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EARLY START

Typhoon Targets Japan; Israel Launches New Air Strikes Against Hamas; President Asking for $2 Billion over Immigration Crisis; Oscar Pistorius on Trial

Aired July 8, 2014 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news overnight. Powerful typhoon bearing down on Japan, a massive city and a large U.S. military base right in its crosshairs. We are tracking the storm's latest path and the destruction this typhoon is bringing, live.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: More breaking news, rockets launching overnight. Violence rapidly escalating in Gaza as Israel strikes back at Hamas with vengeance. This morning hundreds of troops gathering at the border there as President Obama now weighs in. We're live with all the developments this morning.

ROMANS: A roller coaster ride turns terrifying at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Stuck there for hours when it crashes and derails.

BERMAN: Ugly.

ROMANS: That is not a day at the park.

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

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Thirty-one minutes past the hour right now.

ROMANS: Breaking this morning, hundreds of thousands of people in Okinawa, Japan, and a threat of a typhoon moving through the region. Concern now, concern about giant waves, storm surges, wind gusts over 150 miles an hour, leading to evacuation advisories for more than half a million people there. A U.S. Marine Corps base is in the path of this monster storm.

Will Ripley is in Tokyo with the very latest for us.

Will, bring us up to speed.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine, we just got some new information from the crisis management center in Okinawa, this coming in just within the last five minutes. The number of people who have received evacuation notices has jumped to almost 600,000. Now keep in mind these are mandatory evacuations. These are optional. There are more than 100 shelters open right now for those who choose to go. The vast majority of folks are choosing to weather the storm at home right now.

We also know the number of injured has jumped up. Ten reported injuries right now including one serious. We know of at least one building collapse. Ten roads closed in Okinawa. And the storm is still going, the wind is still howling, 14,000 passengers have been grounded, more than 100 flight cancellations to report. So this is a big mess and the cleanup will likely -- the extent of the cleanup will become more apparent once the wind dies down and emergency crews are able to get a better look at things in Okinawa and the surrounding islands.

And one thing that we're watching very closely, Christine, is where the storm goes from here. Right now, it's headed straight for mainland Japan, specifically the southernmost island of Kyushu, home to 13 million people.

It's been rain soaked. It's rainy season here in Japan. It's been raining heavily there since last week. And we're talking about the kind of rain that this typhoon could bring to that area. You could see mudslides, flooding in addition to the problems from the wind and those huge waves. The storm surge and waves in excess in some cases of 40 feet -- Christine.

A big mess here. And it's definitely a developing story we're following.

ROMANS: All right. Will Ripley, 150 mile per hour wind and it's still moving toward the mainland. Thanks, Will.

BERMAN: Indra Petersons is tracking the typhoon in front of a very menacing looking map -- Indra.

ROMANS: Yes.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We're going to show that 3-D radar. You can see that well defined eye, even though it's going west of Okinawa, you can see those outer bands. Really even giving category 2 strength winds even to Okinawa and heavy rain as we speak.

One thing I kind of wanted to show you, why it became such a strong typhoon. Look at all the wind. This shows you all the wind, they're coming from the south. That's where that tropical moisture is. And where you have the colder seas, notice we're not seeing the winds coming from that direction. So that's what allowed it to fuel. It become so strong. At one point it was near a cat 5, what we consider a cat 5 or a supertyphoon.

Now it has weakened now to what we call that a cat 3 and 125 mile per hour winds. And again, really bringing those impact towards about a category 2 strength right around Okinawa right now. It is expected to weaken as it heads toward the mainland there or the bigger island of Japan. But regardless the effects are still going to be huge as you just heard Will talk about.

The amount of rain they've already seen, thanks to a stalled front out there is going to bring really an additional amount of rain that they can't handle. So it will make landfall our time about Wednesday evening, their time, Thursday morning likely to about a category one by our equivalent there. But notice the stalled cold front has already brought them huge

amounts of rain, about over 11 inches since just last Thursday. So even though it weakens you're adding more rain on top of that. Anywhere from six inches around Okinawa today to four inches once it reaches that region. You're talking those huge threats of mudslides and flooding into the region. So that's going to be the biggest threat. Not to mention, 45 foot waves right around the center of this guy.

ROMANS: Wow.

BERMAN: This will not be over for days. We'll be keeping an eye on.

Thanks, Indra. Appreciate it.

Breaking overnight, Israel stepping up its efforts to combat terror from Hamas. The Israeli Defense Forces launching 50 airstrike into Gaza as part of the operation they're now calling Protective Edge. Targeting Hamas after another 80 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel.

