Return to Transcripts main page


Despair in the Philippines; Report: Less Than 50,000 Have Signed Up for Obamacare; Dolphins Owner Speaks; European Airports Lift Liquid Ban

Aired November 12, 2013 - 05:00   ET



JIM EDDS, STORM CHASER: They have never, ever seen that kind of storm surge come in. Or else they have been elsewhere. They didn't know what beast was coming into town.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan rising as the Philippines braces for a new tropical threat. We are live as thousands of survivors try to make their way to safety.


STEPHEN ROSS, MIAMI DOLPHINS OWNER: There will not be any racial slurs, or harassing, or bullying, in that workplace, in that locker room, and outside the locker room.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Overnight as the team hits the field for the first time since the locker room bullying scandal, the Dolphins owner finally breaks his silence. He claims he is appalled by allegations of hazing and harassment.

SAMBOLIN: And tired of tossing out shampoos, perfumes and your cologne at the airport? Well, new technology could make the carry-on liquid ban a thing of the past.

BERMAN: You could bring your Axe with you, your Axe body spray.

SAMBOLIN: Would that be awful? Gosh, please don't bring your ax.

You're back! We're so excited you're back here.

BERMAN: It's so good to be here. No, I mean, it's great to be back. Nice to see you this morning.

We're going to start this morning with the news that so much of the world is focused on right now, the heartbreaking scene in the Philippines this morning. It has been days now since Super Typhoon Haiyan hit. But we're only now getting a true sense of the damage and devastation and it is immense and it is tragic. Right now, the death toll stands under 2000 but the Red Cross estimates the numbers will increase five-fold, maybe 10,000, even higher. There's no real way of knowing right now. Now, the focus is on the frantic effort to get help to survivors. U.S. Marines are on the ground, bringing aid, and the USS George Washington is on its way.

But with that country so badly damaged, can the help get there fast enough for the millions and millions of people who need it?

Andrew Stevens is live at the airport in Tacloban this morning. Andrew, give us a sense of the situation on the ground right now.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, the lights on the runway has gone up, John, this runway is taking a big step towards effectively a 24/7 operation. That's been a big problem in the past over the past four or five days. Operation had to close down when night falls. So, if there is more aid coming in around the clock, that's obviously going to make a big, big difference.

Walking around the city today, it's a lot quieter. I've seen food being distributed but it is really, to me, looking quite haphazard. There is not big relief staging centers. There is not an abundance of people on the street handing things out yet, although I did speak to a few people who did get back and say this food will last us for a week and then we don't know.

A lot of people, on the other hand, are scrambling to get out of this town. People cueing up from the early hours and sleeping overnight in what I can describe as appalling conditions and we have been with them all night. They line up, they cue up, to get a flight out.

I'd just been speaking to a woman, she said she got here at 6:00 in the morning and she's being cueing patiently. The gates open, there was no plan, people got there first, got the plane out. So, she has to come back, she has to stay here tonight.

So, that's -- a lot of people trying to get out and a lot of people still looking for food and I've been around the city a lot. There's water -- people are talking about water but everywhere we go, we were driving with the mayor of the city who himself had an incredible escape, people are saying, help us, give us food, have you got any water? So, that is the situation.

But the key point to remember -- this is a city, an important city. This is the key provincial city, 200,000 people live here. There is a runway. There is aid nearby.

Go down the coast a few miles, you don't have to go that far. There is still a lot of towns down that coast and up that coast where we don't know really what is happening there. We don't know what the situation is. We can only assume it's as bad as we have seen here because a lot of people, a lot of the poorer people who live on the shore in the shanty places if they didn't get out they would have very, very likely not been able to get out at all.

So that is where the aid also needs to go. The U.S. -- we're seeing a couple of the Osprey choppers coming in, which is absolutely critical. But to get the aid out, John, that's what we are waiting for now. They disperse it outside Tacloban City.

BERMAN: And it is the unknown in some cases, Andrew, that is so frightening because people simply have not been to these villages, these coastal communities which could have been devastated, even worse, than the city you're in right now. As you said, there is something of an infrastructure where you are. Imagine what it's like in the outlying areas.

What is the status to get to these places? Is it the Ospreys that are counting on? Is it the aid groups who are still on their way? Are they the ones who will get down there or is there an effort right now to reach these places?

STEVENS: There is certainly an effort to reach these places. A lot of roads are now being opened up. Remember, this was a scene that was cut off by fallen trees. All of the major arterial roads in and out were closed but both roads are now open. So, aid can start panning out, if you like.

