Return to Transcripts main page


North Korea Releases Veteran; Snow and Below Zero Conditions; Mandela Passed Away

Aired December 7, 2013 - 09:00   ET


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. 9:00 now on the East Coast. 6:00 on the west coast. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.

HARLOW: And this morning a lot of news about the weather. We're going to tell you what you need to know. A deadly winter storm hammering cities across the country; it is bringing rain, sleet, snow and creating very dangerous conditions for drivers from Texas and Ohio even forcing some car assist spin out of control

That storm? It has already been blamed for four deaths in the south and more than 200,000 power outages. Our Indra Petersons joins us live from Memphis, working double duty staying there for the weekend because they have declared a state of emergency there, right.

INDRA PETERSONS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they actually did but in a lot of places, it looks like they dodged a bullet, at least where we are in Memphis. You can actually see behind me just a tiny little bit of ice left on the ground here. Keep in mind just west of us in West Memphis, they're digging about half an inch of freezing rain. So with that they definitely had some conditions where they had about 5,000 people yesterday without power. Today down to 500.

That is the good news here. Things look like they are getting back to normal. The problem is so many people that are still left in the cold this morning are dealing with temperatures below freezing. When you add in the wind chill right now in Memphis, it feels like nine degrees. You may see some of these runners go on by. They actually canceled a marathon that was supposed to take place here. About 20,000 people were expected to be in the city of Memphis this morning running the marathon for St. Jude's marathon. But it looks, you know, they're out here this morning. They are running anyway even though it was cancelled.

As far as flights, it looks like things are moving in and out right now, definitely farther to the north, right around Jonesboro, Arkansas, also Fort Smith, Arkansas. That's where they saw the heaviest amount of ice, a good inch of ice on the ground, a lot of power out in those locations. We all know, of course, out towards Dallas where they really got devastated by a lot of ice in that region.

A good inch or so of ice there gave about 200,000 people without power yesterday. In the airport, people were stranded, literally they were entertaining them in the airport last night. About 4,000 people were stuck in the terminals. This morning about 100,000 people still left in the Dallas area without power.

The story now is the second wave. We have been talking about this. There still is concern here. Even if you did not get to that threshold, to that half an inch of ice that brings down those power lines. The few people that still have their power - well, there's still another chance of ice coming as early as this afternoon.

And you can take that amount, let's say you got a quarter inch last night and you got quarter inch from this system, you still get at that threshold where you're concerned about losing power in this next wave. So that's we are, is on standby for this next wave and motion, guys.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: That second punch is more than an annoyance. It's dangerous.

HARLOW: I know.

BLACKWELL: Indra Petersons, thank you so much.

HARLOW: All right. Let's also check in with meteorologist Jennifer Gray. She's in the studio with us.

BLACKWELL: She's tracking the storm's path in the CNN Severe Weather Center. Where is this storm headed next?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, guys, it is just going to head up the east coast. The first wave like Indra was talking about has pushed offshore. Now we're waiting on that second wave. She was talking about Dallas. We do have some video of Dallas, of a car that was just fished off of the - from the icy conditions. It was just now flipped back over. And you can see how dangerous it is. This is just one of many situations that have been exactly like this that have gone on over the past couple of days. Very icy.

And while we are not seeing the sleet and ice anymore, it is still on the ground. And so that is where we are seeing the big trouble. Because temperatures are not going to get much above freezing for the next couple of days.

So as this system pulls offshore. The second wave is coming. It will be in the mid-Atlantic by later tonight and into tomorrow. Mainly Sunday into Monday, though. We are looking at more ice and snow. It looks like this one's going to be a little bit farther to the east. So most of the areas who have already seen ice should be in the clear. But there still is that slight chance for some of those areas could pick up just a little bit more especially in Tennessee and areas in western Kentucky.

So we could see up to half an inch of ice accumulation in areas like Washington, D.C. and that is going to pull into the northeast as we get into Sunday night and Monday. So that is just another storm that we are going to be watching. We have winter storm watches and warnings in effect. Ice storm warnings in effect. All of the above. So temperatures are very, very cold across the south, the east. But look at these temperatures in the north. Temperatures are 41 degrees below zero in Minot. 35 degrees below zero in Fargo. And Chicago at zero. So these are the wind chill factors. This is when you factor the temperature and the wind. So it is feeling very, very chill waking up on this Saturday morning in the north even the south, seeing temperatures about 30 degrees below normal for today, guys.

