Return to Transcripts main page


Airport Security Breaches Raise Questions; Sandy Hook Papers to be Released; Jon Kitna To Donate Salary To High School; Food Prices Rising; Deadly Explosion Rocks Beirut

Aired December 27, 2013 - 06:30   ET


PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: The government now saying anyone caught taking part in protests organized by the brotherhood will face five years in prison, and promoting the group will be considered terrorism.

Here's a bizarre story out of Argentina. Have you heard about this? A school of carnivorous fish turned violent and went on the attack in a river as thousands cooled off from 100 degree temperatures. Seventy people were injured, including seven children who lost parts of fingers or toes. Area beaches were closed after the incident, but it was so hot that many people went back into the water within a half hour.

CUOMO: Respect it. The dreaded carnivorous fish, I love them.

BROWN: Do you, Chris?

CUOMO: They went back in because, you know, they live in -- it's part of think life down there.

BROWN: No, it's not part of their life. They're crazy!

CUOMO: No, they're tough and they go back in.

BROWN: It must have been really hot.

CUOMO: That's exactly right.

BROWN: If they were willing to go back in the water with piranhas.

BOLDUAN: Stay outside, or threaten to have your toes eaten.

CUOMO: Most people you hear carnivorous fish, that's it, it's over. Conversation's over, we're never going back in, you will - but not there.

BROWN: They're tough people.

CUOMO: Tiger tough (ph). That's what we call that.


BROWN: Tougher than me, that's for sure.

CUOMO: Stop it. Now we've gone too far. All right. Tell you about another story this morning, two brazen airport security breaches on opposite ends of the country, both happening on Christmas Day. Radar, motion detectors, surveillance cameras, none prevented a man in women's clothing from scaling a fence and walking onto airport runways at Newark airport in New Jersey. In Phoenix, airport workers say they saw a man climb over a barbed wire fence and run on to the tarmac at Sky Harbor. Why is this happening? Why aren't they being caught? Alexandra Field is here with the latest. Great to have you. What do we know?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Chris. These were tense moments at both of these airports. Both of these incidents will now prompt reviews. Security around airports as opposed to at gates and on planes is a decision that is handled by local authorities, so it varies from airport to airport. We have two different systems in place in Newark, New Jersey and Phoenix, Arizona. Here's how those systems stood up to similar tests on Christmas morning.


FIELD: A pricey perimeter security system at Newark Liberty International Airport wasn't enough to stop an intruder from making his way onto the runway Christmas morning. This morning, there's new information about what went wrong.

Port authority police say a high-tech surveillance system was working. A statement reads, quote, "an alarm was signaled and the cameras captured an image of an individual coming over the fence. The investigation is now focusing on the actions of the operator who monitors the camera and the alarms."

Officials say the suspect was coming from the New Jersey turnpike and jumped the airport security fence. He made his way across two runways before reaching gate 70 at terminal C where an airline employee stopped him.

(INAUDIBLE) was arrested and charged with trespassing. Police say the 24-year-old Jersey City man was wearing women's clothes and told them he had been in someone's car when he got spooked and ran off. Officials say planes were never in danger, but the episode has, again, raised questions about the effectiveness of a security system that's in place at all New York area airports.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the system is working and working effectively, it becomes a good layer of security. An additional layer and layer that goes above the regulatory standards.

FIELD: The system includes radar, surveillance cameras and motion detectors. It came under fire in 2012 at New York's JFK airport when a jet skier who ran out of fuel was able to climb out of the water and onto the tarmac undetected.

A similarly frightening scene was caught on surveillance video in Arizona this Christmas morning after this man climbed over the 8-foot tall fence of the Phoenix International Airport. Watch as 49-year-old Robert Bump runs across the tarmac near terminal 3, police arresting him shortly after. Airport officials say he exhibited signs of possible drug or alcohol impairment.

GLENN WINN, FMR. SECURITY DIRECTOR, UNITED AIRLINES: It's very disturbing because you have a system that's been installed and tested over the last several years and there continue to be different breaches at the different airports in the port authority jurisdiction.


FIELD: Bryant was charged with trespassing but has since been released. CNN has made several attempts to contact him and we have not been able to. It is interesting to point out here that a spokesperson at the Phoenix airport said they had an opportunity a few years back to install a similar system to the one that's in place at Newark, they decided not to do it citing the cost of that system.

BOLDUAN: It is interesting. You pointed out I think, an important item right off the top, is that different from security inside the airport. Outside the airport, those are handled - so every airport could have a very different security system because it's handled on the local level.

FIELD: Right, and certainly there are federal standards that these airports need to meet and achieve. They need to file their security plans on a federal level. How they design the systems is different. In fact, the Newark system and the systems around the New York City area surpass those federal guidelines. It was a step that added an extra layer of protection, a step that some people have questioned.

