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Ten Days to Reach a Deal; Major Winter Storm Races East; Wall Street Wants to See Solutions; New High-Speed Internet Connection; Newtown United Takes on Gun Violence; Understanding and Managing Stress; Boston Cop Rescues Drowning Woman; Cached Out

Aired December 22, 2012 - 11:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is December 22nd. Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.

The President and lawmakers hightail it out of Washington, leaving the contentious debate over high stakes tax hikes and spending cuts until after Christmas. The stalemate isn't sitting well with many Americans.

A massive winter storm unleashing plenty of misery for holiday travelers. We'll tell you where to expect the biggest delays.

And neighbors in Newtown, Connecticut, are taking up the big guns, yes, the NRA, in hopes of preventing another school shooting. We'll hear from the man spearheading the grassroots movement.

Worried, uncertain, and anxious -- those words typically don't describe the holidays, but they do this year for millions who could see steep cuts in their paychecks ten days from now. Lawmakers and the President still have yet to reach a consensus on the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff, shelving it until after Christmas.

CNN's Emily Schmidt joins us now from Washington. Emily, so is the President optimistic a last-minute deal can be reached? He came out late yesterday evening with yet another suggestion.

EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Randi that's right. They were his parting words before he left Washington for Hawaii. He put out a kind of scaled back plan. And he said it was an achievable goal. This morning, we heard from House Speaker John Boehner who was talking about can you avert the fiscal cliff. In his radio address he says "hope springs eternal."

Yet, you listen to what these two had to say yesterday and it's clear the divide between them is very large still, indeed.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the next few days, I've asked leaders of Congress to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class Americans, protects unemployment insurance for two million Americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on both growth and deficit reduction. That's an achievable goal. That can get done in ten days. REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: The President's solution of raising tax rates would still be red ink for as far as the eye can see and it would hurt jobs at a time when far too many of our citizens are struggling to find them.


SCHMIDT: What is clear right now though is that none of the key negotiators who are working on this remain in Washington. No indication that they will be in Washington until after Christmas -- Randi.

KAYE: So if there is no deal, Emily, will workers see extra taxes coming out of their paychecks starting January 1?

SCHMIDT: Technically potentially not starting January 1. A lot of the people's paychecks that would be the next pay cycle would actually be cut next week. And frankly, payroll processors don't know how much they should take out of your paycheck because Congress hasn't decided yet. And so we have to wait to see what happens. But eventually, that ripple effect would kick in.

And so Americans would be looking at smaller paychecks at some point in January. The question is how much -- Randi.

KAYE: And let's talk about Plan B, the House Speaker John Boehner's plan. He wanted to have a vote on it but he was dealt a pretty embarrassing blow when his own party refused to vote on his proposal. Where do Republicans go from here?

SCHMIDT: What this shows you is how much Republicans are working against having any kind of an increased tax hike no matter what the amount is. Originally you remember when we were talking about the wealthiest two percent of Americans. That's a $250,000 family household income level. Plan B would have involved people making $1 million a year, and they could not get enough Republican support for the plan to actually take it to a vote.

Would that translate to a final plan, a do or die plan that without it would take Americans over the fiscal cliff? That's something we don't yet know. We certainly we know that each of these parties' caucuses will be trying to figure out that question as the clock gets closer to December 31st -- Randi.

KAYE: Emily Schmidt, thank you very much.

Holiday travelers should use some extra caution today with a blizzard warning now in effect in West Virginia and Maryland. Take a look here. This was the scene in Cleveland, Ohio, as the storm raced through yesterday. With more than 90 million people on the move this holiday, a major winter storm has been making highways treacherous across the Midwest.

Now the day before, the blizzard left nine inches of snow in places like Omaha, Nebraska and more than a foot in some areas farther north. Victor Blackwell is braving the cold this morning at a toll booth near Cleveland.

Victor, it was pretty dicey there yesterday. How -- how are things looking at that toll booth now? How do the highways look?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, just comfy cozy, nice and warm out here with a wind chill of 19 degrees. Things are fine at the toll booth actually. The roads are actually looking pretty good here in the Midwest, the Great Lakes states. We're actually getting some good news about the roads, not too many problems.

