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NEW DAY SATURDAY
America Celebrates the Fourth of July; Arthur Downgraded to Tropical Storm; More Illegal Immigrants Arrive in California; Prosecutors: Dad Wanted Child-Free Life; Economy Added 288,000 Jobs in June; Clashes Erupt as Palestinian Teen is Buried; "Fake Pot" from U.S. May Fund Terrorism
Aired July 5, 2014 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Alison Kosik. I'm in today for Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 7:00 here on the East Coast. So much to talk about this morning, NEW DAY SATURDAY.
And even the threat of a hurricane could not keep the American spirit down.
KOSIK: Patriotic revelers from all across the country gathered to celebrate our nation's founding last night. In New York, the East River was lit up by 50,000 pounds of explosives to the delight of tens of thousands who gathered to watch. Fireworks were even shot off the Brooklyn Bridge.
BLACKWELL: Washington now, the big show at the National Mall in honor of the 200th anniversary of the "Star-Spangled Banner". A new arrangement debuted, new additions, some choirs, cannons as well.
KOSIK: San Francisco's famed fog made an appearance at the city's fireworks display last night as crowds gathered at tourist host spot Pier 39.
BLACKWELL: And 100,000 gathered to watch the fireworks display near Phoenix. Clear skies there in the area. Just hours after the first sandstorm, a haboob, what it's called.
KOSIK: Is it?
BLACKWELL: First sandstorm of the season blew there.
KOSIK: And Arthur has been downgraded this morning to a tropical storm but it's still posing a threat for high winds and rains into eastern Canada.
BLACKWELL: The storm may have passed over the Eastern Seaboard but its aftermath remains. If you headed out to the beach this weekend, you have to be careful of rip currents. They can be deadly.
KOSIK: Alexandra Field is at Jones Beach on, New York's Long Island.
Alexandra, I know people are often concerned about the after effects of the storm? Are you actually seeing that concern?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Alison, I think actually out here at Jones Beach, people are just relieved to see the sun shining on this holiday weekend because a lot of people thought they wouldn't make it to the beach. Water conditions out here are actually looking really good, pretty calm out there according to lifeguards that we have spoken to.
But even if it looks nice at the beach today, the National Weather Service saying be mindful of the flags the lifeguards put out there because water conditions can still be really rough, even in the wake of Arthur.
FIELD (voice-over): From North Carolina all the way up to the Northeast -- high winds, big waves, drenching rain and now powerful rip tides. Arthur lost force while heading north, but it was enough to leave a mark, 100 mile-per-hour winds and 35-foot waves were reported at the peak of the storm, when Arthur made landfall Thursday night over North Carolina.
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are just absolutely getting slammed right now by Arthur. You can see the wind gusts really picked up here and the rain is just coming down.
FIELD: Though Arthur had more bark than bite, North Carolina took the brunt of the storm with some damage and thousands left in the dark.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Emily blew a lot harder than this one. This one, we were really fortunate. We didn't have a lot of weather this time.
FIELD: By Friday, the category 2 hurricane was downgraded, but turned deep into the Atlantic. And today, Nova Scotia is feeling its effects.
REPORTER: How's vacation going so far?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty good until a few hours ago.
REPORTER: Tough conditions?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Not too, too, bad, but you're kind of stuck inside. You can't really do anything outside.
FIELD: The first hurricane of the season coinciding with the busiest travel week f the summer, busted some holiday plans. Prepared for a washout, Boston moved up its annual Fourth of July celebration. The fireworks went off a day early. In Washington, D.C., the fast-moving storm cleared out just in time for a Friday night light show.
But there are big concerns about what's left in Arthur's wake along the Eastern Seaboard, possible rip currents. The National Weather Service calls the spurts of back-flowing water, the worst danger at the beach. GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Even though many of the beaches
are open and we're still evaluating some of the out other bank beaches, please, listen to lifeguards. Look at the warning flags.
FIELD: Really important stuff there, Alison and Victor, because as you know, sometimes you look out at the water, just looks so tempting. You have no idea that the rip tides are even at play. And then you get in the water and can feel the powerful force.
Here at Jones Beach, they tell us on days when we have a serious current, they'll do 17 to 30 rescues, 80 percent of rescues, water rescues at this beach are related to rip currents. So, how serious they are. So, y, we're all excited to get out here. Yes, we're excited to see the sun shining but it is something for people definitely to think about today.
BLACKWELL: All right. Alexandra Field there for us in Jones Beach -- thank you so much.
KOSIK: Yes, let's go ahead and bring in meteorologist Karen Maginnis for the latest on tropical storm Arthur.
