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NEW DAY

Not Backing Down; U.S. Relaxing Iranian Sanctions; Uncle Facing Charges In Girl's Death; Nyad Denis Extra Help In Record Swim; New Wife Faces Murder Charges; Thousands Apply For Mars Trip; Arsenio's Back; 16-Carats AT Christie's; $500,000 For 15 Minutes; A Fear That Can Float

Aired September 11, 2013 - 07:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, this Wednesday, September 11th. We want to give you a live look at the 9/11 Memorial. We're going to bring you the first live tribute at 8:46 Eastern. That's when the north tower was struck by a plane. This is the first of six moments observed marking when the towers were hit, when they collapsed and strikes in D.C. and Pennsylvania.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: We also are covering a shocking murder case in Montana involving a newlywed couple. You'll have to follow this. A 22-year-old bride charged with pushing her husband off a cliff just a week after their wedding and then lying about it and changing her story. So what happens? We have the details of this twisted tale ahead.

CUOMO: There's a lot in the news this morning so let's get right to Michaela to tell you about it.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Chris, Kate, good morning. Good morning to you at home. President Obama laying out his case for American military intervention in Syria during a 15-minute speech last night to the nation. The president asking Congress to hold off on a vote on a possible U.S. air strike, to give new diplomatic efforts a chance. He also took on his critics saying a strike on Syria would not lead to U.S. boots on the ground. The president says the use of chemical weapons violates international law and is a threat to U.S. national security.

The Obama administration meanwhile relaxing sanctions against Iran for the second time this year. The White House saying restraints on humanitarian services, goodwill activities and athletic exchanges are being relaxed. They're calling it a sign of America's commitment to reinforcing ties between the American and Iranian people.

Terrible story here, the uncle of a 7-year-old girl from Illinois has been arrested in connection with her death. Charges are expected to be filed against 22-year-old Justin Drake today. Drake is the maternal uncle of Willow Long. She disappeared from here rural Illinois home Sunday morning while her mother took a nap. Her body was found Monday night. Diana Nyad says she didn't get unfair advantage in her 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida. She held a conference last night, a conference call, with skeptics to answer questions. Some questioning whether Nyad got into a boat or perhaps held on to a boat and how her speed increased late in the 53-hour swim. Nyad and her team say it was the Gulf Stream that helped to propel her.

Finally, check this out, a baseball sized meteor streaking across the sky in the South Eastern United States. You have to see it at the bottom of your screen. There it is. You just missed it. Here it comes. People in Alabama and Georgia got quite a light show. It was traveling at 76,000 miles an hour. Just 3 seconds after hitting the earth's atmosphere, it disintegrated producing the intense light and sonic booms.

CUOMO: Can we blow the picture up?

PEREIRA: We'll get on that.

BOLDUAN: Just trust us. There it is.

CUOMO: People running around with kids, trying to get off to work.

BOLDUAN: Look, again.

CUOMO: Get it later on the CNN site.

All right, we want to tell you about this stunning twist in a Montana murder investigation. A young woman is charged with killing her own husband just eight days after their wedding. Police say Jordan Graham led them on a wild goose chase as well. Now they're sharing the shocking details.

CNN's Kyung Lah is in Kalispell, Montana, with much more this morning. Good morning, Kyung.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. You know, it's not unusual to get cold feet or have second thoughts about a new marriage. Prosecutors say in this young newly wed's case, it was her motive for murder.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAH (voice-over): One week after this beaming couple's wedding, a chilling scene as prosecutors say 22-year-old Jordan Linn Graham pushed her new husband, Cody Lee Johnson, off of this cliff in the high mountains of Montana.

CAMERON FREDRICKSON, FRIEND OF DECEASED HUSBAND CODY JOHNSON: Any time that we asked Cody how their relationship was, he always said it was good.

LAH: According to the police, on the day of Johnson's death, Graham texted her friend I'm about to talk to him. Her friend replies I'll pray for you guys. In an eerie response she writes, but dead serious, if you don't hear from me at all again tonight, something happened. Graham later admitting to police soon after they went for a hike at Glazier National Park, they argued. Graham says her husband grabbed her arm. She then pushed his back, which sent him flying face first off the edge of this cliff.

DR. WENDY WALSH, HOST, INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY'S "HAPPILY NEVER AFTER": Spouses are always the prime suspect in a murder because they're closest to the suspect. They can push their emotional buttons and make them angry.

LAH: Police say the bride then told multiple lies. According to the criminal complaint, Graham initially said she received a text message from Johnson's phone saying he was going to drive home with a friend that night, but somehow deleted that text message. Days later, she led park rangers to an area of the cliff where she happened to find her husband's body. The park ranger said it was unusual she had found Johnson. Graham replied it was the place he wanted to see before he died.

FREDRICKSON: It's a complete shock to me. Cody is one of the greatest guys that I've had the opportunity to know.

