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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Government Reopens; The Markets Respond; Alligator Found in Florida Hot Tub; Booker Wins Special Election; Inside the Kenya Mall Rampage

Aired October 17, 2013 - 05:00   ET

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


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: And those who voted against were all Republicans. Many of their GOP colleagues did say yes. The House approved the deal. Voting after 10:00 p.m., the result there much closer with most Republicans saying no.

Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta begins our coverage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The motion is adopted.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just as the nation was on the brink, the House of Representatives blinked, and passed the better Senate compromise to raise the nation's debt ceiling. And after a 16-day shutdown, the federal government will come back to life, thousands of employees returning to work in Washington to critical medical research programs, to national parks, even the panda cam and the national zoo.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will begin reopening our government immediately.

ACOSTA: When the end was in sight but before the House had even voted, the president came out to say he is ready to work with both parties in the future.

OBAMA: I am willing to work with anybody. I'm eager to work with anybody -- Democrat, Republican, House or Senate members, on any idea that will grow our economy, create new jobs, strengthen the middle class, and get our physical house in order.

ACOSTA: House Speaker John Boehner gave the green light to the deal when he dropped GOP demands for Obamacare in exchange for an end of the standoff.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have been locked in a fight over here trying to -- trying to bring government down to size, trying to do our best to stop Obamacare and we fought the good fight. We just didn't win.

ACOSTA: Even some agreed the strategy failed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The folks who said we were going to lose turned out to be correct. I can't argue with that. ACOSTA: But in a sign of potentially more battles to come, one of the architects of the Obamacare or bust plan, Texas Senator Ted Cruz vowed to keep fighting.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The way we are going to stop the suffering, the harms that are being visited on millions of Americans is the path we have seen these past couple of months is the American people rising up.

ACOSTA: Cruz may get his wish. The deal only reopens the government until mid-January and pushes back another default until February.

But the president told CNN not to worry.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Is this going to happen all over again in a few months?

OBAMA: No.

ACOSTA: Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Well, let's hope we are not going through this again in just a few months.

The big question now is what happens next? Work begins on this, this morning. The head of the Senate Budget Committee, Patty Murray, and the House Budget Committee chair, Paul Ryan, they are scheduled to meet today. They're going to be responsible for trying to find a long-term compromise here.

Athena Jones is live with us in Washington.

Athena, can we expect from this meeting this morning?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.

Well, this meeting, though, begin to talk about the big challenges ahead. That's a phrase we hear often when talking about the difficulties in reaching a deal. They are trying to find a deal that would give a budget for the fiscal year 2014 for the rest of the year. That goes until September 30th.

But we know that there are -- these are compromises that have eluded both parties over the last several years. This is why we have had so many budget battles. Big issues loom, things like entitlement reform, tax reform, whether there will be any new tax revenues, whether Democrats will be able to undue the forced spending cuts. Bigger cuts are set to kick in after January 15th, which is one reason Democrats are happier with the shorter frame on the spending bill.

So, there's a lot to be worked through here. We know that many Republicans have taken pledges not to raise taxes and we know that there's some resistance on the Republican side when it comes to entitlement reform. So, we hear words like common ground, but big challenges and difficulties are still ahead and both sides recognize that.

BERMAN: Talk about finding common ground that's bigger than like a plot like this big right now.

Look, politics is not a game and there were real people hurt there. You know, some 800,000 workers who were furloughed for at least some of the time here. As I said, not game.

Still, a lot of people talking about the winners and losers in political terms here. What do you think?

JONES: Well, what's interesting here is that all of this started out with Republican demands to either dismantle or defund or delay or somehow make big changes to Obamacare and they didn't get that. The only thing that treats Obamacare in this piece of legislation is income verification requirement for folks who are going to get subsidies to buy health insurance on these Obamacare exchanges.

And certainly in the polls, Republicans have taken a big battering. They are getting the brunt of the blame for all of this. And so, some people in their party are acknowledging that they are going to have to rebuild.

So, this is who it's looking like is the big loser right now. On the winner's side, President Obama, many would argue, he held firm. He took the lesson from 2011 in the fight over the debt ceiling then in which he did budge and decided he's not going to do it again. And so, certainly, the White House probably feels vindicated this morning because there weren't any changes to Obama care and there weren't a big, big changes to this law that we all knew wasn't going to happen in the end, of course, anyway -- John.

