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Thousands Rally In D.C. For Action On Climate Change; LAPD's Image Problem; Pistorius Remains In Jail; Republicans And Democrats Still Deadlocked As Automatic Cuts Loom; Kate Upton's Chilly Photo Shoot

Aired February 17, 2013 - 14:00   ET


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: It's 2 p.m. on the East Coast, 11 a.m. out West. I'm Deborah Feyerick in for Fredricka Whitfield. If you're just tuning in, thanks so for joining us and spending part of your afternoon here. These are the top stories that we're following right now in the CNN NEWSROOM.

At this hour thousands of people marching in Washington. They want more action on climate change. Among the demands, they're looking for President Obama to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline. We've got a reporter right in the thick of it, and we'll take you there, just moments away.

Massachusetts is covered with a thick blanket of snow again, just a week after a monster blizzard slammed into it. Boston is the hardest hit with strong winds and blowing snow, making it very difficult to see as you can see that driver there.

In Detroit, a snowstorm resulted in a massive pile-up on the highway, Southbound 175 -- I-75 was shut down for hours after about 20 to 30 cars spun out of control. Drivers said it was simply impossible to see in a snowstorm.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just like somebody suddenly threw a white sheet across the --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could see nothing ahead of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- the wind shield. And we couldn't see anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More cars -- you could hear them smashing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- after another banging.


FEYERICK: The winter storm warning for Massachusetts ends a couple of hours from now just about 5:00.

Over in Illinois, the family of Jesse Jackson Jr. says they are struggling to cope with allegations the former Congressman misused campaign funds for personal expenses. They're also standing by his side while he faces federal charges while struggling with his health.


JONATHAN JACKSON, JESSE JACKSON JR.'S BROTHER: Still under a strict regiment with the doctors, and he's had to deal with the compounding issues of his health as well as legal issues. And so he's going to work through both simultaneously. So we ask that you continue to be mindful that he's not able to speak for himself.


FEYERICK: Jesse Jackson Jr. stepped down as a Congressman to deal with his health problems, his mental health problems. If he's convicted, he could get up to five years in prison.

The White House is drafting a plan to deal with the issue of illegal immigration. According to "USA Today," the plan would allow immigrants to become permanent residents in just eight years after they pass background check and pay their fees. Until then, they would carry a visa with their new status as lawful prospective immigrants. The White House says it's vital to have a way for Americans estimated at 11 million of them undocumented immigrants to become citizens.

Republicans led by Senator Marco Rubio call the supported version of the president's plan, quote, "dead on arrival," unquote, in Congress. Rubio supports the bipartisan Gang of Eight plan released last month. It also offers a pathway to citizenship, along with more money for border security. Republicans say the White House plan doesn't do enough to secure America's borders, even though it would increase funds for the border patrol.

And like many sports fans around the world, the news of track star Oscar Pistorius being charged with a Valentine's Day murder of his girlfriend was a shock to Olympian Usain Bolt as well. The six- time Olympian gold medalist told our Rachel Nichols he's still trying to process what happened.


USAIN BOLT, SIX-TIME OLYMPIAN GOLD MEDALIST: When I heard, it was like what? Who, as in the amputee, the guy who ran the 400 meters? I was asking that kind of question because this can't be the same guy that I've seen, that I know, and I still can't process it really. I'm trying to process what really happened, what's going on.

So as far as I'm concerned, I'm just listening to the news, to hear what's up, follow Twitter, and just see what's going on because for me, I'm still in shock for what happened.


FEYERICK: And Pistorius remains in jail until his bond hearing Tuesday. He says he did not kill his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Well, back to our big story this hour. History being made in Washington. Thousands marching for more action on climate change. Organizers claim it's the biggest rally of its kind ever in the U.S. Our Chris Lawrence is right in the thick of it and Chris, describe, tell us what you're seeing there.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Loud, crowded, very excited. Those are the first words that come to mind, Deb. They're calling this one of if not the largest climate rally in the nation's history. The organizers say they've got about 40,000 or more people here. The march just started a few minutes ago from the National Mall at the Washington Monument. They are marching by the White House, trying to take their message to President Obama and to some of the legislators here. And we've been talking to a lot of the marchers who have been here -- excuse me, ma'am.


LAWRENCE: What brought you out here today on this march?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right here, this is my little grandson, and I want a better world for him. I don't want a climate that's changing, creating all sorts of havoc as far as weather, droughts, floods, wars, that's what we mean.

LAWRENCE: What is your message to President Obama on expanding the Keystone Pipeline, bringing the oil from Canada and the expansion obviously would bring it past the Midwest all the way to the Gulf Coast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I would say be brave and stand up against the oil interests that are not in our national interests.

LAWRENCE: Thank you very much. That's some of the sentiment that we've been hearing all morning, all early afternoon.

