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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

L.A. Police Vow to Hunt Down Dorner; Another Winter Storm Brewing; Grammy Awards Preview

Aired February 10, 2013 - 06:00   ET

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


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will look under every rock, we will look around every corner and we will search mountain tops for him.

FEYERICK (voice-over): He's out there somewhere. And L.A. police vow they will hunt him down. New developments this morning in the bizarre case of this rogue ex-cop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is really no place to put the snow.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Cleaning up and digging out. The snow's finally stopped falling in the Northeast, but get ready, there's another winter storm brewing right now.

And tonight is the big night. And it's all about the dudes this year. So where do the women fit into this all-male affair?

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FEYERICK: It's Sunday, February 10th, good morning, everyone. I'm Deborah Feyerick in today for Randi Kaye.

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FEYERICK: Los Angeles police have a message for accused cop- killer Christopher Dorner.

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COMMANDER ANDY SMITH, L.A. POLICE: Well, we're all hoping that Dorner will turn himself in and the chief wants to reopen this case and he made a plea to Dorner that he would turn himself in. And to be honest with you, that would be the best resolution for this whole thing right now.

No one else has to be shot, no one else has to be injured, no one else has to die. He can turn himself in anywhere and he'd be taken into custody and he'll be able to get his side of the story out.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Searchers are combing the snowy resort area of Big Bear Lake east of Los Angeles, where Dorner's burned-out truck was found abandoned Thursday. They're also reopening the investigation into why Dorner was fired from the LAPD, the reason Dorner says he's on this revenge killing spree.

And check out this surveillance video. It's from an alley behind an auto parts store and you can see Dorner's truck there and a man who appears to be Dorner throw some stuff into a dumpster. Well, the store's owner says the items were ammunition, a military belt and a helmet. The video is from Monday, just 12 hours after Dorner allegedly shot two people.

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FEYERICK: And the hunt for Dorner stretches from Southern California to the border with Mexico. CNN's Paul Vercammen is following the search at Big Bear Lake. He joins us now.

And, Paul, what is the latest on the search? Because yesterday, nothing was coming up.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that trail has gone just absolutely as cold as the hillsides and forest behind me, Deborah. They have not seen any sign of Dorner since that truck was found on Thursday with its broken axle.

But one thing that they were able to do is resume the aerial search yesterday, because it had so much snow up here. They couldn't search in the snowstorm. So they went at it by air and on foot, that is the search crews.

In air, they were looking for tracks in the snow and then they went door to door, SWAT teams and others knocking on doors, trudging through snow, armed, checking with neighbors, checking with anybody to see if anybody has seen any sign of Dorner. They did not come up with anything yesterday. So he clearly is not on the mountain right now as far as some are concerned.

Others say he possibly could be here because there are so many vacation homes that it would not be unimaginable to think that he might try to get into one. We talked to one gentleman who said on his block alone he believes there is only 10 percent occupancy in these vacation homes up in this Big Bear area. And many have this as a second home, Deborah. So right now the search up here very cold.

FEYERICK: And you know, what's so fascinating, is as you see some of the police that are trudging to the homes, because so much snow fell, even if he did manage to get into one of those homes, they wouldn't necessarily be able to track his footprints.

But let me ask you a question because there was really a significant development last night and that is the LAPD is reopening its investigation, which essentially is one of Dorner's demands.

One of the things, Paul, that he writes in the manifesto, "The LAPD has suppressed the truth, it has now led to deadly consequences."

It seems now as about if he's kind of getting his way. Is this strategic?

VERCAMMEN: I think it is strategic. I think that's a subtext to all of this. But I think also the LAPD is saying straight up that it wants to be fair and transparent. So they'll reopen the investigation, make sure there was nothing wrong there, but, yes, the subtext would be perhaps Dorner will see this and give himself up. Of course, they are calling for him to do that and end the mayhem, Deborah.

FEYERICK: Absolutely. Dorner has said he wants to bring the truth to light. We'll see what happens. All right. Paul Vercammen for us there live in Big Bear, California, this morning, thanks so much.

And now to our other big story this morning. The massive blizzard that socked the Northeast this weekend. The storm crippled air travel and stranded hundreds of drivers on highways that quickly became covered in snow. The storm and the havoc it created led to the death of nine people, including a 14-year-old boy in Boston and a 74- year-old man in upstate New York.

