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Fire on Cruise Ships; Studies Show Multivitamins Won't Improve Your Health; Interview with Leonardo DiCaprio

Aired December 17, 2013 - 08:30   ET


FRANK SPAGNOLETTI, PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY: It was unseaworthy at the convention (ph) of the voyage. These documents tell you that the company -- and I'm saying to you the corporation back in Miami, had knowledge of the fact that this vessel had a propensity for fires, that there were things that could have been, should have been, and weren't done in order to make sure that fires didn't take place.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: The first trouble with triumph, diesel generator number six, the one that ended up catching fire. Starting more than a year before the infamous cruise, diesel generator number six was overdue for maintenance, out of compliance with the safety laws of the sea, known as SOLAS, according to the ship's own engineer.

Over and over again, Carnival's own maintenance reports say the same thing. Diesel generator number six, overdue for maintenance. And during that same time period, Carnival learned about another, even more alarming safety problem in the engine room. Fuel lines. A dangerous pattern of leaks that emerged on other Carnival cruise ships. In fact, Carnival Costas (ph) Allegra caught fire because fuel leaked onto a hot spot and ignited.

It would be the ultimate foreshadowing. Consider this: Carnival's own investigation shows the fire on board the Costa Allegra, is believed to be caused by a fuel leak on one of the diesel generators, eerily similar to what would start the fire onboard the Triumph one year later.

Carnival says it proactively began investigating and found a big problem in a different type of fuel line. There had been nine -- that's right, nine incidents resulting in fuel leaks associated with flexible fuel lines in just two years. On January 2nd, Carnival issues a compliance order, giving ships two months to address the problem, to ensure a suitable spray shield is installed for all diesel engines, using the flexible fuel lines. Mark Jackson is Carnival's chief engineer.

MARK JACKSON, V.P. TECHNICAL OPERATIONS, CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES: After that internal study, the company came out with a new policy to, again, shield all of the flanges and the hoses that were below the deck plates.

GRIFFIN: But you didn't shield the one hose that wound up causing this tragedy. JACKSON: That hose was beneath the deck plates and it was believed that the deck plates would act as that shield. In this case, it found that gap in the hose - that gap in the bilge plates and caused that fire.

GRIFFIN: On February 7th with the diesel generator still in need of overhaul and fuel line shields on some but not all of its flexible hoses, Triumph set sail from Galveston, Texas.

JACKSON: We were in total compliance with the rules and regulations. We had our regulating bodies onboard the vessel less than two weeks before, that had certified the ship safe to sail.

Obviously, you learn things on a situation - on an incident such as the Triumph.

GRIFFIN: Three days later, off the coast of Mexico, fire breaks out in diesel generator number six when fuel sprays from a flexible fuel line, a line that was less than six months old.


GRIFFIN: Guys, the company insists what happened on Carnival Triumph was just an accident that couldn't be avoided and that this lawsuit is, therefore, frivolous. But still, Carnival is undergoing a $300 million fleet-wide upgrade focusing specifically on the preventing the type of fire that crippled the Triumph earlier this year.

As for the passengers of that cruise line that are suing, listen to this, Chris and Kate. Carnival's attorneys are telling those passengers to read the fine print of their ticket, which says the cruise line never guaranteed you a safe trip, a seaworthy vessel or even sanitary conditions. Chris, Kate, back to you.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's like reading the back of a plane ticket. I mean, that's the thing. It's just like they're playing a game with you.

CUOMO: Fine print can get you, Drew. That's why we need reporters like you, and down with the lawyers!

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Drew.

CUOMO: Boy, oh, boy.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, helping or hurting? Those multivitamins that pretty much everyone takes to stay healthy, do they really work? New information, really startling new information, that you'll want to hear.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, this is going to be good. Welcome back. If you think that multivitamin that you're popping is improving your health, you'll want to hear this: new research suggests that multivitamins are actually a waste of money. Should we stop taking them all together? Dr. Natalie Azar is here to break down the findings. She's a clinical assistant professor of medicine at NYU Medical Center. Good morning.


PEREIRA: What exactly did this study find?

AZAR: Three studies were reported in this week's a "Annals of Internal Medicine". All three studies were looking at what role, if any, do multivitamins and, separately, different vitamin supplements play in either the prevention of progression or occurrence of chronic disease. There was another study that looked at do these vitamins help with cognitive decline in men over the age of 65, and there was another study that was looking at secondary prevention. So people who previously had had a heart attack, does taking a high-dose multivitamin prevent secondary events?

PEREIRA: And the findings said?

