Return to Transcripts main page


Holiday Havoc; What Is Marissa Mayer Up To?

Aired November 26, 2013 - 05:30   ET



ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A deadly storm threatening to ruin Thanksgiving travel plans for millions. There's ice coating the roads and the rain, snow, and sleet grounding planes. Indra Petersons is tracking the damage that's already done and what is still to come?


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START. Glad you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Christine romans. I'm sitting in For John Berman this Tuesday morning. It's 30 minutes past the hour. Glad you're with us.

Our top story this morning is the weather. It's making this November week very treacherous for many people on the east coast and travel tough for a lot of other people. At least 12 are now dead as a result of the storm system moving very quickly east here.

SAMBOLIN: In Wisconsin, snow made for a nasty morning commute. This is right near Milwaukee. Take a look at that. There were dozens of accidents as cars slipped and slid onto the highways.


MARK PRIVIDERA, DRIVER: I was just coasting going about three miles an hour and I just about got in a car accident right here because you can't stop. There's a point where there's just nothing you can do. It's just glare ice and you're just a passenger in your own car.


ROMANS: OK. That's Wisconsin. You can see that Wisconsin. Let me take you to Arkansas. Arkansas also dealing with accidents as well. This is the scene in Fayetteville in the northwest part of the state. Rain and cold causing roads to ice up and that meant many cars losing control.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I get on the highway and next thing I know, I'm spinning. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People just don't realize when they cross the bridges that they've got ice on them and when they cross it, they lose it.


SAMBOLIN: So, if you're planning a flight today or tomorrow, keep a close eye on your departure airport, and of course, on your destination. There's a good chance you could see delays, maybe even cancellations. The storm really revs up again. Hundreds of flights were cancelled over the weekend, even more could be impacted in the next 48 hours.


DANIEL BAKER, FLIGHTWARE.COM: We see a lot of delays and we see a lot of cancellations with storms like this. It's really impactful, particularly, this time of year when you could have multiple weather systems hitting multiple major cities that host hubs for airlines.


ROMANS: You know, the storm could cause problems for the Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. High winds could ground the famous balloons over New York City. If sustained winds top 23 miles an hour, officials say it's simply too dangerous to fly.

SAMBOLIN: And I think Indra was mentioning that we may have winds that actually are that potent.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. We're going to be talking about strong winds just kind of shifting where we're going to see the strongest winds at what point --


PETERSONS: -- obviously going to be affecting everyone's travel plans based on where you are. Let's talk about all that there are so much to get to out there. First, let's look at the snow. We're already starting to see snow. Remember how cold it was especially over the weekend? So, right now, as the system kind of makes its way across, we're dealing with snow flurries.

But remember, there's that second system down here that's producing the heavy rain in between the two. Of course, we still have the icy mix in between. So, right now, that's Virginia and looks like North Carolina. Reminder again, we have those two systems. That's the story today. They move even closer together. This one being the warm one pulling all that moisture out of the gulf. This one bringing that cold air.

And from Canada, when it is all said and done, we're talking about this really increasing throughout the day today, diminishing as we get through Thanksgiving Day. This is what we're looking for in the next 48 hours. Look at the heavy rain we're expecting in the south and then today shifting into the Carolinas on the backside of it, around the lakes, even over a foot of snow and that snow kind of tapers off even all the way down through Kentucky and even Tennessee.

So, why are some people getting rain and some people snow? We'll talk about that in a second, but first, I wanted to point this out, we actually have a severe weather threat, even a chance for isolated tornadoes today so check that out. Not so much going on. Of course, we're still adding that into the mix as well. Here's that explain (ph) I wanted to talk about, that low shifts up to the north.

So, if you're on the front side of this, notice the winds are coming out of the south. That's where it's typically warmer in the south. You're getting rain. If you're on the back side of the low, winds coming out of the Canada. That's the reason we're talking about that cold air and the snow and even the wintry mix as it kind of shifts over. We'll take it day-by-day. This is the most important thing to so many of you.

