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Establishment Candidates on Top; Crisis in Iraq: U.S. Advisers Arrive; "Cannibal" Strikes Again?; LeBron James to Opt Out of Heat Contract

Aired June 25, 2014 - 05:00   ET


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news overnight: longtime congressmen fending off their challengers in a heated primary election race. Coming close to losing their jobs this morning. What do the results mean to this November's election. We're breaking it all down coming up live.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news overnight. U.S. military advisers arriving in Iraq. But as terrorists gain ground toppling more cities throughout that country, can the Iraqi government stop that from falling? We are live.

MARQUEZ: And soccer's notorious Hannibal strikes again this morning. And investigation launched and it could mean serious World Cup consequences for the Uruguay striker.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Miguel Marquez.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It's June 25th. It's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

All right. Up first this morning, two old political dogs live to fight another day. In Mississippi, CNN projects Senator Thad Cochran prevailing in a nasty primary battle. He was pushed to a runoff by a Tea Party challenger, but Cochran will get to run for a seventh term.

MARQUEZ: And here in New York, it looks like Charles Rangel will get to build on his 44 years in the House. Just looks like it though.

CNN's politics executive editor, Mark Preston, joins us from Washington.

Mark, some big ramifications in these races. Thad Cochran fends off the Tea Party. What does this one mean?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, you know, Miguel. Certainly a late night not only in Mississippi, but in New York City.

Certainly, a spirited fight down in Mississippi with Thad Cochran who in many ways, while he was the incumbent, he was the underdog, certainly heading into this runoff election. Last night, Thad Cochran comes from behind basically, wins by 6,300 votes. It might have caused -- it has certainly caused hard feelings.

Let's listen to what his opponent Chris McDaniel had to say when he found out that he lost.


CHRIS MCDANIEL (R), MISSISSIPPI SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: We have to be absolutely certain that the Republican primary was won by Republican voters. There is something a bit unusual about a Republican primary that's decided by liberal Democrats. So much for bold colors. So much for principle.


PRESTON: And the State Senator Chris McDaniel very frustrated by the fact that he lost last night. In many ways, Miguel and Christine, Thad Cochran, Republican, might have won with the help of Democrats, particularly African-American Democrats. We were crunching the data overnight, and Thad Cochran was able to appeal to these Democrats to come out and vote for him, which you can do in Mississippi. And, in fact, Thad Cochran overperformed in counties that had a majority black population.

ROMANS: So interesting.

All right. A real nail-biter in New York. I mean, it appears this morning -- it appears this morning, at least Congressman Charlie Rangel thinks he's going to continue to fight on in the House.

PRESTON: Yes, no doubt. And Charlie Rangel, again, another bitter Democratic primary up in New York, just north of where you are right now. And Charlie Rangel declaring victory last night in his battle with State Senator Adriano Espaillat.

Charlie Rangel declaring victory last night to our own Alexandra Field. Let's listen to what he had to say.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did you consider waiting for him to concede before declaring victory? Why are you declaring now?

REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: It comes through my mind, the frustration of all of these people in a hot room, the vote is close, it reached a point I was more concerned about them and the press than it was about anything else.


PRESTON: There you have Charlie Rangel declaring victory, his opponent has not conceded that race. He wants to see every vote counted. Rangel right now up by 1,800 votes. He defeated Espaillat back in 2012 by just 1,200 votes.

So, we're certainly seeing spirited contests not only on the Republican side but also the Democratic side.

MARQUEZ: All right. Mark Preston up all night, thank you very much. Now to the crisis in Iraq, American personnel will try to help slow

the ISIS surge. They had touched down, 90 military advisers are joining 40 who are already in Iraq to guide the military, more help on the way.

But as the U.S. deploys help, ISIS keeps on growing. The U.S. now estimates 10,000 militants in Iraq and Syria are joining the fight.

Let's go down to Nima Elbagir in Baghdad with the latest -- Nima.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Miguel, as you said, some of that much needed, much hope for help is beginning to arrive here, 90 U.S. military advisers on the ground, 40 moved reassigned from other posts. We're also getting a broader sense of what the U.S. has already been providing, the Department of Defense paper that's been released to us shows there are between 30 to 35 manned and unmanned flights going over Iraq, gathering intelligence, building a broader picture of what's going on in the ground.

