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Severe Snowstorm; Western Powers Search for Solutions; Hollywood's New "It" Girl

Aired March 3, 2014 - 06:30   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone.

Winter weather pummeling the eastern U.S. right now -- 90 million people in its path. Many schools along the East Coast are closed, at least for today. We'll see about what happens tomorrow. And more than 2,000 flights already cancelled.

Let's get back over to meteorologist Indra Petersons, live on the National Mall in Washington where it is coming down, snowing now, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, definitely looks like a winter wonderland. You can see my fresh tracks as I walk across, but all of this is brand new snow.

So, it's a little defeating. It makes you think that's all we've had here in the D.C. area. But, of course, that's not the case. We take a look out at the roadways, you see nice puddles of water and speaking to a lot of the drivers around here, they're saying that is now starting to freeze over. So, that is the concern. They could not salt the roads ahead of the system because it was rain first, now, it's snow.

Unfortunately, it's going be to a lot of snow. We're talking potential of upwards of a foot of snow, something they saw just a few weeks ago. So, definitely a tough winter. Keep in mind the timing of this, well, it's going to be throughout the day, getting heavier and heavier, not really exiting out until about 7:00 this evening. And once it does so, we're talking about all the cold air filling in behind it.

So, any of that snow that's expected to pile up here is going to last, guys.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Indra, thank you for that. We'll be monitoring the situation.

While Washington, D.C. may be shut down on one level, certainly the government is on high alert because the situation on Ukraine is moving quickly and in the wrong direction.

Here's what you need to watch -- there was just an assault this morning on weapons depot in Crimea. The attackers were fought back by Ukrainian troops. But they've also come under fire at border post. Thousands of Russian soldiers have taken control of the Crimean peninsula and Ukraine's new government has been told that its military must be at full alert.

Now, at the same time, NATO is trying to figure out how to ease the tensions, European foreign ministers are holding their own emergency meetings in Brussels on the situation.

Right now, tactics come down to diplomacy and sanctions. They're considering freezing some Russian assets. The question is, we'll that be enough.

Picking up the story there, CNN's Erin McLaughlin in Brussels with more -- Erin.


Well, some E.U. ministers arriving for this morning's meeting, saying they're not optimistic that a solution will be reached in the coming hours or even the next few days. A Swedish minister Carl Bildt this morning saying he is confident though that in the long run, Russia will realize that military activity is not a way of making friends in Europe.

Now, this meeting is expected to begin in the next 30 minutes. On the agenda, ways in which the European Union can apply pressure to Russia.

We also understand that the possibility of sanctions could be a part of that debate. We also expect the European Union to join what has been a chorus of condemnation that has grown over the weekend. Just yesterday, the NATO secretary-general issuing a strongly worded statement, calling on Russia to withdraw its forces back to its bases, suggesting that independent observers be placed on the ground in Ukraine.

We also heard from a statement from the G-7 saying they are suspending preparations ahead of the G-8 Summit in Sochi, Russia.

So, at the moment here in Brussels, the mood not exactly one of optimism but there is hope for a long-term diplomatic solution -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Erin, thanks so much, keeping an eye on in Brussels for us.

This morning, U.S. and world leaders, as Erin was laying out, really considering all options. What are those options, especially in the near term?

To discuss, I'm joined now by Christiane Amanpour, anchor of CNN International's "AMANPOUR", as well as chief international correspondent.

Christiane, a lot of questions remain. There are no easy answers to what the U.S. can and should do at this point. What do you think when you look at the dynamic as it stands today -- what's the most likely immediate move that you could say? CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first and foremost this is the most serious East/West conflict since the end of the Cold War, make no mistake about it. This is an absolutely critical crisis that's going on right now and it is really challenging everybody.

You heard what Erin said, that those minister that are being called to emergency meetings are not confident of any easy way out of this, but that there needs to be intense diplomacy that has already been going on.

Secretary Kerry, as you say, will be in Kiev. He's obviously going to talk to the Ukrainian government, not just offer aid and support because obviously the U.S. sports of pro-European, pro-Democratic part of Ukraine. But also to say to them that (a), they cannot afford to antagonize Russia militarily because they will not have a chance of winning.

You saw what happened in Georgia in 2008, a five-day war between Georgia and Russia and the Georgians came out much worse for wear. There is no military solution to Ukrainian and Russia. So, there has to be diplomacy.

Obviously, President Obama has to lead. He is the head of NATO. There is no military solution to this, according to the NATO leaders, so they have to continue ratcheting up the pressure and making it extremely clear to Putin that any more moves will be met by countermoves in terms of sanctions, in terms of isolation, in terms of more diplomacy.

Now, the most important person I think in there is Angela Merkel. Of all the European and Western leaders --

BOLDUAN: That's what the news out this morning.

