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Armstrong to Admit Doping?; Flu Epidemic May Be Slowing; Cuomo Declares Public Health Emergency; Obama Cabinet Nominees Rolled Out; Arraignment for James Holmes Set for March; No Charges Over Ammunition Display; Big Movie Buzz This Weekend; Trends in Mobile Technology; Obama Administration, NRA Set to Face Off

Aired January 12, 2013 - 12:00   ET


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: It's 12:00 p.m. right now on the East Coast, 9:00 a.m. on the West Coast. I'm Martin Savidge in for Fredricka Whitfield. If you are just tuning in, thank you very much for joining us.

These are the top stories we're following right now in the CNN NEWSROOM. It could be one of the most shocking admissions in sports history. "USA Today" is reporting that Lance Armstrong will admit to doping in an upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Our Nick Valencia is following that story.


LANCE ARMSTRONG, CYCLIST: I've said it for seven years. I've said it for longer than seven years. I have never doped. I can say it again, but I've said it for seven years. It doesn't help.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Help may be something Lance Armstrong will need a lot of to redeem his reputation after the "USA Today" reports Armstrong will, quote, "admit to doping throughout his career."

The newspaper does not name their source, but says it's a person with knowledge of the situation. "USA Today" says the former seven-time Tour de France champion's admission, which had been widely rumored for weeks, is expected to come in a Monday interview with Oprah Winfrey that will be taped for air Thursday.

As for why he's doing this now, the journalist who broke the story says Armstrong had no choice.

BRENT SCHROTENBOER, USA TODAY (via telephone): With all the evidence that's come out against him, it's hard to deny it anymore, and he's making a calculated decision for himself personally. It's also I think a business decision for him because it's affecting his charity, "Live Strong," all of his sponsors have fired him.

VALENCIA: Armstrong has kept a low profile at his Austin home since the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released thousands of pages of evidence of what it said was a sophisticated and brazen doping program. But it's Armstrong's repeated denials over the years to protect his name that has angered so many, including former teammates found guilty of doping themselves.

(on camera): Did you see Lance Armstrong using other performance- enhancing drugs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At times, yes, different training camps.

FLOYD LANDIS, FORMER TEAMMATE: We all took, really no difference between Lance Armstrong and the majority of the Peloton.

VALENCIA (voice-over): The difference may be that few from his former entourage have fallen from grace as hard. Already without tens of millions of dollars in endorsements, late last year Armstrong, a cancer survivor, was forced out from "Live Strong," the cancer charity he founded.

And now if he comes clean, Armstrong could face some legal repercussions. In the interview with Winfrey, Armstrong is not expected to give great detail, but the confession could give him a shot at resuming his competitive racing career.

SCHROTENBOER: If he wanted to get his ban reduced, the rule book says no less than eight years. Right now he's 41. So eight years from now he would be 49. And I don't know how interested he would be in competing at that age.


SAVIDGE: And Nick now joins us on the set. Nick, I'm curious. What are Armstrong's attorneys saying about the possibility he may come clean here?

VALENCIA: Well, Martin, I'd love to tell you. We've actually tried to reach out to the lawyers several times. Still so far no comments yet on this "USA Today" report so, we're still waiting to hear back from Armstrong's attorneys.

SAVIDGE: Well, many of us will be watching. Thanks very much.

VALENCIA: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Good news. At least some when it comes to the flu. Despite warnings that we are facing an epidemic, the situation may be starting to improve. The CDC has released new numbers showing that the high numbers are declining in parts of the country.

It is still, though, a very dangerous situation without doubt with widespread activity now reported in 47 states. The CDC's latest count shows 20 children have died across the country. Our chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta has the details.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Martin, it's the worst flu season in years. You know that by now. Emergency rooms in many places are overflowing. It's a fast-moving story. Here's what you need to know.


GUPTA (voice-over): The flu strikes fast and symptoms much more severe than a common cold. You feel fine one day and then the next, a sudden fever, sore throat, headache, and tightness in the chest.

DR. MICHAEL JHUNG, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, CDC INFLUENZA DIVISION: Over 200,000 people every year are hospitalized with influenza and anywhere from 3,000 to nearly 50,000 people will die each year.

GUPTA: Flu cases are at epidemic proportions now in some areas of the country. It's the most we've seen this time of year in a decade.

JHUNG: They may get more complications from this particular strain, which may make them ill for a longer period of time.

GUPTA: The active strain is H3N2. It typically surfaces earlier in the season, tends to produce stronger symptoms.

(on camera): It is highly contagious. In fact, when someone coughs or sneezes, these tiny droplets are released into the air. You can't even see them with the human eye. You can breathe them in, but they can also live on surfaces.

