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Hannah Anderson Appears in Public; Housing Starts Jump in July; Oprah Returns to the Big Screen; Mom Outraged by Sexy TV Trailer

Aired August 16, 2013 - 09:00   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): She's accuser number 16.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bob Filner needs to resign now.

COSTELLO: Also, day of rage. Egypt on edge and America closely watching. The conflict getting critical as both sides now criticizing the United States.

Plus, a major nationwide dog and cat food recall. Big brands you probably use.

And it's true, it's there. It's real. Beware of the little green men. They might really be watching.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


COSTELLO: And good morning to you. Thank you so much for being with me. I'm Carol Costello.

We begin with our first look at Hannah Anderson since the FBI helped rescue her at the Idaho woods. We're also hearing about disturbing new evidence found at the home of the man accused of kidnapping her and killing her mother and brother. That evidence includes condoms, boxes for handcuffs and letters from Hannah.

CNN's Casey Wian is live in San Diego this morning with more.

Good morning, Casey.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. You know, at that first public appearance by Hannah Anderson she rushed quickly by more than a dozen cameras, did not say anything to reporters. But once she got inside the restaurant where the fundraiser was happening, people who were there said she was much more relaxed. What she really wanted to do is thank those who have supported her throughout this ordeal.


WIAN (voice-over): Hannah Anderson's arrival at a fundraiser for her family came as a surprise to her relatives and friends. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This night was an unexpected reunion, honestly. All our friends were here. It was like we haven't skipped a beat.

WIAN: The media were invited to Boll Weevil Restaurant in Lakeside, California, but weren't allowed inside during Anderson's reunion.

BRETT ANDERSON, HANNAH ANDERSON'S FATHER: Hannah sends her love. She's doing good day by day. And we'll just keep moving forward from here.

WIAN: Wearing "Hannah Strong" and "Pray for Hannah" T-shirts, neighbors, friends and the teenager's grandparents helped raise money for Anderson's mother and brother's funeral.

ANDERSON: I wanted to say thank you all for coming. This is a small community that we're a part of and the community came together putting on this great fundraiser for Hannah and hopefully her future in healing.

WIAN (on camera): What has it meant to this community to have to go through this ordeal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's horrifying that that guy did what he did. It's just sickening to me and I just want to put them all to rest.

WIAN (voice-over): The fundraising event drew a large crowd, raffle ticket sales, cash donations and 20 percent of the restaurant sales all donated to the Anderson family.

ANDERSON: We have a lot of expenses in front of us and right now we're just looking for her future and get her settled.

WIAN: A family hoping to help Hannah adjust after she was allegedly kidnapped by her father's best friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You keep hearing the term Uncle Jim. He really was like an Uncle Jim to them.

WIAN: Meanwhile, we're still learning new information about what police discovered at DiMaggio's burned down home. This newly released search warrant obtained by CNN affiliate KFMB says that police discovered a handwritten note and letters from Hannah. The detectives say proves DiMaggio had control over that house.

Police also recovered incendiary devices leading them to believe the house fire was caused by human actions.


WIAN: Now some of the other items recovered by police and seized by police during that search very chilling given what we have since learned about Hannah's kidnapping. They included empty boxes of camping gear and empty boxes of handcuffs and lots of ammunition -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Casey Wian reporting live for us this morning. An evacuation order has been lifted for some Utah residents. Fire officials say they're gaining the upper hand in the Rockport Fire. The fire is now 50 percent contained. The blaze has already burned 2,000 acres, though.

Another bit of good news. Officials have now revised the number of homes destroyed down to eight. Originally they believed that 14 homes had been destroyed.

A bad week just got worse for San Diego mayor, Bob Filner. A great- grandma is now leveling accusations at the mayor. Filner has steadfastly refused to resign despite more than a dozen allegations of misbehavior. Well, now meet accuser number 16.

She's a 67-year-old great-grandmother who works at the Senior Citizen Service desk at city hall. Peggy Shannon says she faced continuous inappropriate sexual advances by Filner. Last night she and her attorney described one of those advances to Piers Morgan.


PEGGY SHANNON, ACCUSES BOB FILNER OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT: He came up to me without any warning when I was outside going home. And hugged me and kissed me, and I was appalled. I was shocked. And it's not something that I thought that the mayor would ever do.


COSTELLO: Filner could be kicked out of office over questionable credit card charges. This is a new twist. The City Attorney's Office says the charges Filner made at a nearby hotel are inappropriate and the city council could turn to a rarely used section of its charter to force Filner out of office without a public vote.

