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U.S. Teen Beaten in Middle East; Does Video Show ISIS Leader?; Blame Game Over Immigration Crisis; Pope to Meet with Abuse Victims

Aired July 7, 2014 - 05:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Caught in the violence. An American teenager beaten by Israeli police. It's all caught on camera. Why the 15-year-old was mauled and held for three days without charges. We're live in Jerusalem.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A new video surfaced of what appears to be the leader of ISIS. What we can learn from the first known appearances of this militant leader and why the timing of the video is so significant. We're going to take you live to Baghdad this morning.

BERMAN: Taking aim. The immigration crisis continues to smolder. Protests grow as the administration releases an ad warning of the dangers of crossing the border illegally. We will have the latest on the battle for the border.

Good morning, everyone. Nice to see you this Monday. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: You said it. It's Monday. I'm Christine Romans. It's July 7th. It's 5:00 a.m. in the East. Good morning, everyone.

Up first this morning, the latest on the turmoil in the Middle East. A teenager from Florida has been released into house arrest after he says he was beaten by Israeli police. The teen was visiting the region to attend the funeral of a Palestinian cousin. Arrests have been made in connection with his death, allegedly, a revenge attack for the death of three Israeli teens.

Now, Israel says it has successfully targeted terrorists in Gaza after more than two dozen rockets were fired Sunday.

So, how does this cycle of violence stop?

Diana Magnay live in Jerusalem.

Diana, now we understand Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the father of the teen who was killed. What can you tell us about the conversation?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. He spoke to him this morning, Christine, offering his condolences for the death of his 16- year-old son, Mohammed who was abducted last week and whose charred remains were found in a wood outside Jerusalem last week, prompting huge clashes in East Jerusalem, bigger than any that we have seen here in this city since the last intifada really, so for around a decade.

And in that conversation, Benjamin Netanyahu said, I quote one line, "We denounce all brutal behavior. The murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenance by any human being." And I think the line that he is trying to impress is that he will respond with the same, you know, degree of justice against those who killed this Palestinian teenager against as he will against those who killed the three Israeli teenagers who went missing last month and for whom has been a huge -- that was then a huge sweep across the West Bank to try and find their bodies.

And, clearly, both sides in this conflict, Palestinian and Israeli leadership are trying to keep a lid on the anger that we have seen over the last few days in response to Mohammed's killing. But you mentioned, Tariq, his cousin, who was here on summer vacation to visit the Abu Khdeir family. A summer vacation effectively turned into a horror story when his cousin was abducted.

The next day, in protests outside the family home, Tariq appears to have been caught up in it somehow, we don't know. He says that he wasn't throwing stones. Taken aside by Israeli police and brutally beaten as you can see from the cell phone footage, really badly beaten by police with his hands tied behind his back.

So, he's now free on bail. The Israelis are conducting a criminal investigation, they say. The U.S. State Department says they want a full explanation of this apparently excessive use of force -- Christine.

ROMANS: And this young man is on house arrest, we're told. Any sense of when he'll be allowed to return home to the United States?

MAGNAY: Not yet. His family is going by the end of the month. Clearly, the U.S. State Department wants it to happen as soon as possible. And as you said, there aren't charges being brought yet. The Israelis say that they are conducting a criminal investigation. The charges, we are not quite clear. So, you know, it will probably be sooner, rather than later because of the U.S. State Department's position, but we do know yet when.

ROMANS: Certainly they are involved.

All right. Diana Magnay, thank you so much for that.

BERMAN: Let's shift now to Iraq where a new video has surfaced appearing to show the leader of ISIS. The tape shows a man believed to be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi conducting prayers in Mosul on Friday, out in the wide open. Now, this surfaced on social media sites tied to ISIS. It would be one of the first appearances of the extremist militant leader and very significant.

Arwa Damon live in Baghdad with more.

Arwa, what can you tell us about this video?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the video was clearly shot at a mosque inside Mosul, a very bold and brazen move by the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In the video that was initially circulated by an official ISIS Twitter account, he's identified as the Caliph Ibrahim. That he is how he is now known to his followers ever since ISIS declared this so-called Islamic State extending from Diyala in Iraq, all the way to Aleppo in Syria.

He is arguably the world's most wanted terrorist and yet felt confident enough in the grip that ISIS has not just over Mosul but also over the territory who previously have had to go through to arrive there to make this kind of public appearance.

We spoke to an eyewitness who's at Friday prayers saying that they had absolutely no idea he was going to show up. About four to five minutes before the sermon was due to start, she says they saw black tinted vehicles, SUVs driving up, people chanting "Allahu Akbar", gunmen arriving along with a man whom ISIS is claiming to be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He then began his sermon urging his followers to jihad emphasizing that during the month of Ramadan, that is when they need to upholding this jihad against the unbelievers.

