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Terror Attacks On The Rise; "Pillowcase Rapist" Set To Be Freed; An American In Iran

Aired October 29, 2013 - 05:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Spy game fallout. America's closest allies so angry over eavesdropping. And this morning, the White House set to announce major changes to the controversial NSA surveillance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The old red lines, the old barriers are all gone.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The new rise of terror. More attacks killing more people. We'll tell you the places being targeted and who is behind all the killings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, he's a mental case and they're going to put him here in a community full of kids.

BERMAN: You can hear the outrage. A judge orders a serial rapist released. Now, neighbors fear a repeat of what happened the last time this criminal was set free.

SAMBOLIN: That's shocking actually. Stick around for that. That's a really stunning story.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Welcome back to early start. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN (on-camera): And I'm John Berman. About 31 minutes after the hour right now.

SAMBOLIN: So, there is more fallout from those stunning NSA leaks. The U.S. now looking at putting an end to spying on ally leaders. A senior Obama administration tells the "Associated Press" a final decision has not been made yet. In an interview on Fusion TV, President Obama said an internal review is under way.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But I'm not here to talk about classified information. What I am confirming is the fact that the word undergoing a complete review of how our intelligence operates outside of the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: So, this move comes after NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, indicated the U.S. was eavesdropping on German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and 34 other foreign leaders. Dozens of pages of top secret U.S. documents were declassified Monday in an apparent bid to show the NSA was acting legally when it gathered millions of Americans phone records.

BERMAN: The Obama administration is granting a six-week extension to Americans who want to sign up for Obamacare coverage. The new deadline is now march 31st to avoid facing a penalty. It was extended because the website has been crippled by technical problems, even suffering a nationwide outage over the weekend. We are told it is back up and running now.

SAMBOLIN: So, when it comes to terrorism, the future looks frightening. CNN obtaining a sobering new report that reveals terror attacks and casualties are on the rise. And as Pentagon correspondent, Chris Lawrence, reports, there's no end in sight to that troubling trend.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's not your imagination. Terrorists are launching more attacks like this deadly assault on a Nairobi mall. And it's likely the world will see even more violence next year. CNN obtained exclusive access to an upcoming report from Stark, a group that tracks terrorism around the world. It found there were 69 percent more terrorist attacks in 2012 than the year before.

There was an 89 percent jump in deaths and with well over 5,000 attacks through June of this year, the future looks even deadlier.

DANIEL BENJAMIN, FORMER COORDINATOR FOR COUNTERTERRORISM, STATE DEPARTMENT: And I expect we will see that reflected in even more violence in 2013 and even higher numbers.

LAWRENCE: Dan Benjamin was the terrorism coordinator at the state department. He says many of today's militant groups judge success by the number of people killed, including civilians.

BENJAMIN: The old red lines, the old barriers are all gone.

LAWRENCE: Six of the seven deadliest groups are affiliated with al Qaeda, including Afghanistan' Taliban and Nigeria's Boko Haram, which is going after Christian targets. The targeting of other religions or Muslims of a different sect is driving the casualty rate higher.

BENJAMIN: It is much more like warfare and it's warfare using the tools of terrorism.

LAWRENCE: But the violence is more concentrated than you might think. Three countries, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan suffer more than half the attacks and the casualties. And that really points out the flip side of some of some of those numbers. (on-camera) The danger to civilians in the United States, Western Europe, even parts of Eastern Asia isn't nearly as high and may actually be declining.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, Washington.


BERMAN: And our thanks to Chris for that report. Now, there are some of the buildings that are still showing signs of damage and the repairs are ongoing, but on the one-year anniversary of hurricane Sandy, Ellis Island is open for business one against and welcoming visitors --


BERMAN: What an important place. What a poignant place this is for so many --

SAMBOLIN: Take your children. It's really remarkable. Some of the displays are -- not all of them yet, but it's really a remarkable place to visit.

BERMAN: Of course, it's the gateway for millions of Americans, you know, millions of people who came to this country. It was badly battered by superstorm Sandy. And now, a new electrical system should be operational by May and new heating and air-conditioning system designed to withstand future possible flooding still being built at this time.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. It's in the basement. They're really working feverishly to make sure everything is up and functioning. So, everybody is comfortable as they're walking through there.

