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Shutdown Showdown Day 9; Military Death Benefits on Hold; Red Sox Advance to A.L. Championship Series

Aired October 9, 2013 - 04:30   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The family is horrified and confused.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: I would say so horror at a hospital. A patient missing for days turns up dead inside a rarely used stairwell.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like a brotherly, big brother/little brother kind of thing.




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Some kind of joke. The fraternity instructional e-mail on, quote, "luring rape bait" --

SAMBOLIN: Terrible.

BERMAN: That goes viral.

SAMBOLIN: Shame, shame, shame.

Welcome back to EARLY START. Glad you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Thirty-one minutes past the hour right now.

SAMBOLIN: So, it is day nine of the government shutdown. Only partial, of course. Some services are operating. Though many government workers are not getting paid. And there's morning, there is perhaps a slight glimmer of hope, even if it's just a glimmer.

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke on the phone yesterday. The president saying afterwards he would talk to Republicans about spending and debt, but only if they agreed to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling on a temporary basis. Some Republicans are encouraged by that idea, but Boehner is calling the president's proposal an unconditional surrender and something his side is not interested in.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The greatest nation on earth shouldn't have to get permission from a few irresponsible members of Congress every couple of months just to keep our government open or to prevent an economic catastrophe.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This isn't about me. Frankly, it's not about Republicans. This about is saving our future for our kids and grandkids, and the only way this is going to happen is in fact have a conversation.


BERMAN: Meantime, fallen soldiers military families are literally paying the price as they grieve. The cost of funerals and burials are not being reimbursed and survivor benefits have come to a halt.

Here's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For these troops just killed in Afghanistan, their families are being denied government death benefits until the shutdown is over.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: That America could fail the families of our fallen heroes -- appalling, frightening.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Shouldn't we be embarrassed about this? Shouldn't we be ashamed?

STARR: Marine Lance Corporal Jeremiah Michael Collins' remains were brought Monday to Dover Air Force Base.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He became a marine to become somebody. And he became a great marine.

STARR: But his family and others will not get Pentagon funding to go to Dover to meet their loved ones. The program is frozen until the shutdown is over. Funeral and burial expenses won't be reimbursed. A $100,000 cash payment to survivors stopped.

Amy Neiberger-Miller works with grieving family. There si concern for those who don't have a lot of money.

AMY NEIBERGER-MILLER, T.A.P.S.: The benefits are especially critical because they do provide them with the ability to make decisions quickly.

STARR: Her 22-year-old brother Christopher was killed in Iraq in 2007. NEIBERGER-MILLER: There were a number of unexpected expenses that we had not anticipated in our lives because we certainly had never thought my brother would die.

STARR: Some Republicans say the pentagon already has the authority to pay the benefits but promise a quick piece of legislation to make sure that happens.

(on camera): Pentagon officials are adamant. They need the legislative fix to get the money flowing again. And they say the proof is that Congress is talking about a fix. That proves they need a legislative solution.

But in the meantime, a number of corporations and groups that support military families have quietly stepped forward and are offering their financial support to families in their time of grief.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


SAMBOLIN: Our thanks to Barbara.

Five ex-employees of Bernie Madoff in trial in New York they are facing fraud charges. Jury selection is under way. And among the defendants, the convicted Ponzi schemer's former secretary, his ex- director of operations, and two computer programmers. Madoff's private investment firm bilked investigators out of $20 billion. Prospective jurors were told to expect hearings some celebrities like Steven Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor during a trial that's expected to last more than five months.

BERMAN: Nineteen victims of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky have now reached settlements with the university. Attorneys for the claimants confirming many of the young men have already received checks from a $60 million fund put aside by the school. Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in prison for the sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period.

SAMBOLIN: Aaron Hernandez is due back in court today. Lawyers for the former New England Patriots are expected to ask for a gag order in his murder case. They're hoping to avoid tinting the jury pool. They say publicity about the trial is unprecedented in Massachusetts.

And an informal gag order did not slow down all of the media attention. Hernandez is being held without bail and he has pleaded not guilty to murder and gun charges.

BERMAN: A court appearance for an Ohio school district official charged in connection with a notorious rape case. William Rhinaman, the Steubenville High School director of technology, is accused of tampering on evidence beginning on the night that two football players raped a 16-year-old girl. He's the first adult to be charged in connection with this rape case.

SAMBOLIN: An off-duty New York City police officer now under arrest in that violent attack on an SUV. Investigators say they have video of the 32-year-old detective pounding on the Range Rover as it tried to flee from a mob of motorcyclists. He is now facing felony charges. It's not clear if he took part in the beating of the driver however. Police say a second man also caught on video that has not yet been released is charged with gang assault.

