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Rockets Fired from Gaza toward Israel; Crisis at the Border; Not Guilty Plea in Google Exec's Death

Aired July 17, 2014 - 05:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news this morning. Silence over Gaza broken. Moments ago, getting reports that rockets were fired which breaks a planned five-hour pause in the violence that Israel and Hamas had agreed to. This morning, as aid workers move in and thousands of Palestinians try to get out, is Israel now preparing to invade? We are live.

LARA BALDESARRA, CNN ANCHOR: A crisis at the border with no end in sight. Congress gridlocked on what to do with the tens of thousands of children who have crossed into the country illegally and now a problem facing President Obama's $4 billion fix.

BERMAN: An historic polar invasion. Torrential downpours in the south, flooding in the east, raging wildfires out west. We're talking dangerous violent weather from coast-to-coast. Indra Petersons is tracking what you need to know for the day.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. Great to see you this morning. I'm John Berman.

BALDESSARA: And I'm Lara Baldesarra. It is now 31 minutes past the hour.

And breaking news as at least three rockets have been fired from Gaza toward southern Israel ending a temporary halt to the violence. Now the two sides, they had agreed to the ceasefire after an Israeli airstrike tragically killed four Palestinian boys while they were playing on a Gaza beach.

Senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman is live from Gaza City this morning.

Ben, good morning.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Lara. Yes, the three -- a few rockets were fired in the direction of the Eshkol Regional Council, which is right over the border from Gaza. We have no word on an Israeli response, although yesterday the Israeli military did say that if any -- if the ceasefire was in any way broken, that they would respond with force. No word of a response, however, at this point.

Now during these few brief hours, and there's just two and a half hours left to this pause, many people have come out to get supplies, to go to the bank and get money because banks have been closed for many days. Employees are going out to get paid. But the Israeli military made it clear that all those who are going back to the houses, in those areas, they were warned to leave should be sure to get out by 3:00 p.m. local. That's two and a half hours from now because the anticipation is when this pause comes to an end, there's a very high possibility that this long anticipated Israeli ground invasion will begin -- Lara.

BALDESSARA: Ben, yesterday, we heard that the people, they had been warned in Gaza to leave the city for their own safety. Upon learning of that temporary ceasefire earlier today, did many of them return?

WEDEMAN: People are just going back to get whatever goods and property they wanted to and then will return. But it's important to stress, I was in some of those areas where people were told to evacuate. A lot of people are still in them.

Now according to the United Nations, more than 20,000 Gazans have gone from those areas and are now staying in schools, U.N. schools where they have been provided with beds and food and water and so on. That's only 20,000. The population of the area, the Israelis have told people to evacuate is 100,000. So there's still many people clearly have decided simply to stay in their homes and take the risk -- Lara.

BALDESSARA: Thank you very much. We will be watching very closely as the events unfold.

BERMAN: Some other news this morning, the Taliban quick to take responsibility for a rocket attack on Afghanistan's airport in Kabul. An Afghan army spokesman says several rockets hit the airport earlier this morning but no planes were damaged. And all four of the attackers were killed.

This incident comes as a very tense time in Afghanistan unfolds, a recount is under way to decide the disputed presidential election.

BALDESSARA: President Obama is imposing a round of sanctions on Russia for its intrusion in Ukraine but our closest allies are not on board. The measure restricts some of Moscow's biggest corporations from operating in U.S. markets. Russia's prime minister called the sanctions evil and leaders from the European Union who are meeting in Brussels are refusing to match the president's actions. They've decided, instead, to adopt a more moderate plan that blocks new loans to Russia.

BERMAN: Syrian president Bashar al-Assad officially sworn in for a new seven-year term after an election win his opponents call a sham. Assad vowing to regain control of all of Syria from Islamic insurgents while warning the West and all Arab nations who support the rebels that they will pay a high price.

BALDESSARA: Well, there is no solution in sight to the growing crisis at the border. More Democrats are deciding to part ways with the president, publicly opposing his request for $3.7 billion to deal with the thousands of immigrants from Central America who keep on pouring into the country. And more states, they're saying no to temporary housing for the immigrants with just 10 days remaining before Congress takes its August recess.

CNN senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, has more.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: John and Lara, this flare up inside the Democratic Party is a sign that the White House has had enough of Democrats breaking ranks with President Obama over the border crisis. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley knows that all too well. But as the potential presidential contender told CNN he is standing by his comments.


ACOSTA: Do you feel like they threw you under the bus?

GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), MARYLAND: I really don't care. I'm far more concerned about children being penned up and cooped up in conditions that look a lot more like kennels than they look like the way a humane country should be treating refugee kids.

And I will say it again and again, and continue to call all of us to the most important work, which is doing right by these kids because it's not just about them, it's about the sort of country we want to give to our children. And we are not a country that should be returning refugee kids back to certain death or war-torn areas. These kids deserve their due process.


