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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Ariel Castro Sentencing; New Leak Reveals NSA's XKeyscore; Zimmerman Stopped for Speeding in Texas; Stock Futures Climb

Aired August 1, 2013 - 05:00   ET

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


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Tales of torture. New details revealed how Ariel Castro kidnapped, tortured and imprisoned three women in Cleveland for a decade. This, as he gets ready to speak before a judge and face one of his victims in court.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Big brother is watching. New information detailing the government's once-secret spying program and how closely the NSA can monitor you without a warrant.

PEREIRA: Game over for A-Rod? The Yankees slugger reportedly negotiating a suspension with Major League Baseball for using performance-enhancing drugs. How long he could be forced to sit out.

BERMAN: Long.

PEREIRA: New developments.

BERMAN: Long.

PEREIRA: Long time.

BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

PEREIRA: And I'm Michael Pereira. It is Thursday, the first day of August. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

BERMAN: Feels like just yesterday it was July.

PEREIRA: I know. Remember those days?

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Up first this morning, it is sentencing day for Ariel Castro, the Ohio man who kept three women prisoner in his home for nearly a decade. He is expected to speak at length during his sentencing hearing in just few hours.

Castro pleaded guilty last week to more than 900 counts including murder and kidnapping. It was a deal that spared him a possible death sentence.

Today we are also expecting to hear from one of Castro's victims as new details emerge about this decade of horror.

Let's get more now from CNN's Pamela Brown in Cleveland.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prosecutors failed a sentencing memorandum Wednesday, detailing how Ariel Castro kidnapped Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, and the horrific physical, mental and sexual abuse they endured daily.

According to court documents, he let the three women keep a diary during captivity that describe the abuse and dreams of some day escaping and being reunited with family.

ARIEL CASTRO, PLED GUILTY TO 937 COUNTS: My addiction to pornography and my sexual problem has clearly taken a toll in my mind.

BROWN: Castro also admitted to having the girls chained by their ankles with only one meal a day, showering infrequently, while he had sexual assaulted them. He also said he had other victims and that some of them made it home but that others had not. And a plea deal that took the death penalty off the table Castro pleaded guilty to more than 900 counts including kidnapping, rape and murder for terminating Michelle Knight's multiple pregnancies.

MICHELLE KNIGHT, HELD CAPTIVE FOR OVER 10 YEARS: I may have been through hell and back, but I am stronger enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face.

BROWN: Sources say Knight will likely make an impact statement in court. Face to face with her captor for the first time since their dramatic rescue nearly three months.

AMANDA BERRY, HELD CAPTIVE FOR OVER 19 YEARS: Hello, police. Help me, I'm Amanda Berry.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Sometimes the sentencing process is a form of catharsis for the victim of the crime.

BROWN: Castro, too, will finally share his side. Prosecutor say he will apologize to his victims.

Michelle Knight, thanking the Cleveland Police Department with this handwritten note, saying, "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly."

Pamela Brown, CNN, Cleveland.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PEREIRA: Alex Rodriguez may be ready to cut a deal. According to ESPN, the Yankees slugger's representatives are negotiating a settlement with Major League Baseball that could land him a lengthy suspension. That suspension could go as far as a lifetime ban.

A-Rod has reportedly been shown volumes of evidence linking him to performance-enhancing drugs and the South Florida clinic Biogenesis. Several other players are also expected to be suspended for the use of PEDs. An announcement could come as early as Friday.

BERMAN: Big week in baseball.

Later today, President Obama meets with a group of lawmakers who do not like what's happening in the NSA. The White House is defending the agency's controversial domestic surveillance programs even as new information leaks about the NSA's ability to monitor pretty much everything you do online.

Barbara Starr reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The Obama administration under attack for its surveillance programs. National security agency director Keith Alexander heckled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't trust you.

KEITH ALEXANDER, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY DIRECTOR: I haven't lied to Congress.

