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Train Crash Kills 80; One American Killed in Train Crash; Juror B29 Speaks Out; Michael Jackson Trial Continues; Cooler Temperatures on the Horizon; A Bear Walks Into a Bar; Owner Saves Dog from Raccoon Attack

Aired July 26, 2013 - 05:30   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And three partners after he resigned. It's not just one, it's three.

Welcome back to EARLY START. Happy Friday. I'm Christine Romans this morning.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Friday, indeed. I'm Michaela Pereira. It is 30 minutes after the hour.

The death toll is now at 80 in that horrific train crash in Spain. The state department says at least one American was killed when the high-speed train flew off its track. Shocking to watch that video, crashing into a concrete wall. Anna Maria Cordova (ph) from Virginia was in Spain to pick up her son after a pilgrimage.

Her husband and daughter were board and were also injured along dozens of others. The investigation into what happened is very far from over. Karl Penhaul is in Santiago Del Compostela this morning, a place that a lot of American tourists have been to. And again, we saw an American family there just visiting caught up in that terrible catastrophe. Karl, what's the latest we know at this hour?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of moving parts, Michaela. In fact, we know that the driver of the train is going to continue to be investigated by police. He's under formal investigation we're now told to see if there's any wrongdoing there. We also know that a judge has received the black boxes from the train to see if there's any voice recordings or any technical details that can shed light on exactly what happened here.

And then, of course, the deputy minister for transport and development, he has said that he believes that excess speed could have had a part to play in this. That is also reflected in one of Spain's leading newspapers who's quoted unnamed sources close to this investigation suggesting that the train may have been traveling at at least twice the speed it should have been doing as it came around this curve behind us, Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right. Karl, thank you so much. And coming up on "NEW DAY," we're actually going to hear from one of the survivors. A young man who was aboard that train, who was there on a church mission. We'll talk to him and ask about his experiences. Karl, we appreciate that. ROMANS: All right. We're hearing this morning from another juror who helped decide the fate of George Zimmerman. In an interview with ABC, Juror B29 showed her face and said she felt the former neighborhood watch volunteer got away with murder, but the law couldn't prove it.


JUROR B29: For myself, he's guilty because the evidence shows he's guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's guilty of --

JUROR B29: Killing Trayvon Martin. But as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can't find -- you can't say he's guilty.


ROMANS: She is the second juror to speak publicly about this case and says now it's so hard for her to sleep because of the pain she feels over Trayvon Martin's death.

PEREIRA: Anthony Weiner now says he had sexting relationships with at least three women after resigning from Congress in disgrace. Altogether, he admits to having six to ten online partners at a campaign stop Thursday. The New York City mayoral candidate was asked if he felt the sexting was an addiction.


ANTHONY WEINER, (D) NEW YORK CITY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I don't believe that it is. The people that I'm working with don't believe that it is. And, I'll leave it, you know, there are some things I want to have some privacy between me and the people that are offering me this help, but the answer is no.


PEREIRA: In the meantime, this woman, Sydney Leathers, is speaking publicly about her virtual sexual relationship with Weiner. She tells "Inside Edition" that she felt manipulated by Weiner and called him a, quote, "three-faced liar."

ROMANS: She wants some modicum of privacy. That's something --

PEREIRA: Yes. A little bit late for that.

ROMANS: Reaching out in anonymity online is not a lot of privacy there.

All right. A nurse anesthetist is the latest to take the stand for the defense at the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial. David Fornier (ph) told jurors he personally gave the King of Pop propofol more than a dozen times as he underwent various medical procedures. And he said Jackson cut him out of his life after Fornier asked questions about drug use. The defense is arguing Jackson's addictions were responsible for his death. It was the addictions, not the actions of the concert promoter.

PEREIRA: Well, it is Friday. That means for most of us, weekend. Indra Petersons has an eye on the weather for us. Yesterday, we sure enjoyed some cooler weather here on the east.


PEREIRA: I needed a sweater.


PETERSONS: I literally think it was almost too cold. You know, we --

PEREIRA: We're never happy, though, are we?

PETERSONS: We literally are not. But yes, 30 degrees cooler yesterday than it was a week ago. Unbelievable. And this weekend is all going to be about what day is it actually nice. In the southeast, you can actually tell the cold front now making its way through. So, kind of nice today, but then you see another cold front in a distance that eventually will bring showers for you through the weekend.

So, that's the southeast. What about the northeast? Well, the northeast, we had this low yesterday that brought in some really cool temperatures and some showers. Now, today, we're watching that little make its way up the northeast, kind of coastline there. So, kind of a little bit nicer as it starts to exit out of the way late Friday into Saturday, but then notice in the distance, we see a low in the Midwest.