A lot of people don't realize this. They can stay on surfaces for eight hours. So say your co-worker is sick. You come over, use your keyboard, you have the germs on your hand and then you touch your nose or mouth, now you're infected.

(voice-over): And the problem escalates if you spend several hours in tight quarters like an on an airplane, at highest risk, passengers two rows in front or behind of the infected person.

(on camera): Now the best way to kill those germs is to wash your hands and do it often and use real soap and real water. The problem is most people don't actually wash their hands long enough.

My best advice, actually sing the happy birthday song twice while you're washing your hands. That is going to be long enough. It's not quick to get rid of these viruses.

(voice-over): Another key to prevention getting the flu shot. Getting vaccinated reduces your risk of getting the flu by around 60 percent.


GUPTA: Now, another benefit, Martin, to getting your flu shot is if you do get sick, your symptoms aren't likely to last as long, won't be as severe as compared to those who weren't vaccinated. Martin, back to you.

SAVIDGE: Thank you, Sanjay. Be sure to tune in to "SANJAY GUPTA M.D." this weekend today at 4:30 Eastern and tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time for all the very latest on the flu and how you can protect yourself.

So here's the question, should you get the flu shot to prevent yourself from getting the virus? Doctors say 62 percent of those who take the shot are less likely to get it.

Our Athena Jones is live at a flu clinic in Falls Church, Virginia. Athena, nice to see you. Over the last few days, of course, we've been advising people, doctors have as well to get the flu shot. Now I'm beginning to wonder is there enough to go around as far as the vaccine?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martin. That's right. We're here at a clinic in Falls Church, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. This is a multiservice clinic so they have dental care as well as medical care. This clinic has gotten under way just a few hours ago.

People say -- doctors say that there are enough vaccinations to go around nationwide. I think we have some numbers from the CDC we can put up on the screen. It shows you millions of doses have already been given, but also millions of doses still remain.

They say that sometimes there can be spot shortages in certain areas so people might need to call ahead or shop around to make sure that the vaccine is available where they're going.

At this clinic here, they do still have vaccine available. In fact, we've seen some people come in this morning and get the flu shot, people saying they just want to be safe, that they've gotten the flu shot before and want to be extra safe this year.

I can tell you that this clinic they say that just in the first 12 days of January they have seen a large influx of people either making phone calls, trying to inquire whether they can get the flu shot for their young child or coming in for the flu a lot more than in December -- Martin.

SAVIDGE: And I know that health officials are urging people to get vaccinated, but many Americans avoid the flu shot because that they're convinced that somehow it's going to give them the flu. Is there any truth to that? And can anyone get the vaccine, in other words, are there some who should stay away from it?

JONES: Well, there are some who should stay away. But first things first, you're not going to get sick from getting the flu vaccine. That's a myth. Now people say that you shouldn't get the vaccine while you're already feeling ill.

Also if you're under 6 months old, you shouldn't get it. If you're allergic to chicken eggs, which is part of the element used to make the vaccine. And if you had a previous reaction to the flu shot. Those are the folks who shouldn't get it.

But everyone else they say should, especially the very young and the very old are the people who are most susceptible to having this most severe effect from getting the flu. Also if you have a prior medical condition or a respiratory illness like asthma and people who have already suppressed immune systems.

Those people should take extra care and come out and get the flu. But the idea is everyone should get it if you can. It's not too late to do so. Doing so should help you avoid getting the virus, and if you do get it, it should make the complications not nearly as serious. Maybe you won't be sick for quite as long -- Martin.

SAVIDGE: All right, Athena, thank you very much. Stay healthy.

Meanwhile, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today declared a public emergency for all of the state of New York, and this is because of the flu. This declaration is in response to what has been, as we've reported, an increasingly severe flu season. It will allow among a number of things for pharmacists to administer and give flu shots to people who need them or still want one.

All that illness, though, it isn't stopping people from going to work sick. This is a real problem. It could be because of about a third of the nation's employees don't get paid sick days that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So people can't afford to stay home even if they do get the flu. One study says an extra five million people caught the flu in 2009 because of workplace policies such as a lack of paid sick days.

Ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM, it's time for the cabinet shuffle. With inauguration comes a realignment of all the president's men and that may be just one of the problems President Obama is facing. We'll explain that.

And not only did this beauty queen not get a crown, the court says she also owes Donald Trump a whopping $5 million. Find out why as NEWSROOM continues.


SAVIDGE: One of President Obama's biggest early challenges in his second term is really turning out to be something rather surprising. That's the reshaping of his cabinet. He has several posts to fill.

The big three nominees so far, they are John Kerry as the new secretary of state, current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew who has the nod for Treasury Secretary, and then there's Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, which could be the president's biggest battle.

