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Will FDA Proposal Prompt Food Fight?; Celebs Testify on Capitol Hill; Putting Brakes On Red Light Cameras

Aired February 27, 2014 - 06:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez has now been reportedly isolated inside a Massachusetts jail. That following an altercation with an inmate. New England Cable News says for the next 30 days, Hernandez will have to spend at least 23 hours a day inside his cell and must be restrained at other times. Hernandez is facing murder charges.

Here's a phone you could have. The James Bond smartphone. It might be near. Boeing has made a phone that encrypts all call. If someone tries to open the casing, it deletes all data and basically self destructs.

The tamper-proof device is geared toward government agencies and contractors. Boeing says it can be configured to connect with satellites and biometric sensors. As for availability, so maybe you can't get it. They're keeping it extremely hush hush.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: That's hush hush, too.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Price is hush hush?

BOLDUAN: Play the Bond music.

CUOMO: Do you believe that they can delete things in a way that other people can't get it?

PEREIRA: I can do that by just dropping my phone.

BOLDUAN: I don't think anything is ever gone. I assume it's all still out there.

CUOMO: I think they can find this stuff.

PEREIRA: I hear you, except when I need to find it, it vanishes. You see what I'm saying?

CUOMO: That was "they" part. I think "they" can find it. Not Mick perhaps.

PEREIRA: Maybe not. I'm not they.

CUOMO: But those of business of such things.

So, how about this one? Do you read the labels on your food stuff? There are often surprises in there and that's a big reason why the labels are being changed, major changes.

The FDA is proposing the first update to nutrition labels since the government begun requiring them more than 20 years ago. The announcement is coming today at the White House from the first lady as she celebrates the fourth anniversary of her Let's Move Campaign.

But while the changes may sound like a no-brainer to you, they could spark a big fight with the food industry. So, let's get into it.

CNN's Athena Jones is at the White House -- Athena.


These new rules will bring very noticeable and many people say much- needed changes to those products in your super market aisles.


JONES (voice-over): In just a few hours, the White House unveils its newest push to promote healthy eating -- nutrition labels getting an update for the first time in more than two decades.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Folks are really starting to think about what they eat and how active they are. So, they're scrutinizing labels. They're asking questions. They're changing what they feed their families.

JONES: Under the FDA's new rules, which will go into effect two years after they're finalized, food labels will have to spell out more clearly how serving sizes are measured. Taking into account how we really eat foods like potato chips and candy bars. Serving sizes for soda for instance will go from 8 ounces to 12 ounces. Is serving sizes for yogurt will go from 8 ounces down to 6.

Companies will also have to include how much added sugar is in the product, and display information like calorie content more prominently.

Nutritionist Joy Dubost says the new rules will help people make better choices.

JOY DUBOST, NUTRITIONIST: Consumers will understand how many calories they're consuming at one time and throughout the day, but it's also going to update on current dietary recommendations around fat, sugar and other nutrients.

JONES: Today's announcement comes as Mrs. Obama marks the fourth anniversary of her Let's Move Campaign against child obesity.

All this week, she announced proposed rules to stop marketing junk food in schools. That proposal came as a new study using federal data showed obesity in young children ages 2 to 5 has dropped more than 40 percent in a decade.


JONES: Now, these proposed changes may not sit well with some food makers. The FDA estimates it will cost the food manufacturing industry about $2 billion to change all these labels -- Chris, Kate.

BOLDUAN: There is the rub.

Athena, thank you so much.

We're going to have Dr. Sanjay Gupta on a little later to get his take. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it confusing? Will it help? The doctor will be in to tell us.

CUOMO: It's going to be stuff.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, when celebrities call, politicians sometimes listen. Maybe that's why so many of them, like Ben Affleck and Seth Rogen, are heading to Congress these days to talk about issues near and near to their hearts. We're going to take a look at what impact those star-studded visits may have.

CUOMO: Rogen looks like he was under duress there, being subjected to the hearing.

Also, you ever get a ticket from a red light camera.


CUOMO: Seems like they're everywhere, but a change is coming. Is your paranoia about to grow or shrink? That's a terrible video, but part of the reason for the change.


CUOMO: Back at home, Hollywood glitz on Capitol Hill can get awkward as Ben Affleck found out. They're not the first celebs to grace the halls of congress. But some wonder if high profile advocates really makes a difference.

Here's CNN's Jake Tapper.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They may wear suits just like everyone else who approaches those tables, papers in hand and a cause for which to advocate.

But let's be clear, folks like these are not giving your average congressional testimonies.

ELMO: That's wonderful.

TAPPER: From the ridiculous to the impassioned.


TAPPER: To the downright distracting.

NICOLE KIDMAN, ACTRESS: I became UNIFEM's goodwill ambassador.

