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NEW DAY SATURDAY
President Speaks to Nation Tuesday; State Department Takes Precautions; 2 Million People Have Fled Syria; LADEE Breaking Ground; Designer Sparks Backlash with Tweet; Bleacher Report; Obama Does Not Get G20 Support for Syria Strike; Outcome of Vote on Strike Authorization Uncertain; IOC to Name Host City for 2020 Olympics Later Today
Aired September 7, 2013 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The president said he knew it would be a heavy lift. And after the G-20 Summit, it may have just gotten heavier. As a congressional vote looms on whether to strike Syria, the White House goes into full court press to win support at home and abroad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH COLE: I've always used my platform to provoke dialogue about important issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Kenneth Cole may not be - mind being provocative, but this time the shoe mogul may have really stepped in it. What he said about Syria that sent the Twitter-verse reeling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having the HIV virus that I want everybody to practice safe sex.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: You remember that iconic interview? That saxophone solo from Bill Clinton? Twenty years ago, Arsenio Hall broke boundaries in late night. Well, now he is back and not everyone's going to like it.
Gee, talk about a good tease. Not everybody's going to like that.
MALVEAUX: Well, we'll have to see. I liked him back in the day.
BLACKWELL: I did, too. I did, too.
MALVEAUX: All right. Good morning, everyone. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It is 6:00 here at CNN World Headquarters. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.
MALVEAUX: First, hard sell on Syria. The House now returns from summer vacation on Monday. They're going to plunge head first into a possible U.S. military strike on Syria. A Republican leader says to expect a robust debate over the next couple of weeks.
BLACKWELL: Now, Tuesday, President Obama takes his case for a strike directly to the American people in a prime time address. CNN's Brian Todd reports, it's been really a dizzying week as the president scrambles for support.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But not right away. The president would first ask Congress. The next day, Sunday, the administration begins to make its case that Syria's regime launched a poison gas attack killing 1,400 victims and that it's in America's interest to respond. On Monday, the president makes his pitch to Senator John McCain, the man he fought for the White House in 2008. McCain sounds supportive.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We have to bring Bashar Assad down.
TODD: Then, on Tuesday, at a White House meeting, the president presses top lawmakers to endorse a strike. House leaders say yes.
SEN. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We're not going to tolerate this type of behavior.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: He crossed a line with using chemical weapons.
TODD: But when administration officials face a Senate panel, there is a mixture of support and skepticism.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I don't know that we can say that by attacking them he's not going to launch another chemical attack.
TODD: By Wednesday, the first test vote, in a Senate panel. Ten senators support a strike on Syria, seven oppose it. In the House, the president's team faces another day of questioning by lawmakers.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: People shouldn't be allowed to gas their citizens with impunity.
REP. ELIOT ENGEL (D), RANKING MEMBER, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: There should absolutely be no American boots on the ground in Syria.
TODD: The president heads overseas, taking his case abroad.
OBAMA: I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line.
TODD: Thursday, the president arrives in Russia to press foreign leaders at the G-20 Summit, but the U.K., China and Russia oppose military intervention. Back home, polls are now showing initial public opinion leaning against a military strike. And some lawmaker are getting an earful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you not listening to the people and staying out of Syria? It's not our fight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to stop Bashar al Assad in any price.
TODD: On Friday, after the summit, the president says he is ready to strike Syria with or without an international consensus.
OBAMA: Fourteen hundred people were gassed. And if we're not acting, what does that say?
TODD: But he declines to say what he will do if Congress voted no.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the week started off very well for the president with support from the congressional leadership, the House leadership in both parties, John McCain, Lindsey Graham. But as it's gone on, it's really underscored the challenge that he faces.
MALVEAUX: Brian Todd is joining us live this morning.
Brian, good to have you up this early Saturday morning here. I understand the president is really going to have a lot of arm twisting to get Congress on board in the week ahead.
TODD: That's right, Suzanne, Victor. You know, he's going to be lobbying the members of Congress over the weekend. His security team will be doing it starting on Monday. There are going to be classified briefings on Monday. The votes, at least in the Senate, could come next week.
But, you know, the - underscoring the challenge that he faces, we'll first give you the numbers in the Senate. Now, those are a little bit more positive for the president. Right now, he's got 25 yes votes authorizing action to take - authorizing the use of force against Syria. He's got 19 no votes in the Senate. But there are 56 undecided votes in the U.S. Senate, so some real lobbying still going on there.
