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Clintons "Livid" With Weiner; Explosion Rock Gas Plant; Swiss Train Crash; Chandra Levy Transcripts; Pentagon Rethinks Cut To "Danger Pay"; Giant KFC Bucket Mystery; Cyanide Murder Case; Brain Eating Parasite; Axel Foley Back In Action?; Leah Remini Talks Scientology Split

Aired July 30, 2013 - 07:30   ET


PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: That's nonsense. It's personal. We love Huma and she's going through pain. And you know, this thing she's going through, this scandal she's going through, she has done nothing wrong. And so all of us who love and care for Huma, of course, were upset to see what she's going through, but that's all that this is. There is no political angle to that.

CHRIS CUOMO: All right, what do you have, Ana?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think the equivalent of all the pictures and images of Hillary with Bill when he had his indiscretions and now Huma with Anthony Weiner, I think that's nonsense. I agree with Paul. We all know what Bill Clinton did. They got over it. It's fine. The problem is that now Huma Abedin has become a household name and there is a lot more scrutiny on her than there ever was and people know who she is.

And there is a very funky and odd structure that she had where she was making six figures at the State Department and at the same time making six figures from a company that has ties to Clinton world. It's a little incestuous even for Washington standards and that is a very high threshold.

BEGALA: In her defense, it was all approved by the ethics office in the State Department. I just want to defend Huma on that.

CUOMO: I got you. We've seen the reports. Paul Begala, thank you very much. Ana Navarro, beautiful haircut. Love to see you here. It's great to have you both here on NEW DAY. Thank you very much.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up next, a University of Pittsburgh research professor is awaiting extradition accused of poisoning his wife with cyanide. We're going to have details in a live report coming up.

CUOMO: And then how often does this happen, a Georgia woman captures a Kentucky Fried mystery. Who left a huge bucket in her front yard? Was it empty?


CUOMO: Welcome back, everybody to NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, July 30th. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're with news anchor, Michael Pereira and she's got all the top headlines right now

MICHAEL PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: I do. Let's take a look. Making news, a series of explosions lasting for at least an hour jolting a Central Florida town, the fire chief is now saying the massive fire at the Blue Rhino propane plant in Tavares may have been the result of equipment failure and human error. All workers on staff at that time were accounted for. Eight people however were hurt, some critically. The plant holds 53,000 20-pound propane cylinders. The fire is now under control.

Authorities in Switzerland investigating a head-on collision between two commuter trains, nearly three dozen passengers were injure, five of them seriously. Reports say the driver of one of the trains was killed. Trains were traveling on a route in Western Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva.

A judge has ordered the release of sealed court transcripts related to Chandra Levy, the Washington, D.C. intern who vanished back in 2001. Her body found a year later. Lawyers for her convicted killer are questioning the testimony of a key prosecution witness and are seeking a new trial.

The Pentagon rethinking plans to eliminate imminent danger pay for troops serving in several regions of the Mid East and Persian Gulf. Most troops earn an extra $225 a month. The danger pay cuts would save about $120 million a year. Defense officials cite rising violence in Egypt is a big reason they're considering the move.

The mystery of who left a giant Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket in a Georgia woman's yard has been solved? Now you know it was mystery and now you know it's been solved. It's 7 feet tall. This thing was just too difficult for Aleena Headrick to move on her own. She had no idea how it got there. It turns out there was a simple answer. Headrick's landlord, Freddie Taylor, he put it there. He's a sign collector.


ALEENA HEADRICK, FOUND KFC BUCKET AT YARD: I saw this giant Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket in my yard and I thought for sure that I was hallucinating.

FREDDIE TAYLOR, LANDLORD SIGN COLLECTOR: It don't say KFC, it says Kentucky Fried Chicken. That bucket is probably 40 years old.


PEREIRA: See the difference, it does not say KFC and it has the colonel, which also they are going with new branding. The giant KFC bucket has already become a local landmark, folks stopping by to have their picture taken. Apparently they will put it up on a sign post, too, so you can cut the grass around it, maybe one of those high speed lawnmowers.

CUOMO: Certainly something you don't see every day. Thought it was bigger than 7 feet. I thought it looked humongous.

PEREIRA: It's still big.

BOLDUAN: Still makes me hungry. All right, Michaela, thanks so much.

To Pittsburgh now, the Pittsburgh professor accused of killing his wife of cyanide has waived extradition. Police are expected to travel to West Virginia earlier today to bring him back to Pennsylvania where he will face murder charges. Now John Berman has been following this really wild tail for us.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. You know, Ferrante could face a preliminary arraignment in Pennsylvania as soon as this afternoon. Investigators piecing together this case against the researcher showing what they think are an extremely suspicious and revealing set of decisions and actions, an evidence trail that say shows he planned to kill his wife with that lethal dose of cyanide.


