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Massive Storm Ripping Through Philippines; Obama: "I Am Sorry"; FDA Targets Trans Fats; Mayor's Violent & Incoherent Tape; Martin MacNeill Trial

Aired November 8, 2013 - 08:00   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, what is the storm doing now and where is it heading next?

Kathy Novak is in the Philippines with the latest joining us on the phone.

So, Kathy, what are you seeing around you now?

KATHY NOVAK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Kate, I am in Manila. And the storm has been passing through here. We've had strong winds and rain, one of the small mercies is that the storm is passing quickly, came through Manila and went, that is the situation we've been seeing throughout a lot of the country, that the storm is stretching across two-thirds of the Philippines.

As you say, it is powerful. It's category five typhoon, that is only because the scale does not go anywhere. The point of reference, Sandy was a category 2 storm when it hit the U.S. coast, that is how powerful this is. It made landfall five times throughout the day, many areas are cut off, with no power and no phone services.

Of course, what that means is even government agencies have been struggling to get information out of the areas and the death toll stands at three. But the fear is that is likely to climb as information starts to emerge and concentrated, it's expected to remain in the Philippines for the 12 hours before Haiyan moves on to Vietnam with the very, very strong winds.

BOLDUAN: All right. Kathy, thank you so much. It's that element of being cut off for that many hours you don't know the damage, destruction and death this could bring.

Thank you so much for that. Stay safe.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And we'll keep tracking because it's far from over. It's going across that Sea of China now, Vietnam directly in front of it, southeast China, huge population areas. We'll keep going because we're not sure how much it will slow down. As we all know, when they go over land versus water, there are different dynamics. So, we'll following it for you all morning. Stay with us here.

Also new this morning, an apology from President Obama. The president saying he's sorry to the millions of Americans losing their health insurance because it is now, quote, "substandard", at least as defined by Obamacare, and he's promising to try to make it right.

Athena Jones is live at the White House.

Good morning, Athena.

The question is, will the apology be enough with what's going on politically?


That is the question. The president is heading down to New Orleans today to talk about the economy, but as you know, he's still dealing with the all-out over, and the word that millions of Americans are getting these cancellation letters from their health insurance companies because of Obamacare.


JONES (voice-over): President Obama is apologizing to Americans losing their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, despite his frequent processes they'd be able to keep plans they like, telling NBC News --

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.

JONES: About 5 percent of Americans buy their insurance on the individual market. And some of them are losing their plans as insurance companies cancel policies that don't meet tough new Obamacare standards.

OBAMA: We weren't as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place and I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position, a better position, than they were before this law happened.

JONES: The president said most people getting cancellation letters will be able to get new plans at the same price or cheaper on the new marketplaces. And he stuck to his administration's latest promise, that the troubled Web site will be fixed by the end of the month.

OBAMA: It's better than it was last week. And it's certainly a lot better than it was on October 1st. I'm confident that it will be even better by November 30th, and that the majority of people are going to be able to get on there. They're going to be able to enroll.

JONES: Obama's apology comes as a bipartisan fair of senators filed legislation Thursday to delay for a year the fine to be levied on people who don't buy health insurance by the end of March, citing the problems with the Web site.

West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Illinois Republican Mark Kirk say, quote, "This common sense proposal allows Americans to take more time to browse and explore their options, making 2014 a true transition year."


JONES: Now, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be down in Atlanta today where she'll announce new regulations requiring that health insurance companies treat mental illness like any other illness. This was a requirement under a law that passed back in 2008, but the government never wrote regulations detailing how to implement that requirement. And so, that's what we'll be hearing from Secretary Sebelius today -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Athena, thanks so much for that update.

We want to tell you about a stern warning about a very common food ingredient. The FDA says trans fats are a threat to public health and they're taking the first step in getting food manufacturers to get rid of them, saying it's a matter of life and death.

Chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is at the CNN Center with much more.

So, what do you make of this move, Sanjay?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a pretty big deal. It's interesting. You know, in the medical community, Kate, they've known for a long time that trans fats are really problematic. I mean, they really increase your risk of significant diseases including heart disease. Even in the industry they've recognized this.

But the FDA has been largely silent on this issue up until now.


