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Winter Storm on the Way; Secretary Kerry in Jerusalem; Vice President Biden Travels to Beijing; Obama, Congress, Weigh in on Income Inequality; Apple Signs Deal with China Mobile Network

Aired December 5, 2013 - 05:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Half the nation in a deep freeze this morning. I got to say there was more on the way.


BERMAN: Bitter, cold temperatures, ice and snow, dangerous winds being blamed for six deaths so far.

The Twin Cities taking an absolute beating. Temperatures dropping to 10 degrees below zero overnight. More than half a foot of snow triggering close to 500 accidents.


BERMAN: Five hundred accidents, 53 injuries statewide. Conditions are particularly bad in the northeastern part of that state. They're digging out from 28 inches of snow in the two harbors there's already 18 inches of snow on the ground in Duluth with more accumulations expected. Roads are impassible. That means no school. The dangerous weather doing little to stop snowball fights from breaking out all over Duluth.

That actually looks like a good one right there.

SAMBOLIN: That looks like fun.

The record-cold temperatures recorded over night in the Mile High City. It was minus 7 degrees in Denver at 9:00 p.m. last night. Shattering the old record by two degrees. Tossing half a foot of snow and conditions there are downright dangerous.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People aren't seeking shelter over the next couple of days, there is a strong chance that we may have one or two or more that actually freeze on the street.


SAMBOLIN: You know I worry about the homeless during conditions like that. So the storm is heading east right now.

Indra Petersons, we want to know where is it heading next? What is happening right now? How cold is it? I think -- did we say 40 degrees below zero earlier?

BERMAN: I think the wind chill in some places --

SAMBOLIN: Seriously?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it looks like a little game of where you'd rather be right now. How about maybe Great Falls where it's negative 16 without the wind chill?

SAMBOLIN: Oh my --


PETERSONS: Without the wind chill or maybe 72 degrees in New Orleans? We're talking about, like, a 90-degree temperature spread across the country.


PETERSONS: Pretty impressive. That's what we're dealing with. Maybe now you understand why you're calling it an arctic blast. I mean, look at these temperatures, Pittsburgh today, 61, by Saturday you are going down to 29 degrees. Little Rock 48, down to 29 and notice Billings, yes, negative 4. That is even for them almost 40 degrees below average.

The biggest concern is not even the temperatures. It's really the threat of an ice storm. Notice today as we go through the afternoon, we're talking about icing, especially from Illinois, back in through Texas and this threat will be with us all through the entire weekend.

Notice it even spreads as we go in through Friday, then we go into the weekend. The first system kind of makes its way offshore, that's good news.

Let's talk about what we are expecting, though, as far as snow, rain and ice. Snow or rain, I should say, about two inches expected, and we talk about snow still another six inches but that main story again is the freezing rain and this is the area we're talking about a threat of over half an inch of freezing rain, and that's the concern.

Will we see power outages as we go throughout the weekend from that heavy ice on those power lines? Just keep in mind, here's the system the first one, and there is a second one behind it for the second half of the weekend. Almost identical to the first one and that's going to be the concern, of course, as we go through the weekend.

Just imagine downed power lines and here comes the second, guys.

SAMBOLIN: I know. It's terrible.


SAMBOLIN: People need to be careful. But at least they're forewarned. Thank you, Indra. I appreciate that.

All right, 33 minutes past the hour.

Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem this morning for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It will be a busy day of diplomacy. Kerry attempting to convince Netanyahu the nuclear deal struck with Iran is in Israeli's best interest.

CNN foreign affairs reporter Elise Labott is traveling with the secretary of state. She is joining us live from Jerusalem.

So nice to see you, Elise. This is a tall order, though, right?


SAMBOLIN: Because Benjamin Netanyahu has said repeatedly, has been very vocal about how opposed he is to this deal.

LABOTT: That's right. And it's the first time Secretary Kerry has been meeting with the prime minister since that deal was reached in Geneva last month. They've been meeting for about three hours and about to come out in the next couple of minutes. You have a pretty open rift now between Israel and the U.S. over this.

