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Picking up the Pieces after Typhoon Haiyan; A Desperate Search in the Philippines; Ferguson Freed, Conviction Tossed Out

Aired November 13, 2013 - 05:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Devastation and so much heartbreak in the Philippines. The death toll rising as survivors search for loved ones still missing. We're going to take you on their journeys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to get back to living my life. Although, I don't know yet how that will feel.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Incredible story. Freed from prison after a decade. His conviction was tossed out for a murder he says he did not commit. Ryan Ferguson's long fight for freedom.

BERMAN: Imagine what it's like to be him this morning.

Meanwhile, bitter cold temperatures taking hold on much of the country. Indra Petersons tracking the cold. How far will it drop? How long will it last?


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): That's the big tease, right? How long will it last? Stay tuned for that. Welcome back to EARLY START. Happy you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN (on-camera): And I'm John Berman. Thirty-one minutes past the hour right now.

SAMBOLIN: So, it has now been nearly a week since typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines and survivors are growing more and more desperate for help. Aid is still only trickling in. It has slowed by continued bad weather and the extent of all the damage there. Some areas are only accessible by helicopter.

Officials say they are doing the very best they can under these circumstances, but there are reports of looting and additional deaths as hungry, angry people try to get what they need in order to survive. So, right now, the death toll is just over 1,800. That is including two Americans. We do not know their names or where they are from yet.

The president of the Philippines tells CNN that he believes estimates that 10,000 were killed might be too high. But there are some areas that are still impassable. So, you know, we have to wait and see there. There's a desperate search for loved ones that were lost in the wake of typhoon Haiyan.

Hundreds of thousands have been displaced by the storm, losing their homes and any semblance of life. Anderson Cooper is in the Philippines and met someone who just wants to find her family.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Tacloban, the misery is beyond meaning.

This is your home?

"The first, the first" she says, "our house was one of the firsts to come down." Juvelyn Taniega (ph) sought shelter from the storm surge in this bus with her husband and six children. She survived. They were swept away.

And has anyone come to help you?


COOPER: "I really want to see them," she says, "even if it's just their bodies." She has found the body of her husband and shows us the bodies of three of her children. Now, she searches for her three other children. She doesn't believe they survived the storm.

Where will you sleep tonight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here in the street. Anywhere. I don't know where I go.

COOPER: In Tacloban, there isn't any place to go. Juanito Martinez (ph) is living in a makeshift shelter. His wife, Gina, and daughter are covered with sacks nearby.

"I really want someone to collect their bodies," he says. "I want to know where they're taken so then I can light a candle for them."

Juanito cooks some rice and noodles for his neighbors. One of the men tells us he wants to call his mother in Manila. He's desperate to tell her that he and his daughter survived, but his wife and two other children are dead. We dial her number on our satellite phone.

"They're gone, they're all gone," he says.



COOPER: "I don't know why this happened to me."

You won't find answers here in Tacloban, you'll only find loss. You'll only find misery. With so little help that has just not gone away.

Anderson Cooper, Tacloban, Philippines. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: I know that you're watching this at home, and you're probably asking yourselves as we are, what can we do to help? You can go to And there's a ton of information there of how you can help if you are so inclined.

BERMAN: It's a terrific resource.


BERMAN: Thirty-five minutes after the hour right now. We're going to move on now to the continuing drama surrounding the rollout of Obamacare.


BERMAN (voice-over): The criticism is now coming from all sides after the White House was forced to admit that millions of Americans will have to change their insurance coverage plans despite the president's constant assurances that they could keep their plans if they liked them. Now, even Democrats are saying the law should be changed and a former president, a Democrat, you will recognize him, he's chiming in, too.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, I personally believe, even if it takes changing the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has instructed his team to look at a range of options. And we haven't announced one way or the other.


BERMAN: As for the problems with the website, a new report this morning from the "Washington Post" saying that only maybe six out of every 10 problems have been repaired. The site, apparently, still can't handle a large number of users. And officials tell the newspaper it is unlikely that the site will be fully fixed by the November 30th deadline.

That is a big deal. The top White House technology officer, Todd Park, is set to testify on Capitol Hill this morning about the rollout. Earlier, he had indicated he would not answer a subpoena, but he will testify today. That could be some pretty dramatic testimony.


SAMBOLIN: Thirty-six minutes past the hour. Ryan Ferguson is waking up a free man this morning. He was released after nearly a decade in prison for a crime that he insists he did not commit. The court said Ferguson did not receive a fair trial for the killing of a newspaper sports editor back in 2001. So, what did they do? They threw out his conviction.