New York's Central Park got a relative dusting, just 11 inches, certainly enough for people to come out and enjoy sledding.

But it was a different story 80 miles away in Hamden, Connecticut, that town now digging itself out, seeing an incredible 40 inches. Boston got 25 inches, and that's where we find meteorologist Indra Petersons this morning.

And, Indra, Massachusetts got hit hard by those power outages. What are the plans to get everything back on?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know, looks like currently here in Boston we have a 308,000 residents still without power. And keep in mind, it's a cold night. I mean, temperatures right now are just in the teens. We're seeing these clear skies.

But the story today, as we start to see some sunshine, will be what to do with all of this snow, all 24.9 inches of it. Just take a listen of what Governor Patrick had to say.

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DEVAL PATRICK, GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: We have a lot of snow to dispose of and to remove. And it will take some time to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PETERSONS: Yes, the snow emergency will still stay into effect. We're going to be talking about needing to clean these roads. So yes, the snow emergency will stay in effect today. And it's also going to take some time for the airports to catch up. I mean, over 5,000 flights have been canceled since last Thursday.

Logan did open their first runway last night at 11:00 pm, but we know there's also a lot of severe weather across the country today. So all of that together will take some time for everyone to get back to normal.

Here's the thing, though. Today the sun is expected to come out. We have all of this snow here right behind me. We have one day to clean it up. And so we're going to start to see it melt. But by tomorrow, we're going to be talking about another chance for some icing and then even some more snow. So a lot of cleanup efforts will be needed here in Boston.

FEYERICK: Fascinating. You know, I know -- I'm from New York City and I know there they just take the snow and they dump it in the Hudson River. So we'll see what they did decide to do in Boston. Indra Petersons, thank you so much and welcome aboard to CNN here, in Boston for us this morning. Thank you.

Well, some good news if you're trying to get out of the Northeast. All major airports, they are up and running today after more than 2,000 flights across the nation were canceled yesterday, according to FlightAware tracking. More than 5,000 have been canceled the entire weekend. That might mean that some longer than usual wait times today. So bring a book and a lot of patience.

Well, power crews are working to restore electricity to some 400,000 people today across nine states. Massachusetts, Rhode Island were hit the hardest in terms of power outages. Today almost 300,000 customers remain in the dark in Massachusetts, while more than 75,000 are still without electricity in Rhode Island.

More than two dozen people will be waking up in a Long Island Walmart this morning. Road conditions became too dangerous for shoppers to leave during the blizzard, so Walmart allowed them to stay. I guess they probably have plenty of things to eat and certainly toothbrushes.

One customer said she threw in the towel after spending at least seven hours trying to drive just two miles home. Even one of the CNN crew spent the night.

Well, there's a lot of back-breaking work to be done in the Northeast today. Hopefully they'll get a little help from the weather. Let's check in with meteorologist Alexandra Steele to see if they will.

And Alexandra, you know, we talk about snow melt. It just seems like snow dispersal. They're just going to have to find other places to put it.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's right. Just move it. And today, actually, they're not going to get any help from the weather. You know, you heard Indra says it's a very cold night. The winds, though, were up, so it did keep the temperatures up a bit.

But right now temperatures are in the teens. And look where they're going to go today. New York only going to 34. So not a lot of melting today, 34 for a high in Boston, 30 in Albany. Albany only saw 4 inches of snow. But five states had at least 30 inches or snow plus. So places like Boston, their fifth-ever greatest snowstorm. So where will the snow go? And you know what, we have got rain coming into boot. So as we head toward tomorrow, tomorrow we will see the beginning of snow melt. Temperatures are going to warm pretty dramatically. We're going to see 45 in Boston, 47 in Providence. Portland, Maine, will get into the 40s, Portland, Maine, having their greatest snowfall of all time with a single snowstorm.

So we're going to see warming tomorrow, but tomorrow will actually be the warmest day of week. And then we're going to watch rain come in and then temperatures only going to stay in the 30s. So kind of a tough week.

Big picture, here comes next storm. We actually have a blizzard presenting itself, Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Here is the big picture. Northern tier of it, it's a snow maker. Southern tier, it's a severe weather maker for the Southeast.