So, one of the areas hardest hit by hurricane Sandy, Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

BERMAN: That is where we find meteorologist, Indra Petersons, this morning on the boardwalk there and near where so much of the damage was. Good morning, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Good morning again. It's so hard to believe it really has been a year since superstorm Sandy really hit this area. I want to show you a map again from space to remind you how large the system was. We're talking about from Maine down through Florida, even extending all the way back towards Michigan. A thousand miles wide.

The largest ever that we saw gale force winds or tropical storm force winds. Unbelievable the magnitude of the storm. The storm surge, you combine high tide and the storm surge itself team up to a record- breaking 13.8 feet. So, down taking a look her, I'm standing in front of where we used to see the Jet Star roller coaster that was torn down in May. And we no longer seeing this.

What we are left here now is construction. They are trying to rebuild in this region. You can actually see the lower level of casino pier was open for the summer. The boardwalk has recovered. About 90 percent of the businesses here are open and they're still building -- next roller coaster, actually hoping to have a roller coaster hopefully by the summer, but it may take another year or so.

One other thing I want to clear. If I have some maps here to explain what the differences and why so many people didn't take Sandy as seriously as they did Irene. Now, take a look, Irene came parallel to the shore and Sandy came in way more perpendicular. The reason this matters, take a look at these animations. When it comes in perpendicular to the shore, you have a more concentrated storm surge and that's the reason the storm surge was so high versus Irene that came in more parallel.

And with that, you saw that storm surge spread out. That is the reason (INAUDIBLE) the timing of the hide tide, the direction and the angle it came in and, of course, the magnitude the size of the storm. Also I want to talk about the storm is the second (ph) the U.S. today with its huge storm that's now exit out of Montana, brought about a foot of snow in the region. Today, 10 inches possible in through Wyoming and even through portions of Colorado.

So, if you're in Vail, look for some snow in that region and also to upwards Telluride. This system, though, is going to be clashing all that cool air with that warm air into the south and unfortunately that brings a severe weather threat in through the panhandle of Texas today. That is something we'll be monitoring closely, guys.

BERMAN: A lot of people going to be affected by that storm. Thanks so much, Indra. Appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: And coming up, a serial rapist release putting a community on edge. Residents fearing a repeat of what happened last time. The pillow case rapist was set free.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Outrage growing in a California community. Residents of Lake Los Angeles are furious about a judge's decision to allow Christopher Hubbart, the so-called pillowcase rapist, to live in their neighborhood once he is released from prison. This could happen in December.

Hubbart admits raping 38 women in California between 1971 and 1982. And then, when he was released in 1979, he raped 15 more women in a two-year period before heading back to jail.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He does not belong in a community with children where he will once again commit these types of crimes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bus stop is right in front of my house with all the kids. So, I don't know what the heck is going on with that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, he's a mental sick case and they're going to put him here in a community full of kids.


BERMAN: You can hear how angry people. Lake Los Angeles residents have started a Facebook page to organize a movement. They want to keep Hubbart out of their neighborhood.

SAMBOLIN: He's only 61 years old, but that's really tough one if you have children in that community.

Hundreds of mourners are expected to return a funeral in Santa Rosa, California tonight for 14-year-old Andy Lopez (ph). There he is. The young man was shot to death last week by a sheriff's deputy who thought he was carrying an assault rifle. So, it turned out to be a plastic pellet gun. The community is outraged by this killing, but the Sonoma County sheriff is standing by Deputy Eric Gilhouse (ph), the officer who pulled the trigger.


STEVE FREITAS, SONOMA COUNTY SHERIFF: A tragedy for all involved.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that he's been employed with the sheriff's office for 24 years suggests that you have a lot of confidence in him.

FREITAS: Well, Eric is a solid employee and the fact that he trains new people for us does show the level of respect that we have for Eric and his position here.


SAMBOLIN: This was such a tragedy. Sheriff's deputies claim that they ordered Lopez to on drop his weapon and opened fire when he turned toward them with his toy gun. You know, I have to go online and take a look at his toy gun versus what the actual assault rifle looks like because I have a boy that walks around, you know, shooting.

I let him do the big ones, the water guns, because they don't look like regular rifles. In this case, Berman, I have to tell you, it looked like the assault rifle. So, what do you do in a situation like that? That's a tough call. It's a tough call.

All right. Let's take a look what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan are joining us this morning. Good morning.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're talking to lieutenant involved in that story that you're just talking about, Zoraida, because there are things that you're supposed to do. There are protocols that are just supposed to be in place and you have to examine the facts very carefully in these situations to make sure everything was done the right way to rule out prejudice, to rule out lack of protocol.

