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Russia Train Station Blast; Manhunt Over; 2013 Ending with Wintry Blast; Mideast Peace Talks; Bleacher Report; Stranded in Antarctica

Aired December 29, 2013 - 06:00   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, the nationwide manhunt for a suspected bank robber and cop killer may be over as police in Phoenix shoot and kill a man after a heist there. We'll talk to police officials.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And rockets rip across the Lebanon border into Israel. Artillery fired back. The unrest comes as Israel prepares to release some Palestinian prisoners and U.S. Secretary John Kerry headed to the region as well. We'll have a live report for you.

BLACKWELL: And trapped in the Antarctic ice. An update on the difficult rescue operation at the bottom of the world as icebreaker ships, one after the other, are turned away. A helicopter becomes another option for the stranded passengers.

Your NEW DAY SUNDAY starts now.

PAUL: Hey, it is good to have your company here on this Sunday. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: We do have breaking news for you this morning. An explosion rocks a train station in Russia killing, at this point we know, at least 18 people.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And the blast happened overnight at a station in the southern city of Volgograd. Initial reports say a female suicide bomber carried out this attack.

PAUL: Now, CNN has just obtained video of the explosion. We want to show you here. Watch - you see the center of your screen there and you see the smoke coming out of that area there at the train station. That was at the core of that station there, Victor, as I understand it. Possibly near some metal detectors.

BLACKWELL: Yes, let's get more now from CNN's Diana Magnay. She joins us from Moscow.

Diana, what's the latest there? What can you tell us?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the death toll seems to be rising. As you said, Russian state media reporting 18 dead. And we're hearing from the national anti-terrorism committee in this country that they believe it was the work of a female suicide bomber. Volgograd, where this happened, is a southern city and it is quite near the troubled North Caucuses region, where there is a sort of separatist struggle going on with armed militants and these black widows, as they're called. Female suicide bombers have been used often. And there was an announcement by the head of the sort of Chechen militant group a few weeks ago that they would try and carry out more terrorist attacks outside of the caucuses regions.

And, of course, Victor, this is just weeks ahead of the Sochi Olympics and that Islamist leader has said that he wanted to make the Olympics a nightmare for Russia.


PAUL: OK, so, Diana, let me ask you, have any groups claimed responsibility up to this point that we know of?

MAGNAY: Not so far, no. But this is the second attack in Volgograd in three months. The last time was in October, where there was another attack by a female suicide bomber on board a crowded bus and six people died in that attack. Again, there was no claim of responsibility that time around. But this does bear all the signatures of the kind of militancy that we've seen coming out of the north caucuses region.

BLACKWELL: All right, Diana Magnay for us in Moscow. We'll let you get back to work to get more information about this, and we'll check back throughout the morning. Thank you, Diana.

Now, here in the U.S. this morning, a nationwide manhunt for a suspected bank robber and cop killer appears to be over. Phoenix Police shot and killed a man Saturday and they believe that person is the suspect after yet another bank robbery.

Here's what we know about this. On Monday morning, according to the FBI, the suspect attempted to rob a bank in Atlanta. And then later, that same day, the suspect drove to Tupelo, Mississippi, where police say he shot one officer, killed another while leaving the scene of a bank robbery there.

PAUL: So, let's fast-forward to yesterday. According to CNN affiliate KPHO, someone noticed a man with a mask walking into a Phoenix bank and they called 911. Well, a detective responding to the scene shot and killed the suspect while he was engaged in a gunfight with a different officer after leaving that bank.

BLACKWELL: Well, the suspect died there in the parking lot right there at the scene. No one else was injured. We have on the phone with us from Mississippi Highway Patrol Officer Ray Hall.

Officer Hall, good to have you with us. What can you tell us about the investigation as it relates to this killing and the ending of this search in Phoenix? OFFICER RAY HALL, MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAY PATROL (via telephone): Sure. Well, you know, based on the information we received, especially after the Phoenix Internet, the FBI agents and local agents had begun running down leads, started to see just a few things that seem to be similar. Again, continued to track those leads. And at this time we do believe that this -- this killer is going to be connected not only in Atlanta, in the shooting in Phoenix, but here may be responsible for the deaths or death of Officer Gale Stauffer.

PAUL: Officer Hall, let me ask you, there's a Tupelo city spokeswoman who told CNN affiliate WLOX, multiple suspects were seen fleeing the robbery there.

HALL: Sure.

PAUL: Do you know if there is more than one person involved in this at this point? Are you still investigating that?

HALL: Yes, we - it's still unclear at this time if this suspect may have acted alone or whether there was others. I know the officers are continuing to work, continuing to make sure, even if this is definitely comes out that this is our suspect, we would still make sure that there was no one that aided or abetted him. There is -- there was that first day, during the fog of things, there was a lot of different reports and we're just slowly, the officers, the troopers, the agents, especially the FBI who's leading this, have been nonstop around the clock since Monday, 24 hours a day, even all the way up to now, as we speak, making sure that, you know, that the investigation is very thorough.

