Return to Transcripts main page


Game Over for Team USA; Chaos in Iraq; Holiday Hurricane?; Leader of ISIS Calling for Support

Aired July 2, 2014 - 05:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Chaos in Iraq escalating. Terrorists gaining ground. Lawmakers making no progress in forming a new government this morning, as more U.S. troops pour into Baghdad. Is that country inching closer to civil war? We are live in Iraq with what's happening right now.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And Fourth of July hurricane. Tropical storm Arthur picking up speed off the East Coast. It could wreck a holiday for millions. Indra Petersons is tracking it for us.

ROMANS: And it's game over, losing to Belgium. The World Cup -- Team USA didn't go down without a fight. We're taking you live to Brazil. Oh, the tears among my boys.

MARQUEZ: Brutal, brutal, I was there with them.

ROMANS: They felt that loss.

MARQUEZ: Great game, though.

ROMANS: It really was.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

MARQUEZ: And I'm Miguel Marquez. It's 5:00 a.m. right here on the East Coast.

If you live along the East Coast, start bracing for first biggest hurricane of the season. Tropical storm Arthur is building strength off the coast of Florida, is expected to reach hurricane strength as soon as tomorrow.

ROMANS: What you're looking at there, is the projected path, dancing off the coastline. Some areas could get hammered with wind and rain just in time for the Fourth of July holiday.

Indra Petersons is tracking the storm for us.

How bad can this thing get?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Right now, we're looking at the most recent track strengthening even sooner. So, as you mentioned, instead of waiting all the way through Friday morning, or the Fourth of July, by tomorrow, this guy could strengthen to a category 1 hurricane. For a tropical storm, this is Arthur, the first one of the season. Steady winds at 60 miles per hour.

Kind of yesterday, very stationary, but still very slow, moving to the north at 6 miles per hour. There you can see, there we go, right off the coast of the Carolinas by tomorrow. It looks like a category 1 hurricane. And the closest impact it could make is right around Nags Head. The cone of uncertainty does bring potential that it could make landfall right along that coastline. And then as we go into the Fourth of July itself, it picks up with the jet stream, and exits in that offshore direction. Either way, you're still going to feel some of those impacts, meanwhile, turning into a depression answer quickly exiting out of the region by Saturday.

Rainfall, the bulk of it hanging offshore, about 8 inches rainfall. On the coastline itself, that one to two inches in Florida today, two to four inches in the Carolinas, about three to five, again, that's where it's close toast mainland. So that's going to be the concern.

Another equation is going to be the storm surge, about one to two feet possible around Florida. Again, where it gets closest, you're talking about a three to five-foot storm surge right around there. If you want the day by day, it's very helpful, around Florida today, that's where you're going have the biggest impact. Then again, strengthening to likely a category 1 hurricane in through tomorrow.

Notice the cold front. This is another side of the equation, especially in the East. Severe weather already out there today. So, although the category 1 hurricane stayed off shore, you have the impact in the cold front and all that tropical moisture with it. It enhances the rainfall you can see there. And with that, that's going to be concerned, the kind of moving off again, sort of second half of your weekend will look better.

There's the threat for severe weather. A lot of people saying I want to beat that system out of here. It's going to be tricky as well with that second system moving in as well.

ROMANS: Tricky. All right. Indra Petersons, let's check with you again. Thanks, Indra.

MARQUEZ: And just like that, it is all over for Team USA. The American dream of run at the World Cup came to a crashing halt against a very aggressive Belgium. Despite a record-setting performance from the gorgeous, amazing Tim Howard. My God, he was amazing.


Now, despite the disappointing finish, the 2014 performance has the American soccer program looking up and fans, fans looking forward to 2018.

Lara Baldesarra has more from Brazil.


LARA BALDESARRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine and Miguel, I'm sure that neither of you are able to sleep off that heartbreak from USA's loss in the World Cup which eliminates them. You know, it was a well-fought match against Belgium.

It was pretty much played out exactly how I expected. It was very evenly fought. This match went into extra time and that is where the USA ultimately lost.

But the USA, they surpassed all of our expectations. No one even thought they would be able to make it to the round of 16. But sure enough, they did. In the end, it was Tim Howard who was truly the standout man of the match, 16 saves he made. He was simply a beast in the match against Belgium.

Now, these saves, these weren't just everyday, run-of-the-mill saves. These were spectacular saves, impressive saves, saves that any keeper in the word hopes to make. Tim Howard did that. He made 16 saves in all. And that is actually a record for a keeper in a single World Cup victory.

Tim Howard clearly quite impressive. But he wasn't the only impressive piece for this game for the USA. We actually saw a glimmer of the future on this team. DeAndre Yedlin, he's just 20 years old. And every touch on this game after he was subbed on, it almost led to something. He was truly a standout player.

