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Team USA Takes on Belgium in World Cup; Airport Security Scare; Deadly Storms Hit the Midwest; White House Vows to Fight for Contraception; GM Recalls Another 8.4 Million Cars; Israel Responds After Teens Found Dead

Aired July 1, 2014 - 05:00   ET


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Scare in the air. Airports boosting security to stop a new generation of terrorists with a new kind of bomb. Why current safety screens may not be enough.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Deadly storms pummel the Midwest this morning, flights grounded, buildings demolished and there's more trouble ahead on the forecast. Our Indra Petersons is tracking the very latest for you.

MARQUEZ: And it is do or die today for Team USA, taking on Belgium at the World Cup. We are breaking down everything you need to know about the big match.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I am Miguel Marquez, nervously waiting and anticipated the U.S. win against --

HARLOW: Indeed, me, too. The only thing about getting up in the middle of the night, we will be able to watch the game.

MARQUEZ: We will indeed.

HARLOW: This afternoon.

I'm Poppy Harlow. Good morning, everyone. It is Tuesday, July 1st, 5:00 a.m. here on the East Coast.

And as we said, a very big day for Team USA. The men's national soccer team gearing up for its critical World Cup match with Belgium this afternoon. The winner moves on, the loser goes home.

MARQUEZ: And the U.S. may be getting a leg up, so to speak. Jozy Altidore could returning after most -- he missed most of the group stage, hamstrung by a hamstring injury.

Lara Baldesarra has more from Brazil.

LARA BALDESARRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Poppy and Miguel. Today is the day. Are you excited? Because I definitely am.

Right behind me is where the USA will face Belgium in their round of 16 match. Now, unlike the group stage, this is, of course, do or die. The USA must win this match. This is actually just the first time that the USA is playing Belgium

since the 1930 World Cup. And there's really not too much history between these teams.

But there are a number of likenesses. Both sides very physical teams. Both sides also very tactically astute teams.

Now, one big note for the USA ahead of today is that Jozy Altidore, the striker who was injured in the very first game, he has been deemed fit. The question is whether Jurgen Klinsmann will be including him in his starting 11. And I'm really 100 percent convinced that he will be.

Now, the guy to keep your eye on for Belgium, that would be Romelu Lukaku, or someone that I like to call the man-child. This kid, he's a beast. He's 21 years old. He is a top striker. He has a clinical finish, but he's also such a physical force with this ball at his feet.

So, it really might come down to the USA's defense and even the midfield to slow down the Belgium play.

Now, all that being said, do I think the USA can do it? Yes, I really do. I don't think they can do it in 90 minutes. Not even really 120 minutes. I think that this match might be decided in penalty kicks. It might come down to shot stoppers.

And Tim Howard, he might have a bit of an advantage. He does play in Premier League. He is familiar with a number of players on Belgium. So, what does mean? He knows their tendencies. I'm just saying. I'm certainly looking forward to this match, guys.

MARQUEZ: Wow, she is optimistic.

HARLOW: Do you think -- she's excited, she's optimistic. Do you think they can pull it off?

MARQUEZ: They are tough. But, you know, what they got going for them? They got muscles from Brussels. That's it. And --

HARLOW: I think they got a lot going for them. But go Team USA.

MARQUEZ: We are going take them out.

Now to the extreme weather overnight. This is not special effects, folks. That's real lightning striking over the skies of Chicago.

And look at this -- a direct strike on the Sears Tower. Direct rain brought the city to a halt. Hundreds of flights canceled in and out of Chicago O'Hare Airport.

HARLOW: Also in Wisconsin, violent storms left the roads, littered with trees. Some of them ripped out by the root. You can see the wind really wreaking havoc up to 80 miles an hour. There was little hope for people and power lines trying to stay in place. MARQUEZ: And a disaster proclamation for five counties in I. One

person was killed after getting trapped inside a collapsed building near Cedar Rapids, where almost eight inches of rain fell in a few hours. A 17-year-old boy is also missing after getting swept into a storm sewer. Yikes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this point, the victim's family has assembled in the area. And we have a chaplain here to provide some type of comfort for them, emotional comfort at this point as the search is going on.


MARQUEZ: A second boy disappeared in the sewer but emerged more than a mile away. Wow.

All that, plus a tropical depression that could make for a terrible holiday weekend.

Indra Petersons -- tell us something good, Indra.


MARQUEZ: Oh, dear, nothing good.

