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House Speaker and President Spar over Immigration Crisis; Rockets Launched from Lebanon into Israel; Prostitute Suspected in Drug Overdose of Clients; Should the Government Prevent Hot Car Deaths?

Aired July 11, 2014 - 07:00   ET


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Just hours before house Republicans revealed their lawsuit bill, the president was sharpening up his defense in Texas.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've got a better idea. Do something.


OBAMA: If you're mad at me for helping people on my own, let's team up. Let's pass some bills.

ACOSTA: The brewing courtroom battle comes as the president and Boehner are already sparring over the White House plan for the border crisis, a problem Mr. Obama said could be solved with immigration reform.

OBAMA: Ronald Reagan passed immigration reform, and you love Ronald Reagan. Let's go ahead and do it.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: This is a problem of the president's own making. He's been president for five and a half years. When is he going to take responsibility for something?

ACOSTA: Even the first lady jumped into the fray, speaking to a Latino group in New York.

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: Make no mistake about it. We have to keep on fighting as hard as we can on immigration.

ACOSTA: It was a rare entry into partisan politics for Michelle Obama as a growing number of fellow Democrats complained the president has mismanaged the migrant crisis.

REP. RON BARBER, (D) ARIZONA: This problem has been going on for a long type, and now it's been exaggerated by this humanitarian crisis that we have with thousands of children coming into Texas and into my state into Arizona.


ACOSTA: Now as for John Boehner's lawsuit, the speaker said expect more details in the coming days, but he said much of this case will center on the president's decision to delay the employer mandate in Obamacare without going through Congress. The speaker's office says that is when the president really overstepped his grounds, and they believe it is the best chance they have for this court case to succeed. But who needs Broadway, guys, when you have Pennsylvania Avenue?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Right. Jim Acosta at the White House, Jim talking about the crisis on the border. The president no doubt with his eye on another crisis as well, the crisis in the Middle East, and that crisis expanded overnight. CNN has learned that a rocket was fired into northern Israel from Lebanon. Now, that is the first time it has happened in this latest round of the conflict. Israel's army responded with an artillery strike.

The death toll is rising from Israel's airstrikes on Gaza. President Obama called the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to offer to broker a ceasefire. That does not appear imminent as we sit here today.

Let's get to Wolf Blitzer, our very own anchor on the ground near the border between Israel and Gaza. Wolf, it's great to have you with us on NEW DAY. You have been in that region 24 hours, not even more, and already truly caught in the middle of this conflict.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Well, you know, we're right here. Gaza is maybe two miles behind us. You can see that there -- I don't know if you can still see, but there was smoke, an Israeli airstrike literally only about five minutes ago took place, and a huge plume of smoke came up.

But coming to this whole area near Gaza, it's pretty tumultuous. Earlier, for example, there was a direct Hamas rocket attack, and it hit a gas station in Ashdod which is not far away from where I am right now. We've got some video I want to show you. At least 11 videos totally destroyed, a gas truck totally destroyed. The whole gas station was destroyed. One Israeli who was handicapped stuck in a car wanting to go by some gas couldn't get out, pretty severely injured. But it was a pretty awful scene as I walked around there and saw what was going on.

It underscores the whole nature of the problem on this side of the border, and as we know there's a lot of tension and a lot of grief going on in the Gaza side of the border as well. This is a bad situation, and I suspect, John, it's only going to get worse. As these kinds of rocket and missile attacks come into Israel, the pressure is on the Israeli government and Prime Minister Netanyahu to respond. They haven't responded yet on the ground. They haven't moved into Gaza, but a lot of folks here suspect that that could happen literally any day now.

BERMAN: Get worse in some respects. It did get worse overnight with a rocket coming into Israel from Lebanon. You know, we saw Israel caught in a two-front war back in 2006, you know, three or four rounds ago in this conflict depending on how you count. What is the concern right now in Israel as far as that goes? BLITZER: If there's a two-front type of operation, rockets coming in

from let's say Hezbollah in the north and Lebanon and from Hamas and Gaza in the south, the Israelis are going to respond. You know, they are going to even respond more vociferously, more viciously than they have been responding so far in Gaza. And as we know the casualties in Gaza given that concentrated population in Gaza, it's a relatively small area. At least 1.5 million Palestinians stuck there, and so much of the Hamas operation with civilians, it's going to intensify unless there can be some ceasefire, and I don't see any real moves towards a ceasefire.

