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Americans Taken Hostage; MacNeill's Daughter May Take Stand; Sugar and Fat Price Shocks; Exploring the Treatment of Killer Whales; Interview with Gabriela Cowperthwaite; New Christian Grey Unveiled
Aired October 24, 2013 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The oil supply vessel is one of the ships that constantly moves amongst the offshore oil platforms, resupplying them. The reports now, which the U.S. military says it is aware of and is monitoring, are that the captain and the chief engineer, both said to be American citizens, were taken off the ship. This is very rough territory out there off the coast of Nigeria. There have been a number of pirate attacks. A very violent area. So a matter of great concern. We know now that the U.S. military, the State Department, the Obama administration monitoring all of this, trying to determine exactly what has transpired.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, a very dicey situation. Barbara, we know you'll stay on it. Look forward to the reporting going forward. Appreciate you being here with us.
A star witness for the prosecution could take the stand today at the trial of Utah doctor Martin MacNeill. The doctor is charged with murdering his wife to be with his mistress. And that star witness today is MacNeill's 12-year-old daughter. CNN's Miguel Marquez is live in Provo, Utah, with the details.
Good morning, Miguel.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning there, Chris.
Before she takes that stand, though, the judge has set aside two hours to argue this out. The prosecutors say that she is a big piece of the circumstantial puzzle it is building against MacNeill. The defense wants to either limit her testimony or keep it out altogether.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is state's exhibit 34.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): This morning, the legal fight full-on. Will Ada, the 12-year-old daughter of Dr. Martin MacNeill, testify against her father? It's the moment the family of Michele's family, the victim, have waited for.
MARQUEZ (on camera): How difficult is this point?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we just - we just want justice for our sister, that's all.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Prosecutors say Ada and her sisters will provide critical testimony against their father.
CHAD GRUNANDER, PROSECUTOR: Ada was the first one to find her mother in the bathtub. And she can talk about exactly what she observed.
MARQUEZ: But putting a 12-year-old on the stand, Ada was only six when she saw her mother dying or dead, will require sensitivity.
GRUNANDER: It's putting a young girl in a difficult place.
MARQUEZ: Also in a difficult place, Martin MacNeill, who will have to watch his own children try to put him in prison for life.
RANDALL SPENCER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It's very difficult for him. Notwithstanding all of the bad water that's gone under the bridge, he still loves his family.
MARQUEZ: Some of that bad water already in open court. The ex- girlfriend of MacNeill's son, Damian, who killed himself in 2012, testified MacNeill enlisted her to hire a woman he said was a nanny. She was anything but.
EILEEN HENG, DAMIAN MACNEILL'S FORMER GIRLFRIEND: A couple of months later we found out that they were in an intimate relationship.
MARQUEZ: A relationship MacNeill's daughters say had been going on long before their mother's mysterious death.
MARQUEZ: Now, another bizarre fact that came out in court. The ER doctor that worked on Michele MacNeill back in 2007 says that her husband offered him $10,000 to continue the CPR, to try to resuscitate her. The prosecution saying these are the sort of dramatic tactics he used to make it seem as though he really cared about his wife. And the defense saying that this is a guy who really wanted to save his life. A lot of this, a lot of this, a very circumstantial case at the moment.
Chris, Kate, back to you.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Miguel, thank you so much for that.
Coming up next on NEW DAY, could fatty foods actually be good for your heart or maybe just not as bad as you might have thought before? A new report turns the tables on decades of conventional medical wisdom. We're going to tell you about it. And who else should come in to help us out with that? Dr. Sanjay Gupta, up next.
CUOMO: I'm hoping for good news.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CUOMO: How about a little NEW DAY new you? This morning, which is worse, question, sugar or fat? The word both is probably not an allowed answer for this particular test.
CUOMO: But could be the proper one. Why? A report claims fatty foods may not be so bad for you. So bad. It's really sugar you should be worried about. Who told me? Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, here to make sense of it.
BOLDUAN: So it must be true.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You're giving me a lot of credit here.
CUOMO: I respect you by definition. What do we know, my friend?
GUPTA: This is fascinating. You know, about 40 years ago in this country we sort of made a decision to go - become a low-fat country, right? That was the new mantra. Everything's low fat. And what happened? You started taking fat out of the foods. They tasted terrible. You put sugar back in.
