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PFC. Manning: "I Am Female"; White House Under Pressure; Hannah Anderson Speaks Out; Bob Filner Agreement Reached; Raising The Costa Concordia; Man Pronounced Dead

Aired August 22, 2013 - 08:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Much more on this truly stunning story, in just a few moments.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, even his doctors don't know how it happened, but a man woke up after he was declared dead for 45 minutes. It's a medical mystery, some say a miracle. We will have this man with us live, which means a whole different thing these days along with his family, coming up.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And there is 40 -- let me try that, again, $58 billion, $58 billion in unclaimed cash out there. Some of it might be yours.

We know one person who has a couple checks waiting for him. This guy, President Obama. We have details you need to know to get your money back.

CUOMO: All right. But, first, let's take on this breaking news this morning. The just sentenced Private Bradley Manning now says she is a female. He is a female and he wants to live his life as a woman named Chelsea Manning. He's going to spend the next 35 years of that life in a military prison for leaking classified documents.

The announcement about his gender came down after that sentence was handed down. This is obviously news and an odd twist in these stories.

Let's go live to the Pentagon. CNN's Chris Lawrence was standing by with this development and trying to make sense of what it all means in this saga.

Chris, what do we know? How did we figure this out?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically, you know, Chris, this has been hinted at for a long time. It was even introduced into evidence in court as part of his defense. Several psychologists came forward and said they diagnosed Bradley Manning with gender disorder, gender diaspora, basically saying he was in the process of wanting to transition to a woman and that wasn't something you could do in the army, especially deployed to Iraq.

Now he seems to be coming all the way out and saying, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I want everyone to refer to me as Chelsea Manning, not Bradley Manning. The problem with that is he is going to Fort Leavenworth, which has -- there is no provision in the military prisons to undergo sex -- hormone therapy, much less a sex change operation.

So, he's going to have some tough sledding there, although it is possible at some point he could petition to be transferred to federal prison. And in that case, there is precedent where the federal courts have said that sex reassignment surgery is something that prisoners can get and have the state pay for it, as well.

CUOMO: All right. So, I'll ask you about the fact that the government will pay for hormone treatment or sex therapy in a second. But just to be clear, that split screen that we have of Bradley Manning in the other picture, that is him, that's him as Chelsea.

LAWRENCE: That's right.


LAWRENCE: That was a picture that got introduced in evidence.


LAWRENCE: Basically him living as a woman in a wig and makeup and saying this is who he sees himself as, Chris.

CUOMO: OK. That's the confusion here, Chris, is that, not that somebody makes this kind of decision in life, we're getting more and more comfortable with hearing these stories all the time, but that we haven't really heard about it here. You're saying it was hinted at as the defense, it wasn't the best interest to the public.

I thought this was information that needed to get out. It was that I was under some type of duress, or some type of emotional disturbance?

LAWRENCE: That's right. It was part of the defense. It was his defense saying this was a troubled young man who had some psychological issues that the Army was not prepared to deal with or did not deal with while he was deployed over there in Iraq and that the Army missed a lot of these signs and swept some of this under the rug.

But, again, going to Fort Leavenworth, there is just no provision right now for the military prisons to deal with this. So, that is going to be an interesting question going forward is, does he get transferred at some point to a prison that can accommodate this?

CUOMO: Yes, Chris. That's a good question. Thank you very much for the reporting. It's just an interesting change in focus, Kate. You know, this guy had been teed up like Snowden. He's a patriot. He's doing the right thing by everybody else and now seems like a very different set of ideas on the table at that time.

BOLDUAN: Some element that the defense is trying to present that he was dealing with. All right. We'll follow that.

And also this, the White House is feeling the pressure over growing violence in Egypt and Syria this morning. Syria is accused of using chemical weapons in attacks outside of Damascus, an accusation that would indicate the Assad regime crossed the red line set by President Obama, once again.

