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Obama And The G20; Who Are The Rebels?; Manning Leads Broncos To Win Over Ravens

Aired September 6, 2013 - 05:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Shocking new video from inside the war zone. Syrian rebels executing their country soldiers. Could these images impact worldwide support for their cause?

MATTHEW CORDLE, CONFESSED TO KILLING FELLOW DRIVER WHILE DRINKING AND DRIVING: I'm begging you, please don't drink and drive. Don't make the same excuses that I did.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A deadly confession goes viral. An Ohio man coming clean about the life he took while drinking and driving.


BERMAN (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

BROWN (on-camera): And I'm Pamela Brown. Time to wake up,everyone, and get the Friday morning start.

BERMAN: Do it.


All right. This morning, the Obama administration doesn't seem any closer to winning over Congress on the question of a military strike in Syria. The latest CNN count shows that most senators remain undecided. And, in the House, there are nearly four no votes for every member who said they will definitely vote to authorize the strike. The full Senate is set to debate the measure next week. The outcome there, really very much uncertain.

We're hearing this morning that it's not just cruise missiles that we're talking about here. The U.S. is considering using long range aircraft in an attack on Syria. An official telling CNN no final plans have been made yet, but bombers are one of the many options on the table. So, what else can the president do at this point to make his case?

He's in St. Petersburg at the G20 summit where world leaders still seem not quite sold on a military strike on the Assad regime and where one key Assad backer, Russia's Vladimir Putin does not appear to be giving any ground. Jill Dougherty is in St. Petersburg this morning. And Jill, what are President Obama's plans for the day?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I have to mention last night because that was really crucial. They were talking into the wee hours of this morning, about two o'clock in the morning about Syria. And no meeting of the minds, in fact, really split down the middle about Syria. Then this morning, he met with the president of China, Xi Jinping.

They didn't specifically, in the read out, mention the word Syria, but they did mention disagreements and sources of tension that they discussed. They think that they can manage those areas of disagreement. And then, on his schedule today, he's got a bilateral with the president of France, remember France, of course, supporting the idea of military action in Syria.

He has a news conference, and then also a meeting with civil society, and that will include gay LGBT activists. Remember, there's a law here in Russia, that new one, anti-homosexual propaganda. And the president, obviously, will be talk about that, John.

BERMAN: Jill, people were talking about how late Vladimir Putin kept everyone up last night with the entertainment and everything. I guess, the president get back to his room until 1:40 a.m. That is quite later early depending on how you look at it. One of the issues that followed President Obama to St. Petersburg was this issue of addressing the American people.

Does he need to sit in the oval office, speak to the camera and explain why he thinks the U.S. should strike Syria? Any news on that front?

DOUGHERTY: Well, there was an official who briefed us yesterday and said that indication is that they expect he will. They're not saying when. They're not saying precisely where, but I think you can expect that, John.

BERMAN: All right. Jill Dougherty for us in St. Petersburg. Great to see you this morning, Jill.

BROWN: And also, in Syria and a warning, the images you're about to see are very graphic. There are new questions this morning about the rebels fighting the Assad regime. Some members of Congress have expressed reservations that we simply don't know enough about the people on the other side.

And this new video obtained by the "New York Times" is painting a disturbing picture. It shows a brutal execution by the rebels of captured Syrian soldiers. Mohammed Jamjoom is in Beirut with that part of the story. Mohamad, tell us, what do we know about this video?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, it's an extremely disturbing and graphic video that was released by "The New York Times." Now, they report that this shows a rebel brigade. You see a commander in this amateur video who's identified as Abdul (INAUDIBLE). He reads a poem about revenge Then after that, the men in his command, they start shooting the prisoners that are in front of them in the backs of their heads. Now, this video has been released at a very sensitive time. At a time when there is a growing debate about if the rebels should be supported and how much at a time when President Obama is seeking Congressional approval for limited air strikes on Syria. Now, this is certainly not the first time that we've heard of atrocities being committed by Syrian rebels.

But it begs the question, these rebels, they are such a fractured group, how many of them are affiliated with Islamists? How many of them are extremists? How many of them are moderates? As the debate grows, lawmakers in the U.S. want to know. They've been asking this question for quite some time. As I said, it isn't the first time that the rebels have been accused of committing war crimes.

We've gotten word from the Syrian national coalition, that's the main opposition group that they have condemned what they've seen in this video, that anybody perpetrating war crimes in Syria, no matter what side they're on, that they should be punished, but this doesn't ease the fears that are at hand. Many people have said for a while now, what happens if there's a power vacuum in Syria.

