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Winter Storm Heads to New England; Climate Change Talk Heats Up; Pope's Farewell Tour; White House Drafts Immigration Legislation; "Air Jordan" Turns 50 Today; Protesters Rally in Cop Killer's Name; Oscars Roll Out the Red Carpet; Pushing a Bold Agenda; "Harlem Shake" Goes Viral

Aired February 17, 2013 - 08:00   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

Here we go again. More snow blanketing the East Coast and causing massive pileups like this.

New details about Oscar Pistorius alleged murder of his model girlfriend. What his family is saying about the fallen superstar now.

And guess who is turning 50? A look back at the career of the man, the athlete, the legend, Michael Jordan.



PAUL: Did the alarm go off a little too early for you on a Sunday?

Well, we are glad to have your company. I'm Christi Paul, in for Randi Kaye, 8:00 here in the East, 5:00 for you early birds in the West. Thank you so much for sharing your time with us here.

I want to begin with you this morning talking about some severe winter weather in several parts of the country. Look at this thing -- a blinding whiteout in Detroit. That's what led to this massive pile- up yesterday. It's on a major freeway there.

No immediate reports of fatalities, which is the great news. Even after at least, we know, 44 vehicles collided on Interstate 75, but heavy snow squalls closed stretches of I-94 and other roads across that region. In fact, you want to listen to this couple who is caught in the middle of that I-75 smash up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just like somebody suddenly threw a white sheet across the windshield and we couldn't see anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More cars you could hear them smashing into each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can everybody behind us, just one after another banging.


PAUL: That's just frightening. A white sheet and all you hear is that. Today, the Northeast, going a little bit further East, faces another blast of severe weather as well. Just, of course, a week after last weekend's monster blizzard, and then down the East Coast, snow is falling, at least it has, pretty fast in parts of North Carolina.

CNN weather center meteorologist Samantha Mohr with me right now.

So talk to us about the folks in New England. Give them a head's up.

SAMANTHA MOHR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. We have some advisories and watches and warnings to share with them. More winter weather working its way in as this deep low works its way up the coast. So, winter storm warning for the Cape. We could easily see around five to nine inches of snowfall there, and it's going to be winds that are causing the trouble. And once again blowing the snow sideways and making for blizzard conditions. That means visibility less than a quarter of a mile across much of Maine, so, Bangor, Calais, Houlton, all included in that blizzard warning with gusty wind that are really going to be blowing.

Look at it throughout the afternoon and evening, it's going to peak around 50 miles per hour in the Boston area. So, I know you cleaned up after last weekend, but now, you're going to have to deal with more blowing snow, and the winds are going to continue to be strong throughout tomorrow morning as well, right around 41 miles per hour in Boston and 36 miles per hour in New York City. So that's going to make those temperatures feel even colder than it feels right now.

There's the snow coming down east Maine and into the Boston area and Providence, as we head to this hour, heavy snow at times. We will likely to see about half a foot in Boston accumulating. Of course, a lot of it is going to be blowing around, and then off the coast of the Carolinas, you can see the moisture working its way off the coastline itself, but behind that we're dealing with winter weather conditions, winter weather advisory in place here through 10:00.

Watch for black ice. Once again, it's really hard to see as you come over the roadways there, and it makes it very slick and do be expecting to see some of that on bridges and overpasses, specifically.

So, here's the current wind chill in Florida. Can you believe this? This is the Sunshine State and we're talking and feeling like 26 degrees in Gainesville and 24 in Jacksonville is what it feels like right now. And even in south Florida, we're talking temperatures here in the mid-30s in Sarasota and Ft. Pierce. That's the wind chill factor. That's when you combine the winds along with the actual temperature.

And we still have a hard freeze warning in place in the dark blue areas marked on your map here, and that's going to continue again tonight. So, of course, we'll be monitoring the cy truss crops here, Christi, because this could really be impactful. Once again the orange juice prices, grapefruit juice prices will be going back up.

PAUL: Darn. All righty. Mother Nature hits us sometimes in the strangest ways, doesn't it?

MOHR: Sure does.

PAUL: Thank you so much, Samantha. So good to see your smiling face today.

You know, weather is also on the mind of climate change activists in Washington today. They are taking their message to the front gates of the White House.

Here's Emily Schmidt with more.


EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, temperatures are in the 30s this February weekend in Washington, D.C., as environmental activists are coming here, hoping to heat up political talk about climate change. They are planning a gathering on the National Mall with a march to the White House.


SCHMIDT: It will be the second high-profile event organized in a week by groups including the Sierra Club and

Wednesday, dozens of environmental activists, including actress Daryl Hannah, were arrested after they cuffed themselves to the White House gate. Hanna said the message is clear and critical.

DARYL HANNAH, ACTRESS/ACTIVIST: We're out here saying, President Obama, you must reject the Keystone pipeline.

SCHMIDT: The Keystone XL pipeline would export oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Supporters say it creates jobs while helping the U.S. to become more energy independent. Opponents think the pipeline could threaten water supplies in the environment. The Obama administration put off deciding whether to OK the project until after the presidential election.

The State Department says a final decision on the pipeline could come this spring.

One scientist at the Cato Institute predicts the president will green-light the pipeline.

PATRICK J. MICHAELS, CATO INSTITUTE: Well, I think the White House has probably made its decision on Keystone. The political calculus is obvious. If they come out against, it they are going to pay a very big price.

SCHMIDT: President Obama talked about climate change in his State of the Union address last week, but he did not specifically mention the Keystone XL pipeline -- Christi.


PAUL: All righty. Emily, thank you so much.

You know, Robert Kennedy Jr. was among those protesting the Keystone pipeline. He was even arrested during a demonstration outside the White House this past week. We'll get his perspective on the message that he's trying to send to the president. That's coming up in just a couple of minutes.

I want to get you to Vatican City and Pope Benedict's farewell tour. Earlier this morning, he resided the Angelus from St. Peter Square and spoke in several languages. But you know what, when he got to Spanish, he thanked the faithful for the prayers in the wake of his decision, of course, to resign and asked for prayers for the next pope as well.

This was a larger than usual crowd for the weekly prayer by the pope, because, of course, it's one of his last scheduled public appearances before he leaves the Vatican at the end of the month. So the day after he leaves the cardinal of colleges is expected to pick his successor.

And coming up at the half hour, we want to take a closer look at you with the intrigue and secrecy in the church, as well as Hollywood's obsession with the Vatican. So, think about all the movies that come out about it. So, we'll talk about that.

We are now hearing, by the way, from Jessie Jackson Jr.'s family just a day after his details of his plea bargain went public. Jackson admitted to misusing campaign funds for personal expenses, such as a $43,000 watch and apparently some fur coats.

His brother talked about Jackson's health and how he's handling recent events.


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 been working through both simultaneously. So we ask that you continue to be mindful that he's not -- he's not able to speak for himself.


PAUL: Now, remember, Jesse Jackson Jr. stepped aside to deal with his health problems. Jackson could be sentenced to as many as five careers in prison. So, let's go to Washington, and a first draft of the president's immigrants plan. Remember, this is just a draft, but "USA Today" is reporting it was sent to several federal agencies and includes an eight-year path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. In the Senate, the so-called group of eight is also working towards concrete legislation on immigration, and a White House spokesman says the president's plan is a way forward only if Congress fails to act.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, though, is part of that gang of eight and he called the president's plan, quote, half-baked and seriously flawed. Now, Rubio is in the Middle East right now visiting Israel and Jordan and talking to leaders in both of those countries, and the timing is the interesting part of this for a lot of people because you see, President Obama is scheduled to travel to Israel next month.

Right now, though, the president is getting a little R&R in Rubio's home state of Florida, and it's led to some tense moments in the skies above vacation spots. Fighter jets were called in twice yesterday to intercept small planes that strayed into that restricted airspace. The Secret Service and the FAA are investigating, by the way.

So, let's get to south Florida -- or South Africa, rather. Relatives of Oscar Pistorius are strongly disputing prosecutor campaigns that the Olympic track star committed premeditated murder. The double amputee known as "Blade Runner" is charged with killing his model girlfriend Steenkamp on Valentine's Day. He is jail right now waiting for a Tuesday bond hearing.

Pistorius' agent says his client denied the allegation and his uncle spoke to reporters yesterday.


ANTHONY PISTORIUS, OSCAR PISTORIUS' UNCLE: After consulting with our legal representatives, we deeply regret the allegations of premeditated murder. We have no doubt there is no substance for the allegations and that the state's own case, including its own forensic evidence, strongly refute any possibility of a premeditated murder, or murder as such.


