Return to Transcripts main page


Deadline Today for Obamacare Web Site Fix; Searching for a Bone Marrow Match; Open Court: Wheelchair Champion; Man Auctions Last Name to Highest Bidder; To Heaven and Back; Helicopter Crashes into Scottish Pub

Aired November 30, 2013 - 08:00   ET


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: All right. The deadline is just hours away. The question now: will the Obama website actually work this time around? Ready or not, rollout number two is almost here.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Tasers fire, tempers flare as Black shoppers go berserk. But are all these bargains really worth the price?

HOWELL: He sold his name and made a fortune doing it. Now the so- called human billboard, he is at it again. He will promote his company if the price is right.


KOSIK: Good morning. I'm Alison Kosik.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. It is 8 o'clock on the east. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.

KOSIK: And let's get rolling this hour with's big day. After the website's disastrous rollout two months ago, today is the day it is supposed to work smoothly for the vast majority of users, as the president puts it.

HOWELL: Officials say is and will be a work in progress. Tech experts took it down overnight for maintenance. But it is back up and running now. The president told ABC's Barbara Walters last night he doesn't feel the website's problems have hurt his credibility.



BARBARA WALTERS, ABC HOST: A lot of the criticism, it's personal. People just don't think you are trustworthy.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I don't think that is true, Barbara. The truth of the matter is is that I got reelected because in part because people did think I was trustworthy. And they knew I was working on their behalf.


KOSIK: And CNN's Tory Dunnan is in Washington this morning.

Tory, got to be clear about something, though. Nobody at this point is just going to be flipping a switch at midnight and everything magically gets better, right?

TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, Alison, uses terms, the administration says his is not like turning a switch on or off. There could actually be more problems down the road. Let's first discuss the promised made for this self-imposed deadline. The overall point is that the site should be working for the most users by the end of the day. In fact, here is President Obama just this week.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: This web site is going to get fixed and we are going to be signing people up and we're going to make sure that everybody in California and everybody in America who needs health insurance is going to get it. We just kept on going. We don't stop.


DUNNAN: So let's break down what that actually means. According to the administration, the goal is for 50,000 people to be on the site at the same time. If there are more users at any given time, the administration says people will actually be put in a virtual queue. They'll receive an e-mail telling them of a better time to come back and try.

In total, some 80,000 users will be able to go through successfully each day. Look at the CNN/ORC poll shows people actually think things may be getting better with 54 percent of Americans saying, yes, the current problems facing the health care law would be solved, 45 percent saying, no, it would not be solved. But Alison and George, I think a lot of those numbers are going to rest upon what happens today.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: So Tory, here is a question. You know, for the people who are on the inside working with this web site. They know whether it is working or not. How do people on the outside, how does the press, grade this web site to determine if it is actually working as it should?

DUNNAN: Yes, it's definitely one of those cases on. You are on the inside. You are on the outside, but important to point out, the web site, as you mentioned, is going to be back up and running right about now. That is after they took it down overnight for fixes.

But to answer your question more specifically, there is going to be a little bit of guessing today because we know the administration has ways to measure this site's success or failure. But by the same token, they are not expected to release any of those numbers right away.

Now one measurement that is kind of interesting that was brought up in a recent administration briefing is that the page that once took an average of 8 seconds to load should now be up in just a fraction of a second.

So we'll take a look at that. We'll to talk to some tech experts and then Alison and George, we will also hear from every day people about how it is going for them today. That should kind of a good indicator there.

HOWELL: Definitely, Tory, thank you. It will be interesting to watch. Tory Dunnan joining us now from Washington, D.C.

KOSIK: OK, retailers are looking to lure even more shoppers over this holiday weekend, but they are not looking to see more of this, all the brawls that broke out on Black Friday. Police in Odessa, Texas had to use pepper spray to break up a melee over a display of tablets and headphones.

In Tampa, a woman confronted a man videotaping her on an iPhone and a fight broke out. What is happening here, Alexandra Field? You are live at Columbus Circle in New York. Alexandra, what is up with this mall madness?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is the crush of Black Friday shoppers. But this year, you can say that it was surely literally stunning. Take a look at this.

That's a Philadelphia mall there. You see two women brawling with each other. They are two shoppers and it comes to an end after one woman uses a stun gun on the other woman. It left shoppers who saw the whole thing finally feeling like, in fact, they had not yet seen it all. Listen to this.


