Return to Transcripts main page


Antarctica Helicopter Rescue Underway; Bloodshed In South Sudan; Kerry Arrives In Israel

Aired January 2, 2014 - 05:30   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A huge winter storm ready to wallop the east coast and the Midwest, becoming a powerful blizzard in some parts. It could turn into a travel nightmare for a lot of folks. We're live with the latest.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Rescued from the ice. Dozens of people trapped on that ship in Antarctica taken to safety by a helicopter. We're live with the latest on this rescue.

HARLOW: Pushing for peace. Secretary of state, John Kerry, is in the Middle East today. Can he get the Israelis and Palestinians to reach an agreement? We'll take you live to Jerusalem.


HARLOW (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.

CABRERA (on-camera): Good morning. I'm Ana Cabrera. John Berman is gearing up to host "NEW DAY" in just a few minutes. It's now about half hour past five o'clock in the east.

Millions of people right now bracing for what could be a brutal winter storm. Nearly 1,800 flights have already been canceled since yesterday, most of those coming in Chicago, but a blizzard warning is in effect for Long Island where there could be 10 inches of snow on the ground with wind chills of 10 below by this time tomorrow.

And a snow emergency is in effect in Boston where they could get socked in with two feet in some places, because of the snow drifts, of course. Now, meteorologist, Jennifer Gray, is smack in the middle of it tracking the storm from Boston this morning. Good morning, Jen.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Ana. It is cold in Boston with the wind chill. It feels like the single digits here. It is snowing. We have about an inch of snow on the ground, but this is nothing. This is just the beginning. We're going to see about a foot of snow possible in Boston over the next 36 hours or so, expected to worsen during the overnight hours. There are the current conditions.

Right now, actual temperature at 19, feeling like eight, and it's also breezy. Those winds will pick up throughout the day as well as go into the afternoon. That's what we're looking at as far as snow totals go, could see about a foot of snow in Boston, could six to eight inches in New York City, and then as you head down to Washington, could see about an inch or two there. We're also seeing a rain component to this. The southeast is going to stay rainy, but the big story will be the temperatures. Cold.

Look at Friday morning's wind chill. Fifteen below zero here in Boston is what it's going to feel like tomorrow morning. And temperatures waking up over the next couple of days are going to be brutally cold as well. We'll see temperatures in the single digits across much of the northeast before we start to finally warm up just a little bit and we're talking warm-up in the 20s by the end of the weekend. Not much of a warm-up there.

The winds will also be a factor with this storm system. Guys, we could see winds 30, 35 miles per hour. That's when you have those blizzard warnings. We're worried about a lot of the snow blowing and creating visibility less than quarter of a mile. So, guys, it's going to be a monster over the next 36 hours or so and expected to move out late on Friday. Of course, we're here covering it from start-to- finish.

CABRERA: Brrrr, brrrr, brrr!


CABRERA: Thank you, Jennifer Gray, for putting up with the weather and being in the middle out there this morning.

GRAY: Yes. With a smile to top it off.

HARLOW: Well, they are bracing for the back end of a brutal one-two punch in Chicago this morning.


HARLOW (voice-over): Close to a foot of snow has already fallen on some of the city suburbs and they're not even close to being out of the woods. A separate lake effect system is moving into the windy city right now, and by tonight, the area could get socked with up to 10 more inches of snow. Hundreds of flights in and out of Chicago's O'Hare airport have already been canceled.

CABRERA (voice-over): And it's not much better in Milwaukee. Up to eight inches of snow could fall there with about six inches already on the ground. The conditions sent cars swerving and some of them got stuck. The snowstorm comes on the heels of a bitterly cold month in Milwaukee. The average temperature in December was just 21 degrees with six days at zero or below.


HARLOW (on-camera): In the meantime, another chilly place, let's take you to the story out of Antarctica this morning where 52 passengers are trapped in ice on a research vessel since Christmas Eve, but guess what? They are finally being rescued. Chinese officials have been sending a chopper in and out carrying passengers out in these evacuations. Anna Coren is live tracking the developments for us in Hong Kong.

