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Where is James DiMaggio; Deadly Flooding in Missouri, Tennessee; "Doubling" Its Nuclear Efforts?; Student Loan Rate Change; Powerball Winners Revealed

Aired August 9, 2013 - 05:00   ET



SARA BRITT, ETHAN AND HANNAH'S GRANDPARENT: Taken our heart and soul, taken my only child. And please let Hannah go.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A family's desperate plea for the man suspected of murdering his longtime friend and kidnapping her daughter. That man now believed to be armed with bombs.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Water rescue. Storms slamming the country from the Midwest to the Southeast. Firefighters saving families from all those rising floodwaters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to be one of those people that says I'm going to keep working, because I'm not working for anybody else anymore.


BERMAN: A Minnesota man claiming a third of one of the biggest Powerball jackpots ever. He's one of the coolest winners you will ever see. What do we know about the other two winning tickets still out there?

SAMBOLIN: No longer in the dark. At least not that one.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. We're happy you're with us. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is Friday, August 9th, 5:00 a.m. in the East.

SAMBOLIN: Well, we begin with a search for a man suspected of killing a friend and kidnapping her daughter. James DiMaggio is still on the run this morning, possibly with a 16-year-old girl and possibly armed with explosives.

And as Miguel Marquez reports, authorities are chasing down leads and desperately trying to find them.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This morning, more sightings and more concern about the fate of 16-year-old Hannah Anderson, in the hands of her alleged abductor, James DiMaggio. Dozens of sightings of the dark blue Nissan Versa outside California. Amber Alerts now lighting up much of the western U.S., from Mexico to the Canadian border.

At this Seattle emergency call center, nine out of ten calls related to Hannah Anderson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's obviously a very high priority for us.

MARQUEZ: Investigators now saying DiMaggio may have built his own explosives, ditched his own car, wiring it to explode, urging extreme caution.

JAN CALDWELL, SAN DIEGO COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT.: We want to put out there, for civilian and officer safety, if you see this car, do not approach it, but call law enforcement.

MARQUEZ: This as the human toll is taking its effect, speaking exclusively to CNN, Sara and Ralph Britt, mother and stepfather of Christina Anderson, grandparents to Hannah and Ethan, make a desperate appeal.



SARA BRITT: We need her home. She needs to be home.

MARQUEZ: They believe with 100 percent certainly, Hannah is alive. They hold out hope 8-year-old Ethan, E, is alive as well, but they fear the worst.

SARA BRITT: Little "E" is -- he's just the best little guy you can imagine. Mr. Fisherman. Hannah, our honey bunny.

MARQUEZ: Now, the Britts holding on to each other wearing "pray for Hannah" t-shirts are preparing for one funeral, possibly two.

SARA BRITT: You never plan to bury your child. You never plan to bury your grandchildren, if that's what it comes to. Something you just can't comprehend or cope with.

MARQUEZ: For now, all their emotion and energy devoted to the hope that Hannah, their granddaughter is alive and they will soon be reunited.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, San Diego County, California.


BERMAN: What a story that is. Now to the other top story, the torrential rain sweeping across the nation's midsection, causing more flash floods from Missouri to Tennessee.

SAMBOLIN: The area surrounding Nashville is pretty much all wet. Flooding turned roads into lakes. Some cars buried up to windshields. The rising water trapped people in their vehicles and inside their homes.

BERMAN: You can see emergency responders in other places wading in waist deep muddy rivers.

A lot of residents saved, including a 5-week-old baby. Firefighters took the infant from the home that was flooded, carrying the baby above the water to safety. That's a lucky kid.

SAMBOLIN: As the floodwaters recede in some areas, the damage is very apparent.

A CNN iReporter gave us an up close look at Nashville after the deluge.


CNN IREPORTER: This is where the flooding was pretty bad down here. You can tell right there, that got moved all the way from across the street. Everything around here looks horrible right now. So, this is just part of the flooding this morning that happened. Yes, this is pretty bad around here.


BERMAN: What a mess.

In Missouri, upwards of 10 inches of rain fell flooding the streets, leaving a whole lot of people stranded. This water rescue looking at right now. This happened south of Springfield. The floods left at least one woman dead in the southwestern corner of the state. Police say a creek overflowed, washing away her car.

SAMBOLIN: And in Waynesville, in the central part of Missouri, authorities continue their search for the body of a young mother. She's presumed drown after a flash flood hit the area. Twenty-three- year-old Jessica Lee was in the car with her 4-year-old when the river began to rise. His body was found Tuesday, as was the car. The town received three plus inches of rain on Thursday.