STARR: While Congress questions, is the NSA spying on us? And who is accountable for Edward Snowden's leaks?

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Has anybody offered and asked to resign or offered to resign because of this failure?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one is offered to resign.

STARR: The administration declassified more documents in an effort to show the surveillance is vital to national security, even as a new article by Glenn Greenwald in "The Guardian" unveiled more material from Snowden about a program called XKeyscore. Greenwald says the program proves the NSA can see everything you do electronically by collecting tens of billions of e-mails and other Internet activities.

GLENN GREENWALD, THE GUARDIAN REPORTER: And then allows the NSA analyst with no oversight, no supervision, prior to their search to enter whatever they want to enter, an e-mail address, an IP address, key words, and they can then discover your Internet communications.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: I sitting at my desk certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone.

STARR: Analyst Jim Lewis says no way.

JIM LEWIS, CSIS: The more it sounds like Hollywood the less likely it is to be true. So the idea that you can sit at your desk and say, I want to -- I want to wiretap Joe Lewis, and then peck at the keyboard for a little bit and suddenly hear my phone calls, that's just silly.

STARR: Not surprisingly the NSA says, quote, the implication that NSA's collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false. (On camera): The NSA says that there are multiple checks and balances to make sure its analysts are not inappropriately getting into those databases. And it insists that it is not spying on Americans and it's not listening to your telephone conversations.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PEREIRA: We are also learning that the United States is by far the world leader when it comes to requests for information about personal Twitter accounts. Now according to Twitter the Obama administration targeted over 1300 accounts in 902 separate requests during the first six months of this year.

The company says most of the inquiries were for e-mail and I.P. addresses. Twenty-five nations have asked Twitter for account information so far this year with 78 percent of those requests coming from the U.S. government.

BERMAN: Let me tweet that.

Good news for students and their parents. The House giving overwhelming approval to a bill that reverses the recent doubling of federal student loan interest rates. This lowers the rate to 3.86 percent for undergrad in the coming school year. That's some great news.

The compromise measure does tie interest rates on student loans to the financial markets. But there is a cap to ensure they don't go too high. The bill now goes to the president. He is expected to sign it.

PEREIRA: A lot of families watching that news to be sure.

If CNN can find him, why can't the U.S. government? Republican lawmakers demanding answers from the FBI after CNN's Arwa Damon was able to locate and interview a suspected ringleader from last year's deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

Despite being labeled a person of interest by U.S. authorities, Ahmed Abu Khattala says he's never been contacted by American or Libyan officials, and is willing to meet with the FBI if he's asked.

BERMAN: After getting the long-delayed Mideast peace talks started, John Kerry is making his first trip to Pakistan as secretary of state. Kerry arriving last night in Islamabad. He's expected to meet with military and civilian leaders including the country's newly elected prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. One hot topic is sure to be the controversy over U.S. drone attacks inside Pakistan.

PEREIRA: Egypt's military-backed government ordering security forces to end two massive sit-ins by any means necessary. And that is sparking fears there could be more bloodshed in Cairo. The Egyptian government calling supporters of disposed president, Mohamed Morsi, a threat to national security. They have now charged three top leaders from Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood party with inciting violence. BERMAN: A new outbreak of violence in Turkey's capital. Riot police clashed with protesters in Istanbul. Several hundred people were blocked from marching in support of a teenage boy who's in a coma right now after being hit in the head by a tear gas canister during an anti-government demonstration last month.

PEREIRA: An oil spill staining the beaches of northern Thailand. Over 13,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Thailand on Saturday. To be sure. It came from a leak in a pipeline operated by a company called PTT Global Chemical.

About 600 soldiers, volunteers and workers from PTT are helping with the cleanup. They are hoping to have all of the oil removed from the beaches and removed -- reopened, rather. by the end of the weekend. But, I mean, that is such a mess and it's going to have an effect on the wildlife and sea life there to be sure.

