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New Day

Charges Dropped Against Adnan Syed; Latest Headlines from Around the World; New Hope for Heart Disease Patients; NASA Changes Asteroid's Trajectory. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired October 12, 2022 - 06:30   ET





ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): And all charges against Syed have been dropped.

His attorney described the feeling.

ERICA SUTER, ADNAN SYED'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He is elated. He is joyful. He is still processing this. I mean I think you can imagine this has been -- there have been so many ups and downs over the past 23 years. So, he is really just taking it all in.

JONES: Last month Syed was freed from prison after prosecutors moved to vacate his murder conviction without warning, saying the state lacks confidence in the integrity of the conviction. A nearly yearlong investigation revealed key evidence, including information about possible involvement of two other people which prosecutors said was never properly turned over to the defense. Baltimore prosecutors chose not to pursue a new trial, pointing toward the results of advanced DNA testing of the victim's shoes and clothing.

MOSBY: There was a DNA mixture of multiple contributors on both Ms. Lee's shoes. The same multiple contributor for both of Ms. Lee's shoes. And most compellingly, Adnan Syed, his DNA was excluded.

JONES: All this evidence, according to prosecutors, ruled Syed out.

SUTER: He's incredibly grateful for all the people who have supported him and believed in him over the years.

JONES: Twenty-three years his, Syed's ex-girlfriend and high school classmate, Hae Min Lee, disappeared. Her body was discovered strangled in a city forest weeks later. Syed, who was 17 at the time of her death, was convicted in 2000 of first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment. He was sentenced to life in prison.

The case grabbed the world's attention after the landmark podcast "Serial" raised questions about the conviction and sparked new investigations into the murder. Syed steadfastly maintained his innocence. His attorney called Tuesday's decision, long overdue.

Mosby apologizing to the Syed family.

MOSBY: Equally heartbreaking is the pain and the sacrifice and the trauma that has been imposed, not just on that family, but Adnan and his family, who together spent 23 years imprisoned for a crime as a result of a wrongful conviction.

JONES: Meanwhile, Lee's family attorney says they learned about the dismissal of charges through the media, criticizing Mosby's office for not notifying them of the decision. Mosby said she had attempted to reach them before the announcement and she vowed her office would continue to fight for justice for the victim's family.

MOSBY: We will continue to utilize every available resource to prosecute whoever is responsible for the death of Hae Min Lee.


JONES: Now, Syed's attorney says he has taken off the ankle monitor with location tracking that he had been wearing since he was released last month and that he's now planning to continue his college education and has dreams of going to law school.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: What an outcome.

All right, Athena Jones, thank you very much.

A pill combining medications could prevent millions of deaths from heart disease. What you need to know.

Mitch McConnell has a plan to become the longest serving party leader in Senate history. What he is telling CNN in an exclusive about that and what he calls a cliff-hanger midterm election.

And -


ANGELA LANSBURY, ACTRESS (singing): Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, beauty and the beast.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Remembering the legendary star of stage and screen, Angela Lansbury.



KEILAR: This morning, a major disruption to internet access reported in Iran, that an internet watchdog says is likely to limit the free flow of information. The blackout comes ahead of calls on social media for nationwide protests today.

CNN's reporters are covering the latest from around the world.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Hadas Gold in Jerusalem.

After years of start and stop negotiations, Lebanon and Israel have agreed to a U.S. mediated maritime border in the oil and gas rich Mediterranean Sea. This historic deal between two countries that are still technically at war gives cash-strapped Lebanon a much-needed potential source of income and for Israel helps keep its norther border calm where the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah had threatened Israel, they started to pump gas in their gas rigs before the deal was done. It could also help supply much needed gas to Europe, desperately seeking new energy sources because of Russia's war in Ukraine.


Prosecutors in Germany have charged the lead suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann with multiple sexual offences. Authorities say the alleged crimes took place in Portugal between late 2000 and 2017. Prosecutors say 45-year-old Christian Brueckner has been charged with three counts of rape against women, age 20, 70, and 80, and two sexual offenses against children, one where Brueckner forced a teenage girl to engage in sexual activity. Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for other sexual offenses committed in Portugal from 2005. Meanwhile, the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann continues.


BERMAN: Our thanks to our reporters from all around the world.

So, if you or a loved one suffers from heart disease, a new commentary in "The Lancet" medical journal suggests an inexpensive poly pill, or pills that combine several medications, could be the best way to fight this. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., and the leading cause of death for men, women in most racial and ethnic groups in this country.


Every 40 seconds, someone has a heart attack.

CNN medical correspondent and cardiologist, Dr. Tara Narula, joins us now.

So, I read polypill and I was thinking like Harry Potter, the polyjuice portion. What exactly is a polypill and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

DR. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's kind of a cool name. So, as you mentioned, you've got to understand the scope of this problem. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally. We're talking about 18 million deaths a year and one every 34 seconds in this country.

