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Reacting to the Zimmerman Verdict; Remembering Cory Monteith; Six Thousand Points of Light

Aired July 15, 2013 - 05:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Verdict outrage. Thousands take to the streets protesting overnight after a jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty of murder.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: And sudden death. Today an autopsy set to determine why a popular young actor was found dead inside his hotel room.

ROMANS: Better than backstage passes. A helping hand and a chance encounter get these Dave Matthews fans up close and personal with their idol.

BROWN: Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START on this Monday morning. I'm Pamela Brown.

ROMANS: So nice to see you this morning, Pamela.

I'm Christine Romans. It's July 15th, a Monday, 5:00 a.m. in the East. Let's get started.

BROWN: And we begin this morning with the ongoing anger in the streets after the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. The former neighborhood watch volunteer was acquitted Saturday of murder and manslaughter in the killing of unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin. And frustration over that decision brought thousands to rally across the country. You see it right here. These are pictures from New York City. Take a look here. Protesters marched through Manhattan Sunday, tussling with police officers while calling for changes in the law.

Demonstrators also were out in the early morning hours in Los Angeles where they briefly shut down the I-10 Freeway. Police say they threw rocks and batteries.

And over in Oakland, vandals damaged buildings. Important to mention, though, there were several peaceful marches in other cities across the country.

Well, they weren't the only ones speaking out about the verdict.

CNN's George Howell has that part of the story.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the pulpit of the Atlanta church where Dr. Martin Luther King once preached -- REV. RAPHAEL WARNOCK, EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: The world has profiled them. The world has stigmatized them. The world has said to them that they are a problem.

HOWELL: The not guilty verdict in the trial against George Zimmerman sent a resounding message Sunday morning echoed at the home church of Trayvon Martin's family in Miami Gardens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My heart is heavy.

HOWELL: Relatives of the slain teen expressed frustration.

In a statement from the White House, President Obama called the death of Trayvon Martin a tragedy. Even Zimmerman supporters agree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It comes down to what's right and wrong. And you know, it was a terrible thing, but I guess Mr. Zimmerman did what he thought he had to.

HOWELL: What's next for George Zimmerman? No one really knows, though his attorneys say he will stay in hiding for his own safety. And they are prepared for possible lawsuits.

MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If someone believes that it's appropriate to sue George Zimmerman, then we will seek and we will get immunity in a civil hearing. And we'll see just how many civil lawsuits are spawned from this fiasco.

HOWELL: In fact, more legal challenges may be in Zimmerman's future. The NAACP is asking the Justice Department to pursue civil rights as Benjamin Jealous told CNN's Candy Crowley on "STATE OF THE UNION."

BEN JEALOUS, NAACP PRESIDENT AND CEO: We are calling on them to do just that because when you look at his comments and when you look at comments made by young black men who lived in that neighborhood about how they felt especially targeted by him. There is -- there is reason to be concerned that race was a factor.

HOWELL: George Howell, CNN, Sanford, Florida.


ROMANS: All right. As the investigation into the deadly San Francisco jet crash continues, word this morning that Asiana Airlines plans to sue a San Francisco area TV station over a major mix-up. KTVU aired a series of names claiming they were the pilots' names after an NTSB intern confirmed to the station the names were real. They were actually bogus and they were offensive.

Now the airline says it has retained a law firm to file a defamation claim. Both the station and the NTSB have apologized and the station says it is reviewing its procedures to ensure this never happens again.

BROWN: The death toll in an explosion in a small Quebec town even higher this morning. Authorities in Lac-Megantic day they found 35 bodies. Another 15 people remain missing and are presumed dead after a runaway train derailed, exploded and incinerated much of the town. Crews from the U.S. and Canada are now going through what's being called an archeological dig that may take weeks to find the rest of the victims.

ROMANS: All right. Across a big section of the country today, the heat is the story. And this heat could be dangerous.

BROWN: That's right. Indra Petersons is tracking the weather for us now.

Indra, it is hot out there. Is it going to get even hotter than this?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, this is the thing. I mean, we had June, it was the rainy month, right? I think we have to be careful what we wished for. Now we're in July. We wanted to sunshine. We're getting way too much of the sunshine. We're talking a heat wave here.

But yes, hey, let's check -- about a week. Look at the temperatures in the morning hours. About 80 degrees in New York City. The humidity up to 70 percent and that is our starting point. This is a big ouch today.

Look at the advisories anywhere from Boston all the way down through Philadelphia today. I mean, the heat is going to be on. All things, this DOMO high pressure that's going to park itself here for a week. I mean, very warm conditions. We're going to be talking about heat indices feeling like it is 100 degrees out there. That is not what we want to feel.