But all -- everything you mentioned there, the Ospreys, NGOs, the Red Cross, the local authorities here it has to happen to get relief going.

I was talking to a mayor who actually -- he was in a town about 30 kilometers south from where I'm standing now. He said, after the storm, he got his people -- it's a small town. He managed to get most people away from the waterfront because he said I will arrest anyone who is here after midnight. So, he said we only got three dead.

As he came up towards this city, he said he saw scores of bodies lying on the shore and lying close to the towns -- so we don't know the full extent of this. The numbers really still pretty meaningless until we get much more complete information and it is going to take a long time.

BERMAN: Andrew Stevens for us in Tacloban, let's hope for some miracles as people get there on the ground to help out. Thank you for being there at the airport in Tacloban this morning.

SAMBOLIN: It would be great to have some miracles there.

So, we are hearing more amazing stories of survival.

Storm chaser Jim Edds was in Tacloban when Haiyan hit and spent 48 hours there at the height of the storm and in the early hours of the aftermath.


JIM EDDS, STORM CHASER: The last report I had said 195 miles an hour wind. I knew it was coming. There's a lot of low-lying areas. And, yes, I knew exactly what was coming. They didn't. But I sure did.

They get typhoons in the Philippines all the times, but my estimation is they say, OK, another typhoon? It's the same drill, whether it's a one or a five, they go to their usual place and get their provisions and they ride it out. They never, ever seen that kind of storm surge come in or else they would have been elsewhere.

They didn't know what beast was coming into town. They just weren't prepared for that.


BERMAN: You see the power of that certainly is something if you have any hope of surviving, you do have to be well-prepared.

SAMBOLIN: You were hearing from storm chaser Jim Edds who was in the midst of it as things were happening.

BERMAN: And if things aren't bad enough, there is a sense that there could be more rain on the way in the Philippines. Our Indra Petersons is tracking that for us.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, in fact, the joint typhoon warning that most countries used to name systems, they have not named a system just yet. There is a high risk in the area. However, in the Philippines they have their own government agency named this tropical depression Zorayda.

So, either way, we are talking about heavy rain in the region. Now, typically in the Philippines, they are used to having strong systems. It wouldn't be a big story other than the fact everyone is trying to recover right now.

Getting in a little bit closer, you'll see the heaviest rain is currently within the region. So, really talking about right now anywhere from six to another 10 inches of rain in the region, also winds are strong, it's about 35 miles per hour.

So, definitely not what they need at this point in time. The heaviest rain bands currently in the region. And then things will start to change. Things will start to improve for them.

The easiest way to see this is the water vapor satellite. It shows you where you have the moisture and where you have the dry air. And you can see just behind the system that they're currently looking at, a lot of dry air will be filling in.

So, giving you a quick look -- here's Tacloban's forecast. They're talking about heavy rain through the evening and turning into scattered showers and a break in through Wednesday. And that's the time hopefully they can really start to recover and get these winds to die down and the rain to back off -- something they really need.

BERMAN: All right. Indra, thanks so much.

All right. Some other news now, moving here back to the States.

The official numbers are set to come back this week, but we are now getting a sense of just how many Americans may have signed up for insurance coverage through Obamacare's insurance exchanges. And the numbers, they are not high at all.

"The Wall Street Journal" says fewer than 50,000 people have signed up through the federal site as of last week. CNN estimates another 60,000 signed up through state-run exchanges. Together that is still a fraction of half a million people the administration was expecting and hoping would be signed up by now.

And the problems with the may also be affecting Medicaid enrollment. That's a big part of Obamacare also.

"The New York Times" says the site is not forwarding applications for poor Americans so they can get that Medicaid coverage.

SAMBOLIN: So, now to the controversy swirling around the Miami Dolphins, amid accusations of player hazed and harassed teammate. The Dolphins played Monday night and lost against the Buccaneers.

The team is reeling from the absence of Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. They say both are now gone from the team. Martin, as you know, by choice, claiming that he was harassed. Incognito, from a team imposed suspension. And the team's owner, Stephen Ross, is now speaking out, saying he is not jumping to any conclusions yet.


STEPHEN ROSS, MIAMI DOLPHINS' OWNER: We want to get to the bottom of it. We want to get to hear all the -- what the real facts are. There's been so much said and done to date that, you know, I don't think anybody really knows what has happened because no one has really spoken with Jonathan Martin directly.


SAMBOLIN: So, Ross says that he has been trading text messages with Martin and Martin is expected to speak this week with the lawyer hired by the NFL to look into all of these allegations.

