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Custody Battle Over Baby Veronica Continues; Brain-Eating Ameba Warning Issued; Pop Four;

Aired August 15, 2013 - 07:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN HOST (voice-over): 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. They also reveal that a crowbar was found next to Christina Anderson's body and an autopsy shows that DiMaggio was shot at least five times during his deadly confrontation with authorities in Idaho last weekend.

Dozens of nuclear reactor sites in the United States inadequately protected against terrorist attacks and are vulnerable to meltdown or other large-scale disasters. That according to the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project. The group was asked to study the problem by the Defense Department and will release its findings this afternoon.

Starting today, CVS drugstores doing away with a rule that required customers in most states to show photo ID in order to purchase nail polish remover. The policy was in place out of concern that the products that contain acetone can be used to make crystal meth. The ID role for nail polish remover will remain in effect at CVS stores in Hawaii.

And finally, an animal shelter in Phoenix, boy, do they have their hands full. This is Albert. He weighs 28 pounds. Let's just remind you of the average weight of a domestic cat is about 8 to 10. Because of his large size, you can tell Albert has trouble walking and grooming himself and using the litter box.

He has been neutered and declawed, so at least there's a plus side on the adoption effort. They are trying to find a way to make him more adoptable. So they are calling him "extra fluffy."



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: He looks like the fat cat from the other day.

PEREIRA: Yes, I know. And I was concerned. I thought there was a conspiracy afoot. But I don't believe it is (inaudible).


BOLDUAN: I think we have an epidemic on our hands. PEREIRA: I'm concerned about it. We need to get our cats moving, people.

CUOMO: That should be on a T-shirt, by the way.

BOLDUAN: We need to get our cats moving, people.

All right. Thanks so much, Michaela.

PEREIRA: You're welcome.

BOLDUAN: Let's get back to the story that has captured national attention, the bitter custody battle for Baby Veronica. A South Carolina couple desperately fighting to get their adopted daughter back. And after a long, painful impasse, there are signs the case may be close to a resolution.

Zoraida Sambolin tracking the latest developments for us this morning.

Good morning, Zoraida.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN HOST: Good morning to you. It has been a bitter custody battle and it has gone from Oklahoma to South Carolina and back again. Both sides are making moves now, and maybe a compromise is in order.


MELANIE CAPOBIANCO, VERONICA'S ADOPTIVE MOTHER: What we seek is peace for our daughter.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Melanie and Matt Capobianco, speaking about Baby Veronica, the child they adopted and raised for two years before losing her in a bitter custody dispute.

Wednesday they arrived in Oklahoma to try to regain custody.

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: As soon as we arrived, we requested a visit with our daughter. As a mother, my heart broke when our request was denied.

MATT CAPOBIANCO, VERONICA'S ADOPTIVE FATHER: It's time for this to be over. With each passing day, we lose another day with our daughter.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Dustin Brown is Baby Veronica's biological father. Four years ago, Brown waived his parental rights. A member of the Cherokee Nation, Brown later changed his mind, arguing federal law protects Native American children from being separated from their families. He was awarded custody in December of 2011.

But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the adoptive parents and South Carolina ordered the baby handed back to the Capobiancos.

Now Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallon is weighing in, tweeting Wednesday, quote, "Mr. and Ms. Capobianco deserve an opportunity to meet with their adopted daughter. They also deserve the chance to meet with Mr. Brown and put an end to this conflict."

Monday Brown turned himself into Oklahoma authorities after failing to show up to a court appearance. He was freed on $10,000 bond. But he still faces an extradition order to South Carolina, an order the Oklahoma governor promises to expedite if Brown fails to cooperate.


SAMBOLIN: Brown's attorney tells CNN that, at his client's request and Governor Fallon's suggestion, he had reached out to the Capobiancos' representatives to discuss a resolution in best interest of Baby Veronica. This included an offer to meet personally with the Capobiancos. The next hearing will be September 11th. And we certainly do hope there is a resolution here.

CUOMO: All right, Zoraida. Thank you for the report. We appreciate it.

Let's bring in Ashleigh Banfield. She's the host of CNN's "LEGAL VIEW." It's great to have you here. Good luck with the new show.

Now, Zoraida, to pick up where she just left off, that hopefully there's a resolution. Let's start with there has been a resolution. The highest court in the United States has said the child belongs to the adoptive parents.

So where is the middle ground?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST: Well, and when you say the highest court did it, they said it. They said the whole basis for the state level fight was actually not valid. It was an old, old law, 1978 Indian Affairs law that was meant to keep Indian children with Indian parents. There is an Indian element. I think Baby Veronica is 3/256 percent Indian. So that's an unusual circumstance right there.

But what the Supreme Court said was you can't just use that law in this case. And so now that case was supposed to have been resolved. But the father did not comply with what he was supposed to comply with.

