CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Egypt's Military Arrested Ousted President; Washington Avoids Calling It a Coup; Symbols of Tragedy; Lady Liberty Reopens to Visitors; New Evidence Against Aaron Hernandez

Aired July 4, 2013 - 09:00   ET

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


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now in the "NEWSROOM", Happy birthday, America and what a gift to the country -- the Statue of Liberty. The real Statue of Liberty back open this morning after being closed since Sandy.

Plus, sinkhole survival. A 60-year-old woman being rescued from a 20- foot-deep sinkhole that opened up and swallowed her entire car -- with her in it.

Also, in what could arguably be the symbol of the George Zimmerman trial -- Trayvon Martin's hoodie, front and center in the Sanford courtroom.

And chaos in Cairo from half a world away to the front steps of the White House, amid protests and power grabs, the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt becoming the symbol of what critics say is Obama's failed Egypt policy.

NEWSROOM starts now.

I'm giddy over the Fourth of July.

I'm Carol Costello. Happy Fourth to you. What a better way to celebrate Independence Day than starting this hour with an amazing picture.

Lady Liberty. She's back open this morning after being closed eight months. The huddled masses are coming back but they better come with tickets. Passes to get into the crowd sold out until mid-August.

Today's opening follows a massive restoration project that was completed one day before Sandy hit and damaged Liberty Island. We'll have a live report for you in just a few minutes.

In our nation's capital, Washington gets set to host a huge birthday celebration. Final preparations are under way for the thousands ready to party on the National Mall.

The culmination of America's 237th birthday will be a gigantic 17- minute fireworks show that can be seen across Washington and also in parts of Virginia.

Cries of freedom and independence also echoing in a country scarred by chaos, corruption and confrontation. Take a look at this picture. Could be any city in America. Right? It's coming up, I know it is. Columbus, Ohio, Memphis, Tennessee, or Phoenix, Arizona, but it's not. This picture is from Cairo, Egypt. And while we're celebrating Independence Day here in the United States, marked by fireworks and waving flags, on this July 4th, Egyptians are focusing on their freedom.

Just hours after Egypt's military toppled an unpopular government, it placed ousted President Mohamed Morsy under arrest. Just a year ago Morsy became the country's first democratically elected president and that creates a diplomatic minefield for Washington.

Anti-American passions in Egypt already high, as you can see from this protest sign. Targeting the U.S. ambassador of Egypt, Ann Patterson. Roughly translated, it calls her a nasty old woman.

And future U.S. relations could be imperiled by another word. If Washington labels the overthrow as a coup, it may be forced to cut off aid to Egypt. So opposition leaders are tip-toeing around that word coup as you'll hear in this testy exchange with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AHMED EL HAWARY, OPPOSITION ACTIVIST: I must say -- I must say there is a clear message that has to be delivered to the American media and to the United States administration. You're doing a hell of a bad PR with the Egyptian people. You're aligning yourself --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Sir, sir, my job is not -- sir, I'm not a PR agent. Sir, my job is not to do PR for you or anybody else. I'm not taking any sides here. We're talking about the use of the word coup.

EL HAWARY: I understand.

COOPER: You clearly do not want to use that word. Just because you don't want to use it doesn't mean I don't get to use it or other people or the U.S. government doesn't get to use it. This is what we debate in America.

EL HAWARY: I'm not -- I'm not --

COOPER: This is how our democracy works. I appreciate you being on and I appreciate --

EL HAWARY: Sorry, sorry, I don't -- I don't argue --

COOPER: We gave you plenty of time to voice your opinion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: All right. We're going to talk more about that exchange. And also about the new political uncertainty that's looming over Egypt, and Washington's important alliance with it. Fareed Zakaria is host of CNN's flagship international affairs program, "FAREED ZAKARIA, GPS." He's also the editor-at-large of "TIME" magazine.

Welcome, Fareed.

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Pleasure to be on.

COSTELLO: So we played that clip because, you know, protesters say, look, in Egypt, democracy is at work. But here in America, you know, if we don't like the leader of our country, we hold another election and we vote that leader out. You can't have it both ways.

ZAKARIA: Look. Whatever they want to call it, it was a coup. A coup is the ouster of a democratically elected government, really any government, by the military. This was military force, military decrees. And look what's happened subsequent to it? You've arrested the former president. Many, many opposition leaders have been jailed. Television stations have been shut down.