I was so glad to see about two hours ago, they said they got the first 12 off and safely aboard the other vessel, and now, they've gotten almost all of the passengers, right?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Poppy. Forty-eight passengers, so far. They have another four to go as well as about a hundred kilos of equipment and luggage. And then, the rescue mission is complete. Of course, all of these passengers are being ferried, as you say, on a Chinese helicopter from that Chinese ice breaker to an Australian ice breaker which is close by.

From there, they will be taken to Casey Station which is an Australian post in Antarctica. It's about a thousand nautical miles away from there. They would travel to Hobart which, of course, is the capital of Tasmania, at the very bottom of Australia that is a seven-day voyage. But, you know, this has been a long week and a half for these people.

They've been very fortunate, though. Obviously, food, water supplies, they haven't been short of any of those. Everyone is in good spirits and good health, but I'm sure they're looking forward to reaching to their -- Poppy.

HARLOW: And good spirits sort of an understatement, right, Anna, when you look at how these passengers have been dealing with it. Talk about mind over matter, right?

COREN: Yes. Absolutely. They have made the most of it. It's quite extraordinary. You know, they have had access to electricity which means, you know, they've had access to social media, to their phones, to conducting interviews with, you know, international media outlet such as CNN. I know that they spoke to Anderson Cooper during his New Year's Eve broadcast the other night. So, certainly, these people have some stories to tell and no doubt we'll be hearing much more of it in the coming weeks ahead -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Absolutely. Good for them. Thanks so much, Anna. Appreciate it.

CABRERA: No comment from the White House after scathing editorial in "The New York Times" about NSA leaker, Edward Snowden. The newspaper editorial board says Snowden is a whistleblower, and it's time for the United States to offer the former NSA contractor a plea bargain or some form of clemency.

The board writes, "In retrospect, Mr. Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not do."

HARLOW: Meantime, another round of bloodshed in South Sudan. The president of the African Nation declaring a state of emergency as peace talks between government forces and rebel fighters are set to begin. Our senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, has been on the ground covering this throughout. She joins us now from Juba, South Sudan this morning. Arwa, what's the latest?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. And those states of emergency being declared in two areas. Unity State, which is where the vast majority of South Sudan's oil fields are located and also the state of Jungli (ph) which is quite strategically positioned. Both of these areas are now mostly under rebel control. The delegates have begun arriving to the Ethiopian capital for those talks, but there is no cease-fire in place at this point.

The fighting still fairly intense. And these talks, and this is the issue, are not necessarily going to lead to an immediate cease-fire but rather try to create the framework for one. The United Nations at this stage has been warning though that even if the cease-fire is implemented because the violence here has taken on such an ethnic nature does not necessarily mean at this stage that the killing is going to stop.

At least a thousand people so far have lost their lives, another 180,000 internally displaced, and only about half of them have been able to seek sanctuary at U.N. compounds, Poppy.

HARLOW: And you know, Arwa, the head of the U.N. mission to South Sudan has said publicly she wants to see both sides, both parties, quote, "take a decisive step to cease all hostilities." You're on the ground there. Does that look likely at all in the near term?

DAMON: Well, one can really only hope at this stage, but if we look at the reality on the round, that does not seem to be materializing just yet with the intensity of the fighting pretty much continuing as it has and so much of the territory being under rebel control. The other thing that the U.N. is also highlighting is the state of the tens of thousands of people who have not been able to make it to U.N. bases.

They're basically hiding out in the bush and they have no access to proper food, clean water, medical assistance. There's all sorts of diseases both in the U.N. compound and within these other communities especially amongst the children such as diarrhea to the violence (ph) and not just to end the killing but also because of all of these incredibly vulnerable individuals out there.

HARLOW: Yes, absolutely. Arwa, thank you. Appreciate your reporting on the ground there for us. Thanks so much.

Let's take a look at your other headline this morning. Pakistan's former president hospitalized.


