Return to Transcripts main page


U.N. on Syria Directives; Republicans Against Obamacare; World's Rising Temperatures

Aired September 28, 2013 - 09:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All right. 9:00 on a Saturday morning. I hope Saturday has been good to you so far. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Just being Saturday is a good start.

PAUL: It is.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it is a good start.

I'm Victor Blackwell. 9:00 here on the East Coast, 6:00 out west. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.

PAUL: Let's talk about the U.N. right now taking action on Syria passing that resolution last night in case you missed it to eliminate its chemical weapons arsenal.

BLACKWELL: U.N. inspectors are already on the ground in Damascus. And now comes the hard part, finding and removing those weapons.

CNN foreign affairs reporter, Elise Labott joins us now from the U.N. Elise, some say that this is just giving the Assad regime time to hide everything. We know that there were some weapons in the last several weeks that were moved around. How realistic is this plan?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, the U.S. and other countries do have intelligence about some movements. But now that Syria has signed this agreement, there is an expectation that they pretty much will at least in the beginning try to implement it.

How realistic is the plan? A little bit unclear. So very tight timeline. A year to destroy all of Syria's chemical weapons. This could take years in some instances. So I think what this organization for the prevention of prohibition of chemical weapons that is going to be monitoring us on the ground might do is, I think are going to just make these weapons beyond use. They might not be able to destroy them immediately, but kind of do more of a quick and dirty way of stopping Syria from using them.

Inspectors are on the ground right now. They could start their work as early as Tuesday. But this organization is very small. They don't have a lot of resources. So it is unclear how much they are really going to be able to get done in the short period of time.

BLACKWELL: All right. We will see if anything stays on schedule. Elise Labott at the U.N. for us. Thank you. CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Now, a 15-minute phone call ending 34 years of silence between Iran and the U.S.. President Obama called Iranian President Hassan Rowhani yesterday and they talked about Iran's controversial nuclear program. Washington obviously wants to make sure Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon and President Rowhani arrived back in Tehran earlier today. We understand a protester reportedly tossed a shoe in his direction, which is the ultimate insult in that culture. Supporters were there, however, as well.

BLACKWELL: House Republicans. Well, they hold a big meeting in three hours from now. At noon they're going to decide how to handle the spending bill that the Senate has sent over. Now that bill is critical if the government is to stay open beyond Monday.

PAUL: Yes, all of it - watching it with great interest. Of course, President Obama - I want to bring in senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta. So Jim, good morning to you first of all.


PAUL: -- the president and Democrats, you know, insists, any spending bill pay for Obamacare, the Tea Party Republicans say "No way, not going to happen." How does this get resolved?

ACOSTA: Well, I tell you, we don't know at this point how this is going to get resolved. And our Dana Bash has been reporting this over the last 24 hours or so. If House Republicans demand that as part of this continuing resolution that Obamacare is delayed or defunded or tinkered with, or anything like that, this White House, this president has said that is not going to happen and we are basically going to have a situation where the government is going to shutdown on Monday.

Now having said all of that, we still have to wait to see what House Republicans do. Because as we have seen in previous episodes of government shutdown crisis mode in Washington, you know, somebody blinks at the last second. But the president said yesterday and he has said this repeatedly over the last several weeks that he is not going to accept any deal that delays or defunds Obamacare.

The president talked about this in his weekly address. He was celebrating the fact that on October 1st, the key part of Obamacare gets going. But he also talked about the prospect of a government shutdown. Here is what he has to say.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The House Republicans are so concerned with appeasing the Tea Party that they have threatened a government shutdown or worst, unless I gut or repeal the Affordable Care Act. I said this yesterday. Let me repeat it. That's not going to happen.


ACOSTA: So there you heard the president say that is not going to happen. You know, we have gone back to White House officials. I have gone back to White House officials last night and said what if the House does this with Obamacare what if the House does that with Obamacare and the response I got back was the president could not have been more clear.

So at this point, this White House has drawn a line in the sand in all of this. And to make sure that everybody understands that they are preparing for a government shutdown over here. Keep in mind yesterday the White House sent out a directive, a memo to all of the employees who work in the EOP, the Executive Office of the President, to get ready for a shutdown, to get ready for furlough on October 1st.