LAH: It wasn't until a second police interview she admitted to pushing her spouse to his death. Graham is now facing second murder charges and possibly life in prison.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAH: And Jordan Graham will be appearing in federal court later this afternoon. It is a detention hearing. CNN will be there. We hope to learn much more about this unusual case -- Kate, Chris.

BOLDUAN: All right, thanks so much, Kyung. Amazing, you can't even believe those details.

CUOMO: Nope.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, it's the stuff of science fiction at least for now. Would you sign up for a one-way mission to Mars? Hundreds of thousands of earthlings already have. Why, why? We'll find out.

CUOMO: Speaking of something out of this world, "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart raised a lot of money for Superstorm Sandy relief in a very short amount of time. The royally big check she reportedly got from a prince. We'll tell you about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. A one way ticket to Mars, sound like a form of punishment from the future? Maybe to some but the people behind the Mars One Project say it's anything but science fiction and they already have more than 200,000 people lining up to boldly go where no man has gone before. "EARLY START" anchor John Berman did not sign up yet, but he's on the waiting list. JOHN BERMAN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": So imagine this, imagine a trip to Mars and imagine a space reality show, a cross between "Dancing With The Stars," "Top Chef" and the movie "Total Recall" except there is no dancing. There is no cooking and I don't think anyone was actually going to Mars, not yet anyway, but I digress.

Nevertheless, the Mars One mission says they want to send humans to Mars. There are a couple of catches, though. The first one is, it's a one way trip. The second one is to get there at all you might have to be part of this reality show. What could possibly go wrong?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mars One will establish human settlement on mars in 2023.

BERMAN (voice-over): Just imagine you could be the next Christopher Columbus. You could go down in history as an explorer and innovator, a Mars trove-naut. Move over Space X and Virgin Galactic, this is Mars One, aimed at forming a colony of humans on the red planet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From now on, we won't just be visiting the planet. We'll be staying.

BERMAN: They say more than 200,000 brave souls have registered online to go.

LT. ADAM MCPHERSON, MARS ONE APPLICANT: They put me on a one-way rocket and shot it out and just told me to go as much as I could, I always would.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody in the world can see --

BERMAN: This Dutch engineer and entrepreneur is looking for volunteers to construct living quarters and then live on Mars for the rest of their lives. That's right. They haven't figured out the technology to fly people back to earth yet. This is a one-way trip. Not a problem if you can live without pizza, Starbucks and, yes, fresh air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to be a part of frontier technologies of pushing mankind forward.

BERMAN: To fund the project, the organizers are considering sponsoring a reality show, where you, the viewer, can help choose who to send away forever.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: So if selected for this alleged journey, you would need eight years of training, arrival on Mars is slated for April 2023. That's their plan, they say. For the record, NASA says it doesn't intend to send real-life astronauts on a round trip journey to Mars until at least the 2030s.

CUOMO: I don't know. BOLDUAN: Top that.

BERMAN: Sounds like a reality show.

BOLDUAN: Sounds like a reality show. How long would it take to actually get to Mars? The jury is out according to my sources online.

BERMAN: The internet says --

BOLDUAN: The internet says between like 150 to 300 days, depending on your speed.

BERMAN: It all depends on whether you take the Pennsylvania turnpike or take another route as always.

PEREIRA: I want to meet some of these people.

BERMAN: I don't think you want to meet any of these people. People want to go to Mars on a one-way trip, not the dudes you want to meet up with.

CUOMO: How many are being signed up by spouses?

BOLDUAN: That is your Christmas gift this year and you just ruined the surprise.

PEREIRA: It's a good news/bad news situation.

BOLDUAN: Good news, I got you a gift and I remembered your birthday. Bad news, it's a one-way ticket to Mars.

CUOMO: The final frontier. What do you think, are you going it sign up? Let us know. Tweet me about it.

We're going to take a break. Coming up on NEW DAY, somebody hoping right now he doesn't have a one-way ticket to Mars, Anthony Weiner. He got a nice primary beat down. No surprise.

BOLDUAN: John Berman.

CUOMO: The way the night ended was a big surprise, this one finger salute. We'll tell you about that.

BOLDUAN: Can't even top that, John Berman.

Also ahead, Oprah Winfrey admitting her biggest fear, not snakes, not spiders, not heights, it's something you will not believe. It's a trip to Mars.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: It's Wednesday. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's time for the "Pop Four" with our Nischelle Turner.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: I made it back from Canada, all the way back and I couldn't get in the building this morning, what is that say?

BOLDUAN: We love you and we are glad you made it.

TURNER: Missed you guys. Let's get to the "Pop Four." Number four story this morning, Arsenio Hall Show off the air for nearly 20 years, but making a huge comeback Monday night, doing a little dance. That's Chris Tucker. The inaugural episode beat Kimmel, beat Letterman and beat Leno in the ratings Monday night. Go ahead, Arsenio.