GUPTA (voice-over): It's an ingredient in a lot of our favorite foods -- microwave popcorn, cookies, cakes, frozen pizza and much more -- trans fats. They increase shelf life and they add flavor to processed foods. But the FDA is now saying they are not safe and wants to ban them. It's a move they say would save thousands of lives.

MICHAEL TAYLOR, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, FDA: We think it's time to address and really phase out the remaining uses of trans fat in the diet, so that we can reduce the incidence of heart disease and deaths resulting from heart attack.

GUPTA: You see, trans fats lower good cholesterol and they raise bad cholesterol.

What we're trying to avoid is this -- LDL or bad cholesterol building up as plaque in the blood vessel walls, because that plaque buildup is what can cause heart attacks.

The CDC says ditching trans fats would prevent up to 20,000 heart attacks a year and as many as 7,000 more deaths from heart disease. New York City banned trans fats from restaurants in 2007. And many companies and popular chains around the country have already phased them out.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association says that it looks forward to working with the FDA to better understand their concerns and how the industry can better serve consumers.


GUPTA: And, Kate, let me give you good news in all of this as well. You know, back in 2003, the average American was eating about 4.6 grams of trans fats every year. Now, it's about a gram per day instead.

So, we've reduced a lot of it on our own. The FDA wants to basically make them go away all together.

BOLDUAN: It sounds like a hefty proposition to phase them out all together. How soon do you think this could happen?

GUPTA: Well, most immediately there's a 60-day comment period. So, this isn't set in stone yet. People can put in their questions or concerns but most people expect that to go well. Like I said the industry has already started doing this.

But I think, you know, shortly after that, I mean, the existing products on shelves will still be sold probably but it's going to start getting replaced by products that have no trans fats in them.

I should point out again, Kate, where you are in New York, they've been doing this for several years and it seems to have gone well. New Yorkers barely noticed the changes in a lot of foods that they were eating.

BOLDUAN: So, from the medical perspective, from your view, how big of a difference do you think this will make in the health of the people across the country?

GUPTA: Pretty significant. I really do think this. You know, heart disease remains the biggest killer of men and women alike in this country and the thing about trans fats is that most people don't really look at that content. You shouldn't be eating more than a percent of your total calories in trans fats. So, 2,000 calories a day means 20 calories from trans fats a day. That's not very much.

But, again, I think you don't notice it, you don't pay attention to it, it will just be sort of done for you now. So, the same foods you're eating just won't have the trans fats in them anymore and I think that will make a big difference.

BOLDUAN: All right. Sanjay, thanks so much. Great to get your perspective, always. Have a great weekend. Thank you.

GUPTA: You've got it. You too, Kate.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Always to avoid the -- or not to avoid, to shop the outside of the grocery store, right?

BOLDUAN: That advice still stands true.

PEREIRA: I know, I'm going to try.


PEREIRA: Shall we look at that line?

BOLDUAN: Please.

PEREIRA: We start with this breaking news: an apology from CBS News for "60 Minutes" report on the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, saying they now know a source used in the story is unreliable.

Chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto joins us now with breaking details from Washington -- Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michaela, these are startling revelations about the star witness in a story that reignited a bitter debate here in Washington over the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack.

U.S. official tells CNN there are some discrepancies in the accounts, this contractor, Dylan Davies, gave to the FBI and what he said to CBS. "The New York Times" has reported his account to the FBI matched what he told his own company and that is that he never went to the Benghazi compound the night of the attack, and never saw the Ambassador Chris Stevens' dead body as he claimed to CBS and in his new book.

CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan was just on air now and here is what she said.


LARA LOGAN, "60 MINUTES" CORRESPONDENT: That was the moment for us when we realized that we no longer had confidence in our source, and that we were wrong to put him on air, and we apologized to our viewers.


SCIUTTO: I reached his co-author just now, Damian Lewis, who told us earlier in the week that Davies never changed his story, he had full confidence in him. He's refusing to comment now pending Davies own comment.

Now, to be clear, these doubts do not address Davies broader claim that security was insufficient to other witnesses in the story made that same point. However, the star witness now losing his credibility and, Michaela, CBS says it will apologize to its viewers again on its "60 Minutes" broadcast this Sunday night.

