strength as a nation is because of our diversity.

CUOMO: Well, there's no question that one of the upside to having people in, they become taxpayers like everybody else. They get their services. They pay for things. And that's a concern.

On that issue, though. There's a date, right? December 31st, 2011. If you came after that, right now, you wouldn't get any amnesty, right? Those people are left out.

GILLIBRAND: Well, what the bill tries to do is create a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million folks that are actually here. That is so important for family reunification and for peace of mind, so that families know that we have a way to get from A to B, to become American citizens, to be part of the economy, part of the system, learn English -- all the things that we think is important part of being an American and that process in and of itself create security and stability for a lot of communities.

CUOMO: Sure. But, Senator, why leave out that group? Why leave out a whole year's worth of people who have come into the country?

GILLIBRAND: I think those who are negotiating this bill just need a framework for moving forward. That's what they proposed. And I think it's one that's workable.

They are also trying to fix the visa system. So, if you are coming in after or coming in the future, there's a real process by which you can apply, get in line, and make sure you have a pathway to become an American, as well.

CUOMO: Do you think that the lawmakers down there have the concerns of the people on their mind here, that they won't make this a football? That they will get this done. They understand it's just too big an issue to just play politics with?

GILLIBRAND: I think so. You know, particularly the DREAM Act, Chris. We have young people who are brought to this country over the last several years that no other nation as their home. They are here in our grade schools and high schools and they want to get a college education or they want to serve in the military. And those young people are part of our futures, they're part of our families.

So, I think this is a moral issue. It's an issue that really defines who we are as Americans and I think people can come together for many reasons around this, not just that it strengthens our national security, but really does invest in our economy, but it's more about who we are.

So, I'm very hopeful.

CUOMO: All right, Senator, we'll see what happens on that.

Let's move on to another issue that people believe not enough is being done about: sexual assault in the military. You've been early and strong in your advocacy about this. Just for example, in 2011, you had 1,100 reports of assault; just under 600 of those were processed and only 96 were court-martialed. In those numbers, what do you see?

GILLIBRAND: Well, our biggest challenge is the most recent report, the numbers are even bigger: 26,000 unwanted sexual attempts, rapes and sexual assaults, and 3,300 reported. And of that, one in 10 go to trial. And the conviction rate is pretty good when you do go to trial.

What we see from the victims, they tell us. They're not reporting these crimes because they don't trust the chain of command. They don't feel they will get justice in the system and they don't feel that they have an opportunity to tell their story. They're afraid of retaliation. They are afraid of being blamed and being marginalized in their careers.

So, until we have the climate where they cannot only hereby report those crimes but actually seek justice and get justice, you're never going to change the culture of the military. That's why we're proposing taking the decision-making about whether they go to trail out of the chain of command.

CUOMO: Right. And that just got voted down by Senator Levin, obviously, in one of the meetings. You tried to push it forward.

But let's play the other side of that issue, Senator. If you take the power away from the chain of command, how do they discipline their men and women? You are basically taking their power away, aren't you?

GILLIBRAND: You're taking one legal decision away. You're not taking their power away. In fact, they are responsible for the command climate. They are responsible for all non-felonies and the only decision points we're removing is that for whether a serious crime goes to trial -- rapes, murders, sexual assaults.

And, actually, Chris, this is what all of our allies do, the countries that we fight side by side with all across the globe -- Israel, the U.K., Canada, Australia, Germany. They've already taken the decision- making about whether to go to trial for serious crimes, felonies out of the chain of command, because only then can you get objective review of the issues, because a commander may well know the victim, they may well know the perpetrator.

They may have their own agenda. They may not actually want to lose that perpetrator because he is decorated or has accomplished great things in the military.

So, that lack of objectivity is making the victims feel they can't get justice in the current system. So, until you have the prosecutions and people going to trial and have the transparency and accountability, you're never going to change this culture within the military and you're never have a place where men and women feel that they're safe serving our nation.

CUOMO: But certainly as you just said, Senator, the change also has to start within the military itself. I know you're going to put pressure and focus there. Good luck with that effort. We certainly need it.

To New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, I say thank you very much for joining us here early on NEW DAY. Thank you, Senator. Thanks for being here. GILLIBRAND: Thank you.

CUOMO: Kate?

BOLDUAN: The NSA leaker Edward Snowden might be hiding in Hong Kong now. But his next destination could be Iceland. Apparently, there is a private plane waiting and ready to take him there.

