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CNN SUNDAY MORNING
Ice, Freezing Rain Push Through Midwest; Crowds Flock To Gun Shows; 19th Annual SAG Awards Tonight; Men's Final In Melbourne
Aired January 27, 2013 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.
Call it a local arms race. Gun owners stocking up for fear of a potential ban. We'll take you to a gun show that is booming.
As Brazil readies itself for the 2014 World Cup, it's not just local stores and restaurants that stand to profit. How prostitutes there are also preparing for a business boom.
And the SAG Awards are tonight. We'll give you a preview of who's likely to win one of Hollywood's biggest honors.
It is Sunday, January 27th. Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.
First, we are keeping an eye on a breaking story out of Brazil right now. Reuters is quoting local media reports that say as many as 90 people were killed in a nightclub fire in the city of Santa Maria. That's in southern Brazil. Now, as many as 200 others may have been injured in this blaze. We'll bring you more details as we get them.
Back here at home, an ice storm is making its way through the Midwest. The latest winter storm pushing through the Plains toward the Great Lakes. It's leaving as much as half an inch of ice on roads, trees and power lines. Heavy snow is also possible. Meteorologist Samantha Mohr has more on where this system is headed.
SAMANTHA MOHR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Randi, it is a cold morning across the Northeast and we have a little bit of wintry weather to get through before we see our warm up in the middle of the week.
So this is what you're waking up to this morning. Temperatures mainly in the teens across the Northeast. And we're going to end up seeing things, you know, moderate a bit today. So that means our temperatures should be just a degree or two above freezing across the New York City area. If you're out at Central Park, it's going to be crisp. You definitely need your coat you're your gloves and your hat.
But things are really going to get nasty as we had into the overnight hours. Notice how we're seeing some warming across the nation's midsection. So there is a little relief once we get a couple of days out as that air moves to the east. But in the meantime, we're going to have to deal with some nasty wintry weather across the Midwest, including the threat of some freezing rain in the Chicago area today. We could see around a tenth of an inch. So that could make for some slick surfaces. Watch it as you head across those elevated surfaces like bridges. They tend to freeze first before the regular surface, the road surface does. So watch for that. And a wintry mix all the way from Minneapolis into Green Bay today and into the beginning of the workweek.
So that's going to be a problem here if you have any traveling today. Here's some of the delays we're expecting it see in New York and Boston. There's going to be some wind delays. Probably under an hour, though. Philly also seeing similar conditions. And then the wind and the snow combining for some problems here in the Cleveland area once we get on into the day.
So here's what we're expecting to see as we head into the next three days. Notice that the temperatures will be dramatically warmer once we get to Tuesday in places like Detroit. Syracuse will also be doubling your temperature by the time we get to the middle of the week, or at least by Tuesday. And New York City will see some relief, as well.
But in the meantime, just keep it tuned here because we will have some slick spots to navigate before we get to the warm up.
KAYE: All right. Thank you very much.
And to politics now. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin calling it quits. The veteran Democrat says he won't run for re-election in the 2014 midterms. Harkin has been in the senate since 1984. President Obama issued a statement saying Harkin will be missed, while Republicans started licking their chops at the prospect of gaining a Senate seat.
A major gift for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He's giving $350 million to his alma matter, Johns Hopkins. $100 million of that is earmarked for financial aid for students in need. Bloomberg has given more than $1 billion to the school since he graduated in the mid- 1960s.
This morning, the hacked website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission is back up and running and the FBI is handling the case as a criminal investigation. The site was shut down for a few hours yesterday after the group Anonymous took over the page. The hackers made it known it was payback for the suicide of web activist Aaron Swartz. He was facing federal computer fraud charges.
In Egypt, at least 30 people were killed in clashes in the city of Port Said. Protesters were trying to storm a prison. They wanted to reach 21 people who were sentenced to death last week for their part in a deadly soccer riot last year.
Moving to Bangladesh. A deadly clothing factory fire has killed seven workers, all of them women. Police say they were either trampled to death or jumped to their death from the second floor. A first floor exit was locked and there were no fire alarms. Two months ago, more than 100 people died in a similar clothing factory fire in Bangladesh.
Back in the U.S. Gun control advocates are hoping a weekend protest in Washington will bring some real changes. Thousands of protesters marched on the National Mall yesterday. Some held up the names of victims of gun violence. Survivors of mass shootings were also there. Protesters are calling on Congress to reinstate the ban on military-style assault weapons and require universal background checks. And some came to show their support for Newtown victims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORI BENNETT, RALLY PARTICIPANT: Newtown just tore my heart out. Honestly didn't feel this emotional since 9/1 1.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Across the street from that rally, a smaller group of gun rights activists protested against new gun control measures.
The gun debate also seems to be motivating crowds of people across the country to go to gun shows. Some fear certain guns could soon be banned with the push for tougher controls. That's also creating a lot of business for gun dealers. Catherine Callaway has more.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Randi, gun shows are packed across the country, including this one here in Gwinnett County, Georgia. We're seeing people who are buying their very first firearm and also gun owners who are hoping to purchase additional firearms and ammunition.
CALLAWAY: Lines literally wrapped around the building as the debate over gun control laws has motivated all types of people to check out the show. Inside, we found Judy Kemper.
CALLAWAY (on camera): Why do you think there's so many people here today?
JUDY KEMPER, GUN BUYER: The gun laws that are trying to be passed through. I really think people are trying to get them before they ban them or outlaw them.
CALLAWAY (voice-over): The rush to buy is driving up prices and making ammunition in some weapons difficult to find. Semi automatic rifles, like the AR-15, which are at the heart of gun control legislation, are a popular item.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stuff goes quick.
CALLAWAY: Gun owner John Orszular says he comes to the shows to stock up on what he's unable to find in stores now, but isn't thrilled with the prices. CALLAWAY (on camera): What do you use your guns for? Is it for target practice or --
JOHN ORSZULAR, GUN OWNER: Target practice, self-defense, hunting. Ten years ago I could buy 1,000 rounds of ammunition for my AR for $100. Now it's nearly 50 cent, 60 cents a round. A thousand rounds will be pushing you $600, $700. Gold hasn't gone up that much in price.
CALLAWAY (voice-over): The crowd not only includes avid gun buyers, but people who have never been to a gun show.
GEORGE MAZZANT, GUN VENDOR: We get lots of first-time gun buyers. They just want to defend their self. And they're not interested in stockpiling guns or stockpiling ammo. They want one gun, a box of ammo to defend their self.
