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Fireworks Shoot Out into Crowd; A Summer of Extremes; Armed to the Teeth; Simmering Tensions in Egypt; Nelson Mandela Gravely Ill; George Zimmeran on Trial
Aired July 5, 2013 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- shooting down and hit the side of my leg.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, fireworks gone wrong. One town's show turns into a battlefield. Twenty-eight people rushed to the hospital. We have the latest.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Wild weather. A brutal holiday for much of the country from flooding to triple digit heat. Holiday events canceled across the U.S. So, what's in store today?
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Powerful testimony. An emotional day in the George Zimmerman trial coming today. Trayvon Martin's mother expected to take the stand. Will she sway the all-female jury?
CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.
CUOMO: Good morning and welcome, everybody. This is NEW DAY. It's Friday, July 5th, 6:00 in the East. I'm Chris Cuomo.
BOLDUAN: And I'm Kate Bolduan. Good morning, everybody. We're joined by news anchor, Michaela Pereira.
PEREIRA: Good morning.
BOLDUAN: And Happy 5th of July. Hope you had a fabulous holiday and you are resting up this morning, but we do have a lot of news to get to today, including the latest from Egypt where violence has flared up after the military took control. Just look at those pictures from the country.
Demonstrators are rallying to the site of the imprisoned former president and there have been clashes on streets. We're going to have a live report coming up.
CUOMO: Hope it's not just the beginning there. It's one of the things we have to look at. Also, a new twist in the case of missing girl, Maddie McCann. You remember this story? She was missing in 2007, vacationing with her family in Portugal. They never knew what happened. Well, now the case alive again. Thirty-eight persons of interest say British authorities. What new evidence they have, we'll take you through it.
PEREIRA: And you remember that terrifying video we showed you from Toledo, a woman trapped inside her car after a sinkhole opens up in the earth right below her? We were all wondering how exactly she got out. Well, guess what? She is here live exclusively to talk to us on NEW DAY this morning.
CUOMO: Can't wait for that.
BOLDUAN: Can't wait for that. Can't wait to hear what she was thinking when that happened because unreal that it happened to her.
We want to begin with Independence Day celebrations that unfortunately went horribly wrong. In Southern California, fireworks that were supposed to shoot up into the sky shot out into the crowd instead. That wasn't the only display that ended in disaster last night. John Berman has been kind of capturing it all for us. John, some of this went horribly wrong.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that was not the only problem. It was a dangerous night in a lot of places. Obviously, we know these displays can be spectacular, that's why we all go to them, but you have to be so careful. About 28 people were hurt when fireworks exploded in the Simi Valley, California, sending the crowd running in terror, also incidents in Colorado and Seattle as well.
BERMAN (voice-over): For the first 2 minutes the annual fireworks show in Simi Valley, California, was spectacular, but then something went horribly wrong. Some of the fireworks accidentally detonated and according to witnesses they all started going off at once, some too low to the ground.
JOANNE HERRERA, FIREWORK SPECTATOR: I thought it was pretty spectacular and then everything just went crazy and everybody started screaming and everything that was supposed to happen didn't happen. So it was pretty -- pretty frightening.
BERMAN: Pieces of fireworks rained down on spectators.
GREGORY PERKINS, FIREWORK SPECTATOR: 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.
BERMAN: Of the 28 people injured, 20 were taken to the hospital, 16 with minor to severe injuries. The scene so violent a bomb squad was called to the scene to dispose of the rest of the fireworks.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, a firework show there sparked a fire in the park, the flames ten-feet high. Firefighters rushed to the scene. Despite those heavy winds, crews were able to get the fire under control.
KAMI GILMOUR, FIREWORK SPECTATOR (via telephone): These fires are like really scattered about. So every time that wind would drop more ash down, it would literally ignite and be like --
BERMAN: In Seattle, six boats loaded with fireworks go up in flames just minutes before the annual show there. Officials say illegal fireworks aboard caused that fire.
BERMAN: In the Simi Valley incident, the one with the most injuries, an investigation is under way to determine what caused those fireworks to explode. As of now, they're suggesting it appears to have been an accident -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right, John, thanks for that. Let's talk about this a little bit more now. Joining us from Simi Valley, California, is Captain Mike Lindberry with the Ventura County Fire Department. Thank you very much for joining us, Captain. Can you hear us?
CAPTAIN MIKE LINDBERRY, VENTURA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT (via telephone): Good morning. Good to be here.
CUOMO: Thanks for joining us. We know what happened. What do we know about why this happened, sir?
