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Freezing Temps; House To Vote On Bipartisan Budget Deal; Asiana Crash Investigation; Accidental Blast In Kabul; Aid To Syrian Rebels Stopped; Nothing To See Here; Mandela's Loss Hits Home; Mandela Interpreter Called A Fake; Family Rescued in Nevada; Facebook Will Be Added to the S&P 500

Aired December 12, 2013 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you going to do with your car here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave it until spring.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Arctic blast. Literally, half the country waking up below freezing this morning. In some places, this is the coldest it's been this early in decades. Where are the temperatures plummeting sharpest? We're tracking it all.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Speaking out. The now infamous interpreter accused of signing gibberish at Nelson Mandela's memorial is defending himself. Why does he say his signs were off? And we have experts to tell us what he was really saying.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Close call. Way too close. Look at this. Utility pole crashes into a Texas woman's car nearly killing her, but she credits for saving her life.

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 is Thursday, December 12th, six o'clock in the east. Now, the calendar may say it isn't winter yet, but the thermometer telling a different story. Half the country is in a deep freeze that mocks any efforts to stay warm. Just look at the map, showing more than half the country experiencing temperatures below freezing.

If that wasn't enough, the northeast could be in for another round of snow this weekend. And in the irony of weather coverage, Indra Petersons is standing out in a frosty New York City to warn you about avoiding the cold.


CUOMO: Good morning, my friend. PETERSONS: Good morning, guys. Yes. Definitely, we are talking about temperatures. We're pretty much two-thirds of the country this morning below freezing, right here, right now in New York City, 24 degrees. We don't stop there. Add in the wind chill right now. It feels like 14 degrees right now. And here's the bad side. We know there's only more cold air, even more snow on the way.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody throughout the area is at the freezing mark.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you thought today was cold --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next few days are going to be very cold.

PETERSONS (voice-over): Frigid temps gripping the nation as another blast of arctic air has millions from the Great Lakes to the northeast waking up in a deep freeze. City after city, experiencing temperatures 20 degrees or more below average, the coldest it's gotten in the taste of winter.

Forecasters say the windy city already feeling like its earliest subzero temperatures since 1995. Earlier this week, morning temps plunged to six below zero. It's the same story in frozen Fargo. They've had single digit temps or below for a full week. New Yorkers bundling up for their morning commute with brutal wind chills that feels like the teens and 20s.

Bitter cold temps made fighting this apartment fire in Wisconsin challenging for the firefighters. It's so cold in Wisconsin that a reporter for CNN affiliate WAOW left this banana outside in negative 2 degree air for just 30 minutes.

EMILY MEUBAUER, WAOW REPORTER: When we come back, we find the banana completely frozen solid. So frozen in fact, I can actually use it to hammer in this nail.

PETERSONS: In Minnesota, (inaudible) is one of the coldest spots in America. Hospitals there are preparing for an influx of hypothermia and frostbite cases. Doctors urging people to stay indoors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you get colder and colder, your decision making gets worse and worse. The longer you're out, the more damage is done and it can be fatal.


PETERSONS: Definitely, take a look at these temperatures across the country. When you can easily see how many people are below freezing, let's do the fun part. Let's factor in the wind chill. Look at these numbers, so many places feeling like they are zero right now. In Chicago, feels like negative 15 degrees. The story does not end there. We talk about another storm expected to move in.

That storm right now in Montana. This low is going to drop down to the south, into the central plains. By tomorrow, we're going to be talking about portions of Kansas and Missouri starting to see that wintry mix. Let's bring in all of the action, look at this. We are talking about snow from the northeast back down to Missouri.

Again, still looking at that wintry mix through New England and West Virginia and down into the southeast. We are going to be talking about snow. The question is, are we going to be staying cold for some time? Yes. As you look at the entire next week, we really still are going to be talking about the cool temperatures here to stay. Bad news for the weekend.

BOLDUAN: Those are not described as cool. Those are cold temperatures, Indra. They'll wake some people up this morning.

PETERSONS: At least we're on the same page for once -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: A rarity but we are. Thanks, Indra.

To Capitol Hill, while you were sleeping lawmakers pulling an all- nighter in the Senate to vote on presidential appointments and nominees. They are still going, folks. There's some video, looking at the Senate floor. This is actually live pictures. Who knew? They're working.

CUOMO: Good. Work more. I like it.