CALLAWAY: For those who didn't want to buy a weapon, there were a litany of other items to take home, very much like a county fair. But licensed vendors we saw were conducting background checks for the sales as required 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 go to an FFL, a licensed FFL, you have to do a background check where you sit down, we get your ID, we call you in. If you're a felon or you're crazy, you don't get a gun. But in the state of Georgia if an individual sells you a gun, no one does a background check. They need to do -- everybody needs to do a background check.
CALLAWAY: What the gun vendors are telling us is that the one thing all this debate of gun control legislation has been is good for business.
KAYE: Catherine Callaway, thank you very much.
The price of sending a letter at the post office goes up today by just one penny. It will now cost you 46 cents to send grandma a letter or 33 cents to send her a postcard. The hikes come as the postal service faces a budget crisis and is in desperate need of help from Congress. Now at 8:15 Eastern Time this morning, I'll talk one-on-one with U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Ruth Goldway and ask her about the future of America's cash-strapped post offices.
Ben Affleck's film "Argo" is on a role, picking up another big honor on the eve of tonight's SAG Awards. I'll tell you what he won and preview tonight's big event.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KAYE: Good morning, Washington. Welcome, everyone, to EARLY START WEEKEND. Look at that beautiful shot of the Capitol there. Just think, one week ago we were there preparing doing a live show for the inaugural event coming up on Monday. So, we're a long way from the Capitol this morning, but we're glad you're with us.
Burt Reynolds, this morning, doing better, but he still remains in ICU this morning. The 76-year-old legendary actor is in a Florida hospital fighting flu symptoms. His rep says Reynolds could be released tomorrow. Reynolds made a name for himself in such classics as "Gunsmoke" and "Deliverance."
It is time to roll out the red carpet once again. This time for the 19th Annual Screen Actor Guild Awards in Los Angeles. It will air on our sister networks TNT and TBS tonight. So, who will take home the top honors? Our entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner has a sneak peek now of tonight's big show.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the (INAUDIBLE) of Hollywood honors, where Oscar is granddaddy, you might call the SAG Awards a sassy teenager.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
JON WEISMAN, DAILY VARIETY: It's a big deal. It's film and TV mixing together. And it's the recognition of your peers, unlike sort of any other ceremony in Hollywood.
TURNER: And like other teens, this one has strong opinions and it's often a trendsetter.
WEISMAN: The actors are the biggest branch of the academy. So, very much so what happens at the Screen Actors Guild Awards can be a precursor for what's going to happens at the Oscars.
TURNER: Daily Variety's Jon Weisman says earlier awards this season have given some SAG nominees momentum.
WEISMAN: And their performances were great in so many of these movies. Anne Hathaway in "Les Mis." Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook," of course Daniel Day Lewis in "Lincoln."
TURNER: But tonight's biggest prize of all, cast in a motion picture, is still a horse race.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what I do. And I've never left anyone behind.
WEISMAN: We have terrific movies nominated, including "Argo," "Lincoln" "Les Miserables," "Silver Linings Playbook," plus "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." Any one of those casts are deserving of victories. It is what everyone's talking about right now.
TURNER: When they're not talking about TV dramas. WEISMAN: Now the flavor of the month or of the year right now is "Homeland." "Homeland" has been winning everything in sight. But not maybe the ensemble and the way "Boardwalk Empire" has. And then, of course, you've got "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" and "Downton Abbey" just sort of lurking there going, what about us?
TURNER: As for the comedy de jour?
WEISMAN: "Girls" that's sort of the hot new show of late, but that's not nominated at the SAGs. So that takes away one potential rival from "Modern Family."
TURNER: Seen as the frontrunner for its third straight win.
Nischelle Turner, CNN, Hollywood.
KAYE: And, tonight, don't miss A.J. Hammer as he rubs elbows with Hollywood's elite live from the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Award show. It all happens tonight, 6:30 Eastern Time right here on CNN.
Well, as you heard, "Argo" is also up for a SAG award tonight. The Ben Affleck directed film has been on a roll this awards season. Last night, Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov took home top honor at the Producers Guild Awards for the movies which portrays the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The Oscar nominated film has already picked up a couple of Golden Globes for best movie drama and best director.
They are the show during the show. Super Bowl commercials, of course. We'll take you behind the scenes of one of the biggies.
KAYE: It is final's day down under. Of course I'm talking about the Australian Open. And the men's final underway right now. Number one in the world, Novak Djokovic taking on U.S. Open champ Andy Murray. Joining me from Melbourne with more on the match is Amanda Davies.
So, Amanda, I've got to say, I was heartbroken when Federer lost to Murray in the semis. But this could be the new rivalry, right? We have Djokovic and Murray today.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's certainly the case. I can put your mind at rest, Randi. We saw Roger Federer out at a nightclub last night, behaving himself, I have to say, but he was with his family and smiling. So he didn't look too down in the dumps about having not made the final here.
But, yes, I don't know whether you remember the great U.S. Open encounter between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi from 2001.
KAYE: Oh, yes. DAVIES: Where ever set went to a tie break. And that is what seems to be happening here this evening. It was always going to be a great encounter. As you said, people billing it very much as the great rivalry that we're going to see for years to come in tennis. And the two players are slugging it out. Blow for blow. The most fantastic rallies that we're seeing here.
Djokovic did have the majority of the break points in the first set, but couldn't convert any of them. It went to a tie break. Andy Murray took that, 7-6. And then we had the second set. That one blow for blow. Neither could break down the other's serve. Went to a tie breaker again. Djokovic won that one.
Andy Murray has had a bit of a medical time out, took his shoe off, and he's suffering from serious blisters. It's been really hot here over the last couple of weeks and the courts here are very hard. So that's a little bit of a concern for Andy Murray fans. But if you cast your mind back to the U.S. Open final, which Murray won, that one went the distance, over five hours, and that seems to be what is going to happen today.
What's at stake? Well, it's Djokovic looking for a third straight title here. That would give him a little piece of history. Murray's looking for his first Australian Open title. He's been in the final here twice before, but never quite got his hands on the trophy.
Frankly, I'm not going to be brave enough to put my hand up and say who I think is going to win because at this point I think it is anybody's game. But it's the great Andre Agassi who's sitting in the stands waiting to present these guys with the trophy, whoever it is, whatever time it will be. We're approaching 1 1:00 in the evening here. So, yes, we're settling in, expecting a late evening.
KAYE: Yes, no question about that. But, I mean, Andy Murray, he's showing some real confidence ever since winning the gold and certainly ever since winning the U.S. Open. But what is the history, Amanda, between these two guys? I mean, do they know each other well?
