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Sebelius on the Hot Seat Over Obamacare; Girl Taken from Roma Family in Ireland; Tablet War Heats Up; World Series Gets Under Way Tonight

Aired October 23, 2013 - 06:30   ET


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But she said this was not passed on to the president and he didn't know until a couple days after when Americans trying to sign up, when we all learned that there were problems with it.

That's going to raise questions on Capitol Hill, saying when you know you have a problem and it's the president's signature initiative, why didn't somebody tell him?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: That is a very good question. It's probably no surprise that much of the criticism to this point has come from the right, coming from Republicans who are against Obamacare in the first place.

But now we've heard from the first Democrat, big name Democrat, the Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, to come out publicly and call for at least a delay in the penalty and expansion of the deadline of the roll-out of Obamacare.

What does that do to the White House's damage control? Because when you don't have your party, you've got a problem.

KING: It's certainly the first crack. It's a potentially significant crack when you have one of the prominent Democratic female senators saying with, wait a minute, we have a problem. Maybe we need to show this down.

Watch that as Democrats do more, especially those in tough races in 2014, Kate. Do more start "A" questioning the program, and then "B" start questioning the secretary's competence? That is the question on Capitol Hill. It's the question a lot of Americans are asking.

They knew they had this big program coming. They had years to prepare for the roll-out. It's been frankly, there's a giant competence question as to whether they were up to the task.

BOLDUAN: When you look at new polling out, new polling out from CBS shows that just 12 percent of people that were questioned think that the sign-up process, the enrollment process is going well. Nearly half saying that it's not going well. A significant number also saying they're just not sure quite yet. With all of the problems they're facing and the fact that people are acknowledging it's not going well, it doesn't it seem to be negatively impacting the view people have of the law itself.

Is there a disconnect there? Why is that?

KING: Well, people are just starting to enroll because you do have the six-month window. A lot who don't know are people who have insurance who aren't affected by this, or people who haven't had experience just yet because they didn't go right out of the gates, if you will.

But let me give you a little political note here. Secretary Sebelius might want to send flowers to the Republicans behind the government shutdown in the sense that, in an odd way, support for Obamacare went up a bit. There are a lot of questions about the program, a lot of skepticism about the program, even from people who support it are worried about the implementation.

But the focus on linking it to defunding Obamacare to where we have that 16-day government shutdown in an odd way deflected, turned at attention somewhere else. That doesn't mean in the six weeks to six months ahead, the secretary, the president, the entire administration face a huge challenge in trying to prove they'll learn from their mistakes and get this right.

BOLDUAN: What is the next thing you're watching for and how this is going to play out? Clearly, they're working to fix it. They're bringing in a tech surge. Criticism isn't stopping.

What's the next thing you're looking for to see how this ends up?

KING: Well, there's a couple things. The next thing really is in four to six weeks from now, they can come and make a credible presentation that things are a lot better, that an overwhelming majority of problems are fixed, not just the capacity issues but the questions beyond the capacity issues.

As the secretary conceded, the capacity is one issue. But as people logged on, it also exposed some other weaknesses in the architecture of the sign-up process. Can they prove on the policy front, on the infrastructure front, they've learned their lessons and have it a lot better. The other thing to watch is what you started the conversation with, Democrats.

A, do Secretary Sebelius answer everybody in Congress' questions, but to more Democrats started to say, hey, wait a minute, if they see political weakness back home, they will turn. Remember in a president's second term, holding the loyalty of your party becomes a little bit more difficult, Kate.

BOLDUAN: That's a good point, John. Great to see you. Thank you so much. A lot to watch in the coming days. That's for sure.

KING: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: All right. So, there's our update on politics. Well, let's get an update on all the other headlines we're watching this morning with Michaela. MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Good morning to you. And good morning to you at home.

It is really the worst case scenario in Australia, 70 wildfires raging, almost half not contained. Making the matters worse, dry winds and high temperatures, and low humidity fanning the flames, along a nearly 1,000 mile line of fire. Suburbs in Sydney now being threatened. Thousands of people are evacuating their homes. So far, 200 homes have been destroyed.

A ninth biker arrested and charged in the beating of an SUV driver in New York City. Forty-year-old Jason Brown arraigned yesterday on gang assault and weapons charges. Court documents say he was caught on video beating Alexian Lien with his helmet. Three suspects in the case have already been indicted by a grand jury. Police aren't ruling out more arrests.

Some scary moments aboard an American airlines flight over the Caribbean. It had to make an emergency landing in Trinidad, after officials say the pilot reported a fire in the cockpit. The spokesman for American Airlines says the emergency landing was due to a mechanical issue and rather not a fire. No one aboard was injured. The passengers were put on another plane and taken to Miami.

