CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY SATURDAY

School Shooting in Colorado; Kanye West's Comparison of His Stage Performance and Police Work Bringing an Uproar in Social Media; More Snow on the Way for Most of the Country; Mega million Lottery: No Winners Yet.

Aired December 14, 2013 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KANYE WEST: This is like being a police officer. Something like war, something like you're literally going out to do your job every day, you know, knowing that something could happen to you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah. You heard that. It's Kanye West comparing his live stage performances, emphasis on performances to being a real police officer in the line of duty. Well, one police chief wrote an open letter to the singer that went viral. He joins us live on why he thinks Kanye went too far. Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We are so grateful to have you with us this morning. Thank you for sharing your morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. This is "NEW DAY Saturday, a bit of mixed emotion this morning.

PAUL: Yeah.

BLACKWELL: It's a brand new day. And you're starting your weekend, but we have got to start out with some of the tragedy that happened over the last few hours yesterday starting this morning with that Colorado high school student who is dead this morning.

PAUL: Yeah, you know, and another one is in critical condition fighting for her life right now. Investigators are searching for answers, though. This is what we do know. Police say 18-year-old Karl Pearson took a shotgun into Arapahoe High School, this is in Centennial, Colorado yesterday to confront a faculty member. I believe a librarian. It's been the latest we received information- wise. He opened fire inside that school, and this is how it unfolded on the local police scanner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm on the west side of the school. The entrance is by the track. I just -- heavy smoke in here. I don't hear any act of shots right now. If the school is locked down, we have a student with a bad head injury in the athletic hallway. Shotgun shell on the ground. Two shotgun shells on the ground right here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be advised. At this time, we do have one student down and they have found shotgun shells.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: A 15-year-old girl. She was shot and wounded. We know that she was in critical condition and underwent surgery overnight. Now, after the gunfire rang out, terrified students, you them see here, they just ran out of the school. Pearson apparently then turned the gun on himself. CNN's Casey Wian joins us now from Centennial. Casey, the question here, after all of these incidents, is why? Why did this person, according to sheriff's offices there, deputies, why did he do it? Do we know about a motive?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, investigators, Victor, are saying that there was a dispute, some sort of a dispute between this student, 18-year-old Karl Pierson and the teacher that Christi was talking about, the librarian who was also the head of the school's debate squad, which Pierson was apparently also a member of. So, they are looking at revenge as a potential motive for the target in this case, the intended target - that teacher.

As for that 15-year-old girl who was shot, wounded in critical condition after surgery overnight at a local hospital. There's some confusion about why she was shot and so many other students who were in the area were not. Initially, sheriffs said they believed and were told that she had confronted the gunman. Now they are saying that that information may not be correct. It is all part of this ongoing investigation that they say will continue throughout at least this weekend. The entire high school remains a crime scene, and as of the last word we had. The last briefing late last night from sheriffs, the shooter's body remains at the campus while we are continuing their investigation, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: Casey, let me ask you. You know, we saw that interview with that girl who is crying - I mean (inaudible) brought the tears. We know this is terrifying, not just for students or parents. What are witnesses saying about what they saw, what they heard?

WIAN: They describe a very, very scary, terrifying situation. Student after student saying it was really emotional, really scary. They were communicating with family members via text. Some students didn't have their phones with them. So, in many cases family members were not able to find out for quite some time whether their students were OK. Here's what one student had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was pretty scary. There were two shots by my classroom. And then we heard the screaming. And we dove for cover, and our teacher locked the door. And I sat in the middle of my two best friends. And we just tried to stay calm.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WIAN: As terrifying as it was for all of those students and their parents, investigators are saying it's really a tribute to the swift action of police and the swift action of school officials that no one else was hurt. Christi and Victor.

PAUL: Casey Wian, thank you so much for bringing us the latest this morning. We appreciate it. And, you know, I want to let you know. As part of the investigation, police have cornered off the neighborhood where suspect Karl Pierson lived. They want to search his home, obviously. They tried, you know, to collect evidence at this point, but they've asked his parents to plan - for a plan, you know, to carry out that search today at Pierson's home and at his father's home, by the way, two different residences here we're talking about Now, we know people there are being advised to stay away from that area. So there's no potential evidence that is disturbing. They are going to be looking obviously at that, Victor.

