Return to Transcripts main page


Lenin Statues Torn Down in Ukraine; U.S. Tops Olympic Medal Count; Arizona Lawmakers Pass Anti-Gay Bill; Michael Sam to Tackle Scouting Combine; Report from Wall Street; West Virginia Water Being Checked by Independent Scientists; Yanukovych Leaving Ukrainian Capital; Israeli Army Helping Wounded Syrian Casualties; College of Cardinals Gathers in Rome; Anti-Government Demonstrations in Caracas, Venezuela; Family Reunion for North Koreans and South Koreans; Infant Resuscitated in Florida Traffic; Kate Upton in Zero G; Marijuana Sales Going High in Colorado

Aired February 22, 2014 - 06:00   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CO-HOST: Government collapse. Overnight, protesters in Ukraine toppled a statue of Lenin. A symbol not only of a break from Russia, but a reminder of an earlier revolution.

CHRISTI PAUL, CO-HOST: What you're looking at there, people in Arizona, furious over a bill that would allow some businesses not to serve gay people. But defenders say its purpose is to protect against discrimination.

BLACKWELL: And a green rush in Colorado. Since recreational pot sales began six weeks ago, business has exploded, and tax revenue is exceeding expectations by tens of millions of dollars.

Your NEW DAY starts now.

PAUL: Wow, it's early, but doesn't it feel good to wake up without an alarm?


PAUL: Ah, take a little exhale. You made it this Saturday. And we're glad you did. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Pleasure to have you. It's 6 a.m. here on the East Coast. It's NEW DAY SATURDAY.

And, you know, we're definitely going to get to the conversation about what's happening in Arizona. Because so many people are talking about that.

PAUL: Oh, yes.

BLACKWELL: But this morning, we have to start with this breaking news overnight.

PAUL: Right.

BLACKWELL: It's these powerful images coming out of Ukraine. PAUL: Yes. I mean, even though there is now a peace deal, they're calling it fragile, because the fighting doesn't seem to be over. Look at this.

OK, what you're looking at there are anti-government protesters. As you saw, they're pulling down a statue of Vladimir Lenin. This is in central Ukraine.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that happened all across the former Soviet republic, in small towns all across the region. Protesters knocked down monuments to Russia first Soviet leader, showing how much they do not want close ties with Vladimir Putin's Russia.

These are images now.

PAUL: Yes, we want to show you the stark contrast, but can you -- you can't help but think, right, of the images from nearly a quarter century ago. Statues of Lenin fell all across Europe -- Eastern Europe, I should say -- as the Soviet Union collapsed. And that, of course, signaled a revolution at the time.

So the statues are coming down now. A peace deal has been brokered, but you know, not until there was this week of bloodshed. And dozens of people died.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and it's still very volatile and a tense situation there. Protesters still in the streets, and now opposition lawmakers say they want President Viktor Yanukovych to step down, and they want early presidential elections by May 25. The agreement, I guess, December is when the this supposed to happen.

PAUL: Right.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in CNN's Phil Black. He's in Kiev there in Ukraine.

Phil, what is the situation like there now?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, there's still a big crowd on the square. They're calm, but they are certainly distrustful and determined. Many of them are saying they're not going to leave the square, leave the streets of the capital, until they're confident that this negotiated agreement will hold and that the government is keeping its word.

Some of them are saying they're going to stay a little bit longer until they know that Viktor Yanukovych has left power -- Victor.

PAUL: OK. So Phil, let me ask you. We know there's a peace deal, but in -- within this peace deal, did anybody get what they really wanted?

BLACK: Well, it was a compromise, Christi, so I guess the short answer is no. But the opposition got a lot of what it wanted: an interim government, constitutional changes that take powers from the president, give them to parliament, and new presidential elections later in the year. They wanted all those things. They just want them faster.

And so that's why there is still a sense of perhaps disappointment among many of the protesters. That's why in the parliamentary chamber you've still got opposition politicians pushing for these things to happen much more quickly.

BLACKWELL: We're looking at live pictures of Independence Square there. And I also want to ask you: Phil, you know, we've been seeing these dramatic pictures of the Lenin statues being torn down all across that region. Tell us more about what that means. And really detail for us, why is it so symbolic?

