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Venezuela Offers Asylum to Edward Snowden; Mothers of George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin Testify; Solar Impulse Departs Washington, D.C.; CNN Hero Dale Beatty

Aired July 6, 2013 - 09:00   ET


PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Pamela Brown. Time to start your NEW DAY.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. 9:00 here on the East Coast, 6:00 out West -- this is NEW DAY SATURDAY.

BROWN: And first up this morning, tensions are rising in one of the closest allies the U.S. has in the Middle East.

BLACKWELL: Protesters are gathering again in part of Egypt's capital, Cairo, today. They are furious that the military kicked President Mohammed Morsy out of power.

And this was the scene in parts of Egypt overnight. Look at this. Streets were just war zones. Battles left dozens dead; more than a thousand people have been hurt.

BROWN: CNN's Reza Sayah joins us now on the phone from Cairo. Reza we've been seeing protests, clashes, gunfire in the past few days as we saw in that video there. How is the situation now? Has it calmed down at all?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, this morning things were calm throughout Cairo. This afternoon, things were calm, but it's about 3:00 p.m. right now and you get the impression that supporters of the ousted, Mohammed Morsy, are gearing up again, getting ready for another round of demonstrations in multiple locations throughout Cairo.

This after an incredibly intense and dramatic day of protests yesterday when there were clashes between supporters and opponents of the ousted president. Dramatic face-offs where I am between supporters and Mr. Morsy and security forces. Where I am is the headquarters of the president's guard. Reportedly, according to state media, this is where Mr. Morsy has been held in custody, now being investigated, according to authorities, on accusations that he incited deadly violence.

When these demonstrators started protesting, many of them, thousands of them, made their way here in a symbolic gesture of solidarity. Many of them said, we're going to stay here until we get our president outside of the president's guard's headquarters and taken back to where he belongs, and that's the palace because many people here still believe that this is their legitimate president. And what happened on Wednesday, the ouster of Mohamed Morsy, went against every basic democratic principle, and that's why they're absolutely outraged.

BLACKWELL: Reza, I want to expound upon that because Ben Wedeman, just I believe it was two days ago, was speaking with two men in a pro- Morsy protest. And they made clear that they were not members or supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, but they were supporters of Morsy. If you can give us more details about who these people are, this huge crowd we're seeing, we don't want to give the idea that all of these people are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood explicitly.

SAYAH: Yes, this conflict is complicated. It's not black and white. The popular narrative is that on one side, you have the moderates, the liberals, the secularists. On the other side, you have the Islamists, the conservatives, the Muslim Brotherhood.

We've talked to a significant number of people who say no, I'm a liberal. I'm not an Islamist. I'm not a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. I am a supporter of the democratic process. And what happened here this week was undemocratic. Especially after what Egyptians went through in 2011. Their position is that was a revolution to establish democracy. And electing a president freely and fairly. And then after a year, pushing him out because of an uprising and an intervention by the military is undemocratic. No matter how you look at it. That's why they're upset.

So it's a little complicated, the two sides. Again, it's not black and white. And that's why moving forward, getting these two sides together, making everyone happy, seems to be an incredibly difficult challenge. And at this hour, there's no solution in sight.

BROWN: And Reza, in light of the violence there, should the U.S. be concerned for its allies like Israel?

SAYAH: Well, there's always going to be concern. But what's important to point out, that there's absolutely no sign that beyond Egypt's borders, there should - there's any concern like that. There's any indication that there's going to be any kind of spillover. Right now the turmoil, the volatility is in Egypt. It's a political crisis. And now in some parts, it's turning violent. Dozens of people killed yesterday. So the concern is what's happening in Egypt domestically right now.

BLACKWELL: Reza Sayah for us live in Cairo this morning. 3:00 P.M. there. Thank you.

Edward Snowden's two-week layover could soon be over.

BROWN: And the American fugitive could find himself booking a ticket for South America. Snowden is the former Intel analyst who leaked details of the NSA surveillance program and has been hiding at Moscow's airport. But he's been offered a new life in a country that isn't afraid of the U.S. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen joins me from Moscow. Frederick, good morning to you. First tell us who's willing to give asylum to Snowden?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Pam. Well, the first and foremost country is Venezuela where the president there Nicolas Maduro said that he's willing to take Snowden. And that's the most concrete offer that Snowden has gotten so far.

Maduro made a speech late last night where he said that he believed that Snowden was a great man and did something great not just for South America, but for Europe as well by, of course, disclosing those NSA Internet eavesdropping programs. And he said that he would be willing to give Snowden asylum in Venezuela.

