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Ariel Castro Sentencing; Plea Deal For Castro; NSA Surveillance Meeting; Long Suspension, No Lifetime Ban; Weiner Staffer Apologizes For Obscene Rant; Simpson Gets Parole, Staying In Prison; E. Coli Threat Prompts Beef Recall; Texas Cop Stops Zimmerman for Speeding; Obama Visits Capitol Hill

Aired August 1, 2013 - 06:00   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And we've both seen those airline ads probably even try to get some of the $69 to fly across the country kind of fares, but are they too good to be true? Now, one airline may have to pay a hefty fine for advertising a flight for $66 but had no seats available at that price. We're going to tell you what you need to know to get your deal.

CHRIS COUMO, CNN ANCHOR: That is how they get you.

All right, but first this morning, all eyes today on a Cleveland courtroom where Ariel Castro will receive the sentence for holding three women captive for a decade. Castro is expected to speak at length and one of his victims may speak, as well, this as we get shocking new details of the women's lives in captivity from their own diaries. CNN's Pamela Brown is live in Cleveland. Good morning, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris. That's right. According to sources I spoke with, Michele Knight, one of Castro's victims is expected to be making an impact statement today in court. Now, of course, that could change between now and then, but that is the expectation. Meantime, just hours before Castro is sentenced, we are learning disturbing new details from prosecutors about how the women were kept in a sustained state of fear during the last ten years in captivity.


BROWN (voice-over): Prosecutors filed 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 described the abuse and dreams of someday escaping and being reunited with family.

ARIEL CASTRO, ON TRIAL FOR KIDNAPPING, RAPE AND MURDER: My addiction to pornography and sexual problem has taken a toll on 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 sexually assaulted them. He also said he had other victims and that some of them made it home but that others have not. In 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 strong 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 in nearly three months ago.

AMANDA BERRY (via telephone): 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. Prosecutors say he will apologize to his victims. Michele Knight thanking the Cleveland Police Department with this handwritten note saying just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.


BROWN: And in that note she also says life is tough, but I am tougher. Today's sentencing begins at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, expected to be a dramatic day that will last a few hours. We are going to see physical evidence, evidence taken from Castro's home. We are going to see photos and also investigators will be taking us inside Castro's home showing us what happened inside every room in his home.

But, Chris, it is a delicate balance according to sources I have spoken with. They really try to find the balance of showing enough evidence to make sure that his sentence is locked in, but also to protect these women and not further victimize them.

CUOMO: They did have a little negotiation between the parties there. Pamela Brown, thank you very much for the reporting and of course, you are going to want to see this so stay with CNN for live coverage of Castro's sentencing beginning as Pamela said 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Also developing this morning, NSA's top secret surveillance programs under fire. President Obama and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are going to hold a closed door meeting today at the White House to discuss privacy and transparency. This as another Edward Snowden bomb shell is dropped detailing just how much the intelligence agency is spying or could be spying on your internet activities.

Barbara Starr is joining us live from the Pentagon with more on this. New revelations, the question, how is the administration responding to it this time?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Kate. This meeting at the White House may be a sign that the administration is willing to change the program, but is not going to give up on it. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STARR (voice-over): The Obama administration under attack for its surveillance programs. National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander heckled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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?

SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY (D), CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Anyone asked to resign or offered to resign?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one has 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 "X-keyscore." 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, REPORTER, "GUARDIAN": And then allows the NSA analysts with no oversight, no supervision prior to their search to enter whatever they want to enter, an e-mail address, an IP address, keywords and they can then discover your internet communications.

EDWARD SNOWDEN, FORMER NSA CONTRACTOR: I sitting at my desk have authority to wire tap 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. The idea that you can sit at your desk and say I want to wire tap Jim Lewis and then peck at the keyboard for a little bit and then suddenly hear my phone calls that is silly.

STARR: Not surprisingly the NSA says, quote, "The implication that NSA's collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false."


STARR: Now in the latest what we are waiting for, Wikileaks has posted a tweet saying that Edward Snowden later today will make what it calls an important statement about the verdict in the Bradley Manning case. The NSA, Chris, Kate insists that there are checks and balances, that no analyst can simply go through the database and look at whatever they want -- Chris.

CUOMO: But you know how it is, Barbara, when people find out that you can look at what they're doing online it raises a lot of questions. Thanks for the reporting this morning. Appreciate it.

