CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY SUNDAY

Kerry Meets Netanyahu in Israel; Syria Welcomes Chemical Weapons Deal; Colorado Flood Rescues Still Under Way

Aired September 15, 2013 - 08:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: This framework can provide greater protection and security to the world.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A deal has been reached but will the Syrians comply? The clock starts ticking on Syria's chemical weapons handover.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the last 24 hours, it's the greatest number of Americans rescued by helicopter since Hurricane Katrina.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Hundreds have been rescued from the Colorado floodwaters, but hundreds more are still missing and now, the threat of more storms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could open up a really huge universe of opportunities.

BLACKWELL: And biometric technology goes mainstream, thanks to the new iPhone. But is it really secure? That's today's "Science Behind."

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: Good to see you on a Sunday morning. Thanks for keeping us company here. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Eight o'clock here on the East Coast. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY. We've got a lot going on this morning.

PAUL: Oh, boy. Yes.

BLACKWELL: We've got especially the two big stories this morning, a deal struck between the U.S. and Russia to destroy Syria's vast arsenal of chemical weapons. We're covering the deal and reaction around the world.

PAUL: Also, major floods drenching large parts of Colorado. More than 500 people still unaccounted for, lots of flood damage and more rain in the forecast. BLACKWELL: So, first, let's get to Syria's chemical weapons. The regime's willingness to comply with the deal to get rid of them will be the test almost immediately. Syria must turn over an inventory of its chemical arsenal by Friday.

PAUL: Yes, we have reaction to the agreement from chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto who is in Tel Aviv right now, senior international correspondent Nic Robertson in Beirut, Phil Black is in Moscow, and Nick Paton Walsh in New York, covering from the U.N.

Jim Sciutto, I want to start with Secretary of State John Kerry who is in Israel today.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Secretary Kerry has arrived in Israel. He is meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to talk about two things: one, their efforts at Mideast peace talks, but also to give him an update on this Syria deal and to give him reason to be confident in this Syria deal. It's something that Secretary Kerry is going to continue as he travels from here to Paris later in the day where he'll meet the French and British foreign ministers, as well as the Turkish and Saudi foreign ministers. They'll go over all the details about the time line for Syria to give up the chemical weapons. He's going to give them more specifics.

What did you hear from the Russian foreign minister in their private conversations? How is the U.S., how are Russia, the international community going to keep Syria to its promises here on what is a very aggressive and very ambitious time line?

As a reminder, here's how it's expected to play out. That by November, they'll complete inspections of all of Syria's chemical weapons sites. Also by November, complete the destruction of the mixing and production facilities for these chemical weapons. And by the middle of 2014 have the complete elimination, so says the deal, of all of Syria's chemical weapons. That, of course, all those goal posts along the way provide multiple opportunities for Syria to delay.

And the first test is going to be next week. By next week, they have to deliver a full accounting of all those chemical weapons sites and, of course, an open question as to what the consequences will be if Syria fails. The Russians don't want military action. The Americans want to keep military action on the table.

We go now to CNN's Nic Robertson who is in Beirut.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in Damascus what we're hearing from the government there on the state media, they're playing the talks in Geneva between Kerry and Lavrov as being all about future peace talks, no mention or very little mention if at all of the chemical weapons issue.

The moderate rebels in Syria right now are saying they will support and help the chemical weapons inspectors. They say that they don't trust Bashar al-Assad to fully turn over his believe to be 1,000 ton pile of chemical weapons. The politicians on the rebel side are saying that the U.N. should hold Bashar al-Assad to account, that he should stand in front of the International Criminal Court on charges of killing 100,000 people. They also want the U.N. to ban his use of aircraft, to ban his use of ballistic missiles, essentially calling for a no-fly zone over Syria.

And, of course, the real wild card in Syria right now is Islamist rebels, not clear what they're going to do whether they see the chemical weapons inspectors turn up there.

Over to Phil Black in Moscow now.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Nic, thank you.

Russia's foreign minister is sharing the credit, really, saying that this is the result of a joint U.S.-Russian initiative and that the process here really began more than a year ago when Presidents Obama and Putin first discussed their concerns about the security of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile. But now that there is an agreement in place, Russia bears significant responsibility for insuring that Syria lives up to it.