So this is going to stick around for the next couple of days. We should slowly warm up by Tuesday or Wednesday.

HARLOW: That's why you folks live here. I'm looking at my hometown, Minneapolis, minus 23 wind chill. No thank you. All right. Jennifer, I appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: Five minutes after the hour now, coming up on and breaking news overnight. An American veteran held by North Korea is on a plane right now and soon will be back with his family in San Francisco.

HARLOW: That's right. North Korea released Merrill Newman late last night after holding him there for more than a month. He is 85 years old. But he appeared to be in very good health when he arrived at the Beijing Airport today.

Our foreign affairs reporter Elise Labott is joining us this morning from Washington. Good morning, to you, Elise. You know, we know that Vice President Biden is still in Seoul today. It is hard to believe this is actually just really a coincidence. We know that Biden said he had no direct role in the release. Do we know anything more?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER: Well, we do know, Poppy, that over the last several weeks, the State Department has been working not directly with the North Koreans, talking to them, the Chinese have also been involved, the Swedish government which is the protecting power in the U.S.. Because there is no U.S. working embassy in North Korea.

Vice President Biden said he had no direct involvement, but he did offer Mr. Newman a ride home on his plane. The vice president in Seoul right now offered to pick him up and take him home through his route. But Merrill Newman said no. He wanted to get home right away to his family, take a direct flight to San Francisco.

Let's take a listen to what Mr. Newman said when he reached Beijing through North Korea on his way home.


MERRILL NEWMAN, RELEASED BY NORTH KOREA: I'm very glad to be on my way home. I appreciate the tolerance that DPRK government has given to me to be on my way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel now?

NEWMAN: I feel good. I feel good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What will you want to do first thing?

NEWMAN: Go home and see my wife.


LABOTT: So obviously Mr. Newman very excited to get back home. His family will be meeting him at the airport. He should be arriving soon. We understand it is quite a big spectacle at the airport right now.

BLACKWELL: You know, there is a family also waiting for another American being held in North Korea. Kenneth Bae. Been there for more than a year. Any movement on his release?

LABOTT: Not really. That is the unfortunate thing. Obviously, because of Mr. Newman's age and health, there was a lot of concern about getting him out right away. But his family over the - Mr. Bae's family over the last few weeks was like, "listen, wait a minute. What about our family member?"

U.S. officials telling me all attention now is on getting Mr. Bae released. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and others have been speaking out, the State Department about "It is great that Mr. Newman is out, but now it is time to release Kenneth Bae." And all efforts are going to be on that. Poppy and Victor.

BLACKWELL:: All right. CNN's Elise Labott in our Washington bureau this morning. Thank you, Elise.

HARLOW: Thanks, Elise.

Let's take you now to South Africa where we're going to show you some live pictures out of Johannesburg. Nelson Mandela's body is being prepared for lying in state next week. Those are live pictures of just the massive crowds that have been gathering outside of his home there in Johannesburg ever since Thursday night when we learned of his death. A virtual wall, I heard, someone call it of balloons and flowers. You see a South African flag there.

A state funeral for the revered, former president and Nobel Peace laureate will take place next Sunday in his ancestral hometown, following a public memorial service that is scheduled Tuesday.

President Obama and First lady Michelle are expected to attend the funeral. Ever since Mr. Mandela passed away in his Johannesburg home on Thursday, mourners, young and old have been leaving everything, everything there, out in front, showing their love and appreciation for this great man. They have also been singing and dancing for the man who urged forgiveness and unity following the end of South Africa's apartheid system. What a moment and what a shock.

BLACKWELL: And you know, we have been seeing pictures and videos of Mr. Mandela. Just ahead, a photographer who documented Mandela's struggle against apartheid. He will join us. He shared a New Year's eve celebration with Mr. Mandela after he was finally freed from prison. His stunning images of history. Those are coming up, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL:: For decades, Nelson Mandela was kept in prison and out of the public eye.