But the real uphill battle is in the House, where it's just leaning very, very heavily against authorizing the use of force. Here are the numbers, 24 yes votes in the House, 119 no votes in the House, 270 undecided and there are 20 what they call unknown votes. Presumably those are votes where members have made up their minds but they're just not revealing what they're going to vote.
So, there you have it. And the consensus is that even the Democrats, the Democratic caucus led by Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, they're going to have a tough time convincing their own members to vote yes on this resolution.
MALVEAUX: All right, Brian Todd, thank you.
And President Obama has a difficult job convincing even U.S. allies on his quest for a strike on Syria. Right now, France is the only country on board. There are some possible categories as well. Japan, Australia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates as well. And five of those tallied oppose the idea, that would be Russia, China, Germany, the European Union and NATO.
BLACKWELL: While the White House looks for allies, it's also looking out for Americans in Syria.
MALVEAUX: Yesterday, the State Department ordered the evacuation of non-emergency personnel and family from Lebanon, as well as parts of Turkey. Our CNN's Nic Robertson, he's joining us on the phone from Beirut.
And, Nic, tell us what we think this means. Is there a real threat to Americans overseas in that region, or it's just a precaution?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): An abundance of caution is how it's being termed. There was a small demonstration outside the embassy here yesterday. Perhaps 100 or so people. And it wasn't significant in terms of numbers or violent. But it is an indication that in -- as a decision is awaited on whether or not there will be strike in Syria.
The mood on the streets here, if you will, is essentially a lot of people opposed to strikes for different reasons, because they support Assad, because they worry about the implications of the strikes. And a hard core of them may turn aggressive against American citizens, against western interests. The British here have done the same thing, removing family, you know, diplomat's families from here, only leaving essential staff at the embassy. It is perceived that there is a potential threat here should strikes go ahead and that anger, particularly from pro-Assad elements, and there are many of those here in Lebanon, could turn against American citizens, western interests here.
MALVEAUX: And, Nic, we know that the U.S. already has tight security around the embassy. I imagine that they're really stepping that up as well?
ROBERTSON: There is tight security around the embassy. The specifics, obviously, we're not told about. We also know that the Lebanese security forces, they've increased their security around not just the U.S. embassy, British embassy, other western embassies and other government buildings here in Beirut and around Lebanon.
The concern is that strikes in Syria could trigger anger on the streets here. There could be any number of different targets. It could be Lebanese government buildings could become targets. But certainly increased security around U.S., British, other western embassies here in Beirut right now.
MALVEAUX: All right, Nic, be safe. Thank you. Nic Robertson in Beirut.
BLACKWELL: More than 2 million people have fled Syria to escape that bloody war.
MALVEAUX: Those refugees seeking shelter in Syria's neighboring countries, like Lebanon, where an estimated 725,000 people are now living in refugee camps, this is near the Syrian border.
BLACKWELL: CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is in Baca Valley.
Sanjay, give us an idea, we've heard so many stories, but give us an idea what things are like where you are.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are in Beca Valley here, which is literally just walking distance from the border to Syria. So this is one of the places that so many refugees are coming. And you get an idea. You said the number, 725,000. This is one of the largest camps in this particular area. About 5,000 to 6,000 people, which half are children. So it gives you some idea.
Let me point out something else that I think is very important that we're hearing here on the ground, and that is the numbers, 725,000. Those are really people who are registered with the Lebanese government as refugees. What we're hearing is the vast majority of people, they don't register. So the numbers here in Lebanon alone of refugees living in situations like this could be closer to 1.5 million, even 2 million, according to some of the people we're talking to. So, you know, it's tough to get an idea.
But this is what life is like here for refugees. It's -- they have very poor sanitation. They don't have fixed water supplies. This particular camp has been around for two years, so it's one of the ones that has been longer standing. But they are very scattered throughout the country. And as a result, they don't have the same organizational principles that we've seen in other refugee camps around the world. But this is what we're seeing here.
BLACKWELL: What's the struggle daily for food and water, just the basics? I can see that the housing behind you is just kind of makeshift, whatever supplies they can put together to make some shelter. But to get the necessities, what's that like?
