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Russia's Reaction; New York Voters Speak; Store Manager Turned Hero; USA Soccer Team Clinches World Cup Bid

Aired September 11, 2013 - 05:30   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police have him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The managers are out here. They're trying to hold this man until somebody gets here.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: This is simply amazing, folks.

A teenage girl grabbed while walking to her bus stop. She's safe after a witness takes down that attacker.


SAMBOLIN: Yes, that is a superhero. Can you imagine?

BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. Great to see you. I'm John Berman. This is EARLY START.

SAMBOLIN: I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is 30 minutes past the hour.

BERMAN: We're going to give you the very latest now in the situation in Syria and the remarkable turn of event that now has the president putting a pause on his own request that Congress approve military action against the Assad regime.

He addressed the nation last night, laying out the case for why he says the U.S. needs to send a message to Syria's leader and his allies that the use of chemical weapons crosses the line. Send that message but apparently not quite yet.

With growing opposition to his call for an airstrike, the president said Congress should hold off on taking a vote for now as diplomats work through a Russian plan giving Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles to international monitors. But the president seemed to still be trying to win the votes he might need if diplomacy fails.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To my friends on the right, I ask you to reconcile your commitment to America's military might with a failure to act when the cause is so plainly just.

To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people. With those images of children writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor.

For sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough.


SAMBOLIN: The diplomacy is getting a chance here with Secretary of State John Kerry whose inadvertent remark launched that effort that could forestall any U.S. strikes, heading for Geneva tomorrow to meet with his Russian counterpart, as they work through the issues around the proposal that Syria turn its chemical weapons over to the international community.

CNN's Jill Dougherty is in Moscow this morning.

So, Jill, what is the Russian government saying about this potential deal?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: You know, the government really isn't saying anything directly. But you do have their parliament, their Congress, talking about this today. And in fact, there was one interesting comment by one member of the parliament saying this essentially boxed Obama in, that Obama -- this legislator says -- never expected that the Syrians would take them up as quickly on that Russian offer.

And also criticizing the United States and the president for keeping the option of military action in his back pocket. So that's, I think, pretty representative of what the feeling is here -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: And Jill, what can we expect from John Kerry's meeting tomorrow?

DOUGHERTY: You know, they wanted to get to it very quickly so that's why you have Secretary Kerry basically jumping on that plane, going to Geneva. And then from Russia, the Minister Lavrov also will be going.

And they will be sitting down talking about concrete details because if this is to work, they have to figure out precisely how would you would you get those chemical weapons together. How would you assess where they are? How many they are? How would they be destroyed? And also issues like, if you do have to go in there, you need -- the U.N., you need to protect the people who go in to collect those chemical weapons. So all sorts of issues like that.

And we're told that they will have experts, technical experts with them. And then finally, after they work this out, it could take at least two days. Then they would go to the United Nations.

There's certainly a press for action very quickly. And apparently the Russians have worked out some of this. But we hope to hear those details when the two men sit down. SAMBOLIN: All right. Jill Dougherty, live in Russia, thank you very much.

An explosion rattling Benghazi, Libya overnight. This is a year to the day after a U.S. diplomatic outpost was attacked leaving four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, dead.

An explosion happening in the center of the city leaving the Foreign Ministry and a major bank damaged.

You're taking a look at pictures there. At this hour it is unclear if anyone was killed or if anyone was injured during that explosion.

BERMAN: It is a somber day of remembrance across this country as we mark the 12th year since the September 11th attacks. In New York City, these lights will shine at the World Trade Center site tonight, illuminating the outline of the Twin Towers.

I always think that's such a poignant haunting tribute.

And this is a live look now at the 9/11 Memorial. The families of those killed will gather here today to read the names of the fallen in -- honor the heroes of that day.

There will be ceremonies, as well, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 went down, and at the Pentagon. And 12 years after the attacks the World Trade Center site, it looks very, very different today. The new tower there is at its full 104 stories and is expected to open to tenants next year.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-five minutes past the hour. It is the end of the political road for two embattled New York politicians. Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer both lost their primary elections. Spitzer, the former governor who resigned in a prostitution scandal, wanted to be New York City's top financial official. Weiner, the former congressman, who was fond of off-color online conversation, photos included.


BERMAN: That was a nice way of putting it.

SAMBOLIN: I know. I know.

BERMAN: He texted pictures of his -- you know.

SAMBOLIN: I know. But you know.

BERMAN: All right.

SAMBOLIN: Everybody knows. Everybody knows. Well, he was running to be the Democratic nominee for mayor, as you know.

Both have been in the lead when they first entered their races. But controversy and criticism from their opponents brought their numbers way down. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIOT SPITZER, CANDIDATE FOR NYC COMPTROLLER: I am proud to run a campaign over the past nine weeks that many thought was incapable to mount from the very beginning.