MICHAEL NAPOLITANO, WITNESS: I was definitely taken aback for it because you know, everybody is out trying to save money and shop for everybody and get stuff for themselves. You just don't think that people going to do stuff like that. I wonder what drives somebody to get in a fight like that. You don't just walk away? It is the holiday. Everybody has to get along.


FIELD: All right, you saw some of the worst behavior there in Philadelphia, but the crowds created chaos all across the country. There was a shooting in Las Vegas after one shopper tried to steal another successful shopper's deal. A fight between customers was caught on camera in Florida.

There were fist fight in North Carolina and bargain hunters in Texas say they were pepper sprayed. In Virginia, in a Walmart parking lot, two men were arrested following a stabbing and in California. A police officer trying to break up a fight in a Walmart parking lot broke his hand.

On Friday morning, Walmart said there were 22 million shoppers who came in on Thanksgiving Day. They said there were fewer problems than in previous years. But you can certainly that those deals brought out some of the worst in people this weekend. If you are feeling like your biggest crime over the last couple of days, George and Alison, was over eating, you don't have to feel bad now.

KOSIK: Yes, you know, I mean, we chuckle about this, but it is serious. People are getting hurt out there. Come on, guys. Alexandra Field, thanks. We are going to have more on holiday shopping and what it says about how you view the economy that's coming up in just a few minutes.

HOWELL: All right, now to another story, we are following. At least one person is dead and dozens are injured and unknown number of people are still trapped in a pub in Glasgow, Scotland. A police helicopter smashed through the pub's roof last night. One witness says it was like the chopper just fell out of the sky.

CNN's Richard Quest is at the scene joining us now by phone in Glasgow. Would you tell us, Richard, what are you seeing right now as far as looking for survivors?

RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNNI'S "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" (via telephone): Look, in the last car, the fire brigade and the police have been using a crane, which is now hovering over the remnants and wreckage of the helicopter. They have uncovered parts of the helicopter, which you can see the rotors. What we guess they are doing is carefully surveying the scene to determine the structure and stability, George.

We do know there are people trapped underneath. Whether they are alive or not, no one is saying. Certainly one person has died. More than 30 have been taken to local hospitals. The police commander has already warned the death toll is likely to rise.

HOWELL: Richard, when you look at these images and you understand what these investigators are doing, looking for the survivors, talk to us, if you could, about the stability of that building. How safe is it to go in that building and pull people out?

QUEST: It's not, not at all. They said that quite clearly. The police commander said quite clearly in the press conference that the building is exceptionally unstable, having had the helicopter fall through the roof last night and having large parts of the joists collapse. It is a one--story building next to the river, which is in a fairly popular part of town of the evening.

And what happens was, there was a band playing last night. There were about 150 people in the pub when the incident happened. When you look at this this morning and you see the helicopter on the roof and you see how careful they are having to be moving around the roof, it is a miracle that most people got out. The unknown question at this hour, just after lunchtime here in Glasgow, is how many are still trapped and what is their condition.

HOWELL: A miracle indeed that so many people got out. Richard Quest joining us in Scotland. Richard, thank you for that report. KOSIK: An American is supposedly confessing his crimes against North Korea. In a new video released by Pyongyang, a man thought to be 85- year-old Merrill Newman is seen apologizing. He is apparently accused of killing civilians and troops during the Korean War. In his apology he said western government aren't telling the truth about North Korea.


MERRILL NEWMAN, AMERICAN DETAINED IN NORTH KOREA: With the e-mail addresses to the guy in the hotel. The DPRK government and Korean people again. On this trip, I can understand that in the U.S. and Western countries, there is misleading information and propaganda about DPRK.


KOSIK: Until now, Pyongyang had not explained why it was holding Newman. He's been held for about a month and he is one of two Americans currently trapped in North Korea.

Still to come on NEW DAY, a lot of Americans say, yes, they are worried about money so what's with all the holiday spending? We're going to talk to an expert.

HOWELL: And if you have been waiting on the runway for hours waiting for takeoff, you know what that's like, there is new technology that could soon change all of that and make it much quicker. That report straight ahead.


HOWELL: Thanks for joining us on NEW DAY SATURDAY. Good morning NYC. A live look down Wall Street right now where there is no activity on the weekend. It is going to be mostly sunny there today, but only the high of 36 degrees.