AZAR: The findings said, first of all the last study with the heart attack study, 50 percent of participants dropped out, so we can't really draw major conclusions, but there was no seeming benefit.

The cognitive study, again, there was no significant benefit in men over the age of 65 when they took a multivitamin for 12 years. The population studied were physicians, so people have made the argument that that was not maybe reflective of the general population.

But probably the most important study, and the one that I think we're going to be talking about for a few days or weeks to come, was the first one, that was a meta-analysis of almost 30 studies that looked at what role, if any, does a multivitamin or supplement have in preventing all-caused mortality. So that means death from anything, cardiovascular disease, or cancer, and what they found was that it did not. This is also in nutritionally healthy people. That's the thing to remember.


AZAR: Okay?

PEREIRA: So healthy people who are thinking that taking their multivitamin are sitting at home, just about to put the pill in their mouth, should they stop, should they talk to their doctor? What do they do?

BOLDUAN: This editorial goes so far. It says, the message is simple, most supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death. And their use is not justified, and they should be avoided.

AZAR: Yes.

BOLDUAN: They're saying stop using them. AZAR: These were researchers, epidemiologists, and medicine people from Johns Hopkins, and Penn, and England. These are smart people analyzing this data.

PEREIRA: What do you make of this?

AZAR: Look, when you they -- do you know how difficult it would be to analyze, separately, 30 different studies and tease out all these things? This is what these researchers are doing for us. They are looking at the statistics. They are looking at the results they have concluded that if you are otherwise a healthy person -- we can talk about subjectively what that might mean -- that taking a multivitamin is absolutely useless.


AZAR: The general public can choose to believe that or not. Obviously, people have anecdotes all the time. I take zinc, it prevents recurrent upper respiratory tract infections, I take gingko, I feel better.

PEREIRA: Fish oil.

AZAR: Exactly. The science does not support taking these things.

CUOMO: But not supporting it and the science proving that it is harmful or wrong, two different things.

AZAR: Two different things. And the one thing we - I mean so then the question is OK, if it's not hurting-if it's not helping me, could it be hurting me? Over the years there has been research that has suggested that high-dose vitamin E, high-dose vitamin A, high-dose beta carotene can, in fact, lead to complications -- lung cancer and different causes from -- different causes of mortality.

CUOMO: The research seems to change a lot though, doesn't it (ph).

AZAR: The research definitely -- we were talking about this before this segment that, you know --

PEREIRA: Once a week it seems.


BOLDUAN: There are certain groups that they should continue to take vitamins.

AZAR: Exactly so, importantly, when you're pregnant, you're supposed to take a milligram of folic acid to prevent something called neural tube defect. If you have had GI procedures, bowel resection from Crohn's Disease, for example, you will be mal-absorbing nutrients, and specifically fat soluble vitamins. You probably need to be on supplements. People who clearly have, for example, vitamin D deficiency. And the jury is still out on the benefits of vitamin D supplementation. You know, there are certain sub-groups that will, if there's a clearly defined deficiency, will benefit from supplement. PEREIRA: Well we certainly - this is something we're going to be talking about for a while. Dr. Natalie Azar, thank you for at least putting it on the radar with us, and unpacking it a bit.

AZAR: You bet.

BOLDUAN: All right, let's turn now to Impact Your World. Clyde Fogle has been working for more than a decade to bring Christmas toys to children in need despite his own very obvious obstacle. Here is his story.


BOLDUAN: Six days a week, 73-year-old Clyde Fogle heads to his workshop in his backyard to make a little magic.

CLYDE FOGLE, CARPENTER: They're primarily toys with wheels. I've got some cars. I've got some animals.

BOLDUAN: He has been making toys for Operation Christmas Child for close to a decade. The program is run by the charity Samaritan's Purse, and gives gift-filled shoe boxes to children in need around the world.

FOGLE: I see the joy on their faces when they get these boxes. It captures my heart.

BOLDUAN: Woodworking has always been his hobby.

FOGLE: After I retired, I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, which limited me in my physical abilities. I want to give of myself and I saw in a catalog where I could buy a kit to make 100 cars.

BOLDUAN: He has donated around 100,000 toys to Operation Christmas Child.

FOGLE: I've got a map in my shop, and I have a pin for every country that I know my toys have been. If I get tired doing this, I look at that map. Oh, yes, that's why I'm doing that. So I keep going.


BOLDUAN: Keep going.

CUOMO: That's exactly right. Keep going.

