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Missouri DE Michael Sam Says He's Gay; Atlanta Preparing For Winter Blast; New Video Of American In Labor Camp; New Round Of Peace Talks Start In Geneva; Airline Threats; Iran Nuclear Concern; American Man Missing In Mexico; Team USA Slopestyle Sweep; Team USA Slopestyle Sweep; Rand Paul Vs. Bill Clinton

Aired February 10, 2014 - 06:00   ET



MICHAEL SAM, DEFENSIVE END, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI: I'm Michael Sam. I'm a football player and I'm gay.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, an all-American football player reveals he's gay. He'll likely be the first openly gay player in the NFL. We hear from him in his own words this morning.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Here we go again. Another storm and ice storm set to slam the south today. Atlanta's first since the chaos that shut down the city last time. Are they ready this time?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. Kenneth Bae, the American held in North Korea speaking out this morning from a prison labor camp as the government there stops an American envoy from coming to help free him.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

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


CUOMO: Good morning. Happy Monday. Welcome to NEW DAY. It's six o'clock in the east on this Monday, February 10th.

Breaking overnight, is the NFL about to get its

first openly gay player? Michael Sam, defensive end from the University of Missouri made the revelation in an ESPN interview this weekend. Sam is a first team all American as a senior this past season, one of the most skilled defensive players imaginable, a shoo- in for the NFL. But what is making headlines, of course, is his sexuality. "EARLY START" anchor, John Berman, following the story for us.

JOHN BERMAN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": A 6'2", 250 pounds, a big guy, Michael Sam, a strong guy. But you want to see real strength? It's what he's doing right now.


SAM: I'm Michael Sam. I'm a football player and I'm gay.

BERMAN (voice-over): All American defensive end and NFL hopeful, Michael Sam, making history, revealing that he's gay in interviews with ESPN and the "New York Times."

SAM: I was afraid it would leak out without me actually owning my truth. I wanted to let the world know and tell them, hey, I'm gay, let me tell my own story.

BERMAN: If he's drafted this spring, Sam will become the first openly gay player in the National Football League.

SAM: I understand how big this is because it's a big deal. Nothing has done this before, no one has done it. And it's a kind of nervous process but I know what I want to be and I want to be a player in the NFL.

BERMAN: Reaction to Sam's announcement poured in almost instantly with the NFL releasing a statement of support writing, "We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014." Sam, a projected mid-around NFL pick, who played in college for Missouri told his coach and his teammates about his sexual orientation back in August.

SAM: I was kind of scared, even though they already knew. I was still scared of telling them and just to see their reaction was awesome. They supported me from day one.

BERMAN: Many of Sam's former teammates took to social media to rally around this 6'2, 255-pound lineman. Linebacker Kentrell brothers tweeted, "We are family and we support all of our players, nothing changes. It takes a lot of courage to do what me did and we are behind him all the way." Sam launched a Twitter account, Sunday night to thank everyone for their support. His announcement, a landmark moment in confronting homophobia in professional sports.

SAM: I probably may be the first, but I won't be the last. I think only good things is going to come from this.


BERMAN: Now Sam is going public now because he wants to tell his story on his terms before the NFL draft. You know, and lest anyone think this is easy and he's going to be welcomed with open arms by an all NFL teams. "Sports Illustrated" did an article that came out overnight where they talked to personnel directors and some of the NFL teams, and there are managers who say his draft prospects will drop because of these revelations. The teams don't want the controversy that will surround this.

BOLDUAN: Regardless, you said it. This guy knows who he is. He is very strong. He is very confident. He knows who he is.

PEREIRA: And it shows how much his teammates respect him that they didn't reveal this. They allowed him to come out with this and say this is my news. I'm revealing I'm gay. It's really powerful.

BERMAN: And Missouri was number five in the nation this year. They play in the SEC. It's sounds like a joke. I'm not really kidding. This is pro football basically already. This shows that players will accept someone who is gay. If he's accepted there, I really do think there will be a team, which brings him into the NFL and will let him play and he plays well.

CUOMO: I hope the good teams pass on him so the Jets can get him. That would be awesome.

BERMAN: This whole time you've been thinking about one thing.

CUOMO: At the end of the day, he's an amazing football player and it will be great when there's the day when all that matters.

