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NEW DAY SUNDAY

Deal With Iran; Netanyahu's Comments on Iran Deal; Holiday Travel

Aired November 24, 2013 - 06:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The world is united in support of our determination to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: An historic deal while you were sleeping. Six major powers, including the U.S., cemented an agreement to freeze key parts of Iran's nuclear enrichment program. The terms, the reaction, and the controversy ahead.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, controversy. What does this deal mean for Israel? Already the U.S. ally is voicing its displeasure, calling it an historic mistake.

BLACKWELL: Plus, the reaction from Congress. The Republicans are firing back at the White House, calling the treaty a blow to our allies. And one high ranking senator even says it's the president's effort to distract from Obamacare. Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Christi Paul. And we are waiting right now to hear from Prime Minister Netanyahu about this deal. We have not yet heard from him formally in front of a camera. So it'll be interesting to see what he has to say, but he is none too pleased.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, he has been very critical of the idea of this deal and after it was signed in the middle of the night, we are going to hear some of those comments. I'm Victor Blackwell. 6:00 here this "NEW DAY" Sunday.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLACKWELL: And, of course, the breaking news this morning, overnight the U.S. and fellow world powers clenched an historic deal with Iran after marathon talks. And again, we are standing by for a live reaction any moment. This is a look at the podium there from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

PAUL: The deal temporarily freezes a good chunk of Iran's nuclear program. So, we want to give you the nuts and bolts, first of all. This is a six month deal. While a longer term agreement is worked out. So, we would call it maybe phase one. BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: Iran's ability to enrich uranium will be limited. Iran will allow international monitoring by the IAEA. And in return, sanctions on Iran's oil revenues will ease up a bit. Now, President Obama and his top diplomats say the deal will help keep a nuclear weapon out of Iran's hands.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The international unity is on display today. The world is united in support of our determination to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Iran must know that security and prosperity will never come through the pursuit of nuclear weapons. It must be reached through fully verifiable agreements that make Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons impossible.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: The purpose of this is very simple, to require Iran to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear program and to ensure that it cannot acquire a nuclear weapon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Well, the agreement is also winning praise from Iran's president, but some top Republicans here in the U.S. say it gives too much to Iran.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, you know, he has been following this so closely in Geneva and he has more now on this landmark deal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Geneva, an historic deal is struck.

OBAMA: For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program. And key parts of the program will be rolled back.

SCIUTTO: Designed to block Iran from ever building a nuclear weapon.

OBAMA: These are substantial limitations, which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Simply put, they cut off Iran's most likely paths to a bomb.

SCIUTTO: After weeks of intense talks, between Iran and six world powers in Geneva, quickly economic sanctions on Iran will be eased. In all, about $7 billion in relief. In exchange, Iran agreed to halt enrichment of uranium above five percent, well below weapons grade and to dilute or convert its current stockpile of enriched uranium so it cannot be used for a weapon. Iran also agreed to stop building or operating its Arak heavy water reactor, a second potential path to a bomb and Iran promised to be more open allowing intrusive, daily monitoring of its nuclear program. In answer to a question from CNN, Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif said the deal gave Iran what it has long sought, formal recognition of its freedom to a peaceful nuclear program.

SCIUTTO (on camera): Some Iranian officials are claiming that right has been recognized. You say the program has been recognized. The White House says there's no formal recognition of a right to enrich. How did you square that circle?

JAVAD ZARIF: We believe that the current agreement, the current plan of action, as we call it, in two distinct phases has a very clear reference with the fact that Iranian enrichment program will continue and will be a part of any agreement, now and in the future.

SCIUTTO (voice over): Israeli's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, however, was sharply critical of the deal calling it a historic mistake. He went on to say that the agreement threatens many countries, including Israel. Secretary Kerry offered this assurance to America's closest ally in the region.

KERRY: Let me be crystal clear to Israel, to our other friends in the region, to any neighbor who feels threatened that the next step requires proof certain, a fail/safe set of steps, which eliminate the current prospect of a breakout and the creation of a nuclear weapon.