Prime minister saying he can't accept this deal because this doesn't hold all of the Iran's nuclear activity. President Obama and Secretary Kerry felt this interim agreement, if you will, it was the only thing they could get from the Iranians at this point, so they went ahead over the prime minister's objections and now the secretary hopes he could convince the Prime Minister Netanyahu to move past the deal.

Let's work together on a comprehensive agreement on Iran that'll address all of Israel's security concerns about the nuclear program.

SAMBOLIN: Going to do that -- are they going to work together in order to deal with the concerns that Israeli has? They're going to have a voice here in that deal?

LABOTT: Well, Secretary Kerry speaks with Prime Minister Netanyahu almost daily and I think both President Obama and Secretary Kerry gave Prime Minister Netanyahu their assurances that Israeli will be involved in these consultations on how to get this comprehensive deal with Iran.

You know, the threat, this Israeli threat of a military strike to go after -- Iran's nuclear program is still out there. Obviously, they don't want to do that, so they want to make sure that Israeli is comfortable with any ultimate deal.

SAMBOLIN: OK. Let's move on here, dealing with Israel and Iran nuclear deal isn't Kerry's only mission on this trip. He's also tying to kick-start peace talks between Israeli and the Palestinians. How is that going?

LABOTT: Well, this is his ninth trip, Secretary Kerry, to Israeli and the Palestinian territory. In July you remember he gave the Israelis and Palestinians a nine-month deadline to reach a peace deal. We are about four months in.


LABOTT: So the clock is really ticking and I think it's fair to say there's been little progress. So today, General John Allen who's been working with Kerry on Israeli security issues will present some detailed ideas on how Israeli security needs, particularly in the West Bank, could be addressed in the context of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

It shows now the U.S. is really putting its own ideas on the table instead of leaving it to the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate because they are not getting very far. But, you know, Zoraida, after this Iran deal I think we can expect a lot of skepticism from Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary Kerry will meet later in Ramallah with Palestinians President Abbas, too, who's going to present -- press his own demands that a future Palestinian state based on the 1967 border with Israeli, going to end to that Israeli settlement activity which continuous to sour the atmosphere for these talks. So everywhere Secretary Kerry looks, a lot of pressure from both sides.

SAMBOLIN: There's a lot of work to be done. No doubt about that.

Elise Labott, live for us in Jerusalem. Nice to have you with us this morning.

BERMAN: Thirty-six minutes after the hour.

Vice President Biden in Beijing this morning trying to ease tensions between Japan and China. The vice president voicing the U.S.' deep concern over China's newly declared defense zone over the East China Sea. The vice president telling Chinese leader Xi Jinping the U.S. will not recognize that zone.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: China's recent and sudden announcement of the establishment of new Air Defense Identification Zone has, to state the obvious, caused significant apprehension in the region.

And I was very direct about our firm position and our expectations in my conversations with President Xi.


BERMAN: Both Japan and China claim to have sovereignty over that disputed region.

SAMBOLIN: And more stunning revelations this morning about the NSA's surveillance operations. According to documents from NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the agency is gathering close to five billion records every day on the whereabouts of cell phones worldwide. That means the NSA can track the movements of individuals and map their relationships as well. The agency's -- database, that is, can reportedly store information about hundreds of millions of devices.

BERMAN: President Obama is turning his attention now to income inequality. In a speech Wednesday he insisted the federal deficit is under control and doesn't present a serious threat to the economy but he says the gap between the rich and poor is a whole different story.

The president making a plea to raise the minimum wage to more than $10 and for an extension of unemployment benefits.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We know that we're going to have a greater and greater portion of our people in the service sector and we know that there are airport workers and fast food workers and nurse assistants and retail salespeople who work their tails off and are still living at or barely above poverty.


And that's why it's well past the time to raise a minimum wage that in real terms right now is below where it was when Harry Truman was in office.


BERMAN: Republican leaders quickly took issue with the president's approach. House Speaker John Boehner suggesting Mr. Obama's policy has created the very problems that he described.

