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Two Mega Millions Winners; Deadly Reno Shooting "Not Random"; Gay Athletes Representing U.S. in Sochi; Interview with Senator Patty Murray of Washington

Aired December 18, 2013 - 08:00   ET


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Since this is a gift shop at a strip mall, perhaps the winner came to buy a Christmas present and left with two presents, including the winning lottery ticket. We'll just have to see if this person comes forward today.

In the meantime, the owner of the store is absolutely ecstatic. He's a 37-year-old Vietnamese man. He's got three children. And the payday for him is $1 million.

He's speaking out. Take a look.


THUY NGUYEN, GIFT SHOP OWNER SOLD WINNING LOTTERY TICKET: The lottery called me and let me know, I come and take a look, you know, but everybody here, whoa! That would be the good one tonight!


SIMON: This strip mall mainly consists of small Vietnamese shops. San Jose has the largest Vietnamese population in the United States.

Again, we're just going to have to see who this lucky winner is. In the meantime, we know that lottery officials are going to be coming to the store a bit later this morning to have a celebration here. They're going to be putting up some special banners.

Kate and Chris, we'll send it back to you.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thanks. No matter what is going on in your morning, check out this part of the story, because we're going to go across to Atlanta. That's where Martin Savidge is. That's where the second ticket was sold.

Martin is outside the store there. Now, Martin, you may be the store owner's new favorite person. Tell us why.


Yes. I mean, we talked to the woman who owned the news stand. She just opened things up. You know how she found out it was her store who sold the winning ticket in Georgia? She was watching NEW DAY. She saw it on CNN. She couldn't believe it. The phone began ringing. It was her daughter screaming, "Hey, did you see it's you?" We went inside and took a look. This is a small newsstand but right in the center of a very big celebration. And what she did not know in the news that I got to break to her was the fact that she also is a winner, $1 million, as a result of owning the store that sold the ticket here in Georgia.

She was just left speechless. She could not believe it. She's owned it nine years. She's from Korea. She worked extremely hard. She keeps working, she says.

But she's also thrilled to know that it's one of her customers, maybe a group of customers that are now also sharing that huge jackpot. So it is just quite a remarkable morning for young Su Lee (ph), the owner of the newsstand here, Chris.

CUOMO: One of the few opportunities where reporting the news actually makes someone happy.


CUOMO: Thanks for doing that for us this morning. Appreciate it.

BOLDUAN: So fun.

All right. Let's turn to Nevada now -- the reason a gunman walked into a medical center in Reno, Tuesday, and opened fire, it remains still unclear. Police will only say the shooting was not random. The suspect shot three people before killing himself. One of the people who was shot is dead. Two others in critical condition this morning.

Miguel Marquez is in Reno right now for us with the very latest. Good morning, Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: God morning there, Kate. Just horrible.

Here we go again. Just after 2:00 p.m., it is said that the gunman walked into a waiting room here at this massive hospital complex. He told everybody to get out. They did.

He went back to the area where the doctors and nurses were, walked into a surgery in progress, shot two people there, another one was killed, among them was a doctor.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Yet another shooting, this time a state-of-the- art medical center targeted. One person killed, two more injured before the shooter took his own life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a lone suspect enter the medical facility here with at least one firearm.

MARQUEZ: The shooting contained to the third floor of Reno's Renown Medical Center in its Neurology Office, a male gunman opened fire, killing one person, the shooting in a building next to the main hospital campus. Inside this walkway between the two, workers told to stay put, the entire complex on lockdown, an all too familiar scenario.

This video shot while SWAT teams secured the building room by room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay in this room.

MARQUEZ: A systematic search by police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the third floor of the building, they located two people down and they located a couple of injuries.

MARQUEZ: Amazingly, operations at the medical center resumed within an hour of police clearing it.


MARQUEZ: Now, despite this being on the third floor of just one of the buildings on this massive hospital complex, police response was very, very quick, about five minutes from the first time the calls came in. By the time they got there, the damage was done, the shooter himself also dead.

