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Deadly Blasts in Beirut; Rising from the Rubble; Zimmerman Arrested Again; Toronto's Mayor of Mayhem; Princeton To Offer Meningitis B Vaccine

Aired November 19, 2013 - 08:00   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Toronto's mayor, Rob Ford, stripped of his power, and vowing revenge, from dancing to plowing into people. We'll bring you the wild confrontation with his city council.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Fatal game. It's called a knockout game. Teens randomly knocking out strangers for fun, happening across the country and it is proving to be deadly.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Your "NEW DAY" continues right now.


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

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY", everyone. It is Tuesday, November 19th, 8:00 in the East.

We begin with news breaking this morning. Deadly explosions rocking southern Beirut and we now know who is behind the suicide attacks.

CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh has the very latest from Lebanon.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, we're now confirming details about this enormous explosion. The Lebanese army now saying there were two suicide bombers, one on a motorcycle and one in a jeep. Their devices detonating moments apart.

We understand, too, close circuit TV footage being monitored to find out exactly what happened. But amongst the dead is the cultural attache to the Iranian embassy, the Iranian ambassador telling local media he believes the embassy was the target.

Two concerns here. First, the use of suicide bombers not seen to this extent for decades inside Lebanon and the claim of responsibility from a group called the Abdullah Azzam Brigade. They're linked perhaps to Al Qaida, but also to rebels fighting inside Syria against the regime there in that lengthy brutal civil war. The real concern, this is another sign of that violence inside Syria spilling over into Lebanon, already in a very fragile state.

Back to you, Chris. CUOMO: Very key point you make the there, Nick. Lebanon is in a fragile state, something for us to watch. Appreciate the reporting from him this morning.

Now, back here at home, the search continues for people who may still be trapped under debris from a tornado that tore apart the town of Washington, Illinois. In all, 76 tornadoes were reported across the Midwest. At least eight people have died. Hundreds of homes destroyed.

Storms have caused significant damage in over a dozen states.

CNN's Indra Petersons is still live in Washington, Illinois.

Indra, we're watching the situation there. How are the people holding up? What factor is that cold playing?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, that's really the toughest thing in these morning hours. It is so cold and people are left without shelter. Of course, they're relying on their neighbors. The community has really come together. But we now know how strong this storm was.

It has been classified as an EF-4 tornado, 190-mile-per-hour winds that went over 40 miles. And that tornado was half a mile wide, Chris. Just imagine that. So much devastation they're dealing with here this morning.


PETERSONS (voice-over): Hundreds of thousands are still without power this morning after Sunday's deadly tornado outbreak.

Illinois's governor declaring seven counties disaster areas in the wake of more than 70 reported twisters that tore across the Midwest from Missouri to Wisconsin, killing at least eight people.

GOV. PAT QUINN (D), ILLINOIS: We were hard-hit. We never, ever, in the history of Illinois had so many tornadoes in the month of November.

PETERSONS: From above, you can see where this tornado touched down in an open field and then pummeled this community in Washington, Illinois.

At least half of the town of Brookport was destroyed and three people died when a tornado ripped apart two mobile home parks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just don't think that things like this will happen. You just don't think, you know?

PETERSONS: There are incredible stories of survival.


PETERSONS: Chris Landcaster kept filming while this tornado destroyed his house. Packing winds as high as 190 miles an hour.

CHRIS LANDCASTER, TORNADO SURVIVOR: I got hit by some debris or something and cut my eye in three places.

PETERSONS: This 78-year-old woman escaped the same tornado with a broken nose.

MARY KAIL, TORNADO SURVIVOR: Debris started flying.

PETERSONS: Her home reduced to rubble.

KAIL: Hot water heater. The copper pipes, they were all on me.

PETERSONS: Yesterday, we brought you the story of Steve Bucher. He and his wife survived in their basement hallway.

STEVE BUCHER, TORNADO SURVIVOR: I was kind of down and she was lowered like here.

PETERSONS: When they surfaced, their brick home was destroyed and his cars were thrown across the street.

BUCHER: The only important thing I had in this house walked out of it with me.

PETERSONS (on camera): And what was that?

BUCHER: My wife.

PETERSONS (voice-over): Thousands left combing through the piles of debris searching for whatever they can salvage.


