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Interview with Sen. Amy Klobuchar; American in Dubai Sentenced; UPS and Amazon Try to Make Amends; Top Ten Entertainment Stories for 2013

Aired December 27, 2013 - 08:30   ET


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: We think unfair. But the point of it is, I try to look for the silver lining here. And if we're starting to see some releases, maybe it improves his chances of either being released by being deported, which we understand may be part of the sentence here, and trying to expedite that security process so he can come home to his family. Also, the credit he gets for time served. He's already been in jail since April for simply posting a video. And so we're trying to figure out how much credit he can get so that, again, we can expedite his release.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And what is being done, if you can kind of pull back the curtain a little bit, to try to expedite his release? I mean it's been going on for months now and you know his family is desperate to get him back. I know you want to get him back in the U.S., as well. The State Department's been working on it. You have been working on it. What more can be done because whatever has been done to this point hasn't worked?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I think part of this is one thing we did accomplish was getting a verdict. We didn't like the verdict, but for so long and just been held in abeyance for eight months, nothing happening at all and they had hearing after hearing. So at least now we've reached a decision point so we can push in another direction to try to get him home.

The second thing is that we have just been getting the news out there, letting people know this is a country that prides itself on being a more open to the west. They have major NYU campus there. Many American universities. They've got Google and FaceBook offices. They're having the Rolling Stones come in February. I figure it Mick Jagger can play Abu Dhabi, these guys shouldn't be in jail for putting a video up. And so those are kind of the irony of this situation and why we are pushing on the country to really live up to this promise that they are going to be the place for the world's fair, a place for inventions and new ideas. You don't squelch ideas and simple videos on the Internet.

BOLDUAN: And, senator, I think that's a point that cannot - that should not be glossed over and should not be missed. This is a country that prides itself, that holds itself up as a modern society. You listed off just a few things that would kind of nod to a modern society. It even held a film festival recently. As a United States senator, when you take a step back and you know this is happening to one of your constituents, do you think there should be consequences? KLOBUCHAR: Well, I think one of the things that we want to see here is action. We want to see them look at their laws and understanding they have security challenges, as our country does, but they have some important security challenges. But this has gone way too far. And as they change as a country, as they become more open to global visitors and court the World's Fair, then they also have to look at their laws and how they treat people who are in their country. So I think that this is a very difficult, difficult case in terms of calling this to light. But if we have to start talking about it, at least we have an example of how they have to change their laws and change what they do.

They have long been a country that our country has worked with and we appreciate the efforts of the ambassador. We appreciate that this is moving forward. But I think everyone that look at this -- and I really challenge your viewers to watch this video. You've watched it, Kate. You know it's -- in English. It is a ridiculous situation and they need to step back and look at what they're doing if they're trying to promote a free exchange of ideas in American universities and then they would put someone in jail who is nothing but a Pricewaterhouse consultant who is there doing business, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and throw him in prison just for putting this YouTube video on. You can't send those conflicting messages to people that are in your country.

BOLDUAN: And everyone knows that when you travel outside the United States and you travel to another country, you're subject to that country's laws. We all know that if we travel internationally. But what do you say to your constituents or to anyone who's watching who was thinking about traveling to the UAE? This is not a good test case if you're an American wanting to travel abroad.

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I think they better be really careful what they put up on the Internet. And that's certainly not the message that you're hearing when American universities are inviting students to come and study there.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

KLOBUCHAR: But - and I think they -- the other thing to do is to just be careful in any country and know what you're up against and know what the laws are. But again, my goal here is to get this young man home to his family, to his brother, to his sister who have been doing everything that they possibly can to bring him home. And then the second goal is to continue to work with this country, to modernize their laws and to understand they're facing security challenge, but this has just gone too far.

BOLDUAN: Well, you called it outrageous in the statement that you put out following his sentencing and I think that is the perfect word to describe what's going on here. And hopefully people like you, senator, will continue to speak up because when he comes home, there's a lot of conversation that should be had about why this happened.

KLOBUCHAR: Well, there sure is. And if he's not home by the time of that Rolling Stones concert, they've got a problem. They can't have Mick Jagger up there singing his songs and then have this guy in jail. BOLDUAN: Senator Amy Klobuchar. Thank you so much, senator.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you very much.

