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U.S. Government Shutdown, Tropical Storm Phailin in India, Kidnappings in New York, Adrian Peterson's Tragedy;

Aired October 12, 2013 - 06:00   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Twelve days into the shutdown, and less than a week until we hit the debt ceiling, and that is what we have to show for it: constructive talks.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: They are accused to kidnap husbands and torturing them for money. But these aren't your typical thugs. The accused are rabbis.

BLACKWELL: And it's half the size of India, and there are 12 million people in its pass. We're watching Super Cyclone Phailin, and our teams in the region are bracing for landfall.

CABRERA: Good morning, everyone. I'm Ana Cabrera.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, 6:00 here on East Coast, this is "NEW DAY" Saturday. This morning, we've got this amazing story.

It's a guy in London, well, over London were to land a plane when the pilot collapsed in the cockpit midflight. It's an amazing story.

CABRERA: You can only imagine being in this guy's shoes. He had never flown a plane in his life. Didn't even know the first thing about flying, he managed to land it safely.

BLACKWELL: So, this morning we're going to talk to the flight instructor who walked this passenger through the process, landing the plane from the air traffic control tower. This guy didn't even know much about this plane, he had never flown this model. That's coming up at 6:45 this morning. You want to stay with us for that.

Of course the big story this morning -- President Obama rejecting that House plan to raise the debt ceiling without reopening the government first. Well, now a competing plan to accomplish both is coming together in the Senate.

CABRERA: And sources say GOP senators will give the House a couple of days max to get a deal before they move ahead full throttle.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Athena Jones is at the Capitol where both the Senate and the House will be working today. Athena, tell us more about this plan in the Senate.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. Well the plan that Republican Senator Susan Collins presented to President Obama when the Senate Republicans went over to the White House for their meeting yesterday, does a few things, you mentioned that first of all it both reopens the government and raises the debt ceiling. And that's something the president has said he wants to see out of any plan. It would also repeal a medical, repeal or delay a medical device tax that helps fund Obamacare. This is a tax and this delay or repeal of the tax has gotten some bipartisan support. So, that's something they think they could get through. And another thing that it does is it gives federal agencies more flexibility to manage these forced spending cuts, these very deep spending cuts that they've been operating under. And so, those are the basic outlines of the plan. This is what Senator Susan Collins said in summing up how the president responded to this plan.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R) MAINE: The president listened carefully. He said that some of the elements were issues we could work on. At least he's talking to members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. He may not want to call it a negotiation, that's what I would call it.


JONES: And we've heard that theme a lot from Republicans over the past couple of days. We heard the president say he would negotiate budgetary issues after the government is reopened and the debt ceiling is raised. But you hear a lot of Republicans saying look, he's already sitting down and negotiating, this is something that's making them happy. Victor.

CABRERA: And Athena, this is Ana here, do you know, are the Senate and House talking to each other? We know, obviously, they've had very different plans in the past, and in order to actually get something passed, both have to sign off. Are they in negotiations with each other?

JONES: Well, it's unclear just where those negotiations are taking place. If you talk to members of Congress in the hallways, they say that people are talking to each other. But in terms of pinning down sort of conference committee, that we don't know much about that right now. But I can tell you that the House today or as soon as this weekend, could vote on their plan, which of course just raises the debt limit for six weeks until November 22nd. And we also know that in the Senate today, Senator Harry Reid plans to hold a vote on a so- called clean debt limit that would raise the debt limit for a year. There's some Republicans who say they don't want to see that vote take place. That's just a political stunt. It's not going to be helpful to these larger conversations going on. So, that's what we'll be watching for today. And looking and listening to find out what other kinds of conversations are going on behind closed doors that get us closer to a deal that could pass both Houses.

CABRERA: All right. Athena Jones on Capitol Hill this morning. Thanks.

BLACKWELL: She's been standing out there in New York harbor for 12 lonely days without any visitors. Well, now the Statue of Liberty and other federal landmarks will be reopening. The state of New York says it's losing too many tourist dollars because of the shutdown and it will pay the National Park Service $61,000 a day to operate Liberty Island. Arizona struck a similar deal with the federal government to reopen the Grand Canyon. It will pay the National Park Service more than $650,000 to operate the park for at least one week.

