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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Rare Strain of Meningitis; Toronto's Mayor Stripped of Key Powers; Typhoon Blamed for Deaths; Best Jobs in America; Martin Meets with NFL; Democrats' Vote on the Republican Side Can Gut Obamacare; Early snow at Part of the USA; Hillary Clinton Standing for Women's Rights; An Arab "Idol" Winner Mohammed Assaf on Tour in the U.S.

Aired November 16, 2013 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, a meningitis scare in a major American university. A rare strain putting thousands of students at risk, and an emergency vaccine could be the only thing to stop it.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: The city council wants him gone, but Toronto's crack-smoking mayor says he's not going anywhere and even vows to sue now. Now, Rob Ford's biggest advocate, his brother, is speaking out to CNN.

BLACKWELL: And Alec Baldwin fesses up to hurling a gay slur. Now his apology and his punishment.

SAMBOLIN: Good morning, everyone. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Nice to have you with us.

BLACKWELL: Zoraida's with us on the weekend.

SAMBOLIN: Yeah.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It's 6:00 here on the East Coast.

SAMBOLIN: Thanks for having me.

BLACKWELL: Good to have you. Good to have you with us. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.

We're starting this morning with that frightening health scare at this top Ivy League university. Since March, six students at Princeton University in New Jersey, and a visitor, they have come to the campus and they've become ill with type b meningitis. Now the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are trying to stop it from spreading of course. Now, this is a strain, it's really, really rare strain of the bacterial disease. If it's untreated, I mean it could lead to serious complications, hearing loss, brain damage, of course in the worst case death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. MARK WHITMAN, CAPITAL HEALTH REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: We need to treat it quickly. So a community that may have other cases has to be aware of the symptoms because the quicker you put someone on antibiotics, the more likely they are to recover.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, there is no vaccine for type b meningitis approved here in the U.S., but thousands of students at Princeton, they could get an emergency vaccine used in Europe now and Australia. Jessica Schneider of WCBS has details for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, WCBS REPORTER (voice-over): Health concerns on the Princeton University campus are growing. Another student was diagnosed with meningitis this week. The seventh since March.

KRISTIE SCHOTT, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY STUDENT: I think a lot of people are concerned for the fact that it didn't go away over the summer after everybody left.

SCHNEIDER: Now the Food and Drug Administration is coming forward with a way for the school to combat this serious health scare. It's offering using of a vaccine called Bexsero. The meningitis vaccine has been approved in Europe and Australia, but it is not used in the United States. In fact, no vaccine is available to fight the type b meningococcal bacteria which caused the cases at Princeton. Students are relieved the Ivy League university is being proactive and considering using this newly available vaccine.

SCHOTT: I think it's probably smart of them to consider precautions because there definitely have been other deaths at other colleges. And we're lucky that we haven't had a death yet here.

SCHNEIDER: In meantime, the university is telling students to wash their hands and cover their coughs and not to share drinking glasses or eating utensils. Meningitis can be spread by kissing, coughing or lengthy contact. And symptoms include headaches, fever, vomiting and rashes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Communicating a lot. They've been warning us. They've been really good telling us what we can do to prevent (INAUDIBLE).

SCHNEIDER: Princeton University officials are considering the use of this vaccine and they tell us it's something they will discuss with their trustees this weekend.

In Princeton, New Jersey, Jessica Schneider, CBS 2 News.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: Now, Princeton University says it's weighing its options on inoculating students with the vaccine. This is from a school spokesperson. I'm going to read it for you. "This is a question we have been considering very carefully. We will be discussing it with our trustees this weekend. And when we have something to announce, we will make an announcement." Next hour we'll talk with an infectious disease expert about this health scare. Again, imagine, you've got a kid at college and there's an outbreak of meningitis b. Dr. William Shaftner (ph) will be with us to talk about that.

SAMBOLIN: That will be really great, answer a lot of questions for those parents.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: It is three minutes past the hour.

Toronto's embattled mayor says he's staying put, he's not going anywhere, even though he has been stripped of most of his powers now. In an unprecedented move, the city council voted yesterday to strip Mayor Rob Ford of his ability to govern in an emergency and to appoint and dismiss committee chairs.

