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San Antonio Spurs Win NBA Title; More Marines on Standby Near Iraq; Remembering Casey Kasem; Target Has Register Problems; U.S. Sending More Marines Off Waters of Iraq

Aired June 16, 2014 - 06:30   ET




Let's get back over to John Berman in for Michaela this morning for today's top stories -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Kate.

We begin in Iraq with sectarian violence is intensifying with Iraq's air force striking back at the militant group ISIS. State TV reporting air raids killed some 200 militants, this as the U.S. begins moving some personnel out of the huge embassy in Baghdad. Three U.S. ships are now stationed in the Persian Gulf.

Iran also sending troops, some 500 to fight alongside Iraq's security forces. ISIS, that's the militant group, has now taken over the northwestern city of Tal Afar, two more villages as well. Hundreds of thousands of people signed up for health insurance under Obamacare will be asked to verify enrollment information. Federal officials said they found inconsistencies at about 2 million insurance enrollments. They're reaching out to consumers to confirm their eligibility for insurance subsidies provided by the government. Anyone found to be ineligible may have to return their subsidies.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phones President Mahmoud Abbas telling him to bring back three missing teens and arrest those responsible. More than 150 Palestinian suspects are in custody. The teens went missing in Jewish settlements in the West Bank last week. Netanyahu has blamed Hamas, but no one has taken responsibility -- Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. My friend now, as we all should know at this point, the San Antonio Spurs are NBA champions again. For the Heat, any illusion of being seen as a dynasty like that of the Knicks in the '70s was all but dashed because this series wasn't even close.

Joe Carter has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report". I mean, what a whooping. LeBron got his 31, but he is the king no more, my brother.


CUOMO: He is the kind no more.



CARTER: Easy on LeBron there because obviously he's got a lot -- I think it was telling last night, Chris after the game when Chris Bosh said the spurs were the best team they've ever played and LeBron later agreed and a reporter agreed when it was repeated to him. Yes, as you said, it was supposed to be a competitive series, it was supposed to be competitive series, but it wasn't close, because the spurs got it done quickly in five games. In each of the four games they won, they won by double digits. When you add those up, it's the largest margin of victory in the history of the NBA finals.

And what can you say but remarkable about coach Popovich, what he's been able to do with this team. Five titles in 16 years. Of course, Tim Duncan, who's been the driving force behind all these titles, is now the first player to win a championship in three different decades.

A lot of questions will remain as we head into the summer days, the future of the big three certainly up in the air. LeBron, Wade and Bosh all can opt out of their contract this year or next year. They can either stay in Miami or leave Miami.

Obviously, money is the issue there.

Trending this morning on, Martin Kaymer run away with the U.S. Open. He won by eight shots on Sunday. And he's (INAUDIBLE) was merely a formality after the German scored back-to- back 65s on Thursday and Friday, which happened to be a record low for the U.S. Open. And that gives us a insurmountable lead.

Kaymer wins on Father's Day, and that comes on the heels of his players championship win which happened to be on Mother's Day. That's interesting.

History is made yesterday in Brazil at the World Cup. It was during the France-Honduras match, a FIFA official used the controversial goal line technology to confirm a France goal in the 49th minute. It confirmed that the goal was, in fact, a goal.

This is the first time the technology was used in an international match. The technology is similar to what's used in professional tennis. It's basically allowing you to identify whether the ball is in or out. And, of course, later today, a huge game for USA men's soccer. They play Ghana in their first World Cup match at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

Today is a must-win, guys, for the U.S. men. You can't lose to Ghana. Of course, probably not going to win the group, so you have to beat Ghana and hope to tie, at the very least. BOLDUAN: Even those who are not generally soccer fans should be soccer fans today.

CARTER: John Berman called it I think the biggest moment in U.S. men's soccer history.

BERMAN: It's one of the top five games, no question, in the history of U.S. soccer.

CARTER: I agree with you, 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

BERMAN: Typically Berman-esque spoken with complete confidence.

BOLDUAN: Even if he is completely wrong.

CUOMO: He has not a clue.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: What's the game? They kick the ball, right? >

CUOMO: Except the guy with the gloves, he gets --


BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, we have some breaking news to bring you after the break about U.S. Marines in Iraq as the country descends into chaos. We're going to have a live report in moments with the details.


CUOMO: Breaking news just into CNN. Hundreds more marines being put on stand by the crisis in Iraq escalates.

Let's get right to Barbara Starr. She's at the Pentagon with details. What do we know, Barbara?

STARR: Chris, we learned just a few moments ago, another ship, an amphibious warship called the Mesa Verde with 550 U.S. marines on board is making its way into the Persian Gulf. Those 550 marines with their helicopters are on standby, not going into Iraq, but will be capable of evacuating additional Americans from Iraq if it were to come to that.

