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Syria: Making the Case to Congress; Time Warner Cable, CBS Reach Agreement; Rodman Returns to North Korea; Federer Knocked Out of U.S. Open; Grounded TV Marti Plane A Monument to the Limits of American Austerity

Aired September 3, 2013 - 06:30   ET



ANNOUNCER: You're watching NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, September 3rd. Coming up in the show, President Obama is pushing Congress for military action in Syria.

He's meeting with House leadership while his top cabinet officials testify at the Senate hearing. We're going to talk with Senator John McCain live.

And later, a NEW DAY exclusive, Senator Lindsey Graham.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're also going to be talking about Dennis Rodman headed back to North Korea this morning where he will meet up with his friend, Kim Jong-un. Can he help, though, in freeing an American sentenced to 15 years in prison there?

CUOMO: We're following a lot of news for you right now. So, let's get to Michaela.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Let's you give you an update on Syria. Some developments happening there, a full court press from the White House as it keeps making its case for military action, in about three hours' time. President Obama makes his case to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will hit the Hill, asking the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for support. Syria's President Bashar al-Assad warning any military action would set off the powder keg that is the Middle East.

A soggy Labor Day along the East Coast, at least 30 people had to be rescued in Cranston, Rhode Island, where an entire neighborhood flooded out. In Philadelphia, shoppers at a BJ Store walked out to flooded parking lot. And in Miami, one man was killed, two others injured in a storm. They were seeking shelter underneath a tractor trailer when that vehicle was struck by lightning.

Security scare temporarily grounded flights at Israel's international airport. Israeli police say two men stole a truck and broke through an outer security barrier at the airport there. Police fired warning shots before taking the suspects into custody. Thankfully, no one was injured and the airport is now operating normally.

Here's a high-flying way to say, will you marry me? Adam Prize (ph) surprised his girlfriend Kenzie (ph) when they both went sky diving in Utah. Their families placed a large banner with a question on the ground. And Adam landed first and grabbed the ring so he could drop to one knee as she came down, there he goes, and guess what? Kenzie of course said yes.

They plan to marry in November. No word on whether it will be on the ground or in the air. I added that last part.

BOLDUAN: It will be a smaller guest list.

PEREIRA: The veil would be beautiful, though, wouldn't it?

BOLDUAN: Beautiful, yes, but it will be a limited guest list, I guess.

PEREIRA: We'll see them for the reception.

BOLDUAN: We'll see on the ground. Congratulations to you, too.

Let's move now to our political gut check this morning -- all the stories you need to know coming straight out of Washington, the White House ramping up its campaign for military intervention in Syria sending top cabinet members to Capitol Hill, to face Capitol Hill hearings today.

But will they get the support they need from Congress and the American people? That's a key question.

CNN's chief national correspondent John King is here with all the answers. Good morning, John.

So, administration officials you even said it once this morning already, they've been taking this flooding the zone approach in terms of trying to sway opinion on military intervention. Are you seeing signs that they're swaying votes one way or the other at this point?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very slight progress, very important. You had John McCain and Lindsey Graham walk out of that meeting with the president yesterday, saying they were satisfied that they were supportive of the president. They think the administration is starting to answer some of the key questions but remember there in the Senate, the president's biggest challenge is in the House.

So, Kate, that meeting today, Speaker Boehner, Democratic Leader Pelosi, the key Republicans and Democrats in the national security committees, the people the president most needs to convince here are the key Republicans in the House because he doesn't have a good relationship with them, a lot of them are coming back from the district saying the safe vote is no, the president probably can't personally sway them so he needs to get the Republican leadership on board to help him in the House. That's the steep hill now.

BOLDUAN: And what will the Republican and Democratic leadership should do though? Because we did hear at least over the weekend that they were not planning on whipping or twisting arms and lobbying for this vote. They often see these votes -- these big votes like this as a vote of conscience. So, what can they do then?

KING: The question is if a rank and file lawmaker comes to their committee chairman, that would be a Republican on the House side and says, "I'm torn". Back home in my district people say no.

You have to get Republicans, if you're opposed -- a lot of them are saying, we don't like this president, not sure he has a good plan. We're not sure this will really be limited in scope. So are you voting based on what you think of this president and this administration's team, or you're voting thinking on what you think is the right position for you and the Republican Party to take for next year and the years beyond.