Let's got to CNN's Nic Robertson in Hong Kong.

Nic, you have been following the story from the very beginning. What can you tell us about this latest development on Snowden's whereabouts?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, we've been talking to a businessman in Iceland. He's the associate of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He says that he has talked to the Icelandic government, asked them to give Edward Snowden asylum, ask them to give Edward Snowden Icelandic citizenship, and in the meantime, he's got a plane at a private terminal here in Hong Kong ready to take Snowden to Iceland. The only thing he says they're waiting for right now is taking the box from the Icelandic government that they will give Snowden Icelandic citizenship.

Then this plane costing, the charter costing close to a quarter million dollars, we're told. It would be ready to start at 12-hour flight to Iceland.

Could Snowden still get on that flight? Well, there's a possibility he could get arrested before that happens, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes, a lot moving parts on this and could change quickly. We'll come back to you. Nic Robertson, thanks so much, Nic.

And there's more news happening this hour. So, let's quickly get to Michaela with other top stories.

MICHAELAL PERIERA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Kate. I appreciate that.

Thank you so much.

Big props to the Miami Heat, LeBron James and the boys do it, again. Winning their second straight NBA title beating the spurs in a tough game seven, 95-88. LeBron poured in a game high 37 points and walked away with his second finals MVP final trophy. A parade planned for the team on Monday.

Peace talks between the U.S. and Taliban leaders could happen in the coming days. A major wrinkle in those talks: this man, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. He's the only known American soldier in captivity. His release could be on the table. Of course, the U.S. wants him home. The Taliban wants five Guantanamo detainees in return.

Texas actress Shannon Richardson, accused of sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, must now undergo a psychological evaluation. Her attorney requested it. And a federal judged agreed to it.

Richardson initially claimed her husband was behind the ricin letter plot. She had minor roles in "Walking Dead" and "Vampire Diaries."

A new charitable push by Toyota now and they need your help. For every person who views this YouTube video, Meals per Hour, in the next 30 days. The carmaker says it will donate one meal to the food bank of New York City.

The charity has committed to 250,000 meals, mainly to victims of superstorm Sandy. They hope to give 125,000 more, once the video goes viral. Great video, watched it this morning. They actually helped this food bank increase production because they had, you know, they know how to do production over at Toyota. They got efficiency experts in there and got them right on the room.

CUOMO: Good corporate citizens.

PEREIRA: Yes, very much.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely right.

So, Wall Street traders are facing an uncertain market this morning. Stocks are down more than 550 point in the last two days.

Christine Romans is here for more on this, but also remind folks why it's important if you don't track the market daily why it's still important to pay attention to this.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Because if you have a 401(k), you lost some ground in the last couple of days. If you have a mortgage, or credit cards, or a car loan or want to be in the market for those over the next year or so, you're likely going to see higher rates.

So, all of this is incredibly important. A bounce back on Wall Street we're expecting today, in around the world. Dow futures up about 80 points right now, Kate. So, you're going to see a little bit of relief.

A reminder, too, a big reminder when you see a big move in the market like this the past two days, after the move is the worst time to go crazy in your 401(k) and change it. A lot of people are asking me, what should I get out of? What should I get into? Look, you need to rebalance once a year or twice a year. That's the most important thing and don't do it at a time like this.

So, if you're changing what you think is going to happen over the next year or two. You know, be calm and make sure you have the right balance of stocks, bonds and cash -- but don't go crazy today. That's my advice.

BOLDUAN: Good advice.

ROMANS: Just don't do something, stand there.


BOLDUAN: Exactly. Christine Romans, thank you. She always has the funniest clips.

CUOMO: Appreciate it very much.

Coming up on NEW DAY: we have our own Anderson Cooper here in house talking to us about an exclusive interview. But, right now, he's with our favorite people.

BOLDUAN: And an amazing story. Surgical procedure allows a deaf 3- year-old boy to hear his father's voice for the very first time. We'll introduce you to Grayson Clamp and his parents. NEW DAY exclusive.

CUOMO: Look at that little guy. Welcome to NEW DAY.


BOLDUAN: And welcome back to NEW DAY. After nearly 40 years, Exodus, an organization you may or may not know about, but one you should know about. This organization claimed to help turn gay people straight. Well, they're now closing, and its leader, Alan Chambers, is now apologizing to the LGBT community.

CUOMO: For more on this, we have the one and only, "AC 360's" Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You brought the gay guy in.



