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Police Copter Crashes into Pub; Obamacare Website; Black Friday Mobs and Brawls; Bleacher Report; Storm Roaring into Pacific Northwest; Outrageous Case of Marissa Alexander; Nigella Lawson's Alleged Long-Term Drug Abuse; New Personal Fitness Monitors Will Help Shed "Thanksgiving" Pounds; Money Shower in the Mall

Aired November 30, 2013 - 06:00   ET


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A crowded Scottish pub turns to chaos when a police helicopter crashes through the roof. At least one dead, dozens of people injured, and still many trapped inside. We're following the story.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Tasers (ph) fire and tempers flare as Black Friday shoppers go berserk. But are all the so-called bargains really worth the price.

HOWELL: And a second chance to impress. The Obama has just hours to go before a self-imposed deadline. Will be ready for primetime this time?

KOSIK: Good morning. I'm Alison Kosik.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. Thanks for waking up with us this morning. It is 6:00 here on the East. We have a lot that we're covering this Saturday morning.

KOSIK: There is a lot going on.

HOWELL: But let's get started first of all with this developing story. A helicopter that crashed through the roof of a packed bar and still people are trapped inside. Search and rescue teams are desperately working to pull them out. The chopper smashed into a one-story building in Glasgow, Scotland, last night, just as people were inside watching a band perform. CNN's Richard Quest now joins us by phone from Glasgow, Scotland.

Richard, we've heard several unconfirmed reports about fatalities. Can you tell us, what are you hearing?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Good morning from Scotland. It is 11:00 in the morning, so it's just over 12 hours since the incident took place, George.

There's been a news conference held by the authorities. The police commander says that it is now confirmed at least one fatality, but he has also warned that that number is likely to get higher. We know that more than 30 people have been taken to hospital. And although they're still saying it is a rescue operation, it's believed that there are other bodies still inside the Clutha pub. Many of them were regulars from last night.


QUEST (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) into the morning, search and rescue efforts continued after a police helicopter crashed into the roof of the pub filled with Friday night revelers in Glasgow in Scotland. A local member of parliament, Jim Murphy, said he arrived moments after the crash.

JIM MURPHY, UK (ph) PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Most of the helicopter appeared to be inside the pub. It was only part of it protruding from the top.

QUEST: Murphy says he saw at least 10 people who were injured, including people who were struggling with consciousness and others with bleeding wounds to the head. Cristina O'Neal (ph), who saw the crash from her apartment across the street, said she heard what sounded like a low-flying airplane.

CRISTINA O'NEAL (ph), WITNESS: (INAUDIBLE) a couple of (INAUDIBLE) and then I just heard a massive crash.

QUEST: After the sound of the impact, she saw smoke and people running from the pub. One witness who was inside reported not hearing the crash because there was a band playing. And all of a sudden there was a whooshing sound and a lot of dust that came down from the ceiling. Then more of the ceiling fell, and people started running out.

Hours after the crash, and the helicopter bearing the word "Police" on its damaged tail was still smolder. There were three people on board, two police officers and a civilian pilot. People remain trapped inside the one-story pub. Urban search and rescue specialists are working to make the Clutha bar safe so firefighters can get to the victims still trapped says the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The British prime minister, David Cameron, tweeted about the situation saying, "my thoughts are with everyone affected by the helicopter crash in Glasgow and the emergency services working tonight."


HOWELL: Richard Quest joining us again live by phone.

Richard, a terrible situation. It's still very early in this case. But is there any idea of what caused this crash?

QUEST: No, absolutely not. All we know from eyewitnesses is that a helicopter from the city heliport, a police helicopter with three on board, was over the river at the time. And then, according to eyewitnesses, appeared to lose power. Some say their rotors weren't turning. Others say they heard the sound of an engine sputtering. One eyewitness told me that she saw the - she just saw it on the roof and then fall through the roof.

But why that helicopter suddenly lost height, whether it was an engine, what the cause of the engine, the (INAUDIBLE) fuel engine, we just don't know. And nor do we even know, George, whether the pilot was attempting to do an alternate (ph) landing, an emergency landing on the roof, and it was the weight of the helicopter that came through. We just don't know those facts.

At the moment, we know there's one confirmed dead. We know that the fatalities are likely to rise. And we know that there are still bodies inside the building, the Clutha, which is just in front of me here.

