Return to Transcripts main page


Assad Speaks Out; Congress To Tackle Syria; Americans React To Syria Crisis; Teen Track Star Killed; Marijuana Law Changes; Wrong House Demolished!; Refugees Flee Syria; Camps Swell With Refugees; Shocking Confession Goes Viral; "Riddick's" Number One; Miley Out Of Vogue?; Spend Half Time With Bruno; "12 Years A Slave"

Aired September 9, 2013 - 07:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Monday, September 9th. Yes, the Jets did win yesterday, but there's other news so let's get right to Michaela for the latest.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Sorry that's not my headline. What? But that's all right. We'll get to that later. Let's take a look at the headline at 7:4. For the first time in nearly two years, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad granting an interview to an American television network, the embattled leader telling Charlie Rose, the United States needs to prove his regime used chemical weapons.


BASHAR AL-ASSAD, PRESIDENT OF SYRIA: I think the most important part of this now, they say the American people, but the reports show that the majority now don't want the war anywhere, not only against Syria, but the Congress is going to vote. Isn't that the Congress that is elected by the people and should represent the people and vote for their -- such question that they should ask themselves what do war give America, things are out there now? Nothing. No political gain. No economic gain. No good reputation.


PEREIRA: Assad suggesting Syrian rebels may have been behind the chemical attacks and says his nation will retaliate if it is attacked by the west. Congress is expected to jump right into the debate and vote on the certain resolution today after a month long summer break. But brand-new CNN/ORC polls released this morning show the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to using force in Syria, 59 percent to 39 percent. Even if Congress were to pass a resolution, 55 percent of Americans still oppose it and 72 percent do not believe action in Syria would accomplish U.S. goals.

An 18-year-old Colorado track star is dead, shot and killed by a family friend in what police are calling a tragic accident. Officials say Pamela Lull, jumped out of the closet to surprise her 21-year-old friend. He was so startled. He pulled out a gun and shot her. That incident occurred Friday night in Long Mont, Colorado about an hour north of Denver. New Jersey lawmakers set to vote today to give young patients more access to medical marijuana. These changes would allow dispensaries to sell edible marijuana, not just lozenges or leaves for smoking. They could grow an unlimited number of strains. The change is inspired by a 2-year-old who suffers from epilepsy. Her parents say marijuana is the only thing that could help her.

Talk about a dirty trick, a man from Michigan may have saved his home from the wrecking ball by switching the numbers on his house with the house next door. So demolition workers in Pontiac tore down the wrong house last Thursday. His plan was not fool proof. The crew came back later and took the proper house down, demolished it. Oakland County detectives have now launched an investigation. That is a dirty, dirty trick.

CUOMO: That was bad what he did. But can we just talk for one second about how this crew only went on the address of the house before they tore it down? That was there only reference point for their job?

PEREIRA: Well, what else are you going to do?

CUOMO: Probably a manifest, a description.

PEREIRA: What if they look the same?

CUOMO: That's exactly the point. That's why you would want a little bit more than just --

PEREIRA: Kind of like the surgeon having you write this leg on the leg that's supposed to have surgery. That's a drag, though, a real bad situation.

BOLDUAN: Now he gets new home.

PEREIRA: Or not.

COUMO: A weird one. All right, back to Syria now, and a reminder that this situation isn't just about politics but people in need. More than 2 million people have fled the civil war. They are living day-to-day in swelling refugee camps. Now many find themselves under siege once again. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is at a refugee camp on Lebanon, Syria border this morning. Good morning, Doc. How are you?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm doing OK, Chris. Let me build on what you are saying there. You know, when you think about a refugee camp or a camp like this behind me, just over the border there is Syria, you get an idea, you have an imagination who these people are. I want to encourage you not to typecast as you watch this piece.

Many people coming from middle homes, had jobs, had cars, had lives and suddenly it's all disrupted because of the concerns about violence. We take you inside one of the camps now and give you a look at what the challenges are and what lies ahead as well.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GUPTA (voice-over): For Arcan Abdullah, the constant shelling in Homs was becoming too much, but it was after this occurred to her middle son, 4-year-old Yusif, she knew she had to leave. It was an explosion, she told me, that led to these burns. She packed up her three sons and what little she had and traveled 12 hours, mostly by foot to arrive here at this camp. It's one of the largest in the valley along the Syrian-Lebanese border. The youngest son, Allah, is 8-month-old. He has now spent half his life as a refugee. He is severely malnourished even though he is breast fed.

(on camera): How difficult is it to get food?

(voice-over): It is tough to breastfeed, she tells me, when the mom, herself hasn't had enough to eat. Today, they get drastically needed medical attention and vaccines for malaria and polio, thanks to UNICEF. But make no mistake, Lebanon is buckling under the weight of the refugees who arrive here every 15 seconds.

