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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Abducted Teen Recovering; Massive Sinkhole in Florida; Is Aaron Hernandez's Fiancee Implicated?; San Diego Mayor Leaves Treatment Early; Snowden's Father Criticizes President, Rep. Peter King; Big Retailers Monitoring Returns

Aired August 12, 2013 - 05:00   ET

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


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: It's now healing time. The abducted teen's father relieved and looking for answers as his daughter is rescued and her alleged captor is shot dead.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Is the fiancee of former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez, is she now in hot water? What police think she may have done to protect her man.

SAMBOLIN: And incredible pictures from overnight. A massive sinkhole devours part of a Florida resort right into the ground.

BERMAN: Look at that. Can you imagine?

SAMBOLIN: Oh I saw that this morning and I was sending these pictures all over the place. Incredible. Wait till you see them all.

BERMAN: All right, Good morning. With that, welcome to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Nice to have you with us this morning. It's Monday, August 12th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East and we begin this morning with the daring rescue of a teenage girl, she was missing for days, and the killing of her apparent captor as well. It all took place in the wilderness of Idaho. Miguel Marquez is there this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This morning, 16-year- old Hannah Anderson recuperating from a hellish experience. She's secluded in a government facility, her father now with her. An FBI victim specialist helping her cope with the devastating loss of her mother, Christina, her brother, Ethan, and a terrifying week on the run with her captor. James DeMaggio.

Two couples on horseback in Idaho's back country providing critical tips after their unusual encounter with Anderson and her suspected abductor.

UNIDENTIFEID MALE: They showed up at the lake and they were just like a square peg going into a round hole. They didn't fit. He might have been an outdoorsman in California but he was not an outdoorsman in Idaho. He didn't fit.

MARQUEZ: Few words spoken, but nothing seemed right.

MIKE YOUNG, SPOTTED ANDERSON IN IDAHO: Usually you don't run into somebody that's wearing pajamas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who was wearing pajamas?

YOUNG: Well, it looked kind of like pajama bottoms that she was wearing.

MARQUEZ: Even stranger, they were hiking with a cat, a house cat, possibly purchased for Hannah who loves cats along their run as a way of trying to soothe her.

MARK JOHN, SPOTTED ANDERSON IN IDAHO: I said, What are you doing with a cat in here? Them cats are only good for wolf, you know, to kill the wolf in or to bring in a mountain lion or something. And he just kind of grinned.

MARQUEZ: What really set off alarm bells, DeMaggio told the foursome he was headed for the Salmon River. They didn't say it at the time but knew he was headed in the wrong direction. Asked if they ever feared for their lives, the answer, pure Idaho.

JOHN: We were all three, we was all packing pistols. Don't go in the woods without a pistol. He might have got one of us, but we would have got him.

MARQUEZ: In the end, they didn't have to. A government plane surveilled the pair for hours, watching their every move. The FBI's hostage rescue team delivered to waiting choppers in a U-Haul were dropped off more than a two-hour hike from the camp site. Stealthily, they surrounded the camp waiting for DeMaggio and Hannah to separate. Then they moved in.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Cascade, Idaho.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: An incredible story. And coming up on NEW DAY, much more on the search and rescue of Hannah Anderson. Chris and Kate will speak with four of the people whose tips helped locate the teenager and led to her rescue.

BERMAN: So many questions in that story.

A lot of questions In Rhode Island now too where a 2-year-old was found this morning wandering a Providence street. Isaiah Perez went missing early Sunday morning from a home in Johnson; that's not far from Providence. Police say they found two bodies in that home, apparently murdered, and then the search was on for the little boy. He was finally spotted Sunday evening walking a street in the capital city just a few miles away. He was found by a patrol officer who was actually not out looking for him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF HUGH CLEMENTS, PROVIDENCE POLICE: This is just a vigilant patrol officer sticking in the area, working on some hunches on his own, and he comes upon the child wandering.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Good for him. Two men now in custody in connection with the murders and kidnapping. They were not with the 2-year-old when he was found.

SAMBOLIN: It is four minutes past the hour. A question this morning in the Cherokee Nation: Where is Dustin Brown? He is a father who authorities say has ignored court orders to turn his daughter over to her adoptive parents. Brown has had 3-year-old Veronica since 2011 when a court said he could have custody. But the Supreme Court earlier this year said that was wrong and ordered that little girl be returned to a South Carolina couple that had raised her from birth. A tribal court will hold an emergency hearing this morning a day after Brown failed to turn himself in Iowa where he is training with the National Guard.

BERMAN: Police investigating former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez now suspect it may have been his fiancee that helped hide a murder weapon. Hernandez has been charged with a killing a semi-pro football player named Odin Lloyd. Now, in search warrants obtained by the Bristol Press newspaper in Connecticut, authorities raised the possibility that the fiancee of Hernandez took a mysterious rigid object from their home and did not bring it back. The weapon has not yet been located.