Afterwards, I asked him what it's like to be the future of American soccer, he said -- well, he's just looking forward to being part of it. He mentioned Julian Green. Julian Green made his World Cup debut, his debut for the USA. And, of course, he put USA on the scoreboard.

So, there's a lot to look forward to when that comes to this American squad. Not any longer this year. But 2018, here we come.

Christine, Miguel, I'm looking forward to the future.


MARQUEZ: Optimism.

ROMANS: I'll tell you the tears in my household last night.


ROMANS: But, they looked at the goalie and they say, if we work hard, that can be me some day.

MARQUEZ: Score one for U.S. soccer.

ROMANS: All right. Now to the crisis in Iraq, the leader of ISIS calling the Muslim extremists around the world to join his cause. He wants them to help build up the Islam state he's declared a few days ago. It comes as more deadly clashes are reported, just 50 miles outside Baghdad. This a day after a first session of Iraq's new parliament ended with a thud.

Nima Elbagir is live for us this morning in Baghdad. Bring us up to speed. NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it wasn't the most auspicious

start to the parliamentary session, Christine, yesterday. And they now have 75 days to form a government. That just doesn't seem to be as yet a sense of urgency among Iraq's politician. But if they're not feeling it, everybody else on the ground here is.

U.S. officials are telling us that they believe ISIS poses a very credible threat to the Iraqi capital Baghdad. So, those new U.S. deployments coming in, they're going to be enforced with drones and helicopters gunships, they're going to be spread out past the perimeter where they're currently deployed. They're going to move along those highways and they're going to reinforce the airport.

It is getting very worrying in security terms here. Yesterday, we started hearing reports of bodies being found, killed execution-style, Christine. That's when people here begin to get very concerned, because it really brings back those old memories. The old dark shadows of sectarian violence when bodies were being found and dozens on some days, even in the hundred us.

Just to give you a sense of the magnitude of the crisis here. In May, nearly 1,000 killed. In June, over 2,000. And now -- sorry in June, over 2,000. And now in July, it's only the 2nd day, and we're already seeing a body count rising, Christine.

ROMANS: Just really troubling.

All right, Nima, thank you for that.

MARQUEZ: Now, the suspected mastermind of the Benghazi attack will be back in court today, prosecutors will make their case keeping Ahmed Abu Khattala in federal custody while he awaits trial. Khattala pled guilty in his first appearance before an American judge over the weekend. He's charged with the 2012 attack on the Benghazi mission that killed four Americans including the U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for opting to give Khattala a civilian trial rather than a military proceeding.

ROMANS: More signs of progress in Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's reintegration. Officials say Bergdahl has travelled of the Army base in San Antonio where he's receiving out patient treatment. He's interacted with people in restaurants and stores in effort to get accustomed to everyday life. The army says it's focused on Bergdahl's mental and physical recovery, even as the circumstances surrounding his disappearance in Afghanistan are being investigated.

MARQUEZ: And a controversial NSA program targeting foreigners overseas is both legal and effective so says the Independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The review does say certain elements border on being unconstitutional, including possible collection of e-mails and phone by Americans communicating with foreign targets. Privacy advocates have been harshly critical of the program since it was revealed by Edward Snowden.

ROMANS: All right. Another setback for Obamacare. An audit finds insurance exchanges established under the law did not have basic safeguards in place to prevent the use of inaccurate information. That means officials did not properly check the eligibility of millions applying for coverage and subsidies. The problem did not imply wrongdoing. Enrollees did sign the forms under penalty of perjury.

MARQUEZ: Now happening today, President Obama will sit down with some of America's top economic minds at the White House on the agenda ways to accelerate growth, expand opportunity and improve competiveness of the American economy. Vice President Biden also expected to attend the meeting. It comes a day after the president said congress must act on infrastructure projects to avoid potential of thousands of layoffs.

ROMANS: All right. Time for an EARLY START on your money.

Stocks on record territory right now and pointing higher again this morning. Both European stocks and Asian stocks are mostly higher. U.S. futures are up after a big day yesterday. Look at this, the Dow very close to 17,000. It came within two points of that before pulling back. The Dow still closed at a record high as the S&P 500.

It's still not all good news on Wall Street, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says he's been diagnosed with curable throat cancer. Dimon will receive radiation and chemotherapy over the next eight weeks. He says he will keep working as the CEO of that big bank as he undergoes treatment. Dimon has been the head of JPMorgan since 2006, steered the bank through the financial crisis. He's an admired, admired person on Wall Street.

So, we wish for him the best. >

MARQUEZ: And this is an amazing story. It's literally a fireball on the streets of Philadelphia. More than --

ROMANS: Oh, my.

MARQUEZ: Looks like a war zone when a food struck explodes. Witnesses will share their stories straight ahead.

ROMANS: War being waged on the Gaza Strip. Dozens of bombs dropped. Israel seeking revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three teenagers. We're live with what's happening there this morning.