LANDCASTER: The video of my wedding.


PETERSONS: You know, I just want to put into perspective how rare an event like this is for November. In Illinois, since the mid-1980s, they've had just under 200 tornado warnings. This last Sunday, they had a majority of those. So, more than half of those all happened just this Sunday. So, truly incredible what happened, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Truly incredible. I love you highlighting that mid western spirit, Midwestern resolve of all those people there who say they will rebuild and will be OK.

Indra, thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk now about more legal drama involving George Zimmerman. He's behind bars again this morning, arrested after his girlfriend accused him of pointing a gun at her. It's just his latest run-in with the law since the jury acquitted him of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

CNN's David Mattingly is live in Sanford, Florida, with the very latest.

Good morning, David.


We have two 911 calls, two very different stories. And at this time, we're trying to figure out which story is true. Listen.


CALLER: I'm doing this again? You just broke my glass table. You just broke my sunglasses and you put your gun in my freaking face and told me to get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out, this is not your house. No, get out of here.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): That was George Zimmerman's girlfriend yelling at him just before she tells 911 he pushed her out of her home and barricaded himself inside. A few minutes later, Zimmerman makes his own call.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: My girlfriend has -- for lack of a better word, gone crazy on me.

MATTINGLY: With police banging on the door, Zimmerman says his girlfriend is pregnant and blames everything on her.

ZIMMERMAN: She just started smashing stuff, taking stuff that belonged to me, throwing it outside, throwing it out of her room, throwing it all over the house. She broke a glass table because she threw something on it. She got mad that I guess I told her that I would be willing to leave.


ZIMMERMAN: I guess she thought I was going to argue with her but she's pregnant. I'm not going to put her through that kind of stress.

MATTINGLY: It's Zimmerman's latest run-in with the law since his July acquittal in the Trayvon Martin murder case. He's been pulled over twice for speeding.

And in September, he was detained by police after his soon to be ex- wife claimed he smashed her iPad in an argument. No charges were filed then but this time, with his new girlfriend, it's different.

DENNIS LEMMA, SEMINOLE COUNTY SHERIFFF'S OFFICE: She alleged that he had broken a table and at one point, pointed a long barreled shotgun at her.

MATTINGLY: Deputies pushed their way inside to find George Zimmerman unarmed and cooperative. But he's now back in the Seminole County jail charged with aggravated assault. Deputies searched the home until late Monday night.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MATTINGLY: And what they found in that house could go a long way in determining which story here is actually true. Remember, when George Zimmerman was first seen by deputies when they went in that house, he was unarmed. You heard him say that his girlfriend was pregnant. She told investigators that she's not -- Kate.

CUOMO: All right. Appreciate the reporting. We'll keep following that one. That's for sure.

We want to tell you about accusations of a coup and threats of an outright war. Not in the Middle East, in Toronto. They're coming from troubled man and Mayor Rob Ford, stripped of just about all his powers in a contentious confrontation with members of the city council.

He is not backing down, warning everyone who is against him what goes round comes round.

Nic Robertson is joining us live from Toronto this morning.

Nic, what's the latest?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, chaos and confusion inside that council chamber, even the legal counsel that have been brought in to advise the council saying that they had only just been notified of what they were doing. They were in unchartered legal territory.

When that final vote came down, the mayor declared war.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The item is amended.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Mayor Ford went down 36 votes to five.

His answer?

MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: This, folks, reminds me of when I was watching with my brother when Saddam attacked Kuwait. You guys have just attacked Kuwait.


R. FORD: And you will never see something that -- mark my words, friends. This is going to be outright war in the next election.

ROBERTSON: The battle began even before the vote.

CROWD: Shame, shame, shame!

ROBERTSON: Another Mayor Ford moment he might like to forget.

In council chambers, shouting members of the public and then this. And this, accidentally knocking an elderly councilor to the floor, not his finest hour. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor Ford, your time's up. Mayor Ford?

ROBERTSON: In the battle to strip his powers, few in the council, except his brother Doug, on his side.

DOUG FORD, MAYOR FORD'S BROTHER: What is happening today is an overthrow of a democratically elected mayor, illegally. This is what you see in third world nations.

TV ANNOUNCER: Ford Nation comes to Sun News. The mayor of mayhem, like you've never seen him before. The booze, the dope.

