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Colorado Reefer Madness; Schumacher Suffers Head Injury; No Tony Romo, No Playoffs; Widespread Flu In 10 States

Aired December 30, 2013 - 06:30   ET




All right. Starting this Wednesday in Colorado, anyone over 21 will be able to buy marijuana if they want to. Recreational pot will be regulated, taxed and sold in hundreds of businesses are now applying to sell it. But there is already controversy. Denver has said no to efforts to hold a private smoking event at a club there on new years.

And as CNN's Casey Wian reports, many others who want in on the pot business are finding it is tough work.


CASEY WIAN, CNN ANCHOR: Two days to go until Colorado becomes the country's first state to sell marijuana for recreational use.

At Evergreen Apothecary, employees scramble to get ready. Pot retailers must navigate so many regulations, only 14 of about 250 medical marijuana businesses in Denver have received one of these, a license to sell to anyone over 21.

There are multiple inspections, packaging requirements and in some cases, new construction.

ANDY WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT, MEDICINE MAN: We are building an absolutely impressive showcase for the world to see that this is an industry. This is not an underground business.

WIAN: At Medicine Man, all the pot sold is grown on site.

WILLIAMS: Customers don't want it really leafy. They like it nice, tight and dense.

WIAN: It's hiring 25 new employees and installing new equipment.

WILLIAMS: We have to tag all these plants with an RIFD tag, radio frequency identification, and -- so it's another inventory control that we have to implement here.

This is a light side air tight container. And --

WIAN (on camera): Wow. WILLIAMS: This is our San Fernando Valley OG Kush. And the snow will hit you probably from there.

WIAN (voice-over): Each container holds about $75 worth of marijuana. So, it's no wonder Medicine Man has an armed former army ranger guarding the front door.

Lines are expected outside pot stores January 1st.

AARON HOUSTON, STRATEGIST, GHOST GROUP: Demand is going to be very high on day one with a potential shortage of supply, prices will go up.

WIAN: No one is expecting a marijuana Mardi Gras.

MICHAEL ELLIOTT, MEDICAL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY GROUP: It's still illegal to drive impaired, to take the product out of state, to resell it to anybody, to give it to someone under 21, where they consume it publicly.

WIAN: State wide, about 300 million of medical marijuana was sold in 2013. The industry expects the sales to more than double next year. The city of Denver says it's prepared.

ASHLEY KILROY, DENVER MARIJUANA POLICY DIRECTOR: We haven't seen a impact with medical marijuana. We don't expect to see that with retail marijuana.

WIAN: Casey Wian, CNN, Denver.


BERMAN: Big changes.

PEREIRA: A lot of states will be watching to see how it plays up there.

BERMAN: Absolutely.

PEREIRA: Next up on NEW DAY, one of the world's most famous race car drivers is now fighting for his life in a hospital France after a serious skiing accident. What doctors are saying about Michael Schumacher's chances for recovery.

BERMAN: Plus, more trouble for the big delivery workers. Why is a worker throwing a package? What's in there? Could it have been fragile? We're going to dig in to the story, coming up next.


PEREIRA: All right. Let's go around the world. Let's start with South Sudan, where fighting continues as hopes for a cease-fire fade.

Arwa Damon is in a capital amid a humanitarian crisis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just take a look at this scene here. This is one of the distribution sites at one of the U.N. compounds in the capital. There are some 20,000 refugees here.

Among the items they are receiving are these emergency food rations for children and super cereal plus packets for the adults.

And even though the capital has been relatively safe for the last week or so, these people are still too afraid to go back home. One woman we spoke to, she was pregnant. She is due this month. She says her husband went back to their neighborhood to retrieve some items and he was killed.

And that is why people say they have to continue to live like this.


PEREIRA: Arwa Damon, thank you so much for that.

Now to France and the health of formula 1 legendary driver Michael Schumacher. He suffered a serious head injury while skiing.

Amanda Davies has the latest.


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The seven-time formula one world champion Michael Schumacher is fighting for his life in a critical condition in a French hospital after suffering severe brain trauma in a skiing accident on Sunday. The 44-year-old hit his head on a rock while skiing off in the Alps resort of Meribel. He's been airlifted to a hospital in Grenoble and has undergone an operation and is now in an induced coma.

Doctors refuse to give a long-term prognosis, but the man known for so many battles on the track is now in the battle of his life.

Back to you, Michaela.


PEREIRA: All right. Thank you so much for that.

Now to France where taxes are set to skyrocket for millionaires. How about paying 75 percent of your salary to the government?

Erin McLaughlin has that.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Gone (ph) over a million euros in France? Well, it looks like your company will have to pay a roughly 75 percent tax on your salary. Constitutional court has cleared the way for French President Francois Hollande's temporary tax law, which will affect over 400 companies and around a dozen soccer clubs.

Hollande has long argued the rich need to pay more in France and his plan angered business leaders, foreign investors and soccer clubs, which at one point threatened to go on strike. The bill needs to be published before it is enacted.

Back to you, Michaela.


PEREIRA: Whoo, raising the ire of many millionaires.

BERMAN: A lot of the soccer players, they're very, very upset. They threatened to strike at one point.

PEREIRA: And don't mess with your soccer players.

BERMAN: No, not at all.

All right. So, you trust all those holiday packages you sent arrive safely?


BERMAN: Think again. Perhaps this surveillance footage from one Maryland's house, this will make you pause for sure. Take a look.

Oh, there it is, the delivery guy approaches. He hurls the package and flees. He is done, like, here, have your package.

