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Ukraine President to Sign E.U. Deal; Kim Jong Un Executes Uncle; Chargers Shock Broncos In Denver; The Science Award Goes To...

Aired December 13, 2013 - 06:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: A system is making its way from the Midwest. It could leave major northeast cities covered in up to about a foot of snow. Most notably Boston, expect delays at highways and airports. Some of the snow could be washed away as the snow then changes over to rain. We'll get to Indra in a while to give us the forecast.

It's being called a tragic mistake at a critical time -- 14 people reported killed in U.S. drone attack in Yemen. Security officials say a convoy was believed to be carrying al Qaeda militants but they were actually people headed to a wedding. U.S. officials have not commented on the report. Outraged residents are calling on Yemen's government to stop the strikes.

In the wake of deadly commuter train derailment in the Bronx, an unprecedented investigation, federal transportation officials have ordered a 60-day exhaustive safety review the Metro North commuter railroad. The train as you recall took a turn at 82 miles an hour, well over the 30 mile-an-hour speed limit when it derailed December 4th. First, four people were killed, dozens others were injured.

Safety regulators have shut down 52 bus companies deemed to be unsafe. The sweeping action called Operation Quick strike involved companies in 22 states across the nation. And they're not just the low-cost carriers. The industry carries some 700 million passengers a year or about the same as domestic airlines. In total, 340 unsafe vehicles were taken off the road.

This 43-foot cross on Mt. Soledad in La Jolla, California must come down. A federal judge issuing the order from the bench calling it an unconstitutional religious display on government land. Proponents of the cross say they may petition the Supreme Court once again to intervene.

Those are your headlines. Guys, back over to you.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We'll take a break on NEW DAY.

When we come back, why would North Korea's young leader have his own uncle executed? Is it about power, treason or could this be a sign that the regime is falling apart? We're looking into that story for you. BOLDUAN: Plus, a royal snack down. Queen Elizabeth parentally upset with police eating all the nuts at Buckingham palace. What? That story's ahead.


BOLDUAN: Let's go around the world now, starting in Ukraine where the president now says he may sign a deal with the European Union but it may not be enough to calm angry protesters in the capital city.

Diana Magnay has more.


DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, Kiev's Independent Square seems more packed than ever. It might be the slightly milder weather or anger at that police crackdown we saw Wednesday morning.

Police say they don't insist on being European but they'd like a better Ukraine, a Ukraine that matches Europe in accountability and rule of law. And the president is suggesting he may yet sign that deal with the European Union. In Brussels, his vice prime minister saying it would happen and soon. But how will Russia react if it once again sees Ukraine slipping from its fear of influence? Kate?


BOLDUAN: Diana, thank you so much.

Preparations are under way for Nelson Mandela's funeral. Today is the last day crowds can line up to pay respects as he lies in state.

Arwa Damon has more from Mandela's hometown.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, this is the road that Mandela's body will be making its final journey on, to his final resting place in his ancestral home town of Qunu, just a short distance away. And being out here, one begins to appreciate how humble Mandela's beginnings were, security will be naturally incredibly tight. But we're expecting villagers, people to be lining this entire route as the nation says its final good-bye to its savior -- Kate.


BOLDUAN: Arwa, thank you.

And apparently, we all know you shouldn't mess with Queen Elizabeth or her snacks. New details emerging from a London court about what the monarch does not like to share.

Erin McLaughlin is following that.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hands off the royal nuts so says the queen. She was furious that palace police were nibbling on bowls of nuts, her snack for her in the royal apartment. That according to an email introduced at the hacking for former "News of the World" editor Clive Goodman. Goodman maintains he's innocent on the charges.

But in that e-mail, the queen went so far as to make the bowls to be able to monitor nut levels. Now, that's serious snacking.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: Something I haven't heard in a long time, Erin, monitoring the nut levels.


BOLDUAN: Want to move on?



CUOMO: American officials say they're keeping a close eye on North Korea. Here's why, they learned to Kim Jong-un has executed his uncle. State media broke the news, calling the man a traitor. Now, some context, until recently, this man was considered the most powerful figure in the country.

Chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, what do we make of this?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Certainly not a close relative, the execution of a close relative. North Korea unpredictable on any given day. There are concerns about stability at the very top.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): A family feud ends in a spectacular fall for the second most powerful man in North Korea. Jang Song Thaek, senior general, uncle and mentor of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, executed, only days after he was dramatically arrested on national television, accused of corruption, drug use, gambling, womanizing and attempting to overthrow the government.