PAUL: Meanwhile, a South African network went ahead with the reality show featuring Steenkamp and the executive producer says the decision to air that show was certainly a tough one. He said the first episode was dedicated to Reeva's memory, but there was a lot of talk about whether that was appropriate to air.

In addition to family reaction, track and field's biggest star Usain Bolt is speaking out about it. You're going to hear his thoughts coming up.

Stay close.


PAUL: OK. You remember that one? And how old do you feel right now? Because I'm feeling my age.

He may be known for wearing number 23. Today, it's all about the big 5-0 for his airness, though. Yes, Michael Jordan is celebrating his 50th birthday today.

Now, for you kids watching, look, before there was LeBron, before there was Kobe, Michael Jordan was wiping the floor with his competition. The five-time NBA MVP won six NBA championships for the Chicago bulls.

I want to give you a look at the career of the man considered by many to be the greatest basketball player ever.


MICHAEL JORDAN, NBA LEGEND: I'll do anything to win.

Limits like fears are often just an illusion.

SPORTS ANCHOR: Into the circle, puts the shot in the air. Good!

JORDAN: When the light comes on, I'm as competitive as anybody you know.


SPORTS ANCHOR: Jordan a drive, hangs, fires, scores!


PAUL: I know, I know. We see this, and we're feeling our age. But certainly happy birthday to Mr. Jordan.

You know, the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, is speaking out right now about fellow sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius, as you know, accused of killing his girlfriend on Valentine's Day.

Here's what Bolt told our Rachel Nichols.


USAIN BOLT, OLYMPIC 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 feeling the slightest shock for what happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: We'll continue obviously to follow this and let you know what the reaction is in sports all across the world really when it comes to that one.

But bringing you some other sports headlines down. You know, Danica Patrick turned the attention off her personal life, and on to her driving by smoking the competition in practice for the Daytona 500.

Joe Carter joining us now with this morning's bleacher report, and that is, I'm sure, not an easy task --


PAUL: -- because people are distracted by her personal life, right?

CARTER: Yes, very much so. It's really become poverty story lately, unfortunately, for her. That's because she's dating Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. He's also a NASCAR driver. He's her competitor and he happens to be five years younger. So as you can imagine plenty of headlines off of that one.

And on top of that, Danica's critics really said she's not ready to race full-time in NASCAR. She's been called a publicity stunt, a ratings grabber. Well, yesterday, Danica shut those critics up by letting her driving do the talking. She ran the fastest practice lap of the day, yesterday, clocking in at 196 miles per hour. That puts her in great position today to become the first female to win the pole at the Daytona 500.

Well, it's become more of a curse than a blessing to be a top ranked team in college basketball. Last night, a big dog went down again. Duke had a chance to win or tie at the buzzer, but as you'll see the Dukies, the shot does not go down for them. They lose to unranked Maryland, 83-81. In the last five weeks, the top ranked team in college hoops has lost.

Of course, this is good though. This only means March Madness is going to be total chaos.

In my opinion, it's the best part of the NBA all-star weekend, the dunk contest. Defending champ Jeremy Evans, the dude dunks over a painting. Watch, that painting happens to be of himself dunking, and, you know what?

He painted that painting himself, and he even signs the painting. I think it's going on eBay. I don't know.

How do you one-up a dunk over a painting? Of course, you dunk over a kid. That's right. Terrance Ross plays for the Toronto raptors. Watching the replay his knee just clears the kid's head. That's nice though. The judge liked it.

Terrance Ross the 2013 slam dunk champion. For all your entertaining sports news, of course, check out All-star game begins tonight on our sister network TNT. Coverage 7:00 p.m. Eastern. It's going to be a whole lot of offense, very little defense, Christi.

PAUL: And you know where Joe is going to be now? In front of the TV, 7:00. It's where we're going to find him. Thank you, Joe.

CARTER: You're welcome.

PAUL: Robert Kennedy Jr. hauled away from the White House in handcuffs, along with his son. I don't know, father-son moment, do you think?

We're going to ask him about the message he's trying to send to President Obama.


PAUL: Good morning to all of our friends waking up in Washington, D.C, you know who you are. And always a camera obviously on the White House, but there's going to be even more possibly today because environmental activists from across the country are planning a rally there in Washington to bring attention to climate change starting at mall we believe and ending at the White House.

