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S&P Opens At Record High; Obamacare Site Glitches; Girl Found in Greece; Rihanna Mosque Photos; Accusations Rihanna Disrespected Holy Site; Men Cling to Boat for 14 hours; Three People Hurt at Bally's Casino

Aired October 21, 2013 - 09:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'm John Berman.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Michaela Pereira. Carol Costello has the day off.

BERMAN: Time for a look at the top stories now.

If you're still having trouble signing up for Obamacare online, you are not alone. The website has experienced glitches since day one. Later this morning, President Obama will step in front of cameras to address these problems. This is expected to happen at about 11:25 Eastern. You can see that live right here on CNN.

New allegations against the NSA. This time over accusations that the agency intercepted more than 70 million phone calls in France. That's according to a French newspaper that cites documents leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden.

And in Mexico, officials are lashing out against a report that the agency hacked into the public e-mail of former President Felipe Calderon. Mexican officials say the allegations are, quote, "unacceptable." They've called for an investigation.

On Wall Street, investors are hoping for more gains after last week's temporary debt ceiling deal. The S&P 500 is opening up at record highs this morning. And we are waiting for the monthly report on existing home sales due out next hour. CNN's Alison Kosik is live at the New York Stock Exchange.

How do things look so far, Alison?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Looking like a flat start to this day on Monday. You know, there's really not much holding the market back, though, when you look at the big picture because with that default averted, also we're in the middle of the fourth quarter, so it's historically a strong one. So you're going to be looking at the trend really to be higher, but, of course, how long that's going to last is anyone's guess. As I said, you know, we are seeing some caution. Not expecting huge gains today, but even just one measly point on the S&P 500 would be a new record.

And what a fantastic run it's been for the S&P 500, up 22 percent this year. Historically, a more normal gain on the S&P is 8 percent. The Dow's not doing too bad either. Only about 2 percent below its record high. The Nasdaq is at its highest level since 2000.

You know, it really is pretty amazing considering everything that's happened this year. We had the shutdown, the possible default in the summer. There were all those concerns about the Fed pulling back its stimulus. That hit stocks. All the while economic growth, to be quite honest, isn't that spectacular. So these are major events, but the market is proving to be resilient. But those default fears, they are still there. They're kind of bubbling underneath the surface because now what's going to happen is Wall Street is going to see us coming up against a February deadline.


BERMAN: An epic year on Wall Street for investors. But, again, the problem is, it's not trickling down to the people at home, especially those who have lost their jobs.

KOSIK: That disconnect is there, yes.

BERMAN: Alison Kosik at the exchange. Thanks so much. Great to see you this morning.

PEREIRA: The Obamacare website, plagued by problems, but the government's FaceBook page is apparently working flawlessly, recording all of the complaints about those glitches. Site visitor Mary Holter says, "I have tried every day since October 1st to enroll. My initial ID and password were wiped out after the first week. This is a complete disaster," she says. While Kelly Bishop says, "I've called the help center, done the live chat, no one can seem to help me."

According to "The New York Times," these problems are so vast, the site may not operate smoothly until after the December 15th deadline to have coverage. That's because as many as 5 million lines of software code may need to be rewritten. Five million lines.

BERMAN: Five million.

PEREIRA: You can handle about 1 million lines of code, right?


PEREIRA: For perspective, imagine this. Consider that "The Times" says that's about five times the size of a computer system of a giant bank, like a large bank. It's incredible. Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is in Atlanta with a closer look.

We know that you had success and you tried repeatedly and you finally had success.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I had success with the first part, Michaela.

PEREIRA: Ah. COHEN: I had success actually getting a login. And we can talk more about what happened after that. But this has definitely been a rocky road for

Now, over the weekend, they did some fixes, but they haven't gotten it completely right and they're not saying when they will.


COHEN (voice-over): If you've tried buying health insurance on, you've probably had trouble using the website. It's plagued with glitches and the administrations had yet to figure them all out.