BERMAN: With that, you know, a similar story here at a federal court hearing next month. Halliburton will plead guilty to destroying evidence following the 2010 Gulf oil spill. The energy giant was formally arraigned Wednesday in New Orleans. Eleven workers died in the accident and millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. Halliburton was BP's cement contractor on the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded.

Hurricane Gill gaining strength, far off the tip of Southern California right now.

Our Indra Peterson is tracking the storm.

Indra, where's Gill going?

(LAUGHTER)

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, that's a good question. I'll show you that. What I want to tell you first is that it's strengthening, which is interesting, because Flossie did not become a hurricane. Gill already now a hurricane. And it could be even stronger than that. Could strengthen to a category 2 hurricane.

Currently seeing 80 miles per hour winds. You can see Gill here. This -- behind me was interesting. It has 50 percent chance for a tropical storm to form behind that. So that it's definitely something we're going to be watching.

But to answer the question, where is it going? Well, this is pretty key. Now, watch, if Gill actually goes a little bit to the north, we're going into cooler waters, so it would most likely weaken. If it moves farther to the south, well it strengthens as it's in warmer waters.

The key, though, is in this particular case, we actually wanted to move to the south because we have Hawaii a little bit farther to the north. The latest track is pulling it farther to the south, so that would be the good news here with Gill.

It sounds a little strange, right? Typically you don't want it to intensify in that area.

Also we're looking at today is more chances for rain. Yes, the sunshine is gone, pretty much today if you're hanging out anywhere from Pennsylvania all the way through jersey, and really, you know, all the way down to the southeast, we're actually talking about showers today.

Heaviest amounts, again, yes, Pennsylvania and Jersey. Even to the southeast today. Possibly one to two inches of rain. Very spotty. Our bulls eyes would see right around Raleigh and even out towards Atlanta today. So we're going to be watching those areas. But don't worry, the weekend looks a hint better for a day until we get more rain.

Feels like this up and down --

(CROSSTALK)

What am I going to do with it?

(LAUGHTER)

PEREIRA: All right, Indra. Thank you.

A Tennessee man is on the verge of setting quite an -- incredible endurance record. I want you to check this out, Mr. Berman. Jerry Hale has been living under water -- I've said under water -- since Saturday. He needs to keep it up until Saturday in order to break the previous record of 120 hours under water.

Now it's interesting he says the most difficult part is actually eating and drinking while submerged. But surprisingly he's been sleeping very well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JERRY HALE, LIVING UNDER WATER: I slept really good last night. I mean, I'm in the world's largest water bed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEREIRA: The world's largest water bed. So many questions to be had but you did see, he has a TV underwater with him to keep him occupied. Maybe he's watching right now.

BERMAN: That's what they say.

PEREIRA: If so, if you're tweeting under water, please tweet us because we'd like to know how this is all happening.

BERMAN: Good morning, Underwater Man.

PEREIRA: I have some questions about the --

BERMAN: You've had strange fetishes, Underwater Man. But we do -- hope that you watch EARLY START. Good morning to you, sir. Bubble, Bubble.

PEREIRA: Waterman. Bubble, bubble. You speak. You're fluent.

BERMAN: I speak underwater language.

PEREIRA: I do not know.

BERMAN: Coming up, George Zimmerman pulled over and packing heat. Why the man who killed Trayvon Martin is now having a run-in with the law.

PEREIRA: The miracle of life caught on camera at a Washington Marina. We'll show you more of this video after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. So George Zimmerman has had another brush with the law. Zimmerman who was just acquitted of murder in the Trayvon Martin shooting. He was pulled over for speeding in Texas. Even though he had a gun in his car Zimmerman managed to get off with just a warning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Florida SUV. 816. 816. Came Lincoln.

BERMAN (voice-over): This pickup truck pulled over for speeding. Behind the wheel, George Zimmerman.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Nowhere in particular.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nowhere in particular? Why do you say that? The reason you were stopped is for your speed, OK? Why don't just slow down a little bit for me?

