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Chemical Attacks in Syria; Cruz to CNN on Releasing Birth Certificate; New Climate Change Warning; Brits Defend Detention Of Journalist's Partner; More Leaks At Fukushima Nuclear Reactor

Aired August 21, 2013 - 06:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, August 21st. I'm Chris Cuomo.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're here with news anchor Michaela Pereira.


BOLDUAN: Coming up this morning -- outrage on two continents after an Australian is senselessly murdered in Oklahoma. Prosecutors say the teen suspects who allegedly shot the man did it out of sheer boredom, leaving two governments demanding answer this morning.

CUOMO: Plus, silly season on Capitol Hill, some call that status quo but Senator Ted Cruz is calling it the explanation for all this kerfuffle about his citizenship. He's trying to move past the questions in his bid for the presidency. You're NEW DAY political gut check straight ahead.

But, first, let's get to Michaela with the top stories right now -- Mick.

PEREIRA: All right. Breaking overnight -- more bloodshed and disturbing video in Syria's civil war. Syrian activists accusing the Assad regime of killing and wounding hundreds of rebels outside of Damascus by using chemical agents. Witnesses and opposition sources reported several explosions and serious casualties in rebel strongholds overnight.

Syria's state-run media denies the government is using chemical weapons. The Obama administration has said Syria's use of chemical weapons on its own people would cross a red line.

Back here at home. A gunman who opened fire at a Georgia elementary school was armed with an AK-47 and a number of other weapons. A witness says he told her he was not afraid to die. Police say this man, 20-year-old Michael Brandon Hill, barricaded himself in the front office with some school workers Tuesday, before exchanging gunfire with police. He eventually surrendered. No one thankfully was hurt. Hill now faces aggravated assault on an officer and terroristic threat charges. The family of the late kidnapping and murder suspect James DiMaggio wants DNA testing from his alleged victims. They want to know if DiMaggio fathered 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and her little brother, Ethan. He left the Anderson family $112,000 life insurance policy. Ethan and his mom were found dead in DiMaggio's burning California home earlier this month. He was killed days later in an FBI shootout in Idaho. Hannah was rescued.

A court hearing in Florida this morning for George Zimmerman's wife, Shelley. She faces a forgery charge for allegedly lying about the couple's finances during their initial bond hearing. Prosecutors say she failed to disclose thousands of dollars in donations in a special account that was set up for George Zimmerman's defense fund. Shelley Zimmerman is not expected to attend this morning's hearing.

You know, if you have a pooch, you know they don't really love taking a bath. This dog was definitely not having it. He tried a trick that usually works. He played dead, for a while.

But unfortunately his owner wasn't fooled and was tenacious. I give this lady key points for tenacity, dragging him around the house for quite a while.

BOLDUAN: That's hilarious.

PEREIRA: Soon enough, though, it was cleanup time for this ever so reluctant pooch.

I can't --

BOLDUAN: I feel like a clever dog. That's how I feel sometimes when it's time to get up out of bed, like just drag me out.

PEREIRA: Just drag you out.

CUOMO: I wonder if he was watching how to deter the bear attack.

BOLDUAN: Exactly, play dead.

CUOMO: Going with this brown bear technique.

BOLDUAN: She's the bear and he's the doggy.

All right. Thanks, Michaela.

Let's move on to our political gut check -- all the stories you need to know coming out of Washington. We do want to return to the big story we're following this morning.

Syrian opposition forces claiming chemical weapons have been used again, the Syrian government denies it but what's the next move for the U.S. in this?

CNN's chief national correspondent John King is here to break it down for us. John, you had news at the top of the hour when we talked about it, that there's no official confirmation from U.S. officials of the latest attacks. But if true, what does this mean for the administration? This would be the second time in Syria the red line has been crossed.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And the boldness of this, if true, is the United Nations team in Syria right now trying to determine the extent of the use of any chemical agents by either the regime or the anti-Assad forces. But back to this, Kate, you're showing the pictures, these are not the gruesome pictures. They get worse in what came overnight.

Now, look, the administration will study this. The administration will be cautious. The administration is aware of these images. I'm also told there was some other traffic, that probably means reports from embassies, or reports in from the Pentagon. But no official comment yet.

