CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

Water Flowing Again In West Virginia; Christie to Deliver Major Address; Kerry Visits The Vatican; Shot for Texting at the Movies

Aired January 14, 2014 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Christine Romans. Twenty-nine minutes past the hour.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And we're going to start this morning with the breaking news overnight. New developments in the water crisis that left hundreds of thousands of people in West Virginia unable to use what was coming out of their taps. The cause, a chemical leak at a coal processing facility.

Now, Freedom Industries has been ordered by a judge not to destroy any evidence or even move its tanks as it faces a growing number of lawsuits and investigations into how this happened. This does include a federal probe. Prosecutors want to know how this all happened and who knew what when.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOOTH GOODWIN, U.S. ATTORNEY: If their secondary containment systems were shoddy, if they had a release, saw it, and didn't report it for a while, all of those things are things that we would be looking to. If you violate federal environmental laws, you will be prosecuted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The good news is more and more people today are expected to get the OK to use their water again as testing is beginning to show that the water is safe.

ROMANS: An important day for Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey. He's set once again to speak out about the scandal in his office.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS (voice-over): Christie will deliver his state of the state address. CNN has learned he will acknowledge what many people are calling Bridgegate, the shutting down of lanes to the George Washington Bridge by two of his top aides as apparent retribution against a mayor who wouldn't endorse him.

That, as another mayor is accusing Christie's allies of retaliating against him. The mayor of Jersey City says the very same aides caught up in the bridge scandal promised to work with him until he said he would not endorse their boss. Then within an hour, all of their meetings with him were canceled. State lawmakers now forming a special committee to look into what happened. They want answers. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASSEMBLYMAN JOHN WISNIEWSKI, (D) NEW JERSEY: It's an abuse of power. It's a cover-up of the abuse of power. And, this governor ought to be true to his words in his long apology and be very cooperative in making sure every document is turned over so that my committee and the legislature can look at this thoroughly and decide for itself what his involvement was.

Look, there may not be direct involvement from him, but what it does show is a man not in control of his own staff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: On top of that, as we first told you on "NEW DAY," a federal investigation is now under way into whether Christie administration misused Sandy relief money to pay for this tourism ad campaign, an ad campaign in an election year that featured his family, an ad campaign that was $2 million more expensive than the next closest bid.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Thirty-two minutes after the hour, and there are new concerns this morning over just who is signing up for Obamacare.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (voice-over): Officials are reporting that, so far, most of the enrollees have been older and less healthy. That's spurring fears that premiums may rise since the system was built with the thinking that younger, healthier enrollees would help balance the costs. About 25 percent of enrollees are younger right now, just 25 percent.

Earlier targets suggest that the optimal number would be between 35 or 40 percent. Administration officials say they are optimistic that more young people will sign up in the months ahead.

ROMANS (voice-over): There are new details about just what may be keeping some people from signing up for Obamacare. A study from George Washington University finds that the policies put in place by some states are actively discouraging people from getting health care coverage.

On the list, Missouri, Montana, Texas, and Florida, all four limit what these so-called navigators can ask when you try to get help enrolling. Some of those governors have said from the get-go they weren't going to play ball.

BERMAN: This morning new documents are shedding new light on the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11th 2012. The attack left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador.

The newly unclassified documents from the House Armed Services Committee show that while the military was worried about terror attacks around the world that day, little attention was paid to the potential foreign attack in Libya, that despite growing concern at the time that Eastern Libya was becoming a hotbed for extremism.

ROMANS: Breaking overnight, it appears no charges may be filed in the scandal over the IRS giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. Federal law enforcement source tells CNN investigators do not believe anyone committed a chargeable offense, but prosecutors haven't made their decision quite yet. IRS officials have admitted the agency did act inappropriately.

BERMAN: This morning, there is a deal to fund the government through next September, but first, Congress needs to find the money to get through next week! If you thought this was all resolved in December, think again. This is the new $1.1 trillion plan. It works out the details of the spending agreement reached between Democrats and Republicans.

Congress will still have to pass a temporary funding measure to keep the government running until they approve the larger plan.

