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East Coast Iced; "Times Are Getting Desperate"; Saying Goodbye To Mandela; Hagel Pushes Security Pact; Autopsy Due In Teen Plane Death; Kennedy Center Honors; Asiana Airline Pilots "Confused"; World's Largest Airline; Deal Or No Deal?

Aired December 9, 2013 - 06:00   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to "New Day," everyone. It's Monday, December 9th, six o'clock in the east. I'm Kate Bolduan here in New York.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Chris Cuomo in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kunjani to all of you. That's a traditional Zulu welcome. And boy, the rainbow nation of South Africa is in full effect as they prepare for what promises to be a truly epic memorial for Nelson Mandela. We will be here with live details of what's to come.

But first, let's get back to Kate with this morning's top story -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Chris, we'll be checking back in with you. Thanks so much.

Let's begin, though, back here at home with a massive winter storm, icing the east coast. Air travel is an absolute nightmare. More than 1,100 flights already scrubbed today following 2,800 cancellations on Sunday. It's not much better. If that's not bad enough, people have been forced to sleep on cots at the airport, not where you want to be spending your weekend and it's not looking any better on the roads unfortunately.

A highway nightmare from Wisconsin to Maryland, hundreds of wrecks, some of them deadly. We have this storm covered like no other network can beginning with Meteorologist Indra Petersons in the CNN Weather Center. How is it looking now, Indra?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No stranger to those travel delays. It's about 10 hours that I was stuck at the airport last week and just yesterday, good several hours on the tarmac, but I know I was not alone. I mean, this storm wreaked havoc with freezing rain, rain itself and snow and ice across a huge chunk of the country.


PETERSONS (voice-over): Snow, freezing rain and dangerous ice. In Plano, Texas, residents captured these videos showing sheets of ice cascading down from the rooftops. And another early winter storm is wreaking havoc across much of the nation. The frigid storm put Dallas in a deep freeze over the weekend. It made a mess from the Ohio Valley to the northeast. Road crews were out in full force plowing and salting streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to stop working until the roads are clear.

PETERSONS: The wintry mix created treacherous conditions on major roadways.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been really rough. I think every year people forget how to drive in the snow.

PETERSONS: The dangerous mix of snow and ice caused this 50-car pileup on the Pennsylvania turnpike killing at least one person. Roads and highways in the Milwaukee area also had their share of problems. Three separate wrecks involving over 100 cars, buses and ditches, semi-trailers jack knifed causing a number of injuries.

LUIS ALANIS, BUS PASSENGER IN I-94 ACCIDENT: It was bad. You could barely see up the road, dodging cars, we ended up in the ditch.

PETERSONS: But it's not just the drivers feeling the impact. Over 2,800 flights were canceled nationwide on Sunday and the number of cancellations continues to grow. This morning trouble will be in airports along the busy I-95 Corridor including Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Heavy snow was the headline in at least four NFL games on Sunday. Blowing snow made it nearly impossible for fans to tell exactly where the ball was. The football field looked more like an ice rink with players slipping and sliding.

At the Eagles/Lions game in Philadelphia, snow measured as high as six inches in the middle of the field. The Lions fumbled six times before half-time and during a pre-game warm-up, Detroit running back, Reggie Bush, injured himself on the slippery field.


PETERSONS: We still have those travel delays and concerns this morning. Right now, seeing that freezing rain really stretching anywhere from New York back to Virginia, and even freezing fog out through Dallas. We will have the full forecast coming up in just a little bit -- Michaela, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes, quite a way to start off the week, Indra. We'll be checking back. Thanks, so much.

Let's talk about the deep freeze in Dallas now. The lone star state has been reeling since Friday. There are snow and ice pretty much everywhere. Roads and airport runways are too slick to navigate. Our storm team coverage continues with Ed Lavandera live from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. How is it looking, Ed?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Kate. Here at Dallas, Fort Worth International airport, it's really been the story. Four thousand people had to spend the night in the terminals here Friday night. That number was down to about 650 last night. Anyway you counted is enough people inside these terminals to populate a small Texas town.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is day four, Dallas-Fort Worth Airports, times are getting desperate.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Growing frustrations for thousands of passengers after being stranded at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport since Friday. James Archibald of Canada is one of them.

