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Stars Shine At AMA's; Cold Weather Fans; Kennedy Visits Tsunami Area; China, Japan Claiming Space Over East China Sea; Putin to Meet Pope

Aired November 25, 2013 - 06:30   ET




Let's go around the world, starting in Japan. The new U.S. ambassador there, Caroline Kennedy, says her father's spirit lives on even though his life was cut short. This comment as she's visiting areas devastated by the 2011 tsunami.

CNN's Karl Penhaul has more.


KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Caroline Kennedy is wasting little time on diplomatic formality. Instead, America's new ambassador in Japan is getting straight down to business. She's come to the heart of the area hit by the 2011 tsunami.

All around, there are constant reminders of that horrible day, like the small Buddhist shrine. And in comments to CNN, Kennedy described the events as a devastating tragedy but prayed for resilience of the Japanese people. She has been meeting military relief workers and hearing personal stories from survivors.

I think that that is a clear signal that the daughter of JFK is putting the Japanese people front and center of her diplomatic priorities.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: All right. Karl, thanks so much.

And tensions are heightened in the Far East after China and Japan sent planes into an airspace that both nations claim as their own.

CNN's David McKenzie has that story from Beijing.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China has hit back at the U.S. saying it should not pick sides in its dispute with Japan over a series of islands east of the country. China has set up an air defense identification zone which the U.S. says is unhelpful and could lead to more tension in the region. On Saturday, the Chinese sent a set of planes, in response, Japan scrambled F-16 jets.

Analysts believe the new zone could lead to some mishap which could further inflame the region.

Kate, back to you.


BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, David.

And in London, thousands of avid "Star Wars" fans braved extreme weather conditions and lined up for an opportunity of a lifetime.

CNN's Rosie Tomkins has more.


ROSIE TOMKINS, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Young, confident, beautiful and athletic. These were the criteria for the next two stars in the "Star Wars" saga. Here in the U.K., open auditions were held all weekend for the iconic movie franchise. Thousands of young people lined up, hoping for their chance at what has been described as a lead role, that due to start filming here in the U.K. next year, with the movie due to be released in 2015.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: Must love "Star Wars" fans. Thanks so much, Rosie.

CUOMO: All right. So the Russian president goes to see the pope. It sounds like a first line of a joke, right? But it is all too real and happening today.

Vladimir Putin is going to the Vatican. And the reason why is just as impressive -- help on Syria to stop the war and maybe the political war between Russia and the U.S. on the issue.

We have people in both key cities. Ben Wedeman in Rome, and Phil Black in Moscow.

Let's begin with Phil.

Phil, talk to us about how unusual this is and what we believe the motivations are.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, very unusual. Chris, certainly a meeting of two different personalities the self style Russian strong man and famously humble Catholic pope. At the moment they have a lot more in common, especially on Syria, where the Vatican has publicly backed Russia's position in that conflict, even in response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. Russia likes that, because it gives their position much more moral authority.

Both parties are also concerned about the plight of Christian minorities in Syria across the Middle East and North Africa as well. More broadly, Russia and the Vatican have never been that close, because Russia is close to the Russian Orthodox Church.

And the Orthodox Church and the Vatican have long historic disagreements. At the moment, they've got a bit more in common as well, because both churches see themselves as fighting what they describe as aggressive secularism across Western society, which they say is replacing traditional values -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Phil, thank you very much for that point. This is so complex.

Let's go to Ben Wedeman. This is almost a perfect situation for the Roman Catholic Church, given its complexity and the need for nuance.

So, Ben, how do we see it? How much of this is about these longer living story lines between the Russian Orthodox and conventional Roman Catholic Church. How much is about political practicality, a play by Putin to use some leverage against with the U.S. and his pope and growing popularity?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, I think the immediate concerns are related to the Middle East, related to the plight of Christians in the Middle East as Phil mentioned. There are much more deeper issues at play.

For instance, this really goes back to 1054, to what is called the Great Schism, when Christianity's split between the Latin West and the Orthodox east. And there are issues for instance about the sequestration of property by Joseph Stalin during the Soviet era when they took property from the Catholic Church in Russia and, of course, as a result of that, there have not been any meetings between the Catholic pope and the eastern patriarch.

But really the focus we understand today from the Vatican is on the Middle East on the plight of Christians in the Middle East, given the turmoil in places like Syria and Egypt. That's really the focus, not the great historical issues, which obviously will take a lot more time to resolve -- Chris.

CUOMO: Persecution of Christian across that region, certainly something that's getting more momentum. We haven't been hearing much about it, but it will be very interesting to see who says what after this particular meeting. Ben Wedeman, Phil Black, thank you very much.

All right, that's that discussion. Let's go over to Indra now, because this storm that's crossing the country is no joke, only getting worse -- true?