New housing numbers are putting a damper on the economic recovery. Lots of new homes are being built, but not necessarily like the ones we really want to see.

Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange to explain it all.

Good morning, Alison.


These new housing numbers kind of painting a mixed picture showing that new home construction rose 5.9 percent, down, but the problem is kind of missed Wall Street expectations and when you look deep into the report, you see that that new construction was actually for apartments.

What you really want to see are new homes being built. More stable, it's what more people buy. It is raising some concern about the housing recovery, in general, especially the timing of it because we are watching mortgage rates move ever so slightly higher these days on the expectations that the Fed is going to begin to pull back on the amount of stimulus that it's pumping into financial systems which has been pushing interest rates lower. So you may be -- you may be seeing buyers and builders hesitating on buying new homes.

Also in this report, we got a number for building permits. This number is a good indicator of future building activity. It fell, as well. It actually rose, missed expectations and that is causing a little concern, as well. But let's go ahead and see the glass half full here, because the housing recovery is still going pretty strong. More people are also paying their mortgages on time. Home sales are up, home prices are rising and recovery you have to keep in mind, recoveries in general aren't typically smooth.

So the housing recovery may be going through a few blips but overall it's -- it's moving in the right direction -- Carol.

COSTELLO: I like the glass half full. Alison Kosik, thanks so much.

Oprah, she is everywhere talking not just about Lindsay Lohan but a lot about race in America. All for a key reason, of course. Her new movie "The Butler" officially opens today.

It's a return to the big screen that's been years in the making. Oprah sat down with Anderson Cooper to talk about it.


ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR, CNN'S AC 360: First of all, why this movie, why now? I mean, it's been 15 years --


COOPER: For you. Yes.

WINFREY:: I had wanted to do it for the reason that I eventually said yes. I think to be able to show through the life of this butler and he did in such a way that we felt the soul of him on screen, and have the backdrop of the civil rights movement, at this particular time of our evolving as a nation was an important story.

COOPER: Do you find that young people don't know this stuff? Don't know what Selma is, don't know the significance of Birmingham, but the freedom rights?

WINFREY:: I feel that not only young people don't know, but lots of people don't know. Americans don't know and particularly there's a whole generation of kids who don't know. But I don't want that to be a negative. I want this movie to be a positive offering for that.


WINFREY: You know, it's an opportunity. Is it not? Don't you see it as an opportunity?

WHITAKER: You know, one of the great things about it is that when you explore that movement, but with emotional content behind it, because you explore from this family.

WINFREY: Yes. WHITAKER: And you can see how it affects their lives and their feelings that in a way it allows you to possess those emotions of all this -- the great courage that it took them to walk through certain fears and something to accomplish certain things. We get to see those moments in a personalized way.

COOPER: You talk about this coming at an important time and certainly there has been, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case, a discussion about race in this country that it's interesting, I saw a Gallup poll recently that majority of African-Americans said this is a discussion which needs to be had. Majority of whites say too much is being made of this discussion of race.

WINFREY: No. I know.

COOPER: How do you -- where do you --

WINFREY: That's why I love the film in light of this discussion is because it brings context to the discussion. And when you look at the film, beginning with that lynching scene and ending with, you know, walking into Obama's office, look at what has happened in the span of one man's lifetime in our country.

WHITAKER: This movie reminds us that the circular motion of things still trying to work themselves out as going on, as in Emmett Till. And then now it's moving in and we're looking at Trayvon, we're looking at Oscar grant, we're looking at all these situations and recognizing that we have to move ourselves forward in this chain. One of us achieve our potential, or what we said we were going to do.

WINFREY: And the truth of the matter is, Emmett Till because a symbol for those times, as Trayvon Martin has become a symbol for this time. I mean there are multiple Trayvon Martins whose names never make the newspapers or the headlines. The circumstances surrounding that allowed it to be, but there were multiple Emmett Tills, there were multiple lynchings, there were multiple, you know, young black boys --


COOPER: Whose names are not even remembered by the district.

WINFREY Whose names are not remembered and often not even reported.

COOPER: It's interesting to me, though, how people from different backgrounds see this and I talked to a juror on the Trayvon Martin case who clearly did not understand or did not feel linked to Trayvon Martin. Felt connected to George Zimmerman in a way, but not to Trayvon Martin. And I wonder if she felt, you know, race was not a part of this case at all. I'm just wondering --


WINFREY People feel that it's race because they don't call it race. That's not what -- that's not what they call it. They don't say, oh -- because you know what I found, too, a lot of people if they think they're not using the N-word themselves they actually physically are not using the N word themselves and do not have harbor ill will towards black people, then it's not racist. But, you know, to me, it's ridiculous to look at that case and not to think that race was involved.

