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Make or Break Day for the USA; Terror Fears May Spark Tighter Airport Security; Israel Airstrikes Target Hamas; Interview with Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer

Aired July 1, 2014 - 08:00   ET


INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's pretty stationary out there, but it is a strong tropical depression, likely to be a tropical storm by just this afternoon, currently seeing those winds at 35 miles per hour, 39 miles per hour. That is all it takes to become a tropical storm, and that's exactly what's expected today.

We're already seeing tropical storm watches out there from Daytona Beach, right down through Ft. Pierce into Florida. Why? Because the system continues to strengthen and it's only expected to strengthen even more.

By the afternoon, expect it to be a tropical storm, and hanging out through Florida in through tomorrow, bringing some heavy waves and a lot of rain out there. Then, notice into the Carolinas, remaining a tropical storm really in through Wednesday and through Thursday, but just the latest model run now shows Thursday night into the early hours of Friday morning, this is expected to strengthen, guys, into a category one hurricane right off of D.C., and it's not making its way off the coastline. It's going to hug the coastline and affect everyone up even in through Maine.

This is the concern so many people have these holiday plans. All the models are in consensus, timing a little bit different. But either way, they're all calling for the same forecast hugging the coast in Florida. Again, in through the Carolinas on Thursday, getting better further down the south by Friday for the Carolinas, D.C., New York City, Boston, all the way up through Maine. You are all going to be expecting the impact. Again, strong rains, heavy winds and the strong rip currents as well -- Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Indra, thanks so much. We'll be keeping an eye to the sky, but also, let's get back down to Brazil, where Chris is keeping an eye on the football field.

Hey, Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Let me set the scene for you, my friend. We are in the state of Bahia, basically carved out of the coastline this city Salvador. What does that mean? We're close to the equator. We're close to the sea. So it is hot and humid here.

However, the greatest energy is that of the U.S. fans. As the soccer team for the United States heads into the big match against Belgium, they have a chance to make the Belgians waffle.

That's right. I said it. How do I know? Because I'm with Lara Baldesarra, the host of "World Sport" on CNNI, and she tells me we've got a chance. Are you sticking by that now my strangely tall friend?

LARA BALDESARRA, CNNI'S "WORLD SPORT": One hundred percent, yes. Thanks for pointing out my height, I'm very tall, standing on something.

But yes I am sticking with that. I think these two teams are evenly matched. We're going to see a tactical battle built through the midfield. But the USA, they are going to have to find a way to break through this very strong Belgian defense.

However, however, I will say that there are some injury concerns for Belgium right now. There are two central defenders are dealing with injuries, and we don't know at this point if they will be starting. We'll find that out shortly and we'll have all of the news on that.

CUOMO: And we know we have a couple of twisted noses with Dempsey and Jermaine Jones. We know that we have Jozy Altidore, who they were going to depend on to score. He's got the bad hamstring, but there's another Baldesarra factor that she was telling me about that's really important.


CUOMO: Yellow cards. How do they play into how the match may turn out?

BALDESARRA: Well, this year in the World Cup, yellow card accumulation is not wiped out until after the quarterfinals. So, right now, there's two key players on the American squad that have yellow cards.

CUOMO: What if that happens and they get another one?

BALDESARRA: If they will miss the quarterfinal match which could be against Argentina.

CUOMO: And they're kicked out of this game.

BALDESARRA: No, no, no, they would not be kicked out.

CUOMO: All right. So, they could get a yellow card and stay in but they'd be out for the next match.

BALDESARRA: For the next match. Yes, that would mean Kyle Beckerman and Jermaine Jones are both in yellow card trouble. Beckerman, he's been -- to me, he's been the man of the USA so far through this tournament. And Jermaine Jones is just a force to be reckoned with out there.

So, they have to be sure to not get a yellow card because if and when the USA beats Belgium today, I don't think it will be very good to not have them in the quarterfinal, which is potentially against Argentina, that's who I'm going with, if the USA makes it there.