Now, there was another country, Nicaragua, that also said that they would be willing to take Snowden in, but they said they still have to go through a technical process to see whether or not they would be able to give him asylum.

Now, when the logistics come into place. We believe that if Snowden would try to make his way from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Venezuela or to Nicaragua, he would probably have to go to Cuba. There is no flight from Moscow to Cuba today. So certainly it doesn't seem as though he would be going today if, in fact, he would be traveling by a normal airliner, Pam.

BLACKWELL: And we haven't seen him since this started two weeks ago. And it's very clear, Fred, that he has certainly overstayed his welcome in Moscow.

PLEITGEN: Yes. Yes, you're absolutely right. There's absolutely no doubt -- first of all, we haven't seen him at all. And we've had teams on the ground at Sheremetyevo Airport inside that transit lounge 24 hours a day for the past two weeks. No one has seen him there. No one knows where he's hiding out. No one knows if he's with Russian authorities or not.

The Russians are, of course, saying he's not on their soil, so there really isn't very much they can do. They certainly can't hand him over to the U.S. But yes, absolutely, Vladimir Putin is feeling a lot of pressure because all of this.

And there's analysts who've told me they believed that at the beginning this looks like a great thing for Putin. It was a way to sort of confront the U.S. a little bit, defy the U.S. a little bit. They thought that Snowden was going to leave very quickly. But the longer he stays, the more difficult it becomes because Putin can't hand Snowden over to the U.S., or he'd be absolutely humiliated here at home. But at the same time, of course, there's a very important strategic relationship between the U.S. and Russia. And certainly Vladimir Putin does not want to endanger that over Edward Snowden.

BROWN: Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much for your analysis. We really appreciate it.

The train carrying crude oil headed for Maine has derailed and exploded in Canada's Quebec province. Take a look at this explosion. This is video that was posted online. An affiliate reports that some of the fuel on that train has spilled into a nearby river. Flames can reportedly be seen for miles away. The fire sent locals scrambling for safety, and authorities evacuated neighborhoods near that crash. There's no information at this time about casualties. Of course, we'll keep you posted on any developments with that story. A historic flight under way this morning. But it's slow going up the East Coast. We'll update you on the progress of solar impulse up next.



GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you following him?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we don't need you to do that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you think he's yelling "help"?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, what is your --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's gunshots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just heard gunshots?





BROWN: And now to Florida where the trial of George Zimmerman is in recess for the weekend.

BLACKWELL: Yes, on Friday the mothers of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, they took the stand. Each testified about who she thought was screaming on a 911 tape. That tape was recorded the night Zimmerman shot and killed Martin. Let's bring in CNN legal correspondent, Jean Casarez. Jean, is there one mother who helped the state or the defense more?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think both mothers testified that they believed it was their son's voice because it was their son. The horror, the terror that they knew that was their son. But there's even more about that testimony because Sybrina Fulton, she also had the job of, in a sense, ID'ing her son for the jury.

And she said some things that are evidence now, but extremely emotional. She said that Trayvon Martin had a tattoo on his shoulder that was praying hands with pearls through them. And the name of his grandma and the name of his great-grandma were on that tattoo. And then on his left wrist, she testified he had my name. So his mother's name was on his left wrist.

As far as George Zimmerman's mother, I mean, I think just to see George Zimmerman's mother on the stand for this jury to see her, she is from Peru. She is Peruvian. And she testified just so emotionally also that the terror and the fright, she knew it was her son. What the jury didn't hear was that she was a clerk in a court for her entire career. George Zimmerman comes from a law and justice family.

BROWN: So it might be the emotion aspect of this.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And we also have to remember, that there are mothers on this jury, five of them - five of the six. Right, Jean?

CASAREZ: Five of the six are mothers.


BROWN: And you know, you have to wonder, that the state has arrested its case. Do you think that the prosecution proved its case against George Zimmerman, that he is guilty of the second-degree murder?

CASAREZ: You know, what's interesting about the first-degree, second- degree murder case is they have to show beyond a reasonable doubt ill will, hatred, spite, evil intent. And the defense has made a point that that's a challenge. Where is the evil hatred, ill will and spite? If you say it's in the words of George Zimmerman in the 911 call, if you say it's in the fact that he shot him, then what demonstrates that hatred? Because if you listen to George Zimmerman's voice, it's just sort of, you know, sort of the way George Zimmerman talks. You don't hear that animation of that hatred. The prosecution says otherwise. It was building, building, building. And that was the pinnacle point that night.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll resume Monday at 9:00. Jean Casarez, thank you.

