Return to Transcripts main page

Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Mother Loses Both Sons In Violence Between Israelis and Palestinians; At Least 24 Dead, 2,000+ Injured As Fires Burns Out Of Control In Chile; Housekeeper Describes Murdaugh's Behavior Day Wife, Son Killed. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired February 13, 2023 - 05:30   ET



SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Ukrainians have previously called Bakhmut an unwinnable fortress and vowed to fight there until the end. And while there are no signs of surrender the Ukrainians say that look, there have been some fierce battles, particularly in and around that area and particularly, in two towns -- two to the north and two to the west of Bakhmut.

They also say that look, their access in and out is increasingly coming under fire. And now you have the head of the Wagner private military contractor -- the Russian private military group saying that they have captured this town called Krasna Hora, which is just a few miles to the north of Bakhmut.

All of this collectively suggests that the Russians are, in fact, making some progress and actually surrounding Bakhmut. And we've seen this before in so many other towns along the front lines, Christine. No major breakthroughs but just a slow, grinding move forward by the Russians.

The Ukrainians, for their part, say that look, it's not the Russians grinding down the Ukrainians, it's actually the opposite and that the Ukrainians are grinding down the Russians' ability to actually launch more larger-scale attacks in that area. But that seems to be a pretty optimistic view of what is a pretty difficult situation right there, right now -- Christine.


All right, Scott McLean. Thank you for that.

All right. As the deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians escalates in the West Bank in Jerusalem it's the mothers on both sides of the fight who pay the most difficult price.

CNN's Hadas Gold spoke to one of them in Jerusalem.


DEBORAH PALEY, TWO SONS KILLED IN FIGHTING: (Speaking foreign language). HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She has lost two of what she calls her most precious jewels but somehow Deborah Paley still has strength and her faith.

PALEY: (Speaking foreign language).

GOLD (voice-over): "These children were given to us as gifts -- treasures to cherish," she tells reporters as she clutches photos of 5-year-old Yakov (PH) and 8-year-old Asher (PH), plowed down on Friday at a bus stop just around the corner in what is really, authorities say, was a terror attack carried out by a Palestinian driver.

Paley says she reached the scene to see paramedics administering CPR on one of her sons.

PALEY: (Speaking foreign language).

GOLD (voice-over): "We understood we were getting close to the place of death," she says.

Her two boys buried side-by-side in Jerusalem, which has become the flash point in the current wave of violence sweeping the area.

But this grieving mother who believes her sons were killed for being Jewish calling for peace and prayer.

PALEY: (Speaking foreign language).

GOLD (voice-over): "Don't look for someone to blame. Don't look for revenge," she implores. "We are in a place that there is a message from God. They have taken our sweet boys -- the innocent -- so that we will be stronger." Paley says she doesn't need to worry about her children anymore, now in heaven.

Asking for prayers for her husband injured in the attack and still hospitalized under sedation. Six other children at home.

PALEY: (Speaking foreign language).

GOLD (voice-over): She calls for the sacrifices taken from the people of Israeli should not be sacrificed in vain. "Take the sacrifice," she says. "This sacrifice will bring God's redemption."

Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


ROMANS: All right, quick hits around the globe right now.

A teenage Palestinian boy fatally shot Sunday as Israeli troops raid the West Bank city of Jenin in search of a terror suspect. The region has not seen this kind of deadly violence in decades.

The U.S. says it killed 12 Al-Shabaab in the latest Somali airstrike northeast of Mogadishu. The Biden administration is supporting the country's government against the al Qaeda-linked terror group. Almost 60,000 homes are without power on New Zealand's North Island this morning as Cyclone Gabrielle nears land bringing strong winds and heavy rain to the Auckland area.

At least two dozen people have died from devastating wildfires raging in Chile over the past week. Nearly 900,000 acres of forest and thousands of homes have burned.

CNN's Michael Holmes has more.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Help from a heavy hitter. A DC-10 tanker plane sent by the U.S. dumps tens of thousands of liters of water over wildfires in Chile. It's part of an international effort to extinguish the raging flames, which have spread in the south and central parts of the country burning more than 300,000 hectares of land.

The air operations backing up a force of nearly 6,000 firefighters on the ground, many of whom are volunteers, as well as hundreds of emergency workers from countries around the world. Despite all the human power hot temperatures combined with dry forested land are creating tinderbox conditions.

One man says he was spraying down his property with a hose when the fires quickly encircled him. He says he took shelter in a clay oven for over an hour before his family could save him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I got in with a chain saw. The dog and the chick were inside and I threw myself face-down on the floor.

HOLMES (voice-over): At least two dozen people have been killed and over 1,200 homes destroyed, leaving many residents living in tents or shelters. More than 2,000 people have been injured and there are health warnings because of the smoke. Then there is the emotional toll.

MARIA, STORE OWNER (through translator): My daughters tell me not to worry -- that we'll all get by -- but it's painful because it was years of sacrifice.