And we know over the last 40 years that the obesity rates have gone up both in adults and children. We know heart disease remains the biggest killer of men and women alike. So maybe it wasn't fat as much as we thought and maybe the sugar was actually causing many of these problems. And that's really what people have been talking about for some time.
It's this new editorial in the British medical journal getting it a lot of attention. And that's sort of this idea that, could sugar somehow be doing some of the same things in our body that we typically attribute to fat? Raising our cholesterol, raising our risk of heart disease, raising our risk of diabetes. And the answer seems to be yes.
BOLDUAN: So does that mean that fats are in the clear? That it - that fats are a good thing now?
GUPTA: Well, here's the interesting thing about that. It's not, obviously, as black and white as people would like because this doesn't give them a free license to just start eating --
BOLDUAN: Right. Right. Bacon, good.
GUPTA: Yes, right. Exactly. That's going to be the headline.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Look right at this one when you say that.
GUPTA: Is there a problem, Chris, with the fat in your diet?
CUOMO: No, I'm waiting to hear the rest of what you say. We may have to cut this interview short. GUPTA: We thought we'd cut fat out of our American diets a lot more than we did. We have stayed about the same. So that's part of the reason fat doesn't get a free pass here because fat was a problem, remains a problem. But this idea that we've added more sugar and has exacerbated this much more so than I think anybody really thought.
And to say something about sugar is that we - we eat about 138 pounds of sugar a year.
BOLDUAN: That sounds horrible.
GUPTA: It's amazing. We used to get sugar from the - from fruit, from the trees, like once a year after harvest. That's how we human beings evolved. That's all you had. Even honey was protected by the bees. Now we eat 138 pounds a year. It hits our liver. And we know that when that sugar hits our liver, it gets turned into these bad cholesterol particles and it increases our risk of heart disease. Sugar's doing this, in addition to fat.
PEREIRA: So you know that folks at home and even us are thinking, OK, so what do I do with my diet now? Do I -- obviously we know to cut down on sugar.
PEREIRA: There are good fats and bad fats.
PEREIRA: Do we increase more good fats?
GUPTA: Yes. So I'll tell you two things. First of all, with regard to fats, I mean this whole idea of the Mediterranean diet, that there are good fats -
GUPTA: Fats in nuts, for example, I think that's a good sort of approach. And cut back on the additional fats.
The thing about sugar that's so fascinating, Michaela, is that much of it comes in places that we don't expect. Sauces, prepackaged foods and that sort of thing. I asked one of the researchers about that. I said, what do we do? If it's everywhere, how do you cut down on sugar?
PEREIRA: Avoid it, sure.
GUPTA: He said, eat real food. I thought that was -- that's actually surprisingly good advice. If you're eating real food as opposed to packaged food, which uses sugar to store it and increase the shelf life, you're going to cut down on your sugar a tremendous amount.
PEREIRA: They say to shop the outside of the grocery store, right?
GUPTA: That's right. Stay on the outside of the grocery store. PEREIRA: That's a good piece of advice.
GUPTA: So those are the three words, eat real food. And, you know, I think if you do that, you're going to, all of a sudden, cut way back on these things that we now have increase evidence of that's bad.
CUOMO: If you look at a package that has reduced fat, low fat, there's a big amount of something else. It's either sugar or salt that they do to substitute the taste of --
PEREIRA: There's a lot of other ingredients too.
GUPTA: That's right, or high fructose corn syrup. That's usually in the first three ingredients. If you're seeing it there, that means there's a lot of it in there.
BOLDUAN: Eat real food.
GUPTA: Eat real food.
BOLDUAN: The Dr. Gupta food pyramid. Even though we've moving away from the pyramid, we're going to create something else.
PEREIRA: Eat real food.
GUPTA: Make it more simple, eat real food.
BOLDUAN: Yes. There you go.
PEREIRA: Love it.
BOLDUAN: Thank you. Great to see you, Sanjay.
GUPTA: All right, you got it.
BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, exploring the treatment of killer whales. Do they belong in captivity? That's the question of a new documentary. The director of the CNN film "Blackfish," which premieres tonight, will be joining us to discuss.
CUOMO: Plus, a new choice to play Christian Grey. The actor who will take on the role in a much anticipated film is her -- no. We'll tell you who it is coming up. A woman is playing Christian Grey, that will teach you.
BOLDUAN: Once again, what happens in the break is the most important.
Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is money time. Gas prices are down and holiday airfares are up. What's going on? Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here. First off, I like this. Why are gas prices going down? What's behind it, I want good news. CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know they could be going toward a three-year low. If you believe (inaudible) at Gas Buddy he's been right all year long. And he says gas prices are drifting low -- were at nine-month low so far for gas prices. You can see the trend there. There are three reasons why.
Syria is not that international configuration that so many people worried about. Iran -- a more conciliatory tone to the rest of the world that means oil prices have been in check. Oil prices is about $97 a barrel. And we add the end of the hurricane season upon us and no real big major hurricanes that have shut down production refinery capacity.
So all three of these things are why oil prices are lower and gas prices are drifting down.
BOLDUAN: Now I'm afraid to ask because I know someone out there is with me on this who have not booked their airfare for the holiday --
ROMANS: Kate I told you to --
BOLDUAN: I know and I didn't listen in and that's why it's going to cost me more. Why is the airfare going up?
ROMANS: It's going to cost you about nine percent more this year to fly around the holidays than they did last year. So the good news for Christmas on your gas prices is bad news for Thanksgiving for your airfare. So this is the trend: fewer flights, smaller planes, airlines are getting better at filling all those planes. Do not wait until the last minute to book your Thanksgiving travel. You are going to see higher prices.
One interesting thing about Thanksgiving, the best fares for Thanksgiving are actually Thanksgiving Day. So if you have some flexibility on that, that's important. Christmas by the way is in the middle of the week this year, so it might be better for you for Christmas air travel if you have more flexibility around that midday -- middle of the week Christmas flight. You might have a better chance of getting a decent fare there.
CUOMO: Only Santa flies on Christmas.
BOLDUAN: I don't know. I don't know maybe if you're a kid coming home from college or something.
CUOMO: Let me ask you something, you got anything on this Spirit Airlines that they have major flight delays?
ROMANS: Yes beware today if you're flying Spirit. Check your flight you could have some delays there. They are looking at all of these planes, they are doing engine, you know, engine checks of all of the planes, about 45 on engine checks they're going to have some delays. Like last night people in Ft. Lauderdale are really ticked off, hundreds of people lounging around, angry because of their delayed flights. You're hearing a lot about that this morning. Spirit saying it's checking every one of these because of an engine fire last week. They are just a precaution. They have been forced to do it by the government, but just out of precaution checking all that flights. So check your Spirit Airways flight today.
BOLDUAN: That's a delay you can be OK with.
ROMANS: You want to delay for safety is the kind of delay that you know -- yes.
BOLDUAN: We need to deal with. Thank you Christine.
ROMANS: There you go. You're welcome.
BOLDUAN: Except for the bad news, thank you very much.
All right let's check in with Michaela.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, thanks so much Kate.
CNN film's "BLACKFISH" premiering tonight raises questions about how killer whales are captured, separated from their families and held in captivity. The director of the film Gabriela Cowperthwaite joins us now. "BLACKFISH" premiering tonight. Congratulations on that.
GABRIELA COWPERTHWAITE, DIRECTOR, BLACKFISH: Thank you.
PEREIRA: Let's talk about the fact that you're a mom and you decided to make this film. Why this film and why this topic? What drew you to it?
COWPERTHWAITE: Yes I'm a documentary film maker by trade. And yes, I am a mom who actually took her kids to SeaWorld so I'm not an animal activist. I started making this film because I heard about the death of Dawn Brancheau. So it was really about tragedy --
PEREIRA: The trainer.
COWPERTHWAITHE: Correct a trainer who was killed by a killer whale in 2010 at SeaWorld Orlando. And for me that was confusing. I heard that she slipped and fell. That it was her ponytail. It was sort of just question after question, and basically I thought to myself, I have this many questions, I'm sure everybody else will.
PEREIRA: A lot of times when you start delving into a topic, you've heard the almost trite cliche, there are more questions than answers. Did you find that to be the case as you started to uncover more and more facts?
COWPERTHWAITE: Yes no question at all. I mean it's basically 40 years of essentially secrecy, right. SeaWorld has gone on for about 40 years or so and really none of this stuff has been unearthed. It has been unearthed in certain communities but certainly not to the general public.
So one question led to another. The first one being, oh, my gosh, Tilikum killed two people before killing Dawn. I didn't know that. I didn't know it was the same whale. The fact that the whales fight each other constantly; there's tremendous social strife in captivity. Of course they have that in the wild but in wild the subdominant animal can flee; in captivity nobody flees so they just keep fighting.