BERMAN: The search of a car driven by a woman who tried to ram a White House barrier before being shot and killed by police at the Capitol Building, that search turned up no gun or motive, according to just released court papers. But a passport and foreign money were found inside Miriam Carey's Infiniti, along with her driver's licenses and Social Security cards for her and her daughter. That daughter was in the car, but luckily was not hurt.

SAMBOLIN: And there are many questions after a body was found in a stairwell at San Francisco General Hospital.

A law enforcement source tells CNN the body appears to be that of a patient Lynne Spalding who had gone missing two weeks ago. She had been in the hospital for treatment of an infection. An employee found the body and now police are investigating exactly what happened.


RACHEL KAGAN, SPOKESWOMAN, S.F. GENERAL HOSPITAL: It's a not very often used stairway. It is exterior. It's a fire stairway. And I do not know how the person came be where they were found.

DAVID PERRY, SPOKESMAN FOR FIND LYNNE CAMPAIGN: It's depressing anytime to find the body of a person in the stairwell.


SAMBOLIN: Friends say Spalding may have been disoriented by medication that she was taking. They worry that the hospital is not forthcoming with information about what happened.

BERMAN: It's just awful.

Meanwhile, a legal battle brewing over legendary American Top 40 Radio host Casey Kasem. The 81-year-old's three youngest children filing a petition to gain control of his medical care. They say Kasem is suffering from advanced Parkinson's disease and is being isolated from loved ones by his wife and their stepmother Jean. The filing asked that Jean Kasem let the children visit and carry out directors from health authorization dating back to 2007.

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-eight minutes past the hour.

Parents in Boston are being urged to make alternative plans to get their kids to school. That after bus drivers walked out and went on strike against the company that provides buses to the Boston public schools. The mayor calls this strike illegal, and is urging the drivers to get back to work.

BERMAN: Yes, the parent union not appreciative either that's going on.

New York could be the next state to ban so-called revenge porn. Three legislators are trying to eliminate Web sites where people post racy pictures of their exes. California recently passed a law banning revenge porn.

SAMBOLIN: We need a law for this.

BERMAN: Laws banning revenge porn. But the California law has come under fire since it doesn't cover pictures taken by the person whose image is posted. Revenge porn, ladies and gentlemen.


BERMAN: This would never happen.

SAMBOLIN: You take pictures like. You're suggesting, right?

BERMAN: No, no, no, I'm not suggesting that.

SAMBOLIN: Let's get a look at our early weather with Chad Myers.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, and good morning, everyone. Good evening, Hawaii. Except for you.

Los Angeles, showers. Washington, Baltimore, some showers as well. Vegas, Sacramento, you're going to get gusty winds today as the next storm comes through.

Seattle and Portland, some early morning fog. That's still a few hours for you.

Mostly sunny across a lot of the country today. A couple showers in the East. some snow in the Rockies. Snow in the Sierra, other than that a pretty dry forecast across the country. 66, New York. 67, D..C.

Warmer up in Minneapolis, 75, and many places farther down in the South -- 85 in Dallas, 83 down there in Houston, and 64 in L.A.

Enjoy your day. Back to you.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you very much, Chad.

Thirty-nine minutes past the hour.

An investigation under way at Georgia Tech to a disturbing e-mail sent by a brother at the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. The subject line, "luring your rape bait." And it sets out to explain how frat members should act with women to get them into bed. It advocates using dancing to lead to making out and eventually sex. If all else fails it says, get more alcohol. Of course, it includes the advice, no raping.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAKE BAKER, FORMER PHIL KAPPA TAU PLEDGE: There are a few pledges that were basically sort of getting on them. It was a brotherly, big brother/little brother kind of thing.


BAKER: It was a joke.


SAMBOLIN: Well, joke or not, I read it yesterday. The frat's organizing body calls the e-mail extremely inappropriate and it also it disturbing. It has suspended that chapter as well as the brother who wrote the e-mail.

This is not funny. All I have to say it's not funny to write stuff like that.

BERMAN: Not a joke at all.

All right. Forty minutes after the hour and coming up --


ELIZABETH SMART, NEW MEMOIR DETAILS CAPTIVITY: I felt like, well, no matter what the consequences are, I don't care, I want to go home.

ANDERSON COOPER: So what did you say?

SMART: I told them that I was Elizabeth Smart.


BERMAN: Kidnapping and rape survivor Elizabeth Smart opens up about the day she was finally rescued from her nine months in hell.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Nice to have you with us.