We are still looking at delays all through Texas. I mean, really, take a look anywhere from Arkansas back through Texas, we're looking for icing and sleet concern. Conditions in the east have improved farther to the west. However, it only means conditions will deteriorate the farther east you are.

I just want to give you an idea how bad it has already been, look at all the reports of snow and even freezing rain, that we have already seen. Now, half an inch of freezing rain, that weighs 500 pounds on a power line. So, that's the concern.

Right now, the reports are less than that. There will be concern as we go throughout the day today and, of course, for flight and flight delays.

The next story that, low interacts with all this moisture in the Gulf. It interacts with another system bringing in that cold air that's currently moving over the Great Lakes. You put those two together. This is a story you have been hearing about, the treacherous concerns for travel this week.

First, let's talk about the heavy rain. So if you are trying to travel in the Southeast over the next 48 hours, look at all the heavy rain. Two to four inches of rain really kind of today, we talked about the Gulf spreading into, I should say, the Carolinas in through tomorrow.

Now, let's talk about a day-by-day. First, we're talking about the rain. We showed you that. By tomorrow, the mid-Atlantic, we start talking about freezing concerns. So, ice and sleet and snow starts to fall.

The biggest concern for now looks like it will be tomorrow night in through Wednesday. Right now, we are talking about rain at major hubs. Maybe less ice and more snow. About four to eight inches possible in the Ohio valley. However, we are still talking about strong winds. So, even if we say, just as rain into the Northeast, we are still going to be concerned travel will be delayed thanks to those strong winds.

Now, we head into Wednesday. We are talking about snow, but as you go throughout the day, things should taper off. Thanksgiving we are left with snow into the Northeast. So the moral of the story, the later you have your flight on Wednesday evening, chances are conditions will be improving for you.

But again, so many variables we are continuing to talk about here. Rain, sleet, freezing rain, anything can change by day.

CUOMO: Boy, especially in combination like that, it's a problem, because we are talking flights. But so many people are on the road.

PETERSONS: Exactly. Icy conditions on the road, that's one factor here.

CUOMO: All right. We keep watching it, Indra. I appreciate it.

Coming up on NEW DAY: more problems for the Dreamliners, speaking of flight. Boeing is warning of icing problems and says the plane shouldn't fly in certain circumstances. We'll tell you how big a deal this is and if it can affect your upcoming travel.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And the American Music Awards dipping in the well of controversy. Was this dance members/sketch with the Marilyn Monroe-looking Lady Gaga in poor taste? We'll discuss.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to "NEW DAY".

There's a new problem for Boeing's Dreamliner. The company advised airlines about engine icing problems affecting 787 Dreamliner planes and 747-8planes when engines made by General Electric. The warning urges airlines to avoid flying these planes near thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals. Boy, that sounds specific.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us with more.

What exactly prompted this warning? Obviously, there was a problem.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: There were six problems between April and November of this year, where you had these planes that were flying near thunderstorms that developed ice crystals just behind a fan in a G.E. engine and they had a temporary loss of thrust.

Now, all of these planes landed safely. They did regain power. No problem there. But it caused them to look into what happened in these G.E. engines at high altitude flying near thunderstorms and why did this icing occur?

So you got Boeing actually warning about this, saying they will work with G.E. to fix the software fix later this year and Japan pulled a couple of them from international routes where they were high altitude close proximity to potential thunderstorms, pulled those planes.

BOLDUAN: I mean, if Japan is pulling a couple of those planes, why not be nervous about the fact that most of these models of airplanes are still in the air flying?

ROMANS: Still an incredibly popular aircraft. And, in fact, Boeing is even ramping up its production of these aircrafts because big airlines want this plane.

BOLDUAN: Should you folks be nervous?

ROMANS: Look, they say there is not a safety issue here. That they're going to fix it. They've regained the thrust. It's only in certain situations and they're going to avoid those situations. Boeing actually issuing this warning basically saying that they are going to make sure that they -- 50 nautical miles away from a potential thunderstorm to reduce chances of ice crystal conditions.

CUOMO: That's no good.


CUOMO: That's the part that got my attention. When they have to tell you that the plane is not so great near storms when it seems like they happen all the time when you're near. And this other number here that you snuck into the research.


CUOMO: But first entire airline model to be grounded by the FAA in 30 years.


CUOMO: That's not good either.

ROMANS: That was earlier this year. And that's -- remember -- when they thought there were lithium battery fires. They grounded the entire -- the FAA grounded the entire Dreamliner fleet. Remember, it's an incredibly complicated diverse aircraft, assembled and manufactured around the world, put together in the United States, right?

And they were finding these little wiring issues. They grounded the whole fleet. They've resolved those issues. They say this is a G.E. engine issue. It's a really -- and you know, people who follow outsourcing have pointed out that this is an aircraft that is manufactured and designed by so many different companies and so many different places and so complicated that it just -- it begs to have little glitches here and there.

