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WEEKEND EARLY START
Pistorius Free on Bail; Hotel With a Seedy Past; Fitness Experts Talks About Hollywood Stars Preparing for Roles
Aired February 23, 2013 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.
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BLACKWELL (voice-over): It's the hotel at the center of the mysterious death of a Canadian tourist but it is not the first time guests has checked in and never left.
Tomorrow may be Hollywood's biggest night, but it's racing's biggest day. We'll take to you Florida for a live look ahead at the Daytona 500.
And you want that Hollywood body without having to starve and purge and live at the gym? Of course the answer is yes. Well, Desiree Nathanson has insider tips to help you look like an Oscar nominee.
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BLACKWELL: It's Saturday, February 23rd. Good morning, everyone. I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to you have with us. Randi Kaye is off today.
First this morning, Oscar Pistorius is starting a new life, but one with significant restrictions on his freedom.
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BLACKWELL (voice-over): Already a celebrity in his native South Africa, Pistorius is now a hunted man by paparazzi. Look at this. After posting bond yesterday, photographers chased the Olympic sprinter's car.
Pistorius must also adapt to these conditions set by a magistrate. He can't go back to his home. He had to give up his passport. He can't even go near an airport. He's surrendered his weapons, he can't drink alcohol and he must report to police every Monday and Friday.
Now senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is covering the Blade Runner's case.
Nic, I guess the man can continue to train, but a lot has changed. NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: His life has changed. It's turned around 180 degrees. He spent the night at his uncle's house, according to local news reports.
At least his uncle that said he took a bath, that he has had some food to eat, indicating that he hadn't really eaten much over the past six days while he's been in jail or been in detention, at least, and also that he wanted to speak with his family.
Oscar Pistorius wanted to speak with his own family about the death of Reeva Steenkamp. He is going to be under scrutiny; his trainer said let's get him back into his running schedule, get his mind back into a better place, his family really concerned about his mental well-being.
But with all the scrutiny, hard to see him getting on a running track and getting back to what he used to do, let alone competition. No international competition. His life is never going to be the same again, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. We're seeing all the changes and how those will go until the start of the actual trial. Nic Robertson for us, thank you.
Conflicting evidence, tearful admissions, now free on bail, Oscar Pistorius' alleged murder of his model girlfriend has sparked worldwide intrigue and debate.
So what do you believe? Coming up, we'll talk to a legal expert from South Africa. And watch the "AC360" special: "Blade Runner: Murder or Mistake?" Tonight at 9:00 Eastern on CNN.
Well now to Lance Armstrong; the government is getting involved in his case. The Department of Justice is joining a lawsuit against Armstrong, and this stems from his admission that he used performance- enhancing drugs.
You see, when he won all those Tour de France titles he was riding for the U.S. Postal Service team, and the team was partially funded with money from the federal government. And now the government wants some of that money back.
Joining me on the phone to talk about Armstrong and this lawsuit is Dave Shields. He writes about cycling; he has been helping us make sense of this Armstrong story from the very beginning.
Dave, good to have you. The first question here is, you know, it's sad to say that people get over on the federal government all the time. Why did the Department of Justice decide to join this lawsuit? Was it public pressure?
DAVE SHIELDS, WRITER AND CYCLING ANALYST: I'm not sure that it is public pressure. It was -- I think that on the part of the government, it might be a perception that it would be well-received, and it doesn't seem to be going over that way. A lot of people seem to be thinking, just like you're implying that, wow, Lance has got his share of trouble, and it doesn't seem to stop. BLACKWELL: Yes, and you're a cycling insider. Tell us what the insiders think. I mean, where should this end or do they -- could want to the see Lance Armstrong punished more?
SHIELDS: I think that there is -- there's a wide disparity in what people think. There's a lot of people who are like, OK, you know, now we know he's guilty and now we don't want to hear any more of it. We just want to move on.
As a sport, this whole story has damaged the sport in a pretty big way, in terms of the public perception of the sport. And a lot of people are just tired of that.
On the other hand, there's a lot of people who think it's a good thing that, you know, the truth is winning out, and that Lance is going to have to pay a price for this. So --
BLACKWELL: Yes, price, monetarily --
SHIELDS: -- (inaudible).
