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Selling Congress on Syria Strikes; Help for Imprisoned American in North Korea; Extra-Strength Tylenol Warning; Chargers Practice Aboard Carrier; Poverty Strains Cognitive Abilities

Aired August 30, 2013 - 06:30   ET


GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You can't tell everybody everything but they wanted to share in a de-classified way what they could about their level of certainty about the chain of custody of these chemical weapons, and they did make the case that the intelligence came from a high ranking Syrian official.

And I think that in terms of the intelligence they've got, that's not much of a question really as it was with the Iraq war, if you recall. The question really now is, what is the goal of their military action and can they achieve it in a limited, targeted way, because there's a big hangover in this country from a couple of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and members of Congress are very, very reluctant to get involved in something that could lead us down the road to some kind of prolonged military action, and so that's what they were hearing on the phone line last night.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And that's part of the reaction that you got especially from some Republicans coming off of the call. Yes, as you well point out, they're not going to get all of the intelligence available because they were not on a secure line.


BOLDUAN: But some of the criticism coming out was that the administration did not lay out a clear strategy, how they were going to actually execute what the administration calls a discrete and limited response. So, what -- if it clearly is more of a case to be made -- what does the president need to do now?

BORGER: Well, look, I think the president needs to go to the American public, OK? I think before we start lobbing some cruise missiles, even if it's surgical strike as they call it, limited strike, there's always a law of unintended consequences here, that there can be a response from Assad or from others. And I think the president needs to go to the American public and by the way I presume he will in the not too distant future.

He needs to go to the public saying this is a red line blurred and this is why we cannot cross it and it is important not only in Syria but it is important because we need to let Iran know, for example, that they can't get a nuclear weapon without paying some costs for it. The president needs to explain to the American public why this is important not only on a humanitarian level, because using chemical weapons is, after all, a war crime, but also on a geopolitical level and why this is important to our safety in this country and why he feels he needs to act in a limited way.

And by the way, what that would do to deter Assad and others, because that's the big question there.

BOLDUAN: Don't you think that explanation, laying that out is even more important now in light of the U.K.'s vote against supporting military action. That was a setback for the administration.

BORGER: I think it was a setback for the administration. It was certainly a setback for David Cameron and the administration. And I think it hasn't stopped the United States from looking for other allies to partner with, you know, perhaps France, Germany, whatever. But I do think it puts more of a burden on President Obama.

BOLDUAN: And it also shows the folks not only in the U.S. have become more war weary, when they were told it was a limited engagement across the pond as well.

Great to see you, Gloria. Have a great weekend.

BORGER: Good to see you, Kate. Take care.

BOLDUAN: Though Gloria will not be having a very long weekend because we want to tell you that Gloria Borger will be hosting CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" on Sunday where they're going to have much more, of course, on the administration's case for military action in Syria.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I bet you on Sunday, they wind up discussing the issue of whether or not this situation is going to qualify as a declaration of war.

The reason I say that is that the Constitution sets forth the Congress has to give the president authorization. That's been ignored since World War I. The president just very much --

BOLDUAN: Recent history has prove that that is not all --

CUOMO: 1973, they passed the War Powers Act, which allows the president to do something, congressional approval within 60 days.

BOLDUAN: And that's why you hear lawmakers, you know, you can say that they are shouting for a need to consult, but they have a reason they say that.

CUOMO: Right.

BOLDUAN: They should be consulted.

CUOMO: But not be consulted, they should vote. They should be consulted and then they should come back and do their damned job, which is vote on this because the idea, and we're going to hear from retired General Anthony Zinni. We're going to hear from a congressperson who was on this call.

And the idea that you're going to do something surgical one and done and get out and it's OK and no more chemical weapons and we're safe unlikely. You're going to hear that from experts. So, if it's unlikely maybe we do need a vote. Maybe what we saw with the U.K. is the right way for this procedure to go. We'll discuss it.

Right now, we'll take a break, though, here on NEW DAY. And when we come back a new warning about a drug you probably have in your medicine cabinet. How risky is Tylenol? Should you be worried? The company is saying maybe. We'll tell you why.

BOLDUAN: Plus, two very adorable baby pandas. Have you ever not met an adorable baby panda?

I guess that's the good question. At the Atlanta zoo, we're getting an up close and personal visit to where they live.

And, of course, we are just a few weeks away from September 16th when "CROSSFIRE" will return. Here's a look back at one of the show's most memorable moments.


NEWT GINGRICH, HOST, CNN'S "CROSSFIRE": One of the issues "CROSSFIRE" has always covered and will cover in the future is national security, and there is some big life and death questions.

