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CNN NEWSROOM

New Warning on Tylenol; Stocks Steady; Fifth U.S. Warship Near Syria; $765 Million Concussion Settlement; NFL Concussion Settlement; College Football Kicks Off

Aired August 30, 2013 - 09:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Push to try to prevent you from overdosing on the pain reliever. CNN's Alison Kosik joins us with more on this story.

Good morning, Alison.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.

So what this new Tylenol bottle is going to look like is it's going to have this new cap that's going to have a big, bright red warning. And it's going to -- the warning is going to say, there it is, "contains acetaminophen. Always read the label." It's going to be on extra strength Tylenol bottles beginning in October. The funny thing is, the bottles already have a warning. So now what Tylenol is basically doing is trying to get you to actually read the warning because overdosing on acetaminophen is one of the most common poisonings in the world. But did you know acetaminophen is actually in a lot of medicines like Excedrin and Nyquil, so we've just got to read the bottle before we take the stuff.

Carol.

COSTELLO: Yes, I was really shocked by the number of people that were overdosing on Tylenol or acetaminophen.

KOSIK: Yes.

COSTELLO: Very strange. But hopefully this will help.

Before you go, can you give us a check of the markets.

KOSIK: Looking like a flat start to the day. You know what, it's good news that it looks like investors are taking a breather after a pretty bad August. Hey, look, today's the last trading day of the month. It's really been a rough one for stocks. Look how rough. Heading into today, the Dow is down 4 percent, the S&P's off almost 3 percent. Both are on track for their worst monthly declines in more than a year.

You know, August is usually slow, but then again, when you throw in these fears about what's going to happen in Syria and all the talk about whether or not the fed is going to scale back on its stimulus that it's pumping into the financial system, you get more and more investors hitting the sell button. We'll keep an eye on the numbers for you today, Carol. COSTELLO: We appreciate it. Thank you, Alison.

Still ahead in the NEWSROOM, crisis in Syria. The British aren't coming. Allies abandon America. Will the U.S. go it alone?

Plus --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And racked up. (INAUDIBLE) comes close to -

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Concussion settlements. $700 million plus bucks. We'll talk to one of the players in the lawsuit.

And it's called the Drop of Doom. It goes 90 miles an hour. It's 41 stories tall. And you can see Philadelphia 55 miles away from the top of this thing. Keep your arms and legs inside the ride. NEWSROOM is back after a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: The Pentagon has now deployed a fifth warship to the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria. Like its counterparts, the destroyer's equipped with cruise missiles, ready for a possible strike in the wake of alleged chemical weapons attacks near Damascus. And it seems increasingly likely that the United States might carry out any strikes alone as the British parliament voted against any military involvement. Now, President Obama's predecessor is weighing in on the current administration and the difficult decisions that lie ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The president's got a tough choice to make. And if he decides to use our military, he'll have the greatest military ever. I was not a fan of Mr. Assad. He's an ally of Iran and he's made mischief.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Joining me now, CNN military analyst and retired army general, Spider Marks.

Good morning, general.

JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Hi, Carol. Good morning.

COSTELLO: I kind of like how President Bush put that, Assad made mischief.

MARKS: Yes, more than mischief.

COSTELLO: But - more than mischief. But you could tell, I mean if you read between the lines of what President Bush said, any military action taken against Syria will be complicated. MARKS: Oh, it will be. And there will be entanglements that the president would prefer to avoid, certainly. It's very tough to have a surgical strike to achieve a very precise in-state. When you initiate a fight, you simply turn over to your opponent the ability to stop the fight. It's very difficult for you to decide, OK, I'm done, unless you've achieved some results. So how do you measure that? It's very, very tough.

COSTELLO: Well, yes, let me ask you that. First of all, when we say surgical strikes, what exactly do we mean? Do we mean attacking by air, by sea, both? What?

MARKS: All of the above. The initial -- the initial response that we think the president is contemplating is the use of sea-based cruise missiles from the destroyers that are in the eastern Mediterranean. And target folders have already been prepared and munitions are already set to go, the software is uploaded, the targets have been identified. We're talking about very, very precise targeting. And they will hit the targets that they're intending to hit.

The unfortunate consequence, Carol -

COSTELLO: Well -

MARKS: I'm sorry. The unfortunate consequence is that there may be something in that target that we don't simply know about right now, which would be a human intelligence type of an endeavor to get to. And that's what's tough.

COSTELLO: But isn't it true that Syria has been moving stuff around? I mean, how do we know exactly where those chemical weapon sites are?

