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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Street Fighting, Fire Kills 36 in Ukraine; Alleged Donald Sterling's Girlfriend Speaks Out; School Massacre Plot Thwarted; Search for Flight 370; Donald Sterling's Facing Cancer; A Man from Indiana Hospitalized with MERS; Rosie Napravnik Winning Derby; Bizarre Statements and Fashion Ideas of V. Stiviano, Sterling's Alleged Ex- Girlfriend
Aired May 3, 2014 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: She's at the center of the Donald Sterling firestorm and now his alleged girlfriend is defending him. Hear what V. Stiviano says about that infamous audio exchange and what Sterling is saying about her.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We are not stopping. That is the vow from Ukraine as it battles with pro-Russian militants from the street, from air. The violence, as you can see it here, it is exploding. Now real fears this morning of an all-out civil war.
BLACKWELL: It's more deadly than the flu with no known cure. And now this mysterious virus is in the U.S. for the very first time.
PAUL: Take a nice deep breath. You made it to Saturday, isn't that nice? I'm happy for you.
So is my 2:00 a.m. wake-up call.
PAUL: I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. May 3rd, 6:00 now. It's NEW DAY SATURDAY. And we're starting this morning in Ukraine. I mean, the escalating violence there is stoking even more concerns that the country is on the verge of an all-out civil war.
The bloody battle is pitting Ukrainian forces against the pro-Russian rebels that spread to the port city of Odessa. Four people were killed in the street fighting there, 31 others were killed when a union hall was set on fire.
PAUL: As you see right there. Meanwhile, a group of Western observers held by pro-Russian separatists for the last week have been freed, we're told.
Senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk. Nick, good morning to you.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Christi, I'm standing over the town of Slavyansk here where just in the last hour 12 of those OSCE military observers, the Ukrainian escort and the seven foreigners including four Germans, were released according to both now the OSCE and the self-declared mayor of the town.
Speaking to me earlier, he said that it was the arrival of an envoy from the Kremlin, Vladimir Lukin, that basically meant the release happened, not the continuing negotiation that has been happening with the OSCE delegation for the past eight days during which time they've been held in this town. Paraded, at one point, last week in front of the media.
That removes really I think a very complicated moment for potential international scandal here. Those men being continually held despite requests from Western governments that they be released and perhaps it marks also a moment for good PR for the Kremlin in trying to bolster the reputation of those pro-Russian protests and militants that now surrounded in the town behind me because many of the checkpoints that got around it, there are now Ukrainian troops.
We've seen a lot of them in number just down this road. They didn't want to be filmed. They told us they had in fact pulled back from a bridge where we saw them at yesterday. They've been getting a lot of aggravation there from the local residents. Angry at their president. During the night, they said they come under a professional style assault from militants there, using rocket propelled grenades, missiles, heavy weaponry.
The Ministry of Defense confirms two soldiers were killed there and 12 injured. And that explains why they pulled back up this road. A helicopter also supporting them here. But the real question is, not the level of fire power that the Ukrainian military can throw at this town because we've seen they are here in number for the first time. The question is, what does that cause in terms of the civilian casualties with those residents here?
If there is significant bloodshed, the real fear is that could spark an intervention from the Kremlin, 40,000 feet just across the border and Vladimir Putin calling what's happening here a criminal act but comparatively silent in the past 12, 24 hours about what Russia's next step may be -- Victor, Christi.
PAUL: All right, Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much.
I just want to apologize for the audio there. It was a little bit dicey. But apparently they're in a bit of a panic situation and they've got to move out of the area there for security reasons.
BLACKWELL: All right. Nick Paton Walsh --
PAUL: That's one of the reasons.
BLACKWELL: Thank you. Hey, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is calling Ukraine's actions in Slavyansk legitimate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEOFFREY PYATT, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: It's Ukraine's place to defend its own territory. In the face of the instability, the separatist activity that's unfolding in several of these cities, in Donetsk and Luhansk. We see it as entirely legitimate that Ukraine is using its own defense forces, acting within the framework of international law, acting within the framework of its own constitution to get a handle on the security situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So that's the official U.S. position. But Moscow was calling it the military operation in the region, and this is a quote, "the last nail in the coffin," for the deal agreed to in Geneva, Switzerland.
Now the deal had called for pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine to disarm and vacate those seized buildings.