It looks like Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is going to be out of baseball but for how long. ESPN reports the Yankees slugger A-rod known as negotiating a lengthy suspension for major league baseball, but is trying to avoid an outright lifetime ban. A-rod is in trouble for alleged involvement with a Florida clinic that has been linked to performance enhancing drugs.

CNN's Joe Carter is live in Tampa, Florida. Joe, what is the latest? Good morning.

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Good morning, Chris. It appears Commissioner Bud Selig is playing hard ball with Alex Rodriguez and his representatives because this report indicates that they are being forced to negotiate a settlement. This obviously changes the tune that we heard from them earlier this week when they said they would not accept any suspension no matter its severity.

So a likely negotiation to a settlement would mean that Alex Rodriguez could miss the remainder of this season and all of next season, and aimed to return sometime in the 2015 season. Now a suspension means a loss of salary. That is just over $30 million, which would be the most costly suspension in sports history.

Now despite all of the controversy surrounding Alex Rodriguez this week, he has shown up here in Tampa and continued his workouts as normal. The team says that they will be conducting a simulated game today with Alex Rodriguez in the game and that he will rejoin a minor league team on Friday.

No word as to what city or what team at this time, but obviously, Kate and Chris, this would make for a very awkward situation if there is no definitive decision on Alex Rodriguez's situation come Friday, guys.

BOLDUAN: All right, we'll wait and see. Thanks so much, Joe. Talk to you soon.

All right, scandal just won't leave Anthony Weiner alone it seems, this communications director, Barbara Morgan, apologizing for a profane rant against the former intern. Morgan acknowledged she crossed the line tweeting a photo of money and a credit card and a swear jar. Rosa Flores is here with more. Rosa, one day, another bit of controversy.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I know and there are so many elements about the story that we can't even share because they are not fit for TV. But here's the latest today, it is a campaign without a manager, with a foul mouth communications director and a mayoral candidate that keeps stealing headlines for the wrong reasons.


FLORES (voice-over): Anthony Weiner's spokeswoman is the one garnering headlines this time instead of her boss. Barbara Morgan is apologizing for a vulgar tirade about a former campaign intern. She poked fun at the situation with this tweeted picture. The caption, not my best day yesterday, should have been better, got to pay up.

In a four-letter word rant to talking points memo, Morgan used offensive language including the slut and other expletives describing the ex-intern, Olivia Nozy, as fame hungry and threatening to sue Nozy, while saying she, quote, "sucked at her job." The scandal plague Weiner is vowing to stay in the race, but his road to political redemption hasn't been easy. Calls for him to drop out continue.

ANTHONY WEINER, NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: People are watching me. They are pressuring me, asking me tough questions and raking me over the Kohl's. This is what you have to put up when you are mayor.

FLORES: Last week his campaign manager abruptly quit after new revelations that he sent sexual pictures and texts to a woman a year after resigning from Congress for the same thing. Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, absent from the campaign trail since her unprecedented news conference asking New York voters to forgive her husband the way she has.

A Weiner campaign official tells CNN that Huma is taking an extended vacation this month from her work for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Weiner spectacle is getting big play on late night.


FLORES: You know, despite the continued calls for Weiner to withdraw from the race, he technically can't drop out. This is according to the elections board and the city of New York. You see the date of declination has passed. It was July 15th that's when candidates can actually back out of the race. There are technically three ways that he could drop out, if he moves out of state, dies or gets convicted of a felony. He can always just stop campaigning if he wishes to.

BOLDUAN: I think the saga continues, though.

FLORES: Yes, it does, definitely so.

COUMO: I think that fourth box is the most likely. Rosa, thank you very much.

All right, we are going to take you over to Egypt now for some real political problems, just one of the developing stories Michaela is following for you this morning.

PEREIRA: All right, good morning to the two of you. Good morning, everyone. Making news, Egypt's military backed government ordered police to break up supporters of the deposed President Mohamed Morsy camped out at various sit-ins in Cairo. In a televised speech, Egypt's interim interior minister said these sit-ins threatened national security and would tie up traffic. Amnesty International calls the plan a recipe for bloodshed.

Model behavior gets O.J. Simpson parole, but he will not be going free anytime soon. He was granted parole for some but not all of the crimes that have locked him up for the past five years. Simpson was convicted in 2008 of kidnapping, robbery, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and other charges for trying to seize memorabilia he claims belongs to him. He faces at least four more years in a Nevada prison. An attorney for a University of Pittsburgh research professor accused of killing his wife with a lethal dose of cyanide enters a not guilty plea on his behalf. Robert Ferrante is accused of encouraging his wife, Autumn Klein, to try to use creatine in order to boost her chances of having another baby. He then allegedly spiked that creatine with cyanide. We'll have much more on this case later on in our program.