BOLDUAN: Chris, over to you.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Next up on NEW DAY, what can brown do for you? For many, apology, refunds, not enough after UPS missed their Christmas delivery deadlines. So what else is on the table? We'll tell you.

Plus, Miley, the Biebs, Kim, and Kanye, which star made the biggest splash this year? We're breaking down the top entertainment stories of 2013.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

UPS, the brown company with a black eye. The shipping giant is taking a beating because it couldn't deliver the goods by Christmas. Simple enough, right? Many people are still wondering where their gifts are because they still haven't shown up and UPS could end up paying big time for the great delivery debacle of 2013. CNN's Nick Valencia has this story for us.

Nick, what's the latest?


Two days after Christmas and some of you still don't have your packages. UPS says that a range of people affected was so diverse, even some of its employees didn't get their gifts on time. The world's largest package delivery company today still dealing with the fallout of its broken promises.


VALENCIA (voice-over): Better late than never?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It said it hasn't been processed yet.

VALENCIA: Not quite, especially when it comes to Christmas gifts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I can't tell you how many countless hours we have spent on the phone dealing with this issue.

VALENCIA: FedEx and UPS are delivering normally today after delays in Christmas shipments. Neither company has released any numbers, but it's estimated thousands were affected. Both companies have apologized, but a UPS spokesperson couldn't even guarantee all delayed packages would be delivered by Thursday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can only do what they can do given the conditions. VALENCIA: UPS says it hired 55,000 seasonal employees to keep up with their projected demand of 132 million packages. FedEx says it hired 20,000 people, and they, too, admit they had, quote, "minimal service disruption despite the increased volume." UPS blamed, quote, "a perfect storm," bad weather and an increase in online sales. FedEx noted a shorter holiday shopping season.

MARSHALL COHEN, CHIEF INDUSTRY ANALYST, NPD GROUP: Weather is always going to be a factor somewhere. So that's really not a good enough excuse.

VALENCIA: Experts say shipping companies can't simply look into the past as predictors anymore. The Internet is changing things.

COHEN: This is really about underestimating the power of online now. And stores, as well as online retailers, were driving so much traffic and so much opportunity to buy gifts and use it as a vehicle to ship it.

VALENCIA: And online sales broke records this year with sites like Amazon leading the way, reporting sales of over 36 million items on Cyber Monday, promising on-time shipments. UPS says they will absolutely be looking at changes in policy during the holiday season, but couldn't say what kind of changes they might be. Neither UPS nor FedEx made deliveries on Christmas Day, but after this it's something they might reconsider.


VALENCIA: Now, this is all turning political now. A senator from Connecticut is calling on all shipping companies to issue refunds to those affected. UPS says it will refund some of its customers shipping costs. There's no telling how much that will cost them financially. But no telling - you know, really, guys, this is - this has really already damaged their reputation. This is a really big black eye for the brown company, as you mentioned.

Chris. Kate.

BOLDUAN: And the hit on - and the hit on the reputation might be worse than any financial hit that they would take from this.

VALENCIA: Oh, absolutely.

BOLDUAN: All right, thanks, Nick. Thanks so much.

VALENCIA: You bet.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, oh what a year it's been. From Hollywood to the music world, we'll take a look at the biggest entertainment stories of 2013. Hello, Justin Bieber. Hello there.

CUOMO: Hello. And there we (INAUDIBLE).


CUOMO: Let's head over to Chad Myers in for Indra Petersons with the latest forecast. What do we see on the big board?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: A pretty decent forecast for the weekend.

CUOMO: Nice.

MYERS: I mean for New York City almost to 50 degrees on a Saturday. This is pretty good, especially Saturday in December, almost January. 48 D.C. for today; 49 and 54 in Nashville respectively on up to 57 by tomorrow afternoon -- looks pretty good. Bangor gets up to 34 but then down 25.

Here's the bad news -- I just gave you two good days of good news. Here comes the bad news -- Bismarck, Minneapolis, Chicago, that cold air comes flying in her by Monday. But the good news, again, we're back to that is that when this rain from the south tries to get up here into New York City, it won't be cold enough to make snow.

Now, there will be snow in the Adirondacks, in the Poconos and off in the green and white mountains of Vermont where people want to go play in. That's ok, go play in the snow. But here in the city, just make it rain and that will be ok. Scattered -- Saturday into Sunday, I think it's dry. But Sunday night certainly it will be wet here in the city.

