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Town Hall Shooting; Americans in Yemen Told to Leave; Alex Rodriguez Suspension; Sabre System Down, Delaying Flights; Amber Alert in California; Hasan to Cross-Examine Survivors; Python Likely Strangled Boys; "Intent to Create Mayhem and Massacre"; Falls Fire Spurs Evacuations; Jeff Bezos Buys Washington Post

Aired August 6, 2013 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was entering the building with a handgun and wanted to do harm to people.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, a gunman opens fire at a town meeting killing three before a heroic move saves the day. We're live with the latest.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Fighting back. Alex Rodriguez faces reporters and boos from the fans last night. Now, suspended for more than 200 games, but, vowing to prove his innocence.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Shut down. The booking system for hundreds of airlines breaks down overnight causing delays at airports worldwide. What went wrong?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

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


CUOMO: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to NEW DAY. It is Tuesday. That rhymes. That's good. It's August 6th, 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.

Coming up, breaking news this morning. The State Department telling all American citizens to leave the country of Yemen immediately, this, as we learn more about the intercepted message that set off that global terror alert. That message from one al Qaeda leader to another in Yemen quite simply it says, quote, "do something." We're going to have a live report coming up.

CUOMO: And within hours, the trial of the alleged Ft. Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hasan begins. With his life on the line, the man charged with killing 13 people and injuring 32 is going to defend himself. So, now, he'll be able to cross-examine the victims and we're going to hear from some of those survivors coming up.

PEREIRA: And I need to know, do you have it? Do you have Powerball fever? The jackpot is now over $400 million, the fourth largest price ever. It seems that the jackpot keeps on getting bigger and bigger. How big exactly is it going to get? Apparently, experts believe we're going to hit $1 billion soon enough.

CUOMO: Inflation, you know?

PEREIRA: Yes, that's what it is.

CUOMO: But up first this morning, we do have breaking news. Gunfire and overwhelming grief in a small Pennsylvania town. Three people are dead, several others wounded after a shooting at a town hall meeting last night in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. That's about 75 miles north of Philadelphia.

Poppy Harlow is live at the scene. Poppy, good morning to you. What is the latest?

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris. You know, in the words of one county official, this is a town, this is a community that is never in the newspapers and it is because absolute horror broke out here last night in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. A gunman coming right behind me here, they had a town supervisors meeting like they always do here, came, started spraying bullets first outside through the windows with what police are describing as a long gun.

Then barging inside filling the room with more bullets, emptying his rifle going out to his car, trying to get a handgun, killing three people injuring several others, but that is when the heroism kicked in. Police say that at least two people there tackled him to the ground and preventing more injuries -- Chris.

CUOMO: And that was obviously the key moment, he was obviously there to do as much wrong as possible.


CUOMO: We were showing a picture as you were reporting of who they believe the man is with the beard. What do we know about the alleged gunman?

HARLOW: So what we know is that he is a resident here. Police say his name is Rockne Newell. He has lived here for years and years. And the big question this morning comes what is the motive. He is a suspected gunman. Police say no one else is suspected in this that he acted alone. Why did he do this?

We don't know but what we do know he has had a nearly 20-year battle with this town over his property. They condemned it last Thursday. They evicted him. He said he had nowhere to go, that he was homeless. So the question is was that a motive? We still don't know. Was he specifically targeting anyone in this meeting? We don't know. He is in the hospital. He was shot and injured so he may have a bedside arraignment. In the meantime, police are waiting to search his property. As far as the identities of the victims, we don't know their identities yet. The three shot and killed. Several others wounded. We may find that out today. Police press are coming this morning. But again, the shooter is in custody in the hospital at this hour.

CUOMO: All right, Poppy, thank you very much. Obviously our focus will be on the victims, because no matter the motive, there was no justification. Appreciate the reporting this morning.

BOLDUAN: We're also following breaking news from overseas, a terror threat triggering a new warning from the State Department this morning. All Americans in Yemen are being ordered to leave immediately. In the meantime, we are learning more about an intercepted message between two top al Qaeda leaders that prompted the shutdown of 19 embassies and consulates across the Middle East and Africa.

Barbara Starr is following the developments live from the Pentagon this morning. Barbara, this latest alert, Barbara, coming just hours ago.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Kate. The State Department warning Americans in Yemen get out now. Leave immediately because with this high terrorist threat, the embassy has reduced personnel. There won't be enough American government personnel to help citizens if trouble were to break out. Why is this happening? What do we now know about the terrorist threat?

