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EARLY START

New Video From Asiana Crash; New Mexico School Shooting; NSA's Shocking Spy Power

Aired January 15, 2014 - 05:00   ET

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


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Horrifying new video showing complete chaos after a jetliner crash in San Francisco. The video raising disturbing new questions. Did a firefighter's carelessness kill a passenger lying on the runway?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New revelations after a horrific school shooting ends with two students in the hospital and one more behind bars this morning. Did the shooter warn some students to stay home?

ROMANS: New documents revealing the NSA's shocking spy power. The agency is able to access computers even if they're offline.

BERMAN: And wait until you hear the technology they're using.

ROMANS: Wow.

BERMAN: A big wow on that one.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome for EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Wednesday, halfway through the week. It's January 15th. It's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

BERMAN: And this morning, we're seeing dramatic new video which raises questions about what firefighters did after the deadly crash of Asiana Airlines flight last summer. The video is from a helmet cam and a fire truck and it shows crews responding to the crash and directing trucks around the victim who is on the runway.

The coroner says the 16 year old Ye Mengyuan was alive at the time but she later died after being run over twice by the firefighting rigs, that despite warming shown clearly on the video that there was someone on the ground.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop, stop. That's a body right -- there's a body right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right in front of you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: The family of the victim is suing the city claiming the fire crews were reckless. San Francisco's fire chief has said that the firefighters had to make difficult decisions.

ROMANS: Now to new developments to a shooting at a New Mexico school. This happened in Roswell when police say a 12-year-old opened fire, seriously wounding two classmates. And this morning, investigators are asking did the boy warn others about what he was planning?

Miguel Marquez has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine, John, it has happened again. Two kids injured this time, a 13-year-old girl identified as Kendall Saunders (ph) is in stable condition according to one authority. She's been through one surgery. She was hit in the right shoulder. An 11-year-old boy doing much worse, in two surgeries now and still in critical condition, he suffered wounds to both his neck and face.

Authorities saying that at 7:30 in the morning at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, New Mexico, the 12-year-old shooter walked into the gymnasium with a shotgun, a .20 gauge shotgun with the stock of it sawed off. That's a smaller caliber shotgun than, say, a.12-gauge shotgun. He then pulled it out of a bag and begun shooting into the crowd.

Now, a quick-thinking teacher John Masterson in the name stepped up during the shooting. Police saying that his back was to the shooter. He turned as another round went off, walked towards the shooter, and literally as the shooter was bearing down on him ordered him to put the gun down. The kid did, raised his hand, and an off-duty police officer came along and helped subdue the shooter.

One other bit of information is that investigators are looking into the possibility that some students at Berrendo Middle School may have known this was happening. In other words, the shooter may have tipped some kids that this was going down. Why it is they wouldn't say anything isn't clear, but it's one thing that investigators are looking into. And prosecutors are now considering how to charge a 12- year-old boy -- Christine, John.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: My thanks to Miguel for that story.

New revelations about the NSA and its spying program. Still new revelations. I know it's hard to believe.

"The New York Times" says the agency has now implanted software and installed hardware in thousands of computers around the world. And the technology apparently allows it to access machines even if not connected to the Internet. The computers reportedly can be used to launch cyber attacks, but there's no evidence that any in the United States were altered -- that after the Senate has been talking about spying a lot lately and whether the NSA program should continue. Members making their argument that the NSA needs to be reformed. Many senators agreed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: This phone record program is not uniquely valuable enough to justify a massive intrusion on Americans' privacy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: President Obama is set to make a decision about the future of the NSA spying programs by Friday.

ROMANS: Meanwhile, NSA leaker Edward Snowden has a new role this morning, as a member of the board of the Freedom of Press Foundation. That group was founded by Daniel Ellsberg who famously leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. Ellsberg called Snowden a hero, not a traitor. He says the former NSA contractor has done more for the Constitution than anyone else he knows.

BERMAN: We could find out more about who knew what in the scandal over the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which indicates the bridge is set today to answer questions from the Senate Transportation Committee about the closure now linked to two top aides to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Christie, for his part, did address the scandal during, again, his State of the State Address, saying his administration let the people of New Jersey down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I'm the governor. And I'm ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch, both good and bad. Now, without a doubt, we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to ensure that this breach of trust does not happen again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: State lawmakers are ramping up their investigation into the lane closure, and whether Christie may have lied when he said he knew nothing about it. This as a federal probe that's looking into whether his administration misused Hurricane Sandy relief funds to pay a tourism ad campaign featuring his family.