SCIUTTO: Still, the deal also has its critics back in Washington. Republican senators including South Carolina's Lindsey Graham deeply skeptical.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R ) SOUTH CAROLINA: If the (inaudible) is left is place what they have got, and has it been rolled back or dismantled significantly you still have the capability to enrich the weapons grade. And the question is, should they be allowed to enrich given their behavior at all?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: You know, you really can't underestimate what a potential sea change this is for relations between U.S. and Iran and the outlines of this deal, we would not have predicted them just a couple of months ago. And looking forward now, it is just a first step, but a step as the Iranian prime minister said towards ending an unnecessary and sad chapter in relations between the U.S. and Iran.

BLACKWELL: Jim Sciutto there in Geneva for us. Jim, thank you. I also have a programming note that Secretary Kerry will join Candy Crowley this morning at 9:00. So, of course, you want to keep it here for "State of the Union."

PAUL: OK. We do want to move to Iran right now. But the country's president, you kind of here that it seems to be contradicting Secretary Kerry.

BLACKWELL: Yeah. CNN's Reza Sayah is live from Tehran this morning. Reza, Hassan Rouhani, president there in Iran, says the deal does explicitly acknowledge Iran's right to enrich uranium. Who is right here? Reza, can you hear us?

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor, I'm not sure I hear you. Victor.

BLACKWELL: OK, let me repeat the question for you here. Because there's some contradiction - there's contradiction here between what we are hearing from Secretary Kerry and what President Rouhani is telling Iranians that this does explicitly acknowledge their right to enrich uranium. Clear this up for us.

SAYAH: OK, indeed, Iran's president Hassan Rouhani is saying this agreement does acknowledge Iran's right to enrich uranium. And U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is saying, no it doesn't. Indeed, these are conflicting statements, they are confusing. Politicians do often make confusing statements that leave you wondering who is telling the truth and what the facts are. I think this is a result of these two countries on two sides going back and cranking up the P.R. machine and spinning this agreement to depict it is favoring them, to depict it as them being the winner and the other side being the loser.

The facts are Iran will be able to enrich uranium to five percent, not 20 percent, not 90 percent, which would potentially give them the fuel required for a nuclear bomb. But it's not explicitly written in the agreement and that could explain why you have these two sides making conflicting statements. Both sides also praising their efforts. Hassan Rouhani clearly depicting Iran as the winner. Once again, reiterating that Iran is not after a bomb. Here is some of what he had to say earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, IRAN (through translator): The Iranian nation does not seek nuclear weapons. And after the comprehensive talks and a final agreement, a year from now no one should say that we hampered, and no one should claim that we hampered the obtainment of nuclear weapons. And this is going to be a joke, a historical joke. Iran has never sought to obtain nuclear weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAYAH: That was Iran's President Hassan Rouhani praising the efforts of the foreign minister in the negotiations with (inaudible), but also praising this interim agreement. Iranians, we have talked to a lot of them today. They are happy that an agreement has been signed. Remember, this is what they wanted when they voted in Hassan Rouhani way back in June. They wanted him to come in there with a mandate to improve the economy. Everyone he knows the first step to improving the economy is easing and lifting some of these sanctions and the way that you do that is to reach a deal on Iran's nuclear program and improve relations with the West. There's still a long way to go for a be-all, end all deal that will completely resolve this issue. But everyone here at this point, is happy that at least the first step has been taken.

PAUL: Already. CNN's Reza Sayah with reaction from Tehran this morning. Reza, we thank you so much. Now, remember, Israel is very unhappy about this nuclear deal.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, and we are actually waiting for comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That's the botch you see on your screen there. But just a short time ago, Netanyahu called the agreement "an historic mistake." Again, he's going to speak in just a moment. Let's bring in Ian Lee in Jerusalem. Ian, tell us more about the prime minister's reaction thus far.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released - gave a statement earlier today in Hebrew before the weekly cabinet meeting. He said "What was achieved last night in Geneva is not an historic agreement, this is an historic mistake. Today, the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world. Israel is not bound by the agreement. The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel and Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself, defend itself, by itself against any threat." Those were strong words from the prime minister, which echoes the general consensus here that the deal doesn't go far enough in dismantling Iran's nuclear program.