MARKS: Exactly. Correct. What we know is the storage sites that have been in place that are x stamped, that are on a target list. And those targets have been serviced, if they will, by intelligence sources to determine activity that's going on. So we have to assume, although the precise location is known, we have to assume that what was inside those facilities has probability been tampered with and it has, in fact, been moved.

Now, most of the targets that are probably going to be struck are targets that are not related to the inventory of chemical weapons, but the delivery means by which those weapon systems have been used.

COSTELLO: OK. So, in Libya, the government's weapons were no match for the U.S. military. We like made quick work of that, right? But with Syria, it's a different story because Syria actually has an effective arsenal.

MARKS: Well, it has an arsenal. They haven't been -- Syria does not have a long history of having a real effective military. In fact, the success that they've had has always been a success against their own people. Outside their own borders, they've enjoyed very little success at all. In fact, Israel has had their way with the Syrians in military conflicts before. So they do, in fact, have tanks. They have artillery. They have convention munitions systems, anti-tank guided missiles. So they have an array of capabilities that the insurgents have in some cases but not entirely. So this fight really favors Assad's regime. And, in fact, as we've seen over the course of the last few months, they've increased their strength and their momentum.

COSTELLO: OK. A last question because we've heard many military experts say either go big or go home. And if you're going to do surgical strikes, you better do it for a sustained period of time and really leave a mark.

MARKS: Carol, that is exactly correct. You either - you go to win. The definition of win is what we're talking about here. The president is in a corner. He knows he needs to act. International law dictates that. And I think there is -- there is support for that notion. There isn't international support for a military activity of some sort. So what we're talking about is a very tactical engagement. The in state has not been described by our president and that's what's very difficult right now.

COSTELLO: Well, maybe we'll hear that later today. You never know.

MARKS: We hope.

COSTELLO: General -- General Spider Marks, thanks so much for being with us this morning.

MARKS: Thanks, Carol.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM, the NFL and former players reach a deal in a concussion lawsuit. We'll talk to one of the plaintiffs, former Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: The NFL is agreeing to pay $765 million to help retired players suffering from brain injuries. With a judge's approval, the deal settles a concussion lawsuit. So let's break it down. $675 million for injury compensation. $75 million for medical exams. Another $10 million for medical research, plus legal fees.

The money sounds good, but, really, it's just a drop in the bucket when it comes to league revenue. $765 million out of $9.2 billion made last year alone. Jamal Anderson is a former running back with the Atlanta Falcons. He was a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

So, how do you feel about this?

JAMAL ANDERSON, PLAINTIFF IN SUIT AGAINST NFL: Well, you know, if you look at the process, when you talk about a class action lawsuit and you talk about the NFL and the power of their attorneys and with the fact that the question of causation in this case was going to ultimately possibly be an issue and you're looking at years of litigation, you know, when the number came out yesterday, people thought it was a lot - a lot of money. What I'm most happy about is that there are going to be some programs put in place for the players who are suffering the worst conditions and who need a medical attention as soon as possible to try to move forward. I've seen several players who are in worse situations than me, who are having a lot of difficulty. And, really, for me, that's what this is all about, try to get these guys in a better situation with their --

COSTELLO: But some players are suffering from ALS.

ANDERSON: Yes.

COSTELLO: I mean they're among the worst, right?

ANDERSON: They are. And, you know, we're seeing a lot of things now with chronic traumatic encephalitis that's occurring in players. Obviously you can't really tell until the guys are dead, unfortunately. And we've seen that now in traces of several high- profile players who recently have taken their own lives, quite unfortunately. So, it's a tough case. It -

COSTELLO: As far as you personally, how are -- how is it affecting you, the knocks to the head during your playing days?

ANDERSON: Well you know like most players. I mean I played the game a certain way. I feel fortunate that I don't have the severity of the affliction from concussion that a lot of players do. I have my difficult times but I'm certainly not in a situation that some of these other guys are.

COSTELLO: But -- but I mean do you fear for what's down the road? That -- that it would be hard to deal with, I would think.

ANDERSON: Yes and that's part of -- that's part of the reason why not only just from some of the things that I've dealt with, but I joined a concussion lawsuit because the concerns about my future and what -- what health benefits were going to be provided for me from the time that I played in the NFL and that are going to be able to provide for my family or to see to it that I have the best possible health care possible. If there's going to be something out there.

So I certainly do care. I regret nothing about my playing career. I absolutely love football, we were watching college football last night and fired up about it, fired up about the NFL season coming up, but -- but I do understand the dangers of the game.

