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Cleveland Kidnap Victims Break Their Silence; NTSB Investigates Plane Crash; Funerals in Egypt; Heavy Rains Swamp Toronto; Wimbledon Commentator Apologizes for Controversial Words

Aired July 9, 2013 - 05:30   ET




MICHELLE KNIGHT, KIDNAP VICTIM SURVIVOR: I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Breaking their silence. Overnight, the Cleveland women kidnapped and held prisoner for more than a decade on camera for the first time since they were rescued.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A truly heroic rescue. First responders in the San Francisco Jet Liner crash sharing how they got hundreds of passengers to safety.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Easier than divorcing him. You know, I didn't have to worry about the judgment of my family. I didn't have to worry about breaking his heart.

PEREIRA: A mother's murder plot caught on camera trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband. The chilling video ahead.


BERMAN (on-camera): That is amazing. You've been talking about that one all morning.

PEREIRA (on-camera): I'm shocked by easier than getting a divorce and facing the disappointment of her family.

BERMAN: Crazy. All right. Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

PEREIRA: And I'm Michaela Pereira. It is 30 minutes past the hour. They have kept quiet for months, and now, we are hearing this morning for the first time from three Cleveland women held captive for years in a video posted by their PR firm. Amanda Berry, Gina De Jesus, and Michelle Knight thank the people who have helped them and the public for their support since they were set free back in May.


KNIGHT: I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation. I don't want to be consumed by hatred. With that being said, we need to take a leap of faith and know that God is in control. Thank you for all your prayers. I'm looking forward to my brand-new life.


PEREIRA: Beautiful words to hear. Their alleged captor, Ariel Castro, is currently in jail facing more than 300 counts, including kidnapping and rape. He's alleged to have fathered a girl with one of the women. His trial was set to begin in August.

BERMAN: As NTSB investigators try to zero in on what caused Asiana Airlines flight 214 to crash land at San Francisco's airport, we are hearing for the first time from some of the emergency responders who climbed into the fuselage to save lives. Two people died in the crash. And incredibly more than 300 survived. CNN's Gary Tuchman spoke with two firefighters who are among the first on the scene.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was only seconds after Asiana flight 214 hit the seawall at San Francisco Airport that firefighter, Krissie Emmans (ph), found out about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The alert tone, the sounded, and the voice said, alert three, alert three, plane crash, plane crash.

TUCHMAN: Firefighter, Dave Monteverde (ph), works with Lt. Emmans. Their based at the airport.

How quickly did you get to the sight of the crash?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the time it came in, I'd say we were there in a minute, less than a minute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were very quick to the scene.

TUCHMAN: Lieutenants Emmans (ph) and Monteverde were the first first responders to board the stricken Boeing 777.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We climbed up the chute that deployed out of that number two door on the left hand side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We extinguished some fire that was inside. We conducted a search and then we moved away backwards. And the remaining passengers were in the back of the aircraft that wasn't able to get out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was more of a chaotic situation in the back. It was not as neat as the front of the plane.

TUCHMAN: both San Francisco firefighters initially saw four passengers trapped in the back of the plane.

And tell me why weren't they able to get out. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One was going in and out of conscious. The other was just stunned and groaning. I think another passengers had multiple fractures in their leg possibly. And then there's one passenger who was trapped under, I think, one of the overhead bin might have collapsed on her.

TUCHMAN: Lt. Emmans also a fifth person who was lying flat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was moaning. There was, you know, definite sounds coming from her. The language, you know, everybody there was, in my mind, critical and we needed to get off that plane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we had to treat her and brought her out and started carrying the others out.

TUCHMAN: Meanwhile, the situation was getting even more dangerous on the plane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once we saw the black smoke coming toward us, we had to get the last passenger off. We just grabbed and ran. Not ran, but you know, we hurried out of there.

TUCHMAN: How concerned were you that you're at eminent danger of possibly getting hurt or losing your life because you know that plane. You better than I do that plane goes off (ph) fast?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't think of that. My concern was to get those passengers off the plane. That's all I thought about.

TUCHMAN: The fact is if you didn't get to the back of the plane as quickly as you did, those people might not have survived.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct.

TUCHMAN: I mean, you saved their lives?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess if you say it that way, yes.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, San Francisco.


BERMAN: You know, the first responders were not the only heroes here. Flight attendants on board the Asiana Airlines flight were also being hailed for their role in getting passengers to safety. One of them was Lee Hyun Hai (ph), the plane's cabin manager. She was apparently the very last person to leave the burning plane.