BLACKWELL: Now despite increased calls for his resignation after admitting to smoking crack, Ford's wife is standing by his side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he should step down, Mrs. Ford?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he should take a leave of absence?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's why we have elections.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he should at least take some personal time? Should he at least take a little bit of personal time?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE). No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: You heard her say that he should not step down, he should not take any personal time. She is not the only one standing by the mayor. Ford's brother, who happens to be on the Toronto city council as well, spoke to CNN about the mayor's erratic behavior, including sexually explicit remarks that he made on live television.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one has ever seen anything like we've witnessed come out of your brother in the last week. Such erratic behavior.

DOUG FORD, TORONTO MAYOR ROB FORD'S BROTHER: That's right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So much impulse, control problems, obviously. Can you not see why people are worried about him, embarrassed about this whole thing?

FORD: Yes, that was unacceptable, and it was - it was not appropriate whatsoever what he said. He's apologized and going to make sure that that never happens again. And he -- I'm sure he'll move forward and make sure he doesn't use that language.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, despite the long list of allegations against him and his own scandal, his confessions, Mayor Ford is now the one threatening to sue. Our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson has more for us.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Zoraida, Victor, on Wednesday the city council tried to vote the mayor out of office. The vote went well. They don't have the power to remove him. Now they're trying by another method, cut his power, reduce him to relatively no significance.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The motion to introduce the bills carries, 41-2.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): This is the sound of Toronto's city council pulling power from embattled Mayor Rob Ford. His reaction, I'll take you to court.

MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: This will cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.

ROBERTSON: Only he and his brother, Councilor Doug Ford, voting against the motion to cut his authority.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Forty-one to two, how does that feel?

JOE MIHEVC, TORONTO CITY COUNCILOR: Well, it - it -- at one level, of course it feels good that the motions went through. However, this is a sad day for the city of Toronto when counsel, united, left, right, center, uptown, downtown, had to do what it had to do.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Yet, in his own unique and contradictory way, a seemingly ever so slightly humbled Mayor Ford appeared to sympathize.

FORD: I would have done the same thing. If I would have had a mayor acting the way I have conducted myself, I would have done the exact same thing. I am -- I'm not mad at anybody. I take full responsibility.

ROBERTSON: Even so, he'll keep fighting. Next week, more powers to be cut until -

ROBERTSON (on camera): What's he going to do? What's he going to look like?

MIHEVC: Well, he's -- the mayor will still have the right to vote on issues, but he will be one vote, one voice.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): And that voice, part of the city's problem. Nice on Friday, following profanities Thursday, reacting to allegations of sexual misconduct with staff --

FORD: Olivia Gondek did - says that I wanted to eat her (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Olivia Gondek,, I've never said that in my life to her. I would never do that. I'm happily married.

ROBERTSON: And if anyone thought curbing his power would cut his tongue, not so. Monday he started a TV show "Ford Nation," a question then if politicians can't reel him in, can his family?

ROBERTSON (on camera): As we've heard his brother say, perhaps he should step back.

ANDREW COYLE, COLUMNIST, NATIONAL MEDIA: It's clear he has a very complicated relationship with his brother. That's probably not unusual. But he, I think, both looks up to his brother, has been in his shadow. The brother is much more bullying, much more aggressive, much more inclined to fight it out.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): And fight is what the Ford family is doing, for how long is what everyone's asking.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON: And the perception is here the mayor and his family have deep pockets. So the guess is, this could go quite a while.

Victor. Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Nic Robertson, thank you.

BLACKWELL: I mean that story just kind of sways between fascinating and then kind of sad and then amazing again.

SAMBOLIN: No, absolutely. I don't think there's anybody who watches his behavior that doesn't think that he should get some help.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: At the very least. If that happened, I think a lot of people would feel good for him.

BLACKWELL: Even his family.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BLACKWELL: So we'll see if he takes their advice.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BLACKWELL: You know, finally, some good news for millions of people after Typhoon Haiyan. We're now a week after one of the strongest storms in recorded history hit the Philippines.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, thousands of people are escaping the devastation in that hardest hit city Tacloban and it's just as supplies are finally arriving and cleanup crews are clearing the streets as well. BLACKWELL: The storm's now blamed for more than 3,600 deaths. More than 1,200 others suffered injuries. And the search is on for 1,100 people still reported missing.

SAMBOLIN: CNN's Anna Coren is in Cebu, where survivors from Tacloban are arriving.

And, Anna, will these people finally get the help that they need?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's starting to happen, Zoraida and Victor. You know, these are broken people. They have endured so much. They've lost loved ones, their homes. You know, they've been without the basic necessities for a week. And what they're carrying is virtually the only belongings that they have left.

