Return to Transcripts main page


Morsy Supporters Holed Up in Mosque; Christie OKs Medical Marijuana for Kids

Aired August 17, 2013 - 09:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I am Brianna Keilar.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: And I am Martin Savidge. It is 9:00 on the East Coast, 6:00 in the West. And this is NEW DAY SATURDAY".

We're going to begin this hour with breaking news. There are reports of new fighting now in Egypt's capital.

KEILAR: We have reports of clashes and gunfire around a mosque in central Cairo. That is where supporters of ousted president, Mohamed Morsy have been holed up all night long. Egyptian state television reports that security forces returned fire at the mosque's minaret.

SAVIDGE: Let's bring in CNN's Frederik Pleitgen in Cairo.

And Fred, we know that this has been a very fluid and confusing situation there especially around that mosque. So what can you tell us about what is happening? How many people are still inside? Do we know?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it has been fluid, it's been chaotic. The information that we're getting Martin is that there's about 150 people still in that mosque. They are, of course, Morsy supporters.

The information that we got -- and I have been covering this throughout the entire night -- was that at some point there were about a thousand people who were holed up in that mosque. And what you have is inside you have the Morsy supporters and outside, you have the supporters of the government.

Now, in part that's security forces but in other part it's sort of armed vigilante groups that are simply on the side of the government. Civilians that are sort of besieging that mosque. It's a standoff situation that's going on there. Throughout the morning, some people, some of the Morsy supporters especially women have come out The security forces have protected them and part firing in the air to keep these vigilante groups away from them, and you did have those exchanges of gunfire as you said.

There seems to be gunfire coming from the minaret of the mosque. It seems as though there is a shooter among the crowd that is inside that mosque, and of course, the security forces returned fire as they said they would, and there was a decree issued that if the security forces were attacked, they would return live fire. We could hear that ringing out over Cairo, throughout this morning, and also the other thing that we're seeing is a military helicopter that's circling over that area as well.

Now this place was the place where the big clashes happened yesterday, where a lot of people were killed and those people who were inside the mosque basically sought refuge there. The mosque was being used as a makeshift hospital as well as a makeshift morgue throughout the night for the people who were killed in those clashes, Martin.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Fredrick Pleitgen reporting for us in Cairo. Thank you for that.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to take a change here toward the weather. You are looking at -- we will be in moment, hopefully. A live shot coming from Panama City, Florida. Storms are expected throughout the day across much of the southeast. And there is a real danger of flash flooding. Let's bring in meteorologist, Jennifer Delgado in the CNN severe weather center. Good morning, Jennifer.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Martin. You're right. There is certainly a big threat for that, because the rain has been coming down over the last 48 hours, and once again in the southeast. Look at the radar, just lighting up across parts of Florida as well as into regions like Alabama as well as into Georgia. This is where we're going to see the heaviest rainfall today. And we certainly don't need it.

Look what's been coming down over the last 48 hours. Some locations between four and six inches of rainfall. You can see for the area -- just to the west of Panama City now. Now, with all these rain around, we do have flood watches and warnings in place. In fact, we're expecting some of these locations to pick up six more inches of rainfall and you can see some rains working into the southern part of Louisiana, New Orleans as well into regions like Birmingham.

Now as we go through today and tomorrow, we will continue to follow that heavy rainfall. We are also following the tropics where we have an area of low pressure. You can see all the thunderstorm activities actually to the north, the box here -- well, this system here has about a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone. We'll continue to follow that and of course, we're tracking the fire danger out in the west, across parts of Idaho where we're expecting ref flag warning and that means we're expecting some of those winds today. The gusts up to 30 miles per hour.

That means, the fire danger is not going to be over today. But it's not all bad news out. As I said, we leave the good for the end and it looks like we're going to see temperatures once again this weekend and across parts of the northwest, below average but we're going to add in the sunshine. It's going to be even cooler on Sunday as well, Martin.

SAVIDGE: All right. Jennifer, thanks very much for that.

KEILAR: You know, New Jersey governor Chris Christie is signaling that he's going to make it easier for sick kids to get medical marijuana but the Republican governor said he wants some restrictions in place first.

SAVIDGE: The move comes after a father of a young girl with a rare form of epilepsy confronted Christie. Listen to how Christie responds as the man pleads for his daughter.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: These are complicated issues, and -- I know you think it's simple, and it's not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please don't let my daughter die, governor.


