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Chimps Lawsuit; Tablet Ordering; Impact Your World; Is "Fat and Fit" a Myth?; Fast and Furious Crash

Aired December 3, 2013 - 08:30   ET


JEFF BURK, EDITOR, DRAG RACING ONLINE MAGAZINE: Program was they took a race car designed to be on a racetrack on to a city street. That's not good.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, and, Jeff Burk, we want to actually say that this is a great opportunity to remind folks that if they've got a little lead in their foot to take it to one of those circuits. There are those places where you can race those cars legally, drag racing organizations like the ones you're involved in and talk about in your magazine.

Want to say a big thank you to Jeff Burk for giving us a little insight into that vehicle that was involved in the crash. Thanks so much for your time.

BURK: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it very much.

PEREIRA: All right. Kate. Chris.


Coming up next on "NEW DAY", chimps are people, too. That's what one animal rights group is telling a court in New York State. We have the details of this very unusual lawsuit ahead.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And seismic in Seattle. Seahawks fans are definitely known for being loud, but just wait until you hear how rowdy the crowd got and where they were able to measure it, hence the word seismic.


CUOMO: (INAUDIBLE), are we human or are we dancers? Of course I am both.

BOLDUAN: We're both.

CUOMO: Welcome back to "NEW DAY".

An unprecedented lawsuit has been filed in New York Supreme Court on behalf of chimpanzees living as pets in the state. The suit calls for the court to grant chimps legal person status and release them from captivity. "Early Start" anchor John Berman is clearly the perfect man to take this up. Look at the picture behind him. Look at the picture of him. You see the similarities. Maybe there is bias in you looking at this (INAUDIBLE).


JOHN BERMAN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": He's much more attractive. That's a good looking pic right there.

BOLDUAN: John, do not --

CUOMO: That was a handsome monkey.

BERMAN: That is a handsome chimp.

BOLDUAN: Monkey of the day. That is one -

BERMAN: So I appreciate that. I appreciate that.

No, look, in some ways, this is a classic habeas corpus case. It's about wrongful imprisonment. Classic, except for the fact that it involves a chimp here. A 26-year-old chimpanzee named Tommy. He's at the center of this lawsuit brought on by a group called the Nonhuman Rights Project. They say that based on scientific evidence, chimpanzees are proven to be very self-aware and they want chimps, some at least, in captivity, to be released.


BERMAN (voice-over): It may seem like an unusual statement, that an animal should be recognized in some ways as a person.

STEVE WISE, PRESIDENT, NONHUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT: They understand that they have choices that they can make in how they want to live their lives.

BERMAN: Steve Wise founded the Nonhuman Rights Project, a group that says, based on scientific evidence, chimps deserve some of the same rights as humans.

WISE: We want to show that the chimpanzees also have autonomy. And that means that they can choose to live their lives in the way that they want, similar to the way that we can choose to live our lives the way we want.

BERMAN: I a landmark lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court, they want civil liberties for chimps held in captivity.

LONI COOMBS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: They're using a time-tested legal maneuver called habeas corpus, which essentially means free the body. And it's been used throughout the years to free people from what's been considered an unjust incarceration. Essentially under the law, a legal person doesn't even have to be a human being.

BERMAN: The suit was brought on behalf of four chimpanzees being held in the state of New York. One of the chimps is 26-year-old Tommy, who lives caged on his owner's property in Gloversville.

WISE: No chimpanzee should live the way Tommy lives. He is essentially in a chimpanzee, you know, solitary confinement jail. All he can see is one bleak day after another in front of him, just the way we would if we were in solitary confinement.

BERMAN: CNN reached out to Tommy's owners but have received no response.

The 91-page memorandum filed by the NHRP refers to Tommy as a "person" illegally imprisoned, demanding he and the others be relocated to sanctuaries and says, "this court must recognize that Tommy is a common law person, entitled to the common law right to bodily liberty."

WISE: We intend to file a wide variety of cases in which we argue again and again that a certain -- nonhuman animals at least -- such as Tommy, are so cognitively complex, are so autonomous, that they should no longer be seen as legal things without any rights.


