Return to Transcripts main page


Obama to Africa; Texas Senate Bill SB5 is Dead; Supreme Court Makes Major Rulings; Weiner Leads Dem. Primary for NYC Mayor; UCLA Wins College World Series; Giraffe Chase

Aired June 26, 2013 - 05:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The president and his family leaving for Africa this morning. A breakdown of where the first family will go, and what they hope to accomplish.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Accident or arson. Investigators are getting closer to figuring out what ignited a deadly Colorado wildfire.

BERMAN: An American high school student gone missing. The new evidence this morning that he may have been kidnapped.

ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman.

Twenty-nine minutes after the hour right now.

ROMANS: We're keeping a very close eye this morning on the health of Nelson Mandela. The 94-year-old former South African president and anti-apartheid leader remains in Pretoria in a hospital in critical condition. The archbishop of Cape Town prayed with Mandela's family on Tuesday, calling for a, quote, "peaceful, perfect end." Family members are beginning to discuss the next steps in his treatment.

BERMAN: Now, the president is going to South Africa, but a visit with Nelson Mandela not on the agenda in the coming days. He will head to that country, as well as some others and his trip will focus on diplomacy and bridge-building.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm Brianna Keilar at the white house. Later this morning, President Obama, the first lady, and their daughters depart for a seven-day trip to West, South and East Africa. This will be President Obama's first extended visit to the continent since he's been in the White House. In 2009, he made a brief visit to Ghana.

And on this trip, he'll be focusing on ways to bring the continent along economically, specifically, by increasing trade and U.S. investment in Africa. His first stop, Senegal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm (INAUDIBLE) in one of the biggest markets in Dakar, Senegal, a country which the U.S. considers a haven of Democracy in a very volatile region. Here, President Obama will highlight Senegal's stable government and strong rule of law as a model of success in a region which has seen many security challenges.

Among these, the destabilization of Mali, the spread of al Qaeda's off shoot (ph) in West Africa, and an Islamist insurgency in Northern Nigeria. To meet some of these challenges, U.S. is committing to operating drones out of Niger. President Obama will also meet with Senegal president, Macky Sall and visit a program that emphasized its food security before his next stop in South Africa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm (INAUDIBLE) in Pretoria where Nelson Mandela's deteriorating health could overshadow President Barack Obama's visit. As Africa's economic past (ph), South Africa is seen by the United States as a strategic partner in trade, peace, and security. While here, President Obama is scheduled to interact with young African leaders whose prosperity, he believes, could increase demand for American goods on the continent

He will be traveling with American business leaders in what is seen as an effort to try and counter China's growing influence, not only here, but at his next stop in Tanzania.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm (inaudible). When the president reaches his last stop in Dar Es Salaam, I's going to time to talk money. Africa is one of the largest remaining untapped consumer growth markets. And the White House has said that they're receiving what they call a high- demand signal from U.S. business to push for greater investment opportunities here.

Now, there is no doubt that the U.S. has far to go catch up with China in terms of a sheer continent-wide presence, but the hope is that the U.S. president will play his part in bridging that gap before he gets back on that plane heading home to Washington.


ROMANS: All right. Drama this morning in Texas where the state Senate was voted to approve some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country. Up against midnight deadline, a Democratic senator, Wendy Davis, led a filibuster for more than ten hours. She was ruled out of order and a vote happened, but the lieutenant governor now says it was too late and missed the deadline.

Governor Rick Perry may now call the Senate into special session to try to pass the bill. New regulations have banned most abortions after 20 weeks and require that abortions take place at surgical centers, and that debate was wild. Wild.

BERMAN: Mayhem, and really only became clear the results just in the last few hours.

ROMANS: Absolutely. It looked like it passed, and then, suddenly, it didn't pass. And it was so chaotic there you couldn't really tell exactly what was even happening.

BERMAN: And there are pro-choice or anti -- you know, people out there right now calling this one Wendy Davis a hero this morning for her filibuster.

All right. Thirty-three 33 minutes after the hour. The Supreme Court today set to issue two key rulings on same-sex marriage. The high court will decide that a challenge on the defense of Marriage Act prohibiting federal recognition of gay unions, and it will also rule on a challenger to California's proposition 8 which bans same-sex marriage in that state.

On Tuesday, the justices threw out a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, fighting a requirement certain states seek approval to change election laws was invalid.

ROMANS: The Supreme Court also decided on Tuesday that a young girl should not have been taken from her adoptive parents and returned to her birth father. The justices in the 5-4 ruling said her biological father couldn't use a federal law meant to protect Native American parents to get her back.

