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Saved on Christmas; Weather Outlook; Couple Fined, Fights Back against Retailer; The Year in Photos; DJ Pays it Forward

Aired December 26, 2013 - 08:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Let's get over to Pamela Brown, in for Michaela, with the five things you just need to know for your new day.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning, everyone.

At number one, a kidnapped American is making a plea for President Obama to help bring him home. In this video you see right here, Warren Weinstein says his health is failing and he feels forgotten. He was abducted in Pakistan two years ago.

UPS and FedEx delivering a whole lot of disappointment this holiday. Thousands of packages didn't reach their destinations by Christmas because of bad weather and a surge in demand. The companies are apologizing.

Well, the power still out in parts of Michigan, Maine, and Vermont after this week's ice storm in those places. Some people might be in the dark until this weekend. But, overall, the weather is expected to be fine for most travelers heading home today.

And holiday discounts at the stores were big, but the after Christmas sales may be even better. Retailers are hoping big discounts will bring shoppers in to help make up for a slower and shortened Christmas shopping season.

Well, it looks like McDonald's has taken down its controversial employee website. You know the one that encouraged workers to skip fast food and get a second job. Well, the company says the site is being re-evaluated because it got so much unwarranted public attention.

Of course, we are always updating the five things to know, so go to for the very latest.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Pamela, thank you so much.

The video is dramatic to say the very least. And one look at this fiery crash on California's 405 Freeway shows you that rescuing the driver was nothing short of heroic and really the definition of a Christmas miracle. CNN's Miguel Marquez has more on this crash and the good Samaritans who saved the day.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a pretty extraordinary story.


MARQUEZ: Absolutely amazing that this guy survived. This is a miracle of coincidences. The right people, the right place, the right time.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Hard to tell, but that is a black Mercedes. It lost control on a major freeway in Los Angeles. Harder to believe, the man who was driving survived.

DON THOMPSON, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: It was just a matter of seconds. Another 10, 15 seconds, there just would have been too much fire.

MARQUEZ: Seconds to rescue the 72-year-old man whose car burst into flames after smashing into the center divider.

THOMPSON: I reached in there and I fumbled a bit more and thank goodness I found that button and popped the belt and grabbed him and pulled him out.

MARQUEZ: Adding to the miracle, Don Thompson, a 26 year veteran of the LAPD bomb squad, happened to be on his way to work. His shift started early. Diving into the flames, pulling the driver to safety.

THOMPSON: I'm just kind of singed, you know, hair here and some first degree on the side.

MARQUEZ: Thompson did have help. Miracles sometimes need company. A Los Angeles firefighter happened to be driving by, making the rescue seamless.

ERIK (ph) SCOTTY (ph), PARAMEDIC (ph), LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT: To be able to help to immediate patient assessment and get other resources on scene a lot quicker because he happened to be the commander of the dispatch center and called him directly to do so.

MARQUEZ: A horrible accident and an impromptu act of heroism.

THOMPSON: It makes me feel good to know that I saved a life.

MARQUEZ: Understatement from a veteran cop, all in a day's work.


MARQUEZ: I just - I love how understated the guy is. Oh, I'm just happy I saved a guy's life. That's it. So the guy goes to the hospital, pain in his neck, pain in his back, that's it for now.

BOLDUAN: Nothing else.

MARQUEZ: Seventy-two years old. So it's amazing that he survived.

BOLDUAN: And you - and you pointed out, all in a day's work. That's also the amazing thing that we always need to remember, is this is just what they do, police officers and fire fighters and those -

MARQUEZ: They jump into a flaming car -


MARQUEZ: On the way to work to diffuse bombs.

BROWN: Didn't think anything of it.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Right, exactly.

BROWN: Oh, my God.

MARQUEZ: I think it's pretty impressive.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Miguel.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, did you know if you give a bad online review, you could be fined? Well, neither did one couple and now they're fighting back. We'll tell you how.

BOLDUAN: Plus, a stunning milestone for a Boston Marathon bombing victim and just in time for Christmas. We'll be right back.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Let's get a check of your forecast. We've got Chad Myers in for Indra Petersons.

And when I look at the map, it looks like it's pretty cold, Chad, right there.

BOLDUAN: Which is everywhere.


CUOMO: Everywhere.

MYERS: There.

CUOMO: It's kind of cold -

MYERS: There.

CUOMO: Everywhere.

MYERS: You could do this, the weather man move, there.

CUOMO: Yes, thank you.

