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Deadly Flooding in North Carolina; Pope Speaks About Women & Gay Catholics; Middle East Peace Talks; 70+ Killed in Cairo; San Diego Mayor Seeking Therapy; Major Jewelry Heist in Cannes; SeaWorld Whale Controversy

Aired July 29, 2013 - 08:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I could only see the top of the car and I was like, my gosh.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Under water, flash flooding coast to coast wreaking havoc. Drivers and residents trapped. Rescuers working nonstop to save them and the rains are not over yet. We're tracking it all.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, a tour bus plunges 100 feet after veering off the road in Italy. Dozens killed. This as we get new details on what caused a deadly bus crash in Indiana.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Sea world under fire. This video going viral. Is it a whale in distress that no one will help? Viewers are outraged, but is it what it seems to be?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


MAYO BOB FILNER (D), SAN DIEGO, CA: I will be entering a behavior counselor clinic to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God, I'm going to shake to death. First thing that's going to happen is we're going to go get it sized and insured.

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


BOLDUAN: Good morning. And welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It is Monday, July 29th, 8:00 in the East. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CUOMO: I'm Chris Cuomo here, as always, with our news anchor Michaela Pereira. A lot of breaking news this morning. How about this? Surprising comments from the pope on the role of women in the church and gay Catholics. We're going to tell you about it in a live report in just a second.

BOLDUAN: Hope and chaos in the Middle East. There are peace talks tonight in Washington between Israeli and Palestinian leaders for the first time in three years.

We're going to tell you why many say this time could be different. But violence rages in Egypt as pro-Morsy demonstrators are warned to break up their protests. We're going to have a live report on that.

PEREIRA: And his case could change state law. Actor Jason Patric is here this morning in studio live, with his fight to get custodial rights of his son and how he could change the rules for unmarried fathers. A lot of people watching that case.


PEREIRA: First up, though, this hour, severe thunderstorms and flash flooding devastating parts of the country this weekend. Several people including a child were swept away by the fast-moving waters in North Carolina and it could get even worse before the week is over. This as tropical storm Flossie bears down on Hawaii. A lot going on.

So, let's get straight to Indra for the latest.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I mean, it really seems like it's almost been a summer of heavy rain and flooding. Did you hear? Philadelphia, eight inches of rain. That is the record for any day and they're not the only ones that saw heavy rain the last couple of days.


PETERSONS (voice-over): 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: 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 island could get six to 10 inches of rain.


PETERSONS: All right. We're taking the latest look here at Flossie. Being ripped apart here and definitely weakening. You can see that structure almost disappearing here, 50-mile-per-hour steady winds and still expected to be a tropical storm.

Landfall today, the latest cone brings it further down to the south and it's moving quicker. So, about 10:00 a.m. landfall Hawaiian Time, or 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Looking at six to 10 inches of rain, anywhere up to 15 inches of rain over some of those higher wind locations.

Oahu, by the time it gets there, we're talking four to eight inches of rain. So, a lot of flooding.

BOLDUAN: We're going to watch it closely. Thank you so much, Indra.

CUOMO: Got some breaking news for you right now. Pope Francis back home after his first overseas trip to Brazil. The pontiff, speaking to reporters at length on the flight home about the role of women in the church and on gay Catholics. Remember, these were topics we thought he would not speak about because of church policy.

Charles Hodson following the pontiff's historic comments from London joins us now for a report.

This is somewhat of a surprise, Charles, huh?

CHARLES HODSON, CNNI ANCHOR, "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY": It is, but I'm not sure. You know, it's an issue of silent substance. If you look at the style, yes, it is new for a pope to be talking in these frank terms about these issues.

If you look at the substance, maybe what he is saying this is on you -- on women, he is saying women should have a more prominent role in the church. But he's saying no to the idea of ordaining women as priests. So, in other words, straight down the line, straight down the line Roman Catholic teaching. No change there.

On gays, same kind of thing. Again, an issue of style. He's saying, if somebody is gay, who am I to judge him? Well, the problem is, though, if you look at the substance, particularly of some of the comments he made following that up, he said the problem is not having this orientation being gay, said the pope, we must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by disorientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, (INAUDIBLE) lobbies, this is the worst problem.

I think a lot of gay people are going to have a problem with this, but it feels as if they're being tied with the same brush and being told, do not lobby for yourselves. You're not being judged. Just leave it to us to do something about you, to give you a fair share.