PETERSONS: We're talking about two types of severe weather threats that are out there at the same time as we are going towards the holiday weekend. Let's take a line of thunderstorms that produced all that severe weather in the Midwest yesterday. Keep in mind, we are talking about some winds that were hurricane force winds out there, 50 and 70-mile-per-hour winds were in the system. A lot of damage reports were out there. But the system itself, slowing down.

So, what are we looking at? We are talking severe weather from Upstate New York, again, all the way back here, all the way even through Arkansas. So, so many dealing with the severe weather. But even as we shift in through tomorrow, the same system is going to be out there, really kind of focusing a little bit more on the East Coast, places like Philadelphia, even D.C. will be having that threat for severe weather.

So, think of all these flights, everyone is trying to get out of the area. We're going to be shifting from one system to the next, to talk about two severe weather threats. One again is the system we continue to monitor. We still even have a threat for isolated tornadoes there.

But then, as soon as that shifts out of the way, you are talking about what is now a depression. We are going to be talking about the threat for a tropical storm to be forming here. Thirty-five-mile-per-hour winds, that's what we're looking at right now, moving to the West at two miles per hour.

But take a look at the strike here. It looks like 2:00 or so, this is expected to develop into a tropical storm. Notice around the Carolinas as we got through Wednesday and Thursday, we are still talking about a tropical storm.

And now, the latest run actually has this intensifying to a category 1 hurricane around D.C. for Fourth of July, speeding up and making its way out of here at least by Saturday. That's one time piece of good news I do have for you.

Yes, it is here, we have two severe weather threats Saturday and Sunday, where you want to be, in the Northeast, it should shift out of here.

HARLOW: After the holiday, after the Fourth of July.

PETERSONS: Just the weekend. I've got to give you something.

HARLOW: OK. Thank you, Indra. We appreciate it.

Developing this morning: the U.S. considering new airport security measures because of increased concern about al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, specifically terror cells are said to be developing explosives designed to avoid security detection.


REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: You hope that you're wrong. You hope that the threat is not there. But considering the cast of characters coming together, we have to assume that they can be a device they would attempt to use against us.


HARLOW: Well, officials tell CNN, there's no imminent threat or plot, but do say an additional vulnerability has been identified, and say the Department of Homeland Security is addressing that.

MARQUEZ: The White House says it's ready to fight for women's health rights, after the Supreme Court shutdown an Obamacare provision requiring employers to cover some contraceptives. The court ruled that corporations that object on religious grounds can't be forced to provide certain drugs, including the so-called morning-after pill. The ruling does not prevent the government from finding another way to provide coverage.

HARLOW: Also happening today, 140 immigrant detainees will be flown from Texas to California. It is part of an effort to relieve overcrowding of migrants along the border. This comes a day after President Obama vowed to take executive action on the growing immigration crisis in this country. He lamented the act of Congress and put the blame squarely on House Republicans.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As we speak, there are enough Republicans and Democrats in the House to pass an immigration bill today. I would sign it into law today. And Washington would solve a problem in a bipartisan way. But for more than a year, the Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to allow an up or down vote on that Senate bill or any legislation to fix our broken immigration system.


HARLOW: Well, the president says he is shifting more resources to the border, ordering his staff to find steps that he can take without congressional approval.

MARQUEZ: The president is also vowing to stimulate the economy. In remarks set for today, he's set to call on Congress to invest in infrastructure to create jobs. Like the immigration issue, Obama says he's willing to take action on his own if Republicans won't cooperate. The president is asking members of his cabinet to travel this summer to hear directly from the American people.

And General Motors recalling 8.4 million cars worldwide. Most of the recalls are for an ignition defect similar to the one GM failed to expose in Chevy Cobalt and others in decades for more than a decade. Some of the cars in the new recall date back -- as far back as 1997. They have been linked to seven crashes, three deaths, eight injuries and those incidents haven't been officially linked with the faulty ignitions. GM has now recalled more than 27 million cars in the U.S. alone this year.

HARLOW: That is an astounding number.

Meantime, GM also announced that it will offer at least $1 million to families of victims who died in crashes caused by the faulty ignition switch, that a defect is connected we know, GM says, to at least 13 deaths. The automaker will also offer $300,000 for each surviving spouse and dependant. Now, if victims agree to this compensation package, though, they are giving up their right to sue GM in the future.

I sat down with Ken Feinberg, compensation expert, also the architect of this plan in Washington, D.C., yesterday afternoon. Here is part of what he told me.


KEN FEINBERG, COMPENSATION EXPERT: This program is to compensate victims. If you want punitive damages, if you are determined to wage a litigation war against GM and try to secure millions in damages, don't come into this program. This program is designed to fully compensate victims and their families.