ROMANS: We could see a compromise emerge today to restore unemployment benefits to more than a million Americans. The senate put off yesterday's vote and it's still talking about a possible deal to start sending those checks again, those checks on average about 300 bucks a week. It had appeared that negotiations were stalled, but now it seems both sides are working to find some sort of agreement. It's still unclear if they can reach common ground and how long it will last.

BERMAN: Yes.

ROMANS: Now, there was a three-month deal and then a ten-month deal. That made the Republicans angry because they wanted to be able to compromise. It's just been kind of a mess on this.

BERMAN: Yes. Don't hold your breath. This really could go either way.

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: The future of the NSA surveillance program is a topic of debate on Capitol Hill today as members of a White House committee go before the Senate to talk about their recommendation that the programs be reformed or shut down. President Obama still considering his options now and is expected to announce a decision about changes to the programs on Friday.

Meanwhile, we're finding out this morning just what Edward Snowden did during his time as an NSA contractor, including classes in hacking! "Foreign Policy" magazine reports that back in 2010, Snowden traveled to New Delhi, reportedly to work as a technical expert at the U.S. embassy. While he was there, he took a course in, quote, "ethical hacking," how to break into computer systems to show how to better protect them. The admitted NSA leaker apparently never disclosed the trip when he renewed his top-secret security clearance in 2011.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ROMANS (on-camera): All right. Stock futures higher this morning, higher, thankfully, after the biggest sell-off on the Dow Industrials since mid-September. The Dow fell 180 points. That's a little more than one percent. The S&P and NASDAQ also both down more than one percent. The Dow now down six of eight trading sessions this year.

As for stocks in Europe, right now London, Frankfurt and Paris are all lower. They tend to sometimes follow what happened in the U.S. In Tokyo overnight, another decline, the Nikkei sliding more than three percent.

One of the big stories here in the U.S. this morning, Time Warner Cable rejecting a huge takeover. That would be one of the biggest since the financial crisis, $61 billion. Time Warner Cable's CEO called the offer from Charter Communications a nonstarter and a low ball.

We should say Time Warner Cable's a separate company from Time Warner, the parent of CNN, but that was a very -- real shake-up in the -- you know, I would say the beleaguered cable space yesterday, a very big deal, quickly swatted down by Time Warner Cable.

BERMAN (on-camera): It shows that people do want to make deals, which is interesting, too.

ROMANS: Yes. Exactly.

BERMAN: On the subject of cable television, if you're a DirecTV customer, do not look for the Weather Channel on your television this morning. It's been pulled in a dispute over fees. DirecTV reportedly wants to pay less than it has in the past for the longtime cable TV staple. The Weather Channel for its part says DirecTV is trading safety for profits, calling its network a critical source for severe weather information.

ROMANS: All right. Let's turn now to the weather here at CNN. Indra Petersons has a look at your forecast. Hi, there.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hi. And it looks like a little bit of a rainy week this week, a couple chances for showers as a few cold fronts start to make their way through. Check out the radar right now. Very easy to see. East coast, yes, rain but light rain. This isn't a big system by any means but it's just enough to make it kind of gloomy. The low now forming kind of over the Carolinas, maybe kind of cruising up the coastline here, bringing the light showers.

You get a break overnight tonight and through tomorrow, but then, notice there come the next system right behind it, kind of a clipper, so pretty dry out there, but another low form, so still some chance for some precip on the east coast there, and then, again behind it, a third clipper. So, that's kind of the story here, system after system, each one of them dropping your temperatures a couple of degrees and also bringing light showers.

They're so minimal, we're going to add them all together, and still, this is all you're talking about. I mean, talking about precip here, two to three inches of rain towards the southeast. Notice, though, check out around Green Bay, near blizzard conditions, almost eight inches of snow. So that's going to be kind of the hotspot here over the next several days and some strong winds for them.

Speaking of winds, the jet stream way up high, right where the airplanes fly. The core of that jet stream today going over the Dakotas and Nebraska. So, with that, bringing all that cold air straight down from Canada, temperatures dropping another 20 degrees for them. That is key, because that cold air eventually will spread east, but also some very strong winds in that region for them.

All the way to the west coast, very dry, definitely drought conditions, and today, red flag warnings. That means extreme fire danger, thanks to some Santa Ana winds out west. So, kind of a lot going on out west, more severe than what's going on in the east coast.