You know, 93 million or more people will travel more than 50 miles this holiday season. Most of those people, 90 percent of them will be driving. So that's good news.

But there are starting to be problems at the airports. We've got some of the airport problems to put up on the screen for you starting with a ground stop in Virginia just outside of D.C. at Dulles International airport. Delays of about 45 minutes or more at JFK and Newark, that's on the East Coast because that storm that swept through the Midwest and now is on the East Coast is causing problems there.

Let's jump to the West Coast at San Francisco's Airport there are ground delays there, as well. So that's going to possibly ripple through the other airports as the planes that are on the ground there cannot get to destinations on time which will create delays at the airports where they're supposed to pick up the next group of passengers and take them on to their destination.

So we are starting to see the problems that were in the Midwest on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday now on the East Coast. And we'll see how long that lasts as people are trying to get home for Christmas -- Randi.

KAYE: Oh boy well I just hope it hits 20 for you. That's I -- I just hope it gets to 20, I know you're at 19.

BLACKWELL: That is so nice.

KAYE: 20 will be balmy.

BLACKWELL: You are so generous. Thank you.

KAYE: Listen, stay warm. Thank you very much.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Randi.

KAYE: All right, let's check in now with Alexandra Steele in the CNN Weather Center. Alexandra you saw it's pretty bad out there in some parts. Where is the brunt of this storm today, and how much snow can some of these areas expect?

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, the brunt of that big blizzard that moved through the country that he was talking about is now in the northeast in the form of lake effect or lake enhanced snow for the most part. You know, Victor showed all of those airport delays and the predominance of them. Other than Ft. Lauderdale, it's due to winds, be it the northeast and Newark or LaGuardia and of course the weather in San Francisco.

And Ft. Lauderdale, the destination to Ft. Lauderdale is because they are doing runway construction at the airport. That's really slowing things down.

So here's a look at the wind gusts. It's the winds, look, its 35 mile- per-hour gusts in Washington. So the winds are -- are still a scenario here. And certainly not as intense as they were yesterday. But still, 20, 30, 35, maybe 40 mile-per-hour gust are slowing things down and also this lake-effect snow.

So with that being said, as we look toward a white Christmas, who will see it? Well you can see a lot of the country, certainly the northern tier. Remember in western New York, it was a brown ground last Christmas. So certainly all the snow we've seen in the Great Lakes will certainly allow for a white Christmas and great skiing. All the ski resorts in Vermont and New Hampshire down to Snowshoe, West Virginia, is picking up a foot and a half to two feet of course to the west, upper Midwest.

So a white Christmas meteorologically means that there's an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas morning. So it doesn't have to be falling. There just has to be an inch of snow on the ground. All right, so we're looking at Christmas and also the days up to it and a little after it if you're traveling. A few interesting things happening. The west San Francisco has been ensconced in rain and clouds and awful travel troubles as we head through tomorrow. Tomorrow they get into it once again.

But then by Monday, the West Coast clears out, but here's what we're watching for the Tuesday to Thursday time period. So Christmas and then traveling after that, watch what happens here in the southeast. An area of low pressure develops from Tuesday. So it may not be a white Christmas in the southeast, in places like New Orleans or Birmingham or Little Rack or Atlanta, maybe a wet one.

Although just north of that into the Tennessee Valley, we could have a little bit of snow. And then from Tuesday to Thursday, this area of low pressure may move up the spine of the Appalachians and impact the northeast in the mid-Atlantic with some snow. So I was just watching computer guidance on that. That's Tuesday, big picture today. The balance of the country is dry and cold and a little bit windy.

It's the West Coast and the northeast that we're seeing that snow, again, that lake-effect snow around the Great Lakes today. And that's where the heaviest snow will be.

KAYE: All right. Alexandra thank you very much.


KAYE: Now let's turn to Syria. A bombing in Syria killed five people today. The car bomb exploded in a neighborhood in Damascus. No one has claimed responsibility, but Syrian state TV crossed a banner calling the bombing a quote, "terrorist explosion".

So what happens if the country goes over that fiscal cliff we've all heard so much about? Speaker John Boehner's face, well, that says it all, the real consequences is coming your way.


