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Actor Paul Walker Killed in Fiery Car Crash; U.S. Urges North Korea to Release Korean War Vet; Officials: Obamacare Site Fixes "On Track"; Train Derails in the Bronx

Aired December 1, 2013 - 08:00   ET


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: There is heartbreak in Hollywood this morning -- after the stunning news of an actor's sudden death. Much more ahead on Paul Walker and the fiery crash that killed him.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, captured in North Korea, an 85- year-old American war vet being detained in Pyongyang. Now an urgent plea from the White House and from his family in California to release him immediately.

HOWELL: And today's the day, the beleaguered Obamacare Web site goes from flawed to fixed, at least that's the plan. But is it working? We'll put it to the test.


KOSIK: Good morning. I'm Alison Kosik.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. Thank you so much for joining us this Sunday morning. It is 8:00 here on the East Coast, 6:00 on the West. You are watching NEW DAY SUNDAY.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

HOWELL: And we start this hour with breaking news that actor Paul Walker has died.

KOSIK: And we're learning more about the fiery car crash that killed him. We've got some new footage of the inferno taken by witnesses just moments after the crash. We're going to play you a few seconds of it here.


HOWELL: You look at that there. Speed, according to police, speed was a factor in this. The star of the "Fast and Furious" franchise was only 40 years old. Friends, family, coworkers and fans alike all around the world are shocked by this news. Many of them saying that his death just came way too soon.

KOSIK: And CNN entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner, she joins us now.

Nischelle, good morning to you. What details do we know at this point about what happened here?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, details are still coming in because the investigation is still ongoing. That's what sheriff deputies tell us.

But, you know, think about it, Alison and George -- 40 years old, one of the most beautiful people in Hollywood shooting one of the most bankable franchises out today in movies. And then this news -- you die unexpectedly in a fiery car crash. This is apparently what happened with Paul walker yesterday.

Let's take a look.

OK. Apparently not. I'll just kind of update you a little bit on what sheriff's deputies say happened.

Around 3:30 yesterday in an area north of Los Angeles, in Santa Clarita, they say that Paul Walker was in a single car crash in the car with another person. Now, his representatives tell us that he was not driving the car, it was a 2005 Porsche. We did see video of it there just kind of a mangled mess that was left and it caught on fire.

Authorities tell us that both people were found inside the car when they got to the scene. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. They're still trying to figure out what happened leading up to the crash.

But our own Alan Duke from CNN digital did make his way to the crash scene yesterday. He saw some tire marks 50 feet away. When we talk to a sheriff's spokesperson from the Los Angeles sheriff's department, they told us they don't know if those tires were a part of the crash or involved in the investigation, but they did not say definitively that they were not.

Again, Paul Walker, 40 years old, guys, he was filming "Fast and Furious 7" in Atlanta at this time. Apparently, he was in Los Angeles for the Thanksgiving holiday visiting family and friends and was set to return to Atlanta this week to finish filming the movie -- filming was set to wrap on December 14th.

The last installment of "Fast and Furious" worldwide made $788 million last summer. This was a big franchise. He was a big movie star. And his friends and co-workers are just shocked this morning.

HOWELL: Nischelle, you know, we're already seeing a lot of reaction online. What are people saying? What are you hearing?

TURNER: Yes, well, a lot of his co-workers and friends like I said have been tweeting about it. Let me read you a couple of them that we got last night. Ludacris, who starred with him in "Fast and Furious", tweeted, "Your humble spirit was felt from the start, wherever you blessed your presence, you always left a mark."

Vin Diesel, who was his co-star through the entire franchise and a good friend also, put on Instagram last night, "Brother, I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new angel, rest in peace."

And we also heard from The Rock, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He tweeted last night, as well. "All my strength, love and faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time. We find our strength in his light. Love you brother."

And, guys, Paul Walker had a 15-year-old daughter meadow and we saw a lot of condolences going out to her last night, asking people to pray for her and pray for his family. And Paul Walker, you know, he has talked about, she was the love of his life, his daughter. He just did an interview on Monday from the set of "Fast and Furious 7" in Atlanta and he kind of talked about how he had morphed with his character Brian O'Connor and that became this man who was just a big lofty at heart and would do anything for his family.

So, it's just very sad and very shocking.

KOSIK: Yes. Definitely a stunner.