ROMANS: All right.

BERMAN: Thanks, Indra.

PETERSONS: Sure.

ROMANS: Coming up, John Kerry goes to the Vatican, but it's who he won't be seeing that's getting a lot of attention. We are live this morning for you in Rome.

BERMAN: And I've got to say, this is a story that caught my eye this morning. Shot for texting. A shocking tragedy at a movie theater. We're going to have the details on this story when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Secretary of state, John Kerry, has just arrived in Rome where he's meeting in just minutes with the Vatican's top diplomat. Kerry is not scheduled to see Pope Francis on this trip, but the pope's message sure to be a key part of the secretary of state's discussions. Frederik Pleitgen is in Rome this morning for us. Hi, Fred.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christine, and welcome to a very rainy Rome this morning where as you said the secretary of state has just landed. You're absolutely right, the main things that they're going to be talking about is Syria and the Middle East, of course, some very important topics at this point. And they are also very important topics to Pope Francis. He held a groundbreaking speech yesterday where he talked all about having to start some sort of peace process in Syria and also keeping the peace process going in the Middle East.

It is something that is very central to this pope. He talked about how civilians have to stop being harmed in that country. And of course, one of the main things that's key to the Vatican as well is the fact that a lot of Christians are suffering in the Middle East, too.

So, those are some of the topics the two are going to be talking about, and of course, it comes at a time that the secretary of state is trying to drum up support for a peace conference in Syria and also trying to get the Middle East peace process going. So, it is something where these two entities, the U.S. and the Vatican see eye to eye and are really trying to team up their efforts to get momentum behind this going, Christine.

ROMANS: Fred, how likely is it that a peace conference for Syria will happen?

PLEITGEN: Yes. Yes. The peace conference is supposed to happen on January 22nd, but at this point, you're absolutely right, it's very difficult to even ascertain whether or not it's going to take place. The big problem is that the western-supported opposition, the Syrian national coalition at this point, still has not said whether or not it's actually going to participate in this peace process.

The Assad regime says it's going to come, but the other side has not yet said whether they're actually going to participate. And the other big problem right now is that violence is really spiraling out of control. So, you have the opposition in Syria that's not only fighting against the Assad regime but also fighting against Islamist rebels, and it really is unclear whether or not the opposition is going to be able to come to Geneva, to Switzerland, and actually participate in this peace conference.

So, a tall order for the secretary of state, certainly, who needs all the support that he can get, and so, therefore, this meeting today at the Vatican is going to be one that is quite important, Christine.

ROMANS: All right. Frederik Pleitgen in a very rainy Rome for us this morning. Thanks, Fred.

BERMAN: Forty three minutes after the hour right now and a shocking story to tell you about this morning. A retired police officer is facing murder charges and is behind bars this morning after a deadly shooting at a Tampa area movie theater.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (voice-over): It happened during an afternoon showing of the movie "The Lone Survivor." Authorities say 71-year-old Curtis Reeves was upset because a man had been texting during the preview, so Reeves got up, apparently walked out of the theater to try to find a manager, and then he came back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES CUMMINGS, WITNESS: They started arguing again about the cell phone. The guy who was shot said something, "I just was texting my daughter," three-year-old daughter. The fellow who was shot gets up, starts talking with the guy who was the shooter, OK? Their voices start going up. There seems to be almost a confrontation, somebody throws popcorn. I'm not sure who threw the popcorn. And then, bang, he was shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: Shot for texting. That's the question everyone is asking this morning. Chad Olson (ph) was hit in the chest and died. His wife, Nicole, was shot in the hand. An off duty sheriff's deputy in the theater grabbed the gun and detained Reeves until police arrived. Reeves retired from the Tampa police in 1993 and he reportedly was once director of security for Bush Gardens (ph).

ROMANS (voice-over): New developments in the case of Madeleine McCann, the three-year-old little girl who vanished nearly seven years ago while on vacation with her family in Portugal. Now, British police are set to be on their way to Portugal on the hunt for three alleged burglars suspected in a rash of break-ins at that time. Newly discovered cell phone records show a sudden spate of calls between these suspects in the hours following the little girl's disappearance.

