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Congressman Busted for Cocaine; Not Saying Sorry; Zimmerman's Price for Freedom; Bitcoin Boom; Lindsey Vonn Injured During Training

Aired November 20, 2013 - 06:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: The 37-year-old Radel said in a statement that he struggles with alcoholism and it led him to make an irresponsible choice.

Reports of a U.S. security agreement with Afghanistan that includes a letter of apology for U.S. troop mistakes -- not true. That according to National Security Adviser Susan Rice on CNN's "SITUATION ROOM." But two senior U.S. officials say Secretary of State John Kerry did offer a letter of assurances about a future security relationship.

Four bikers involved in the brutal road rage attack on a New York highway will be arraigned today. Thirty-three-year-old SUV driver Alex Lien became the target of the mob when he struck a motorcyclist who had cut him off. It was all captured on video. It ended after a four-mile chase when Lien was pulled from the car and beaten. A New York police officer is one of the 11 charged in the case.

It is being called divine intervention. A man in Washington, D.C. was randomly shot at over the weekend. Ryan Harris would have been hit in the stomach but his wallet stopped the bullet. The bullet went through part of the wallet's covering, shattering the glass on his smartphone. Police say if they bullet had come in just a little differently, he wouldn't be here with us today.

You might recall a similar story from Florida back in October. A suspected robber fired at a convenience store clerk. The bullet was stopped by the clerk's cell phone. Apparently, he didn't realize he had been hit until he saw the bullet lodged in his phone.

So this guy, this most recent guy, it was the wallet and cell phone combo.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Talk about lucky. Both cases.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I wonder if it's -- it's amazing that we've had two of these. I wonder how often it happens.

PEREIRA: It's interesting. I was doing a little research on the phone. And there have been -- let's not go between iPhone and Androids. Let's not compare and contrast. There have been other instances where this happened.

CUOMO: Unfortunately, people get shot so often, there will be lots of different permutations of fact. But it does seem weird that this phone twice has made a difference here.

BOLDUAN: Don't count on the phone though --


BOLDUAN: -- to save you if you're in that situation.

PEREIRA: Good advice.

CUOMO: But it's still bad and your kids hate you're on it. That's the truth.

Coming up on "NEW DAY": George Zimmerman free on bond this morning. Question, do police have proof he assaulted his girlfriend with a shotgun? And the two things the judge warned Zimmerman he better not do.

BOLDUAN: And a new virtual currency to challenge the U.S. dollar. What? The buzz about the bitcoin when NEW DAY continues.


BOLDUAN: Let's go around the world, starting in the Mediterranean island of Sardinia where a deadly cyclone has killed more than a dozen people.

Here's Erin McLaughlin with more.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Emergency services are working nonstop to help the people affected by the deadly cyclone which struck the Italian island of Sardinia.

The governor tells CNN that entire areas have been completely devastated. Over 17 inches of rain fell under 90 minutes overnight into Tuesday morning, triggering flash flooding and landslides. At least 16 people were killed and thousands more displaced in the deluge. The governor says he plans to declare a day of mourning for tomorrow.

Back to you, Kate.


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

The search for survivors is on hold at a collapsed mall in South Africa.

CNN's Robyn Curnow has the latest there.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the shopping mall was still under construction and the section that collapsed was the size of a football field. Throughout the night, teams looked for survivors. At least 30 people did go to hospital with serious injuries, three still missing, one dead, say police.

Today police say, though, they're going to start investigating, see who's responsible. They're likely to open a case of culpable homicide after authorities warned this company to stop building because of irregularities.

Kate, back to you.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Robyn. Thank you for that.

And Britain's Prince Harry will join a troop of wounded warriors on a pretty grueling trek to the South Pole.

CNN's Max Foster has more.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Prince Harry set for Antarctica on a 200-mile trek in temperatures as low as minus 45 degrees and with 70 kilogram sled in tow. He's joined a team of British veterans who lost limbs in combat who are competing against a team from the U.S. and another made of Canadians and Australians.

It's all about raising funds and awareness for injured veterans.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: All right, Max. Thank you so much.

CUOMO: George Zimmerman --


CUOMO: He appeared in court Tuesday, was released on bail after a friend paid his $9,000 bond. But pending the charges, including the allegation that Zimmerman assaulted his girlfriend with a shotgun, the judge clamped down on his movements until he returns to court in January.

CNN's Alina Machado is live in Sanford, Florida.

Good morning. What are the restrictions?


George Zimmerman has been ordered to stay away from firearms and wear a monitoring device. He must also stay away from Samantha Scheibe, she's the woman whose actions have landed him in handcuffs once again.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MACHADO (voice-over): George Zimmerman free on bond, not answering questions from reporters.