ROMANS: Happening today in Washington, big vote in the House on that huge $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund spending bill to fund the government into October, setting the bitter partisan battles aside, the Republican-led House is expected to pass this big deal and the Senate is expected to do that by the end of the week, averting another government shutdown.

BERMAN: That's one thing that is happening in Washington. One not, hope is fading again this morning for the 1.3 million Americans who have lost their unemployment checks. The Senate could not reach a deal to start sending the checks again. Two votes failed. It seems for now that any chance of extending these benefits is dead. The Senate could revisit the proposal, but the soonest that would happen is by the end of the month, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of will to do that.

ROMANS: All right. It was the best day of the year for stocks on Tuesday. It's been a short year so far. And the momentum looks like it's carrying over to U.S. stock futures and across the world. The Dow gained 115 points, breaking that four-session losing streak. The NASDAQ and S&P 500 each up more than 1 percent.

In Europe right now, we've got markets in London, Frankfurt, Paris, all moving higher. Stocks in Tokyo closed after gain after a selloff on Tuesday. And Apple stocks up 1.4 percent this morning. Apple shares up. Apple iPhone set to begin selling to China Mobile, the largest carrier of this Friday. China Mobile's chairman said there's already been strong demand in China for iPhone orders. He also said the deal with Apple won't be limited to just handsets. According to "The Wall Street Journal," it entails broad cooperation between these two companies. No details on exactly how broad that is. But Apple shares, probably in your 401k. Watch for Apple today. It's moving higher right now.

BERMAN: Breaking news from Kuwait right now. Secretary of State John Kerry has now pledged $380 million to help those displaced by the war in Syria. He's in Kuwait to meet with international leaders including the U.N. secretary-general. That as the defense minister is issuing a big apology for what he said about the secretary of state. Moshe Yaalon had severely criticized Kerry for what he called, quote, "misplaced obsession and messianic furor over the Mideast peace process."

The defense minister is saying now that he appreciates the secretary's many efforts toward peace.

ROMANS: President Obama today heading to North Carolina, saying his administration is committed to the accelerating the economic recovery, telling his cabinet it's all hands on deck. The president is expected to talk about a manufacturing hub in that state that he says is an example of a private partnership that can help grow the economy and create, you know, good-paying jobs.

BERMAN: That will be welcome news for a lot of people in this country. Let's get a check now at the forecast.

Indra Petersons is here.

Good morning, Indra.

ROMANS: Good morning, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning.

Kind of rainy, that system is moving out of here and we're dealing with a couple more systems heading on in. Let's take a look at the radar right now.

You can actually see the remnants of that first system that is now well offshore. But we know there are couple more behind it. You can actually see on the radar, so light, though. These are clippers coming Canada, typically a very light moisture start.

Either way, we're going to walk you through them one by one, here comes the next one, partly cloudy, if not mostly cloudy conditions, as it makes its way closer through the evening hours on the East Coast tonight. You can see a low does develop. Look at all the rain, see the coastline, see the rain, it is offshore. So, for now, the forecast really just calling for cloudy conditions.

But then there's another front behind it. Yes, temperatures will drop a little bit and then the next front making its way through. And notice how high this one is in Canada. So, with that, it will have a good little push of cold air, kind of making its way through.

Again, very moisture start a little snow coming across the Great Lakes. They'll take all the way until about the week, late Friday, and into Saturday, before we start to see some light showers and maybe just a hint of snow in the northeast. The biggest thing of all of this: the temperatures, really going to start backing off.

Except for around the lakes again, we will have some heavier amounts of snow, Ohio Valley, about four to six inches, maybe six to eight inches again right across the lakes. The bulk of you seeing pretty dry conditions and those temperatures starting off 10, 15 degrees below normal so kind of mild, actually, which we like the break.

BERMAN: We'll take it.

ROMANS: We'll take it.

BERMAN: Thanks, Indra.

Happening right now, a trial for the four men accused of killing dozens inside a shopping mall. We're live.

ROMANS: Plus, commotion in the cockpit. New information this morning on what may have caused a Southwest jet to land at the wrong airport.

BERMAN: And it happened, Justin Bieber's friend busted for drugs inside Bieber's home. What happened new overnight. We'll tell you just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Happening today in Kenya, four people in court right now accused of being involved in the deadly attack on a shopping mall. At least 67 people were killed in that attack at the Westgate Mall when armed gunmen burst in leading to a four-day siege.

Nima Elbagir is live in Nairobi for us this morning.