You know, I think those beautiful blue skies we just saw Alexandra standing under, they can be deceiving about the water. But certainly looks like a beautiful day in New York?
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And it is gradually improving, even in Boston. Right now, it's kind of overcast and dreary. It's a little windy. And you will experience rip current there as well, but we saw North Carolina's coast battered for over eight hours, but as it raced off, Arthur as a hurricane, as it raced off towards the Northeast, now it's such an elongated system, it's in such colder water now, that it's losing a lot of its tropical characteristics.
Still in its wake, down east Maine and extending northward into the Canadian Maritimes, could see substantial rainfall with some gusty winds. Off of Bangor, 26 mile-an-hour winds coming out of the Northwest. But look at this, in Halifax, it's coming up from the Southeast and wind gusts there reported this hour at 52 miles an hour. Well, this is the way it looks kind of disorganized, the system, no clearly defined eye, with probably extra tropical characteristics. Winds associated with this now at 70 miles an hour. I dare say by our next report from the hurricane center, we'll see winds even weaker.
But that's not to say all of the weather is quiet. Certainly up and down the Eastern Seaboard, you'll have to worry about the rip currents and a few isolated showers. But big storms rumbling across the Great Plains. We'll keep you updated on that and potential for severe weather there -- Alison, Victor.
KOSIK: All right. Karen Maginnis, thank you.
Breaking overnight, another flight carrying illegal immigrants from Texas has arrived in Southern California. It's the second one this week. The passengers reportedly boarded three buses to a processing center in the San Ysidro district of San Diego.
BLACKWELL: Drivers steered clear of nearby Murrieta, where protesters, we saw this, the first fleet of buses, they forced to turn back. They returned on the Fourth of July to stake their ground in what's become a broiling national debate that reaches all you the way to Washington.
KOSIK: Sunlen Serfaty joins us now from the White House.
Sunlen, what's the latest?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alison and Victor, good morning to you.
You know, it's become a battleground from here at the White House, all the way to California, and that flight that landed was carrying about 100 immigrants last night when it landed in San Diego and they specifically avoided going to the small town in Murrieta, California, which, of course, as we've seen over the last week, has not become a welcome place for these immigrants. Last night, the protesters and counter protestors again squared off a heated debate, a heated exchange that we've seen all week, and that kept up all last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we want to keep attracting the best and brightest from beyond our shores, we're going to have to fix our immigration system, which is broken, and pass common sense immigration reform. We shouldn't be making it harder for the best and the brightest to come here, and create jobs here and grow our economy here. We should be making it easier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And that was President Obama who, of course, is involved in this political debate here in Washington, D.C. He attended that naturalization ceremony, 25 new American citizens took the oath of allegiance at the White House yesterday. The president said it is a powerful and moving background in this big debate over immigration reform -- Alison and Victor.
BLACKWELL: Hey, Sunlen, we know the president's schedule has him mid- week in Texas to raise some money. Texas Governor Rick Perry has invited the president to visit the border there in Texas.
Any response from the White House, any indication, if he will indeed do that?
SERFATY: Well, he might not be able to avoid it, Victor, if the political pressure keeps up on him. The White House has said that Republicans would be better served at focusing on passing comprehensive immigration reform rather than making these sort of invitations to the border.
President Obama, as you said, is going down for fund-raising. So, it'd be interesting to see on Wednesday when he is in Texas if he does manage to make a side trip to the border.
Back to you.
BLACKWELL: Although very unlikely, and that he and Governor Perry will be together at the border. We'll see what happens.
Sunlen Serfaty there at the White House for us -- thank you.
OK. So, this is the case that has intrigued the country, and it's an international story now.
KOSIK: The more details that emerge about the accused father in the hot car death, the more experts are saying this could be the trial of the year.
BLACKWELL: And Sirius Radio is down one shock jock. Why half of the Opie & Anthony radio team has been fired?
KOSIK: Prosecutors are painting a picture of the Georgia man charged with murder in his son's hot car death as an unfaithful husband who wanted a child-free life. Justin Harris remains in jail after a judge denied him bond during his probable cause hearing on Thursday.
BLACKWELL: Our Nick Valencia is joining us now and some new information about the life insurance policies on this 22-month-old.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN NATIONAL REPORTER: Yes, essentially, these new search warrants were released yesterday pretty lays out the same narrative that we've heard from prosecutors this past week at the probably cause and bond hearing. It goes a little bit over finances, a little bit into, it speaks to Justin Ross Harris what have you been up to in the weeks leading up to his child's death? We know he start add new business with friends, according to him, to sort of make money on the side. We also know he wracked up a $4,000 credit card debt.