CABRERA: Stocks are rallying and Wall Street is hopeful that a debt deal may be within reach.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, investors pushed the Dow higher Friday, gaining back all the losses since the shutdown. You know, day after day after day, at loss and Alison Kosik is following the market moves along with top money news. Good morning, Alison.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a crazy week on Wall Street, Ana and Victor, and it was all because of Washington, triple-digit losses on Monday and Tuesday as investors worried about the looming debt ceiling deadline. Thursday, a breakthrough on Capitol Hill, as a deal became a possibility. The Dow soared more than 300 points, the biggest jump in almost two years. Stocks ended mixed for the week. JPMorgan Chase is facing a $7 billion legal bill, and that's after taxes. The bank is battling a slew of lawsuits relating to the housing crisis. The hefty bill caused the bank to lose money last quarter, marking the first loss since Jamie Diamond became CEO nine years ago.

It's official, President Obama nominated Janet Yellen to be chairwoman of the Federal Reserve. If confirmed, she'll be the first woman to lead the 100-year-old central bank. Yellen is expected to keep Ben Bernanke's easy money policies in place a bit longer.

The new $100 bill debuted Tuesday, it has a 3D security and ink that changes color, depending on how the bill is tilted, except for $1 and $2, all paper currency has been redesigned in the past decade to prevent counterfeiting.

Going to the ATM, leave the debit card at home. Wintrust, BMO Harris, and City National Bank are testing out cardless ATMs, so instead of a debit card, an app on your phone allows you to order money up to 24 hours in advance. Then you go to the ATM, scan the phone and money comes out.

Coming up at 9:30 A.M, Eastern, are you about to be stuck with a massive bill because of Washington's dysfunction? Fareed Zakaria joins Christine Romans for an emergency edition of "Your Money." Ana and Victor?

BLACKWELL: All right, Alison Kosik in New York, thank you.

CABRERA: Three bikers have been indicted in connection with that violent clash involving this SUV driver in New York. The charges against Craig Wright, Reginald Chance and Robert Sims won't be laid out until they are arraigned. Four other people have been arrested, including one New York police officer who was riding with the group. Two more officers are being investigated for being with the bikers during that confrontation. BLACKWELL: Eight minutes after the hour now, and a top general in charge of nuclear ballistic missiles has been fired. The Air Force says it's revealed, relieved, rather, Major General Michael Carey of his command due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership. He's been under investigation over reports of misbehavior. And the Air Force says the firing is not related to the security of the country's nuclear weapons. Also this week, the deputy chief at U.S. Strategic Command was demoted reportedly over gambling allegations.

CABRERA: Another big story we're following this morning -- a potentially deadly tropical cyclone is bearing down on northeastern India. This thing is huge.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, it's Phailin, it's more than 1500 miles wide, if you're having some difficulty putting your mind around that. That's roughly the distance from Maine to Miami. Yeah, this thing is huge, and it's packing maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour.

CABRERA: And that's equal to a strong category 4 hurricane. Now more than 440,000 people, almost half a million people have been evacuated. Authorities say hurricane-strength winds could affect nearly 8.5 million people.

BLACKWELL: Phailin is expected to make landfall in about six hours. Indian officials are taking a zero casualty approach. That means they're forcing people to get out. Even if they want to stay put.

CABRERA: Yeah, they're actually taking shuttles and just bringing people through the neighborhoods.

Let's bring in meteorologist Karen Maginnis in the CNN weather center. So, Karen, break it down for us just how bad could this storm be?

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It could be devastating. And the comparisons are being made between this tropical cyclone and what happened back in 1999, a very similar scenario. Where a very large system, if you look at the entire bay of Bengal. This system pretty much engulfs the entire Bay of Bengal. Right now, they're saying it is near a category 4 hurricane-like winds. They use different measurements there. But potentially across this region as it makes its way towards the northwest, we could see millions of people affected. It's low-lying area, very humble buildings here, so easily flooded, especially with the storm surge. So, as I mentioned, it's just about ready to make landfall, once it does, it could be downgraded to possibly a category 2 or the equivalent of that. But that's going to bring the storm surge along those rivers and potentially flood out areas well inland before it becomes downgraded to a tropical depression.