This is all about giving the president options. But make no mistake, Chris, in the last 24 hours, four U.S. warships have now entered the Persian Gulf ready for whatever may come -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Barbara, thank you very much.

Let's talk about this breaking news and the situation really unfolding in Iraq right now with Gideon Rose, editor of "Foreign Affairs Magazine." Important to have you here today. Let me ask you about what we just

heard from Barbara Starr. They're going to be putting 550 additional marines, they're not going to be in -- let's say in country, but they're going to be in the gulf. What is the impact of that?

GIDEON ROSE, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE: Well, this gives the U.S. more options. It also gives the appearance of doing something and readying ourselves for future contingencies. So, we don't know if this means anything or not. It's a nice bit of symbolic action that sets the stage for something possible down the road.

BOLDUAN: But at this moment, is symbolism what is needed?

ROSE: Depends on who you are.

BOLDUAN: Explain to me.

ROSE: Well, the president wants to be seen to be doing something, and he does want to keep various options open, even if he doesn't decide to intervene, this makes it possible without committing him to actually getting involved on the ground.

BOLDUAN: What do you think the chances are that those 550 will be moved into country?

ROSE: No one knows but I would doubt it in the sense that I think that this president's entire policy in Iraq has been to get out and stay out. I don't really see that changing even if the crisis heats up.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about the crisis and where it stands today. You can see in the red this is where ISIS has moved from Syria into Iraq and now heading towards Baghdad as we can see in Fallujah. What does -- why is this important for U.S. viewers, everyone here to understand. What is this indicating?

ROSE: Well, these are is Sunni areas. Down here you have the Shia areas, here you have the Kurdish areas. So, Iraq basically has several different groups and each has a regional base. What you see is this group, which are Sunni jihadists, extreme Sunnis, essentially taking over the Sunni parts of Syria and Iraq.

But as they get closer to Baghdad, they start to, first of all, overextend themselves and second of all to push into the Shia areas where the government forces are strong, where their population supports the government more and the government can draw on various militias.

BOLDUAN: People are going to say Syria is a mess at this moment. If this is bleeding into Iraq, this isn't Iraq, this is a Syria problem. This is an Iraq problem. Why is this raising such an alarm for the U.S.?

ROSE: Well, the interesting question is, first of all, these countries' borders are somewhat porous, it's a large area of desert around here. And so, it's not a neatly defined problem, Syria or Iraq. It's this whole area.

And the question is, if this becomes a kind of safe haven for jihadists, could they, in effect, have their own little state like the Taliban did in Afghanistan and could that become a base not just for further destabilization in the region, but possibly for attacks on Western targets and American targets outside?

BOLDUAN: Well, that is one interesting point that we've heard from lawmakers on some of the Sunday shows. Lindsey Graham, really a hawk, senator from South Carolina. He says why he believes this is important is because he believes this could be the next staging ground for the next 9/11. But he also said something very interesting, that the United States needs to be talking, coordinating with Iran to fix this problem.

Listen to this.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Why did we deal with Stalin? Because he was not as bad as Hitler. The Iranians can provide some assets to make sure Baghdad doesn't fall. We need to coordinate with Iranians and the Turks need to get the Sunni Arabs back in the game, form a new government without Maliki. But yes, I don't want Iran to dominate Iraq. And that's where they're headed.


BOLDUAN: We need to coordinate with Iran. That's a big statement coming from someone like Lindsey Graham. What do you make of it?

ROSE: Well, see, here's where it gets interesting. Iran is, of course, a Shia power, and they're allied with the government in Baghdad and the Shias over here. And so, we and the Iranians both are opposed to ISIS, this group that is increasingly getting a hold of the Sunni areas.

BOLDUAN: But we don't have many other goals that align.

ROSE: Exactly. And in fact, although we're both supporting the government in Baghdad, Iran is supporting the government precisely because it's a sectarian Shiite authoritarian government. And we want them to be sort of a national unity government, bringing all of the groups together. So we and Iran have the same enemies and to some extent the same allies but different goals for those allies.

BOLDUAN: So do you -- what do you think then? Do you think the United States will eventually be coordinating, sitting down at the table with Iran to try to fix this?

ROSE: It does make some sense to coordinate with Iran a little bit, to reach out to them and to know what they're doing and actually have some lines of communication open. But our goals are fundamentally different enough that I don't think we're gonna be launching sort of combined military offensive.

BOLDUAN: And what that means after that? I mean, this couldn't be the beginning of a kumbaya relationship with Iran.

ROSE: This is where it gets really interesting. Because we are already are in negotiations with Iran. And --

BOLDUAN: Over their nuclear program.

ROSE: Exactly. The Bush administration thought that Shias, which were the dominating group in Iraq, the majority in Iraq, should get control of Iraq to a certain extent.

