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Nevada Middle School Shooting; President Defends Obamacare; Anger in France; More Shockers Promised; Apple Unveiled

Aired October 22, 2013 - 05:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And Major League Baseball versus A-Rod. The legal battle to prove that the player cheated his way to greatness. This battle has been crazy already and it's getting even crazier.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Michaela Pereira.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. Tuesday, October 22nd. It is now 5:00 a.m. in the East. We are making progress.

PEREIRA: We are. We are develop -- ticking right along. Stick with us.

We're going to begin this hour with terrible sadness in Nevada. Deadly shooting at a middle school there.

Authorities still trying to figure out exactly what led a student armed with a semiautomatic handgun to killed a beloved math teacher and wound two of his classmates before turning the gun on himself.

Classes at the Sparks Middle School are canceled the remainder of the week as the community grieves.

We get more from CNN's Stephanie Elam.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Trying to make sense of a senseless killing. The small desert community of Sparks, Nevada, came together in prayer last night after chaos and tragedy at a local middle school.

911 OPERATOR: Teacher down on the playground. They have one victim in the cafeteria, one in the hall.

ELAM: Students were waiting for the morning bell to ring and then shots fired.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: We started running and screaming. So, I started running and then we heard another gunshot.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: The kid is starting getting mad. And he pulls out a gun and shoots my friend.

ELAM: The shooter, a 13-year-old student, allegedly using his parents' gun, wounded two fellow students. One in the shoulder, the other in the abdomen.

A teacher rushed to their aid.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: He walked up to a teacher and says, "back up." The teacher started backing up. He pulled the trigger.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: The teacher was trying to make him put it down but he took the shot right then and there.

ELAM: A shot that killed 45-year-old Michael Landsberry, a popular eighth grade teacher. He was a former marine who served several tours in Afghanistan. He is now being called a hero.

GENO MARTINI, MAYOR OF SPARKS, NEVADA: He was a very well-liked teacher by the students and other teachers. It's very unfortunate that someone like that that protected our country over there and came back alive, his life had to be taken.

REGGIE LANDSBERRY, BROTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: He loved teaching at Sparks Middle School. He loved the kids. He loved coaching them. He loved teaching them. He was just a good all-around individual.

ELAM: Students are pouring out their grief on social media.

"I had the chills when I heard that Mr. Landsberry died. Having him for the math was the best. It's too hard to even believe."

"No teacher will take his place. Nothing is going to be the same any more. You are a hero and you will always be missed at Sparks Middle School."

As for the student suspect, police say he took his own life with that gun.

AMAYA NEWTON, STUDENT WITNESSED SHOOTING: I knew the person with the gun. He was really a nice kid. He would make you smile when you're having a bad day. I saw him getting bullied a couple times and I think he took out his bullying on it.

ELAM: But it's still unclear what drove that child to resort to violence and whether or not he was targeting the students or the beloved math teacher who survived war, only to die what should have been the safe haven of an American middle school.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Sparks, Nevada.


BERMAN: Now, to the ongoing problems now with the Web site for the Obamacare health exchanges. President Obama has now admitted that signups for coverage through the exchanges has not gone as well as he had originally hoped. It really hasn't gone well, period

But despite promises to make things better, it does not appear that the enrollment process is getting any easier, at least not yet.

Here is senior White House correspondent Brianna Keilar.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An embarrassing moment for President Obama, forced to defend his signature health care reform program.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Of course, you've probably heard that, the new Web site, where people can apply for health insurance and browse and buy affordable plans in most states hasn't worked as it was supposed to work.

The product is good. The health insurance that's being provided is good. It's high quality. And it's affordable.

KEILAR: He instructed Americans to call in.

OBAMA: I want to repeat that, 1-800-318-2596.

KEILAR: But it's a slow process, as CNN senior medical producer Danielle Dellorto found out.

DANIELLE DELLORTO, CNN MEDICAL PRODUCER: So, basically, today, you just apply for me and I wait a week or two and I call you back once I have my eligibility and then we would go over the plans?

KEILAR: Not exactly what the president had in mind five days before the Obamacare Web site launched when he said you could buy insurance --

OBAMA: Same way as you shop for a TV on Amazon.

KEILAR: In states that launch their own Web sites, users have had better luck.

JANICE BAKER: And I am now honored to introduce the president of the United States.

KEILAR: Janice Baker, the first person to sign up in Delaware, was facing the possibility of going without insurance due to relatively minor preexisting conditions.

BAKER: Osteoporosis, cholesterol things like that.

KEILAR (on camera): You were denied how many times?

BAKER: Three.

