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Fireball Shoots Out Of Sidewalk; Obama Defends Surveillance Program; What Brought Down TWA Flight 800?; Modern Day Slavery?; Yosemite Burning; Obesity Is Now A Disease; Big Federal Reserve Decision Today

Aired June 19, 2013 - 07:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: How many money at stake?


CUOMO: That's the suit.

HOSTIN: That's the suit.

CUOMO: Sunny Hostin, thank you very much. Great to have you -- Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: You may think I'm kidding with this next story, but I promise you I am not and we have video to show for it. There's been an outbreak of sidewalk explosions in London. Officials count 29 blasts last year and look at that. There have already been 12 in the first six months of this year.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin is on the streets of London hopefully being careful this morning looking into the story. Erin, what is going on?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kate. Well, we spoke to one man who actually experienced a near miss around three years ago. CCTV footage shows Indrah Sivarajan walking down a trendy London street and moments later a huge explosion. He took us back to where it happened and told me he's thankful he escaped uninjured.


INDRAH SIVARAJAN, LONDON RESIDENT: So I was coming back from the shop and I was walking on this pavement itself and then down the line I just saw a puddle and I wanted to get out of the puddle and walk on the main street. I was walking down the main street, a good two seconds later, I actually heard an explosion. I was shocked and I turned back, saw this gushing up from the bottom. I felt heat from it actually as well.

MCLAUGHLIN: It must have been terrifying.

SIVARAJAN: It was actually, but it hit me a lot more after. I went back and sat at my desk, this could have been me. I could have suffered some really bad burns so I think someone must have been really watching over me on that day.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the HSE, which is a public health and safety watchdog says these types of explosions are still pretty rare. The cause of the blast under investigation, they think it might have something to do with the underground electrical boxes and cabling. Now, the U.K. Power Network, which is responsible for some 100,000 of these boxes throughout the capital, has been asked to look into the matter. They say they have robust safety measures already in place -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes, robust safety measures, might not settle people's nerves if they're walking down the streets of London today. Erin, thank you so much. Can you just imagine that happening?

CUOMO: I got to tell you, the unknown, we don't know why it's happening. It doesn't happen that often. We have robust -- the sidewalks are exploding.

BOLDUAN: It doesn't happen that often does not seem like a good excuse to me.

CUOMO: It only has to happen once, someone could really be hurt.

BOLDUAN: Terrifying.

CUOMO: We'll stay on it for you.

Coming up on NEW DAY, investigators think they know what started a wildfire that's threatening hundreds of homes in Yosemite National Park. We'll get you up to date.

BOLDUAN: And what's really in the Starbucks latte? Do you want to know? I feel like you need to know, like it or not, you're about to find out.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. I'm Chris with Kate, Michaela, great to have you with us.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, everybody. It's Wednesday, June 19th. Coming up in this half hour, would knowing how many calories are in your morning coffee stop you from drinking it?

CUOMO: Nope.

BOLDUAN: Starbucks about to let you know what's really in that frappe latte Chinomino. Our Sanjay, there he is, Sanjay Gupta working.

CUOMO: Crunching the numbers.

BOLDUAN: We're playing he's working, live in studio coming up next. He'll be joining us on set. Hi, Sanjay.

CUOMO: A lot of news this morning so let's get to Michaela.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good morning to the two of you and good morning to all of you at home. Right now, President Obama is in Berlin meeting with Germany's chancellor and holding a joint news conference, the president defending the NSA's once secret surveillance program.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information, not just in the United States, but in some cases threats here in Germany. So lives have been saved and the encroachment on privacy has been strictly limited by a court approved process.


PEREIRA: The president making his comments early this morning. A new documentary claims to expose the real story behind what brought down TWA Flight 800. Producers say evidence proves that one or more ordinance explosions caused the crash in 1996. The NTSB ultimately ruled it was caused by an electrical short, which most likely started in a fuel gauge line and the NTSB says it has not received a petition to reconsider its findings.