Of course, critics will say on the other side that when you talk about the economy, when you talk about the economy that the Keystone Pipeline is not dangerous. That it uses some of the latest technology to prevent leaks, it will bring jobs to the nation's economy.

Another big agenda on the table here is the emission standards. They've already been proposed for plants that are coming online, new plants. But the big issue among a lot of people here is will those standards, those harsher standards be extended to existing plants?

So that's a taste of what you're seeing here, protect our health, not big polluters, a lot of people here trying to take a message to President Obama. Deb?

FEYERICK: All right, Chris Lawrence there right in the thick of it. Obviously a topic that generates a lot of passion on both sides. Thanks so much.

In Los Angeles, a different kind of rally. Dozens of protesters gathering outside LAPD headquarters. They're carrying placards supporting renegade ex-cop Christopher Dorner. They don't support Dorner's deadly rampage, but they say the accusations of corruption, racism and brutality in the LAPD need to be addressed so this doesn't happen again.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know there are a lot of honest policemen out there trying to serve the people, but it's just atrocious what Mr. Dorner did and we don't want it to happen again.


FEYERICK: Nick Valencia is here with us today. Nick, you've been following this story very closely. It's fascinating to see this groundswell of support for people who do want the LAPD investigated so that if there was a problem or is a problem it won't happen again.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Deb, there's an increasingly band of vocal support for Chris Dorner and not just online, where we initially saw it. This is protesters, demonstrators outside of LAPD.

And I want to be very clear about something, Deb. I've spoken to Dorner supporters, or people who call themselves Dorner supporters. And they tell me, Nick, it's not so much that we support Chris Dorner as much as we are disgusted with the Los Angeles police department. We are disgusted with the way they handled the Dorner manhunt.

Deb, I grew up in Los Angeles in the '90s during that infamous period of police brutality, the Rodney King riots, the Rampart scandal. And the fact is that the LAPD has a very bad image problem among Los Angeles residents. People there say locally the LAPD can hire as many women it wants, it can hire as many minorities and promote them as many as they want. The fact is they still have a bad image problem.

Last week when I was there, I spoke with Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa about the allegations made in Dorner's manifesto and asked him if any of them should be given any legitimacy. Take a listen.


ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA (D), MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES: There is nothing, absolutely nothing that was done to this individual that would rationalize in any way the murder of three innocent people. The notion that somehow this deranged individual should be given any credence boggles my mind.


VALENCIA: Now they've reopened that investigation. The appeal, Dorner's appeal to his firing, has been reopened. The LAPD said it's not so much to justify Dorner's claims as it is to show the L.A. Public they are transparent.

But the way they handled this, Deb, opening fire on two innocent Hispanic women delivering papers just before dawn. Other people were mistakenly fired upon as well -- that really doesn't do help for the LAPD's image. Deb? FEYERICK: Of course. Of course. And clearly the LAPD, if they do have an image problem, they're working to fix it. The one thing they tell you is that look, Dorner was no hero. And even when you read his manifest manifesto, you can see while he does make certain allegations that raise questions, clearly the rest of it is sort of the ramblings of a man who was clearly disturbed.

Nick Valencia, thank you so much. We appreciate your insights on that.

Well, President Obama and Congress on a deadline and under pressure to reach a debt deal to keep deep spending cuts from kicking in. Are they close to an agreement? We've got details.

And the president also under a bit of pressure on the golf course. We'll tell you what big celebrities he's playing with today that may be making him just a little bit nervous.

And Lebron James on a record-setting tear. So, is he the next Michael Jordan? Find out what Lebron has to say about that, as he talks to our Rachel Nichols straight ahead.


FEYERICK: For once, President Obama may not be the biggest name on the golf course. Mr. Obama is playing a round of golf with Tiger Woods today. The president's enjoying a golfing weekend with friends in Palm City, Florida. Obama is playing at a posh resort owned by Jim Crain. He also owns the Houston Astros baseball team and raised funds for the president's reelection. No word yet on the president's score. We'll get you that.

President Obama's ideas, certainly he's trying to drum up a lot of support around the country, but the main support he needs is in the House and Senate to make it all happen. Right now, there's little agreement with Republicans on how to cut the budget to avoid massive automatic cuts come March 1st. Senate Republicans have held up the confirmation of the president's choice for defense secretary.

CNN contributor and former White House special adviser Van Jones joins me from Washington. Alice Stewart, spokesman for former Republican senator Rick Santorum's presidential campaign; she is in Little Rock, Arkansas. Both of you thanks for being here today. So much to talk about, with so much focus on the budget cuts. We've heard the doom and gloom scenario about what could happen, everything from meat inspections to TSA security checkpoints, all of that could be impacted. Why is this so hard to get done? And Alice, I'm going to start with you?