DAVIES: Yes, it's a really interesting rivalry that's developed between these two. Novak Djokovic from Serbia, Andy Murray from a little village in Scotland called Dunblane. You wouldn't think there was much that would bring them together, but they were born just a week apart and first crossed paths some 14 years ago as juniors on the boy's circuit. That's when they first played at the age of 12.
And since then, their paths have crisscrossed throughout the tennis world, throughout the tennis calendar. They practice together quite often on tour. They have been known to play doubles together. And now it is the big rivalry it seems for years to come.
Djokovic blossomed earlier without doubt. He's looking for his sixth (ph) grand slam title here today.
DAVIES: It would be Andy Murray's second. But Andy Murray has definitely stepped up in the last six months, as you said, with that Olympic gold. And with the U.S. Open victory, of course he's now got Ivan Lendl in his corner and that definitely seems to have made the difference.
DAVIES: Many people suggesting that whatever the rankings say, Djokovic is number one, Murray is number three. Whatever the rankings say, people saying whoever wins this match really does have a right to say they're the best player in the world at the minute.
KAYE: Well, we'll be watching it along with you. Amanda Davies, thank you very much.
And a quick reminder, the Super Bowl is next weekend and that's when we'll welcome the newest member to our sports team, Rachel Nickels (ph). She'll be reporting live from New Orleans.
President Obama says he expects football to gradually become less violent. The president tells "The New Republic," "I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you, if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football." Mr. Obama says he's particularly concerned about college players who suffer concussions and other injuries. He's less worried about the NFL, where players are grown men who are paid well. Mr. Obama goes on to say this, "in some cases, less violence may make the game a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much."
The interview appears in the February 11th issue. And in the run- up to next Sunday's Super Bowl, CNN will take an in-depth look all this week at violence in football.
South Korean pop icon Psy may not be in the half time show at the Super Bowl, but you will be seeing him during the game. Maybe not so much like that, but it could be something similar. Psy has his own, his very own Super Bowl ad, and it's for Wonderful Pistachios. This morning you are getting a behind the scenes look from that commercial shoot. Earlier I spoke with one of the men who helped put it together, Marc Seguin, and I asked him what it was like working with Psy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARC SEGUIN, V.P. MARKETING, PARAMOUNT FARMS: Well, Randi, it was great to work with Psy. 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 really great commercial.
KAYE: Now, I understand this commercial is really supposed to be nuts and, yes, the pun is intended there. But there's also a bit of a big reveal from what I understand. Can you give us the scoop on that?
SEGUIN: Well, every one of our Wonderful Pistachio "Get Crackin'" commercials has a celebrity opening up pistachios in their own unique way. We've used folks from Bart Simpson, Manny Pacquiao to the Globetrotters to open up pistachios in a very clever way. And as you can imagine, Psy, with all his great moves, "Gangnam Style," he's going to open up a pistachio as only Psy can. And we're excited to share that with the, you know, the hundred and million plus viewers on Super Bowl Sunday.
So what more can you tell us then about the ad and why you think it's going to be memorable for the viewers?
SEGUIN: Well, we know so many people are going to tune into the Super Bowl. It's the largest TV event of the year, every year. And we've combined that with the largest celebrity on the planet. Psy's video has well over 1.1 billion views and his popularity continues to grow. I think people are going to see it. They're going to smile. They're going to dance. Everything that they like about Psy, they're going to like about the commercial. It's going to be a lot of fun.
KAYE: What made him a good fit for this?
SEGUIN: Well, our campaign brings in a lot of celebrities and Psy has got a great personality. He's very visually fun with his video and, of course, he's -- in the social space, he's so popular. So, for us, we were able to reach out to his fans all over the world via the social media and FaceBook and, you know, we leverage Psy's celebrity. He came in and delivered a great performance and created a great commercial.
KAYE: I look forward to seeing it. And also, from what I understand, there's some fan action involved here, right? They could win a Mercedes-Benz?
SEGUIN: Absolutely. That's one of the --
KAYE: How does that work?
SEGUIN: That's one of the great parts. I mean Psy is so popular online with all of his fans of the video. We've created a place with our FaceBook page where people can take a picture of how they get crackin' "Gangnam Style," send it into us and they're entered into a chance to drive away with a green Mercedes, like the one Psy uses in his famous video.
KAYE: Marc Seguin, nice to see you. Thank you so much.
SEGUIN: Thank you, Randi.
KAYE: Women will soon be headed to the front lines of the battlefield. We'll give you an inside look at how female soldiers prep for the front lines.
KAYE: Mortgage rates ticked up this week, but they still remain at record lows. Have a look here. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KAYE: Welcome back, everyone. Thanks for starting your morning with us and a very special welcome to our troops watching on the American Forces Network. I'm Randi Kaye, it is now half past the hour.
We're watching a developing story this morning in Brazil. Reuters now reporting that as many as 200 people may have been killed in a nightclub fire in Santa Maria. That's more than twice the death toll in earlier reports and we'll bring you more details as they come into us here at CNN.
The Midwest is waking up to ice and freezing rain this morning. The latest winter storm pushing through the plains towards the Great Lakes. It's leaving as much as half inch of ice on roads, trees and power lines. Heavy snow also is possible. The system is headed to the Northeast where sleet and snow are expected to impact the Monday morning commute. But it's not all bad - a surge of warmer air is expected behind this storm.
The legend of Cory Booker continues. As freezing temperatures hit the Northeast last week, the Newark, New Jersey mayor rescued a dog that was left outside in the cold.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORY BOOKER: This is brutal weather out here. This dog is shaking really bad. And you just can't leave your dogs out on a day like this and go away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Booker made headlines last year, you may recall, when he saved a woman from a burning house. I mean is there anything this guy can't do? More recently he went on a food stamp diet to better understand the federal aid program and after Superstorm Sandy he invited residents without power and food over to his house to relax.
Nearly 50 hikers in a national forest were trapped by raging flood waters. The rescue crews had to use cell phone signals to help find the people who were scattered around Bear Canyon after six hours of search and rescue, everyone was accounted for. The flood waters came from runoff from heavy rainfall near Tucson earlier yesterday.
If you want to check out with your visa or Mastercard, well, get ready. You might have to pay a little more. Starting today merchants have the option of making you pay the credit card swipe fee. This is a fee that had previously been paid by a merchant to the bank, but now the merchant can make you pay. Fees can be as high as four percent of your total bill and will be added in 40 U.S. states.
Casey Anthony, the Florida mom who was acquitted of murdering her two-year old daughter, has filed for bankruptcy. The CNN affiliate Central Florida News 13 reports that Anthony filed for bankruptcy on the same day an appeals court tossed out two of the four misdemeanor charges against her. Anthony's estimated liabilities are between 500,000 and a million dollars with the majority of that stemming from legal fees.
