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Ukraine President Leaves Palace; U.S., Russia Tied in Olympic Medal Count; Racism at Ole Miss; California Farmers Facing Drought Disaster; Brave Vets Finally Awarded Medal of Honor

Aired February 22, 2014 - 07:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Seven o'clock here in the East. Still feels a little early, doesn't it, for a weekend morning. But just grab your robe and your coffee and sit back and relax. We'll get you educated on what's happening today.

I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We've got it all. I'm Victor Blackwell. Now, 7:00, this is NEW DAY Saturday. And we've got a lot coming up this morning.

PAUL: Yes, we do. We're going to talk about Arizona, because that, of course, is one of the big issues that a lot of people are -- they have opinions about. We want to get them all in. But we do want to begin with some live pictures from Ukraine right now because they've been going through incredible upheaval.

BLACKWELL: This morning, our correspondents on the ground in Kiev tell us that the streets are calm but look at what's been happening overnight.

You hear the cheering there from the protesters as they yanked down the statues of the Soviet Union's Vladimir Lenin in cities all across the Ukraine.

They couldn't make it any clearer how much they despise closer ties with Russia. These images are now. Look at these.

PAUL: I know, you can't help but think of these images, too. These would be coming up from nearly a quarter century ago from 1990. Statues fell all across Eastern Europe as the Soviet Union collapsed, signaling a revolution.

So, in the midst of this very tense situation in Ukraine, remember, there is a peace deal that's been brokered. But, of course, dozens of people were killed prior to that happening.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but now, we're hearing that Ukraine's president has left the presidential palace in Ukrainian capital Kiev.

Let's get the latest from CNN's Phil Black. He's in Kiev.

Phil, is there any word on where President Viktor Yanukovych is? Who is at the presidential palace? Are the opposition supporters there at the palace?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, we believe that the president has left Kiev. The word from U.S. State Department, an official there, as well as members of opposition here in Kiev, they believe that he's headed to the east of the country, probably a city called (INAUDIBLE), his political base. That is where he's thought to have traveled to.

And a sign this may not just be a temporary move. You're right, at his presidential palace on the outskirts of the capital here, Kiev, our own CNN team on the ground there has found that that residence is now in the control of opposition protest groups.

So, no presidential guard, there are still some state officials manning the gates but those people are now saying that residence now belong to the people of Ukraine. They're not letting people run through there because they believe there's a lot of evidence there about what the president, his government has been getting up to, and they believe it's evidence that will prove the corruption that they believe this government has been responsible for.

PAUL: OK. So let's talk about this peace deal for a minute. It was brokered yesterday, we know. And we know it sharply cuts the president's powers. Obviously, we see from the protesters, that's not enough. They don't want it to end in 2014 at the end of this year in December. They want it to end by May with a special election.

What -- besides that, what else are they fighting for? Help us understand this.

BLACK: Certainly. So the opposition did very well out of this agreement in the sense they got three key demands. Firstly, the formation of a national government, including members of all political parties to try and return the country's stability, a change in powers removed from the president and given back to the parliament and then eventually new presidential elections. So, the people of Ukraine can have the Democratic say in terms of who will lead them and what direction that person will take the country.

They've got all three things. What they want is for those things to happen as fast as possible. Not later this year. That's why there are still people in the square. They're determined and distrustful that the government will follow the agreement. They don't want to take that long. They want maintain the pressure. That's what opposition politicians are doing in the parliamentary chamber today.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's see if the calm continues there on the streets of Kiev. Phil Black, thank you so much.

PAUL: And, of course, as both sides in Ukraine agree to a deal, President Obama picked up the phone and he called Russian President Vladimir Putin because they needed to discuss the situation, of course.

BLACKWELL: Yes. CNN's foreign affairs reporter Elise Labott is live in Washington for us. Elise, good morning.


BLACKWELL: And how did that conversation go?

