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CNN NEWSROOM

Horror in Brazilian Night Club Fire; Obama Ready to Tackle Immigration Reform; Scree Actors Guild Awards Winners; NFL Super Bowl Next Week

Aired January 27, 2013 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Don Lemon. Let's start with your headlines at this hour.

A nightclub suddenly catches fire in Brazil and a staggering number of people are dead tonight. This is a club in daytime. Witnesses say it was packed with people during a pyrotechnics show and at least 233 people died when they couldn't get out.

Stay right there, CNN crew is on the scene, a full report in just a minute.

Attention credit card shoppers. A brand new credit card fee kicked in on Sunday, stores in 40 states can now charge you a checkout fee worth up to three percent of your total purchase. This stems from a legal settlement that allows stores to pass along processing fees charged by credit card companies, many retailers strongly oppose a credit card fee, you can avoid the fee using your debit it card instead or paying cash.

Chuck Hagel got the nod today to be the next secretary of defense. Retired army general Stanley McChrystal and former CIA director and retired air force General Michael Hayden. Both say Hagel is a fine choice. Hagel earned two purple hearts in the Vietnam War. His confirmation hearing is set to begin Thursday.

Japan has launched two surveillance satellites to help keep an eye on North Korea. Defense officials are threatening to carry out a nuclear test and more long range rocket launches. The U.S. Security Council expanded sanctions against North Korea this week and condemned the country for last month's launch.

It is a sickening number, 233 people killed in a nightclub fire in southeast Brazil. Some burned to death, some were trampled, some overcome by smoke. It happened when the jam packed nightclub suddenly caught fire and many of these victims didn't stand a chance.

On the scene right now, where rescuers are still picking through the burned rubble, is CNN's Shasta Darlington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Smoke filled the air when the first firefighters entered the nightclub where shirtless men were already trying to rescue some of the injured. Emergency vehicles arrived not realizing the extent of the tragedy they faced. Chaos and terror among survivors and the bodies of victims all around.

The fire broke out at about 2:00 in the morning at a nightclub called Kiss in Santa Maria in Brazil's southernmost state. The club was packed with some 2,000 people, twice its legal capacity according to officials.

GUIDO DE MELO, STATE FIRE OFFICIAL (through translator): People who were inside the facility, informed us that when they came out, that security guards blocked the exit to prevent people from leaving, and that's when the crowd started panicking, and the tragedy grew worse.

DARLINGTON: People inside told us when they came out, security guards blocked exits to prevent people from leaving, he says. That's when the crowds started panicking.

This is Santa Maria's local gymnasium. But, it's been turned into a makeshift morgue. There are more than 100 bodies here, hundreds of families have come together trying to locate and identify the relatives who were, of course, young people in their late teens, early 20s, they died of asphyxiation and some of them were trampled to death.

As the confidence for the many victims were lined up, investigators searched for the cause of the fire, which tore through the sound proofing insulation in the roof. Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff cut short her appearance at a summit in Chile and headed to Santa Maria to personally oversee the government's response to the tragedy.

DILMA ROUSSEFF, PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL (through translator): To the Brazilian people, and the people of Santa Maria, we stand together at this time. And that even though there's a lot of sadness we will pull through.

DARLINGTON: By daylight, hospitals in Santa Maria were full of people looking for relatives among the survivors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There are a lot of people scattered around the hospital's different departments as well as in the intensive care units who have not been identified yet. It isn't a big number, that the people waiting outside for news are desperate.

DARLINGTON: It was the end of the summer holiday season in Brazil, the last chance to party for many young people due back at school or work on Monday.

Shasta Darlington, CNN. Santa Maria, Brazil.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: You may remember, we had a similar tragedy here in the U.S. A fire started at an overcrowded nightclub in Rhode Island and 100 died. And if you can believe it, that was 10 years ago.

Our Susan Candiotti has been looking back at some of that awful nightclub fires in recent American history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In 2003, 100 people died at the station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, where the band Great White was performing. Pyrotechnics ignited soundproofing material. Smoke filled the room.

In 1990, arson was the cause of the Happy Land fire in New York. It killed 87 people. Authorities said the Bronx Club was operating illegally. Two years after it was ordered closed because of safety violations.

In 1977, fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky, killed 165 people. Among 2,400 waiting for entertainer John Davidson to perform, which believed to be an electrical fire went undetected at first. There were no fire detectors or sprinklers. At the time, they weren't required.

