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Stocks Soar!; Shutdown Countdown: 11 Days; Navy Yard Shootings; Revising Colorado Flood Figures; Chicago Flooding; Chemical Plant Fire; "Russians Deserve Better Than Putin"; $400M Powerball Jackpot Winner; Acapulco Airport Flooded; Boehner Unveils Proposal to Defund Obamacare

Aired September 19, 2013 - 06:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to "NEW DAY." It's Thursday, September 19th, six o'clock in the east. How about some good news?


CUOMO: Let's start off that way. The 14-year-old girl so violently taken from her home in Georgia, guess what, she is back and she is OK. We have new details this morning on how she was saved. But also, new questions, specifically, was her mother's criminal past somehow to blame?

BOLDUAN: We're also have some stunning video to show you. This is a Mexican resort town of Acapulco, if you can believe it, beaten by two storms. Now, thousands of tourists are trapped, unable to get out, including many Americans. The government there now trying to airlift them out and it's no easy task. So, you can probably imagine. We're going to take you there live.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And you may have seen this clip going viral. The contestant on "Wheel of Fortune" could have won a million dollars, a million bucks. He thought he had it and then he mispronounced it slightly. Here's a question, was he robbed or are rules rule? He will join us live right here and we'll talk.

CUOMO: Got to be able to pronounce things. I say it all the time.


CUOMO: We're going to begin this morning with important news about your money and your future. Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, was expected to taper or slow down all the feds buying up of securities to effectively juice the market. But guess what? He didn't. And news like this was -- this artificial boost continuing and played like free candy (ph).

Do the kids on Wall Street sending the stock market to an all-time high? Overseas financial markets also reacting positively to the news. So, it's all good? Why the doubt? Christine Romans is here to break it down for us. I'm skeptical and you know it.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Because all good things must come to an end just not right now. Your skepticism is well place, my friend. One thing to remember though, this party for Wall Street also means you got a 401(k) seeing some pretty sizable returns thanks to Ben Bernanke and company.


ROMANS (voice-over): Stocks surge record highs Wednesday, a sizzling rally set off by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke doing, well, nothing.

BEN BERNANKE, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Well, I recall stating that we would do any particular thing in this meeting.

ROMANS: Investors thought the Federal Reserve might pull back on the $85 billion a month in bond purchases. It's been making those since last September. But in a statement, the Federal Open Market Committee said it's waiting for evidence that, quote, "progress will be sustained before adjusting the phase of its purchases."

The stimulus has pumped cash into the mortgage and bond markets, keeping mortgage rates and borrowing costs low. That has fueled the red hot housing market and spurred stocks to a 20 percent gain over the past year. Many investors expect stocks to go even higher this year. Good news for 401(k)s, but only half the country is invested in stocks. The fed's bigger problem has been slow job growth.

RANDALL KROSZNER, FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE GOVERNOR: There are actually fewer people working, but even fewer people who are looking for work and so that meant that the unemployment rate came down but for the wrong reasons.

ROMANS: Companies are used to getting by with fewer workers since the recession. That and slow economic growth put Ben Bernanke and whoever succeeds him in a tough spot.


ROMANS: Goldman Sachs this morning saying the next potential window for this tapering of the fed might be the December fed reserve meeting. So stay tuned. There is a meeting in October, too.

CUOMO: All right, so if we're going to ride a wave, hopefully we're all on it. What does this mean for the regular family?

ROMANS: Well, you know, the most important thing here is the fed is trying to create jobs. It's trying to create an economic environment where we can have jobs. I was at a conference last week for the working poor. Progressive economists, very concerned about the fed pulling back too soon, they said it would be people on the margins who would feel it first.

So the first beneficiaries of the fed taper, you could argue, Wall Street, the people making a lot of money, right? But the first to get hurt they say, progressive economists say, would be the working people.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Christine, thanks so much. So while the stock market is soaring, the U.S. government is moving one day closer to a shutdown. The president accusing Republicans of engaging in an all-out civil war, blasting Speaker John Boehner for buckling the conservatives by trying to defund the president's health care law as part of keeping the government funded.

Jim Acosta is live at the White House this morning with much more on this. Jim, seems as Senator John McCain told us last week, we've seen this movie before.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. President Obama said he is taking a stand against what he called an apocalypse every three months. So check the battery on your Washington crisis countdown clock because here they go again.