KAYE: We are heading toward the fiscal cliff, and if the White House and Republicans can't reach a deal, taxes will rise, and the economy will be in real jeopardy.

Earlier I talked with Trish Regan, an anchor with Bloomberg TV. And she confirmed the unwanted prospects.


TRISH REGAN, ANCHOR BLOOMBERG TV: Taxes on every American will go up. We will also see the payroll cut -- the payroll tax cut end. So that's another thing that we'll wind up paying. And don't forget, there's two million people right now that are getting an extension on their unemployment benefits. That will end, as well. So a little bit less money Randi in everybody's pockets.

KAYE: Yes. And stock markets, certainly we are watching the market yesterday. They've taken a dive. Why is that? What is the connection and do you see this continuing?

REGAN: All right well, the consumer basically Randi accounts for about two-thirds of this overall economy. So consumer spending is critical to having a healthy economy. So if the consumer is being taxed more, doesn't have as much money to spend, the expectation is the consumer will pull back.

You've also got something else going on and that's if there's a lot of uncertainty in the "C" suite. CEOs are saying "I don't know what the landscape is going to look like over the next six months thus I'm not willing to hire right now." So that's having an effect.

Finally, you know investors don't like the idea that Washington can't quite get it together. They want to see lawmakers be able to come up with a solution. And the idea that it's boiled down to so much political bickering really bothers them. Don't forget, we saw our debt downgraded for the first time ever because Washington couldn't really pull it together. And the thought is if we blow through this fiscal cliff, we could see another debt downgrade, as well.

KAYE: Is there any danger, do you think, in -- in coming up with some a short-term deal which sounds like the direction that they might be heading in after listening to the President late yesterday evening. And then maybe trying to figure out the rest of this down the road is there any risk in doing that?

REGAN: No I don't think there's necessarily a lot of risk there. I think investors would like to see something happen. They would like to see Washington be able to put some kind of band-aid together just to get us over this hump.

And I think the expectation is hopefully Washington will do that. The market is anticipating that something will come forward, will get us through this tough spot and that you know in January, in February we'll come up with some kind of grand bargain, if you would, that will address these longer term issues like entitlements, et cetera, that have to be dealt with.

KAYE: Yes. Could anything good come out of actually going over the cliff?

REGAN: Well, you would see cuts in spending. And the reality is we're running deficits upwards of $1 trillion, which we simply can't afford. We've got $16 trillion worth of debt. So if we go through this cliff, it will force our country to have to cut spending.

But on the flip side, it means higher taxes out of everyone's pocket at a time when the economy is still on fragile ground, showing some signs of recovery. We've got some good ones this week, Randi, but still on fragile ground. And people are worried that if consumers have less money to spend it's going to really take its toll on this U.S. economy.

KAYE: I know you're reading the tea leaves. So what are they telling you? Will we have a deal in time?

REGAN: You know it's interesting. About 66 percent of investors pulled by UBS, the Swiss bank, say that they believe a deal will happen. I can tell you the people that I talk to on my show every day they're placing bets one way or the other. But the majority think there's a real good chance that we blow right through this. That we actually go right through it and they're hedging their bets in the investment community because they're not confident that the politicians will get it done and then it may take some huge market event to really force their hand.

Don't forget when we got TARP through in 2008 that was the bailout package for the financial industry, it didn't happen until the market tanked 800 points.

KAYE: Yes.

REGAN: So they said in absence of a major market event like that, it might be hard to see these politicians really pick up the political will enough to really convince their constituents they needed to vote for something like this.


KAYE: Well, here's something that will help the economy. When you think of technological innovation, you probably think of Silicon Valley. But Google is really changing that, launching a super high- speed Internet connection in a neighborhood in Kansas City.

Tom Foreman has the story on the "American Journey".


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the bustling heart of Kansas City, the pioneer spirit is burning brightly. Entrepreneurs trading ideas, exploring concepts, and much of it revolves around a handful of houses on a few beaten up blocks where some small Internet startups are drawing national attention.

MIKE FARMER, CEO, LEAP2: I can go local.

FOREMAN: Mike Farmer is the CEO of Leap2, a company with a highly advanced mobile search app.

FARMER: People have stopped by the office every day from either Boston, San Francisco, or Denver. It's just fascinating.