TAPPER: When celebrities come to Washington, the media and the politicians take notice. But does the spectacle of the star outshine or shed light on the cause they've come to promote?

EMILY HEIL, THE WASHINGTON POST: Often hearings in Congress are not about members of Congress learning something that they don't already know. It's performance art. If they wanted to really learn about issues, they can get it from a briefing book.

TAPPER: On Wednesday, Oscar winner Ben Affleck arrived in Washington, D.C. to speak about the crisis in the Congo.

BEN AFFLECK, ACTOR: Finally, it's just a pleasure to be here in State Department after -- the real State Department. I had to fake it for "Argo." I get to see the real thing here.

TAPPER: The "Argo" director has brought his cause to the table time and time again.

AFFLECK: My name is Ben Affleck. Congolese soil. I'm working with and for the people of eastern Congo.

TAPPER: Just a few marble pillars away, actor Seth Rogen testified about the effects of Alzheimer's, which his mother-in-law suffers from.

Now sure, these appearances bring some buzz. But ultimately does anyone remember why Stephen Colbert testified before Congress? Or Bob Barker? Or Elton John?

Or do they just remember that they did with the cause lost in the flash of camera lights?

Truth is that is up to the celebrity's commitment to the cause and the journalists covering them. Congo and Alzheimer's would not be mentioned on my show today without Affleck and Rogen telling some stories without obvious news events is tough to do.

Water shortages and developing nations got our attention last year in part because of Matt Damon's involvement.

(on camera): You attaching yourself to this means I will be sitting here interviewing you, talking about an issue I probably wouldn't and people at home, viewers, will be paying attention to an issue that they wouldn't otherwise pay attention to.

MATT DAMON, ACTOR: Yes, that's the hope.

TAPPER (voice-over): Affleck's close friend co-founded

And their pal George Clooney is a longtime advocate for peace in Sudan, even getting arrested outside the embassy in 2012.

DAMON: I think we all individually felt that if cameras were going to follow us around, why not -- why not make something good out of that?

HEIL: Celebrities bring attention to an issue, and especially if that issue is not the sexiest issue, if you get Ben Affleck involved, all of a sudden, it's a little more interesting.

TAPPER: Something politicians have known for a while.

Jake Tapper, CNN, Washington.


BOLDUAN: And from working on Capitol Hill, you know those are the hearings and those are the appearances there everyone seems to turn out to. You know what I mean? So, the celebrity factor does work in that regard.

CUOMO: It's one of the good uses of celebrity.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

So, for millions from coast to coast today, you're going to need to do one of two things. Bundle up, seriously bundle up, or grab for an umbrella. It's very cold in the East, but heavy rain -- heavy, heavy rains hitting the west.

Indra Petersons is here taking a look at it all.

Where do you want to start?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's the hard part. There's so many places we need to touch on. Dangerous windchills we're talking about this morning.

We see dangers. You're talking about feeling like 42 below in Minnesota. Duluth right now feeling like 42 below. Chicago feeling like 8 below.

And even as we go towards the afternoon, we're talking about temperatures for the afternoon high being a good 30 below where they should be for this time of year. A lot of single digits are out there. New York City staying at the freezing mark, even the South seeing temperatures below where they should be.

But the huge headliner is look at this huge bulls' eye sitting out West. First, let's start off, a reminder -- the West has not had drought conditions this bad in a hundred years. Now, this storm, this is the biggest storm in three years, guys. You're talking about heavy rain, three to six inches of rain possible, even a threat for water spouts and tornadoes.

Of course, that comes right near Oscar Sunday, timing Friday and through Saturday. But watch this. This is going to affect the entire country because watch it as it makes its way across. The system is so powerful that this guy is going to be a potential snow maker as we go through Sunday and Monday, depending on where this goes, right off the coastline, we could be talking about some heavy snow again for us Sunday in through Monday.

So, for Michaela Pereira, who wants the big storm on Friday and Saturday, if you venture back here --

PEREIRA: Wait, did I say that I wanted it on Saturday --

PETERSONS: I want to make sure you get it twice. We're going to get rain Friday and Saturday.


PETERSONS: Are you back Monday?

PEREIRA: I'm sort of, no.

PETERSONS: OK, if you wanted that snow, I wanted to give it to you twice. We're talking about huge rain and then a heavy snow maker.

BOLDUAN: And I was even hearing yesterday that because of the wildfires out west, because of the fires and the ash and soot in the soil, it did something to the soil so the water couldn't even absorb well.

PEREIRA: It never really absorbs it.

PETERSONS: Right. It is so dry that it literally runs off. It is like concrete now. It's like it's not even soil in the first place. That's the big danger as well.

BOLDUAN: You need the water, you don't need that much.

