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Report: Shoe Thrown At Iran's President; Obama Phones Iran's President; Get Rid Of Chemical Weapons Or Else; Decision Day For House Republicans; Meteor Blazes Across Midwest Sky; "The Greatest Challenge Of Our Time; Rare Image Of Abraham Lincoln; New Jersey To Allow Same- Sex Marriage; House GOP Meets at Noon on Shutdown; The Real Bionic Man; Holiday Fares Set to Soar

Aired September 28, 2013 - 08:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president will talk about negotiation and compromise with a head of a terrorist state, but he won't talk about compromise with the duly elected democratic leaders.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: While this morning one relationship is seeing signs of life. Another is looking grim. It seems that breaking a 34-year silence may be easier than breaking a congressional stalemate.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: A new U.N. report says, it is all but certain that climate change is manmade. So, guess what cities are most in trouble. If you live on the East Coast, you don't want to miss this report.

BLACKWELL: Question, do the holidays still feel far away? Well, the airline industry does not think so. We're just three weeks away from skyrocketing airfares, but we have tips for some good deals.

PAUL: Doesn't it just figure? They know when the holidays are coming. Thank you for joining us. We got you covered. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 8:00 here on the east coast, NEW DAY SATURDAY. We have a lot coming up. Inaccurate and inconvenient and ill conceived, all the words that are being used to describe Apple's highly criticized app. When this came out, people were upset. I think the company actually had to apologize.

PAUL: You can now add potentially life threatening to the list. Everybody knows you probably punched in an address and then you are looking around and you are not where you are supposed to be. We're going to tell how it navigated at least two drivers off the road and wait until you see where they ended up, people.

BLACKWELL: Unbelievable. And this story that a lot of people are talking about in the last 24 to 48 hours, Miss Teen USA, college student accused of hijacking her web cam of Miss Teen USA. Her name is Cassidy wolf. This person was arrested. A former high school classmate of Wolf actually hijacked the camera and took naked pictures of her and the tried to use those pictures to blackmail her to provide more.

PAUL: Allegedly, of course. We are going to be talking with Cassidy Wolf though coming up in our 9:00 hour. You can hear why she says she has mixed feeling about this arrest and you know what might -- I have some good questions for her. So we are looking forward to that.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we'll talk about. First up, we are already seeing some reaction in Iran this morning to the historic phone call between that country's president and President Obama.

PAUL: Yes, Iran's semi official news agency reports a protester hurled a shoe in President Hassan Rouhani's direction as he arrived back in Tehran from the U.S. Now supporters were there as well we understand.

BLACKWELL: This after President Obama called President Rouhani that was on Friday. It is the first time the leaders of Iran and the U.S. have spoken directly in 34 years. The president's national security adviser tells CNN how this all came about.


SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Somewhat surprisingly, we were contacted by them to say that President Rouhani would like to speak to President Obama by telephone on his way out of town. We were able to make that call come together and it did. It was a constructive discussion.


BLACKWELL: President Obama is calling that discussion a starting point for both countries. CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Scuitto has more for us now.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a 15-minute phone call, but one that was 34 years in the making.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The very fact that this was the first communications between an American and Iranian president since 1979 underscores the deep mistrust between our countries, but it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficulty history.

SCIUTTO: The prospect of reaching agreement on Iran's nuclear program seemed out of reach just weeks ago.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: While there will surely be important obstacles to moving forward and success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution. SCIUTTO: A sentiment echoed by Iranian President Hassan Rowhani, who tweeted about his call before the president confirmed it. Rouhani ended a week-long charm offensive in New York with a promise to submit a plan on Iran's nuclear program by next month. PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, IRAN (through translator): I assure you that on the Iranian side this will is there fully 100 percent that in a very short period of time there will be a settlement on the nuclear issue.

SCIUTTO: President Rouhani then denied critics charges that renewed negotiations were one more delay tactic so Iran could secretly work toward a nuclear bomb.

PRESIDENT ROUHANI (through translator): We have never chosen to seat as a path. We have never chosen secrecy.

SCIUTTO: We spoke with a member of his inner circle, vice president and minister of Culture, Mohammad Ali Najafi.

MOHAMMAD ALI NAJAFI, VICE PRESIDENT, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN (through translator): What has to happen is both sides have to follow-up. If just one side takes steps and the other doesn't respond, naturally this process will reach a dead end.