Nima, what's the latest? NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've been hearing this morning from some of the first witnesses, John, one of whom was a security officer. And he's been describing some pretty horrifying scenes. He was the security guard at the Westgate Mall and he was one of the first people there as that first wave of attackers came in.

The four men, as you said are accused of being part of that attack, but crucially, they are accused of being part of the broader network of that attack. And the worry is that this is the only four so far that had been authority brought into Kenya custody. And this network is believed to be only in Kenya but across the border in the North African region.

So, nearly four months, the fact that these are the first four we're seeing in court, is something that many of those in the international treaty, many of our security forces from the U.S. and U.K., have been waiting with us an issue of some concern to them, John.

BERMAN: There seems to be some series of discrepancies. There are authorities that say the attackers were killed at the mall. And then there are investigators here in the U.S., many who believe they got away completely. So exactly what is the connection of these four men who are on trial today?

ELBAGIR: Well, the four men, two of whom were found to have illegal Kenyan documentation. They are from Somalia. They had in their possession Kenyan ID. So, that's one of the charges that the Kenyan authorities believe will stick. But the broader charges about the connection of those gunmen carried out in the attack, these are things that the Kenyan authorities still haven't gimp us the sense that they have the proof to make stick.

And as you said, these discrepancies, the NYPD in an earlier report said they believe some men escaped. The FBI has said that they believe from the Kenyan authorities, they believe that the four died in the attack. And from what they know, based on just what we saw -- our team saw, that crime scene was not secured. That first day at that Westgate Mall, people were able to go right into that building. There was never a sense that there was any kind of alarm there.

I find it hard to believe that anyone categorically can say that no one escaped. It was just a sense of disarray. I mean, obviously, the terror, the panic, but there was never really a sense that the Kenyan authorities had it under control. And the FBI is also saying that they believe this would be a propaganda coup for al Shabaab, for the al-Qaeda link network, implicated in this, that they would have come out and said, well, we pulled this off and our guys escaped.

But no one, not the FBI, not the NYPD, not the Kenyan authorities have convinced me, put together an argument that any more of the men out there who are involved in this. But, hopefully, that's what the Kenyan government is seeking to prove in the coming days and weeks, John.

BERMAN: Hopefully, still so many questions though and not a lot of transparency.

Nima Elbagir in Nairobi for us -- thank you so much, Nima.

ROMANS: All right. In this country, a retired police captain accused of opening fire in a Florida movie theater is still in jail this morning, after a judge denied bail for 71-year-old Curtis Reeves. He's charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of another moviegoer. Police say their argument started because of the victim, the alleged victim was texting.

Now, a woman is coming forward saying Reeves threatened her for the same reason just weeks before, also in the movie theater.

Reeves' attorney says he was in fear for his safety.

BERMAN: In West Virginia this morning, water is now flowing to more than a third of the 300,000 affected by the chemical spill in the Elk River. Officials are allowing people to turn their taps back on in sections so as to not overload the system. So, they're doing it section by section. Many of the businesses and restaurants in downtown Charleston have reopened, but West Virginia's attorney general and state lawmakers are calling for more regulation and a federal investigation does continue.

ROMANS: New details this morning in the landing of a Southwest Airlines jet landing at the wrong airport. Investigators are now asking were the pilots distracted by an airline dispatcher who had permission to be in the cockpit with them. The dispatcher had been put on leave after riding in a so-called jump seat on a flight from Chicago to Branson, Missouri.

That flight that mistakenly landed instead at a county airport, six miles away from Branson. Investigators are now reviewing the cockpit voice recorders. They plan to interview the crew and the dispatch to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a myriad of residence that are going to be looked at so the NTSB, when they look at that probable cause, will say, OK, how do we mitigate this so it doesn't happen again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Drug and alcohol tests are now complete for the crew. The results are not yet in.

BERMAN: More questions this morning about a deadly train derailment in New York. Now that the NTSB has issued a preliminary report on what happened. The report came to no conclusions about the cause of the derailment that left four people dead and offered no suggestions on how to prevent it from happening again. But the report did disclose that the derailment caused $9 million in damage.

ROMANS: In Chicago today, thousands of pages of documents, thousands of pages, about the priest sex abuse scandal are set to be handed over to victim's attorneys. The archdiocese there plans to release historical files, showing how the church handled the sex abuse complaints. The files deal with 30 priests, 40 victims. The current head of the archdiocese, Cardinal Francis George, insists he never protected any priest to be a known abuser. It's very clearly a sad and just a heartbreaking chapter in Chicago.

BERMAN: It is.