KOSIK: All right, it has been quite the winning year on Wall Street. The Dow Jones up almost 23 percent this year even cracking the 16,000 mark for the first time. But for some of us, it feels more like this. We have been seeing the video all morning of people throwing elbows while shopping and trying to save a few bucks on a flat screen TV.

You know maybe highlighting this disconnect when you see stocks go up so high in what's really on Main Street, a new CNN/ORC poll shows 59 percent of Americans think the economy is doing badly. That number has been heading higher since April.

To discuss this, we are joined by Nela Richardson. She is an analyst for Bloomberg government, which analyses how government impacts businesses. Good morning, Neela. So what gives here? People say they are worried about money and we see this craziness as they are going out shopping on Black Friday weekend. Why is this happening?

NELA RICHARDSON, SENIOR ANALSYT, BLOOMBERG GOVERNMENT: It is a visual, Alison, of the disconnect between Wall Street and the stock market and the economy. In fact, what we are seeing is the top wage earners, the 1 percent of Americans, we have seen their incomes grow 275 percent over the last 20 years or so. A lot of that wealth came from stock market and came from business investment. Labor incomes, the wages that the rest of us make, haven't grown nearly at the same pace.

KOSIK: What is going on with the economy? We're in a recovery. We are seeing housing prices go up at the same time we are seeing consumer confidence go down. We are seeing stocks go up. We are seeing wages holding steady or just going down. What is the missing link to get this recovery really rolling? Is it jobs and not just any job, but the kinds of jobs that are being added to the economy?

RICHARDSON: I think that is the crux of the issue. The unemployment rate has not seen the robust recovery that leaves hope out of the recession. We still have a lot of people who are long-term unemployed. We still see an economy that is creating a lot of part- time jobs, but not a lot of full-time jobs with great benefits. Those are the jobs that going to really stimulate the economy.

On the same token, we have seen companies have a lot of cash on hand. They're uncertain and unwilling to make those kinds of investments that lead to job creation. I think you can trace that all back, Alison, to Washington. What you see in terms of dysfunction in our political process in Washington with the budget battles. It is being translated also into the economy.

KOSIK: All right, let's switch gears a little bit. The town of Sea- Tac, Washington, approved a $15 minimum wage. What do you think? Do you think we could see more of that, people voting to raise the minimum wage or is the problem when you raise minimum wage to $15 an hour, you're going to cause inflation. What happens to someone working at a bank for $15 an hour, if they see someone at McDonald's going to $15 an hour, they are going to want to go up more. So isn't that going to create more of a problem?

RICHARDSON: Well, we are actually seeing that localities and municipalities all over the country are taking strides in their own minimum wages. You see that in Massachusetts, California and New Jersey. Here outside of D.C. and Maryland, we are seeing local councils vote on minimum wage increases. What the net effect of all these change will be a very patch work minimum wage and statute across the country where workers who live fairly close together will see vastly different rates of income.

We don't know how that will work, but there is some desire in Congress on behalf of the Democrats to increase the federal minimum wage. I would like to see is that minimum wage increase be paired with a tax rebate so that people actually feel the increase in incomes that they are getting. Not just see the wage on the level increase.

KOSIK: All right, Nela Richardson, thanks so much for your time.

RICHARDSON: Thank you.

HOWELL: All right, and still to come on this NEW DAY, an amazing technology that could get your plane in the air faster. If you are a frequent flyer, like me, you will definitely appreciate this next report.


HOWELL: All right, so if you plan on flying tomorrow, maybe you want to do your best to enjoy today.

KOSIK: Deep breath. Sunday is expected to be one of the busiest travel days of the year. If your flight is delayed, here is something that might make you feel a little better.

HOWELL: Next year, traveling could a lot easier thanks to NASA. CNN's Rene Marsh tells us how. Good morning, Rene.

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alison and George, we saw this week what bad weather can do to the highly coordinated (inaudible) getting planes to take off and land on time. That's one cause of delays, but it really comes down to coordination. This system is about precision. So that when the plane gets the green light to leave the gate, it's not stuck in a traffic jam on the tarmac.


MARSH (voice-over): Sitting on the runway, frustration for flyers ready to take off, but instead they wait, for sometimes what seems like hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look out the window and you see a long line of planes. I think am never going to get home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is hard. It is simple if they had a way to fix this and you want to takeoff and it take as hour to takeoff.

MARSH: Now NASA, the same agency responsible for this.