SCIUTTO: As for that historic call between the presidents, a senior administration official said it was cordial in tone and both leaders expressed a determination to resolve the nuclear issue, quote, "peacefully and expeditiously." They spoke through an interpreter, at the end Rouhani did say have a nice day in English and Obama said goodbye in Farci -- Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jim Scuitto reporting for us this morning, thank you. A reminder the significance of this incident, of the throwing of the shoes, that is considered the ultimate insult in Arab cultures. So we want to tell you a little bit more about why that is significant this morning.

PAUL: Yes. By the way, the U.N. is taking on Syria. The first step toward eliminating the chemical weapons is basically what we are talking about here.

BLACKWELL: Yes. The Security Council passed a resolution last night to destroy Syria's arsenal. Inspectors have no time to waste. They are facing a deadline of the middle of next year. Let's bring in CNN's foreign affairs correspondent Elise Labott from the U.N. now with more. Elise, they have to get this done by mid-2014. How soon until they get to work?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, inspectors are already on the ground. They'll start their work as early as Tuesday and as you said, no time to waste. There are about 50 sites more or less in Syria that are believed to have chemical weapons. Some of them are held in rebel areas. The Syrian opposition is not party to the agreement. The OPCW that's going to be implementing this agreement is a very tiny organization and doesn't have a lot of resources. This takes a really long time. So it is unclear how much they will be able to do. Maybe they don't destroy all of the chemical weapons. They just kind of make them unusable because this kind of stuff could take years -- Victor.

PAUL: Well, Elise, let me ask you, is there an "or else" in this resolution?

LABOTT: Well, kind of, Christi. On one hand the resolution doesn't expressly authorize force if Syria violates the agreement. But it does say that if a violation occurs, that will be kicked back to the Security Council and the Security Council would vote to impose measures, consequences. Unclear what those are, but as you know, Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and has veto power and has been blocking any action in the council for two years.

So if everything goes to the council and they have to vote, Russia could certainly block that. However, after the resolution passed, the Russian foreign minister said if there is a violation, Russia will vote to impose consequences. It is unclear what those consequences are. President Obama said no option including military option is off the table.

PAUL: All righty, Elise Labott at the U.N. for us this morning. Thank you, Elise.

BLACKWELL: All right, so let's come state side now. House Republicans scheduled to meet at high noon today. They will decide how to move forward on the spending bill. Without it, the government shuts down in a little more than two days.

PAUL: We think they will decide, right. The big hang up is the Tea Party doesn't want the bill to pay for Obamacare. Chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash takes us back to the Senate for the latest maneuvering here.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On party line votes, the Senate passed a bill funding the government without defunding Obamacare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The yays are 53, the nays are 44, the amendment is agreed to.

BASH: On that, Republicans stuck together. Earlier, they were deeply divided on what Ted Cruz called the critical procedural vote.

SENATOR TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: It is not easy to disagree with your political party. At the end of the day, what we're doing here is bigger than partisan politics.

BASH: More than half of the GOP caucus defied him including fellow Texan and number two Republican, John Cornyn. SENATOR JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: I say to my friends who say we ought to shut the government down to get rid of Obamacare that it won't work.

BASH: A rare moment where the majority of Republicans and Democrats agreed.

SENATOR ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Shutting down the government or Obamacare is like cancelling the World Series because your team didn't make it.

BASH: But Cruz isn't giving up. He is now pressuring the House to defund Obamacare.

TED: It is unfortunate that there has been a Republican division on this issue.

BASH: So what is next for the House? It's unclear. House GOP leaders have no plan. In fact, when the Senate passed the bill keeping the government open, the House was already done with business for the day. Cars filled the Capitol Hill parking lot to whisk House members away since they are not required to return until Saturday, two days before the deadline.

REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: It's a waste of taxpayer's money if you sit here doing nothing.

BASH: Senior GOP sources privately admit to CNN, House GOP leaders are in a bind because many rank-and-file Republicans want them to make changes to the Senate bill, keep fighting.

(on camera): Is it worth it to shut the government down?

REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: You know, you keep saying shut the government down. The press keeps saying it. That's the president's line. The fact is the House has every right to determine what they will spend.