GUPTA: It can be challenging. We're hearing - I mean, you know, in many camps, you relying on NGOs, other nonprofits to sort of help supply food and water. And some of that certainly goes on here. For example, UNICEF is an organization that is helping supply some of the medical care in this area. But even children, you know, we're hearing in some of these - some of these locations have to actually work in some of the farms to make money in order to buy that food And water. So despite the fact that they are refugees, they do get some assistance, but still needing to try and obtain these basic supplies themselves.
Also, there's this idea, you know, if you think about Lebanon as a country, population around 3 million, and if you start to add a million, even 2 million refugees, it becomes very difficult on this native country itself. So there is this back and forth friction between the native residence of Lebanon and the refugees. This is not a permanent settlement for people. In some ways, it could be. But because of that friction, I think it won't be. And so you have people who have come here out of fear of violence and now have come to a place where they're not necessarily wanted, and that adds to the difficulty and to the confusion as well.
MALVEAUX: And, Sanjay, the people you talked to there, do they want to go home? Do they have a sense of optimism for Syria, for their home country, that things will work out, or are they discouraged?
GUPTA: Well, I think there's two answers to that. First of all, I think that -- despite that they're living in a refugee camp here, many people do want to go home because they think it's actually -- could be cheaper to go back and live in Syria. Cheaper than living in a settlement like that, which I think is hard to believe, but that's what we're hearing from people here.
But there is this nervousness about strikes, military strikes, occurring in Syria, in and around Damascus, an area from where so many of these refugees come. So it's, again, it's a complex situation when you start to visit these refugee camps. So many competing interests. People want to go home. Many of them still have family back home. They're worried about the strikes. It's cheaper to go back home. So safety versus just plain living.
Now, we were with a family earlier. Just the mother and her three children came across the border. Her four-year-old son had been injured in one of the explosions. Has burns all over the arm, had an eight-month-old who's severely malnourished. And despite all that, they literally had to walk from really Damascus all the way to here, which is, you know, quite some distance, to just try and get to the safety. But it's not by any means ideal and it's not by any means permanent either.
MALVEAUX: OK, Sanjay, thank you so much. We really appreciate it.
You can find out more of how to help the 2 million Syrian refugees. Visit our Impact Your World page. That is cnn.com/impact.
BLACKWELL: Well, now to a very different international story, American's unlikely diplomat, Dennis Rodman. This morning, "The Worm" left North Korea after spending five days in the communist state. It's not clear what exactly he was up to on his second basketball diplomacy tour and he did not do anything to help free an American doing 15 years hard labor. But he reportedly met again with his, quote, friend, reclusive dictator Kim Jong-un.
MALVEAUX: Magnificent sight in the sky after NASA launched an unmanned rocket to the moon. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, four, three, two, one, zero, ignition and liftoff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: The launch was an historic one. The 90-foot rocket took off from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia Friday night. It was the first time that NASA launched a rocket to the moon from Virginia in its 54 years of lunar missions. Now NASA says the probe, nicknamed "LADEE," is designed to study the lunar atmosphere and environment. The probe will travel more than 223,000 miles before it reaches its destination on October 6th.
BLACKWELL: And I'm sure there were kids out and people who are interested in space who were able to see this. Clear skies along the eastern seaboard really made it possible for that rocket launch to be seen Friday night.
MALVEAUX: Really cool stuff.
MALVEAUX: We want to bring in CNN's Alexandra Steele.
So how does the weather play in all of this? Are you able to see it?
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning. You know, you certainly could see it. But there's a really interesting weather angle to LADEE. Now, before LADEE, communication from space to work was done through radio waves. And radio waves could be sent rain or shine. But now with LADEE, communications with laser. So think about a very narrow laser beam. You know, you see that single, teeny little light? Well, that little light, the problem with weather is, it can't be sent through rain and even clouds make it a little difficult. So you need really virtually clear skies.
So with LADEE, what they're doing, they have to aim it precisely at three detectors they're placing around the world. We're going to place them in New Mexico, California and Spain. So to ensure a clear shot, essentially virtually cloud-free, so we can essentially then be able to get clear pictures. So that's kind of the interesting angle with LADEE so we'll have to see what happens. And the goal is to have 3-D video from space, maybe through robotics or something.