And chaos in the streets of Cairo to stop providing more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt each year. All of this is happening as the president is launching a bus tour today.

Let's get straight to CNN's Dan Lothian at the White House.

As you see right there, Dan, there's a lot on the president's plate this morning.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And it's quite a balancing act for the president as he's trying to focus on his domestic agenda, but also deal with some of these foreign policy problems, the president applying pressure condemning the violence and also working to get the international community behind him.


LOTHIAN (voice-over): At a closed door emergency meeting, the United Nations Security Council stopped short of demanding a probe into new allegations Syria used chemical weapons against its own citizens.

JAN ELIASSON, U.N. DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL: This represents no matter what the confusions are, a serious escalation with grave humanitarian consequences. Let me say there is no confirmation of it.

LOTHIAN: The U.S., Britain and France want a U.N. investigation. Inspectors are already in Syria looking at another alleged chemical weapon attacked that killed 31 near Aleppo earlier this year. The U.N. is negotiating to get their inspectors access.

JOSH EARNEST, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's time for the Assad regime to live up to their rhetoric in this regard and give the investigators access to the sites, the opportunity to interview witnesses, the opportunity to collect physical samples.

LOTHIAN: The next move is uncertain. The U.S. agreed to provide opposition rebels with military support in June after the White House concluded the so-called red line --

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: A whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.

LOTHIAN: -- had been caused.

But some members of Congress including Senator John McCain have been critical of the administration for not doing enough. McCain Wednesday tweeting, "No consequence for Assad using chemical weapons and crossing red line. We shouldn't be surprised he's using them again."

This as the administration deals with another foreign policy crisis in Egypt as the violence escalates. There's mounting pressure to cut off $1.3 billion in annual military aid. EARNEST: We've got some work to do in both areas and this is something that we're actively working on.


LOTHIAN: About an hour from now, President Obama heads out on that two-day bus tour making stops at college and high school campuses across Pennsylvania and New York. Aids say that the president will be talking about making higher education more affordable and helping young people deal with a mountain of college debt -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Dan Lothian, thanks so much from the White House this morning.

We should mention that I spoke with Senator John McCain just last hour about these many issues Syria and Egypt, and John McCain said that he, himself, is very confident that the Assad regime did use chemical weapons and warns that he believes they will use them, again. Pushing for the United States to get involved and stop the air fields, stop the air fields and the airplanes that the Assad regime is using.

We should also make an important note that tomorrow, a NEW DAY exclusive -- a conversation with President Obama. Chris will meet up with the president as he travels on his bus tour through New York and Pennsylvania. This CNN interview will cover a wide range of topics. We'll bring it to you tomorrow, of course, on NEW DAY -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Thanks, Kate.

Hannah Anderson is now speaking out about her kidnapping at the hands of long-time family friend, James DiMaggio, and talking about the deaths of her mother and younger brother.

In an interview with NBC, Anderson says he doesn't consider herself a victim.


HANNAH ANDERSON, SURVIVED KIDNAPPING: In the beginning, I was a victim, but now knowing everyone out there is helping me, I consider myself a survivor instead. My mom raised me to be strong.


CUOMO: Hannah also addressed reports from investigators that she made 13 phone calls to suspect James DiMaggio the day she was abducted and had previously exchanged letters with him. Take a listen.


ANDERSON: The phone calls weren't phone calls. They were texts because he was picking me up from cheer camp and he didn't know the address or like where I was. I had to tell him the address and be in the gym, not in front of the school, just so he knew where to come get me. The letters were like from a year ago when me and my mom weren't getting along very well. Me and him would talk about how to deal with it and I'd tell him how I felt about it and he'd help me through it. They weren't anything bad. They were just to help me through tough times.


CUOMO: For more on this, let's bring in Loni Coombs, a former Los Angeles County prosecutor and author of "You're Perfect and Other Lies Parent Tell: The Ugly Truth About Spoiling Your Kids."

Loni, thank you for joining us.