Time now for the "Primetime Pop", the best of CNN's primetime interviews, starring with Erin Burnett and this debate over the shutdown.

BERMAN: She spoke with South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford. He called back his own furloughed workers this week. He says all government employees should work now for the promise of back pay later.


REP. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The handwriting is on the wall. In the 17 other shutdowns that have occurred since the mid- 1970s, in every instance, this is with exceptions, folks have been paid back pay. And therefore, my view, with my own staff, the part that I did have control over, was to say, look, the handwriting is on the wall, 407-0 vote in the House. The president said he is willing to sign that bill.

Folks are going to get back paid. If you are going to get back pay, I think you ought to be working for your pay. It's a fairly simple and basic common sense proposition. I'll let others apply it to their respective agencies or the cabinet, or go down the list in terms of how they interpret it. But to me, it makes a whole lot of sense.

I had a TSA worker come to me back home and said, look, I don't think this is fair. I'm here as an essential employee. And other folks that aren't viewed as essential are basically getting a vacation while I'm here working the TSA line in airport security.

So, I think wherever possible, yes, folks who are going to be paid ought to be working today.


SAMBOLIN: With all due respect there are people who live paycheck to paycheck.

And on "AC360," part two of Anderson Cooper's emotional interview with Elizabeth Smart.

Have you been watching this?

BERMAN: Amazing.

SAMBOLIN: Abducted at knife point and held captive for nine months, just 14 years old. Her new memoir tells the incredible story, including the moment she was finally rescued.


SMART: All these cars pulled up and the policemen jumped out of their cars and started asking questions. And my two captors, they kept giving the answers. And the officers started asking me questions. And there had been a whole back story prepared by my two captors that told me I should say if I was ever questioned. And so, I started giving those answers because they were standing next to me. I was scared. I was petrified.

And then one of the officers, he said to the other officer, she's just too scared. We need to separate her from them. She can't answer with them right there. So they separated me, and they started asking me questions.

At first, I was still really scared. I kept giving the answers that I've been told to give. Then finally, one of the officers said, well, if you're Elizabeth Smart, your family misses you so much. And they love you so much. And they have never given up hope on you the entire nine months you're gone. Don't you want to go back home to your family?

And then I just at that point, that I felt like, well, no matter what the consequences are, I don't care, I want to go home.

COOPER: So, what did you say?

SMART: I told them that I was Elizabeth Smart.



SAMBOLIN: That is a brave woman right, sharing this story? Love that.

BERMAN: Also on Piers Morgan live, two hikers stranded in the desert after they were forced to leave a national park closed by the government shutdown.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: And because of the shutdown, (inaudible) another park, and suddenly it's getting very dangerous for you. You're severely sunburned, severely dehydrated, and a huge search goes on after 37 volunteers are involved in fact in getting you safe and eventually air lifting you to safety, where you were you felt out I believe that you were on the verge potentially of dying here.

CATHY FRYE: I did not think I was going to make it and that's been a hard thing to say several times now knowing that my kids are hearing that. They've heard it today already and they're hearing it again I believe right now, but, you know, we do know desert hiking, it's something that we've always enjoy doing, we spent many years doing it at the -- Big Bend at the National Park and it's -- just done a little more differently over at the state end of things than it is at the national end.

And what we thought would translate into, you know, just switching gears and, you know, switching at camps, didn't quite turn out that way.


BERMAN: I'm glad they're doing OK for sure.

Coming up next, what really is our lead story of the day. The Boston Red Sox headed to the ALCS. Be proud, America.

Andy Scholes will come back and tell us how this magic happened. That's coming up on "The Bleacher Report."


SAMBOLIN: Here we go.

BERMAN: It is such a great morning, isn't it, right?

SAMBOLIN: Oh, it's fantastic, Berman. You're giddy. You're out of control. You're spilling coffee. You brought props this morning. What's going on?

BERMAN: The Boston Red Sox are headed to the American League Championship Series. It's a special, special day.

Andy Scholes is here to share it in the "Bleacher Report."

Good morning, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Good morning, guys. You know, what a difference a year makes. Last season, the Red Sox, they were the worst team in the division. This season, they have the best record in baseball, now they're headed back to the American League Championship Series.

Boston, they were trailing for the majority of last night's game with the Rays but they scratched out three runs in the final three innings to get the win. They're now going back to the ALCS for the first time in five years.

The Red Sox will meet the winners between the Tigers and the Detroit. There was controversy in the seventh inning of this one. Tigers were down 4-3 when Victor Martinez hit the ball to the right. Two fans go after the ball right at the fence.