After a landmark change in military policy, women will now be headed for the front lines of battle. A move that opens up 237,000 positions that have once been banned, but how do women prepare for war? Don Lemon gives us an inside look from Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your mission for the day, you're going out to the village of Sauna (ph) ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had intel that there is possibly three to five fighters out in the village. You're going to be going out with OSI to a source meet in the village with Ahmed at the car garage. Be aware, they are possibly armed with RPGs and small arms.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: RPG! RPG!
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 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: Bleeding right here. I want you to hold pressure on his wound.
LEMON: As an Air Force medic, Jefferson has been training for this moment for months.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get him on the vehicle, get him out of here.
LEMON: Within minutes, the injured airman is bandaged up and moved out of harm's way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here we go!
LEMON: This isn't Afghanistan, but it soon will be for Jefferson's squad. They're at Moody Air Force Base in South Georgia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Move!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Move!
LEMON: But in a matter of weeks, they'll be on the front lines of battle in Afghanistan.
LEMON: And they're ready.
TECH SGT. ANDREA JEFFERSON, U.S. AIR FORCE MEDIC: I really felt like the warrior medic that, you know, I have seen in the movies.
LEMON: When her squadron is called out, Jefferson and the other women of her group will fight alongside the men.
STAFF SGT. CECILY AMONETT, U.S. AIR FORCE, FIRE TEAM LEADER: The females, you know, we do everything the men do. Sometimes even better.
LEMON: They're members of the 820th Base Defense Group from air assault to ground combat, the group does it all. And that includes the women. They're medics, they're intelligence officers, they're police officers. Their current mission?
AMONETT: To be a first (ph) combat ready group. Unlike the rest of the Air Force, we get to go outside the wire.
COL. PAUL KASUDA, 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.
KASUDA: 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.
JEFFERSON: It's amazing what you can do when the adrenaline's pumping. You know, you turn into super woman.
LEMON: Don Lemon, CNn, Moody Air Force Base.
KAYE: And not everyone agrees with the decision to send women to the front lines of the fight. Earlier I spoke with the President of the Center for Military Readiness and critic of the policy change Elaine Donnelly. Donnelly criticized the possibility of lowering physical standards to allow women in combat. I also spoke with Marine Corps Reserve Captain Zoe Bedell, one of the woman who sued for the right to fight.
ELAINE DONNELLY, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR MILITARY READINESS: In the infantry, physical standards do matter, physical capabilities. And 30 years of studies have backed this up. But I'm a little curious and we know that when the Marines open the infantry officer course, asked for volunteers, they asked for 90, they only got two. One woman lasted not even a full day and the other a few more days after that. So, if the tests didn't work out, and we respect them for trying, where are the results of the rest of the test? The Marines have not been forthcoming on this. The Department of Defense really does not allow the ...
KAYE: Let me ...
DONNELLY: ... members of the Joint Chiefs to be fully candid about what's going on.
KAYE: Let me just jump in here, because you mentioned Zoe and she's still with us. And Zoe, why don't you tell us what is your reaction to what Elaine is saying?
CAPTAIN ZOE BEDELL, U.S. MARINE CORPS RESERVES: Well, there's a couple of things in there. First, in regards to the Marines test, two people does not represent the entire Marine Corps. And the fact is these women were asked to go to a grueling three month school where when they came out of it, they still were not infantry officers. So, they were taking all that risk without any of the reward, and all of the downside. So, I don't think you can generalize about all women everywhere from that situation. And in regards to the physical standards, that's absolutely an issue. We absolutely are not asking for quotas for women, we are not asking for a set number of women in these roles. We don't want the standards lowered. We just want women to have a chance to compete to meet those standards. An equal opportunity, and some women absolutely won't be able to do it ...
DONNELLY: Actually ...
BEDELL: Just like some men can't do it. And so, we just want women to have a chance to try. Again, regarding the sexual assault. You know, pulling women out of society because there is danger to them is the outmoded thinking. We haven't been able to do that for years, and frankly, that's the approach they've taken in Iran or Saudi Arabia. I don't think that's where we want to go in America.
DONNELLY: The Department of Defense has called for quotas. They call them diversity metrics. And promotions will be denied to male officers, if they don't support diversity metrics. So, regardless of your intent, Zoe, or what is being said today. This is how it is going to play out. To have what is called a critical mass or what General Dempsey described as significant advance for women ...
KAYE: Captain ...
DONNELLY: ... large numbers. This is not about individual rights, it is about group rights, it's about pushing the diversity agenda and using our military to promote a social agenda and put lives at greater risk.
KAYE: Let me ask you, Elaine, about these comments by Senator John McCain, certainly, a war hero. He thinks allowing women to partake in this way is a great idea. He said they should be recognized for their service for the military. I mean how is it? I mean this is a man who speaks from a wealth of experience. So, what do you say to that?
DONNELLY: Right. Well, I agree with the last part. Women are promoted at rates equal to or faster than men. And it's been that way for decades. But surely he knows better. He talked about Navy SEALs. This is not a "G.I. Jane" -- movie with Demi Moore. There is no way that you can't integrate that type of community, and say that it would improve that community, no. It would just complicate matters. When you complicate matters in close combat, attacking the enemy. That's when lives are put at greater risk than they need to be. It's not fair to the women, it's not fair to the men. This is not just a gift to women for Valentine's Day.
KAYE: Let me give - let me give Zoey the last word here.
BEDELL: You know, regarding the promotion matter I think women have been treated very equally or not seeing quotas for women at the top, certainly, because they're not doing a very great job of filling them, if they are. So, I think even women are serving in wider roles, that promotion will still be the military is ultimately a meritocrative (ph) society and that's what they're aiming for and the people who are the best will rise to the top. That wasn't happening under the old policy. Regarding the unit cohesion, you know, those are some of the same arguments they made when they integrated racially. When they repealed "Don't ask, don't tell." And frankly, even when they opened other units to women. So, when women were suddenly allowed to fly in combat aircraft and those arguments have always proven to be bunk with all the past situations. Maybe they are not perfectly analogous, but I think if we just keep ignoring the evidence and the fact that women are already serving on the ground ...
BEDELL: ...we're doing an injustice to the women who are serving and who have served and who will continue to serve well.
KAYE: Hundreds of thousands of tourists are expected to converge on Brazil for next year's World Cup. We'll tell you about a group of professionals who are brushing up on some, I guess, critical skills just in time for the game.
KAYE: You might look at it as professional development. Prostitutes in one Brazilian city are brushing off on their English. They work legally in Belo Horizonte, one of a dozen cities set to host matches during next year's World Cup. Joining me now to talk about this is Nadia Bilchik. All right, so I guess the question is first, why are prostitutes brushing up on their English?