BOLDUAN: What are they doing? Well, this seems to be Republican pay back for Democrats changing Senate rules. Also happening this morning, the House is going to be voting later this morning on a bipartisan budget proposal designed to prevent another government shutdown next month. Let's get all the latest from CNN's Joe Johns live in Washington for us this morning. Good morning, Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. It's also a compromise to stop the government lurching to crisis to crisis every few months. It's also the public battle over the direction of the GOP that's gotten much uglier recently. The speaker of the House who has been caught in the middle trying to referee and now he's throwing punches, too.


JOHNS (voice-over): Before the big vote, a family feud over the federal budget between establishment Republicans and the forces trying to steer the party further to the right.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: They're using our members and they are using the American people for their own goals.

JOHNS: The House speaker himself with unusually personal pushback against conservative critics of the bipartisan budget deal.

BOEHNER: This is ridiculous. Listen, if you're for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement.

JOHNS: Boehner was talking about groups like Heritage Action, Americans for Prosperity, The Club for Growth and others denouncing the plan because they say it increases spending $63 billion over the next two years, does an end run around the budget control act and uses gimmicks to raise revenue.

Heritage Action responding to Boehner said lawmakers will have to explain to their constituents, many of whom are our members, what they've achieved by increasing spending, increasing taxes and offering up another round of promises waiting to be broken. That will be a really tough sell back home. A difficult spot for some Republican street fighters defending it while holding their noses.

REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: It's the best compromise you can get in divided government. It's nowhere close to what Republicans like to have.

JOHNS: Tough even for the congressional golden boy and former vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, who co-authored the deal knowing his base will be watching if he ever runs for higher office again.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: If I clog my judgment by what is good for me politically or not, or how does this help me juxtapose against somebody else? This is not right in my opinion.

JOHNS: But the conservative groups have their defenders on Capitol Hill.

REPRESENTATIVE RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: Anybody who thinks my vote is for sale to Heritage Action is sadly mistaken. I would ask anybody who is attacking these outside groups, what is it these outside groups said yesterday about this deal? That is false today.


JOHNS: Republicans have their issues with this deal, but so do many Democrats who wanted to see much more including an extension of unemployment benefits. So there's something in here for everyone to hate - Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Joe, thanks for the reporting this morning.

We're also learning more about that fatal plane crash in San Francisco last July, investigators revealed the pilots were deeply confused before landing and relied too heavily on automated control systems. Dramatic new security footage shows the moment the plane hit the sea wall and tumbled down the runway.

CNN's Rene Marsh is live in Washington with more. Good morning, Rene.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION AND GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. You know, it's really hard to imagine the pilot flying the plane you're on may not fully understand how the plane's automated flight systems in the cockpit work. It's disturbing and that's what new details in the Asiana crash suggest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MARSH (voice-over): New video captured on airport security cameras show the heart stopping moment Asiana 214 crashed this July. It was too low and going too slow, it hit a sea wall, skidded down the runway and did a 360 before coming to rest.

Now new details about what happened inside the cockpit. The pilot flying told investigators he was uncomfortable landing visually without an instrument approach to guide him. He was a trainee on the 777, but had substantial experience in other aircraft.

On top of that, he didn't completely understand the 777's automated flight system. Investigators say he thought the plane's automatic throttle would kick in, increasing speed even in idle, but it doesn't work that way.

DEBORAH HERSMAN, NTSB CHAIRMAN: We do have an issue in aviation that needs to be dealt with, with respect to automation and performance when it comes to the interaction between the aircraft and the human being.

MARSH: Cockpit voice recorders revealed the pilots knew the plane was plunging, 52 seconds before the crash, a relief pilot in the backseat of the cockpit called out "sink rate." Warning the plane was dropping too fast. The warning repeated in English and Korean. He tried but failed to correct the problem.

CHESLEY "SULLY" SULLENBERGER, FORMER U.S. AIRWAYS PILOT: Right now, airline pilots are not getting enough in-depth training, knowledge about these complex systems.

MARSH: Investigators are also digging into whether Korean culture which puts a premium on deference to seniority played a role in the bungled landing.

SULLENBERGER: That's a problem we solve in this country about 30 years ago and we changed the cockpit culture. The captain didn't used to be approachable or listen to others. Now we have to because the accident rate demands it.


