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Capitol Police Called Back; Investors Cheer Fed Decision; Lavish Spender Or Pauper?; Flashmob Dining; Starbucks Jumps Into Gun Debate; The "Sell By" Sham; Wheel Of Misfortune

Aired September 19, 2013 - 07:30   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It is Thursday, September 19th. Coming up in the show, it is not just about coffee and croissants anymore. Starbucks leaps into the nation's red hot debate over gun control. The company's CEO says he is being forced to use Starbucks stores as a soap box. We have the reaction this morning to his announcement.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, we'll call it the wheel of misfortune. Contestant Paul Atkinson is here, he got this close to snagging a $1 million prize, but he put the emphasis on the wrong syllable and the judges say no way. We have his story this morning. There he is.

BOLDUAN: Let's first get to Michaela for the headlines this morning. I would not have on cue done the syllable.

CUOMO: I have a lot of practice, getting things wrong. It will come in time. You'll see.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's take a look at our headlines at this hour, it's 33 minutes after the hour. A growing controversy in the aftermath of Monday's deadly shooting rampage at the D.C. Navy Yard, a government official telling CNN tactical officers with the U.S. Capitol Police tried to stop the tragedy, but were ordered by a watch commander to return to their positions at the capitol. All of this reportedly going down when the officers were just 30 seconds from the base at the first calls about a shooting went out.

The Fed's decision not to dial back economic stimulus, giving investors reason to celebrate, the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 hitting all-time highs. The NASDAQ also climbing to a 13-year high. Many investors had expected the announcement to cut back stimulus because of the improving economy and falling unemployment. Markets in Asia and Europe also climbed today.

Former boxing champion, Ken Norton has died. He was the only heavyweight champion not achieve his title in the ring. He won it on a technicality. Norton perhaps best known for three memorable fights with Muhammad Ali, he won the first one in 1973 when he broke Ali's jaw, lost the other two. He had been rehabilitating following a stroke last year. Ken Norton was 70 years old. Infomercial king and convicted fraudster, Kevin Trudeau, thrown in jail. The judge holding him in contempt Wednesday for not paying a $38 million fine and violating orders to spending on everything except necessities. Trudeau's lawyer claims he's on the brink of bankruptcy, but the U.S. government says he's no popper, citing two recent $180 haircuts, a $900 cigar bill and $800 Whole Foods bill.

This is something I wish I hadn't missed. New York's Bryant Park invaded by a flash mob last night. They dressed in white and ready for some dinner, why? Well, it's the third year in a row that a New York flash mob has gathered on 30 minutes notice with their own cutlery, food, tables and chairs. It's been a regular event in Paris since 1988. My whites were at the cleaners. That's my excuse. I can't mobilize in 30 minutes.

BOLDUAN: Your whites were at the cleaners.

PEREIRA: That would have been fun but I had such anxiety. Do you want to do it today, just you and me?

CUOMO: If you plan it in advance it is not a flashmob.

PEREIRA: You're not invited.

BOLDUAN: All right.

CUOMO: I don't want to be at your French party.

BOLDUAN: Let's move now to the reaction over Starbucks leap into the gun control debate. The company's CEO asked customers to leave their guns at home, but stopped short of actually banning them. We first told you about this in a CNN exclusive interview yesterday. This morning, Howard Schultz is elaborating in an open letter in newspapers nationwide.

CNN's Poppy Harlow is here to kind of talk about it. There's a lot of reaction already.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We knew there would be a reaction the moment that the news broke. I got to tell you. It was an announcement that ignited debate the minute the news broke. One of the world's biggest companies, one of the world's most recognizable brand says, they want your business but nothing to do with your guns. Starbucks this morning hearing views from all sides all across the country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think they should allow people to come in with guns at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I intend to respect their wishes. I won't be taking my business to Starbucks.

HARLOW (voice-over): The coffee giant feeling the heat and garnering praise after making its mark in the gun debate. HOWARD SCHULTZ, CEO, STARBUCKS: Starbucks is not a policymaker and in fact we're not pro or anti-gun.

HARLOW: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz penned this open letter in newspapers nationwide requesting customers no longer bring guns into their stores.