PAUL: Well, the woman at the center of the Donald Sterling scandal apparently has an awful lot to say and is not shy when it comes to cameras. Now V. Stiviano, remember, is the woman heard on audio recording with Sterling as he made those inflammatory statements about African-Americans. That triggered this firestorm we now know that has led to Sterling's lifetime ban from the NBA.
BLACKWELL: OK, so now there's this new "20/20" interview with Barbara Walters. And Stiviano calls on Sterling -- was actually calling him a close friend and she's coming to his defense. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: Is Donald Sterling a racist?
V. STIVIANO, ALLEGEDLY GIRLFRIEND OF DONALD STERLING: No. I don't believe it in my heart.
WALTERS: Have you heard him say derogatory things about minorities in general? Blacks in particular?
WALTERS: You've heard him say derogatory things?
WALTERS: Don't they sound racist to you?
STIVIANO: I think the things he says are not what he feels.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: I'm confused here.
PAUL: Along with just about everybody else, I think.
BLACKWELL: We've got CNN Sports' Joe Carter with us. And I don't want to cast dispersions but this seems contrary to what would seem the purpose for recording it and what she said on that recording.
JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS: So you're asking if I'm surprised by her defending him? Is that what you're implying here? Because I am. I'm surprised.
BLACKWELL: You are?
CARTER: I mean, I guess, there is a pending lawsuit from Donald Sterling's wife that says that they used community funds or he used community funds to give her cash, to give her real estate and to give her cars. So maybe it's because she's still technically on the payroll. So therefore she feels like now she needs to come to bat for him.
My only problem when I hear that thought is that -- or to hear that comment there is that how does she have the qualifications to assess whether or not he's racist if she can't own up to what her role in this is. She's told Barbara Walters that she serves as his protector, that she loves him like a father. I -- when I hear that, I asked myself, what does that mean? Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTERS: Can you tell me what your relationship with Donald Sterling is?
STIVIANO: I'm Mr. Sterling's right-hand arm man. I'm Mr. Sterling's everything. I'm his confidant, his best friend, his silly rabbit.
WALTERS: His what?
STIVIANO: His silly rabbit.
WALTERS: His silly rabbit?
WALTERS: Is that what he calls you?
STIVIANO: No. I call myself that.
WALTERS: Is that what you -- I say OK.
STIVIANO: I joke around and I make him laugh. I do things that some people find very silly or I do things that sometimes he will kind of (INAUDIBLE) in a relationship. I'm his everything. (END VIDEO CLIP)
CARTER: In addition to calling herself he's everything, she also says that she's his personal assistant. And ABC News "20/20" felt the need to even title her as personal assistant, I guess because silly rabbit wouldn't make much sense.
CARTER: But you know throughout this, this has been one week or eight days, I guess, technically since the tapes were released, we haven't heard a public statement, we haven't heard official response from Donald Sterling's side, no, you know, comeback tour, if you will, but he did tell Dujour.com, an obscure, unknown Web site, if you will, magazine/Web site last night that I wish I would have just paid her off. That's all we've heard from Donald Sterling, according to Dujour.com. Another strange twist.
PAUL: I wish -- yes, I wish I would have just paid her off. But then she says he's -- you know, he's -- she's everything to him. She's his everything. It doesn't -- it just doesn't make sense. But we do need -- I do want to clarify, we do not know that she is the one that released these tapes. There's no confirmation of that, right?
BLACKWELL: That's true. That's true.
BLACKWELL: She admits that it's her voice, but has not admitted -- to releasing it.
PAUL: She releasing it. Right. Right. Just to be -- just to be clear.
BLACKWELL: And we're going to talk more about this later about I wish I just paid her off. Does that infer blackmail? And maybe she took him to him first. We'll talk more about that throughout the show. Joe?
PAUL: Joe Carter, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Thank you. So many strange things to --
PAUL: Yes. It is the strangest thing.
BLACKWELL: So this is a story that has shocked a lot of people. This teenager, the plot or alleged plot to attack a Minnesota high school. How authorities discovered what they are calling an arsonist.
PAUL: And finding Malaysia Air 370 now involves a second search that, by the way, is thousands of miles from where everybody has been looking up to this point.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Twelve minutes past the hour right now. Hiring in the U.S. kicked into high gear in April. Employers added 288,000 jobs to payrolls last month, which is the strongest gain in two years, leading the unemployment rate to fall to 6.3 percent. Its lowest level in 5.5 years, we should point out. Now professional services saw some of the most robust growth with 75,000 jobs added. There was also a strong showing for hiring in retail and construction jobs.