LINDBERRY: Well, we just really entered the primary portion of the investigation. So it's really tough to tell. What it appears to be is ground explosion of one of the mortars that caused the chain reaction with the others that were set up to go for the display. But like I said, we haven't determined that completely yet. We need to get in there. It's going to be a slow process. We want to make sure that we dispose of all of the unexploded ordnance and make that area safe to get in and take a good, close look.
COUMO: Absolutely, that should be the priority, Captain. Let me ask you, at this early stage, any indication of anything that was different this year because obviously it's an annual event?
LINDBERRY: Well, you know what? It's an annual event, yes. Different, yes, there was a big difference this year in the fact that the accident occurred.
CUOMO: No, but I mean in terms of, were people closer to it this year, set up differently, did you have more than usual? That's what I mean.
LINDBERRY: No, no. Actually we -- we had our crowds over 350 feet away from the area that they actually launched the fireworks from. The -- required by law it's 300 feet. Fortunately, we did have them farther out there or we could have, you know, seen a little bit more or more serious injury. You know, it's difficult thing to look at when you see the videos. But other than that, no, we really didn't have anything different that I know of. CUOMO: Luckily, you had a lot of support people, first responder there's. It's interesting in hearing the events a mortar may have gone off the wrong way. That you need a bomb squad to deal with unexploded ordnance. Do you think people understand for all of the beauty, just how powerful these fireworks are?
LINDBERRY: I don't know. That's a good question. And I would say anybody that's ever seen one or heard them going off are have to have some idea of that. I work in the business and I do realize the energy released with things like that, so I said earlier today, there is an inherent danger with all of this because we are dealing with things that explode.
But we're so used to being able to control them as we do every year, successfully, I'm sure we've done it successfully in thousands of towns all over the united states yesterday, but unfortunately something went terribly wrong in Simi last night. It's really our job to get in there and figure out what happened and get in there and try to figure out how to prevent that from happening again.
CUOMO: Absolutely. Captain, thanks for joining us this morning. As you find things out, please come back to us. Let us know what we can report. Thankfully people were hurt, but nobody lost their lives and that's what matters in the end. Thanks again for coming on with us. Appreciate it.
LINDBERRY: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Along with those firework displays, a lot of people are taking the opportunity to make this a long holiday weekend. But with that, this weekend we're going to see a lot of weather extremes, intense heat scorching a large portion of the country and nonstop rain in the south and parts of the Midwest. Let's bring in Chad Myers to take a look at everything's that's going on. It seem extreme's one way or the other -- Chad.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, Kate, there's no normal anymore. It's 100 or it's 40. It's a drought or it's flooding and that's what we had yesterday another day of extreme weather.
MYERS (voice-over): Spectacular light shows filled the sky from D.C. to Boston, but the sizzling temps too much for some.
DEVAL PATRICK, GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: The outline of the shade is the outline of the crowd.
MYERS: One hundred and twenty people received heat-related medical attention at Boston. Heavy rain and floods plagued other parts of the east.
BRANDY SQUIRES, FIREWORK SPECTATOR: Raining on our parade. It's soaking our parade.
MYERS: Rising waters turned tragic in Southwest Virginia. One man drowned outside his home battling the waters. Many roads in the area simply impassable. In the southeast, parts of the Florida panhandle received as much as 18 inches of rain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It hasn't been this high since I've been here. I've been going down here since I was 9 years old.
MYERS: Wet lawn chairs lining this parade route in Southern Ohio, postponed due to the downpours. But in Nashville, Tennessee, the rain didn't stop their party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Always awesome. Getting a little soaked this year.
MYERS: Out west, golf ball-sized hail pummels parts of Northern California and New Mexico. Despite a steady drizzle, 60,000 Peach Tree road race runners powered through the 10K, reminding us what the Fourth is all about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great to see runners brave the weather and come out and had an amazing race. It's a great morning for it.
MYERS: You know, I can't do 10k in the dry. I don't know how they did it in the wet. So good for them they finished, 60,000 people finished that 10k in Atlanta, Georgia yesterday. It's going to be another hot one across the northeast. Now the numbers when we talked about temperatures and heat indexes, talking about 100 to 105, those are in the shade. That's not in the sun.
You walk on the other side of the street. It can be 15 degrees warmer than that. Consider that if you walk your dog. Make sure dogs have plenty of shade out there today. All of the pets taking care of the pots of waters as well. It's 91 New York City, but it's going to feel like 100. It's 95 Boston, it's going to feel like 104. Washington, D.C., hot in the mall as well.
Rain continues. This is where it has rained so very hard. Look at this. I backed up 48 hours of radar into 4 seconds, 17 inches of rainfall in 48 hours. The next 48 hours in the next 4 seconds. Guess where it's raining? The same places and so this is where you get wet on top of wet. The ground can't handle it anymore.