REPORTER: George, you want to defend yourself?

MACHADO: Just hours after appearing before a judge in handcuffs and learning his bond was set at $9,000. His demeanor in court, calm, as he answers questions from the judge.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Yes, your honor.

MACHADO: This is Zimmerman's fourth brush with the law since acquitted in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, his girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe called 911 Monday after a domestic dispute allegedly turned physical.

911 OPERATOR: What's going on?

SAMANTHA SCHEIBE: He's in my house breaking all of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) because I asked him to leave. He has a freaking gun, breaking all of my stuff right now.

MACHADO: Zimmerman made his own 911 call telling a different story.

ZIMMERMAN: 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.

MACHADO: In court, prosecutors said Scheibe fears for her life, claiming this wasn't the first time she was attacked by Zimmerman.

LYMARY MUNOZ, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: The victim indicated there was a prior domestic violence incident that occurred approximately a week and a half ago that involved a choking that she did not report to the police. She is in fear for her safety on the day of his incident. She had indicated that they had been discussing breaking up.

MACHADO: Prosecutors also say Zimmerman is suicidal, a claim his attorney says is false.

DANIEL MEGARO, SEMINOLE COUNTY ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER: I think anytime somebody is arrested for charges, it brings a certain level of anxiety and stress. My impression, again, of speaking to Mr. Zimmerman, he didn't appear to be a danger to himself or a danger to anybody else.

MACHADO: According to court documents, Zimmerman says he is homeless and unemployed. He also says he's $2.5 million in debt and lists $144 cash in assets. He has been appointed a public defender.

MEGARO: I definitely would not characterize my client as a loose cannon. He is presumed innocent on these matters and we're confident he's going to be acquitted.


MACHADO: Now, Zimmerman's wife, Shellie served him with divorce papers Monday night while sitting in a jail cell at the correctional facility behind me.

Meanwhile, "The Washington Post" is reporting that the Department of Justice will soon announce their decision on whether to fight civil rights charges against Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin death -- Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Alina, Thank you so much for the update.

Let's get over to Indra now for another check of the forecast this morning.

Hey there.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Pretty mild for the rest of the East Coast, for at least a couple of days. We're temperatures just about five to 10 degrees below normal. It will stay that way through the beginning of the weekend. But what's going on on the West Coast will impact the East Coast for the actual weekend.

So let's take a look at what's going on. Heavy amounts of snow, especially in the sierras, about a good foot of snow. And notice, if you look over towards Wyoming and even Colorado, heavy snow there, too. So the question is, why? Of course, we're talking about rain, snow, you're going to have rain at the lower elevations as well.

Notice what's going on around Hawaii. There's California. Look at this moisture stream. All the moisture coming across the Pacific, and that's going to be their source for the moisture for heavy snow and rain.

Of course, it's not the only thing going on. We have a couple cold fronts out there. As they make their way across, it's going to combine. That's what we'll see affecting the middle of the country by tomorrow. This is key.

We were in Washington, Illinois. It was clear and cold. Conditions will worsen today into tomorrow as some of the heavier rain bands do start to fill in. So, that's what we're going to be looking at, the same system will bring the cold air into the region by Saturday.

So, we're talking about temperatures really kind of diving down a good 20 degrees below normal. That same, cold air is going to spread into the Northeast by the weekend. So, for us in the Northeast, we're talking about rainy and then very cold, highs in the 30s by Sunday.

BOLDUAN: Sure is going to drop. All right, Indra.

PETERSON: Just a tad.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. CUOMO: Coming up on "NEW DAY", the bitcoin. What is it? How do you get it and how can digital money be worth something?

Well, traders sure think it can be. They say the future is now.

PEREIRA: And our former president apparently likes to paint. George W. Bush showing off some of his skills last night with Leno. We'll show you how when we come back.


PEREIRA: I love that. All right. We're talking about a new era in financial transactions may just be around the corner. Have you heard of a bitcoin? It's an all-digital, unregulated currency, a crypto currency, if you will. Will it hit the mainstream? Congress held its first ever bitcoin hearing Monday. Bitcoin's value has skyrocketed from around $13 at the beginning of the year to $900 this week.

So, we're going to take a look at this with Christine Romans. What exactly is a bitcoin? Can I get some? Do I need it in my bitcoin piggy bank?



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Speaking of imaginary currency, imagine you wanted to invent your own currency. I'm going to invent -- I'm just going to invent it. The Cuomo coin. We have Cuomo coins, in Chris we trust.


ROMANS: If enough people believe in it, if enough people buy and sell things and are trading it, it becomes a new currency. I think your "NEW DAY" mug is worth three Chris coins.

CUOMO: I'll go throwing my face around.