ANTHONY WEINER, CANDIDATE FOR NYC MAYOR: We might have come up a little short in this campaign. If you keep fighting, I'm going to be keep fighting because we're going to keep New York the capital of the middle class for years to come.


SAMBOLIN: And Weiner was still fighting, giving a local television reporter the bird as he drove away from his election night party. Are we seeing that?

BERMAN: Somewhere back there is a man flipping the bird.


BERMAN: We are told. Reassured by a team of researchers. Interesting. Interesting.

SAMBOLIN: Now I see that.

BERMAN: All right. A Montana woman accused of pushing her newlywed husband off of a cliff is due back in court today.

Jordan Linn Graham faces a detention hearing in Missoula. Authorizes say she fought with her husband Cody Lee Johnson as they walk through Glacier National Park in July just days after their wedding. It was a fight that ended with him apparently going off a cliff face first. Police alleged she lied about reporting him missing. Friends say the relationship between the two seemed awkward.


CAMERON FREDRICKSON, FRIEND OF CODY LEE JOHNSON: Anytime that we asked Cody how their relationship was, he always said it was good. But we'd always have group activities and have people over. We'd go out to dinner, have people over for cards and stuff like that. And she was just -- she was very quiet. She wouldn't engage in conversation. She acted miserable. She didn't want to be there.


BERMAN: According to police, Graham texted her friend the day her husband died, writing, quote, "If you don't hear from me at all again tonight, something happened."


All right. New charges this morning for a Detroit convict accused of stabbing a sheriff's deputy, also carjacking a woman. Abraham Pearson now is facing claims of assault, armed robbery and impersonating a police officer.

He was in a court holding cell Monday. He was about to be sentenced for carjacking and armed robbery when authorities say he used a sharpened comb to stab a deputy who had just taken off his handcuffs in the neck. He stole his uniform, escaped, he then allegedly carjacked a woman outside. The sheriff's department is now reviewing its procedure.


You expect so.

BERMAN: A rollercoaster where a Texas woman died earlier this summer is now set to reopen this weekend now that Six Flags says that it's completed its investigation and found mechanical failure wasn't the cause of her death, they say. Rosa Esparza died July 19th after falling from her seat on the Texas Giant coaster at Six Flags, over Texas, near Dallas. Her family is now suing the park. They say the ride was unsafe.

SAMBOLIN: So is synthetic pot to blame for killing three people and making many more sick in Colorado? Authorities are looking into hospital reports that the drug known as spice may have sickened about 75 people since August. The formula involved is said to be hundreds of times stronger than previous recipes. The CDC has sent a five- member team to that state to conduct an investigation.

BERMAN: Also in Colorado, voters there have thrown out the leader of the state Senate. John Morse and another senator, Angela Giron, have conceded in closely watched recall elections. Gun rights advocates pushed hard for their removal after they backed the state's strict new gun laws which were passed there in the aftermath of the Aurora shooting massacre.

Other news, it's been a pretty quiet season so far when it comes to tropical weather. But now, this morning, there is big news and for that we go to our big time meteorologist, Indra Petersons.

SAMBOLIN: Things are brewing very good.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: So true. A little insight to the weather heat roll. This is a big race. We typically get our first hurricane in August. And now we're in September. And the latest we've ever gone, in the satellite air, September 11th, Gustav in 2002 about 8:00 in the morning.

And we have the latest hurricane. So this morning, we didn't have one yet. We thought, maybe, just maybe we're going to break that record but no, it looks like Gustav still holds that record.

Hurricane Humberto is now here. Our first hurricane of the Atlantic season. Seventy-five-mile-per-hour steady winds. Moving north- northwest at 8 miles per hour. It's off the coast of Africa currently.

Let's take a look at the path. We're looking at it still as a category 1 hurricane. At least until Friday. Eventually will take a turn to the west, get some cooler waters and start to weaken. We've been monitoring that but the good news again, it is expected to weaken over time.

Other big stories today, the heat. We are feeling it. I see Zoraida is already hot right now.


SAMBOLIN: I am telling you.

PETERSONS: It is hot already, right? Fifteen, 20 degrees above normal today. You can see about 95 in New York City, 16 above normal at 94.

So here's the change, though. We're going to see a couple fronts kicking through the area. With that, we're going to see those temperatures go down.

As I know for some of us, this is way too hot. We're talking about temperatures in the above normal to lower normal.

BERMAN: Just helping out here.

PETERSONS: I thought she wanted the heat?

BERMAN: I guess --


SAMBOLIN: I do. This is a drug that I'm on that's making me hot. That's all it is. So -- it's a good thing. It's a good thing.

PETERSONS: All right. Feel better.

SAMBOLIN: I do, thank you.

