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Posing a Threat; Ambassador Kennedy on the Job; Weather Outlook; A Giant in the Field; A True Hero

Aired November 19, 2013 - 08:30   ET


ANNOUNCER: You're watching "NEW DAY" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I love Rush (ph), but I don't know about today's Tom Sawyer for what we're going to be teasing coming up.

Welcome back to "NEW DAY". It's Tuesday, November 19th.

See for yourself. History's unfolding in Tokyo. Decades after her father fought the Japanese in World War II, Caroline Kennedy becomes America's new ambassador to Japan. We have a live report in just moments.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, he's 6'4", 400 pounds and rumbled past the defense, but he's not a professional football player. He is in high school. He's there live. We're going to talk to him and his coach coming up.



PEREIRA: Can't wait to talk to him.

But right now, first, the five things that you need to know for your new day.

The death toll from Sunday's tornadoes in the Midwest now stands at eight after two people were reportedly killed in Michigan. Hundreds of thousands remain without power.

George Zimmerman's back behind bars this morning after allegedly threatening his girlfriend. Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin. Now faces numerous charges and is currently awaiting a bail hearing.

President Obama will update Senate leaders on nuclear talks with Iran at a White House meeting today. A new round of negotiations set to begin later this week in Geneva.

JP Morgan Chase close to finalizing a record $13 billion settlement with the government. The nation's largest bank agreed to take responsibility for its role in the 2008 mortgage-backed security scandal. And quite a day for San Diego voters. They're heading to the polls today to elect a new mayor. They'll be turning the page on scandal in the process. You'll recall former Mayor Bob Filner resigned in August amid a sexual harassment scandal.

We're always updating those five things to know. So be sure to visit for the very latest.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Michaela.

It's frightening, it's even deadly and it is gaining in popularity, if you can even believe it. The knockout game has police in several states on their heels. People going up to strangers, punching them and running off. Why is it happening and how widespread is it? CNN's Pamela Brown has been looking into this.

What are you learning about this -- I mean, let's be honest, this stupid game.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's stupid. It's very disturbing, Kate. And it's, frankly, dangerous. And, in fact, incidents believed to be linked to the knockout game have been reported in at least six states. It could happen to you, anyone walking down the street. One minute you're minding your own business, the next a complete stranger deliberately knocks you to the ground. Across the country, police are struggling to tally the full impact of this deadly game. We want to warn you, this video you're about to watch may be tough to watch.


BROWN (voice-over): It's a painful scene to watch.

JAMES ADDLESPURGER, VICTIM OF "KNOCKOUT GAME": And the video speaks for itself, but I don't remember it happening when it happened.

BROWN: Unsuspecting 50-year-old teacher James Addlespurger walks toward a group of boys. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, one of them violently knocks him to the ground. His limp body lies on the concrete as the group walks away.

ADDLESPURGER: I was shocked at - I was shocked at the whole narrative of it. Boom came the punch and down I went, you know, straight down with my face falling and hitting the cold concrete.

BROWN: This attack happened in 2012 in Pittsburgh. But the so-called knockout or one-hit quitter game apparently has spread elsewhere. Videos of attacks posted online.


BROWN: Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., just some of the places victims have reported being punched on the streets for no reason. In a few of the cases, the victims died. Flowers mark the spot where a homeless man in New Jersey was beaten to death in September, allegedly by these teenagers. In Brooklyn, New York Police are investigating this attack. The victim is sucker punched as he walks down the street.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I travel alone a lot like to go to school and go to rehearsals and come home and that's scary.

BROWN: And just last week in D.C., Phoebe Connolly is one of two victims who was punched in the face by kids on bikes, she says for no reason.

PHOEBE CONNOLLY, VICTIM OF "KNOCKOUT GAME": He just like threw a hook with his left hand and just got me like right in the face. And he said, wa-pow.

BROWN: The juvenile who attacked James Addlespurger was arrested, but the English teacher says there are no winners in the knockout game.


BROWN: And in most of these cases, the victim is not robbed, interesting to note there. The best way to prevent this happening to you is, of course, to stay aware of your surroundings, authorities say. We want to mention, we did reach out to several police departments across the country and many say they are aware of this game but they don't have any stats because normally these incidents are logged as assaults.

BOLDUAN: And, of course, I mean, difficult for police to try to track this down. It's one person out of nowhere they get knocked out. It's not like there's a reason that one person was picked. It's just time and place.

BROWN: Exactly. Usually it's unprovoked. And even in these two recent incidents in D.C. just last week, they still haven't made any arrests there. So this presents a challenge to these officers and the -- one police officer told me yesterday, he said, we are very aware of this popular game and we're trying to do everything to prevent it from happening in our city.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Oh, my goodness.

