Return to Transcripts main page


Fireworks Display Injures Dozens in California; Demonstrations Continues in Egypt; Gas Prices React to Unrest in Middle East; Continuing Coverage of the George Zimmerman Trial

Aired July 5, 2013 - 07:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh! It's all falling on the field.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, fireworks disaster. Dozens injured when a fireworks show goes terribly wrong. The dramatic video ahead.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Sudden plunge. Imagine driving when the road literally falls in below you, plummeting 20 feet into the earth. The woman trapped inside that sinkhole joins us live this morning.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: In a flash, the engagement photoshoot that turned into a dramatic river rescue. Meet the bride-to-be who bolted from her glamour shot to save a little boy.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a coup. This is a revolution.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michela Pereira.


BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome back to new day, everybody. It is Friday, July 5th. Happy Friday. Seven o'clock in the east. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CUOMO: And I'm Chris Cuomo joined as always by news anchor, Michela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

CUOMO: Hope everybody had a really good Fourth of July. And now, we give you the news.

Coming up this hour, Egypt in turmoil. We're live in Cairo. Tensions are reaching a boiling point between supporters of deposed president, Mohamed Morsy, and the military. We will bring you the latest from the ground.

BOLDUAN: And then, we're expecting a very big day in the George Zimmerman trial. Trayvon Martin's mother could be taking the stand as the prosecution rests. How could her testimony sway the jury? An emotional day. HLN's Vinnie Politan and defense attorney, Danny Cevallos, will be joining us to take a look.

PEREIRA: And an update for you this morning in those two teenage girls recovering after they were critically injured in this horrific parasailing accident. There is a new and troubling allegation against the company that owned the boat. It's hard to watch that video.

BOLDUAN: Sure is.

All right. New this morning, Independence Day disasters. Really, for many Americans, the Fourth of July would not be complete without fireworks, but you do not want this to happen. Last night at a park in Simi Valley, California, the traditional oohs and ahhs were replaced with some absolute screams when fireworks shot into the crowd injuring dozens. John Berman has been looking out at all is here with an update on this story. It was terrifying for folks.

BERMAN: There were actually a number of incidents overnight. As you said, dozens of people injured. The most serious, which was in Simi Valley, California, fire officials tell us it may have been a chain reaction on the ground that made it so dangerous.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: For the first two 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 guying off at once, some too low to the ground.

JOANNE HERRERA, FIREWORK SPECTATOR: I thought it was pretty spectacular, and then everything went crazy and everybody started screaming and everything that was supposed to happen didn't happen. So it was 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 fireworks show there sparked a fire in the park.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!

BERMAN: The flames 10 feet high, firefighter rushed to the scene. Despite those heavy winds, crews were able to get that fire under control.

KAMI GILMOUR, FIREWORK SPECTATOR: These fires are like really scattered about and so every time that wind would drop more ash down, it would just literally ignite and just be like --

BERMAN: And in Seattle, boats went up in flames just minutes before the annual show there after nearby fireworks landed on a boat cover.


BERMAN: Authorities say it was illegal fireworks that sparked the blaze there. And the damage estimate, about $1.5 million. You know every year around the Fourth of July, during the month, there are thousands of people who go to the emergency room with fireworks injuries, but usually we're talking about the personal stuff.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

BERMAN: Shooting it off on the back lawns. It's not spectators at public shows. That's really surprising to see.

BOLDUAN: And we're learning there are laws to how close things are to be set off. But still, it's a dangerous thing.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Even with that a randomness. These are bombs going off, they happen to be beautiful ones. Earlier this morning I spoke with Captain Mike Lindberry, he says it's early on but they're trying to get to the bottom of what caused the Simi Valley mishap. Take a listen.


CAPT. MIKE LINDBERRY, VENTURA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: 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 the unexploded ordnance and make that area safe to get in there and take a good, close look.

CUOMO: It's interesting, hearing the description of the events, a mortar may have gone off the wrong way, you need a bomb squad to deal with unexploded ordnance. Do you think people understand, for all of their beauty, how powerful the pyro-techniques, these fireworks are.

LINDBERRY: There is an inherent danger 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.


CUOMO: There's no allegation of any real wrongdoing, you know. They are calling it an accident now. They did make a point, the law there, 300 feet you have to be back. Captain said their people were back 350. BOLDUAN: So, as you said, beautiful but they're so powerful, sometimes you don't think people remember that when they go to see the shows.

It's not just fireworks we're talking about. We're also talking about Mother Nature adding a wrinkle to the July 4th festivities. Scorching in some places, soaking in others, the video of some of this flooding, Chad, has been really amazing. What is the weekend going to look like?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: More rain for the same places. The jet stream's not moving, they is going to rain stay in the same place. A love time lapse, 48 hours worth of rainfall here the last 48 hours, obviously. Watch right down here, watch south Florida where the rain one storm after another, 17 inches of rainfall right there. And then rain in across Georgia. Let me back you up, two years in Georgia 97 percent drought. This year, no drought, in fact, flooding. The extreme weather continues. Yesterday was no different.