HOWELL: CNN's Richard Quest joining from in Scotland. Richard, we appreciate your reporting this morning. Just a terrible situation there.

KOSIK: It really is. I mean those -- all those people in there -


KOSIK: They were enjoying, you know, a weekend out -


KOSIK: Or a week - you know, weekend, weekday night out and listening to a band.


KOSIK: So there were a lot of people in there.

HOWELL: It's terrible, terrible.

Well, here at home, all eyes are on the website that still has some proving to do. By the end of the day, President Obama says the website should work for most people that are trying to sign up for health insurance.

KOSIK: That's not to say that problems aren't going to pop up again. You know, despite weeks of frenetic work fixing the site, you know, that site continues to be a work in progress. Overnight, tech experts took parts of down for maintenance. It is back up now. Let's go to CNN's Jill Dougherty at the White House.

Good morning, Jill.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison, George, the administration is confident the website can handle a steady stream of roughly 50,000 customers at a time. But HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is urging people to shop during off-peak hours, mornings, nights and weekends. The concern, not overwhelming the site.


DOUGHERTY (voice-over): Withering criticism of the initial rollout of has intensified the pressure on the administration to get this fix right for Saturday. The White House hopes it can do that, at least for the vast majority of users.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And this website is going to get fixed. DOUGHERTY: opened for business October 1st and it's been a disastrous two months. The site crashed, unable to cope with people trying to sign up. Small businesses still won't be able to use the site for another year. Insurance industry insiders tell CNN, some customers' personal data is getting mangled or even lost. The White House says the site will be able to handle 50,000 users at one time, but they admit, there will be times after Saturday when does not function properly. And they're bracing for another possible huge surge in volume that could force some people into virtual waiting lines for callbacks. Officials say consumers who pick a plan by December 23rd and pay their premiums by December 31st will have coverage effective the 1st of January.


DOUGHERTY: This may be a holiday weekend, but you can bet Republicans and others will have their eye on the site to see whether the White House can keep its promise.

Alison, George.

KOSIK: OK, CNN's Jill Dougherty at the White House.

Now, President Obama says when all is said and done, the Affordable Care Act will be an extraordinarily proud part of his legacy. He talked with ABC's Barbara Walters on last night's "20/20."


BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS, "20/20": It's hard to sit opposite you, Mr. President, and say this, but a lot of the criticism, it's personal.


WALTERS: People just don't think you're trustworthy.

B. OBAMA: Well, I don't think that's true, Barbara. You know, the truth of the matter is, is that I got reelected in part because people did think I was trustworthy and they knew I was working on their behalf.

WALTERS: I know that by now you both have fairly thick skins. But when you hear your husband piece booed, the president, at a recent basketball game, how do you feel?

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: It's part of being president of the United States of America.

WALTERS: So it doesn't get to you?

M. OBAMA: It's part of the job.

WALTERS: You had said that you would rather be a good one-term president -

B. OBAMA: Yes. WALTERS: Than a mediocre two-term president.

B. OBAMA: Yes.

WALTERS: Which are you?

B. OBAMA: Well, I think the best would be a good two-term president, so that's what I'm going to be shooting for.


HOWELL: Now, in part, from that debacle of a website, polls from CNN and several other groups show the president's approval rating has dropped.

KOSIK: Meantime, there's a new CNN/ORC poll that's out that shows Republicans, they're starting to choose a front-runner for their 2016 presidential candidate. CNN's political editor Paul Steinhauser has more from Washington.

Paul, good morning.


So far this month, Governor Chris Christie's won a landslide re- election victory in New Jersey, he took over as chairman of the Republican Governor's Association, and now he apparently has another honor.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: 2016's a long way away.


STEINHAUSER: Chris Christie's right, it is. But let's be honest, the early moves in the next race for the White House are already underway. And for the first time, a front-runner appears among the possible GOP presidential contenders in our new CNN/ORC poll.

Twenty-four percent of Republicans we questioned said they'd be likely to support Christie as their party's nominee. He's 11 percentage points ahead of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who's at 13 percent. Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, last year's Republican running mate, and freshman Senator Ted Cruz of Texas are the only others in double digits in our new poll. Christie says first things first, he's got his mind on next year's midterm elections, not 2016.


CHRISTIE: We've got 2014 to deal with. That's what we're going to deal with.


STEINHAUSER: When it comes to the Democrats, our poll, like all the rest, indicates that Hillary Clinton would be the overall front-runner for the nomination if she runs.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: When women participate in the politics of their nations, they can make a difference.


