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Will Parade Balloons Fly?: Backlash Against "Black Thursday"; Sriracha Shut Down; Lebron Returns

Aired November 28, 2013 - 06:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Our Jason Carroll is on the parade route. He is talking to someone who has all the key answers for us this morning.

Good morning, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning. I know she's got a lot of answers for us, and maybe she has an answer to the big question, Amy Kule, parade director.

Amy, obviously a lot of people are wanting to know if some of these balloons, specifically the big balloons, are going to be able to fly. How is it looking so far?

AMY KULE, PARADE DIRECTOR: It's looking great. We are optimistic and planning for the balloons to fly. And we are not going to make that decision for another hour and a half or so, but we are working with NYPD and ultimately, they will give us the thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

CARROLL: And you have a contingency plan in place, John, you know this, sometimes you can fly the balloons at full length. And sometimes you can bring them lower to the ground.

KULE: Sure. Each one has ropes that can extend up to 60 feet. Depending on the weather, if it is a sunny day with no winds, they would be flying at full height. And if it's a little wind and a little bit of cold, we bring them lower and we just bring them closer to the ground. We've got full contingency plans for all of it.

CARROLL: You know, when you think of these balloons, they are iconic.

I mean, I know you have the bands and the clowns in the parade, but when you think of the balloons, that's what a lot of people think of when they think of the Macy's day parade. Is there a lot of pressure to get the balloons up and going?

KULE: No. Everyone loves the balloons, you do, I do. We've been touring them last night. But this parade has so many parts. We've got 11 marching bands that come across the country, with kids who are really -- they may be the first time -- the very first time for them to be in New York and they are touring for the weekend. They are having a good time.

We've 1,600 cheerleaders, 30 floats with talent on each one of them, 900 clowns that are going to interact with the 3.5 million people that are going to come see this parade live today.

So then we've got other inflatables, quite frankly. They are up in the air.

CARROLL: The smaller balloons.

KULE: The smaller balloons, but we've got things called tri-balloons, which are balloons inflated on the back of bicycles. And we have balloonicles which could be 40 feet tall and have a motorized golf cart inside.

So, there's a lot going on in this parade.

CARROLL: All right. A lot going on, but hopefully for now the balloons are a go.

KULE: We will know soon, absolutely. As soon as I know, you'll know.

CARROLL: All right. Thank you very much. Amy Kule --

KULE: Happy Thanksgiving.

CARROLL: Happy Thanksgiving. Amy Kule, parade director.

Once again, they are taking it hour by hour, minute by minute. We have experienced small gusts out here, nothing major, so hopefully Tom the Turkey behind me here, and big balloons such as Snoopy and Woodstock and Sonic the Hedgehog will be heading up and heading out pretty soon.

BERMAN: Jason Carroll, thank you so much.

Pressing for answers on the key questions, really bringing to light the balloonicle issue we have been talking about.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And what was the other thing, the tri something. You know, it's interesting -- I'm very excited. I know you are sort of a jaded journalist. You have seen this a thousand times.

I have never seen it. I'm very excited.

On the West Coast, we have the rose parade.


PEREIRA: So it's a very different thing on January 1st. So for me to experience the Thanksgiving Day parade, I'm like a kid in a candy store.

BERMAN: No one is scared by roses, all right? The balloons are a little, you know, there's a big difference.

PEREIRA: This is a fear-based criticism.

BERMAN: I don't want to say too much. PEREIRA: Hmm.

BERMAN: No one is afraid of flowers.

PEREIRA: We'll get to the bottom of this.

But, first, let's get up-to-date on the other top stories today. Pamela is here with us.

BROWN: Good morning, guys. And, good morning to you at home.

Making news today, disturbing new details this morning from Arizona where three young sisters say they were held captive in squalled inside a Tucson home for two years.

The malnourished girls told detectives their every move was watched and they were blasted with music and white noise day and night. The girl's own mother and step-father are charged with child abuse and kidnapping. The stepfather is also charged with child sexual abuse.

And in Inglewood, California, a man who fired on police officers and held them hostage for several hours is now in custody. This started when the suspect took his girlfriend and her 14-year-old daughter hostage. When police got to the house, he opened fire hitting one officer.

The suspect finally came out with his hands up about nine hours after the standoff began. The two hostages are OK, we are told, and no word yet about a possible motive in the case.

Electronic cigarettes could be next on New York City's smoking hit list. The proposed city council measure would include e-cigs and the ban on smoking in public places, to the health official say more and more people are lighting up electronically, which they say poses a health threat and may encourage a new generation to smoke.

Chicago is considering a similar move.