LABOTT: Well, officials, no surprise, Victor and Christi, are describing it as a constructive type of conversation. You know over the last several weeks, there's been a lot of tension on Ukraine. Now, the White House is saying -- a statement from the White House saying on Ukraine, leaders exchange views on the need to quickly implement the critical agreement reached today in Kiev, the importance of stabilizing the economic station and undertaking necessary reforms and all the needs for all sides to refrain from further violence.

If you look at the statement that came out from the Kremlin, President Putin saying that the president expressed need to take immediate measures to stabilize the situation, emphasizing the importance of working with the radical opposition which led to the confrontation in Ukraine to a very dangerous point.

And so, Christi and Victor, this just shows how both sides see this problem from two different angles. Obviously, the U.S. and Europe are on the side of the protesters and the side of those who want to move closer to the West. While President Putin is looking at these protesters as so-called terrorists, saying that they're the ones that have started the problem.

PAUL: All righty. CNN foreign affairs reporter Elise Labott, thank you for walking us through that. Appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: Let's stay there in the region now and go to the Olympics.

PAUL: U.S., Russia they're tied -- tied for the lead in the medal count, people.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Russia's Vic Wild just won a gold medal, giving the host country 27 medals total, same as the U.S. now.

PAUL: So, Norway, also, we understand picked up three medals today. It's in third with 25. Canada has 24 medals. And the Netherlands and Germany round out the top six.

You want to know the worst part, Vic Wild who competes for Russia was born and raised in America.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but he is winning the gold for Russia. Two at these games actually.

CNN's Amanda Davies covering the games there in Sochi.

So, I mean, he might be a villain here in the states but Vic Wild is now a Russian hero I'd imagine.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that man, Vic Wild, has done it again. I thought you might have glossed over that medal table quite quickly given what happened since I spoke to you an hour ago. It is now the case that Russia are now level with the USA in terms of medals, but they have that one more gold.

This is Vic Wild who was born and raised in America. And the U.S. snowboarding authority might well be ruing their decision to cut that funding from the parallel slalom, because that is what helped push Vic Wild's into the arms of Russia. That, of course, and the fact that he fell in love to his now wife Alena Zavarzina and that helped him moved over here in 2012, and he's now representing Russia, standing on the top of the podium for Russia as a two-time Olympic gold medalist. He added the parallel slalom gold to the giant parallel slalom gold that he won earlier in the week.

And you'd think the Russians will be holding a big party for that partnership when this games is over.

PAUL: Let's be honest, we do have a new American hero, right, a skier who has made history?

DAVIES: Yes, 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin, her mother admitted she nearly had a heart attack when her daughter was going down her second run late last night under the flood lights. She had a bit of a stumble, looked as if she was going to lose the gold medal. But she pulled it back. Mikaela Shiffrin said she was channeling what she'd seen from the figure skaters the night before, picking themselves up and carrying on.

And now, 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin is the youngest ever of an Olympic slalom medal. Before she's even reached 19, she's won everything she could possibly win. She's an Olympic gold medalist, a world champion and she's won the World Cup. So, definitely a star has been born. Would you think she will go on and win more and more golds.

BLACKWELL: I love the video of dad. He's so excited. He can't even take the pictures. He has the camera. He just can't press the button.

PAUL: That's OK. There will be plenty of pictures.

BLACKWELL: Certainly well.

Amanda Davis in Sochi for us, thanks.

You know, this story, the way it's developed over the past few days really is disheartening. On NEW DAY coming up in a few moments, Ole Miss back in the spot light after two different racially charged incidents on campus now.

PAUL: Up next, why the FBI is getting involved. And why so many people are asking if the university has a bigger problem here.

Up next, why the FBI is getting involved. And why so many people are asking if the university has a bigger problem here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Thirteen minutes past the hour right now. We're so glad to have you with us.

I want to talk about this racist defensive stunt at Ole Miss that has really turned into a criminal investigation this morning.

BLACKWELL: And the FBI is now working with university officials after a noose was placed on a statue of James Meredith. He's the civil rights figure who integrated Ole Miss in 1962.