Some got an early start, though. Earlier this week, Robert Kennedy Jr. and others, including his son Connor, as well as actress Daryl Hannah -- remember that name -- were arrested after handcuffing themselves to the White House gate.

Here's the thing. They are protesting an oil pipeline that they say would contribute to global warming.

Well, HLN's Susan Hendricks spoke to Kennedy about what happened, and how he thinks the president is handling this issue.


ROBERT KENNEDY, JR., ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST: I think, virtually, everybody who was in that crowd, 50 people got arrested, and thousands of people in the crowd, and they all support Obama. They believe that he is going to kill the XL pipeline but, you know, he's under such pressure from industry money. The oil industry is the richest industry in the history of mankind.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, HLN ANCHOR: I heard you said and I want to quote you here. You said it's a project that's going to enrich a few billionaires by impoverishing the rest of humanity.

Are you trying to send that message to Obama?

KENNEDY: Environmental injury is deficit spending. It's a way of imposing the costs of our generation's prosperity and the wealth of billionaires in this case, on to the backs of our children, you know. We can treat the planet as if it were a business in liquidation and convert our natural resources to cash as quickly as possible and have a few years of pollution-based prosperity and make the Koch brothers wealthy while impoverishing everybody else. Bt our children are the ones that are going to pay for the joy ride and they're going to pay for it for denoted landscapes and poor health and huge cleanup costs that are going to amplify over time, and that they will never be able to pay. This is --

HENDRICKS: What about the supporters though who say that it will be instrumental in helping the U.S. become more energy efficient? What do you say to them?

KENNEDY: Well, I don't even understand that argument because this is not American oil and it's not coming to the United States. It's passing through the United States, the plan to a refinery in Galveston and then it's going to be exported to China and other places in the world, and it's Canadian oil.

So I -- I real -- you know, even the State Department, which formally was kind of boosting this project, has said that at most, it's going to produce about 150 jobs. So -- and it's going to destroy ultimately many more jobs than that.

You know, the first pipeline they built leaked 12 times in 12 months. The next pipeline they built had the biggest leak in American history when it crossed the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010, and they are still cleaning it up.

This is -- this is the most likely oil to leak out of a pipeline because it's very corrosive, and once it leaks, we don't know how to clean it up.

HENDRICKS: So many people are passionate about this, including your son, who was arrested with you, your son Conor, and you said he's getting more attention than you are.

KENNEDY: Yes. I believe he is, yes. But Conor had -- for Conor, there's a very personal issue. And he -- Conor was born with asthma, and he -- and his -- the kind of asthma he has is particularly -- is triggered by ozone and particulates in the atmosphere. The ozone and particulates are coming mainly from power plants and to some extent from automobile emissions. And so, he actually gets sick on bad air days.

HENDRICKS: There's such an interest in your family. Why do you think that continues today?

KENNEDY: My family's history is really in many ways the history of this country, and particularly the history of immigrants coming into this country. And then my uncle, John Kennedy, became the first Catholic president of the United States, and he had a vision for this country that was idealistic. It was a vision that we should be examples to the world, that we -- the world wanted -- that we should model democracy and we should perfect the Union.

HENDRICKS: Well, it's certainly been a pleasure and an honor. Robert Kennedy, Jr., thank you.

KENNEDY: Thank you, Susan.


PAUL: All righty. So we'll continue to follow that, of course.

But speaking of the Kennedys, if you're interested at all in owning a piece of Camelot, it might be time to pull out your credit card. This morning, hundreds of pieces of Kennedy family memorabilia are going to hit the auction block in Massachusetts. Item's included JFK's Air Force One bomber jacket, can you imagine? A birthday card signed by John Jr. to his dad, and a marked-up itinerary for the slain president's November 1963 trip to Dallas.

The items were found in the home of one of JFK's special assistants apparently.

Mystery, drama, backstabbing -- we're not talking about the latest TV hit. We're talking about the process to pick a new pope. We're going to look into it with you.


PAUL: It is so good to share the morning with you. Welcome back to CNN SUNDAY MORNING. I'm Christi Paul in for Randi Kaye. Bottom of the hour for you now, I hope Sunday has been good to you so far.

I want to get you caught up on what we're watching.