The reason for that, of course, all that moisture in here. We're talking about -- even in the afternoon. Near 50 percent. You add that with temperatures 10 degrees above normal. And that's what give you these heat indices.

I mean, take a look. New York City looking for 97, Allentown, 101, D.C., 100. Yes. And we felt this yesterday. Got off a plane actually, and I was like whoa, what is this?


I mean, that's huge. We're talking average is 84. And we talked about warm weather lasting all the way through, I don't know, Friday, even possibly Saturday?


PETERSONS: So better get used to it.

BROWN: Not cute at all.

ROMANS: I love technical forecast, not cute.

BROWN: I love it. And not good for the hair.

PETERSONS: Thank you. That's exactly what I was saying yesterday.


ROMANS: All right. Thanks, Indra. And welcome back.


ROMANS: Welcome back.

All right. Could Edward Snowden spill even more damaging secrets? The journalist who broke the story of the NSA surveillance program claims Snowden has even more explosive information. And if it got out, it would be the U.S. government's, quote, "worst nightmare."

The documents are said to have information about software people use that compromises their privacy without their knowledge. As for Snowden, he's still at a Moscow airport trying to get temporary asylum in Russia.

BROWN: Former South African president, Nelson Mandela, remains in a Pretoria hospital this morning in critical, but stable condition. But his successor now says the anti-apartheid activist's health is improving. Thabo Mbeki who led South African for nine years says he is certain one of these days Mandela will get to go home. Mandela has now been in the hospital for more than a month battling a lung infection.

ROMANS: To the latest now in Egypt and its interim government there closer to being finalized. The prime minister is naming senior cabinet ministers including several with connections to this country. The new finance minister has a doctorate from Boston University. And the new foreign minister was once ambassador to the U.S.

Meantime, the Muslim Brotherhood has called for more marches today over the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

BROWN: A man who was allegedly spotted taking pictures of Secretary of State John Kerry's home is now under arrest this morning. A Kerry spokesperson says a security called Boston Police who questioned the unidentified man and arrested him for having an open container of alcohol. They also say they found a pellet gun in his vehicle.

Kerry was visiting his wife at a rehab hospital at the time. She suffered a seizure earlier this month.

ROMANS: The IRS scandal dividing Democrats and Republicans as Congress begins its seventh hearing this week. The focus is on the IRS inspector general and his explosive audit which suggested the agency targeted Tea Party groups. Democrats who argued the audit was highly misleading and downplayed the fact that liberal groups were also targeted. Republicans want to know if the IRS was acting under orders from the White House.

Love this story.

BROWN: I was just going to say the same thing. This next story really gives new meaning to the phrase right place at the right time. Emily Krause and her husband were on their way to a Dave Matthew's concert in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Saturday when they saw a man on the side of the road. He had a bike and he looks stranded. So they stopped to help him. Well, guess who it was? That man was the singer himself.


EMILY KRAUS, DAVE MATTHEWS BAND FAN: We didn't know how to make conversation with him, in fact. And so we were talking about his tour and stuff and where he had come from. And they had just been in Cincinnati. He was just a very humble guy.

I woke up this morning and I said, OK, yes, that really happened yesterday.


It was just -- it's just -- it was surreal. We couldn't believe it.


BROWN: Well, as it winds up, Matthew didn't have a cell phone on him and he was so grateful for the lift that he bought them dinner and gave them front row tickets. Tickets, by the way, that he signed, "Thanks for the ride."

ROMANS: How do you call your tour manager and say --


ROMANS: I missed the concert because I was riding a bike.

BROWN: Aren't they supposed to have a tour bus? I'm still trying to figure what he was doing stranded on the side of the road.

ROMANS: A guy without an entourage. That's a cool guy.

BROWN: I like that. And like she said, he's a humble guy.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, this story, so sad. The mysterious death of a young television star. Cory Monteith's friends, they're opening up this morning about his struggles as an investigation into his death moves forward.

BROWN: And a sudden explosion rocks a Texas town. What residents are saying when we return. Stay with us.


ROMANS: Hollywood this morning is remembering Cory Monteith, a TV star whose bright career, it seemed, was just beginning.

Nick Valencia has more.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sudden and tragic. News of the death of 31-year-old "Glee" actor Cory Monteith stunned his closest friends. The Hollywood star found dead in a downtown Vancouver hotel room. His cause of death was not immediately clear, but at a press conference late Saturday, police ruled out foul play.

ACTING CHIEF DOUG LEPARD, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA POLICE: Mr. Monteith checked into the hotel on July 6th and was due to check out of the room today. There were others with Mr. Monteith in his room earlier last night but video and fog key entries show him returning to his room by himself in the early morning hours. And we believe he was alone when he died.