MYERS: 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: And 120 people received heat-related medical attention at Boston's Esplanade. And heavy rain and floods plagued other parts of the east.


MYERS: Rising waters turned tragic in southwest West Virginia. One man drowned outside his home batting 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 down here since I was nine years old.

MYERS: Wet lawn chairs line the parade route in south Ohio postponed due to the downpours. But in Nashville, Tennessee, the rain didn't stop their party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's always been awesome, just getting a little soaked this year.

MYERS: Out west, golf ball-sized hail pummels 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 about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's great to see so many runners out here brave the weather, come out and have an amazing race. It was a great morning for it. (END VIDEOTAPE)

MYERS: I don't know what's better, 95 degree heat and try to run in that or run in the rain. So the peach tree did get off yesterday and 60,000 people made it through the 10k. Congratulations to all of them.

Hot day in the northeast today. Temperatures going to feel like 100 with the heat index from Boston down to the Carolinas. It's mild through the central part of the country but flooding continues from Ohio down to Florida. We'll keep you advised as that continues today.

BOLDUAN: As I like to say, best place to be, Indiana. That seems to be the place where the best place is.

CUOMO: For you.


CUOMO: At least they're not getting hit with the bad weather. Thank you, Chad.

Let's move on to what's go on in Egypt. That place remains in chaos. There are reports that the police and army were attacked with rockets in the Sinai Peninsula. The Muslim Brotherhood is stoking its supporters to get in the streets and protest the ouster of ex- president Mohamed Morsy. Reza Sayah is on the streets of Cairo joining us now. Reza, what's the situation?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right now we're on a street leading to Tahrir Square, which is over there. People screaming there, getting ready to celebrate again. This is one of the souvenir stands. This is selling like hotcakes, the general that told Mohamed Morsy he's no longer president. You have anonymous masks. You have afro wigs and lots of Egyptian flags.

There's partying, but there's a little bit of tension because no one's sure what the Muslim Brotherhood is going to do, supporters of Mohamed Morsy. They have called for protests. Are they going to be big? Have they going to be violent? Some are concerned because in some areas things have already turned ugly.


SAYAH: 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. 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, then 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 Monsour, was sworn in as interim president. So 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're planning a day of protests, calling it "Friday of Rejection."


SAYAH: We can tell you that some of the pro-Morsy demonstrations have started. Some Muslim Brotherhood leaders have made some provocative statements saying they're willing to die, others have said let's keep things peaceful -- mixed messages. We're going to wait to see what today brings, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Reza, thanks for bringing that to us all week.

Egypt also this is an important thing, one thing we talk about a lot, controls a critical passageway, the Suez Canal, a key location for transporting oil. And the uncertainty in Egypt some are saying has led to an oil price spike in the middle of the week.

So let's break this down more and what it all means with Rana Foroohar. She's CNN's global economic analyst and assistant managing editor of "TIME" magazine. Rana, it's great to see you. Thanks for coming in. It's always a question of how does the crisis in the Middle East translate to oil prices which also then translate to gas pumps here in the U.S. So starting with the crisis and the chaos, what affect is that having on oil prices?

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: You saw a spike on Wednesday. Oil went to its highest price in 13 months. Now thankfully since then it's gone back down, but it's still hovering over $100 a barrel, which is relatively high by historical standards.

BOLDUAN: What do you think is affecting that?

FOROOHAR: I think we're going to see a very volatile summer. It's important to remember, it's not just Egypt that's in play here. Iranian sanctions are continuing to keep supplies tight. There's new demand from Asia. When we see the jobs numbers later on that will be a big indicator of what the recovery is doing here in the U.S. and that may increase demand. So I think we are going to see continued high prices, although hopefully not as spike as long as there's no violence in the Middle East.

BOLDUAN: And so then follow that line to the U.S. How is that going to impact, if there's volatility in the oil market, how is that going to affect gas prices?

FOROOHAR: Summer is always a time when you see rising gas prices anyway. And I think, again, it's going to keep prices higher than they might have been ordinarily. Global demand has actually been a little weaker than it has been in the past. So we should have been at this point seeing prices down below $100 a barrel. I think this summer we're probably not going to see that for all of the reasons we've spoken about.

BOLDUAN: It's kind of a wild ride. Is the key in your mind to offer some stability, is it the military can be confident and keep the Suez Canal open?

FOROOHAR: Absolutely. But it's how the transition is handled. We want to see a very swift move to free elections. You want all parties involved. Democracy's about elections but it's also how everyone in society is being treated. You want to see the transition be smooth.

