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Weiner Won't Quit; Deadly High-Speed Train Crash; NSA Restrictions Voted Down; Senate Passes Student Loan Bill; Pope Francis In Brazil; Train Derails in Tampa; Aaron Hernandez Investigation; A Royal By Any Other Name; Cruise Lines Under Fire

Aired July 25, 2013 - 06:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, the death toll jumps. More than 70 people killed when a train derails in Spain, splitting in half. We're live at the scene.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Staying in it. Anthony Weiner defiant amid renewed calls for him to leave the New York mayoral race. CNN goes one-on-one with the embattled politician.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Meet Prince George, the royal baby gets a name. A visit with his royal relatives and now a stay in the country. We'll tell you why he's staying with her family and not the royals.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


CUOMO: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, July 25, 6:00in the East. I'm Chris Cuomo. Very happy to have the one true Princess Kate back at my side from London.

BOLDUAN: Flattering. We will get you everywhere. So great to be back here, everybody. Good morning. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're joined by news anchor, Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Welcome back.

BOLDUAN: Everyone is talking about Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin. Many wondering why is she staying with him? New information this morning that she did, in fact, consider leaving him. We're going to talk to people who know her very well.

And we have a lot of new information on Sydney Leathers, the woman Weiner was talking to online. There's a photo of her. Her friend opens up about that relationship.

CUOMO: And also, this is an important one. You have your friends or you, you're getting ready to plan a vacation, right? This is the peak season. We have information you should know before you book your next cruise.

The CEOs of the many of the country's major cruise liners were dressed down by the Senate on Wednesday for their recent mess-ups, this, as a new CNN investigation found unsanitary conditions for food on board one cruise liner. The CDC even investigated it.

PEREIRA: Plus, a real must see moment. Take a look at this photo. It is George H.W. Bush, the country's 41st president with his head shaved. Why? Well, it turns out to be a touching tribute to someone he only recently met. We'll tell that story coming up.

BOLDUAN: All right, he is the candidate who just won't quit it seems. The defiant Anthony Weiner is refusing to bow out of the big apple's mayoral race despite more humiliating revelations. I'm still on London time, his online escapades. This morning we're learning more about why his wife chose to stay in their marriage and stand by her husband.

Dana Bash is here with us this morning. Hi, Dana. It's so great to see you, too, not only following this story, you all over the story the first time around. So what is the latest on this one?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is definitely not something that we thought we would live through again. I was out on the campaign trail witnessing Anthony Weiner firsthand yesterday and it is very clear he is staying in this race for better or worse.


BASH (voice-over): With Anthony Weiner on the mayoral candidate's panel an innocent question about using Facebook or Twitter is really awkward.

ANTHONY WEINER, NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: All I can say is, God, don't ask me.

BASH: A light hearted moment to lift the tension after one opponent confronted Weiner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People around the city have called on to you withdraw. You're distracting from focusing on the middle class and ideas.

WEINER: If you want to play to the cameras, that is your ability. I'm having here a serious conversation about issues. That's what these good people came to hear, let's honor them be here.

BASH: A day in the life of scandal plagued Weiner, a rousing speech on public housing.

WEINER: The fact of the matter is that we need to change the way we do things.

BASH: Minutes after silent protests, a handful women turned their backs on him. His indiscretions literally followed him. A man dressed as Carlos Danger, Weiner's screen name for lewd messaging. Weiner admitted to reporters he fumbled his comeback by not disclosing that he sent sexual pictures and texts to strange women a year after resigning from Congress for the same thing.

WEINER: Perhaps I should have said it is going to come out at this specific time and this specific person, but there isn't a lot better way for me to answer these questions.

BASH: He still isn't answering all our questions.

(on camera): What do you say to people who say, yes, this is persona, but it's beyond personal. It's also an issue of judgment and do you have the judgment to be in Gracie Mansion?

WEINER: I don't think it's a fair question that people have to answer that question for themselves.

BASH (voice-over): We asked New Yorkers ourselves.

(on camera): It doesn't bother you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I mean, a lot of politicians have their issues and I just think this one we can put behind us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's kind of creepy. So I don't think I'd want that as my mayor.