SAMBOLIN: Now to Florida now, an incredible picture of a building collapsing into an apparent sinkhole. This happened at a resort northeast of Orlando. One building collapsed. Take a look at this, folks. Another is slowly sinking into a 60 foot wide crater. It is 15 feet deep and it is growing.

Guests reported hearing loud noises and windows cracking and the building sunk. About 35 people had to be evacuated, and thankfully, there are no juries to report there.

BERMAN: Not what you think about when you check in. Is this hotel going to sink?

SAMBOLIN: No, I'm going on vacation.

BERMAN: The trial is set to begin soon for a former Georgia Southern University student charged with making a threat against his school online. Twenty-year-old Caleb Clemens wrote on his Tumblr page that he planned on shooting up the school, instructing people to pass the information around to see how long it took until he got arrested. He insists, however, this was a literary experiment, a kind of an art piece. He's now been in jail six months. His family does not have the money to bail him out.

SAMBOLIN: Wow. Not a good idea. Scary moments at New York's Kennedy Airport when two customs workers were sickened after smelling a strange odor on a package. So that odor came from phosphoric acid in beauty supplies that was being shipped in from China. The workers declined medical attention and airport operations were not affected.

BERMAN: A surprise return this morning for an embattled mayor. San Diego's Bob Filner, he was supposed to be undergoing treatment this week amid allegations that he sexually harassed more than a dozen women. As Kyung Lah reports, the treatment may have come to an early end, but not the calls for Filner to step down.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This morning in San Diego, Mayor Bob Filner is believed to be back in the city he governs after checking out of rehab a week before he publicly said he would finish.

GARY SEGYERT (PH), SAN DIEGO RESIDENT: It has kind of people are shaking their heads and saying, you know, it's ridiculous. Why is it continuing?

LAH: Filner's residents overwhelmingly want him to stay away.

WILLIAM SAWAYA, SAN DIEOG RESIDENT: Really, mayor? You did what you did, now you want to stay as mayor. Bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You are not staying as mayor.

LAH : Voters aren't the only ones. U.S. Senator and fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer writing an open letter to Filner said, "You must resign." She adds, "The latest revelations regarding women recovering from sexual assault have shaken me to my core."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're predators.

LAH: The senator is talking about CNN's exclusive interview with these two women, both former military and rape survivors, who say they were then harassed by Bob Filner at a support meeting. Filner, the former Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee was invited into their women's veterans group, seen as a champion of their cause.

ELDONNA LEWIS FERNANDEZ, (RET.) MSGT., USAF: We are all victims of military sexual assault. And it appears to me he was targeting this organization and hitting on the women in this organization because they were easy prey.

LAH: The City attorney's office, the sheriff's department, and the California attorney general's office all working on investigating the mayor. Filner's chief of staff reportedly changed the locks on the mayor's office to preserve what she calls potential evidence. The mayor remains on personal leave amid the growing chorus for him to resign.

Kyung Lah, CNN, San Diego.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SAMBOLIN: It is eight minutes past the hour. Stunning video captures the fury of raging floodwaters in the tourist town of Manitou Springs, Colorado. This was over the weekend. Take a look at this. At least one person died in the flash flood and mud slide that swept away everything else in its path, including, as you're seeing there, dozens of cars. Officials say one person is still missing and dozens of buildings were damaged by the rushing water that swamped highways and residential streets.

BERMAN: Oh my goodness.

SAMBOLIN: I know, it's incredible. A massive clean up is under way now.

BERMAN: Those are actual, real live cars.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, they are.

BERMAN: Unbelievable.

All right, get ready for some cosmic fireworks. You're in for quite a show over the next couple of nights. The annual Perseid - did I say that right? -- meteor shower will be at --

SAMBOLIN: I don't know but it's quite lovely.

BERMAN: It is lovely. And it is intense, the intense meteor shower, dozens streaking across the night sky. They're expected to be most visible between midnight and just before sunrise. Perfect to watch them just before EARLY START every morning this week.

SAMBOLIN: That's a great idea. This and then us. How perfect is that? It's quite lovely, actually.

BERMAN: What could be better? Because we're so cosmic as it is.

CNN's Jennifer Delgado tracking the weather for us. Great to see you, Jennifer.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, long time, no see. And it's the Perseid meteor shower. I know you were asking, John, not trying to correct you, but just letting you know what the astronomers call it. Now, yes, we're going to continue to see those popping up even for tomorrow morning. Hopefully you have the clear skies to check out the meteor showers.

