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Storms Carve a Path; 50 Killed in Russian Plane Crash; Rob Ford Looking Forward; Who's Accountable For Obamacare's Failures?; Tragic News For Golfer

Aired November 18, 2013 - 06:30   ET


INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): The storm system isn't believed to be as powerful as the EF5 tornadoes that devastated Moore in May, in Joplin, Missouri in 2011. But its timing sets it apart.

A strengthening area of low pressure moved over the Great Lakes with very cold, dry air behind it. That mixed with the warm gulf air ahead of it and that contrast collided with wind shear, a sudden and drastic change in wind direction at different heights in the atmosphere. A hundred and one tornado warnings were issued in Illinois on Sunday. That's more than half of the warnings issued in the state since 1986, in one day alone.


PETERSONS: You know, there is a lot of confusion with people saying how strong was this tornado? We don't know that yet. We have National Weather Service, these survey teams that are going to be coming out today. They're going to be looking at damage just like this behind us. They're going to be evaluating how strong was this storm, and we'll find this out mostly later tonight.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, I know it matters. You know, you have to record it and you have to make sure you get it right. But I tell you, to the people in the community, all you have to do is going to look at it. And the numbers are going to come second to them.

It's interesting. You were telling me, it was 20 degrees warmer yesterday. So today, it's a cold day and a cold reality for this community. And many across the country will be back here in Washington telling you what's going on here as people try to get back on their feet after what you see behind us.

A lot of other news as well. So, let's go back to New York and Michaela with the headlines.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Chris, Indra, great reporting for us, thank you.

Let's take a look at those headlines.

Investigators are trying to find the source of a carbon monoxide leak after the two Colorado miners were killed. At least 19 others were injured. "The Denver Post" now reporting an explosion has been ruled out as the immediate cause. Managers said all of the men are required to wear personal ventilators and the two who died have them.

Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf will face charges of treason. The interior minister says the court action will be approved today. Musharraf is being tried for imposing emergency military rule, when courts and politicians challenged his authority last decade. This is the first the former president of Pakistan is facing these charges.

Workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan had began removing fuel rods from the reactor building damage by an explosion of hydrogen gases. The delicate operation is said to be necessary in order to stabilize the site. Officials say the hydrogen explosions had occurred after the earthquakes and tsunami in 2011 had made the current storage facility vulnerable to further tremors.

A New York man has died after trying to set a diving record. Thirty- two-year-old Nicholas Mevoli died shortly after emerging from the water, while trying to set a record for free diving on Sunday in the Bahamas. Mevoli was hoping to reach 72 meters in one breath without the assistance of an air tank. Even organizers say Mevoli had flashed the OK sign once he surfaced. But soon after that, he had trouble breathing then lost consciousness.

A routine traffic stop in New Mexico involving a woman and her five children escalates. You see it caught on the dash-cam video. Oriana Ferrell was pulled over for speeding last month. She and her 14-year- old son scuffled with the officer who pulled her over. When she drove off, cops opened fire.

After a four-minute chase, Ferrell pulled over and finally surrendered. She and her son are now facing number numerous charges. State police say both officers are also under investigation.

You could hear the screams of the other children in the vehicle.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: What a terrifying traffic stop. You would imagine there were some way to diffuse that before that --

PEREIRA: Everything went wrong here.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Exactly, well.

All right. Coming up next on "NEW DAY", he has spent weeks and weeks fending off allegations about drug use, prostitutes and so much more. So how can Rob Ford be optimistic about his future at this point? Watch the mayor's face-to-face interview since the scandal broke only on CNN.

PEREIRA: And will heads roll over the Obamacare website. Just two weeks until the president's headline to have it working for most people. We'll examine it all in our political gut check.

Don't go away.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY".

Let's go around the world now, starting in Russia. Officials say a plane crash killed everyone on board. Phil Black has more.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The pilot averted the first attempted landing. In the second, the nose hit the runway. In the explosion, all 44 passenger and six crew members were killed.

Russia has a terrible record for air safety but most accidents involve smaller airlines which continue to fly old Soviet era aircraft. In this case, it was a U.S.-made Boeing 737. Teams from Boeing and NTSB will help Russian investigators to work out what went wrong.

Back to you, Kate.


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

And in the Philippines, incredible new video shows the unbelievable damage caused by typhoon Haiyan.

Karl Penhaul has that.


KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been ten days since the super typhoon ripped through the Philippines, and as the death toll continues to mount, new videos emerging showing how a huge tidal surge wiped away homes and people.

But it's only if we send a video camera into the air that you begin to get a hand him on the true dimension of this disaster. Look around you, and imagine how it must have felt standing here on Magallanes Street in Tacloban City as the towering war of water raced in from the ocean.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: Karl, thank you. Unbelievable video there.

