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Anthony Weiner's New Sexting Scandal; Trayvon Martin's Father on Capitol Hill; Cleveland Victims Are IDed; Fallout Continues in Baseball Over Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Aired July 24, 2013 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Standing by her man. Anthony Weiner's wife opens up after her husband is caught in another sexting scandal.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Explosion in the gulf. A natural gas platform ignites in flames hours after dozens of workers were forced to evacuate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw them coming down. I thought Sean was behind me. I knew he was behind me, and I thought he was inside the whale.

ROMANS: Wow, an incredible sight caught on camera. A pair of divers almost swallowed by whales. They're now sharing their story.

PEREIRA: Amazing video and an amazing story to tell. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Michaela Pereira.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It's 30 minutes past the hour this morning.

PEREIRA: Well, Anthony Weiner is staying in the New York City mayoral race despite another sexting scandal. Weiner admits sending a woman lewd photographs and messages more than a year after similar behavior forced him to resign from the House in disgrace in 2011. Weiner addressed the new scandal at news conference flanked by his wife, Huma Abedin, who offered her strong support.


HUMA ABEDIN, ANTHONY WEINER'S WIFE: I love him. I have forgiven him. I believe in him. And as we have said at the beginning, we are moving forward.


PEREIRA: Polls indicate Weiner is leading the field of Democratic candidates to succeed New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

ROMANS: Another woman is now coming forward claiming sexual harassment by San Diego's mayor. Laura Fink says at a 2005 fundraiser, then Congressman Bob Filner responded inappropriately when a supporter thanked her for working her tail off as part of a re- election team.


LAURA FINK, FMR. DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I was standing next to him. and, he turned to me and he said, "turn around." And as a staffer, you know, I know it sounds silly to just do it, but you just do it. And so, I turned around. And he proceed to take his hand and pat me on my posterior and laughed and say, "no, it's still there."


ROMANS: She says he did later apologize, but she never made the complaint public because she worried it would hurt her career. Filner has not yet responded to Fink's claims but said earlier this week he will defend himself vigorously against all of the allegations against him and there are other allegations against him of the similar nature.

PEREIRA: To the developing story we're watching off the coast of Louisiana. The coast guard is telling CNN a natural gas drilling platform has exploded and caught fire. That platform is about 60 miles offshore. It suffered a blowout Tuesday. All of the workers on board were evacuated.

It's still not clear what's been done to fight the fire, but a major well control company says it has been asked to aid in the effort. It is important to note here there is no oil being drilled at this well, just natural gas.

ROMANS: Let's go to Cleveland now where we know the identities of the women found decomposed and wrapped in plastic in a Cleveland suburb. East Cleveland's mayor says one was Shetisha Sheeley, a 28-year-old described as coming from a troubled family background, having run-ins with the law.

Another was 38 years ago Angela Deskens, whose family called her trusting. The family of another woman, Shirellda Terry, tells the Associated Press she is the third victim. The 18-year-old went missing earlier this month after leaving summer job at an elementary school. Now, convicted sex offender, Michael Madison, is facing murder and kidnapping charges in the deaths of those throw three women.

PEREIRA: The jailed Texas woman accused of sending ricin-laced letter to President Obama and New York's mayor has given birth to a baby boy. Attorneys for Shannon Richardson say she gave birth prematurely on July 4th. The baby boy is said to be less than two pounds and facing serious complications. Authorities say Richardson was pregnant when she sent those letters back in May.

ROMANS: All right. Trayvon Martin's father will be on Capitol Hill today for a meeting with lawmakers. Tracy Martin is a special guest with the newly created Congressional caucus on black men and boys. He's expected to talk about his son and the verdicts that set George Zimmerman free.

PEREIRA: A growing wildfire in rural Kern County, California has forced evacuations now. It's being called the water fire began Tuesday just off the I-5 three-way. It is spreading. Residents in a nearby canyon have been given evacuation orders. So far, that fire has burned some 350 acres. There is no word on what started it yet, but you know, the investigation will continue.

ROMANS: It has been the summer of fire out west. The summer of fire out west.

PEREIRA: And authorities are anticipating it, but you've got a lot years of growth.

ROMANS: Right.

PEREIRA: And you know, no fire. And then, suddenly, you have all this fuel.

