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Crackdown in Cairo; Tense Bank Standoff; Weiner on the Defensive; Scientists Can Now Print 3D Organs

Aired August 14, 2013 - 05:30   ET



ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: A violent, bloody crackdown in Cairo as protesters and police square off. It is a dangerous developing situation. We are there live.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news in Louisiana as well. A hostage situation there coming to an end overnight with the hostage taker dead. Two hostages shot. We're going to have the latest from the scene.

SAMBOLIN: And printing organs? That's right. Scientists say they can now 3D print kidneys. Look at that. We're going to tell you about this remarkable advance.

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. A lot going on this morning. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Thirty-one minutes past the hour.

In Cairo this morning, a promised crackdown on protesters has turned very violent as police moved in on the two sit-ins around dawn, firing warning shots in the air and demanding that the supporters of ousted president, Mohamed Morsy, leave. But they are refusing to go. And the clashed appear to be spreading.

Reza Sayah is live at one of the protests that have been (INAUDIBLE) in Cairo. Reza, where are you and what are you seeing?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're in Cairo, Zoraida, and this place looks like a war zone. This is an awful, awful scene here. This is (INAUDIBLE). It's been going on for more than six weeks. The military-backed interim government had promised a crackdown operation and that happened at 6:30 a.m. local time. Security forces, according to witnesses, came in from all directions, closing in on this demonstration.

They say they initially fired warning shots. But at some point, the weapons, protesters -- it's not clear who's doing the shooting. In the past, the interior ministry security forces have repeatedly denied this. But from what we're seeing, there's a lot of people here who've been hurt. A lot of people here who've been killed. We personally witnessed bodies going past us. We're standing right in front of a makeshift clinic here. And there you see, one of the victims just covered in blood, being helped by someone. This has been the scene all morning. Obviously, it's a highly charged atmosphere. A lot of people, emotional. You're seeing people cry. This demonstration has been filled over the past two weeks with lots of families, women, children, they're here, obviously emotional.

And I don't know if you can hear in the background, we can still hear them -- some of them sound like automatic gunfire. It's impossible to tell what's happening beyond our vantage point (INAUDIBLE) but what we can tell you, what's very clear, a lot of these supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsy, have been hurt. They've been hurt badly.

And a lot of them have been killed. And now we wait, Zoraida, to see what the coming hours brings and what the outcome of this operation is going to be.

SAMBOLIN: And Reza, I know that we have a very bad connection, but I want you to stay with me here. You're talking about all of the violence that's happening there. We're seeing the people being taken into and out of the hospital. Are they disbanding? Are they leaving? Is there any effect happening?

SAYAH: Well, we can say people are not leaving, but we're hearing witness accounts that security forces, police, riot troops, have penetrated a number of entrances that were barricaded. So what we believe -- we believe they've moved in to the heart of this demonstration. So what's clear is that this is an operation to clear this place out. But this place is so vast. Over the past few weeks, it is mushroomed into a small town.

They've been building tents. They've been bringing lumber in to set up the shelters. Entire families have moved in here. It's an incredibly difficult task to move everyone away. As you can see, a lot you have people here are defiant, they're determined to stay. I can't tell you how many people I've spoken to who tell me that we're not leaving and we're prepared to die.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Reza Sayah, we really appreciate having you there. We're glad to see that you have a protective vest on. Please be safe there. Thank you.

BERMAN: Just amazing pictures from there with those people, wounded people being carried right behind Reza, clearly, right in the middle of it all.

SAMBOLIN: He said being defiant and staying and standing their ground.

BERMAN: No sign this breaking up any time soon. All right. Thirty- five minutes after the hour.

Other news to tell you about right now, a tense standoff apparently over now at a bank in a rural part of Louisiana with a gunman dead and three hostages freed, but two of them, two of them were shot by the gunman as a S.W.A.T. team moved in to end the standoff. They are both in critical condition right now.

This all happened in St. Joseph along the Mississippi River in the northeastern part of the state. It began early Tuesday afternoon when police say a 20-year-old a man went to the bank apparently planning to rob it. It's not clear why he stayed and why he decided to take the hostages. But this is what we now know, he's now dead.

And again, two of the hostages were shot and injured. They are being treated at this moment. As we said, a lot going on between Egypt and Louisiana. Busy, busy morning.

SAMBOLIN: And some tough weather we have also. Indra Petersons is here. She is keeping an eye on all this crazy weather that's happening around the country.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. We're really talking about dry weather in the west. We have red flag warnings and the dangers of fire danger. What we're looking at today is red flag warnings around Salt Lake City, so that fire danger on the rise, thanks to warming temperatures and lowering humidities. Not a good combination there.

This will actually spread into Idaho by tomorrow. Well, Thursday, it's expected to be the warmest day again. Temperatures approaching that a 100-degree mark. All things the dome of high pressure that is building in.

So, that is bad news for fire relief. But fortunately, as we go towards the second half of the week, we talk about a little bit more monsoonal moisture cruising in and also that low making its winds with some cooler temperatures and higher humidity as we head towards the weekend.