Have you heard about this in Los Angeles some people are showing support for cop killer Christopher Dorner. Now, I want to clarify this for you because the group protested outside the L.A. Police Department yesterday and they say while what Dorner did was wrong by killing four people and injuring others, they do believe his claims of racism and unfair treatment by his former department, and the protesters say police corruption needs to be addressed.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think 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.


PAUL: Officials say Dorner died from a single bullet wound to the head during a standoff last week.

An Idaho man accused of slapping a fussy toddler and using a racial slur Friday on a Delta flight has been suspended from his job now. Joe Rickey Hundley is an executive with an aerospace company. Now the firm calls the allegations against him disturbing. The 60- year-old faces an assault charge that could land him a year behind bars. The boy's mom meanwhile says her son started crying because of an altitude change. We all know how that goes right. Hundley's attack she says only made him scream louder. Ok. I want to get to you to Florida where the great python challenge has ended. Oh look at that thing. That was a state- sponsored hunt for Burmese pythons, an invasive snake species, of course, to the state. Now the search yielded 68 pythons out of the 100,000 estimated to live in the everglades. The longest of the giant snakes, 14 feet, 3 inches and it netted the hunter a prize $1,000 bucks. You're looking at that, I don't know maybe a pair of shoes, boots, I don't know what they are going to do with that.

In Russia they are cleaning up the damage done by that exploding meteor but they may want to prepare for another explorer, we're talking about a tourism boom. Because meteorite hunters -- yes, they exist -- are already booking a trip to the Ural Mountains to see what's left after the once in a lifetime event. There's no way to know just how many fragments of that meteor hit the ground after it blew up, but it could be pretty profitable, apparently.

To the Vatican now where 100,000 faithful packed St. Peter's Square this morning because, of course, it was Pope Benedict XVI's first Sunday blessing since he announced his retirement and his second to last before he leaves the papacy February 28th.

Now, the Pope recalled the temptation of Jesus. He talked about the, quote, "decisive moments of our lives". So for a lot of people it surely you would think called to mind the Pope's own very unusual decision, let's call it, to resign. The Pope now begins a week-long Lenten retreat.

So for today's "Faces of Faith", we're talking about the mystery, the ritual and the secrecy behind the process to pick a new Pope. Cardinals used to fear, did you know this, being murdered if they were considered for the job, yes, just like in the movies.


TOM HANKS, ACTOR: Trying to make you believe the Illuminati themselves have returned their own right after the death of a Pope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four Cardinals were kidnapped from their quarters inside the Vatican sometime between 3:00 and 5:00 a.m. this morning. Shortly afterwards that document was sent to the office of the Swiss Guard and along the threats the Cardinals will be publicly executed one per hour beginning at 8:00 p.m. tonight in Rome.


PAUL: That scene, by the way from "Angels and Demons" when a conspiracy group plots to take down the Catholic Church while it's selecting a new Pope. Now in the real world that process is just beginning without, of course, the murder plot.

Joining us to talk about it though, John Allen, CNN senior Vatican analyst in Rome. So John I know papal successions is one of the most -- it's secretive, intense battle in the history of the world really. What is this going to be like? JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Hey, Christi, you're absolutely right. Not only is this mystery-soaked, but as you indicated in the old days they used to play some -- for some very high stakes. Bear in mind that when Benedict XVI leaves the Vatican on February 28th, the last thing that's going to happen is the College of Cardinals will say farewell to him. They're going to do that in a room called the Sala Clementina (ph). That is named for a Pope, Pope Clement, who several centuries ago was kidnapped, taken to the Crimea, executed; his body was tossed into a river with an anchor around it so it couldn't pop back up.

I mean this is not just the stuff of Dan Brown. This is the stuff of real life. Now nobody is expecting this time around it's going to be quite that dramatic. But when we're talking about a leadership change for a church with 1.2 billion followers all over the world, it's obviously momentous. And when the cardinals file into the Sistine Chapel sometime in March to begin casting their ballots in this very heavily secretive process, you can bet your bottom dollar they are going to be thinking very, very carefully and doing an awful lot of prayer trying to reach a decision about which guy they want to vote for.

PAUL: Ok I know that they are behind closed doors, and people are probably wondering, why is this so secretive? I mean can you kind of reveal to us some of the rituals?