CASAREZ: Thank you.

BROWN: Have you seen this? A funny-looking plane is about to make aviation history. The Solar Impulse, an aircraft powered by the sun, just departed from Dulles International Airport in Washington headed for New York City. It's the last flight of a five-leg trip across the U.S.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and this is a creeper. It's going pretty slow. CNN's Rene Marsh is in D.C. with the latest. So, this is the Solar Impulse, pretty slow. How long until it reaches New York?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know what, Victor? It's not going to get to New York until around 2:00 Sunday morning. You are right. It is moving very slow. About 40 miles per hour. As you mentioned, it took off from the Washington, D.C., area just before 5:00 this morning. And then the folks there in New York will see it at JFK Airport.

Now, we actually have a live look inside of the cockpit. We want to go to that. And the pilot who is flying right now as we speak. So there you are. That is Swiss adventurer Andre Borschberg. They are currently around the area of Atlantic City. Now, the cockpit is just as small as it looks in that shot there. He's been confined in that small space for just over four hours with several more hours to go. The plane is powered solely by the sun. But it is able to store up enough energy so it can fly at night as well.

So if you are in the New York area, you look to the sky around 11:00 tonight, the Solar Impulse team is planning to do a low-altitude fly- by the Statue of Liberty. And they'll have a spotlight on the plane so you will not miss it. And the trip will be more than 20 hours long. So, you know, I just had to ask the pilot --


BROWN: What do you do --

BLACKWELL: We were going to ask that, too.



MARSH: What do you do when nature calls? Take a listen to what he told me.


ANDRE BORSCHBERG: For men, it's simple because we start with a bottle of water on the right side, and empty bottle on the left. And when we land, the bottle on the right is empty. But we have filled the bottle on the left.


MARSH: All right. Well, the plane is the weight of a car. It has the wingspan of a 747. It has four engines that total ten horsepower. That's about a small motor scooter. Pamela? Victor?

BLACKWELL: You know, it's interesting because as soon as you said 20 hours, Pamela leaned over to me and said, "When does he go to the bathroom?"


BROWN: That's what we were all wondering. I know our viewers at home were thinking the exact same thing, right?

BLACKWELL: Yes. And we're glad you got the answer.

BROWN: Thanks for clearing that up. We appreciate it. Rene Marsh, great report. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

BROWN: Well, this is something we've been talking about all morning. BLACKWELL: Yes.

BROWN: The world awaits a future king or a queen. We are headed live to London where the country is on a royal baby watch, preparing for big news from Wills and Kate.


BROWN: A nation waiting for their future king or queen. The U.K.'s royal baby watch is in full swing this weekend. And well-wishers are already camping outside a hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge could give birth to the heir at any moment. And lots of bizarre baby merchandise is hitting shelves. CNN's Erin McLaughlin has more.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth any day. London is on baby watch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the first time I could see a royal baby in all my life. I'd love to take pictures to show my children, you know, and say I was there. I experienced it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be fantastic. A fantastic occasion for everyone here on that day, if one starts talking about how much it's costing. But, you know, we love a party here, so why not?

MCLAUGHLIN: Final preparations are under way at this hospital where the duchess is expected to give birth. And the world's media is poised for the big event. Ladders and tape litter the press pen outside. There are more than 150 camera positions so far. Then there are those that are cashing in with royal baby bibs, plates and cups.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The response to the royal baby has been unbelievable.

MCLAUGHLIN: There's even a royal baby training potty complete with music. London's bookies are taking bets. People here seem to think the baby will be a girl. The name Alexandra is currently topping the list with the odds of seven to two.

And what would a big royal event be without its own coin? British babies born the same day will be eligible to receive one of these, a 2013 silver penny.


BROWN: And Erin is now live in London for us. So, Erin, I just saw in your piece there about the special coins that will be given to babies born on the same day as the royal baby. Why silver?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, it's a British tradition to give a newborn baby a little bit of silver as a sign of good luck. So they've produced 2,013 of these silver pennies. One for every - on average, some 2,000 babies are born every day here in the U.K. So, it's a little bit of silver, a little bit tradition, a little bit of luck, not just for the royal baby, but for babies born on that very special day throughout the U.K. Pamela?

BROWN: So much anticipation for this birth. How will we even know the baby's been born?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the first indication that we'll get that a royal baby is on the way will be in the form of an announcement from the palace saying the Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to hospital in the early stages of labor. We won't hear much more until the baby has actually been born. The queen has been notified. And then doctors at the hospital will write down on a piece of paper the sex of the baby as well as some more of the birth information. That piece of paper will be escorted via police to the gates of Buckingham Palace where it will be displayed on an easel for all the world to see. People here pretty excited, Pamela.

