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Witness Describes Night Of Martin Shooting; President Obama Heads To South Africa; Justice Department Investigates Former Military Official; Honoring Cherish; Lost At Sea; Too Hot To Work?; Julianne Moore For "Hunger Games"; Cameron Diaz Joins "Annie" Remake

Aired June 28, 2013 - 07:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


VINNIE POLITAN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: -- Trayvon Martin has got the dark gray hoodie on, it's clear who is in control. How do you claim self- defense if you're on top of the person you're shooting. You have a gun. They don't have a gun. To me that was powerful, Chris. What are you going to do with that, Danny?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: What are you going to do with that, Danny? That's right, how dare you argue that in the first place. Danny, you're not arguing it, don't look so scared, but I want to you explain it for everybody at home. If it is established that George Zimmerman was in control, what would he have to do to use self-defense to get out of this?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, this witness establishes that at some point after or around the gunshot it doesn't really tell us what happened in the moments before and that's really what's key to self-defense. Admittedly a man in a red jacket if that's George Zimmerman on top of the other person is probably not so great for the defense, but it does not tell us specifically what happened in the minutes before.

Trayvon Martin certainly could have been winning that fight and then right around the time of the gunshot the bodies shifted. I don't think that this is, I don't think this ruins the defense's position but it is compelling if a man in a red jacket and that seems to be George Zimmerman was on top, I think that is a good point for the prosecution.

However, it still doesn't tell us what happened in the moments, the minutes before and I think that's critical to the self-defense claim, which remember, the prosecution must disprove beyond a reasonable doubt, that's a very high burden for the prosecution here.

CUOMO: Let me ask you something. This is going to be unclear for the jury so this is an important question. What does the prosecution have to show to make George Zimmerman, the aggressor, to take the legs out of his self-defense claim? Do they have to show he actually hit Trayvon Martin first, Vinnie Politan? What is the standard? What the prosecution show for George Zimmerman to be the aggressor?

POLITAN: Yes, he's got to be the one first of all this whole theme that I think they established well through their key witness, Rachel Jeantel, is that he is pursuing. He is following. He is initiating contact. He is the aggressor. They're also going to rely upon an ear witness account of who was screaming for help.

CUOMO: Vinnie, so following, talking to, that's enough to be the aggressor in terms of who started the fight?

POLITAN: That's not enough, but that gets into the mind-set. I think part is the mental state, why is he following him and why is Trayvon Martin trying get away? So you start with that premise with the jury. Here is going to the key though. To establish self-defense, 99 times out of 100, the defendant has to testify and in this case the prosecution needs George Zimmerman to testify so they can do to him what Don West tried to do to their witness.

CUOMO: All right, only a yes or no answer on this because I got to go. Trying to shift the race issue to Trayvon Martin, do you think that worked at all with the jury? Vinnie, yes or no?

POLITAN: No.

CUOMO: Danny?

CEVALLOS: I think it did.

CUOMO: All right, fair it is. Thanks for splitting it that. It's make a little bit easier for me, not all. Guys, great to have you. You loom large here, your heads are big, but your points are even bigger so thank you very much.

All right, so with all that in mind, what are we going to see today? I think if you look on the basis of it, Rachel Jeantel, is a big part of this case for the prosecution, the admissions that she made there shifted it a little bit yesterday towards the defense, but the other things coming out now as the picture becomes more clear it will give the prosecution extra opportunities to show that George Zimmerman is guilty of these crimes.

You know what matters what you think. Check us out on twitter and Facebook, go to newday.cnn.com, and let us know what you want to know about so we can help answer those questions -- Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris, that was a great discussion.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, Justin Bieber's pet monkey has a new home in Germany, we'll tell you why the monkey is going solo and John Berman's award of the day coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: The band is Aha. Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: I'm Kate Bolduan here with news anchor Michaela Pereira. It's Friday, June 28th. Coming up this half hour, a woman was fired by her boss, OK, accused of being too attractive to work with and the courts backed him up. Now her case is getting a second chance but first let's get straight to Michaela for some of the headlines. MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Making news, President Obama has left Senegal for South Africa this morning. He is expected to touch down in Johannesburg in just a few hours. That nation is on edge over Nelson Mandela's health. The anti-apartheid icon is clinging to life. He is still on life support in the hospital in Pretoria though his condition is stable.

