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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Who Won the Powerball?; Frosty Relations between U.S. and Russia?; Government Says JPMorgan Broke the Law; Kia, Nissan Fail Crash Test

Aired August 8, 2013 - 05:00   ET

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


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Fatal attraction. The new questions being raised after a California man is accused of killing his longtime friend and kidnapping her daughter.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Midwest floods. Towns left under water after severe storms pummel the area.

BERMAN: But first, jackpot. Three winning tickets sold in one of the largest Powerball prizes ever. We are live.

SAMBOLIN: Did you win anything?

BERMAN: I didn't win but I didn't say I was going to. You said you were going to win.

SAMBOLIN: And I did. Fifty-one cents per person, I think.

BERMAN: It's actually true. The pool here. Everyone won 53 cents. Congratulations, everybody.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you. Thank you. At least we won something and you weren't part of it.

Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Fifty-three cents poorer this morning. It is Thursday, August 8th, it's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

SAMBOLIN: So some people are waking up very, very, very happy this morning and much richer, about $448 million richer. They won the Powerball. Three winning tickets were sold in two states, Minnesota and New Jersey. And if you want to see if you are one of the lucky ones, here are the numbers for you, 5, 25, 30, 58, 59 and Powerball number 32.

BERMAN: Can you imagine if you didn't know and you're just learning that now? If you're watching and you just found out you one, tweet us and tell us.

SAMBOLIN: Can you imagine that? What an amazing feeling.

BERMAN: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: You didn't exactly win that big number that I just said. You win a little less than that.

Zain Asher is in South Brunswick, New Jersey, this morning at a supermarket where one of those winning tickets was actually sold.

How are they feeling around there this morning? I'm surprised they're not still celebrating.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Zoraida. Yes. There's a lot of excitement in the air. So three winners across the country. More winners could actually be announced as the morning progresses. But yes, two of them in New Jersey. One of those winning tickets bought at this Stop and Shop right behind me. But yes, we are in South Brunswick, New Jersey.

Just to give you a sense of what this town is like, it's a small town, it's about four miles outside of Princeton, population, 43,000. But one person in that 43,000 has a winning ticket somewhere in their coat pocket, in their purse, in their drawer. We do of course hope they come forward soon enough. We are anxiously waiting.

But by the way, you know, there are some states where winners can actually remain anonymous. New Jersey is not one of those states so we'll be finding out who the winner is soon enough. They do have -- have about a year to collect their winnings.

But also in terms of how long it takes for them to receive their money, it takes roughly about two weeks. So Powerball literally has to collect cash from all the stores across the country. That takes two weeks. After that, the money is pretty much deposited in their bank account by the next business day.

So what we're looking at is $448 million split three ways. So not bad at all. But I do want to say lastly that if you are in the New Jersey area and you did buy a lottery ticket, then of course I would think it'd probably be a good idea to check those numbers.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Yes. And call me right now. Please. We have a lot to talk about.

SAMBOLIN: How incredible. Zain, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

ASHER: I know. I know.

BERMAN: That's awesome.

All right. Two minutes after the hour right now. Our other big story of the morning is rain, rain and more rain.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BERMAN: Heavy thunderstorms hitting already saturated areas in the Midwest and there is no relief in sight. Flood warnings posted now in a dozen states. Parts of Missouri bearing the brunt of it. And the town of Waynesville, everything it seems is under water. I guess there are roads underneath that water. The flooding has covered everything. Swamped cars and homes. A young boy died when he was washed away in a car.

SAMBOLIN: So sad. The southeast is also getting pummeled by all of these storms. As many as seven inches of rain falling in parts of Georgia. Flooding washed out a bridge in Gilmore County. It's one of the hardest hit areas.

BERMAN: Severe weather unleashing a tornado in Ohio. The twister ripping the roof off this home in Akron. It also brought down trees, snapping them in two.

SAMBOLIN: You can see the family standing outside, thankfully. And a line of powerful storms also tore through parts of Wisconsin last night. One person near Green Bay was killed trying to clear away debris. The governor plans to tour storm-damaged areas today.

And Indra Petersons is tracking the severe weather for us this morning.

And, Indra, any relief in sight?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I mean, this is the problem when you talk about a very slow moving cold front. That's what you're going to have. That thunderstorm is in the same area over and over again. We keep talking about specifically anywhere from Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

Take a look at the current radar this morning. Once again, we're talking about these craning thunderstorms in the region. On top of that, what we're talking about is the threat of severe weather. Pretty much bulls-eyeing right again a little bit in the same region. Also seeing -- including that Texas panhandle. A big bulk of Oklahoma.

