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Lawmakers Get Paid Despite Shutdown; Who's In, Who's Out?; Amanda Knox Murder Retrial; Wine Drinkers Overpour

Aired October 1, 2013 - 06:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Check out how a high-speed chase in Oklahoma ended. Officers used spike strips to slow the car down, drew their guns, yanked the driver through the window.

The chase began earlier when police tried to pull him over for a traffic violation. He punched the gas instead. Police have not said why exactly he fled.

Sky gazers in Africa thought they were getting quite a show. It was a rocket launch from California. Calls about UFO sightings started coming in after the launch of the Space-X Falcon 9. Reports out of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, South Africa.

Turns out rocket fuel released during sunset started to glow over several African nations. Many thought it was UFOs. Are you a believer?


PEREIRA: I knew I was going to go there, Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Obviously. It's always a conspiracy.

CUOMO: I said it quietly so no one hears.

BOLDUAN: So, it sounds more conspiratorial.


BOLDUAN: Got it, got it.

Back to our lead story this morning: more than 800,000 federal employees on furlough this morning. States about to lose millions of tourism dollars because many U.S. landmarks are going to be closing. What about the people who are to blame for this whole mess? What are they giving up during the shutdown that we all hope is brief but we don't know.

CNN's Athena Jones is on Capitol Hill with that angle of the story.

Good morning, Athena.


I think a lot of voters would be surprised to learn that members of Congress can continue to collect a paycheck during the shutdown. It's something that surprised some of the newer members I spoke with and angered many of the veterans as I went around asking these members of Congress what they think about this and what they plan to do with their pay.


JONES (voice-over): Congress's approval ratings may be at historic lows, but that won't stop members from getting paid, even during a government shutdown.

(on camera): They'll still get paid. Is that appropriate?


JONES: I'm trying to find out where he stands on the issue of members of Congress collecting their pay during a shutdown.

(voice-over): I worked the phones and hit the halls.

If there's a shutdown, members of Congress still get to collect their paycheck. What do you think about that?

REP. PAUL GOSAR (R), ARIZONA: I actually think nobody is above the law. That means the president, the attorney general as well as us. All of them ought to be putting that on hold until this is resolved.

JONES: And what will members of Congress do with their money?

REP. PETE GALLEGO (D), TEXAS: I am urging my fellow members of congress to donate their pay to charitable causes.

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII: I'm going to be writing a check back to the U.S. Treasury and giving my pay back and standing in solidarity with everyone else.

JONES: So, why do senators and representatives get to collect their paycheck while hundreds of thousands of federal employees will have to go without? Blame the Constitution. Ordinary members of congress in both chambers make $174,000 a year. Congressional leaders make more. No Congress can change its own salaries. It can only vote to change the pay of future sessions of Congress.

Senator Boxer says she'll probably give her paycheck to charity but that's no consolation to government workers like Dee Alexander.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we're not getting paid, I don't think Congress should get paid either because I think they need to feel what we're feeling.


JONES: That's not surprising. Members of Congress are well-aware that their constituents back home are not going to be too happy about the fact that they are continue to get paid. So, New Jersey congressman and Republican congresswoman from New Jersey, Frank LoBiondo, just hours before the shutdown tweeted out this letter to the folks here on Capitol Hill who handled congressional pay, saying he wants his paycheck withheld and Texas Senator Ted Cruz says he will be donating his pay to charity -- Chris.

CUOMO: Yes, yes, yes. When we were asking them about their paychecks yesterday and what it meant with the shutdown, they were ducking and dancing around, Athena. It was a joke. But now, it's really the least of the concerns, right? We're worried about American families. While Congress continues to get their paychecks, that's great.

They're elected. They're supposed to get their money. That's fine. But a lot of people will be deeply impacted by the shutdown.

We're checking in with our panel of Americans joining us live this morning.

Now, Brad, I want to go back to you. You've got the business. You're affected with your small business because you're working near the Statue of Liberty, right?

Explain that, why your business is affected.

BRAD HILL, PRESIDENT, EVELYN HILL, INC.: We operate the gift shop and food service at the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. Statue is close today. Ellis Island has been closed since Hurricane Sandy. So our business has been greatly impacted. We have no revenues.

CUOMO: And you've had to let people go, right?

HILL: Yes, we let 110 people, including myself, as of today.

CUOMO: Those people have families?

HILL: Yes.

CUOMO: How are they finding it in terms of finding another job?

HILL: Well, we are all hoping this is a very short layoff.

CUOMO: You have a family.

HILL: Yes.

CUOMO: What is it like for you to try to take care of your family?