ROMANS: I was just out in Colorado, the crazy beetles that are, you know, killing these trees. And you have all these dry tender out there, too. So, Indra Petersons knows all about this. She's got an eye on the forecast for us this morning.

PEREIRA: Watching it all.

ROMANS: Any help for firefighters out west?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: -- talking about, you literally very low amounts of rain this year in California. Of course, even Colorado as well. So, of course, that is going to be a problem. But they did have some monsoonal moisture near the area. So, the threat that could have been started by lightning definitely was a possibility. They'll have to look into that.

Otherwise, today, we're looking at the fact that monsoon moisture is a little bit less and temperatures will be up and winds will be gusting. So, kind of a mixed bag there. But good news is, thanks to that moisture in the area. They do not have any red flag warning. So, that's the one hint of good news they have out in California today helping firefighters. We're going to watching today is the cold front sagging to the south.

So, that means a thunderstorm chance is moving to the south along with it as well. Still talking about the same old, same old thing in the south. A lot of rain, one to two inches still possibly in the forecast for them today. They're well above normal. We're talking seven, eight inches above normal already for this time of year. Now, in the northeast, though, that cold front has actually swept offshore.

And I want to show you what good news that is. A 97 degrees, that's what we felt last week. Today, now, today, though, temperatures so much better. That's all the difference that a (INAUDIBLE). It brings in that cool air, so temperatures today normal where they should be. We're talking about 80-degree temperatures. Now, everyone's going to be talking what about is the deal with hurricane season? Well, we have development potentially out there.

We're noticing off the coast of Africa, about an 80 percent chance that the cell right could develop into the next named storm. The one thing we do look at, though, is all of this dry air. This is a water vapor loop. So, once this progresses forward, it likely to die.

And keep in mind, you know, if we did name this, it would be called Dorian. That's very early for this time of year. Typically, it's about late August when we get our fourth name storm. So, even though it seems quiet (ph), it's actually quite early and act (ph) of the season.

PEREIRA: Thanks so much, Indra. We'll be back with you.

ROMANS: The world has been enthralled this week by the goings-on across the pond. The birth of, oh, a little baby, a little royal baby.


ROMANS: We have it all. So, you know, a little modern, too. Our friend John Berman is filling in down in D.C. this week, but he has this look at how the birth of the royal baby might be a sign of things to come.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, my friends, Michaela and Christine. You know, there are so many proper procedures surrounding the royal birth, and they're just as preciously anachronistic as you might expect from the country that pretty much invented, pomp, and circumstance.

But the new parents, William and Kate, are doing things with a few, and try not to drop your crumpet here, a few modern twists. Well, modern for one of the longest running monarchies in the world.


BERMAN (voice-over): The world celebrates the new prince, the future king, the possible first British monarch of the 22nd century. The parents, William and Kate, hailed as young, fresh, modern.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": It seems that these two do things their own way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a very modern royal couple.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're very hip, modern couple, of course.

BERMAN: OK. Maybe, but it's safe to say there are modern families and then modern families. Young Baby Cambridge's entrance to the world might be ground breaking by royal standards, but it's not like he has two daddies or Sofia Vergara.


BERMAN: On the modern side --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The royal highness, the duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4:24 p.m. BERMAN: A break from tradition, sending word of the birth in an e- mail. Not so modern. They still posted that official announcement on that gilded easel thing, and then there was this guy.


BERMAN: Modern, no nannies. Not so modern, access to five castles. Modern --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When the baby was born, William (INAUDIBLE) especially encrypted phone with the news.

BERMAN: An encrypted phone, not so modern, that call was to tell his grandma that he did his duty and produced an heir. Modern, those 41 and 62 gun salutes, sure it's not Twitter but at least they weren't cross bows or slingshots. That's fairly modern-ish. Mordern, the duke of Cambridge will take two weeks paternity leave. Not so modern, I just called him the duke of Cambridge.


BERMAN (on-camera): William and Kate are expected to be more hands on parents than past royals. As we mentioned, instead of a nanny, they have reportedly hired a housekeeper to help around the palace. So, no Mary Poppins, unfortunately -- Michaela and Christine.


ROMANS: Mary Poppins, that's what I need.


PEREIRA: Absolutely. Great to see John Berman.

ROMANS: I love Berman on royal coverage.

PEREIRA: Me, too.

ROMANS: Dripping with irony.