So I'm going to bring in now Jason Johnson to talk about this. He is a professor of political science at Hiram College and he is also the chief political correspondent at Politic365. I wanted to make sure I said that right.

So let's start off with Chuck Hagel because he's a Republican, bipartisanship we thought about here, kumbaya moment. It is not working out so well.

JASON JOHNSON, PROFESSOR, HIRAM COLLEGE: Yes, there's no kumbaya moments in Washington, D.C. Republicans are still very bitter. A lot of them don't like that Chuck Hagel has been so close to Barack Obama for a long time. But I think this is a bunch of sort of chest beating right now. I think Hagel will get through. Obama might have to fight for it, but I think he is going to get through.

SAVIDGE: You don't think it will be a squeaker. Some even suggest there is the potential he may not get the nod.

JOHNSON: The things is I think there are a lot of Republicans who will come out right now and say we have a problem with him. We have to really vet him, but many believe in sort of the constitutionality of the president being able to select the cabinet. There is a lot of Republicans who still feel, look, in the end we're going to let him through. The president should be able to have his cabinet. We'll argue with him about policy later.

SAVIDGE: The problems that Republicans especially seem to have are, of course, comments that he has made in reference to the Israeli lobby on Capitol Hill. He's also talked about trimming the budget with the defense budget. So, I mean, are these real nonstarters here or is this just the Republicans wanting to come up with a way to complain?

JOHNSON: I think when you're the out party you have to complain. Democrats did the same thing with George Bush. You know, Chuck Hagel, when he was a Republican, these comments were fine. Now that he's somebody that Barack Obama likes there's going to be a bit of an issue.

Anytime you make criticism of Israel and the United States there is going to be some problems. Anytime you talk about cutting military spending there is going to be some problems. But ultimately is that enough? You really want to cause this kind of fight with the president? Not right now, not with the debt ceiling and not with bigger issues looming.

SAVIDGE: All right, I want to move on to some of the others. What do you think of Jack Lew? Of course, he's out there to replace Tim Geithner. It seems that we're on the verge of a different kind of philosophy now.

JOHNSON: Yes. You know, I think what's interesting is Barack Obama is getting to people who are closer to him. You know, Jack Lew used to be chief of staff. Obama's like, look, my first term I was getting all the people to make America happy.

Now I'm getting people to do what I want them to do. I mean, there are a lot of people didn't like how Geithner did the job in general so I think Obama is really putting his own thumb on this one.

SAVIDGE: I thought it was interesting that one of the criticisms I heard was that people said he's too much like the president or backing his policies. I thought isn't that why you pick people for your cabinet?

JOHNSON: Exactly. Exactly and that's what Barack Obama wants to do. I mean, look, he is now safe. He doesn't have to worry about running ever again. So he's like, look, I'm going to put my stamp on America whether you like it or not.

SAVIDGE: Let's talk about though the makeup and a lot has been said about this, that in many ways the new cabinet, the high posts are older white men, not reflective of American society. There have been a number of women that have clearly --

JOHNSON: The secretary of state, yes.

SAVIDGE: Chief among them. What's going on here and how significant is this?

JOHNSON: Let's be really honest about America and Washington. The Republicans want to say most of the America is still run by old white guys. That's the truth. So it's not surprising that Barack Obama is going to pick a lot of them for these positions.

But if you look at the totality of who he's selected, it's not that much of a problem. You have Elena Kagan and Sotomayor on the Supreme Court. I mean, he still has a lot of opportunity here to make his cabinet look more like America. So I think this is much ado about nothing at least right now.

SAVIDGE: But that said, you know, there was one criticism I read, a commentary, saying somebody ought to present the president with binders of women. You know, of course, the criticism that had been placed against Mitt Romney. It has people wondering. You can say, yes, but are these the only qualified candidates?

JOHNSON: NO, of course not. Of course not and that's why the Congressional Black Caucus has stepped forward and said, look, you should take Barbara Lee. You should take Mel Watt. That's why there are a lot of people right now saying, look, with Hilda Solis stepping down as labor secretary.

And if you want to talk about immigration and you want to talk about commerce, you know, you need to put another woman in there, probably a woman of color. So I think Obama has some time. The question will be how aggressive is he going to be in selecting these positions. I think that's more important. We have to see.

SAVIDGE: All right, Jason Johnson, thanks very much for coming in and talking politics with us.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Always appreciated.

Well, next on the NEWSROOM, did you ever want to flip off a police officer? Well, if so, you better think twice because it could land you in jail. It did for this guy. Find out why when our legal guys join us.

And then waiting for a bus can be stressful, but this brawl takes it to a whole new level. The details ahead as the CNN NEWSROOM continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SAVIDGE: It will be another two months before the accused shooter in the Colorado theatre massacre hears the 166 charges against him. That's because yesterday a judge delayed James Holmes' arraignment to give the defense more time to prepare. Holmes faces murder, attempted murder, and weapons violations in the rampage that left 12 people dead last summer.