In this country of over 4 million, the United Nations say there are some 720,000 registered refugees. But doctors here believe the number to be more than twice that. More than one out of every four people in Lebanon is a refugee, he tells me. It is the people living in these surrounding communities that are now sending a message to the refugees in these valley camps. This will never be your home. This can never be your home.

The children's smiles belie a particularly awful way of life. Their story is one of fleeing the violence of their home country and then not being wanted in their adopted one. After two years, there are no fixed water facilities or system of sanitation instead, just the steady stream of sewage snaking its way through this 5,000 person camp. They have lost everything, their material possessions, their dignity, their permanence.

To simply live like this, aid groups say refugees at this camp are required to pay $100 U.S. dollars a month to the town sheriff. The only way to make it work is to send these young kids into the fields to work for just $2 a day. It is heart wrenching. Within these camps, there is the constant friction between two groups, those who support the Syrian regime and those who hate it, but they do share something in common. They all want to go home. Arcan and her three sons, they can't wait to leave.


GUPTA: I will tell you, Chris, obviously the concerns about Lebanon overall and the impact on the country, but also on the people, $100 a month, you just heard to be able to live on this small plot of land, it's not a tenable situation and just in terms of what's coming up in the next days and weeks, obviously nobody knows for sure. But what they can say and what they are seeing is that the numbers here are likely to just increase because of fears and if there are strikes because of the strikes themselves. So this isn't going away any time soon -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Doctor, thank you so much for the reporting. Appreciate it. Need it. Please be safe over there.

Also, important to note, Sanjay has a lot of observations about the situation and we're obviously, his take is about as trustworthy as you get. So he has written in detail about his trip to the Syrian border and what he has encountered there. Make sure to go to to check out his latest op-ed about the situation.

BOLDUAN: It really shows that there is so much more than just the civil war, so many more people that are affected. It shows just the weight of the decision facing President Obama as he considers U.S. military action.

CUOMO: One thing is for sure, the people there need help. How that happens remains to be seen.

BOLDUAN: No easy answer to a civil war there. That's for sure. Thank you so much, Sanjay.

We are following a lot. Coming up next on NEW DAY, a man's shocking online confession that he drove drank and killed someone. Some think his sudden outburst of honesty is a ploy more than a confession, a ploy for a lighter sentence. We are going to hear from the victim's family and hear what they think about this ahead.

CUOMO: Plus, she did what few people can ever do, survive an attack from a brain-eating amoeba. Now this Arkansas girl is talking about her experience. We will hear from her coming up. You won't want to miss it.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. An update now on that really stunning viral confession that we showed you last week, it has so many people talking. A man in Ohio taking to YouTube admitting he drove drunk and also admitting that when he was driving drank, he killed a Navy veteran and father of two. Now the family of the victim is speaking out as prosecutors take a look, another look at the case. CNN's John Berman has been looking at this for us.

JOHN BERMAN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": You know, it's undeniably a powerful video and Matthew Cordle has already confessed his guilt on that video posted online for the whole world to see and for a judge to review. But now as online critics are saying the video is just a ploy to get a lighter sentence is the victims, the victim's ex-wife who is speaking out saying she believes Cordle's video confession is genuine.


BERMAN (voice-over): It was a shocking online confession that soon went viral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Matthew Cordle. On June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani.

BERMAN: The 22-year-old Matthew Cordle confessed to killing a 61- year-old Vincent Canzani on this Ohio highway in June after drinking and driving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was out with some friends. We were all drinking really heavily, just hopping from bar to bar. I was trying to have a good time and I lost control.

BERMAN: Now Canzani's family is speaking out.

CHERYL OATES, VICTIM'S EX-WIFE: He ruined two lives. He took Vince's life and he ruined his life.

BERMAN: Cheryl Oates, a mother of two boys herself says the video tugs at two different heart strings, one as a mother, the other as the victim's ex-wife.

OATES: It's gut wrenching coming from a mother looking at that young boy and he just doesn't understand the damage that he did.

BERMAN: But Cordle says he realizes that he is not only putting himself at the mercy of the blogosphere, but the prosecution as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I get charged, I will plead guilty and take full responsible for everything I did to Vince and his family. And the prosecution that they need to put me away for a very long time.

BERMAN: Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien says they will likely request an indictment for aggravated vehicular homicide adding that the video confession does not convince him that Cordle should get a lighter sentence.

RON O'BRIEN, FRANKLIN COUNTY PROSECUTOR: We had a case against him based on the evidence as I know it before the video was filmed.

BERMAN: And while the victim's ex-wife says she believes Cordle should serve time in prison, she does admire his honesty.