BASH (voice-over): The Senate Democratic leader had some colorful words for House conservatives.

SENATOR HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Some of these people are part of the weird caucus over there who want to shut the government down.

BASH: Harry Reid warned any House changes would be unacceptable, why?

REID: Because it's obvious that that would shutdown the government.

BASH (on camera): Why wouldn't it be your fault then?

REID: Well, you are using weird caucus math.


PAUL: All right, Dana Bash is live for us now in Washington for us. So we have four hours before House Republicans meet. Walk us through the process. What will happen here?

BASH: Well, what's so fascinating is that you started the program talking about how the president isn't negotiating with Congress, but is negotiating with the Iranian president. There is a good reason for that. It's because there is no one to negotiate with because John Boehner, the House speaker, is first at the meeting and negotiate with his own people. That really is the crux of the problem.

Republican leaders have never wanted to go down this path to begin with. They were forced to in large part because of the pressure from the grassroots that got to the core group of 20 to 40 house Republicans, rank-and-file, they are still pushing him to fight. So as much as Harry Reid says they want a bill that doesn't do anything to fund the government, it will not happen.

The options are delaying Obamacare for a year or maybe even getting rid of a medical device tax on Obamacare. Regardless, House Republicans are determined to make changes. So what that means is whether they pass it today or tomorrow, whatever they agree on, it will then go back to the Senate. We will really be up against the deadline of Monday night. It is very unclear how they keep the government open at that point.

PAUL: All right, chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash, so appreciate getting that all from you. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Still to come on NEW DAY, a new U.N. report calls climate change the greatest challenge of our time. We're going to ask which U.S. cities face the greatest threat of floods and destruction from sea levels that are rising?

PAUL: And I want to shoutout a good morning to all of you waking up in New York with Lady Liberty, absolutely gorgeous day in store for you, 73 degrees and sunny skies. It's so happy to have you here on NEW DAY. We'll be right back.


BLACKWELL: Quarter after on this NEW DAY on this Saturday. Star gazers got a treat this week as a meteor blazed across the sky, see that, in the town of Greenwood, Indiana, caught it on tape. According to the American Meteor Society, it has been a busy month for sightings. Meteor activity usually increases in October of most years, but this has been a pretty good month.

PAUL: So Chicken Little, the sky is not falling. No need to panic. This is normal for October.

BLACKWELL: The world's temperature is rising and so is the confidence of top scientists that humans are to blame.

PAUL: It's us. This is urgent news coming out of the new United Nations report on climate change calling it, quote, "the greatest challenge of our time." CNN's severe weather expert Chad Myers, he drew the short straw. He is live in the Florida Keys right now. I know, Chad, you hate it when we do that to you. It looks so pretty there.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I know. Send me to Islamorada any time you want to, to talk about the climate. I'll do it. The climate change numbers --

PAUL: How serious is it, really?

MYERS: Well, you know what? We were in Miami Beach all week and the water came up in the streets just during high tide. It wasn't that there was rain -- it did not rain during the day. The water came back up through the sewers because now the sea level is so high when you get a big tide, it's called the king tide, the water goes the wrong direction. It goes back up the sewers and saltwater is in the streets.

That is without even this additional sea level rise that the climate change is talking about, maybe three feet and some people are thinking way more than 3 feet. They taking 3 feet by the end of the century is way too conservative that we may have to completely redo this. One person I talked to is an expert at the National Hurricane Center. He does not only see that rise, but talks about storm surge. He is worried about a lot of cities across the country.


JAMIE RHOME, STORM SURGE LEAD, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: What are you seeing is a microcosym of what's happening all across the U.S. You see it really bad in Norfolk whereas sea level rise is now causing areas to flood under unusually large high tides. Our building was -- we put things where we thought the water would never go and now because of sea level rise, the water is going there. As we advance this out in time, that means that storm surge, which will come on top of the sea level in any sea level rise, is only going to get worse.


MYERS: You know, we're in the Florida Keys because the highest spot down here is 18 feet. Most spots are about 3 feet above sea level. Islamorada takes it in stride. In fact, they have a golf tournament. It benefits the athletic department of the Upper Keys, but they have a golf tournament on the water. That is why it is here.

