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Obama In Russia For G-20 Summit; Syria Strikes; Tropical Storm Gabrielle; "This is Closure For Her"; Overseas Security Not Given Priority; High School Stabbings; Veronica's Father Accused Of Custodial Interference; Exposed To Fatal Brain Disease?; Death Brushes By; Man Attacks Weiner Over Sexting

Aired September 5, 2013 - 06:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, September 5th, six o'clock in the east. We're going to hear exclusively this morning from some of the friends and family of Ariel Castro's victims. They are reacting to his suicide with a combination of anger and relief. One relative saying she wished he suffered more, starved to death. That's what she wishes. You'll hear from others coming up.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Wow. And plus, we're going to have two important health alerts coming up. One involves a major recall of favorite yogurt brand and the other flips (ph) conventional cooking wisdom on its head. A new study says you should not be washing chicken before you cook it. The reasons why may surprise you, but they're important.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, take a look at this video. This man is paying at a gas station when suddenly a car crashes into the front, missing him -- wait for it -- misses him by mere inches.

CUOMO: Woah!

PEREIRA: We're going to tell you what exactly happened. More on this amazing story coming up.


CUOMO: Holy cow!

Up first this morning, we'll call it the showdown in St. Petersburg. President Obama arriving right now in the Russian city for the G20 summit. He and Vladimir Putin set to meet within hours. It is hard to overstate just how high tensions are between the two leaders, and in the past 24 hours, it's gotten even worse.

CNN's global coverage of the crisis in Syria begins with senior white house correspondent, Brianna Keilar, traveling in St. Petersburg with the president this morning. Good morning, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris. President Obama is due to land here in St. Petersburg, Russia, really any minute out in and head for the G-20 Summit, an economic summit where Syria will loom large, a big issue obviously in the relationship between the U.S. and Russia, and we're told to expect that President Obama and President Vladimir Putin will meet up here on the margins, as we're told, during this summit, in what has become a relationship full of personal animosity.


KEILAR (voice-over): President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to come face-to-face at the annual meeting of G-20 leaders as big decisions loom over military action in Syria. Obama is defending his position to launch strikes.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world's population said the use of chemical weapons is abhorrent.

KEILAR: Putin remains vehemently opposed. Casting doubt of the evidence the U.S. government says it has against the Syrian regime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If we have objective, precise data of who is responsible for these crimes then we'll react.

KEILAR: Russia is not alone. Britain and Germany are also refusing to endorse military action, this is the highest tensions have been between the two world powers since the cold war.

JAMES F. COLLINS, DIRECTOR OF RUSSIAN AND EURASIA PROGRAM, CARNEGIE ENDOWNMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: We will have a very bad patch if there is a military attack on Syria and I think we can expect some pretty frosty time.

KEILAR: Russia and Syria have been strong allies for decades.

BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Russia is very close to Syria. They provide and buy weapons from each other. They are kind of a client state.

KEILAR: The conflict over Syria just the tip of the iceberg in the rift between world leaders. Obama canceled his private meeting with Putin several weeks ago after the Russian leader refused to extradite NSA leaker Edward Snowden. While in St. Petersburg, Obama plans to meet with gay rights activists on Putin's turf as outrage spreads over Russia's new law banning any promotion of gay relationships to minors. Relations between Putin and Obama are increasingly rocky.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We've kind of hit a wall in terms of additional progress.


KEILAR: One senior administration official said think of this not as a visit to Russia, but as a visit to the G-20 Summit that just happens to be hosted by Russia, very telling -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: It's difficult to separate the two, I would argue. Brianna, thanks so much for starting us off this morning. We'll talk to you throughout the show.

There is movement back here at home in the Senate on a possible U.S. military strike in Syria as the Obama administration continues making its case to the House of Representatives. In a 10-7 vote the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution authorizing limited military response in Syria, this as members of a House committee grilled top administration officials about the possible U.S. attack.

Let's go straight to Chris Lawrence now in Washington who is tracking all of this angle of the story. Good morning, Chris.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. And grilled it right, it's not over yet because later this morning, administration officials will be making that case for military action behind closed doors. This coming just one day after that key vote in the Senate and the secretaries of defense and state facing a very tough crowd in the House.