BLACKWELL: And that's going to continue through the day and possibly through the weekend. Maybe early next week. Colorado police, though, they say that the shooting was in no way connected to the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, which happened one year ago today. A candlelit vigil at Washington's National Cathedral marked the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Adam Lanza killed 20 students and six staffers and then he killed himself. People in Newtown have asked the media to give them privacy to grieve today. Don't come to town. And for that reason, CNN and other national news organizations will not report from Newtown today.

PAUL: Yeah, I want to be respectful to those questions today.

If you are looking out the window and you see a lot of snow, just get ready for more. Let's put it that way, right?

BLACKWELL: Yes. And if you don't see it, it could be on the way. Maybe it's coming.

PAUL: And the cold, oh, the brutal cold is coming. We know snow is falling from Chicago up through New York, and Boston, Buffalo.

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

PAUL: Already got two to three feet, I think, on the ground.

BLACKWELL: Three feet in some places. And that's good news for snowmobilers. You know, they like it.

PAUL: Yeah.

BLACKWELL: If you walk it, if you drive it, and that's so much. I mean one sporting goods store tells CNN affiliate WIVB that sales are already picking up a week before the snowmobiling season even starts. Who knew there was a snowmobiling season?

PAUL: That's exactly what I said! I thought it was just winter.

BLACKWELL: Well ... PAUL: Which, you know, winter does start -- well, actually Christmas ...

BLACKWELL: The 21st - the 22?

PAUL: The 21st, I think.

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

PAUL: So, we have a couple of weeks to go.

BLACKWELL: CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray is here with your weekend forecast, more snow for some folks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Victor and Christi. We are tracking the storm system pushing into the east for today. Places like Chicago will be the first one to see the snow. As this travels to the east. It's going to be mainly a rain event for the southeast including Atlanta. All the way up to Raleigh, but once you are getting to D.C., New York, Boston, Philly, that's when we'll start to see a changeover. Ice, a little bit of an icy mix and then heavy snow in upstate New York and even in New England. So, this is Sunday. By 3:00 still seeing maybe an icy mix in New York. But it's starting to leave you. But then Boston is still hanging onto the snow until possibly late morning or early afternoon on Sunday. As far as snow totals, Chicago, you'll see anywhere from two to four inches. Grand Rapids, four to six, and Cleveland could see three to five inches of snow as you head into the northeast. We could see isolated amounts of eight to ten inches. In upstate New York and portions of Pennsylvania, New York within the city, three to six inches, up to an inch for you in D.C. And then Boston, you could be looking at one to three inches of snow inside the city.

Not only the snow, but the winds will be a huge factor. Could see gusts of 23 miles per hour by noon today. And then as we get into the afternoon and hours of Sunday it is still going to be windy. Especially for you, Boston. You could see wind gusts of 15 miles per hour. Sunday morning around six o'clock. Victor and Christi.

PAUL: That's all right.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll get ready for the snowmobiling season. Jennifer Gray, thanks.

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: A Wichita, Kansas, man is jailed this morning on terror charges. The feds say Terry Loewen planned a suicide attack at Wichita airport.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, CNN's Joe Johnson is on the story this morning. Joe, good morning.

JOE JOHNSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, the FBI says he got set up by a pair of undercover FBI agents. He thought he was about to detonate a car bomb, but when he tried to enter the airport with a vehicle, he was arrested. The guy's name is Terry Loewen, he's apparently a practicing Muslim. He works at Wichita airport and he's charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, a car bomb. And attempting to provide material support to terrorism. According to court documents the FBI and the United States Attorney's Office say Loewen had an online chat with someone and he said he wanted to engage in violent Jihad on behalf of al Qaeda. But what he didn't know was that he was chatting online with an FBI employee and the employee offered to introduce him to someone who would help him with this violent jihad. The court documents described FBI employees one and later number two who pretended to be an accomplice, part of what was a sting operation. They met Loewen when he tried to enter the airport gate with a security pass. He thought he had explosives in the car, but they were not active. Because they had been provided by the agents. These types of so-called aspirational terror cases have become controversial recently. The question is, whether it makes sense to go after individuals who have terror plans, even if the plans are not at the operational stage, because the cases can be expensive and time consuming to prosecute. The FBI has said many times that since 911 its mission has switched to prevention of terrorism. And this is the kind of case that shows how far they will go to do it. Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. So Jonathan, in Washington, with the tale of that terror arrest in Wichita. Thank you.

