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Government Shutdown: Day 2; Obamacare: Day One; Syria Chemical Weapons

Aired October 2, 2013 - 05:00   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Meantime, the blame game is in full swing. President Obama accusing House Republicans of an ideological crusade against Obamacare, while Republicans say the president brought about the shutdown by his refusal to negotiate.

We get more from CNN's Brianna Keilar.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The impasse in Congress is no closer to being resolved this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The motion to table is agreed to.

KEILAR: With nearly 800,000 federal employees off their jobs for a second day, President Obama is blaming Tea Party Republicans for shutting down the government over their objections to Obamacare.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They demanded ransom just for doing their job.

KEILAR: He's urging Congress to act.

OBAMA: Allow the public servants who have been sent home to return to work.

KEILAR: Tuesday night, House Republicans tried to fund the government piecemeal, starting with veterans, national parks and the city of Washington, D.C.

REP. PHIL GINGREY (R), GEORGIA: We're ready to talk. And they have rejected that. And we have to send that back every day.

KEILAR: Their first attempt failed. Most Democrats voting no.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: This is a waste of time. It's not going anyplace.

KEILAR: What's worst, we're about to hit the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew again warned Congress if it doesn't raise the government's ability to pay its debts it will default October 17th.

GOP leaders blamed Democrats for refusing to sit down and negotiate.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: My goodness, they won't even sit down and have a discussion.

KEILAR: President Obama said his signature program isn't up for discussion.

OBAMA: The Affordable Care Act is still open for business, and it is here to stay.

KEILAR: Frustrated taxpayers made sure their voices were heard, too.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm tired of a Congress that can't govern this country. You guys are worthless.

KEILAR: Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The shut down has closed museums, parks and monuments but barricades at Washington's World War II Memorial, they were not enough to stop a group of wheelchair-bound veterans who came for a visit. They broke past that barricade and toured that memorial site.


JAMES BROWN, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: Well, it fills you with pride and makes you proud that you're part of it (ph).


BERMAN: The veterans were part of the Minnesota Gulf Coast Honor Flight which helps fly the state's World War II vets to Washington free of charge, to view the memorials, dedicated to their service.

SAMBOLIN: The government shutdown setting off a courthouse scramble with government lawyers seeking to postpone trials and other court imposed deadlines in cases across the country. Some requests were granted. Others were denied. And judges refused to halt two big cases -- one challenging the U.S. Airways merger and another involving Bank of America, potentially being held liable for mortgage fraud.

BERMAN: So, in the midst of the first government shutdown in 17 years, the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, made its debut. And almost as soon as the health exchanges opened for businesses -- business, I should say -- the problems, the glitches, the snags, they began.

CNN's Tom Foreman following that.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Obamacare hoped to launch with a bang, it's been more like a sputter. Look at all of these states across the country where people have experienced some problems with the Web sites as they tried to look into and sign up with the programs. Some of the producers checked out the system.

In New York, they received a message that said the system was suffering from an internal server error. In Maryland, there were connectivity issues, the web page was not available. In New Mexico, they had problems as well. And in Washington, the whole thing just froze up and the state had to shut it down for trouble shooting.

Still, our team got through just fine in Kentucky, Iowa, Connecticut, Oregon and other places. While the problems are widespread, they do not appear to be universal. One person may find an issue in the state. In the same state, somebody else may be not.

The federal government is handling enrollment for 36 states, which have opted out of Obamacare and haven't fully established their insurance marketplaces. And this is the message that many people received from the federal site. We have a lot of visitors on our site right now. We're working to make your experience better.

Please wait here until we send you to the log-in page, and so forth and so on. So, a lot of issues, not particularly unexpected, this is massive complicated and President Obama said he expected glitches. Just listen.

OBAMA: Consider that just a couple weeks ago, Apple rolled out the mobile operating system. And within days, they found a glitch. So, they fixed it. I don't remember anybody saying Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads.

FOREMAN: The Department of Health and Human Resources even issued a statement in which they said, "We have built a dynamic system and are prepared to make adjustments as needed and improve the customer experience."

It looks like there will be a fair number of adjustments to be made. But it is just the beginning. And the signup here will go for at least six months. We'll see where they wind up.


SAMBOLIN: Thank you very much.

Five minutes past the hour.

A team of international inspectors is now in Syria to begin the task of overseeing the destruction of the country's chemical weapons. That group has some nine months to complete the mission, which is to locate, seize, and destroy all of Bashar al Assad's estimated 1,000 tons of chemical weapons.

