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Could An Off-Hand Comment Lead To Peace?; Civil Rights Milestone; New Look Eagles Soar On Monday Night

Aired September 10, 2013 - 05:30   ET




ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Is it a significant breakthrough in Syria? The proposal that could have Russia and the United States working together to save the country's chemical weapons and avoid a looming airstrike.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he asked me twice and he said I don't want to hurt you, I will kill you. So, I got up and I gave it to him and he took off.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Inmate escape, stabbing a deputy, stealing his uniform, carjacking his way to freedom, and how he managed to pull it off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- for about an hour.

SAMBOLIN: Is this a repeat performance? A record breaking gator catch. It's the third one in a week. How hunters managed to wheel this 741-pound beast in?

BERMAN: Very carefully.

SAMBOLIN: He looked alive. Not there.


BERMAN: No, no. Not smiling either. Not this time and not last time. No smile.



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

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Really nice to have you with us this morning. It is 31 minutes past the hour.

BERMAN: And our top story this morning is Syria and the dramatic shift that could now avert U.S. air strikes on the Assad regime. President Obama is set to address the nation this evening. Now, this is a huge high stakes address that was supposed to be the president's final push to convince the country and the Congress to punish Syria for using chemical weapons on its own people.

But now, it seems everything has changed because of what was either a diplomatic breakthrough or a diplomatic bungle. A Senate vote to authorize military action is now on hold. And the Russian government has jumped all over what is being called a rhetorical slip by the American secretary of state. CNN's senior national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, breaks it all down for us.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It began with what sounded like an off-hand comment to reporters. Secretary John Kerry inadvertently raising a way out for Syria president, Bashar al-Assad.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community, in the next week, turn over it. All of it. Without delay and allow a full and total accounting for that, but he isn't about to do it.

SCIUTTO: A state department spokesperson quickly qualified the secretary's statement as a purely rhetorical argument, but Russia heard something more. By late morning, its foreign minister had promised to encourage its allies Syria to accept it.

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator): We're calling on the Syrian authorities to not only agree on putting chemical weapons towards under international control, but also for its further destruction. We have passed our offer to the Syrian board minister.

SCIUTTO: Who is speaking just 60 minutes later, declared his country on board.

WALID MOALLEM, SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): I declare that the Syrian Arab republic welcomes Russia's initiative on the basis that the Syrian leadership cares about the lives of our citizens and the security in our country.

SCIUTTO: By the end of the day, some very powerful American voices were, at least in theory, publicly endorsing the idea.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: If the regime immediately surrendered its stockpiles to international control as was suggested by Secretary Kerry and the Russians, that would be an important step. But this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction.

SCIUTTO: But the rhetorical may be getting well ahead of the practical. Experts say that reliably emptying Syria, one of the largest chemical stockpiles in the world in the middle of a war would be next to impossible.

AARON DAVID MILLER, WILSON CENTER: You have to literally open up the entire country. You have to have a ceasefire. You have to have a long period where U.N. weapons inspectors would come in, blanket the country, identify what's there, inventory it, and then manage to extract, and it seems to me almost unimaginable.

SCIUTTO (on-camera): In a call with the Russian foreign minister, Secretary Kerry made it clear the U.S. does not want to play games and that this deal cannot be a reason to delay getting Congress to authorize military action, but it may be just that. The U.S. may not trust Syria or Russia, but it also does not want to look like it's dismissing a serious diplomatic solution.

Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.


BERMAN: So, what is President Obama's response to all of this? He says, "The world cannot give up the pressure on the Assad regime." He talked about this with Wolf Blitzer in the "Situation Room."


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is a potentially possible development. I have to say that it's unlikely that we would have arrived at that point where there were even public statements like that without a credible military threat to deal with the chemical weapons use inside of Syria.

If we can accomplish this limited goal without taking military action, that would be my preference. On the other hand, if we don't maintain and move forward with a credible threat of military pressure, I do not think we will actually get the kind of agreement I'd like to see.


BERMAN: The recent developments complicating the politics here. The president is set to spend the afternoon on Capitol Hill, meeting with lawmakers, and trying to convince them to vote yes for military action. But his biggest pitch will come tonight to the American people. He addresses the nation on Syria, and CNN will carry that live, of course. That's tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern time.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-six minutes past the hour.