JAMES ARCHIBALD, TRAVELER: I just don't understand why they can't get the ice off the runway. You know, from Canada, we've gotten 4 or 5 feet on the runway, boom, plows go by. I know it's for our own safety, it's a bit silly.

LAVANDERA: Mr. Archibald is posting video updates on YouTube, chronicling his misadventure in North Texas. As he waits out the weather, he is amusing himself by interviewing other travelers stuck at the gates.

UNIDENTIFIELD MALE: I'm going home. I don't like this place.

ARCHIBALD: You mean this isn't your home?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is right now.

LAVANDERA: On Friday, nearly 700 flights or about 90 percent of the total were canceled, about 400 more on Sunday. These newlyweds were on their honeymoon and trying to get to Cancun, Mexico, when the ice storm grounded them. The couple from Tokyo a long way from that beach front honeymoon slept in chairs like so many others. Some were lucky enough to get cots.

The cancellations continued through the weekend while airport workers provided some food and drinks to travelers, they also brought in jugglers, illustrators and balloon artists. But that was little relief for some.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you showered in four days?


LAVANDERA: The temperature was above freezing at the airport for about five hours on Sunday. That helped crews clear ice from the runways.


LAVANDERA: And the backlog here is going to be the big issue. The good news is airport officials here this morning tell us that four out of the seven runways at DFW Airport are now operating fully and that is enough to operate a full schedule we are told. But the problem is a lot of these flights are headed to the northeast where a lot of those flights will be canceled or if not delayed.

So that will be something to watch out for. All these airports urge people to continue checking with the airlines to check on their flights, so you can avoid living in the terminal like many people did here in Dallas, Fort Worth this weekend.

BOLDUAN: Talk about painful. Ed, thank you so much. We will talk to you in a bit. Ed Lavandera in Dallas for us. We are going to be keeping an eye on the weather, of course, but let's check back in with Chris live in South Africa this morning. Hi, Chris.

CUOMO: Hi, Kate. Just take this in, everybody. This has been happening since word of Nelson Mandela's death reached the people of South Africa. They are singing thank you, Nelson Mandela, power to the people. Peace must prevail. It's been happening here. People have been streaming in and one of the beautiful things is that Nelson Mandela's wish for South Africa was the rainbow nation.

So many different faces and faiths all coming together to honor not just the same man, but the same message, that's what we have been seeing here and to give some context. This energy from around the world, 90 different world leaders wanted to come. Four U.S. presidents, all the celebrities and dignitaries are coming.

Not since the death of John Paul II have we seen that. Remember the death of a pope, 1 billion Catholics, now comparing that to a man essentially a politician. It gives you a sense why Nelson Mandela was more than a man to so many people here in South Africa but around the globe. What we are seeing is a really beautiful mix of loss, reverence and responsibility.


CUOMO (voice-over): Tuesday will see the largest gathering of world leaders in Africa's history. The massive soccer stadium here was big enough for the World Cup. But the 90,000 seats will hold a fraction of the mourners coming to celebrate the man who represented the promise of South Africa.

Leaders from at least a dozen countries will be here. United States President Obama as well as two former presidents, Presidents Clinton and Bush, as well as their wives will be in attendance with many other American dignitaries. They will be joined by the leaders of at least a dozen other countries and more are continuing to join.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But here, this guy was the greatest.

CUOMO: On Sunday, thousands packed places of worship in Pretoria and Soweto. Many still baring marks of the anti-apartheid fight, different creeds and colors honoring the same man as father.

JULE SICOSANA, PAYING TRIBUTE TO MANDELA: This is a special mass for Mr. Mandela. He said peace and so we must hold that peace so that where he is, he'll be very pleased.

CUOMO: Tears and cheers capturing the loss and love for Tata, or father, as South Africans called Mandela. The makeshift memorials here outside Mandela's Johannesburg home continue to grow, but the greatest memorial may be the faces, black and white together, parents bring children who going to live a life Madiba help made possible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were born free in South Africa. They experience all the fruit.

CUOMO: With pride and a legacy, there is also loss. One man has Mandela's image on his car and says he hasn't been able to sleep or eat since he heard the news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can I live without Madiba? I'm so sad.

CUOMO: The long goodbye will continue all week, adding to the legend and legacy of Nelson Mandela.