PAUL: All right. So, did you play mega millions last night, because guess what?

BLACKWELL: The jackpot then was more than 400 million. But was there a winner? We'll tell you next on "NEW DAY" Saturday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: 14 minutes after the hour now. This sounds like something out of a spy thriller, but it's all too real. An American man disappears in Iran during what's being described as a rogue mission from the CIA.

PAUL: Yeah, according to a new report from the Associated Press and "Washington Post," that's exactly what happened to Bob Levinson. And Levinson, by the way, has been missing since 2007.

BLACKWELL: You know, this morning there are new questions about why Levinson was in Iran and how much the government knew about it. Our chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto has more for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERT LEVINSON, MISSING IN IRAN: Please help me get home.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Robert Levinson pleading with Washington for help three years after he disappeared in Iran.

LEVINSON: 33 years of service to the United States deserves something. Please help me.

SCIUTTO: He hasn't been seen or heard from since. Now new information that when he went missing he was working undercover for the CIA, its point the agency and the White House have publicly denied for years and today again refused to confirm. Though carefully.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Bob Levinson was not a U.S. government employee when he went missing in Iran.

SCIUTTO: However, documents and emails first reported by the A.P. detailed the CIA's connection to Levinson's 2007 trip to Iran's Kish Island. It was a rogue operation, his lawyer tells CNN, spying on Iran's nuclear program and Hezbollah under direction from a group within the CIA. Outing him, in effect, as a spy has heightened concerns for his safety. But after nearly seven years of imprisonment and interrogation, even his family can see that's likely whoever is holding him, already knows of his CIA ties. Iran has never acknowledged holding Levinson. Asked about him by CNN's Christiane Amanpour in September, President Hassan Rouhani said he didn't even know his name.

HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): First you mention a person I've never heard of. Mr. Levinson, we don't know where he is, who he is.

SCIUTTO: U.S. officials say they continue to raise his case with Tehran at every level.

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I've personally raised it with Iranians, in the course of our discussions and we will continue to try to seek his release and return to the United States.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: Security experts raising hard questions now about whether this was an intelligence operation gone too far. In particular, sending someone with a known past into the FBI into such unfriendly territory as Iran doubts that Robert Levinson should have been there in the first place. Christi and Victor.

PAUL: All right, Jim Sciutto, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: All right, so here's the answer to the question we asked a few moments ago. Nobody won last night's mega-millions.

PAUL: Nobody?

BLACKWELL: Nobody. Which means that on Tuesday somebody has a shot at winning $550 million.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first number tonight is 27. That's followed by 26. Up next we have 24. The next number is 19 and your final white ball for this Friday evening is 70. Now for the Megaball. Tonight's Megaball number is 12. Again, tonight's winning numbers are 27, 26, 24, 19, 70, and the ...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: All right. Where are the winning numbers? However, nobody won them.

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: So for this next drawing, listen to this, your chances of being killed by an asteroid or a comet are a thousand times better than your chances of winning the jackpot. Well, that's not very hopeful.

BLACKWELL: No.

PAUL: Come on. Let's feel far more hopeful than that.

BLACKWELL: At the start of the day even.

PAUL: So, I know. There's a one in 15 chance, though, of winning something. Even if it's just a few bucks. So again, that drawing is Tuesday. And we're going to talk to somebody from the mega-millions lottery.

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

PAUL: She's going to talk to us about, you know, really, what else you can win. Not everybody can win the jackpot, but you can win some good money.

BLACKWELL: But half a billion dollars would be nice. It would be so nice.

Jameis Winston, he was a force to be reckoned with on the football field.

PAUL: Yeah, off of the field, though, he was accused of sexual assault, remember. A lot of people are wondering will that affect his chance of winning the top award in college football.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: All right. Alabama football fans take a deep breath and relax. Nick Saban isn't going anywhere. The coach has a new deal to stay in Tuscaloosa that reportedly gives him a raise to at least $7 million a year. The University of Texas was rumored to be lusting after him. But next year he will be at Alabama trying to win a fourth title in six years. So everybody ...

BLACKWELL: Breathe easy. Exhale.

All right, so now we know this habit of staying. There's one more question, a big question this weekend in college football.

