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NEW DAY

Tropical Storm to Hit Hawaii; Fatal Bus Crashes Occur in Indiana and Italy; Riots Break out in Los Angeles After Surf Competition; Boat Carrying Bridal Party Crashes; Trouble for Democratic Mayoral Offices;

Aired July 29, 2013 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's dangerous, and we've been warning people not to get in the water because it's so high.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Downpour. Flash flooding across the country. Towns under water. This tour bus swept away. We have the daring rescues and where the rains are headed next.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Violence overnight. A surfing competition turns ugly. Fights in the street, stores looted, and police sent in with tear gas. What set it all off?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Tragedy on the water. New details on that horrible crash that left a bride and the best man dead. The driver now accused of being intoxicated. We have the latest.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His acts is to defend himself. He'll have his day in court and prove his innocence.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Good morning and welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. It is Monday, July 29th, 7:00 in the East.

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

PEREIRA: Good morning.

BOLDUAN: Good morning. We've got a lot to cover this hour, including two horrendous bus crashes. One breaking overnight in Italy, killing at least 38 people that were returning from a visit to a catholic shrine. The second crash taking place this weekend in Indiana. A church group was on the bus. The pastor and his wife among the three victims who lost their lives. We have live team coverage on that coming up.

CUOMO: And then we have this mystery turning into a homicide case going to trial today. A medical researcher charged with poisoning his wife with cyanide. He's going to go before a judge. We're going to bring you all the details, bring in a forensic pathologist and a lawyer to see if we can make sense as to whether this case can be made.

PEREIRA: And a story we've been following here, and this little one is a sight for sore eyes. Remember this face? That's little Nathan Wazener. He was seen for the first time in public after being rescued from beneath 11 feet of sand. The new pictures of his first outing to church and what his parents have to say about his miraculous recovery.

CUOMO: We're going to start with this severe weather across the country, shutting down roads, keeping rescue crews busy, prompting some folks to prepare for the worst. There's record rainfall, drowning deaths, and more from Arizona to the northeast. And get this, Hawaii bracing for tropical storm Flossie, the worst storm to face the islands in some 20 years, says meteorologist Indra Petersons. Flossie doesn't sound like a tough name, but this is a tough storm.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we're definitely looking at a lot of flooding potential as Flossie is expected to reach Hawaii. And over the weekend, eight inches of rain, a one-day record for rain in Philadelphia. And it didn't stop there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETERSONS: Slow-moving thunderstorms drenched the nation from east to west, with North Carolina experiencing the worst of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can only see the top of the car, and I was like, oh, my god.

PETERSONS: Surging floodwaters turned the streets into rivers, making cars and mailboxes barely visible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have personally never been on anything quite this difficult before.

PETERSONS: A rain swollen creek claimed two lives, the current too strong for a 10-year-old girl and a 48-year-old man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water is up, and it's dangerous.

PETERSONS: Near hickory, firefighters had to rescue this woman by piggy-back after rising waters left her car stranded.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just feel it was raining so hard, I did not see like any of that.

PETERSONS: Philadelphia international airport recorded nearly eight inches of rain in just six hours. That's a new all-time record. In terminal "A," the strong storms caused the power to go out. And that's not all. The torrential rain flooded the interstates, leaving cars stranded and traffic backed up for miles.

Out west, a similar story. In Arizona, a tour bus leaving the Grand Canyon was overpowered by a flash flood. The bus flipped on its side and was swept 300 yards downstream. All 33 passengers managed to crawl out a window to safety.

And the sun and blue skies in Hawaii will soon be replaced with dangerous winds and heavy rain. Tropical storm warnings and watches up as tropical storm Flossie closes in. Some parts of the islands could get six to ten inches of rain.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PETERSONS: Now we're taking our latest look at Flossie right now. You can actually see how much is torn apart by colder waters and wind shear or different winds at different height. So with that, it is weakening. That's the upside, 50 mile per hour winds makes it a tropical storm. What we are expecting is it's a new path, a little farther to the south. And it's actually moving a lot faster at 17 miles per hour. It actually brings it about 10:00 Hawaiian time looking for land fall. We mentioned six to 10 inches of rain, 15 inches of rain not out of the question. Eventually, it will make its way over to Oahu, where they're looking at a good four to eight inches of rain in that area. So definitely flooding concerns still going to be the story across the country.

