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No Sign of a Rebound; House Arrest for Black Widows; Olympic Hotels Not Ready; Christie Slams Claims of Bridge "Evidence"; Autopsy Today for Philip Seymour Hoffman; 40,000 plus Flights Canceled in January
Aired February 3, 2014 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thanks so much for joining me this morning.
Happening now, new month but no sign of a rebound on Wall Street after a very tough January. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange.
Oh, I want to see the plus signs, Alison.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I know. You know, everybody's hoping for a sweet February, Carol. Not looking good at this point. You know, investors, they just don't seems to want to make any big moves to buy in because January was just so brutal. You look at this. The Dow was down more than 5 percent just in January. It's the Dow's worst January since 2009.
See, the thinking is, there's this mantra on Wall Street that if January was good, the rest of the year will be good as well. But if it's bad, the rest of the year will be bad. So many are thinking, uh- oh, this could be an omen. You know, most analysts are expecting stocks to keep falling because they just can't take it going up without a breather.
You look at the S&P 500 since the beginning of the bull market, it was pretty much a straight line up. Did you know there hasn't been a correction since 2011? So analysts are thinking, we might be in the middle of a correction, at least the makings of one, right now.
The good news is, the market can handle it, especially, Carol, after the S&P 500 surged 30 percent last year.
COSTELLO: All right, I'll take the. Alison Kosik, thanks so much.
The first American athletes are arriving in Sochi, Russia, getting ready for this week's starts to the Winter Olympics. They arrive under a cloud of stifling security concerns. Terrorists have launched deadly attacks elsewhere in the country and have vowed to strike the games. Some athletes, like American speed skater Tucker Fredricks, well, the fear is so great, they've asked their families to stay at home and not to attend the Olympics at all. Also this morning, there is a stunning new development in that terror threat. CNN has learned exclusively that dozens of potential suicide bombers ominously dubbed black widows have been largely placed under lock and key. They're under a form of house arrest until after the Olympics end. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in Sochi digging up some details for us.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Carol, hi.
Well, we went to the hills of Dagestan, that's the hotbed of the insurgency, far to the east of Sochi, where I'm standing now, and there we came across two towns where seemingly large groups of people have been told not to leave town until the Olympics were over. One town, 64 people on a list that we were shown who said that they've been told by police to sign a document pledging not to leave the area. And in a different town, we spoke with one woman who openly talked about how police have told her that she -- three times a week her whereabouts would be checked and she shouldn't leave town until the Olympics were over as well. And I spoke to five other women privately too who confirmed they've been given similar orders.
The reason why? Well, these people are suspected of links to militants here. And the women I spoke to too, in fact, many of them the widows of militants who died recently. They openly say police are worried that they might blow themselves up. They say they're innocent. They say they have no ill will towards the games at all and they talk about the violation of their civil liberties by not being allowed to move freely. But, really, the scale of what we saw, certainly the claims we heard suggest the Russians think they have a significant problem, although I should point out the police didn't confirm that they had asked these people to limit their moments, but they wouldn't actually say anything to us at all on the subject, Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes, I was going to ask you, what happens if these women leave their homes, but do we know?
WALSH: Yes, I mean, they basically said they'll go on the wanted list. I mean if the - if they leave the town in which they live in, where they've been told to stay, then police will actively start searching for them. So there's a clear description there to their moments. It varies depending on who you speak to. But it was just remarkable to see that common thread between most of the women I talked to who said really that they once had been married to an insurgent who'd been killed by Russian forces, Carol.
COSTELLO: CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reporting live for us this morning from Moscow.
The games are meant to showcase the new Russia, shaking off the drab and dreary image of the communist era, replacing it with the glitz and glamour of a resurgent nation. But here's a new glitch. Another glitch, I should say. Some of those opulent hotels are not ready and time is quickly running out. CNN'S Ivan Watson is in Sochi.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Russians built all of this, the ski lift, the high-speed train, this entire alpine city within just the last seven years. But now, four days before the opening of the winter games, it's clear that some of this massive development up in the mountains will not be ready in time for the Olympics.
WATSON (voice-over): The Associated Press reports three out of nine hotels reserved for journalists near the alpine sports venues are not yet ready, while even an international hotel operator admits construction is behind schedule.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it was slightly delayed. We actually planned to open already last month. Due to some challenges, (INAUDIBLE) it's actually now on a short period. It's a short testing (INAUDIBLE) but our team is quite strong, quite trained, so we can handle it from our side.
WATSON: The International Olympic Committee insists everything is OK.
THOMAS BACH, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: And there are still some issues to be solved, as it is always just before the games. But there - also in this respect, we are in contact with the organizing committee and we hope that the situation will be solved in the next couple of days.
WATSON: Russia and the Olympic Committee are gambling that even if you don't build it in time, the people will come.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Sochi, Russia.
COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM, Chris Christie firing back at a former member of his inner circle, saying the guy will do whatever it takes to save his own skin. Erin McPike in Washington this morning.
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, documents from those 20 subpoenas are coming in today and that's just as Chris Christie is getting more aggressive with his denials. More on that after the break.
