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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Widow Sworn In As Sheriff; 35 Dead In India Building Collapse; Rutgers Assistant Coach Resigns; No Kiss For The Prince; Report: Russia Considering Evacuating Embassy; Who Will Help Dial Down North Korea Tensions?; On The Set Of "Mad Men"; Interview with Five Olympic Hopefuls; March Jobs Report Out Today

Aired April 5, 2013 - 07:30   ET

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


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The man suspected of killing him, 37- year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard was wounded in a shoot-out with a sheriff's deputy and is in the hospital.

Susan Candiotti is in Williamson, West Virginia for us with the latest. Susan, bring us up to speed.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christine and John. Well, in the small, historic coal mining town, shattered by the murder of their beloved sheriff, Eugene Crum, who did so much in only 93 days, they said, to battle prescription drug abuse, a large turnout for the swearing-in of his widow as interim sheriff. Now she was too devastated to talk, but her daughter did, remembering her father.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIE CRUM, DAUGHTER: The pain that we are experiencing is unimaginable. I wish I could be shook out of this horrible nightmare. Things seem so unreal right now, and as reality settles in, so does the hurt. All our hearts are broken. Dad was very special to us all in so many ways.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CANDIOTTI: The feeling among many people here is that that was a symbol for healing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTIN MARCUM, WV HOUSE OF DELEGATS: Everyone in the community knows her. It's small town USA. It will help us overcome the void that's in our hearts and the officer's hearts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CANDIOTTI: Now I also spoke with the mother of the murder suspect in this case, Tennis Maynard. Now, he remains in critical, but stable condition after being shot after his -- or during his arrest. The mother told me that he is being treated for mental illness, that he even spent a week in the state hospital a few years ago, put there, institutionalized, by his family. She acknowledges that he had guns in the house. She doesn't know how many, didn't know much about it. And she said that she had no idea that he would become violent, and never saw any sign of that.

The main question here is how did this man, who is suffering from mental illness, get his hands on a .40-caliber semiautomatic Glock handgun and what, what was his motive for murder? We still don't have those answers -- Christine and John.

ROMANS: So sad and disturbing. Susan Candiotti for us in West Virginia. Thank you, Susan.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, the death toll rising in a building collapse in India. At least 35 people have been killed, 69 injured. Rescuers are still searching through the rubble there. Police say the building in a neighborhood near Mumbai was under construction. They say the first four floors were illegally occupied. Five children were among those pulled to safety after the cave-in.

ROMANS: More fallout this morning over that video showing former Rutgers Basketball Coach Mike Rice verbally and physically abusing hit players. Now one of Rice's assistant coaches, Jimmy Martelli, he has resigned, too. He was seen berating players and hurling basketballs at them during practice.

Meantime, Rutgers athletic director and president getting plenty of heat over their handling of the case, remember, they allowed this coach to stay before ultimately firing, firing him. Next hour, we're going to talk with Rutgers Professor Robert Snyder who wants the school's president to step down.

BERMAN: Maybe my favorite picture of the day. Prince William may have found his princess, but he appears to be losing his touch with the ladies a little bit. William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, touring Scotland yesterday when they encountered a little 4-year-old girl holding a single red flower. You have to see what happens when the prince stops to greet her.

The kiss, just complete rejection, total rejection, like the Heisman right there. Before that, the prince even asked the little girl if the flower she was holding was for him and she pulled it away.

ROMANS: It's so cute. That is so cute. We told you at the top of the hour about this breaking news out of North Korea. Russia being asked by that country to consider evacuating its embassy that as CNN's confirmed that two missiles have been moved to the east coast of North Korea within range of U.S. territories and our allies.

BERMAN: Ambassador Nicholas Burns is the former undersecretary of state, NATO ambassador. He's now an international relations professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Thank you so much for being with us.

Let's start with the news that is just breaking now. Pyongyang asking officials of the Russian Embassy, advising them that they may want to evacuate because of tensions on the peninsula. What's the significance of that move?

AMBASSADOR NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE: It's hard to know. It could be accurate. It could be misinformation. What we do know is that Kim Jong-Un, the young, inexperienced leader of North Korea, is trying to ratchet up the pressure against both South Korea and the United States.

And the United States has responded in a very cool fashion, very strong, showing Kim Jong-Un that we are the superior military power, but not trying to rise to these provocations and trying, actually, to decrease the level of rhetoric. I think that's the right move by Washington.

ROMANS: Let's talk a little bit about the provocations, as you say, at least from the North Korean side, new details this morning about these two missiles and what we know are missile components and launch, launch machinery that have been moved over the past few days to the east coast of that country.