MARQUEZ: Russian President Vladimir Putin on the offensive once again. He's warning he reserves the right to use force to defend Russian citizens in Ukraine as the eastern part of the country descends back into violence. By air and ground, separatists came hours after Poroshenko declined to renew a 10-day ceasefire, amid accusations Putin is arming and encouraging the separatists.

ROMANS: North Korea fires two short-range rockets, the third incident of the sort in the last week. The South Korean Defense Ministry says they crashed into the sea after 110 miles in the air. This came hours after the South dismissed North Korea's reported overture to reduce tensions, including the cancellation of annual drills between Seoul and Washington. South Korea says the request was based on irrelevant and inaccurate claims.

MARQUEZ: Developing this morning, calls for restraint as tensions on the Middle East reached a boiling point. The body of a Palestinian teenager was found in a wooded area in Jerusalem. Israeli police saying they are looking into whether it was retaliation for the abduction and murder of three teenagers there.

The three were laid to rest Tuesday with a commitment from Israel's leaders to avenge their deaths at the hands of the terrorists.

Atika Shubert in north Jerusalem for us this morning.

Atika, how far is the Israeli government going to push this?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we understand from the Israeli police, public security minister and the mayors are calling for restraint. They say they're still trying to identify the body that was badly burned. But for many of the local Palestinian residents here (INAUDIBLE), this is exactly where reportedly that Palestinian teenager was forced into a car, right in the shop. Actually in that corner where you see that fire is burning now.

And as you can see, anger has boiled over here. There's no questions to residents here as to what happened. They see this very much as revenge attacks. So, what we've been seeing all morning is stones and slingshots from local youths on one side. And Israeli police responding with stun grenades and tear gas on the other.

Now, this has been going back and forth for some time. But this is exactly what was feared, that there would be this renewed cycle of violence and revenge, Miguel.

MARQUEZ: All right. Atika Shubert for us in Jerusalem, thank you very much.

ROMANS: A stunning food truck explosion in Philadelphia sends at least a dozen people to the hospital. This blast caught on surveillance video, a huge fireball erupting on the street. It happened around 5:30 p.m. last night. Two of those victims, both of whom were in the food truck remain in critical condition with severe burns.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard the boom first and then the fire came out of nowhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The whole house shook like an earthquake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was walking, I literally missed a step, one foot to the other. I mean, it rocked me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears preliminarily, that the cause of this explosion was a propane tank.


ROMANS: Wow, that propane tank was found 150 feet away in someone's backyard. Most of the victims have been released from the hospital.

MARQUEZ: And happening now in California, fire crews trying beat back a fast-burning wildfire in Napa County. It's about 2,500 acres in side and only 30 percent contained. About 150 homes have been evacuated. California fire officials say conditions are extremely dry. More like late summer and early fall. Big, big season.

ROMANS: Have a look at this, a big sinkhole opening up in Illinois, following heavy downpours on Tuesday night. A woman driving in the dark with her son actually drove right into that. They were rescued but not before police say their car was run over by a pickup truck whose driver also didn't see the gap in the road. The mother released from the hospital, her son remains in intensive care right now.

MARQUEZ: Wow. It's now up to a federal judge to decide if the trial for the alleged Boston marathon bomber should be moved to Washington. Federal prosecutors voiced their objections Tuesday, despite arguments from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyer, saying that he'll never get a fair shake in Boston. They cited a poll that shows most people there think he's guilty and deserves the death penalty. The prosecutors say the region is big enough to find 12 impartial people.

ROMANS: An attorney representing families of two men allegedly killed by Aaron Hernandez will ask the judge preventing the New England Patriots from paying him a $3.2 million signing bonus. The Patriots are already fighting not to pay that bonus. But the victims want a court order in case the team is ordered to pay in a separate proceeding. Hernandez is also accused of murder in a separate case from last year.

MARQUEZ: And another group of migrants who crossed in the United States is expected to flown to California today. It comes a day after a group was met by protesters as they were being bussed from the airport to a processing center. The migrants are being moved from Texas in an effort to ease overcrowding near the border. Some will be held, others released, as they await deportation proceedings.

ROMANS: Gay couples in Kentucky are a step closer to being able to tie the knot. A ban on gay marriage ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. Like several cases, the ruling has been put on hold, pending appeal. It's unclear when same-sex couples could be issued those marriage licenses. Kentucky is the most conservative of several states to have the ban overturned.

MARQUEZ: And Shia LaBeouf being treated for alcohol addiction. It comes just days after the trouble actor's latest public meltdown, when he was arrested for harassment and disorderly conduct. After a disturbance at a Broadway performance of "Cabaret", a spokesman says LaBeouf hasn't checked into a rehab facility but is voluntarily receiving treatment.