Today, we're still talking about the rain and we talk about that wintry mix into the Carolina today, kind of shifting to the north. Now, as you go throughout the day, the rain will increase. We're going to see that snow switch over to rain in the northeast as that warm air makes its way up from the south. And then, on the back side, we'll see some heavier snow and wintry mix kind of picking up and even some heavier rains filling in closer to the coast line.

Also, the winds are really going to star kicking up. Just notice though, as you get in through Wednesday, the system does start to pull off. It looks like it's getting better, but remember, that's not the case because the winds start to shift from the southeast into the northeast, and with that, stronger winds. We know still flight delays even with the rain and the snow is gone.

ROMANS: You have to have a strategy. Everyone this morning that's traveling, that's getting up is with their strategy. I'm going to go to the airport. I'm not going to wait at home. I'm not going to get the text messages. I'm going to go there and talk to a human being at the airport.


PETERSONS: Do I take a bus? If I don't make it, do I -- yes, everyone has got like four chances here. I know.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you, Indra. We appreciate it.

Thirty-four minutes past the hour.

An ultimatum from the White House to Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. Signed a security agreement with the United States or face the complete withdrawal of American troops in 2014.


SAMBOLIN: (voice-over): National security adviser, Susan Rice, is in Kabul where Karzai reportedly insisted on new conditions now in exchange for giving final approval to the already agreed upon deal. The White House says Rice told Karzai if he doesn't sign the agreement, the United States will begin planning to pull out all of the troops. Karzai in a statement said he wants assurances the United States will not conduct military operations on Afghan homes.

ROMANS (voice-over): All right. Despite White House attempts to transition America's drone war on terrorism from CIA control to the Pentagon, the spy agency is still behind most of the recent strikes. In fact, drone attacks last week in Yemen and Pakistan were both conducted by the CIA. According to the "Washington Post," CIA and Pentagon officials have met and the White House is now calling to shift to defense department a distant goal.

SAMBOLIN: The head of the national security agency, General Keith Lexander, reportedly offered to resign in the wake of the Edward Snowden affair. The "Wall Street Journal" says Alexander made the offer after the former NSA contractor revealed himself to be the source of the leaked classified documents.

But that was rejected by the Obama administration. The revelation comes nearly a month after it was announced Alexander would be leaving the NSA in March.

ROMANS: At long last, talks aimed at ending Syria's civil war appear to be moving forward. The first direct negotiations between President Bashar al Assad's government and Syrian rebels is now set to begin January 22 in Geneva. The U.N. special envoy for Syria says that the so-called Geneva 2 talks are a huge opportunity for peace that should not be wasted. Again, that's out in January. Still very tough conditions there on the ground for the civilians.

SAMBOLIN: Vigorous defense of the international nuclear deal with Iran. President Obama responding to critics during a speech in San Francisco, including those who called the agreement a mistake. The president said it is easy to make political declarations, but that doesn't make the world safer, and he insisted the nuclear deal is progress.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This will help Iran from building a nuclear weapon. And over the coming months, we're going to continue our diplomacy with the goal of achieving a comprehensive solution that deals with the threat of Iran's nuclear program once and for all.

And if Iran seizes this opportunity and chooses to join the global community, then we can begin to chip away at the mistrust that's existed for many, many years between our two nations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need your help! There are thousands of (INAUDIBLE).

OBAMA: That's exactly what we're talking about.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAMBOLIN: Look at what he does. He turns around and actually engages that heckler in conversation. That was a heckler who interrupted part of the speech. This was dealing with immigration. The man chanted that the president had the power to stop deporting immigrants. But President Obama blamed Congress saying he'd change the laws if he could but need lawmakers help to do so.

ROMANS: The president also visiting Los Angeles where he met with the family of a slain TSA officer and two officers hurt in that shooting at Los Angeles International Airport earlier this month. Gerardo Hernandez (ph) was first TSA officer to die in the line of duty. The injured officers, Tony Grigsby (ph) and James Spear (ph), said to be recovering. We wish them well.