COHEN (on camera): I'm now putting in my county for I think the fifth time.

COHEN (voice-over): It took me two weeks trying at all times of day and night until I finally was able to logon and start filling out my application. But the glitches continue. Every time I logon, for example -

COHEN (on camera): It keeps putting me back up here.

COHEN (voice-over): I have to fill out this same page again and again.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It's been a fiasco. Send Air Force One out to Silicon Valley, load it up with some smart people, bring them back to Washington and fix this problem. It's ridiculous and everybody knows that.

COHEN: The Department of Health and Human Services does seem to be trying. On Sunday the agency wrote, "our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve"

The administration also released one key figure showing people have filed nearly half a million applications for health insurance so far. But by CNN's own calculation, more than half of that total comes from the 14 states running their own websites, not In fact, just one state, New York, accounts for more than a quarter of all applications. And, yes, they have their own website, too.


COHEN: Now it's interesting, on the new home page that went live last night, there's a button that says "apply by phone." So they're pointing out to people, you can call, you can apply by phone. Now I know - I know that when I've tried to call, it - they've answered very quickly and they've been very helpful.

Michaela. John.

PEREIRA: Yes, sometimes it's nice to have an actual person to talk to.

COHEN: Yes. PEREIRA: Now we're hearing that Kentucky is a success story. How were they able to get it right?

COHEN: Right. Well, I spoke to the folks from Kentucky and also New York, where they've been able to get it right, and they said that they did a lot of things differently from the federal government. So, for example, the federal government, it took them a while to get this started because they were so busy trying to get other states to do it on their own, so that they sort of got a slow start.

The other thing, and I think this is really crucial, is that experts tell me that those states, like Kentucky and New York, they didn't have much bureaucracy. They were very sort of finely tuned. Everyone knew where the answers were coming from. Federal government, they said not so much.

PEREIRA: Bureaucracy slows things down? My goodness.

COHEN: I know. Imagine -


PEREIRA: This is breaking news. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much for watching this for us.

BERMAN: The haunting image of a young girl named Maria has generated thousands of calls over the last few days as authorities in Greece search for her birth parents. And we could learn more about Maria as the couple charged with abducting her is in court today. CNN's Erin McLaughlin joins us now from London.

Erin, really so many people captivated by the image of this little girl. Who is she? How did she get there? And what happens to her now?


Well, the couple that are suspected of kidnapping her are currently being deposed in court. It's not clear if the family plans on making any statements out of that hearing. But as you say, there are more questions than answers when it comes to this little girl.


MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): She's known only as Maria, the little girl at the center of an international mystery. Just who are her parents and why was she found living in a gypsy campsite in Greece? Investigators were carrying out a routine inspection of a roma (ph) encampment near the town of Larissa when they noticed Maria. Her blond hair and blue eyes were striking. She looked nothing like the 39-year-old man and the 40-year-old woman claiming to be her parents. DNA tests later confirmed the investigator's suspicions.

PANAGIOTIS PARDOLIS, "SMILE OF THE CHILD" SPOKESMAN: There was bad living conditions, poor hygiene. So the girl was found under -- in a state of neglect, both physically and psychologically. MCLAUGHLIN: The man and woman were arrested on suspicion of abducting a minor, and the campsite is now under investigation. The couple's lawyer denies the charges.

KOSTAS KATSAVOS, LAWYER FOR ACCUSED COUPLE: Our clients' claim is that we never abduct this child, we just adopted. With -- in a way non- legal. That's where we can confess.

MCLAUGHLIN: Police launched a public appeal, and have asked Interpol to help locate her real parents. When Maria's story broke, it reminded many of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal six years ago. No trace of her has ever been found.

STEVE MOORE, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: I'd hope that something like this would give the McCanns enough hope and encouragement that they renew their strength for the fight.