Jackie Moons who ordered this for her daughter says the box openly contained doll clothing, but what if it had been doll China or doll electronics? What if it's something fragile?

CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us now.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: That's a former FedEx delivery driver, I should point out, because FedEx says, you know, he wasn't following the rules and he did not get to keep his job.

But it's so interesting, because that was a house under surveillance video. And they got a picture e-mailed to them mid-flight of the package. They looked at the video and saw it and heard the thump and really couldn't believe the complaint to FedEx.

You know, every year around this time, we see these crazy videos that go viral of crazy package delivery mishaps. This one particularly gulling considering that UPS and FedEx couldn't get many packages to you on time in many cases.

BERMAN: Well, that's exactly what's happening. I mean, this is sort of turning to the 12 days of Christmas.

ROMANS: Look at this one, this one went viral. This is from China.

PEREIRA: I remember this one. Maybe one or two actually make it onto the conveyor belt.


ROMANS: That's another good one of U.S. Postal Service truck driving right on somebody's lawn to try to deliver a package. They are always good ones the time of year.

But I should say FedEx in particular, yes, that's the U.S. Postal Service. They have 300,000 employees, so are you going to see, especially now with technology, you will be able to capture some of these moments. But, by and large, most of these drivers don't do that.

BERMAN: What about these delays? Because packages are still delivering.

ROMANS: I know, I know. So, now, we are told from FedEx and UPS that they are back on track. They did not anticipate the volume of packages this year, and so many people shopping on line and shopping at the very last minute.

We have six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, all that volume condensed into a shorter period of time really caught them off guard.

I love that Moons' under surveillance video.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: And everybody ends up finding out later because of those guarantees it will still make it.

PEREIRA: You know it will get there.

ROMANS: Sure. And this is really important. Make sure if you paid 25 bucks to have something delivered in two days and it didn't get there, make sure you get the credit. I mean, you should talk to Amazon, talk to wherever you bought the stuff from.

Make sure if you did not get your package on time, you're not paying for it. You should make sure that UPS, FedEx, Amazon, whoever eats that cost.

PEREIRA: Aside from him getting fired, did she have any recourse, this poor gal and her doll clothes?

BERMAN: She wanted people to know. I mean, she posted it first to family and friends. And then it went viral. She just wanted people to know, look at this crazy -- I mean, be careful what you order. That was doll clothes for an American Girl.

But what if that had been grandma's teacup or something? Or an iPad.

ROMANS: There was another video last year around Christmas time. You saw one driver drop something off and steal the package of another driver, a mini iPad. He takes another package with him, it had a mini iPad on it. That's also a former delivery driver.

BERMAN: It should be said, the guy did have a very good aim, right?

ROMANS: I will say.

BERMAN: Give credit where credit is due.

ROMANS: Really? Really?


PEREIRA: All I hear is that thump and my gut just sank.

All right. Christine, thanks so much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

PEREIRA: Weather is the other big thing we are talking about for the holidays, Jennifer Gray is in for Indra Peterson.

Looking at the forecast for today and, well, New Year's Eve. It's imminent.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, yes, it's coming up. It's around the corner, and a lot of you are going to have cold temperatures for New Year's Eve. Look at these current temperatures. We're in the teens. We are seeing temperatures below freezing across a large portion of the country. Kansas City at 10, Minneapolis at 11 degrees below zero.

And we are going to stay cold the next several days. Chicago, when you factor in the wind chill, you feel like 11 degrees below zero. These temperatures are going to stay in the north the next couple of days. And we'll see those temperatures not change too much in the north.

Temperatures out in the northeast, we'll see in the 30s. They'll be dropping. You see these shades of pink. It will be slowly pushing to the Northeast. So by the time we get to Thursday, New York City at 34 for a high.

Look at Friday, though, 17 degrees for New York City. That's a high temperature. Washington been at 28 degrees on Friday. That's where temperatures bottom out. They'll start to come back up as we go through the weekend.

We have these clipper systems as well. These are going to cause some lake effect snow and some snow to Upstate New York as we go through the next day or so. It should be out of here by Wednesday. Then, as we get to the second half of the week. This is the low the front that will bring those chilly temperatures to the Northeast by the end of the week.

So that's the one we're going to be watching, a white New Year's Eve the only a place, Northern Plains and the Great Lakes could see some snow tomorrow and Wednesday.

BERMAN: Along with the minus million-and-a-half temperatures after that.


PEREIRA: All right. Thanks so much, Jennifer.

So, coming up next on NEW DAY: the flu, we know it is not fun. However, this year's strain could be worse than in years passed. As cases spread, there are concerns that younger adults could be hit even harder. We'll have those numbers for you coming up.

BERMAN: He might not be as dreamy, but Peyton Manning, he's good at football. How good? Well, he broke some records that will simply blow your mind. We'll tell you all about it when we come back.


BERMAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It was like ten hours of awesome football --


BERMAN: It was an epic day. Ten teams fighting for four playoff spots. I watched, you know, roughly 30 games yesterday, all at one. Andy Scholes joins us now with the "Bleacher Report." Great to see you, Andy.

PEREIRA: He looks pretty happy, too.

BERMAN: He looks good.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Great to see you, guys, too. I'm not very happy about my Texans. They finished with 14 straight losses in the year. But hey, it was a great last day of the NFL season. There were two games, basically guys, that were already playoff games. The Cowboys and Eagles and Packers and Bears will win, and you're in scenarios.

After missing seven weeks with a broken collarbone, