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Jackson Son Speaks; Obama in Senegal Today; Christie Takes Early Swing at Hillary?; Wimbledon Upsets; Celebrating Supreme Court's Marriage Ruling

Aired June 27, 2013 - 05:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Worked to death? Michael Jackson's son takes the stand against the concert promoter he says is responsible for his father's death.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: More bad news for Paula Deen. The latest big name brand to cut ties with the celebrity chef.

BERMAN: And, has 2016 arrived just a wee bit early? New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the radio taking a swing at Hillary Clinton. Wait until you hear what he says about the former secretary of state.

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 begin in South Africa, where the condition of the former President Nelson Mandela appears to be deteriorating this morning. An official telling CNN the 94-year-old anti-apartheid activist is now on life support. The government has not officially confirmed that. But South Africa's current president canceled a trip to nearby Mozambique.

Outside the hospital in Pretoria, well wishers lit candles and prayed. Mandela's family said to be at his bedside.

BERMAN: President Obama does not have time to see Nelson Mandela when he visits South Africa on Friday. Today, the president is in Senegal where he's meeting with that country's leader. He's also touring a memorial to thousands of slaves shipped from Africa the new world. That's Goree Island there off to coast to Senegal.

ROMANS: NSA leaker Edward Snowden remains in a Moscow airport this morning with his next destination, frankly, unclear. But we are finding out more about what he may have once thought of people who leaked confidential information. The website Ars Technicam publishing comments from a 2009 Internet chat with someone who's log-in name Snowden was known to use.

OK. So, this person writing that those who leak classified information should be shot. This person writing in this chat room wondering if, in one case, a leaker was trying to start a war. But the writer did draw a distinction between what he called ethical reporting and violating national security. But certainly, Edward Snowden complaining about leaks, this website says, in a chat room in 2009 before the government says now becoming a leaker himself later.

BERMAN: He has used to have a different attitude now.

ROMANS: A much different.

BERMAN: Turning out to the ongoing trial in Los Angeles pitting Michael Jackson's family against a concert promoter that they say was responsible for his death. The jury has heard from Jackson's son who detailed his father's final days. CNN's Tory Dunnan has the account.


TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For most of his childhood life, Prince Michael Jackson lived in relative obscurity, fiercely protected by his famous father. Now the 16-year-old is at the center of a wrongful death trial against AEG Live, the music company that tried to resurrect Michael Jackson's career.

During prince's testimony, his lawyer showed intimate home videos and pictures, birthdays.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: I'm daddy's baby. And I love my daddy.

DUNNAN: Christmas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's special about December 25th?


DUNNAN: Even teaching the kids how to sing.


DUNNAN: Dressed in a black suit and soft spoken, Prince described his father as a nurturer and teacher, but Prince appeared to choke up when questioned about the day his father died. He testified that the King of Pop was excited about the comeback tour. But in the weeks leading up to his death, he became really, really skinny. And his body temp would go up and down.

Prince said his father would cry after phone calls saying quote, "They're going to kill me. They're going to kill me." According To prince, he was referring to AEG Live CEO, Randy Phillips, and his ex- manager, Dr. Tomei Tomei. Prince testified that Phillips visited Jackson's home and aggressively spoke to Dr. Conrad Murray the night before his father's death.

Prince said, quote, "He was grabbing by the back of his elbow, and they were close and he was making hand motions." AEG Live denies involvement in Jackson's death saying Dr. Murray was not an employee of theirs. MARVIN PUTNAM, AEG ATTORNEY: I don't know how this could be a critical to their case since the only piece of critical evidence that came out was that the only person paying for Dr. Conrad Murray was Michael Jackson.

DUNNAN: CNN's Alan Duke has extensively covered the Jackson family.

ALAN DUKE, CNN DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: The jurors really saw the humanity of Michael Jackson and the videos with the pictures and found out what Prince was saying is that he was a great dad.

DUNNAN: Since Jackson's death four years ago, his three children have emerged in the spotlight to honor their legendary father. Now, Jackson's teen son is confronted with another painful chapter in a courtroom where a jury will decide who's responsible for the death of the musical icon.

(on-camera) Katherine Jackson was also in court today. A lawyer for the Jackson family says she was extremely proud of her grandson.

Tory Dunnan, CNN, Los Angeles.


ROMANS: Another big company is backing away from embattled celebrity chef, Paula Deen. Wal-Mart announcing it will stop carrying some 200 Deen branded food, cookware, and other items. The Deen name also being taken off four buffet restaurants owned by the Caesars Casino chain. That decision said to be neutral.

Target is evaluating its relationship with Deen in light of her admission she used racially insensitive language, but she is gaining support from one major civil rights figure. The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he's agreed to help her because he believes Deen can change.