BLACKWELL: So I just want to be clear about that element. Are you -- are the other authorities actively looking for other suspects or is it still in the preliminary portion of the investigation to determine that there might have been other people involved?

HALL: Sure. I think we're definitely still in that preliminary investigation. Obviously the results from the Phoenix robbery and the shooting there of the suspect, I think that's going to shed a lot more light on maybe what happened here and clear up whether or not there was one suspect or more than one suspect.

BLACKWELL: All right, Officer Ray Hall with the Mississippi Highway Patrol, thanks for speaking with us this morning. Of course we'll follow this throughout the morning as we actually find out if this man was connected to the attempt in Atlanta and, of course, the shooting and robbery in Tupelo.

PAUL: Yes. There's a lot of people wondering how he got - you know, that's a pretty big stretch to get from Mississippi to Phoenix.

BLACKWELL: Yes, all the way to the West Coast.

PAUL: And we know that Phoenix Police, by the way, are saying, at least local media reports there saying that they believe he acted alone in Phoenix.


PAUL: So we'll keep up on that for you.

Boy, this is the last Sunday of 2013.


PAUL: It does not (INAUDIBLE) - what?

BLACKWELL: Yes, it just -- it just resonated. This is the last Sunday of the year.

PAUL: (INAUDIBLE) just a minute ago. I think it's because it's so cold outside our brain isn't working too well. (INAUDIBLE).

BLACKWELL: Yes, it takes some times. We've got to warm it up, just like an old Chevy. Takes some time.

PAUL: But look at the nasty weather so many of you are dealing with today. That doesn't look good.

BLACKWELL: Not at all. I mean, for people in parts of North Dakota and Minnesota, the best bet is just stay inside. Look at this. Just stay indoors. They've been dealing with blinding snow and brutally cold temperatures this weekend. And the wind is making it feel even worse. And this is what drivers --

PAUL: Can you imagine?

BLACKWELL: Who venture out in North Dakota and Minnesota are facing. I mean, what --

PAUL: I grew up from Ohio and that's not completely, you know, I mean that's not foreign to me, but it's still never fun.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we never dealt with this in Baltimore.

PAUL: Come on!

BLACKWELL: I mean we had snowy days, but we could see the next, you know, 15 feet.


BLACKWELL: Let's check in with meteorologist Alexandra Steele for a look at what you can expect as we end 2013 and we start up 2014.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, good morning. Hi, Victor. I thought you were going to say, we never dealt with this in Miami, you know, right?

PAUL: That's what I thought he was going to say.

STEELE: Hi, everyone. Good morning.

Well, it is absolutely brutal. You look at those pictures and then when you hear the sound of that wind and that's what it's about. Windchill warnings. Why you need a windchill warning? This area delineated in purple. In Minnesota, the Dakotas, in Iowa, if you're walking out the door right this very moment in Minot, it feels like 38 degrees below zero. Feels like 37 below in Fargo. These are legitimate numbers. Thirty-five below in Sioux Falls. Windchill warnings today through about noon or 1:00 in this part of the world. We're going to see windchill values about 50 below zero this morning and then this afternoon to about 35 below.

But this is all going to abate. We're going to watch this cold air move eastward. And we're also going to watch these winds really begin to diminish. As we head towards tonight into tomorrow morning, you can see these gusts of 34 at five coming down. And we're certainly going to lose that intensity of that brutality of the cold weather and wind.

But we're going to watch this cold air drop south and drop eastward. So as we look toward today, Minneapolis is at two below, straight air temperature, not the windchill. Twenty-four below is how much colder it is than average. But watch what happens. Chicago loses 20 degrees by tomorrow. And then Monday, into Tuesday, that's when the coldest air gets to the eastern seaboard. So Burlington, New York all much colder than it's been. This is New Year's Eve, mind you. So incredibly cold air coming to the eastern seaboard, modifying, guys, not the cold air we have in Fargo now, but certainly aspects of it.

PAUL: All righty. Well --

BLACKWELL: I just always think about the people in Times Square who stand there all day --


PAUL: Day, just to get their seat.

STEELE: It's going to be a cold one around the country for many.

PAUL: They're cuddled up, though, you know?


PAUL: They're all so close together. It's got to warm them up a little bit.

BLACKWELL: Let's hope. Let's hope.

PAUL: Alexandra, thank you so much.


PAUL: And still to come on NEW DAY, boy, talk about cold. More than 70 people stranded for nearly a week, right now still in the coldest place of the world.

BLACKWELL: Now, two rescue ships have tried to help. They haven't been successful. Will a third be able to reach them? We'll talk about it.


BLACKWELL: Secretary of State John Kerry is headed back to the Middle East.

PAUL: Yes, he's leaving New Year's Day, actually, for Israel and the Palestinian territories to continue talks on the Mideast peace deal. Now his trip comes as Israel prepares to release 26 Palestinian prisoners as promised last summer at the outset of the talks there.