Also, look at the change here into the northeast, that dome of high pressure now building in as that cold front exited yesterday. They really brought all that heavy rain. So, all this brings cool temperatures straight down from Canada. We love it. Let me show you what it's going to be feeling like for the next several days. Temperatures in Cleveland highs today just into the 60s. That's 13 degrees below normal.

Indianapolis, 73 today, Chicago, 74, even now, this cooler spreading all the way to the northeast. So today, 74 even in New York City. So beautiful weather in the northeast, but unfortunately, that frontal boundary has stalled out once again into the southeast. So, look at all the heavy rain that's expected. All of that moisture out of the gulf is going to be fuelling those afternoon thunderstorms, especially right along that boundary.

So, two to five inches of rain possible over the next three days. That's not the only thing going on. We're looking for the potential for development into the Caribbean. So, as this potentially goes into the gulf, we could see a low development in the next several days. If that happens, well, we have the threat that low combing with that frontal boundary. With that, we're talking about enhanced rainfall already without the low once you combine all that tropical moisture to warm and humid air. We're talking about not just three to five inches of rain, but potentially, even eight inches of rain possible in the forecast as we go through the weekend, and they definitely don't need it.

SAMBOLIN: Right. Thank you, Indra.


BERMAN: So it wasn't that long ago that Anthony Weiner was actually leading the field to be New York City's next mayor. That was until the latest revelations about sexting long after he left Congress. So, when he and his fellow candidates met to discuss the race on TV, you just knew that Weiner's past would come up. Here's Rosa Flores.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the shouting match outside and a boxing match inside. The Democratic candidates for New York City mayor facing off in their first televised debate. Anthony Weiner apologizing once again for his latest sexting indiscretions.

ANTHONY WEINER, NY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I've made mistakes, embarrassed myself and have hurt my family.

FLORES: The embattled candidate sparring with city council speaker, Christine Quinn, repeatedly.

WEINER: I've apologized for my personal behavior. The speaker refuses to apologize for overturning the will of the people for the slush fund scandal and for things in her professional record.

CHRISTINE QUINN, NY CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER: Neither me more anybody else on this stage or any New Yorker, quite frankly, should be lectured by Anthony Weiner about what we need to apologize for tonight or ever.

FLORES: The other three opponents seemed perfectly content ignoring him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to talk about Anthony.



FLORES: And focusing instead on the issues facing the city. In recent weeks, the scandal-plagued candidate has gone from first to fourth place. His support plummeting from 26 percent for the latest sexting admission to 10 percent in a new Quinnipiac University poll.

How do you think you're doing despite the poll?

WEINER: I think I'm doing very well. How do you think I'm doing? FLORES: The former congressman's politically savvy wife, Huma Abedin, remains noticeably absent from the campaign trail.

We haven't seen Huma. Where is she tonight?

WEINER: Huma's on babysitting. She's with my 19-month-old Jordan (ph), and I think they're watching on television.

FLORES: Watching Weiner fight to stay in the race.

Rosa Flores, CNN, New York.


SAMBOLIN: Forty minutes past the hour. An Atlanta teenager is on the heart transplant list this morning just days after his family said he had been unfairly rejected. Fifteen-year-old Anthony Stokes (ph) suffers from an enlarged heart and had been told that he only has six months to live.

His mother said he had been initially kept off of the transplant list because the hospital claimed he had a history of noncompliance with medical directions. But she says her son was never sick until last month when he was diagnosed with this heart condition. The hospital says it will continue to work with the family.

BERMAN: All right. So, this is very cool in a kind of a "Twilight Zone" kind of a way. Remember the duck who was given a new 3D printed foot. It helped him walker really sort of I guess waddle for the first time. Well, now scientists in China say they figured out how to print living kidneys, actual transplantable kidneys, miniature ones we're talking about, created using a 3D printer. So, this is still very much in the research phase. It's not close to being ready to use in humans, but apparently, they do seem to work like real organs.

SAMBOLIN: That's remarkable.

BERMAN: It's weird.

SAMBOLIN: It is weird, but can you imagine?


SAMBOLIN: That would be something.

All right. Coming up, a Beijing man's ideal home soon to be no more. Why this mountain villa's owner is being told tear it down?

And what the world's biggest drink maker is doing now to get you to buy its products? Full-page ads about artificial sweeteners?


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. We have an update now on this really incredible story out of China. Officials in Beijing have given a healthcare tycoon 15 days to remove his mountain top villa from atop a 26-storey high rise building. Neighbors say the structure complete rocks and -- look at that -- has caused leaks in the building.

They also complained about late-night karaoke sessions. That's really bothered me. This whole thing is causing an uproar in Beijing. And now the man who built it admits it was a huge mistake. He will have it torn down within a week.

SAMBOLIN: Late-night karaoke bothers you? But really loud music coming --



BERMAN: You can build a mountain on top of my building, just don't sing.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. There we go. All right. Forty-six minutes past the hour.