MCLAUGHLIN: The lawyer for the couple says that a Bulgarian woman gave them Maria because she could not care for her. So lots of questions here, John. Not clear exactly what's going on.

BERMAN: All right, we hope that little girl gets the care she needs now, Erin. Erin McLaughlin for us in London, thanks so much.

PEREIRA: Still to come, did pop star Rihanna disrespect a mosque in Abu Dhabi by striking a pose for photographs? We have that story, next.


BERMAN: All right, pop star Rihanna making headlines.

PEREIRA: Yes, what's she up to this time, you ask? Well, instead of just pushing the limit on stage and on screen, she made a visit to a mosque while on tour in the United Arab Emirates and struck a pose.

BERMAN: A move that some people now are calling disrespectful and inappropriate. CNN entertainment correspondent and just terrific all- around reporter Nischelle Turner joins us right now.

PEREIRA: I need to keep the two of you apart -


PEREIRA: Because apparently you're cheering for opposite teams in the baseball playoffs.

BERMAN: She roots for a team called the Cardinals. I don't know why.

PEREIRA: I'm not familiar with that team (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: We'll leave that aside for the important - the biz (ph) report.

TURNER: You just stay over there, John Berman, while I give you the information, OK?

BERMAN: What is going on with Rihanna?

TURNER: Well, let's talk about this, because this - it seems like that the mosque is saying more than Rihanna is saying in this. and this incident says a lot more about the mosque than it does Rihanna. You know, she's in the UAE for a concert. She took the time out to visit the courtyard of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center. Now in the courtyard, she posed for some pictures. She sent them out on Instagram. We're looking at them right there. The pictures are beautiful. Not particularly revealing. She was having some fun. She captioned one of the photos when she was laying on her back, "no tan lines." She is covered from head to toe, although, you know, you look in her in that burqa, it looks more like a look than a -

PEREIRA: Right. Right.

TURNER: But she looks beautiful. You know, before she was able to even enter the mosque, though, she was asked to leave. And the mosque officials have told CNN that they thought the pictures she was taking were inappropriate and they said, quote, "the photos did not fit within the rules and regulations set out to preserve the sacredness of the center."

Now, the issue here, they're not really saying what they have an issue with in the pictures, because like we said, she's not revealed or anything. And the poses didn't seem suggestive. So we're not really sure why there was an issue, but she left and she hasn't really said much about it.

PEREIRA: Did she get clearance before going in for the shoot?

TURNER: That's a good question. That's a good question. That's something that hasn't been clarified if she got clearance or if she just went to the courtyard or if you even have to get clearance to go to the courtyard.

BERMAN: Is she saying anything at all about what she was thinking or what she was doing?

TURNER: She's not. She's not. She posted the pictures on Instragram. And you know Rihanna, she's not one to pull punches and she usually says what she means and means what she says. But in this case, she's been very, very silent.

BERMAN: They don't look, you know, happenstance. They don't look -


BERMAN: You know, like snapshots. They look very posed, staged, like there was some thinking into it.

TURNER: Yes. Yes, they look like a bit of a professional photo shoot.

PEREIRA: She was mindful of certain things, cultural things, to be sure. BERMAN: Yes.

TURNER: And in that situation, she may have thought it may have just been best to back up, go ahead and leave and just be done with it.

PEREIRA: Well, can we get you guys to do the same thing, go ahead and just back off it and be friends again?

TURNER: Can there be peace here?

PEREIRA: Can you shake hands at least?

TURNER: Not till after the World Series.

BERMAN: Two will enter, one will leave.

PEREIRA: Entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner.

TURNER: Not until after the World Series.

PEREIRA: You'll be friends again one day.


PEREIRA: All right.

BERMAN: Maybe if the Red Sox win.

PEREIRA: Good to have you here.

BERMAN: Speaking of controversy, good and bad news for the infamous street artist Banksy. The bad? Mayor Michael Bloomberg has enough of his guerrilla art exhibits, calling his work a, quote, "sign of decay and loss of control." Really? But despite suggesting Banksy's breaking the law with his graffiti, the police say they are not actively searching for him. Banksy has been tagging the city for three weeks now. His spokesperson has called it a month-long residency.