And then we move you ahead to New Year's Eve, Washington, D.C. 29. Here in the city with the ball dropping, around 24. We'll see a wind chill of around 18. I've seen a lot worse forecasts than that in New York City for New Year's Eve. Rapid city, cold; Minneapolis, the coldest icebox in the planet, might want to stay inside I guess for that -- 18 degrees below zero for New Year's time. So it's cold. That's 50 degrees below freezing to put it in perspective and your skin.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Thanks Chad.

MYERS: Happy New Year.

BOLDUAN: Happy New Year.

CUOMO: I'm distracted because I can't get my mind around what is the biggest entertainment moment. I mean how do you deny Miley, you know, with all that controversy?

BOLDUAN: I know.

CUOMO: How about Kim and Kanye naming their kid after a direction? I don't know. I mean these are baffling questions that can only be taken on with the comfort of the couch. Let's go there and then --



CUOMO: To the couch.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Are you comfortable?


BROWN: You better be for this next segment.

BOLDUAN: As 2013 draws to a close, we're looking back at some of the big moments from this year and it certainly was an interesting time in the world of entertainment. From Miley's tongue to Angelina Jolie's health to Paula Deen's controversial comments -- there's a lot to talk about. Nischelle Turner has her list of the top ten entertainment stories of 2013.


NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Bieber's bad boy behavior -- Justin Bieber hasn't left he spotlight since hitting the scene in 2009 but 2013 found the teen heartthrob making news for the wrong reasons. In fact, "The Daily Beast" declares it Bieber's year of affluenza.

JUSTIN BIEBER, SINGER: What did you say?

TURNER: From paparazzi brawls to pet monkey drama to neighborhood disturbances, Bieber struggled to stay out of trouble this year.

Kimye is born. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian continue their reign as the royal tabloid couple in 2013. Sure, West had a number one album and a hit tour but nothing made as much news as his love life. The pair welcomed the birth of their first child, daughter, North Nory West in June.

In the year of the selfie and in typical Kardashian fashion, Kim took to social media to unveil her post baby body. West then rented out AT&T Park in San Francisco to surprise Kardashian with a marriage proposal.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: We have been following this breaking news. Actor Paul Walker has died.

TURNER: A fast and furious death. Fans' hearts broke after Paul Walker's unexpected passing over Thanksgiving weekend. The 40-year- old actor was killed in a car crash outside Los Angeles. Fans and famous friends came out to show their support for the box office powerhouse who also found success in films such as "Eight Below" and "Flags of Our Fathers".

Beyonce's return to the stage -- the singer caused waves after lip syncing the National Anthem at the Presidential inauguration in January only to prove her star power in a show stopping Super Bowl half time show. Beyonce spent most of the year trying the world with her hit "Mrs. Carter Show" before surprising everyone with the release of her fifth studio album. It quickly became not only the fastest selling album of her career but also in iTunes history. Queen B is ending the year at the top of her game.

Basic cable ruled TV, "The Walking Dead" rose to record ratings, proving we're still inflicted with zombie fever. The critically acclaimed "Breaking Bad" concluded its five season run and nearly blew up social media in the process.

And "Duck Dynasty" revealed reality TV is still guiding the conversation. Star, Phil Robertson's recent anti-gay comments stirred controversy but basic cable shows still kept people buzzing.

From Oscar gold to box office magic, Jennifer Lawrence received the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in "Silver Lining's Playbook" and won us over while falling on the stage to collect the award. It wasn't long before Lawrence found herself at the top of the box office with the release of the "Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire". Hollywood's latest "It" girl ranked only behind Angelina Jolie on Forbes' list of Hollywood's highest paid actress; now, Lawrence is already receiving award buzz for her scene-stealing performance in "American Hustle".

Angelina's brave choice. Angelina Jolie shocked everyone with her "New York Times" op-ed, revealing she underwent a double mastectomy. The Oscar winner and mother of six underwent the preventative procedure after learning she carries a gene mutation that increases her risk of developing cancer. The announcement inspired other women to consider the procedure as an option.