So, the polypill concept really was evolved about 20 years ago, in the early 2000. And the idea is this is a fixed dose kind of regiment where you have three drugs in one pill, usually a blood pressure medicine, a cholesterol lowering medicine, like a statin, and sometimes aspirin. And so ever since this came about, there's been controversy and debate surrounding the polypill. There are definitely some advantages. The biggest one being that it's adherent. It increases adherence, right? It's hard for me, in my office, to get people to take their aspirin, or their statin or their blood pressure medication. But if you give them one pill, sometimes it's much easier.

It's also low cost. So these drugs to be made very cheaply into this one pill.

So, the biggest benefit is seen in really low resource areas where we could kind of roll this out on a widespread basis and improve access, and also for people who may not follow up regularly, who many not have access to a doctor and may really need to pay attention to cost. And it's easy to prescribe. So, those are kind of the advantages.

BERMAN: What are the disadvantages?

NARULA: Right. And there are some. So, certainly, if there's a side effect, let's say I give you this drug and you tell me you have cramping, how do I know which drug in the combination is causing that, right?

BERMAN: Oh, that's interesting.

NARULA: If you're taking one pill that has three drugs in it and you tell me I went on vacation and I stopped my medication, now you're stopping all three drugs, right, not just one. And that can be problematic if, for example, you have high blood pressure and all of a sudden you stop taking it, right?

Also, titration (ph). So, many times we up titrate doses depending on where someone's levels are.

BERMAN: What's titration?

NARULA: So, increasing the levels. So let's say your blood pressure is not well controlled and I say to you, John, I want to increase your blood pressure dose or your statin dose, it's hard to do that when you have three drugs in one pill that's kind of a fixed dose.

And then there are also issues about whether this might make people stop doing lifestyle changes. So, if they think they're taking this magical pill that's going to help with all these things, they may be less likely to eat healthier, exercise and do all of those lifestyle things that we council on. BERMAN: So, you're a cardiologist. This is right in your wheelhouse.

You know, what should we all be doing to reduce our risk of heart disease?

NARULA: Yes, I think, you know, it's - lifestyle is really important. So when we council patients, medication is important and so is your behavior. So, exercise, mental health, sleep, watching your diet and what you're eating. All of these things matter in addition to the drugs we give you.

So, I think the bottom line for this is there's less debate in the population of people who have had an event, who've had a heart attack or a stroke. There was a recent study in "The New England Journal" that actually showed in that population the polypill decreased cardiovascular events by 25 percent. It's in people who've never had an event but there's still a question mark if we really want to give them three drugs.

BERMAN: It's an education. Interesting stuff. Dr. Tara Narula, thank you very much.

NARULA: Thank you.

BERMAN: So, a watershed moment for NASA. The space agency successfully changing the trajectory of an asteroid.

Also --


DWAYNE "THE ROCK" JOHNSON, ACTOR: This idea and the question continues to pop up on whether or not I would run for president, would I seriously consider it? And I have seriously considered it.


KEILAR: President "The Rock," or maybe he'd go by president Dwayne Johnson. The Hollywood superstar not ruling out a bid for the White House.




JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON": I just saw that North Korea just released images of Kim Jong-un overseeing a missile launch. And one of the photos really caught my eye. Take a look at this. Yes, can we zoom in on - he looks like he ran nude through an Ann Taylor loft. It's that hot, new look this fall season, coastal dictator. He looks like a beekeeper on his lunch break.

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": The drills were overseen by North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un. And he did it with style. Here he is coz playing as Diane Keaton in the latest Nancy Meyers movie. It's - it's Kimplicated.


KEILAR: Oh, I mean, he kind of asked for it, I think, with the outfit choices. I will say, he teed it up for him.

BERMAN: I think a lot of people would prefer Diane Keaton to be the leader in North Korea.

KEILAR: Yes. That would be amazing.

A history-making moment. To avoid Armageddon, NASA announcing its spacecraft successfully pushed an asteroid out of its natural orbit after a deliberate crash last month. This was that DART mission, and its goal was to see if slamming into the asteroid could actually change its course just in case a bigger asteroid one day threatens earth.


BILL NELSON, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: Now, this is a watershed moment for planetary defense, and a watershed moment for humanity.


KEILAR: Let's bring in CNN space and defense correspondent Kristin Fisher.

All right, it took a while to figure out exactly what happened here. Was - is it worth it? Is the payoff there?

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, you and I have been talking about this for weeks. What we learned yesterday was that this mission was even more successful than NASA expected.

We already knew that NASA's DART spacecraft had successfully hit this asteroid, Dimorphos, a little over two weeks ago. What we did not know was if NASA had achieved its primary objective, which was to move Dimorphos' orbit just a little bit. Dimorphos orbits this much larger asteroid called Didymos. And so the goal was to kind of push it just a little bit closer to Didymos to see if this technology worked, if they could actually do it.