So let's go to the north. Minneapolis expecting about 4 to 6 inches of snow, right? That may have seemed like a lot a couple of days ago; negligible now, almost, right? And then Duluth will get a little more, maybe 6 to 8 inches of snow. But for Chicago, it'll just be a rainmaker today, maybe half an inch of rain.

But here comes this line of severe weather. The possibility today for isolated tornadoes. We have a tornado watch in effect until 9 o'clock this morning. But that whole thing will shift eastward.

So watch what happens. Here is the big player. This is the area of low pressure coming out of the Rockies. It makes the snow and rainmaker for the Midwest. But look what happens Monday morning. Yes, Monday morning in the Northeast, commute will not be good with all the rain coming in.

So will flooding be a concern? That's the question, you know. Doesn't really seem to be, so in Boston expecting maybe a half an inch of rain. The biggest problems, though, Deb, will be where the storm drains have been clogged with the snow, so we're not going to allow that water to move. So we'll see how that plays out.

FEYERICK: And just very quickly, Alexandra, will some of the snow melt with the higher temperatures, the temperatures in the 40s?

STEELE: Oh, yes.

FEYERICK: And is ice a possibility? So that's going to be another -- so you've got the rain, you've got the snow. And then you've got icy snow.

STEELE: Right because at night we're going to watch those temperatures drop again, so the potential for refreezing on the roads. So we'll have to see if that does melt. And then there's water and liquid and then that may refreeze during the overnight hours. So kind a little bit of a little roller coaster with the temperatures affecting the type of precip we've got.

FEYERICK: All right, Alexandra Steele, thanks so much. Everybody just enjoy the white powdery stuff today because it's not going to last for long. It'll turn into other things.

Well, stores in Britain, France and Sweden now yanking beef products off the shelves over a horsemeat scare. British food safety officials are ordering all these products get tested by Friday, this after horsemeat was found in beef lasagna products sold by Findus.

The frozen food producer says it was deceived and plans to sue its Romanian supplier. Just one month ago horsemeat was also found in hamburgers sold in the U.K. and Ireland.

Well, drama seems to follow Chris Brown; the singer crashed his car into a wall in Beverly Hills last night. Brown's publicist says that singer was trying to elude the paparazzi, but was cut off in an alley. He wasn't hurt and wasn't cited for the crash. It was almost exactly four years ago that Brown assaulted his girlfriend, singer Rihanna.

Earlier this week he was in court; prosecutors accused him of skipping his community service for the 2009 assault charge.

Well, the Grammy awards are tonight and this year men are set to make a comeback. The major nods are going to male artists like fun., Mumford and Sons, Frank Ocean, Kanye West and Jay-Z. The most coveted award, Album of the Year, is also male-dominated.

Here are the nominees in that category: the Black Keys' "El Camino"; fun.'s album, "Some Nights"; "Babel" by Mumford and Sons; Frank Ocean's album, "Channel Orange" and finally "Blunderbuss" by Jack White. And not to leave the ladies out, Taylor Swift will be the opening act of the show and that song, yes, a lot of teenagers love that song.

All right. Well, under fire and on the defense, Senator Robert Menendez is speaking out about allegations that he partied with prostitutes and used a friend's plane. We'll tell you now what he's saying.

And hockey and condors, they might not mix. We'll show you what happens.

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FEYERICK: Gabby Giffords will be at the president's State of the Union address on Tuesday. The former congresswoman will be a guest of Representative Ron Barber, who replaced her in the House. Giffords was shot in the head in January of 2011 in an event in her congressional district in Arizona. Six other people were killed.

Just last month Giffords called on Congress to enact tougher gun laws.

This weekend Michelle Obama attended the funeral for 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. The Chicago honor student and band majorette was gunned down just a week after performing at President Obama's inauguration. Our Athena Jones has more on the service and the first lady's visit.

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ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, the first lady traveled here to Chicago because she and the president were heartbroken to learn of Hadiya Pendleton's passing and she wanted to come here and offer her condolences to Pendleton's loved ones.

The first lady did not speak here, but she did meet before the service with about 30 of Hadiya Pendleton's friends and classmates and also had a private meeting with her family.

The service was about 31/2 hours long and it included speeches and remarks from a long list of Hadiya Pendleton's friends, classmates, teammates and family members, some of it quite emotional. Let's listen to what her mother, Cleopatra Pendleton, had to say.