That memo was very specific. It says that employees who were furloughed cannot get on their blackmail - their Blackberrys or iPhones, email, soft of to check in with work. That is not going to happen. They are shutdown. They are off the clock and they can't check in with work. So they are really getting serious over here at the White House. That was backed up by the president's comments yesterday and today in the weekly address.

BLACKWELL: All right. So we will see what comes out of this meeting at noon. Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta, thank you.

ACOSTA: You bet.

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

PAUL: Yes, this is urgent news coming out of a new United Nations report on climate change calling it "the greatest challenge of our time." Well, CNN severe weather expert Chad Myers is live at the Florida Keys. So if the temperature keep rising, Chad, what would that do to America as we know it? Are there specific cities that you are most concerned about?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Sure, every single barrier island in the entire world but certainly cities like Boston, New York, all of the big harbor cities. Savannah, south Florida, Fort Lauderdale. You just go all the way around the horn anywhere that you have a large population living close to the sea, most of those people want to be as close to the water as possible. So they built on the land that was close to the water.

And so they are on the lowest possible land and if the water rises as predicted, the water will be in those neighborhoods literally in the next 10 to 15 years and probably through some of those neighborhoods in the next 50 years. We also talked to Jamie Rhome from the National Hurricane Center. Because with this comes the potential for bigger hurricanes like Sandy. Not so much that it was a category one but it was a large storm with a big wind field that made a big storm surge. There is a new storm surge forecast coming out next year. He's going to tell you all about it. Let me show you what he has talked about, what he is worried about for storm surge in the coming years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAMIE RHOME, STORM SURGE LEAD, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: What you are seeing is a microcosm across the U.S.. You see it really bad in Norfolk whereas sea level rises is now causing areas to flood under unusually large high tides. And so our building, you know, we put things where we thought the water would never go and now because the sea levels rise, the water is going there. As we advance this out in time, that means that storm surges which will come on top of the sea level in any sea level rise is only going to get worse.


MYERS: You know, the Florida Keys are here and the reason why we are here is because both of the keys are about three feet above sea level. The highest spot in the entire Florida key chain is 18 feet. So when water it comes in, it comes in and goes over to the other side. And any time you get a hurricane pushing water through the Keys, there is a problem. That is going to be the story for many cities up and down the U.S. when the water continuous to rise. The water is warming.

OK. So when the water warms like a thermometer that is warming, the thermometer goes up. And so if the water is warming, the water is going to go up. Thermal expansion of water. It's not melting ice caps or any thing like that. We're talking about the thermal expansion of water as the water gets warmer, people kind of lose sight of what we are talking about here. But that is why the water is going to go up.

PAUL: Great explanation, Chad. And it's really too bad he had to go all the way there, to the keys to explain that.

BLACKWELL: I know. Some people get the rough assignments.

PAUL: Thank you, Chad. Always good to see you.

BLACKWELL: Still to come on "New Day," Miss Teen USA, she's going to join us live.

PAUL: She is talking about an arrest in that sextortion case that involved not just her, but some other young women. There is a twist here. Stay close.


PAUL: Eleven minutes past the hour. Thanks for keeping us company HERE this morning.

Listen, a college freshman majoring in computer science is facing charges in a sextortion case. Jared Abrams is accused of hacking the computers of several women and hijacking their web cameras. Now investigators say he took nude photos of them, in order to blackmail them. Among the nine known victims, reigning Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf. And as it turns out she actually went to high school with this guy. So Cassidy is joining me now from New York. Cassidy, thank you for making the time to be with us. We appreciate it.

CASSIDY WOLF, REIGNING MISS TEEN USA: Thank you. PAUL: I know this is just got to be everybody's nightmare. Because you are just in your room doing your thing. The next thing you know, you find out somebody is watching you. How did you learn, first of all, that it was hijacked?