HARLOW (voice-over): Pervez Musharraf's lawyer telling CNN he's suffering from heart problems. His trial has been adjourned now until Monday. Musharraf is accused of treason for suspending Pakistan's constitution and imposing emergency rule back in 2007. He faces life in prison or the death penalty. CABRERA (voice-over): A wrongful death suit filed against the Kansas City chiefs. The mother of the deceived linebacker, Jovan Belcher (ph), says the team failed to protect her son and heed the dangers of head trauma from him. Now, Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend and then killed himself about a year ago. The suit claims his mental health issues were related to concussions suffered on the playing field. Belcher's body was exhumed for evidence in December.

HARLOW: A former banker wanted in a multimillion dollar wire fraud case and believed to be dead was captured alive Wednesday in Georgia. Police say Aubrey Lee Price (ph) was pulled over for having tinted windows. Officers quickly realized he had a lot more to hide. Price was charged in 2012. He vanished shortly thereafter leaving behind a suicide note and a judge declared him legally dead a year ago, but the FBI never stopped searching. He's due in court this morning.

CABRERA: What a story.

Lines formed around the blocks and hundreds of customers were out early as Colorado became the first state in the nation to sell marijuana for recreational use legally. This drug is being sold in several different forms including marijuana and fused chocolate truffles. The product doesn't come cheap. An eighth of an ounce goes for about 60 bucks.


TIM CULLEN, CO-OWNER, EVERGREEN: It has been absolutely amazing. There are more people here than we ever expected. And, there's so many excited people taking part in this that -- I mean, we knew it was going to be a big deal, but we had no idea that there were going to be so many people out here.


CABRERA: Denver's mayor was pleased with how things went on day one. He put out a statement saying everyone behaved responsibly.

HARLOW: And you know what, twins can be born on different days, but how often are they born in different years? It happened near Toronto. Gabriella Salgueiro (ph) came into the world at 11:52 p.m. on December 31st. Her twin sister, Sophia, waited for 2014. She arrived about 30 seconds after midnight on January 1st.


LINDSAY SALGUEIRO, MOTHER: It's also exciting to know that especially knowing that one finished the year and one started the year. Our New Year is never going to be the same now.



HARLOW: That's for sure. They have a handful. Congrats to them. The parents say they're excited. Each girl will have her own birthday.


CABRERA (on-camera): What a couple of cuties!

HARLOW (on-camera): Yes.

CABRERA: Coming up, Secretary of State John Kerry now pushing for peace overseas. Can he get Israeli and Palestine to broker a deal?


CABRERA: Welcome back to EARLY START.

John Kerry arriving this morning in Israel for Mid East peace talks. Now, it's the tenth visit to the region since he became secretary of state. He will meet later today with the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. He's also planning to sit down with Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, live from Jerusalem this morning and tracking the latest.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ana, there's a real sense here that Kerry is bringing with him the sort of ammunition, if you will, to ramp up the pressure on both sides to get towards an agreement. The talks began at the end of July last year. Nine months is the time given to wrap up by the end of April.

What he is coming with is described by senior state department officials as a framework agreement that should lay the path for both sides to be able to see what the permanent status agreement should look like and the idea is that they should get both sides to that point quicker has been described by a senior state department official as Secretary Kerry really wanting to sort of walk both leaders to the top of the hill so that they can look down and see what this final peace agreement might look like.

There are no details about what's in this framework agreement. Neither side is expected to sign it. There's no indication of what's the deadline for them to actually agree to this, but it is in essence, a tool to bridge some of the gaps that exist.

And we're told that this address is that what's known as the core issues, if you will, whether Jerusalem is to be a capital for both Palestinians and Israelis, the right of return of Palestinian refugees and Israel would like its state to be recognized as a Jewish state, security on the west bank.

So, these are the issues that it's expected to address, but the bottom line is here expectations are just not high. Back to you, Ana and Poppy.

CABRERA: All right. Nic Robertson reporting, thanks for that.