So, if you're in the Midwest, kind of raining, kind of cooler today. And then, of course, they'll get the break on the second half of the weekend. So, a lot going on there. As far as temperatures, though, that for everyone is pretty happy. I mean, look at this. New York yesterday, in the 60s, a little bit nicer in the 80s. Boston seeing what we saw in New York yesterday.

Today only highs there into the 60s. Let's talk about what everyone has been talking about. And of course, that is Dorian. What is going on with Dorian? Well, Dorian is weakening. You can see the track here have moved a little bit farther to the south. So, that's the biggest change. The problem is, it's entering somewhat cooler air and some drier air. So, with that, we are actually talking about it kind of weakening a little bit.

Currently, we're seeing the track ringing about 45 miles per hour. So, a weak, tropical storm right north of Puerto Rico on Monday. So, again, keep in mind, that has moved a little bit farther to the south, a little bit of concern as it makes its way a little bit closer to the islands there.

Otherwise, ahead of it, we're still watching all of this dry air. This is good news for us. That means it still has a way to go before it's expected to weaken. So, we like seeing that. And of course, that hopefully means in the next 24 hours, we don't have to worry about the track. But, right now, they are hoping it holds together. PEREIRA: So, it's like a speed bump to slow it down.

PETERSONS: A big speed bump, and we like that.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, that's no honey tree. What's this bear doing in a bar?

PEREIRA: I think we know, he wanted a cocktail.


ROMANS: Shirley temple or --

PEREIRA: Hard to get service around here.

ROMANS: That's right. We're going to tell you next.


PEREIRA: We now know the cause of that massive mountain fire that continues to burn near Palm Springs, California. Officials blame an electrical equipment failure on private property. That fire has scored (ph) some 42 square miles consuming seven homes in the sunny central (ph) mountains. It's still at 92 percent containment.

ROMANS: A prominent medical researcher from Pittsburgh under arrest this morning accused of poisoning his wife. Police picked up the Dr. Robert Fronti in West Virginia. He stands accused of lacing an energy supplement with cyanide and giving it to his neurologist wife. He allegedly told her via text message that the supplement could help them conceive a baby. Police say he bought more than half pound of cyanide just two days before she died in April.

PEREIRA: A local police chief is under fire this morning for his online rants against gun control. Mark Kessler is the chief of police in Gilberton, Pennsylvania, not far from Allentown. On his personal YouTube page, he's posted various offenses of the right to bear arms. Well, after feeling some pressure, he recently posted this.


MARK KESSLER, CHIEF, GILBERTON PA POLICE: For all you people out there who cried and cried about oh, I used profanity. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you. Here's what I got to say. If you didn't get enough the first time around, go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) yourself and get some more.



PEREIRA: Well, that is some calling for Kessler to be fired. A public meeting on that question had to be canceled last night after burrow hall (ph) got irate phone calls. And Kessler winds up was out of town on vacation.

ROMANS: He's the police chief, right? PEREIRA: Police chief.

ROMANS: Police chief. All right.

Another police officer, this one a former officer is being praised this morning for speaking out against what he said a bad acts by a police force in Alabama. Justin Hanners (ph) told Reason TV Auburn University police set ticket quotas and put some officers on a special detail dedicated to ensuring football players made curfew. And he says he was fired for speaking out against it. several Facebook pages have popped up now praising the former officer as a whistleblower.

PEREIRA: All right. From dumpster diving to bar hopping. This 300- pound black bear currently fit right in when he wandered into a bar in Estes Park, Colorado. Somehow, the customers (INAUDIBLE) pub didn't even notice. A guy driving by saw where Smokey was going, got out of his car and followed him with a camera.

And then, there's also I think some surveillance footage from the bar. The bar owner says he only learned about the bear's visit after reviewing the security footage the next day.

ROMANS: I love the way when he's walking in with his paw kind of like kicks open the screen. Oh, man.


PEREIRA: Oh, when we humanize bears, it's always so interesting. Let's take a look at what is coming up on "NEW DAY" on this Friday

ROMANS: What is the cocktail choice for a black bear?

PEREIRA: I think it's something like a dark and stormy.


ROMANS: Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan join us this morning. Hi, guys.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Making me thirsty, whatever it is.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The bear story is so compelling, we'll do it two days.


CUOMO: It's a two-day story.

ROMANS: No. There's new footage -- hello.


CUOMO: I guess, there's footage.


CUOMO: There you go. All right. So, just to perk up your show a little bit, I just raised your funny cue (ph) by about three points.

All right. The deadly train crash we're going to talk about today happened in Spain. Why? The real questions about why this happened. Here is the footage. Is this about speed? Is this about recklessness? The investigation continues. We'll take you in it. And also, there were Americans on that train. We're going speak to a survivor who was there on a religious trip. What it means to him and what it will do going forward.

