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Race Relations in Wake of Zimmerman Verdict; Dramatic Rescue of Boy Swallowed by Sand Dune; Two Philadelphia Teens Save Abducted Girl; The Secret of J.K. Rowling's Latest Book

Aired July 15, 2013 - 08:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: See, I don't see it because I can't hit that note. Kate can. She's just being nice right now. She didn't want to have to call me out.

Welcome back, everybody, to NEW DAY. Just about 8:30 in the East, Monday, July 15th. I'm Chris Cuomo.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're joined of course by news anchor Michaela Pereira. Coming up in this half hour, an incredible rescue after a trip to the beach to have some fun, well, that trip took a terrifying turn. A boy gets stuck in a very scary sandy sinkhole. You won't believe this story. He's recovering this morning.

CUOMO: Yes, Dad digging through the sand, taking hours. Can you imagine what you're doing there as a parent thinking he's never going to make it, he's never going to make it for hours? But you're going to have to hear this story, really is something.

Plus, one of the most popular authors ever, right, J.K. Rowling. So why did Harry Potter's creator decide to write a book under another name? We're going tell you the story about it and what she has to say.

But the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY. Very important. Only Michaela Pereira can tell you these things. Micky, please, tell us.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we'll do it. Let's take a look at number one, the Justice Department confirming it's considering a civil rights case against George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in the wake of his "not guilty" verdict.

An autopsy expected to be performed today on "Glee" star Cory Monteith. His body was found Saturday in a Vancouver, Canada, hotel room.

Heat advisories. Watches and warnings in effect for much of the Northeast. Highs expected in the 90s; factoring in humidity, it's going to feel like triple-digit heat. President Obama honoring one of his predecessors, the first President Bush. Mr. Bush and his wife being recognized for the Point of Light program, which is the largest volunteer organization in the world.

And at number five, 40,000 Boy Scouts meet up in West Virginia for the annual jamboree and, for the first time, girls are taking part. It's part of the Boy Scouts co-ed venturing program.

You know, we're always updating our five things to know, so be sure to go to for the very latest.

CUOMO: Were you guys in scouting?

PEREIRA: No. I was a Girl Guide. That's what they called them in Canada.

CUOMO: Really? I was a Boy Scout.

PEREIRA: Always prepared ,very cool.

CUOMO: Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, (inaudible), clean and reverent.

BOLDUAN: Half of that does not apply to Chris, but that's OK.

CUOMO: That's true. I just say them fast, that's why.

BOLDUAN: Getting back to our lead story of the day, the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial sparking protests across the country and, while it has flamed debate across the country and on social media, most of the protests, though, were peaceful. You're seeing some clashes right there, though. The police scuffled with demonstrators overnight in New York as well as Los Angeles.

CNN's Alina Machado is in Sanford, Florida, with the latest on all of this. Hey there, Alina.

ALINA MACAHDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. People flooded social media, people who were disappointed with the verdict, to express their displeasure. There were also people who support George Zimmerman who also weighed in.

Here in Sanford, Florida, small, we've seen small but peaceful protests, a sharp contrast to what we've seen in some parts of the country. Just overnight in New York City, in Times Square, thousands of people marched arm in arm. We heard of a scuffle between police and demonstrators in Harlem. That scuffle resulted in some arrests.

In Los Angeles, we heard of a march that turned violent when protesters started throwing rocks and batteries and chunks of concrete in one area. In another area they stopped freeway traffic. We're told the LAPD responded by throwing bean bags at demonstrators, and this is exactly what community leaders say they did not want to see. Today here in Sanford, Florida, people will be praying for continued peace and unity. Michaela?

PEREIRA: All right, Alina Machado, thank you. We appreciate that.

What are the racial implications of the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial? We're joined now by former Obama White House official Van Jones and former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. They are two of the new hosts of CNN's "CROSSFIRE", which returns to CNN this fall.