Now that's a big announcement, but maybe not the biggest announcement today. And here's why. This is why. You're looking at it now, the new 11:00 show, we call it ATH because it's bigger than any title can be, but you'll know it as "At This Hour" with Berman and Michaela, the genius, understanding that JB is really (inaudible) making moves it to the Madonna stage -- 11:00 a.m. Eastern only on CNN today.

BOLDUAN: I'm the only one that call you John. Everyone else calls you Berman.

CUOMO: Known as big papa, now he just goes by Berman, which I respect.

BERMAN: It's 11:00, that's the important thing.

CUOMO: At 11:00, great news, great people, love you. Good luck.

BOLDUAN: All right, the other big story we are watching this morning. The icy mix headed to the southeast with advisers in several states. Streets being salted ahead of the storm and, extra supplies are being brought in, of course. Officials saying they're being pro-active this time after a couple of inches of snow paralyzed the city just two weeks ago. But will the preparation keep Atlanta from repeating the winter weather shutdown.

Let's get straight over to Nick Valencia, who is in Atlanta tracking this side of the story this morning. Good morning, Nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. Storm preps are already underway. It's here we go again, Atlanta, local and state officials moving more resources into the metro area to save themselves the embarrassment from just a couple of weeks ago.


VALENCIA (voice-over): Southerners on alert this morning, stocking up on supplies as a major winter storm is expected to wallop the region this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This time it is a mixture of some ice and some snow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Widespread freezing rain, the potential for an ice storm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do know it's going to hit and it's going to be significant.

VALENCIA: In Georgia, the governor giving the National Guard advanced warning well before the wintery weather moves in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're getting ready. Trucks are coming here right now. Workers are coming here right now.

VALENCIA: Officials trying to stay ahead of the storm this go-round after this gridlock nightmare caught them by surprise a couple of weeks ago.

GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL (R), MICHIGAN: We have been confronted with an unexpected storm.

VALENCIA: This morning parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee are expected to see snow, sleet, and freezing rain, this mess then making its way done to Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. Snow made for dangerous driving conditions in Pennsylvania on Sunday. This tour bus crashing on the highway. State police say the driver accelerated too fast on the snow-covered road and lost control.

Nearly 30 injured, at least one in serious condition. This storm pushing its way over from the west where freezing rain, snow and high winds lashed out in Washington and Oregon, freezing drivers in their tracks. And in Northern California, heavy rains triggered mud and rock slides.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a truck done there that got buried in the slide.

VALENCIA: Isolated flooding also blocked some roads.


VALENCIA: And back here in Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal is expected to hold a noon Eastern press conference. This winter storm watch expected to last through Wednesday. Chris, back to you.

CUOMO: All right, Nick, thank you very much. Breaking this morning, new video has been released of American Kenneth Bae at a labor camp in North Korea. Bae, of course, the American missionary, he's been held there for 15 months. He is saying he's worried about his health. Now we are hearing that a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea is actually in Pyongyang this morning. What could this mean? Paula Hancocks is following it all for us live in Seoul -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, we know that Donald Greg, the former ambassador, as you say to South Korea has touched down in Pyongyang this Monday evening, local time. It's 8 p.m. here. We heard this from state-run media, KCNA. They simply said that Donald Greg is in Pyongyang and he is there with party. There was no mention whatsoever of Kenneth Bae. So no direct link has been made between the two men.

It could be a coincidence, but of course, it would be a remarkable coincidence if he is not there to lobby for Kenneth Bae's release. Now we have actually heard from Kenneth Bae over the weekend. Last Thursday and Friday, he was visited by the Swedish Embassy official in Pyongyang. Of course, the U.S. has diplomatic ties with Pyongyang.

He basically said that he has been moved back to the special labor camp He's very concerned about his health. He says he has a back and neck problem here, has a gum infection at this point and he's concerned if he stay there is for several monies, he will be straight back in hospital once again. He did say he wanted to let his family know that he's not giving up hope.


KENNETH BAE: I stay strong mentally and spiritually and trying to stay strong emotionally as well. But my main concern right now is that my physical condition, to have labor for eight hours a day for the next couple of months will be difficult. So if they can do something right away would be the best way to do it.


HANCOCKS: He says he's already lost 10 pounds over the past few weeks. Kate and Chris, back to you.

