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Dangerous Heat Wave Won't Let Up; 6,000 People Evacuated From California Town; "Stand Your Ground" Protest; Snowden Impacting Diplomacy?; "Rolling Stone" Sparks Outrage; Deal On Student Loan Rates; President On Healthcare Reform; Alex Rodriguez One-on-One

Aired July 18, 2013 - 06:00   ET


INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: -- a big heat wave in New York, it's just unrelenting even in these early morning hours. The sun is not even up and the temperatures still in the 80s. And it's really affecting a huge chunk of the country.


PETERSONS (voice-over): It's the hottest weather this summer with the heat waves scorching a huge chunk of the nation. Officials are blaming this heat wave for at least two deaths, an elderly woman in Maryland and in New York last week, a Statin Island man died because of the sizzling temperatures. In Indiana, a senior center lost power. Hundreds had to be evacuated as it was too dangerous to stay inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's all old folks so you have to take care of them.

PETERSONS: On average more than 650 people die each year from the heat. The blistering heat inside a vehicle has already claimed the lives of 21 children this year. A meteorologist from Maryland shows us just how hot it can get inside your car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Completely miserable, I'm drenched with sweat. You can see my shirt.

PETERSONS: Working outside can be unbearable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, by the end of the day you're sluggish, you don't think as well.

PETERSONS: In California, a farm was shut down after reports of an employee heat related death. The culprit, a large sum of high pressure parked over the Ohio Valley in the north east.

(on camera): At 2:00 p.m. the hottest time of the day and it is 94 degrees, but it feels like 100 with the humidity and the ground itself over 130 degrees. It's almost 5:00 in the morning. It should be about the coolest time of the day and still 82 degrees outside and the ground's even hotter currently 88 degrees.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This morning when I woke up and went outside I couldn't believe how warm it already was.


PETERSONS: That is one of the problems here. We're talking about unrelenting heat. It's not just the hot temperatures, but it's how long it lasts. That again continues to be the concern. Take a look at the map. We're looking at above normal temperatures in the north east so far this week. Kind of trending, actually been cooler on the west coast, but here is the threshold where we're looking at advisories anywhere from the northeast all the way down now even towards Maryland and especially Hartford, Connecticut and Philadelphia, heat indices could be high as 105 degrees.

Even warmer than what we've seen, which is unbelievably very hard to believe. This dome of high pressure is building farther west, yesterday it went to Minnesota, today spreading into the Dakotas. More people affected by the heat wave. We are going to be cooling down, but we have a couple days to go.

There is the cold front that is expected to make its way into the northeast, but we're looking at some severe weather as it slides in, cooler and it's spreading into the northeast by Saturday. A lot going on.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much, Indra. Appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: Indra, we'll keep watching it throughout the show.

And we're also watching this. The wind has grabbed hold of a mountain wildfire in Southern California and is now pushing it toward a resort town. About 6,000 people have been told to evacuate at this point and right now the fire is only about 15 percent contained. CNN's Miguel Marquez has more from Idyllwild, California.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The flames have already burned through more than 30 square miles and this fire raging out of control through the California towns of Idyllwild and Fern Valley is nowhere close to being under control. Residents fearing the worst are making safety their first priority, 6,000 of them or residents ordered to evacuate overnight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's our house right there so we've, we're going to head to say our good-byes in case we don't come back.

MARQUEZ: At this hour, the blaze only 15 percent contained according to Forest Service officials. At least seven structures have been damaged or destroyed. As many as 4,000 more are under threat. The response by officials is massive, 3,000 fire personnel have been dispatched to the scene and three firefighters suffered minor injuries battling this inferno. Residents are simply hoping for the best.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it's OK and it looked far worse today because now it's circling around the ridge.

MARQUEZ: Miguel Marquez, CNN, Idyllwild, California. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: The heat is not helping.

All right, a group of student protesters refused to leave the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott in the wake of the George Zimmermam they want to get rid of the state's stand your ground law. CNN's Victor Blackwell is live in Tallahassee. Good morning, Victor.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning. The members of this group, the "Dream Defenders" are calling on state legislators to pass a Trayvon Martin Act, this is day three now of their standoff inside the capitol rotunda and they say they're not leaving until they've talked to the governor.


