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Violence Continues in Egypt; Rescued Kidnapping Victim Takes to Social Media; Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Fall from Grace; No Cause Yet for UPS Plane Crash

Aired August 15, 2013 - 07:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, August 15, 7:00 in the east. I'm Chris Cuomo.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're here with news anchor Michaela Pereira.


BOLDUAN: Coming up in this hour, what caused a UPS cargo plane to go down? Look at that video killing both pie lots. We're told no distress call was made and the flight data recorder is yet to be recovered. So what happened?

CUOMO: And then we'll file this under the worst. It just preys on fears about doctors. Here's what this one is accused of -- telling people they have cancer when they don't. The reason? The allegation is he was trying to bilk Medicare out of about $35 million. Outraged patients speaking out this morning.

PEREIRA: We have been following two cases of kids fighting brain- eating amoebas. Is there an increased danger this summer? The new warnings one state has issued. That's coming up.

CUOMO: But first this morning, Egypt reeling right now from its bloodiest day since the Arab spring. The capital city of Cairo is still in chaos right now. Back home, the United States is condemning the deadly government crackdown that's left at least 525 civilians and police officers dead. CNN's Reza Sayah is in Cairo. Reza, what's the latest?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The city just feels eerie at this hour. We have had day when is we wake up and our gut feels heavy with dread and uncertainty, and you get the impression that many Egyptians are feeling that today. It Is quiet right now. I think that has a lot to do with the state of emergency declared last night after an awful day of violence.

We have another new death toll and it's jaw dropping. According to the health ministry, more than 520 people killed. It's this number that has many people calling yesterday a massacre.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SAYAH: For weeks, Egypt's military-backed interim government had promised to crush a six-week long sit-in demonstration in support of the ousted president Mohamed Morsy. On Wednesday they delivered with a ferocious crackdown. Authorities claim initially they used tear gas and water-canons to scatter protesters, but that was followed by gunfire. They say Morsy supporters fired first and they were forced to fire back.

Whoever started it, the gunfire lasted for hours. Security forces steadily pushed in, and behind makeshift barriers Morsy supporters desperately held on. At a nearby hospital and makeshift clinic, there was little room for the mounting casualties. Three volunteer doctors said security forces stormed the hospital and forced out the medics, effectively leaving scores of bloody bodies in government custody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They put the guns in our faces and said you have to leave in five minutes. And we told them there are many people bleeding inside the hospital. And they said, it's not your business, go out now.

SAYAH: But roughly 6:00 p.m. security forces had taken full control of the sit-in, bulldozing hundreds of tents and torching protesters' belongings. Thousands of angry Morsy supporters, many of them walking wounded, left in despair. For Egypt's military-backed interim government, it was mission accomplished at a steep cost, but the fury of the Morsy backers and the Muslim Brotherhood signaled a movement determined to keep fighting.


SAYAH: Yesterday's crackdown sparked clashes and attacks throughout Egypt. Police stations, government buildings, even churches attacked, many here in Egypt blaming Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood. It's difficult to verify if indeed that's the case because of the conflicting accounts. But Kate, when you have these conflicting accounts, it's important to emphasize what we saw at the sit-in demonstration yesterday, and we saw a lot of unarmed protesters and demonstrators being injured and killed. This government has a lot of important questions to answer in the days ahead.

BOLDUAN: And it almost feels like it's just beginning. Thank you, Reza.

Let's talk more about this with two of our best who have spent a lot of time in Egypt and the region covering the tension there, Nick Paton Walsh and Ivan Watson. Great to have you here, thank you so much. It's important for U.S. viewers to be reminded why this is so important. And what's at stake and what's the real danger here if this doesn't calm down.

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Egypt is the most populous country. It's a cultural leader traditionally for other Arab countries. It's been an ally of the U.S. And now its experiment and democracy that started two years ago with a lot of euphoria is dead. This is a real gravestone on that experiment and what's even scarier about this is that the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamists who were part of the political process, it's been clear you're not allowed to be a part of that now. So where do they go now?

BOLDUAN: Is it the concern in the Middle East when there's a vacuum, it becomes a breeding ground for terrorism? Isn't that one of concerns?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's one of the fears. What you're seeing is mower mirrored but many other issues. The same fighting now in Egypt are also seeing themselves backs against the wall in Syria, in Iraq as well. They are looking for an identity region wide. You're seeing the most populous country the trend setter. We're already seeing inside Syria as well. I think the real fear is you're seeing concerns of an extremist haven inside Syria. Is this kind of violence that goes on, it tracks the possibility of violence living there for a period of time.

CUOMO: The question becomes we keep saying here, what will the U.S. do? Can it do anything that will stop this right now? What's your take?