BERMAN (voice-over): Head down, shackled in handcuffs, wearing an orange jump suit, Dr. Robert Ferrante addressed a West Virginia court confirming that he is the man accused of killing his wife, Dr. Autumn Klein, with cyanide in April.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I ask you now if you believe you are the same Robert Joseph Ferrante named and described in this paperwork.


BERMAN: Ferrante, a medical researcher and professor at the University of Pittsburgh voluntarily waived his extradition rights and now awaits transport back to Pennsylvania where he will be officially arraigned on one count of criminal homicide. Police spent three months investigating his 41-year-old wife's death.

She was the chief of women's neurology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, seen here in this Discovery Channel video. The key evidence against the 64-year-old Ferrante detailed in this criminal complaint. Police alleging he placed an overnight delivery of cyanide two days before his wife collapsed.

The complaint also listing text messages Ferrante allegedly sent to his wife encouraging her to take creatine to help with fertility and then there's this, a possible motive. Evidence suggesting Ferrante suspected his wife was having an affair.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You've got motive, you have opportunity, and you have access to the poison. It looks to me like a very strong circumstantial evidence case.

BERMAN: But notably missing from the criminal complaint, how exactly Ferrante allegedly convinced his wife to take the lethal concoction.

CALLAN: There will probably be a claim that he accidentally mixed up the cyanide with the creatine because they're both white powders and this is an accidental death.


BERMAN: We have reached out to Ferrante's defense attorney, William Definder, but he has not responded to us. He did tell local affiliate WTAE that Ferrante is anxious to defend himself, have his day in court and he says prove his innocence.

BOLDUAN: All right, we'll be following that one closely. Thanks, John.

CUOMO: Still early there, also. Not an easy case to make. It's not going to be as easy a case to make as it may seem from the outside. The arraignment is just being called to account for the charges, but we don't know what they have on him yet. So we'll see.

Coming up on NEW DAY, Anthony Weiner remains a candidate for mayor of New York City, but with this latest sexting scandal that you have heard so much about, guess what? His poll numbers are dropping fast. We're going to hear from the frontrunner in that race, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

BOLDUAN: And a 12-year-old girl fighting for her life this morning after catching a brain eating parasite and you will never guess how she got it.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. All this little girl did was go for a swim at a water park and now 12-year-old Caylee Hardick is in critical condition battling for her life, in the water with her, a rare but deadly brain eating amoeba.

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us with more. Elizabeth, it's summer, I mean, going swimming in a pool is common as you get. And we expect there may be some bugs in there, but something like this? How did this happen?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Chris, you know. I'm glad to say that this is incredibly unusual. As you said, so many people swim. This hardly ever happens, but when it does, it is just horrifying. An amoeba basically goes through the water up your nose and into your brain.


COHEN (voice-over): A 12-year-old girl went for a swim and is now fighting for her life. Caylee Hardick went swimming at this lake at a water park in Little Rock, Arkansas and came down with parasitic meningitis, a rare infection caused by a brain eating amoeba. This infection has struck only 31 other people in the past 10 years and the Centers for Disease Control says all were fatal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The child has a grave prognosis I'm afraid.

COHEN: The amoeba, a parasite called neglaria, loves warm water like lakes, rivers and hot springs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The amoeba then finds itself way back in our noses and then can work its way into our central nervous system around our brains and once it's there, it just causes destruction.

COHEN: Caylee's mother took her daughter to the hospital when she noticed alarming symptoms, exhaustion and high fever. Doctors in Arkansas Children's Hospital have put Caylee in a coma to stabilize her and the Willow Springs Water Park has closed down.

DAVID RATLIFF, OWNER, WILLOW SPRINGS: It's hard for us to even think about the possibility of a child getting sick out here.

COHEN: Caylee Hardick's family is asking for prayers. On their Facebook page, they write, she still has a long fight ahead.


COHEN: Now, as I said, this is incredibly unusual. But in order to prevent it because this is obviously quite scary, one thing that you can do is when you're swimming in a very warm lake or stream or hot springs, hold your nose when you go under water particularly when you jump or dive into the water. Hold your nose or use a nose clip -- Chris, Kate.

CUOMO: All right, Elizabeth, thank you very much. We feel for this little girl and her family, but luckily this is something that there is very little chance of ever happening.

BOLDUAN: Yes, but still, if it happens to your child --

CUOMO: Absolutely, terrible.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, another mysterious illness that we're following this morning, this time 350 people infected by a stomach virus in 15 states. How is it spreading? We'll take a look.