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CLEOPATRA PENDLETON, MOTHER OF SLAIN TEENAGER: You don't know how hard this really is. And those of you that do know how hard this is, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. No mother, no father should ever have to experience this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: Now this service was also meant to be a celebration of young Hadiya Pendleton's life, this is a young woman who was excited to go to college one day, perhaps major in journalism or pharmacology.

Her parents say they want her death to be a part of this gun violence debate and the father hopes that this will bring both sides together. He says he wants to see not a Democratic approach or a Republican approach to reducing gun violence, but a multifaceted one.

The program for Pendleton's funeral included a copy of a handwritten note from President Obama himself, and it read, in part, "We know that no words from us can soothe your pain, but rest assured that we'll work as hard as we can to end this senseless violence." -- Athena Jones, CNN, Chicago.

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FEYERICK: Well, New York Senator Robert Menendez continues to fight a slew of accusations against him, including that he partied with prostitutes overseas, used his office to accept unreported plane flights and intervene in a friend's Medicare billing dispute.

He first denied those claims in an exclusive interview with CNN last week, saying unidentified accusers are trying to defame him. Menendez also spoke out to Univision, quote, "Nobody has bought me," he said in an interview that aired tonight (ph), "No one ever in the 20 years I've been in Congress, never has it been suggested that that could even be possible. Never in 40 years of public life.

"So I'm not going to reach this moment in my life to make that a possibility," says Menendez.

OK. Well, look at this adorable little face. Yes, stick around for the incredible story of how she was born in the heart of this weekend blizzard with the help of EMT crews and, yes, National Guard. If you're going to be born, make it a splash.

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FEYERICK: Time for sports and we start with an instant classic. I'm talking about last night's Louisville-Notre Dame game, a basketball game which was one for the record books. The back-and- forth thriller went on for five -- yes, five overtimes before the Fighting Irish took home the win. Joe Carter is here with this morning's "Bleacher Report" -- unbelievable, Joe.

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Deb, this is one of the greatest basketball games, at least in college, that I've ever seen. And these two teams, Notre Dame, Louisville, known to battle it out in overtime the last few years, but last night's game, as you said, Deb, an instant classic.

In the final minute of regulation, Louisville looked to control for the win, but Notre Dame's Jerian Grant scored 12 points in the final 60 seconds to force the first of five overtimes. We saw 26 lead changes.

The score was tied 16 different times. The game lasted three hours and 40 minutes. It goes down as the longest regular season game in Big East history, Notre Dame outlasts Louisville in five OTs, 104- 101.

You want drama? Here's some more drama. Wisconsin down by three points against Michigan, 2.4 seconds left. Ben Brust nails the half- court shot. It's a 40-foot runner to send the game into overtime. You got to love the extra sessions.

And in the overtime session, then Brust hits another big 3- pointer. Unranked Wisconsin upsets number three Michigan 65-62.

Now on a lighter note in the Minor League Hockey League, the Bakersfield Condors, they're called, they actually brought out an actual condor as part of their pregame program. Unfortunately, as you see, it didn't go as planned.

This very large bird got away from its handler during the National Anthem. He tried to grab the bird, but then he slips and falls. I mean, sneakers don't match on ice very well. The condor actually gets shooed off the ice and into the home team's bench. You see the players kind of freak out here -- and the coach.

Kind of a light moment there in minor league hockey. Actually, the handler, a little nicked up; the bird, fine. Bird's going to be fine.

(LAUGHTER)

CARTER: So for more entertaining sports news, you can go to bleacherreport.com. I don't think they're going to be inviting the condor back anytime soon.

(LAUGHTER)

CARTER: The actual condor.

FEYERICK: Somebody is rethinking whether that was a good idea or not.

All right. Joe Carter, I don't know why I find that so funny, but thank you so much. Poor condor. I guess. All right.

Well, "Saturday Night Live," talking about laughs, had a little fun last night at the Super Bowl's expense, more specifically all the tap-dancing the hosts had to do when the lights went out. Take a look.

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KENAN THOMPSON, "JAMES BROWN": I've just received word that our own Steve Tasker on the sideline has some new information. Steve?

TARAN KILLAM, "STEVE TASKER": I don't know who told you that, JB. And I'm willing to bet that you made it up. Suffice to say I have no new information. Back to you, JB.

"BROWN": Back to you, Steve.

"TASKER": You can't back to you me. I just backed to you you. Back to you.