Well, it was a message from Ayman Al-Zawarahi, the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan to another man in Yemen, a man named Wahishi, who is head of al Qaeda in Yemen who Zawahiri appointed as his deputy about two weeks ago. A message intercepted and that message said, basically do something, do something now.

This is what set off alarm bells across Washington a few days ago. The feeling is that al Qaeda and Yemen now really in the final stages of planning something and it is a race to figure out what it is that they are planning. Kate, Chris.

BOLDUAN: All right, Barbara, thanks so much, live from the Pentagon. We'll talk to you in a bit.

Just hours after being suspended from baseball over performance- enhancing drugs, Alex Rodriguez was in the line up last night for the New York Yankees. A-Rod who is feeling his suspension heard it from the crowd. Just listen. Do you hear that? Those are boos as he stepped up to the plate in Chicago.

CNN's Jason Carroll is live at U.S. Cellular Field where the embattled slugger made his big return to the big leagues. Good morning, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Kate. You know, they weren't just booing, they were also shouting. They were calling him a cheater and a liar. They were saying things like throw the bum out. As for Alex Rodriguez, he says he is fighting for his life and appealing is the only way to defend himself.


CARROLL (voice-over): The sounds of boos and cheers echoing throughout U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on Monday night as Alex Rodriguez debuted for the Yankees, just hours after Major League Baseball announced it was suspending him for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs. The embattled third baseman talked about what it has been like living under a cloud of suspicion.

ALEX RODRIGUEZ, NEW YORK YANKEES THIRD BASEMAN: The last seven months has been a nightmare. Probably the worst time of my life.

CARROLL: Rodriguez was one of 13 players suspended Monday, the other 12 players receiving 50-game suspensions for using performance- enhancing drugs. The PEDs allegedly provided by the now defunct anti- aging clinic in Florida, Biogenesis. Rodriguez's punishment far worse, the top paid player suspension effective Thursday is through the 2014 season, 211 games without pay, which could cost him $31 million.

Major League Baseball commissioner saying in a statement the suspension is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance enhancing substances including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years. MLB officials also alleging Rodriguez attempted to cover up his violations and obstruct their investigation. Rodriguez says he'll appeal.

In the past, Rodriguez has also denied a connection to the former head of Biogenesis and taking PEDs from the clinic, but when asked more than once to clarify on Monday, Rodriguez dodged those questions.

RODRIGUEZ: We will have a forum to discuss all of that and we will talk about it then.


CARROLL: Well, under the rules and regulations, Rodriguez is allowed to keep playing while he appeals, but his all-star career forever tainted as well as the world of baseball -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, appreciate the reporting from there, Jason.

So what does this mean for A-Rod and for Major League Baseball? Let's bring in CNN's Rachel Nichols joining us from Rochester, New York. Rachel, thank you for joining us. Let's go through the punch points here. In perspective terms, what did yesterday mean historically for Major League Baseball?

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is a big step forward for Major League Baseball. It basically told players we will find you. We don't need a positive test any more. We will find you if you are doing something wrong, we are not going to sit and wait around. We are going to be aggressive. We are going to investigate. We are going to compile other evidence and we will seek you out and find you if you are doing wrong against this game.

CUOMO: All right, so you have the most people being punished in the kind of most harsh way without banning anybody, but you're talking about what the league says it will do. What can it do? What are its powers and what are the powers of someone like an A-Rod to fight back?

NICHOLS: Well, the appeals process is going to be very interesting from here on out. The state of the most highly paid player in the history of Major League Baseball is now going to be in the hands of the 64-year-old Californian journeyman arbitrator named Frederic Horowitz. His salary is half paid by the union and half paid by Major League Baseball. He is actually new to the job. The last arbitrator was fired after baseball felt that he was too lenient in letting Ryan Braun off on a technicality when he failed a drug test a couple of years ago.

Horowitz has arbitrated a few salary issues for the NHL and for the postal service and the airline industry, but trust me, this is the biggest thing to cross his desk. Over the next few months, both sides are just going to dig in on this with all of the dirty details. We don't expect a ruling until November and until then, Alex Rodriguez is going to live in this crazy limo that we saw in Chicago last night, playing, but suspended, and with all of these details leaking out, it could really damage his legacy.

