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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Egypt on Edge; Trayvon Martin's Mother Speaks Against Stop & Frisk; A-Rod Plunked, Homers; Lady Gaga Battles with Perez Hilton
Aired August 19, 2013 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Uprising in Egypt. Protesters return to the streets today in a bitter battle with the country's military that has killed hundreds.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Rain soaking the southeast. The severe storm leaving communities under water. We're going to tell you what's still in store for the area.
SAMBOLIN: Did you hear about this? A 12-year-old girl attacked by a bear? What she did to get away and to stay alive. And what is being done now to find that bear that attacked her.
ROMANS: Terrifying. And there have been a few of these.
SAMBOLIN: Several. Several.
ROMANS: Wow. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.
SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Thirty minutes past the hour.
We are going to start here in Egypt this morning. The violence that threatens to incite a civil war continues this morning. In the latest incident, some two dozen soldiers were killed on the Sinai Peninsula. That after 36 Islamists in government custody died and there are conflicting explanations as to why and how they died. And it comes as top officials are telling protesters, it's not in your best interest to continue fighting.
Reza Sayah is live in Cairo for us this morning.
And Reza, with the death toll now near 900 people, you have been following this very closely for us. Is there any sign of the violence letting up?
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Zoraida, you hate to see this, but there is no sign of the violence letting up. We haven't seen any widespread street demonstrations and street violence over the past 48 hours but we've seen some horrible incidents and bloodshed in other forms. And many fear this is what's coming in the weeks ahead unless something changes.
First off this morning, at least 24 Egyptian soldiers killed when their convoy was attacked by armed militants in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula. This is a region that has been plagued with militancy. The government here has repeatedly suggested that these attacks are carried out by elements somehow linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Then yesterday, a bizarre incident where at least 30 detainees were killed according to state media. These detainees, at least some of them supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, were being transported with 600 other prisoners to a prison in northern Cairo. There are conflicting accounts as to what happened. Some officials say some of them tried to escape. Others say they took a police officer hostage.
But at some point, a police officer shot tear gas into one of these police vans. And state media says 38 prisoners choked to death. It's not clear what happened, why anyone would shoot tear gas in a police van, Zoraida.
If history is any indication, it's unlikely that there's going to be a credible investigation to find out what happened.
SAMBOLIN: Well, Washington seems to be taking a tougher stance with Egypt with some lawmakers calling for aid to be cut off. Is the Egyptian government listening? There's a lot of criticism about the over $1 billion that is given to Egypt from the United States. What is it going to take in order for them to listen?
SAYAH: Well, at this point, they are not listening. The point is, the aid is still flowing. So what's coming from Washington is a lot of rhetoric and the authorities here so far paying very little attention. So this is playing out with the two factions that are fighting. And increasingly, the government here is using the narrative that this is a war against terrorism suggesting the Muslim Brotherhood is linked with terrorist activity.
So it seems that they're going to continue to take an aggressive stance with these continued crackdowns, and the question is, is the Brotherhood going to fade away? Are they going to stop fighting? At this point they say they're determined to keep coming out and protesting, which signals more turmoil ahead in the coming days and the weeks -- Zoraida.
SAMBOLIN: All right. Reza Sayah live for us in Cairo this morning. Thank you.
ROMANS: And there's breaking news this morning from South Africa where Olympic hero, Oscar Pistorius has been formally indicted in the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. She was shot to death in his house on Valentine's Day. He claims he mistook her for an intruder while prosecutors claim he did it in cold blood.
The trial set to begin in March. Today would have been Steenkamp's 30th birthday. Her family not at the court and has no plans to attend the trial.
SAMBOLIN: President Obama today meets with the nation's top financial regulators to talk about where we stand nearly five years after the market's collapse. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, along with the heads of the SEC, FDIC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will all be present. Many regulations promised after reforms became law more than three years ago have yet to be finished.
ROMANS: It was a deadly weekend off Miami Beach where rip currents are responsible for at least two deaths. Authorities say an elderly man and woman were caught up in the waves, likely pulled under and suffered cardiac arrest. It was one of 50 rescues along the beach on Sunday but the choppy surf being driven by the strong on-shore winds.
SAMBOLIN: Southern Mississippi is drying up this morning after almost six inches of rain fell in less than two hours. There was widespread street flooding in the Gulfport area with cars stuck and fire crews having to come out to help all the people. Officials there handed out sandbags to protect the homes at risk of being inundated with all of this water.
ROMANS: And dozens were stranded by rising waters at this Gulfport church. Can you imagine? They went there Sunday morning for church but by the time they left, the deluge left their parking lot full. Some of them waded out to their cars. Others chose to wait in the safety of the (INAUDIBLE) there. The water did eventually start go down and parishioners were able to head home.