WOLF: I received a notification on my Facebook that night that somebody was, you know, trying to log into my Facebook. So then I was monitoring all of my social sites very closely that night. And I received an e-mail about 30 minutes later saying he sent me an e-mail and he basically stated what he was doing to me. He gave me three options and attached two nude photos of myself that he had taken in my bedroom through my web cam.

PAUL: Oh my gosh. You know, I got to give you credit. Because there might be a lot of young women or just young people in general, women who might get something like this, panic and give in to these kinds of twisted demands. How did you know immediately to go to police?

WOLF: Because I felt that that was the only way that this was going to be resolved. This guy, obviously, had a lot of photos of me and I wasn't going to comply with what he was telling me to do. I knew right away that the only way for me to be able to resolve this issue was to contact somebody with higher authority. The FBI and the local police department.

PAUL: Sure. Let me play for you real quickly here some remarks from his attorney, real quick. Take a listen.


ALAN EISNER, SUSPECT'S ATTORNEY: They do want to express their profound regret and remorse for his behavior. He is autistic and the family wants to apologize for the consequences of his behavior to the families that were affected.


PAUL: So obviously tough on his family as well as we listen to that. When you heard that he is also - that he has autism - did that change your view of how he should be punished at all?

WOLF: No, it didn't change my view of how he should be punished. But I do feel sympathy for his family. You know, for what they are going through. I'm not speaking out about this to, you know, put them in the light. I'm speaking out about this for his actions and for the fact that this can happen to anybody and nowadays, it is becoming more common. So I'm just speaking out about my story and to share, you know, the negative side of it.

I'm not doing this to affect his family even though it is and it's a battle between my heart and my head like I said on another interview. In my head, I'm thinking of all, you know, how he traumatized me and what it did to me personally because it did traumatize me. In my heart, you know, I feel compassion and I do feel sorry for Jared because he needs some help. PAUL: And yes, tough for his family, too, as we said. You know, we don't know any of the other nine girls, obviously, but do you know how you were all hacked? Is this going to change the way you use social media or your computer or anything?

WOLF: I don't know how I was hacked exactly, but I do know that a malware was attached on to my computer and that he was tracing what I was doing on my computer and was watching my other move through my webcam. And of course, this is obviously going to change the way I use my computer for the rest of my life. I got a brand-new computer. I got a brand new computer. I'm a college student so I have to have a computer.

I'm just very safe with what I'm doing online. I'm not opening any e- mails. You know, when I receive an e-mail, I sit there and make sure it is from a reliable person. I change my passwords. I have a sticker on my web cam of my computer.

PAUL: Very smart. Cassidy Wolf, Miss Teen USA 2013, I knew it was probably really, really tough to bring this public but thank you so much for doing so and best of luck to you with everything.

WOLF: Thank you so much.

PAUL: Take good care. Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you, Christi. Getting in a car accident is every driver's nightmare. But there is some high-priced technology on the market that promises to keep you safe. Does it work really? Coming up, we will tell you how your car rates.


PAUL: So, are you coveting those high-priced gadgets car companies say are going to keep you safe, you know, the warning alarms, automatic breaks, all goodies.

BLACKWELL: Yes but do they work? How does your car rate when it comes to safety? Well, Renee Marsh has the story. Hi, Renee.

RENEE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, Victor, just for that, a distracted driver, it could help them avoid rear ending someone. Cut off on the highway? Well manufacturers say it could help the driver avoid collision in that situation, too. One group put the in- car technology to the test and here are the results.


MARSH (voice-over): They cause thousands in damage. Serious injuries and even death. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says high tech systems in new cars aimed at preventing or mitigating front en crashes are in fact, is keeping drivers safer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your foot off the break. Did it stop you?

MARSH (ON CAMERA): Yes, it did.

(VOICE-OVER): It's called Collision Avoidance Technology. The institute tested several to determine if they're effective and worth your moment.

DAVID ZUBY, INSURANCE INSTITUTE FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY: We find that they help reduce crashes with other vehicles by about seven percent. That is just the work of a warning system, which alerts drivers that a collision is coming.

MARSH: Within an automatic breaking system, the Institute says the effectiveness doubles.