SAMBOLIN: And with another government shutdown looming next month Republicans and Democrats are trying to hammer out a budget deal now. The two sides are said to be $100 bill apart with that gap narrowing.

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray are heading up those talks.

BERMAN: The White House in full holiday mode. First Lady Michelle Obama showing off the decorations. More than 70,000 visitors are expected over the next few weeks. They'll be treated to two life- sized replicas of the first family's Portuguese waterdogs made out of black satin ribbon. They wagged their tails and Bo apparently even gets high-fives.

Now have you heard about the latest White House scandal? One of the real first dogs Sunny got a little excited yesterday, knocking over that lovely, adorable 2-year-old girl from Alabama.

We have photos of the incident coming up here. This is just before the crime in question. And we have another picture here showing you -- there they are. They look friendly here. In a second it turns ugly.

SAMBOLIN: Do we have the other photo?

BERMAN: I hope we have -- there it is. Crime scene photo right there.

SAMBOLIN: Poor little girl.

BERMAN: Sunny.

SAMBOLIN: But then finally -- that's my favorite photo.

BERMAN: She got a hug. She got a hug from the first lady.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, she gets -- yes.

BERMAN: And a great paper rose right there. I hope she's doing well.

SAMBOLIN: How sweet. She's fine. She's fine.


BERMAN: You never know how that affects a little girl over time.

SAMBOLIN: I'm sure that she'll remember the hug and the dog and how beautiful he was and she'll forget about the rest of it.

Coming up, police documents are reeling Toronto's --

BERMAN: I told you, we legally have to say Toronto's crack-smoking mayor.

SAMBOLIN: May not have come clean about everything. The explosive new allegations coming up next.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. It is 43 minutes past the hour.

We have the latest now on the investigation of that fatal train derailment here in New York. We have learned the Metro-North train was equipped with a warning device that could have awaken a dozing engineer, but it was located in the locomotive that was pushing the train and not in the car where the engineer was actually working.

And also new this morning, a passenger on that train filing a notice of claim against the railroad. That is the first step in a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages for negligence.

BERMAN: Prosecutors say they have concluded their rape investigation of Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston. A news conference to discuss the findings is scheduled for 2:00 this afternoon.

Winston is a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy and many voters are waiting to see whether he is charged before casting their ballots.

SAMBOLIN: Autopsy results suggest "Fast and Furious" star Paul Walker may have survived the initial impact of Saturday's deadly crash. The actor and a friend both died on the scene. The reports says Walker died from his injuries and the ensuing fire. It also confirmed he was not the driver of the car.

A more detailed report is due out in the coming weeks. It's also going to have the toxicology report on the car's driver. An official tribute video was posted to the "Fast and Furious" YouTube page Wednesday. So sad.

Universal Pictures has halted production of "Fast and Furious 7" indefinitely, they say.

BERMAN: Forty-five minutes after the hour. Mexico Police say they've recovered a stolen truck carrying radioactive material.

Cobalt 60 is a radioactive element with medical uses but experts also worry it could be used to make a dirty bomb.

Authorities do believe they have recovered likely all of the radioactive material. Likely they say. The suspects were still on the run and officials are on the lookout now for suspects with signs of radiation exposure.

SAMBOLIN: Wow. Well, a new chapter being written in the troubled saga of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. According to new court documents released Wednesday, Ford may have offered $5,000 and a car to suspected drug dealers in exchange for the tape showing him smoking crack. The information comes from police wiretaps of gang members. One is heard saying that he rejected Ford's offer and planned to blackmail him for $150,000.

Toronto City counselors are saying this is more evidence the mayor needs to step down.


DENZIL MINNAN-WONG, TORONTO CITY COUNCILOR: More than crack cocaine. We are now cocaine, heroin, all these other illegal substances. The mayor has to give a full disclosure of what his involvement is with those drugs and with those gang members.

ADAM VAUGHAN, TORONTO CITY COUNCILOR: You think you can't be shocked anymore. You know, the lies. The damage he is doing to himself personally, you know, it's astonishing. That his family can't get him help scares me.