ALLEN: Sure. The reason it's secretive is they don't want anybody influencing the vote. I mean in the old days kings and emperors and various factions would try to get to the cardinals and so they locked behind themselves behind a door. Actually conclave is a term formed from two Latin words meaning "with a key" referring to the idea that they're actually physically locked in that room.

Now once they get there what will happen is that each Cardinal will swear an oath individually in Latin never to reveal what happens behind those locked doors. Then, when they actually get to the moment to vote, each one will process up individually holding his ballot. He will swear before God that he is voting for the man that he believes in conscience ought to be elected. That's dropped into a chalice, a silver chalice.

After all 117 cardinals have cast their votes, and there's one group of three cardinals that will do a first count and they will announce out loud what the count is as it unfolds, another group of three cardinals will then check to make sure the first count was right. All told, Christi, one round of voting usually takes about two hours to get done.

PAUL: Good heavens. Is the papacy still as politically powerful a position as it was say hundreds of years ago?

ALLEN: Actually, Christi, I think a lot of people would tell you that the papacy is perhaps more political relevant today in some ways than it's ever been. I mean think about it. We saw during John Paul's reign that he played a central role in the collapse of European communism by inspiring the Solidarity Movement in Poland. The People's Power movement in the Philippines that brought down the Marcos regime would never have happened without the political involvement of the Catholic Church.

Scholars these days are writing books about the revenge of God, you know, that religion is making a comeback as a political player. Let's not forget that two-thirds of the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world today live outside the West, and most of them live in societies where religion is critically important. So, yes, I would say there's still some gas left in the church's political gas tank.

PAUL: Ok. And John, real quickly, because we only a couple of seconds left here, but what do we know specifically in regards to what they are looking for, for a pope? I mean stances on abortion, same- sex marriage, that kind of thing.

ALLEN: Well, all these cardinals have been appointed by John Paul and Benedict so they are all in agreement in the main on those issues. Of course, they are looking for a holy guy but I would say three things quickly: one, somebody with a global vision; two, somebody who is a missionary, who can take the church's message to the street; and, three, somebody who can fix the perceived internal governance problems in the Vatican itself. You roll all that up, you probably have a pope.

PAUL: John Allen, so good to get your insight. Thank you so much for being with us today.

ALLEN: Sure.

PAUL: And for more stories -- and for more stories on faith, be sure to check out our belief blog is at

Ok, it's called the Annual Oscar nominees luncheon. We were there, talking with all the famous faces, hoping to win the most recognized trophy in the world -- highlights from the ultimate Hollywood celebration coming up for you. But first Gary Tuchman takes us for a ride in the solar-powered tricycle with a cute little name in this "Start Small, Think Big."


ROB COTTER, FOUNDER AND CEO ORGANIC TRANSIT: Hi. I'm Rob Cotter, founder and CEO of Organic Transit and we make the "Elf."

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The "Elf" is a pedal powered tricycle that also has an electric motor to help out when needed.

COTTER: Federally it's classified in the U.S. as a bicycle.

TUCHMAN: And that has some advantages.

COTTER: It's able to go anywhere a bicycle goes. Because it is a bicycle it doesn't need insurance, no inspections, no registration. Mirrors like a car, horn, blinkers and headlights, and -- and it makes it very safe. TUCHMAN: Cotter has been tinkering with environmentally conscious vehicles like the "Elf" for some 30 years. The "Elf's" body is made mostly from recycled plastic and the frame is made of 45 percent recycled aluminum. Its solar-powered battery can be recharged by the sun in about seven hours or it can be plugged in.

COTTER: For a commuter that has to go into work dressed up, can't get sweaty riding a bike, they can came in all in electric power they pull into work, they don't need a shower. The leave the vehicle out in the sun all day and it charges back up and on the way home, they can get a work out, exercise and pedal on the way home.

TUCHMAN: The production models should weigh about 100 pounds including battery, motor and solar panel.

The "Elf" is being delivered to customers starting in March.


PAUL: All right. So you can't wait another week for Hollywood's biggest awards show, right? Aren't you in luck? Entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner got to sit down with all the nominees for a special Oscar look ahead. Check it out here.


DENZEL WASHINGTON, ACTOR, "FLIGHT": This is one of my favorite parts.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The annual Oscar nominees' luncheon.

NAOMI WATTS, ACTRESS, "THE IMPOSSIBLE": Today was the first day where I felt like, oh, this is really happening.