CUOMO: You know, on Friday, they had a ceremony for Nelson Mandela, a traditional African one where they closed his eyes. Wherever he is, I hope his ears are opened, because to hear this, this is what they say would be the greatest memorial for Nelson Mandela, the people coming together in such stark opposition to what apartheid was all about literally living apart.

That's what's going on right now as a build up to tomorrow. The kind of sendoff and a memorial we just haven't seen. Ninety thousand seats as I said in the piece, it's not going to be enough to hold the people there. It will really be something to behold when all these people come together in celebration of the same man. Back to you in New York.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thank you so much for that beautiful view. Hopefully, his family can get a sense of that too because they have lost a loved one and a family member.

Let's turn to your headlines and give you the latest on the news right now, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is in Pakistan this morning. It's the first visit there by a top Pentagon official in years. He is expected to talk about drone strikes and security threats.

Over the weekend, Hagel was in Afghanistan where he focused on an agreement that would keep some U.S. and coalition troops in that country after next year. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he won't sign it until after the country's elections in April.

The police department seemingly picking up a few pointers from the NSA, according to "USA Today," about one in four law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are now using a tactic known as tower dumping. That means they are tracking the location, identity and activity of thousands of cell phones, and at least two dozen police departments are using a stingray, a mobile suitcase device used as a fake cell phone tower to intercept calls.

Safety improvements are coming to the Metro North Railroad in the wake of last week's deadly derailment. Crews have installed new protections at the very curve where the train flew off the tracks. The new system will warn engineers of approaching speed reductions and will automatically apply an emergency brake if the speed is not lowered.

Autopsy results are due today in the death of a 16-year-old boy who died aboard an Atlanta bound jet this weekend. Officials now say first responders used every means possible to try and revive that boy. He went into cardiac arrest shortly after takeoff from Seattle. The boy reportedly had an underlying medical condition. His family says he was clear to fly.

Billy Joel and Shirley Maclaine among those celebrated at this year's Kennedy Center Honors. Guitarist Carlos Santana, jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and opera singer, Martina Arroyo rounded out the list of this year's honorees.

President Obama saluted the cultural icon saying they are the not only the best of the best, but they have remained true to themselves and inspired the rest of us to do the same. Can you imagine being in that room?

BOLDUAN: It would be fabulous to be in that room. We had Shirley Maclaine in the show the other day.

PEREIRA: I know. We just had one in the room. The big headline, of course, over the weekend was that weather. Indra is watching it all. It made it exciting to watch from home. Not at the stadiums football Sunday.

PETERSONS: Yes, it was definitely the case. It was so cold from the stadiums, they were actually empty. People were afraid to go outside.

That same system now affecting the northeast this morning so we are concerned that a lot of these major travel hubs again as we have ice and rain in the area, but of course, it's that freezing rain that's the most concerning. We are looking at from New England, kind of stretching back to Virginia for the biggest threat of ice.

That is going to be farther south. Around Roanoke, Virginia, they could get a quarter of an inch. Either way, you get any freezing rain that can ground those planes. We will definitely call ahead. In Dallas, the threat of freezing fog, the same problem there.

Looking at snow today, the bulk, we saw a little dusting in Manhattan. That snow is exiting off to the northeast. London attacks could to see a little more as well. The concern as well systems are not over, another system making its way overnight tonight into tomorrow.

So look for even a little bit of a mixing right there in the middle, but the vague story will really be again more snow, one to three inches into the northeast and rain down to the south. So visibility concern is also going to be a big thing. So continue to try to fly. If you get delayed, you could get delayed.

BOLDUAN: More of the delay the backup.

PETERSONS: Never ends that I know.

BOLDUAN: And it's Monday. Everyone get ready. Thanks, Indra. Coming up next on NEW DAY, investigators believe they have now uncovered the cause of that deadly Asiana Airlines crash last summer in San Francisco. The question is, is too much technology to blame?

PEREIRO: Here we go again, four days until the deadline to get a budget deal done. Are we facing another government shutdown?


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY", everyone.

Pilot confusion may have played a key role in a deadly crash of an Asiana Airlines jet in San Francisco last July. U.S. accident investigators are now about to release a report highlighting an excessive reliance, in their words, on cockpit computers by the pilots, among other issues.

Alison Kosik is taking a look at this for us.