When you talk about the North Korean bragging of the potential of a test launch, and moving these munitions, and we talk about the range of those munitions and how they could hurt our allies, or even our own forces, how does that play in this whole scenario?

BURNS: Well, it's very irresponsible and it's a direct threat, obviously, to Japan and to South Korea. Not to the United States. Not to U.S. forces on Guam, or to the west coast of the United States. But the problem here is that Kim Jong-un right now is unbridled.

There's no one trying to -- there's no one close to him trying to restrain him. The key country is China. China has influence through the provision of food aid and fuel to North Korea. China seems to be trying to have it both ways. Say that both sides need to reduce provocations.

But it's only one side, North Korea, is acting up. So it's really incumbent upon China to use its influence to restrain the North Korean regime. That would be very helpful if China would do that.

BERMAN: It really does seem that this new North Korean leader is playing some sort of diplomatic game here, and the "Los Angeles Times" makes the case this morning that he's sort of playing a weak hand to his advantage.

Let me read you a quote from this. It says "North Korea uses its weakness to its advantage like a barefoot man who doesn't fear the man with shoes. North Korea behaves like it has nothing to lose. North Korea's bombastic propaganda machine the only issue of threatening to turn Seoul into a sea of fire and the South Korean stock market takes a beating."

Do they have a point there? North Korea only needs to speak and everyone seems to panic a little bit.

BURNS: Well, I think, and that's the key thing here, the United States certainly is not panicking and neither is the South Korean government. We've seen this kind of behavior from the North Koreans in the past, frequently including from Kim Jong-il, who was the father of Kim Jong-un.

And you know, they make a big deal with incendiary and bombastic rhetoric trying to get the attention of the United States, South Korea, Japan, Russia, China, trying to get more food aid, trying to get back to talks which the North Koreans then routinely violate when they make commitments.

And so I think this time the Obama administration is determined not to rise to bait. That's the right reaction. You know that we've just had South Korean-U.S. military exercises. That's the right way to show the North Koreans that they're the weaker party here.

I think we'll see this level of rhetoric continue from the North. It would be very surprising, however, if they did anything in the way of direct attacks on South Korea.

ROMANS: Kim Jong-un is untested basically young and new leader of this country with the generals around him in the military. So there's an internal message, there's the external message poking an eye at the west. You know there's a lot of room for mistakes.

BURNS: Well, there is and I think there's a variable here. The wild card is that he is so young, he's inexperienced. He may need to prove himself to the military leadership of North Korea.

You see he's out in photos almost every day with military units. That was unlike his father who was more reclusive. So that's what's different here. That's what has some people on edge, but still I think most people would say the chance of a war here is not likely.

BERMAN: Still every day a new development. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, thanks so much for being with us.

BURNS: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, top of the hour, we're going to get more reaction from Congressman Ed Royce. He chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee into the military and economic options available to the U.S. in this.

BERMAN: Ahead on STARTING POINT, "Mad Men" returns for its final season this Sunday. Our Jake Tapper sat down with show creator Matt Wiener and asked why he's ending it so soon.

ROMANS: And then Team USA's Olympians getting ready to hit the slopes in Sochi. We're going to meet five of them. There they are. They're going to give us a preview of what to expect. You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: OK, this is going to sound a little crazy. It may sound crazy, but for fans of the hit show "Mad Men" the end of the weekend can't come soon enough. BERMAN: Because that is when "Mad Men" returns for season six. Our very Don Draper-esque Jake Tapper sat down on the "Mad Men's" set with the show's creative genius Matthew Weiner.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN'S "THE LEAD" (voice-over): It's been a long 10 months since we left Don Draper at the bar. But this Sunday millions will return to the offices of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price for the Season 6 premiere of "Mad Men" on AMC. The series creator Matthew Weiner invited us to come early.

(on camera): So this is going to be second to last season?

MATTHEW WEINER, SERIES CREATOR, "MAD MEN": Yes.

TAPPER: It's going well? There doesn't seem to be any compelling reason to end it any time soon.

WEINER: I feel like, you know, first of all it's exhausting. I need a break, but the reality of it is that the show has a life span. It is mortal. You really want to end it before you have exceeded the ability to tell the story.

TAPPER (voice-over): Heavy drinking, heavy petting, and heavy drama have kept viewers tuned in to a bygone era of boy's club.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, girls, come on in.

TAPPER (on camera): How worried or concerned or aware are you when you're writing for your women characters about them not just being Joan and Megan and Peggy, but them being symbolic of women in general?