HARLOW: Now, the question is, how many of those victims and their families will agree to this? How many of them will take GM to court?

Meantime, a quick look at your money early this morning. Asian stocks nixed this morning. Europe, though, opening higher on some upbeat economic data out of China.

The U.S. futures pointing higher. Despite yesterday's slump, U.S. stocks had a strong end to the first half of this trading year. The S&P 500 has hit 22 record highs. It's up 6 percent this year. The Dow up just 1.5 percent. The tech heavy NASDAQ up 5 1/2 percent.

A big headline this morning: banking giant BNP Paribas pleading guilty Monday to violating U.S. sanctions. The French bank agreed to pay a record $9 billion fine to the U.S. government. U.S. prosecutors have accused BNP of violating U.S. money laundering laws by transferring funds on behalf of Iran, Sudan and other countries. In addition to the $9 billion penalty, the bank dismissed 30 employees connected to the investigation.

In a statement, the bank said it, quote, "deeply regrets past misconduct."

MARQUEZ: And the White House is preparing an executive order protecting transgender and federal employees from discrimination at work. LGBT rights groups say it will mirror one President Clinton signed in 1998, barring the government from firing workers for being gay. The new executive order is largely symbolic. At least two other measures already prevented the government from firing people for being transgender.

Israel raging war, dropping bombs over Gaza in retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three teens. We are live with what's happening right now.

HARLOW: Also, new research revealed this morning on the safety of childhood vaccines. What the latest studies are saying. We'll have that right after the break.


HARLOW: Happening today, Iraq starting the process of trying to form a new government. The newly elected parliament holding its first session today. Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki vowing to stick to the timeline to put together a new coalition. This comes at a desperate time. The United Nations says more than 2,400 Iraqis were killed last month alone. Meantime, 300 more American troops are headed to Iraq to reinforce security at the embassy in Baghdad and also at the airport there.

MARQUEZ: Oh, dear.

(INAUDIBLE) cracked in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have begun military operations a day after President Poroshenko said he will not renew a 10-day cease-fire with pro-Russian separatists. The ceasefire expired at midnight. After hours after Poroshenko spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders.

HARLOW: Israel responding with force after three teenagers abducted 19 days ago were found dead just minutes from where they vanished. Airstrikes have targeted Hamas training field and compounds and the homes of the suspects. The military action comes amid growing shock, anger and sadness from people who hoped those boys would be found alive.

Let's go to Ben Wedeman. He is in the West Bank with the very latest. And, Ben, you and I were speaking earlier and you said the full extent

of the Israeli grief and anger is clearer this morning than last night. What are you seeing as the country prepares for the funerals for those three teenage boys later today?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the country is definitely in mourning today, the day after the news that those three Israeli teenagers were found dead. In fact, I've got a newspaper here, the mass circulation daily. The headline says "The Bitter End".

We are expecting those funerals to take place this afternoon. They will surely be attended by tens of thousands of people. Last night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before an emergency security council saying that the hearts of all Israelis are bleeding and the entire country is crying.

He did make it quite clear that he continues to believe that Hamas is behind this killing. What we saw overnight, 34 Israeli air strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip. In response, there were rockets and mortars fired out of Gaza, as well. We understand the Israeli cabinet will be meeting again today to discuss the next moves.

But it was quite clear last night when we heard Danny Danon, deputy defense minister of Israel, saying that as far as Israel's goal is concerned, it is to eradicate Hamas -- Poppy.

HARLOW: And, Ben, of course, Hamas has denied that it was behind the abduction and all of the killings. The expectation you have been saying isn't the full force of the Israeli reaction is going to come after the funerals. We've already seen some 40-plus air strikes there. What are we expecting in terms of continued action from Israel in retaliation?

WEDEMAN: I think the anticipation is Israel is going to focus on the Gaza Strip. Over the 18 days between the disappearance of those three teenagers and the discovery of their bodies, the Israelis rested hundreds of Palestinians, many of them senior leaders in the Hamas movement. So, in a sense, with the exception of those who were directly involved in the kidnapping and the killing of those three Israelis, there's not an awful lot Israel can do as far as the West Bank is concerned.

But, of course, Gaza is ruled by Hamas, which has a large presence there. So, it's anticipated that the focus will be on Gaza. As we've seen already twice in the last five years, 2008, 2009, there was a major Israeli offensive on Gaza. And in November 2012 as well, there's a very good possibility we could see a repeat of those sort of operations in the coming days -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Appreciate the update and the report this morning. Ben Wedeman, live for us in the West Bank, thank you.

