Return to Transcripts main page


Crisis at the Border; Rockets Fly Over Gaza; Deadly Storms; Germany Dominates Brazil in 7-1 Rout

Aired July 9, 2014 - 05:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Crisis at the border. President Obama meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry about the thousands of children illegally crossing into the U.S. The president requesting billions of dollars from Congress to fix the problem. But will Congress agree and did it be enough? We'll have the very latest ahead.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight. Dozens dead as the violence escalates over Gaza. Israel and Hamas launching rockets at each other. A ground invasion seeming imminent. We are live with the very latest.

BERMAN: Deadly storms terrorizing communities from the Midwest to the East Coast. Businesses leveled, trees just ripped from the ground. It's not over yet. Indra Petersons is tracking what you need to know for today.

Good morning, everyone. A busy Wednesday. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. Nice to see everybody this morning. It's Wednesday, July 9th. It's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

Happening today, President Obama heading to Texas. The trip was originally for two fund-raisers. But all eyes now are on his response to the illegal immigration crisis. The president will meet with leaders, including Texas Governor Rick Perry about the situation. He still has plans to visit the border, as far as we know. It comes the day after Obama made a mammoth request to Congress, $3.7 billion, to help curb the problem. He also wants to expand authority to fight the problem. But he's facing brushback from lawmakers.

Our Michelle Kosinski has more from the White House.



Well, today, the president will be in Texas to address this issue. And we've seen now the White House lay out what it calls an aggressive plan for dealing with this border situation. It's a lot of money they're asking from Congress, nearly $4 billion, even more than originally expected. About $2 billion of that will be to house and care for these kids awaiting this legal process of asylum that they go through. In some cases, it takes years ago, but that process is required by law, even though in reality, most will likely just be sent home. Another $1.5 billion will adjust border security, and enforcement. And the remainder will pay for the lawyers and judges for all of these children to go through that process.

Now, the question is, the president wants to expand the authority that the department of homeland security has to speed up the process in general, but will Congress pass this? Already, we're hearing pushback from Republicans saying, well, it's too much money. It's just a band- aid. Where's the accountability?

Here's one.

REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R-VA), JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN: You don't need that amount of money. The Appropriations Committee is looking at this very carefully, and we need to have very targeted appropriations for very specific purposes to address things that are needed as a part of this -- $3.7 billion is a slap in the face of the taxpayers of the United States.

KOSINSKI: Not only is this a difficult situation at the border, in terms of just trying to find solutions, it is now a difficult political situation. There's fodder on both sides. On one hand, the Republicans are saying, how did the president and administration let it get to this point? Where were they? Why didn't they see this coming?

On the other hand, the White House is saying, well, you guys didn't pass comprehensive immigration reform. And managed to get through the Senate in a bipartisan fashion, but House Republicans are still keeping that bill blocked there -- John and Christine.


BERMAN: We have breaking news overnight with the conflict in the Middle East getting uglier by the hour. Hamas firing 130 rockets towards Israel in just the last day. Some of them being fired at civilians as far away as Tel Aviv where they were intercepted by Israel's missile defense system, the Iron Dome.

Israel also taking action on the ground when militants arrived by sea and tried to storm a beach in Israeli territory, Israel now warning of a possible ground incursion into Gaza as it launches about 160 air strikes against the militants there, while trying to limit civilian casualties and called some of those houses and drop leaflets before they drop the bombs.

Diana Magnay is live near Sderot in Israel with the latest. That is right near the border with Gaza.

Diana, we understand you've seen several missiles headed for Israel actually being intercepted by that missile defense system, that Iron Dome defense system overnight?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, just about 10 minutes ago, John, in fact, we saw the white plumes of smoke in the air where you can see that there has been an intercept.

And I'll just move aside. It wasn't actually from this missile battery here, which is part of the Iron Dome missile defense field. Those are mobile units which is move around to wherever the Israeli Defense Forces feel is the best place. They weren't intercepted by these particular batteries, but it was just in the sky above them that the intercepts happened.