Let me just take you a little bit, John. I was driving, after we left that gas station, we were driving on a major street, major highway in Ashdod, not far from the border with Gaza, and all of a sudden we heard the sirens. And you know what they do. Cars immediately stop right in the middle of the street. Everyone gets out of their cars, the doors are open, and they run towards the closest bunker, the air raid shelters, which are all over the place, especially this close to Gaza. You run in and get inside a bunker. You wait at least five minutes, maybe 10 minutes for an all clear, and then you go back to your vehicle, the doors are wide open, everybody gets back in, and they leave. So it's a pretty tense situation, I must say, especially the closer you get to Gaza, and this area where I am right now is very, very close.

BERMAN: I want to pause, Wolf, for just one second so we can hear the sirens.


BERMAN: All right, that is the sound that is heard all over Israel these days as the rockets from Hamas come in. If you go inside Gaza the sound you no doubt hear all day are the sound of Israeli warplanes flying overhead, buildings being targeted and crumbling in some cases. We've been through this cycle before, Wolf, and one of the reasons it's so good to have you on the ground before is you've seen this cycle so many times before. What's different this time? Is it the presence of the Iron Dome in Israel? And what might get it to that phase where both sides talk about a ceasefire?

BLITZER: Well, that Iron Dome system has worked very well in protecting the populated centers whether Ashkelon or even further north it Tel Aviv or in Jerusalem as some of the rockets have hit even beyond Tel Aviv. Hamas has some pretty good long range missiles that they have collected in recent years.

But I guess what's different this time is the ability to achieve a cease-fire seems so, so remote. When I was here at the end of 2012, the Egyptians, the then government of President Mohamed Morsi was very actively involved. They had good relations with the Hamas, and with the support of the United States they brokered a ceasefire ending that conflict.

Right now the new government in Egypt, the government of el-Sisi, the new president, they have a terrible relationship with Hamas. Turkey's been asked to get involved. They don't have such a great relationship, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and yesterday, as you pointed out, the president spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu. The president would like to achieve some sort of ceasefire as well, but the U.S. doesn't even talk to Hamas because it regards Hamas as a terrorist organization. So it looks really grim right now.

Let me show you one other thing, John, because I'm going to have our photographer zoom up. You can see some hot air balloons right behind me. If you go along this border between Israel and Gaza, the Israelis have these hot air balloons all over the place with sophisticated cameras and other electronic equipment. Once a rocket goes off in Gaza, that's immediately detected. They send that information to military headquarters. They then send out the sirens and get a sense of where those rockets or missiles might be heading. They alert the Iron Dome, that anti-missile defense system on what's going on. So the Israelis have some pretty high-tech military technology to deal with it.

But none of this, as I saw at the gas station, is foolproof because that rocket came right into the gas station and exploded the gas truck. And it could have been a whole lot worse, but the destruction was pretty intense.

And remember, it's not only destruction on this side of the border, what's going on in Gaza, there have been I suspect 100 people, many of them civilians, innocent civilians and kids, they have been killed as far as these Israeli airstrikes. Israel is trying to go after military targets but those military targets are so often intertwined with heavily populated civilian areas, there's going to be what the military folks call collateral damage, and over these past few days there's been extensive civilian casualties right behind me in Gaza as well.

BERMAN: What an incredible important view you're giving us, Wolf. As you say, rockets landing not far from where you're standing. Just behind you, rockets and bombs falling on Gaza, destruction there. And above you we see the technology now being deployed which in some ways has changed this entire conflict. Wolf Blitzer, thank you so much for coming and joining us on NEW DAY, and of course you'll be reporting there all day for CNN later on your show and also in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thanks so much, Wolf.

Let's go to Christine now for some of the day's top stories.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, John. No charges will be charged against officers involved in the fatal shooting of a driver near the capital last year. And 34-year-old Miriam Carey was shot five times after this wild high speed chase that began near the White House. The Justice Department says there was not enough evidence to pursue charges of excessive force. Carey's family has filed a $75 million wrongful death suit.