BOLDUAN: Is that the source of the fact that it's begging to have more glitches or is it because it's kind of the new wave of aircraft, it's different than everything in the past?

ROMANS: It's lighter. The composite material very high-tech. I mean, people love this plane.

CUOMO: Orders are up.

ROMANS: Orders are up, and people who fly the plane absolutely love it. Just don't fly within 50 nautical miles of thunderstorms.


CUOMO: It reminds me of that other machine that was made by all those different countries and it was amazing. You remember it? No. Because there wasn't one.


CUOMO: That's the concern. That's the concern.

ROMANS: G.E. and Boeing say they're going to work out this little engine glitch --

CUOMO: That's great. (CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: Great story for this week.

PEREIRA: Time now for our "Must-See Moment." We're actually modifying our "Must-See Moments."

It was a night of musical superstars, the biggest, the brightest taking center stage at Sunday night's American Music Awards. The show certainly did not disappoint from red carpet and jaw-dropping performances, certainly had everybody buzzing.


PEREIRA (voice-over): Kittens, unicorns, diamonds here. The American Music Awards delivered some truly outrageous and memorable moments last night. The biggest award winners, Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake. Swift winning four awards, including Artist of the Year

TAYLOR SWIFT, SINGER: My lucky number is 13. And so far, you guys have made 2013 the most magical year.

PEREIRA: Timberlake taking home three, including Favorite Make Artist Pop Rock.

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, SINGER: These are voted on by the fans, so the fans.


PEREIRA: Jay-Z poked fun at Taylor Swift's surprise face when going to accept one of his awards, but she seemed in on the joke.


PEREIRA: Perhaps the most talked about performance of the night, the one to Miley Cyrus, which raised eyebrows over the summer for her VMA performance. But last night, she blew away the crowd with the help of a giant virtual kitten and diamonds. Crying cat and really Miley became the top trending topics on Twitter.

One user tweeted, "Somewhere in America, cats are still twerking." But it's Lady Gaga and R. Kelly who stirred up the most controversy last night. The two performed a duet and the on-stage theme was White House scandal. With Kelly playing the president and Gaga as the Monroe-style mistress.


PEREIRA: Some say the timing of this performance is distasteful in light of the anniversary of President JFK's assassination. Others called it campy and fun.


PEREIRA (on-camera): Campy and fun or distasteful? CUOMO: Where are we? What do you think?

BOLDUAN: Distasteful. 100 percent

CUOMO: Distasteful? 100 percent?

BOLDUAN: The perfect example is like the race to the bottom. Gaga was outrageous.


BOLDUAN: Now, Miley is topping her and outrageous. And we're going to out outrageousizing --

CUOMO: Timing was bad. But Katie is right. That's what they're doing. Nobody distracts from the singing, though, like Miley Cyrus.


ROMANS: Under all that is a good singer, can you believe it?

CUOMO: I don't know. No, I can't believe it.


PEREIRA: I think the R. Kelly -- It happened.


CUOMO: It doesn't blink. Blink your eyes --

BOLDUAN: That's the one problem with the kitten?

PEREIRA: I think that Gaga or Kelly situation was probably lost on the audience that is targeted for AMAs.


CUOMO: Crazy unblinking kitten.

PEREIRA: Hey, I don't know what you're talking about --



CUOMO: I say to you.

BOLDUAN: My knight in shining armor. Saving me from my --

CUOMO: That kitten hasn't' weighed 500 pounds.


CUOMO: All right. Coming up on "NEW DAY", it doesn't work when there's no kitten. Wicked weather happening and coming your way in the east. This is serious. So, we will tell you what you need to know before your travel plans gets disrupted.

BOLDUAN: And also, very serious, obviously, Iran agrees to slow the nuclear program to get sanctions against the country eased. But did world power give too much? Will Iran comply? How can we insure that? We're going to talk with White House deputy national security adviser at the top of the hour.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- it's only in the bold ones.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I'm really sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, on the bright side, I'll get some extra stage time.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I volunteer as tribute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a volunteer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cecily, why are you carrying a bow and arrow?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's New York City, baby.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- jungle out there.



BOLDUAN: Some great costumes there.


BOLDUAN: What was the number that --

CUOMO: $161 million "Hunger Games" made this weekend.

PEREIRA: Oh. Did you see it?


PEREIRA: Will you?

CUOMO: Well, my daughter saw it and she loved it. She said it was better than the first one. PEREIRA: All right.

CUOMO: There you go.

BOLDUAN: She is a tough crowd --


CUOMO: She is tough. She is very tough.

