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Diplomatic Threat?; 14-Year-Old Boy Shot by Police; San Diego Mayor Begins Two Weeks of Therapy; Zoraida Sambolin Returns to "Early Start"; Football Season Kicks Off

Aired August 5, 2013 - 05:30   ET



SAMBOLIN: Al Qaeda terror threat shutting down 19 American embassies and consulates. What we now know about the terror plot.

BERMAN: Storms pummeling the Midwest, flooding streets. How much more rain they could get today.

SAMBOLIN: They need boats there.

And he hasn't made it to preschool, yet but this 4-year-old has been reelected mayor of a Minnesota town.

BERMAN: What scandals await him.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: What a cutie pie? Was he a cutie pie?

BERMAN: Very cute.

SAMBOLIN: I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Thirty minutes past the hour.

BERMAN: Our top story this morning, the security concerns at U.S. diplomatic posts around the world. Nearly two dozen embassies and consulates are close this morning after an intercepted message between senior al Qaeda operatives set off red flags. Among the embassies close this morning, the post in Abu Dhabi. That is where we find John Defterios live this morning. John, what's the latest?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, this was supposed to be a 24-hour closure in Abu Dhabi and the other 22 embassies and consulates. We reduced the number to 19, but one day became six. Now, to make this a little bit clearer, we have the end of Ramadan holiday, the eid al-fitr holiday, which is going to start on Wednesday.

So this is basically what we're seeing on Monday and Tuesday, a bridge to that holiday is going back to the strategy that the State Department didn't want to get caught flat footed as it did in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012. So much more cautious approach. Let's give you a sense of the landscape here in Abu Dhabi. You get a real idea of what we're looking at here in terms of the U.S. embassy. It's the tall, slanted building here on the corner of your screen as we take a wide shot. It stands out in that diplomatic quarter, which is just over a mile away from our Abu Dhabi operation here. Now, normally, on the new circumstances, we can't even go into that diplomatic quarter with a still or video camera. That's how tight security normally is in the UAE.

It's also worth remembering, about 300 miles away from Iran, across the Straits of Hormuz. So security is part of our normal lives here. Now, the fact that the U.S. decided to clamp down in the UAE gives a sense of how worried they are about the traffic and the noise we're hearing from Yemen. After all, it's only an hour flight into that country from here in Abu Dhabi or Dubai -- John.

BERMAN: Now, give me a sense of a level of nerves there right now. Any surprise on the ground that these closures were extended from, as you said, one to six days so suddenly?

DEFTERIOS: Well, to be candid, the thing that we're dealing with right now is kind of the hot desert winds. And at midday, you know, about 45 degrees. It is almost life as normal here. Emirates and the other Muslims that are living here in the country don't wake up until the afternoon because they're staying up so late at night for that last meal before they go for the long day period without having drinking water or any sort of liquids and having a meal.

So things don't really start to pick up here until the afternoon. So you don't see any extra security. But if you go back to the embassy right now, you get a real sense of what's going on. There's only a handful of marines guarding that facility and there's nobody inside. But I think the State Department, John, is starting to connect the dots here. Over the last two weeks, we've had major outbreaks in the jails of Pakistan, Iraq and Libya.

Nearly 2,000 militants with the help of al Qaeda have come out of jail. And the traffic noise has gone up as a result. So not surprisingly whether it's here in the UAE or the other countries that are still on the list, there's a very high level of alert even though you don't see it on the street here as the Muslims get ready to celebrate the end of Ramadan, John.

BERMAN: That's right. There's a number of prison breaks all across the Muslim world and there is some concern they could be --

DEFTERIOS: It's incredible, actually.

BERMAN: John Defterios in Abu Dhabi for us this morning, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-three minutes past the hour.

Turning now to a tragic incident right here in New York. A 14-year- old boy is dead, shot by police after they say he wouldn't drop his gun. This surveillance video shows what happened. Early Sunday morning, this is in the Bronx, officials say the two officers saw the teen chasing someone with a gun in his hand. When he wouldn't drop it, one of the officers fired his weapon, hitting the teen in the jaw.


RAY KELLY, NYPD COMMISSIONER: I don't see what the officers could have done any differently. Someone is shooting at someone else, running down the street with a gun. They tell him, stop, drop the gun, words to that effect. A shot is fired on that street. I mean, I think they did what we would expect officers of any experience level to do.


SAMBOLIN: Police are still trying to identify the other man and an investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

BERMAN: An autopsy scheduled today for Ohio death row inmate, Billy Slagel (ph) who apparently took his own life just days before he was to face lethal injection. The 44-year-old was found hanged in his cell early Sunday morning at a prison near Columbus. Officials saw he was alone. No other inmates were involved. Slagel was sentenced to death in 1988 for the stabbing death of a Cleveland neighbor.