OATES: He said, I made a huge mistake. I am going to take what's coming to me. You got to respect him for. That I'm sorry, you do.

BERMAN: A highly produced confession with a seemingly simple message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm begging you, please don't drink and drive.


BERMAN: Matthew Cordle's defense attorney says they expect that Cordle will be indicted sometime this morning on aggravated vehicular homicide, that's a second degree felony carrying up to eight years in a state prison. His defense attorney also sent CNN this statement, it read, "Despite any speculation of his intentions the video was meant for the raise awareness related to the serious issues surrounding drinking and driving."

BOLDUAN: And he has done that.

BERMAN: He has done that whatever else to debate it.

BOLDUAN: All right, thanks so much, John.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, the newest threat to the royal family turns out to be the royal family itself. At least that's what police at Buckingham Palace seemed to think after mistaking Prince Andrew for an intruder. This comes a couple of days after the worst security breach at the palace in 30 years. We will take you inside the royal oops coming up.

BOLDUAN: Later, Brad Pitt could be flirting with an Oscar. He is talking to CNN about the buzz around his latest movie.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It is time for our "Pop Four" now and that means our Nischelle Turner, she is taking it remote today, not joining us, joining us from afar. Good morning, dear.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Good morning, guys. Yes, I'm here at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada, so I came to experience all the things that Michaela had to offer us when she came to hang with us in the United States. But we definitely have some stories that are popping still this morning. Let's get to the "Pop Four." Are you ready for this?

Our number four story this morning, "Riddick" beating "The Butler," Vin Diesel's sci-fi flick brought in $18.7 million in its opening weekend knocked Lee Daniel's "The Butler" into second with $8.9 million. By the way, it broke "The Butler's" record. It was the first movie to be number one at the Box Office three weekends in a row this year.

All right, the rumor that just won't quit is our number three story this morning, according to reports, Anawin Tour has yanked Miley Cyrus off the December cover of "Vogue" because of her VMA performance. The official word from "Vogue" though, we don't comment on rumors of future editorial.

Number two, are you ready for some football? You know what? Bruno Mars as you heard the music coming in to us the season may have just kicked off, but he's already been announced as the halftime show for the Super Bowl 2014 in New York City! And I'm so excited about this because I love me some Bruno Mars.

All right, our number one story this morning, I had a chance to sit down and talk to well, stand up and talk to Mr. Brad Pitt about his upcoming film, "12 Years of Slave" this weekend. The movie has been getting a lot of Oscar buzz. Brad Pitt produced the movie. He also has a small role in the film. This is what he said he hopes audiences take away from it. Listen.


BRAD PITT, ACTOR: What it really means, what it really, really means to take someone, deny them their freedom, their dignity, to tear them apart from their families, as a father, it's -- it's a nightmare, and this film does that. (END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Now guys, just by the way let me tell you a little something about this movie "12 Years of Slave" because I also saw it this weekend. It is the true story of a freed black man, Solomon Northrop, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1850s. It's his story, his own account of his life for 12 years trying to fight his way back to freedom while surviving on a plantation.

This movie sickening, maddening, thoughtful, it's just brilliant. It's still sitting with me. When I was watching the movie on Friday night I was sitting in the theatre with a lot of other people, black, white, men, women, and there's one point in the movie, a lot of it's hard to watch, but one point in the movie where I literally broke into chest-heaving sobs, almost had to get up and leave.

It's that emotional, that raw, that unflinching and that darned good. So beware of this movie for award season because it's coming and coming tough and remember this name, Lubita Nayongo, she plays a slave patsy in the film and she is phenomenal. Back to you, guys.

BOLDUAN: Wow, "12 Years Of Slave," we'll have to see it. Great job. Thanks so much, Nischelle.

CUOMO: Surprised Nischelle got that much out of Brad Pitt when she spent most of the time talking about his hair and his eyes.

BOLDUAN: You are bad. You are a bad man.

CUOMO: Coming up -- I've heard her talk about Brad Pitt before so I knew that's inside information.

When we come back on NEW DAY, the worst security breach at Buckingham Palace since a man got into the queen's bedroom back in 1982? Remember that? Sadly I do. But we have the latest on what happened this time and how Prince Andrew was mistaken for an intruder. How does that happen?

BOLDUAN: We're going to find out. Plus Congress back in session with a very tall order, how or if the U.S. should launch an attack on Syria. More on that coverage ahead.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I know that the American people are weary after a decade of war. This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan.


CUOMO: Battle on the Hill. Congress returns this morning as the president ramps up his effort to win support for a serious strike, but are the American people with him? Our exclusive poll breaks it down. BOLDUAN: Terrifying ride, children colliding when this carnival ride malfunctions. Many rushed to the hospital. Parents are now demanding answers --