BOLDUAN: And looking ahead in an hour and 15 minutes a big June jobs report. We'll talk more with you about it then. But what are you expecting?

FOROOHAR: I'm expecting a slight decrease in unemployment figure. We're looking at about 150,000 to 165,000 jobs created.

BOLDUAN: Good news.

FOROOHAR: I think so. It's going to be a little bit lower than it was in May, but I think it's going to be enough to keep us where we are. It's not a robust recovery but I don't think we'll see things really dip.

BOLDUAN: All right, we'll talk more about it then. Rana, great to see you. Slow but steady.

CUOMO: It will be important to see where the jobs are coming from.

BOLDUAN: Very important.

CUOMO: There's a lot of other news this morning. Let get over to Michaela. We're learning new details about what happened in this fire.

PEREIRA: We are, heartbreaking details. We know the 19 firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting the Yarnell Hill fire died from burns inhalation problems. The medical examiner's office releasing findings Thursday. We are also learning more about upcoming tributes for the men. A 19-hearse procession from Phoenix to Prescott will happen Sunday morning. Memorial services are set for next Tuesday. We should report also that the fire is now 80 percent contained.

A miracle in China, the 15-month-old baby pulled from the rubble of a house that collapsed in a landslide. The infant was buried alive for some seven hours. Officials discovered her cradle by her grandmother whose body was crushed against concrete and beams, but there was enough room for her granddaughter to survive.

An intense search this morning off of New York's Coney Island for two missing jet skiers. New York Police say a man and woman were on a personal water craft yesterday. The woman fell off. The man jumped in after her. Neither have been seen since. Breaking news -- the late Pope John Paul II is to be made a saint. We should get -- let you know that was announced from the Vatican just now. We're getting details about that as we speak into the CNN Newsroom. It was announced by the Vatican. No date has been announced for the canonization ceremony. But again, that has been announced they will declare Pope John Paul II a saint.

A very special tribute at the annual Boston Fourth of July concert and fireworks spectacular. That is Richard Donahue, the transit officer who was seriously wounded in the shootout with alleged marathon bombing suspect. He made a surprise appearance. He was conducting, look at this, the guest conductor at the Esplanade. He led the orchestra in a performance of one song. He received a standing ovation standing there on his crutches. You can tell how much he's enjoying the experience himself.

CUOMO: It's great to see, how they stepped up in Boston, the first responders, Boston strong, all day long. It's great to see him there.

PEREIRA: And singing a Boston song.

BOLDUAN: There you go.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, the Zimmerman murder trial, a big, big question is whose voice is the one screaming out for help on those 911 tapes? It could be difference between self-defense and murder. Remember, no experts allowed. Trayvon Martin's mother could be the one that this hinges on. We'll have special coverage.

BOLDUAN: And a terrifying ordeal we've been following, a sinkhole swallows a car whole. And its driver at the same time. She's going to be joining us live here in NEW DAY. It's a NEW DAY exclusive.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Prosecution may have saved its best for last. Trayvon Martin's mother is expected to take the stand today and give what is expected to be gripping testimony. She could tell the jury about the moments leading up to her son's death and about those all important screams heard on those 911 call. CNN's George Howell is live in Sanford, Florida. He has all of the latest. Good morning.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning. Her testimony is very important when you consider the jury - a jury of six women, five of them mothers. Prosecutors are banking on the hope what she has to say will resonate with them.


HOWELL: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he's yelling help? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's -- 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, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Trayvon's mother will 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 here 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe that is your son's voice?

SYBRINA 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 one 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 cross-examine, instead, it's likely they'll 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 will likely hear from some of the prosecution's strongest witnesses today as the state is expected to rest its case and defense attorneys will lay out their case calling on several new witnesses over the next several days.

CUOMO: George, thank you very much for the reporting.

Let's bring in Vinnie Politan CNN legal analyst and host of HLN's "After Dark," and Danny Cevallos, criminal defense attorney. Fellas, thanks for being here with us this morning. Hope you had a good Fourth of July.

Vinnie, please, lay out for us why this is so important. If the jury believes the voice of the person crying out on calls is Trayvon Martin, what could that mean? VINNIE POLITAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's a win for the prosecution. If they are convinced that that is Trayvon Martin, and Sybrina Fulton is the one we believe will testify to that, and they believe it, it's over. It's over. Over for George Zimmerman because Trayvon Martin is the one screaming for his life and he stopped screaming when the gunshot is fired. Such an important day.

CUOMO: All right, so Danny, Vinnie is making the point you can't be arguing self-defense if Trayvon Martin is screaming for help. What do you say.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I have to respectfully disagree with the great Vinnie Politan and here's why. If he disbelieve the self-defense and actually even if you believe that's Trayvon Martin's voice it doesn't conclusively establish or disprove self-defense in and of itself. I can't think of what element of the prosecution's burden that specifically goes to.