WEINER: That's a really good question. I don't want the characters to ever be symbolic in general. Did women have it harder? Yes. There were women pioneers? Yes. Were there exceptions to every rule? Yes. How does someone succeed in that world? I think the show resonates because things are not that different. I don't want to give a history lesson. I want people to know that these people could be their mother.

TAPPER: But the dark heart of "Mad Men" is mysterious, womanizing, ad man, Don Draper.

(on camera): Is he alone? Is Don Draper alone? Is this what the show is about?

WEINER: I think it's a big part of his life, yes. And the ambiguity of that statement, after we've seen this man having found love, and being left alone, I think, you know, there's -- there's an existential quality to him as a hero.

TAPPER: I don't even know how Don Draper dies, but if the show is about this existential question, am I alone, can I ever be happy, those questions, there needs to be like a hint at the end about --

WEINER: I am going to try to use the machinery of my show to give a satisfying ending.

TAPPER: Of course, we can't talk about the new season of "Mad Men" without mentioning the worst-kept secret in town. Part of the new season will include scenes shot in Hawaii featuring actors John Ham and Jessica Perey. Let the speculation begin, Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: Awesome assignment.

BERMAN: I can't wait.

ROMANS: All right, also ahead on STARTING POINT. They ski. They snowboard, and they're going for gold. Five members of Team USA give us a preview of 2014. There they are! You're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Just 308 days to go. The opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics will kick off in Sochi, Russia. It is never too early to get to know our future Olympians. Here now five of the athletes who could be bringing home gold, Sarah Hendrickson, American ski jumper, Heather McPhie, American freestyle mogul skier, Aerial Gold American snowboarder, Grete Eliassen, American region freestyle skier, and Kaya Turski, Canadian freestyle skier.

Thank you guys so much for coming in here. It's so exciting to see you. So 308 days to go, about to be summer. What are you guys doing to get ready right now?

HEATHER MCPHIE, FREESTYLE MOGULS SKIER: I'm in the gym, about to get on my road bike and we'll do some high performance training camps, get out there and work on our tricks. I really love to push the jumping in my sport. So I work on the bigger tricks and keep pushing myself.

BERMAN: So Sarah, this is the first time ski jumping is going to be in the Olympic Games as a medal event for women. You are I think the current world champion in this?

SARAH HENDRICKSON, SKI JUMPER: Yes, world champion.

BERMAN: How do you feel going into the games?

HENDRICKSON: Really excited. It's a privilege to be able to finally compete, a huge push to get our -- the women into the Olympics. Men have been included for years and years and years, so I'm really excited, good results in the past two years so that has given me confidence leading up to the season.

BERMAN: I have a confession. I did ski jumping for two years when I was a kid. I was terrible. You are very good. Good luck at the Olympics. So, Greta and Kaya, you are freestyle skiers, one of the issues about Sochi, serious snow issues at the venues where the games will be held. There was a competition just a little while ago, no snow.

GRETE ELIASSEN, FREESTYLE SKIER: Yes, in soft style skiing actually we have two to four jumps and they're actually pretty large size. They range from 60 feet to 80 feet. So it's really important that they have enough snow to build the course.

I went there five years ago and they had a lot of snow. They are known for powder skiing so we're really excited and finally, you know, women's sports could be part of an event where there's equal play time for women's sports.

BERMAN: How concerned are you though that you are going to get there and there will be no skiing?

KAYA TURSKI, FREESTYLE SKIER: You know, I think it was just a fluke year and I've recently read they've been storing a ton of snow just in case it's a bad year next year. I think they are going to be fully prepared no matter what happens with a ton of snow or very little snow. I think we're able to put on a great show.

BERMAN: They literally are storing the snow. They are putting it up in the mountains a year in advance. I want to talk about the safety there also. This is a place where, you know, a lot of Americans don't go, a lot of people don't go vacationing in Sochi. Any fear?

ARIELLE GOLD, SNOWBOARDER: I don't think that there are necessarily fears. You know, we're all used to going to Europe and riding the terrain in Europe and I think all athletes will be the same way going into Sochi. So I think the terrain is a little more extreme in America, but it's nothing we're not used to.

BERMAN: So we have almost a year to go. Besides winning a gold medal, which I have to figure is the number one thing you want to do, what is the number one thing you want to get out of these winter games?

ELIASSEN: Well, I think for me, again equal play time for women's sports. We're so excited to be part of an event where women get as much attention as men do in sports.