PEREIRA: We did some foolish things when we were growing up, but nothing that crazy.

CUOMO: It's not a game. I mean I think there are two things that they need to know. The first thing is -

PEREIRA: It's not a game.

CUOMO: They're going to catch you and they're going to punish you and it's going to burn and you're going to beg for mercy and say, I'm just a kid. It's was just a game. You're going to lose.

And also, anybody who's doing this, the kids celebrated, you see in the video.

BOLDUAN: Right after, yes.

CUOMO: Anybody who's doing it is a punk. I mean, you know, even in the violence, the stupidest male, man law rule you can find, cold-cocking people who don't see you coming, hitting women, I mean they're punks, these guys. There's no honor or dignity in it.

BROWN: Nope.

CUOMO: They're going to catch you. They're going to punish you. And I can't wait to cover that part of the story.

BROWN: Yes, exactly.

BOLDUAN: No kidding.

BROWN: It's certainly not a laughing matter to say the least.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Pamela.

BROWN: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks very much.

Let us know what you think. You know what we think about this. Tweet us, use #newday.

CUOMO: We're going to take a little break here on "NEW DAY". When we come back, Caroline Kennedy is the new ambassador to Japan. A job that sounds even cooler when you learn this is your car. There's your company car right there, riding around in a carriage. We'll tell you what's going on.

PEREIRA: Ah, a good commute.


BOLDUAN: That's a little longer.

Then, look at this.


BOLDUAN: No, that is not a professional football player. He's certainly not built like the average high schooler. But he is the latest viral superstar that has college football recruiters taking notice, as well they should. And he's joining us live.

CUOMO: And no knockout game on him, I'll tell you that right now.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY".

Caroline Kennedy, the first female U.S. ambassador to Japan, making quite the entrance to mark the start of her official duties. She arrived in a horse-drawn carriage for the traditional meeting with the Japanese emperor at the Imperial Palace. Her new role beginning as the 50th anniversary of her father's assassination approaches. CNN's Kyung Lah is live in Tokyo covering all the fanfare.

Hey there, Kyung.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And it was quite the fanfare, Kate, good morning. It is a ceremony witnessed by many people with all the trappings of Japanese formality.


LAH (voice-over): Clutching cameras and waving, thousands of Japanese lined the streets to watch a daughter fulfill her father's sojourn.

"She's completing the mission he couldn't fulfill," says Judiko Shidazaki (ph). "This is significant here."

JFK was to be the first U.S. president to visit Japan, but he was assassinated. Fifty years later, nearly to the day of his death, his only surviving child made her way through the streets of Tokyo by horse-drawn carriage to the emperor. She passed by many in this crowd who witnessed the first-ever live TV images broadcast out of the U.S. to Japan 50 years ago, news coverage of the assassination, images of the two young Kennedy children seared into the collective Japanese memory.

"Caroline is like my friend," she says. "Of course we are in totally different worlds. But to me, she is special."

This is the sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for pop stars or the Japanese royal family.

LAH (on camera): Do you remember anyone ever getting this excited about a U.S. ambassador here in Japan?

LAH (voice-over): "Heck no," say the Watanabes (ph), who traveled 200 miles to be here.

And ask anyone about job qualifications -

LAH (on camera): Caroline Kennedy doesn't have a lot of diplomatic experience.

LAH (voice-over): "That doesn't matter," she says emphatically. "She can do the job."

This is a country, after all, where blood lines trump all. Why American Nancy Nichols, who lives in Japan, says this child of Camelot is royalty here.

NANCY NICHOLS, SPECTATOR: Making a full circle and closening the bond that we have and I think it's great.

LAH: After a brief ceremony with Emperor Akihito, Ambassador Kennedy returned to her carriage to begin her path in U.S./Japan history.


LAH: Now the ambassador says she is looking forward to getting right to work. As far as the historical significance of this week, she is going to be marking it privately.

Chris. Kate.

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

CUOMO: All right, let's get back to Indra Petersons, out there in Washington, Illinois. She's been watching the search for survivors. And, of course, the weather. It's getting cold. Behind you I see what looks like frost, Indra. What's the latest?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we definitely are having a very chilly morning this morning with temperatures below freezing. But, finally, the sun is now out and things are starting to improve. And that should be the situation for the rest of the day, at least here, really the eastern half of the country today enjoying some mild weather.

High pressure is now in place. We're talking about sunny skies, dry conditions. Yes, temperatures a little on the cool side in the northeast today, about a good five to eight degrees below normal.