She described how she was absolutely terrified at the stage, shocked by the fact that she had perhaps come face-to-face with Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi.

BERMAN: And, of course, now, they have this image of him, probably some intelligence value there. You can bet that U.S. and Iraqi sources probably are looking into that right now.

Arwa Damon live for us in Baghdad, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. U.S. Customs and Border Protection taking aim at the immigration crisis with an ad blitz in Central America. This ad campaign is intended to show the dangers to children and families who are considering crossing the border. The ads will be running through the summer.

Meantime, President Obama taking heat from Republicans and Democrats over the immigration crisis. Democratic Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar who represents the district where immigrants are crossing says the Obama administration is, quote, "one step behind."

BERMAN: Happening today, Pope Francis set to meet for the first time the victims of the church's sex abuse scandal. Six victims will attend the pope's private morning mass in his Vatican residence and meet with him afterwards. The issue has led to some rare criticism of this pope. Some say that this meeting should have happened a long time ago.

ROMANS: Happening now, the U.S. Coast Guard in a frantic search in the Gulf of Mexico for a crewman missing from a Liberian flagged oil tanker. An official telling CNN the chief engineer of the Elia was discovered missing Sunday morning off Southeast Texas, near Corpus Christi. The 800-foot tanker was 20 miles offshore at the time and heading to port.

BERMAN: Militants are promising even more bloodshed as the death toll climbs following two attacks in Kenya. At least 22 people have now died, 13 in attack at a market on the country's southeastern coast. Nine were killed at a police station. Al Shabaab rebels have claimed responsibility. The group's spokesman says Kenya will be a battle zone until it withdraws troops from Somalia.

ROMANS: Fresh optimism from a U.S. marine jailed in Mexico. Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi has been held more than three months now since driving into Mexico with three guns in his truck, a move he says was an accident. And after struggles in captivity, Tahmooressi now says things are looking up.


SGT. ANDREW TAHMOORESSI, U.S. MARINE JAILED IN MEXICO (via telephone): Once the media started covering it, like a month into it, yes, things did start changing. I think I have earned some respect from the guards here.


ROMANS: Tahmooressi has hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

BERMAN: So, imagine your data being swept up by the NSA because you use the same online forums as foreign terror targets. That's apparently the case, according to a "Washington Post" analysis of documents from Edward Snowden. "The Post" analyzed 160,000 conversations that the NSA leaker gave him, showing about 90 percent of people whose information was obtained were not federal targets, but they were chatting or e-mailing in the same domains.

ROMANS: Have a look at these dramatic pictures out of Barcelona. That is not something you ever want to see. That is a near collision, as a jet coming in for a landing from Russia has to pull up at the very last moment when another plane suddenly starts crossing the runway. The plane ended up landing safely.

You know, it wasn't the only close call this weekend. The FAA says air traffic controllers in Houston averted a potential midair collision between Singapore Airlines jumbo jet and a Delta Airlines plane. Wow.

BERMAN: That is a crazy picture to look at there.

ROMANS: Way too close. Way too close.

BERMAN: All right. Talking about crazy picture. This is a new trend we saw on the Fourth of July. The view of fireworks from inside the fireworks. Drones were sent up with cameras. They captured some pretty remarkable views. Wow.

This clip is from a show in Nashville. The footage, yes, is very impressive. It does have some people concerned. They say it poses a danger to people below. The drone maybe could catch on fire --

ROMANS: Oh, that.

BERMAN: -- and, you know, fall on you, which would be bad.

ROMANS: Oh, that, but the pictures are --

BERMAN: The pictures are nice.

ROMANS: All right. Ominous clouds over the skies of Iowa. Check this out scene in Fayette County. You can see the super cell rotating. It even formed a funnel cloud for a brief moment and that was enough to tear roof of homes and uproot several tress and power lines.

BERMAN: OK. We had the nicest two days in the history of ever. Top that Indra Petersons. What do we have --


INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: How are you supposed to that of ever?

Not bad, though. I mean, we do have a little bit going on down to the south. We are talking a ridge of pressure. Temperatures are warmer than typical they are. But we are going to start to see some storms kind of firing up right along the jet stream, similar to what we thought yesterday out towards Iowa. We're still going to be watching a little bit of that weather out there today, kind of spreading to the Ohio Valley tomorrow and eventually into the Northeast by the middle of the week.

So, we do have a slight risk. Now, take a look at it. You are really talking about kind of Upstate New York, all the way back, though, even into the Midwest. We're still talking about that threat for severe weather today and it shifts east and through tomorrow. Again, that's going to be talking about, really kind of pulling from New York, all the way back even about Arkansas or so.