BLACKWELL: -- a price monetarily and otherwise. But let's talk about the money because he told Oprah during that big interview that he had a $75 million day, where he lost all of the major endorsements. I mean, is there any way he can put this behind him monetarily?
SHIELDS: There's no way, in my mind, that Lance is coming back economically and, in other words, I think his brand is totally destroyed. And any thought on his part that he was going to save his brand by his admission is really -- it's just not going to work, because his admission, essentially -- he's a little bit different than other athletes who have had maybe falls from grace.
A huge part of his popularity was due to his perceived integrity. And when he completely admits that he doesn't have integrity, I think it's going to be very difficult for anybody to trust him in the way that they did in the past -- impossible, as a matter of fact.
BLACKWELL: Yes, major lawsuit, and there could be more. Dave Shields, helping us understand this from start to finish, thank you.
SHIELDS: You bet. Any time.
BLACKWELL: In Washington State, six underground tanks at the sprawling Hanford nuclear complex are leaking radioactive waste. Now the governor, Jay Inslee, insists there's no immediate public health risk, but he says, yes, this is disturbing.
Hanford's last reactor shut down in 1987. And despite a massive cleanup effort, authorities say it's still the country's most contaminated nuclear site.
Not even Microsoft is safe from hackers. It says hackers infected a small number of its computers with malicious software. It's investigating and says there's no evidence customer data was stolen, but hackers also recently attacked Apple and Facebook.
Investigators have identified another victim in Thursday's deadly shooting in a car crash on the Las Vegas Strip. Taxi passenger Sandy Sutton was killed when someone in a black Range Rover opened fire onto a Maserati.
The Maserati crashed into the taxi, which burst into flames and the driver of the cab was killed. An autopsy is under way on the Maserati driver. He's been identified as aspiring rapper Kenneth Cherry. Police are also searching for that Range Rover we've heard so much about.
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BLACKWELL: Well, now to Washington, where they are watching the calendar. We're now just six days away from those forced spending cuts, $85 billion in cuts.
And when the numbers are that big, it's hard to put them into perspective. But as CNN national political correspondent Jim Acosta explains, that's exactly what the White House is at least trying to do.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, the Secretary of Transportation used the word calamity to describe how these automatic spending cuts will impact air travelers across the country. It's another example of how the White House is trying to bypass Congress to win this budget battle.
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ACOSTA (voice-over): Sitting down with the Japanese prime minister, President Obama was all but saying so long to Congress when it comes to those forced spending cuts that are now just one week away.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will just keep on making my case not only to Congress but more importantly to the American people.
ACOSTA (voice-over): To make his case, the president is spending more time going over the heads of GOP leaders, appearing on talk radio.
OBAMA: So what I need listeners to do more than anything is just put a little bit of pressure on Congress, as usual, to get their act together and do the right thing.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House also sent out Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to warn how the cuts will impact air travel; 47,000 federal aviation employees would face furloughs. That means fewer air traffic controllers in the towers and more delays. In smaller communities, air traffic control towers could be closed altogether.
RAY LAHOOD, U.S. SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: Flights to major cities, like New York, Chicago and San Francisco and others, could experience delays of up to 90 minutes during peak hours. ACOSTA (voice-over): LaHood urged Republicans in Congress to see the movie "Lincoln" to learn how to work together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, now --
ACOSTA: First of all, you're (inaudible) an acting performance, because you are -- you're scaring -- you're going to be scaring the public today. This is going to be scaring the public about their travel plans.
LAHOOD: Well, we'll see what the reaction of the public is. What I'm trying to do is to wake up members of the Congress on the Republican side to the idea that they need to come to the table, offer a proposal, so that we don't have to have this kind of calamity in air service in America.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But on Twitter, White House press secretary Jay Carney and his counterpart in the Speaker's office traded tweets over who's to blame, with Carney noting a recent poll showing Americans support the president's approach to deficit reduction. It's a sign administration officials are confident public opinion is on their side.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The fact of the matter is that we can't get anything done without a bill passing the House of Representatives.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But some Republicans say, hold on. Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma sent a letter to the White House, asking why some administration officials are spending money traveling the country, advising communities on how to secure federal dollars, saying "It is important that we as public officials lead by example."
But that won't stop Washington's latest game of budget chicken, one the president seems comfortable playing.
OBAMA: Unlike issues like the debt ceiling, the sequester going into effect will not threaten, you know, the world financial system.