ALICE STEWART, FORMER SPOKESMAN FOR SANTORUM CAMPAIGH: Well, if we knew the answer to that, we wouldn't be in this situation, would we, Deb? And that's unfortunately where we always come when it comes to these big issues. The can gets kicked down the road to the very end. Here we are nearing the eleventh hour again, and we have folks on recess, out playing golf and not really addressing the issue. I'm afraid we have to deal with sequestration, and we're going to face these cuts because we need to replace the sequestration with serious deficit reduction, and the Democrats aren't doing that. The Republicans have come forward with serious cuts that don't involve tax increases and that's how we need to go about doing this. But the Democrats seem to want to increase taxes, and that's not how we're going to go about helping out in this terrible financial mess.

FEYERICK: OK, and I heard you reference the president was playing golf, but in all fairness, both Democrats and Republicans are away this weekend for the Presidents' Weekend so people getting a little bit of rest.

But Van, let me come around and ask you about this. And that is, look, we know these automatic spending cuts are about to kick in. Why not tell these agencies, look, here is how much you have to cut. Cut it and do it now. Isn't this about budget management?

VAN JONES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is, but first I just want to -- I see it a little bit different than my colleague does. I think we've got to remember, President Obama is a deficit hawk. He's put forward a plan to have -- to cut $4 trillion out of the deficit. So, he's trying to do it in a balanced way that would also include things the American people are actually for. When he says he wants to close corporate loopholes, 70 percent of Americans agree with him on that. When he says he doesn't think big oil should still be on corporate welfare after 150 years, American people would be with him on that.

So, he wants to do this in a responsible, balanced way. Protect the middle class, protect investments and he's trying to cut the deficit. I think you've got the Republican party kind of dug in on this cuts-only approach that's very unpopular with the American people. Once again, they have to walk right up to the finish line here. Unfortunately, I think that they don't realize they lost the last election. The president is massively popular and his ideas are massively popular.

FEYERICK: Yes, well he won, what was it -- 66 million to 61 million. So, he's massively popular with the majority.

But let me, so both of you, does a deal get done by the March 1st done. Quickly, Alice, yes or no?

STEWART: I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm afraid that it won't. We can't tax our way out of this, we have to cut our way out of it.

FEYERICK: Van, yes or no?

JONES: I don't think so. I think we're going to be right up against it.

FEYERICK: OK, all right. And just very, very quickly on Chuck Hagel, they call it a filibuster, seems to me that all they're doing is waiting until after the President's weekend to vote on this. Why can't they just get it done? JONES: First of all, we've had an unbelievable amount of filibuster abuse. In the ten years that LBJ was leader of the Senate back in the day, he had one filibuster in a decade. Reid faced more than - or almost 400 filibusters. So, we have filibuster abuse, filibuster addiction on the part of the GOP. I just think there's no reason to hold up Hagel's nomination for Benghazi. He was a private citizen when Benghazi happened. We've just got crazy, crazy stuff going on in the U.S. Senate right now.

FEYERICK: Alice, he's Vietnam veteran, decorated Purple Heart recipient. Do you think he should be officially sworn in?

STEWART: Absolutely I respect and admire his service to our country, but when it comes to this, Republicans have raised concern about his statements and positions on Israel and Iran for quite some time. And also the fact he called the surge one of the biggest blunders in this country.

And now we're finding out more and more about the fact that he hasn't been forthcoming with information he was supposed to provide to the Senate Intel Committee on speeches that he made as well as whether or not he profited off of some foreign companies. These are things we need to know, and Republicans have been saying this for a month-and-a- half. What part of no do the Democrats not understand?

We have serious concerns that he's sending the wrong message to our allies and our enemies in the Middle East, and that's not what we need in terms of someone that's going to lead our foreign policy. It's not politics. It's not partisan. It's about protecting our country.

FEYERICK: OK. All eyes on Washington. Let's see if anything gets done in the next couple of weeks. Van Jones and Alice, thank you so much. We appreciate your both being here today with us.

STEWART: Thanks, have a great day.

JONES: Thank you.

FEYERICK You, too.

The Dayton 500 just a week away. We'll tell you what driver Danica Patrick is doing today that could give you a critical advantage in the race and land her in the NASCAR history books.


FEYERICK: A showdown between the NBA's best in the east and best in the west. The annual all-star game is going down in just a few hours. But first on "The Bleacher Report," yes it is Michael Jordan's 50th birthday today. Happy birthday, Michael Jordan.

Players still try to emulate him on the court, especially in dunk contests like last night. Defending champ Jeremy Evans dunking over a painting of himself. And he painted the painting of himself himself and then he signs it himself. That got a lot of people talking. And if you think dunking over a painting is an incredible feat, how about dunking over a kid? Ooh, brave kid. Toronto Raptors guard Terrence Ross over the body, over the top of a ball boy. His knee just clears the kid's head, got his win for the 2013 slam dunk champion.