Let's start off with what you see and what you hear from Hannah Anderson. What does it tell you about her?

LONI COOMBS, FORMER L.A. COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Yes. You know, Chris, this case seems to have so many questions and this interview helps all of us see that the person we care about the most, Hannah, this young 16-year-old girl, is doing OK. And she reached out fairly quickly through social media, which is the venue that these young kids use to represent that.

But, now, she's confirming that on camera, she's composed, she's eloquent, she's thanking people. She's referencing her mother and me her brother and she seems to have a pretty good grasp of what's going on.

CUOMO: Help us understand this family dynamic where you do have someone who is somewhat of a surrogate parent. We do know that the Andersons were separated for a period of time. Brett, the father, had to move across country when he lost his job.

So, help us understand this in a way that kind of dismisses a lot of speculation that's out there.

COOMBS: Yes. And I think Hannah is also doing her best to also do this. You know, there's been speculation that there might have been some type of inappropriate sexual relationship between her and Mr. DiMaggio. She continues to say, look, in the letters she wrote to him, there wasn't anything wrong or bad in them. This is where she was having problems with her mom, she was looking to Mr. DiMaggio, her uncle as a confident, someone she could express her feelings to and he was giving her advice.

The phone calls were actually texts on the day she was taken where they were talking about where to meet and where to pick me up from cheer. She said, you know, my friends give their opinions about what they see, but my opinion is the one that I care about. And when she was asked on the social media, was this a creepy relationship? What did you think of him?

She said, you know, it was more of a family crush, meaning he just didn't want anything bad to happen to me. She really is defusing this whole type of, was there this sexual interest going on? CUOMO: What do you read into her demeanor that she seems to be OK in a situation where many would expect you to be very traumatized?

COOMBS: Yes, you know, kids are pretty resilient and they're expressing their feelings in ways in social media and out to their peers and friends. And people were worried about the backlash she might get but she said, look, I don't care what other people think. I can handle it.

She seems a little bit reserved. She's probably holding some things back. She said she didn't want to talk about the actual details of the kidnapping, but she wanted to clarify some of these questions that people were asking about what type of relationship this was with Mr. DiMaggio.

CUOMO: Such tremendous interest in the media and hearing Hannah's story. We covered it, it's such a confusing story, such a horrible story. But what is your gut on whether or not it's good for her to be doing the interviews?

You know, I know therapists will tell you this isn't a good thing, but you have to look at our kids today. This is how they express themselves. For parents who say, look, my kid won't talk to me, I don't know what's going on in their life. Go to social media, look on their Facebook, look in their Instagrams. They are expressing themselves.

And as we saw today on camera, she was very eloquent. Is she probably still in shock? Yes, she is, as anyone would be. But the first step in healing is being able to express what's going on.

And there are a lot of questions out there in the media. This whole question about the DNA that is being asked of to prove whether he was the father or not. There are some interesting questions in that, the evidence, the DNA tests, the kit found in his house and the insurance money being left to Hannah and Ethan, a fairly substantial amount. Now, the sister asking for the DNA.

So, she's dealing with all of this and instead of holding it all in and being reserved and restraint, she's actually letting some of that out and I think that's healthy for anyone.

CUOMO: Right. Of course, while those questions are very intriguing, a lot of them are none of our business to be honest, right, Loni? So, hopefully, she gets the space that she needs, as well.

COOMBS: That's exactly right.

CUOMO: All right. Loni Coombs, thank you very much.

COOMBS: That's exactly right.

CUOMO: Appreciate the perspective, as always, especially when it's so early out there in the West Coast. Thanks for doing it.

Kate? BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris.

The very latest now on a reported deal for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. After three days of mediation, officials announced late last night that an agreement has been reached. This is yet another woman has come forward with shocking new claims of sexual harassment against him.

CNN's Casey Wian is in San Diego tracking the latest.

Good morning, Casey.