SCHULTZ: We've seen advocates on both sides of this debate. To use Starbucks as a staging ground for their own motivations, a number of episodes in which people have walked into our stores carrying a gun, customers have felt significantly uncomfortable, children have felt uncomfortable.

HARLOW: Just last month, a group of Newtown residents sent Schultz this letter, asking Starbucks to ban guns.

MONTE FRANK, NEWTOWN ACTION ALLIANCE: I think it's a significant step in the right direction. We would have preferred an outright ban, but I think it sends a clear message.

BOLDUAN: It's not a ban, which Schultz could have done but guns no longer welcome still sparked debate on the street and online.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's great. I'm glad he did something. I hope people take it to heart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think it oversteps bounds at all. We're a country that prides themselves for corporate independence and they can do what they want.

HARLOW: Ryan Delp and Bill Stevens carry their guns in public, generally concealed.

BILL STEVENS, GUN OWNER: In a free society like America where we're supposed to honor equality, tolerance and each other's rights here we have a company saying we don't want that right in our store. I think that's unfortunate.

JEFF GUSTAFSON, STARBUCKS CUSTOMER: I don't own a gun. So it won't affect me one way or the other, but I believe that someone feels like they have a need to carry a gun, I think they have every right.

HARLOW: Whether Starbucks' business takes a hit or feels the love is yet to be seen.


HARLOW: So I asked Starbucks what they think so far in the last 24 hours about the reaction to this news since we told you about it yesterday morning. They said they recognize there's always deep passion on both sides, but they said this in a statement. They said in making this respectful request we did not expect to satisfy everyone on both sides of this debate, however, we believe the majority of our customers agree this is a reasonable approach.

I think really, guys, that the big question is going to be, do people abide by it or does this incite them to bring guns into Starbucks? And if it does, if we see more of this or a bigger outcry, is it going to lead to a ban? Chris, you know, we were talking about that yesterday. Is he going to have to go further with this?

CUOMO: He's going to have to respect the law. It's interesting. You have a right to bear arms. Not an unlimited right. That's why we have the laws. The debate continues. I think he put himself in a box as I said yesterday.

HARLOW: And companies can ban them in their stores, AMC movie theaters, Disney theme parks, Pete's Coffee, but those aren't the companies getting the attention. It's all about Starbucks.

BOLDUAN: Often gets a lot of attention.


BOLDUAN: All right, thanks so much, Poppy for the follow up.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, you know one of the in-house battles where the food has gone bad and we lean on the expiration dates to avoid the taste this trauma. But a new study says Americans are throwing away tons of decent food because of misleading expiration dates. What? Yes, I share your shock. We're going to the study's co-author coming up.

BOLDUAN: Plus, to borrow a phrase, the wheel of misfortune, a contestant is the denied a million dollars because of a mispronunciation. The not so lucky fellow joining us live, ahead.

CUOMO: Quality bow tie, by the way.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. So, the question of the day, are you wasting food every week because you think you're just being safe? Well, a new study says yes, it's about those labels on your food that says sell by or best by. We all live by it, I would argue.

One poll shows that 91 percent of consumers say they have thrown out food past its sell by date just because they are afraid it's not safe. Well, the truth is they might not need to be doing that.

Let's bring Emily Broad Leib, the director of the Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic and the co-author of a new study that brings all of this to light. This is a debate I believed in every household. So what's the big takeaway?

EMILY BROAD LEIB, DIRECTOR, HARVARD LAW'S FOOD LAW AND POLICY CLINIC: The big takeaway from our study is really these dates are not regulated and most people think they have meaning, but in fact at the federal level the only food that has rules about date labels is infant formula. Everything else is made up by states and by companies. There's completely no -- inconsistent and no legal definition around them.

BOLDUAN: So the sell by -- the sell by, used by, best by date is fiction?

LEIB: Yes, for the most part. Manufacturers are doing an estimate of what they think the best quality is going to be, but they're trying to be protective of their brands. They were really intended from the beginning to be about freshness. People forgot that and they think they're about safety.

