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New Egyptian President Sworn In; Statue of Liberty Reopens to Public; Coney Island Reopens to Public; The George Zimmerman Trial Brought in Science Yesterday
Aired July 4, 2013 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kate Bolduan. We're joined of course by news answer Michaela Pereira.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Fourth of July, everybody.
BOLDUAN: Coming up, the symbol of our freedom opening to the public today. The Statue of Liberty, you're looking at her life here, has been closed since super-storm Sandy, and that's not the only Sandy victim bouncing back. Coney Island coming back, hosting its annual hot dog eating contest. We will of course take you there live. Not a Fourth without it.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Nope, not at all. But a lot of news to cover as well. This woman says she was booted from a waterpark because of her bathing park. Is it too revealing or are park employees overreaching? You be the judge.
PEREIRA: And of course we are on the countdown to the royal baby. We will be live from London where preparations are in full throttle for the arrival of the new prince or princess.
CUOMO: First, this morning, the breaking news out of Egypt, an interim president sworn in hours ago, Adly Mansour, put in power by the Egyptian military, this as the nation's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsy, remains under house arrest.
BOLDUAN: This was how it looked last night. Thousands in Tahrir Square erupting in celebration when it was announced Mohamed Morsy had been deposed. The former leader supporters are calling this a coup, but the military and protesters are not.
CUOMO: We're covering this breaking story as only CNN can from Egypt to here in New York with Fareed Zakaria. And we have live team coverage, of course, so let's start with Reza Sayah. He's been in the middle of it in Cairo. What's the latest?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Chris, yesterday, you and I were talking. Mohamed Morsy was the president of Egypt. Today, Egypt has a new president and many say a new revolution, and a lot has changed.
Egypt's new president is Adly Mansour, sworn in over the past couple of hours. His swearing in part of a fast series of events that saw the abrupt downfall of Mohamed Morsy. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
SAYAH: This morning, after an explosive turn of events, former president Mohamed Morsy is under house arrest. The military ousted him Wednesday night after he refused to meet their deadline to form an interim coalition government and revise the constitution. Droves of military convoys flooded the streets of Egypt's capital, propelling the nation on a road toward change. The general Abdel Fatah al Sissi, chief of Egypt's armed forces, announced Adly Mansour, head of Egypt's highest court, will replace Morsy as interim president.
While the military coup was met with cheers in Tahrir Square across the Nile river, supporters of the deposed president chanted "Down with the military," and the square had a million marches denouncing is ouster, messages sending ripples throughout this country that's already seen death and bloodshed since the huge anti-government protests began this past weekend.
SAYAH: Back live here overlooking Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square where hundreds of thousands of people were rocking last night in a party that lasted through the wee hours of the morning. They'll probably be back here partying today. Not partying, former president Mohamed Morsy. He's under house arrest. State media reporting it's for precautionary measures. Other Muslim brotherhood members, still not clear why they have been arrested.
BOLDUAN: All right, Reza Sayah, thank you so much for your great coverage in Cairo for us.
Now, I have to tell you, it is hard to overstate just how critical Egypt is to the United States. As you probably well know, it is a long time key U.S. ally. Right now, Egypt gets about $1.5 billion from the U.S. in aid every year, nearly 1.3 of that, going to the military. Why, you may ask? Take a look. There's 85 million people in Egypt. It is the largest Arab country. And it's location makes it incredibly strategic for the U.S. both politically and economically.
First, let's talk about the politics. Egypt is in an essential location in -- an essential to Middle East stability. It shares a border with Israel, of course, and it one of only a few Middle Eastern countries to hold a peace agreement with that country. Egypt also controls the Suez Canal, a vital area for warships in the region.
Now let's talk about economically why it is so important to the United States. Oil, that's really all you need to know. It is key to the global oil supplies. Although it produces little oil itself, Egypt controls both the Suez Canal a vital pipeline which moves about 4 million barrels of oil every day. Unrest in Egypt could affect the entire region which produces one-third of the world's oil. We saw these ripples of those concerns already Wednesday as U.S. oil prices spiked to over $100 a barrel, the highest in 14 months. Just a couple examples how critical Egypt is to the U.S. Chris.
CUOMO: Kate, thank you very much. A lot to discuss here. Let's bring in Fareed Zakaria, host of "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" and editor at large for "TIME" magazine. Happy Fourth of July to you. Let's just set the table here. What is the good and bad in this situation?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": The bad is pretty clear. This is a coup. There's no other way to describe it. I have a friend who said it is a coup and any who thinks otherwise is cuckoo. That's the bad side. You have a democratically elected government for the first time ever.
