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New Safeguards after Target Hacking; Emergency Space Walk for Repairs; Today is Obamacare Sign-Up Deadline; Rob Bliss Talks Magical Piano.

Aired December 23, 2013 - 11:30   ET



GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: They offered customers 10 percent storewide discounts this weekend as well as free credit monitoring.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: That was George Howell reporting for us.

We want to bring in now the legal panel. For more on this Joey Jackson, a criminal defense attorney and also HLN legal analyst; and also Heather Hansen, who is a trial and criminal defense attorney.

First of all, let's talk about this. Now we've got lawsuits coming. No big surprise. But let's be clear on something. If Target did have necessary security, which it appears they did, then arguably they too are victims, Joey?

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. They could be perceived that way. The issue becomes this, in this day and age where everyone is so sophisticated, should consumers at least when they go shopping have the safety and security and peace of mind to know that the protocols in place are reasonable and appropriate to the times. That's number one. Number two, meaning as of now, you know you have these sophisticated people out there, should you not be one step ahead of them instead of them being ahead of you. And number three, the issue becomes when they did know about it did they immediately act so they could not be re-victimized again.

FEYERICK: Heather let me ask you about that. Because this was a case that was investigated and still being investigated by Secret Service. So arguably, if they were investigating, who knows whether Target was told, don't let consumers know just yet because we're trying to figure out who has massively breached this system?

HEATHER HANSEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think Target has an argument that if they were up to date with security and had appropriate hiring and protection in place, there wasn't any negligence here. Is Target going to hold the bag or the credit card companies or consumers? As between those three, I think the Target is on target.


JACKSON: That's good.

HANSEN: It certainly can't be the consumers. When they go, as Joey, when as you say, they go with the good faith that their information is going protected.

JACKSON: Absolutely. Absolutely.

FEYERICK: Again, one thing you have to keep in mind is that you look at the cards that we have, and unlike Europe, they're really not all that sophisticated. You say they are sophisticated.

JACKSON: That's a problem.

FEYERICK: But in Europe, they've got chips. It the difference between an old hundred dollar bill and a new one that has so many gizmos, I thought it was fake actually when I saw it.


JACKSON: I really did, too. Just the other day, I'm looking, wow, that's a $100 bill. But should we not anticipate and otherwise expect that the places that we shop at might have whatever technology needs to be in place to preserve and protect our data.

And from a consumer confidence point of view, going back to your point, I think Target is really going to say for shareholders and our future, let's get this together and protect our consumers going forward, as T.J. Maxx did back in 2005.

HANSEN: To go back to your point, Deb, I do think this maybe the impetus for change. Now we have Senators looking into this and four attorney generals looking into this. There may be a change in the way that all credit card companies handle their information.

FEYERICK: And I did speak to one cyber expert who said this is a key area who said it's not just Target. That before the end of the season we may see other stores that have potentially had other people's information compromised.


FEYERICK: So, hold on, be careful. As we know, where there's a will, there's a way.

JACKSON: Yes, absolutely.

Thank you, Joey Jackson, Heather Hansen. Really appreciate both of your insights on this today.

JACKSON: Thank you.

FEYERICK: Happy Holidays.

JACKSON: And you.

Well, it's like a real-life scene from "Gravity" for astronauts at the international space station. After a delay, they'll resume tricky maneuvers more than 200 miles above the earth. We'll tell you what to watch out for in the next mission to repair damages to the station, next.


FEYERICK: Astronauts board the international space station are hoping a Christmas eve space walk is the last they will have to make in a series of emergency repairs. It's been nearly two weeks of high drama for NASA after a crucial pump valve malfunctioned earlier in the month. To further complicate matters, water was found on a space suit this weekend.

CNN's Alexandria Field joins me live.

What is going on up there?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: NASA is saying this is an issue related to the cooling system inside the space suit. They're saying the astronaut wasn't in any immediate danger or harm. But they don't want him out on another space walk wearing the same suit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just want to verify there are no rips exposed, correct?

FIELD: NASA astronauts on a mission spent five and a half hours Saturday on a high stakes space walk and they'll do it again Christmas eve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're good with that.

FIELD: If you thought your holidays had high drama, it doesn't compare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if you guys believe in miracles, but I got the hitch pin on the first try.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's awesome.

CHRIS HADFIELD, RETIRED ASTRONAUT: It's like a complex ballet with only two performers.

FIELD: They have already successfully removed a faulty pump on the space station.



FIELD: A new pump was supposed to be installed today but will be delayed until tomorrow after a potential problem with the space suit was discovered Saturday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only issue that I personally am having is it's very, very cold.

HADFIELD: One of the suits showed maybe a sign that it got a little water into the evaporator on the back, which cools the suit when you're outside.

FIELD: NASA says the astronaut wasn't in danger and that it wasn't related to what happened in July. That's when Italian astronaut, Luke Aparmatono (ph), nearly drowned after water leaked into his helmet. A reminder of the dangerous nature of the work being done 220 miles above earth.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Astronaut is off structure.



FIELD: The recent hit movie "Gravity" puts a highly dramatized spin of the risks, risks every astronaut on every mission understands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The movie is a good movie, but you probably don't want to watch that when you're in space.