The major direct concern Israelis face or have focus on are the centrifuges and the enriched uranium. They want to see those dismantled and that material taken out of the country. They fear Iran could still create the bomb with what it has. The government here has emphasized, this is the number one issue for Israel. They believe Iran, especially a nuclear Iran is the largest, strategic threat to the country. We have been talking to people on the streets and getting a reaction. Most people are against it, but, you know, President Obama has tried to alleviate these fears saying that Israel has good reason to be skeptical about Iran, but wanted to reassure that their security is a priority. There's also fear here that some of those sanctions that are being eased could collapse the whole sanction regime and it would be impossible to ratchet them up. President Obama and Secretary Kerry, though, has said that just is not the case.

BLACKWELL: Ian Lee in Jerusalem for us this morning. We know that President Obama is expected to have a conversation with the prime minister now. We'll find out if that conversation actually happens before Benjamin Netanyahu comes out and speaks. Maybe strategically, the president wants to ease those concerns before the prime minister makes these public remarks. But maybe that will happen a little later.

PAUL: We did know that he is expected to speak with him at some point today whether that is right now or later, we don't know.

BLACKWELL: We know also ...

PAUL: But as soon as we get it we will obviously let you know.

BLACKWELL: Oh, of course. We also know that White House officials have been contacting the members of Congress. Because we know Republicans are blasting President Obama over the interim nuclear deal with Iran. In a statement, this is from Florida Senator Marco Rubio. He says, "By allowing the Iranian regime to retain a sizable nuclear infrastructure, this agreement makes a nuclear Iran more likely."

PAUL: And there is a similar sentiment from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. He tweets, "Unless the agreement requires dismantling of the Iranian centrifuges, we really haven't gained anything." And let me read you this response from Texas Senator John Cornyn. He writes on Twitter, "Amazing. What the White House will do to distract attention from O-care," shorthand, of course, for Obamacare.

BLACKWELL: Well, of course, they have on the breaking news here this historic agreement over Iran.

But still to come on "NEW DAY," a deadly winter storm sweeping across the country.

PAUL: Forecasters are warning that this could mean delays for millions of us traveling this Thanksgiving. The latest on the storm's path coming at you, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: 17 minutes after the hour now. Across the country, people are gearing up for more snow as that now deadly winter storm is moving east.

PAUL: Yeah, we know at least there are two weather related deaths that are attached to this thing. And, of course, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. So, storm conditions could affect millions of people traveling to their holiday destinations. You may be one of them. So, let's bring in meteorologist Karen Maginnis in the CNN severe weather center. Because Karen, we want to know, you know, how bad this is going to get.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, it's bad already with these two deaths reported. How bad can it get as we go to the holiday?

PAUL: It really is, because the roads are very slick. And they are starting that way across Arizona and New Mexico, extending into Texas especially across West Texas. A lot of areas here reporting very icy conditions and a number of automobile accidents, even last night. We heard a report that Willie Nelson's tour bus, just to the north of Dallas, they ran across some slick roads there and there were some injuries reported. We don't know that he had any injuries himself. But looking at the radar imagery, we are picking out some slick weather all the way from Amarillo to Lubbock.

Let's show you what's happening out of Midland, Texas. They did see some icy conditions over the last 24 hours. And yeah, you know the drill. This is very unpleasant to try to scrape off even a thin layer of ice. If you can imagine this - somebody overpasses and maybe some of the power lines. Now, this may not bring down power lines. But if it's windy and you get this, it certainly could. And then let's take you to Columbus, Ohio. I don't know if you saw the ball game. Victor and Christi, should I mention the score on this one?

PAUL: Go, yeah, please do, please do.

MAGINNIS: OK, well, Ohio state clobbered Indiana. It was 42 to 14, Ohio State.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, that's clobbering.

(LAUGHTER)

MAGINNIS: And snowy conditions there. And it looks like as you head out the Thanksgiving holiday, the Southeast, about 50 million people then in that northeastern corridor, we could see another 50 million people affected going into the Thanksgiving holiday. Back to you.