CABRERA: Staying on top of that. Thanks, Karen.

BLACKWELL: And the weather in the southeast is - it's been really good this week. Some students got a chance to actually skip school. I love this story.

CABRERA: I know, it's a feel-good story. Get our weekend started right. Well the headmaster of private Christian school in Columbus, Georgia, decided it was just too beautiful on Friday to stay inside. Our CNN affiliate, WTVM reports Len McWilliams promised himself decades ago to find a positive reason to cancel class.

BLACKWELL: And why can't more professors, more teachers, more principals take that idea into hand.


BLACKWELL: A lovely day came just in time. McWilliams retires at the end of the year.

I can't imagine when your principal says, you know what, we're canceling class today, it's just too nice.

CABRERA: Well, he's now there the students' favorite principal of all time.


CABRERA: That's a legacy he'll leave behind.

Well, Malala, speaking of legacy, Malala visits the White House. The Pakistani teenager who has inspired the world with her courage has a message for the president.

BLACKWELL: And a stunning FBI raid. Have you heard about this? Two rabbis are accused of pocketing thousands of dollars to kidnap and torture orthodox Jewish husbands.


BLACKWELL: Somewhere in there, in the White House, maybe you can make it out just near the bottom of the screen. Good morning, Washington, D.C., right now 64 degrees, cloudy, it's been rainy a few days. But, you know, it's going to rain tonight, tomorrow, Monday. But the sun is coming out hopefully on Tuesday.

CABRERA: And what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

BLACKWELL: Makes you stronger, yes.

CABRERA: So, bear with it.

BLACKWELL: I don't know.

CABRERA: We all have our challenges, and this next character in our story is certainly a great example of how to overcome those hurdles in life.


CABRERA: President Obama and the first lady welcomed a very special guest to the White House yesterday.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, they met Malala Yousafzai. The president proclaimed Friday the International Day of the Girl. The Malala is the Pakistani teenager, you remember her name. She was shot by the Taliban and nearly won this year's Nobel Peace Prize. The first family thanked Malala for working so hard for girls' rights to an education.

CABRERA: The 16-year-old says she told the president she was worried U.S. drones are fueling terrorism and killing innocent people in Pakistan.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, every time you hear her story, she's really inspiring.

Two New York rabbis, a crazy story here, they are facing some stunning charges.

CABRERA: The FBI says orthodox Jewish women paid the rabbis thousands of dollars to arrange the kidnappings and torture of husbands, who refused to grant them a divorce. And CNN's Rosa Flores is following this case for us this morning, good morning, Rosa.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it sounds like a movie plot, a wife wants to divorce, the husband doesn't want to grant it, so she talks to her rabbi, who helps her hire a few quote "tough guys" to get the job done. Well, unfortunately folks, this is a real-life description of alleged events described in detail in court documents that reveal ten people, including two rabbis, now face kidnapping charges.

Now, take a look. The FBI raided two New York locations Wednesday night, exposing what undercover FBI agents had been working on for months. One agent posing as an orthodox Jewish wife who wanted a divorce. Now court documents note a conversation with one of the rabbis went like this. Quote, "Basically, what we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him up and torturing him and then getting him to give the get." According to orthodox Jewish law, a get is a document that a husband must provide his wife, to obtain a divorce. And the price for getting this forced get was pretty high -- court documents say it cost $10,000 for the rabbis to approve the kidnapping first and then an additional $50,000 to pay the quote "tough guys" who do the beating and obtain the get. It's key to note, however, that the importance of the get within the orthodox Jewish community is extremely important. For a woman, for example, it's a huge implication, if she doesn't get one. She risks being shunned, even labeled as an adulteress, if she eventually moves on and has children. Now, there's been a huge debate over men who don't grant gets as well. In the past, they have had - they've been shamed in the orthodox Jewish community newspapers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just an unspeakable crime. Any time you have individuals who go against other legal, lawful people who are just living their lives, and violence is committed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't think all of the defendants are equal. We believe some of the defendants might have been motivated by money. We don't believe that that will end up being proven to be the case with Rabbi Wolmark.