SAMBOLIN: Well, meanwhile Ford is scheduled to join the "Sports Junkies" radio show in Washington today to give his NFL picks. If all goes well, this may turn into a weekly segment.

BERMAN: Just thought -- just when you thought it was safe to go outside. You know, Rob Ford news emerging again.


BERMAN: Forty-seven minutes after the hour. Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo, who is tying some interesting ties, and Kate Bolduan joining us now.

CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, CNN'S NEW DAY: I'll get to that in a second.


CUOMO: But we are tracking this storm of course because they point south and east that are going to beware of what's happening. Bad conditions coming your way.

Another big story, the NSA collecting near five billion records a day on the locations of cell phones worldwide, allows them to track your movements but the question is why? We'll tell you.

BOLDUAN: And we're also going to be talking about Florida State's star quarterback. He's going to find out today if he's going to be charged with sexual assault. This is a case that has gotten a lot of scrutiny. And we're going to be joined by a legal expert with a question, do the prosecutors have a case here? We're going to be breaking down the controversy and what this means.

CUOMO: And then there is this, John Berman. The knot. Come in close. Come in closer. Can you see it?

SAMBOLIN: Now I get it.

BERMAN: The triple --

BOLDUAN: No. It's called the trinity knot.

CUOMO: Can you see that? Can you see that?


BOLDUAN: According to Bruce.

CUOMO: It's a trinity knot. Not religious. Celtic. Trinity. Celtic (INAUDIBLE). Bruce Almighty, the --

BOLDUAN: Floor director.

CUOMO: Floor director extraordinaire. He tied it for me this morning. A special knot only on "NEW DAY".

BERMAN: Well, you know, how --


BERMAN: You know how I feel about the Celtics so I support that knot. Thank you very much.

CUOMO: Celtic, not Celtic.

BERMAN: Chris Cuomo is getting (INAUDIBLE). But thank you very much.

SAMBOLIN: Celtic he says.

BERMAN: It is impressive, though, I have to say.

SAMBOLIN: I like your tie.

BERMAN: Speaking of impressive, it is time now for our "Morning Rhyme." This is the best tweets of the day. Today comes from Patrick Campbell who writes, "While parts of our country are cold and icy, CNN makes the news bold and spicy."




SAMBOLIN: I like that.

BERMAN: In fact, we do.

SAMBOLIN: Bold and spicy. It's a new name. Instead of EARLY START, it is bold and spicy.

BERMAN: Sounds like a soap opera.


BERMAN: You come up with your own tweet anytime, send us the -- send us, the hash tag are "morning rhyme" and "early start."

SAMBOLIN: All right. So coming up, if this is the season for giving, who do you think is getting the biggest tips? Is it waiters, doormen, bar tenders? This answer may actually shock you.


SAMBOLIN: I like this song.

BERMAN: It's very soothing, sweet music.

SAMBOLIN: It is. Almost --

BERMAN: Which is only appropriate because we have Christine Romans here for "Money Time."


SAMBOLIN: This is supposed to wake you up. Not put you to sleep. So -- right?

ROMANS: I know. I know. Wake up. Wake up. Two words. Apple and China. That link sending Apple stock up 2 percent this morning in premarket trade.

"The Wall Street Journal" reporting Apple has finally signed a deal with China Mobile that would offer iPhones on the China Mobile network. Why does this matter? It helps unlock this market that Apple has been -- has really been trying to crack for a long time. But let me tell you how big that market is.

China Mobile has 700 million subscribers. Imagine that. That's twice the population of the United States. And those are just the mobile subscribers. There's a lot of other people who are dying and ready to get signed up.

That means you can see offer -- China Mobile offering iPhones is early as December 18th in that big market.

And this billionaire, you see him there, he is not giving up on trying to pry cash from Apple and get it back to shareholders. Carl Icahn, now lobbing Apple for $50 billion share buyback. Relenting a bit on his initial $150 billion. If he gets it, if he gets shareholders to go for it, that means that money goes back to Apple shareholders driving the stock higher again.