Is Lebron the next M.J.? Well, he tells Rachel Nichols with Turner Sports that he's not trying to be like him. She's asked him, however, how he shoots with such accuracy?


LEBRON JAMES, MIAMI HEAT FORWARD: The way I've been shooting the fall feels like you're on the beach and you have a tennis ball. And just no matter where you throw it, it's going to land in the water.


FEYERICK: Good odds there, and to everyone who said Danica Patrick pulled a publicity stunt or ratings grabber by dating NASCAR's Ricky Stenhouse Jr., well, she's letting her driving do the talking. She ran the fastest practice lap of the day, clocking in at 196 miles per hour. It could land her in the history books as the first female to win the pole at the Daytona 500.

For more entertaining sports news, check out

Up next, Sports illustrated cover model Kate Upton tells us how cold it was posing in Antarctica in a bikini.

And turning a hot space rock into hard, cold cash.


FEYERICK: Kate Upton gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition for a second time. Now, she's made history, landing a back-to-back cover on the popular magazine. HLN's A.J. Hammer sat down with her and has more on why her second go-round wasn't as easy.

A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT HOST: Hey, Deb. Well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT just broke some big news with Kate Upton about her sub-zero Sports Illustrated bikini shoot in Antarctica. That very chilly shoot landed her on the smokin' hot cover of the annual Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition for the second year in a row.

Now the last time that happened was when the legendary Tyra Banks did it back in the '90s. And get this: Kate's fashion shoot was the first ever to take place in Antarctica and she revealed to me what it was like going nearly bare at 35 degrees below zero. Here's a little hint for you, brr!


HAMMER: Yes, what's the big deal? So Antarctica, 35 below zero, for a swimsuit fashion shot. And don't get me wrong, the pictures are beautiful, but did you tick somebody off at "Sports Illustrated"? How'd that happen? KATE UPTON, MODEL: That's what I was asking them the whole time. I mean, it was amazing to go there, but I'm from Florida so I was thinking like, are you sure?

HAMMER: Yeah, you guys complain if it dips below 60, really.

UPTON: Exactly.


UPTON: I always complain about that, but now at least I have winter clothes. So ...

HAMMER: You're all set.

UPTON: I'm all set.

HAMMER: Although I heard from somebody I spoke with at "Sports Illustrated" just yesterday, he told me that you were the model of professional. You didn't complain about one thing. Was he being nice? I mean you had to complain a little bit, no?

UPTON: You know, I think that I was frozen and I couldn't talk.


HAMMER: That'll happen.

UPTON: Now I can complain

HAMMER: Well, the reports were that you actually did get frostbite and there were some health issues you had to be concerned about. So it was kind of dangerous, really, if you step back from it.

UPTON: It was. And, you know, my body was so worn down from trying to keep me warm. And my heart was always racing. So, luckily I got cover and it was worth it.


HAMMER: How long were you there for?

UPTON: We were shooting there for six days, but we were on the boat for ten.

HAMMER: OK. Yes, so to clear things up. You weren't staying in an igloo. Nothing like that.


HAMMER: You were in a nice, warm, comfortable boat when you weren't ...

UPTON: Exactly.

HAMMER: ... taking the pictures. UPTON: Every time I went back to the boat, the expedition leaders would be like, well, think of the explorers back in the day. They didn't have a nice cruise ship to come back to. I was like, I'm not a explorer, I'm a bikini model!

HAMMER: And I have to ask you, how giddy were these expedition leaders to be on the boat with a super model taking these fashion photos. I mean, they have to have been just red in the face.

UPTON: I think they thought we were crazy.

HAMMER: Now, having done this a second time, you will put on the cover, and my understanding is, they don't know that until they actually see the photographs. That's when they decide who's going on the cover.


HAMMER: So, you didn't know this in advance. But now, as a repeat cover girl if you don't mind me using that expression -- cover model, is what I prefer to say. Cheryl Tiegs has done this, Christie Brinkley, Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks, my old friend Paulina Porizkova. Pretty good company to be in ...


HAMMER: ... and I imagine women you've looked up to for sometime.

UPTON: I mean those were the women, exactly, I looked up to and saw them in the magazines and now I'm with the group. So, it's amazing.

HAMMER: Pretty cool.



HAMMER: Yes, Deb, I think it is pretty clear that Kate Upton has now joined the ranks of some of the greatest supermodels of all-time.

FEYERICK: Absolutely. Thanks, A.J. And of course, you can watch A.J. on "Showbiz Tonight" Monday through Friday 11:00 p.m. on HLN.

I'll be back at 4:00 p.m. Eastern with all the top stories including President Obama's wish list. He's laid it out but will he get what he wants? But first Dr. Sanjay Gupta and NASA astronaut Ed Lu go hunting for dangerous asteroids that could potentially destroy our earth. "THE NEXT LIST" starts right now.