The flow of rockets out of Gaza has subsided a little. The idea there were only four overnight, and a few more this morning.

Certainly, last night, when we were in the town of Ashkelon, there was a massive barrage of rocket fire out of Gaza out over our heads, the air raid wardens, sirens, warning everyone to go inside. And those are rockets that reached as far afield as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and even beyond Tel Aviv, to the town of Hadera. That is 160 kilometers away from the Gaza Strip.

So, it is clear that Hamas are now deploying their long-range missiles.

And, John, the really interesting thing about the long-missiles, the IDF says that they believe that those missiles, the M-302, are supplied to Hamas by Iran. And they think that, because a few months ago, they intercepted a ship off coast of Sudan which they say was from Iran and carried many of those kinds of missiles. And that is where they believe that Hamas is getting some of its longer range weaponry from which it clearly is putting to use, John.

BERMAN: Putting to use with extended range than anyone has ever seen before.

Diana Magnay for us from that region, thanks so much.

New charges could be coming against the accused ringleader on the mission of Benghazi. That's according to federal prosecutors. Ahmed Abu Khattala was in court for a status hearing. He has pleaded not guilty to a conspiracy charge. Officials say the government has started sharing information with defense attorneys gathered through FBI interviews overseas.

ROMANS: The NSA and FBI reportedly spied on five prominent Native Americans after the September 11th attacks. That's according documents Edward Snowden provided to the intercept. Their e-mail addresses of five American, nearly 7,500 monitored under procedures intended to target terrorists.

Just who was being monitored? One of the five served in the Department of Homeland Security in the Bush administration. The others include an attorney, two professors and a civil rights official.

BERMAN: Breaking overnight, the V.A. now facing more trouble after whistle-blowers detail alleged retribution within the agency. At a House committee hearing, four whistle-blowers testified suggesting transfers, harassment, altered records and long breaks between paychecks were paid back for sounding the alarm about concerns within the system. Revelations got lawmakers even more frustrated.


REP. MIKE MICHAUD (D), MAINE: Talk is keep. Real solutions are hard to find. It is clear to me that the V.A., as it is structured today, is fundamentally incapable of making real changes in the culture.


BERMAN: Many of these problems with the V.A. only came to light earlier this year when CNN exposed dozens of veterans had died while on secret waiting lists for care.

ROMANS: Senate Democrats are going to go -- are going to do battle with the Supreme Court. They're drafting legislation to provide for- profit companies to provide and pay for contraceptives. It's essentially a decision to override the Supreme Court's decision allowing companies to opt out on religious grounds. House Democrats are developing a companion bill but it faces long odds in the GOP- controlled House.

BERMAN: Different subject, still politics. Republicans have announced their 2016 convention plans. Can you say hello, Cleveland? Cleveland, Ohio, beat out Dallas for the right to host the convention. The full Republican National Committee still has to vote on this and it will almost definitely ratify the choice next month.

The Republicans no doubt looking to pick up key swing votes in a key swing state. No Republican has won the presidency without also carrying Ohio. Democrats have yet to announce their host city.

ROMANS: I wonder if King James will be there.

BERMAN: Or Marco Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida. He actually congratulated Cleveland for getting the convention but said you will not get LeBron James.

ROMANS: All right. Time for an EARLY START on your money this Wednesday morning. Tough day so far. European shares down. Asian shares ended lower. Futures here slightly slower after a beating yesterday led by tech shares.

The big story this morning -- the big story this morning, Citigroup, it is reportedly close to a $7 billion settlement, $7 billion with the Justice Department. Why? Oh, yes, over those bad mortgages all packaged up and sold to investors before the financial crisis. Watch that space today.

Good news for the jobs market to tell you about. OK, jobs openings surged in May, 4.6 million job openings in this country -- the strongest number since June 2007. When you break that down, that means there are 2.1 job seekers for every available job. Still seems like long odds. You've got to beat somebody else for the job. But look at how that number has shrunk since the recession.

