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Suicide Bombers Identified; Disbelief Over Response In Atlanta; NSA Surveillance; "Full House" Of Support For Fallon; Free From The "Sick Ship"; Family Talks About Painful Hospital Fight; Congressman's Empty Threat

Aired January 30, 2014 - 07:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. There's a lot of news to tell you about so let's get straight to John Berman who is in for Michaela with the top stories -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I want to start, Chris, with breaking news just in. Just days before the start of the Sochi Olympic Games, word that Russian police have identified two suicide bombing suspects believe to be militants responsible for the deadly bombings in Volgograd several weeks ago. "Russian Meteor" reporting that two suspected accomplices have been detained, and that they are brothers from Dagestan. Last month's Volgograd's attacks killed 34 people, injured many, many others.

Officials in Atlanta are bearing the brunt of criticism for the chaos following Tuesday's snow that crippled that city. They're blaming the weather report for the lack of preparation that left millions inconvenienced and thousands of cars along the highway just stranded. At least 10 deaths are being blamed on the southern storm that moved from the Gulf States all the way up to Virginia.

Another dispatch from the Edward Snowden files, leaked documents indicate the NSA spied on before the summit. In the meantime, it was the first major meeting on climate change after Obama's first term election. They are urging Snowden to return classified documents calling him a hypocrite who has severely undermine U.S. security.

McDonald's Happy Meal usually includes a toy, but a McDonald's employee in Pennsylvania is under arrest this morning for allegedly including heroin instead. Police say buyers would go to the drive thru and asked to order a toy then they pay at the window, receive the drugs in a Happy Meal box and then drive off. The employee denies those charges.

Jimmy Fallon suffering through some sleepless nights as he gets ready to take over "The Tonight" show. Thankfully he has a full house of support. Check this out from late night.


JIMMY FALLON: This one's going out to a groovy dude who's about to go to sleep. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Yes, that is the real life cast from the hit show "Full House" comforting Jimmy with a smooth lullaby assuring him he's got the whole thing in the bag. It airs next month after the Sochi game. John Stamos, that guy can sing -- Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I say that about you all the time, John Berman.

All right, so back on dry land, they are off the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, but their ordeal most certainly doesn't seem to be over yet. Here this morning to talk about their experiences on that sick ship are Shannon Blace, Patricia Jimenez and Mike and Heidi Palombi. Great to see you all.

Under the circumstances, I'm sorry that you have to be here. I know everyone's wondering this. You were all sick.


BOLDUAN: You're all on the mend and none of you are suffering symptoms anymore right now. How are you feeling?

MIKE PALOMBI, PASSENGER ON ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE: We are still experiencing some of the bloattiness and the side effects.

BOLDUAN: You never thought you'd be on TV having to talk about these things.

MIKE PALOMBI: We're not vomiting and our fevers are gone.

BOLDUAN: Good to know. Heidi, first off, can you describe -- I know it's difficult to talk about the symptoms, but describe what you went through because you were all very ill.

HEIDI PALOMBI, PASSENGER ON ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE: Yes, 36 hours on the ship, horrible vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, for the entire six days. I was in my room for the last six days of the trip.

BOLDUAN: So when did you realize that this wasn't just an isolated incident, that this was an outbreak and that it was running throughout the entire cruise ship?

MIKE PALOMBI: Yes, you just heard the buzz around the ship that everybody was getting sick. You know, and so I'd say Wednesday evening she started feeling sick. About Thursday morning, she was very sick, and you know, the one thing I took issue with on the boat was the number of people that they said were sick. They described it as 600 people. I guess that's --

BOLDUAN: You think it's much more than that?

MIKE PALOMBI: Absolutely. I would say 600 people represent 20 percent of the population of passengers on the boat. I would venture to say that it's the opposite, that 20 percent didn't have some form, some malady from that virus.

BOLDUAN: Do you think they just aren't accounting to people or they didn't make it down to the infirmary?

MIKE PALOMBI: I don't believe they could handle that capacity.

HEIDI PALOMBI: They told us at some point to stop coming down. Stay up in your room, we'll send people up. Even with Shannon, I called for five hours. They said we'll be right up. They never came. I just happened to bring an arsenal of stuff with me.

BOLDUAN: You're going to bring that again next time. Shannon, you described it as being in a prison. What did you see? No one was on that boat. What did you see on the boat when you were there?

SHANNON BLACE, PASSENGER ON ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE: Well, it's funny, the first -- Wednesday night, we went down to the ding room. As we were leaving the dining room, a lady was vomiting into a napkin. So that brought great fright to us right away. We thought, is she seasick, is there something going on. And that's the night I got my symptoms as well.