Now, is this enough to say that he had motive to kill his son? Prosecutors are hoping that, along with the myriad of other things. But really, this nugget of new information and these search warrants is this, Victor. Through the investigation, it says Harris has made comments to family friends regarding a life insurance policy that he has on Cooper and what they need to do in order to file for it.
Now, there's two life insurance policies. One for $2,000 through the employer, Home Depot. The other for $25,000, the family signed in November of 2012. Supporters of Harris, of course, they maintain that this is, of course, just a tragic accident. Prosecutors think it's something much more sinister.
New to report also, is toxicology and full autopsy. We're expecting those to come out. We don't know time line or ETA, but we're still waiting on toxicology reports. Did baby Cooper, that 22-month-old, have anything in this system at the time of his death? That could lead to motive as well, or kind of lay out motive a little. Also, a full autopsy on 22-month-old Cooper.
So, lots of questions still unanswered in the case. Supporters -- they've got his back.
VALENCIA: I was at the funeral. Hundreds stood up to clap. You've been following the story as well, Victor.
BLACKWELL: And the courthouse full. And we'll see if the people continue to come as we move into the trial.
KOSIK: But that was before the hearing.
VALENCIA: It was before the hearing. Learned a lot. We'll see if he still has support.
BLACKWELL: Nick Valencia, thank you very much.
VALENCIA: You got it, guys.
KOSIK: All right. To dig deeper in this story, let's go ahead and bring in HLN host Jane Velez-Mitchell.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the life insurance policy, $27,000 on a child, and the 25 grand taken out months after he was born, back in November 2012, according to this investigator.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST (via telephone): Oh, yes. It is so bizarre. First of all I have to say the idea that this guy in these circumstances would have the unmitigated gall to instruct his relative on how to cash in and collect his newly dead son's life insurance policy, it -- honestly, it blows my mind and it reveals so much about his character.
As we know, cops say this man told one of his sexting partners he had no conscience, I think this new piece of information dovetails with that. And to me, more than that, it reveals a fundamental lack of judgment on Justin Ross Harris' part, like, how his behavior, his actions will be perceived. It's almost as if he operates in this infantile, give me what I want attitude.
I mean, good luck with collecting insurance. Insurers have a lot of things that void your policy, and alleged murder, you know, is the first that comes to mind. So, you've got to wonder about the mentality of this man, that he would make that decision in these extraordinary circumstances.
And then what you point out. They got the policy, apparently a couple years ago. We know he's been unhappy for a while, because he was allegedly sexting the 17-year-old back when she was 16. And cops say he also admitted cheating on her before.
So, you have to wonder, if prosecutors are right and that this was not simple negligence and he had a motive and he had a plan and wanted a child-free life. First of all, why did he have a child? And secondly, how long was this alleged plot in the making and being cooked up in his mind?
And I just have to say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. He worked as a police dispatcher, did he kind of have sort of a cops and robbers mentality in his head, because police said he used cop lingo when he was talking to them. Did he really think he could, if all the circumstances are true, get away with something like this? That they wouldn't find him sexting with a half a dozen women? That they wouldn't find all of his Internet searches for how long it takes a child to die and looking at a veterinarian demonstrate the tortuous death inside a car and looking at all the imagery of death?
I mean, did he really think nobody would find this stuff?
KOSIK: Jane, we saw him, said the prosecution may be looking at his wife Leanna. I want you to listen to the testimony of the detective about a conversation between the two.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROSECUTOR: Did his wife ever say anything to him about what he said to police?
DETECTIVE: She asked him, she had him sit down. He starts going through this. And she looks at him. And she's like, well, did you say too much? .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSIK: Well, could we see suspicion fall on the wife?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, my heart goes out to her in this horrible time, and I certainly want to stress that she's not charged with anything, but some of her behavior is definitely odd. I know she raises eyebrows during the funeral when she said she would not bring her son back into this broken world and listed a bunch of unpleasant things that he'd avoid not being alive, like his first heartbreak, et cetera, et cetera.
A lot of people were like, what it's that about? And of course, it's very odd when she goes to the day care to pick the child up, and she's told, oh, the child's not there, witnesses say she almost immediately jumped to the conclusion her husband must have left the boy in the hot car, and people are saying things to the effect, there's a million other explanations. She's like, no, that has to be it. That's odd.
And, then, of course, the other odd thing is that apparently when she's talking to her husband when they put them in a room together, she says words to the effect of, did you say too much? Why would she say that?
And, finally, Justin tells Leanna, I dreaded how he would look in the past tense.