SAMBOLIN: Evacuations in Louisiana after a train derailed. This is near Baton Rouge. It was carrying oil and corrosive chemicals. Authorities say 26 cars on the 76 car train left the tracks. There haven't been any injuries reported, but about 50 homes near that sight have been evacuated. They say as a precaution.

BERMAN: Heavy rain swamping parts of Kansas. This is what it looked like in Hutchinson near Wichita upward of seven inches of rain fell in some areas Sunday morning, like in the morning, seven inches, turning the treat streets into those near rivers right there. This must be good, actually, for the drought that's been hitting that region, but not so good for getting around. And guess what? More rain in the forecast for that part of the country.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, those poor folks.

BERMAN: Indra Petersons is here to give us the uplifting news of the flood to the rain.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Wait a minute here. (INAUDIBLE) to me for the horrible news again. And it's not just today they're going to be looking at more rain. There is rain in the forecast throughout the week. There you go. You can see what fell in 24 hours there. Yes. almost seven inches of rain in Hutchinson. Look at the radar. Again, we're looking forward today in the forecast here.

More rain in the area from training thunderstorms. That's like this slow moving thunderstorms. Almost like that rain cloud above your house which is will not go away. So unfortunately, more rain in the forecast today. The flood threat remains. And we're going to be looking at rain staying in the forecast even as I look all the way ahead toward the weekend in the area.

So definitely something we'll have to be monitoring. Of course, that flood threat only expected to get higher and higher with each day. As far as the rain, yes, more rain again in the southeast today. Also, we're going to be looking at some severe weather right around this low. So we're going to be talking about pretty much anywhere from Montana, really kind of stretching again right down through Kansas.

We'll be looking even at the threat of some isolated tornadoes for the most part. Bigger thunderstorms and of course some of the stronger winds out there. Something will be unique is August, let's look at the outlook for the month, what we're expecting. Southeast, no surprises, above normal rainfall still in the forecast and above normal temperatures out in the west. So we know it's been a little bit cooler out to the northeast and Midwest, but we like that part, though. I will take it.

SAMBOLIN: I will take it, too.

BERMAN: -- some parts of the northeast tonight and tomorrow night.

PETERSONS: You know, take the good part.

SAMBOLIN: Outrageous, isn't it?

BERMAN: Outrageous.


BERMAN: All right. Speaking of outrageous, 37 minutes after the hour, San Diego mayor Bob Filner begins two weeks of intensive therapy today as he faces a sexual harassment lawsuit and calls for his resignation. Bob Filner's accusers and some voters and one-time supporters are skeptical that two weeks will undo years of admitted inappropriate behavior toward women. Filner denies his actions constitute sexual harassment. Ten women, 10 have now come forward, accusing Filner of unwanted advances.

SAMBOLIN: New York mayoral hopeful, Anthony Weiner, expected to release his new policy book today in an effort to deflect attention from his latest sexting scandal. During an Ecuadorian pride march in Queens on Sunday, Weiner dressed in the colors of the country's flag and said he's focusing on ideas and on the middle class. Two of his Democratic rivals also walked in that parade as did at least one Republican.

BERMAN: So one young politician sail (ph) to reelection in a small Minnesota town, and I hope he's not paying attention to other political stuff. Bobby Tuffs (ph) is only four. He's not even in preschool, yet, but he was just chosen for a second term as the mayor. This has no city government there.

The population is about two dozen people. The supposed mayor is actually ceremonial. He has no --


(LAUGHTER) BERMAN: You'll be shocked to learn, except for fiscal policy, apparently. It is a pay to play election there. Each vote costs a dollar. They put all the ballots in a bin, and one name is chosen. The money that they raised there goes towards organizing annual food festival. Our congratulations to the second term mayor of that Minnesota town.

SAMBOLIN: And to celebrate, everybody gets a boat load of sugar, as you were watching there, and balloons.

BERMAN: We'll be right back.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. The calendar says August, but it feels like Christmas here on the EARLY START set.


BERMAN: That is because Zoraida Sambolin is back. We are so happy to have you. And let me show people what your office looked like this morning when you came back here.

SAMBOLIN: This really incredible, folks. Take a look at this.

Isn't that sweet?

BERMAN: It turns out everyone here really likes you a lot.

SAMBOLIN: I love you all for doing this for me. I walked in this morning, I couldn't even get into my office. I just -- snapped picture after picture after picture. It made me feel so loved. You all have made me feel so loved. And I really appreciate it. As you all know, John, you know, i was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy in May.