One senior official did say this -- if true, it would be further evidence of unconscionable brutality by a desperate man and desperate regime.

Your question is: what next?

In June, when the administration reached the benchmark finding that the regime had used chemical weapons in the past, they believed sarin gas, at that point, that is when the administration publicly announced it would do more to help the anti-Assad fighters.

Now, some said that wasn't enough. They wanted a no-fly zone. That's a nonstarter at the White House.

There will be more pressure on the White House because the president himself, you know, stepped before the microphones months and months ago and said use of chemical weapons would be his personal red line. So, look for the administration to condemn this conditionally, look to prove it, and then there's pressure on the White House, no doubt.

BOLDUAN: Well, and the problem here is -- and this is part of the political calculation -- is getting accurate information in a timely fashion from the ground in Syria. No administration is going to want to more quickly. We've known what that has done in the past when you move quickly without confirmation that chemical weapons have been used and it's now the U.N. experts are on the ground and some five, six months when the last event happened.

KING: The U.N. inspectors are in there, the proximity to Israel, now that the United States is openly helping the anti-Assad, you can be sure there are assets that can sniff, sensors, if you will --


KING: -- that can detect nerve agents in the atmosphere, nerve agents if they're being used.

But part of the caution is you want to absolutely prove it before you go to the United Nations.


KING: Before you try to put additional pressure on the Russians.

But part of the caution also is, Kate, and unfortunately this is not a slap at the administration. This is just the cold, hard reality of the Middle East right now -- you go to Syria, you go to Egypt, you go around that region, and you keep saying the same sentence.


KING: There are no good options.

BOLDUAN: And that is unfortunately very true.

I want to ask you before I let you go -- some presidential politics. Candy Crowley had a great interview, a sit-down with Senator Ted Cruz and, of course, one topic that came up his dual citizenship, his birth certificate.

Here's a little bit of that interview.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think it's the silly season in politics. This past week, "The Dallas Morning News" asked me for a copy of my birth certificate, so I sent it to them. And they ran a story that seems a whole lot of media outlets, I guess it was a really, really slow news day. But they ran with the story, which is fine.


BOLDUAN: It may very well be a very slow news day. It's a slow news period in the summer quite often. But this resulted in a lot of speculation, is this just one step to him saying he's running in 2016?

Better to deal with it now or is this drawing unnecessary attention to what he calls a silly issue?

KING: Better to deal with it now, if you're going to run. And if you talk to Republican activists, they would tell you that Senator Cruz and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky are the two guys working the hardest right now to line activists in key states, to travel into key states.

So if this might be an issue, either the left attacking you raising questions about your eligibility or the right saying, well, you're Canadian? Deal with it now. Smart.

BOLDUAN: Yes, start move.

All right. John, thank you so much. Great reporting. We'll talk to you soon. Thanks.

CUOMO: All right. Coming up here on NEW DAY: Dr. Oz to the rescue. A woman plowed down in the streets of New York and the TV doc and some brave New Yorkers were there. We'll tell you the story.

BOLDUAN: Also coming up -- a pandemonium in the U.K. Thousands of one direction fans waiting hours, even days, to meet the boy band at their big film premiere. We'll take you there. I'd be there, too, but I've got to work.


CUOMO: All right. Welcome back. Hope your morning is going OK.

We have a blockbuster new warning for you on climate change this morning. An international panel of scientists says it is real and almost certainly caused by human activity. The report also warns that sea levels could rise by more than three feet by the end of the century, very aggressive predictions there.

CNN's Tom Foreman is in Washington with more.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Chris. Hey, Kate. Hey, Michaela.

You know what this represents -- this is the world's scientific community now almost in one voice saying that they believe that global warming is not only happening but that humans are predominantly responsible for it.

Yes, there are some other causes, but humans, they say, are the biggest cause. And if we don't do something about it, they're furthermore saying there will be real consequences.

Let's take a look at some of those. South Street Seaport, one of the huge attractions in New York City, millions of tourists have visited this over the year. Every summer, it's packed. This is where it is located on the island of Manhattan, right there at that dot, and this is the coast of the island of Manhattan right now if you want to call it such.