But in the region the Sunnis are dominant. And so, you have this interesting question in which the local conditions in Iraq are not the same as the larger conditions in the Middle East, and the alliances get all confused along both national and sectarian lines.

BOLDUAN: Gideon, it's great to see you. Thank you so much. All eyes on Baghdad at this moment for sure.

Chris over to you.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, remembering Casey Kasem from his legendary career to this ugly family feud that marked his final days.

And guess what. Target, more problems. Long lines around the country as the cash registers take a nappy-poo. We're gonna tell you what went wrong this time.


CUOMO: I like this song. I'm not sure how it's relevant. You decide.

CNN money -- CNN business correspondent Christine Romans is looking --


CUOMO: Chief business correspondent. Another black eye for Target. Many of their cash registers going down across the country. Christine Romans says she knows why.

BOLDUAN: And she did it.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Tired of waiting for you. That's why we have that song, because people were waiting, waiting, waiting in line. And you know, if it weren't for social media, we wouldn't even know about this. Some of the pictures from last night, these lines, five states and New York City, you had long, long lines.

People started tweeting these Target lines, explaining, hey, something is wrong here. These are people trying to use their debit cards. Huge lines to use your debit cards at Targets across the country. And of course, right away people were going, "Wait, is this about a hack? Is this another hack?" Because we are so fresh in our memory the hack from -- from the holidays.

BOLDUAN: How is this not somehow related to the hack?

ROMANS: It's not related to a hack. It's a glitch in their checkout software systems.

CUOMO: How do you know? Why do you believe them?

ROMANS: Because that's what Molly Snyder, the hardest working woman in P.R. told us. Because she's been answering calls from us for months now about what's going on at Target.

This is one of the tweets we got. "Computers are down at Target, longest lines I've ever seen. They're handing out water and popcorn."

BOLDUAN: Seriously.

ROMANS: "Feels vaguely like a disaster area." Some of the pictures are pretty -- pretty obnoxious. But when you think about it, if it weren't for social media, we wouldn't even know about these delays. I mean, we don't have any affiliate video of -- you know, affiliates going in and taking -- these are just people being the reporters on very, very irritating long lines.

BOLDUAN: Did they get discounts?

ROMANS: They got -- some people got discounts. Some stores are discounts, free popcorn and water. And some people, no doubt, just left their -- their, you know, carts and went home.

CUOMO: Popcorn or like smart food?


ROMANS: Can you -- can you imagine being there on Father's Day? You ran to get something at the end of the day on Father's Day, and you're in these long lines. But it was simply a payment processing glitch; it was not, we are told from Target, anything related to the hack.

BOLDUAN: It's scary it shows us how connected our lives are, how when there is one glitch, even if it's just one software glitch, we are frozen in time. It's very tough.

ROMANS: I know. I know.

BOLDUAN: Christine, thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BOLDUAN: Go shopping.

We're learning more this morning about the final days of Casey Kasem. As tributes continue to pour in, remembering the life and legacy of the radio legend. Kasem, who created American top 40 and hosted the trail-blazing show for four decades, died Sunday at the age of 82, amid a nasty feud between three of his children and his second wife.

CNN's Nischelle Turner is joining us now with much more. Good morning.


Don't you hate to see how the end of his life played out so publicly with this in-fighting between his older children and his wife Jean? But that is what shaped Casey Kasem's narrative in his final days. It was, though, a post on Facebook and Twitter from his daughter Kerri that let the world know his fight had ended.


CASEY KASEM, RADIO PERSONALITY: This is Casey Kasem in Hollywood.

TURNER (voice-over): His voice made him radio royalty and a pop culture icon.

KASEM: The Police with the number one song in the land last week, "Every Breath You Take".

TURNER: For 39 years, Casey Kasem counted down the nation's hit songs as the friendly host of American Top 40.

KASEM: We'll find out as we count down the 40 hottest hits in the USA.

TURNER: Born to Lebanese parents in Detroit, Kasem was passionate about music and radio, later branching out into television with "American Top Ten" in 1980.

CASEM: And hello again, everybody. Welcome to "America's Top Ten".

TURNER: His radio countdown featured little-known facts about the recording artist before each song. And later in 1978, Kasem started his signature long distance dedications that often tugged at the listener's heart strings.

KASEM: Now we're up to our long distance dedications.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His whole approach to life was friendly and personable, and you got a sense that he cared.

TURNER: He lent his trademark voice to commercial ads and cartoon characters, including the voice of Shaggy in "Scooby Doo".

Kasem has been honored not only for his work in entertainment, but also for his charitable causes. But in his final days, his achievements were overshadowed by family turmoil.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's confused. He can -- you know, he's probably very afraid, and he's not getting proper medical care.