Paula Deen's downfall. A year ago, the celebrity chef was on top of the world. That all came crashing down after the release of a deposition in a lawsuit by a former employee. In the deposition, Deen admitted using the "n" word in the past. Fans turned their backs on the southern star, as did many of her endorsement deals. Deen went on to apologize, but it's yet to be seen if she can reclaim her throne.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: HBO is confirming that actor James Gandolfini has died.

TURNER: James Gandolfini's unexpected passing sent shockwaves through Hollywood. The "Sopranos" actor died of a heart attack at the age of 51 while on vacation in Italy. The Emmy winner's final film, the romantic comedy "Enough Said" opened after his death to critical acclaim and earned Gandolfini his final SAG award nomination.

Miley Cyrus got everybody talking with her onstage antics. Cyrus made news with her controversial performance at the MTV VMAs, the former Hannah Montana star proved her teen persona was nothing but a distant memory.

Cyrus followed the performance with news of her break-up with long- time fiance, Liam Hemsworth. Her first number one hit was "Wrecking Ball" hit album bangers and the celebration of her 21st birthday. It's Miley's world and we're just living in it.


BOLDUAN: Miley's world, and we're just living in it. I'll give her this. I do like the haircut.

CUOMO: Really? BOLDUAN: Yes, I do.

CUOMO: Would it work on you?

BOLDUAN: I would probably not have a job, but I would love to try it.

BROWN: It definitely would look good on you.

CUOMO: Kind of the haircut I do have.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

CUOMO: There you go. There you go.

Well, lots for you to think about. We'll give you a little break to do so. When we come back, a Grinch steals Christmas for a soldier fresh back from Afghanistan. That's not the end of the story thanks to the power of "The Good Stuff". This is one to see straight ahead.



CUOMO: For you today, it's the end of the week. We're going on vacation. This is big, right. So we're going to begin "The Good Stuff" by starting with the bad stuff. The worst Grinch of all is the one who actually stole Christmas from a soldier returning from Afghanistan.

His name is Corporal Chris Petrogian. He's from Lodi, California and he just came back from a 17-month tour of duty. He's been ordering Christmas gifts for his family for months in anticipation of the big day. Imagine how he felt when he got home and found out that thieves had broken in and stolen everything.


CORP. CHRIS PETROGIAN: They actually took our forks and our knives and just kind of pried into it. I did most of my Christmas shopping on line because I don't have much time when I come home. It was all sitting here on the desk. They just ripped open all the packages and kind helped themselves to whatever they wanted, which was everything.


CUOMO: That clearly is not the good stuff. But what happened next is. The responding officer, a Gulf War vet himself, he told his fellow officers. They started raising money, word spread through the town of Lodi. They started raising more money. By the time they were through, nearly all the gifts were restored.


PETROGIAN: I've lived here a long time. And like I said, absolute strangers, complete strangers have come together. Lodi adopt-a-child gave us a whole bag of toys for her. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: The gifts were replaced. Christmas was saved for a soldier who certainly deserves the best. Of course, for his family, they had already gotten the greatest gift of all.




CUOMO: How beautiful is that?

BOLDUAN: That's all that matters to them. You know that.

CUOMO: Right.

BROWN: Unbelievable.

CUOMO: I'll tell you what, I hope that the person who broke into that home watches NEW DAY. And of course, chances are they do. I hope they know who they stole from and I hope it makes them feel a very certain way in the negative. But great people coming together to do the right thing for someone who deserves it.

BOLDUAN: A good reminder as everyone is traveling is to thank your service men and women when you see them --

BROWN: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: -- for what they do for us.

CUOMO: Absolutely. Absolutely.

A lot of news -- let's get you to the "NEWSROOM" and Carol Costello.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Happy New Year, and thanks so much. Happening now in the "NEWSROOM" --

BOLDUAN: Thanks Carol.

BROWN: Thank you Carol.

COSTELLO: You're welcome. Breaking news overnight. Ambassador attacked. A massive bombing, six killed, 71 wounded, walls of flames. We're live at the blast site.

Market madness. The Dow soaring and breaking records. This morning, "We're asking will the bubble burst?"

Plus, Snoop and the secretary fist bump diplomacy front and center. What in the world these two men be talking about?

Also, power problem-- more snow and ice forecast for the thousands already without electricity. Misery being mired in ice this morning. And Packers, Bears, Aaron Rogers is back, and the Sunday showdown is on.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.

Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thanks so much for joining me.