BLACK: Sure. Well, as you mentioned Ukraine used to be part of the Soviet Union, which was founded by Lenin and which collapsed a little over 20 years ago now. And that was when Ukraine became an independent state. It's a really important date and time and event for Ukrainian national identity.

So pulling down these statues Tuesday today is really a rejection of what these Ukrainians believe is Russia's continued influence in the country. In particular, they believe Russia has helped prop up what they see as the corrupt authoritarian regime, President Viktor Yanukovych.

And it's also very much a rejection of President Yanukovych's plans to bring Ukraine closer to Russia instead of Europe. That's something that these people really don't want to see.

PAUL: Now let me ask you, did -- let me ask you, do we know where the president is right now, and, you know, what he's going to do with what's happened in the last 24/48 hours?

BLACK: Well, this is interesting, because according to the opposition and even according to a U.S. State Department official, Viktor Yanukovych has left the capital, Kiev, for a city in the east. This is where his political heartland is. It's where his support is. But there's a sign this may not be a temporary move.

We've had a CNN steam at his presidential residence on the outskirts of the capital of Kiev this morning. And it looks like that residence has been abandoned. No sign of the president. No sign of the presidential guard. Some state workers still guarding the gate. But these workers say the residence now belongs to the people. And they're keeping people out, because they say, they believe, inside the residence is evidence of the president's crimes, of what they believe has been the corruption and so forth of this government.

So it is really quite a powerful sign of how the power structure in this country has changed really quite dramatically, just over the last 24 hours.

BLACKWELL: And Phil, you've been there in Independence Square, and we have pictures here. Kind of a split image, I believe, of what it looked like before the protests began. And then what it looked like in the middle of the unrest. Give us a description, if you will, of how this has either escalated or kind of calmed down in a bit in just the past few days that we've seen this change over the past several weeks to months. Here we have the two pictures here of Independence Square.

BLACK: Yes, sure. The square is certainly bearing the scars of what's been taking place here over -- over the last three months.

When the crowd first occupied, there were big crowds. They were really well organized. It effectively became something of a camp, perhaps even a village. It was really well run. There were medical posts and residences and places to sleep. Even a media center. Incredibly well organized.

But as this crisis has continued, as -- as the security forces have challenged the people here on various times, well, a lot of damage has been done. It is now scarred by fire. The roads, the pavements have been torn up. The fountains have been effectively destroyed. It's really something of a mess for what is, in happier times, a beautiful public square. It's a really important place for the Ukrainian people. The people's square. It's why they're so determined to hang on to it, until 93 get what they want. But if and when they do leave, it is going to need a lot of work to bring it back to its former splendor.

PAUL: As we can see there.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Our Phil Black in Kiev. Thank you, Phil, and we'll check back throughout the morning.

PAUL: Yes. Phil, thank you.

Meanwhile, President Obama had a long telephone chat with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Ukraine. They talked yesterday. And a State Department spokesman called the conversation, quote, "constructive." Now, the White House says President Obama and Putin agreed on the need to restore calm there in Kiev and to avoid future bloodshed.

BLACKWELL: All right. In Sochi, the U.S. and Russia are neck and neck in the race to win the most medals at the Olympics. At last check, the U.S. is clinging to a single-medal lead over Russia with a total of 27. With Canada the close third. You see there, they have 24 there. Norway and the Netherlands in striking distance, too, with 22 medal, each.

PAUL: So with just a couple days left, everybody's wondering, OK, can we keep this lead, meaning you know, we in the U.S.?

BLACKWELL: You know, it is a tall order. It's going to be tough. And there are plenty of competitions left.

CNN's Amanda Davis is covering the games in Sochi. Can the U.S. do it, Amanda? AMANDA DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is going to go right down to the wire, I think, Victor. We're here on the penultimate day. There are ten medals of the 98 that we are still to see the medals handed out in.

And Russia are getting better and better every day after their relatively slow start. But it is the USA still leading the way.

And if you look at the different ways these could fall, you would say, that you would hope that the USA through Steven Holcomb and his four- man bobsled team, who get under way up in the mountains today, you would hope that they would bring home the gold on the final day, Sunday.

And then, of course, there is the men's hockey. You would hope that they would bring home a medal, but maybe not the medal -- well, definitely not the medal that they had been hoping for. They're up in the bronze medal match later on today.

So you think, with the way it's all going to fall, maybe a couple to Russia; maybe a couple to Canada. But you would think it will still be the USA leading the way.