But a change is on the way. And that comes from the Pacific Northwest. It's that system that's dumping snow today in the high elevations again of the Cascades. It looks like Idaho, even Montana. Well, that will progress to the east by tomorrow and we're going to be talking about even over a foot of snow is possible tomorrow into Wyoming. So that same system, though, will bring some rain right here into the Midwest by the middle of the week. So really Wednesday into Thursday getting even heavier as we go through Friday.

And then keep in mind behind us, since it is such a cold system that is producing snow currently, we're going to be talking about snow right here even on the weekend. So, yes, it looks like things are going to be rapidly changing and we're going to enjoy the little bit of sunshine we have left here today. And, you know, and, and hopefully it does help everyone here and the victims really kind of gather all the pieces together as soon as they can before the storm moves in.

CUOMO: All right, Indra, thank you for the reporting. And, you know, we've been there. It looks as bad as what you see. You don't have to be there to feel it.


CUOMO: But the need is great. The holidays are coming. And this won't be over soon. Just because the coverage stops, doesn't mean the pain doesn't. So if you want to help, please, go to and there are plenty of ideas to help there.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on "NEW DAY", his highlight reel has gone viral and he's been dubbed the next big thing. Coming up live, we're going to talk to the high school football player that should be on every recruiter's radar.


CUOMO: Welcome back to "NEW DAY".

Take a look at these photos that have gone viral.

PEREIRA: My word.

CUOMO: That's not an NFL player. Not yet anyway. That's a high school student -- 6'4", 400 pounds.

PEREIRA: How much?

CUOMO: 400 pounds -- Swan High School in Washington State. This is a highlight reel that shows barreling over three and four defenders at a time. Look at this. Rumbling, fumbling. You can't tackle me. I will crush you.

BOLDUAN: I will crush you.

CUOMO: Joining us now is this man-child himself, doing well. Enjoying the game he plays, Tony Picard and his coach, Andrew Bush. Hello, fellows. Thanks for getting up so early.

ANDREW BUSH, HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH: You're welcome. Good morning.


CUOMO: I look looking at that football in your hands, Tony. Looks like a devil dog, holding it in there. Coach, tell us about this kid. He's big. You say his head and his heart are even bigger. Tell us about him.

BUSH: Yes. He's just a crowd favorite. In our crowd every time he gets the ball, they go crazy. In fact, when we went to opposing teams, the announcers would even get into it for the other schools, like that was 6'4", 400-pound Tony Picard carrying the ball and their crowd was even cheering for them. It was pretty cool.

BOLDUAN: So tell me, your highlight reel, if this note is correct, is almost 2 million hits on YouTube. What do you make of that?

PICARD: I mean it's crazy. It's shocking, you know. It's the last thing I would have thought of. Like I didn't even make the video. Some guy that first brought the article up, you know, that's how it all started. A guy named Dirk (ph) out of Portland made it. I saw it one day on Facebook and was like, whoa, where did this come from?

PEREIRA: Well, I think a lot of people want to know that. We want to talk to your mom and dad. What are they feeding you, son? You're a big fellow -- 6'4", correct?


PEREIRA: Have you always been the tallest or around tallest in your family, tallest in class?

PICARD: Yes, I have.

CUOMO: So, you know, we're trying to figure out -- it goes viral. Seems like a no-brainer. You're so huge, you're moving well, especially for a guy that size. Coach, you say that he hasn't been on a lot of radar screens for --

PEREIRA: That's surprising.

CUOMO: -- scouts as a running back. Of course he is a nose tackle. But a lot of high schools play both ways. Why do you think he hasn't gotten his due yet?

BUSH: It's nontraditional. I mean nobody really does what we did here. I mean it all kind of started when he kind of looked athletic. I said, you know, how can we use this a little bit better? He is a traditional type, lineman type body. And so I decided at football camp at Central Washington University one year, let's give him a try.

I asked him, "Would you mind trying running back?" And he kind of said, 'Really?' I walked up to where the coach was, Central coach, and he parked up under the drills. He said, "Hey, big dog, the lineman drills are down there." And he goes, "I'm a running back." And the coach just kind of stared at him. What?

And the next thing, you know, he says, well get in there. He said yes, sir. He starts doing the foot drills, agility. He looked athletic and all of a sudden, he was a running back.

PEREIRA: Do you like that you surprise people, Tony? That they don't expect you to be what you are?

PICARD: Honestly, yes. I mean, it's crazy just to see the looks on people's faces like, what is he doing?

BOLDUAN: What does this guy think he's doing? Tony, you're a senior in high school now. You're about to turn 18. If you could play for any school, any college, any university, what school would you pick?

PICARD: I would choose Washington State University.

PEREIRA: All right.