BERMAN: We're showing you a lot of pictures here. Obviously, a lot of weather out there, a lot to talk about.

Indra Petersons is tracking it all for us.

Good morning, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning. It's so unbelievable. I keep telling everyone. One foot of water makes you weigh 1,500 pounds less. That's why you don't walk through, especially a car, an average of 3,000 pounds, two feet of water is going to sweep it away. I say it over and over again, especially on days like this.

It's so important because it can actually save your life. Turn around, don't drown. Look at the rain, Branson, eight inches of rain. Madison, Tennessee, 7.32 inches per hour.

There's couple of things going on. We're talking about rainfall rates, several inches per hour. That's causing a flooding. In addition to that, we are talking day after day of rain just like this.

Here we go again. This is the current radar. The last six hour loop, Oklahoma City seeing heavy rain, again in through Arkansas. Not as much in Missouri, but still rain in the forecast, especially the southern portions of Missouri.

So, what's going on? I want to show you. Here's the stalled portion of the front. Notice where it's blue, that's the cold front that's still moving. Notice how quickly the rain moves through the northeast. The stalled front does that. It stays here.

So, look at the flooding potential again over the next several days. We'll talk about where it went faster. You can still have heavy rates per hour. So, with that, especially New England, anywhere from two to four inches, maybe one to three inches for D.C. and New York. We'll talk the southern portion. It's where we're looking for a threat again for flash flooding, just being a little different. And then it's day after day of rain and heavy rain.

BERMAN: Look at that stalled right over Nashville, right over Tennessee where they don't need it.

PETERSONS: How scary, all over again, yes.

BERMAN: All right. Indra, thanks so much.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BERMAN: Got another weather story to tell you about.

Officials in Riverside County, California, say the Silver Fire, it is the fastest burning wildfire they have ever seen. Hundreds of people have been evacuated for communities near Palm Springs. Crews are attacking from all angles. So far, this fire burned 14,000 acres, more than two dozen homes and buildings have been destroyed. The fire right now only 20 percent contained.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are seeing fire behavior we haven't seen in a long time. The fields are so dry. Add a little bit of wind to that and it makes it a challenge to catch or keep up with the fire.


BERMAN: About 500 personnel are battling the blaze. Five firefighters have been injured. Officials expect it will be a couple days before they can get the smoke and flames out there under control.

SAMBOLIN: The U.S. consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, is being evacuated after a specific terror threat. The State Department says only emergency personnel will stay behind in Pakistan's largest city. No details have been revealed. It was a threat worthy of taking this action. U.S. citizens are warned not to travel to Pakistan.

BERMAN: Embassies in the Middle East and Africa are still empty right now.

Meanwhile, three suspected U.S. drone strikes left 13 people dead in Yemen, including seven believed to be al Qaeda fighters. Two of the strikes took place in southern Yemen, the third in the central part of that country. Security officials in Yemen tell CNN that U.S. drone strikes killed at least 34 people in the last two weeks, a lot of activity there.

SAMBOLIN: Does North Korea stepping up their nuclear program? New satellite imagery analyzed by a security think tank suggests the country is increasing their uranium enrichment efforts, perhaps even doubling the size of a complex use for processing nuclear material as well.

Earlier this year, the Kim Jong-un government said they were restarting their work at the previously moth balled facility.

BERMAN: The wife of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy says that he will be back, making that claim at a surprise appearance in a pro- Morsy rally. This is the first time that Morsy's wife has been seen in public since her husband was removed from power in early July. Morsy's children joined their mother at the protest and called on the Egyptian military to release their father from house arrest.

SAMBOLIN: High level diplomacy today in Washington where Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet with their Russian counterparts, amid the dust off over President Obama's decision not to meet with Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow next month. Today's meeting at the State Department will likely include a discussion of Russia's granting temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

BERMAN: They have a lot to talk about.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, yes.

BERMAN: A change in student loan rates. President Obama today will sign a compromised measure that will drop rates to 3.9 percent for undergrads, about 5 1/2 percent for grad students. Future rates will be tied to financial markets, meaning they could rise if the economy improves. Loan rates doubled last month when Congress failed to reach a deal.

Some relief in sight for students.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Thank God.

BERMAN: Tell me how my tomatoes were?