This child has been living two different lives. Two years with one set of parents, two years with another set of parents. And in order to effectuate the reunion with parent set number one, they were supposed to do it gently, a transitional period. And when Mr. Brown didn't show up for that transitional period, we're back at square one. And there's a warrant out. (Inaudible) turned himself in.

BOLDUAN: And so they're talking -- they're trying -- talking about compromise. But when you see how contentious this has been and how they clearly have not been working in good faith to try to reach a compromise to this point, is there a way this can be handled outside the legal system? Because it seems that they've seemed to have exhausted all possibilities through the legal system.

BANFIELD: You know, when I look at this case, I look at divorce court. The same kind of thing. People would love for divorced parents to just work things out. And you know how that goes. It rarely goes well.

So in this particular case, the overtures have been made somewhat. I think at one point Mr. Brown suggested that how about Veronica lives with me permanently and in the summers, she can go and visit the Capobiancos in South Carolina.

Well, if you're the Capobiancos, you're thinking this is my child now. And that's just not enough of an overture.

On his part, he's said the only overture has been from that Capobiancos to involve you in the child's life. And he said that's far too vague and I just can't live with that, either.

PEREIRA: What's interesting on this to me is that on a macro level, there's this issue about the -- about Indian children being protected and taken care of and not taken away from their culture.

But on a micro level, you have got a 4-year old who -- her life -- it's so important to look at what is the best thing. Can that be found, do you think?


BANFIELD: Michaela, you nailed it.

PEREIRA: There's so many voices in this battle.

BANFIELD: Yes. You absolutely nailed it. That is exactly why law has to apply to each case. And every case is a little bit different. And in this particular case, I think I heard you tease earlier, Chris, that there are so many levels of court involved here. Notwithstanding the Indian Affairs Act, tribal court, state court, the Supreme Court, the states' actual Supreme Courts as well. Two governors have weighed in on this --

PEREIRA: But can the law get it wrong?


BANFIELD: The law always gets it wrong. But the law does the best it can. And we have an amazing system of jurisprudence (inaudible).

PEREIRA: It's gone through every court. So at what point does the court actually force action?

BANFIELD: Well, it's funny. In this particular case, action is in the process of being forced. And actually the governor even said, you know, Mr. Brown, if you do not play nice and do what you have been told to do, I will actually speed up your extradition to South Carolina so you go to court there.

But now she's backing off that. So I think the courts and the government have actually tried to sidestep somewhat in order for resolution and the best interest of the child to perhaps have some foundation to work themselves out as well. But listen, this story is so not over. (CROSSTALK)

PEREIRA: (Inaudible) going to fight for their kid, no matter what the -- every parent --


BANFIELD: And both sets of parents love that child.

PEREIRA: They sure do.


CUOMO: You came from a family that embraced adoption. The man signed away his legal rights. There's a mother involved here, the birth mother, whose last name is Maldonado (ph). She gave the child up for adoption. He had surrendered custody. The child never lived on the reservation before. So it wasn't a typical native law situation.

So this becomes very difficult for these adoptive parents. You would argue that they are being very accommodative here. Early on, this story was covered as if they were stealing a child. Everything has been lined up right on their side. Mr. Brown claims he didn't know it was going on.


PEREIRA: Right. (Inaudible) there were some mitigating issues around --

CUOMO: It's not mitigating, though, it's a story and in court, it worked early on and then it didn't. And the law has decided.

BANFIELD: But then, you know something, Chris, it's so difficult because we love our troops. We want to respect our troops. He says I gave away my parental rights. I didn't know the full scope of what that meant. I was about to deploy to Iraq.

CUOMO: It's true. He was serving the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that plays into it.

BOLDUAN: All right, Ashleigh. It's great to see you.

BANFIELD: You, too. Great show.


CUOMO: Good luck with your show.

BANFIELD: Thank you. It's a lot of fun. You'll have to come on.

BOLDUAN: We will, obviously.

BANFIELD: (Inaudible) lawyer.


BOLDUAN: We want to make sure you know the "LEGAL VIEW" is weekdays at 11:00 am Eastern. Don't miss it.

Ashleigh Banfield, thank you.

CUOMO: Coming up here on NEW DAY, two children have contracted a rare brain-eating ameba this summer. Now one state has issued a serious warning. We have been following this story. We'll tell you what you need to hear.

BOLDUAN: And a particularly cruel and dangerous lie. Imagine being told you have cancer and you need treatment when you actually did not and you still go through chemotherapy for no reason at all. We're going to introduce you to some outraged patients and the allegations they're throwing around (ph).