In addition, of course, we have that aircraft carrier on the coast. And two vessels with the capacity for guided missile, if and when an airstrike is deemed necessary. But the reality on the ground seems to be what is emerging is almost a new reality, an Iraq redrawn along sectarian lines where the Sunni areas are increasingly falling under militant control. And the Shiite areas just about still remain in the grip of the government but it is now, of course, Miguel, all about Baghdad.

And we understand that the Iraqi government finding that it can't fight on two fronts is withdrawing reinforce, further reinforce the capital because, of course, this is now the red line not just for the Iraqis, but also for the international community, for the U.S. and for the other allies out there in the world -- Miguel.

MARQUEZ: Yes, it is a huge problem. Even if those advisers can pick targets and help Iraqis put in air strike, it is not very clear that can change the dynamics amongst the Sunnis in general.

Nima Elbagir in Baghdad for us -- thank you very much.

ROMANS: All right. Officials at the National Archive say the IRS didn't follow the law by failing to report thousands of e-mails lost in a computer crash. The chief archivist told a congressional hearing an agency must support unauthorized destruction of emails, even if it was an accident.

Those emails belong to an official later forced out over allegations the agency targeted conservative groups.

MARQUEZ: $50 billion a year is proving to be a hurdle to passing a bill getting problems at the V.A. under control. Both the House and Senate have passed bills. But negotiators working on a compromise are hitting a snag over the price tag. Some lawmakers question whether the huge cash infusion will fix anything. Others argue it's necessary, even if the costs have to be offset. ROMANS: House Speaker John Boehner is considering a lawsuit against

President Obama. The speaker taking issue with Obama's use of executive action. The president has used it to push initiatives without approval of a chillingly divided Congress. The Republicans argue Obama is breaching his constitutional power. No word on when the decision might come from Boehner.

MARQUEZ: A potential land mine for Obamacare, data shows more than a quarter enrolled, 27 percent, that is, face serious health problems. That's compared to just 12 percent of people on private plans. Insurers say the findings could premiums up for Obamacare users next year. Since the Affordable Care Act relies on revenue from healthier patients to offset the cost for sicker people.

ROMANS: Happening today, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson traveling to Arizona. He wants a first hand look with what border patrol agents are dealing with as a record number of children trying to cross the border without parents. Fifty-two thousand minors have been caught crossing from Mexico since October. At a hearing Tuesday, Republicans suggested lenient immigration policies are to blame, but Johnson says it's not so simple.


JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: If you're asking me if I can take an unaccompanied child, turn him around and send him back to Guatemala, I don't believe the law would permit us to do that.


ROMANS: The 52,000 nearly doubled from the previous years.

MARQUEZ: The U.S. is said to export unrefined oil for the first time since the 1970s, amazingly enough. Multiple reports said the Commerce Department gave two companies permission to ship a type of ultra light oil to foreign buyers. The oil is from shale formation in South Texas. Move will likely spark a wave of request from other companies.

ROMANS: All right. Time to an early start to your money. Bad day for stocks around the globe. European shares lower right now. Asian stocks closed lower. Concerns in Iraq still wearing on markets, it's a tough day on Wall Street. Futures basically flat right now.

The Dow dropped 119 points, retreating from that 71,000 milestone. And another guilty person in the Bernie Madoff scandal. Madoff's accountant Paul Konigsberg pleaded guilty to falsifying books and records. He was the only non-family member to own a stake in Madoff's company and provided services to Madoff and several of his clients. He'll pay at least $12.4 million to compensate victims of the fraud, and he faces up to 30 years in prison.

MARQUEZ: He's known as soccer's bad boy, the nickname "The Cannibal," "The Biter", he's (INAUDIBLE). Uruguay star Luis Suarez lived up to that reputation. In the World Cup match last night against Italy, he went Mike Tyson on an opponent, biting the Italian defender. This is not the first time he's done something like this. He's been

suspended twice for biting players. There's something not right here. FIFA has now opened disciplinary proceeding. Suarez who said it was an innocent collision could be suspended for at least two matches. That could be brutal if he's found guilty. The decision must be made before Saturday when Uruguay plays Colombia in the round of 16.

ROMANS: What do you think? Does it look accidental to you?

MARQUEZ: I think he's watching too many zombie shows.

ROMANS: That looks like that hurts.

MARQUEZ: He's done it before. He was fined, what, five games and then 10 games. It's crazy. It's amazing.

ROMANS: All right. Tornadoes into the Midwest, ripping roofs off of homes, burying communities in rubble this morning. Millions of you are facing the threat of violent storms.

Our Indra Petersons is tracking what you can expect.