Now President Obama is turning to an op-ed to try to cool the tensions there. An Israeli paper -- in an Israeli paper, the president says in part, "Peace is necessary because it's the only way to ensure a secure and democratic future for the Jewish state of Israel. While walls and missile defense systems can help protect against some threats, true safety will only come with a comprehensive negotiated settlement."

I have to say at this moment, that does not seem at hand. That's why we're going to go to Ben Wedeman in Gaza City where the rockets have been flying out of the Gaza area.

A Hamas leader's home, Ben, I understand, has just been destroyed.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And we're in front of the home which is very typical of what has been happening since yesterday. This house was a four-story building. They received, some of the occupants of the house received a phone call clearly from some Israeli source saying leave that house quickly. Moments later, a drone flew over, fired a small missile. The family was already out of the house within five minutes, and then bang. A missile hit, completely destroying, collapsing this four-story house.

Now our understanding is, this is one of 11 houses within the last 24 hours, which has been hit by Israeli air raids, most of those houses belonging to people affiliated with the Hamas movement. After we came into Gaza this morning, we saw a series of rockets being fired in the direction of Israel and within minutes, we heard a huge explosion nearby. An airstrike clearly striking at the source of those missiles.

But it's interesting, you get into Gaza City, John, there are shops still open, people driving around. People seem to be somewhat confident, perhaps, that these strikes are very targeted and that ordinary shops and buildings and homes may not be hit. So it's a very odd situation here in Gaza. But we can -- expect this to go on as we heard from the Israeli Defense minister for at least several days.

Now, John, I think I have lost my communications with you, so I'm going to have to throw it back to you.

BERMAN: Yes, we appreciate that report from Ben. And as he did say, there are Israeli officials now saying this could go on for several days. It does have all the ingredients perhaps to get worse. We hope some sense of calm can be maintained.

ROMANS: Absolutely.

All right, the president is asking Congress to reach deep into its pockets to fight an immigration crisis on the border. A $2 billion request expected today, but without the legislative baggage at least for now. All this a day before the president heads to Texas where he's learned he's getting a snub, so to speak, from the governor after deciding against a trip to the border.

Michelle Kosinski is in the White House with more.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right. So we've seen protests even here at the White House, across the country and at the border where tens of thousands of unaccompanied children, some as young as toddlers, have been apprehended. Nearly 60,000 just this year. So the White House is calling this an urgent humanitarian crisis.

They're scrambling to assemble the housing. Lawyers and judges to process these kids as quickly as possible, and then send them home, mostly to Central America. But now comes criticism even from a House Democrat that the president hasn't acted quickly enough to try to stem this problem before it came to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. HENRY CUELLAR (D), TEXAS: Well, again, it'd be nice for him to come down to the border. But again, with all due respect, I think he's still one step behind. They knew this was happening a year ago, last year and again they are just -- they're not reacting fast enough at this time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSINSKI: Well, maybe the bigger growing criticism right now is that this week the president plans to go to Texas for some Democratic fundraisers but has no plans, at this point, to actually visit the border himself. I mean, this question has been asked of the White House now at least a dozen times. Wouldn't this be the best time for the president to do that, to see this crisis up close?

But the White House has said repeatedly they don't see a need for that, that the president is well briefed and that other administration officials have visited there.

The White House is also defending its record saying it has been proactive, it's been trying to work with Central American countries. And now to pay for this, the White House is asking Congress for an additional $2 billion. Today, we expect to see them sort of lay out exactly where that money would go.

Also, the president wants to ask for greater authority or use his existing executive authority to give the Department of Homeland Security more leeway, more discretion to process these kids quickly, at least as much as they can under a law, a law that was passed before President Obama took office that requires that these kids who don't come from Mexico go through this hearing process. And as it stands now, with a backlog in some cases, that process is taking years.

BERMAN: All right. Our thanks to Michelle Kosinski for that.

Also happening today, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs will examine how the VA handles whistleblower complaints. The hearing set for tonight stems from the revelations of secret waiting list exposed by CNN. Now lawmakers from both parties want to take back about $380,000 in bonuses handed out to VA executives at these troubled clinics.

ROMANS: The suspect on the deadly assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi will be back in court today. A status hearing set for Ahmed Abu Khattallah. Republicans are looking to spend millions in their investigation of that attack. Documents show a special committee is asking for more than $3 million this year. That's more than key committees including Veterans Affairs and Ethics.