FIELD: Maybe not. He'll have a new space suit ready to wear when he heads back out on Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're welcome. Good job.


FIELD: NASA has 12 of these space walking space suits. He has a suit being refit so he can head back out there tomorrow. When you're up there, Deb, you want it to be just right. You don't want to be worried about that.

FEYERICK: It is scary. All you have is what you've got up there with you.

Alexandra Field, thank you so much.

I'm not sure I could be the one up there doing that.

Well, Chris Hadfield, the former commander board the international space station, joins me now. He's an author as well.

And first, we have seen a lot of NASA success between safe space walks and landing rovers on mars. You showed the world how cool and amazing science can be. But is everything a reminder of really how risky it is for those men and women who are up there?

HADFIELD: Doing a space walk is necessary sometimes. Space travel is still right at the edge of what we can do safely. And to have six people personal permanently living off the earth, living on board an orbiting a space station going five miles per second. When they have to fix something and go ahead outside it's a risk. But the success they had a couple of days ago and the very cautious way with which we do business up there, that improves our odds of success. And people are looking forward to getting everything done with the space walk tomorrow.

FEYERICK: And you did two of these space walks. In terms of what the pumps actually do, what is the risk? What is the danger? Why is there an urgency to get this resolved?

HADFIELD: The space station has to be cooled. It's incredibly hot in the direct sunlight. In the order of 300 degrees in the sun. Space station has be cooled. The fluid we pump around is ammonia. One of the pumps that pumps it around the outside of the station failed to an unusable condition. We have to pull this pump. It's the size of a free refrigerator. Pull it off. And now they've got a new one they're going to install. Some of the danger is hooking up the big heavy lines, they're really thick and massive. And hooking those up, of course, if you were to leak ammonia, it's not a pleasant chemical. There's definite risk out there. We're not doing it recreationally. You showed that clip from "gravity." It's way more meticulous and serious than that. And they've been focusing on it. And they'll be ready the task tomorrow.

FEYERICK: Let's talk about the risk. Clearly the people up there are probably some of the smartest people on the planet or in orbit as the case may be. But is enough done to protect their safety?

HADFIELD: I don't think anybody realizes just how seriously we take it and years and years of preparation that goes into it. I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours, weeks and weeks under water training for my space walks and practicing everything to fine detail. We've had people in the pool down in Houston evaluating these procedures. The most expert people we have. The two people who did this last time a few years ago, they'll be there helping to talk the crew through it. We really take our business seriously. I'm confident we'll be doing the right thing just purely as a result of all that work.

FEYERICK: And just so I know. Where did they get this? If the unit they're replacing is the size of a refrigerator, did they have that up there with them or is that something that had to be delivered to them? I'm just curious.

HADFIELD: Back in 2004, when we decided to end the space shuttle, of course, we then laid out what spare parts might we need. So for the remaining seven years we flew the shuttle, we brought up a lot spare parts. There's a few of these spares up there on a rack, bolted in and keeping cool on the outside of the station.

FEYERICK: Pretty amazing. Not the thing you can just go out and buy.

Chris Hadfield, thank you. We appreciate it. Clearly fascinating to watch. Brilliant people up there doing the job.

Thanks so much.

HADFIELD: Happy holidays, Deb. Thanks.

FEYERICK: To you, too.

Today is a big deadline for people signing up or Obamacare. And new polls out today about how Americans feel about the president's plan for affordable health care. They're not pretty for the president. Details ahead.


FEYERICK: Today is the deadline to sign up for Obamacare for many states. If you want coverage starting January 1st, that's what you're going to have to do. But they're going to have to grapple another number out today. A poll shows that only 35 percent of people support the health care law. And 43 percent call it too liberal. And when asked about the effect on their families, 16 percent said they'll be better off. 42 percent said they'll be worse off. And 40 percent said about the same.

I'm joined now CNN senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein.

Hi, there, Ron.


FEYERICK: Do those poll numbers spell trouble for the White House or will we see people come back over again?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, they've had a very difficult time turning around these poll numbers throughout the entire legislative fight, particularly on the question of whether it will benefit you and your family. At their best, they've gotten to an even split on whether it's good for the country overall. But on the other question, they've never gotten above 35 percent, 40 percent. It's down about 12 percent. And that's an ominous number.

FEYERICK: And so is this just sort of a healthy cynicism or skepticism? What does the president have to do in 2014 to built greater support or keep it from snowballing?

BROWNSTEIN: That's a good question. And the part I think is much bigger than the president. Every time we've had a serious debate about health care under Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton or Obama, each time it moved in the same direction. It starts off with a lot of support for reform and as it unfolds, people with insurance, which are the vast majority of Americans, grow more concerned about whether it will affect what they already have. The devil they know becomes more attractive than the devil they don't know.

I don't think he has a huge opportunity to turn around the overall public opinion. I think the key is building a constituency for the program by getting a large number of people signed up. And that has to be the core of their efforts going forward.

FEYERICK: And are you surprised that the number of women who oppose it is growing, 60 percent compared to 54 percent.

