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Earthquake Hits Alaska Coast; Unemployment Hold Steady; Congress on Collision Course; American Activist in Syria; Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Baby Veronica; Nutrition Expert Shares Fitness Tips

Aired January 5, 2013 - 06:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.

Partisan, unpopular, ineffective. Just some of the words used to describe Congress. All morning long, we'll go in focus on whether the House of Representatives is more like a house of cards.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Guess who's going to North Korea and has the State Department steaming. Here's a hint. He runs a search engine company you likely use every day.

And, NBA cheerleading coach Desiree is back. She'll explain those work out myths that are keeping you from the body you want.

It is Saturday, January 5th. Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's good to be with you. Good to be with you. We haven't been in these seats together for some time.

KAYE: No. No, it's been a little bit.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but it's good to be back.

Hey, we're going to start this morning with breaking news.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLACKWELL: A tsunami warning is in effect after a massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit off the southern coast of Alaska. It happened around 4:00 a.m. Eastern this morning. Officials urge anyone in the warning area to move inland and find higher ground.

Joining me on the phone this morning is geophysicist Randy Baldwin from the National Earthquake Information Center.

Randy, first, give us the information about this tsunami. The West Coast and Alaska tsunami warning said that -- the warning center said that this tsunami could come with significant, widespread inundation of land, it's expected. Can you quantify this? Give us some numbers.

RANDY BALDWIN, GEOPHYSICIST (via telephone): Well, there has been a recent update of that advisory. And the last that I heard was that the warnings have been canceled. BLACKWELL: So the warnings --

BALDWIN: And there was a small, local wave that was generated. Approximately a six inch wave that was generated within that regional area. And that was measured at Port Alexander.

BLACKWELL: So, that six inch wave, is that going to be the worst that this area -- British Columbia, this island area of Craig (ph), and the state of Alaska, is that the worst that they can expect?

BALDWIN: Well, that was the information that was provided by the warning center. So if you need additional information, you know, go to the website and they issue additional information as they receive it.

BLACKWELL: Any information about damage as a result of this earthquake?

BALDWIN: No. No reports of damage. Due probably to its remoteness. It's located about 60 miles offshore from southeastern Alaska. So it's out in the ocean. And we haven't had any reports of damage. It was felt throughout the region, mostly at Juneau, which is a couple of hundred miles or so to the north.

BLACKWELL: So this area we're talking about, not a lot of people live there?

BALDWIN: That's correct, yes.

BLACKWELL: OK. Randy Baldwin with the National Earthquake Information Center. Thank you for that update. Good news that this is not going to be as devastating of a situation as first thought.

KAYE: Well, it's a new year and a new jobs report is out. December's unemployment rate remained steady at 7.8 percent. Employers added 155,000 jobs. The news led to a good ending to a short week for Wall Street.

Here's CNN's Alison Kosik with a look at how the markets did.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It was quite the volatile week on Wall Street. Between the fiscal cliff, the shorter trading week, and the jobs report, there were some major forces for investors to contend with. But in the end, stocks ended with a bang.

The Dow tacked on almost 4 percent this week. The Nasdaq rose almost 5 percent. And the S&P 500 closed at its highest level since 2007. But getting to that point was no easy feat.

Here's how it went down. Monday, New Year's Eve, the Dow soared more than 160 points, even though Wall Street was closing out the year without a deal on the fiscal cliff. But, investors were focusing on the positive, especially after President Obama said a deal was within sight. Just after the ball dropped in Times Square, the Senate passed legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. Markets were closed Tuesday. And that night, the House moved the deal forward.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thanks to the votes of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, while preventing a middle class tax hike.

KOSIK: With that in mind, the first trading day of the new year kicked off with a bang. The Dow soared more than 300 points. Financial shares surged. Visa and MasterCard shares reached all time highs. The deal wasn't the grand bargain people had hoped for, but it allowed the economy to avert the fiscal cliff, at least for now, and that was good enough for Wall Street. Thursday and Friday were pretty tame days by comparison. Wall Street even managed to post gains on the back of a so-so jobs report. And so a crazy week, but one with a positive ending.


BLACKWELL: $9 billion down, another $51 billion to go. Congress passed a fraction of the relief funding needed for the northeast to recover from Superstorm Sandy in October. While the $9 billion passed relatively easily, the next bill, the $51 billion in aid, is expected to face much more scrutiny when Congress takes it up January 15th.

KAYE: Sources tell CNN that President Obama is likely to nominate Republican Chuck Hagel as defense secretary next week. Hagel was a former senator from Nebraska who retired in 2009. The president has called Hagel a patriot, but critics have noted that Hagel has opposed sanctions against Iran and the surge of troops in Iraq under the Bush administration.