Lee tried to put out fires all while ushering passengers off the plane. She actually suffered a broken tailbone in the crash and still helped everyone to get off.

PEREIRA: It's really amazing when you think about that. They remind us that they're there for our safety. They truly were in that incident.

BERMAN: Heroes.

PEREIRA: Funerals begin today in Egypt for the more than 50 people killed outside the Republican Guard headquarters. The military blaming terrorists for Monday shooting, while supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsy say government forces opened fire without warning, injuring hundreds.

The interim president is now launching an investigation as he sets a timetable for new elections for the constitutional referendum in November and then presidential vote in February. Adly Mansour is also apparently giving himself limited power to make new laws, requiring approval from the cabinet.

BERMAN: Congress is still no closer to fixing the sudden jump in student loan interest rates. Rates for some subsidized loans had doubled to 6.8 percent on July 1st after both sides could not work out a deal. They don't seem to be any closer to reaching one now. On Monday, House speaker John Boehner blamed the Senate and the White House for the impasse. While Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid, blamed Boehner and the House Republicans. Way to go, guys.

PEREIRA: Is Rick Perry ready to try a run for the presidency again? The Texas governor announced Monday said he will not run for another term as leader at the Lone Star State, stepping down after 14 years in the role. The longest serving governor in Texas history. He wouldn't talk about the future, but by leaving in 2014, it does leave him plenty of time to mount a run for the White House.

You recall Perry had to give up his presidential campaign in 2012 after a less than stellar showing in Iowa and in New Hampshire.

BERMAN: This time, it would be a much more carefully planned --


BERMAN: The Texas House, meantime, is set to vote today on controversial new abortion restriction. The bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and require the procedure to take place in surgical centers which essentially shuts down dozens of clinics.

Legislatures in the state House had approved the bill last month, but it was successfully filibustered by Democrats in the state Senate, so they're trying during a special session. The Senate, this time, may take up the bill as soon as Thursday, and this time it is expected to pass.

PEREIRA: Quite a scene in Toronto drying out this morning. Heavy, heavy rains there swamped the city. That is not a road as we discussed before. That is a road, rather. It looks like a river, it's a road. Trust me. Nearly four inches of rain fell in just hours.

The city subway was frozen. Passengers stuck on board. Some riders actually had to be rescued from stalled commuter trains. And still this morning, about 100,000 customers are without power, waking up to a real mess in Toronto. To be sure, Chad Myers has a look at what is ahead for the whole area.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You don't think of Canada as severe weather.

PEREIRA: I'm sorry. What?


MYERS: You don't think of Canada has --

PEREIRA: I grew up there. There's a fair amount --

MYERS: I know.

PEREIRA: That kind of rain, though. You're right. You're right.

MYERS: No. I mean, Edmonton gets tornadoes. I mean, Calgary has had that flooding this past couple of weeks. This has been a bad couple of weeks for the people up north here. The rain is not going to be as bad today. It may shift a little farther to the south. Buffalo, then I have (ph) frontier, (INAUDIBLE), and then New York, you had a bunch of rain over the weekend, and it's going to rain today.

Here it comes right across Ohio and into Pennsylvania and parts of New York State. So, two to four inches probably likely here across Cincinnati right and over toward Marietta, and then back up here to the northeast, we're seeing one to three. That's Boston, that's New York, that's Philadelphia.

And then, New York City -- Tuesday, 87, 86 and 85 degrees. So, it's going to be a little bit warmer across the east coast again as we take a look at, you know, the forecast for the next couple of days. It's going to be OK. We're going to watch Chantel. That's going to be the big story maybe for the weekend or parts of the southeast.

BERMAN: Or even more rain there. All right. Chad, thanks so much.

PEREIRA: All right. This is other story that we've been talking about. It's something you certainly have to see to believe. We want to show you 21-year-old Julia Merfield (ph) of Muskegon, Michigan. She's plotting a murder. The man that she's sitting next to is an undercover police officer.

She tried to hire him to bump off her husband because, apparently, they have been fighting. In several meetings caught on camera, the mother of two talks about everything from where she wants it done to when and why.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Done in the house?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It would be messy in there.

(LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was looking at the -- my calendar and I was thinking either the 18th of April or the 25th. I just want to make it as --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As terrible as it sounds, it's easier than divorcing him. You know, I didn't have to worry about the judgment of my family. I didn't have to worry about breaking his heart.