BOLDUAN: A disturbing warning this morning about a rare but extremely deadly brain-eating ameba. Two children have now contracted the parasite while playing in fresh water lakes and ponds just this summer. The latest case, a 12-year-old boy in Florida, where some officials are now warning families to take precautions.

CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is in Atlanta with the latest.


ELIZABETH COHEN, SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, as you said, this is an extremely rare event, but now twice in one summer, a child's life is on the line just because they went swimming.


COHEN (voice-over): High water temperatures, low water levels, the ideal breeding ground for this brain-eating ameba. Health officials in Florida now issuing a warning to be wary when swimming, jumping or diving in fresh water with these conditions.

It's rare, but the amebas can go up the nose and into the brain causing parasitic meningitis. Twelve-year-old Zachary Raina (ph) is battling the disease at Miami Children's Hospital after contracting it while kneeboarding in fresh water near his home.

BRANNON VILLARREAL, ZACHARY'S BROTHER: He's (inaudible) and he's strong. He's really, really strong.

COHEN (voice-over): On Facebook his brother says Zachary had surgery to remove pressure from his brain.

At a vigil Tuesday, cheers of support from Zachary's baseball teammates. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody needs to keep on praying and stay positive.

COHEN (voice-over): Nearly everyone who gets this infection dies. In the past 50 years only three people have survived.

Most recently 12-year-old Kali Hardig, who is out of a coma and now in fair condition at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

TRACI HARDIG, KALI'S MOTHER: That I'm going to get to take Kali home some day is amazing.

COHEN (voice-over): Doctors credit her amazing survival in part to this experimental anti-ameba drug. The Centers for Disease Control has sent the drug to Miami to treat Zachary. And just as friends and family prayed Kali Hardig would be the third person to survive this horrible infection, Zachary's supporters hope he will be next.

VILLARREAL; He can be number four. So that's what we're hoping. We're hoping for him to be number four.


COHEN: Now there are two things that you can do to prevent this. Number one, when you're swimming in this fresh water, hold your news or use nose clips when you jump or dive in. And secondly try not to stir up a little that sediment at the bottom. That's where the amebas often live.

Chris? Kate?

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Elizabeth.

CUOMO: You know, it's interesting; we started following that story by saying how rare they are. But now we're seeing more cases.


CUOMO: Yes, at least there's some awareness out there now.

All right. We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, Iowa Congressman Steve King is not backing down from controversial comments about immigration reform. He's taking his message on the road. In fact, he's taking it here. He'll join us live to talk about it.

BOLDUAN: And the men and women from A&E's hugely popular reality show, "Duck Dynasty," they're back for another season. And wait until you hear the raves they are getting this time around.



I love that Bruce Gibbs (ph) will hit the -- oh, here we go, guys.

CUOMO: Bruce Almighty: people don't know that he controls the show. Show him.


CUOMO: There he is.

BOLDUAN: There's the man right there.

CUOMO: A man of mystery.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY everyone. It is time for the "Pop Four" with our Nischelle Turner.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, guys, the hits just keep on coming for A-Rod. You could take that so many different ways. But we'll start it off with this one.

Number four this NEW DAY, A-Rod out of the picture -- literally. The Yankee slugger was set to voice himself in an upcoming animated children's film called "Henry and Me," but in light of his recent performance enhancing drug scandal, the film's executive producer said he will likely find himself on the cutting room floor. Sorry, A-Rod.

All right. Get ready for Batman to part the Red Sea. This is our number three story today. It's been rumored for months but according to the website, Christian Bale has apparently been locked in to play Moses in the new Ridley Scott movie. And I really like that casting. He can do anything.

TURNER: The number two story Teresa and Joe Giudice (ph) entered a plea of not guilty in federal court Wednesday afternoon. The couple who star in "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" face charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud and making false statements on loan applications. Their trial is set for October 8th.

And by the way, they will appear on "Watch What Happens" live after the season finale of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey."

Chris Cuomo, you're an attorney, if you were their attorney, would you say do that or don't do that?

CUOMO: No. The long arm of the law does not care if you're on TV.

TURNER: OK. All right, you heard it there.

Number one story this morning, there's a whole lot of duck callers out there. "Deadline Hollywood" reports that the "Duck Dynasty" gang have renegotiated their salary for the show. Get this, they're going to earn four to five times what they earned before. The new salary, $200,000 an episode, although they have to split it nine ways.

But, you know what, they're actually already wealthy so I'm sure it doesn't really matter to them one way or another.

BOLDUAN: That's the whole point.

TURNER: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: It really is a fascinating story, Phil (ph), the father, he patented this type of duck call and they made millions off of it.

CUOMO: Did they make anything else? Or is it just that duck call?

BOLDUAN: Duck hunter is duck call. Interesting point about Phil (ph), the father, he also was a very -- had big potential as a quarterback and played for LSU.