STEINHAUSER: But what if she doesn't make a second run for the White House? Our survey suggests Vice President Joe Biden would be the front-runner right now with 43 percent of Democrats saying they'd be likely to support him for the nomination, with freshman Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts a distant second.

One thing, though, the next race for the White House really doesn't start kicking into gear for another year, so at this really early date, these polls are partially a reflection of name recognition.

Alison. George.

HOWELL: CNN's Paul Steinhauser, thank you so much for that report. Interesting poll numbers.

KOSIK: They are fun to watch and all that stuff heats up now.


KOSIK: Did you go shopping yesterday, Black Friday?

HOWELL: I avoided it. I did it last year. I stayed away.

KOSIK: Probably good because I heard it got downright dangerous for those Black Friday shoppers.

HOWELL: In a word, chaos.

KOSIK: Whoa, that's just one of the many chaotic scenes for shopper.

HOWELL: Oh, gosh.

KOSIK: And believe me when I tell you, you haven't seen the half of it.

HOWELL: We will keep it going here at CNN Saturday morning. NEW DAY continues.


KOSIK: Oh, my gosh. Look at that. I can't believe what I'm seeing here.

HOWELL: That's crazy.

KOSIK: That's the holiday spirit? I don't know.

HOWELL: Oh, my God. KOSIK: What does that say about humanity? You know what, Walmart is saying that those Black Friday sales were bigger and faster and they say that they were safer than ever. But it probably didn't feel that way at this Walmart.

You see them, those bargain shoppers literally pushing and shoving and elbowing their ways to get at those flat screen TVs. Security officers are practically wresting with customers just to try to get things under control. Oh.

HOWELL: My goodness.

OK, well here's a story. People were not stunned by the low prices at a Philadelphia mall on Black Friday, they were stunned by something else.

(INAUDIBLE) hear that buzzing. Well, that's a stun gun. And, yes, despite it happened right next to a stroller.

KOSIK: And the man who shot the video told CNN affiliate WPBI that things got going when two men, they started yelling at each other. Then the ladies got involved.

HOWELL: One of the women, Alison, they pulled out a - she pulled out a stun gun. All parties involved were escorted out by mall security. Despite the mess you see there, there were no arrests.

KOSIK: I'm embarrassed for them. Oh.

HOWELL: Stun gun. Well, what's up with that?

KOSIK: I don't know. Usually you see shoppers running for the deal, but this time they're running away.

And more the same. Those shoppers getting pushed away by pepper spray. CNN affiliate KWES report that a young boy was knocked down when shoppers rushed a displays filled with tablets and headphones. Police and store staff tried to control the rowdy crowd, but in the end out came the pepper spray. No one was injured. You know, we sit and we kind of chuckle about this but it's serious. You know, people get killed.

HOWELL: It is terrible, yes.

KOSIK: That little boy getting involved in that. I mean it's really sad.

HOWELL: Yes, you know, people could definitely use better judgment in situations like this.

KOSIK: I think so.

HOWELL: Well, you see all of these fights. You're surprised that anyone made it to the cash register. But one retail group estimates shoppers will spend more than $600 billion with a "b" on holiday shopping. CNN's Margaret Conley now looks at the bargains and the brawls.


MARGARET CONLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There were massive crowds of shoppers across the country, including here in New York City. But with those crowds, there were also sporadic outbursts of violence.

CONLEY (voice-over): Chaos as stores opened earlier than ever and shoppers rushed in for Black Friday deals. There were swarms of shoppers from Puerto Rico to Nashville, to here in New York City.

And in some places, it got ugly. There were fist fights in North Carolina, a stabbing in Virginia, and brawls in Texas. There was even a shooting just outside a store in Las Vegas after a man tried to steal one successful shopper's deal.

Stores opened early on Thanksgiving night. Walmart welcomed shoppers as early as 6:00 p.m. and attracted more than 22 million people. But there were also those who refused to set foot inside the nation's largest retailer. Instead, protesting worker wages in what they say are illegal firings. Macy's, Toys "R" Us and Best Buy also opened early and reactions were mixed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't get anything if you don't come early enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know a hot guy walked by and he said, that's pathetic. I thought, well, you don't know what we're doing it for. You don't know it's fun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would never shop on Thanksgiving. No. You have -- you're with family and you eat on Thanksgiving. And then you shop on the day after Thanksgiving.