Here he is again in a picture a few feet away from his nephew, then in another image erased.

State Department spokesperson Maria Harf said, "We have no reason to doubt the official state media report. This is another example of the extreme brutality of the North Korean regime." It is also a shocking example of deep instability at the very top of this nuclear armed dictatorship, coming a year after Kim deposed another senior military leader.

VICTOR CHA, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: If you cannot trust your number one and two man in the system, that clearly means you don't trust anybody. And to me, that's not a good sign.

SCIUTTO: Still, proving the north's supreme unpredictability only last week, the leadership delivered a surprisingly positive gesture, releasing American Merrill Newman from detention. Though not before the Korean War veteran made a forced confession on state television.

MERRILL NEWMAN, KOREAN WAR VETERAN: I understand that in U.S. and Western countries, there is misleading information and propaganda about DPRK.

SCIUTTO: North Korea is holding another American, Kenneth Bae, arrested last year and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.


SCIUTTO: Concerns now about other ways North Korea may lash out to show its strength, fears of another nuclear test, perhaps a military attack on South Korea. There are no immediate signs that would happen but certainly all sides on alert. South Korea, China and the U.S., Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Jim, great to see you. Thanks so much.

Let's get back over to Indra now with a look at the latest on the frigid temperatures out there, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Happy to be inside this morning, especially since you are saying it's hot in here. I tell you, this feels good.

Talk about the chill we felt yesterday, now, New York this morning about 24 degrees, seeing teens out there, Minneapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati, all waking up to the teens this morning. It's not even the story. It's all about the next storm that will be headed our way.

You can see already these drop farther south from yesterday. By tonight, especially into the evening hours, if you're in Kansas, you're in Missouri, look for that wintry mix. Farther south you are, you'll be seeing rain. As we go into the overnight hours in through tomorrow, we're going to be talking about the Ohio Valley starting to see snow pushing into the Northeast.

By Sunday morning, really New England and the winds kicking up. You have two systems that are combing to bring you not only the moisture, the cool air and yes, the windy conditions, like it's not bad enough. And yes, by the end of Sunday, this thing starts to exit offshore.

So now, the big question is, how much snow are we getting? It's what everyone has been asking me all day long. New York City we upped it from four to six inches of snow is possible. Boston, a potential for a foot of snow. Ohio Valley, anywhere from four to six inches. Back towards, Indianapolis, about three to five inches.

Those are a little doozy, a little bit of snow coming your way. Yes, we've talked about it being cold, the snow. We want to throw in the wind as well.

Notice, Saturday night if you have plans Saturday night, I don't venture out in snow in cool temperatures but gusting to 32 miles per hour. By Sunday morning we could see winds going up to a whopping 50, especially out towards New England.

This is where I stay indoors, guys.

BOLDUAN: The winds is what gets you. The snow is great. It's the winds that cut through any coat you have on.

PETERSONS: I actually agree with you, Kate.


PETERSONS: I don't know what's going on.

PEREIRA: There's nothing more pretty.

PETERSONS: Well, if I can throw snow balls at the sky, absolutely, I'm good.

CUOMO: Four to six inches, you may get your chance.

PETERSONS: I promise you, I will.

CUOMO: I hope nothing bad happens.

PETERSONS: Watch out, buddy. Don't close your eyes.

CUOMO: I'd hate to see you get hit in the face with a big snow ball.

BOLDUAN: You know we're on air, right?

CUOMO: I'll pack Kate a snow and then throw her - -

PETERSONS: Kate, tell me you're now on our side on this, OK?

BOLDUAN: You agreed with me, so I have to be.


CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY: Mark Zuckerberg one-on-one with CNN. Why he's taking on the NSA.

PEREIRA: And later, our must-see moment. Find out what happens when folks encounter a magical piano.


CUOMO: See the game last night? One of the certainties in sport is that when somebody said you can't be beat, you know what happens?

BOLDUAN: They get beat.

CUOMO: They get beat. That's what happened to Peyton Manning and the Broncos struck by lightning in the form of the San Diego Chargers. Andy Scholes here with this morning's "Bleacher Report." Try to channel little Chris Berman there for you.


ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: I like it, Chris. You know, Peyton Manning and the Broncos, they sure didn't look like Super Bowl favorites last night. The Chargers were able to shut down their high- scoring offense and they did it by going on long drives, keeping Peyton Manning on the sidelines.

