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"Nor'easter Slams East Coast; "The Joy Of The Gospel"

Aired November 27, 2013 - 05:30   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is 30 minutes past the hour.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: All right. Grab your coat, grab your umbrella, maybe your snow boots, maybe your rain boots, and you know, take as much time as you can if you're heading anywhere on the east coast today. A massive nor'easter bringing strong winds, heavy rains, snow to millions. It's messing up plans on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

The scene in Ohio, let's start there. It is snowy with three to five inches of wet, sloppy precipitation on the ground. And with even more headed their way today, it's making getting around really tough, and it means for many heading out extra early.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We originally planned to leave in the morning. But when news at the weather forecast, we decided to leave early, try to beat the weather down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm from North Carolina, so I'm definitely not used to this type of weather.


ROMANS: In New York state, it was a snowy start to the storm, likely turning ugly there, too. The snow mixing with rain and sleet, all of this making for a really awful day to get around.

SAMBOLIN: Let's go to South Carolina, the rain piling up quickly, more than two inches' worth, leading to flooding, very dangerous driving, folks. Cars off the roads in some places and overwhelmed storm drains leading to serious backups.

I can tell you that is quite a mess there. Indra Petersons is in the middle of the storm this morning. She is live in the Pittsburgh suburbs. When we went to you just a minute ago, you were covering up. How bad is it there?


INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's snowing. It's one thing we knew it's going to be happening, right? But it's beautiful. I mean, this is one thing you love to have some snowflakes through the holidays. We just want to want everyone's already at the destination and safe and sound. Unfortunately, on the biggest travel day of the year, it's never a good thing to be seeing conditions like this all across the northeast and mid-Atlantic.

Actually, right now, I'm standing here in Pittsburgh. You actually see the highways. Some people are trying to get out early on some of these icy roads this morning. Youngstown, Ohio going that way. People going towards Pittsburgh off in that direction. And you can see definitely we're getting these flurries out here and we have the icy conditions.

Let's take a look at the radar and see how many people are going to be affected by the storm and are currently still affected by the storm in one way or the other. You guys described it perfectly. There's everything going on. We have rain close here to coast line, especially the northeast, kind of stretching down kind of through the Carolinas.

Heavy rain only expected to even get heavier as the storm makes its way farther north today. On the back side, we have snow. We're standing it right here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Snow is out here. And we've seen a lot of it. I mean, take a look at some of these snow totals. In Ohio, six to eight inches of snow have already been seen. And yes, even just north of us, here in Pennsylvania, we already saw a good 10 inches and more of it is on the way.

Here comes the low making its way up the coastline. Remember, it's coming from the south. So, a lot of heavy rain is still going to be coming with us, guys, packing a good punch out there. So, as far as rain, anywhere from even two to four inches can still be seen, especially if you're farther north, kind of tapering off to the south as the low makes its way north.

On the back side still, maybe put a snow off the lakes (ph) can still be seen and the snow totals most likely moving down today in through western portions of New York. Also into through Pennsylvania, even back through West Virginia. Those are going to be those hot spots. And remember, even the visibility, all these aircraft trying to get around.

Very difficult getting into Pittsburgh yesterday. You almost didn't see anything until you just landed. So, that's going to be complication as well. And then, there are the winds. So, even though we go throughout the day today, we start to see the storm taper off. Now, keep in mind, the morning hours right now, this is toughest -- heaviest rain, heaviest snow, but as we go through the evening hours, all of this does start to taper off as far as the precipitation but not the winds.

Right now, this morning, even 45-mile-per-hour gusts will be seen in the New York area. We're talking about the mid-Atlantic seeing the stronger gusts, then they shift. As we move in through Thursday, we're going to start to see even overnight tonight in through Thursday morning, those winds shift farther out even towards to the northeast and through Boston.

Of course, the rest of the northeast. So, this travel nightmare is not going to be done for at least a good 48 hours, guys.

SAMBOLIN: That is not good. I was hoping that those winds would kind of hold off until much, much later. All right. Indra, you look pretty nice (ph) and bundled up --

PETERSONS: It's beautiful.



SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Indra.

ROMANS: All right. The storm makes it difficult to get around, but a couple of bad weather with one of the busiest travel days of the year, it adds up to delays, delay, delays. Rene Marsh live at Reagan National Airport this morning. And Rene, that forecast from Indra about 45-mile-per-hour wind already in the northeast with all of that travel volume, that's going to be difficult and that's going to ripple up and down the east coast, isn't it?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, even if you're not going to New York, you talk about that ripple effect, other people will feel it in other cities, because that wind creates a situation where they really have to space out those planes. They can't land as many within an hour that they want to. So, that's where you're going to start seeing those delays.

