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Lance's Body Language; New Numbers on Flu Outbreak; Sundance Film Festival Under Way; Dear Mr. President; Road to the Super Bowl

Aired January 18, 2013 - 10:30   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Carol Costello, thank you so much for being with us. At 30 minutes past the hour, time to check our top stories.

Right now in North Africa, the U.S. is evacuating Americans from people -- from other nations who were caught up in the hostage-taking by Islamic terrorists in Algeria. In the meantime, efforts continue to create other hostages, possibly including more Americans still being held at the gas plant.

Algerian state media reports that about 650 people most of them Algerians have been freed so far. We're also learning more about the terrifying ordeal itself. One hostage told his brother the kidnappers bound his hands with rope, duct taped his mouth and tied plastic explosives around his neck. That man managed to escape by running for his life with the bomb still strapped to his body. That's what his brother told CNN.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta issued a stern warning to the kidnappers today --


LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The terrorists should be on notice that they will find no sanctuary, no refuge, not in Algeria, not in North Africa, not anywhere. Those who would wantonly attack our country and our people will have no place to hide.


COSTELLO: The Algerian military without consulting the United States launched a raid that Britain said left nearly 30 British and other people unaccounted for.

Authorities at Miami's International Airport are trying to figure out why two planes bumped into each other on the runway. No one was hurt when an Airbus 340 arriving from Argentina clipped a Boeing 777 headed for Paris. About 350 passengers en route to France has to switch planes for their trip.

Just this morning the White House unveiled President Obama's new official portrait. You're looking at it. It's a photograph taken in the Oval Office. The President is wearing an American flag pin on his lapel and, of course, that great big smile. His hair looks a little greyer than it did in his first official portrait, too.

For years we were all deceive by Lance Armstrong. Now he's finally coming clean. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey Armstrong wasn't overly emotional, in fact, some say his body language tells a completely different story.

Susan Constantine is a body language expert. Good morning.


COSTELLO: You know, one of the noticeable habits Armstrong displayed in last night's interview was he kept touching his face and covering his mouth. Let's watch.


LANCE AMRSTRONG, CYCLIST: Well and that's -- no. I didn't, that was true.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: That was true; 11 of the 2000 tour, stopping at a hotel. Tyler Hamilton says you stopped at a hotel. How did it all work?

ARMSTRONG: I -- I viewed it as very simple and for most of my career, there wasn't that much of that. Again, just trying to perpetuate the story. Ferrari and again, it's -- it's hard to talk about some of these things.


COSTELLO: So Susan, what does that tell you?

CONSTANTINE: Well, when people put their hands over their mouth, if you can imagine like a little kid that's about ready to tell a lie, what do they do they put their hands over their mouth. What he does is like taking a fishing net kind of scooping it up and putting the words right back in his mouth, putting his hands to hold the words within.

So basically when you're doing that and you're kind of rubbing here it's kind of a soothing gesture. So when I'm about to tell a lie I'm also going to pacify myself, it's a self-soothing gesture, it's going to be OK. Hang in there, it's going to be all right.

But basically what that is, is that he's trying to hold back his words which are usually lies.

COSTELLO: Interesting OK so you think Armstrong seemed arrogant. One part at the start of the interview stood out to you. Let's listen.


WINFREY: Yes or no; did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?

ARMSTRONG: Yes. WINFREY: Yes, or no; was one of those banned substances EPO?


WINFREY: Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?


WINFREY: Did you ever use any other banned substances like testosterone, cortisone or human growth hormone?


WINFREY: Yes or no, in all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?


WINFREY: In your opinion was it humanly possible to win the Tour de France without doping? Seven times in a row.

ARMSTRONG: Not in my opinion.


COSTELLO: OK. That last thing he did with his mouth, how would you characterize that?

CONSTANTINE: Well, you notice that his mouth was more stretched and he kind of tucks his lips in. That's frustration almost emerging, arrogance and anger combined together. It's a cluster gesture. So then he puts his hand over his mouth, again, scooping up the words.

You might have seen him kind of scratching his head a little bit like I'm not so sure if I'm going to share this or not. And then the pausing and the hesitation and the words that he use is he uses third person pronouns often in his -- that's actually deceptive; first person singular pronoun I, me and my are truthful. Those, them and they when the time he used those third person pronouns generally are deceptive.

COSTELLO: Oh yes he talked a lot in the third person. That was really strange.

CONSTANTINE: Yes he does.