SAMBOLIN: Good gracious, Indra. This is incredible.
Not your fault but we're blaming you. We're waiting for explanations.
INDRA PETERSONS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: No, I mean, it is so true. I mean, this is literally incredible. And it's day after day. At this point, month after month. We started this trend of just drenching the southeast in June. July, we were setting records. It is August and we are still talking about an incredible amount of tropical moisture. Really that huge influx all the way into the south.
We can actually see, this is the area we're watching over the Yucatan Peninsula as we started the weekend. And each day, that tropical moisture got closer. It combined with a stationary front, the two together brought unbelievable amounts of rainfall.
I want to show you how far over the average, alone, so over the average, 15 inches in Macon. OK? Ft. Lauderdale, 11.35 inches over the average. A lot of places are seeing 20 to 30 inches of rain just since the beginning of June.
This is what it looked like just over the weekend. I mean, 9.46 inches in Panama City, Pensacola, 6.61 inches. So yes, it's an incredible amount of rain as you can imagine. The flooding concerns are high. And there's nowhere for this water to go. In fact, we're still looking at warnings currently. And more rain is on the way. All that moisture and that stationary front still in place.
One to three inches of rain is still possible as we go through the next three to four days here. One to three inches still in Tallahassee, all the way up to the Carolinas. I wish I had better news. But I mean, you look at that extended forecast and it's just surprise, surprise. I even need to work anymore. More rain, guys. SAMBOLIN: Wow, more rain.
ROMANS: Be careful out there, everybody.
SAMBOLIN: Yes. No kidding.
ROMANS: Thanks, Indra.
SAMBOLIN: All right, in Idaho this morning, it's a race against Mother Nature to try and stop a series of raging wildfires turning through tens of thousands of acres. Look at this. The Beaver Creek Fire is threatening Sun Valley, a playground of the rich and famous, as it grows in size. It now stands at more than 100,000 acres. Some 2,000 homes have been evacuated, another 7,000 are threatened. The fire is unfortunately only 8 percent contained. But crews do think they've gotten the upper hand on the Elk Fire that's really nearby. It's now 55 percent contained. And residents are being let back into their homes. The Elk Fire burned some 130,000 acres.
ROMANS: Let's go to Oklahoma now where the state is studying a proposal to make safe rooms mandatory in public schools three months after a tornado flattened the city of Moore, Oklahoma. Several children died in an elementary school that was leveled by that monster twister. Right now less than a third of the nearly 1800 schools in Oklahoma have a safe room or a shelter.
SAMBOLIN: The effort to remove San Diego's mayor from office is now officially underway. Several hundred gathered at city hall Sunday to being circulating petitions in an effort to force Bob Filner out of the mayor's job amid allegations that he sexually harassed more than a dozen women. The organizers have only 39 days to gather more than 100,000 signatures to put the recall out on the ballot.
ROMANS: President Scott Brown? The former Republican senator for Massachusetts is apparently exploring a run telling supporters at the Iowa State Fair this weekend that he's gauging interest in his, quote, "brand of politics." He's been rumored to also be considering a run for Massachusetts governor.
The Republican Brown was a surprise winner, remember, in 2010's election to replace the late Ted Kennedy in a state that's long been a Democratic stronghold. He lost his seat in 2012 to Elizabeth Warren.
SAMBOLIN: Penn State has apparently settled one lawsuit from a sex abuse victim of former assistant football Jerry Sandusky. A lawyer for the so-called Victim Five tells CNN his client is bound by a confidentiality agreement but has received, quote, "fair and adequate compensation."
There are some 30 other suits against the university that are still pending. Sandusky is serving at least 30 years after being convicted last year on 45 counts of sex abuse against minors.
ROMANS: All right. Trayvon Martin's mother is speaking out against New York's stop-and-frisk policy days after it was called unconstitutional by a federal judge. Sybrina Fulton told NBC's "Meet the Press" it's wrong to give police the authority to stop anyone just because of the color of their skin.
But New York's police commissioner Ray Kelly said stop-and-frisk is effective and getting rid of it would cause violent crimes to rise in New York. And he insisted despite the judge's findings, the policy does not target people based on race.
SAMBOLIN: Tighter background checks are now the law in Illinois. The governor has signed the measure which requires background checks for every firearm purchase including between private party. Those sales have been exempted in the past. The new rules will take effect on January 1st.
ROMANS: All right. It was the photo seen around the sports world. Two female Russian track and field athletes kissing on the winner's podium at the track championships in Moscow. But was it a protest? Many are painting the kiss is a reaction to that country's anti-gay propaganda laws which bans showing anything that might paint homosexuality in a positive light. Neither athletes have said why they kissed and the local media is -- Russia is spinning it as simply a congratulatory embrace.