The deadliest nightclub blaze happened in 1942 at the Cocoanut Grove club in Boston. Four hundred ninety two people were killed. The cause of the blaze, to this day, remains unknown.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: CNN's Susan Candiotti reporting tonight.

Very cold weather is expected this week in the United States. We will head to the middle of the country for that.

And then, across the world, this desperate attempt to rescue two women and a baby trapped in dangerous floodwaters. That's up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Here in the United States, we've had brutally cold weather in some areas of the country and it's expected to continue through the workweek with freezing rain and snow for parts of the Midwest and the northeast.

Icy roads and poor visibility are making travel dangerous and some areas in the northeast will get light snow. Around the country bad weather has been mucking up traffic on the roads and in the sky.

Lindsay Storrs from our affiliate KUTV has our report from Salt Lake City. Hi, Lindsay.

LINDSAY STORRS, KUTV REPORTER: Good evening, Don. Utah, of course, is known for having the greatest snow on earth, and we're getting some of that greatest snow on earth tonight, really, coming down here in downtown Salt Lake City. I have my trusty ruler here.

Here in downtown Salt Lake City, so far, we've picked up about five, 5.5 inches. And we're expected to get another two to five inches during the overnight hours, as the storm continues to slowly push across the state. Storms this like, of course, they wreak havoc on the roadways as well as the airports. Here in Salt Lake City, all the runways were shut down for about a half hour time, while they cleared all the heavy wet snow off the runways.

Most of those back open right now. They are shutting the runways down one at a time to deal with that snow removal. Also on i-15, which is one of the major highways that go through Salt Lake City, it was closed down for a two-hour period this evening because of a horrible accident, someone jackknifed on i-15, shutting down the freeway completely.

But, with all the problems a storm like this causes, it does bring good news to those of us here in Salt Lake City. As you probably know, we have been dealing with a thickened version, a very strong inversion for the past month, throughout the entire month of January with just a couple days break here and there, this storm has finally broken that inversion, got the gunk out of the air, finally brought in fresh clean air here in Salt Lake City. So, some good news coming with this big storm moving across the intermountain west.

Don, back to you.

LEMON: All right, Lindsay Storrs from KUTV in Salt Lake City. Thank you very much for that.

Several people are missing and hundreds of homes destroyed in massive flooding in Australia. Heavy rains and tornados from a tropical cyclone were reported in the state capitol of Brisbane, where almost 5,000 homes were affected.

And check out this dramatic rescue of two women and a toddler I a rural town in Australian state of Queensland. They were airlifted from their car which was overtaken by floodwaters. Everyone did make it out OK, though.

Did you see this interview? Man, it was amazing. President Barack Obama and outgoing secretary of state Hillary Clinton share their thoughts on the tragedy in Benghazi together side by side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Outgoing secretary of state Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama sat down to talk with "60 minutes tonight." The president had plenty of nice things to say, but it wasn't so long ago they were - remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: While I was working on the streets you were certificating on the board of Walmart.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: You were practicing law and representing your contributor, RESCO in slam landlord business in inner city Chicago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Oh, my! How things have changed. Tonight on CBS they address the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya this past September.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I knew Chris Stevens. I sent him there originally. It was a great personal loss to lose him and three other brave Americans. But, I also have looked back and try to figure out what we can do so that nobody in so far as possible will be in this position again.

But, we also live in a dangerous world. And you know, the people I'm proud to serve and work with in our diplomatic and development personnel ranks, they know it's a dangerous and risky world. We just have to do everything we can to try to make it as secure as possible for them.

OBAMA: I think one of the things that humbles you as president, I'm sure Hillary feels the same way as secretary of state, is that, you realize that all you can do every single day is to figure out a direction. Make sure that you are working as hard as you can to put people in place where they can succeed. Ask the right questions, shape the right strategy. It's going to be a team that both succeeds and fails. It's a process of constant improvement because this world is big and chaotic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Tonight the two had nothing but praise for each other.

And earlier I talked politics with CNN contributors L.Z. Granderson and Ana Navarro. L.Z. is a senior writer at ESPN and Ana is a Republican strategist.