In 2009, there were almost 7 people looking for a job for every opening. Imagine that. In 2009, you had to look around and beat out six other people for a job. Last year this time, there were three people for opening.

I love this number. I watch this number very closely. I know who watches this number, the Fed as well. When it shows you how many people are looking for each available job. It's slowly declining.

BERMAN: That's progress.

ROMANS: It is progress, yes.

All right. Breaking overnight, severe weather from the Northeast, to the Midwest turning deadly and more of the same could be in store today. In New York, four people killed near Syracuse when the storms destroyed four homes and damaged many others. Fierce winds brought down power lines and trees uprooting some from the ground. Some of these trees snapped at the trunk. Crews working to restore power to almost 130,000 customers in New York this morning.

BERMAN: The storm is responsible for the a tragedy at summer camp in Maryland. A boy was killed by a falling tree -- by falling three branches at a Christian camp in Manchester. Children were underway inside when heavy winds snapped the branches, which collapsed on the group. Eight other children were injured.

ROMANS: Heartbreaking.

Nearly 300,000 customers waking up in the dark in Pennsylvania. A tornado touched down in Mercer County. That's in western Pennsylvania. This is during the severe weather. Gusty winds, heavy rain left downed trees. Homes and barns damaged. People running for cover in the rural area there.

BERMAN: Some nasty pictures.


BERMAN: Three tornadoes confirmed in Ohio. One of them touched down in Valley City. That's about 20 miles outside of Cleveland. Winds near 100 miles per hour there.

Look, that's nasty, nasty pictures. What's going to happen today?

Let's go to Indra Petersons for a check on the forecast -- Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: A very scary evening, right? A line of storms kind of pushed through the region.

Today, we're still looking at a similar power where we have the jet stream in the eastern portion of the country, kind of dipping down. Still looking for some scattered showers as we go out through the next several days.

Let's talk about what we saw yesterday. Six tornado reports were out there, again, most of those in Ohio and into Pennsylvania. Look at damaging wind and even some large hail. That was seen from that same system that kind of started out in the Ohio Valley and quickly increased in the overnight hours.

Notice the difference though, that's what it looked like yesterday, and right now, although we still have scattered showers out there, definitely not on the same scale as yesterday. Now, I just say that we can't see any today because we still have the cold front in place, especially the tail end kind of sagging into the Southeast. But notice in the Northeast, high pressure will be building in. It's a bit little milder if you go towards the end of the week, until another cold front behind it does bring rainy weather. Chicago, by the way, by Friday, you'll see that kind of make its way through.

So, closer to the tail of the system, that's where we have the heavier rain, two to four inches into the Southeast. Northeast, the bulk of the system out of here, but yes, some scattered showers still in place over the next couple of days. But here's the one plus side of this. The cold front did make its way through. So, temperatures about five degrees cooler today, especially if you're in the Midwest, you're going to feel this huge drop. It's going to feel a lot better.

Beautiful temperatures in Chicago, temperatures in the 70s. And they continue to go down, all that cool air continues to spread as it kind of head towards the weekend. It's going to make feel a lot milder out there. And that's one plus that we do need after a very rough night.

BERMAN: Yes, we deserve some nice days. Thank you, Indra.

ROMANS: Thank you, Indra.

That go, go, go is no, no, no if you're Brazil.

BERMAN: Yes, exactly.

So, let's go to today first, there is a soccer game. The second World Cup semifinal today. We're seeing the Netherlands play against Argentina. The winner? Who do they play?

ROMANS: Germany.

BERMAN: Yes, I'll say, Germany just mauled Brazil. It was one of seven goals that Germany scored against Brazil, the host team from the host country. The world has never seen a humiliation like this in a World Cup semifinal.

It was stunning. You could see the shocked faces in the crowd. Look at that.

ROMANS: That's not shock. That is grief. That is grief.

BERMAN: You got to just feel bad. They haven't lost at home. Brazil hasn't lost in a competitive game since 1975. This doesn't happen. This doesn't happen.