BLACKWELL: But there's also been some action overnight into early Sunday morning. Ian Lee joins us from Jerusalem.

Ian, we know that there are reports of rockets being fired from southern Lebanon to northern Israel and then a return back from northern Israel back into southern Lebanon. Tell us about what's happening this Sunday morning.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Victor, there were rockets that were fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. Israeli's military responded with artillery fire. They also complained about this with UNIFIL (ph), and that is the United Nations body that oversees peace along the border between Israel and Lebanon. They also -- this isn't just the first incident really in the last month. This is the second incident. Just earlier this month, we saw a sniper, a Lebanese army sniper, kill an Israeli soldier. Israeli responded and retaliated back. It has been tense, although we haven't seen anything really escalate into more violence on that border.

PAUL: So how is this action overnight suspected to -- or expected to have any impact on the peace talks that we're waiting for?

LEE: Well, the peace talks right now are really the talk of the town here in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. They're waiting for John Kerry to come later this week. Right now we're having, as you said earlier, 26 Palestinian prisoners will be set free and that will happen around midnight on Monday. These are men who are convicted of violent crimes, who have served over two decades. And this is all part of the peace process. There's four stages going to take place, a total of 104 prisoners released. So this is a sign that the peace process is moving forward, although talking to the Palestinians, one Palestinian negotiator in particular, Mohamed Shepha (ph), he resigned because he said that the process wasn't moving forward well and he also criticized the United States for not being a neutral arbiter, saying that they're more biased toward the Israeli side.

Now, the Israelis have been tight lipped on the behind the scenes activities that are going on, but with this sort of pessimism that we're seeing on the Palestinian side, John Kerry is going to have his work cut out for him when he meets with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

BLACKWELL: And hopefully we'll get some statement maybe from the Lebanese government to try to determine if the firing of rockets into northern Israel has something to do either with these upcoming peace talks, an effort to crush those before they start, or with the additional 26 prisoners released. Ian Lee there for us in Jerusalem, thank you.

PAUL: Thanks, Ian.

BLACKWELL: Still to come this morning, with her title on the line, UFC champion Ronda Rousey went into unknown territory last night.

PAUL: Want to know about the epic battle? We're going to let you know what happened next with her.


BLACKWELL: Yes, it is. And a live look here. This is San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge. That's beautiful. It is 3:19.

PAUL: And there are a lot of people on the road.


PAUL: So you're either up very early or you're -- you missed curfew.

BLACKWELL: These are people headed home from a good time.

PAUL: They're coming home.

BLACKWELL: I just feel it.

PAUL: It looks a little Christmassy too there.

BLACKWELL: It looks really nice. Good morning, San Francisco.

PAUL: Good morning to you.

BLACKWELL: Hey, a mixed martial arts champion adds to her growing legend after an epic fight in Las Vegas.

PAUL: You know it's good if we're calling it epic.


PAUL: Joe Carter has more in the morning's "Bleacher Report."

Good morning.

JOE CATER, BLEACHER REPORT: Good morning, guys.

OK, we're talking about Ronda Rousey. And if you don't know who Ronda Rousey is, you certainly will soon because this woman is not only a great fighter, she's the total package. She's a marketer's dream. She's got those cover girl looks, those chiseled abs, and she's also a Hollywood favorite already. She's going to be in two action movies coming up. And despite training for only six weeks because of her movie obligations, she still won last night's fight.

Now, she entered the cage for a rematch against Miesha Tate. Now, Rousey beat Tate last year by a first round armbar submission. This time around, Tate pushed Rousey further than she's ever gone before. But in round three, the champ, Ronda Rousey, sunk in the armbar once again for the win. Rousey is 8-0 now as a professional fighter.

Well, the question after last night's game, is this the last time that we'll see Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater play at the collegiate level? And if so, it was one of his best college games ever. And the junior is considered a top pick in the upcoming NFL draft. And he certainly put on a show last night for scouts at the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando. He passed for a career high 466 yards. He had four touchdowns. He threw three touchdowns. He ran for another.

PAUL: Wow.

CARTER: And the Louisville Cardinals absolutely crushed Miami 36-9. This one wasn't really much of a contest at all for Louisville.

Hey, trending this morning on, two of the best teams in the NBA squared off last night in Portland. You've got the Trailblazers, the Miami Heat, and this was a last second shot by Chris Bosh, I should say. It was a great behind the back pass to -- from Dwyane Wade to Chris Bosh. And I love the reaction from Bosh. And I love the reaction from LeBron James, who was not playing last night because he's a little hurt. But, obviously, the Miami Heat, one of the better teams in the NBA. A great one-point win for them.

And today, guys, is a huge day, an absolutely huge day in the NFL. We've got 10 teams that are going to be fighting for four playoff spots. Ten teams, four spots, and then Peyton Manning has a chance to break two more records today. He has a chance to break the yards record and the points record, in addition to the touchdown record that he had last week. So a lot going on today.