Well, we caught up with the latest boat load of refugees to flee the disaster zone.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Having escaped death and destruction on a scale never before seen in the Philippines --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just (INAUDIBLE).

COREN: These survivors carry what few belongings they have down the ramp to safety. Transporting almost 3,000 people from Tacloban to Cebu, this Philippines naval vessel couldn't have come soon enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was feeling hopeless. If we stayed there for another week, I don't think we'd survive. I'm just happy to be here.

COREN: The ship will continue to sail back and forth, making the slow 24-hour journey until everyone who wants to leave gets out of the devastated city. While a critical shortage of food and water forced many on the boat, others say they had to flee because of serious safety concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Security is not good. They ransack homes. They're like savages there already.

COREN: Waiting for them on the dock, a meal, and words of comfort and support.

COREN (on camera): For so many of these refugees, they've been living without basic necessities for a week. Finally, they're getting food, they're getting fresh water and desperately needed medical attention.

COREN (voice-over): Like Marilyn Ramirez (ph) and her 10-day-old baby. They managed to survive the typhoon, but are now homeless. Overwhelming by the enormous task ahead, she says she will do what she must to rebuild a life for her family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sad. Very sad. But I will for my babies.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COREN: There's so many victims of this typhoon, it's hard to believe that there are 2 million people who are displaced, who are homeless. And while aid is starting to get in after a week of a very slow and ineffective operation, you know, the international community, they're now here, they're now on the ground getting those basic necessities out to the people who need it. There are so many, Victor and Zoraida, who just want to get out, get to the cities and start rebuilding their lives.

BLACKWELL: It's good to see that help is coming, but as Zoraida asked just a moment ago, then what? What's next?

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Yes.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Anna Coren in Cebu, Philippines. Thank you so much.

SAMBOLIN: Nice to see the new life also, right?

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: She brings us those images. It's very nice.

All right, Alec Baldwin, political talk show fades to black, for now.

BLACKWELL: Yes, he's only been on for a couple of weeks. I mean the actor blew up at a photographer and the words got really ugly.

Plus, if you're looking for a new job, we've got a list for you. The best jobs in America.

SAMBOLIN: Is ours on the list?

BLACKWELL: I don't -- I don't know. For me, it is. We'll have the list coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back.

MSNBC has yanked Alec Baldwin and his late night talk show off the air for two weeks.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the actor shouted a gay slur at a photographer this week. Now he apologized last night. Here's what he said. "What I said and did this week as I was trying to protect my family was offensive. This undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support."

SAMBOLIN: Baldwin overheated Thursday outside his New York apartment as he struggled to get his wife and his baby into his Mercedes. GLAAD, a gay rights organization, said Baldwin can (ph) support equality on paper, then degrades gay people in practice.

BLACKWELL: So Alec Baldwin's taking a break from his job. He didn't choose the break, but he's taking it anyway.

SAMBOLIN: Not self-imposed, right. BLACKWELL: Right. So - all right, so maybe you're looking to get a new job.

SAMBOLIN: And if you're looking for a great year with either better pay, our chief business correspondent Christine Romans runs down some of the best jobs in America.

Good morning, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Zoraida, in a weak economy, 7.3 unemployment, millions still out of work, the list of best jobs in America takes on even more importance. These are jobs of big growth, great pay and satisfying work, all appearing on cnnmoney.com. Some of the sectors that pop up a lot, health care. Traditionally it does well in any economy, weak or strong, pays well, makes up six of the top 25 best jobs. Tech makes up 10 of the top 25 with Twitter, FaceBook, Linkedin and other big companies going public in the past few years. They're doing a lot of hiring. There are talent wars for good tech workers. Talent wars also in oil and gas. A strong showing there. Three of the top 25 best jobs.

Let's look at the top three. Biomedical engineer. The big story there, 61 percent job growth expected between 2010 and 2020. Median salary, $87,000. These are people who design and create pacemakers, MRIs, artificial joints, big growth there.

Also in health care, the number two top job, a clinical nurse specialist. Nearly 3.5 million jobs in this field. What do they make? About $86,500 a year. Why they're important, one word, Obamacare and the push to control health care costs. They figure out how to make health care systems more efficient. You're going to need a postgraduate level training in a nursing specialty for that job.

And then there's software architect, number three on the best jobs list. It's the first six-figure salary on the list. The median pay, $121,000. Lots of opportunity because pretty much every sector has software architects no matter where you are in the economy. There's software engineers who also understand business. They get a company's problem, they solve it with technology.

