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Chemical Weapons Attack?; Georgia School Shooting; Explosion At Navy Boathouse; Australian Man Murdered In U.S.; Australians Shocked By Oklahoma Murder; The End Of Dieting?; "You Have To Keep It Going"; "I'm Proud To Be A Dad"; $750,000 For 22 Minutes Of Work

Aired August 21, 2013 - 07:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is 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 in the show, an Australian student in the United States -- came to the United States to play college baseball. He was murdered while out jogging in Oklahoma. The teenaged suspects say they killed him because they were bored. We'll talk with Australia's former deputy prime minister about the case. His strong opinions on it coming up.

CUOMO: And there's nothing you like more than a nice easy diet to handle, going to take your weight off, not too much work, not too much time. Here's the problem, the American Medical Association says they don't work. There's a new study. The good news is they'll tell us what does work. But first up this morning we're going to head right to Michaela with news about what's been happening overnight in Syria.

PEREIRA: Yes. There's breaking news, Chris, overnight, new claims and new video that purports to show chemical weapons used in Syria. We warn you, you may find the video disturbing. The opposition is accusing the Assad regime of killing and injuring hundreds of people outside Damascus with chemical agents including children. Syria's state run media denies the claims.

A gunman who walked into a Georgia elementary school with an AK-47 and began firing at police apparently wanted to harm as many officers as he could and said he was not afraid to die that's according to witnesses. The 20-year-old convicted felon Michael Brandon Hill surrendered after firing at least six shots at police from inside the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy near Atlanta. No children or staff was injured.

The family of kidnapping and murder suspect, James DiMaggio, believes he maybe the father of Hannah Anderson and her late brother, Ethan. His sister is asking for DNA sample to determine. DiMaggio was killed by FBI agents during Hannah's rescue. He named Hannah's grandmother as beneficiary in a $112,000 insurance policy.

An explosion at a naval weapons stations boat house injuring eight people in New Jersey. The Navy says the blast happened while maintenance work was being done on a boat. We do not know what caused that explosion, but the navy says the fire was contained to just the boathouse, among the injured a Department of Defense civilian firefighter and seven sailors.

Here is proof that there is a child in all of us, even animals. You're looking at the oldest tiger in captivity in the world, Flavio, Bengal tiger, former circus performer, living in retirement at the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. He is loving this sprinkler, frolicking, playing like a little cub really. It's nice to see he has all that energy in his golden years and gets great joy out of something as simple as a sprinkler.

BOLDUAN: He's just hot.

PEREIRA: And maybe thirsty.

CUOMO: Or confused.

PEREIRA: There is that. You never know.

CUOMO: Good stuff, all right. We want to tell you the latest on this horrific murder case that's sparking outrage across the globe. An Australian student studying in the U.S. gunned down in Oklahoma by teens who allegedly did it because they were bored. This morning officials on two continents are demanding answers.

In moments, we're going to talk live with Australia's former deputy prime minister who is telling his countrymen to boycott the U.S. and he'll tell us why. But first CNN's Alina Machado is in the CNN Center with the very latest. Good morning, Alina.

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Two of those teens are being held without bond. All three remain in custody accused of a murder police say was random.


UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: There's a young man. He's just standing in the ditch and he's got blood on him.

MACHADO (voice-over): A frantic call for help by a woman who saw Chris Lane moments after he was gunned down during an afternoon jog.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Is he breathing? Is he cautious? Is he talking to you? What's he doing?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: He's not conscious. Is he still breathing? Barely.

MACHADO: Police in Oklahoma say the 23-year-old East Central University student from Australia was the victim of three teens on a mission to kill. DANNY FORD, DUNCAN, OKLAHOMA POLICE DEPARTMENT: It was in the second interview of the 17-year-old. He was asked why they did it and he basically said "We were bored. We didn't have anything to do and we decided to kill somebody. He was our target."

MACHADO: The 15-year-old James Edwards Jr. and 16-year-old Chancy Luna are charged as adults with first-degree felony murder. The 17- year-old Michael Jones accused as accessory to the crime.

