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U.N. Says Climate Change Man Made; Shutdown Countdown: Three Days; Miss Teen USA "Sextorted"; Charges Filed In Listeria Outbreak; Sorry For "Three Fingered Salute"; Florida Stand Your Ground Case; Leaner, Healthier McDonalds; "Breaking" Records?; Bieber Gets Belted!; Moves Like Irving?; Kanye Versus Kimmel

Aired September 27, 2013 - 07:30   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Friday, everyone. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Friday, September 27th. Let's get straight to Michaela for the top news right now

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Here's your headlines at this hour, power plants, greenhouse gases, all manmade, part of the primary source of climate change and no stopping the trends in sight. A U.N. report on climate evolution since the '50s says human factors are largely to blame for changes in rising sea levels and ground temperatures, which are said to be unprecedented. Scientists say they're 95 percent certain on their findings the surest they've ever been.

The clock keeps ticking, three days and counting until a potential government shutdown. In about five hour's time, the Senate will vote on a spending bill that pays for Obamacare and keeps Washington operating setting up a final confrontation with the Republican- controlled House.

The newly crowned Miss Teen USA caught up in a sextortion case. Police announcing the arrest of a college student, Jared Abrahams of California, he has been charged with hijacking webcams of young women, including Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf and taking nude pictures of them while they undressed. Abrahams then allegedly blackmailed his victims by sending nude photos, threatening to expose them. He's been placed on home detention with electronic monitoring along with a $50,000 bond.

The former owners of a now defunct Colorado cantaloupe farm are now facing federal charges from the 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 32 people. Ryan and Eric Jenson of Jenson Farms were arrested Thursday. They are accused of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. The FDA cited a potato washing machine at their farm as the possible cause of the fatal outbreak.

Microsoft founder, Bill Gates says he's sorry. During a Harvard Q & A, he admitted control, alt, delete was a mistake. He said Microsoft could have just come up with a single button, but no, an IBM designer insisted on a triple key login for PCs for security reasons. I have to tell you I kind of agree with the guy from IBM because if you had one button it would be over for me. Those are your headlines. Let's head over to Chris. CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thank you, Mick. An update now on a case that had an outraged nation asking 20 years for that, Florida mother of three, Marissa Alexander sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a single shot. No one hurt. She says she fired it in self-defense against a spouse who had abused her in the past.

She's getting a new trial now, but her defense is ham strung by Florida's controversial "stand your ground law." We're going to talk to her attorney in just a moment, but first a look back at her story.


CUOMO (voice-over): Marissa Alexander says she's thrilled for her second chance at freedom. The mother of three was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a single bullet into the wall to scare off her husband whom she says was abusive.

MARISSA ALEXANDER, GRANTED RETRIAL IN ASSAULT CASE: He managed to get the door open and that's when he strangled me. He put his hands around my neck.

CUOMO: Her husband, Rico Gray, had previously been arrested for domestic abuse. Following an argument in August 2010, Alexander says she believed she was doing what was allowed by Florida law, standing her ground, and protecting herself.

ALEXANDER: He saw my weapon at my side and when he saw it, he was even more upset and that's when he threatened to kill me.

CUOMO: But when Alexander tried to use this stand your ground law she was turned down by a judge. The issue, Alexander could have left through the front door during the altercation, they said. Instead, she went to the garage to get her car, but says she forgot her keys and became trapped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I sentence you to 20 years in Florida state prison.

CUOMO: Though she injured no one, she was convicted by a jury after just 12 minutes of deliberation. Now an appeals judge has ruled the jury was given incorrect instructions regarding Alexander's self- defense claim. She will get a new trial, but still won't be allowed to claim stand your ground.

RICH MANTEI, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: The reaction is the same as it usually is, OK, there's a need to send the case back. It comes back.

CUOMO: But for Marissa Alexander, it's a new chance for freedom.

ALEXANDER: This is my life I'm fighting for. This is my life, not entertainment. This is my life.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CUOMO: Strong point, 20 years on the line. For more insight into the case, let's bring in the attorney for Marissa Alexander, Faith Gay. Ms. Gay, thank you very much.


CUOMO: We see she's very upset there. What does this news mean to your client?

GAY: Well, she just received the news yesterday and she's ecstatic, of course. She is very grateful that the system actually worked for her. She's extremely grateful to her family and friends for standing by her. She's also hopeful in the next few weeks she'll be able to see her children again.