The president is scheduled to make a speech is this week on immigration reform and Republican congressman Paul Ryan says he thinks this one issue is where the two parties can make a deal. Here's what he said this morning.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

LEMON: Sorry about the technical glitch right there. We will work on and try to get that for you.

In the meantime, as we work on that, we'll go to something else.

This past week it was announced the U.S. armed forces ban on women in combat will be lifted. Not everyone is happy about that. Two voices on opposite sides of this move square off and that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Now back to politics with CNN contributors L.Z. Granderson and Ana Navarro. L.Z., the senior writer at ESPN and Ana, a Republican strategist.

President is scheduled to make a speech this week on immigration reform. And Republican congressman Paul Ryan says he thinks this is the one issue where the two parties can make a deal. Here's what he said this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think there are Republicans and Democrats, many of us are talking to each other that can come together with a good solution to make sure that this problem is fixed. Once and for all, and I think those Rubio principles do a really good job of adhering to the founding principles, respecting the rule of law, and respecting those who came here for a better life.

CLINTON: Anna, is this an idea whose time has come?

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I absolutely think so. Listen. I think it's been played strategically in a brilliant manner. Marco Rubio who is part of this gang of six in the Senate made up of John McCain, of Lindsey Graham, of Marco Rubio, on the Republican side and Bob Menendez, Schumer and Durbin on the Democrat side.

They've been working on this from day one after the election. I think they're ready to come out with something. I think you're going to see that Marco Rubio has laid a lot of the groundwork by selling these principles. He's gotten great endorsement and support from one of the most right wing pundits and influence makers. He has got maneuver ability for this idea. And now, it's time to act upon it and grow it from there.

But, it is basically the only thing happening in Congress today, where there is a bipartisan movement on both chambers and both sides of the aisle.

LEMON: But Ana, the election is a long time ago, I've been hearing this about Marco Rubio in the gang of six. I mean, what - so, why wait? Why haven't we heard anything from them? Why are they waiting on a president?

NAVARRO: Because timing is everything. But, you know what, Don Lemon, if I were you, I wouldn't put money on them waiting on the president. The president's going to speak on Tuesday. I wouldn't be surprised if these senators who are tremendously strategic and know how to play the political game and will be defend their bipartisan profits, I wouldn't be surprised if they preempt the president, maybe do it tomorrow. Maybe do it before the president does it on Tuesday. I wouldn't be -- these are not folks that wait on the president. These folks act.

LEMON: So, you think they may come out on Monday? Do you know something we don't?

NAVARRO: I know a lot of things you don't.

LEMON: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: We'll see, maybe Ana does. L.Z., do the Republicans needs an immigration deal given their showing in the November elections?

L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: First of all, I just want to touch on (INAUDIBLE) that my friend, Ana, has done. The president has already spoken of this. He did that two years ago, three years ago in 2010. We voted on the dream act. The truth of the matter is, it that, he had mostly Republicans and about five Democrats that decided not to vote on the dream act. This is not as if something the president had not been working on. He actually gave us his outline in 2010 in terms of working toward immigration.

Now, as far as Republicans newfound religion, I'm giving them props. This is not new for them either. You know, John McCain, before he was against the dream act was a co author, a co responsible of the dream act. It was all about politics. I would agree with Ana, timing is everything, and now after they got their butt kicked they want to follow through on what they started years and years ago. Unfortunately, the Latino population has been a pawn in the political game. But, this is what it means to be an American. If you want to be here, you're a part of the game.

LEMON: OK. Speaking of the GOP, I want you to listen to Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal. Here, he's talking to his fellow Republicans.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: We must not be the party that simply protects the well off so they can keep their toys. We must reject identity policy. We have to stop being the stupid party. And I'm serious. It's time for a new Republican party that talks like adults.

LEMON: He's not the only one giving that sentiment. Paul Ryan gave a similar sentiment this morning on meet the press. Is this what your party needs, tough love?

NAVARRO: Yes, we need to not sugar coat it. We need to learn the lessons of the last election. I think governor Jindal is correct. I think Paul Ryan is right. I was at the Republican retreat ten days ago of the House members and I can tell you we heard a lot of this. And there is an acknowledgement within the Republican Party that we have to reboot.

Now, we cannot -- you know, the best part that happened out of this election is that we learned that you can't just do it, with white men. That attracting Latinos, attracting women is not an option. And I think that's why this immigration thing -- that's why the election has been such a game changer for the immigration issue because Republicans know that it is a huge challenge, but it's also a great opportunity to rebuild some bridges.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: My thanks to L.Z. and to Ana.