PAUL: Yeah. Will Florida state quarterback, famous Jameis Winston win the Heisman Award? You know, on the biggest margin ever? Or, you know, people - the sexual assault accusation? Is that going to keep some voters from choosing him? Joe Carter is here with your "Bleacher Report." What is - what are you hearing?

JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: Well, it's Jameis Winston, hands down, wins the award. Obviously, he's the best player on the best team. And we know that he's put up unbelievable numbers. But, you know, every Heisman voter, and there's over 800 of them, are struggling with the fact that, you know, this is an award that is supposed to be given to a player that demonstrates and exhibits excellence with integrity. I think that point, excellence with integrity is where many, I think that, you know, maybe Jameis Winston doesn't fall into that category, given the fact that yesterday we saw the accuser's attorney make a very strong case during a press conference that this case, the sexual assault case should be reopened. That she presents a laundry list of reasons why this case should now be reopened, but that there should be a civil suit that should follow if the case doesn't get reopened.

So, I think that while Jameis Winston is excellent on the football field, obviously, many questions still remain, even though he was cleared of all charges off the football field, guys.

BLACKWELL: Attorney has question about texting, especially - let me ask you about the award. If we look back over the last, say, 13 years ...

CARTER: Yeah.

BLACKWELL: 11 recipients have been quarterbacks. Is this a quarterback's award?

CARTER: Absolutely. I mean we've seen one defensive player win it. One. Just one. We saw a running back win it a couple of years ago. Mark Ingram, but yes, it's a quarterback's award. And the reason why is because it's a numbers game. The quarterbacks put up the sexiest numbers. And it's typically a quarterback award. It's always presented to be a quarterback award. We love the quarterback in the NFL and in college. But that doesn't necessarily mean that that quarterback or that Heisman Award winner is going to go on to a successful pro career, a point made very well by my "Bleacher Report" colleague.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL FELDER, BLEACHER REPORT: Absolutely, numbers for the best college football player. The way the award is going right now, this is an award for the best quarterback on the best team. We look around. You have the Lombardi Award, you have the Nigorsky (ph) Award, and the fact that guys who win those awards, defensive football players, linemen that win the award, they're not considered the most outstanding or the best college football players. It's an absolute travesty. It's a sham in many respects. I think a lot of people are looking for the next best thing. And so, when they look at the Heisman, they are having voters tell them that this player is the next best thing. And ultimately, it goes to a lot of guys that whether they're products of the system or just really good college players, it goes to guys that aren't really that potential guys for the NFL.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CARTER: I like how we shared a lot of the flops. A lot of those guys that were shown there were, obviously great college players and didn't necessarily become great NFL players. So, we'll see what happens with tonight's award. And we'll see who wins. Obviously, a lot of people are saying Jameis Winston runs away with this award. We'll see how it translates out. As he has to play one more year in college before he can even have a chance at the NFL.

BLACKWELL: And we'll talk more about it probably tomorrow, I think, information about who's winning. Joe Carter, thank you very much.

PAUL: Thank you, Joe.

So a rapper's over the top remarks.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Most people can agree that it was over the top. Now a police chief has a beef with Kanye West. And we'll talk to him live and find out what's got him so hot under - we'll talk about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Bottom of the hour right now. We're so glad to see you. I'm Christi Paul. And I know a lot of people probably sit at home in their jammers as they should.

BLACKWELL: In their what?

PAUL: Their jammers. Their pajamas.

BLACKWELL: Oh, OK.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Jammers - we are learning things this morning. Five things you need to know for your new day. Up first, investigators plan to search the home of the teenager who they say opened fire at Arapahoe High School in a Denver suburb, the town of Centennial. Police say 18-year-old Karl Pierson shot and injured a 15-year-old girl. She is in critical condition. Pierson apparently then shot and killed himself. Police believe that he wanted to confront a faculty member, a librarian. And that faculty member escaped safely.

PAUL: Number two, oh bundle up today. Because we could see as much as ten inches of snow in upstate New York and across to Maine. Wind gusts as high as 28 miles an hour in some areas. So you've got some snow drift to watch out for as well. Buffalo, New York, already has two to three feet of snow on the ground and could see another foot by tomorrow night.