PEREIRA: I like the fact that he calls it a residency.

BERMAN: Exactly.

PEREIRA: You'll never know they --

BERMAN: An artist in residence here in the entire city of New York.

PEREIRA: Are we in resident -- we're in residency.

This week is the CNN premiere of "BLACKFISH" this is a documentary that takes aim at the controversial issue of killer whales in captivity. We're going to speak to the director of that film next hour on CNN NEWSROOM. We'll be right back.


PEREIRA: All right. Let's check our top stories. Are you frustrated with the new Obamacare Web site? If you haven't been able to sign up, you're certainly not alone. Later this morning President Obama will address the technical glitches that have plagued the Web site. Make sure to watch CNN at 11:25 Eastern we'll bring you his remarks live.

And in quite an overturn of his previous stance, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie -- Christie reportedly dropping his appeal on the same- sex marriages in his state. Many same-sex couples began tying the knot in New Jersey just this morning. Newark Mayor Cory Booker conducted several of those ceremonies. New Jersey is the 14th state to recognize civil unions.

In money, if you happen to own an iPad. You might want to think about trading it in. Apple of course they are always unveiling something new. Well there is a new one apparently being unveiled tomorrow. Experts say, this one is thinner, sleeker and once it hits the shelves, the price values are expected to drop in those older iPads. Apple is hoping the new iPad will boost sales which have been in a bit of a slump lately.

A Florida Wal-Mart had quite a visit from that. Enough said. Yes police in Orange County called to the store after an alligator was seen wandering, cruising, really, outside the entrance just after midnight. They blocked off the doors for about an hour apparently triggering the censor that opens the door.

Good news for the gator, he was able to sneak off into the woods before Wildlife officers arrived to the scene. No word on what he purchased while in the store.

BERMAN: You know even alligators like fair pricing.

PEREIRA: Come on. I think he was applying for a job as greeter.

BERMAN: And you know the news out of the New Jersey is a big deal. The fact that Chris Christie was wrong (ph) and you see what that means is that for gay couples in New Jersey marriage there is now the law of the land and will stay.

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

BERMAN: The law of the land. The 14th state --


PEREIRA: The 14 in our nation.

BERMAN: -- to legalize gay marriage.


BERMAN: All right 14 hours -- that is how long two men spent clinging to a boat off the coast of Massachusetts after they capsized in rough water over the weekend.

PEREIRA: Now this is the other point they had no life vest or at least they had one and it floated away. They had no radio to call for help. So they had to cling on tight and fight for their lives.

BERMAN: Yes they had a world of problems.

PEREIRA: They had a world of problems is what they had. Pamela Brown joins us now her in New York with the incredible detail. They are able to live to tell the story.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are and they really are counting their blessings lucky to be alive. Michael and John it was supposed to be a peaceful day at sea for these two men. And it turned into a scary overnight ordeal and a brutal lesson in survival.


BROWN (voice over): It was supposed to be a leisurely day at sea for these two New Hampshire men. But not long after taking sail from Salem, Massachusetts en route to Boston, their trip took a terrifying turn.

GEORGE REYNOLDS, RESCUED FROM CAPSIZED BOAT: We know it will be a long night --

BROWN: The men say a strong gust of wind caused their 25 foot homemade sail boat to capsize Friday, leaving them clinging for life to a wooden plank on top of their overturn boat.

REYNOLDS: We know our best chance was to stay with the boat and not to panic.

Officials say the men had no radio to call for help. And the one life jacket they had between them drifted away. As the hours passed in the dark of night, the two men turned to their faith.

FRED SCHAEFFER, RESCUED FROM CAPSIZED BOAT: We prayed together from the scriptures.

