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Fire Rages in Idaho; Passenger Attempts to Open Plane Door Mid- Flight; Glenn Greenwald's Partner Detained by British Authorities; Fort Hood Shooter to Take the Stand; First Family, Second Dog; Man Gunned Down in Oklahoma

Aired August 20, 2013 - 07:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, a plane in midair when a passenger tries to open the exit doors. The plane diverted, passengers had to restrain him. We're live with the latest.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: In full blood, a murder sending shock waves across two continents. An Australian college baseball player allegedly killed by three teens in Oklahoma. Why police say they did it, it will shock you.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Move over Bo. There's a new dog in town. The Obamas get a brand new puppy. She's already taken over the White House.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not knowing if we're going to be able to go home or if we're going to have a home. I think that's the most never wracking.

ANNOUNCER: what you just have to see.


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


CUOMO: Good morning, everybody. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, August 20th, 7:00 in the East. I'm Chris Cuomo.

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

PEREIRA: Good morning, everyone.

BOLDUAN: Coming up this hour, the man who helped expose the NSA secrets isn't done. Journalist Glenn Greenwald says he's going to be even more aggressive now and publish more documents after the British government detained his partner. So what does very?

CUOMO: Plus, take a look. This man could be the largest person alive. He can't move on his own and until now hadn't left his bed in two years. But why are we telling this? Here's why. Help is on the way. The king of Saudi Arabia is bringing that help. We're going to tell you this amazing story.

PEREIRA: An upsetting story two day care workers fired for allegedly posting cruel pictures on Instagram making fun of the children they're supposed to be taking care of. We'll speak live with one mother who says one of the pictures mocked her son who has a delayed speech development.

First, breaking overnight an AirTran flight forced to make an emergency landing in Memphis, Tennessee. The plane was traveling from Baltimore to Austin, Texas, when officials say a passenger tried to open an emergency exit midflight. CNN's Christine Romans is following the developments for us. What do we know so far?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A lot of questions this morning about the motive behind this man who walked to the back of the airplane and tried to open this door. And 120 passengers on board, five crew members, at about 7:07 our review shows this plane turned around and started heading to Memphis where it landed. The FBI took this passenger, affiliate WREG reporting the FBI took this passenger and detained him for at least a couple of hours. We're trying to figure out what happened here. We know the plane then went onto Austin where it was scheduled to go and everyone deplaned and they were OK.

But again the motive of this man still a big question here. Southwest Airlines official telling our affiliate WREG said the man appeared unruly. Just FYI, you can't open the plane midflight.

CUOMO: Are you sure about that?

ROMANS: It's very difficult. Look, it is very terrifying for the people on board when you have somebody trying to disrupt a flight.

CUOMO: The obvious question, we keep using the word "motive," was this a directed act or was this somebody who is unstable. That's the key distinction so we have to find out.

BOLDUAN: It doesn't matter. It was terrifying regardless.

ROMANS: There were 120 passengers on board, five crew members, landed last night safe in Austin.

BOLDUAN: A hefty delay trying to get to Austin last night, I'm sure. Thanks so much, Christine.

ROMANS: Thanks.

BOLDUAN: The western U.S. is burning this morning. This map tells the tale, 49 separate wildfires in 11 different states. In central Idaho the Beaver Creek fire consumed more than 100,000 acres, placing thousands of homes at risk in the Sun Valley resort area. CNN's Dan Simon is live in Idaho tracking all of this. Good morning, Dan. What's it looking like this morning?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate. As you can imagine, with more than 100,000 acres burned crews are using every resource imaginable to get this fire under control. It's just nine percent contained at this point, with plenty of areas left to burn.


SIMON: Fire continuing to ravage one of the country's most scenic spots. A drive through the mountains and you can understand why many celebrities like Tom Hanks, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis choose this area to build multimillion-dollar vacation homes and why some insurance companies call in their own firefighters to help prevent a calamity. But as a Red Cross official told me --

NICOLE IRWIN, AMERICAN RED CROSS: Many people think this is an affluent area, and it is, but there are many who are affected by this that are from different socioeconomic backgrounds. And that's who is staying with us.

SIMON: Staying in a shelter like this high school where we met Orlanda Cabrito.

ORLANDA CABRITO, FIRE EVACUEE: I think not knowing the outcome, if we're going to be able to go home, if we're going to have a home, I think that's the most nerve-racking.