ROMANS: Can I tell you? My kid watching this. He's getting into soccer for the first time this year. He was a baby the last time we did this. He said, what's happening? How can this be? How can you have 7-1? BERMAN: They scored a lifetime of goals for your young son. In a span of like 12 minutes during that game. It was insanity.

ROMANS: Unbelievable. All right. We'll talk more about that later.

First, Donald Sterling delivering a drama on the witness stand, fighting his wife's attempt to sell their NBA team. Why he thinks selling the L.A. Clippers now is a bad idea, next.


BERMAN: The Iraqi military has now three attack planes from Iran to deploy on its ongoing fight against ISIS. Iran sent three Russian- made attack planes to Nouri al-Maliki's government. The aircraft had already conducted missions in western and northern Iraq. Both Iran and the United States had been working to find a way to beat back the ISIS threat and try to help stabilized Iraq.

ROMANS: Happening now: Ukrainian forces are getting closer to regaining control to the eastern part of the country from rebels. Troops seized Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles left behind by separatists who fled when they were defeated by government forces Saturday. Still no word from Vladimir Putin when he'll try to help keep it alive.

BERMAN: More provocation from North Korea to firing short-term missiles without declaring a no-fly zone. South Korea says the missiles were fired off the coast of the peninsula. They flew more than 310 miles before splashing down. No damage or injuries reported. A series of launches on recent months has growth criticism of Seoul, Japan, the United States and the United Nations.

ROMANS: Could Nigeria finally be closing in on hundreds of school girls abducted by Boko Haram? Nigeria's national council of state is promising, quote, "some good news" very soon about the girls held captive since April. The council says it's not whether the girls can be rescued but how to do it without endangering their lives.

BERMAN: The college roommate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is expected back on the stand today. Andrew Dwinells testified the alleged Boston marathon bomber did not seem nervous or aggravated the days after the attack. He says Tsarnaev spent much of him time after sleeping and going on his computer. This trial came into trial of Azamat Tazhayakov, one of the three friends accused of impeding the investigation. Dwinells says Tazhayakov came and started looking through some of Tsarnaev's belongings hours after his photo was released by the FBI.

ROMANS: Attorneys for Aaron Hernandez wants to get their hands on work records from the New England Patriots. The judge in the Odin Lloyd murder case will hear arguments today and may issue a ruling. The records include psychological and medical recordings suggesting Hernandez's lawyers are considering a diminished capacity defense. The former Patriot is expected to be moved to a jail closer to his lawyers today. BERMAN: Speaking out, Jerry Sandusky's son is opening up to Oprah

Winfrey about the abuse he endured at the hands of his father. Winfrey's interview with Matt Sandusky will be broadcast tomorrow night. The network says Sandusky describes methodical control of manipulation by the disgraced football coach, he is one of six children adopted by Jerry and Dottie Sandusky.

ROMANS: A Utah woman accused of suffocating six of her newborns allegedly did it because she was a drug addict who didn't want to care for the kids. That's according to a police official. He said this woman, Megan Huntsman (ph) was heavily into meth when she skilled the kids and put their bodies in her garage from 1996 to 2006. No comment from her attorney. Huntsman is due back in court later this month.

BERMAN: A woman accused of leaving her baby on a New York subway platform is being held without bail. Frankea Dabbs faces child abandonment and other charges. She was out, apparently -- she was targeted after allegedly pushing her 7-month-old on a platform and getting back on a train. She's been arrested for prostitution, she also witnessed the murder of her little girl's father.

ROMANS: All right. A stunning admission from the Justice Department. Four employees of the Drug Enforcement Administration did nothing, did nothing when she saw a San Diego student handcuffed and locked in a cell for five days because she assumed someone else was responsible. Daniel Chong ingested methamphetamine and cut himself with broken glass during the 2012 ordeal. No word on consequences for those employees.

BERMAN: Donald Sterling expected back on the stand at the probate trial against his estranged wife Shelly.

ROMANS: Bizarre.

BERMAN: Bizarre to say the least.