I was blessed with really terrific doctors in Chicago, the incredible support of my family, my family here at CNN, you at home as well, thank you. But you know, the hardest part wasn't the treatment. It was figuring out a way to say to two of the most important people in my life what was happening.


SAMBOLIN: We wanted to get that.

(voice-over): The first thought I had when I was diagnosed with cancer was this. How will I tell my kids? I have two. Nikko is 14 and Sofia is 10.

(on-camera): What do you remember about how I told you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would ask me what I thought of when I heard breast cancer and if I felt --

SAMBOLIN: You said I think of a fight. (voice-over): Once he knew, my son became one of the 2.85 million U.S. children sharing their parent's fight against cancer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what could you do to change that?

SAMBOLIN: At Gilda's Club, which provides support to people coping with cancer, they urge kids to seek strength from each other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Children and adults have very different life experiences. So part of the goal of educating kids about what cancer is is helping alleviate any of that anxiety or fear when they hear that word.

SAMBOLIN: Nikko reached out to his friends, Kyle and Miles, to find strength.

(on-camera) What kind of advice were you giving him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay strong and know that everything is going to be OK, look to god and just reach out to me if he needed anything, if he needed any support.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you ever need anything, I'm there for you. And, yes, just stay strong.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Nikko worried my fiance, Kenny, would walk away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was tough for me to think about was Kenny's reaction. Can he really stuck by your side because of your entire situation?

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): That is a good man, right? You are two of the strongest men I know.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): I need their strength. Nikko's was the last familiar face I saw before surgery and the first when I came out. I was used to caring for my kids, not the other way around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zoraida is a rock, is a matriarch of this family. And to think that you may lose her, that's a very debilitating thought at time.

SAMBOLIN: Cancer has caused a role reversal. Even as he's there for me, I can't always be there for him. I missed his graduation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wanted to be here but she couldn't. Even though I didn't really want her flying after the operation. But it's still good.


SAMBOLIN: But I am getting better. And it helps that we're in this fight together.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SAMBOLIN (on-camera): I was able to be there via Skype at the graduation even though I couldn't physically be there. I'm great. I'm doing really well. My prognosis is excellent. But going back to that moment in time when I had to talk to Nikko about telling him was really difficult and complicated. I was surprised how much, you know? But you never know what your children are capable of.

BERMAN: Those are a couple of amazing kids. They must have one fantastic mother. That's all I can say.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you. Thank you.

BERMAN: All right. Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY" after this -- here. What's up, guys?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": We cannot begin to tell you what's going on with our show before we say welcome back, you beautiful woman. We're so excited to have you back. This is a fabulous Monday.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you. I'm really happy to be back. I appreciate it. You both hugged and kissed me this morning. So thank you for that.

BOLDUAN: Of course.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Yes. And yet, you're still happy to be back, which is good.


CUOMO: I think that, you know, have to give yourself a pat on the back not just because of what you lived through, because I'm sure you know, many have done the same. But letting people know what it's like to deal with the kids and the family and the dynamic that goes around with the survivor is really important for people to understand. So thank you for sharing that story with everybody.

SAMBOLIN: Any time. You are welcome. My pleasure.

CUOMO: It's a meaningful stuff. It couldn't be more poignant. Now, on the news side for us, we're going to obviously look at what you've been hearing about this morning. What is behind the threat that is causing the close of embassies and consulates across North Africa and the Middle East. What exactly do we know? What could happen next? We'll take you through it.

BOLDUAN: And it could be a good day for Major League Baseball. This could be the day. It's expected that the Major League Baseball will suspend Yankee star, Alex Rodriguez. But it could be messy. It's not going to be straightforward because he could appeal. He's planning to appeal some would say.

And then the big question is, what is the penalty that he could be getting? What does it mean for his future? What does it mean for the future of baseball? It's going to be a big day regardless.

CUOMO: It's going to be big for him and it's going to be symbolic for baseball.


CUOMO: No doubt about it. Also, we have a star on the show today other than Kate Bolduan.


CUOMO: The star of the new show, the new movie "Elysium". You know who he is. Matt Damon in shape for the movie. He and Kate are going to go at it about what this movie is all about and why he did it in the first place.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Why he did it. And it also taking a look -- he's taking some chances. He's established, but he's taking some risks right now in his career and his life. So we're going to talk with that, too.

CUOMO: Good stuff. That's what you have.

BERMAN: All right. Thanks, guys, so much.

Coming up here, 48 minutes after the hour, a Heisman trophy winner under investigation this morning accused of charging a five-figure fee for his autograph. Johnny Football could be in some trouble.