Vladimir Putin has backed this diplomatic initiative very publicly. As Syria's biggest protector and ally, Russia is seen as having the most influence, the most leverage over the Syrian regime, and Russia has made some concessions in insuring that this agreement is acceptable to the United States, such as allowing for consequences yet to be defined for Syria if it does not comply with the terms of this agreement.

So, Russian prestige and authority is heavily invested in insuring this works and Russian officials now hope that this will create some diplomatic momentum that could ultimately lead to a negotiated political agreement for the overall civil war.

Now to my colleague Nick Paton Walsh in New York.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Phil.

What we're looking ahead is two busy days really at the U.N. here. That agreement between the U.S. and Russia really has to be enshrined in some sort of U.N. Security Council resolution. I haven't seen the wording of that yet. But it's pretty unlikely it will refer to the U.N. charter called Chapter 7 which may allow force if Syria doesn't comply.

We also have on Monday at 11:00, the key unveiling of the U.N. inspector's report inside Syria for that 21st of August attack around Damascus, where the chemical weapons were allegedly used. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon slipped on Friday, not many cameras in the room, saying that that report will overwhelmingly confirm chemical weapons were used, and in the same sentence, accusing at sad regime crime against humanity.

As you pointed out, it's not the inspector's job to say who did it, just to say what actually was that happened. But also moving quickly now here, the Syrian regime has made it clear they want to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. And the U.N. yesterday said they accepted that request. That does also have a slower timetable than that which Moscow and Washington have agreed between themselves.

But really the legal process under way here and we have to see quite how fast the U.S. and Russia can push through a resolution and whether or not it will indicate what kind of consequences there could be for the Assad regime if it doesn't comply. Back to you in the studio.

BLACKWELL: All right. Nick Paton Walsh and our team of CNN correspondents covering reaction to the Syrian chemical weapons deal -- thank you to you all.

PAUL: OK. You know the other thing we've got our eye on this morning, this other big story is what's happening in Colorado -- because as awful as it's been already, it could get even worse today. In areas already devastated -- I want to show you the latest pictures we're getting in here -- as much as four more inches of rain could fall by this afternoon. And officials say obviously that could hamper rescue efforts which were already in jeopardy in a lot of places, Victor.

BLACKWELL: They have been. And lots of people are still trapped. What's worse? Authorities say, another person, a 60-year- old woman, is presumed dead. Now the death toll stands at four, but it could go to five. She's right now presumed dead.

And more than 500 people, you can't find them, unaccounted for. And more than 1,700 people, good news here, they have been saved.

PAUL: Now, in case you haven't heard, early this morning, President Obama did sign a major disaster declaration, so Colorado can get federal aid for recovery.

Our Nick Valencia is in North Boulder right now. It was raining already there earlier this morning.

Nick, what's it look like now?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's still quite dangerous for the residents. I'm standing in a trench right now that was once a beautiful street in this residential neighborhood.

Just a little while ago, in fact, before this live shot, I was standing on the edge of the asphalt and it collapsed from under me. This land is so saturated with water. That's going to be a really big problem throughout the day.

They're expecting about 12 hours of steady rain, one to two inches in Boulder County. However slight that may seem, it could cause a very big problem for aircraft trying to reach the stranded people in the hard hit areas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE0

VALENCIA (voice-over): Days of intense rain have left swollen creeks, flooded roads and damaged bridges in a state of Colorado.

Dealing with the weather and its aftermath is proving to be difficult and dangerous. In Aurora, water and hail trapped drivers in a parking lot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My car just stopped. So I told my son and my daughter, I was like, y'all, we got to get out. So, we opened the car door and water started rushing in. I threw my son on my shoulders.

VALENCIA: Most people were able to walk out, but for many others in the Boulder area, the only way out by helicopter. Hundreds have been picked up.

LT. COL. MITCH UTTERBACK, COLORADO NATIONAL GUARD: I think what we have going on here in the last 24 hours is the greatest number of Americans rescued by helicopter since Hurricane Katrina.

VALENCIA: Many of those are trapped in towns where severe flooding shut down roads, leaving them stranded.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and other officials saw the damage from the air. Their tour turned into another rescue mission.

GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), COLORADO: Senator, where are we? Who designed this skit? I think they were just glad to be out of there.