COSTELLO: The way he was sitting struck me, the way he had his legs crossed because he kind of looked -- he sort of seem to me that he was trying to look relaxed but he really didn't.

CONSTANTINE: No he didn't Carol and in fact what he did is when he crossed his legs a lot of guys will sit like that you know it's a confident gesture. But here is where it betrayed them, it betrayed him he actually kept his hands in his -- in his lap, making his body language small, so when you're not feeling so powerful, you then close your body language in.

But then what he's trying to do is to have you look at him and send the message that he's confident by crossing his legs. But there's also moments where he actually grabs his legs with both of his hands bracing himself to protect himself.

COSTELLO: Wow. Body language expert, Susan Constantine, thank you so much for your insight. It was interesting.

CONSTANTINE: Thanks Carol.

COSTELLO: This news just in to CNN, moments ago the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released brand-new numbers on the flu outbreak. This is part of its report. It says now 30 states reporting high levels of flu activity, that's six more states than last week; 48 states now have widespread flu activity. And more older Americans are being hospitalized with the flu.

Joining us on the phone right now Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent. What else did this report say, Sanjay?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): It sort of confirmed I think what we were suspecting, that you can't sort of draw a trajectory from one data point. Last week we thought maybe this is heading down now, is it going to be getting better. And it really is sort of -- is sort of fitting with what you'd expect. We're sort about halfway, a little bit more than halfway through the flu season, and the numbers have gotten worse. They also looked specifically at the flu vaccine and I think some of the initial estimates are about 60 percent effective. And they're finding that that's not right. That's 62 percent effective.

It again, as we talked about before, Carol, it doesn't mean that right when you get a flu shot that you're protected. Usually it takes a couple weeks for the immunity to build in. But it's sort of fitting not only with what flu seasons are like. Earlier this year, but even more specifically what this flu virus H3N2 is like. We've seen it before. It's sort of doing the same thing.

COSTELLO: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much for clarifying, we appreciate it.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COSTELLO: It can set trend, shape or culture and propel little-known actors to fame, the Sundance Film Festival now under way. Nichelle Turner is there.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: And the festival's founder Robert Redford says when this happens he becomes a proud Papa. Carol, we are live in Park City one-on-one with him when CNN NEWSROOM with Carol Costello continues.


COSTELLO: The Sundance Film Festival in full force. Thousands of people are in attendance. It's one of the world's largest independent film festivals it can set trends and influence our culture and even our politics.

Nischelle Turner is in Park City, Utah, this morning. You got to talk to Robert Redford.

TURNER: I know, right? And I say we do a lot of celebrity interviews and I do a lot of them, but it's a little bit of a moment when Robert Redford walks into the room and it was definitely that yesterday.

You know, Carol, you talked about the fact that politics takes center stage a lot of times at the Sundance Film Festival and that is true, there are a lot of political films and documentary that premiere here. This year there's documentaries about Dick Cheney that will see premiering about WikiLeaks, about the Occupy Wall Street Movements, there are also documents about Anita Hill and Jim McGreevey that will be premiering here. In fact, I'll be sitting down with both Anita Hill and Jim McGreevey later on today.

But as you said you know Robert Redford never bites his tongue when it comes to all things politics and one of the things that we talked about was what he would like to see with the Inauguration coming up in just a couple of days from President Obama in the next four years. Take a listen to what he had to say --


ROBERT REDFORD, FOUNDER, SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: I would like to see him pay attention to more environmental issues. I think it's too dire. I think the -- I think the situation is too dire. The law of entropy is so extreme right now.

The planet is shrinking. It's being divvied up, carved up, dug up. And what are we thinking about future generations? Are we going to leave them anything? And so I think it's in the hands of leadership and also the public to speak to this. I hope he does.


TURNER: Now, we also talked about the fact that there's little-known films that become big hits here at Sundance. One of the things we saw this year was the film "Beasts of the Southern Wild" that debuted last year at Sundance and now is nominated for four Oscars and when I asked Robert Redford about that, he kind of puffed up a little bit and said, "Yes, you know when these things happen, I definitely become a proud Papa" -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Is that so, Nischelle Turner reporting live from Park City, Utah this morning.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is known far beyond the Garden State for his blunt talk. Now he's turning his attention to the NRA.


COSTELLO: The fallout from the NRA's latest ad continues. The gun rights group's decision to make President Obama daughter a focus of that ad drawing sharp criticism from the left and from the right. Now New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is weighing in.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: And to talk about the President's children or any public officer's children who have not by their own choice but by requirement to have protection and to use that somehow to try to make a political point I think is reprehensible.