PAUL: Good heavens. All right. Hey, Karen, thank you so much for the heads up.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Karen. Still to come on NEW DAY, the Olympic torch takes a dive as it travels up leading up to the Winter Games. More on the torch's amazing journey, that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: We want to get you to Israel right now. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing this deal with Iran.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: This agreement has made the world a much more dangerous place. I know that many share the concern of Israel, especially in the region. And there's a reason for this. For years the international community has demanded that Iran cease all uranium enrichment. Now, for the first time, the international community has formally consented that Iran continue its enrichment of uranium. And this is in dire contravention of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Iran is taking only cosmetic steps, which it could reverse easily within a few weeks and in return, sanctions that took years to put in place are going to be eased. Iran is going to receive billions of dollars worth of sanctions relief.

So, the pressures on Iran are being lifted, they are being eased. And with the lifting of this pressure, this first step could very well be the last step. Without continued pressure, what incentive does the Iranian regime have to take serious steps that actually dismantle its nuclear weapons capability? Why would it dismantle the centrifuges and the plutonium reactor? None of this is covered in the agreement. They are left intact. So, Israel is not bound by this agreement. We cannot and will not allow a regime that calls for the destruction of Israel to obtain the means to achieve this goal. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapons capability.

Israel has many friends and allies. But when they are mistaken, it's my obligation to speak out clearly and openly and say so. It's my solemn responsibility to protect and defend the one and only Jewish state.

(SPEAKING HEBREW)

BLACKWELL: The comments from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, now relaying those in Hebrew, but we heard just a few moments ago, his saying that this agreement has made the world a much more dangerous place. Of course, from the beginning of these talks, even from the conversation that the president had with the new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, back in the fall, the prime minister has told the U.S. and the world that this regime, this country cannot be trusted.

PAUL: I mean he called the deal, he said this is a deal that calls for the destruction of Israel. This is how strongly he feels about it. And you heard him there ask, you know, what incentives does Iran have to dismantle? And he's not the only one calling for the dismantling of this. We've heard Republican senators. We've heard not only Israel, but Saudi Arabia come out and say this has to be part of a deal, just dismantling. And at this point, as far as we can tell, that is not part of this deal. So, we are going to have to wait and see how this all pans out. Remember, it is a first phase ...

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

PAUL: This is a deal that is going to continue to progress and evolve over the next six months as IAEA gets in there and really I think sees what they are dealing with in terms of their nuclear capability.

BLACKWELL: And we are told by the White House that President Obama will have a conversation with the prime minister sometime today. No mention of that conversation. Although, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just said that the country of Israel, the state of Israel has many allies and friends, but when they are wrong it's just right to stand-up and say so. And one thing stood out to me that I read. A member of the Knesset, which is the legislative body in Israel, he said Israel has no one to trust but God and ourselves, so going a step beyond what we just heard from the prime minister. But, of course, we'll stay with the breaking news. And as we get reaction from around the world and here domestically, from members of Congress and any update from the White House, we will bring that to you as well.

PAUL: All right. Also, you know, another story that we are looking at today. For the very first time in history, the public is getting a look at what's believed to be the bones of St. Peter. Why did it take the Catholic Church more than 70 years to put the relic on display?

BLACKWELL: Plus, Miley Cyrus - a little lighter here, celebrating a milestone birthday, OK, much lighter, but it's being overshadowed by an apparent burglary. We'll have details on that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: It's an early Sunday morning for you, but it's half past the hour already. Welcome back. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: We're on our way into the day. I'm Victor Blackwell. Now, let's get to five things you need to know for your new day.

PAUL: Yeah, number one, of course, the U.S. and other world powers reached an historic deal with Iran. The accord temporarily freezes a good chunk of Iran's nuclear program and limits the country's ability to enrich uranium. Now, Iran has to allow what's called intrusive monitoring. And in return, it gets some sanctions relief.

BLACKWELL: At least two deaths are being blamed on a deadly winter storm now sweeping across the country. Now, the west has been hammered by floods and snow. Now, bitter cold and ice are due to sweep into the northeast. Now, this could mean long delays. So, pack some patience as you head into the Thanksgiving holiday.