Nischelle Turner, thanks so much for your reporting.


KOSIK: And we have much more to come on Paul Walker's death. Stay with CNN throughout the morning. And as we get more information, we will pass it along to you.

The U.S. says it's deeply concerned about an 85-year-old American grandfather with a heart condition who is being held right now in North Korea or by North Korea.

HOWELL: Washington is urging Pyongyang to release Merrill Newman and let him return home to his family. So far, North Korea isn't budging on this. It's shown up on a video of him basically apologizing for allegedly killing troops during the Korean War.

KOSIK: Karl Penhaul joins us now from Tokyo.

Hello to you, Karl.

First of all, we know that Newman is 85 years old. How is his health? And how is he doing at this point?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is good news on that front, Alison, because over the weekend, Swedish diplomats were allowed to visit Merrill Newman. And they took him some heart medication. They also reported back that he's receiving regular doctors visits to check on his health. And Mr. Newman sent a message back to his family that basically boils down to the message "I'm well and the food is good."

So, on that front, a little bit of good news for now, Alison.

KOSIK: At this point, what are the Koreans actually accusing Newman of doing? How serious is this? And what about the timing of this? PENHAUL: What the Koreans are accusing him of is actually war crimes, because they say he was involved in training a highly secretive force of anti-Communist guerrillas during the Korean War and that unit operated deep behind enemy lines inside North Korea, attacking troops and sabotaging and carrying out spying activities. That's a sensitive issue for the North Koreans because although the last shot was fired in that war more than 60 years ago now, there was never a formal peace treaty to end that war.

So, that's why the Koreans are so sensitive on this issue, Alison.

KOSIK: OK. Karl Penhaul, thank you.

HOWELL: Thank you so much.

And another American citizen, Kenneth Bae has been detained in North Korea for more than a year. His family is speaking out about what they say has been a devastating experience. Mr. Bae's sister said, quote, "We are thankful the White House has advocated for the release of both Mr. Newman and my brother. Kenneth Bae, we cannot forget about these two men."

Bae was arrested last year and sentenced to 15 years hard labor for hostile acts. He was in a labor camp until he had to be hospitalized.

KOSIK: And for more on the efforts to bring home Merrill Newman and Kenneth Bae, we want to bring in former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

In 1996, the then U.N. negotiator helped broker the release of another man who was held hostage in North Korea. He's joining us now on the phone from Santa Rosa, Florida.

Good morning to you, Mr. Richardson. Thanks for being with us.

BILL RICHARDSON (D), FORMER NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR (via telephone): Yes, thank you. Thanks for having me.

KOSIK: Now, at this point, you haven't been formally asked to help yet. But it's been reported you reached out to your North Korean contacts over the release of these two Americans. Tell me what you've learned.

RICHARDSON: Well, I haven't heard anything and that's what's very unusual. I usually get a response. But I don't get formally involved unless a family asked me to get involved. I am involved in the Kenneth Bae situation. I did go to North Korea to try to get him out last February.

But what's unusual about this case is, number one, the North Koreans seem to be seeking a bargaining chip here with Mr. Newman. He's 85 years old. He's got a heart condition. They went into the airplane, took him out of the airplane as he was leaving Pyongyang and brought him back. This is the new regime of Kim Jong-un. And in the past, there was a certain patterns to these detentions. There were confessions, but then there was a negotiation to get them out. In this case, nothing seems to follow a set pattern. So, this is the new re regime sending signals not just of hostility but known kind of bargaining postures that they want.

KOSIK: Now, you said you're concerned that you haven't heard back, why specifically are you concerned? Are you thinking that this is not just good news?

RICHARDSON: Well, I usually hear back from the North Koreans. I've been involved in several of these detentions, some successfully. But it's been almost a week. And I haven't heard anything.

I've sent -- I had a phone call, e-mail, they asked me to put my requests in an e-mail and nothing. Usually, there's some response. And I know the State Department and the White House are working hard to try to secure the release. But unfortunately, we don't have any representatives in North Korea except the Swedish embassy, which is very helpful.

So, we have to rely on them for information. The news is good that at least Newman's health is in good shape. That's good. But he is 85 years old. He is in detention.

This is 60 years ago. He was in the Korean War. So it's kind of an absurd charge.

And in the past, the North Koreans have tried to have relationships with the United States on the basis of our military personnel. They gave me seven remains about seven years ago to bring back to the United States with honors.