Back in custody this morning, a Detroit man police say stabbed a sheriff's deputy and escaped wearing the officer's uniform.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Abraham Pierson (ph) a.k.a. Derrick White (ph) was in a holding cell at a court on Monday, facing sentencing for carjacking and for armed robbery. The deputy had just removed the inmate's handcuffs when authorities say he pulled a sharpened comb, stabbed the deputy in the neck, handcuffed him and then fled. Then police say he carjacked a woman and took her mini-van. But the law caught up with him. Thanks to the public's help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BENNY NAPOLEON, WAYNE COUNTY SHERIFF: We were alerted to his presence by some citizens. We dispatched the car to the scene from the Detroit Police Department. After a short foot chase, he was arrested and brought back in custody. He tried to escape again, but he was caught. He is looking at a significant amount of time.


SAMBOLIN: That he is. All right. And the deputy was treated for his injuries at a hospital and happily was released.

BERMAN (voice-over): Let's hope he's doing OK.


BERMAN: Charge this morning for a new newlywed wife accused of killing her husband by pushing him off a cliff at Leisure National Park in Montana. Authorities say Jordan Lynn Graham (ph) was arguing with her husband back in July as they walked around a trail in the park. The two apparently tussled and prosecutors say she pushed him face first off the cliff.

And then they say she lied about what happened when they first interviewed her. As for a motive, court documents say she may have been having second thoughts about getting married. They only had tied the knot a week before.

SAMBOLIN: That is a bizarre story.

BERMAN: Sure is.

SAMBOLIN: Arraignment today for an Ohio man who admitted online that he killed someone while drunk driving. Matthew Cordle is expected to appear in a Columbus court. And his lawyer says his client will plead guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide. Cordle admits being behind the wheel when he crashed into another car in June killing 61-year-old Vincent Canzoni (ph). He faces upwards of eight years in prison.

BERMAN: The Michael Jackson wrongful death trial now go to a jury now that the judge has rejected a defense request to dismiss the suit. The judge is saying it is up to jurors to decide if concert promoter, AEG Live, should have known that Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, put the pop star at risk.

Before they rest their defense next week, AEG Live's lawyers say they may call Katherine Jackson back to the stand. Michael Jackson's mother originally testified in July.

SAMBOLIN: And a fire east of Oakland, California is exploding now in size. Officials say the fire is growing more stubborn as it makes its way up Mount Diablo. Air tankers are dropping fire retardant, and helicopters are spraying the blaze, but unfortunately, it is still expanding.

So, as of this morning, the fire has burned through more than 3,700 acres. Some 100 homes are threatened and dozens of families have been evacuated there. The fire, unfortunately, is only 20 percent contained.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Karen Maginnis has her eye on the forecast this morning. Karen, how is the weather impacting that fight?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is still very dry. And the temperatures are still warm. They've also been in a drought for the last several years. We keep that dry air filtering in across this region. Very little in the way as far as rainfall chances go for that region. But they were saying late in the day, about 8:00 p.m. local time, that the fire actually had turned back on itself.

So, that's good news for firefighters because it kind of stalls the fire out. But right across the San Francisco Bay area, this is where we're looking at some smoky conditions due to the fire, but they're saying that that Mt. Diablo Museum on the monument there that was built by the CCC is intact but still have a number of trails that are closed. We keep those temperatures mostly in the mid to upper 80s with only about a 10 percent chance of precipitation.

They're saying they think the fire started with a brush fire that soon got out of control. As you can imagine, very easily with dry fuels and the terrain there, it's been jumping around, but it looks like they may be able to get it under control over the next day or so. We certainly hope so. Zoraida, John, back to you.

SAMBOLIN: We do hope so. Karen Maginnis, thank you.

So, we've been talking for a few days now about that big gator that was caught in Mississippi. Do you remember that one? The big monster that looked like it was smiling?

BERMAN (on-camera): It wasn't smiling.

SAMBOLIN: Hold on to your breakfast this morning, folks, for one that is even bigger.

BERMAN: And also not smiling.


SAMBOLIN: No. That one is definitely not. The 741-pounder was caught over the weekend. This is north of Natchez. That's a state record in that area. It measures more than 13-1/2 feet.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Snagged him with trouble (ph) hooks. Actually set into him, ended up with five lines on him. We tied him up to the side of the boat. We had a good fight on our hands and fought him for about an hour. Really didn't know how big he was until his whole body came out of the water the first time while he was pulling us down the river.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: So, that guy that was talking, he's a first-time gator hunter just like the guys who set the previous record just last week. And local wildlife officials say they think that record will be shattered again next time. There may be 900-pound gators lurking in the Mississippi. Let's go! Let's go gator hunting!

BERMAN: All yours.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my gosh!

BERMAN: You go. Knock yourself out down there.