So, we'll take on that story this morning and make sure everything was being done right, because the community clearly feels that it wasn't.

We're also going to take a look at a very important anniversary, superstorm Sandy. One year ago today. Many of us were standing in the way of what turned out to be one of the most devastating storms to ever hit the east coast, and here's the truth. A lot of areas haven't recovered. Families are displaced. Money has been slow.

Rebuilding has become a big problem, and a lot of people just been not back in their homes. They're nowhere still. So, we're going to take a look at it. We're going to talk about vulnerability going forward.

BOLDUAN: And here's also a very interesting idea to consider. Put a little box in your car and pay taxes only on how many miles you drive, not on how much gas you pump or how much gas you use. The people behind this idea say it would mean the end of the gas tax and that you would be rewarded for driving less, but could it also mean an invasion of privacy?

Who's up? Who's down? Who's the winner if this actually takes place, but it's one idea that one state is testing out and we'll talk about it.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Looking forward to hearing about it. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Of course.

SAMBOLIN: It is time now for your "Morning Rhyme." So,our tweet of the day comes from?

BERMAN: Rich Chosen One. That is his name.


BERMAN: Rich Chosen One. He writes "Halloween's frights kept me up all the night, but it's all right because I have EARLY START in my sight." That's pretty good looking a lot of rhymes there.

SAMBOLIN: I love it.

BERMAN: There are multiple use of the rhyme there. You can come up with your own any time you want. Tweet us with the hash tags, morning rhyme and EARLY START. We really appreciate it.

Coming up for us next, a remarkable story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, more than ever, there seems to be a lot of hope and optimism.


BERMAN: The American trying to lead Iran to glory on the soccer field. Our Reza Sayah live in Tehran with the view of life there like we have never seen before. This is after the break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: An American is getting incredibly unique view of life in Iran. He is part of the coaching staff for the Iranian national soccer team that is now preparing for the World Cup. CNN's Reza Sayah live in Tehran with this story. It is a remarkable one. Great to see you this morning, Reza.

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. You know, not too many Americans over the past 34 years have visited Iran but not only did Dan Gaspar come to Iran, he decided to move here and live here and work here. And when we found out about his story, we just had to track him down and asked him why he made the decision and what it's like to live here in Iran.


SAYAH (voice-over): June 18th, Iran's national football team scores a 1-0 win against South Korea. For only the fourth time, Iran qualifies for the World Cup. The win sparks frenzied celebrations on the field, in the streets of Tehran, and among those celebrating.

DAN GASPAR, ASSISTANT COACH, IRAN NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM: There was a lot of hugging and there was a lot of jumping.

SAYAH: American citizen, Dan Gasper, the Iranian team's assistant coach.

GASPAR: It was a bottle of emotions, and you know, after 90 minutes, that cork was released and just everything poured out.

SAYAH: For Gaspar, qualifying for the World Cup was vindication of his decision nearly three years ago to coach the national team of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country then locked in a bitter feud with Washington and one U.S. politicians often described as a rogue nation secretly building a nuclear bomb.

At some point, you have to go to you your wife say, honey, I'm going to Iran. What did she say to that?

GASPAR: She was shocked. She was concerned, as most of my friends and family members were.

SAYAH: But the Portuguese-American wanted to work with longtime friend and colleague, head coach, Carlos Kerosh (ph). He wanted a crack at the cup and he wanted to get to know Iran for himself.

GASPAR: My personality is one of adventure and curiosity. I want to experience a culture in a part of the world that I've never been.

SAYAH (on-camera): When Coach Gaspar first got to Iran back in 2011, he admits he was a little nervous, a little weary. So, he didn't go out and socialize much. Now that he knows Iran a little bit, he says what we often hear from visitors to Iran, what you see on TV doesn't exactly match reality. GASPAR: When you listen to the news and you read the news, sometimes during commercials, I step away from my couch and I look out the balcony and it's not what I'm seeing and it's not what I'm reading and it's not what I'm hearing.

SAYAH (voice-over): Gaspar says meeting former President Ahmadinejad was just like meeting anyone else. Iranians, he says, are generous and peace-loving people who love their football team and their country. One of his biggest thrills is that Iran's qualification for the World Cup finals next year comes amid optimism that Tehran will improve relations with Washington as moderate President Hassan Rouhani tries to settle Iran's nuclear dispute with the west.

GASPAR: Right now, more than ever, there seems to be a lot of hope and optimism and a sense of energy that things will get better.