CUOMO: Well, look, I'm all about trashing the expiration dates, but let's be careful about it. They have to put some date with some rationale behind it, right. They should know their product. What is the line in terms of how much faith you put in the date?

LEIB: Well, I think really it's up to consumers to, you know, look at the food and smell the milk --

CUOMO: So it's common sense you're saying.

LEIB: Yes, common sense.

CUOMO: There's no science behind it that you're aware of just from observation?

LEIB: Yes. They mainly do tests with consumers and say when the most people still think it tastes very good, we are going to put the date then, but everyone's different. You might think something taste fine another day. People shouldn't eat something that tastes bad, but you shouldn't throw it away, clear everything out on the fridge on the date that passes.

BOLDUAN: Does there need to be some sort of oversight then to rework how this labeling is even working? Maybe put an invisible, something that's not obvious to our -- the consumer's eye? Is there a way to regulate it better?

LEIB: Yes. I think that's exactly what we're trying to say in this report, is just that really two main things. First is that the dates should be coherent, reliable and consistent so that it has a meaning to consumers. We should be standardizing them and have one label that means quality. Everyone knows this means quality.

For the handful of foods where there might be a safety issue, let's be really clear. We don't need to hide the ball and put a million different labels on things and have consumers figure it out. And then for "sell by" dates, which are really an indicator for stores, take them off the packages. Consumers don't need to have that information.

They don't need to see that. They get confused by it. Let's just stick with the labels that are meant for consumers. So when they take it home, they can make decisions.

BOLDUAN: How much food did you find is wasted by consumers throwing out food prematurely?

LEIB: Yes. We actually don't have great numbers in the U.S. about 40 percent of the food in the U.S. goes uneaten. That's a lot. I mean, that's almost half of our food. BOLDUAN: That's a horrible number.

LEIB: I know. In the United Kingdom, they found that 20 percent of their waste was because of confusion over dates. I think it's probably higher here.

BOLDUAN: Wow. Something to think about.

PEREIRA: You know that brick of cheese you have in the fridge right now, give it a second look. Cut that green part off of it. Put it back in the fridge.

CUOMO: That's old school.

PEREIRA: That's what we used to do. You remember. You just cut off the bad part, cheese for everybody.

BOLDUAN: It goes without saying, the study is endorsing the thought of -- does this smell bad?

CUOMO: You smell great.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Thank you --

COUMO: You're still good. That date, I'll erase it.

BOLDUAN: Erase my sell by date. Thanks, Emily. It's fascinating study. I think a lot of people are going to be paying attention to it.

LEIB: Kate, thank you so much.

CUOMO: Can't wait to get home today to get to that fridge.

Coming up on NEW DAY, France is banning child beauty pageants. Why, to protect girls from being sexualized too early. Didn't know it was a word but a strong point. The newly crowned Miss America will join us live with her take.

BOLDUAN: Plus, a million dollar puzzle involving a "Wheel of Fortune" contestant and an unfortunate mispronunciation. We'll talk to the contestant who lost on some big money because he got a little tongue tied coming up.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to solve.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Corner curio cabinet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lewis, your turn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll solve. Corner curio cabinet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's it.


CUOMO: What?

BOLDUAN: That's not right.

CUOMO: What?

BOLDUAN: Poor guy.

CUOMO: Will you show Atkinson for a second. He was watching that. He couldn't even believe it.

PAUL ATKINSON, CONTESTANT ON "WHEEL OF FORTUNE": I watch it hundreds of times.

CUOMO: You land on the elusive million dollar wedge. This is the dream. You nail the tough part of it. You're ready to solve. You've got the bow tie on and what did you say?

ATKINSON: I said corno curio cabinet.

CUOMO: I thought you mispronounced curio.

ATKINSON: That was the issue is I had never seen that word before. I'd never heard it. I'd never seen it written down so I was so stressed out about pronouncing curio, making sure you pronounce that right so I was staring at that word when I said corner and I cut the "o" at the end and it came out corno.

PEREIRA: It's not the world that solved the puzzle.

ATKINSON: I mispronounced the word that was spelled.

PEREIRA: Were you just livid and feeling like -- and the great injustice have been perpetrated?