BOLDUAN: We need to be careful, careful. Indra, thanks so much.

There are two really big developing stories overnight we want to talk about, both involving horrifying bus crashes. The first in Indiana where a youth pastor and his pregnant wife among three people killed. Investigators are looking into the driver's claim that the brakes failed. And then in Italy, a bus plunged 100 feet off a mountain highway south of Rome, killing at least 38 people in that crash. Dan Rivers is live with the latest on that part of the developing story from London. Good morning, Dan.

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. An awful scene in Italy, east of Naples in Avellino province. This was a bus full of pilgrims coming back from a Catholic shrine. We don't know exactly what happened, but it plunged 100 feet off this bridge into a wooded ravine, making rescue very, very difficult for the fire services and ambulance crews that turn up there, 38 now confirmed dead. You can see just a mangled wreckage of what's left of that bus. Among the casualties, sadly, several children. We still haven't got final figures on that. About 10 people survived. We still don't know exactly what happened. They're investigating possible brake failure. It hit a number of cars before it fell off that bridge. It may have been a tire blowout as well. Chris?

CUOMO: All right, thank you very much, Dan.

We go from one group of church folks in Avellino, Italy, to another in Indianapolis, where investigators trying to figure out what caused a church bus to crash over the weekend. Three people killed, including a youth pastor and his wife. Christine Romans tracking developments for us.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: That youth pastor and his wife expecting a baby next month. Their two-year-old on the bus was injured but survived. The passengers on this bus were mostly children, teenagers returning home from church camp. We're now hearing from church members as they grieve for those who are lost and pray for those still recovering.

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ROMANS: It was a terrifying scene. A bus toppled on its side, luggage and items from inside tossed about outside. The driver told witnesses the brakes gave out as he made a left turn. It toppled, landing atop a concrete barrier. They were just a mile from their destination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A pretty tragic accident, as is typical, pretty quick response by a lot of people. Some of the teenagers are hurting pretty badly, and you could see that in their faces. A lot of the adults in there are helping them even though they're shook up.

RIVERS: On board, a church group, mainly teens and children, returning from a week at camp. Youth Pastor Chad Phelps and his pregnant wife Courtney, both in their 20s, were among the dead. Their two-year-old son was injured but survived, the third victim, 51-year- old Tanya Weindorf, a mother of five.

JEFF LEFFEW, DEACON, COLONIAL HILLS BAPTIST CHURCH: All these folks were special to us as members here, as friends. Our family here at the church is going to be going through tough days.

ROMANS: As of Sunday night, eight people were still in the hospital, and a community built on faith now relying on it more than ever.

LEFFEW: Our church grieves now. They're with god in heaven right now, and we know that without a doubt. We grieve the fact they're not here with us. We miss them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIVERS: And 40 people on board that bus, 19 of them injured. There are some still with very, very serious injuries. We wish them the best.

BOLDUAN: It's impossible to make sense of that. All right, Christine. Thanks so much.

Some news over the weekend overnight in California. At least eight arrests reported when fans at a surfing competition started rioting in the streets. You're looking at it right there. A mob tossed rocks and bottles at officers, overturned portable toilets, fought with each other, and looted at least one businesses. This all followed the end of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California. CNN's Stephanie Elam is live in Los Angeles with more. Stephanie, this is not the kind of event that people would expect rioting after. STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is true. Good morning, Kate, Chris, and Michaela. When you take a look at this video, you can see property totally get damaged. No injuries, but you can't say that for anything else on the streets of Huntington Beach.

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ELAM: Complete chaos and near anarchy as the U.S. Open of Surfing, a skate and surf event held in Huntington Beach, California, turned into madness after a large crowd gathered at the conclusion of the competition began rampaging through the streets of the mellow beach town fighting, tipping port-a-potties.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It started with like a fight, and it just broke out. They were tipping port-a-potties. And then the cops started to move in, and they were throwing tear gas at everyone. People were plugging their noses and coughing, and everyone was running down Main Street.

ELAM: Damaging public property.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I'm trying to do is enjoy my night that I paid good money for.

ELAM: The Huntington Beach police joined by responders from all over Orange County were forced to shoot pepper balls at the rioters, roaming the streets, attempting to quell the disturbances all around them. This morning, after eight arrests and a long evening of battling the chaotic crowds, police finally regained control, restoring some order to the palm tree lined streets.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ELAM: Now, police were able to get control of the streets by midnight east coast time. One thing you may have seen there were a lot of cellphones out, and now police are looking to see if anyone was recording anything that could show somebody who was acting inappropriately. Chris and Kate?