BERMAN: Zimmerman informs the officer of the concealed weapon he keeps in his glove box.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead and shut your glove compartment. And don't play with your firearm, OK?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir.

BERMAN: After the incident Zimmerman's brother Robert tweeted about the reason George carries a weapon. "Our family receives many death threats. We all continue to take our security seriously and to ensure our safety in accordance with the law."

CALLAN: Texas is a gun-friendly state. They're very, very warm to the Second Amendment and frankly if he's going to continue carrying a gun, he's picked a state where he's not likely to get in trouble for mere possession.

BERMAN: Zimmerman continues to be in the public eye. He made headlines after helping a family of four in an overturned vehicle on this road in Sanford, Florida, just days after he was found not guilty. The family involved shying away from the media spotlight.

MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN ATTORNEY: Those who want to believe it was staged, they can go right ahead and believe that.

BERMAN: As for the traffic stop in Texas, the officer let Zimmerman off easy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have any warrants. I'm going to cut you loose with a warning. OK?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: And we don't know where Zimmerman is now. We don't know why he was in Texas. And do you remember this? He did have a concealed carry permit in Florida. And that was reinstated after the trial.

PEREIRA: An unarmed Pensacola man who was shot twice by Florida deputies is speaking out. Roy Middleton says he felt like he was on the wrong end of a firing squad early Saturday morning when officers shot at him some 15 times, believing that he was a car thief. In a phone interview from his hospital room, Roy says he was merely looking for a cigarette in his car when he was ordered to put his hands in the air.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROY MIDDLETON, MISTAKEN FOR CAR THIEF: I complied with the order. And they opened fire on me. And they didn't stop until they ran out of ammunition. The whole hipbone is blown out and I have metal rods in it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEREIRA: The deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on paid leave. The Escambia County sheriff claims that Middleton lunged at the officers before they opened fire.

BERMAN: A small step toward freedom for O.J. Simpson. He was granted parole on some of the convictions that have kept him in a Nevada prison for nearly five years. Simpson, though, will have to remain behind bars for at least four more years. He's serving consecutive sentences right now for charges related to his 2008 conviction for robbing two sports memorabilia dealers at gun point in a Las Vegas hotel.

PEREIRA: The parents of a bride-to-be who was killed in a tragic boating accident in New York say they believe poor lighting on the barge caused the deadly crash. Lindsay Stewart and her fiance's best man died last week when their boat struck a barge in New York's Hudson River. Investigators suspect the driver of the boat was drunk. He has now been charged with vehicular manslaughter.

But -- Stewart's parents who will bury their daughter today believe the accident would have been avoided if that barge had been properly lit. BERMAN: So an extraordinary sight at Eliot Bay Marina in Seattle. A harbor seal giving birth right there on the dock of the bay. This is exactly what Otis Redding had in mind, by the way.

PEREIRA: Is this what it was?

BERMAN: The harbor master said the mama and her pup stayed on dry ground for a couple of hours before diving into the water. Both mama and baby seal appear to be doing just fine. So break out those cigars.

PEREIRA: How about that? I don't --

BERMAN: Giving the birth. We're celebrating the birth of a baby seal.

PEREIRA: OK.

BERMAN: We can celebrate that.

PEREIRA: Seals first. Got you. We should celebrate.

BERMAN: Coming up, Facebook stock on the rise. What the company is now doing that investors like.

You have to give cigars when --

(CROSSTALK)

PEREIRA: I know, but seal --

BERMAN: It's a celebration.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. What time is it, you ask? It's money time.

(LAUGHTER)

Christine Romans here with everything you need to know.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Futures playing higher this morning, you guys. And that's good news. A good start to August. It's a new trading month. And July brought big gains for stocks and that's great news for your portfolio, your 401(k). You need to check that, by the way.

The Federal Reserve didn't change its tune on when it will start to pull back on its historic stimulus on the economy. And that has put the focus on tomorrow's jobs report. Economists expect on average 175,000 jobs created in the month.