CUOMO: Details are leaking out. We are hearing the jeers of the fans. We don't know the case, do we? That makes this unusual. The league has taken action before it has proffered its proof. When do we know what they are going to show?

NICHOLS: Well, it's not a public hearing. They have the option to make is public, but that's never happened before. So we are going to sort of get these little leaks the way we have over the past few months and we have already seen baseball having the intention to put a little bit more out there than we have seen in the past. Look at the players who cooperated, the players who agreed to their suspension.

The language of those rulings was very protective, very mistakes were made general and not letting on exactly what they have done. We will never know Ryan Braun, he said he is not talking about it and neither is Major League Baseball. When you get to A-Rod, however, they are starting to fight.

They specified in the ruling that he used testosterone. They are alleging he used HGH. They are saying it wasn't just in a short period of time, but over number of years when he was racking up all of these all-star numbers. They are showing that they are ready to give some details. Expect as witnesses come to testify in front of this arbitrator people who say that they personally shot up Alex Rodriguez with steroids over time.

We may start to hear a little bit of this unofficially and, again, those are the nips and tucks of a player and his legacy even if the arbitrator were to clear Alex Rodriguez, which no one suspects to happen or reduce his suspension, those details might be so damaging it really doesn't matter. CUOMO: Good point, Rachel. If they continue down this road of having people lose chunks of their career, they are going to have to start showing more and more. It will become like a parallel system of baseball and litigation at the same time. Appreciate the reporting this morning, as always, from Rochester. Thank you, Rachel Nichols -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, if you are traveling by air, if you're going to be getting on a flight this morning, you want to pay attention. Overnight, a problem with reservations system created major delays for airlines around the world. The Sabre System was down for about two and a half hours as airline employees were forced to manually enter reservations at ticket counters.

CNN's business correspondent, Alison Kosik is here with more. Do we have a handle yet on how widespread this problem was while it lasted?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, the god news is that it was a problem and fixed, but not before everybody had a bunch of headaches. You mentioned Sabre. Sabre is a global technology company. You know, it's not a household name. It's the reservation system, one of the biggest out there that 300 airlines, at least 100 airports, use to book their reservations and what Sabre basically says what happened in the wee hours of the morning is it had a system issue.

No word on exactly what they mean by that, but what essentially happened is a massive outage with reservation systems and then causing delays for your flight. So it affected not just making reservations. It affected boarding and check-in and so we looked at several airlines that had these issues.

Alaska Airlines had 50 flights delayed takeoffs. Virgin Australia said they to manually check-in flyers and book their flights. You look at JetBlue's Twitter saying that customers, they couldn't book flights at all. American airlines saying we're sorry for the inconvenience. So there were delays all over the place even in Johannesburg. So lots of delays, the problem has been fixed, but shows just this one company controls everything with its technology, very interesting.

BOLDUAN: It also shows what one hiccup and how interconnected it all is, the backup that can be created so quickly with one hiccup in the system.

KOSIK: The good news it's back online.

BOLDUAN: For people traveling in the U.S. that it happened in the wee hours of the morning. So hopefully, if you get on the plane this morning, you won't see this. Thanks so much, Alison.

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

PEREIRA: Yes, real concern, they are issuing an amber alert in Southern California breaking overnight. Southern California authorities issuing that amber alert for these two children, 16-year- old girl and her 8-year-old brother from San Diego. Police say 40- year-old James Lee Dimaggio suspected of killing their mother and another child may be headed to Texas or Canada with the abducted children. He was said to be a friend of the mother and believed to be driving a blue Nissan Versa with a California license plate.

The much delayed court martial of accused Fort Hood shooting Nidal Hasan is about to get under way. Hasan is acting as his own counsel. He is expected to cross examine some of the very people he has accused of shooting. He allegedly opened fire on fellow troops who were preparing to ship out to Afghanistan and Iraq back in 2009. Thirteen people were killed. We will have much more on this coming up in the next hour.

Autopsies are set for today for two boys, two little boys, who appeared to have been strangled by a python. The 5-and-7-year-old boys were asleep at a friend's apartment above a reptile store in New Brunswick, Canada. It is believed that the snake escaped from the store below, got into the ventilation system, and then into their apartment and strangled the two boys as they slept Monday. CBS News is reporting the snake was 11 to 15 feet long and weighed almost a hundred pounds.

The man suspected of driving a car into a crowd on the boardwalk in Venice Beach, California, expected to make his first court appearance today. Nathan Campbell was charged with murder after turning himself in. The terrifying incident killed 32-year-old Alice Gruppioni who was on her honeymoon. Her husband is now speaking out.


CHRISTIAN CASADEI, HUSBAND OF ALICE GRUPPIONI: There is no word to explain what happened and what I feel. I want to come back to Italy with her!


PEREIRA: One person was critically hurt. Two others have serious injuries.

In Riverside County, California, the fast growing false fire forcing people out of their homes. Mandatory evacuations ordered for the homes in the Decker Canyon area and Rancho Capistrano, a campground and picnic area along with several highways and roads are closed in the area.

A 9-year-old girl owes her life to police officers who jumped into the Kansas River and saved her and it was captured by a small camera attached on one of the officer's uniform. Kayla Hardy and her 17- year-old sister were sitting with the feet dangling in the water when a strong current pulled them into the river. Kayla's sister made it to shore and called for help. But Kayla struggled for some 90 minutes to stay above water clinging onto a tree branch until the officers came to her rescue. It happened in an instant.

CUOMO: That was a long time. Yes, but 90 minutes -- PEREIRA: Very long time.

CUOMO: Strong kid.


CUOMO: Strong kid.

Now, obviously, the river situation was a function of a weather situation. So let's get over to Indra Petersons. She is keeping track of that flooding in Kansas and Missouri. Good morning.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Unfortunately, we actually have flash flood emergency. Currently, we just showed you what happened. That was Kansas, where they had about seven inches of rainfall in the early morning hours. And now, we're talking about anywhere from four to nine inches of rainfall since just midnight.

This is right around Waynesville, Missouri, just east of Springfield. Let me show you what this looks like on the path of radar. This is about a six-hour loop. And actually, I want to zoom in closer because right around Waynesville, now you got your bearings here, you can see that this system is literally just training over the area.

We're talking rainfall rates 2 inches per hour. The amount of flooding that that can cause is unbelievable. We are talking about 20 homes looking at floodwaters really rushing into their homes, people trapped on their roofs and looking for swift water rescues currently at this hour. Unfortunately, more rain headed in that direction. We're talking about a cold front sweeping through the area for another two to four inches expected in that region today.

Now, of course, we are also talking about rain. It's kind of spreading from the eastern portions of the plains into the mid- Atlantic by tomorrow. So, a lot of us are talking about the wet weather here the next 48 hours.

The most severe weather, well, that's going to be stretching pretty much from Minneapolis kind of down through Kansas City, so just north of where we are seeing that flooding. Either way, another two to four inches expected on what we've seen 9 inches this morning. I mean, that's a very dangerous situation this morning.

BOLDUAN: All right. Indra, we'll just back in. Thanks so much.

Still ahead on NEW DAY: he pioneered a digital revolution that put some newspapers out of business. So, why is founder Jeff Bezos now buying "The Washington Post"? A surprising move.

CUOMO: Very interesting there.

And also, yes, it is summertime. Yes, it is Shark Week. And yet, we have to figure out why so many more sightings of big bad fishes along the East Coast. We're going to tell you why.

BOLDUAN: They just misunderstood. CUOMO: They are hungry is what they are. We're going to take you through it.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It is money time.

In a surprise move, "The Washington Post" is being sold to the founder and CEO of, Jeff Bezos, who is part of the online revolution that challenged the future of newspapers. He is personally buying "The Post" for a cool $250 million.

Joining us for more on this is CNN global economic analyst, Rana Foroohar.

Rana, this came as a surprise to many. But I'm wondering, is it more of a surprise that the Washington Post Company sold it at all or who they sold it to?

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: It was definitely who they sold it to. I think for some time, the Grahams have been laying out the fact that things weren't going as they hoped at "The Post". They knew they had a limited amount of time to make things work. I think if they waited a whole lot longer, they would have had a shareholder revolt on their hands.

So, they have been smarting about laying out the future and also laying out the fact that they haven't been able to make this paper work financially.

BOLDUAN: What does this mean for "The Washington Post"? What's your big takeaway?

FOROOHAR: You know, what's amazing -- I've talked to a lot of people at "The Post" since yesterday. People are optimistic about this.