There's another bad thing, which is these Islamic parties have often wondered whether they should be in favor of democracy. They come out of a more theocratic background and have always wondered, should we buy into this western idea of western democracy? To have them ousted by a military coup is a pretty bad thing, because it might suggest to them, look, there's no point playing this game. You might as well go for the kind of stuff Al Qaeda tells you to do.
CUOMO: Might makes right.
ZAKARIA: Might makes right, set up your caliphate, the western liberal democracy ain't for you.
The good of this is there are two forces here. One is the forces for democracy, which has taken a blow. The question is what will happen with liberty, individual rights, protection of minorities? This government, Morsy, was terrible on all those kinds of issues, particularly on Coptic Christians, women's rights, separation of powers. He tried to rule by presidential decree. The good could be that while we had a temporary setback for democracy, ultimately, it's good for liberty.
Let's remember, Fourth of July, the American revolution and constitution have always been about both. The founders never described this as a democracy. They always talked about it as a republic because they believed the more important goal was the preservation of individual liberty.
CUOMO: That's right. They always said life meant freedom, liberty and pursuit of happiness both on the individual level, very important. Your friend mocked the president of the United States by saying your cuckoo if you think it's a coup. He doesn't think it's a coup. He thinks it's something other than a coup. That's why the statement from the president was so carefully parsed. What does that mean in terms of the how the U.S. action here is perceived by those who watch us internationally?
ZAKARIA: I think he was trying to thread a needle, which is if he calls it a coup, immediately, U.S. aid has to be cut off because the legislation is pretty clear. And so they're buying themselves some time. If you looked at that photograph of the people in the Situation Room, you'll notice right next to Susan Rice, the national security advisor, there was Eric Holder, the attorney general. He's not always at those kinds of meetings. My guess is they needed a lawyer to tell them exactly how to parse this.
CUOMO: The loophole is the military is not in control. While they seized control, didn't keep control, gave it to Adly Mansour, a judge involved with Hosni Mubarak, involved with Morsy in terms of the cases against him. What do we know about him in terms of why he's an improvement?
ZAKARIA: He's probably a figurehead, let's be honest. I'm not sure he will be able to make major decisions. He is a judge from about 20 years ago. Mubarak, the old dictator, started to pack the courts with his political loyalists only more recently, so he is a pretty independent bureaucrat. But that said, at the end of the day, the army is in control.
CUOMO: Last question, from this point, does it get worse before it gets better?
ZAKARIA: I think there's a distinct possibility. Here's the issue we haven't yet seen. The Muslim Brotherhood has not gone home. They have not accepted this. They are not moving quietly back into their homes. And they are the largest organized political force in Egypt. About 30 percent of the country votes for them. They have people on the ground. So there's going to be pushback from them, and how the army deals with that is going to be the next great struggle in Egypt.
CUOMO: And the military has been very clear, don't do anything the wrong way or we will come strong and fast. Fareed, great to have you on the show.
CUOMO: Just in time for Independence Day, the Statue of Liberty is back. The lady of the harbor was locked down last October as super- storm sandy approached. It got hit. And you know what, 75 percent of that island was submerged. I don't know if you knew that. It's been off limits to the public ever since. But this morning Lady Liberty ready to ring in the Fourth. CNN's Pamela Brown is live on Liberty Island this morning. Pamela, how is it there?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's great. It's a gorgeous day out here, Chris. Mother Nature is cooperating so far here on Independence Day. Eight months after super-storm Sandy hammered Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty back open for business, and 15,000 people expected to arrive here today.
BROWN: 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's a big thing in New York and the one thing we were looking most forward to see.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It lit the way for us to have a better life and it's important that my children be able to see and experience and understand that. BROWN: Hurricane Sandy forced Lady Liberty's closing just a day after her 126th anniversary. While the statute herself emerged unscathed, storm surge sucked almost three quarters of Liberty Island, leaving bricks ripped up, docks destroyed, and debris everywhere. Adding insult to injury, the statue had just reopened a day before the storm after a year of renovations.
CNN got rare access inside for the reopening all the way to her crown. The track up a steep 377 step narrow spiral staircase leads to spectacular views high above New York's harbor. The 30 five-foot tall statute 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.