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, look, women are not immune to trends in society. The one thing that the president has going for him, as you noted as you started, was the share of people who favor it or think it's not liberal enough is still greater than the share who oppose it because they think it's too liberal. On the other hand, 80 percent of Republicans oppose it because it's too liberal, which guarantees Republican opposition will continue through 2014 and likely through the presidential race as in 2016 when we may see a second consecutive Republican nominee running on repealing this law.

FEYERICK: All right, Ron Brownstein, thank you so much. I want to talk to you in a year we when we see how this helps or hurts the American public.


FEYERICK: Thank you so much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you. Happy holidays.

FEYERICK: To you, too.

Well, a piano brings some holiday magic to travelers at Chicago's Union Station. Watch how it plays along with this little girl.




FEYERICK: So how does it work? Meet the man behind the musical magic just ahead.


FEYERICK: If you happen to pass through Union Station in Chicago this month, I bet you told your friends about the piano.




FEYERICK: I love how all these people are getting into it. Clearly, that is not your grandmother's player piano. It seemed to have a mind of its own.

The real brains right here with us. Rod Bliss is a writer, producer, newspaper columnist and master of the deal he calls experienceal marketing. He makes stuff happen for a purpose.

Rob, first of all, tell us, before we get to the why, how did you actually pull this off? ROB BLISS: Thanks for having me. How it worked, we took an ordinary looking piano and had it be remotely controlled by a piano bar pianist in another room with his keyboard. We set up cameras and microphones so we could see and hear what's happening near the piano and respond in real time.

FEYERICK: You call this experienceal marketing, which is fascinating. Did you have an expectation that people would react this way? That man who starts dancing and the other one takes out his trumpet and starts playing?

BLISS: You know, 22,000 people pass through Chicago Union Station. And we were interacting with just about everyone coming through there. Because of that, you know, it's just a numbers game. Of course, we're going to get hundreds and hundreds of interactions. So it did make sense with just the foot traffic we were working with.

FEYERICK: So what is it that you're marketing it by doing this?

BLISS: You know, we teamed up with Amtrak to put this together. They're trying to do something special for the holiday season for passengers. We thought this would be a unique way to do something fun and engage with people and special for people just passing through. Something new for these commuters.

FEYERICK: The downside, obviously a viral anything. I love this man who just sort of lets his hair loose. Nothing stays secret. I'm sure now you know a casting call turned up for this very shoot. Are the people actors? Is this or is all of it or some of it staged now?

BLISS: Well, we wanted to encourage as much participation as possible. We just took this idea and told everyone about it, yes, including talented groups to let them know this is happening, come do whatever you want with it, but also theater companies or opera houses, jazz companies, anything, just hey, come here. This is the idea. Interact with it however you want. But you know, the vast majority of people I would say were just regular people passing through that day. So much foot traffic we had to work with that it's inevitable that the majority is going to be like that can.

FEYERICK: I love this. This brings out the best in people when they see an opportunity, and this man starts playing his trumpet. Did you have a lot of fun with this? The person playing the piano in the back, did you have a lot of fun with this?

BLISS: We were just laughing and smiling so much the whole time like you know this harmonica player that comes up and starts performing with us. Out of nowhere, he came up and started playing with the piano. It was so powerful. It meant a lot to us and put a lot of smiles on our faces.

FEYERICK: I love this. Sort of sheer joy. That is great during this holiday season.

All right. Rob bliss, thank you so much. Happy holiday to you and thank you for making it a little bit brighter for all the people in many Chicago Union Station.

BLISS: Thanks for having me.

FEYERICK: It had to happen. The magic of Christmas meets the mischief of Halloween.






FEYERICK: Yes, it's a person in a Christmas tree costume, scaring the dickens out of unsuspecting teachers at a high school in Texas. It was all part of the buildup for the state championship football game against arch rival Carthage Bulldogs. Carthage won.

I want to thank to my team for letting me have the surprise, as well.

Golden retrievers, also, moving onto the next story is, fair swimmers but even they need retrieving when they fall through the ice on the Charles River in December. This is Crosby and the Massachusetts firefighters who fought their way 50 yards offshore yesterday to save that dog. It took time but everybody did make it out, at which point Crosby was warmed up and in the back seat of a nice toasty police car. Last we heard, Crosby and the firefighters were just fine.

Well, thanks for watching, everybody. Want to wish you a happy holiday. Safe travels. AROUND THE WORLD starts now.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: A harrowing rescue airlifts Americans out of the violence in South Sudan. Now a warning from President Obama, the United States may get more U.S. troops involved.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: The offensive tweet that angered people worldwide. One exec now fired and apologizing. A global company doing some damage control.

MALVEAUX: And a massive winter storm knocks out power to hundreds of thousand of people. Now another storm poses more problems right at the height of holiday travel.

Welcome to AROUND THE WORLD. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company today.

We are looking very closely today at a part of the world where the United Nations is afraid all-out civil war will break out at any time.

This is the youngest nation in the world. We're talking about South Sudan, just two years independent from its neighbor, Sudan. But in just the past week, hundreds of --