BLACKWELL (voice-over): For a third day, student activists refuse to leave the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott until they meet with him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'd like the repeal of stand your ground or some type of modification to hold people responsible to a level that humanity expects.

BLACKWELL: The group is demanding a special session of the Florida legislature. Governor Scott responded Wednesday.

GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: I took advice from the president. We had great people on that committee, they went around the state and listened about the stand your ground laws and came back and said we shouldn't change it and I agree with them.

BLACKWELL: Justice for Trayvon rallies are scheduled in 100 cities Saturday to urge civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think George got in a little bit too deep.

BLACKWELL: One of the jurors in the Zimmerman trial who spoke exclusively with Anderson Cooper now says in a statement to CNN, there will be no other interviews. As for her literary agent and a rumored book deal she writes, "There is not one at this time and the relationship with the agent ceased the moment I realized what had been occurring in the world during the weeks of my sequestration.

And we're learning more about how the Zimmerman jurors spent their 22 days sequestered when not in court. The six-female jurors occasionally left the hotel with court approval going bowling, shopping and to the movies. Seminole County officials estimate sequestration cost the county $33,000 all to isolate them from the controversy surrounding the trial.


BLACKWELL: Chris, I reminded the protesters that Zimmerman's attorneys did not argue a stand your ground defense. It was basic self defense and they said that we understand that, but we're hoping that this will not allow in their words another vigilante to get off. One thing about the governor's schedule we're still waiting to get that.

Up to this point of this protest, the governor has been traveling sometime in New York and other parts of Florida. We're hoping to find out if he meets with the protesters. There is a news conference planned in South Florida with house and Senate Democratic leaders to discuss bills they proposed last session to overturn or repeal stand your ground -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Victor, thank you. It gets a little tricky legally because even though they didn't argue it there is that language in the self defense instruction to the jurors. The issue is now looming larger than what happened in the one trial. Tonight on "AC 360," first, he had Juror B37, now Anderson Cooper will interview Trayvon Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. That airs at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

BOLDUAN: To Washington now where there are calls for the U.S. to boycott the upcoming Olympics in Russia due to the country's refusal to hand over NSA fugitive Edward Snowden. President Obama is scheduled to have face-to-face talks with the Russian President Putin in Moscow this September for the G20 Summit. There are now questions over whether he should keep even that meeting.

CNN's White House correspondent, Brianna Keilar, is joining us live in Washington with more. Good morning, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Kate. I will tell you the White House is downplaying suggestions that the U.S. boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia, but what we were expecting to be this one-on-one meeting between President Obama and President Putin appears to be much more in doubt. A warning from White House to Moscow as Moscow considers Snowden's request for temporary asylum in Russia.


KEILAR (voice-over): It could be a high profile, high stakes showdown between the U.S. and Russia. The future of NSA leaker Edward Snowden could impact a planned summit between President Obama and President Putin in September or even Russia's 2014 Olympics.

SENATOR LINDSAY GRAHAM: Would I accept an invitation to sit by Putin? No. I don't want to boycott the Olympics, but I want a policy that will get the Russians' attention.

KEILAR: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has indeed gotten attention for his suggestion the U.S. boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but the White House isn't playing.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'm not going to engage in speculation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys aren't jumping to superficial headline are you?

KEILAR: While not speculating on an Olympic boycott, White House Spokesman Jay Carney seemed to be deliberately vague about Obama's plans to travel to a previously announced powwow between the U.S. president and Putin in Moscow tied to the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg Russia.

CARNEY: The president intends to go to Russia in September.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deliberately vague.

CARNEY: That's for you to decide.

KEILAR: But last month the president was firm he didn't want Russia's refusal to extradite Snowden to adversely affect relations with the U.S.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm not going to have one case of a suspect who we're trying to extradite suddenly being elevated to the point where I've got to start doing wheeling and dealing.

KEILAR: Putin seems to agree saying he wants this Snowden situation resolved.

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (through translator): We have warned Mr. Snowden that any harm he might do to Russian/U.S. relations is unacceptable.