ACOSTA (voice-over): It's 11 days to a possible government shutdown and this latest budget battle pitting Republicans in Congress against President Obama is becoming the stomach-turning sequel to the sequel.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What I will not do is to create a habit, a pattern, whereby the full faith and credit of the United States ends up being a bargaining chip to set policy.

ACOSTA: This time, the threat is all too real. Not only does the government run out of money October 1st, the nation is set to hit a debt ceiling and go into default starting in mid-October, teeing up a Washington dysfunction double whammy, the likes of which Americans have never seen before.

(on camera): Are we looking at sort of a gridlocked NATO?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: If Congress fails to act, yes, it's possible. I'm not sure about the NATO part of it.

ACOSTA (voice-over): For now, Republicans in Congress say they will only vote on a spending bill that defunds Obamacare.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We are going continue to do everything we can to repeal the president's failed health care law.

ACOSTA: But that's not going to go anywhere on the Democratic- controlled Senate ramping the likelihood of a shutdown at the end of the month. We've been here before. A government shutdown has loomed four times since 2011. But each time, a deal was struck to avert disaster. Some Republicans say this is one rerun they don't want to watch.

REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: We can't let the government shutdown. We can be kamikazes and we can't be General Custer.


ACOSTA: And the White House may be watching some of these battles from the sidelines, as Republicans are going after each other, after Texas Senator Ted Cruz said that the Senate may not have the votes to defund Obamacare. House Republicans went ballistic. One House Republican, Shawn Duffy from Wisconsin accused Cruz of waving the white flag of surrender. So this is starting to get interesting as we head into the next 11 days before the government shuts down -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Jim, thank you very much. Hopefully they come up with a better solution than punishing everybody else.

We want to give you new details about the Washington Yard shootings. We understand that Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is ordering a review of the security clearance issued to the Washington Navy Yard shooting and the entire processes surrounding naval security clearances. This comes amid growing controversy about the way the shooting itself was handled by base security.

And we're learning about mysterious phrases etched on the shooter's gun. Pamela Brown is live in Washington with more on the investigation. Good morning, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, Chris. That's right. New details emerging suggesting the rampage could have been contained more quickly and as this investigation continues, officials at this point telling us that they still don't know what the motive is.

And there's questions now, Chris, that we may never know what a tangible motive is, what was going through Aaron Alexis' mind during that shooting, also new details emerging, painting a picture of the damage inside Building 197, damage so extensive, sources tell us it will take weeks to repair and re-open.


BROWN (voice-over): As investigators sift through the evidence in the Navy Yard killings, odd details are emerging. A federal law enforcement source tells CNN Alexis made unexplained etchings into the shotgun he used in the attack. The etchings read, "better off this way" and "my elf weapon." Investigators don't know what the sayings are supposed to mean.

Still questions remain about whether the rampage could have been prevented. Navy officials in Rhode Island never passed along police reports about Alexis' erratic behavior, claiming he was hearing voices.

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Where there are gaps, we will close them, where there are inadequacies, we will address them and where there are failures, we will correct them. We owe the victims, their families and all our people nothing less.

BROWN: New details have emerged suggesting authorities might have been able to contain the gunman more quickly. A government official tells CNN when the first radio call came in about a shooting at the Navy Yard, highly trained tactical capital police officers attempting to help stop the rampage were told by a watch commander to stand down. The capital police chief has ordered an independent review of their response and the critical first moments after the shooting was reported.

Investigators still don't know why law enforcement sources say nothing points to a specific motive for the rampage. Even after the seizure of Aaron Alexis' computer and other possessions, and interviews with the social contacts for clues. The mother of the gunman apologizing Wednesday to the families of the victims.

CATHLEEN ALEXIS, AARON ALEXIS' MOTHER: I don't know why he did what he did and I'll never be able to ask him, why. Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone and for that, I am glad. To the families of the victims, I am so, so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken.


BROWN: The Medical Examiner's Office expected to release the autopsy results of Aaron Alexis very soon. Meantime, President Obama is expected to attend a memorial service for the victims of Monday's tragedy this coming Sunday -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Pamela, thank you so much for that. There's a lot of news developing at this very hour so let's get straight to Michaela for the latest.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good morning to the two of you and good morning to you at home. One Colorado County is now revising the number of people unaccounted for after record rainfall and flooding. Boulder County reducing the figure from 109 to just four people unaccounted for. In Larimer County to the north, the number remains at 197. Colorado has left mopping up the mess describing in some communities this event as a 1,000-year rain event. The floods are being blamed for six deaths.