TURSKI: And you know, having the slopes making its debut at the Olympics is such a huge opportunity for our sport. We've been working on it so long and it's, you know, it's not very well known yet to the world so it's going to be great for us to kind of to be able to showcase it.

BERMAN: Yes, we look forward to watching you all. Thanks so much for coming in -- Christine.

ROMANS: Ahead on STARTING POINT, just 30 minutes away from probably the most important economic indicator in the world, the March jobs report. What is happening in the biggest labor market on earth?

And actor/comedian Nick Canon talks about his passion project, ending slavery around the world. He'll be here live. You're watching STARTING POINT. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. Great to see you. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. Our STARTING POINT this Friday morning, in just a minute, we get the big March jobs report, the first month of full sequestration effects. We're going to look at what's expected and what's happening in the job market.

BERMAN: It's like the Super Bowl for Christine Romans.

ROMANS: Yes.

BERMAN: Then a developing story, North Korea asking Russia to evacuate its embassy over growing tensions. We're going to live in the grand peninsula.

ROMANS: And the dominoes are falling, a group of Rutgers professors asking the president be fired after a controversial video of Basketball Coach Mike Rice goes public. This morning, we're talking to one of them.

BERMAN: The assistant coach already resigned there and more to follow maybe.

Plus, my goodness, one handed, bare handed catch of that ball, but the most amazing thing of all, what he was doing with his other hand. Holding on to his beer, and does it without spilling a single drop, hats off to you this morning, sir.

It is Friday, April 5th. STARTING POINT begins right now.

ROMANS: Our STARTING POINT this morning, 30 minutes away from a very good indicator of what's happening in the jobs market. A big jump in February, 236,000 jobs created. We're not expecting that kind of robust hiring in March, 190,000 jobs is what analysts are forecasting, 190,000 jobs not enough to bring down the unemployment rate.

That unemployment rate stuck at 7.7 percent. Analysts and economists have been dialling back their expectations for the health of the jobs market this week because some other weak economic reports out there.

Another issue, this report could show -- could show the early impact of the forced spending cuts. Those kicked in last month and some government agencies started furloughing workers, but the broader jobs trend shows improvement.

I want to show you kind of a bigger picture, the last year or more, economy has been adding jobs for almost 2-1/2 years now. I'm going to bring you those numbers live at 8:30 Eastern. Sequester, we're going to be looking to see also what could happen with the cold weather.

Could that have held back some construction hiring, housing market recovery, maybe that was something good in these numbers. Government job losses, we're expecting 9,000 or 10,000 government jobs to be shed even as the private sector keeps going. BERMAN: So two things, there was sort of a big mood change that happened just this week. I think expectations were much higher before Tuesday that there would be gains of over 200,000 jobs. Now all of a sudden, the expectation is much, much lower.

ROMANS: And it feels like deja vu to me because even Ben Bernanke, the fed chief, recently said this. We have seen this early spring strength the last couple of years and then it would fade into the summer and that's something that's been kind of a pattern.

This number is kind of a mysterious number this month. I'll be honest with you because we don't know how sequester, how weather, how an earlier Easter, worries from Europe are all going to play in here. Private sector employers have been more resilient than I would have expected.

BERMAN: There are two numbers to look at because of that. One, there could be private sector job crease that is greater than 190,000, but there could be public sector government job losses.

ROMANS: That's true. One thing about the jobs number that is really interesting to me it is such an important economic indicator with the largest labor market in the world and the largest economy in the world.

But when you look at the jobs number, for most people even when it's getting better, they say they don't feel it because your job market is a job market of one. Either have you a job and you're confident in it or you don't. That is what really an underlying problem for the economy. We need to get more people back to work.

BERMAN: We will bring you those new numbers, the minute, second that they come in at 8:30. So stay with us for that.

Meanwhile, breaking news this morning, missiles are on the move and tensions rising on the Korean Peninsula. Reuters says Pyongyang is asking Russia to consider evacuating its embassy staff in the north. Russian officials say they have no immediate plans to comply.

Meanwhile, a U.S. official tell CNN two missiles and launch components have been moved to North Korea's east coast in the last few days with a range of 2,500 miles. These missiles could possibly strike South Korea, Japan, and U.S. bases in Guam.

CNN's Jim Clancy is live for us this morning in Seoul, South Korea. Good morning, Jim. What's the latest?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're ratcheting up the pressure once again. North Korea, apparently according to the Russians, telling them they might want to evacuate some of their embassy staff, if not all of them. We are understanding now that this is a message that may have been given to other embassies as well. The Russians are going public with that.