Now, the play of night came from the Chargers, Keenan Allen. He leaps the defender and then barrels right through another one for the score. The Broncos did have one last chance to this one to tie the game late, but Manning threw an interception. The Chargers went 27-20, handing the Broncos their first home loss of the season.

All right. Trending right now, is the race of the century. The inside the NBA crew laced up the track shoes and squared off against one another in the 100-yard dash. This goes as you probably expect. Charles Barkley and Shaq had no chance. It came down to Kenny Smith and Chris Webber.

It looked like Smith was going to win, but he celebrated a little too early and Webber dashed across the finish line. Smith cried foul, saying he actually won and he wouldn't participate in the medal ceremony. As you see, Webber celebrating it, crying in victory.

All right. Barkley, he says recovered from the race, and he will be on "Unguarded with Rachel Nichols" tonight. He'll explain why he thinks the NBA is an embarrassment and why his friend, Michael Jordan, is struggling as a team owner. Again, that's tonight at 10:30 eastern right here on CNN.

Now, I don't know about you, Kate, but whenever Charles Barkley starts talking about stuff, I like to listen. He always has great things to say.

BOLDUAN: Are you kidding me? That's ridiculous.

CUOMO: That's not bad.


CUOMO: That was a little Baby Barkley right there. What do you think about that?

BOLDUAN: Andy and I talked about it ahead of time.

CUOMO: That was very good.


SCHOLES: It was good. I love it.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Andy. Have a great weekend.

SCHOLES: Have a good one.

CUOMO: Barkley couldn't win the race because he was talking the whole time --

BOLDUAN: And don't they learn from the guys they watch? You know, the football players who start celebrating and then they drop the ball before they get into the end zone.

CUOMO: They're lucky. At their age, nobody pulled a hamstring.

BOLDUAN: That's why they cut the video off right afterwards.


PEREIRA: Hey, I want to talk about science for a second. Weird. How do you make science hit? You roll out a red carpet, throw an event that some have called the Oscars of science. An award show on breakthroughs in science were given out in California last night. They honor excellence in research and are funded by tech giants, including Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

He spoke with our Dan Simon about the awards and some other topics at the star-studded celebration. Dan joins us now with more. I'm sure it was quite a conversation, Dan.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Michaela. We are in the heart of Silicon Valley and that impressive looking structure behind me is actually a blimp hangar here at a research facility where NASA does a lot of work. This is where they held that star-studded event. We talked to Mark Zuckerberg about that.

You'll hear about that in a moment, but first, we asked him about the big news in Silicon Valley this week, about that letter that he and other tech executives sent to the president and Congress about the way the NSA conducts surveillance.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, FOUNDER AND CEO, FACEBOOK: One of the things that I've said publicly is that I think that the government has really blown it on this. You know, people want the government to help protect us, but we also want the government to be transparent and tell us what they're doing and tell us what data they're collecting. And I think that they've just completely failed on that front.

And from what I've seen, you know, if they were just a little bit more open about what they were doing, I think they could have created a lot more trust in a better environment for everyone, but I think that they failed at that and I think they're continuing to, which is why we're continuing to push on it as an industry. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON: Well, that's going to continue to be a big story, but I have to tell you, Mark Zuckerberg was not here to talk about government surveillance. He was actually here to talk about science and how he's investing millions of his own money to try to change the way we all think about those doing the really important work in laboratories across the world.


ZUCKERBERG: The big goal here is to treat and honor scientists in the way that they should be recognized by society.

SIMON (voice-over): Mark Zuckerberg changed the world with Facebook. Now, he wants to change how the world looks at scientists, to make them more revered like Hollywood celebrities.

Do you think that's an attainable goal to change the way people look at scientists?

ZUCKERBERG: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, it used to be the case back in Albert Einstein's day. But I mean, he really was viewed as, you know, part of pop culture and a rock star in his time. It's really a shame that we lost that.

SIMON: So, with stars like Kevin Spacey --

KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR: It's kind of great to see the geeks and the nerds get a really fantastic night.

SIMON: And Conan O'Brien --

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST: Nerds seem to have the upper hand these days. When I was a kid, it was jocks.

SIMON: Zuckerberg helped organize an Oscars-like awards show, complete with paparazzi and red carpet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

SIMON: To shine the spotlight on some of the world's smartest people.

Do you want this to be the most prestigious prize in science.

ZUCKERBERG: I don't know if we think about it in those terms, but we certainly want this to be both a meaningful award for the scientists and something that's public, so that way it can be an aspirational goal to children who are growing up and other folks who are thinking of going into science.

SIMON: The idea first came from this man, Russian billionaire and technology investor, Yuri Milner.