So, I think all of those things together paint, at the very least, a very bizarre portrait.
BLACKWELL: Jane, do you think we've got a peek at the defense strategy here? There was a question to the detective from Maddox Kilgore, the defense attorney, about if he knew that Ross Harris was deaf in his right ear and if he asked if he was physically capable, if there was some physical ailment from preventing him turning to his right side. He also brags about his mental health defenses on his Web site.
Do you think we got a peek at how this case will be defended?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to say, this is one of the most overwhelming cases in terms of evidence that I've ever sooner and the way it was brilliantly laid out by the prosecutor, I really thought told the story from beginning to end and kind of connected the dots.
I think they're going to do what they can. He's deaf, but he's not blind. And he had many opportunities to turn around and see that child and we know that the child's head poked up over the car seat. So he can't say he just looked back and didn't see that child's head.
He backed up. He picked up a bag, a computer bag. All of these were moments where he had to make that motion to look in the direction of his child, which was so close to him.
I think it's going to be a very, very tough defense and I think mental state may be the fallback position, because this is -- this is unbelievable evidence. I mean, he visited an Internet site, a Reddit sub site, that advocates a child-free lifestyle. It's extraordinary.
Five days before his child dies, he watched a video where a vet demonstrates how terrible it is to be left inside a hot car. Wasn't it?
BLACKWELL: Yes. And we'll find out if it is or isn't. Jane Velez- Mitchell with us talking about this case. So many are talking about this case.
Jane, thank you so much.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you for having me.
KOSIK: A stranded hiker clings to the side of a cliff. Hundreds of feet in the air and his remarkable rescue is all caught on tape.
BLACKWELL: And it's the best six months for job growth in the last eight years. So, what's behind the trend, and where you should look for work?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got him. He's at our 1130 --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: This is incredible video of rescue of a stranded hiker. This guy got stuck high on a cliff in Washington state. Now, the Snohomish County helicopter rescue team, they swooped in literally here and saved this person.
KOSIK: A rescuer was lowered down by cable, attached the hiker to it and both got back up to the chopper safely. The sheriff's office says the hiker has called 911 for help. The helicopter rescue team, by the way, is made up of volunteers.
BLACKWELL: Good job there.
KOSIK: Yes. Our heroes.
All right. Now, a lot of people have been waiting for this -- the economy added 288,000 jobs in June.
BLACKWELL: Yes, but that's not all. Employers added 1.4 million jobs in the first six months of the year. That's the strongest six months of job growth in eight years.
CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans breaks down the numbers for us.
Christine, good morning.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Alison and Victor, let's look within the numbers. By now, you've seen the headline: 288,000 jobs created.
It's the trend that's really important here, because the trend is telling us that there is some momentum gathering on the jobs front. The best first six months of the year as the White House likes to point out, since 1999, the best six months overall for jobs creation since 2006.
So, you're seeing a trend of companies more confident, they have been kept hiring to the bone for so long, as demand starts to pick up, they're having to add workers.
I like to look within these numbers of different sectors. Professional and business services, for the past few months, you've seen these jobs starting to gain strength. These tend to be higher paid jobs. They help alleviate concerns about the quality of the jobs we've been seeing, but you still have leisure and hospitality, big gainer in job creation and retail jobs driving job creation as well.
That's probably why you will still see the debate over the minimum wage and raise the minimum wage that is likely still to be an economic conversation of the year, because over the past six years, you know, preponderance of the jobs created have been lower quality jobs than the jobs lost in the recession.
Here's the asterisk in all this, a strong jobs report, but 12.1 percent is still out of work or working part-time, would like to be working full-time. That number is still too high. Still have an important debate here about has been left behind in the economic recovery.
Overall, though, what this is telling us is the labor market recovery is gaining speed.
KOSIK: Which is good news. Christine Romans, thank you.
BLACKWELL: So, we've got to talk about what's happening overseas. Palestinians gathered to bury the teenager murdered by unknown abductors. Fears of more revenge killings of both Israel and Hamas, they flare. Could this be the start of the third intifada?
KOSIK: And a teacher stabbed in front of her class? New details on the suspect's connection to the school.
KOSIK: Mortgage rates picked up this week. Have a look.
KOSIK: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back. I'm Alison Kosik.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.
Let's start with five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.
KOSIK: Number one, another flight carrying illegal immigrants from Texas has arrived this week in Southern California. The passengers reportedly boarded three buses to a processing center in the San Ysidro district of San Diego. The drivers steered clear of nearby Murrieta where protesters forced the first fleet of buses to turn back.