BOLDUAN: Paula, thank you so much for that.

So a second round of Syria peace talks is getting under way right now in Geneva as aid workers help hundreds to escape through ruins of the embattled city of Homs. But the three-day evacuation and planned cease-fire was shattered by more violence casting new doubt on hopes of a long term deal. Let's get the very latest from CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom from Beirut. Mohammed, what do we know?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, they call it an evacuation, but when you look at these harrowing videos, it really appears to be more of an escape, hundreds of women and children and the elderly running for their lives toward just a few U.N. vehicles. Hard to imagine this is actually progress when you see them wedged between U.N. trucks trying to make their way out of that old city that has been under siege for 600 days, but it actually has got I don't know better for them.

The day before, on Saturday, when a U.N. team, an aid convoy entered the old city to deliver food and medical equipment, they came under attack. It was terrifying for them for several hours as they couldn't leave and couldn't help the people in the old city. There as a lot of questions right now on whether the evacuation will continue, whether the convoy will be able to enter again especially as this new round of Geneva peace talks kick off today.

A lot of the people I'm speaking with on the ground in Syria very, very cynical about whether more help can reach them in the near term -- Kate and Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right, thank you, Mohammed Jamjoon reporting. Thanks so much for that. Let's take a look at some of your other major headlines, right now beginning with a warning that broke overnight. There have been threats to Caribbean Airline flights departing to South American country of Guyana bound for the United States. U.S. Embassy in Guyana says it received unconfirmed threat information and urged Americans to avoid using the regional carrier over the next two days. Caribbean Airlines flies into New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Toronto, Canada.

New signs of cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog says Iran has agreed to take additional steps to ease concern over its nuclear program. They include allow access to uranium mine. In the meantime, Iran is reportedly moving warships near the U.S. maritime borders. The Iranian state news agency says this is a response to the U.S. increasing its naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

Concern about an American man that has gone missing in Mexico, Harry Devert was on a motorcycle trip from the United States to Latin America. However, he has not been heard from since January 25th when he checked out of the bed and breakfast in Southwest Mexico. He planned to travel to the Pacific Coach Beach where the final scene of "The Shawshank Redemption" was filmed.

Happening today, West Virginia officials and a water company set to answer tough questions about that chemical leak that left hundreds of thousands of people unable to use their water. The House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing in Charleston to examine surrounding circumstances and the response to the leak. Representatives from the CDC and Freedom Industries, the company whose tank leaked will not be there.

Breaking overnight, the castaway who said he spent 13 monies lost in the Pacific is on his way hope to El Salvador. The 37-year-old Jose Alvarenga boarded a plane just a few hours ago in the Marshall Islands where he washed up in a battered fishing boat some two weeks ago. His departure had been delayed last week after his health took a turn for the worst. He was deemed healthy enough to fly and is on his way home.

CUOMO: What an amazing story?

BOLDUAN: And officials say they had no reason to question his account.

PEREIRA: It's interesting because we were all sort of like what is this? They say there's no reason to question it.

CUOMO: Still skeptical. All right, how about the Winter Olympics? You're watching this weekend. History has already been made at Sochi. Jamie Anderson cementing U.S. dominance, winning gold in the very first Olympic slopestyle snowboarding competition. Today medals will be awarded in five events, in skiing, biathlon, speedskating and right now, in Alpine skiing, American Julia Mancuso is in the lead in the super combined. We have Rachel Nichols live in Sochi following it all. Hi, Rach.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, it has been a fun weekend so far with the snowboarders and a lot more to come as we start off the week. It's an unusual group, the snowboarders. You're not the clean cut, shingled American athletes that we are used to dominating Olympics past, no, no. We have guys talking about gnarly and shredded on the medal stand. We had Jamie Anderson talking about their spirit grandmas as she won her gold medal. You got to love the Winter Olympics and it's only getting better today. Take a look.


NICHOLS (voice-over): There is no one on the U.S. Alpine team more clutch than Julia Mancuso with a gutsy performance on the downhill segment of the combined. She has a huge lead in the event. Later today they'll race the second half of the combined. Mancuso is hoping to join the Americans who have already soared and twirled their way to gold. Thanks to a new Olympic sport, snowboard slopestyle. On the 2,000-foot run, Jamie Anderson defied gravity with baffling acrobatics.

