tv Early Start CNN November 14, 2012 5:00am-7:00am EST
that is quality television. i can't she the feeling that new year's eve won't be the same without a possum. sure, blow the champagne and noise makers, but come the night we'll all be thinking about marsupials, in general, possums n particular. that's it for us. thank you for watching. "early start" begins now. it's complicated. two top military leaders and two women tied up in a major scandal. and now we add a twin sister to the mix. staying or go? house leader nancy pelosi reveals her plans just hours from now. toyota taking control over a steering problem that could affect millions of hybrids. hey, everyone. good morning, welcome to "early start." i'm john berman. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. it is 5:00 a.m. in the east.
up first, the tangled web that has insnared two of the country's top military women and two women who are not their wives. this morning we are learning much more about jill kelley, the tampa socialite at the heart of the investigations involving general david petraeus and john allen. first there were threatening e-mails sent from petraeus' writer paula broodwell. >> then he resigned as cia director. now john allen, top adviser in afghanistan, is being investigated for flirtatious e-mails he exchanged with kelley over a two-year period. >> kelley is pleading for privacy now even though she finds herself in the middle of a real-life soap and a here. we are hearing her voice now for the first time in a 911 call to tampa police, that was last weekend, she called to complain about the people outside her house citing diplomatic
protection, which she doesn't have. listen to this. >> you know i don't know if by any chance, um, because i'm on in their council general, so i have inviolability, so they should not be able to cross my property. i don't know if you want to get technical, but because it's against the law to cross my property since this is now like you know it's inviable. >> let's start with jill, leon panetta delivered new comments on the scandal hours ago. is the defense department at the tip of the investigation and what's the latest here? >> well, we'll get to that vote of confidence by mr. panetta in a second, but really the main thing that seems to be now clear is exactly how this unraveled. and it all has to do with tampa where, of course, u.s. central command is located and jill
kelley, whom you just saw there, she was involved as a volunteer. she's no diplomatic protection whatsoever, but she was involved as a volunteer dealing with international visitors in the military apparently. so she in this capacity gets to know general petraeus and also general allen. so he gets an e-mail, she gets e-mails. he warns her that he's getting these e-mails, this is jill kelley. and jill kelley goes to the fbi and that is how this all unravels. now, speaking of general allen, he, of course, is the top u.s. and nato commander in afghanistan. he was nominated as the supreme allied commander in europe. and that nomination is on hold. but secretary panetta said that they have confidence in him. let's listen to panetta. >> no one should leap to any
conclusions. no one should leap to any conclusions here. general allen is doing an excellent job at isap and leading those forces. he has my continued conference to lead those forces and continue to fight. but his nomination has been put on old because it's a prude measure until we determine what the facts are. and we will. >> right, john, obviously it's going to take a while because this is a very tangled situation. but they certainly are looking at exactly what is described as flirtatious e-mails that still remain to be seen what the nature of this was. >> jill, you talk about jill kelley at the center of this whole controversy and scandal. we have new details about her relationship with both general allen and general petraeus. they stepped in to help her twin sister in a custody battle? what can you tell us about that? >> it is getting too soap opera
measurements here, but in any case, it is just an illustration, i think, of how tightly she, ms. kelley, was trying to make herself with the generals and the other brass who were in tampa. and she apparently got both general petraeus and general allen to write to the court in an acrimonious battle for custody for her sister's child. and read you from that letter, this is from general petraeus. we have on many occasions observed natalie and her son, including when we hosted them and the kelley family for christmas dinner this past year. in each case we have seen a very loving relationship signed general david petraeus. this is an ill trags of how she was trying to get as much as she could from the relationship with these military. >> jill, thank you so much. you called this a soap opera and
i'm not sure any soap operas would try something this complicate. for how the white house is reacting to this and whether it could weigh on the fiscal cliff deal, we turn to brianna kieler joining us from washington. brianna, where does the obama administration stand right now with all of this? >> reporter: well, right now we are hearing from the white house who says this won't affect the president's attention to the fiscal cliff situation. that said, we do know that he has had to spend time on this. a limited amount of time in the words of white house press secretary jay carney, but we also know that a lot of staff hours have had to go to dealing with this situation with generals petraeus and allen. yesterday this was the first press conference that we had a chance to ask jay carney about this situation. and he said that the president thinks very highly of general allen, of his service to his country, of the job he's done in afghanistan. and one reporter asked if he, if the president has the full
faith, or if general allen, i should say, has the full faith of president obama. and here's what carney said. >> he has faith in general allen, believes he's doing and has done an excellent job at isap. and i would rephrase the pentagon for the process underway with regards to general allen. >> reporter: now carney downplayed questions on whether this whole situation illuminates something about the culture of military leadership. he said these are two events seeming to say they are two isolated instances, but zoraida, he did say that the president was surprised, i guess that's not particularly surprising, to learn about general petraeus. and that's really as far as carney would go, saying he was very surprised and that was his initial reaction to learn of this situation when he first learned on wednesday. >> i know he called it an unwelcomed development as well. this afternoon the president will hold his first press conference in his second term, what do you expect him to focus on? >> reporter: what isn't he going to be asked about, that's the
thing. he has not had a real press conference, i think you can say, a rather extensive press conference in months. he did one in the spring. a more extensive press conference. he spoke at the g-20 in cabo in june, but that was having to do mostly with foreign policy. he had a very limited press conference this summer. so this is the chance for reporters to ask him all kinds of questions that we have on our mind. i think he's going to be asked, obviously, about the fiscal cliff. i think he'll probably shy away from specifics there because he doesn't want to box himself in or out of anything as we heard jay carney said. he's definitely going to be asked about the scandal involving the generals, specifically i wonder if he'll be asked about the notification process. he really got one day notice that he was going to be losing his cia director. and then benghazi, that has happened and there hasn't been a press conference since. he'll be asked about that. and also no doubt about cabinet appointments as we hear a lot of names in the mix, zoraida. >> lots to talk at.
brianna keilar, thank you so much. there's a lot going on in washington including questions this morning surrounding nancy pelos pelosi's future. she is expected to announce whether she'll seek another stint at the house minority leader. she has elections for november 29th and 30th, later than usual prompting speculation she may relinquish her role as the top house democrat. and coming up in the next hour of "early start," military analyst and retired major general james "spider" marks will join us to talk about the petraeus scandal. and coming up, i understand she's moved on. republican senator loretta sanchez was supposed to join us. >> and newt gingrich and his wife callista have their take on the presidential election and they will weigh in on petraeus as well. keep it on cnn for special
coverage. remember, president obama holding a news conference at 1:00 p.m. eastern time. wolf blitzer will be all over this covering it for you. make sure you stay tuned. listen to this, another major recall for toyota. it's recalling close to 3 million cars worldwide affecting mostly 2004 to 2009 prius models. 670,000 of them were sold in the united states. you have one, right, berman? the problem here, issues with the car's steering system and their electric water pumps. toyota says no crashes or injuries have been reported. that's good news. and a shake-up at the long island utility company under fire for its slow response to super storm sandy. why is chief operating officer michael hervey is resigning at the end of this year. hervey has been the target of many angered residents left in the cold for over two weeks. he's been the target from andrew cuomo as well. and this entrepreneur says he's in hiding this morning as
police in belize try to solve a murder case. the very, very strange saga of security software tycoon john mcphee is coming up. >> very strange. very, very strange. [ lane ] your anti-wrinkle cream is gone... but what about your wrinkles? neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles in just one week. why wait if you don't have to.