All right, so in terms of the weather wise, well, we've got incredibly warm condition. A very dominant ridge of high pressure in really much of the country, bringing temperatures, you can see exorbitant levels. North Platte, 104 yesterday. It should be at 82. So this ridge stays in place, this heat, full throttle on, straight through the weekend. Really no relief in sight.
To the East Coast, what we've seen, and we've seen last night especially and the night before, very cold conditions, even patchy frost around the region. Not quite as cold this morning as yesterday morning, guys, but certainly temperatures well cooler than where we should be, but things will kind of gradually warm up for a gorgeous weekend here in the northeast and the mid-Atlantic.
MALVEAUX: Nice. Looking forward to it. Thanks.
BLACKWELL: All right.
MALVEAUX: And just ahead on NEW DAY, a fashion faux pas in the form of a tweet. One designer taking some heat over comments he made about Syria.
BLACKWELL: Plus, Arsenio Hall is back in action. We'll have more on the comeback of one of late night's biggest stars. Remember the dog pound?
MALVEAUX: Well, it's been said that all publicity is good publicity, but designer Kenneth Cole finding out the hard way that is not always true.
BLACKWELL: Yes, Cole sparked Internet outrage on Thursday with a tweet that some say made light of the dire situation in Syria. We've got Zain Asher with us to explain.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Suzanne. Hi, Victor.
Some critics are appalled. Designer Kenneth Cole made headlines again with a controversial tweet this week. "Boots on the ground or not, let's not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers." Some say Cole was using the situation in Syria to advertise footwear. And it's not the first time. He got into hot quarter in 2011 when he tweeted during the uprising in Egypt that, "millions are in uproar in Cairo. Rumor has it they heard our new spring collection is now available online."
He apologized and took it down, but he says it's not just about bags, boots and belts. Cole posted this video on Instagram.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH COLE, DESIGNER: I've always used my platform to provoke dialogue about important issues, including HIV/AIDS, war and homelessness. I'm well aware of the risks that come with this approach. And if this encourages further awareness and discussion about critical issues, then all the better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Kenneth Cole is well-known for taking a stand on social issues. He's taken out billboards on things, (INAUDIBLE) marriage and President Obama's election win. And he's not the first to do it. Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz has been outspoken on Obamacare. Chick- fil-A's Dan Kathy has made his views on same-sex marriage known. Ultimately the question is, will it hurt or help Kenneth Cole's business. At this point, that's certainly unclear. Maybe shoppers are used to this behavior from Cole and don't see it an issue, or maybe they do. It's a private company, so we might never know how this effects the bottom line, but marketing experts say it doesn't matter because it's all about publicity. The tweet was from Kenneth Cole's personal account, though, and not the corporate account.
Suzanne and Victor.
MALVEAUX: All right, Zain Asher, thank you very much.
He is getting the publicity. That is true.
BLACKWELL: People are talking about Kenneth Cole.
And coming up on NEW DAY, highlights from a heartbreaking Giants game. A relatively unknown pitcher comes just one strike short of making Major League Baseball history.
But we'll also warm your heart. After that, we're going to show you these little guys. More on these adorable cheetah cubs and why they found a new home at the Dallas Zoo.
MALVEAUX: They're a little wobbly on their feet, full of mischief. The Dallas Zoo showing off a pair of fuzzy cheetah cubs. They are two months old and the cubs are growing to grow up alongside a Labrador puppy. Now, the zoo says the dog will be a calming influence on the cubs.
BLACKWELL: I like them mixing. I think that's a good thing.
A San Francisco Giants pitcher came one strike short of making baseball history.
MALVEAUX: Ah, he was so close. Just a matter of inches from pitching a perfect game. Joe Carter has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report."
JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: I feel so bad for this guy watching this last night. I mean he's a journeyman in baseball, so he's not like a famous pitcher. And you wanted for this guy to make history. I mean pitching a perfect game in baseball is so rare. In over 100 year, it's only happened 23 times. You've got Giants pitcher Yusmeiro Petit who came excruciatingly close to fame and history last night. Bottom nine, two outs, full count, all you need is one more strike, one more out. Oh, please, somebody catch it. Hunter Pence catch it. Oh, just inches from catching that ball. Pence said afterwards that it felt like a dream where you can't run fast enough. Now Petit, who's only pitched 30 innings in the big leagues, joins the list of 11 pitchers, over 115 years, who fell just one out short of a perfect game.