BLACKWELL: It may be a new year, but Congress, it appears, that it's reverting to its old ways. The same old same old. With multiple budget crises ahead, like the debt ceiling and automatic spending cuts, the continuing budget resolution, the people who watch Capitol Hill say the partisanship and the brinkmanship will be as bitter as ever. CNN's national political correspondent Jim Acosta explains why.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, how are you?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I have -- I have to say it's going fine (ph).

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After surviving a failed coup led by his own members, a beleaguered House Speaker John Boehner wants to take that same fractured party into battle. In a closed door meeting of House Republicans, a source in the room tells CNN, Boehner said he will demand budget cuts that are larger than any increase in the nation's debt limit. "With the fiscal cliff behind us," Boehner told his members, "the focus turns to spending." That puts Republicans in Congress back on a collision course with the White House after the president insisted earlier this week he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed.

ACOSTA: If the president won't come to the bargaining table, one top Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn, says in an op-ed in "The Houston Chronicle," "it may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country."

Democrats warn, watch out.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Risking government shutdown, risking not raising the debt ceiling is playing with fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On this vote, the yeas are 354, the nays are 67.

ACOSTA: A preview of that brinkmanship came in the House, where 67 Republicans, including House Budget Chair Paul Ryan, voted against $9.7 billion in aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy, despite the tongue lashing they got from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Shame on you. Shame on Congress.

ACOSTA: The fact that the rest of the storm relief is now up in the air until a vote later this month was a letdown for New York and New Jersey lawmakers. Even the freshmen.

REP. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D), NEW YORK: I'm new here. I don't know all the rules of Washington, but it sure seems like the rule here is to put off till tomorrow what should be done today.

ACOSTA: It was a return to the reality of broken government in Washington.

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Come on, mom. Take a chance. Ruin your reputation here.

ACOSTA: After all of that good will on display when Vice President Joe Biden was swearing in members of the 113th Congress and hamming it up with their loved ones. One day later, we asked the vice president if things have changed.

ACOSTA (on camera): Mr. Vice President, are we back to a season of bipartisanship here?

ACOSTA (voice-over): His response, off camera, "we're back to certifying the election."

Biden was heading into the House to confirm the results of the presidential election. A ritual mandated in the Constitution and a reminder of the few things that can get done without a fight.

ACOSTA (on camera): Asked whether the Congress is returning to its old pattern of brinkmanship, one top GOP aide told CNN, quote, "absolutely," saying the next few weeks won't be fun.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Capitol Hill.


KAYE: In a world away from Washington, students from Sandy Hook Elementary returned to school for the first time since the tragic shooting that killed 26. And yesterday, the town had a special visitor, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Giffords met with local leaders, discussing gun control and mental health issues.

The congresswoman retired last year to focus on her recovery. You can see she still has a little bit of trouble there walking. Giffords was one of 19 people shot at a political rally in Arizona back in 2010.

BLACKWELL: Lance Armstrong's fall from grace continues. "The New York Times" reports that he's contemplating publicly admitting that he doped. And sources tell the paper he's considering an admission because he wants to persuade anti doping officials to allow him to get back to professional cycling. "The Times" source is unnamed associates and doping officials in its report, but Armstrong's attorney tells CNN, his client is not in talks with the U.S. or world doping agencies.

As you may recall, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life last year after the U.S. Anti Doping Agency found there was overwhelming evidence that he was part of a sophisticated doping program.

KAYE: A house divided. Partisanship and infighting has dominated the political landscape. But will a new Congress change what's become the norm, or will the house of cards remain as unstable as ever? We'll be trying to answer that question all morning.


BLACKWELL: To politics now and the infighting on Capitol Hill. If we've learned anything from the last week, it's that there are major divisions in Congress. Partisan fighting pushed us over the fiscal cliff, if even it was just for that one day. We're focusing on the problems in Congress this morning and whether the House of Representatives looks more like a house of cards.

Speaker John Boehner was just re-elected this week by fellow House Republicans, but this was no slam dunk. Fourteen members voted no. And the vote was unanimous the last time around. Some of the dissenters said they wanted to send a message to the speaker. Well, here's the message back he sent to them after the vote.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: So if you've come here to see your name in the lights or to pass off a political victory as some accomplishment, you've come to the wrong place. The door is right behind you.


BLACKWELL: Well, the American people don't see Boehner in a favorable light. This is the CNN/ORC poll. In it they gave him a 34 percent job approval rating, while President Obama was at 52 percent.

Let's not forget, John Boehner is arguably the second most powerful man in Washington, but he was elected by just 246,000 people in his home district in Ohio. That's compared to more than 65 million people who elected President Obama.