PAUL: All right. So Amanda, let me ask you. I know that we also have a new Olympic hero, an American skier who made history at the end of the day, right? Tell us about it.

DAVIS: Yes, 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin who started skiing on her parents' driveway and has admitted that she only really got into skiing because she quite liked the hot chocolate when she came off the mountain.

She has become the youngest ever medalist in the Olympic slalom, taking gold, beating her childhood heroes like Maria Hofl-Riesch and Marlies Schild. Wearing, under the lights, up in the mountains, the stars and stripes helmet. She had a little U.S. flag painted on her neck and put in a fantastic performance.

So now, even before her 19th birthday, she's won everything there is to win. She's taken Olympic gold. She's won the world championship. She's also won the season-long World Cup, as well. So a great moment for Mikaela Shiffrin, and you would expect a lot more gold medals to come over the years.

PAUL: And a great moment for her family, too, as we saw there. Amanda Davis in Sochi. Thank you, Amanda, so much.

BLACKWELL: Still to come on NEW DAY, hundreds of people gathering in Phoenix to protest.

PAUL: Yes, this is the thing. They're urging Governor Jan Brewer not to sign what they call hateful legislation that they say will legalize discrimination against gays and lesbians. We're talking about it. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLACKWELL: Fourteen minutes after the hour now. New this morning, the FBI is now investigating whether federal laws were broken at the University of Mississippi. A noose and confederate emblem were found on the statue of civil rights leader James Meredith. Three freshman students believed to be connected to the case could face criminal charges.

Now on Monday a female student told police that someone in a car threw alcohol on her and yelled racial slurs as they drove by. And now, it's unclear whether the two incidents are related.

PAUL: Now, Arizona is facing its own claims of discrimination this morning. State lawmakers there passed this bill that would allow businesses basically to deny service to guy or lesbian customers based on, you know, that owner's religious beliefs.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and Arizona's LGBT community is fighting back. Hundreds protested at the state capital last night. Look at these pictures.

Miguel Marquez was there.

Miguel, good morning.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Christi, this is the scene outside the Arizona capital here. Several hundred people, mostly gays and lesbians, also business owners, gathered here in protest of SB- 1062. They're chanting things like "Veto," "Stop the hate" and "Vote them out." Very, very upset about the legislature here and them passing this law.

It now goes to the governor's desk. She has not decided whether she is going to sign it into law or veto it. It sounds like it would be transmitted to the governor on Monday. That would mean she'd have five days, probably until Friday and Saturday of next week, to make up her mind in order to do that.

What this -- this crowd here is most concerned with is that the LGBT community, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community in the state of Arizona, they say, would be singled out by this bill. But for those who are concerned about their religious freedoms, those who support this bill, say it does nothing of the sort. It only allows those who believe and have deep-held religious beliefs to practice their religious freedoms freely.

Where this all goes is not clear. There is the possibility of lawsuits. The business community here saying that they are concerned about boycotts and lawsuits. All of that to come if this bill is passed and signed into law by the governor -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All righty, Miguel Marquez. Thank you so much.

I'm betting the governor is going to get an earful this week as she's trying to review that.

BLACKWELL: Absolutely. And we're going to expand this conversation to the legal elements. So that's coming up throughout the morning.

Also still to come to NEW DAY, putting the NFL to the test, Michael Sam is getting ready for this weekend's NFL scouting combine, but just how will the league respond to its first openly gay prospect?


BLACKWELL: The first stop on Michael Sam's historic journey to become the NFL's first openly gay player, the scouting combine.

PAUL: Andy Scholes joins us now for this morning's "Bleacher Report."

You've been looking at this. What do you think?

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes. Well, you know, the combines are where they put the prospects through pretty much everything. They ask them questions. They measure them in every single way possible to make sure that Michael Sam's 6'4", 255 pounds. Then they interview him. They ask them all kinds of questions, and then the players will meet with the media. That's what everyone's really looking forward to today.

Michael Sam is going to meet with the media for the first time since he made that really historic announcement on ESPN that he is gay and that he was looking forward to playing in the NFL. And I'm sure that, you know, last year, Manti Te'o, it was a storm around him at the combine.


SCHOLES: Because that was the first time the media got to really go at him for his hoax, whether he was a part of it or not. And people are expecting today's Michael Sam's press conference will be way bigger than Manti Te'o's last year.