We expect to learn more later this afternoon, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 10:00 p.m. local -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Miguel. Thank you for following for us this morning.

Now for the first time in more than a decade, the U.S. president, vice president and first lady will not be attending opening or closing ceremonies at the Olympics, but who is going in their place as the U.S. delegation will make the president's position on Russia and its anti-gay policies very clear?

Jim Acosta joins us live from the White House this morning. Jim, what do we know?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, the president was asked when this whole furor over Edward Snowden first cropped up whether or not the United States would boycott the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Russia and the president and the White House kept saying, "No, no, no, that's not going to happen".

But this is definitely sending a message, what the White House is doing in terms of sending this U.S. delegation to Russia.

Take a look at this. First of all, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, she is leading the U.S. delegation. So, as you mentioned, no president, no vice president, no first lady leading this delegation. That's sending the first message.

The second message is this. Take a look at this -- consider that some of the athletes going along as part of this U.S. delegation, very prominent gay athletes, Billie Jean King, tennis legend, former Olympic tennis coach, also Caitlin Cahow, an Olympic hockey player. She's going to be part of the delegation for the closing ceremonies.

And consider this quote the came from a White House spokeswoman last night about why the president selected this delegation, the delegation was selected because it represents the diversity of the United States and the statement also they want it to reflect the fact that the athletes who are going to be there, that they're distinguished in their accomplishments in government service, civic activism and sports.

So, clearly, the president, the U.S. is trying to send a message to Russia about President Putin's -- Vladimir Putin's anti-gay policies in that country -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Jim, let's switch topics for a second. Let's go to a tech meeting that happened at the White House yesterday. There's some ruffled feathers leaving it, some type of dissatisfaction. What's it about?

ACOSTA: Yes. I mean, speaking of Edward Snowden, I mean, this is the reason why the president had these tech executives over at the White House, some of these executives from big companies like Apple and so on were very concerned about these disclosures made by Edward Snowden and some of the executives coming out of that meeting were not very happy with what went on inside that gathering.

I talked to a source familiar with the meeting yesterday who said that basically the meeting was really too much about and, of course, the White House said they would be talk about that. But they thought the focus too much about and not enough on the NSA disclosures.

In the words of one source familiar with the meeting, quote, "We didn't fly across the country for a discussion on". That's just a reflection about some of the dissatisfaction coming out of that meeting. One thing we can also report, Chris, is that another source familiar with this meeting says an executive at that meeting suggested to President Obama that he pardoned Edward Snowden, the president said he could not do that -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Jim, thanks for the reporting.

It is interesting, Mick, how the tech people are getting high and mighty about Snowden which we understand, but not about their own policies that their users are really angry about.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: So you almost wonder if there's a group of people who have a meeting with them who say hey but what.

CUOMO: Maybe they have more politician in them than we thought they did.

PEREIRA: Perhaps, perhaps.

All right. Let's take a look at our headlines this morning.

New violence in Afghanistan. NATO forces in the eastern section of country coming under attack this morning. A military spokesperson telling CNN three enemy forces were killed in the firefight, and in southern Afghanistan an investigation is under way after six NATO troops were killed in a helicopter crash Tuesday.

It's unclear if enemy fire was involved.

A Denver area high school gunman who critically wounded a classmate before killing himself apparently planned a much bigger attack. Investigators say 18-year-old Karl Pierson scrawled letters and numbers corresponding to the library and four classrooms on his arm along with the Latin phrase "The die has been cast." His victim 17- year-old Claire Davis remains in critical condition in a coma.

A Harvard sophomore has been charged in Monday's bomb scare hoax that led to the evacuation of four campus buildings and the delay of final exams. Eldo Kim has his first court appearance today. He is accused of e-mailing bomb threats in order to get out of a test. If convicted Kim faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

More than 800 firefighters are busy battling a wildfire that is burning in Big Sur, California, this morning. Those flames have destroyed 22 buildings and scorched already nearly 800 acres. 100 people have been forced to evacuate the area. Right now, it's about 20 percent containment. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported.