BERMAN: The head of Egypt's army calling for a quick transcription to elections in order to ensure stability there. The army chief addressing soldiers and police officers said the current crisis necessitates speeding of the country's transitional phase. Meantime, supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsy continuing their protest, calling for an end to Egypt's military government. SAMBOLIN: A report just issued by Amnesty International accuses Turkey's government of massive human rights violations. It concerns attempts to crash anti-government protests in Istanbul during the summer. That report says more than 8,000 people were injured by government forces, using live ammunition, tear gas, water cannons, plastic bullets, and beating protesters. At least three people allegedly died from abuse of force by police.

BERMAN: Six minutes after the hour. Let's do the weather, shall we?

Indra Petersons is here.


Yes, did you guys like the weather yesterday?


PETERSONS: Not bad. Yes, maybe, a little bit longer, like a couple more days then it changes. Notice, actually, put a little cloud here, so everyone can tell when it exactly changes.

We are staying warm. That is the key. But we're going to be talking about a hint of a change. Right now, high pressure still in place.

We're seeing warm air really kind of going all the way up in the Northeast. Temperatures still 10 to 15 degrees above normal. But notice, there's a low back there and that's going to start changing our weather.

Into the Midwest, overnight tonight into tomorrow, we're starting to see showers make their way through. And if it holds through, we start to see a few showers into the northeast by Friday or so. But it all depends really on how much that front kind of holds together. The bigger story again is going to be in the Pacific Northwest. Notice we have another big low out here. Doesn't look that impressive thinking about an inch of rain but it will start to be more impressive once it makes its way farther east.

Look at that trough dig down which really just means cooler temperatures and more snow again. And this time, in comparison to the last time, we could see go into the lower elevations places like Cheyenne, Wyoming, could see their first snow, maybe one to three inches of snow possible. And notice, it will be just west of Denver in those mountaintops. So, maybe start to see a little bit of that as well.

Either way, see how cool this is -- look at the temperatures, you see the temperatures really dropping as it makes its way through. In fact, we'll start to see some 30s in Cheyenne, which makes sense if they're talking about snow.

By the way, two weeks early. So, still too early for them too.

SAMBOLIN: Too bad. Thank you.


BERMAN: Thanks, Indra.

All right. Good story here. Two would-be thieves in Tennessee ten foiled by a foil, get it? This Nashville fencing instructor, Franco Scaramuzza (ph), he was pulling into a shopping center Tuesday night when he saw a couple getting robbed.

SAMBOLIN: Here I come to save the day!

BERMAN: This is a dramatic re-enact meant I have to stipulate that, because it's so corny. He had just left fencing practice. He was in full gear when he sprang into action.


UNIDENTIFEID MALE: I charged towards them holding my epee up high, yelling at them. I kept yelling through the entire thing. They completely panicked, dropped everything they stole and really took off.


BERMAN: The epee, by the way, is the sword he was wielding -- the menacing sword with the menacing pants. It didn't take too long to catch the two suspects. They were named Michael Butt (ph) and Zachary Johnson. They're in jail this morning on $50,000 bond each.

And the shame of having their crime foiled by a fencing instructor.

SAMBOLIN: You picked that story this morning, didn't you?

BERMAN: No, it's a good one, though, right? Seriously? I mean, the guy's brave. The guy could have sat in his car and done. But instead, he got and he does something about it. So, kudos to him.

SAMBOLIN: Look, I would be scared if somebody came at me with a sword. I don't know what, but I'm out of there.

All right. Coming up --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody was lined up, and they said, OK, we have the buses. We're going to take you out of here 30 at a time. There's about 300 of us. Everybody kind of looked around, it's like who goes. What's the deal?


SAMBOLIN: It was really chaotic when the Jacksonville airport is shut down. It's evacuated, the threat that caused that big commotion.

BERMAN: And talk about a crazy invasion -- walruses on the shoreline in Alaska. What are they doing there? How long will they stay? We'll have that when we come back. SAMBOLIN: Let's ask them.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.

New details this morning about the massive rock slide in Colorado that killed five hikers. The lone survivor, a 13-year-old girl. She was saved by her father who protected her from the falling boulders sacrificing his own life for hers.

We get more from CNN's Kyung Lah.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hundreds filled the football stadium to remember the coaches who decided them and the young friends lost.

Five members of the same family all crushed under boulders the size of cars. The only survivor, 13-year-old Gracie Faith Johnson, her leg broken, but pulled out alive by a first responder.