BLACKWELL: Just add him to the list.

PAUL: You'll be busy. He's just starting his day.

BLACKWELL: And that celebration -

CARTER: Oh, yes, busy on my couch all day watching (INAUDIBLE).

PAUL: Good job. Good job.

CARTER: Yes, not bad, huh?

PAUL: Ah, thank you, Joe.

BLACKWELL: All right, thank you, Joe.

Help for passengers aboard a stranded ship in Antarctica is so close, yet so far. You knew that was coming. This morning, an Australian ship is en route after a Chinese icebreaker was forced to just turn back.

PAUL: Yes, a French ship was getting ready to go out and it never even made it.


PAUL: The Chinese ship, known as the Snow Dragon, is nearby, though. It's got a helicopter to assist aerial rescue efforts if need. But today's attempt is going to be the third try for the teams there. And, look, we're talking about fierce winds, icy conditions that have forced, as we said, that French rescue ice breaker to just call off its mission altogether.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Rosie Tomkins joins us live from London.

All right, so two ships, the French, the Chinese have tried. The Australians are on their way. What's the plan now? I understand there's a helicopter somewhere nearby if they need it.

ROSIE TOMKINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, exactly. We're on to sort of plan c or d now at this stage. We've lost track. But the latest ship, the Aurora Australis, this Australian ship, is just a couple of hours away now. So we are much closer to having news.

But, when it gets there, we have no guarantee of what will happen because the ice may just be too thick for it to reach the Russian vessel. The thickness of the ice, of course, what thwarted the efforts by the Chinese and the French vessels, as you mentioned.

Now, the Australian ship is bigger and more powerful. It has what they call the ice rating of 1.35 meters, which basically means it can cut through ice that thick. But the reports say the ice could be two or three meters thick. So still no guarantee of what will happen when they get there. If they fail to cut through the ice, though, they have, as you say, this helicopter on the Chinese vessel standing by. So plan a and plan b in place and they will assess the situation when they get closer, Victor.

PAUL: OK, so, Rosie, I was reading that everybody on this ship had a great Christmas. They've been there for a week. They seem to be doing just fine. Are you getting any late word as to how they're doing and how long will they let that ship stay there before they would attempt any aerial rescues?

TOMKINS: Well, Christi, there's the question of how long the ship stays and how long the people stay. Now, they will definitely, according to the maritime authority in Australia who I spoke to just an hour ago, they will definitely get the people out today one way or another. If they can't get the ship through, they will revert to this aerial lift. Whether the ship can move, well, that could be any amount of time depending on the conditions.

In terms of their spirits, though, they're having an absolute blast, I have to say. All of them on board, scientists and tourists who wanted to be there. You know, they're adventurous people who wanted to be in that part of the world. They knew the kind of terrain they were going into. They're sending daily YouTube updates to friends and family to say how they're doing. One of them is having a special day today. Let's have a listen to her latest YouTube update.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, everybody. Mary here from Antarctica, having a wonderful time. You can see we have this wonderful snowy wonderland. It's my birthday today. It couldn't be a better day to have a birthday with my 80 something new friends. Blew out all the candles on my birthday cake, which was heaps of fun. And I'm here out on the ice today.


TOMKINS: So, there we go, a very happy birthday girl there with her new 80 friends. And we'll let you know in the next few hours what happens when the vessel reaches them.

Back to you.

PAUL: All right, appreciate it. Rosie Tomkins, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: As the year draws to a close, the weather could not get much worse in parts of the country. Ice, snow, wind, they're making travel extremely dangerous in lots of places. We'll check out the forecast for this new year coming ahead.

PAUL: Plus, "Duck Dynasty" lives on. You know so does the controversy. We're going to talk about why the Phil flap (ph) may have made the show even more popular.


PAUL: It is the bottom of the hour now, which means essentially 6:30, half past.


PAUL: And an early one for you. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Good to have you with us. I'm Victor Blackwell.

Let's start this half with five things you need to know for your new day.

Up first, the nationwide manhunt appears to be over. This was for a suspected cop killer believed to be involved in two bank robberies and an attempted one across three states. Well, he's been shot and killed in Phoenix. Now, Phoenix police say the suspected bank robber was gunned down yesterday in a shootout with police after a robbery there.

PAUL: Number two, an Australian icebreaker en route to help 74 people stranded on a Russian expedition vessel in Antarctica. A Chinese and French icebreaker tried to assist, just couldn't break through that unusually thick ice in the coldest part of the world, obviously. But that vessel has been stranded since Monday.

BLACKWELL: Number three, UPS says it has finished delivering it's backlog of holiday packages. Now, a lot of people were understandably pretty angry that they didn't receive their gifts in time for Christmas, or at least the ones they sent didn't arrive in time. FedEx says it has also resolved its issues with late deliveries.

PAUL: This is making Christmas last longer, that's all.

BLACKWELL: Just a few days.