Here is a good example, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and about-to-be vice president, Dan Quayle, debating American strength and what we need to do to be safe in the last days of the Soviet Union.

ROBERT MCNAMARA, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We always get in this thing of debunking the capability of the military of the Soviet Union. Let me tell you something, they are proud of their military. They've invested a lot of money. And you know what? It works.



MCNAMARA: May I just interrupt one second? We shouldn't debunk the U.S. military. There isn't one single senior U.S. military commander who believes the ABM system around Moscow is anything other than a pile of junk. There isn't one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why, Mr. Secretary, do you think they put $200 billion in charge particle weapons and laser weapons and testing space weapon, all of the things in the Soviet Union.

MCNAMARA: They haven't. They put in an air defense that isn't worth a damn and our bombers can penetrate it.



BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Let's go around the world now, starting in Moscow, where a gay activist there says police targeted him for a raid. Phil Black has more on that.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Police searched the home of one of the most prominent gay rights activists because of comments he made online. Nikolai Alekseyev had used Twitter to criticize politicians responsible for the country's anti-gay propaganda law, and those politicians demanded a criminal investigation, saying he had broken the law by insulting government officials. Alekseyev says the police searched every room in his home. He is one of the leading figures in the fight to overturn the recent law which makes it illegal to tell children gay and straight relationships are equal.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: All right. Phil, thank you so much for that.

Now, to North Korea where an American held for months there maybe getting more help in his family's quest to set him free.

Paula Hancocks has more on this from Seoul.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A U.S. envoy is expected to head to North Korea on Friday, but he's already said, Ambassador Robert King, that there is no guarantee he'll be leaving with a U.S. citizen who's in prison there.

Kenneth Bae was sentenced back in April to 15 years hard labor for hostile issues against the government, according to North Korea. His family says he's a tour operator with a missionary background and is now in a failing health. King is hoping that he will be released on humanitarian grounds.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks so much, Paula.

And here's a strange one for you. Wedding photos have taken a bit of an odd turn in Hong Kong.

Pauline Chiou is there.


PAULINE CHIOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Weddings are often very expensive. And here in Hong Kong, couples are willing to spend a lot on pre-wedding photos. This is big business. Couples can go on photo shoots for several days with a makeup artist, a stylist and graphic designer. The photos can be funny, serious or even underwater. Kim Li and Daniel Chen (ph) got to dig into their favorite local treats, while Wency Wang and Frankie Chang (ph) were reunited with their dead cat. According to e-commerce Website ESD Life, the average Hong Kong couple spends $2,700 on pre-wedding photos. That's two times the amount they're willing to spend on a photographer for the real day.

Kat, back to you.


BOLDUAN: Wow. I could see that. We should do a photo shoot on a cat.

CUOMO: Yes. Yes, we should, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Good answer, Chris.

CUOMO: But not today.

All right. Listen up, if you use Tylenol, the makers of the popular drug are taking an unusual step. They're adding new warning labels to extra strength bottles.

Why? One reason could be Johnson & Johnson is facing a slew of personal injury lawsuits blaming their product for sudden liver failure.

Let's bring in senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen at the CNN Center with more on this.

Elizabeth, good morning. Here is the question. What's the new cap going to say?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. You know what, let's take a look at that cap. What it's going to tell you is that you are taking acetaminophen. And the reason why this is important is there's been a big problem in this country with acetaminophen overdose. Again, not following the directions, taking too much. It's responsible for 56,000 emergency room visits per year. That is a staggering number, and 500 deaths.

And so, what they're do something letting you know right when you're taking that medicine this is acetaminophen, read the label to learn about warnings.

CUOMO: All right, now, the warning on the cap, about acetaminophen. What do we know about the problem how these overdoses happen?

COHEN: You know, some of the overdoses happen, Chris, to people just think, oh, the directions say to take one, I'll take two or three or four or five. So many people blatantly not following the directions.

But other times, people don't realize what they're doing and that's because there's a whole bunch of products that have acetaminophen in it and you would never know it. So let me paint a picture. You have surgery, your doctor prescribes Percocet. That has acetaminophen. Then it doesn't do it for so you, so you take some Tylenol to help your surgical pain feel better. And then, at night, you're uncomfortable so you take some Nyquil to help you sleep. Well, that has acetaminophen, too.

You've now taken a triple dose of acetaminophen. And if you do that every day for about seven days, you could possibly go into liver failure. That's all that it takes. So that's what we're talking about for many cases is people don't realize how much acetaminophen they're taking.