SAVIDGE: Alina Cho is in New York has been following the story for us. Alina, where does the issue stand now?

ALINA CHO, CNN, CORRESPONDENT:: Basically, Martin, Governor Christie has sent this bill back to the New Jersey legislature. He said that he will indeed sign it if number one, edible forms of marijuana would be given only to minors, not to patients of all ages, and that would help Little Vivian here. Two, he wants to keep in place the requirement that would -- that in order to qualify for the program, parents would have to get a note from a pediatrician, a psychiatrist and a qualifying doctor, and some parents believe that is too strict. In fact, here is what Vivian's father told our Wolf Blitzer on "AC 360" last night. Watch.


BRIAN WILSON, DAUGHTER NEEDS MEDICAL MARIJUANA: It makes a lot of headache and heartache for parents to go around shopping around for doctors who understand anything about medical marijuana to get them to sign up for this, so for parents who are already going through a lot of trouble with what their children's ailments are, they now have to go to this extra step. You don't have to go through for any other medical condition or for any other medication.


CHO: Now, here's the third provision Christie also supports eliminating the number of marijuana strains available in New Jersey, and that means there would be no limit on the number of strains which also means that Vivian, in essence would be able to get that medical marijuana she needs.

Now, for those of you getting up to speed on this story, the two-year- old Vivian has this rare form of epilepsy called (INAUDIBLE) syndrome. It causes severe seizures. She is a on special diet. She has special meds, but her parents believe the only thing that will help control this is a special form of medical marijuana, which is high is something called CDD, and low in THC. That's the agent that gets you high.

Now the bottom line, Marty and Brianna, this is a victory for this family. If the state legislature goes along with Governor Christie's suggestions, Vivian should be able to get what she needs legally and in edible form which is what she needs. It's actually an oil. It would be dropped into her food or directly on to her tongue, but her parents believe and even our own Sanjay Gupta believes after doing research, as you know, that this would help little Vivian and other children just like her.

KEILAR: And it's so hard for the parents -- I mean, this type of syndrome that she has, we are talking about seizures that can last a minute. I mean, just the sensation these parents must feel being so helpless as they are watching their daughter. Alina, great story. Thank you so much.

And for more on medical marijuana, and why Dr. Sanjay Gupta changed his mind on the issue, you can watch a CNN documentary "Weed." That is tonight 8:00 Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN.

SAVIDGE: Coming up on "New Day," searching for Alexis. She has been missing for two weeks and was last seen at a gas station. However, there is more to the story. But putting the pieces together has not been easy. We'll talk to her mother next hour.


SAVIDGE: They search for a missing teen is growing desperate right now.

That is 17-year-old Alexis Murphy. She is rocking out on a vine video, but her once active Twitter account now really frozen in time, unchanged since the day she went missing, two weeks ago today. Her last message sent two hours before she was last seen, and it reads simply "I actually look cute right now."

And what exactly happened to her after that remains a mystery. We only know that Alexis was last spotted at a surveillance camera at this central Virginia gas station on August 3rd. And then the following Sunday investigators arrested Randy Taylor charging him with her abduction. But Taylor isn't telling much to the FBI or anything.

He admits to being with Alexis inside his camper the day she went missing, but says she left with man, a drug dealer. Some also fear that Taylor could be connected to the disappearance of another woman 21-year-old Samantha Clark who went missing three years ago.

Laura Ann Murphy is Alexis' mother and Trina is her aunt. Thank you both for joining us this morning. Our hears, of course, go out to your family. First, let me ask Laura, how is your family doing?

LAURA ANN MURPHY, MISSING TEEN'S MOTHER: They're doing as they can do. We're just holding on, keeping strong with family, friends and supporters.

SAVIDGE: Trina, let me ask you this. Please fill us in on the latest you know. Any clues, leads even ideas?

TRINA MURPHY, MISSING TEEN'S AUNT: Well, where we are right now is -- Mr. Taylor has been arrested. He is not talking at this point or sharing any information about where Alexis' maybe. They continue to do searches on his property. They have discovered what has been said to me as multiple cell phones, some of them badly damaged. Thos have been sent to Quantico. It has not been determined if one of those phones actually belongs to Alexis but you know, they'll have that information as quickly as they can.

SAVIDGE: The suspect's defense is that he was with Alexis as part of a drug deal that another man was really the last one to be with her. So what do you make of all of this?

