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Monster Storm Pounds Philippines; Obamacare Apology; Toronto Mayor's Video Rant

Aired November 8, 2013 - 05:00   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Happening right now: A deadly typhoon raging through the Philippines. Punishing winds topping out at 235 miles per hour. Millions in the path of destruction.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Unbelievable.

"I'm sorry." President Obama acknowledging his health care blunders as millions of Americans get dropped by their insurance companies. But is it too little, too late?

SAMBOLIN: And another day, another video. The embattled Toronto mayor caught on tape. Once again, you're seeing it there. This time unleashing a violent tirade. Now, find out what his family has to say about his erratic behavior.

LEMON: If it wasn't so sad, you think he's had his own variety show. But, my goodness.


LEMON: He needs help, I think.

SAMBOLIN: I think so as well.

LEMON: Good morning, everyone. It's EARLY START. I'm Don Lemon, in for John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It's Friday, November 8. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

And this might be the most powerful storm ever to hit land. This is breaking overnight, super typhoon Haiyan, a category 5 storm with winds topping out at 230 miles per hour. It is slamming into the Philippines. This is happening over night, happening right now, putting millions of people directly in harm's way.

So, we're going to go live to Kathy Novak. She is on the phone from Manila this morning.

I know it's very difficult to get live some images out of there because you're in the midst of this.

Can you describe what is happening right now?

KATHY NOVAK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, if I can give you a sense how big this storm is. It covers an area about as large as the distance from Washington, D.C. to Miami.

And as you said, that this storm is a category five. If we compare that to Superstorm Sandy, Sandy was a category three when it hit Cuba and category two when it crossed the U.S. East Coast. So, if you can imagine, this is a category five and that is only because there are no categories above five. So, that's what we are dealing with here. It is just huge.

So far, there are only three official reports of death but it's really hard to get information from these hard-hit areas. Communications are still cut to many of those regions. Several aviation authorities haven't been able to make contact with their counterparts in these hard-hit areas. In fact, for about five hours, in the last message they got from one of the airports that was badly hit a text that said, "Airport ruined, need assistance."

SAMBOLIN: So, 25 million people in its path. And you've got to know a storm of this magnitude was on its way. What about evacuations? Were they able to get a lot of people out of those areas?

NOVAK: Evacuations going on for the past few days. We had had warnings that the storm was coming and that it was going to be big. So, people did heed those warnings and get into evacuation centers.

The fact is, though, the Philippines has some very physical problems with infrastructure. There are reports coming out of one of the areas that was hit from a local reporter on the phone and local radio here saying that people had been evacuated to a sport center that had been set up as an evacuation center and then they had to be moved because the roof was ripped off that evacuation center and the roof itself is made out of sheet metal that would cause damage across that area as well. So, those are the kind of infrastructure that people are put into here in the Philippines.

As well the region that is being hit includes Bohol. That was hit by a deadly earthquake last month. More than 200 killed there. More than 5,000 people left homeless. Those people had been living in tents because they have lost their homes and now they've been hit by this cyclone.

On top of it all, there had been aftershocks for the past months since that major earthquake.. So, these people living in tents and they lost their homes. And now, they're actually afraid to go into the evacuation center because they are concerned that if there are more aftershocks and they are in a structure that may not be sound so these are the problems.

But people have been evacuated. And as I say, so far, the official reports are still not too many casualties and even in one of the areas that was first hit very early this morning, local time, some people are starting to be allowed back into their homes.

So, there were preparations but people are still being warned to take this very seriously because it is still hitting the Philippines.

SAMBOLIN: I want to ask you one final question because I know it is a very wide swath in that area and there are probably a lot of different types of homes. But can those homes sustain these types of really heavy winds? Was that a concern going in?

NOVAK: I think the short answer is frankly no. These winds are so huge even your big buildings would have trouble sustaining the winds. As I say, we have an evacuation center that was supposed to be the safe haven for people and the roof was ripped clean off.

So, if you can picture the kind of homes that are typical in the Philippines, what you and I may consider to be more like shanty homes. They are set up with sheet metal, corrugated iron, very slim structure. A lot of them are up against the coast that is hit by this typhoon.

So, there's a lot of concern that many people will have their homes just blown away by these storms.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, Kathy. That's what I was worried about is those, you know, shanty style homes and those tin roofs.

We really appreciate having you there and we're going to continue to check in with you as this storm progresses.

Thank you.

LEMON: So sad because as you said they had, you know --

SAMBOLIN: An earthquake.

LEMON: -- an earthquake earlier and then they were already living -- kind of reminds me of Haiti. Hurricane after hurricane and people were already living in tents. Just unbelievable.

SAMBOLIN: And the mass destruction and how long it takes to actually federal government out how many people, you know, are missing potentially.

So, we are going to continue to follow this for you.