BERMAN: People in Ohio this morning assessing the damage from severe weather that raked the region. Heavy, heavy rain and powerful winds brought down trees and power lines. Thousands in the dark. One man in Canton, Ohio was seeking shelter from the storm when his neighbor's tree came crashing down on his house with a big branch sticking into a ceiling.

ROMANS: Oh, my.

All right. If it's already not enough -- hot enough out west, a dangerous, potentially deadly heat wave forecast at least through next week for much of west and the southwest United States. The National Weather Service predicts desert temperatures in Arizona and California could reach, this is not a typo, 120 degrees.

BERMAN: This is beyond hot. And our Indra Petersons is tracking it for us.

ROMANS: Good morning.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning. So many people talk about the fact that, you know, it's Arizona, they get hot. Not this hot. This is another level. The hottest we've ever been recorded on Earth is 134 degrees in Death Valley. It's almost actually the 100 year anniversary of this. The reason this is so important. We're going to see temperatures approaching that number.

That is how rare this event is. Now, one in every ten years. You don't talk about Lake Havasu getting up to 126 degrees. If you don't know where Lake Havasu is, this is a very popular boating vacation spot in the summer time. So, a lot of people will be out there. Vegas, it's actually the break record, 117. Death Valley, there you go, getting close again to that 130-degree mark.

So, unbelievable amount of heat. This is actually the biggest killer of all weather events. A lot of times people don't think of it as a weather event, but unfortunately, 700 people die a year from events like this. And this one, even more rare than the typical heat wave. So, that's going to be the big story in the west, especially as we go through the weekend. It's really Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we'll be looking for those massive numbers.

But out in the east, we're still talking about this low and cold front moving to the east. And unfortunately, it means some heavy rain. I mean, three to five inches of rain expected really in the northeast as we go through the weekend and really from the northeast down to the southeast, thanks to all this moist air. We are, unfortunately, going to be a little rained out this weekend.

BERMAN: -- better than that ridiculous heat out west.

PETERSONS: That's very true.

ROMANS: Yes. Be careful. I'm so glad you keep pointing out that that is such a big -- that weather event can be so deadly. Really, really be careful out there, guys.

BERMAN: All right. Thirty-six minutes after the hour right now. Texas will try again to pass some of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws. The last effort failed Tuesday when Democrats successfully filibustered the bill in the state Senate making Wendy Davis a national celebrity.

Now, Gov. Rick Perry has called for a special session next week to again try and pass the bill which would ban most abortions after 20 weeks and require that they take place at surgical centers.

ROMANS: The Senate today looks into two deadly explosions, the fertilizer plant that blew up in West, Texas, remember, killing 15, destroying 150 homes and the chemical plant blast in Louisiana that killed two and injured dozens more. This hearing expected to focus on preventing similar incidents. Absent from the witness list, though, are many representative from the companies that own the plants or representatives from their industries.

BERMAN: All right. Fighting words. Bare knuckle politics. New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, was talking with a New Jersey radio station mentioning his love of the Dallas Cowboys. He's a Cowboy's fans, and of course, that's not one of his states, not one of the franchises --

ROMANS: That's smart, actually.

BERMAN: It's not one of the franchises of the New Jersey people typically root for, but this led to a swipe at a potential presidential rival.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: Listen, I'm not going to be Hillary Clinton, OK? I'm not going to, you know, be a Cubs fan my whole life and then when I go to run for office in another state, you know, pretend I'm a Yankee fan, OK? I don't think there's anything in sports more reprehensible than that. You're a fan of who you're a fan of. And I absolutely think that people can tell a lie about people who change their loyalties to sports teams. If they won't be loyal to sports teams, why the hell would they be loyal to you?


BERMAN: Really, he's sitting on something -- there's nothing more important than your loyalty to a sports team right now.


BERMAN: Clearly, barely knuckle politics. Clearly, a punch in the gut. Hillary Clinton back in 1999 was running for the Senate in New York, and she famously said she was a Yankees fan growing up in suburban Chicago. She said at the time she needed an American League to root for -- American League team to root for along with the Cubs.

ROMANS: He'd be a good radio host, actually.


ROMANS: The radio host was just like, aha, aha. And Chris Christie just keeps talking.

BERMAN: Just keep going. Keep going, governor.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, a dramatic cliff side rescue. Three hikers on vacation when the rocks start to slide. That's next.


ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back to EARLY START this morning. A Hawaiian vacation nearly turning disastrous for three Texas hikers. Firefighters had to rescue them after they were trapped by rock slide on a popular trail on the big island. One of the hikers, a seven- year-old girl had to be air lifted to a hospital. But officials say, thankfully, none of their injuries are life threatening.