New overnight an E. Coli threat prompts a pretty big beef recall. The National Beef Packing Company based in Kansas recalling 50,000 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated. This is the company's second recall this summer. So far no reports of anyone getting sick. That beef was sold to markets, wholesalers and food service distributors around the nation and the establishment number 208A inside the USDA mark of inspection.

You know those people who use two parking spots to keep their car from getting scratched up? You know those people. Well, co-workers decided to teach the owner of this Jag a lesson. They parked a truck right next to his Jaguar. He actually had to climb into a passenger side window to get into the car.

As for the Jag's owner, he now parks clear on the other side in another corner of the lot to preserve his car and avoid the wrath of his prankster co-workers and colleagues. It is always frustrating especially when there is no parking left and one spot is taking up by somebody going sideways.

BOLDUAN: Nothing gets motorcycles, but you know, when you have that moment, look, the spot is open.

PEREIRA: You kind of wish they had actual motorcycle parking lots more readily available.

BOLDUAN: He has to park a Bronco.

CUOMO: I drive a '93 Bronco. If a guy is driving that truck don't mess with it.

BOLDUAN: All right, let's get straight over to Indra Petersons to the weather center. Indra, hurricane watch. We seem to be on it every day. What's the latest with Gill?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Once again, Gil is strengthening. We're looking at it now as Category 1 hurricane. Overnight that progress was expected to warm to all the way to a Category 2 hurricane. Now it looks like it is going to stay a Category 1 hurricane either way 80 miles per hour steady winds, gusts as high as 100 miles per hour.

Where it goes that is always the big question out there. It is kind of interesting because typically you don't want it to strengthen, but if it goes north where the cooler waters are that actually puts it closer to the path of Hawaii. In this case we are hoping it continues in the way it has moving farther to the south where there are warmer waters, but that keeps it south of Hawaii in which case they get the good surf.

You can actually see the model path. This is the spaghetti plot here. At this point things are looking good for Hawaii. So much better progress than what we saw yesterday where it looked like it could have been another bulls eye and yet again the same area.

BOLDUAN: Hopefully avoiding a one-two punch. Thanks, Indra.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, George Zimmerman gets pulled over for speeding in Texas. And guess what? He's armed. Good idea?

BOLDUAN: And Russia's new antigay laws could have a chilling effect on 2014 Winter Olympics. Some athletes and fans maybe subject to arrest. We'll have more, next.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody.

Well, sometimes, fact is stranger than fiction. George Zimmerman is in another situation with police, this time a routine traffic stop. Making it more interesting, the stop for speeding happens in Texas and he had a gun in the glove box.

John Berman is here with more details.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This happened Sunday afternoon in Texas. Really fascinating four-minute exchange with an officer. When he learned George Zimmerman's name, he said, what a coincidence. This is all on dashcam video.


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


POLICE OFFICER: Nowhere in particular? Why do you say that?

The reason for your stop is for your speed, OK? Why don't you slow down a little bit for me?

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

POLICE OFFICER: Just take it easy, go ahead, and shut your glove compartment, and don't play with your firearm, OK?

BERMAN: After the incident Zimmerman's brother 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."

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Texas is a gun friendly state. They are very, very warm to the Second Amendment. And, frankly, if he is going to continue carrying a gun, he has picked a state where he is 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 spot light.

MARK O'MARA, ZIMMERMAN DEFENSE 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.

POLICE OFFICER: You don't have any warrants. Cut you loose with a warning, OK?


BERMAN: Just a warning. Now, we do not know where Zimmerman is now. We also don't know why he was in Texas, if he is still there. Remember this, though, Zimmerman did have a concealed carry permit in Florida which was reinstated just after the trial.

BOLDUAN: There was a lot of conversation just after the trial, when he was going to get the weapon back and what he was going to do. Yes.

All right. John, thanks so much.

Next up on NEW DAY, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in a fierce war of words. And it seems nobody is backing. So, is this a preview of 2016?

CUOMO: And how about a little animal action? Meet Belle, the baby elephant. She's the new star attraction at the Fort Worth zoo. We're going to tell you about her straight ahead. Look at here. Ah, a little big for the pool, time to up size.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. It is Thursday, August 1st. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.

We're here with news anchor, Michaela Pereira.


BOLDUAN: Good morning.

Coming up, no love from Russia for gay athletes and fans who now might want to stay home from the 2014 Winter Olympics. We got a lot more on that ahead.

