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SeaWorld Fighting Federal Ban; $3 Gas Near You?; Which Tower Is Tallest In U.S.?; Kobe Loses Bet To Kevin Ware

Aired November 12, 2013 - 06:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Desperation setting in for people stuck in damaged parts of the Philippines. People trying to get through the day searching and waiting for deliveries of food and water. Help is on the way but it's being slowed by bad weather. Years of cleanup is ahead. The death toll is expected to reach 10,000.

Egypt's curfew and state of emergency expected to expire as scheduled on Thursday. It's been in place for the last three months as authorities crack down on protesters who support ousted president, Mohamed Morsy. The country's interior minister saying security forces will be beefed up along main streets, just in case to tighten control and instill a sense of confidence and security.

A new bombshell theory this morning -- did Montana newlywed Jordan Linn Graham blindfold her husband before pushing him off a cliff? Prosecutors are saying they are testing DNA on a piece of cloth found near Cody Johnson's body and claimed he was blindfolded. Graham's attorney wants the trial postponed saying he was blindsided and is unprepared to defend his client if the trial starts next month. We will have more on this story later in our show.

Officials at SeaWorld challenging a federal ban that forbids its employees from making contact with killer whales during performances. This rule was implemented following a death of a trainer in 2010. Today's hearing in federal court in Washington comes two weeks after the CNN's highly acclaimed special "Black Fish." SeaWorld for its part arguing that human contact with killer whales is educational and essential to their care.

A Florida teen armed with a bow and arrow confronts an intruder who refused to leave the home. Fourteen-year-old Mariah Reed (ph) says the doorbell rang. Thinking it was her mom, she unlocked the door and went back to bed. Later, though, she heard a voice she did not recognize, and confronted, armed with her bow and arrow, the intruder, 54-year-ld Marsha Watson (ph). Watson wouldn't leave, so Reed called the police. The trespasser was arrested for trespassing.

Fourteen years old and already knew how to confront and intruder.



CUOMO: Something weird in that situation. Not just the bow and arrow.

BOLDUAN: Not just the mug shot?

CUOMO: We'll find out more.

Coming up on NEW DAY: are you tired of the sad news? Gas prices going down. That's good news. Dropping to $3 a gallon.

We'll tell you why that $3, even that may look high just a few months from now. Yes, sustain your disbelief.

BOLDUAN: We'll also tell you ahead why hundreds of people attended the funeral for a World War II veteran they didn't even know. That's coming up.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back. Let's go around the world now starting in China where security is extremely tight for a critical meeting of government leaders there. David McKenzie is in Beijing.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the final day of a crucial and secretive communist party meeting here in Beijing. Behind closed doors, leaders have been getting together to hash out possible economic reforms that could have major implications for the Chinese economy and the way that China does business with the rest of the world.

One thing we believe is not on the agenda of this meeting is political reform. There's been a sense there's been a broad-based crackdown on activists here in China for the past year.

Kate, back to you.


BOLDUAN: David, thank you so much.

Now to Saudi Arabia where a morbidly obese man was ordered to be hospitalized by the king. It's been almost three months since CNN international correspondent Mohammed Jamjoom has the latest on his progress.


MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A morbidly obese Saudi Arabian man who just three months ago weighed more than 1,300 pounds has lost 330 pounds. The man couldn't even move himself this past August when Saudi Arabian King Abdullah ordered him transferred to a country's hospital in Riyadh.

Since then, he's been observed by a team 261 medical specialists. The head of the team says although he has heart and lung problems, he's been responding to well to treatment. Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: Thank you so much for that, Mohammed.

And in England, a gathering of strangers who answered the call for a fallen hero.

CNN'S Erin McLaughlin is in London with more on that.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL: In England yesterday, hundreds attended the funeral of a veteran they have never met. Ninety-nine- year-old Harold Jellichoe Percival died a single man, no friends, no family. For a while there, it look as though this World War II veteran would be buried alone and forgotten, that is until his funeral home posted an ad in a local paper asking military personnel to attend.

The ad made its way to the internet and the response was overwhelming. Some traveled hundreds of miles to be able to give Harold a funeral fit for a veteran of the Second World War.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: Erin, thank you so much for that.

Heartbreaking but heartwarming at the very same time.

CUOMO: It's money time. You can talk unemployment, GDP, GNP, but maybe nothing matters more than gas prices to people.

And here's some good news, the national average of gas, the price, $3.18, national average of gas. According to AAA, the price is $3.18. Price has been on the decline for almost a month and are now at a two- year low. The question is, why?

Christine Romans is here with the answers.

Great to have you. Great news. Why is it low? Where is it low? How long will it be low?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're right to say a national average, it's like a national temperature. There's no one national gas price all over the country; it's very different.