A retired Marine general and former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is under federal investigation. The Justice Department is trying to determine if James Cartwright leaked classified information about a cyber attack on Iran's nuclear facilities back in 2010 according to NBC reports. Details of the attack turned up in a book by a "New York Times" writer.

Funeral services will be held today in Jacksonville for murdered 8- year-old Cherish Periwinkle. Hundreds of people, many of them strangers, paid their respects yesterday at a memorial for the young girl. Police say registered sex offender, Donald Smith, befriended the family, offered to buy them food and clothing and then left the Wal-Mart alone with Cherish. They never returned. Smith was arrested after a police stop.

Michael Jackson's nephew says he believed his uncle was murdered. T.J. Jackson testifying Thursday in his family's wrongful death suit against concert promoter AEG, he says his Uncle Michael told him on several occasions that he would be murdered. The son of Tito Jackson, T.J. shares guardianship of Michael Jackson's three children with their grandmother Katherine.

Look at this, this is a picture of gallons of latex paint and the paint went flying coating him and his dog completely, apparently, the guy looks worse than he felt, suffered minor injuries. That dog was black before the crash. He's all gray now and we're told the dog is just fine as well. I'm glad the guy is OK.

CUOMO: The poor dog. If everybody's OK it's not a medical emergency.

BOLDUAN: What a horrible time. It's never a good time to get into a crash.

PEREIRA: Bad day at the office.

BOLDUAN: How do you get latex paint off?

PEREIRA: Apparently a neighbor let them shampoo.

BOLDUAN: How do you get latex paint out of your hair?

CUOMO: Tweet us.

Another developing story for you about a mystery at sea, search and rescue operations are under way to find a missing American family. Their boat vanished in a massive storm nearly a month ago, but this morning new hope after word of a frantic call to shore. CNN's Miguel Marquez has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell me what vessel you're sailing on?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's David Dyche in a highly experienced sailor from a 1992 Atlantic crossing. He sailed the high seas in the 85-year-old Scooner, the Nina, for decades. Now him, his wife, their teenage son and four others are missing, maybe lost at sea.

CHERIE MARTINEZ, DAVID DYCHE'S SISTER: It's like a roller coaster actually. You get good news and then you get bad news.

MARQUEZ: Dyche's sister says the Nina left New Zealand for Australia on June 3rd for a 12-day, 1,200 mile journey across the Tazman sea. Later that day, a member of the Scooner's crew named Eva Namath called a meteorologist by satellite phone saying the winds were 60 miles per hour, the waves 18 feet high, where could they go to get away from it? The meteorologist advised head south and brace for a storm. The next day he got a text message, any update for Nina, Evi.

MARTINEZ: My mom, she got an overseas phone call and she heard her name and then it kind of cut out. She didn't think anything of it at the time. That's David trying to call me again.

MARQUEZ: Cherie believes that David's experience and the sea worthiness of the Nina will keep them alive.

MARTINEZ: As we always say Nina always comes back to port. She might get disabled, but she always comes back to port.

MARQUEZ: Dyche's son is due to start college next month, on his Facebook page, he posted I am not prepared for seeing him leave but I have an inner peace that says all is well. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Everybody's hope that they are hopefully -- they get rescued.