Now, you can make the case that it is a coup that is going to lead to the restoration of genuine democracy, but in order to do that, what we now need to see are actions that suggest that. Not the shutting down of TV stations, but rather the restoration of individual rights, the writing of a better constitution, the scheduling of elections pretty soon.

You know, in other words, there is a path here where we could see this as a setback temporarily, but a restoration of genuine democracy. But so far we haven't seen anything other than arrests of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, the shutting down of their TV stations. That's not a good sign.

COSTELLO: President Obama released a statement about the situation in Egypt and he did not call it a coup. Can you explain to our viewers why?

ZAKARIA: The legislation that authorizes aid to any country in the -- from the United States has within it a clause that says, "If a democratically elected government is removed by the military or by a military decree, all aid must stop." And that means military aid, that means civilian aid, but it also means military-to-military contacts. So Washington is clearly debating how to proceed with this.

We in -- I think we in the media have an obligation to tell -- you know, to tell it straight. It is a coup. The question as to whether the U.S. government calls it that has certain legal implications so they are trying to not rush into it because I would trigger the cutting off of aid to Egypt and as you know, that has larger implications because the aid to Egypt is part of a package which Egypt got when it made peace with Israel.

Egypt is one of only two Arab countries that have made peace with Israel so that's the kind of hornet's nest that gets stirred if you use the word coup. COSTELLO: Wow. I want to talk a little bit about the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Ann Patterson. Protesters made it clear they do not like her in light of what happened in -- in light of what happened in Benghazi, how dangerous is it for Patterson to remain in Egypt?

ZAKARIA: I don't think very dangerous. I don't think that those protests are -- you know, these are not al Qaeda type people who are trying to target her in any kind of violent sense. What they're saying is stop interfering in our democracy, leave us -- you know let us -- don't be the puppet master behind Egyptian democracy.

It's not an accurate charge. She gave an interview in which she said military intervention is not the answer. This was few days ago. Which, you know, perhaps, she should have just stayed silent, but I think that the U.S. government thought this was a way of telling the military don't rush into this.

COSTELLO: Fareed Zakaria, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

And don't miss "FAREED ZAKARIA, GPS." It airs Sunday morning at 10:00 Eastern.

Thanks, Fareed. Bye.

Juries in the George Zimmerman trial getting a break this July 4th holiday as court is in recess but jurors will be back Friday for emotional testimony from Trayvon Martin's mother and brother.

Yesterday the jury saw what's become a symbol in the tragic story of Martin and George Zimmerman -- the hoodie. Jurors got to see the gray hoodie worn by Trayvon Martin on the night he died with his tattered hole created by a single bullet. Firearms analyst Amy Siewert saying just how close George Zimmerman's gun came to the teenager's body.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: And when you conducted the -- distance tests with the Kel-Tec pistol and the hooded sweatshirt, what did you determine about the distance between those -- the muzzle of the gun and the material at the time the gun was discharged?

AMY SIEWERT, FIREARMS ANALYST: The closing displayed residues and physical effects consistent with a contact shot.

GUY: Meaning the muzzle or the end of the barrel of the gun was up against the sweatshirt when it was fired?

SIEWERT: Correct.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Another dramatic moment -- the gun. A 9 millimeter Glock. Siewert showed the jury how to cock the gun in court.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SIEWERT: I'll use my left just so you can see. One more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: OK. So it's certainly an attention grabber but doesn't it matter? Page Pate is a criminal defense attorney, he joins me now.

Good morning, Page.

PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good morning, Carol.

COSTELLO: OK. So, you know, it was emotional just to see the symbols of this trial, the hoodie with the bullet hole through it, and this gun, this 9 millimeter Glock. But in the end, will it matter?

PATE: The forensic evidence that we heard yesterday doesn't really prove the prosecution's case. It doesn't show when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. What it does do, though, is it helps the prosecution prove that some of the things that George Zimmerman is saying about that incident may not be true so it goes to the credibility of George Zimmerman's statements that we heard earlier in the week. So I think it helps the prosecution in that regard.