Two named rabbis allegedly involved are Mendel Epstein and Martin Wolmark. One of their attorneys tell CNN, all ten defendants pleaded not guilty to kidnapping charges. If convicted, we should add, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison. Ana, Victor.

CABRERA: What a wild story.

BLACKWELL: I know. I mean - thank you, Rosa Flores for us in New York. Did the idea that especially rabbis would be going out to commit these type of ...

CABRERA: These people that people trust, you think they're ethical. You think they're the moral standard, right?

BLACKWELL: Well, we'll continue to follow that, of course.

Still to come on "NEW DAY" this morning -- tragedy strikes one of football's biggest stars. This was all over social media. If you've been following the story. The two-year-old son of Adrian Peterson killed, the apparent victim of child abuse. Who is charged in that crime? We'll have that for you next.


CABRERA: Just a heart-breaking story this morning. Minnesota Vikings star, Adrian Peterson, is mourning the death of his two-year-old son, the apparent victim of child abuse.

BLACKWELL: The boyfriend of the infant's mother has been arrested. Charged with aggravated assault and battery of an infant. If he's convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.

CABRERA: Peterson has remained pretty quiet about this tragedy, only taking to Twitter to express his gratitude to his family, fans and the fraternity of brothers in the NFL for their support.

BLACKWELL: All right, CNN sports Andy Scholes joins us now with more. Friends, athletes also on Twitter voicing their support. I mean this is just difficult to even kind of wrap your mind around.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, what a tragic situation that Peterson is going through right now. And of course, he received thousands and thousands of tweets of everyone offering their condolences to him. And those NFL players even NBA players, baseball players, everyone is going to Twitter to express their thoughts in this tragic situation. LeBron, he tweeted quite a few times about this. And one of his tweets, we can pull it out, says "So damn sad, makes no sense at all. Innocent kid with dreams gets taken away by a coward with no dreams at all." SMH means shaking my head, #sickforap. Now, Peterson, of course, after receiving all of these tweets, phone calls and messages, he finally broke his silence, went on Twitter and spoke about the situation. And here some of his tweets, that he said, he said, thank you to my family and my fans for their support. He also said the NFL is a fraternity of brothers, and I'm thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players. God bless everyone and thank you so much.

CABRERA: Oh, may, your heart just goes out to him. As the mother of a two-year-old myself, it's hard to imagine how you get through the next day and then the next. But is it true, it sounds like Peterson is planning to play this weekend?

SCHOLES: Yeah, and now reporters had asked him after practice yesterday, before the news broke that his son had actually passed away, if he was going to play and he said yes, I'm going to play because football right now is therapeutic for me. And here's actually what he had to say right after practice.


ADRIAN PETERSON, MINNESOTA VIKINGS: You know, football is something I'll always fall back on, you know, it gets me through tough times. We know it's been around the guys in here. You know, that's what I need. And all my life is sports and I'm able to kind of release you know, a lot of my stress through the sport. So.


SCHOLES: Of course this could change today, Leslie Frasier, the head coach, said they're going to ask him again, you know, are you sure you want to play. But it sounds like he is going to hit the field tomorrow.

BLACKWELL: Everyone copes in his own way.

CABRERA: Yeah, maybe it will be therapeutic.

BLACKWELL: All right, Andy Scholes, thank you so much.

CABRERA: Still to come here on "NEW DAY," the days of keeping your Facebook profile private -- they're gone. The site making some major changes again. This time it's about who can search for you on the site.

BLACKWELL: Plus, a passenger is forced to land a plane for the first time, at night. The flight instructor who helped save his life, joins us in about 15 minutes.


CABRERA: Bottom of the hour now, good Saturday morning, welcome back, I'm Ana Cabrera.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Pleasure to have you, as always, let's start with five things you need to know for your "NEW DAY."