The difference between today's forecast and yesterday is yesterday we were looking through the severe weather, so we have to go right back into Missouri. So that's a hint of relief I can give you knowing that you're not going to have the severe thunderstorms in the region. But yes, still more rain in the forecast today for you today.

And really even all the way through Saturday night. This is the troublemaker. Here's the cold front. Slowly and I mean slowly making its way across. You can actually see the southern portion. This is a stalled front. So with that all this moisture pooling up out of the gulf continues to bring heavy showers in the southeast.

And then we're going to have watch the timing of the northern portion of this. How fast it goes, whether it stalls out with the southern portion. All that is going to impact how much rain we're going to be seeing the next several days into the northeast.

Here is what we know about the southeast. We're forecasting some heavy rain right around Springfield. That's not really southeast. We've got two to three inches there. In Nashville about two to three inches. Atlanta, there you go, about one to two inches. Now we'll your way up to the northeast, and you'll see it's all going to depend on where those heavier thunderstorms are.

There'd be places that maybe don't see much. But if you get that heavy downpour in one region, you do have the threat for flooding there so that's what we're going to be monitoring here unfortunately over the next several days.

BERMAN: Trouble and the storm.

SAMBOLIN: Thanks for the warning, we appreciate it.

PETERSONS: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Indra.

BERMAN: All right.

SAMBOLIN: Well, a new wildfire is raging out of control. This is across Southern California. The fast-moving Silver Fire in Riverside County has burned 6,000 acres, it's destroyed nearly a dozen homes, a lot of buildings there since it began Wednesday afternoon.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in several communities there. And hundreds of firefighters are battling that blaze. Right now there is zero percent containment.

BERMAN: Now to the search for a man suspected of murdering a friend and kidnapping her children. Authorities are chasing down leads right now as they look for James DiMaggio. The 40-year-old has been on the run since Sunday when his home near San Diego burned to the ground. The remains of a woman and a child were found inside.

The woman's two children, 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and her 8-year- old brother Ethan, they are still missing this morning. Not clear if the child's body found inside that burned out home was Ethan's.

Family friends tell CNN that Hannah had recently said she didn't want to see DiMaggio anymore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGELINA AMATI, FAMILY FRIEND: I know Hannah did say she was a little creeped out when Jim did tell her that he had a crush on her. He said that -- Hannah told my girls that that creeped her out a little.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The sheriff in San Diego tells CNN they are not jumping to any conclusions. They just want to find DiMaggio and bring Hannah Anderson home.

SAMBOLIN: The court martial of alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan is on hold this morning after lawyers working with him told the judge they want off of this case. Hasan is representing himself, as you know, but the team appointed to help him say he seems to want the death penalty and ethically they cannot assist him with that goal.

The judge will hold a closed-door hearing today with Hasan and with those lawyers.

BERMAN: In Yemen, a suspected U.S. drone strike killed six alleged al Qaeda militants. This is the sixth apparent drone striking that country in just the last two weeks. That, as officials there say they have stopped an al Qaeda plot aimed at oil and gas installations.

A Yemeni government official tells CNN it does not appear this plot was connected to the threat that led to a travel warning and evacuations of Americans from Yemen.

SAMBOLIN: And meantime, 19 diplomatic posts in that part of the world remain closed this morning after an al Qaeda threat was intercepted, leaving intelligence officials really on edge. The embassies and consulates are expected to remain shut through Saturday as the State Department exercises what it's calling an abundance of caution.

BERMAN: And apparently connected to all this, CNN has learned that cargo coming into this country on planes from Europe, the Middle East and Africa is now being screened twice. A trade group tells CNN that Homeland Security has told airlines to look over every piece of cargo multiple times so nothing is left unscreened. This is amid the increased concerns over a possible al Qaeda strike.

SAMBOLIN: And listen to this. There are big problems at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in northeast Japan. Officials now admitting 300 tons of highly radioactive water are pouring into the Pacific Ocean each and every day. Japan's prime minister is ordering the government to step in and help the Tokyo Electric Power Company with all the clean up and the containment operation.

One plan that is being considered, freezing the ground surrounding the facility to actually try to stop those leaks. That has never been tried before.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Interesting. In Brazil, at least six people are dead after a bus plunged off a bridge near Rio de Janeiro. Dozens more are said to be injured there. The bus was pact with commuters heading home from work. It appears the driver lost control sending the bus crashing off an overpass down on to the train tracks that were below.