ACOSTA: O'Malley's take on the border crisis also sets him apart from Hillary Clinton who has said the young migrants should be sent back as soon as possible. As for the president, he met with Congressional Democrats here at the White House. Many of them expressing the view that they don't want the president to rush these children out of the country -- John and Lara.

BERMAN: Our thanks to Jim Acosta for that at the White House. Meanwhile, we'll learn more today about the Justice Department's response to the IRS targeting of conservative political groups. The deputy attorney general expected to tell a House hearing that they are investigating missing e-mails from former IRS official, Lois Lerner. She of course is a central figure in the agency's targeting scandal. IRS officials claim the e-mails were lost when Lerner's computer hard drive crashed.

BALDESSARA: It's becoming old hat for GM's new CEO Mary Barra. She'll be back on Capitol Hill today for yet another grilling from Congress. This is her fourth appearance before lawmakers on GM's decision to wait a decade before recalling million of vehicles with defective ignition switches which are now linked to at least 13 deaths. A Senate panel today is expected to focus on how the automaker kept the accident victims and government officials in the dark for so long.

BERMAN: There is a state of emergency in 20 counties in eastern Washington state as a host of wildfires threaten several hundred structures forcing more than 800 evacuations. The biggest fire has torched more than 22,000 acres in the -- in the Mills Canyon area with 400 homes now in harm's way.

Meanwhile, in Oregon, eight fires have now consumed 150,000 acres. 45 miles northeast of Burns which is in the eastern part of the state. Air tankers and choppers have been called in to the battle but the flames and high winds are hampering their efforts.

BALDESSARA: And then from fire to water as they're bracing for more flooding right now in north Texas. Heavy rain is expected over the next couple of days and flash flood watch is in effect tomorrow -- through tomorrow afternoon for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

BERMAN: Rhode Island hit hard with rain. That state swamped by two inches of rain also that fell over Massachusetts as well, leaving neighborhoods there under water.

BALDESSARA: Boston and its surrounding suburbs are submerged this morning. Flash flooding has been reported in Wassom, Lexington, Medford and Arlington. And that's not all. Severe thunderstorms are also slamming southeast Massachusetts.

BERMAN: It has been a dangerous stormy week for much of the nation. So many different places getting hit by so much different stuff.

Indra Petersons, what's in store today?


BERMAN: It says as much as eight inches of rain in some places, too.


PETERSONS: So that's a scary thought. And talking about very heavy rain in a short period of time is never a good thing.

BALDESSARA: I'm really happy that I'm here with you guys right now.


BERMAN: Yes. No rain.

BALDESSARA: I'm not experiencing two to four inches of rain in Atlanta.

BERMAN: We are completely dry in here.

BALDESSARA: My goodness.

PETERSONS: Certainly looks a lot better, right?


BERMAN: Thanks, Indra.

BALDESSARA: All right. Well, coming up, a high priced call girl who says she has no reason to kill, but will a surveillance video paint a very different picture of a Google executive's drug fueled death. It is coming up next.


BERMAN: No intent to kill. That is the defense strategy for alleged high priced prostitute accused of administering a fatal dose of heroin to a top Google executive. Police say they have surveillance video of Alex Tichelman injecting the drug into the arm of 51-year-old Forest Hayes. But the lawyers say she meant him no harm.

Let's get the latest on this from Kyung Lah in Santa Cruz.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, Alex Tichelman pled not guilty in court. She also asked that she be released on her own recognizance. The judge denied that. She asked that her bail, which is currently $1.5 million be lowered. That request was also denied. She was serious and quiet as she was taken back into custody where she will remain.

What we also heard for the very first time is her defense team, her lawyers coming to her defense saying that she's been unfairly vilified. That what happened aboard that yacht between her and 51- year-old Forest Hayes was a consensual affair and his death is a result of heroin use gone awry.

The police and prosecution, though, reject that characterization saying that she is, indeed, much more culpable. That she's the one who brought the heroin, injected him with the drug and then watched him suffer and die instead of calling for help.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Santa Cruz, California.

BALDESSARA: An intriguing case.

BERMAN: This crazy case.


BERMAN: It's really one way to put it. This case is nuts.

BALDESSARA: It's very strange.

All right. Well, let's take a look at what's coming up on NEW DAY. Kate Bolduan is joining us now.

Good morning, Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Good morning, guys. Coming up we're going to be taking a closer look at the big story of the day. The rare calm in the Middle East coming to an abrupt halt this morning. Israel and Hamas militants had agreed through humanitarian truce to allow aid into Gaza, to allow people to be about -- to pick up their paychecks even.

But Israeli officials say Hamas fired several rockets just two hours into the ceasefire. We're going to have the very latest from the ground. And we're also going to be talking with "The New York Times" photojournalist who witnessed an Israeli airstrike that killed four children yesterday.

Stay with us, we're going to have that and much more at the top of the hour, guys.

BERMAN: All right, thanks so much, Kate. (INAUDIBLE) up there.