Coming up on NEW DAY, Leonardo DiCaprio, one-on-one. He's talking one on one with our Nischelle Turner about his new movie, and about the crazy things he has seen in Hollywood.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BOLDUAN: Yes it is. Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. Let's head over to Indra Petersons out in the cold for a look at your forecast this morning.

Good morning.


Cold and, yes, a little bit of snow out there. We actually took a time lapse (ph) this morning as people were trying to commute this morning in New York city, a little bit of a tough ride. We're still dealing with this in the morning hours. But, no, we are not the only ones.

Let's show you the radar. We're looking at an Alberta clipper right over the lake, so there in the upper Ohio Valley. Still about an inch or two is going to be possible, even Chicago looking for a little bit of light snow.

Within the bigger system, that low forming off the northeast coastline that's still going to bring that snow into New England, kind of tapering off toward Wednesday. But overnight into tomorrow, we still could see some heavier amounts farther north that you are.

Otherwise, the country looking pretty good. I mean, it's really only cold with these below-normal temperatures into the northeast. Farther down to the south above-normal temperatures. You may cool off, cold front for a day or so. But the big switch will be toward the end of the week where it's cold in the northeast. Yeah, I have good news, right? We're actually going to be warming up.

Meanwhile in the west, where it's nice, bad news for you. It looks like you're going to be cooling off, which also means snow here by next weekend, guys.

BOLDUAN: All right, we'll watch it. Thank you, Indra. Come on back inside.

PETERSONS: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: You want to stick around for this one. Leonardo DiCaprio, in a new movie, "Wolf of Wall Street," sat down for a one-on-one with CNN. And for that, you know what that means.

CUOMO: Couch time.

BOLDUAN: Big couch.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You know, the truth is when I first graduated from college and I started reporting, I was just doing my best Ron Burgundy impression. I mean, everybody was back then, the mustache, the suit, the whole persona.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Ron Burgundy literally tried to poison me. CUOMO: I heard he suggested building a wall in Berlin just so he could deliver the news when it was knocked down.

BLITZER: Real actual poison. Where do you even buy poison?

COOPER: That's what makes him who he is, the most legendary news anchor in history.


BOLDUAN: Can't wait to see that movie.

All right, sex, drugs and Wall Street.

CUOMO: I'm cracking up that I'm in the commercial.



CUOMO: It's become like, oh, yeah, there I am.

BOLDUAN: Oh, there's Chris in a commercial again.

CUOMO: There's me talking about Ron Burgundy.

BOLDUAN: It's like you're surprised to see yourself on TV?

CUOMO: I don't know. I go back and forth.



CUOMO: Here I am. I don't act well. Then I kind of move on.

BOLDUAN: Do you know someone who acts well? Leonardo DiCaprio.

CUOMO: Very well.


BOLDUAN: He's in a new film, the "Wolf of Wall Street." It is a wild romp through the money culture. And bringing this story to the big screen was something this star was very passionate about.

Our Nischelle Turner sat down with Leo for a one-on-one. So what do you --

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I did my best Ron Burgundy with him. I don't know how well it came off, but I tried. He is not only, though, the star of this film. He's also a producer on it And this film wasn't something he was just passionate about. He told me he became obsessed with telling this story.


TURNER: Greed, gluttony, glamour.

DICAPRIO: I mean (ph) $49 million (inaudible) piss me off because it was three shy of a million a week.

TURNER: The way of the world for the wolf of Wall Street.

DICAPRIO: How much money you making?

JONAH HILL, ACTOR: I don't know, $72,000 last month.

TURNER: This film is the true life cautionary tale of Jordan Belfort as told through the eyes of Martin Scorsese. On Wall Street in the 80s and 90s, Belfort was known as the wolf. On screen, it's Leonardo DiCaprio picking his prey.


(on-camera): Why did it take so long to get this movie made?

DICAPRIO: I think that this film doesn't really get made. I've never heard of a film like this getting made really.

TURNER: Three hours, yeah.

DICAPRIO: It's a -- you know, it's been six years in the -- six-year process to get this film off the ground. But I've been obsessed with it in a lot of ways because I feel like it's an accurate reflection of everything that's wrong with the world we live in today.

I mean, the attitude of this character, Jordan Belfort is directly attributed to the destruction of our economy. You know, this attitude, this darker side of human nature to everything that has gone wrong in society really. So I wanted to put this character on screen.


TURNER (voice-over): And he did. Three hours of quaaludes, cocaine, cars and corruption. It's what Leo calls Jordan Belfort's life of aspiration and acquisition without (inaudible).


TURNER (on-camera): There's still this big disparity between Wall Street, Main Street, and these type of things still seem to go on.