You know, yesterday morning, the big news, was this 18th accuser who had come forward and said that Mayor Filner touched her buttocks during a photo opportunity after a meeting with him about three months ago. But by the end of the day, the news was clearly that proposed deal that was reached by members of the city council, the city attorney, attorney representing one of his accusers, the one who has filed the sexual harassment lawsuit and attorneys representing mayor Filner.

They will not say what that agreement is because under law they have to give 24 hours notice to the city council and present the proposal to the city council in a closed session. That's going to happen 1:00 local time tomorrow afternoon. They say they have all taken a vow of keeping this all under wraps and if anything leaks out about this settlement, not to believe it.

So, we will know the details of the proposed deal tomorrow afternoon, Kate.

BOLDUAN: And while we don't know the details, though, Casey, how likely it is that this agreement would allow Filner to stay in office at this point?

WIAN: Well, almost all the other folks on the other side of that negotiating table have said what they want is Filner to resign. If this means anything, his SUV was parked yesterday evening just behind me and Filner got in it and a lot of boxes were seen in that SUV leaving city hall, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. We'll be tracking it. Everyone interested in seeing what the details of that agreement. Casey, thank you so much.

There is a lot of other news we're tracking at this hour. So, let's get straight to Michaela for the latest.

PEREIRA: All right, Kate. Let's do it. Let's look at the headlines. Closing arguments today in the court-martial of army psychiatrist turned admitted Ft. Hood shooter, Nidal Hasan. Wednesday, the army major who's representing himself argued against allowing a jury to consider a lesser charge saying the shooting spree didn't happen in the heat of sudden passion. Hasan offered no defense Wednesday. He did not testify and he questioned no witnesses. Wildfires plaguing California, nearly 12 of them burning right now. One of them near Yosemite has actually forced hundreds of people to leave their homes. Officials had to close the main road into that national park. Wildfires in California this year have burned twice as much land as they did at this time last year and it's not even peak season yet.

"Prison Break" star, Wentworth Miller, revealing that he is gay after the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in Russia. Sent the actor an invitation to attend (ph), Miller replied with a letter stating, quote, "As a gay man, I must decline." Miller went on to tell festival organizers that he is deeply troubled by the treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government.

A little bit of Pamplona on a highway instead of the streets. The YouTube video showing a runaway bull in Spain charging towards cars and attacking them, eventually, ramming one of the vehicles with his powerful horns. Pretty frightening, really, for the people inside the vehicle. And just a reminder, if you think that your commute this morning was tough, everything is relative.

BOLDUAN: Just take a look at this video.

PEREIRA: No bulls on the freeway, honey.


BOLDUAN: It was a great day.

PEREIRA: Good day.


CUOMO: It was the voice that did it for me.

Let's get to Indra Petersons now with a look at the forecast. Hey, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning. Looks like a little bit of rain in our area, but it's good news, because all we really care about is the weekend, right? We can get through a little bit of rain if it means good stuff behind it. Today, we're actually watching the front move through the Ohio Valley, and eventually, spreading into the mid-Atlantic overnight.

So yes, we have some storms in the area, but the plus side, beautiful weather behind it. You can actually see on Friday as it kind of cruises offshore. Now, let's talk about even the change not only in the sunshine, but the humidity. So, hot and humid along much of the east coast, but as soon as that front passes, it also means colder and drier air behind it. So, we're not going to have that humidity factor either.

So, literally perfect weather in the northeast over the weekend. Unfortunately, in the opposite side of the country, we still have the concern with low humidity, but that, too, is changing. We have red flag warnings in the area right on the fire lines, especially around that Beaver Creek, Idaho fire lines, but, the change, is, yes, the storm is moving in the area.

They get some rain today, strong winds, but in the long form forecast, we're still talking about some tropical moisture moving in the area and that's a little bit confusing, but once it actually makes its way far enough north, you'll actually see all that moisture make its way into the southwest.