VALENCIA: This morning it's still a desperate effort to get people out of the inaccessible areas. The Boulder County sheriff says search and rescue resumes, but it will be difficult.

SHERIFF JOE PELLE, BOULDER COUNTY, COLORADO: The problem with this event is that it's affected every drainage and every road in the town if it goes west. And so, you know, this is sinking feeling when you realize that if someone above or someone calls 911, we are not going to be able to help them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VALENCIA: The power of this water has created this big trench in this neighborhood. The house behind me, that's basically a mote in front of it. And it's really difficult for these residents to get around.

And as we've been talking about Victor and Christie, the anxiety is still very, very strong here among the residents as they predict more rain throughout the weekend which could cause more major problems -- Victor, Christie.

PAUL: Nick Valencia, you and your team stay safe there. Thank you so much. BLACKWELL: You know, the storms really are showing us the power of nature. It can be deadly in some cases. Unfortunately, there is more rain on the way.

PAUL: I know. I can't believe it. In fact, I was reading -- and I want to bring Alexandra Steele into this. She's' in the CNN severe weather center.

Alexandra, I was reading that Colorado in some places got 1.73 inches of rain in less than 30 minutes yesterday. So I'm wondering, is there anyplace in the state that Mother Nature is going to give them a break today?

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, not really. I mean, don't think we're going to see the voracious amount of rain.

But once again today, here is the current radar. Here is Denver. You can see showers and thunderstorms popping up in Colorado and New Mexico. Today, we will see more showers, more thunderstorms.

Let me show you some of the video. In addition to all of the flooding, there is hail on top of this, showing you how powerful the uplift was with some of the strong storms. So there's the hail. You know, about a dozen cities have significant flooding. Some cities seeing even almost a year's worth of rain in just a few short days.

So here's a look. The forecast for today, again, more scattered showers, more thunderstorms. You can see there. Tomorrow, less moisture associated with it, so predominantly morning showers. And then from Tuesday to Friday, skies finally will dry out there. So that is the good news.

Also, believe it or not, last Tuesday was the peak of hurricane season. Our second hurricane of the season in the Atlantic. It's Hurricane Ingrid, category one now, maximum sustained winds at 85. Expected to come ashore tomorrow morning, right here just north of Tampico, Mexico, with incredible amounts of rain. Could see locally 25 inches.

Here again, more flash flooding potentially this Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

PAUL: Good heavens. Hey, Alexandra, thanks for letting us know.

STEELE: Sure.

PAUL: We appreciate it.

STEELE: Yes.

BLACKWELL: So, a "New York Times" columnist has upset a lot of readers with his views on Syria. You'll hear the explanation he gave me. That's coming up next.

And, Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez battle it out for big money, bragging rights. We've got highlights from last night's big fight.

PAUL: And just so you know, Anthony Bourdain is back, too, with an all new season tonight. "ANTHONY BOURDAIN PARTS UNKNOWN" explores Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank. So watch it tonight at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific, right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: So the big story this weekend is on how the Syrian government needs to proceed in handing over the chemical weapons. But a columnist for "The New York Times" has been making the case that if diplomacy does not work, a U.S. missile strike must go forward.

And, listen, he knows he upset a lot of readers.

Earlier, I asked Nicholas Kristof why he feels so strongly about using U.S. military force in Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICHOLAS KRISTOF, THE NEW YORK TIMES: This is something I believe in very deeply. And I think I'm shaped by what I've seen in humanitarian disasters around the world. I've seen war up close and the horrors that it can inflict. But I've also seen situations of mass atrocities and genocide where we stood by and did nothing.

And I think that where we can modestly intervene with any kind of tool, diplomatic or military, and make a difference, then that is something we should not walk away from. That is not an option we should take from the table.

BLACKWELL: Do you think that the president should launch this attack before we get through this process with Congress, with their vote? Should he just say I believe this is something we should do and order the attack?

KRISTOF: I -- no. I think once he has said he is going to consult Congress, I don't see that there is any realistic option for him to go ahead with a strike without Congress' approval. And now that we also have a diplomatic process under way, I think he needs to give that time to breathe. Although I must say I'm fairly skeptical that this will end up with Syria actually giving up its chemical weapons.

BLACKWELL: So, let's talk about today's column. You said you offended a lot of readers with your support of a strike. You decided to answer some of the questions, some of the concerns. I want to tick through a few of them.