That really doesn't seem to me to be what many gays are wanting. So, I'd say, maybe they're not so much new here, Chris and Kate.

CUOMO: All right. Charles, appreciate the report.

One thing is for sure, change only comes about through dialogue. So, the fact that the pope is addressing this at all means something.

BOLDUAN: Yes, kind of maybe a big first step, right? So, here's another first big step that we want to talk about this morning. Fear mixed with a glimmer of hope in the Middle East this morning, the fear in Egypt escalating violence after more than 70 people were killed over the weekend in Cairo during clashes with the military.

The hope we're talking about stepping from news that the Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to begin peace talks in Washington tonight.

We have team coverage on this with Brianna Keilar live at the White House and Reza Sayah in Cairo. First, let's start with Brianna.

So, a big first step could be tonight, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A big first step, this is, I will say, just the beginning. But, as far as the Obama administration is concerned and observers of the peace process attempts and failures, they feel more encouraged than they have in years at this point. That's because Israeli leaders agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners. Some of whom were actually convicted of killing Israelis.

So, we heard from Prime Minister Netanyahu. He said this is a pain -- he called it painful for the entire nation but this was a key demand of Palestinians. So, it's seen as a sign of good will, certainly from Israel. Secretary of State John Kerry will be shepherding this process set to begin here tonight in Washington. It's expected to last nine months.

Huge outstanding issues here, still, just to point out. That includes that Israel has not agreed, as Palestinians want them to, to stop building settlements in contested areas like the West Bank. And also the issue of where you start when you're talking about borders. What's the starting point? That is also not agreed to.

And in this cabinet vote, Kate and Chris, you had Prime Minister Netanyahu basically whatever deal, whatever deal is struck will be put up for a vote. So, Israelis ultimately will decide and that could be an obstacle, as well.

BOLDUAN: All right, Brianna, we'll talk more about this in coming days. Thanks so much.

CUOMO: Like you said, the first step.

BOLDUAN: There has to be one, right?

CUOMO: Yes, certainly puts that process ahead of what's going on in Egypt.

We're going to go there now, even more bloodshed overnight. Clashes between the military and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy keeps escalating.

CNN's Reza Say is live in Cairo.

Reza, what have you got?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Chris, you get the sense here in Egypt that this conflict is itching closer and closer to a very dangerous stage. On one side you have the military backed interim government. On the other side, the Muslim Brotherhood, supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsy. They have been in a deadlock for more than a month now.

But now, what's different is the rhetoric, the threat. They're ratcheting up. The violence is increasing, more than 70 killed over the weekend.

And the big concern is, there's all kinds of signs that more bloodshed could be coming.


SAYAH (voice-over): In Egypt, fear and nervous anticipation is growing for a decisive crackdown on the supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsy.

For nearly a month, thousands of Morsy backers have staged a sit-in at an East Cairo neighborhood. They won't leave, they say, until Morsy is president again. At this point, chances of a comeback for Morsy and his Muslim Brotherhood movement seem smaller than ever.

Morsy and several aides are still in custody. Several Brotherhood leaders are wanted by authorities, and increasingly, Morsy supporters are being killed. Scores were shot to death on Saturday when they clashed with security forces. It was the deadliest day in Cairo since Morsy was toppled from power on July 3rd.

Human rights groups have condemned what they call the government's excessive use of force. But the interior minister said it was pro- Morsy protesters who attacked first. Police never fired their weapons, he said. Plenty of amateur video and pictures seemed to show otherwise.


SAYAH: It's critical to point out that the overwhelming number of the victims here seemed to be supporters. There is growing evidence that they were killed by security forces. And what's remarkable is the lack of outrage and even sympathy from authorities here. It's this growing violence that has Washington concerned.

Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend calling on both sides to scale down. But the concern, Chris and Kate, is neither side seems to be listening at this point.

CUOMO: Well, certainly not getting better.

Reza Sayah in Cairo, thank you very much for the report this morning.

Let's bring it back home. We're dealing with two really tough tragedies here. Bus accidents, Michaela, what do we know?

PEREIRA: Yes, two of them. We're going to start with the horrific one in Italy, first of all. Really an awful situation in southern Italy. The death toll now standing at 38 after a bus struck 11 cars and then went off a bridge east of Naples. Officials fear even more bodies could be found in the wreckage.