LEMON: I think we're going to be hearing a lot more about possible deaths and injuries with.

All right. Let's move on now. We want to bring it back to the United States.

An apology from the president of the United States. He is telling millions of Americans who are getting dropped by their insurance companies because of Obamacare that he is sorry. But sorry isn't slowing the criticism over the

Here's CNN's Athena Jones.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Obama is apologizing to Americans losing their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, despite his frequent processes they'd be able to keep plans they like, telling NBC News --

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.

JONES: About 5 percent of Americans buy their insurance on the individual market. And some of them are losing their plans as insurance companies cancel policies that don't meet tough new Obamacare standards.

OBAMA: We weren't as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place and I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position, a better position, than they were before this law happened.

JONES: The president said most people getting cancellation letters will be able to get new plans at the same price or cheaper on the new marketplaces. And he stuck to his administration's latest promise, that the troubled Web site will be fixed by the end of the month.

OBAMA: It's better than it was last week. And it's certainly a lot better than it was on October 1st. I'm confident that it will be even better by November 30th, and that the majority of people are going to be able to get on there. They're going to be able to enroll.

JONES: Obama's apology comes as a bipartisan fair of senators filed legislation Thursday to delay for a year the fine to be levied on people who don't buy health insurance by the end of March, citing the problems with the Web site.

West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Illinois Republican Mark Kirk say, quote, "This common sense proposal allows Americans to take more time to browse and explore their options, making 2014 a true transition year."

Athena Jones, CNN, the White House.


SAMBOLIN: Our thanks to Athena.

Six minutes past the hour.

Another shocking video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. And this time, it has gone public. Ford admitted Tuesday to smoking crack, as you know. So after police said they had him doing it on tape the embattled mayor admits in the latest video he was extremely drunk.

Here is why.


ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: Because I'm going to kill (EXPLETIVE DELETED) guy. I'm telling you, it's first degree murder.

VOICE: Mike Tyson.

FORD: But I'll fight him. I'll (INAUDIBLE).

VOICE: Give me the phone (INAUDIBLE)

FORD: No holds barred, brother. He dies or I die, brother. Brother, you've never seen me (EXPLETIVE DELETED) go. You think so, brother?

But when he's down, I'll rip his (EXPLETIVE DELETED) throat out. I'll poke his eyes out.

I will (EXPLETIVE DELETED) when he's dead. I'll make sure that mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dead.



SAMBOLIN: So, no word on the target of his wrath there but now many say this is much bigger than politics fearing that Ford has a really serious problem and that he should not only step down but that he should seek medical help. Thursday, Ford's mother denied that.


DIANE FORD, TORONTO MAYOR ROB FORD'S MOTHER: If he was really, really in dire straits for, you know, he need help, I would be the first one, I'd put him in my car and I would be taking him, as would all of us, you know? No. He isn't there. He isn't there.

He's hurt himself. We all know that. But there is nothing that he can't recover from and he will -- he will recover.


SAMBOLIN: Ford is vowing to remain in office and says he even plans to run for re-election after he admitted smoking crack -- listen to this, folks -- his approval ratings went up.

LEMON: Unbelievable.

Suspended NFL lineman Richie Incognito harassed a female volunteer at a Dolphins golf tournament last year. That's according to a police report obtained by Miami affiliate WPLG. Incognito repeated touched a 34-year-old woman's private parts with a golf club, rubbed up against her and even tossed water in her face. The woman says she cannot discuss the matter now because she has signed a confidentiality agreement with the Dolphins. Team official are not commenting.

SAMBOLIN: CBS News admitting it is reexamining a recent Benghazi report. "60 Minutes" says it is checking out new information that, quote, "under cuts the account told us by Morgan Jones of his actions on the night of the attack. Jones was a security contractor in Benghazi. He claims that he saw Ambassador Christopher Stevens body at the hospital the night he was killed and that he went back to the compound and attacked a militant after that. An incident report says Jones did neither of those things.

LEMON: We are learning this morning the power of persuasion help lead to the worst breach of classified information in the history of the NSA. That's according to "Reuters". Leaker Edward Snowden convinced NSA workers to on give them their log-ins and passwords. He told them it was need as part of his job and then he used them to download thousands of secret documents. Some of those employees have since been removed from their positions.

SAMBOLIN: Hopeful signs this morning of breakthrough deal maybe close on Iran's nuclear program. Secretary of State John Kerry actually changed his plans and is flying to Geneva today to join the negotiations. A State Department official says he will help narrow any differences that exist. Iran's chief negotiator telling CNN that deal to limit atomic programs in exchange for lifting sanctions could be worked out for -- by tonight, they say.

The president also saying yesterday that it's a possibility of a phased-in agreement because there's a lot of criticism as to whether or not Iran really is going to do -- keep up their end of their bargain, so he said we phase in an agreement shortly.

LEMON: All right. We'll see.