PEREIRA: All right. Jim Sciutto, reporting now for us -- thank you so much for that. A deal may be close on Iran's nuclear program. Talks in Geneva said to be making progress. Iran's chief negotiator telling CNN agreement could come as early as today.

Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Geneva to help hammer out the deal, which would limit Iran's program in exchange for dropping sanctions. New allegations against Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito, accused of harassing teammate Jonathan Martin. Now, according to CNN affiliate WPLG, Incognito was investigated for allegedly molesting a female volunteer at the Dolphins annual golf tournament last year. No charges were filed.

As for Jonathan Martin, his attorney says the player endured harassment from teammates that went far beyond traditional locker room hazing.

The IRS ripped off by identity thieves. An inspector general report say the agency paid out $3.6 billion in fraudulent tax refunds last year, one big payout went to an address in Bulgaria. That was listed on more than 700 returns. The report says the IRS is getting better at catching fraud, the agency paid out more than $5 billion to thieves the year before.

And let me tell you -- if a plane, a train, a car, a bike or even a horse seems too fast, you could always take your goat across the country. Steve Westcott of Seattle is walking his goat. I want you to recognize the goat's name, Leroy. He's walking Leroy to New York. He left May 2n. He is in Missouri now.

Westcott has a great reason for doing this. He is trying to raise $200,000 for Christian orphanage in Kenya and he says the only reason he gets the attention, weirdly, is because of Leroy.

BOLDUAN: That's not weird.

PEREIRA: Oh, sorry.

CUOMO: He's not on the goat, he's with the goat.

PEREIRA: That's what I said.

CUOMO: Seattle man heading to New York "on goat."

PEREIRA: With goat.

BOLDUAN: No, it says with goat. I'm sorry.

PEREIRA: He'd go to Jason's (ph), Chris.

CUOMO: All these don't ride goats people were about -- I can't believe he's riding a goat in this day and age.


PEREIRA: -- if he's burden, he's carrying his lunch.

BOLDUAN: Thank you for not sticking to the point I'm the most gullible person in the room.

PEREIRA: I walked away from it. I gave you room. I love you back, girl.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Moving on. Chris missed it.

CUOMO: What about me? I try to distract also. I was trying to distract. Do you think if I care if it says on or with?

Let's get over to Karen Maginnis, we've got a lot of serious weather we're following this morning. She's in for Indra Petersons.

Hey, Karen. What do we know from now?


CUOMO: Isn't that crazy?

BOLDUAN: Looks like we're having technical issues.


BOLDUAN: We'll get back to Karen in just a little while. Let's take a break now.

Coming up next on NEW DAY: more bizarre behavior from the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, an expletive-filled rant captured on video. We'll look at the fallout what it means for the man and his job.


PEREIRA: Well, another day, another incriminating video of Toronto mayor, Rob Ford. Days after he admitted smoking crack, we're seeing this video, the mayor of North America's fourth largest city, gesticulating wildly, blabbering incoherently, threatening murder. Listen to part of his rant.


VOICE OF ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: Cause I'm going to kill that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) guy. I'm telling you it's first-degree murder.


FORD: But I'll fight him. I'll (INAUDIBLE).


PEREIRA: Mayoral behavior, we ask? Ford says he was inebriated and is now embarrassed. Let's bring in marketing and branding consultant, Peter Shankman, and psychologist, Robi Ludwig.

Let's start with you. Peter, first of all, I can imagine a crisis management team is pulling their hair out. They -- every time they try to get around this situation, it's getting worse. PETER SHANKMAN, MARKETING & BRANDING CONSULTANT: You never thought you'd find someone in politics that would make Anthony Weiner look good. This is an amazing story and it does get worse every single time, yet, he refuses to leave. And we see this a lot in politics with celebrities. They think, well, it will blow over. Something else will happen.

You've threatened to kill someone, you're high on crack. And it's funny. We have no problem with drug addicts, people going to rehab. Crack is a different world. For some reason when celebrities, when politicians, when crack -- look at Marion Barry. OK? When crack comes into play, it's no longer just, 'Oh, he'll get help.' It's, 'You're an addict.'

And he's not helping himself by teasing reporters and say, well, you didn't ask the right questions and I never lied. That's like the high school boyfriend no one ever liked.