Let's start here -- how can we justify spending money on military strikes when our own educational system is failing? You look at American schools, a lot of them are falling apart.

KRISTOF: Yes. And, you know, that is a legitimate question. And, you know, in Afghanistan, it always bothered me that for the cost of station and one U.S. soldier in Afghanistan for a year, we could have started 20 schools in Afghanistan. And, you know, as well as right here at home.

But in this case, the numbers just don't add up. I mean, for starters, there is -- there would be no supplemental budget for a strike in -- in Syria. There would be no additional, they all come to military pride beyond that.

Right now, we're already spending at a rate of a billion dollars a year in Syria, humanitarian aid to those refugees because we have allowed this to grow. And if we can strike and ground Assad's air force, for example, so there are fewer of these atrocities around the country, then that will slow the flow of refugees and, you know, and might even has reduce our spending.

And the cost of a strike would probably be similar, around $70 million in terms of the vale of those missiles. But as I said, that would come from the existing military pot.

BLACKWELL: OK. Second question here -- the Assad regime kills about 100,000 and the U.S. does nothing. But they used sarin gas and the U.S. gets involved.

KRISTOF: Yes.

BLACKWELL: A lot of people said, the first 100,000, that wasn't abhorrent enough, and now, because of the use of the chemical, the U.S. says, now, we have to stop the killing.

KRISTOF: Yes, I think again, that's a legitimate criticism. I worry that we sent a message to dictators that, you know, so just go ahead and slaughter people with conventional weapons and we won't touch you.

But -- so there is an inconsistency here. But if we can inconsistently stand up to some kinds of atrocities, some kind of slaughter, then that is better than consistently standing up to none.

BLACKWELL: All right, Nick Kristof, columnist, New York Times, thank you.

KRISTOF: My pleasure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: You can read the column on Syria at newyorktimes.com. And full disclosure, that conversation was recorded on Friday. There are two clues in that recording. One, that was a goatee that I had two days ago.

PAUL: How did you shave in three minutes?

BLACKWELL: Yes. It's gone. It actually happened Friday night.

And, second, we didn't discuss the new deal that came out on Saturday morning. That's why it wasn't part of the conversation because we had the conversation Friday night.

PAUL: Just before it happening.

BLACKWELL: Yes -- just before.

PAUL: All righty. Well, still to come on NEW DAY: Mayweather- Alvarez, big fight in Vegas.

BLACKWELL: Highlights from one of the most hyped boxing matches in recent history.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Game of the year, college football lived up to the hype.

PAUL: Yes. Texas A&M showed no quit in a shoot out loss to Alabama.

Joe Carter has more in this "Bleacher Report".

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'll tell you what, guys, it was like a tug of war between these two schools.

Texas A&M, if you watch the game, jumped out to an early 14-0 lead. It was so reminiscent of what happened last year, then Alabama settled into the game and took back the lead by scoring 35 unanswered points.

Johnny Manziel had a couple turnovers. He put up monster stats otherwise, 98 yards rushing, 464 yards passing.

Texas A&M did cut the lead to seven with this touchdown right here. But then Alabama chewed up the clock late in the fourth quarter, a long drive ending with a touchdown pass from A.J. McCarron. Alabama goes on to win 49-42.

Now bragging rights in the Manning household are at stake this afternoon when the Denver Broncos play the New York Giants.

We're talking about two super bowl winning quarterbacks who also just happen to be brothers going head-to-head later on today. Peyton, of course, had a couple neck surgeries a couple years ago. There were doubts if he would ever even play again. And look at him now.

Well, this morning on the front page of bleacherreport.com, fight night in Vegas and for the 45th time in a row, Floyd "Money" Mayweather walks out as the winner. The consensus pound-for-pound champ beat Canelo Alvarez in a majority decision. But, of course, it wouldn't be boxing if there wasn't controversy on one of the judge's scorecard, they scored the fight a draw.

Now, Mayweather has made more than $73 million in his last two fights. Guys, some of the late pay-per-view estimates say he could push over the $100 million mark if the big numbers come in obviously from the pay-per-view draw.

BLACKWELL: Well, good for him. CARTER: Yes, right, the more money --

BLACKWELL: Joe Carter, thank you.

CARTER: You bet.