A blockbuster jobs report could convince the Fed to start pulling back on its support for the economy.

If you're checking your 401(k), stocks up 5 percent on the month, 18 percent so far for the year, so it is OK, it is OK to log in. I encourage you to and please rebalance. It's a smart thing to do.

Yesterday investors liked Facebook, remember that awful IPO a year ago? Fourteen months later, Facebook finally got its -- got back to its IPO price of 38 bucks yesterday. Got there briefly. Facebook's recent surge has been impressive. Up about 40 percent since it released strong earnings last week.

The company reported big improvements in its mobile business. 819 million people now use Facebook on their phones and iPads. Mobile ad sales made up about 40 percent of total ad revenue.

And brand-new this morning, you guys, troubling report from left- leaning think tank Demos about crushing student loan debt and how much it's costing you over the course of your lifetime. The typical load of debt for a household with two bachelor degrees is 53,000 grand. That leads to a lifetime loss of about four times as much, Demos says, $208,000.

How did they get to that number? Well, a third of it comes from lower home equity. Two-thirds comes out of retirement savings.

You're starting later in life. You're buying a home later in life. You're getting on track later in life. You're investing later in life because you got all these debt at the front end and that's actually hurting you long term.

Some interesting news about if you're going to take on that debt, the right degree to get as well, a new CareerBuilder survey finds a number of computer and I.T. jobs are soaring. They're up 13 percent the last decade. But look at that, the number of graduates with those degrees has declined by 11 percent.

Interesting. So the jobs on that field is up but the people seeking those jobs are down. What degrees are people earning instead? One of the fastest growing areas liberal arts and humanities. I think probably all three of us are there.

BERMAN: Yes.

PEREIRA: Yes.

ROMANS: Graduates from those fields won't necessarily have -- I don't know, the degree or the skills to land that great I.T. job.

BERMAN: Yes. We don't have skills.

ROMANS: Or that great (INAUDIBLE) job. We just know how to dazzle.

BERMAN: That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: That's what we do.

PEREIRA: Is that what we're doing? Are we dazzling?

BERMAN: That's exactly right.

ROMANS: I -- look --

BERMAN: I (INAUDIBLE) dazzle.

ROMANS: I love liberal arts and I love humanities. And I think creative thinking and innovation in America comes from those kinds of skills.

PEREIRA: Sure.

ROMANS: That you learn from abroad. Very deep liberalized background.

PEREIRA: Sure.

ROMANS: But in the science and technology, engineering, math, we're still falling short. These are the knowledge jobs that are sort of driving big parts of the economy but we're still not really producing all of the candidates for those jobs.

PEREIRA: And we have to need to make sure that --

ROMANS: Disconnect.

PEREIRA: -- our young girls are going into those fields as well in a big way, too, so.

ROMANS: I absolutely, absolutely, because those are very -- eight of the top 10 highest paying field are in engineering.

BERMAN: Hear, hear.

PEREIRA: Dazzling, huh?

BERMAN: It's dazzling.

ROMANS: Political science, Berman, no.

BERMAN: I should have studied math. I can't add but I'm here at 5:00 a.m.

PEREIRA: I want to see that dazzling thesis. That would be quite a thing.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Christine Romans -- I have a great thesis but we have (INAUDIBLE).

Christine Romans, thank you so much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

PEREIRA: We're going to take a short break here at 26 minutes after the hour.

Ariel Castro, the man who kidnapped and imprisoned those three young women inside his home for a decade, is set to speak before a judge today. New information about his horrific crimes, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: The mind of a monster. For the first time we'll hear Ariel Castro at length. The man who kept three women prisoner for nearly a decade, in just a few hours face to face with one of his former captives.

PEREIRA: Grid lock in Washington but President Obama may now have a new unlikely ally.

BERMAN: And I do. Midnight weddings since gay marriage becomes legal in two more states today.