So what more are you hearing from this report?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So, the NTSB is going to be having a report coming out on Tuesday. And it's not necessarily going to be coming out with the exact cost of what a cause of the Asiana plane back on July 6th, what they are expected to show is these pilots relied too much on these cockpit computers and that they were confused about what's known as the automated thrust settings, which ultimately led to the crash.

The NTSB is expected to reveal the pilots didn't understand how this Boeing 777, how its automated control speed features were designed to function. And because of that confusion, NTSB experts believe that is what led to the crash.

BOLDUAN: And you know, that's going to have a lot of people wondering then, is this just one case of team of pilots, one crew that had an over-reliance on computers, or pilots in general relying too much on computers.

KOSIK: You know, it's interesting you say that because some experts have even called this something called automation addiction, which many safety experts believe is what many pilots really rely on. Meaning, they rely too much on those automated features in the cockpit. They don't necessarily rely on their flying skills, because when something malfunctions or switches off the worry is that the done fused confused cruise won't know what to do.

And NTSB officials say that is really what played a role in this Asiana jet t-- the landing that happened in San Francisco. They say what happened was this air speed dropped quickly. The crew failed to react until it was too late. There was a lot of confusion.

There's a lesson in this, say experts, they have to go back and make sure that these pilots feel confident and secure and know what they're doing to step in within they notice that something is malfunctioning with these automated systems. BOLDUAN: It does make you wonder. The only silver lining that families involved with this will have is if they can learn from this experience, if it will mean more training or more regulations.

KOSIK: Exactly. Recognizing that there's just too much reliance on these automated systems, that these pilots need to have their skills brushed up on. These experts find out that these skills erode because too much reliance is put upon these automated.

BOLDUAN: All right. Let's take a turn from one airline to talk about a very different airline. A much bigger airline, we could be talking about, Alison. You are following all our business headlines and our "Money Time" now.

KOSIK: Exactly. And that's the merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways is expected to become official before the market opened today. The new company will be called American Airlines. And the deal cleared a series of legal hurdles, that include an order from the Justice Department for the new airline to give up access at two major airports.

Stock futures are generally higher this morning after the Dow on Friday had its best day in two months. The Dow rocketed 198 points after a better than expected jobs report for November. Gosh, this year, what a year it's been. The Dow is up 22 percent. The NASDAQ is up 35 percent.

The S&P up 27 percent.

Little perspective for you -- the average return on the S&P 500 only about 8 percent.

All right. Let's all go to the lobby, shall we, and get ourselves some stock? AMC Theater gearing up to go public and it's most loyal customers are getting a chance to buy shares usually reserve for big investors. Members of AMC sub rewards program will be offered the same price as bank and Wall Street institutions. That's according to letter form AMC CEO Jerry Lopez, so everybody getting in on the action. Not just the big way.

BOLDUAN: The only thing I care about is what this means for our ticket prices, because I am saying it is expensive to go to the movies these days.

KOSIK: I don't think you will see prices go up. I think they are sharing the love, at least he investment in the company.

BOLDUAN: Sharing the love.

PEREIRA: Is that what they're doing?

KOSIK: Sure.

PEREIRA: We'll take it.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Thanks, Alison. Coming up next on "NEW DAY", budget deja vu. Four days and counting until potential government shutdown, and Congress can get its act together this time around.

And dozens of world leaders, including four U.S. presidents converging on South Africa, paying tribute to Nelson Mandela. Chris Cuomo is there live. He is speaking which someone who knew Mandela well.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY".

There are only four days to go until Congress's deadline to reach a budget deal. So can they reach an agreement before they face constituents back home?

Here to break it down for us is the "Politico" political chief John Harris.

John, I have been telling folks they should not feel bad if this dead lean came up and surprised them. No one has been talking about the budget negotiations.

JOHN HARRIS, POLITICO: Well, look, good morning on a snowy day here in walk. Don't feel bad. I run a Web site and a newspaper devoted to politics and Capitol Hill.

I was caught flat footed on this, my best resources, Capitol Hill reporters who back when this budget framework got set, at the end of the shutdown, we're saying, this thing is make believe. We're going to repeat the whole show down in January.

Well, lo and behold, it is not make believe. We don't have a deal yet. But the two sides are close not to the big mega deal that we've been talking about for a couple of years, but a kind of a micro deal that will, in fact, alleviate some of the sequester and avoid the show down and the possibility of another government shutdown in January.