PAUL: Hey, more rain today could ground helicopters in Colorado. We'll tell you more. First responders trying to get those left stranded. So, we're going to talk with an official in Boulder about that rescue efforts. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: 8:31 here in the East on a Sunday morning. We're glad to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

Five things you need to know for your NEW DAY starting with Secretary of State John Kerry. He's in Israel today talking about the Syrian chemical weapons deal. Now Kerry arrived in Tel Aviv this morning for a lunch meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yesterday Kerry and his Russian counterpart agreed to a plan that allowed Syria to escape U.S. air strikes by giving up its chemical arsenal.

PAUL: Number two look at this time lapse video of just how fast the floodwaters rose. This is in Ft. Morgan, Colorado. Four more inches of rain by the way are predicted today. And more than 500 people are still unaccounted for. Rescue efforts are under way right now. President Obama by the way has declared major disaster. So the move could release federal money to help rebuild roads like that one that used to be a road we should say.

BLACKWELL: Three now, she's been away for a few months but the queen of southern cooking is stepping back into the spotlight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAULA DEEN, CELEBRITY CHEF: Hi. I'm back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Yes, she is. Paula Deen made her first public appearance in three months during a Houston cooking competition. This was Saturday. Deen's empire came under fire. You remember it happened this summer after she admitted to using the "n" word. Deen lost a few endorsements and her cooking show, 1,500 foodies are welcomed the celebrity chef with a standing ovation there in Houston.

PAUL: Number four, outrage after an unarmed North Carolina man was shot and killed by police yesterday morning. Now police say Jonathan Farrell was running or charging toward them when they fired, a wrecked car with them nearby though. So they believe now that he may have just been looking for help. One officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter. BLACKWELL: And five now from Birmingham, Alabama. Citizens show off a sculpture honoring four little girls. Those were the girls killed 50 years ago this morning, September 15th, 1963 when the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church. Attorney General Eric Holder and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are set to speak at ceremonies today.

PAUL: Well a dicey situation today in Colorado because if what we've already seen has been bad enough but it could get even worse today, specifically because four more inches of rain could fall by this afternoon.

BLACKWELL: Yes and that could make the already swollen waterways even more deadly. Possibly it could also hamper the rescue efforts that are still under way.

Joining us now is Kim Kobel she's with the Boulder, Colorado office of emergency management. Now we understand from our colleague Nick Valencia who is there in north Boulder that about two hours ago the weather there could ground the helicopters that have been plucking people out of harm's way. We know that they can't pull people up. What is happening now? Can they fly?

KIM KOBEL, OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, BOULDER, COLORADO: Right now the air support is going to be dependent on the weather conditions for this morning. That decision hasn't been made. The briefing hasn't happened yet with the incident management team. But again, we will be counting on the weather as far as sending up any air support.

The National Weather Service is telling us that visibility is going to be very poor today. And poor visibility means that the pilots will not be able to fly. So it is possible that the air support and helicopter evacuations could be grounded.

The good news is that National Weather Service is also telling us that the rain forecast is actually going to be smaller than what had originally been forecast of four inches. We might get another one inch or so in the next 12 hours.

So that will help us a little bit. But again, the grounds are saturated. There is nowhere for the standing water that's already here to go. And we're still digging out and cleaning up debris, et cetera. We have some good news as far as we have been able to punch a road through to Jamestown. Jamestown, as you know, is where many people were stranded and many of the air evacuations took place.

So we are almost there as far as a road and that will be a one lane road that will be for emergency vehicles only. Although later on in the day if people are still up there and are able to drive their car out, we would let them out.

But all roads out of Boulder into the western county are closed at the sheriff's request.

PAUL: All right. Hey Kim we're hearing reports right now of possibly as many as five more deaths. Can you elaborate on what you know at this point, please?

KOBEL: I think that the total number that we're hearing is five, not five more. We have three confirmed deaths in Boulder County. I believe that there is another confirmed death in Colorado Springs. And there is a presumed death in Larimer County.

BLACKWELL: So presumed death, are you waiting to possibly find -- I understand this may be the 60-year-old woman who people believe is dead. Are you waiting to find her to confirm?

KOBEL: Well, that is in Larimer County, that's in Larimer County. We're in Boulder County.

BLACKWELL: Ok.