All right. Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Michaela Pereira and John Berman here. What do you got today, guys?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's what everybody has got --


PEREIRA: What is going to cover most of the ground across the northeast and the Midwest. All of it is going to be covered in snow or ice. Good morning to both of you. We're following also the dramatic, finally, they're saying finally and thanking --


PEREIRA: We all are. Those people that have been stranded in Antarctica since Christmas Eve, yes, the cavalry has come. Look at that. Helicopter is airlifting them out right now. We'll have the latest update on their efforts to get them out of there.

Also, we're going to talk more about this cold spell, specifically, here at home. And if you're waking up to the bitter, bitter, bitter arctic blast, we'll tell you just how much snow you could be shoveling tomorrow morning.

BERMAN: A lot is the bottom line.

Also, we are following the big pot rollout in Colorado. The lines have been long and get ready for this, the sales are smoking.

PEREIRA: Did you write that yourself?

BERMAN: I love it. That was good, right?


BERMAN: We're going to take you to Denver to bring you the latest on what's happening there.

PEREIRA: We got lot things to get to today.

CABRERA: And it's almost to Friday! So, yippee!

BERMAN: We're this close, this close.


HARLOW: Indeed. All right. Guys, thanks. See you in a few minutes.

CABRERA: Well, other news we're following this morning.


CABRERA (voice-over): Doctors in Israeli say Ariel Sharon's condition is worsening. And the former prime minister is now fighting for his life. Sharon has been in a coma since suffering a stroke in 2006, but in the last few days, his condition has significantly deteriorated due to some kidney problems. Eighty-five-year-old Sharon was a highly decorated and highly controversial military figure before taking office in 2001. HARLOW (voice-over): The family of Terri Schiavo (ph) now in another battle over life support. They are backing the family of 13-year-old Jahi McMath who was declared brain dead last month. Hospital officials in Oakland want to take her off life support. Her family, though, is fighting it and now Schiavo's family wants to help move that girl to another facility.

Schiavo died in 2005, removed from life support after more than a decade. The case becoming synonymous with the right to die debate. McMath is set to be taken off life support sustaining machines on January 7th.

CABRERA: Former first lady, Barbara Bush, remains hospitalized this morning with a respiratory illness of some kind. The 88-year-old was admitted to a hospital in Houston on Monday after showing what appeared to be early signs of pneumonia. President Obama who is vacationing right now in Hawaii released a statement wishing Mrs. Bush a speedy recovery.

HARLOW: A first for the tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. Take a look. That is Aubrey Loots (ph) and Danny Leclair (ph) exchanging vows on a giant wedding cake float. It was sponsored by the AIDS Health Care Foundation. This is the first gay wedding ever conducted during the Rose Parade. Congrats to them.

CABRERA: good for them.


CABRERA (on-camera): Coming up, a big move for Chrysler. The carmaker has been bought up and it is not by an American company. What this means for the automaker's future next.


HARLOW: Welcome back to EARLY START. It is "Money Time." Alison Kosik is here with your business headlines. Good morning.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. It looks like Chrysler is kind (INAUDIBLE) taking a different path. Chrysler is the smallest of the big three. It's no longer going to be an American car company as we know it. Italian car maker Fiat which already owns a major chunk of Chrysler says it is going to buy the 41.5 percent it already doesn't own (ph) of Chrysler for $3.6 billion. Now, this agreement is coming four and a half years after the Obama White House brought Fiat in to keep Chrysler in business as a part of a package bankruptcy proceeding.

Now, Fiat's full takeover of Chrysler is thought to be a very important step towards an initial public offering of Chrysler an IPO which could happen in the next three months. Now, Chrysler has enjoyed the comeback under Fiat and began making a profit again in 2011.

The first day of trading in the New Year and I want to take a minute to go over some Dow milestones. Look at this. For 2013, the Dow gained 3,472 points or 26 percent. It's amazing.