And if nothing, it's changed, this is where the coast will be in another 80 or 90 years. Look at this tremendous loss of investment of land, of buildings, of everything. And the South Street Seaport, it will be out to sea.

Let's move further down the coast and look at another option. Here's the outer banks of North Carolina -- again, a very, very popular place. If we look at the map right now and again draw lines here on the outer banks over here, here is where the rest of the land is located right now, and according to these scientists, if nothing gets changed and we move forward, this is what will happen -- water will take all of this away, the outer banks will be really diminished significantly from where it is today.

Further down the coast, let's go all the way down to Miami. Another huge city out there with a huge economic impact on the state of Florida, very important state in this country -- that's where Miami is. Here is the coast of Florida today, and they're saying if nothing changes here -- by the way, these are the Keys down here -- if nothing changes, these scientists are saying, look what will happen.

All of that gets taken over by water, every bit of it. That is a really significant reduction in the state of Florida and the keys virtually disappear. This is why these scientists are concerned. In a nutshell, they're concerned because they're saying the evidence to them is clear. If nothing is done, if we don't change anything, the results will be catastrophic for many places around the world -- Chris, Kate, Michaela

BOLDUAN: Let's go around the world now starting in the UK where the British government is defending the detention of David Miranda, the partner of the journalist who broke the NSA spying scandal. Atika Shubert has more from London.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is London's high court and this is where the lawyers for David Miranda say they are going to take legal action. Now, this is the letter they sent to Britain's home office demanding to know why he was detained for nine hours at Heathrow Airport and what exactly police were looking for, and his lawyers say they will come here to get the answers. Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: All right. Atika, thank you so much.

Now, nuclear regulators in Japan, they say, fear more tanks at the troubled Fukushima nuclear reactor are now leaking contaminated water. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout has more.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Japan is ready to signal its most serious radiation warning since the aftermath of the 2011quake and tsunami that hit the Fukushima nuclear plant. The current level one is said to be raised to a level three meaning a serious incident. Now, the Tokyo electric power company which runs the plant says 300 tons of contaminated water has leaked from a storage tank.

A spokeswoman tells CNN that the leaking container may be emptied into another tank as early as today. Now, back in July, (INAUDIBLE) admitted that radiation is seeping into the sea and the warning level will be officially raised after a meeting between Japanese officials and international nuclear regulators on Wednesday. Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: All right. Thank you so much.

Boy bands and screaming fans, they seem to go hand in hand, I guess. Witness the London premier of One Direction's 3D documentary. Oh, boy. Zain Verjee has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is us as (ph) the world premiere in Leicester Square with these two handsome boys and their band mates, One Direction. The movie is supposed to be fantastic. It is all about -- oh, darling, really?


VERJEE: And it is all about the way that they do things behind the scenes, the relationship with the families, and just really gives us an insight into the lives of a mega star band. They are really awesome guys. There are 70,000 fans here all screaming and having a great time. And, I think I've just become one of them. Back to you, Kate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's reading this off of a monitor.



BOLDUAN: I've never seen Zain Verjee seem flustered, and she seemed flustered.

CUOMO: He is high on the list of kids who need a smack.


CUOMO: -- getting involved with the shot.


PEREIRA: You just angered every teenage viewer we have.

CUOMO: Bring it on. Show respect for the woman. She's doing her job. She's reading off the thing. He's trying to kiss her face --

PEREIRA: Loving every minute of it.

BOLDUAN: I think you would love --

CUOMO: She could do better.

BOLDUAN: Is there a female, famous artist standing behind you, trying to give you a kiss?


CUOMO: Every time that happens, Kate, I say the same thing.

BOLDUAN: Respect.

CUOMO: Wait until the shot's over.


BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks, Zain. (LAUGHTER)

CUOMO: Quickly, the knives come out on this set.


BOLDUAN: I'm just trying to protect you from their teenage viewers.

CUOMO: Coming up on the show, the American Medical Association now saying diets don't really work. All right. now, that's a surprise. There's a reason behind it. You're going to want to hear, the fat free foods, all these things that fuel controversy. We're going to take you through what actually works in your life. A big, new study talks about it.