CABRERA: And number one, evacuations are under way in India this morning. As a potentially catastrophic tropical cyclone churns toward shore, more than 440,000 people have fled so far. They are not taking any chances as Phailin is more than 1500 miles wide. It's huge, roughly the distance from Maine to Miami, and is as strong as a category 4 hurricane, with winds as strong as 150 miles per hour and those winds are already whipping the coastal areas. Their landfall expected around noon eastern.

BLACKWELL: Number two now, North Korea is passing on an offer that could improve relations with the United States. According to the Associated Press, North Korea says it will not sign a nonaggression pact with Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry offered the deal if North Korea would give up its nuclear program.

CABRERA: Number three, for the second time this week, a top commander in charge of the country's nuclear missiles has been relieved of command. The U.S. Air force said it's lost trust in Major General Michael Carey's leadership and his judgment. He's been under investigation over reports of misbehavior.

BLACKWELL: Number four, a zoo keeper was killed by an elephant at Missouri's Dickerson Park Zoo, and it's not yet clear what caused the 41-year-old elephant to charge and crush John Bradford, it's a 30-year veteran of the zoo. According to reports earlier, the animal will not be euthanized.

CABRERA: And number five something that's going to affect you if you're on Facebook. Once again, the social media site is changing its privacy policies. Getting rid of a setting that could keep your profile invisible from certain people. So now anyone can search for you on this network. Facebook says that setting was confusing anyway for users and really only a small percentage of people actually used it.

BLACKWELL: I used it.

CABRERA: Did you?


BLACKWELL: Because some people you just don't want to find. Yeah. OK.

Let's get back to our top story this morning. The hope of the debt deal in Washington. So far, though, neither side has agreed upon terms.

CABRERA: And until a deal is actually signed, a lot of Americans may find their financial fate kind of hanging in the balance. So, Tom Foreman joining us now with a look at where this mess started and what it could mean for you if our country defaults. Tom?


BLACKWELL: I think if you just clear your throat, all that comes out.


CABRERA: It's early, it's the weekend. BLACKWELL: Somebody, please get Tom some water. Clearly we had a technical thing there. Tom? He's got it out. All right. Tom, let's see.

FOREMAN: That would make a difference, because if interest rates go up, that means fewer people can afford houses and because they can't afford houses, demand and prices start going down instead of up as they have been. And this isn't just about houses, this could be about 200 million construction jobs out there. And it could also be about any money you wanted to borrow for a business or for a new car for example. Second area of concern, basic payments from the government. If you or anybody in your family relies on Social Security or veterans' benefits or Medicare or any of those things, you may find that there's a lot of wait going on out there. You may not be getting the checks or they may not be as big as you expect. There are about 148 million people in this country who currently rely on this type of assistance, that's about half of the population. A little bit less. That could have a massive impact. And with businesses out there not able to count on that, then you start talking about the impact on jobs. We lost about 8 million jobs during the recession in this country. And we really haven't ...

BLACKWELL: We tried it, we tried it.

CABRERA: Oh, man.

BLACKWELL: But we got most of the information. Tom Foreman, thank you very much.

Coming up on "New Day" drama in the skies, a pilot falls ill while he's flying, passenger is there, forced to step in. How he landed a plane under all that pressure.

CABRERA: Plus engaged or not? Well, the rumors are swirling around Prince Harry and his girlfriend.


CABRERA: Welcome back, let's take a look at what's happening around the world. First to Tripoli, where the Libyan foreign ministry is on fire this morning. Literally. The cause of this fire is not yet known. It comes just days after the prime minister was kidnapped and released by an armed militia. Well he's now firing back against his abductors. And CNN's senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson has more on that. Nick.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, the prime minister here is on the offensive, is accusing his kidnappers of attempting a coup and he says some lawmakers here were behind it. Flanked by his ministers he appeared in an almost hour-long nationally televised address, trying, it seems, to bolster his image that's been damaged by the kidnapping and he also seemed to link the U.S. arrest here last weekend of an al Qaeda suspect to his kidnapping. He has vowed to continue to chase those down responsible and prosecute them. Ana?