"BROWN": And right back to you. (Inaudible).

So, Dan, news came out this week that you fathered a child in an extramarital affair.

JASON SUDEIKIS, "DAN MARINO": We agreed that that was off- limits.

"BROWN": That was before, Dan Marino.

"MARINO": Come on.

"BROWN": This is a new world now. All right, we have to build air time. We all going to have to admit to some stuff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: All right. Well, OK, maybe New England was slammed with some record snowfall, but some things in this world just can't wait.

Case in point, this little girl who was ready to enter the world while her parents were snowed in. Well, thankfully, the National Guard came to their rescue. They helped deliver Noelle Lee (ph) and EMT workers and gave the family a special escort to the hospital.

Well, they had their fun, but now it's time for the cleanup. The Northeast digs out after a massive winter storm.

And fighting back against the Taliban and earning the Medal of Honor. We'll bring you the incredible story of Clint Romesha.

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FEYERICK: Welcome back, everyone. So glad you could start your morning here with us. And a special welcome to our troops watching on the American Forces Network. And a good morning to Washington, D.C.. Take a look. This is a shot of the Capitol, sunrising beautiful. I'm Deborah Feyerick in this morning for Randi Kaye. It is half past the hour. Some good news for Boeing after the first post grounding test flight of their 787 Dreamliner. The two hour flight was, quote, "uneventful." Well, that's the good news. All 50 of the company's 787s had been grounded. The order came after two of the planes had major problems with their batteries. One of those planes caught fire. Boeing is planning more test flights to check the batteries. It could be weeks before any of the 787th are back in service.

Well, cue the band, and the dancers and the parties. That's right. It is carnival time in Rio. Around a million of people are expected to take part in the revelry this weekend.

Now to the weather and the aftermath of the big blizzard in Boston. Residents are cleaning up after the storm dumped more than two feet of snow across the city. People have snow blowers, the big heroes. That cleanup turned deadly, unfortunately, for one teenaged boy. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to warm up in the car after shoveling snow with his father. Indra Petersons is in Boston this morning, and Indra, this city is cleaning up, trying to be safe. They don't have a lot of time to do it, though, do they?

PETERSONS: You know, they actually don't. We have 24 hours here to clean up. Now, just keep in mind - right now in the state of Massachusetts, 300,000 (ph) people are still without power. No, I'm longer standing in the blizzard. You can see the sun is slowly starting to come out here, but it is cold. Temperatures are in the teens. But here is the good news. Yeah, we have one day, temperatures today were expected to be above freezing. We're going to do everything we can. But keep in mind, we have 24.9 inches of snow to deal with. So with that, yes, the travel ban has been lifted, people can drive around, but the snow emergency has not been lifted. We don't want anyone parking on the roads here because they need to clean this up. But like you mentioned, one day. By tomorrow, we're already going to be talking about some ice and then even some rain. So even some flooding concerns will be out there. And of course we know that's not the only concern. We're talking about flights. Logan finally opened up one line yesterday at 11:00 p.m. They opened up that strip. But, you know, we have over 5,000 flights that have been canceled since last Thursday, not to mention the severe weather across the country today. So, it's going to take some time here to play catch up.

FEYERICK: Well, you know, it's just fascinating to see all that snow behind you. I know the kids are having a lot of fun, but clearly, with the change in temperature, everything changes. All right, Indra Petersons, live in Boston this morning for us. Thanks so much.

Another big story we're following. The massive manhunt for accused triple killer Christopher Dorner. Police in California are scouring the resort area of Big Bear Lake where Dorner's burned out abandoned truck was spotted Thursday. They say they'll leave no rock unturned to find the rogue ex-cop. He is accused of killing three people. Dorner allegedly has vowed revenge on police and their families for his firing back in 2008. One of the victims was the daughter of a police officer. Los Angeles police chief says he's reopening an investigation into Dorner's termination and this is the reason he's doing that is to reassure the public that the LAPD is transparent and fair.

With explosions and planes all around them, chaos erupted at an American outpost in Afghanistan. But during that attack more than three years ago, one man stood out. Former Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha. For his incredible bravery and cunning he will receive the Medal of Honor. He is one of the few living Americans to do so. He sat down with our Jake Tapper.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!