This morning, the case of a brain dead pregnant woman in Texas is in the hands of a judge. The family of Marlise Munoz (ph) is asking the court to remove her from a ventilator, arguing a Fort Worth Hospital is misinterpreting a state law that requires pregnant woman be kept alive to protect the life of the unborn child. Her family says because Munoz is brain-dead, she therefore she is not alive and the law does not apply. The hospital has not commented on the suit.

ROMANS: A new warning this morning about acetaminophen, the pain reliever in Tylenol. The FDA now recommending doctors stop prescribing drugs that contained more than 325 milligrams of the medication, citing the risk of liver damage. The agency says there's no data that shows taking that much acetaminophen provides that outweigh the risk to liver damage.

BERMAN: This got my attention because aren't a lot of the pills -- the pills are 500 milligrams already. That number 375. Not very high. I'd like to learn more about that.

The Supreme Court is taking up a major case over abortion and the right to free speech. It involves a Massachusetts law that sets up a buffer zone to keep protesters away from clinics. The appeals court said the law was valid and balances the right of patients and workers at the clinic, but anti-abortion group says the law violates their rights to speak with patients as they enter the clinic.

ROMANS: This morning, same-sex couples in Oklahoma are one step to becoming legally -- you know, legally wed. A federal judge has ruled the state amendment barring gay marriages unconstitutional calling it arbitrary, irrational exclusion based on moral disapproval. But his decision is on hold, pending an appeal. Gay couples will not be able to wed as the state decides it will take the case to a higher court.

BERMAN: Breaking overnight. Mayhem at the Biebers. A friend of Jjustin Bieber is now out of jail after being arrested at the singer's home. Rapper Li'l za was picked up on drug charges as sheriff's deputies searched Bieber's L.A. mansion. They're looking for surveillance video that might answer questions of whether the singer was involved on an egg attack on his neighbor's house.

This videotape was shot and said that he saw Bieber on his property. The sheriff's office says that Mr. Bieber cooperated with deputies but did not answer questions.

ROMANS: In today's "Road Warriors," there's been a lot of talk about cell phones possibly being allowed on planes. Don't get your dialing finger ready just yet. Most of you don't want this to happen. That's according to a national poll. A new national poll -- 59 percent say they are against in-flight calls, compare that with the 30 percent who say they're OK with it. Last month, the federal communications commission voted to review the band on cell phone use, 59 percent of the people don't want it to happen. The vote happened shortly after decisions to ease restrictions on other electronic devices.

Delta and JetBlue, those both airlines, said they have no plans to allow cell phone calls on their flights. They say the majority of customers say no way. It is a bad idea.

BERMAN: See, completely annoying, two totally different issues.

Just ahead -- a stunning legal setback for the NFL, the huge financial deal over concussions now in jeopardy. The question is, it's just not huge enough?

Andy Scholes breaking it all down for us next in the "Bleacher Report."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: The federal judge overseeing the NFL concussion settlement has denied its approval, fearing it may not be enough to cover all of the league's retired players.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes joins you with more in the "Bleacher Report."

Hi, Andy.

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

Well, Judge Anita Brody flat out rejected the deal saying the court needs more analysis to prove that the money won't run out. The original settlement for NFL players was $765 million and would run for 65 years. Judge Brody says she fears that's not enough to cover the league's more than 20,000 retired players.

Attorneys for both sides say they are confident the deal will still be approved once they supply the court with your information.

All right. Number one in the lineup section on bleacherreport.com right now is the amazing finish in the Kentucky/Arkansas game last night. The game was tied in overtime, with time Razorbacks going for the win, and Michael Qualls, the amazing put back slam.

A great play that we may not see done again for a very long time.

Now, President Obama, he was honoring the Miami Heat at the White House yesterday for winning back-to-back NBA championships. And the president he couldn't help point out what he believes is the similarity between he and the team.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This group is now won twice, but it's run the final three times. And sometimes, it feels like they're still fighting for a little respect. I can relate to that.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: It's so hot this week at the Australian Open players are fainting. It was 109 degrees during some of yesterday's matches. Canadian Frank Dancivic, he got so hot, he thought he saw Snoopy before collapsing during his match. That's right, Snoopy.

Other players said it felt like playing in a sauna or frying pan. Now, there's no relief in sight. The forecast calls it for to be over 100 degrees until Saturday. That's really hot.

From 100 degrees, guys, it goes down to 68. Talk about a drastic change.

BERMAN: It's a real problem. Players throwing up on the court, suffering exhaustion. A real at the open. All right. Andy, thank you so much.

ROMANS: The top headlines for everything you know for the day, including shocking new video of an airplane crash scene. That's right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)