JAMIE ANDERSON, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: It just felt so good to be able to do something I knew could I do. I believed it but just having that passion and determination to really do what I'm capable of.

NICHOLS: Anderson's win followed Sage Kotsenburg's victory on Sunday. Kotsenburg won thanks to a last-minute decision to do a trick he never even tried before, spinning four and a half times in the air. Sochi slopes weren't without some American upsets. Veteran favorite Bode Miller ended the downhill in eighth place, looking utterly devastated as he cross the finish line.

And down at the figure skating venue, Russia dominated the team competition, with teen prodigy Yulia Lipnitskaya dazzling with a nearly perfect routine that ended with a mesmerizing leg over the head spin. The U.S. wasn't far behind. Skating superstar Gracie Gold nailed all 11 jumps of her program, helping the U.S. secure bronze and even pulling off a photo-op with President Vladimir Putin.

But the most fuzzy photos may have been these of American figure skater Ashley Wagner.

Comparing Wagner's proud smile after there performance with a visibly shocked expression after her scores were announced.


NICHOLS: You guys remember McKayla Maroney, the gymnast from the Summer Olympics, for that whole McKayla is not impressed photo, went all while over the Internet. I think guys, you're going to see this one going viral more of this within.

CUOMO: I think you're right with that. I get Michaela is not impressed every morning here on the show. But the Olympics, it's a different level.


CUOMO: Let me ask you this -- we've obviously been covering as a sideline here the difficulties just in the village. Obviously, terror threats are of paramount importance. But there's also just a little bit of a lifestyle drama going on there. Tell me about this video that popped up of this bobsledder who just busted through a door there because he was locked in or whatever. What's the situation?

NICHOLS: Yes, Johnny Quinn, one of our U.S. bobsledders went to tack a shower. His roommate wasn't in the room, he didn't take a cell phone into the bathroom, and unfortunately the door got jammed and this has been happening in places over Sochi, and he had to bust his way out. I caught with him. Take a listen to his experience.


JOHNNY QUINN, U.S. BOBSLEDDER: I was sitting there banging on random parts of the wall, see if I could catch somebody's attention and as I'm banging on random parts, I kind of hit the door and it cracks. And so, you know, I go a little bit harder and my fist goes through the door. So I see light and I was like, OK, it's time to get out of here now.


NICHOLS: Johnny took a photo of the busted door, I'm sure you guys have been showing it. That photo has been retweeted more than 25,000 times. He's been having a good time with it and he did tell me they did bring him a new door, which is a good thing because he's moving up to the alpine room soon. The NHL players that make up the U.S. hockey team, they're moving into his room. And trust me, those guys want a door.

CUOMO: Yes. They want a door, and it looks like they're made out of egg cartons anyway. But he's obviously a big, strong guy, he wins the man award for the Olympics so far.

BOLDUAN: That's hilarious -- hilarious and also not funny at all, what's going on many of those hotel rooms.

CUOMO: Rachel, thank you for the latest. We're going to check in with you again later this hour for the Team U.S. gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg. You're not going to want to miss Rachel and him. That's for sure.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. So, let's give you a quick look at the medals standing so far.

Right now, Norway is in the lead, with seven medals. And Netherlands and United States, Canada, and Russia, all follow with four --

CUOMO: Canada?

BOLDUAN: I don't know how Canada got in there.


CUOMO: Austria round it is up with two medals.

PEREIRA: We make snow, that's why.

CUOMO: You should be higher. You're a great disappointment.

BOLDUAN: Yes, exactly.

CUOMO: Let's go to the science of the situation. Meteorologist Indra --

PEREIRA: He just called Canada a disappointment, Indra. Welcome back.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'm not giving you a medal for making snow. I don't think anyone else is, Michaela.

It's been brutal. I mean, the winter has been insane. I mean, we're not stopping with snow any time soon. Once again this morning, temperatures, they are cold. Big dome of high pressure again. All that cold air expected to sag down to the south, intersect with the moisture around the gulf.