NADIA BILCHIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, because, as you said, the World Cup is coming, as well as the Confederation Cup this year, and a lot of these sex workers or prostitutes need to be able to communicate with their clients. So, as the president of the association of prostitutes in Belo Horizonte says, she says, they'll have to learn how to work out financial deals and, also, use a specialized vocabulary with essential words and fetishes. KAYE: Oh, my. OK.
BILCHIK: She's the president of the association of prostitutes.
KAYE: OK. There is a prostitutes association. I guess because it is legal, so they can have one.
BILCHIK: This is legal, there are about 4,000 sex workers who are members of the association and about 20 so far have signed up for the free English classes, but the president says she's hoping by March when the classes begin there will be about 300.
KAYE: Wow. Is English the only one that is being taught? The only language?
BILCHIK: There is also going to be French and Italian, because think of the people who pour into Brazil for things like the Confederation Cup or the World Cup. So, isn't it interesting that you think about the oldest profession in the world learning new skills?
KAYE: It is interesting. I think we'll leave it at that. That's interesting. All right.
BILCHIK: Brushing up on new skills, as you said.
KAYE: No (ph).
BILCHIK: And at the end of the day, it's all about communication.
KAYE: I guess it is. All right, Nadia, thank you very much.
BILCHIK: Sibling rivalry on a national stage. Next, the story of two brothers battling for bragging rights on football's biggest day.
KAYE: Welcome back, everyone. Just about ten minutes before the hour now. Let's get you ready for the week ahead. Let's take a look at Tuesday here. President Obama will be heading to Las Vegas. That will begin his push for immigration reform. He's called this issue "the top legislative priority of his second term."
And on Wednesday, we'll be talking a whole lot about guns. The Senate judiciary will hold a hearing on gun violence. This is their first since President Obama announced his new gun control proposal. Testimony is expected to come from all sides of the issue. We'll probably hear from NRA President Wayne LaPierre, possibly even Mark Kelly, the husband of shooting victim Gabrielle Giffords.
On Thursday, all eyes will be on Chuck Hagel, his nomination hearings begin for the former senator. He is nominated, as you know, by President Barack Obama to become Secretary of Defense. These could be pretty interesting to watch, actually. His election has been met with reservations by senators, actually, of both parties. On Thursday, yes, it could be, could be, I repeat, Hillary Clinton's last day as secretary of state. It all depends on how the nomination process for her replacement, John Kerry, plays out. So that could happen on Friday. And on Sunday, put your game face on, the Super Bowl, of course. The 49ers take on the Ravens in New Orleans and, just to note, coming off her inauguration lip-synching controversy, Beyonce will perform at this year's big half-time show. That is a look at your week ahead.
All right, how is this for a family rivalry? The head coaches of the Super Bowl bound Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers are brothers. Jim and John Harbaugh and known as ultra-competitive, even ruthless. So how will they manage to face off against each other on football's biggest stage, and are their parents choosing sides? Our Brian Todd has the report.
BRIAN TODD, CBS CORRESPONDENT: They've tried to downplay the family angle, but it's virtually impossible.
JOHN HARBAUGH, BALTIMORE RAVEN'S HEAD COACH: Well, I don't think you ever put your family aside, Joe, you know. But, well, yeah the priorities - yeah, we have a job to do. You know, all of us have a job to do. Jim has a job to do. All of his coaches, all of our coaches all of our players, everybody is going to be focusing on doing their job.
TODD: John Harbaugh is talking about the fact that he and Jim are about to become the first brothers ever to be head coaches against each other in a Super Bowl. John's Baltimore Ravens against Jim's San Francisco's 49ers. Inundated with the story, sick of it already, the family still managed to have some fun when John snuck on to a conference call his parents were having with reporters in recent days posing just as a caller from Baltimore.
JOHN HARBAUGH: Is it true that both of you like Jim better than John?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are nuts - John Harbaugh.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it John.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that John Harbaugh?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, John.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was mean, John (laughter). I was ready to answer that question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mom was ready to come right through this phone. I'm so happy that Joani recognized your voice.
(LAUGHTER) TODD: The sister Joani recognizing the voice just in time. The parents vow to remain fearlessly neutral on Super Sunday out of fairness, but also knowing what their boys are made of.
(on camera): How sickly competitive are these guys?
MIKE WISE, COLUMSNIST, WASHINGTON POST: If both of them were in the (inaudible) party, I don't know who would survive.
TODD (voice over): A fire stoked while their father, Jack, spent 43 years as a high school and college football coach. The stories have become instant sports legend.
Once when their dad was coaching Western Kentucky University, the program ran out of money, Jim, then a star NFL quarterback, and John, an assistant at the University of Cincinnati volunteered to help the program for free. They turned it around and nine years later the school won a division 1-AA national title.
But there is also a provocative side. In Little League Baseball, Jim once hit a girl batter with a pitch, because she was crowding the plate. Jim's anger opposing coaches for what one thought was him running up a score and for once bouncing past a coach while celebrating a win. In the Super Bowl ...
(on camera): Two teams with ruthless coaches, vicious defense, is what if things get out of hand and there's fights in the game?
WISE: Two hard (inaudible) enter the steel cage, one leaves.
If it's a contentious game and it gets ugly, I want to look at that post-game hand shake and how much of it is genuine and how much of it is - well - I get up here like I like my brother.
TODD (voice over): Their teams went at it once before, on Thanksgiving Day, 2011.
JOE HARBAUGH: I mean I'm proud of him. And I love him. I'm his biggest supporter, right next to his wife. But, you know, this week, he's just someone we're trying to beat.
TODD: That time Jim's 49ers lost to John's Ravens, this time their mom says she's hoping for a tie. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
KAYE: With temperatures in the teens and the 20s, New York has faced some brutally cold weather and for victims of Superstorm Sandy, it's made a painful situation even harder as residents struggle to recover. We'll bring you their stories.
KAYE: One week ago I was on the National Mall in Washington getting ready for the inauguration. It was a momentous occasion, but for "Saturday Night Live" it is just another opportunity to have some fun. Last night they took us behind the scenes for a historic chat between President Obama and Martin Luther King Jr.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what, tell me, Dr. King, have I lived up to the promise of your legacy? Are we in the right track as a nation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll get to that, Barack, we'll get to that. But first things first. Did you - did you see that girl, Beyonce?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That girl, Beyonce. Did see her out there? Because I was like, what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Beyonce, oh, yes, sir, she is a very beautiful woman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful. Rachel Welch was beautiful, Beyonce is like - I had to keep pinching myself. I thought I was having another one of my famous dreams.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. King, can we please discuss more important issues? There are very real changes facing this nation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking of change. What is up with Michelle's bangs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her bangs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is she, guest starring on "The New Girl." When she finally gets those bangs cut, she's going to be like, I can see at last. Thank God almighty I can see at last.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. King! I don't really - Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax, I'm joking around.