BOLDUAN: You're interviewing him. That's why --


COOPER: I'm going to be interviewing him tonight on the program. Yes. It's interesting. I mean, this organization has been around since really the mid-1970s when it started. And interestingly enough, this guy is now apologizing.

The guy -- one of the founders of this organization after about four or five years actually admitted that he was in love with this other guy who was kind of a founder of the organization, and they renounced the organization in the late 1970s, but it's continued on for more than 30 years.

CUOMO: Tell us what the premise was, that you could heal through prayer, that you could basically pray yourself straight?

COOPER: Yes. I mean, the idea was that you could get rid of same-sex attractions through form of psychotherapy which is really reparative therapy and through prayer. And, you know, Alan Chambers is married to a woman and has been for for a number of years, and though, he admits -- and most people, I've done a number of interviews with people from the ex-gay (ph) movement --

BOLDUAN: You followed --

COOPER: I followed this for a long time. They will say they still have -- they're still attracted to people of their same sex, but they're just forced -- trying to force themselves not to act on it. They're trying to repress what their natural desires, which they're uncomfortable with for religious reasons and, you know, force themself to feel a different way.

PEREIRA: There's nothing worse than trying to be something that you're not. A lot of damage was done.

COOPER: There are certainly a lot of people who feel they've been very damaged through this. And you know, I'm not judgmental sort. So, I sort of feel if somebody wants to do this and they feel that it helps them, that's fine. And this (INAUDIBLE) that they claim that they have helped thousands of people, but Alan Chambers also is acknowledging that a lot of people have been hurt by this. A lot -- a number of people have committed suicide, attempted suicide.

CUOMO: Right.

BOLDUAN: Well then, it leaves to the question -- I mean, I'm really curious. Really what you want to learn from him tonight, because the good news is that they're now closing their doors.

COOPER: Closing their doors and the fact that he's apologizing. And I got to say, it's very rare in public life that you have somebody rethinking their position and apologizing for it. And I think a lot of people give this guy props for that.


COOPER: I think he genuinely feels that things have changed, that reparative therapy doesn't work. For the last year or so, he's been stepping away from the idea of reparative therapy, the idea that you can change your sexual orientation, and he acknowledged it.

I mean, he's married to woman. He acknowledges he still has -- he's still attracted every now and then to guys. He still has homosexual thoughts, but he just -- he's forcing himself not to act on it.

PEREIRA: One of the things I'm really curious about hearing from him is when we apologize. People have to know that it is part of the restoration process. It's part about making amends. It's not always received. It's not always accepted as enough.

COOPER: I think a lot of people, there's a lot of anger, certainly. And there's a lot of people on all sides of this issue who are angry at Alan Chambers. I mean, certainly, a lot of people who continue to believe you can change your sexual orientation, that it's not natural, that it goes against God's law, and they are furious that Exodus is closing its doors, and they plan to continue on, you know, in other forms. He actually announced that they were closing their doors at their annual conference. So. you know, in front of the entire -- you know, they have chapters all around the country. All these people had come in to talk about this and then the announcement was made.

BOLDUAN: All right. Well, that's an exclusive interview you're going to have tonight on "AC 360." Definitely not something to miss. But we're not letting you go yet.

COOPER: All right.

PEREIRA: Since you're here.

BOLDUAN: Have some water. You're going to stay.

PEREIRA: Give him some coffee. Give him some coffee.

CUOMO: You're up now. You're going to love this segment. This is all about the reporting (ph) that you do, anyway. It's called the good stuff, OK? We know we love it here every day. We're going to feature stories about some of the good news that's out there. Today's edition, Nick Balenger (ph), star pitcher for Lake Braddock High School in Burke, Virginia, paralyzed last summer when he accidentally dove into shallow water.

Almost completely severed his spinal cord. Others would have given up, but not Nick. He set a goal for himself. He wanted to walk to get his high school diploma. And after a year of intensive physical therapy, guess what, he did just that.




CUOMO (voice-over): Only people had only seen him in a wheelchair. You hear him now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Feels great to finally accomplish it. No matter what is in front of you, just keep pushing.


CUOMO (on-camera): No matter what is in front of you, keep pushing. He didn't take just two steps. He's been in the wheelchair. None of his buddies in school have ever seen him out of the chair. Fifty feet he walked with that. His spinal cord, obviously, partially severed and this say (ph) you get 90, 95 percent recovery possible. Nick's goal, of course, is 155 percent.