WATSON: I think what this is demonstrated in the crackdown yesterday is how little leverage the U.S. had. It's very clear the generals in Egypt decided we don't care what Washington thinks. They are flush with cash from the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia and countries like that. They are getting much more money from Saudi Arabia and the emirates than from the U.S. in just the last sixth weeks. They clearly made a decision, we don't care what the backlash is going to be. We know a lot of people are going to get killed. But screw them. We're going to go ahead and do this.

WALSH: They tried, one think Kerry said, this is an experiment in restoring democracy. They clearly weren't that interested in fostering that relationship. The money they are getting from outside the U.S. is 10 times the size. At the end, Washington will need Cairo. They need to protect Israel. I think they have chosen to not listen.

BOLDUAN: I'm curious if you think that democracy can thrive there? Do you think it can work? From western perspective, to look at that place culturally and historically, and think that it can work the way we think it should work?

WATSON: I think it's terrible to think that just because you're an Arab you can't have elections. They had elections. I covered them. This was the first Democratically elected president in Egypt's history, which goes back thousands of years. And the guy is being held in an undisclosed location for six weeks now.

And there have been some talk maybe about a new round of elections next year. But how do you have them if you have taken up with of the biggest political parties in the country, some of the kids got killed yesterday. We're seeing these rows of bodies in mosques. We're going to have a cycle of protests linked to those deaths. It's really scary what's happening in a country that two or three years ago we thought was going to be the great shining light of Middle East.

BOLDUAN: And I think perspective is important. As we talk about numbers overseas, people seem to be unemotional. If there was 400 people killed in a day, you know exactly what people would be acting like. I think that's kind of the perspective that people need to have. It's a country that the United States needs.

CUOMO: America is narrow. We think the threat is extreme Islam. Now you're seeing this has nothing to do with Islam, the violence on the ground right now. It's being done by a secular military, yet still dangerous to the people. Appreciate the perspective.

BOLDUAN: It's great to see you. Thank you, guys, for joining us.

CUOMO: We're going to go from the trouble abroad to a really tough situation that e we just watched unfold here at home. There are new gruesome details about the kidnapping of Hannah Anderson. Unsealed warrants are shedding lights on the actions of James DiMaggio the night he took Hannah and murdered her family. CNN's Casey Wian has that from Los Angeles.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. There's a lot of new details being revealed in these law enforcement search warrants, including the extent to which they were trying to track down James DiMaggio and Hannah Anderson, tracing their cellphone, e-mail, Facebook accounts. Those documents also reveal, though, that before they were culled, Hannah Anderson's mother and younger brother were tortured.


WIAN: Grizzly new details are surfacing in the alleged kidnapping and murder case of James DiMaggio. According to these newly released search warrants, DiMaggio tortured and killed his best friend's wife and eight-year-old son and shot and killed the family dog. Police also say they found a crowbar and what appeared to be blood on the ground next to Christina Anderson's body.

The 40 year old DiMaggio then allegedly set his house on fire and kidnapped the couple's 16-year-old daughter Hannah, who the documents say he spoke with her 13 times on the phone earlier that day. The FBI rescued Anderson on Saturday and killed DiMaggio during the confrontation. An Idaho coroner says he was shot at least five times.

BRETT ANDERSON, HANNAH'S FATHER: As for my daughter, the healing process will be slow. She has been through a tremendous, horrific ordeal.

WIAN: Now home, Anderson has quickly taken to social media to help cope with her pain, most recently posting these pictures to her Insta- gram profile, the first glimpse we're getting of her after the harrowing ordeal. She writes, "God gives his toughest tasks to the strongest soldiers."

She also posted this picture of her mother and brother, writing, "My two beautiful angels." She dedicated this post to them, the piece of paper reading "In the clouds I'll meet you again. Rest in peace." The posts hit the social media sphere three days after her rescue, leading some experts to question her public catharsis. WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: This is a 16-year-old who is totally traumatized. And so she's not thinking. Sometimes in a numb state you're doing things that you don't really consider the consequences.

WIAN: But others say social media is in fact a good outlet for Anderson.

STACY KAISER, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: There's a ton of research that shows when someone has been through a traumatic experience, it's really helpful to talk and share their story.

WIAN: Anderson has also shared her story answering anonymous users questions. A user asked, "Why didn't you run?" "He would have killed me." "Are you glad he's dead?" "Absolutely."


WIAN: That account has since been disabled, but Hannah's Insta-gram account is still active. In fact she posted this picture to that account within the last eight hours or so. It's a picture of the family, her father, her mother, and younger brother posing in front of a Christmas tree. The message next to that picture is "Dad is not taking this very well. None of us are. But please watch over him. I'm all he's got left. Even though you're gone, we are still a team. Love you and miss you." Really heartbreaking words from a 16-year-old girl trying to deal with incredible tragedy. Chris and Kate?