But we're seeing a high number of towns that are below $3, getting to $3 and below $3. Here's why -- we did not have a major hurricane to disrupt refineries. We did not have the worst case scenario in the Middle East, right? We did not have -- we have all the supply coming out of North Dakota and Canada and other places. So, we have a very good situation, a fundamental situation right now. Seventy-one percent of the price from a gallon of gas comes from crude oil. Crude oil down to like $94 a barrel right now.

So, the biggest factor going into your gas price is a commodity that is still declining and it's going to keep declining.

BOLDUAN: So, is this a blip? How are we going to see this for a long time?

ROMANS: It's a trend. It's a trend. You're going to see it into Christmas. I think, by the end of the year, most prognosticators say -- that's GasBuddy -- it's going to keep going down. Maybe $3 for the national average which will be different wherever you are.

PEREIRA: I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like right around Thanksgiving when everybody goes to see mama, they're going to jack it up again. Doesn't that always happen when we --

ROMANS: It would be drifting lower. Now, the big key is don't spend it all in one place, because the retailers are now ramping up to get you to reach out that your pocket and pull out the money and spend, spend, spend into the end of the year.

So this is a good, good tailwind for consumers. This is your personal economic indicator, very good for you. You've got a job market that still needs to keep going. So, don't spend it all in one place.

CUOMO: A whisper of conspiracy coming from Romans there. I like that. One side is giving you some money, maybe the other side is asking you to buy on things that you don't need. I like a good conspiracy.

So, none of this has to do with demand, we're not using less? Isn't that what we're supposed to hear here?

ROMANS: And we're driving a little bit less.

CUOMO: Oh, we're driving less?

ROMANS: That's something to watch. That's something to really watch here. I'm not sure if the miles driven are less. What we should watch, what does this mean about the economy? A strong economy, you tend to see gas prices start to rise because the demand for the gasoline is going up. The industrial demand, too.

Remember, you've heard people talk about Saudi America. We are producing more oil than we have in years. And that is one of the things you're seeing in price of oil and oil spills into the gas market.

PEREIRA: Still I'm going to watch my prices.

ROMANS: You're a skeptic, I like that. PEREIRA: I'm being skeptical, around Thanksgiving, I bet it will go up.

ROMANS: I like that about you.

BOLDUAN: But until then, fill up.

CUOMO: But again, that wouldn't be heresy. If demand really goes up, then prices usually do go up. That's simple economics.

ROMANS: Just enjoy it. Don't ask questions. Just enjoy it.

CUOMO: Enjoy your gas.

BOLDUAN: Blind faith, Christine, says.

Thanks, Christine.

Coming up next on "NEW DAY", the very tip, tiptop of One World Trade Center makes it the tallest building in the United States or does it? We'll tell you about the controversy surrounding two skyscrapers.

PEREIRA: And we have got a little proof for you, some folks will not let anything stop them from rocking on. It is our must-see moment.


BOLDUAN: All righty. Let's get straight back to Indra. Does it feel cold in your home? That's because you might be feeling some snow outside. What are you looking at, Indra?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You may be talking about some snow. This is Chicago. I mean, check this out. They actually have just under a half an inch of snow yesterday in the same system will be making its way to New York City. Now, actually, you can see in Detroit, also about a half inch of snow. Definitely some icy roads causing some collisions there.

This is a system that's currently still even bringing some flurries across the mid-Atlantic and northeast today. You can actually see right around state college, Scranton, we're currently seeing some of these flurries. And over the next few hours, we are going to start to see more of the rain that we're currently seeing this morning. Switch to snow as a cold front makes its way through.

Now, we're talking about minimal chances here. Just that first flurry really for many of you. But really kind of the mid-Atlantic and even trying to stretch into the south. That's how atypical this system is for this time of year. Why? We have this huge dome of high pressure, very cold arctic air making its way in.

It's the same dome that was there yesterday, but it's now spreading farther to the east so that chill will be with a lot more of us. So, take a look at the temperatures this morning and notice where the cold front is. So New York City, 42 degrees currently, seeing a little bit of rain out there. Now, this cold front will slowly start to make its way through and that will switch over potentially to a dusting of snow.

So that's we're watching and kind of waiting for -- little flurries out there. Pittsburgh, notice your temperatures will only be looks like around 30 as we go to bed tonight. We are talking about these temperatures dipping down. And we're talking way low and not just below normal but way south.

I mean, look at this. Dallas, your high, only 48 degrees. Yes, that is a chill. About 19, 20 degrees below normal. It's going to stay that way even in through tomorrow. So, with that as we wake up and go to work tomorrow morning, check these temperatures out. If you think it's kind of cool this morning, it's actually quite mild. Tomorrow morning, D.C., we'll get the 29 degrees, Raleigh, 24. This chill here is going to will be lasting. So, first, snow and then just cold -- Kate and Chris.

BOLDUAN: All right. Indra, thank you so much.