BERMAN: For the first time since World War II, Germany may be preparing to spy on the United States. This comes in response to last week's arrest of a German intelligence official whom the Germans say was passing documents to a U.S. contact. Washington's ties to Germany have already been strained over revelations of NSA spying leaked by Edward Snowden.

ROMANS: All right, 54 minutes past the hour. Time for an EARLY START on your money. European shares are lower. Airline stocks taking a hit after Air France cut its earnings forecast, Asian shares ended mixes, U.S. futures lower right now ahead of what will certainly be a big day of corporate news in the U.S. You can see there, stocks pulled back yesterday. The Dow still above 17000.

So that corporate news, Alcoa kicks off a slew of profit reports over the next few days this morning. Overall second quarter earnings expected to grow 5 percent compared with last year.

BERMAN: Wow.

ROMANS: That estimate is down from a predicted 7 percent growth earlier this year but it shows you that companies are recovering. Profits near record highs. Stocks are trading near all-time highs. Corporate America needs to show Wall Street that strong profits will back up that stock market performance.

BERMAN: All right. Breaking overnight, some tense moments for 22 people on a roller coaster that jumped the tracks in California. Check that out. That's the front car of the Ninja Coaster at Six Flags --

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: Is it OK if I just cover my eyes? I'm just going to cover my eyes.

BERMAN: Cover your eyes, look away. That's at Six Flags Magic Park in California. The front car partly dislodged hanging only by the back wheels. Riders were left up there for as long as three hours.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were riding on the jet stream when we saw the Ninja go into the trees. And it was just a lot of leaf noise and then cracking noises and crashing noises and a lot of screaming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just got off the ride, right? And then like we were just walking along the side and then it just fell. Like there was something, just a loud boom. And we just ran there. But then people told us to get out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people that were on the ride, like their family and friends were kind of freaking out a little.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's why we were kind of like, like what happened. Scary because it could have been -- it could have been us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Four people suffered minor injuries. A spokesperson for the park says the incident was caused by a fallen tree blanch. That Ninja coaster is now closed while an inspection is performed.

ROMANS: All right. Breaking news this morning. The defense -- rests, rather. An Olympic hero accused of -- murdering his model girlfriend. But did Oscar Pistorius' legal team convince a judge he didn't do it? We are live with the very latest courtroom drama in South Africa, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: The defense for Oscar Pistorius has rested its case. Lawyers for the bladerunner argue that the Olympian shot his girlfriend thinking that she was an intruder.

The trial had started way back in March. Now it will not resume until next month for closing arguments.

Kelly Phelps has more now for us.

You know, nothing left but the closing arguments -- Kelly.

KELLY PHELPS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. Well, it's not surprising that there's a large break for the closing arguments considering we think the transcript at this point exceeds 4,000 pages. So the teams have quite a lot of information, dense information to weed through before they actually manage to put down those closing arguments.

BERMAN: There was a long break for Oscar Pistorius' mental health to be evaluated. How do these breaks factor in, do you think, to the judge's ultimate determination here?

PHELPS: Well, I think the breaks in this case have actually assisted the judge because they have allowed her to keep up to speed with the transcript as the trial has been unfolding. And considering there have been quite a number of expert witnesses in particular whose evidence is really quite technical and detailed and it gets presented along with many thick documents to the court.

This will have allowed her to keep up to speed with her workload and hopefully, then, we shouldn't have to wait too long between the closing arguments and the verdict.

BERMAN: Of course that all happens next month.

Kelly Phelps for us in South Africa. Thanks so much.

ROMANS: It's been a fascinating -- long and fascinating trial.

BERMAN: Very different than it would be over here in the United States.

ROMANS: Yes. Really.

All right. Let's get a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Kate Bolduan joins us this morning.

Good morning, Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Good morning, guys. We're going to be following that powerful typhoon that is hitting Japan this morning. The southern islands are getting pummeled by destructive winds and violent storm surges.

And it's important to note this isn't just about Japan. There's also a very large U.S. military presence in this area that is kind of -- that is also a target of this storm. It could be one of the strongest storms to hit Japan in decades. We are going to be live there with the very latest. What they're going to be dealing especially through the day.

But we're also covering the sadness and honestly outrage after a particularly violent weekend in Chicago. Gun violence raged in the streets. At least 60 people were shot. Several of them killed. Police officers involved. Officials there are blaming gun laws.

A lot of people are wondering why is Chicago becoming notorious for this gun violence? Isn't it time to stop pointing fingers and to honestly try to take some action? But what is the fix? There's no easy answer. But we're going to be taking a look at that, guys. BERMAN: All right. Thanks a lot, Kate.