Are there rebel factions that could command there? Can somebody step up and really take command over these desperate rebel groups? Now, you have U.S. lawmakers, some of them telling CNN that they've seen classified intelligence suggesting that possibly as many as 50 percent of rebel soldiers are affiliated with extremists. You have John Kerry who's saying, no, it's as low as 15 percent. Still, it's very worrying.

And what people are saying is as brutal and murky as the war is in Syria, one thing is clear, the rebels, they say, are also involved in committing war crimes and that is something that is making it so much more worrying at this particular time -- Pamela.

BROWN: Absolutely. That video is so disturbing. Thank you so much.

BERMAN: News back home now. We now know the cause of that massive fire near Yosemite National Park that consumed more than 237,000 acres. The investigation moving much faster than expected. Authorities say a hunter let an illegal camp fire get out of control and that turned into the fourth largest fire in California history.

The hunter had not been publicly identified, and no one has been charged. But in California, he could be forced to pay.


DANIEL BERLANT, CALIFORNIA: Since we've had our civil cost recovery program in the last several years, we recovered $90 million of taxpayer dollars from fire that should have been prevented.


BERMAN: The fire is now 80 percent contained. It has burned at least 11 homes.

BROWN: Those firefighters out there have such a tough time.

BERMAN: Weeks at this point.

BROWN: Weeks. I know. Well, let's talk about the weather. Indra Petersons is here to talk about that. And we're hoping for some good news for the weekend, Indra.

BERMAN: Please.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That one piece of good news, right? Somewhere. Well, definitely mild conditions out there on the fire lines. Temperatures right in those mild 70s out there. And winds generally pretty just in the breezy category, about 10 to 15 miles per hour. So, things look good out there.

In fact, they're pretty close to what we're looking at a big early storm for the Pacific Northwest. Unbelievable. Actually dumped some record rainfall all over Washington and the airports yesterday. It's expected to move father to the east, so we could be seeing heavy amounts of rain in Idaho and Montana. Montana, itself, could see some severe storms out of this.

We'll be watching for that. Anywhere from even two to three inches of rain could fall in Montana and to Dakotas today. The other story out of the northeast might be a little cold. Yes. We actually have frost warnings especially upstate New York today dealing with frost. I don't know where fall went. I guess, we're going straight toward winter.

Though waiting for summer right here, but either way, feels a little chilly, 30s in the morning, 50s, about ten degrees below normal pretty much in the northeast as you're waking up in New York today, about 58 this morning and Boston at 54.

Typically, we're in those mid-60s. You want perspective (ph) highs, if you start off cold, you're going to end off cold. We're also looking for temperatures about maybe seven to ten degrees below normal in the afternoon, but it kind of feels nice like John said --


BERMAN: Refreshing.

BROWN: Feels like football.

BERMAN: Feels like football, and it does. I'm telling you guys.

PETERSONS: It's good as coffee, I'll tell you that.



BERMAN: Trust me on this. (LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Thanks, Indra.

BROWN: All right. Thank you so much.

And, we're going to talk about -- going to New York.


BROWN (voice-over): That's where a shocking death happened for a man who spent his time flying remote control helicopters. Have you heard about this story? Very disturbing. A 19-year-old posted Roman Ferosick Jr. (ph) posted many videos online showing himself piloting the mini-choppers, performing all kind of stunts.

And on Thursday, while flying one in Brooklyn, he was hit in the head and died. These are not toys and they can be dangerous. His friends say they're in shock.


EATON BRYCE, FRIEND: Disbelief is what's in my heart right now. I'll miss him, I really will.

DINO SPADACCINI, FRIEND: It's just an unreal event that someone that young, that full of life, enjoying something is gone. Just unbelievable tragedy.


BROWN: The blades on those remote control choppers move very fast at almost 3,000 RPMs. Friends say it was likely a mechanical malfunction that caused the helicopter to fly out of control and hit him.

BERMAN (voice-over): That's awful.

BROWN: Really awful.

BERMAN: We're hearing now from the parents of a Georgia teen found dead inside a rolled up wrestling mat in a high school gym. An independent autopsy says 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson (ph) died from blunt force trauma. That conflicts with the official police finding that it was an accident. Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson (ph) tell CNN they've long thought that police were wrong in saying their son got stuck in the wrestling mat while trying to grab a shoe.


KENNETH JOHNSON, FATHER OF KENDRICK JOHNSON: An accident, we just didn't believe. The evidence was there. And, we knew all along that something happened.

JACQUELYN JOHNSON, MOTHER OF KENDRICK JOHNSON: I just hope for the truth. Try to get some justice.


BERMAN: The pathologist who conducted the independent autopsy says he's convinced this was a homicide. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it stands by its findings.

BROWN: Well, county clerks in New Mexico are asking the state's highest court to resolve the question of whether same-sex marriage should be legal there. Eight counties are now issuing marriage licenses after several judges ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny gay couples that right.