It's the first day of testimony for the embattled Clippers owner. He was combative with Shelly Sterling's attorneys. He accused a doctor who concluded he had dementia of being drunk when he examined and he said the deal to sell the Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion doesn't make good sense.

With all the drama, Sterling's attorney was pleased with the testimony.


MAX BLECHER, ATTORNEY FOR DONALD STERLING: Very sharply and very dramatically, and the idea that this is $2 billion is an extravagance is wrong. He actually thinks it's going to be worth more than that because of the television contracts down the road. And that's the point he's making.


BERMAN: Sterling is trying to convince the court that his wife was not qualified to sell the team from the family trust.

ROMANS: More on this, I'm sure, to come.

Discoveries from scientists in Maryland, but not the type you'd expect. Old vials of smallpox found by scientists preparing to move from a FDA complex in Bethesda. The vials appeared to date back to the 1950s. They were located in an unused part of the storeroom. The virus has been considered eradicated since 1980. The CDC said there's no evidence any of the vials was breached, but just hanging around.

BERMAN: Yes, but not supposed to be hanging around.


BERMAN: Coming up for us, speaking of not supposed to happen -- whoa, a drubbing for the ages at the World Cup. The host, Brazil, embarrassed on its own turf.

Laura Rutledge has details on "Bleacher Report", next.


BERMAN: To the World Cup now, where host country Brazil was humiliated in historic proportions. And worst loss for a host country in the history of ever.

ROMANS: Laura Rutledge has more in the morning's "Bleacher Report."


LAURA RUTLEDGE, BLEACHER REPORT: Wow is right. There's no other way to put it, other than utter embarrassment for Brazil. The host nation stomped by Germany, 7-1, in the worst loss in team history. And the further the pain, it happened in front of a devastated home crowd. Germany was all over Brazil from the start, and the crowd watching in astonishment as their team crumbled before their eyes.

Coming into the tournament, Brazil were the favorite to win it all but Germany made him look like amateurs out there. For Brazil, it was supposed to be a World Cup to remember. Instead, they'll spend generations trying to forget this heartbreaker.

Germany will play Sunday in the final. They'll take on the winner of today's semifinal match, Netherland's -- Lionel Messi of Argentina against Netherlands at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

All right. Now, trending on, LeBron James free agency buzz and rumors are in full swing. James is meeting with Heat president Pat Riley today in Las Vegas, where LeBron holds his annual basketball camp. His agent has met with other suitors, but LeBron hasn't been actually present. We'll see if the four-time MVP makes the decision before his scheduled trip to Brazil for the World Cup final on Sunday.

All right, now, "ESPN" the magazine, sixth annual body issue hits stands this Friday. And it features six revealing covers and 22 athletes all posing nude. Some of covers include tennis star Venus Williams, swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps, and Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.

But it's this cover of Texas Rangers' slugger Prince Fielder that's gaining the most attention. Fielder who comes in at 275 pounds said he posed for the magazine to show that just because you're big doesn't mean you can't be an athlete.

Now, John and Christine, thoughts on Prince and his posing right there?

BERMANA: I thought it was -- I think it's a great picture. And I applaud Prince Fielder for doing it. It's interesting he's not playing this season. So I guess the issue of athleticism there.

Laura, I have to come clean here. I believe yesterday, you predicted correctly that Germany would win. And just to set the record straight.

ROMANS: So did you.

RUTLEDGE: Thanks for giving me props.

BERMAN: Yes, I might have thought Brazil was going to win which turned out to have been wrong in retrospect.

ROMANS: The last thing you said to me said was I think Brazil's going to win, but I bet Germany wins.

BERMAN: Thank you for remembering that. Christine Romans digging (ph) it out for me, I appreciate that.

ROMANS: He amended his prediction by the end of the day.

BERMAN: Laura, great to see you. Thanks so much.

RUTLEDGE: Thank you.

BERMAN: Coming up for us, community is picking up the pieces after a series of deadly storms rolled through the Northeast, just devastating pictures to show you. We'll tell you who was hardest hit and where these storms are expected to go next, after the break.