There's a lot of other jobs on the list, video game designer, hand therapist. But if you want to know the highest paying with a median salary, Zoraida, of $288,000 a year, check out cnnmoney.com.

Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: That is a tease.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that is a tease.

SAMBOLIN: Miss Christine Romans, I'm headed there right now.

BLACKWELL: What is a hand therapist?

SAMBOLIN: I don't know, but it sounds like a really interesting job. I wonder how much it pays. BLACKWELL: Oh.

SAMBOLIN: That's what we need to find out. Cnn.com.

BLACKWELL: Probably also (ph). Yes, cnnmoney.com.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

So still to come on NEW DAY SATURDAY, Jonathan Martin wants to play football again, but where and when? Well, that remains to be seen after a bullying scandal that has impacted the NFL from the locker room to the field.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Twenty-two minutes after the hour. Welcome to your new day. It is Saturday.

Lawyers for the NFL had a long talk with Jonathan Martin. It went on for almost seven hours.

Is everybody OK back there? Everything all right?

SAMBOLIN: You guys OK?

BLACKWELL: Yes, OK.

SAMBOLIN: If you heard that in the background, everybody's good.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: All right, so the Miami Dolphins lineman had a chance to tell them yesterday about the alleged abuse that he suffered in the locker room and that he wants to come back to football he says eventually. CNN's Joe Johns is joining us now.

I'm sorry.

JOE CARTER, CNN SPORTS: That's OK. That's OK. It's a (INAUDIBLE).

SAMBOLIN: And, you know what, here's the deal. It's the first time -- we talk all the time, but it's actually the first time that we see each other in person. So, I'm sorry. I apologize for that.

All right, so what is happening here? We've wanted to hear from this young man for a very long time.

CARTER: Yes, you know, we've heard pretty much from everybody else except for Jonathan Martin and we didn't quite hear from him yesterday exactly. He did read a prepared statement, but he was coming out of the Manhattan offices after he meet with Ted Wells. Ted Wells is the appointed investigator. He was appointed by the NFL to be an independent investigator into this entire situation. So, obviously, the first step of finding out what happens, first step in getting to the bottom of this is speaking with Ted Wells. And so we're told that Jonathan Martin and his attorney, David Cornwell, brought pages and pages of notes detailing and chronicling exactly what happened a year and a half ago all the way up to what lead to him abruptly leaving the team on October 28th.

Now, Wells is expected to take those notes and head to Miami next where he's, according to "The Miami Herald," going to talk to several Miami players, as well as personnel and staff. So, Jonathan Martin, in his prepared statement, more or less, I'm going to paraphrase here, said that he's committed to cooperating with the NFL's investigation. That he plans to speak with the Miami Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross and the Dolphins organization at the appropriate time. And that he does look forward to working through this entire process and resuming his NFL career.

BLACKWELL: Now, is that going to happen in Miami?

CARTER: Doubtful. I mean it's doubtful given the circumstances that are going on down there right now, given the fact that the players really never went to bat for him. I mean most of them went to bat for Richie Incognito.

SAMBOLIN: Right.

CARTER: Stephen Ross, when we were up in Tampa on Monday night, when he held that press conference before the Monday night football game, really supported Jonathan Martin. Said, yes, were welcome him back. We support him not just as a football player, but also as a man. But it's hard to fathom a scenario where he's going to go back down to Miami. You know, where could he go next? Well, I mean, there's some scenarios out there that say maybe he goes with the Indianapolis Colts. He played with Andrew Luck at Stanford for four years. Maybe he goes there. Maybe he goes to the 49ers, San Francisco, where Jim Harbaugh is the coach there now, was the coach at Stanford when he played there.

SAMBOLIN: I got to tell you, I found it surprising that he said that he wanted to return to football because I thought this was all about walking away because he had had enough.

CARTER: You know, I think that surprises a lot of people that he says he wants to play football again.

SAMBOLIN: But, obviously, he feels like this is an isolated incident. I mean I guess I'm assuming he feels like this is an isolated incident and that he feels like maybe just that culture is the kind of culture he doesn't want to work with. Maybe other cultures throughout the NFL, other locker rooms, you know, he thinks that he can play and work with.

BLACKWELL: All right, it continues to unfold. Joe Carter, thank you very much.

CARTER: Thank you.

SAMBOLIN: All right, a potentially deadly form of meningitis strikes an Ivy League campus. And now officials at Princeton University must decide whether to give students a vaccine that is not approved in the United States.