REYNOLDS: And encouraging each other. Because we knew, I'll tell you what, that's a life or death struggle out there in the water.

BROWN: Their prayers were answered 14 hours later when a fishing crew spotted their capsized post tied to a buoy only half a mile away from land and called for help.

EDDIE PEREIRA, CAPTAIN OF RESCUE BOAT: They were very cold. They were very thankful that we found them and that we took them?

BROWN: The men were brought back to dry land safely -- cold, wet, and a little shaken up from their ordeal.

E. PEREIRA: I could not imagine being out there for 14 hours the way they were. They were very brave.


BROWN: And the men refused medical care once they made it back to land. Officials say this serves as an important reminder to wear a life jacket at all-times and have emergency equipment available like a radio -- readily available.

The men were lucky in many ways though because it was relatively warm -- in the 60s, the water only about 58 degrees, when they were stranded. And their boat happened to capsized near a busy waterway. So it's likely they would have been spotted.

PEREIRA: It's amazing even that they were able to walk away and drive off under their own power. What an incredible tale. Pamela Brown, thank you so much for that.

BERMAN: All right. We're getting some news in just in to CNN. This is coming out of Las Vegas right. The Bally's casino in Las Vegas -- there has been a shooting at the casino really just a short while ago there. Three people shot at the casino.

Our affiliate there KVVU, says one man, one male suspect is in custody. The University Medical Center in Las Vegas says that three patients have been transported to them. We do not know the condition they're in right now.

You're looking at pictures right of the Bally's Casino where again, we're getting reports now there was a shooting just a short while ago. Three people hurt, now confirmed at a hospital. Their conditions unknown. One male suspect in custody.

We will continue to follow this and get you the latest when we come back.


BERMAN: Welcome back everyone.

Peyton Manning received a warm welcome from his fans in his return to Indianapolis. That was just before the Colts pummeled him. Andrew Luck played some inspired football, spoiled Peyton Manning's homecoming.

PEREIRA: Joe Carter has more for us in this morning's "Bleacher Report". Hey there -- Joe.

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS: Hey, what's up guys? You have to give credit to Andrew Luck. How hard it is to be the guy replacing the man. But he did. He outplayed Peyton Manning last night. And before the game, it was really a love fest between Manning and the Colt fans. He played there for 13 seasons. He won a Super Bowl for that town and really turned that basketball city with the Pacers and Hoosiers into a football town.

And Robert Mathis knows Peyton real well. They played together for seven seasons. And he was told during all those years never to come within five feet of that practice. But last night Mathis absolutely terrorized Peyton Manning.

And you know what; Indianapolis is officially Andrew Luck's city now. Luck passed for three touchdowns. He ran in another. And it may have been Peyton Manning's week, but it was the Colt's night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PEYTON MANNING, NFL PLAYER: I truly appreciate way the great reception from the fans. I truly appreciated that as well.


CARTER: You got the next story, guys? All right. Turning this morning to, the Jets lost to the Patriots because -- the Jets beat the Patriots because of a never before called penalty. This happened in overtime. The Patriots' Chris Jones was actually flagged for using his teammate as a battering ram.

Now this is a new rule this year. You can't push your teammate into the opponent's formation. It's a 15 yard penalty. And that gave the Jets a second chance at a field goal and Nick (inaudible) made it worth it, I mean. He got a 42-yarder that was good. And the Jets beat the Patriots for the first time since 2011.

And not to get lost in the Peyton versus Luck battle from last night, look at this hit by the kicker on Broncos Trendon Holiday (ph). He gets laid out right here. How often do you see that? It looks like (inaudible) MacAfee just leveled him. It actually looks like MacAfee leads with his helmet.

We'll see guys if he gets fined by the NFL and that will actually be the first time that a kicker or punter will get fined for a hit like that.

BERMAN: You don't see that from a kicker very often. But that looked like the textbook definition of helmet to helmet contact.

PEREIRA: But he also pops right back up, too.