COSTELLO: They were members of Chris Christie's inner circle and today a special committee investigating the bridge-gate scandal that engulfed his administration want answer from them as the subpoena deadline for some 20 people and organizations tied to the New Jersey governor approaches. It all comes as Christie takes aim at David Wildstein, the man at the center of the controversy. Erin McPike has more for you.
ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What should have been a shining moment for Chris Christie and his state as hosts of this year's Super Bowl overshadowed by jeers.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Good afternoon, everybody. You've already heard enough speeches. Enough speeches, the same thing (ph).
MCPIKE: And new questions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor, is there any truth to the allegations?
MCPIKE: On the eve of the big game, the governor's office circulated a scathing e-mail attempting to discredit the Christie appointee making those allegations, former Port Authority Official David Wildstein, who carried out the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. Allegations Christie knew more than he's indicated.
The bottom line, the e-mail reads, David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein. Wildstein's lawyer said Friday evidence exists tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures during the period the lanes were closed. A charge Christie continues to deny. Even John Wisniewski, the Democrat leading the New Jersey legislature's investigation, was skeptical.
JOHN WISNIEWSKI (D), NEW JERSEY ASSEMBLYMAN: The use of the words "evidence exists" as opposed to saying, I have documents or I have an e-mail, it's a curious choice of words. So, it raises questions about what does he have and why doesn't the committee have it.
MCPIKE: High-profile Republicans defended Christie saying there's no reason he should stop helping his colleagues as chair of the Republican Governor's Association.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: I don't think he should step down. I think he should stay there.
MCPIKE: And while others say he should be impeached from his day job, Wisniewski calls that --
WISNIEWSKI: One word, premature. We don't have enough facts to even get to that conversation.
COSTELLO: Erin McPike joins me now, along with CNN national political reporter Peter Hamby.
Erin, I want to start with you. Some of the people subpoenaed have asked for more time, while another one has resign. Why?
MCPIKE: Well, Carol, that is Christina Renna (ph). And she was actually the director of intergovernmental affairs for Christie. Now she says she resigned because she had been pursuing a job in the private sector for a couple of months and that it was not connected to the bridge controversy. But, you're right, that some of the people have been granted extensions on their subpoenas.
Now, the committee says that that's a very routine thing. However, it does kind of guarantee that the drip, drip, drip nature of this story will continue. But I would like to point out too that Chris Christie is going to do an ask the governor session on a local radio station tonight. He does this every month.
MCPIKE: But as you know, it's been 25 days since that marathon press conference when he took two hours almost worth of questions and he hasn't really taken questions since with the exception of a couple of sports related questions for the Super Bowl on some radio stations there in New Jersey. But this is his first opportunity in the last few weeks to really address this scandal, Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes maybe he has to, you know, in light of his being booed at that event. People are starting to turn on at least of them I should say. Because certainly not all because Peter, I'm going to pose this question to you.
Despite the controversy Christie has been invited to this year's annual CPAC Conference, a major conservative gathering. He was snubbed last year. So why the change of heart?
PETER HAMBY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well last year Carol it's important to note Chris Christie is running for re-election in New Jersey, a blue state. Frankly his team didn't want to be anywhere near a major gathering of conservatives where Democrats could tie him to the fringes -- the conservative fringes of his party.
This year however it's different. Despite the swirling scandal Chris Christie and his team still have their eyes on 2016 and running for President potentially. They know they have to at least make amends with conservatives as we know it's been written about and talked about a lot.
You know, conservatives in his party aren't really super fans of Chris Christie so he has a chance here to kind of go court hundreds of young conservative activists in the Washington area. In March there's going to be a number of potential presidential candidates there -- Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, he's going to be one of the bunch.
But once -- once this was announced you immediately saw Democrats on Twitter yesterday cheering this announcement because, again, they get to paint Chris Christie as kind of an outside the mainstream Republican as opposed to the sort of, you know, across the board general appeal Republican that his team has really built him up to be in New Jersey -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Peter Hamby, Erin McPike, thanks to both of you.
Coming up in the NEWSROOM: Philip Seymour Hoffman at the top of his game in Hollywood and the apparent victim of a street drug that's making a comeback -- a closer look just ahead.
COSTELLO: He looked more like a professor than the A-list actor who racked up praise and Oscar nominations like few others. Nor did Philip Seymour Hoffman look like a man who battled drug addiction in his early 20s. Hoffman appeared to keep those demons in check for decades until a recent relapse led to an apparent heroin overdose that snuffed out his life and all that talent over the weekend.
Drew Pinsky is the host of "Dr. Drew On Call" on our sister network HLN, he's in New York. And in Los Angeles, Matthew Belloni -- he is the executive editor of "The Hollywood Reporter". Thanks to both of you for being with me this morning.
Matthew, I want to start with you. Heroin is so nasty I just can't imagine sticking a needle in my arm. Hoffman was supposedly clean for years. So what happened?
MATTHEW BELLONI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: And that's the tragedy of this whole situation, is that he had battled the drug and alcohol problems in his teens and early 20s and had kicked the habit and apparently relapsed last year and went to rehab for that problem, was very open about it. And then here we are nine months later and he dies from the disease.