HARLOW: That makes the photos of him as a young man all the more precious especially now. Many of those pictures were taken by Jurgen Schadeberg. He moved to South Africa in his teens and he documented the fierce, struggle against apartheid. Well, we are lucky enough to have him joining us live this morning all the way from Spain. Thank you so much for being here.

JURGEN SCHADEBERG, PHOTOGRAPHER: Thank you. It's a pleasure.

HARLOW: You knew Mandela before he went to prison and you knew him after. I want to hear from you as we show some of your beautiful photos how you think prison changed him.

SCHADEBERG: I think the first time I photographed Mr. Nelson Mandela was 1951. We met during an ANC conference in December 1951 in a place called Bloomfordking which was the sort of hotbed of the Afrikana movement of the apartheid movement. There was a lot of tension at this particular conference because people and most represent people presenting there are working at the conference were terribly nervous. Except Mr. Mandela. I find him outstanding. Being terribly cool and relaxed. That's the first time I met him.

Again, I met Mr. Mandela in his office, in his law office in Johannesburg in 1952 where he kindly posed for me for a photograph in front of his desk. Again, I found I had this impression of him being a very relaxed and self controlled person.

BLACKWELL: Mr. Schadeberg, I want to go back to the first picture we showed. I understand it is your favorite. It is of Mandela in his cell on Robben Island in 1994. It's been voted one of the most memorable images of the 20th century. Give us an insight into this moment. If you spoke with him, if you have any idea what he was thinking at that moment.

SCHADEBERG: Well, it's very difficult for me to know what he was thinking. But I imagine that at that time, he had spent 17 years in this cell. I asked him if he would stand against the window and look out through the bars. He did that for me. I photographed a number of pictures of him standing looking out. There was a moment of total quietness and it was a very thoughtful moment.

I noticed the different frames I shot as the expressions changed from being very sad and then relaxing. When I was finished, I asked him, I said to him, "Thank you very much." He turned around and he gave me a little smile. It was a smile which I also managed to photograph eventually. A smile of being totally relaxed. Having passed through his 17 years, I would have thought, in a fraction of, within a few seconds.

HARLOW:: You know, I would also - I mean, it is a stunning photo. I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, this has been named one of the 50 most significant photos of the 20th century. Certainly what an image. What a powerful image. You also spent a New Year's Eve with Nelson Mandela after he got out of prison. You talk about his sense of humor. Tell us about that side of him.

SCHADEBERG: Yes, he always made jokes. He always was terribly amusing after he managed to give his talks and speeches. In 1990, New Year's Eve, he invited me and my wife to the New Year's Eve party where there were a number of former Robben Island prisoners, including Bishop Tutu. The whole evening was full of jokes and laughter. I have never spent New Year's Eve, which was as funny as this one. I never laughed as much as this one as I have done at any other evening again. He was terribly amusing, terribly funny and always having a joke and quite often teasing people at the later stages in his life.

BLACKWELL: We saw that photograph that you mentioned as he turns away from the window there in his cell. That small smile. Photo journalist Jurgen Schadeberg. Thank you so much for giving us the story behind, again, these iconic photographs of Nelson Mandela.

HARLOW: Absolutely. Just to capture history.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, sir.

HARLOW: Thank you, sir.

Still coming up on "New Day." This is good news, a promising new treatment for cancer patients could revolutionize the way doctors are treating the illness.

BLACKWELL: We will tell you how it works and how successful it has been thus far. Next.


HARLOW: A very solid November jobs report is helping push forward a strong economic recovery. Not everyone is feeling it, but good for the folks who are. We saw big gains in some higher paying jobs like manufacturing, construction work and health care. Those are the job gains we like to see rather than - we do see a lot of gains, most ones in the retail sector, food industry, et cetera, some lower paying jobs. We saw gains in both in this report. The long-term unemployment rate though stubbornly high. You got about four million Americans that have been out of work for four months or longer. What we know, the longer out of work, the harder it is to find a job. So that is still the downside in all of this.