AMANPOUR: Yes, indeed, with all the news out about the OSCE potential monitor, which, by the way, was the suggestion of the United States, that special session of the Security Council --

BOLDUAN: What would a fact finding mission tend to accomplish?

AMANPOUR: Well, it's a face-saving way because Russia's involved, use the organizations that Russia is also part of to go in and say this is what's happening in Crimea and if you have these concern, let's decide about this, let's maybe put in some European or other forces or diplomats or monitors to make sure that your interests are preserved.

But the most troubling thing I read today, in a read-out of Angela Merkel's call with Putin and then apparently said that she felt Mr. Putin was not in touch with reality, that perhaps he didn't understand fully what was going on.

That is the scariest thing that I've heard so far, because although many people disagree with much of what Putin does, people have thought that he's, you know, Machiavellian, at least rational, acting in some way that would responsive to diplomacy and the like. But if he's out of touch with reality on this case, then all bets are off. Who knows what's going to happen next? And he has managed to trump up this way to go into Ukraine, Crimea, according to the U.S., take full operation and control of Crimea on basically trumped up charges and trumped up theories that the Russian-speaking majority there are somehow under threat. So --

BOLDUAN: When you look forward, it's impossible to see exactly how this would pan out, do you think there's a real possibility that Ukraine could split along ethnic lines and that everyone would be able to accept that?

AMANPOUR: Well, I think accepting it would be incredibly unlikely, and it would create a massive diplomatic and perhaps even military confrontation within Ukraine. But maybe that's what Putin is up to and he has to be dissuaded of that.

Many people have said he needs to be thrown out of the G-8. Why not? Putting him in the G-8 or putting Russia in in the '90s was an assault by President Clinton to President Yeltsin back then. They don't meet the democratic conditions, they don't meet the economic first world, you know, economy conditions. Basically, it has to be ratcheted up, the pressure against them.

BOLDUAN: With all of this in mind, do you think that President Obama underestimated Vladimir Putin?

AMANPOUR: You know, it's hard to tell. Putin has been playing this Machiavellian, international geopolitical games for many, many years, whether it's over Syria, where it considered that they outplayed the west over Syria, or whatever it might be.

But, now, the pedal to the metal, rubber to the road, or whatever it is, this is the most serious issue confronting the west vis-a-vis President Putin's politics and his military might and he's flexing it. The question is, will they be able to stop this before -- yes, slow it down, before there's any military action either by Russia or Ukraine that puts it in a much, much more difficult situation?

BOLDUAN: And you have a very important interview coming up this morning --

AMANPOUR: I'm going to be interviewing the former prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, who was in prison for many years under Yanukovych, who has now fled. This is what obviously caused all this trouble, and see what the Ukrainians are going to do because she's now released and what the Ukrainian leadership is going to do is very important.

And they must continue to persuade the Russian -- the ethnic Russians there that they -- this new government is a new government for all Ukrainians, not just the ethnic Ukrainians and pro-Ukrainians, and it's east, west and all over.

BOLDUAN: At the moment, they don't believe that?

AMANPOUR: This is all being trumped up. There's a huge --

BOLDUAN: By Russia?

AMANPOUR: Yes. If you look at the media reports and what's going on in the Russian speaking media, which is broadcast into Crimea, I'd be afraid if I was looking at that. It's really very, very bad. They're whipping up fear and hatred and nationalism, and it could go to a point where it's going to be very difficult to roll back.

BOLDUAN: Christiane, we're going to look forward to that interview today. Thanks so much for coming -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. So, let's go for cause to concern for cause for celebration. Coming up on NEW DAY, you're looking at her right there, Lupita Nyong'o. She's dazzled the red carpet all season long. Now, Oscar winner, growing resume, she's going to tell us all about her big win when we come back.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Arguably, the happiest song last night at the Oscars, not a winner, but still a winner in our hearts. Of course, Pharrell is happy from last night at the academy awards. She was the darling of the award season. I'm talking about Lupita Nyong'o, capping off really a Cinderella run by winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She earned rave reviews for that role as the brutalized slave Patsy in "12 Years A Slave."

Our Nischelle Turner, who is really our vision, spoke with Lupita after her big win. Let's just talk about how she looked, too, in that ice blue -- a real vision in that Prada dress.


PEREIRA: What a great night for her.

TURNER: What a great 48 hours. It was her birthday the day before the Oscars. So, it was really a good time for her. She had her birthday. She went to the Oscars, got all dressed up, and she took one home. And I caught up with her just minutes after she won right after the awards show, and we had a good little girl chat. Take a look.


TURNER: Congratulations.

LUPITA NYONG'O, ACTRESS: Thank you so much.

TURNER: You have got the biggest grin on your face right now.