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press spokesman or spokeswoman, but he's been making phone calls to people who interviewed him over the years. one is joshua davis, and this is a portion of a phone conversation that mcafee had with him when he was asked really, what happened to your neighbor, gregory, who turned up dead over the weekend? >> as to your speculations of what might have happened to him? >> i do not have a clue. the only information i have about him is what you have told me. i had no idea that he was shot execution-style. i heard some things were missing. you were the one that told me it was a 9 millimeter shell. >> yeah. >> that's all i know. i have no speculation other than the first thing i thought about was, oh, my god, he's a white man, i'm a white man, someone's, you know, the government's finally decided to off me, they got the wrong white man since we're so, you know, we live almost next door. that actually went through my
mind and actually scared me for quite a while. >> a lot of fear in mr. mcafee but the police have been questioning three people. they detained them but so far no major developments in this murder case. >> and no plans to turn himself in. >> no. now, will he or joshua davis explain what in his view whether mcafee, who said he hid under a box when the police came on sunday to look for him, whether he's going to give himself up. >> they are actively looking for him. indeed, they want to question him. he is actively avoiding them. he says that he's convinced that if he is captured by the police that they will kill him, that he will die in custody, and that he will do everything he can to evade custody. >> rafael martinez of the belize national police said, quote, my goodness, he needs to come in so he can clear the air when asked about mcafee's fears. we are law-abiding people here. we follow the law to a letter. >> just a bizarre story. the more we hear the more
bizarre it sounds. richard roth, thank you for coming in. 16 minutes past the hour. president obama wants support for his top commander in afghanistan. general john allen now under investigation for alleged flirtatious and inappropriate e-mails sent to jill kelley. the petraeus family friend who unwittingly exposed his affair with paula broadwell. right now general allen's nomination to be the next nato supreme commander in europe is on hold. a small plane went down tuesday after takeoff in jackson, mississippi, slamming into a house and killing all three people onboard. a person inside the house was injured in the crash as well. the plane's owner says all three men onboard the piper pa-32 were pilots heading to an faa safety conference in re monday, mississippi, when the plane went down. and the man who said he had a sexual relationship with kevin clash is now changing his story.
he said he had a relationship with clash when he was 16 years old now. through his attorney the accuser says it was an adult consensual relationship. stephen colbert's super pack is now closed. that was posted online by the federal commission. it may have started as a joke but the super pac raked in more than $2 million. he used some of the money to pay for the funny campaign ads during the republican primaries during his ill-fated attempt to be the president of south carolina. 18 minutes past the hour now. time for the early reads, your local news making national headlines. another strange twist in the general petraeus story first reported by the u.s. news and world report. a jogger recently found paula broadwell's driver's license in a washington, d.c. park. she's the general's biographer and the woman outed as his mistress when the scandal broke. it has been turned over to
police. no one know where is she is right now and her attorney is keeping quiet about it. and some news out of texas from the austin american statesman, a petition to secede from the united states has taken off on the web. it is getting thousands of signatures since friday. other states have done this as well. this was created on a white house website decided to foster citizen involvement. the petitions with more than 25,000 signatures in a month are forwarded for an official response. there is a counter petition to this saying states probably shouldn't secede. >> for an extended look at the stories on our blog, go to cnn.com/earlystart. how are many looking to fix washington's debt? we'll tell you how coming up. that's one smart board. what else does it do,
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gamble, ford, pepsi, and chevron. they are going to talk about the debt problem. these are generally friendly, i would say. it doesn't mean they are obama supporters or democrats but they are friendly. they are not the president's fiercest critics. four of the ceos are also part of this fix the debt coalition. this is out of the nonpartisan group simpson and boles with the debt reduction plan. and they are launching an ad campaign coming out today. they have taken a regular athlete you're familiar with and brands you're familiar with and they have reworked them to fix the debt. off nike ad there, you have a military recruitment ad, you have milk, you've got mcdonald's, dunkin donuts, it's the idea that -- home depot, you can't fix the problem with advertising but get it out there. >> one of the things happening in the debt debate is that all
sides involved are trying to go outside of washington and talk to the people to get them involved. >> and it sort of worked in the election a little bit. this idea that this is not fixed in washington, it's fixed outside of washington. it will get fixed in washington but there's a lot of pressure now on the next five weeks or so to really get this done. >> so we expect any real outcomes? >> no. this is a make nice, president obama has to work hard to not look like he's working against the business community and yet at the same time understand he's putting enough pressure on them. >> if you would like to see them put pressure on congress as well -- >> these are donors to campaigns in many cases and there's a big risk between the president and the chamber of commerce, the u.s. chamber of commerce. they are not invited to this meeting so the president is working around his fiercest critics in the business world. >> ali velshi, great to see you. >> thank you for being here. 25 minutes after the hour. two four-star generals, twin
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general confusion. twin sisters tied to the top two commanders embroiled in a major scandal. meet the press, president obama just hours away from his first full-blown news conference in months. out the door, the man in charge of long island's power company quits amid the outrage over failed storm repairs.
welcome back to "early start." we are happy you are with us. i'm zo a da sambolin. zoraida sambolin. >> i'm john berman. general david petraeus resigned last week after admitting to the extramarital affair. the other woman paula broadwell wrote his biography. >> jill kelley has been a close friend of petraeus and his wife holly. kelley talked to an fbi friend launching an investigation between general petraeus and paula broadwell. now we are told kelley traded inappropriate e-mails from marine general john allen. he denies the extramarital affair with kelley and insists he dd nothing wrong. >> but the pentagon is investigating thousands of documents and e-mails between
allen and kelley. it turns out both generals stepped in to help kelley's twin sister natalie in a custody fight. >> this is the a picture of petraeus with jill and natalie. they are twins, you can see that there, and here's what petraeus wrote to the court, quote, we have on many occasions observed natalie and her son, including when we hosted them and the kelley family for christmas dinner this past year. in each case we have seen a very loving relationship. we removed the son's name to protect his identity as a minor. jill daugherty and brianna keilar is in the washington bureau. we'll start with jill. >> we are hearing kelley's voice for the first time on a 911 call placed over the weekend. what happened? >> reporter: well, it is important to put it in context. she apparently had some people who were around her house, some type of intruder outside on her property, so she calls 911. and listen to what she does say in terms of defining who she is. let's listen to that tape.