MARQUEZ: Plus, a possible breakthrough in the early detection of breast cancer. Details coming up.


ROMANS: More tornadoes touching down, wreaking havoc in the Midwest. Look at these images from Marion County near Indianapolis. Several homes heavily damaged. Trees uprooted, loiter in the roads. Cars, look at that, just tossed around like toys, one of them landing on top of a house.

MARQUEZ: Yikes. In Illinois, epic flooding in Chicago. Some people were forced to boat their way to safety. And closed a major expressway for some time and forced flood advisories around northwest Illinois.

ROMANS: And the weather didn't spare the South either. Parts of north Texas also in water. Imagine trapped, most people left stranded in their cars, some waiting for rescue crews. Ft. Worth areas saw five inches of rain.

Indra Petersons has a look at your forecast.

More problems on tap for today I suppose.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Always this time of year, right?

And with same place, we keep talking about pretty much around Colorado. That remains to be the biggest threat for at least the severe weather for places for tornadoes like Rapid City, Cheyenne, Denver again, and Colorado Springs are under the gun. Buts still, it springtime, actually now, officially summer, I forgot. Yes.

We're talking about scattered showers around the entire country and now that system that brought the heavy rain into Chicago is making it's way here into towards the Northeast. You can see the current radar right now. It's only going to continue to spread farther to the east as we watch that low and that cold front kind of progress.

So, by tonight, that should be the period of time at least, right around New York City, D.C. and Boston, you'll start to see some of the heaviest rain, it should continue through those overnight hours. By tomorrow morning, everyone wants to know about their commute time, we had it on the back side of that low. So, scattered showers are still out there but much lighter than today. So, still here for the next 24 to 48 hours, but again, lighter by the time you get into through tomorrow.

Needless to say, the heaviest rain out towards Maine, in New Hampshire, Vermont, 2 to 5 inches, guys, 1 to 2 inches out towards New York City. Of course, they're not the only ones. Kind of hot, swampy weather is what we're talking about. Still around of rain down in the Southwest again, they're about 2 to 5 inches in towards New Orleans, and, of course, hot and swampy is what I'm going to call it there as well. Yes, it is summer officially.

MARQUEZ: Well, it should be swampy in New Orleans anyway.


ROMANS: Thanks, Indra.

Billionaires and political leaders taking their message on climate change to the White House today. A new report by a group including former New York City Mayor Bloomberg, former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson, a Republican, and Robert Rubin, a Democrat call on businesses to take action.

They tell me businesses face huge costs from extreme weather, and lower crop yield, even comparing climate change -- get this -- to the 2008 financial crisis.


HENRY PAULSON, FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY: It's building up and it's greenhouse gases here, it was out (ph) there. But don't forget the important difference, because as bad as the financial crisis was, the government could come in at the last minute and take action. And, of course, CO2 emission is cumulative.

ROBERT RUBIN, FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY: The pressure on businesses to think short term are tremendous in our system because marketing tend to focus on the short term. But it's enormously in interest to business to look longer term to see what they might eventually be held accountable for.


ROMANS: Members of the group will meet with White House officials later today.

MARQUEZ: A growing chorus on climate change.


MARQUEZ: The U.S. government's no-fly list keeping people with alleged links to terrorism off commercial planes is unconstitutional, that ruling from a federal judge. She said it's a violation of liberties because you'll have no meaningful way to contest a decision and get off the list basically. The Justice Department can appeal or the government must come up with ways for people on the list to challenge it.

ROMANS: Chris Christie refusing to comment on a new investigation in question, $1.8 billion in funding, most of it to repair the Pulaski Skyway. "The Associated Press" reports that the money was allegedly misrepresented in bond documents by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. For its part, the Port Authority said the project was negotiated with lawyers on all sides.

MARQUEZ: In a chilling twist in the case against an Atlanta father whose son died sitting in a sweltering car, 33-year-old Justin Harris said he forgot his 22-month-old son Cooper who was inside. But sources now tell CNN affiliate WSB that police believe there is evidence Harris knew the boy was in the car for the four hours.

This is a heartbreaking case. No word on what the evidence is. But witnesses aren't sold after seeing Harris frantically calling police.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could feel his sorrow and his hurt, because of the situation. I thought it was insanity for him to be charged with murder.


MARQUEZ: Now, Harris has not pleaded not guilty to felony murder and child cruelty. The boy's funeral is on Saturday. It happens more than people realize.

ROMANS: Oh, that's so sad. Oh.