BOLDUAN: All right. I think coach supports that.

CUOMO: Are you getting any buzz out of it? Obviously, you're getting a lot of acclaim online. But is it translating into any attention? Are you starting to get any phone calls, Coach?

BUSH: You know, again, this kind of happened so quickly, we never expected it. And as a coach, it's one of my jobs, to try to promote my athletes. So, obviously, this makes it real easy with this explosion. But there's a lot of things starting to come in all of a sudden.

CUOMO: Good for him. Good for him.

PEREIRA: Dream big for a second, Tony. What would you like your future to look like?

CUOMO: You know, graduate from high school, you know. Go play at WSU, you know. Wherever they want me to play, you know. And just, if possible, even go pro. But, you know, I know it's going to take a lot of work to get to that next level and the next level after that. So, I mean, I know what I've got to do to get to that next level and I'm going to do what I've got to do to get there.

BUSH: But he is open to other colleges.

PEREIRA: Well done, Coach.

BOLDUAN: Well said, Coach. Here on "NEW DAY" we are on Team Tony. You go get them.

PEREIRA: And coach is 6'2". You're 6'2" and he's -- my goodness.


PEREIRA: Coach you're not short either.

CUOMO: Coach is a big man. Coach is a big man. That man is just much bigger.


BOLDUAN: I would say so.

PEREIRA: Thanks for getting up so early for us.

BOLDUAN: Tony Picard, Andrew Bush -- thanks Coach.

BUSH: Thank you very much.

CUOMO: Two million hits -- good luck, friend. I can't wait to see the next chapter.

PEREIRA: All right guys.

BOLDUAN: No kidding.

PEREIRA: It will be exciting to watch.

BOLDUAN: I would love to see those practice scrimmages. Hello.

CUOMO: I would like to see the look on those defenders' faces.

BOLDUAN: I would be like -- coming at you.

PEREIRA: You get it.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY an unsuspecting hero comes to the aid of neighbors. Hear about his courageous act, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Now this song works. It's time for "The Good Stuff". In today's edition, Fidel Morales, OK, freak accident as a child leaves him with just one arm and one leg. But that has not stopped him from anything, including becoming a hero. Fidel was first to notice his Bronx apartment building was on fire.

Twelve people would be seriously hurt in the blaze, but not Fidel's one-year-old son or 20-day-old niece because Fidel did the unthinkable. He found a way to get over there, get the kids and he dropped both children from the second floor balcony into the arms of his neighbor below.

Take a listen.

PEREIRA: Oh, my goodness.


FIDEL MORALES, SAVED TWO KIDS FROM FIRE: Times of emergency, you cannot think. You either react or you don't.


CUOMO: Remember, he had to find a way to get over there --


CUOMO: -- and just kind of get those two kids under control and then safely try and get them and direct them towards the guy -- two stories. He then jumps to safety himself out the window, lands, hurts his knee and as a funny guy can only say, he said he actually hurt his good knee, because he fell on his other leg -- he's missing his other leg.

True hero, he gives all the credit to the man who caught his kids, not for what he did to get them out the window safely in the first place. Take a listen.


MORALES: The hero who caught my baby and the other baby, he was helping me out while his family was inside.



BOLDUAN: Oh, my goodness. That is amazing.

PEREIRA: Wow. Oh, my goodness.

CUOMO: And again we love to highlight people. This is like a two- fer. Not only does he do something that is unusual under the circumstances, the danger. But he does not see himself as his limitations.


CUOMO: You know, yes, he was -- he had a freak accident and he lost an arm and a leg but he's lived his life --

PEREIRA: I love this.

CUOMO: -- more than --

PEREIRA: A great way to start the day.

CUOMO: Right.

BOLDUAN: That's the good stuff.

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: There's a reason it's called "The Good Stuff", people.

CUOMO: Exactly right. A little bit of good stuff.

Now some more good stuff. We're going to hand you over to John Berman and Christine Romans.

PEREIRA: Times two.

CUOMO: Better stuff. Good stuff plus good stuff equals better stuff. Time for "NEWSROOM" --

BOLDUAN: Just math.

PEREIRA: Good morning, guys.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We've got the great stuff for you as far as you know.


BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. Carol Costello is off today.

You're looking at a live picture right now from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where ceremonies are under way to mark the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's historic speech there.

BERMAN: War historian James McPherson and U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewel are scheduled to speak, as well as Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.

Absent this morning, however, is President Obama. And you'll remember this is the man who swore in on the oath of office twice on the Lincoln bible. He announced his candidacy for president in Springfield, Illinois but he is not going to this ceremony on the 150th anniversary of the speech and he's taking some political heat for that.