But the other states, the states -- other 25 counties are not. The New Mexico Association of County says that they need a uniform standard and want the state Supreme Court to provide it.

BERMAN: Now to a video going viral and for good reason. Two dogs trying to convince a cougar, not the Betty White kind, but a real-life big cat to move away from a family home. This happened near Victoria British Columbia. The dogs circling the big cat right there, distracting it, forcing it to leave there. Check that out. Those are brave, brave dogs and one confused big cat.

Officials say the cougar appears to be young and has come back to the area several times. They're on the lookout for this cougar right now so they can figure why it keeps approaching the homes and possibly find a new place for it to live. Check out those dogs, these guys are awesome.



BROWN (on-camera): -- like something is not right about here.

All right. Well, coming up right here on EARLY START --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were convinced that they could get my blood tests thrown out. All I would have to do for that was lie.


BROWN: A drunk-driving confession goes viral. Why this man says he had to take responsibility for the life he took?


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. This morning, we're hearing from an Ohio man who admits that he drove drunk. He admits he killed someone, and he made those admissions not in court, but online. Listen to this.


CORDLE: I ended up going the wrong way down the highway, directly into oncoming traffic. I struck a car. I killed a man. My name is Matthew Cordle. And on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Kenzani (ph). This video will act as my confession. When I get charged, I will plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I've done to Vincent and his family.


BERMAN: That's powerful. Matthew Cordle ended the video with a plea, don't drink and drive. Prosecutors intend to ask grand jury to indict Cordle next week. He's likely to spend two to eight years in prison.

BROWN: Unbelievable. Gave me chills looking at that.

BERMAN: I haven't heard any quite like that before.


BERMAN: That, I think, could impact a lot of people.

BROWN: Yes. He's sending a powerful message. That's for sure.

BERMAN: Let's take a look at what's coming up on NEW DAY. Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan with us right now. Hey, guys.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Good morning. A very powerful video. A lot coming up on the show in the next hour.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The headline is Syria. It's continuing to dominate the G20 meeting this morning. President Obama is lobbying world leaders behind closed doors, but what's going on back here. You've probably seen the poll numbers, not good. We've been talking to lawmakers, many of them, who say that they're undecided seem negative.

Those who say they're going to vote no seem steadfast. So, what will happen if this resolution doesn't pass? How much information to the American -- you'll have? We'll take you through every angle this morning.

BOLDUAN: And what more can the president do to try to sway (ph) people.

CUOMO: it's true. Also, we have Sanjay Gupta who's near the border there tracking the refugees. Remember, this all started because of the humanitarian interest.

BOLDUAN: Two million refugees at this point.

CUOMO: Right. Flying into different countries.

BOLDUAN: Huge story that we're going to be talking about Sanjay. It's great that he's there.

Also, an incredible story of rescue to tell you guys about. Thanks to the actions of these two teenagers. They spot a woman in the backseat of a car. That happens all the time, right? Well, then, they look closely and saw her mouthing the words help me. So, they didn't just sit there and wonder what was going on.

They called 911, followed the car until the police showed up, saving the woman, arresting her abductor. We're going to meet one of those teenage heroes live in this show.

BERMAN: Fantastic. (INAUDIBLE) guys. Appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: All right. We'll see you in a bit.

BERMAN: Coming up, football. It is in the air. It's back and what a way to start a season. This game was nuts. Even lightning could not stop Peyton Manning. His performance simply astounding, record tying. We will tell you all about it in the "Bleacher Report."


BERMAN: Wow! What a start to the season for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Manning throwing an NFL record tying seven touchdowns in the Broncos opening night. I should add here that I actually said before last night that I thought the Broncos were overrated. Shows you what I know.

BROWN: Backtracking on that comment, for good reason. Andy Scholes to talk about this. What do you think, Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes. What a game from Peyton Manning. Absolutely incredible. And here's a fun fact, guys. Peyton Manning is on case to throw 112 touchdowns this season. Now, we know that's not going to happen. Well, last night's game by the future hall of famer was definitely one for the ages.

Manning threw a career high, seven touchdowns in the Broncos 49-27 opening night win over the Ravens. He threw two in the first half and then count them, five more in the second half. Manning just the sixth quarterback to ever throw seven touchdowns in a game, and he was the first to do it since 1969. Now, depending on what kind of fantasy league you're playing, Manning scored somewhere between 50 and 70 points.

So, if you have him on your team, you're pretty much guaranteed to win this week. But, if you're playing against him, like me, you're likely starting the season with a loss.

On the lineup section of, you can check out the scuffle between Eagle's wide receiver, Riley Cooper and Cary Williams during yesterday's practice. Now, this comes just five weeks after a video surfaced of Cooper using a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert. Cooper and Williams got tangled up on a play.