KEILAR: President Obama has made clear he has bigger issues with Russia than Snowden. Russia has thwarted U.S. attempts to put more pressure on Syria and Iran. But it's really, Chris, this idea that the president will be going to Russia while perhaps Snowden would be living and working there that is causing sort of a thorn in the side of the White House. It's becoming increasingly irritating. At this point if you're a fan of the luge or curling and wonder if the U.S. will compete in the Olympics in Russia, I would say yes. You'll be able to watch.

CUOMO: Good to know, Brianna. The word awkward comes to mind. Thanks for reporting this morning.

KEILAR: You bet.

CUOMO: All right, another question here, did "Rolling Stone" magazine make a rock store out of an alleged murderer. Hopefully that is impossible here, but that is the question this morning as some stores yank the issue featuring the surviving Boston bombing suspect off their shelves. He of course accused of killing four people wounding hundreds more. The critics say the cover shot makes him look like anything but the monster he is. Brian Todd is in Washington with more on that. Good morning, Brian.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. The fallout is significant on several fronts on this. As you mentioned, there's a temporary boycott against "Rolling Stone" by some of the big chains that sell its magazines. In Boston and throughout America, a perception that "Rolling Stone" is equating Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with the likes of rock's biggest stars.


TODD (voice-over): He's got the hair, the same bruiting demeanor, but Dzhokar Tsarnaev isn't Jim Morrison and there is palpable outrage that "Rolling Stone" magazine has Tsarnaev on its August cover. When Bostonians found out --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to talk about that nut case. I don't like it. He shouldn't get it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am surprised. I'm shocked he'd be there. It is kind of sad, actually.

TODD: They are not alone in their anger. The brush back is burning up social media. "Rolling Stone" touts its article as an in-depth investigation into how the alleged Boston marathon bomber went off track in his life. In a statement "Rolling Stone's" editor said their hearts go out to the victims, but that they also felt it was important to, quote, "gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens." Still one Boston firefighter calls the cover insulting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The actual picture that they chose really portrays the innocence of youth and he gave up any innocence he had on April 15th when he took the life of an innocent child, two women and went on to execute a police officer.

TODD: The economic fallout started with America's second largest drug store chain, CVS saying it won't put the August edition of "Rolling Stone" on its newsstands. CVS was joined in this temporary boycott by other big chains like Walgreens as well as New England based Stop N Shop grocery stores and Tedeschi food shops.

But some marketing analysts say "Rolling Stone" may actually get a boost from this. They point out consumers still talk about controversial magazine covers like "Time's" man of the year featuring Adolf Hitler and the Ayatollah Khomeinei. "Times" cover with the mother breastfeeding a child, the New Yorker drawing of the Obamas fist bumping and "Rolling Stone's" own cover image of Charles Manson in 1970.


TODD: Marketing analysts say one thing that could hurt "Rolling Stone" is if advertisers pull their ads or threaten to do so, but so far, no word on whether any advertisers have done that and so far "Rolling Stone" is not commenting on any of that -- Chris and Kate.

CUOMO: All right, Brian, thanks for bringing that to us this morning. Appreciate it. BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Brian. We have clearly gotten a lot of things developing this hour so let's get straight to Michaela for the latest.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you two and good morning to you at home. Making news, bipartisan group of senators reaching a deal on student loan interest rates, the deal offers college students lower interest rates through 2015, but then rates start climbing. They would be linked to financial markets but capped for grads, undergrads, students and parents. A vote on the deal could happen today or be pushed into next week.

President Obama pushing his health care reform law today in a White House speech, but Republicans in the House are symbolically chipping away at Obamacare. The House just passed two bills to postpone key areas of the health care reform law. The measure calls for delaying requirements that employers provide health insurance and that individuals sign up for it.

A judge is expected to decide whether the developer of the World Trade Center can sue American Airlines, United and other aviation and security companies for billions. Developers saying they should pay damages for the September 11th attacks. The airlines argue that the developer is trying to double dip since it already collected about $5 billion in insurance money.