NYONG'O: I know.

TURNER: From ear to ear. You're hugging that thing.

NYONG'O: Yes. TURNER: It's like you're never --

NYONG'O: This is my main squeeze.


TURNER: What is it like, that moment right, before you hear your name being called? You're sitting there and they say "And the Oscar goes to --"

NYONG'O: It is agony. Nothing but agony, because one way or another, you're going to have to do something very scary, you know? Yes. It's awful. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

TURNER: Were you prepared to hear your name? Because they read it and you -- I mean, you looked like you kind of lost your breath for a second, like did they just say Lupita?

NYONG'O: Yes. I mean, you know, it's like -- no matter how many times people predicted and wished me to win, it doesn't prepare you for actually hearing your name, you know, because it could have gone five different ways, you know?

TURNER: (INAUDIBLE) me, but can we bring your brother, Junior, over here for just a second because we need to talk to him, too, about photo bombing that A-list selfie. Get in here, you!


TURNER: How did Junior end up in the middle of Ellen's A-list selfie?

NYONG'O: His motto is carpe diem and he seized the day.



TURNER: Come on!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just saw. This is an opportunity I'll never get again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or if I will, it's going to be awhile.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I said, you know what, just hop on that selfie and --


NYONG'O: And just be the most prominent thing there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. TURNER: You are going to be talked about like nobody's business tomorrow. You've got Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Junior!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope they're talking more about her, because I'm really proud of her. What's she done to the

TURNER: Your best friend, your brother. You gave a wonderful speech, hope to all those little girls and you said (ph) what Whoopie and Oprah did for you, you're doing for another little girl.

NYONG'O: I hope so. I hope so.

TURNER: All right. Congratulations, lady.


TURNER: You know, that was such a fun conversation. And Junior is becoming a star himself.


TURNER: I really needed to hear from him how that all happened because he jumped up quick, didn't he?

PEREIRA: They all did. They were all so quick. I was noticing not only the pizza bit but the whole Twitter thing, which they, of course, crashed Twitter with that retweet. Over, what, two million times or something. They were all in such a good mood last night. The energy in that room was fantastic and it really translated to the TV.

TURNER: It did. And I don't want to call myself a thief ,but I did get you a little present at the Governors Ball.

PEREIRA: You didn't steal one of those gold statues.

TURNER: And the Oscar goes to -- Michaela Pereira for the best news anchor in Beverly Hills.

PEREIRA: I really like to thank Chris and Kate for the support all these months.


PEREIRA: It's been a really --

TURNER: It's chocolat.


TURNER: It's chocolat.

PEREIRA: This is being saved forever and ever.



PEREIRA: We've got more coming up on our coverage. I'm not eating this. You kidding? See, I got really high there. That is not going to be eaten.


CUOMO: I was robbed. I was robbed. I was robbed. It was politics.

BOLDUAN: It's not how it was supposed to go. You're supposed to say I was just honored to be nominated.

CUOMO: I say go with authentic.


CUOMO: You showed up because you thought you were going to win.



BOLDUAN: Great interview, Nischelle. What fun. What a fun night for Lupita. What a fun night for her brother.

CUOMO: I know it's great. I love it. That's what selfie is all about.

Coming up on NEW DAY, we're going to take you back to the crisis in Ukraine. It is an internal battle about sovereignty, but it's also a battle between east and west and between the U.S. and Russia. That's just the fact. Now, it could have a drastic effect early on with the global economy. We're going to tell you why.


BOLDUAN: Time now for today's "Must-See Moment." Ooh, and what a cold "Must-See Moment" it is.

"Tonight Show" host, Jimmy Fallon, and Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, took the plunge, the polar plunge Sunday, dunking themselves in the freezing waters of Lake Michigan to raise money for the special Olympics. The expression on Fallon's face just tells it all as he runs out of the frigid. It was hovering around 32 degrees in that water in a full suit and tie, no less.

It makes it all the better. But it was all worth it. The event raised over $1 million. Fallon then went to the emergency room for exposure. No, I'm just kidding.


BOLDUAN: That part I'm kidding. I'm kidding, I'm kidding. CUOMO: He did it, thought. It was very cool how he did it. Although, when he was looking that chilly, did you see that dude next to him? That big jacked guy who had no shirt on and he had like a big smile on his face? Makes it a little harder to suffer --


CUOMO: -- when that guy is doing that.

BOLDUAN: Burr. But that was fund. That was a good one. Burr. And we're going to learn a lot more about Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, and how he's changing the city in a CNN original series "Chicagoland." It's premiering this Thursday at 10:00 p.m. eastern, 9:00 central right here on CNN.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, how far is Russia going to go? There are new developments even this hour. Anderson Cooper joins us live from Ukraine with the latest on the hostilities there.