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Boat Capsizes And Catches Fire; Shutdown Stalemate; Big Win For BP; Guilty Plea In Child Slap; Tesla Model "S" Fire; Days Pass, Shutdown Tension Builds; Unanimous Jackson Verdict; The Power Of "Possibly"

Aired October 3, 2013 - 07:30   ET



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Thursday, October 3rd. Let's give you a quick check of our headlines. We start with breaking news at this hour, boat capsizing and catching fire off the coast of Southern Italy, at least 94 people, including women and children, have been killed. The coast guard so far have saved at least 151 people. The rescue effort is ongoing. The boat is thought to have up to 500 people on board many believed to be African migrants.

The federal government shutdown, now it's in third day. You can watch that clock right here on CNN. A White House meeting from President Obama and the four top leaders of Congress apparently accomplished nothing. Republican heels still dug in on changing the health care law as part of any funding bill. The president and Democratic leaders insist that Obamacare is locked in.

A big win for BP and the dispute over its multibillion dollar 2012 settlement, an appeals court threw out a district judge interpretation of the settlement saying it could force BP to pay billions for bogus or inflated business claims. The settlement stems from the 2010 deep water horizon explosion and spill that killed 11 workers on the rig and led to millions of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Idaho man accused of slapping a crying 2-year-old on a plane earlier this year has pleaded guilty to assault. Joe Ricky Hundley faces six months in prison. He and his attorney say grief over his son's failing health was to blame, but acknowledge that alcohol may have been a factor. Hundley who's also accused of using a racial slur in that incident will be sentenced in January.

A fire destroying a Tesla motors electric car near Seattle. The company says the battery pack in the $70,000 Model S was struck by a large metal object, triggering the fire. No one was hurt. The Tesla has been touted as one of the safest cars in the world. Its lithium- ion battery is similar to the ones used in Boeing's new 787 planes and the Chevy Volt. Both of those models have been plagued by fire and safety issues.

Close calls, they do not get any closer than that. Watch it again. A cyclist in England nearly killed by a speeding train after he tried to get around the barrier that had been put down for the crossing, almost as stunning as how the woman was able to stop that bike practically on a dime. You watch her wipe her brow. I would too, girl.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Talk about lucky. Obviously must have been distracted because that thing was right there.

PEREIRA: When you see those down, don't. Just wait.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: That's why they're down.

BOLDUAN: That's why they're down.

PEREIRA: Amazing how many accidents happen when those barricades are down, terrible.

BOLDUAN: Let's turn back now to the federal government shutdown, now in its third day. The longer it wears on, the more anger and tension builds, and much of it between Republicans themselves. Athena Jones is following that angle for us from Washington this morning. Good morning, Athena.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. Anger and tension is right. We're now seeing more cracks in the Republican caucus with some members publicly slamming their colleagues for standing in the way of passing a spending bill to fund the government.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not Tea Party caucus --

JONES (voice-over): Fire from the moderate wing of the Republican Party as members slam their conservative colleagues for not backing down on their demanded to defund or delay Obamacare. Here's California Congressman Devin Nunes criticizing the Tea Party to CNN's Jake Tapper.

REPRESENTATIVE DEVIN NUNES (R), CALIFORNIA: They're always conspiring. It's mostly just about power and it's just gotten us nowhere.

JONES: And GOP Congressman Peter King from New York is blasting Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz again calling him a fraud, saying he egged on House members to vote down a Senate measure that would have prevented the government shutdown.

REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: They knew that from the start that's why this was a fraudulent advertising on his part.

JONES: But fellow conservative Senator Rand Paul comes to Cruz's defense pointing out that most Republicans do want to get rid of Obamacare.

SENATOR RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I think it's unfair, actually, because I think the one thing actually that we're very unified on and you've seen not everybody agreed on the tactics of how the fight went along. I think I can admit that. Everybody admits that, however, on Obamacare, we're absolutely united.

JONES: And the battle is now spilling outside the bounds of the capitol building, with one GOP congressman getting into a testy exchange with a park ranger over the closing of the World War II Memorial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The park service should be ashamed of themselves.