CUOMO: That's difficult. It's such a mixed situation. It's a very private situation. Online can be a scary place as well. They just need space and time to heal.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much, Casey.

There's a lot of news developing at this hour. Let's get to Michaela for the latest headlines.

PEREIRA: Kate, thanks so much. We're keeping an eye on Utah. A wildfire burning near Park City. It has destroyed 14 homes so far. The fire was sparked by lightning. Strong winds have been pushing the flames towards a subdivision 10 miles outside of Park City. So far it's burned through 2,000 acres since Tuesday.

This morning two miles of beach in Maui closed after a woman was attacked by a shark just offshore Wednesday. The 20-year-old victim, a German tourist, lost part of her arm. Authorities say she was snorkeling just 50 yards from the shore when the shark attacked. She is reportedly in critical condition.

Friends and family mourning the death of a former contestant on the popular reality dating series "The Bachelor." Family said the 29-year- old has been taken off life support two days after an apparent suicide attempt in New Orleans. While she wasn't chosen by the bachelor in her 2010 appearance, she went on to compete in the spinoff series "Bachelor Pad."

Investigators at the EPA have discovered a giant sand dune in northern Indiana. Last month you'll recall a six-year-old boy playing on the dune was swallowed into the sand and seriously injured. He's now covering. Officials say the hole is nearby and was indeed visible to the naked eye. It's now been closed to the public at this time.

Do you remember, and I know you can't forget this, the fellow we introduced you to in Tennessee who has an affection for raccoons? He was keeping them as house pets. There's video of him showering with one. This is Rebecca. State officials confiscated her because it's illegal to keep a wild animal as a pet. Mr. Brown is having none of it. He's appealed to Tennessee's governor to grant him to permit to keep Rebecca.

BOLDUAN: He could argue he's not keeping Rebecca. She just comes and goes through the house when she pleases.

CUOMO: Did you guys pick up in the video he was somewhat surprised, and he's like, what, what's so weird? Nothing, there's just a raccoon on your shoulder.

BOLDUAN: I love this guy. I love you, Mr. Brown. There needs to be more of you around.

CUOMO: Not enough men with raccoons on their shoulders.

BOLDUAN: Let's move on to other news. It's been a summer of record rainfall across the country and it shows no signs of letting up at this point. Severe thunderstorms in the forecast for the central and southern planes. There's more heavy rain expected in the southeast and along the eastern Gulf coast. So I guess the question is where's is it not raining at this point, Indra?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Pretty much. It's like this broken record. June, heavy rain. July, setting records. August, we're still talking about record-breaking rainfall even expected this weekend.


PETERSONS: In Charleston, South Carolina, the rain has been relentless. Check out this video of a cyclist struggling to get through the flooded downtown streets. Georgia, Tennessee and Arkansas have seen flash flooding this season as storms continue to drench the south.

For many places, it's been the wettest summer on record. In just July, Miami Beach got a whopping 18.5 inches of rain. In Fort Lauderdale, they saw nearly 15.5 inches of rainfall. In Kansas it poured for a week straight. Look at this road that buckled and collapsed. In Wichita, this minivan needed a boost after stalling out in the flooded street. In fact, Kansas broke 144 rainfall records in the first week of August alone.

And they are not alone. Chattanooga, Tennessee, has seen more than 4 inches of rain this month. That's more rain in the first two weeks of August than they usually see in the entire month. Philadelphia is having its soggiest summer yet; last month they set an all-time record for rainfall in a single day when storms dumped 8 inches in just six hours.

The northeast is reeling from severe thunderstorms from just this week. In Newark, Delaware, torrential rain shut down roads while high winds downed power lines and snapped trees.


PETERSONS: Oh, and here we go again. We're still talking about rain. Heavy rain expected this weekend in the southeast. This is the current radar right now. I want to show you a couple things that are going on.

Might be confusing, but we're looking at development into the tropics. The reason this is so important, all that tropical moisture could combine with a stationary front already in place. Stationary front by itself already bringing anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of rain. You combine the tropical moisture with that, which is what we're expecting this weekend. Look at the moisture extending into the Carolinas. So with that, we're talking ant heavy rainfall and the threat of flooding. Anywhere from 5 to 8 inches of rain as we go through this weekend. So flooding concerns will be extremely high , and of course, bad timing right on the weekend, Friday and Saturday.

BOLDUAN: All right. Thank you.

CUOMO: We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, you heard about this crash of this UPS plane, cargo plane, flying over homes. The big question now is why did it happen so it can be prevented from happening again. We'll take you through what happened so close to this Alabama airport.

BOLDUAN: And a serious call for a once promising political star. The punishment for Jesse Jackson Jr., next.