PAUL: Number three, a convenience store clerk and his father accused of trying to rip off a customer with a million dollar lottery ticket. Police in New York say that they lied to the man and paid out his winnings at just $1,000. The suspect's lawyer says, no, the store's lotto machine wasn't working properly.

BLACKWELL: Number four, a police say a home in Studio City, California that apparently belongs to Miley Cyrus was robbed. Or burglarized, at least. Only a few personal items reportedly were taken. Now, authorities found no evidence of forced entry and no suspects were seen at the property. Representatives for Cyrus did not immediately return our calls for comment. And yesterday was supposed to be a happy day, Miley's 21st birthday.

PAUL: I'm sure it was wherever she was.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: Number five, firefighters responded to a house fire in Boston ended up making a massive drug bust. According to CNN affiliate WCDB they found $1 million worth of marijuana. After the fire was put out, officials say they recovered 150 marijuana plants. Look at them taking it out there. And you know there's an investigation under way.

BLACKWELL: So, this new deal, the nuclear deal with Iran is short terms, good for just six months. It's a comprehensive plan that's supposed to be worked out within that time.

PAUL: Yeah, but despite blistering criticism from some Republicans in Congress, President Obama insists that this interim arrangement is a good thing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: For substantial limitations, which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Simply put, they cut off Iran's most likely path to a bomb.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: So, let's look at the nuts and bolts of this agreement with Jim Walsh, an international security analyst. He's joining us from Boston. Jim, it's good to have you, especially when we are unpacking major developments like this one. I want to get to the discrepancy between what we're hearing from U.S. officials and what Iranian officials are saying. That these Iranian officials are saying that they still have the right to enrich. Does the country still have the right to enrich? JIM WALSH, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think that's for Iranians to decide. The way they negotiated that is they said in this document, which I read this morning, is that the parties are going to abide by the non-proliferation treaty, the NPT. And everyone has the rights under that treaty. Now, Iran is going to interpret that as a right to enrich. The U.S. is not going to interpret it that way. So, that will be left for the party to decide amongst themselves. At the end of the day, Iran is going to have a limited enrichment program. They are going to enrich three to five percent. You cannot make a nuclear weapon with three to five percent enriched uranium. And they are going to have a much more transparent program. IAEA inspectors, the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors are going to be able to be there every day, there'll be remote monitoring. So, we are going to know a lot more about all the program on the continuous basis going forward because of this agreement.

PAUL: OK. But how expansive and solid is that oversight? I mean is it possible that Iran has centrifuges the international community doesn't know about?

WALSH: Well, this is the problem with so called undeclared sights. First of all, they would have not signed a deal. Those six countries would not have signed a deal with Iran if they thought that there were secret facilities. Secondly, this arrangement makes their program more transparent. We'll be able to have access to facilities we did not have access to before. That makes it more difficult to hide facilities. The greater the transparency, the tougher it is to hide or have secret facilities. And the final thing I would say about that, Iran is the most watched country in the world. Israel, Russia, France, the U.S., Saudi, everyone is scanning, listening, watching Iran every day. So, I think that's a really low probability.

BLACKWELL: We just heard from the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu who says that this deal makes the world more dangerous. And domestically, Sen. Marco Rubio says that this is creating an even greater need to increase sanctions and makes a nuclear weapon more likely. That idea about more likely having a nuclear weapon from Iran, is that just politics or is there any truth to that?

WALSH: I think that's politics, playing it simple. Most of the folks who are complaining about this deal are in favor of not having any deal whatsoever. And this is just a way to sort of throw mud at it. At the end of the day, you know, this is a better agreement than I thought we were going to get. There's far more inspection, far more intrusive monitoring of Iran's programs. The heavy water reactor at Arak, that's going to be frozen. That originally wasn't going to be in the proposal, the first interim part of the proposal until France made that objection. So, you know, this is an agreement supported by the international community: France, Great Britain, Germany, it's supported by the American public two to one. And it's supported by a number of Republican and Democratic former national security officials including Mr. Brzezinski and Mr. Scowcroft who both served Democratic and Republican presidents. So, I think, overall, there may be people who gripe about this, but this is a tremendous victory for both diplomacy and for nonproliferation. PAUL: OK, so at the end of six months when this deal is supposedly cut off at that point, what happens then? And what has to happen in those six months to secure it?