It is the largest golf tournament on the water in the nation. They will raise $100,000 for charities today. They say the waters will rise. They know it. Let's have fun while we can because we may not be here all that long. Some of the experts we talked to say by 2060, all of the barrier islands may have to be evacuated if the water rises as fast as he thinks so. We will talk to him in a little bit.

PAUL: Wow, all right, Chad Myers, have some fun down there. Hope you get a hole in one. Thank you.

MYERS: I will. I'll try.

BLACKWELL: All right, still to come on, NEW DAY, mark your calendars, New Jersey sets the date for same-sex couples who want to get married. PAUL: Plus, just 73 bucks to witness history, new images of Abraham Lincoln making his most famous address. We are going to explain how after the break.


PAUL: It's 22 minutes past the hour right now. A University of North Carolina professor has made an amazing historical discovery. A photograph of President Lincoln on the day he delivered the Gettysburg address. Christopher Oakley said they found the president's image as he was scanning photos from that day in November of 1863, of course. Oakley contacted the Library of Congress, asked for high resolution scan to confirm this find and he says, this is the best 73 bucks I've spent. I bet.


PAUL: All right, a lot of same-sex couples getting ready to save the date or at least marking one down in their calendars this morning.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the date is October 21st. According to a ruling by a judge in New Jersey, that is the date the state will allow same-sex couples to marry. Margaret Conley is following the story from New York. OK, so New Jersey already allows civil unions. What are we seeing that is different here?

MARGARET CONLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, equality and benefits. Now a New Jersey judge says civil unions are not enough for same-sex couples and rule to allow same-sex marriage. Weddings will be allowed to begin October 21st. New Jersey is now the 14th state to allow same-sex marriage. There was a rally last night in New Jersey to celebrate the decision by a county superior court judge.

Civil unions did not legally allow same-sex couples federal benefits like certain tax breaks and health benefits, the same benefits that heterosexual couples get. Now this ruling changes that and it was unexpected. We spoke with CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan.


PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALSTY: I think her decision was quite surprising because it is a forceful and very broad decision striking down, essentially, the constitutionality of the New Jersey's civil union law. New Jersey has been perceived as having one of the most liberal approaches in the United States to gay marriage. So I think it is a surprising decision and it's surprisingly forceful decision and certainly advocates of gay marriage will view this as an important precedent.


CONLEY: Now comes a year after Governor Christie vetoed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. His reaction to yesterday's ruling? Well, it appears that he plans to appeal. In a statement from his press secretary, Governor Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called it to be on the ballot this election day. Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, Christie wants the Supreme Court to make this constitutional determination -- Christi and Victor.

PAUL: All right, I bet a lot of people are looking at this thinking is this court decision binding?

CONLEY: Yes. It was a lower court decision. It was made by a Mercer County superior court judge. As Paul Callan told us, this is only a trial court. It is binding unless there is an appeal. It has to go up to the Supreme Court. It does seem as Governor Christie referred to in the statement. That is going to be the process, but this really is a significant ruling. Now the rest of the country is watching this very closely.

BLACKWELL: Margaret Conley in New York. We'll, of course, watch it closely too. Thank you.

PAUL: Still to come on NEW DAY.

BLACKWELL: The bionic man. Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. But one man is helping scientists make history and he is using his brain power to do it. You want to watch this one.


PAUL: Bottom of the hour for you right now. Isn't it nice to wake up and realize it is Saturday and you don't have to go to work?

BLACKWELL: Well when I woke up on Saturday, it was 2:00 a.m. so a different feeling.

PAUL: I know me too yes.


PAUL: Yes, yes while you were all just getting ready to go to bed. But we're glad to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

Let's start this half with five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

PAUL: Number one, the U.N. Security Council has approved a resolution to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal by the middle of next year. Now the resolution doesn't authorize military action if Syria fails to cooperate but the U.S. could act on its own. The U.N. confirmed the use of chemical weapons last month near Damascus, remember.

BLACKWELL: Number two now, House Republicans meet in a few hours to decide how to handle a spending bill. Without it, the government shuts down Tuesday. The Senate approved the measure Friday and sent it to the House. But the Senate version pays for Obamacare. That's a sticking point for Tea Party Republicans in the House. PAUL: Number three, a former army sergeant is accused of running a hit squad for a Colombian drug cartel. Joseph Hunter allegedly led a so-called security team of former soldiers from around the world. The four men acted allegedly as assassins who plotted to kill anyone who threatens the drug trade. Hunter is expected to appear before a judge today in fact.