But there you go, maybe some light scattered showers. Not a biggie. No individual system should be too huge unless you have that isolated thunderstorm that kind of pops up there. The temperature, that's what you are going to notice, above normal, but eventually shifting down as the cold front makes its way and notice behind it, you start to see the temperatures give you a little bit more relief behind that cold front, a little bit milder by the middle of the week.

So, nothing too major. But, of course, we'll watch the severe weather. Otherwise, staying kind of on the nicer trend.

ROMANS: We'll take the nicer trend. Thanks, Indra. Nice to see you this morning.

All right. Time for an EARLY START on your money. Asian European markets mostly lower this morning. U.S. stocks also lower after a three-day weekend.

BERMAN: What? They don't go lower anymore.

ROMANS: Don't worry, Berman. They have had this amazing run this year. And the Dow topped 17,000 on the half day of trading before the long weekend. Both the Dow and S&P 500, new highs before we went home for the Independence Day weekend.

Now, the bull market is now more than 1,000 days long. It's longest, the real correction since the late 1980s.

So, is it time to sell? Berman wants to know. Experts tell CNN Money, no. The reason there are no great alternatives. Bonds are just expensive. Foreign stocks can be more pickle. There's also no hit of a downturn for stocks anytime soon, especially with signs of an improving economy.

Just last week, we saw a strong jobs report. And pending new home sales, both saw their best gains in several years.

So, for now, for now, this is the longest bull market since the 1980s, but there are those who are comparing it to the '80s and saying there might be a little bit more to go.

BERMAN: Still, the jobs report was good.

ROMANS: It was good. The jobs report is a lagging indicator, right? The stock market is leading. The stock market anticipated the recovery. So, that's where you see the upside potential.

BERMAN: Very good. All right. Twelve minutes after the hour. Happening now, a stunning video leaked of Oscar Pistorius re-enacting the moments he killed his model girlfriend. We'll have him in his own words. That's next.

ROMANS: And coming up on EARLY START, startling new details in a death of a toddler after he was left in a hot car. We're going to tell you why investigators have shifted their focus to the young boy's mother, as the father remains behind bars charged with murder.


BERMAN: Happening today, a California probate court will determine whether Shelly Sterling have the authority to take over the trust to manage the Los Angeles Clippers. She did so to negotiate a sale of the team, after her allegedly estranged husband was caught making racist remarks. Donald Sterling is now asking for the legal proceedings to be moved to federal court. The $2 billion sale to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer hangs in the balance.

ROMANS: The focus in the case of the Georgia toddler who was left to die in a hot car now shifting to his mother. It's unclear whether police suspect Leanna Harris played a role. But explosive details from Thursday's court hearings suggest her reaction to the boy's death and statements at the police station may have been incriminating. Cooper's father, Justin Ross Harris remains in jail on murder and child cruelty charges.

BERMAN: Funeral services will be held this week for a New York City firefighter killed in the line of duty this weekend. Lieutenant Gordon Ambelas died Saturday while fighting a fire at a Brooklyn high- rise. The fire was apparently sparked by an electrical cord. Ambelas had been promoted just last year. The lieutenant leaves behind a wife and two young daughters.

ROMANS: A court date today for the Hollywood skin care specialist accused in a bizarre plot to have a business competitor killed. Prosecutors say Dawn DaLuise tried to hire a Nazi hitman to take out Gabriel Suarez. He owned a salon in the same building as DaLuise which once had clients including Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Aniston and Alicia Silverstone. She's already pleaded not guilty to solicitation of murder.

BERMAN: That is the most messed story of the day.


BERMAN: Boeing is hoping it can salvage several fuselages that spent the weekend in a Montana river. So, this happened when a train derailed near Superior, Montana. It happened on Thursday. Nineteen cars on the train derailed. Three of the cars had airplane parts headed to Washington. No one was hurt luckily in this derailment. The cause is still under investigation.

ROMANS: All right. Happening now, the Oscar Pistorius murder trial resuming in South Africa. But the real drama is outside the courtroom. An Australian television network obtained video showing the former Olympian re-enacting how he says he killed his girlfriend all the way down to the harrowing screams heard by neighbors.

But now, lawyers for the Blade Runner are steaming. They say the video was illegally obtained. Here is Pistorius in his own words.


ROMANS: Let's go to Kelly Phelps in Pretoria with more for us this morning. Kelly, this is -- it's sort of shocking to see him re- enacting this event that ended the life of his girlfriend and has spent every day since then consuming the public in South Africa. What's the significance here?