But if you're in northeast this morning, we're talking rain out there. You can see for Allentown, it's moving through north Jersey as well as New York this morning. And there's rain right now for parts of Midwest, for areas including Chicago, Milwaukee, all the way through regions including Kansas City and central Kansas. And certainly, they don't need the rain in parts of Kansas as well as in Arkansas, but the reality is the stationary front that's been causing all types of problems over about the last seven days, it's still going to be the fuel for more rainfall. And then we have another front coming through. This is providing more rain for areas including the south as well as the northeast. The northeast, for areas like New York, D.C., expected to come really tomorrow.

But it's not all bad news with the frontal system. We are going to get cooler air working in and this means for areas like Minneapolis as well as Chicago, your temperatures are going to run 10 degrees below average. It's going to feel more fall-like. For Chicago, a high of 74 degrees for Tuesday and Wednesday. Pittsburgh, the same for you with temperatures ten below. And then for St. Louis, high temperatures are going to drop down to 79 degrees on Wednesday.

I think right now, John, Zoraida is packing her bags and thinking I better go to Chicago and get the nice weather.

SAMBOLIN: No, no, actually I'm not the opposite but it was Berman who jinxed us. Because he said this morning summer is over.

BERMAN: It is. It's basically over. The trees, the leaves are falling off of trees. They're playing football. It's all over.

DELGADO: We've still got time. We've still got some time.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Jennifer.

DELGADO: You're welcome, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Eleven minutes past the hour: Two words you never want to hear from your boss, "You're fired." But you don't want to hear this on a conference call, right? With your co-workers. That is exactly what happened during a call AOL's CEO Tim Armstrong was holding with employees of the Patch local web sites talking about layoffs. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM ARMSTRONG, AOL, CEO: Abel, put that camera down right now. Abel, you're fired. Out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Abel is creative director Abel Lenz who apparently tried to take a picture of Armstrong during that call. Armstrong later likened the situation to people in the locker room giving away the game plan. Neither Lenz nor AOL are not commenting.

BERMAN: Camera shy CEO right there, apparently.

SAMBOLIN: No kidding. You're fired!

BERMAN: All right, get ready, Apple fans. There's word this morning that the newest version of the iPhone might just be a few weeks away. Apple may unveil it on September 10th. There's speculation in the tech world that this new iPhone may include an upgraded camera and a processor. The USA Today reports that Samsung may try to take a bite out of Apple's momentum; it's expected to release its new Galaxy smartphone just a few days before.

In related news, I actually badly need a new phone, so this is fantastic news for me. I tried to lead with this, this morning, because this is news that affects my life directly.

SAMBOLIN: Very important.

All right, 12 minutes after the hour. Coming up, we are watching the situation in Egypt where police were set to begin cracking down on protesters. But is this all on hold now? We're going to have the very latest, coming up.

BERMAN: And here he goes again. The circus continues. Donald Trump raising eyebrows. What he said this time that has some people asking, "Is he serious?"

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. A war of words is brewing between President Obama and the father of the man who admitted leaking details of the NSA surveillance programs.

Dan Lothian explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Obama in vacation mode on a Martha's Vineyard golf course showing a bit of frustration after missing a putt while NSA leaker Edward Snowden's father appeared on a Sunday morning talk show taking aim at the president and a Republican Congressman who's labeled his son a traitor.

LON SNOWDEN, FATHER OF NSA LEAKER: My son has spoken the truth. He has sacrificed more than even the president of the United States or Peter King have ever in their political careers or their American lives.

LOTHIAN: Lon Snowden was reacting to the president's pre-vacation news conference where he dismissed the notion that the younger Snowden's actions served a greater good.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I don't think Mr. Snowden was a patriot. The fact is, Mr. Snowden's been charged with three felonies.

LOTHIAN: Now, Snowden's father says he and his attorney will be traveling to Russia very soon to help his son fight those charges.

SNOWDEN: We have visas; we have a date, which we won't disclose right now because of the frenzy

LOTHIAN: It's that frenzy and outspoken by U.S. officials that Lon Snowden claims will make it difficult for his son to get a fair hearing if he returns to the U.S. SNOWDEN: I want my son to come home if I believe that the justice system that we should be afforded as Americans is going to be applied correctly.

LOTHIAN: Dan Lothian, CNN, Martha's Vineyard.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: In Egypt this morning, the latest move to kick supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsy out of their camps is apparently on hold. Police were preparing to block access to the camps. This is an attempt to cut off supplies like food and water. And those camps there, they spent the weekend reinforcing their position, building reinforced brick walls and stacking sandbags in order to keep the police out.

But there are reports this morning that the police have now postponed taking any action against them. In our next half hour, we're going to go live to Cairo for the very latest from our Reza Sayah.

BERMAN: Most of America's diplomatic posts closed amid fears of a possible al Qaeda attack are open again this morning. But the embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, remains shut down, as does the consulate in Lahore, Pakistan. The U.S. shuttered 19 embassies and consulates last week because of an intercept communication showing al Qaeda was planning an attack.