COSTELLO: In an interview with CNN, NRA president David Keene said the ad was not specifically about the Obama daughters but about children who attend schools with private security. The group labeled the President a hypocrite for opposing what Keene called, quote, "the same sort of protection for all children".

And the Obama daughters aren't the only kids in the national spotlight this week. We first saw these kids standing behind the President at the White House as he unveiled his proposal to end gun violence in America. And now we're hearing from those children in new videos posted on the White House YouTube channel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dear President Obama, I think there should be some changes in the law with guns. It's a free country, but I recommend there needs to be a limit with guns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I'm ready to ask you to start gun violence. I am very sad about the children who lost their lives in Connecticut, so I thought I would write to you to stop gun violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, can we do something which will stop all of these terrible problems? After watching the news all day on Friday, one question popped in my head and that question is, can we stop using guns?


COSTELLO: The Obama administration has come under fire for incorporating the children into that news conference. Some conservatives say the children are being used as props.

And this weekend, scores of children, their parents, and others will descend on Washington ahead of President Obama's inauguration. The chairs are being placed. Dress rehearsals are taking place, but if you're headed to D.C., you better bundle up because the forecast calls for flurries on inauguration day. National Guardsmen from more than 25 states making their way to the nation's capital, an estimated 6,000 of them will be on hand to help with security.

And while it may be crowded on the roads, the scene will be a little less hectic at Dulles International Airport. The region's busiest airport may close one of its runways to accommodate the private planes flying in some parts -- flying in VIPs from across the country.

Our own VIP, Wolf Blitzer, he'll be hosting the situation room live from the National Mall this afternoon, that starts at 4:00 p.m. Eastern and we'll have special inauguration coverage all this weekend star starting on Sunday and morning at 9:00 Eastern.

Boston's mayor is a big fan of the town's sports team, so why does he keep -- why does he keep screwing up the players' names?


COSTELLO: Oh, Carlos Diaz just told me a joke that I will not repeat on television. No.


COSTELLO: We're not saying it.

DIAZ: Let's talk about the road to the Super Bowl because it's going through Atlanta and Foxboro on Sunday, the NFC title game begins at 3:00 Eastern with the Falcons hosting the San Francisco 49ers. And then the AFC championship starts at 6:30, the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots battle it out at Gillette Stadium.

Carlos Diaz from HLN Sports is here to talk about fun stories before the kickoff. And we're going to start with the Patriots and their big fan, Mayor Thomas Menino. He was trying to do some trash talk and kind of didn't get the players' names right. So we'll listen to that and then please expound after.

DIAZ: Sure.


MAYOR THOMAS MENINO, BOSTON: We have Tom Brady here. We have Tom Brady here. We have Tom Brady here. He's been our point person all season long.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- for Tom Brady --

MENINO: He has been our point person all season long.


MENINO: And Stevan Ridley, he's another guy. And Wilcott -- Wilfork -- I'm sorry -- Wilfork, I'm sorry. Hernandez is going to do a great job as he steps in for Gonk as Gonk's hurt.


COSTELLO: He had a cheat sheet.

DIAZ: No and he didn't even follow it and you're wearing Vince Wilfork's jersey. If you're wearing the guy's jersey and you messed it up, we have issues. And Gonk? It's Gronk, Gronkowski, all right? I know he's out with an injury but come on. I thought it was really embarrassing when he talked about Larry Bird and referred to him as Larry Sparrow. That to me -- no, that didn't happen. But still, you have to get the names right.

Luckily there're very few sports fans in Boston for your re-election hopes. But that's the thing. Another thing too is the bet that he has with the Baltimore mayor they are exchanging food and judging from that photo this is not something he needs to do right now.


DIAZ: No, but I'm just saying that we need a better bet. We need a bet -- these bets of exchanging food, the food isn't --

COSTELLO: Have you ever had a Baltimore crab cake?

DIAZ: OK, they have great crab cakes in New England as well.

COSTELLO: No, they don't.

DIAZ: Yes, they do.

COSTELLO: Baltimore has the best.

DIAZ: You need to have better bets. They're just exchanging food.

COSTELLO: OK, whatever. Let's talk about the Ravens defensive coordinator and how he's going to contain Tom Brady.