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ACOSTA: Administration officials said once again they're open to a short-term deal to head off these budget cuts, but in the meantime, the president still plans to travel to Virginia next week to visit a Naval ship builder that he says will take a direct hit if these cuts go through, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. Just six days. Jim Acosta, thanks.
New England is getting ready for its third straight weekend of snow. Enough is enough now, just two weeks after a blizzard buried this region.
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BLACKWELL (voice-over): Today's storm could bring as much as a foot and a half of snow to some places. Now this storm already pummeled the Midwest. Wichita, Kansas, saw its second highest (inaudible) snowfall total on record.
And look at this. This is from an iReporter. "I shot this video of sheets of snow sliding off a roof." Enough.
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BLACKWELL: The world has never seen a black pope, but that could change in just a few weeks. Peter Turkson of Ghana is a top contender. And it turns out he has some strong ties to upstate New York.
BLACKWELL: Fourteen minutes after the hour; good to have you with us this morning.
Now, when cardinals meet to elect the next pope, they could make history by electing the first black pope. A cardinal from Ghana is considered a front-runner. And one person in particular is pulling for him, a doctor from upstate New York. CNN's national correspondent Susan Candiotti met the doctor in Albany.
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JOE MAROTTA, M.D., ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON: All right. Just bend this up and down, OK?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Near Albany, New York, orthopedic surgeon Joe Marotta specializes in healing broken bones. But among his friends, someone who helps heal broken souls.
CANDIOTTI: What is it like knowing someone who could be the next pope?
MAROTTA: Well, it's very exciting and --
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Vatican-based Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana is considered one of the top contenders. One bookmaker has him as the favorite at 2:1. If selected, Turkson would be the first black pope and a rare non-European.
MAROTTA: He's my idol.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): The two met a few years ago when his pastor introduced his colleague, Peter.
CANDIOTTI: And Peter turned out to be --
MAROTTA: Peter turned out to be Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace at the Vatican and a very close adviser and confidant to the Holy Father.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): With the cardinal's encouragement, Dr. Marotta has since done surgery in Ghana and is raising money for an orthopedic clinic there.
CANDIOTTI: When the cardinal visits Albany about once a year, he often stops to say mass at this small parish, Saint Joan of Arc, where a friend of his, also from Ghana, is pastor.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Cardinal Turkson has deep ties to upstate New York, where he attended seminary. On a recent U.S. trip, Marotta picked him up at the airport. As the cardinal dozed off, Marotta couldn't help but think --
MAROTTA: You know, here's a man who could be the next pope. I got a little nervous and started to take my foot off the gas and slowed way down.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): If Cardinal Turkson is elected, Dr. Marotta predicts high energy, but has a low expectation for major change.
MAROTTA: He has told me that I need to understand that the church is thousands of years old, that change and adoption of new ideas in the church, by necessity, takes place very, very slowly.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Marotta exchanges e-mails and phone calls with the cardinal, but perhaps not for long.
CANDIOTTI: And with that change in your relationship, make you sad?
MAROTTA: It does make me sad, because I've come to love and appreciate him and to look up to him, and to really rely on his counsel.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Even arranging an audience with Pope Benedict to tell him about the clinic in Ghana.
CANDIOTTI: Do you remember your knees shaking?
MAROTTA: Oh, yes. I was very nervous and very pale and tongue-tied at first.
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): And it could turn out he was in the presence of a future pope as well -- Susan Candiotti, CNN, Albany, New York.
Well, tomorrow, Pope Benedict will hold his last blessing from St. Peter's Square. And CNN will cover it live in the 6:00 am Eastern hour.
Also tomorrow, the Daytona 500. It is the Super Bowl of motorsports and all the talk this week is about one driver -- Danica Patrick.
We'll take you live to the track.
But first, faced with the harsh reality that not everyone in America who is qualified to go to college is able to go. Michael Carter attacked the problem head-on. He started a mentoring program that pairs low-income high school students with college students for free. And he's this week's CNN Hero.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state took me and my siblings away from my mom when I was 14. Now we live with our grandparents.
I don't want to be faced with the limits that my mom faced, and that's why I want to go to college.
My grandparents only went to grade school. There was nobody out there that could help me figure out how I could reach my dream.
MICHAEL CARTER, CNN HERO: Applying to college can be very bewildering. There's over 400,000 low-income students every year who graduate qualified to go to a four-year college, and they just don't go.