JASON HICKS, STEPHENS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I'll do everything I can do to ensure the three thugs pay for what they did to Christopher Lane.

MACHADO: The father of one of the accused said he's also suffered a loss.

JAMES EDWARDS, EDWARDS JR.,'S FATHER: Families in Australia, they are hurting. I'm hurting the same way. I don't cry on the outside, I'm crying right here from the heart right now.

MACHEDO: Lane's college baseball coach described him as kind-hearted with a magnetic personality. The murder has sparked outrage in Australia, where former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fisher released a statement cautioning Australians about going to America. He says in part, "tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice. I am deeply angry about this, not just because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers, but it's a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA."

Court documents show authorities found a .12-gauge shotgun in the trunk of the car belonging to one of the teens, but police say they continue to search for the .22-caliber gun used in Lane's murder -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Alina, thank you so much. As Alina said Australian's former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer has made strong very remarks about this and he is joining us now to talk about the case and his warning to Australian tourists to boycott visiting the United States.

Mr. Fischer, thank you so much for joining us this morning. Let's get right to it. You're warning Australian tourists or anyone who wants to come to the United States not to come to the United States. Is this an emotional response on your part to a tragedy or do you really not think it is safe to be visiting the United States?

TIM FISCHER, FORMER AUSTRALIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: It's a reflection of statistics which show that you are 15 times more likely to be shot dead in the USA per 1 million people than here in Australia, and people should factor that in. They should think twice in the circumstances that it's jogged along by the senseless killing, the shooting in the back of an outstanding young Australian on a scholarship in the USA, which has, of course, quite properly deep- seated anger right across Australia.

BOLDUAN: Have you heard any reaction from Australians about your warning? How are they reacting to you?

FISCHER: Look, I've been consistent on this. Six months ago or even after the massacre at Sandy Hollow, I said think twice. Evaluate the risk. You are 15 times more likely to be shot dead because there are over 250 million guns in the USA and your Congress earlier this year at the start of a new term could not even introduce background checks at gun shows, and this public policy disconnect is public knowledge down here, and we have gone another way. We have firearms safety legislation. We have sensible controls on firearms, shooters can have guns, I support proper use of guns, but I also support firearms sensible control.

BOLDUAN: I think everyone agrees that this tragedy in Oklahoma is absolutely just that, a senseless tragedy, but why boycott the United States over the horrible actions of what appears to be a very few disturbed teenagers?

FISCHER: Not true. You've had on average 400 more people shot dead since Friday and the shocking murder in Duncan, Oklahoma. In other words, there is murder mayhem on main street USA every day of the week, but you hide from that. You don't face up to that, and you let your congressmen and senators escape and dance around the bush when it's a very real circumstance supported by the NRA.

I've been to the Philadelphia Constitutional Museum. I've looked at your second amendment. I don't believe your second amendment provides for semiautomatics or automatics in the suburbs. This is why Australians and anybody else should think carefully about traveling to the USA, until you start to make a move on gun and firearm sensible control.

BOLDUAN: The debate about gun control has been going on for a very long time as you are clearly watching it closely, but there are statistics that gun related homicides have gone down dramatically in the United States down some 49 percent over about the last decade so it does appear the United States is making progress. That is not making any excuse. I'm not making any excuse for senseless tragedies, though.

FISCHER: Glad of that.

BOLDUAN: I'll ask you, why is this senseless tragedy an indictment of an entire country? Many people enjoy visiting the U.S.

FISCHER: And I enjoyed taking my family on the coastal starlight on Amtrak from Los Angeles to Seattle a few years ago. I'll think twice about it again because your massacre level -- I mean since 1996, since we took positive action under John Howard's legislation, zero gun massacres in Australia. Since 1996, every year in the USA, more gun massacres. Try the Harvard study, which points out that children in the USA are 11 times more likely to be shot dead through and from guns than any other OECD country in the world. You have to face up to this.