Here at Reagan National, you see people there arriving for their flights. Things looking smooth so far here. You look at the boards here at Reagan National, and you see good news. On time. On time. On time. But here's the thing, it's still pretty early. And of course, as the day goes on, as the volume picks up, we know that we'll start to see these boards lighting up. So, I want to give a live look now at this misery map.

And that's what we're calling it here. This is from flight aware, and it's just essentially showing us in a snapshot of a block of about three hours, four hours or so, what the situation is looking like at the airports that are seeing the most delays. You see JFK, Newark Airport, they're seeing a lot of delays.

We know that Boston, Logan Airport seeing delays as well as LaGuardia. A lot of these folks going through these delays, they just want to get to their destination and get to their destination as soon as they possibly can. Take a listen to what some of them had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just heard there's a lot of bad weather coming in, wanted to get home to the family. So, it's pretty much why I moved it up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just wanted to get out. I didn't want to chance it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just looking at that weather, that big green, pink slop coming our way, time to get out of the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out now at all costs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice to be home for turkey day, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just want to take off and land on time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get home in time for the holidays.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. Yes. Don't want to have to rent a car here and drive all the way to North Carolina.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just want a smooth flight with no delays.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got a sweet turkey waiting for us.


MARSH: See, everybody is waiting for that turkey, and no one wants to be late for the turkey. So, at this point, I can tell you this, according to those flight tracking websites, we have at this point over 200 cancellations. And as the day goes on, we may see that number go up as well, also seeing delays as well. So, you just want to call ahead before you get to the airport. Back to you.

SAMBOLIN: I thought it was great, that person said, smooth flight, no delays. That's what they want. Tall order, right?

ROMANS: I want that any day of the year --

SAMBOLIN: Thanks, Rene.

ROMANS: Not necessarily Thanksgiving. All right. Pack your snacks and pack your patience today.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. All right. Thirty-seven minutes past the hour.


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Tensions between the U.S. and China picking up this morning after two American B-52 bombers flew over disputed island in the East China Sea that was earlier this week. A direct challenge to China's recent claims over control over the region's airspace. The flights went off without any incident. Beijing says it identified and monitored the B-52s and will continue to exercise effective control of the disputed territory.

ROMANS (voice-over): Legal proceedings will continue against a son- in-law of Osama Bin Laden. A federal just in New York has rejected Sulaiman Abu Ghaith claims that his due process rights were violated and that prosecutors brought the charges too late. He is accused of conspiring to kill Americans. His lawyers claim Abu Ghaith was coerced into answering questions during a flight from Jordan to the U.S. The judge said he doesn't believe that was the case. SAMBOLIN: No U.S. prosecution for WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. "The Washington Post" says the justice department has all but concluded it can't go after Assange for posting classified documents on the internet, because they would then have to go after every U.S. news organization that did the same thing.

Since Assange himself did not leak the documents but merely reposted them, it appears he cannot be charged with espionage or any other criminal violation.

ROMANS: The Supreme Court is stepping back into the fight over Obamacare. The justices agreeing to hear two cases now challenging the state, the law's requirement that employers provide contraception coverage in their insurance plans. Many of religious organizations are exempt, but some business owners say the rules force them to violate their faith. Lower courts have split the cases which will be combined and argued next spring.

SAMBOLIN: And at the White House today, a real Thanksgiving tradition there. The annual presidential pardon for a turkey. Two turkeys. This year, the president will welcome Caramel and Popcorn who get to live out the rest of their delays at Mt. Vernon. The first family will also take part in a community service event.

ROMANS: An unlikely trio taking the stage in London.




ROMANS: That's right. You are looking at Taylor Swift, Jon Bon Jovi, and Prince William singing --

SAMBOLIN: Oh, wow!

ROMANS: -- "Living on a Prayer" at a charity event last night. The duke of Cambridge not quite as energetic as Swift.


ROMANS: But then again, she's a professional. Looking like he's having some fun, anyway.

SAMBOLIN: No kidding.

ROMANS: You know, Prince William apparently is a big fan of Jon Bon Jovi, and he received an award for his humanitarian work. Swift described the prince as really funny.

SAMBOLIN: I wonder if he can sing? (INAUDIBLE)

ROMANS: I don't know. That's cool. That's really cool.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ROMANS (on-camera): All right. Coming up, the pope calling for big changes for the Roman Catholic Church. We're live in Rome with the pope's latest message and why it's shocking church members around the world. That's next.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START. Forty-three minutes past the hour.

Pope Francis making headlines again and outlining the changes that he would like to see in the Roman Catholic Church. In his first major written work as leader of the Vatican, the pope is calling for more compassion and a church willing to get into the trenches.