Then there's the fiscal cliff. And the fact that Boehner was never able to come up with a suitable deal of his own. That job was ultimately left up to the Senate after more than a month of Boehner negotiations with the president went nowhere. Boehner ended up voting for the Senate deal. But 55 Republicans went against their leader and voted no. That includes the GOP's number two man in the House, Eric Cantor.

Now put the fiscal cliff behind us and let's talk about the controversy over Superstorm Sandy relief. The speaker did not bring up the bill for a vote after the cliff vote and that set off Democrats and Republicans. Here's what New York Congressman Peter King told me earlier this week.


REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I was chasing the speaker all over the House floor last night, talking -- trying to talk to him and his staff, and he kept telling me, when the vote's over, when the fiscal cliff vote is over, everything will be taken care of. And then he was gone. And he refused to meet with us. He actually yelled at Congressman LoBiondo (ph), I'm not meeting with you people. So, he wouldn't tell us why. He just decided to sneak off in the dark of night.


BLACKWELL: And here's how New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell described it during yesterday's debate.


REP. BILL PASCRELL (D), NEW JERSEY: It took only 10 days after Katrina until President Bush signed $60 billion in Katrina aid. It was passed by the Congress of the United States. How dare you come to this floor and make people think everything is OK? In fact, one of the gentlemen from New Jersey said, we've not waited at all. Well, the insurance runs out in one week. What were we going to do, wait for one week and then act? We wouldn't even be here. Who the heck you kidding?

So we all come together very nicely this morning for breakfast and eggs. And we know what has happened over the last 10 days. This is a total, total disaster in helping those people that we are pompously saying today and pontificating about we're helping them. Isn't that wonderful. What's our jobs? We're not doing anybody any favors. That's why we were sent here. Try it once in a while, democracy. You may like it.


BLACKWELL: Genuine anger on the House floor.

And now there's a lot more business at hand. The debt ceiling debate has already started. And there are more votes ahead on Sandy relief. So, when does the Republican Party go from here? There are 84 new congressmen coming into the House. Coming up next hour, we'll talk with one of those freshmen to get his impression of the house of cards.

KAYE: An American film maker has returned from Syria where he witnessed the tragedy of war and found out why rebels say they always keep one last bullet.


BLACKWELL: (INAUDIBLE) say President Hugo Chavez has a severe lung infection and is, quote, "fighting for his health." The controversial leader is now in Cuba where he went for his fourth cancer operation last month. And his fragile health is casting doubt on whether the 58- year-old will be able to be inaugurated next week.

New details are emerging about the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student in New Delhi. The horrific crime has led to widespread protests in India and the victim's male friend, who was also attacked, is speaking out for the first time about the horrific attack. And here's what he told Reuters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): From where we boarded the bus, they took us around for two, two and a half hours, across overpasses, through all of Delhi. Then they dropped us below an overpass. Then they tried to run over us. We had no clothes. We waited there hoping someone would help us. I tried to flag down vehicles. Three wheeler taxies would slow down, take a look at us, and move on. We got no help for nearly 20 or 25 minutes.


BLACKWELL: So far, five men have been charged with murder, rape, and kidnapping in this case. They appear in court on Monday.

A big breakthrough for a Pakistani girl who's become an international symbol of courage. Malala Yousafzai was discharged from a British hospital. It's happening just three months after being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for speaking out for female education in her native country. Her recovery, however, is still far from over. She'll likely need to undergo cranial reconstructive surgery soon.

KAYE: And now we head to the Middle East. Twenty-seven American troops have arrived in Turkey to help guard the country from missiles coming from Syria. They will man a patriot missile defense system. Meanwhile, Syria's civil war rages on. The rebels have fought for three days to take control of a helicopter base in northern Syria.

This week, the United Nations estimated the death toll in Syria has risen to more than 60,000 people. That's more than the number of American combat deaths in Vietnam. But it may be hard to understand the emotional toll that it's taking on the people there. So an American activist traveled to Syria to talk with the rebels who say that they prefer death over being caught by the regime.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I joked that I have -- I always keep one bullet left in my gun for myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You must keep one bullet here in Syria. You keep it for yourself. It's better than if the regime catches you. I guarantee that for you. You must keep one bullet.


KAYE: And joining me now is Nick Valencia, who spoke to the man who shot the video. His name is Matthew VanDyke.

Good morning to you.


KAYE: So, I guess he just returned from Syria. What was his goal in going? I mean a lot of people would say, not me.

VALENCIA: Yes, he's a very complicated character, a very complicated person. He's a former journalist, Randi, turned self-proclaimed American freedom fighter. He fought alongside the rebels in Libya. And now he's a documentary film maker.

He went with the rebels in Syria to try to make a film on pro FSA, a pro FSA, Free Syria Army, film, to help them raise money for things like weapons and ammunition. He says right now, Randi, $2 -- it costs them, the rebels, $2 per bullet for these Kalashnikov rifles. And there are rebels in Syria that want to pick up arms, they want to fight, they want to try to topple the Assad regime, but they just can't do it. It's too expensive for them.