A Chicago maintenance worker was killed when water from a flash flood inundated a sewer that he was working in underground. It happened Wednesday night on Rockwell Street in the northwest side of Chicago. Contractors had been performing maintenance work when one of the workers was swept away by the surging water. His body was found in a sewer about a block north of where he had been working.

A fire is burning this morning at a chemical plant in Thomas, Oklahoma. Several explosions have happened. People living in the immediate vicinity have been ordered to evacuate their homes. This fire started around 10:00 Wednesday night at Damlin Industries. Investigators have not yet determined the cause. The fire chief there in Thomas says everyone inside the plant has been accounted for and no injuries have been reported.

John McCain using the power of the pen to counter Vladimir Putin's op- ed in "The New York Times" last week, the senator from Arizona writing his own commentary in the online Russian paper, "Pravda." He tells the Russian people, quote, "President Putin and his associate don't respect your dignity. They punish dissent and imprison opponents. They harass, threaten and banish organizations that defend your right to self-governance. His piece was entitled, "Russians Deserve Better Than Putin."

A young girl abducted from her Georgia home is back home with her family. We've now learned that the suspects -- the girl's mother and a suspect were once arrested together. Two men are still facing charges in the abduction of Ayvani Hope Perez. Officials tell CNN affiliate WSB TV one of them, Alberto Contreras Rodriguez was arrested in a drug arrest with Ayvani's mother in a drug raid last year. Police are still looking for two other men depicted in these sketches. We'll have much more coming in our show.

How about this for team spirit? Check it out. Dr. Andy Soakle from Birmingham, Alabama, is a veterinarian and diehard fan of the Auburn Tigers. This is his dog, Popeye. Yes, this is what they did. They groomed Popeye to look like a tiger in honor the Auburn football team.

The groomers did, we want to tell you this, they used an all natural dye, made out of veggies -- it won't harm Popeye's skin he's shy. He's excited. There he is. He's not shaking. Dr. Soakle says Popeye loves the extra attention, but apparently he needs to get his roots done.

CUOMO: He has one eye.

BOLDUAN: His gray is coming through.

CUOMO: I think that dog had one eye by the way.

PEREIRA: Point out those things.

CUOMO: There's a story behind it.

BOLDUAN: There was another story in the news about how they groomed a dog to look like a lion.

CUOMO: How about the Chinese who put one in the zoo thinking that it was a lion.

PEREIRA: That's a dog.

BOLDUAN: This is a slippery slope.

CUOMO: I'm surprised we don't see more of that.

BOLDUAN: People passing off dogs as other animals.

CUOMO: I have an aardvark here.

PEREIRA: Didn't Berman show us weird grooming?

CUOMO: Yes, that we don't see more fancy cuts on dogs. Usually it's just poodles. I permed my dog. You had a golden.

PEREIRA: I'm kind of anti-clothes on dogs.

BOLDUAN: You just lost a lot of friends.

CUOMO: They put shoes on dogs.

PEREIRA: Rain boots.

CUOMO: Gives the city a bad name.

PEREIRA: I know.

CUOMO: It's a violation, no question about it.

BOLDUAN: We have a winner, everyone. America's newest millionaire does not reside at this table, but it may reside in Lexington, South Carolina. That's where the single winning ticket was sold in last night's Powerball lottery jackpot worth an estimated $400 million.

CNN's Sara Ganim is live in Lexington, South Carolina. So the search is on. Is it one person, is it a group, what do we know?

SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, what we know is there's a lot of excitement here. If you work into this Murphy Express behind me where the winning ticket was sold, a clerk will ask you, did you buy a lottery ticket here? They're telling everyone who did. Double check those numbers. This is a really big jackpot, $400 million. It all went on to a single ticket.

Now that doesn't guarantee a single person won. In fact, there have been a lot of times where a single ticket went to an office pool or a group of people who end up splitting it. But still $400 million is a lot of money. It's kind of early. We expect to get more information as the day goes on.