HOLMES (voice-over): Soldiers have begun patrolling the streets at night enforcing a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew in many of the affected areas. The government says it is to prevent theft and looting.

Chile has, so far, arrested more than two dozen people with possible links to the fires.

Michael Holmes, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ROMANS: All right, just hours from now, prosecutors will put more witnesses on the stand in the Alex Murdaugh trial. And the commercial during the big game -- some were super; others dropped the ball.



ROMANS: Welcome back.

Prosecutors are expected to call more witnesses this morning as the double-murder trial of Alex Murdaugh resumes.

Jurors last week heard dramatic testimony from Murdaugh's housekeeper who described what she witnessed the day his wife and son were killed.

CNN's Randi Kaye has more.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): There was a dramatic moment in court when the defense started pushing for a mistrial. It was denied by the judge.

But they were pushing for that mistrial after the prosecution started questioning the Murdaugh's former housekeeper about Maggie Murdaugh's state of mind and how Maggie Murdaugh felt about the money situation in their marriage. The defense basically said that is hearsay because Maggie Murdaugh is no longer here and cannot testify about that on her own.

But much of the day the housekeeper spent testifying about what she saw Alex Murdaugh wearing the day of the murders. Both the prosecution and the defense asked her about this and here's what she said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was that shirt there?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where these shoes that you called house slippers -- were those there?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever see those house shoes again?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And where did he usually keep them?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he left that night, on the night of the 7th, and went to his mother and father's house, you don't know what clothes he took with him and what shoes he was wearing? You have no idea, correct? TURRUBIATE-SIMPSON: That is correct.

KAYE (on camera): All of this matters because the prosecution has been laying the groundwork that Alex Murdaugh allegedly showered and changed his clothes after killing his family, so that's why there was so much talk about the clothing.

Now, the housekeeper did testify that she found a pair of khaki pants that Alex Murdaugh had been wearing the day of the murder. She found those the following morning. And on cross-examination, the defense asked her did you see any blood stains on those pants? Did you find any blood stains or any blood in the shower? And her answer was no.

Looking ahead, the state expects to rest its case on Wednesday. The defense will pick it up from there. And they say their defense case could likely last another week.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Walterboro, South Carolina.


ROMANS: All right, Randi. Thank you for that.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin says he is grateful for a second chance at life in his first interview since suffering cardiac arrest on the field. Hamlin did not want to discuss what happened when he collapsed but here's how he describes what he experienced when he woke up.


MICHAEL STRAHAN, SPORTS ANALYST, FOX SPORTS: What is the first thing you remember when you started to wake up?

DAMAR HAMLIN, SAFETY, BUFFALO BILLS: Just hearing family members -- my mom and dad and friends that were there. And the first thing I said when I woke up was "Did we win?"

STRAHAN: Yeah, dude.

HAMLIN: They couldn't -- yes.

STRAHAN: Do you realize -- were they -- when I saw that I said OK, he's an athlete. He's committed.

HAMLIN: I'm competitive. That competitive nature in me was just still -- just thinking about the game and I just wanted to know, like, did we win? Like, I said --

STRAHAN: And what did they tell you?

HAMLIN: Yes, I won -- I won the game of life.


ROMANS: "I won the game of life." Hamlin also says he is happy the situation cast a light on all the good he stands for and that it's his goal to one day return to the field.

All right, coming up on "CNN THIS MORNING," three mystery objects shot down over North America in as many days. What exactly were they?

And the big names starring in Super Bowl ads. The most and least effective, next.



ROMANS: All right, your Romans' Numeral this morning, seven million. A 30-second Super Bowl commercial this year cost up to $7 million. Thirty-second ads in the first Super Bowl back in 1967, in case you're wondering, were $42,000. More on this year's ads in just a moment.

But looking at markets around the world right now, European markets are higher. Asian markets closed mixed. And on Wall Street, stock index futures at this hour are also mixed here.

All three major indexes ended the week lower. The S&P 500 fell more than one percent. The Nasdaq slid 2.4 percent. That's the worst weekly declines this year. Investors continuing to assess whether interest rates will rise more this year.

The first significant read in inflation in 2023 is the Consumer Price Index and that comes tomorrow. Also this week, readings on retail sales, housing starts, and weekly jobless claims.

On inflation watch, gas prices holding steady overnight, now at $3.42 per gallon of regular.

All right, which Super Bowl commercial was worth spending that $7 million on for 30-second spots this year?




ROMANS: Let's bring in Lisa Lacy, former commerce editor at Adweek.

Lisa, Google -- that ad did not disappoint. What made it so effective?

LISA LACY, FORMER COMMERCE EDITOR, ADWEEK (via Webex by Cisco): Well, I think we saw a common theme this year, which was -- we've had celebrity-heavy Super Bowls for a number of years now but his year one of the -- one of the trends seemed to be just to pack in as many celebrities as possible. So we saw the same thing with DraftKings and Hellmann's and Michelob, of course, with Serena Williams and Brian Cox. So just I think trying to really entertain viewers this year and lean in heavy into humor. ROMANS: You and I have a favorite here. You have a few favorites but I really loved this collaboration between General Motors and Netflix with Will Ferrell. Watch this one.