JONES: But the tension isn't limited to the GOP as both sides try to escape blame for the shutdown. Here's Senator Harry Reid's heated response to CNN's Dana Bash when she asks him about the House plan to fund the National Institutes of Health.

SENATOR HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: What right do they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? It's obvious what's going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible, wow, I have 1,100 people at an Air Force base sitting at home. They have a few problems of their own. Someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing may mean you're irresponsible and reckless.


JONES: So things got pretty testy there. Now there are signs that there is a small, but slowly growing group of House Republicans that could press House Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote on a spending bill without these anti-Obama care provisions. That's just what the Democrats have been demanding all along. We're going to be watching closely to see how that develops -- Chris, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Athena, thanks so much. It sure doesn't look like Democrats need any help here because Republicans are just fighting it out themselves right now.

CUOMO: They still need to help the situation. Everybody has to work together.

BOLDUAN: There's a lot of civil war going on.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, Michael Jackson's concert promoter found not liable in his death, liable because it was civil trial not a criminal trial. What was the key to the jury? What does that mean for the Jackson family? We have the singer's former attorney to give us his take.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Concert promoter AEG Live found not liable for Michael Jackson's death. A jury cleared AEG of wrongdoing and awarded the Jackson family, therefore, nothing. The five-month long trial could have been worth a billion dollars. Now we're going to speak to the singer's former attorney in just a moment. But first, CNN's Miguel Marquez has more for us from Los Angeles. Good morning, Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning there, Chris. This was a shocker of a verdict given how complex and how long this trial went on. The jury form itself was complicated, 16 questions the jurors had to answer. Five of them had to be in Jackson's favor before they could consider damages. They only got to question two.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has the jury reached a verdict?

MARQUEZ (voice-over): This morning, the verdict in the Michael Jackson wrongful death civil suit, sinking in.

KEVIN BOYLE, JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: We, of course, are not happy with the result as it stands now.

MARQUEZ: Jurors speaking out.

KEVIN SMITH, JUROR: Michael Jackson was pretty used to getting his own way.

MARQUEZ: AEG Live may have hired Dr. Conrad Murray, but Michael Jackson was responsible for his own care.

SMITH: If anybody said no, well, they were out of the mix. He would find somebody else.

MARQUEZ: Jackson's mother and children sought as much as $2 billion from the concert promoter for what they claim was the company's role in hiring and supervising Dr. Conrad Murray who was convicted in 2011.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty, of the crime of involuntary manslaughter.

MARQUEZ: For administering a fatal dose of the surgical anesthesic Propofol to the pop star.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It wasn't easy for anyone.

MARQUEZ: The verdict all the more stunning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Question number two.

MARQUEZ: As jurors found Dr. Murray competent when AEG hired him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was Dr. Conrad Murray unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired? Answer, no.

GREGG BARDEN, JURY SUPERVISOR: Conrad Murray was hired to be a general practitioner and maybe had the word ethical been in the question, it could have been a different outcome. MARQUEZ: The jury deliberated a mere 13 hours after sitting through five months of testimony and the presentation of thousands of documents. This much less publicized trial, full of twists and turns, including testimony from Jackson's crying mother, Katherine, and the mother of Jackson's children, Debbie Rowe, the stress of the trial affecting Jackson's daughter Paris, hospitalized and still getting special treatment after a suicide attempt.


MARQUEZ: Now Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine, saying she's at least happy that the jury found that AEG did in fact hire Dr. Murray. Both she and Jackson's lawyers say they will look at this verdict and see if they can take it somewhere else -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Miguel, thank you very much. Let's bring in one of Michael Jackson's former defense attorneys to dig through the wrongful death verdict. Mr. Tom Mesereau joins us this morning from San Francisco. He is, of course, a defense attorney. Tom, great to have you. Thank you for joining us.

TOM MESEREAU: Thank you, Chris, a pleasure to be with you.