SAMBOLIN: I would go. I would go with somebody who knows what they're doing. Not first-time gator hunters. I'm not in on that, but I would go with an experienced gator hunter. Absolutely be fun.

BERMAN: Have fun.


BERMAN: All right. Coming up, remembering a big moment in American history when Alabama changed forever and integration came to that state's schools. We're going to have the story.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone.

Four men accused in a gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in India have been convicted on rape and murder charges. The victim, the physical therapy student, initially survived the December 16th attack but died in a Singapore hospital on December 29th sparking international outrage. Lawyers for the four men convicted say they will appeal (INAUDIBLE).

SAMBOLIN: Forty-five minutes past the hour.

An important milestone is being marked in Alabama. It was 50 years ago this week the doctor, Sonnie Hereford, walked his son also named Sonny to an elementary school in Huntsville. They were stopped by segregationists just days before, but that day, September 9th, 1963, Sonnie Hereford IV became the first Black student to enroll in a White Alabama public school. Take a look at that picture.

BERMAN: Breathtaking.

SAMBOLIN: Dr. Hereford is now 82. His son is 56 and a computer engineer, but the pair, look at them, walked the same route again remembering what it was like and how things have changed.


DR. SONNIE HEREFORD III, WALKED SON FOR SCHOOL: People used to spit on me and curse me and throw rocks at me. Now, they give me medal and plaques. The same thing, we have come so far, although, we still have long ways to go, but we have come so far. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Come so far, but still have a long way to go. Sonny Hereford IV says he doesn't remember much from that day. He says to his mind he was just another kid who was headed to school.

BERMAN: Amazing to see them today.

SAMBOLIN: Changed history. Yes.

BERMAN: It was not that long ago.

SAMBOLIN: No. I know. That's what I tell my children. I was talking to my daughter about that last night. I said, look at when mommy was born and when all of this happened. And that was, to her, it was like oh my gosh. It registered so quickly to a 10-year-old it wasn't that long ago.

BERMAN: All right. Forty-six minutes after the hour.

Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, what's in store?


SAMBOLIN: Oh. Do tell. Do tell.

BERMAN: Oh, in that case.

BOLDUAN: Good morning you two.



CUOMO: Z, what made you smack Berman around before? I was watching it, but I didn't have the sound up enough.

SAMBOLIN: I don't remember. There were so many moments!

CUOMO: And I saw him like cowering like this and you were like slapping him around.

BERMAN: There never has to be a reason. It just happens.

SAMBOLIN: No, listen, especially this morning, there were so many moments that I can't remember. I'll go back and look at tape and I'll let you know.


BOLDUAN: The moment of insanity or cure?

CUOMO: Insanity with a Z!


CUOMO: All right. Anyway, we're obviously talking about the big question today. Why? There's big turnabout in play here, right? Secretary Kerry is making remarks. Some say offhandedly he addresses the hypothetical notion of Syria surrendering all of its weapons like how could that ever happen. Now, Russia says they may be able to make that deal happen.

What does it mean? The president addressed it with our Wolf Blitzer. Harry Reid wound up moving back the vote in the Senate because of this. What does it all mean? How does it lead into what the president may say tonight in his major address to all of you? We'll take you through it. That's a big one.

BOLDUAN: A lot to talk about with that.

And also, we have a "NEW DAY" exclusive for you. A truly shocking story that we have been following. A man pleading guilty to giving his girlfriend an abortion pill without her knowledge. Now, we're going to hear from the woman live and get her reaction to the unimaginable ordeal that she has been through and why she says she wants to share her story. Amazing.

SAMBOLIN: I am really looking forward to hearing that.

BOLDUAN: Crazy, crazy --

BERMAN: All right. Thanks, guys. See you up in a little bit.

BOLDUAN: All right.

BERMAN: Coming up, a fight breaking out on the field, but this time, it's the managers, not the players, that caused all the commotion. And the Yankees lost! It's like Christmas.


BERMAN: The "Bleacher Report" is next.


SAMBOLIN: Fifty-one minutes past the hour. It's a new era. A football in Philadelphia. The Eagles' new coach unveiled his fast- paced high octane defense.

BERMAN: And it was impressive, so impressive the offense that it stole the spotlight from RG3's first game back since knee surgery. Joe Carter is here to explain it all in the "Bleacher Report." Hey, Joe, great to see you.

JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good to see you, too, guys. Yes. I like it. I like it a lot. Chip Kelly's new offense brings a whole new dimension to the NFL. And you know, going into the season, obviously, was a big gamble for the franchise to bring this offense from college to the NFL. I mean, there was a lot of question, speculation, what it worked in this league. I know it's just a first game at the season, but it was everything it promised it would be and all I can say was a little bit more. I mean, the first half alone last night, the eagles scored 26 points and they ran an eye-popping 53 plays.

Now, by comparison, the Steelers ran 53 plays all game on Sunday. Now, afterwards, Michael Vick who we know has seen a lot of offenses in his day said this one is absolutely crazy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never been a part of anything like it. When the first quarter is over, I thought they was about to go into halftime. I mean, it was unreal. And, you know, only thing I can say to myself, it's going to be a long season.


CARTER: All right. And final game of the opening week, San Diego blew a 21-point lead and lost to Houston on the final play of the game! The Chargers (INAUDIBLE) but then the Texans settled in and showed them how to finish. He scored 24 unanswered points, including that game winner as time expired. The Texans win a gritty one 31-28.

Now, trending this morning on, Rafael Nadal, he is the comeback king of tennis this year. You know, just over a year ago, a knee injury actually threatened to end his entire career. But now, he's having one of the most dominate seasons ever. Nadal took down the number one player in the world yesterday to win his second U.S. Open title. At 27, he's healthy again and has a bright future and 13 grand slams, by the way.

You know, we've seen managers yelling at umpires, players involved in brawls? But last night, it was manager against manager. Buck Showalter and Joe Girardi, they were going at it and Girardi thought that the Orioles, their third base coach was stealing signs. Showalter didn't like it. Now, Girardi accusing his guys of cheating so the two went at it and here's what they said afterwards.


BUCK SHOWALTER, ORIOLES MANAGER: He was yelling at third base coach. And, you know, somebody wearing black and orange, I'm not going to let that happen.

JOE GIRARDI, YANKEES MANAGER: I'm going to protect our players always. That's what I'm going to do and it was something that I saw and I'm just going to leave it at that.


CARTER: All right. Maybe a couple of big oversized gloves and put them in a ring. Jose Canseco stands between the two of them. Little celebrity box, maybe that will be --


BERMAN: That is great idea.

SAMBOLIN: I say that's the way to settle it. Thank you.

BERMAN: Joe, great to see you. We'll be right back.


SAMBOLIN: Well, it's 5:58. So, what does that mean?

BERMAN: We are going to show you pictures of Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball.


BERMAN: Seriously.

SAMBOLIN: We were.

BERMAN: But we have no time for that. So, instead, Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, take it away. "NEW DAY" is here. Hey, guys.

BOLDUAN: There is a metaphor in there somewhere. Thank you guys. We'll see you later --

CUOMO: One of the few times you're happy to not have enough time it turns out in that circumstance.

Anyway, check your clock because it is just about the top of the hour, and that means it's time for us to give you the top news.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Assad doesn't have a lot of capability. He doesn't have a credible means to threaten the United States.

CUOMO: Back from the brink? A Russia broker deal with Syria now on the table. The president tells CNN it could have hurt a strike, but what will he say to you tonight in his major address? We have the latest.

BOLDUAN: Domestic disturbance. George Zimmerman briefly back in police custody after his wife calls 911 saying he was threatening her with the gun. We have the dramatic call ahead.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Better, faster, cheaper. The new iPhone set to be announced today. We have all the details on what to expect and will there be a new much more affordable version.

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

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


CUOMO: Good morning to you. Welcome to "NEW DAY." It's Tuesday, September 10th, six o'clock on the east. And wow, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday, the president was pushing for a strike on Syria, this morning, talk of a deal, question mark intentional. Why? We have new developments involving Russia and France that are unlike anything we have seen in modern diplomacy.

President Obama sat with Wolf Blitzer. We're going to tell you what he had to say about the latest developments and all of these questions that we have this morning. So, we have a team of experts to break down the possibilities. Mr. Peter Beinart, Mr. John King, and Ms. Christiane Amanpour, all here to talk about what's going to happen. We also have one of the most hawkish members of the senate, Mr. John McCain.

BOLDUAN: He'll have a lot to say this morning. That's for sure.

And plus, we have this story, Diana Nyad set to face her critics today. Some in the long distance swimming world are questioning whether she could actually have pulled off that amazing swim in the way that she claimed. We hear from some of those skeptics and also we'll hear directly from her team.

PEREIRA: And speaking of skeptics on a completely -- I can't underscore that enough, different note. You've probably seen this video. A woman twerking in a room --


PEREIRA: Here's the question of skeptic, is this video just too crazy to be true? We have the answer on this very pressing issue this morning.