So, they like the relationship on the military to military basis. So this is baffling. But this is a new regime of the new leader. And I suspect he's sending different signals but nobody knows what those signals are.

But it's important that these two men come back. They deserve to be back. Their health condition is not good. The Department of State, the White House, they're trying all they can. But, you know, maybe we need to try something new interlocutors to try to get them out.

HOWELL: Mr. Richardson, we really appreciate your speaking to us this morning. This is certainly something that all eyes are watching to see if both of these men can be released. We thank you for your time today.

RICHARDSON: Thank you. Thank you.

HOWELL: We move on now to Scotland where candles will be lit at a cathedral in Glasgow for victims of a deadly helicopter crash. Emergency crews are combing through the wreckage of a popular pub. They're looking for bodies that may still be buried in that debris. At least eight people were killed when a police helicopter smashed into the pub's roof on Friday night. People were packed inside, 14 people had to be rushed to a hospital with serious injuries. Authorities warn that the search for more victims could take many more days as the building is unstable and crews are working very carefully there.

All right. Still to come, it's take two for We'll see exactly whether this Web site is working after upgrades.

KOSIK: And millions ready to return home after filling up on turkey and stuffing. Ahead, where the weather could pose a problem when you're traveling.


HOWELL: All right. Welcome back.

New this morning at the top of the hour, 9:00 Eastern. The man leading the upgrades for is going to brief reporters on exactly how things are going. Today, though, is supposed to be the day that President Obama promised the Web site would work for most Americans smoothly.

Here's CNN's Tory Dunnan in Washington, D.C, with the latest.


TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is it working? That's the big question this weekend as President Obama's deadline to fix arrived.



DUNNAN: New word from him as he took his family shopping at a Washington bookstore.

But HHS officials said the site is performing well with low overall error rates and response times despite heavier than usual weekend traffic. And one expert we talked to sees improvement, as well.

(on camera): Signing on right away, you saw a distinct change?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Even going to the site, you can tell, it looks much smoother, more like what you see high capacity Web sites look like.

DUNNAN: The administration has said the Web site should be able to handle 50,000 users at the same time, double what it once could. And overall, more than 800,000 users per day.

OBAMA: This Web site is going to get fixed and we are going to be signing people up.

DUNNAN: Front page headline Saturday drew sharply different conclusions about the politically important outcome. CNN producer tried logging on and failed, after getting through earlier in the day. But we'll have to rely on anecdotal stories like this unless the administration releases hard numbers.

LANCE CHUNG: Without having the internal metrics and status reports of what's going on in the Web site, we on the outside will not be able to tell.


HOWELL: All right. Tory Dunnan joining us now in Washington, D.C. live.

Tori, so we hear your story there, great report. But here's a question, and when it comes to release of metrics about how this Web site's working, we understand there'll be some sort of briefing. Will we get information? How do we know?

DUNNAN: Right. There's this conference call, which is taking place and basically just a matter of minutes now. But there's going to be a lot of pressure for the White House to release those numbers. Because as you mentioned, we know that the administration has specific ways to look at the site to tell if it's running smoothly or not.

And really this morning, people just want to know if the site is working as promised. I also want to point out, though, George, it's important to remind everyone that the White House has been trying to manage expectations ahead of this. In fact, it was just this week they said the date, the end of the month, wasn't going to be like turning a magical light switch on or off. You know, we may actually see problems along the way like any other Web site. So managing expectations, but we're also hoping to get some answers today about whether or not it's working at the levels which they set those benchmarks.

HOWELL: Tory, I know a lot of people will be looking for those answers today. Thank you so much for keeping watch on this in D.C. Thank you.

And now, let's switch over here to Alison and Matt Sloane, our CNN medical producer, who have been looking at the Web site and doing sort of an unscientific, should we say, test, to see if the Web site's at least working for us. How's it going?

KOSIK: That's right, George.

So, what Matt did was log on to this morning and what did you find happening?

MATT SLOANE, CNN MEDICAL PRODUCER: I was able to get through easily. We've been looking at this Web site since October 1st and had trouble getting in. This morning, I got through in about eight minutes. KOSIK: Well, you got through. I remember, there was an error message, though?

SLOANE: There was. Yes, brief pickup and actually, as soon as we got off the air, I went back in and it seems to be working great.