CUOMO: Welcome back. How's your morning going? It's about 20 minutes past 7:00 on east coast, and here's our latest story. Investigators are combing through the wreckage of that fiery plane crash in Alabama. We know the UPS cargo plane broke apart on impact killing both pilots. We also learned there was no distress call before the crash. What we do not know may be most important. Why did this happen? Here's CNN's David Mattingly with the latest.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No answers yet, only questions.

ROBERT SUMWALT, NTSB BOARD MEMBER: The initial information that we have, subject to verification, is that there was no distress call from the pilots.

MATTINGLY: Federal crash investigators will count on witnesses to recreate the last seconds of the ill-fated UPS cargo flight crashing just short of Birmingham's airport. One story emerging from people who heard it. Possible mechanical problems. SHARON WILSON, WITNESSED CRASH: It was extremely low. Then it sounded like it was sputtering, like it was out of fuel.

MATTINGLY: The plane broke into pieces on impact with the forward cabin separated from the rest of the wreckage, but the recovery of the all-important voice and data recorders hampered by smoldering fires.

Visual evidence on the ground leaves some very clear clues. The plane went overhead right here, taking out the tops of trees, and knocking down power lines. Barely missing the houses. Local officials say weather didn't seem to be a factor, but investigators promise nothing will be overlooked.

SUMWALT: Systems, operations, air traffic control, weather, we will be looking at everything that may be relevant to the causation of this accident.

MATTINGLY: And that includes the actions of the pilots. Both killed in a crash that came so close to killing others.

David Mattingly, CNN, Birmingham, Alabama.


BOLDUAN: All right, David. Thank you so much.

Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. will be spending 30 months behind bars starting in November. He was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to improper use of campaign funds. It's been a remarkable fall for the once rising political star. Here's CNN's Athena Jones with more.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Disgraced former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is preparing to spend 30 months in federal prison. An emotional day in court for his family, capping a spectacular political downfall. Now he's asking for redemption.

JESSE JACKSON, JR. FORMER CONGRESSMAN: I still believe in the power of forgiveness. I believe in the power of redemption. Today I manned up and tried to accept responsibility for the errors of my ways.

JONES: The charge, misusing $750,000 in campaign funds as his personal treasure chest. Spending the money on lavish dinners, nightclubs, lounges, a $43,000 Rolex watch, even Michael Jackson memorabilia. After Jackson serves his time, his wife Sandra will spend 12 months in prison for filing false tax returns.

His father spoke after the sentencing.

JESSE JACKSON SR, POLITICAL ACTIVIST: This has been an extraordinarily difficult time for our family. I speak today as a father.

JONES: Jesse Jr. once had a promising political career. The eldest son of a civil rights legend, he was elected to Congress in 1995. Even asked to speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

JACKSON JR.: I grew up with the lessons of another generation, the Selma generation, my father's generation.

JONES: Before being sentenced Wednesday, Jackson wept as he addressed the court saying, I was wrong. I know I have let a lot of people down. So, can he ever regain his political promise?

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE COLUMNIST: It's been a family we have watched just like the Kennedys through ups and downs. And so there's this continuing soap opera that I don't think is over yet.

JONES: Athena Jones, CNN, Washington.


CUOMO: We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, the fight for baby Veronica. Her adoptive parents want her back. Her biological father doesn't want to give her up. This one cuts across three different types of law, multiple courts. But at heart of it all is this adorable little girl. She's growing up in this turmoil. Will she ever get a shot at a normal life?

BOLDUAN: Another story we're watching, officials in Florida are warning about a deadly brain-eating ameba. We've been talking about it, and it is rare, but there have already been several cases reported this summer.


CUOMO: Haven't heard this one in awhile. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Thursday, August 15th, I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: And I'm Kate Bolduan. We're here with news anchor Michaela Pereira. Good morning.

Coming up in the show, the latest chapter in the long fight for baby Veronica. Her adoptive parents trying desperately to get back the daughter they say is theirs.

CUOMO: Plus this story just getting worse and worse. A Michigan doctor is accused of telling people they have cancer when the people don't have cancer. He then gives them chemotherapy. Why would he do this and to how many has he done it ? We'll have the details.

A lot of other news as well this morning, so let's get right to Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right. Let's jump into the headlines right now. The death toll stands at 525 this morning after the deadliest day of violence in Egypt since the Arab Spring uprising. The U.S. condemning the government crackdown on protesters calling it a step in the wrong direction. Muslim Brotherhood officials in Cairo vowing to remain defiant and defeat what they are calling a military coup.

James DiMaggio tortured and killed Hannah Anderson's brother and mother before he kidnapped her in San Diego. That information coming from the newly unsealed police search warrants.