WALSH: Yes, so this was always designed as a period where each side gets to test each other, build some confidence, build some momentum. So, there is some things that are not in this first agreement that will be part of the final one - final comprehensive deal.

For example, membership in what's called the additional protocol, which is a special set of rules that the International Atomic Energy Agency has. That's going to be addressed. So, on the other side, more sanctions relieved. You know, both sides have to do stuff here. And as the document says, nothing is agreed - nothing is done until everything is done. And so, if the Iranians don't agree and don't follow through, we're going to know that. IAEA inspectors are on the ground and then they won't get the sanctions relief. And if we don't give the sanctions relief, then they are going to go back to build the centrifuges. So, both sides are going to be watching the other and negotiating towards a final resolution.

BLACKWELL: About $7 billion in relief, and that, of course, is temporary, and can be reversed. International security analyst Jim Walsh on the agreement over Iran's nuclear program. Thank you so much, Jim.

WALSH: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: The bones of the world's first pope are unveiled to the public. And this is happening for the first time ever. Why the Vatican took so long to put the relics on display?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: 20 minutes till the top of the hour. This is something that has never happened before. The Vatican, this morning, publicly displayed what's believed to be bone fragments from St. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ and the world's first pope.

PAUL: They were found in the 1940s, by the way, buried under St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Today, the Catholic Church unveiled them to mark the end of its Year of Faith. CNN's Ben Wedeman joining us now from Rome. So, Ben, I think a lot of people look at this and saying wow, they found them in the '40s, why did they wait so long to unveil?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But it's not altogether clear why they decided at this point to show the public what is reported to be the remains of St. Peter. Certainly, according to the Vatican, they say, this is to mark the end of the so-called Year of Faith, which was declared a year ago by Pope Benedict XVI. Now, of course, concluded by his successor, Pope Francis. There's a good deal of doubt as to whether these are in fact the remains of St. Peter who was crucified upside down sometime between 64 and 67 A.D. Now, the remains that are being put on display, according to the Vatican era, belong to a man who was 5'7", heavy build who died in his 60s or 70s, which does accord with Catholic tradition. But it's impossible to conduct a DNA test to confirm that. But really, this is a case of going on faith.

BLACKWELL: Ben, we talked about, at the top, the titles of St. Peter. But, talk about the relevance and the importance to Catholics that these would now be available for public view.

WEDEMAN: Well, he is a critical figure in the history of the church. He was, Catholics believe, the first pope, one of the earliest and most important followers of Jesus who, of course, gave his life for the church, for the faith. And for the Vatican today, he's a symbol of Christian unity. He is a saint that all Christians of all denominations follow. And that certainly is important at this time for the Catholic Church to reinforce the idea that there is fundamentally unity within the church among all denominations and sects.

BLACKWELL: All right, Ben Wedeman in Rome for us this morning. Thank you, Ben.

PAUL: Thanks, Ben.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, a city of stories hiding in plain sight, from special bomb squads to arrests at customs. A rare glimpse behind the scenes at the world's busiest airport.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: 13 minutes to the top of the hour, now welcome back to "NEW DAY." Make sure to stay with CNN throughout the morning. Here is why, at 9:00 A.M. Eastern, Secretary of State John Kerry joins "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley to talk about Iran's historic nuclear deal. Then at 10, CEO Elon Musk talks about the future of automaker Tesla with Fareed Zakaria. Then at 11:00, "Reliable Sources" weighs in on separate apologies from two popular hosts at MSNBC. That's all coming up later this morning on CNN. Christi.