BLACKWELL: Gun powder, a pressure cooker and chemicals for making a bomb. That's what police say a Minnesota teenager managed to amass. And not just some nefarious plot but also a written plan to attack his family and his school.
PAUL: This morning, the -- he's in custody. And the small town is so grateful for a quick-thinking neighbor who saw something that didn't sit well with her and actually said something.
Nick Valencia following the story.
What else do we know about this plot?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a very violent plot from a wannabe mass murderer. Only thwarted because of these two watchful residence. They saw something suspicious at a storage facility. They reported to police. That led police to John LaDue and in this storage facility, inside the locker, as Victor was saying, was bombing materials, a pressure cooker, steel ball bearings, guns, ammunition, all the resources police say to carry out a mass murder type attack, and the outline of what he planned to do with those materials.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER CHRIS MARTENSON, WASECA POLICE DEPARTMENT: His plan was to kill his family members, start a diversionary fire in rural Waseca to distract first responders and travel to the Waseca Junior/Senior High School. And once there, he intended to set off numerous bombs during the lunch hour, kill the school resource officer as he responded to help, set fires, and shoot students and staff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: Now on the surface John LaDue appeared to be a typical 17- year-old. He liked heavy metal music, he liked violent movies. But it was this journal, Victor and Chris, this very details plan that he had to carry out this attack that really sets him apart. It showed that he had a darker side.
BLACKWELL: Wow. We were talking just moment ago about his mother and the familial relationship.
VALENCIA: We don't know too much about the connection he had with his parents. We know part of this plot was to kill his parents, kill his sister who -- his grandmother told a local newspaper he had a great relationship with.
PAUL: Yes. VALENCIA: Everyone that spoken out about John LaDue has said that he is a likable guy. He was a popular guy.
PAUL: And he was close to his sister.
VALENCIA: And he was close to his sister. We spoke to his mother, she didn't want to talk about the situation surrounding her son, obviously very confusing moments for her. But we did speak to her. We're waiting to hear more. He's right now in a detention facility.
PAUL: Got it.
VALENCIA: He made homicidal threats to a counselor and a detention facility that led him to go to another facility. He was transferred. He's waiting charges, we should mention, very quickly four counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of attempted criminal damage to properties and six counts of possession of explosives.
PAUL: All right.
VALENCIA: So he's facing very serious charges, treated as a juvenile right now. That could change at his first court appearance on May 12. We just got to wait and see.
BLACKWELL: Thank God for that student.
VALENCIA: Yes. No kidding.
PAUL: No kidding. No kidding.
VALENCIA: Yes. Yes.
PAUL: Nick Valencia, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Thanks, Nick.
Day 57 now in the search for Flight 370. And it now involves a search site that's really nowhere near where teams have been looking. And a lot of people are still questioning if this is even valid. So where is it and why go there?
BLACKWELL: Despite all the doubts, the search for Flight 370 is now happening in the Bay of Bengal. And that's thousands of miles from the main search site off the coast of Australia.
PAUL: CNN's Anna Coren sat down with the leaders of this company who say a plane is under water there and they don't want to be ignored any longer -- Anna.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Investigators still to find a trace of Malaysian Flight 370 an Australian mining exploration company believes it may have found the wreckage of a commercial airliner in the Bay of Bengal 100 miles off the coast of Bangladesh that could be the MH-370. Well, authorities are taking these claims very lightly while some experts have discredited the findings, saying they simply aren't true.
COREN (voice-over): As the search continues for MH-370 in the desolate waters of the Southern Indian Ocean more than seven weeks after the plane's disappearance, a team of scientists from an Australian mining exploration company believe they may have found its location over 5,000 kilometers away.
PAVEL KURSA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GEORESONANCE: We are not into making theories. It is a scientific proven fact that we guarantee that at that location, there are chemical elements that are part of a plane.
COREN: GeoResonance is convinced that through its high-tech spectral imaging gathered from satellites and planes it has found the remains of an aircraft in the Bay of Bengal 190 kilometers off the coast of Bangladesh.
Their search began four days after the plane's disappearance, testing for elements such as aluminum, titanium and copper found in a Boeing 777. Some analysts are skeptical of the technology.
KEITH J. MASBACK, UNITED STATES GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE FOUNDATION: I think the most fundamental reason for the skepticism is they talk about multispectral imaging. And there is no multispectral imager that anyone I've talked to that I'm aware of that's going to penetrate a thousand meters under the ocean.
COREN: Director David Pope says he stands by their findings but is not prepared to divulge their methodology.