(EXPLOSION)

CLINTON ROMESHA, FMR. STAFF SGT., U.S. ARMY: There was movement everywhere. It was muzzle flashes everywhere. I just couldn't pick them out fast enough.

(SHOOTING)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: October 2009. Up to 400 Taliban fighters unleashed a torrent of withering fire upon a remote U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan. The attack so fierce, in the end more than half of the 53 U.S. troops at the outpost were killed or wounded. But as buildings burned and the enemy ran freely through the outpost, soldiers became heroes. One in particular.

ROMESHA: I know that there are so many great soldiers out there that would have stepped into my shoes and done the same thing.

TAPPER: Former Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha is a reluctant hero. That day he helped plan the recapture of Keating and he led troops in repelling the onslaught of Taliban fighters during a grueling day-long battle. Next week, Romesha will receive the Medal of Honor, the highest award for combat bravery, becoming just the fourth living recipient among those who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Chris Jones was a young private under Romesha's command when the Taliban struck.

CHRIS JONES: He is in my opinion the only reason we came back that day.

TAPPER: You led them right into places where your fellow soldiers had already been killed. That's why you're getting this medal. Others have died in the place that you ran into. You weren't worried?

ROMESHA: There wasn't time to sit there and worry about stuff out of our control. We had the tools. We had the training. We had the spirit. You know, we had the support of each other. It was the time.

TAPPER: By the end of the day, eight soldiers were dead. And 23 wounded. Clint Romesha now has a place in history, one that he shares with his comrades.

ROMESHA: It's a greater honor for me to know I couldn't have done what I did without those guys, that team. It was everybody that day. That's what, you know, excites me about this. It's those guys.

TAPPER: Jake Tapper, CNN, in Minot, North Dakota.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FEYERICK: And you can see an "American Hero", the uncommon valor of Clinton Romesha. Jake Tapper's special report tonight at 8:00 eastern here right here with us on CNN.

But leather and furs may be trends for New York's fashion week runways, but you won't see either of these in those couturier's collection. We'll tell you why. You are watching EARLY START WEEKEND.

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FEYERICK: Well, New York fashion week is already making history this year. For the first time, vegan couturier hit the runway with the collection made from animal-free products and materials. 30-year old Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart founded the fashion label Vaute Couture, for love for animals and vegan diet has a global following among animal rights activists and eco-conscious fashionistas. When it comes to making a statement, Hilgart just, well, she prints them on her t- shirts. Joining me to talk about Vaute collection is CNN Eatocracy's associate editor Sara LeTrent. And Sarah, Hilgart has been compared to designer Stella McCartney, but she's even taking it even one step further.

SARAH LETRENT, ASSOCIATE EDITOR FOR CNN EATOCRACY: Exactly. So she has got this comparison with Stella McCartney who is, of course, the daughter of Paul McCartney and the late Linda McCartney who was very active in animal rights community. Because Stella is -- was kind of at the forefront in designers to turn away from leather and fir. In fact, when she left Chloe, which is a Parisian fashion house, to start her own label, she was actually recruited by Gucci and turned the gig down allegedly because she didn't want to work with fir, leather, wool, shearling. And this whole Vaute Couture is really interesting, because right now there is big dichotomy we're seeing at Fashion Week, and that, it's very eco-friendly, this one line, but on the runway, we're seeing fur, fur and more fur and leather on lapels detailing. So it's definitely an interesting trend and kind of going away of what we're seeing on the runway.

FEYERICK: Yes, so Hilgart is sort of the rebel of the Fashion Week, you know, PETA made some scathing remarks about Beyonce's Super Bowl costume. And she said something to the effect, "We would take a bet that if Beyonce watched our video exposes, she'd probably not want to be seen again in anything made of snakes, lizards, rabbits or other animals who died painfully." Well, you know, it's interesting, because Hilgart has gone away from that. And a lot of fashionistas are now trending towards the other materials, other fabrics, for example. Hilgart, she's clearly got sponsors who are supporting her, including the Humane Society of the U.S.. We saw some dogs there being held by some of the models.

LETRENT: Absolutely. Hilgart, if nothing else, wears her heart on her sleeve. This runway show, it was vegan from top to bottom. There were vegan treats being passed around, there were Human Society dogs who were out for adoption. Even some of the dogs were used as accessories. PETA and Farm's Sanctuary, which are two very big animal rights groups where onsite, so if you had any questions about ethical dilemmas, you could talk to them, they could talk to you. So she definitely had no stops with really promoting her vegan lifestyle.