BLACKWELL: Number two. Stunning images from Montana. A train carrying fuselages for Boeing derailed and sent them into the Clark Fork River. The train was headed to Boeing's assembly plant outside Seattle and Boeing says it knows about the derailment and are sending experts to that scene.
KOSIK: Anthony Cumia, part of the popular Sirius XM radio show "Opie & Anthony", was fired for a racially-charged rant on Twitter, after allegedly being attacked by an African-American woman in Times Square. Cumia sent a series of profanity-laced tweets, calling the woman among other things an animal.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Anthony Cumia, part of the popular Sirius XM radio show "Opie & Anthony", was fired for a racially charged rant on Twitter. After allegedly being attacked by an African-American woman in Times Square, Cumia sent a series of profane-laced tweets, calling the woman among other things an animal and ranted about black violence. His tweet's history was apparently deleted overnight, but he promises to address the story online next week.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Number four, a classroom full of kindergarteners witnessed their teacher being stabbed to death. This happened in France. Yesterday, it happened. Officials say the suspect is the mother of a student. Psychiatrists are helping that community cope.
KOSIK: Number five, Taliban militants claim they fired rockets at hundreds of oil tankers outside of Afghanistan's capital Kabul. More than 400 trucks went up in flames as you can see here. Emergency crews rushed to the scene. There are reports the tankers were transported fuel for NATO forces.
BLACKWELL: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is vowing to find those responsible for the kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager. This new closed caption television footage released by an East Jerusalem store shows what the 16-year-old's family says is that moment of abduction. But CNN cannot independently verify the video's authenticity and Israeli police are not commenting.
KOSIK: Investigators are looking into whether the teen was killed in retaliation for the deaths of three Israeli teens. Jerusalem is seeing some of the most violent clashes in years between police and protesters as a result.
BLACKWELL: CNN's own Ben Wedeman was injured covering the clashes.
Joining us to talk about the escalating tension is the former PLO legal adviser Diana Buttu.
Diana, we planned to have you on at the same time as an Israeli spokesman, Mark Regev, but you said you didn't want to be on with an Israeli. Why?
DIANA BUTTU, FORMER PLO LEGAL ADVISER: I said I didn't want to be on with an Israeli government spokesperson who defends the indefensible. What every government spokesman has been doing has been defending the collective punishment that they'd meted out on thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, the destruction of homes, the ransacking of homes, the arrests of 500 people, the killing of children and bombing of the Gaza Strip. This is something that my principle I refuse to appear alongside with an Israeli government spokespersons who defends those types of indefensible actions.
KOSIK: Diana, aren't you sending the wrong message? I mean, shouldn't peace start with talking? And aren't you sending the wrong message by saying, no way am I going to even appear on a talk segment on a news show just to talk?
BUTTU: Peace begins when Israel, it begins to acknowledge that I have rights, and that I have rights as a Palestinian. This isn't just a question of talking and sitting down in the same room but the fact that Israel has denied the freedom to millions of Palestinians for decades now and the fact they've been held to no standard of accountability by any government around the world. You can't just put people in the room and expect that somehow there's going to be a peace, unless you actually address the underlying root causes. In this case, is the fact Palestinians have been denied their freedom for decades and there's no end to this denial of freedom in sight.
BLACKWELL: But that's also difficult to do when you demand you're the only voice in the room at the time to have that conversation. I understand that this is a very passionate issue. We understand that this teenager, this Palestinian teenager was burned, and his remains left in the woods. But also three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed. And I think both voices at least on a television show can have that conversation.
Let me ask you about what the leader of the PLO had to say. The president, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the killing -- the kidnapping of Israeli teens, but is he doing enough to find those responsible?
BUTTU: Let me state clearly these three were actually kidnapped and killed in an area that is not within control of the Palestinian Authority. It is an area that is entirely controlled by Israel. Just as the killing a few days ago, (INAUDIBLE), it's an area entirely controlled by Israel. At the same time, the Palestinian president indicated that he wanted to and was willing to help in the investigation.
What Israel has done is they simply indicated who they feel is responsible for this, they destroyed the homes of at least a couple of the people they believe are involved and it's as though they've didn't found guilty without ever having a trial. This is precisely the type of action that is going to lead to a further escalation. The fact that Israel is unwilling to deny that I have equal rights in this place means that this is simply continue on for a very, very long period of time.