And here in the U.S. a pastor and his pregnant wife both killed when their church bus overturned in Indiana. They were bringing a group of teenagers back from a trip to camp.

An ugly end to the U.S. open in surfing in Huntington Beach, California. A violent mob brawling in the streets, vandalizing businesses and throwing rocks and bottles at police last night. Eight people in total arrested. It's believed a fistfight between two people following the eight day surfing competition. Set off that violence.

We're learning a child was among five people killed when a chopper went down in northeastern Pennsylvania. That helicopter was reported missing Saturday and it wasn't found until Sunday in a remote wooded area. Three men and one woman also died.

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating what caused that crash.

Anthony Weiner won't quit, but his campaign manager just did. Weiner says he is staying in the Big Apple mayor's race despite the departure of his top aide, Danny Kedem. Calls are growing louder for Weiner to bow out after he admitted his sexting compulsion continued long after he resigned from Congress in disgrace.

Male fans of the 1980s kid show "My Little Pony" gathered over the weekend in Overland Park, Kansas. They call themselves Bronies. They were joined by a few of their female counterparts, Pegasisters. According to CNN affiliate WDAF, close to 300 fans, some as far away as Hawaii and Australia were on hand for the Brony fest. These die- hard fans say "My Little Pony" is not just for kids, oh, no. There you go.

BOLDUAN: Everybody has a thing.

CUOMO: I might have to dig through the toy chest there. I feel like I bought a few dozen of those things.


BOLDUAN: They're back.

CUOMO: I know, make a little money off those little ponies. Of course, that's what you're thinking.

BOLDUAN: Back to the news.

An ultimatum for embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. They say resign or face a recall. Filner is reeling from a sexual harassment scandal but he's not stepping down. Instead, he is planning a two- week hiatus to undergo counseling.

Stephanie Elam is live with the latest on Bob Filner's problems. Hey, Stephanie.


This is an interesting one here, and the wheels have already been set in motion for a recall. In fact, we heard a citizen group deliver a letter on Friday and at 5:01 p.m. Pacific Time, if he does not resign, they say that they're going to ask for a recall.


MAYOR BOB FILNER (D), SAN DIEGO, CA: I apologize to the people of San Diego. And most of all, I apologize to the women that I have offended.

ELAM (voice-over): Apologizing once again, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is still refusing to resign. Instead, he plans to go to therapy.

FILNER: August 5th, I will be entering a behavior counseling clinic to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy to begin the process of addressing my behavior.

ELAM: But the drumbeat for his resignation continues now that seven women have publicly accused the mayor of inappropriate conduct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He got very close to me. And he ran his finger up my cheek, like this. And he whispered to me, "Do you have a man in your life?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I turned and he just slobbered down my chin and I was so violated. ELAM: Laura Fink worked for Filner in 2005. She said he groped her at a fund-raising dinner.

LAURA FINK: One guest said, "You should be nice to this girl because she worked her behind off for you." He then proceeded to tell me to turn around, which I did, and he then patted me on the behind, laughed and said, "Nope, it's still there."

ELAM: Fellow Democrats like Senator Dianne Feinstein are joining the growing calls for Filner to go.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA : And I don't think that somebody who is lacking a moral compass really sets a role model, or really will provide the kind of leadership that San Diegans want.


ELAM: Now, there was a poll taken by "The San Diego Union Tribune" after Bob Filner's last press conference on Friday evening. In that, respondents actually said that they ultimately believe that Filner will be recalled. About 60 percent of people and the numbers were not in his favor whether you look at it by gender or if you look at political affiliation. The other thing by a wide landslide, almost everyone polled said they do believe the claims out there about Filner -- Chris.

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

We're going to go from that back overseas to Cannes. Why? Well, that place of France is known for its annual film festival, right, attracts the rich and the famous, but this morning, it's the scene of a brazen jewelry robbery that went down in broad daylight. Police there are looking for a lone gunman who walked into a ritzy hotel in a French Riviera and walked out with $53 million worth of diamonds and jewelry. Erin McLaughlin is live in Cannes with details. Good morning, Erin.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Well, the Carlton Hotel is known as the place to stay in Cannes for its glitz and its glamour. It's here that you'll find all the stars for the Annual Cannes Film Festival. So, people here really shocked and surprised that a man armed with a gun was able to enter the hotel and steal millions of dollars of jewelry.


MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): It's a story straight out of a Hitchcock film.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Filmed on a beautiful French Riviera. One man walks into a hotel in Cannes, France and walks out with $53 million worth of diamond jewelry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Diamonds. The only thing in the world you can't resist.

MCLAUGHLIN: The Carlton Hotel, the setting for the iconic movie, "To Catch A Thief," was the sight of one of Europe's biggest jewelry heists Sunday morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was a gun and nobody stopped him. Nobody -- I don't know there was nobody around and they just gave him $40 million worth of jewelry. Just incredible.

MCLAUGHLIN: Police say a robber whose face was covered by a hat and scarf threatened to shoot exhibitors and guests during the hold up. Cannes, home of the international film festival, is known for glitz and glamour, but lately, it's become a magnet for jewelry theft. In May, a $2.6 million necklace belonging to jeweler, Dave Rosogno (ph), was taken from a hotel aprty.

Later that same month, over a million dollars worth of jewels were stolen from a safe in the Novatal Hotel. This latest heist comes just two days after a member of the notorious Pink Panther jewel thief gang escaped from a Swiss prison. However, it is too soon to say if there's any link to this incident. Authorities this morning are looking through surveillance footage of the crime.

DONALD PALMIER, GENPRINT CORPORATION CHAIRMAN: Diamonds are like cash. They're the most concentrated form of wealth on the face of the Earth. So, they can, they can be very influential in acquiring weapons, in acquiring drugs, or anything else that we want to keep out of society.


MCLAUGHLIN (on-camera): Thankfully, no one was hurt in yesterday's heist. Not a single shot fired, and this morning, looking for answers as to how this could have happened and why there wasn't more security. Officials, so far, offering no additional information -- Chris and Kate.

CUOMO: All right. Erin, thank you very much. We'll probably have to keep Erin McLaughlin there in the French Riviera for as long as possible so she could unearth these clues.

BOLDUAN: Wild story.

CUOMO: It is. But they always are. Bank robbers have to be creative, but what they do is often dangerous. This one wasn't. That's why the crime for doing the crimes of penalty, very good. Very good.

BOLDUAN: All right. Coming up next on NEW DAY, a viral video of a pilot whale struggling to get back into the water, appearing to struggle to get back into the water. Well, SeaWorld says that it was never in danger, but the video is causing an uproar online. A former SeaWorld trainer is going to be joining us live next.

CUOMO: Doesn't look good, that's for sure.

And the driver in that Spanish train derailment is now facing 79 counts of manslaughter. We'll bring you the latest on the investigation.


CUOMO: Welcome back, everybody. Video of a beached whale has taken. It was taken at SeaWorld and it's gone viral sparking outrage. The video shows the whale struggling to get back into the water as shocked visitors there screaming for help. The incident follows the release of a new documentary that questions the way whales are treated at SeaWorld. Nischelle Turner is here with more.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, you know, in this new video, we should say that the whale is eventually helped and ultimately was not harmed, but this is still definitely tough to watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dolphin, he's stuck!

TURNER (voice-over): These frantic screams from spectators at SeaWorld in Orlando led to outrage.


TURNER: Witnesses say the young pilot whale floundered helplessly for nearly a half an hour despite pleas from the crowd for a SeaWorld employee to help. According to a SeaWorld spokesperson, pilot whales come out on the ledge all the time, usually, getting back into the pool by themselves. It's the younger ones, like the one in this video they say haven't quite mastered the technique.

Trainers eventually helped the whale back into the water. SeaWorld released this statement to CNN saying, quote, "I want to reassure you the whale was never in danger. The safety and health of the animals in our care are among our highest priorities."

As a new film, "Blackfish," questions certain practices at SeaWorld, it was three years ago a 12,000-pound killer whale dragged a trainer under water by her ponytail causing her death. The film cites other terrifying incidents at the park accusing them of putting profit before safety.

JOHN HARGROVE, FEATURED IN "BLACKFISH": Captivity, definitely, without a doubt, increases the stress level of these animals and stress leads to frustration, frustration leads to aggression.

TURNER: SeaWorld responded to the film in this statement to CNN saying, "The film fails to mention SeaWorld's commitment to the safety of its team members and guest and to the care and welfare of its animals."