PEREIRA: About breaking his heart and the judgment of his family. Merfield has pleaded guilty and she will be sentenced later this month. Now, this is the interesting thing to add. Her husband has actually asked the judge to give her no jail time.

BERMAN: She's smiling and laughing.

PEREIRA: And doing it like a to-do item.

BERMAN: And checking her calendar for when it's convenient and saying not in the house, because don't want to clean it up.

PEREIRA: make a mess there because that's hard to --



BERMAN: Amazing.

PEREIRA: Good luck to him.

BERMAN: Good luck to him and her. Hoo!

Coming up here, Randy Travis rushed to the hospital in critical condition. We'll tell you what happened to the country music icon and how he's doing this morning, coming up next.


BERMAN: Country star Randy Travis in critical condition in a Texas hospital this morning being treated for a viral infection in his heart. His rep says the 54-year-old singer was hit by viral cardiomyopathy on Sunday. He apparently was feeling fine earlier in the weekend. It is not clear what caused this infection.

PEREIRA: Mariah Carey now on the mend. She injured herself during a music video shoot, apparently. The singer dislocated her shoulder over the weekend, had to go to the hospital to have the joint reset. Her rep says Carey is just fine and tells "People" magazine she will perform this Saturday at a charity concert in New York Central Park.


PEREIRA: Maybe with some sort of outfit that supports her shoulder.

BERMAN: But as long as it doesn't hurt that golden voice of hers.

PEREIRA: Golden voice.

BERMAN: Will be fine. All right. Let's take a look at what is coming up on "NEW DAY." Speaking of golden voice, Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan join us. Hey, guys.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: I'm wearing gold. I don't know about the golden voice.


BOLDUAN: You do have golden pipes.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: No. People say I sound like Christopher Walken and (INAUDIBLE).

BOLDUAN: Compliment?



CUOMO: That's why I'm saying you have the golden voice.


BOLDUAN: All right. What's coming up this hour?

CUOMO: Well, we're looking at the crash, right? This is the next step in the investigation. We have new video showing how they evacuated. Remember, that's critical, because the timing of that fire and when people got out was, you know, the difference between life and death. We're also hearing from young passengers who survived. What it was like inside and how they made it out.

BOLDUAN: And we are also going to talk about -- you guys have been talking about this as well. The remarkable new video of these three women. Their names, you know. Their faces you're going to know now as well. These are the three women held captive in Cleveland for some a decade now. Well, they are breaking their silence after fleeing, escaping that house that they say they were held in.

We're going to listen to what they have to say. They're very thankful. They still want their privacy. And we're also going to talk to a psychologist about what this means for their recovery and speaking out.

CUOMO: And then we have one of these, is reality TV going too far things?


CUOMO: Big Brother, you know it, the controversy. They show cast members using racist and homophobic slurs. The question is, is that just keeping it real or is it profiting off bigotry?

BOLDUAN: Oh, that's a tough one.



PEREIRA: All right, you guys, we'll see you in a few moments. Thanks so much.

BOLDUAN: All right.

CUOMO: It's great to see --

BERMAN: Coming up here, the New England Patriots duked by Aaron Hernandez? We'll tell you what the team owner is now saying about his former tight end.


BERMAN: So, Wimbledon may have ended, but the controversy over commentators' words certainly remains. Moments after French player Marion Bartoli won the women's crown on Saturday, BBC tennis analyst John Inverdale asked whether her dad had raised her to be a scrappy fighter since, in his words, "You're never going to be a looker."

That has provoked a huge online response, as you can imagine. And an apology from the BBC and from Inverdale, himself, who called his comments "clumsy and ham-fisted." That's a start. Bartoli took in a stride saying she's never dreamed of being a model but did dream of winning Wimbledon, something she is very proud of and she should be proud of that. It's an incredible accomplishment.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaking out for the first time since Aaron Hernandez was arrested on murder charges. He says he was fooled (ph) by the former Patriots tight end. Andy Scholes joins us for -- excuse me -- joins us now with more in this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, John. Well, since Aaron Hernandez was arrested almost two weeks ago, Robert Kraft and the Patriots have been doing whatever they can to distance themselves from their former tight end. Yesterday, against the advice of his attorneys, Kraft spoke with reporters about Hernandez for the first time saying, "If this stuff is true, then I've been duped and our whole organization has been duped."