BOLDUAN: Stephanie, thanks so much.

CUOMO: It's amazing how it just got out of control there, took all those police to get it back under control. Luckily they were there and took care of all of it.

Another story we're following this morning that has very high expectations are these peace talks that are going to take place here in the U.S., but between Israel and Palestine.

PEREIRA: High expectations, a lot of hope, to be sure. Good morning to you at home. Tonight Israelis and Palestinians set to hold their first substantive peace talks in years. The talks expected to set up the framework for full negotiations later. Israel agreed to release more than 100 Palestinian prisoners before tonight's meeting. The prisoner release was a major roadblock to the talks. New developments now in that deadly Spanish train wreck. The driver of the train has been charged with 79 counts of negligent homicide. Authorities are focusing on whether he was driving too fast when the train derails. The victims will be memorialized tonight at a cathedral not far from where they died. One of the victims, a 58- year-old American woman, died on Sunday.

Five people, including a child, have been killed in a Pennsylvania helicopter crash. Authorities believe the chopper went down on Saturday. An alert was issued after it lost radar and communication contact. The wreckage wasn't found until Sunday in a rugged area of Wyoming County. It's unclear whether weather played a role. But there were some severe thunderstorms in the area.

A preliminary hearing today for three former top Penn State officials over their alleged roles in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The hearing will determine if there's enough evidence against former university president Graham Spannier, former vice president Gary Shultz, and former A.D. Tim Curley to go to trial. Prosecutors claim they were part of a conspiracy of silence to cover up Sandusky's crimes.

And finally, rare new footage of President John F. Kennedy on summer vacation. It was taken 50 years ago this weekend, showing the president golfing, swimming, sailing off his beloved Cape Cod in Massachusetts, about a 15-minute video. It was released by the JFK presidential library, including tender moments with his wife Jackie and daughter Caroline. We now know it would be their final summer together. Just months later, Kennedy was assassinated, really interesting glimpse into more sort of serene moments of the family.

BOLDUAN: It takes on much more significance when you know it's the last summer they would spend together.

CUOMO: Right. And when you see him do these athletic things, we remember how much pain the president is in. He had horrible back injuries. It's always showing what he would do to be with his family. Great video. Thanks for that.

A second body has been found in the Hudson River after a pre-wedding celebration turned deadly. A speed boat slammed into a construction barge north of New York City, throwing the best man and bride to be in the river. The man who was driving the boat is in critical condition. He is also under arrest. CNN's Alina Cho is live in Piermont, New York, with the latest. Good morning, Alina.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning to you. This was meant to be a celebratory cruise on the water, a bride, a groom, and their friends just two weeks before their wedding. But not long after leaving a marina Friday night, this boat ride quickly turned fatal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHO: The investigation into Friday's horrific boat accident that killed a bride to be and best man will now focus on a timeline, what happened and when. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're going to do is we're going to bring in an accident reconstruction team.

CHO: Authorities say the driver of the boat, also a friend of the couple, was intoxicated, charged with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault. Investigators are also looking into claims the barge that the boat hit did not have proper lighting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You put an immovable object that's dark in the path of recreational boaters and you have a recipe for disaster.

CHO: Lindsey Stewart and Brian Bond were planning to marry on August 10th. They decided to take a boat ride Friday night up the Hudson River. The small power boat carrying six people hit a construction barge near a bridge and 30-year-old Stewart and best man Mark Lennon were killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm the big brother, but his heart was a lot bigger than mine. He was my rock.

CHO: Bond, the groom, and four others, including the boat's driver, suffered serious injuries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They seemed very smitten with one another and very much in love.

CHO: At the home they shared, a makeshift memorial. Lindsay Stewart's family told CNN, pray for our loss.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's supposed to be married two weeks from today. It just can't end like this.

CHO: A tragic ending to what was supposed to be a great night on the eve of a wedding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rather than have the joyful wedding, there will be wakes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHO: And this morning we're hearing the groom is still in the hospital with severe head injuries, but imagine having to deal with this physical recovery while also dealing with the emotional pain of losing both your bride to be and the best man in your wedding. That is exactly what Brian Bond is dealing with right now, Chris and Kate, losing much of what was dear to him in a split second.