FOREMAN (on camera): That must feel pretty good.

FARMER: Yes, it does.

FORMAN (voice-over): One big reason the companies are clustering here is that Google chose this neighborhood to launch its much anticipated super high-speed Internet connection -- 100 times faster than most Internet links. Google Fiber allows massive video, data, and graphic files to move with astonishing speed, permitting development of whole new applications.

Under the plan, within the next two years, large sections of Kansas City on both the Kansas and Missouri sides will be wired.

(on camera): This is exactly what you guys wanted.

CARLOS CASAS, FIELD MANAGER GOOGLE FIBER: Exactly -- that's exactly it. We want local entrepreneurs to take advantage of the faster speeds that Google Fiber will bring and develop. You know, the sky's the limit.

FOREMAN (voice-over): And how high is that? Even the tech wizards aren't sure.

MATTHEW MARCUS, CTO AND CO-FOUNDER, LOCAL RUCKUS (ph): You know, we've been asked that question a few times. The truthful answer is we don't know yet because now we have a new technology that no one else has in the nation. And it can take our business to a new height that we didn't even dream of.

FOREMAN: The practical effects are easier to predict. Better property values, more reasons for investment, for top talent to come and stay.

(on camera); How much impact can all of this have on your city?

MAJOR JOE REARDON, KANSAS CITY, KANSAS: I think at the end of the day if you ask any mayor growing that small business, finding that entrepreneur, willing to take a risk and do that in your community is going to grow jobs and ultimately grow the economy.

FOREMAN (voice-over): For now, dreams are growing wild out on the Silicon Prairie.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Kansas City, Kansas.


KAYE: As Newtown, Connecticut mourns the 26 innocent lives cruelly snatched away in last week's shooting, one group is trying to make sure such a deadly massacre never happens anywhere again.


KAYE: Yesterday much of the country paused to remember the Newtown shooting victims, church bells rang out exactly one week after the tragedy began. Flags remained at half staff, even many Web sites went dark. And people all over the country observed a moment of silence for the 20 children and six teachers and administrators.

Today, there is a walk for peace in Newtown and three more children will be laid to rest. It's heartbreaking every time we see those innocent faces. Anna grace Marquez Greene who loved to counted and sing. Josephine Grace Gay who had just celebrated her 7th birthday. And Emilie Alice Parker, who was bright, creative, and loving.

Meanwhile, there has been a serious backlash on line to the NRA's statement on the shooting. Listen to this powerful video from an iReporter who is also a retired police officer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my NRA club card. I want to show you my tribute and how outraged I am at the loss of life in Newtown, Connecticut. This is what I'm going to do with this card.

That's it.


KAYE: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly posted on his Facebook page, "Gabby and I are extremely disappointed by the NRA's defiant and delayed response. The NRA could have chosen to be a voice for the vast majority of its own members who want common sense, reasonable safeguards on deadly firearms. But instead, it chose to defend extreme, pro-gun positions that aren't even popular among the law-abiding gun owners it represents.

And Connecticut house representative and senator-elect Chris Murphy tweeted this, "Walking out of another funeral and was handed the NRA transcript. The most revolting, tone-deaf statement I've ever seen."

A group of neighbors, meanwhile, in Newtown are coming together after last week's massacre to take on Washington. That means taking on the NRA. They call themselves Newtown United. Their mission: to reduce gun violence and prevent other communities from ever having to live their nightmare.

Bill Toomey helped put together that group and earlier, I spoke with him today and his daughter, Sierra. I asked them if they have made any progress in their talks with politicians on the issue of gun control.


BILL TOOMEY, NEWTOWN UNITED: We had a series of meetings, Randi, actually to try and begin a conversation in the community around what happened and how we can take this terrible tragedy and turn it into something positive. So what we heard from the senators as well as some of our congressional -- the rest of our congressional delegation was that the moment in time is now. That the tide is turning in this country as it relates to gun violence and what we can do about it.

And we want to try and bring the community together as quickly as possible, to try and lend our voice to the national voice so that we can really make something meaningful happen out of this terrible event.

KAYE: And the name of your group is Newtown United. But you say that that group isn't just a representation of your community. What do you mean by that?