There'll be flooding concerns for them, but of course, it does bring relief to the fire lines for an extended period of time. So, not just today, but it looks like at least the next three or four days we'll see a lot of moisture on the fire lines, which is good news.

BOLDUAN: Now, there's some good news. All right. Thanks so much, Indra.

You remember that story of the horrible cruise ship crash off of the coast of Italy? Well, plans have finally been announced to raise wreckage of the doomed "Costa Concordia." The 114,000-ton cruise ship has been in the water on its side since it hit a rock off the coast of Italy last year. That crash claimed 32 lives. Well, it's now set to be rotated next month.

CNNs Erin McLaughlin is in London with more on this. The plans are very complex, Erin.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are, Kate. It's an absolutely massive feat of maritime engineering. The challenge to remove the remains of the luxury cruise liner, the "Costa Concordia" from the coastline of the (ph) Italian island of Giglio.


MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): It's been 19 months since the luxury cruise liner, the "Costa Concordia," ran aground off the west coast of Italy, killing 32 of the people on board. Now, news that the crippled ship will finally be lifted from its side in September.

An American and Italian company are working around the clock to prepare the infamous wreckage for its journey from the Tuscan Island of Giglio and avoid an environmental disaster. Engineers say it's a naval salvage operation like no other in history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Swelled up to 500 plus people with the welders joining us. So, we still have hundred divers in the water every day. We have 55 coded welders on the project 24 hours a day.

MCLAUGHLIN: The plan to remove the "Costa Concordia" began with steel platforms built under the water. Thirty-six cables will help hoist the ship upright. In a series of enormous flotation devices attached to the ship's sides will help the cruise liner float away to a nearby port, hopefully, all in one piece.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Around the 20th of August, all the grouting and the mattresses should be underneath the belly of the Concordia. MCLAUGHLIN: What makes the maneuver so risky. Engineers behind the project say they only have one shot to make the deteriorating "Costa Concordia" float again.


MCLAUGHLIN (on-camera): Now, if they are successful, if they are able to rotate this ship upright, they'll then go to work repairing the broken side of the ship. The hope is that in eight to ten months, they'll be able to tow the "Costa Concordia" finally away to a mainland port to be dismantled -- Kate and Chris.

BOLDUAN: All right. Erin, thanks so much for bringing it to us. Incredible the undertaking to get that thing out of the water finally.

CUOMO: One of the most bizarre things I've ever seen. I was there covering that. It looked like there was an apartment building in the water sideways. It's in over 80 feet of water.

BOLDUAN: Which is amazing because it looks like it's right on shore.

CUOMO: Right. It would be amazing if they get it up. It really will.

All right. We're going to take a break here. When we come back on NEW DAY, back from the dead. Imagine no vital signs for 45 minutes, but, the man is here with us to tell us his story.

BOLDUAN: Plus, Dr. Phil deletes a tweet after it stirs up quite a bit of criticism. Did it cross a line? We'll talk about it.


CUOMO: You're going to want to look up from whatever you're doing because we have an amazing story to tell you. It's being called a miracle, actually. A 37-year-old Ohio man pronounced dead showing no signs of life for more than 45 minutes. Even the doctors had given up on him, and then out of nowhere, he just came back. And you're going to be looking at him right now.

Tony Yahle here alive and well. We're going to speak it him, his wife, his family in just a moment. But first, let's tell you the story.


CUOMO (voice-over): After 45 minutes with no heartbeat, 37-year-old Tony Yahle (ph) was pronounced dead. He had no pulse, but in what some are calling a medical miracle, something even his doctors can't explain. Yahle was revived.

DR. RAJA NAZIR, PRONOUNCED YAHLE DEAD: I've never seen anybody who we have pronounced dead come back.

CUOMO: In the middle of the night on August 5th, Yahle's wife, Melissa, noticed him breathing strangely. She checked his pulse and tried to wake him up, but no response. In a panic, she called 911. He was rushed to the hospital. Later that afternoon, Yahle's heart went into arrhythmia, then it stopped.