ROMANS: Except this is a real coin, right? These are only alive in the virtual world. So, only online is this Chris coin, the bitcoin, see my metaphor there, the bitcoin only lives, only digital. Ones and zeros only live digital. And people are really trading these. There's 21 million that can be found. There's only a finite supply of them.

CUOMO: That's a lot of Chris.

ROMANS: That's a lot of Chris. They're online. And people are using them. They are using them.


PEREIRA: But I understand that it was sort of only used in -- how do you say, less than good or clean manner, correct? ROMANS: This is one way that this has been used in the drug trade. It's been used in other sort of illicit activities. You've got governments around the world who are starting to look and say, hey, how do we -- saying can we regulate this? Is this something that's real and viable or is this some kind of like tulip mania joke? You know, is it some sort of --

BOLDUAN: If it is imaginary --


BOLDUAN: Sorry, if it is virtual, digital, imaginary, why do you want it? How do you get it? Is this a good thing?

ROMANS: It's about an $8.5 billion market. And there are real investors and investors in China and elsewhere are saying it's a good hedge against the dollar. It's a good hedge against gold. It's something -- you know, this is something financial reporters have been struggling with for a couple years is, is this real? Is it viable?

Is it something -- you can get -- there's something called bit pay. There's a couple of bars in New York City, for example, where you can buy a drink with bitcoin.

CUOMO: There was a time they thought you'd never be able to buy anything on the internet. Remember that --


CUOMO: There'd be no e-commerce. How do you see anybody? But there's also a transactional awareness from vendors about why they might want to use their own currency, right?

BOLDUAN: Just pause for a second. Do you see all that?



ROMANS: It's a made up currency that people are actually using and has gained some traction. And you have real investors -- you have Congress --

BOLDUAN: How do you get it?

ROMANS: You mine it.

BOLDUAN: I currently now have 75 bitcoins.


ROMANS: People use very powerful computers and algorithms to find new bitcoins and mine the bitcoins. It's very complicated, really interesting. There are tech people and financial people who think it's very real and a very good bet. Can I tell you about the volatility, though? I mean, if you look yesterday, start at the beginning of the year, $13 is the price of cost of a bitcoin. Yesterday, it went from 500 to 900 and then back down again.

PEREIRA: So, you can actually buy them?


ROMANS: Online digitally.

BOLDUAN: So where is bitcoin going to be in 10 years?


CUOMO: First of all, the traders will trade anything. So they're always looking for --


CUOMO: I got a steep discount as they'd say.


CUOMO: It says in Chris we trust right here. But also, credit cards are getting so expensive from a transactional perspective that they may be looking for a different way.

ROMANS: Exactly. That's one of the reasons why when you talk to people who are regulators, they say, you know, look, this actually the ease with which you can use this. Take out --

BOLDUAN: It's becoming legit. There was even a hearing on Capitol Hill about it.


PEREIRA: Also, if there's that, then also, there's going to be bitcoin counterfeiters. You know, you always got to say one step ahead --

CUOMO: That's why they like it because it doesn't actually exist as currency. So you can't like -- how about the goatee? Get in tight on this.

ROMANS: I love the in Chris we trust.


CUOMO: What year is this, 1987?

ROMANS: You know, you look like Hugh Jackman.

PEREIRA: did you actually --

CUOMO: Hugh Jackson if he was in a horrible accident.


CUOMO: After a fight with a puma, this is what Hugh Jackson looks like.


PEREIRA: If you think that was your "Must-See Moment" of the day, oh you're so terribly wrong, my friend. We want to show you what the president, our former president, George W. Bush dropped by "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno last night. They talked Obamacare. They talked his legacy. They also had some lighter moments together. And a little on what the 43rd president considers his new profession or pastime.


JAY LENO, HOST: You're painting now. You showed me some of your paintings. I was very impressed.


LENO: Yes. You are a painter now.


BUSH: You may not think I'm a painter; I think I'm a painter. I do take painting seriously. It changed my life. And I brought a painting for you.

LENO: You did?

BUSH: Yes.

LENO: Did you paint that? Look at that.


LENO: Wow. Look at that. Wow, look at that. What an honor that is. Thank you, sir.


LENO: I can't make fun of him now.


LENO: Favorite Barney story?

BUSH: Well, there's a lot. I introduced Barney to Putin.


BUSH: And he kind of dissed him.

LENO: Really?


BUSH: Yes. I mean, he's like, you call that a dog. A year later --

LENO: He called that --

BUSH: He didn't say it. His body language said that's not really a dog. And of course, it's a dog, you know? I love the guy. And so, a year later, Putin introduces me to his dog. A huge hound, bounding across the lawn, and he says bigger and stronger, faster than Barney.