CONLEY: The earlier store hours to seem to have paid off for many companies.

TERRY J. LUNDGREN, CEO, MACY'S: I think the fact that 15,000 people versus 11,000 who were here last year at midnight is an indication that people want to be here when we opened our doors.

CONLEY: As for next year, these new hours seem to have paved the way for the new Black Friday normal.

CONLEY (on camera): Sales numbers do seem to be up for those retailers. We're not going to see any records broken, but the CEOs of these companies say that their decision to start earlier was very, very popular.

Margaret Conley, CNN, New York.


HOWELL: And that's why I avoid that yesterday.

KOSIK: Smart guy. HOWELL: Yes.

Changing gears. So you go to a basketball game. You go get a soda. And you come back and bam!

KOSIK: You get a surprise. You know, more like a headache, actually. One woman didn't even see this coming. And she went down. "Bleacher Report" is next.


KOSIK: The NFL is reviewing an incident involving Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin on Thanksgiving Day.

HOWELL: Bottom line, they want to know if he crossed the line by crossing the line. Jared Greenberg is here with this morning's "Bleacher Report."


JARED GREENBERG, "BLEACHER REPORT": (INAUDIBLE) and Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin might be donating a whole lot to charity, but not by choice. The NFL reportedly looking into Tomlin coming oh so close to interfering with Ravens return man Jacoby Jones during Thursday night's game. Now in his seventh year as Pittsburgh's head coach, Tomlin said he got caught up watching the Jumbotron. Oh, the shiny lights. He wasn't flagged on the field for a penalty, but a hit to Tomlin's wallet could be in the very near future.

Heated rivalry with a dramatic finish. Twelfth ranked Oregon, down five to Oregon State. Marcus Mariota slings a 12 yard pass into the end zone with just 29 seconds remaining. The Ducks come from behind to win the 117th edition of the civil war, sixth straight win for the boys from the south.

Heads-up, it's trending right now on A pass gone bad. Fan down. Gerald Henderson of the Charlotte Bobcats fires a pass intended for absolute no one, except for the woman walking to her seat. Media reports indicate that the woman was taken to a hospital, but she's doing OK. The man responsible for all of this, Gerald Henderson, he feels terrible. And right after the game he took to Twitter. Henderson saying, quote, "nailed a lady tonight with a pass. If you follow me on Twitter, please tweet me. I know that hurt. I'm not that good of a passer. I'm so sorry."

The same media report also said that the woman got a pair of shoes from Henderson. So, I guess that makes up for it. Ooh, that's not the way you want to have interactive basketball.

HOWELL: Jared, you know, I would be that person that gets hit in the head. That's just the way that works. Terrible catching, you know, good at throwing.

GREENBERG: Well, you've got to keep your eyes on the court at all times and have your hands ready.

HOWELL: Yes. Jared, thank you.

GREENBERG: You got it.

KOSIK: And we continue to follow a developing story from overnight. A police helicopter plunges into the roof of a packed pub in Glasgow, Scotland, with people trapped inside. We're going to have more details on that.

HOWELL: And home for Thanksgiving. A Florida woman who received nationwide attention for allegedly standing her ground against her abusive ex-husband has a new fight ahead of her. We're tracking this story, next.


KOSIK: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back. I'm Alison Kosik.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell.

Now, the five things you need to know to start your new day.

Number one, authorities in Scotland confirm at least one person is dead after a police helicopter smashed through the roof in a packed pub in Glasgow overnight. And they say they expect the number to rise. Search and rescue teams are trying to get people out who are trapped in the building. At least 32 people have been taken to local hospitals.

KOSIK: Number two, by the end of the day, is supposed to work smoothly for most people trying to sign up for health insurance. The Obamacare site was down overnight for maintenance. Officials say it should be able to handle 50,000 users at the same time and 800,000 users per day. They are warning, though, there will still be some technical hiccups.

HOWELL: At number three, the U.S. is offering to destroy the chemicals that make up Syria's chemical weapons stockpile. This is according to the organization for prohibiting chemical weapons. Officials say a U.S. vessel at sea can neutralize the chemicals using hydrolysis.

KOSIK: Number four, a water main break may have caused the sinkhole that swallowed a pickup truck. The four-foot deep hole opened up on a road in Chicago's south side. One person inside the car managed to scramble out. Firefighters helped free another person. Neither was hurt. Police had to reroute traffic.