MARSH: Has developed software to help controllers make delays go away. It takes perfect coordination for air traffic controllers to get them in the right place at the right time to avoid passenger delays. NASA's software will make the choreography smoother.

TOM DAVIS, NASA AMES RESEARCH CENTER: It going to reduce delays in bad weather by as much as 10 or 15 minutes. In not so bad weather, you going to feel less delay on the ground and feel less delay in the air.

MARSH: NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley created the new technology called precision departure release capability. Think of it as a car pulling on the roadway. The software says precisely when to pull out of the spot and down the road and through the light and merge on the highway and get you to the designated spot between the bus and Honda on time. That precision in the control tower means shorter lines of planes waiting to takeoff. A test at Dallas Fort Worth Airport last year showed a dramatic improvement.

DAVIS: And hit their targeted slot in the overhead streams over 80 percent of the time, which is up a bit from today's ability where they are able to hit it half the time.

MARSH: NASA's $5 million program is estimated to save $20 million a year. Mostly in fuel costs. It will cut pollution and help get you where you are going on time.


MARSH: For now, the FAA says it is too early to know when the system could be deployed at airports around the country -- Alison, George.

HOWELL: Rene Marsh, thank you.

KOSIK: We sure could use that NASA system this weekend.

HOWELL: Yes, we could especially in the Pacific Northwest where a big weather system could cause some real problems in the region. Pedram Javaheri is in the CNN Severe Weather Center right now. Pedram, so what is the deal with the storm?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's going to be one of the coldest we've seen all season. In fact, record temperatures expected with this around Seattle in Portland from Tuesday on towards Wednesday. You look at the radar imagery, quiet conditions. What you expect in late November. A few showers pushing in from the west towards the east and that really is not the significant weather maker.

What we are watching carefully is out across portions of the Gulf of Alaska. This storm system packing a serious punch as it pushes in. Really much of the western half of the country going to see some of the coldest temperatures they've seen in months as this pushes in towards this region.

Sometimes Sunday night into Monday morning, that is when the heaviest rain comes in, of course, we know about 2.5 million people are going to be flying back across the country from their travel this weekend. About 30 million traveling via cars across the country as well, but 6 inches to 8 inches of snow showers across the I-90 corridor down to the south Florida, 6 inches of heavy rainfall in some of the lower elevations expected.

The temperatures again are going to be on the cold side, getting considerably colder as we head into Monday and Tuesday for the eastern half of the country, 36 in New York City, 15 degrees below average for this time of year, Washington about 42 degrees. Well below average for this time of year.

George and Alison, today marks the final day of the hurricane season, the quiet hurricane season, and the quietest in the past 31 or so years, only two hurricanes. We had upwards of 10 hurricanes back in 2012 so quiet conditions.

HOWELL: Pedram Javaheri, thank you so much.

Well, today is the day that is supposed to work smoothly for most users. Are those days of error messages over behind us? Our political guests weigh in on the fallout for the president next.


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

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. Here are the five things you need to know to start your NEW DAY.

KOSIK: Number one, search and recovery efforts are under way at a smoldering a pub in Glasgow, Scotland. At least one person is confirmed dead after a police helicopter smashed through the pub's roof on a busy Friday night. Police expect the toll to rise. Dozens of people were injured. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

HOWELL: At number two, commercial airlines are being warned to notify the Chinese government if they plan to fly through China's newly created air defense ID zone, this even though the U.S. government isn't officially recognizing that zone. China announced it last weekend amid a nasty fight with Japan over control of this area because of possible oil reserves.

KOSIK: Number three, an American is supposedly confessing to crimes against North Korea. In video released by Pyongyang, a man thought to be Merrill Newman is seen apologizing for killing civilians and troops during the Korean War. Until now Pyongyang had not explained why it was holding Newman. He was detained last month during a tourist visit.

HOWELL: Number four, the holiday shopping has arrived with a bang or maybe like with a shove. Fights broke out in several stores across the country including a mall brawl in Philadelphia where one woman used a stun gun on another woman. Everyone involved in that fight was escorted out by security. Surprisingly, no one arrested.

KOSIK: Number five, police in Minnesota arresting a man who made it rain at a mall. He threw 1,000 $1 bills off the balcony. The man was arrested for disorderly conduct. He just wanted to share some love after going through a rough year.

HOWELL: All right, President Obama saying should work for the vast majority of Americans by the end of the day, but keep in mind it is not likely that someone going to switch overnight and presto it works.