DAVID POPE, DIRECTOR, GEORESONANCE: There's a lot of valuable (INAUDIBLE) brought up over the last 30 years. It's our intellectual property and we plan on keeping it in private.
COREN: As a result, Bangladesh has sent two Navy frigates to investigate but are yet to find anything. Malaysia is also considering sending vessels to the area, but are concerned that it will distract from the real search, firmly believing the remains of MH-370 are in the Southern Indian Ocean.
Back to you.
PAUL: All right, Anna Coren, thank you.
BLACKWELL: And Malaysian officials are pushing back against critics who say that this the initial report on the plane does not go far enough. Yesterday, the country's acting transportation minister said investigators have nothing to hide.
PAUL: So let's talk about this with a safety expert, Shawn Pruchnicki. He was an accident investigator in the Comair Flight 5191 crash back in 2008 in Lexington, Kentucky.
So thank you so much, Shawn, for being with us.
SHAWN PRUCHNICKI, AIRLINE ACCIDENT INVESTIGATOR: Sure.
PAUL: First of all, what do you make -- I'm curious of this Australian report, this company that claims it found wreckage in the Bay of Bengal. If they've got pictures of it and they found it and there are two ships there, why have we seen nothing yet?
PRUCHNICKI: Well, I mean, that really is the question, right? I -- you know, there's so many problems with this whole, you know, newer part of the story. You know, besides -- and we've talked about all these things, the unknown technology, it's true capabilities. There very well could be an airplane there. You know, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the Malaysia aircraft. There are -- there are lost aircraft all over the world, business jet that are missing. You know, I mean, maybe they found something like that.
But I think what is really important, you know, as a -- as an investigators, as a scientist, a researcher, you know, my whole point would be to them is, you know, you need to prove it to us in a very timely manner. We know where there's crashed airplanes. Go show us, go find those, we'll tell you where they are. Show us what it looks like and until you do that, we really can't take too seriously your planes.
That's what needs to be done before there's any reallocation of additional resources in that area.
BLACKWELL: So this initial report, five pages long, by comparison of the Flight 447 report was more than 120 pages long, released sooner than this one was after that crash. If the acting transportation minister says there's nothing to hide, why not release more information?
PRUCHNICKI: Well, that's kind of a very good question. You know, I really don't know. I mean, I think part of it is, their inexperience with doing this. You know, I'm not sure who the exact individuals were that wrote this report. But I can tell you, as accident investigator, when I read this report yesterday, what was in there was exactly what I had, you know, said -- you know, a week or so ago.
There's nothing here. Now that doesn't necessarily mean that there's, you know, a problem with the investigation because early in this investigation there typically isn't anything to a (INAUDIBLE) there. It's such a collection of facts. But what I did notice is that there are several areas of interest that were not discussed as far as, you know, the ones that really jumped out at me were brief backgrounds on the crew, the pilot and co-pilot, what was on the cargo manifest and if there were any deferrals on the aircraft, in other words maintenance items that were inoperative, legally inoperative.
Those are the types of information they have on the ground. We don't need the air flight to have that information. That's the kind of stuff that also goes into these reports. And it wasn't there. I found that unusual.
BLACKWELL: Yes, still lots of questions that have not yet been answered. And we have more questions for you so if you can stick around, we'll come back to you in the next hour because we've got questions about, you know, Cambodian air space, the Vietnamese.
BLACKWELL: All in this report.
Shawn Pruchnicki, thank you so much. We'll see you in about an hour.
PRUCHNICKI: You bet. Will talk to you soon.
PAUL: All right. Thank you.
So again, the woman at the center of the Donald Sterling scandal, we're hearing a lot more from her this morning. And she's not just defending the troubled NBA team owner, she's calling herself his best friend and his, quote, "silly rabbit."
PAUL: It just keeps getting more and more bizarre. We have it all for you just ahead.
PAUL: Twenty-nine minutes past the hour now. Maybe it is time to grab a little breakfast?
BLACKWELL: Yes. A cup of tea.
PAUL: Yes. Just kick back a little bit.
I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Ease into it. No rush.
Let's start with "Five Things" you need to know for your NEW DAY.
PAUL: Yes, number one in Afghanistan, we've learned at least 2700 people are feared dead in that massive landslide. Local officials say rescuers will not dig out hundreds of people buried underneath the mud and stones and are declaring the site a mass grave. They are appealing to international organizations to help survivors including the 700 families that were evacuated from the nearby areas.