BLACKWELL: There's water on Mars and a lot of it. That's the amazing new discovery from NASA's rover, "Curiosity". It found several elements on the not so dry Red Planet including carbon dioxide and oxygen. H2O of course is crucial for sustaining life. And the rover's mission is to find out whether the planet was ever home to life.

PAUL: Number five, if you like a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and we've got a deal for you. Tomorrow is National Coffee Day.

BLACKWELL: Is it now?

PAUL: Yes so lots of shops are offering specials. You can get a free 12-ounce cup of coffee at Krispy Kreme, same deal at Dunkin' Donuts if you download their apps because you know you are not walking out of one of those without a donut too. Starbucks, Pete's and Tim Horton's are running specials as well.

Well, it's political ping pong basically. A bill to keep the government running beyond Monday is back in the hands of House Republicans now. So they're meeting at noon to decide how they're going to proceed from here.

BLACKWELL: Yes so the Senate approved a bill Friday and kicked it back to the House. But the Senate pays for Obamacare. We said that the Tea Party Republicans adamantly oppose that. And the clock is ticking.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I do not intend to vote for any continuing resolution that funds Obamacare. I think Obamacare is a train wreck. It is a disaster, it is a nightmare, to use the words of Mr. Hoffa and it's time we see more leaders in Washington listening to the American people.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: It sounds like the Democrats here in Washington are obsessed to shutting down the government and that's all they talk about. I don't know of anyone who wants to shut down the government. The only thing we want to shutdown is Obamacare.


PAUL: All right. So let's talk to Hilary Rosen a CNN political commentator and a Democratic consultant and Ben Ferguson, also a CNN political commentator and conservative radio host. Good morning to both of you thanks for being here.

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning. It's great to have us.


PAUL: All right so let's get down to it.

Republicans, we hear, are going to get the brunt of the blame for a shutdown. Is the Tea Party putting Republican control of the House at risk do you think in 2014?

FERGUSON: Well I don't think the Republicans are going to get the brunt of the blame here. I mean the President of the United States of America said this week "I will not negotiate with the Republicans."

So how can you say the Republicans are going to be the ones to get the majority of the blame if the President's saying he refuses to negotiate?

And the second issue is here this is not the Republicans who are coming out and saying that they want to shut down the government. The President is the one that's saying, "I won't negotiate and if you don't do exactly what I and Democrats in the Senate say that you're supposed to do, then we will shut down the government."

That's what we're dealing with now right now. It's not the Republicans trying to shut it down. They don't have the power to.

BLACKWELL: Hilary, let me bring you in on that.


BLACKWELL: And also recognize that the latest CNN average of four national polls on the President's favorability has his unfavorable up to 49 percent. In the spring, that was in the low 40s. So is this hurting the President?

ROSEN: I don't think this is going to hurt the President at all because, you know, approval ratings of House Republicans are way lower than the President. So the issue right now though is that the President is rightly saying, look, Obamacare, this health care law, is going to be implemented this week. It's the law of the land. Every single member of Congress who voted for it you know was reelected in the -- particularly in the Senate. And people actually buy -- you know, at CNN's own polling want to give it a chance to work.

So the issue, I think is you know, you can tell by Ben's passion here there are Republicans who just are opposed to it and thinks this works for them politically. I think all of the polling says it's wrong. But my guess is that they are going to go through another round of this and maybe even shutdown the government because the only way that the Tea Party caucus is going to be satisfied is if they get their way in some way.

And then you know, they have to feel the pain that they are going to cause. Because that's the only way that they're going to stop acting like -- like children here. FERGUSON: They are not acting like children. It's called negotiating. It's something the President does not seem to know how to do because he says I will not negotiate with any of the Republicans. That's what he said.


ROSEN: You're not going to negotiate over an existing law. It's just not going to happen.

FERGUSON: But no, but the laws change Hilary you know this, law has changed all the time in this country. And the fact that you think the Republicans are winning on this, why didn't they run on it in the mid- term elections? Why didn't Democrats walk out there including Barack Obama when he's running for president and run on the issue of Obamacare? It was nowhere to be seen and Republicans -- let me remind you, won back the House because of Obamacare and the majority of the American people, 57 percent of Americans in the latest poll say they do not like Obamacare the way it is.