ROMANS: See you in a bit.

All right. A baby abandoned left at a New York City subway platform. A camera is catching the woman right there in the white tank top who was with the child, walking away. Breaking developments overnight, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back this morning, 51 minutes past the hour.

Heartbreak in Chicago. A plea for calm after another violent weekend. More than 70 people were shot between Thursday afternoon and early Monday morning. Seventy people shot, 14 of them died. Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls the violence senseless and totally unacceptable. But he says no police force can stop people who won't put away their guns.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: I believe everybody in Chicago is part of building what I call a partnership for peace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going build on a strategy. We are taking it apart and trying to figure out what it is that happened this weekend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The police superintendent also wants tougher penalties for gun crimes as a deterrent.

Breaking overnight, a 20-year-old woman now in police custody after they say she abandoned a baby on a busy subway platform. She's in custody. No word on the woman's identity. Police have released this surveillance video of the woman they say pushed a stroller off a train at Columbus Circle. Then she got back on without the baby.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something really sad. I feel so sad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can you do something to someone so innocent?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's heartbreaking. It makes you want to hold your baby and make sure nothing like that happens. I don't know why somebody would do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The baby this morning is said to be doing fine at a local hospital.

Parents and supporters of a California teen shot and killed by a police officer, they are vowing to fight on. This, after learning charges will not be filed against the officer. Prosecutors say Deputy Eric (INAUDIBLE) had reason to believe he faced a do-or-die situation. He shot 13-year-old Andy Lopez who was carrying a pellet gun. The deputy told investigators he believed that pellet gun was real.

Uproar in Philadelphia as investigators examine why the 911 call for a deadly fire over the weekend was initially classified as a lower level incident. Police arrested several people during a protest outside a firehouse. They claimed it took crews half an hour, half an hour to respond to a fire that killed four children. But dispatch records show the first firefighters arrived within five minutes.

And happening today, marijuana sales become legal in Washington state. The first licenses have been issued for about 250 stores to sell marijuana. Washington becomes the second state to offer legalized marijuana sale -- recreational marijuana sales following Colorado's lead.

Coming up, GM already recalled 27 million cars this year, 27 million. So what has the automaker holding back on another recall?

We're going to get an early check of your money, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: All right, three minutes to the top of the hour. Let's get an EARLY START on your money this morning.

European shares weak. Airline stocks down after Air France cut their earnings forecast. And European bank stocks are lower on reports of pending settlements of American authorities.

Here, U.S. futures cautious ahead of what will be a big day for company news. Alcoa kicks off a slew of profit reports today. Overall, second quarter earnings, they're expected to grow about 5 percent, just shy of 5 percent compared to last year.

Sounds great. Right? Good profit growth. It's not quite as strong as the 7 percent profit growth originally forecast for profits. With stocks near all time highs, corporate profits need to help justify that strong growth to keep near records.

General Motors has recalled more than 27 million vehicles in the U.S. this year. But you know what, the auto maker has resisted recalling even more. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been investigating corrosion related brake failure in full-sized trucks and SUVs since 2010.

Now this issue affects millions of vehicles from 1999 to 2003 model years. General Motors has told regulated the rusted brake lines are a maintenance issue that affects the entire auto industry. It's not just a General Motors truck problem. The company also said the affected vehicles would still be capable of stopping.

All right. Two minutes to the top of the hour. "NEW DAY" starts right now. KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. One of the worst storms in

over a decade is slamming into Japan's southern islands this morning. It's home to a large U.S. military presence. The powerful typhoon is packing winds up to 125 miles per hour. We take you live to Japan.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Tipping point. Outrage in Chicago after more than 60 people were shot over a violent holiday weekend. Officials pointing fingers now over gun laws and demanding that something be done. Will this bloodshed force lawmakers to act?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, Israel launching a major offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza, ramping up airstrikes, beefing up troops at the border. The Palestinian leader warning of the dangers of escalation. Will the conflict break out into all-out war?

BOLDUAN: Your NEW DAY starts now.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, Michaela Pereira.

BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome to NEW DAY, everybody. It is Tuesday, July 8th. 6:00 in the East. John Berman right here.

BERMAN: I am right here.

BOLDUAN: Right here right now. Chris is off today.

We're following breaking news this morning, including a powerful typhoon. Just look at the video. It says it all. Slamming into Japan this morning. Typhoon Neoguri is being called the region's most powerful storm in decades.