R. FORD: You've heard the criticism and the councilors. Now, tonight, I want you to listen to me.

ROBERTSON: In new talk show, creating his own world, "Ford Nation."

R. FORD: I want to thank my supporters for sticking with me. I guarantee you'll so a change in the next few months.

ROBERTSON: His words, his message for an hour under control until he stepped out of the studio, falling over a photographer.

R. FORD: I didn't push her.

ROBERTSON: That's all he said.

R. FORD: I didn't touch her.


ROBERTSON: And that elderly councilor he knocked over in the city chambers, he did go back and apologize and give her a big hug to try to make up. But I think it's the lies, it's the abuse. It's the drink. It's the drugs, perhaps the biggest thing, again, the lies that's turned everyone against him.

He can't go back and make up with everyone. And it's all over for him now. His powers mostly stripped away.

Back to you, guys.

BOLDUAN: His powers mostly stripped away, but he is not walking way from the spotlight, at least not just yet.

Thanks so much, Nic.

CUOMO: Apologizing is a few steps down the ladder for him. He needs to start recognizing that he has a problem. Best thing I heard him say on "Ford Nation" was him saying, you'll see a change in the next few months.

PEREIRA: We hope it's that kind of change, right?

CUOMO: Yes, hopefully involves him getting some serious --

BOLDUAN: What's next?

PEREIRA: Absolutely. It's hard to sit on the sidelines and watch.

All right. Let's take a look our headlines right now.

Making news: President Obama will brief Senate leaders on both parties this morning on nuclear talks with Iran. The president is expected to emphasize his opposition to any new sanctions as the U.S. and other world powers prepare for a new round of negotiations in Geneva this week. The administration insists any easing of sanctions in return for Iran scaling back its nuclear program would be slight and reversible.

Two Obamacare House hearings getting under way today. Top technology manager Henry Chao will testify. Newly released documents reveal that he had serious concerns that the website would crash. CNN also learning a private consulting firm shares similar concerns with the White House back in March. The administration now considering letting people bypass and set up direct enrollment through insurance companies.

Thirteen billion, that's what JPMorgan chase will pay to settle up with the Justice Department for unloading suspect securities on investors just west of that financial crisis of 2008. It is the largest fine ever for a single company. Settlement is expected to be announced today.

This is unbelievable. Look at this video. Incredible viral video of an extreme skier Julian Lopez (ph) trying to outrace an avalanche in the Swiss Alps. It looks like he might actually beat the avalanche until he takes a nasty spill. By the time he gets up, it is too late. He is belted by a wall of snow and buried. Five frantic minutes, terrifying minutes later, his friends are actually able to pull him out alive.

And I think we have the view from Lopez's GoPro helmet cam. The extreme skier was flown to a hospital and suffered minor injuries. We might have that view where you can see the daylight and faces of concerned friends who can't believe they found him.

All right. Tom Brady, dropped the f bomb on national TV. The Patriots quarterback furious after last night's controversial final play in the 24-20 loss to the Panthers. ESPN's camera picked up Brady using the F-bomb as he was getting in the face of the referee Clete Blakeman. The future Hall-of-Famer ripping into officials for throwing penalty for interference against South Carolina and deciding then to pick it up.

The refs ruling the final pass of the game was uncatchable. Therefore, nullifying the penalty and sending the Patriots to defeat.

OK, speak. I know you need to.

BOLDUAN: I'm going to amend my previous statement.

PEREIRA: Oh, amending. Amending. BOLDUAN: I think that uncatchable. That call should not be allowed to decide a game.

PEREIRA: Thoughts?

BOLDUAN: And I've won, yes! Thank you. Or not.

PEREIRA: Mark this one down for Kate.

CUOMO: I'll tell you what? I'm watching that call again and again; I wasn't able to watch the game last night for obvious reasons, but didn't look uncatchable to me. The height at which the guy caught the ball, Gronkowski could have come back and caught the ball. But I'm a Jets fan, so I don't see --

PEREIRA: We have a ball. We could re-enact it if you want.

CUOMO: Jets can't catch any pass. Any pass. The ball. That's all they call all day long in the Jets game.

BOLDUAN: It's uncatchable. It's uncatchable.