HILL: Going through hurricane Sandy was a devastating experience. I have six children and it took a lot to go for eight months with little pay.

CUOMO: Now, when you hear what this is about, they believe they're doing this for you, this is a fight about whether or not the Affordable Care Act will be good for you, do you believe you are the focus of the energy down in D.C. right now?

HILL: Definitely not. This is the wrong forum to be doing these kind of activities. They had 364 days to get together on this. This is a time to pass a budget.

CUOMO: Janet, you're a military wife. Thank you for your service.


CUOMO: Because we know all too well it's all about the entire family when somebody serves. They passed a quick resolution to make sure the military keeps getting paid there. Do you feel with everything that's done and not done for the military families, do you feel like you're being use as a pawn in what's going on here right now?

MCINTOSH: Yes, I think the government to a certain extent uses the military and our veterans as well as a pawn while playing this game, trying to get one side to do something and the other side is trying to get the other side to do something.

And it is tiring for military families. It is tiring -- the stress and anxiety being brought so close and worrying about what are we going to do and then, the last minute, they pass resolutions to granted give us our pay, but we're still being affected by it in other ways, on top of dealing with sequestration for the past couple of months as well.

CUOMO: And they took their time, right? They didn't take it right away, right? Even thought your priority, everybody supports the troops, right? They say they wear the ribbon, but they waited, right? What does that mean to you?

MCINTOSH: It makes you question how much they do care about their military and how it is affecting us. It's kind of like they look at us of more of like how can we use them for our gain rather than really worrying about the impact it's having on families and on our service members.

CUOMO: Now, we know as we go through the morning, we'll keep talking to you. There are people who don't know whether or not the Affordable Care Act will work for them. They don't know whether or not they're going to be able to last throughout the shutdown. So, we're going to get to your concerns and we appreciate you being here.

Nothing else you get to see Mickey and Kate all morning. That's a benefit in and of itself.

Kate, over to you.

BOLDUAN: All right. Chris, thanks so much.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, Amanda Knox on trial again for murder. Day one in an Italian courtroom did not go well for her defense. A live report on that, ahead.

Also ahead, millions of Americans can go online this morning and start shopping for health insurance. But most of us don't even know how the new health care law works. So, who do we bring in? Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's trying to help us understand all of your options, next.


GUPTA: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

With all the politicians fighting over Obamacare, nobody is even bothering, it seems, to ask how the health law itself actually works. Despite the government shutdown, some Americans are able to sign up for health insurance starting this morning. But Americans aren't convinced Obamacare is going to help their families.

In a new CNN/ORC poll out just this morning, only 17 percent of Americans think it will help their family, 36 percent believe, though, it will help others.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta is in Greenville, South Carolina, a state where a fifth of people there don't have health insurance, which is an amazing number to start with, Sanjay.

So, Sanjay, we have our new poll results out this morning, but another report also says that about three-quarters of consumers just don't know the basics of the insurance marketplace that opens today, which clearly is troubling.

So, walk us through who can sign up and how, if you could.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, those numbers sort of make sense. In a lot of ways a lot of people who have insurance through their employers right now, they have not really focused on this. They're not going to probably sign up for the exchanges. I think that drives the numbers you're talking about.

But you're absolutely right. There's a lot of people who still simply don't understand the basics of signing up, which does start today. And you're talking about 48 million Americans roughly who don't have it, because they can't afford it, because they don't think they need it or prices have been too high due to pre-existing conditions. And those are the things that are really focused on today.

So, the Web site will be one portal that I think is going to help drive people, which is At 8:00 a.m. Eastern, people are going to see that for the first time and be able to sign up for this.

We got a sneak look at this ahead of time, again, just about an hour and a half from now it will be up. It's potentially a three-page application. It's pretty straightforward.

And the one thing you won't see on that application is any questions about your medical history. This is very important. This is sort of the crux of the whole issue. They don't ask if you have pre-existing conditions because it doesn't matter in terms of the premiums you're going to be charged.

There's a bunch of different options on there and you sort of pick your plan.

BOLDUAN: So, there are four different levels of coverage that you can choose from. So, how are they different? I mean, I'm sure -- it's much more complex than we're trying to simplify it. It does need to be simplified for folks who will be logging on for the first time today.

GUPTA: Yes. Look, if you've ever been through your books on insurance plans right now through your employer, they can be confusing. There's no question. This can be confusing as well, although I would venture to say maybe not as much as you might think.

So, think of it like this. You have four tiers of plans, platinum to bronze. Platinum is going to be the most expensive, but it's also going to offer the lowest co-pays, lowest deductibles. Bronze the cheapest, highest co-pays, highest deductibles.