According to the "Philadelphia Inquirer," Williams used a racial slur several times during the tussle. Michael Vick and several players have to play peacemaker and breakout the fight at the practice. Cooper said the altercation was no big deal and it had nothing to do with him using a racial slur during the off season.

When I say football players are getting bigger, faster, and stronger each year, it looks like that may translate all the way down to peewee (ph) ranks. Check this out.


SCHOLES: Eleven -year-old leaped the defender. What a move. Check out the defender, guys. He's like where did he go.

BROWN: Watching that over and over again. Effortless.

SCHOLES: Yes. Sixth graders. Who knows what they're going to do next. Man.

BERMAN: That is awesome.

SCHOLES: All right. You got to check this food as well, guys. It's coming to an NFL stadium near you. This is in Chicago. It's been skit (ph), smoke, (INAUDIBLE) sandwich, cheesy corn and it was on a roll. This is the pizzano brisket sandwich. It's got fried egg on it and this one might be my favorite, the three little pig nacho. It's in Chicago as well. Pork rynes, barbecue fold corn, bacon, fresh jalapenos, and creamy pepper jack cheese.

BROWN: I can't decide if that's making me hungry or kind of disgusting.

BERMAN: Oh no. It's good and good for you. Those are the healthy options, right, Andy?

SCHOLES: Yes. When you check out, I think they give you some anti- acid pills to go with it.


BERMAN: All right. Andy Scholes, we appreciate it. Great to see you. We'll be right back.

BROWN: We'll be right back.


BERMAN: Yes, it is official, folks. The song of the summer is, Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," at least, according to Billboard magazine. The song top the hot 100 charts for 12 weeks since June, tying the record for big songs of the summer.

BROWN: I bet it was also the most watched video as well. And it took Katy Perry to knock Robin Thicke off the top of the chart. Her new song the "Roar" is number one on the Billboard hot 100 this week. And this is her new music video. Take a look here.

BERMAN: Got to make my boys very happy. Big time Katy Perry fan. They are actually.

BROWN: Are they?

BERMAN: They really do.


BERMAN: No. I'm serious. My six-year-old boys, they love (ph) the Katy Perry stuff.

BROWN: I'm a big time fan, too. Are you?

BERMAN: My boys are big Katy Perry fans.

BROWN: All right.


BROWN: Well, that does it for EARLY START. Thanks so much for spending a part of your morning with us.

BERMAN: Have a great weekend. It's time for "NEW DAY." Chris, Kate, take it away, guys.

BROWN: have a great show.

BOLDUAN: We will roar on for the rest of the morning. Big Katy Perry fans here. Thank you so much, you guys.


CUOMO: It's almost the top of the hour. That means it's time for your top news.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The use of chemical weapons in Syria is not only a tragedy, but also a violation of international law.

CUOMO: Breaking overnight. A new report that Iran is planning to retaliate against the U.S. if there's a strike on Syria. While in Washington, President Obama losing ground with Congress. Will he go it alone?

BOLDUAN: Outbreak. Thousands sickened with whooping cough across the U.S. Two infants are dead. Many states seeing their biggest spike in years. So, what's behind the spread?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Parting ways. George Zimmerman's wife now filing for divorce. Why she claims she's leaving and why her husband keeps getting into trouble with the law.

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

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


CUOMO: All right. We made it. It's Friday. Good morning. Welcome to "NEW DAY." It is Friday, September 6th, six o'clock in the east. Coming up on the show, we're going to cover all the angles on Syria from that new threat of retaliation to the president's intense meeting with Vladimir Putin. We're also going to cover a much more human angle this morning. Our Sanjay Gupta is near the Syrian border where a flood of refugees is pouring and many of them, children. We'll have a live report from him ahead.

BOLDUAN: Plus, take a look at this video. You can hear the gunshots right there. That is a Florida man shooting and killing two of his neighbors, if you can believe it, injuring a third. The reason he did it, you ask. He said it was a preemptive strike because he feared they'd get to him first. And his lawyer is now trying to cite the Bush doctrine in an attempt to get him off of the charges.

PEREIRA: And a strange twist overnight. A dramatic video that was released on the internet overnight. This young man who's confessing for the first time to killing a man in a drunk driving accident. He's not been charged. He is now taking full responsibility for his actions in this online video. Why did he post the video and will he now be charged? Take a look at this.

CUOMO: All right. But let's get to the new developments on Syria. From Congress where the plan for a strike is meeting stiff resistance, to Russia where the president is in intense meetings with world leaders, and our Dr. Sanjay Gupta near the Syrian border witnessing the desperation on the ground.