This week defense secretary Leon Panetta issued the order lifting a ban on women in combat units. And earlier I spoke with people with very different opinions on that decision.

Mikey Kay is a retired air force pilot. Elaine Donnelley is a former member of the presidential commission that handled women assignments in the armed forces. First I asked Elaine why she was against the latest move by the Pentagon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELAINE DONNELLY, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR MILITARY READINESS: The tip of the sphere infantry battalion, these are the ones that attack the enemy. These are all male for good reason. We don't have women in those units it's not a good idea to put them there.

Now, everyone is insisting and assuming the standards will be the same. They will be equal but they won't be the same. Because General Dempsey said well, if the standard is too high and the women can't meet it, we'll ask, should it be so high, that's when the pressure to lower the standards will continue.

He also asked for a critical mass of women. That will further lower the standards so we can have more women in the unit. And then we have a diversity commission that says, we're supposed to have diversity metrics. That's another name for quotas and promotions for men will be contingent on meeting the diversity quota.

Now, the military is not there just to support equal opportunity. It's there to defend the country and carry out the missions that are asked of them.

LEMON: OK. And one shouldn't assume every woman would be for this new policy. And, of course, said most men would be against it, and some men would be against it.

Mikey, you're all for this. Tell me about your experience in the military serving alongside women and why you're for it?

MIKEY KAY, RETIRED RAF PILOT: Don, I am. I think this is a very sensible well-fought pragmatic decision that's been taken by the Pentagon. I also think that it's perhaps a little overdue. I served for twenty years as an assault helicopter pilot. I served closely and directly on the U.S. forces in Macedonia, (INAUDIBLE), Iraq three times, Afghanistan three times. I worked very closely with women, I commanded women in some very key roles, in some successful operations. And all the evidence to me suggests or leads me to believe quite comfortably that the decision the Pentagon made is a good one.

And I'd just like to sort of pick up on Elaine's point about the role of the infantry. She's right in saying that aspects of the infantry is indeed to hunt and kill the enemy. But, I would also say the 21st century warfare has changed. 21st century warfare in recent experience in Iraq and Afghanistan has been about counter insurgency, it's about winning hearts and minds.

And a big role of the infantry now is about liaising with the locals. And as we all know, the local just don't comprise of men. They comprise of women. They comprise of little girls. And I think the dynamic that a woman brings to a unit that is out in these rolls, liaising with the local population is absolutely key and vital.

LEMON: OK.

Elaine, I want to know, what about women who say they are perfectly qualified to serve alongside men on the front lines?

DONNELLY: Well, 30 years of studies and reports that have been done indicate that when physical capabilities matter and they do, in the direct ground combat units that we're talking about now, women do not have an equal opportunity to survive or to help fellow soldiers survive.

KAY: I think when it comes to endurance, there was a Japanese 73- year-old lady that just made it on top of Everest last year. That was a second time in climbing it. I think women, professional athletes are operating at levels which most men would dream of.

Women are sailing around the world solo. I think when it comes to stomaching which a lot of infantry soldiers have to see, women in the combat medic role, which by the way, they are serving in for many, many years, are having to pick soldiers that have lost up to four limbs at times, daily in the back of a Medevac helicopter coming from the battlefield.

LEMON: I think, Mikey, let's be honest about this, and no one is being sexist here, as a man who grew up in a family of all women, a single mother for a long time.

And listen, no one is a greater fighter of women than me. But women for the most part are not physically as strong as men. And when you're on the battlefield, you want someone as strong as you or stronger than you to help you out of a FOX hole. That is just simple physics. Simple reality, Mikey.

KAY: Forgive me. My last piece on this word is I don't think anyone's talking about compromising the standards that would affect the fighting ability of the infantry unit. I think they're talking about testing and adjusting.

DONNELLY: Adjusting tasks.

KAY: If women pass the required levels that allow them to join an infantry unit they should give them an opportunity.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: And implementing this monumental policy change is going to take some time. But those right now begin what officials called an assessment phase. Each branch will examine all its units that don't accept women and come up with a time line for integration. Every three months service leaders will have to check in on their progress. And if it is not women of not suited for unit, an exemption may be sought.