JOHN SPEZZE, CHAFFEE CO. UNDERSHERIFF: He didn't see Gracie at first, he heard somebody screaming and he was able to start digging.

LAH: Gracie's miraculous survival celebrated at this high school as they mourned the lost.

Duane Johnson, an electrician, coached football part time. His wife Donna waited tables at two restaurants to support her family and helped coach the track team. Gracie's sister Kiola (ph) was a senior here. And the Johnson's two nephews, Paris and Beigeon were visiting from Missouri.

The family decided to go hiking Monday morning on this popular trail, recommended in guide books for children. The sheriffs department says the recent heavy rain and freezing temperatures loosened the massive boulders and trigger the slide.

The reason Gracie is alive, her father saw the boulders coming.

(on camera): Gracie told the deputy is that her father shielded her from boulders and pushed her out of the way.

BRIAN YATES: Doesn't surprise me one bit. Duane, he would have been there for you and not knowing you. If you would have just been close enough to you and saw them coming, he would have done the same thing for you.

LAH (voice-over): A final act of fatherhood cherished by a child and a community.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Buena Vista, Colorado.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SAMBOLIN: What a tragic story.

Fifteen minutes past the hour.

It's back to business as usual this morning at the airport in Jacksonville, Florida. That airport was evacuated for a time last night after a report of suspicious packages they said. That led to some chaotic moments inside.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's when people started ducking, a lot of workers started ducking where your luggage would go and people started running out of the airport.


SAMBOLIN: Police say the bomb squad recovered one device that was rendered safe. That incident caused some arriving aircraft to be diverted to other airports.

BERMAN: Jury deliberations continue this morning in the Michael Jackson wrongful death case. The length and outcome of the trial decidedly hinges on the first question of the verdict form. If jurors conclude that AEG Live did not hire Dr. Conrad Murray to oversee Jackson the trial would end quickly. If jurors answered yes, the 15 remaining questions will determine the amount of damages that would be awarded to the Jackson family, an amount that could top $1 billion.

SAMBOLIN: Should the British oil company BP have stopped the spill sooner? Could they have? That is the question in a civil trial over the deadly 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A top BP executive took the stand Tuesday saying early responses to the disaster grew out of fear. At issue: why they scrapped an early plan to cap that well?

Bp says they weren't ready. But plaintiffs say he should have been. The plan was brought back, and ultimately ended that spill. The civil trial could bring billions of dollars in penalties.

BERMAN: And a walrus invasion in northwest Alaska, about 10,000 of them. Check that out all hitting the beach. Scientists say the animal, coming ashore because the sea ice where they'd normally be setting up shop -- that sea ice has melted. This massive, just giant herd.

Look at all of them.


BERMAN: Has been building for apparently the last month.

SAMBOLIN: All right. In this edition of "Road Warriors" the biggest stress for business travelers isn't going through airport security. Having Wi-Fi is the key to making traveling a little easier.

Do you agree with that? So, according to a survey done by Intercontinental Hotels Group, more than half of business travelers think having Internet access is most important hotel amenity. TV came in second with 20 percent of flyers wanting one in their room.

And rounding out the top three is the mini fridge at 5 percent. I wonder why. Forty-seven7 percent said connecting with family was the best way to de-stress after a day of work.

BERMAN: Depends how stressful your family is.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. What are you saying, Berman?

BERMAN: Just saying.

SAMBOLIN: Isn't that the best for you?

BERMAN: Absolutely the best thing.

SAMBOLIN: Morning hotels are realizing how important free access, Internet access is to their guests. Holiday Inn and other Intercontinental Hotels now offer free Wi-Fi to loyalty members. And Marriott Hotels and Resorts are starting offering free Wi-Fi access in their lobbies as well.

If do you end up in a hotel that doesn't offer free Internet, another option is to stay connected while flying. If you sign up for GoGo, in-flight provider, you pay $50 a month for unlimited internet. That's if they have Wi-Fi on the plane.

BERMAN: Yes, you can pay by flight also, unless you're taking five flights a month.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, you can't -- yes, that's the thing. You have to figure out, yes, what works for you.

BERMAN: But it does work very well onboard.

All right. Eighteen minutes after the hour.

Coming up: furloughed government workers may soon find themselves strapped for cash. But there is one car manufacturer that is coming to the rescue, willing to help. "Money Time" coming up next.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.

It is "Money Time" which means Christine Romans is here.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I know it's green day but it's red arrows this morning. We've got futures down pretty sharp. Watch for that here.