PAUL: So, police want to know if a separate incident involving a female student and racial slurs is connected to that one.

CNN's Nick Valencia is live in Oxford, Mississippi.

Nick, what have you learned this morning?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's start with the James Meredith statue, Christi. The three alleged suspects in that, three 19-year-old freshmen enrolled at the University of Mississippi, also members of the Sigma Epsilon fraternity. They've since been expelled from that fraternity and the national chapter has suspended this local chapter here.

Now, at worst, they could face expulsion when they go in front of a student judicial board. And as you mentioned, the FBI is looking into federal hate crime charges. Couple that with an incident that happened with Kiesha Reeves. She's a senior here, an African-American student who said she was outside her apartment complex when she had alcohol thrown at her and the "N" word thrown her way as well.

We went back to the scene there yesterday and she's showing us what happened.


KIESHA REEVES, STUDENT OF OLE MISS: I was in my car, looking for my charger, and when I heard it, I popped my head up, that's when it all -- that's when he threw it. He just threw a red cup.

VALENCIA: What did you hear?

REEVES: It was you black (AUDIO DELETED) and he sped off. I think people are balancing the new Ole Miss with the new Ole Miss of what they're trying to become.


VALENCIA: Christi and Victor, despite what happened to Kiesha Reeves, she tells me that she has no plan to transferring. This incident hasn't scared her away. She does say being a black student here at Ole Miss in 2014 can be difficult at times. Your voice goes unheard. But she went on to really highlight how great her experience has been at the University of Mississippi and how great she thinks this university is -- Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: Some mixed feelings there.

Nick, what is the university saying about all of this?

VALENCIA: Certainly mixed feelings, Victor. I mean, this spasm of race related incidents, the jogging memories of the historical intolerance here at this university. Ole Miss, our viewers know it at home. I mean, this has been a place that's a lightning rod historically for race-related issues.

And when I sat down with the chancellor yesterday, he didn't dodge those questions and wasn't hiding his head in the sand. Let's take a listen to what he had to say.


DANIEL JONES, CHANCELLOR, THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI: Well, we do have systemic racism in our country, we have it in this state, and we have it in this university, much less so than in years past. But there's systemic racism everywhere in the world. I wish that it weren't so.


VALENCIA: Very frank and honest conversation with Chancellor Jones. He says the university has gone above and beyond in recent years to try to change the climate and culture here at Ole Miss and to have an honest conversation about that realities of the history here on campus -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All righty. Nick Valencia, thank you so much, Nick. Good to see you this morning.

BLACKWELL: Also, still to come on NEW DAY, this sale, $19 billion Facebook paid for WhatsApp. It's a start-up messaging service. But will the app continue its red hot growth or will it slow now that Facebook is on board? We're going to find out, up next.


BLACKWELL: Twenty after the hour. It's "Money Time" on NEW DAY.

And right now, thousands of current and retired Detroit workers, they're worried about making ends meet as they face potential cuts to their pension, some as high as 34 percent. Detroit is considering dropping health coverage for retirees and giving them a stipend to buy insurance through health care exchanges. Now, the city is searching for solutions through its massive debt while it tries to emerge from bankruptcy.

PAUL: Investors are hoping Barnes & Noble can turn a new page, let's say. Shares jumped higher Friday after the struggling bookseller got a takeover bid from investment group G Asset. The group also offered a second option where it would spin off the e-reader Nook. No decision off that has been made on that deal.

BLACKWELL: Nineteen billion dollars. That's a lot of money. That's what Facebook is paying for WhatsApp.

PAUL: Yes, that's that popular messaging service, kind of work like a social network site. You can send videos, and pictures, texts and voice messages. But you don't pay the usage fees that you do say to your cell phone carrier. What do you pay? One dollar, just $1, a year as a membership fee.

BLACKWELL: You know, this app has 450 million users and it's adding about a million users a day. So huge.