But I have to tell you, we're less than 100 yards from the highway, from I-20 that runs all across the nation. While they do get a lot of local traffic from Lexington, South Carolina, they get a lot of people passing through. According to South Carolina law, if this winner doesn't want to come forward, they can remain anonymous. We may never know who this person really is -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: That's the way to do it. Every state is different. That's the way to do it. All right, Sara, come back to us. Go searching for them. We need to seek this person out. I have a shopping spree I've been wanting to go on.

CUOMO: And have.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. True.

CUOMO: All right, time to take a break. Coming up on NEW DAY, we have been enjoying a light hurricane season in the U.S., but look what has happened to Mexico. Two storms have killed dozens, displaced 40,000 people. We're going to take you live to Acapulco.

BOLDUAN: We are also going to Oklahoma where there was a horrifying discovery. Police claimed two cars at the bottom of the lake. They bring the cars to the surface and they find three corpses inside each of them. Could this discovery crack two cold cases from four decades ago? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Catastrophic damage in Mexico this morning as hurricane Manuel batters the Pacific Coast. At least 80 people have been killed, dozens are missing, after a mudslide buried homes in one community. Forty thousand tourists, including Americans, are now stranded in the resort town of Acapulco because of widespread flooding from the storm.

And that is where we find CNN's Shasta Darlington with the latest.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chaos in the beach resort of Acapulco. Three days after Manuel made landfall, the city's international airport submerged in waist-deep floodwaters. Some 40,000 tourists struggling to get out after the worst storm damage to hit Mexico in years.

(on camera): Here outside the Air Force Base, there are hundreds and hundreds of people in line, really as far as you can see, many of them have been waiting all day and some even spent the night here.

(voice-over): Most of the tourists are Mexican but we also find a medical student from Los Angeles.

ANA BENAVIDES, STRANDED MEDICAL STUDENT: We tried to leave on Monday. So we all got together in the car to go and the road was blocked. We didn't get further than a mile.

DARLINGTON: She spent 12 hours in this line today but seems to accept she may not get on a flight.

BENAVIDES: You know, we're a lot better off than a lot of people.

DARLINGTON: More than 10,000 tourists have been air-lifted out, many of them abandoning cars and belongings in their desperation to get home. The air force is also carrying supplies to towns and neighborhoods that have been completely cut off by washed out bridges and roads.

Electricity and phone lines were down for two days and running water won't be restored to many homes for another 20 days.

At least 80 people have been killed and a million people affected across the country by the onslaught of three different tropical storms.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. That was Shasta Darlington in Mexico. Thank you so much, Shasta.

Mexico is now out of the clear as it's getting pounded by hurricane Manuel. But -- so, let's get to Indra Petersons for more on the forecast. What they're looking at.

What are they looking at, Indra?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, I think it's interesting here, Kate, is not since the '50s have they had two named stores hit Mexico within 24 hours. And that's exactly what they're dealing with. You notice that we have Ingrid that came in from the Gulf and, of course, from the Pacific side, we have Manuel, which now has reformed.

The key is the terrain. Very similar to what we're seeing in Colorado, such steep terrain that forget the five, 10 inches it's already bringing. Once it comes down those mountainsides, you're seeing those huge mudslides that's producing all that havoc in Acapulco.

Here's the key: Manuel has reformed. So, heavy rain expected again today. But in another resort town of Mazatlan, looking for that same concern, another five to 10 inches of rain possible. As you notice, it's not moving very fast. Very slow to move.

This is going to wreak havoc in that area again. Look at the amount of rainfall. Again, it's that same thing, down those mountainsides. We're going to be seeing a lot of that flooding and, of course, those are mudslides in the region.

Also want to point out, just east in the Gulf, another 70 percent chance for more heavy rain to make its way through. There's Acapulco. They're already seeing a lot of stranded tourists. More rain expected in that region as well and more is expected to come. So, that's something we're going to be monitoring.

Let's take it home, all this moisture south of us. All of this is expected to make its way in through Texas over the next several days. So, heavy rain in Texas. I know they had a lot of droughts in the area. But you never want a lot of rain in a short period of time. So, that's going to take it home for us as well.

BOLDUAN: All right, Indra. Thank you.


BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, a mysterious discovery at the bottom of an Oklahoma lake -- two cars with bones found inside. Did police find a break in two cold cases from four decades ago? We're going to have the latest on this.