This is going to tick a lot of people off, Zoraida, especially you and me, and all the taxpayers.


LEMON: You know, the 16-day partial government shutdown last month? It cost taxpayers $2 billion in lost productivity.

SAMBOLIN: And there is more, isn't there?

LEMON: Eight hundred fifty furloughed workers, federal workers. It's crazy. And according to the Office of Management and Budget, that does not include, as Zoraida just alluded to, about a half billion dollars in lost tourist spending in closed national parks. The Obama administration also claims the shutdown cost the country 120,000 new private sector jobs in October.

SAMBOLIN: It is a big cha-ching.


SAMBOLIN: All right. Let's get a check of the forecast. Karen Maginnis is live from the CNN weather center.

What are you tracking this morning, Karen?

LEMON: Good morning.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We're looking -- and good morning, Don and Zoraida. We are looking at very cold temperatures and some eastern Great Lakes region snowfall. Most of this is going to be on the light side. Buffalo, you'll pick up some snow showers later on in the afternoon, even Pittsburgh maybe a light flurry or two. Those temperatures cold backed up against the eastern Great Lakes. Interior sections of New England, also pretty cold. But right along the coast not as mild as it was yesterday with those temperatures in the 50s and 60s. Instead this morning, we've got 30s and 40s.

Here is kind of an interesting hiccup. You start to warm up a little bit as you head towards the weekend. Temperatures will rise up into the 50s, that in New York City. But by Tuesday, hold on, temperatures expected in the upper 30s to low 40s and in the long-term forecast, it looks like it's going to be fairly blustery.

The biggest snap of cold air so far this season. We will have more later.

SAMBOLIN: Yikes! Did you say blustery?

LEMON: She said blustery.

Karen -- you know, mom, this is a mom. I said, I need a cough drop. Zoraida opens up her purse and she's saying, here you go. Thanks, mom.

SAMBOLIN: Anything else you want? I got a nail file for you.

LEMON: If you give me three more hours of sleep out of your purse, that would be awesome.

See you soon, Karen. Thank you.

Quite a find on a Florida beach where --


LEMON: Is this crazy? (INAUDIBLE) She had so much money!

SAMBOLIN: Yes, I agree.

LEMON: (INAUDIBLE) was taking one last walk along the water in Daytona Beach last weekend when she and her daughter stumbled upon a $400 leather coach purse. Inside the bag, more than $13,000 in cash and jewelry. Well, Curleys (ph) were concerned the owner may have drowned. So, they called police and the owner was able to track down the owner in Maryland. She is so happy to have her belongings back. She is going to plan a visit to Tennessee to thank the Curleys personally.

SAMBOLIN: OK, so the big question here --

LEMON: Thirteen thousand dollars in cash.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, I went online so I thought, OK, I got to get more information on the story. I have to talk to this woman. Why was there so much cash in there and jewelry in there as well!

LEMON: Was the jewelry worth more --

SAMBOLIN: No, no, no. The money was the issue here. But how did it end up in the water? What happened? What is the back story is what I want to know. It was $13,086.30 in the purse.


LEMON: Conspiracy theory. You are a sleuth, oh my gosh.

SAMBOLIN: I was really and the woman who give this back and her daughter, congratulations to you. That was fantastic. Most people I think would not do that.


SAMBOLIN: All right. Coming up, a 19-year-old Michigan girl shot and killed when she approached a stranger's home looking for help. Now, we're hearing the homeowner's side in a shooting that has stunned the Motor City.

LEMON: Yes, a lot of people online are concerned about that story.

And they just make about everything taste better, but now, the federal government has a plan to phase them completely out of the foods. We'll explain, next.

Plus, it's time for the morning rhyme. Tweet us with your own original verse. I'm trying to make it rhyme but I can't think this fast in the morning. It could be about anything, #earlystart and #earlyrhyme. We'll read the best one on the air in our next half hour of power on EARLY START. Be smart!


SAMBOLIN: This is why. Welcome back to EARLY START. We're talking about fat, Trans fat.

LEMON: I'd love a cheeseburger right now.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, right.

So, they make the food that you eat taste much better. But they also make good cholesterol really bad and bad cholesterol actually worse. So, now, the Food and Drug Administration has come up with a plan to phase them out of our food supply.

Yes, we get more from senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Many of these foods will likely need a makeover, from margarine to pecan pie to quiche to microwave popcorn, because many of them contain trans fats. And today the Food and Drug Administration took the first steps towards saying no more. MICHAEL TAYLOR, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, FDA: Well, trans fat has long been recognized as a significant cause of heart disease. We are taking this action because we think it's time to address and really phase out the remaining uses of trans fat in the diet so that we can reduce the incidents of heart disease and deaths resulting from heart attack.