BLACKWELL: Number two, the death toll in the South Korean ferry accident continues to rise. Now, at least 236 people are confirmed dead. 66 are still missing. On Wednesday, students who had been on the ferry with hundreds of classmates return to school for the first time since the accident. They went to visit a memorial for those who died at sea. PAUL: Number three, Bill Gates is no longer Microsoft's top individual shareholder. The billionaire sold off nearly 8 million shares recently, which now puts former CEO Steve Balmer in the top spot. Gates is really focusing his time at this point and money into the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, which, of course, fights hunger and poverty around the world.
BLACKWELL: Number four, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is throwing his support behind Hillary Clinton for president, if she runs, of course.
Yeah, the endorsement of the Democratic former governor could be a boom for Clinton. Kaine was among President Obama's first public supporters. He's expected to make a short speech this morning at a party - event, rather, in South Carolina.
PAUL: And finally, number five, a House committee had subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry over Benghazi. Four Americans including ambassador Christopher Stevens, remember, were killed in the Libyan city in 2012. Well, an e-mail just released by court order details talking points about the tragedy. And that sparked outrage among Republicans since the State Department failed to release it when initially ordered. So far, by the way, no response from John Kerry.
BLACKWELL: Embattled Clippers owner, Donald Sterling is not just facing a scandal over his ownership of the NBA franchise.
PAUL: Now the "New York Post" and the FBN are reporting the 80-year old billionaire is battling cancer. Listen to players reacting to that news Thursday night after their loss to the Golden State Warriors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If that is true, you know, my thoughts and prayers are with him. I mean nobody deserves to go through something like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the first I have ever heard of that. And that's truly unfortunate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't know it until just now, you know, I don't have a reaction to that. You know, I hope it's not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, the same day reports of Sterling's cancer came out, the NBA's push to force him to sell the Clippers took as another step as the committee of ten owners voted unanimously to move ahead with the process. But as CNN's Brian Todd reports, Sterling is not likely to roll over and give up his valuable franchise. A long, long legal battle could be brewing right now.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Sterling tells Jason Binn of "Du Jour" magazine, quote, "I wish I had just paid her off, referring to V. Stiviano, the woman reported to be his girlfriend. As he faces intense pressure from the NBA to sell his team, those who've tangled with Sterling say he's not about to roll over.
DOUGLAS BAGBY, ATTORNEY: I'd be very surprised if he doesn't make a big battle out of it.
TODD: Douglas Bagby represented a former girlfriend of Sterling's in a lawsuit Sterling filed against her. Sterling's got a long history of contentious litigation, he's been sued for sexual harassment, has given combative depositions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have an understanding of what sexual is?
DONALD STERLING: Just the word sexual?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
STERLING: So, the world sexual is sexual.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does it mean to you?
STERLING: What does it mean to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sterling won that case. And experts say there's at least one legal strategy he can use to stall the NBA's efforts to force him to sell the L.A. Clippers. It involves Sterling's estranged wife, Rachel.
NELSON GARCIA: He could file for divorce. Of course, requesting that the court distribute their community property, which the L.A. Clippers certainly are.
TODD: Divorce attorney Nelson Garcia says filing for divorce alone wouldn't fend off a forced sale of the Clippers. Garcia says, Sterling could try to sue the NBA separately, try to make the two cases related and ask for a court order.
GARCIA: What he would then do is file for an injunction against the NBA to delay any sale until the divorce or just to have the family court distribute that property.
TODD: That means more courts involved, another layer of legal complexity, which Garcia says could stall the forced sale of the Clippers for two years or longer. Sterling's reportedly stalled an attempted forced sale before. "The L.A. Times" reports in 1982, Sterling was heard saying the Clippers needed to finish last in order to draft a top player. A committee of NBA owners voted to remove him for that, "The Times" reports. Sterling later announced his desire to sell the team. That bought him time. And a few months later, according to the "L.A. Times," NBA official David Stern, who later became commissioner said the league wouldn't pursue the matter any further, even said the Clippers were operated in "first class fashion."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, I'm wondering can Commissioner Stern come forward now and tell us exactly why he gave their organization his blessings back in 1983.
TODD: A spokesman for former commissioner Stern told us he was traveling and unavailable for comment.
TODD: As for Donald Sterling's remarks about paying her off, we couldn't get comment of that quote from the lawyer for V. Stiviano, the woman accused of recording Sterling's racist comments. But earlier, that lawyer said Stiviano was not Sterling's girlfriend and that she did not leak the recordings later published on TMZ. Christi and Victor?