PAUL: All right. That's later this morning. But we've got a busy week ahead. As everybody else out there does. Right? So, let's get us up to date on the calendar. First of all, on Monday, a report on a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is going to be released to the public, hopefully providing us a summary of the almost yearlong investigation in that mass shooting. And then let's move on to Tuesday. Just get ready to be patient. If you are traveling for the holidays, this is when the rain, and wind and snowstorms on the East Cost are going to come barreling in and could cause some big delays. Obviously one of the busiest travel days of the year. Wednesday, I want to wish you Happy Hanukkah. The Jewish eight-day holiday known as the Festival of Lights begins. And on Thursday, it's family, it's food, it's football. It's Thanksgiving. I always like to say, gratefulness makes what you have enough. That's just my little thing. Friday, let's go to Black Friday. I guess that doesn't apply to Black Friday, because you are going to be out at the store shopping for new stuff. If you cannot wait until then, though, a lot of stores are starting deals a day early on Thanksgiving, by the way.

And hundreds of Walmart employees, have you heard about this, threatening another walkout to protest wages and schedules. And then let's look at Sunday here. OK, there we go. CNN, set your DVRs, Anderson Cooper is hosting the annual heroes show on 8 P.M. Eastern. And this year's winner is Chad Pregracke who dedicated his life to cleaning up U.S. waterways. And that all-star attributed is going to be full of special guests, musical performances by Daughtry and Sara Bareilles. So, you are going to want to check that out on Sunday as you kind of wind down from the week. Victor?

BLACKWELL: So, Christi you are staying here later this week?

PAUL: Staying, yes.

BLACKWELL: OK. All right.

PAUL: I am not venturing out as bravely as you are.

BLACKWELL: Well, then you won't be one of the millions of people on December 1st, next Sunday out traveling. It's expected to be the busiest day of travel this year. Some 2.5 million people are expected to pass through airports in just those 24 hours. So, ahead of the rush, CNN spent a day at the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield Jackson International right here in Atlanta. Our Richard Quest has a look inside.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to Atlanta.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From getting away to getting you home, airports are the gateways to our jet speed journeys. And this year, at the Hartsfield Jackson, Atlanta International. ATL to its friends. The airport is like a city in itself with 58,000 workers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The busiest days of the week is like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

QUEST: A quarter of a million travelers pass through ATL each day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Service to Memphis out of C-12.

QUEST: Usually, we experience an airport in small bleating glimpses, checking in, waiting, boarding the plane. Now you can really experience what an airport has to offer. Because from midnight to midnight, 24 hours, three dozen CNN journalists show you the inseam (ph) and tell you the untold events in the day and the light of the world's busiest airport.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm coming from San Jose, California. I'm headed to Memphis, Tennessee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Columbia, South (inaudible)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New Jersey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Des Moines, Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Edmonton, Canada. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just flew in from Boston via London, via Ireland.

QUEST: It's a city of stories hiding in plain sight. Everyone is going somewhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm coming from Washington, D.C. I'm heading to Minneapolis as I'm going to go see my brand-new grandson.

QUEST: Be it personal or professional, all have a tale to tell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each of us have a bomb suit that we carry in our car.

QUEST: From the bomb squad member (inaudible). UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We screen cargo that is uploaded to passenger aircraft.

QUEST: To Zira, the dog sniffing around to boost security. We'll take you inside the control tower and show you who is keeping check of the more than 900,000 take offs in London each year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The person was flagged coming inbound from Canada.

QUEST: And we'll reveal some arresting moments at customs and border protection. All of these things bring this sticker to life. Don't just pass through. Make it your destination. On CNN.com/atl24. Richard Quest, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: Richard Quest.

PAUL: I know he does that so well. All right. Still to come, get all of the hype, all the advertising pay off for the new "Hunger Games" sequel? We'll talk about it.

BLACKWELL: But first, here at CNN we are preparing for a holiday tradition. CNN heroes in all star tribute. Christi just talked about it a few moments ago. It's a celebration of the top ten heroes of the year and the extraordinary work they do to help others.

PAUL: And this is a star studded gala airs next Sunday, December First, 8 P.M. Eastern. Our entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner has this behind-the-scenes peek at preparations for it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everybody. I'm Nischelle Turner and I'm going to give you a backstage look at what it takes to put this whole CNN Heroes award show together. You're ready for this? Let's go and be cool. All right. Come with me.