BOLDUAN: Interesting. Alexandra, thanks so much.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, the Sandy Hook massacre was just over one year ago when it happened. Today we're set to find out much more about how it all played out and also more about what happened. Thousands of pages of documents detailing the investigation are being released. Could they shed new light on a motive?

CUOMO: And if you've been grocery shopping lately you've seen it firsthand, the prices, why are they going up on everything? Hold onto your wallet. They'll be going even higher. Things like beef, chicken, bread. There's a reason. We'll tell you when we come back.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back. Let's go around the world now, starting in China where an explosion and fire at a shopping mall has turned deadly. Kristie Lu Stout has the latest.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Search and rescue efforts continue in southwest China after a massive fire broke out at a shopping mall late on Thursday evening. Take a look at these pictures. You can see the flames engulf the first and second floors of the mall. It's located in Liu Jo (ph) City in Sichuan province. Media reports that this was caused by a natural gas explosion. At least four people have been confirmed dead, and 35 others injured. That toll could rise as officials sift through what remains of the building. Back to you, Kate. BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

Another first for Pope Francis. Some locals in Rome will get to attend his personal daily mass. Erin McLaughlin explains.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It looks like the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics wants to be closer to those in his own backyard. According to media reports, starting in the new year, people from parishes across Rome will be invited to join Pope Francis for his morning mass here at the Vatican on a daily basis. It's another papal first for Francis, who's focusing on making the church more service oriented and inclusive. An example of why many here are calling him the people's pope. Back to you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Erin, thank you for that.

CUOMO: All right. So, this is a story that we talk to you about a lot, and it's because interest in why a young man became a deranged killer in Newtown, Connecticut, continues to grow. There now may be some more pieces to the puzzle. Here's why. Police in Connecticut plan to release thousands of pages of material from the investigation, along with the 911 calls that came in that day. The hope is the release does more good than harm. The harm would be re-opening these wounds for the victims' families. Pamela Brown is here with what we understand this latest wave is. What's going to happen now?

BROWN: It's a huge compilation, Chris. As you mentioned, thousands of pages coming from Connecticut state police that will be released later today at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. And essentially it's going to have a witness statement. We'll see pictures, as you said 911 calls. Really just all the information that police have gathered ever since the school shooting last December 14th and try to create a clearer picture of why Adam Lanza did what he did.

Of course, you remember in November, there was a 44-page documents that were released from prosecutors and it basically told us that Adam Lanza was obsessed with school shootings but didn't give us an idea of motive. We learned from the Connecticut state police spokesman, Paul Vance, back in November, that this compilation might include more clues as to a motive for Adam Lanza, but that is not for certain. We simply won't know that until we see the documents at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon.

CUOMO: What you know for certain is, it bothers the victims' families and for obvious reasons. Some believe it's interest in the macabre. However, there are those in the forensic side, the educational side, and the therapy side that say we need to see the pieces that lead to the pattern. That's where we want to intervene in earlier. And that is the hope. Obviously the police have some public information requirements, but they also have this guiding interest, I believe, in helping people understand it. Maybe it helps stop the next one.

BROWN: Absolutely. That's the hope, that the information that will come from this, that will be gleaned from this report will prevent future school shootings.

CUOMO: Right, and we'll have to seen what's in there, and then what is done. What is done.


CUOMO: Otherwise it is just about re-opening the wounds.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Pamela.

Let's get back over to Chad Myers in for Indra Petersons with another look at the forecast. What are people going to face when they head out the door this morning, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, warmer than yesterday. I think it's going to will feel like 40 this afternoon, in New York City, 29 in Toronto. I know that doesn't seem like a huge warm-up, but it is compared to where you've been, especially with the ice storm there. Toronto goes to 37 tomorrow, so this ice we've been talking about falls off the trees tonight. Maybe falls on your head. Watch where you're walking. When it falls off the trees, the trees spring back up and knock more power lines down. Remember that.

Here is the next big cool-down. This is the next arctic blast. It comes in on Sunday and into Monday and finally into Tuesday for the northeast. It takes a time to get there but this is cold air. Minneapolis 4 degrees below 0. Warming up to 4 above for Bismarck, finally on Wednesday.

The good news is because the warm air is here, the next storm that comes out of the southeast is rain. It's not a snow event. If things change on timing a little bit, I might have to change the forecast. But for New York City, it's a rain event for Monday. If you happen to be going on a cruise next week, there'll be some showers in the Caribbean, but other than that temperatures will always, there, be around 80 degrees.

BOLDUAN: Oh! sounds like a dream.

MYERS: Chris, Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, it's not your imagination. The prices you're paying for food are going up, and 2014 won't be any better. That delicious steak, a loaf of bread probably going to cost you even more. Why? We'll tell you, coming up.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, he was not flying so high. A man in a wing suit just a few feet off the ground. What was he doing? Is he completely crazy? It's our must-see moment. Coming up.