CUOMO: Really?

TURNER: Yes, he did.


TURNER: You watched the show.

BOLDUAN: He gave that up -- I am guessing, I don't have this confirmed probably because it conflicted with duck season.

TURNER: And I love that we have such a big "Duck Dynasty" thing. I'm going to defer to Kate on anything (inaudible).


BOLDUAN: All right. Hunting season opens up in Ohio in a couple weeks.

CUOMO: Do you use one of their duck callers?

BOLDUAN: No, you know what? My --

CUOMO: Gift idea.

BOLDUAN: No, my philosophy is if you are not good at it, don't do it at all. Because there's a big difference between if you're good, you're good. If you're only mediocre, the ducks will never fly. They will be scared away. So my father is the only one allowed to do the duck call.

CUOMO: James Bolduan, you did not --

BOLDUAN: It's an art.

TURNER: I would just say be, very, very quiet.


CUOMO: Practice. Practice your call on break. We're going to give you one right now.

When we come back on NEW DAY we're going to take you back to Egypt. The violence there is even worse than what was imagined. (Inaudible) a military crackdown on protesters. Bloodier each day. Question for the U.S., are we doing enough? Are we going to do more? We'll take you to Cairo live.

BOLDUAN: And police search warrants unsealed in the Hannah Anderson kidnapping case providing some very grim new details about the deadly attack on her mother and her little brother. The details we'll have at the top of the hour.



BOLDUAN: You hear the music, that means it's time for "The Rock Block," a quick roundup of the stories you'll be talking about today.

First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right. Let's look in the papers. In "The New York Times," a commission of evangelical Christian leaders challenging the IRS. They want churches to be able to endorse political candidates without having to sacrifice their tax exempt status.

In "The Washington Post," federal employees being furloughed has triggered a steady increase in loans and financial hardship withdrawals from their retirement savings accounts.

And in the New York "Daily News," the U.S. Tennis Association wants to put an end to rainy days at the U.S. Open. Today it announced it will announce plans to add a retractable roof to Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Time now for business news with Christine Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Now big jumps in foreclosure filings in some places we really haven't seen in it in so far. Leading the group, Maryland, up 275 percent, 137 percent in Oregon, big jump in New Jersey. Experts say these are states where the government kept a lid on foreclosure activity until now.

You probably didn't think this when you were getting into it. But the cost of raising a child born last year until the age of 18 is now $241,080. That's up 3 percent -- by the way, that does not include college.

Walmart earnings are out. The nation's largest employer, the world's largest retailer says second quarter earnings grew more than 5 percent, sales up about 2.5 percent to $116 billion in line with forecasts.

Finally, let's get to Indra Petersons with the weather.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, we've got a lot of variety out there. Plenty of heat out in the West, also in the Northeast cool and dry and we know all about the flooding into the Southeast. We'll start you off into the west. Red flag warnings in Utah and Idaho. Unfortunately where those wildfires are, we're talking about temperatures soaring near 100 degrees today with very low humidity. Into the Southeast, heavy rain, stationary front combining now with tropical moisture; all of that means heavy rainfall anywhere from really the Carolinas all the way right around the Gulf, 2-5 inches, even as much as 8 inches possible as we go through the weekend. And then we're going to end on the good stuff, yes, high pressure building in, continuing to stick around right into the Northeast and really into the Midwest, as well. So temperatures (inaudible) 10 degrees below where they were yesterday and it feels oh, so good, we get another day of it.

You're welcome.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much, Indra.

We are now close to the top of the hour, which means it is time for the top news.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They put the guns in our faces and said you have to leave in five minutes.

CUOMO: On edge. Egypt in turmoil. Hundreds now dead. Thousands wounded. As fears of civil war grow. What will the U.S. do?

BOLDUAN: Speaking out. More revelations from Hannah Anderson posting on another online account. Her words for the family members she lost as police reveal more about the day they were killed.

PEREIRA: Medical nightmare. A doctor accused of telling patients they have cancer when they don't then giving them chemotherapy. He's now in jail and his angry victims are speaking out.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you need to know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When your doctor tells you that's what's going to cure your cancer, you don't argue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you just have to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seeing the hard work pay off and her in the dress and how beautiful she was, just kind of overwhelming.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It's Thursday, August 15th, 8 o'clock in the east. I'm Kate Bolduan. CUOMO: And I'm Chris Cuomo here with our news anchor, Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Good morning.

CUOMO: Good to see you as always.

Coming up this hour, immigration reform. Big question mark right now, right? One thing's for sure, we know where Congressman Steve King stands. He is slamming both the Left and the Right. He is here on NEW DAY to make his case -- you judge for yourself.

BOLDUAN: And more and more people are taking medication help them fall asleep, especially if you work crazy hours like we do.