BOLDUAN: So Mr. Fischer, I appreciate the statistics. Do you think that Australians will heed your warning or are you taking this as an opportunity to voice your opinion and make a political statement?

FISCHER: No, I'm not in politics. I'm not now a congressman. I've stepped down as a regional Republican equivalent. I'm a Vietnam veteran. I support sensible use of guns, but I do simply make this statement that people should evaluate risks when they travel, whether it's to Bhutan or whether it's to Baltimore, and I just am reminded of this by this senseless killing on a peaceful street in Duncan, Oklahoma, but don't wiggle away from the fact that since then, there's been 400 more Americans shot dead elsewhere along main streets of the U.S. of A.

BOLDUAN: All right, Mr. Timothy Fischer, thank you for coming on -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Kate, when we come back here on NEW DAY, a new editorial from the American Medical Association sends out a message loud and clear. It is? Diets don't work. They want researchers to stop studying fad diets. We'll tell you why.


PEREIRA: Welcome back. The journal of the American Medical Association released what it is calling a controversial editorial, taking aim at the national diet debate. It essentially argues that no diet ever really works. The only way to lose weight is by changing overall behavior.

Here to walk us through is Dr. Roshini Raj, physician at NYU Medical Center and contributing medical editor to "Health" magazine. Dr. Roshini, a pleasure to have you join us here on NEW DAY. First of all, is it shocking to any of us that these fad diets don't work?

DR. ROSHINI RAJ, PHYSICIAN, NYU MEDICAL CENTER: Well, it's interesting, there's an opinion article that was published in the "Journal Of The American Medical Association" really targets not just the really crazy fad diets, but things that we kind of think of as more reasonable like the Mediterranean diet. And the point here is not that you should never go on a diet but you need to focus more not just on what you're eating, but how you're eating the behavior that goes along with our patterns of exercise and eating.

PEREIRA: Sort of making a lifestyle change.

RAJ: Making a lifestyle intervention. What does that mean? Well, behavioral modification which is counseling with a nutritionist or a dietician or even support groups where you're checking in every week or every couple weeks. These have been shown to help with weight loss. The diets, any particular diet, high protein or low carb hasn't really shown sustained big benefits, maybe a few pounds, nothing very dramatic. That's why this article comes out saying we need to focus our resources and attention more on a holistic change in behavior, not just what we're eating.

BOLDUAN: What is your opinion on the article? They show evidence of why it's not a one size fits all approach, it does not work for everyone, but do you think this is confirming common sense that if you're going to try any diet, you need to change your behavior and you need to exercise as part of it.

RAJ: Yes, I think that it does confirm that, but I think a lot of Americans don't really -- that hasn't really sunk in yet and all of us, it's sort of human nature to want that quick fix.

PEREIRA: Of course.

RAJ: You hear so and so lost weight on this diet. Tell me what it is, I need to write it down and you really do need to reinforce the fact it's about your behavior. It's about checking in frequently with your doctor or a counselor and one of the things came out of the article I thought was interesting, we don't have a lot of support for that. Insurance companies don't really pay for a lot of nutritional counseling or frequent visits with your doctor to talk about weight loss in particular.

BOLDUAN: And people want to go for the quick fix they find in the book.

CUOMO: They go for the quick fix that's who we are. There's nothing here that's going to make people shake their heads. People know if it's quick it's probably not going to last, but that's how we do it in this country and the results are painfully obvious.

RAJ: They are but one glimmer of hope there, we're such a social media internet friendly society now, hopefully that will help, if you're not going to be able to pay for a nutritionist, maybe there's online counseling, there's some great apps out there like lose it or fit device that help you keep track of your calories but more importantly get in touch with other people working toward the same goals. That's been shown to help with weight loss having a community striving for the same thing.

BOLDUAN: So reinforcing the important point I want everyone to get your best advice, if they say diets don't work, what is your best advice to the viewers?

RAJ: My best advice is look at your overall behavior. I like the example of if you have a tub of ice cream in your freezer, are you someone who eats it in two days or two weeks? It's not that the ice cream is the problem. It's how you're eating it. Focus on that, talk to your nutritionist, to your doctor, get some support and take a holistic approach.