KOBEL: And I can't speak for them but what I know is that that person is presumed dead. And I don't know what their -- I don't know what their status is today as far as determining if that person is simply unaccounted for or if they have indeed died.

BLACKWELL: Yes we understand and one more thing. Yesterday about this time we talked with a colleague of yours about a group of campers. I think it was about 150 young people who were there stranded because the roads were washed out or bridge was out. What's the update on those campers and the people who were there with them?

KOBEL: All of those campers have been evacuated. They were evacuated --

BLACKWELL: Right.

KOBEL: -- by the time operations ceased last night which was about 7:30 or so. And last night the operations were mainly focusing on getting the rescue workers out of the evacuation area. So it's basically bringing them back to the Boulder municipal airport to let them camp overnight before they got started again this morning.

Now I want to emphasize that even if air support is not available today because of the weather we will still be doing evacuations where we can using those high water vehicles that the National Guard has. And I spoke to a sheriff's deputy who was in Lyons which is another area that's been very isolated. And he is telling a very interesting and harrowing story about some of the rescues that they've had to do.

There is basically one bridge that is passable. And from what he tells me, it's barely passable. And so one vehicle can go over the bridge at a time and that might be a Boulder County sheriff's SUV, or that could be one of those high water vehicles. Every time they go over that bridge, pieces of that bridge crumble away.

And there's going to be a point where they will not be able to use that bridge anymore. But for right now, they're going to use it as long as they can but that bridge is going as well and what they're doing out there is really very dangerous. But they're doing as much as they can to get as many people out as they can as soon as they can. PAUL: Hey Kim, one more quick question. When we were sitting here talking to your colleagues yesterday, there were about 200 people who are unaccounted for. Since that time, we jumped to a number of 500. Do you know what's happening?

KOBEL: So in Boulder County, the number that we have right now is 234. Now other counties are impacted by flooding. For example, Greeley was flooded as well. Places in Evans, Larimer County. And so I think that the 500 number that you're hearing is from the entire flood system which is several counties in Colorado. In Boulder we have 234. And I'm not sure the exact count for the other counties. But I think that 500 is a total for everything at this point.

PAUL: All right.

BLACKWELL: All right Kim Kobel in Boulder, Colorado. Listen I know you're working hard. Your team is working hard. Our best to you and we'll be praying for you and the folks there in Colorado.

PAUL: Yes.

KOBEL: Thank you very much.

PAUL: Thank you Kim take good care.

And you know what we've been showing you some of the latest pictures, aerial pictures that we've been getting in.

Nick Valencia is on the ground there. We're going to go live again to Colorado and see what he's finding as he's there.

BLACKWELL: There's also a programming reminder, Anthony Bourdain back with an all new season. Tonight "ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN", exploits Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank; starts tonight at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: And just before the break, we got some good news from Colorado dealing with those floods. They certainly need it there. We learned that minutes ago rescue workers have managed their way to punch through by a road to Jamestown. Floodwaters had cut off ground access to that town. Rescue workers and residents there are bracing, unfortunately, for more rain today although it could end up being less than worst predictions.

PAUL: Right. Our Nick Valencia is on the ground there. He's in north Boulder right now. And Nick, I understand that you're talking to some folks. You found some folks where you are to talk to and how is the weather there too by the way? Because I know it was raining earlier.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes. It was raining for a couple hours. It was a slight drizzle. And they predicted a steady rain over the next 12 hours. But this is one of the harder hit areas as we've been showing you all morning. And I'm with one of those residents.

Barbara Lu Cohen, your house is right across the street here. Tell us what it was like when -- when the floodwaters came through.

BARBARA LU COHEN, BOULDER, COLORADO RESIDENT: Well when they actually came through, we were asleep. It was Wednesday night. My husband woke us up about 3:30 in the morning because of this loud noise. And it was the water rushing around our house, a torrential river. We were in a lake of moving, I don't know, foot-deep water in some places and we just started -- we just got into action, damming where it might come into our living room, damming with our neighbor's help the street behind us, diverting water around our house.

VALENCIA: Wow -- all the residents chipped in though?

COHEN: Well that was you know 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. So the next morning when everybody woke up, people were -- we didn't feel safe crossing the street.

VALENCIA: Well you have this right next to you.

COHEN: Well we didn't know.

VALENCIA: And you're telling me you didn't know it all until -- because it was so flooded with water.