FEYERICK: What's interesting also is that, what I didn't understand is that vegan couture - they don't even use wool in the fabrics either. So what is she making these out of?

LETRENT: She's using a lot of velvet, velvetine, recycled cotton, anything that you can make a fabric out of. She was looking towards alternatives. And she's like we said, she is really a rebel. The thing that she said was, you know, it's so easy to use fur and leather, for her to actually kind of move away from this, it's being rebellious. And in fashion, design, art, it's always good to kind of push those limits and she's doing that.

FEYERICK: Her price points, we see some of her jackets there, I've read that coats and skirts retail for about $200. How does that fit into sort of the couture spectrum of pricing?

LETRENT: So, she's definitely much more of a contemporary designer, which means she's going to be on the lower price point. Now, to the every day consumer, it's still going to be a little bit higher than you'll see at some of your big box retailers. But in terms of couture, it's definitely more ready to wear. It's not something that you're going to see on the red carpet, it's something that you're going to pull on to go enjoy brunch on Saturday with your friends.

FEYERICK: All right. There are a couple of really cute things there. OK. Thank you. Made me think. CNN (inaudible) writer Sarah LeTrent, thanks so much. I appreciate it. And if you want to read more about vegan couture, check out cnn.com/living.

Well, happy Chinese New Year. We'll tell you why you can now be proud when someone calls you a snake. The history and the tradition behind the New Year's animals next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FEYERICK: An explosive night in Beijing. Lots of fireworks to light up the night skies. Residents welcome in the year of the snake. It's the Chinese New Year and they're not just celebrating in China. In New York's Chinatown. Crowds of people hit the streets wearing colorful costumes. Thousands marched and danced to ring in the year of the snake. Nadia Bilchik joins me now live to discuss the meaning of the snake, and Nadia, first of all, wishing you prosperity.

NADIA BILCHIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you.

FEYERICK: Which is the greeting that people say.

BILCHIK: [ speaking foreign language ]

FEYERICK: That's why I stuck to English.

(LAUGHTER)

FEYERICK: So impressed. So, tell me the year of the snake.

BILCHIK: The year of the snake. So, if you are a snake, which I happen to know is your sign, it means you're generous, charming, wily and smart, and it also means you should take risk this year, because it will pay you abundant dividend.

FEYERICK: Oh, my - OK, well, good. You know, I will take anything that's good - that works in my favor. Let's talk about it. It's a very colorful festival. There are usually the dragons dancing and you see a lot of red and gold.

BILCHIK: Yes, lots of red, red meaning prosperity, abundance, passion. And one of the things that's wonderful is you give your family red envelopes. And in the red envelopes are crisp notes. So again, the whole idea behind abundance and color and joy, bringing in the joy.

FEYERICK: I love the music. And I love watching the magnificent dances that are so inherent and part of the Chinese culture.

BILCHIK: And you often see the dragon dancers and the lion dancers. And both dragons and lions again, bravery, overcoming obstacles, incredibly passionate dances, very vibrant. And anything that wards off evil and brings in good luck.

FEYERICK: What's fascinating, also, is that the Chinese calendar or the Chinese years, you've got the year of the snake. The last year was the year of the dragon, the year of the rat, the year of the boar. Interesting animals. Why?

BILCHIK: OK. So the legend goes that Buddha invited the animals to race and the 12 animals that we have in the lunar calendar are those that raced. And the rat is the one that won and the reason we don't have a cat is that the rat forgot to wake up the cat, and that's why the cat always chases the rat.

(CROSSTALK)

BILCHIK: But even the rat is positive. Wily, smart, tenacious. So, the whole idea behind the calendars, all the animals are the best of the attributes.

FEYERICK: All right. Now, what are some of the other traditions that are associated with this?

BILCHIK: Well, you definitely shouldn't be cutting your hair on the start of Chinese New Year, because that's cutting out the good luck. You also don't want to be sweeping things away. So you can sweep the night before, but not on Chinese New Year. Sweeping away good luck. You also don't want to wash your hair, washing away the good luck. So the symbolism just around keeping in all the good fortune and all the good luck, and not letting it go. And again, (SPEAKING CHINESE), Happy New Year in Mandarin or Cantonese.