KOSIK: All right. Diana, we're going to move on --
BLACKWELL: I've got one more question, let me ask you one more question. I'm sorry for cutting you off here. But there had been calls, death to Israel, death to Jews and a call for the third intifada. What's your response to this call for, this third rising? BUTTU: Well, I think it's also important to keep in mind that none of
these responses have come from any Palestinian leader. Whereas, if you look at the opposite, the reverse has been the case. The Israeli prime minister himself was calling for revenge. He labeled Palestinians as animals. Other members within the Israel parliament including Knesset members --
BLACKWELL: Do you condemn the call of death to Jews, death to Israel?
BUTTU: Of course, of course we condemn these --
BLACKWELL: I was expecting that to be the start of the answer, but go ahead.
BUTTU: As I said, of course. This is -- all of this type of violence only ends up ricocheting and backfires against Palestinians. But at the end of the day, nobody's talking about who is going to protect Palestinians. All that we keep hearing is that Israel is entitled to security. But at the end of the day, who's going to provide Palestinian security?
KOSIK: All right. Thanks for talking with us separately.
Because now, let's go ahead and bring in Mark Regev. He's spokesman for the Israeli government.
Mark, your thoughts on the fact that the PLO adviser didn't want to be on talking with you on the same screen. What are your thoughts?
MARK REGEV, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: The only way were we can overcome the problems is by dialogue, by talking, by Israelis and Palestinians engaging. I know there's an extremist element on the Palestinian side that refuses to do that, that says, you know, we as Israel, as a Jewish state, have no right to exist, not in any borders. I think the majority of Palestinians, at least I hope, have a different view, that they're ready to engage with Israel for peace. It's difficult on days like today because of all the tensions.
But if the family of one of the three Israeli teens who was murdered can stand up and say that, they're against vigilante violence, that they're against all murder and condemning the murder of the Palestinian, I think Palestinians also can stand up and overcome the emotion of the moment and say, how do we solve this problem?
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you the question that Diana put forward. He says that so many people talk about the right for Israel to exist and Israeli safety, but who is going to guarantee the rights and safety of the Palestinians?
REGEV: Israel remains ready for peace with the Palestinians, for two states, for two peoples. My prime minister has been clear over the last five, six years, saying that we're ready for Palestinian state order in the framework of peace and security arrangements and recognition of the legitimacy of our country and the Jewish state as well. We're ready for peace. We're ready for dialogue. What is the problem? On the Palestinian side, there's a tolerance for extremism. Hamas, which under U.S. law as well is considered a brutal terrorist organization, as we saw targets innocent civilians either in rocket attacks or in kidnappings and murders. They target men, women, as we saw this week, they targeted and killed children.
Now, it's very difficult for a Palestinian to come to our side and say they believe in peace if they're forged an alliance with Hamas. And that's what the Palestinian government has done, by forming a political pact with Hamas. We urge them, reject the extremists, and return to talks, return to moderation. We're ready to engage.
KOSIK: Mark, some wonder if this could be the start of the third intifada. What do you think about that?
REGEV: I hope not. I don't think violence serves any interest, doesn't serve Israel's interests. I don't think it serves the Palestinian interests either. It only serves of those extremists, like the people in the Hamas terrorist organization, who are willing to sacrifice Israeli and Palestinians lives on the altar of their very radical, hateful agenda.
You know, for them the jihad is holy war and they want to conduct it. In that way, Hamas is not dissimilar from a group like Boko Haram in Nigeria or ISIS in Iraq or Hezbollah in Lebanon. They are radical extremists and I think mainstream Palestinians, Palestinians who believe in peace and reconciliation have to break off all connections with Hamas. How can they tolerate this extremist, blood-thirsty group?
BLACKWELL: All right. Mark Regev, Israeli government spokesperson -- thank you so much for speaking with us this morning.
REGEV: My pleasure and happy holidays to all of you on the Fourth of July weekend.
BLACKWELL: Thank you.
Federal authorities have been going after fake pot hard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have seized over $100 million worth of assets. We have arrested hundreds of individuals all around the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: But the impetus for this effort by the DEA rather may not be what you think. The fake pot crackdowns, ties to terrorism.
BLACKWELL: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, he's being honest, sometimes painfully honest with himself and potential voters. After returning to city hall after two months in rehab, the controversial mayor flat out told Newstalk Radio 1010 in Canada that he cannot guarantee he'll stay sober. He went on to say he is a disease, and that he knows he can never drink again. So he's taking things one day at a time and he also insists that he's running for re-election in October.
KOSIK: Showing the human side.
KOSIK: For law enforcement officials, tracking down terrorists means following the money. And that hunt recently led authorities to unsuspecting places and products.
BLACKWELL: The national correspondent Deborah Feyerick reports on the connection between synthetic drugs sold in the U.S. and terrorism.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alison and Victor, federal authorities are concerned that the next source of terrorist funding could come from an unlikely place -- convenience stores right here in the United States.