CUOMO: New trial granted, however, not new hearing or reappraisal of evidence for "stand your ground," what does that mean?

GAY: What it means is that there's no new pre-trial chance for her to just have immunity based on stand your ground. She can still assert her self-defense defense at her trial fully and freely. In fact, it's a better trial than before because this time she doesn't have to prove self-defense, which is what it was wrong with the first trial.

CUOMO: Now, it is so wrong, even a lousy lawyer such as myself, my eyes open wide when I saw the instruction, were you aware at the time of jury instructions, what do you mean? The burden of proof is on her to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she defended herself. It's obviously wrong. How did this happen?

GAY: Obviously it's not the American way to make you prove your owe defense. In this country and in Florida, if the government brings a charge, they have to prove it. The jury instructions just moved around in a way that made her prove that her estranged, violent ex- husband was actually attacking her. She doesn't have to prove anything and now in a second trial that will be the case.

CUOMO: You know, just so you're all clear at home. There were basically two errors made by the judge in the instructions. The one was it talked about the victim's injury in this case. There was no injury. There is no allegation of an injury so the instruction didn't need to be there. That was a small point.

The big point was that Marissa Alexander had the burden of proof to prove beyond a reasonable doubt she was defending herself. Obviously as you know, the burden is on the prosecution. Was that something you left in there because you were like, listen, if this goes the wrong way, we know this was a bad instruction.

GAY: No. We didn't try the case. We took it on appeal.

CUOMO: How did they not know at that time? Do you have insight into that?

GAY: Well, I think it was a standard Florida jury instruction, which has been clarified for these circumstances. CUOMO: All right, so the sentence, this really wasn't about what happened at trial, it was about the sentence involved. Now the prosecutor is the same prosecutor as the George Zimmerman case.

GAY: Yes, it is.

CUOMO: There was a lot of speculation about this was the wrong charge. It was too harsh because it triggered a 10 or 20 mandatory minimum sentence. What's your thought on that? Could they have charged her with something else?

GAY: Well, the prosecutor in every situation always has discretion on what kind of charge to bring. Surely that's the case and I think you're right to emphasize the statute, the mandatory minimums in Florida. There is no choice once the statute was used, to charge that when the conviction came there was a 20-year sentence. The mandatory minimum statute is just as problematic for some folks as stand your ground.

CUOMO: The prosecutor says my hands were tied. I offered a deal. She didn't take the deal. If she lost at trial it had to be this. But how much of that had to be? Do you feel as a function of what the NAACP and others are pointing out there that this happened in part because Marissa Alexander is African-American. This wouldn't have happened in other case, fair allegation?

GAY: Listen, I can't comment on that. But I will say this, again, prosecutors always have the discretion to fit the facts to the crime they charge and that discretion could be obviously used now, just like it could have been used back then. We are hopeful there will be a new exercise of discretion now.

CUOMO: What do you think happens in this trial? How confident are you?

GAY: Very confident. Obviously the jury instructions will favor us in a way they always do for defendants. It's the same playing rules that should always apply. We feel good.

COUMO: It doesn't have to be she thought he was going to kill her, right? She feared there was going to be a felony about to be committed, she was about to be hurt.

GAY: Well, again, she doesn't have to prove that now. The government has to --

CUOMO: Right. She doesn't have to prove anything.

GAY: Right.

CUOMO: She has to throw doubt on the case of the prosecution?

GAY: Exactly. That's correct.

CUOMO: So what do you think will happen here?

GAY: Well, the first thing that will happen, we'll make a bail application. So maybe she can get home and see her family.

CUOMO: What are the chances?

GAY: It should be good.

CUOMO: She's not convicted if there's a new trial. What is the grounds for keeping her?

GAY: Well, the seriousness of the charge and also certainly the prosecution will cite past record and her altercations with her violent ex-husband.

CUOMO: Doesn't it matter that it was a warning shot? I get that its aggravated battery.

GAY: You're making my arguments for me. She should get out, yes.

CUOMO: We'll stay on this, follow it. There's a lot of intrigue wrapped up in this. To a lot of people it seems unfair. So thank you for coming on. I know it's careful for you to discuss when you have a trial upcoming. So we appreciate you taking the opportunity.

GAY: We're grateful the system worked here.