BLACKWELL: All right. Brian Todd, thank you. Let's talk more now about the woman at the center of this scandal, V. Stiviano. Last night she came out defending Donald Sterling, also saying that he's her best friend and that he is not a racist. Here is part of the new 20/20 interview with Barbara Walters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS: Is Donald Sterling a racist?
V. STIVIANO: No. I don't believe it in my heart.
WALTERS: Have you heard him say derogatory things about minorities in general and blacks in particular?
WALTERS: You have heard him say derogatory things?
WALTER: Don't they sound racist to you?
STIVIANO: I think the things he says are not what he feels.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: I don't get it. I don't get it.
PAUL: I don't, either.
BLACKWELL: Let's bring in HNL contributor and "Time" columnist (INAUDIBLE) Jason Johnson. She says, on the recording.
PAUL: We don't even know where to start.
BLACKWELL: I mean I had to pause.
PAUL: Yes, yes.
BLACKWELL: She says on this recording, I'm sorry that this is how you feel in your heart. I'm sorry that this is the way you were raised. And there, she says that I don't believe that any of it is true. Yeah, he feels it.
JASON JOHNSON, HNL CONTRIBUTOR: You know, it's amazing how money gets people to change how they view you. Because his wife Shelly said that he was a racist initially when this all came out and then a couple of days later she was caught on tape with him at dinner saying no, he's not a racist at all. This guy has a lot of money. He has a lot of influence. Everybody is going to change their story. But the deeper issue here, everybody in America knows that racism is wrong, but we don't (NO AUDIO). And that's why you can have anybody from Donald Sterling to Cliven Bundy say all sorts of offensive things. They say I'm not a racist. They think if they are not wearing a Klan hat, that they are not racist.
PAUL: Do you think that - is there a fear he may try to give this team to a family friend or something? And what are those options, can he do that?
JOHNSON: He could. I mean arguably it's like - if you have an old car and you sell it to your younger brother for ten bucks. I mean he could try to do that. But the good part is that the NBA, all the other owners have to approve whoever he sells it to. So, I don't think he has much of a chance of selling it to his wife or selling it to his son. I think they are going to want to put it in somebody else's hands. This team is going to go for almost $1 billion at this point. There's going to be a bidding war. So, I don't think it's just going to go to his family.
BLACKWELL: OK. So, there's this new "New York Time/CBS News" poll that's out overnight. And several questions about the Donald Sterling controversy. One stood out to me. Are Sterling's views about blacks widespread among pro-sports owners, among white responded, 17 percent agree that they are widespread? 54 percent of the black not responded.
JOHNSON: Yeah, this doesn't surprise me. Because this is what I mean about racism in America. I mean a lot of people seem to think, well, you can have offensive opinions and you can mistreat people. But if you are not wearing a white hood, if you are not burning crosses on someone's front yard, you are not a racist. And therefore, those beliefs aren't widespread. But unfortunately, we see it and everything from voter identification to college applications to police brutality to shootings in Florida. What we think racism is, is still a conflict in America. And that really needs to be solved before many of these issues can be addressed.
PAUL: I know that some people are praising the NBA, basically, and the players for their reaction, you know, to this, to putting questions on the owners to sell. Others say the reaction was botched.
PAUL: How was the reaction botched?
JOHNSON: Well, I think you have a lot of older generations, sports reporters and players who say, this was a weak response. I mean this was not the 1968 Olympics in Mexico where people put up their fist. They are saying that the players really sort of (INAUDIBLE) and really gave up a lot of their power to Adam Silver and to the organization of the NBA owners. I completely disagree. I think we're in the ...
PAUL: What were they supposed to do? I mean - and they were in the middle of playoffs.
JOHNSON: Exactly. And I think - the thing is if you walk off the court, you know, saying I'm going to shoot you is not nearly as influential sometimes as actually doing it. And I think that the threat of walking off the court was more important than them actually leaving. I think LeBron and Chris Paul handled this brilliantly behind the scenes.
BLACKWELL: What do you think will be the next step here? We hear from people who know him well that he's not going to just say, all right, well, you got me, I'm selling the team.
BLACKWELL: We're expecting this long fight. And will the punishment stand-up legally?
JOHNSON: Well, I think the punishment can stand-up legally. Because if you think about it, you take the race out of it, you take all the money out of it, he got kicked out of a club. I mean it's like if you are in a bike club and the rest of the members say, yeah, we don't want you to be here anymore, so I think that can stand-up. He had the sign of contract in order to become one of the owners.