As for Incognito, he claims the violent and racist text messages and voice mails that he sent are being misinterpreted and are just part of the locker room culture.

BERMAN: Meanwhile, the Dolphins lost embarrassingly last night to the Tampa Bay Bucs that had not won yet this season. So, I know on the field reaction isn't necessarily as important as off the field. But they have a big impact.

SAMBOLIN: Absolutely.

BERMAN: Ten minutes after the hour.

And coming up -- some big news for flyers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The E.U. is testing liquid explosive scanners very similar to what the TSA is doing. But it comes back to the technology. Is the technology ready for primetime?


BERMAN: One less headache at the airport. Carry-on travel restrictions are being lifted across the globe, but will it happen here?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was looking three these display cases and it had (INAUDIBLE) and jewelry, other trinkets and everything, but there was this purple heart sitting there.


SAMBOLIN: You're going to want to come back for this story. A veteran's mission to find the rightful owner of a lost World War II Purple Heart.

BERMAN: It is that time. This is why I came back from vacation. The morning rhyme! Tweet us with your own original verse. It can be about anything. The hashtags are #earlystart and #morningrhyme. We will read the best ones on the air in the next half hour.


BERMAN: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone.

So, this could be a big change in the way you fly. Thanks to new scanning technologies, some European airports are lifting their ban on carry-on liquids. The TSA says it is also looking into easing restrictions at home. Experts say that liquid explosives do pose a serious threat to airplanes but the new techniques could fight that threat while making air travel a whole heck of a lot more convenient.

Here is Rene Marsh.


RENE MARSH, CNN TRANSPORTATION AND REGULATION CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The power of a liquid bomb on display. It was the devious weapon of choice in the chilling 2006 plan to blow up as many as ten U.S.-bound flights from the United Kingdom.

(on camera): Well, the 2006 plot foiled. But since then, for the past seven years, flyers have been restricted to this -- no more than 3.4 ounces of liquid or on gels allowed in carry-ons in the U.S. and Europe.

(voice-over): Now, new technology could allow airports around the country to ease the rule. London is taking the first step towards the goal of lifting restrictions on liquids by 2016 by installing new liquid scanning technology at Heathrow airport.

The Ohio-based company which developed the machine says it scans containers in less than ten seconds and using radio frequency and ultrasonic technology and alerts security personnel of suspicious substances. The company didn't specify the margin of error only saying it was very low and very nonfactors such as the type of container.

All European airports have been mandated to have technology capable of scanning for liquid explosives by 2014.

But what about the U.S.? The TSA tells CNN developing liquid scanners that would allow them to lift restrictions, quote, "remains a long- term goal."

But Chad Wolf, a former TSA assistant administrator says that change won't come any time soon.

CHAD WOLF, FORMER TSA ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR: The E.U. is testing explosive scanners very similar to what the TSA is doing. But it comes back to the technology. Is the technology ready for prime time? And I think as of today, it's not.

MARSH (on camera): Well, the TSA wants to lift the restrictions and in 2008 went as far saying the restrictions would be gone by the end of 2010 because they believe the equipment would be in place but that didn't happen.

Now, as for these airports in the U.K., they'll start using the new scanners in January. But flyers should still plan to pack light on the lotion, liquids and gels simply because in the first phase of this, they will only be scanning duty-free items, as well as liquid medications.

If everything goes well, then they will expand to other liquids.

Rene Marsh, CNN, Reagan National.


SAMBOLIN: Our thanks to Rene -- slowly, but surely, right?

Seventeen minutes past the hour. Montana prosecutors say a new bride accused of pushing her husband off a cliff days after their wedding may have blindfolded him first. Twenty-two-year-old Jordan Graham had pled not guilty and now her attorneys are claim prosecutorial misconduct saying the interrogators twisted her words during all the interrogations. They are asking a judge to dismiss the charges. The trial is set for next month.

BERMAN: Show no mercy. That's what prosecutors are asking a judge that will sentence Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger. A two day sentence hearing will begin on Wednesday and family of the victims will address the court. Bulger was convict on a slew of counts, including roles in the murder of some 11 people. The judge is expected to send the 84-year-old to prison for the rest of his life.

SAMBOLIN: Reputed former mob boss John Gotti Jr. has been stabbed on New York's Long Island. The police say he is not cooperating. All he's telling them is that it happened Sunday in a pharmacy parking lot. "The New York Daily News" says it happened while he was breaking up a fight between two strangers.

The 49-year-old was treated for a wound to his stomach. Gotti's father was once the boss of the Gambino crime family. Junior as he is known, served five years in prison and he had been tried multiple times on mob-related charges.