CUOMO: That's what an addict would say and one of the reasons that we asked Robi to stay here is that one of my concerns on this one is that this is being treated like political scandal and when is enough, enough -- and that's not really what it is, is it, Robi? I mean, do you need any more proof that this man has a legitimate problem that obviously he will deny it like most?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. You're absolutely right. And this is a man who's playing Russian roulette with his life. And the problem with crack is that it's highly addictive. So, even if somebody doesn't have a genetic inclination to be an addict, there's something very highly addictive about this drug. It's not something you can do, let's say, once a year and then give it up.

And it's always or usually done with another substance. So, here is a man who clearly is out of control and is putting his life in danger. And so, he needs help, and hopefully, this video and this coming out in the public can be an intervention of sorts.

BOLDUAN: Because it does look like we are watching and not just political suicide. We are watching a man's life falling apart before our eyes. Isn't there someone around him that can't say it is time to go?

SHANKMAN: I mean, if you look at people like this, him, Lindsay Lohan, you know, they surround themselves with yes men, but people who say, oh, you know, it's everyone else's fault, you're not doing anything wrong. The thing about this is, you know, when Lindsay implodes, when a celebrity implodes, when a baseball player implodes, they're not affecting -- this man has power.

This man is the mayor of the largest city in Canada. He appoints people to benches, you know? What if he appointed the person who handles adoptions and it was someone he owed a favor from a drug base or something like that? You know, there's a lot of repercussions that could happen here, and he was elected by the commuters.

He wasn't elected by the rich. He wasn't elected by the elite of Toronto. And when you have one critical error like this that snowballs into another, you have people coming out of the woodwork. You have enemies you didn't even know you had.


SHANKMAN: I have a feeling this is just the first. We're not seeing the end here.

PEREIRA: It's interesting we showed some sound earlier his mother and sister saying he doesn't have a problem. His sister, in fact, admitted that she's a recovering addict and that she would recognize an addict and that he doesn't display that kind of behavior. And you're talking about yes men. I mean, that's sort of --


LUDWIG: And that's enabling. And so, he could put people around him who do enable him into death (ph), and we've seen that with celebrities, too, where they put so many people around them who can't tell them what to do, left to their own devices they really self- destruct. So -- but this man also has the potential to turn things around at a very powerful way.

BOLDUAN: For his career?

SHANKMAN: I don't believe for his career. What he needs to do -- first of all, we can't miss someone and we can't want someone back until they go away. He needs to go away right now. That's number one. Let him go into rehab. Let him be quiet for six months, because in rehab also, what he'll do, he won't only get rid of his addiction, he'll drop some weight, OK? And that's a dangerous combination.


SHANKMAN: Crack, weight -- he's a walking time bomb right now. If he comes back six months later and says here's what I learned and then spend some time volunteering, helping other people, perhaps, in that situation. Keep in mind, he was elected by the common people of Toronto, not the elite.

He could -- he's not going to manage a career to come back, but he could still have a voice and that voice could be powerful and that voice could help people.

CUOMO: If he behaves the right way.

SHANKMAN: If he behaves the right way.

CUOMO: Robi made the perfect point to end this segment, which is, you don't get rid of an addiction, you manage addiction. And the reason that's so important is that it reinforces this isn't weakness, this ii's illness. And it's one of the biggest misunderstandings that's why we analyze the tape -- why is he threatening to kill somebody? Because he's sick.


SHANKMAN: But he has to get a handle on that first.

LUDWIG: And also the drug on his brain.


PEREIRA: Well, we hate that it was this topic that you had to discuss because you don't like to see somebody coming undone like this right before our eyes.

LUDWIG: Disturbing.

PEREIRA: It is disturbing. We want to say thank you to Robi Ludwig, psychologist, and to Peter Shankman, a branding consultant, joining us this morning on NEW DAY.

We want you to be part of the conversation, though. Get on Twitter, use #NEWDAY.

CUOMO: All right. Coming up on NEW DAY, the mistress brought back on the stand as the Martin MacNeill trial comes to a stunning end. The prosecution has put forth its best case. The question now for them is, the woman he allegedly killed his wife for, will she be the one that they can use to put him in prison?