B. TOOMEY: Well, it started with a group of neighbors and friends who were just, you know, trying to channel their emotions and make sense of what happened here and start to put some ideas together on what we might be able to do to, again, turn this into something positive.

And what we've heard, not just from folks in the community, but from folks all over the world is that people were deeply touched by what happened here and they do not want these events to go -- to have happened in vain. We should really try and do whatever we can to lend our voice to the national debate on this issue around gun violence.

It's not just about gun control. There's a lot of other issues associated with it. And we want to bring people together in the community as well as across the nation to really make a difference and make sure that we do whatever's necessary to protect our children.

KAYE: People are debating whether teachers should have a gun in the classroom. Sierra, how do you feel about that?

SIERRA TOOMEY, NEWTOWN UNITED: I think that the teachers should focus on teaching instead of carrying a gun, because if they're trying to focus on keeping us safe at the same time as teaching, then it's kind of hard for them to do both at the same time. But they could do other things like keep the doors locked at times and just try to -- we can come up with other ways and stuff.

KAYE: And, Bill, how do you feel about teachers being armed?

B. TOOMEY: I think our teachers have a challenging enough job just being educators and being teachers in our community, and I think the issue of gun violence is a challenging one and I think there are many solutions to the problem. We just need to be able to bring folks together in a way that we can have sensible conversations about these issues and figure out the best course of action moving forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KAYE: That was Bill and Sierra Toomey earlier this morning. And if you want to find out how to help Connecticut shooting victims, just go to

Tax hikes, IRS tax refund delays -- so much remains on the line without a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. How close is Washington to bridging the divide?


KAYE: Washington essentially has shut down for the holidays with no deal in place to avoid the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff. While it's possible an agreement can be reached before the year is out, is it probable? CNN's Karen takes a look at where it all stands.



KARIN CAIFA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After speaking with party leaders Friday afternoon, President Obama called on congress to quickly come up with a solution to avert some end-of-year tax hikes associated with the fiscal cliff.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: In the next few days, I've asked leaders of congress to work toward a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class Americans, protects unemployment insurance for two million Americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on both growth and deficit reduction.

CAIFA: Remarks came after House Speaker John Boehner failed to muster enough of his party support to bring his "Plan B" to the floor. His proposal would have effectively raised taxes only on those Americans making more than $1 million a year.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We had a number of our members who just really didn't want to be perceived as having raised taxes.

CAIFA: The two sides each left the capitol for the Christmas holidays blaming each other for inaction. Democrats said Thursday's failure in the House pointed to a need for more compromise by the GOP.

SENATOR HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: House Republicans have gotten the message loud and clear. A comprehensive solution to the looming fiscal cliff will need to be a bipartisan solution.

CAIFA: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the next move needs to come from the president.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: He's the only one who can do it. This isn't John Boehner's problem to solve.

CAIFA: Without a deal, steep tax hikes and massive government spending cuts are to trigger after January 1. Karin Caifa, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: If there is a new ban on assault weapons, could that mean current gun owners would have to give their guns up? The answer may surprise you.


KAYE: Many Americans from the president on down are sick about what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, and they want tougher gun laws. But the second amendment can make that pretty tricky.

I spoke with CNN legal contributor Paul Callan for his take on how the Supreme Court currently interprets the right to bear arms.


PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: The Supreme Court has held that the second amendment permits people to keep weapons in their house for self-protection. But it doesn't say anything about high-capacity ammunition magazines. It doesn't say anything about what kinds of guns we're allowed to keep so certainly well reasoned restrictions are perfectly legal under the second amendment.

KAYE: And if tougher gun laws are passed by Congress that outlaw the assault rifles and those large ammunition clips that, unfortunately, we've had to talk so much about, what would this mean for the gun owners who currently have them?

CALLAN: Well, this is an important question. I think when we talk about gun control, we ultimately -- really, it's a political question. You know, there are 450 million firearms in America at this moment. There's a huge amount of weaponry out there.

And some of those are these -- what we call assault weapons. Gun enthusiasts say they're just sort of rifles that you can -- you can change the configuration of, and you only have to pull the trigger once and one bullet comes out. They're not machine guns or automatic weapons.