All right. Here's one and I know I like this. This is one from the bizarro "Breaking Bad" files. Walter White sentenced to 12 years in prison for dealing meth. No, not this Walter White. He's the convict. His name is actually Walter Jack White. The 53-year-old Montana man was sentenced to 12 years in federal lockup for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

CUOMO: I wonder if the coincidence is any relief to his crimes in.

PEREIRA: Probably not.

CUOMO: Probably not.

BOLDUAN: Art imitating life. Life imitating art.

CUOMO: But if he's dealing meth in jail, he should be.

PERIERA: But didn't.

CUOMO: Not a TV show, to jail you go. I still haven't seen the finale.


BOLDUAN: Let's not start.

CUOMO: I'm just saying. You know, don't spoil it, I know you will. But I just -- I don't want it to be over so I haven't watched it.

PEREIRA: You know "Seinfeld" ended, too, right?

CUOMO: What?


CUOMO: Indra, don't spoil it for me. I know you know everything. Don't tell me what happened.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Except for that, I'm literally on season one. So, if anyone spoils it, I'm going to have a heart attack at this point.

CUOMO: All right. Good.

PETERSONS: All right. Let's talk about some lake-effect snow, pretty much all that's left over the next 24 hours over Erie and Ontario, other than in Maine where the low is exiting offshore from the system we saw yesterday. The next story is going to be several systems out in the west that will make their way east. I'm showing you temperatures first because it will impact those systems.

Here in the Northeast, you can tell staying cool, temperatures just a hint below normal. Check out the Southeast -- these temperatures well above normal. Look at places like Dallas today, 12 degrees of above normal. But as we go through the next several days, these numbers keep climbing really throughout the entire Southeast.

Notice in Memphis, it will be 15 degrees above normal by Friday.

Let's talk about why this is going to matter. First, let's look at the first system out west, bringing light snow showers into the Midwest and then some rain into the northeast by Friday or so.

But it is the second system, remember, this is a cold system, we could see some rain and snow where w this, a jet stream far to the South, and this is going to interact with those warm temperatures I just showed you in the Southeast.

Every time you see this, when you see that, you have the threat for severe weather. So, again, we're talking pretty much Kentucky, back in through Texas on Saturday. You have a threat for pretty much large hail, strong thunderstorms, isolated tornadoes are possible, so you definitely want to be aware. Sunday, we're going to see that system move farther to the east. So, again, looking out towards the Carolinas, around the gulf possibly the panhandle of Florida.

So, awareness, going to keep saying it, several days away. And the good thing, it is on the weekend. So, a lot of people should more aware of the surroundings at this point. So --

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Indra.

All right. Before we go to a break we want to bring you a pretty great moment this morning, the video just came in, the moment when our own Martin Savidge broke the news to the store owner that sold one of the two winning mega millions lottery tickets. He broke the in us that she, too, was getting a slice of the pie.

Watch this.


SAVIDGE: Now you know by selling the winning ticket there's also prize money for you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know this. I don't know how much, a long time, I heard it's $25,000.

SAVIDGE: Twenty-five thousand. Let me just tell you it's a lot more than $25,000.


SAVIDGE: It is about $1 million that you'll get.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it? Oh my gosh! Oh, my gosh. I never had this much luck.


PEREIRA: So interesting that both of those stories are immigrant stories, American dreams coming true. It's so amazing

CUOMO: And. sounds even better coming out of Marty's mouth. Sounds like a million dollars coming out of his mouth. Mine is like 850.

BOLDUAN: Congratulations to you.

All right. Now the wait is on who won those tickets.

CUOMO: Yes. Let's give them a break so they can check.

BOLDUAN: Sounds good. Coming up next on NEW DAY, finally, a sign of bipartisan teamwork -- the compromise budget deal is expected to pass in the Senate. Good news. So, we will speak to one of its architects how they pulled it off, plus, why some say the budget hurts veterans and the unemployed.