Coming up, Amanda Bynes locked upheld for a mental evaluation. What the troubled child star did this time?


PEREIRA: Law enforcement officials in Las Vegas mourning one of their own. A death of an officer who fell during the helicopter rescue of a hiker that was stranded in an off-limit mountainous area outside the city. Thirty-six-year-old officer David Van Buskirk was killed when he detached from the rescue choppers hoist line (ph) in midair. The hiker safely rescued.

ROMANS: A federal bankruptcy judge today holds a key hearing in Detroit's effort to free itself of some $18 billion in debt. City officials are arguing lawsuits challenging the bankruptcy should be put on hold. They want the judge to say federal law trumps the state constitution. A state judge ruled last week. The bankruptcy violates Michigan law because it could cut pensions for retired city workers.

PEREIRA: Same-sex marriages will continue in California. The state Supreme Court has turned aside the latest challenge to the nuptials, this time, from the San Diego County clerk. No explanation was given by the court. Marriages in California resumed in late June after the U.S. Supreme Court throughout an appeal challenging lower court ruling.

ROMANS: All right. More trouble for the actress, Amanda Bynes. She's now hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation after authorities in Ventura County, California, say that she set a fire in a driveway at a home in Thousand Oaks, accidentally setting her own pants on fire. It's not clear why Bynes picked that home other than it is near where she once lived.

Witnesses say she was frantic and discombobulated. She had her dog with her at the time. Well, psychiatric holds in California typically last 72 hours. "The L.A. Times" says authorities may try to hold her for up to two weeks.

PEREIRA: The defense now making its case at the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial arguing with Jackson's drug addiction that led to his death, not a concert promoter's actions. Lawyers for AEG plan to bring a number of doctors to the stand to back their claim that he demanded drugs and controlled Dr. Conrad Murray.

The family claims AEG pushed Murray who was convicted in the Jackson's death to keep the King of Pop performing despite his deteriorating health.

ROMANS: All right, who could forget this amazing video of two humpback whales surfacing right next to a pair of scuba divers off the coast of Central California. Well, it now appearing from the divers who tell Anderson Cooper on "AC 360" they knew something might happen when a school of anchovies swam right by them.


SHAWN STAMBACK, DIVER: I had no idea that there was a humpback whale behind them chasing them. And, seconds later, I pulled my head up out of the water because I heard some yelling. And I just made a beeline to the back of the boat.

I think so. I they're fairly intelligent creatures. And, I think they avoided us for sure.



PEREIRA: Note to self, when scuba diving, avoid anchovies because you could be lunch.

ROMANS: A school of terrified anchovies means there is a whale chasing them. Both say they plan to get back in the water despite their close encounter with two enormous -- PEREIRA: The humpbacks were hungry. They weren't look -- they weren't being, you know?

ROMANS: I know. And he said that he thinks that they actually avoided the divers.

PEREIRA: I think they did, too.

ROMANS: -- anchovies that didn't want us --

PEREIRA: All right. To a man who knows many things about whales and fish and the like, let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY" with --

ROMANS: Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan. Hi, Kate.

CUOMO: My first comment of the morning is that the whales were not avoiding the divers.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": You don't think so?


CUOMO: There's not even a chance. My second comment of the morning is that I'm having a little bit of a withdrawal symptom that I did not expect from having no Bolduan in my life. My Kateless existence has turned me against the royal baby.


CUOMO: I'm its first enemy.


CUOMO: Well, Kate, start off.

BOLDUAN: I'll be back soon, and then, you'll regret you ever said that.

ROMANS: It's on tape. It is on tape. We're going to keep that for you, Kate, cued up at any moment.

CUOMO: That's a nature of any true relationship.


CUOMO: Now, Kate, start us off. Tell us what we have from over there.

BOLDUAN: Well, we're live here in London. We're live in front of Buckingham Palace this morning. A very different temperature, we were sweating it out yesterday, and now, it's just back to normal kind of a chilly overcast day. Welcome to London, I guess.

Well, today, will be the first full day the newest member of the royal family will spend at his new home, Kensington Palace. And we're going to take a look at what Baby Cambridge kind of early days, early years could look like, the role of his maternal grandparents. For one, the role they'll play in his life, as well as the role of his Aunt Pippa and his Uncle Harry and his other uncle as well. Kind of just taking a look at what this all means from here on out now that we've seen his cute little face.