All right. In a stunning twist, KFC said it found no evidence one of its employees asked the family of a 3-year-old girl to leave a Mississippi store. The girl's family said they were told to go because the girl's facial injuries from a pit bull attack disturbed other customers. But an independent investigation now confirms the company's internal finding that no request like that to leave was ever made. A spokesman said KFC will honor its pledge to donate $30,000 to the girl's medical bills.

MARQUEZ: Well, that is very nice. At the end of the day, she was torn apart by people. So, it's terrible.

A Pennsylvania pastor defrocked for officiating his son's same-sex's wedding. He's being welcomed back to the fold. Frank Schafer (ph) will have it restored and get back pay, dating back to December. That's when he was stripped of his duties after United Methodist trial found him guilty of violating church law. Schafer refused to promise not to preside future weddings. The 52-year-old has since joined a church in California.

ROMANS: All right. New hope this morning in the fight against breast cancer. Researchers say a 3D screening method could increase detection rate and read if you are false alarm. Tomosynthesis was approved in 2011. It takes multiple X-rays to create a 3D image of the breast. The study found a 41 percent increase in detection rates along with the news of the standard mammography. Some doctors say the method hasn't been long enough -- around long enough to know whether it saves lives.

To see if insurance covers it, you know, because that's the issue with women, with other levels beyond mammography, of breast detection, sometimes insurance doesn't pay for it.

MARQUEZ: And whether it's actually is as good as they say it is.

ROMANS: Right. Absolutely.

Is King James leaving south beach? LeBron with the shocking new decision. Andy Scholes breaking it down. He's got the "Bleacher Report", next.

MARQUEZ: We need you, Andy.


MARQUEZ: It was the bite, heard, seen, oogled around the world. Uruguay star player Luis Suarez allegedly biting an opponent during yesterday's win over Italy.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more on this in morning's "Bleacher Report".

Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Arrh! Good morning, guys.

This is some crazy stuff. Shockingly, this is the third time Suarez is accused of biting an opponent, really. The latest shock came in the 79th minute against Italy yesterday. The game was tied at zero, when Suarez who is rightfully nicknamed "The Cannibal", he just leaned in and bit the Italian defender.

Now, the game was in the afternoon, so we can confirm that Suarez is not a vampire. FIFA is investigating the bite. If found guilty, Suarez could be banned for a maximum of two years. Uruguay won the match, eliminated Italy. They're going to play Colombia on Saturday.

Greece punched their ticket to the knockout stage by shocking the Ivory Coast in stoppage time. A late penalty in the box gave Greece the penalty kick. Giorgio Summeret (ph) made the most of it. Greece advances to the round of 16, no small feat especially considering Greece hadn't scored a goal in their first two matches. Now, we're just a day away from Team USA's pivotal match against Germany. The team will once again be without Jozy Altidore for the game, he's still recovering from a strained hamstring. We need to beat or tie Germany to guarantee a spot in the round of 16. A loss or moving on will depend on the outcome between Ghana and Portugal.

The odds of beating Germany they aren't good. Even worse, considering no team has been able to win against the team following the one they played in the Amazon rainforest.

All right. Turning on this morning: LeBron James had opted out, making him a free agent come July 1st. Over the next week, teams around the NBA will be making some moves, getting in position to make their pitch to LeBron. Chances are, he stays in Miami, but Rockets, Bulls, Cavs, Lakers and more are going to give it their best shot.

Guys, the next two drop in this deal, what do Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh do? They're both owed $20 million each next year. If they opt out, it shows they're still working with LeBron, probably going to come back with Heat. But if Wade and Bosh don't opt out, it shows that LeBron might be going off on his own and he could be in a new jersey next season.

MARQUEZ: I say Chicago.

SCHOLES: You think Chicago, I'm hoping and praying for my Houston Rockets.

ROMANS: I like how they're a team within a team, that's what's so interesting to me.

Look, I'm doing unscientific polling, I want to know what everyone is doing Thursday noon eastern time in their office for the game. Serving cocktails, are you having snacks?

SCHOLES: Luckily, we're on the morning shift so our day ends before the USA game starts.


MARQUEZ: Body paint, beer in a bar.

ROMANS: Body paint? I'm not going to do body paint. But @christineromans, tell me what you're going to do at Thursday, everyone. I want to hear people doing out there.

Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

ROMANS: All right. Breaking news overnight, a longtime election race able to fend off primary election challengers. These races were very close. What it means for this election this November.

Body paint? MARQUEZ: Body paint, bar.

ROMANS: After the break.