SAMBOLIN: is reportedly having more problems. "The New York Times" says identities of those who want to sign up for coverage are not being verified quickly enough and that means they have been unable to sign up for the coverage. Some have now been waiting more than six weeks to get an answer on when they will be able to finish enrolling.

And "The Washington Post" is reporting insurers are receiving error- filled lists of who signed up for the coverage, in some cases, misreporting children as spouses or even deleting the records altogether. The White House is promising the site will be operating much better by next week.

ROMANS: The Supreme Court could decide today whether to get involved in a dispute over Obamacare's birth control mandate. About 40 companies say they shouldn't be forced to provide contraception coverage because doing so would violate their religious beliefs. Lower courts have split over this issue. Now, both sides want the high court to settle it.

SAMBOLIN: A new concerns over one emergency contraceptive for women. A pill sold in Europe that's identical to Plan B has been found to be ineffective for women who weigh more than 176 pounds. The manufacturer there plans to change all of its labels. The FDA and the pill's American maker are not commenting yet, but that's 176 pounds deemed ineffective for women who weigh more than that.


ROMANS (on-camera): All right. Coming up, a Florida mother promising to fight back against the bullying that caused her daughter to commit suicide. Her pledge to make sure her daughter didn't die in vain. That is next.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Forty-two minutes past the hour. New insights this morning into the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the 20-year-old behind that massacre.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SAMBOLIN (voice-over): A report from a state prosecutor summarizes some of the evidence against Adam Lanza whose 11-minute rampage ended with 26 people dead before he turned that gun on himself. So, the report paints Lanza as a troubled man obsessed with mass murder. He apparently spent hours playing violent video games.

He wrote stories about killers and even saved newspaper articles on mass homicide. One person who knew Lanza years earlier thinks he designed the shooting as a kind of payback.


MARVIN LAFONTAINE, FORMER SCOUT LEADER: What Adam was trying to do was come up with an act of revenge that was so awful that he would stab every American in the heart.

DR. JEFF GARDEREM TOURO COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: It seems like as time was going on, was starting to decompensate more towards a psychotic behavior. As well, you see some obsessive compulsive disorder traits, paranoia going on, and paints a picture of someone who was extremely difficult to manage.


SAMBOLIN: Like maybe all the garbage bags on his bedroom window. The report sheds no light on Lanza's motivate or why he might have targeted Sandy Hook Elementary for that massacre.

ROMANS (voice-over): A Florida mother taking action against those she says were responsible for her daughter's death. Tricia Norman (ph) plans to file wrongful death suits against people she blames for 12- year-old Rebecca Sedwick's suicide. She'll also pursue a new state law called Rebecca's law to crack down on bullying. Prosecutors last week dropped aggravated stalking charges against two girls for lack of evidence.


TRICIA NORMAN, MOTHER OF REBECCA SEDWICK: People keep asking me how do you feel. I don't really know how to answer that question. I feel like I'm living a nightmare and I can't wake up. I keep waiting for it to be over, but it never ends. My heart aches constantly. My body is numb. I can't sleep. My happiness no longer exists. My baby is gone.

I have recently become aware that the current laws in Florida do not allow for bullies to be punished. This makes me very sad, because I think it sends a message that bullying is OK. Kids will now think they can get away with this type of behavior.


ROMANS: Norman says she keeps waiting for an apology, one she realizes likely will never come.

SAMBOLIN: George Zimmerman has hired a new attorney to defend him against charges that he assaulted his pregnant girlfriend. A week after having a public defender represent him claiming he was more than $2 million in debt, he has now hired a private criminal defense lawyer from South Florida. Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin earlier this year.

In court filings, Zimmerman is asking for several items back from police including an iPhone and a pocket knife.

ROMANS: Florida's Republican Party chairman is claiming -- is joining those calling on Congressman Trey Radel to resign. Radel pleaded guilty last week to buying cocaine and took a leave of absence to attend rehab, but the state GOP chair says Radel constituents need a congressman who is 100 percent focused on their needs. It's not clear how long the congressman will stay in rehab before returning to work.