(voice-over): You're not supposed to ingest these, but people do anyway. Synthetic drugs known at the street as "fake pot" -- small packet sold with names like Scooby Snacks, Crazy Clown, Spice.
DEREK MALTZ, SPECIAL OPERATIONS DEA: It's not synthetic pot, it's synthetic poison.
FEYERICK: For the last year, federal drug agents have been raiding gas stations and mini marts across America, not because the synthetic drugs are necessarily illegal, but because the money, officials believe, is going overseas to fund terrorism.
MALTZ: We have seized over $100 million worth of assets. We have arrested hundreds of individuals all around the United States. We have seized guns all over the place.
FEYERICK: Usually sold as herbs not for consumption, the synthetic drugs are made in China, with proceeds suspected by the DEA of going to global criminal organizations.
Derek Maltz heads special operations with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
MALTZ: If a mini mart is operating in our country's sending $40 million, $50 million, $60 million back, we're very concerned about that.
FEYERICK: Tens of millions of dollars. The bulk of the money, according to the DEA, going to places like Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.
MALTZ: As state sponsorship declined, terrorism fueled by criminal activity is on the rides. FEYERICK: While the DEA acknowledges there's no smoking gun tying the
drug money from the U.S. to terrorists, Maltz says the existing evidence paints a clear picture.
MALTZ: Terrorists need money to finance their operations. They need money for logistics, for recruiting, for training. You cannot do that with American Express and Visa. You need a suitcase of cash.
FEYERICK: Synthetic drugs aside, the global drug trade produces plenty of that. According to the U.N., some $300 billion and counting.
(on camera): Synthetic drug use is soaring in the United States, accounting for more than 11,000 emergency room visits in 2010. About half of those patients were teenagers -- Alison, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. Deb Feyerick reporting for us -- Deb, thank you very much.
And this was supposed to be a secret experiment, but the cat's out of the bag, and Facebook could be in a lot of trouble. We'll tell you more about their mood manipulation study and what some are now threatening to do about it.
BLACKWELL: Ever wanted to know what your co-workers think of you?
KOSIK: I think I already know. You know what? Anywhere I worked, they're not shy about it. That's OK. I like direct.
BLACKWELL: Yes. But do you -- I don't know, do people really care? I don't know. Well, there's an app if you do.
KOSIK: It's called Knozen, or Knozen.
BLACKWELL: Oh, I think Knozen.
KOSIK: It's Knozen?
It was launched this week. So, we're still trying to figure it out. It actually let's people anonymously rate what they think about your colleagues.
BLACKWELL: It let's you vote on things like how people are doing at work to personality traits, like who's more trustworthy, or -- who would leave early for a date?
KOSIK: Do you really need an app for that? I think people aren't shy anymore.
BLACKWELL: Yes, I think people would tell you.
KOSIK: Or they just leave little notes for you, or maybe piece on your seat, with like thumbtacks.
BLACKWELL: Nick Valencia's office is right next to mine and we yell things back and forth at each other all day.
KOSIK: So, yes, he knows all about you.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and I know he thinks of me too.
KOSIK: All right. You may have heard the headlines this week. It's Facebook messing with our minds?
BLACKWELL: Well, the short answer is, yes. The company admitted to manipulating the newsfeeds of 700,000 users they say in the name of research.
KOSIK: The study actually happened in 2012 for a total of one week, but we're just finding out about it this week.
BLACKWELL: You know, there's been major backlash from the public and Facebook is not saying we're sorry, at least for the study itself. The COO, chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg said, this is a quote, "It was poorly communicated, and for that communication we apologize. We never meant to upset you."
KOSIK: Joining us is CNN technology contributor Brett Larson.
Brett, first, everybody wanting to know why in the world did Facebook do the study in the first place?
BRETT LARSON, CNN TECHNOLOGY CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Facebook is always trying to find ways to get us to use their site more. They're also trying to find ways to make their site more appealing to advertisers. There is a new trend in online advertising, emotional advertising. Where the advertisers actually, they want to know your emotional state so that they can better approach you with advertisements that you're more likely to fall for.
So, they want to know when you're happy, maybe they can pitch you with some vacation ideas. They want to know when you're sad, maybe they can pitch you with whatever kind of things they've figured out make you happy, because these are also things that they know.
So, it's not uncommon for Web sites to -- that have an active user base to try to find ways to get us to use the sites more. It's just in this instance, there was an actual published scientific study made out of users. And the big, the big throwback on this is that the users involved in the study still to this day don't know that they were involved in it. That has some people raising some ethical flags.
