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Celebration Turns Tragic; Egypt in Chaos; Angry at America; Mandela's Health; George Zimmerman Murder Trial

Aired July 5, 2013 - 05:00   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Fourth of July celebrations turning tragic from coast to coast. Dozens injured at a fireworks show when explosives shoot into the crowd just hours after a parade turns deadly.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A call for huge protests in Egypt this morning. Is this the recipe for new chaos? As the imprisoned former president faces new allegations.

PEREIRA: The East Coast floods while the West bakes. Extreme weather across the nation. What is in store for your weekend?

BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

PEREIRA: And I'm Michaela Pereira. It is Friday, the 5th of July and it's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

We begin this morning with accidents and injuries marring what should have been a joyous Fourth of July.

First, let's take you to Los Angeles. Something went terribly wrong during a firework show at a park in Simi Valley. Police say about two minutes into the show --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That wasn't supposed to happen.


PEREIRA: You can hear it. That wasn't supposed to happen.

That was an explosion. Fireworks apparently flying into the crowd. Witnesses report screaming as spectators scrambled to get away.


GREGORY PERKINS, EYEWITNESS: We had bits and pieces of fireworks coming at us. A big, round, cylinder block hit the person sitting next to me, not hard, but it did impact her.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PEREIRA: At least 28 people were injured. "The L.A. Times" saying most of those injuries were burns or shrapnel wounds. Authorities are calling what happened there an accident.

BERMAN: They had to call on the bomb squad to help defuse some of those fireworks.

Meanwhile, South Carolina, a worker there was severely injured when a shell blue up during a fireworks show. This happened in north Myrtle Beach, about six minutes into the display. Authorities say the explosion blew a three foot hole in a pier there. No word yet on that injured worker's condition.

PEREIRA: And take a look at these pictures from Seattle. Hard to tell, but those are boats on fire. They are on storage racks located near Lake Union, the same lake where hundreds of thousands gathered to watch the annual fireworks display for the Fourth of July. Apparently, though, someone was setting off illegal fireworks nearby. One of them happened to land on those stored boat and set them ablaze. There's going to be some disappointing discoveries for the owners.

Good to report that only one minor injury was reported.

BERMAN: You know, it's spectacular to see, but you do have to be careful.

PEREIRA: Yes, you really do.

BERMAN: All right. Two minutes after the hour here.

A tragic accident at Fourth of July parade in Oklahoma. This is so sad. An 8-year-old boy fell off a parade float in a town of Edmond near Oklahoma City. He was run over by part of the float as his friends watched. His father was behind the wheel. He apparently had not seen that his son had fallen. Authorities there are calling it a freak and simply awful accident.

PEREIRA: Now to Egypt where what had been a tense situation grows even more fragile this morning. Just days after he was received from power, prosecutors are now investigating the deposed president and top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood amid allegations they incited the violence that led to the deaths of protesters. And there are new reports this morning, the army and police have been attacked on the Sinai Peninsula.

Reza Sayah is live in Cairo with the very latest for us -- Reza.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Michaela, we know critics and opponents of Mohamed Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood are happy. They have been partying for the past couple of days because he and the Brotherhood are gone. But what about supporters of Mohamed Morsy and supporters of the Brotherhood? What are they thinking and feeling? We could find out today. They call for mass protests. How many people are going to come out on the streets? Will there be violence? There is some concern because in some places, we've already seen bloodshed.


SAYAH (voice-over): A Brotherhood backlash. More than 100 injured as supporters and opponents of Mohamed Morsy and his Muslim Brotherhood movement clash in three districts, including the ousted president's hometown. Thursday night's brawl, the first sign of retaliation by Morsy supporters who say he is Egypt's legitimate leader.

In Cairo, Morsy supporters remain peaceful, but defiant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are all present in all the squares in Egypt from now on until the legitimate president, Mohamed Morsy, returns back to his natural place, the presidential palace.

SAYAH: Meanwhile, the former democratically elected president is in military custody and now fighting for his freedom. One day after the armed forces toppled him from power, Egypt's top prosecutor banned Morsy from leaving the country and launched an investigation into accusations that the former president incited deadly violence. More than 30 Muslim Brotherhood leaders also in custody and facing charges.

On Thursday, Egypt's top judge, Adly Mansour, was sworn in as interim president, soon after he reached out to the president's supporters, inviting the Muslim Brotherhood to help build the nation.

But many among the Brotherhood not in the mood for fence mending. Instead, they are planning a day of protest, calling it "Friday of rejection."