All right, a guy flips the bird at a police officer and ends up under arrest. He filed a civil rights lawsuit against the cops. The case got thrown out, but now an appeals court has just reinstated it. That's the cue.

Let's bring in our legal guys, Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney, law professor, he in my hometown of Cleveland. Richard Herman, a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor, he's in Las Vegas.

And first, let me start by giving a little more background on this case. It all started in May of 2006 when John Schwartz and his fiancee were driving through rural upstate New York. Schwartz was riding shotgun and as they drove past a radar speed trap, Schwartz gave the middle finger salute to a police officer in the village of St. Johnsonville.

The officer stopped the car, confronted Schwartz, and arrested him for disorderly conduct. OK, there we are up to speed so to speak. Avery, let's start with you and the cop's explanation about why he stopped the car. Apparently, the appeals court thinks it's a little far- fetched, right?

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Yes, yes, the explanation by the police officer in St. Johnsonville, New York, nice bucolic area in upstate New York was that it really interfered. There was a possibility of public safety issues.

And the three-judge federal appeals panel, Marty, looked at that and examined the issue of this gesture and even talked about ancient Greece and gave him the middle finger.

It took centuries of history in this wonderful opinion saying at the end of the day we're going to send it back to the federal court in Utica and let's go to trial and see what the jury has to say.

SAVIDGE: Richard, what do you make of all of this? I mean, is that an issue of freedom of speech here?

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it is, Marty. I'll tell you something, we're reminded constantly that in some cases there's a fine line between the good guys and the bad guys. This police officer was so out of line, I mean, the guy's got to be terminated.

The panel on the court of appeals said basically you could not have any other interpretation of what this was. His explanation was I thought they needed help so when I saw that middle finger sign sent to me, I thought they needed help so I pulled them over. Then he ends up arresting the guy. That's outrageous.

This police officer should be terminated. They should sue him and hammer the police force for this. This was a horrible stop. No need for this. It could have been a traffic accident. A lot of problems could have happened from this.

The cop's got to suck it up. It's not a big deal. Move on with life, much more important things in life than getting the bird thrown at you.

SAVIDGE: Avery, you're groaning there in the background. I can hear you. What do you want to bring in --

FRIEDMAN: Yes. I mean, look, I don't think you need to fire the cop, but I think --

HERMAN: Yes, you do.

FRIEDMAN: -- I think what it stands for is something much larger and that is the importance of not only responsible police work, but also the integrity of the constitution. That is, you know what, it's a form of freedom of speech and most of these cases involve nasty speech anyhow.

And it was nasty speech in the mind of the police officer, but at the end of the day it's protected. I think when it gets back it will never go to trial. I think the city of St. Johnsonville is going to settle this case.

SAVIDGE: Well, this officer, I mean, you know, he may be a great hero and he may have done many, many wonderful things in preventing crime and that. Some may look at this and just say it's an abuse of power that he got angry and he pulled somebody over.

FRIEDMAN: That's true. That's right exactly what it is.

HERMAN: They've got a lot of power, Marty, and they can't abuse it. These are the police officers. They cannot abuse their power. That's what he did here.

FRIEDMAN: Terrible. That's why it's going to court.

SAVIDGE: That's where it should be, I guess, adjudicated. So let's move on to the next case, a beauty queen. She says that she is shocked that a court has ruled that she must now pay $5 million to Donald Trump for calling his Miss USA pageant rigged.

Sheena Monnin gave up her Miss Pennsylvania crown last June after claiming that the competition's winners were chosen in advance. Monnin didn't place in the top 15. You might have figured that out. The arbitrator in the case says Monnin's public comments cost the pageant $5 million in sponsorship money for 2013.

So Richard, let's start with you there. There's actually a clause apparently in the Miss USA contract, not that I've read it thoroughly, but it's there, that says top pageant officials have the right to choose the top five and the winner. The winner goes to compete on in the Miss Universe contest.

So here's what the Trump Organization has to say about this, by the way, quote, "It's protection for the Miss Universe pageant and its owners. The judge's decision had never been overruled by Mr. Trump, NBC, or the Miss Universe organization."

So let's talk about this. It's a contract violation. Is that what it is, Richard?

HERMAN: Yes. You know, Mike Myers would love that, Marty, that $5 million. Let me tell you something. This woman said she saw the top five finalists on a slip of paper. And in the end, those top five were the top five.

Now, of course there'd be no misinformation disseminated by the Trump people as to the fact that they've never taken advantage of this ability to override the judges, which I don't believe. I believe he does.