ROMANS: I mean, what made this one so good? I just -- I loved him on the set of "BRIDGERTON" and "SQUID GAME."

LACY: Yes, for sure. Well, it was -- this is I think could be the first year that we've seen collaborations with these -- with these streaming platforms. So there was also the full swing and -- what was it -- Michelob. Michelob and Netflix partnered for full swing for their main -- their main spot. So (INAUDIBLE).

ROMANS: There were some good nostalgic ads too with lots and lots of celebrities. This Workday ad really is interesting. Watch this one.




ROMANS: Kind of, sort of poking fun at corporate culture, right?

LACY: Oh yes, for sure.

So I -- again, with all of these different rock stars -- Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Ozzy Osbourne -- packing in as many as they possibly can and just I think trying to make people laugh was also a big (INAUDIBLE) last night.

ROMANS: Lisa, let's take a look at an ad that you say missed the mark. Watch this.




ROMANS: So that's Ram revealing its electric version of a truck. Why was this a miss in your mind?

LACY: I mean, I feel like I'm going to sound like an elitist snob if I call it sophomoric but I feel like it was kind of going after the lowest common denominator. And to be fair, I'm never going to buy a Ram truck, electric or otherwise, so I was not in the target demographic for this one. But it just sort of seemed -- I mean, I get what they were doing but I feel like it was --

ROMANS: It didn't work for you.

LACY: Anytime you're bringing in sort of like a medical condition or something I feel like that maybe gets a little dicey. And it was just -- like I said, it was -- it was a --it was probably appealing to guys and I'm not in that demographic.

ROMANS: It just didn't -- it just did not work for you.

Finally, here -- let's look at this one.

LACY: Right.

ROMANS: This one did work for you. Look at the PopCorners one.




ROMANS: Wow. So this is the -- these guys are back together for the first time in years. This one worked for you.

LACY: Yes. I actually just Googled before we went on. "BREAKING BAD" has been off the air for 10 years and I feel like that's a good time to kind of bring it back and make a nod to this show that was so incredibly popular. And I -- and I -- and I mean, they did a very good job kind of weaving in the chips and I think that a lot of people are probably glad to see -- to see the gang kind of back together.

ROMANS: Yes. The Super Bowl of consumerism. You know, the ads are the --

LACY: Yes.

ROMANS: -- Super Bowl of consumerism.

Lisa Lacy, thank you so much for getting up early for us. Nice to see you.

LACY: You, too. Thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

All right, history was made at the Super Bowl last night before the opening kickoff.


CHRIS STAPLETON, SINGER-SONGWRITER: Singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl LVII.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: The annual pregame flyover featured an all-female team of pilots for the first time ever. The NFL celebrating 50 years of women aviators in the U.S. Navy. Today, about 15 percent of all naval pilots are women. The group of seven female aviators flew in a diamond formation over the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

All right, three more unidentified objects shot out of the sky over North America. What do the experts say?



ROMANS: All right, our top of the morning, the top movies at the box office.


Clip from Warner Bros. Pictures "Magic Mike's Last Dance."


ROMANS: The Channing Tatum prequel "Magic Mike's Last Dance" is number one.

Here's number two.


Clip from 20th Century Studios "Avatar: The Way of Water."


ROMANS: "Avatar: The Way of Water."

Number three is another James Cameron movie you might know.


Clip from 20th Century Studios "Titanic."


ROMANS: That's "Titanic" back in theaters for its 25th anniversary, still the third-biggest movie of all time.

All right, it's Team Fluff for the win in the 2023 Puppy Bowl. Team Ruff rallied back to tie the game in the second half but Fluff won in overtime to take home the Lombarky trophy. But it's not really about football after all. Animal Planet says every puppy and kitten featured on past Puppy Bowls has found a home since the first show all the way back in 2005. That's so darn cute.

All right, a young basketball fan getting the surprise of her life. Twelve-year-old Gaia was watching the Los Angeles Lakers -- they were playing the Golden State Warriors Saturday -- when suddenly the NBA's new all-time leading scorer LeBron James just sat down right next to her.


GAIA, LEBRON JAMES FAN: I asked for these tickets like over three months ago because I was so excited. I really was hoping that LeBron would break the record at this game. And even once he broke it I was like oh my God, congratulations. And I was so excited to come to this game and I was like ready in my brain. I was like congratulations already.

And when I heard that he had a foot injury I was sad and we didn't know if he was traveling with the team to this game or not. And then when he ended up sitting down here I'm not that -- as tall as him obviously, so I could only see like his shoes. And then I look up and I see LeBron James. And what's going through my mind is just like, "Oh, my God, the like, greatest player in all time in basketball is sitting next to me. And I -- I just freak out completely



ROMANS: Wow. Game of a lifetime. She even took some pictures with the NBA legend.

All right. Thanks for joining me. I'm Christine Romans. CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.