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my gosh, they were the heirloom tomatoes. You're not growing them. Your wife is, by the way. I'm not going to give you all the credit. They were delicious.

The little ones were what?

BERMAN: Cherry tomato.

SAMBOLIN: Unbelievable.

BERMAN: I'm not there. It's not like I'm not part of it.

SAMBOLIN: You didn't know you were growing tomatoes when she told you to go pick them.

BERMAN: But once I found out, I was an integral part of the operation. All right.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you for the tomatoes. Thank you.

Ten minutes past the hour.

Coming up, it's the dark side of social media. This is awful. A teenage girl brutally bullied online hangs herself. How two teenage boys are now being charged in the case.

BERMAN: And he will never work again. The man holding one of three winning Powerball tickets. He explains what he will do with the money, plus what we learned overnight perhaps about some of the other winners.


SAMBOLIN: Thirteen minutes past the hour.

The trial of army major, Nidal Hasan, is back on. A judge ruling the Ft. Hood massacre suspect can continue representing himself while ordering his legal team to stay on as advisers as well. Hasan's attorneys caused a delay this week, asking the judge to remove them from the case because they believe the defendant is trying to secure a death sentence.

BERMAN: Obstruction of justice charges now for two friends of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The pair who were Tsarnaev's college roommates stand accused of making off with a laptop and backpack from the room after Tsarnaev asked them to, quote, "take what's there." The two Kazakhs nationals already face conspiracy charges and could sentence to 25 years in prison if convicted.

SAMBOLIN: It's sentencing day for a Bangladeshi man who plotted to blow up the Federal Reserve Building in New York with a 9,000 pound bomb. In a rambling, typo-filled letter to his sentencing judge, 24- year-old Quazi Mohammed Nafis blames his radicalization on a childhood stammering problem and a cheating girlfriend. He also claims to now love America, insisting he rejected radical Islam.

To Texas and a shooting spree in Dallas area that left four women dead. Authorities say the gunman was Irby Bowser, a 44-year-old special education teacher and former member of a hip hop dance troop that performs at Dallas Mavericks games. The women he's alleged to have killed included his estranged wife, also his girlfriend.

Police say he went to one house in Dallas and shot four people, killing two. And then went to Desoto, Texas, about seven miles away, threw some sort of bomb and shot four more people, killing two others. Some of the victims are children.

Bowser is now in custody. And police say he has been difficult to interview so far.

SAMBOLIN: And charges this morning for two Canadian men in connection with a tragic sexual assault and a bullying case. The 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons died in April after attempting suicide. She had allegedly been raped by four boys in 2011 and pictures of her were shared online. The two 18-year-old men who have not been identified are now charged with making and distributing child pornography. They were minors at the time of the alleged assault.

BERMAN: The seemingly never-ending Michael Jackson wrongful death trial may go on longer. The judge telling jurors in the case, she doesn't expect them to begin deliberations until late September. It's some five months after they started.

One juror has since moved and then replaced with an alternate. Another told a judge August is a drop day to finish. The Jackson family is suing a concert promoter, claiming it was responsible for Michael Jackson's death.

SAMBOLIN: Sixteen minutes past the hour.

A custody hearing today for singer Usher and his wife after their oldest son nearly drown in a swimming pool at his Atlanta home. The ex-wife Tameka Foster claims Usher is too busy to take care of their two children, frequently leaving them with others. She also claims it was a lack of supervision that led to that swimming accident.

Usher was awarded full custody of his son last year after a bitter custody dispute.

BERMAN: So, it did not take long for one of the winners of the big Powerball jackpot to come forward. He's much, much richer this morning. He's also incredibly cool. And he tells us what he plans to do with the newfound millions.


BERMAN (voice-over): Winning the lottery is every person's dream. But for Paul White of Ham Lake, Minnesota, that dream became a reality. He's the first of three winning ticketholders to claim his share of the $448 million Powerball jackpot.

PAUL WHITE, POWERBALL WINNER: I have gone through this in my head so many times in my life that you almost feel like it's finally coming true.

BERMAN: The 45-year-old divorced father of two says he's been taunted by his family for years about his devotion to playing the lottery. So, busy at work Thursday morning, his girlfriend called him, asking him to check his tickets. The Powerball matched and he quickly realized.

WHITE: And I said, I'll have to call you back later. And I went whoo! I ran around the office. Everybody is like what happened.

I think I had 10 people verify the ticket before I left the office.