We're learning more about the suspect in the Houston-area shooting that left six people dead, including four kids. Look at that family. Prosecutors say 33-year-old Ronald Lee Haskell tied up his victims and shot each one in the head. Investigators say the gunman was looking for his ex-wife. His ex-wife was part -- the victims were part of her family. Haskell and his ex-wife had a long history of reported domestic abuse. She filed a protective order against him last year. The oldest daughter survived the attack and called police.

A key Obamacare ruling could come down today. The D.C. court of appeals is deciding whether tax credits and subsidies can be legally used to purchase health insurance through federal exchanges. A lawsuit suggests the law only allows the credits to be used on state- run exchanges. And 36 states use the federal system. A decision against the government could strike a huge blow to this law.

The tech community stunned when it was reported a Google executive found dead on his yacht died from a drug overdose while he was with a prostitute. Now officials say the case mirrors another case in Georgia from last year, and there are indications, concerns the prostitute may have killed before. Dan Simon has more.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When Dean Riopelle died from a heroin overdose last September.

ALIX TICHELMAN: I think my boyfriend overdosed or something. He won't respond.

SIMON: It appeared to be a tragic accident. His girlfriend called 911.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. And why do you think it's an overdose?

TICHELMAN: Because there's nothing else it could be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Accidental or intentional?

TICHELMAN: Definitely accidental, accidental.

SIMON: That was the story from Alix Tichelman and the case was closed until police in California announced this week that the model turned prostitute had been arrested.

TICHELMAN: First we start with a primer.

SIMON: The woman who gave makeup tips on YouTube charged in the death of Google executive Forrest Hayes, a 51-year-old father of five. Police say he too died from a lethal amount of heroin, and they say it was given to him by Tichelman, the 26-year-old he met on Georgia authorities reopened the Riopelle case because the circumstances were too similar to ignore.

CAPT. SHAWN MCCARTY, MILTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: The similarities are basically the deaths of the two men by heroin overdose, and the common denominator being Ms. Tichelman. In both cases the individual seemed to have died from an overdose on what appears to be either the first time in using heroin.

SIMON: Tichelman moved to California working as a prostitute. She surfaced in Santa Cruz. In November she joined Hayes on his yacht. Investigators say surveillance cameras showed Tichelman doing absolutely nothing to help the distressed Hayes after injecting him with the heroin.

MCCARTY: She was so callous that in gathering her things she was literally stepping over the body.

SIMON: Tichelman is charged with felony manslaughter in the case involving the Google executive. Bail has been set at $1.5 million. Her next court appearance is scheduled for July 16.

Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.


ROMANS: What a story.

An unprecedented discovery from the Hubble telescope, an intergalactic string of pearls. Take a look at this snapshot. The formation was created after two elliptical galaxies merged. It created a string of infant stars stretching for 100,000 light years. Don't go rushing for you your telescope just yet. Unclear where the star formation came from. Cool though, right?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: It is really nifty looking.

ROMANS: Technically I think it's very hot, but whatever. Details, details.

PEREIRA: Thanks, Christine. Next up on NEW DAY, the issue has gripped the nation, a toddler left to die alone for hours in a hot car allegedly in the hands of his own father. Here's the question. What can we do as a nation to keep our children safe? We're going to discuss this.

BERMAN: And House Speaker John Boehner says President Obama can't take responsibility for anything. The president shot back quoting a Martin Scorcese film. This is politics in our leadership. We'll go INSIDE POLITICS in a bit.


ROMANS: Welcome back to NEW DAY, Friday edition. We've been following this case in Georgia against Justin Ross Harris. He's that father charged with leaving his son to die in his SUV on a hot day. The boy's death starting a national conversation about children in hot cars and how we can prevent more deaths like this.

Thrilled to have Kelly Wallace with us this morning, CNN's digital correspondent and editor at large covering family, career and life. She wrote this op-ed for saying should the government step in to prevent hot car deaths, required reading if you're interested in this story. So nice to see you.


ROMANS: Such a terrible story. WALLACE: Yes.