I believe he rules everything, but in any event, so be it. She said it was rigged and you know what, it is rigged! Bottom line, it is rigged.


HERMAN: It was an arbitration, which she did not attend. She never participated in the arbitration. That's a sham also. The whole thing is ridiculous.

SAVIDGE: Well, Avery, is that what this is about? Is this the Trump Organization trying to protect the integrity of this beauty contest?

FRIEDMAN: Well, it is what -- the very argument, but that there's no evidence that it was rigged. I mean, the contestants as well as the organization sign the --

HERMAN: They knew before.

FRIEDMAN: No, no. You know what, what's so ridiculous about this -- and I don't like using words like that, but I think it is ridiculous because there is an arbitration provision. I don't like arbitration provisions.

But all she had to do was show up and put on a defense. This was shooting fish in a barrel. I mean, the Trump lawyers had a ball because there was no defense. And a former U.S. magistrate judge who served as the arbitrator ruled that based on the evidence, because she put none on, was that a $5 million verdict is appropriate.

Not that he's got a lot of money or she doesn't, but she never defended the case. So it strikes me that if they appeal and they will under the National Arbitration Act, goes to the federal court of appeals, what in the world is she going to defend with?

I think the verdict for better or worse is going to stand. And, yes, you can say it's trashy. That's OK. That's opinion. Yes, she didn't like the transgender change. OK, but to suggest that it's rigged and then not defend is to me mindless. And I think the verdict's going to stand.

SAVIDGE: Well, we're going to find out because I think Richard now is going to find that he's got a $5 million suit coming against him speaking out.

FRIEDMAN: That's right.

SAVIDGE: All right, gentlemen --

FRIEDMAN: Marty, you told me to say that! Come on.

SAVIDGE: Here we go, your honor.

FRIEDMAN: Can't say things like that.

SAVIDGE: We'll be back in 20 minutes with the both of you to take a look at some other new cases including one that involves a familiar face. Casey Anthony, she is back. She was cleared on charges that she murdered her daughter. So what has her back in a courtroom? We'll explain that one coming up.

It's award season in Hollywood, Oscar nominations were announced Thursday and the Golden Globes will be handed out tomorrow. Which stars got snubbed and which will burn bright? Find out when we take you behind the scenes.

Then Lance Armstrong said to be ready to tell all and come clean about his doping to none other than Oprah Winfrey. We've got that story as well.

And remember, if you have to go out today, you can continue staying right here with me, watching CNN from your mobile phone. You can also watch CNN live from your lap top. Just go to


SAVIDGE: Welcome back. It's 12:30 p.m. in the east, 9:30 a.m. on the west coast. I'm Martin Savidge in for Fredricka Whitfield. If you're just joining us, just tuning in, thank you very much for being here. These are the top stories we're following right now in the CNN NEWSROOM.

It could be a bombshell confession. "USA Today" is reporting that Lance Armstrong will admit to doping in an upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey. In October, Armstrong was stripped of his titles and he was banned from cycling after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency reported there was overwhelming evidence against him. Armstrong has reportedly denied doping accusations.

France says that a long time hostage in Somalia and a French soldier died during a daring rescue attempt operation overnight. According to the French Defense Ministry, the hostage was known as Dennis Alex. He was shot and killed by his captors during that raid. He had been held captive since 2009. Al Shabba militants denied a hostage died and claim they have captured a wounded French soldier.

No NBC employee will face charges after a high-capacity ammunition magazine was displayed on "Meet The Press." David Gregory held up the empty magazine while talking with the president or CEO of the NRA. But the display is against the law in Washington. Police officials say that there was a miscommunication between NBC and law enforcement.

Taking a look at what's trending on the web. Much to the dismay of "Star Wars" fans everywhere, the U.S. government will not be building a death star. The White House turned down a petition that was proposing the government create a death star superweapon. The petition received more than 34,000 signatures online.

A teacher is being hailed as a hero at a high school shooting in California this week. Ryan Heber stood face to face with the 16-year- old accused shooter and talked to him, buying time for other students to escape.

And then take a look at this. Video, dozens of students and parents fighting at a bus stop. Police in Swiss Vail, Pennsylvania, they are stepping up patrols near this stop where two brawls now have broken out this week.

Hollywood award season upon us and the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards are definitely in the spotlight. On Thursday, the Academy named the nominees for the 85th Annual Awards ceremony just three days before the 70th Annual Golden Globes awards.

Columnist for the "Hollywood Reporter" Martin Grove joins us to talk from L.A. and talk about everything pertaining to the awards. Thanks very much for being with us.

MARTIN GROVE, COLUMNIST, ZAMM.COM: Martin, it's a pleasure. Hello from Hollywood.