I didn't make it to dinner obviously for the next three days. My boyfriend did. He came back to report. He said it was like a ghost ship in the dining room. He said it was like there was nobody there. It was a clear picture right there and there.

BOLDUAN: You were working on the ship. This was a job.

BLACE: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: What did you hear from other folks working on the ship? Were they going through what you were going through as well?

PATRIZZA JIMENEZ, WORKED FOR A VENDOR ON CARIBBEAN CRUISE: I guess in a different perspective. They were actually entertainers, they were cooks, you ma'am it. They were still doing what they were supposed to do. On top of that, they were sanitizing 24/7. They were literally cleaning, trying to make the guests happy and so forth.

BOLDUAN: You two are relatively happy with how the cruise responded, how Royal Caribbean responded is that right?


HEIDI PALOMBI: There's nothing more they can do. The crew was amazing. They were cleaning 24 hours a day. The compensation, for us, I'm not happy with it because I literally was in my room six out of the eight days --

BOLDUAN: You didn't enjoy anything?

HEIDI PALOMBI: I never put a bathing suit on, didn't go to the pool, didn't see any sun, didn't go to an event, but you know, it's part of the risk of traveling in a situation like that.

BOLDUAN: But you feel differently about this?

BLACE: I do.

BOLDUAN: How did they handle it?

BLACE: I don't think they had a contingency plan from the very beginning. The communication didn't filter down to the proper people in an efficient time. You would talk to one person at the front desk and be told one story, and then you'd talk to somebody else and be told another story. Nothing was consistent across the ship. Nobody seemed to know the right answers to provide you. You'd line up to get service questions answered, and you'd walk away frustrated because they didn't have the answers you wanted to hear.

BOLDUAN: You're just left alone basically. So I guess, you know, everyone is wondering, will you be cruising again anytime soon?

MIKE PALOMBI: Absolutely.

HEIDI PALOMBI: We already booked our next cruise while we were on the ship. It's like saying I'm not going to fly because there was a plane crash. We're going on a cruise in March because our son is getting married on Norwegian. So we're going for it.

JIMENEZ: Yes, I'm definitely going to cruise again. I just need some time to recover after everything.

BOLDUAN: You're allowed. Shannon?

BLACE: At this point I'd probably say no, but I think maybe once I have time to recover and think about things, we would probably cruise again too. But I'm not sure it would be with Royal Caribbean.

BOLDUAN: You all need some time to rest and recover. And Shannon and Mike told me, that after they got off they realized their luggage has also been lost. We've got even more to deal with over here. Sorry for having to meet under these circumstances. Thank you so much for coming in -- Chris.

CUOMO: Their new favorite word is asymptomatic. That is their favorite word.

Coming up on NEW DAY, an interview you'll only see an CNN, the husband who had to fight the state of Texas to take his pregnant wife off life support. You're going to hear from him and why he is sure that taking her off machines was the right thing to do.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Well, this was a story that really divided the country. And now for the first time, we're hearing from the family of Marlise Munoz about their heart wrenching battle to honor her wishes and be removed from life soup port. You'll remember she was declared brain dead, but because Marlise was pregnant, Texas state law, there was a law there on the books that said because she's pregnant, she cannot be taken off the ventilator. Marlise's husband and her mother spoke exclusively to CNN's Anderson Cooper. They say they are certain they did the right thing by letting her die with dignity. Take a listen.


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN'S "AC 360": When she first had the embolism. She was at that point 14 weeks pregnant.

ERICK MUNOZ, MARLISE MUNOZ'S HUSBAND: Yes. Once we got to the hospital and after the doctors do their initial procedures that they do to try to determine what's causing the problem, see if they can fix it, they showed us a CT of her brain. I can't tell you exactly what I was looking at, but I knew it was wrong. We were called back into her room in ICU and the doctor told us about this. Of course, we're like no, we want to disconnect her and his words were, we were asking for an explanation. His words he's like I'm sorry. I just found out about this law 5 minutes before you did. I've been told to notify you of it.

COOPER: What goes through your head when a doctor says we're not going to follow your wishes?

LYNNE MACHADO, MARLISE MUNOZ' MOTHER: For me, I thought there must have been a miscommunication of some way. We said no, no, no, that's not what she wanted. She wanted never to be on life support and that's when they're saying, well, but she's pregnant. And then it went from there.

COOPER: There are some families in that situation who think, well, maybe she can come back from this, maybe a miracle can happen.

MUNOZ: I mean, we still held the hope. I promised her. I told her. I will honor your wishes. For me and her dad, that was the hardest because we looked her in the eye and told her. And for the state of Texas to not let us do that was hard. You want to keep your word to your loved one.