Baby Veronica is now 3 1/2 years old. She was taken from her adoptive parents, Melanie and Matt Capobianco, two years ago, and they told Anderson Cooper on "AC 360," they want to see her again.


MELANIE CAPOBIANCO, VERONICA'S ADOPTIVE PARENTS: We're trying to figure out what this all means.

MATT CAPOBIANCO, VERONICA'S ADOPTIVE PARENTS: We just want her home with our friends and family, and you know, all of her family, so she can know everybody.


ROMANS: Adorable little girl. They plan to go to the court in the coming weeks to begin the process of getting Veronica back.

BERMAN: So, official credit cards used to buy online porn? That's the allegation from a government wash dog being leveled against the IRS. The treasury inspector general finds some government credit card accounts at the tax agency racked up more than $100 million in purchases ranging from renting a popcorn machine to romance novels to, yes, online porn.

The reports say the IRS needs to tighten its controls on those cards to stop inappropriate purchases. Profound finding, I would say, from --

ROMANS: Oh my. Another development in the investigation of a death near the home of New England Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez. A Massachusetts court has now sealed all documents in this case, including search warrants. That means the public won't be able to find out for now. What police are looking for is they searched Hernandez's home and the area around it. Authorities still looking into the death of a 27- year-old semi pro-football player whose body was found nearby.

BERMAN: Paula Deen is apparently hanging on to a few of her endorsements, at least for now, after admitting she used racially insensitive language in the past. Deen was dropped by the Food Network and Smithfield Foods. But her deals with Target and the drug manufacturer Novo Nordisk continue. Both companies say they're evaluating situation.

And Deen is still scheduled to appear at cooking shows in Washington, D.C., Houston, and Dallas this fall.

ROMANS: Authorities in Colorado may have a lead in one of the most destructive fires in state history. Sheriff investigators are searching a home in El Paso County, Colorado, for evidence. It's near the area where the Black Forest fire started. The blaze killed two people and destroyed more than 500 homes.

BERMAN: The fire danger out west remains high, particularly, due to extreme heat. Extreme even by Arizona standards. Crews have managed to gain control over the stubborn Doce fire near Prescott, Arizona. They expect to have it fully contained by today. That's good news. That fire has burned more than 6,700 acres.

Most of the people evacuated from nearly 500 homes were being allowed to return. Investigators say they the Doce fire was manmade, but the exact cause, as in who set it and why, not yet known.

I want to get check now on all the weather. Hot, it seems like, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I mean, hot. This is I want to stress. Seven hundred people die a year from heat-related illness and it's preventable. So, an incident like we're expecting this weekend, one that is once in every ten years, I mean, 110, yes. That could be normal in Arizona., 115 and higher which is what we're expecting. Yes, that happens one in every ten years.

And unfortunately, the majority of these deaths occur in the California/Arizona area, and they come in waves when you see heat like this. So, this weekend, very dangerous out there. Look at these temperatures expected, 126. This is a popular area, Lake Havasu. A lot of people take vacations there, especially in the summer time. Almost 130 in death value (ph), but look at even (INAUDIBLE), we're talking about 120, Phoenix 118.

People need to know when it's getting too hot out there. They need to know the signs. When you stop sweating, that's actually when you're have that imbalance. You're sweating out the salt. You don't want to drink too much water at that point. You want to drink and replenish your electrolytes. You keep that imbalance. That's how you get in trouble.

What's going on? Well, high pressure is building in. Typically, we see west to east. What the good news is once that high pressure builds in the next couple of weeks, we'll start to see the flow go more east to west. We'll get some moisture back -- and things will look better, but eventually, that's going to take a couple of weeks. This is such a dangerous weekend. I can't --

ROMANS: I think that's really important. That's really important, because remember in Chicago back in 1995, you know, it was really hard. And just -- you have to remember this can be very hot.

PETERSONS: You got to know the signs.

ROMANS: All right. Thanks.

BERMAN: Thanks, Indra.

A rescue under way this morning for 20 tourists including two Americans stuck in an ice flow in the Canadian arctic, the expedition in the Nunavut territory in far northern Canada. Canadian forces were dropping supplies to the group there as part of the so-called arctic safari. The ice broke away from shore sometime early Tuesday. The tourists were said to be OK and staying at a camp on the ice.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, an American high school student vanishes, vanishes while traveling in Ecuador. The new evidence this morning that he might have been kidnapped.