COSTELLO: And are you specifically talking about that they found no prints from Trayvon Martin on George Zimmerman's gun, and he said at least one time that Martin actually tried to grab his gun. I'm talking about Zimmerman, obviously. But there are no fingerprints on the gun.

PATE: Right. I think you would expect there to be some fingerprints or at least some DNA showing that Trayvon Martin had his hand on some part of the gun if what George Zimmerman is saying or at least what he said back then was true, and we can't show that at this point.

COSTELLO: OK. So testimony is set to resume tomorrow. And for the first time it probably will be very emotional because Trayvon Martin's mother will take the stand. And you got to believe that that 911 call will be played again in court and Trayvon's mom will say from the stand, that's my baby.

PATE: It's going to be very powerful, very emotional testimony. But my question is, is it enough? Will it be persuasive? You know, most jurors are going to expect the victim's mother to come in and say great things about her son and to certainly try to put a spin on the case as much as she can. Jurors will expect that.

I wonder what jurors have already made up their mind. They've heard so much evidence and almost every prosecution witness has at least been neutralized, if not completely turned into a defense lawyer -- into a defense witness by these lawyers.

If you're George Zimmerman, I think you're feeling pretty good right now.

COSTELLO: All right. Page, you're going to come back at the half hour? PATE: All right.

COSTELLO: We're going to have more discussion about Trayvon's -- Trayvon Martin's mother taking the stand. Thanks so much, Page. We appreciate it.

PATE: Sure.

COSTELLO: Got -- here we go.

There is new evidence found in the murder case against Aaron Hernandez and it's shocking. A flop house. A man who faces charges in the case told police about an apartment, a condo Hernandez leased. A search of that apartment turned up .45 caliber ammunition.

Hernandez is charged with murder in the shooting death of his friend, Odon Lloyd. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.

Some major progress in that Arizona wildfire that killed 19 elite firefighters. It is now 45 percent contained after burning 8400 acres. Fire officials believe they could have the blaze fully contained in about a week.

The fallen firefighters will be remembered at a memorial service -- Tuesday in Prescott.

An Ohio woman lucky to be alive after a 20-foot-deep sinkhole opened up in Toledo and literally swallowed her car. Fire crews had to be called in to help rescue the woman. She was not injured. Police believe a broken water main caused the sinkhole.

It's a tale of weather extremes for you on this Fourth of July holiday. The -- the southwest remains dry and blistering hot but much of the United States is getting drenched by damaging storms creating hazardous travel conditions and putting a damper on fireworks displays.

Meteorologist Chad Myers joins us live from New York.

And I know a lot of firework celebrations are canceled here in Atlanta.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. I know, and Carol, why do I have to come to New York to be on your show?

(LAUGHTER)

They're still separating us. You know? You ever notice that?

COSTELLO: No. There's got to be a reason for that.

MYERS: I have to fly 2,000 miles to be on your show. Anyway, rain in Atlanta. You know, we have the big Peachtree Road Race going on right now. It's raining everywhere. A lot of things are canceled in the Deep South because of the flooding. We had 14 inches of rainfall in Inlet Beach, Florida, yesterday. In 24 hours there was 14 inches of rain. And it's still raining there now. And it's still going to rain this afternoon and tonight. Now for the big cities, Boston, 94. That sounds great. The problem is the humidity is going to be about 60 percent, and it's going to feel like 103. New York is going to feel like 99. D.C., the same. And it's going to feel like 75 and it's going to be 75 in Atlanta. So Boston to Atlanta, it is going to feel 29 degrees, 28 degrees warmer up there in Boston than in Atlanta, Georgia, for the Fourth of July.

Now out West it's still going to be hot and dry. You know, the Vegas, the winner at 114. We're going to have 111 in Scottsdale. But something else you can get when it gets so hot in the mountains. You can get thunderstorms.

Carol, this is hail. Tippy (ph) hail. They had to use the plows -- this is Santa Rosa, New Mexico. They got the plows out to move the hail away from the thunderstorms that we had yesterday out there. So just randomness all over the country.

COSTELLO: That's just wrong.

MYERS: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

COSTELLO: Chad, thanks so much. And it's great to see you.

MYERS: You're welcome, Carol. Good to see you.

COSTELLO: Call it a --

MYERS: Happy --

COSTELLO: Happy Fourth to you.