Well, trending this morning on bleacherreport.com, Serena Williams easily beat Li Na yesterday in the semis, which means Serena is headed back to the U.S. Women's Open final for the third straight year. She'll face the number two player in the world, Victoria Azarenka. It's a rematch of last year's U.S. Open final. You remember last year Serena won in three sets and, of course, she's considered the greatest women's player in the world. And she is just one win away from her 17th grand slam title.
And finally, guys, check this out. Unicycling meets flag football. It is a real league. It's in its ninth season. And it takes place in San Marco, Texas. And we're talking about two activities that you would never think were intended to go together, but, wow, unicycling. Very similar to flag football rules in this game. But as you see, there is no shortage of bodies colliding on, of all surfaces, asphalt. Who'd ever think of some -- at what point was there a discussion? It was like, you know what, let's make this a football league and let's add some unicycles and some flags. I'm --
BLACKWELL: I'm sure there was -
MALVEAUX: It's crazy.
BLACKWELL: There was an adult beverage in the room when someone came up with this. I'm just guessing.
CARTER: So you're saying adult beverages on a unicycle. That's not -- that's not good enough.
BLACKWELL: Well, it's football. It's confusing. And the perfect game. I mean that really is a team accomplishment when you pull it off. How bad do we feel not only for the pitcher, but the guy in the outfield.
CARTER: You know, think of this, it was like an audition for him last night. For him to be able to make a team permanently. So it was a pretty good audition for him, a one-hit shutout. You have to consider that. Definitely got the attention of a lot of managers last night.
MALVEAUX: And maybe he'll have another shot at it, you know?
BLACKWELL: Hopefully so.
MALVEAUX: That would be good.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Joe.
CARTER: You bet, guys.
BLACKWELL: The debate heats up in Washington, but it's still unclear if or even when the U.S. will intervene in Syria. Up next, how military planners are keeping their options open for a possible strike against the regime.
MALVEAUX: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Here are five things you need to know for your "New Day."
MALVEAUX: Number one, health officials in Colorado say synthetic marijuana may be tied to three deaths in their state. They're urging people to stop using it. Since late last month, 75 people who said they smoked the drug have shown up at hospitals. Synthetic pot is a blend of plant and herbal materials sprayed with chemicals, officials consider it extra toxic.
BLACKSTONE: Number two, the Montana judge who sparked outrage by sentencing an admitted rapist to just 30 days in jail and making comments that seem to blame the 14-year old victim has been blocked from reconsidering that sentence. Judge Todd Baum says that he now understands that rape carries a minimum two year jail term. The case now heads to a higher court.
MALVEAUX: Number three, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has pleaded not-guilty to first degree murder. Fernandez who's being held without bail, is accused of killing his friend Odin Lloyd back in June. He's also being investigated for ties to an unsolved double homicide back in 2012.
BLACKSTONE: Number four, the Boston Athletic Association says it will add 9,000 spots for the next year's Boston marathon. The coveted entries are reserved for runners who could not finish the race in April, because of a terror attack there. And a group will plant yellow daffodils along the race route as a sign of rebirth.
MALVEAUX: Number five, NASA heads to the Moon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ignition, and liftoff!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: The 90-foot rocket named LADEE was launched last night from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The unmanned probe is designed to orbit the Moon and study its atmospheric conditions near the surface. It's expected to reach the Moon on October 6th.
BLACKSTONE: President Obama is back in Washington after the G-20 summit in Russia. He'd hoped to gain international backing for a military strike on Syria. By all accounts it was a grueling and disappointing trip. Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta joins us now. Jim, good morning.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, President Obama left the G-20 summit in Russia without the diplomatic support he wanted for a military strike against Syria, and his problems don't end there. As there's plenty of skepticism waiting for him back in Washington.
ACOSTA: It was a short overseas trip that took its toll as President Obama appeared exhausted and admittedly gave lengthy answers, sidestepping the question of the hour asked first by CNN's Brianna Keilar.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If the full Congress doesn't pass this, will you go ahead with the strike?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: First of all, in terms of the votes and the process in Congress, I knew this was going to be a heavy lift.
ACOSTA: The president declined to answer the question. Not just once ...