>> i am an honorary consul general so i have inviability. they should not be able to cross my property, i don't know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well. it's against the law to cross my property since this is now like, you know, inviolable. >> reporter: she said consul general, et cetera. nothing shows she has a position except honorary consul. she was a volunteer for an organization that helps the state department deal with people from other countries. and apparently somebody gave her some type of honorary thank you type of expression. but it has no legal standing whatsoever as far as we can say.
and also she had license plates which described her as an honorary consul. again, as far as we can tell, no legal protection for her or anything like that. >> all right. earlier this morning both defense secretary leon panetta and secretary of state hillary clinton both addressed the investigation into general allen. jill, this is the first time we are hearing from secretary clinton about this investigation. what did she say? >> reporter: well, she's saying what the rest of the administers is saying, which is they have confidence in general allen. let's listen to her. >> general allen is a distinguished marine and commander who has been an important part of the nato/isap mission in afghanistan. we have been in charge with our nato allies. the court in afghanistan is set.
we know what the transition requires of us. >> reporter: right. so these investigations continue and as you can see we'll need the chart that you put up before to follow all the characters. >> we do, indeed, need that. we appreciate your perspective this morning. jill daugherty live at the state department. thank you. and how is the white house reacting to these revelations? let's bring in white house correspondent brianna kielar this morning? >> reporter: i don't mean to completely echo what jill said, but what you heard from secretary panetta is what you are hearing from the white house. jay carney, the white house press secretary, was asked yesterday if president obama has full faith in general allen. carney said he has faith in general allen, the job he's done in the military and in afghanistan. he did say, though, that the situation, and this may not be surprising, that started with general petraeus caught president obama off guard. >> well, the president was certainly surprised when he was informed about the situation
regarding general petraeus on thursday. he greatly appreciates general petraeus' remarkable service to his country of both in uniform and at the cia. and as he said in his statement, his thoughts and prayers go out to both general petraeus and holly petraeus at this time. >> reporter: carney was also asked, john, about the culture of military leadership if maybe this is something that is widespread or there's a concern that president obama may have carney urge reporters not to extrapolate from this, seeming to say these are two events that you can't read anymore into that than just the fact that these are two separate incidents. >> brianna, obviously the president will be giving a press conference at 1:00, cnn will be following that extensively and there's another press conference making news. nancy pelosi is expected to answer whether she's going to stay in her job. in a city where there aren't
that many mysteries, this is a mystery. what are you hearing about what she may say? >> reporter: she was asked about this yesterday by reporters, so she's keeping us guessing. she did have a press conference yesterday with some of the new democrats in the house. she'll speak at 10:00 a.m. this morning. i think this sort of i forms speculation among democratic watchers on the hill that she's probably going to stay, but here's what she said yesterday when asked about it. >> see, what time is it now? it is 2:00. on tuesday i will see you right here at 10:00 tomorrow morning. while i love you all very dearly, i thought maybe i would talk to my up caucus before i shared that information with you. >> now she seemed kind of encouraged yesterday at that press conference because of some democratic gains in the house, obviously republicans are still in control there, but it's really also unclear who might succeed pelosi if she decides to forego the minority leadership
position. so i think at this point in time the expectation is that she's probably going to stay and if she announced otherwise at 10:00 a.m. we might be a little surprised. >> brianna keilar, great to see you this morning. coming up next hour, retired major general james "spider" marks on the petraeus scandal. coming up on "starting point," former house speaker and gop presidential hopeful newt gingrich and his wife callista give their take on the presidential election and the scandal surrounding david petraeus. keep it to cnn for president obama holding a news conference at 1:00 p.m. eastern. wolf blitzer will be all over it for you. failed republican vice presidential nominee is reassessing after election night. he has no regrets, he says. here's what he said on abc news last night. >> was that the campaign paul ryan would have run? >> oh, zbogosh, you know, i thi when you join a ticket three months out, you join somebody's
campaign. i was really impressed with the way that mitt and ann brought us into the fold. so i was very encouraged by that. i really enjoyed it. and i wanted to run a big campaign on ideas. we did that. >> the, oh, gosh, part there. also in the abc interview, ryan said there's a silver lining to losing, which is more time with his kids. >> just this last weekend i got to go to both of my boys' basketball games, i got to go to two of my daughters' volleyball games. >> so there's an upside to losing? >> we are a very close family. >> ryan said his kids are relieved they won't have to move and change schools. in other interviews, ryan has raised eyebrows because he attributed the obama victory in a rise in the urban vote. >> it is nice to see that's what they focus on now, the fact to spend time with the family and the kids say, oh, thank goodness, right? 38 minutes past the hour. temper flaring, people slivering, still heads are rolling as people in new york
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are safe and clean for our communities and the environment. we're america's natural gas. welcome back to "early start." more than two weeks after super storm sandy, thousands of people in new york are still in the dark and cold demanding answers right now. >> much of the anger is directed at the long island power authority or lipa for failing to respond to the big one. lipa is the target of a class-action lawsuit and its chief operating officer is stepping down. deb feriyak has been covering this for us. >> it's ban hot mess is the only way to describe it. you have an organization that basically hires out the power grid to a different contractor and what ended up happening is they basically lost control. they weren't prepared.
they knew that the big storm was coming but reports said they didn't make the most basic changes like cutting tree branches so the wires wouldn't have to be taken down. this caused a lot of people to be plunged into darkness during the storm. people on long island are tired of the cold, the dark and the run-around from the power company out here known as lipa. is it fair to say that lipa wasn't giving anybody answers because they themselves didn't have the answers? >> well, quite possibly. >> reporter: kate murray is the supervisor of hempstead on long island, new york. she says the long island power authority, lipa, has changed their story virtually every day even refusing to set up an emergency hotline. is it fair to say lipa almost went int hiding in terms of dealing with its customers? >> well, yes, i think that's a fair and accurate portrayal, sadly enough. >> reporter: before we got word of his resignation, we tried to get answers from michael hervey. this says the office is temporarily closed.
all employees usually assigned are assisting with storm restoration efforts. the business card i left did get a response. so the security guard called media, media called me there, will be no interview with michael hervey. we are told he's not available for the rest of the day. lipa wouldn't make any officials available to cnn. a report in june criticized lipa's management and computer system describing them as outdated saying in a crisis lipa had no way to know when the power would return. new york city's governor is calling for an investigation. >> many of the systems were failing to begin with. >> reporter: walter gerbinski said lipa delayed repairs in part due to the inevitable rate increase. >> they knew that they needed to inspeblgtd and replace a lot of pole that is deteriorated. >> reporter: lipa says it began replacing the system, the entire process taking 18 months up to
two years it could be ready some time next year. and long island is the only region in new york city where the utility company is run by the state. so chances are that new york's governor cuomo is going to get a lot of the heat as well. he has called for an investigation into why there was such a colossal failure when it came to this. but again, this authority has been run by a chief operating officer, not even a ceo for the last two years, so there's an absence of management and certainly a true lack of leadership. >> it sounds terrible. the contingency plan for all those displaced is shocking. absolutely shocking. deb, thank you so much, we appreciate it. all right. people without power dealing with cold temperatures as well and alexander steele is in for rob marciano today. >> that's the problem. if temperatures were warmer it certainly wouldn't be so glaring about how awful the scenario is without power. but because temperatures are so cold and really well below
average, you can see in new york, long island, temperatures in the low to mid-30s. that's it. and along the new jersey coast where some are without power there. temperatures are well below average. and as we look toward the next couple of days, look, thursday, friday, saturday, sunday, temperatures stay during the morning hours only in the 30s and 40s from boston all the way down to washington, d.c. and then on the high side, temperatures are rebounding, like today will be in the 40s and 50s, but that's it. 48 in new york. 48 on friday. and into saturday, 50 degrees. so temperatures well below average during the morning hours. sun coming out, dry skies but not rebounding in terms of the warmth. as far south as atlanta, georgia n the 40s. should be at 61 degrees there. so temperatures well colder than average. with that, look at this, freeze threat. freeze watches and warnings. waking up in mississippi and georgia, especially in northern georgia, temperatures well colder than normal with temperatures on the high side
today. all the cold air funneling down. actually, guys, across the area florida may see a few rain showers but on the whole pretty quiet albeit the cold temperatures. thank you. >> 46 minutes after the hour. an emergency room doctor ends up in a big emergency of her own. the story behind this video coming up. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink.