And an up-close view of the power of a tornado. Take a look at this, motion sensor security cameras inside an Indiana middle school were triggered when an EF-2 twister ripped through the school last Sunday. The video shows the gymnasium flooded with outside light as pieces of its outer walls are torn away.

Unbelievable to see this. And in a hallway right here, the lights flicker before a load of ceiling tiles and drywall crash through the ceiling leaving the overhead light dangling.

PEREIRA: We see the residual effects from the twisters, all that damage, but it is interesting to see an inside view of it.

Thank you so much for that.

BROWN: Of course.

PEREIRA: We're going to take a short break here. Up next on NEW DAY, many people are heading to the stores today in search of a bargain. A lot of businesses are saying, no way. They are keeping their doors closed. And they are getting cheers for doing so. That story is still ahead.

BERMAN: And a smelly situation in California.

PEREIRA: Why does it have to be California?

BERMAN: It's California leaving eyes watering and throats sore. The problem? Hot sauce. And now a judge is taking action.


PEREIRA: Let's go around the world, starting in Syria, where there is frightening video showing the impact of the civil war.

Mohammed Jamjoom has that.


MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a chilling amateur video that showcases just how a custom Syrian children have become to the horrors of war. In this clip, you see several girls and a boy talking about the ghastly violence they have witnessed. Suddenly, a huge explosion goes off nearby. The kids run and duck for cover. Thankfully, that they are OK.

Later in the clip, you see one of the boys smiling unfazed, as he describes how to best protect himself all on his own.

Back to you, Michaela.


PEREIRA: Tremendous young children. Thank you.

Now to Moscow where a giant piece of luggage is raising eyebrows and anger. Phil Black has details.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Russia's most famous and sacred public space. It is Red Square, right next to the Kremlin, the presidential seat of power, right next to the tomb of Lenin, the founding leader of the Soviet Union. And this is a giant replica of a Louis Vuitton suitcase.

Moscow is famous for its love of luxury brands, but this has made people angry, many believe it has gone too far. From the president's office down says it should be sent packing, so it's now being dismantled.

Back to you, Michaela.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PEREIRA: I want just a corner of it.

BERMAN: Giant replica of the bag.

PEREIRA: I want just a corner of it.

BERMAN: People are very serious about their handbags, and by people I mean, my wife and others.

All right. Here at home, a backlash against a mad dash for holiday savings while many Americans trade turkey and stuffing for long lines and holiday sales, others are revolting, saying Thanksgiving should not become Black Thursday.

This is not just coming from employees who have to work. Some business owners say we don't want to be there either. Here's CNN's George Howell.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There's more to Thanksgiving now than just turkey. Walmart, Kmart and Target all open for early bird shoppers this holiday, just like last year. Joining them this year, JCPenney, Kohl's and Macy's.

But not everyone is buying in to this new holiday tradition, more than 370,000 people petitioned Target to save Thanksgiving for its employees and their families and customers.

And Kmart was blasted on its Facebook page for its decision to stay open 41 hours straight starting at 6:00 a.m. Thursday.

KATHY GRANNIS, NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION: We know last year 35 million shoppers were out in stores and shopping online on Thanksgiving day. And we're fully expecting to see just as many people this year.

HOWELL: But for those, steadfast employees who have to work their Thanksgiving Day, shoppers on Chicago's busy Michigan Avenue have some sympathy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes we got to work when we don't want to work. It's just the reality of it. So on the same note, I do feel like people need to be with their families. So, it's more of a choice than, you know, to each his own.

HOWELL: In fact, several stores are choosing to give their workers are the day off. Closed on Thursday from Nordstrom, to REI, Costco and Sur La Table.

JACK SCHWEFEL, SUR LA TABLE, CEO: It's important for our employees to have a day off with their friends and family and recharge before the Black Friday weekend.

HOWELL: Sur La Table CEO Jack Schwefel spoke to me via Skype.

(on camera): Do you feel like your store is missing out by closing?

SCHWEFEL: Not at all. I think that there's plenty of other days to shop. Plus, we're open 24/7 on our Web site, on

HOWELL: It's a move that shoppers don't seem to mind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On Thursday I think, I think I would close just because I personally want to go on Friday and don't want to keep people away from their own families.

HOWELL: But for those who feel they'll somehow be missing out, Red Redletto (ph) puts it bluntly.


HOWELL: George Howell, CNN, Chicago.


PEREIRA: Look at those crowds.

BERMAN: We were live at a store that's already open in Atlanta. Very, very busy.