OBAMA: You know, Brianna, I think it would be a mistake for me to jump the gun and speculate, because right now, I'm working to get as much support as possible out of Congress.
ACOSTA: ... but three times.
OBAMA: And you're getting a direct response. Brianna asked the question very well. You know.
ACOSTA: A more direct response had come earlier from one of Mr. Obama's own advisers in an interview on NPR.
TONY BLINKEN, MDEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The president, of course, has the authority to act, but it's neither his desire nor his intention to use that authority, absent Congress backing him.
ACOSTA: The president avoided that one, too. And repeated its case that the U.S. has the evidence to justify a limited strike on Bashar al-Assad's forces the last month's chemical weapons attack.
OBAMA: My goal is to maintain the international norm on banning chemical weapons. I want that enforcement to be real. I want it to be serious.
ACOSTA: Also sounding serious ...
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): It was a very friendly conversation. We stick to our guns.
ACOSTA: Russian President Vladimir Putin held his own news conference where he bragged about the G-20 countries that have adopted his view. And opposing action against Syria. And he warned Russia is ready to respond either way.
PUTIN: Will we help Syria? Yes, we will. And we're doing it right now, we're supplying arms.
ACOSTA: The rhetorical fireworks were a fitting end to what one reporter called Putinpalooza with a G-20 summit that would make the czars proud the Russian president was clearly strutting his stuff. President Obama did work in one last dig just before leaving St. Petersburg when he met with a group that represents prominent gay rights activists. An informal protest of Russia's treatment of its homosexual community.
OBAMA: I got my start as community organizers.
ACOSTA: The president said he will have more to say about the crisis in Syria, in a speech on Tuesday. And even Democrats say he needs to make a more forceful argument for action as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told one newspaper a stronger case has to be made to the American people. Victor.
BLACKSTONE: All right, senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta on the president's trip to Russia, thank you.
MALVEAUX: As Obama administration continues to press its case for a strike against Syria, military planners are keeping their options open.
BLACKSTONE: Our Tom Foreman and Retired Major General Spider Marks looked at some of the strategies the U.S. Armed Forces could unleash if the president gives to go ahead.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Suzanne, hey, Victor. What we know about this plan, most of all is that it's still evolving. We've talked for days about the idea of ships coming into the Mediterranean, unleashing a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria. But missiles can be launched not nearly from ships, they can also be dropped from airplanes, they can even be fired from submarines. Is it possible we could see all of these at work?
MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Tom, I'd expect to see all of these capabilities being employed. We don't know what the plan is. So, these are assumptions that we are making. I would expect to see submarines, they are already positioned in the eastern Mediterranean. They're available for use. This is a picture of a B- 52. I'd also expect to see B-2s coming out of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, flying out across the Atlantic, refueling in the Mediterranean and then launching their munitions into Syria without ever having to penetrate Syrian airspace.
FOREMAN: This is a much more robust attack, though, than what we've talked about so far. And the ships themselves would carry hundreds of missiles. Why would you want all of this involved?
MARKS: Well, Tom, it's physics. You can only launch so many cruise missiles at a time. You want to increase the number of platforms as we have described. Primarily because you want to have targets hit in quick succession to have continuous pressure on the regime. We don't want Assad to have an ability to respond. We want to have him keep his head down. We want him to be confused and we want chaos to rain within this regime.
FOREMAN: I can see why the American military would want that. But let me play devil's advocate here. In a complicated system like this, there's more that can go wrong. Let's say one of these planes comes in, develops mechanical problems, strays across the border. And somehow crashes in Syria. Now we have a plane and a crew down in that country. What does that do to the equation?
MARKS: Tom, this is called a friction of war. Military planners prepare for all contingencies. This is one of those. That's why Marines are already afloat with the Navy. They could be involved in a rescue-type operation. But more importantly, the Air Force has search and rescue capabilities. Teams that are in place right now, that are world class. They will not leave behind any fallen comrade. FOREMAN: So, just as the plan has been evolving. It could continue to evolve and evolve an evolve, even as circumstances dictate. Suzanne, Victor.
MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you. Tom Foreman and Spider Marks. I appreciate it. Thank you. And still to come, Tokyo, Madrid, Istanbul, duking it out over who is actually going to be hosting the 20-20 Summer Olympics. But each city has some big hurdles. We're going to explain up next.