ROMANS: So let's talk first about the technology in cars. We now have technology in cars to prevent backup deaths over children and elderly people. It reminds me if I've got - if I'm sitting in the passenger seat and I take my seat belt off, it knows I'm there. Why can't we protect kids who are left in these cars?

WALLACE: And that's really what we were all thinking about, because you have all that technology there. And here's the thing -- the federal government says they looked at the technology that currently exists, basically sensors that might be under the child's - the car seat so it could detect the weight of the infant when you leave the car.

They say, the government says right now that the technology is not reliable yet and that they are continuing to evaluate the technology. So you talk to safety advocates who say no way. The technology is there. We should be doing something. Why is it more important to, you know, make sure that you turn off your lights versus making sure you get your baby out of the back seat?

ROMANS: But it's a baby. It's a baby. Shouldn't we all be programmed to know that our babies are in the back seat? What are parents saying about this?

WALLACE: Well, the response online, as can you imagine, has been pretty explosive. And I think you have a good chunk of people who say, oh my god, let's do whatever we can to make sure this never happens again. But you have a huge chunk of the audience out there who says it is your baby. What is your problem? How on earth could you forget your baby? I think, Michaela, a lot of people feel that way. I don't agree with that, but they feel that way

PEREIRA: The thing that is so crazy, and I'm talking to three parents right here, you know there's moments that are frazzled. You have a lot of things going on. We live in a much more distracted world, we have all those gadgets and things and pieces and parts. There's got to be a way, though, that we can do a better job of this. I was thinking about that technology you were talking about that was implemented for the backup cameras, but that took forever to implement.

ROMANS: It took a long time to get that.

PEREIRA: So it could it be something, for example, that was built in the car seats?

WALLACE: Well, you know, that's another -

PEREIRA: And the companies themselves could do it and offer them.

WALLACE: You know, you also have parents who say, right, so that if it's in the car seats, then the parent can decide, it's voluntary, and they can decide what kind of car seat to help them. Look, there's -- I say let the children figure it out. There's an 11-

year-old boy who has figured out this rubber band attached from the back seat to the front seed and when you get out the car, you can't get out of the car until you get baby. How great is that?

BERMAN: I'm sure there are people are saying I don't want the government telling me what's going on in my car, how to raise the kid. But of course they say buckle your seat belts and people have stopped complaining about that.

I do also wonder at this point if this case in Georgia is getting in the way of a reasoned discussion about it.

ROMANS: Right.

BERMAN: Because I think can you lock at this case and say, gosh, I understand how you might leave your kid car in the car for a little bit, but seven hours, the way it happened there, that's where it seems unlikely.

WALLACE: I talked to -- such a good point, John. I talked to one of the leading advocates on this issue, the founder of and I said do you think this case is helping to raise awareness? She said, on the one hand, we're having this conversation, we're talking about ways to keep kids safe, which is great. On the other hand, is this going to give more fuel to the fire, to the naysayers who say it is the parents' responsibility no matter what. And if a parent is focused on keeping their children safe, this would not happen.

ROMANS: This case is so bizarre. I mean, this case is not like any other case I've ever heard of a child being left in a seat. You know, I've never heard of a case like this where the, as police say, the father was distracted immediately with very, you know, alternative personality, completely taking over. This was a dad who police would suggest was not paying attention at all to his child.

WALLACE: Yes, exactly. So this is totally something different. I mean, that safety organization I mentioned, she said, in all her years she's never heard of a case where someone intentionally left a child in the car to kill them. Although I think, it's an important point, 20 percent of the fatalities are when people intentionally left the child in -- not to murder the child. They just went, oh, I'm just going to run into Wal-Mart or run into the store. That temperature rises so quickly and death can happen.

BERMAN: But you know what, the alarm, any technology you add in a car is not going to prevent that. Right? If you're leaving your kid in the car because you're running into the store.

PEREIRA: Or leaving them there by accident for multiple hours on end.

WALLACE: Exactly. That's it. So 20 percent of the cases when parents intentionally leave the kid, 30 percent of the cases, this is important, when the kid gets in the car and locks himself or herself in. They think it's fun to play in the car. So another important advice, lock up your keys or put them high up where they can't reach them.