Gentlemen, thank you so much for rising early this morning and joining us to talk about this, the day after all the protests yesterday, over the weekend, we saw in all parts of the country now. I want to start with you, Van. Was this trial about race?

VAN JONES, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, it certainly was a big part of it and I think -- I think that now the trial is over, really an opportunity to try to understand why did people have such different reactions depending on your understanding of how race works in America?

You know, the stand your ground law, which I think was put forward maybe with good intentions to make sure people could defend themselves has turned out in Florida to have a hugely different racial impact. If a jury sees a black defendant, they're much less likely to believe that person was in fear of their life. A white defendant, the statistics show, they let them off. People in Florida know that. That is one of the reasons why stand your ground is so controversial.

Now that it's no longer about one person, I think math should matter, statistics should matter. We should look at a why our criminal justice system continues to give racially negative outcomes for African-Americans and Latinos and fix that. But, unfortunately, I think a lot of the discussion devolved into a lot of name calling, which is not making things better.

PEREIRA: No, it certainly does not. Cases are tried in the courtroom, not in the case of public opinion. Newt, we know that for sure. What we do know is that this trial is reinvigorating a conversation in our nation about race. What should the focus be in your estimation, Newt?

NEWT GINGRICH, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, first of all, large part of the reason it's been reinvigorated, frankly, is the news media. You know, George Zimmerman is Hispanic. He's a Latino. So, if that had been correctly stated from the very beginning -- and "The New York Times" invents this entire new topic, white Hispanic, to maximize the racial implications.

The fact is that six women sat on a jury for five solid weeks. I watched these protesters, none of whom read the transcript, none of whom sat through five weeks of the trial, all of whom are prepared basically to be a lynch mob. They only wanted one verdict, and the verdict was guilty.

And so you started with, you know, if he had been found guilty, does that mean everybody on the other side should have gone on to the streets, should have thrown things at police? So I want to start there. Second, if we want to talk about saving lives and saving African- American lives, 350 African-Americans were killed in Chicago last year. Over 100 Latinos were killed in Chicago last year. Why isn't the Justice Department concerned about developing a task force that involves all of those people of color who were killed in the president's home town? But somehow that --

JONES: Let's say a couple of things about that.

GINGRICH: That doesn't set the national debate.

PEREIRA: Van, I hear you wanting to inject in here, and I see you shaking your head. Is it too much? Jeffrey Toobin just made this point. Is it too much to put this case on display as an example of where we stand as a nation in terms of race?

JONES: Well, this is an incredible opportunity to kind of teach each other and help each other here. For instance, the idea that because Mr. Zimmerman is Latino that racial bias can't be involved is just ludicrous. The tension between African-Americans and Latinos is legendary. If you have any knowledge about how urban communities work, there is racial bias by blacks and Latinos and by Latinos against blacks. So just because he's Latino doesn't mean it's not a racial case.

Also, I was shocked to hear people talking about Chicago all the time. Let me just be very clear. I was one of the people who pulled together that big concert with Prince and Jennifer Hudson in September trying to stop the violence in Chicago. I'm somebody who has been a part of stopping the violence, the Silence of Violence movement is something out of Oakland I had a role in. But just because you had two kids killed by a gang member and one kid killed by a vigilante doesn't mean you shouldn't care about the kid that was killed by a vigilante.

So we have to have a conversation here that's a little bit more honest about, you know, there's too much gun violence overall. But the fact that there is gang violence does not mean that we shouldn't be concerned about vigilante violence.

PEREIRA: So what do we do, gentlemen? This is the fact is that emotion is running --

GINGRICH: Wait a second. I don't know there was vigilante violence. The jury said it wasn't vigilante violence. The jury said there were reasonable grounds --

JONES: No, they didn't say he wasn't guilty on the facts, sir.

GINGRICH: They said he wasn't guilty and part of the test for the prosecutors, and one of the reasons it will be absurd for the Justice Department to manufacture a case, is the prosecutors could not convince the jury that this was a vigilante killing. They believed it was an act of self-defense.