Dead Boston marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev now officially being linked to a triple homicide. New court documents acknowledged for the first time that Tsarnaev participated in the killings in Waltham, Massachusetts, back in 2011 when three men were found in an apartment with their throats slashed. This information comes from a friend of Tsarnaev's who was killed by an FBI agent while being questioned in his apartment in Orlando.

If you've always wanted to ride a helium balloon into space, your chance may come in a few years. "The L.A. Times" reporting that a company called World View hopes to offer rides in a massive helium balloon that will take passengers more than 18 miles above earth's surface. It will cost you. Tickets likely around the $75,000 price tag.

I was saying to John Berman earlier, I thought the price would be a lot higher. I don't think it's inexpensive. But, you know, when we've seen the other trips, the space travel.

BOLDUAN: Two hundred thousand dollars for a ticket.

PEREIRA: Yes, I thought 75 --

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Down for being in a balloon, because as we know, that's a dicey proposition.

PEREIRA: Dicey proposition. Edge of space a dicey proposition. I'm not signing up. That's just me.

BOLDUAN: There's a market for it. There always is.

CUOMO: There goes one idea for the Hanukkah present. BOLDUAN: No, you're not going to --

CUOMO: No, she doesn't want to go. I'll think of something else.

Coming up on NEW DAY, first, a young girl found in a home in Greece. Now a second is taken from a home in Ireland. What's going on? Police are looking for their parents amid questions over whether there might be Americans abducted years ago? We have the latest.

BOLDUAN: And it's the latest battle ground in the tech wars, three big players unveiling new tablets they want you to buy. But what's the best deal? We're going to break it down for you, coming up.


CUOMO: It turns out another young girl has been taken from a Roma, historically known as gypsy family, this time in Ireland. Now, this follows a similar case in Greece that sparked an international mystery. Thousands of tips pouring in from hopeful parents of missing children around the world.

Now, some fear the cases could reignite long simmering bigotry.

Let's bring in Erin McLaughlin. She's in Dublin this morning following the story.

Good morning, Erin.


The unnamed 7-year-old girl here in Ireland has spent a second night in the care of social services. We understand the family is hopeful they could find out whether or not she'll be returned to them as early as today, unlike in Greece, no arrests have been made. And no charges have been filed against the family.


MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): In a Dublin suburb less than 48 hours ago, the police known as Garda took a little girl away from her Roma family and put her in the care of social services, after a tip-off to the host of a local crime show.

PAUL CONNOLY, TV'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: We were told she had blue eyes, told she was around 7 years of age, told that she had blond hair. Mother and father produced documentation as I understand. But the Garda were not satisfied with that.

MCLAUGHLIN: Thousands of miles away in Greece, the police are searching for the parents of another fair-haired girl, known only as Maria. She was found living with the Roma community there. The couple posing as her parents are now charged with child abduction.

KOSTAS KATSAVOS, ROMA COUPLE'S ATTORNEY: Their claim is that we never abducted this child. We've just adopted. MCLAUGHLIN: Though Interpol says Maria's DNA doesn't match any profile in its data base, it's still being compared to that of Lisa Irwin.

DEBORAH BRADLEY, LISA IRWIN'S MOTHER: I don't know for sure, but just the fact we don't know for sure is enough.

MCLAUGHLIN: Lisa vanished from her parents Kansas City home two years ago. And though they believe Maria is too old to be a match, U.S. authorities want to be certain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the estimation of Maria, she may be 5 or 6 years old but the fact is that the DNA will be conclusive to tell us one way or the other.

MCLAUGHLIN: The common thread in Ireland and Greece, the Roma community. Its members have long been victims of discrimination throughout Europe and its connection to these two cases has created even more public scrutiny -- though not in the eyes of U.S. authorities.

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: They're not looking at the Romas as being the originators of this vast, you know, international child abduction conspiracy. Unfortunately, there are crime groups, if there's money to be made and made in human trafficking they'll traffic in human beings, including infants and small children to do it.


MCLAUGHLIN: Local reports here in Ireland say that DNA testing is being used to determine whether or not this girl is their biological daughter, those results are expected in the next 48 hours. Meanwhile, the family of this little girl says they are absolutely outraged. They're insisting this is all a huge mistake, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Erin. Thank you very much for that.

Let's go around the world now starting in Australia where a line of wildfires, nearly a thousand miles long is threatening more and more homes. Robyn Curnow is near Sydney this morning.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You can hear the flames crackling as the fire moves through the dry Australian bush. The wind is picking up, also further fueling this fire.

Now, we're standing at a home in someone's garden. This is very close to residential property. There's a school nearby and these helicopters are water bombing these flames as they try to stop its advance.