PAUL: The countdown is on. In three days, marijuana is going to be legal in Colorado, folks. The first state in the country to sell pot for recreational use. Licenses are already being handed out to retailers. What this means is that anyone 21 or older can buy it. Purchases will be limited to an ounce. And that could cost about $200.

BLACKWELL: Number five now, the blowing snow, the heavy rain and the bitter cold. Look at this. They're all part of a mix this weekend as 2013 draws to a close. Now, as we see here, blizzard conditions are making travel extremely dangerous in parts of the country -- North Dakota, Minnesota especially.

Let's check in now with meteorologist Alexandra Steele for a look at what we can expect as we round out 2013.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it depends on where you are. If you're (INAUDIBLE) it out at Times Square.

This is the forecast for New Year's Eve. We're going to see dry skies. But temperature is pretty cold getting down to 31 at midnight. Chicago, temperatures will be in the teens, that is it for you on New Year's for the night time hours.

Atlanta, a little bit warmer than that but still cold, only in the 30s. So a lot of the country will see very cold air.

Here's what we got right now. Rain, a very rainy go here in the Mid- Atlantic and it winds up in the northeast with a little bit of snow by tonight for you, guys.

BLACKWELL: Alexandra Steele, thank you.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed breaking news this morning. An explosion rocks a train station in Russia killing at this point, as we understand it, at least 18 people.

BLACKWELL: And this blast happened overnight at a station in the southern city of Volgograd. Now initial reports say a female suicide bomber carried out this attack.

PAUL: And what you're seeing there is the blast that CNN just obtained on video in the center of your screen there. It went off at the core of that train station, we understand, right near some metal detectors.

Now Moscow is really concerned about militant groups ramping up violence prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics there. At this point we don't believe there has been a claim of responsibility by any groups. But we do have a live report coming out for you at the top of the hour to give you the latest.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Diana Magnay is there in Moscow and we'll get more from her in a moment.

Now another big story here in the States. A&E and the stars of "Duck Dynasty," they're not preparing to move on. The network has now lifted this indefinite suspension that lasted nine days. Phil Robertson, of course, that's after the controversial remarks he made during an interview with "GQ."

PAUL: Senior -- CNN senior media correspondent and anchor of "RELIABLE SOURCES" Brian Stelter talked to NEW DAY about the conversations and this whole controversy that it sparked.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It got people talking about "Duck Dynasty," about A&E, and also about religious freedom and about tolerance. And about whether certain comments, in this case, about gays and blacks are acceptable or not.

You know, A&E put out a statement last night and in the statement they went on for a while and then said that, "After discussions with the Robertson family as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups A&E has decided to resume filming 'Duck Dynasty' later this spring with the entire Robertson family."

And, you know, when I read this, I was a little surprised because like you said it'd only been about 10 days since they suspended him, but on the other hand they were giving in not just to the pressure campaigns that were going on to have him brought back to the show, they're all sort of business common sense.

"Duck Dynasty" couldn't go -- A&E couldn't afford to lose the show and the Robertsons couldn't afford to lose the show. They had to figure out some way forward and it seems like this is the way they're going to do it.


PAUL: Thank you to Brian Stelter there.

You can catch Brian on "RELIABLE SOURCES" at 11:00 Eastern today right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: 2014 will usher in some controversial new laws and policies in parts of the country. On New Year's Day the ban on gay kids in the Boy Scouts will be lifted. The ban on gay leaders will stay in place.

In Utah a rush to plan weddings after a federal appeals court declined to halt gay marriage. That's going to happen. The state plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And in Colorado, government licensed recreational marijuana. Shops will open on New Year's Day.

So let's turn now to our legal analyst Paul Callan.

Do you foresee that scout leaders will be allowed -- openly gay scout leaders to be a member of the organization anytime soon?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I think they will. But I think they're going to come in under a restriction and the restriction is that they can't be open and obviously gay. I mean, obviously, you know you're not going to see a drag queen Boy Scout leader. That's certainly not going to happen. But you are going to see I think gay Boy Scout leaders who probably aren't, you know, flaunting it in an open way that will affect kids in the troop.

Now how that is judged, Victor, I don't know. And that's why I think it may lead to litigation. You know, one person may think that someone is obviously gay and doesn't belong in a leadership position and somebody else will say well, no, that's just -- he's just acting like a normal human being.


CALLAN: So I just think, you know, when you have restrictions about being open and obvious, about a condition that we pretty much now consider to be an absolutely normal human condition, I think litigation is going to follow.

BLACKWELL: Let's go now to Utah. And the end right now of its ban on gay marriage. Do you think Utah's plan to appeal to the U.S. -- Supreme Court, rather, stands any chance of succeeding?

CALLAN: No, I don't. Because I think that, you know, earlier this year, and in the years leading up to now as the courts have slowly legalized gay marriage across America, there's been a trend and I think there's a national acceptance of this and I think Utah is going to find that they are going to have to change their policy.

This just seems to be an important social policy change in America that is pretty much going to be accepted every place. And people are just going to have to get used to it.