BLACKWELL: All right. So we'll see. When are we expecting to hear from him?

SCHOLES: Sometime this afternoon. Now, the defensive players aren't running through drills today. They're just meeting with different teams and whatnot. So today's tight ends and offensive linemen. Those are the guys that are being run into the 40s and whatnot.

Sam is just going to meet with teams today. And then later on this afternoon at some point, he's going to meet with the media where I'm sure he's going to be asked tons of questions: why he decided to do this now and what he thinks his impact is going to be on the league, and how he's expecting to be accepted once he does get into an NFL locker room.

BLACKWELL: Yes, he would be an historic choice, for sure. Andy Scholes, thank you very much.

PAUL: Oh, my goodness, can we talk about Old Man Winter, yet again?

BLACKWELL: Do we have to? I mean, do we have to? PAUL: Well, because, we're just waiting for him to go away. People.

BLACKWELL: It's like that houseguest who...

PAUL: I feel so bad. Yes.

BLACKWELL: ... buys a robe. You know, when they buy a robe, it's like, how long are you really thinking about staying?

PAUL: You can do your own sheets at that point, by the way. Do your own laundry.

From the Mideast, all you folks there, and all the way to the East Coast, I know you're getting hammered. We're talking about tornadoes already.


PAUL: And it's only February. Twenty of them, more than 20, ripped through the Southeast and the Midwest just in the last 48 hours.

In Michigan, take a look at what was there. Multiple car accidents and icy conditions. Look at that, shutting down part of an interstate there.

BLACKWELL: And let's go to Minnesota, more than a foot of snow dumped on communities here. You see Duluth here. So when, when Jennifer Gray, can we expect a break from this weather?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I have good news for you today, because this weekend is going to be extremely quiet. We actually -- most of the country will warm up. And so all that severe weather has pushed well offshore. It did so yesterday.

High pressure is in control now across much of the Southeast. We are going to see a warm-up in the Deep South, the Southeast, over the East Coast. The only folks still in the deep freeze is really the Northern Plains. We're seeing wind chill advisories with temperatures feeling like 20, 25 degrees below zero in the extreme northern portions of the Northern Plains.

Of course, we are going to see a nice little warm up, though, as we go through the next couple of days. Atlanta, you'll be at 67 today. D.C. at 64. New York City at 51 by tomorrow. Temperatures still nice. How about 71 tomorrow for you in Atlanta? And temperatures are going to continue to warm in the South.

However, you look to the extreme North, we'll start to see that next push of arctic air by Tuesday into Wednesday of next week. And that's when we'll start to see those temperatures in the North cool down quite a bit. That will filter down to the South by the end of next week.

But guys, how about a break? We have at least a good four to five days where we can enjoy a little bit warmer weather.

BLACKWELL: I'll take it.

PAUL: Even if it's temporary and abbreviated. Yes.

GRAY: Yes.

BLACKWELL: We will take it. Jennifer Gray.

PAUL: Jennifer Gray. All right.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

Hey, imagine as you're waking up this morning, making your tea and your coffee, having to consider or ask, "Is the water safe?" Well, West Virginians are still asking that, weeks after a chemical spill that left hundreds of thousands of people without usable water.

Also, rocker Ted Nugent apologizes for that ugly name he called President Obama. But it might not be quite the apology people hoped for.


PAUL: Well, guess what? It's already 6:28 in the morning on Saturday. We are glad to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. I'm feeling that 6:28, too. I'm feeling it.

PAUL: Is it a good thing?

BLACKWELL: It's a good thing.

PAUL: All right.

BLACKWELL: It's a good thing. Let's start with five things you need to know for your NEW DAY this half. And let's start with Arizona and the hundreds of protesters gathered at the state capital there yesterday, pleading with Governor Jan Brewer not to sign a controversial new bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

In an interview with CNN, Brewer said businesses should be able to choose whom they work with. But that's not exactly saying that she says it needs to be law. We don't know, really, if is she's going to sign it or not.

PAUL: Yes. She didn't know yesterday either. But we'll keep watching that.