BERMAN: This, morning there are new developments in an infamous murder case from Illinois. Drew Peterson (ph) has now filed his appeal asking a court to overturn his conviction into killing of his ex-wife. The current lawyer for the former police officer writing that a judge and his defense attorney made critical errors during his trial and the state did not present the evidence to convict him. A spokesman for the state's attorney says he remains confident that the verdict will stand.

ROMANS: Today in North Carolina, the family of Jonathan Ferrell (ph) plans to announce a civil suit against a police officer, the Charlotte police and the city over his death. The 24-year-old was unarmed when he was shot by the officer during a confrontation back in September. The state attorney general says he'll take the case against Officer Randall Kerrick (ph) to a grand jury seeking an indictment on manslaughter charges.

BERMAN: Grounded this morning. Two southwest airline pilots who were at the controls of a 737 when it landed at the wrong airport, an airport that was six miles away from their actual destination and with a dangerously short runway. CNN has learned that the plane was cleared to land at the correct airport. It is not clear what led to the mistake, but the NTSB is now investigating.

Both pilots have more than a dozen years of service with the company and they're now on paid leave.

ROMANS: All right, facing welfare fraud charges this morning, the woman known as the octomom. California officials say Nadya Suleman failed to report $30,000 of income while she was on public assistance. Suleman is due in court Friday. She could face nearly six years in prison. She denies those charges.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS (on-camera): Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY" this morning.

BERMAN (on-camera): Chris Cuomo is here with us. Hey, Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How are you doing, guys? So, we get news that somebody's texting in the movie theater. Somebody else doesn't like it. They get into an altercation. This happens in Florida. A gun winds up being pulled out by a former cop. Somebody is shot and killed for texting. We're going to take you inside that story, figure out how it got so out of control.

Then also, we want to talk to you about the plane, the southwest jet that landed at the wrong Missouri airport. How the heck did this happen? It seems to be uninitiated, it seems impossible with all the new computer technology to actually miss one. So, we're going to give you the latest on the investigation and the pilots who are now grounded.

And we're going to go inside a flight simulator to see exactly what the variables are and figure out how they got to this point, being stuck on that short runway. That's what I've got for you.

ROMANS: You know, we recently saw this other case, it was a freight plane --

CUOMO: Yes. That was a cargo ship.

ROMANS: Yes.

CUOMO: That was a cargo flight.

ROMANS: Yes, and that also, you know, they landed at the wrong airport. You've just got to wonder --

CUOMO: It was also in that region of the country. It makes you think that maybe, somehow, topography has something to do with it. But again, there's so much computer control of what's going on.

BERMAN: You say for the uninitiated. I mean, I think even for the initiated, it's fairly shocking when a plane lands on the wrong runway and those pilots are suspended today. I think we have a lot more to find out about this one. Chris Cuomo --

CUOMO: I revise my statement, John. Even for the uninitiated --

BERMAN: I appreciate that.

CUOMO: They should have known.

BERMAN: For anyone even remotely initiated or uninitiated, all of the above. Chris --

ROMANS: And that "NEW DAY" initiation begins in about 21 minutes.

BERMAN: No hazing, please.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, Egyptians are voting right now for a new constitution amid violence and calls for a boycott. The latest on that when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS (voice-over): Welcome back. Egyptians voting today, right now, on a referendum to replace the country's constitution, but the vote is being marred by an explosion outside a court in Cairo. One person died in clashes about 100 miles south of the capital. Still, voters turned out to cast ballots over the new charter.

It would set limits on how long a president can serve and it would enshrine rights for women and non-Muslims. The Muslim Brotherhood party is urging supporters to boycott that vote.

The streets of Bangkok are packed again this morning with tens of thousands of protesters all but shutting down that city in a demonstration against the government. They want the prime minister to resign, and in response, Shias called for elections next month. The protesters are rejecting that and vowing to stay in the streets.

We're hearing another apology this morning over Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea. This time, it's from former NBA star, Kenny Anderson. He traveled to Pyongyang as part of Rodman's basketball team. On "Piers Morgan Live," Anderson said Rodman asked him to participate because he was good with kids and basketball camps, but he admitted he didn't do the research before stepping into what would become an international controversy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR, "PIERS MORGAN LIVE": But what did you know about North Korea, about the regime?