SAMBOLIN: 18 minutes past the hour. An American citizen held in a North Korean labor camp is in the hospital this morning after his sister says his health has begun to deteriorate. Kenneth Bae was arrested 9 months ago; he was accused of acts against the government. He's serving a 15-year sentence. His sister says Bae is suffering from diabetes, an enlarged heart and also liver problems, and she wants the United States to help bring him home.

BERMAN: Two big names set to appear before the American Bar Association. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to outline changes to sentencing policies for those convicted of minor drug charges. This would have the effect of getting around some of the mandatory minimum sentences for first-time drug offenders if they have no ties to gangs or drug organizations.

And the lawyers' group will give its highest award to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her career as a lawyer and an advocate for human rights.

SAMBOLIN: And another sign this morning that Vice President Biden may be making a presidential run in 2016. CNN has learned he will travel to Iowa next month to take part in a political rite of passage, the annual Steak Fry sponsored by Iowa senator Tom Harkin. That event is a typical stop for potential Democratic White House contenders. Though of course the vice president has yet to confirm that he is indeed in the running.

BERMAN: So Donald Trump will not say if he's running for president in 2016 but, as usual, he is totally willing to drum up as much publicity as possible and he's telling ABC's "This Week" that he's pledging to spend whatever it takes.

This was a contentious interview with Trump this time saying he's not still convinced President Obama was born in this country. Asked if that makes him look less than serious, Trump replied that the accusations about the president's birth resonated with a lot of people. Donald Trump, folks.

Coming up, Facebook COO must really like her stock now. She is in the money this morning now that Facebook shares are flying high. That's coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Fresh from the mean streets of Iowa, it is money time. Christine Romans back.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: From the cornfields. I'm back from the cornfields, guys.

The bull market took a break while I was away. A summer break, if you will. For the week, stocks posted their biggest declines since mid- June. But don't worry too much about it, all the averages are still up about 19 percent for the year. For the week, the Dow down about 1.8 percent, the Nasdaq down just shy of 1 percent, the S&P 500 down 1.1 percent.

An earnings parade this week. On Wednesday, we're going to get results from Cisco Systems and Macy's. Thursday, it's Wal-Mart, Kohl's, and Nordstrom. So we'll be getting a real look at the health of the consumer, what people are spending, and how retailers are doing.

Also, Facebook's Sheryl Sandburg leaning in to a pile of money this morning. The Facebook COO and author of the book "Lean In", she sold 2.4 million shares of the social network's stock last week. The average price at $38 a share, just about the IPO price, by the way. That comes out to $91 million. The shares were sold in a prearranged plan that top execs use to cash in portions of their holdings, you know, periodically. She made more money on it this year than she did maybe even six months ago.

When you return a skirt, for example, that you don't like, John Berman, or maybe a tie, the retailer might be keeping tabs on you. According to the Associated Press, companies are collecting information on consumers and creating return profiles of customers at big name stores like J.C.Penney, Victoria's Secret, Home Depot, Nike.

Many buyers are not aware that some returns are being monitored at these stores that then outsource the information to third party companies to create these return profiles. Consumer advocates are raising transparency issues about the practice. One reason why they do it, so many of these big stores, is because there are gangs of thieves that steal a lot of stuff, return them for store credit. They're trying to track this. There are also people who are repeat offenders, who buy things, wear them, return them, over and over again, and they're trying to stop that slippage. So that's a really interesting kind of consumer story. Are you being tracked or are the companies doing it to protect themselves?

(CROSSTALK)

SAMBOLIN: Well, that's because I know that now at some retailers start putting the tags on the outside. And if you remove the tag, you cannot return the item. So they are on to you.

ROMANS: And if you read the (INAUDIBLE), you'll see that we will return it with a receipt after 30 days, maybe. Because they want to make sure that you're not somebody who's been a repeat offender.

SAMBOLIN: I can't stand that. Have you ever tried on a dress that looks like it's used?

ROMANS: Yes. I just think if you buy something, you know --

SAMBOLIN: If you wear it -

ROMANS: And one last thing, I have some good news, being back from the cornfields, corn prices, a good corn harvest expected, probably going to drive down the price of lots of things that use corn. So watch your grocery store cart, like beef prices I think are going to start coming down. Gas prices down ten days in a row. Zoraida loves happy news. So there's your good consumer news.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you. Welcome back.

(CROSSTALk0

ROMANS: Gas prices down 10 days in a row; food prices will probably drift a little bit lower.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you. It is 27 minutes past the hour. Coming up, we're live in Egypt where it appears that protesters may get to stay in at two sit-ins at least for now. Why did the police decide not to break them up?

BERMAN: And up, up and away on a trip to Mars. Seriously?

SAMBOLIN: Sign me up.

BERMAN: Why thousands are saying, "Sign me up." Sign Zoraida up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)