CABRERA: Nic Robertson, thank you. And now to Sao Paolo, Brazil. Where some people are rather impressed by a daring prison break plan. CNN Shasta Darling is there. Shasta.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A pretty unusual attempt to break out of jail. A Brazilian inmate collected pieces of leftover bath soap, he stuck them together to create a mask that looked like one of his prison guards, he even painted on stubble and eyebrows, but he was busted when authorities heard rumors someone was trying to escape, and they went from cell to cell until they found the mask. They say, however, there are no hard feelings and they're even going to offer the inmate art classes so that he can put his talents to better use. Back to you, Ana.

CABRERA: He is quite the artist. Well, Shasta, thanks.

And to London, where everyone is talking about Prince Harry. Yes, he's making news again. And apparently he has a very serious girlfriend. People are wondering whether or not he's actually popped the question. Our Max Foster is in London this morning. Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Cressida Bonas is all over the British press, she's been photographed with Prince Harry at the theater, at a concert, and now she's making headlines across the pond. Prince Harry's girlfriend, known as Cressie, is on the cover of "People" magazine, for example, the first time. She's 24 years old, from an old aristocratic family. She's studied dance at university, and if the rumors here in London are true, she'll soon announce her engagement to a prince. The palace is, of course, not commenting on those reports. Ana?

CABRERA: All right, Max Foster reporting, thank you. And Victor, did you even know Prince Harry had a girlfriend?

BLACKWELL: No, I didn't. I thought he was kind of the, you know, bachelor. I'm not going to go too far with that, but I didn't know he had a girlfriend.

CABRERA: She's a cutie, though.

BLACKWELL: Congratulations.

CABRERA: OK, so this is the story we've been talking about this morning, this nightmare scenario, straight out of the movies. A passenger is forced to land this plane after his pilot becomes ill. And all of this went down in a dark skies over Great Britain. Again, it's night. John Wilby, he is a passenger who had no experience, safely brought down a four-seater Cessna in the dark. Now, we'll be described the final moments of the emergency landing. Listen.


JOHN WILBY: I didn't know what I was doing. So, I did a few hops and bumps and a crash-landing type-landing. That was it. But I couldn't reach the brakes, just stopped - and then I did. And then I sort of spun off on to the side.


BLACKWELL: And, and how did he do that? Well, two flight instructors were called to give the passenger impromptu lessons on how to fly and how to stay cool under pressure. One of those instructors, Roy Murray, is joining us now from England. Good to have you on the phone with us. This is really unbelievable. How were you able to do something like this, helping someone land a plane for the first time in the dark?

ROY MURRAY, FLYING INSTRUCTOR: Well, good morning. Yes, it was quite difficult at the time. We had - poor John had a very lot of things against him at the time because it was getting dusk. Getting dark. We didn't know how much fuel was on board. Because although I've flown a Cessna 172 maybe hundreds of times, they're all a little bit different and John didn't know where the switches were for the lights, for the cockpit lights and things like that. So, I didn't want him to start looking around the cockpit and lose concentration on flying the airplane. So together with myself and the radar controller, he's done a fantastic job. We steered him around the circuit so to speak three times, of which weren't really successful. But it was getting darker and darker. On the fourth one I thought, well we better get him down on this one. So I talked him all the way around. We positioned him about two miles east of the airfield coming onto the well-lit runway. And then eventually we got him to come closer and closer and closer. And then while I was in the air traffic control, I saw this light go past the air traffic control window. And I knew by then, well, at least, you're going to make it, it's now or never. So, I just told him to pull everything back he could do, just hold the column control back until the aircraft made contact with ground.

But you've got to remember, once you raise your nose, when it's dark, you can see nothing, you're just looking into black space, so he's done remarkably well, really, really remarkably well.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, he did really well, and you said that each of these, there's, each is a little different. You had never actually flown the model that John was trying to land. How were you able to tell him where everything was, having never really flown this model?

MURRAY: Oh, I had flown a 172 many hundreds of times. But as I say, they tend to put switches and things, you know, in different places. So, I hadn't actually flown that particular airplane.

BLACKWELL: This plane, this specific plane.

MURRAY: I have a 172 of my own. So, but the switches and knobs are slightly different and I didn't know where they were. And I didn't want him - so that having looking around the cockpit and lose concentration on flying the airplane.