KELLY PHELPS, CNN LEGAL EXPERT: Well, arguably, there isn't much legal significance at all in the since that this appears to have been footage that was filmed in the run-up to the trial as part of the preparation between Pistorius and his league team. It was therefore be subject to the privilege between clients and attorney and not subject to admission in court. However, it's been interesting today in court because we've seen Mr. Nel trying to bait the current witness on the stand to make reference to this video, which would then give him the opportunity to try and get it admitted as part of the trial record.

ROMANS: What is the public reaction then to the release of this video?

PHELPS: Well, the video hasn't been widely released in South Africa --


ROMANS: All right.

BERMAN: I've got to say, seeing that video of the re-enactment there, it is breathtaking to see.

ROMANS: To see him crouched over, you know, in the toilet room, crouched over and with a live person who's re-enacting that part of it. Very weird.

BERMAN: What is interesting in South Africa, in the U.S., this would cause such a brouhaha because it'd be a jury trial and there'll be all this concern, will the jury see it? Will it taint the jury pool? In South Africa, you know, it's just the judge. All this can happen around the edges. You don't know if it will have an impact.

ROMANS: We lost Kelly's audio there. We'll be back with her this morning. Thanks for that.

Eight people are lucky to survive the holiday weekend after their boats sank in the waters off Myrtle Beach. Boats are taking on water. It was submerged ten minutes later. Boaters had to tread water for almost an hour in violent waves.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went under water and we saw everybody pop up and started counting heads to make sure everybody was above water. That's what I started doing, just to make sure we had all eight. Swimming was, it just wasn't going to work, even with life jackets on, we couldn't swim anywhere. So, we were all latch together so that we were a bigger marker for somebody to find us.


ROMANS: Oh my gosh. That's terrifying. A fisherman first spotted the boaters, followed by a Coast Guard. One person was hospitalized but expected to be fine. Hurricane rumbled through there, you know. Rough waters.

BERMAN: All right. Coming up, oh what a match. Roger Federer denied an eighth Wimbledon title at the All England Club. We will tell you how he failed so dramatically to Novak Djokovic.

Laura Rutledge has that and the latest from the World Cup in the "Bleacher Report", next.


ROMANS: Really tragic story on the golf course. It was one of George McNeill's best days on the course, but really also one of his worst off it.

BERMAN: Laura Rutledge has more on a bittersweet Sunday, his bittersweet Sunday in our "Bleacher Report" this morning.

Good morning.

LAURA RUTLEDGE, BLEACHER REPORT: Good morning. Yes, just a terrible day for George McNeill who should have been on top of the world. He shot a nine under 61 at the Green Briar Classic yesterday, finishing in second place. But after finishing his round, McNeill learned that his 46-year-old sister, Michelle, has lost her battle with breast cancer.


GEORGE MCNEILL, PRO GOLFER: You go out and, you know, golf doesn't mean a whole lot. It's hard. I played good today and got finished.


RUTLEDGE: Well, it's been a rough couple days for Brazilian soccer star Neymar. Following the tackle that knocked him out of the World Cup, according to his coach, Neymar says he couldn't feel his legs moments after being knocked to the ground. Thankfully, doctors discovered he only had a fractured vertebra that will require four to six weeks of rest but won't affect him long term as a player or a person.

And a thrilling battle between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on the grass court yesterday. In the end, Djokovic barely scraped by Federer to win it by five sets denying the Fed what would have been a record breaking eighth Wimbledon title. It's rare to witness a fight between two players that's evenly match. That was made the 3:56 minutes affair so spectacular.

Djokovic hadn't won a major championship since the 2013 Australian Open.

And trending on, a huge hair of wrecks took out a nearly half the field at yesterday's NASCAR race in Daytona. Now, the big one here involved 26 cars and ended with Kyle Bush getting flipped upside down. Wow. Eventually, the race was called because of rain giving Aric Almirola his first win.

ROMANS: That is something right there.

RUTLEDGE: Got to watch out for those.

BERMAN: That is a lot of cars.


BERMAN: All right, thank you so much. Great to have you on the show.

RUTLEDGE: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Top headlines, everything you need to know for your day right after the break. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: Escalating violence overnight. Rockets launching from Gaza, slamming southern Israel as questions loom surrounding the brutal beating of an American team allegedly by Israeli police. We are live from Jerusalem with the latest.

BERMAN: The fight to stem the immigration crisis entering Central America now. An ad campaign showing the dangers of crossing illegally. Will this help ease the problem and why both sides now are blaming the president?

ROMANS: Happening today, Pope Francis is set to meet with victims of the church's sex abuse scandal, sparking outrage with some about his timing. We're live from Rome with all those details.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.