Ben Wedeman is live in Rome this morning. Ben, we're wondering if this is going to be controversial for some or if everybody is going to embracing all these changes that he's talking about? He's saying he's going to dive in feet first. What is the reaction?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, the reaction among many people is positive, but definitely, he is launching a broadside on many of the things that we take as commonplace in the world today. For one thing, he's very much looking at the church, its bureaucracy, its structure, its leadership, its hierarchy, and its mission.

And he's asking fundamental questions about the purpose of some of the old traditions which really have no grounding in faith. He wants to change all that. He's looking at the way the economy of the modern world works, at consumerism, at the power of money. And he's asking whether this is serving anything or he's suggesting it's really hurting society.

Now, it's important to keep in mind, Zoraida, that what has come out in this 86-page document called "Evangelii Gaudium" which is Latin for "The Joy of the Gospel" are things he's already said whether in speeches, interviews, off the cuff remarks, but now, it's under one cover.

And really, it is saying that all these things I've been saying since I became pope in March, I'm serious about. And now, it appears he's really going to start pushing, but of course, there will be pushback.


WEDEMAN: Let's keep in mind that the Catholic Church is the world's oldest bureaucracy and there's likely to be a good deal of resistance from that bureaucracy.

SAMBOLIN: No kidding. And even some pretty serious tradition as well. Ben Wedeman, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: Now to Arizona this morning and starting allegations of abuse.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ROMANS (voice-over): Three girls ages 12, 13, and 17 say they were held in a home in Tucson for two years. The two youngest escaping to a nearby home on Tuesday after they say their stepfather kicked in a door. Police say the three girls were malnourished. They were dirty. They told investigators they hadn't had a bath up to six months.

Their mother and their step-father have been arrested. Neighbors are amazed. Some didn't even know there were children in that home.


JESSIE CRUZ, NEIGHBOR: If there was kid, they never came out and played. You know what I mean? We have kids all over this neighborhood. They had to try extra hard to keep themselves secluded, you know? Obviously, somebody will notice something.


ROMANS: The mother and step-father are facing kidnapping and child abuse charges and the step-father is also accused of sexually abusing one of those girls.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): A stabbing rampage at a Texas hospital has left a nurse dead and four others injured. It happened at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview. Police say Kyron Raushaun Templeton was visiting his mother at the hospital's ambulatory surgery center when he pulled out a knife and started slashing people including veteran nurse, Gayle Sandridge (ph). She later died.

Police say they are still trying to figure out a motive. Templeton is in jail, charged with murder and aggravated assault.

ROMANS: We'll soon be hearing the 911 tapes from the day of the Sandy Hook School massacre. A Connecticut judge has ordered a released, rejecting arguments that making the calls public could cause emotional harm to the families of the victims. The judge writing that while the calls are harrowing and disturbing, it is in the public's best interest to release them.

He ordered officials to put them out by December 4th. I'm not sure I will be -- listen to those.

SAMBOLIN: No, I would definitely not want to.

ROMANS: The public's best interest.

SAMBOLIN: I don't know. That's so tough.


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

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, you guys. CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Happy almost Thanksgiving. Obviously, we've got to talk about the story. Well, it's just a complete monster. It may swallow up people's holiday. So many families having to adjust. At least we knew it was coming, so we had some time to prepare, but we will show you what is happening where because you're getting a little bit of bad news everywhere.

Snow, sleet, what they call wintry mix, which is really putting a nice spin on a horrible situation. So, we will show you the cities that are getting hit the hardest, the path of leaf (ph) of resistance, and you know, the information that will allow you to make some of the tough decisions.

BOLDUAN: That looked like some sloppy wet snow falling right there, some of the video we're showing you. And we're going to -- we also have a brand-new CNN poll that shows how Americans feel about football and the safety of the game. Does the NFL need do something about injuries before they start losing fans?

Very interesting poll numbers. And of course, we're going to have Dr. Sanjay Gupta here to talk about it. He's done a lot of work.

SAMBOLIN: That is interesting.

ROMANS: Americans love their football.

SAMBOLIN: I know, but they don't like their injuries.

BOLDUAN: Also true.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, guys.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Time now for the "Morning Rhyme," our tweets of the day. Today is from Robin Kell (ph), talking about Thanksgiving and the weather. So, see, you challenge somebody and they --

ROMANS (on-camera): The woman with the nose for news -- what's new.

SAMBOLIN: "Wind gust, lost electric, hope I can cook my turkey if not back tomorrow, we'll have to eat beef jerky."


SAMBOLIN: I hope you don't -- you get your electricity back and you can cook your turkey.

You can come up with your own, tweet us with the #morningrhyme and #EARLYSTART.

ROMANS: You could always order out. More Americans are ordering out than ever before.

All right. Coming up, stocks, if the weather outside is (INAUDIBLE), but the weather inside is very, very nice. Is there a risk of a bubble, though? More records (ph) this morning. I'm going to tell you why.