BERMAN: In Illinois, it was a water rescue. A van driven into high water, the driver suddenly trapped inside. Emergency personnel needed a life raft to get to him, and then, they row him to safety. Imagine that. Floodwaters from arising river in Southern Illinois had washed away much of the road.

ROMANS: We've all made typos, it's inevitable, but maybe one college should have taken a second look at its diplomas before handing them out. Take a look at this from Radford University.

BERMAN: Oh, no.


BERMAN: Oh, no.

ROMANS: Virginia. The name of the state is misspelled. The third "I" is missing. A typo also in the word there, too. Nearly 1,500 diplomas will have to be reprinted. The university apologizing and blaming, of course, human error.

BERMAN: That's horrifying.


BERMAN: I mean, we're allowed to make typos, but not in university. Funny quick story, my college thesis, the first draft of it, I used the word deficit like 30 times.

ROMANS: Oh no.

BERMAN: It spellchecked to defecate like --


BERMAN: Like 30 times that I handed. It was just a draft, though. On that note --

ROMANS: You used the word "defecate" --

BERMAN: -- let's bring in "NEW DAY" anchors, Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan. What do you have for us this morning, guys?


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: We are not judged on our spelling in television.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Hey, JB, is it true that the professor in college thought that the word was appropriate given the nature of your paper?


BERMAN: Exactly.


BOLDUAN: And by the way, the word thereto shouldn't be in our language.

ROMANS: True. I agree. I totally agree.

BOLDUAN: All right. What's going on? What's coming up?

CUOMO: Zimmerman trial.


CUOMO: Zimmerman trial. We're getting inside of it. There've been surprises already. This is a complicated case, but it's so important that we're going to take it apart for you this morning, show you the witnesses, the key moments, what they mean, and what the strategy will be going forward.

BOLDUAN: Also, another story that we're watching very closely. The land -- the reaction to the landmark decisions from the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage. What do these rulings mean for each state and for the gay rights movement overall? There's a lot of reaction. A lot of fallout going forward.

CUOMO: We also have funny on the show today. Steve Carell is here live starring in a lot of new movies. We're going to talk to him about first up, "Despicable Me 2." Very nice. Also, I like Lamp. I love Lamp.

BOLDUAN: I love lamp.

CUOMO: His role in Anchorman 2. He's coming back in as the famed weatherman.

BERMAN: He's a hero to us all.

ROMANS: I'll be loitering around the green room all morning. You will see me loitering around to meet Steve Carell.


BOLDUAN: Fabulous. We'll see you in a bit.

BERMAN: All right, guys.

And coming up here, the mighty fall at Wimbledon. We're talking a lot of them. A lot of players. Some of the biggest names in tennis will not be moving on. What on Earth is going on there?

ROMANS: This is crazy.

BERMAN: People falling, getting hurt, losing. Never been a day like this before. The "Bleacher Report" coming up.


BERMAN: You're looking at pictures now from Dakar, Senegal. President Obama arriving just moments ago at the presidential palace there for a meeting with that country's leader. President Obama on this major African tour that will also take him to South Africa just as we're having all these health concerns with Nelson Mandela there, but this is President Obama in Dakar, Senegal.

ROMANS: The whole family is coming, right? The whole family is in Senegal? There.

BERMAN: You can see the first lady right there.

ROMANS: All right. After days of tight-lipped investigation, prosecutors charged Aaron Hernandez with first-degree murder yesterday saying he orchestrated the execution of his friend. Andy Scholes joins us now with more from the "Bleach Report." A real shocker, and then, he was released quite quickly from his football team.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes. Good morning, guys. Investigation into the death of semi pro-football player, Odin Lloyd, took a surprising turn yesterday as Hernandez went from just a person of interest to being charged with first-degree murder. Now, Hernandez was let away from his home by police yesterday and is now being held without bail in a Massachusetts jail.

Prosecutors say that Hernandez plan the murder after Lloyd spoke with people at a Boston nightclub that Hernandez had troubles with. The New England Patriots released the 23-year-old tight end less than two hours after his arrest. The team had signed Hernandez to a $40 million contract just last summer.

Well, another big name bites the dust at Wimbledon. Just two days after Rafael Nidal lost in his opening match, Roger Federer was upset in the second round. The seven-time Wimbledon champion fell in four set to the 116 rank player in the world, Sergiy Stakhovsky. The loss snaps Federer's streak of reaching the quarterfinals in 36 consecutive major tournaments.

And the upset just kept coming on the women's side. Third seeded, Maria Sharapova, had a hard time staying on her feet and had to receive medical treatment before losing her second round match to the 131st rank player in the world. Her loss capped off a bizarre day where seven other players were forced to withdraw or retire from the tournament.