BLACKWELL: Number three, the cause of death of a woman who vanished from her hospital bed and was later found dead in a stairwell, has been ruled an accident. According to the medical examiner, 57-year- old Lynn Spaulding died from dehydration and complications from chronic alcoholism. Ms. Spaulding was discovered in October by a California hospital employee 17 days after she went missing. PAUL: That is bizarre.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: I think we're going to hear more about that one.

BLACKWELL: We'll stay on top.

PAUL: Also, number four, New York's Fordham University apologizing now after telling 2,500 students yeah, you got into college. Wait, no, you really didn't. Students got an email saying congratulations. 500 of them actually were not accepted. The rest were deferred. The students got an email a few hours later telling them about that mistake. And the school says you know what? Sorry, but it was human error.

BLACKWELL: Can you imagine?

PAUL: No.

BLACKWELL: Especially if that was your only option.

PAUL: Yeah.

BLACKWELL: Number five now, investors are worried the Federal Reserve will start tapering its stimulus program when it meets next week. And that anxiety made for - let's call it a ho-hum week for stocks. The Dow ended out with a small game Friday, but was down a percent and a half on the week, and for the year stocks have been really big winners.

PAUL: But no visitors yesterday.

BLACKWELL: Not a single one.

PAUL: Nobody is waking up richer this morning. Nobody won the mega millions. Here are the numbers. 19, 24, 26, 27, 70. And Megaball 12. We tell that - you the numbers, even though no one matched them. But, you know, if you've matched a couple ...

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

PAUL: You can still win some money.

BLACKWELL: You know who has won some money? I mean - not a whole lot of money. It was a 200 percent return on the dollar. Jennifer Mayerle is with us now. And listen, you spent a buck. You went home with more money than you left with.

JENNIFER MAYERLE, CBS CORRESPONDENT: I did. You know, I got my ticket. I have it right here. I figured it's Friday 13th, went out to roll the dice and buy a ticket.

PAUL: Sure!

BLACKWELL: Yeah, that's the lucky day. MAYERLE: See, if I can win, right? And I got match for one number, and the Megaball for two bucks. Better than nothing.

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

MAYERLE: You know, a lot of people didn't get anything. But didn't get the big jack pot.

PAUL: You got double your return on.

MAYERLE: It's doubled my return. But it's not too bad. Take a look at those numbers again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here tonight. Our first number tonight is 27 and it's followed by 26. Up next we have 24. The next number is 19. And your final wipe off for this Friday evening is 70. Now, for the Megaball, tonight's Megaball number is 12. Again, tonight's winning numbers are 27, 26, 24, 19, 70 and the goal Megaball is 12.

MAYERLE: All right, so if you're still looking for those numbers this morning, there you had them. A lot of people, you know, wondering, wishing that they had won that big $425 million jack pot. But the good news for other people is, it's rolled over to 550 million. It could go up to, right?

PAUL: It could go on.

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

MAYERLE: But it always seems to change.

PAUL: It jumped up yesterday. It was 400 million, jumped up to $425 million. So, by Tuesday's drawing you have a chance to jump up again. And you can see people were lining up for tickets all over the country yesterday and imagine, they'll be doing the same thing as we head into Tuesday.

MAYERLE: And if you win the five numbers.

PAUL: You do.

MAYERLE: You win everything, too, right?

PAUL: That's the second place prize. If you get all five numbers, but not the Megaball, you get a million dollars.

MAYERLE: Hey, that's nothing to sneeze at.

PAUL: And your odds of that is ...

BLACKWELL: That's a (inaudible) Christmas gift.

MAYERLE: Chances of the odds to win that - 18.1 and 18.5 million. But get this, you have a chance of winning - of doing a lot of other things before winning the mega millions. You know, one of the things we are looking as winning the lottery. 1 in 259 million chance to get the big mega millions. The big jackpot. A hole in one: on a par three for an amateur golfer. One in 12,500 - that's your chance. My 85-year-old grandmother has actually done that twice in her life. Pretty lucky there. To be struck by lightning. 1 in 10,000. And the odds of having a shark attack. One in 11.5 million chances. So, you know, the good news is for those people who were thinking about going back to buy mega millions ticket for Tuesday, you know, you have a 1 in 15 shot of winning something.

PAUL: Right.

MAYERLE: So, at least getting your money back. So I mean look at it like that - and say hey, why not go try?

BLACKWELL: Try to win something.

MAYERLE: Yeah.