BLACKWELL: And then police in California say the McStay family has been found, but the mystery of how they were killed will haunt their friends and family.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Pleasure to have you with us this morning.

Here are five things you need to know for your new day.

Up first, let's go to Princeton University. It is trying to stop the spread of a really rare type of meningitis on its campus. And it's considering whether to offer students a vaccine that has only been approved overseas, not in the U.S. Now, since March, six students and another person just visiting the campus have become ill with type b meningitis. Now, if it's untreated, it can cause brain damage, hearing loss, even death.

SAMBOLIN: And number two here, police in California confirm they have found the remains of a family. They disappeared three years ago. Authorities say two of four sets of remains belong to Joseph and Summer McStay. They believe the other remains belong to the couple's two sons. The four were killed, according to police, but no suspects have been identified.

BLACKWELL: Number three, a man in Detroit who claimed he accidentally shot a 19-year-old woman has been charged with murder. Theodore Paul Wafer says he thought Renisha McBride was a burglar and was trying to break into his house. Now police say McBride was unarmed and believe she may have been looking for help after a car crash. Friends and family accuse Wafer of racially profiling her.

SAMBOLIN: At number four, JP Morgan reached a $4.5 billion settlement with mortgage investors. The bank was accused of bundling together bad mortgages and then selling them with a top rating to other banks and investors. That was all in the lead-up to the financial crisis. The latest fine tops off a string of penalties the bank has had to pay, including fines for the so-called London whale trading debacle, unfair credit card practices and energy price manipulation.

BLACKWELL: Five now. The Dow Jones closed at a record high on Friday. Just 39 points shy of hitting 16,000.

SAMBOLIN: That is so nice to see, isn't it?

BLACKWELL: It is good to see the green there. Markets were pushed higher this week when Fed nominee Janet Yellen indicated she's not ready to pull back on the Central Bank's massive stimulus program.

President Obama pledging to veto a House bill that essentially guts the Affordable Health Care - the Affordable Care Act. The dozens of Democrats abandoned the president and voted for this Republican measure.

SAMBOLIN: Chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash has the story at the capital. Good morning, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Zoraida, the prospect of losing this vote in a big way is what drove Democratic leaders earlier in the week to plead with Obama officials to do something to fix the canceled policy issue. The president's mea culpa and his new plan certainly softened the blow, but for the White House it still stopped.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: 39 House Democrats, one-fifth of the caucus defected and voted for a Republican bill allowing people to keep canceled health policies. Democrat Ron Barber in a tough reelection campaign next year was one of them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. RON BARBER (D) ARIZONA: I've been home and meeting with constituents. This has been a topic of concern and conversation. So, I wanted to vote yes to let my constituents know that I heard what they had to say.

BASH: That, despite warnings from Democratic leaders that the GOP bill would dismantle Obamacare. By not only allowing consumers to keep canceled polices, but also letting people sign up for new policies that do not meet new benefit requirements.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D) MINORITY LEADER: That idea that it was helping consumers was sort of the Trojan horse whose underbelly is poisonous with -- in terms of the health and well-being of the American people.

BASH (on camera): Your leadership says that your vote would undercut the entire Obamacare law.

BARBER: Well, I don't see it that way. I mean I think any fix that we can make, particularly when a problem arises, is good for the people back home. And the truth of the matter is, look, I'm accountable to the people who sent me here.

BASH (voice over): The prospect of this GOP vote is the main reason the president came out a day earlier with his own plan to reinstate canceled insurance policies. Democratic sources admit without that, many more Democrats would have defected. But the GOP bill still got significant bipartisan support. And Republicans were eager to pour salt on the president's political wounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask not what your country can do for you, the only thing we have to fear, tear down this wall. And our current president will be no different. If you like your health care plan, you can keep it -- period.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BASH: They issued a veto threat, but it probably won't get that far because in the Senate, there are a fair number of Democrats who also want to push legislation to show their constituents they're fighting to fix their problem. But Democratic leaders who run the Senate are holding off for now because they want to give the president's plan a chance. Victor and Zuraida.

BLACKWELL: All right. Chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash keeping us up to the minute on the Obamacare situation.

SAMBOLIN: So, we're less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving. Wow.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: But some states are already getting hit with really freezing temperatures. Some even have snow.

BLACKWELL: Snow and slush. Look at this. I mean this is pretty when you're looking at it on TV. When you got to drive through it like the people outside of Portland on Friday.

SAMBOLIN: Christmas ...