Kraft went on to say that the team decided to cut Hernandez the moment he was arrested no matter what the charge was going to be. EA Sports, the popular sports videogame company, has also announced that they are removing Hernandez from all future games.

Well, in the majors last night, the Brewers were up by one against the Reds with two outs in the ninth inning, one on for Joey Votto, and he crushes this ball to center. He thinks he's given Cincinnati the lead, but look it, Carlos Gomez goes up, robs Votto of the home run to end the game. This was Gomez's fourth home run robbery of the year, and it's arguably the play of the year, so far, in major league baseball this season.

Well, we've seen some creative ceremonial first pitches over the years, but, this one may be the best ever, John. Check it out. This girl's name is Shin Soo-Ji. She's a South Korean gymnast. I'm sure you guessed she was a gymnast. That light pick and throw. This was at a South Korean pro-baseball game. It may never, ever be topped.

All right. Well, the Cleveland Browns may not be one of the best teams in the NFL over the last few decades, but they have some of the most loyal fans. Unfortunately, one of their fans, Scott Insminger (ph), passed away last week after losing a battle with pancreatic cancer. Now, Insminger's final wish was to have Browns players be the pallbearers at his funeral so that they could, quote, "let him down one last time."

Now, the Browns organization responded to Insminger's request. They offer their condolences but said that players would not be able to attend the funeral. John, though, Insminger's favorite player was Lou Groza and the Browns are sending a 76 jersey with Insminger's last name on it to the funeral as a gift.

BERMAN: You know, I saw that. It's good for the Browns. And you know, our thoughts are with his family. And it's nice that Browns reached out to them as well. Andy, thanks so much. I can't believe that catch from Carlos Gomez. That was phenomenal.

All right. Coming up here, video that will make you want to think twice, perhaps, about heading to that restaurant.


BERMAN: So this next story, not too appetizing to say the least. An internet video shows food being stored improperly. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You know your restaurant has a PR problem when one of your employees heads for the dumpster to shoot video of burgers and baby back ribs stashed there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, this is disgusting. This is what my company likes to do to get ready for inspection. They like to put their food by the dumpster.

MOOS: Sort of conflicts with the slogan --

ANNOUNCER: -- to happiness.

MOOS: Happiness might be scared (ph) at the Port Orange, Florida Golden Corral where employee, Brandon Huber (ph) did his own little video expose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hamburger meat. Look at all these flies, which is disgusting.

MOOS: Brandon's dad speaking for his son says managers have prepared food too far in advance when suddenly an internal company inspection happened. So, the preps food was hidden now by the dumpster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All these baby backribs.

MOOS: The Hubers say they tried to go through channels, but no one listened. So, Brandon's dad offered to sell the info on eBay for $5,000. Were they trying to shake down the restaurant chain?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is the corresponding (ph) where I tried to sell it to them. I mean, all you see is the eBay post there. It sounds bad, but look at the video. Would you like to eat today and find out about this tomorrow?


MOOS: The plot thickens, not to mention the gravy. The All-You-Can- Eat Buffet chain told CNN none of these items were served to a single customer. All were destroyed within the hour at the direction of management. And Brandon Huber participated in the disposal of the food.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If my son wouldn't have said anything, this stuff would have been moved back into the restaurant, thrown in the freezer, and they would have had him cook it the next day.

MOOS (on-camera): At least one head is rolled. Golden Corral says the manager of the restaurant in question has been fired for improper food handling.

(voice-over): As for 21-year-old Brandon --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would not eat this stuff.

MOOS: Comparisons are being made online. You are the Edward Snowden of all-you-can-eat buffet.

(on-camera): Brandon's father says Brandon has been offered paid leave while the restaurant chain is doing its own investigation.

(voice-over): The convoluted, twisted tale told by Brandon's dad left us confused, but the pictures cut to the bone.

Jeanne Moos --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nonstop, fall off the bone baby backs dressed in our signature barbecue sauce.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All you can eat ribs by the dumpster.

MOOS: New York.


BERMAN: The franchise owner has now apologized saying a member of his management team made a bad decision.

Let's bring in "NEW DAY" anchors, Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan. Good morning, guys.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, John. And, I hope you're all about to eat breakfast with that one.


CUOMO: Well, we like the vigilant citizens, and if they did go through the channels of trying to do this the right way before they put it up online, then probably something that you should take your hat off to.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I guess so.

CUOMO: Right?


CUOMO: Almost the top of the hour. You know what that means here on "NEW DAY," time for the top news.