There's a big debate in the party right now. The hawks have dominated the Republican Party for some time but there's a growing isolationist movement that's over-generalizing a bit.

So, Syria will be a platform for an interesting subplot about the future of the Republican Party.

BOLDUAN: In the Senate, you have Secretaries Kerry and Hagel going before a key committee. What do you think the question is they'll face or more importantly the key question they need to answer?

KING: They need to be very definitive about the intelligence because there are still some questions, the Iraq war hangover. Is there proof beyond a reasonable doubt Assad did this? Number one. Number two, what did they mean by limited in scope? They say no boots on the ground what do they mean?

And number three, here's a lot of question, we're all for punishing Bashar al Assad but what is the point, what is the strategic objective here? What will Syria look like the day after, the week after, the month after, these attacks?

And even though the administration insists this is not about regime change, Kate, another key question, tough to answer in public hearings -- what are you going to do to help the opposition or is that not part of this?

BOLDUAN: And is that where then you have members like John McCain and Lindsey Graham who kind of had that criticism of the administration and seem to have at least tentative support now? Is that where they're going to come key to be kind of his ally on the Hill?

KING: Without a doubt. Look, you have splits in both parties. This is -- we're going to see this play out publicly, and the president is going to have to deal with this in his private meetings. You have splits in both parties about whether this is the right thing to do. So, you need ambassadors. So, the president doesn't have great relationships with any Republicans to be honest with you.


KING: The fact he has the new bonding with John McCain is one of the things that will help him. I would argue that John Boehner is more important than John McCain, no offense to Senator McCain. This is just the House -- the Hill is steeper for the president in the House.

But any help he can get from Republicans is critical right here to argue the case that this isn't about the president. It's about U.S. national security policy.

BOLDUAN: Yes, we have to make that case. That's for sure. John King, it's great to see you, John. We'll be leaning on you a lot. We'll see you soon.

And we are going to have much more coverage on the debate on Syria. As I was just saying with John, we're going to talk exclusively with Senator Lindsey Graham coming up. And we're also going to talk to Senator John McCain. And we're going to be hearing from the hosts of "CROSSFIRE," Van Jones and Newt Gingrich.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY: the worm has returned. Former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman back in North Korea. The lowdown on why he says he's there.

BOLDUAN: And a strange mystery solved. Find out why cars in one parking zone in London are literally melting away.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back. Let's go around the world now, starting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where government officials are responding to reports the NSA spied on the Brazilian president and Mexican president. Shasta Darlington has more.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The presidents of both Brazil and Mexico were directly targeted by the National Security Agency's spy program, according to the American journalists who obtained secret documents from Edward Snowden.

Now, in the case of the Mexican president, it happened even before he was elected. Reaction there has been fairly reserved but here in Brazil, the U.S. ambassador was called in for questioning, officials held a press conference demanding a full written explanation, but they refused to comment on whether the Brazilian president's trip to Washington in October could be canceled.

Back to you, Kate.


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

And a new sky scraper in London is acting like a huge magnifying glass, reflecting beams of light so hot they're even melting parts of cars.

Here's Isa Soares.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The walkie-talkie building is having a dazzling effect on the passers-bys but the sort its architect would have wanted. The $300 million building is reflecting dazzling rays of light onto the streets and has damaged the panels and the wing mirror of a Jaguar. The car was only in the ray for about an hour. There was a smell of burning plastic and the panels were buckles.

Developers have suspended three parking bays a precaution whilst they investigate the matter. Locals here are calling it the walkie- scorchie. Lucky for them, some are here in London (INAUDIBLE) -- Kate.


BOLDUAN: The walkiep-scorchie. All right. Isa, thank you so much.

A sea of red in the Netherlands. Thousands of people set a world record at the annual redhead festival.

Erin McLaughlin has more on that.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, over 5,000 redheads from 80 countries gathered in the Netherlands over the weekend. Redheads are pretty rare. So, to get this many in one place is kind of a big deal. The festival set the world record for the most redheads in one place, and then there was the world's first redhead only flight, planeful flew in from Scotland.

Festivals opened to anyone with an interest in red hair, lucky for us, that includes blonds. Maybe next year.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks so much, Erin.