HOWELL: Number five for your new day, the Pacific Northwest bracing for some nasty weather that could cause headaches around the region. All of this, of course, playing out on one of the busiest travel days of the year. Meteorologist Pedro Javaheri is in the CNN Severe Weather Center.

Pedram and I used to work together at KOMO TV in Seattle.


HOWELL: And, Pedram, I know they are not happy about this.

JAVAHERI: They can't be happy about it, George. You know, what's interesting is, that this -- the last couple of weeks across the Pacific Northwest rather dry. And, in fact, this is the driest November in the last six years around Seattle. November is the wettest month of the year. Big changes, though, in the weather department here as we've had very warm air in the past couple of days across much of the western half of the country.

Of course, all the cold air has been locked into the east. We had 308 cancellations across much of the U.S. here on Wednesday. Cancellations have been about 10 to 20 since. I think more will be headed across portions of the northwest in the coming day. Very cold air pushing in. And with it, we know a snow shower is going to be prevalent.

Initially, though, it all starts out at rain, about four to six inches of rain across the central Cascades. That comes in sometime Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. I just want to take you out towards the Gulf of Alaska, really the western coast of Alaska, because a massive storm system parked in place, eventually going to ride right down the Gulf there and bring in four to six inches across the planes, in the central cascades, and then upwards of a foot across portions of the bitterroot (ph) range, the northern Rockies.

This all goes to push in Sunday night into Monday, so a lot of people there traveling back, perhaps trying to squeeze out a little extra time there for the holidays, George and Alison.

They are going to be running into some problem, especially across the I-90 quarter as they head towards Seattle.

HOWELL: Getting over Snoqualmie Pass.

JAVAHERI: Absolutely, yeah.

HOWELL: Pedram, thank you so much.

KOSIK: The woman who was convicted of firing a warning shot at her allegedly abusive husband is now free on bond and awaiting a new trial.

HOWELL: We're talking about Marissa Alexander. She was freed Wednesday and got to spend Thanksgiving with her family. You remember this controversy. Alexander argued the stand your ground defense, was sentenced of aggravated assault then sentenced to 20 years in prison. That was recently overturned on a legal technicality. And now, all eyes are back on this case, set for retrial in March.


KERRY MCLEAN, ATTORNEY, FREEMARISSA NOW: We strongly feel that the charges against her should be dropped.

RANDY REEP, DEFENSE EXPERT: Look, Angela Corey has an amazing team of attorneys. This is now the second most high-profile case that they'll try. She's going to have the heavy hitters in there and they are good attorneys. Yeah, I think it's very likely she gets convicted again because the sort of the arrows all point that direction.


HOWELL: CNN's Nick Valencia has been looking into this case. What do we know about her time over Thanksgiving with her family?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been a long time since she's been home. About a thousand days she's been in jail. So, this incident happened in about 2010. She was able to spend Thanksgiving, and hopefully, her family says hopefully Christmas with them. She has three kids so she was able to spend some time with them. But very big victory for the supporters at this time. They're thinking that this is good news for Alexander's supporters.

KOSIK: You know, and speaking of her supporters, you know, they're comparing her case to George Zimmerman who was found ...


KOSIK: You know, not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin. But did they use the same defense in this?

VALENCIA: No, they didn't. And we should be very clear about something. Is that, you know, George Zimmerman never used the stand your ground defense. And Marissa Alexander tried to use stand your ground, but the court denied that. They said that there was no merit for her stand the ground defense, because she left her house, she went to her car, she got her gun and she came back and fired that, what her supporters say was a warning shot into the wall. Now, from day one, prosecutors have maintained that that shot came dangerously close to the head of her husband Rico Gray. And they believe that it was a threat to Rico Gray. That's why she wasn't allowed to use that stand your ground offense.

But this retrial really is about the jury receiving poor instructions. The burden of defense was put on Marissa Alexander -- the burden of proof, I should say, was put on the defense, not on the prosecution. So they received poor instructions and now the retrial, as George mentioned March 31st, 2014.

KOSIK: OK, Nick Valencia, thanks very much.

And still to come, bombshell drug allegations in a court case that's gripping England.

HOWELL: After the break, the latest on the bitter battle between celebrities chef Nigella Lawson and her billionaire ex-husband.


KOSIK: What a beautiful, beautiful morning. You're looking ...