CUOMO: And Google has conquered ignorance. Now, they take on their next challenge, defeating death. How they're going to do that? We'll tell you.


ANNOUNCER: You're watching NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Thursday, September 19th.

Coming up, a story out of Oklahoma you just have to see -- two cars, six bodies and a decades-old mystery all found at the bottom of a lake. Why police think they may solve a cold case.

BOLDUAN: And we brought you the announcement exclusively yesterday, so how are Americans responding to the Starbucks CEO asking customers to keep their guns out of his stores? We'll have that a little later on.

CUOMO: Let's get right to Michaela for all the top stories right now -- Mick.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We're watching the Dow Jones and S&P 500. They will be opening near all-time highs this morning. They each hit records before falling off a bit near the close of trading yesterday. The NASDAQ hit a 13-year high.

These rallies came on the heels of the federal reserve's decision not to slow its bond purchases in place to stimulate the economy. Stocks in Asia rallied, shares in Europe opened higher today as well.

Calls for more investigations in the wake of the Navy Yard massacre. The secretary of the Navy ordering not one but three reviews into security clearances. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordering his own wider review of how those clearances are granted.

Also, we have learned a capital police tactical team was less than 30 seconds from the Navy Yard, prepared to enter when a watch commander ordered them to back away.

Subway service back up and running in Cairo. Service was brought to a stop this morning after explosive devices were found on the tracks. Those devices have now been dismantled. And violent clashes outside Cairo have left a brigadier general and a police officer dead. Military and police in Giza Province were trying to ground up suspects involved in a deadly attack on a police station there last month.

You might recall this man who posted a YouTube or an online video rather, confessing to a fatal DUI. Twenty-two-year-old Matthew Cordle made good on is pledge Wednesday, pleading guilty on an Ohio courtroom to aggravated vehicular homicide. Cordle will be sentenced October 10th. He faces between two and 8 1/2 years in prison.

Former NFL player Brian Holloway turning the tables on hundreds of hard partying teens who broke into his vacation home in Upstate New York and trashed the place. And to add insult to injury the kids posted pictures online of the Labor Day blowout.

But now, Holloway is using social media to assemble a list of the teenage trespassers he says inflicted more than $20,000 in damage. He's, in fact, set up a Web site, Helpmesave300. He says that he's not trying to get revenge. He's not angry. He's actually a father of eight and is concerned about these kids and their hard drinking and hard partying. He wants them to be held accountable and face up to the consequences of their behavior. CUOMO: Being pretty generous in my estimation.

PEREIRA: Yes, anger would be understood.

CUOMO: Right. It's a crime.

PEREIRA: Yes, it is a crime. Boy, is it a crime?

BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks, Michaela.

PEREIRA: No problem.

BOLDUAN: It's now for the political gut check -- the countdown to shutdown is well underway. As the deadline for a government funding bill looms, Congress seems no closer to reaching an actual deal.

CNN's chief national correspondent John King is here to break it all down for us.

So, John, as we head into this, I mean, the choices are pretty obvious. Speaker Boehner has reality one choice. He could either approach this by going for a more straightforward funding measure that he knows will not win support of all of his party, but will get support by Democrats and the president would sign. Or he could agree and move towards a more conservative section of his party in his House and go in support their kind of their position.

Why did he choose the latter?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Because to be the speaker of the House, he first has to be the leader of the Republicans, Kate. So, they put him up for speaker of the House, and if he went the other way, and he said, forget about it, I'm not going to give you yet another vote to defund Obamacare, I'm not going to give you yet another confrontation with the White House, Speaker Boehner would be imperiled of losing his job, essentially, losing his standing as the leader of the Republicans.

So, although he does not want to do this, this is not his preferred course, the first step in this showdown will be the House passing a continuing resolution to keep the government running that does not include any funding for the president's signature domestic initiative, even though it passed, what, four years ago now. Then, this will go over to the Senate and we will have another week three of brinkmanship in Washington. Welcome to your government at work.

BOLDUAN: Well, you point out a very good point, that this could be and it often is, a kind of an initial bargaining position. But you have -- people out there are wondering, what is the upside? Because you see the polling, you know that if the government shut down, majority of Americans are going to blame Republicans in Congress, not the president, for all those polling part.