Call it a special birthday gift to America on this Fourth of July. Lady Liberty reopens after much of its island was damaged by Sandy. Just minutes ago the very first ferry began arriving at Liberty Island.

Pamela Brown is there for the special celebration.

Good morning.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Carol. Just awe inspiring to be out here at the Statue of Liberty on this Independence Day. You see here behind me the sun is illuminating this patriotic symbol of freedom. There is a crowd pouring in here to Liberty Island. They're the first visitors here in eight months, ever since super storm Sandy hammered Liberty Island. Fifteen thousand people all together expected to make their way to Liberty Island today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN (voice-over): Lady Liberty is once again ready to face the masses yearning for a closer look at one of America's most iconic figures.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a big thing to see in New York. And it's -- one of the things we were looking most forward to seeing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It lit the way for to us have a better life and it is important that my children be able to see, experience and understand that.

BROWN: Hurricane Sandy forced Lady Liberty's closing just a day after her 126th anniversary. While the statue itself emerged unscathed, storm surge socked almost three-quarters of Liberty Island leaving bricks ripped up, docks destroyed and debris everywhere. Adding insult to injury, the statue had just re-opened the day before the storm after a year of renovations.

CNN got rare access inside for the re-opening, all the way to her crown. The trek up a steep 377-step narrow spiral staircase leads to spectacular views high above New York's harbor.

The 305-foot tall statue was a gift from France symbolizing the friendship between the two countries and their shared love of liberty. Dedicated in 1886 after 10 years of construction, more than 3.5 million people worldwide flock here every year. Park officials worked around the clock to make sure the island reopened just in time for this Independence Day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming here and seeing visitors from all over the world standing out in front with tears in their eyes or excite because she's not only our Statue of Liberty, she's the world's Statue of Liberty.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And people from all over the world will be visiting the Statue of Liberty today. The crowds are already starting to pour in here.

Now even though Liberty Island is reopened as of today, there is still a lot of construction taking place here. It is still a work in progress. But officials really wanted to make sure that the statue was open to the public today on Independence Day.

And we're told, Carol, no surprise here, that all the tickets for today are sold out to the Statue of Liberty. Again, 15,000 people making their way here today.

Back to you.

COSTELLO: That is such a beautiful shot. Pamela Brown, thank you so much for bringing that to us on this Fourth of July.

Speaking of that, we'll have much more in THE NEWSROOM on the Fourth. We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, name is (INAUDIBLE). I'm here in Afghanistan. I just want to say happy Fourth of July to my grandma, Betty Blanchard (ph), my mom Kimberly Parker (ph), my sisters (INAUDIBLE), best friend Keasha Flanders (ph), (INAUDIBLE) my daughter Senai Harrison (ph) and my brother Montel Jones (ph) and all my family. Love you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Checking our top stories at 19 minutes past the hour:

Egypt has a new leader this morning. Adly Mansour has been sworn in as interim president. It comes a day after the military deposed President Mohamed Morsy but the move isn't being called a coup just yet by the U.S. government. If this is labeled a coup, then the United States would have to cut off the billions of dollars in aid it sends to Egypt.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has some harsh words for the United States after his presidential jet was delayed in Europe because of rumors NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on-board. Morales said the U.S. would never be able to intimidate or scare Bolivia. And then called on European countries to, quote, "liberate themselves from the imperialism of the Americans."

Snowden was not on the plane. As far as we know, he is still in the Moscow airport. He's applied for asylum in 21 countries, including Bolivia.

The U.S. Postal Service is tracking your mail for federal law enforcement. That's according to "The New York Times". The report says the Postal Service photographed every single piece of mail processed in the United States. It is not known how long the government keeps those images.

You might want to grab an umbrella on the way to watch fireworks. Much of the eastern part of the country could see some rain today, a weather system stretching from Alabama to Pennsylvania is expected to bring several inches of rain.

Andy Murray moves on to tomorrow's men's semi-finals at Wimbledon after surviving a scare. Murray dropped the first two sets of his match with Fernando Verdasco before storming back to be win the next three and advance to the next round. Murray is trying to become the first Brit to win the men's singles at Wimbledon in 77 years.