CUOMO: All right. Let's get back out to Indra Peterson. She's holding down for us in Washington, Illinois, monitoring the situation there. A big issue for people will be the weather because it's cold.

Indra, what do you know about the forecast?

PETERSONS: Perfect example this morning, Chris. It is cold out here. Temperatures are below freezing this morning.

Not sure if you can see this. We can actually see frost building up on the debris here. Unfortunately, this will be the best weather day they have for some time.

Now, that severe weather system has completely moved offshore. That is gone. And right now in the Northeast, we're dealing with mild conditions. High pressure is in place. We're talking about temperatures just about five to eight degrees below normal.

But here comes the next system. Over in the Pacific Northwest, we're already seeing that system producing snow. Heavy amounts of snow by the time they get through Tuesday, especially in the higher portions or elevations of Wyoming and even back in through Colorado. Now, that system makes its way across. So by Thursday into the Midwest, we're going to be talking about some heavy rain throughout the region.

So Wednesday and Thursday, heavy rain. And then even as we go through the weekend, it looks like that rain is going to switch over to snow behind the cold front. So right here where I'm standing, yes, it is cold. Yes, we have frost on literally all this debris around me, but this is the last good day because we have clear skies and it is dry.

By tonight, they're going to be talking about rain moving in only getting heavier by Thursday and Friday and then switching over to snow on Saturday. So definitely the last day they'll really going to have to pick up the final pieces they can of what's left.

CUOMO: Thank you, Indra. Also remember, you know, they are still searching for people there. We were commenting when we're there. I can't believe they searched everything already. It happened so quickly. Still ongoing and we'll monitor it.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on "NEW DAY", Princeton University taking action to contain a rare meningitis outbreak. Are the vaccinations they're offering students considered safe?

CUOMO: And will new heart guidelines lead to over-prescribed medications? Growing debate over who should take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. We'll talk about it when we come back.


CUOMO: Welcome back. Have you heard a dangerous, potentially deadly disease is spreading at Princeton University? And now, the university is making an aggressive move to try to stop the meningitis outbreak, offering treatment that hasn't been proven safe yet by the FDA. Alexandra Field joins us live from Princeton, New Jersey, to explain the situation. What do we know?

Alexandra Field, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, after days of discussions, the CDC, Princeton University leaders, and New Jersey state health officials have agreed to move forward with a plan to import a vaccine that has never been tested in this country. Even so, we now know they plan to recommend that most students at Princeton University take it.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Princeton University leaders say they're ready to offer thousands of students a vaccine that is not approved for use in the United States. It's an effort to stop an outbreak of a dangerous and contagious disease that's showing up on campus.

MARTIN MBUGUA, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY SPOKESMAN: Pending final CDC approval, the university is prepared to accept these recommendations and make arrangements to provide access to this vaccine as soon as possible.

FIELD: Since March, seven cases of Meningitis B, a rare and potentially deadly disease, have been linked to the Ivy League university. Now, the Centers for Disease Control is preparing to recommend doses of the vaccine Bexsero for all 5,000 Princeton undergraduates as well as graduate students who live in dormitories and members of the university community with certain medical conditions. Vaccinations will be free and voluntary.

ELLIOTT TAN, PRINCETON STUDENT: If, like, the CDC approves it and the school said it's OK, I take it. FIELD: Bexsero is the only vaccine available to protect against meningitis B. It was approved this year for use in Europe and Australia, but it not yet approved in the U.S. It's been administered to 8,000 people and the CDC says it's considered safe. Some doctors say it's key to stopping the outbreak that started when a student returned to school sick following spring break.

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR, VANDERBILT: There are a number of people. We don't know what proportion in that student population that are carriers of this bug back in their throats. They're feeling fine. Nobody knows that they have it. But they can spread it and give it to others.

FIELD: The CDC has FDA approval to import Bexsero as part of an investigational drug program. It will only be available as an option at Princeton University, but there's no estimate on how many students will take it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to do a little bit more research and find out exactly what the vaccine entails.


FIELD (on-camera): And those Princeton University students will have some time to do their homework on the vaccine. A CDC review board still has to sign off before the CDC can give us official recommendation to launch the program. Still, the university hopes to have the first doses of the vaccine available on campus some time in December -- Chris, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Alexandra, thank you so much for that.