BLACKWELL: So what about Colorado? There's recreational marijuana shops. It's legal in the state, it's against the federal law. What problems are we going to see January 1?

CALLAN: Very interesting question. I don't think the Obama administration will be cracking down hard on Colorado because Colorado has gone forward meticulously putting into place the plans to make this happen. The administration, by the way, has in the past cracked down on marijuana -- medical marijuana operations but Justice seems to have backed off on it. Ironically it's illegal under federal law but now legal under Colorado state law.

And, you know, it's going to be wide open in Colorado. We're not talking about medical marijuana there. We're talking about recreational marijuana. You can grow your own. You'll be able to go into a local store and buy marijuana cookies and cake and weed to smoke. So it's going to be a brave new world in Colorado.

I'm -- I ski out there and snowboard out there so it might get kind of dangerous some slopes, I think, if people are -- if people are on the slopes while they're using drugs.

BLACKWELL: If you can buy beer, you can buy blunt in Colorado, I guess.


BLACKWELL: 21 and over.

CALLAN: You bet.

BLACKWELL: Paul Callan, thank you very much.

CALLAN: Always nice being with you, Victor. Take care.

BLACKWELL: Likewise.

Well, the holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends but for a lot of veterans across the country, it also can be grim reminder of the realities of war.

PAUL: Up next, the author of a new book shares his advice on how to get through the holiday season. Stay close.


PAUL: Good Sunday morning. Let's take a look at what's happening around the world together here as we start in Juba, South Sudan, with Arwa Damon who's keeping an eye on the conflict there.

Good morning, Arwa.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christi, behind me is one of the U.N. bases here in the capital. And despite the fact that Juba has been relatively stable for the last week or so, people are still not returning home. It gives you an idea of just how terrified and traumatized the population is.

East African leaders following a meeting on Friday gave the warring factions four days to lay down their weapons. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people continue to seek safety at similar U.N. bases like this one across the entire country as the fighting continues to ravage the world's youngest nation with the death toll of at least 1,000 people -- Christi.

PAUL: My goodness. Arwa, thank you so much for the update. We appreciate it.

We want to get to Beirut now where a former ambassador to the United States is being laid to rest after a car bomb struck his convoy on Friday.

Here's Mitchell Prothero. Hi, Mitchell.

MITCHELL PROTHERO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amid heavy security hundreds of people have gathered here in downtown Beirut for the funeral of the man many believed could have been the next prime minister of Lebanon.

Former ambassador to the United States, Mohamad Chatah, his bodyguard and five other people were killed Friday morning in a central Beirut car bombing. Although there's been no claim of responsibility, security forces are taking no chances and much of the city remains on lockdown.

Back to you, Christi.

PAUL: All right. Mitchell, thanks for the update.

And to London now, where hundreds of adults spent the night at the museum.

Rosie Tomkins explains what this was all about.

Hi, Rosie.

ROSIE TOMKINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A whole new take on night of the museum where the Natural History Museum decided to open its doors for an adult sleepover. 120 people paid almost $300 to spend the night sleeping among the fossils, having dinner comedy and even eating live insects.

It's all part of the museum's effort to raise extra funds for scientific research. And a quiet taste to be sure. But then it's not every day you get to spend the night sleeping underneath the 26-meter (INAUDIBLE) skeleton.

Back to you, Christi.

PAUL: Very Nice. Rosie, thank you so much.

Victor, I spend $300, I want something other than bugs to eat is all I can say.

BLACKWELL: Well, hopefully they had more than bugs to eat.


PAUL: I know.

BLACKWELL: Christi, thank you.

PAUL: Sure.

BLACKWELL: Hey, for a lot of us, the holidays are about food, good food, family and tradition. But for veterans across the country, a lot of it at least, this time of the year can trigger symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. Survivor's guilt, remembering fallen comrades. I mean the holiday season can be a real challenge. So to talk about this, to help us understand we have Chuck Reeves with us this morning. He is the author of a new book called "A Boy Becomes a Man in Nam: Understanding the cause of PTSD".

Chuck, thanks -- thank you for coming in and helping us understand this.

CHUCK REAVES, AUTHOR, "A MAN IN NAM": Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: First, why did you write the book?

REAVES: I realized that we are looking a lot at curing PTSD, how do we treat those people who have combat related PTSD. Part of the cure is understanding the cause. So my book -- I don't understand cure, I'm not a therapist but I do understand what causes a veteran to suffer PTSD from combat related situations.

So I wrote the book to help family and friends of veterans as well as veterans put into words what's really going on in their hearts and their minds and what's creating this PTSD. And part of understanding what the -- what creates it, what causes it, and how it manifests itself is understanding the --


BLACKWELL: The triggers. What are some of the triggers this season?

REAVES: This season -- well, first of all, the holidays are an emotional time.