SAVIDGE: Thank you. First it seems that now there is kind of a competition. You know, the Golden Globes now seem to be having a rivalry with the Oscars and the Academy. I'm wondering, you know, they moved their announcement just three days before the Golden Globes as if to sort of steal the thunder from the Golden Globes. Which one carries more weight and how do they really differ in the public's mind?

GROVE: Well, Oscar is number one. There's no question about that. That's the big award everybody wants to win, but the Golden Globes are fabulous. It's the greatest party night of the year in Hollywood. The awards are the second most important awards after the Oscars. And then that's not second best. That's very, very valuable.

The bragging rights are great and the marketing promotion that goes into Golden Globe nominations, we've seen it ever since mid-December when the Golden Globe noms were announced. So the Globes is a big deal and those awards are very, very well chosen and handed out to people who then go on frequently to win the Oscars.

SAVIDGE: Let's talk about the Oscar snubs because I think that seems to come up every year. But in particular this year it seems that people agree that Ben Affleck really was snubbed for not getting best director when it came for the movie "Argo." Any other big snubs come to mind?

GROVE: Well, yes. Actually, there were two others, Katherine Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty." If you have any doubts about the power of the U.S. Senate, we know they have the power to disrupt the Oscar race because several senators including California's Dianne Feinstein, complained about "Zero Dark Thirty" and how it depicts the use of torture.

And whether, indeed, it was or wasn't the case that it was useful in achieving the ultimate demise of Osama Bin Laden. That has been enough to derail the Oscar directing potential for Kathryn Bigelow. She did not get a best director nomination.

That's a big deal because pictures usually don't win best picture unless they have a best director nomination and also by the way a best film editing nomination. That matters a lot.

SAVIDGE: That is very interesting. But before I let you go, I want to ask that you give us a quick rundown of really what to watch for tomorrow with the Golden Globes. What should we be keying in on?

GROVE: Well, I think we're going to look first for the best picture drama category. Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" is the big favorite there and that would also make Steven Spielberg the big favorite to win best director.

The Globes, unlike the Oscars, has a category separate for best comedy or musical, and this year "Les Miserables" is the leading contender there. The Weinstein company's "Silver Linings Playbook," however, is a potential upset in that best comedy or musical category.

So we'll see. And coming back to best drama picture, "Argo," Ben Affleck's film, could be the upset winner there. We'll have to see what happens. I will be there tomorrow, by the way, and these are the hottest tickets in town to the Golden Globes. So we'll see indeed who does win.

SAVIDGE: Yes, you are a lucky man. Martin Grove, columnist for the "Hollywood Reporter." Thanks for joining us. Enjoy the evening tomorrow night.

GROVE: Great. Thank you, Martin.

SAVIDGE: Well, the hottest new gizmos, the gadgets, you know, all the high-tech toys, they are all on display this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. We're going to show you the must-have things that you'll not only want, well, you'll be blown away.

And if electronics aren't your thing, how about big snakes? They're yours for all the taking. We'll tell you how direct from the CNN NEWSROOM right into your living room.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SAVIDGE: This year the hottest gadgets at the Consumer Electronics Show, the ones you can take with you almost anywhere. Karin Caifa shows us the latest from Las Vegas.

KARIN CAIFA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Those walking the halls at the Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas this year didn't quite find the next blockbuster smartphone or tablet, but what they did find were a lot of accessories and some big trends that are going to make your mobile life a whole lot easier.


CAIFA (voice-over): Those searching CES for the next singular smartphone sensation didn't really find it.

TIM BEYERS, THE MOTLEY FOOD SENIOR ANALYST: We didn't really see the next big thing here this time. There are some incremental improvements. The screens on smartphones are a little bigger, Samsung showing of some bigger smartphones, cleaner streams, more apps, and notably developer kits, basically ways to put more software on smartphones.

CAIFA: Software integrated with your car and your home and cute, colorful accessories to make your phone more functional. Even this improved technology from Liquipel in case your phone takes a dunk.

Another trend, products that give users the best of both worlds, smartphone screens that almost border on tablet size and tablets that border on some laptop functions.

MERLIN KISTER, INTEL: Now you don't have to decide between having a tablet or PC or carrying both. With one dice device like this, I can carry this one thing and have both the PC and the tablet when I need it.


CAIFA: I've got one of those convertibles in my hand right now. Powered by Intel, this is the latest of the yoga line from Lenovo. It comes out this summer. Yoga is a pretty apt name considering how flexible it is. You can bend it back just like this and go from laptop to tablet. Reporting from Las Vegas, I'm Karin Caifa.

SAVIDGE: And coming up next, Vice President Joe Biden taking aim at reducing gun violence and his butting heads with the NRA. We've got the details on just how hot things got behind the scenes.