KAYE: And he thinks he can actually help the rebels?

VALENCIA: That's his goal and those are his intentions. He believes that he can help. In fact, he thinks that he's doing it right now. He wants to make a tangible impact financially and help the rebels gain more access to resources so they can fight.

KAYE: We know that he did this in Libya. I mean he's really building a reputation as an activist.


KAYE: But, Syria has to feel much more dangerous, a much more scary place even than Libya. VALENCIA: Oh --

KAYE: Has he shared any of that with you?

VALENCIA: Most definitely. And I've kept in contact with him over the last several months and I even spoke to him while he was in Syria. He says, Randi, he's been in Iraq, he's been in Afghanistan, he was in Libya, of course, fighting alongside the rebels there. He said this is the most violence he's ever seen. The first day he was there, he saw an infant without its head. He was shot at by snipers. Just a very dangerous situation the whole time that he was there.

KAYE: And who is he exactly? I mean what kind of person goes and does this? I mean we know he's a journalist, but what more can you tell us?

VALENCIA: Yes. Well, on paper, he seems like a normal, everyday, average American. You know, he went to Georgetown University. He has a masters in security studies with a concentration in the Middle East. He's from Baltimore. He comes from a good family.

In fact, interestingly enough, his mom takes him to the airport on these trips. When he went to Libya, his mom drove him to the airport. When he went to Syria, his mom drove him to the airport. He's got a long-time girlfriend who supports him.

KAYE: Oh, my goodness.

VALENCIA: I've even spoken to his girlfriend, who says, listen, Nick, I know that this sounds crazy what he's doing, but he's doing it for the best intentions. He doesn't want to sit on his couch and watch his friends -- friends die every day. He had friends in Libya, which is why he went there. And he's not somebody that just picked up a gun and went. You know, he has got a background in this. He has an expertise in the Middle East. And now he's hoping that he can help, you know, help support the rebels in Syria.

KAYE: Yes, admirable work, but I'm sure, besides his family, I'm sure the U.S. government worries about him as well, Nick. All right.

VALENCIA: Absolutely.

KAYE: Yes.

VALENCIA: We'll hear from him more next hour.

KAYE: Yes.

VALENCIA: He's going to be on next hour and he's got a lot to talk about.

KAYE: Yes, I'm sure. As Nick mentioned, activist and filmmaker Matthew VanDyke will be on with us next hour to talk about his amazing experience in Syria.

Back here at home, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide who becomes the parents of a three-year-old native American girl. The continuing battle to bring Baby Veronica home.


KAYE: It is half past the hour. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thank you for starting your day with us.

Here are five stories we're watching this morning.

Sources tell CNN that President Obama is likely to nominate Republican Chuck Hagel to replace Leon Panetta as defense secretary next week. Hagel is a former senator from Nebraska who retired in 2009. Now, the president has called Hagel a patriot, but critics have noted that Hagel has opposed sanctions against Iran and the surge of troops in Iraq under the Bush administration.

KAYE: The Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak says its cleaning company should share the blame for the outbreak, which has led to 39 deaths. The New England Compounding Center sent a letter to UniFirst corporation demanding it share the responsibility for a tainted steroid used as a pain reliever. UniFirst said the accusation is, quote, without merit.

BLACKWELL: The FDA wants your input on two new rules it says should drastically cut down the cases of food poisoning by as many as a million cases a year. The proposed rules focus on how farms here and abroad process produce and they set standards on how food is handled. The CDC says one out of six Americans get sick from a food borne illness every year and people have until spring to comment.

KAYE: Oklahoma prosecutors are seeking death for two men accused of killing three people apparently because they were African-American. Jacob Carl England and Alvin Lee Watts are charged with first-degree murder for the killings that happened last April in Tulsa. The men are also facing a malicious harassment charge. Oklahoma's equivalent to a hate crime offense. Two other victims survived.

BLACKWELL: In Kansas one man is learning the hard way the state's law regarding sperm donation. Listen to this. 46-year-old William Marotta answered a Craigslist ad in 2009 from a lesbian couple who wanted to conceive. All the three signed an agreement freeing Marotta of any financial obligation, but the couple became pregnant in their home, not at the doctor's office and in the state of Kansas that makes their previous agreement invalid.

Well, now the state is asking Marotta to pay $6,000 and child support. But he is fighting back in court. I spoke with Marotta and his attorney about this strange case including why he even answered that ad. We'll hear from them in our next hour.