All right. Next up for us on NEW DAY, it's the odor that had some calling their noses and calling their doctors. This, folks, is a best tease ever. A hot sauce plan setting a California neighborhood on edge. And now a judge has said that plant better make some changes.

PEREIRA: And beware of the bird. My friend Lily could never see this video. It's a tsunami of geese. It's our must see moment. Is that real?

BERMAN: That's real!


BERMAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. I want you all to smell something right now. Can you smell this?

PEREIRA: Smell-a-vision.


BERMAN: That, folks, is the smell that some people in California have been complaining about. It is the strong stench of hot peppers that have been going into bottles of this, the Sriracha, at a plant near Los Angeles. The aroma wafting from that factory so strong they say it left their throats raw and their eyes stinging.

But now, a judge has ordered the plant partially shut down saying the odor is a public nuisance. So, our senior smell correspondence, Nischelle Turner, is here with all the details.


BERMAN: Nischelle, what's going on here? Why did the city say shut this down?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: First of all, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


TURNER: I'm ready to eat today, and I'm taking --


TURNER: I'm an unbiased reporter but I love my hot sauce. So, I'm a little bit miffed about this one. You know, the residents of Irwindale, California, were complaining. And I get it on this part. They were saying the smell coming from the plant, the Huy Fong Plant, was giving them heartburn, making their eyes run, sometimes giving them nosebleeds. They thought it was because of the hot stench that was coming from there.

If you smell hot sauce, this is Sriracha right here. You smell -- you know when you smell something hot --

PEREIRA: It makes your nose --

TURNER: It does make your nose run. The thing is, when I eat food like -- Pam is like, I don't like hot sauce. The hotter the better for me like I don't think it's hot enough unless my nose is running. So, it does happen. It does make you do this. And a judge agreed with these residents and just said, you know, the odor is coming from here or foul. They're potentially harmful. They need to shut down the plant and do something about it until they reopen.

PEREIRA: So, shutting it down is one thing, but this is -- I imagine it's a fairly successful business. The Sriracha has been around for a long time, a multimillion dollar business. They need to keep producing this, because demand is there. Do they have to work on their ventilation or how they --

TURNER: That's a good question. They're trying to figure it out right now. They were saying, if it doesn't smell, we can't sell. That's what the people from Huy Fong were saying. But, the thing is here, the good news about this is they had finished their batch for this year of hot sauce. So, they're doing OK.

But they still need to kind of operate year-round. So, our prices don't go up, because that could happen if they can't produce the hot sauce, then the Sriracha prices may go up.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: So, do people like you need to start hording?



TURNER: That's a good question, though, because people may want to stock up a little bit, because if they can't produce, especially if you love Sriracha. I mean, there are other types of hit sauce, especially if you love Sriracha, and they can't produce it, then the price definitely may go up. So, you may want to go to your grocery store now to buy some.

PEREIRA: We get upset when things aren't made in America. This is actually a company that's producing their stuff in America. So, they've got to figure out a solution for this. I will say, on the other side, have you been in the kitchen when somebody is cooking chilies or toasting them? It actually --


BERMAN: I've been to a restaurant where they're cooking with super- hot stuff and the cooks have had to wear three rubber gloves so it didn't get into their cuticles because it would burn so much.


TURNER: Judge O'Brien did also say there was no credible evidence that the smells led to these health problems, but he thought it could be likely. So, that's why he did the ruling that he did. And yes, go ahead, Michaela --


PEREIRA: I want to see John Berman --


BROWN: He did it.

TURNER: I gotcha, John.


BERMAN: Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving.



PEREIRA: Let's go to our "Must-See Moment." I want to show you guys something that I know already freaked out Nischelle.


PEREIRA (voice-over): It looks like a script (ph) from the Alfred Hitchcock directed classic, "The Birds." Watch as gaggle of geese resting in a park take flight the exact same time. Look at this, it appears to be thousands of birds launching into the --

BERMAN (voice-over): I love the reaction, oh my God! Oh, my God!

PEREIRA: That's all you can say. You can (inaudible) by calling it a B (ph) tsunami.

TURNER (voice-over): I would just start crying if that happened to me.


PEREIRA (on-camera): Would you?


BERMAN (on-camera): There they are!



BERMAN: Not walking barefoot in that field is all I can say.


BERMAN: Next stuff for us on NEW DAY, it is a time for giving thanks, and also for a lot of people, it's a time for shopping. Some stores are open for business already this morning. People are already there. We will take you live to one of these stores right after the break.

TURNER (on-camera): Don't try to steal my Sriracha.


PEREIRA (on-camera): And the deadline is fast approaching for the Obamacare website to promise fixes. The question is, will they happen in time? That is small business owners are being told they're going to have to wait.



DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Anybody going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade --


LETTERMAN: Lookout for the Obamacare balloon. It's the one that never gets off the ground.


JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": Strong winds might force them to cut some of the balloons from the lineup. Yes, which is probably just as well, because some of these were really inappropriate. I mean, here's one celebrating weed being legal in Colorado. See this one? That's not -


FALLON: But no, look at the balloon right behind it.


PEREIRA: That's why Jimmy Fallon is not in charge of the balloon selection.

BERMAN: Inflatable humor is always fun.


BERMAN: All right. Here's something I bet you didn't think you would ever see. Cleveland Cavaliers' fans cheering on Lebron James begging him to come home. Andy Scholes joins us now with the "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, guys. And you know what, that infamous decision, the Cavs' fans, they were mad, they were so mad they were burning Lebron jerseys in the streets, but now many of them have come full circle. And last night, they were handing out come back Lebron T-shirts before the game.

A group of fans started a comeback Lebron campaign going as far as to put up billboards around Cleveland. Lebron served up a victory last night in his old stomping grounds. The Heat beat the Cavs, 95-84. He's also going to be serving some turkey today. The entire Heat team stayed in town so they could celebrate Thanksgiving at Lebron's Akron estate later today.

All right. Trending right now on, it's rivalry weekend in college football. The Wolverines is going to host the third-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes tomorrow afternoon. And if the Wolverines shut out the Buckeyes, a Michigan car dealership is going to give away free cars.

Now, before anyone gets excited about this, Ohio State has scored at least 31 points in every game this season, and they haven't been shut out by Michigan in 20 years. Safe to say, that's not going to happen.

All right. It's Thanksgiving, so you know what that means, turkey, football and napping. Here's what's on tap today in the NFL. The Lions host the Packers at 12:30 eastern. That's followed by the Cowboys taking on the Raiders at 4:30, then the Ravens are going to host the Steelers and the Nightcap. That game kicks off at 8:30.

And guys, I'm most excited about the Lions/Packers matchup because Ndamukong Suh, the Lions' defensive lineman, he's not had very good days on Thanksgiving in the past. Two years ago, he was kicked out of the game for stomping on the Packers' lineman, and last year, kicked Matt Schaub in the groin.

PEREIRA: We'll see what happens this time.

SCHOLES: Anxious to see what he does this year.

BERMAN: That's the Thanksgiving spirit, Andy.

(LAUGHTER) PEREIRA: I'm curious when you're going to fit in your nap. You've got to eat, watch the games. When do you nap in there? You can't miss all these games.

SCHOLES: You got to nap and then wake up to catch the fourth quarter and then you nap again.


BERMAN: Halftime is a big napping point. Trust me, there are ways to do it.

PEREIRA: Happy thanksgiving to you, darling.

SCHOLES: Happy Thanksgiving.

PEREIRA: We're at the top of our hour, which means it is time for top news.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been to so many of these parades where we've had really bad weather. Inclement weather on Wednesday and Thursday has just been magnificent, and I have a feeling that this is going to be just like that again.

PEREIRA: Will they risk it? High winds in New York City today may ground the balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Officials assessing the situation at this hour. We're live with the latest.

BERMAN: Shocking allegations against celebrity chef, Nigella Lawson. Her husband claimed she's a cocaine and marijuana addict. More allegations could emerge this morning as he takes the stand in a fraud trial involving the couple.

BROWN: And half court press. He's the college player who hit this amazing half-court shot to win $20,000. So, why isn't he allowed to keep it? He joins us live this morning.

PEREIRA: Your NEW DAY continues right now.

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


PEREIRA: One of the three isn't bad. Good morning and welcome to NEW DAY. It is Thursday, November 27th. It is 7:00 a.m. in the east. We wish you all a very, very Happy Thanksgiving. Kate and Chris have the day off, but my other family is here, John Berman and Pamela Brown are joining us on NEW DAY today for a Thanksgiving show. Thank you so much for being here.

BROWN: I'm very thankful to be here.

PEREIRA: Well, and of course, we're watching the weather, the 87th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will step off in less than two hours' time. We're waiting to see if the giant character balloons and the baloonicles like Spongebob will get to fly or have to sit this one out. Of course, it all depends on just how strong the wind is. Jason Carroll is live along the parade route. His eyes are -- you've got a front row seat to all the action. Lucky fella.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, lucky. It's cold out here, but it's looking good. And that's the good news. Behind me there, you've got the Snoopy Woodstock balloon. you Also have the balloon handlers warming up.