PEREIRA: And, our must-see moment of the day, a pretty awesome chain reaction dunk fest. Wait for it. Oh, look at that. Genius! We'll show you more when we come back.


PEREIRA: I guess that is appropriate music. Welcome back to NEW DAY. School is almost back in session. So, what do you try to get in before summer is over? How about a pool party? How about some serious flourish? It is our must-see moment.


PEREIRA (voice-over): -- these pool tricks before. These dunks, though, really take it to a whole new level. Two guys on the roof, amazing. Posted on vine. You kind of have to watch it a couple of times through to catch all the tricks. And, I had to, of course, say Chris, have you ever jumped off a roof? So the, they found this video or at least a still with these.



CUOMO: Yes. That clearly shows roof jumping.

BOLDUAN: That was staged.

PEREIRA (on-camera): So, where was this? Recap to our viewers.

CUOMO: Pathetic middle aged man in corset.

BOLDUAN: This was in a former life of his.

CUOMO: For charity when I was on GMA. We did the face your fears, and like -- I was like off going to cover something on the way out the door. I was like, well, I'm not crazy about heights. Next thing I know, I'm at the top of the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. They put me into the sender device, you know, for the stunt things that people --

(CROSSTALK) CUOMO: -- they dropped me from the top of the building. And then Trump said after we made it, he was like, "I'll give you double if do you it tomorrow." and we gave the money to a homeless organization and to the Northern Illinois University funds after school shooting. So, it was for a good cause but you know.

PEREIRA: Absolutely. Look at you.

BOLDUAN: I've seen the videos. He was very shaken.


CUOMO: Listen, I make absolutely no claims of any type of bravery.

BOLDUAN: And I'm not making fun of that. I'm not making fun of that.

CUOMO: You are making fun of it. You enjoyed watching.

BOLDUAN: No. I wouldn't jump off a building even though I did stand on a high wire without a safety net.

CUOMO: Very well. True. True. You looked good doing it. I was scared.

BOLDUAN: Now that -- how high up was that?


CUOMO: Like 55 stories. It was very scary. I was very scared.


CUOMO: Lot of hairline loss that day.


BOLDUAN: And it all grew back, it's amazing.


CUOMO: Yes, sure.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, paging Dr. Oz, the popular TV doctor jumps in to help a woman who was hit by a cab outside Rockefeller Center here in New York City. We're going to have those details ahead.

CUOMO: Plus, Mark Zuckerberg's next big thing, and we do mean big. We have an exclusive one-on-one interview with the Facebook chief straight ahead. Wait until you see what he gave us.



CUOMO: Breaking news. Graphic new video just out. The Syrian government accused of using nerve gas on its own people. The U.S. had said chemical weapons would force their hand. So, what now?

BOLDUAN: New details on the alleged shooter who opened fire at a grade school. Parents and children terrified. Why did he do it and how did school administrator get him to surrender?

PEREIRA: Dr. Oz to the rescue. The TV doc helping save a woman's life after a car accident in the middle of New York City, get this, wasn't even the first stranger he's saved this week.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He actually accelerates when he hits me. She goes through me and he goes through the lady and he jumps the curve.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

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


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcoming back to NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, August 21st, seven o'clock in the east. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: And I'm Kate Bolduan. We're here with news anchor, Michaela Pereira, and we have a major TV exclusive today.

CUOMO: That's right. A man known as Mark Zuckerberg. He's already connected a billion people via Facebook. So, what could be his second act? He's got a major announcement today and we're going to bring it to you in just a little bit.

BOLDUAN: And we also have a disturbing new twist in the abduction and rescue of Hannah Anderson. Now, relatives of the man, police say, kidnapped Hannah and killed her mother and brother, they want a paternity test. Why? Well, they think James Dimaggio is the biological father of Hannah and her late brother possibly. We have the unbelievable details ahead.

PEREIRA: And then, haven't we all been there before, slaving away on some diet one or another, trying to shed a little bit of weight? Have we been completely wasting our time? A new study says diets do not work. That is upsetting a whole lot of people this morning. We're going to break it down with a top physician coming up.