CUOMO: So, a little anxiety-inducing. However, strong that you're already putting the U.S. into the next round. I like that you're thinking that way. You're starting to sound like the coach.

Yes, the coach said boy it's totally unreasonable but now he's changing his tune and doing something else. He's playing on the U.S. affection for this team, because I'll tell you, no matter what happens here at the cup, this team has already won the hearts of the U.S. This is bigger than it's ever been during World Cup in my lifetime. That's why I'm wearing the colors.

So, what does the coach think about it?

BALDESARRA: Well, we thought going into this, that this USA team that Klinsmann had built was going to be a team for the future, a team for 2018, and it still could be and in 2018 everybody in America will be completely behind it. We're seeing the base laid now and Klinsmann actually spoke all of that sport yesterday in his press conference yesterday.

You have to listen to this.


JURGEN KLINSMANN, TEAM USA HEAD COACH: You see where the game is going in the United States. You know, you can't stop it anymore. It's breaking through.

The locomotive of this development is always the national team, in every country that's that way. So, we want to do well. We want to inspire them. We want to give them enthusiasm and belief.


CUOMO: And they have already succeeded on that score, haven't they, because millions and millions are watching at home. You have people extending lunches, they're playing hooky and forget about what's happening here, second most tickets sold. How do you think the U.S. presence is being felt?

BALDESARRA: It's being hugely felt here. I mean, the fans are just everywhere. The players can feed off of that, they call it the 12th man in soccer. It's really important to have that base inside the stadium.

It was really loud and really proud in the first game, it wasn't as loud in the last match against Germany. Like you said before, there's a ton of tickets sold to American fans, over 100,000 tickets were sold. So, they want to be here and they're here and they're going to be loud. These guys are crazy.

CUOMO: Wild.

BALDESARRA: Teddy Goalsevelt is my favorite so far. So great to have a character like that. You know, against Germany, didn't have too much to cheer for, no

matter how amped fans are, you have to give them something to cheer for so the U.S. has to create some energy out there, otherwise they're not going to have the 12th man behind him as much as they might otherwise.

And remember Baldesarra says it's coming down to penalty kicks. So, we've got a great goalie, so do they. But anything can happen. So, that's why we got to watch.

BALDESARRA: Absolutely.

CUOMO: Laura, thank you very much. Back to you in New York, from sunny Brazil.

BOLDUAN: Anything can happen, that's why we all have to watch.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Four o'clock today, got to be watching.

BOLDUAN: Be there or be square. Chris will be there for sure. Thanks, Chris. We'll be back to you.

A troubling new terror threat to tell you about, and it could be changing the way people are screened before boarding flights. U.S. officials now tell CNN that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, that group is working on next generation bombs that can get past current security measures.

Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is joining us with the very latest.

We hear this threat before, Barbara, but they're taking this one quite seriously.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: That is correct, Kate. Good morning.

There are significant, new concerns that al Qaeda once again has its eyes on a U.S. airliner.


STARR (voice-over): The U.S. is considering new airport security measures due to increased concern al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP has found a new way to get around current airport screening. U.S. officials tell CNN a vulnerability has been identified in airport security because of AQAP advances. Officials don't see an eminent threat, but one official telling CNN, "We are steadily tracking significant threats from AQAP."

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The Department of Homeland Security is regularly reviewing our security procedures to adapt to the threat that we -- that is faced by our transportation system.

STARR: The big concern is this man Ibrahim al-Asiri, AQAP's master bomb maker, expert in designing bombs with no metal, and undetectable explosives, such as the device worn by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 2009 Christmas Day underwear bomber targeting a U.S. airliner. The top U.S. military commander in Europe noting terrorists have been eyeballing western airports for months.

GEN. PHILIP BREEDLOVE, COMMANDER, U.S. EUROPEAN COMMAND: We remain concerned about the capability of some of these elements to develop weapons that could be thwarted by our current security systems.

