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Nightmare In Nairobi; President Obama To Speak At United Nations; Cold Case Car; Missing Skydiver's Body Found; Burger King's Healthier Fries; Cherokee Girl Custody Battle; A Universal Flu Vaccine?; This Is "The Voice"; No Half Measures; I "Was Really Disappointed"; Harry Potter To Play Freddie?

Aired September 24, 2013 - 07:30   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It is Tuesday, September 24th. Coming up in the show, a heartbreaking custody battle for a 4-year-old Cherokee girl may finally be over. The child once known as Baby Veronica is back with her adoptive parents this morning. So why her biological father says it was time to give up that fight.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, J.T., Justin Timberlake here, the entertainment juggernaut goes one on one with our Nischelle Turner. Hope he can stay focused in that interview. A lot of news this morning, let's get right to Michaela for the latest.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's give you an update on the standoff between Kenyan forces and terrorists as it enters day four in Nairobi sustained gunfire erupting from Westgate Mall. Police have called in a bomb unit to clear the scene. Several gunmen are still believed to be inside that mall. Kenya's interior minister says two or three of the al Shabaab attackers are American. That has not been confirmed. The siege has claimed the lives of at least 62 people.

President Obama speaking to the U.N. General Assembly later this morning, he is expected to face a skeptical audience. Among the topics he's expected to touch on, Mideast peace negotiations, Iran's nuclear program and of course, Syria. The international community no doubt mindful that President Obama almost ignored the U.N. and the Security Council altogether as he considered taking action against Syria over the use of chemical weapons.

An old car found in a South Dakota embankment could be connected to a 42-year-old cold case involving two missing 17-year-old girls. Crime scene investigators will process the vehicle for forensic evidence that could link it to the missing teenagers, Pam Jackson and Cheryl Miller. Those girls were last seen in May 1971, driving a 1960 Studebaker Lark on their way to a party.

A parachute jump gone horribly wrong, searchers in West Tennessee have found the body of a missing skydiver. He was one of seven who jumped about 29,000 feet from a plane Monday morning. All the others made it to the ground safely. Investigators say the man's chute was not fully deployed. They're not sure if the equipment malfunctioned or if he suffered some kind of medical problem during his free fall.

It does not count as diet food, but Burger King introducing a lower calorie French fry today. The crinkle cut fry is said to have about 20 percent fewer calories. Burger King insists you will not know the difference. The secret to the lower calorie count, apparently a new batter that does not absorb as much oil, wait, batter on a French fry? As for the crinkle cut, that's to help employees identify, which fries are which. But seriously batter on a French fry?

CUOMO: Fried, fried.

BOLDUAN: Double fried.

CUOMO: I don't want steak fries.

PEREIRA: If you're going to have a fry, have a fry.

CUOMO: Don't make it something it isn't.

PEREIRA: Fake fry, impostor.

CUOMO: That's decided, moving on.

BOLDUAN: To a story that we've all been following very closely, the little girl once known as Baby Veronica now back with her adoptive parents this morning. The 4-year-old Cherokee girl was handed over last night from her biological father after the Oklahoma Supreme Court lifted an emergency stay.

"EARLY START" co-anchor, Zoraida Sambolin, is here with more on this. This has been a long, drawn out and emotional fight between these two families.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": Some say it's over and some others say it is not over. What we can agree on, it has been complicated and heartbreaking. It's been a custody battle four years in the making. Veronica's biological father, Dustin Brown and her adopted parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco have been fighting over this little girl since her birth. Now it may be over.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you standing by and watching our daughter, Veronica, be held against our will?

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): That was just six weeks ago. Matt and Melanie Capobianco dismayed and heartbroken that their adopted daughter, Veronica, was still not home. On Monday night, the years long battle coming to an end when Veronica's biological father, Dustin Brown, handed her over to her adoptive parents after a State Supreme Court ruled that it could not intervene in the case. The Brown family watched from the front window of their Oklahoma home as a deputy and marshal led her away.