MYERS: Thirty-two, Cincinnati. Thirty-one, New York City. Some snow coming into the city later on today. That's some good news for my wife, at least, she wants to see some snow because she's from Atlanta and it doesn't ever get there. There's a light band of snow off Delaware, Watergaft (ph), into Binghamton, maybe Syracuse going to pick up a little bit. Also into Scranton and also some light snow into Cleveland. You might get a slick spot or two, literally bridges, overpasses. Those would be the big thing today. We're not going to talk about snow to shovel. We're talking snow to broom off and there it goes.

There's the low right there moving up towards Maine, up towards Halifax. And then just a little bit of snow coming into Winnipeg. So, Happy Boxing Day to the U.K. and also into Canada. Our highs today, Chicago, 30, 25, Minneapolis, and 42 in Kansas City.

The biggest storm on the planet is moving into the U.K. right now. This is 11:00 tonight. Planes will be taking off from the U.S., trying to get to the U.K. And the wind in London is going to be 50, Dublin, 57 miles per hour, not kilometers. And there's Eberdene (ph), up into Scotland, 62 miles per hour. That may slow down some airplanes trying to get to the U.K. or northern Europe later on tonight.

Back to you guys.

BOLDUAN: Wow. All right, Chad, thank you so much for that.

Now let's get you to a story that we've been tracking for weeks now. If you did any of your holiday shopping online, there's something that you should be aware of. A Utah couple is fighting back now after being fined $3,500 for posting just a negative review on a website called They're suing, arguing that they're being extorted. But KlearGear says the couple didn't read the fine print. Pamela Brown is here with much more on this.

BROWN: Yes, this is quite a story. You know, we first brought you this story about a month ago and it really hit a nerve with our viewers who were simply shocked to learn about this couple's story. Many saying it's just not fair to be fined for posting a negative review and should be illegal. Well now the couple at the center of this story is taking action saying it's payback time.


BROWN (voice-over): A Utah couple fined $3,500 for writing a negative review of is now suing the merchant for retaliating against them, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday on the couple's behalf by Public Citizen. The battle began when John and Jen Palmer bought a few Christmas gifts from the website in 2008. But they say the items never arrived and their calls went unanswered. Finally the transaction was canceled. Jen Palmer vented her frustrations online, posting a review of the company on saying in part, "there was absolutely no way to get in touch with a physical human being. No extensions work."

Then, three and a half years later, they received this e-mail appearing to be from KlearGear stating they'd be fined $3,500 if the negative review wasn't taken down in 72 hours.

JEN PALMER, FINED FOR WRITING NEGATIVE ONLINE REVIEW: It's ridiculous that anybody would turn around and try to extort us like this, especially for doing something as simple as just posting a review online.

BROWN: But KlearGear told the Palmers they signed away their freedom in an obscure terms and conditions non-disparagement clause forbidding them from taking any action that negatively impacts The Palmers tried to take the review down, but couldn't. KlearGear apparently then reported the $3,500 bill as unpaid to a collection's company.

PALMER: It was bad enough that when we went to get our second car, it took them a month to find a bank that was willing to finance us because of the huge ding that this puts on our credit.

BROWN: The Palmers say they tried to reach out to settle this amicably but never heard back from the company.

SCOTT MICHELMAN, PUBLIC CITIZEN ATTORNEY: As Jen Palmer's original review online noted, part of the problem with KlearGear's customer service is that they're difficult to contact.

BROWN: Thus, according to the Palmers, leaving them no choice but to sue. They're asking the court to declare they never owed the $3,500 and are seeking compensation to be determined by a jury.

MICHELMAN: Contract law isn't a game of surprise where businesses get to extort money based on terms that the customers didn't read in the fine print.


BROWN: Now, CNN did try reaching out to KlearGear's phone numbers and e-mail listed on its website but they haven't - we haven't heard back after several attempts. But did respond via e-mail back in November to our affiliate KUTV defending its action saying, its request for the Palmers to take down their comment was not blackmail but, quote, "a diligent effort to help them avoid the fine."

But, Chris, I think it's safe to say the Palmers have a pretty strong case here.

CUOMO: Yes. All right, Pamela, thanks for bringing us that.

Now, here's a good one for you. Sometimes we throw phrases like "Christmas miracle" around without really thinking about it. But here's one that truly qualifies. Why? Well, I want to show you Rebecca Gregory. She's standing on two feet Monday. This is the first time she's been able to do that since April 15th. You remember that day? The Boston Marathon bombing.