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welcome back. 50 minutes past the hour. lawmakers have been demanding answers about the scandal that insnared two four-star generals, david petraeus and john allen. they will be briefed today by the cia fbi about the investigation that exposed petraeus' extramarital affair forcing him to resign. and in indianapolis where the house explosion happened it killed two people and damaged dozens of homes. the ntsb says nothing else was ruled out and the investigation will continue. a boston area emergency room physician is pleading not guilty to charges she caused a multi-vehicle change reaction crash while driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. dr. kristin lyons howard struck a delivery truck friday morning, backed into a fence, knocked over a granite post and
sideswiped a tree before hitting a car, which then struck a trailer being towed by a dump truck. >> oh, my goodness. >> give you $10 if you repeat that back to me. >> no kidding. the mayo clinic confirms that jesse jackson jr. is no longer seeking dream at the mayo clinic. jackson checked into the mayo clink back in august for what his wife described as, quote, debilitating depression. he went back in september for a local follow-up evaluation. jackson won a bid for a tenth term in the house last week despite making no public campaign appearances. all right. to baseball up in arm this is morning, last winter they were flush with cash, this winter a fire sale. multiple reports claim the miami marlins are about to dump three star players and their salaries for prospects as part of a blockbuster trade. it is only blockbuster for the blue jays. it will send jose reyes, mark buehrle and josh johnson, these
are three excellent players going to toronto and they are not getting a whole lot back. the marlins finished last in the nl east and fired ozzie guillen at the end of 2010. i do not know why there are marlins fans. every time they have good players they trade them all. this is like the fourth time they have dumped every good player they have had over the last 15 years. >> what would you have done? >> not trade my best players. >> non? >> well, you can't trade all of your good players every four years and ever expect to get fans in the stadium. >> all right. >> okay, sorry. >> i like the passion. coming up, looking good for 450 years old, that is. how did this college student end up in a painting from 1562? no, he doesn't drive a delorian. >> back to the future. there he is.
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welcome back to "early start." 56 minutes past the hour. i'm zoraida sambolin along with john berman taking a look at the top cnn trends on the web this morning. >> check this out. a dude finds himself in a 16th century painting. max was a temple university student walking through the philadelphia museum of art when he suddenly saw himself in this 16th century italian painting by an unknown artist. check it out. we are not sure if his legs look nice in red tights, but his girlfriend actually pointed it out first as they were walking by. he says he decided to look into the painting's history and it turns out it is from the same area of italy that his grandparents come from.
>> who knows, that could be a relative. really, how cool is that and how bizarre. doing time holding an idiot side. a woman stood at a corner for an hour yesterday reading, "only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus." a municipal court judge sentenced sheena harden to serve the humiliating public sentence after being caught on camera driving past a cleveland school bus unloading children. i love the story and say let's book the judge, love that. >> you fighten me. >> i do think that's a great idea. >> a little scary, just saying. to check on the other top cnn trends, head to our blog, cnn.com/trends. >> the late-night comedians are talking about the fiscal cliff and the return of agent 007. >> so we have the president who appointed a commission to find
new ways to make money. and i was thinking of one, hillary clinton, all over the world, secretary of state, she goes everywhere. whenever she lands in a foreign country, if she's in the airport, slip and fall and sue the pants off of them. what's wrong with that? bang, sue. sell a state, we have too many of them, sell a state to somebody. sell a state to oprah. oprahoma. >> there you go. >> making money left and right. >> skyfall, the number one movie at the box office this week. it made over $100 million. it's the biggest opening ever for a james bond film. and it is really good, it is interesting, there's not a lot of sex in the movie, very downplayed. james bond, he is just a secret agent, it is not like he's head of the cia. he's not going to get as much action. yeah.
well, that's -- >> yeah. "early start" continues right now. wow is it complicated. two top military leaders and two women tied a major scandal. now we add a twin sister to the mix. >> staying or going? house minority leader nancy pelosi expected to reveal her future plans just hours from now. total recall. toyota taking action over a serious problem that could affect millions of hybrids. you are going to want to stay tuned for that. good morning, well company to "early start" i'm zoraida sambolin. >> and i'm john berman. it is 6:00 a.m. a lot going on. up first the tangled web that's ensnared two of the country's top military men and two women who are not their wives. this morning we're learning much more about jill kelley the tampa socialite at the heart of the investigations involving david petraeus and general john allen. kelley first reported anonymous threatening e-mails to an fbi
agent she knew. turned out those e-mails were from petraeus' biographer paula broadwell. >> the investigation inadvertently exposed her affair with petraeus and forced him to resign as cia director. now, general allen, top u.s. commander in afghanistan, is being investigated by the defense department for alleged flirtatious e-mails that he exchanged with kelley, this was over a two-year period. >> kelley is pleading for privacy, even though she finds herself in the middle of a real-life soap opera. we're now hearing her voice for the first time in a 911 call to tampa police last weekend. she called to complain about the people outside her house. listen. >> you know, i don't know if by any chance, because i'm an honorary consul general, so i have invileability so they should not be able to cross my property. i don't know if you want to get diplomatic, protection involved as well. but now because it's against the law to cross my property, since this is now like, you know, it's
vie owable. >> all right. i'll let the officers know. >> thank you. >> we have team coverage this morning. jill dougherty is at the state department. brianna keilar is in our washington bureau. jill, defense secretary leon panetta delivered new comments on this scandal just hours ago. what is the latest from the defense department on this investigation. >> well, it has to do with general allen, who, of course, is the top commander for nato in the u.s. in afghanistan. nominated to be the supreme allied commander in europe. that is on hold. but, from the administration, from secretary clinton, from the white house, and from secretary panetta, a vote of confidence in him. let's listen to panetta. >> no one should leap to any conclusions. no one should leap to any conclusions here. general allen is doing an excellent job at isaf and leading those forces. he certainly has my continued confidence. to lead our forces and to
continue to fight. but his nomination has been put on hold. until we determine what the facts are. and we will. >> so again he still remains in his position but the nomination is on hold, and that gives you an idea, he has not stepped down. so this investigation continues. >> and we're also getting new details about kelley's connection to both general allen and general petraeus. they both stepped in to help kelly's twin sister in a custody battle. what do you know about that? >> well, you have to remember that she, miss kelley, jill kelley, was very active, trying to be very, very active in the social scene there as a volunteer. and she was able to meet a lot of generals. both of these two generals, and got them, in fact, to write these letters to the court, and here's one of them. this was from general petraeus, backing her sister natalie, in this acrimonious court case about her son.