Then on Tuesday, prosecutors decided not to retry him. He found out from his lawyer with a piece of paper held up to a Missouri (INAUDIBLE) protective glass on it, two words "it's over."


RYAN FERGUSON, MURDER CONVICTION OVERTURNED: To get arrested and to get charged for a crime you didn't commit, it's incredibly easy, and you can lose your life very fast. But, to get out of prison, it takes an army. As you can see, an incredible group of individuals, family, friends, attorneys who are willing to sacrifice so much.


SAMBOLIN: Well, Ferguson said one of the first things he planned to do was eat Dairy Queen, seriously. And now that he's free, he hopes to work with prisoners who claim as he did to be falsely accused.

BERMAN: Hope he gets --

SAMBOLIN: Look at his attitude, too, right, after spending a decade in prison and look at him.

BERMAN: Amazing.

Thirty-seven minutes after the hour. A tragic ending to a hostage situation to tell you about in Phoenix. Four people dead in what police are calling a case of domestic violence. The suspect apparently killed his wife and set her body on fire in the backyard. Police say he also killed his teen age daughter and a family friend before turning the gun on himself.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my goodness.

BERMAN: The wife reportedly filed an order protection just hours before the shooting.

Thirty-eight minutes past the hour. A showdown coming in Toronto. The city council is expected to vote later today on whether embattled Mayor Rob Ford should be forced to step down. A defiant Ford is vowing to fight any attempt to force him out. Ford who admitted to smoking crack says he has a drinking problem. He will be at today's meeting and is promising it will be a raucous affair.

Meantime, Ford is capitalizing on his notoriety. Look at this. Come over to your TV set. This is for charity, though. Selling collectible bobble-heads. At least 1,000 people lined up to buy one on Tuesday. The proceeds are going to the United Way. Something a little positive --


BERMAN: I was trying to figure out if there's anything wrong with it. I mean, I guess not. If you're in troubled for smoking crack and you're mayor, it's good to sell bobble-heads for charity.

SAMBOLIN: If people are going to line up and give the money that's going to United Way, I say, more power to you.

BERMAN: Right.

SAMBOLIN: All right.


BERMAN: Thirty-nine minutes after the hour. Sarah Palin taking up arms on what she calls the war on Christmas. The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate launched a tour Tuesday to promote her new book, which is called "Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas." More than 700 fans turned out in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania. Palin was sporting a T-shirt that read, "It's OK to wish me a Merry Christmas."

SAMBOLIN: A cracked windshield, the cause of an emergency landing for an American Airlines flight landing with 156 people on board. There's the cracked windshield right there. The 757 from Miami to Boston was diverted to Orlando late Tuesday night as a safety precaution, they said.

The windshield is double-paned and officials say only the outer portion cracked. No one was hurt. The crack was repaired and passengers were on their way again early this morning.

BERMAN: They didn't know what cause the crack.

SAMBOLIN: That's scary.

BERMAN: You know, -- hit a pebble, though, when you're flying, right?

SAMBOLIN: No. You don't. So, what was that?


BERMAN: All right. Last week, we told you about the surprising find at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. What kind of surprising find? A foot- long alligator captured under an escalator. Well, now, Chicago police think they know who put the alligator there, and they need your help finding the culprit. They've released these pictures from a public --



BERMAN: -- taken just before the alligator was found. Is it a friend of Zoraida? Look what's under her hand right there?

SAMBOLIN: Yes. She's showing off the alligator on the train.

BERMAN: Wow. Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Police want to find this woman. They have a lot of questions for her. As for the gator, it is now nicknamed Ali. It is said to be recovering in the care of a reptile society.

SAMBOLIN: We cannot make these stories up. What was she doing with that alligator?


BERMAN: So, first in the subway and then the airport. She likes public -- transportation stations.

SAMBOLIN: Apparently.

Coming up, grab your coat, turn up the furnace, it is cold out there. Indra Petersons will have your frosty forecast. She's also going to tell us when it's going to end when we come back.


SAMBOLIN: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START. Forty-four minutes past the hour. Pay no attention to me and the way that I am dressed this morning. You need to bundle up as you head out the door. It is cold out there. Some of the coldest temperatures of the season. They range from the Great Lakes and the plains into the Deep South.

Here's what it looked like in North Carolina where flurries were flying. This was Tuesday afternoon. It was actually in the 60s just hours earlier.

BERMAN: What's going on here? How long will it last? Indra Petersons, give us some answers.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We'll see how easy it is to see where you want to be in the country this time of year where it's 10 and 20 below normal or maybe out towards the west five to 15 above average. I think I know where I want to be, very easy. But here's the good news. It's not going to last. That's the big question. But that doesn't really help you this morning as you're waking up and going outside. Take a look at the temperatures with the added-in wind chill.