Now, you may not like that solution, but six people who sat through five weeks of trial decided it was an act of self-defense.

JONES: Sure, and I respect those jurors. Let's be very clear, I respect those jurors and I think if you look at the African-American community and young people, nobody has gone after the jurors. They said there were going to be riots, there was no riots. There's been no violence from young blacks against society or even against these jurors.

But there is now a concern about is this a green light for vigilante violence against young blacks? And there is a danger now that you got to dress your kid in a tuxedo to send them out the door to buy some Skittles because somebody might confront them. And also, as a black parent, there's a concern, what if my child is confronted by a stranger with a gun, are they supposed to lie spread-eagle, do whatever they're told? This is - there are really serious implications here for black parents or for anybody that cares about black kids. And I think it's very important that we try to listen and learn from each other.

This test has become an ink blot test for how you see how society works and functions, and I think we have to listen to each other and learn from each other.

PEREIRA: Newt, your thoughts?

GINGRICH: But my whole point about the media overfocus is simple. The odds are overwhelming if your child gets killed in Chicago and is African-American, they were killed by an African-American. They weren't killed - they didn't need to wear a tuxedo, it wasn't about Skittles. So I just want to start with, I think this is one case -

JONES: And so we shouldn't kill about the ones that were killed by vigilantes?

GINGRICH: Absolutely we should. And we did, we just had a five-week trial. And we just had a very substantial effort to find out whether or not this guy was guilty and we should send a signal to everybody if you get involved in this situation, you are going to be investigated and you are going to be tried. So I don't think the country is sending a signal that it's an open field day.

But I would just say in terms of the media focus and in terms of the Justice Department focus, we would save a lot more lives by focusing on the primary sources of why people are being killed, and those sources aren't going out to buy Skittles or having to wear a tuxedo.

JONES: Well, I think we should work together -

PEREIRA: Go ahead, Van, one last thought and we're going to wrap.

JONES: Well, look, I think that if you're concerned, and I know you are, sir, about violence overall and gun violence overall, we should work together on that. But I just think it's just very strange to hear this concern about the kids dying in Chicago being used now against other people who are concerned about kids dying. It just is a weird thing and it's coming up more and more with the right wing media. I'm concerned that it's making the harder rather than easier. That's my concern.

PEREIRA: Well, I will tell you, I know that all three of us, and I know the two of you can definitely agree, that as Jorge Rodriguez, a friend of George Zimmerman's, just sat on our set a few minutes ago, this was a bad situation at the end of the day. A 17-year-old is dead.

We want to say a big thank you to Van Jones and Newt Gingrich. Be sure to check out "CROSSFIRE". It is returning to CNN this fall. You got a taste of some of the fireworks that are going to ignite on that set with those two gentlemen and their other hosts. Thanks for joining us this morning.

Chris, Kate, back to you.

CUOMO: And, Michaela, you're asking the right questions. It just shows how this trial means different things for people from different perspectives.

BOLDUAN: And it's a good conversation to have, as Michaela said, no matter where things ended up in court and what people think of the verdict. It's a good conversation to be having.

CUOMO: All right, coming up on NEW DAY, a 6-year-old boy lucky to be alive after getting swallowed by 11 feet of sand. He was just playing on the beach. We're going to show you an amazing rescue this morning.

BOLDUAN: Also amazing, a blockbuster on this one. Author J.K. Rowling is pulling back the cloak on her latest act of wizardry. We'll have the details ahead.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. Thanks for joining us.

A 6-year-old Indiana boy -- this is an amazing story we're talking about all morning - well, he is in critical condition this morning after he was rescued from a massive sand dune really swallowing him up. He was with his family at a national park Friday when authorities say a sinkhole opened up, burying the boy alive. Miraculously, he survived. And Pamela Brown is here with the latest on this terrifying story.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, really just a miracle. This fun family vacation took a terrifying turn. It was a race against the clock to save this 6-year-old little boy who disappeared underneath the sand. But as the hours passed, hope dwindled, terrifying moments captured on this chilling 911 call.