TURNER: A great excuse to get dolled up.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE, ACTRESS, "SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK": I normally stay in my pajamas forever.

TURNER: And break bread --

QUVENZHANE WALLIS, "BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD": (inaudible) out to eat five pounds.

TURNER: -- or not --

SALLY FIELD, ACTRESS, "LINCOLN": Did we have a lunch?

TURNER: -- with the who's who at this year's academy awards.

BRADLEY COOPER, ACTOR, "SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK": To hug to Steven Spielberg and say hello, it's ridiculous.

TURNER: No winners, no losers, just nominees.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here are some of them now.

TURNER: For some, the beloved tradition is a reminder of early Oscar memories.

HUGH JACKMAN, ACTOR: My father worked for Price Waterhouse. When the accountants used to come on the Oscars, we would go crazy, and I remember one year my dad saying I had a meeting with that guy once, and I just thought my dad was it. So for me this is something beyond the realms of imagination.

TURNER: For others the occasion validates years of sacrifice.

WATTS: It just seemed like it was just too hard to continue the struggle. I was like I can't take this rejection anymore. And then suddenly just as I made that decision I would get to the point where I bought my ticket home and then I would get a call.

TURNER: It mixes the excitement of youth --

LAWRENCE: I'm looking around at like all of these legends and my heroes.

TURNER: -- with the confidence of veterans.

WASHINGTON: Older and wiser.

TURNER: -- for the ultimate Hollywood celebration.

COOPER: It's incredible. I saw Helen Hunt today, and I was able to sort of communicate how much I loved her performance.

And Sally Field, I got to know Sally Field through this, you know, someone I've idolized my whole life.

JACKMAN: Today is just the epitome of how lucky we are.

TURNER: What was the most fun part about today?

WALLIS: All of it.

TURNER: Nischelle Turner, CNN, Hollywood.


PAUL: All of it. All right. The President pushing a bold agenda in Washington right now and he's facing opposition not just from Republicans but his own party. We're taking a look with you at how he plans to make it all work.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state of the union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history -- for much of -- SETH MYERS, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIFE": I'm sorry. Are you sure you don't just want a little bit of water --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm fine, I'm fine. I'm good. For much of human history people were trapped in --


PAUL: He reminds me of Jim Carrey in "Bruce Almighty" there. "Saturday Night Live" having fun at the expense of Senator Marco Rubio. But you know, nobody's off limits for them.

On Capitol Hill though you know the mood is much more serious, no "Saturday Night Live" going on. President Obama laying out this ambitious agenda at this week's state of the union, but does he have enough support among Democrats to get anything past Republicans?

Candy Crowley joins us now from Washington. So we've got gun control, immigration. I mean, Candy, how does the President plan to navigate these obstacles in Congress?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST: Well, he's hoping the senate Democrats will navigate it for him. Here's his problem really politically, and that is there are six senate Democrats up for re-election in 2014, who are in states that voted for Mitt Romney, so we would call them vulnerable.

So if you bring up gun control, particularly in some of these interior west states and southern states and it includes an assault weapons ban, you cannot necessarily count on those Senate Democrats.

It's not just about Republicans. It's also about the Senate Democrats, so this is going to have a lot to do I think with Harry Reid and with those in the senate who can figure out the art of the doable which is really what politics is about. What can we get that will at once move the President's agenda forward and still protect those who might be vulnerable, vulnerable Democrats, in 2014.

PAUL: All right. Candy Crowley, thank you so much. Candy, good to see you this morning.

CROWLEY: Thank you.

PAUL: And stay tuned for "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley, of course, starting at the top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, 6:00 a.m. Pacific right here on CNN.

All right. Flipping the switch here; what is this viral video craze called the "Harlem Shake"? I'm going to be really honest with you. I didn't know until a while ago. Why it's making millions of people, yes even fellow CNNers, dance like crazy.


PAUL: Well, a sea turtle in Japan is swimming happily ever after, I should say now, after being fit with a new pair of prosthetic flippers. You've got to see this. Scientists think this 25-year-old loggerhead lost her front legs in a shark attack several years ago. Well, biologists have spent the last four years trying to build her a replacement pair. This was their 27th attempt, people, to give this turtle some new limbs, and apparently they were a perfect fit. You see them there attached to a vest that slips over her head.