REAVES: PTSD is an emotional disorder. So it will stir things up. This year we kind of got hit with a double whammy because the budget was announced right in the beginning of the Christmas holiday season. And the item put on the chopping block that's most prominent is veterans benefits. So veterans are wondering -- I'm a Vietnam veteran.


REAVES: We came home, we were not appreciated. So now we're wondering, are we appreciated? And then we see a tactic like that and we're wondering, where do we fit in this society?

BLACKWELL: And when you came home, there was no such thing as PTSD. I mean, that wasn't a term.

REAVES: That's right.


REAVES: In World War II they used something called shell shocked. And if you will recall, General Patton was disciplined for striking a soldier who was shell-shocked, which is PTSD.

When we send someone into combat, it's typically a male.


REAVES: Boys are taught big boys don't cry, man up. And we're not allowed to express our emotions so they all get compressed inside of us. So when I came home the army was very proud of 24 and Out. From the time my plane landed in Seattle, Washington, I was processed out of the military back at the airport, ready to go home in 24 hours.


REAVES: No time to decompress.

BLACKWELL: You know, we have very little time left, but I want you to talk about what I think a lot of people are unaware of. The differences between PTSD for someone like yourself, a Vietnam veteran, and someone from maybe the war in Afghanistan.

REAVES: Excellent point. World War II they had time to decompress on the ship coming home. World War II veterans saw an average of 40 day of combat per year. The Vietnam veteran saw 240 days of combat. So it's a whole different scenario. For Afghanistan, I'm not sure their PTSD is any less or more than ours.


REAVES: But they can Skype. They can talk to their family. I had no communication with my family at all for a year. And now they have this opportunity to touch base with home. Well, does that make it better or worse? Does it make it manifest itself more strongly? Now they're coming home to a difficult economy. So they're coming home having trouble finding jobs. And since World War II, all the wars since, the veteran has not been as appreciated.

So now we're trying to figure out where do we fit into society. We've got the holidays coming up, we've got all this stuff going on. How do we address that? And for the families and friends of veterans they need to get the veteran talking.

BLACKWELL: Well, we certainly want to make sure that we at least empathize this season and understand that for everybody it's not ribbons and bows and winter wonderland.


Chuck Reaves, thank you so much for coming in.

REAVES: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: The book again is "A Man in Nam: Understanding the Cause of PTSD."

Thank you so much again, Chuck.

And, Christi, back to you.

PAUL: Yes, so insightful. Thank you, Chuck.

Hey, still to come, are you like so many of us on this mission, New Year's resolution, to get in shape, tone up or maybe you want to drop some extra weight. Well, there are three really important tips to help make those dreams come true. We're sharing with you next. We're here to help.


BLACKWELL: I love that we started with that song. I love that we started with that song.


PAUL: I love that song growing up.

All right. This is the time of year, right, when you look at the calendar and you go, I'm doing it this year. I'm losing the weight, I'm getting in shape. Yes?

BLACKWELL: Listen. I've already hired a trainer. We're meeting tomorrow at 7:30 am. So you're free to (INAUDIBLE).

PAUL: Really?


PAUL: Just come to spin class with me, buddy.

BLACKWELL: You have invited me before and that seat, I just can't for a full hour.

OK. But, you know, we talked about some of the popular goals, some of them are to take a trip, volunteer, quit smoking, manage your debt. But you know the one we're talking about this morning.

PAUL: Everybody makes it.

BLACKWELL: Losing the weight.

PAUL: Or getting strong, getting in shape. Here's the problem. Experts say most of us are going to fail at following through on our resolutions especially when we have these goals that involved dropping the pounds. Specifically. This is a tough one.

BLACKWELL: And of course we want to make sure that you are not setting yourself up for failure. I'm going to run five miles a day and you've never walked a mile a day.

PAUL: Doesn't help.

BLACKWELL: It starts there. So health and fitness expert Mark MacDonald is here to help. He's also the author of the "New York Times" best seller "Body Confidence".

So how -- good to have you back. MARK MACDONALD, HEALTH AND FITNESS EXPERT: Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: How do we set ourselves up for failure and how can we avoid that now?

MACDONALD: The biggest challenge people do is their mindset. You know, Thanksgiving, all of the December, people eat whatever they want. They hit their tipping point, they low bloated, their scale -- they don't care how they get the weight off. They just want it off.


MACDONALD: So they diet, they restrict, and for three weeks they're in.

PAUL: Right.

MACDONALD: All in. Life pushes back, they gain everything back. It's 1 percent mindset. It's not looking at how do they're going to get off now. One percent at a time. Small incremental changes, so a little bit of exercise. So rather than that spinning bike for an hour?


MACDONALD: What if we do it for 15 minutes?

PAUL: Yes. Come on. Come on.

MACDONALD: And then the next week -- then the next week we do it for 20 minutes.

BLACKWELL: I'll commit to 15 minutes.

MACDONALD: That's right. So the -- you think in your mind, Victor, I got to do it for an hour. You don't. And that's why people fall off. Their mindset, they're not understanding that it doesn't have to be all in. That if they can make a way to make it work into their lifestyle, with their kids, with their family, they can actually take back control of their health and make this their last weight loss new year's resolution.