The top performers, the Subaru Legacy and Outback, Cadillac ATS and SRX, Mercedes Benz C Class and Volvo S60 and XC60. Without auto break, damage exceeds $28,000 but with auto breaks, less than 6,000 in damage.

Now compare the two.

ZUBY: We think it's worth the money.

We got two cameras now it appear.

MARSH: Inside the top rated Subaru Legacy, Dominik Infante calls the two cameras a second pair of eyes.

(ON CAMERA): I was able to take my foot off of both pedals, the break and the glass and the car stopped on its own. That's how it was meant to work.

DOMINIK INFANTE : Exactly, so what you got is two cameras. Those cameras are seeing here there's a vehicle in front of you and slowing down, it starts to - as you get closer to it. It starts on to bring on the breaks and it can ask the car to come to a complete stop and (INAUDIBLE) yourself.


MARSH: Well, the cost varies. It could costs hundreds, it could cost thousands, depending on how advance the system is.

It's mostly optional at this point. About five to 10 percent of new cars are being sold with these systems. Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All right. Renee Marsh, thank you so much.

Hey, still to come on "New Day," grab your tissues.

BLACKWELL: One teenager is giving his high school classmates a homecoming surprise. They and you will never forget. That is coming up next.


PAUL: We know this fall more than a million homeless children are heading back to school.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and for a lot of kids, going to a new school can be really, really stressful. And what they have on their feet can make all the difference sometimes.

PAUL: So this week's 15-year-old CNN hero really understands that.


NICHOLAS LOWINGER, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: September is back to school and for most kids, that means back-to-school shopping.

I used to take that those things for granted until I realized that there were a lot of kids who didn't have those sort of luxury.

I remember my first shelter visit. Seeing kids who were just like me. The only difference being is they had footwear that was falling apart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was nervous going back to school. My shoes were old and too small for me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I lost my job, I had to decide either to spend money on shoes, or medicine or diapers.

LOWINGER: Kids get blisters on their feet because they have to wear whatever shoes they can get and it just wasn't right.

My name is Nicholas Lowinger. I'm 15 and I give new shoes to kids living in homeless shelters across the country.

My family's garage is filled to the brim with boxes full of new shoes. Shelters send us orders with the kids' names and shoe size and gender. I donated sneakers to over 10,000 kids in 21 states.


LOWINGER: Homeless children, they shouldn't have to worry about how they'll be accepted or how to fit in.


LOWINGER:: It's more than just giving them a new pair of shoes.


LOWINGER: I'm helping kids be kids. Their self esteem goes up. Their whole attitude on life changes. That's really what makes it so special for me.


BLACKWELL: That could qualify for good stuff.

PAUL: Yes, absolutely. Yes.

BLACKWELL: So it is time for "Good Stuff." I want you to meet Dakota (INAUDIBLE). He is a senior at Coon Rapids High School in Minnesota. Dakota has cerebral palsy which has kept him in a wheelchair.

PAUL: Well, it's homecoming weekend which means pep rallies before the big football game and this year, Dakota was picked to give a speech.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have to play a sport or to be in a school activity to achieve victory. The road to victory starts in your own life. Setting your own goals. I guess what I'm trying to say is when you are a Cardinal, you never stand alone.


BLACKWELL: And Dakota's classmates were about to learn just how serious he was about never standing alone. Watch this.

That is Dakota taking his first steps in front of his classmates.

PAUL: Look at everybody going wild! I love it. He says his plan has been a year in the making here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) always says on your feet for the school song. And for four years, I haven't been able to be on my feet until today.


BLACKWELL: Well, today, that day he was able to do it. His speech didn't end there, he also led his football team out on the field in last night's game.

PAUL: Congratulations to him and all those kids that support him. That is awesome. Thank you so much for watching today. We're going to see you back here at the top of the hour, by the way.

BLACKWELL: But first think all Republicans want to obstruct Obamacare and shut down the government? Think again.


SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON (R), GEORGIA: You don't shut down Obamacare by shutting down the government. But you do disrupt this fragile economy which is what you're seeing happening in the markets right now.


BLACKWELL: We'll see you here back at the top of the hour but "YOUR MONEY" starts right now.