ROMANS: That's important awareness. I mean, this is a story in Georgia that's getting worse. I didn't know those two stats. That's really important.

All right, Kelly Wallace, thank you, Kelly.

WALLACE: Thank you.

PEREIRA: You can read more of Kelly's op-ed on A really good read for parents out there to get you thinking out about some things.

BERMAN: Next up for us on NEW DAY, he was found barricaded in his family's basement. Find out why the 12-year-old boy says he was locked up. The shocking details next.

PEREIRA: The smile on that fellow, what a kid.

House Republicans unveiled their lawsuit against President Obama. He didn't take too kindly to it. We're going to get the latest with INSIDE POLITICS.


PEREIRA: All right. 26 past the hour. Christine Romans is here with today's top stories. Good morning.

ROMANS: Good morning, good morning. Here are the headlines.

Violence intensifying in the Middle East as rockets have now hit Israel from Lebanon. It prompted Israeli forces to retaliate with artillery fire to the north. Israel and Hamas militants are still exchanging fire over the Gaza Strip as casualties mount in Gaza. Israel has called in about 30,000 reservists as Hamas targets densely populated cities like Tel Aviv.

The fate of the Los Angeles Clippers will remain up in the air for at least another few weeks. A judge has put the Sterling trial on hold until July 21st. Closing arguments set for the following week. The deadline for the $2 billion sale to Steve Ballmer was supposed to be next Tuesday, but Ballmer's lawyer says that that can be extended as long as progress is made in court.

Eileen Ford, the founder of the iconic Ford Modeling Agency that helped shape the careers of some of the world's best known faces, she has died. Her daughter says she died of complications from brain and spinal disease and other ailments. Ford and her husband founded their modeling business in New York back in 1946. A statement from the agency called her an industry icon and pioneer. She was 92 years old. facing a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission. The agency claims Amazon billed customers for millions of dollars in charges rocked up unknowingly by children. The feds are looking to get refunds for parents and other account holders and get Amazon to make changes to avoid the issue in future. Amazon said it's already refunded to some of those complaining customers.

Prepare yourself for this one. A New Mexico woman got the scare of her life when a 6 foot 20-pound boa constrictor turned up in her pickup engine - truck's engine. The woman says she was driving, had to pull over because she was having some engine trouble. When she opened the hood, there was that thing coiled up around the hot engine. It's not clear how the python wound up in the car. It did sustain some injuries, we're told, but it's going to be okay. I would have injuries like a heart attack if I opened up the hood of the truck.

PEREIRA: Not a big friend of the snake?

BERMAN: Snake just likes trucks, it's a truck snake, that's crazy.

PEREIRA: Not OK, not OK?

BERMAN: You think you have problems, and how was your day?

ROMANS: I don't like snakes.

PEREIRA: You don't, really?

ROMANS: I'm not a snake person. Do not like snakes.

PEREIRA: What is it for you, bugs? You got nothing?

BERMAN: Co-anchors scare me.

PEREIRA: Well, you're surrounded, dear.

BERMAN: Let's get you to a man who knows no fear. John King goes INSIDE POLITICS on NEW DAY. Good morning, John.

PEREIRA: Happy Friday, John.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": There is a photo of me with a boa wrapped around my neck and around my chest. It does exist.

BERMAN: A boa, not a boa constrictor though. You're talking about a feather boa.


KING: No, no, no, an actual snake, believe it or not. Maybe the other one too.


KING: All right, good morning, everybody, a TGIF edition of INSIDE POLITICS. With me this morning to share their reporting and their insights, Jackie Kucinich of "The Washington Post," Olivier Knox of Yahoo! News.

Let's start with this odd relationship between the Speaker of the House and the President of the United States. John Boehner had a news conference yesterday; he was being asked about the current crisis at border and a whole lot of other issues between the House Republicans and the Democratic president. John Boehner sounds a tad exasperated.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Listen, this is a problem of the president's own making. He's been president for five and a half years. When's he going to take responsibility for something?


KING: Continuing my theory that you can explain Washington by saying life is the fifth grade. That's John Boehner. Here's the president firing back.