But those weapons that you can put a high-capacity clip into have been involved in a lot of these mass killings. And certainly there's going to be a major battle about whether people who already have those guns can have the guns taken away from them.

From a legal standpoint, Randi, yes, you could take them away. I mean, we take people's land away. That's called eminent domain. You pay them for when you take the property back. Yes, it could be done.

Politically, will we try to do it? We never have in the past. So I don't know whether the political will is there to do it.

KAYE: Let me ask you about this new CNN/ORC poll that shows 52 percent of Americans favor major restrictions on guns or making all guns illegal. What influence do you think this might have on Congress or the courts? Any influence at all? CALLAN: No, I think it has a big influence. And I think through the years, you know, you hit a tipping point on issues where the public finally starts to say, something's got to be done. You know, I think this shooting in Connecticut is a tipping point.

And if, you know, the Obama administration acts quickly, there may be a chance to put some new regulations in place. But unfortunately, the public has had a short memory on these things.

The other thing you have to remember is, you know, the NRA says more than 50 percent of Americans support gun ownership. And statistically, a lot more people than you think have guns in their homes.

I've seen the statistic, more than 65 percent of people who identify as Republicans have guns in their homes. More than 25 percent of Democrats do and so a lot of people have guns in their homes. It's -- they believe in it. So it's always difficult to pass regulations that restrict gun ownership.

KAYE: Yes. This isn't even the first time that a U.S. president has gone after gun laws and assault rifles and those large ammo clips. What do you think is the difference this time around, and will whatever that is make a difference?

CALLAN: I think the difference here is that children were involved. And I think that this is something, you know, I don't care where you live, who you are, whether you're a gun enthusiast or not, you look at this and say, we've got to find a way to prevent this from happening.


KAYE: CNN legal contributor, Paul Callan, thank you very much.

Holidays got you stressed out? Well, it's a bigger problem than you might think. It can damage your health. Coming up, an expert will show you ways to relieve all that holiday stress.


KAYE: Stress is an unavoidable part of the holidays, whether it's last-minute Christmas shopping, planning for a big party, or packing for a holiday trip. Earlier, dietetic technician and fitness expert, Desiree Nathanson told me stress tends to build up.


DESIREE NATHANSON, FITNESS EXPERT: The more often you're stressed it leads to chronic stress, which can in turn have a terrible effect on your body.

KAYE: It will affect your health, it's a really serious issue?

NATHANSON: Yes, you can get elevated blood pressure. It can lead to disease, diabetes, there's so many problems that stress can lead to depression, anxiety. KAYE: Yes. Not good. That --


KAYE: All right, so we all get stressed out, though we handle it differently. Are there some techniques? I mean, I like to do yoga and then do some breathing exercises. What do you suggest? What do you like?

NATHANSON: I have many techniques. First, you want to make sure you stay hydrated. You want to keep your body functioning normally throughout this whole process. You want to eat well. You want to exercise regularly.

If you can't focus on those things, you want to try to stay away from sweets because sweets, they'll make you feel good temporarily, but then in the long term, it will just make the problem worse, same with alcohol.

KAYE: So what's so important about yoga, for example? I mean, the breathing is really good, even if you're not doing yoga. Just taking in some deep breaths can respect relieve stress, right?

NATHANSON: Yoga and meditation are wonderful. A lot of people turn to prayer or meditation. It's not necessarily a miracle. It's focusing inward and calming your mind. There are a few yoga poses you can do that are restorative and relaxing.

KAYE: Let's see.

NATHANSON: So first, of course, is child's pose. I think a lot of people know child's pose.

KAYE: One of my favorites.

NATHANSON: Yes. Get down on the floor on your knees and just lean forward to where your chest is touching your thighs. If you're not as flexible doing this then you can place a pillow or blanket between your butt and your heels so that will help support you. You can also do forward bends.

I love doing forward bends. So even if you're not that flexible to where you can't touch your toes, you can just kind of come here and relax because, again, it's calming and focusing inward.

KAYE: I could use some of that right now. I wish I wasn't wearing a dress. I'd get on the ground with you.

NATHANSON: Absolutely.

KAYE: What else?

NATHANSON: Legs up the wall is a very good restorative pose.