BASH: Now one open question has been what did Weiner's wife, Huma, know about this relapse into sexting with other women last summer? Now a friend of Huma's tells our Jessica Yellin that she learned about it last fall. She was furious. She said she was leaving him, but over time she decided it was best for their young son to stay together and she started once again trying to repair things in their marriage. But open question is still how they got from that to yes, I think it's a good idea to run for mayor, honey.

BOLDUAN: It's a huge question and there are a lot of similarities to the first time around where he was defiant, defiant, until he wasn't defiant and he dropped out of his congressional seat. We'll see how defiant he sticks in this.

BASH: Yes. I don't see it going anywhere except to the polls.

BOLDUAN: To the polls. Dana, great to see you.

BASH: Thank you. You, too.

BOLDUAN: And in the next half hour of NEW DAY, new details about the woman at the center of the newest Anthony Weiner sexting scandal. Her name is Sidney Elaine Leathers and one of her friends is talking to CNN about her scandalous relationship with the former congressman.

CUOMO: We have breaking news overnight for you. At least 77 people have been killed in a high speed passenger train derailment in Spain. One train car snapped in two, another caught fire and there's new concern about the cause. Karl Penhaul joins us by phone from Santiago De Compostela with the latest. Karl, what do we know?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Chris, the point where the train derailed is one of the tightest curves on the whole route from Madrid towards Santiago De Compostela. It does seem from information that we have received so far that the train may have left Madrid at somewhat late and there are concerns that the train could have been trying to make up time, but all this investigators are still working on.


PENHAUL (voice-over): The scene is surreal, a packed passenger train approaching the Spanish city of Santiago De Compostela derailed as it hurdled around a curve. Its cars strewed around the track mangled. This car snapped in half, flames burst out of another. Firefighters and emergency workers swarmed the scene putting out the billowing fire and feverishly evacuating the train.

In the dark aided by flashlights, officials pulled injured and dead passengers through the windows, prying open doors to reach the most severely wounded. This morning, as the death toll and number of injured continues to rise, hospitals are calling for blood donations to aid in the recovery.

Initial assessments by investigators indicate this probably was not an act of terrorism, but a senior aide to the prime minister says they are pursuing all possible causes. Meanwhile, officials are clearing the scene, forced to use cranes to left the ravaged train off the tracks.


PENHAUL: It is more than 15 hours now after that derailment. Right now, police helicopters are in the air overflying the scene and those huge cranes continue to work. On the ground here, though, neighbors who lived alongside the track a sense of disbelief. I can see people now just standing, talking to themselves, muttering to themselves as they look out to the tracks they can't believe what they're seeing -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Karl, thank you so much. I know people in the area are saying it's catastrophic. They're not completely sure that they have everybody out of the train yet so please keep us up to date with the latest. Karl, thank you very much. Karl Penhaul from Spain.

Now we're going to go to Congress because they actually did a couple of things worth telling you about yesterday. First, the government surveillance program survives but barely, the House narrowly voted down a proposal restricting the way the NSA collects American's phone records and guess what? Some action in the Senate on student loans.

Brianna Keilar is live at the White House with this. Very exciting, you know which one I want to talk about that. Let's start with the NSA. What happened on the vote, Brianna? Good morning to you.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris. I know you are obsessed with the student loans. But this is NSA vote was pretty fascinating to me and I'll tell you why. It's one of these votes in Congress that has some really weird bedfellows, liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans teaming up almost passing this.

It was very narrowly defeated 217-205 and it would have restricted how the NSA collects information about Americans' phone records specifically it would have said it has to be tied to an investigation. It can't just be collected in some blanket way, but it was defeated with a lot of support from some key Democrats and some key Republicans as well and this I think is the end of it. The Senate isn't expected to take it up and the White House is not on board with this.

CUOMO: All right, so that's one issue. The other issue are the loans. We've been hearing this bubbling about what the Senate may get done that they're trying to pass a bill they believe the house would like. So what happened?

KEILAR: It's done. I mean, how often can Congress say all right we finished it up, but it's pretty much finished because the Senate passed this overwhelmingly and what you're going to see now is those rates that went up to more than 6 percent for students July 1st are now going to go back down to 3.86 percent. That said, Chris, and this is something you have certainly drawn a lot of attention to.