MARQUEZ: A Southern California man will spend 13 years in prison for trying to help al Qaeda. Twenty-five-year-old Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen pleaded guilty to attempting to provide weapons to terrorists. He was busted after meeting with a man he thought was an al Qaeda recruiter that turned out to be an FBI agent. The judge ordered 10 years of post-release supervision.

He's already serving a life sentence for killing his second wife. Now, a former Pennsylvania pastor has pleaded no contest to killing his first wife. Arthur Schirmer always maintained that he found his wife's dead body when he got home from a run in 1999. But authorities reopened that investigation after Schirmer was charged with killing his second wife in 2008 and staging a car accident to cover up that crime.

MARQUEZ: Now, a trial will proceed as scheduled next week to determine if Shelly Sterling is authorized to sell the L.A. Clippers without her husband's consent. A Los Angeles judge rejected Donald Sterling's request for a postponement. Attorneys from both sides agreed his mental competency will not be an issue.

The court will decide whether Shelly sterling complied with the family trust when she had her estranged husband removed as a trustee. The Clippers sale to the former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion hangs in the balance. This is going to get ugly. Uglier, I should say.

HARLOW: It has been.

An about-face from Louisiana Congressman Vance McAllister. He says he will seek another term in office. He originally said he will not run after being caught on camera kissing an aide just weeks after winning his election on a Christian values platform. But now, McAllister says he's going to leave it up to voters. His wife tells it Louisiana paper she supports the move.

MARQUEZ: And Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has his eyes set on another term. He returned to work Monday after a stint at rehab. He says he's clean and apologized for his bizarre behavior in the months that led up to the rehab. He's calling himself ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated. Ford blamed himself.


ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: Thanks to my treatment, thanks to my treatment, I can proudly say today, that I have begun the process of taking control of my life.


MARQUEZ: He may set a whole (INAUDIBLE) for politicians.

As for his bid for another term, Ford says he looks forward to serving many more years. The election coming up in October.

HARLOW: Meantime, childhood vaccines getting a clean bill of health this morning. A review of 20,000 scientific studies concludes children should get vaccinated against preventable diseases. The evidence shows no ties between vaccines and kids with autism or leukemia, as some have claimed. The review appears in the latest version of the "Medical Journal of Pediatrics."

Coming up here on EARLY START, the U.S. will have its hands full with Belgium at the World Cup. So, why is the head coach worried about the referee? Andy Scholes explains straight ahead in the "Bleacher Report".


MARQUEZ: Game day, it is finally here. I cannot wait.

Team USA will take to the field with Belgium this afternoon. Loser goes home, winner moves on to the quarterfinals.

Andy Scholes, tell us the good news to the "Bleacher Report". What's going on, Andy?.

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

You know, today is a big one for U.S. soccer. The team trying to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002. Team USA, once again, the underdog in today's game.

Talent may not be the only thing against them. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann voiced his concern that an Algerian rep has been appointed to oversee the match. Klinsmann believed the ref may have a bad opinion on the USA since we knocked Algeria out of the last World Cup. He's worried about the ref being able to speak French to the Belgium players. Hopefully, none of Klinsmann's concerns come into play and start making your plans to cut out of work early. Kick off is at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon.

And we almost saw a huge upset yesterday in Brazil. Germany, one of the favorites to win needed extra time in order to beat Algeria. The Germans did not score until the 92nd minute, then held on to the 2-1 win. They will now face France in the quarterfinals.

A little over five hours ago, NBA free agency opened for business. Teams are now allowed to talk to free agents. The big fish out there is, of course, LeBron James. But, as of now, he's not talking with anyone other than the Heat. The Big Three are reportedly looking to re-negotiate deals to return to Miami with an upgraded rooster.

That leaves Carmelo Anthony as this year's prize target for most teams. Melo is reportedly meeting with the Bulls today, then he's going to meet with the Rockets in Texas tomorrow, before flying to L.A. to hear what the Lakers have to say on Thursday. Most people think the Knicks are the favorites to get Carmelo to come back. It's going to be an interesting week in the NBA.

HARLOW: Look who's talking about basketball. It's all about futebol.

MARQUEZ: Futebol.


MARQUEZ: He's trying to get out of an insurance policy to keep the refs in his corner.

HARLOW: Yes, we will see.

SCHOLES: Get ahead of it.

HARLOW: Andy, we appreciate it.

Meantime, talking about your weather. Trouble brewing in the tropics could mean your Fourth of July would be kind of a washout. Indra Petersons is tracking the storms for us, straight after the break.