KOSIK: OK. So, now, it's actually asking what you would like to do. So it is working here.

How is this looking different? What changes can you tell have been made here?

SLOANE: Well, I can tell you it was a lot faster. I was able to put everything in without minor hiccups. Again, we had that minor hiccup in the couple of hours ago. But the site seems to be working great now. I'm waiting for my application to be approved and then I could actually go in and select a plan after that.

KOSIK: OK. Now, it's actually running a little better. How quickly do people have to sign up?

SLOANE: If you want coverage to start by the beginning of the year, you have to start by December 15th. If you don't need it to start on January 1st, you have until the end of March to sign up.

KOSIK: OK. But it seems the race is on, everybody's going to head to their computers.

All right. Thanks, medical producer Matt Sloane.

SLOANE: Absolutely.

KOSIK: George, I'll throw it back to you.

HOWELL: Alison, thank you so much.

It seems like some people can get on and some can't. It's a work in progress. We appreciate your reporting there.

Still to come, it is expected to be one of the busiest travel days of the year as people return home from Thanksgiving. Just ahead, we'll show you where storms are brewing and could cause some real headaches for travelers, right here on NEW DAY SUNDAY.


HOWELL: All right. Good morning. Good NEW DAY, ATL. You're looking here just outside the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. We're expecting a high today of 55 degrees. The clouds out there, but it'll get a little clearer today.

KOSIK: And get ready. The roads and the skies are going to be packed today as millions of people are heading home from the Thanksgiving holiday. In fact, it could be the busiest travel day of the year, at least for air travel. More than 2 1/2 million people are expected to fly today. But brewing storms could mean big headaches.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is here with me right now. You're not just tracking the weather. You're tracking the flights, as well.


You know, what we're talking about here is good news/bad news set-up, Alison.

Take a look -- at this hour, very little to absolutely no cancellations, no delays across the country, across the major hubs, at least. Looking at zero minutes from major hubs. But we know the volume's going to be high. Upwards of 30,000 flights going to take place over the next couple of hours, and you look at the broad perspective.

We do have a weather feature across the eastern Great Lakes, and that's spotting a few showers across areas of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, portions of Connecticut. Nothing really significant. But it could slow folks down around Boston. And heavy showers on the order of three to six inches mainly across northern New England.

Now, besides this, that's the main weather maker on the eastern half of the country. But travel delays as far as cancellations, look at the past couple of days, from 308 on Wednesday, right before Thanksgiving, we've dropped to about 30 to 40 in the past couple of days, already on the Sunday morning, up to 36 cancellations. The numbers could get quite high, upwards of around 300 toward the afternoon hours, because this time around, the next weather maker is on the western side of the country as opposed to what we saw on Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night.

And this packs a significant punch. In fact, we know some of the coldest temperatures are in the northwest since we've seen the last two years across some of these areas. That's going to support snow showers. As early as Monday morning into Monday afternoon, 12 to 18 inches across the higher elevations and as we head, of course, toward the afternoon, evening hours, the accumulation hours could come down towards lower elevations, a few flurries even possible around Seattle.

And I want to show you the flight tracker right now across the country, because you slice the country in half and, look, the vast majority of the flights in midair right now across the eastern half of the country. Again, 30,000 flights and you notice the West starting to pick up activity. So far, so good, but the volume even if there was no weather to speak of today, the volume going to slow things down today, guys.

KOSIK: OK, thanks, Pedram Javaheri.

JAVAHERI: You bet.

HOWELL: Pedram, thank you very much.

And we are following breaking news, of course, this morning -- the death of Paul Walker. What we know about the crash that killed the "Fast and Furious" star and how celebrities are paying a tribute and speaking out. That's next.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

HOWELL: And welcome back.

We are following breaking news of a Metro North train derailment in New York, just in the Bronx there. We understand that 100 firefighters are on the scene. And we are getting reports there may be some trains submerged in the water. Again, about 25 units or about 100 firefighters are responding to the scene.

At this point, we don't have reports on injuries, but we are working to get more information.

KOSIK: Now, this is -- this is a very busy travel day. But the commuter -- the line we're talking about is actually a commuter line. It's not an Amtrak line.

Still, people are moving about after the Thanksgiving holiday. It is a Sunday morning. So, it could either go one of two ways. It could be a very empty train this morning or it could be packed with people, you know, getting back home and vice versa. So, we're going to keep watching this and bring you more details as we get them.