BLACKWELL: Yeah, it's beginning to look like it. But I'd much rather look at it through a window. Look at Washington. Snow and slush there. Icy conditions on the roadways. Again, it's pretty. But who wants to be out in it.

SAMBOLIN: No, you don't want to drive in it, that's really nasty. All right, meteorologist Samantha Mohr joins us live from the CNN weather center. She's tracking it all for us. Good morning.

SAMANTHA MOHR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Zuraida and Victor. Yes, right on time, really, because this is score ride and did victor. Yes, right on time, really, this is the wettest month of the year in the Pacific Northwest and coastal Oregon and Washington. You would see they've had showers overnight and it will continue throughout the entire weekend into next week. It is a wet pattern. And the snow is coming down here all across the higher elevations. In fact, Snoqualmie Pass east of Seattle, snow level dropping down to 2,500 feet. And it's not just the heavy snow there, up to a foot and a half, it is the blowing snow. And that's in the highest elevations. But that's going to be the case as we head through the weekend here across much of the Colorado Rockies as well with that winter storm warning now in place through tonight and into tomorrow morning. And it's not just the snow, it's the blowing snow with those winds gusting up to 48 miles per hour. So it's going to be a blustery one here, as those temperatures plummet some 15 to 20 degrees as we head into the next few days. And along with that, of course, comes a threat for severe weather here in Iowa and into Illinois, as that cold, dry air moves in. We're going to be on the lookout for some possible tornadoes later on tonight. Zoraida, Victor.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Samantha.

Hey, remember when Michael Keaton played batman?

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BLACKWELL: I mean that was a huge franchise. And now, you can own a street-legal version ...

SAMBOLIN: But no way.

BLACKWELL: of that '89 Batmobile. Now, it's not cheap, of course.

SAMBOLIN: Cool.

BLACKWELL: Let's say how much it costs ...

SAMBOLIN: I just want to take a ride.

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

SAMBOLIN: So, forget about implants and plastic surgery. Women at this beauty contest are all about the natural curves. At least for one body part. Stay tuned for that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Good afternoon, Paris. A live look at the Eiffel Tower. Looks a little squatty, you know. And I don't know why. But it's just after noon in Paris now. Beautiful scene there. There's a really good ice cream place down there. They've got something of the profit - the glass of wine, but there's a great ice cream place I prefer right at the base. Let's head over to Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: You're absolutely right, right to the right.

BLACKWELL: Yes!

SAMBOLIN: If you're standing there and looking at it.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: I love that place.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: All right, so let's take a look around the world, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, we're going to start in China where the communist government is making major changes to some of its most controversial policies. CNN's David McKenzie has the latest from Beijing. David?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chinese authorities have surprised many by announcing the relaxing of the one-child policy. It's been in place for many decades here in China. And faced much criticism because of its potential for human rights abuses. They now say that millions more will be able to have second children here in China and it's been met with a great deal of joy by many in this country. They've also said that they're going to close the dreaded re-education through labor system. Across the country there are camps, where activists and petty thieves are put without trial for up to four years. These moves showed that the new leaders here in China aren't afraid to break with the past. Zoraida, back to you.

SAMBOLIN: David McKenzie, thank you very much.

Now, to England, where if you have a spare $120,000 you could soon own your own street-legal bat mobile. Erin McLaughlin is in London with more. Erin.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A fan of Michael Keaton's Batman? Well, now, you, too, can ride like Bruce Wayne, or at least in something very similar to the 1989 version of the bat mobile. Except you won't find this in Gotham City. It's on auction in Surrey, England. And it has many of the page you'd expect to find in any standard crime fighting machine. Check out that flame thrower. It can go from zero to 60 in under five seconds and is road legal. Now even Bruce Wayne had to pay a pretty penny for his toys. This car is expected to go for around $130,000 at auction. Back to you, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you very much, Erin. And now Sao Paolo, Brazil. Sirmix a-lot's "Baby Got Back" could be the theme song for this contest you're about to see. CNN's Shasta Darlington explains. Shasta.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Zoraida, there is no better example of Brazilians' obsession with women's back sides than Miss Bum. The annual contest to see who has the sexiest derriere. Women from across Brazil paraded in fairly revealing evening gowns and even skimpier bikinis. And supposedly, it's all natural, no implants at least butt implants, allowed. Back to you, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my, Shasta Darlington, thank you so much. Victor, on that note, I'm heading over to you.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, for Ms. Bum. I've got a question, though, about the bat mobile. I guess I'm too practical, where would I ever park that thing? I mean where would I find a space that accommodates ...