KAYE: Yes. NATHANSON: So we'll pretend that I have a wall here. You'll lay on your back, and then you just want to try to put your legs. I've got a mic pack, but --

KAYE: You lean up against the wall.

NATHANSON: Yes, and relax. So you want your tailbone up against the wall so that everything's that kind of settling down.

KAYE: So that reverses gravity for a bit.

NATHANSON: Yes. And you can breathe for a few minutes. That's really nice.

KAYE: You know, some people also in terms of how they handle stress, you mentioned blood sugar, some people eat and some people don't eat.


KAYE: So how much does blood sugar play a role in if the stress continues or not?

NATHANSON: So when you're stressed, it increases stress hormones which is Cortisol and Cortisol in turn has an effect on blood sugar. So it's really going to screw with your blood sugar, and you really want to make sure that you are eating regularly so that you keep your blood sugars level.

KAYE: OK, and because it's the holidays, doing good, that helps to reduce stress?

NATHANSON: Yes, absolutely even if you just smile at a stranger. And if that's kind of awkward for you, just perhaps -- doing something nice and the act of smiling alone and laughing like you just did can relieve anxiety and tension.


KAYE: Some great tips there from our good friend, Desiree.

One of Boston's finest is being credited with a daring rescue, and it was all caught on video, the incredible story just ahead.

And this -- when traveling to other cities and countries, the best way to get real taste of the place is through local food. CNN I-Report has teamed up with "Travel and Leisure" magazine to create a global list of 100 places to eat like a local. Here's CNN's Martin Savidge in Cleveland with a sample for us.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Martin Savidge. I grew up in Cleveland. Trust me, if you're looking to eat where the Clevelander eat, it doesn't get any more Clevelander than here.

(voice-over): For more than half a century, Sterley's Country Houses has been a landmark in Cleveland's community.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We always have live entertainment here Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays.

SAVIDGE: Three words -- family, fun, food.

(on camera): So signature dishes?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say the wiener schnitzel.

SAVIDGE: Weiner schnitzel, the classic described on the menu as buttery veal hand pounded with bread crumbs and lightly fried to golden perfection.

(voice-over): In the kitchen, you see how the magic is made.

(on camera): What have we got coming out of the back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's got the fried schnitzel for the dinner. Pounded, golden brown, breaded and deep fried, like I said, the kitchen, a lot of love in those to get them done right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got the schnitzel and the Slovenian potatoes highly recommended, and the stuffed cabbage. Awesome.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): You don't have to be old or even from the old country to enjoy this place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am celebrating my birthday. I got my friends together, to do something different and having some fun.

SAVIDGE: The nice thing about this is after you've had a good meal, probably got the strudel, you go out and burn it off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They've been coming here since day one.

SAVIDGE: Get the dessert and get dancing. I hope you enjoyed it. If you're ever in Cleveland, you know what they say -- stop on by. In the meantime, I'm going to go work off some of the food. Mary? Martin Savidge, CNN, Cleveland.


KAYE: And I-Reporters, here's your chance to help us create a food lover's map of the world. Just go to places and all you have to do is send a photo of your favorite restaurant and the dish. Tell us why it's special, how you discovered this place. The final list of 100 places to eat like a local will be revealed in March. Some I-Reporters will be on that list. So be sure to stay tuned and see if you are one of them.


KAYE: A Boston police officer is being hailed a hero after a daring and frigid water rescue. The harrowing ordeal was caught on video. Amanda Grace from CNN affiliate WHDH has the story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANDA GRACE, WHDH REPORTER (voice-over): Cell phone video captures Boston Police Officer Edward Norton taking the plunge. He jumped into the frigid Fort Point Channel in a downpour to rescue a woman who had fallen into the water.

OFFICER EDWARD NORTON, BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: She was in that water calling for help and I can swim.

HAL MUNGER, WITNESS: He didn't hesitate, ran down the steps, took off his belt and jumped in the water and swam over to get her.

GRACE: Officer Norton says the woman was drowning and he didn't think twice about diving in.