BERMAN: Big day in baseball. This could be the day that A-Rod and the rest of the players involved in a biogenesis drug scandal learn their faith. Andy Scholes with us now with the "Bleacher Report." What's going to happen today, Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes. Good morning, guys. And welcome back, Zoraida. I want to start off by saying that, first of all. You know, two sources tell CNN that today is probably the day we're going to finally learn what A-Rod's suspension is going to be. According to report, the Yankee slugger will avoid a lifetime ban and then receive a 214 game suspension for violating the league's drug policy.

Now, even though that sounds bad, this is a win for A-Rod, because if he's suspended only on to the league's drug policy, he will get to continue playing while he appeals the ruling. Now, appeal's process could last more than a month. The Yankees play in Chicago tonight and manager, Joe Girardi, said he is going to pencil A-Rod into the lineup.


JOE GIRARDI, YANKEES MANAGER: He's in there. I'm going to play him. That's the latest situation. As I've said, you'll probably hear about everything before I will.


SCHOLES: All right. Well, there's more trouble brewing for Johnny Football. According to ESPN, the reigning Heisman trophy winner is being investigated by the NCAA for being paid to sign autographs. Manziel reportedly signed hundreds of photos and helmets that were deemed real by autograph authentication companies. And if Manziel accepted money or gifts, both, he and the Aggies could face punishment.

And if found violation of NCAA rules, Manziel should be ruled ineligible for the entire 2013 season. The Aggies begin practicing for the season later today.

Well, the football season officially kicked off last night. Cowboys and Dolphins hitting the field in the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. Many of the starters for both teams sitting this one out and giving the young guys playing time to make good impression. And the Cowboys DeVonte Hollomantaking advantage of the extra playing time.

He is the play of the game, taking an interception 75 yards for the touchdown. Cowboys today win the preseason opener, 24-20. Guys, I couldn't say enough, it's great to have football back.

BERMAN: We don't believe you. Zoraida and I are in denial.


BERMAN: We are not ready for the fall, but thank you, Andy. Really appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: We'll be right back.


BERMAN: We've been saying all morning how excited we are to have Zoraida Sambolin back here on EARLY START.

SAMBOLIN: -- got me.

BERMAN: The real reason is because we can get food here --


BERMAN: -- because we get to eat cake. It says "Welcome back."

SAMBOLIN: You know what I said, I'm about to announce my retirement today.


SAMBOLIN: Can I get a party and more food?

BERMAN: You only get this once.

SAMBOLIN: If you guys only saw what they did to my office this morning, it's so sweet. I tweeted out a picture. I don't know if we have them, but they decorated the entire office. There are balloons everywhere. I can barely get in to the office. Thank you very much.

BERMAN: Is it weird being back?

SAMBOLIN: It's fabulous being back.

BERMAN: Feel comfortable?

SAMBOLIN: Yes, yes. It feels great. It feels great. I have one more time that I have to go out. I have one more surgery left, but that's very, very short and very fast, and I'll be right back after that. That was my office. There are balloons everywhere, flowers everywhere. This is the staff here. You guys have been amazing. So you know?


BERMAN: Get that away from me. You will never get cake again if you put that on my face. We are happy to have you back.



SAMBOLIN: It's incredible. So thank you. Thank you for all the love and support, the folks at home also, you've been amazing to me. Without you, I don't think I could have gotten through this, you know? I got a ton of e-mails. I read Facebook religiously. I tweeted religiously with folks.

And a lot of women who also, you know, are fighting breast cancer supported me in ways that very personal ways with personal stories and helped me through the process. So thank you for that as well. It's been incredible. Yes. A lot of -- I can't really -- you should taste this. It's really good.

BERMAN: Go ahead.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my God!

BERMAN: That's how happy I am to have you back.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my gosh!


BERMAN: That is all for EARLY START, everyone. It's time for "NEW DAY."

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Berman.


BOLDUAN: That is real love right there. That is real love.

CUOMO: Also appropriate depiction of John Berman as the brownnoser that we all know him to be.


BOLDUAN: By the way, that was not planned. That's how smooth this is.

CUOMO: That felt good. And Zoraida, you know all your friends who've beaten cancer, they're survivors, they're telling you not to eat the cake.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, I know. Sugar is very bad. I typically wouldn't, but this frosting is really good. Just a little bit. See, just that bit.

BOLDUAN: Everything in moderation, including putting frosting on Berman's nose.

CUOMO: I just Googled that good health and the superstition of putting frosting on the face of a man is direct connection. So just keep wiping it all over --


CUOMO: It's great to have you back.

BOLDUAN: Bring the cake on upstairs.



CUOMO: All right. It's just about the top of the hour. You know what that means here on "NEW DAY," time for the top news.