For more in this, let's turn to senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen. Elizabeth, this is -- is a big deal. I mean, the Princeton students are going to have a choice whether to get the vaccination or not. What are doctors suggesting?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, I can't remember another time when people have been offered a vaccine that hasn't been approved in the United States, sort of in a big group like this. So, Princeton students will have to decide, do I want to take a vaccine that has not been approved in this country?

And, the doctors that I talk to and the CDC are really encouraging them to do it. This meningitis is really big and bad. I mean, one out of ten people die who get it. And of the survivors, one out of five ends up with (INAUDIBLE) or brain damage or some kind of terrible permanent disability. So this is a scary disease and it can get very bad --

CUOMO: It's also scary about who they've given the choice to. How do the parents get involved in this, because college gets tricky as you may or may not know because the kids over 18, HIPPA laws kick in and parents aren't necessarily told about what's happening.

COHEN: Well, hopefully, parents are watching our show, so that they know that their child was going to be given this choice. So, imagine -- you know, I mean, I remember when I was at that age, even though technically, I was an adult --


COHEN: I asked mom and dad --

BOLDUAN: The question is risk. It's not approved here. It's approved overseas. So, is there no risk or is the risk of contracting meningitis outweigh the risk of the vaccine?

COHEN: Well, that's what the CDC and other experts believe, that the risk of the disease far outweighs the risk of the vaccine. Now, no medicine is completely safe.


COHEN: Right? But this vaccine has been approved in Europe and Australia. And their standards are rigorous. They're very similar to what we have here.

PEREIRA: Is it pending approval here? Is that imminent kind of thing or not?

COHEN: It's probably not imminent, but they just happen -- it's a relatively new vaccine and the company, Novartis, just sort of hasn't gotten around to coming to this part of the world quite yet. But the risks -- the side effects of the vaccine are very similar to the side effects of the meningitis vaccine that, you know, all of our children get. So they're relatively minor, things like fever or sore arm. And most people don't have anything bad happen.

BOLDUAN: Can I get your take on this update on the story that we talked a lot about last week, the cholesterol-lowering drug statins. These new guidelines that were very big deal, because it meant many more Americans were going to be suggested that they take statins. Well now, there's some suggestion that they had done their math wrong?

COHEN: Right.

BOLDUAN: What are you hearing about this?

COHEN: So, two doctors at Harvard used the calculator that the American Heart Association set up and said, wait a minute, this (INAUDIBLE) leader says all sorts of people should be taking statins who really shouldn't be. So, they went to the heart association and presented their data and published it in the -- the American Heart Association stands by their calculator.

They say that it's right. And they say that you should never just use the calculator you use it in conjunction with the discussion with your doctor.


BOLDUAN: Aren't we supposed to make it clarified -- a little easier to understand --


COHEN: So, I'm going to give you the bottom line.


COHEN: So, the bottom line is that you go to your doctor, you get your cholesterol numbers and you have a discussion about three things, your cholesterol numbers, your own personal health profile. Do I have diabetes? Do I have high blood pressure, et cetera? And you talk about your family. What did your parents die of? Did they have heart disease, et cetera?

You take those three things, your parents, you, and your numbers. You smush them together. That's a medical term. You smush them together and you decide whether -- you and your doctor decide whether or not you should go on a statin. You should never rely on a calculator even if it's a great calculator. You should always have that discussion and decide what to do.

PEREIRA: And this is that -- it points to that thing that we've talked about when it comes to medical -- so, we have to be our own patient advocate. We have to know, you know, the information that's out there and consult with professional --

BOLDUAN: That is something you champion.

COHEN: Yes. Absolutely. You have to be an empowered patient. You can't just show up and say, so, Dr. Bolduan, tell me what to do.


COHEN: You need to have that discussion.

PEREIRA: Especially that Dr. Bolduan right there.


CUOMO: -- suck it up.


CUOMO: Eat broccoli.

BOLDUAN: That's why I'm not the doctor --



BOLDUAN: Stand on your head, it will all get better. Thanks, Elizabeth. Great to see you.

CUOMO: Coming up on "NEW DAY", punched out of nowhere for no reason. Police are warning people about dangerous attacks known as the knockout game. I wish this weren't so, but it is. We'll tell you what you need to know when we come back.