CUOMO: So, just in time for the biggest game of the season, the Green Bay Packers will have star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, back. Why is that impressive? Well, because he broke his collarbone. And usually, that is season-ending injury.

BOLDUAN: I can't believe he's coming back.

CUOMO: I had it. Forget it. That (INAUDIBLE). He did it in early November. He's already back. Joe Carter has more on this in this morning's "Bleacher Report." This is a big deal, Joe.

JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: It is. It is, Chris. I mean, obviously, Aaron Rodgers is the star player for this team and they have so much at stake this Sunday. I mean, their season is on the line. If they beat the bears, they win the division and get into the playoffs. If the packers lose to the Bears, they'll win the division and get into the playoffs. If the Packers lose to the Bears, their season is over.

So, they're all in with Aaron Rodgers. And obviously, he makes them a legitimate playoff threat if they get in. Before he broke his collarbone, the Packers were 5-2, they're one of the best teams in the NFL, but then things drastically changed after he got hurt. The Packers went on a five-game winless skid and they shuffled through three starting quarterbacks. So, obviously, they're all very happy to have number 12 back.

Hey, trending this morning on, last week at this time, Jon Kitna was teaching math and coaching football at Tacoma -- at a high school, I should say, in Tacoma, Washington. Obviously now, he is the emergency third string quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. The best part of this story is that the 41-year-old quarterback said that he's going to donate his entire $53,000 game check to the high school he works at in Tacoma, Washington.

And If the Dallas Cowboys were to win on Sunday and beat the Eagles, then he'd get a nice playoff check that he'd probably donate to his high school as well, guys. So, a nice feel good story all around for Jon Kitna and the Cowboys.

BOLDUAN: I like it. Let's hope he plays.

CUOMO: What a great story. You know, he was a starter for many years in the league and then for him to come back in and to recognize what really matters, very cool.

BOLDUAN: That's great.

CUOMO: I'm a Kitna fan.

BOLDUAN: We're pro-Kitna.

CUOMO: Pro-Kitna.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Joe.

All right. As you're preparing breakfast this morning, you've probably already realized this. It's been a very tough year at the grocery store. A drought in the plains coupled with high demand overseas has driven up prices for many items and we could see them go even higher in 2014. Let's talk about what you should expect when you hit the grocery store with Hitha Prabhakar here. She's consumer spending analyst for Aitchpe Retail Advisory. Pair of bad news, Hitha. What are we looking at?

HITHA PRABHAKAR, AITCHPE RETAIL ADVISORY: I apologize for that. I'm just the messenger.

BOLDUAN: What are we looking at? What items should we expect to see being more expensive when we hit the grocery store next year?

PRABHAKAR: You hit on a couple of them, and one of them is definitely the beef prices. In May of this year, beef hit its all-time high. So, per 100 pounds, it was trading at about $201. Now, you know, if you divide that, it's about $2 a pound, but it doesn't seem that high but that price is going to be going up. So, it went up for 2013 three to four percent.

In 2014, it's going up around seven to eight percent. So, be in the lookout for beef prices rising. Also milk prices rising, they're going to be going up and grain prices. So, cereal. I know a lot of people already spend a lot of money for cereal. Expect that to go up a couple dollars as well.

BOLDUAN: And what's behind all that? I mean, we talk -- we often say, it's weather and demand. Those really two are the things that are contributing. Is there anything what else is going on --

PRABHAKAR: Well, remember back in 2012, let's go way back, there was that huge drought in the summertime. Now, we are now -- so that basically had an effect on the not only did it have an effect on crops, other crops, but also had an effect on grain that was being fed to the cattle. That in turn started depleting the cattle reserve out there. So, people, because cattle weren't going to be able to be fed, a lot of them died off.

Herds started getting smaller and demand started going up. So now, we are feeling the aftershocks of that. Even last summer, we saw a lot of drought in the Midwest as well. And as you mention, overseas demand was really high. So, we're now seeing the effect that happened two years ago.


CUOMO: What do we do?

PRABHAKAR: Become a vegetarian, right?


PRABHAKAR: Stop eating chicken. No. But in all honesty, the prices will eventually come down. It's just a matter of when that, you know, demand kind of comes down as well as supply increases. But, you know, one way to do it is to, you know, I guess right now if you don't want to pay that price, the only option is to either start eating chicken or look at alternate meat.

You know, pork is also not that expensive right now. But, unfortunately if you're a beef eater, you're going to have to spend a little bit more. BROWN: So, we might experience a stick shock at grocery store. What about at restaurants, you know, fast food restaurants, that kind of thing?