BOLDUAN: So, let's talk about this, though, when you really look at it. I guess you can count it as a success they won't partially shut down the government again.


BOLDUAN: But no one really expected a grand bargain was going to happen. We're talking about the same players are in play. So they're not going to come to a grand bargain this time around.

But can they count a cease-fire now being described as a success?

HARRIS: Well, I think, remember back in high school grading on a curve, right? So, the person that got 80 percent might get an A. I think there's a little bit of that that's going on. Nobody expected a grand bargain, still a lot of us don't expect a grand bargain.

But a lot of us doesn't expect to get a mini bargain, and that seems to be what we're getting. So, we'll call that progress. There -- and the reason it's happening, there is a bipartisan consensus, people don't like the sequester. It comes in with a meat ax approach, in effect, spending priorities of both parties. That's one.

The other is kind of to our surprise, there seems to be a rapport between the two budget chairman, Senator Patty Murray from Washington on the Senate side and Paul Ryan on the House side, of course, the vice presidential nominee. The two of seem to be in sync.

Let's have the appropriate cautions. They don't have a deal yet, and they're separated by several bill, and also by pretty serious policy issues.

BOLDUAN: Well, let's just count it as baby steps, but we've got a deadline that we're looking for.

HARRIS: That's a great way to put it.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Exactly. All right. So let's talk about presidential politics. I think it's never too early to talk about the next presidential race.

HARRIS: Not with somebody from "Politico".

BOLDUAN: Exactly, kindred spirit.

So Rand Paul, Senator Rand Paul, he's on the Sunday shows yesterday. He said he is seriously considering a run for president. Does that surprise you at all?

HARRIS: It doesn't really surprise me, because we've seen really since the 2012 presidential elections ended and Rand Paul, of course, being in the senate, that he has very serious ambitions to take over the when, the libertarian wing of the Republican Party his father represented.

Now, his father in two presidential campaigns did this a kind of a -- let's be blunt -- a novelty candidate, somebody who was entertaining because of his eccentric kind of here's the way I see it position, but not somebody who was a real force in the party or had an effect on the nominating process.

Rand Paul, if he gets in, would get his father's movement. I think he would be taken serious to affect the process.

BOLDUAN: How is Rand different from his father? How is his approach different from his father's, I guess?

HARRIS: I think he's more of an authentic politician who has the ability to sort of make realistic choices based on his own self interests, where his father really I think at least in, you know, as he got up to the kind of senior citizen level, he's like, I don't need any of that, I will say what I think and let the chips fall where they may.

That can be very refreshing. We're used to so much artificial in politics. Not typically the best path towards actually, you know, achieving a nomination or being a power broker in the party.

BOLDUAN: So, that's how it stacks up against his father if you will. Let's talk about the other nominees in the latest CNN-ORC poll. I mean, if you really look at kind of the December from September until now, we put it up on the screen. He is right in the mix of it, with all the other big names that we've been talking about.

How do you think he stacks up to the other potential nominees?

HARRIS: Well, I think he stacks up pretty seriously. Those numbers, with respect to your poll, and, of course, it's catnip for all of us political junkie, basically meaningless, what you are largely doing is measuring name recognition and so forth.

But with Rand Paul, he's got something that really matter, which is an idea behind him and a base of supporters who are really animated. Not just by his personality but his idea. At the end of the day, ideas do matter in politics.

BOLDUAN: And he does come which a specific view point. You do know from he is coming from. That's something you do agree with Rand Paul.

HARRIS: That's exactly right.

BOLDUAN: John, it's great to see you. Thank you so much. Thanks, for battling the traffic and the snow to get in.

HARRIS: Yes, it's good to be which you.

BOLDUAN: I'll see you soon. See you later.

HARRIS: Bye-bye.

PEREIRA: All right. Let's take a look at the headlines at 30 minutes after the hour:

Ice and snow slamming the east coast, grabbing at least a thousand flights already today over 2,600 flights were canceled on Sunday. Hundreds of passengers are still stranded at Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. They've been there since Friday.

Driving, meanwhile, is disastrous in some states. Slick roads leading to hundreds of wrecks from Missouri to the mid-Atlantic.