SAMBOLIN: Valet. Valet, honey. When you have a car like that, it is all valet.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll take that.

Hey, the winner of the Arab "Idol" singing competition is taking his smooth voice, really smooth, his incredible story across the U.S.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The most beautiful thing is the love of the people. When you see that, a lot of people see you as something and encourage you and they love you, you feel that they want to finish this journey with you that you've been dreaming of.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: He's 23 years old. His name is Mohammed Assaf, he's on a nationwide tour in the U.S. And he won the "Arab Idol" contest last summer. Assaf is Palestinian, born in Libya, grew up in Gaza. It actually took him a month to get out of Gaza so he could travel to Cairo for auditions. And now he's touring with other Arab Idols. Their next show is next month in Tampa.

Hillary Clinton is a champion for women's rights, but it has not always translated into female voter support. Up next, what she'll need to do should she make that 2016 run for the White House?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Good morning to you, Washington, D.C. Mixed facts for you today. It's 49 degrees right now, it's a little cold. But the good news is, it will be 59 degrees as your high today. But you can see it's a little cloudy this morning. Nonetheless, good morning.

Some presidential memorabilia goes up for auction today. More than 1,000 items that belonged to the late President Gerald Ford will hit the auction blocks in Indian Wells, California.

BLACKWELL: And the proceeds will go to three local charities. One of them the Betty Ford Clinic, which, as you know, was founded by the former first lady. A few items up for sale including golf clubs and clothing, even a Faberge-style egg that President Clinton gave to Mrs. Ford as a gift.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, that's nice. Hillary Clinton is stepping up for public appearance isn't feeling a lot of chatter about her presidential plan.

BLACKWELL: Now, you remember, after the '08 election, she said she put those 17 million cracks into the highest glass ceiling, will she shatter it in 2016? CNN's Elise Labott joins us. Good morning, Elise.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Zoraida and Victor. Well, Hillary Clinton is speaking out almost daily lately, especially about women's empowerment with three speeches in the past week. Now, she calls this a cause of her lifetime, but at a time she's coy about her political ambitions, she's also able to reach a key voting block.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LABOTT: Hillary Clinton has always had one campaign.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We're going to be about the business of making sure that those ceilings crack for every girl and every women here and around the globe.

(APPLAUSE)

LABOTT: And today, her embrace of women's rights still keeps her on the national stage.

HILLARY CLINTON: We have to stand firmly for women's rights. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

LABOTT: But Hillary Clinton and the sisterhood have a history. She came of age as the women's movement was gaining full steam. Remember this from 1992?

HILLARY CLINTON: I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and made tea, but what I decided to do is to fulfill my profession.

BILL CLINTON: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

LABOTT: On her campaign trail with her husband, Hillary's brand of feminism was not everyone's cup of tea. But in the third year of his administration, she stamped her name on the cause at a women's conference in Beijing.

HILLARY CLINTON: Women's rights are human rights once and for all.

(APPLAUSE)

LABOTT: Her push for girl power stirred a global movement. But not her 2008 campaign. One of the reasons she failed to attract young women in large numbers.

ANNE KORNBLUT: Hillary Clinton did not emphasize that she was a woman running for president.

LABOTT: Anne Kornblut's book "Notes from the Cracked Ceiling" examined Clinton's failed bid for the White House.

KORNBLUT: She really shied away from that whole subject. There was plenty of polling data to suggest that she needs to emphasize her credentials and being tough.

LABOTT: As secretary of state, Clinton could do both, stand up to adversaries like the Chinese while advancing women's rights in Afghanistan and helping female entrepreneurs in India.

HILLARY CLINTON: What I want to do is to bring to public awareness what you're doing.

MELAN: The springboard for all of this is deep inside of her-

MELANNE VERVEER, GEORGETOWN INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY: Today, the mission and the mantra remain the same.

HILLARY CLINTON: The great unfinished business of the 21ST century is helping women and girls break through these ceilings.

LABOTT: The question is whether this is about her unfinished business. Is she continuing the work of a lifetime?

UNIDENTIFIED MALES AND FEMALES: Hillary!

LABOTT: Or using this time to build a base for 2016. Melanne Verveer, a confident for 25 years suggests it works either way.

(on camera): Politics is how you get stuff done.