CUOMO: I wonder how many people are redheads. I'm going to Google that in a break and I'll get it back to you.

So, you've got a smart phone, you got cable TV, you probably have both. Well, then, listen up because we have two big stories for you this morning.

First, Microsoft put itself in the middle of a smartphone battle between Apple and Google. And Time Warner Cable and CBS settled their month-long battle, ending a blackout of CBS shows in several major markets across the country. What do these mean? What is going on here?

Zain Asher is here to give us perspective. Tell us. Good morning.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, you guys. Yes. So, with Microsoft, Microsoft wants to be more than a software provider. They want to get into the mobile business. They only have 4 percent of the market share in terms of smartphones and so they really want to push that and they're doing that by acquiring Nokia.

The Nokia, you know, I grew up in Europe. Nokia was number one in terms of feature phones. They've seen sales dwindle. And so, for them, they need the financial backing from Microsoft to push that forward.

BOLDUAN: So, what does this mean for consumers, though?

ASHER: Well, first of all, it's going to be more choice, right, which is always great news for consumers. Also, you know, for Microsoft to be able to compete with Google and Apple, they're going to have to offer something innovative, right? Innovative features, better services, but it could also mean better prices as well, which is always good news as well.

BOLDUAN: Some competition and better pricing.

CUOMO: On the cable front, what was the down-low and how they got this deal.

ASHER: Right. It looks as though the winner might be CBS. You know, with content providers they always come out on top because CBS, first of all, number one in ratings. But also, you know, if I'm not getting my favorite TV show, I'm going to switch cable content providers, I'm going to switch satellite providers.

CBS came out number one, came on top for that, but also CBS's CEO came out and said that they did sort of get fair compensation for this. Time Warner Cable basically said they didn't really necessarily get everything they wanted.

BOLDUAN: And the timing of course is right before football season, thankfully.

ASHER: Exactly. Yes. Lot of key games being shown on CBS.

BOLDUAN: Is the pressure building because of that?

ASHER: Yes. Time Warner Cable had their back against the wall. They had no choice. You had this week a lot of key games being shown on CBS.

PEREIRA: Well, we've seen some of the balances happen between distributors and content providers. Are we going to see more or could we finally put this to bed? ASHER: Yes. Well, with Walt Disney and Dish, their deal is up for renewal at the end of September.

BOLDUAN: Oh gosh!


ASHER: I know. Yes, exactly. So, I mean, it looks as though we are going to see more of these retransmission deals in the future. You've got this example with CBS, you have -- it just shows how important content is and how much power these content providers have.

BOLDUAN: It doesn't bode well for the cable provider.

ASHER: Right, exactly.


CUOMO: Although what we'll see in the future that may balance the scales a little bit will be that, it's inevitable you'll choose what content you watch from these providers at some point.

PEREIRA: And you're also going to be able to choose your providers. We are able to watch -- I sat and watched a marathon on my iPad of Netflix. There's more options for us now.


BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

CUOMO: What were you watching?

PEREIRA: "Orange is the New Black," "Obsessed".

BOLDUAN: "Obsessed", one word.

CUOMO: It got me, too. It's like a virus. Zain, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Zain.

All right. Coming up next on NEW DAY, President Obama facing a defining moment. Can he convince a skeptical Congress and a war-weary public that we need to use military force against Syria? Seems to have at least some in his corner, John McCain in his corner and we're going to be joined live by the Arizona senator to talk about that next hour.

Later an exclusive with Senator Lindsey Graham who had a key meeting with the president yesterday.

CUOMO: And just when you thought you were rid of him, there is the picture, Dennis Rodman making a return visit to North Korea. He says he just wants to visit his friend, Mr. Kim Jong-un. And he has a little business venture to discuss with the North Korean leader. Details to follow. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. The worm is back in North Korea. Dennis Rodman visiting Pyongyang today for what he calls a basketball diplomacy tour. David McKenzie is live in Beijing with the details. So, David, do we know what Rodman hopes to accomplish this time?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, basketball diplomacy is what he says he wants to accomplish, Kate, and the basketball bad boy is back in Pyongyang. He's famously called the young dictator there an awesome kid. He's there, and he may have a surprise up his sleeve.


DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA STAR: Just want to go over there to meet with my friend, Kim.

MCKENZIE: That's Kim Jong-Un, North Korean dictator. Former NBA star, Dennis Rodman, is returning to North Korea for the second time this year, boarding a flight from Beijing early Tuesday morning.

RODMAN: Just wanted to fly to keep the communication gap going and try to help -- you know, try to start a new basketball league over there and stuff like that.

MCKENZIE: Rodman first met Kim Jong-Un in February. That trip was arranged by Advise Media for its HBO documentary series. The former NBA star was criticized back then for saying he loved Kim Jong-Un despite his long record of human rights abuses.

RODMAN: He's a good guy to me. Guess what, he's my friend. Guess what, I don't condone what he does, but as a person to person, he's my friend.

MCKENZIE: This time, there's speculation he may use his basketball diplomacy skills to try and free American, Kenneth Bay, a missionary who's being imprisoned in North Korea last year (ph), sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. This was Rodman just last week.

RODMAN: I would definitely ask -- I'll just ask it in a way where I say what is, why is this guy held hostage here? I could say that like that and then try to soften it up that way and then if I actually got him loose, and I'm just saying this out of the blue, I would be the most powerful guy in the world.

MCKENZIE: But today, he told Reuters freeing Bay is not on his agenda.


MCKENZIE (on-camera): Just recently, the U.S. special envoy to Korea, North Korea, was turned away by the regime when he tried to head there to negotiate Kenneth Bay's release. His family says Kenneth Bay is doing very badly health wise. Whether the worm can do any better? I guess, we'll have to wait and see -- Chris and Kate. BOLDUAN: All right. David Mckenzie, thank you so much for that update. You know, the last time that he went in and then he did that interview with George Stephanopolous afterwards. George did an amazing job, handed him a report saying maybe next time you go. You can talk about the horrific human rights record that North Korea has. Let's hope that he brings some of that within this time.

CUOMO: It's the right question. The problem is who he was handing the report to, you know?

BOLDUAN: I think that's an excellent point, Chris.

CUOMO: We would try to ignore this story if it weren't for that it's in North Korea and the place is so important for so many reasons notably who they're holding right now.

BOLDUAN: That's absolutely right.

CUOMO: Mick?

PEREIRA: We have a must-see moment to lighten things up today a little bit. Although, cautionary tale, don't you dare try to this at home or you had me (ph) to contend with.

This is what an off-road vehicle enthusiast did. He drives a razor straight up the side of a steep cliff and tends what goes up comes much come down. You see what happens next. It flips twice before it lands in a pool of water. The razor pretty beat up, but shockingly, the driver walks away not only unharmed but goes on to celebrates his daring feat. Apparently, this is a thing called rock crawling.

CUOMO: Yes. I've heard --


PEREIRA: So, people purposely try to drive the vehicle up the side of a rock.


BOLDUAN: Did his helmet fall off in the middle of it?

CUOMO: It doesn't make a lot of sense. But you know, they do it well and they design the vehicles for it. And he had a little trouble, but you see that he was steering on the way down while falling.

BOLDUAN: He was very calm.

PEREIRA: He wanted to make sure that the wheels land the right way. I mean, honestly, I supposed you want to make sure they -- I don't know.


PEREIRA: I can't make sense of it. I leave it for you, two.

CUOMO: This weekend, you and me let's get after it --

PEREIRA: I don't have it in me today.

CUOMO: I don't have it in me any day.


BOLDUAN: Fortunately, they're not including me in this.


PEREIRA: You can come.

BOLDUAN: Moving on.


BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, here's a good story for you. Diana Nyad joining us live, 64 years old, she just swam 112 miles. People think about that with your morning coffee. She did it in 53 hours becoming the first person ever to make it from Cuba to Florida without the protective shark cage, and she's got a message she would like to share with all of us.

CUOMO: And we have a make or break moment developing for President Obama. He's determined to convince lawmakers and the American people military action is required in Syria. We'll talk about the stakes in Damascus and here at home. We have Arizona senator, John McCain. And later exclusively, Senator Lindsey Graham, two men at the center of this debate.