COHEN: Right. We had rivers rushing down this street and the street behind us that also (inaudible) against our property.

VALENCIA: And I was talking about earlier how there is more rain expected through the weekend. You were telling me you had some sort of anxiety about that.

COHEN: I did. I did.

VALENCIA: Tell us about that.

COHEN: Well there was rain predicted every day. We didn't get it. We actually had sun which was amazing. And last night it started raining pretty heavy about 11:30 or 12:00.

VALENCIA: Yes.

COHEN: And I noticed I was very anxious. A little post trauma there.

VALENCIA: Absolutely. And it's still very dangerous here the asphalt, I mean I was here standing on the edge of it and it collapsed from under me. A lot of the residents in this neighborhood though -- do you think that they share the sort of same sentiment and anxiety because of more rain coming through?

COHEN: I -- I don't know. Because, like I said, it's been predicted every day. And it hasn't shown up. So --

VALENCIA: You're hoping that the worst is past. COHEN: We certainly are. We're operating on that assumption.

NICK VALENCIA: So what about normality? What are they telling you here, the local officials about when this place will get back to normal?

COHEN: Well, we haven't heard from the local officials. We're very low priority. We're just a little circle that we don't get any through traffic. But we would love that to happen. We would love to know. We can get out. And we even got our neighbors' cars out yesterday. So today I get to run errands. It's the first day.

NICK VALENCIA: Some sense of normalcy.

COHEN: Yes. Yes.

NICK VALENCIA: Well, they've been going through a lot. Residents have been going through a lot here and you can just tell by Barbara Lu's story it's been a lot for them to deal with. They're hoping that the worst has passed, Victor and Christie. But, of course meteorologists including our own CNN Weather's are predicting another round of rain and however slight that is -- I mean none of these areas have been hard hit by it. None of them need it at all at this point -- Victor and Christie.

PAUL: All right. Boy, best of luck to her and all of those folks there. We're certainly thinking about them. Bless your heart.

COHEN: Oh, thank you.

BLACKWELL: It's amazing the things you look forward. She's looking forward to running errands.

PAUL: Going to the grocery store. It's true. It's so true. Yes. We're going to be thinking about them. Thank you guys so much.

BLACKWELL: Well, of course, our best to Barbara Lu.

Next on NEW DAY, time for your political check. CNN's Candy Crowley joins us to talk about threats of, yes, another government shutdown. Don't go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: All right. It's time for our political gut check with Candy Crowley.

BLACKWELL: We have "STATE OF THE UNION" starting at the top of the hour. Candy, good morning. What do you have for us?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST: Well, top of the hour, we're going to give you a little update on those Colorado floods. I read somewhere they might get four inches of rain in certain places again today -- just phenomenal pictures. So we're going to talk Governor Hickenlooper and get a quick update from him.

The bulk of the show is about this new U.S.-Russian agreement and whether Syria is serious.

We're going to talk to the chairman of the intelligence committee Mike Rogers along with his colleagues Jason Chaffetz along with Elijah Cummings and Adam Schiff because we want to talk a little bit about domestic policy because guess what, speaking of deadlines for Syria, there are also deadlines for Congress. End of this month, somehow they have to figure out a way to continue to fund the government. And probably sometime next month they're going to have to figure out how to increase the credit for the U.S. So, big things happening domestically as well.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the domestic deadlines don't stop just because of international deadlines.

CROWLEY: Right. Exactly.

PAUL: That's right. Yes.

BLACKWELL: Candy Crowley, thank you so much.

CROWLEY: Thanks guys.

BLACKWELL: And stay here for "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley. Starts here at the top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

PAUL: Sarah Palin, have you heard about this? Her political action committee -- with her committee are both being sued according to the North Jersey Media Group. The former Alaska governor used this iconic 9/11 photo, remember this one? Who could forget it? But she did it without permission allegedly. She's accused of posting it on her Facebook page and on the Web site for her political action committee, Sarah PAC.

CNN has reached out to Palin for a comment, by the way, have not heard. But we're waiting. We're waiting to hear that.

BLACKWELL: Yes. We're going to hear something.

Still to come on NEW DAY, Apple's new iPhone could be using one of the best passwords ever -- your fingerprint.

PAUL: I don't know about that.