They are in coming years going potentially up because they will be tied now to the ten-year Treasury note. They'll be tied to the markets and so you're going to see a cap that's been put in place here, 8.25 percent will be the cap for undergrads, 9.5 percent for grad students, a little higher for parents, but that's as far up as it's going to go. The thing about it is it's done. This is a permanent solution, this isn't something in the coming years will need a fix.

CUOMO: Well, except for the fact that the rates could wind up just being a teaser rate. They could pop because of the treasury. So they did something, but those loans still aren't being treated like the priority they are for so many families. Brianna Keilar, appreciate it.

KEILAR: It could get more expensive, yes.

CUOMO: Thank you very much for that, Brianna -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Today more than 1 million Catholics are expected in Rio De Janeiro for World Youth Day and tonight Pope Francis will celebrate mass with them on Copacabana Beach. Brazilian officials are beefing up security for this event following a few security lapses I guess you could call them this week. CNN's Miguel Marquez is in Rio De Janeiro with all the latest. Hi, there, Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How are you there? Yes, there's some 30,000 troops and police are trying to protect the pope and security has certainly gone up since Monday and his arrival, despite all of that, there are still some concerns out there.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Despite heavy security, another moment of concern while departing his last function the pope thronged by excited followers someone tosses something to him and he appears to catch it. And Rio's mayor under fire over security lapses suggests almost mockingly more problems lie ahead. Protests are not a problem, he says, they are a part of functioning democracies. The pope started his day in the southern city of Operacita, a visit to the Shrine of the Virgin Mary, the 16th statue found by fishermen in the early 1700s is revered here.

He encouraged the faithful to resist earthly temptations. "The dragon evil is present, but does not have the upper hand" he says. "Our young people feel attracted to idols taking God's place appearing to offer hope, money, success, power, and pleasure."

ZOLA DORJBAYAR, MONGOLIA: This is a time for change and I think I'm really happy that's why I'm in the rain for two hours but singing because I'm very excited to see him.

MARQUEZ: Francis' last stop, a Catholic hospital treating addicts hooked on crack cocaine even meeting some of those in the program.


MARQUEZ: Now it should be noted there are a total of 500 Catholics in total in Mongolia. We found two of them last night. Apparently, there are six Mongolian Catholics here tonight, but it's absolutely amazing, you know, it's 11 hours until this event starts, already people waiting for it, some of them looked like they camped out on the beach. It was very, very rainy overnight. The pope is going to have a mass today and the Vatican playing down concerns to people throwing things at him saying it happens all the time, but still it is a concern here. Kate, Chris, back to you.

BOLDUAN: All right, Miguel, thanks so much. That's one thing that stuck out to you, Mongolian Catholics. That was a huge setup getting ready for this.

CUOMO: It's a big deal. People come out in a unique way when the pope is in the vicinity. There's no question about it.

All right, a lot of news to tell you about this morning. Let's get to Michaela, train derailment in Spain, one here as well.

PEREIRA: Yes, in fact, we have some live aerials to show you. Let's take a look at the breaking news that we're following, hazmat teams and firefighters are on the scene of that train derailment at the Port of Tampa. Again, these are live aerials of the scene. It happened overnight. About 15 rail cars have overturned. They are leaking ethanol. Firefighters have been working to get foam on that wreckage. Tampa fire officials say the cleanup effort should go well into the afternoon.

New documents expected to be released today in the Aaron Hernandez investigation, the former New England Patriot accused of killing his one-time friend Odin Lloyd. A grand jury is currently hearing evidence and could hand up an indictment soon. Hernandez appeared in court Wednesday. At the same time, his former coach, Bill Belichick spoke publicly about the murder case for the first time calling the incident, quote, "pretty terrible."

President Obama nominating Carolyn Kennedy, JFK's daughter to be ambassador to Japan, Kennedy has never worked in government and has no special experience in Japan, but her supporters say she does have one important asset, a strong connection to President Obama. She would become the first woman to hold the post if the Senate confirms her.