BERMAN: Possible developments to tell you about this morning in the case of an Oklahoma teen missing for more than a week now in Ecuador. Authorities say they've received a tip that August Reiger (ph) was spotted riding in a pick-up truck heading toward the Amazon jungle. It's not clear if he'd been kidnapped. Officials and the family have not received a ransom request, but the family insists the high school valedictorian would not have gone off on his own. He was with his family hiking on June 16th when he went missing.

ROMANS: He still has a long way to go, but Anthony Weiner has reached a milestone on his journey from disgraced congressman to New York City mayoral candidate. A Marist College/Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows Weiner now leading the Democratic primary race just a month after he entered the campaign. Weiner leads with 25 percent. The long-time frontrunner city council speaker, Christine Quinn, has 20 percent.

BERMAN: You know, he has good poll numbers across several demographics and across all the burrows. A very interesting number there, and a lot more people now saying that they would be willing to vote for him even if they're not currently saying they will vote for --

ROMANS: It was just a few weeks ago people were saying, oh, he could never beat Christine Quinn, you know, but this showed that he was, you know, back in the game, but now, leading in that poll, at least.

BERMAN: That F. Scott Fitzgerald guy might be wrong about second acts in American --


ROMANS: Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY."

BERMAN: Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan join us now. What's going on, guys?


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: How are you, everybody? It's good to see you there, hearing you talking about Weiner. I got a quote for the day, think, captures all the news.


CUOMO: "The U.S. requests for Snowden are like sheering a piglet, too much squeal, not enough wool." That came from Vladimir Putin. Talk about fighting words. What is going on with Russia-U.S. relations with this NSA leaker? They were going to go all through it as well as the big decisions from the Supreme Court.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Lots coming on in Washington, especially. But there's also a national fascination as you well know featured in shows like "Hoarders." But hoarding is a very real disorder that affects a surprising number of people. And now, there's a new task force out there to help find a solution to that problem. Our crews actually tagged along with one of those task force. It's a very interesting story you won't want to miss.

CUOMO: Plus, he is starring in the country's number one movie right now. Our Michaela Pereira sits down with the one, the only, John Goodman, and get his scoop on what it was like to work with Billy Crystal again in the Disney Pixar movie "Monsters U." One of my favorites, JB. One of my favorites.

BERMAN: That sounds awesome.

ROMANS: That sounds really good.

BERMAN: Of course, we're still here as confuse as you are about sheering a pig. I don't -- I didn't realize

CUOMO: It sounds like something you would say to me in one of your intimidating rants.



BERMAN: Yes, by bringing up farm animals.



BOLDUAN: It might just be vintage Putin. We don't know.

CUOMO: If that's not inflammatory talk, I don't know what is.


BERMAN: Thank you, guys. Can't wait to see you in a few minutes.

Forty-four minutes after the hour right now. And coming up, A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez, could be soon be back on the field for the Yankees, but he's going to get out of the dog (ph) house first. That will not be easy. The tweet that royally ticked off his boss, next.


BERMAN: A new chapter in the Alex Rodriguez saga. A never ending saga. So, A-Rod ready to start his comeback, but the Yankees, they don't want to hear about it. Andy Scholes joins us now with more in this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, guys. Well, A-Rod has been rehabbing down in Florida from off-season hit surgery. And yesterday, he announced on Twitter that he was ready to get back on the field. Here's a tweet from A-Rod. It reads, "Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend and gave me the best news. The green light to play games again."

And the Yankee's GM, Brian Cashman, did not appreciate that announcement. In an interview to ESPN, Cashman responded saying, "You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, we will. Alex should just shut the blank up. That's it. I'm going to call Alex now."

The relationship between the Yankees and A-Rod clearly not a good one anymore. A-Rod's production has been on a steady decline, and the Yankees still owe him more than $100 million over the next four years. not to mention A-Rod is one of the main targets of major league baseball's ongoing investigation into a Florida clinic suspected of providing performance enhancing drugs at players.

Well, the College World Series came to an end last night in Omaha. UCLA beat Mississippi State 8-0 to sweep the series and claim their first ever World Series title. UCLA's pitching staff allowed four runs in five games. It is a college World Series record in the metal back era.

The Chicago Blackhawks celebrated winning their Second Stanley cup in four years Monday night in Boston. And while the team was popping champagne in the locker room, fans back in Chicago were celebrating by toilet papering Blackhawks head coach Joe Quenneville's house. Check it out. That's a lot of toilet paper. This is becoming somewhat of a tradition in Quenneville's neighborhood when Chicago wins the cup. His fans TPed his house back in 2010 as well.