COHEN: It used to be thought that trans fat, which comes from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, was healthier than animal fat. But now scientists know that trans fat is terrible for your heart. Trans fat raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol. The FDA estimates that getting trans fat out of foods will prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year.

(on camera): The FDA is actually a little late to this game. New York City, the state of California and many other places banned trans fat in restaurants years ago, so Wendy's took it out of their frying oil, so did McDonald's and many other big chains.

Now the grocery store, that's a different story. In the grocery store, you can find pies that have trans fats, margarine, cookies, biscuits, and one of the biggest culprits of all, microwave popcorn.

(voice-over): Trans fat won't come out of foods immediately. It will take at least several months. The FDA has yet to set a definite timetable.

Elizabeth, CNN, reporting.


SAMBOLIN: I worry about everything that replaces the trans fat.

LEMON: I say everything in moderation.

SAMBOLIN: I guess but you never know. You never know. A lot of people have obesity problems. This whole cholesterol issue, clogged arteries, right?


SAMBOLIN: He agreed with me. I love it.

LEMON: Let's go to Burger King and get some fries. Everything in moderation.

Here's some terrible news to tell you about, Zoraida.

Three arrests in the fatal shooting of University of Michigan medical student Paul DeWolf last summer. Police are not releasing the name of the suspects but they say that the three individuals had no previous connection to DeWolf or the school. DeWolf was found murdered in his medical frat house last July and we are expecting more details from police about the suspect and a possible motive. Those are later on today. SAMBOLIN: A teenage girl from Florida is under arrest. She's accused of cyberbullying several other girls. Police in St. Petersburg say the 15-year-old suspect used an app to send hundreds of texts over the course of eight days.


BILL PROFFITT, ST. PETERSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT: The investigation is in progress and asked her to stay away from the victims. She did not heed that advice. She continued to send threatening texts to these victims.


SAMBOLIN: The text included death threats and they also encouraged suicide.

LEMON: Well, coming up, just how popular is Big Papi after winning the World Series?

SAMBOLIN: Are you kidding? That's the man!

LEMON: Big Papi! Here is a hint: he apparently finished third in the mayor's race and he wasn't even running! We're going to explain in the bleacha report. Bleacha report.


LEMON: You love this story. The Oregon Ducks dream of a national title this season was spoiled last night in the hands of Stanford.


LEMON: Andy Scholes joins us.

She is cheering, Andy! Andy has "The Bleacher Report" this morning.

ANDY SCHOLES, THE BLEACHER REPORT: Big Cardinal fan there in Zoraida I guess.

All right. This year, of course, is the final year for the BCS. It looks like we were heading for a messy situation with a bunch of undefeated teams. But now, you can scratch Oregon off that list of teams with an argument to play in the national championship game because last night the third ranked Ducks were beaten by fifth ranked Stanford. The Cardinal scored the first 23 points in this game! They held on to hand Oregon their first loss of the season.

Meanwhile, down in Waco, Texas, the sixth ranked Baylor Bears, they continue to roll over their opponents. They crushed tenth ranked Oklahoma 41-12! The Bears a perfect 8-0 this season.

Trending on today -- hey, if you had Adrian Peterson on your fancy team, you are a happy camper this morning. Check out Peterson, just running over the entire Redskins defense last night. He finished the game 75 yards and two touchdowns as the Vikings beat the Redskins, 34-27.

Big Papi's popularity in Boston is at an all-time high, it's so high that some fans want Ortiz to run the city! According to, Ortiz received the third most votes in the Boston mayoral election earlier this week. He wasn't on the ballot, fans just wrote his name in. And while he had a good showing, he still fell more than 71,000 votes short of now Mayor-elect Marty Walsh.

Tiger Woods is in Turkey this week, which is where Rachel Nichols caught up to the world's best player and asked about golf, fatherhood and his girlfriend Lindsey Vonn. And you can see the entire interview tonight on "UNGUARDED WITH RACHEL NICHOLS." That's at 10:30 p.m. Eastern on CNN. It should be interesting to see what Tiger Woods had to say about all that.

LEMON: How about this? Mayor Papi.

SCHOLES: Mayor Papi!


SAMBOLIN: I know, I love that, right?

SCHOLES: I like it.

LEMON: Awesome.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you.

Coming up: the return of Rick Perry. The Texas governor in Iowa tearing into President Obama. Is he gearing up for another run for the White House?


LEMON: What could be the most powerful storm to ever make land is slamming the Philippines. Massive destruction in its wake as millions flee their homes for safety.

SAMBOLIN: It's a start. President Obama is saying "I'm sorry" to millions of Americans being dropped from their existing health insurance plan. What is the administration considering to rectify the debacle, however? That is coming up.

LEMON: Is he a repeat offender? Reports of alleged disturbing behavior by a Miami Dolphin player already embroiled in a massive bullying controversy. How Richie Incognito's past may come back to haunt him.