My name is Michael Carter, and I help qualified underserved students apply to, pay for and stay in college.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please do their FAFSAs.
CARTER: To bring the college to (inaudible), to the high schools, to help students through the entire process.
How many more apps do you have to do?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: None.
CARTER: None? You're done? That's pretty good.
It's completely free. Students pick their mentor and they meet weekly until they're accepted into college.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have never really thought of myself as the greatest student. Like college wasn't on my mind.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the anatomy --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now I'm a sophomore at (inaudible) State University. My full tuition is covered and I'm mentoring a high school student. I'm proof that strive for college works.
GROUP: (Inaudible) everybody!
CARTER: Together, we are going to solve this problem.
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BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk sports now and this weekend's main event. The noise is deafening. The speeds top at 200 miles per hour. Of course, I'm talking Daytona.
And that's where "Bleacher Reports'" Joe Carter is this morning.
Joe, I hear that Danica Mania is really getting a lot of people looking at this sport in a new way, including the daughters of some of the drivers.
JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Victor. Good morning to you from Daytona Beach, soon to be sunny, hopefully, Daytona Beach, Florida.
And those three drivers, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, of course, they're huge NASCAR stars. All three of those guys have little girls. And all three of their daughters said they just had to meet Danica Patrick this week on Sunday, when Danica Patrick won the pole here at Daytona.
Jeff Gordon's daughter, Ella, she's 5 years old, she said, "Dad, please, let me take a picture with Danica Patrick." The two of them took a picture in Victory Lane. It was so cute. And then yesterday Danica Patrick, during her media availability, she shared a story about Carl Edwards' daughter wanting to meet her. And this is why, when you look at it, Danica, win or lose, matters to the sport of NASCAR.
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DANICA PATRICK, NASCAR DRIVER: That's three pretty big drivers that have little girls that wanted to meet me. That's very flattering. So Carl was saying that it's good that she sees me in like real life and in person and like in buff (ph) situation, because he's like, because to her, you're like some mythical creature that doesn't exist.
TONY GIBSON, DANICA'S CREW CHIEF: I've handed out more lug nuts to little girls at those little windows in a garage area than I have since I've been here. So I -- it's pretty amazing to see the little kids and the girls especially.
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CARTER: Well, it's not just a man's job anymore. Christmas Abbott is the first female NASCAR pit crew member and her job to change 60-pound tires during a truck series race.
On Sunday, Christmas will be shadowing Clint Bowyer's pit crew. She's hoping to learn enough to get a spot in the upcoming Sprint Cup Series race. The former fitness instructor loves working on the pit crew because it combines unbelievable fatigue and exacting precision -- her words, not mine.
And Danica Patrick is not the only woman making sports history this weekend. Saturday night, tonight, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche will be the first women to fight in the octagon for UFC. Rousey, she's the headliner, she's UFC's newest star; Carmouche, she's a Marine and the first openly gay fighter in UFC history.
Heisman runner-up Manti Te'o is at the NFL Combine this weekend, where he's sitting down with teams, coaches and owners. He's going to try to improve his draft stock in 101 interviews and of course remove himself from that Internet hoax scandal.
To read more about that and more about the NFL Combine, you can go to bleacherreport.com.
Victor, we can't wait for the sun to come up here in Daytona, because it's supposed to be 85 degrees today. I know you're jealous, right?
BLACKWELL: I am; 85 degrees compared to, what, 35, 45 here in Atlanta?
All right, Joe, thanks.
BLACKWELL: Oscar Pistorius may be thanking his legal team now, but will he later regret the tactics that got him freed on bail? Our next guest says the defense may have presented too many details.
BLACKWELL: Thirty minutes past the hour. I'm Victor Blackwell. It is a pleasure to have you with us this morning.
Here's what's happening, the New England area is about to get walloped by another winter storm. I'm sorry, New England. It's expected to bring as much as a foot and a half of snow to parts of Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, Maine. The storm already did a number on the Midwest, leaving slick roads and canceled flights in its way. This weekend storm is likely to cause more chaos before heading out over the Atlantic on Monday.
The Pentagon has ordered its entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets grounded. Here's why. A crack was found in the engine of one of the planes during a routine inspection. At nearly $400 billion, this high- tech jet system, this is for all of them, it's the most expensive weapon system in military history. $400 billion buys you 51 planes in that fleet.