A-Rod ready to play ball at least according to a doctor hired by Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod sought a second opinion after a Yankees team doctor diagnosed him with a strained left quadriceps muscle. Sources tell CNN Rodriguez believes the Yankees are trying to get -- paying off the remaining $114 million left on his contract. He is facing a possible MLB suspension over the alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

An amazing rescue to show you, look at this off the tip of Long Island after spending eight hours in shark infested waters lobsterman John Aldrich was rescued out, really plucked out of the Atlantic, about 43 miles from Montauk. Coast Guard officials say the 44-year-old used his boots to keep him afloat after apparently falling off his fishing vessel. Officials say Aldrich is now being treated for hypothermia exposure and dehydration. I'm sure there were prayers from the family, from him, promises and he was found, and all caught on camera, too.

CUOMO: There are a lot of seas out there, that's my neck of the woods.

PEREIRA: It's like plucking a needle from a hay stack.

CUOMO: That's real open ocean. Off the coast of Montauk, you have the whole eastern Seaborg there. He is a very lucky man.

All right, let's over to Indra Petersons. Indra, you got some news about this tropical storm. It is now Dorian, right?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Pretty strong a couple of storms, actually 60-mile-per-hour steady winds right now, but there's so much uncertainty around it, currently moving pretty fast, west north westerly at 17 miles per hour. It is likely to weaken. There are a lot of reasons for this. We're looking at a lot of dry air right in front of it so that's the first thing.

The second thing you need for a hurricane is warm water and look where it is, you need temperatures above 79 degrees and currently Dorian just kind of hovering right between the cooler waters and the warmer waters. So for that reason a lot of uncertainty, where it goes, if it goes over warmer water, it could hold together and if it goes over it slower, it could weaken as well. So a lot of factors involved in there especially upper level winds, if there's a lot of shear we could see it break apart.

Nonetheless, the models are still kind of holding it together and currently the thought is right around Monday being just north of Puerto Rico, still a tropical storm. But again so much uncertainty is out there.

One of the fun facts that I kind of share with you. This is so early. Typically this time of year, we see a lot of warm waters kind of closer to the coastline, and that's when we see formation. This is pretty far out there, kind of starting right off South Africa, excuse me, Africa.

But what we are looking at, notice this, July 9th -- that's when we typically see our first one. June 5th -- that's where we saw our first named storm this season, and notice currently, we're still about a month ahead of where we should be for formation. So, it may seem like we're quiet, but we're ahead of the game currently. And it looks like -- I mean, this thing is trying to hold together even with all that ahead of it. So, a lot to be watching.

BOLDUAN: Maybe an early and longer hurricane season.

PETERSONS: Right, exactly.

BOLDUAN: Indra, thank you so much. We'll be tracking that definitely over the coming days.

So, let's head back to London. The guessing game is over. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have named their son Prince George Louis Alexander of Cambridge. It's a name that pays respect to tradition, while some say also adding a little bit of a modern twist.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin is in London with much more on this very important question. We've kept asking it Erin, what his name going to be we asked and we finally now know.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they named him pretty quickly by royal standard. Charles and Diana took a week to announce Prince William's name. After much anticipation, the great name debate has ended.


MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Introducing his royal highness, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.

The name is already a hit on the streets of London.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good old-fashioned British name.

MCLAUGHLIN: And a tribute to Queen Elizabeth, who met her great grandson for the first time Wednesday at Kensington Palace.

George was the name of the queen's father, King George VI, who famously had a stammer as portrayed by Colin Firth in the movie "The King's Speech."

Alexander for Queen Victoria, whose name was Alexandrina.

And Louis is his third name, a nod to the queen' husband, Prince Philip, whose much beloved uncle was Lord Louis Mountbatten.

And unlike other royals, this little man only has three names. Most royals have four names, some have five, Henry VIII had seven. What they're really trying to do here is make their son a bit more like all the other little boys when he goes to school. The only problem is, he's going to be a king.

MCLAUGHLIN: After spending his first night out of hospital in Kensington Palace, Kate and William whisked Prince George away to more humble surroundings, her family's home in Bucklebury. They released a statement saying, "This is now a private and quiet time for them to get to know their son," the future king now living the quiet life in the commoner's accommodation.


MCLAUGHLIN: Now, the name George may be pretty traditional, but the stay in Bucklebury is being seen as a thoroughly modern move, just another indication that William and Kate want as normal an upbringing as possible for their son -- Kate and Chris.