All right. Cue up the blue peril. Last night, White Sox one out away from beating the Mets. They get a routine pop-up, but Gordon Beckham comes in. He tripped over Anderson Reed in the third basement, Conor Gillespie, the ball drops. The Mets would tie the game. Afterwards, Beckham offered no excuses saying, "I'm an idiot."

Luckily for him, though, Alexei Ramirez would bail him out with a walk out sting (ph) on the bottom of the ninth. The Chicago still gets the win in the game. And perhaps, to Beckham, he didn't try to offer any excuses like he couldn't hear anyone calling for it. He just flat out said "I'm an idiot."

BERMAN: I'm an idiot, but luckily, they did -- I can't get over the A-Rod thing again. I've never heard a GM talk about a player like that. Bryan Cashman saying, "Alex, just shut the blank up." Wow!

SCHOLES: Clearly, they don't want to hear anything more from A-Rod anymore down there in Florida.

BERMAN: Yikes.

ROMANS: $100 million more over -- a $100 million four years -- ooh, ooh.

BERMAN: Good times. Good times. All right. Andy, we appreciate it. Thanks very much.

ROMANS: Coming up, a chase like you've never seen. A safari wedding, uh-huh, with an unexpected ending.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. Fifty-four minutes after the hour right now. Ahh, the trails (ph) of nature.


BERMAN: The fresh air, the sights and sounds. The giraffe chase. Giraffe chase? Well, I'll let Jeanne Moos tell you the rest.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Don't look now, but something's following us. Step on it or we'll be neck and neck with a giraffe. The guy described shooting this video says they were on an African safari following a wedding when a giraffe started chasing their jeep, chased it three miles. Remind you of anything? Say a tyrannosaurus Rex?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Must go faster.

MOOS: Forget Jurassic Park, welcome to giraffic park. As the giraffe chase went viral, the comparison was irresistible. Now, the T-Rex is terrified. But a giraffe, someone posted, "Why is she panicking? What's it going to do?" Obviously, he hasn't seen Animal Planet's "Untamed and Uncut."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a shocking display of animal on animal brutality.

MOOS (on-camera): It's called necking. But there is nothing romantic about it.

(voice-over) It's just how male giraffes fight.


MOOS: Using their necks as clubs. Fortunately, this giraffe didn't try to neck with the tourists. When they yelled and the park ranger beat on the jeep, the giraffe finally stopped.

(on-camera) Of course, there was the usual Internet squabble over how the video was shot. This versus this.

(voice-over) Say no to vertical videos was meant with actually, if your subject is very tall like, let's say, a giraffe, it's quite acceptable. Both the Jurassic and the giraffic chase scenes had happy scenes. In no time, some YouTuber put the soundtrack from one over the other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got to get out of here. Got to get out of here. Now, now, right now! Let's go!

MOOS: If you're ever chased by a giraffe, you know what to tell the driver --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Must go faster.

MOOS: Faster than a giraffe's top speed of about 35 miles per hour.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BERMAN: That was good advice from Jeanne on that.


BERMAN: Taking a look at the top CNN Trends on the web this morning, more trouble to tell you about for Chris Brown. The singer now facing criminal charges in Los Angeles after prosecutors say he didn't give accurate insurance information to the other driver. But Brown says, not so, changing his Twitter picture to a shot he took of the other car, insisting there was no damage and tweeting that he did give the right information. The other driver, he wrote, just wants a payday.

ROMANS: What's up with this bizarre tweet from singer, Miley Cyrus? The message sent late Monday was directed at her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, saying, "Since you won't reply to my text, I'm giving you an hour to tell the truth or I'll tell it for you." A link at the bottom was to a picture of a Broadway actress named Dillis Cronin (ph) but it was quickly deleted. And Cyrus later wrote, "WTF. My Twitter was just acting all types of cray."

Not sure what it means. Was she hacked or she angry with her dad over his pending divorce from her mother? No official word yet from Cyrus or her reps.

BERMAN: All the problems with social media.

Two people got no trouble with social media of any kind. "NEW DAY" anchors, Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan right now. Kick it off, guys.

BOLDUAN: I have to tell you, though, that was probably the highlight of my morning, so far, hearing Christine Romans say cray on air.




BOLDUAN: Yes. And the WTF. Nicely done both of you. Nicely done.


CUOMO: Cray means crazy.

BOLDUAN: That's correct, Chris Cuomo. Well done.

CUOMO: For those of you wanted to know --

BOLDUAN: Well done. Well done. Do you want to go?

CUOMO: Feel better about it. Let it breathe. OK. It's now almost top of the hour, you know what that means at "NEW DAY," time for the top news.