SIMON: The Beaver Creek fire is a true beast, spreading across an area larger than the city of Denver, surrounded by bone dry trees and brush, it's clear this fire could keep burning for a long time. The key is to keep the flames away from homes, but the wind has a way of pushing the fire in different directions.

BETH LUND, FIRE INCIDENT COMMANDER: We have plenty of resources right now, and it's just a matter of having people in the right place at the right time, which I believe we do at this point in time. It's just a lot of work to go ahead and get this thing contained.


SIMON: Well, at this point the fire is not immediately threatening homes so that's why hundreds of residents were allowed to go back to their houses last night and rain is supposed to be in the forecast perhaps as early as this evening, Chris, but with rain you have the possibility of thunderstorms and lightning, and there's a concern that could produce even more fires. Chris?

CUOMO: All right, Dan, thank you very much.

On the other side of the country the problem is rain and way too much of it. From Florida, the Carolinas, there's more rain in the forecast, that means flooding in areas already saturated. Indra Petersons is tracking all of this severe weather. What do we know this morning? I don't like the picture behind you.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'm already shaking my head. We say rain day after day. It's pretty weird to say week after week. But at this point we're talking about month after month.

Look at the flooding, this is Georgia where the Fair Road Apartments got flooded, furniture was rolling around in the high waters. I want you to look at the map, after heavy rain and record-breaking rain from just June, look at all of the flood warnings. Where you see some of the lighter green that means flooding is already imminent, and all of the flood watches again, all of this stretching from Florida into the Carolinas and unfortunately we're not looking at good news as it's expected to get worse with more rain in the forecast.

They've had anywhere from 20 to 30 inches of rain just since June. Let's talk about the surplus. You do get some rain in the summer in the southeast, but this is the surplus. They're not supposed to get this much, 15 inches over average. Now what we saw yesterday notice the same places seeing rain.

Let's talk about what we're looking for as we go forward in time, today, stationary front will still be in place again, anywhere from the southeast into the Carolinas there. As we go into tomorrow, the same picture, I can take you out Thursday, we can keep doing this day after day because it's not going to change. I can put the same picture up every single day.

BOLDUAN: WE need something to move that along. Thanks so much, Indra.

If the NSA spying scandal hasn't been explosive enough, reporter Glenn Greenwald is promising to heat things up even further. The reporter from "The Guardian" newspaper has already published thousands of secret documents he received from NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Now he's vowing to be more aggressive after British authorities detained his partner for questioning at Heathrow Airport. Jill Dougherty is live from Washington tracking the latest developments. Good morning, Jill.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kate. This detention of Greenwald's partner is stirring up a storm, Greenwald saying the British government is acting worse than the mafia. But officials indicating there was reason to stop David Miranda.


DOUGHERTY: At the airport in Rio de Janeiro, Glenn Greenwald, the report who broke the news about NSA leaker Edward Snowden hugged his partner, Brazilian citizen David Miranda, then angrily told reporters British authorities are going to regret what they did. "I'm going to write my stories a lot more aggressively than before" he said. "I'm going to publish many more documents now. I have a lot of documents about the espionage system in England."

Miranda said British agents citing an anti-terrorism law detained him at Heathrow airport for nine hours. He was on his way back to Rio from Berlin where he met with U.S. filmmaker Laura Poitress. She's worked with Greenwald and Snowden on stories about NSA surveillance. "They took my computer, video games, cellphone, everything," He said.

The White House claims it did not ask Britain to stop Miranda, but -- JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY SPOKESMAN: There was a heads-up that was provided by the British government, so this is something that we had an indication was likely to occur but it's not something that we requested, and it's something that was done specifically by the British law enforcement officials there.

DOUGHERTY: U.S. officials also won't say whether they've got their hands on Miranda's computer, but the State Department notes --

JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: We do have a close law enforcement and intelligence relationship with the U.K.

DOUGHERTY: Neither the state department nor the White House is condemning Miranda's detention, an indirect way of saying they think it's justified.


DOUGHERTY: Greenwald meanwhile calls the detention of his partner a profound escalation of the government's attacks on the news gathering process and on journalism. But the U.K. police are calling it legally and procedurally sound. Chris?

CUOMO: All right, Jill, thank you very much for the reporting. Let's figure this out analytically. Joining me now is CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.