The bomb went off and left her with serious injuries to her legs. Rebecca needed 14 surgeries, was lucky her leg wasn't amputated. She does have a long way to go in her recovery, but she calls putting both feet on the ground the most amazing feeling. Her boyfriend was with her that day and he was also seriously hurt in that explosion. He is recovering and proposed to Rebecca in October. How good is that? We just want to show you that there is progress and they are another example of Boston strong.


BOLDUAN: Fourteen surgeries later, she is still smiling.

CUOMO: Yes, and not done.

BOLDUAN: And not done yet. Wow, such strength. Thanks, Chris, for that.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, the year in pictures. The moments that stole our hearts and the images that we just could not turn away from. We'll look at some of the best of 2013 coming up next.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

As 2013 comes to a close, we're looking back at some of the most iconic moments. This year brought both tragedy and triumph from the Boston Marathon bombings. The papal conclave and Getty images, one of the most respected the photography agencies in the world just released their best images of the year.

And joining us to talk more about this is the co-founder and CEO of Getty Images, Jonathan Klein. Jonathan it's great to see you again.


BOLDUAN: Good morning, good morning. How do you even begin to choose the best images coming from Getty when you think of the tens of thousands of news events, entertainment events and sports events that your photographers cover every year?

KLEIN: It's a very tough task and thankfully, there are people more expert at it than myself in making those choices. I think the first thing we do is we decide what were the major events? And then within that can we find an iconic image which represents that event better than any others? And that's where it gets hard.

What you want to do is you want to select an image which brings across all the different aspects of the event and put that in front of people. In some cases it won't be the world's greatest photo but it will be the photo which encapsulates the event. In other cases, it will just be a special photo, too.

BOLDUAN: Capturing that moment. Well, let's run through just a sampling of some of the images --

KLEIN: Sure.

BOLDUAN: -- that have been chosen. We'll throw up -- we'll put them up on the screen so we can talk about them. One of the events, everyone -- whether they want to admit it or not, they paid attention to is the birth of the royal baby. The Duke and duchess of Cambridge -- this is right when they're leaving the hospital for the first time, right?

KLEIN: Yes, absolutely. There was a long wait for this baby. In fact, there was a very long wait for the wedding given that they had been together for so many years.

BOLDUAN: That's true.

KLEIN: So the press, we're used to waiting. And they waited and they waited. And this photo is the classic coming out of the hospital photo. I assume there were at least 1,000 photographers and press, but our Chris Jackson, as ever, was in the perfect spot to get them looking great. Kate looking at the camera, the baby putting his little finger up -- I don't know if Chris arranged this. I would be very surprised.

But it is very much an iconic photo. It harks back to when William himself came out of the hospital with Princess Diana and Charles. And they just look the picture of a modern royal family which is very much what they're trying to convey and succeeding in doing so.

BOLDUAN: Let's move on to another photo, a very different event that no one in the United States will ever forget. This is the Boston Marathon bombing. And this is an iconic photo. Why did you choose this one?

KLEIN: I think what's really special about this was it captures the moment. It was actually the second blast. And what you're seeing is a very elderly man. In fact, he's 78 years old. And he's approaching the finish having done many marathons, and that's when the explosion goes off.

The police are moving extremely quickly. They're looking in different directions saying what is happening. There is a sense of panic but there's also a sense of security that the police are there. This elderly man, I understand, got up and continued just to get across the line because he was that close.

BOLDUAN: Where that term "Boston Strong" comes from. And you do see it amid the chaos, you do see calm in action in those Boston police officers. This is an image no one will forget any time soon.

KLEIN: And what also happened, of course, was Boston's year was bookmarked by this at the beginning and then the Boston Red Sox, Boston Strong, winning the World Series at home.

BOLDUAN: talk about the next iconic image in the Getty year. This is of Pope Francis. This is a pope that seems to -- that everyone seems to love. What is it about this image of him?

KLEIN: There are a few things which really spring out. He seems to be extremely warm, friendly, and charismatic. He's already being called "The People's Pope" only a few months into his tenure. "Time Magazine" just this week or last week named him Person of the Year. He just seems to be extremely authentic and the excitement and the joy of everyone around him, the close proximity -- I wouldn't like to be his security. And what I, of course, love about this is everyone wants to take a photo of him. And that's the world we're in today where being there is not enough. You want to have a photo and show everyone you were there. He's a galvanizing personality.

BOLDUAN: You also see a bit of his humor in this one.

KLEIN: Yes. To remove the -- yes, he seems to just have that common touch and it's very exciting shot by one of our guys who spends a lot of time in the Vatican following the Pope around.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about this one. This will be our final photo that we're going to touch on.