SAYAH: Look for those demonstrations to begin after Friday prayers today. That's in about three hours. Some of the most hard line supporters of the Brotherhood and Mr. Morsy have made provocative statements, saying they are prepared to die. Other Brotherhood leaders are saying keep things peaceful.

A lot of people anxious to see what today brings, Michaela.

PEREIRA: Yes, certainly, especially amid those calls of demonstration today. How much time do you sense the military has to get this election process started? What is the temperature of the people there in Tahrir Square in terms of their appetite for this election process to happen?

SAYAH: They want it to happen quickly. But keep in mind, the military will tell you we're out of this. We've already elected an interim president. Now, it's all on him to set up new elections, draft a constitution. And these people behind us, the supporters of this new transitional government want that to happen as quickly as possible, Michaela. PEREIRA: All right. Reza Sayah there, reporting for us. Thank you so very much.

Bolivia's president is not backing down from his criticisms of the United States after a bizarre international incident earlier this week. You may recall the plane carrying President Evo Morales was on its way home from Moscow when it was forced to land in Vienna, amid suspicion that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was aboard.

Now, Morales is warning he could close the American embassy in Bolivia. He blames the Obama administration for provoking the incident.

The leaders of Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina and Uruguay are on his side. They have asked for an apology and want the U.N. to investigate.

BERMAN: And as for Snowden himself, could Iceland become his new home? Some lawmakers there are proposing to give the NSA leaker Icelandic citizenship. That would free him to travel despite the fact that his U.S. passport has been removed. But the proposal doesn't seem to be getting much support there. Just six lawmakers out of 63 in the Icelandic parliament back it. Snowden is still believed at this moment to be holed up at the airport in Moscow.

PEREIRA: Spying very much on the minds of our European allies. Investigators met Thursday in Brussels to discuss allegations. The U.S. eavesdropped on European diplomats. A high level meeting between the U.S. and European security officials may happen as soon as next week.

And now comes word France may have run its own PRISM program to collect information on phone calls emails and Internet activity. They are reporting the data has been collected for years and can be accessed by French intelligence and the police.

BERMAN: Let's turn now to the health of former South African president, Nelson Mandela. Officials there insist that the anti- apartheid activist is not in a vegetative state, but they do say he is on life support. The Mandela family says it did consider taking him off that life support last week when his condition took a turn for the worst.

CNN's Robyn Curnow in Pretoria this morning. She's been following every twist and turn here. She's outside the hospital where Mandela has been for weeks.

Good morning, Robyn. What's the latest?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there. There has been a month of twists and turns, hasn't it? That Nelson Mandela has been in the hospital behind me.

This much we know: Mandela is still critically ill, so much so that he remains on life support. He needs help to breathe. Doctors, though, denying that he's in a vegetative state. I also have independent confirmation that he is still responding to stimuli, that if somebody speaks to him, he responds and opens his eyes. Also, just a week ago, his daughter telling me that he still responded to touch, that he still squeezed hands.

So, a lot of conflicting information on how ill he is, whether the doctors think that he was so sick that the life support machines needed to be turned off a week ago. Well, obviously, things have improved because that didn't happen. But still, the real thing that Nelson Mandela is not going to improve or recover from this bout.

BERMAN: And, Robyn, still so many people standing outside that hospital where you are tracking every development in his condition. Of course, this is all happening during a family fight about burial sights, correct?

CURNOW: I mean, it really has been an emotional month, because as you say, the family has been fighting not just about the bones of where his descendents are buried, but essentially where he will be buried. It's a fight that's played out, of course, in the public sphere also. Also, it's been played out in the courts, which is why we've been getting all of this information, because it's being put in the court documents. And in those court documents, where the family was trying to push for him to be buried in one location, they say that his health was perilous and that his impending day was based on substantial and real grounds.

So, this is all playing into a very messy family feud. They say they're not divided. But South Africans I think frankly are quite embarrassed by this. But they are also quite pragmatic. They also that Nelson Mandela's family is perhaps not Nelson Mandela.

BERMAN: No. All this, of course, while a great man lies in that hospital behind you.

Robyn Curnow in Pretoria, thanks so much.


BERMAN: Ten minutes after the hour right now.

Crews battling the Arizona wildfire that killed 19 members of an elite hot shot team, they are making progress this morning. It's led to evacuation orders near Prescott, Arizona being lifted, that's some good news. The Yarnell Fire is now 80 percent contained. Some 500 personnel are still working that fire there. The blaze has already destroyed more than 100 homes.

PEREIRA: They made great progress from yesterday to today, 45 percent to 85 percent. That's great.

BERMAN: Good news what they need there.