SAMBOLIN: Forty minutes past the hour. Coming up, fresh out of rehab, Lindsay Lohan goes on the record about her addiction. That's coming up.
SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Forty-three minutes past the hour.
In Michigan, wildlife officials are asking, is it the same bear? A bear was shot on Sunday about two miles from where a 12-year-old girl was attacked last week. Abby Wetherell was jogging on her grandfather's property last Thursday when she was attacked suffering serious cuts and a puncture wound on her thigh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH WETHERELL, ABBY'S MOTHER: A bear just kind of came out of nowhere and attacked her from behind, knocked her to the ground. She went to get up to try to get her way. And the bear came back at her again. At that point, she didn't know what to do because she -- she had been injured severely and couldn't get up. She decided the best to just lay there and play dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: It saved her life actually. Abby is now out of the hospital and back with her family.
All told, there have been at least seven bear attacks on people throughout the United States in recent days. And that young girl, you know what she was worried about? Getting back to playing soccer. She was into soccer games. Unbelievable.
ROMANS: Oh, my. All right, here another frightening attack story. A shark attack in Hawaii. Authorities say a 16-year-old surfer bitten by a gray shark, an 8-foot long gray shark came up from behind at a popular island surfing spot on Sunday. He suffered multiple cuts and punctured wounds to his legs. He was airlifted to a hospital.
Just last week, a woman lost her arm in a shark attack off the coast of Maui. A fellow vacationer jumped in the water to save her.
SAMBOLIN: My goodness.
All right, Lindsay Lohan is coming clean about her time in recovery. Her sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey aired in its entirety Sunday night. And Lohan admitted, she's her own worst enemy, telling Oprah she is an addict and that alcohol is her drug of choice. Now Lohan says she's different and she's trying to put her troubled past behind her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS: Just, you know, work really hard and stay focused and prove myself in the way that I -- that I did before in the past and that I lost. You know, I have to regain the trust of people and my career that have their doubts. And I fully respect that, on their behalf.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: Lohan also says she hates being thought of as the example of a child star gone wrong.
Gosh, I wish that girl well.
All right. Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan join us now.
ROMANS: Happy Monday, guys.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN'S "NEW DAY": Happy Monday. I hope you guys had a good weekend, it's going to be a great week.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN'S "NEW DAY": Except if you live in the southeast. And that's going to be our big lead story today.
BOLDUAN: That is so true.
CUOMO: It's not just about the weather anymore. These storms are dumping rain on places that are already soaked. Southeast, Gulf Coast areas, that's what we're talking about. Flash floods, serious threat, dangerous, a lot of lives could be lost. And people have to be prepared to stay ahead of the deluge. We're going to tell you everything that you need to know.
BOLDUAN: When you get to say deluge, you know it's a bad day, and much anticipated interview, Prince William speaking out for the first time since the birth of little Prince George. What is it like to raise a baby with the entire world watching your every move.
Well, one person should know. Prince William should know. And Max Foster is going to join us with this brand new interview. A very interesting one. I want to see what he has to say.
CUOMO: That's it. Those are the big biggies. But we have a lot of other news this morning.
ROMANS: Yes. He looks like he's so happy. Doesn't have the big dark circles under his eyes, quite yet but --
SAMBOLIN: He's getting a lot of help. Don't you think?
ROMANS: A lot of help or a good makeup artist.
SAMBOLIN: Both the forum.
ROMANS: Thanks, guys.
CUOMO: If he's got a lot of help.
CUOMO: If? Come on, he lives in a palace.
SAMBOLIN: I think I'm with you on that one, Chris.
ROMANS: I think he's with his in-laws right now. So I think maybe his mother-in-law is doing an awful lot of work right now like most mother-in-laws.
ROMANS: Thanks, guys.
SAMBOLIN: I guess. Exactly.
ROMANS: All right. Coming up, Alex Rodriguez pelted by a pitch. But could he have been hit on purpose? This morning's "Bleacher Report" as --
SAMBOLIN: I think --
ROMANS: Major League drama.
SAMBOLIN: That's a yes.
ROMANS: Zoraida says yes. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SAMBOLIN: Former Marine Stephen Rhodes was set on playing football for Middle Tennessee State this year, but the NCAA says he's ineligible because he played recreational football while serving in the military.
ROMANS: Andy Scholes, why?
ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes, good morning, guys. Well, Rhodes successfully walked on to play Middle Tennessee State but the NCAA says he's going to have to sit out this year because he played in what was basically an intramurals league during his time in the Marine.