PAUL: It's just about habituating something new than you had, right?


PAUL: Incorporating it into your schedule rather than, you know, warping your whole schedule to fitness.

MACDONALD: Exactly. Imagine this. One percent at a time, every single day you improve your health by 1 percent. Where are you going to be next January 1st?

PAUL: You're going to be stronger because I'll tell you, spin class hurts, and I sucked at it initially.


PAUL: But I knew, OK, if I -- when you go again and again, it gets easier and you feel stronger and it pushes you. You want to go and you want to do better. But the other thing that, you know, we were talking about is at the holidays, you just give yourself (INAUDIBLE) eat, whatever you want.


PAUL: How do we get off that food train?

MACDONALD: So once you get the mindset, that's not all or none. You're in 1 percent at a time. Now we're going to talk about your food as your foundation.

PAUL: Yes.

MACDONALD: So most people think that exercise is their solution. There's no workout that can outwork a bad diet. Period.


MACDONALD: So the reality is your food, as long as you eat well, you're set. So the rule that I teach is eating in threes. OK. Eating every three hours. A little bit of protein, fat and carbs that keep your blood sugar balance, releases your stored fat, and let your body win.

And it's this simple. You don't have to weigh food or measure it.

Christi, look here.


MACDONALD: A palm of protein. So every meal you eat about a palm of protein. Victor, put up two palms.

BLACKWELL: All right.

MACDONALD: For men it's two palms.

PAUL: It's so unfair.

MACDONALD: Exactly. He's got a lot more muscle, right?

PAUL: I know.

MACDONALD: Faster metabolism. And then a carb, so this could be like turkey or Greek yogurt. A carb would be like an apple, bread, two fists for men.


MACDONALD: A fist for a lady. And then a thumb of fat. Avocado, almonds.

Victor, you get a super thumb. OK?


PAUL: Super thumb.

BLACKWELL: The super thumb.

MACDONALD: And the key is this. Be satisfied after every meal and then get ready to eat.

PAUL: Yes.

MACDONALD: The thing is -- the holidays make us eat a lot.

PAUL: Right.

MACDONALD: Because we think like we can just go for it.


MACDONALD: We've just got to get back in the game. So once you get the mindset you get your food dialed in. Then we've got to make our exercise fun. If you feel that you have to go do 16 minutes of Spin class, you might do it for a week or two weeks and then you're done.

BLACKWELL: And then I'm done. So we've got at least make realistic goals as we start the New Year.

Mark MacDonald, good to have you back. Good to see you.

PAUL: Thank you.

Mark will get you going.



BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you so much. And again, the book is "Body Confidence." I read it. There's some good advice in there.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Also, coming up, he was cleaning up after super storm Sandy when he stumbled upon a treasure worth more than $1.5 million.

PAUL: OK. We're going to tell you what he found and why he's just now cashing it in next.


BLACKWELL: A New York man claims his lottery prize more than a year after he stumbled upon this winning ticket. And get this, it was hidden in a pile of leaves.

PAUL: Marvin Rosales Martinez was cleaning up debris after from super storm Sandy when he found that ticket. It's worth more than half a million bucks. Here's what the 27-year-old landscaper says he's going to do with it.


MARTIN ROSALES MARTINEZ, LOTTERY WINNER: I'm going to buy me a house and help churches and help my family.


BLACKWELL: That's good. Since Martinez didn't purchase the ticket himself, lottery rules said he had to wait a year to see if anyone else came forward and fortunately for him, no one did.

PAUL: We are so glad to have you with us starting your morning here on a Sunday.

BLACKWELL: And be sure to stay with us. We've got a lot more ahead on the next hour of your NEW DAY. It starts right now.

PAUL: All right, grab your coffee, just stay in your peejays this morning. It's so cold outside anyway. We've got you covered. We'll tell you what's happening in the world.

I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Pleasure to have you with us. It's 7:00 here on the East Coast, 4:00 on the West Coast. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: Yes, we have some breaking news that we need to talk to you about this morning. An explosion rocks a train station in Russia. Killing at this point we know at least 18 people.

BLACKWELL: Now this happened overnight and it happened at a station in the southern city of Volgograd. Initial reports say that a female suicide bomber is responsible for this attack.

PAUL: Take a look at this video CNN obtained. Do you just see there the explosion that just happened inside of that building light up and smoke now coming out of it? This was at the core of that train station there as we understand it near a metal detector.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Diana Magnay joins us now from Moscow.

Diana, we spoke last hour and authorities were still trying to figure out exactly who is responsible? What can you tell us what's happened over the last hour as this investigation ramps up?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, this explosion, it didn't actually happened over night, Victor, it happened about three hours ago, right about midday, Moscow time. So it's really quite early stages in terms of the investigation.

There could be a number of causes. We're hearing that it was a female suicide bomber.