SAMBOLIN: OK. So, I just want to say I have been asking for Christmas music now forever. And this is our producer, Matt Knoll's (ph), idea of Christmas music. What do you guys think?

ROMANS: Well --

SAMBOLIN: I want the traditional Christmas music.

ROMANS: Zoraida is cooling (ph) Matt Knoll (ph) on what kind of music she wants. So, given the list, we'll check it twice, and then he'll play your music --


SAMBOLIN: @MattKnollTVNews in case you're interested in chiming in.


SAMBOLIN: How about some business news?

ROMANS: How about some business news? We continue this little fat and we're going to go on and talk about the records in the markets.


ROMANS: NASDAQ passed 4,000 on Tuesday and didn't look back. The first close above 4,000 in 13 years. But, remember, the NASDAQ still remains more than a thousand points below that record close when we were partying in the dot com bubble in March of 2000. The "B" word, I said it. It's being debated again right now, but there are some good reasons why the Nasdaq may not be replaying the bubble ballet of the late 1990s.

One of them is the makeup of the NASDAQ now versus 1999. For instance, back then, technology stocks was two-thirds of this index. Today, it's less than that. Consumer stocks, there's only five percent of NASDAQ composite then. Today, it's 17 percent. Health care then was only six percent. Today, it's 13 percent. You can see what I mean.

It's changed a lot. Telecom was 15 percent. Now, it's only seven. So, the index much more diversified than it was before, much more balanced makes it less prone to bubbles. Whatever the case as we do our 401(k) reality check, the NASDAQ is up 33 percent for the year. Dow is up 23 percent. The S&P is up 26 percent. That is so good.

Some stores going against the grain this Thanksgiving and they're staying closed. Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, BJ's Wholesale Club, Costco, will not be open. They will let their staffs spend the day enjoying the holiday. I wonder if that means that their workers will go shopping. I'm not sure.

Let's take a look at our shopping guide for a few quick tips as we approach by Friday. First, automakers are now getting into the act, saving some of their best deals to lure shoppers into showrooms. This is according to "USA Today."

Next, don't feel that you have to get out on the mall frenzy on Friday, because prices are almost always better in December. I'm going to say that again. The prices will be better in December. And if you want to stay home until -- if you want to stay home, you're going to have company.

Forester Research said online holiday sales are expected to rise a whopping 15 percent this year, nearly $80 billion --


ROMANS: People don't like the crowds. And "Consumer Reports" yesterday, too, survey that said people don't believe the hype. A larger share of people are not believing the hype. They know that the whole year the retailers manufacture this experience and smart consumers alike, hmm, maybe I'll stay home.

SAMBOLIN: I don't know or until the friends come home with all the shopping bags and say look at what I got for nothing.



SAMBOLIN: All right. Coming up, held hostage for nearly seven years. The question this morning, where is Robert Levinson?


ROMANS: A sad milestone for a missing American. Former FBI agent, Robert Levinson, has now been held captive in Iran for nearly seven years, making him the longest held American hostage in history. His family received an e-mail with pictures of him in 2011, but no request for ransom or further detail of where he's being held. More on the Levinson case coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo will speak with his wife and his son in the 8:00 a.m. hour.

SAMBOLIN: That's tragic.

All right. But on that note, we're still going to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving because we're off the next couple of days. That is it for EARLY START. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's just nothing you can do. Just glare ice and you're a passenger in your own car.

CUOMO: Going nowhere fast. Tens of millions today may not get where they're going. A foot of snow, driving rain and wind may cause ven more trouble than first thought. We'll tell you what is heading your way. BOLDUAN: We're covering it all this morning, planes, trains and automobile. Live reports across the storm zone with everything you need to know to make it to your destination.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The birth control debate. The Supreme Court now taking up another challenge to Obamacare. Should employers be forced to provide birth control to employees? The debate is already raging.

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 is Wednesday, November 27, six o'clock in the east. And we hope you have many reasons to be thankful this holiday season, but the weather, ain't one of them. A massive nor'easter on about as heavy a travel day as we have the day before Thanksgiving.

Just take a look at the size of the storm. It's stretching from Georgia all the way up to Maine and is expected to get worse before it gets better.

BOLDUAN: And we're talking several major airport hubs including New York City -- the New York City area all in the path of the storm, from the mid-Atlantic all the way to New England, some of the nation's most heavily traveled highways are also in harm's way. You're about to experience the power and reach of CNN flexing our muscles.

We're covering the massive storm and how it could impact your travel in the air, by rail and on the roads. Our coverage begins with Indra Petersons in the snow at Pittsburgh suburb of Coraopolis. Hi, Indra.

PETERSONS: Good morning and smiling because it's snowing, and because I made it to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania safely. But I want to give you a look at the snow and the icy conditions that are out on the road currently this morning.