SAMBOLIN: So, if you've ever been on jury duty, you know the lawyers and the judge ask a lot of questions before allowing you to serve such as what do you like to watch on TV and maybe even where do you work. The Dekalb County court in Georgia's list of occupation is 62 pages long, and on that list, one question is, slave.

We're not kidding. There it is right there. It's actually on the list. A potential juror filling out the questionnaire online found the entry and the court is calling this a mistake.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They say it's a mistake. I don't think so.



SAMBOLIN: Yes, yes. Court officials say that they have removed slave from the list as soon as they realized it was there. Hopefully, they're doing a full investigation to figure out how it got there.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan are joining us. Good morning.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, you guys.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Obviously, we're all about the storm because the holiday is coming. I know Thanksgiving is not (ph) technically a holiday, but it is, right?

BOLDUAN: Yes, it is.

CUOMO: It's really part of the national fabric. It's what matters most, food, family, but we got to get there. So, this storm that's coming is no joke. Indra Petersons is all over it. Flights are compromise. Road travel is compromise. Maybe even the Thanksgiving Day parade, the Macy's balloons may be compromised. So, we're going to give you the latest on all that. We're all going to do something a little different. We're go inside the Philadelphia airport, their main hub and show you what they're doing to prepare to do the best they can to get flights in and out. So, we'll take you through that.

BOLDUAN: Yes. You can't fight Mother Nature, but they can try to prepare as much as they can. We're also going to be giving an update on a big story that we've been following closely. Four people have now been indicted by a grand injury that was looking into possible cover-up in the Steubenville rape case.

Among them, the superintendent of schools and a principal. We're going to talk with Ohio's attorney general who has been really spearheading this effort and we'll also talk to him about what led to the charges.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thank you very much. We'll check in soon with you.

Time now for the "Morning Rhyme," our tweets of the day. Today is from David Quintanida (ph) talking about the weather and talking about Thanksgiving. "Get an early start even though it's cold and rainy. In two more days, you can bathe yourself in gravy!"


SAMBOLIN: Interesting!

You can come up with your own tweet with your own rhyme, tweet us with the #morningrhyme and #EARLYSTART. Bathing and gravy. What a concept.

ROMANS: All right. Coming up, Yahoo! make big changes. Katie Couric and trying to shake --


ROMANS: We're going to tell you about that in "Money Time" next.


ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START. It's "Money Time" this morning. It took 13 years, 13 longs years for the NASDAQ finally crossed 4,000 yesterday. Another milestone in the list that includes 16k on the Dow, 1,800 on the S&P, now, 4,000 on the NASDAQ. It is still 21 percent below it's all time high. Yes. It's a long way to go before we're back to thosee go, go days before the dot com bubble burst.

Want a peek inside this amazing tech run? Take a look at Netflix, up 278 percent this year. Priceline, 80 percent gain, Amazon 51 percent, Facebook 68 percent. When you put it all together, the NASDAQ is up 32 percent for the year. The Dow is up 23 percent. The S&P 500 up 26 percent.

According to RBC Capital Markets, that would be the eighth best year for the S&P since 1947. It's OK to look at your 401(k). I can't tell you what happens next. I can only tell you what happened already.


ROMANS: All right. What is Yahoo! CEO, Marissa Mayer, up to?


ROMANS: I know. In the past few months, she's been approaching (ph) top talent in a major effort to position Yahoo! less as a tech company and more as a media company. Her latest, Katie Couric, will join Yahoo! as a global anchor for Yahoo! News.

Over the summer, David Pogue of the "New York Times," he writes this state-of-the-art column and also his Pogue's post blog joining Yahoo! He said he couldn't pass up the creative possibilities. In September, Yahoo! announced that former "New York Times" deputy editor, Megan Lieberman, was taking over as new editor in chief of new Yahoo! news.

Now, jury still out whether Marissa Mayer can turn Yahoo! around, but she is very clearly focusing on the idea that hiring media talent is going to increase her online audience and bring in more add revenue. This is not just a search engine any more. This is a media.