But, for one combat unit in the air force, women are already part of the team. They've been side by side with men fighting on the ground for more than a decade.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your mission for today, you are going out to the village of Sana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

We have Intel there's possibly three to five fighters in the village. You're going to be going out with OSI to do a source meet in the village with Ahmed at the car garage. Be aware they are possibly armed with RBG's and small arms.

LEMON (voice-over): This is tech sergeant Andrea Jefferson's worst nightmare, patrolling a remote area of Afghanistan. Taking on enemy fire and a comrade goes down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's bleeding right here, I want you to put pressure on his wound.

LEMON: As an air force medic, Jefferson has been training for this moment for months.

ANDREA JEFFERSON, AIR FORCE MEDIC: Let's get him on a vehicle. Get him out of here.

LEMON: Within minutes, the injured airman is bandaged up and moved out of harm's way. This is in Afghanistan. But, it soon will be for Jefferson's watch. They're at Moody air force base in South Georgia.

But, in a matter of weeks they'll be on the front lines of battle in Afghanistan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Runner, runner, runner.

LEMON: And they're ready.

JEFFERSON: I really felt like the warrior medic I've seen in the movies.

LEMON: But her squadron is called out, Jefferson and the other women of her group will fight alongside the men.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The females, you know, we do everything the men do, sometimes even better.

LEMON: They're members of the 820th based defense group. From air assault to ground combat, the group does it all. And that includes the women. They're medics. They are intelligence officers, police officers. Their current mission?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be a first in combat ready group. Unlike the rest of the air force, we get to go outside the wire.

COLONEL PAUL NASUDA, COMMANDER, 820TH BASE DEFENSE GROUP: And We have approximately 730 individuals assigned to our team, 99 of which are women.

Each and every one of our mission sets across the group are open to every individual that we have assigned here, regardless of gender, regardless of race.

LEMON: Until this week, this opportunity was allowed only for the air force. But with secretary of defense Leon Panetta lifting the ban that kept women from serving in front line combat positions, all military women will be there fighting side by side with men.

NASUDA: We have four different air force combat action medal recipients, three purple heart recipients as well as four of our ladies have been entered into the wounded warrior program. Across the board, they all perform superbly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's amazing what you can do when the adrenaline's pumping, you turn into super woman.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: Half past the hour, get you caught up on the headlines right now.

Officials in Brazil still not ready to definitely say that pyrotechnics caused a nightclub fire that killed 233 people. Witnesses say the club was packed at twice legal capacity, and victims were either trapped inside or trampled by the panicked crowd.

Dozens of people killed in riots this weekend in Egypt.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

LEMON: These are protesters fighting with police northeast of Cairo. The riots erupted after the government announced death sentences for people involved in last year's violent soccer stadium riots. President Mohammed Morsi declared a state of emergency and set a 30- day curfew in several cities. They are also threaten to use increase military force.

Actors got to honor each other at tonight's Screen Actors Guild awards. 22-year-old Jennifer Lawrence won outstanding performance by an actress in a leading role for her work in "silver linings playbook." Daniel Day-Lewis scored outstanding performance by male actor and leading role for his presidential role in "Lincoln. " We'll have more winners from tonight's sag awards in just a few minutes here on CNN.

President Barack Obama is weighing in on the controversy over the apparent links between football and the potential for brain damage. Mr. Obama who is on record as a big Chicago Bears' fan tells the New Republic that if he has a son he would quote "have to think long and hard before I'd let him play football.' He also said he is especially concerned about college football players who unlike the pros aren't getting paid for the risks they take.

Scientists don't really know how we get the flu, but something called the flu machine could help us figure it out. We'll show it to you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: If you have the flu, most people want you to stay far, far away. But, people infected are welcome at a Maryland lab, especially if they're sneezing.

Goodness. Doctors there are researching a new theory on how we get the flu.

As Emily Schmidt reports, the doctor has a cool new machine. It's called the blazoned type two.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): People go to such lengths to avoid getting the flu, if you can't help but notice a place actively seeking those who have it.

When University of Maryland freshman Dominic Ong heard about a campus flu study, Dominic had a feeling, he fit the bill.

DOMINIC ONG, FLUE PATIENT: I woke up at like 8:00 a.m. today because every time I swallowed it felt like I was getting punched in the stomach. Yesterday I slept for 18 hours.