KLEIN: Sure.

BOLDUAN: This is the devastation following the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

KLEIN: You know every year regrettably there are these horrible natural disasters. And to capture the devastation is very difficult. You've probably covered a few of them so you know exactly what it's like to be there, but when you're just away from it and looking at numbers of people hurt, it's kind of meaningless. And a photo which shows a place just completely destroyed is very powerful. Of course, the flag could not be in a better position from a composition perspective but, really --

BOLDUAN: You see the flag and you see clearly someone's kitchen in a space where everything else is completely devastated.

KLEIN: Absolutely nothing left.

BOLDUAN: Just some of the iconic photographs taken by Getty Images this year. And it is great to see them on display -- much more to see in this. Jonathan Klein, it's great to see you.

KLEIN: Thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

KLEIN: Pleasure.

CUOMO: Boy, I'll tell you, that Moore, Oklahoma, that picture there. Do we remember that? It would be nice to go back and show pictures of that place once it's all back and built up.

Let's take a break here on NEW DAY.

When we come back, you know how there are these guys and women on radio now these, DJs, where their schtick is being loud and obnoxious. That's how they get viewers. You're going to meet a DJ who engaged his listeners by taking up the cause of a 90-year-old woman and what he did made him a bit of the good stuff.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CUOMO: Good song. Let it play. Let it play.

A little bit under the headline of reason for the season. We're supposed to be trying to do good things right now. So here's a little good stuff. Today's edition, Denver radio D.J. Willie B. Take a listen.


WILLIE B., DENVER RADIO DJ: You know, man, I'm a big pay it forward guy. I'm just like anybody else, man. I live check to check 90 percent of the time.


CUOMO: All right. I love his voice already. Now here's Willie's story. He recently put up a question on his Facebook page. What would you do if money were no object? He got the usual responses, get a new car, go on vacation. There was one very special response that stuck out.


WILLIE B.: Replace the carpets for my 90-year-old grammy and fixing the little things around her house. Just a small thank you for not giving us kids up to foster care when our parents died.



CUOMO: All right. Now, if that doesn't move you, what will? What does Willie do? Most people do nothing, right. Not him, he jumps into action. He gets a bunch of friends in the construction industry together all of whom donated their time and labor. It wasn't just new carpets and little fixes. By the time they were through Vivian Gallegos better known as Granny got a new kitchen, new appliances, a new furnace --

BOLDUAN: No way.

CUOMO: And much more -- $80,000 in all. Granny was shocked speechless.


VIVIAN GALLEGOS, GRANDMOTHER: It hasn't sunk in. Not yet. Oh, my.


CUOMO: You know what, she's got time because the house is in good shape and she can enjoy it when she will. Her appreciation is not the reason they did it. They did it because it was the right thing to do.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: And I love that. Just on a whim he just asked a question on Facebook. BOLDUAN: And it wasn't as if the grandchild was seeking really, really seeking help. This was kind of a rhetorical question. What would you do if money was no object? And did something about it.

BROWN: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: That is special

CUOMO: Identifying need isn't hard. Doing something about it is very hard. We try and recognize it on the show whether it's the cop who decides to go into the burning car or this guy who just in the course of his job decided to do something a little extra, a little bit more and now there's this entire family and certainly this one older woman whose life is totally better.

BOLDUAN: And we see that in "The Good Stuff" which is it's not something grand. He didn't build a completely new house for her. They did something small although it added up to $80,000.

BROWN: Exactly. And he was able to do it with the help of so many others, too. It was really a team effort.

CUOMO: More people get involved, the more it grows, the more gooder it gets.

BOLDUAN: We love the gooder.

BROWN: Yes we do.

CUOMO: That's it for us. A lot of news we're following this morning. Let's get you to the NEWSROOM with Miss Carol Costello.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Thanks so much. Have a great day.

Happening now in the NEWSROOM.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Didn't get what you wanted this Christmas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Incredible door busters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get up to 75 percent off.


COSTELLO: Deals, steals and bargains. Basement door busters -- how does 75 percent off sound or $100 off a Mac book? We're live as millions hit the malls.

Also power problems, many Americans and their cold, chilly Christmas; tens of thousands sent shivering without power since last Saturday after a major ice storm paralyzes people from Michigan to Maine.

Plus, this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got opening. Wade (inaudible) in and down --


COSTELLO: Boom. LeBron's amazing dunk after dunk after dunk. King James beating up the Lakers Miami style.