Even if the jurors disbelieve self-defense and they have to disbelieve it beyond a reasonable doubt to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt, the prosecution is not relieved of its burden to prove depraved-heart murder, depraved-mind murder. They have to establish that malice, the ill will, the hatred, without that they can't make out their case in chief.

CUOMO: All right, Danny --

CEVALLOS: So I respectfully disagree.

CUOMO: All right, you didn't have me there in the beginning, but you got me there at the end. So, Vinnie, the takeaway point to put back to you is, okay, maybe it hurts his self-defense but it doesn't mean beyond a reasonable doubt you proved that George Zimmerman is a murderer. So the question to you is, is the theory Zimmerman's a wannabe cop who lies a little bit and seems to have a problem with blacks being in his neighborhood enough for a murder-two case?

POLITAN: Well it is. It is. The judge will make the ultimate decision on that, if it's enough to get it to the jury, the jury will decide. But here it is -- we listened to George Zimmerman's own voice, you know, bleeping bleeps, these bleeps always get away. Who is he talking about? It's really obvious who he's talking about because we heard the prior calls that he made to police.

It's always about young black men or young, young black boys, teenagers in his neighborhood, standing in the street, hanging by the gate, walking down the street. They always get away. He was not going to let Trayvon Martin get away that night. And that's the argument. And that's a powerful argument.

CUOMO: If he knew what stand your ground was, which is another part of the prosecution theory, that means he went in there knowing what he could do, he may have had a plan, a plan like that would have evil intent, that's their case for murder.

All right. So it comes down to this, Danny, obviously the jury decides all of this. The jury. It's all about them, but when the mother gets on the stand and she's upset and there are mothers are on the jury and says, that's my kid's voice, this is all about great cross- examination. Can it be about that today?

CEVALLOS: Well there are a couple of points to consider with this. Number one, you're right you don't want to go too hard on Trayvon Martin's mother. After all, it's his mother. But there are points too, they are going to still have to establish foundation. There's a foundational element here that is interesting. She's known Trayvon all of his life, undoubtedly she's familiar with his voice. But is she familiar with his voice screaming in that manner as we hear on the phone? That's a different kind of familiarity.

The defense may make an issue of that, they may choose not to. More likely than not, take the safer avenue of calling their own witness in their own case. However, recall Trayvon Martin's father Tracy Martin, Mr. Politan knows this, initially dis-identified the voice. He said, that's not my son. This is an interesting topic. We might see in cross-examination.

CUOMO: That's an interesting counterpoint. Let me ask you this: quick take, what's more likely, my getting drafted by the NBA next year or George Zimmerman getting on the stand?

CEVALLOS: I can (ph) answer that. Number one --


POLITAN: George Zimmerman getting on the stand. I think there's a chance because of his attitude.

CUOMO: Are you saying I can't play? I got no game, what you're trying to say? You don't think he's going to take the stand.

POLITAN: You got no left hand. That's the problem, Chris. You're all right.


CUOMO: I'm getting insulted here.

CEVALLOS: It's a powerball chance.

CUOMO: A powerball chance that he takes the stand because so much of the story's already out there. Let me ask you this, Vinnie, as we get out of here. The idea that after the case the prosecution is going to ask for lesser charges, that they're going to back off this being a murder-two case, what do you think the chance is?

POLITAN: Yes, you have to ask for lesser included. The jury has to have options like manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter, things like that which, let me tell you, using a gun and found guilty of aggravated manslaughter in Florida puts him up to exposure up to 30 year. So even if it's not a murder case, at the end of the day if the jury comes back guilty with manslaughter, George Zimmerman's going away. CUOMO: Vinnie Politan, Danny Cevallos, thank you so much, as always. We appreciate it. When the trial gets started here early on, we'll be coming back to you for guidance. Thank you very much.

Now, what made that insulting from Vinnie Politan is that I am left- handed. That hurt. We'll let that go.

Remember this, something very important is that people might be upset. What do you mean it's not a murder case? It clearly is. Even if it's manslaughter, it's not a big step down in terms of time, something to remember that will be weighed with the jury even though they don't set the sentence. What do you think about the case? As always, you can hit us on Twitter, come to us on Facebook with the hashtag NewDay. Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris. Coming up next on NEW DAY, a sinkhole opens up and swallows this woman's car and she's inside. She is going to be joining us live. It is a NEW DAY exclusive.

Also coming up, a bride-to-be, listen to this, jumps into action went a little boy falls into a creek just as she is taking her engagement photos. Got to hear the story.


PERIERA: I'm going to raise my hands.

BOLDUAN: Michaela?

PERIERA: Just saying it's Friday. Got to raise your hand for that.