BLACKWELL: So, the model you're flowing, just not this specific plane. Tell me about his temperament. What was he saying to you while you were trying to help him through this?

MURRAY: Well, he seemed very calm. And collected, I suppose. He had been in an airplane before. But not actually flown one. Or landed one. That was the problem. And then obviously got his friend next to him, who was incapacitated and he was set on the left-hand side where all the instruments and things are. But we managed to get him on the ground. We had emergency services. It was really a team effort.

BLACKWELL: How was the pilot taking ...

MURRAY: Myself, we spoke him down for the last 200 feet.

BLACKWELL: How is the pilot doing?

MURRAY: He's not doing too bad. The passenger is, unfortunately the pilot passed away.

BLACKWELL: Oh, sorry to hear that.

MURRAY: Yes. We did. We only found that out a couple of days ago. So, and it was a friend of his, so it was the passenger that flew the airplane, not the pilot.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, we heard that - and now we know that he'd passed away, unfortunately. So, when this plane hit the ground, tell us about that moment of relief for not only John, but for you?

MURRAY: Well, unfortunately, I say, it had gone past the tower, it went into a sort of a black spot where it was all dark and I didn't actually see the landing. But it was just like a silhouette, like I just said a couple of minutes ago. Just like a silhouette going past the tower and then I thought, well, I could just judge the shadow of how high he was above the ground and I said just pull back everything and hold it there, and it did. It made a bit of a heavy landing, but every landing you walk away from this is a successful one, isn't it in.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, this one especially. Flight instructor Roy Murray, thank you so much for speaking with us. And although the impromptu landing was successful, of course the pilot as we said, the pilot died later that night. Roy, thank you very much.

MURRAY: My pleasure. Thank you.

CABRERA: Coming up, in the good stuff, a random act of generosity that earned this New Hampshire waitress, a military salute.


CABRERA: 6:48 in the east now. Every week we honor a new CNN hero who is doing great work all around the globe. Not for fame, not for any recognition, but just to help others. And we get thousands of nominations from our viewers each year from, again, all over the globe. And every fall, ten of them are chosen to be our top heroes, CNN's Anderson Cooper introduces us to this year's honorees.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Anderson Cooper. All year we've been introducing you to everyday people who are changing the world. We call them CNN heroes. Well, now we announce the top ten CNN heroes for 2013. In random order, the honorees are Dale Beatty who lost his legs in Iraq, now he's modified or helped provide homes to more than two dozen disabled veterans. Dr. Laura Stachel uses solar power to help health care workers deliver babies safely. Danielle Gletow, she's a fairy godmother for foster children, making their often simple wishes come true. Kakenya Ntaiya opened the first primary school for girls in her Kenyan village. Tawanda Jones drill team provides discipline and inspiration to children in one of the nation's poorest cities. Chad Pregracke is keeping America's rivers clean by removing garbage from waterways across the U.S. Estella Pyfrom poured her savings into a mobile computer lab that serves low-income children and adults.

Richard Nares lost his son to leukemia, now he's helping low-income children get to their cancer treatments.

Dr. George Bwelle travels into the jungles of Cameron nearly every weekend bringing free surgery to those in need.

And Robin Edmonds provides fresh produce to underserved residents in her community. Congratulations, the top ten CNN heroes of 2013. Tell us who inspire you the most. Go to to vote once a day every day for the CNN hero of the year.


CABRERA: Everyone so deserving. Each hero gets $50,000, he also has a chance to become the CNN hero of the year. And that person gets an additional $250,000 to continue their work. And it's that kind of money that can really help some of these heroes take their work to the next level.

BLACKWELL: Good stuff now, and this is when we share the stuff that is making headlines for good reasons. Let's start with Sarah Hoidahl, she knows how hard it can be to make ends meet. Now, she's a waitress in Concord, New Hampshire and she is a single mom.

CABRERA: And this week she overheard a couple of National Guard soldiers discussing the menu and talking about how they won't be paid because of the federal shutdown. So she picked up their tab.

BLACKWELL: The waitress paid for the meal and she also left a note thanking them for their service. A local guard office posted it on its website and as of this morning she has more than 6200 likes, I'm sure that's going up soon.