we have on many occasions observed natalie and her son, including when we hosted them and the kelley family for christmas dinner this past year. in each case we've seen a very loving relationship. so, you know, jill kelley also had a lot of things, as a volunteer and a honorary consul that she was doing there. in fact, there's a new report that just came out from the news agency from south korea saying she, in fact, was a voluntary honorary consul for south korea, but had only symbolic value, and if there was a problem, if it became problematic, that she could be relieved of that honorary symbolic post. >> ha. and we were hearing that right in that 911 tape, that that's what she was referring to, right? >> absolutely. and you have to, regardless, even of this latest breaking development that there's no legal protection for her
whatsoever. she had no, you know, diplomatic position. it's all this, let's call it citizen diplomacy. volunteers who help out with international visitors, et cetera. >> well, thank you for clearing that up, jill dougherty at the state department for us. thank you. >> and as for how the white house is reacting to all of this, including whether this could weigh in on the fiscal cliff deal. we turn to brianna keilar live from washington. where's the obama administration stand right now on this whole mess? >> well, john, white house press secretary jay carney, since we are going to hear from president obama today and he'll no doubt weigh in on this after he's asked. but for now carney is saying that president obama thinks very highly of general allen, of his service in the military and the job that he's done in afghanistan. here's what carney said yesterday, at the first briefing that we've had since this whole scandal erupted. >> he has faith in general allen, believes he's doing and has done an excellent job at isaf. and i would refer you to the pentagon with the process under way with regards to general
allen. >> now, carney also said this was unwelcome, obviously, this development. he said the president was surprised when he heard the news about general petraeus, and he heard that news on wednesday. and also he was asked, john, about the culture of the military brass, if, perhaps, this is a sign of a bigger problem, and he sort of cautioned against extrapolating beyond these two instances. >> so, brianna, the president holds a press conference this afternoon, one of his first in a long, long, long time. is he coming out with specific something to say? what do you expect him to focus on? >> well, we know he's going to obviously -- i mean a lot of it has to do with the questions that he'll be asked. we know, of course, he'll be asked about the fiscal cliff, which is a big deal this week. he'll also be asked, no doubt, about this scandal involving generals petraeus and allen. on the fiscal cliff, what we're expecting, and this has already been laid out by the white house, is the president to talk maybe in general terms about his starting point for this week. remember he's meeting with the
top democrat and the top republican friday from the house and the senate. and we know that his starting point for these negotiations are basically his budget that he outlined last -- or earlier this year. so that's about $1.6 trillion in new taxes. in raising new taxes. he'll obviously press for raising taxes on the wealthy. but that number that i just told you, $1.6 trillion. that's a lot more than we understand he had out there at the end point for the failed grand bargain negotiations with speaker boehner. you know how these things work. everyone stakes out their two sides and ultimately, the final decision is somewhere in the middle. >> that's right. big negotiating game. this is a starting point. brianna keilar, great to see you this morning. >> it is seven minutes past the hour. will she or won't she? do you know? >> i wish i did. >> politicos in washington want to know if nancy pelosi will seek another term as house minority leader. the 72-year-old california democrat is expected to announce her decision today. pelosi has scheduled leadership
elections for november 29th. that's later than usual. and that's prompted speculation that the former speaker may relinquish her role as a top house democrat. they say she's holding this very close to the vest. and coming up on "starting point," former house speaker and gop presidential hopeful newt gingrich and his wife callista. their take on the presidential election, and will also weigh in on the petraeus scandal. >> and keep it on cnn for special coverage. we told you, president obama holding a news conference at 1:00 p.m. eastern time. wolf blitzer will be all over that for you coming up on cnn. stay watching tv until 1:00. it's worth it. >> that's a great idea. another major toyota recall. close to 3 million cars recalled. this is worldwide. it is affecting mostly 2004 to 2009 freeous models. 670,000 of them were sold in the united states alone. so here's the problem. issues with the car's steering system, and their electric water pumps. toyota says no crashes or injures have been reported. take that car back in, folks. >> and more fallout from
superstorm sandy. head of the long island power authority is stepping down. in january i believe. the lipa chief has been under fire for their slow response to sandy, leaving long islanders without power to two weeks. his resignation takes effect at the end of the year. a multimillionaire silicon valley entrepreneur says he is in hiding this morning as police in belize try to solve a murder case. the strange saga of security software tycoon john mcafee, that is coming up. one. two.
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get selsun blue for itchy dry scalp. strong itch-fighters target scalp itch while 5 moisturizers leave hair healthy. selsun blue. got a clue? get the blue. welcome back. it's 12 minutes past the hour. new developments this morning in a strange cat and mouse chase. it is unfolding in belize. >> strange doesn't even begin to
describe it. john mcafee, the man behind the popular mcafee anti-virus software says he isn't a killer, he's just in hiding. after his neighbor was found dead, shot in the head, execution-style, in his home. police are urging mcafee to turn himself in. he is not right now. richard roth following developments for us here in the u.s. richard, mcafee did find a way to share his side of the story. >> yes, he's been doing phone interviews. i don't know, he may be the cat or the mouse. i don't know how much there really is a chase. the police are kind of laughing and saying, look, just come in to talk to us. there are no formal charges yet. in an interview with joshua davis of wired.com, davis asked mcafee where is all of this going? >> what's the end game at this point? >> well, you know, i don't have a clue, sir. i am, you know, i am unable to move. that's clear. my face is plastered, all the police, all the bdf have my photo.
i'm, you know, it's a small country. i'm a white man with a unique features. if i leave this house i would be identified instantly. and nabbed. so for the foreseeable future, this is my home. the end game is obviously given enough time they will track me down. i have to eat. i have to have supplies. i'm using a telephone. they will eventually figure out which phone and triangulate it. you know, it's just a matter of time. in the meantime, i'd like to get out as much information as i can about the wrongs in this country. >> he's had problems with the police there. they raided his home in april, found unlicensed drug paraphernalia. but charges were eventually dropped. >> but clearly, he's not going to turn himself in. he's waiting to be found. >> yes. but he says he's going to be taken and killed, he suspects. but police deny this. they say look, just come in. we're a law-abiding country, and
belize, a central american country, nothing's going to happen to you. three people are being held for questioning so far. the fight with the neighbor seems to have centered around dogs. several of mcafee's dogs were found poisoned. then shortly after that, faull, the maybe, gregory faull, had a bullet in his head. >> unbelievable details. richard roth. thank you for coming in. appreciate it. >> it is 14 minutes after the hour. let's get you up to date. president obama voicing his support for his top u.s. commander in afghanistan. general john allen now under investigation for alleged flirtatious and inappropriate e-mails sent to jill kelley. the petraeus family friend who unwittingly exposed his affair with paula broadwell. right now general allen's nomination to be the next nato supreme commander in europe is on hold. all three people aboard a piper pa-32 were killed when their plane went down tuesday. look at those pictures. it was shortly after takeoff. this is in jackson, mississippi. the plane slammed into a house, injuring one person on the
ground. the owner of the plane says all three men on board the single engine aircraft were pilots and ironically they were heading to an faa safety conference when their plane went down. many new jersey homeowners are already paying the price for hurricane sandy, and they can expect to pay more. republican governor chris christie says residents of towns that require extensive rebuilding efforts can expect to see their property taxes go up. >> there's no magic money tree. but i think that most people in these towns will recognize that if they believe that the money is being spent reasonably and responsibly to rebuild the towns, they'll be happy to do it. no one's ever happy with higher taxes. but the fact is, what the people don't more than anything else is waste. >> state laws in new jersey normally cap property increases at 2% but the law provides exceptions for emergencies like hurricanes. the man behind elmo has been cleared. an accuser had said he had an
underage sexual relationship with elmo puppeteer kevin clash is now changing his story. the anonymous accuser, now 24, has said he had a relationship with clash when he was 16 years old. now, through his attorney, the accuser says it was an adult, consensual relationship. comedian stephen colbert has dissolved his political super pac, americans for a better tomorrow tomorrow. it may have started as a joke but it was really no laughing matter. it raked in more than $1.2 million since it was launched in december of 2011. he used some of the money to pay for funny campaign ads during the republican primaries and his own attempt to become the president of south carolina. 17 minutes past the hour. fiscal cliff, two words that mean so much in washington. but might not mean a lot to the average american. the proof coming up. [ gordon ] for some this line is a convenience. how you doing today? i'm good thanks. how are you? i'm good. [ gordon ] but for others, it's all they can afford.