DIAZ: This is spectacular is what it is. He's going to go all Tonya Harding, he says. Basically he wants to spray water near the Patriots bus as Tom Brady's getting off because if you've seen Tom Brady in this postseason he's been unstoppable and Tom Brady is looking to go to yet another Super Bowl, more Super Bowls than anyone else in the history of the NFL. That will be six Super Bowls which would be unbelievable, unprecedented.

He's having -- he looks as good now as he did when he went to his first Super Bowl. He looks that young -- I'm talking about on the field, all right, Carol, control yourself.

COSTELLO: I couldn't resist.

DIAZ: But, you know, that's a great point. Though, on a serious note the Ravens defensive coordinator used to be the defensive coordinator for the Patriots, so he does know. He went against Tom Brady in practice for years, so that could be a very good sign for the Ravens.

COSTELLO: OK. Speaking of the 49ers, Maybe the "Sports Illustrated" kind of hoax thing might do him in.

DIAZ: Colin Kaepernick -- you're talking about the quarterback for the 9ers. He's on the --

COSTELLO: He's on the cover. DIAZ: He's on the cover, OK? But here are the things that he has going for him. First off, he ran for 181 yards last week which is unbelievable. Then he's got this whole Kaepernicking thing. It's not Tebowing, it's Kaepernicking where he kisses his biceps when he scores -- very nice.

He's an inspirational story. He's adopted. There's the Kaepernicking right there. His tattoos some of them have like bible scripture. He's very popular amongst the ladies. His jersey is the number one selling jersey among women in the last few months.


DIAZ: So, I'm just saying. But he had an amazing performance -- to be serious now, he had one of the most amazing performances ever out of a quarterback last week against the Packers. It's going to be very tough as a second-year guy to have that same kind of performance against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday.

COSTELLO: Yes, the much underestimated Atlanta Falcons.

DIAZ: A homer.

COSTELLO: Well -- it would be great if they're --

DIAZ: OK. Here we go, we're going to pick Carol's Super Bowl right now, all right. Vegas, are you listening? Here we go. What do you have? Ravens against the Patriots, who's going to win that game?


DIAZ: OK. And then you have the Falcons against the 9ers.

COSTELLO: I like the bird matchup.

DIAZ: You're going all birds. OK.

COSTELLO: All birds, baby.

DIAZ: Falcons against -- there you go. All right.

COSTELLO: How about you? Go ahead, do the Patriots. Everybody picks the Patriots.

DIAZ: Patriots against the 9ers. I'm going exactly the opposite. Patriots/Niners. I'm sorry, there are some custodians here in the building at CNN here Atlanta, I might have to take Monday of if the Falcons lose, because there's a lot of trash talking going.

COSTELLO: OK. So if you lose the bet, I want some crab cakes.

DIAZ: I'm going to give Carol some crab cake if I lose the bet. I'm telling you right now, all right?

COSTELLO: And I'm not going to give you anything, OK?

DIAZ: Like it is every day on the air, carol.

COSTELLO: Thanks, Carlos. It was fun.

We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: A story a lot of people are talking about: Lance Armstrong's conversation with Oprah Winfrey. Throughout the interview Armstrong alluded to the persuasive culture of doping during his time in elite cycling but he didn't offer it as an excuse.


WINFREY: You said to me earlier you don't think it was possible to win without doping.

ARMSTRONG: Not in that generation, and I'm not here to talk about others in that generation. It's been well documented. I didn't invent the culture, but I didn't try to stop the culture and that's my mistake and that's what I have to be sorry for and that's what something -- and the sport is now paying the price because of that. And so I am sorry for that.


COSTELLO: Of course, Lance Armstrong the subject of our "Talk Back" question today. Thanks so much for your responses. Got a lot of them today. The "Talk Back" question: "What did you take away from the Armstrong interview?"

This from Billy: "Why does the bad always have to outweigh the good. He's achieved more good than the average person. Are we so heartless as a society to overlook all the good that he's done to help people?"

This from Melody: "He's paying for his transgression by coming clean. Get over it."

This from Tansel: "Not so much for his cheating. I'm speechless about how many people he hurt in the process. His arrogance still sitting in front of Oprah makes me sick. I am so done with this sick individual."

And this from Trudy: "It reveals a liar busted, exhibiting concern about his problem of his world and having to spend the rest of his life apologizing. He's the victim through his eyes. No remorse for others at all."

And I'm wondering, are you going to watch the rest of his interview with Oprah tonight? Another hour and a half on the OWN Network? Hmm, I'll still pondering because what else can he possibly say?

Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello. CNN NEWSROOM continues now with Ashleigh Banfield.