SAMBOLIN: A Texas man who says he was repeatedly tasered at work is now suing his former employer and two employees for assault and battery. The stun gun attacks were often videotaped and they were posted on YouTube. Forty-five-year-old Bradley Jones says in the last nine months he worked at a Houston car dealership. He was assaulted at least two dozen times.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRADLEY JONES, FILED SUIT OVER BEING TASERED AT WORK: I was constantly looking behind my shoulder, distracted, couldn't sleep. I would even look behind my shower curtain at home. But I was trying to buy a home and I couldn't just walk away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: My goodness. That is awful. Jones' suit claims his ex- boss not only held the camera but it was actually his taser being used. The employer denies any involvement in this and calls the lawsuit frivolous.

BERMAN: I thought I had a tough year.

SAMBOLIN: Close to the --

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: You never tased me.

SAMBOLIN: Because I don't have one. I don't have a --

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: That's the only reason?

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

I would never do that. That's awful. Isn't that a crazy story?

BERMAN: It's bizarre.

SAMBOLIN: Like there's got to be so much more to that story, right?

BERMAN: Workplace pranks.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BERMAN: Sometimes they go over the line.

SAMBOLIN: Guys. Guys.

BERMAN: Like when you tase people apparently.

SAMBOLIN: Guys do stupid things.

BERMAN: Allegedly, I should say.

SAMBOLIN: So coming up, diplomatic drama. President Obama refusing a meeting with Russia's president.

Phil Black is live with what is causing a rift between these two world leaders.

BERMAN: And three people killed, others wounded when a gunman opened fire at a town meeting. But could all of this been prevented? We'll explain after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: So it really does seem like a new Cold War could be brewing. The White House now says President Obama will not meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow around an international summit in that country.

Phil Black live in Moscow for us this morning.

And, Phil, you know, you can feel the frost all the way over here.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, this is certainly a significant turn and the key trigger for calling off this meeting is that name we've come to know so well, Edward Snowden, and Russia's decision to grant him temporary political asylum in this country.

But it is by no means the only issue at stake. This is really the culmination of a long steady decline in relations between these two countries. Partly because of some big disagreements and a lack of progress on big international issues like Syria, missile defense, nuclear disarmament.

And also because of what's been taking place in this country, domestic Russian politics where the United States has felt increasingly uncomfortable and has been very critical of what it sees as a rollback of democracy and human rights here. A crackdown on the political opposition.

And indeed it's pretty unhappy, too, with what it sees a lot of anti- U.S. rhetoric in Russian discourse. Russia, on the other hand, really doesn't like being spoken to in that way. Doesn't like to be lectured, sees it as meddling and hypocrisy.

And so that brings us to this pretty significant point where you've got the U.S. administration saying in a fairly not too subtle way, we see no point in the leaders of these two countries getting together. There's no point in talking because we don't think anything of significance can be achieved from such a meeting -- John.

BERMAN: And you look ahead at the calendar, you have this summit in Saint Petersburg coming up. But later in the winter, you also have the Winter Olympics happening in Russia. And he says that it could affect the U.S. participation in these games?

BLACK: I don't think it's likely that you're going to see any sort of boycott. No, nothing at that sort of level. And in terms of an area of continued cooperation, these two countries, it is likely, will still work together on counterterrorism.

And that's a big area of corruption surrounding the Sochi games. You all have also heard of the recent controversy of the anti-gay propaganda law in this country which makes it illegal to publicly promote homosexual relationships. There's a lot of controversy there about what it will mean for homosexual athletes and visitors to the games. The United States doesn't like this law, certainly doesn't want it to apply to visitors there. So that is potentially a point of further tension. As the games approach, as there is continued outrage, and as it will become very likely that sort of gay athletes and activists are going to test that law during the course of the games themselves -- John.

BERMAN: It is sure to be an issue when those games do start this winter.

All right. Phil Black in Moscow for us, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: It is 16 minutes past the hour. We're hearing this morning from the father of a man accused of killing three people at a government meeting in Pennsylvania.

Peter Newell says his son Rockne was distraught over Ross Township officials condemning and then buying his property after a long running dispute over his condition. And Peter Newell also says his son talked weeks earlier about quote, "taking care of the matter."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me put my shoulder there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Warned the sheriff's department of his son's threats, but sheriff says they were never Rockne might be looking to target elected officials.

BERMAN: In the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial, an admission from a lawyer for a concert promoter -- the concert promoter AEG Live. Kathy (INAUDIBLE) told the jury that contracts for Dr. Conrad Murray's services were never given to Jackson's management team. And the contract actually said Murray was to do what was requested by the producer, not Jackson.

Jackson's family is arguing the promoter is liable for his death since the doctor convicted of killing him was under its control.