A homework assignment has many up in arms. Listen to this. Two teachers at a New York elementary school wrote math world problems on slavery. Here's one of the questions - "In a slave ship, there are 3,799 slaves. One day the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 slaves are dead. How many slaves are left?" We could have done this with apples. The Department of Education says they will take disciplinary action against those teachers. Training will also be required for all staff at the school.
The Justice Department says it plans to sue Lance Armstrong for using performance-enhancing drugs. They will join in the suit filed two years ago by former teammate Floyd Landis. The civil lawsuit claims that Armstrong and his teammates violated their sponsorship agreement with the U.S. Postal Service team by doping. Now, the formal complaint will be filed in 60 days.
Oscar Pistorius is free on bail after a magistrate's ruling. He's due back in court on June 4th facing a charge of premeditated murder in the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Her father, Barry Steenkamp spoke about Pistorius to the South African newspaper "Beeld", "If he speaks the truth," the father says, "I can perhaps someday forgive him. If it did not happen as he has told it, he must suffer." Reeva Steenkamp's cousin described for CNN's -- described it, rather, to CNN's Jake Tapper.
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JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What would you like people to know about Reeva? What kind of person was she?
KIM MARTIN, REEVA STEENKAMP'S COUSIN: She was the most amazing human being. She was kind to everybody. She was always concerned about everybody else's well-being, more than her own, and she always looked after everybody and I just feel nobody got the chance to ever look after her.
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BLACKWELL: Oscar Pistorius's legal team won a big victory in getting him released on bail, but that achievement could come at a cost as this case moves forward. David Unterhalter is the law professor at South Africa's Wits University. David, thanks for being with us.
DAVID UNTERHALTER, WITS UNIVERSITY: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: You followed this four-day hearing very closely. What surprised you the most about the defense team's presentation?
UNTERHALTER: Well, of course, there was a lot of drama because of the notoriety of Mr. Pistorius, but the fact is that the defense was driven to put up a good deal of detail about its case, which is quite a risk in the light of the fact that ultimately Mr. Pistorius is going to have to stand trial and the minute details of the statement that he's made are going to subject to very careful scrutiny.
BLACKWELL: So, I this -- I think one of the things that surprised a lot of people in the U.S. who watched this, was that the judge, the magistrate hearing went on and on and on for two hours before delivering this ruling. Why did this go on for so long?
UNTERHALTER: Well, I think he obviously realized that he had the eyes of the world upon him, and he wanted to make sure that he did a thorough job. It was probably a little longer than it needed to be, but he was careful to set out the law and explain the factors that led him to the conclusion that he did, which is that ultimately Mr. Pistorius should be admitted to bail. So, perhaps longer than it should have been, but he clearly realized that everyone was making -- wanting to make sure he did a good job and I think he did a reasonable job.
BLACKWELL: You know, there was one last minute change right after the announce of bail. Initially, it was 250,000 rand, then quadrupled to a million rand, which is about $112.000. What was that about?
UNTERHALTER: I think it was really just about the manner in which the amount could be paid. Given that the ruling came down on a Friday afternoon, it wasn't very easy for him to pay the million rand right there and then and so there were some negotiations to ensure that he paid 100,000 rand immediately and then the rest of his security is have to find in the next few days. It was simply to permit him to actually be admitted to bail and go home and not have to spend the weekend in prison.
BLACKWELL: You know, David, one of the interesting story lines here came out in the middle of the week. This lead investigator now himself faces attempted murder charges. How much of a distraction is this and how much does it jeopardize the credibility of the state's case?
UNTERHALTER: Well, I don't think it ultimately makes a great deal of difference to the state's case. It certainly made a difference to the way, in which the magistrate assessed the bail hearing, because, of course, this investigation didn't do very well under cross-examination and it was deeply regrettable that he himself should be the subject of criminal charges. But it's not that atypical that policemen in the field are sometimes themselves subject of criminal charges arising after the course of their duty. It's just regrettable that in such a high profile case, this should come out in the way that it did, and therefore, he probably shouldn't have been put on the case to begin with, but he was and he didn't do perhaps as well as he might have. But I didn't think, ultimately, it will greatly prejudice the case because the investigation will now proceed and much of the ballistics evidence in the light will be assessed without much damage arising from his testimony.