So I think Republicans are listening to the American people. And Barack Obama says, "No, no, no. I'm president. I got my way once. And I'm going to get my way again. If you don't do it then I'm going to shut down the government." That is not negotiating by this President.

PAUL: All right let me -- let me throw this question out to both of you here. Can Congress fix the budget process so say it's not held hostage every few months to the demands of everyone?

ROSEN: Well you know this particular issue that we're dealing with, with shutting down the government is the ongoing appropriations which do have to be renewed annually and so -- but -- but there has not been a kind of long-term comprehensive budget deal for years because of the stand -- this political standoff. So could they do this and create a balanced mix of spending cuts and revenues and things like that? Yes, they could.

But these are not two sides that have a meeting of their minds. The thing that I think is going to be unfortunate this week is that this is going to be a showdown over stopping 40 million people who have nothing now. No insurance, they're at risk every day. They go home worried about their families stopping them from getting a shot at health insurance. That's what the Republicans have decided is going to be, you know, their line in the sand. I just don't think that's going to fly over the long term. BLACKWELL: We've got to wrap it up here because we're running well on time. But Hilary Rosen and Ben Ferguson of course this conversation will continue over the next few days, the next few weeks. Thank you both for your insights.

FERGUSON: Thanks for having us.

ROSEN: Thank you.

PAUL: All right, he is being called the bionic man. BLACKWELL: I like the way she said that. Coming up, scientists say they made a major breakthrough when it comes to building artificial limbs. We're going to show you how it's helping one man get his life back.

PAUL: All right. First though, Christine Romans has a preview of "YOUR MONEY" coming up in an hour from now. Good morning Christine.


It's the fourth quarter of the budget battle. I'm going to show you why football coaches and politicians are feeling so much pressure at the podium this time of the year. Some classic coaching rants plus a whole lot more. That's coming up on a brand new "YOUR MONEY" at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.


PAUL: So how do you stand out in the crowd? Well this will do it, wouldn't it? Joe Salter ran the entire Squad Cities Annual Marathon in Moline, Illinois backwards. And just to make it even more awkward. He juggled the entire time, 26.2 miles, nearly six hours making him an extreme juggler.

BLACKWELL: That's a thing?

PAUL: Apparently he said doing this was on his bucket list. So congratulations. You can check that off Joe.

BLACKWELL: Running a marathon backwards juggling is on his bucket list?

PAUL: Just running a marathon would be on my bucket list. I only did a half.

BLACKWELL: I haven't done a half. I ran this morning a mile, like mile number two and a half I was calling on to Jesus holding on to the side of the treadmill.

PAUL: Oh my heavens.

BLACKWELL: All right. So a man who lost part of his leg in a motorcycle accident.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: He's helping scientists make history. For the first time, the first time now, doctors have developed an artificial leg that can be controlled using his brain.

PAUL: This is fascinating. Zac Vawter, his new leg interprets his intended movements using nerves that end above his missing knee. Here's our affiliate WBBM.


ZAC VAWTER, LOST LEG IN MOTORCYCLE CRASH: I move my legs out and push the toes down. Bring my toes back up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Zac Vawter is the first man in the nation to have a bionic leg.

When you took that first step, what was that like?

VAWTER: It's exciting. Oh I mean it's neat in that you know it is intuitive and it puts energy into me walking and moving around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In 2009, Vawter lost his right leg from the knee down in a motorcycle accident. His bionic leg allows for knee bending and ankle movement.

VAWTER: Probably the most exciting thing is doing stairs for the first time. It's really awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With a regular prosthetic leg movement like this isn't possible. So how does this all work? Two nerves in Vawter's leg were rewired to his hamstring muscle. Those nerves communicate with the sensors you see here inside the prosthetic leg socket. The sensors send the message to this computer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So when he thinks about straightening or bending his knee this computer can detect that and tells the knee to bend or to straighten.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A team at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago headed by Dr. Levi Hargrove spent four years perfecting the technology Vawter is using.

DR. LEVI HARGROVE, REHABILITATION INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO: He's given back so much. He's taken a -- less than ideal situation and made the most of it. And he's helping potentially millions of people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vawter a software engineer knew about RIC's bionic research. He never thought one day that technology would be used to help him walk.