The Air Force officer whose job was to prevent sexual assaults will be in court today accused of groping a woman. This happened near the Pentagon. Lt. Col. Jeffrey Kuzinsky faces a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail if he's convicted of misdemeanor and sexual battery as the Navy and the Marines crack down on sexual assaults in their ranks. CNN has learned they will begin publishing their own version of a sex offender list.

South Carolina's Supreme Court says a 3-year-old little girl must go back to her adoptive parents. Baby Veronica as she being called has lived with her biological father for nearly two years. He gave up parental rights when she was born, but then later changed his mind. He invoked the Indian Child Welfare Act to get custody. It makes it tough for people outside the tribe to adopt. The U.S. Supreme Court said that the law was misused in this case.

And finally, we sure love these, a soldier's surprise, this one the scuba edition, a friend distracted her kids at the beach saying he was making a Facebook video for her husband, Air Force Caption Hiron Bronson. They thought he was in Afghanistan.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to send this to him on Facebook.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you freaking kidding me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mrs. Bronson your husband is here reporting for duty.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!

UNIDENTIFIED KID: Let me give you a hug.


PEREIRA: Captain Bronson joked to his wife "I swam all the way here for you, honey." Isn't that something else? The little girl climbs up on him. The others are like I'm not familiar with dad. She's pretty young.

BOLDUAN: Very out of context, no one is expecting your father to swim up.

PEREIRA: You're going to be watching scuba divers more carefully from now on.

BOLDUAN: So, so sweet.

CUOMO: That was really good stuff. Can't talk about it. It gets me.

All right. Coming up on NEW DAY, a license to snoop. The NSA scandal got us thinking how many sets of eyes are actually on us. You know the police cameras at some intersections? It turns out cop cams can track every place you drive by scanning your license plates. What's that about? We'll tell you.

BOLDUAN: Also coming up, A-Rod breaking his silence. The Yankees slugger says he'll be back on the field next week, but Major League Baseball may have something to say about that.


CUOMO: Welcome back, everybody. Here we are on NEW DAY.

BOLDUAN: Here we are.

CUOMO: Major League Baseball facing perhaps the biggest crisis in its history. More than a dozen players, some huge names in the sport, are facing possible suspension for their ties to a Florida clinic known for performance-enhancing drugs. Among them, Yankee superstar, third baseman Alex Rodriguez, aka, A-Rod, who sat down for an interview -- very unusual -- with CNN's Jason Carroll.

Jason, A-Rod not known for taking this stuff on. How'd you make this happen?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As you know, he doesn't talk very much about things like this, but what he wanted to do is he said he wanted to speak directly to those people who have been out there supporting him.

He says he is not guilty of the allegations he used performance- enhancing drugs. He said he's healthy. He said he's ready to prove he can play once again with the Yankees.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ALEX RODRIGUEZ, YANKEES STAR: You know, every day is a new day obviously in this process. There's a lot of challenges.

CARROLL (voice-over): Alex Rodriguez knows a lot about challenges. He has recovered from hip surgery, the second of his career. And the New York Yankee third baseman is back on the field for now, with the AA team, the Trenton Thunder. Getting back in the game, the real game, may be his greatest challenge -- one he hopes to overcome with help from fans.

RODRIGUEZ: I mean, the support has been overwhelming and it's fueled me. I mean, this has been a very difficult process and I'm just humbled by the opportunity to play baseball. I mean, I love this game so much. I hate all the noise but, you know, hopefully that goes away soon and we can get back to playing baseball.

CARROLL: Part of the so-called "noise", Major League Baseball's investigation into allegations linking Rodriguez and other players to this Florida clinic, shut down for distributing performance-enhancing drugs.


CARROLL: Rodriguez denies being treated by the clinic, a possible suspension from the team, a $114 million contract and his legacy hang in the balance.

(on camera): A lot of pressures, a lots of allegations out there. How are you managing to deal with that while also trying to manage the physical part of trying to come back?

RODRIGUEZ: That's a good question. I mean, that's never easy and it's not fun.

CARROLL: What's harder? Is it the mental or is it physical? Which one is harder?

RODRIGUEZ: I think in this case, it's both.