DICAPRIO: Well, not only that. If Jordan Belfort isn't directly the problem with, you know, what happened to our economy, but it's a microcosm of a much bigger story.

You know, this sort of hedonistic attitude, this desire to do only what's right for ourselves and no one else is a reflection of a much bigger story about, you know, human nature itself. It's a satire. And that was Scorsese's attempt with it. You know, he wanted to take the audience on this hypnotic journey of what it would be like to only care about yourself.

TURNER: Is there a parallel between Hollywood and Wall Street and what goes on there? I mean, what --

DICAPRIO: I think you could compare it to almost everything in the world. I don't think it's just Hollywood. But absolutely, you know, Hollywood has that side to it as well, for sure.

TURNER: What's the craziest thing you've seen?

DICAPRIO: In Hollywood --


DICAPRIO: -- or my life?

TURNER: Well --

DICAPRIO: I've seen some crazy things. I can't, you know, think of one off the top of my head. But I've seen some pretty crazy things.

TURNER: So nothing you've seen made its way into any of those crazy scenes?

DICAPRIO: This was all really Jordan Belfort being incredibly candid about his life.


TURNER (voice-over): And while the wolf's greed and wealth is unflinching and in your face --

DICAPRIO: I ain't going nowhere.

TURNER: -- his fall of from are grace isn't pretty either. Addiction, infidelity and an ego-stricken stubbornness all lead to his downfall and, ultimately, prison time for securities fraud.


DICAPRIO: But it's all true. That was what was so fascinating about this novel and this screen play. It's all of it is true. And it's almost -- it's bizarre and surreal and you can't believe that people are that irresponsible, especially with our wealth. But it -- it's something that I have been so incredibly passionate about making for six years. I'm glad it finally happened.


TURNER: And, by the way, shout out to Jonah Hill in this film. So good. "The Wolf of Wall Street" opens Christmas day. You made a great point. Out of all of that stuff that Jordan Belfort did, he only served less than two years in federal prison.

CUOMO: To many, is a crime in and of itself how white-collar criminals do not get punished. TURNER: Exactly. He made his cameo in the movie, too, by the way. The real Jordan Belfort.

CUOMO: I'm sure everybody will want to see it.

Coming up on NEW DAY, we go from that stuff to the good stuff. You're going to want to see this.


CUOMO: That is a tasty beat, perfect for the good stuff. In today's edition, Market (ph), Michigan bus driver Max Chistenson.

All right, here's the deal. One of Max's routes as a bus driver is driving homeless people from their shelter to the food bank. Max, not content to just drive them; he wanted to help out, too. So for the Christmas season, Max is playing Santa. He asked his passengers to give him their letters to Santa. And overwhelmingly, what they asked for -- not clothes, not things -- a job.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want what everybody else wants. They want a home. They want a job. They want a way to support themselves and to make a living.


CUOMO: So what does Max do? He makes it his mission to make those Christmas wishes come true. How? He started a drive collecting money, clothes. And it's hard to score a job when you have no contact information. So also, prepaid calling cards are high on the list.

For Max, the lesson is simple. It is better to give than to receive.


MAX CHRISTENSEN, BUS DRIVER PLAYED SANTA: You know, I just want them to have a little bit of Christmas, and, you know, maybe relive a little bit of their childhood. They're all people. They have hearts and they have souls. They have same needs that we do.


CUOMO: They got hearts. They got souls and the same needs we do. Well said, Max.

If you want to donate, can you reach out to Max through Facebook. Thank you for being --

BOLDUAN: Right there on the bottom of your screen.

PEREIRA: You are the best.

BOLDUAN: That is great.

CUOMO: Good stuff.

A lot of news this morning as well. So let's get you to the newsroom with Carol Costello.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I appreciate that. You have a great day, guys.

NEWSROOM starts now.

Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. We begin at the White House where next hour some of the biggest names in tech have a great big meeting with President Obama. This morning's round table comes one week after many of these companies sent an open letter to Washington, asking them to reform government surveillance programs. On the agenda for these 15 technology leaders, the economy, the headaches surrounding the Obamacare website and the NSA spying scandal that just won't go away.

Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta joins us now with more. Good morning.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. That's right. And we're not just talking about mid-level executives here at these tech firms. Consider the names. We could throw some of their pictures and their names up on the screen.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple; Sheryl Sandburg, COO of Facebook; Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google; and Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo. All of these executives and plus executives from other top tech firms that you just showed up on screen, Carol, they're going to be meeting with President Obama within the next couple of hours to talk about these issues.