TRINA MURPHY: I just make it as a pack of lies. You know, the same MO that he had in the Samantha Clark case, it was somebody else. This is a very sick individual. As far as I am concerned, he is a predator. He has been watching Alexis, I believe for a while, frequenting where she goes to get her favorite drink which is caramel frappe every day, and there is just all kinds of holes in his story. Why would a 48-year-old man need to ask a 17-year-old where to buy weed? If you smoke weed you know where to buy it.

SAVIDGE: Laura, let me --

TRINA MURPHY: She would never --

SAVIDGE: I'm sorry, Trina, I just want to ask Laura --


SAVIDGE: This is a moment really -- I think that this man holds the key obviously, and as a mother who could speak, if you could and indirectly you are to him, what would you say to him or his attorney?

LAURA MURPHY: I would want to know where my daughter is. Because from a mother to a father, I would like to just sit there with him one-on- one and ask him where my daughter is at, because he do now where she is at. He was the last one with her. And like I said, his story just got too many holes in it. And it just don't make sense at all. It don't make sense at all. I would want him to see the hurt in my eyes.

SAVIDGE: This is a small town, Trina, and actually met the suspect before?

TRINA MURPHY: Well, I actually purchased a car from the dealership that he used to work at. And I knew I had seen him just around in the community, because the vehicle is kind of hard to miss. It was not with any frequency, but I had seen him before. And then when I figured out that's where he used to work, he actually was the person who cleaned my car up before I took possession of it.

SAVIDGE: Laura, I know that you have said --

TRINA MURPHY: Which is really eerie.

SAVIDGE: You still have hope in your heart, any parent wood, and you must feel that way, right? LAURA MURPHY: Yes, I do. I really do. I still have hope. I mean, a mother would know if something -- if her daughter is really gone, but I still have hope. I don't feel that and I don't have it in my heart. I just want her back and I miss her.

SAVIDGE: And we will hang on to that hope with you. Thank you. Laura and Trina Murphy. If you know anything about the disappearance, investigators are asking that you call this number and it is 434-263- 7050.

KEILAR: Meanwhile, a Georgia teen is fighting for his life and in desperate need of a new heart. After a big reversal by doctors, his family is more hopeful he will get one soon, and we will have the latest on that case, next.


KEILAR: Good morning, Washington, D.C. a beautiful day there. You are looking at a live picture of the Capitol Building. We're looking at about 80 degrees, and sunny today. I don't think it gets any better than that, Martin.

SAVIDGE: No, it doesn't. Good news for a 15-year old Georgia teen fighting for his life. According to a family spokesperson, doctors implanted a mechanical pump to help Anthony (INAUDIBLE) heart function, and that happened on Friday. (INAUDIBLE) gained national attention after the doctors at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta told his family the teen would not be put on a heart transplant list, because of a history of noncompliance. (INAUDIBLE) family's aid they believe he was rejected because of the color of his troubled past.

On Tuesday, doctors revised that decision and said Stokes will be given top priority. A family friends said that Stokes is doing extremely well.

KEILAR: So with more than 21 percent of the population living below the poverty line, and Chicago is a city with a whole lot of need, and this week's CNN Hero transformed his life to serve the needy by putting goods into the hands that can use them the most. He's also keeping thousands of pounds of items out of landfills.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On a day-to-day basis, there are tons of items that are thrown away. It's shocking to understand how much hotels have in excess.

I was doing a lot of volunteering, and I saw how desperately in need people were for all of those types of things, and I thought to myself, I can be that connection, that matchmaker.

My name is (INAUDIBLE) and I collect donations around Chicago for charities that don't have the money and the manpower to do it on their own. We get a multitude of different items donated and whatever charities need, we can get them those items.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a full barrel of shampoo and conditioner for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But hygiene is 365 (INAUDIBLE) every single day of the year. (INAUDIBLE) great stuff in here. We partnered with over 40 hotels and we work with dozens of companies.


And that's a lot of showers there, and they will love this. The excess from corporation is great because there is always an overage for a damaged product that is still good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a double impact here where being environmentally responsible and people in Chicago are really benefiting from this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of these could you use?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two or three if you got them.

Men and women who are struggling with issues of poverty, they have as much personal dignity as anyone else. So anything that they do to keep themselves looking good and feeling good is important.

It's a simple concept but it's very labor intensive.

This thing is full but it's fun for me.

When this is empty, give me a call. I'll come pick it up

Get you another one.

And if I can improve people's lives, it's a double bonus.