You're a healthy person, you don't have any medical problems. You're not going to the doctor very much. The bronze plan may be for you.

Also, people under the age of 30, but over the age of 26, they can stand their parents plan until 26. But between 26 and 30, they can also qualify for catastrophic plans, three doctor visits a year, plus coverage of catastrophic problems, emergency problems.

So, it's really those five things, again, those tiers, platinum to bronze and then that catastrophic coverage.

BOLDUAN: What about those folks who say they don't want to sign up? I mean, you still have a choice but there's a penalty, right?

GUPTA: Yes. There's a penalty. The way that I look at this, if you're an individual and you can afford to buy it, you choose not to, the penalty in the first year is $95 or 1 percent of your income, whichever is higher. And then it goes up. So, $235 or 2 percent of your income, whichever is higher. It keeps going up until the year 2016.

So, the penalty first year may or may not be that much. But it is going to continue to go up. I think that's sort of the longer rollout of this, trying to get more and more people signed up.

BOLDUAN: All right. Sanjay, thanks so much -- trying to answer some of those questions.

And a remainder to all our viewers, Sanjay Gupta will be hitting the road all week to answer some of your question and try to simplify some of the complexities as the health care law rolls out.

Great to see you, Sanjay. Thank you.

So, let us know what you think about this and all the other stories we're talking about today. Tweet us. Make sure to use #newday.

CUOMO: Coming up next on NEW DAY, the judges in the Amanda Knox case showed they mean business. We'll tell you why. The key to the case was DNA. That issue seemed decided, now it may not be. We'll have a live report. PEREIRA: Plus, look fast, or you might miss it. Oh, it's a fox making mischief on a golf course in Europe. Good luck finishing the back nine with this thing around. It's our must-see moment. We'll have it when we come back.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

An Italian court okayed a major evidence request Monday in the Amanda Knox case, but shut down over a dozen others from the defense. Knox, you'll remember, is accused in the 2007 murder of her roommate. It is her third trial for the crime, which isn't unusual under the Italian system, but prosecutors say there's also the impetus of more evidence here. CNN's Erin McLaughlin is in London with that. Good morning, Erin.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Their lawyers certainly had a tough day in court. American, Amanda Knox, and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito are now trying once again to prove their innocence of the murder charges against them.


MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): It was a bad day in court for Amanda Knox's defense team as her retrial began in Florence, Italy. The judge rejected more than a dozen requests made by Knox's lawyer, including for a plea of new tests on key evidence that they believe would clear Knox and then boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, once and for all of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANLYST: It's always a bad day when the judge grants more of the prosecution's motions that the defense motions. However, in a high profile case, there's a tremendous pressure on a judge to err on the side of letting evidence in rather than keeping it out.

MCLAUGHLIN: The court did grant the defense's request for additional testing on a kitchen knife found in Sollecito's Perugia apartment, which prosecutors had Knox's DNA on the handle and Kircher's DNA on the blade. Knox has always maintained her innocence in the murder of her 21-year-old British roommate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not responsible for what happened. I didn't do it. I wasn't there. I don't know anything more about it.

MCLAUGHLIN: The court also said it would consider testimony of a convict named Luciano Aviello (ph), former cell mate of Sollecito's who has claimed his own brother killed Kercher. While Knox remains in the United States, her lawyers furiously argued on her behalf, warning of the risk of an infinite trial since the murder charge in Italy has no statute of limitations.

CEVALLOS: Some observers have said that that internal conviction that a judge must have before finding someone guilty is actually a higher standard and that is more protective of defendants. (END VIDEOTAPE)

MCLAUGHLIN (on-camera): The trial has been adjourned until Friday when Aviello is expected to testify and the investigators given the go-ahead to test the knife. Meanwhile, Amanda Knox watches all of this from her home in Seattle. If she is ultimately convicted, she will be ordered to return to Italy. If she refuses, Italy could ask for extradition from the United States -- Chris and Kate.

CUOMO: It could get complicated, no question. Erin, thank you for the reporting. Obviously, we're a long way from that. Where we are right now in the process is figuring out the rules of play. What will be the evidence that's used to have a re-assessment of the facts in this case. So, we'll see how it turns out, but there's a long road ahead for Amanda Knox.

BOLDUAN: Amazing to actually dealing with this again and again and again. When will it end? I understand it here, but it doesn't make a lot of sense logically.

PEREIRA: Hard to move on for your life for a lot of the players when that's still dragging on --

CUOMO: Absolutely. And yet, we must move on with the show.