KOSIK: At a live look at Miami's Biscayne Bay, my hometown. It's going to be warm there if you consider it this warm. 78 degrees, which I don't think that is warm for Miami.

HOWELL: When you look at the rest of the country, 78 is great.

KOSIK: I know. I like it a bit hotter.


KOSIK: A few showers today, though. It's still a good day.

HOWELL: Good stuff. All right, you remember reading in high school about Holden Caulfield, the red hat and all the phonies.

KOSIK: Oh, yeah, tortured soul. He was a tortured soul. This week, three unpublished works by J.D. Salinger, the same author who wrote "The Catcher in the Rye" were leaked online.

HOWELL: The 41-page book is titled "Three Stories" and if Salinger were alive today, he would be outraged. He did not want this book published until 2060. The words apparently surfaced in a mysterious eBay auction. And literary experts say they look like the real thing.

KOSIK: And Salinger was known as a hermit before his death in 2010. He rejected fame and fiercely guarded his work.

The actress best known as Trixie on the revival of the "The Honeymooners" has died. Jane Kean was 90 years old. She first worked with Jackie Gleason on the vaudeville circuit in the 1940s. The two reunited in 1966 for the "Honeymooners." Kean played the long suffering wife of art carney character Ed Norton. She later appeared on sitcoms including "Growing Pains" and "The Facts of Life."

HOWELL: Alec Baldwin is blasting MNSBC for ending his show while keeping host Martin Bashir on the air. The actor recently lost his short-lived talk show up late. After reportedly yelling a gay slur at photographer, but in a new interview with the Gothamist, Baldwin denied using that gay slur and he called out Bashir. He still has his job -- he went on the air and described in a graphic way the punishment he wanted Sarah Palin to receive. Bashir apologized. MSNBC has not commented on his status with that network.

And we're hearing new bombshell drug allegations involving celebrity chef Nigella Lawson. They just came out in a core case that is gripping the U.K.

KOSIK: And the case was already shaping up as a bitter battle between Lawson and billionaire ex-husband Charles Sachi. Then the couple's personal emails -- yeah, they were read aloud in court. CNN's Max Foster is following developments just outside London.


MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Out of the frying pan and into the fire, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson's private life splashed across the front pages with allegations of long-term drug abuse and lies. Allegations coming via this man, Charles Saatchi. The couple split in the summer after photographs emerged of Saatchi's hands around his then wife's neck at this high-end restaurant in London's Mayfair. He says it was around this time that he first heard about the alleged drug abuse. Saatchi later accepted a police caution for assault. Asked about this incident in court, Saatchi said, "I wasn't gripping strangling or throttling her. I was holding her head by the neck to make her focus. Can we be clear? When pursed just to whether or not it would be anything to do with the alleged drug abuse, he said no.

Firmly in the spotlight, Saatchi entered the courthouse on Friday morning, greeted by the flash of light bulbs and camera crews. As he testified against two Italian sisters who used to work for his wife as personal assistants, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo. Both are standing trial accused of defrauding Saatchi's company of more than a million dollars with the company credit card. They allegedly used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle of five-star travel and boutique shopping. The sisters denied these charges and responded by accusing Lawson of hiding a long-term drug habit from her husband. In court, Saatchi listened as an email he wrote to Lawson on October 10th was read out. "Of course, now the Grillos will get off on the basis that you were so off your head on drugs that you allowed the sisters to spend whatever they liked. And yes, I believe every word that the Grillos have said, who after all only stole money."

Saatchi said he was bereft that this email was ever made public. And that he had never seen any actual evidence of Nigella Lawson taking drugs.

Due to return as a judge in the new year on the second series of ABC's series "The Taste" Nigella Lawson herself has made no comments so far about the ongoing legal proceedings. She's likely to be called as a witness in the fraud case against the Grillo sisters. Saatchi told the court he's been heartbroken since the marriage broke down.

Max Foster, CNN, Isleworth near London.

KOSIK: And let's do a hard turn and switch gears. Let's talk about that Thanksgiving meal, now I know why when I pushed away from the table, I kind of rolled away.


KOSIK: Did you know that the average Thanksgiving meal contains 4500 calories?

HOWELL: I don't think I wanted to know.


HOWELL: My clothes are feeling tighter now. We've got some gadgets. We'll show you some gadgets to help you burn it all off. A live demonstration. Not on me, but a live demonstration is next. On CNN "NEW DAY."