BERMAN: Thank you. Appreciate it.

An Atlanta auto parts store manager is being called a hero this morning for what he did to help a teenage girl.

SAMBOLIN: This is great.

BERMAN: John Lingerfelt was walking to a store when he saw a 16-year- old girl being followed by a strange looking man. The man apparently then grabbed girl. You see it right there. Throwing her to the ground. She got up, ran inside the store. And that's when Lingerfelt jumped into action.


JOHN LINGERFELT, AUTO PARTS STORE MANAGER: She was in hysterics, just crying, her neck was all red. So I asked her, you know, exactly, you know, what had happened, what had occurred. And she didn't know, she was just -- like I said in hysterics, crying. So about that time, I seen the suspect coming back up the street, and I grabbed her, and I said, is that him? Is that the same guy?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They got him on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police have him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The managers are out here, they're trying to hold this man until somebody gets here.


BERMAN: Really it's incredible. The suspect --

SAMBOLIN: Yay, for him.

BERMAN: The suspect is in custody this morning facing a battery charge. Lingerfelt says it was all adrenaline that led him to do this. He was thinking about his own 16-year-old daughter.

SAMBOLIN: That's great.

BERMAN: And that really brought the whole thing home for him.

SAMBOLIN: That's really great. There are a lot of people who just don't take action, right? So good for him.

Forty-two minutes past the hour. Coming up --


DIANA NYAD, SWIMMER: I would never, ever, never did, never would.


SAMBOLIN: The first person to swim from Cuba to the U.S. without a shark cage playing defense after she is accused of cheating. How she explains herself coming up next.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. Forty-five minutes after the hour.

And Diana Nyad is answering her critics.


BERMAN: Those who say she bent the rules in her record-breaking swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. On a conference call with more than a dozen fellow marathon swimmers, Nyad and her crew responded to questions about how she seemingly sped up during the journey, how she got by without food or water, and whether anyone touched or helped her?


NYAD: I swam, we made it, our team, from the rocks of Cuba to the beach in Florida in as squeaky clean ethical passion. I would never, ever, never did, never would perform, or go about any swim I've ever done, including the current one from Cuba on anything but being adamant about the basic tenet of what we think is fair and square.


BERMAN: Apparently the people on that call are now going to determine whether there is anything that happened during this swim that could nullify the record, wherever those records are actually kept.

SAMBOLIN: I mean, I tend to believe her, just because she's tried and failed repeatedly so --

BERMAN: I couldn't do what she did.


BERMAN: You know, no matter if anyone gave her hand or not.

SAMBOLIN: Or even attempt to do it, right?

BERMAN: So I -- who am I am to talk about it? But apparently it was different this time.


BERMAN: It is different this time than she's ever done up before and that did raise some questions.


BERMAN: We'll see.

SAMBOLIN: All right.

BERMAN: Let's take a look at what coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan join us now.

No shark tanks there either, guys.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: No shark tanks here. But, you know, we could try to fashion one if you really want us, too. We'll work on that.

Good morning, guys.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I'll hope over the line of journalism and say, I'll take a stand. I don't think that there's any overwhelming proof that Diana Nyad didn't do what she says she did. I think you got to back off. I think this is one of those things where if you can't prove it, you got to be quiet.

BOLDUAN: Leave it alone?

CUOMO: Yes, I don't think it's a basis for groundless speculation. But we have much bigger things to worry about today. At least we know the outcome of Diana Nyad. She reached home. What we do not know is what's going to happen in Syria.

The president laid out his speech in primetime last night. About 15 minutes. Many questions afterwards.

We had an instant poll. We'll take you through what the numbers show. Of course, a little skewed, right? It's only a poll. People who watched the speech will be heavily Democratic. But remember, a lot of Democrats have a lot of concerns about what to do in Syria. So we'll take you through the situation, we'll break it down with experts, and take a look at the questions that arise with this potential diplomatic situation. How realistic it is, what options are still on the table, and what the timing now is here.

We'll take you through all of it.

BOLDUAN: Timing is a big question at this point, of course.

And also a -- another political story but a very different political story. Anthony Weiner saying goodbye to his failed mayoral campaign and has quite a sendoff message to his campaign and the media, probably. We have the video everyone's going to be talking about this morning.

And plus, we're going to take a look at last night's -- the other failed political comeback here in New York, Eliot Spitzer.

CUOMO: Right.

BOLDUAN: So a lot going on this morning.

CUOMO: More than anything else, we want to obviously remind everybody out there, we all know it's 9/11 today. We all know what it marks, we all know that there's mixed meaning given what's going on in the country right now. And we just put our hearts and prayers and minds out to everybody out there who are dealing with the day.

BERMAN: Twelve years feels like a long time for some people but for so many others --

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Yesterday.