All right, Kim Kardashian's 18-carat engagement ring from Kris Humphreys could be mine, could be yours, it's our third story. Humphreys is rumored to be selling that thing at Christie's auction in New York City. It's expected to sell for around $400,000. It reportedly cost $2 million. Kate's wiggling her ring finger, could I carry that much weight on my finger?

CUOMO: When he bought it, it was appraised for higher.

TURNER: Well, there was a lot appraised for much higher in that relationship.

CUOMO: Good one.

TURNER: Number two, how much do you think a sit down with "Twilight's" Kristen Stewart is worth? How about a half million dollars? Harvey Weinstein said he convinced an unnamed Arab prince to donate that sum to charity for a 15-minute chat with her. I could help out and give it to you for the low, low price of $42.95 and a lunch at Del Frisco's. I'll talk to you all day.

Let's get to our top story this morning, Oprah Winfrey's biggest fear confession and it's not what you think. Oprah opened up in the October issue of her magazine saying that, listen to this, she's afraid of balloons. She admitted being around balloons, quote, "really freaks me out" and the sound of them popping reminds her of gunfire. It's a fear she has to face. So here's what I thought. I would like -- balloonaphobia?

BOLDUAN: Wow.

TURNER: But this is what I want to do, let's give our viewers a little taste of things that freak us out. What do you think?

BOLDUAN: You go first.

TURNER: You first, Cuomo.

CUOMO: Well, somewhat high on the list is having to hear about what Oprah's afraid of. Little high on my list, fear, well, let's see. I'm not crazy about heights.

BOLDUAN: That's why you had to jump off a building. He had to address his fears.

CUOMO: I was facing my fears, one of the stupidest things I've done in my life. Each of these two have some expressions that I'm pretty afraid of.

BOLDUAN: LOL, I don't know.

CUOMO: No, I'm saying the way they can look sometimes.

TURNER: You know what my fear is.

BOLDUAN: What?

TURNER: Come on I've been here for two months?

CUOMO: Getting in the building.

TURNER: That, too. Getting on the subway, you know, I'm afraid of getting on the subway. This morning in the makeup room, Samuel was getting his makeup done and said how he was on the subway this morning and all of a something there was someone on top of him, that set me back nearly six months.

BOLDUAN: What are your fears?

TURNER: Shark carcasses and people falling on top of you.

BOLDUAN: My fear is "Sharknado." I'll finally admit hence why I don't want to talk about it anymore. We're going to a break now.

CUOMO: At least she admitted it.

Coming up, President Obama says the use of chemical weapons in Syria warrants a strike, but in all caps he's also asking Congress to delay authorizing such action to allow time for new diplomatic efforts. Which approach will work? We'll take you through the options what it could mean for you. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: You know the music and you know it's time for the rock block, a quick roundup of the stories you'll be talking about today. First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: Let's take a look at the papers. In the "New York Times," a plan by the U.S. and New Zealand to protect a large section of Antarctic waters dramatically scaled back because Russia and other countries with large fishing industries are now bulking.

In "USA Today," a federal judge throwing out most of the lawsuit against Lance Armstrong, readers accused him of fraud, but the judge says he has a right to lie about his life in his autobiography. Time now for business news and Christine Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Thank you. Will investors continue to overcome fears about Syria and what could happen at next week's big meeting of the Federal Reserve? Futures are mix this morning. The Dow has logged 268 points over the past two days, is just now 3 percent shy of its all-time closing high. Stay tuned this morning. All right, 3,000 calories and it's just in time for football season for you. McDonald's Blitz Box comes with two quarter pounders, a bucket of McNuggets plus fries costs $14.99, has 120 grams of fat. They're testing it in one or two markets. Yum. We'll see if it goes nationwide. Finally, let's get to our Indra Petersons for the weather -- Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It was hot in the northeast. We're talking about temperatures a good 15 degrees above normal today. I'm hearing a lot of complainers. So keep in mind it is not going to last. Series of cold fronts will be pushing through the area. So by this weekend, we'll look at these temperatures, they are going to be going way down. This weekend we'll be talking about a lot of 60s in the northeast. We're going from 90s real quick straight down.

CUOMO: Colder weather, colder water, more fish.

BOLDUAN: Good point. Thank you so much, Indra. We're not at the top of the hour, which means it's time for your top news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: When dictators commit atrocities, they depend on the world to look the other way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Holding fire, the president puts a Syria strike on hold diplomacy. Now the focus, the reaction to his national address this morning.

BOLDUAN: Breaking this morning, the first hurricane of the season now churning over the Atlantic. Hurricane Humberto on the move and we are tracking its path.

PEREIRA: The bird's the word. Anthony Weiner going out with a bang, his final goodbye to the media caught on camera after his drubbing for the race for the mayor of New York.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If chemical weapons got us to the brink, shouldn't we find a way to secure those weapons?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It's Wednesday, September 11th, 8:00 in the east. Thank you so much for joining us. We'll show some live pictures this morning as we remember the day we lost nearly 3,000 lives in the 9/11 terror attack 12 years ago if you can believe it --