CABRERA: And we'd like to challenge everybody to pay that forward.

BLACKWELL: Yes, pay it forward. Pay it forward. By the way, I love that garden bar at the Ruby Tuesday.

All right, you know how I just had to throw that in. You know how a few beers can loosen the tongue? Well, now you can give Congress a piece of your mind with a simple -- drunk dial. We'll explain.



JAY LENO: According to new research, elephants can understand the communicative intent of human pointing. If a human points at something, an elephant can turn and instantly understand what you want. Isn't that amazing? In fact, the only elephants that don't understand what people want are the Republicans in Congress. Those are the only ones, the rest, all the others seem to get it.


LENO: It's the rest.


BLACKWELL: Who didn't see that coming, right? When you said elephants pointing? You knew he was going to get there somehow.

CABRERA: Well, if only it were that simple with congressmen, right?

BLACKWELL: Yeah, all right.

CABRERA: You know how some people who have a few too many drinks and they start to tell you how they really feel?

BLACKWELL: No, really? People do that? Well, that's happening a lot nowadays to members of Congress, here's CNN's Jeannie Moos with more.


JEANNIE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you're mad at Congress, you could hold a sign, maybe one saying Congress beware, when we're screwed, we multiply. Or, you could try this -- Hello?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. This is government shutdown making you want to drink?

MOOS: It's a free service at the website

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And let me tell you, when I drink I like to tell people what's on my mind.

MOOS: You enter your number at the website and a couple of seconds, the recorded drunk dialer calls you back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to forward you to a member of the House of Representatives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your call is then forwarded to a randomly chosen member of the House. So you could give them a piece of your mind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning, Representative (inaudible) office.

MOOS (on camera): Hi, I'm wondering, I'm calling from CNN, if you guys have been getting a bunch of weird calls? (voice over): A Florida Republican's office had no comment on Drunk Dial Congress. It was set up, they say, for fun by a digital tech company founded by a former Obama campaign staffer.

(on camera): And you're not going to make any money off this, are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, we're actually going to lose money off of it.

MOOS: On Thursday afternoon, the website apparently needed a drink, for a while it stopped working, overwhelmed, just like Obamacare.

If House Speaker John Boehner was overwhelmed, he wasn't showing it. Listen to how he answered a hypothetical question containing an if.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: If and's and but's, were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas.


MOOS (voice over): It turns out this is one of the speaker's favorite deflect the question rhymes, here he is using it twice in different years.

BOEHNER: If and's and but's were candy and nuts ...

If that was the case, every day would be Christmas.

MOOS: Ah, the joys of watching Anthony Weiner argue the shutdown on Fox.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm the host, you're the guest.

ANTHONY WEINER: I get the new questions, what am I, a potted plant? Why do you always have patsies on? Fox apparently has much lower standards. I must have a job on Fox.

HANNITY: Oh, ouch, ooh.

WEINER: You want me to talk about low standards? You really want to go there?

HANNITY: I'll go wherever you want.

MOOS: And look how low Florida Democrat Alan Grayson went, fighting an actual public policy polling survey.

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (R) FLORIDA: What do you have a higher opinion of, Americans? Congress or toenail fungus? Congress, 41 percent, toenail fungus, 44 percent.

MOOS: Well, the two do have something in common.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it is difficult to treat.

MOOS: Jeannie Moos, CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes me want to drink.

MOOS: New York.


BLACKWELL: I could have done without the toenail fungus picture.

CABRERA: We all need a good laugh, though, for all those shutdown stuff.

BLACKWELL: All so we've got your must-see moment. Unlike the toenail fungus picture. Watch this.

CABRERA: Men, they're off. What appears to be a race to the finish line might in actuality be a little lesson in crawling. Take a look at just an adorable baby and a couple of pals, a pair of Alaskan malamutes.

BLACKWELL: This is cute, we're having a hard time to pick out who is teaching who really to crawl here. Or to have ...

CABRERA: So cute.

BLACKWELL: It's just holding a crawling clinic to compare techniques. In any case, pretty entertaining to watch them here, how did they get these dogs to crawl like that?

CABRERA: Dogs, babies? Cute, cute.