CUOMO: We'll see how it works going forward.

GAY: Exactly.

CUOMO: Kate, over to you.

BOLDUAN: All right, Chris, thanks so much.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, healthier food options at your fast food -- favorite fast food stop? McDonald's is giving adults and kids more nutritional options, but will you buy it? We'll have a look at some of the new offerings.

Also ahead, will you be watching the "Breaking Bad" finale on Sunday? You won't be alone. Records could be broken. We'll explain in the "Pop Four," coming up.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. McDonald's is working on a big menu revamp. You probably want to know about it. Instead of the "would you like fries" with that question, you may hear would you like a salad instead? The largest fast food chain in the world is adding some more health conscious items to their menus, especially when talking about their happy meals.

Here to talk about the potential impact on this, Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a family physician and also the business side of this because this is also a business story, our business correspondent, Christine Romans is here as well. Great to have you guys.

Let's talk about this from the health aspect first of all, some of the options and we have a full screen, some of the options that McDonalds is talking about in their changing. They are talking about offering salad, fruit, or vegetable as part of their value menus instead of fries. Of course, you can still get fries.

You also have juice, low-fat milk and water. Those will be promoted as being offered in part of happy meals. You can also still get the soda. A lot of this is about the promotion and how they are going to be kind of advertising this. McDonald's has also said they're going to be promoting fruit and vegetables in fun ways to grab attention. So when you look at all this, how much of a difference is this going to make do you think?

DR. JENNIFER CAUDLE, ROWAN UNIVERSITY: I think this is going to make a big difference, I really do. You know, obesity is an epidemic. It truly is, 33 percent of all American adults are obese, 17 percent of all young people, kids and adolescents. We know obesity leads to heart disease, stroke and diabetes and billions of dollars are spent on this condition, these medical conditions.

So obesity is a complex issue. We can't say that diet alone will change this epidemic. It's a big start. What we eat is a big part of this. I think this is a great trend. I'm glad to see it. I hope that we see more of this in other restaurants.

BOLDUAN: Let's look at one example because I like to break it down just down to fries versus salad. This is one of the options you can get in your value meal. You got a small fry. It's 230 calories, 11 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, there's an important one. Look at the opposite when you're talking about a side salad, 20 calories, 0 grams of fat and 0 grams of saturated fat.

This is common sense. I know people are saying this at home. What do you recommend to a parent coming into your office who has a child who may be struggling with their weight because as you said childhood obesity is an epidemic in this country?

CAUDLE: It's an epidemic. I see -- on a weekly basis, I see kinds in middle school that are over 200 pounds. This is something that all doctors are saying. So the first thing, it blows your mind. It blows my mind, actually. The first thing is parents need to be educated, but also educated about these new choices, 230 calories in a small fry versus none in a side salad.

Of course, you have to be careful about what type of dressing you put on and things like that. But the other thing you mentioned also was the fat and saturated fat. The saturated fat is what we really get concerned about when we talk about heart disease and stroke and heart attack risks. So 1.5 grams in saturated fat may not seem like a lot to people, but if we can drop it down to zero, that's far away better.

BOLDUAN: Especially when you eat it over and over and over again. In a lot of places fast food is the only option. So Christine, that's where the business question comes into play, McDonald's is good at business. Healthy options might be a good idea, but is it good business. CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Tastes are shifting. So any good business is going to look at how the taste are shifting and figure out how to tweak your business model. There is also a lot of pressure from nutrition groups and the Clinton Global Initiative, Bill Clinton behind all of this keep in mind.

But tastes are shifting. Subway is going after women and being very, very successful. Millennials prefer things like Panera and Chipotle, right? So what is McDonald going to do to try to get this younger audience that wants more options and more healthier options.

What's interesting is only -- I think 2 percent or 3 percent of the McDonald sales are salads right now and sales are flat. McDonald's is seeing this competition from around and is going to have to figure out to roll this out, give more options.

But also not alienate the core hamburgers and French fry audience, which is people go to McDonalds still for hamburgers, French fries. They have to be careful not to eat into, pardon the pun, the core audience at the same time they're trying to try new things.

BOLDUAN: Because you've seen attempts at healthy options at other fast food chains in the past. They can very much fall flat, but it is a different time as you point out. Christine Romans, Dr. Jennifer Caudle, thank you -- Chris.