KAYE: If you've been following the emotional custody battle of a three-year-old girl known as baby Veronica you know how complicated this case has become. And there are about to be even more people involved -- the Supreme Court justices. The high court decided Friday that they'll hear an appeal from the girl's adoptive parents who are challenging a 34-year-old federal law that removed Veronica from them and awarded custody to her biological father who is Native American. I had the chance to speak with the adoptive parents who are just looking forward to baby Veronica coming home.


KAYE: This is video from the last time Matt and Melanie Capobianco saw their little girl Veronica -- New Year's Eve, 2011. They had raised her for two years and were in the process of adopting her when a South Carolina family court ordered them to hand her over to the girl's biological father.

(on camera): Do you think this is in her best interests?


KAYE (voice over): A man Veronica had never even met.

MATT CAPOBIANCO, FIGHTING FOR CUSTODY OF VERONICA: For a little girl to be put in the car with strangers and driven to Oklahoma and having no recourse or control over it, I mean, you know, we're her parents. I'm her father, you know. Supposed to be there to protect her. And ...

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO, FIGHTING FOR CUSTODY OF VERONICA Do you want to be an engineer when you grow up?


KAYE: Now three, Veronica is caught in the middle of one of the strangest adoption cases we've ever heard. It all began in 2009 before she was born when Veronica's biological mother put her up for adoption. The Capobianco was thrilled when an adoption attorney connected them with Veronica's biological mom. She told them the girl's father Dustin Brown had agreed to waive his parental rights. When Veronica was born, it was Matt who cut the umbilical cord. Ever since, she lived with them in South Carolina.

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: I guess people think that we're not supposed to love her until the ink is dry. We're supposed to kind of care for her until, you know, everything is, you know, here's down the line and she's adopted.

KAYE: The Capobiancos were heartbroken when just four months after they brought Veronica home her biological father filed for paternity and custody even though he had already signed a legal document saying he would not contest Veronica's adoption. He was able to do so thanks to a little known federal law from 1978 called the Indian Child Welfare Act. You see, Brown is part Cherokee and a member of the Cherokee Nation, which means Veronica is part Cherokee, too. Congress passed the law after finding 30 percent of Indian children were being removed from their homes and almost all of them were being placed with non-Indian families. The law is designed to keep Indian children with Indian family members and protect the interests of those children. MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: I don't know how tearing a child away from the only family she has ever known without any transition period and no visitation is in her best interests.

KAYE: The attorney general for the Cherokee Nation thinks the law is working.

TODD HEMBREE, CHEROKEE NATION ATTORNEY GENERAL: It is not anyone's ever intent to rip a child away from a loving home, but we want to make sure those loving homes have the opportunity to be Indian homes first.

KAYE: After the family court ruled in Dustin Brown's favor the Capobiancos petitioned the South Carolina Supreme Court hoping the higher court would overturn the ruling.

In July after more than three months of waiting the Capobiancos got more bad news. The Supreme Court here in South Carolina ruled in favor of Veronica's biological father. It wasn't an easy decision for the court, though. The justices were split, three to two. In the majority opinion they wrote, they're upholding the family court's ruling with a heavy heart.

The majority opinion concluded the biological father and his family have created a safe, loving, and appropriate home for her. Those in the dissenting opinion argued federal law shouldn't trump state law, finding father knowingly abandoned his parental responsibilities in every respect. Lawyers for Dustin Brown say, quote, he is a good parent, and Veronica is happy, healthy, and thriving. Since she went to live with her biological father, the Capobiancos say they have only been allowed to speak with her once.

MATT CAPOBIANCO: We told her that we loved her and she said, I love you, too. And that was it.


KAYE: But Matt and Melanie haven't given up. They are taking their case to the United States Supreme Court.

MATT CAPOBIANCO: You don't ever stop fighting for your child, ever.

KAYE (on camera): The United States Supreme Court according to our legal experts doesn't take that many cases. They get 7,000 cases a year.


KAYE: And they take about 80.


KAYE: Why do you think they should take this one?

MATT CAPOBIANCO: So many families have been hurt by the, you know, misuse of this law. And, You know, we've said before, too, we don't think it is necessarily a bad law with bad intention, but it is definitely being misused. It doesn't apply to -- she wasn't removed from an existing Indian home. She was never in an Indian home. She was with us from the very beginning.

This is her room.

KAYE (voice over): And in some ways Veronica is still with them. Her bedroom is still set up.

(on camera): You know, I look around and I see her toys and her books and her little cook set.

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: It makes it harder, but taking it away is the hardest.

MATT CAPOBIANCO: You know, and this is her home. It'll always be her home. But she is going to come home, she's going to play with this stuff again.

MELANIE CAPOBIANCO: It's just a symbol of our hope that she is coming home.


KAYE: The next hour I'll speak with Matt and Melanie Capobianco and get their reaction to the Supreme Court decision now to hear their appeal.