Let's go to Italy now where a volcano erupts lighting up the night sky in Sicily.

Erin McLaughlin is following that story.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a spectacular show, molten lava from the earth's core lighting up the Sicilian sky. On Saturday, Mount Etna erupted. The airspace over the volcano was temporarily closed, ashes never a good thing for plane's engines. But thankfully, no one was hurt. None of the surrounding mountain villages needed to be evacuated.

Mount Etna is Europe's tallest and most active volcano. The last major eruption took place all the way back in 1992.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: Erin, thanks so much.

A volcanic eruption beautiful to watch from a distance.

PEREIRA: From a distance, exactly.

Let's head north to a bit of -- well, an explosion up there. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, he is going to go head-to-head today with city council members who are seeking to strip him of most of his remaining powers. But Ford himself is remaining optimistic. He is refusing to step down and challenging his peers.

CNN's Bill Weir got an exclusive face-to-face interview with the mayor. Take a look.



BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A lot of people are worried about Rob Ford these days, worried that he'll never leave office or his appetite will kill him.

But you know who is not worried? Rob Ford.

ROB FORD, MAYOR OF TORONTO: I'm not an addict. Why go see an addict (ph) if I'm not an addict? I'm not an alcoholic. I'm not a drug addict.

WEIR: And in the heart of Ford Nation, they believe him.

ROSE, ROB FORD SUPPORTER: People can set him up, too, you know that.

WEIR (on camera): Oh, you think he might have been set up?

ROSE: Yes.

WEIR: Well, he admitted to smoking crack.

ROSE: Well, maybe you just get fed up of everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you purchased illegal drugs in the past two years?

WEIR (voice-over): Sure, he may be a pariah on the floor of city council and a punch line on "Saturday Night Live."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, that's a lot of crack! WEIR: But out of his suburban housing project, he is, no pun intend, a rock star. So, he may be a slash and burn fiscal conservative downtown, but out here, they say he's bleeding heart they call when the eviction notice comes.

COUNCILOR DOUG FORD, BROTHER OF ROB FORD: Everyone keeps saying Rob is a conservative. He's a huge, massive social liberal. He loves Obama.

WEIR: Councilor Doug Ford invited us here. When his little brother showed up, we saw why. Almost everyone was thrilled to see him.

(on camera): These folks love you, but do you realize how you are perceived around the rest of the country, around the rest of the continent?

BOB FORD: They can make fun of me. They can laugh at me all they want. They don't know Rob Ford.

These people know me. They have known me for -- I was born and raised here.

WEIR: Why did you decide to finally admit that you had smoked crack?

ROB FORD: I'm not going to run around and be phony and lie and have someone blackmail me and say they have videos of this over my head. You don't trust what the "Toronto Star" says. I just had enough. I'm sick and tired of the allegations and all these (EXPLETIVE DELETED), excuse my words, that's all it is. Sorry, I shouldn't swear in front of killed.

You know what? I made mistakes, I drank too much. I smoked some crack sometime. What can I say? I made mistake, I'm guilty.

WEIR: Can't you see why some would question your judgment?

ROB FORD: So what? So, lied about it? Just hide?

WEIR: No, no, that you would do it in the first place.

ROB FORD: No, no, I didn't say. No, I didn't say that. You are wrong. You are absolutely wrong what they said.

They said, do you smoke crack and are you a crack addict? No, I don't smoke crack and I'm not a crack addict. Have I? Yes, I have. So that's what -- I didn't lie. I don't smoke crack. I haven't smoked crack in over a year.


ROB FORD: It's typical media. You guys are the same. You all cut from the same cloth.


ROB FORD: You know what I mean? You guys can spin it every way you want.



WEIR (voice-over): At this point, Doug tries to calm his brother which as we've seen isn't easy.

ROB FORD: When you come and accuse me of being a crack addict and saying do you smoke crack? No, I don't. Have I? Yes. I don't like people attacking my integrity.

WEIR: Couldn't you be even more effective if you are healthier?

ROB FORD: I'm trying to lose some weight. I'm working out. I'm not perfect.

WEIR: Why don't you see an addiction specialist, just to make sure?

ROB FORD: I'm not an addict. You guys can spin it. You can tell me whatever you want. These people know that I'm not.

Are you ever going to come before, Bill?

WEIR: Of course.

ROB FORD: OK, sure.


ROB FORD: It doesn't matter. That's the thing. I don't look at myself as the mayor. I look at myself as just a normal, regular person.


ROB FORD: Yes, you know, that's enough. Guys, I'm passionate. Sorry. Sorry.

WEIR: One more question; this is the one that really gets it for me. I know a lot of people who would party their brains out, but they're parents. I'm sure you are insulating your children from what's going on now?

ROB FORD: Absolutely. I'm the best father around.