PEREIRA: Dr. Roshini Raj, really appreciate. We appreciate you coming in and talking us through this.

RAJ: I appreciate being here.

CUOMO: Change is hard. That's what we know for sure.

PEREIRA: Long-term especially.

CUOMO: Taking a break, coming up on NEW DAY, a close call as a gunman enters a Georgia elementary school with an AK-47. Sound familiar? Of course, it does, we keep hearing it. Now some states are saying the answer is armed guards in the school and maybe armed teachers. Will that help? We're going to talk it through.

BOLDUAN: In a very different story, are we finally going to get the first look at Northwest? Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's baby, could be happening soon.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It's time for the "Pop Four" with our Nischelle Turner.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: I'm hanging on to what Chris Cuomo said early today. After today, you don't have that much longer. I'm hanging on to that is everything I have today.

Let's get to the Pop Four. This is our number four story. Damon told a U.K. radio station that he and Wahlberg are confused for each other so often they got an agreement to just go with it when confronted by other fans. I did have that happen.

BOLDUAN: With who?


BOLDUAN: I am only that lucky.

TURNER: Kate, Kate Bolduan. Kate? Who is yours? Everybody's cousin.

BOLDUAN: Yes. There are random. Anyone is blonde they think I look like.

TURNER: Who do you get? Andrew Cuomo.

CUOMO: He is funny looking, that's insulting.

TURNER: Andrew? E-mail coming in right now.

CUOMO: One day he's watching the show.

TURNER: Our number three story. I am proud to be a dad. Simon Cowell opening up and confirming to the BBC for the first time that he will be a father and also saying things are changing in my life right now for the better. Congrats, Simon.

Could little baby Northwest be making her TV debut this week. It's our number two story. Rumors that during an interview on Kris Jenner's talk show Kanye West showed off a picture of his baby girl. The episode airs on Friday. Wait for that.

Big, big bucks, that's our number one story. TV Guide released its annual list of top paid TV stars. Keeping the crown the highest paid actor in primetime, who do you think? Ashton Kutcher, on the screen.

PEREIRA: Probably like not me.

TURNER: It's $750,000 an episode for his role in "Two and A Half Men." We did math for you here on NEW DAY this morning, folks at home, $34,000 a minute, a minute.

CUOMO: Is he worth it ratings wise? Is he doing better than Charlie Sheen was?

TURNER: You know what? "Two and A Half Men" was such a ratings juggernaut during Charlie Sheen days. It's still great, but not -- he made more than $750,000 an episode.

BOLDUAN: Nail in the coffin this morning. All right, thanks so much, Nischelle.

CUOMO: We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, can Mark Zuckerberg make history, dot, dot, dot, again. First, he invented social media and then the Facebook phenomenon and then we'll tell you what it is in this exclusive interview.

BOLDUAN: And also ahead, the family of kidnap and murder suspect James DiMaggio is asking the Anderson family for DNA samples. The reason? It will shock you.


CUOMO: Breaking overnight, do these images from Syria show chemical weapon use? The government accused as hundreds said to be dead. Will this trigger a U.S. military response?

BOLDUAN: Terrifying start to the school year. A gunman opens fire at a grade school. We have new information about the brave administrator who convinced the suspect to surrender.

PEREIRA: The big interview. Mark Zuckerberg in is a TV exclusive one-on-one as he reveals his next, world-changing project right here on NEW DAY.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was getting ready --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My two girls saved my life. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here today.


BOLDUAN: Good morning, everyone. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, August 21st, 8:00 in the east. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CUOMO: I'm Chris Cuomo here with the one and only Michaela Pereira. Coming up, we have the family of the man accused of kidnapping a teenage girl and killing her mother and brother. They want DNA samples for a paternity test because they believe James DiMaggio could be the father of Hannah and Ethan Anderson. We'll look at this complicated new twist.

BOLDUAN: Also a story we've been following an unarmed Florida man shot at 15 times by police in his driveway.