KAYE: Thanks so much for starting your morning with us. We've got much more ahead on CNN "Sunday Morning" which starts right now.
Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. It is 7:00 on the East Coast, 4:00 a.m. on the west. Thanks so much for starting your morning with us, we begin this hour with breaking news out of Brazil where a night club fire has killed at least 90 people, but that number could go even higher as more details come in. The fire is eerily similar to the station nightclub fire in Rhode Island almost ten years ago. 100 people died in that blaze after pyrotechnics set the building on fire. Most of those victims were either trampled to death or died from the smoke. For more on the fire in Brazil, I'm joined on the phone by CNN's Shasta Darlington who is in Sao Paolo for us. Shasta, what do we know right now?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Randi, you brought up a lot of important points. What we found out from officials on the scene from firefighters, is that the vast majority of the people that are pulling out of the rubble did die of smoke inhalation. They aren't finding charred bodies, they aren't finding people who were killed by the fire itself, but people who just couldn't find the exit in the darkness. Some people who locked themselves in the bathroom, thinking that was a way that they could away from the flames.
There was a pyrotechnics show going on, but the people we talked to said they don't think that that was caused the fire. They're still trying to figure that out. Of course, the investigation is just beginning, but they say the insulation caught on fire, filled the establishment with smoke.
It was a huge nightclub that could fit up to 3,000 people. They don't know exactly how many were inside when the fire started. But they do say that the death toll will likely be over 90, by the time they pull the bodies out, they count them.
And, of course, a lot of injured at the three hospitals in this city of southern Brazil called Santa Maria. I talked to one of the hospitals. They said they had over 50 people, but they didn't know the exact number, Randi.
KAYE: Hmm. I know there were some local reports that are tying this to a similar cause from the Rhode Island Fire, the Station nightclub fire all those years ago where the pyrotechnics set off this flammable proofing foam that was lining the walls and the ceiling.
But, again, you have spoken to people there and any survivors who might be able to help figure out how this started or help shed some light on it?
DARLINGTON: There are survivors. I think it's still the situation of panic and chaos. What the director of the civil defense, the regional director told me, this is a nightclub. It's dark. You've got throbbing lights and as soon as the fire goes up, all the lights go out. Nobody can see what went out, where the fire was and people were just running into each other.
They don't know whether or not the emergency, fire emergency went into effect, but they know people couldn't see and running in all the wrong directions, Randi.
KAYE: And can you tell us about the crowd that would be in this sort of nightclub? The ages of the people there, how old might they be?
DARLINGTON: From what we heard, Randi, a very popular among young people. This is a city at the very tip of Brazil down near Uruguay, young folks, 18, 19, 20, 21, and this was -- this is the summer season here. People are not in school. So, they're going out a lot. It's a popular time to be out and about in these beach towns and now, of course, at the nightclubs, Randi.
KAYE: All right. Shasta Darlington, thank you very much. If you do get any more information on that, please be sure to bring it to us.
Moving to Bangladesh now, a deadly clothing factory fire has killed seven workers, all of them women. Police say they were either trampled to death or jumped to their death from the second floor. A first floor exit was locked and there were no fire alarms.
Two months ago, more than 100 people died in a similar clothing factory fire in Bangladesh, as well.
And in Mali, the U.S. is stepping up its involvement in the battle against Islamic militants. The Air Force will help the French material with aerial refueling missions. France has a few thousand troops in the land-locked nation which used to be a French colony. They're fighting Islamists who had seized the northern part of the country. The Islamists are accused of atrocities as well as banning music and drinking and even watching sports.
Back here at home, an ice storm making its way through the Midwest, the latest winter storm pushing through the Plains towards the Great Lakes. It's leaving as much as a half inch of ice on roads, trees and power lines. Heavy snow, apparently, is also possible.
So, let's bring in meteorologist Samantha Mohr with more on where the system is headed.
Good morning, Samantha.
SAMANTHA MOHR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Randi.
Yes, it's a big winter mess across much of the country, including, of all places, Arizona, which, of course, Phoenix is known as the "Valley of the Sun". Well, yesterday, top 10 rainfall in recorded history in Phoenix, as they saw over an inch of rain. You say one inch of rain, that's not that much. But, typically they only get eight inches a year. So, definitely a deluge there.
We'll snow along the Magellan rim. That's snow will drop to around 5,000 feet tonight.
Here's the problem -- here's the freezing rain element of this system. Moving in through St. Louis right now, they haven't recorded any freezing rain yet, but we anticipate in the next hour likely see some slick surfaces here. Freezing rain warning in Dubuque, could see half an inch of frozen ice on the roadways. Here's a close-up of St. Louis. You can see how that wintry mix is starting to push on in right now. So, be careful if you're heading out this morning, especially on the overpasses and bridges. They tend to freeze first.
Chicago also will likely see this freezing rain moving in and they have a freezing rain advisory, and could see around a tenth of an inch of freezing rain there, as well as in Milwaukee. And you can see it starting to show up. That light wintry mix starting to show up on the radar.
So, wintry weather all across the Midwest into the twin cities and Chicago and, of course, all this slick stuff pushing to the East as we head into today and into the day tomorrow.
So, here is your future radar. Expecting to see that wintry mix moving into Chicago as we head towards dinnertime and then heading through the great lakes as the overnight hours just click away and we'll end up seeing this wintry mix moving in to Cleveland, Pittsburgh and early morning hours and then during the day tomorrow and New York City. So, be careful whether you're driving or walking, there is likely going to be slicked spots on the sidewalks, as well. And it should turn to rain once we get into the overnight hours.
Then, we start to see big changes. Frigid air is out of here. We should see high pressure building on in and that's going to end up warming us up dramatically. Temperatures doubling as we head into the next few days. Check this out, we're talking mid-70s in Wichita tomorrow, and then all that warm air pushes to the East, we warm it up in the Ohio Valley, as we head into Tuesday and by the middle of the week, big changes here.
Just hang in there, you'll be able to thaw out once we get to Wednesday, Randi.
KAYE: The light at the end of the tunnel. Samantha Mohr, thank you very much.
MOHR: You bet.
KAYE: And as Samantha mentioned. That Midwestern ice storm is headed to New York tomorrow and that means more misery for victims of superstorm Sandy. Almost three months after the monster hurricane, many residents still do not have power. They're not back in their homes.