BOLDUAN: Scary serious situation. This is not exactly the compliment she was looking for or anyone is looking for, a woman called an irresistible employee, OK. Well she was fired from her dental assistant job because her boss thought he would not be able to he will strain himself around her. Poppy Harlow has some surprising developments in this clearly unusual case.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unreal case and what is happening in Iowa now is fascinating because the Supreme Court is reconsidering their decision. We're talking about an Iowa dentist fired from her job because her boss simply found her irresistible. He said working with her risked his marriage. She sued. She lost in court in December. Now she is getting a rare chance to fight pack.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW (voice-over): This week Iowa's Supreme Court took a rare step. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People think this decision is just unfair.

HARLOW: Dentist James Knight called Melissa Nelson one of the best dental assistants he'd ever had, but he fired her in 2010. Why? Because she presented an irresistible attraction court records say, threatening his marriage.

MELISSA NELSON, FIRED FOR BEING A "THREAT TO THE MARRIAGE" OF HER BOSS: His reasoning was I was affecting his home life and his personal life and it was time for me to go.

HARLOW: Records show Dr. Knight's wife demanded that he terminate Nelson's employment. Nelson sued claiming gender discrimination.

NELSON: I'm not attracted to him. I've never been attracted to him.

HARLOW: Nelson said Dr. Knight complained her clothing was too tight and revealing. Not so says Nelson.

NELSON: I thought of myself as an everyday person who comes to work.

HARLOW: Last December, the all male Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled Nelson's firing was unfair but legal and not gender discrimination, answering the key question, can somebody be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction. She hasn't stopped fighting. In April, Nelson brought attention to her case on Comedy Central.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you a good hygienist?

NELSON: Of course.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many cavities would you guess I've had in my entire life?

NELSON: Open up.

HARLOW: Now Iowa's Supreme Court is reconsidering its decision.

RYAN KOOPMANS, IOWA ATTORNEY AND BLOGGER FOR "ON BRIEF": It's really unprecedented. The only thing that's new is the public reaction to the opinion which is overwhelmingly negative.

HARLOW: Nelson's attorney says her client is delighted at the news. Knight's attorney says he's confident the court will reaffirm its prior decision.

NELSON: I did my job to the best of my abilities. I worked hard.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: Now it's important to remember this is not a sexual harassment suit. This is a gender discrimination suit. Iowa Supreme Court in this decision pointed out that Dr. Knight hired a female replacement for Nelson so that's part of their argument saying, the firing was unfair, was not gender discrimination. But they also noted if an employer fired multiple people of the same gender because of say personal relationships, if you saw a trend there, that may constitute gender discrimination.

So I think this is going to be fascinating to watch play out and an almost unprecedented step for the court to rehear a case like this with no new evidence or testimony. The justices are going to relook at everything they saw before and if there's a different outcome this could be a change.

BOLDUAN: It's tough. We were talk become it while we were watching this piece. It's tough to figure out where you feel it should go, but legally what ground she has to stand on.

HARLOW: You can fire people for a number of different reasons.

CUOMO: For good reason or no reason but not for bad reason.

BOLDUAN: Not for race, gender, sexual harassment and right now hottism is not on the legal books.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, thanks very much to Poppy Harlow. Justin Bieber's pet monkey, monkeys in the news, the monkey has got a new home and it's nowhere near Justin Bieber's place, see why that is getting him John Berman's award of the day.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. I love this song as well. It is "Money Time." Christine Romans is here with all of the business news that you need. Hi, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, guys. On Wall Street, June had plenty of Malox moments, 15 triple digit closes on the Dow, many of them to the downside. Talk of the Federal Reserve pulling back on stimulus had things wild. As Wall Street closes out the quarter, it's on track for solid gains. The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 all up 3 percent to 4 percent. Dow futures are up 35 points right now.

Mortgage rates surge, the 30-year fixed rate jumping by the biggest amount in 26 years. It spiked a half percentage point to 4.46 percent this week. At that rate, a $200,000 loan costs about $1,000 a month. In early May, it would have been $880. The increase is due to all the talks about the Federal Reserve tapering back on bond buying, lock it in. I hope you locked it in two weeks ago actually. Lock it in. Mortgage rates are rising.