TODD HEMBREE, CHEROKEE NATION ATTORNEY GENERAL: Very courageous. And took this action, what he believed was in Veronica's best interest. SAMBOLIN: These photos provided to CNN by the Capobiancos, Veronica seemingly all smiles during a visit by her adoptive parents over the last few weeks. It has been a complex ordeal for both sides. Veronica, born a citizen of the Cherokee Nation was placed in the Capobiancos home at birth in 2009. Just a few months later, her biological father changed his mind and sought custody under the Indian Child Welfare Act. That's a federal law that protects Native American children from being separated from their families.

Brown was awarded custody in December 2011. The two families have been in a nationally publicized legal battle over Veronica ever since. For the last two years, Veronica was living in the Cherokee Nation with her biological father. The court's ruling cleared the way for the Capobiancos to take Veronica back to South Carolina where they raised her for first two years of her life.

A spokeswoman for the Capobiancos says Veronica is safely in the arms of her parents and has been reunited with her family. Our prayers are with everyone involved this evening. There is no happy ending in this travesty, only closure. The case made it all the way to the nation's highest court, which ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act did not apply in this case. Brown was ordered to return Veronica back to her adoptive parents, but refused to give her up without a fight.

DUSTIN BROWN, BIOLOGICAL FATHER: I'm going to fight until I have no fight left in me and until they say you can't fight no more.

SAMBOLIN: Brown has no visitation rights, but his attorney is hopeful that Dustin will remain a part of Veronica's life. For the Capobiancos, it is a bittersweet ending to a four-year ordeal.


SAMBOLIN: The big question is whether the biological father will in fact have a presence in this child's life. That's what's up for debate. There was a gag order on this case and so both sides are not talking but their reps are talking. I was just reading that the Cherokee nation said this fight is not over. We will assess our legal options in the morning. Is it over? I would say not. You just never know what's going to happen here. Baby Veronica is back with her adoptive parents this morning.

BOLDUAN: It has been back and forth, back and forth.

SAMBOLIN: And sad.

BOLDUAN: Very sad. You think maybe her best interest has been lost in all of this, but still both families want the best for her.

CUOMO: That's the point. Adoption is very complicated as you well know. The law is not a promising prospect for the man at this point, but there are other considerations.

PEREIRA: I always go back to where are things going to stand with this young lady, 18, 20, 30, trying to search for who she is. You know, so much is imprinted on a child at such a young age. SAMBOLIN: They really have an opportunity here to do the right thing, saying let's lead by example, for the rest of the nation and definitely for this little girl. So that she can all of this people who love her help raise her.

PEREIRA: Put the acrimony aside. Emotions involved.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Zoraida.

CUOMO: What do you think? Let us know. We are going to take a break now on NEW DAY. When we come back, an unbelievable story, a dad reunited with his son 13 years after he was handicap, just almost kidnap, almost never happens. More interesting is who the police say took the child and how they were able to prove it. We're going to give you the details when we come back.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, a universal flu shot. Is it possible? How much easier would this make the winter months? Well, new search shows progress in that direction. How close are we? And what does it mean for you and your family? That's ahead.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY. There are three words that offer great promise, universal flu vaccine. According to a new study from Nature Medicine, British scientists now believe they're as close as five years away from developing one.

Dr. Jennifer Caudle joins us now. She had a chance to read over the full study for us. Dr. Caudle, really, five years away from something universal for flu?

DR. JENNIFER CAUDLE, ROWAN UNIVERSITY: I'm not exactly sure about that. So this was a study where researchers collected blood samples from about 342 people at the beginning of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. The people in the study were asked to track any symptoms they had, flu symptoms, and at the end of the study, the researchers looked at the data and concluded or found that the people who had the mildest flu symptoms in the study also had the highest number of cd8 t-cells in their blood.

So we'll talk a little bit about what that kind of cell is, but this is a platform by which these researchers are saying that we may be on the brink of a universal flu vaccine. You know, I really think that we need more time. I think we need more data. We need more information, but I think there's a lot of interesting concepts and a lot of interesting perspectives in this study.

BOLDUAN: So just take a step back though, what does a universal -- would a universal flu vaccine do in comparison to how maybe effective the flu vaccine is now today? Chris just got it. I just got it.