PETERSONS: Not at once.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Indra.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, red light cameras. They make the government a lot of money, they make us paranoid, but do they make us safer? Why are so many places turning them off? We're going to tell you.

PEREIRA: And remember this from the movie "Big"? It winds up Tom Hanks isn't the only one that can make beautiful music with his feet. It is our must-see moment. You'll see it, next.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back. Let's go around the world now starting in Mexico where accused drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is now facing new charges as he awaits trial. Nick Parker has the very latest from Mexico City.

NICK PARKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, new charges against the captured drug lord. Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman now accused of organized crime and crimes against health, a term used to describe the trafficking of drugs. The Mexican government says this will likely delay any extradition to the United States where a federal prosecute has issued indictment.

They also point to the fact that he needs to complete a previous jail sentence. Guzman is currently being held at a maximum security (INAUDIBLE) prison out just outside of Mexico City. Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: Nick, thank you very much.

And in Italy, parting is such sweet sorrow, isn't it? A famous statue of Juliet there is being replaced because it's gotten just too much love. Here's Erin McLaughlin with the story.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unlucky in love? There's a tradition in Verona, Italy that promises to fix that. All you have to do is rub the right breast of the bronze statue of Shakespeare's Juliet. The problem is tens of thousands of people have been lining up to solve their love dilemmas. And statue's looking worse for the wear. It was once located in a courtyard known as Juliet from Shakespeare's tale of star crossed lovers. It's since been removed.

But hopeless romantics, fear not, they will put a replica in its place and install the original in a museum. Back to you, Kate.

CUOMO: Hopeless romantics.


CUOMO: You see all the places that have been rubbed out?


CUOMO: That's not romance. It's just wrong. That's why they had to move it.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. New numbers out this morning showing a decline in the number of communities using those red light cameras to catch red light runners. They've fallen six percent since 2012. Seven states all together banned them and several more are now considering it. Study shows some conflicting results in the effectiveness of those cameras.

So, what issues are at play here? We put the question to chief business correspondent, Christine Romans. This is a real interesting decline to see.


PEREIRA: Two sides of this.


PEREIRA: You see revenue. People are concerned about safety. What's at play?

ROMANS: And concern about privacy. You know, a lot of people who live in these towns never liked in the first place. Brick, New Jersey got rid of them this week. And you know, other towns that are keeping. New York has had them since 1993, like, four million (Inaudible) from these red light cameras. What are they?

These are these cameras that are installed either on or next to red lights that when you go through the red light, maybe you think you got away Scott free, but you didn't. You get a sum into the mail later on. And the idea here is that those are dangerous. Those traffic violations where you're rolling into an active intersection can be deadly. These towns, they want the money, but they also want to stop some of these terrible accidents.

The accidents are terrible when they happened. But now, 10 years into these pilot programs, some of the towns are saying it's not worth the erroneous tickets because you're ticketing the car's owner not the driver.

And even some of these places like Brick, New Jersey say they're not sure they actually prevented in the accident.

PEREIRA: Some of the concern is that they're causing, you know, somebody stopped short and then there's a chain reaction accident --

ROMANS: Absolutely. Or -- right -- or speeding up because you want to like barrel through.


ROMANS: Now, one thing, American Traffic Solution is one of the big providers of these cameras. They point to Florida, and they say, look, if you look in Florida, 95 percent of the people who get one of the summons never get one again. But that means it is a valuable deterrent. Florida, though, is one of those states that is considering getting rid of these things. Ohio is another state. There are seven other states that just don't do them. Look, some people think that it's an invasion of privacy.

CUOMO: Is that caving to bad driving? That because people are going to slam on their brakes --

BOLDUAN: I mean, I know you're going to say it, but what is the invasion of privacy argument, though?


CUOMO: Yes, but it would be that you're keeping information on me. You've got my car information. You know, it's a little bit of a paranoia about Big Brother. But, the legal problem isn't one. You know, with traffic infractions, the registered owner of the car is responsible so it doesn't matter who's driving it.

PEREIRA: Yes. But that doesn't seem just if your kid's driving the car and they've -- why the red light -- (CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: And here's why, because when you look at the number of communities that are declining, you know, fewer communities, there are more cameras out there. So, sort of, I guess, ten years into a lot of the pilot programs and stuff that had been going on --

BOLDUAN: Where it's working --

ROMANS: Where it's working, they're going, you know, whole hog. Where they're not sure or --


ROMANS: They're just getting out.

PEREIRA: And added to it is that some of these cities and towns are getting like a bucket load of revenue.

CUOMO: They're all getting revenue.

ROMANS: Hundreds of thousands and you don't have to hire an extra police officer like in an era (ph) of budget cuts. This is money that's coming in. So, the cities that like it are going to keep it and even add more cameras.

CUOMO: There's a legit variable, though, that --

BOLDUAN: I don't like it.