SAYAH: For now, Gaspar's focus remains the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a final destination in a remarkable journey.

GASPAR: If I listen to the experts and listen to my friends and family, I probably would have never been here in Iran. It's been part of my life for the last three years and during those three years have been some wonderful experiences and memories that are going to last a lifetime.


SAYAH (on-camera): Gaspar says one of his biggest challenges has been being away from his wife and family. He really misses them, but his goal is to bring the World Cup back to Iran. After that, he says he's coming back to America after a pretty cool journey -- John, Zoraida.

BERMAN: What an amazing adventure, indeed. And, the Iranians, they love that soccer team which has had some success over the years in the World Cup. Reza Sayah for us in Tehran, thank you so much for that wonderful, wonderful story.

SAMBOLIN: Really great. Loved it. Thank you.

All right. Next, Penn State paying up. We now know exactly how much Jerry Sandusky's crimes have cost the school. We're going to share that number with you when we come back.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.


BERMAN (voice-over): A murder in Massachusetts high school teacher remembered for inspiring her students and just being there for anyone who needed her. Hundreds of mourners, including 12 bus loads of students turning out for the funeral of Colleen Ritzer (ph). many of them wearing her favorite color which was pink. All of them remembering a young woman who tried to find something good in every day. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She saw the goodness in other people. She had a very -- she had a gift for doing that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just extreme loss. Like, it's just going to be a avoid forever in our hearts. I don't know that anything can ever fill that.


BERMAN: She made such a difference in so many people's lives. Ritzer was found dead behind her school last week. One of her students, 14- year-old Philip Chism, has been charged with her murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Penn State looking to close the book on child sex abuse case in the Jerry Sandusky case and they're paying $60 million to do so. The university announcing it has reached settlements with 26 victims of the former Penn State assistant football coach. Sandusky is now in prison likely for the rest of his life, serving a minimum of 30 years.

BERMAN: RnB singer, Chris Brown, left a Washington court to cheers from supporters flashing the peace sign after more than a day and a half in custody. Prosecutors reduced a felony assault charge to misdemeanor. Brown and his bodyguard are accused of punching a man who tried to pose with a singer in a photograph Sunday morning outside the W Hotel. The 24-year-old is still on probation for beating up former girlfriend, Rihanna, in 2009.


BERMAN (on-camera): That is all for EARLY START this morning. So glad you were here with us. It is time for "NEW DAY." Chris and Kate, all yours.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, guys. We'll see you a little later.

CUOMO: A lot of news to tell you about this morning, so let's start the show.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spying is ubiquitous. It's done by every country.

CUOMO: Under fire. President Obama now talking about the U.S. spying on its allies. What did he know? How could he not know? And now that he has to know, will he stop the practice?

BOLDUAN: After the storm. One year since Sandy, there is resilience and hope but still so much more work to be done. All amid new fears it could happen again. Indra Petersons is on the New Jersey shore with the latest.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mile after mile. New laws may do away with taxes on gas, but get this, instead, you'll be taxed on the mileage you drive. Drivers are revved up this morning.

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

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


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to "NEW DAY." It is Tuesday, October 29th, six o'clock in the east. Coming up, a new strike against Obamacare. The president has said all along if you like your health insurance coverage, you like your doctor, you get to keep them under the Affordable Care Act. Well now, that may not be true for some people. So, who could lose their current coverage? We'll explain, coming up.

BOLDUAN: Plus, four inmates made a daring escape from an Oklahoma jail. Well, now, two of them are recaptured and have been put back behind bars. But the hunt is still on for the other two fugitives on the loose. They're considered armed and dangerous. We're going to have a live report coming up.

PEREIRA: And I want you to take a look at this photo. Most of us get really mad when their smartphone is smashed. Not this store clerk. His phone took a bullet for him literally. It saved his life. We'll have his dramatic story coming up.

CUOMO: First, the Obama administration rethinking its approach to electronic surveillance at the NSA spying scandal. Does that grow (ph)? They're starting to rethinking (ph). The president ordering a full review of intelligence operations, specifically, where foreign leaders are concerned. Let's bring in chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, who's following developments live in Washington. Good morning, Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. That's right. The White House taking a hard look at the benefits and costs of this kind of surveillance. This is part of a review that began this summer, the same review which how the White House says was how the president first learn of spying on foreign leaders such as the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Now, administration officials saying the president did not know she was a target and would not know specific targets, but another U.S. official telling CNN that he would have had to know about the framework of such surveillance programs, including the country's target.