WEIR: But there's going to come a day they will Google their dad --

ROB FORD: Absolutely. And I'm going to explain why -- what they're hearing. I'm straightforward with my kids.

You just dismiss them? You just walk away? I don't walk away from anyone, Bill, in life. All these rich, elitist people, I'm sick of 'em. I'm sick of 'em.

(CROSSTALK) ROB FORD: They're perfect. They don't do nothing. Get out of here, they don't do nothing. They're the biggest crooks around.


WEIR: And not only are these brothers vowing to stay and fight. But they're also now vowing to find and run enough Ford Nation believers to unseat every political enemy downtown.

Bill Weir, CNN, Toronto.


PEREIRA: What an encounter with Rob Ford.

We should point out that Bill Weir is going to join us live later this morning, with more on that exclusive interview with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. You can actually see the full interview about Rob and Doug Ford.

That will air on "AC360" tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

BOLDUAN: Talk about a fascinating encounter.


BOLDUAN: What happen when the cameras weren't rolling in that interview? We'll have much more on that obviously ahead.

Coming up next on "NEW DAY": The White House scrambling to fix the Obamacare website by the end of the month. Will someone in the administration lose their job over this? That continues to be a question plaguing this administration. We're going to talk about it in our "Political Gut Check", next.

PEREIRA: And we have some amazing video caught on camera by a CNN iReporter. You actually can hear him praying in that video. We're going to talk to him live.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back. Time now for our "Political Gut Check" of the morning. The White House has a new goal. They expect 80 percent of users to be able to successfully enroll on an insurance plan on by the end of the month. But is it a goal they can reach? Is it a lofty goal or is it attainable?

CNN's political analyst and executive editor of "The Daily Beast" John Avlon here to break it all down for us this morning. What do you think of this 80 percent that we have confirmed? Is that good enough?

JOHN AVLON, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE DAILY BEAST: I think they just need (ph) some expectation setting here. They're trying to lower the expectations. But I mean, the good news is, the thing has been such a screw up today that, I mean, any improvement is significant, but there is a significance to number. They're not trying to set the bar and saying we're going to fix it at 100 percent. So, they're basically conceding that the problems with are going to continue even after the self-imposed deadline --

BOLDUAN: And to try to change the focus. To stop focusing on it's going to be perfect. That's going to be -- what's going to be the litmus test of, is the law perfect? It seems they're trying to adjust that.

AVLON: That's right. And look, I mean, you know, perfect on the menu (ph) in politics. You can't make (INAUDIBLE) to good. So, they are trying to adjust that. but don't underestimate the serious political damage caused by the rollout's fiasco. And the way in which increasingly the IT guy, whether it's a government or business holds us all hostage.

And they weren't getting clear answers when this rolled out and you look and see the presidential legacy hanging on really the references of an IT team's ability to fix this in time of

BOLDUAN: And you do wonder if Republicans will continue to push for someone to lose their job. It's not Katherine Sebelius because the president continues to stand strongly by her -- are they going to demand that someone else loses their job, because it does appear when you look at the vote that we saw in the House on Friday, the Democrats are really worried about what this is going to do in 2014.

Thirty-nine Democrats voted with House Republicans on their if you like it, you can keep it plan. That came after the president offered his fix.

AVLON: And after the president threatened to veto this. So, that is a significant defection the Democratic breaks because they are concerned about the politics of this. Look, we're to jump all moment right now. If the White House can fix the website, they'll go a long way towards, you know, healing the divisions caused in the wake of this fiasco, but the fault lines are being drawn.

Democrats in swing districts are deeply nervous, and the White House needs to follow through. You can't have this kind of a controversial law so central to president's legacy and have it be so consistently screwed up in the rollout. So, this is serious times and they better have their A-team on this fixing this right now.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I have to ask you about another story that's making the round -- another political story, the Cheney family.

AVLON: Oh, yes.

BOLDUAN: There are disputes within every family, but the fact that this has become such a public dispute between Liz Cheney running for a Senate seat in Wyoming and her sister over same-sex marriage, it's really astonishing.

AVLON: It is really astonishing. And so, what happened yesterday, Liz Cheney is trying to run in a Republican primary, running to the right yesterday on a Sunday news program. She basically distanced herself from her sister's marriage in a same-sex marriage for a long time and that provoked a really unprecedented outburst that was seemed personal on the part of Mary Cheney saying, this isn't just a personal disagreement.

You're on the wrong side of history, not just to the issue and basically saying she can't support her sister's candidacy if she's pandering to the far right in this particular way. So it is an extraordinary moment. It shows us how raw this issue is for so many people in the midst of the civil rights --

BOLDUAN: Can this backfire on Liz Cheney that this has become such a public family dispute?