CUOMO: Terrible but true. Alina, thank you very much. Remember, this wasn't some charter or big boat. People are out like this all the time. The investigation has to figure out what happened here, but it's also just a little bit of a wakeup call. We both grew up boating and stuff like that. We do it all the time. It's dangerous. A lot of people -- there's no real license needed for a boat. We'll see what happens in that story, and we'll keep you up to date on it.

BOLDUAN: We have a lot coming up on NEW DAY, including Anthony Weiner. He's not dropping out of New York's mayor's race, but a key member of his campaign just did. What that means, ahead.

CUOMO: And this really bizarre mystery that's now a homicide. You're looking at a doctor there. Prosecutors say he poisoned his wife with cyanide and caused her death. Now he's trying to get away with murder. Can he? We're going to take you through the case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. In two major cities, there are politicians behaving badly, or should we say extraordinarily badly. Out west, San Diego mayor, Bob Filner, refusing to resign. Instead seeking intensive counseling in response to sexual harassment allegations. And here in New York, scandal plagued Anthony Weiner is not dropping out of the mayoral race, but hi campaign manager has. In a moment we're going to talk to Republican strategist Ana Navarro about both, but dirst, Dana Bash with the latest fallout on the Weiner sexting scandal. Good morning, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Generally when politicians, members of their own party are trying to push them to resign or pull out of the race, they try to be diplomatic, but not with Anthony Weiner. Prominent Democrats call his candidacy absurd, and worse, never mind Weiner's own campaign aide is quitting in disgust.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: It's never a good day when the guy running your campaign runs for the door.

ANTHONY WEINER, NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: Danny left the campaign. He did a remarkable job. We have an excellent staff.

BASH: Anthony Weiner's campaign manager quit, but in a new interview with "The Staten Island Advance," he insists he's not Going anywhere.

WEINER: There's no new facts here is the point. This conversation has now moved on.

BASH: He spoke out about the beating his wife Huma is taking in the New York tabloids. "She's the victim here. The things I did, I did to her. She's the one that's uniquely in a position to say, this was done to me. So it hurts to see her ridiculed like this."

But most ridicule is aimed squarely at Weiner, and it's harsh. President Obama's former campaign guru.

DAVID AXELROD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR: I think that he is delusional at this point and doesn't understand the situation. He's not going to be mayor of New York. He should go away.

BASH: To former colleagues.

REP. PETER KING, (R) NEW YORK: It's a real pathological problem here with him. How he could be out here knowing all this information was going to come out. BASH: The front-runner in the race for New York mayor called him unqualified.

CHRISTINE QUINN, NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: When you see scandal after scandal like this, what it does is create even more distrust and maybe even disgust in government.

BASH: "The New Yorker," famous for provocative covers, couldn't resist this Weiner image, straddling the Empire State Building like King Kong with a media frenzy around him.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: Now, I talked to several Democratic strategists who want Weiner out and are hoping at some point his campaign cash gets so low he won't be able to pay remaining staff and even keep the lights on. Remember Weiner started this mayoral race with $4.5 million in the bank leftover from his congressional campaign. It makes it a lot easier for him to say. Yesterday he said, quote, "you're stuck with me."

BOLDUAN: Dana, thanks so much. JoinINg us to talk more about this is CNN political commentator and Republican strategist extraordinaire, I'd like to add, Ana Navarro. Ana it's great to have you in New York.

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: And friend of Kate Bolduan and Chris Cuomo and here for the first time.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Your favorite topic, Anthony Weiner. Campaign manager drops out. He says he's sticking in it and not dropping out. How big of a hit is this for him, or do the hits just keep coming, do you think?

NAVARRO: It's less of a hit than having pictures of his privates all over the internet. So to be comparative.

BOLDUAN: It's all relative, I guess.

NAVARRO: I think it's one thing after the other. What's not good is it's drip, drip, drip -- actually, deluge, deluge, deluge. You've got Democrats all over the country telling him to drop out, the campaign manager quitting, Sydney Leathers the woman in this sexting scandal giving interviews to everybody and their brother, and now you've got her boyfriend giving interviews. So this thing, he thinks it's going away, that he's past it, I think he is very wrong.