MARSH: Well, the hearing also focused on the airplane cabin's crash worthiness, how did the cabin, the seats, the seat belts hold up in the crash. Did they adequately protect passengers? What worked and what can be improved? Investigators zeroed in on the emergency response to the crash. We know one of the three victims was run over when firefighters arrived -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right, Rene, we'll be watching this. Thank you so much for that.

Let's take a look at your headlines at the top of the hour here. Officials say an explosion outside the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan this morning was an accident. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry tells CNN it happened in an arms depot in Kabul and was set off by mistake. The neighboring International Security Assistance Force said its headquarters have returned back to normal operations. Nobody was killed in that incident.

The U.S. is suspending non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels after extremists took control of a warehouse where equipment was being stored. It was overtaken by the Islamic front, a group battling al Qaeda, but not aligned with the rebels backed by the United States. Non-lethal aid is mostly supplies including night vision goggles and communications equipment.

Newtown, Connecticut, residents heading to Washington today for a vigil at the National Cathedral in memory of the victims of gun violence. Saturday will mark the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook School massacre where 26 people including 20 first graders were shot to death. Several private memorials will be held in Newtown this weekend.

The lockdown Wednesday at American University in Washington, well, it turned out to be a false alarm. Reports came in that there was a gunman on campus. Seconds later, the school warned students to shelter in place and await more information. There was no gun man. Police say the man was an off-duty police officer sitting on a bus.

People in Pretoria spending hours waiting in a line that winds to the capital for miles all to get a glimpse of Nelson Mandela. His body laying in a casket, partially made of glass in order to allow for his face to show. Some mourners collapsed in grief and had to be led away. Others weeping in silence.

A very, very moving image you can see there of the line circling around the city. All right, those are your headlines - Chris.

CUOMO: All right, the interpreter at the Nelson Mandela memorial is being accused of being a fake. He's speaking out about the incident, his infamous four-hour performance condemned by deaf groups around the world. The man is defending himself. He is saying it's not his interpreting that he is going to defend. He's claiming he's suffering from schizophrenia and that is the explanation.

CNN's Pamela Brown joins us with the very latest, quite a twist here.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Quite a twist and this is really the story it seems like everyone is talking about. Now the sign language interpreter is making the rounds in the media ever since he was accused of being an impostor. He says he is a champion of sign language. He defended his actions saying he is qualified and this is a story that has a bizarre twist, a story making headlines around the world.


BROWN (voice-over): This morning, the now infamous sign language interpreter from the Mandela memorial is coming forward, defending his qualifications.

UNIDENTIFIED RADIO HOST: Do you have any formal qualification in interpreting?

THAMSANQA JANTJIES: Anybody that wants my qualification, the person should get it from the SA interpreter.

UNIDENTIFIED RADIO HOST: So you do have a formal qualification.

JANTJIES: Yes, absolutely.

BROWN: He also added he suffers from schizophrenia.

JANTJIES: Well, well, yes, I am currently a patient receiving treatment in schizophrenia.

BROWN: But his performance alongside world leaders has become the topic for signing experts around the world. Watch this comparison next to an accredited sign language expert interpreting the same words from the Mandela memorial. Watch it again in slow motion. You can see the gestures don't come close to matching up.

DELPHIN HLUNGWANE, DEAFSA LANGUAGE INTERPRETER: He just said former President Mbeki. Former, indicating the past, the sign for president, across and against your body like that and President Mbeki has a specific sign name and his sign name is this. All he needed to do for that phrase was sign. That was all.

BROWN: If you watch closely you'll notice him making the exact same gestures repeatedly, even though the speakers aren't repeating the same words. He's been used in at least one other major public event here with President Jacob Zuma. The controversy now fodder for late- night comedians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he a scam artist or very, very bad at his job?


BROWN: Now he says that he's employed by South Africa's Translators, a company in South Africa. We're still trying to get to the bottom of how he ended up at the memorial. The ANC is saying they didn't hire to be at the event. So there is a lot of unanswered questions here.

BOLDUAN: It's confounding that this happened.

BROWN: Right.

BOLDUAN: I think the sad reality is there are a lot of people who are watching this event that missed out on hearing those speeches and experiencing the memorial because he wasn't signing what was happening.

BROWN: Right. I think that's why there's been so much outrage about this. Interesting to note, there have been complaints about him in the past as we saw in the piece he had ---

CUOMO: When he was in front of the President Jacob Zuma was he interpreting the right way?