The market's had a day to think about it, as far as futures are concerned, investors don't like the idea of a day two of a government shutdown, or the idea of more economic uncertainty. So, watch stocks and your 401k this morning. Futures sharply lower after shutdown mode here in Washington. The major markets closed higher yesterday. But as I've been saying, this is a treacherous time for stock investors.

You're up 15 percent, 20 percent in your stocks, part of your investment so far this year. There's a lot of room for Washington to screw it up.

I want to talk about Apple here today because those investors had a very good day yesterday. You likely own the stock. It's a very widely held stock. It's probably in your 401(k). The billionaire Carl Icahn tweeted that he had a cordial dinner with the Apple CEO Tim Cook and that he pushed hard for $150 million stock buy back. Of course, that would put money in Apple investors' pockets.

Apple's stock immediately jumped 2.4 percent. Apple is up. Apple shares, you guys, are up 22 percent since just the end of June. That chart you that see right there is the chart that is the Apple of investors' eyes after suffering the last couple years.

All right. Time is running out in this debt drama in Washington. The treasury secretary warned Congress yesterday he was running out of extraordinary measures to keep the government humming. In a letter to Congress Tuesday, Jack Lew said there are no other legal or prudent options to extend the nation's borrowing authority. He's running out.

If the debt ceiling is not raised by mid-October, the U.S. will default on its debts. And that's something that Jack Lew has said could be catastrophic. We've never done that before. We always pay our bills on time, every time the U.S.

The debt market has so far been stable. The 10-year treasury sat 6.23 percent. That's what we watch for signs of stress about all of this.

We're going to have a report that bond traders will be looking for is Friday's jobs report numbers, we think they're going to be looking at it, if it actually comes out. The forecast is 180,000 nonfarm payrolls created in September, and the unemployment rate is 7.3 percent.

We're not sure if that's going to be released if the government is shutdown. I mean, you could see a situation that the White House said look we need a skeleton staff to get the data out. I mean, at this point, in the government shutdown, we just don't know exactly what's going to happen with all these economic data coming.

A lot of statisticians have been told to go home. A lot of economists have been told to go home. Another sign how crazy it is. Just something that we rely on as a sign post for what's happening in the economy. Crazy.

By the way, federal workers who are furloughed you can collect jobless benefits but you'll have to return the money later if you end up getting a paycheck.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, wow. ROMANS: It's a little complicated.

BERMAN: That's something retroactively paid. With shutdowns in the past, the furloughed workers are paid retroactive.

ROMANS: Right. So, if you file for unemployment benefits --

SAMBOLIN: Yes, in the meantime, right, because how do you survive?

ROMANS: Exactly. A lot of federal workers said, look, we've had shrinking bonuses, we've had salary freezes. You know, we're barely making it now, and then this. So, there are lot of them who think they like to get jobless benefits.

I want to talk about Bill Gates, because it looks like there might be a revolt building against Bill Gates. "Reuters" says three of the top 20 Microsoft investors are lobbying the board to press Bill Gates to step down as Microsoft's chairman. Those investors are concerned that his presence on the board effectively blocked the adoption of strategies that would limit the power of a new CEO to make changes.

Remember, they're pointing to Steve Ballmer's tenure at Microsoft. Ballmer was a Gates confidant. He remains in the company even though what many called a stagnant period. Gates is on the committee to search for the successor for Ballmer. Microsoft's stock has treaded water for years. Investors want to see the stocks revived under new leadership.

They also pointed out that look, he's been selling off big chunks of the stock every year because he's giving away his fortune. So, his focus has been philanthropic. The Gates Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are outside the realm of Microsoft. They think his presence, these investors --

SAMBOLIN: Interesting.


ROMANS: -- his on the board, it's time to step back. Interesting, right?

SAMBOLIN: It is interesting. He's been doing great things with his foundation. The focus more there, right?

Thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: Coming up --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like our government is wasting our taxpayer money.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: Furious over Congress' inability to compromise. Outrage over the government shutdown. This is happening across the country, coming up next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone's angry. I mean, angry.


SAMBOLIN: Fed up and furious, too. The government shutdown only in its second day, bringing plenty of outrage from Washington, D.C. and way beyond.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The window comes down, he pulls out a gun and fires, almost immediately he fires.


BERMAN: This happened. A driver ducking gunfire catches the criminal on camera who tried to run him off the road.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was holding it like this, and it shot the nail in.