PEREIRA: You know what I loved is that I heard him say that he doesn't remember seeing anybody. He was just like, I have to focus on each step. He doesn't really remember it, but then he heard that thunderous applause and the cheering. Can you imagine how much that would have warmed his heart? CUOMO: And there's stories out there like this all the time and that's why we want you to tweet us, go to Facebook, go to our website and give us the information. Let us know what the good stories are.

BOLDUAN: The good stuff. We have an update on one, too.

CUOMO: Yes. All right. So, we told you about the teacher she finds $20,000 in the bag. Gives it back to the bank, remember? OK. Well, her sister tells us that Candace has a job interview coming up with the Brian Independent School District in Brian, Texas. If you heard the name of that school, if you're in that area, remember what Candace did. Remember --

COOPER: She got $20,000 at bag and she gave it back?

CUOMO: Yes. She went to the bank.

BOLDUAN: And she didn't have a job at the time.


CUOMO: She saw chase on that bag.

COOPER: She should get that job.

CUOMO: Right. She had no job.

BOLDUAN: She had no job. She found it. She saw it and said it had Chase on the bag and she took it back and they said thank you and they gave her a $500 gift card.

COOPER: That's it?


COOPER: Come on, Chase.

BOLDUAN: So, we put on the air yesterday that --



CUOMO: -- sponsored by Chase, which makes this a little awkward.


BOLDUAN: It happens.

COOPER: I meant to say, thank you, Chase.


COOPER: $500.

BOLDUAN: Cooper, get off the set! (LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: It's great to have Anderson here and our other very special man that we have with us. A young man, oh, he's doing so great. Just doing so great.

BOLDUAN: Yes. We're going to have him on in just a little bit. But from the good stuff to a guy doing good. He took a job nobody wanted, cleaning up America's rivers. Now --

COOPER: Oh, I know Chad.

BOLDUAN: You know Chad?

COOPER: I do know Chad.

BOLDUAN: And you would. You are our hero's guy. So, standby, Anderson. Chad estimates his crew has cleared nearly seven million pounds of trash and that's why he is one of CNN's Heroes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 67,000 tires, 951 refrigerators, 233 stoves. It's crazy what you find in the rivers. This stuff just collects here and goes on for blocks like this. It's a bad deal. I said, you know what, no one is going to do anything about it, I will. I'm Chad Pregracke (ph) with the help of over 70,000 volunteers, we removed over seven million pounds of garbage from America's rivers.

You guys ready?



Our primary focus is the Mississippi River.

You guys will be amazed in two hours how much stuff we get.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In all over, we've got (ph) 22 rivers in 18 states. We do everything in our power to get people excited about it because you know the day it's just you're out there picking up garbage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you just find a basketball?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yours. Totally yours.

Little by little, we're getting it.

People want to see change and they're stepping up to make change.

That was the last bag. Come on, let's give it up. Yes!

This is a problem that people created, but a problem that people can fix. (END VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN: Good guy doing good stuff. That's great.

CUOMO: Very nice.

COOPER: You used to do that, Kate, right?

BOLDUAN: Cooper is trying to shame me. I have actually taken part in international coastal --


COOPER: Sure, Kate.


BOLDUAN: His moment. I've lost control of my show. Shocking when Anderson Cooper is on with us.


CUOMO: Anderson Cooper weeknights at 8:00 and 10:00 eastern. I am loving Anderson going after Kate so much. He will stay here with us this morning and come back when JB, John Berman comes back.


CUOMO: There's another man here helping me.


CUOMO: Balance.

BOLDUAN: Calling in the backup.

PEREIRA: All right. Here we go.

BOLDUAN: Anyway, coming up next on NEW DAY, Cooper, I talked to a dare devil, not Anderson Cooper, that's for sure. It's Nik Wallenda about --


BOLDUAN: I've lost control. Nik Wallenda, he's got a huge thing coming up. He's going to walk the Grand Canyon on a two inch thick wire.


BOLDUAN: Can Cooper do that?

COOPER: Hey, lady (ph).


BOLDUAN: Also, we've got an amazing video to show you and tell you more about.

CUOMO: We got Little Grayson here. That's him hearing his daddy for the first time. Here he is on NEW DAY for the first time with his mom and his little brother, Ethan. They're all here, destroying the green room. We love that they're here. See you soon, guys.