CUOMO: Let's step on some controversy here. The juror comes out and says if the word ethical had been there, the verdict may have been different. Is there any cause to assume that we had an improper instruction here or is this just a layman, a non-lawyer making a statement that isn't really legally relevant.

MESEREAU: Well, Chris, you never know what a jury will do. People are complex, when they get together in a jury room, the chemistry is complex. You never know who the dominant personalities will be. Trials are a mystery and juries are as well. However, I must say I'm quite surprised by this. I thought the primary battle was over whether or not AEG had hired Conrad Murray.

AEG's lawyers for years now have been saying AEG did not hire him. The plaintiffs' lawyers, Katherine Jackson and Michael's children were saying they did hire him. Twelve jurors unanimously said AEG hired Conrad Murray and then to many people's surprise including myself they said that he was fit for the job.

I think the evidence was overwhelming that he was incompetent. AEG was involved in a conflict of interest with Dr. Murray. That they were pressuring him because they were paying his exorbitant salary and I'm surprised by this somewhat contradictory position the jury took. I don't think they really analyzed things properly.

CUOMO: All right, let's talk about why. OK, because there were some big words involved with this, competent. What does that mean here? Explain what they found. They said he's competent, which means what, that the doctor was suitable for the job, he was under his own control of what he did, and therefore, you can't blame his employer. Why does that matter here?

MESEREAU: Well, it matters because the employer, I think, the evidence shows was in a conflict of interest with Dr. Murray. In fact, the plaintiffs put on a Stanford University ethics professor said he never seen a bigger conflict of interest than this. You had the corporation hiring Murray, holding his salary over his head to get Michael to rehearsals you had evidence that Michael was not well.

I'm just surprised that they would say he was fit for the job. They must have simply looked at the surface, said he had a license. He was not under disciplinary or suspension proceedings, but I don't think that's the way they should have looked at it. Conrad Murray clearly was not an addiction specialist. He didn't know what he was doing. He broke so many ethical principles by bringing gallons of propofol into a home and not administering it properly. I'm just surprised.

MESEREAU: Is it consistent in a way because they say he was competent and that is consistent with even what happened in the criminal trial, right? He was found involuntary manslaughter. That means recklessness. That means he perceived a risk and ignored it. So if you're able to perceive it, you're competent, your brain works, you just made the wrong decisions. Isn't there some through thread there?

MESEREAU: Well, that seems to be along the line that they used to find him fit for the job. I think they should have looked a little more deeply and I think they should have said, look, Michael needed an addiction specialist. He had sleep problems, AEG knew about that. One of their CEOs had been his tour manager in the '90s knew he had addiction problems. This man was not investigated properly and was not fit for the job. That doesn't seem to be the track they took. And AEG dodged the bullet in this one.

MESEREAU: It's tough to deal with fact error when the jury has made its determination. If you think it's that obvious a case. Is there any recourse for the Jackson family, any way to go now?

MESEREAU: I think there is. I spoke to one of the plaintiffs' lawyers yesterday, he told me they're going to appeal a number of issues, including before the case got to trial, the judge threw out negligence and wrongful death. The only issue she allowed to get to the jury was whether or not AEG had wrongfully hired, supervised or retained Dr. Murray. And I think there are other issues they are going to raise as well. This case is not over from what I hear.

CUOMO: Different from a criminal trial, you can sometimes get more bites at the apple on the civil side. Tom Mesereau, thank you very much for the perspective. Look forward to talking to you more as this case and others go forward.

MESEREAU: Thanks for having me, Chris. I appreciate it very much.

CUOMO: All right, Kate, over to you.

BOLDUAN: All right, Chris, thanks so much. Coming up next on NEW DAY, kids fighting cancer, their treatment in flux because of the government shutdown. Clinical trials for the medical treatment they desperately, clearly need on hold at the moment. Where does this leave people who need help? We'll take a look. Also, this ahead, Mia Farrow making a huge announcement, could Frank Sinatra be her son, Ronan's father? Ronan is responding. Find out what he has to say about that.