And she's back. Casey Anthony wants a judge to throw out her lying conviction that resulted from the murder trial of her daughter Caylee. We'll go inside the courtroom and find out if she has a legal leg to stand on. All ahead on the CNN NEWSROOM.


SAVIDGE: Both the National Rifle Association and the Obama administration are gearing up for a very tough fight. President Obama is pushing for new gun control measures after last month's massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

This week, Vice President Biden's new task force searched for ways to curb gun violence focusing on everything from an assault weapons ban to the impact from video games. CNN's national political Jim Acosta reports new gun control laws could have a serious impact on voters.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Martin, Vice President Joe Biden said there's no one solution for stopping mass shootings, but it's clear that the proposals coming out of this task force will be running head on into the NRA.


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We know that it is -- there is no silver bullet.

ACOSTA (voice-over): With Vice President Joe Biden's task force closing in on recommendations for new gun control laws the focus is starting to turn to what, if anything can get through Congress.

But on an Iowa public TV show, the state's Republican Senator Charles Grassley, sounded open to two of Biden's likely proposals, restricting high-capacity gun magazines and tightening background checks.

SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: I also think, though, that we do have to do things to make sure the database of the FBI has all the information so people can't buy guns that shouldn't have guns.

ACOSTA: The vice president laid out some of the ideas emerging from his task force Thursday, but he did not mention a new assault weapons ban, stirring speculation the White House is dropping the proposal. But the White House says that's not so.

An administration spokesman told CNN avoiding this issue just because it's been politically difficult in the past is not an option. That's despite what will be fierce opposition from the nation's top gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.

DAVID KEENE, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: I do not think that there's going to be a ban on so-called assault weapons passed by the Congress.

ACOSTA: The NRA can simply point to what happened in 1994 when President Bill Clinton signed the last assault weapons ban into law. Democrats lost control of both houses of Congress to Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's become the only Republican candidate in Indiana with an "F" rating from the NRA.

ACOSTA: Last year, the NRA proved it was willing to go after the GOP as well, running this TV ad against former Indiana Senator Dick Lugar, who lost a primary battle to a more conservative challenger.

(on camera): Are Democrats as nervous about the NRA as they used to be?


ACOSTA (voice-over): Maryland Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen says voters are eager for new gun control laws after Newton.

HOLLEN: If you look at the most contested congressional races around the country, they're in the suburbs and in suburban areas I think the weight of public opinion is on the side of commonsense gun safety provisions.

ACOSTA: After Biden spent days meeting with different interest groups, the latest being video game makers. The vice president doesn't seem to be in the mood to take on the entertainment industry.

BIDEN: There's no measure that I'm aware of to be able to determine whether or not there's a coarsening of our culture in a way that is not healthy.


ACOSTA: The Democrats say it's up to the White House to make that case. That's why they expect President Obama to put a heavy emphasis on gun control in his upcoming state of the union speech next month -- Martin.

SAVIDGE: CNN's Jim Acosta, thanks very much.

So, how did a drunk driving case land on the desk of the Supreme Court? We've got the details.

And what does this beauty queen and this python have in common? Find out. It is all in the NEWSROOM.


SAVIDGE: Our legal guys are back and so another face, Casey Anthony. Avery Friedman, by the way, is in Cleveland and Richard Herman is in Las Vegas so let's talk about this.

An appeal for Casey Anthony, remember that in her 2011 trial, she was cleared of murder and other charges related to the death of her daughter, Caylee. But she was convicted of four misdemeanor counts of lying to police during the investigation.

Now her lawyers are trying to get those convictions thrown out. A Florida appeals court case -- or heard the case this week. Avery and Richard, the basis apparently of Anthony's appeal is it's a question of whether or not she was under arrest or even in police custody when she made statements that led to her being convicted of lying to the officers.

This seems like such a basic police procedural thing. So explain what happened and how is it grounds for an appeal -- Richard.

HERMAN: It's a great legal argument here, Marty. I'll tell you, they're really great. They're claiming that when she was detained, handle cuffed in the police vehicle, she was questioned without given her Miranda Rights.

The trial judge believed that and ruled those statements inadmissible. Now the police got their conviction based on those statements, and the issue here really is whether it's an admissibility evidentiary issue or can the police rely on statements made anytime to do investigations.

I don't know how it's coming down. She needs two out of the three judges to rule in her favor. I think two of them will not rule in her favor, but very interesting arguments, really good legal arguments.

SAVIDGE: It raises the question when are you under arrest? I mean, she was handcuffed. She is in the back of a squad car.

HERMAN: Exactly.

SAVIDGE: But she was later - they took the handcuffs off and she was not taken in. So where is the line there, Avery?