COSTELLO: Dr. Drew, heroin was not just Mr. Hoffmann's problem. It's becoming a huge problem nationwide. CNN's Rosa Flores just did a story last week in Pennsylvania; 22 people overdosed in one week on heroin. Why the comeback?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST, "DR. DREW ON CALL": Well it's not, it's always been around. Listen more people are going to die of opiate addiction between now and March 1st than died in the 9/11 tragedy. So that's how common this is. That's how deadly this is. And I have to really object to the way that it's being characterized as him having kicked this when he was in his 20s.
Addiction is a lifelong condition particularly when you're an opium addict, predictably when it starts early in life. And it's something that has to be treated every single day of a person's life much the way a diabetic must take insulin. If they are not attending to it on a daily basis they will slide back into using. And when somebody has had sustained sobriety and uses later in life, that's a very difficult population to treat.
COSTELLO: Well the interesting thing and I don't know if this is true, but Matthew, maybe you can address this. That Mr. Hoffmann was taking prescription drugs. And he got hooked on that and that's what he went to rehab. Actually he was hooked on prescription drugs and then he went on to heroin and then he got freaked out and went into rehab.
PINSKY: Let me stop you that that is the routine way people get to heroin these days. Pills is where it starts and the fact what's extraordinary about Philip Seymour Hoffman's case is that he died of the heroin and not the pills. The 90 percent of my patients -- 99 percent of my patient that die today of opiate addiction, die because they inadvertently take too many pills and not the old-fashioned way is unfortunately as seems to have happened here.
COSTELLO: Well Dr. Drew the reason I bring that up is police are saying that there has been this terrible problem with prescription drug abuse. And they're sort of --
COSTELLO: -- yes nationally and they are cracking down on that and they're cracking down so successfully that many drug addicts are moving on to heroin.
PINSKY: Well I've got to tell you that -- listen, that's right. Well it's not that easy, the majority of patients that die in my world die by prescribed drugs. They are not getting them off the streets they are getting them from my peers unfortunately and they use all too much one time. When they can't get them anymore and they are expensive on the street, that's when they go to heroin.
COSTELLO: I got you. Ok so Matthew, I'll pose this question for you. Is heroin abuse widespread in Hollywood? How would you characterize it?
BELLONI: Well I don't know -- I don't know that it's any more widespread than it is in the general population. But addressing what Dr. Drew said I mean in Hollywood, you are able to get things probably a little bit more easily than you might be if you were an average person on the street. There is a whole system of enablers and people that exist to help you get things you want. So if there are things that you maybe have a trouble getting, somebody can help you get them.
PINSKY: Matthew is absolutely right, absolutely right. And not only that there are -- there are doctors out there that want to provide special care to special people. And people -- celebrities want the special care and special -- Conrad Murray is a great example of special care. Special care becomes substandard, the standard of care is standard for a reason because it's excellent. Everybody gets standard care.
And to go for special care particularly with a special person, with enablers, Matthew is exactly right, that's where the trouble starts.
COSTELLO: Well Dr. Drew let me ask you this. There was some evidence left behind in the apartment where -- where Mr. Hoffman died. And maybe that will lead to an arrest. But will that really change anything?
PINSKY: No. There is heroin all over the streets down there. Right those streets you are looking at, I guarantee you, you can walk out and buy heroin. It's available now and I find it actually stunning that they are making a story out of the idea that you're going to find the heroin dealer that provided heroin to somebody who is using heroin. And that's -- that's not going to happen at all Carol. But if it does, it's certainly not going to stem the time.
COSTELLO: Dr. Drew and Matthew Belloni, thank you very much for being with us this morning. We appreciate it.
PINSKY: You bet.
BELLONI: No problem.
COSTELLO: We'll be right back.
COSTELLO: Checking our top stories at 58 minutes past the hour.
It feels like winter may never end. You may well be in the northeast, a region getting pelted now by another winter storm. Nearly 1,000 flights have already been canceled. New York and its three major airports will take a pounding, as much as five inches of snow will fall.
If you have a Facebook friend who is about to celebrate a birthday, the social media site itself turns ten this. In one short decade Facebook has signed up more than 1.2 billion users -- yes, that's billion with a "b". The company is worth an estimated $135 billion, that's also with a "b".
Last month's onslaught of fast falling snow, whipping winds and bitter cold did more than just spark major travel delays and headaches around the country, it also cost flyers upwards of $2.5 billion.
Alison Kosik live at the New York Stock Exchange with more on that. Good morning.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Carol.
You know this is being measured by the billions because so many people were affected. Hundreds of thousands of people were stranded because of 49,000 cancellations, there were that many in January. A new study puts this into perspective. You look at the past few years, January has had 10 -- 27,000 cancellations. Clearly, this was a huge jump.
All right. So how does this translate into costing billions of dollars? Because of lost productivity -- a lot of people couldn't get into work.
KOSIK: This didn't happen over a holiday so people had to call in and say look, I'm not coming in to work and making money. Plus you had travelers having to pay for hotels and meals and alternative transportation just to get to where they needed to go, let's say renting a car or a bus ticket.