You have to watch out for that flooding especially at night when you're driving around. You don't know how deep that water is. Be careful this weekend. It's going to rain literally in the same spots for the entire weekend long.
BOLDUAN: Exact same radar from two days ago to two days from now, you got to be careful. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, you got to drink your water in the heat. I don't listen to my own advice half of the time.
CUOMO: Hopefully everybody at home is.
A lot of other news this morning, a man is in custody this morning after police say they spotted him in a truck loaded with firearms, Molotov cocktails and body armor on the University of Washington campus. Now Seattle police are looking into his background, the question, did he have a plan? More on the story from CNN's Tory Dunnan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no idea what his intentions are.
TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Authorities in Seattle are trying to figure out why 21-year-old man from Nevada was driving around the University of Washington with a bunch of Molotov cocktails, rifle, a shotgun and body armor. University police say they first made contact with the suspect, who they are not naming on Tuesday, after discovering him sleeping in a pickup truck near campus.
CHIEF JOHN VINCENT, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: The suspect was questioned and vehicle checked for various warrants with nothing coming back.
DUNNAN: They let the suspect go, but on Wednesday morning campus police learned the truck had been reported stolen in Butte, Montana. Officers tracked down the vehicle once again. Police say they found a supply of weapons hidden in the bed of the truck.
VINCENT: A stolen scoped rifle, a stolen shotgun, suspected incendiary devices and body armor.
DUNNAN: The suspect is in King County jail. Authorities aren't commenting on what he intended to do with weapons and explosives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anytime you have someone with body armor, long guns and incendiary devices that is a significant concern.
DUNNAN: We're told there is an increased police presence on campus, but Seattle police don't believe there's a threat to the University of Washington or the community. Authorities are describing this as an active investigation where they're following any and all leads. Tory Dunnan, CNN, Los Angeles.
BOLDUAN: All right, Tory, thank you so much. Another big story we've been watching all week, tensions simmering overnight in Egypt. The Egyptian military has been cracking down on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsy. In return, the defiant Muslim Brotherhood calling on its supporters to protest.
Today, CNN's Reza Sayah is live in Cairo with the latest developments. So Reza, you've been really following protests from both sides all week. But what is it looking like it's going to be today?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Every day feels different here. But today, Kate, we're feeling tension because no one knows how the Muslim Brotherhood supporters of the ousted President Mohammed Morsy are going to react. We know they are angry. How angry? We could find out today they have called for mass protests throughout Egypt. Are they going to be big? Is there going to be violence? There is concern because in some areas 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 still say he's Egypt's legitimate leader. In Cairo, Morsy supporters remain peaceful but defiant.
HOSSAIN ANIL, MEMBER OF FREEDOM AND JUSTICE PARTY (through translator): We are all present in all of the squares in Egypt from now on until a 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 were 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 protests calling it Friday of rejection.
SAYAH: We've just learned that in some areas those pro-Morsy demonstrations have started. Some supporters are making provocative statements saying they're willing to die. Other Brotherhood leaders saying, let's keep things peaceful. All of Egypt bracing itself for what today could bring -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right, Reza, thank you for that. Let's stay on the continent of Africa right now because we're learning more about Nelson Mandela's touch and go health situation. Court document says Mandela's condition had gotten so bad last week, doctors were recommending taking him off life support. Since then, 94-year-old South African icon has rallied. Robyn Curnow is in Pretoria with the latest this morning. Good morning, Robyn.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Just an indication of how gravely ill Mandela is in this hospital behind me, we're learning that he has been on dialysis, essentially receiving treatment for kidney failure. This, of course, in addition to the fact that he can't breathe on his own, that he's been on a ventilator.
Despite also reports, though, that he was in a vegetative state, we know that it's not that bad. We understand that he is still responsive, that if somebody talks to him, his eyes flicker open. So he is responding to stimuli. And there is an indication that perhaps he has rallied in the last week and a half because there were these reports and court documents saying that doctors advised the family to switch off machines, but they also didn't feel it was necessary in the last week or so.
So, South Africans cognizant of the fact that Mandela is gravely ill. I don't know if you can hear, there's a whole group of him singing outside the hospital. Many come here still after nearly a month to pay tribute to him.
CUOMO: All right. Robyn, thank you so much. So much emotion surrounding this. The strength of the man, 94 years old, critical but stable condition for now.
BOLDUAN: And the whole world watching, waiting, and praying for him and his family at this moment.
There's a lot of news developing this in hour. So, let's get to Michaela for the latest.