PEREIRA: So specifically you are looking at this notion of orcas being kept in captivity. What was your take-away?
COWPERTHWAITE: My take-away is that they are suitable to captivity as it gets out the facts are sort of indisputable now. They again as I said they sort of fight constantly. They become bored. They aggress upon trainers. But you know calves are stripped from mothers, these are animals that are supposed to be sort of together and held together in pods.
PEREIRA: In social groups yes.
COWPERTHWAITE: Incredibly. So it's sort of one disturbing fact after another. And you know again they live very shortened lives in captivity as well.
PEREIRA: What is the time frame?
COWPERTHWAITE: So it's teens and 20s. They usually die in the teens and 20s from captivity and in wild -- 60, 70, 80, 100.
PEREIRA: We should point that the film's production release has not gone without controversy. SeaWorld has said that the film is misleading and ignores their benefits to conservation and research.
How do you respond to that Gabriela?
COWPERTHWAITE: You know it's a tough one. It's a -- you know in terms of conservation what I've learned is that they -- they give about one percent or it's in the single digits, but it's roughly apparently one percent that they give to conservation. So this is a $2 billion a year industry. And they do the rehabilitation and release, primarily for manatees and sea turtles. These are not entertainment animals right -- they have no entertainment value.
So there's no reason they couldn't do these wonderful things with rehab and release and not have killer whales in captivity at the same time.
PEREIRA: They are saying that they rehabilitate to return hundreds of wild animals back to year -- back to the wild every year working with state and local officials to do that.
OK so let's sort to play devil's advocate. Let's say they were to shut down all these facilities. What -- what then do you do with these animals that have been in captivity for so long?
COWPERTHWAITE: That's right.
PEREIRA: You can't return them to the wild, really.
COWPERTHWAITE: Correct, and very early on I was sure, that if nothing else, SeaWorld could actually play a very heroic role here. And we never intended to shut them down. We thought to ourselves with $2 billion a year what we can do with these captive animals is essentially, you know, stop the world of animals for entertainment, which is essentially the circus, right.
We need to evolve past that and focus on sea sanctuaries which is essentially taking a net and losing off, enclosing a cove of ocean and retiring whales to the natural ocean and having them experience -- essentially, be killer whales for the first time in their lives.
PEREIRA: You said you didn't start out as an activist. Do you believe you are now -- Gabriela?
COWPERTHWAITE: That's a very good question. I'm certainly hoping that I'm -- I and my film "BLACKFISH" are agents of change.
PEREIRA: BLACKFISH" premieres tonight at 9 p.m. right here on CNN. You just met its director, Gabriela Cowperthwaite. Thank you so much for joining us.
COWPERTHWAITE: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thanks so much Michaela.
So coming up on NEW DAY, you are looking -- not him. Wait for it -- wait -- that guy. You are looking at the man who will play Christian Grey in the much anticipated film "50 shades of Grey" but are you wondering the same thing I am? Who is he?
Nischelle Turner with the details.
CUOMO: How old is he?
BOLDUAN: I don't know.
CUOMO: How old is this guy.
BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.
Women, get ready to swoon. You are about to see the man tapped to be Christian Grey in film "The 50 Shades of Grey".
Who is this man?
Nischelle Turner is here. I don't --did not recognize this guy.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Two words for you. Yes. Jamie Dornan. I know -- there's a lot of people that are saying "who is that" waking up this morning, like -- listen, first of all I'm calling this "50 Shades of Fine" because that man is fine. He really is. I know I'm partial to Ian Somerhalder but Jamie Dornan is reportedly in talks to become the next Christian Grey. Charlie Hunnam dropped out of the project. He said he didn't really have time to prepare while he was still doing "Sons of Anarchy".
BOLDUAN: That's still the story he's telling?
TURNER: That was his story and he's sticking to it. So that's what I'm going to report.
TURNER: But Jamie Dornan is reportedly in talks now to star as the new Christian Grey. He was on the ABC series, "Once Upon a Time"; also a model for Christian Dior, Calvin Klein. It's a little bit of a controversial choice again because no one really knows him.
PEREIRA: But isn't that a good idea.
TURNER: Exactly. I knew you were going to say that Michaela because that's one of the things. Everyone is like maybe we don't want to come in with a preconceived notion about who's going to play Christian Grey because it's such --
CUOMO: How old is Christian Grey?