BLACKWELL: Is it safe from hackers? That's an important question. Also, is it safe from the government?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: So when Apple announced a fingerprint scanner as a security feature on its new iPhone, people had a lot of questions. Some people wondered is this safe from hackers?

PAUL: Not only that, but there were questions about your fingerprints and would they be stored say in a government data base, too? CNN's Margaret Conley joining us live. I know you went looking for some answers, Margaret. What did you find out?

MARGARET CONLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, Victor Apple said its new iPhone 5 uses one of the best passwords in the world, your fingerprint. But with this new technology, there are growing concerns about security.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAN RICCIO, HARDWARE ENGINEERING, APPLE: I tried this sensor. It quickly reads your fingerprint and automatically unlocks your phone. You can even use it to authorize purchases through our stores.

CONLEY: Is fingerprinting safe from hackers and the growing risk of identity theft? Hollywood movies like "National Treasure" made lifting prints look easy. Security researcher, Marc Rogers warns that it depends on how the software giant implements the technology.

MARC ROGERS, SECURITY RESEARCHER: Apple clearly has thought about this because the data is not going to be stored in the Cloud so there isn't going to be a giant data base of lots of people sending some information that will be a prized target of hackers or enemy state actors.

CONLEY: He says fingerprinting is convenient for users and will be a boost to the mobile industry.

ROGERS: It could open up a really huge universe of opportunities.

CONLEY: New biotech mapping opportunities are already in the making. Vascular technology uses infrared light to reflect patterns of blood vessels and iris recognition developed by companies like MorphoTrust.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the goggles will go ahead and automatically look at the irises.

CONLEY: Eye mapping is said to be faster and more accurate.

ROLAND FOURNIER, MORPHOTRUST: You have fingers that are one in like 64 billion. And an iris' accuracy is you have one in about one trillion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CONLEY: Now that iris technology is expensive. They told us it was about $25,000 for the technology. And they're saying it is becoming more popular but especially with law enforcement.

PAUL: Ok, but what are we hearing about -- I'm hearing little rumbles of vascular technology.

CONLEY: Yes. We saw some of that in the video just now. That was actually shot in New York -- a New York branch of one of Japan's largest banks. And they say that the technology is just too expensive for them. It's tough for them to maintain it. So they're actually going to switch back to card readers.

PAUL: All right.

BLACKWELL: Going back to something we all know. Thank you, Margaret. Margaret Conley in New York for us.

CONLEY: Thank you.

PAUL: Ok. Try not to look away, people.

BLACKWELL: Because it's a must-see moment, that's why we can't look away, I guess.

PAUL: Set your eyes on the world's ugliest animal. That is not according to me. That is according to the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. I did not know there was one.

BLACKWELL: There is one. I'm looking at it on the phone. They have other animals -- the hagfish.

PAUL: I feel sorry for this little guy which is ridiculous. It's not like he has any clue what we're talking about.

BLACKWELL: He has no idea he's ugly. I think it's actually kind of cute with the nose and eyes, if that's actually what they are.

PAUL: They are.

BLACKWELL: But the group announced that the blob fish is the society's new mascot after voters made their selection online. The fish lives on the ocean floor off the coast of Australia and Tasmania.

PAUL: Yes. See, it is oblivious to what we think.

BLACKWELL: I like the thing. I think he could have his own cartoon.

PAUL: He looks like a character, but I cannot place my finger on it. So if anybody figures it out --

BLACKWELL: Ziggy. It is Ziggy.

PAUL: Is it Ziggy? I think you've -- look at Victor pulling it out. I love it.

BLACKWELL: Check on your smart phone. He looks just like Ziggy.

PAUL: I was going to tell people to tweet me. But he answered it right there.

BLACKWELL: Ok. Ugly Animal Preservation Society, we found the name for your new mascot.

PAUL: That's right. BLACKWELL: Ziggy.

PAUL: If that happens, kudos to you my friend.

BLACKWELL: I try.

PAUL: We're so grateful to have you with us today. Thank you for watching.

And just to let you know, we're still watching the floods in Colorado as we know that more, you know, rain is expected to hit today.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Candy Crowley sits down with Colorado governor, John Hickenlooper to get the latest on the rescue efforts. We're going to have that for you in just a moment as "STATE OF UNION" starts right now.

PAUL: Have a good day.