BERMAN: How about that?

A North Carolina man now facing federal terrorism charges after authorities say he tried to join an al Qaeda linked military group fighting in Syria. Ninety-nine-year-old Basit Javed Sheikh is from suburban Raleigh, in North Carolina, and he allegedly spent months posting messages and videos to Facebook expressing support for jihadi fighters. He travelled to Turkey last year with apparent plans to try to join that fight but he has said to have backed out at the last minute.

SAMBOLIN: And now to the amazing return of a Purple Heart and this all happened on Veterans Day. It was found in a flea market in Arizona in January. The cost? Forty bucks. No guidance who it belonged to or other than a soldier's name engraved on the back of it and two letters. One address to Stilwell, Oklahoma.

So, Matt Carlson began his search. It took nine months and a whole lot of help but he eventually found the family of Clarence Marriott. The private had died on an explosion on a ship during World War II. Carlson brought that medal back to Marriott's hometown in Oklahoma yesterday.


MATT CARLSON, FOUND PURPLE HEART: It's closure. It's closure for both me and for Clarence because though his body is not here. Today, I feel his spirit in that room.


SAMBOLIN: What an incredible gift. So the family has donated the medal and the letters to the town museum in Stilwell where they will be on display so that everyone can see this.

BERMAN: That really is wonderful.

SAMBOLIN: It's a great story.

BERMAN: All right. It's 20 minutes after the hour.

Coming up for us: Tim Tebow's luck, it may be turning around with a big career move. Andy Scholes will explain what the former NFL quarterback has up his sleeve. That is coming up in "The Bleacher Report", next.


BERMAN: Welcome back. So, amid the big bullying scandal, there was still a game to play and the Dolphins hit the field last night against the Tampa Bay Bucs who had not won a single game all season until Monday night football.

Andy Scholes here with the highlights this morning.

Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, guys.

It's been a rough couple of weeks for the Dolphins as they deal with the Jonathan Martin departure and Richie Incognito bullying scandal. Everyone wanted to see how this firestorm surrounding the team would affect them on the field.

Now, last night, Miami came out sluggish. The Bucs scored first on play, action to it, offensive lineman, 6'5", 345 Donald Penn with a TD catch and slam dunk and celebrated. And it was 10-0 Bucs after the first quarter. And without Martin and Incognito, Dolphins line struggled.

Second quarter, Daniel Thomas gets taken down for the safety. The Bucs go on to get their first win of the season beating the dolphins 22-19.

Good news for the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning's MRI on his injured ankle showed no signs of new damage. Interim head coach Jack Del Rio said he is definitely going to play this weekend and that is huge for the broncos because they are hosting the 9-0 Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night football.

All right. Trending right now on -- former Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow may be back in football soon but it won't be on the field. According to, the former Heisman trophy winner has hired prominent broadcast agents CAA's Nick Kahn to represent him. So, if the NFL does not come calling soon, we could see Tebow on a college football broadcast team by the end of the season.

Two notables on the past year were Louisville's injured -- Kevin Ware's, his injury during the NCAA tournament, and Kobe Bryant tore an Achilles the end of last season. To motivate each other, Kobe and Kevin made a bet to see who would make it back on the court first. Loser has to attend the winner's game.

Looks like Kobe is going to Louisville.

SAMBOLIN: Cool is that?

SCHOLES: It is awesome.

Ware won the bet by playing in an exhibition game last week. So, Kobe is trying to get back from his injured Achilles. He's got a pretty busy schedule right now, but he's going to fit in a trip to Louisville.

SAMBOLIN: Make a little time. BERMAN: I'm sure he's thrilled to do it.

Both guys working hard to get back on the court much quicker than I thought they could.

SAMBOLIN: I was worried about Kevin Ware. And look at him, he is doing amazingly well.

Thank you so much, Andy.

BERMAN: Coming up, the big news of the day is coming up. So much tragedy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just past us. And the tornado lasted for four hours.


BERMAN: Devastation in the Philippines as survivors of Typhoon Haiyan search for missing loved ones. We're going to have the latest developments on the ground as the death toll rises and rises, and a new storm seems to be moving in.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is really, really like bad, bad -- worse than hell. Worse than hell.


BERMAN: Survivors desperate for help. But for so many of them, relief nowhere in sight. The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan rising. And get this: there is a new storm barreling into the Philippines.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was like, what do I do? Who is this lady? This isn't anybody that my parents have mentioned or I've seen.


SAMBOLIN: Survival instincts kicking in. How a 14-year-old girl managed to protect herself when an intruder came into her home.