COOPER: What was she like?

MUNOZ: She can light up a room with her smile, personally like I said contagious. I am not one to talk a whole lot. But it was just being around her to me was natural. It was just relaxing. I could do things that even my parents, I felt a lot more relaxed with her than I did with my parents. But she's contagious, I mean, that smile, that personality, that kind, noble heart that she has is indescribable.

MACHADO: Towards the end as the body reacted to the amount of time it had been on life support and the deterioration that had started. It made it very hard to look at this body that used to be our daughter and to know that nothing about her was there.

COOPER: And you could even -- you could see deterioration.

MACHADO: Very much and you could smell it.

COOPER: Really?

MACHADO: Smell the deterioration. I had said when I go by to -- if I'm close to her head, I smell death.

COOPER: I understand you learned that you were going to have a daughter.

MUNOZ: They had done several sonos throughout the process. For the initial ones they couldn't determine. So after the court hearing, I said, I would like to know the gender to give my baby a name. I know it's nothing legal.

COOPER: What did you name her?

MUNOZ: Nicole. It was my wife's middle name.

MACHADO: For me, closure began after she was disconnected. I was able to get a sense of closure and of course, now we're starting the grieving process. And it was hard to do, hard to start the grieving process when we still had this body that we knew was an empty shell in front of it. We really couldn't start grieving, but now we can. For me our story does not end here. It will end when we have laws changed.

COOPER: You're going to continue to fight for that?

MACHADO: Yes. Yes, we are. Yes.


BOLDUAN: It's such a tragedy for that family to be dealing with. Let's take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, a Congressman is apologizing for threatening to break a reporter in half and throw him off the balcony. But is Michael Grimm's rant fair enough to rank among the best on-camera threats of all time? Yes, we're ranking them. We'll find out.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. Congressman Michael Grimm got himself into a bit of hot water, we can say, for physically threatening a reporter after the state of the union address. But he's hardly the first politician to do something like this, unfortunately. So where does he rank on the scale of public threats? Who else would take this on other than Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Tony Soprano threatens, men tremble. But when New York Congressman Michael Grimm uttered a Sopranos worthy threat against a reporter who has the wrong question at the wrong time, it was the congressman who took the hit in the press.

Come on, you know the guy's not really going to throw the reporter off the balcony. Most of these are just idle threats, for instance, when Alec Baldwin gets tough.

ALEC BALDWIN: You know what's going to happen to you, don't you?

MOOS: It happens so often --

BALDWIN: When my wife and kid come out here, you've got a big problem, you know that don't you?

MOOS: Doesn't have the quite the same effect even though he used the exact same threat as Tony. And whoever Rob Ford was ranting about probably won't lose much sleep, and no heads rolled after this Tour de France cycling champ defended his dog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't stand on my dog or I'll cut your head off.

MOOS: Aides did have to separate these two, Karl Paladino, an unsuccessful candidate for New York governor was yelling at a "New York Post" editor. We watched as Representative Grimm later said he had apologized to the reporter he threatened to break.

REPRESENTTIVE MICHAEL GRIMM (R), NEW YORK: I'm sure my Italian mother is going to be yelling at me saying you weren't raised that way and she's right.

MOOS: It could have been worse. Reporters have been doused, and whacked, sprayed with bug spray, attacked with a hoe. Dogs have even been sick on them. Sometimes when a reporter feels threatened, he takes pre-emptive action. This is nuts. Watch this deployed by Weather Channel meteorologist, Jim Cantore. Talk about threats. Not even a weather man could predict the threat of high pressure moving in on the groin. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CUOMO: That is impressive. The last one is the only one that deserves conversation. Everybody loves Cantore. He's great at weather. He's a great guy. What I loved about it was he gave the response that the situation warranted. Some would say knee to the groin, but he didn't want to use his hands. He wanted to stay focused and he just treated the guy like he was.

BOLDUAN: By the way, I don't think he missed a beat.

BERMAN: He continued the live shot, which is always the most important.

CUOMO: He wins and the guy saying he'll cut his head off in the French accent that was the emptiest of all the threats. That didn't work for me at all.


BERMAN: You're taking notes which concerns me.

CUOMO: I've been threatened a lot. I could have done a reel just on my side. I've been much more afraid. BOLDUAN: We're going to take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, the NFL is big business, we know, but did you know the league's head off is considered a non-profit? Does that make sense to you at all? Not me. Two senators are trying to end the tax break, you're going to hear from them and the NFL, so you can decide straight ahead.