BERMAN: Now we should say that CNN has reached out to four of the chimp owners in New York State. We've only heard back from one out at the Stony Brook University where they have two chimps living in a research center. They told us, quote, "Stony Brook University has not seen any legal papers related to this matter and, therefore, is unable to comment on the referenced lawsuit."

BOLDUAN: Why isn't this just an animal welfare case?

BERMAN: Well, they're arguing something very different.

BOLDUAN: I know.

BERMAN: They're not saying they need to be treated better, they're saying they have certain rights.

CUOMO: Right.

BERMAN: Which is, you know, it's a complicated documented case in this matter that hasn't been thrown out yet.


CUOMO: The supreme court is a legitimate trial thing (ph). Look, the good news here is, no matter where it happens with the lawsuit, the policy involved is the right one, which is trying to get animals better protection rights because usually it takes too much, usually it takes too long, there's too much abuse before something happens.

BERMAN: And again, they're not arguing that chimps are human beings. They're arguing that their "legal persons," which the councilor here can tell you is something very different than actually being a human like you and me allegedly.

BOLDUAN: Good to know, because there was a question there for a moment.

CUOMO: Because corporations could be (INAUDIBLE).


CUOMO: And I should disclose, I have been called often "vanilla gorilla," so maybe I am biased on this (INAUDIBLE).

PEREIRA: And it was not by me, btw.


PEREIRA: I was giving you an opportunity to change the image behind the fellows over there -

BOLDUAN: I knew it was coming.

PEREIRA: Because now we're going to talk about something entirely different. Ah, well done. Are waiters being replaced by technology? Well, Applebee's, the nation's largest casual dining chain, is announcing plans this morning to place tablets in all of their restaurants by the end of next year, 2014. You, if you're there, you can use the tablets to order appetizers, drinks, desserts. You'll play video games. Let's talk about it with the host of "Techbytes" Brett Larson and, you know, why not, Mr. Berman is here with us.


BOLDUAN: Are you pro-tablet?

LARSON: I'm pro-tablet.

PEREIRA: Is this another tool for restaurants or do you think it's actually going to do away with waiters entirely?

LARSON: I don't think it will do away with waiters, because we still need people to bring the food from the kitchen to the table.


LARSON: I actually see this being -

CUOMO: Drones.

LARSON: If we cause use those Amazon drones.

PEREIRA: Robots.


LARSON: They'll just fly over and drop the food at your table. Hope for the best.

PEREIRA: Drop your fries (ph).

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) bees. You know, this is at Applebee's, they will have drones deliver food to the tables.

BOLDUAN: Is this next - is this next (INAUDIBLE).

LARSON: I don't know that I want to eat at that Bezos (INAUDIBLE). It will be cheaper than anyplace else.

But what's interesting, you know, we're seeing these pop up a lot in airports.


LARSON: In terminals because it speeds up. It reduces the need for people. It reduces errors. If you're sitting down and you've got 20 minutes to catch a flight, they can bring you a cheeseburger in 10 minutes and they know where you're sitting. I - so I see something like this being good in terms of speeding things up. I don't see it as, it's going to replace the waiter.

PEREIRA: Is there evidence that it's being used? I've seen them and I actually tried one out in an airport once.

LARSON: Yes. That's right.

PEREIRA: Are they being widely used, though?

LARSON: Yes, I've - I've only seen them in airports. So this is new that we're going to see them in an actual restaurant and in a restaurant chain. Now, they have test marketed them. They've test marketed them in over 1,000 Applebee's and what they've found --

BOLDUAN: That's what I was wondering, what do people -- do people like it?

LARSON: Well, yes, what they found was people are ordering more deserts and more appetizers and I think that's because -


BOLDUAN: Because of the picture menus.

LARSON: The picture menu and also when you're like, I want the blooming onion, you know the waiter's like, OK.

BERMAN: The tablet never (INAUDIBLE).

LARSON: The tablet doesn't judge you. It's not like it raises its eyebrow when you're like, I would like the $2,500 -- or 2,5000 calorie chocolate lava cake.

BOLDUAN: But that -

CUOMO: It does change the dining experience in some meaningful ways.


PEREIRA: It does.

CUOMO: One, you don't get any feedback about what it is. LARSON: Right.

BOLDUAN: What's your favorite - what's your favorite thing?