Chicago, currently 12 degrees. New York City, it feels like 23 degrees. And you got a little bit of that wind gusting out there. So, oh, yes, definitely a bite (ph) this morning. We're looking at high. Not really much (ph) better either. New York City, only in the 30s, Boston looking for the 30s, Chicago we should get 40s.

And even down to the south, we're talking about temperatures being pretty much about 20 degrees below normal. So with that, of course, we have frost advisories and warnings out there. What are we going to be looking at? Well, there is a change, that high pressure, that first brought in the cold air, well now, it makes its way east by tomorrow and warm air fills in.

So, look at that by tomorrow, we're talking about temperatures quickly rebounding to just a hit below normal and that feels pretty good, right?

SAMBOLIN: Indeed. Thank you.


BERMAN: All right. We can't wait. Thanks, Indra.

Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan join us now. Good morning, guys.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, we're following this case. You probably heard about it. This young man, his name is Ryan Ferguson. He's been in prison for ten years for the murder of a sports editor. It was a really controversial trial. He's always claimed his innocence. Well, now, as you can see, he's out.

We're going to hear from him this morning. We're going to find out what it was that put him behind bars and what we know that made him a free man.

BOLDUAN: And talk about drama in the courtroom. A dramatic courtroom showdown as actor, Alec Baldwin, took the stand against an alleged stalker. Baldwin teared up and denied any romantic involvement with the woman as she heckled him on the stand. It's turning into a sensational case. We're going to break it down for you and let you know what we can expect today. You can even know what's going to happen next.

SAMBOLIN: All right.

BERMAN: High drama. Thanks, guys.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BERMAN: It is time now for the "Morning Rhyme." These are the best tweets of the day. Today comes from Jeff Turboff (ph), an old friend of mine, an editor, terrific guy. He says, "Cholesterol sky high eating real bad food? Medicine may help but won't quit bacon it's just too good." Jeff going for the rhyme between "food" and "good." It's not a perfect rhyme, but it's on the news talking about the big statin (ph) finding today. So, we applaud Jeff. He's also a terrific --

SAMBOLIN: If he keeps on eating that bacon, he may have to go on the cholesterol drive.

BERMAN: Bacon is good, though.


BERMAN: You can come up with your own morning rhymes anytime. Tweet us, the hash tags are morning rhyme and EARLY START.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Coming up, the holiday season is approaching really fast. So, time to get shopping, and we'll have the best days to head to the mall in "Money Time." That's coming up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It is "Money Time" which means Christine Romans is here. Great to see you. Good morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Good morning. Kind of a morose little song --


ROMANS: And I think it's because the stocks hit a pause yesterday, right? The Dow has matched 34 record highs this year, 35 on Monday then, but then stocks fell yesterday. Stocks futures have lowered this morning. Pause, I think, is the best way to look at it. The S&P also fell yesterday, but it only gave you some perspective. The S&P is poised for the best year in a decade.

For the year, the S&P is up 24 percent. You know, this is -- this is part of your portfolio, your 401(k), the stocks part probably looks more like the S&P 500. The Dow is up 20 percent and the NASDAQ is up 30 percent. Now, interest rates have been rising a little bit, too. The ten-year note yield, that's very important for mortgages and loans, now at 2.75 percent.

You can see from the chart how it's been ticking higher. There's a really important job interview tomorrow. Janet Yellen, her confirmation hearing as she -- the Federal Reserve. This job interview matters so much to your 401(k). Her testimony could move markets, especially if she is leaning more toward tapering or coming back the Federal Reserve's bond buying sooner rather than later.

All right. Sixteen days until Black Friday. I know you're counting everyone. The big question for you, the shopper, what's the best day to go shopping? You're going to be surprised. Shopper Track crunched the numbers and came up with the top five days to do your dirty work. These are the days where you're most likely to avoid crowds and still get deals. Pencils ready? The best day to go is December 4th.


ROMANS: Yes. December 4th followed by December 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 11th.

BERMAN: But now you told everybody. So, everyone is going to be going on December 4th.

ROMANS: I know. So, you know, you don't need to brave the crowds on Black Friday.



SAMBOLIN: It's awfully early --


ROMANS: They have to plan, but you know, doesn't mean you need to be rushing out Thanksgiving Day to do all your Christmas shopping as well.

SAMBOLIN: I say use the trusty old computer.

ROMANS: I know.

SAMBOLIN: Sit at home.

ROMANS: And I have a diamond for you, Zoraida.