DAVID LUCHSINGER, SUPERINTENDENT, STATUE OF LIBERTY: Coming here and seeing visitors from all over the world standing out in front with tears in their eyes or excitement because she's not only our Statue of Liberty, she's the world's Statue of Liberty.
BROWN: Even though Liberty Island is re-opening today, it's still a work in progress, still under construction. Ellis Island is closed and closed for the foreseeable future. We are told tickets for today are sold out, 15,000 people, as I mentioned, expected to arrive on the island and the first ferry will arrive in just about an hour and half from now. Kate?
BOLDUAN: All right, Pamela. Thank you so much.
From the Statue of Liberty to another classic American icon, coming back from super-storm Sandy, New York's Coney Island, where many of the rides are up and running, music to many people's ears. But now there are concerns about the safety of one of the attractions there. CNN's Jason Carroll is live in Coney Island this morning. Hi, Jason. What's the latest?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Kate. Here's the problem, right behind me. Take a look at it. It's called the Astro Tower. Earlier this week it was swaying 18 inches. As a result, they have had to shut down the area around the park. You see workers around there trying to remove sections of it to get it stabilized. Big disappointment to vendors who had just gotten back on their feet following hurricane Sandy.
CARROLL: Coney Island, a sight of contrast then and now. Here's what it looked like after super-storm Sandy flooded it last October, bumper cars buried in sand, arcade games underwater, and the nearly sent trip old wonder wheel in jeopardy.
Was there any point you feared you might lose the wonder wheel?
DENNIS VOURDERIS, OWNER, WONDER WHEEL: It did scare us a little bit, I have to be honest with you.
CARROLL: Dennis who owns the wheel and others rides took us on a ride on the wheel, now refurbished.
VOURDERIS: The salt got into the electrical relays, switches, circuit breakers, they all went in the garbage.
CARROLL: As we get up here, I don't know how comfortable I am talking about all the things you had to fix.
CARROLL: Coney Island's business owners say they can laugh a little bit more because some say business is back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like a mini miracle in our time.
CARROLL: Do you think the people will get the message to come out here on the Fourth?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're already coming down here.
CARROLL: But drive down shore to Seaside Heights, New Jersey, signs of destruction very apparent. Still a work in progress, is that what you would call it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely correct.
CARROLL: Seaside's mayor says work is still underway on the boardwalk's total $9 million renovation. The roller coaster long gone, but the boardwalk is open for business. The biggest challenge --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Getting the message to people.
CARROLL: New Jersey's governor getting the word out.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTINE, NEW JERSEY: Get down here over the Fourth of July weekend to support the businesses.
CARROLL: Welcome news to Steve Wayland (ph), who owns Lucky Leo's Arcade.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're open. We're back. We're ready for you.
CARROLL: They're not so ready right here at Coney Island. Again, because of the work on the Astro Tower, you're not going to have things like the World's Famous Wonder Wheel open, also closed and Cyclone closed as well. There are other sections of the park that are open. That world famous hot dog eating contest they have at Nathan's, that's still going on. The beach is going to be open and available for people to come out. Business owners are hoping people get the message not just at Coney Island but at the south shore as well. Kate, Chris. BOLDUAN: Thank you so much, Jason. I have a strange feeling Jason Carroll will not be taking part in that hot dog eating contest. He is very fit.
CUOMO: He is very fit. But remember Kobayashi? He was very fit also, and he was the champ.
BOLDUAN: Jason's like why are you guys talking about me?
CUOMO: All right, so we're having some fun with the Fourth of July, but there is a lot of news to talk about here, so let's get to Michaela.
PERIERA: All right, good morning. Let's take a look at what's happening in the headlines. In Arizona, they are slowly getting the upper hand, the Yarnell Hills fire that killed 19firefighters is now at 45 percent containment. On Tuesday a large memorial will be held for the fallen firefighters. Arizona flags will also fly at half- staff for 19 days -- one day for each man lost.
Boston ramping up security for its first massive public gathering since the Boston Marathon bombings. Remember, investigators say suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother originally planned the attack on Independence Day. Organizers are expecting 500 to 600,000 people to attend tonight's Boston Pops concert and fireworks show.
An horriffic tragedy at a Jewish youth camp near Yosemite. 21-year-old art councilor Anise Rittenberg (ph) was killed when a giant oak tree fell next to a dining hall filled with children. Four other women were injured and taken to local hospitals. They are said to be doing well. All campers have been accounted for.