You know, people know that they need --

BOLDUAN: When people often aren't when their company is --

FOROOHAR: Absolutely. Listen, you know, if somebody is working at old media for a long time, you know, this is the barbarians at the gates, what's happening? But, actually, a lot of people are optimistic. They know that they need a technological revolution.

They need something to take them over that digital bridge and "The Post" has a lot of brand equity. Someone like Bezos could potentially really transform not just "The Post" but the entire newspaper industry if he is successful.


CUOMO: Yes, I think you said it. I think you gave the two key elements in that answer. You called it old media. OK? So, that is what was hurting "The Washington Post." Their money model isn't working any more because of what you get online. And, yet, what you called equity, goodwill, cache that "The Washington Post" is a prestige play and that's what Bezos needed. A big problem with his online kind of list of assets when it comes to media, what am I impress by? What's the big value? "Washington Post" has value for him.

FOROOHAR: That's right. And this is an organization that has incredible global coverage. Number three in the U.S. in terms of number foreign bureaus it has.

It's business model has never really been on par with the quality of its editorial. You know, you've got a global publication that's covering world news events but makes most of its money off tie ads, or, you know, JCPenney sales ads. You know, it's just not in line.

So someone like Bezos could really come in and make those two things work together.

PEREIRA: So, Rana, I have to ask, why now? The newspaper business, the model has been floundering for some time. And I think a lot of them had hoped for an infusion of capital and some support for many years. Why now?

FOROOHAR: Well, you know, a number of wealthy people have come in and bought papers. "The Boston Globe" was sold recently. "The New Republic" magazine was sold. "L.A. Times", that didn't go so well.

But, you know, so this has been happening for a while.

CUOMO: It's cheap relatively for him.

FOROOHAR: It's cheap. I mean, $250 million is actually a bargain by many standards, particularly if he can leverage that brand equity and really make this property work in the digital age.

BOLDUAN: And is there any indication, obviously, from the business standpoint he'll have a heavy hand in the direction "The Post" is going to go? But what about the editorial? Has he given any indication if he will be involved editorially?

FOROOHAR: Well, he hadn't said that. But, you know, if you look at what he's done in the past, he has a stake in the "Business Insider", which is a very popular business news Web site. If anything, you could argue the quality of that publication improved after he took over. It didn't seem that he was too involved in a heavy-handed way in the coverage.

If he did that frankly, it would be a real disaster. You don't want to take "The Washington Post" and use it as a platform for your own policy agenda. And there have been concerns because you think Amazon is a company that's been involved in lobbying against sales tax, you know --

BOLDUAN: Right. A lot of critics --

FOROOHAR: There's many critics and there's a lot of sensitive things that Bezos has supported. On the other hand, every owner uses their paper as a platform for something so he is not unique in that sense.

BOLDUAN: Any predictions the way you think the new look is going to --

FOROOHAR: You know, I have no predictions on the new look, but I think and I hope if he can put some capital into this organization and continue this tradition of amazing journalism this could mean good things.

CUOMO: Well, distribution, it will come down to distribution. I bet the look doesn't change. What he needs is the cache. He needs "The Washington Post" to seem as original as possible because --

BOLDUAN: "The Washington Post" needs him too. You know what I mean?

CUOMO: Absolutely. I think, you know, the win/win. We always hate to say it when it comes to finance because it's a kiss of death. But here, look, the bottom line is media people are not good business people. All right? They don't have business backgrounds.

It's been part of a legacy of this business here is that you have people who know how to be journalist and they don't know P&L. They don't know how to grow a company. So, this is a marriage of somebody who knows how to manage their money flow and people know about journalism. Hopefully, it's a way to the future.

FOROOHAR: Yes, I think we should give the Graham family credit for selling to someone like him.


CUOMO: They have done a good job.

BOLDUAN: I think we will be watching this transition closely.



BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Rana. Talk to you later.

CUOMO: All right. So, we're going to take a break here on NEW DAY.

When we come back, a haunting question: is it safe to swim? Of course, it is! But we're going to talk about the shark sightings.

They are up on the East Coast. Yes, it's seasonal, but there's more to it than that.

BOLDUAN: And there's a lot of buzz about a new Clinton campaign and we are not talking about Bill or Hillary. We are talking about Chelsea. What Chelsea told CNN exclusively, coming up.