CUOMO: Still the lowest in a long time. Christine, thank you very much. It is that time of the morning. John Berman is here to give us his NEW DAY award of the day award.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I have some news for you. I can report, CNN can report that Justin Bieber's monkey is safe. This is in fact true. You remember back in March that the Malley, the money was confiscated by German authorities because Mr. Bieber apparently tried to bring him into the country without the proper paperwork. That actually happened in real life.

This monkey has been quarantined since March. Bieber had until May to present the right paperwork to claim him but did not so now Malley belongs to the German government and is headed to a zoo, which is great. Great for Malley, great enough to win an award today, what award you ask? I worked on this a long time.

He's the only monkey not singing "I'm a Belieber." This guy almost ended up living with Justin Bieber whose pants are down to the floor every day. His neighbors say drives a million miles an hour and now a photographer is suing Justin Bieber for doing this karate chop kick six to eight feet in the air to the photographer's gut before punching him in the face.

So Malley this is what he's avoiding, the most disturbing gift of all time exploited on the internet overnight. Look at this. Hopefully we have this. This is so creepy. I would rather be in a German zoo than with this guy. I'm saying that right here.

CUOMO: On the stink lift against Bieber abandoning his monkey. Hopefully there's a better story that he worked with the zoo and said this would be better for the monkey.

BALDWIN: You're defending the monkey and he's a hater of monkeys actually.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, classified info about American cyber weapons turning up in a new book and a high ranking retired military official believed to have leaked the details. More on a Justice Department investigation coming up. >

CUOMO: Plus, the goat with zero respect for New Jersey's traffic laws and the chase to catch the wild beast caught on camera.

BERMAN: It's a goat on the lamb.

PEREIRA: Monkey on the lamb this morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: All right, that music means it's time for the "Rock Block," a quick round up of the stories you'll be talking about today. Start up with Michaela.

PEREIRA: Let's take a peek at what we have. In the "Washington Post," reaction to new government guidelines to get junk food out of schools. Some parents say the new standards are not strict enough. They want artificially flavored milk and dyes out.

In "The Wall Street Journal," Google may be getting in on video games. The search engine giant is developing a game console that would be powered by its popular Android operating system.

And the "Chicago Tribune" reporting on a huge party today celebrating Blackhawks bringing home lord Stanley Cup, people from Boston, San Diego and all points in between expected in town to toast the hawks. Congratulations.

BOLDUAN: Congrats to the Blackhawks.

CUOMO: Time for Nischelle Turner who's got what's going on in pop news.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys. How are you doing? All right, deadline Hollywood reporting Julianne Moore is set to join "The Hunger Games" franchise. She is going to play (inaudible) in the final two films, "Mocking Jay" part one and two.

And Cameron Diaz has signed on for the movie remake of "Annie" being produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z. She will the play the villainous Miss Hannigan.

On the heels of Supreme Court same-sex marriage rulings, there is word that "Modern Family" is considering a wedding for its gay couple as a story line in season five.

BOLDUAN: That's one funny show. I love it. Let's get straight to Indra Petersons in the weather center with what you need to know before you head out the door.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All about extremes. We are talking about flooding in the east and record breaking heat out towards the west and severe weather from the northeast down to the southeast and the other story is that dome of high pressure. We're talking about these temperatures, 115, 120. 130, yes, that is hot. That's the potential that we're looking at as we go toward this weekend. If that's not hot, I don't know what is.

BOLDUAN: I don't know where to stand. I don't know what to do. You stand right there. You stand there. You stand there.

CUOMO: You were supposed to freeze and -- there it is.

BOLDUAN: If I don't move, they won't see me.

PEREIRA: Do you see all these beautiful women that you're surrounded by, brother?

CUOMO: Yes, I do. I have so many women around me that I'm literally not growing a beard as quickly anymore. The influence of everything.

BOLDUAN: It's a good thing.

All right. We're going to talk a little bit more about that later. But, first, the top of the hour. You know it means it's time for the top news.