VAWTER: RIC is really pushing the boundaries of what's possible with prosthetics. And it's exciting to contribute to that and help them push forward into new areas of research.


PAUL: Wow. That is something else. Thank you to our affiliate WBBM for letting us know about that.

BLACKWELL: All right coming up on NEW DAY, staying kind of techy here.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Would you use an app that can read your mind?

PAUL: Not as long as anybody else can read it.

BLACKWELL: We're telling you about the sci-fi gadget brought to life.

PAUL: First though, an "American Idol" winner -- and I must say just all-around good guy -- partnering with Major League Baseball to help kids develop skills and their minds.


SCOTTY MCCREERY, "AMERICAN IDOL" WINNER: I could have never imagined or prepared for what was going to happen to me. At 17, I was planning on just being your average high school student. And then all of a sudden, "Idol" happened.

I love the fact that nowadays kids get to look up to me. I love that responsibility and I embrace it.

And it seems like the only stories we hear in the news are of child stars now going crazy. So I want to be the opposite of that.

You know, right out of the gate, we've had opportunities to do different things with charities. I grew up having two loves in life, baseball and music, so the RBI program and the MLB it just seemed like a natural fit for me and to provide a lot of baseball in the inner city.

When I was growing up, I learned a lot of my biggest life lessons from -- from playing ball, whether it was perseverance, or whether it's just competition or just hard work, you know, team work. It was my best memories made there.

So just making sure these kids get the same -- the same opportunities. And I can relate to these kids.

It's not just handing the money I can talk to them about what they're doing and the experiences they share and to kind of share my stories with them. So it's cool to have a kind of connection there with these kids.

I'm Scotty McCreery and together we can make an impact on America's children.



PAUL: Oh, you just love your iPhone, don't you? Have you on it already yet this morning. All those apps you get these days.

BLACKWELL: I have been on mine. But technology is not always perfect. Every weekend, we're telling you how tech can also ruin someone's life.

PAUL: Because that is our job.


PAUL: Inaccurate, inconvenient, ill-conceived -- those are all words that were used this last year to described Apple's highly-criticized map app -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: And how about this? Add potentially life-threatening to the list. All right. So according to the "Alaska Dispatch" at least two drivers relying on the app for directions ended up driving on to the runway at the Front Bank (ph) International Airport this month.

PAUL: Oh, my heavens. No one was hurt, thankfully but Apple maps have played a role in similar mishaps as you know, before. So, (inaudible) what you're doing.

BLACKWELL: Ok. So worried about getting your smartphone stolen? A lot of people are.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: One college student who lost his now downloaded the anti- theft app look outs.

PAUL: This is cool. It actually snapped a surprised selfie of the alleged thief. It was like this. It turned on his iPhone's front facing camera immediately after wrong passwords were entered too many times.

BLACKWELL: Now The Fix Have It helped find the phone. But it's still pretty cool, I guess to have a picture of the person who has it.

PAUL: Busted.

BLACKWELL: Finally, apps can now read your mind.

PAUL: That could be very dangerous for some people.

BLACKWELL: Yes. They say this one is for your own good, actually.

PAUL: It is called Muse. Think of it as a heart monitor for your brain together with a head band, it reads your brainwaves, your emotions, your mood, your concentration levels and so on, to help you develop and improve mental acuity -- so it claims.

BLACKWELL: That seems interesting. Ok. So now if none of that interests you, you can also control games with it.

PAUL: And really freak people out.

BLACKWELL: People perk it up, oh, I can play --

PAUL: My game.

BLACKWELL: -- you know, whatever game with it. So yes, you can do that with your mind.

PAUL: Oh, my goodness.

Hey, are you planning to fly for the holidays? You better get your tickets. BLACKWELL: Three months from last Wednesday, Christmas. Prices are about to sky rocket. We will tell you how long you have and give you some tips on how to score some deals.


BLACKWELL: "Must See Moment" now. Take a look at this weekend -- this video here of Antarctica.

Chances are you don't want to try this often.

PAUL: That's too close for comfort.

BLACKWELL: Yes, Argentine pilots here --

PAUL: Flying over these photographers and it's what -- looks like a matter of feet, you think Victor?

BLACKWELL: Yes, just a few maybe 10 or 15.