CUOMO: Remember all the heat and the hype surrounding the alleged affluenza justification for lenient sentence? Well, the D.A. is at it again trying to put Ethan Couch behind bars. New strategy, new result? We'll fill you in.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

It looks like Congress will be closing out the year on a high note, compromising. The bipartisan budget deal is expected to be passed today before signed into law.

Here to talk about the deal one of the architects, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, Democratic senator from Washington, Patty Murray.

Senator, thank you so much for coming in.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: Good morning to you.

BOLDUAN: And good morning to you and good morning the Senate, I'll say, because you get to end on a high note.

Let's take a moment because we don't often get to do that when we're talking about Congress; we don't often get to step back and acknowledge you have pulled off something we have not seen in years -- a compromise without brinksmanship, without going up to the 11th hour, without screaming and yelling.

What is the one thing that you did that was key to pulling this off?

MURRAY: Well, I think the most important thing was for Chairman Paul Ryan and I to agree that it's easy to sit on the sidelines and throw bombs at each other and to have political talking points. The challenge that we faced is that our country needed some healing, they needed some certainty, and that we needed to establish some trust between each other to find common ground.

We agreed that at the end of the day, they were going to be people from both sides who didn't like a compromise but if we wanted to tell our constituents and our country that a democracy can work, we had to work together first. And that's what we did.

BOLDUAN: And, Senator, I think we can both say we have very un-fond memories of the supercommittee when I was standing hours upon hours outside of your office waiting for a deal to be made.

What is different this time? Because you had everything, the way the supercommittee was set up in 2011 after the debt ceiling deal, everything was stacked in your favor to pull something off. What was different this time that you actually did pull something off?

MURRAY: Well, you think that the trust that we had no establish with each other, that we were going to have to make some tough choices, but that we would trust each other and compromise. I mean, that was a key part of this, and be willing to put things on the table to reach that agreement.

It wasn't easy. It isn't easy. There are people throwing bombs. That's no surprise. There's things I like and I don't like.

But what I do know is I went home every weekend to people who felt like our country couldn't work. That motivated me to make tough decisions. I know that it motivated Chairman Paul Ryan to do the same.

BOLDUAN: I want to get to the criticisms in a second. But, first, by all measure, you acknowledge this is a modest measure. It doesn't get the tackling the major drivers of our deficits and debt. You well know that. Are you disappointed that you couldn't pull off something bigger?

MURRAY: Well, here's how I looked at this is that in order to deal with the long-term challenges that our country faces, whether it is our economic challenges, getting people back to work, long-term, facing our long-term fiscal challenges, immigration reform, any of these big issues facing us, we have to have the trust of the American people. We have to have the trust of each other in Congress, in a divided Congress to do that.

So a small step forward was important to start to reestablish that trust and confidence and that's what I believe we have accomplished with this agreement.

BOLDUAN: So let's talk about some of the criticisms that are coming at this deal coming at you from the left and the right.

First, the cuts to military pensions. This is a $6 billion cut, and one of your colleagues, Senator Kelly Ayotte, she had this to say to Jake Tapper about those cuts. Listen to this, Senator.


SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: Here's my question. Why is it in the entire budget deal we're the only group that gets cuts to their current benefits, of all the people we would cut first our veterans, our disabled veterans, whereas the federal employees it only applies to new hires? I don't understand the priorities here.


BOLDUAN: You are a former chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. You come from a military family. What do you say to Kelly Ayotte and say to veterans?

MURRAY: What I say to everyone is we had to look at how we could find compromises. There's things in this I like. There are things in this I don't like.

At the end of the day, if we couldn't find a compromise how we move forward then we would be facing a $20 billion hit to our defense industry -- meaning layoffs, and uncertainty, and a lot of furloughs harming a lot of families across the country.