BLACKSTONE: 17 minutes till the top of the hour. And this is a live picture of Sydney, Australia. Looking here at the Harbor you've got - there are the bottom right, the famous Opera House. It's 8:43 at night there. And millions of Australians voted earlier today for a new prime minister.
And early exit polls show Australia's ruling party may be kicked out of office for the first time since 2007. Opposition candidate Tony Abbott, he is here on the right appears to be in the lead over the current Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Now, a lot of Australians say they're exhausted by squabbles within Rudd's Labor Party.
MALVEAUX: Let's take a look at what else is happening around the world. First to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the International Olympic Committee will name the host city for the 2020 Olympics later today, CNN's Shasta Darlington is there. Shasta.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's down to the wire in 4:00 p.m. today. At the Hilton, right behind me, we're going to find out who will host the 2020 Olympic Games.
Madrid, Istanbul or Tokyo. They've brought in the big guns for their final presentations. We'll be hearing from the prime ministers of Japan and Turkey. From Spain, we're going to hear from Prince Felipe and also soccer star Messi. But there are also some pretty steep domestic issues to overcome, from the Fukushima fallout to a deep recession in Spain and political unrest in Turkey. Right now, Tokyo is the favorite, but that's basically because it's the safest bet. We'll have to find out from those final presentations if someone doesn't pull ahead in the last minute. Back to you, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Shasta Darlington, thank you. Now to CNN's Paula Hancocks in Tokyo where people are eagerly awaiting the Olympic announcement. Paula.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The 1964 Olympics here in Tokyo were a great success. And the country says the 2020 would be exactly the same. Short travel times between the sporting venues and the stable economy are the main positives when considering bringing the games back to Japan. But the negative is a pretty big one: Fukushima, recent reports of radiation spikes and toxic water leaks will inevitably be counted against this Olympic bid. Suzanne, back to you. MALVEAUX: Paula Hancocks, thank you. Now to Istanbul where the IOC's big decision also has the city on pins and needles. CNN's Ivan Watson is there. Ivan.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If Istanbul wins it will become the first majority Muslim city to host the Olympic Games. And its pitched committee has been highlighting that it could serve as an Olympic bridge of sorts, uniting cultures, religions, East and West. But this has been a very turbulent summer for Turkish politics. And as you can see, we have police here, riot police, blocking off pedestrian access to one of the busiest squares in the heart of the city for fear of possible anti-government protests. This is a scene that has played itself out again and again this summer. Raising questions about Turkey's human rights record. Even as the International Olympic Committee tries to decide whether or not Istanbul should host the 2020 Olympic Games. Back to you, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: All right, Ivan, thank you. Now, to Beijing where Dennis Rodman has arrived after a mysterious visit to North Korea. CNN's David McKenzie is in the Beijing Airport.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bad boy Dennis Rodman arrived in Beijing to a media frenzy. He's been in North Korea for five days for his second term this year. Rodman met with Kim Jong-un and the young dictator in Pyongyang. He said he was there for diplomacy. A lot of speculation whether he would try and bring up the issue of Kenneth Bae, the imprisoned American who is languishing in jail in North Korea. Rodman's being criticized for timing up with Kim Jong-un, because of the country's terrible human rights record. Not entirely sure what he's up to there, but he says he has a big announcement next week in New York. Suzanne, back to you.
MALVEAUX: All right, David McKenzie, thank you, around the world.
BLACKSTONE: Coming up on "NEW DAY" after almost two decades the one - the only Arsenio Hall is returning to "Late Night." But does he have what it takes to succeed this time around?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LETTERMAN, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Your show, a wildly successful show on the air for five years and then you stopped doing it. Which is to me, everybody said, well, why would a guy stop doing such a successful enterprise? What was the story on that?
ARSENIO HALL: I had no idea, you know. I mean ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKSTONE: That is Arsenio Hall. I feel like I have to say his name that way.
MALVEAUX: Yeah, you've been saying it all morning.
BLACKSTONE: Yes. So, he's sitting down last night with David Letterman. But Arsenio is about to move off the guest coach and get back behind the hosting desk.
MALVEAUX: Yeah, we all remember him actually.
MALVEAUX: Nearly after 20 years absent, while he's going to be debuting on Monday. But, of course, the question, can he bring it?