CUOMO: And a little political trouble. How about -- President Obama is fighting with the Republicans. But now, he's going to get testy with a member of his own party? We're going to look at possible tension on the Hill in our political gut check.

PEREIRA: All right. We are going to start with some headlines right now.

A pretty intense day expected because it's sentencing day for Ariel Castro. The Ohio man who kept three women prisoner in his home for about a decade is expected to give a long personal statement about his sentencing hearing, at a sentencing hearing. So, will Michele Knight -- she is going to come forward. She is, of course, one of his victims. Castro pleaded guilty last week to more than 900 counts, including murder and kidnapping in a deal that spared him a possible death sentence.

A police chief punished after he shot guns and a few rounds of profanities. Mark Kessler, the police chief there, posted videos of himself firing different weapons and cursing at people who disagreed with his gun law views. The town council in Gilberton, Pennsylvania, has now suspended Kessler for 30 days without pay. They say he used town property without permission. Kessler for his part says he has no regrets.

Meanwhile, police in Springfield, Virginia, going door to door this morning, looking for the man who took part in a violent mob attack Monday night. I want to show you the video here from a neighbor's surveillance camera. Up to 50 teens at a nearby party spill on to this man's front yard.

A fight breaks out. You can see several people punching and kicking one young man. That young man was able to walk away from the incident without serious injury, but it is not clear what exactly started that fight.

A soldier is in critical condition, 11 others are stable following a lightning strike at Fort Carson in Colorado. "The Colorado Springs Gazette" is reporting, those soldiers were part of a group of about 350 involved in a training exercise Wednesday. They were running for cover when the storm hit. Military spokesman told the newspaper none of the injured soldiers took a direct hit.

In San Diego, it would appear that women are coming out of the woodwork, accusing Mayor Bob Filner of repeated sexual harassment. But now, his lawyer says it's all the city's fault, suggesting the mayor never received any sexual harassment training, which he claims is against the law.

Filner wants San Diego taxpayer to pay his legal fees in a lawsuit that one of the women has filed against him. But the San Diego City Council, for its part, is refusing.

An update now for you on 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan and her long, long road to recovery. Look at this. New video posted to mom's Facebook page shows her standing up on Tuesday. That is the first time she has stood in some 10 months, another sign of progress for little Sarah, who has been fighting end-stage cystic fibrosis. She was moved to a different hospital unit which should be her last stop before she heads home. You recall her parents fought successfully to get her on a waiting list for adult lungs.

Great to see that progress being made, the little steps. You know, the smiles, so many say --

CUOMO: Good for them. We're going to keep watching that.


CUOMO: Thanks.

PEREIRA: You got it.

BOLDUAN: All right. Now, it's time for our political gut check, everyone -- all the stories you need to know coming out of Washington and around the country.

First up this morning, the president rude to members of his own party? That's what some Democrats are saying after a meeting with the president on Capitol Hill yesterday.

CNN's chief national correspondent John King is here with more on this.

So, John, the president goes to Capitol Hill to meet with House and Senate Democrats. The point was to talk strategy ahead of the August recess, but the headline coming out had nothing to do with it. The headline was: tension, he is rude, he's dismissive to members of his own party.

So, what happened to the charm offensive?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, you know this from your days on the Hill. You don't have to scratch very deep among Democrats to get stories of complaints about the White House. The president doesn't return the calls. His staff doesn't recall our calls. We don't get tours. We don't get invited to the parties.

So, some of it's kind of petty. But because there's so much of it, there is clearly something there. Democrats don't think the president tends to garden enough, if you will.

So, he goes up with this meeting. And, you're right. What does he want to talk about? You're going home for the August recess, plug the health care plan, plug our views on student loans, plug our views on spending and taxes, keep the party unified.

And he gets asked by a Democratic congressman from New York, well, I'm trying to get an energy loan for a constituent in my direct that I can't get it through the process. And the president -- the lawmaker said, I should probably ask the staff, and the president snapped back, yes, you should ask the staff.

And, you know, I think we can all agree, that is probably a staff question. But again, beneath the surface, it's just simmering tensions in the president's party. Is it a big deal? No. But is it a sign that five years in, the president hasn't figured out a way to keep his own party happy sometimes? Yes.

BOLDUAN: And talk about a fissure in another party, in the Republican Party, some of the kind of war of words between Chris Christie and Rand Paul. It seems to just be continuing. I guess they were attempting a ceasefire, if you will, yesterday.