KOSIK: Officials warned there will be more glitches, but they add the web site should be able to handle 50,000 users simultaneously. The president told ABC's Barbara Walters that years from now people will remember Obamacare's benefits, not the web site.


BARBARA WALTERS, ABC: A lot of the criticism is personal. People just don't think you're trustworthy.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, I don't think that is true, Barbara. The truth of the matter is that I got re-elected in part because people did think I was trustworthy and they know I was working on their behalf.


HOWELL: All right. This is a discussion. Let's bring in our panel: commentator Ben Ferguson, a conservative radio host based in Dallas and here in Atlanta, Jason Johnson, HLN contributor and political science professor at Hiram College.

So you know Jason, the first question to you, if this works, that's great for the President.


HOWELL: But if it doesn't, what does that mean politically?

JOHNSON: Nothing for him right now. He got reelected. And that's the most important thing to remember. I mean Obama got reelected just like he said last night. He got reelecting running on this plan.

So the Web site is not working right now. Neither did Travelocity when it started. I mean at some point this will be fine.

I think what surprises me is for a president who was tech savvy during the campaign, I can't believe he screwed up this bad but months from now it won't be an issue.

KOSIK: Ben Ferguson what are your thoughts?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well I think it is going to be a big issue. It's called being a lame-duck president. I mean when you get elected or reelected he's supposed to have an agenda for four years. And he's not getting his agenda done.

And the other issue is you have a lot of people that trusted the President when they reelected him because he said Obamacare was going to be so great. Even if the Web site does get up and working perfectly, you've got a sticker shock issue now. People were told this was affordable health care and they're finding out that for many Americans it's not affordable health care. And that's the reason why you see so many Democrats now distancing themselves before the midterms from the President.

And you've got a lot of young people that were needed to getting -- they had to get this health insurance for the algorithms to work. And a lot of young people now are saying I'm not interested in Obamacare, I'm not interested in it because it costs a lot more than I was paying before and they are walking away. And that's his biggest issue right now.

HOWELL: All right guys I want to talk about these new CNN/ORC poll numbers. Fewer than a quarter of those surveyed feel that the economy is recovering 36 percent say it has stabilized, 39 percent say it's getting worse. So, with the stock market doing so well, why this pessimism? JOHNSON: It's not surprising. Main Street and Wall Street never get along. I mean you know the stock investors can make tons of money because of investment, but that doesn't mean people's jobs are changing and I think the big issue here for Republicans and Democrats in the midterm if people think the economy is bad during Christmas season, it's not going to get any better come spring. This issue is when people are feeling more positive. So I think Republicans and Democrats really need to work together over the next year to fix this or there's going to be a problem in Congress.

KOSIK: Yes Ben the disconnect -- the disconnect is literally blaring.


KOSIK: You can't -- you can't turn away from it.


FERGUSON: No, you can't. And I think one of the biggest problems here is you have so many young people that are still seriously suffering. And those that are living close or at the poverty line aren't getting the help they need. I mean we've doubled the number of people in this country since Barack Obama has been president that are on food stamps.

The question is that's not a success, that's a failure, keeping people or adding people to the roles of poverty is not something that is a good thing for this country even though some will try to play it that way. And so you look at this and you see people that are working hard that have gone to college that are on Wall Street, they are doing fine. But there are a lot of Americans that are left behind.

And I think partly because of the President's policies and what he did is not working because otherwise you wouldn't be adding all these people to food stamps.


KOSIK: Jason you're shaking you're head.

JOHNSON: Yes the reality --


KOSIK: You're shaking your head but -- but I mean he's making a good point here.

JOHNSON: Look the point is the economy is lousy. And there are lots of things that Barack Obama hasn't done but when you only have one half of Congress that ever wants to work on a regular basis it's very hard to determine. We never got to see what Obama's sort of infrastructure plan would look like because the Republicans in Congress didn't want to do it. We never got to see how these health exchanges would work if the states actually got involved as opposed to everyone going to the federal site. I'm the last person to say Obama is perfect. (CROSSTALK)

FERGUSON: Jason --

JOHNSON: -- but we can't see the entire job here if half of Congress just wants to stop him.

HOWELL: Ben I hear you chiming in what do you got to say?

FERGUSON: You had a -- you had a President of the United States of America when elected had an overwhelming majority in the House and the Senate. And for two years he had a run of Congress.