CNN analyst and host of "Tech Bytes", Brett Larson, joins us now from New York.

Brett, good to have you.


PAUL: Good morning.

LARSON: Good to be here.


LARSON: I wish I had a piece of WhatsApp.

PAUL: Don't we all?

BLACKWELL: I mean, even a small piece, $19 billion. But, you know, there are some who are saying that Facebook got a deal here. Why?

LARSON: Isn't that -- I read that earlier in the week when the deal was an announced even Zuckerberg himself was saying, oh, they were really being watched and we've got a good price on this. The reality of WhatsApp is, it's a -- as you explained, a very simple messaging service that sort of goes around your wireless carrier, which is really important in emerging markets and other countries where texting is expensive.

Here in the U.S., oftentimes, it's just thrown in with your cellular plan so that makes WhatsApp very popular. And also, as you said, 450 million users. They're adding a million users every day. This is huge.

And Facebook is gambling and it's not a gamble where the house is going to win, but they are betting that WhatsApp is going to have a billion users by the end of this year. And WhatsApp is also on track to send 1 trillion with a "T" -- trillion messages this year. That's how many users they have.

PAUL: My gosh.

OK. But let's talk privacy concerns, because, you know, this always comes out. A lot of people freaked out when Facebook started featuring ads that target users. So, now that Facebook has WhatsApp, do you need to worry about Facebook having your phone number? LARSON: Well, this is -- well, Facebook may already have your phone number if you put it into your profile or if you signed in your cell device they often ask your phone number as a way of double-checking your privacy if you need your password or need to gain access to your account. There are some privacy concerns with WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has been very good with user relations. And they've been very good as they've grown. And we'll have to see how those things change when they go under the fold or under the umbrella of Facebook, and if they'll fall, rather, under the rules of Facebook's privacy policy.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the change is to come. And Christi brought up one that I'm interested in. You mentioned apps on Facebook.

PAUL: Right.

BLACKWELL: WhatsApp doesn't have ads for the 450 million users thus far. Are they coming now that Facebook has to come into the picture?

LARSON: That's the $19 billion question. It's a great -- you would think, wow, with that many users, sending a trillion messages, if we sent an ad to, you know, every fourth message, that's still several billion advertisements that we could sell.

So far, WhatsApp has been very -- no, we are a messaging platform. We're going to be simple and clean and reliable. And, you know, the five 9s uptime, like the phone companies have. So, we'll have to see if they're going to start adding advertising.

So, also, I think where this is going to be interesting, is how much control the WhatsApp founders and the WhatsApp employees will have over WhatsApp once it falls under the umbrella of Facebook. And that's really going to tell where the future hold or what the future hold, for the millions of users of application.

PAUL: Good point.

BLACKWELL: Nearly a million a day they're adding to their numbers. Brett Larson --

LARSON: Those are good numbers.

BLACKWELL: Yes, they are good numbers, 19 billion, the better one.

PAUL: Wow.

LARSON: Like Super Bowl audience here had.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Brett.

LARSON: Thanks, guys.

PAUL: Thank you.

All right. So, coming up -- we've got to talk about this, the hundreds of protesters who say they do not want this new legislation in Arizona that critics call discriminatory against gays and lesbians. They're really hoping the governor is not going to sign this into law next week.

BLACKWELL: Plus, several boats engulfed in flames at a marina in Washington state. Well, now, investigators are trying to figure out how this started.


PAUL: I know you need an update on mortgages. Well, rates were slightly up this week. Take a look.


PAUL: Up and at them, my friends. Half past the hour right now. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

Here are five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

Up first, after days of deadly protests, Ukraine's embattled president apparently has left the capital, Kiev. Opposition lawmakers and parliament are calling for him to resign immediately. And they want elections by the end of May. Of course, all this is happening just one day after a peace deal was brokered that sharply reduces the president's powers.