SAMBOLIN: And still no verdict in the racketeering trial of James Whitey Bulger. Deliberations resumed in about four hours from now. The jury got that case Tuesday. It's been deliberating ever since. And Wednesday, the panel asked the judge if it must reach a unanimous verdict on each of the allegations against him. The judge said, yes. The reputed Boston mob boss faces -- faces a life sentence if he is convicted.

There's apparently no connection between last April's deadly fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, and a paramedic who responded to that blast.

Bryce Reed was arrested weeks after the explosion in charged with having bomb-making materials. But prosecutors now say there does not appear to be any leak between Reid and what happened in West, Texas. Fifty people died when the fertilizer plant exploded and the exact cost has not been determined.

SAMBOLIN: Here is a weird story for you. I'm sure you're going to love it. It's shark week. We get it. And we can report a shark sighting in the unlikeliest of places. The New York subway. A still wet, 1.5 pound carcass was discovered in a subway car.

Passengers thought it was a toy at first but once they realized it was an actual shark, they started posing for pictures with it. Of course they did. New York City Transit officials still don't know how they got there.

Did you have anything to do that for the --

BERMAN: Right. I doubt it swam there. That's my only contribution to this.

SAMBOLIN: There we go. How weird is that?

BERMAN: Very, very strange.

SAMBOLIN: People are so odd.

BERMAN: You see strange things on the subway.

SAMBOLIN: I know.

BERMAN: Coming up, crash test winners and losers. Which car ranked safer for your family, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: My favorite time of day. It is money time. Alison Kosik is here with hopefully good news this morning.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good news because as you know what goes down must go up. So here's what we're expecting on Wall Street. Following, of course, three straight days of losses. Stocks dropped yesterday on fears the Federal Reserve may soon turn off the spigot, tapering its economic stimulus program.

That stimulus has been propping up the market. But even with the losses that we've seen over the past few days, the Dow and the S&P 500 are down only 1 percent from record highs.

More fallout from the mortgage meltdown. The Justice Department says JPMorgan Chase broke the law. No specific details yet but it involved sales of mortgage securities the years of 2005 and 2007. Now this is preliminary so far. No formal charges have been made.

But the bank's mortgage operations are under civil and criminal investigation. The mortgage meltdown was partially caused by a large amount of risky mortgage investments gone bad. Earlier this week the government sued Bank of America for defrauding investors. New crash tests are raising concerns about some small cars, the Nissan Sentra, Kia Soul and Kia Forte go the worst rating in the latest step done by the Insurance Institute for highway safety.

The group put compact cars for a new more stringent kind of crash test that had the cars go 40 miles an hour. They went a barrier with only part of the front bunker in place.

Kia and Nissan say the 40 miles went beyond was federal requirements are but the company vowed to make safety changes. Top marks went to the civic, the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, and Hyundai Elantra and the Scion.

Are you sentenced to jail, but you don't like the accommodations?

SAMBOLIN: A great story.

(LAUGHTER)

KOSIK: That's what you can do. You can upgrade. Freemont, California, now actually allows some non-violent offenders to move into a quieter, smaller jail for $155 a day and a one-time fee of 45 bucks.

But listen, it's still jail so you still get that standard cell with that really lousy, thin mattress from what I hear, of course. I don't know this from personal experience.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: What do you know about this?

KOSIK: You do get the toilet, you get the sink. Why is California doing this? Because it can help California's bottom line. And just five prisoners upgrade for an entire years, Freemont could earn more than $250,000.

BERMAN: That is insane. It makes me think. These -- here's an idea like rewards points. Like you use the post now. Look I get up and I was platinum in there for awhile. So they should have rewards points --

SAMBOLIN: So repeat offenders?

(CROSSTALK)

KOSIK: But he was in jail.

SAMBOLIN: They now rewards point -- $155 a day. I guess it depends on how long you're in, right? That is awfully expensive.

BERMAN: You're talking like this pretty rich --

KOSIK: But I'm imagining it's worse that he don't want to be at the general population.

SAMBOLIN: My good --

(LAUGHTER)

All righty then. Thank you very much.

KOSIK: You got it.

SAMBOLIN: Only in California.

BERMAN: Thanks, Alison.

KOSIK: Sure.

BERMAN: Coming up here, so did you check your ticket?

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BERMAN: We won here -- not me.

SAMBOLIN: No, you did not win.

BERMAN: Fifty-three cents a person here at CNN. But some big winners. Three winning big Powerball tickets sold. One of the largest jackpots the lottery has ever had and Zain Asher is live with where the tickets were sold. We will tell you where that magic place is right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)