BLACKWELL: It was once referred to as the terror network and now it's coming to the U.S. cable market. We'll tell you why a huge payday for Al Gore is raising some eyebrows.



DAVID LETTERMAN, LATE NIGHT SHOW: Well, Al-Jazeera has purchased Al Gore's old TV network, old Current TV, so it is now owned by Al - Jazeera. And listen to this. $500 million. $500 million. This is a little something Al Gore has come up with called global fleecing.



KAYE: That was David Letterman having a little fun with the sale of Al Gore's cable channel Current TV.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but the deal really raised a lot of money and quite a few eyebrows. Half a billion dollars. That's the first thing that gets your eyebrows up.

KAYE: Yes, certainly. And maybe a hundred million for Al Gore, which is a pretty big deal. And reaction, as you saw, it hasn't all been positive. I guess within hours of the announcement time Warner discontinued Current TV. BLACKWELL: Yes, they ...

KAYE: ... said no way we're not going to do this. They're kind of reconsidering.

BLACKWELL: True. They are reconsidering that. You know, one of the things that we reported earlier is that there was a consideration that Glenn Beck wanted to buy the network and that the answer came back quickly not going to happen.

KAYE: Well, it is going to give Al-Jazeera a pretty big foothold, a bigger certainly than they have now ...


KAYE: ... in the U.S. 40 to 60 million homes.


KAYE: But, you know, not everybody thinks that it's a great thing. Certainly during the Gulf War and during the Bush administration a lot of people didn't like the voice that Al-Jazeera was putting forward.

BLACKWELL: Yes. They played the videos from Osama bin Laden and a lot of people still see Al-Jazeera as the terror network or the terrorist network. So they're going to have to spend a lot of time, probably a lot of money to try to change that image as we learn more about Al- Jazeera English that comes in a few months.

KAYE: Another story we're telling that this morning is a word that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is going to be visiting North Korea, he's going with the former Governor Bill Richardson. Richardson, we know, has traveled to North Korea.


KAYE: Before. Kind of interesting.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and you know what? This is making a whole lot of people angry especially at the State Department. Now, they say they're not going as official business for the U.S. government. That's clear because the State Department isn't happy about it. But to go to North Korea, one of the most secretive countries, one of the most Internet restrictive countries, I'm sure this is going to be maybe a pay day.

KAYE: Yes. And as we said, the State Department not thrilled about it. Let's listen to what the spokesperson for the State Department had to say.


VICTORIA NULAND: They are private citizens. They are undertaking this trip in that capacity. We are not accompanying them. We are not sending any messages with them. I'm not going to get into the details of our discussions with them except to say that they are well aware of our views that the timing of this is not great. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Understandable. They're not thrilled about it. You had the recent rocket launch. You know, maybe Google is considering opening -- I don't know what is going to happen. But certainly they're not thrilled.

BLACKWELL: You know, there is maybe just a glimmer of hope when Kim Jong-un made his first New Year's message and said that he is ready to kind of squash this. And here it is. To kind of quash this feud with South Korea. I don't know if there is any real motivation or effort behind those words but there could be a change coming.

KAYE: Yes. Another story that we've been watching is what's happening with Starbucks. The coffee chain is now going to be selling these $1 reusable mugs, which I haven't gotten my hands on one yet so I don't know how durable they are. But I guess you can bring them back and then you get a ten cent discount on your drink. And they're just trying to cut down on trash.


KAYE: Which is -- which is -- OK, go up, go up.

BLACKWELL: Two things are in this, right?

KAYE: I like the idea of cutting down on trash.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Two things. They've got 4 billion cups worth of waste generated every year and it's great for the environment. But have you seen the inside of a coffee cup after the coffee is gone? I mean who wants to carry that around and take it back to the store? Fill me up, Johnny. Nobody wants ...

KAYE: No they wash it out. I guess you hand it to them and they use some boiling water the same thing you might do at home. I mean don't you even think it is a good idea to conserve?

BLACKWELL: Yes, it is a great idea to conserve. I'm just saying that nasty cup a lot of people are going to get rid of it and to buy another dollar cup, another dollar cup and maybe at some point will throw in more than just the paper cups away ...

KAYE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: We'll throw away the plastic too and money.

KAYE: Well ...

BLACKWELL: Just saying.

KAYE: It's a good effort.

BLACKWELL: And (inaudible) to drink coffee.

KAYE: This is good at meaning, though. This is good effort, though. BLACKWELL: Nice to try.

KAYE: Well, you may be trying to run off all those calories that you ate during the holidays, but there may be such a thing as too much cardio. Desiree Nathanson, the personal trainer for the Atlanta Hawks cheerleaders will (ph) help us get the most out of our cardio coming up.