PEREIRA: Yes. Going in the right direction.

While, meanwhile, flooding is a major problem in another part of the country this morning. The Florida panhandle nearly under water, 18 inches of rain fell on some areas in just under 36 hours, 18 inches. Officials were forced to open shelters, in fact, in the Panama City area.

Meanwhile in Virginia, floodwaters swamping streets there. A man near Roanoke drown apparently while trying to clear debris from a culvert. The Roanoke River is now fourth feet above flood stage.

BERMAN: Chad Myers is keeping an eye on weekend forecast for us. Actually, 18 inches sounds impossible to me. It's crazy.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No, there's no such thing as normal anymore.


MYERS: You know, it's either 100 or 40, and it's a drought or it's just rain and it won't stop. And that's where we are right now. You just can't get this to stop. The heat is back on in Boston, New York, Philadelphia. Heat index today, 100 to 105.

And I'm telling you what, I walked down to the village yesterday and it was 10 degrees warmer on the sunny side of the street.

So, the shade is important because the numbers you see here are in the shade. Your pet needs to be in the shade. Make sure your pet has a lot of water out there today. It is going to be hot for the rest of the weekend.

But now, I'm going to back you up 48 hours. In 48 hours with the radar into four seconds. Inlet Beach, Florida, 17.4 inches of rain in two days.

Watch this next graphic. This next graphic is what's still to come. Look at that -- another ten inches. That's right -- another ten inches of rainfall in the Florida Panhandle, two to three for Atlanta, and at least three to four for Nashville, all the way up into Columbus, on up into the Niagara frontier of Buffalo, New York. The rain will not stop.

We are in a blocked pattern. It's hot, mild, wet and hot. Depending on where you are, it's going to be like that for the next five days.

PEREIRA: Is there anywhere where it's just average right now?

MYERS: Antarctica.

BERMAN: Antarctica.


MYERS: That's all I got for you.

PEREIRA: It's crazy to look at that.

BERMAN: Book your flight right now.


BERMAN: Chad, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

PEREIRA: All right. So, amazing pictures to show you from China this morning. And please no, do not adjust your set that is green algae in the yellow sea. It has happened before. But this is the largest bloom of the kind ever reported in China. Not toxic to humans, thank goodness, because this fellow will have an issue, or to animals. But apparently it does threaten marine life below. The cause is thought to be industrial run off.

Now, when you hear that, I don't think I would love to take a swim in that.

BERMAN: That doesn't say go surfing.

PEREIRA: Oh, let's go take a dip.

BERMAN: That's what the ocean looks like in Emerald City, in Oz. It's crazy.

PEREIRA: You've been? You have been?

BERMAN: As a matter of fact, I have. Lovely beaches there.

PEREIRA: Oh, send me a postcard next time you go.

All right. Thirteen after the hour. Coming up, emotional moments are likely today at the George Zimmerman trial. Trayvon Martin's mother is set to take the stand. What she's expected to say.

BERMAN: And, you know, you saw this amazing rescue before. A woman in her car swallowed by a sinkhole. Those pictures are stunning. Now, that brave woman is sharing her story. We'll bring it to you after the break.

PEREIRA: I still can't believe she's able to climb out on her own power.


BERMAN: Breaking overnight -- it could be one of the most emotional and important days yet in the George Zimmerman trial there in Sanford, Florida. The prosecution is expected to wrap up their case.

But, first, a crucial witness expected to talk about a critical piece of evidence. Our George Howell brings us that story.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been the corner stone of the case. Screams are said to be proof of who was the aggressor the night Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. That is, if the screams can be identified.


DISPATCHER: Do you think he's yelling help?


DISPATCHER: All right. What is your --


CALLER: Just -- there's gunshots.


HOWELL: Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, is expected to take the stand in the most emotional day in court yet.

JONATHAN RAPPING, PROFESSOR, JOHN MARSHALL LAW SCHOOL: Trayvon's mother is going to make a compelling witness because she will personalize Trayvon Martin. She's going to have the jury I think feeling for her loss.

HOWELL: Both parents were seen crying during testimony. Martin's mother her with her eyes closed and looking away as jurors were shown graphic pictures of her son's lifeless body.

The main focus of Fulton's testimony will no doubt be her account of whose faint cries for help she believes are on the tape.

Judge Debra Nelson ruled out forensic testimony from voice recording experts but left the door open for someone more familiar with the person's voice to identify it, someone like a mother.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you believe that's your son's voice?

SYBRINAA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: Yes, I do. I believe that's Trayvon Martin. That's my baby's voice. Every mother knows their child. And that's his voice.