YURI MILNER, TECHNOLOGY INVESTOR: I used to be a physicist a long time ago. And, I think that I'm sort of -- had this idea to give back to the people that I belong one day to.

SIMON: He convinced his Silicon Valley friends, including Zuckerberg and Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, to fund the event. Each winner, seven of them at all, getting $3 million each, making it the most the lucrative award of its kind. For the 29-year-old CEO, science is not that big of a departure from the world of tech.

If you were back in your Harvard dorm room today, what would you be working on? The social network seemed to be taken.

ZUCKERBERG: I don't know. That's an interesting question. I think that, for me, my life mission is to help make the world more open and connected and to give people the power to share. So, there are always more ways to do that. Maybe if I were in college today, I'd just get started doing something else that's connected to that mission but just at a point that makes more sense for today maybe with phones.

SIMON: You'd be taking advantage of your own platform?




SIMON (on-camera): Well, as for the winners of the event, they included a doctor who's doing some very important cancer research, another one doing research into Parkinson's. The bottom line is they walked away with $3 million. It's unprecedented. That's nearly three times the amount that the Nobel Prize gives its winners.

PEREIRA: Let's make rock stars out of these scientists. This is fantastic, Dan Simon. Thank you for this and thank you to Zuckerberg and Brin and all of those guys making our new heroes these people that are literally changing lives.

CUOMO: That's an awards show that's worth watching.

PEREIRA: Exactly.

CUOMO: We will cover that whenever it happens. Although you know what, the victory speeches. We're used to these -- celebrity victors, but these guys who's dropping equations and stuff.

BOLDUAN: It's going to be the awards now -- ceremony, we're all like, what did he do?

CUOMO: Science.


PEREIRA: All right. Let's move to the "Must-See Moment" of the day.


PEREIRA (voice-over): A magical piano providing some musical liveliness to the rather mundane happenings at Chicago's Union Station caught many travelers by surprise. Others with a little more musical knowledge like this little girl playing chopsticks. And, got a fellow playing his horn. Come on. Along with the invisible accompaniment. And our producer's favorite, this guy. He digs (ph) music. He really cuts lose.

The creators of the magical piano project had one simple mission, to spread a little holiday cheer. Now, some of the folks on their on --


PEREIRA: -- interweb are upset because they think these people are all actors. I say, it doesn't matter. The goal was to spread holiday cheer and cheer up the folks going through the station.


CUOMO: I don't think you can make up that move that the red rocker was just doing there.


CUOMO: I don't think --


CUOMO: One question.


CUOMO: How does it work?

PEREIRA: They have a guy in another room. It's not one of those -- remember the old-fashioned --


PEREIRA: No. There's somebody else in another room, because when that little girl sat down, the piano wasn't playing. She played chopsticks. The person then joined her from afar. Remotely.

BOLDUAN: Isn't that cool?


PEREIRA: Look at her and her little fingers. I just love her little fingers.

CUOMO: That's great.

BOLDUAN: All right.

CUOMO: People online don't like it. It's like enough already.

BOLDUAN: Enough! Moving on. Coming up next on NEW DAY, get ready for a cold, snowy weekend, folks. We're going to tell you about another huge snowstorm getting ready to hit a big stretch of the country.

CUOMO: Plus, you remember when people were pointing lasers at pilots in the cockpit? Guess what, it's still happening, still really stupid and dangerous. We're going to hear from a pilot who says his vision was badly damaged.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's as bad as I've ever seen it, coming down Sheridan was terrible.

CUOMO: The gathering storm. A thousand mile stretch of the U.S. bracing for snow, ice and another round of bitter cold. Pileups are already starting on the highways. We're tracking it all.

BOLDUAN: Blinded by the light. Police hunting this morning for whomever beamed lasers into the eyes of JetBlue pilots landing in Florida. They put passengers in danger. And new this morning, the pilot's eyes are injured.

PEREIRA: Jackpot. $400 million up for grabs tonight. The mega millions one of the biggest ever, but are they rigging it so there are less winners and bigger jackpots?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The word needs to get out that this isn't funny, that this is something that potentially is serious and it is a felony.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm disgusted with these people. Putting tape over his mouth, way over the top.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: It hurts right here.

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


CUOMO: Pretty shot for you there. Good morning and welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Friday, December 13th, seven o'clock in the east. And there's no way to sugar coat it. Bad weather is coming and it's a thousand miles long. Let's get right to Indra Petersons who's watching the situation for us. What do we see now?