SAMBOLIN: Do we know how much the deal is worth for Katie Couric?

ROMANS: I do not know. I do not know, but Katie Couric is one, one smart woman --

SAMBOLIN: No kidding.

ROMANS: So, I assume it's very good for her and very good for Yahoo! Something that's good for you. I don't want anybody to be tricked on Black Friday or Brown Thursday or Cyber Monday.


ROMANS: Zoraida heard (ph) me, I'm the, you know, I'm the bah hum bug correspondent in time of year.


ROMANS: The retail industry has tapped deep into American psychology. We all want to get a deal, right? What they get are profits and what you get too often are credit card bills. So, I want to really show you the truth about all of these sales. One, mark downs are usually carefully engineered, right? You're not really -- they never sold at the stated price. They were always designed to be sold at the -- selling prices are sometimes raised and then they're lowered.

You might find better deals later for seasonal merchandise. Toys are often the worst deals because of peak demand. If you don't pay it off right away, you're not going to deal (ph) it off. Do you know about 58 percent of people pay everything off by January, which is what you should do. You need to make sure if you buy it for the holidays, you could pay it off by January. So, the people -- the 18 percent of people I think who are still paying off this year's Black Friday next year, it wasn't a deal. Now, you're paying interest, late charges and you've hurt your credit score. So, I want everyone, don't be lured in by all of the marketing and the hype about Black Friday. Be careful.

SAMBOLIN: I love the advice. I mean, I think it's terribly important. So, follow it.

All right. We're going to take a quick break and be right back.


ROMANS: -- for four adults in connection with the rape of a 16-year- old girl in Steubenville, Ohio last year including the superintendent of schools, Michael McVey, an elementary school principal, a wrestling coach, and a volunteer assistant football coach all are accused of lying or failing to report the rape of this West Virginia girl by two high school football players. And now, they could face years in prison.

Much more on this case is coming up on "NEW DAY," including an attorney with the Ohio attorney general, Mike DeWine. That's in the 7:00 a.m. eastern hour.

SAMBOLIN: All right. That is it for EARLY START. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roads are really slick and it seemed a lot of accidents already.

CUOMO: Taking aim. That huge snow and rain maker now moving north and east. Holiday travel plans for millions in jeopardy. And now, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloons may be grounded. We're tracking it all.

BOLDUAN: No deal. The Afghan government pushing back against the United States still refusing to sign an agreement that would keep U.S. forces on the ground. Will there be a complete pull-out of forces sooner than expected?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New revelation about the Sandy Hook gunner. The stunning new report just out, detailing his obsession with mass murder. Were warnings signs missed?

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

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


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to "NEW DAY." It's Tuesday, November 26th, six o'clock in the east. Got to prepare for a heaping side of rain, sleet, and snow to go with that Thanksgiving turkey, unfortunately. Right now, holiday travel plans for more than 40 million are totally up in the air.

In fact, the air may be the worst place to be. A monster storm on a collision course with the east coast expected to cost absolute chaos. Take a look at the snow falling in Pittsburgh right now. This is our affiliate, WPXI. They filmed this video, showing how slick the roads are becoming. We're tapping the power and reach of CNN to bring you the most complete coverage we can beginning, of course, with meteorologist, Indra Petersons. Indra, what do we see?

Petersons: Yes. We're already talking about that big change already. Take a look at the snow we're currently seeing in the northeast. And of course, we have that heavy rain now coming in from the southeast and notice already starting to see some of that icing. This is just a precursor to what we are expecting as we go through the next 48 hours with rain, heavy winds, and even more freezing rain and snow.


PETERSONS (voice-over): A massive winter storm blamed for at least a dozen deaths and hundreds of accidents will bring heavy rain, snow, sleet and high winds to much of the east coast on the busiest travel week of the year. Frustrated travelers already beginning to feel the ripple effect of this storm system with delays and cancellations at some of the nation's busiest airports.