How is this for adorable? Look at this born without the use of his hind legs. The piglet has become an Internet sensation. A quick thinking vet made him a wheelchair from a set of Connex (ph) toys. He's been wheeling and dealing ever since, proof his owners are hip and humorous, by the way, his name "Chris P. Bacon". Really? Just his name, just his name -- hopefully not coming true.

For more on his story, you can head to

And a Montana TV station says hackers broke into their emergency alert system this week and aired a warning that the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages on screen that will be updated as information becomes available.


V1: Are you kidding? A local paper, the "Great Falls Tribune" says a handful of confused people called police to see whether it was true. That emergency alert was issued during afternoon programming out of (inaudible) KRTV and the station says it's trying to find out how this happened.

Forget Gangnam style, the latest viral video craze is called the "Harlem Shake", and it is prolific at this point. This two-week-old video -- just two weeks -- posted by folks at Maker Studios, has 14 million hits and it's just one of thousands of videos people are posting of themselves getting down to a track by Brooklyn producer Baauer. YouTube says "Harlem Shake" videos have been viewed 44 million times worldwide. Are you kidding me?

Comedian Dean Obeidallah joins me from New York right now. Ok. What the heck is this craze? I mean it's just a couple weeks old, right?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: You have not made one yet Christi?


OBEIDALLAH: You have to make a "Harlem Shake". You're literal -- according to YouTube there's over 12,000 versions as of Friday so during this segment there's probably another couple hundred. It's remarkable. And you look at it, it's very simple video. It's 30 seconds -- every one of them. The first ten seconds, one person just stands there, the guy dancing sort of like this and everyone else ignores him and then it changes and explodes, and that's where the fun is, watching people, how they express themselves at the moment of the jump cut all the time.

And some of them are really -- the thing is some of them are hard to make and some are really easy. All you need is a camera, a friend and 15 minutes, you're going to have your 15 minutes of fame. You can't get any easier than that.

In fact there's one made where a dad and son made it in front of his computer just sitting there, and it has millions of hits in a week.

PAUL: Oh, come on. KSLA News, I love it.

This is the thing. As we watch this, you can't help but wonder are there any guidelines, and any, you know, blueprint to this, because it looks like they are just all doing their own thing.

OBEIDALLAH: They are. After the jump cut, like after the music changes -- before, they all follow the same template, one guy or one person sits there and dances sort of like this, everyone ignores him, bang, it explodes. And I think if you go on YouTube. Don't go now wait until the program is over.

PAUL: Yes.

OBEIDALLAH: But if you go on YouTube you'll see all the ways people are expressing themselves and that's what makes it really, I think, mesmerizing because I wonder what these guys are going to do, what these people. You have college students. You have people in the military doing it. You have celebrities doing it now, and this is in one week, and that's what's remarkable.

PAUL: Yes.

OBEIDALLAH: Keep in mind, over 1.5 million videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. Somehow these have broken through.

PAUL: I mean why are there so many versions? As you said, I mean I know there are thousands upon thousands of new videos popping up every time we look up. That's the one you were talking about there, the dad -- kids always win, right.


OBEIDALLAH: It's so because you've got the guy sitting in front of the computer. They sit there for ten seconds and do almost nothing and then it changes and the father and son dance. It has three million hits in a week. That's remarkable. If you follow YouTube to have that in a week, no celebrities, it's not really on TV yet.

PAUL: Well, Jon Stewart though -- Jon Stewart -- OBEIDALLAH: He did one.

PAUL: He's so darn funny, I just can't stand that man -- and I mean that in the best possible way -- cracking me up.

Some fellow CNNers, by the way, did make a video yesterday - I want to show you this.


PAUL: We have it?

OBEIDALLAH: I know you do.

PAUL: We do. There we go.

OBEIDALLAH: So here's -- they stand there and then it explodes, but I want to see other people. I want to see Wolf Blitzer make one. I want to see the whole team. I want to see Chris Cuomo making one now.

PAUL: Oh, wow. We'll make further -- we'll let me know that. And we'll see if it works.

OBEIDALLAH: I'd love to do that.

PAUL: Dean Obeidallah, thank you so much, Dean.

OBEIDALLAH: Nice seeing you. Nice talking to you.

PAUL: Good to see you this morning. Have a great weekend.


PAUL: And thank you so much for watching today. "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley starts now.