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Global Terror Alert; Diplomatic Posts Shuttered; "One Guy Bent on Doing Evil"; Baseball to Suspend A-Rod; Homes Evacuated After Train Derails; Muslim Brotherhood Trials; Snowboarder's Body Found; Arkansas Convict Still on the Run

Aired August 5, 2013 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank God. The administration is doing this right.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Global alert. New details on what's called the strongest chance of attack since 9/11. The U.S. shutting down embassies across the Middle East and north Africa. What happens next?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hit and run. A man plows into a crowd of tourists in Los Angeles allegedly on purpose. One woman is dead. The man is in custody. But why did he do it?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All in the family. The brazen jail break caught on tape, a dangerous fugitive now on the run. Police arrest who they believe is his accomplice, his mom.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

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


CUOMO: Good morning, everybody. It's Monday, but don't be too happy about it, but welcome to NEW DAY. It's August 5th, 6:00 in the East. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're here with news anchor, Michaela Pereira. And we have a lot coming up this Monday, including the heated war between two media giants. Time Warner Cable has now pulled CBS from its lineup. If you're one of the cable companies millions of subscribers and you tried to watch "60 Minutes" last night, well, you were out of luck.

The dispute could drag on for weeks, unfortunately, and who wins this battle could very likely impact everyone's cable.

CUOMO: Plus, could this be the day that Alex Rodriguez gets suspended from the game of baseball. An announcement is expected this afternoon, big questions, why him, how long, and who's next? We'll have answers for you. PEREIRA: And there is some debate raging. Fans of "Jeopardy" are upset. Should this 12-year-old have lost final "Jeopardy" because of an errant t? He and his family are angry with Alex Trebec and the show producers. But should he have been given credit despite a misspelling? It's the big question. Talk about it coming up.

BOLDUAN: All right, we'll talk about that, but up first, talk about a big headline this week. Global terror alert, the State Department taking extreme measures extending the closures of 19 U.S. embassies and consulates in Africa and the Middle East through Saturday, all because of intercepted al Qaeda messages, chatter, one lawmaker calls the most specific and credible threat the U.S. has faced since 9/11.

Our Barbara Starr has been tracking the developments and she's live with us from the Pentagon this morning. Good morning, Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. Well, it all began over the weekend with 22 embassies and consulates being closed. The details of what is behind all of this are chilling.


STARR (voice-over): The CIA and the National Security Agency had been secretly monitoring intelligence tips for weeks. There were indications of a possible terrorist attack in Yemen, a strong hold of one of al Qaeda's deadliest affiliates. Alarm bells went off across Washington when a crucial message was intercepted, involving communications in the west several days among senior al Qaeda operatives.

REP. PETER KING (R-NY), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: This is your wake-up call. Al Qaeda is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11.

STARR: Final planning for an attack may be complete. Dozens of U.S. intelligence analysts are urgently scouring databases, telephone intercepts and web sites for information. The U.S. response is going beyond a worldwide travel warning and closing embassies across the Middle East and North Africa. After meeting with commanders, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered U.S. forces in Spain and Italy on to a higher state of alert, 1,500 Marines on board, three navy warships in the Red Sea will now remain off the coast of Yemen ready to react.

CNN has agreed to an administration official's request to withhold details of the intercept that helped trigger the response because the information is so sensitive. But the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee confirms it's the controversial NSA electronic surveillance program that picked up the alarming terrorist chatter.

SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R-GA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: What we have heard is some specifics on what's intended to be done and some individuals who are making plans such as we saw before 9/11.


STARR: In the latest we've learned that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called Secretary of State John Kerry late last night to discuss the latest information about the threat -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Barbara, we have some new information we want to pack here. We want to get past the headlines, figure out what this could mean at home and abroad. Joining us now is Fran Townsend. She is CNN's national security analyst and a member of the CIA External Advisory Board.

Good morning, Fran, always great to have you here on NEW DAY. Let's talk about the news. Just came across the wires, an attack on a passenger train, the economy car, going from Lahor in Pakistan, like a cultural capital to Karachi, the industrial capital, is this relevant?

FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, we don't know yet, but for sure, we know that al Qaeda has traditionally targeted transportation as one of their aims. Remember the planes on 9/11. There's been a Madrid train bombing and bus bombings in London in the past. And so it's sort of -- it feels like it may be related, but we're going to have to wait to get more out of the officials in Pakistan.

CUOMO: Now we understand why you want to be careful about what you tell us about the knowledge of the threat so that the plan can't change, but we keep talking about abroad. We're going to through it on the map here in just a second. But at home, is there any risk at home?