BOLDUAN: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. A "Vanity Fair" article about actress, Mia Farrow, is sparking a lot of buzz. In a provocative new interview, Farrow talks about her relationship with Frank Sinatra and makes a revelation about her son, Ronan, that has everyone talking. CNN's entertainment correspondent, Nischelle Turner is here.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: The more I read of this article I kept saying, what, what? It was never-ending information and that is right the article we're talking about, Mia Farrow, opens up about her relationship with her ex-husband Frank Sinatra, she called him the great love of her live.

Now when she was asked if Ronan, her biological son with Director Woody Allen, could actually be Sinatra's son, she simply replied, "possibly." Ronan took to Twitter on Wednesday to respond to the questions raised by his mother's interview and he kind of tweeted, "Listen, we're all possibly Frank Sinatra's son." I want to give you guys a --

CUOMO: Actually no. That's actually not true.

TURNER: Look at the side by side.

PEREIRA: This is where your science --

TURNER: I'm not his son either, you're right about that. Look at the side by side. You see the picture of Ronan and the picture of Frank Sinatra, both handsome fellows. They do have some similarities there.

PEREIRA: If you add Woody Allen to the mix --

TURNER: I'll do a side by side.

CUOMO: Dead ringer.

PEREIRA: Not so much.

TURNER: What do you think?

CUOMO: Not so much.

TURNER: Not so much. I agree with you guys.

PEREIRA: The eyes itself, right?

TURNER: It's the eyes. It's the nose I think that he's got --

CUOMO: Greatly favors his mother also. Thank the Lord he does look a lot like his mom. TURNER: It doesn't help in the article they went on to talk to Nancy Sinatra. They went and asked her what she thought about all of this and basically she said, talking about Ronan, "he is a big part of us and we are blessed to have him in our lives." So that doesn't say yea, nay or hey. It just keeps the whole mystery going.

CUOMO: Look, this is what they're saying to us, to the media, there could be an entirely other body of understanding that she's just hinting at because obviously the mom, Mia Farrow, was big issues with Woody Allen obviously.

TURNER: Exactly.

CUOMO: But when a woman says this could be your kid, a lot of weight there.

TURNER: They said there's never been a DNA test done so they don't know for sure and there may not be a DNA test done and it just kind of hangs out there.

BOLDUAN: Of course, you wonder why, about the timing of all this. Is there any reason, is there anything?

TURNER: That's a good question. Mia Farrow is doing a lot of work with a lot of different issues. Ronan is in talks to maybe have a television show but we did, of course, talk to Woody Allen because he is a player in all of this, too, and basically what he told us and I do want to say specifically, he said "the article is so fictitious and extravagantly absurd that he's not going to comment." So he commented without commenting.

CUOMO: That said, I hear Maury Povich grabbing his coat and rumbling down the stairs.

TURNER: This is the Maury Povich edition of the "Pop Four" via Mia Farrow this morning.

BOLDUAN: Never good when it plays out in the media.

TURNER: It is interesting to talk about. She put it out there so we're talking about it.

CUOMO: We can speculate. Hopefully they actually know. Nischelle, thank you for piquing our interest.

We're going to take a break. When we come back on NEW DAY, the blame game, no one is happy about the shutdown, but the biggest target of frustration seems to be the far right. We'll ask Steve King of Iowa, get his take.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, the effects of the shutdown reach far and wide including hundreds of people waiting for medical treatments that have now been put on hold. They're speaking out. We're going to have that ahead.


REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: If they don't take yes for an answer, then I could only conclude that they wanted to shut down government.


CUOMO: All show, no go. Congressional leaders make the march to meet the president, face the cameras and say, nothing. No deal. What happened inside the meeting ahead.

BOLDUAN: In the cross-hairs, some of the most vulnerable victims of the shutdown, sick children waiting for potentially life-saving medicine. Now they are speaking out. And could the shutdown also slow production of the flu vaccine?

PEREIRA: Caught on camera, new photos show what happened in the confrontation between a motorcycle pack and a family after the video stopped. We have the latest.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: All we're asking here for is a discussion and fairness for the American people under Obamacare.