TURNER (on-camera): Now, SeaWorld also said in a lengthy statement that, quote, "Instead of a fair and balanced treatment of a complex subject, the film is inaccurate and misleading." Now, we should say CNN films has purchased the rights to "Blackfish," the documentary. It will air on the network in October, October 24th, to be exact -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Nischlle, thanks so much.

Let's talk more about this now. Joining us is former SeaWorld trainer, John Hargrove. John took part in the documentary as you saw "Blackfish" and will be airing as Nischelle said on CNN in the fall. John, great to see you. Thanks for coming in.

HARGROVE: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: You know, everyone knows SeaWorld. Everyone, every child, so many have gone to SeaWorld. I want to get to the video and the pilot whale in just a second, but about your experience with SeaWorld and you're very critical of the company, though, since you've left. What changed for you?

You had many years of experience with SeaWorld. Why did you leave and what changed your view?

HARGROVE: Well, 14 years at SeaWorld and, you know, I really loved those whales and I believed in what i did. And, throughout the years, as you get promoted higher up throughout the system, you do start to see things that you don't agree with that or not in the animal's best interest. But as an experienced trainer, you feel like if I don't fight for these animals from the inside, who is going to fight for those animals.

So, that keeps you there for a long time. But, really, the catalyst for me leaving was how they handled Alexis Martinez (ph) being killed by Tito. Tito is one of our whales. A lot of people didn't realize it was one of our whales and our supervision because it happened in Spain.

And then, also, how they handled (INAUDIBLE) being killed, and then, most importantly, for me, anyway, was how they testified in the OSHA hearing. They testified in federal court that they had no knowledge we even had a dangerous job, which of course, they knew we had a dangerous job.

BOLDUAN: And this is a big focus of this documentary, how SeaWorld has handled this. What, in your view, what do they do wrong? You love the animals, you want to train them, but what is wrong with how SeaWorld handles the training of these animals and also their trainers?

HARGROVE: Even though SeaWorld is the largest and the most powerful in the world, they have the most money. They have the most money for the most resources, they still don't give back to these animals that are making all this profit for them.

For example, the Shamu stadiums like California, Texas, and Florida have not been updated since the mid-1980s. So, the killer whale pools are the same sterile concrete pools since the mid-1980s.

BOLDUAN: So, John, do you think this is making it dangerous for the animals and making it dangerous for the trainers? Is that what you're saying?

HARGROVE: Well, I think that, you know, we, the trainers, we obviously are willing to take that risk with killer whales because that's our passion and we love what we do. But it's a totally different ball game when a corporation is willing to put their employees at risk for profit. And that's really kind of been the crux of the OSHA case against SeaWorld.

BOLDUAN: Now, we should say that SeaWorld didn't respond to CNN's request for interview on this. I want to get to the video that we've shown that went viral. The video of the pilot whale that appeared to be stuck on the wall and not able to get off. SeaWorld said it was never in danger. What's your take when you see this?

HARGROVE: Well, honestly, when I first see it, I'm glad that people, concerned public are coming forward and saying, look, you know, we want answers. You know, we want accountability and I love that and I think that that's a by-product of now "Blackfish" coming out. But, honestly, I can tell you, physically, the animal is not in danger in that scenario. Things slid out like that. They can stay slid out for hours at a time.

However, with that being said, the animal is definitely in distress. And because of that, the trainers should make every move they can to get that animal back into the water as fast as they can. Some of the couple of things that would hold off on that is if say it was an aggressive situation.

So, if that animal had slid itself out to escape an aggressive situation, then trainers coming out that would first need to assess the environment, call those other whales over, even potentially gate them out of that pool and into another pool so they could safely put that other whale back into the water. But I'm just happy to see that people are speaking out and these things happen, they're willing to, you know, take it for and demand answers.

BOLDUAN: You're speaking out, as well, in that documentary, "Blackfish" which raising a lot of questions and spurring on a lot of controversy. So, we'll be talking much more about that as well. John, great to see you. Great to meet you. Thanks for coming out.

HARGROVE: Thank you.


CUOMO: All right. Kate, thank you very much. Coming up on NEW DAY, talk about a needle in a hay stack. A precious wedding ring goes missing in the Russian waters. It's got to be gone, right? What happens next? Well, that's what makes it the good stuff, my friends, and we'll tell you all about it.

And actor Jason Patric, not a big fan of the media, doesn't like doing interviews, but he is here to discuss a complicated custody battle and a law that can take parental rights away from unmarried dads. You will want to hear his story and his words coming up.