BLACKSTONE: Like he did in the '90s. Remember, the dog pound. And, you know, I'm not going to do it on live TV.
MALVEAUX: It's all right.
BLACKSTONE: Nischelle Turner joins us now with more. Nischelle.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne and Victor, it's been two decades since he's been a player in the "Late Night" field. But now Arsenio is back and he says he's ready for another run.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALL: Have you ever thought about quitting?
BILL CLINTON: No.
CLINTON: No. You know, I would have quit if I just wanted to live in the White House to go to Camp David on the weekends.
TURNER: In the early '90s, it was a who's who of pop culture and Politico sharing the stage on the Arsenio Hall show. That Bill Clinton moment made television history, so did others like this one with NBA legend Magic Johnson.
MAGIC JOHNSON: I want everybody to understand that having the HIV virus that I want everybody to practice safe sex.
TURNER: But in 1994, after a five-year run, the great guests, the Dog Pound and the signature "woof, woof" chant disappeared. And he decided to take a time-out, too.
HALL: I left the show for probably balance in my life. I wanted my relationships to be different. I wanted, you know, with family and with my woman.
TURNER: Now, nearly 20 years later, he's returning.
HALL: Arsenio is back and he's bringing the party with him.
TURNER: The show called simply "Arsenio" debuts September 9th on more than 200 television stations. HALL: I'm about to jump back into the culture and I'm the same Arsenio, and I just give a different persona to a late night talk show. Some will love it. Some will hate it.
TURNER: It won't be easy entering an already crowded "Late Night" lineup. The competition for young viewers is fierce and the 57-year- old is soliciting on social media trying to bring them back. His big guest target now, President Obama. But says if he can't make it he'll turn to Tinseltown's Toddlers.
HALL: I take Blue Ivy and I take that beautiful Kanye baby, I'd sit them all on the couch and just let them scream. And then I have Willow Smith come out and perform "I whip my hair back and forth."
TURNER: Arsenio has Magic Johnson back as one of his first guests. And you know what, he's still going to have musical guests as well. Earth, wind and fire and Nas will be performing his first week, too. Back to you.
MALVEAUX: All right, thanks, Nischelle. I'd watch.
BLACKSTONE: Yeah, 57, though, it's going to be, you know, he said that challenging at the young people.
MALVEAUX: Yeah, we'll see if he could do it. He's got - he's got us.
BLACKSTONE: Yeah, he's got me.
MALVEAUX: Young enough! Just ahead on "NEW DAY," a dinner out gave one family much more than they ordered. Not just a great meal, but a renewed faith in humanity.
BLACKSTONE: You know what the music means, it's time for the good stuff. This is where we tell you about some of the good news out there.
MALVEAUX: We welcome that. Well, some adults hate to be disturbed by children at the movies, the airplanes, especially at restaurants. Well, Ashley England of North Carolina, she knows it all too well, because her case is a little different here, her eight-year-old son Wylie has special needs.
BLACKSTONE: Ashley's family is used to the stares and the sighs and the grumbles from people who - they just don't understand. She's also used to rushing out of restaurants. So, when Riley got loud at a local restaurant recently, his mom did what she usually does. She started packing up her stuff and getting ready to leave. But then she quickly asked the waitress for the check. What she got was a new faith in humanity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ASHLEY ENGLAND, MOTHER OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD: She says, I don't know if I can do this without crying. But, you know, your meal's been paid for you and this is the note for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: And that note read "God only gives special children to special people." It was the rare act of kindness for a family that is used to having a try just a little bit harder to get things done.
All right. Apparently, Miley Cyrus' controversial twerking performance at the MTV video music awards should have come with a warning. Don't try that at home.
BLACKSTONE: And our entire team has kept us from seeing this video until this moment. So, this video that's gone viral - a young woman trying to twerk manages to fall down, oh, no, smash a table, and watch the rest with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKSTONE: Oh, no. She's on fire? Oh, no.
MALVEAUX: Well, CNN, we actually haven't been able to confirm the authenticity of this, all of this, but we understand, we hope that she's not hurt. That she's OK. It's a little dangerous there.
BLACKSTONE: Twerking on the door with - you know, that ...
All right. Thanks for starting your morning with us.
MALVEAUX: Next hour of your "NEW DAY" starts right now.