PRABHAKAR: Right. You're pretty much expected to pay a lit bit of premium on beef when you go to restaurants in addition. But you're right. Restaurants are going to have to pass on that price increase to you. So, when you go and order your favorite hamburger, I'm a huge fan of shake shack. You know, better believe, I'm going to probably spend a little bit more for that hamburger.

BOLDUAN: Yes. it's going to trickle down to the consumer no matter what.

PRABHAKAR: Absolutely. Absolutely.

CUOMO: Not a bad time to start some new dietary habits.



PRABHAKAR: Maybe this is a good thing.

BOLDUAN: Right in time for your New Year's resolution.


CUOMO: -- price pressure which you're going to have to figure out what wasn't affected by the crop outage and everything else.

PRABHAKAR: Right. And as I said, you know, pork is a little less expensive. But if you can, you know, maybe this is a good time to start being, you know -- getting those veggie burgers on the grill. I don't think they taste as good as a beef burger, but, you know?

CUOMO: (INAUDIBLE) works. My favorite veggy.

PRABHAKAR: There you go.


BOLDUAN: Hitha, great to see you.

PRABHAKAR: Thanks for having me.


BROWN: All right. Now, let's turn to today's "Must-See Moment." And this may make you a little nervous, especially if you're afraid of heights like me.


BROWN (voice-over): A team of wing suit flyers gathered in France looking to glide their way down a famous gully. Pretty steep. And as one of them descended, he got pretty close to the ground, just a few feet, in fact. Maybe the closest any wing suit pilot has flown above Mother Earth before, we should say. And he was probably going about, oh you know, 160 miles per hour.

BOLDUAN (voice-over): No.

BROWN: No big deal. 160 miles per hour. That's worth repeating, right?

CUOMO (voice-over): I still don't get how they stop. I know he has a chute on.

BROWN: I know, right?

CUOMO But if he's that close to the ground, he must have had to then go to a place that -- he must have turned up, got some more elevations so he didn't land.

BOLDUAN: I think he's got nearer term problems than how to land.


CUOMO (on-camera): I wonder what the French equivalent of is what I'd be screaming --


BOLDUAN (on-camera): Wish four-letter word you'd be screaming.



CUOMO: French -- like nine letters.


BOLDUAN: That is impressive. Though, we will be doing it.

BROWN (on-camera): Yes. I can't get enough of that.

CUOMO: All the squirrels in the trees are like, ooh!


CUOMO: He's the man!

Coming up on NEW DAY, we're keeping a close eye on the Antarctic. Why? We love ice and a ship has been trapped there for days, stuck in the ice. The rescue effort is under way. A Chinese ice breaker has been making its way through ice that is close to ten feet thick in places. We will give you the latest coming up.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, a Philadelphia monsignor convicted of covering up sex abuse is exonerated. A judge saying he should be set free 18 months after he went to prison. We're going to talk with his lawyer in our next hour.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot of relief amongst the team and there's a lot of happy faces.

CUOMO: Happening now, a dramatic rescue at the end of the Earth. An ice breaker set to free that stranded ship in Antarctica with dozens of researchers and tourists on board. We're live with the latest.

BOLDUAN: Overturned. A landmark conviction thrown out. A priest sent to jail for allegedly covering up sexual abuse in the Catholic Church may now be walking free. Victims are outraged. His lawyer joins us live.

CUOMO: Flash sale. A glitch in Delta's website sent prices tumbling, less than 50 bucks to fly across the country. Too bad it was the day after Christmas. Still, customers snatched them up. Hear what Delta is doing now.

Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is "New Day" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Friday, December 27th, 7:00 a.m. in the east. TGIF.

And we begin with breaking news. A former ambassador to the U.S. has been killed by a car bomb in Lebanon. The blast and resulting fire rocking an area of the city loaded with workers in hotels where westerners are known to stay. Death toll and number of injured is rising. Let's get to Mohammed Jamjoom. He's covering the story from Istanbul -- Mohammed.

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, this is a really devastating attack. And the residents that I'm speaking within Beirut today say that they could feel the blast miles away. Now, this happened in one of the commercial hubs of the city. Officials in Lebanon are calling this an assassination, the targeted, Mohammed Chatah, an academic, a former professor, also a former ambassador from Lebanon to the U.S., and a former finance minister for Lebanon.

Now, there are pictures have been broadcast some Lebanese state television showing the thick, huge plumes of black smoke rising from downtown Beirut after that car bomb. At least six people killed as a result of this bombing, so far, today. Officials I'm speaking with fear that it will rise, the death toll, throughout the day. And at least 70 people injured, so far.

Now, this seems to be another indication that Syria's violence from the civil war, which is right next door to Lebanon is spilling over once more into Lebanon and even though nobody has claimed responsibility for this killing or this attack. Now, Mohammed Chatah was known as a fierce critic of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, a fierce critic of Hezbollah which is the militant Shiite group based in Lebanon which supports the Syrian regime.