Our national correspondent Susan Candiotti caught up with one family that is battling the cold and a whole lot of red tape.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Three months into the cleanup following superstorm Sandy, a lot of people are still waiting for repairs. And now, they have this wintry blast, it's just adding to their misery. Now, for some, their heat and power has been turned back on, but for others, well, they're still living with family or friends and still more are living in hotels or apartments being paid for by FEMA. Now, the owner of this house is in a battle with the city. They say it can be repaired. She has other experts telling her it needs to be demolished. She told us how tough it is on her family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLE CHATI, MOTHER: It's hard. I mean, it's been emotionally hard from the beginning. You first have the shock and you don't realize what's going on and then you basically go through the motions of what you need to do and what you have to do and all the red tape.
MIA CHATI, DAUGHTER: It's just, I just can't take this any more. I just want my mom. I just wish my mom doesn't have to fight with the insurance companies and --
N. CHATI: It's OK.
M. CHATI: I wish I could just get back in my house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: All of this can be so emotionally devastating, especially for children. And then as you walk around Staten Island, you still see things like this dotting the landscape -- another sign that the cleanup has a long way to go.
KAYE: Susan Candiotti, thank you very much.
This morning, the hacked Web site of the U.S. Sentencing Commission is back up and running. And the FBI's handling the case as a criminal investigation. The site was shut down for a few hours yesterday after the group Anonymous took over the page. The hackers made it known it was payback for the suicide of web activist Aaron Swartz. He was facing federal computer fraud charges.
An Iowa Democrat who has served nearly 30 years in the Senate says he will retire next year. Senator Tom Harkin is 73. He told the "Des Moines Register" he felt it's somebody else's turn.
President Obama praised Harkin for his work with health care reform and education.
To New York now and a major gift from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He is giving $350 million to his alma mater John Hopkins, $100 million of that is earmarked for financial aide for students in need. Bloomberg has given more than $1 billion to the school since he graduated in the mid-1960s.
A big sales job for Democrats aiming for new gun laws, but is the strategy targeting gun owners? Will it backfire? We'll take a look.
KAYE: Good morning, Washington, D.C.
Take another look here if you're not in front of your television, you better get over there. You want to see this. Look at that Capitol building. Lovely pink sky behind it. The sun coming up.
Boy, does that look beautiful? Yes, we know things can get a little ugly inside that building, but certainly looking pretty nice on the outside this morning.
Glad you're with us here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
Gun control advocates are hoping a weekend protest in Washington will bring some real changes. Thousands of protesters marched on the National Mall yesterday. Some held up the names yesterday of victims of gun violence. Survivors of mass shootings were also there.
Protesters are calling on Congress to reinstate the ban on military-style assault weapons and require universal background checks. And some came to show their support for Newtown victims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORI BENNETT, MARCH PARTICIPANT: Newtown just tore my heart out. Honestly, didn't feel this emotional since 9/11.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Across the street from that rally, a smaller group of gun rights activists protested against new gun control measures.
Gun control advocates hope that rally would show lawmakers the support out there for gun control laws, but as CNN's Joe Johns reports Democrats have their own strategy to get those new laws in place. But is it a winning strategy?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the uphill battle to sell the assault weapons ban, both Vice President Biden and Democrats in Congress are making one thing loud and clear.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: The bill protects hunters and sports men by protecting 2,200 specifically named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes. They are by make and model exempted from the legislation.
JOHNS: The goal is to get hunters on board early by assuring them their guns are safe.
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: None of us want to take away the hunting rifle that Uncle Tommy gave you when you were 14 years old. We don't want to do that. JOHNS: It's seen by some pro-gun rights advocates as divide-and- conquer, a strategy to splinter a key part of NRA's constituency and possibly persuade members of Congress from pro-gun parts of the country to sign on.
ADAM EISGRAU, FORMER LEGAL COUNSEL TO SEN. FEINSTEIN: The ability of a member struggling with what they think as difficult politics back home, the ability of that number to go home and have that factually based conversation with people in the audience who may start out angering, but to get them to feel better when they know that their gun and their shooting buddy's guns are protected makes a big difference.
JOHNS: Here's the problem: for the growing number of sports shooters who use so-called assault weapons and extended magazines at firing ranges or for hunting, they wouldn't be able to buy AR-15s and many other rifles anymore.
GASPAR PERRICONE, CO-DIRECTOR, BULL MOOSE SPORTSMEN'S ALLIANCE: While most are using another type of weapon, they are also recreational shooters. And many of them engage -- and myself included -- in the occasional shooting of an AR-style rifle.
JOHNS: It's clear the National Rifle Association isn't getting on board with any of this. As executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said in a speech this week.
WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: We believe in our right to defend ourselves and our families with semiautomatic firearms technology.
JOHNS: Which raises doubts whether the proposal can even pass in Congress. Biden and others have a fallback position, focusing on magazines and ammunition instead of the weapons themselves which could also affect hunters and sports shooters.
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm less concerned, quite frankly, about what you call an assault weapon than I am about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held in a magazine.
JOHNS (on camera): One question is whether the so-called divide- and-conquer strategy is working in order to get support for the assault weapons ban. The NRA says the answer is no and says their own phone survey of 1,000 members which was done a month after the Newtown shooting showed the vast majority of respondents opposed to banning semiautomatic weapons.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
KAYE: A picture perfect kidnapping and dark secrets uncovered. "New York Times" best-selling author Lisa Gardner gives us an inside peek at her latest mystery, "Touch & Go."
KAYE: With the bitterly cold weather across the U.S., it might be a good time to just stay inside, grab a cup of hot cocoa and a good mystery novel. If you're on the hunt for a new one, look no longer.
"Touch & Go" is the latest novel from best-selling author Lisa Gardner. It is a gripping psychological thriller about a family and a detective on the hunt to find them.
I'm joined by the novel's author Lisa Gardner, who is with us from New York this morning.
Lisa, good morning to you.
LISA GARDNER, AUTHOR: Good morning, Randi. Thanks for having me here.
KAYE: Nice to have you. So, I'm about 150 pages into this book --
GARDNER: Oh, great.
KAYE: -- and I'm pretty scared. One review, which I can definitely relate to, one review calls this a scare your socks off thriller -- certainly a compliment. I guess that's what you were trying to do here.
GARDNER: I love taking a very fun premise like kidnapping an entire family and then how do you unspool it from there. In the case of "Touch & Go", we start with the Dembys (ph), and that's classic, how well do you know your neighbors, what really does go on behind closed doors? The Dembys are that family on your block that seem to have it all, until three masked men burst into the house, kidnap them and spirit them away and hold them at an abandoned prison.