These two women, wanted by police in Florida for robbery at a Chuck-E- Cheese Restaurant in Hillsborough County. The cops say Chantall (ph) Jenkins and Jasmine Johnson enlisted Johnson's 9-year-old nephew to steal a purse from the restaurant's counter. You can see them leaving -- entering and leaving on the surveillance video here. Police say the boy was an unwitting accomplice in the crime.
All right. We want you to be the judge here. A Missouri woman said she got kicked out of a water park because of what she was wearing. Workers at the Adventure Oasis didn't like the way Madelyn Shaffer looked in her bikini. Schaffer for her part she says it's not fair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MADELYN SHEAFFER, SAYS EMPLOYEES KICKED HER OUT: There's 16, 18-year- old girls wearing just the same amount. No one's criticizing them or making them feel ashamed or making them feel uncomfortable in their bodies. It's summertime, it's a swimming pool, I'm wearing a swimming suit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERIERA: We should point out she recently lost 100 pounds, was feeling a newfound confidence with her slimmed down body. She has since filed a complaint against the water park.
CUOMO: Not about taste, it will come down to the law.
CUOMO: Whether or not it was discriminatory, what did they keep out in other people versus the decision they made with her.
BOLDUAN: What's so unusual about it obviously is the fact what you're wearing in a water park is questioned at the moment.
CUOMO: D.C. Police, beware.
CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, evidence that George Zimmerman was all too familiar with Florida's stand your ground law. What does that mean? It goes to the prosecution's case he knew what he was doing the night Trayvon Martin was killed. We'll take you through it.
BOLDUAN: And a very, very special -- what is happening in our studio, a very special visit From Lady Liberty herself. She walked all the way over here from Liberty Island and she has a reason to celebrate this Fourth of July.
CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. Happy Fourth of July. We're talking about George Zimmerman's murder trial. It in recess for the holiday, but the prosecution could be close to resting it's case. On day eight, ballistics and DNA evidence too center stage as well as how much Zimmerman might have known about Florida's stand your ground law. CNN's George Howell breaks it down.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The day started with a parade of witnesses from George Zimmerman's past, from the professors who taught him about criminal justice.
DON WEST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You see George over here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you doing, George?
HOWELL: To a representative from a Virginia police department that rejected his application to be a police officer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Zimmerman had a problem with his credit?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That would be a reason why you wouldn't be accepted as a police officer?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the reason why we did not consider him further, based on that record, yes, sir.
HOWELL: Zimmerman's past could haunt him if jurors are swayed by the picture prosecutors are trying to paint -- a wannabe cop who went too far. Then, less than forthcoming about how well he knew the law on national TV.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prior to this night, this incident, had you even heard stand your ground, sir? you never heard about it before?
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: No.
HOWELL: Captain Alexis Francisco Carter told the court part of the lesson he taught covered the practical application of self-defense laws with a special focus on Florida laws like stand your ground and Zimmerman aced the class.
CAPT. ALEXIS CARTER, INSTRUCTOR, SEMINOLE STATE COLLEGE: He was probably one of the better students in the class.
HOWELL: Zimmerman's defense team argued his past training and education had no relevance to this case. Next, prosecutors called Amy Siewert, a firearms expert with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Siewart testified through tests on Trayvon Martin's clothes, she was able to determine it was a contact shot that killed him.
AMY SIEWART, FIREARMS ANALYST: It was consistent with the muzzle of the firearm touching the outer sweatshirt and the inner sweatshirt being in direct contact with the outer one, yes.
HOWELL: The final witness, Anthony Gorgone, a crime lab analyst who examined DNA samples on all the evidence in this case. Attorneys focused on the question of whose DNA was found on Zimmerman's gun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were able to exclude Trayvon Martin as having DNA on the pistol grip, is that correct?
ANTHONY GORGONE, CRIME LAB ANALYST: Yes. Trayvon Martin was excluded as being a possible contributor to this mixture on the grip.
HOWELL: Court resumes Friday, when we are likely to hear from a member of Trayvon Martin's family to testify about who was screaming on that 911 audiotape. The state is then expected to rest it's case and then the defense will start calling it's witnesses. George Howell, CNN, Sanford, Florida.
CUOMO: Thanks, George. Let's break down why this was the prosecution's best, perhaps final push towards making this a second degree murder case.