FEYERICK: I read, it was fascinating to me, the reason you sweep the house the night before is because you want to get rid of the bad luck.

BILCHIK: That's right.

FEYERICK: So it's really - (inaudible) and then you're opening up the space for good things to come in.

(CROSSTALK)

BILCHIK: -- and bringing the color, the joy, the abundance and the courage. And to all those people born in 2013, and it's 12 years back. So the next year of the snake will be in 2025. But it's 12 years out. Every 12 years. And those of the snake apparently this year is an especially good year if you're born 2013 going 12 backwards.

FEYERICK: Oh, my gosh. All right. Nadia, you just made my morning.

(LAUGHTER)

BILCHIK: Exactly.

FEYERICK: All right. Nadia Bilchik, thank you so much. We really appreciate it. Always so fascinating. Wishing you prosperity.

BILCHIK: Thank you.

FEYERICK: OK. And thank you. Well, between the Golden Globes and the Oscars, there's the BAFTA awards. So, will Britain's celebration of the best movies offer us any surprises? Or will Ben Affleck's "Argo" continue its gold rush? A preview next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FEYERICK: Well, time to get you ready for the week ahead. Let's take a look on Monday, over here, President Clinton is going to award Clinton Romesha the Medal of Honor, the former Army's Staff Sergeant risked his life to save fellow soldiers in Afghanistan in 2009. Also -- president Obama, I apologize. And then over here, also on Monday, the Westminster Dog Show. People love to watch the dogs. On Tuesday, the State of the Union is coming up. You might have to DVR night two of the dog show because President Obama will give the State of the Union address on Tuesday. Wednesday, come over here, and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, he gets political. He's hosting a fundraiser for New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie's re- election bid. And on Thursday, Illinois gay marriage legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois could reach the floor. That's on Valentine's Day. On Friday, the asteroid, we're all talking about the asteroid. 150-foot asteroid about half the size of a football field, it's going to be the closest shave in known history according to NASA. Coming as close as 17,000 miles from our planet. That's closer than the TV satellites you're watching me on right now.

Well, the Grammies aren't the only awards show we'll be watching today. There is also the BAFTA. The Britain version of the Oscars. The big names, big movies, big drama. Our Becky Anderson has more on what you can expect.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have the Golden Globes, the screen actors guild awards, the directors guild awards. But there's still plenty of red carpet for the stars to walk yet. Next leg, the BAFTA awards in London on Sunday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are on the list. You of all people should know that once you're on their list, you never get off.

ANDERSON: Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty" is indeed on the list for best film. Up against Argo, which the novice director Ben Affleck has scooped most of the top awards so far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you teach somebody to be a director in a day?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can teach a rhesus monkey to be a director in a day.

ANDERSON: And, apparently, director Ang Lee can teach a tiger to act.

"Life of Pi" has nine nominations and may well catch the coveted Best Film prize. But with "Le Mis" in the mix, the competition is fierce.

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may go. On your way.

ANDERSON: They could all be sent packing, though, by Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" which leads the list with ten nominations.

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, ACTOR: Euclid's first common notion is this, things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.

ANDERSON: That's all very well, Mr. President, but star Daniel Day-Lewis is without doubt red carpet royalty, up for his fourth BAFTA, not to mention history making third Oscar for best actor.

JOHN WILLIS, BAFTA CHAIRMAN: It's a really fantastic range on big films to small French films, some really well established names. And then some people, you know, like Ben Affleck, who, you know, is on the list for the first time. So it's a really, really great list actually.

ANDERSON: And it promises to be a really great night hosted once again by British comedian Stephen Fry, who says his job will be made easier if the stars are less than polished.

STEPHEN FRY, BAFTA HOST: It's great if someone falls over, you know, her heel breaks as she climbs of - on the stairs, whatever, and whoop - falls over, and then that's - and is rescued by somebody gallant. You know, it's usually or Hugh Jackman or somebody that comes and rescue her. And that's very good. And people like that.

ANDERSON: Slips, slides and gaffes aside, the BAFTAs are second only in prestige to the Oscars. So what happens in London on Sunday will likely set the stage for the Academy Awards in two weeks time. Becky Anderson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FEYERICK: Good morning, everyone. I'm Deborah Feyerick in this morning for Randi Kaye. It is 7:00 and we're so glad that you can join us here this morning.