Again, it's going to be a repeat of what we saw in the southeast just a few weeks ago. Today, still warm along the coast but notice overnight tonight, especially when it gets cold, temperatures drop, we start having the threat for some icing. But there are two waves here, the second wave really Tuesday night into Wednesday is the stronger one. This is the one we're really concerned with here. We're talking about more ice and some more threats for snow.

Atlanta, you get an inch of snow potentially from the first storm, potentially two inches of snow from the second system. It doesn't even there. Wednesday all the way to Thursday, we're still talking about the same inching into the Southeast. Icing also concern, about a quarter of inch of ice could be possible with the system. So, a lot of the monitoring, let's hope they're ready this time.

And they're not the only ones. That southeast low that could develop, where does it go if it hangs farther along the coastline, we could see some heavier snow right along the coastline, if it goes farther inland, of course, heavier snow farther inland. So, it's going to be a big story for all us, depending on where the system go and how much snow we get.

But definitely, the concern first is down to the south. Let's hope the south has learned their lesson and are ready this time. Don't say we didn't tell you. PEREIRA: Yes, I know. Hopefully, they're much more prepared this time around. You know, people there, don't want another round two of that.


PEREIRA: Good to have you back. (INAUDIBLE)


CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, another verbal blast from Rand Paul targeting Bill Clinton. But is it just a thinly veiled attack on Hillary Clinton? And is it working?

BOLDUAN: Plus, week two of the so-called loud music murder trial. The defendant charged with fatally shooting a Florida teenager. Why emotional testimony from his fiancee could damage his case.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

This morning, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is taking aim once again at Bill Clinton. The conservative Republican calling the former president a sexual predator given his admitted affair while in the White House, and also calling Democrats hypocrites for championing women while supporting Bill Clinton.

CNN's Erin McPike is following these developments live from Washington for us this morning.

So, what is the very latest, Erin?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, as you know, Rand Paul is certainly not known for shrinking back. And you may remember that he tussled with Chris Christie last year. But from Benghazi to personal matters, Paul certainly seems to be after the Clintons.


MCPIKE (voice-over): After labeling Bill Clinton a sexual predator for his affair with Monica Lewinsky, Republican Rand Paul is now stepping up, the attacks, calling Democrats who asked him to raise to campaign cash hypocrites.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: If they want to take a position on women's rights, by all means do. But you can't do it and take it from a guy who is using his position of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace.

MCPIKE: It's raising new questions about whether Paul is really trying to undermine Hillary Clinton, a possible 2016 rival for the White House.

He tells CNN it isn't her fault the way her husband behaved but he also called them a fund-raising team. No official response yet from Team Clinton, but their supporters are mocking Paul. Saying Bill Clinton's past is ancient history.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: My biggest, you know, regret is what happened in Benghazi.

MCPIKE: Hillary Clinton's recent history is a different matter, though. And Saturday night, Paul again went after her for how she handled the attack that killed four Americans.

PAUL: The thing that I think that should limit Hillary Clinton from ever holding high office, when she was asked for reinforcements, she turned down reinforcements. And we should never ever have a commander-in-chief who won't send reinforcements.

MCPIKE: All this as a new book "HRC" comes out this week, with insider details on Hillary Clinton and Clinton's relationship. The authors on NBC recounting a scene just before her speech at the 2008 Democratic convention. "He had ripped up the structure and added some of his own poetic flourishes," they write, "but Hillary was having none of it, 'It's my speech," she wrote. And she left to find Bill."

When it comes to dealing with her, they say he has a blind spot.


MCPIKE: And another revelation in the book "HRC" on ABC's "This Week" yesterday is what former General David Petraeus, a Republican, of course, thinks of Hillary Clinton. And he said her most impressive came through in tough times and that was especially true during the Benghazi attack when he said she was ordinarily resolute, determined, and controlled. So, may be something of a foil there to Rand -- Kate and Chris.

BOLDUAN: We will see. A lot coming out in that book, "HRC", which is coming out just this week. Thank you so much, Erin.

CUOMO: Quick break here on NEW DAY. Tearful testimony from the fiancee of a Florida man on trial for shooting a teenager in a dispute over loud music. Here's a twist, could what she said prove damaging to his defense? Details just ahead.

BOLDUAN: Plus, an American snowboarder wins the first gold for the U.S. at the Winter Games. We're going to live to Sochi to meet Olympic hero Sage Kotsenburg.