STARR: Another concern? Whether one of the next targets of al Qaeda's most dangerous wing could be a Middle East shopping mall full of Westerners

SETH JONES, RAND CORPORATION: They're not particularly well defended and secured. There are a lot of Westerners that go to them. So some concern recently about some of the shopping malls in the Persian Gulf.

STARR: Analysts say the attack on Kenya's Westgate Mall got days of worldwide attention, exactly what al Qaeda wants, without worrying about having to get into the U.S. to attack a mall.


STARR: And back on that airliner threat, one of the big concerns right now is jihadists fighting in the Middle East in Yemen, in Syria, and Iraq, may have western passports or even U.S. passports and be able to readily get back here and plan their next round of attacks -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: Something U.S. authorities are obviously are quite worried about and will continue to watch.

Barbara, thank you so much for that.

Speaking of Iraq, in Iraq, 300 more U.S. troops are on the ground now this morning to help push back on the fast-moving ISIS surge, 200 of those troops will provide security for U.S. interests in the country. The increased military presence is in addition to 300 U.S. advisers already in the country to support Iraqi forces. The death toll continues to rise, as more than 2,400 Iraqis died in the violence in June alone.

Another headline here breaking this morning, Ukrainian forces have begun military operations against pro-Russia separatists in the country's east. This comes after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko refused to renew a cease-fire which expired at midnight last night. Poroshenko is also blaming Russia for encouraging the rebels who have been fighting Ukrainian forces since April.

Now, to big recall of GM vehicles. General Motors announced it has found safety issues with 8.4 million vehicles. Most of these problems are with possible flaws in in the ignition switch that can turn off while the car is in motion. Similar defect had been blamed for 13 deaths and led to earlier recalls and a federal investigation. GM has already called back more than 29 million vehicles already this year.

A new study released overnight says vaccines are safe for children and that parents should not be afraid to get them immunized. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 70 studies and found serious side effects were rare and that benefits far outweigh the risks. They also say there's no evidence the measles vaccine causes autism. The CDC says preventable childhood diseases are on the rise.

Those are headlines. Ten minutes past the hour -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Important to have those voices be heard, because that's something that we talk a lot about.

PEREIRA: We heard a lot of debate about it.

BOLDUAN: And there's a lot of misinformation out there.

So, let's take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, Israel vowing to make Hamas pay after the bodies of three missing Israeli teenagers are found. Is violence about to spiral out of control in the region? We're going to talk with Israel's ambassador to the United States, coming up.

PEREIRA: The nightmare nanny as she is being called says she's not the bad guy, even though she was fired and refused to leave the home.

Well, she is finally speaking out now. She's telling her side of the story. You have to hear this.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Tensions are rising in the Middle East as Israel launched dozens of airstrikes in Gaza overnight, this came just hours after three Israeli teenagers kidnapped in the West Bank were found dead.

Israel blames Hamas and vows revenge. Funeral services for those teenagers are set for today.

Senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman is live in Hebron in the West Bank with the very latest -- Ben.


We're just across the valley from where the three Israeli teenagers' bodies were found sometime between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. yesterday local time. There were -- earlier, there were forensic officials, police, army here looking basically, combing the hillside for additional evidence to find out who may have been behind their kidnapping and murder, all indications are that in fact, they were shot to death very soon after the kidnapping took place late at night on the 12th of June.

Meanwhile, we understand that processions are beginning to leave the homes of the three teenagers with the bodies. They're going to be going to Modaine (ph), a town half way between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for a funeral expected to be attended by thousands, including President Shimon Peres and the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After that funeral, there is going to be a cabinet session where

Israeli officials are going to ponder their next move. Now, we understand there's a fair amount of disagreement as to what the next moves should be. One minister is calling for a full-scale military operation in Gaza, and the execution of or rather the death penalty for any Palestinians found guilty of murder and terrorist attacks. Others are suggesting that a settlement be built in the West Bank in memory of the three Israeli teenagers, but certainly all indications are that whatever the next move is, tensions are bound to rise -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Ben, thank you very much for the latest, for getting us up to speed.