BLACKWELL: Jennifer, thank you.

MAYERLE: Absolutely. Thank you.

PAUL: Already. We need to move out to this next story.

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

PAUL: So many people are talking about it. The police chief of Brimfield Ohio, calling out Kanye West.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, it's all over Twitter, all over Facebook. And it's after Kanye told an interviewer he puts his life on the line for his shows just like a police officer or a soldier does in their jobs. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KANYE WEST, RAPPER: I'm just, you know, giving of my body on the stage. I'm putting my life at risk. That mountain goes really, really high. And if I slip, (inaudible) happens, like you never know. And I think about it. I think about my family. I'm like wow, this is like, you know, this is like being a police officer or something. Or like war or something. Like you're literally going out to do your job every day, you know, knowing that something could happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: That's just like it, electronic mountain. Here's the onstage mountain that Kanye is referring to in the clip. Chief David Oliver posted an open letter to Kanye on Facebook. And he encouraged the rapper to go ahead and join the military. He wrote, "When the Taliban starts shooting at you perhaps you could stand up and let the words flow." And he went on with "Check yourself before you wreck yourself."

PAUL: Chief Oliver is joining us now on the phone. Chief, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it. I know that, you know, you kind of responded in sarcasm. But you were dead serious about this. I'm just wondering, what was it that was most offensive to you?

DAVID OLIVER: To me the most offensive comments were directed towards the military. You know, I love my chosen profession. But I also understand that our military personnel are - in far more in harm's way than a lot of us are on a regular basis. So I was just more offended for our military. I mean, obviously I was as a professional police officer, too. But the military thing just hit home with me.

BLACKWELL: And what has been the response to your - your letter, Chief, because as I went on Facebook and I saw all of the responses to what Kanye said and then responses to you, what have you been hearing?

OLIVER: We've been pretty busy answering the phone and emails and messages. This was at the first time, we've had the pretty active Facebook page for the last two or three years. But this one I think, just struck a nerve, particularly as I don't believe that anyone thinks you can compare being a famous entertainer to being a military person who is deployed in a war.

PAUL: Would it make a difference to you if Kanye apologized? Would you believe it if he did?

OLIVER: You know I don't - No, I don't think it would make any difference. I think what's - I think most people understand what is in your heart is usually what comes out of your mouth. You know, it's OK to walk things back later and admit a mistake. But, you know, I don't know how genuine one it would be and I don't - at this point, I mean, I understand where I -- I understand his opinion and where he is coming from. But I would just leave it alone after that.

BLACKWELL: Chief, I wanted to take this from a different angle. And, you know, I think people who heard it originally probably made up their minds on what his views on this electronic mountain. Why get involved? I understand your feeling about the military. But Kanye has said some outrageous things over the years and continues to say outrageous things. Why did you feel it was your place to respond to an entertainer?

OLIVER: Well, we have, like I said, we have a very active Facebook page. We're very active in social media and anything that is relative to our particular community or the profession in general, we talk about. I mean we've had 80,000 or 90,000 people on the page for a long time now. And we do - we have a lot of conversation, we have all political spectrums. All religions. And we just - we stood around and talk. Not literally stood around, but you know, we banter back and forth and we have good conversation. And you mentioned police and - you know - just something we addressed.

PAUL: Yeah, I have to think that that resonated with a lot of people. And a lot of people had something to say, so I believe, Chief, that you are probably speaking for an awful lot of folks in the military and police forces across the country. But thank you so much for being with us. BLACKWELL: Yeah, and you ...

OLIVER: Oh, my pleasure.

BLACKWELL: Certainly, thank you, thank you, chief, for reflecting the thoughts of a lot of people on your Facebook page.

PAUL: Yeah.

BLACKWELL: So, we want to know from you, is the chief right? Or is he just taking Kanye too seriously? Send us your tweets. #newday, we'll be sharing a few of your responses later this morning.

PAUL: Yeah, we'd love to hear from you.

BLACKWELL: All right, still to come on "NEW DAY." He may not be first to wed or first to give the queen a grandchild. But Prince Harry still has a few important things going on.