Here are the big points: credibility was on trial yesterday. Straight-A student. You heard George talking about how George Zimmerman took a course, talked about stand your ground and he did very well. What does that mean? He knew what the law was. First of all, that means he was a liar. That would be the prosecution's point because he told Sean Hannity, our friend at Fox News, he knew nothing about it. So what does that mean? That means that if he knew about it the night that he went out and Trayvon Martin was killed, maybe he knew, maybe he prepared for it, maybe that's why his gun was loaded with a bullet in the chamber. That's what the prosecution is going to argue. This was not just an accident.
What did the defense say? Remember this, the same professor talked about George Zimmerman getting an A said self-defense law only requires that fear of harm was in your head. Very interesting. That was a counterpoint. Which one did the jury weigh more? We don't know.
Then, the gun is big. Why? George Zimmerman is going to say that when Trayvon Martin grabbed for his gun, everything changed and that's why he wound up shooting him. No DNA from Trayvon Martin on the gun. Is that enough to show that Trayvon couldn't have been grabbing for it? That's the big question.
So, where does it leave us? In terms of the ups and downs of the prosecution and the defense where are we? We will figure it out with Danny Cevallos, grade-A defense attorney. Danny, thank you very much for stepping up on the Fourth of July. I appreciate it. You're a great lawyer and great American.
You're up against a real doofus today, in me on the prosecution side. We will do I-say you- say. I'll say from the prosecution's perspective, you say from the defense. You good with that?
DANNY CEVALLOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'm good with that. Let's play.
CUOMO: I say Zimmerman got an A in class that taught Florida's stand your ground law. Okay? The professor says there's no chance he didn't know about it. That means you knew what was going on that night. That means that's why your gun was loaded and had a bullet in the chamber. That means when you approached Trayvon Martin, you knew how you could get away with this, which means you had a plan. If you had a plan, it was an evil plan. If you had evil in your intentions, that makes you a second degree murder. You say?
CEVALLOS: I say, when did we start proving that defendants are liars because they're straight A students in law enforcement classes? That seems a little -- we're in a very interesting moment here that the prosecution is actually attempting to prove that Zimmerman is a liar because he was a good student and he was a student in law enforcement.
Let's take a step back. I say that even if you believe now that Zimmerman is less than credible, then you may disbelieve his self defense. If you disbelieve his self defense that does not take away the state's burden. They still must prove depraved-heart murder, they still must make out their showing of malice, that he had ill will or hatred. By the way, Zimmerman has not even testified yet so his credibility is really only in question as to the statements he's given we heard on tape.
CUOMO: But he told Sean Hannity he had never heard of stand your ground. If this professor is to be believed, is there no chance that's true. That's why -- not about him getting an A, it's about him getting an L for being a liar. That would be the prosecution.
Next one. I say that -- get -- back on this one, Danny. I say that as the prosecution, that your theory, George Zimmerman, that it was when Trayvon Martin grabbed your gun that you were forced to use it, there are no prints on it, so how could he have grabbed it? It doesn't make any sense. There's not enough of your DNA on Trayvon Martin to make the point that he was beating you down, and on top of you the whole time, as you explain. You say?
CEVALLOS: I say number one, if we're going to talk about fingerprints, fingerprinting is a technique, not science. There's virtually no way to apply any science to how long a print, a latent print will stay on a surface, especially one like a gun.
Number two, DNA deteriorates. There's substantial evidence here that number one it was raining and number two, it was not preserved in a way so as to make this DNA evidence reliable. It's true, DNA evidence is tremendously reliable evidence when it is applied correctly. However, if the samples are not preserved and if it's not tested properly, the perfection of the science never comes into fruition, I say.
CUOMO: Also, that's a good one. Also, a very confusing thing that Barry Schneck (ph) always says, the master of DNA and the law. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Which means just because you don't have DNA doesn't mean that something didn't happen. Secondarily, Zimmerman said he was grabbing for the gun and maybe he never got it to. Maybe that heightened awareness of his self defense. That's what George Zimmerman may well argue. Question for you before we continue with I-say you-say. If Zimmerman's school records are relevant, does that mean Trayvon Martin's school records are relevant? Quick answer on that?
CEVALLOS: It's a different relevance standard, right? Candidly, there's a strong argument that Zimmerman's school records were never relevant, because even if you tend to believe that it gives you an idea about his state of mind --