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Another Bombing In Russia; Antartica Ship Rescue Suspended; Old Painting A "Masterpiece"

Aired December 30, 2013 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Deadly explosion in Russia. At least 14 people killed on a bus just one day after another suicide bombing at a train station. Will tourists be safe during the upcoming Olympics?

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Waiting to be rescued. Another ship trying to help dozens of people stranded in Antarctica is forced to turn back. Is there any relief in sight?

ROMANS: And brace for the cold. Another burst of freezing winter weather on the way and kicking off the New Year. More snow. We'll have the details.


ROMANS (on-camera): Welcome back to EARLY START this Monday morning. I'm Christine Romans.

CABRERA (on-camera): And I'm Ana Cabrera. We are warm inside.


CABRERA: John Berman gearing up to anchor "New Day," so we're keeping his seats warm. It's now 30 minutes past the hour. Thanks for being here.

We want to get back to our breaking news, that deadly explosion in Russia. This is the second terrorist bombing in as many days. At least 14 people are dead in this recent bus explosion. This coming a day after 17 people were killed at a railway station in the same city. So, with the Olympics, of course, just over a month away, do these explosions affect preparations? And how are terror concerns being addressed?

CNNs Diane Magnay is in Moscow this morning with the very latest -- Diana.

DIANE MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Well, President Putin has issued a command to heighten the security around Russia and especially in the Volgograd area. Volgograd where these two attacks took place and where also two months ago, there was another suicide bombing which killed six people on board a bus. It's just over 400 miles away from Sochi where the games are taking place. And, nearby also is the troubled north caucuses region and, of course, Dagestan, Dagestan with the two suspects in the Boston bombings had links to Dagestan. It is a hotbed of insurgency there, a terror training camps in the mountains there.

And so, there are very real concerns that the terrorists from the north caucuses region are planning attacks and are able to strike the Olympic games themselves, and perhaps, these two attacks which far away from the games but, you know, in an area which is not so -- where security is not so tight. It's an easy target and it's also a major rail hub for people who might be traveling to the games.

Perfect at creating an atmosphere of fear ahead of President Putin's pet project, these Olympic games on which he has poured so much money and which he said would be the safest Olympics ever. Well, of course, people are now putting that into doubt.

CABRERA: So, Diana, do we know yet what the motive might be in all of this? Is it just, as you said, to instill some fear ahead of the Olympics?

MAGNAY: We don't know a motive. There has been no claim of responsibility for any of these bombings. That said, the major Chechen war lord in the north caucuses who is head of the sort of biggest extremist faction, he's a man called (INAUDIBLE). He is Russia's most wanted man, and the U.S. state department has a $5 million reward on his head. He said in July that he wanted to unleash maximum force on President Putin to try and disrupt the Olympic Games.

So, within that context, these terror attacks make sense. This is peak holiday season. Just before New Year's Eve, which is Russia's most important holiday. It's the time when thousands will be traveling around. And it is such a short time until the games. You know, you get the sense that they're capable of spreading terror. They're capable of these attacks and there may be more to come.

CABRERA: And you got to think that security forces are really ramping up their efforts this morning in preparation for those Olympic Games. Diana Magnay, thanks so much for that update.

ROMANS: So close but so far. Happening overnight, efforts to rescue a stranded ship in Antarctica shut down because of bad weather. An Australian ice breaking ship is just miles away from the research vessel with 74 people on board that's been stranded for a week now, but this morning, heavy snow showers, poor visibility preventing any rescue attempt. CNN's Matthew Chance is live in London with the latest. Hi, Matthew.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christine. That's right. If you were dreaming of a white Christmas, it doesn't get much whiter than this place. 1,500 miles south of Australia in the heart of Antarctica, that's where the Akademik Shokalskiy, this Russian registered research special vessel has been stranded since Christmas Day. So, nearly a week now. Seventy-four people on board, including the crew, scientists, tourists who were expecting to spend a sort of a Christmas vacation touring this very remote area and retracing the ships of a previous Australian Antarctic explorer -- they've been stuck there since Christmas Day. As they say, spirits are pretty high. They continue their experiment. They're still eating well.