LENO: Wow, wow. Should have nuked him.

BUSH: Nothing --




PEREIRA: So, apparently, the president has been taking painting lessons in Dallas. The results clearly show, what was funny, apparently, he told his painting instructor, there's a Rembrandt inside this guy. It's your job to --

BOLDUAN: There's a Rembrandt in all of us. I mean, look, he's come a long way from the seat in the bathtub that we saw a while back.

PEREIRA: That's a really good painting.

CUOMO: That was -- this is the real deal.

PEREIRA: I know.


PEREIRA: He's for real.

CUOMO: And he used dissed in perfect context like it was nothing.

PEREIRA: I love his straight face.

CUOMO: You know what, I'm going to send him five Chrises.


CUOMO: That's my bid. That's my bid on that painting.

PEREIRA: I'm returning mine to the bank.

CUOMO: Every time you guys do something I think is truly worthy, I'm going to give you a little currency. A little bit of Chris -- you get two Chrises. You've been very good today.



BOLDUAN: I will just steal the coins and spend them on shoes.


CUOMO: Spend all your time defacing them.

PEREIRA: Virtual shoes.

BOLDUAN: All right. Virtual shoes. So useful.

CUOMO: This is all going to turn out very badly for me. I can feel the social media heating up.

BOLDUAN: Let's go to break while I go spend your Cuomo face.

CUOMO: Yes. Spend my face. Coming up on "NEW DAY", she's already faced one major recovery. Can you believe this? That's Lindsey Vonn. Word that the Olympics could again be in jeopardy for the American. Another knee injury. We'll give you an update on her condition.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, Toronto's mayor Rob Ford is making a new pledge as we learn new information about that infamous crack smoking video. Details at the top of the hour.


CUOMO: We hope this isn't true, but Olympic skier, Lindsey Vonn, she had to be carted off the slopes yesterday. Again, another knee injury. They're' evaluating it right now, have to figure out just how bad it is after an amazing comeback that she had from her last knee injury. Let's bring in Andy Scholes with this morning's "Bleacher Report." She'd shown just what an elite athlete she was, coming back to fast. They said she was skiing great. Now, what happened?

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes, Chris. She was doing so well. She has been working her way back from that horrific crash she had just back in February. She was ahead of schedule. But, man, this could be a major setback. After crashing during a practice run in Colorado yesterday, Vonn was taken down the hill on a sled then a bystander was able to snap this pic of Vonn.

She was being held off. U.S. ski team spokesman, Tom Kelly, he said he was not sure whether or not Vonn hurt that surgically repaired right knee. Now, Vonn did not go to -- she was not admitted to the hospital, instead, she went home to Vail to be evaluated by the doctor who performed her knee surgery. Now, she's expected to undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.

And guys, again, this is really bad timing for this. The Sochi games just 78 days away. And of course, Vonn was going to be the face of team USA for this upcoming Olympics.

BOLDUAN: You hope that she can recover in time because the Olympics are coming up. Honestly, she's so amazing to watch when she is skiing. If you've ever ski, even attempted it, you know just how hard it is what she does. It's amazing. Thanks, Andy. CUOMO: Look, the good news is, sometimes, it feels really bad, but the injury is not that bad when it comes to the knee. That's what we got to hold out hope for now.

BOLDUAN: All right. We're close to the top of the hour now which means it's time for the top news.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't touched a drop of alcohol in three weeks.

CUOMO: New this hour, new leaf, Toronto's embattled mayor says he's gone cold turkey off alcohol as new evidence emerges on how recently he did crack.

BOLDUAN: Face-to-face. President Obama and Bill Clinton meeting today just a week after the former president called him out on people losing insurance. And we talk live to the man who led the government shutdown in order to end Obamacare, Senator Ted Cruz.

PEREIRA: Now, for something completely different. Nobody expected it, but we're getting it, a Monty python reunion (ph), killer rabbits, and dancing knights across the world are silly walking for joy.

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

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


CUOMO: Good morning and welcome back to "NEW DAY". It's Wednesday, November 20th, seven o'clock in the east. And there is breaking news this morning. Two bodies have been recovered, two other people are still missing after a medical jet crashed just seconds after takeoff last night.

Rescuers are searching frantically off the Florida coast. The jet we're told was on its way back to Mexico after dropping off a patient in Ft. Lauderdale.

BOLDUAN: And more breaking news this morning, just moments ago, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for a stay of execution for serial killer, Joseph Franklin. It upholds an earlier decision made by a federal appeals court to lift the stay. That clears the way for the state of Missouri to put him to death.

The White supremacist was scheduled to die by lethal injection last night, but his lawyers won that original stay by arguing the drug they were going to use constitutes as cruel and unusual punishment.