And also, the big question remains, what will his name be? But until then, Baby Cambridge fits the bill.

CUOMO: All right. And on this side, we'll be talking about American royalty. Anthony Weiner, he has stolen the spotlight once again in the race for mayor. Another admission, this one, he was sexting women after he resigned. The question is, is that the same problem that he said that there was going to be more, does it matter that it's new?

The big deal was the woman to his left, Huma Abedin, his wife, she wasn't there when he resigned. She was there yesterday. She gave a very emotional plea that she loves and has forgiven him. The question is, will that be enough for voters? We're going to debate it on the show today.

And also, we have Jay Carney, White House press secretary, he's going to be on talking about the president's upcoming economic push. What will be in it? What won't be in it? We'll go back and forth about that. We'll ask about other issues as well. So, that's an important one for us this morning.

ROMANS: Yes. The president speaking later today at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. The last time he spoke there in 2005, the jobless rate was five percent, and the economy was going to 3.5 percent. Today, it's a much different scenario. He's going to try to reset the groundwork, I think, on his jobs push, his economic push. I mean, really going to be interesting to see what he says about that. Great to see you, guys.


CUOMO: I didn't need Jay Carney at all.



PEREIRA: Chris, we'll talk to you later. Kate, we can't wait to hear the latest from London. You look fantastic there. We'll check in with both of you very shortly and hand things over.

CUOMO: See you soon, too, Mick.


ROMANS: Turning into a royal baby. I'm sorry to hear about that.


ROMANS: That's very good for us to know. All right. Coming up, suspended for doping, but should Brewers star Ryan Braun face more punishment. Why one major league player says yes? Up next.


ROMANS: All right. We told you a couple weeks ago about a 12-year- old boy fighting cancer who is a huge Ohio State football fan. Huge. Such a big fan, in fact, he named his cancer Michigan, Ohio State's biggest rival. Now, we have a pretty cool update on the story. Andy Scholes is here this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good morning, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes. Good morning, Christine. Well, 12-year-old Grant Reed is a huge Buckeyes fan. You know, and this year, he's going to be able to go to the Ohio State/Michigan football game, thanks to Wolverines head coach, Brady Hoke. Now, even though, he roots for the other side, Hoke invited Grant and his family to the big game this year in Ann Arbor (ph).

Grant finished his final round of chemotherapy just a few weeks ago and he named his brain tumor Michigan because he wanted to beat it, and now he has.


TROY REED, GRANT'S FATHER: Win or lose for us, it's a win, because, you know, we have both of our boys still. We've lived in such small blocks of time for the last 14 months that it's nice to be able to look, you know, five months ahead and look forward to something.


SCHOLES: All right. Well, the fallout continues for Ryan Braun after his suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. The popular convenience store, Quick Trip, has dropped Braun as a spokesman. The Dodgers' Matt Kemp thinks Braun should lose much more. Kemp came in second to Braun in 2011 MVP voting, and the Dodger slugger says the award should be taken away from Braun since he used PEDs last season.

Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez continued to wait for his suspension, and rumors are it could be much, much worse than what Braun received. According to CBS, A-Rod could get a lifetime ban from baseball. That punishment is usually reserved for third time offenders. "USA Today" is reporting that A-Rod, unlike Braun, has no interest in negotiating a plea deal, and he will appeal any suspension he receives.

All right. We've seen some cool backyard pool shots this summer, but this one may be the best. Check it out. Back flip, shooting with his feet. He's able to bank it and what a shot.


SCHOLES: And Christine, you know, I'm always impressed with the kids who can do the back flip off the diving board. I've never been able to do such things.


ROMANS: I can't do either of those things, let alone together. A- Rod, if he were to get a ban, just curiosity, would he still get paid?


SCHOLES: If he got a lifetime ban, his contract would be null and void and the Yankees wouldn't have to pay him a dollar.

ROMANS: Wow. That saga is so interesting. And every day a new development. All right. Andy Scholes, "Bleacher Report," thanks so much. We'll right back.


ROMANS: It's Wednesday, halfway through the week. That's it for EARLY START. Let's bring in "NEW DAY" anchors, Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan this morning. Hi, guys. Take it away.

CUOMO: All right. It is top of the hour here and you know what that means on "NEW DAY" -- time for the top news. Thank you very much.


PEREIRA: I'm helping you.