They've got lots of food supplies, but three separate attempts now to rescue them using icebreakers from three separate countries have had to be abandoned. The first one from China, an ice breaker called the Snow Dragon called off its attempt to reach the ship because of thick ice when it was just seven nautical miles away from it within eyesight of the ship.

A French vessel also turned back. It couldn't get through. And now, the latest vessel, an Australian ice breaker called the Aurora Australis has also been unable to reach Akademik Shokalskiy. So, they're going to now -- going to rescue this from the Australia's mission. Wait for the weather conditions to improve and then possibly try again.

ROMANS: And you know, Matthew, you know, they're marking the 100 years since this other Australian explorer did this. Think of how technology has changed in a hundred years, and yet the elements, the elements are still have the upper hand here.

CHANCE: That's right, that's right. Certainly is. Until those elements change, then they're going to have to stay where they are. It's not a desperate situation, I have to add, but you know, things could rapidly deteriorate.

ROMANS: All right. Matthew Chance in London, thanks, Matthew.

CABRERA: They sure will end up with a good story when it's all said and done.

And speaking of cold, a good chunk of the northern plains and the northeast is expected to mark the end of 2013 with some snow. And meteorologist, Jennifer Gray, following this latest arctic blast. Good morning.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. We have another one. The country very, very quite, to tell you the truth. The big story this morning is temperatures. It is very, very cold. When you factor in the wind chill, it feels like 23 below zero in Minneapolis, feeling like 36 below zero in international falls. And even Chicago, 11 degrees below normal. Of course, we have advisories in place and this is a very cold. So, folks in the northern plains definitely need to pay attention.

About 16 degrees below normal in Minneapolis. Chicago about 15 degrees below normal. Of course, that's before you add in the wind chill. So, feeling much, much colder. And this cold air is really not going to go anywhere any time soon. And it's basically just going to hang out in the northern plains and right around the Great Lakes at least until the end of the week. We have temperatures only about two degrees below normal here in New York City for Tuesday with temperatures around 37 degrees, but then as you get into Wednesday, Thursday, and especially into Friday, things will change for the east coast for sure. Very quiet for today. Not much going on. We do have a little bit of lake-effect snow, but we will have this one low to move across the northeast.

New Year's Eve into New Year's Day, we're really planning on most of the snow to be an interior sections not really along the coast, and then you can see by New Year's Day at noon, it's already pushed off. So, that was going to be in and out very, very quickly. We're going to be watching our next one, though, and that's going to be here by the end of the week, and that's going to be the one to carry very, very cold air behind it for the northeast.

Looking at snow accumulation as of New Year' Eve and New Year's Day, we could see anywhere from three to six inches of snow across the northern plains, right around the Great Lakes could see around two to four inches.

ROMANS: All right.

CABRERA: All right. Lots of layers for New Year's Eve it sounds like for all those celebreations.

ROMANS: And, new information this morning about the NSA.


ROMANS (voice-over): According to reports in a German magazine, the spy agency actually intercepts computer deliveries and outfits them with gear to spy on users. Computer cables hacked to record key strokes, memory sticks fitted with covert radio transmitters all part of a top secret program to, quote, "get the ungettable." It's not clear whether leaker, Edward Snowden, was the magazine's source for that story.

CABRERA (voice-over): Obamacare enrollments are seeing a turnaround. The White House has more than 1.1 million people have now enrolled in health care coverage to the federal market place that's happening between October 1st and Christmas Eve. In fact, 975,000 were in December alone.

Now, Republican critics, including California congressman, Darrel Issa, say the numbers really aren't anything to celebrate. The Obama administration's overall goal is to get seven million people signed up by the end of March.

ROMANS: Long-term unemployment benefits expired Saturday for 1.3 million Americans after Congress failed to pass an extension of these emergency recession era benefits. Democrats are vowing to make reinstating those benefits a top priority when Congress returns in January, but you know, many Republicans argue that emergency assistance is no longer necessary because the economy is improving.