LAWRENCE (voice-over): This is the hard sell, from the inner circle, to take action.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter.

LAWRENCE: Laying the price of not acting --

GENERAL MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: There is absolutely a risk of escalation in the use of chemical weapons if we do nothing.

LAWRENCE: And the cost of air strikes to America.

CHUCK HAGEL, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It would be the tens of millions of dollars, that kind of range.

LAWRENCE: One explosive confrontation shows the hard work ahead to win over the House.

REPRESENTATIVE JEFF DUNCAN (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Mr. Kerry, you have never been one that has advocated for anything other than caution involving U.S. forces and past conflicts. Is the power of the executive branch so intoxicating that would you abandon past caution in favor for pulling the trigger on a military response so quickly?

KERRY: Because I volunteered to fight for my country and that wasn't a cautious thing to do when I did it. We're talking about people being killed by gas and you want to go talk about Benghazi and fast and furious.

LAWRENCE: Two U.S. Navy ships have left the Eastern Med leaving four destroyers in the waters near Syria. Questions remain, not about the strike itself, but what comes next.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we do if they shoot back at Americans in? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But then who is the other side? Who are the rebel forces?

LAWRENCE: Administration officials say they've kept the Syrian opposition from allying with extremist fighters, but the clock is ticking.

KERRY: And people will resort to anybody they can find to help them accomplish their goal and we would have created more extremism and a greater problem down the road.


LAWRENCE: In the hearing, Kerry was asked if the president himself might do more to make this sale to the American people and Kerry indicated that perhaps the president might even make a speech one night very soon -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Chris, a lot of hard questions coming out of the Senate there. In the next hour, we're going to talk with a man who knows all too well what this process is about, former Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld, we'll get his perspective what the president is doing and what might happen next.

Tonight I'm hosting a town hall. We'll have a panel of experts, and they'll be taking questions from me but mostly from people like you discussing the concerns, proof of the chemical attacks, the plan to get in, the plan to get out and what this could mean for families in the United States, critical thinking on the Syria crisis, that's going to be tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN.

We're also tracking a tropical storm this morning, that's formed in the Caribbean. It is unusually late in the year if there had not been a hurricane. We do expect a lot of the situation so let's get to Indra right now and find out what's going on. Good morning, my friend.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning. We do have Tropical Storm Gabrielle now. What we're concerned with is a large amount of rain. One of the things we look at when we look at tropical storms is how slow they are moving. Gabrielle, constant winds only 40 miles per hour, which would make you think just a weak tropical storm, when this moves this slow we could have large impacts with a large amount of rainfall.

Let's talk about it right and get you in a little bit closer, you see currently over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico we do have that system moving. Now it's expected to move over the Dominican Republic as well, but it's the amount of rainfall that it could bring that could really concern us. We're talking about three to five inches of heavy rainfall over mountainous regions.

You can get as much as 15 inches of rain and keep in mind, even though the eye will not go into Haiti, we could still get large amounts of rainfall in that area. When you have those high mountain peaks a lot of times the storm moves through we start to see mudslides. You think of all the development in the area that will be a problem as we move in through today as the storm continues to progress on its path.

We're going to be looking at currently for the path we're looking to move over the Dominican Republic, we're talking about eastern portions and also Samana. But again, don't forget, we're talking about heavy rainfall still being farther out than the eye itself. After that, it could strengthen. It has to hold together after it moves over land. It will eventually go out to sea so not an effect for the U.S. mainland.

But either way, when you talk about large amounts of rainfall anywhere near Haiti, the Dominican Republic, that's always a huge concern.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Thanks so much, Indra. We'll be checking back in with you on that for sure.

Let's now look at the latest on the Ariel Castro's suicide, there has been strong reaction understandably to the news of his death, but not publicly from the three women he kidnapped and imprisoned in his home for a decade, Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight. They have not talked, but their families are speaking out this morning.

CNN's Pamela Brown is in Cleveland where Castro's home once stood and has since been levelled with a NEW DAY exclusive. Good morning, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Kate. You know, the women have already shown how strong and resilient they are ever since they were rescued back in May and now Gina Dejesus' aunt is telling CNN exclusively how the family is dealing with the news and how if anything is helping them move forward with their lives even more.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It means we can move on with our lives now. It means hopefully we won't have to hear about Mr. Castro no more.