PAUL: Number two, Venezuela's president is calling for a dialogue with the U.S. Nicolas Maduro says he wants President Obama to send over Secretary of State John Kerry for high-level talks with his foreign minister. Now, this is coming just days after Venezuela, remember, accused three American diplomats of trying to meet with opposition organizers and expelled them.

BLACKWELL: Up now for number three, despite the outcry from the Chinese government, President Obama met with the Dalai Lama yesterday, and the president reiterated his support for the preservation of Tibetan culture. China has accused the Dalai Lama of leading a separatist movement but the Dalai Lama has said he only wants freedom to protect Tibetan tradition.

PAUL: Number four: a great image of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict, as they embrace this morning. This was in Vatican City, of course. The former leader of the Catholic Church was there to witness him create 19 new cardinals from the around the world. And the first such appointments we should point since he was elected pontiff last March.

BLACKWELL: And look at these pictures, number five, propane glass and boat flares exploding as massive multi alarm marina fire roared out of the control for hours in Washington state. Right now, it's not clear how the fire started. But reports say most of the boats there are fiberglass and -- I mean, they turn quickly. As many as 20 boats caught fire before the fire department got things under control. There is good news here, with all of this damage, no injuries have been reported.

PAUL: Thankfully. You know, the fact that we're talking about this story shows how dire it is. That drought in California, a lot of officials saying this is the worst in history ever. According to the Department of Agriculture, the entire state is battling these abnormally dry temperatures and this weather. So those crippling conditions are expected to hurt the nation's food supply.

BLACKWELL: As Jennifer Gray explains for farmers, it's about to get worse before it gets better.


JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): The drought that is plaguing California, and as a result, hurting the nation's flood supply could get a whole lot worse. Friday, the federal government said it will not provide any irrigation water to central valley farmers. And only 50 percent of contracted water to surrounding urban areas.

JOE DEL BOSQUE, FARMER: Our rain is way, way behind so we expected zero. And this just confirms it.

GRAY: Joe Del Bosque is the farmer who just a week ago gave President Obama a tour of his Central Valley operation. He grows oranges, cherry, and cantaloupe. But without the federal help, California growers like Joe may have to leave a lot of land unproductive.

DEL BOSQUE: There's going to be a lot of production and food lost, a lot of jobs lost.

GRAY: With more than 90 percent of the state in severe drought conditions, there could be a big impact at your grocery story check out line. There are 80,000 farms in California, more crops are grown there than any place in the country. It produces nearly half of U.S. grown fruits, nuts and vegetables. Experts say this drought could raise your produce price 10 percent over the next few months.

But Mother Nature could come to the rescue. Rain is in the forecast for California next week. And farmers say every drop will make a difference.

DEL BOSQUE: Will they capture that water? You know, and bring -- bring it to the storage, because if they don't, if they keep the pumps shot off, that water's going to go out to the ocean.


BLACKWELL: So it's getting worse before it gets better. Hopefully, better comes soon.

Jennifer Gray with us now.

What are we looking at, the severity of this drought.

GRAY: Yes. Well, I've got good news and I've got bad news. I'm going to start with the bad news, because it is the drought itself. And it is getting worse by the day. Just in the past couple of weeks, it has gone up. And the conditions of the drought have gotten worse.

So, extreme drought, that's what we've been looking at and that's what the state has been suffering from the worst drought ever. A couple weeks ago, 61 percent. Now 68 percent of the state is in extreme drought. And so this is unprecedented as we go through the next couple of weeks. This is not going to be an overnight fix, but like we just showed you, every little bit does help.

We are going to have a storm system move onshore. The first storm is going to happen on Thursday. So is this later in the week. Then, it looks like we're going to have a second storm that's going to be an even stronger push through on Friday.

So, guys, these are just baby steps. But if we can continue to get the pattern in place, we see the storms push onshore one after another, it could make a little bit of a dent, but it's not an overnight fix by many means unfortunately.

PAUL: All right. Good to know. Jennifer, thank you very much.