BROWN: It's believed he wasn't. There had been complaints in the past. It's mind boggling he could be there at this point standing feet away from heads of state including President Obama. BOLDUAN: Amazing. Thanks, Pamela.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, some members of the family that survived two days in their stranded car in Nevada, they are now out of the hospital. How did they hold it together? Family members are going to be sharing new details about their ordeal with CNN.

CUOMO: Quite a controversy to tell you about. A teen kills four people in a drunk driving crash, gets no prison time. The explanation, was it because he's rich? Did the judge agree with that? You're going to want to hear this.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

New details on the family of six who survived two days in subzero temperatures in the Nevada wilderness. Two of them are out of the hospital this morning and the other four are doing very well. Their family members spoke to CNN about how they survived that amazing ordeal.

Here's CNN's Casey Wian with more.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Christina McIntee in the red leaving the hospital with her 3-year-old daughter Chloe, silent but emotional after the two-day ordeal she and her family endured in the subzero Nevada wilderness. Her fiance, James Glanton, seen here wheeling an IV stand, and three of the children remained hospitalized.

The couple may not be talking, but Christina's aunt is sharing new details with CNN.

LAURIE MCDERMOTT, SURVIVOR'S AUNT: Very scary. You know, I mean, they intended on being out for a couple hours, you know. And ended up getting into a situation where their Jeep flipped over and they were in an area where they were backed up against a hill. So it just camouflaged the Jeep.

WIAN: Glanton and McIntee were experienced visitors to Nevada's backcountry.

MCDERMOTT: They, you know, burned wood, they burned sage brush, they heated rocks to keep the kids warm. They burned a spare tire. They had food and some water.

WIAN: But surviving temperatures as low as 20 below zero on crackers, chips and cookies with four young children, nothing short of remarkable.

MCDERMOTT: She said she never saw such strength in little kids ever. You know, they didn't cry. You know, they were scared, obviously, but they would play a little bit during the day. WIAN: McDermott said the couple never lost hope and were growing desperate and were about to begin walking toward help when they were found Tuesday.

MCDERMOTT: She said it was the happiest moment of her life -- relief, joy, tears, you know, and then the shock kind of set in. She's an amazing mother. She stayed strong for her kids and her niece and her nephew the entire time. She worked side by side with her boyfriend to make sure those babies were taken care of and that they survived.

WIAN: Survived to celebrate little Chloe's fourth birthday today.

Casey Wian, CNN, Lovelock, Nevada.


CUOMO: Amazing.

It is money time. Facebook got friended last night. What does that mean?

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here to explain. Tell us.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's going to be added to the S&P 500. And that means December 20th, less than two years after its initial public offering.

Mutual funds tracking the S&P 500 have to add Facebook to the stock. That should be good for the stock. It was up overnight and it was 86 percent this year, jumping up 4 percent in after hours trading on that news.

It wasn't a great day overall for Wall Street yesterday. Good budget news got investors thinking the Fed may be pulling back on stimulus as early as next week. That's bad news. The Dow fell 130, the other markets followed.

Perspective for the year, I love this chart, guys. Ho, ho, ho, the Dow is up 21 percent, the NASDAQ up 33 percent, the S&P 500 up 25 percent this year.

OK. Hard-core fans shell out big bucks for their favorites, with $40 for a movie? Would you pay $40 for a movie when "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" hits theaters midnight tonight. Fans can get a super ticket for 40 bucks along with popcorn.


CUOMO: The popcorn is so expensive.

ROMANS: Here's what you get.


ROMANS: Seats in big screen cinemas and advanced online copy of the current movie as well as the first "Hobbit" movie.

Forty bucks, I don't know. I'm too cheap.

CUOMO: Those other things come with it. Look at my hand.


CUOMO: Those other things come along with it.

ROMANS: The Cuomo pointing it free.

CUOMO: I look like Uncle Sam there.

BOLDUAN: That's a punishment.

CUOMO: So, it's not just to see the movie. You get other stuff.

BOLDUAN: Forty dollars?

CUOMO: I'm just saying, you get other stuff.

BOLDUAN: This is like a role reversal here.

CUOMO: I know. I am cheap. But you're getting other stuff. I'm just saying it's as a value proposition there's other stuff there.

BOLDUAN: OK then. We're going to take a break.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, when the music ends we move on. Praise for Republicans and Democrats in Congress finally coming to compromise on a budget deal but will it pass? Will they go through with it? A political gut check is next.