And this one is really frightening. No. 2, an American student is missing right now in Italy. Take a look at his picture there. That's John Durkin. He's a junior at Bates College and has been studying abroad in Rome. Now, he apparently went to a bar in the city a couple of days ago, two days ago. He went with a group of friends, but he never came back. So his father is now in Rome looking for him. BLACKWELL: No. 3, Chuck Hagel is now the third consecutive defense secretary to decide against recommending a Medal of Honor for a Marine who died fighting against Fallujah in 2004. Supporters believe that Sergeant Raphael Peralta shielded other Marines from a grenade with his body. But in a statement, the Pentagon said investigators could not confirm that based on the evidence.

PAUL: No. 4, Ted Nugent has apologized for calling President Obama a, quote, "subhuman mongrel." Now he said his apology wasn't necessarily to the president but rather on behalf of other Republicans. So he made this apology on a conservative radio show one day, of course, after Senator Rand Paul called on Nugent to apologize. Nugent is a musician, as you know, conservative activist, and has made controversial comments about the president in the past.

BLACKWELL: And number five now, the thousands of current and retired Detroit workers - they worried about making ends meet as they face potential cuts to their pensions, some as high as 34 percent. The proposed cuts are part of a plan to help Detroit emerge from the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. But it still must be approved by the courts.

PAUL: Still, over on Wall Street, stocks kind of just ran out of steam yesterday. The Dow dipped nearly 30 points by the time, you know, the closing Dow ended, which equated to the week's ending kind of slightly lower.

BLACKWELL: Yeah. Alison Kosik joins us now with this week's wrap-up from Wall Street. Hey, Alison.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christi and Victor, a pretty flat week for the stock market with the exception of the NASDAQ the major averages ended the President's Day shortened week a little changed. Investors weren't sure which way to go as earnings and economic reports continue to show a mixed picture.

The New York Stock Exchange is getting ready to welcome a sweet new listing, King Media Entertainment. The company behind the hugely popular Candy Crush video games has filed for an initial public offering. The Ireland-based company raked in almost $2 billion last year. No word yet on the number of shares that will be sold or their price range.

A big buyout in the social media world. Facebook said Wednesday it's buying WhatsApp for $19 billion. WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app for smartphones as it sends messages over broadband and doesn't rack up texting fees. The purchase price is especially impressive when you consider Facebook paid just $1 billion for Instagram.

You could soon be paying a bit more for your morning glass of milk. Dairy analysts say milk prices could go up as much as 60 cents in March, pushing prices as high as $4.10 for gallon, compared to the recent $3.50 average. The anticipated spike is being partially blamed on strong demand from China. Christi and Victor, that's a wrap of the week on Wall Street, back to you. BLACKWELL: All right, Alison, thank you very much.

So, you know, the people in West Virginia, they're still asking this question several weeks after this massive spill, is the water safe to drink?

PAUL: The answer -- apparently, it depends on who you ask.


PAUL: -- is what it comes down to. Officials say that it's safe. Most locals don't trust it. And now independent scientists are leading this effort to try to find an answer.

BLACKWELL: CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has more from Charleston.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, Christi, a team of independent scientists surprised some here in West Virginia when they came out this week and said, you know what, we're going to go back and double-check the science that was done before West Virginians were given permission to start drinking the water again. You remember, the chemical spilled here last month. About ten days later, West Virginians were given the OK to start drinking the tap water again.

Well, this independent group says, you know what, we want to go back and take a look. What was the Centers for Disease Control, what was their evidence? Was it right, is there something more than we should be looking at? It sounds like they're not 100 percent sure that that science was absolutely solid. So that was a surprise for some people here who are already suspicious of the quality of the water here in West Virginia. Survey shows that the vast majority of West Virginians are not drinking the tap water in this area. And in fact, I ran into an interesting water fountain while I was here. This is just this week. Look at this sign, it says "Do not drink the water."

And Victor, Christi, I'll tell you I found this water fountain of all places at the county department of health. And so, if the county department of health says don't drink the water here, it certainly does give one pause. Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Wow. They are not drinking it. All right. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you. There's more top officials from Ukraine's government, the other big story we're following from the breaking news overnight, as those officials resign, people are starting to wonder about what Ukraine's president will do next. Hear what our CNN crew is finding out at the presidential palace.


BLACKWELL: Time now, 23 minutes till the top of the hour. It's a pleasure to have you this morning for "NEW DAY SATURDAY." Let's get a look at some of the news making headlines around the world this morning. Christi.