BROWN (voice-over): It's every parent's worst nightmare.

911 OPERATOR: 911.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm at the Mount Baldy Beach and my friend's son, he got stuck in a sand dune and he's like under the sand and they can't get him out.

BROWN: Authorities say 6-year-old Nathan Woessner was suddenly swallowed by a sinkhole on the Indiana sand dunes lining Lake Michigan.

911 OPERATOR: Can anybody see him or is he completely covered by sand?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. My husband and his dad are trying to dig him out.

BROWN: Dozens of first responders rushed to the 11-foot mound of sand burying the boy. With excavation equipment in hand, they raced against the clock.

BRAD KREIGHBAUM, HELPED RESCUE BOY IN SINKHOLE: We tried to just stay focused, you know, and the first two hours was complete misery.

BROWN: More than 3 1/2 hours ticked by, and then finally, signs of life. KREIGHBAUM: At that point, everybody was really frantically, by hand, trying to dig him out. Once I had a hold of his head, just supported his head and I was talking to him, you know, just like I would talk to my own son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of felt for a pulse. Your heart wants you to feel that and your heart wants you to hear that breath.

BROWN: Woessner, unconscious but still breathing, was pulled from his vertical position in the sand and rushed to the hospital. In the end, it may have been a single air pocket that saved his life.

KREIGHBAUM: When we pulled him out, he really didn't look good. The only thing you can think of is, you know, that could be your kid. We weren't going to give up.


BROWN: I just spoke with the spokesperson for the hospital treating Nathan and I'm told he remains in critical condition this morning. When he did arrive at the hospital, he was able to respond to simple command and has responded to mechanical ventilation. Good news there. And there will be a press conference 10:00 a.m. Central Time and the doctor treating him will speaking at that press conference.

BOLDUAN: Hopefully we'll get a good update and some good news on his condition. Amazing, as we were talking about how long he was in that sand dune. Pamela, thanks so much for bringing that to us.

CUOMO: Look forward to news of recovery there. Do you hear the music? It's time for the good stuff. We have got an extra special edition to share with you today to prove that hero comes in all different shapes and sizes.

Michaela, what do you got for us?

PEREIRA: We need more good stuff, specifically today. All right, Chris, here it is. Authorities in Pennsylvania say a 5-year-old kidnapping victim is home safe and sound thanks to the bravery of two teenage boys. When they spotted the little girl inside a car, they chased after her on their bikes. What happened next will amaze you.


PEREIRA (voice-over): Over two hours of terror as a neighborhood frantically searches for 5-year-old Jocelyn Rojas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anybody know her or play with her.

PEREIRA: Late Thursday afternoon, she was playing in her front yard when she suddenly disappeared, abducted by a man investigators think lured the girl into his car by offering ice cream.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Credit card, little purse she hadm was laying there.

PEREIRA: That's when 15-year-old Temar Boggs and his friend, Chris, scoured the neighborhood on their bikes, suddenly spotting the little girl in a sedan a half mile away.

TEMAR BOGGS, TEEN WHO SAVED ABDUCTED GIRL: Every time we'll go down the street, he'll turn back around, and then we'll go back, we'll follow him.

PEREIRA: The two teens chased the alleged kidnapper for a heart pounding 15 minutes.

BOGGS: He stopped at the end of the hill and let her out, and she ran to me and said that she needed her mom.

PEREIRA: Unharmed, Boggs immediately took her to police.

TRACEY CLAY, JOCELYN'S GRANDMOTHER: Thank you. You're our hero.

PEREIRA: And the family overjoyed by the swift action of these teen heroes on wheels.

CLA: You've seen the amber alerts and you think, oh, I feel for that family. But oh my god when you're in the situation, it's horrible. He's our hero.