CUOMO: Always great to have you here. First question, is this payback/targeting, in your opinion?

TOOBIN: Hard to tell, but it's important to point out he was not just some tourist passing through. He was working with Greenwald. His ticket was paid for by "The Guardian" he was meeting with Greenwald's partner, the filmmaker, and bringing documents and computer material back to Greenwald, so it's not like they just sort of randomly harassed him. He is involved in this activity so I -- you can see why the British government wanted to get its hands on this material.

CUOMO: Allowing for everything you say, does that make this OK, does it make it legal? Does it go too far still?

TOOBIN: It's hard to say. Remember this is Great Britain. Great Britain has tougher laws about secrets and secrecy than we do. They don't have the same freedom of the press, similar but not identical. And even more bizarre incident that I think is totally indefensible that took place yesterday is that British agents went into "The Guardian" newspaper and actually destroyed some computers because they thought there was some secret material on it. It was a futile, stupid harassment. I think that's indefensible. Stopping and getting this material I think is a closer call.

CUOMO: So now we go to the reaction. Why is the U.S. involved in this? We didn't stop them. Why are they making statements about this? Why is Greenwald implicating the U.S. in this? TOOBIN: Let me lay my cards on the table. I've been very critical of Greenwald throughout this process, and the idea he's now engaged in revenge journalism, that he says he's going to disclose more material because they stopped his partner, that's not how we're supposed to act. We're journalists because there's material to be published, not because we're angry at people.

But I'm not sure what happens now. Presumably Greenwald has the material and he's going to put it out there.

CUOMO: The U.S. didn't do this.

TOOBIN: That's right. As the White House spokesman said, we do have a close relationship, but we didn't destroy the British newspaper's computers, we didn't stop him. I'm sure we were happy that he was and I'm sure that we will learn what was on that computer material, but this was a British operation, not an American one.

CUOMO: It seems to add to the stink of this situation. The early criticism of Snowden, if you wanted to be a patriot and put out information, go to the whistle-blower places, go to the media here in the U.S., do what you have to. He said I tried. It didn't work but that was early criticism.

Now we have Greenwald saying I don't like what did you to my partner. I am going to report more aggressively and I'm going to put out more documents. What does that suggest about the situation?

TOOBIN: It's horrible. Again, there are lots of journalists who have been very supportive of Snowden and Greenwald. I'm not. I don't think this is how the system is supposed to work. I think Snowden is not a patriot. I think he has done grave damage to the United States. I think there are thousands of people in this country who work hard to protect classified information, who are trying to do a decent job, and the idea that he on his own could do this, and -- is just appalling to me. And the fact that he brought this stuff to China and Russia, two of the most repressive dictatorships in the world, is really totally disgraceful.

CUOMO: Another message to Snowden, this is probably another reason he won't want to come back to the U.S., if this is the type of --

TOOBIN: He's got a long list of those reasons. I think he's going to develop a taste for borscht and spend quite a few years in Russia.

CUOMO: Maybe he'll get a ride on the crazy crane that drags you through the water. Jeffrey Toobin, thank you.

TOOBIN: Good to see you.

BOLDUAN: Let's move on to a case that has really captivated a country. After more than two weeks and 80 witnesses, the court- martial of admitted Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan, could it be coming to a close? Hasan is accused of killing 13 and wounding 32 in the 2009 massacre on a U.S. army base. Now he could be getting ready to take the stand. And remember he's representing himself in this court-martial. CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Ft. Hood, Texas, with more. Ed?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. That caveat, him representing himself, leaves a lot of questions of just exactly what will Nidal Hasan's defense look like when it possibly starts later today.


LAVANDERA: Almost four years after the Ft. Hood massacre, Nidal Hasan will be center stage. He's expected to try to justify why he killed 13 unarmed fellow soldiers and wounded more than 30 others.

RICHARD ROSEN, MILITARY LAW EXPERT: There's no telling what he's going to do when he gets on the stand, if he testifies, which I suspect he will, to tell his story, which essentially admits to the fundamental crimes and then gives an excuse for doing so.

LAVANDERA: For the victim's family, Hasan's testimony could prove to be a painful side show, Hasan, who is an army psychiatrist, has not been told he cannot argue he killed American soldiers because in his view they were preparing to fight Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since Hasan is acting out his own attorney, he will write out a series of questions for his standby attorneys to ask him.