HOWELL: Our New York affiliates there also on the story. We are waiting to get a signal from New York, and as soon as we get that signal, we will continue, obviously, to show you what's happening there and update you on the latest.

But again, a Metro North train derailment in New York outside the Bronx.

Now on to this other big story this morning. Actor Paul Walker, we know that he has died today.

KOSIK: And we're learning more about the fiery car crash that killed him. We have new footage of the inferno taken by witnesses just moments after the crash. Here is a few seconds of that.


HOWELL: All right. Overnight, CNN shot these images of figure eight tire marks and skid marks near the scene of that crash. We asked the L.A. sheriff's department if they were related to the crash. But at this point, we're told that they don't know.

KOSIK: CNN entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner joins us now. Good morning Nischelle.


KOSIK: You know this is very hard for a lot of people to hear. I mean they woke up stunned to hear this news.

TURNER: Well, yes, because he was a part of one of the most popular franchises in the movies today and that's "The Fast and Furious" franchise. Paul Walker, 40 years old, beautiful, young, one of Hollywood's kind of "it" guys. You know, to wake up to the news to hear that he has died in a fiery car crash has left a lot of people in Hollywood and around the world stunned.


VIN DIESEL, ACTOR: Right behind you.

TURNER: One of Hollywood's most bankable stars, Paul Walker who has made a name for himself in the "Fast and Furious" movie franchise died in fiery car crash in Santa Clarita California. A second person also died in the accident. Both were attending a charity event for Walker's organization Reach out Worldwide. The event was intended to benefit the victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The crash happened just north of Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon.

According to his representative, Paul Walker was not driving the 2005 Porsche. When deputies arrived, the car was on fire, both people in the car pronounced dead at the scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nothing -- we tried, we went through fire extinguishers.

TURNER: All that remains -- burnt, mangled metal and a light pole that's been knocked down. Authorities say speed was a factor.

Walker wasn't just a car enthusiast on screen. Off screen, the actor competed in the Red Line Time Attack Racing Series. He had been filming the seventh installment of "Fast and Furious" at the time of his death and some of Hollywood's biggest stars are reacting.

Co-star Vin Diesel said on his Instagram account, "Brother, I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new angel, rest in peace."

And another "Fast and Furious" co-star Ludacris tweeted "Your humble spirit was felt from the start. Wherever you blessed your presence, you always left a mark."

And fellow actor Tyrese Gibson said, "My heart is hurting so bad, no one can make me believe this is real. My God, my God, I can't believe I'm writing this."


TURNER: And Tyrese also posted on Twitter and Instagram account, the last text message exchange that he had with Paul Walker on Thanksgiving where Tyrese told him how much he loved him and how he was thankful for him. And Paul answered him back with "Hugs and XOs, XOs." And both of them apparently had a really deep friendship which is what we're hearing from a lot of people in Hollywood this morning. Condolences also guys going out to his 15-year-old daughter Meadow by many.

HOWELL: A terrible situation. Nischelle Turner thank you so much for your reporting.

KOSIK: And CNN's Nick Valencia joins us with more reaction of the people who knew Paul Walker the best. And we're seeing this outpouring of emotions and condolences from him.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We are you know so many people even though the ones that didn't know Paul Walker personally are very moved by his passing. You see celebrities everywhere sometimes it just seems like you know them yourself.

But we took a lot of tweets and Facebook posts, things on social media from fellow co-stars, friends and family. And Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tweeting, he was co-star with Paul Walker in that "Fast and Furious" franchise, saying "All my strength love and faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time. We find our strength in his light. I love you, brother."

He was very well liked among his fellow cast mates. Michelle Rodriguez posted this photo on her Facebook page during Thanksgiving. It's a snapshot of when they -- were in the movies together in "Fast and the Furious." All saying grace together a kind of fitting for the circumstances. Alyssa Milano adding, "No. Real Paul Walker, No, no, no. Rest with the angels you sweet, sweet boy."

Sung Kang also -- also co-starred along Paul Walker in that "Fast and the Furious" franchise saying, he -- one of his PR reps posting on the Facebook page "On behalf of Sung, I would like to offer our deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers to the family and friends of Paul Walker. A man with true passion for life."