BERMAN: And those hundreds of thousands of workers who've been locked out of their jobs for the last couple of weeks, clear losers in some ways also.

When can they get back on the job?

JONES: Well, they have been ordered back this morning. The big question is whether they will get the message. A lot of these folks haven't been checking their BlackBerrys. So, you could see people trickle in or turn up and some who do turn up spend some of their time contacting the others who didn't and letting them know that the deal has been reached and it's time to come back -- John.

BERMAN: Back to work this morning, guys.

All right. Athena Jones in Washington for us -- thanks so much, Athena.

JONES: Thanks.

SAMBOLIN: Six minutes past the hour.

The warnings for days now have been default could sink the economy. Now we have a deal but is the damage already done?

Maribel Aber is here with more on that and how much this costs.

MARIBEL ABER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDETN: Cost a lot, billions. We'll get to that in a second.

And we have been saying this deal only funds the government until January 15th and raise the debt limit until February 7th -- saving the country from defaulting on its bills.

You could say somewhat delaying inevitable having to have this discussion again and looking forward to more tennis lobs back and forth on this political front in the not-too-distant future.

Look, some analysts say a default threat could actually to come back in February and here we go again, as Treasury Department approaches extended borrowing limit once again. So, now what?

Well, let's look at the market. Asian markets rose on the news. Japan's Nikkei rose 1 percent. Markets in Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Shanghai also were higher.

But in the U.S., futures were lower, right? Investors may have reacted to the settlement and moved on. Analysts I've talked to said they have been advising their clients to ignore the headlines, right? Look at the market fundamental.

BERMAN: This is exactly what they thought would happen. They bet on this exactly right for the most part.

ABER: They had it right. The Dow up 200 points and NASDAQ up more than 1 percent, S&P 500 points away from a record again yesterday and hitting that date in last September.

Also, I want to throw out Fitch, we talked about that yesterday, right? Warned that it might downgrade the U.S. credit rating if the situation were to drag on, and we'll have to see whether that happens, whether they change their mind on that. They've got purview on that one.

Analysts from Standard & Poor's say the partial government shutdown took a $24 billion bite out of the U.S. economy. The rating agency predicts that the U.S. economy will grow by an annual phase of around 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter. So, that's down from its original forecast of roughly 3 percent growth rate projected prior to the shutdown.

And you know what? The real concern here is what we lost, will we not be able to get that growth back? That's the real concern.

SAMBOLIN: Everybody talking about kicking the can down the road. We had it early in the show also, the consequences of just continuing to kick the can down the road to the economy.

ABER: And CEOs and Wall Street, they're looking at that as well. If there is one optimistic view that I did hear out there was -- well, maybe this will give lawmakers a little bit of time to get it right, to come up with that solution. That's being totally dramatically optimistic and only bright side I see but another here we go again and hopefully we don't have to have this discussion after this next deadline.

BERMAN: Yes, they have not shown much aptitude for getting together and getting things done at all.

All right. Maribel Aber, thanks for coming in this morning. We really appreciate it.

Other political news right now. The newest member of the Senate is Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. He is elected by voters in New Jersey to finish out the term of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg. It was a special election being closely watched by both political parties who called it a referendum on President Obama's policies and opinions of the Tea Party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY SENATOR-ELECT: Too many people are forgetting that the lines that divide us are nothing compared to those ties that bind us. It forgets the cynical attitude, forgets the idea that, that ideal, the truth that we are all in this together.

STEVE LONEGAN (R), SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm going to go back into the private sector, going to do what I put my money where my mouth is and build a business and create jobs, and I think my wife probably likes to hear that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: All right. It's likely to take a few weeks before the election results are certified and Booker can officially join the Senate. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said he expects the process to be completed by early November.

BERMAN: So, big changes could soon be becoming to the NSA. The director of the spy agency and its top deputy are expected to leave in the coming year, giving President Obama a chance to appoint his own replacements. General Keith Alexander has led the agency since 2005. That's the longest tenure ever for an NSA director.