BOLDUAN: That video still strikes you every time we see it.

We're also going to be talking about this. The dye that's used in a popular yogurt brand stirring up a bit of controversy this morning. Why what it's made from, meaning the dye, might have you putting down the spoon? It's not so delicious. Our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, is going to be here to explain, guys.

CUOMO: And, we've got a good one for you today. He sings, he dances, he can cut you in half, the things that pop out of his hands. Hugh Jackman talks to us about his new movie, "The Wolverine." We'll find out why they're saying this is the best of the genre, the sixth one. The sixth time he plays this X-Man character, but importantly, you're going to get to meet somebody who's probably one of the nicest guys in that business.

BOLDUAN: Nice guy. Doesn't come around very often. Nice guy, and successful, and gorgeous.

PEREIRA: I was going to say, Kate, he is gorgeous. How's Chris feeling about that?

CUOMO: I don't hate, I try to emulate.


PEREIRA: Don't hate, emulate.


CUOMO: You think I wasn't ready for Mickey or you or both.


ROMANS: More like, you know, pestering brother and sister.



CUOMO: And you know what, Christine, Mickey left a choice to sits there on the side --


CUOMO: -- too far this way, I feel like -- then I look over and she's like it wasn't me. Here is your pen back, by the way. You may need this later.

ROMANS: All right, guys. All right, guys. I can't wait for three more hours of this.



ROMANS: See you, guys, soon.

Coming up, no more name calling between the Yankees and A-Rod. Well, maybe not. The "Bleacher Report" is next.

PEREIRA: And was a popular show out to get some of its contestants? The new allegations of racism against "American Idol." Stay with us.


ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back. The New England Patriots reported for training camp on Thursday, but the topic of discussion was not (ph) football. Instead, everyone want to know what Tom Brady had to say about Aaron Hernandez. Andy Scholes joins us now with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, Christine. Well, Tom Brady speaking with the media yesterday for the first time since Aaron Hernandez was arrested on murder charges. And the Patriots quarterback called this whole situation very tragic. And he said the team is committed to reestablishing themselves on and off the field.

Brady said the last six weeks have been very distracting, but the start of training camp was a fresh start for the entire organization. He declined to comment on specific Hernandez questions, but he did talk about moving on from this unfortunate situation.


TOM BRADY, PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: And I think everyone had a certain range of emotions, whatever they might have been. And, you know, but those are really personal, and I dealt with them. You know, at some point, you have to move forward and I think we, as a team, are doing that. It's been a challenging off season, but we're going to try to move forward as best we know how.


SCHOLES: The university of Florida, like the Patriots, continue to do what they can to distance themselves from Aaron Hernandez. Yesterday, the score moved a brick celebrating their former tight end's all- American status from the campus getting rid of the celebratory flock (ph) with the last step for Florida and their plan to remove Hernandez's name and likeness from the universities facilities.

Well, in your daily A-Rod update, the Yankees' third baseman has now changed his tune and will accept another rehab assignment, which is scheduled to begin on August 1st, during an interview with WFAN in New York yesterday. A-Rod said I'm an employee and I have to follow my bosses.

Now, A-Rod's 2013 Yankee debut is now likely to happen on August 6th and that's if he's not suspended by Major League Baseball for his alleged involvement in the biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal.

Well, number one in the lineup section of, U.S. airman mills throws down the dunk. Incredible. Christine, he does this all while wearing his air force boots and fatigues. That can't be easy to do.

ROMANS: That was very, very cool. Wow.

SCHOLES: Definitely the highlight of the night.

ROMANS: What a great piece of tape. All right. Great to see you. Thanks so much. Happy Friday. Have a great weekend. We have a long day ahead of us, but looking forward to the weekend.

All right. Coming up, Amanda Bynes still under psychiatric evaluation. What her parents are doing now to take control?


ROMANS: Welcome back. It's about 54 minutes after the hour. Taking a look now at the top CNN trends on the web this Friday morning. Is "American Idol" unfair to Black contestants? Ten former participants are suing the show's producers claiming they were discriminated against because of their race. They say producers dug up their arrest histories and then used that as an excuse to boot them from the show and boost ratings.

They're asking for at least $25 million a piece and changes in how "Idol" operates. Producers say they won't comment on pending (ph) motivation.

Amanda Bynes parents may soon have control over their daughter's affairs. "E News!" says they will head to court today to ask a judge to establish a conservatorship, give them oversight to Bynes' personal and financial decisions. She's reportedly still being held at a facility for a mental health evaluation. This is days after being caught setting fire to a driveway and her own pants in Thousand Oaks, California.