And James Van Der Beek starred alongside Paul Walker in one of his breakout roles in "Varsity Blues," one of my favorite movies growing up playing high school football back in 1999, "I just remember him as being so effortlessly golden. He had that way about him, that thing."

And that's what we're hearing from so many people. He just walked in a room and sort of lit up a room.

KOSIK: He had quite a following.

VALENCIA: Yes he had a presence, he had a large following. It's very sad news this morning.

GEORGE: We know a lot of people will be talking about this today.

VALENCIA: Yes. We got to go thank you so much.

KOSIK: Thanks so much.

HOWELL: All right still to come, this NEW DAY SUNDAY, Pope Francis puts the pageantry aside and he makes an appeal for a church that has been battered and bruised. We'll explain this new path for Catholics coming up next.

KOSIK: And we're getting new details on that breaking news of a train derailment in the Bronx, in New York, we're going to have more on that next.


KOSIK: And breaking news coming into CNN just now. A passenger train has derailed in New York, in the Bronx more specifically. We're learning that at least two people are dead. Now, this is a -- this is a commuter line. It's not -- it's not Amtrak.

HOWELL: Right.

KOSIK: This happened in the Spuyten Duyvil section of the Bronx just north of Manhattan.

HOWELL: We also understand at this point right now at least 100 firefighters are on the scenes dealing with this. We also have information that trains may be in the water. We're waiting to get a signal from our New York affiliates that are obviously there to -- to cover this story and bring us the latest details as we also make calls.

But again, we know that at least two people have died at this point still getting -- or waiting for reports on possible injuries, as well. We'll continue to monitor this story.

KOSIK: And there you're looking at an aerial view of where that Spuyten Duyvil train station is.

HOWELL: Right there by the Bronx. Yes.

KOSIK: Right around where this train has derailed.

HOWELL: Thank you.

All right in today's faces of faith, Pope Francis.

KOSIK: He is laying out his vision for the Roman Catholic Church. And some say it's a radical one. In a stunning 84-page document that he wrote himself, the Pontiff calls for changes in the church starting right at home at the Vatican. And he says the church needs to rethink its old rules and its old customs. He denounces complacency and he takes a shot at commercialism. He calls unfettered capitalism a new tyranny and he urges world leaders to fight poverty and inequality.

HOWELL: Right we want to talk about all of this with senior CNN Vatican analyst John Allen. He joins us now from Denver. John, so let's talk about the Pope's vision for the Vatican's powers. He says "there's too much centralization in the church." So does that mean that he thinks the Vatican has too much power as it stands right now?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: In a word, the answer to that question is, yes. He says in this document that he believes that in recent years there has been an excessive centralization, too much power accumulated in Rome. He wants to spread some of that around promoting what he calls a sound decentralization. And he actually gives, to show you how important this is to him, he gives you a concrete example that is pretty much a direct repeal of previous policy of our earlier Popes. Back in 1998, John Paul II ruled that Bishops Conferences around the world, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the states have no, no power to teach officially in the name of the church. That is, they can't proclaim the official Catholic doctrine.

Francis says in this document he wants them to have exactly that power. And if that happens, that is a pretty significant shift of authority from the center, that is, the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Rome to the periphery, that is, to local churches around the world.

KOSIK: Now, I was going to say, Pope Francis also calls for this more incisive female presence in the church. But he says priesthood for women, the priesthood for women is really a settled issue, not open to discussion. So I don't know what do you think? What does this tell us about the future of women in the church?

ALLEN: Well, I mean, for one thing it means at least in the short-term we're not going to see women priests. You're quite right Pope Francis says that's off the table. But he clearly is calling or trying to -- or trying to boost the role of women in the church in every way short of making them priests. That is putting women in meaningful leadership roles that don't require that you wear a Roman collar.

So I mean to give you a concrete example, he could easily decide to put a woman in charge of Vatican finances. And we all know the power of the purse in any institution is pretty significant.

He could name a woman as his spokesperson in a way that the second most visible figure in the Catholic Church after the pope that role is currently held by a priest so there is no reason it has to be. And if he does things like that, a way that kind of grabs the attention of the world that he really is trying to dial up leadership by women in the Catholic Church that would certainly set a tone for diocese and parishes all around the world.

HOWELL: John you know there's no question that the Pope has been making a name for himself. Somewhat of a maverick some call him you know after taking the name Francis for the saint known for taking on the life of poverty. How surprising are these new details?