This year, we are back in New York, baby, at the American Museum of Natural History where the very first CNN Heroes took place seven years ago. KELLY FLYNN, SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, CNN HEROES: And I can't believe it's been that long. And we are thrilled to be back here. It's iconic and it's beautiful.

TURNER: And the first stop of the night for these every day heroes and celebrities, the red carpet.

Wow. Look at it in here. Look at all these lights. You know, work like this takes hundreds of people to set up, working around the clock.

And then the centerpiece of the evening. This year's CNN heroes will be honored right here in the whale room, where one of the museum's biggest treasures will be watching over us all night. I'm talking about this lady right here. But that's not all that has to be done to get ready for this special event. 51 tables to set up. Nine cameras to put in place and one giant video monitor.

JEFF KEPNES, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, CNN SPECIAL EVENTS: You wouldn't believe just really what it takes to put something like this on. And, you know, we had two days to bring it in and set it all up.

TURNER: Transforming this beautiful room from this to this, all to honor ten every day people who are changing the world.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST CNN HEROES, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE: It's just a nice thing to honor these people. These people - they don't get the limelight. They don't get honored. They don't have celebrities saying their names and praising their work. It's a nice thing for them. It's a nice pat on the back.

TURNER: A pat on the back from CNN that becomes a very special night of inspiration.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And also, I'm very lucky that some of the members of the cast tonight are huge "Hunger Games" fans themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't know the half of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, that's an intense costume here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's just something I had lying around just in case you ever hosted, which you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, what's with the bowl here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, well, in honor of you hosting tonight, we are starting a new tradition. We are going to draw the name of one male and one female cast member and they will come on stage and fight to the death.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think we need to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we do.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And don't worry, don't worry, everyone is very excited.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: My goodness.

BLACKWELL: There are some people who love this franchise.

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: You know, the "Hunger Games" sequel really did catch fire at the theaters this weekend. Pulled in an historic $70.5 million on Friday alone.

PAUL: Oh, my gosh.

BLACKWELL: That's about 17 times what the Thor sequel pulled in. Now, according to the "Hollywood Reporter," this was one of the biggest openings at the box office of all time. That it puts "Hunger Games: Catching Fire" on track to become the biggest November opening in history.

PAUL: Hey, if you think - if you think you have seen that ultimate wedding photo bomb, we have one that might change your mind.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: Yeah, take a look at this one. You see the wedding couple kissing, you know, in the heart of Times Square in New York. But look who is grinning next right next to it.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: It's Zach Braff which just happens to be walking by. Photographer tweeted him and Braff tweeted right back saying this is one of my best photo bombs ever.

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: You know, that that one is going to be framed big in their house.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, and you know what, everyone is going to look at the picture of this beautiful moment and say is that Zach Braff?

PAUL: You know what? He should sign it.

BLACKWELL: He should.

PAUL: They should send it to him and he should sign it for them.

BLACKWELL: He should.

PAUL: I'm just saying.

BLACKWELL: Hey, glad you are starting your morning with us here at CNN.

PAUL: Yeah, we have got so much more ahead on "NEW DAY SATURDAY" which continues right now.

PAUL: Actually, it is Sunday.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, it's Sunday.

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: All right, you know, when you have to get up at 2:00 in the morning.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, it's still ...

(CROSSTALK)

PAUL: So when you get up tomorrow morning and you think oh my gosh, it's Monday, no, it's Sunday, what day is it?

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

PAUL: Be with me, people. Thank you. And thank you for the love there. We are so glad to have you with us. So, I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell at 7:00 here on East Coast. This is "NEW DAY" Sunday.

PAUL: Sunday.

BLACKWELL: Anyway, if you're just waking up, a lot happened while you were sleeping. The U.S. and other world powers, they have proved a landmark agreement with Iran curbing its nuclear program.

PAUL: It's the first of its kind in a decade at this point. Now, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart shook hands after this agreement was reached. But this is a six month deal. A longer term agreement is worked out as well. So, that's what's going to be worked out within that time. But this is the nuts and bolts of what we know.