SCHMIDT: He tested positive for type a influenza which qualified him for a study researching how anyone gets the flu in the first place.

DOCTOR DON MILTON, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: That's what research and discovery is about and being a detective.

Professor Don Milton says scientists don't know exactly how the flu is transmitted. One theory, it may not be spread through direct or indirect contact but tiny viruses, 1/1,000 the width of a human hair that linger in the end.

MILTON: It would be nice if the flu was not aerosol transmitted because it would be much simpler. But I think the odds are that aerosols are going to play an important role.

SCHMIDT: That's where this machine named the calzone-type two comes into play. It measures how much the flu virus spreads airborne.

MILTON: He has local exhaust ventilation collecting all of his breath.

SCHMIDT: This lab is part of a global study, hoping to more clearly explain flu transmission and potential solutions.

MILTON: Things like having UV lights to sterilize the air, to have more ventilation, to have local exhaust ventilation, to control what people are breathing.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SCHMIDT: The centers for disease control and prevention suggest disinfecting germ contaminated surfaces as one way to avoid the flu. Dr. Milton says he agrees with that advice for things we touch. But says science still needs more answers about what to do with the air we breathe.

Emily Schmidt, CNN Washington.

LEMON: Emily.

Well, the gun debate hasn't moved Congress to act yet. It has fired up some people. Packed crowds at gun shows, he was bringing them out next 37

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Thousands of gun control advocates marched on Washington's national mall this weekend. Some held up the names of victims of gun violence. Survivors of mass shootings were also there. They want Congress to reinstate the ban on military assault weapons and require universal background checks. So, protesters said, they felt compelled to march after recent high profile gun tragedies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORI BERNETT, MARCH PARTICIPANT: Newtown just tore my heart out. Honestly didn't feel this emotional since 9/11.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Across the street from that rally, a smaller group of gun rights activists protested against new gun control measures.

The more talk of gun control, the more sales for gun dealers. That seems the case when you look at the crowds at recent gun shows.

And CNN's Catherine Callaway visited one venue in Georgia where sales were high along with the prices as well -- Catherine.

CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, gun shows are packed across the country, including this one here in Gwinnett County, Georgia. We're seeing people buying their very first firearm. And also gun owners are here to purchase additional firearms and ammunition.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CALLAWAY (voice-over): Lines literally wrapped around the building as the debate over gun control laws has motivated people all types of people to check out the show. Inside, we found Judy Kemper.

Why do you think there's so many people here today?

JUDY KEMPER, GUN BUYER: Gun laws and they are trying to pass through. I really think people are trying to get them before they're banned them or outlawed them. CALLAWAY: The rush to buy is driving up prices and making ammunition and some weapons difficult to find. Semiautomatic weapons like the ar-15 which here at the heart of gun control legislation are a popular item.

JOHN ORSZULAK, GUN OWNER: Stuff goes quick.

CALLAWAY: Gun owner John Orszulak says he comes to the shows to stock up on what he's unable to find in stores now. But, it is a thrilled surprises.

What do you use your guns for, target practice or --

ORSZULAK: Target practice, self-defense, hunting. Ten years ago I could buy 1,000 rounds of ammunition for $100. Now, it is nearly 50, 60 cents around, a thousand rounds. That would be pushing 600, $700. Gold hasn't gone up that much in price.

CALLAWAY: The crowd not only includes avid gun buyers, but people do have never been to a gun show.

GEORGE MAZZANT, GUN VENDOR: We get lots of first time gun buyers, they just want to defend themselves. They're not interested in stockpiling guns or ammo or stockpiling ammo to defend themselves.

CALLAWAY: For those who didn't want to buy a weapon, there were litany of other items to take home, very much like a county fair. The license vendors we saw were conducting background checks for their sales as require by federal law. And there were also private sales taking place between individuals which do not require a background check. And that was a concern for some of the vendors with a federal firearms license.

MAZZANT: If you have an FFL, a license FFL, you have to do a background check, where you sit down, we get your I.D., they would call you in. If you're a felon or you are crazy, you don't get in a gun. But in the state of Georgia, if an individual sells you a gun, no one does a background check. They don't do, everybody needs to do a background check.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CALLAWAY: The gun vendors are telling us, the one thing all this debate of gun control legislation has been is good for business -Don.

LEMON: Catherine, thank you very much.