BOLDUAN: All right. Erin, thanks so much, been tracking it all for us.

We over here normal folk, common folk name their kids right at the hospital, right?


BOLDUAN: Everyone is saying this is so fast, they named him so quickly. Don't they normally take a week? Sometime even longer.

CUOMO: Is it that they take that long to name the kid or release the name?

BOLDUAN: That's the question, not really sure. I mean, you think if they had the name after two days, that they probably had the name at the hospital --

PEREIRA: But I think looking at the little face, right?

BOLDUAN: Isn't that what every parent says you have to see the face.

PEREIRA: It might be Jeremiah.

BOLDUAN: The queen might not have a say in the boy's name, they wanted to talk to her about it, consult her about it, before they announce it in the end.

CUOMO: It seemed like it was studied, Louis comes from King Philip's uncle. You know, that's not something that just pops in your head.

BOLDUAN: Names are always significant. Royal names bear a lot of significance.

PEREIRA: They really do. They didn't look in a baby book, let's just put it that way.

BOLDUAN: What's the trendy one this here?

CUOMO: Thor.

PEREIRA: And they didn't ask you.

CUOMO: All right. Coming up on NEW DAY: Cruise line CEOs in the Capitol Hill hot seat. Is that dream vacation on the high seas a little more dangerous that you think? The question we will explore.

BOLDUAN: And also coming up ahead, the other woman in the latest Anthony Weiner sexting scandal. But who is Sydney Leathers?


CUOMO: Welcome back, everybody.

After some disturbing incidents at sea, cruise line operators are now facing waves of criticism in Washington and promising more transparency. Carnival and Royal Caribbean CEOs were grilled during a Senate hearing about disasters like the Carnival Triumph and crime on board their ships.

CNN's Rene Marsh is live in Washington with more.

Good morning, Rene.


You know, the bottom line at this hearing was to fight for the consumer, the people who take these cruises -- the focus was making sure that they're safe on board and if and when things go wrong, it's clear what their rights are.


MARSH (voice-over): The stench on the carnival poop cruise, the fear on the Grandeur of the Seas, the tragedy on the Costa Concordia -- all on displayed on Capitol Hill.

SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER (D), WEST VIRGINIA: I have been assured repeatedly by the industry that things will get better. Take a look at the events over the past 16 months and tell me if this is what you think better looks like.

MARSH: Memories of February's Carnival Triumph cruise when thousands of passengers were stranded for five days on the steamy Gulf of Mexico on a ship lacking power and adequate toilets lingered at the hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It smelled like sewage and human waste.

GERALD CAHILL, PRESIDENT, CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES: We seriously put our guests in an uncomfortable position and that bothers us a great deal.

MARSH: The cruise industry says its new Passenger Bill of Rights addresses the problem but critics disagree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A deeper look indicates the Passenger Bill of Rights is filled with empty promises.

MARSH: Into the troubled water comes this, a report alleging that serious crime on cruise ships is underreported. The report says cruise ships have reported 959 serious crimes to the FBI, but only 31 are posted on the Coast Guard's public Web site. That's because the database discloses only crimes no longer under investigation by the FBI.

ROCKEFELLER: Consumers have no way to find out what their real risks are before they take a cruise.


MARSH: All right. Well, the industry told lawmakers that they quickly adopted a consumer (AUDIO GAP) what passengers are (AUDIO GAP) wrong. It was really an effort to restore consumer confidence. The industry says now they're in the process of rewriting the fine print on the cruise ship ticket and contracts to reflect that bill of rights -- Chris.

CUOMO: Rene, thank you. You said the right phrase right there, "consumer confidence", because coming up we're going to bring you a new CNN investigation into unsanitary food conditions on board one cruise liner. You will not believe what turned up. You should see it.

BOLDUAN: It is disturbing. We're going to talk much more about that.

And also ahead on NEW DAY, she knew him as Carlos Danger. Now the world knows her as the other woman in the latest Anthony Weiner sexting scandal. We hear from people who know Sydney Leathers best.

CUOMO: Plus, why President George H.W. Bush decided why this is a good time to shave his head. He's got a good head shape. I can't pull it off.