CUOMO: You don't like getting rid of them? You don't like having them?

BOLDUAN: I don't like -- cameras. You should have to see me and be there --

CUOMO: Although it is true that the timing is different from operation to operation. So, where they decide to set the infraction because what if it's slow moving traffic so you're going through the yellow, you're stuck in the middle of the intersection on the red. They take the picture of you anyway, but you couldn't control the situation.

ROMANS: And that's something that some of these towns are starting to rethink it are saying, look, it's not worth some of the headaches -- revenue we're going to get. Kate just likes the badge (ph), apparently. If she's going to have to pay a ticket, she wants that badge to --


CUOMO: She likes men in uniform.


CUOMO: She hates when it's a female officer that walks up to the window. She's like --



PEREIRA: Let's go to the "Must-See Moment" and bickering. I'll show you a little loving scene here. Remember the scene from the 1988 movie "Big" with Tom Hanks? Well, a pair of gals recently took things up a notch. Check them out.


PEREIRA (voice-over): They are employees of New York City's famed (INAUDIBLE) toy store where the original scene of the movie was shot from "Big." They're playing the Toccata and Fugue in D minor by composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. Hundreds of people still line up at the store every day to step onto that nearly 16-foot long piano. But I argue, they will never be able to play this well.

CUOMO (voice-over): They never touched one on their hands.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): Number one, she's a dancer.

PEREIRA: And probably a pianist, right?

CUOMO: This is what they're doing all day.

PEREIRA: Fantastico!


PEREIRA: I just think it's amazing.


CUOMO (on-camera): It's a great demonstration of fancy foot work. But in my mind, I see like all these parents going, excuse me, where's the Lego thing?


BOLDUAN (on-camera): Lego's --

CUOMO: The Lego. I'm trying to find the --

BOLDUAN: If you've ever been there with all the craziness and the mayhem around that, I'm glad that they find some sanity in their fancy footwork.

PEREIRA (on-camera): Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: Because it's --

PEREIRA: Beautiful.

CUOMO: Yes, because usually it's parents dragging their kids off that thing screaming.

BOLDUAN: What's happening off camera is, excuse me, can get on there --


CUOMO: And the kids like, no, I see. No, it's not working.


CUOMO: Maybe that's just me.

Coming up on NEW DAY, new information about FBI mole. Have you heard about this? A mole had access to Osama Bin Laden eight years before the 9/11 attacks. The question is, why did it take the U.S. so long to find and kill the al Qaeda leader. We'll give you the latest.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, she sure sounds like she's running. Hillary Clinton delivering a big speech in Florida, big crowd. Did we just witness a preview of 2016?


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, February 27th, now seven o'clock in the east. We're going to start with the news blast that is, of course, all the news that you need to get right now. More than you can get anywhere else. You ready? Let's go.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have vetoed Senate bill 1062.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This gives me new hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will not retreat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This really has been one of the worst winters in a lot of people's lifetime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nutrition labels getting an update for the first time in more than two decades.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hailed as an American hero.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Never gives up and he does not quit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is how he spends up to six hours a day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The tensions -- over. The Ukraine's Black Sea border with Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russia, United States, this is not rocky four.


CUOMO: We begin this morning with breaking news out of Ukraine. Gunmen have seized the parliament building in the south and raised a Russian flag over it. Police have now surrounded a facility. The increased tensions come a day after Russia started military drills along Ukrainian border. We're going to have more straight ahead in the live report.

BOLDUAN: More breaking news, the South Korean defense ministry tells CNN North Korea has fired four short-range missiles into the east sea. A potentially provocative act since the U.S. and South Korea are conducting military exercises right now. Though, it's not clear at this point if the missiles were actually fired anywhere near those exercises.

PEREIRA: Breaking overnight, a scare on the plane in Oakland, California. Passengers smelling smoke on a Delta sky west flight just after landing from Los Angeles. The captain was able to bring the jet to the gate. Everyone was rushed off the plane and down the stairs. Authorities strangely could not find the source of the odor.

CUOMO: Also breaking overnight, a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse to serve gays and others by citing their religious belief has been vetoed by Arizona governor, Jan Brewer. The proposal triggered national outrage. Large corporations, even the Super Bowl host committee, all publicly expressed concerns. Here's what Brewer had to say.


GOV. JAN BREWER, (R) ARIZONA: I've not heard one example in Arizona where business owners religious liberty has been violated. The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.


CUOMO: So, it wasn't necessary under the law in Arizona. And also, the governor added that she was worried that the bill could have divided Arizona in ways no one could have imagined.

BOLDUAN: New this morning, potentially big problem for the president over Afghanistan. Joint chiefs chairman, Martin Dempsey, says the idea of the U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan is hurting the moral of Afghan soldiers to the point that they may side with the Taliban.