One way to what will probably be the biggest most watched TV event of the year. NO, not Snooki's baby being born, I'm talking the super bowl they're already prepping in New Orleans, and we have the latest for you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: One week until Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore versus San Francisco, the battle of the coaching Harbaugh brothers. Ray Lewis (ph) has his last game and some great story lines so, let's get right to it.

CNN.com sports contributor Terence Moore is here. He's a columnist for mlb.com.

TERENCE MOORE, CNN.COM SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: So Terrence, it is good to see you as usual.

MOORE: Thank you.

LEMON: So, let's start with the Harbaugh brother brothers.

MOORE: Is there something in your throat?

LEMON: Very familiar with each other's coaching style.

MOORE: Yes.

LEMON: You have to expect that will have some impact, right?

MOORE: Yes, I say it probably will because these two guys are highly competitive. There's that great story that when they were kids, their father Jack had to draw a line down the middle of their room to separate the two. It didn't work, OK? So if we're lucky on Sunday, these two guys in a tense moment, they could be going at each other, wrestling at the 50 yard line, let's hope for that.

LEMON: Anything one thing that you are going to be watching to determine the winner?

MOORE: Well, you know, let's go with this. There have been 46 super bowls, OK? The quarterback has been the MVP 24 times, including five of the last six, which means start with the quarterbacks, OK? You have Colin Kaepernick for San Francisco. You got Joe Flacco for Baltimore. They have great postseasons.

So, whoever looks like that guy early, luckily will be that guy at the end with his fingerprints on the Lombardi trophy.

LEMON: Interesting. OK. Let's turn now for a minute to Baltimore to linebacker Ray Lewis, right? HE is playing his last game and getting tremendous outpouring if respect from fans and the media. Is everyone just putting aside what happened here in Atlanta after the 2000 super bowl when he was involve in the fight the left two people dead? Are they just putting that aside?

MOORE: Well, I mean, they probably are. And let me say this about Ray Lewis. I hate his dance, do you like that dance?

LEMON: No.

MOORE: It's horrible. But I like Ray Lewis.

LEMON: Wait a minute, what happened to -- no, I hate the dance.

MOORE: I'm going to get into that. Ray Lewis is one of the most liked persons in the NFL by his peers, except for quarterbacks. I had a 45 minute interview with Ray Lewis back in October. And the thing that came across very clearly, they asked him a question. Very sincere, very inspirational, and he told me this before he announced his retirement, that he wants to spend the rest of his life telling young people his mistakes so they can't make the same mistakes.

LEMON: So, do you think he's a changed man?

MOORE: I'm convinced he is a changed man from what happened 13 years ago.

LEMON: All right. OK. So, are you ready to pick a winner?

MOORE: I will pick a winner and it's like this. OK.

Forty six super bowls, I have covered literally half of them, Don. I'll be there in New Orleans this weekend. And the thing I've discovered, magic teams can win in baseball, they can win college basketball. Magic teams do not win in the NFL, the best team always wins. Baltimore's the magic team, the best team San Francisco. San Francisco will win.

LEMON: San Francisco's going to win?

MOORE: San Francisco's going to win.

LEMON: I thought you said Baltimore's the magic team.

MOORE: Well, but magic teams don't win in the NFL.

LEMON: I thought you said magic teams do win.

MOORE: They don't. In baseball, they don't. OK?

The NFL, if you look at Baltimore, the owner died, Art Modell, died earlier in the part of the year, you got Ray Lewis in his last year, their offensive coordinators, they changed mid season, they're a magic team.

But, you know what. San Francisco is getting everything else, that's why they're going to win the game.

LEMON: You want to put a wager on it?

MOORE: Well, you, you're from New Orleans.

LEMON: Give me a bet --. OK, but not New Orleans here, we'll do some -- we can't do a potboy. I have producers in my ear going oh, boy. We can't be in New Orleans. We have to do it here. So, let's just have some taco mac wings. How about that?

MOORE: OK. For sure. You got that (INAUDIBLE).

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Wings. Thank you, Terence Moore, appreciate it.

Wings are about five bucks, Terence.

All right, San Francisco 49ers arrived tonight in New Orleans for the big game next Sunday. Players are strictly business as they walked off the plane. The 49ers have won five super bowls in their history. Baltimore Ravens will arrive tomorrow.