CUOMO: All right. Now, you know Elizabeth better than I do, that when people hear warnings like this, they usually kind of wave it off, like, one in a gazillion people this will happen to. What do we know about how many people get affected by taking too much.

COHEN: Right. I mean, when you're talking about 500 deaths a year, this is not just some random thing, or 56,000 emergency room visits. This is very, very serious. You have to understand what you're talking and how much of it you're taking.

CUOMO: All right. That's a big number. Elizabeth, thank you very much for the perspective.

Fifty-six thousand trips to the emergency room. That's real.

BOLDUAN: Good warning then.

All right. Coming up next on NEW DAY: concussions and football. It's a reality. It's also been a very big issue for years now, with research showing hits to the head are very dangerous. Well, now, there's a very big settlement to tell you about. We're going to talk to Clinton Portis, one of the former players who brought a lawsuit against the NFL about this.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And, you know, we are hopeless romantics here at NEW DAY. How about a guy who had to get a little help to ask a big question -- the soldier finds a unique way to propose to his girlfriend. It is Friday's must-see moment today.


PEREIRA: Ah, that look in your eyes. Welcome back to NEW DAY. Today's must-see moment, we so appreciate the sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made for our nation.


PEREIRA: This video is from Jacksonville, Florida, soldier special greeting for his girlfriend. Caitlin Miller (ph) raced to the airport to meet his wife back from Guantanamo Bay where the Army Sgt. Parker (ph) had been stationed for 11 months. His friends found her first with these words. Watch what's happening here.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): Oh my goodness. PEREIRA: They get off the plane and then boom, he drops to a knee. Of course, she said yes! Because look at this, this is amazing. Both of their families were there. They knew it was going to happen, so they could be there to take pictures and video it. They actually helped keep it a secret for now. She said yes. She was very surprised. A really touching tribute to a fantastic couple who made quite a sacrifice, 11 months apart. Now, they're together.


BOLDUAN (on-camera): So, you should be concerned the girl is not going to have a heart attack, not only has she been waiting for you to get back for 11 months.

PEREIRA (on-camera): I know. It's a double one. That's a very good point. Very good point.

BOLDUAN: She woke up going wait a second, is this a dream?

PEREIRA: Congratulations.

BOLDUAN: That is so exciting.

CUOMO: It is also a reflection of how tight the guys are.



CUOMO: You know, they're there for each other.


BOLDUAN: That is really cute.

CUOMO: Good stuff. All right. We're going to take a break on that one.

When we come back, the NFL and concussions.

BOLDUAN: Yes. The league making a deal with former players, but does it settle the issue once and for all of what playing football does to the brain? We're going to talk to a former NFL running back who was part of this lawsuit.

CUOMO: And of course, Syria. Is the U.S. any closer to taking action? It seems like it is. It seems like it is. What may happen next? What should happen? What's the best move? We'll go through it with experts so you have the best information.


CUOMO: Got good news. Football is here. College football started the season last night to the joy of fans around the country. Andy Scholes is here with the "Bleacher Report." Tell us, how did it start off? ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, Chris and Kate. It's the best time of year, for sure. Big game last night featured Heisman candidate Jadeveon Clowney in South Carolina hosting North Carolina. You know, the Gamecocks, they wasted no time in this one. Quarterback, Connor Shaw is going to find Shaq Roland for the 65-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the game. Gamecocks go on to win the boarder war (ph), 27-10.

And other action last night, SEC post (ph) Ole Miss and Vanderbilt open their season against one another. Vandie took the lead with a minute and a half to go, but the rebels (ph) just got -- check out this run -- 75 yards for a touchdown. Ole Miss wins the shootout, 39- 35.

On, NFL experts make their 2013 Super Bowl picks. Will the Patriots make it to the big game? More importantly, will Tim Tebow still be on their roster? He had a decent night throwing for two touchdowns during the final preseason game. We'll find out if Tebow makes the Patriots on Saturday when team's cut down their rosters to 53 players.

How did the San Diego Chargers get ready for last night's game against the 49ers? They held a walk through on Wednesday on the nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the "USS Ronald Reagan." Even some lucky sailors got to show off their skills during the practice. San Diego teams have a huge military following with the bases all around the area. So, guys, it's great to see the Charges go out there and show some of our heroes some love.

BOLDUAN: Not only is it Friday, but you brought us highlights of college football. I can't wait. This is the best Friday ever. Thank you for making my day.

SCHOLES: A whole slate of games tomorrow, too. You can sit on your couch all day.

BOLDUAN: So, I'll be much less informed come Monday because I will be only watching football.