BLACKWELL: Let's stay out west and let's go to Arizona where hundreds of protesters -- I mean, this story has really what you're about to see, a huge outpouring of passion there at the state capitol. These people here pleading with Governor Jan Brewer not to sign a controversial new bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

PAUL: Now, the governor says she does have concerns about the proposed law herself. So, listen in fact to what she told CNN yesterday.


GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: I think anybody that owns a business, you know, they can choose who they work with or who they don't work with. But I don't know that it needs to be statutory.


PAUL: She also said she did is veto a similar bill last year. But there is so much to talk about with this. We're going to continue our discussion about the intersection of religious freedom with the equality later on this morning. That's at 9:15 Eastern. So, keep it here.

BLACKWELL: Also, Jimmy Fallon, he is wrapping up his first week filling in -- not filling in -- he now has the show in Jay Leno's shoes. So, how did he do? We've got a panel to weigh in. That's coming up next.



BLACKWELL: All right. The brand-new "Tonight Show." That's a clip from --

PAUL: Oh my goodness!

BLACKWELL: -- the new iteration of "Tonight Show" starting Jimmy Fallon last night.

PAUL: I mean, look at that -- one week down, fans are already giving the show rave reviews.

BLACKWELL: Star-studded lineup. You've got skids that have gone viral. I mean, Fallon is certainly making his mark on late night. Look at this.


JIMMY FALLON, TV HOST/COMEDIAN: I'm Jimmy Fallon and I'll be your host for now.





PAUL: OK. So, of course, everybody is watching it, they think it's great, they're all saying how long is this going to last?


PAUL: Right. So, we want to bring in author of the new book "Game World", Christopher Farley.

Good morning, Christopher.

He's also editor of "The Wall Street Journal" entertainment blog "The Speakeasy."

And joining us senior editor of "In Touch Weekly", Kim Serafin.

Guys, thank you so much for being here. What do you think? Give us your take.

Kim, you first.

KIM SERAFIN, IN TOUCH WEEKLY: Oh, man. I mean, yes, you're right. We'll have to see how this plays out. This is the first week. So, everyone is watching, everybody is paying attention. Everything is so great. But -- so great, so great, I should say, as Jimmy Fallon would say. Or as Justin Timberlake intimidates him so well.

You know, it was fantastic. I mean, all those viral videos, all of those skits -- the way he gets stars that he gets on the show to engage with him in those kits, doing musical numbers. The hashtag video that he did with Jonah Hill. The Will Smith dancing, Justin Timberlake, I mean, when you have them rapping together, the fifth time they're rapping together, it's just brilliant.

And these go viral. And that is one of the reasons that he was brought on to do the "Tonight Show" because he's bringing into this new era of doing all of these online things that people are going to be paying attention to.

BLACKWELL: Christopher?

CHRISTOPHER FARLEY, "GAME WORLD" AUTHOR": Well, you know, late-night comedy isn't very diverse. You've got a bunch of middle age dudes cracking jokes.

I mean, you have Jimmy Fallon, he's 39. You've got Jimmy Kimmel, he's 46. You have Letterman, he's 66. You've got Craig Ferguson, he's 51.

So, to stand out, Kimmel's doing something different. I mean, he's obviously a more sincere guy than some of his competitors. He's trying to be the nice guy. He's also trying to be the classic song and dance guy. He's a guy that can rap, sing, play guitar. He's a very physical comedian. That makes him stand out in the evolution of rap video.

The other thing, he's doing is more focused on social media. Jimmy Kimmel is to, but he's much more focused than Jay Leno is, much more focused than David Letterman is. The evolution of rap -- the evolution of hip-hop dancing he did with will smith, that got almost more than 9 million views so far on YouTube, which is more than the "Tonight Show" usually gets for a show.

BLACKWELL: You know, someone -- and this is the first time that one of my friends has ever sent me a clip with the "Tonight Show" with any host.

PAUL: Anything?

BLACKWELL: But I received this clip from my friend Marcus who lives in South Florida. It's the barbershop quartet version of R&B classic. Watch it. We'll talk about social after it.