ROMANS: Actually, it's already spoken for. There it is the largest orange diamond known to exist.

SAMBOLIN: That's pretty.

ROMANS: Thirty-six million at Christie's in Geneva. 50 -- almost --


ROMANS: Pear-shaped. Price works out to about $2.4 million a carat. A record for any color of the diamond.

BERMAN: Looks dirty --


ROMANS: Yes, dirty, it's like the color of green money, right? They had the rock for 30 years. Someone held on to this thing for 30 years.


SAMBOLIN: I think it's gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.

ROMANS: You're welcome.


SAMBOLIN: Dream on, dream on.

BERMAN: Keep on dreaming.

ROMANS: -- unattainable file.



BERMAN: Meet a dog who's so much more than just a loyal companion. This dog saved a life. This is an incredible story. We'll tell you all about it. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Dogs, you know, they're pretty cool, right?

SAMBOLIN: Man's best friend.

BERMAN: They are, in fact. But in one case, a dog was a real lifesaver. Leonard Somers was out skiing in Colorado earlier this month. He fell into a ravine. He hit his head on a frozen tree trunk and he's seriously hurt his spine. This, folks, could have been critical. He couldn't even move. Luckily, his Alaskan husky Juno was with him. The dog only left his side long enough to find help.


JENNY BELTMAN, SISTER: I saw the dog by himself. And then I saw the dog head, you know, kind of over to where Leonard was.

LEONARD SOMERS, SAVED BY DOG: She knew that I needed help, helped me dig out of snow and proceeded to lay on my legs and some of my body to keep me warm. I don't know if that was God reaching out to her to me.


BERMAN: What a dog. Oh! You can see Juno all over -- folks, that's love and a loyal dog.

SAMBOLIN: Makes me want to get a dog.

BERMAN: Somers may not be able to walk again, you know? But he said the alternative was much, much worse. He would have died there if not for that dog. Yes. He's so grateful to Juno. Adorable, beautiful husky.

SAMBOLIN: Hip, hip hooray for Juno. What a sweetie pie, huh? Actually lying on him to keep him warm. That's great.

All right. That is it for EARLY START. It's a nice way to end the day. Let's go to "NEW DAY." It starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To get arrested and to get charged for a crime you didn't commit is incredibly easy. And you can lose your life very fast.

CUOMO: Free at last. New this morning, we hear from Ryan Ferguson. His murder conviction overturned after ten years in prison for the death of a sportswriter. What put him behind bars? What do we know now?

BOLDUAN: Honor the commitment. Bill Clinton says President Obama should allow Americans to keep their insurance plans if they like them. But it says more and more Democrats distance themselves from the botched health care rollout. MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fears, threats. Hysterical outbursts. It looked like a scene out of one of his movies, but for Alec Baldwin, the courtroom drama was real. His testimony against his alleged stalker and why the judge almost threw her out of court.

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

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


CUOMO: Good morning to you on this Wednesday, November 13th. It is six o'clock in the east.

And it is a day many thought would never come for a 29-year-old Missouri man. After nearly a decade behind bars, Ryan Ferguson released from prison Tuesday. Prosecutors saying they will not pursue a new trial. Ferguson's murder conviction was thrown out last week. Now, this nightmare may be finally over.

Let's bring in CNNs David Mattingly. He's at the CNN Center with what led to this change of fate. Good morning.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Ryan Ferguson had something to say when he got out of prison last night and had been waiting a long time to say it. He found there were a lot of people last night ready to listen.


MATTINGLY (voice-over): Ryan Ferguson walked out of prison into new clothes and in front of the cameras to taste his first moments of freedom. Celebrating with family and attorneys, he offered bittersweet thanks to the thousands following his case around the world.

FERGUSON: To get arrested and to get charged for a crime you didn't commit, it's incredibly easy, and you can lose your life very fast. But, to get out of prison, it takes an army.

MATTINGLY: And it takes time. In Ferguson's case, almost a full decade of appeals. The Missouri attorney general surprised Ferguson supporters Tuesday saying the state will not retry or pursue further action against Ryan Ferguson, this, after an appeals court threw out Ferguson's guilty verdict because prosecutors withheld evidence.

FERGUSON: This is not an anomaly. I think we need to look at other cases and be aware that this is part of our justice system.

MATTINGLY: Ferguson was sentenced to 40 years for the 2001 murder of "Columbia Tribune's" sports editor, Kent Heitholt. He was implicated by a former acquaintance, Charles Erickson (ph) who claimed he had dream-like memories of committing the crime. Last year, Erickson told the court he lied and Ferguson believes it's time for him to be freed as well.