CUOMO: And when you want other stuff -

PEREIRA: Right. I knew (ph) that.

CUOMO: Like, oh, I need salt. Oh, I need another (INAUDIBLE).


BERMAN: When you order off the menus at Applebee's --

PEREIRA: (INAUDIBLE) particular what -

BERMAN: You know, you mean -

CUOMO: No, when it says -

PEREIRA: It could happen. Hold the mayo.

LARSON: Well, if you want dressing on the side or if you like - I don't know, should I get the steak or the chicken fried steak or -

CUOMO: Can I have dressing on the side. Thank you very much, Brett.

PEREIRA: Is there a buzz in the tech community? Are they saying yea, yea, yea, this is the way of the future, or what are you hearing out there?

LARSON: What I think is big is this really solidifies the tablet's place in our world.

PEREIRA: They're here, people.

LARSON: I mean if you look like five, six years ago, we weren't even talking about tablets. They've really struggled to find their place. And then we had the iPad. Now we have all these Android tablets. So we're seeing them pop up in more and more places. The backseat of a cab, I understand, because you're a captive audience.

BOLDUAN: Right. Right.

LARSON: The rest - this is a new - this is a new twist.

BERMAN: It's got to be way easier to pay. I mean you don't have to sit there and wait anymore to hail a waiter. That's going to have to be -

LARSON: That's the other benefit.

PEREIRA: Right, the bill.

LARSON: Is they have - they'll have the credit card swipe on the top. So when you're done --

CUOMO: That is the - that's one of the best parts of the airport is that you're in a rush and - you're right.

LARSON: Right.

BOLDUAN: I like it in the airport. I was thinking the dining experience though.

BERMAN: I think in some of the restaurant that you frequent, the John George's (ph) of the world, I think will keep their wait staffs no doubt.

BOLDUAN: Applebee's is my go-to.

CUOMO: Preaching to the golden arches over here. What are you saying?

BERMAN: Well, no. But, no, but my favorite restaurant hasn't ever had waiters as far as I know. I don't think McDonald's -

BOLDUAN: Which is that?

BERMAN: McDonald's.


BERMAN: There are no waiters at McDonald's. In some ways I think this is sort of -

LARSON: Yes. Like McDonald's I could see doing something like this because -

PEREIRA: Sure. Roll up to the drive through.

LARSON: It would speed up the process completely because it's like, I what this, I want this, I want this, swipe and go.

I also see though, as we saw when they put credit card machines at gas stations, an increase in credit card fraud because now there's no one to look at you, there's no one to take your ID.

PEREIRA: Yes. Yes, yes, yes.


PEREIRA: (INAUDIBLE) has its downsides.

LARSON: It's, you know, it's, hey, there we go. We're good. Let's go.

BOLDUAN: Yes, exactly.

PEREIRA: We've had a two-fer today, Brett Larson and John Berman. Monkeys and Applebee's.


BERMAN: Thanksgivukkah.

PEREIRA: Thanksgivukkah. BERMAN: A late Thanksgivukkah present.


PEREIRA: Thank you so much, gentlemen. Really a delight.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

PEREIRA: You've got to salute (ph).

CUOMO: Stick around, fellas. In this morning's "Impact Your World," country music star Dierks Bentley is giving back, helping change the lives of sick children and their families. Here's how.


DIERKS BENTLEY, MUSICIAN (singing): I hold on.

CUOMO (voice-over): With a stack of Grammy nominations, it's hard to deny Dierks Bentley's status as a superstar. But in spite of all the fame, Bentley stays grounded.

BENTLEY (on camera): It's really a never ending question, how can you give back, what can you do? I mean there's so many people even, you know, in our country that are suffering day to day just with food and work and health care and all that, you know? So you (INAUDIBLE), what can you do to give back?

CUOMO: So several years ago he created an annual event called Miles and Music for Kids.

BENTLEY: It's a combination of motorcycles and country music and it's all to raise money for the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

CUOMO: Bentley and some of his famous friends lead a pack of thousands on an hour-long motorcycle ride that ends in downtown Nashville for a star-studded concert. He's even taken his show on the road to benefit other children's hospitals.