PAUL: The C-130 Hercules plane there was actually known for flying low when they attacked the British ships during the Falklands war in the 80s.

All right. I know you are looking out the window, you're seeing the fall leaves and it looks so beautiful. You know the holidays are not far off.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And if you plan to fly, you have about three weeks before air fares start going up and we're talking big. Travel site Kayak says Thanksgiving travel fares jump 17 percent above the average fares for mid-October last year. Christmas and New Year's -- 51 percent --

PAUL: Come on.

BLACKWELL: -- 25 percent respectively. 25 percent for New Years.

PAUL: so I know you are going how am I going to score the best deal when I buy my plane tickets here. Let's get some advice from travel expert and author of Travel Unscripted Mark Murphy.

Mark, thank you so much for being here. Why those kind of jumps? Why 51 percent.

MARK MURPHY, TRAVEL EXPERT: You know what; it's supply and demand right now going into the peak holiday travel period. Everybody wants to get away. I mean the families are off on vacation. So you have peak travel demand. You had airlines consolidation over the last few years so you're seeing fewer competitive routes. And all of that combined with supply and demand drives up prices.

The airlines are great at something called yield management which is squeezing out the last dollar on the last seat. And there are fewer seats out there therefore they're going to charge you a premium. And you better get booking now. BLACKWELL: You know I was expecting an answer that has something to do with gas prices but it sounds like there's that huge discrepancy --

PAUL: Right.


BLACKWELL: -- from one year to the next. So, when is the best time to buy a ticket before the spike goes into effect?

MURPHY: How about now? Right? How about now?

PAUL: A lot of people don't even have their schedules yet. That's what makes this so hard.


MURPHY: Yes, you know what? You have to look out. I decided to take my family back to Cancun for the sixth year in a row. I booked my flights three months ago. Those prices are already up $250 a ticket. So that's an extra $1,000 for a family of four.

So you want to take advantage and get out there right now before the end of the month because they're going to continue to creep up over those three weeks as Kayak predicts. And then you're not going to see the airlines bringing more flights on to those routes. They are trying to boost profitability. And that means higher yields and higher ticket prices for you as a traveler.

PAUL: All right. I know there are some apps out there that might be able to help us out. What is Sky Scanner, first o all?

MURPHY: So basically it goes out and scans the airlines. It is an app you put it on your phone. You say I want to go from point A to point B. What I like about this app, it actually graphs different travel departure dates. So you can look out over the next several weeks and say, you know what; Monday is pretty expensive. So I'm going to go out Wednesday and come back Tuesday.

And it's really for the leisure traveler who has flexibility who can then click, I want to book it and it will take them to that airline Web site or in some cases a travel agency to book that particular flight. And I always recommend using a travel agent because they can sort through thousands of different combinations to find the best airfare save you really money and time.

BLACKWELL: So you've made it to the destination. You're there at the airport with your bags. You got to whichever city, you are there.

PAUL: Yes.

MURPHY: Right.

BLACKWELL: Now you need somewhere to sleep. Now, you need a rental car.


BLACKWELL: Is there any help to get good deals on those?

MURPHY: Well, there's this interesting car sharing app Get Around. Now Victor, you probably had some people say hey can I borrow your car.


MURPHY: Yes. Now, you can let them borrow your car but go through the app Get Around because you made your car available through it. They can book that car. They can travel for a few hours, a week, whatever it is and for short-term rentals, it is a car sharing. Similar to the AirBNB in the apartment space and rental space, instead of getting a hotel room, you basically rent some guy's apartment for three or four days and that's one of the options that you have. I think it's a neat app.

PAUL: Very trusting people.


PAUL: For very trusting people, right?

BLACKWELL: Yes. I don't know if I would lend my car to some random dude on an app but, you know, that is up to you.

PAUL: All right. Mark Murphy, travel expert. We're so glad you're with us. Thank you.

MURPHY: Thanks for having me.

PAUL: Sure.

Speaking of maybe some broken trust in this case, Miss Teen USA is talking about an arrest in the sextortion case involving her and other women. She's not the only one here.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Her name is Cassidy Wolf. And she will join us in just a few minutes to tell her story and what it means to have actually known the suspect behind it all.

All right. Thanks for starting your morning with us.

PAUL: We have much more ahead on NEW DAY SATURDAY which continues right now.