To housing now and four bold 2014 predictions from Zillo.

SAMBOLIN: I'm paying attention.

ROMANS: I knew you would. Home values will increase 3 percent on average.

SAMBOLIN: That's good.

ROMANS: Good news for buyers who've seen values already rise as much as 20 percent in some areas. Mortgage rates will reach 5 percent so mortgage rates rising. That means a monthly payment on 200,000 loan would rise by about $160 on a new loan.

SAMBOLIN: Still not bad.

ROMANS: But it'll be easier to get a mortgage. Rising rates will mean losing lender standards as lenders scramble for business. I've heard this a lot. That if mortgage rates rise actually the banks will be more likely to write new loans. Home ownership rates will fall to their lowest point in nearly two decades.

So those are the four big predictions from Zillo for housing for next year.

And 'tis the season to tip and pay scale has its annual tipping report. OK. Here's the answer to that quiz about who gets the biggest tips. Exotic dancers, $25.40 an hour in tips.

BERMAN: Oh god.

ROMANS: Gaming dealers -- sin pays, baby, sin pays. Sommelier, those are, like, you know, the wine choosers, wine steward, $10.10 an hour.

SAMBOLIN: That's important.

ROMANS: And bartenders $9.50 an hour.

SAMBOLIN: Big (INAUDIBLE). ROMANS: Those are the biggest tips. I was also really surprised the average tip for going to the salon, well, what do you think it would be?

SAMBOLIN: For going to the salon?

ROMANS: Yes, when you go to the salon, tip the person who does your hair or whatever.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty percent.

ROMANS: Yes, 15 percent is the -- is the average. I do 20 percent, too. And I like cry when I leave because it costs so much.

SAMBOLIN: I know, right.

BERMAN: What's going through exotic dancer's tip? That's the question.

ROMANS: I don't have no personal history, Berman, but if you'd like to explain to me what is customary where you grew up.

BERMAN: No. I just wasn't expecting that. I was thinking you know --


BERMAN: Waiters and things --

ROMANS: The biggest one is gambling and restaurants, bars and --

SAMBOLIN: She purposely does not share this with us so that we can react live on television. That was your live reaction.

BERMAN: Brings a surprise every day, Christine Romans.

ROMANS: Are you going to change your career? Is that --

BERMAN: No, we are going to go to break, though. Quickly. We'll be right back.

SAMBOLIN: Do you think you could become an exotic dancer?


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. A desperate effort is under way to save an American being detained in Dubai.

Chaz Kassim was arrested back in April along with some of his friends after they made a mock documentary about a teen -- about teen life in Dubai and then they posted it on YouTube. He is now being held in a maximum security prison. "Minnesota Star Tribune" reports the U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates has said the case will his highest priority.

We're going to get more from family members when they join us during the 8:00 hour of "NEW DAY."

BERMAN: Crazy story.

And "NEW DAY" does start right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The thermometer in my truck said seven degrees when I was driving over here, so it's cold.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The ice maker comet. A snow-dumping storm covered the Rockies and is now headed south toward major cities. We're tracking the dangerous conditions.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, new reports the NSA is collecting five billion cell phone records a day worldwide but exactly what information are they looking for?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Walkout. Fast food workers across the country planning to walk off the job today. Could their protests lead to a higher minimum wage or higher prices for you.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

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

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, December 5th, 6:00 in the east.

Winter's grip getting tighter. The next phase of extreme weather expected to be a major ice storm across the southern plains into the Ohio Valley. Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, under the gun. More snow will fall in already hard-hit spots like Denver.

And that's where Ana Cabrera is.

Good morning, Ana. What do we know?

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. It is incredibly cold here this morning. Denver hit a record yesterday of negative 13 degrees below 0. And the temperatures are still falling, negative 14 degrees in Denver right now. So dangerously cold.

In Colorado, of course, is not alone as this arctic air mass continues to spread.


CABRERA (voice-over): A dangerous and drastic temperature plunge has millions shivering this morning across the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the thermometer in my truck says seven degrees just driving over here so it's cold.