BLACKWELL: I felt myself the whole day going dunce, dunce, dunce.

FARLEY: Hey, we got four people right here. We can do it right now. Let's do it.

BLACKWELL: Oh no. I have no (INAUDIBLE) pitch.

PAUL: What about his, you know, social media footprint. I mean, it's bigger than Leno. It's bigger than Letterman. How is that going to redefine his show?

FARLEY: Well, I'll tell you, one stat that really shows you what's going on here, I mean, Jay Leno has around 600,000 followers on Twitter. Jimmy Fallon has 11,600,000 followers on Twitter. So, that's a sea change in terms of the relationship he has with social media. And, you know, the "Tonight Show" is about tuning in late. Everyone is gathered around the communal fire and talking about what people are making fun of.

Now, it's about the next thing, people e-mailing and texting and sending around these videos we're seeing on the show. And that's really how it goes beyond the 11:35, 12:00 time it's on to all day long. You can keep seeing this video.

So, it's a sea change in the relationship between the "Tonight Show," time and the people who are watching it.

BLACKWELL: Hey, Kim, I wonder if the network is concerned that they're going to lose some people. I know the songs they were singing. I know R. Kelly's remix to "Ignition".

But some of Jay's viewers have no idea why that's supposed to be funny. Is that a concern?

SERAFIN: Well, yes, sure. Obviously, there might be some maybe older people who will not relate to Jimmy as they did to Jay Leno. But there's also a familiarity. I think that's why people were sad to see Jay Leno go. Someone they watched for decades on TV.

But, obviously, as we're just talking about, what you want, you want those viral videos, you want the social media. You want people tweeting about things.

Jimmy Fallon has always been doing this in terms of Twitter followers. He always has hash tag contests. People chiming in and sending in different hash tags to him.

So, yes, you will maybe lose some viewers. But I think also partly when he did that first intro when he introduced himself to people, he wanted people some of the older audience to know, also, look, hey, I'm a good guy. I'm a nice guy. I'm not out to be mean to anyone.

I'm going to be the good, genuine guy. So, let me tell you about my wife, my kids, here my parents are in the audience.

So, I think in his intro, that was a way of him trying to endear himself to maybe that older audience who was missing Jay.

BLACKWELL: All right. He's had a really successful first week. And we're going to see what happens as he moves forward.

Christopher Farley, Kim Serafin, thank you so much.

FARLEY: Thank you.

SERAFIN: Thank you so much.

PAUL: Thanks, guys.

So, coming up, they fought for their country. They defended their brothers in arms. Army veterans who served bravely, but because of their skin color or their ethnicity, they were ignored for decades. Well, today, they're finally receiving the honor they deserve. Stay close.


PAUL: Just about 10 minutes to 8:00 right now.

And Jewish groups around the world are outraged after it was reported that scores of copies of Anne Frank's diaries were destroyed in Japanese libraries. Now, local media reporting pages were ripped out and torn in as many as 31 libraries. The Japanese government says it's going to investigate the incidents.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it is impossible for the president, any president, to right any wrong. But next month, President Obama will do just that. He will right a wrong for 24 of the country's bravest military veterans.

PAUL: He's going to award those vets the Medal of Honor after they were passed over because of their race or religion. This was a result of the review ordered by Congress over a decade ago.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has more on the brave vets who are receiving that honor.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sergeant First Class Melvin Morris was just 19 when he became a Green Beret. He volunteered to go to Vietnam.

In 1969, under heavy fire, hit multiple times, bleeding, he rescued dead and wounded troops. The army said he showed determination possessed by few men and his ability to lead has rarely been equaled.

Today at 72, with his wife of 51 years Mary, the pride, the dignity and wrong will be right. Morris is one of 24 veterans whose decades late will receive the nation's highest military distinction, the Medal of Honor.

It is a roll call of bravery and heroism above and beyond the call of duty for men who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Only Morris and two other Vietnam veterans are still living.