MARQUEZ: Hmmm is right.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, the heartbreaker for Team USA. They're out of the world cup. But you know what? An impressive run, a really impressive run. Let's just look ahead, everybody.

Andy Scholes has the details in our "Bleacher Report" next.


MARQUEZ: Well, a brutally heartbreaking loss for Team USA. But the team did show some serious heart out there, to make a comeback out there, almost.

Andy Scholes in for us with the "Bleacher Report."

Good morning, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, guys. You know, what a performance for Tim Howard in this game. His record, 16 saves, it's going to be remembered for a long time. So will the almost comeback we had at the end. Once we were down 2-0 in extra time, you know, it really looked like the game was over.

But 19-year-old Julian Green just moments after entering the game found the back of the net to make it 2-1. That gave the U.S. 13 minutes to try to find an equalizer, and, boy, we had our chances. The best coming off this set piece. You know Jurgen Klinsmann had this in this back pocket for a while, and it nearly worked to perfection.

But Clint Dempsey's shot blocked by the goalie and Team USA just unable to tie the game in the closing minute and saw their World Cup come to an end with a 2-1 loss to Belgium.


TIM HOWARD, TEAM USA: We did everything single thing we could. We were together, we were united, and sometimes, when you do your best, you come up short.

CLINT DEMPSEY, TEAM USA: It wasn't meant to be, but I think we can be proud of what we did here. And, you know, I have no regrets.


SCHOELS: Twitter was going crazy during this whole game. And afterwards, Team USA sent out a tweet thanking all the fans. It read, "#thank you for your support passion and pride during the whole World Cup. We stand together, #onenationoneteam."

All right. Trending on this morning is the strange scene at Wimbledon yesterday with Serena Williams. It happened during the doubles match with sister Serena. Serena was sick. And she was feeling so bad that she couldn't bounce the ball back to herself, let alone serve it. Doctors had to check on her multiple times. She ended up trying to play more, but as you can see, she had to leave the match and withdraw.

Just a really bizarre game, guys. I was watching it while it was happening. She couldn't do anything. The ball girls would throw the ball to her, and it would just fly right by her. She just wasn't all there.


MARQUEZ: Some sort of virus she has. Man, that must have been --

ROMANS: And you think she is such a fierce competitor. How difficult that must be for her --


ROMANS: I'm sick, I got to leave.

MARQUEZ: Struggling.

ROMANS: Thanks, Andy.

All right. Your Fourth of July holiday could be washout. Sorry to say. A hurricane set to strike along the East Coast. We're tracking all of that for you, right after the break.


MARQUEZ: Chaos in Iraq. The country is failing to form a new government as terrorists continue their deadly march towards Baghdad. We are live with what's happening this morning.

ROMANS: Trouble in the Tropics. Arthur forming off the coast of Florida. Its path, up the East Coast could leave millions wet this Fourth of July. Indra Petersons is tracking that storm for us this morning.

MARQUEZ: It was close, but the U.S. is out at the world cup. A heartbreaker in overtime, Team USA falling to Belgium. We are taking you to Brazil.

Welcome back.

ROMANS: I still have lots of questions about who keeps the clock in this case. I need a clock.

MARQUEZ: Well, it adds time.

ROMANS: I didn't know it was right down to the wire. I didn't know where the wire was.

MARQUEZ: Where's the wire!

Clint was very upset, we added one minute after extra time. They came so close. (CROSSTALK)

MARQUEZ: Who am I? I'm Miguel Marquez. Angry.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. Twenty-eight minutes past the hour.

OK, the fireworks, the barbecue, the beach, you might miss all that for the holiday weekend, depending on where you are. Thanks to this, the first named storm of the hurricane season, tropical storm Arthur is gaining strength as it sits off the coast of Florida.

MARQUEZ: Wow. The storm watches already posted for parts of Florida and South Carolina. Hurricane watches in North Carolina. The storm is expected to reach hurricane strength tomorrow. Leaving states all along the coast facing a very ugly Fourth of July holiday.

Indra Petersons is tracking it all for us.

What's the bad news?


MARQUEZ: Oh, dear.

PETERSONS: Yes, definitely, we're talking about the fourth of July, and already this some continues to strengthen.

Right now, a very strong tropical storm. You can see the steady winds about 16 miles per hour. Tropical at 39 miles per hour, 74, makes it a hurricane.

There you go, traveling to the north at 6 miles per hour, expected to strengthen into that category 1 hurricane now even earlier than the last model run. So just off the Carolinas by tomorrow.

Then it looks like the closest it will get will be right around Nags Head there into Thursday and Friday morning. Now, as we got through Friday morning, notice it pickings up speed through the jet stream and moves very carefully staying offshore in the major cities. But, again, you're still going to see all those impacts inland, in combination with the cold front that's going to be out there and then quickly moves into a depression as it makes its way offshore for the second half of the weekend.