HOWELL: Good morning, Atlanta, Georgia. A live look outside the CNN world headquarters here across the street from Centennial Olympic Park. It is downright cold. It has been the past few days. Right now it looks sunny and I think it will around 52 degrees. Some Americans may be feeling a little guilty for overeating.

KOSIK: I'm feeling guilty. I ate so much.

HOWELL: I have like three Thanksgiving portions. Whatever, the average Thanksgiving meal is 4,500 calories.

KOSIK: Ah, but don't worry about it, because health and fitness expert Mark McDonald is here with technology that's going to -- Mark Macdonald, I'm sorry?

HOWELL: No worries. Thanksgiving hangover, right?


KOSIK: So, you've got technology here that's going to really motivate people to get out of there and work out and that's really behind a lot of -- a lot of exercises. Just getting motivated.

MARK MACDONALD, AUTHOR "BODY CONFIDENCE": The whole thing is "Be more aware. So like we burn - we eat 4500 calories on Thanksgiving. And now with Black Friday is coming, how do we burn those extra calories, well, you think if we walk we do, but now we have cool gadgets that simply by wearing this you can see how many calories you're burning. You can see actually how many steps you're taking. So like I have this little Bowflex on right here, Bowflex Boost. And simply this morning alone I've already taken 3,069 steps.

KOSIK: What did you do, did you just run up and down your steps?

MARK MACDONALD: No I just got ...

KOSIK: Tell me like. 7:00 in the morning.

MARK MACDONALD: I showered. I walked a little extra. But simply by seeing this I can sync with my app, and I can see how many calories I'm burning. How many steps I'm taking.

KOSIK: But, is that really workout activity, going to take a shower? I mean that's not real ...

HOWELL: It's kind of regular.

MARK MACDONALD: It's regular, but simple stuff like this, like on Black Friday yesterday, instead of taking the escalator, you can walk up the stairs.

KOSIK: And do you think that records who elbows who and who ...

MARK MACDONALD: It does. But the other thing is this, like the fit right here has a social network, too. So, Alison ...

HOWELL: Do we want people to know that stuff? MARK MACDONALD: Well, this is the cool thing. You two can become friends. You can simply wear this little thing, and let's say you see Alison as your friend walking 10,000 steps. You might say hey, I want to beat that, and I want to walk an additional 500.

HOWELL: That's cool, yeah.

MARK MACDONALD: So you now - you make it interactive. So we make exercise fun, so it's exciting. You know, my 73-year-old mom wears one of these. And her simple thing with her little friends is that she wants' - let's say she's at 9,000 steps ...

HOWELL: Right.

MARK MACDONALD: ... but her seeing that data, it makes her want to walk that additional 1,000 steps to feel like she achieved something. Awareness allows us to burn extra calories and have fun doing it.

KOSIK: I was going to say, it's the competitive spirit, isn't it?

HOWELL: Right.

MARK MACDONALD: Competitive spirit and just comparison with other people and yourself. And that's what I love. I love seeing -- like so, I went for Thanksgiving, too. I ate a lot of calories.


MARK MACDONALD: But what did I do yesterday? I went to sky zone. I jumped with my eight-year-old son. And I did 20,000 steps burning extra calories. So, it's cool to see how many calories and how many steps you take. So, you really ignite your metabolism. That's what's fun about technology. Not to feel like we have to do a ton of stuff. But simple apps that allow you to track your meals. That allow you to look at your calories burned. Your steps. And just wearing this just throughout the day and syncs wirelessly.

HOWELL: Does that alert you throughout the day?

MARK MACDONALD: Yeah, you can, you can set alarms, you can set meals, you can do everything.

HOWELL: So what else do you got?

MARK MACDONALD: So, the boost is the one that's $49. That's something very simple that someone wants. The Fitbit Force is about $129. It goes a little more robust. Meal plans. Social network. You have Jawbone, which is similar to the Fitbit, and then you have Nike. Nike comes out with the fuel. So, just find the one that's best for you. That you enjoy. That has different colors. There is female colors, there is male colors. They are different sizes.

KOSIK: With so many to choose from, how do you choose? How do you know which ones? Like if you're starting out, just cold turkey, never had one of these, how do you choose because there's so many? MARK MACDONALD: Great question. So, the boost for me. I don't really need the meal plans as much. So, this is very simple for me. It shows me my steps, my calories, my activity level and my distance. So like I've already done 1.4 miles today. That's really cool for me.