RAPPING: I think that once jurors get back to the deliberation room and the emotion wears off, I think the power of her testimony will not be as strong.

HOWELL: Analysts say the defense may choose not to cross examine. Instead, it's likely they will call on George Zimmerman's father to counter testify. He says that it's the voice of his son screaming for help. Ultimately, the jury of six women, some of them mothers, will have to decide.

George Howell, CNN, Sanford, Florida.


PEREIRA: It's set to be an emotional day, to be sure.

They have already released him, but the New England Patriots are still distancing themselves from former all pro tight end and now accused murderer Aaron Hernandez. The team is offering fans who purchases a Hernandez number 81 jersey from the Patriots pro shop, a free exchange for another players jersey this Saturday and Sunday.

BERMAN: I know a lot of people doing that in my hometown.

We are hearing for the first time from the Toledo, Ohio, woman who survived the 20-foot plunge into a sinkhole in her car. Sixty-year- old Pamela Knox was driving home when a giant sinkhole suddenly opened up on the street. It's crazy picture to look at. It swallowed her and her Chevy Malibu whole.


PAMELA KNOX, CAR PLUNGED INTO SINKHOLE: As the car was falling, I just kept calling on the name of Jesus. I kept saying, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.


BERMAN: Knox says she counted on her faith, you heard it there, and her guardian angels. Firefighters used a ladder to rescue here. She got on them, too. Her husband says he was worried about a pile-up on the busy street. Authorities suspect the sinkhole was caused by a broken water main that had weakened the street above.

PEREIRA: Again infrastructure can definitely weaken.

BERMAN: I can tell you. I mean, I can't believe how big that hole was and how deep and how quickly it opened up.

PEREIRA: We should point out, a programming note for you. Pamela Knox is going to be our guest, exclusively, on NEW DAY a little later this morning at 7:30 Eastern. I'm curious if time slowed down when it happened, or sped up in an instant.

You hear people saying that time plays tricks on you in those kinds of scenarios.

BERMAN: What is the first thing you think of when you're in the bottom of the hole because --

PEREIRA: Well, we heard what she thought of. She thought -- she leaned on her faith, to be sure.

BERMAN: Right.

PEREIRA: All right. We're going to take a short break.

Coming up, was June a good month for finding a job? You at home might have a different report, but there is a big, important jobs report coming up in just a few hours. What can we expect?


PEREIRA: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START. It is time to talk money. Zain Asher here with all of the business news. Good morning.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, guys. It is all about the June jobs report, probably the most anticipated jobs report so far this year. About three hours away from what could be a major reaction in the markets. We are getting signs, investors think the report might be right in line with what they expect to see because stock futures are already higher.

The idea would be the Goldilocks scenario. Steady growth in payrolls. But not enough to allow the Federal Reserve into scaling back its stimulus program.

According to the latest CNN Money poll, economists are expecting about 155,000 jobs to have been created in June with the jobless rate falling to 7.5 percent. Mortgage rates have been climbing over the past month. But there were signs of relief for the prospective homeowners in the past week.

The average rate for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 4.29 percent. It's down significantly from the 4.46 percent rate just a week earlier, the highest rate in almost two years. The rate on the 15-year fixed rate mortgage also declined in the latest week to 3.39 percent. And besides the Fourth of July, one sure sign that summer is in full swing is, of course, music festivals. They can be huge moneymakers.

CNN Money looked at the big business of concert and took the Coachella Festival as an example. It's one of the most profitable music festivals in the U.S. Coachella last year sold 158,000 tickets.


ASHER: I know.

BERMAN: And pulled in $47 million in revenue. That's up from just $17 million in 2007. Tickets for the 2013 festival, which took place in April sold out in 28 minutes.

PEREIRA: It's interesting to see that, too, because oftentimes, ticket sales for individual concerts, they struggle with them, individual artists. But when you put a group together, like in a Coachella Music Festival, they seem to do very well. More bang for your buck.

ASHER: The last concern I went to was a bit of an '80s throwback, Debbie Gibson.

BERMAN: Wow. That is fantastic.

ASHER: She was in town last year.

PEREIRA: Did you enjoy it?

ASHER: Yes, I did. BERMAN: I'm more of a Tiffany fan. But that's pretty good. I'm impressed.

ASHER: I'm sure you are, John.

BERMAN: Coming up here --

PEREIRA: I've got nothing.

BERMAN: That's Tiffany, can't beat Tiffany.

We are going to talk about the mystery that gripped the world for years. Three-year-old Madeline McCann vanishes while on vacation with her parents. Why British police believe that she's still alive.