CABRERA: Well, lawmakers are taking aim at a controversial report in "The New York Times" that says al Qaeda was not involved in that 2012 Benghazi attack that left four Americans dead, including U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens. Republican, Mike Rogers, insists that is just not true.


REP. MIKE ROGERS, (R) HOUSE INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: There was aspiration to conduct an attack by al Qaeda and their affiliates in Libya. We know that. The individuals on the ground talked about a planned tactical movement on the compound.


CABRERA: Now, republicans have long claimed this attack was planned for the anniversary of 9/11. And even some democrats are taking issue with this " New York Times" report.


ADAM SCHIFF, (D) HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The intelligence indicates that al Qaeda was involved, but there were also plenty of people and militias that were unaffiliated with al Qaeda that were involved.


CABRERA: So, this investigation is still continuing. "The Times" placing most of the blame with an anti-Muslim video but says the initial claims by the White House, well, those weren't exactly right either.

ROMANS: All right. Suspected bank robber shot and killed in Arizona after a nationwide manhunt, now we know he had served time for threatening President Obama back in 2010. Forty-year-old Mario Garnett (ph) was shot by a detective Saturday as he left a Phoenix bank with a bag of cash.


OFFICER JAMES HOLMES, PHOENIX POLICE: When this suspect started firing on our officer, the detective had arrived and he saw this occurring. At that point, he pulled his service weapon and he fired upon the suspect, striking him in the upper body and the suspect went down.


ROMANS: The FBI says Garnett is suspected in a week-long bank robbery spree that spanned from Georgia to Arizona. He got into a shoot-out with police in Mississippi, killing a police officer.

CABRERA: 5:41 in the east. Time is running out for the family of a 13-year-old Jahi McMath. She's been on a ventilator following complications after a tonsillectomy. Well, a judge's ruling now allows children's hospital in Oakland to remove Jahi from life support at 5:00 p.m. today, unless, her family appeals. Doctors have declared the girl brain dead.


SAM SINGER, SPOKESPERSON FOR CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OAKLAND: Barring any unforeseen legal action -- the family tomorrow when five o'clock comes around, the ventilator will be pulled.


CABRERA: Jahi's family, of course, has been aggressively trying to change everything, turn it around. They've launched an online crowd sourcing page to raise money to transfer her to another hospital. And Sunday afternoon, they had reached their goal of $20,000.

ROMANS: Two hikers in New Hampshire are recovering this morning after triggering an avalanche and then fledging 800 feet on Mt. Washington. The unidentified pair were rescued from a ravine Sunday, and remarkably, they seem to get away with just bumps and bruises. Although, one hiker may have fractured an arm.

CABRERA: And quite a shock for a California woman after a day at the beach. Now, she was looking at photos in the car when she noticed what appeared to be a shark near her son and his friend earlier in the day. Several have been spotted along the Southern California coastline in recent months, but the woman actually told the kids that it was a dolphin so they wouldn't be scared of the water. So far, no indication that these pictures are photoshopped.


ROMANS (on-camera): Whoa! That would be quite a surprise! It's a dolphin, honey.


CABRERA (on-camera): I'd be out of there in no time.

Coming up, a popular road used by tourists in Mexico collapses, and one man is able to escape his truck with just moments to spare. His incredible story after the break.


CABRERA: Welcome back to EARLY START. Thanks for waking up early with us this morning.


CABRERA (voice-over): The most successful Formula One driver in history is in critical condition this morning following emergency brain surgery. Doctors now saying, without a helmet, 44-year-old Michael Schumacher would not be alive. He was back country skiing in the French Alps Sunday when he fell and hit his head on a rock. The seven-time champion retired from Formula One just last year.

ROMANS (voice-over): Defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, calls his Egyptian counterpart about expressing concerns about recent violence in Egypt and the political climate ahead of the country's constitutional referendum. A Pentagon statement says Hagel offered his condolences for victims of the rash of bombings there. He also offered U.S. assistance to investigate those incidents.