Let's discuss this more with Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer.

Mr. Ambassador, thanks for your time.


BOLDUAN: Of course, I do want to ask you. Ben Wedeman was talking about the very latest funeral services for the boys are scheduled for today. The prime minister as you well know, he says, "Hamas will pay for this." You're now seeing a little known group has claimed responsibility for the teenagers' death. This is a group that supports an Islamic state. It's also threatened to slaughter the Palestinian Authority.

How does this change Israel's position here?

DERMER: Well, we know who perpetrated this action, members of Hamas in the Hebron area. So, we know who did these crimes and the prime minister was very clear who did it and that they will have to pay a price for this.

It's important for us to send a message to Hamas, that's a terror organization. They fire thousands of rockets at our cities, they dispatch scores of suicide bombers to blow up our buses and pizza parlors and cafes, and they perpetrated this crime, members of Hamas perpetrated this crime, the kidnapping and execution of three teenaged boys.

It's important for Israel to send a message to Hamas, that this is completely unacceptable and we won't tolerate it.

BOLDUAN: You talk about the price. The question is, what is that price? Because another cabinet meeting, we hear that will be happening today, this comes after more than 40 airstrikes on Hamas targets overnight. What is Israel's next move?

DERMER: Well, the airstrikes that you're referring to was actually in response to the firing of rockets at our cities, and the last couple of days, we've had about 20 rockets fired at Israel. You can imagine being in New York and having missiles rain down on New York one after the other. We've had 20 rockets fired at us from Gaza and Israel responded in order to root out the terror infrastructure that has been established in Gaza. So, that has to do with security's operations.

The security cabinet in Israel will meet today to decide a continuation of their talks yesterday to decide what is the proper response to this very heinous crime. And I can say one other thing, and that is we call on the world to also send a strong message to President Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority. Now, he condemned these kidnappings and we deeply appreciate that.

But at the same time, he's in a government with the kidnappers. He condemns terrorism and at the same time, he's in a government with a bunk of terrorists. And we hope that in the wake of these heinous crimes, that the world will send a message to President Abbas that he has to turn his back on terror and he has to go back to peace talks with Israel. He has to break this alliance with the terror organization of Hamas.

BOLDUAN: But most immediately, in talking about what Israel's next move is right now, is a full scale military operation in Gaza a possibility?

DERMER: Look, Israel will have to take the action it will take in order to defend its civilians and that's something that the decision- makers in Jerusalem led by Prime Minister Netanyahu will look at very closely.

We have a responsible leadership in Jerusalem, and they will take the decisions necessary to protect our civilians from these rocket attacks and also from acts of terrorism, and there's a broader problem that is often not discussed, and that is that you have a culture of terrorism within Palestinian society where you have basically the glorification of killers and murderers, where people who perpetrate these heinous acts are called heroes in Palestinian society.

And I think if there's something that the world can do today is to send a message to the Palestinians to all the Palestinian leadership, no matter who they are, if this type of color glorification of mass murders is totally unacceptable.

BOLDUAN: Now, I want to talk about the broader threat in the region. But before we move to that, I get the sense you don't want to discuss what Israel's next move will be or what options are on the table at the moment. Can you tell me when you think the government will decide what its next move will be?

DERMER: Well, the cabinet is going to be meeting this evening and with all due respect to the ambassador in Washington, decisions are made by the prime minister and by our security cabinet, and we'll just have to wait and see how Israel will respond. But we live in a very tough neighborhood.

The people of Israel have great resolve. It's a great day of mourning in Israel for the entire country. We were all united in the last 18 days, and hoping and praying these three teenagers would be returned safe and sound to their families. Unfortunately, that did not happen and right now, Israel's security cabinet will be making the decisions that it believes are necessary in the wake of this heinous act, decisions that are necessary to protect our population, just as any government would.