GEOFFREY CORN, MILITARY LAW EXPERT: A defendant I believe has the right to, we know he has the right to represent himself, and he has the right to do it poorly. And I think he has the right to ask for capital punishment.

LAVANDERA: Which leaves shooting survivors like Christopher Royal anxious for Hasan to go away.

CHRISTOPHER ROYAL, FORT HOOD SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I won't allow him to consume any more energy from my life that he's already done, and so I have released him. I've forgiven him completely, and it's not up to me to punish him.


LAVANDERA: Fort Hood officials tell us there are only two witnesses on Nidal Hasan's witness list including himself. We'll see what leeway he gets from a judge and what he'll be able to say. There will be a great deal of attention paid to what he does have to say. The prosecution only has a handful of witnesses left. We expect it's possible Nidal Hasan could get his turn later on this afternoon. Kate and Chris?

CUOMO: All right, Ed, thank you very much for the reporting. Appreciate it.

A lot of other news this hour. Let's get to Michaela, we're monitoring the situation in Egypt.

PEREIRA: Yeah, an uneasy calm in Cairo this morning. New developments could fuel further unrest in Egypt. Government security officials say police have captured the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Meantime, the U.S. is putting some of the billions of dollars in military aid to Egypt on hold. The Obama administration says it's reprogramming the funds pending a review.

Investigators are trying to figure out what made a 10,000 gallon fuel tanker explode in an industrial park in western Pennsylvania, that blast sending a tank flying across a road, killing a worker who was welding nearby. It also caused a 7,500 gallon fuel spill, which was contained. Other propane tanks nearby were not involved in the blast.

All right, here's a question: will he or won't he? San Diego Mayor Bob Filner expected to return to work this week, possibly even today. He and his representatives spent Monday in closed-door meetings with city representatives. As you recall, the mayor is being sued by his former communications director and faces sexual harassment accusations from 16 women. The drive to remove Filner from office is underway.

The first day of school is a very big event for this 6-year-old, you remember Nathan Wisner and his family. The first grader almost died last month when he got stuck in a sink hole and was buried in 11 feet of sand during a family trip to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. After spending time rehabbing in a hospital Nathan's parents say he's completely 100 percent. We're glad to hear that.

We can guarantee this next video not get your goat. Adorable goats getting a workout about a yoga ball, they ran it and bounced off of it. At the very end, John Stone, who uploaded the video, with -- I have to say the music makes it.

I can't stop giggling at this little goat. He's having the time of his life. They ended up actually popping the ball. That needs to be replaced, and the ears and the picnic table.

CUOMO: Oh I like that. Off the top rope. You see him jump off the picnic bench. Got that from Jimmy Superfly Snooka (ph).


BOLDUAN: Hot off the fence. Roundhouse.

CUOMO: Rolled it in. Good stuff there.

Let's keep a little animal news rolling for you. We have news, this comes from the capital, but it will not depress you. Here's the headline:

BOLDUAN: Shocker.

CUOMO: Bo has a buddy. The Obamas are welcoming a second dog to the first family. A cute, cuddly puppy named Sunny. Athena Jones is live at the White House with this. Athena, what do we know about the new dog?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Well, a while back the first lady told reporters she hosted a doggy play -ate for first dog Bo because he wasn't getting enough dog interaction. Now that Bo has a new little sister, those doggy play dates will be happening every day.


JONES: If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog, as the saying goes. President Barack Obama and the first family did just that, again. Meet Sunny, the 1-year-old Portuguese waterdog from Michigan who now calls 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, home. Sunny is the same breed as her big brother, Bo. Bo joined the family soon after the Obamas first arrived at the White House in 2009.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House.

JONES: Just last week the White House tweeted a picture of Bo in The Oval Office in a reference to the movie "Mean Girls" that was retweeted over 20,000 times. This is just the most recent image of Bo at White House events like The Easter Egg Roll or guarding the Christmas decorations. Presidential pooches have a long and storied past at the White House, some simply inseparable, Bush 43 and Barney, Clinton and Buddy, Bush 41 had Millie.

GARRET GRAFF, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, WASHINGTONIAN MAGAZINE: The presidency is a very lonely undertaking. I think there are very many moments in the White House where what you really want to do is take your pet for a walk.