BLACKWELL: New this morning, a revolutionary new procedure being used to treat cancer patients is giving hope to some families. OK. It works by using a patient's own immune system to attack the cancer cells. Right now, the process is showing incredible success rate. Listen to this, of the 59 cancer patients treated, 25 of them no longer show any signs of cancer. We will have more on the procedure later today on "Sanjay Gupta MD" that airs at 4:30 p.m. Eastern and again tomorrow, at 7:30 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

HARLOW: You don't want to miss that. Also this, a dramatic chase and shootout in South Carolina caught on tape.

CNN affiliate WBTW report police released this dash cam video of what happened after an SUV refused to stop for a simple traffic violation. The video shows a person shooting from the SUV at a state trooper's car. Then that car speeds off, eventually crashes.

Police say the driver and a passenger got out and began shooting at the trooper who fired back. Authorities took the driver into custody. The passenger apparently fled. Police tracked him down just hours later. Amazingly, in all of this, no one was injured.


Today marks 72 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. December 7th, 1941, Japanese pilots blitzed U.S. battleships in Pearl Harbor. More than 2,400 Americans were killed in the surprise attack. Usually U.S. war jets perform a missing man flyover during Pearl Harbor ceremonies. But it won't happen this year because of budget constraints.

Now, consider this, the F-22s used in the flyover, will be in the air today, but for a training mission. Even so, they will not be allowed to participate in the Pearl Harbor ceremony.

HARLOW: And coming up, a deadly ice storm is causing big headaches for millions of Americans. From car accidents to power outages and travel delays. We will tell you where this storm is headed next.


BLACKWELL: All right. This ice storm all across the south is causing some terrible, terrible accidents. A tow crane had to fish this truck out of a lake along Interstate 35. This is in Lewisville, Texas. It skidded off the highway. CNN affiliate WFAA reports the driver was killed. The ice is so bad that some drivers have been stuck on I-35 for 10 hours or more.

HARLOW: Wow, and in the Dallas, in that Dallas-Ft. Worth area, the ice storm knocked out power for more than 200,000 people, more than 4,000 flights have been cancelled nationwide because of this storm.

Our Ed Lavandera is live for us in Dallas. And Ed, it is so called. They have done something they have never done, right? They canceled the marathon.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They canceled the marathon. There was supposed to be a big holiday parade to go through downtown Dallas today. That was also canceled. Kind of a sad sight in downtown. The bleachers have been put up in the days leading up to this weekend for this event. And they are just sitting there empty. So they had to clean all of that up.

But really, the story today is going to be the roadways. As you mentioned, that horrible accident along i-35. We will continue to monitor that throughout the day. Treacherous situation on the road. It was very slushy on the roads yesterday when I was driving. All of that has frozen because the temperatures had dropped to about 20 degrees. That should be about our high for today. So all of this ice on the road will not be able to melt today even though it stopped raining and sleeting. So be very careful out there on those roadways.

HARLOW: Absolutely. All right. Ed, thank you. Stay warm, buddy. I know it is freezing down there.

BLACKWELL: All right. See you, Ed.


BLACKWELL: More rain, more sleet and more snow expected across the country today and tomorrow as the storm heads east.

HARLOW: Right. So let's check in with CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray. What are you seeing?

GRAY: Oh, yes, we are going to see the second wave of this start to pick up tonight as we go through tomorrow. First wave has already pushed offshore for the most part. But as we get into tomorrow morning, this is 10:00 tomorrow morning. You can see ice and snow already starting to pop up. It looks like most of this will be a little bit farther to the east than what we saw with the last system.

However, some of the same locations say in western Tennessee and western Kentucky could see some more icing. We could see about half an inch of accumulation as this makes its way to the east. They were including places like Washington, D.C. in this. Of course, coming up At the 10:00 hour, we will have much more on this continue to track the storm as it moves to the east. Join us then.

HARLOW: We absolutely will. Thanks so much, Jennifer. All right. And thanks to all of you for starting your morning with us. We appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: And be sure to stay with us. We'll be back at the top of the hour. First, Christine Romans and Christiane Amanpour and Candy Crowley.

HARLOW: What a team.

BLACKWELL: All three of them together, same table solutions to America's education problem. Be sure to stay with us right here. "Your Money" starts right now.