KAYE: Welcome back. 18-year-old pop sensation Justin Bieber is the latest celebrity to lend his fame to promote prepaid debit cards. The Bieber endorsed card isn't available yet, but it will carry a monthly fee of $3.95 and an ATM fee of $1.50 each withdrawal. The financial company launching the card "Bill My Parents" said the pop star will also be producing videos for the company.

"Gray's Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsey has a new job as well as the new owner of a struggling Seattle based coffee chain Tully's Coffee. With 500 jobs at stake Dempsey's company beat out six other bidders including Starbucks to purchase Tully's for more than $9 million. The coffee chain filed for bankruptcy protection back in October.

And Kelly Clarkson may not have a new job, but she does have a slimmer waist line to brag about. The 30-year-old singer told "Cosmopolitan" magazine she dropped 18 pounds after falling for her talent manager to whom she is now engaged. Looking good.

BLACKWELL: All right, so a lot of people have already kicked that new year's resolution in gear, trying to burn fat as much as possible as quickly as possible.

KAYE: And if you're not used to doing cardio, well, you may be doing it wrong in fact. It is tempting to do, you know, three, four, maybe five miles a day. I know that's what you do.

BLACKWELL: No, that's not --


KAYE: I mean -- but it may actually be possible to do too much cardio. That's what you tell yourself.

BLACKWELL: Yes. I'm doing too much.

KAYE: With us now is Desiree Nathanson, certified nutrition expert, former Miss Fitness New Mexico and the official personal trainer for the Atlanta Hawks cheerleaders. All right, so, Desiree, good morning to you.


KAYE: You always look great.

NATHANSON: Thank you.

KAYE: What do experts like yourself say about cardio?

NATHANSON: Well, the American College of Sports Medicine, which is the governing body for all exercise professionals recommends about 150 minutes per week of cardio. So that can be moderate intensity, 30 to 60 minutes, three to five days a week, or it can be various intensity exercise for 20 to 60 minutes about three days per week.

KAYE: So, you get a couple of days off --

NATHANSON: Exactly. So, and then another thing, people don't think -- think about walking is probably one of the best ways to get some moderate intensity cardio.


NATHANSON: And it's free.

BLACKWELL: So I have to do it in the morning.


BLACKWELL: Because I'm going to do it -- it's got to be before work because I make every excuse not to do it later.


BLACKWELL: Is that the best time of day? When should I be doing it?

NATHANSON: The best time of day to do cardio is when you can get it in.


NATHANSON: So I myself contrary to what is happening right now am not a morning person.


NATHANSON: So working out for me happens at night. So it's when you can fit it in. However, if you're lifting heavy you probably want to get your cardio in after you lift so that you can save all of your energy for your weights and do it safely.

KAYE: And you shouldn't do just cardio. I mean you brought up weights.


KAYE: You should incorporate some weights as well.

NATHANSON: Yes, strength training is incredibly important. Women who avoid it, they need to stick with the weights. The weight bearing activity helps prevent osteoporosis and then the ASCM recommends that you do three days per week, nonconsecutive days, about eight to ten total body exercises.

KAYE: Yes, but women always ask me, lightweights or heavyweights? You know, what should you do?


KAYE: I guess either one works.

NATHANSON: Yes, whatever you want to do. If you're trying to build more muscle you're going to want to go heavier. If you're just trying to maintain go lighter.

BLACKWELL: OK. So, for people who have more than a few pounds to lose, who are obese, who are morbidly obese, what should they do? How much should they be doing?

NATHANSON: The new studies coming out show that overweight or obese people need to do cardio. However, it is possible to get both by doing circuit training. So you can do maybe eight to ten exercises, pushups, jumping jacks, sit-ups, stuff like that for 30 seconds each exercise. Rest for 15 seconds in between.


KAYE: Just an idea of what that looks like, we have your mat ...


KAYE: As we do every Saturday.


KAYE: ... laid out for you. So let's see. What is some circuit training?

NATHANSON: Well, today I've actually brought some dumbbells along.


BLACKWELL: That's interesting.

NATHANSON: They are ready. I do. So, actually I will pass these out right now and give you the ...

KAYE: Purple ones.

NATHANSON: You know, so you can match me.


NATHANSON: I can handle it.

BLACKWELL: I'm just kidding.

NATHANSON: I know. So, of course some exercises a lot of people like to do are curls, biceps curls.


NATHANSON: They are easy and everybody can do them. And you can change the angle of your hands and that changes the curl.


NATHANSON: Look at those biceps.



NATHANSON: Yes. And then another exercise you can do for women now it seems to be the arms. Women want toned arms. Now let me touch on the fact that you are never going to get rid of this jiggle completely. That's muscle. If you watch sprinters in slow motion things are jiggling because it's muscle.

BLACKWELL: So that's ...

KAYE: It makes me feel so much better.