CUOMO: The NFL season still a few days away. The college kids took over Monday Night Football as the result. Florida State-Pittsburgh squaring off and the Seminoles' freshman quarterback stealing the show. How do I know? Andy Scholes told me so. He's here with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy. So, tell me what you told me.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: All right. Good morning, guys. If you don't know the name, Jameis Winston yet, you soon will. A few years ago, he was the number one high school quarterback in the entire country. Now, he passed up playing pro-baseball for the Texas Rangers and go to Florida State to play both football and baseball. And last night, he was absolutely amazing in his college debut.

Nineteen-year-old quarterback threw four touchdowns and ran for another. Winston completed a ridiculous 25 of his 27 passes. Florida State won the game easily, 41-13. Winston (INAUDIBLE) to win the Heisman Trophy conversation.

Arguably, the greatest man's tennis player ever is now out at the U.S. Open. Roger Federer was ousted by Spaniard Tommy Robredo in straight set. He was 10-0 against Robredo coming into this match. Now, Federer just didn't look like the Federer of all. He committed 43 unforced errors. Now, this was the first time in a decade that Federer failed to get pass around 16 at the U.S. Open.

And number one in the line-up on section on today is from the Coleman-Walker high school football game in Alabama. A brawl breaks out after the game, but get this, it was between two coaches. Coleman defensive coordinator, Matt Hopper, and Walker head coach, John Holliday, got into it.

He had to be separated by their own players and police. Now, hopper got the worst of the fight. He won't be disciplined by Coleman. Walker, however, he's been put on administrative leave by his school. Now, guys, I know football is serious business in Alabama, but this can't be the example you want to set especially in front of your players.

CUOMO: Just the worst.

BOLDUAN: I don't care what's going on on the field or if you guys have personal issue. That is not the way to handle the end of the game. I can't even believe that.

CUOMO: It's depressing, actually. Andy, you depress me. Thanks for that.


CUOMO: Appreciate it. Good thing you got that smile, Andy, because you brought me south with that.


BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Andy.

All right. You hear the music. You know what time it is. It's time for the "Rock Block," a quick roundup of the stories you'll be talking about today. First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: A lot of pressure on the "Rock Block" to cheer --


PEREIRA: We'll see what we can do. First up in the papers, from "The Washington Post," the U.S. government spending nearly $80,000 every year on a plane that it won't allow to fly. The Aero Marti was outfitted to broadcast an American run TV station into Cuba. It's grounded now at an airfield in Georgia.

How about the "L.A. Times," the U.S. Foreign Service is taking extreme measures to save the world's rarest trout species. They're poisoning a creek in California's sierra mountain to eliminate invasive non- native species.

In "The Daily News," an Alabama radio station sparked a frenzy when it ran promos about an alien invasion. Yes. Some folks took it seriously. They actually pulled their kids out of school until police straightened things out. We're not being invaded by aliens. Just letting you know that. That's from me to you. Business news with Zain Asher.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Microsoft jumping into smartphones in a big way. Microsoft is buying Nokia's phone business for $7.2 billion. Apple and Google, guys, take notice. We're also going to be getting more details on Verizon's deal to buy Vodaphone's 45 percent stake in Verizon wireless at 8:00 a.m. eastern time. Lowell McAdam, the CEO of Verizon, will give a web cast to flush out the details on the mega deal with investors and analyst.

Also, money scented candle this morning, "The Wall Street Journal" says that Yankee candle is close to be being sold for $1.75 billion. Jarden owns Sunbeam and Rollings (ph) brands.

Now, let's go for Indra with the weather.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: There's a money since (ph) a candle smell like.


PETERSONS: I'm thinking dirty subway, I don't know. I don't want that in my house. Yes. We definitely had a soggy holiday weekend. You can actually see the cold front response over that finally making its way offshore for the mid-Atlantic and the northeast. However, take you down to the south, though, unfortunately, once again, that cold front is expected to sag.

We're going to see it hanging around really all the way even in through Friday, and here we go the Atlantic, still, it is now in September. We do not have a hurricane just yet but notice all the areas we are watching, needless to say, I've been packing the bags, getting everything ready, there are a lot of chances out there, Cuomo, for us to be heading out to the wet weather.

BOLDUAN: OK. We'll be watching it close. Thanks so much, Indra.


BOLDUAN: It's very close to the top of the our which means it's time for the top news.