TOWNSEND: Well, we haven't heard. U.S. officials have not told us there's a threat at home, but, of course, they briefed local police departments like the NYPD here in New York, they're on high alert. So I think what you're going to see -- you may see a greater presence because police and law enforcement will be on the lookout here at home just in case.

CUOMO: OK, so the intel we have so far really goes to it being abroad?

TOWNSEND: That's right.

CUOMO: So let's take a look. We're looking at the region here. You have Africa. You have the Middle East that we're looking at. OK, so the first thing that we want to figure out is al Qaeda. That's what we believe the origin of the strength is.

TOWNSEND: That's right.

CUOMO: As we show where al Qaeda is strong, al Qaeda, organization or more of a brand now where people can just identify and affiliate randomly for the purpose of a single attack?

TOWNSEND: Well, more affiliates, but let's remember, here's Yemen, and the threat is emanating out of Yemen. We've seen them go into North Africa. We've seen them throughout this region here in the Arabian Peninsula and here along the coast of Africa. And so what they do is you see al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula branching out and influencing. And just recently Zawahiri issued a video statement naming his numbers as operational chief, the guy who is the ahead of this unit, which is where the threat is emanating from, which is significant.

CUOMO: Now Yemen is good because it's central for them and also as we remember historically, the U.S.'s coal which started precursor to 9/11 was right there.

TOWNSEND: That's exactly right.

CUOMO: So this has been a known locust for them and that's why as we target the embassies -- give me that back -- the embassies and consulates that we're looking to protect go in these areas of strength as well, right?

TOWNSEND: That's right.

COUMO: We're not hiding it from you. So explain why this is where we're looking at these 19 or so embassies and consulates.

TOWNSEND: Sure, well, because, as I mentioned, you've got Yemen, right and this is where they are centered from. We've also, by the way, Chris, seen increased drone strikes in Yemen against targets. You have to assume that that's again also related because what they are doing is trying to disrupt this plot. That explains why you close these embassies throughout the sphere of al Qaeda influence. So that what you do is take targets away and you buy operational time to try and disrupt it or capture those who are most responsible.

CUOMO: And that is good. That allows us to end on the biggest question. That when we see what is defensive action, is that a function of what we know or what we don't know? You know, why are we being just defensive not offensive?

TOWNSEND: Well, you have to presume we are being offensive, you just don't see it and they don't talk about it because they are trying to capture these people and disrupt the operation. Look, they're doing exactly the right thing. All these things dots so it's the Zawahiri video, it's the appointment of the number two, it's the drone strikes, it's the intelligence that they've gathered. All those things are the dots pre-9/11 we didn't put together and they're putting together and taking defensive action.

CUOMO: And at the same time that we hear about this, there's offensive things going on as well to remove the threat.

TOWNSEND: Absolutely.

CUOMO: Fran Townsend, thank you very much as always -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Chris, thanks. Let's go straight to California where a man who might have been living in his car is in custody this morning accused of using his Dodge as a deadly weapon. Surveillance video captures part of the chaos. Take a look. This happened in Venice, California. An Italian woman on her honeymoon was killed in this accident and 11 others were hurt when the car raced down boardwalk. You see what happens there.

CNN's Paul Vercammen is live in Los Angeles with more on this horrific tragedy -- Paul.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, this could not have happened at a worst time. We're talking about a summer Saturday on the Venice boardwalk when it is jammed with both tourists and locals out for a sunset stroll.


VERCAMMEN (voice-over): Surveillance video taken from a nearby restaurant shows the suspect's car plowing into people on the crowded Venice boardwalk and swerving around barriers.

DAVE BLACKBURN, SANTA MONICA: He just drove and took that left turn down the center of the boardwalk and just started driving. Bodies were scattering and bodies were flying in the air and people were screaming and it was absolute mayhem.

VERCAMMEN: A second camera angle shows the driver getting out of his car, apparently casing the popular boardwalk. He gets back into the sedan and floors it.

LANDON BLACKBURN, EYEWITNESS: He had to have pressed his foot to the gas, you know, pedal to the metal because the tires started screeching. He was looking for blood. He -- that guy was -- that guy, his potential was to kill people.

VERCAMMEN: An Italian tourist on her honeymoon was killed and 11 others injured in a scene a quarter mile long. The suspect is 38- year-old Nathan Campbell of Los Angeles. Just two hours after this horrifying hit and run, Campbell surrendered to police in neighboring Santa Monica. Authorities say he told them, I think you're looking for me.

The woman killed is Alice Gropioni, 32 years old from Bellona, Italy. The Italian consulate says she and her husband were married July 20th and that the new groom was by her side at the time of the accident and tried to pull his wife away from the speeding car. If there is a motive in this carnage, police aren't saying right now. But they did say that Campbell was bent on evil.