VALENCIA: "Glee" guest director Adam Shankman spoke on the phone to Monteith just hours before his death.

ADAM SHANKMAN, FRIEND OF CORY MONTEITH: He was the glue. He was the cheerleader that really held everybody together on that. That I really felt. He would always smile. He was patient. He was one -- you know, he always knew all of his lines right away. He was, you know -- he was the first to laugh when things were muddy.

VALENCIA: Monteith skyrocketed to fame in 2009. Playing a lovable heartthrob quarterback, he's credited with making the FOX TV series a hit. But for all of his success, there were stumbles. Since he was 13 years old, Monteith openly said he battled with his sobriety. It was just four months ago when the Canadian actor voluntarily checked himself into a rehab facility. His friends and girlfriend were encouraged by his steps to stay clean.

SHANKMAN: He even said, I'm feeling fantastic again, and, you know, he was obviously referring to, you know, that moment he had this year with going to rehab. So I'm, like everybody else, really devastated and confused by what happened.

VALENCIA (on camera): Investigators have not officially tied Monteith's death to substance abuse. An autopsy will be conducted on Monday.

Nick Valencia, CNN, Atlanta.


BROWN: Residents in Corpus Christi, Texas, are still talking about a massive explosion that led to the destruction of three homes and damage to about so many others. This all happened Friday morning when a man apparently went outside to smoke a cigarette. Moments later, a blast shook the entire neighborhood.


DENISE BRACEY, NEIGHBOR: I was right at the -- not outside but just inside the garage is when the explosion happened. And it blew everything off that wall and on to me. Had I been knocked unconscious, I probably would have been burned up because the fire came shortly thereafter. You know, there's angels all around us and they have been taking care of us.


BROWN: Incredibly there were no fatalities but two people were seriously hurt and had to be taken to a burn unit. Investigators are wondering if there was a gas leak in the area or something else was behind that explosion.

ROMANS: All right. It's day 21 of the Whitey Bulger trial in Boston. And this week, the rifle man takes the stand. Steve "The Rifleman" Flemy, a former close associate of the alleged Boston crime boss is expected to testify. He and Bulger were both FBI informants and is said to be prepared to implicate Bulger in as many as 10 murders.

At the Michael Jackson's wrongful death trial, his mother Katherine will soon testify wrapping up her side of the case against concert promoter AIG Live, who says that she says that concert promoter was responsible for her son's death. Jurors last week heard from one of Jackson's former doctors who said the promoter had been told about the singer's past drug dependency.

ROMANS: Seventeen days after an acrobat died during a performance, Cirque Du Soleil will be back on a Las Vegas state Tuesday resuming its show, "Ka." But they've edited it out, the final aerial battle scene during which the acrobat was killed on June 29th. That death has been ruled an accident.

BROWN: And a motorcycle racer has been killed going for a speed record. Race officials say they clocked Bill Warner at 285 miles per hour just before he lost control and crashed at a course in Maine. Warner was trying to break his own record of 311 miles per hour. But this time, he was trying to use just a mile of pavement to reach that speed.


All right. A top U.S. sprinter has tested positive for a banned substance and is now out of next month's World Champions. Tyson Gay says test samples from May came back positive but he claims he didn't take performance enhancing drugs on purpose. Gay is one of several top track stars who failed recent doping tests.

BROWN: And the annual Running of the Bulls in (INAUDIBLE) Spain had left several people hurt including to Americans. A 20-year-old student from Utah and a 35-year-old man were both gored. They said -- they're said to be recovering right now.

There are reports of tramplings and people being crushed. And a 23- year-old Australian woman is in very grave condition this morning after also being gored. So far, though, amazingly, no deaths to report. But unbelievable to see some of those pictures.

ROMANS: Yes. Every year we talk about this.

BROWN: Every year. ROMANS: All right. He's been out of office for more than two decades. But one legacy of George H.W. Bush's time as leader of the free world will be honored today at the White house. As Dan Lothian reports, the former president made volunteer service a key part of the Bush administration. A program that continues to shine.


DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former president, George H. W. Bush has been slowed by illness and needs a wheelchair to get around. But he's still standing up for a cause that he sold to the nation more than two decades ago.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: We will turn to the only resource we have that in times of need always grows. The goodness and the courage of the American people have spoken of 1,000 points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the nation doing good.