BROWN (voice-over): Closure for Janice Smith and her family, after the man who tormented her niece, Gina Dejesus, for 10 years killed himself in his jail cell after just one month behind bars in state prison.

JANICE SMITH, GINA DEJESUS' AUNT: He knows what he did, he knows it was wrong and I think he couldn't live with it. And I believe that's probably why he took his life.

BROWN: Smith says after welcoming home Gina in May and seeing Castro sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years, she thought this horrible chapter for her family ended. Now Ariel Castro's family is coming to grips with the loss of a man they once knew as a brother, son and father, not as a monster.

JUAN ALICEA, ARIEL CASTRO'S BROTHER-IN-LAW: Even though he did all of these bad things and the family does not condone that, they will and they must grieve. BROWN: Others cheered Castro's suicide. Amanda Berry's grandmother telling NEW DAY, "I love it, I feel so happy, but I wish he had starved himself to death or suffered more somehow." Prison officials say Castro hanged himself with a bed sheet inside this prison in Orient, Ohio. He was in protective custody, isolated from other prisoners, and checked on every half hour.

CRAIG WEINTRAUB, ARIEL CASTRO'S ATTORNEY: He should have been on a suicide watch and there shouldn't have been a watch every 30 minutes. There should have been somebody outside of his cell more frequently.

BROWN: On Seymour Street where the house of horrors once stood signs of life and hope, a garden planted and the lives of Castro's victims now filled with promise.

SMITH: She's with her family. She's free. She's home and that's what matters to her.

BROWN (on camera): And this is closure for her?

SMITH: This is closure for her, yes.


BROWN: It's important to remember. Gina by the way, in case you're wondering, is studying right now to get her high school diploma. As for the investigation into Castro's death, the Bureau of Prison says that he was given a mental health evaluation and denied Castro's attorney's request for an independent evaluation because it says they didn't give a good enough reason. The investigation continues, still a lot of unanswered questions there. Back to you both.

BOLDUAN: All right, Pamela, thank you so much for bringing us that perspective. It's understandable that the three women not ready to talk publicly and probably good they still need to focus on the recovery, but it's good to hear at least from a family member that out of this is beginning to bring some closure.

CUOMO: Less public attention for them the faster they heal.

BOLDUAN: That's a very good point. There is a lot of other news developing at this hour that we're following so let's get straight to Michaela for the latest. Good morning.

CUOMO: It's going on around here.

PEREIRA: I'm keeping it over here.

Let's look at the headlines this hour making news, for the State Department overseas security is lost in bureaucracy, that's what an independent panel found in the wake of last September's Benghazi attacks. According to their report diplomatic security fell through the cracks as 1 of 11 functions overseen by Undersecretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy. The report recommends new senior level oversight. A Texas teen is facing murder charges now after allegedly stabbing four students at a high school north of Houston. The 17-year-old Luis Alfonso Alfado is now under arrest. One student killed and three others wounded in that attack at Spring High School. Police says what started as an argument in the hallway quickly escalated to violence. Investigators are following up on the reports that the incident may have been gang related.

Prosecutors in Montana appealing a controversial 30-day sentence given to former teacher, Stacy Rambold, for raping a 14-year-old student. That teen later committed suicide. The state calls Rambold's sentence illegal and the judge who imposed it now says he may have been wrong. Prosecutors however claim the mistake can only be corrected with an appeal to Montana's Supreme Court.

Oklahoma's governor has ordered a man involved in a bitter custody dispute to be extradited to South Carolina. Dusten Brown is the biological father of a little girl named Veronica. A South Carolina couple adopted her at birth. Brown, the biological father did not know it. He and the adoptive parents have been fighting ever since. Brown now is accused of violating a court order by not allowing the couple to visit Veronica. His lawyers say they'll challenge the extradition order.

In New Hampshire, eight brain injury patients may have been exposed to a rare and fatal mad cow-like disease from potentially contaminated equipment. Health officials say they are almost certain a patient who had died in August after brain surgery had sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Others may have been infected afterward by improperly sterilized surgical equipment. Five patients in other states may have also been exposed to it.