And what they found, Brianna, was just quite shocking because they were expecting to change Dimorphos' orbit by only about 10 minutes.


In reality, they were able to change it by 32 minutes. So, before impact, the orbit was 11 hours and 55 impacts. After impact, 11 hours and 23 minutes around Didymos. That's a change of about 4 percent.

And, Brianna, the way they were able to determine all of this is by using ground based telescopes. Telescopes that you and I are used to on the ground, on planet earth, like this one that was taken in Chile, the SOAR telescope. So, that's why it took a little bit of time, Brianna, for you and I to finally learn what we've been waiting for all this time.

KEILAR: That looks like the more you know logo, by the way, that picture. I've thought that the whole time.

So, the goal of this mission, of course, was to see if it was feasible to move a potential earth-threatening asteroid, a bigger asteroid in the future, without training a rag tag group of oil drillers including Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis and Steve Buscemi.

So, what are the next steps in getting to that point, because they might not be available.

FISHER: Yes. Well, we've learned that humanity does not need Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck. What we've learned - and there's still a lot left for NASA to learn. Right here, this is an image that NASA released just yesterday. This was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope on Saturday. So, almost two weeks after impact. And, Brianna, look at this trail here. This is two weeks after impact. And you can still see this trail of debris coming from the asteroid that stretches about 6,000 miles long. That's kind of the point of impact. That's the trail.

And then check out this other image that NASA released yesterday at this briefing. This was taken by the small satellite that was kind of trailing, spying on the DART spacecraft, produced by the Italian Space Agency, and that's the moment of impact. And what's really interesting, what NASA wants to study, are these big plumes of dust that come out from the moment of impact.

So, Brianna, what's next? That's the big question here. What NASA has done is they've proven that this type of technology could work if there were ever a big earth killing asteroid potentially headed our way. This one was not.

The key here, though, Brianna, is you have to detect it years in advance, far in advance, so that you could send a spacecraft, like DART, hit it and push it just 4 percent off its current orbit so that ultimately you could move its trajectory by a much larger margin and hopefully save the planet, all of us. The kind of technology that the dinosaurs would have loved, Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes. They didn't have that lead time in the movie "Armageddon."


KEILAR: But that's, obviously, what you need. This is one of my favorite stories that you've covered, Kristin. Thank you so much for wrapping it all up for us.

FISHER: You bet.

KEILAR: So, new questions about the health of Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman in his first in-person interview since he suffered a stroke.

BERMAN: And President Biden says Putin totally miscalculated by invading Ukraine, but would he use nuclear weapons? What the president told Jake Tapper.



BERMAN: For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the crown of the Statue of Liberty is open to the public. Now, if you need help visualizing the part of the statue we're talking about, here it is in the least known and worst of the "Ghostbuster's" movie, "Ghostbuster 2."

While portions of the Statue of Liberty gradually reopened throughout the pandemic, the crown was kept off limit for more than two and a half year. But now it is open again, which seems like a decent opportunity to show you more of the Statue of Liberty in movies across the years.


BERMAN: All right, somewhere in there is the Statue of Liberty, destruction of government property here in the film "Cloverfield."

We also have "The Day after Tomorrow." Weather, in this case, gets the best of the Statue of Liberty."

And the statue's most iconic appearance of all.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your stinking paws off me you damn, dirty ape.


BERMAN: There it is. Wait for it. There we go. That's the end of "The Planet of the Apes." We're not going to tell you what planet it actually is because it gives away the ending if you haven't seen it in the last 50 years. We don't want to ruin it now.

The important thing to remember, though, in all of this is that the crown is open for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. That's the message we want to send here.

KEILAR: I went this summer. Do you know --

BERMAN: To the planet of the apes?

KEILAR: No. Yes, I did. It was - no, I went to the Statue of Liberty, and I was so hoping to be able to go to the crown, but it was closed. And they said, yes, it's going to be closed for some indeterminant, you know, for some undetermined amount of time. And I had no idea it would open so soon. It's such good news.

BERMAN: You could have seen "Ghostbusters 2," and it all would have been OK.

All right, NEW DAY continues right now.

President Biden in an exclusive interview with CNN.

I'm John Berman, with Brianna Keilar.

Does the president think Vladimir Putin has a grip on reality? Does he think Putin will use nuclear weapons? Putin is speaking this morning at a Russian energy forum in Moscow. We are monitoring these remarks.

KEILAR: President Biden also told Jake Tapper in this interview that he is unlikely to meet with Putin anytime soon. He did, though, leave the option open.

Listen to the president's response when Jake asked him about the Russian president's state of mind.



JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you think Putin is a rational actor?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think he is a rational actor who's miscalculated significantly.