A spokesman says the decision to leave was long planned and not reaction to recent revelations about surveillance practices.

SAMBOLIN: The NSA is apparently playing a key role in the CIA's drone program overseas. Documents reviewed showing information gathered by that agency is factoring into the decisions about who to target with the drone strikes. Much of the details however were not published at the request of intelligence officials.

BERMAN: And an international team reporting progress and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile. The organization for the Prohibition of chemical weapons says its inspectors have now visited 11 sites and destroyed critical equipment at six of them. The team is set to complete its site visits by the end of the month and begin eliminating chemical agents in November.

SAMBOLIN: Bulgaria meanwhile is planning to start work on a border fence to keep refugees from Syria's civil war from entering their country. Thousands have crossed into Bulgaria illegally since this fighting began. The fence would be about 10 feet tall, 20 miles long and run along a mountainous region with Turkey. That fence would cost about $3.5 million.

Tough to look at those pictures.

BERMAN: Eleven minutes after the hour. Very tough to watch that suffering.

There are a lot of countries around the world doing good things to represent the refugees there, we should point.

Eleven minutes after the hour.

Let's get a check of the weather now. Indra Petersons is here.

Good morning.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning.

Not too bad. I mean, it's still warm, I know if you guys feel it. But very nice, we know it's not going to last, the cold front is making its way east. We're actually looking at light showers currently cross.

You can tell, so minimal out there and I'll show you where that front currently lies. You can see it slowly expected overnight tonight to make its way off shore. Just remember, there are two in the line.

As far as how much rain we are expecting we saw it on the radar. Generally light overall in the next 24 hours really only an inch and not necessarily even everywhere. So, kind of scattered with the system. Very moisture starved, even on the tail end of it, we are getting a hint more.

Remember Octave, barely even exist anymore. We'll start to see a little bit of those light showers, still kind of spreading into the gulf itself. The rain amounts, same thing.

Just about an inch. Pretty nice actually out there, very light rain across the area. The other side of this, though, is that second front that is going to bring even cold air in for the weekend. It's going to bring a little bit of snow. Those first flurries in Denver are expected today.

We're going to be looking for just a hint of that. But it gets cold this weekend and it stays cold. That's (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: Very little rain. Really dry fall. PETERSONS: It's not that bad, I'm going to take that.

BERMAN: You know, not bad so far.

SAMBOLIN: Wait until the snow gets here, Indra. Thank you.

BERMA N: All right. Twelve minutes past the hour.

Coming up --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just to have people listen and look at it with an objective eye is huge for us at this point because we haven't had that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The new hope for justice in the case of a teenage girl who says prosecutors refused to go after the high school football star who they say raped her.

Plus --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are wild animals. I don't like anything untamed to be too close.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: I don't think anybody like it.

A Florida man arrested for keeping an alligator as a pet in a really unusual place.

Plus, it is time for your morning rhyme. Tweet us with your own original verse, #earlystart, #morningrhyme. We're going to read the best ones on the air in our next half hour.

BERMAN: Do it now!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.

Officials in Missouri are pledging to take another look at a controversial rape case. The prosecutors originally dropped charges against a 17-year-old football star accused of raping 14-year-old Daisy Coleman. The prosecutor claimed the girl refused to testify. Her family says the decision not to pursue charges was because of the suspect's tie to a powerful political family.

The prosecutor is now insisting the investigation was thorough but public trust must be restored.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT RICE, NODAWAY COUNTY PROSECUTING: I've asked the court to appoint a special prosecuting attorney to conduct an independent review of the facts and determine whether to re-file charges.

MELINDA COLEMAN, MOTHER: Just to have people listen and look at it with an objective eye is huge for us at this point because we haven't had that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Daisy Coleman says it means a lot to have as much as much public support as she is now receiving.

SAMBOLIN: Lawyers for a man accused in a Colorado movie theater massacre are moving to have any evidence found in his car and computers thrown out.

Attorneys for James Holmes at a pretrial hearing argued the police had no search warrant for that car and the search warrant for the computers was not a proper warrant. Twelve people died, 70 were wounded at the Aurora theater shooting.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

BERMAN: He says he is not crazy and also not a hero. The owner of the boat where Boston marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hid is now speaking out about the night that he found him.