JOHNSON: That was four years ago.

FERGUSON: And they were able to enact everything -- hold on, they were able to enact everything that they wanted to. And the American people rejected it during those midterms. And they've continue to look at his policies and he said they gave him a legitimate shot.

JOHNSON: And he got reelected in 2012.

FERGUSON: They gave him a realistic shot here and the question is a lot of Americans are saying am I better off today than I was five years ago? And for a lot of Americans looking in this poll they are saying I'm not better off today than I was when Barack Obama became president.

JOHNSON: Right and they reelected him last year because they clearly thought that as failed as some of his policies appeared to be, he was still a better option than Mitt Romney. Look we've got to look at this realistically and from the middle and the idea that Barack Obama is the best or perhaps the worst option.

FERGUSON: Look I think he did a great job in his re-election. And the reason why he did so well is because he promised people affordable health care. He did not deliver on that. He promised you could keep your doctor. He didn't deliver on that. He promised you to keep your plan he didn't deliver on that. So we're -- the real world is now, the President controlled (ph) where the economy and with his campaign promises that got him reelected.


HOWELL: We've got to wrap, we've got to wrap you there.

KOSIK: You've got to put the arms up. Thank you to both of you, Ben Ferguson, a CNN political commentator and Jason Johnson, HLN contributor.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

KOSIK: Thanks for joining us this morning.

HOWELL: Thank you very much.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

FERGUSON: Thanks for having us.

HOWELL: All right still to come, a doctor calls a little boy's health a ticking time bomb.

KOSIK: They say he is only alive today because of regular treatments in the hospital.

Next on NEW DAY more on Owen Hogan's fight to find a bone marrow donor -- a donor match.

But first --

HOWELL: Christine Romans has a review of "YOUR MONEY". That's coming up at 9:30 Eastern. Hey Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there from San Quentin, the prison to Silicon Valley imagine going into prison before smart phones even existed still locked up but now making a case to venture capitalist not a parole board. I'm going to take you inside one of the world's most dangerous prisons in search of tech entrepreneurs.

That's coming up at 9:30 a.m. Eastern on an all new on "YOUR MONEY".


HOWELL: All right. We're back.

Health officials are trying to figure out what made 18 people sick at the Rio Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. They have been all taken to local hospitals. The victims include 13 children and members of a youth football team. They are all suffering from flu-like symptoms. It's still not clear whether this could be food poisoning.

KOSIK: Officials at Princeton University have a new weapon in their battle against a meningitis outbreak. Students and others at the Ivy League school will be able to get free vaccine injections starting December 9th. Eight people at Princeton have fallen sick with the rare strain of the bacterial disease. The vaccine is being imported from Europe under a specifically approved license.

HOWELL: Well the chances of finding a matching bone marrow donor is going to be very hard, harder than you think. For some the odds are less than one in two million.

KOSIK: CNN's Alexandra Field has more on two families' journeys to obtain a lifesaving transplant.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, AMS METEOROLOGIST (voice over): Mandy Manocchio is no stranger to miracles. Before she had her own family she was found on the streets of Seoul, South Korea on Christmas Eve. She was adopted as a baby by an American family.

MANDY MANOCCHIO, TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT: May 6, 1974. I was actually flown into JFK.

FIELD: This Christmas season, she is hopeful another gift from overseas will give her yet another chance at life.

MANOCCHIO: Life has been turned around and upside down. I'm still trying to grasp everything that's happening.

FIELD: Last summer, the New York City fashion executive, who is married with two young sons, was given a diagnosis -- acute myeloid leukemia. To survive, she would need a bone marrow transplant. Something her adoptive family couldn't give her.

MANOCCHIO: I really thought my odds were against me.

FIELD: Finding a bone marrow match is a numbers game. Some match with 1 in every 20,000 people, for others it's one in every one or two million. 70 percent of patients who need a transplant won't find one within their families like Manocchio or two-year-old Owen Hogan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is his life. We come here at least twice a week.

FIELD: Hogan has aplastic anemia until he can find a bone marrow match his life depends on regular hospital visits, constant blood transfusions and a combination of medicines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The doctors have described Owen as a ticking time bomb. And if he had a match and a donor right now, he would be in transplant.

FIELD: A transplant would replace Owen's diseased cells with healthy donor cells.