Coming up for us, a Palestinian-American teen beaten on camera by Israeli Police returns home and is now sharing his terrifying story.

BALDESSARA: Plus, the FBI has a new warning about cars that could become the way of the future. That's coming up next.


BERMAN: A Palestinian-American teen who was beaten by Israeli authorities is back on U.S. soil. Fifteen-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir was greeted by supporters when he arrived home in Florida on Wednesday. The teen says it was their prayers that got him through this terrifying ordeal.


TARIQ KHDEIR, AMERICAN TEEN BEATEN BY ISRAELI POLICE: I was in a new place and suddenly attacked by masked police. It was by far the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. The physician said -- the physician -- the physical pain in those first hours were really rough. And I'm only 15, but I will never think about freedom in the same way as I did two months ago.


BERMAN: Israeli authorities has suspended a police officer who was involved in the teen's attack.

BALDESSARA: Capital punishment in California has been declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in Los Angeles. The judge says the law has created delays of 25 years or more. And few executions are ever actually carried out. In making the rule, he set that more than 900 people who have been sentenced to death in California since 1978, was just 13 who have been executed.

BERMAN: Lawyers for Mississippi state senator Chris McDaniel claimed may have evidence to challenge last month's Republican run off. The attorneys announced on Wednesday that they expect to file a challenge within 10 days. Incumbent Senator Thad Cochran was declared the winner by fewer than 8,000 votes. McDaniel has not conceded. He claims Cochran won with the support of voters who cast ballots in both Democratic and Republican primaries.

BALDESSARA: A congressman's wedding video has sparked an FAA investigation. The agency wants to know if Representative Shawn Maloney's use of a drone at his June wedding violated any restrictions on commercial drone use. Malone is a member of the House Aviation Subcommittee. His spokesman says that the use of the drone complied with current FAA regulations.

BERMAN: I thought I saw something in the sky that day.


BERMAN: The FBI has serious concerns about driverless cars being used as deadly weapons. An internal report obtained by the "Guardian" reveals the bureau sees big benefits for road safety but fears the futuristic vehicles could enable criminals to multitask while driving. They see the worst case scenario as suspects able to shoot at officers in pursuit with both hands free.

I would never think about that. I would have thought of 30 things with driverless cars before that.

BALDESSARA: That's the major concern?


BALDESSARA: It gets rid of the whole texting and driving thing, you know?



All right. Well, will major changes be coming to your sunscreen probably? That is courtesy of Congress.

Coming up, why your favorite sun block may not cut it next summer and we will get an EARLY START on your money. That's next.


BALDESSARA: Let's get an EARLY START on your money this morning.

Rupert Murdoch, he has set his sights on Time Warner, which is the parent company of CNN. The media mogul is offering $80 billion, a figure that would make the proposed take over the biggest media deal in a decade. But Time Warner has rejected the bid and no new talks are scheduled.

Murdoch wants to add HBO and Warner Brothers to his holdings. And he would sell CNN if he gets the deal, though.

BERMAN: Now to the news not about us. Microsoft employees are bracing for bad news in the form of 12,000 layoffs. That announcement is expected as early as today, making this the first time in five years that a tech giant has been forced to reduce staff. Employees were given a heads up last week as a memo from Microsoft CEO warned that big organizational changes are coming.

BALDESSARA: That certainly would be a big change.


BALDESSARA: All right. Meanwhile, Congress is on the verge of passing a new bill to upgrade your sunscreen. The measure is designed to bypass an FDA backlog so that more sunscreen ingredients can be sold in the U.S. And in fact many of these products are already being used in other countries. Two million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year.

BERMAN: I spend a third of my life in the summer smearing sunscreen on my two boys. It's a major part of my existence.

BALDESSARA: I wear this turbo white sunscreen, I look like a geisha when I have it on but it doesn't run into my eyes when I sweat or anything so that's why I like it.

BERMAN: You have to -- I have come to grips with the fact that you have to wear tons of it all the time.


BERMAN: But man oh man, is it a pain?

All right. Thanks so much for watching this morning. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. Broken truce. Rockets fired into Israel from Gaza ending what was supposed to be a five-hour ceasefire early. This, as Palestinians mourn the loss of four children killed by an Israeli strike while playing on a beach. We are live there.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Deadline approaching. Congress now has days to move on a fix to the border crisis before their long recess. The White House briefing senators last night pushing for funding and a change in law. Did they win lawmakers over? We have the reaction.

CUOMO: Shootout. A deadly standoff between cops and bank robbers who are armed to the teeth. Three hostages caught in a hail of gunfire. One dead. Just take a look at this SUV riddled with bullets.

Your NEW DAY starts right now.

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

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, July 17th. Now 6:00 in the East, almost.

We are supposed to be having a humanitarian pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, but it seems to be over early. It was supposed to be five hours, but we're hearing reports that once again there are mortars coming from Gaza into Israeli airspace.

Now the Israeli military says at least three of those mortars came over there, but they have not retaliated so far.