BROWN: Absolutely. All right, Erin McLaughlin, live for us in London, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: So now we know what's happening in London, how about what's happening online? Let's do that. John Berman has the best of what he learned from the Internet this week. John?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Happy weekend, Victor and Pamela. You know, the weekend is a great time for sports. And as we were looking at the Internet this week, we found some sports that will shock you.


BERMAN: They call this bubble soccer, or bubble football. Because it seems mostly to be a European thing. They appear to be much more into vinyl and inflatables than we are. But this is what happens when people get dressed up as giant beach balls and try to play sports. This has been going on for a while, and there are real teams and everything.

If that's hard to believe, this seems nearly impossible. Meet Emily Jackson. Emily is a world champion freestyle kayaker. Notice anything different about her? Yes, she's way awesome, she is also way pregnant. Nearly nine months when she won this competition last week. I guess this dispels the old wives' tale that freestyle kayaking induces labor. The 23-year-old is due July 19th. Labor can't be any harder than that. Or maybe it is.

If combination sports is your thing, how about this car/boat or boat/car? Not sure which one and not sure what it's for, but pretty sure what the guys who made this video hope it's for. Finally, they're needy, they're dirty, and they eat everything in sight. So why not get some use out of your puppy? So I give you the puppy workout.


BERMAN: You know, just think about it. If you want to do a light workout with heavy reps, you can use a small toy poodle or something. And if you're looking for a real strength workout, like try a Great Dane. It really is genius. Victor? Pamela?

BROWN: Or St. Bernard. Or, you know.

BLACKWELL: It seems like that's what you do when you have a puppy anyway. They're always climbing.


BLACKWELL: They're always on your shoulder, jumping. So there's a workout with just holding a puppy anyway.

BROWN: But then the older they are getting - my dog would not like it very much. Like get off of me.

BLACKWELL: Which breed?

BROWN: I have a Lhasa-Poo.

BLACKWELL: What is that?

BROWN: Lhasa-Apso poodle mix. Come on.

BLACKWELL: Oh, you've got one of those designer dog --

BROWN: Oh, I rescued him from a shelter.

BLACKWELL: He's still exotic.

BROWN: You know

BLACKWELL: All right.

BROWN: All right.

BLACKWELL: What's the dog's name?

BROWN: Bear.

BLACKWELL: Oh, well, that's cute. That makes it all better.


BLACKWELL: OK. Honolulu to Hong Kong, then Moscow to maybe Caracas. Is Edward Snowden about to book the last leg of his round-the-world flight from justice, or will U.S. officials catch up with the fugitive first?


BLACKWELL: This is Fourth of July weekend, and we remember those who sacrificed so much to defend our freedom. This week's CNN Hero not only served his country, he's found an amazing way to help fellow disabled veterans of all generations get the welcome-home they deserve. Meet Dale Beatty.


DALE BEATTY: I'm a combat wounded Iraq veteran. As I was recovering at Walter Reed, my community approached me and said they wanted to help build a home for my return. People would come and work on my project just because they respected the sacrifice that I had gone through. All veterans have been taught to be responsible for the guy to your left and the guy to your right. Other veterans haven't had it as easy as I have. So, I sat down with my battle buddy, John, and we decided to level the playing field. I'm Dale Beatty, and it's now my mission to help other veterans get the support and the homes they deserve from their communities.

There's thousands of veterans right here in our midst. People don't realize the need that's out there. Our homes can help any service- connected disabled veteran regardless of their age or war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is, the young man, why we're all here today.


BEATTY: It's just getting the community engaged, to get a ramp built or a foreclosed home remodeled or an entire house built from the ground up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With narrow doorways that I couldn't get through. I had to crawl in on my hands and knees. To have them build a whole new bathroom was unbelievable.

BEATTY: We want to make their life easier, safer, just better, and their emotions are being rehabbed as well. Regardless of when you serve, we're all the same. They just need to know that somebody does care about them.


BLACKWELL: Well done. Hey, if you know someone who deserves to be a CNN hero, nominate them. Go to right now and tell us about that person.

BROWN: Well, thank you so much for watching today. We'll see you back here at the top of the hour.

BLACKWELL: Yes, there is more to come. Next, Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins Christine Romans with a close look at Obamacare and what it will cost you.

A special "YOUR MONEY" starts right now.