CUOMO: That's something that actually could happen to you. Also, some good news here, the return of Beverly Hills cop. Are you kidding me? Eddie Murphy dusting off the gun and the badge, we'll tell you about it in the Pop Four.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It's time for the Pop Four with Nischelle Turner.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: I was hoping that this would be playing this morning. Somebody up there loves me and I'm going to break the tie, Beverly Hills cop or 48 hours? Beverly Hills cop is so good. It's our number four story popping this new day. is reporting that Paramount is developing Beverly Hills Cop 4 and that Eddie Murphy, yes, indeed, will be reprising his role once again. Number three today, former scientologist, Leah Remini, speaking out about her split from the church. She told "People" magazine no one is going to tell her what to think or who to speak to. In a statement to CNN, the Church of Scientology responded with, "It respects the privacy of parishioners and has no further comment."

Lea Michele breaking her silence about Cory Monteith. That is our number two story today. She tweeted out this photo of the two of them, thanking fans for their support and adding that Cory will be forever in my heart.

And the number one story today, is Johnny Depp done with acting? Please, help us all. In the interview with the BBC, Johnny Depp said he wouldn't mind doing quieter things, but he's not done right now although he does say that his last day acting is probably not too far away. Give us a couple more "Pirates of the Caribbean," just a couple more.

BOLDUAN: Get into sculpture?

TURNER: Air quotes with that, Kate. Quieter thing.

CUOMO: Pretty quiet is Tonto.

TURNER: Chris Cuomo fires.

CUOMO: We laughed, we cried.

BOLDUAN: Johnny, I'm here for you.

TURNER: Then after --

PEREIRA: It wasn't my favorite movie of the summer, didn't hate it, but it wasn't my favorite.

CUOMO: He's one of the few guys that gets you excited about going to the movies.

TURNER: That's right don't go, Johnny, don't go.

CUOMO: Nischelle Turner, thank you very much. Always a pleasure, although she didn't answer the question about 48 hours or Beverly Hills, I'm a 48 hours person, but Beverly Hills is so good.

TURNER: Forty eight hours is comedy genius from start to finish.

CUOMO: Still didn't answer.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, you know them as the real housewives of New Jersey, but they are getting a dose of real reality today.

BOLDUAN: And the very latest developments on that mass explosion at a propane plant in Florida. Details coming up at the top of the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BOLDUAN: All righty, you know what that music means, time for the rock block, everyone. A quick round up of stories we're talking about today. First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: This is a good one. You'll like it from the "L.A. Times," the recycling marbles, the house covered with 50,000 beer cans, legend has it the now departed owner and his wife drank every one of them.

From, the Yellowstone National Park helping grizzly bears by giving them greater access to berries. The wolves have been hunting the elk who have been gobbling down all the berries.

From the "Vanguard Daily News," a real family affair, Holly Parker and her son, Andrew, both specialists with the Army National Guard, they are being deployed to Afghanistan together. We wish them luck.

Now to Christine Romans and business news.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Fast food workers walked off the job in protest on Monday, they are asking for a more livable wage, $15 an hour, instead of the $7.25 minimum. The president later today expects to propose a new deal to create jobs.

BMW has unveiled its first mass production electric car. The I3 goes on sale next year starting at $41,000. And members of Congress are raking in retirement benefits. Plus, social security payments, that's on top of a monthly pension. Futures higher this morning.

Let's get to our Indra Petersons for the weather.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it looks like now Flossie is a tropical depression still making its way towards Hawaii with winds at 35 miles per hour, about 72 hours we do expect them to dissipate. We're still talking about heavy rain, as much as ten inches and winds as strong as 40 miles per hour.

Speaking of heavy rain and flooding, notice what happened in Kansas, six to seven inches of rain overnight, now slowly making its way to the Mississippi Valley. With that heavy rain expected, two to four inches of rain in that area. The good stuff, we're talking about beautiful temperatures in the northeast down to the southeast and that is my contribution of the day to the good stuff.

BOLDUAN: Thank you very much, Indra. We are now at the top of the hour, which means it's time for the top news.


UNIDENTIFIED: They're waiting to make sure that it's not going to burn into another area. There's no way I can predict that.


CUOMO: Breaking overnight, huge explosions at a propane plant in Florida lighting up the sky overnight. Tanks launched into the air like rockets, all caught on tape. We have the latest.

BOLDUAN: Outbreak, that mysterious stomach illness now spreading, hundreds sickened in 15 states and no one knows where it's coming from. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here with the latest.

PEREIRA: Real trouble. Two stars of the real housewives of New Jersey charged with tax fraud, now facing decades behind bars. Could prison handle this?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.