BLACKWELL: Well, a lot of attention for just the bail hearing. And it was still months, maybe a year out from the start of the trial. David Unterhalter, thank you so much.
A mysterious death has really stumped the Los Angeles police officers. A Canadian tourist found dead in the water tower of a skid row hotel. But for the Cecil, it's just another page in the hotel's mysterious past.
BLACKWELL: In Los Angeles, police are struggling to figure out how the body of a Canadian tourist ended up in the water tower of a skid row hotel. And these are the final haunting images we have of Elisa Lam. She is the young woman appearing frightening -- frightened, rather, by something unseen as she waits for the elevator. And as Nick Valencia reports, this latest death is hardly the first tragic incident in a hotel with a haunted past.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the city of the famous and those who would be famous, the Cecil Hotel is best known for its infamy. Founded in the 1920s, the hotel sits in downtown Los Angeles, just a stone's throw from skid row. The neighborhood around the Cecil has changed over the decades. But despite the city's best efforts to gentrify it, the hotel remains as symbol of the area's dark past.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for calling the European-style Cecil Hotel. The best affordable hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.
VALENCIA: Calling itself the premiere choice of affordable downtown Los Angeles hotels, the Cecil attracts mostly low-income residents.
In the '50s and '60s, it was known as a place where those at the end of their rope would end their life. In 1985, it was the choice hideout for serial killer Richard Ramirez, convicted of killing at least 13 people throughout Los Angeles. Ramirez reportedly lived at the hotel for months.
An Austrian serial killer also found comfort at the Cecil, Jack Unterweger may have even killed some of his prostitute victims there. It's even rumored that the actress known as Black Dahlia hung out in the hotel before her brutal murder in 1947, and now this. The decomposing body of a Canadian tourist found in one of the hotel's water tanks.
Guests here were noticeably upset.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wouldn't you be, if -- if there was a dead body in the water you were using and drinking.
VALENCIA: Canadian tourist Elisa Lam chose the hotel despite its seedy past. Her body may have been there for weeks.
SABINA BAUGH, HOTEL GUEST: The pressure in the water was terrible, the shower was awful, the water, and when you turned the tap on, the water was coming black first.
VALENCIA: The 21-year old death, just the latest mystery for a hotel with a haunted past.
BLACKWELL: This story is unbelievable.
VALENCIA: Bizarre, isn't it?
BLACKWELL: Yeah, as the days go on we learn more, or learn that we don't know as much as we should.
VALENCIA: Don't know enough.
BLACKWELL: Yes. So how close are police to finding out what happened to Elisa Lam?
VALENCIA: Well, Victor, the short answer is, they are not close at all. They conducted an autopsy earlier this week at coroner's office, and it wasn't conclusive as to whether or not she died accidentally --
VALENCIA: -- or perhaps she was murdered. Now, they're waiting on toxicology reports that, of course, could take weeks. So we still don't know how she died. And her family's going have to wait a long, long time and others to find out what actually happened.
BLACKWELL: And that element of the story, also, the legal implications, we're going to talk about it later. But the body in the water that you are using.
BLACKWELL: Unbelievable. Nick Valencia, thanks.
VALENCIA: You got it.
BLACKWELL: Health officials -- they wanted all of us to get the flu shot. Remember that? You will not believe how few people it helped, especially among the most vulnerable.
And Hollywood's A-list have been training hard to get red carpet ready for tomorrow's Oscars. Well, our fitness expert, here she is -- Desiree Nathanson, here to show us how they do it.
BLACKWELL: There is some very good news this morning for people battling breast cancer. The FDA has approved a new drug for a certain type of late-stage cancer. The company that developed the drug hopes to get it to patients within the next two weeks, but this is expensive. A course of treatment with this drug will cost about $94,000.
The CDC says most seniors who took this year's flu vaccine got nothing out of it. For people over 65 years old, it was effective in just nine percent of cases. Researchers say the rates of hospitalization and death for the most common strain of the flu this year was some of the highest they've ever seen. The vaccine did help more than half of those under 65.