PEREIRA: Brrr. Brrr, brrr, brrr.

CUOMO: So don't let her chill you.


CUOMO: That's all it is. It's cuddle time.

PEREIRA: We will cuddle at the desk.

We are going to find something out very interesting today. See this building here? We're going to find out if New York City's one World Trade Center is the tallest building in the U.S. or if the record still belongs to the Willis Tower in Chicago. The New York building stands at 1,176 feet, but critics say the spire atop it shouldn't count. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has been examining the evidence. They will release a decision today.

So, we want to discuss it. Julie Satow is a contributor to "The New York Times" where she covers real estate. And this is a big piece of real estate we're talking about. So, let's talk about -- why is there controversy over this spire? Is it spire versus antenna that's the issue?

JULIE SATOW, NEW YORK TIMES CONTRIBUTOR, REAL ESTATE: Exactly. It's whether it's a spire, which means it's part of the actual architectural integrity of the building, part of the design or whether it's an antenna, just a piece of technical equipment.

PEREIRA: Like an afterthought --

SATOW: Exactly. Something that can be removed easily and it doesn't affect the way a building looks. So --

BOLDUAN: Why is this -- this is a loaded question, but why is this important? Which one is taller than the other? Is it bragging rights or is there an actual increase in property value if you are the tallest building in the country? SATOW: Well, I think that it's both. I mean, obviously, The height of the World Trade Center is very important. It has a symbolic number attach to it. It has -- you know, it's a very important piece of real estate for a lot of people. So, I think it does have an extra, you know, piece of significance to it.

But I think also there is a marketing aspect. You know, obviously, the older -- the original World Trade Center they had trouble leasing it. There were often vacancies. If you can say you're the tallest building, it gives you a nice, you know, tag line. And I think it could have a marketing effect.

CUOMO: Are you a little surprised by this? I mean, you have to remember, everybody. This isn't just the building. There was a whole commission set up to think about its significance and what it should mean. It was always supposed to be the tallest. How did they not make it the tallest by such a clear mission? Look what they do in Dubai. That tower is like the tallest mountain in the universe they have -- how did this happen?

SATOW: I think, honestly, they had no idea that this was going to be a controversy. I think they decided to -- all they did is remove the cladding which was sort of an architectural piece to it, because they said it would be hard to maintain and it did save them about $20 million in construction costs. So, I think that -- you know, they just made --

CUOMO: $20 million when this thing --


SATOW: Right. So I think that wasn't the biggest piece, but I think they thought it would be really hard to maintain. So, they did take it out and I don't think they thought it would cause this kind of --

PEREIRA: So, if the cladding had been there, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all.

SATOW: Exactly. And the architect of the building, David Childs, has said publicly called it an antenna which is quite unusual because --

BOLDUAN: That's a problem.

SATOW: Yes. That's his client. So --

PEREIRA: So if the spire is not included, this wouldn't even make the --


PEREIRA: -- make it the third, and then the first and second honors would both belong to Chicago. That has got to stick in the craw of New Yorkers, though, right? I mean --

CUOMO: You know, it's not about New York versus Chicago. It's just that Chicago is supposed to be part of this. This is about all of us, this place.

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

CUOMO: That's what it was supposed to be is a testament to our resiliency and that we're bigger and better than ever. That's what --

PEREIRA: But will it not be that without being the tallest?

SATOW: We still have rebuilt it. So --

BOLDUAN: We're going to find out today.


BOLDUAN: How do you think they're going to rule?

SATOW: You know, if they stick with what they've said previously in the way they've measured things previously, it will not be the tallest tower.


SATOW: If they change the ruling, you know, somewhat -- and you know, the developers argue of the trade center that it does have these LED lights attached to it and there is an architectural piece to it. So, if they decide that, it could have implications for other building heights.

PEREIRA: We will watch this, Julie Satow, thanks so much for "The New York Times" --


PEREIRA: Let's go to our "Must-See Moment" now. We want to introduce you to -- if you haven't seen him already -- Romanian drummer, Cornel Hrisca-Munn. He has taken the adage marching to the beat of one's own drum to a whole other level in his latest online video masterful cover of the Foo Fighter song, "Everlong." Listen for a moment and enjoy.



PEREIRA (voice-over): He's got an amazing back story. A born without forearms and a leg deformity in Romania, raised in an orphanage, eventually adopted by a British couple, received a whole new lease on life. He is now Oxford educated and rocks out with the rocking drum covers. You can see them online. He's got a foundation. He is just --


CUOMO (voice-over): We're not even seeing the best part of this. Most of the beat that he's playing is a double high hat beat. Both of his hands are flying at the same time on a high hat symbol.


CUOMO (on-camera): You know, it's like that -- where the drummer is going like this which is the hardest beat to do, and he owns it.