NORTON: One of the other officers had been given the life preserver from someone else. I think it came from the Tea Party Museum so, that helped a lot. I was able to hold onto her with -- hold onto that while she was holding on to the life preserver while holding myself up with the raft that was out there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The life preserver around her and they swam to this floating device right here and just held on until the fire department came and then the divers jumped in the water after them.

GRACE: Bystanders watched as a boat picked Officer Norton, the woman and the two firefighters, all four were taken to the hospital to be checked out for hypothermia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you what, that cop was a hero today. He didn't even think twice about it.

GRACE: But Officer Norton says it was all in a day's work.

NORTON: That's our job to show up when people call for help, so if we don't help, then no one's going to.


KAYE: Definitely a hero. Amanda Grace, our thanks to you.

CNN "NEWSROOM" starts at the top of the hour. Miguel Marquez is in today for Fredricka. No pressure, but can I share with the audience --


KAYE: This is the first time that Miguel's going to be anchoring for CNN.


KAYE: You haven't been here that long.

MARQUEZ: I've been here since February.

KAYE: Second round.

MARQUEZ: Back since February, first time anchoring so I'm very, very excited.

KAYE: Pressure is on.

MARQUEZ: We have a great show today.

KAYE: I'm sure.

MARQUEZ: We have, you know, badges.

KAYE: Yes, I have one.

MARQUEZ: You have a badge, an I.D. card it has a microchip in it. Does that indicate the sign of the beast? A Texas team says it does. She's taking her school to court.

I was out in Utah the other day doing a story on bullet-resistant backpacks for children given the tragedy in Newtown, pretty interesting story there, how those are selling for parents concerned.

KAYE: That's interesting.

MARQUEZ: And on a lot lighter note, the hot movies for this Christmas season.

KAYE: You don't have a chance to see movies.

MARQUEZ: I watch them on planes, always a few years old basically.

KAYE: Have you seen this? People look at me like I'm crazy because they're three years ago.

MARQUEZ: I'm behind on basically everything.

KAYE: All right, well, we will be watching. We'll check back with you in a few minutes, Miguel.

A high-tech treasure hunting game along the trails in Washington ends with a rescue of something much more valuable. That story coming your way next.


KAYE: If you've never heard of geocaching, it's a high-cash treasure hunting game where you use a GPS to hide or find containers hidden by other people. Players never know what they're going to find. That couldn't be more true for one Washington enthusiast. Eric Wilkinson from CNN affiliate King TV has the story.


ERIC WILKINSON, KING TV REPORTER (voice-over): You never know what you'll come across when hiking the trails of Western Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Check it from time to time to get a bearing.

WILKINSON: That's what Tom Wenzl loves the most. Tom is an avid geocacher, always on the hunt for hidden treasures.

TOM WENZL, GEOCACHING ENTHUSIAST: It's a lot of fun. It's like the biggest Easter egg hunt in the world.

WILKINSON (on camera): Typically when geocachers are out on the trail, they're looking for little prizes like this. Typically, it's just cheap trinkets, but this Time Wenzl was on the trail of something much more valuable.


WILKINSON (voice-over): Brenda Johnston was recently lost on little mountain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is 911, what is your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so lost now, my god.

WILKINSON: She strayed onto an unfamiliar trail and got disoriented when the sun went down.

BRENDA JOHNSTON, HIKER: I knew that I could get out, but I kept trying and I kept feeling like I was getting more lost.

WILKINSON: But Brenda did the right thing. She called 911 and stayed put. It just so happened Officer Tom Wenzl was on duty.

WENZL: So I went geocaching.

WILKINSON: He got the latitude and launched to the cell phone from the 911 dispatch center plugged into his geocaching app and started searching.

WENZL: The other officer that was walking with me, you sure you know where we're going? I said, look, she's 0.1 mile directly that way.

WILKINSON: Within 30 minutes they located Brenda, an easy find for this geocaching cop.

WENZL: You're looking for thimbles and now you have a full-sized human who can talk back to you when you get close.

WILKINSON: A hiker and a hobbyist. Fortunate they crossed each other's paths.

JOHNSTON: Thank you for coming in and caching me out.

WENZL: You're welcome. You guys have fun.


KAYE: And CNN "NEWSROOM" continues with Miguel Marquez now. I am out of here. MARQUEZ: Have a lovely evening. Thank you very much.