PAUL: We're going to tell you why his royal first is about to land in the record books. Keep it here. That story's coming at you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: We're starting off around the world this morning with a live look at Mthatha, an airport here in South Africa. On this plane is the body of former South African President Nelson Mandela in route to his funeral tomorrow in his childhood home of Qunu. We know that that is where his home has become a museum there. And his body will be buried there on the grounds. There will be heads of states from around the world, and people who knew him throughout his life will return to the place where Mandela's life began to say good-bye. Mandela died last week. He was 95 years old. Christi?

PAUL: And this is part of that ten day, you know, ritual of burial that they have there. This is very interesting to see. Thank you, Victor. We want to take you to other places around the world today and starting off in Kiev where the Ukrainian president has offered amnesty to antigovernment protesters. Tensions are still really rising there, though. Nick Paton Walsh is there. Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, while the Ukrainian president is sounding conciliatory towards protesters, what's happened on the stage is quite the opposite. These riot police are forming a barricade between an anti-government protest on the other side of that sign and what's happening now, a pro-government protest gathering just a few hundred yards away from. The real concerns about these escalating tension here in Kiev, despite what people thought was a calming of the situation, Christi.

PAUL: All right, Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much, we appreciate it. Let's go to Seoul, South Korea, now where Paula Hancocks is following the execution of Kim Jong-un's uncle. And why this (inaudible) the questions about Kim's power in that country. Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The very public humiliation, the execution of his uncle by marriage, Jang Song-thaek, is unprecedented in North Korea. It is not a country that is used to airing its dirty laundry in public. Experts believe it was a power struggle that Jang lost. Although it's not clear if the struggle was with elite or himself or the military who didn't approve of his attempts to introduce reform. One South Korea lawmaker who sits on the intelligence committee says this shows Kim Jong-un to be weaker than previously thought as he felt the need to punish Jang so publically and brutally.

PAUL: All right. Paula Hancock, thank you. Let's go to India now where millions are outraged after a court reinstated a 1800s era law that makes homosexual sex a crime. Sumnima Udas has that story for us. Sumnima.

SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, surprise and anger after the country's Supreme Court upheld a law which is phased like to the 1960s deeming sex between homosexual partners illegal. This overturns a 2009 judgment by a lower court, which decriminalized consensual gay sex. Now, the homosexual community here (ph) harassment and be ostracized by society. The government says it will review the law, but until then, this statute from the colonial times will live on. Back to you, Christi.

PAUL: All right, Sumnima, thank you. We appreciate it.

And finally to London where Isha Sesay (ph) has bundled up and watching as Prince Harry becomes the first royal ever to reach the South Pole.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For the first time in history a member of the British royal family has reached the South Pole. Prince Harry was joined by three teams, including 12 wounded service members to raise funds for military charity. Now, initially this was a race between the British, the American and the Commonwealth teams, but organizers called off the competitive alphabet, because of that very hostile terrain. And just how hostile was it? Well, imagine walking or trekking, rather, 200 miles for two weeks in temperatures as low as minus 31 Fahrenheit. Christi?

PAUL: All right, Isha Sesay (ph), we appreciate it. Thank you so much. Victor, all right. We're going from South Pole to space. Right?

BLACKWELL: Yes. We've gone around the world. Let's go beyond now. How about Mars? Would you move to Mars? I mean it might sound crazy. But possibly not too far from becoming a reality. Coming up, we'll tell you how a few people could become the next space pioneers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: That's China's new spacecraft headed for the Moon. It's supposed to land this morning making China only the third country to make a soft landing there.

BLACKWELL: Also known as the alarm clock that woke up a lot of people this morning. (LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: The rover that will be doing all the work. It's called Jade Rabbit. Now, people in China got to vote on that name. So, they chose it. It will be on the Moon for about three months studying the Luna crusts. Now, let's move to Mars now.

PAUL: Literally?

BLACKWELL: Really. How about it? Moving to Mars.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: It sounds like something out of a sci-fi thriller. But it's on the verge possibly of becoming a reality.

PAUL: Possibly being together.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: I think the operative word there. This week the Mars One foundation announced it's moving forward with plans to colonize the planet. I don't know how they got the rights to do that, however, more than 200,000 people have already signed up in hopes of being selected as one of the first pioneers.

BLACKWELL: Now, the company says it will select four lucky people for a manned mission in 2025. But there's one catch. You can't come back.

PAUL: What?

BLACKWELL: You got to go and just commit. Let's bring in the author of "A Universe from Nothing. Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing." Lawrence Krauss joins us via Skype from Australia. Good to have you with us, sir.