For 45 minutes, doctors and nurses went into overdrive trying to stimulate his heart. Nothing. Presuming they were unsuccessful, his doctor pronounced him dead, told the family and allowed him to see his apparently lifeless body. Yahle's 17-year-old son, Lawrence, was in disbelief.

LAWRENCE YAHLE, TONY'S SON: I pointed to him and I said, "dad, you're not going to die today."

CUOMO: And he was right. Within moments, Tony's heartbeat came back. Suddenly, showing signs of life.

LAWRENCE YAHLE: Went from hopeless to hope in an instant.

CUOMO: After five days in a coma, Yahle came to with no recollection of how he cheated death.

NAZIR: We're really shared this experience with a lot of my colleagues and none of them have ever heard this kind of coming back.


CUOMO (on-camera): Well, we heard of it now. Joining us from Dayton, Ohio, the miracle man, the miracle family, Tony Yahle right there with his wife, Melissa, his son, Lawrence, and his daughters Courtney and Kirsten. Thank you very much Yahles for being with us today.



CUOMO: So, tony, you look strong as an ox. How are you feeling and what are the doctors telling you about why this happened?

TONY YAHLE: I actually feel really good. The last guess the doctors had was it was a possible viral infection that got me the week before. We'd been on vacation and I had had a cold. But as for any actual evidence, they have nothing. They don't have a good reason for why it happened.

CUOMO: So, never had heart trouble. You looked at both sides of your family to see if there's anything in the genes or anything, nothing there?

TONY YAHLE: Nothing.

CUOMO: OK. So, let's go back to how this happened. Melissa, you're a nurse and that winds up being really important here because you were observant in a way that the rest of us aren't. So, you're in bed, you're sleeping. What made you take notice?

MELISSA YAHLE: Well, I was asleep. It was about 4:00 in the morning. Something woke me up. I would have to say at this point that it was, you know, God that woke me up. His breathing was not right. So, I turned on the light, tried to wake him up. He didn't wake up. I checked his pulse and he didn't have a pulse.

So, I immediately, you know, was able to go into my training and do two cycles of CPR, call 911, and retrieve my son to help with the CPR until the squad arrives.

CUOMO: So, you get him to the hospital. They take him into the ER. They're trying to do something. They come out and they tell you he's gone?

MELISSA YAHLE: Initially, when we first got there, it was, you know, early in the morning and they took him to the cardiac cath lab and they initially came out and told us that, you know, his vessels in his heart were clear. There was nothing in there. They had suspected there would be a block, but they did not find any. The doctor initially told us that they don't know what happened, but he would probably go home in a day and a half. And then, later that afternoon, he deteriorated.

CUOMO: You go in there. They say he's gone. Go say goodbye to your husband, the father of your children. Lawrence, you're with them. Luckily, your sisters were spared this. You go into the room, Lawrence, and you couldn't believe it. What was it in you other than just shock that made you feel like somebody had it wrong?

LAWRENCE YAHLE: Well, you know, they were working on him for 45 minutes and all the doctors and nurses came into the room. They sent us into a counseling room. And they didn't even have to say anything. You just knew, you know, they're going to pronounce him dead. But it's just something wasn't right. They almost just looked at us and, you know, no emotion almost.

You know, everyone in tears, but for some reason, you know, I just thought, you know, he's 37 years old. He's never had a heart problem. You know, he's not dead in that room. So, you know, I go back there and my Pastor Paul, you know, he was there. And we were praying, praying next to the room. I was in the doorway and something came in me and got me to point at him and I said, "Dad, you not going to die today."

And when I said that, you know, I stood there for a few more moments and I started walking back to the counseling room to, you know, comfort my sisters and my mom and anyone else. And I took about three steps and my Pastor Paul, he looked at me and he said, "Lawrence, Lawrence," he got my attention."