CUOMO: I can't wait to have some carrots with my Big Mac.

BOLDUAN: Good answer.

CUOMO: They called it the land of enchantment. In the next episode of the Emmy award winning "PARTS UNKNOWN" Anthony Bourdain travels to New Mexico to find out why. Here's a little taste of that.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST, CNN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN": What have we learned in the wide open spaces of the great American southwest, New Mexico? We've learned that after you've had a couple of margaritas, when you move on to shots. That's when things go seriously wrong. I made a mistake, I'm paying for it. Don't do as I do, kids. Get off my lawn, you kids. My face is burning off. This is what America really is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just going to get prettier.

BOURDAIN: I regret that with all the UFO activity here at no point was I probed nor did anyone attempt to probe me. I'm a little hurt.


CUOMO: Man, I'll tell you, even if you didn't like Tony Bourdain, even if you don't like food. That show is so well shot that you can watch it just for that. You can watch the next episode of "PARTS UNKNOWN" this Sunday, the 29th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

BOLDUAN: Who doesn't like food? CUOMO: Everybody likes it.

BOLDUAN: That was a --

CUOMO: I don't know about Tony Bourdain but everybody likes food.

BOLDUAN: We've agreed on that.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, his hard-line Republican politics made Tom Delay a household name. A scandal hit him hard and forced him from office, but now his conviction thrown out. Is he vindicated? Is he angry? We'll ask him in the next hour.

CUOMO: Why is Zack spanking Justin Bieber? You'll find out in the "Pop Four."


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. Nischelle Turner is here with your Friday dose of the "Pop Four."

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: We just had a little therapy session at the table and I woosad and I'm good because it's Friday. Let's get to the "Pop four." Our number four story on this NEW DAY, "Breaking Bad" insanity, we are still two days away from the finale of "Breaking Bad," but there are already predictions that the audience will break records, at least 8 million viewers are expected to tune in.

BOLDUAN: I believe it.

TURNER: I had a "Breaking Bad" marathon last night, tried to catch up on everything I missed, led to some of the issues I was having. The show is so good and I hate it's going off the air.

All right, between two ferns is our number three story, Justin Bieber sat down with comedian Zach Galifianakis, and being spanked by Zach for being too young for smoking pot. He looked at him. "Between Two Ferns" if you haven't seen it, go on the funnier guy channel and check him out. It's classic comedy, so funny.

He's got the moves on and off the court is our number two story, NBA star Kyree Irving's impromptu dance battle. He is with a student in the South African school. The student is giving it to him. Kyree was there visiting the school's Unicef and challenged by this kid to a dance off after Kyree thought he could bust the move.

CUOMO: Slipped a disc.

BOLDUAN: There goes his career.

CUOMO: That was a move.

TURNER: That's like the Uncle Wayne, Uncle Wayne, Uncle Wayne. I don't know who won, I'll call it a draw, I just loved the video. OK, Kanye West is mad. I know, what else is new? This is our number one story. This time comedian Jimmy Kimmel and let me say for sure we don't know for sure this is not another Kimmel prank. Kanye went off on Kimmel on Twitter because of a spoof that Jimmy did starring Kim Kanye, called Kimmel names, says Silverman is funnier than him and posted Kimmel as Spongebob Square Pants on Twitter.

I don't know why but I loved it. He said Kanye called him, he was angry and I don't know what will happen with this one but it was ugly, ugly.

BOLDUAN: It's more than ugly it's UGLY. Thank you, Nischelle.

TURNER: All right, it's Friday guys, take a breath.

CUOMO: Always good to have Nischelle here.

Coming up on NEW DAY, the U.N. issues a report on climate change, the results and who's responsible will shock you.

Also the stakes are raised in the debate over the nation's debt and what to do about it. It's going to be a long weekend for some lawmakers. We'll have the latest on the funding fight ahead.


CUOMO: Can't beat the heat, a new report more certain than ever humans are to blame for a severe climate change and why if you live on the east coast you may want to move. We'll tell why.

BOLDUAN: We have a deal, the U.N. Security Council reaches agreement to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons, but if Syria does not comply, what then? Will the U.S. strike? What's at stake straight ahead?

PEREIRA: Caught on camera, cars speeding over 100 miles per hour flies off the road during a high-speed chase, a teenager pulled from the burning wreckage. What started that pursuit and how it ended just moments away?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.