KOSIK: For the fourth quarter. That's the months from October through December. The Dow gained 1,047 points or almost 10 percent and for the month of December, the Dow gained 490 points or three percent. Wow! So, when you take it all together, you have the Dow up 26 percent last year, the NASDAQ up 38 percent, and the S&P 500 up 29 percent. You know it was the best year overall for stocks? Since 1997.

Big donors for feeling particularly generous last year with their favorite charities. A total of 15 individual donations exceeded $100 million in 2013. That's at least according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder, made the biggest single donation of the year, $990 million, to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Nike's Phil Knight gave $500 million to the Oregon Health and Science University Foundation.

And Mike Bloomberg, now the former New York mayor, gave $350 million to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins. Lot of given folks out --

HARLOW: -- I like to see that.

KOSIK: Yes. But you know, even if you take it that much, every little bit helps, right? Even if you just give a little.

HARLOW: We can't give $990 million.


HARLOW: But good for Zuckerberg because he did.


HARLOW: Thanks, Alison. Appreciate it.

All right. Coming up here on EARLY START, imagine eating every meal every day at Starbucks for an entire year. Well, one woman did it. Seriously. You're not going to believe what it cost her. We'll have her story next.


HARLOW: Welcome back to EARLY START. Meet Beautiful Existence (ph). That is her awesome real name, by the way. The Seattle's woman goal in 2013 was to eat only at Starbucks every meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the entire year. So, how did she make it? Did she follow through with all those caramel macchiatos, cranberry bliss bars and bistro boxes (ph)? How did she afford all that?

We're going to talk to her live later this morning on "NEW DAY." She'll be with us at 8:50 a.m. eastern time to tell us all about her year at Starbucks. So, you want to stick around for that.

"NEW DAY" starts right now. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The storm is something else.



PEREIRA: State of emergency. The Midwest and northeast bracing for a monster storm. More than a foot of snow in major cities. More than 2,000 flights already canceled. What comes after may be even worse.

BERMAN: Breaking news. Going home. The rescue of those aboard that stranded ship in Antarctica is finally under way. They're being air- lifted out at this moment, but the complicated task of getting them to safety has only just begun.

PEREIRA: Lighting up. The New Year recreational pot officially legal in Colorado. Lines have formed. Purchases have been made and the weed presumably smoked. So, who's buying?

BERMAN: Presumably?

PEREIRA: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is "NEW DAY" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


PEREIRA: Happy New Year! Good morning and welcome to "NEW DAY." I'm going to say it until well into February. It's January 2nd, and it is 6:00 a.m. in the east.

BERMAN: 2014, January 2nd.

PEREIRA: 2014. It's important to note, because you might still write a check on occasion and you need to put that 2014 on the line.

BERMAN: Be very careful, please.

BERMAN: Chris And Kate are off. We're happy to have John Berman and Ana Cabrera. You guys Lost the bet again, didn't you? You got stuck with me.

CABRERA: I'd gladly sit in your seat, though.


PEREIRA: We all share these chairs. We have the weather models are any indication many of you -- many of us aren't going anywhere for a while. A really major storm is moving from the Midwest right through to the northeast, and it's going to bring the first significant snowfall of the New Year. Big cities are expecting pretty big disruptions. In fact, the city of Boston has already declared a snow emergency. Schools there have canceled class for tomorrow. Massachusetts is one of 18 states with some sort of weather -- winter weather advisory in effect.

BERMAN: This is a big storm, folks. The impact already being felt with about 2,200 flights canceled since yesterday, leaving so many people in limbo as they try to get home from their New Year's getaways. And if the snow is not enough, the temperatures, they are low and they are going lower taking a dive tonight. They're going to hover right around zero in some spots throughout the weekend.

We're going to have full coverage of the storm this morning from where it's starting and where it's going. Let's begin with Ted Rowlands who just looks cold in Chicago right now. Good morning, Ted.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Actually, John, it's not that bad. It's hovering in the mid-20s and as you said, it's going to get much, much worse. It's a winter wonderland here.