COOPER: It's interesting. You talk about the N word. In the film it's used very early on, but what's fascinating, it's not just used by the guys in the plantation. It's used by LBJ and which -- in those LBJ recordings, you hear him, and in the film there's a scene where people in the -- kitchen are saying, I see him on TV saying negro and somebody says like, when did he start to use --

WINFREY: Cuba's character, he said that.

COOPER: When did he start to use that word?


COOPER: He always uses the N word.

WINFREY: The N word. Yes. Yes.

COOPER: So -- was that hard for you, I mean, I know you've spoken publicly about --


COOPER: The importance of not using that word.

WINFREY: I think it depends on the context of the time in which you were raised. I was raised in the '60s and --


WINFREY: Yes. And I am -- not only that, a student of my history and I have said this many times. It's not a part of who I am to use that word. I understand why other people do. It's impossible for me to do it because I know the history. And I know that for so many of my relatives who I don't know, who I don't know by name. People who I am connected to. My ancestors. That was the last word they heard. They were being strung up by a tree. That was the last sense of degradation that they experienced as, you know, some harm was caused to them.

I just -- it's just not a part of the fabric of who I am. So out of respect to those who have come before and the price that they paid to rid themselves of being relegated to that word, I just don't use it.


COSTELLO: You can see part two of Anderson's interview with Oprah tonight 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Still to come in NEWSROOM, remember this explosion in Kansas City? Who can forget. New details today about what caused this blast and who the government says is to blame.


COSTELLO: Checking our top stories at 15 minutes past the hour.

The deadly blast that leveled a famous Kansas City restaurant back in February is now blamed on a utility contractor. Federal regulators have cited heartland Midwest LLC for safety violations, saying an employee hit an underground gas line an hour before the explosion at JJ's Restaurant. One person killed and 15 others hurt. The company disputes the findings.

A Romanian princess is due in federal court in Oregon today after she was caught in a cockfighting ring. I'm not making this up, really. Princess Irina Walker, her husband and four others are charged with operating an illegal gambling business. She's the third daughter of Romania's exiled King Michael I.

Two popular brands of popular cat and dog food are being recalled because they contain salmonella. Dried food solder under Eukanuba and Iams labels are affected. Stamps on potentially dangerous lots say the product is best used by November 2014. The manufacturer Procter & Gamble says no illnesses have been reported. Animals and humans can be at risk.

Tropical storm Erin still far from the U.S. shoreline but it is expected to gain strength. So, let's head to the CNN severe weather center and Indra Petersons.

Good morning, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, good morning. Yes, we do have tropical storm Erin. But the one important thing to note is how far away it currently is. So, right now, just one mile per hour over tropical storm strength. Sure, it will strengthen to 45 miles per hour, but, eventually, still expected to dissipate by the middle of next week, still way out into the ocean to just a depression. So, something we'll have to monitor.

But what we're really focused on currently is what's going on right near the Yucatan peninsula, having just exited the area. Look at the tropical moisture currently feeding into Florida. Now, this is key. We're talking about heavy rain possible all throughout the entire weekend.

One change from yesterday and that is look at all the models. They're actually pulling this in closer to Texas by Monday. That's the actual track of where that could go if it does form.

Regardless of whether it forms or not, we still have a huge problem. It is a stationary front pulling in all this moisture from the Gulf. You combine that with the tropical moisture we just showed you and we add a low.

The reason that matters is going to pull that front a little bit farther backwards, which means more access to this heavy rain all along these Gulf States. So, let's talk about that. How much rain are we talking about? Well, two to four inches from New Orleans and up to Charleston, three to five possible in Tallahassee, and keep in mind these areas have seen so much rain all summer long. Let's take it day by day.

Here's Friday. We're looking at it through Florida and even through Georgia. By Saturday, that moisture gets closer and we see more of it. We see the stationary front back up and start to see it pulling up even into the mid-Atlantic and just clouds.

This is the area we're concerned with as they get the bulk of the tropical moisture. Sunday, still there.

Plus, you can see moisture making its way towards Texas bringing that heavy rainfall in their direction, but, most importantly, still present in these Gulf States not going anywhere and this is what I want to show you, Carol. We're talking about places seeing 20 or 30 inches of rain since just June. That is almost 20 inches above normal for Tallahassee alone. Flooding concerns extremely high as we go through the weekend.