So choices went in there that I didn't agree with. If somebody's got a better way and has an opportunity to do that, this action, military action doesn't take effect for two years so we welcome anybody coming with a better way to do it that want to offer it and get it through a divided Congress. I'm happy to look at that and support it if it's something I can agree with --

BOLDUAN: And unfortunately it looks like we have lost the feed from Capitol Hill. We'll try to get the senator back up so we can finish this interview. Thank you very much for the time this morning -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Coming up on NEW DAY: a Texas D.A. hopes persistence pays off, he's trying a different strategy to get that teen who only received probation for killing four people in a drunk driving accident behind bars. Also, an Indian diplomat arrested and strip-searched in New York. Now, Indian officials are fighting back, retaliating against the U.S. we'll show you how and tell you why.


BOLDUAN: We have reestablished a connection with Senator Patty Murray on Capitol Hill to continue our conversation about the bipartisan budget agreement that is sure -- that is set to be approved by the Senate today.

So, Senator, picking up where we were -- you're talking about the criticisms the budget is facing, number one mainly was cuts to military pensions, you were talking about why that made that into the deal for good or bad that it is there.

Also unemployment benefits, there are some liberal members of your party on Capitol Hill and off Capitol Hill that are upset that that is not included in this deal because more than 1 million folks are going to lose their long-term unemployment benefits at the end of this month.

Why was that not included?

MURRAY: Well, I would have loved to have seen that included but again this was a compromise, and it was something that the other side couldn't agree to.

That doesn't mean the battle is over. We certainly are going to take up the extension of the unemployment insurance right after the first of the year when we return. It's an important piece of legislation but there was a lot left on the cutting room floor.

I would have loved to see some corporate tax loopholes cut so we didn't have to take some of the other deep cuts that had to be taken in this. But the fact was again if we had not reached a compromise and had this budget ready to go today to be sent to the president, then millions of families would be facing furloughs, layoffs, uncertainty and we would be seeing the devastating cuts continue to be put in place sequestration was causing uncertain to our economy and government shut down. No one wants to see that.

BOLDUAN: And so quickly, Senator -- the attention, the focus shifts to what is next? And next on your plate one of the many things on your plate will be looking at the next debt ceiling increase that could be coming in March. Republicans already coming out, Mitch McConnell included saying the debt ceiling won't be raised without negotiation, without conditions. The White House saying they're not negotiating around the debt ceiling. It sounds like deja vu.

Is it inevitable, Senator, with what you know, that there are going to have to be some negotiations about raising the debt ceiling this time around?

MURRAY: No, I think it's very clear that the country has spoken out they do not want any government shutdowns, economic uncertainty or fights back here in Congress about paying our bills.

I think Congress will step up and to the right thing, again next year, when the debt ceiling needs to be raised and pay our bills so that we don't send this country into another economic turmoil.

BOLDUAN: Senator Patty Murray, happy holidays. Thank you so much.

MURRAY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: All right. Thank you.

Michaela, over to you.

PEREIRA: All right, Kate. Thanks so much.

It's time for the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

We have two lucky mega millions winners. That winning tickets are sold in San Jose, California, and Atlanta, Georgia. They will share an estimated $636 million jackpot.

Police say a deadly shooting rampage inside a hospital building in Reno, Nevada, Tuesday was not a random act. An unidentified gunman killed one victim and critically wounded two others before killing himself.

Officials say it was a Harvard sophomore who e-mailed in Mondays' bomb hoax, Eldo Kim was allegedly trying to avoid a time exam. He's due in court today and faces up to five years in prison.

The president will not attend the Sochi Olympics and sending a delegation that includes gay athletes, this is believed to be a message to Russia.

The Federal Reserve interest rate policy, it may give clues when the stimulus will begin to slow.

We always update the five things to know. So, be sure to go to for the latest -- Chris, Kate.

CUOMO: All right. Thanks, Mick.

Prosecutors in Texas are still trying to put a teenager behind bars for driving drunk and killing four people. Sixteen-year-old Ethan Couch got ten years' probation after his attorneys argued he was a product of an abusive, very wealthy upbringing that twisted his sense of right and wrong, a psychologist referred to it as affluenza.

CNN's Jean Casarez is here with more affluenza, created outrage, that this kid is wealthy. He's getting a different brand of justice, a different punishment. The judge said, I feel what I feel.