KEILAR (voice-over): But on the federal site, 21 days since it launched, many Americans are still unable to enroll in Obamacare.

Come mid-February, they could face a penalty if they don't have insurance unless that deadline is delayed.

(on camera): There is flexibility there in the law if folks -- JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I would simply refer you to A.J. just for more details but we are working on it, they are working on aligning those policies, the enrollment period and the individual responsibility time frame period, and they'll issue guidance soon.

KEILAR: Jay Carney leaving the door open there. We have gotten word what HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is now expected to testify before the Republican-led Energy and Commerce Committee. That is expected to happen next week.

Brianna Keilar, CNN, the White House.


BERMAN: Six minutes after the hour.

A hearing set for today for an alleged al Qaeda terrorist. Abu Anas al Libi was captured in a daring raid in Libya this month. He pleaded not guilty to charges of helping plan the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

The top U.S. war crimes prosecutor has now said he supports the Obama administration's decision to try al Libi in federal court rather than a military setting like there in Guantanamo.

PEREIRA: A California man has pleaded not guilty to charges he tried to join al Qaeda. Prosecutors say 24-year-old Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen has confessed that he wanted to be a trainer for the terror group in Syria. He apparently had been there fighting as a rebel against the Assad government. The judge in the case expressed some skepticism, though, saying it didn't appear the suspect had any special skills that would help the terror network.

BERMAN: France demanding answers this morning after the revelation that the NSA intercepted millions of phone calls inside that country in a 30-day period last December and January. The documents were leaked by Edward Snowden, of course.

Secretary of State John Kerry today met with his French counterpart in Paris and President Obama has now spoken with the French leader, Francois Hollande. France leaders have called the surveillance totally unacceptable.

PEREIRA: We can expect more shocking spy stories apparently from those leaked NSA documents, so says Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who broke the story. He says he has many more stories to tell, including one about the U.S. spying on its own citizens. Greenwald promised to report on every document of public interest given to him by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

BERMAN: We have been talking all morning what it might be like outside for those who get to go outside.

PEREIRA: What is it like out there in the great outdoors at 5:00 a.m.?

Indra Petersons knows. She was just there recently.

Hey, Indra. Good to see you.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Something's going on in this early morning hours. Why don't we just venture out you guys?

I mean, yes, we are definitely setting up a new pattern out there, where we are seeing a mild condition in the West and in the East, we are starting to see that jet stream really drop down, a lot of that cold air moving along with it. As far as those temperatures outside, so easy to see with your current temperatures where that cold front is.

I mean, unbelievable. Very comfortable. New York City right now 57 degrees. Look at this cold front. On the other side of it, this cold air is slowly making its way to the East. Chicago right now right at the freezing mark, 32 degrees this morning and Indianapolis only about 33 degrees.

So, you definitely have these freeze warnings out there and, yes, all of this chill will be making its way farther east.

And look at the highs in the Midwest today. Chicago is only affecting a high of 41 degrees. That is 20 degrees below normal for them. That would be a high that is all coming our way.

Here comes the low. Expected by overnight tonight and in through tomorrow so we will talk about not only cool temperatures but also some rain into the mix, only about an inch out there. By tomorrow we will see the temperatures drop another 10, 15 degrees.

PEREIRA: Wait. Drop, 14 to 15?

PETERSONS: Yes. Get comfy.

PEREIRA: It's time for leg warmers, everybody.

PETERSONS: Always time for leg warmers!

BERMAN: Time for leg warmers, come on!


PEREIRA: Thanks so much, Indra.

BERMAN: Nine minutes after the hour.

Coming up, is Major League Baseball on a witch hunt against Alex Rodriguez? We are going to hear from a man who says baseball forced him to say A-Rod was doping.

Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not right. It's not fair for us. We are just trying to do what is best for our children.


PERIERA: A mother in trouble with a judge. What she says she had to do despite being on jury duty.

BERMAN: And it is time for your morning rhyme, folks. Tweet us with your own original verse #EarlyStart, #MorningRhyme.

Michaela Pereira is absolutely killing this, this morning! Right now, she's in front, so you have to have very good ones if you'd like to beat her. Send them in now. We will read the best ones on air.

Again, Michaela Pereira --

PEREIRA: I'm going to need more coffee.

BERMAN: -- killing it.

PEREIRA: We have an hour to go. We have 50 minutes to go.

BERMAN: We'll be right back.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.

Game one of the World Series tomorrow night. The baseball season close to an end, but it appears the back and forth over Alex Rodriguez and his records suspension is far from conclusion.