BLACKWELL: However, based on something that might have been obtained illegally.
JOHNSON: Exactly. Exactly. So, even if it was obtained illegally, that doesn't change the fact that his fellow club members can say we don't want you here anymore.
JOHNSON: He has a long history.
BLACKWELL: I think the real question is going to be, when does the team get sold and what role does his cancer play in him possibly trying to delay this?
PAUL: Good point. Jason Johnson, always good to talk to you.
PAUL: Love your perspective. Thank you for being here.
BLACKWELL: Have you heard about this deadly virus from the Middle East that spreads to the U.S. It's here for the first time now. And health officials are racing against the clock to contain it. Up next, what you need to know to protect yourself.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Well, a deadly virus from the Middle East has spread to the U.S. for the very first time. It's called MERS. It stands for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, and the CDC says, a man from Indiana was hospitalized after he began experiencing symptoms including shortness of breath, coughing, a fever. Well, now, officials are trying to figure out how he contracted the virus. CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more for us.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, we are getting some more details about what happened here. This is an American, he's a health care worker. He was in Saudi Arabia working in that capacity as health care worker. Back on April 24th, flew back from Riyadh through London into Chicago and then took a bus to Indiana. Now, there's several different stops along the way. But it was three days later that he began to get ill and a day later, he was in the hospital in isolation. Right now, federal workers are looking at the people who were on those airplanes and also on that bus. Contact tracing, it's called, to try and figure out if anyone else is getting ill. This particular gentleman appears to be doing well, he's stable. He's just on oxygen. What we don't know yet is exactly where this virus comes from or how it spreads. I think it could come from camels. Three quarters of the camels that have been tested in Saudi Arabia have the antibodies to this particular virus. They have even found the virus itself in camels. That could be a source. But if it's camel meat, unpasteurized camel milk, camel spit, just the droppings of camels, we just don't know.
Of course, Christi and Victor, a lot of people think of SARS when they hear about this Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. SARS was a virus that is very similar. It's spread around the world. It appeared to be more easily transmissible. It can go back and forth more easily between human beings. With MERS, we just don't know yet. They are both lethal. With - with this Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, it does appear to kill about a third of the people that it infects so far. And obviously, this has got a lot of people concerned. This particular gentleman again appears to be recovering well, is in isolation. And there appears to be no broader risk to the public at large. Christi and Victor, back to you.
BLACKWELL: All right, some good news there. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you.
PAUL: So, that you might be waiting for the race to the Triple Crown, right? But it is on. It's Derby Day in Louisville, Kentucky. And we are taking you live to the center of the action. Stay close.
PAUL: It is time to break out the big hats and the mint juleps. Kentucky Derby time.
BLACKWELL: This is really a bad time for mint julep, though? Ever?
PAUL: No, or a hat. I like hats. BLACKWELL: I like mint julep. The big event is about to kick off in Louisville. We have got the celebrities, of course, the race and royalty and the main event - the thoroughbreds lining up for the fastest two minutes in sports. Francesca Cumani is live in Louisville, Kentucky with the countdown to post time. You know, one jockey has a chance to make history today.
FRANCESCA CUMANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor and Christi, that's right. Now, no female jockey has ever won the Kentucky Derby. Rosie Napravnik is the one that finished closest, she was fifth last year on the horse called Mylute. And she's just been breaking records all over the place. She won the Kentucky Oaks here two years ago. She won it again yesterday on the horse called Untapable. She also won the Louisiana Derby, the first woman to do so. And she won again this year on a horse called Vicar's in trouble. Now, that's the horse she's riding today in the Kentucky Derby. And she's trained by guy called Mike Maker, his assistant trainer is Joe Sharp, he's Rosie Napravnik's husband. And they have been on - being on the same team for a really long time in the Derby. And Vicar's in Trouble - well, he's not a favorite and he has some inside post position. So, you know, Rosie is going to have to be at her very best to navigate a safe and possibly a winning position for her today.
PAUL: Well, I know who you are going to be putting your money on, Vic.
BLACKWELL: I don't know necessarily that I will. The horses name is Vic is in Trouble and he's not a favorite?
CUMANI: Well, that's true.
BLACKWELL: OK. All right.
CUMANI: A lot of well fancied horses.
PAUL: OK, so, we see that you are all dolled up, you look beautiful. What are fans and crowds going to expect today there? I understand the forecast at least is going to do well for you.