I want to show you some incredibly jaw dropping video, this guy just trying to buy a magazine at a service station in Australia, my goodness, death brushes by him. An SUV crashed through the window and missed him by inches, maybe even centimeters. Incredibly he is OK. Police think the driver may have been texting, but they're not sure.

What makes this really incredible his forgetfulness, he apparently forgot his cash so at the last minute he had to use his credit card. So if he had paid with cash and walked out he would have been right in the path of the oncoming SUV. He had to take another extra second to pull out his credit card -- they're supposed to get married in a couple weeks so his fiance is happy.

CUOMO: He's lucky because the car missed him, but all that debris hit him.

PEREIRA: I know, broken glass, shattered, it's surprising he's not really injured.

CUOMO: A young man of sorts asking himself the big question, something like to avoids you, got to ask yourself why you're still here.

BOLDUAN: I'm always paying with my credit card, that's one thing. CUOMO: Think on that.

We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, breaking news for you about the president, he's landed in Russia for the G-20 Summit. We know that. We're going to catch you up on what's going on there as soon as we come back.

We've been talking about the political fighting. Check out this Anthony Weiner story going toe to toe with a big apple voter. Could it be his most epic battle yet, maybe, when you watch this.

BOLDUAN: Also we're going to be watching, are you ready for some football? I would say everyone at this table would answer collectively yes! The NFL season kicks off tonight and the league is already coming under fire. What is going on, people? The commissioner fights back.


CUOMO: Good morning. And welcome back to NEW DAY.

An incredibly heated exchange between Anthony Weiner and a New York voter has gone viral. Weiner's mayoral campaign may be on the ropes, that's actually being generous, let's be honest, but he still came out swinging Wednesday when he was confronted by a man who made disparaging comments about not just him but his wife.

The epic blowup caught on video.

CNN Rosa Flores joins us with that.

Good morning, my friend.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. You know, he is just not giving up. This is a campaign of distractions.

First, people were lashing out at Anthony Weiner because of his embarrassing sexting scandal. Now, he defends his wife, that goes viral as well.

Let's just say, folks, that you just can't make these things up.


ANTHONY WEINER (D), NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE: When have I taught you that, that you're my judge.

FLORES (voice-over): Embattled New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner in words at this Brooklyn bakery after he paid for some traditional Rosh Hoshanah baked goods.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a real scumbag, Anthony. Very nice.

FLORES: Weiner begins to leave the bakery but then listen closely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Married to an Arab. FLORES: This man, Saul Kessler, makes a racial slur about Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin. Kessler tells CNN in a phone interview, "I did say that. I'm not going to deny it. It's just a certain feeling I have as a Jew."

The confrontation did not end there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're disgusting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't lose your temper.

WEINER: What's that? What's that? When I walk, you say anything, that's courage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll have a discussion. Come back in here. I'm not afraid of you.

You walk around in public --

WEINER: You're a perfect person. You're my judge? What rabbi taught you that? What rabbi taught that you're my judge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're fine. Thank God you work out your problems, but stay out of the public eye.

WEINER: That's not for to you judge, my friend.


WEINER: I don't take my judgment for you and I don't judge you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a bad example for the people. That's obvious. Your behavior is deviant. It's not normal behavior.

WEINER: And you're perfect, you're not judging me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not running for office.

WEINER: You know who judges me? You know who judges me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's disgusting. It's disgusting, it's immoral.

WEINER: If you're going to say vile things about me and my family, should expect that I'm going to go back at you.

FLORES: Weiner was highly criticized for sending revealing photos of himself to women online, prompting him to resign from Congress.

Weiner's popularity continues to plummet in the polls as he attempts his political comeback for mayor of New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Think about your wife. How could you take the person you most closest to and trusts you --

WEINER: That's between me and my God.

FLORES: His notoriety is not going down without a fight.


FLORES: The Democratic primary is less than a week away. While Anthony Weiner continues to steal the headlines, it's Bill de Blasio who leads the polls. And back to that video, you know, we talked to voters in New York City, and they do say, in this case, a lot of them are on Anthony Weiner's side.

BOLDUAN: There was an obvious comment that was way over the line.

CUOMO: Taking shots at Anthony Weiner is easy game but what that man said about his wife and about being an Arab is wrong and on a high holiday no less.

BOLDUAN: OK, exactly.

All right. Rosa, thank you so much for following the story for us.