TURNER: Diagnosed with Lewy Body disease, his children battled their stepmother, Jean Kasem for months over his medical care. His daughter Kerri Kasem gained temporary conservatorship over her father. And last week when doctors advised her Kasem was close to death, she

halted further life-sustaining treatment, including infusions of food, water and medicine, abiding, she says, by her father's wishes, something Jean disputed.

JEAN KASEM, CASEY KASEM'S WIFE: My husband is a fighter. He would have never, ever wanted this.

TURNER: Long after the legal battles are settled and he's laid to rest, one thing is sure to remain. Casey Kasem will be remembered as the legendary voice of American radio.

CASEM: My name is Casey Kasem, reminding you to keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.


TURNER (on-camera): That signature sign-off. Now his daughter Kerri said on Facebook Sunday morning that her dad was surrounded by family and friends. And she said, quote, "Even though we know he's in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken," which, of course, you can imagine.

It does bring up this bigger issue that a lot of families have, though, end-of-life issues. And what do you do when someone you love is suffering? You still want them here, but don't want to see them suffering anymore. A lot of families have that.


BOLDUAN: -- conversation need to happen far before.

TURNER: Yeah, but this is a Hollywood family. And unfortunately, we saw all of this ugliness play out in front of our eyes.

CUOMO: Maybe it -- first of all, you want to separate the legacy of the guy we were talking in your package about how just amazing a cultural influence --

TURNER: And innovator.

BERMAN: Recorded the American top 40 every week.

TURNER: I did, every Saturday.


BERMAN: Some cassette tape sitting around somewhere.

CUOMO: So allow him to have his legacy unblemished. And after that, it becomes a cautionary tale. You know, if you don't plan for what you want to happen at the end of your life, emotion, money and just genuine indecision and confusion can divide the closest of families.

TURNER: And at the end of the day, he did have an advanced health care directive that said his daughter Kerri could make that decision when to, you know, end his life and pull those sustained -- sustainable fluids away from him. So he did have that.

But it's still -- you know, when you have a wife of 35 years who wants to be there and make those decisions, too, and family strife comes in, it's a tough one.

BOLDUAN: Hopefully somehow that family can try to reconcile.

TURNER: We want them to get some peace somehow.

BOLDUAN: Somehow, away from the cameras.

Thanks so much, Nischelle.

CUOMO: Yeah, Nischelle, that was -- gave him the right dignity in that package. Thank you for doing it.

All right, so as you start your new day, keep your eye on Iraq. The situation is getting worse fast.

And then whooping cough. Is it back? We're gonna take a look at it.

There's a lot to watch, so let's get to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside a country on the brink of another civil war.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R-SC): If Baghdad falls, a disaster awaits us of monumental proportions.

BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: This poses a danger to Iraq. It could pose a threat, eventually, to American interests as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sergeant Bergdahl is still unaware of the controversy surrounding his capture and relief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We owe it to Bergdahl to hear his voice, let him tell his story before we jump to conclusions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The medical team around Bowe Bergdahl says he is a unique case and has lots to overcome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Family support is a critical part of the integration process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today is finally the day --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This group is ready to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the game continues to grow in our country, so do the expectations.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. We so have breaking news this morning. The U.S. is sending hundreds more Marines to the waters off Iraq. This, as the militant group ISIS continues its blitz across the country, grabbing up cities as it's getting closer and closer to Baghdad.

The U.S. now pulling some of its staff from the embassy there. Overnight, ISIS seized another city and two villages. So the Obama administration is facing even more pressure to get involved.

We have complete coverage beginning with senior international correspondent Nic Robertson live in Baghdad. Nic, what's the latest?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The latest, Chris, the U.S. (inaudible) an amphibious Marine assault ship is now in the waters of the Gulf. It's carrying aboard 550 Marines that have the v- 22 osprey air lift capability, so they will be getting closer to Iraq right now.

Of course, the situation here seems to be going from bad to worse. ISIS is still on the advance, still taking cities. The city of Tal Afar in the north, getting closer to Baghdad, 45 minute drive away, taking the bit military base in the town of Baquba there.

And they have now released some chilling video, which is only going to stir up and amp up sectarian tensions here. Video they claim shows the execution of Iraqi security forces. They're in civilian clothes. You see in these pictures, gruesome as they are, the ISIS fighters with their black and white flags walk up to these men who are laying down on the ground, (inaudible) grave and shot at close range. Cold blooded murder that here in the city will really make people very angry and at the same time concerned.

The Iraqi government, is saying, the prime minister saying he will take control of the country again. They've released -- ministry of defense released video showing helicopters launching assaults on what they said were ISIS targets. We can see buildings being blown up but no people being -- running from those buildings or caught up (ph), as far as we could see.

But the evidence at the moment is ISIS still on the advance.