CABRERA: In the first boarder, flare up of its kind in four months. At least one rocket fired from Lebanon, hit Northern Israel on Sunday, and that triggered a heavy artillery barrage from Israeli forces in response. But no injuries were reported on either side. It was not immediately clear who fired the rockets, but Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, blamed Hezbollah for the strike and condemned the Lebanese army for failing to rein in the group.

ROMANS: The month long hunt for a man accused of killing three people in Colorado then setting their home on fire is now over. Police say they captured 59-year-old Harry Maps (ph) Saturday night in Oklahoma hotel. He faces first degree murder and arson charges. Investigators say he shot and killed a couple and their adult daughter before setting the house on fire to try to cover up the crime.

CABRERA: A volcano eruption in El Salvador forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes. Take a look at this. Look at all that smoke and ash. This is a volcano located in the San Miguel region. It's spewed hot ash and smoke over a very wide area. It's threatening coffee plantations which this area is known for. Emergency shelters now set up for people who live within two miles of that volcano. So far, there have been no reports of any injuries.

ROMANS: Shocking scene in Mexico. A coastal highway between Ensenada and Tijuana completely collapsed. A driver in a cement truck was able to escape just as the ground started to shift. The truck tumbled into the ocean. One of the holes created by this landslide was more than 40 feet deep, stretched 200 feet long. Officials say it could take up to a year to repair the damage. Right now, it's unclear why the collapse happened.


CABRERA (on-camera): Right. Well, let's take a look what's coming up on "New Day." We're here for John Berman because he is there alongside Michaela. Good morning, guys.

ROMANS: Good morning, guys.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a bit of a chair shuffle today.


PEREIRA: Good morning, ladies, and good morning to you at home. We're going to have the very latest out of Russia. All eyes on Russia this morning. A second bomb attack hit this morning in a city not that far from Sochi, the host of the winter Olympics that are just weeks away. There are now dozens dead in just two days.

There are real concerns now that terrorists may target the games. We'll be live this morning from Moscow. We'll talk with Fran Townsend, additionally. She's a former White House counterterrorism adviser.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And what's it like to be stuck in the ice in an Antarctica? We've been following this for days. This vessel trapped in the ice there. They've been there for nearly a week. Are they running out of food? Are they running out of fuel? Are they running out of hope? We will speak with someone on that ship to get the very latest on the rescue efforts that are under way at this moment -- guys.

ROMANS: You know, those are a bunch of explorers and people with -- I have a feeling those people are going to have a great story to tell.

CABRERA: Oh, no doubt about that.

PEREIRA: There's going to be a book or two, I think --


ROMANS: They're still all doing their experiments. So, science trumps Mother Nature there. Thanks, guys. Talk to you soon.

A Broadway has found a new princess to step into Cinderella's glass slippers. The pop star, Carly Rae Jepsen, has landed the title role in the Rodgers & Hammerstein's production. She rose to popularity, of course, last year with her single "Call me maybe." Her run starts February 4th and goes on for 12 weeks. Actress, Fran Drescher, is set to play the role of Cinderella's stepmother.

CABRERA: I'm a fan.

ROMANS: -- last year. I feel like the song has been around --



CABRERA: Well, coming up, a lost masterpiece uncovered. A man who bought a painting on the cheap finds out it's actually a very valuable piece of art. Wait until you hear how much it's really worth. Stay with us.


ROMANS: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START. It's "Money Time" for you.

The second to last trading session of the year and as Wall Street gets ready to close the books on 2013, maybe we'll have a few more records. The Dow had another very good week last week gaining 257 points on the week. It's about 1.6 percent. Here's my favorite part. For the year, the Dow was up 26 percent, NASDAQ 38 percent, S&P 500 up 29 percent. Best year for stocks since 1996 or 1997.

A lot of people taking -- looking at their 401(k)s and very, very happy about what they see. Internet and social media companies are showing some of the biggest gains of the year. Facebook is up more than 100 percent this year. Google up, wow, nearly 60 percent. You can see topped a thousand dollars a share. Netflix up nearly 300 percent.

But Twitter had a stumble. Twitter shares stumbled on Friday, falling 13 percent, the biggest one day drop ever after analyst (ph) downgraded the stock in a very short note saying simply it had gone too far, too fast.