ATKINSON: Only to myself. Honestly, no, the people at the "Wheel Of Fortune," they were so nice. Pat Sajak came up to me at the commercial break and said don't worry, it happens hundreds of times and far worse than you have ever done. He actually said I'm going to go talk to the producers and see what we can do and he came back --

CUOMO: He came back with a case of spam.

ATKINSON: You didn't use the actual word, Paul.

BOLDUAN: Are you a firefighter?

ATKINSON: I am a firefighter.

BOLDUAN: In Oregon.


BOLDUAN: Hello, everyone. I'm sure all of your guys and gals were watching. What did they say?

ATKINSON: Despite my best efforts to hide it, word got out and my phone, I put it on vibrate during my parents' viewing party. It was just a constant, constant vibrate, like for 30 minutes straight.

PEREIRA: Everybody watches "The Wheel," baby.

ATKINSON: Yes. I'm a "Wheel" watcher.

BOLDUAN: Are you watching the "Wheel" anymore now after that?

ATKINSON: That was like the second time I watched it in like a month and a half when it was taped. Because whenever I would hear the music, I would just be sick to my stomach. It was terrible.

PEREIRA: So the guy that won, he kind of benefited from your misstep. But you don't feel bad?

ATKINSON: No. The guy that won, Lewis, I only knew the guy for eight hours. The nicest guy I've ever met in eight hours. Honestly, such a cool guy.

CUOMO: It's not about Lewis anyway.

BOLDUAN: You are the nicest guy ever.

CUOMO: I know you hit that bar hard, though, in Vegas after this happened. You say you took it but you need to go get a little quiet time for a while.

ATKINSON: My best friend in the world, Alan Perry, came with me, and I was so upset with myself that we took off from the venue and we got to the first bar and he said we need some tequila over here. But he helped me out, we got through it, and some tequila and a $5 craps table in Vegas helped out.

CUOMO: And you won, right?

ATKINSON: I won like $2,000.

CUOMO: A silver lining. But two things, first of all, "The Wheel Of Fortune" does have a rule, you have to pronounce things. And it wasn't like if you got that right, you got the million. It just put you in the process to get the million.

ATKINSON: It would have been a five or six-step process to get the million dollars. I messed up step two. So it would have had -- a lot of other things would have had to happen to win that million dollars.

PEREIRA: Do you find you're over pronouncing things now to be very, very clear? Listen to my words? ATKINSON: No, no.

BOLDUAN: Do you at least now know what a corner curio cabinet is?

ATKINSON: I received lots of picture messages of what a corner curio cabinet is, lots of firefighters --

BOLDUAN: There's one in the mail for you right now.

ATKINSON: I'm sure it is.

PEREIRA: You got to relive it all over again.

CUOMO: You're getting attention, though. Something good is going to come out of this for you.

PEREIRA: Your attitude.

CUOMO: Look, he's a great guy. He's a firefighter. He's trying to save lives. This didn't go your way. Although, I've got to tell you, you lost me when it was corner that you mispronounced and not curio.

ATKINSON: The word that was spelled out.

CUOMO: It sounds like my name. Nobody gets my name right. I understand but corner?

BOLDUAN: You should make fun of us because you've probably been watching the show and see what we mispronounce.

ATKINSON: You guys are the pros.

CUOMO: Thank you very much. Good luck going forward.

ATKINSON: Thanks, guys. Thanks for having me.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, down in Mexico, Acapulco sounds very nice for a vacation but this is not the vacation folks had in mind. Thousands of tourists stranded with dozens of storms flooding the airport. We'll show you how people are coping coming up.

CUOMO: All right, we're going to head back to Washington, some tough questions mounting about the Navy Yard shooting. Under the microscope, the response, were tactical officers told to wait? If so, why?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason that he did not see me is because he was so intent on shooting her.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: Called back. The elite tactical force pulled away from the Navy Yard massacre. Did that decision cost lives? And the shooter's motive may have been etched on his gun. What it read and what it may have meant?

BOLDUAN: A Mexican resort town now under water. The airports flooded. Americans trapped. The massive airlift to get them out, we're live on the scene.

PEREIRA: We've got a winner and we mean big.