LOTHIAN: The year was 1989 and a new president laid out his vision for what he called a new activism, a call to a generation to give service to the nation. A quarter of a century later another president also dedicated to growing volunteerism and service will honor the Bush legacy and present its 5,000th award.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president very -- very much looks forward to this event. He has a very high regard for President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush and the Bush family.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And today -- today, 20 years later, think for a minute about the impact that he's saying. That's the extraordinary ripple effect that one life lived humbly with love for one's country and in service to one's fellow citizens can have.

LOTHIAN: President Bush is the honorary chairman of the Points of Light Foundation. Now the world's largest service organization coordinating volunteer projects.

Dan Lothian, CNN, the White House.


BROWN: Well, this right here is an incredible story. Two teenage Pennsylvania boys are being called heroes this morning after they helped a kidnapped girl get away from her abductor. Lancaster Police say 5-year-old Jocelyn Rojas -- right here -- was snatched from her front yard. While authorities were scouring the area on Thursday the two teens spotted the girl in a car and gave chase on their bicycles.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They started at the end of the (INAUDIBLE). And let her out. And she ran to me and said that she needed her mom.


BROWN: Wow. Jocelyn's grateful mom hugged the boys and called them heroes. And police are continuing to search for that kidnapper who got away.

ROMANS: That story is just incredible. And you know, there's a woman in western New York who saw that story and is starting a scholarship fund for the boys.

BROWN: Unbelievable. What a story.

ROMANS: Because it's one of those things, you do the right thing, these kids should be rewarded. But --

BROWN: Absolutely.

ROMANS: Imagine the terror. It took a long time to find them, those boys. Fifteen minutes they chased that car. Fifteen minutes they chased that car.

BROWN: They were not going to give up.

ROMANS: The guy was like turned around and the kids on the bike kept going.

BROWN: And eventually he just stopped and the little girl ran out. Unbelievable.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, prices at the pump -- sorry, it's bad news -- they're rising. How high we expect them to go? I'm going to tell you, up next.


BROWN: Welcome back, everybody. 5:23 on the -- in the East on this Monday morning. A live shot here of the Statue of Liberty. A beautiful shot on this Monday morning. Just recently reopened. I was out there on the Fourth of July.

ROMANS: Beautiful.

BROWN: It's beautiful, isn't it? And by the way, it is hot here in the East. Our Indra Petersons is saying that --


BROWN: -- the heat wave is moving through and it's here to stay for a while.

ROMANS: And Lady Liberty in her green gown will be sweating.


ROMANS: Today. No question.

Welcome back to EARLY START. It's money time this morning. We start this week at record highs for the Dow and the S&P 500. In fact the S&P coming off its biggest weekly advance in seven months.

To give you some perspective over its 56th year history, the S&P 500 has hit new highs in 25 Julys. It's a pretty strong history of summer strengths, but this was particularly strong.

Take a look at how we did last week. The Dow just last week up 2.2 percent. NASDAQ up 3.5 percent. The S&P 500 it's a 3 percent. That's a 3 percent return in just one week. The Dow and the S&P 500 each up 18 percent for the year. The Nasdaq is up 19 percent for the year. We've got a lot of earnings to digest this morning.

Citigroup today, we're going to hear from Bank of America, Google, We're going to hear from Google, Intel and Microsoft later in the week so an awful lot of things that could move the direction of the stock market.

Now something you could feel every single week if you fill up your gas tank. Gas prices and there's a relentless run up there. The price of a gallon of regular unleaded rose 1.3 cents to 3.61, $3.61 to a gallon. That's the seventh consecutive daily increase according to AAA.

Gasoline futures are up 13 percent so far in July. Rising the most seven months on Friday. So big move there.

The world's second largest economy grew at a slower pace in the second quarter. China. China's GDP coming in at 7.5 percent. That's down from 7.7 percent in the first quarter. Sounds really good, right? Like three times what the U.S. is doing. But China average growth of around 10 percent a year in the past three decade. The key question now is just how much time -- how much the government is willing to let the economy slow before stepping in to provide stimulus there in China. So watch the China story.

And Fabulous Fab. Remember that guy? Fabrice Tourre is the ex- Goldman trader who's accused of knowingly selling bad investments that he expects would unravel. He was called to testify before Congress a few years back and it created a sensation about just the kind of investment Wall Street was making up when the housing market imploded. If Tourre is found liable he could face a hefty fine and be barred from working in the financial industry.

But I'll tell you, Pamela, it brings sort of the whole thing back again about, you know, a lot of scrutiny about the industry, about the financial products that were being peddled.


ROMANS: And this is going to bring it all back to the fore.

BROWN: Absolutely.

ROMANS: We'll watch.

BROWN: OK. ROMANS: All right. Coming up, we're going to continue to follow breaking news overnight. Thousands protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman. What Trayvon Martin's family had to say about the verdict.