PEREIRA (on-camera): He is a hero. He really is. Relatives in Jocelyn Rojas' family says she's doing well. The suspect, though, remains at large. A woman, we should tell you, from western New York was so moved by this story, she set up a scholarship fund for those kid heroes. She doesn't even know them but she wants to say thank you in a very special way.

CUOMO: Got to put the information on the Web site.

PEREIRA: The description of the guy, too, because they're still looking for him. Make sure he doesn't do this again.

BOLDUAN: What courage of those boys. Potentially dangerous for them to be chasing after him.

CUOMO: Incredible acts by the boys. We've to get the information for the scholarship fund, put it on the Web site for you. Amazing. That's the good stuff.

BOLDUAN: I want to hear more good stuff.

CUOMO: We need it. What else you got? So you tell us. Tweet us. Go to Facebook, you use the hashtag for us, #newday. Let us know stories like this. We want to tell you the new ones. And this was a great one today.

BOLDUAN: This was a great one today.

Also a still ahead on NEW DAY, "Harry Potter" author, J.K. Rowling, you know that name, you know that face. Well, she is revealing the big secret behind her latest book.


BOLDUAN: All right does this name ring a bell, Robert Galbraith?

CUOMO: No, who is that?

BOLDUAN: Exactly what everyone is wondering -- wonder who that was?

CUOMO: That was a good one.


PEREIRA: No rain here, no rain in here at least for the moment.

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY everyone.

An interesting surprise from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling -- she just revealed that she is the author of this book which you can't see because J.K. Rowling is on the camera right now. She has a mystery novel. This mystery novel, it's hard to come by these days only because it's her name. She wrote it under a pseudonym.

And although her Harry Potter series sold over 450 million copies so far until this weekend her secret mystery book sold only about 500 copies. Some said maybe 1,500 copies. And CNN's Erin McLaughlin is live in London with much, much more.

And that is not the noise you want to hear in the morning. But what's the latest, Erin?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Kate. Well J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults that was called "The Casual Vacancy" published in the fall to intense media scrutiny and mixed reviews -- the time she expressed this longing for a normal book launch. So I guess it's no surprise that she managed to hoodwink the entire literary community into thinking that her latest novel was written by someone else.


RUPERT GRINT, ACTOR: I know what that is. That's an invisibility cloak.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): The beloved mastermind behind Harry Potter's invisibility cloak has come up with a clever cover of her own. It's been revealed that J.K. Rowling has written another best-selling book, this time using a secret identity. "The Cuckoo's Calling" was hailed as a brilliant debut model. Critics called it a rare feat and the start of a fine crime career. That's great news for the supposed author, the elusive Robert Galbraith.

THOM GEIER, SENIOR EDITOR, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLEY": She certainly took extra steps that other authors who have used pseudonyms haven't taken. She not only created a new name for herself, Robert Galbraith, but she created a whole back story for this guy.

MCLAUGHLIN: On the publisher's Web site Galbraith is described as a retired military man married with two sons. But the "Sunday Times" unraveled the mystery and Rowling acknowledged the work as her own.

Here is a statement from J.K. Rowling. "I hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience." Sales of "The Cuckoo's Calling" are now sky- rocketing. They've gone up more than 500,000 percent on, making it their number one selling book -- another hit to add to Rowling's billion-dollar Potter empire.


MCLAUGHLIN: A representative from a major retailer here in the UK told me not a book to be found on any of his store shelves. They're rushing to order more. Kate, Chris and Michaela.

BOLDUAN: Which poses the question, how much will you give me for it? Just kidding.

CUOMO: Anonymous tip, book sales up. Back right after this break.


CUOMO: All right everybody. That is it for NEW DAY from Michaela, Kate and I. Thanks for being with us. "CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello, our good friend, begins right now. Good morning Carol.

BOLDUAN: Hi Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Chris. And I understand Chris you'll be with us in about five minutes. So we look forward to that.

BOLDUAN: We're going.

COSTELLO: The rest of you, have a great day.

BOLDUAN: Great, Carol.