PAUL: All righty. Let's go to the Ukraine first, Victor and the aftermath of that political deal because this morning the opposition is demanding Ukraine's president resign. And the president we know has left Kiev. It's just not clear what he's going to do next. Our CNN crew and senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh went to the presidential palace to investigate. Hi, Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we do know that the president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych has left the capital. He's going, it seems, to the east of the country. What we don't know if he's coming back. And this is the place where he has his private residence. We're told that the state security guards who normally look after his house left some time ago. No indication if they're coming back. And people now are beginning to ask, given so many politicians close to him are resigning, what ambitions does he still have on remaining the president of all of Ukraine. Back to you, Christi.

PAUL: All right, Nick, thank you so much. We want to go to the Israeli/Syrian border now because victims from Syria civil war are crossing into Israel and they are desperate for help after a town was shelled. CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is there. Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christi, right behind me down there, that's the frontier between Israel and Syria. We've been watching shelling going on on the Syrian villages, hearing exchanges of heavy machine gunfire. One of those Syrian villages, we saw it hit by 12 different artillery strikes in the space of a couple of hours. And just before that, we'd heard children playing in the village there. The Israeli military now is helping treat wounded casualties coming across from Syria. Strategically important for them to keep the rebels on the other side friendly. Strategically important for the rebels who are about 30 miles here to Damascus. Back to you, Christi.

PAUL: Good heaven, Nic, thank you for letting us know. We want to go to escalating crisis in Venezuela now. We understand that demonstrations are going to be getting under way again soon. And with the main opposition leader in jail, the Venezuelan president is finding someone else to blame. CNN's Karl Penhaul is in Caracas. Carl.

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, rival pro- and anti- government demonstrations are due to begin in downtown Caracas Saturday morning. In a news conference Friday evening, Socialist President Nicolas Maduro said the opposition protests are part of a coup attempt under way aimed at toppling his year-old government. Maduro accuses the U.S. State Department of helping orchestrate those demonstrations. The U.S. has repeatedly denied any involvement. Now opposition leaders say they are calling for Maduro to quit. But they say talk of a coup attempt is simply a ploy by the government to detract from the core issues, spiraling crime, high sky inflation and food shortages. Christi.

PAUL: All right. Karl, thank you. We want to go to the Vatican City. And a very special ceremony now for the very first time since becoming pope, Pope Francis has appointed new cardinals and look who made a rare appearance. Pope Benedict XVI who left the papacy just a year ago. So, we want to get more on today's ceremony and we're going to go to CNN's Erin McLaughlin who is in London for that. Hi, Erin.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's certainly an exciting day for 19 newly minted cardinals. 16 of them are under the age of 80 meaning they will be part of the exclusive club responsible for selecting the next pope. The group includes the first ever cardinal from Haiti, and they reflect to the Pope's at focus on helping the poor and the marginalized.

Today's ceremony highlight of a very busy week of the Pope Francis. This is the first time since the conclave of the whole College of Cardinals has been invited to Rome. One of the most buzzed about topics, whether divorced and remarried Catholics should be allowed to take communion. Nothing concrete has been decided so far. The meeting is meant to get people talking. Back to you, Christi.

PAUL: All right, Erin. Thank you. And we want to go to South Korea now where families that were divided by the Korean War six decades ago were allowed to reunite. This is under a new agreement between North and South Korea, and it could be a sign of better things to come. CNN's Paula Hancocks is in Seoul. Good morning, Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christi, after just three days of getting reacquainted, divided families from North and South Korea have already have to say good-bye. Spending a total of 11 hours together for the first time in 60 years, the families note that they are likely never to see each other again. A second group will be reunited on Sunday, a real sign of improved relations between the two Koreas. Christi.

PAUL: All right, Paula, thank you so much. Victor, I mean it's wonderful to see them, you know, with their tears and their happiness, but to think that it was so temporary and so permanent.

BLACKWELL: I imagine, you're watching the clock knowing that after 11 hours this is over and it's never going to happen again.

PAUL: Yeah.

BLACKWELL: All right, Christi. Thank you.

And still to come, the state of Colorado, it is seeing green and striking it rich on weed. The state is expected to rake in more tax money than ever expected from pot sales. More on how high the sales are getting -- did you hear that? How high -- we got that coming up after this.



PAUL: You're tapping your toe, admit it.