BOLDUAN: Now, if I may, Mr. Ambassador, transition, because you did talk about the broader threat, I want to ask you about the broader threat in the region. You have Hamas, you have extremist threat coming out of Syria, you have Iraq now showing signs of breaking down, quite frankly.

What is the biggest threat to Israel right now?

DERMER: Well, the biggest threat remains Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. We have a lot of problems in the region and you have a lot of fanatic groups running around. Hamas is one of them. You mentioned it, ISIS that is in Iraq. You got terror groups throughout the Middle East and you have a religious war going on between radical Shiites led by Iran and radical Sunnis led by al Qaeda, and ISIS and Hamas and other offshoots.

The most important thing for the world to do is prevent any of those groups from getting weapons of mass destruction. That's why it was important that the chemical weapons in Syria, at least those that were declared were removed from Syria and the single most important challenge to the world is to prevent the regime in Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability, to completely remove their capability to build nuclear weapons today or in the future. That's the greatest challenge not only for Israel but for the entire region and the entire world.

BOLDUAN: Mr. Ambassador, you talk about Syria and the threat emanating from Syria. President Obama has just the end of last week asked Congress for money to help train and equip what they believe are elements of the moderate opposition in Syria. Does your government believe that the United States is doing enough to fight the threat in the Middle East?

DERMER: Well, we think that this is a very complicated problem. We're not going to second-guess the president of the United States on what is the best way to deal with the situation he faces in Syria. We appreciate the fact that the United States has led a diplomatic effort in Syria that has led to the removal of the chemical weapons.

You see those scenes of people running around Iraq with Kalashnikov rifles, killing people, executing them. Imagine those people armed with chemical weapons. That's why the deal that was done in Syria they removed the weapons and removed the capability to manufacture those weapons in the future was so important to peace and security in the region. And that's why it's so important to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons, because Kalashnikov can kill thousands, nuclear weapons can kill millions.

BOLDUAN: The threats continue, but today is the day to remember those three boys, at the funeral services will be getting under way.

Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for your time. DERMER: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Of course.


PEREIRA: All right. Kate, thanks so much. Next up on NEW DAY, the fired California nightmare nanny finally giving in and is speaking out. She says she'll move out but she will not go quietly. We'll have her side of the story.

But, first, I hear a rumor there's something big happening big in Brazil. Chris, anything big going on down there at all?

CUOMO: This is the place to be, Mick. We are here in Bahia, Salvador, Brazil. This is where the big U.S. game is going to happen against Belgium. What are the chances that the U.S. will win? We're going to tell you. We're going to take you inside the experience here and what it means back home. We have the president of U.S. soccer who's going to tell us how big the game is here and back home.

See you in a second.


PEREIRA: Time for the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

At number one, a major storm is brewing off the coast of Florida. It could be a hurricane by Friday potentially bringing heavy rain, making for a wet holiday weekend for all sorts of people along the East Coast.

It's do or die time for the Team U.S. at the World Cup. They take on Belgium today in a knockout round. The winner advances to the quarterfinals while the loser heads home.

Getting through airport security may soon be tougher. The U.S. is considering implementing new security measures because of al Qaeda's improving technology that may make the U.S. vulnerable to a bomb plot.

In Iraq, the American involvement is increasing, 300 more troops are in the country to provide support for U.S. interests. Iraqi lawmakers will meet next week to start the process of forming a new government.

The FBI will speak today with this young man, Charlie Bothuell, the Detroit boy that was found hiding in his father's basement. Detroit police say that FBI's findings will determine if charges will be filed against his parents.

We update the five things to know, so be sure to go to for the latest.


BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks, Michaela.

The so-called nightmare nanny is telling her side of the story. Diane Stretton refused to leave the home if her former employer.