(on camera): Finding a match is the hard part but registering to be a potential donor is surprisingly easy. There is no blood work involved anymore. All you have to do is swab the inside of your cheek, the DNA gets turns out to a lab and your information is entered into a database.

(voice over): Groups like Delete Blood Cancer organize drives to increase the size of that database. Right now there are 10.5 million registered donors in the United States. The likelihood of finding a match depends on race and ethnicity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people are from an ethnic minority of the United States, the numbers are not quite as optimistic.

FIELD: That's something Manocchio faced. Fortunately after waiting several months, doctors found what they call a nearly perfect donor match in Europe.

MANOCCHIO: I have so much to live for. These two beautiful children.

FIELD: Manocchio's match donated on Thanksgiving Day. She is waiting for the transplant. The Hogan family is still waiting for a miracle.

Alexandra Field, CNN, New York.



KOSIK: And some good news for Mandy at least. She just reached out to CNN letting us know that she is actually receiving donor stem cells at the moment. And these cells as you heard in the piece were flown over from Germany and actually arrived last night. And you can check out to learn more about donating.

HOWELL: All right. Still to come on this NEW DAY, how much is your name worth? Our next guest is auctioning off his name. And this is not the first time he's done it. We'll tell you his name and what this is all about coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In men's wheelchair tennis, this 29-year-old is the one to beat. Shingo fell in love with the game after treatment for spinal cancer left him paralyzed from an early age.

SHINGO: From (inaudible) years old, my mother liked tennis. She recommended for me to play tennis. My wheel work is very good than the other players. I think I have to (inaudible) for pushing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With another successful season under his belt, the Tokyo-born athlete now hopes to inspire another generation of players who find the sport just as challenging and rewarding.



HOWELL: All right. So we're back.

Let's head off to my new hometown, Chicago, where a water main break may have caused a sinkhole that swallowed a pickup truck. The four- foot deep opened up on the 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 there.

KOSIK: All right.

Some consider our next guest a huge sellout. Others call him a brilliant businessman of the digital age.

HOWELL: All right. So let's meet Jason Headsetsdotcom -- yes, that is his last name, Headsetsdotcom. Last year, he auctioned his name to the highest bidder for $45,000.

KOSIK: And now he's going to do it all again. In just a few days his plan is to change his last name for all of next year -- for all of 2014 -- to the name of the highest bidding firm.

Jason Headsetsdotcom is joining us live from Washington now. Ok, so I have to ask -- first of all what is the point in doing this?

JASON HEADSETSDOTCOM, AUCTIONING OFF LAST NAME: You know, I just like unique advertising kind of things for companies. So I like to give them a way to get the word out. And you know, I don't know -- I guess I get bored and want fun things to do that kind of draw attention. So I think this has been a really fun one and really interesting.

HOWELL: So Jason, a question. I don't know if you are married or not, but if you get married, does the other person take on the name Headsetsdotcom?

HEADSETSDOTCOM: Well, I only have Headsetsdotcom for another month, then I'll have a new last name obviously for next year with Buy My Last Name. And my girlfriend has been very supportive of this. We are waiting until 2015 I think to move forward with any of those plans.

KOSIK: All right. So let's talk money. How much do you think you're going to get for your name this year? What will you do with the money? And I want to know what did you do with the $45,000 that you got last year?

HEADSETSDOTCOM: Yes. The auction has 12 days left to It is actually already over the price that it went for last year. It is at $50,000 now. If it ended right now, I'd be Jason Surferapp which is an iPhone app for surfing which is cool. But yes, the money last year, I donate 10 percent of it to charity which, you know, I think is an awesome thing I'm able to do. The rest of it I kind of put back into my business and I'm working on a book so the funds will go towards with the end of this year's auction.

And I just look for a company that really wants to kind of integrate and do something fun for all next year. I mean you don't often get to buy a guy's last name especially someone who's got a decent following on social media. I just think it is a really cool and unique opportunity. This is the last time for me.

HOWELL: All right. So no doubt, it gets you attention. Look at what are you doing now. You are talking about it. You alluded to this but what happens in 2014 for the winning bidder? What do you expect?

HEADSETSDOTCOM: Yes, so I change it legally. I go to the court house and I tell the judge that I want to have a weird last name and he gives me a crazy look and then stamps it because that is what he did last year. So hopefully it will happen again.