And as Jason Carroll reports, both sides in this case seem to be doing all they can to get the upper hand.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alex Rodriguez's arbitration hearing into his 211-game suspension for allegedly violating the game's drug policy is supposed to be private, but the public has already gotten a taste of how far each side is willing to go to prove their case, including paying huge sums of money for evidence and allegedly intimidating a witness, so says one man who asked his identity be concealed for fear of retribution from Major League Baseball.

(on camera): Did you ever see Alex Rodriguez use any performance enhancing substances?



(voice-over): He says he worked with Rodriguez and claims MLB investigators pressured him to say he saw Rodriguez and other players use PEDs and that if he didn't, he may not work again. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I didn't see it, no, but I was pressured, a certain pressure on the part of Major League Baseball.

CARROLL (voice-over): He says he was not paid by baseball nor Rodriguez. His attorney says his client was questioned for eight hours at his house.

ROBERTO CUAN, LAWYER: He definitely was Major League Baseball investigators.

CARROLL: Major League Baseball's COO Rob Manford strongly denied any improper conduct on behalf of his investigators, saying our investigators have complied with all legal and ethical requirements throughout the process.

Manford cleared the air on another topic. Payments made for evidence. He confirmed authorizing $125,000 in cash for documents to find out about violations of the league's drug policy, saying, "There is nothing that is illegal or unethical about paying for documents. It's sometimes necessary to pay for documents for information."

But what if those documents are stolen? The files in question come from the now defunct Biogenesis Clinic in Florida. A police report obtained by CNN shows the files were reported stolen from the car of a former Biogenesis worker. That worker told police MLB representatives had offered him a job and up to $125,000 for the client file.

That last alleged offer, according to the police report, was March 18th, almost a week later, March 24th, the documents were reported stolen.

Major League Baseball admits it later bought the documents. Manford says, "No one from Major League Baseball knew or suspected the documents were stolen. In fact, the people we bought them from made representations to the contrary."

Rodriguez's attorney Joe Tacopina isn't buying it.

JOE TACOPINA, LAWYER: Shocking, shocking and deplorable.

CARROLL: MLB points out that they are not the only ones paying for evidence. It was revealed during arbitration that Rodriguez's team admitted paying $305,000 for evidence.

TACOPINA: They mischaracterized that.

CARROLL (on camera): How would you then characterize it?

TACOPINA: We have paid far less than they paid in this case, first and foremost.

CARROLL: Give me a number. Is it $305,000?

TACOPINA: No, it's $105,000, OK, paid for actual documentation from two witnesses. There was a $200,000 deposit made for a videotape. CARROLL: Plus the $105,000 you have paid out is $305,000.

(voice-over): Sports radio host, Craig Carton says the tit for tat is just a side show.

CRAIG CARTON, BOOMER AND CARTON SHOW: There's only one question that needs to be answered. Did you do performance-enhancing drugs beyond what you admitted to having done in '01 to '03?

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


BERMAN: It will come down to that question and the arbitrator will rule and It does seem very likely, although not, a done deal yet that A-Rod will miss a significant part of next season.

SAMBOLIN: It's crazy to think this is all happening when you look at the career that he's had. You look --

BERMAN: That whole career may have been tainted. He was using asteroids as 2003.

SAMBOLIN: That's what I'm saying asterisks that they talked about with Barry Bonds, the asterisks is likely be used for some other players.


PEREIRA: OK, I'm going to go on to another story.

BERMAN: That was good.

PEREIRA: Saw what you did there.

BERMAN: All right.

PEREIRA: This morning rhyme taking on a whole new feeling here.

Seventeen minutes after the hour.

A story of survival coming to the printed page. Two of the three kidnapping victims held by Ariel Castro for upwards to a decade in Cleveland are writing a book. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus have teamed up with a reporter from "The Washington Post" who grew up in Cleveland. No meetings we are told have been set with the publisher. Their alleged captor hung himself in prison last month.

BERMAN: Casey Antony has settled a financial dispute with a group that went out search for her missing daughter. A lawyer for Texas Equusearch says the group decided not to take a case to trial despite spending a hundred thousand dollars on the search for 2-year-old Caylee Anthony. Her body was found six moths after her disappearance in the woods, near her mother's home. Casey Anthony was later acquitted of her daughter's murder. PEREIRA: Trouble for Cee Lo Green. A woman accused him of drugging her with ecstasy at a Los Angeles restaurant in July of 2012. The D.A., however, has decided to not to pursue claims of sexual assault against the musician and TV singing coach. Green, for his part, has pleaded not guilty to the drug charge.

BERMAN: So, in Missouri, a new mother is in court for doing something she said she had to do. Laura Trickle brought her 7-month-old Axel (ph) to jury duty and says no one else to watch the baby and tried to get out of jury duty the state does not offer a new exemption for new mothers. The judge has now hit her with a contempt of court charge and she is facing a $500 fine.