BENTLEY: Anything, you know, you go to a children's hospital and see these kids, these families, you know, the last thing you want them to worry about is paying for it. And I've had three kids since we started this and so it obviously takes on more importance. You never know when you could be in someone else's shoes and need the assistance of a bright (ph) medical staff and team and hospital like Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. So I just feel really honored just to be the - kind of the face of the whole deal.


BOLDUAN: Remember, you can help, too. Go to

Coming up next on NEW DAY, do you remember that research that said you can be obese and healthy at the same time? Well, a new study says there's no such thing. We're talking to a doctor about it, next.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to "NEW DAY".

Fans of Monday night football game between the Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints taking cheering to earth shattering levels, literally.

Check this out -- let me try that again -- check this out. This 22- yard fumble, returned for a touchdown by Seahawk Michael Bennett had fans jumping up and down, going ballistic. It actually registered an actual earthquake -- I can't believe this.

The University of Washington actually has a seismometer in a warehouse about a block away from CenturyLink Field. It released this chart that shows the activity at the moment the crowd went wild. And if you actually look a little closer -- let me draw on it for a second -- you can see that it actually, right in here, it goes between one and two on the magnitude level, one and two magnitude was registered, which is actually earthquake.

I mean now, if you had an earthquake of 2.0 magnitude earthquake, people wouldn't really feel it. But the fact is this was man-made, the ruckus was man-made and it registered.

BOLDUAN: Chris has a new theory.

PEREIRA: OK. What's the theory? He's debunking right?

CUOMO: It's just a question. Just that I wonder if they actually had a level two magnitude earthquake that time --

PEREIRA: And they never knew.

BOLDUAN: Just at the right moment.

PEREIRA: They didn't have to know.

CUOMO: Just a question.

PEREIRA: Those are some fans.

CUOMO: Anti-fan, pro earthquake.

PEREIRA: You're pro earthquake.

CUOMO: Just throwing it out.

BOLDUAN: All right. Let's talk about some new information that's come out this morning, shattering the belief that you can be obese and healthy at the same time. A comprehensive study says that while some obese people may be healthy now, in ten years, those same folks will have an increased risk of heart attack and death.

Dr. Natalie Azar, clinical assistant professor of medicine at NYU Medical Center is joining us now to talk more about this. So when we were talking about the first new study, this concept that if you're metabolically healthy, you can be obese and healthy at the same time. Now a new study is saying that is simply not the case. What is your take?

Dr. NATALIE AZAR, NYU MEDICAL CENTER: Right. Well first I think it's important to just put this in sort of some boxes here. Let's go through the definitions. For BMI, which by the way is not really a measurement of obesity, per se, it has nothing to do with your percentage of body fat. It is merely a calculation that's taking your height and your weight and giving us an idea of what your ideal weight would be based on your height. OK?

The other thing we want to talk about is what are we talking about metabolically healthy or unhealthy? What is that concept? That concept is basically going over four different things. It has to do with your blood pressure. It has to do with your sugar levels. It has to do with your lipid profile and something incredibly important, which is something called your waist circumference because we know that patients or people who have extra visceral fat -- that trunkal obesity -- are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

So recently, over the last couple of maybe ten years or so, there have been a few studies that have suggested that if you are normal or overweight based on your BMI that you're not at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease hence this myth of being obese and healthy. What this study was aiming to do was not necessarily to debunk that but to say well, what is it about the BMI? Is there something more specific?

BOLDUAN: More nuance to it?

AZAR: More nuance to it. Let's look at the metabolic profile. So they did a meta analysis of thousands of studies that had eight studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria and they classified people into six different groups based on normal weight, overweight or obese and whether they were metabolically healthy or metabolically unhealthy.

The major finding from the study is that people who are currently metabolically healthy so sugar and blood pressure and everything is OK, but they are obese based on the BMI had a higher risk after ten years of cardiovascular events.

And therein, I think, is the key point here because his isn't something that we're going to say, look, you're OK now. In three or four years, you're still OK probably. It's that cumulative risk. What they found was that across all the different pheno types, meaning whatever weight you are as your BMI increases, these trends were also changing.

So your insulin resistance was going on. Your blood pressure was going up. HDL was going down and your waist circumference is going up.