VERCAMMEN: And the suspect's still in custody on a $1 million bail -- Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you very much, Paul. Appreciate that.

Let's move on to baseball news now. The doping crackdown is about to fall squarely on one of the biggest names in the sport. Major League Baseball is expected to suspend Yankee third base man, Alex Rodriguez today, a ban that could last through the end of 2014. But it's clear A-Rod won't go down without a fight. On Friday, he hinted that his own team was trying to void his contract. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEX RODRIGUEZ, PROFESSINAL BASEBALL PLAYER: When all this stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to, you know, cancel your contract and stuff like that, I think that's concerning for me, it's concerning for the president and I think it should be concerning for the future players, as well.


CUOMO: All right, let's bring in CNN's Rachel Nichols joining us with the latest on this. So we're hearing today could be the day. What are we thinking will unfold?

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, no one needs soap operas with Alex Rodriguez around, right. When we last left your story on Friday, they were trying to arrange a settlement with Major League Baseball, right? Everybody play nice, he won't appeal. Well, you just heard Alex's comments and reportedly over the weekend, the baseball commissioner was so upset by that, he said forget it. On Monday, he gets what he gets. We are expecting a lengthy suspension today. We are expecting Alex to appeal and we're expecting this to get very ugly.

CUOMO: But not lifetime, right?

NICHOLS: There was some thought that they would try to give him a lifetime ban and there's still a question, are they going to try to suspend him under what they call the special powers of the commissioner. That's the more dramatic route. It would prevent him from playing tonight in Chicago. But the down side of that for baseball is that they could file an injunction and then this gets messy in the court system.

The safer route for them to go tonight is to suspend him under the regular drug policy. You would likely see him in Chicago tonight, but then the case goes to a special arbitrator baseball is familiar with. The suspension is more likely to be upheld. Either way, soap opera.

CUOMO: There's a lot of chatter why A-Rod? Is he the worst? How much is about the substance, how much about the symbolism?

NICHOLS: Well, you heard him say he thinks he was targeted. What baseball will tell you is this guy was more deeply involved in this Miami clinic than anybody else and they think that he actively tried to impede their investigation. They think that he tried to buy up documents that could be used against him and tried to get them for himself to keep them out of the hands of baseball investigators. So they want to throw the book at him for what they think is multiple offenses.

CUOMO: Clear to say though still not -- this is not the end. This is still the beginning of this process?

NICHOLS: This is now the beginning of this process. This has been lead up to what we're about to see from here on out and it's going to be fireworks tonight in Chicago.

BOLDUAN: It's been messy. I can only imagine what it will be like after this suspension or whatever expecting could be announced. All right, Rachel, thanks so much. Great to see you.

There's a lot of news developing at this hour obviously so let's get straight to Michaela for the latest.

PEREIRA: All right, good morning to the two of you. Good morning to you at home. Making news, the threat of potentially deadly toxic chemicals forcing the evacuation of about 100 homes in Central Louisiana. Sodium hydroxide which could be deadly if inhaled or touched reportedly leaking from a train car that derailed. A second car is leaking lubricant oil. The good news here the leaks have been contained and the amounts were reportedly small. A total of 20 Union Pacific train cars jumped those tracks.

The Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, his deputy and another key Muslim Brotherhood figure will go on trial in Cairo later this month for the allegedly inciting members to kill writers in the lead up to Mohamed Morsy's ouster. The pending prosecutions are a new blow to the Brotherhood, which emerged as the country's strongest political movement after President Hosni Mubarak was forced out.

The search for a 25-year-old snowboarder from Colorado, search crews discovering the body of Collin Bekowsky under 10 feet of ice and snow in Oregon's Mount Hood. Twelve people using chainsaws moved tons of debris to finally locate his body. He was snowboarding with five friends Saturday when an ice tunnel collapsed crushing him beneath a block of ice the size of a school bus.

This frightening video tells the tale, firefighters in Boise, Idaho, very, very lucky to be alive this morning. They were battling a three-alarm blaze last Thursday night when a captain realized the burning house was seconds from collapsing, radioed the warning and those firefighters got away just in time. Only minor injuries were reported. We'll have more for you on this story later in our broadcast.

A 4-year-old has been re-elected mayor of Dorset, Minnesota. We've been following this story on CNN. Only about 30 people live in the tiny town of Dorset. The town doesn't even have a government. A name is drawn every year at the taste of Dorset festival. Anyone can cast a vote for a -- Bobby Tufts will have to balance his duties with preschool, which starts this fall. No word on what his goal is for the upcoming year in Dorset. But he's had some experience in the past, so I think he feels that he has some gravitas to handle it.

CUOMO: If he can preschool, he can handle politics, that's for sure.