In Ohio, an investigation is under way into a disturbing case of modern day slavery. These three people have been charged with holding a mentally disabled woman and her daughter captive for more than a year. The prosecutor described the cramped apartment where they lived with animals as subhuman. Police say the victims were beaten and terrorized with dogs and snakes.

A bit of an odd case of road rage in Los Angeles, a couple of guys in business suits meaning some business off the 405, they get out of their cars after one claimed the other threatened him, exchanged words. One guy punches the other and the other one jumped on top of the guy, pulls him to the ground and holds him until others come and help. As to what prompted the road rage, one of the men said he didn't know what set the other man off.

BOLDUAN: That sounds like he's not telling the full story.

PEREIRA: In Los Angeles.

CUOMO: Men showing why we are the dumber sex, humans showing why we are not fully involved.

BOLDUAN: Only in L.A. just kidding.

CUOMO: It's everywhere.

PEREIRA: I will defend my city when I can.

BOLDUAN: All right, investigators say an unattended campfire sparked the wildfire near Yosemite Park threatening hundreds of homes this morning. Dry conditions are setting the stage for this early season wildfire, which has consumed 1,900 acres.

So far our Miguel Marquez is live in California. What is the latest, Miguel?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. It's shaping up to be a rough year. There are over 30 fires burning across the west right now and this fire burning right now is really bad news for when the fire season really starts.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Fires this big, this early, not supposed to happen. Here in the foothills of Yosemite National Park more than 1,000 families evacuated, 2,200 firefighters working round the clock to protect homes and the national treasure. Tender dry conditions feeding the wind-fuelled fires just about everywhere. Near Prescott, Arizona, fire spread rapidly creating panic and more evacuations. Across the west, historic levels of severe and extreme dryness, even large chunks of exceptional dryness. That's more extreme than extreme.

GARY WUCHNER, FIRE BEHAVIOR ANALYST: This is kind of unprecedented, seeing this kind of dryness this early with a longer summer coming. Again, this is June. We're seeing things that you see in August.

MARQUEZ: So many fires already in California. Smoke drifting east into Clark County in Las Vegas prompting air hazard alerts.

PAUL "BEAR" VASQUEZ: At one point it looked like a volcano, and I was like, whoa.

MARQUEZ: Paul Vasquez at his personal fire command center. You might know him better as "Bear." This fire burned the mountain that made him famous.

VASQUEZ: Whoa! My God, my God!

MARQUEZ: He, too, lives at Yosemite's doorstep, ordered to evacuate, he says he's going nowhere.

(on camera): This place is in your soul.

VASQUEZ: Yes. That's true. I feel like I'm the protector of this land and it's a very powerful place and now it's very famous.

MARQUEZ: Here in free spirit California, already a season of fire and the official fire season hasn't even begun.


MARQUEZ: I am very lucky to have met Bear. They are getting their hands on the fire. The evacuation order is starting to be lifted so it's looking better in the Yosemite area. Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: At least it's looking up at the moment. Miguel Marquez, thanks so much, Miguel.

CUOMO: All right, new topic, obesity. Did you know it's a disease? I did not but it is. That is according to an announcement by the American Medical Association. An AMA member says it's a big step because recognizing obesity as a disease could help change the way the medical community tackles the complex problem.

Who better to tell us whether or not this is the right information than chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Great to have you here, second to James Earl Jones saying my name being on set with you, best part of NEW DAY.

BOLDUAN: Buttering him up.

CUOMO: So big news, important, why?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think so. Look, the criticism for a long time has been obesity is related to just about every chronic disease you can imagine, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and yet we haven't done a good enough job in the medical community of classifying obesity itself, the root cause of the diseases as a disease in and of itself.

I think it's a lot of semantics, but I think it's a little bit more than that. I think the medical community now being forced to have the counseling with patients during office visits even if they come in for something else and also pragmatically paying for some of this. We've been talking about it with regard to gastric bypass surgery, things like that.