So really what it says to people is that if you are currently walking around and you think that you can be slightly overweight and healthy that maybe in time this will catch up with you. This study, by the way, is not about the BMI. The BMI is an historically controversial number. BOLDUAN: But it's an important message.

AZAR: It is an important message. It's the best way we have. It's the most standardized number that we can all agree upon for study purposes, et cetera. But certainly not the --

CUOMO: BMI itself can be very deceptive though, right?

AZAR: Very deceptive. First of all if you take a large person versus a smaller person, the larger person just by bone structure and height is going to have a higher BMI.

CUOMO: I'm that person. When I go to the doctor for the physical and it wound up impacting my health insurance -- my life insurance.

BOLDUAN: Did it?

CUOMO: My BMI is too high. And they're like, you know, you have to be 190-something pounds. I'm 6'2 and I was over by 30 pounds.

AZAR: It is absolutely fraught with, you know, imperfections and misconceptions. And it's a controversial number. We all --

CUOMO: So you have to look deeper. That's what the study tells us?

AZAR: Exactly. Exactly.

BOLDUAN: What is the take-home message then?

AZAR: The take home message is that it has much less to do with your absolute weight. It has to do with this thing called the metabolic syndrome -- that's your blood pressure, your lipid profile, your sugar and your waist circumference. Those are the four factors that are the most predictive of an increased risk of cardiovascular events.

CUOMO: So we can all look differently but we have to remember the same rules about how we treat ourselves and our health in those major levels?

AZAR: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

Dr. Natalie Azar, great to meet you. Thanks for coming in.

AZAR: Thanks so much for having.

BOLDUAN: Welcome. All right, of course.

And tonight Piers Morgan is -- "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" is exploring America's obsession with weight. We're going to -- he'll be joined by celebrity chefs and trainers with tips to help fight the pounds during the holidays. That's tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. That will be an interesting conversation.

CUOMO: Coming up, a Connecticut man -- listen to this -- he has his Thanksgiving feast stolen at gun point. What he got instead was a great big dose of "The Good Stuff". We'll tell you about it.


CUOMO: Welcome back. Time for the good stuff. Today's edition, it is the Grinch who stole Thanksgiving.


CUOMO: Yes. Bridgeport, Connecticut -- man walking to his friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner. He's got all the fixings, but he gets held up. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just robbed at gun-point right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was walking to a friend of mine's house for Thanksgiving.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just now. He took my turkey. A bag of stuff --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He took your turkey?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they took my turkey.


CUOMO: Now the dispatcher admits she thought it might have been a prank -- can't blame her. But that was only at first. The police quickly confirmed it was not a prank. So the guy's holiday was ruined, right? Definitely the bad stuff.

What about that dispatcher? What about what she did, though? Now that is the good stuff.


DOREE PRICE, PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS: She felt bad and so she talked to all the peers in the room and everybody contributed and they ended up ordering turkey dinners from the Boston market.

JIMMY MULLIGAN, ROBBED OF THANKSGIVING DINNER: The police shows up honking the horn and I come downstairs thinking that he found the two suspects and got my turkey. He gets out of his patrol car with two Boston market dinners for me and my friend.

I was really thankful for that.


PEREIRA: What a lovely, lovely gesture. CUOMO: Protect and serve, right? Beautiful reminder of how our public servants can do the right thing in a moment of need. That's why it's "The Good Stuff".

BOLDUAN: That's right.

PEREIRA: I love it.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right. Big story of the day is the train derailment. Of course, we have continuing coverage on CNN. Let's get you right to Carol Costello -- Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: You got that right. Thanks Chris, have a great day.

"NEWSROOM" starts right now.

Happening now in the "NEWSROOM" an 82-mile-an-hour disaster.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I heard about the speed, I gulped.


COSTELLO: The Bronx train derailment, new questions and new details developing right now about the engineer. Reports he's zoned out. His phone records seized. Drug and alcohol tests under review.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will be developing what we call a 72-hour time line so that we have a good understanding of what sort of activities preceded this accident.


COSTELLO: Also, moment of impact.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have confirmed two DOA.


COSTELLO: The Paul Walker crash, new video at a new perspective.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is nothing. We tried. We went through fire extinguishers.


COSTELLO: Walker's father speaking out saying he's proud of his son.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just glad that every time I saw him I told him I loved him."