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we're minding your business this morning. u.s. stock futures are trading up this morning after markets closed lower yesterday. >> ali velshi is in for christine romans this morning, talking about president obama's meeting with business leaders today on the fiscal cliff. >> president obama is going to be talking this afternoon. maybe he'll answer some questions. he'll have a press conference. one never knows what markets are trading on these days because there's such uncertainty about what's going to happen. and pew did a survey. i'll tell you about that in a second what the survey says about what people feel about the fiscal cliff. but the president is calling a bunch of ceos to the white house today, going to have a chat.
here's a bunch of them, the khost of aetna, xerox, american express, honeywell, walmart, and general electric. jeff immelt. dow, procter & gamble, ford, pepsi, ibm and chevron. these are not people who have had a history of outright hostility to president obama. some of them are supporters. this is a broad coalition of large businesses and they're going to talk about issues like taxation, job creation, and the fiscal cliff. another bunch of ceos who have joined the nonpartisan fix the debt campaign. you'll have seen some of their ads. they're taking iconic ads and making them about the debt. let me tell you about what people are thinking about the fiscal cliff, it's very confusing. i'm hearing a lot of people saying why are you carrying on about this all the time? pew asked a number of people, "the washington post" and pew together did a survey. here's what it showed. they asked what do you think the effect of the automatic tax increases and spending cuts, which are the fiscal cliff, will have on the u.s. economy? 68% said that it would have a major effect.
21% minor effect. 2% said no effect. 10% said they don't know. this is the economy. pew and "washington post" also asked, what effect the fiscal cliff would have on your financial situation, 44% said a major effect. 38% said a minor effect. 9% said no effect. and then they also asked them, by the way, do you know what the fiscal cliff, do you know anything about it? about 26% said they understood it very well. 32% said fairly well. about a quarter said not so well. >> that's a trick question. i don't think even the people involved in creating the fiscal cliff understand it well. >> it's a good point. the fiscal cliff is an accident. it wasn't planned. it's not a planned austerity thing. it's budget things that all happen to expire at the same time that will create havoc. it is very hard to understand. but it is really important. it's probably a good chance it won't happen in its entirety. but if it does, it would be catastrophic. which is why i'm up this early and talking about this endlessly. >> somebody said to me the other day, you guys are just hyping
this fiscal cliff thing because it's good for ratings. i wanted to say if you think talking about fiscal cliff is good for ratings, i got a piece of land to sell you. >> i was surprised when i saw that. because it does affect everyone in some way, shape or form so i'm surprised that some people think they're unaffected by it. >> it's not a popular, easy-to-discuss, fancy topic. the last thing i'd rather be talking about. >> but you're popular -- >> and good for ratings. quickly, these business leaders meeting, do you think they think will will be a solution? i have a sense the business community believes in their heart of hearts that something's going to happen by january 1st? >> the business community probably has greater influence over congress than a lot of other people, because they help finance their campaigns. so i've been getting people saying why do i care that business leaders are at the white house? business leaders have a lot of influence. maybe they can get congress to say don't do this, or do this, whatever the case may be. >> thanks for getting up early. >> always my pleasure. >> two four-star generals, twin sisters, 30,000 pages of
e-mails. it's a confusing mess, and one of the strangest scandals to hit washington in recent memory. all the new details and reaction from the white house coming up next. seems they haven't been moving much lately. but things are starting to turn around because of business people like you. and regions is here to help. with the experience and service to keep things rolling. from business loans to cash management, we want to be your partner moving forward. so switch to regions. and let's get going. together. ♪
general confusion. twin sisters tied to the two top commanders embroiled in a major scandal. >> meet the press. president obama just hours away from his first full-blown news conference in months. and out the door. the man in charge of long island's power company quits amid the outrage over failed storm repairs. welcome back to "early start" everyone, i'm john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. it is nice to see you this morning. 28 minutes past the hour. we're following new developments in the complex and widening scandal that's already brought down cia director david petraeus. and now threatens the career of the top military commander in afghanistan. petraeus, as you know, resigned last week after admitting to an extramarital affair.
the other woman, paula broadwell, wrote to petraeus' biography earlier this year broadwell sent anonymous threatening e-mails to this woman, jill kelley. she's been described as a close personal friend of both petraeus and his wife holly. >> keep following. kelley talked to an fbi friend launching an investigation that exposed an affair between petraeus and paula broadwell. now, a defense department official says kelley traded flirtatious and inappropriate e-mails from four-star marine general john allen. he denies an extramarital affair with kelley and insists he did nothing wrong. but the pentagon is investigating. thousands of documents and e-mails between allen and kelley. >> so it turns out both generals stepped in to help kelley's twin sister natalie in a child custody fight. this is a picture of petraeus with jill and natalie, they're twins. and here's what some of what petraeus wrote to the court. quote, we have on many occasions observed natalie and her son,
including when we hosted them and the kelley family for christmas dinner this past year. in each case, we have seen a very loving relationship. so we removed the son's name to protect his identity. he is a minor. >> quite the situation here. in a moment we're going to talk to retired general spider marks. first let's go to cnn's jill dougherty at the state department. we're hearing kelley's voice for the first time here. it's a 911 call, kind of a strange one that requires explanation that was placed over the weekend. what exactly happened here? >> well apparently there was some type of intruder or intruders on her property. so she calls 911. and i think, john, the important thing for our viewers is to pay attention to how she describes herself in this 911 call. let's listen to it. >> i'm an honorary consul general, so i have inviolability, so they -- they should not be able to cross my property. i don't know if you want to get diplomatic, protection involved as well. but now it's against the law to cross my property, since this is now like, you know, it's inviolable.