ALLEN: Well, I mean at one level, they're not surprising at all because they track with what we've heard from the Pope since that fateful moment when he stepped out onto the balcony over at St. Peter's on March 13th and presented himself to the world as Pope Francis as you say evoking the -- this iconic figure in Catholic life who had this famous love affair with Lady Poverty. And we've seen flashes of this kind of radical reform style from him ever since.

I think what's distinctive about this document aside from the details. It is that he sat down at his desk and put pen to paper and laid out a comprehensive vision statement. I actually -- in my piece for the National Catholic Reporter I called this is his "I have a dream" speech because this document opens with a dream. He says he wants a church that is more missionary; that is not collapsing on itself but reaching out and more merciful. That is avoiding what he calls rules that make us harsh judges and instead projecting an image of tolerance and compassion.

And the fact that he's laid that vision out, that dream out with such detail indicates he intends to spend the rest of his papacy making it stick.

HOWELL: John no doubt this is a very important document. We appreciate your time this morning joining us live from Denver. Thank you.

ALLEN: You bet.

HOWELL: OK if you'd like to read more about stories on faith, be sure to check out our belief blog at

KOSIK: Christian broadcaster Paul Crouch has died. He was 79 years old. Crouch and his wife Jan started the Trinity Broadcasting Network four decades ago and grew it into a global empire. The network is now carried by millions of TV, cable and satellite affiliates all over the world. Crouch had been ill with heart problems.

HOWELL: A live look today at Washington, at the White House and Washington where a giant red ribbon, you see it there, draped across the north porch there. Today is the 25th year, the people around the world marking World AIDS Day. It's the day shows support for the estimated 35 million people now living with HIV or aids and to remember those millions who died from it.

KOSIK: Still to come on NEW DAY SUNDAY, it's already being called one of the greatest football games ever.

HOWELL: That was a big one.

KOSIK: It really was.

Stay right here for the incredible finish to last night's wild Alabama-Auburn games. Sports fans or not -- you're going to be amazed.

HOWELL: And we continue to get details on this breaking news that we're following. A train derailment in the Bronx that has at least two people died -- two people died from this. We're continuing to get information. We'll update you next here on CNN NEW DAY.


KOSIK: Ok. Back to our breaking news.

You're about to look at some live pictures of this passenger train that derailed in New York -- more specifically, in the Bronx. At least two people are dead. We're hearing that from our affiliate WABC. That's where these pictures are coming from. We're hearing that this train was actually coming from Westchester, which is more so northern New York and heading right into -- looking to head right into Penn Station, so heading into New York City.

HOWELL: We also have reports that trains are in the water; that about 100 firefighters are on the scene there. We continue to watch these pictures coming from our affiliate WABC there in New York. This is a developing situation. Again, at least two people died in this incident, still waiting to hear any reports of injuries.

Let's see if we can dip in and hear what's happening right now live.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see firefighters and other emergency crews kind of taking their time at this point. Can we assume that at least they've accounted for the people in the trains? Do you see ambulances still leaving with people? I know that the person that (inaudible) spoke to earlier Frank Tutully (ph) said he was on the way to the hospital and he was conscious enough to speak and talk about what he saw.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey chief, anything you can tell us. Ok.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony, I was just trying to --

KOSIK: You know, the timing of this is curious. I mean it's a very busy travel weekend.

HOWELL: Right.

KOSIK: This could be -- it could have been a nice, quiet Sunday morning where the train was quiet. This is a commuter rail. It was headed for New York City or it could have been packed with people looking to do more shopping into the city.

HOWELL: That is a big question. Because, again, we're in advance of Monday which will be a very busy travel day, you know. Perhaps some people decided to head home early on the way back home.

Still waiting to get any reports and information out of New York but, again, we know that at least two people have died in this incident. As far as injuries, still unclear; and that a train or trains could be in the water.

KOSIK: Ok. And as we get more information, we will update you. gets a big test today and you can bet the Web site's troubles are front and center on STATE OF THE UNION at 9:00 Eastern.

HOWELL: CNN's Candy Crowley joins us now live in Washington.