COSTELLO: I know. I have an (INAUDIBLE) on order, and I live in Atlanta, Georgia, which is known as Hotlanta.

PETERSONS: Will you pick me up?

COSTELLO: I will. Thank you, Indra.

Coming up in NEWSROOM: sex sells but one mom ain't buying it. One ad went way too far and now she's fighting back.


COSTELLO: A promo for a new TV show is so steamy and so sexy, some people were outraged by it.

So, a warning, if you find these kind of images offensive or if you have kids in the room, you might want to turn away. The big problem, the sultry ad aired during ABC's "Good Morning America" at 8:00 in the morning when kids could be watching television.


COSTELLO: OK, so, there you have it. One mom saw this air with her kids in the room at 8:00 in the morning and she was in a state of disbelief, so she snapped a photo of the nude scene off the TV and posted it on to her Facebook page and the steamy picture was removed from Facebook because it violated Facebook's policies.

Now, it's the subject on her blog. This mom says she's fighting for change and has filed a complaint with the FCC.

That mom is named Rebeca Seitz and she joins us now from Naples, Florida. She's also a Christian entertainment agent, publicist and novelist.

Good morning, Rebeca.

REBECA SEITZ, CHRISTIAN ENTERTAINMENT AGENT & PUBLICIST: Good morning. Thank you so much for having me.

COSTELLO: Thank you for being here. So, you're sitting there in the morning with your kids and this ad appears and what do you do?

SEITZ: I panicked first because I quickly turned and I saw that my son's eyes had gone wide. And I quickly got him out of the room and I rewound it because I thought there is simply no way we saw what we just saw. So, I will rewind and see what it actually is and then I'll be able to explain he didn't see what he thinks he just saw and then I rewound and saw and I saw, no, no, it was exactly what we thought it was.

So, I snapped the picture.

COSTELLO: So, just to be clear, you don't object to this being on television, you object to this being on television at 8:00 in the morning.

SEITZ: Exactly. I object to the idea that I see this over corn flakes and coffee with my kids nearby. That's what I object to.

COSTELLO: So, you post this image on your Facebook, just to generate conversation about it and Facebook removes it?

SEITZ: It did. I got a notice within 30 minutes of it that said it had been reported and, so, I put that it had been reported on my Facebook and within an hour they took it down and said it violated their community standards. I thought -- well, right, that's the point.

So, a friend of mine is actually the one who said you should put this over on your blog because we all want to talk about it and we can't do so on Facebook.

COSTELLO: I'm sure it generated a lot of comments.

I'm going to ask you about this. Advertisers use sex to sell all the time on daytime television. Like this commercial from Hardy's. Watch this.


COSTELLO: Wow. Like I can't even remember what that ad is for. What makes that commercial different from the ABC promo?

SEITZ: Well, the big thing for me was that commercials like what you just aired, those typically happen in primetime. I'm a parent who chooses to not allow my children to see those images. So, I don't plop my children down in front of the television during primetime.

This was at 8:26 in the morning. I didn't have the choice to turn the television off because I had no idea that it was coming. When you aired the promo right then for the show, you said, hey, if you have children in the room and you don't want them to see this, you might want them to leave the room. I didn't have the option, it was just there. COSTELLO: OK, have you heard from ABC? Because I know you reached out.

SEITZ: I did. I called the pr director for the "Betrayal" show and she said to me was very quickly, she said, I'm not responsible for it. I did see that you had done an interview about it and put it on your blog and so, I let other people know and I'm going on vacation.

COSTELLO: We also reached out to ABC and haven't heard back so there you have it.

Rebeca Seitz, thank you for being with us this morning, we appreciate it.

SEITZ: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Still ahead in NEWSROOM: the latest bombshell from Edward Snowden. How the NSA violated the privacy of Americans like you, thousands of times per year.


COSTELLO: Happening now in the NEWSROOM: Snowden speaks out saying the media misled by his situation and his father the only person publicly defending his son? Well, Snowden says his father does not speak for him.

Plus, this --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From now on, we just won't be visiting planets, we'll be staying.


COSTELLO: Seriously. The red planet. It's not as far off as it may sound.

The size of a raccoon in the face of a teddy bear. A brand-new species, but I'm calling it a teddycat. Jeff Corwin will come on the show and correct me in about 15 minutes.

NEWSROOM starts now.