Now, even though it's a holiday week, it will be an important one for housing data. Three reports that Wall Street will be watching closely. Look at for signs of strength. Today, we get pending home sales for November. Economists expect that to ruse. Tuesday, it's the S&P Case Shhiler report on home prices for October, kind of expect (ph) another strong showing there.

And on Thursday, we get construction spending for November. Again, economists expect to see growth there, all very interesting now that the rate on the ten-year bond, an important benchmark for mortgages is up to three percent. Rates are rising. Higher rates are likely to eventually crimp housing demand some worry.

And, imagine buying a painting and then being told it's worth a thousand times what you paid for it. That's exactly what happened on the British version of antiques road show. The owner paid 660 bucks for this. A portrait that turned out to be the work of 17th century Flemish artist, Anthony Van Dyck. It's considered a masterpiece. It is valued now at $660,000. The owner, a priest, says he wants to sell the painting to buy new bells for his church.

All right. Coming up, get ready to feel guilty when you hit the vending machine. The new rules that might make you think twice before inserting that dollar bill is next.


ROMANS: All right. Happy Monday. Welcome back to EARLY START. Get ready for even more guilt at the office vending machine as part of the president's health care overhaul. Calorie counts will soon show up on about five million vending machines all over the country. The goal is to help you make healthier choices. It's going to cost the industry about $25 million a year, but savings to the health care system are expected to eclipse that.

The FDA is expected to release final rules early next year. Vendors will get one year to comply and get to know exactly how many calories you're consuming when you hit that mid-morning vending machine. We're going to have much more on that coming up on "New Day." "New Day" starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think if we don't see one an attempt on the Olympics, I'd be very surprise. PEREIRA: Breaking overnight, another suicide bombing in Russia. More than a dozen killed one day after this bombing left 17 dead. Fears (ph) of an attack on the Olympics now just weeks away.

BERMAN: New year's freeze. A brutal arctic blast set to put a chill on celebrations across the east. Will your New Year's toast be not so toasty? We're tracking the forecast.

PEREIRA: Going deep. Watch this long toss onto the porch. The FedEx deliveryman out of a job this morning. Customers now fighting back with surveillance cameras. You won't believe what they caught.

Your "New Day" starts right now.

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


PEREIRA: We'll strike that. That's partly right --


PEREIRA: Good morning. Welcome to "New Day" this Monday, the 30th of December. It is 6:00 a.m. in the east. Chris and Kate are both off, well-deserved days off, and guess who's here. John Berman.

BERMAN: Happy New Year!


PEREIRA: It's not quite there. A couple of

BERMAN: I'll keep saying that over the next two days until I get it right.

PEREIRA: Exactly. We'll get there eventually.

We are starting this morning with breaking news out of Russia. Another deadly explosion in Volgograd, the second in as many days. This morning, a trolleybus was blown up during the busy commute, killing at least 14 people, just a day after 17 people died in a blast at the main train station there. This raising concerns for the security of the upcoming Olympic games and here's why. Look at this map. Sochi is just a few hundred miles away from those bombings. More now from Diana Magnay live in Moscow -- Diana.

MAGNAY: That's right. It's 39 days and counting until the Winter Olympics. And now, the Russian president has ordered a massive heightening of security across the country and especially in the Volgograd region after a massive terror onslaught on that Southern Russian city.


MAGNAY (voice-over): Two deadly terror attacks in the southern Russian city of Volgograd in less than 24 hours. This morning, it's attack on crowded trolleybus in morning rush hour. More than a dozen killed. Authorities say the blast work of a suicide bomber, possibly detonating his device towards the back end of the bus where the damage seems worse. Many on board were students. This is exam time in Russia. Among the injured, a baby in serious condition.

This follows another attack noon on Sunday in Volgograd's main railway station. The moment of the explosion caught on CCTV. Seventeen people were killed in that blast. Authorities saying that was also the work of a suicide bomber. These attacks come less than six weeks before the start of the winter games in Sochi, which is around 400 miles southwest of Volgograd.