TURNER: Christian Grey in the book late 20s, early 30s --
CUOMO: All right. So he's a young guy.
TURNER: Yes. Exactly. He's a young guy.
The knock I'm seeing on the Internet about Jamie Dornan, people are saying, well, he's a little too short. Or maybe he's a little too skinny. Because Christian Grey is kind of a strapping fellow.
CUOMO: Why isn't it Thor? The guy who plays Thor?
CUOMO: No, the guy who plays Thor. What's his name -- why isn't he doing it?
TURNER: Well, I mean -- that's a good question. We could ask Chris Hemsworth why he's --
CUOMO: Because this is the kind of movie that can make you. To show my age, Mickey Rourke when he was in "9 1/2 weeks" with Kim Basinger, he was a phenomenal actor but that took him to an entirely different level as a sex symbol.
PEREIRA: A different level. That's right.
CUOMO: I don't know why the guys aren't coming after this. TURNER: Well, because I think that women and anybody who has read the book has such this kind of hold on it. I mean I definitely have who I think in my mind's eye and how I feel like this should go, so it's a real risk.
PEREIRA: And that's where they're going to agree.
TURNER: Exactly. It's a real risk to play this role.
BOLDUAN: And isn't there a little -- the actor needs to be prepared to play that role, and it's a little racy.
TURNER: That's kind of reportedly what was the issue with Charlie Hunnam. That' he really didn't want that kind of Robert Pattinson "Twilight" fame.
CUOMO: Why didn't they give out to the people?
BOLDUAN: I love the outrage.
CUOMO: They can't tell me nothing. Why don't they say who do you think we should me make it. And put up like six of them.
PEREIRA: Because they'll never agree.
TURNER: Well because again, no one's going to agree. Like I said, I'm partial to Ian Somerhalder. There are people who say no, Matt Bomer is Christian Grey. Now we have Jamie Dornan. So I think you know maybe we should just kind of wait to see. I think he has the look. He's got the look that I think Christian Grey embodies. But I don't know.
What's the chemistry between him and Dakota Johnson?
PEREIRA: That's the key right there.
BOLDUAN: How long are we going to be waiting? Is there any expectation --
TURNER: Well, they're supposed to start shooting very soon for this.
CUOMO: This cannot end soon enough.
TURNER: Cuomo, could you give me my 50 Shades, please? You know I love the book.
CUOMO: You know I feel like I talk about this a lot, by the way.
TURNER: We do. Listen, you're going to be talking about it for a while because if this first movie does well, reportedly there's a four-movie deal that he is going to sign.
BOLDUAN: That's something to be excited about.
CUOMO: I flex when I'm angry.
PEREIRA: You flex when you're angry?
TURNER: It's that what you're doin'?
CUOMO: I'm uncomfortable.
TURNER: I think we need to just give you a little bit of love because we're all swooning --
TURNER: -- so let's give you a little love.
CUOMO: I'm tired of talking about hot guys.
TURNER: Would you like for me to do J-E-T-S?
BOLDUAN: How are you doing with the cards? Talk about the cards.
TURNER: Oh, we have to bring that up. Bring up the beat-down.
BOLDUAN: I love you.
TURNER: Listen, my Cardinals will come back. They will come back hard. John Berman, I'm coming for you.
BOLDUAN: Here we go.
TURNER: There we go.
CUOMO: He could be Christian Grey.
BOLDUAN: On that, we'll be right back.
CUOMO: Time for "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello. Take it away.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I will gladly.
COSTELLO: Kate Hudson, there's a hot woman for you -- Chris.
BOLDUAN: There you go.
COSTELLO: Thanks guys. "NEWSROOM" starts now.
Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you for being with me.
Right now as we speak on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are getting their first chance to grill the developers of Obamacare's botched website. The companies will be pressed to explain the crippling problems that plagued the enrollment process and overshadowed the roll out of Obama's signature healthcare reform. So expect the blame to ricochet in all different distribution.
CNN's Jim Acosta is at the White House to start our coverage. Good morning -- Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESONDENT: Good morning. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius -- she will not be at the hearing today. That is scheduled for next week. But the private contractors that helped build the Obamacare website, they will be on the hot seat.
Meanwhile, an insurance industry source has told CNN that some of the nation's top health insurers knew about these Obamacare website problems before the site fully launched.