AVLON: Yes, because it doesn't look like she's willing to stand with what been her family's principles in the face of political pressure. Let's be honest. That's what's going on here. She's trying to move to the right. She's been attacked by some Super PAC adds for being in favor of gay marriage, so she's willing to effectively throw her sister's union under the bus for political gain. That is not ultimately a good place to be if you're trying to say you're a principled politician, which can be contradiction anyway.

BOLDUAN: Contradiction in terms as it -- I mean, Mary Cheney on her Facebook page writing, "Liz, this isn't just an issue on which we disagree. You are just wrong and on the wrong side of history." It's really amazing.

AVLON: It's stunning, stunning stuff. Family feud.

BOLDUAN: Not good to be public. Great to see you. Thanks, John.

AVLON: You, too.

BOLDUAN: All right. Coming up next on "NEW DAY", testimony from five CIA contractors who witnessed the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. What did they tell members of Congress? What does this mean for the investigation going forward? Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Kate. We'll be bringing you back here to the path of a tornado. And if one piece of video captures the fear of being in it, this may be it. We have the video you want to see and the man who shot it joining us live in our next hour.


BOLDUAN: More tragic news coming out of the Philippines this morning. Pro-golfer, Jason Day, confirmed that he lost eight family members in the deadly typhoon. Andy Scholes has more on this joining us for this morning's "Bleacher Report." What more are you hearing, Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes, Kate. This is just really tragic news. In the deadly typhoon, Jason Day lost his grandmother, an uncle, and six of his cousins, all those cousins were children. Day is a native of Australia, but his mother is from the Philippines. Her family live in the hardest hit area. Now, Day said that the toughest part for his family right now is they haven't been able to communicate with anyone over there. In a statement, Day thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers and asked everyone to continue to pray for all those affected by the tragedy.

All right. We no longer have any undefeated teams in the NFL. The 9- 0 Chiefs taken on the 8-1 Broncos last night. Lindsey Vonn and Tiger on hand for the big game. And Peyton manning came out with his injured ankle, threw a touchdown early and that was his only touchdown in the game, but the Broncos didn't need much more.

They never trailed in this one. They hand the chiefs their first loss of the season, 27-17. That, of course, means the 72 Dolphins can rest easy for another year.

In the lineup section of, today, you'll see one hairy play. Cardinals-Jaguars Jason Babin tackles Andre Ellington by his dreads, and he comes out of the pile with a handful of hair. But Kate, don't worry the Cardinals tweeted out a pick saying they got the hair back. And Ellington said he's going to just stitch the locks right back in. So he'll be as good as new.

BOLDUAN: Not something you anticipate on Twitter right after a game, I guess.


SCHOLES: We found the hair and we're going to put it back.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. You know, it's good -- at least they're not wasting.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Andy. Great to see you. What a story.

All right. We are now at the top of the hour, everyone, which means it is time for your top news.


CUOMO (voice-over): This morning, outbreak. At least 80 tornadoes ripped through America's heartland. Cars tossed. Entire communities flattened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pieces of homes and cars are, you know, flying up in the air.

CUOMO: Terrified residents taking shelter as the twisters roll through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stuff was flying everywhere. I'm just glad we all made it out today.

CUOMO: Not all would survive. At this hour, hundreds of thousands still without power and many will wake up to learn if their homes survive. We're live in the middle of the destruction.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): Plus a "NEW DAY" exclusive, finally, answers on Benghazi, the man who questioned eyewitnesses to the attack is now talking. So what happened that night and was there a cover-up afterwards? His answers could change how you view the story? He's joining us live.

ANNOUNCER: This is "NEW DAY" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


CUOMO (on-camera): Good morning. Welcome back to "NEW DAY". It is Monday, November 18th, seven o'clock in the east, six o'clock central time. Central time, that's where the Midwest is and it's battered, enduring more than 80 tornadoes. It's the most late season tornadoes in two decades, Kate.

BOLDUAN: We're going to be following that very closely throughout the morning, Chris.

And we're also going to have more on new testimony about the Benghazi terror attack. Did witnesses contradict what the administration has said all along? We're going to follow up on that.

But also, another story that we're tracking this morning, they were on their first trip as -- their first scuba diving trip. They've been wanting to do it for a very long time, but that ended up -- they ended up abandoned at sea. They'll explain their harrowing ordeal. But first, more on today's big story in the Midwest -- Chris.

CUOMO: Kate, you know, harrowing is one of those words we use because, sometimes, what happens just describes language, right? And what people here went through is just jaw-dropping. Twisters like this one that you're looking at right now just carved up Central Illinois. Storm chasers went after this one in nearby (INAUDIBLE) that you're looking at now.

Now, we are in Washington, Illinois. We had to be here this morning because it was just so hard hit for most than 20 years. And take a look. You can see what's behind me once we get off this video.