SAVIDGE: Apparently the only thing Red Sox fans hate more than a Yankee, is a rat, an alleged rat at least. A sellout crowd of hostile Sox fans verbally yelled and screamed and taunted (INAUDIBLE) embattled third baseman, Alex Rodriguez.

KEILAR: It's very cool. According to a "60 Minutes" report leaked documents implicating other players for using performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez is denying that story and he spoke out to the media last night.

Joe Carter has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report." But it's hard, Joe, and I mean, we are talking about "60 Minutes," and it's kind of hard to argue with a "60 Minutes" report.

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Yes, I mean, "60 Minutes" is "60 Minutes," and you know, they are basically saying his A-Rod's people now, not A-Rod himself but his inner circle, if you will, gave the names of Ryan (INAUDIBLE) and even A-Rod's teammate Francisco Servelli -- they gave those names to Yahoo Sports soon after the biogenesis investigation started and that was back in like January and the beginning of February.

Now last night Rodriguez says, "You know what? I expect more accusations, more stories like this to keep coming out." Here he is.


ALEX RODRIGUEZ: We're all going to have to get ready for a bumpy road. It's going to get worst every day. And I would expect bigger and bigger stories to come out every day. And it's frustrating for the game because the game is doing so well, and it was such a big series, and the team is playing relatively well, and we're excited about playing, obviously one of the best teams in baseball, Boston.


CARTER: And obviously, they have a three-game series with them, and last night what was A-Rod's first time in Fenway since the suspension, and as expected, he got no love from the Red Sox fans.

Now who did show a lot of love last night, of course, was Alfonso Soriano. I mean this guy has been red hot with the big bat. Soriano has five home runs in the last four games. He has driven in 18 runs over that span, and 18 RBIs happens to tie a major league record over four games.

Now speaking of the MLB, they are actually planning to expand instant replay next season. Now right now, there is replay but only umpires can review boundary calls like whether a home run is fair foul but under a new proposed system, managers will be able to get involved and they will be able to challenge calls for (INAUDIBLE). Now balls and strikes can never be reviewed, but plays like that one right there, whether it's safe or not safe, (INAUDIBLE) that could be reviewed and trapped catches versus legitimate catches, could be reviewed. Now this is going to start possibly next season. But umpires and players have to vote on it and then owners have to approve it.

Very nice NFL story here. Sara Thomas, she's 39 years old. She's a mother of three and last night she was the line judge in the Saints- Raiders pre-season game. Last night, working that game was sort of an addition for her to possibly become the first full-time female NFL referee in NFL history, and Thomas has actually been working as an official for many years and she is no stranger to being the first, and seven years ago at the collegiate level, she was the first female to officiate a division, one football game, and was also the first female to officiate a ball game. Now guys, this is not a definite guarantee that she will get the NFL job this season. She's in the developmental program of NFL. She will go back refereeing college this season but if a spot becomes available, she will be considered obviously based on what she has done in the collegiate ranks and what she did last night.

KEILAR: Wow, it would certainly be very good PR for the NFL, I would say. A lot of women I think would be very excited to see that.

CARTER: No, she's not the only one. There is a couple other women out there --

KEILAR: They are considering?

CARTER: Yes, exactly. There is whole pool of them. There is 119 jobs and she could possibly get one if one opens up.

KEILAR: All right.

SAVIDGE: 2013 I would say -- about time.

KEILAR: I think so. Joe Carter, thank you.

Now coming up at the top of the hour, first hooters bans him, and then a radio show sends San Diego Mayor Bob Fillner a message in the sky telling him to surrender, and now the 16th accuser pointing the finger at Fillner. Will this push him to finally step down.

SAVIDGE: And orange is the new black. It's not about fashion. It's about a woman's prison. The new Netflix show is getting a lot of praise for showing women in very unusual circumstances. We'll talk with the stars from that show. That's all coming up at 10:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

KEILAR: Thank you so much for watching today. We'll be seeing you right back here at the top of the hour, but first privacy versus convenience.

SAVIDGE: It is the choice you need to make now if you want to take part in the digital future.


ERIC SCHMIDT, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, GOOGLE: You get to choose not to give us this information. If you give it to us, we can do a better job of making better services for you.


KEILAR: Not everyone who is watching you in the digital age has your best interest at heart. How can you protect yourself?

SAVIDGE: Christine Romans has the answers, and "YOUR MONEY" starts right now.