LAWRENCE KRAUSS, THEORETICAL PHYSICIST, AUTHOR: It's nice to be back on CNN.

BLACKWELL: First, let's talk about, you know, the 200,000 people or so who want to go to Mars knowing that they cannot come back. And they are considering - I mean would you consider living on Mars?

KRAUSS: Well, you know, it's interesting. About four years ago I proposed a one-way trip to Mars as the only economically viable way to do that. And everyone I asked said they would do it. Now, however, I do think there's a difference between saying you would do it and then deciding ultimately to do it. I was really surprised at how many people would be willing to live there - spend the rest of their lives on Mars. There are a number of people I'd be happy to send to Mars one way ...

(LAUGHTER)

KRAUSS: But, you know, I'm not sure - the unfortunate thing is, you know, it's nice to say this. I'm not convinced it's very practical. And by 2025 there's still so many things we have to overcome. Just the radiation you get on the way to Mars, is not quite lethal. But it's - you get a significant amount of radiation, because you're not protected by the Earth's atmosphere and the magnetic field of the Earth. Then on Mars, you couldn't live on the surface of Mars. You would again die from - due to the cosmic ray exposure. You'd actually have to live underground. So I think when people find out exactly what it's like they might rethink it. Even then, of course, Mars isn't habitable. You would never be able to actually go outside, except in a space suit. Even in the middle altitudes, the average temperature is about 50 degrees below zero. So it's a little frosty.

PAUL: Yeah, I would say so. Well, not only that, but even if it would happen in 11 years. There is people saying, yes, in 11 years I'll do this. A lot can happen in 11 years ...

BLACKWELL: They have no idea where they are going to be in live, yeah.

PAUL: Whether they are going to change their minds. I want to turn the page here to something else, Lawrence. People are talking about, you know, China's first lunar rover is expected to land on the moon today. We were just talking about that. How is that possibly going to impact NASA's work?

KRAUSS: Well, you know, it's interesting. Because things like this, much of the space race, in the 1960s, people pretend it's science that drives it, but in many cases, in the cases of space, it's really national prestige. China is really sending -- you know, I don't know how much new information they're going to get from this rover. But they're demonstrating the fact that they can do it. And that - and, of course, that might send a signal to NASA that they have to make a demonstration that they could do something, maybe sending people back to the Moon. Because actually, human space travel. Let me make this quite clear. Human space travel doesn't do much for science. It's mostly national prestige. However, sending rovers, and sending machines is a good idea. And in fact, they'll do some reasonable science on the Moon. We've sent rovers to Mars, they are doing an incredible amount of science. And I feel like whenever I see pictures from these rovers I feel like I'm on Mars just as much as some astronaut over there.

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

KRAUSS: So I much prefer that NASA concentrate on sending machines. Because it's a lot cheaper. And you can send the machine, you can send a rover to Mars, for example, well, in principle, for the cost of making a movie about sending Bruce Willis to Mars.

BLACKWELL: The technology is amazing. And these photographs are great. Lawrence Krauss, great to talk with you about all of this. And we'll see if that list drops from 200,000 as the years go on.

PAUL: Although, he did dash a lot of dreams of astronauts.

BLACKWELL: Yeah. PAUL: You know, young kids who want to be astronauts. They'll just send it over.

Thank you, Lawrence. We appreciate you being here.

BLACKWELL: So, let's talk about the big news and not just in Colorado, but people across the country are talking about America's epidemic of school shootings. We'll ask our guests if teachers should carry guns.

PAUL: And that all too familiar look of horror and disbelief engulfs parents in Colorado today. Late details on the Arapahoe High School shooting. That's coming up at the top of the hour. Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, "LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Everybody is invited, by the way. Everybody is welcome to my house for the holidays. Come on up!

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

LETTERMAN: Thank you very much. All you have to do is sit through my lecture on scientology.

(LAUGHTER)

JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": An elementary school in Frisco, Texas, has banned Christmas trees and renamed its Christmas Party the winter party. And listen to this, the kids can't even call Santa's helpers elves anymore. They have to be known as undocumented little people.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

LENO: Time! Time change, yeah!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: There's some creative people there.

BLACKWELL: Yeah.

PAUL: Thank you so much for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: Our next hour of "NEW DAY" starts right now.