LAURA TRICKLE, MOTHER: Since I'm a stay at home mom, we don't have child care. It's not right. It's not fair for us. We are just trying to do what is best for our children and we shouldn't be penalized and fined for it.


BERMAN: The judge did offer her a chance to pump breast milk during breaks but she says her baby will not drink from a bottle and she needs to be able to feed him. The judge had offered to let someone else watch the baby there at the courthouse but the mother said that wasn't practical.

Trickle will be back in court on Thursday to make her case to the judge why she shouldn't be fined. She says this is all scary because she hasn't been in trouble with the law before. Neither has the baby, by the way.

The mother, she doesn't even have a speeding ticket, but now charged with contempt of court. It's a serious stuff.

PEREIRA: I hear the kid has all sorts of speeding records.

BERMAN: The kid has got record, right?

PEREIRA: Oh, man. Look at that face. Look at that face. I got distracted by the face of that child.

BERMAN: I hope they work this out.

PEREIRA: I hope they do, in a little reason will prevail here.

Coming up, attention Apple fans. The very latest gadget is set to be unveiled today. Are you waiting with bated breath?

BERMAN: I always get excited on this.

PEREIRA: I know you do. You'd love a good Apple. The details in "Money Time", coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PEREIRA: We have more company. Look at this. It's so great. We're going to start serving the continental breakfast.

Welcome back to EARLY START. It's "Money Time."

Christine Romans is here with us.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: There is no breakfast! That is false advertising.

The only consolation is jobs day.

BERMAN: This is why you come to work for.

ROMANS: It is a jobs day. Our dark nightmares are over, because I'm going to able to tell you what the jobless rates is. Jobs Tuesday does not the same panache at jobs Friday, but I'm going to take it.

After a two and a half week delay caused by the government shutdown, the Labor Department will release the September jobs report a little over three hours. estimates 183,000 jobs added to payroll. The jobless rate at 7.3 percent.

The report, of course, is watched for a lot of reasons. It's going to be the last clean report before the shutdown. Revisions to the August report could be telling because July and June were revived downwards.

I want to see the labor force participation rate. In August, it fell for 35-year low and we know the Federal Reserve watches that number closely. So you can bet Ben Bernanke and the Fed chief will be watching that one as well.

So that's important to watch the labor force participation rate, easy for me to say, right? These are the kinds of numbers that are super important for whether the Fed will be tapering and pulling back on its stimulus so that is an important number to watch.

OK. I want to talk about Apple. You have one right there.


ROMANS: You have an iPad.


ROMANS: You have iPod. Apple products here.

This is the other big story this morning. Apple is going to unveil a batch of new iPads in an event in San Francisco and it's expected that Apple will reveal its iPad 5 has twice the speed of this little baby on your desk right here.

BERMAN: It's not moving at all. It's not going anywhere.

ROMANS: Odds are that Apple, they also unveil a new iPad mini 2, with retina display. Also look for iPods and Apple is likely to also highlight its new Mavericks operating system for desktops.

Apple stock has been up night days straight. We haven't seen that in two years.

PEREIRA: No, it's been a while.

ROMANS: And analyst says Apple stock could soon be trading in the range of $545 to $570.

PEREIRA: The time you can enjoy your latest purchase! New one comes out and it's getting short and shorter.

ROMANS: I know. And I'm going to tweet a link to a story about how to get the best price for your use. A lot of people are turning them in. Different Web sites where you can get more for the used iPads. A lot of people are trading up so that is cool.

Also, we started today with the S&P 500 at a record barely. The S&P closed up less than a point on Monday, topping that, look at that. A tiny bit but for a record.

For the year, I always like to put this in perspective, because a day is just a day, right? For the year Dow up 17 percent, the NASDAQ 30 percent, the S&P 500 is up 22 percent.

PEREIRA: Those are pointing in the right direction.

ROMANS: You can take that to the bank.


You put a nickel in Christine Romans today!

ROMANS: It's a jobs day. And I got to say panache. I never get to say that word!

PEREIRA: You should tweet that word. She should put that in a rhyme, rhyme with panache.

ROMANS: When I get my continental breakfast I will send you all kinds of rhymes.

PEREIRA: You might keep waiting on that.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, thank you for that.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: We'll be right back.

PEREIRA: The service around here is going down --


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is especially difficult because, you know, we got there and the kids were running out. They were scared. They were freaked out.


PEREIRA: Armed with his parents' gun. A 13-year-old boy goes on a shooting spree inside his middle school.