CAUDLE: Which I'm so happy you guys got your flu shot, that's fantastic. When we talk about universal flu vaccine, first of all, I want to talk about that term because you're asking for a definition. That's one thing that actually needs to be defined. BOLDUAN: It isn't.

CAUDLE: When we say universal, what exactly are we talking about? Now in some of the study material and things like that, what was mentioned was this idea that instead of us having to rebuild a flu vaccine every year like we have to now, perhaps we have a vaccine that protects people no matter what flu strains are in the environment.

So that's the context in which we are kind of understanding this term universal flu vaccine within the realm of this study, but that actually needs to be defined. The question would be, you know, what exactly is it targeting? How effective would it be? How many vaccines would actually be given? But really my argument is that we're still a ways away from that.



CUOMO: Yes. Why isn't it happening faster? Isn't there money to be made here for whoever figures it out?

CAUDLE: Well, you know, it's a really interesting question. The answer of why is, remember, when we create vaccines and we make immunizations and recommendations, scientists put a lot of brain power into this. That's what we want. We need a lot of good data, a lot of good studies, involving lots of people to really figure out what this universal flu vaccine would look like and how it would affect people. But we do have the seasonal vaccine right now for the flu and that's really what people should focus on getting because we have this available.

PEREIRA: Well, let me play you for a second. Money to be made, there's a big industry around flu prevention. I would argue that one would wonder if there's not a movement to prevent a universal --

CUOMO: For all the symptom relief.

PEREIRA: You look at the products that are available.

CAUDLE: Right, right. We do have products available to help people when they do get the flu virus, don't get me wrong.

CUOMO: Nothing helps. Once you get it, only time.

PEREIRA: You have to ride it out, essentially.

CUOMO: You take Theraflu all you want. You're going to be hurting.

CAUDLE: Well, time does help, but we do have anti-virals. There are things you can do to prevent the spread, like washing your hands and stuff like that. You should really talk with your doctor about this, but remember I really want to underscore this point. The CDC says that many medical organizations. I say it to my own patients. The best protection we have right now is the seasonal flu vaccine. We've got this. It's time to go out and get it. CUOMO: Time to roll up your sleeves.

PEREIRA: One of three anchors has not gotten their flu shot yet.

CUOMO: She's drinking her tea, popping her Vitamin C.

PEREIRA: We could have done a flu shot today.

BOLDUAN: Needles and NEW DAY do not go together. Dr. Jennifer Caudle, great to see you. Thanks. Get your flu shot.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, President Obama back before the United Nations General Assembly today, what will he say about the carnage in Syria and also about the possible relations with Iran? Jim Acosta is going to be joining us with a preview coming up.

CUOMO: Did you hear how "Breaking Bad" ends? It turns out -- no, I'm kidding. Netflix is helping keep the spoilers at bay. We'll tell you about it when we come back.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is time for the "Pop Four" with our Nischelle Turner coming to us remote again today. Good morning, Nischelle.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMETN CORRESPONDENT: I'm here. I'm coming to you from remote. If we have time at the end of this, remind me to tell you about my crazy dream last night. It was crazy and it's crazy that I remember it. That's a tease.

Let's get to the "Pop Four." Number four this morning, NBC hit program, "The Voice" returned last night, reunited all four of the original judges. Happy day, I love that. It also featured what they're calling the fastest chair turn around in show's history. We're seeing it right there. Matthew Schuler, hello. How are you? Watch out for that one. Yes, indeed.

OK, so Chris has mentioned it earlier. Do you hate those "Breaking Bad" spoilers? Yes, well, it's our number three story. Netflix says I've got your back if you do. The company has launched a spoiler for their web site to block all tweets that could ruin the season finale. Now here's how it goes, just log on to your Twitter account through the site It filters out the tweets with words "breaking" or "bad" in them. Quick fix, who knew?

Number two this morning, a high and a low for some Sunday's Emmy telecast. While the show has the best ratings since 2005 with 17.6 million viewers tuned in, there's one thing they didn't see. Maybe a few things they didn't see, if you listen to "Grey's Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo. She slammed the program saying, I didn't see any diversity in the Emmy's at all. In fact, they heard her talking about it and in her words she said, the dance number was really white. That's what she said.