CUOMO: And this is a controversy you're going to want to weigh in on. You avoid prison time after killing four people while driving drunk. That's what this one teenager did. His defense is drawing a very heated response. Was he too rich and spoiled to be guilty?


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone.

Time now for our political gut check of the morning.

Later today, the House is expected to vote on a bipartisan budget deal -- you heard me right -- crafted by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray. It's getting support from leaders but will rank-and-file members follow their lead?

CNN's chief national correspondent John King is here with what we can expect. I know we can never expect the final outcome of any vote, especially in this House. But how do you think the vote is looking today?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, we've had these conversations in the past where you say I don't know. But checking with everybody, Kate, late last night and a quick e-mail or two this morning, people expect this to pass and pass comfortably.

They do believe there will be a significant number of House defections, those conservative members, mostly the Tea Party members who think this isn't a good enough deal. A few liberals might vote no because there are things they don't like.

But here's the argument Speaker Boehner is making to the Republicans, if we pass this deal, number one, he's saying that he believes it's a pretty good compromise in deficit reduction.

But number two, he says it takes the threat of a government shutdown off the table and that Republicans can head into 2014 to protect their House majority by focusing almost exclusively on the president and health care. That's his biggest argument, that if we pass this, the political climate in 2014 is much, much better. We'll see the vote count today. But there's zero doubt in the leadership and we'll see if they're proven wrong. But I think not that this will pass comfortably.

BOLDUAN: And what do you make of Speaker Boehner yesterday? A lot of people have been latching on to when he was holding his press conference after their meeting, really coming out, standing firm against conservative groups who some came out in opposition to this deal before it was even released and announced.

He basically said this is ridiculous. If you support deficit reduction, then you should support this deal. I can hear even from New York, some moderate Republicans saying, finally.

KING: And some conservative Republicans saying, whoa.

And this has been bubbling -- you know the speaker, Kate. This has been bubbling in the speaker for a long time, because maybe it's an ad run against the bill itself, maybe it's an ad run against one of his members.

But if you boil it all down, these are attacks are attacks on John Boehner and his leadership in the House. And so, it's been happening for years. And, frankly, you know, he's privately vented many, many times and he's vented to some of the leaders of these organizations. This time, once -- he only said that once he was pretty confident he had the votes.

But he was trying to send a signal, A, to those groups and, B, to his members, that, look, I tried it your way. Remember that government shutdown? I didn't want to do that. I follow your lead. That hurt us. You better follow me now because I have the better path to 2014 success.

CUOMO: I don't know, John. I may be jet lagged. But I can't -- I think this is great what we're hearing here. You've got Boehner saying the fringe types, back off. We're here to do a job. We have to compromise. Government has to work for the people.

You've got Ryan standing up and stating that he made this deal for all the right reasons. And to me, it's like this is exactly what's supposed to happen. Is this just jet lag talking? Is this the way they're supposed to be responsible. I hope we hear an echo from the left by the way when they start coming forward about extending unemployment benefits and stuff that they have to support the deal also.

KING: Well, that will be interesting to see how much dissent we see on the left because -- there's a lot bubbling in that bottle, too. And we talked about this. That bottle is not as public because you have a Democratic president. So, people tend to bite their lip out of loyalty to the president. But there's a lot on that side, too, and we'll see that play out.

But on the Republican side, Chris, the point Speaker Boehner and Paul Ryan are making is, we are the majority party in the House. If we were the minority, it might be different. But we're the majority, we have a responsibility to be part of a governing coalition. That means we have a responsibility, we may not like it but the Democrats run the Senate. There's a Democrat in the White House and we have to cut the best deal we can.

That is their position. There are younger members, more conservative Tea Party members who just want to be opposition. They want to be an opposition movement. And Speaker Boehner says, look, I have a title, I have to do my job.

BOLDUAN: John, I want to get your take on this all-nighter that we've been watching play out in the Senate. I mean, we see this once in a while in covering the Hill. I probably saw it maybe three times that this happened for different reasons.

So, you've got on one side budget deal, Congress working. On the other side, you've got in the Senate, you've got all-nighters because Republicans are forcing Democrats to play I guess what we could call maybe a silly game. You can fight me on that, over this -- over Democrats enforcing the nuclear option on nominees. Is this silly or is this emblematic of a larger problem?

KING: Why would I fight you, Kate?

BOLDUAN: Never, you've learned.

CUOMO: I'll fight.

KING: I'll fight. But, look, this is proof. This budget is most likely to pass.