Kate, back to you.


BOLDUAN: Robyn, thank you so much.

Let's go to London where it is a special day for the royal family. The christening of the new prince, Max Foster has the details.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a historic occasion. The christening of a future king, future supreme governor of the Church of England, a tiny guest list effectively, just direct relatives of Kate and William, plus the god parents. George will be christened with water from the River Jordan. But, unfortunately, we're not going to see any of it. No cameras allowed inside, just a couple photos taken after the event that will be released tomorrow.

We do hope to see George arriving at the chapel a little later on.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: Thank you so much, Max.

You can only imagine how many cameras will be trying to catch that arrival as they come in.

CUOMO: Gorgeous George's big day.

BOLDUAN: Yes, exactly. There's your headline tomorrow.

CUOMO: All right. Coming up on NEW DAY, hey, everybody wants a tablet, but which one do you get? Apple's at the top of the heap. Well, there's new products, new pricing. We're going to take you through it.

PEREIRA: Are you ready for this excitement? We'll take you for a wild ride on the back of a bike. The thing that is, Kate, this isn't the exciting part of the ride.


PEREIRA: I know. This is a must-see moment.

BOLDUAN: This is what Michaela does on weekends.


CUOMO: I'd notice your arms anywhere.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's money time. The tablet wars, my friends, they're heating up. Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, all unveiling new devices Tuesday with iPad Air leading the charge. Apple says it's thinner, lighter, faster, than ever before as our TechBytes --


PEREIRA: We'll get to tablet-palooza in a moment, but we want to talk about this iPad Air.


PEREIRA: Tell us about the features and then we'll get to the other one to see how they compare.

LARSON: What I love that Apple does, they can make even the most mundane thing sound amazing.


LARSON: It is eight times faster than the first iPad.

PEREIRA: Wait. What?

LARSON: OK. That's good. That's kind of like saying I'm 40 pounds thinner than when I started this weight loss plan.


LARSON: It is definitely faster. It's lighter weight.

PEREIRA: One pound.

LARSON: It's down to one pound, which is actually pretty good. I mean, if you're carrying it around a lot. That's not a lot to carry around. They did put the faster processor, the 64-bit processor in it that has the motion sensing. So, that's probably going to see some better games and some interaction with the iPad that will be better. Didn't improve the screen resolution, but they still have the retina display which is that high-definition display.

CUOMO: What about that gorilla glass that they have?

LARSON: They still are using that. And I know it is shatter proof- ish.

CUOMO: No way -- five of them. You keep buying the small ones for kids. You know, because you think it will be better off let the kids use it. They're breaking --

LARSON: You know, the thing -- gorilla glass, it has its weak point. It always has -- everything has its Achilles heel. They're going to drop it a certain way and it's like that was it.

CUOMO: That has to go from like gorilla to like gibbon, you know? A lesser primate.


BOLDUAN: The big iPad -- can we just try to move on? The big iPad is now the iPad air.

LARSON: Right --

BOLDUAN: And then you have the mini iPad.

LARSON: The mini is now -- the mini, and then there's the mini with the retina display, which a lot of people didn't think they were going to do, because the demand for that retina display is so high that they weren't thinking --

PEREIRA: But let's get to the other competitors in the field.

LARSON: Right.

PEREIRA: Because we don't want the i's to dominate. Let's take a look at what -- you brought one in.

LARSON: I brought one in.

PEREIRA: A demo.

LARSON: This is the surface here. This is from Microsoft. Now, Microsoft, literally, they have the most to gain because they are -- they're the last into the crowd. So, you can see, I drew a kitty.


LARSON: That's one thing I can draw.

PEREIRA: Animator on the side.

LARSON: And it's -- you know, it interacts just like any tablet you would expect. This is the web browsing program.

CUOMO: So, it does all the main things?

BOLDUAN: Is that translating with customers, though?

LARSON: It is not. Their first surface that came out last year was such not a hit, we'll say, that Microsoft ended up having to buy back many of them. They spent several hundreds of millions of dollars buying them back. The Surface 2 is a little faster. They seem to be going after that laptop market, because it's got -- you know, if you flip it around, it's got the keyboard on and it stands up on its own. And actually, the higher end, the Surface 2 pro is more like a laptop than any other tablet.

PEREIRA: Which one is your favorite out of all the tablets on the field?

LARSON: I'm very partial to the iPad. I also really like the Google products --

BOLDUAN: Are they all the same price?

LARSON: They're all relatively the same price.

(CROSSTALK) BOLDUAN: -- heading to that.


BOLDUAN: There's a lot of competition.

LARSON: The nexus products are always a little bit less expensive. Amazon's Kindle's are also very inexpensive. Amazon's thinking is, we'll take a loss on selling this device because you're going to use it to access all of our content and by books. So, that's their motto (ph).