And speaking of being effective, there's a right way and a wrong way to get into shape. Ahead of the Oscars we're looking at how the stars do it. We've watched Anne Hathaway drop 25 pounds for "Les Mis." Matthew McDonaughey (sic) dropped nearly 40 pounds for his new movie, and Will Smith tacked on pounds of muscles for "Ali," and sometimes they do it the healthy way. Sometimes they don't. Desiree Nathanson is with us to show us how to do it the right way. She is the fitness and nutrition expert. Good to have you this morning --
DESIREE NATHANSON, DIETETIC TECHNICIAN AND FITNESS EXPERT: Thank you, Victor.
BLACKWELL: So, here's the questions -- let's talk about Jennifer Lawrence. Because she has been critical of the rail thin actresses who keep themselves so thin, but she herself has had to get into shape for roles and for the red carpet. What's the routine here?
NATHANSON: Well, for the "Hunger Games", for instance, she had to do what's called functional training, and trainers have different versions of functional training.
NATHANSON: But basically it's movements and exercises that you do on a daily basis. So for Katniss Aberdeen, she was climbing trees, she was running, sprinting. Getting away from fire, doing archery --
NATHANSON: So she had to do a lot of exercises that mimicked those movements. So she would do sprinting, agility drills. She worked with medicine balls, which I have right here and if we have time later we will play with.
BLACKWELL: Yes, we'll save it to the end.
BLACKWELL: OK, so let's talk about diet, though, and what you should eat, shouldn't eat. We know that Jamie Foxx for "Django Unchained," he had to put on a lot of muscle?
NATHANSON: Well, Jamie Foxx had to do a lot of functional training as well --
NATHANSON: -- because he's doing the work of a slave in that movie. So, he actually had to focus more on his back and getting his posture correct, which, you know I love posture.
BLACKWELL: Yes, you do.
NATHANSON: And he had to start doing all the chest pressing.
BLACKWELL: Look at that.
NATHANSON: Yes, it's very nice.
BLACKWELL: Look at that.
NATHANSON: He had to stop overdeveloping the chest muscles and work more on the functional training getting his back straight because they were doing all sorts of, you know, this type of movements in the movie.
BLACKWELL: No, let's talk about crash dieting, because a lot of stars do that, too.
BLACKWELL: And that's the unhealthy way to do it.
BLACKWELL: So, what is wrong with the way they do it and how should they do it as it relates to the diet?
NATHANSON: Well, first of all, with these movie roles these actors have medical supervision. They have dietitians, they have doctors, they have people on hand 24/7. So, this is for a role. They are getting paid money. This is their jobs. BLACKWELL: Yes.
NATHANSON: So, no person sitting at home right now, no one should be doing this.
NATHANSON: No one should be following these diets. For instance, with Jennifer Lawrence, for her "Hunger Games" role, they did portion control and higher percentage of carbohydrates. Go figure. Whom I was talking about.
BLACKWELL: So, apparently we have added time to be able to (inaudible) with the medicine ball.
NATHANSON: Oh, good. So some functional movements we can do.
BLACKWELL: Yes. All right.
NATHANSON: Here you go. You've got to take this one.
BLACKWELL: OK. Thanks.
NATHANSON: To bring the first do what's called the wood chop.
NATHANSON: This is the only one I'm going to make you do.
BLACKWELL: All right.
NATHANSON: See, you're going to come down to the outside of your leg.
NATHANSON: Give me a nice little squat here.
NATHANSON: Come down and we're going to twist up.
BLACKWELL: All right.
NATHANSON: Yep, and then come back down.
BLACKWELL: Now, what am I repairing on my body right now?
NATHANSON: So, right now we are working our legs, we are working our core, we are working our arms.
NATHANSON: And we're doing this functional training because we're twisting and sliding.
BLACKWELL: OK. NATHANSON: Good. You can stop there now.
BLACKWELL: Yeah. We get the idea.
NATHANSON: And then, another fun thing you can do with the medicine ball, you can do (ph) with the twists, so again, you're mimicking a few different movements. So you can step back, twist and come back to the center.
BLACKWELL: Every time you're here I'm vetting myself in some new interesting way.
BLACKWELL: Desiree Nathanson. Thank you so much.
NATHANSON: My pleasure, thank you, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right, so the royal baby bump makes a debut. The maverick ain't going to take it and double-barreled Biden is doing it again. Here's a look at the week that was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you feel about President Obama playing golf with Tiger Woods?
TIGER WOODS: Yeah, he calls up, and say, hey, Tiger, you want to play?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vice President Joe Biden is out with another one of those sound bites.
JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: If you want to protect yourself, get a double barrel shotgun.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator John McCain facing an angry crowd.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R ), ARIZONA: We've had enough time, pal. You've had enough time.
BLACKWELL: Tiger teams off with the commander and teammate. Average Joe shoots from the hip and the maverick meets his match. All stories making headlines in the "Week That Was."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, some invitations you cannot pass up.
BLACKWELL: Like, wanting to golf with the president.
JIMMY KIMMEL: You know you have a good marriage when you say, sure, honey, go have a guy's weekend with Tiger Woods.
BLACKWELL: So, he did. The president flying solo without the fam in Florida and teaming up with Tiger on the links.
JAY LENO: Tiger Woods gave the president some very valuable tips. The most valuable one, erase all your text messages. That's the first thing you do --
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Vice President Joe Biden is spearheading a push for President Obama's gun control proposal. And here's the advise he gave to a woman who was worried about defending her home.
BIDEN: If you want to protect yourself, get a double barrel shotgun --
BLACKWELL: Oh, Joe.
BIDEN: Walk out on the balcony.
BLACKWELL: Here we go.
BIDEN: Fire two blasts.
BLACKWELL: His point, though, is this --.
BIDEN: You don't need an AR-15. It's harder to aim, it's harder to use and in fact you don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself.
BLACKWELL: Of course, you could just write it off as --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gosh, Joe Biden being Joe Biden.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't push me, please.
BLACKWELL: Alec Baldwin's legendary temper may have reared its ugly head again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The New York Post" says he threatened their reporter and yelled a racial slur at their photographer.
BLACKWELL: And because Baldwin is now accused of yelling a racial slur, the case turned into more than just that nasty temper.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alec Baldwin, hate crime investigation.
BLACKWELL: Baldwin denies making the alleged remarks and both men had filed complaints against one another.
MCCAIN: I'm in charge. You're not, and I can tell you that it's not going to be the case.
BLACKWELL: Arizona Senator John McCain got more than an earful during a town hall meeting this week.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Build the dang fence. Where's the fence?
BLACKWELL: Hot topic, immigration.
MCCAIN: You've had enough time.
MCCAIN: We've had enough time, pal. You've had enough time.
BLACKWELL: The no nonsense maverick.
MCCAIN: You can say that pigs fly, but it's not true.
BLACKWELL: Never one to stand down to a fight.
MCCAIN: But occasionally I get a jerk like you here. So, thank you.
BLACKWELL: And Duchess Kate's royal ruckus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The world's most famous mom to be revealing that bump. It's a ..
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Teeny-tiny --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- baby bump.
BLACKWELL: But the whole world saw it.
As the British newspaper, "The Daily Mail" breathlessly put it today, Kate put her baby bump on parade.
And that's a look at "The Week That Was."
BLACKWELL: Well, talk about paying it forward. Well-wishers from around the world are sending donations to a homeless man in Kansas City. It all started after a woman accidentally dropped her diamond engagement ring into Billy Ray Harris' donation cup. When she realized it the next day she went back. Harris told her he had been keeping the ring safe for her, and he gave it back. She was so happy. She set up an online fund-raising site to help him and so far, listen to this. This site has collected $88,000.
OK. This one, this is funny. First lady Michelle Obama might just be the coolest mom ever. Well, maybe after my own mother. I love my mom. Check her out dancing with Jimmy Fallon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO: Oh, guess what up again today for the 34 --
(CROSSTALK) LENO: It is so expensive. Today when I was filling up the attendant asked me if I wanted self-serve, full serve or layaway. That's how bad.
KIMMEL: Researchers have discovered a chemical in the brain that causes women to talk more than men. Yeah. It's called Chardonnay.
STEPHEN COLBERT: Frankly, I don't understand why everyone is so upset over eating horse. We don't feel guilty when we happily consume the rest of Noah's Ark!
COLBERT: Is it because they're our friends in movies and TV shows? Well, I love bacon. So I just hope Spielberg never makes "War Pig."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: You've got to the love the Dougie. Hey, my entire team here may be aware that I said Matthew McDonaughey (sic). Of course, it's Matthew McConaughey. Apologies to Matthew and everybody here on the team.
Thanks for starting your day with us. We've got a lot more coming up on "CNN SATURDAY MORNING." It starts right now.