BLACKWELL: That's good. It's muscle.

NATHANSON: It's muscle.

BLACKWELL: You learned something this morning.

NATHANSON: Exactly. So one exercise you can do to target that, and I'm going to get down here. Hold on.


BLACKWELL: All right.

NATHANSON: All right. This should be good. So, we're actually going to get our bum and our triceps. So, you just want to press everything up at the same time. And then come back down. So we are working our triceps here, we are working our gluts, our hamstrings and actually a little bit of our abs. So there's that exercise right there.

BLACKWELL: There is that one.

KAYE: That's really good. The tricep -- because the triceps, that's the part back there that women always ...


KAYE: You can do some of these.

BLACKWELL: Just kick backs.

NATHANSON: You can do some kick backs.

KAYE: Yes. Yes.

NATHANSON: And you can do overhead presses. So those are nice, too. KAYE: And that is all part of -- I mean that is considered circuit training?

NATHANSON: Well, if you do that exercise combined with my next exercise I'm going to show you, which we are going to do a plie squat with a lateral raise. So you want to put your feet a little further than shoulder width apart.


NATHANSON: You probably can do this, Victor.


NATHANSON: I don't know about the dress.

KAYE: Yes.

About me and my dress.

NATHANSON: You are going to squat down. Keep your booty tucked under.

KAYE: Oh, yes.

BLACKWELL: Tucking my booty in.


BLACKWELL: All right.

NATHANSON: And then raise, yes. And Randi, you can do the ...

KAYE: I'll do the lateral.


BLACKWELL: How many of these should I be doing?

NATHANSON: Oh, we want to do it for about 30 seconds if we're doing circuit training.


NATHANSON: Can you handle that?

BLACKWELL: No, no, let's do it.

NATHANSON: Yes, let's do it. Do we have a timer?

BLACKWELL: No. I just have--


NATHANSON: This is good. Very good. So we're working our legs here.

BLACKWELL: All right. NATHANSON: Keeping our abs tight. Working your shoulders.

BLACKWELL: Tucking booty in.

NATHANSON: And then I have one more exercise.


NATHANSON: So, all of these are multitasking ...

BLACKWELL: All right.

NATHANSON: They are working different - they are working different muscle groups.

KAYE: You didn't make it.

BLACKWELL: I was close.

NATHANSON: You were almost there. So, we're going to get back down on the mat again.

KAYE: OK, real quick.

NATHANSON: And do a plank with a dumb bell roll. So, beginners can do right here just pulling the dumb bells back working your back and your abs.

KAYE: Definitely working the core there.

NATHANSON: Making it a little harder.

KAYE: Yes.

NATHANSON: We're going to go up to our toes right here.

KAYE: All right.

NATHANSON: And if you're feeling super strong you can add a pushup.

BLACKWELL: All right.

KAYE: See, and she is not a morning person.


KAYE: Desiree, you just keep doing that. You do enough for all of us. Are you OK?

NATHANSON: I'm good. I may come back up here with you two.

BLACKWELL: All right.

KAYE: Thank you so much.

NATHANSON: Thank you. KAYE: Really great. I'll get on that later today.


KAYE: Well, CNN has been following the adoption case of baby Veronica for months. A custody battle involving the best interests of this three-year-old and a federal law aimed at protecting the rights of Native Americans. In a half hour I'll talk exclusively with the adoptive family fighting to get their baby back. This is one of the most interesting adoption cases you will ever hear.


KAYE: Welcome back. It is time to check out some "Late Night" laughs.

BLACKWELL: And what do you think they talked about? All the comedians on "Late Night"? Of course, Congress and all the partisanship in Washington was fodder for the comedians this week.


JAY LENO: And members of Congress are set to get a pay raise this year.


LENO: Unbelievable. Isn't that like tipping the plumber for fixing the toilet he blocked up in the first place?


DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: Well, John Boehner, speaker of the House, Republican, told Harry Reid go (EXPLETIVE DELETED). That is a direct quote.


LETTERMAN: And by the way, that's why we can't do the show in Louisiana.


LETTERMAN: I don't know. And then Harry Reid said I'm sorry. What'd you say? And John Boehner said, you heard me. Go (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

I'm telling you, ladies and gentlemen, if I had a nickel for every time somebody said that to me, I could pay off the national debt. I could.

JIMMY FALLON, TALK SHOW HOST: Members of the 113th Congress were sworn in at the Capitol, after which they were like, well, that's enough work for the year. That was hard.


KAYE: He might not be that far off. BLACKWELL: No.

KAYE: Judging what we've seen this year.

BLACKWELL: Probably not.

KAYE: Yes. Well, thank you so much for starting your morning with us. We've got much more ahead on "CNN SATURDAY MORNING" which starts right now.