BLACKWELL: A little Bill Withers this morning.


BLACKWELL: We can make it if we try. So, we've got - I mean this really makes you feel good. It starts tragically. But good ending here. A 5-month-old baby in Miami is alive thanks to its aunt, emergency responders and just the kindness of strangers. Sebastian de la Cruz is in the hospital in critical condition, but stable condition after a scare that only can be described as nightmarish. Pamela Rauseo was stuck in traffic with her nephew in his car seat there in the back, when he stopped breathing.

PAUL: You know what, well, you can't do it - looking at these pictures, because they were captured by a "Miami Herald" photographer who happened also to be stuck in traffic. And they just tell what a sensitive sweet story this is. But it shows how frantic they were, too. Paula screamed for help and then did CPR as police officers and strangers came to her aid. But she really talks us through this with CNN's Anderson Cooper.


PAMELA RAUSEO: I dropped down to my knees, and I started doing what I thought was right. Listen, I was the hot mouth - if my life depended on it, I cannot tell you what I did, but I promise you, I didn't do what I was supposed to do. I don't know how it works. My sister who's the nurse later reminded me or told me that it's supposed to be 100 compressions, I probably -- I don't - know - I probably didn't even do ten.


BLACKWELL: But whatever she did worked. A Sweetwater police officer who stopped to help is now being recommended for officer of the month. Maybe he should be nominated for officer of the year.

PAUL: Yeah!

BLACKWELL: Just my vote there. The nomination, of course, said, that he's saving lives. But he says saving lives is his duty.

PAUL: Bless his heart. Look at that. He's just - I'm so grateful that it turned out the way it did.

So, as it turns out, what a turn we're taking here. The legalization of marijuana is even more popular than Colorado officials ever expected.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, we're not just talking about all the long lines and the big sales, we talked about those. But get this, the state is expected to get rich with a little more than $184 million in tax revenue from weed sales over the next 18 months alone.

PAUL: OK. So, remember this, Colorado has a really aggressive tax on weed. Subject to the state's 2.9 percent sales tax. Plus an additional ten percent sales tax. And a 15 percent excise tax for marijuana retailers.

BLACKWELL: And you've got other states peeking over the border saying really, all that money flowing in --

PAUL: CNN's Ana Cabrera has more from Denver.

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, it's been about six weeks since recreational sales of marijuana started here in the state of Colorado and to say business is going strong is an understatement. New tax revenue projection by the state of Colorado beat expectations by tens of millions of dollars and now state leaders get to decide how to spend that money. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: High hopes for a Colorado green rusher being realized.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just exceeded all my expectations.

CABRERA: Business at Evergreen Apothecary, previously just a medical marijuana dispensary has more than quadrupled.

More than a month after recreational pot sales became legal, people are still lining up the door to get their hands on this stuff. It's quite packed at 10:00 when doors are open. In fact, this pot shop averages about 500 customers a day. And the state of Colorado is reaping the benefits as well. Sales and excise taxes on recreational cannabis are over 25 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, your total is going to be --

CABRERA: Marijuana dispensaries were required to turn in January tax reports on Thursday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We paid about $190,000 in sales tax that we collected during the month of January.

CABRERA: While official numbers won't be made public until March, the governor's budget office just released its own tax projections. It estimates the state will collect about $184 million in tax revenues in the first 18 months of recreational pot sales. Here's Colorado's plan for spending that money. 40 million automatically goes to public school construction. That was mandated by voters. Then the governor wants to spend about $85 million on youth prevention and substance abuse treatment. $12.4 million on public health. About $3 million on law enforcement and public safety. And nearly $2 million on industry oversight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think the people who are buying marijuana want the tax money to be used to discourage adults from buying marijuana.

CABRERA: While not everyone agrees on how that money should be spent and although it's still early, there's no denying the apparent economic boost that's come from recreational pot sales.


CABRERA: Right now, of course, Colorado and Washington State are the only places where recreational pot is legal. And Washington is still working out how to regulate sales. But we know that - other states from California to Maine who are considering this. And you've got to think, when they take a look at what Colorado is making when it comes to the tax revenue that could certainly have some influence. Christi, Victor.

PAUL: Ana Cabrera, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: So, this next businesswoman is not selling pot. Let's say that off the top. But she's certainly making money off of it.

PAUL: And a lot of people are talking about it, too, right?