PEREIRA: Brett Larson, host of TechBytes. Maybe you can draw a gibbon for Chris during --

LARSON: I'm not sure what a gibbon is

BOLDUAN: Google it.

PEREIRA: Google it on your Nexus.


CUOMO: The lesser primate



BOLDUAN: Not according to the gibbons. They'll respond.


PEREIRA: Time for our "Must-See Moment" now.


PEREIRA (voice-over): We can't get enough of people capturing all sorts of sights like this one on GoPro camera. This is New Zealander, an extreme mountain biker, Kelly McGarry fas he does a jaw-dropping back flip! 72-foot wide canyon -- he sticks the landing. Airborne another two times during his run at the Red Bull rampage event in Southern Utah earlier this month. He came in second.

CUOMO (voice-over): What?


PEREIRA: -- freaking out about the backflip, but he was going. He felt he had the speed so he just kind of went for it. It's so funny, because we were initially watching this video, you thought that was our "Must-See Moment." No, it was the backflip because that was bananas.

CUOMO: That was.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): And if you didn't have vertigo this morning, you now do.



BOLDUAN (on-camera): Oh my goodness.

PEREIRA (on-camera): And that's how I spent my Tuesday.

BOLDUAN: We forgot to tell you, that's also Michaela's alter ego.


CUOMO (on-camera): Only the GoPro could speak. No, no, no, no.


PEREIRA: Bad idea.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, the White House is doing some serious damage control after the disastrous launch of the Obamacare website. Some are calling the Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen -- calling on her to resign and she's giving her response exclusively to CNN.

CUOMO: Plus, a murder case you just don't hear about one of these every day. A Utah doctor accuse of drug and killing his wife, intrigue surrounding the murder scene, a mistress, bizarre behavior and the doctor's daughters lining up against him. We've had some big developments in court. We'll break it down for you and see if the case is being made.


CUOMO: Boston strong. It's been a national cry of support. Now, it's also the Red Sox rallying cry as they enter game one of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Let's bring in Andy Scholes with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Game one at Fenway, Boston strong to a whole new level, right?

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes, Chris. You know, it's going to be an exciting night at Fenway. It's one that really no one could have predicted before this season. You know, in just one year, the Red Sox have gone from worst to first. And the secret to their success truly has been their team chemistry.

Everyone on the roster really has embraced the whole Boston strong mentality after the marathon bombings, whether it was visiting hospitals or growing beards, they did it together. And now, they find themselves back in the World Series for the third time in the last ten years. This series should be a good one.

The Cardinals and Red Sox tied for the best record in the regular season. First pitch for game one is tonight at 8:00 eastern.

A normal meeting for the Northwestern Men's Basketball team turned into a very special moment for one of their players. First year head coach, Chris Collins, called walk-on James Montgomery to come in front of the room and then he made this very special announcement.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy through 12 practices that has done the best job of doing what he's supposed to do every day is James. You know? And that's why I'd like to say in front of the team right now that because of that, James is going to be put on full scholarship.



SCHOLES: As you can see, guys, Montgomery overcome with emotions when he heard that news. He went from a freshman player who was just a practice player for the women's (ph) team. Now, he's a senior on scholarship at big team school. Definitely shows that hard work truly does pay off.

BOLDUAN: That's a great story. And Northwestern, such a good school, too. That's great.

CUOMO: It's good to see the right lessons getting learned in college sports. Don't see that all the time. Andy Scholes, thank you very much, pal.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Andy.

We're now at the top of the hour, everyone, which means it is time for the top news.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It isn't as smooth as we wanted it to be for the volume of people who want this product.

CUOMO: Under fire. Amid new calls for her resignation, Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, is finally speaking out in a CNN exclusive. Can she fix the website and will she stay on the job if it doesn't get better soon?

BOLDUAN: Pleas for help. The chilling 911 calls when a student opens fire at that Nevada middle school as we learn more about what the boy's motive may have been.

PEREIRA: A daughter's anguish. The courtroom bracing for bombshell testimony. Will the 12-year-old daughter of Dr. Martin MacNeill accused of killing his wife testify for the prosecution?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's important to remember, though, that the Affordable Care Act is much more than a website.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If double amputees want to ride a bike, they can see me doing it. They know that it's possible.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It's seven o'clock in the east.

New this morning, Kathleen Sebelius, head of -- the secretary of Health and Human Services, trying to explain why the Obamacare website still isn't fix. And we're finally hearing from her. She's speaking out to our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and he is getting answers to the important questions.

Plus, we're going to speak with an expert who says the problem is not vendors, is not code, is actually something much deeper.