But obesity counseling, weight loss drugs, you guys have been talking about some of these new drugs that have been approved lately, that could be something more likely to get paid for so I think it's important. It's a big problem in this country and the obesity rates continue to go up. We have to tackle this.

PEREIRA: Sanjay, I wonder though some people at home will say if they call it a disease does that mean the doctor is going to throw drugs at me instead of getting to the root of the problem of what causes obesity?

GUPTA: You know, the original committee that voted on this said and Michaela said don't classify this as a disease. That was one of their concerns. You're going to over medicalize this as opposed to treating it in ways that involved counseling, for example, and also a little bit more vague. You know, someone's got a bum knee you can say that's the problem specifically.

With obesity, it's a little too vague and that's the problem. I think as a doc I think this is a good idea. I mean, there's no question every chronic disease that we talk about and so much of the health care costs are related to obesity in this country.

BOLDUAN: OK, a very, very different topic, but one we definitely been talking about all morning.

CUOMO: Although could lead to obesity.

BOLDUAN: There's your segue. Everything's related. Starbucks will be posting calorie counts for its drinks and pastries at stores nationwide starting next week. Obviously we want to know the impact that you think that has. But first how many calories are we talking about?

GUPTA: We could be talking about a lot. Let me preface by saying that people tend to underestimate their calories. They underestimate it when they go out to eat. They underestimate it with foods, but they mostly underestimate when it comes to drinks so this is interesting. I think just sort of telling people this.

The impact is a little bit harder to tell. But a just a little quiz here because I actually got some information on all of you already. Got all the intel on you. So, Kate I'll start with you, you like apparently the Grande latte.

BOLDUAN: I do like my Grande latte once in a while.

GUPTA: A little jolt in the morning.

CUOMO: Just what you need.

BOLDUAN: More energy. How bad is it? Do I even want to know?

GUPTA: You want to guess how many calories and grams of fat?

BOLDUAN: I'm afraid it's going to be like 500 calories. I'll say it's 100.

GUPTA: You're pretty close, it's 190 calories.

BOLDUAN: I'm going to keep drinking it.

GUPTA: Seven grams of fat, wow. Keep in mind that your average intake of calories over on a day maybe around 1,500, 1,600, that one drink is more than 10 percent of your calories. Just that one drink so that, you know, that's just something to keep in mind.

BOLDUAN: Doctor, you're making me feel bad (ph) about this.

GUPTA: Michaela, your favorite is a Grande nonfat Chai. What do you think?

PEREIRA: I'm worried because I thought it would be lower, nonfat. I'm going with 150 (ph) calories.

GUPTA: It is actually a little bit more, 210 calories.

PEREIRA: It's 210?

GUPTA: And zero grams of fat, but you still got a lot of calories. Some of these drinks are just quite amazing.

BOLDUAN: What are the big ones?

GUPTA: Grande cafe mocha, 260 calories, 8 grams of fat. The vanilla latte has 250 calories, 6 grams of fat. Here's the thing that really got me. People think they ordered a smoothie. That's 300 calories. BOLDUAN: The reason he's not asking Chris because Chris only drinks black coffee.

CUOMO: I eat dirt and I drink motor oil. Sanjay, thank you so much. Also an important note, people learn their calories, doesn't change their habits so does it?

GUPTA: It doesn't seem to. They've been doing it in New York. People pay it attention, but they still order what they order.

CUOMO: Thank you for being on NEW DAY, my friend.

GUPTA: Love it. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: All right, don't miss your appointment with Sanjay this weekend to get caught up on all the medical news of the week, "Sanjay Gupta MD" airs Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. Eastern and Sundays at 7:30 in the morning right here on CNN. And we'll be back in our next hour because we're not letting him go to talk about vitamin dangers. Are they real dangers?

COUMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, the award of the day. See you in a second.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is money time. Christine Romans is here with all the business news you need to know -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, you guys. Decision day, the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke about to be grilled about the fed's stimulus program. The economy currently propped up with $85 billion a month from the fed. Today we could get details on when the training wheels will come off. What happens today is the most important thing for the direction of your 401(K), I cannot tell you how critical today is going forward for your money.

All right, a new CNN/ORC poll shows most Americans think the economy is in poor shape, 44 percent say they're financially worse off now than they were a year ago. Only 36 percent say they're better off. You guys, the S&P up 13 percent over the past year. People still say we're not feeling it.

CUOMO: Market's aren't everything. Christine, thank you very much. It's that time of the morning, John Berman is here to give us the NEW DAY, award of the day award.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the entire history of the show, I have never been so excited about an award. Remember 61-year-old Joanna Rollback, she is the woman who brought us Pracercise. Look at this. She is the woman who started an exercise fad by moving like a horse sort of, right. This was big. What I'm about to show you will be even bigger --

BOLDUAN: I can't handle it. BERMAN: She is now the star of a real-life music video from a major rock star. John Mayer has made her the star of the video for his new single "Paper Doll."

CUOMO: Look at that.

BERMAN: In the background you can hear the tones of John Mayer. Now she calls this romancercising. She was thrilled to be part of this. This is real. I mean, John Mayer has her in the only thing of this video for the song. But wait, there's more, the lyrics of the song if you really listen, I will not bore you with the specifics.

A lot of the lyrics are about Taylor Swift. They allegedly had that relationship that ended badly. In any case, he uses the Prancercise woman in a music video with lyrics about Taylor Swift. I've never seen anything so funny and vindictive at the same time. So my award of the day is the "your body is a wonderland award" and it goes to John Mayer.

CUOMO: John Berman, very nice. And a little bit of news for you.

BOLDUAN: Big breaking news.

CUOMO: Yesterday your NEW DAY award of the day the outstanding achievement in Fabio -- promoting his protein powder at Whole Foods. I asked you if you'd let Fabio pick you up and carry you on the set. Fabio himself was very touched by the award and has a message for you. Take a look.


FABIO: Berman, I had no idea it was a dream for me to pick you up and carry you into the NEW DAY studio. Anyway, thank you for giving me the NEW DAY award of the day. A long time ago I used to train with Chris, who wanted to be the next Fabio. But after seeing him working out, I think it is better he stick with journalism. John, I will be back in New York and I promise you when I'm there, I'm going to come and pick you and Chris up.


CUOMO: A twopher. That's not us.

BOLDUAN: You blushed a bit. What are you thinking about this?

BERMAN: My only thought is he likes me more than Chris, which is fantastic.

BOLDUAN: Just made your day.

PEREIRA: I hope we can do this every day. These guys are actually kind of speechless.

CUOMO: I may wait for Fabio to pick you up and take his legs out.

BOLDUAN: Fabio, thank you so much. You made our day. BERMAN: You know, Fabio is going to pick you up.

BOLDUAN: We're going to talk about this a little bit more because John is not back yet.

Next on NEW DAY, president in Germany about to deliver a major speech in the shadow of a cold war symbol, we are live in Berlin for you.

CUOMO: We will be talking live with the co-producer of the documentary that is blowing the lid off the TWA Flight 800 crash or is it? That's the question. We'll answer it when we come back.


CUOMO: That music of course means it's time for the rock clock, a quick trip and tour of the interesting headlines topping the morning papers and the web from health to science to business. That's where Michaela comes in.

PEREIRA: That's right. Here we go. In the "USA Today," an annual list of endangered landmarks is out. It includes the Houston Astrodome. The very first dome in an air conditioned stadium and the world airport at JFK terminal.

From the "San Jose Mercury News," the city of San Jose, California is suing Major League Baseball for refusing to let the Oakland A's move there. They are fighting the MLB's exemption from federal anti-trust laws.

And in the "New York Times" --