JONES: But it doesn't always go well. Lyndon Johnson picked his beagle up by the ears, and animal lovers howled. Some former presidents like Teddy Roosevelt turned the White House into a zoo with a wider range of animals, and Woodrow Wilson used sheep to trim the White House lawn during World War I.


JONES: In honor of the new pooch, the White House says the Obamas have made a donation to the Washington Humane Society. Chris? Kate?

CUOMO: Athena, thank you very much for that. Good for them.

BOLDUAN: Good for them. More fun in the White House. It's a big house to fill.

CUOMO: True, true.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, an Australian baseball player gunned down in Oklahoma, three teenagers are charged in his death. You truly will not believe why they said they did it.

CUOMO: Plus a Virginia day care center under investigation after making fun of their kids on Instagram. We will be talking to the mother of one of those children just ahead.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. A horrific cold-blooded killing is making headlines on two continents this morning. An Australian baseball player gunned down in Oklahoma, shot in the back and left to die. CNN's Zoraida Sambolin is joining us with the latest. This is a very difficult story.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is difficult. It's just tragic and difficult to cover as well. Random and senseless act of violence has left a promising 22-year-old baseball player dead, a family devastated, and two countries across the world rattled.

Christopher Lane was gunned down allegedly by three teenagers while he was out jogging. New details reveal the suspects' chilling motive as well. They say they just wanted to kill someone.


SAMBOLIN: Shock and grief spread across two continents over the death of Christopher Lane. The 22-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, was in the U.S. attending Oklahoma's East Central University on a baseball scholarship. In the typically quiet town of Duncan, Oklahoma, three teenagers allegedly shot Lane in the back for fun and sped away in their car.

DANNY FORD, DUNCAN POLICE CHIEF: There was people that saw him stagger across the road, go to a kneeling position, and collapse on the side of the road.

SAMBOLIN: Nearly 10,000 miles away where the shooting is making front page news, Lane's family is struggling to cope with what happened.

PETER LANE, VICTIM'S FATHER: There's not going to be any good coming out of this because it was just so senseless. It's happened. It's wrong. And we just try and deal with it the best we can.

SAMBOLIN: Three teenagers just 15, 16, and 17 years old arrested and expected to be charged with first-degree murder, in an interview with an Australian radio station the police chief revealed the teen's shocking motive.

FORD: Just they decided all three of them were going to kill somebody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody, anybody.


SAMBOLIN: Lane's girlfriend, Sarah Harper posted an emotional tribute on Facebook saying in part, "you will always be mine, and in a very special and protected place in my heart."


SAMBOLIN: Police sources say the three suspects had plans to carry out a second killing that exact same night, but they were caught and stopped by police just hours later. Thanks to security cameras from local businesses they were able to capture their car that was speeding down the street. Just a random and senseless act of violence. I want to read something positive about this young man, because oftentimes we leave it on this tragic and sad note but his coach at the university said he was an absolutely joy to coach, Chris was an extremely well-respected teammate, he set a great example for all of his teammates but more importantly for the younger players. He was a mature student athlete who his teammates could look to for advice and support.

BOLDUAN: Makes it all so horrible.

SAMBOLIN: It does, but at least it gives us a glimpse into his live, and how he lived his life.

BOLDUAN: And to hear the ages of the people who were charged, 15, 16, 17 years old.

SAMBOLIN: We don't know if they're being tried as adults or juveniles.

BOLDUAN: Makes no sense. Thanks, Zoraida, we'll follow up on this.

CUOMO: Boy, that say tough one.

SAMBOLIN: As a parent, it really hits you, doesn't it?

CUOMO: Yes, he makes a good point. It's important for victims to be remembered for how they lived, not just how they died, especially in violent circumstances like this. You also get to see the best and worst of us at play at once. The kids represent the worst of human instinct and you got the police officers doing the job, looking at the cameras, getting them before they can do it again, that's the best we could hope for.


CUOMO: All right. We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, you send your kids to day care, and the key word is care. These people are standing in your shoes, taking care of your kids, right? Why would they go on Instagram and make fun of the kids they're in charge of? We'll talk to a mom who said that's what happened.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, the largest man in the world living in Saudi Arabia weighing well over 1,300 pounds. Well, he is now trying to lose weight thanks to the help of the Saudi King.