South Korean pop icon Psy may not be in the half time show at the super bowl. There you go. You will be seeing him during the game. Yes. He's officially hit the big time now. Psy will have his own super bowl ad. It's for wonderful pistachios. Here's one of the guys responsible for the multimillion dollar ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARC SEGUIN, ROLL GOBAL: He was really professional, an amazing performer. He really turned it on. As soon as we started shooting the commercial and delivered a true Psy performance. He got along really well with our Grammy award winning director Matthew Cullen. They collaborated and created a great commercial.

Every one of our wonderful pistachios got cracked and the commercial has a celebrity opening up pistachios in their own unique way. We've used people from Bart Simpsons, Manny Pacquiao to the globetrotters to open up pistachios in a very clever way. And if you can imagine Psy with all thinks great moves, Gangnam style, he's going to open a pistachio as only Psy can. And we're excited to share that with the 100 million plus viewers on Super Bowl Sunday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All week long we're going to be covering the run up to the big game.

And next Saturday, CNN is live in New Orleans with our take of the biggest sporting event in the country. What it means to the city, how it became a cultural phenomenal and more. Take off in New Orleans. CNN bleacher report special next Saturday afternoon at 4:00 eastern.

The stars, the glitz, the glamour, the winners and the losers, we will sift through the results from the SAG awards next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Tonight's Screen Actors Guild awards for Hollywood leading actors together to honor their own. Here are some of the big winners.

"Argo" won outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.

Brian Cranston got his very first SAG award tonight for his role as a drug king pin in "breaking bad." He won an outstanding performance by a male actor in drama series.

Anne Hathaway won outstanding performance by a female actress in a supporting role, film role for "Les Miserables."

Tina Fey won outstanding performance by female actor in a comedy series for her final season as the wacky (INAUDIBLE) in "30 rock." I like her last name.

"Modern Family" won an outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series

You like that?

We're going to wrap up tonight with a civil war story. It is a black history story that you probably haven't heard before.

One hundred fifty years ago this weekend in 1863, the first regiment of freed slaves found themselves in what their commander called their first standup fight. Union officers didn't even know if these soldiers would fight and if they did, could they win? Those answers came in Florida at the battle of the hundred vines.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, gentlemen. I'm colonel Robert (INAUDIBLE).

LEMON (voice-over): In January 1863, while the men of the famous 54th Massachusetts portrayed in the movie, "Glory," were still training, another regiment of black soldiers, the first South Carolina volunteer was already in its first battle.

JOHN GOURDIN, CIVIL WAR HISTORIAN, AUTHOR: This is probably the site of the battle of 100 times.

LEMON: Not the most famous fight, but, maybe one of the most important of the civil war.

FRANK OFELDT, PARK RANGER, HISTORIAN: Yes. There were other bigger and more known battles, but that engagement at St. Mary's was their battle, their battle to prove themselves and to open the door for 180,000 African-Americans to join the union army.

LEMON: In May 1862, union general David Hunter ordered that all the slaves in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida were free. He quickly formed his own regiment of freed men, but without Washington's permission. Eight months later, Lincoln's emancipation proclamation meant the first South Carolina volunteers could be formally recognized by the war department. Their commander, Thomas Wentworth Higginson was eager to test them on an expedition to Florida.

OFELDT: Here we are where the first South Carolina served. Their involvement here in the fourth site obviously arriving in January, but, there are merely going to go on that mission.

GOURDIN: That one night of the 26th of January, 1963, a federal Calvary unit and the first South Carolina, a regiment of African descent flashed. It's what you call as the battle of 100 pines. A new troops fighting and they knew that they had to win this fight. When the smoke cleared, the first South Carolina was still standing. And the Calvary unit was gone.

LEMON: Only two soldiers, one from each side died that night, but history had been made.

OFELDT: We'll never forget those men. And I'm teary about that because it's a sacrifice to our country that they have laid down, not just to the country but to their race.

GOURDIN: Thank you.

OFELDT: Thank you.

GOURDIN: Very well said.

LEMON: A battlefield unmarked, but remember --

GOURDIN: Think back 150 years ago here's where the slaves that were brought from the coast of Africa proved they were men. This is the area where black soldiers from the first South Carolina earned their right to be called soldiers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: I'm Don Lemon at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Have a great night and a great week. See you back here next week.

END