Number one story this morning, Harry Potter plays Freddy Mercury. Daniel Radcliffe has been told the role is his if he wants it after Cohen dropped out of the biopic. Now Radcliffe's reps tell CNN they are not in talks over the role, but they did not deny that an offer has been made. So maybe we will hear the boy wizard belt out a little nothing really matters, God. You know it's 4:00 in the morning. Let me stop.

BOLDUAN: Nischelle, I love you. Little bohemian rhapsody, we will see. That sounds good. The dream, tell me.

TURNER: The dream. You guys know how I'm scared of the subway, right?


TURNER: Well, I had a dream last night that I was Diana Ross as Dorothy in the Wiz and I was down in that subway scene where the things come of the wall and they start bouncing and getting bigger and she starts running, her and Michael Jackson. I think that set me back another year for subway, guys.

BOLDUAN: I want whatever Nischelle is taking because that is one dream. Nischelle, come on back. We'll talk to you soon.

CUOMO: No vaccine against crazy. That's for sure.

Coming up on NEW DAY, six days and counting until a government shutdown. It's not even a joke. Biggest roadblock to a compromise may be Senator Ted Cruz. We'll talk about it with former GOP senator and presidential candidate, Mr. Rick Santorum, coming up.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, day four of the deadly standoff between Kenyan security forces and terrorists at that shopping mall in Nairobi. They are hearing more gunfire on the ground overnight from the side of the siege. We're going to take you there live, coming up.


BOLDUAN: You know what that means. It's means it's time for the Rock Block, a quick round up of the stories that we're talking about today. First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right, let's take a look in the papers, Kate. From "The New York Times," German voters electing that country's first two black members of parliament, one a chemist, the other an actor both share (inaudible) ancestry.

In "The Washington Post," the story about the effects of the recession, researchers say the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. dropped between 2007 and 2012 when the economy tanked.

And in "The Wall Street Journal," child psychologists say it's OK if parents fight in front of your kids as long as you can do it in a healthy way, no name calling, no insults, no storming off in anger. We'll work on that. It's time for business news and Christine Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, those parents won't be able to get joint credit cards anymore. Chase says it's not going to give joint credit cards saying it's trying to simplify its offerings. Instead you'll have to add your spouse or anyone else as an authorized user to your account. Existing joint credit card customers won't be affected at Chase.

Some stores have been cutting back on holiday hires this year, but at least one thing that will get more products under your Christmas tree. Toys R Us will hire 45,000 temporary workers for the holidays, 15 percent of those jobs will likely become permanent.

And Wonder Bread is back on store shelves with the new retro logo, Flower Foods has snapped up the brand from Hostess, which recently went belly up. Now let's get to our Indra Petersons for the weather.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I know we're both cold in here, Christine, but it's one of the few days it may actually be colder outside, at least in the morning hours. We're talking about a lot of temperatures in the 40s in the northeast. By the afternoon it will be pretty nice, a lot of 70s are expected, Philly. Pittsburgh is 60, 69 degrees. Down in the southeast, they are still talking about the rain the northeast had over the weekend stationary front. It's stationary for a reason. It is staying in place. Notice there's a cold front behind it. Even more rain with flooding concerns into Florida.

BOLDUAN: All right, Indra, thanks so much. We're now near the top of the hour, which means it's time for the top news.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got shot here. I had so much blood everywhere.


CUOMO: Home-grown terror. Were some Americans behind the deadly terror attack that left over 60 dead and scores wounded in an upscale mall in Kenya? A chilling eyewitness report straight ahead that you won't want to miss.

BOLDUAN: A critical test with tension high in Syria and a possibility of renewed talks with Iran on the table. President Obama faces the United Nations in just a few hours. We have the details, diplomacy and what's at stake.

PEREIRA: He brought sexy back. Now he wants to give you the 20 experience, Justin Timberlake opening up about his life, his new movie and growing up in the spotlight.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to reciprocate. If they want to insult me, they can knock themselves out.