BERMAN: -- that loss still very much felt.

Chris, Kaye, thanks so much, guys.

SAMBOLIN: Of course.

BERMAN: Coming up, there are celebrations across the country this morning for another reason completely. The United States going to the World Cup -- great -- seven straight times. A terrific game. The "Bleacher Report" breaks down a dramatic deciding goals coming up next.


SAMBOLIN: Fifty-two minutes past the hour. I'm not going to read this because I think you are so much more excited about this. Go for it.

BERMAN: We're going to the World Cup. We're going to Rio, baby, for the seventh straight time. The U.S. men's national team going to the big show.

Andy Scholes joins us now.

SAMBOLIN: See there, he could (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson, what a game.

Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, THE BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, guys. You know, not only did the U.S. punch their tickets to this next summer's World Cup by beating Mexico last night. They did it at the expense of their biggest rival.

U.S. got on the board in the 49th minute of the game on this header by Eddie Johnson. Then about 30 minutes later, off the cross, Landon Donovan puts the game away. U.S. won 2-0. They're now headed to their seventh straight World Cup.

Mexico, meanwhile, is in danger of missing the World Cup for the first time in over 30 years.

On the lineup section of, today you can read about the hefty fine the NFL handed down to Ndamukong Suh. The Lions D line was penalized with this hit on Viking center John Sullivan on Sunday. Now Suh earned the reputation as one of deadliest players in the NFL. He once stomped a player laying on the ground and kicked in an opposing quarterback in the groin on Thanksgiving. Now Suh has apologized for the low blow. It plans on appealing the fine.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Big game on Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what we should do. Whoever lose has to shave an eyebrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Hope you don't like your eyebrow.


SCHOLES: Oh, man, never has there been more riding on a Sunday night football game. This is the odds this week. And the loser between Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson has to shave an eyebrow. If you're wondering what they might look like, there you go, there's a preview. Definitely seems like a great idea and a terrible idea at the same time.

Nick Saban may have his future quarterback right in his own backyard. John David Taylor. A pee wee quarterback in Alabama had a legendary run over the weekend. Check it out. He trucks that defender. Then he gets the outside. Going to make a Reggie Bush-like move.

BERMAN: Stiff arm.

SCHOLES: The stiff arm goes all the way for the touchdown. You there go. In 10 years, guys, remember the name, John David Taylor, could very well be starting for the Crimson Tide one day.

SAMBOLIN: No kidding.

BERMAN: You know what they say about John David Taylor, you cannot knock that kid down.



BERMAN: Apparently.

SCHOLES: They do now.

BERMAN: They do now, exactly.


Andy Scholes, thanks so much.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BERMAN: We'll be right back.


BERMAN: Do you have more you want to talk about this morning?

SAMBOLIN: I have so much more I want to talk about. Can you give me another hour?

BERMAN: But you can't, you can't. That's it for EARLY START.

SAMBOLIN: It's time for "NEW DAY." Take it away, Chris and Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, guys. We'll see you in a little bit. Thanks so much.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, just pull up a couple of chairs, come here, keep talking with us, Zoraida. We'd love to have you.

Everybody else, check this in your clock right now. It's the top of the hour, that means it's time for your top news.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: On hold. The president addressing the nation, a vote on a strike delayed. But can Syria be trusted to hand over its chemical weapons? We have reaction this morning.

BOLDUAN: Breaking news. The first named hurricane of the season has formed. Humberto, nearly tying the record for the longest the Atlantic has gone without a hurricane. We're watching the track.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Flipping out. Anthony Weiner losing big time in the New York mayoral race but then caught on camera giving one last final goodbye to the press.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

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

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to "NEW DAY." It is Wednesday, September 11th, 6:00 in the East. Today is, of course, 9/11, the day Americans swore to never forget.

Here, live pictures of the 9/11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan. Families beginning to gather there ahead of today's ceremony. We're going to bring you key moments of that ceremony live as they happen.

We're also going to bring you inside the 9/11 museum which still isn't open. We'll talk about that.

But most of all, our hearts and thoughts are with all those affected on this day, 12 years ago.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

We're also going to be hearing from Diana Nyad this morning. Defending her swim in her very own words. You've heard that skeptics have been challenging her story. Well, last night, CNN was there as she answered all of their questions. But there is one thing she revealed that could -- possibly cost her the record. We're going to have all of that, coming up.

PEREIRA: We also have some brand new video of the confrontation between -- between George Zimmerman and his wife. Take a look at this. It's the moment he's taken back into police custody if only for a short period.

We have new details on just what happened and perhaps why. That's coming up.

CUOMO: Up first, President Obama pushing the pause button on Syria, but he said he's not letting Assad off the hook. The headline in the nationally televised address, the president told the nation he is now willing to give diplomacy a chance in Syria.