FRIEDMAN: Well, I think that's the very issue. The three judges heard the argument this week. And I think it's a clever defense argument trying to get reversal of this. I'll explain why it's important in a minute.

But on the legal issue, if a defendant is brought in, cuffed, and is questioned, whether or not they took the cuffs off afterwards, if they didn't make it clear to the defendant, then I think it's the perception that one remains under arrest.

I think that's the argument on which Casey Anthony is saying, look, I'm entitled to be Mirandized. Anything I said thereafter should not have been admitted, should not be relied upon. That's the argument.

The reason it's important for Casey Anthony among other reasons is recall, Marty, that there's a defamation case sitting out there. And that conviction is going to be used in the defamation claimed by Zani the nanny, Zenaida Gonzalez, whose case has been held up.

So there are both very important constitutional reasons and there is a very important civil case reason for Casey Anthony to try to get this reversed.

SAVIDGE: Right. Because she has already served her -- well, she didn't get time. She got probation. She's already dealt with all this she got as a result of the conviction.


SAVIDGE: Let's go all the way to the Supreme Court really for this next case. This week the justices are considering this. Can police order blood tests for unwilling DUI suspects without a warrant? The case dates back two years when 25-year-old Tyler Moody was pulled over for speeding in Missouri.

He has already been convicted twice already on drunk driving charges. He refused a breath test and he failed several field sobriety tests, but the arresting officer didn't get a warrant for a blood test, instead he took Moody to the hospital where blood was drawn while he remained handcuffed.

The Missouri Supreme Court agreed with the lower court ruling that that test violated the fourth amendment against unreasonable search and seizure, but the state of Missouri wants to be able to do these warrantless blood tests if it needs to.

So what do you think here? In this particular case, it could have, I believe, far-reaching impact, Richard?

HERMAN: Yes. It could. I mean, can you imagine, Marty? They could just stick you and take your blood anytime you want? That's no good. That's not going to be upheld by the Supreme Court, really. There's an implied consent if you get pulled over for a DUI that you're going to do a breathalyzer and perhaps blood.

You can deny that. You can refuse that. You can say officer, I respectfully refuse. Other issues will take over at that time, but they cannot give you breathalyzer or they cannot draw your blood without a court order.

In this instance here, they did not get a court order. They did not get the permission to do it. The officer just directed it, brought the person to the police station, and pulled the blood. Look, you mentioned the priors.

He's facing a felony now if he's convicted here. That's why the magnitude of this case for this particular individual. But just think, Marty, the police officers can pull you over and take -- immediately take your blood. It's not going to happen.

SAVIDGE: Avery, before you respond, what Chief Justice John Roberts said about this case, he said one of the important things that he thinks affects the view in this case is it's a pretty scary image of somebody restrained and a representative of the state approaching them with a needle. I got to admit, that is a kind of terrifying idea -- Avery.

FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, I was actually going to quote Chief Justice Roberts. That is the key language. Here's a case, though, where technology, I think, is going to answer the question. I think -- I'm in a court. I think the Supreme Court is going to not permit this kind of invasion, bodily invasion, without a warrant. Why?

Because police officers have iPads, they can communicate with prosecutors. This was a 25-minute delay. I think at the end of the day because of technology the Supreme Court is going to say you've got to get a warrant. That's what the fourth amendment requires. And I think Tyler McNeeley, who is the defendant and the key focus in this case, prevails in this matter.

SAVIDGE: All right, Avery Friedman and Richard Herman, guys, I've really enjoyed our conversations. Thanks very much. Thank you.

HERMAN: Great working with you, Marty. SAVIDGE: You as well. Thanks.

Remember, the legal guys are here every Saturday at this time to give us their take on the most intriguing legal cases of the day.

All right, it's a hunt like no other and it has the folks of Florida flocking to the swamps in search of fun, fame, and fortune. The great python challenge. That's ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.


SAVIDGE: A month-long python hunting challenge under way in Florida in the everglades right now. Wildlife officials are using this novel way to rid the area of the snakes. Over 400 people have signed up, completing safety training online. But some experienced snake hunters are worried that may not be enough for amateurs to stay safe.

Well, we've got a packed afternoon ahead of us in the CNN NEWSROOM. Dr. Sanjay Gupta will tell you and myself how to keep our families protected against the flu epidemic.

We've got the scoop on tomorrow's Golden Globe awards. And we'll give you the inside track on how Hillary Clinton is doing now that she's back at work after a blood clot.

Plus, what's really going on behind the scenes of the GOP as President Obama prepares for his second inauguration. Those stories and much more ahead.

But next, Ali Velshi explains why we still don't have a budget and how our elected officials have bungled a basic business process most of us handle with ease. It's a must see. It's "YOUR MONEY" and it starts right now.