The 24-year-old Rhodes said the league was very unorganized. Sometimes they would go six weeks in between games. But since they had uniforms and a score was kept, the NCAA says that counts as a league. And now Rhodes had to sit out this season.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't think it would come to that extent. I thought it would be clean cut ordeal where I would just come in and play. But they've got all these laws that are set. So just trying to fight it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: The NCAA did not respond last night after Twitter blew up on this story. They did respond, that is, saying they have done an initial review. No final decision has been made.
All right. The Yankees and Red Sox writing a new chapter to the rivalry last night. Top of the second, Boston's Ryan Dempster throws behind A-Rod with a first pitch. Then three pitches later, he drills him. Both benches were warned. Joe Girardi comes out. He is furious. He gets thrown out. He gets thrown out of the game.
A-Rod comes back up in the sixth inning. And this time he crushes this Dempster fast ball in the center field. That's A-Rod's second homerun of the season. And he had words for Dempster as he rounded the bases. He even paused to celebrate at home plate. A-Rod gets the last laugh as the Yankees come back to get the win, 9-6.
On the lighter section of Bleacherreport.com, today, you'll see the catch of the weekend from the NFL preseason. Colts' quarterback Andrew Luck with a long pass. Looks like it's intercepted. But veteran Reggie Wayne won't give up on it. Take a look at the amazing catch on a tipped ball. What concentration. Wayne looks like he's in regular season form.
A little league world series. You've got to check this out. After a homerun, look at the grown man going after this ball like he's at a big league game. He's going to go face first into the bushes. SAMBOLIN: My goodness. That's great.
SCHOLES: You would have thought Hank Aaron just hit a record-setting homerun into those bushes.
SAMBOLIN: Is he a dad?
SCHOLES: Check out the blood on his nose. That's dedication. You're going after a ball, you go all out.
ROMANS: I want to know if that's the father of one of the kids that was playing. Right?
SCHOLES: You know what -- you know --
SAMBOLIN: I would go diving nose first.
SCHOLES: If that was his son's first, like, homerun in the world -- Little League World Series I can maybe understand. And I just hope that's the case.
SAMBOLIN: Yes. Probably. All right, Andy, thank you. We appreciate it.
ROMANS: That's the right kind of Little League drama we like to see. We don't like to see the parents freaking out, we like that kind of drama. Andy, thanks.
SAMBOLIN: all right. We'll be right back.
SAMBOLIN: Can we just listen to the music for awhile?
Fifty-seven minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. A real battle is brewing between a pop superstar and one of the world's most watched bloggers. Lady Gaga and Perez Hilton. The two have been in a Twitter war for days now. The latest tweets, her tweet, that he's stalking her, showing up at her New York apartment building. Hilton says he was only apartment hunting and had no idea she lived there. He calls the allegations from a former good friend, devastating.
ROMANS: All right. "The Butler" served up a win at the weekend box office. The Forest Whitaker-Oprah Winfrey historical drama, $25 million it took in. Beating a slew of new releases including "Kick Ass 2" which only made $13.5 million. And Apple founder Steve Jobs' picture which -- it's called "Jobs" finished in a disappointing seventh place with just under $7 million.
SAMBOLIN: So happy for Lee Daniels. He said he had a real hard time getting that film made. ROMANS: No, I will see it. I'm going to see it for sure.
All right, so this may be the ultimate food crossover. It sounds really disgusting, though. Cheetos that taste like Pepsi. Pepsi, not that orange cheese flavor that you're used to. I don't get this. They are a big hit in Japan, apparently. One online review says it actually fizzes in your mouth. Yum, yum. But don't place your orders yet. Frito Lays says a special version of Cheetos will not be put up for sale here. Why?
ROMANS: There's like a space rates for weird crossover food. I mean, you noticed like the waffle tacos and a lot of that stuff. Anyway.
SAMBOLIN: Well, that at least sound good like I would potentially enjoy it. This is just weird.
ROMANS: Can I just say waffle tacos? I don't know.
All right. That's it for EARLY START. It's time for "NEW DAY."
Take it away, Chris and Kate.
BOLDUAN: Looks like cheap version of pop rocks if it fizzes in your mouth.
CUOMO: That was very dangerous and deadly. Right?
CUOMO: That was the myth. Remember when you were a kid?
SAMBOLIN: All right.
CUOMO: Put soda and pop rocks in your mouth, that's it.
BOLDUAN: It didn't stop me.
CUOMO: It's good --
That's what made her so tough back in the hood.
CUOMO: There's that girl that ate the whole box of pop rocks. She's like, that's right.
BOLDUAN: We'll see you guys in a bit.
CUOMO: Look at your clocks, everybody. It's almost the top of the hour. Here on NEW DAY it means it's time for your top news.