Candy, so the President's point man for Obamacare, we know that he will brief reporters at the top of the hour. What do we expect? CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST: Well, we expect, I think, what we've been hearing kind of all along, especially this week, which is that the system is a lot better than it was October 1st when it launched. That bar's not high, but nonetheless it's better. Their goal was that it could serve 50,000 people on the site at the same time, concurrent users. They believe they will be able to service in some way, shape or form 800,000 over the course of a day.

So they've been putting those, as we called them metrics, but they're really just sort of numbers and goals. That they will put out. And they will say as they have been saying all week and before that, we're going to continue to work on it. There are still things that have to be -- have to be done. But nonetheless, it's much improved.

KOSIK: All right. Candy Crowley thanks very much. So stay right here for STATE OF THE UNION with Candy Crowley and it starts at the top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

HOWELL: All right. In sports: the Alabama and Auburn game. Did you see this? I mean it really lived up to the hype.

KOSIK: Yes, I did.

HOWELL: All right. In fact, at the 78th Iron Bowl it's already being called one of the greatest football games ever with one second left Bama, the two-time defending national champs went for a long field goal to win but Auburn caught the missed kick in the end zone and with no time left ran it back all the way 109 yards, scored a touchdown and beat the number one team in the nation.

Check out ING radio announcers as they lose their minds after what they saw. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my god. Davis (ph) is going to run it all the way back. Auburn's going to win the football game. Auburn's going to win the football game. He ran the missed field goal back. He ran it back 109 yards, they're not going to keep him off the field tonight. Holy cow. Oh my god. Auburn wins. Auburn has won the Iron Bowl.


HOWELL: I mean you watch that. It's just one of those moments that raises the hair on your arms.


KOSIK: I got chills. I got chills.

HOWELL: Yes. It's crazy. It's crazy and I'm not even a Bama fan.

KOSIK: I know.

HOWELL: There you go. It was a crazy good game. So very cool, great to watch.

All right. Also in pro football, Jonathan Martin won't be returning to the field this season. He left the Miami Dolphins a few weeks ago after accusing teammates of harassing him. The NFL says Martin is now on a reserve -- he's on reserves for illness. That makes him ineligible to return until next season.

KOSIK: Still to come, sad news for a poor little pup who became famous for all the wrong reasons -- more coming up next about the world's ugliest dog.

We'll also have more on this train derailment in New York.


HOWELL: And welcome back.

We continue to track this breaking news outside New York in the Bronx. A train derailment, two passengers have died in this. Let's go to these images from our affiliate WABC. Again, we understand that firefighters are on the scene.

KOSIK: Yes. This is not an Amtrak train. This is a Metro- North. This is commuter rail that often goes from Westchester -- it's sort of the Hudson line -- it goes from Westchester through the Bronx. This particular train we're hearing through reports was heading from Westchester that was going through the Bronx to New York City.

Once again we're hearing that two people have died, so far. Really, really curious timing -- I mean could it be that people were heading back into the city from the holidays, spending it with loved ones? Or could they have been heading into the city for shopping?

So it could have been -- it could be one of these situations where the train was crowded or it could be just a quiet Sunday on the train.

HOWELL: We continue to watch and monitor this. We'll bring you the latest right here on CNN.

All right, as we enter the season of giving, we here at CNN are preparing for a very special holiday tradition.

KOSIK: "CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE" is a celebration of the top ten CNN Heroes of the Year voted on by you and their extraordinary work helping others. This star studded event airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Our Nischelle Turner had this behind the scene peek at preps for the big night.


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's that time of year again when giving back to others is in the air. Hosted by CNN's Anderson Cooper, this year's annual heroes' event is packed with emotion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much.

TURNER: And unforgettable moments.

A night when Hollywood's brightest stars come together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEALE: It kind of makes your jaw drop.

TURNER: To shine the spotlight on 10 remarkable people who are changing the world.

Like a great grandmother who used her life savings to turn a bus into a classroom.


TURNER: And the woman who started a drill team to keep kids off the streets.


TURNER: Turning the tables on a traditional awards show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not the only hero in this room.

TURNER: CNN HEROES puts these everyday people center stage.

It's a star-studded event with a few surprises -- and a heroic ending that you don't want to miss.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST "AC360": 2013 CNN Hero of the year --

TURNER: A night to gather together to celebrate the human spirit.


HOWELL: CNN heroes 8:00 p.m. Eastern, I should say.

KOSIK: Thanks for watching today.

HOWELL: Thank you.