VERVEER: It is definitely how you get things done. And beyond that, politics is a way to get things done, but it isn't to be divorced from what you are about.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LABOTT: Now, women are not a monolithic force and there remains plenty of stiff opposition to Hillary Clinton for a variety of factors. Some don't like her views on abortion. Others say she doesn't represent their vision of family values. Electing a female president would be historic. But now Clinton must prove to her fellow women that she is the woman to make history. Zoraida? Victor?

BLACKWELL: All right. Elise Labott for us this morning, thank you.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, each week we are shining a spotlight on the top ten CNN heroes of 2013. As you vote for the one who inspires you the most at cnnheroes.com. This week's honoree is challenging the tradition of female genital mutilation that still exists in many cultures and fighting to give girls a chance to shape their own destinies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAKENYA NTAIYA, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: I avoided the ceremony as far as I could. Most of the Maasai girls undergo this mutilation when they're 12.

I really liked going to school. I knew that once I go through the cutting, I'm going to be married off - and my dream of becoming a teacher was going to end. My mind said run away. But I had to face my dad and say I would only go through the cutting if he lets me go back to school. It was in the morning. Using a very old rusty knife with no anesthesia. I can never forget that day. Eventually, I was the first girl in my community to go to college in the U.S. I'm Kakenya Ntaiya and I returned to my village to start a school for girls so they, too, can achieve their full potential. When girls started the school, they were very shy. But all the time we see them (inaudible) confidence.

(on camera): How are you class?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Hi!

NTAIYA (voice over): They are very well. It's the most exciting thing is about empowering the girls. These girls (inaudible) no to being cut, they're dreaming of becoming lawyers, teachers, doctors. Fathers are now saying, my daughter could do better than my son.

(on camera): Why should you work hard to achieve your goal?

(voice over): I came back so girls in my community don't have to negotiate like I did to achieve their dreams. That's why I wake up every morning.

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY FALLON, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": Yesterday, Senator John McCain, he referred to Secretary of State John Kerry as a human wrecking ball. Yeah, because of the way he handled the nuclear talks with Iran. I can see why McCain said that. Because take a look at this recent photo of Kerry.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVID LETTERMAN, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Here's some good news for New York City. Freedom tower has now been designated as the tallest building in the United States, here in New York City.

(APPLAUSE)

LETTERMAN: I understand this had beat out the board of architects determine which is taller, and it beat out the Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly the Sears Tower. And it's taller, Freedom Tower, because of a thing that is constructed right on the top. And it's the same way with Donald Trump. They always measure him from that thing on the top of his head. And that's how you get the height.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: The hair joke never gets old, I guess. It just never gets old. Hey, we've got a couple of must-see moments for you now. We've seen our fair share of victory dances over the year, right? But this one Norwegian hockey player beats them all.

(VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Yeah. Oh. He's got the moves. All right. So check out 22-year-old Adrian Alvarstein from Norway second division hockey league. He's getting down on the ice after a big win by his team on Saturday. He's created this awesome dance to a song just topping the Scandinavian music charts. His fellow players are used to his dancing - antic in the locker room, but Alvarstein said it was time to get his dance out to the rest of the public.

BLACKWELL: I mean ...

SAMBOLIN: I have to agree, he's got some good moves.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, there is good - great moves.

SAMBOLIN: Can you dance like that?

BLACKWELL: I can't. I can't. That, especially ... (LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: I can't do that. But this is at the top of the Scandinavian music charts?

(LAUGHTER)

SAMBOLIN: Apparently.

BLACKWELL: Is it just the boots?

SAMBOLIN: My favorite story of the day.

BLACKWELL: Yes, you do love this one. Yes.

SAMBOLIN: Coming up here.

BLACKWELL: It's something you expect to see - and don't expect to see in midland county. Look at this. Pay attention here, the baby kangaroo ...

SAMBOLIN: Curiously.

BLACKWELL: hopping along the side of the highway after getting loose from his owner. Yeah, just right in - Deputies cornered this joey while the owner distracted him and eventually took him home. Now, the local sheriff does say the county has rules on exotic animals and they're looking into whether the kangaroo can stay.

SAMBOLIN: This was priceless as the sheriff was explaining as they got this phone call. And he said they just couldn't believe it. They thought, you know, this was a hoax.

BLACKWELL: Yeah. Yeah.

SAMBOLIN: And sure enough, there is a baby kangaroo and they fed him and that's how he decided to be cooperative.

BLACKWELL: Well, hopefully, he gets to stay.

SAMBOLIN: I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen. Sweet story. All right. Thanks for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: We've got much more ahead on "NEW DAY SATURDAY." It continues right now.