Still ahead -- police find a secret hiding place, a flophouse, a secret condo. Inside, ammo, a white hoodie and a baseball cap -- evidence police say could put Aaron Hernandez away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: A tip has led police to uncover more stunning evidence in the murder case against former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez. They've uncovered a flophouse. The man who also faces charges in the case told police about an apartment Hernandez leased. Investigators found .45 caliber ammunition and a sweatshirt matching a sweatshirt Hernandez was seen wearing the night Odin Lloyd died.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick takes us through those hours laid by prosecutors.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: and stops just before the road ends.

(voice-over): The murder took place down this road just off the busy street that many in the area use as a short cut.

(on camera): If you draw a straight line in this direction, it's less than a quarter of a mile from where we are here to his home. It's if you draw a straight line. Obviously, he would have to circle around and use the road.

JAY: Without a doubt, it's less than a quarter of a mile.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Jay has lived in this area for 25 years. He knows a lot of people and asked not we not use his last name. He showed us the surveillance cameras at this corner gas station which prosecutors say spotted the NFL rented silver Nissan around 3:20 a.m. Monday morning, seconds after it turned off I-95.

Prosecutors say Hernandez and two friends had driven 64 miles roundtrip to Dorchester to pick up Odin Lloyd. They turned down this road through an industrial park and businesses monitored by surveillance cameras.

(on camera): So at this point, he know, he is getting nervous.

JAY: I'd say right about here is where he got the text.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Right about here he sends a final text to his sister at 3:23 a.m. telling him he's with NFL, his nickname for Hernandez. "Just so you know." He texts.

JAY: And right here, is where they said --

FEYERICK (on camera): When he fell?

JAY: They shot two more times, hit him in both sides of his chest.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Jay says he saw the crime scene shortly after it had been processed and the yellow tape taken down.

JAY: Right here, the blue tarp was right here. The red tarp was over there. And you can see it's hard to see now because --

FEYERICK (on camera): You can see an outline.

JAY: Correct. It was in rectangular in shape leading one to believe that the body was this way.

FEYERICK: Clearly, it would be the size of a human. JAY: Correct.

FEYERICK (voice-over): The car drove in to the pit at 3:23 according to prosecutors. Cameras show the car leaving about four minutes later at 3:27 a.m.

(on camera): So this is where Odin Lloyd had his final moments?

JAY: That's correct.

FEYERICK: According to the prosecutors, he was shot virtually --

JAY: Execution style.

FEYERICK (voice-over): The official timeline shows it took two minutes for Hernandez and his friends to get home. Odin Lloyd was not with them.

Almost immediately, the surveillance cameras inside his home were disabled. The same cameras that caught Hernandez allegedly holding a 45 caliber Glock before he set out to meet Odin Lloyd. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer said the evidence is all circumstantial.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSTELLO: The murder weapon has still not been found.

Up next in THE NEWSROOM: Your Fourth of July weather. It is all over the map. Meteorologist Chad Myers is in New York.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, you know what? This jet stream pattern has changed so much, Carol. A stormy day -- couple stormy days this week in the East. That's now all changed. The forecast for the weekend changes, too. It gets a lot hotter in the east. I'll have that for you in a couple of minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Good morning. Thanks so much for being with me. I'm Carol Costello. It is 30 minutes past the hour. Actually, it's 29 minutes past the hour. You've got a minute to go.

In the news this morning, millions of Egyptians are celebrating their own form of independence just hours after toppling an unpopular heavy- handed government, the military has placed ousted President Mohamed Morsy under house arrest. Just a year ago, Morsy became Egypt's first democratically elected president.

CNN's Ian Lee is in Cairo where yesterday's massive crowds have thinned.

Good morning, Ian.

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Yesterday's crowds were quite celebratory. I want to paint a picture for you. Last night when they announced that the army was taking power from former President Mohamed Morsy, Tahrir Square erupted with cheers. Also fireworks that looked somewhat like the Fourth of July all over Cairo, fireworks shooting up into the air, people celebrating on the ground. You saw people waving flags, driving their cars around, playing music, quite celebratory atmosphere.

And something I haven't seen before. We also saw police officers waving flags and dancing in the street. A lot of people celebrating, but also people very angry at the pro-Morsy rallies. They say they felt cheated and they felt that their legitimate leader had been removed illegally.