Got a lot coming up on NEW DAY, including where is the missing American flag in this iconic 9/11 photo? We talked about this, a CNN documentary. It aired last night triggered tips coming in from across the country. But are we any closer to finding that flag this morning?

CUOMO: And are you ready for some football?


CUOMO: Of course you are.

The NFL season kicks off tonight. The commissioner already dealing with a big controversy. We're going to bring in Rachel Nichols live from Denver, and we're going to get you ready for everything pigskin.


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

CUOMO: I like it there, there was more subtle intensity that time when it's just the man's voice, James Earl Jones.

I'm up. Welcome back to NEW DAY. Thursday, September 5th.

Coming up in the show, are you ready for some football? The best question in the world. The NFL is back but the league is under fire. Why? The commissioner is fighting back. We'll tell you all about it.

BOLDUAN: And check out this viral video, a driver turning Manhattan into his own personal road racing course. Taking very big risks just for bragging rights.

CUOMO: A lot of news this morning so let's get to Michaela with top stories. MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Here we go. Making news. Good morning.

President Obama touching down in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the last half hour for the G-20 summit. The president will sit down with key allies but all eyes will be on his interaction with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House says Obama and Putin will talk on the margins of the summit.

New this morning, take a look at this enormous pile-up in the English county of Kent. No one was killed miraculously but at least 100 cars were involved, six people seriously injured, 200 others received minor injuries. Not clear what caused this accident. We're told conditions in the area were misty.

Bradley Manning, the army private who spilled a historic number of secret, will also seek a presidential pardon. An attorney sent a letter to President Obama saying it was important to protect whistleblowers. Manning was sentenced last month to 35 years in prison for giving hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks. The White House says the pardon request will be considered like any other.

PEREIRA: After a month of tryouts and tweets, look at this, Yahoo has finally revealed a new logo. It's cleaner, it's thinner, it's got a new font, Kate. It's still the deeper shade of purple you might have anticipated.

BOLDUAN: I need to get my prescription checked.

PEREIRA: It is. Trust me on this.

The exclamation point is still there, as too is the signature yodel. The company wanted a logo that stayed true to its roots but embraced the evolution of its products.

And I want to you feast your eyes on this. That's quite a finger that would have to support that, a 118 carat diamond.

CUOMO: The most overvalued thing in the world.

BOLDUAN: Because you're a man saying that.

PEREIRA: The rock of ages found a couple of years ago in Africa. Sotheby's Auction House called it the world's greatest white diamond. It's going to hit the auction block. Put this on your calendar, Bolduan. Next month in Hong Kong, October 7th.

You need Oprah money to buy this, though. It's pre-sale estimate $35 million.

BOLDUAN: I'm doing the exercises right now. You said it's going to be heavy, so I'm working it out.

PEREIRA: You can't put that on a ring. You have to have like support. BOLDUAN: Including an arm bracelet.

CUOMO: They can't talk about it enough. We have another man at the table -- thank the Lord. And I'll tell you, they say you can't put a price on love, then you get into the diamond game and you get engaged and there's plenty of prices.

BOLDUAN: There we go.

All right. Let's move to our political gut check and talk about overvalued, I'm kidding -- all the stories you need to know coming straight out of Washington.

President Obama is one step closer to authorization for a military strike in Syria as tensions run high at the G-20 Summit. Here

To talk about this John Avlon, CNN political analyst and executive director of "The Daily Beast".

So, John, you take a look at this relationship and how quickly has gone from a reset to, I don't know what you even call it -- absolutely refrozen, maybe.

What is it -- what has happened especially when you look at these two men, President Vladimir Putin, President Barack Obama -- what is going on in this relationship? Do they truly just not like each other?

JOHN AVLON, THE DAILY BEAST: Worst reset ever. Obama came into office with high hopes to warm the relationship between Russia and the United States. What he has found as so many previous presidents found, is that the cultural differences in our two countries, let alone the political differences are huge, even after communism and Putin being. An ex-KGB, he's called the secretary of state a liar this morning. That's an awkward landing in Russia to start with this G20, let alone the proxy state relationship with Syria.

BOLDUAN: So, Obama is over there not only obviously if he could do anything to improve the relationship, to try to win over favor with Russia in terms of military action in Syria.