BLACKWELL: Yes, to be studied and have no idea, a couple of questions about that.
So, Brett, we know we're asking why did they do it, what was the impact, publicly. What did they learn? Anything?
LARSON: They actually, I mean, they learned some interesting stuff. Some of the things they learned, it's like thanks captain obvious, because they learned things like when your newsfeed is filled with negative comments, negative posts, you tend to feel a little bit more negative about your life and vice-versa, when your newsfeed is filled with positive posts, you feel more positive.
In reading the study, one of the interesting things that I found in there was that these aren't things you actually needed to hear. There were no verbal cues that you had to pick up on to be in a better or worse mood. You could actually just read it and then your posts would reflect the mood you were in. And, of course, it goes back down the rabbit hole of advertising, where now, Facebook knows they're in a bad mood, let's continue to funnel negative posts to them to get them in an even worse mood.
And we're not saying that Facebook literally -- there was no Dr. Evil sitting behind a keyboard, typing this in and making this happened. This was all done by an algorithm. So, there were some anonymity.
But, still, it -- one of the big questions they came up with this is if someone was depressed, and then they were seeing such a negative stream of information, how far would that have pushed them? And that's where -- yet again, that's another ethical flag that comes up.
KOSIK: So, what Facebook is saying is this is part of their normal research. Is this normal, though, for big companies to test their users or their clients? Do you have any other examples of other companies doing anything similar?
LARSON: This is very normal for companies to do things like this. What's abnormal about this is this was a published study. But this kind of stuff is happening to us every single day. Every site we go on, they're trying to form a user experience around what we're already doing. They know where our mouse goes on the screen. They know when our mouse hovers over something, but doesn't click on it.
So, they know that, OK, advertisement didn't grab their attention. Maybe we need to update that advertisement.
This kind of thing has also been happening for years in the retail space, in the brick-and-mortar stores, when you walk in, it's no secret or shouldn't come as a surprise, that there are things you're going to want right up front and things you need further in the back, so you have to walk through the entire store. And, of course, we all know very well some of us, too well, about the impulse buys at the checkout stand at the grocery store.
Those aren't apples and orange force a reason. It's candy and things you shouldn't be eating, but you might buy, because you might be in the line for a few minutes, I think the lady in front of me is writing a check. So, that's the kind of thing where you know, you're being manipulated again because of a social experiment.
BLACKWELL: Reese's cups and tabloids right at the end.
BLACKWELL: Brett, thank you very much.
LARSON: Thanks for having me.
KOSIK: After losing both legs and an arm in Afghanistan, a veteran builds a new life, and breaks ground on a new home with a little help from friends and New York jets. Your daily dose of the good stuff is coming up next.
BLACKWELL: We need it.
BLACKWELL: About three and a half minutes to the top of the hour, time now for the good stuff.
KOSIK: A hero's welcome for U.S. Army Sergeant Bryan Dilberian in Staten Island this week. The triple amputee lost an arm in both legs in an IED attack three years ago in Afghanistan that also took the life of his best friend.
BLACKWELL: Well, today things are looking up for Dilberian who was on hand for the groundbreaking of his future smart home, made possible by a group of veterans, aid home group and a home building charity. And a generous $1 million donation. Where did it come from? The New York Jets. Hence the jersey there as he rides in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEANT BRYAN DILBERIAN, INJURED VETERAN: Three years ago, I got hit and I lost a couple of friends. And there's just, it's like another rebirth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSIK: The three-bedroom smart home is going to be outfitted with customized fixtures and an array of high-tech features controlled from an iPad helping him to regain a sliver of the precious thing he lost in the line of duty -- his independence.
(BEGIN VIEO CLIP)
WOODY JOHNSON, NJ JETS OWNER: Our freedom is not there by accident. It's there because we have our young men and women who serve. And he's got a challenge going forward and hopefully the house is a little bit of an aid to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Yes, more than just an aid, Dilberian says the gift is going to mean everything to him. And you know, on this Independence Day, that he can have through this gift, his independence returned to him, it's well-deserved. We thank him for his service.
KOSIK: And we hope you enjoyed your Fourth of July last night. Did you get to see the fireworks? I didn't.
BLACKWELL: No, but I heard them.
BLACKWELL: I heard at about 11:00.
Hey, if you went to bed early, we've got a look at some of the beautiful fireworks from all across the U.S. Take a look.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
KOSIK: Thanks for starting your morning with us.
BLACKWELL: That was really nice, though.
KOSIK: It was nice.
BLACKWELL: Next up, your NEW DAY starts right now.