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, a fresh look at the unemployment rate, the monthly numbers due out in moments. We're going to bring that to you and give you the context of what it means.

CUOMO: But first, we want you to know that this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern, Anthony Bourdain "Parts Unknown" has its season finale and he visits the Motor City, Detroit. Take a look.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN, "PARTS UNKNOWN": Maybe the worms started to turn here. The Packard Automotive Plant, opened in 1903, it was considered the most advanced facility of its kind anywhere in the world. Huge, epically proportioned, I mean 3.5 million square feet. Now, one man lives here, Al Hill.

ALAN (ph)HILL, LIVES IN PACKARD AUTOMOTIVE PLANT: My name's Alan Hill. Welcome to my home. This room right here is the forge room. It was a former Packard Motor Car Company. I started living here about seven years ago. At that time, I was semi-apprehensive about the place and the goings on around here, but it turned out -- it's about as peaceful as the north woods and not having a credit card or a mortgage payment or a car payment is a real blessing. Two nails here.


HILL: That's what happened here in Detroit is unfortunate, but you know, it's a sign of the times. We find out that not only does it take a village to raise an individual, it takes an entire world to support one city. One city is suffering or one community is suffering, the entire world should pitch in and help elevate it instead of set there and stare at it.



PEREIRA: Welcome back to "NEW DAY". It's time now for the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.


PEREIRA (voice-over): At number one, a massive, super typhoon has slammed into the Philippines packing over 200-mile-per-hour winds. That storm is said to be causing catastrophic damage.

President Obama says he's sorry for Americans getting health care plans canceled despite assurances that it wouldn't happen. He also says people are working to close gaps in Obamacare.

Secretary of state, John Kerry, heading to Geneva in hopes of getting a deal done on Iran's nuclear program. Tehran's chief negotiator telling CNN an agreement with the west could come as early as today.

The FDA is phasing out trans-fat from the food supply because of its artery clogging risk. This move says -- in its move, it says it could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths every year.

And at number five, CBS apologizing for a report on Benghazi that claimed a contractor was able to reach the compound and fight the attackers. Now says that source was unreliable and they were wrong to use him.

We always update those five things to know, so be sure to go to the very latest -- Chris.


CUOMO: All right, Mich. Closing arguments are just a few hours away in the trial of Martin MacNeill. He is the doctor accused of killing his wife with a deadly cocktail of prescription drugs so he could be with his mistress. The state called 46 witnesses over 13 days. The defense called only four. The question is, will that be enough? Have they made the case that this is a horrible man or a murderer? Here's CNN's Ted Rowlands.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go on the record in the matter of State of Utah versus Martin MacNeill.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Martin MacNeill's fate will be in the hands of a jury by this afternoon after crucial closing arguments. Prosecutors are expected to push their theory that the doctor had an elaborate plan to kill his wife, 50-year-old Michele MacNeill, first convincing her to have cosmetic surgery then using her medication he drugged her, they say, so he could then drown her in a bathtub.

CHAD GRUNANDER, PROSECUTOR: It is very complex. There's a number of facts that need to be tied together. That's what we're attempting to do here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dearest when your letter arrived --

ROWLANDS: The motive, prosecutors say, was MacNeill's girlfriend, Gypsy Willis. She was brought back on the stand Thursday as the state's final witness. To show how serious their relationship was, prosecutors had her read portions of love letters she and MacNeill sent each other while both served time in federal prison for lying to investigators after Michele's death. Willis says their relationship was over, but the letters were comforting.

GYPSY WILLIS, MARTIN MACNEILL'S MISTRESS: I found myself in prison for two years as a result of being with this guy and that was terrifying to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Willis, isn't it fair to say that you appear to be minimizing your relationship with the defendant?

WILLIS: I don't believe so.

ROWLANDS: The defense case consisted of just four witnesses, the most significant an ergonomics expert testifying that MacNeill likely could not have pulled his wife out of the bathtub without help, something prosecutors believe he lied about. MacNeill's defense team says the rest of their case will be tied together this morning in closing arguments.

RANDY SPENCER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think closings are very important. This has been what is turning out to be a four-week trial. And, there's a lot of information that's been presented and we've done our job in the system. And, before long, it will be the jury's turn to do theirs.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Provo, Utah.