And I'll change it across social media. And then I hope whatever company ends up buying it -- like I said 12 days left in the auctions. So you know, I expect a couple of other companies to get on board with this. And really just integrate it into their campaign. I mean I think it's very buzz worthy. There's a lot of really cool things that we could do together over the next year. And I just -- I want a company that wants to do that. KOSIK: So can you turn down names, you know --

HOWELL: Right.

KOSIK: -- that maybe seem inappropriate for you?

HEADSETSDOTCOM: Yes, absolutely. I have first right of refusal. I turned down a couple of bids last year. Luckily this year, you know, the bidding got up pretty quickly so I think that weeds out a lot of those bids. Yes, I look forward to a company that really wants to do this and have fun with it.

KOSIK: Was there something wrong with their names? Is that why you turned them down? And if so, what were those names?


HOWELL: Yes, what were the names? We're curious.

HEADSETSDOTCOM: Yes, it wasn't -- I don't think we want to share it on air. There was just some weird stuff. Not terrible.


KOSIK: I mean did Headsetsdotcom profit from the venture throughout the year?

HEADSETSDOTCOM: Yes. So they really, really enjoyed the exposure. In the first couple of months, they saw an increase of revenue of $250,000 just from Buy My Last Name. So if you are a company out there, that is a pretty awesome return through all the marketing and PR that comes with it after the auction ends.

I mean I was on every news outlet last year and you can see them on the news outlet so. So there's great exposure for this -- that a lot of companies just can't buy. They have no chance to get that type of experience with this last name auction. And again it's the last time I'm doing it.

HOWELL: All right Jason. So look, what reactions do you get in the real world when you are paying your bills or, you know, you talk to a stranger? What do they say to you?

HEADSETSDOTCOM: Yes, it's been interesting. Geico, my insurance agent from when I got a new car was probably one of the funniest ones. He couldn't wait to get off the phone and tell all his coworkers about it because it was the weirdest name he'd heard ever.

You know, I had some interesting stuff with Delta, changing my last name -- that was probably the hardest place to change my last name, believe it or not. And I don't think it ever gets old, you know, going to a restaurant and saying, you know, "table for Headsetsdotcom." And you know, that's me. So I just think it's really fun and it's interesting and I just -- I enjoy it. I have fun with it.

HOWELL: Mr. Headsetsdotcom, thank you very much.

KOSIK: I can't wait to see what your name is going to be next, that's for sure. I can't wait to see what you're going to come up with.


KOSIK: All right.

Ahead it was an ugly day for some Black Friday shoppers. Listen.

And that was one of many chaotic scenes involving irate shoppers. We're going to have a live report coming up next.


HOWELL: All right. Every now and then, you hear about someone who may have survived a brush with death and then told of returning to a place that they couldn't quite explain.

KOSIK: Was it heaven? Tomorrow night, Anderson Cooper brings us the fascinating stories of three people who came close to clinical death and say they actually went somewhere or at least felt something profound and otherworldly.

HOWELL: Mary Neal is one of those people. Here she is with CNN's Randi Kaye.


MARY NEAL: I could see the scene on the riverbank. I could see them pull my body to the shore. I could see them start CPR. I had no pulse, and I wasn't breathing. One fellow was yelling at me to come back.

RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: You were unconscious so how do you know that all this was happening?

NEAL: I felt my body break free, and I felt my spirit break free and I was greeted by these people or these spirits. I could be with them and be going down this incredible pathway and simultaneously look back at the river. When I saw my body, I going to say that was the first time that I actually thought, well, I guess I am dead. I guess I really did die.

KAYE: In the book, you write about dancing with them. Were you celebrating?

NEAL: Yes.

KAYE: What? What were you celebrating? You had just died?

NEAL: It was a great homecoming and I was really surprised by the fact that I had no intention of going back.

KAYE: You didn't want to return? NEAL: No. And I had all the reasons to return. I had a great life. I had a great job. I had a great husband. My children are wonderful and I love them more than I could ever imagine loving something on earth. But the love that I felt for them in comparison to God's love that was absolutely flowing through everything was just pale in comparison.

And then at a certain point, one of the people or the spirits told me that it wasn't my time and I had more work to do on earth and I had to go back to my body.


HOWELL: It promises to be a fascinating report. Check out Anderson Cooper's special "TO HEAVEN AND BACK". It airs tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN

KOSIK: Thanks so much for starting your morning with us.

HOWELL: We have more ahead on NEW DAY SATURDAY which continues right now.