COSTELLO: Well, let's just pause there because this lawsuit only involves retired players.

ANDERSON: Right.

COSTELLO: For future players the NFL says we have safe guards in place and it should be fine. Do you think that's true?

ANDERSON: Well there's a new CBA and they have save -- the process by which players who have concussions now are -- are evaluated and the things that they have to go through before they get back on the field, maybe those processes could have been in place a number of years ago. One thing about this lawsuit is the NFL, you know, they're not assuming any liability. There's no admission of guilt from the NFL.

So, there's a CBA in place now that they just signed last year with the current players and then the process, again, an independent doctor reviews guys on the sidelines. It's not like when I played football where there was a team doctor and you'd really have to hope that your team physician was looking out for your best interest instead of the team's.

So in most cases, you know, guys were fortunate when that occurred. But it was all about getting back on the football field when you can make the next play. You know star players being out in a game are not good for the team and the fans and everything so there was a rush to get them back out there.

And it's a completely different process now for NFL players and in fact Carol how they -- how they -- training camp, the way that the amount of physical interaction they can have during the course of the season, all of those policies are different so as you certainly assist in players being healthier longer.

COSTELLO: I hope so. Jamal Anderson thank you so much.

ANDERSON: My pleasure.

COSTELLO: Here's what's all new in the next hour of NEWSROOM. Obama stands alone on Syria. Britain says no. France is lukewarm. Will America's lawmakers get onboard?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The Congress, like in any democracy, is important to this process. Their views are critically important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Also, its Bob Filner's last day. Time to change the locks and pack up the office and, oh, one last thing, his parting gift to San Diego a bill for $6 million.

Plus --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Check it out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Fergie has a baby. Meet Axl Jack. Yes Axl Jack, that's all new in the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Checking our "Top Stories" at 51 minutes past the hour.

The commercial airline industry may face a pilot shortage in the coming years. "USA Today" says Boeing predicts about 25,000 new pilots will be needed each year. The airplane maker cites growing fleets, new FAA restrictions and more retiring pilots. But finding new pilots may be difficult. Flight school is expensive and many new pilots are low wages, less than $20,000 a year.

A crash on a busy overpass leads a truck dangling over the edge. The truck was hauling several cars for Topeka, Kansas when it tipped over the side of the wall. Two cars fell more than 30 feet and landed upside down and guess what, no one was hurt.

Six Flags building the world's tallest drop ride at a sea park in Jackson, New Jersey. We're talking 41 stories tall. It's the kind of a ride where they shoot you up into the air and then they just let you drop. The Zumanjaro that's what's it's called the "Zumanjaro Drop of Doom", will zip riders 415 up and then let them plummet at 90 miles per hour. The Zumanjaro will take riders so high they will be able to see the Philadelphia skyline, more than 50 miles away.

I have to recover. We've got to take a break now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Finally football is here. College football started its season last night and fans around the country are celebrating.

Andy Scholes has the "Bleacher Report". Good morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey good morning Carol. Well last night kicks of the best time of the year, football season. The big game opening night featured the Heisman's Trophy Jadeveon Clowneys and South Carolina hosting North Carolina and the game clock wasted no time getting on the board, and this one quarterback Connor Shaw is going to find Shaq Roland for a 65-yard touchdown. This happens just less than two minutes into the season. South Carolina they go on to win the board award 27-10.

(inaudible) Vanderbilt also opened their season last night. Vandy took the lead with a minute, 30 to go. Let the Rebel Jeff Scott check out this run. He goes 75 yards for the touchdown.

COSTELLO: Better than Reggie Bush.

SCHOLES: And that would be your winner Ole Miss, they went 39-35.

All right. The darling of this year's U.S. Open, 17-year-old Victoria Duval is now out. The young American lost her second match to Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets. Asked what she learned this week, Duval said it's that she is, quote, "capable of playing at this level."

All right a fantastic finish in Detroit. Tigers down 6-4, two outs, two on, bottom of the ninth, Tory Hunter (ph) steps to the plate, Carol and I'm sure you did a back flip when he did this.

COSTELLO: I almost fainted. SCHOLES: Walk-off, three-run home run. Tigers win the game 7-6 over the A's and Tory Hunter said pitcher Justin Verlander actually called this shot before the inning.

COSTELLO: He did. He went up and said Tory, I think you're going to hit a home run. And darn it Tory did.

SCHOLES: See. Positive energy works.

COSTELLO: That's right. And you just made my day. Andy Scholes, thank you.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM after a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, if the Obama administration strikes Syria, will anyone support the United States in the aftermath of an attack?