CUOMO: Multitask.


BOLDUAN: Exactly. Thanks, Andy. Have a good weekend.

You hear the music, you know what it means, everyone. It's Friday version of the "Rock Block," a quick run of the stories we'll be talking about today. First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: Let's take a look in the papers. First up "The Washington Post," researchers finding something that many of us already know, being poor isn't about being less capable. They say poverty is such a mental burden that it opens the door to bad decision-making which can perpetuate the poor struggles.

In "The Seattle Times," could our love affair with the automobile be over? Research shows the amount of driving Americans do and the number of miles traveled has declined steadily since 2007 after rising for decades.

And, in "The New York Daily News" reporting the meeting of two celebrities, Beyonce and the cyclone. The singer rode the famous Coney Island roller coaster for a music video shoot and fans ate it up.

Time now for business news and Christine Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Stock futures are higher this morning after two up days now for the Dow. Stronger economic news and hopes a serious strike might be delayed. That helped investor confidence, the major markets all closing higher.

All right. Apple's newest iPhone expected September 10th. So, should you buy the stocks? CNNMoney finds in five of the past six years, Apple stock has been lower a month after the new iPhone was released.

Krispy Kreme not tasting quite so sweet to investors this morning. The donut chain reporting disappointing earnings at a week outlook late Thursday. The stock slid 12 percent in afterhours trading.

Finally, let's get to Indra Petersons for the weather.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. We've made it to September 1st or we will make it to September 1st without a hurricane, but take a look now in Atlantic. Things are starting to become active. One thing I want you to pay attention right off the coast of Africa in five days, 60 percent chance that this will develop. Conditions, there, are favorable behind it. So, something we'll definitely be monitoring.

Otherwise, let's talk about Labor Day weekend. Things cooling off in the Midwest. You're welcome. One place, people will likely temperatures going down 15 or 20 degrees from what we've seen all week long. But here you go. Here's the forecast for rain over the next few days, mid-Atlantic, northeast, down to the southeast, still chances for showers all the way through Labor Day on Monday.

Give you a little shot of some of the best places to go. That's going to be south and west, but I heard something good. You want to stay indoors and watch football?


PETERSONS: This is your weekend.


BOLDUAN: Any excuse. Thank you, Indra.


BOLDUAN: All right. We're now at the top of the hour, everyone, which means it's time for the top news. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're very concerned about is the willingness the Assad regime has demonstrated to use chemical weapons on a large scale.

CUOMO: Making the case. President Obama lobbies Congress to attack Syria as he loses a key ally abroad. The U.K. bowing out of any attacks.

BOLDUAN: Blockbuster settlement. The NFL paying hundreds of millions of dollars to former players over head injuries, but some say it's not enough.

PEREIRA: Cuteness times two. We're going to take you inside the panda nursery where nurses care for this rare newborn twins. Brace yourself for an overload of adorable.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a good day for thousands of football players who are dealing with different afflictions from playing the game of football.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is comfy, yes. Oh, if it's possible, they get cuter every time I see them.

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


CUOMO: Good morning. T to the G-I-F. It is NEW DAY, Friday, August 30th, seven o'clock in the east.

Coming up this hour, selling a possible military strike on Syria may have just gotten tougher for President Obama. He briefed Congress last night, many still have questions, but now, the UK is pulling support. So, that means the U.S. may be forced to go alone if it does anything. We're going to talk with retired marine general, Anthony Zinni, about what the military strategy has sized up as to him (ph).

BOLDUAN: Also, millions of Americans are going to be hitting the road this Labor Day weekend. It's the last big getaway of the summer, but gas prices are set to spike. So, what will it cost to you fill up your tank and get on the road?

PEREIRA: And baby pandas. We're actually showing you a live look inside their nursery. Looks like mama --

BOLDUAN: She's looking at us?

PEREIRA: You looking at me? What are you looking at? Never seen a panda before?


PEREIRA: Apparently, these twins are the pride of the zoo Atlanta. We're going to give you an up close look and introduce you to the cuties.

BOLDUAN: The cuteness it is.

All right. But let, let's get to big story this morning, begin with Syria. The administration laying out its case to Congress despite skepticism from some on Capitol Hill about taking action alone, that, after the British parliament voted against joining a military strike.

The White House says it has evidence that clearly shows the Assad regime used chemical weapons in the deadly attack on its own citizens and they could make that evidence that made be the administration (ph). They could make that evidence public as early as today. We are following all of the latest developments as only CNN can beginning with CNNs Dana Bash on Capitol Hill.