KAYE: Yes, it's getting pretty intense, I will say. I'm trying to figure out exactly who is behind it.
But where does your inspiration come from? How do you think of these characters and think of these plots?
GARDNER: I love doing the research. I think the coolest thing about being a suspense novelist is the opportunity to go out and play with law enforcement experts. In the case of "Touch & Go", I got to visit a mothballed federal prison built in New Hampshire and one of the things the book talks about is in this real world day in age a budget crises will build $250 million state of the art facilities, but then we don't have the funds to open them.
So, there really are some massive correctional facilities out there not being used. For suspense novelists like me, that's the perfect opportunity for murder and mayhem.
KAYE: So, you actually go out there and do the leg work and talk to investigators as if they were working a case like this?
GARDNER: Absolutely. I also spent some quality time working with the New Hampshire County Sheriff's Department. I never worked with a small town sheriff before and the reach they have in an area like New Hampshire which is very rural and your drive time to get to a crime and to have backup. Generally, when I interview law enforcement, you know, most real detectives, police officers will tell you they don't draw their weapons on the job. That's something us suspense novelists do.
GARDNER: But I go to talk to New Hampshire County Sheriff's Department and first time on the job, four times a year because they're alone and often in rural situations. So, it really was the wild west of policing. But, you know, again, in this day in age and I love learning about these experiences and bringing them to the reader.
KAYE: If you look, though, at the "New York Times" best seller list it's nearly half mystery novels.
KAYE: I mean, what it is do you think about this genre that people love so much. I mean, certainly, you get into a book like this and you can't put it down. Is there something more?
GARDNER: Absolutely. I think one of the best things about thrillers is the vicarious thrill. You know, I think we're all drawn to the puzzle of them. In the case like "Touch & Go", on the one, this family has been kidnapped, but why?
I mean, there is no ransom. There's no known enemies. That kind of puzzle when something bad happens to good people, how can that be and why does that happen?
I think it's fascinating both in our fiction, but, again, also in this day in age when we turn on the news at night and we're like, oh my gosh, how can something like that happen and that appeal brings us back.
KAYE: You don't have any background at all, right? In mystery, I mean, no, you don't have any investigators or firemen even in your family, right? You just ended up as a mystery writer, a best-selling mystery writer?
GARDNER: I actually started when I was 20 years old. My parents are accountants. But for me, that's all the better reason to go out and do fun work and, you know, spend days playing with the county, the sheriffs, walk in abandoned prisons. I went to the FBI academy several times and if you're interested in crime and police procedure at all, just like an unbelievable experience.
So, and then I have a paperback out now, "Catch Me" where I got to spend quality time with 911 dispatchers, which I think, again, is a piece of law enforcement puzzle we don't always think about. And to hear their day-to-day experiences -- I mean, these 30 seconds of such intense phone calls with someone in crisis and then the call ends and the next call comes in.
I mean, it was really amazing the work that they do.
KAYE: I'm sure it was, and great to see that first hand.
Well, I'm really enjoying the book and it's a great read.
Lisa Gardner, thank you so much. We wish you much success with "Touch & Go."
GARDNER: Thank you so much, Randi.
KAYE: And ups and downs of the economy mirroring the slopes in Switzerland. So, what can skiing teach us about money? Well, we'll sort it out.
But, first, let's check in with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for a look at what's coming up on "SGMD" at the bottom of the hour.
Good morning, Sanjay.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Randi, I'm going to share a big investigation into the safety of flame retardant chemicals that are almost everywhere we turn. Here's one big surprise: they may not work as advertised.
I'm also talking to Hannah Storm. She's telling me about a serious accident that left her with second degree burns.
Now, all that coming up at 7:30 a.m. Eastern.
(END VIDEO LCIP)
KAYE: Twenty-five minutes past the hour.
Top stories now:
We are watching a developing story in Brazil. As many as 90 people may have been killed in a nightclub fire in Santa Maria. And the death toll could still rise as officials go through the burned out building. The fire may have been started by pyrotechnics inside the club. We'll have much more on this story at the top of the hour.
The Midwest is waking up to ice and freezing rain this morning. The latest winter storm pushing through the Plains towards the Great Lakes. It's leaving as much as a half inch of ice on roads, trees and power lines. Heavy snow, also, is possible.
The system is headed to the Northeast. Look out where sleet and snow are expected to impact the Monday morning commute. But guess what, it's not all bad. A surge of warmer air is expected behind the storm.
The World Economic Forum is wrapping up today in Davos, Switzerland. It's a major meeting on money and global economic strategy. They are talking about policies and profits and while we are talking about risk and reward in a way only Richard Quest could. Watch this.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the mountain, risk is everywhere. And the lessons must be learned.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a ski.
QUEST: Nuot has been a ski instructor for years. He knows that on the mountain, and in the global economy, it's all about balance.
NUOT LIETHA, DESTINATION DAVOS KLOSTERS: You have to move with the bump and take it -- like swallow the bump when it's coming towards us.
QUEST: So far, we've navigated the bump of the fiscal cliff. Now we must negotiate the debt ceiling, high unemployment, social unrest. Again, we learn from the mountain. Baby steps to build confidence.
LIETHA: If we ski slowly, we feel what we are doing. And then we get confident and we get faster and faster.
QUEST: But economic growth seemingly won't go faster.
(on camera): There's always the risk in the global economy that something goes wrong.
(voice-over): Snowboarders are like central bankers. They have their own way of shredding down the mountain. For bankers, it means printing money. It's brutal economics.
(on camera): What's the secret to snowboarding?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't be scared.
QUEST: You pick up speed too quickly and you end up falling over?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, come on. That's why you need to move.
QUEST: Why do you like snowboarding? You go too fast, too quickly, and fall over.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not necessarily.
QUEST (voice-over): Perhaps the best lesson to be learned in managing risks comes from the cross-country skier. Those hearty experts of slow, steady progress taking huge amounts of energy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need to be fit with the whole body, not only with parts of your body.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You make the power alone. You can slowly or you can allot speed. It's my way.
QUEST (on camera): As the map of the mountain shows, everything is interconnected.
Richard Quest, CNN, Davos.
KAYE: As we said, as only Richard quest could.
Well, it is time to roll out the red carpet, once again. This time for the 19th annual Screen Actor Guild Awards. It will air on sister networks TNT and TBS tonight. The show awards actors in both film and television.
Ben Affleck's film "Argo" is considered a frontrunner since it did so well at the Golden Globes.
More stories at the top of the hour when CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues. I will see you then. I'm Randi Kaye.
"SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." begins right now.