PEREIRA: Shall we? Shall we bring you a "Must-See Moment"?

CUOMO: Please.

PEREIRA: I'd like to feature a fox. What does the fox say? Apparently, give me that golf ball. Check out the Wiley (ph) fox who's been raising the ire of golfers at a course in Switzerland. He waits until the unsuspecting golfers have taken their shot before jamming out of the bushes and snatching the golf balls. Reportedly, he's seized as many 100 balls.

CUOMO: Really?

PEREIRA: Many of them still in play. My question is, what's he doing with this them?

CUOMO: He thinks they're eggs and he's equally disappointed each time.

BOLDUAN: Every time, but he will not give up.

PEREIRA: I think he's trading them in for cash at a golf course down the road.

CUOMO: He's one of those guys.


CUOMO: He comes down with a bucket at the end of the day to guys like me. Need more balls to just think (ph)? Yes, I do.


CUOMO: Thank you. And you're fox. That's all.

PEREIRA: That's all.


CUOMO: But the price is too good to pass up.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. I'll take it.

PEREIRA: A deal's a deal.

BOLDUAN: But I'll take it. I like that. It's a smart fox. An entrepreneurial fox.


CUOMO: Sly as a fox.


BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, are you planning on spending a beautiful fall day at a national park? Unfortunately, you'll have to think again. The government shutdown ruining those plans, but more importantly, we talk about the national parks, but more importantly, the shutdown is hurting people's livelihoods. How does it affect you? We're going to have more when we come back.

CUOMO: And a scary question, what would you think if you're on a train and saw another one coming right at you and there's no one at the controls? That actually happened near Chicago. It has authorities stumped and it's our next story.


BOLDUAN: That music means it's time for the "Rock Block," a quick round up the stories you'll be talking about today. First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: Let's take a look at "The New York Post." NASA preparing to launch a 3D printer into space next year. They'll be used by astronauts to help build cars and construct scientific experiments on the International Space Station. So great.

"USA Today," wine drinkers tend to go overboard and not know it. A new study shows the variety of wine glass, shapes, sizes, and colors makes it hard to keep track of just how much wine goes into a glass. We say nothing.

Time for business news --


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Can you send me a link to that story, please. PEREIRA: Christine Romans.

ROMANS: Stock futures are higher this morning. They're on track to win back much of yesterday's losses. Investors showing poise this morning after the first government shutdown in 17 years. The Congress could still torpedo your 401(k). I want to show you the gains you've made year to date. The Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P are all up double digits.

Gas prices are falling, the 29th consecutive decrease. $3.39 a gallon right now. It's expected to keep falling for the next couple of weeks.

Let's get to Indra Petersons for the weather.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I like this. We have to give you a few things with some good news out there. We keep that going with the weather. I mean, beautiful out there. A dome of high pressure on flakes bringing all that warm air not only to the southeast but spreading all the way up into the northeast today.

And I'm not talking about just 70s out there, 80s in fall. I mean, look at this Cleveland, 77 today. That will be your afternoon high when the average is expected to be typically in the 60s. Cincinnati, same thing, 80s, New York, D.C., everyone enjoying this beautiful weather now. Of course, we're still seeing warm weather in the southeast as well.

A little bit of a hint there with that high pressure. We're still talking about some moisture. So, maybe some showers kind of spreading up into Texas in through Mississippi. But otherwise, pretty nice and beautiful. Everyone is loving this. That's my just ray of sunshine for the day/

BOLDUAN: We'll take it. Thanks so much, Indra. We're now right close to the top of the hour which means it's time for the top news.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: The house has voted to keep the government open, but we also want basic fairness for all Americans under Obamacare.

CUOMO: Breaking overnight, shutdown. Congress can't make a last- minute deal. So, for the first time in 17 years, the federal government is largely closed. American families going without while politicians play the blame game.

BOLDUAN: The fallout. Hundreds of thousands going without pay. So, what's open? What's closed? We have your shutdown survival guide, all this as a key part of Obamacare begins this morning.

PEREIRA: Trapped. A family killed by a sudden rock slide while hiking on the easy trail. Their daughter, the lone survivor.

Also, look at this video. A family attacked in broad daylight in new york by a pack of bikers. We've got the story behind the video. CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, October 1st. It is seven o'clock in the east. And we want to welcome our international viewers. We are now seven hours into the first government shutdown in 17 years. Basically, the issue is whether to fund the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.

No deal meant federal agencies began going dark at 12:01 eastern time. It's unclear when the House and Senate will come to an agreement and get the government running again.