BOLDUAN: Well, as you saw in Dana's piece, Christine Quinn was on "Meet The Press" yesterday. She said that in no uncertain terms this disqualifies him. He shouldn't be mayor. She clearly has a bone in -- has a bid in that as she wants to be mayor as well. She stopped short of calling on him to get out of the race. Why?

NAVARRO: She shouldn't. It's not her place to tell an opponent to get out, and everybody else is telling him to get out. Everybody is saying to Anthony Weiner, withdraw. From the race, that is. And she doesn't need to do that. BOLDUAN: Different situation but same kind of pressure building for someone to get out of the way. This would be San Diego mayor Bob Filner. He's resisting any push to resign even though it seems everyone is telling him you cannot be effective at this point. You need to get out of this. What's your take on this situation?

NAVARRO: It's you know, it's mayor freak and freakier with these two guys. They just don't know what to do with them. It's got to be a very frustrating thing for Democrat who last cycle we saw them label Republicans as waging a war on women for what Akin and Murdoch said. In these guys, you've got people doing things, not just saying. So it kind of puts a kink in the Democrat armor of the entire women narrative.

BOLDUAN: Can national Republicans, can they capitalize on this, or is this risky political territory?

NAVARRO: I think the best thing to do, if it you're a Republican, just sit down and watch the show. Get some popcorn and a soda because it's fairly entertaining. This is happening to them now. We've had to deal with our own issues, now you've got Spitzer, you've got Weiner, you've got Mayor Feeler, as I like to call him. And so what do you do with all of this?

BOLDUAN: But here's the questions. Can they, from your perspective --

NAVARRO: Comedy writers and Republicans should just let this happen.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And we all know, of course, you're a Republican strategist. These are Democratic candidates, or A Democratic mayor and a Democratic candidate.

NAVARRO: It is a lot more fun when it's happening to Democrats than to Republicans.

BOLDUAN: I would say so. But can they regain? How do they regain the public's confidence? Anthony Weiner says he still can be an effective mayor, and Bob Filner says he still can be an effective mayor.

NAVARRO: Kate, I don't think they regain the public confidence. Anthony Weiner seems to be determined to stay in this. He's got 40 more days to go. It's not unlikely that more revelations come out. The guy's got more sexting partners than most men have pairs of shoes. And we've only heard from two of them so far. So this is not going to go away, and I think in San Diego, it's going to be the people of San Diego that determine if there's something they can do about this mayor. Can they do a recall or do they stick with him for the next three years? He was just elected in 2012.

BOLDUAN: And despite the fun, despite the easy jokes, it is up to the voters in the end. There could be a recall of filner, and the voters will have their say when it comes to Anthony Weiner.

NAVARRO: I think that's absolutely true. Let me just tell the voters, you get what you vote for.

BOLDUAN: All right. We'll see. September is when that primary is. Great to see you, Ana. Thank you so much.

CUOMO: Boy oh boy. What a story.

Coming up on NEW DAY, the twisted tale of a medical researchers with access to cyanide and an excuse to use it. His wife died of cyanide poisoning. The connection seems pretty obvious to prosecutors, but could this be the perfect crime? We'll tell you about it.

BOLDUAN: Also, we'll tell you about the miraculous recovery of a little boy who was buried alive under a mountain of sand for hours and survived. He took a very big step in that recovery this weekend. We'll have more coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Just about 7:30 in the east as I welcome everybody back to NEW DAY. It's Monday, July 29th. I'm Chris Cuomo.

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

And coming up in this half hour, the latest on a chilling murder mystery -- the long arm of the law catches up to a scientist accused of poisoning his wife with cyanide. You won't believe how police say he convinced her to eat it.

CUOMO: That is compelling. We're going to break that down with Paul Callan.

Also, you'll recognize the man on the left. That's Jason Patric. We know him, the actor. He's holding his son there. He's a very private guy. He does not like the media, doesn't want to be involved, but he feels that he has to come forward to discuss this law in California and other states that can have really far-reaching implications for fathers that they can lose rights to their kids under this law. People don't know about it. We'll take you through that. He'll join us here.

First, a lot of news to tell you about. We know what that means here. Michaela.

PERIERA: We'll start with weather actually right now.

Good morning, everyone. Severe wet weather causing problems all across the country. Record rainfall in Philadelphia Sunday. Some seven inches falling within four hours. In North Carolina, a 10-year-old girl and a 48-year-old man drowned swimming in a rain-swollen creek.