In 2002, Congress ordered review of Jewish and Hispanic veterans war records to find out who may have suffered discrimination and not been awarded the honors they deserve. Potential African-American discrimination was also found. All are now being recognized.

COL. HARVEY BARNUM (RET), U.S. MARINE CORPS: I had heard rumors to the fact that there were certain people who -- people thought should have received the Medal of Honor.

STARR: Retired Marine and Vietnam vet Harvey Barnum received his Medal of Honor in 1967. His unit also under intense fire. With complete disregard for his safety, he moved to save others. Now, he has just one message for the Vietnam survivors.

BARNUM: I look forward to putting my arms around them and calling them brother and say welcome home.

STARR: Two other living Vietnam veterans will receive the medal. Radio operator Santiago Erevia was under fire all day on May 21st, 1969. In total peril, he assaulted a line of enemy bunkers, throwing hand grenades and firing his M-16. He came home to work for the Postal Service for 32 years. His son Roland served three tours in Iraq.

Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela's battalion was under heavy fire on September 1st, 1969, it suffered 42 casualties in minutes. Army records say the unit was on the brink of panic when Rodela stepped in, physically pushing men to fight even when the unit was still under fire. Today, he is in frail health.

Of the recipients who passed away, some died in Europe, Korea and Vietnam. But some like Private First Class William Leonard of New York who fought in France in World War II and came home to live out their lives. Leonard worked in the auto industry and as a butcher. He died five days before his 72nd birthday sitting in his backyard listening to a New York Yankees game on the radio.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.



PAUL: Their bravery is just -- it's stunning, isn't it, when you think of what they did. We just want to say we are grateful for your service to you and your families and to everybody that served.

BLACKWELL: And a good thing -- just to acknowledge the wrong and stop and make it right and say we honor you and your service. It's certainly a good thing.

Still to come on NEW DAY, another amazing story. This how one family very building their home and rebuilding their lives after a home invasion that ended in a deadly shootout.

Stay with us.


BLACKWELL: You know, often when overcoming tragedy, there are tears and hugs, but in this story, there are also hammers.

PAUL: This story is such a courage and pride. We are talking about the Colorado family rebuilding their lives and their home after a violent home invasion that ended with a deadly police shootout right at their front door.

BLACKWELL: And Jessica Oh from CNN affiliate KUSA has the story. It's a good stuff this morning. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA OH, KUSA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Taking back the home taken hostage by an ex-con. What is happening today at the Arvada home goes past repairs -- their pride, hammering and sawing away an ordeal that traumatized not only a 13-year-old held captive, but that teen's entire family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one felt comfortable coming back to the home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is armed, barricaded himself in the back southwest bedroom.

OH: Christopher Scott's son was held hostage for hours in this home until the man was eventually killed by police on the door step. The past couple of weeks have been difficult to say the least.


OH: Christopher says he could not do anything but spend those long hours hoping his son would make it out alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Connor is out, Connor is out.

SCOTT: The only thing that was said is he is out and okay and he is safe. Tears, hugs and, where is he? I want to see him. I want to hug him.

OH: Now, it's all about picking up the pieces.

SCOTT: It's working to get back to normal.

OH: Which would be impossible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here to just kind of give back to one of our own.

OH: Without Christopher's coworkers at Home Depot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just asked how we could help.

OH: The family wanted the doors repaired because they were busted open during the standoff, but Christopher's coworkers figured, why not more?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a snowball effect, from doors to floors to ceilings, everything.

OH: Now, this home is getting a complete renovation that the family needs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this is going to be a huge help for the boys when they are here.

OH: Coworkers, friends and even strangers stepping up so Christopher's two boys can return to a new home free of traumatic memories.

SCOTT: Absolutely grateful. It's a little unbelievable.


PAUL: Oh, we say welcome home to them, too. Congratulations.

BLACKWELL: Absolutely.

PAUL: Thank you so much for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: Your NEW DAY continues right now.