CARROLL: What happens if there is a suspension? And how disappointed would you be if you're not able to come back?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, I'm going to focus on the positive, you know? Obviously, that situation I can't comment on at the moment, but I'm really looking forward to coming back to New York. I feel like I owe the Yankee fan base my A game. I don't think they had last year.

CARROLL: No negotiations going on, no sort of plea deals -- nothing like that? No deals being made?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, I don't think there's anything going on right now. That's as far as I'm going to take it. I think it's important that we have a process. I think we have good system with Major League Baseball and let's let the process play out.

CARROLL: If something is not ruled in your favor, would you want to continue to fight?

RODRIGUEZ: You know, I'd just rather not get into any of that right now. I mean, it's premature and we'll let the process play out. That's my responsibility right now.


CARROLL: Well, the question now is, will Major League Baseball conclude its investigation and decide if Rodriguez will be suspended. It could be tomorrow. It could be a month from now.

An MLB be spokesman told CNN, "We are in the midst of an ongoing investigation and cannot comment."

Rodriguez's rehabilitation period ends this Sunday. If he does not get injured between now and then, he says he will be ready to play for the Yankees on that game on Monday. That's going to be in Texas.

BOLDUAN: People are going to be watching closely. It's a question of how did the schedules line up, right? He's back in the lineup on Monday. But, as you said, there's no telling when Major League Baseball will design on them.

CARROLL: Between now and then. But I think the conventional wisdom is it's not going to happen before that game. And so, if Rodriguez stays healthy between now and then, he'll be pack. Let's see how well he does.


CUOMO: Right. His play is a separate issue from the PED investigation. It's a slippery slope for the league, you know, because once you start suspending guys, and you find out about new guys, what do you do? How do you do it? It's really tough.

But we do want to thank A-Rod for the shout out to NEW DAY.

CARROLL: You noticed that, right?

CUOMO: Every day is a NEW DAY.

BOLDUAN: Every day is a NEW DAY.

CUOMO: Appreciate that.

Jason Carroll, it's a big get.

BOLDUAN: Thanks.

CUOMO: Thank you for bringing it here.

CARROLL: You bet.

BOLDUAN: All right. Coming up next on NEW DAY, you can run but you can't drive, it appears, from cops with license plate scanners. Why big brother maybe watching every move you make behind the wheels. CUOMO: And we've all heard of a shotgun wedding, this one maybe crazier. This is a slingshot wedding.


CUOMO: Got to see it to believe it. I love you!

BOLDUAN: Red rover!

CUOMO: Oh, I love you. No, I don't love you. I love you but I don't like it.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. It is Thursday, July 18th and I am Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: I am Kate Bolduan.

Good morning, everyone. We're here with news anchor Michaela Pereira.

Coming up, forget the NSA surveillance programs, you may have other privacy issues to worry about now. This time, on the road. How police cameras can track everywhere you go by scanning your license plate.

CUOMO: And do you remember the congressman caught tweeting with a young swimsuit model? Well, you have to because we were covering it here. But the rest of you may also and he -- it came out recently she was his daughter, right? That was the discovery.

Well, now, the story takes another shocking twist. We worked with the pair. The question is, are they really family? A NEW DAY exclusive.

But, first, let's get to Michaela for our top news this morning.

PEREIRA: All right. Good morning to you. And good morning to you at home.

Making news: 130 million of us had to sweat it through the week and we're going to do it again today. Temperatures expected to soar into the 90s for much of the eastern half of the nation. Factoring humidity, it could feel like 100-plus degrees. Cooler weather, though, expected over the weekend.

A group of protesters remain camped outside Governor Rick Scott's office at the Florida statehouse this morning. They want Florida to get rid of that controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. The woman known as Juror B-37 tells CNN exclusively she would also like to see Florida changed its law. She claims state law left her with no choice but to find George Zimmerman not guilty.

Another not guilty from Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man accused of killing -- rather, kidnapping, pardon me -- kidnapping, and holding three women hostage in his home for a decade. This is Castro's second not guilty plea in a month. That's because of last week's new grand jury indictment that added 648 counts to the 329 charges he was already facing.