BERMAN: White proudly holding up a check for $149.4 million. After taxes, he takes home about $58.3 million.

WHITE: I'm not going to be one of those people that says I'm going to keep working because I'm not working for anybody else anymore.

BERMAN: White's immediately plans include buying a car for himself and his father, and setting aside college funds for his teenage kids.

WHITE: This is too surreal at this point. I mean, I don't think you can understand how it's just amazing to me. It's just amazing. No worries, anymore. It's crazy.

BERMAN: The owners of the other two winning tickets in New Jersey have not been confirmed. But local reports indicate 16 government workers may have purchased one of them in their office pool.


BERMAN: So, I said the Minnesota winner was really cool. You want to know what the coolest part?


BERMAN: He brought his boss to the press conference to announce the winnings. And he says, he says, you know, this is my boss, but later today, he's going to be my chauffeur, you know?

So, I like to see someone winning the lottery and looking like they're appreciating it, you know?

SAMBOLIN: Yes, I thought, maybe he'd quit on the spot.

BERMAN: He basically did. He's not going to work very much anymore. Good for him.

If your luck didn't pan out this time, you know --

SAMBOLIN: Which it did not. BERMAN: I know. Well, I told you it wasn't going to. But there's another jackpot this weekend, $40 million. Not as much big. But it's not too bad, right?

SAMBOLIN: I'm going to take it.

BERMAN: Go for it.

SAMBOLIN: If I wanted.

All right. So, coming up, something we haven't been able to say for awhile. Is the housing market hot again? A double dose of good news for homeowners this morning.

"Money Time", coming up next.


SAMBOLIN: Can we get special music?


SAMBOLIN: Like more zippy. And I want to tell good news.

Welcome back to EARLY START. It's "Money Time."

BERMAN: I want, I want, I want.

SAMBOLIN: Alison Kosik is here, hopefully, with some good news, at least in the housing market. You'll get there eventually.

KOSIK: Yes, with stocks, not so good news. What a difference a week makes. Last Friday, there were record highs on Wall Street. Now, we are expecting a loss for the week. So, this is a step back. The market, though, has been up over the past six weeks.

But now, there's this word happening on Wall Street that people are talking about. I love it. It's Septaper, and it's scaring investors away.

So, we have all this weird jargon, operation twist, fiscal cliff, TARP and now Septaper, my new favorite. It's a combination of the word September and taper.

Many analysts think the Federal Reserve is going to make an announcement in September about tapering back its massive stimulus program. So, you're seeing investors pull out of stocks this week.

A double dose of strong housing news. House prices are rising, and it's sweeping the nation. The National Association of Realtors say prices rose last quarter in 87 percent of U.S. cities. And the increases are huge.

Prices in Sacramento up 39 percent in the past year. Same for Atlanta. There are 30 percent increases in Florida and Nevada. For perspective, though, these are some of the cities that have the biggest housing bust. Still, prices are up because more people have jobs and there are fewer homes on the market for sale.

A second report shows mortgage delinquencies hit a five-year low. So, that means more people are making their payments on time.

The trader largely responsible for JPMorgan Chase's $6 billion trading loss last year, likely won't face federal charges. That's according to several reports. Bruno Iksil known as the London whale made investment that is went bad. It led to the resignation of the top JPMorgan executive and raised questions about the bank's reputation. No word on why Iksil is no longer a focus of a Department of Justice investigation.

So it could soon get cheaper for prisoners to call home.

BERMAN: You know so much about prison. You're a prison expert.

KOSIK: I'm on the prison beat this week. Lucky me.

The FCC is set to will vote whether or not to cap the collect calls they make at 25 cents a minute. Right now, out of state calls from prison can cost more than $1 a minute. So, a typical 15-minute call would go from $15 to less than $4.

And studies show that keeping in touch with families help prisoners from becoming repeat offenders. So, you know, yes, they are behind bars, they did something wrong. But, look, they've got kids, they've got family members. It's good to keep it going. And it's hard to talk for a reasonable amount of time if they're -- you know, they can't pay.

SAMBOLIN: It's so expensive.

BERMAN: Interesting. Never thought of that.

SAMBOLIN: I know, right?

BERMAN: Alison Kosik, on the prison beat, and "Money Time", all things connected. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Twenty-five minutes after the hour right now.

Coming up, this is really incredible. A Facebook murder confession. A Miami man behind bars accused of killing his wife and sharing the bloody scene with his Facebook friends.