>> you know, so honorary consul general. well, it turns out that she is, you know, variously described as a socialite. i think you could always call her perhaps a social climber. but in any case, she was an honorary consul for the south koreans. we understand, from the official south korean news agency, and in this capacity, totally voluntary, totally symbolic, no legal rights to inviolability of her property, et cetera. now the south korean government, according to janhap is saying if this is problematic in her holding this honorary post, she could be relieved of it. >> honorary symbolic consul general doesn't really buy you a whole lot of legal protections anyway. in fact it buys you exactly none. it was interesting she brought that up. overnight we heard for the first time from secretary of defense leon panetta, also secretary of
state hillary clinton. they were in australia together. what are they saying about the investigation? >> they're saying the same thing that the administration is saying right now, which is they are sticking with the generals, that they have confidence in him, even as this investigation unfolds. so let's listen to secretary clinton in her remarks. >> general allen is a distinguished marine and commander who's been an important part of the nato isaf mission in afghanistan. we have been in touch with our nato isaf allies. the course in afghanistan is set. we know what the transition requires of us. >> okay. so general allen, again, continues in his post as the top u.s. nato commander in afghanistan. but, his nomination is on hold. so that's his part of this very complicated investigation, john. >> all right. jill dougherty, thanks very much.
let's bring in cnn military analyst retired general james "spider" marks. he personally knows and has worked with both general petraeus and paula broadwell. thanks for being with us this morning, general. >> thanks, zoraida. >> i actually want to start talking about general allen and jill kelley. much was said about the 20,000 to 30,000 pages of documents that they have. many of those are e-mail exchanges between general allen and jill kelley. and the pentagon is actually describing some of those e-mails as inappropriate. one unnamed senior official says that most of the messages were completely innocuous, some were flirtatious. here's how he described them. in some of the e-mails, kelley would say, saw you on television and you were terrific. and allen would write back with, thanks sweetheart. so some people are zeroing in here on that sweetheart. do you think that too much is being made of this? >> well, probably. i must tell you, there's probably little there. however, when you're a four-star general and you're that far up
the chain, you're extremely exposed. and so every activity, every action, every utterance, will be parsed. so it's very, very important that they do look into this. frankly the use of the word sweetheart, i would say that's innocuous and somebody might describe that as part of his culture, part of his upbringing, it's inappropriate when you're a four-star general or when you're at any level in the military to refer to somebody, obviously not your spouse, not your children, using that term. it can be confusing, it can be taken completely out of context, as it probably will right now. >> but does it warrant a defense department investigation? do you think there's more here that we don't know? >> zoraida, i simply don't know. i think we're all sharing the same information. but what's critical here is that john allen worked for david petraeus and all these connections are so closely linked that the negative that there's nothing there needs to be proven so that john allen can
get going on his new assignment as the supreme allied commander europe. if the department of defense determines that that's what is in the best interest of the united states. and i think it's important to realize that john allen understands exactly where he sits with this. he's got a mission to accomplish in afghanistan. and he's focused like a laser on doing that. the problem is, is if this story takes a life of its own, and there is something there there, albeit it might be insignificant, but if we end up spending a lot of time, if we end up burning daylight on this story, john allen's got to go to his boss and say, at some point, boss, i become a liability. we've got important things to do here. we need to focus in on the task at hand here and clearly the position needs to be filled, as well. >> what do you think the timetable would be on that? because his confirmation is on hold right now? >> clearly it has to do with the four-star add mirld who is at saceur right now, when he
intends to depart. all of that has to be balanced because of the laws that dictate how long a three or a four-star can stay in that position. i'm discussing primarily week. if we can determine, we, dod, if the united states can determine real quickly that there's nothing there, john allen can move out, the missions can continue to be prosecuted with the right folks at the right time. if this link languishes for about 14 days or so, that's a time line i just made up, but if this thing is still in the news two weeks from now, somebody needs to raise a hand and say we need to make a decision here. >> i want to talk about something else that's in the news. two high-level officials ensnared in this e-mail scandal, but there's another four-star general, it is william ward. he's been demoted by defense secretary leon panetta also, he's accused of spending thousands in unauthorized expenses, lavish vacations, using his rank to get shopping sprees, as well, even accepting a gift to meet denzel washington. so you got to wonder if this is
a problem, a cultural problem within the military. how would you respond to that? >> it's very troubling, again, you kind of go from disappointed to fed up. again, and i know general kip ward. he's a man of incredible integrity. the only thing i can say is, i hate to say that this is just purely abhorrent behavior, we've got two guys, david petraeus and kip ward that have now been found guilty of extremely bad behavior, and john allen potentially, and hopefully that's not the case, i can tell you, emphatically, it is not a cultural issue with the military. and clearly, the two army guys, dave petraeus and kip ward, the army does a magnificent job of correcting itself. in fact, when there's a big challenge like this, the chief of staff of the army, it wouldn't surprise me, if ray odierno were to declare a values standdown or a values attention time. you know, let's take an effort to really look at our values that underpin us, and upon which
we stand and operate as a military. and we've got two very senior guys that have demonstrated that they've lost sight of those values, that they lived for so long. so, it's extremely disappointing. but it's not endemic to the army, certainly. >> all right. general james "spider" marks, cnn military analyst. thanks for joining us this morning. we appreciate it >> thank you, zoraida. >> keep it on cnn for special coverage. president obama holding a news conference at 1:00 p.m. eastern. you know, wolf blitzer will be all over this for you. all right. failed republican vice presidential nominee paul ryan is reassessing things after election night. but he says he has no regrets. here's what he said on abc news last night. >> -- the campaign paul ryan would have run? >> oh, gosh. you know, i think when you join the ticket, three months out, you join somebody's campaign, i was really impressed with the way mitt and ann brought us into the fold. so i was very encouraged by that. i really enjoyed it. and i wanted to run a big
campaign on ideas. we did that. >> i still can't get rid of the oh, gosh. wasn't an emphatic yes, that's for sure. he also said that there's something of a silver lining to losing, which is more time with his kids. >> just this last weekend i got to go to both my boys' basketball times, two of my daughter's volleyball games. >> so there's an upside to losing? >> there's an upside, which is reconnection with my family. we're a very close family. >> ryan says his kids are actually relieved they will not have to move and change schools. you can understand that. >> absolutely. temper flaring, people shivering. now there are heads rolling as people in new york head into their third week without power after hurricane sandy. a utility bigwig out and there is more fallout. that's coming up next.
all right. welcome back, everyone. a lot going on this morning. will continue all morning. soledad is here to talk about what's on "starting point." >> right at the top of the hour. oh, that tangle web we weave. the web now involving the former cia chief david petraeus. gets more tangled. we're learning more about the woman who triggered the entire investigation. and the e-mails that she exchanged with general john allen. also the new 911 call that she made over the weekend. she was annoyed with reporters traipsing across her lawn. and some of the claims she made on that call. new york congressman steve israel is going to join us this morning. pennsylvania congresswoman allison schwartz, general james "spider" marks joins us, and patty murray. newt gingrich and callista gingrich will join us. they've written his and her books. going to talk about what the republican party needs to do as it moves ahead. and we'll talk to oliver stone.