BLACKWELL: 13-year-old Girl Scout sold 117 boxes of the cookies in just two hours.

PAUL: Oh my gosh!

BLACKWELL: It's after she set up the stand outside the pot shop in San Francisco.

PAUL: The girl's mom said that she called the green cross, medical marijuana dispensary, to ask, you know, is it OK, if we come and do this. And they said, sure, come on by. Her day of selling was so successful, she had to call for backup cookies after just 45 minutes.

BLACKWELL: My backup thin mints bring them in.

PAUL: I know. Green cross says the young scout is going to be back this afternoon, just in case you happen to be around.

BLACKWELL: You know sales are going well when you've got a call for the backup cookies.

PAUL: Still to come on "NEW DAY," from gracing the "Sports Illustrated" swim suit issue to doing a cat daddy. You may have thought, maybe you've seen it all from Kate Upton. You've never seen her like this before. Her gravity-defined photo shoot. Just ahead.


BLACKWELL: When it comes to the swimsuit issues, "Sports Illustrated" always goes above and beyond.

PAUL: This is where all the guys who are eating breakfast are going to stop and look at the TV.

BLACKWELL: Spoon down.


PAUL: This year's shoot with Kate Upton is truly out of this world. What does that mean? CNN's Jeanne Moos shows us.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESSPONDENT: We've seen everything from toothbrushes to tortillas in zero gravity, but gravity turns to levity when it's a "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit model floating by. That's Kate Upton. Up, up and thankfully not upchucking away. Kate in the "Sports Illustrated" crew boarded G-Force One in Florida for their top secret photo shoot. Talk about manual labor, a plane climbed steeply then dives. At the top of the hump, passengers experience weightlessness for about 30 seconds. And paid 5,000 bucks to fly up and down about 15 times. But now it was Kate Upton's turn, zero G or bust.

KATE UPTON: Twirling, I was upside down. It was one of my favorite experiences so far of my life.

MOOS: Zero gravity flights have a reputation for being so-called vomit comets. But the company Zero G says only four percent of their passengers actually get sick. And Kate Upton was not one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kate was a dream up there.

MOOS: The company president Terese Brewster, notes the fuselage is padded, so when gravity returns you don't get hurt. In her teeny weenie $35 bikini from Target Kate was wearing less than Sandra Bullock did in "Gravity". Kate's "Sports Illustrated" shoot seemed to be channeling the famous opening credit scene from "Barbarella." Not only did Jane Fonda do a spacey striptease, but the credits maintain Fonda's modesty. Last year, Jimmy Fallon was interviewing Kate about her last swim suit edition shoot in Antarctica when he mused about a final frontier for her next shoot.

JIMMY FALLON: Ha, space.


UPTON: Next year.

FALLON: Think about this.

UPTON: Next year.

FALLON: Think about this. There's no gravity.

UPTON: It's kind of awesome.


MOOS: We know what Jimmy and the audience were imaging. How does the lack of gravity affect the positioning of your bosom? Do things float?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, no, I think they just don't - they don't move really.

MOOS: America's first female astronaut Sally Ride was once asked if you need to wear a bra in space. Her reply - there is no sag in zero g. And guys, don't bother hoping the bikini will just --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lift off! MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


PAUL: So, is Jimmy Fallon going to take credit for that?

BLACKWELL: I'm sure he will. I'm sure he will, after the pictures come out. But the things that we learn from Jeanne Moos.

PAUL: She's brilliant. Isn't she?

BLACKWELL: They're not going to move in the zero G.

PAUL: And she had, again, the kahunas to ask.


PAUL: I mean - I was thinking, is she going to do it, is she going to ask it. Yes, of course.

BLACKWELL: Sure, now, she did.

PAUL: We're so glad that you're starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: Next hour of your "NEW DAY" starts now.




BLACKWELL: Of all these shocking images that have come from Ukraine this week, this one may be the most telling. The toppling of a statue of Lenin, just as the government and the opposition reach a deal.

PAUL: A noose around a statue. Racial slurs hurled at a student. These two incidents have thrown Ole Miss into the national spotlight. And now, the FBI is involved.

BLACKWELL: They risk their lives for their country but because of their ethnicity or their skin color, they were ignored. Now, these army veterans are receiving the Medal of Honor for their heroic service.

Your NEW DAY continues right now.