Schools in Hartford County, Maryland are introducing a new pay to play policy for school sports and for after school activities. The fees come in response to a $20 million budget deficit. CNN affiliate, WJZ, reports that many parents and teachers are really upset about the new fees. $50 for sports, $25 to join after school clubs. They say the extra costs mean some students will be left out.

BERMAN: A Chicago man under arrest accused of hiding drugs in the clothing of his two-year-old daughter. Police pulled over an SUV, Emanuel Wiggins (ph) was a passenger inside, and they asked why he was holding his daughter in his lap instead of having her properly restrained. Investigators say they discovered 26 tinfoil packets containing PCP stuffed into her clothes. That's not a happy story.

SAMBOLIN: That is awful.

BERMAN: There's much happier stuff coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, tell us what's going on.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Hey, good morning, guys.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Put us in a box there, John. Our first story is the outbreak of violence in Cairo, but we have to cover it, it's very important. The situation there is changing fundamentally. What we were hoping for as a peaceful transition isn't happening. Reports this morning at least 100 dead. Violence is breaking out around the country. We'll take you to the scenes of the outbreaks. And we will be live in Cairo this morning.

The big question is, the fallout from Mohamed Morsy who's the former president. The protesters aren't backing down. That situation is going to move in one direction or another very soon. We'll take you there.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And we're also following a story that's sparking outrage across the country as well has a lot of folks scratching their heads. A judge ordering a family to change their son's name from Messiah to Martin saying that only Jesus could have that title, Messiah. We're going to be talking to the baby's mother live about the controversy this morning.

CUOMO: Speaking of moms, we have Hollywood moms, Halle Berry, Jennifer Garner, and others pleading with lawmakers to pass a bill that would impose tough penalties on paparazzi. But would the bill interfere with real journalism? That's the conflict here, but we'll tell you what they're saying.

BERMAN: You know I can say, we're always happy to see you guys no matter what the news. Sounds like a great show. We'll see you guys in a little bit.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, John.

CUOMO: Thanks, John.

SAMBOLIN: All right. We're going to be right back more live from Egypt.


BERMAN: We want to take you right back to Cairo now for breaking news. Violent clashes continuing after police moved in to clear supporters of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsy, out of the camps where they have been sitting in for days now.

Our Ian Lee is live in Cairo with the latest. Ian, we've seen bloodied, wounded victims being carried on the streets there. And we see no signs, apparently, of either side backing down.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly right. John. The death toll is mounting here in Cairo. State TV reporting that nine protesters have been killed and five security forces. Now, the Muslim Brotherhood is disputing that number saying that over 150 of their supporters have been killed. That is, though, coming from the Muslim Brotherhood. We're going to have to wait until we get independent official numbers to come out.

But what we're seeing is the Violence escalating. We're also seeing reports of other outbreaks of violence around Cairo. Not just at these two areas that were the center of protests but also other places around the city. Now, the government has shut down the national rail service to stop protesters from descending on the city. But it looks like the violence in Cairo is escalating.

It's going to continue. And just from what we've seen in the past, this could really be the beginning of another long stretch of violence here in Cairo as the death toll mounts and the number of casualties continue to grow, John.

BERMAN: All right. Ian Lee for us in Cairo this morning. As we said, this situation developing ongoing. Stay with CNN all morning. We will bring you up to speed on the developments as they happen. We'll be right back.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. We're happy you're with us this morning. Fifty-six minutes past the hour. We're taking a look at the top CNN Trends on the web this morning.

Just how safe are artificial sweeteners? A newspaper ad campaign from Coca-Cola is defending aspartame, a.k.a. NutraSweet saying the sweetener and sodas made from it are perfectly safe. Its part of the company's growing push to deal with all the critics who say its drinks and food products help promote obesity.

BERMAN: More legal trouble for Chris Brown. The singer is now being sued by a cousin of RnB star, Frank Ocean. The cousin claiming one of Brown's bodyguards beat him up during an altercation between both singers entourages last January. I was (INAUDIBLE). The fight outside an L.A. recording studio apparently started after Brown parked in Ocean's parking space.

And attorney for Chris Brown tells the Associated Press the suit is frivolous and amounts to a shakedown.

SAMBOLIN: All right. AOL CEO is apologizing for the very public firing of an employee. Did you miss it? Tim Armstrong sent a note to the staff there admitting his yelling at Abel Lenz to get out. It was a mistake and an emotional response. You'll recall, Armstrong was in the middle of a conference call discussing lay-offs at AOL's patch local sites when Lenz apparently tried to take a picture.

Armstrong told him, "you're fired." "The New York Times" says Armstrong has called Lenz to apologize. But this very important. He will not be hiring him back.

BERMAN: I'm really, really sorry. You're still fired.



BERMAN: Sorry, pal, fired.

All right. Check out the other top CNN Trends. Head to That's all for EARLY START this morning. Thanks for staying with us.

SAMBOLIN: Take it away, Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks so much. We'll see you guys in a few.

CUOMO: All right, everybody. It's almost top of the hour. Here at "NEW DAY," that means it is time for your top news.