David Henneberry tells "The Boston Globe" he never would have gone to his backyard if he knew Tsarnaev was there. He says when he spotted Tsarnaev he ran back into the house shaking and he dialed 911.

SAMBOLIN: Eighteen minutes past the hour.

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban has been found not guilty of insider trading. The SEC has alleged that Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks, sold off an investment despite knowing confidential information that might have affected the stock price. A jury disagreed, taking less than four hours to deliberate the case.

BERMAN: Florida detectives made a surprising discovery this week. What did they find? An alligator in a hot tub. They were serving a drug-related search warrant at the time. The home's resident told them the alligator was there when he moved in.

SAMBOLIN: Really?

BERMAN: The neighbors were stunned when they heard this news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of crazy. I have cats. I'm a little concerned who else has crazy pets.

REPORTER: Have you seen the alligator around?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I've never seen the alligator and I'm happy for that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Tony Wells told police he has been feeding the gator chicken, apparently a lot of chicken. The detectives say they have never seen anything like this. Wells was arrested on charges of illegally keeping an alligator, later released on $500 bond.

As for what happens to the alligator, well, we do not have the word on that.

SAMBOLIN: That's just a head scratcher.

BERMAN: Hot tub?

SAMBOLIN: Yes, it's crazy.

Coming up, we have a CNN exclusive. We're taking you inside the Kenya mall as terrorists attack. We are live in Nairobi with the shocking news surveillance video after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.

When terrorists attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in Kenya last month, the only way to understand what happened was from the stories of survivors. But CNN has now obtained access to some of the mall's surveillance videos. Much of what we are about to show you is graphic, it's frightening, and it is painful to watch. It is not suitable for children, but it is important to see for a lot of people. It is news.

Our Nima Elbagir is live in Nairobi this morning.

And, Nima, you've gone through hours of this dramatic footage. What does it show you?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a really difficult to watch, John. But at the same time, as you said, it is so important to see with our own eyes the depravity, the casual indifference of the killing, and given there are so many unanswered questions still. Most importantly, this footage gives us a small window into what actually happened on that day on that Saturday in September in Nairobi.

Take a watch, John.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELBAGIR: A first look at a nightmare. CNN has obtained surveillance video of the horrifying moments inside the Kenya mall massacre that took at least 67 lives and injured hundreds. Watch as unaware shoppers suddenly run for their lives. A wounded man tries crawling to safety but the gunman returns.

Outside, helicopters circle and you can hear the gunfire coming from al Shabaab, attackers combing the hallways. Survivors run and crawl to wherever they can to survive.

Some hide in the stairwell, others in stores. A body on the mall floor is shot repeatedly. At a mall restaurant, staff and customers cower behind the counter as a plain clothes police officer tries to protect them.

Security cameras on the roof catch attackers walking towards the children's cooking competition, opening fire just beyond the camera's view. In a supermarket, the massacre continues. Surveillance video shows the hostage roundup has begun. A mother and her two children pushed and injured in a shopping cart. A bloody teenage girl follow, her hands in the air as a gunman points the way.

Hours later, they are released.

Back inside, the hostage takers are spotted on the phone. Authorities believe they are receiving instructions from outside the mall. One of them appears to be looking for surveillance cameras and there are even long periods of time where the attackers appear relaxed. At one point, taking time for prayers.

This is just a fraction of the surveillance video recorded as most of it is too horrifying to broadcast. Only the first day of a four-day nightmare for Kenya.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ELBAGIR: It's been three weeks now, John, and people still don't know what happened to their loved ones in that attack. They are still trying to bring bodies out from under that rubble. 25 people, we understand from the Kenya Red Cross, are still unaccounted for, John.

BERMAN: Nima, I got to say -- that footage is simply chilling, the body language among the shooters chilling, the relentless persistence in some cases simple horrifying. It's hard to watch but, as you say, important to understand how this happen. So, maybe we can keep it from happening again.

Nima Elbagir, thank you for bringing that to us. Really appreciate it.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: You were probably sleeping when this happened overnight. Crisis averted, a deal raising the debt ceiling, and reopening the government, signed by President Obama.