So, last night, the Patriots were down 24 zip and things only got worse. So, it's a good thing you turned off the game. Epic comeback in the Brady Manning battle. Andy Scholes joins us with this morning's "Bleacher Report." What a comeback. Tell us about it.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes, it was a great game, Chris. You know, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, they've had some epic battles over the years, but you know, last night, it looked like it was going to be one side. The Broncos absolutely dominated early, taking a24-0 lead into the half, but you can't ever count out Tom Brady.

The Patriots came storming back in the third quarter. Then on the fourth quarter, they took the lead on this touchdown from Brady to Julian Edelman. Now, Manning and the Broncos would go quietly, though. Manning would find Demaryius Thomas for this touchdown late in the 4th to the game. We go to overtime.

And then, this is the play that won the game for the Patriots. Broncos were receiving a punt, and one of their players will run into it. The Patriots would recover. They kicked a field goal to win the game, 34-31. The 24-point comeback is the largest comeback of Tom Brady's career. Now, CNN's Rachel Nichols is in Foxboro. So, much more in this instant classic in the next hour.

In the lineup section of, there's further proof how hard core Green Bay Packers fans are. Check out these girls rocking the bikini tops. It was 20 degrees with a wind chill of nine at Lambeau Field yesterday. Definitely brave. But guys, they didn't even get to see anybody win or lose the game. The Packers and Vikings ended up tying 26-26 after overtime.

BOLDUAN: That makes me feel cold even watching those poor things.

CUOMO: Respect. Respect.

BOLDUAN: There's a reason --

SCHOLES: That is respect.

BOLDUAN: That's called liquid courage.


SCHOLES: Probably some of that involved.

(LAUGHTER) BOLDUAN: Thank you, Andy.

CUOMO: I also respect liquid courage.

BOLDUAN: I respect it as well. Not knocking it.

We're now at the top of the hour, which means it's time for the top news.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the house started banging and things started kind of falling and I thought it was a huge earthquake.

CUOMO: The gathering storm. A massive storm system marching east snow and rain set to choke Turkey Day. New this hour, we take you inside the flight command center. They're bracing for the worst.

BOLDUAN: Defending the deal. President Obama strikes a short-term deal with Iran to freeze its nuclear program. Now, Republicans and Democrats are pushing back against it. Is it a bad deal? We'll get answers from the White House.

PEREIRA: Dangerous game. An arrest made over the weekend. Is this the latest assailant in the so-called knockout game? New questions this morning about how widespread this deadly game may be.

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If this step, first step leads to a comprehensive agreement that will make the world safer.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The New England Patriots with a most improbable win!

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


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome back to "NEW DAY". It's Monday, November 25th, seven o'clock in the east. And here is what happened overnight.

The president's poll numbers are the big story. They are really low in areas that really matter. According to the latest CNN/ORC poll, a clear majority of Americans say President Obama is not honest and trustworthy and only 40 percent believe the president can manage the government effectively.

That's down 12 percent since May. The good news for the president, 71 percent still consider him likable, although even that number is down eight points over the past six months.

BOLDUAN: And the future of U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan is up in the air this morning. President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign an agreement to keep support troops there beyond next year, even though Afghanistan's elders endorsed the deal and recommend Karzai sign it quickly.

He's deferring any agreements until after elections in April, even though the U.S. asked for a deal to be signed by the end of this year.

PEREIRA: Overnight, seven cars of an Amtrak train from New Orleans to New York derailed in South Carolina. More than 200 passengers and 11 crew members were on board. No one was seriously injured. Charter bus was brought in to take passengers to their final destination. So far, no word on what caused that derailment.

CUOMO: And if you plan to travel this holiday week, you better listen up. Your Thanksgiving plans could be in jeopardy. A deadly storm is making its way across the country. It's moving east as you see, and it's expected to start impacting the New York City area by Tuesday afternoon. The system has already canceled hundreds of flights in the south. The only question this morning is how bad will it be.

We're covering every angle of this story. Let's start with Rene Marsh at Reagan National Airport in Washington for the look at how airlines are preparing -- Rene.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, you know, timing is everything and boy this is bad timing. That winter weather threatening millions of holiday plans and airlines there are proactively canceling hundreds of flights so that travelers aren't stranded at the airports this Thanksgiving.


MARSH (voice-over): Two things that should never go together, peak holiday travel and treacherous winter weather. A traveler's nightmare, cancellations, delays and frustration all around. In Dallas, where ice coated airplanes, airlines were forced to pre-cancel hundreds of flights to avoid the inevitable. Airlines and airports are experienced with wild weather and they're ready for this round.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can call this the nerve center airline.

MARSH: United watches the weather and directs every flight from around the world from their headquarters in Chicago. The decision to cancel flights happens here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These individuals are actually measuring the impact of weather, of the air traffic control system and coordinating not only internally with United Airlines but with the FAA.