KOSIK: I don't think I've done that many today. I don't think I've even come close.


MARK MACDONALD: But, you know, Alison, you might want to look more like your five meals. And you might want to build your own meal plan. You might want to partner over with George and some of your friends, and actually make it like a social - that's where the Fitbit would work or Jawbone. Those are more competitive. And you can get these anywhere -- online, at local stores. And the Nike one, those goals with running. So if you're a runner you might want to get the Nike Fuel.

KOSIK: Wonderful. All right. Mark Macdonald. Thanks so much.

HOWELL: Yeah. Let's have fun.

KOSIK: And you're also -- also, I've got to pinpoint, that he's the author of the book "Body Confidence," which actually is sitting on my night stand at home.

HOWELL: I love that.

MARK MACDONALD: Excellent, thank you.

KOSIK: Sometimes, random acts of kindness, they backfire.

HOWELL: Look at what one man did at a mall on Black Friday. Those you see there, those are showers of cash.

KOSIK: Unfortunately, the cops didn't think his idea was so great. That we're going to tell you what happened after the break.

But first, as we enter the season of giving we here at CNN are preparing for a very special holiday tradition, "CNN Heroes."

HOWELL: It's the celebration of the top ten heroes of the year, voted on by you and their extraordinary work helping others. The star- studded event airs tomorrow, tomorrow night, I should say, at 8:00 Eastern. But first, here's CNN's Nischelle Turner with a behind the scenes peek at preparations for that big event.


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

This year, we are back in New York, baby, at the American Museum of Natural History where the very first CNN Heroes took place seven years ago.

KELLY FLYNN, SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, CNN HEROES: And I can't believe it's been that long. And we are thrilled to be back here. It's iconic and it's beautiful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


KOSIK: Once again, CNN Heroes, an all-star tribute hosted by Anderson Cooper, airs tomorrow night at 8 Eastern right here on CNN. You don't want to miss that. It's a great show.



JIMMY KIMMEL: Thanksgiving is a powerful reminder of why families only get together once or twice a year.


CONAN O'BRIEN: According to a new report that just came out, Tulsa, Oklahoma, has the lowest rent in the country. Yeah, yeah.


O'BRIEN: Nice try, Tulsa, but we're still not moving there. (LAUGHTER)

JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": A new memoir written by Willie Nelson will be released in 2015. Publisher say the book will be how marijuana has affected Willie's life. For example, Willie started writing the book in 1946.


KOSIK: Those are good.

HOWELL: All right, so if you're like me and you've got a sweet tooth, this story is for you.

KOSIK: Feast your eyes on this. Look at this. It's the world's largest gingerbread village. The 1.5 tons of creation includes 400 pounds of candy, 500 pounds of dough, 2200 pounds of icing. Oh, my God.

HOWELL: And get this, it took almost ten months to create this and it's now on display at the New York Hall of Science.

KOSIK: It's beautiful.

HOWELL: It's nice.

KOSIK: And quite a sight on the Sheyenne River in North Dakota. Look at this, a large floating ice disk, about 55 feet across. It's spinning. Yeah, it's spinning in the river. It was kind of like a record on the turntable.

HOWELL: That's cool.

KOSIK: It was first spotted by a retired engineer who captured it on camera. And it's apparently a natural phenomenon, very rare, actually, see. Forecasters say similar disks have been seen in Canada, England and Sweden. But I wouldn't attempt to go on that thing and try to take it for a spin.

HOWELL: Wow. All right. This is today's must-see moment. A man in Minnesota wanted to spread a little love by on Black Friday, but apparently he chose the wrong way to do it.

KOSIK: Sergei Vorobyov -- this is more interesting, though, than his name. He threw 1,000 one-dollar bills right off the balcony at one of the world's biggest malls.

He got the attention of a lot of people because what happened next was kind of predictable, a free for all, with people acting well, like they tend to act on Black Friday. Desperately grabbing for the cash.

HOWELL: But it turns out the man who made it rain here might need his money back from a lawyer. Police arrested him, I should say for disorderly conduct.

KOSIK: Why would they do that? HOWELL: Beats the heck out of me.

KOSIK: And why wasn't I there, more importantly?

HOWELL: Yeah. That's a good opportunity to get some cash.


KOSIK: Thanks for starting your morning with us.

HOWELL: The next hour of "NEW DAY SATURDAY" starts right now.