he's written a lot and done a number of movies on historical events. whether it's vietnam or jfk's assassination. but he says history as we know it is all wrong, and that there's an untold history. yes. an untold history. he'll tell us what that's all about. >> all wrong? >> completely wrong. throw away everything you knew. you thought you knew. wrong. >> we're going to tune in for that. >> oliver stone. >> 54 minutes past the hour. it's been more than two weeks since superstorm sandy struck. thousands of people on new york's long island are still in the dark. >> and much of the anger has been districted at the long island power authority, or lipa as it's called, for failing to prepare for and respond to sandy. lipa is now the target of a class action suit and its chief operating officer stepping down. deborah feyerick here, covering the recovery from sandy. >> it's very, very slow recovery. lipa was very proud of the fact that it got 90% of the power restored yesterday to homes able
to receive power. those in the flood zone are going to be out for a very, very long time. this is a state-run company that's plagued by $7 billion in debt. the debt has delayed krushlg updates from infrastructure to incorporating new technology to improved response time. basic maintenance like trimming tree branches away from wires and preplacing old utility poles. people on long island and queens desperate for information, instead feel they got the run around. people on long island are tired of the cold, the dark, and the runaround from the power company out here, known as lipa. is it fair to say that lipa wasn't giving anybody answers because they themselves didn't have the answers? >> quite possibly. >> reporter: kate murray is the supervisor of the town of hempstead on long island, new york. she said the long island power authority has changed their story virtually every day. even refusing to set up an emergency hotline. is it fair to say lipa almost went into hiding in terms of dealing with its customers? >> well, yes, i think that's a fair and accurate portrayal. sadly enough. >> reporter: before we got word of his resignation we tried to
get answers from lipa's chief operating officer michael hervey. this says the office is temporarily closed, all employees usually assigned are assisting with storm restoration efforts. the business card i left did get a response. so the security guard called media, media called me. there will be no interview with michael hervey. we're told that he's not available for the rest of the day. lipa would not make any other officials available to cnn. a report in june criticized lipa's outage management system and computer describing them as outdated, saying in a crisis, lipa had no way to know when the power would return. new york's governor is now calling for an investigation. >> many of these systems were failing to begin with. >> reporter: walter drobinsky worked on the report. he said lipa delayed upgrades in part because of a $7 billion debt that would have forced a rate increase. >> they knew they needed a new outage management system, that they needed to inspect and
replace a lot of poles. >> reporter: lipa said it began replacing the system. the entire process taking between 18 months, up to 2 years. it could be ready sometime next year. now although it is technically run by the new york government, lipa operates pretty much independently with a board of trustees and hire outside contractors called the national grid. those contractors to be replaced next year. the new york's governor has not appointed a ceo in two years and he's now investigating the company, talking about possibly absorbing lipa into another utility companies or perhaps privatizing it altogether. no consolation for all those people who are in the dark for so long. they could not get the power back on. >> they don't care about the political fight going on. they just want their power back. >> that's exactly right. you have families with babies. you have elderly people who need oxygen machines. it's critical. it's not just about oh, lighting a couple of candles and hunkering down for the long haul. es specially since nobody knew exactly when it's going to go back on. that's the worst part. >> you hear the anguish in their voices and you see the
frustration. thank you. >> 47 minutes after the hour right now. high drama, high on a mountaintop. coming up, how two snowboarders beat the odds and survived a life or death ordeal. ♪ ♪ we're lucky, it's not every day you find a companion as loyal as a subaru. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
top of the morning to you, washington, d.c. ooh it's chilly there. 36 degrees right now. a little bit later it will be 50 degrees. good morning. >> the action in washington is hot today. >> oh, yes it is. >> that's for sure. 51 minutes after the hour. let's get you up to date on the top stories. lawmakers demanding answers about the scandal that's ensnared two four-star generals, david petraeus and john allen. they'll be briefed today by the
cia and fbi about the investigation that exposed the petraeus extramarital affair and forced him to resign as the cia director. >> the scandal will likely be a topic of conversation during president obama's news conference later today. it's set for 1:00 p.m. eastern. wolf blitzer will be all over that. coming up. and nancy pelosi expected to announce whether she'll be seeking another term as house minority leader. pelosi has scheduled leadership elections for november 29th. which is later than usual and that's prompted speculation that the former speaker may relinquish her role as the top house democrat. >> listen up, john, toyota has announced another massive recall, close to 3 million cars recalled worldwide, mostly 2004 to 2009 prius models. yours falls under that. 670,000 of them were sold in the united states. the problems with the cars, steering system and electric water pumps are to blame for the recall. toyota says no crashes or injuries have been reported. >> check with your dealer, though. an update on a story we told
you about yesterday. two snowboarders stranded in washington's mount rainier national park have been reunited with their families. they dug a snow cave for shelter against 70-mile-per-hour winds, whiteout conditions, and two to four feet of snow. yes, they're lucky. rangers say they conduct more search and rescues and see more people die on that range than anywhere else in the park. >> yesterday we were talking to rob marciano and he said that those people are typically prepared. so we're happy to be able to share a happy ending this morning. if you're traveling today, you will find cold temperatures absolutely everywhere. alexandra steele in for rob -- i don't know about everywhere. alexandra? >> yeah, you know, it's colder in albany than on mount rainier. 30 degrees there. 29 in albany. but those guys were prepared. they built a snow cave. they kind of cuddled, and you hear them talk, they have a good sense of humor and they walked themselves down the mountain. certainly in good shape and feeling good. temperatures are cold.
we're talking about that. temperatures below average. will continue to be. all those people on long island without power, on the jersey coast without power, temperatures on the low side waking up in the morning, below, you can see in the 30s and 40s from albany to boston all the way to philadelphia. so long island to new jersey, temperatures well below average. on the low side, and then on the high side, too, in the afternoon. temperatures staying in the 40s. so cold air certainly pervasive in the northeast and down to the mid-atlantic. but also looking farther south into the southeast, atlanta, georgia, should be at 61. only 49 today. and as we look a little bit farther back, 50s and 60s. big picture in the country. cold air prevails. you can see here in the southeast, as well. have you ever seen a total eclipse of the sun? have you ever wanted to? they did in australia. we have some really cool pictures. the moon, of course, blocking out the sun creating this total solar eclipse. this is palm cove, australia. next solar eclipse won't be until 2015. kind of a cool sight.
the last we'll see for quite some time. more on weather in just a few. >> thanks for the pictures. we appreciate it. today's best advice coming up. ... what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ... nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
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actors that wait, you know, and they're doing their scene with the other actor. they always wait to spew off their line. but it's not about them. it's about listening. >> seriously good advice from pauly shore. >> would you take it? >> he was on "starting point" and let's just say i don't own any pauly shore comedy albums or ever seen him in a comedy club. but he was really funny. i am now a big pauly shore fan. >> all right. i hope he's listening. >> don't look at me like i'm crazy. >> you are. >> that's all for "early start." >> "starting point" starts right now. good morning, welcome everybody. our starting point this morning the petraeus web gets a little more tangled. from supposed flirtatious e-mails to an eyebrow raising 911 call, we're learning more about that woman there, she's the one who triggered the investigation. and find out what the defense secretary leon panetta says about the scandal. plus intri