As you can see, this one was close. The umpires would have to review it. They would give Martinez the home run. The tigers go on to win 8-6. A winner take all game five will take place Thursday night on TBS.

All right. Number one on the lineup section on, you'll see Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, why? Because angry fans went to his house in Houston to yell at him about his poor play. Schaub called the police. The fans left in their own before they arrived. Schaub has definitely fallen out of grace with Texans fans after throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown in four straight games. That's an NFL record. Guys, I know you'll agree with me, once you step off the lines and off the playing field --

SAMBOLIN: Leave them alone.

SCHOLES: -- you can't yell at players at their houses. You buy a ticket, you can definitely do that in the stands. You can't follow them home and do this kind of thing.

BERMAN: Not the slightest bit cool.

SAMBOLIN: Let's go back to the Boston Red Sox on this one.

SCHOLES: I knew we would have to circle back.

SAMBOLIN: We're going to because why don't you explain to people, he was on the twilight zone last night. He went to sleep with the iPad in bed with him. And he wasn't sure, could you tell them about the dreams you have --

BERMAN: What happens is, it's past my bedtime. I have to go to bed at like 7:30. The game didn't start until 8:30. I'm in a constant thing of wake and sleep. I see part of the game and I fall asleep and then I walk up and I'm dreaming. And honestly, over the course of the night, I had dreamed that they had won. I dreamed they had lost. I dreamed that like octopuses were dancing on my ceiling. You know, the things I dream are crazy. I don't know what happens.

Honestly, I thought they lost. Finally, the alarm goes off, I see for real they had won. Even though I actually had seen the victory, but I thought it was a dream, it was a heck of a night.

SAMBOLIN: I'm excited because clearly they had a horrific season last year and look at them now. So, anything is possible.

BERMAN: It's problematic going forward, they're going to have all these night games.

SAMBOLIN: I'm worried.

BERMAN: I do not know what is going to happen here, but, Andy, we know you'll be here to help us through.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right. Coming up, a shocking breakup in reality TV royalty. We're going to have that when we come back.


BERMAN: All right, welcome back, everyone.

Fifty-seven minutes past the hour.

We're taking a look at the top CNN trends on the web this morning.

And Kanye West and Kim, they are bringing their Twitter feud to television. Kanye scheduled to appear on the host's late night show. That happens tonight. The pair have been battling since last month when Kimmel spoofed an interview the rapper did with BBC radio last month. West went after Kimmel on Twitter and eventually got him on the phone, apparently, to complain.

Now, it is not clear at this point if the two have made up. Given they're both consummate entertainers, I bet you they have something --

SAMBOLIN: This is going to be a bromance when (INAUDIBLE). Watch.

All right. It may be the end of Chris Jenner's marriage. After months of speculation, the leader of the Kardashian clan and her husband, Olympian Bruce Jenner, have announced their separation. They were married for 22 years. The couple's marital woes have played out on the family's reality show. They seem to remain a united front.

In a statement, the couple says they're living separately and they're much happier this way. I also read they have no plans for divorce. So, we'll see. Stay tuned.

BERMAN: More intrigue. And even more intrigue about the Kardashians, Khloe has opened up about her marital issues with husband Lamar Odom. Reality star says that the former NBA star is depressed and dealing with emotional issues. Reports of Odom's infidelity and heavy drug use have been circulating. The couple's struggle to have children has been chronicled on their reality show. But as of late, Kardashian has voiced her reservations about having a baby.

And that concludes our reporting from the Kardashian file this morning.

EARLY START continues right now.



OBAMA: Let's stop making excuses. Let's take a vote in the House. Let's end this shutdown right now. Let's put people back to work.

BOEHNER: Listen, there's never been a president in our history that did not negotiate over the debt limit. Never, not once.


BERMAN: They bluster. They bloviate, but will either side blink? The U.S. on the brink of economic calamity -- this morning, new hints about where an agreement might come and new outrage (ph) that would just make your screen crawl.

SAMBOLIN: They bloviate.

Hundreds of people across the country are sick from salmonella. Could the government shutdown be contributing to the outbreak?

BERMAN: And the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage taking part in a new challenge, also without a shark cage, this time for a really wonderful cause.

SAMBOLIN: Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. Happy you are with us. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is Wednesday, October 9th, 5:00 a.m. in the East. A great morning.

SAMBOLIN: At this early hour, there's still no sign that the government will soon be back to business. The partial shutdown is now in day nine. The debt ceiling deadline just days away now. The clock as you can see on the right hand side ticking.