KENNY ANDERSON, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Nothing, and that's where I, you know, I hold myself accountable for. You know, I didn't do my due diligence, you know, with the trip, and I would like, you know, to apologize to David Stern of the NBA, my supporters, my fans and Americans out there that I did not know, you know, the politics of North Korea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Wow! Anderson said once he got to North Korea, he had no choice but to participate and to shake Kim Jong-Un's hand. And now, he's apologizing to his family, his friends, everyone who looked up to him. He said that was all a mistake.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS (on-camera): Coming up, Google is already all over your computers and your smartphones. Now, it's getting a piece of your house! The big buyout that will get Google into the thermostat business. It's "Money Time," next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Good morning! Welcome back to EARLY START. It's "Money Time." He's called the godfather of the iPod. Now, he'll be working for Google. Tony Fadell's Nest Labs is being snapped up by Google for $3.2 billion. He left Apple and co-founded this company, Nest, in 2010. It's a smart thermostat maker that also has branched out to smoke detectors. Google's move brings in house one of Apple's former heavyweights as Google struggles to keep up with Apple on consumer products.

It also puts Google right there in your house as it positions itself for the merging of consumer appliances and the internet. Our Laurie Segall caught up with Fadell a few months ago and asked him about his wife's reaction when he told her he was getting into home heating.

(LAUGHTER)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY FADELL, FOUNDER AND CEO, NEST: Her first gut reaction was, are you kidding me? The iPod guy making thermostats? But then, after you explain the problem and you explain the solution in literally in a minute, she was like, there's no way you can't do this. It's a big market. It's incredibly impactful. It's a win for the customer. It's a win for the environment, and it's a win for your family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The deal to buy Nest would be Google's second biggest behind its 2012 acquisition of the cell phone maker, Motorola mobility.

Stock futures higher this morning right now after the biggest sell-off in the Dow Industrials since mid-September yesterday. The Dow yesterday down 180, a little more than one percent. The S&P and NASDAQ both down one percent. It's been a tough start to the year. The Dow now down six of eight trading sessions in 2014.

The Detroit auto show going strong, unveiling some cool concept cars on Monday. Here's the Toyota FT-1 concept. It's reminiscent of the Toyota supra model. Here's the Volkswagen Beetle dune concept car. That's two extra inches of ground clearance for those sandy beaches. And here's the Kia GT-4 Stinger concept. It looks like a two-seater, but it really has two small back seats for cramped passengers.

If you're a DirecTV customer, don't look for the Weather Channel on your TV this morning. It's been pulled in a dispute over fees. DirecTV reportedly wants to pay less than it has in the past for the longtime cable TV staple. The Weather Channel for its part says that DirecTV is trading safety for profit. It says its network is a critical source for severe weather information.

All right. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The atmosphere in that administration has always been one of, you know, threats and bullying.

CUOMO: On the line. Chris Christie giving a big speech today, expected to address the bridge scandal again amid new allegations another mayor was bullied. KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shot for texting. A terrifying scene at a Florida movie theater. A man shot and killed after an argument over texting at the movies. We hear from those inside during the shooting.

CUOMO: Grounded. The two pilots who landed at the wrong airport are now on paid leave. New details on just how dangerous a mistake it was and we'll take you inside a flight simulator. How hard is it to miss an airport?

Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to "NEW DAY." It's Tuesday, January 14th, six o'clock in the east.

And Chris Christie is waking up to yet another potential crisis. There are new accusations of political retribution now surfacing now as Bridgegate seems to be expanding, and the feds are investigating. A CNN exclusive, whether Christie misspent millions of dollars from the hurricane Sandy relief fund on tourism commercials he and his family starred in.

So, today, the New Jersey governor will deliver a critical state of the state address. What will he say to smother the political flames? Erin McPike is live from Trenton this morning -- Erin.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning to you. Well, today, Chris Christie will layout his vision for what he wants to accomplish in his first year of his second term. It was a speech that was bound to get national attention anyway after his landslide re- election victory last fall looks like a steppingstone to a presidential bid in 2016.