CUMANI: Yeah, the forecast is going to be absolutely beautiful. It's pretty early still here. And the sun is just coming up. When it really gets up it's going to be a gorgeous afternoon. The top temperature is expected to be about 74 degrees. Absolutely perfect racing conditions, both for the horses and for the fans. They are expecting 160,000 people here today. And, you know, people come not just for the brilliant racing they have on display here today, but also for the social aspect and, of course, the fashion. Lots of beautiful ladies dressed in brilliant big hats. And, they are expecting, on average 120,000 mint juleps get consumed here today. Some pretty interesting scenes here later, Victor and Christi.
PAUL: We're looking forward to it.
BLACKWELL: Yes. PAUL: We see some of them there right now.
PAUL: Francesca Cumani, it's good to see you this morning. Thank you, have fun.
BLACKWELL: Vic is in trouble. How about that?
PAUL: We say that here all the time.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, you know, I prefer the older, more popular, Vic is doing all right, thank you.
PAUL: Of course, yeah.
BLACKWELL: That's where I'm putting my money.
Hey, Donald Sterling, we've been talking about this story. It becomes more bizarre. The more we hear from this alleged girlfriend.
PAUL: That picture alone.
BLACKWELL: Yes. This - we'll talk about this.
BLACKWELL: Well, some have compared it to a welders mask. You know the guys from Death Punk, you know, you never see their faces.
BLACKWELL: Maybe one of those. So, others call it paparazzi kryptonite.
PAUL: Well, look at it for yourself and you describe. Whatever it is, Donald Sterling's alleged girlfriend is getting also some attention for her latest choice in head gear. The only thing more peculiar than her new fashion accessory is her reaction to a reporter in L.A. who asked her about that. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STIVIANO: Pardon me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you know that Donald Sterling was fighting prostate cancer?
STIVIANO: I love your sandals.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
STIVIANO: Where are they from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Banana Republic.
STIVIANO: I love Banana Republic. They make nice things.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you wearing the shield?
STIVIANO: Why are you holding a microphone?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. It's my job.
STIVIANO: Well, then, it's my job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: That's all Victor's got. What? You know what - That's all we all have right now.
BLACKWELL: Let's get more now from Jeanne Moos. Hopefully, she has an answer to that question about the visor.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been the elephant in the room, make that the elephant on Donald Sterling's alleged girlfriend's face.
STIVIANO: I'm just trying to walk my dog.
MOOS: In that? We can't see through it, but we can certainly marvel at it. Stylish visor or eyesore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is she a beekeeper?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That visor is the bees' knees and you know it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Am I the only one who loves this visor?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the ultimate in privacy. Are you kidding?
MOOS: One blog called it paparazzi kryptonite. Able to block the shot of any photographer. This Stiviano's visor has been compared to a welder's mask or what serial murder Dexter wears to protect from blood spatter. Folks are having a ball equating it to "space balls."
(on camera): You know what this really needs?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What?
MOOS: Windshield wipers.
(voice over): On a rainy day not especially suited to something called a solar shield, New Yorkers did their best to pay me no mind. There was the occasional double take, the lingering stair. It's believed the solar shield was first polarized by women in China worried about sunburning fare skin.
(on camera): Do you think it's a good look or not a good look?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. It's not a good look. It looks weird.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not a good look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a little strange.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think fashion forward.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very punk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guys, over here.
MOOS (voice over): We were lucky enough to get our solar shield overnighted from Amazon for $29 plus shipping.
It's one size fits most.
Even a cnn.com colleague was confused.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, yeah, is that a spit guard?
MOOS: V. Stiviano joins other celebrities who chose to cover their heads from shy all above from his "I'm Not Famous Anymore" bag to the unknown comment from the old guns show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To pick my doctor - circus. He's (INAUDIBLE) the show.
MOOS: That's Woody Harrelson hiding from the paparazzi. Lady Gaga is always covered in something and Michael Jackson didn't just cover himself, he covered his kids. As for V. Stiviano, we don't know if she's hiding or planning to drop her very own visor line. As this tweet suggested.
Not recommended for driving.
Yet there she is in her Ferrari. At least the head band can expand when she gets a swollen head. And when she gets bored with the visor, we recommend this. Jeanne Moos, CNN ...
STIVIANO: Just trying to walk my dog.
MOOS: New York.
PAUL: She knows - always knows how to bring it.
BLACKWELL: Nailed it.
PAUL: Thank you all for starting your morning with us. BLACKWELL: The next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.