Well, NBA draft is tonight, and for the first time in quite a while, no one knows who will be selected first overall, depending on what draft (ph) you look at. Alex Lynne out of Maryland, Indiana's Victor Oladipo, or Kentucky's Nerlens Noel could all go number one. Now, the Cleveland Cavaliers hold the top pick in the draft. And according to reports, the Cavs are trying to trade the pick. Draft coverage starts tonight at 7:00 eastern.

Well, after winning a professional championship, you have to make the rounds on the talk shows. Last night, Blackhawks star and playoff MVP, Patrick Kane, brought the Stanley Cup and his MVP trophy to the "Late Show with David Letterman." After the interview, Kane paraded the cup down Broadway.

And check this out, guys. While posing for the camera, Letterman's going to, wait for it, douse him with water. Right there.


SCHOLES: Kane a good sport. I don't know what he was more upset about, though, his suit getting wet or that fabulous mullet he's rocking back there. He's got a pretty fabulous haircut. But, good sport about the whole deal.

BERMAN: He's a hockey player. It's part of the uniform is the teeth and the mullet. Without that, you can't get on the ice.

SCHOLES: That's right. looking good, though.


ROMANS: Did you ever have a mullet?


BERMAN: Never really had the mullet.

ROMANS: Really? Was there an almost mullet?

BERMAN: I have long hair but not a mullet. Different. We see long in the --

ROMANS: We need some photographic evidence.

All right. Coming up, a celebrity couple together for years. They swore they wouldn't get married until gay marriage was legal. Now, they're ready to take the plunge.


BERMAN: Actress Kristen Bell among those taking advantage of the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision. She tweeted a proposal to long-time boyfriend, Dax Shepard, that the two finally tie the knot. They've been engaged since 2009 and have a daughter together, but they held off on getting married until, in her words, their gay and lesbian friends had the same rights. He responded that it was time to bring their big gay marriage to life.


BERMAN: And that Supreme Court decision wasn't cheered only in Hollywood.

ROMANS: Right. Jeanne Moos said it led to some amazing moments made just for TV.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the day that gays literally kissed the Defensive Marriage Act goodbye.


MOOS: And they kissed it goodbye -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you sense a change?

MOOS: All over on TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Based on the size of this ruling.

MOOS: As photographers jostled --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, man. Give me a shot.

MOOS: To record every peck, every public display of affection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, they're holding and kiss out in front --

MOOS: It was equality versus the equation marriage equals one man plus one woman. But forget math. Reading was what reporters had to resort to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Shannon, I know you're reading as fast as you can.

MOOS: And the reporters were dependent on runners to get them the decisions. "Buzz Feed" labeled it the running of the interns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here comes our intern now with the decision.

MOOS: Some ran triumphantly with arms up raised. Others opted for dignity, a stiff-legged walk. "Buzz Feed" gave the gold medal to this intern who arrived that his camera first. Apparently, he had lots of practice earlier in the week running other decisions. Reporters needed eyes in the back of their heads.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With all of the energy and action behind you --

MOOS: First, we worry there was going to be too much action when we saw a guy stripping behind Joe Johns. It turns out he was only reversing his shirt. Soon, he was replaced by Mr. Sunglasses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A powerful, electric moment.

MOOS: Who proceeded to stroll around, scream right to left, left to right. Right up the middle one at cell (ph), signing off with a thumbs up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And as you know, Ashleigh --

MOOS: There was an on-camera marriage proposal from one of the plaintiffs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can finally say, will you please marry me?


MOOS: Another plaintiff in the DOMA suit was asked what her spouse, who had passed away, would say? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You did it, honey.

MOOS: While MSNBC was interviewing these two plaintiffs life.


MOOS: Frantic gesture signaled a phone call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is on the line from Air Force One.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, Mr. President, this is Cris Perry (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's (INAUDIBLE). We thank you so much for your support.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And thank you for your leadership. You're invited to the wedding.



MOOS: Gay wedding invite? What's next?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you haven't been to a gay bar --

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard bawling (ph).

(singing) God bless America.

MOOS: New York.


BERMAN: Really historic day.

ROMANS: That's something.

BERMAN: I want to bring in "NEW DAY" anchors, Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan.

ROMANS: Hi, guys.

BERMAN: Hey, guys.

BOLDUAN: Hey, guys. Thanks so much.

CUOMO: I like the emotion of it all. You know, I think that's what really made it special. The law is often bland. You don't know what it's going to mean in reality, but --


CUOMO: To see what it means to real people in their lives, it gives it a whole different dimension, doesn't it?

BOLDUAN: Yes, sure does. A whole lot of kissing going on in TV.

CUOMO: Almost the top of the hour. You know what that means here on "NEW DAY," time for the top news.