PEREIRA: Good morning to you both. And good morning to you at home.
Making news: heartbreak at Fourth of July just north of Oklahoma City. A 7-year-old boy died after a trailer, pulled by his father, ran him over. Police say the boy either jumped or fell off of a float and was run over by the trailer carrying it. His father rushed out of the truck and he and a nearby performed CPR on the boy but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
And in Chicago, the Fourth of July taking a deadly turn, at least four killed. Fifteen wounded in separate shootings. One of the victims, a 7-year-old boy having a picnic -- a holiday picnic, rather, with his family. In another incident, police shot and killed a 17-year-old who they say pulled a gun on them.
Police in Washington, D.C., investigating a menacing video. It appears to show a known activist loading a shotgun in the nation's capital. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM KOKESH, GUN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: We will not allow our government to destroy our humanity. We are the final American revolution. See you next Independence Day!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREIRA: The guy in the video is Adam Kokesh, tried to hold a protest that involved people carrying loaded weapons in the state capitol. Police say if they can -- or in the nation's capital. Police say if they can authenticate the video, Kokesh could face up to a year in prison, because it is legal to carry a loaded gun in Washington.
Major progress meanwhile on the fires in Arizona. The Yarnell Hill blaze that killed 19 elite firefighters is now 80 percent contained. That's nearly double containment crews had on the fire just yesterday. Some of the people evacuated near Prescott, Arizona, are now able to return home. The forecast is calling for cooler temperatures, and calmer winds, which we know will be much more helpful for the firefighters.
Lastly, if you didn't get a chance, like us, to see some fireworks last night we're going to bring them to you now. This spectacular show helped kickoff a weekend of food, fun, concerts at fair St. Louis. Meanwhile, D.C. put on quite an impressive show with the Washington Monument in the foreground, and in New York, Macy's fireworks show dazzled and it had a superstar's touch. Usher helped create the score and visual design this year, with 7:30 bedtime, you don't see all of that. I'm glad we had a chance to see the fireworks show exacted.
CUOMO: I was driving back last night, and there were a lot of fireworks going off on the sides of the highway. And it was interesting, you could feel in the car the -- a nod to how powerful.
CUOMO: We're going to go to break now. When we come back on NEW DAY, prosecutors about to wrap up their case in the Zimmerman trial. What could be their big finish? Trayvon Martin's mortgage may take the stand.
BOLDUAN: Plus, you remember this name and you remember this face, Madeleine McCann. She's been missing for six years. Well, now, there may be a big break in this case. British police actually believe she's still alive.
BERMAN: Welcome back, everybody. Great to have you with us here on NEW DAY.
The prosecution is planning a strong finish in the George Zimmerman trial. In just a few hours, Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, could be on the witness stand. The big question, can she identify her son's voice as the one crying out for help in those 911 tapes? Remember, most of the all-female jury are mothers as well.
CNN's George Howell is live in Sanford, Florida, with more.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning. And that is exactly what prosecutors are banking on, that question, who would better know their child's cries for help better than a mother. They hope that that resonate with this jury of six women, five of them, Chris, mothers.
HOWELL (voice-over): It's been the cornerstone of the prosecution's case from the beginning: screams heard on the 911 audiotape 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.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DISPATCHER: Do you think he's yelling help?
DISPATCHER: All right. What is your --
CALLER: Just -- there's gunshots.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
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 that 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 is 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.
HOWELL: We expect to hear from the prosecution's strongest witnesses today as state rests its case this evening. And then, defense attorneys, Chris, will lay out their case for the next several days, calling their own witnesses.
CUOMO: All right. George, thank you very much.
Critical question on the voice testimony, is that the voice of somebody who fears that they may be beaten to death or is it the voice of somebody who fears they're about to be shot? We're going to have a lot more on this trial, obviously, in the next hour.
We're also going to have live coverage when it begins at about 8:30 Eastern.
BOLDUAN: We'll be watching that very, very closely today.
And still ahead, coming up next on NEW DAY, a stunning -- this is amazing that this story is back in the headlines -- stunning twist in the case of a missing child that drew worldwide attention. British police say they believe there is new evidence that Madeleine McCann may still be alive six years after she disappeared.
CUOMO: It really is amazing, following that case all these years.
Plus, the perils of being a sideline reporter, see that? What do you think's going to happen in the game today? Who is this?
CUOMO: She can take a hit, though.
CUOMO: We're going to tell you the story behind the video.
BOLDUAN: Fifteen yards.
CUOMO: I like that the guy doesn't drop the ball. Hold the ball. Ball protection. Points of contact.