It could be a superhero hit of the summer, "Wolverine" starring Hugh Jackman, has positive reviews. Their estimate it could make up of $65 million in its opening weekend. That would be a big boost for the studios. So far, you know, so far, they haven't had much luck this summer with superhero flick.

But it may not match up to the first "Wolverine" movie. That one made 85 million bucks in its first weekend back in 2009. Check out other top CNN trends, head to

Finally this morning, what would you do if your dog was under attack by an angry raccoon? Jeanne Moos tells us one owner took things into his own hands quite literally.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This labradoodle could have been toast if his owner hadn't saved him. Kevin Rose (ph) let his dog out of the San Francisco home then heard frantic yelping as a raccoon tangled with Toaster. Kevin sprinted down the stairs, grabbed the raccoon, and hurled it.

KEVIN ROSE, TOASTER'S OWNER: I was just scared that he was getting shredded up, because yes, I freaked out.

MOOS: Here's a replay from another security camera. Check out those eerie flying raccoon eyes. Kevin said he had no choice.

ROSE: I wanted to get them separated. I didn't want to kick because I'd probably kick my own dog.

MOOS: Kevin is the founder of DIG, a social news website that spawns viral videos. And he found his own video going viral, but what did he find when he went wearily down those stairs?

(on-camera) Kevin says the raccoon definitely survived the toss, but he saw it get up and take off.

ROSE: It actually fit through those gate bars there.

MOOS: Now it's even got its own fake Twitter account. F (ph) tossed raccoon. Toaster the Labradoodle came out of it with some scratches and Kevin came away looking like a major league pitcher. Admirers have put the toss to music.


MOOS: Kevin told Twit TV the raccoon weighed about 25 pounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It felt very greasy.

MOOS: The last time we saw a toss like this was when a raccoon stumbled into the chimp enclosure at the St. Louis Zoo. What a wind up. And how did this raccoon wind up? Mad at the drainage pipe. We're told it eventually got out alive. Kevin Rose came out of his encounter smelling like a rose.

(on-camera) Believe it or not, even PETA gave Kevin a pass for hurling a racoon.

(voice-over) PETA said it was a crazy move that could have gone very wrong for man, dog, and raccoon, but you can't fault a man for reacting to save his dog.

ROSE: It was just kind of one of those things where you care so much about an animal like a family member.

MOOS: Strike three raccoon, you're out.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: That is some story. That's it for EARLY START. Time for "NEW DAY" this Friday morning. Take it away, guys.

CUOMO: Boy, oh, boy. I got three take aways on that. One, saving the dog, highest priority in the situation. Although dangerous and that guy grabbing the raccoon, very tough. Two, raccoons are no joke. We talked about this on the show the other day. They can mess up a dog and they can hurt you really easily and like it.

BOLDUAN: I've dreamed (ph) of launching a raccoon like that before, though.

CUOMO: The third thing was Jeanne Moos, she's got some arm. She nailed that camera from the top of the stairs. Very impressive.

BOLDUAN: Very, very impressive.

CUOMO: Would you like to check the clock and tell them what it means?

BOLDUAN: Yes, everyone. It's just about the top of the hour, which means it's time for the top news.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can't get away from God.

CUOMO: He got away with murder. Is that what the Zimmerman jury thinks? A second juror speaks out about the anguish and the regret.

BOLDUAN: Lashing out. The latest woman caught up in scandal with Anthony Weiner is talking and she's not holding back. What does she think of the mayoral candidate now?

PEREIRA: "NEW DAY" exclusive. An American on board that terrifying and deadly train crash in Spain joining us live. His story of survival as the investigation ramps up.

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

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


CUOMO: T to the G to the I to the F. Good morning and welcome to "NEW DAY." It is Friday, July 26. That's what I was spelling out there. Six o'clock in the east. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're joined by news anchor, Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: He's happy about Friday, apparently.


BOLDUAN: We are all happy about Friday. We are going to have a lot this morning on the surprising revelations from Juror B-29 in the George Zimmerman trial. She's asking Trayvon Martin's family's forgiveness for the verdict. She initially wanted to convict him, but ultimately, hang around. Of course, that begs the question, so what changed and why is she so full of regret now?

CUOMO: We'll go through that and we have another provocative question alert, could O.J. Simpson soon go free? Currently, he's in jail in Nevada as you probably know, but he's pleading for his freedom, up for parole. We'll take you through the possibilities.

PEREIRA: Also, an intriguing question this morning, is "American Idol," the TV program, racist? There is a new lawsuit filed on behalf of ten former contestants, all of them African-American, claiming just that. So, is there a double standard on one of the country's top programs?

CUOMO: But first this morning, to that admission from a juror in the George Zimmerman trial. Juror B-29 says Zimmerman got away with murder because the jury couldn't convict him under Florida state law. Pamela Brown following the story for us here in New York. Good morning, Pamela.