CUOMO: The guy is amazing on so many levels. And the song is like four or five minutes long and the whole video --

PEREIRA (on-camera): You pointed that out to us today. Made it our must see.

CUOMO: He owns it. It's not like the guy -- he's not trying, he's succeeding.


BOLDUAN: That's right. Ridiculous. That's amazing.

CUOMO: Talk about you are not your limitations.

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: Thanks for that one, Michaela.

PEREIRA: You're welcome.

CUOMO: Right.

CUOMO: Coming up on "NEW DAY", sink holes. You know about them. We show them to you, but in the middle of a major city? Yes. Wait until you see this.

BOLDUAN: And we're also going to get you right back to the Philippines for the latest on the search and recovery efforts there. Anderson Cooper, you see him right there. He is there and he'll be joining us at the top of the hour to give us the latest.



JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": The White House is considering appointing a civilian to lead the NSA. And here is the great part. If you're interested in the job, no need to submit a resume. They got all your information already. They'll call you.

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": Joe Biden took an Amtrak train to Delaware and wound up sitting next to Whoopi Goldberg.


FALLON: He just run into her on the train. He has a photo. Look at this. Yes. Isn't that crazy? Biden said what it's like making millions of Americans laugh every day? And then Whoopi said I was going to ask you the same question.




BOLDUAN: Good old Joe.

CUOMO: It was good. We need the comedy. All right. So, listen to this, talk about motivation. You remember Louisville's Kevin Ware, he had a horrible injury to his leg and where they thought he wasn't going to come back and he came back so fast. How did he do it? Nothing fuels a jock by competition, right?

And it turns out that Lakers star, Kobe Bryant, remember he blew out his Achilles, they made a bet to help motivate each other. Let's hear about it from Andy Scholes. He's here with this morning's Bleacher Report." Tell us about it, my friend.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, Chris. You know, Kobe and Kevin's injuries, they were the two most notable ones we've seen on a basketball court over the past year. And like you said, they motivate each other in recovery. Kobe reached out to Kevin and they made a bet to see who would make it back on the court first.

The loser had to attend one of the winner's games and looks like Kobe's going to head to Louisville sometime this year, because Ware won the bet by playing in the Cardinals exhibition game last week.

All right. Good news for the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning's MRI on his ankle showed no signs of new damage. Interim head coach, Jack Del Rio, said he's definitely going to be on the field this weekend and that's huge for the Broncos because they've got a big game on Sunday. They're going to take on the 9-0 Kansas City Chiefs. That's going to be on Sunday night football.

Turning on, today, former Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow, may be back in football soon, but it won't be on the field. According to, the former Heisman trophy winner has hired prominent broadcast agent, CAA's Nick Khan to represent him. So, if the NFL doesn't come calling soon, we could see Tebow on a college football broadcast team by the end of the season.

Hey, guys, he's won a Heisman, two national titles. Who knows more about college football than Tim Tebow. It would be great to see him on a broadcast breaking down some games.

BOLDUAN: He'd be great at commentary. That's a good move. I like that. Thanks, Andy.

All right. We're near the top of the hour, everyone, which means it is time for the top news.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My eldest daughter, I hope she's alive.

CUOMO: Fighting to survive. Thousands dead and serious risks to the living. Now, a new storm wreaks havoc on the Philippines, holding up desperately needed aid to the sick and starving. Our own Anderson Cooper joins us live.

BOLDUAN: First snow. An arctic blast moving east this morning. January temperatures in November. And get this, major cities in the northeast may see their first snowfall of the season. We're tracking it all.

PEREIRA: A White Republican rung for a local position in Texas, but the area he wanted to represent is mainly African-Americans. So, he let voters think he was Black. He joins us live to explain.

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, November 12th, seven o'clock in the east.

And they're calling it a living hell. That's what they're saying is unfolding right now in the Philippines. Take a look. This is the destruction. This is one of the hardest hit towns. Cameras haven't reached many of the areas that they say are the hardest hit. Bodies are said to be everywhere, nothing left standing completely.

Now, a second potential disaster in the making. A massive health crisis with little food, water or medicine. The president has declared a state of national calamity. Making matters worse, heavy rain and a 4.8 magnitude earthquake overnight. All of that is going on at the same time.

BOLDUAN: But there are glimmers of hope with help on the way. The "USS George Washington" ordered to leave Hong Kong to assist with recovery efforts. That could be a huge help. But to give you an idea of just how large super typhoon Haiyan was, just look at this enhanced infrared satellite image.

Super imposed alongside United States, if that typhoon had hit here, it could have hit most of the east coast. And just look at the size of Haiyan in comparison to hurricane Katrina. That's wild.

CUOMO: All right. So, we're going to tap the global resources of CNN to bring you the most comprehensive coverage of the crisis in the Philippines. Joining us now, we're going to start off with Anderson Cooper. He's in Tacloban.