PEREIRA: Very good point. There's the lady from D.C, 80s bull the sandbox.

BOLDUAN: Every mayor should have to wear a hat like that, fabulous.

CUOMO: Absolutely. Good hat. BOLDUAN: Congratulations, Mayor Bobby. All right, do you want to know how your week is going to start off? I do. That's for sure. So let's get straight over to Indra Petersons tracking the latest forecast.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, of course, it depends on where you are. It's beautiful over the weekend here in the Northeast.

But, wow, check out what Kansas had yesterday, almost 7 inches of rain just in the early morning hours. Now, here's the bad part. More rain expected really almost every single day this week. It's like that thunderstorm that just hangs over your house and it does not stop. So, the flood potential would be high. One to three additional inches in the area today and we'll see those thunderstorms train farther to the east, into that lower Mississippi Valley, as well.

As far as the low today, right here, just kind of exiting the Rockies, going into those Northern Plains. With that, we're going to be looking at the severe weather threat today. So, really, extending from Montana, down again through Kansas. We're going to be looking for strong thunderstorms.

Isolated tornadoes are possible. It really here, we're looking for hail and those damaging winds in these areas. Then, of course, we have more rain in the Southeast. It wouldn't be summer in the Southeast without this here. We're looking at another couple of inches of rain into that area. So, yes, the big winner, of course, is the Northeast. That is where we're seeing temperatures well below normal. And, you know, it's going to stay that way. You're adding rain to that. I'm taking it today. We have the big winners.

BOLDUAN: Yes, at least start off the week well.

PETERSONS: Hence better.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Indra. Good morning.


CUOMO: All right. Coming up on NEW DAY -- up until now, it's just been a fancy name, Cyclospora. The big mystery was what is starting it, where is it? Let's get some specifics.

Well, officials are finally ready to talk. We're going to tell you everything you need to know about this mysterious bug and what's causing it.

BOLDUAN: It has been a mystery. That's for sure.

Also, this coming up, a daring jail break caught on tape. Did this inmate, not that guy, it's the guy over that. Does that inmate get a little help escaping from, oh, I don't know, dear old mom? The latest, coming up.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody.

A twist in the case of that dangerous inmate who popped through a slot and beat feet out of an Arkansas jail. Derrick Estell is still on the run, but now, police have charged his mother with helping him escape.

CNN's Nick Valencia has the latest. Good morning, Nick.


Alarming surveillance video shows just how easily inmate Derrick Estell was able to literally slip past prison guards and break free. But police know one thing for sure, he didn't act alone.


VALENCIA (voice-over): Derrick Estell is on the run after this brazen jail break last week in Garland County, Arkansas. Now, police have identified another possible accomplice. His mother, Glenda Estelle, has been arrested for allegedly helping her 33-year-old son escape. According to the police report, between June and July, a total of 40 calls were made between Estelle and her son, detailing the plot to break free from the jail.

VITO COLUCCI, JR., PRIVATE DETECTIVE & FMR. SANFORD, CT POLICE OFFICER: This guy escaped just in March from another prison. You would think when he went to this new one, they would have said, this guy is a runner. We've got to make sure we keep our eyes on him all the time.

VALENCIA: Police say that Estell, seen in this surveillance video, talking on the phone right before his escape, was speaking with his mother. According to a review of the call, his mother asks if he's still shackled. A short time later, he jumps out sliding glass window.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had their back turned at the time.

VALENCIA: Police have also arrested 58-year-old William Harding, suspected of distracting the guards and providing the getaway car, and an arrest warrant has been issue for the driver of that car, Tamara Upshaw. As for Estell, he was being held for allegedly stealing a car in March and leading police on a chase that ended with a standoff.

DEPUTY SCOTT HINOJOSA, GARLAND COUNTY SHERIFF DEPT. Typically in the past, any dealings with Mr. Estelle, there's been a firearm -- he's had in possession a firearm.

VALENCIA: Estell's lengthy rap sheet include 26 charges of aggravated robbery, breaking and entering, burglary and fleeing.


VALENCIA: Still on the run, Estelle is considered armed and dangerous. As for his mother, CNN has not been able to determine if she has an attorney -- Chris and Kate. CUOMO: All right. Nick, appreciate it. I hope everybody was looking at that face because authorities need help catching that bad guy down there in the Arkansas area.

BOLDUAN: Yes, not a good guy, and he's on the run.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, new information on the Cyclospora outbreak that has made hundreds of people sick. And it involves two popular restaurants. You're going to want to hear about this. We'll tell you what you need to watch out for.

CUOMO: And Powerball, how about this? No winner Saturday night. How high will the jackpot go this Wednesday? Did you buy your ticket?

BOLDUAN: Going to buy it today.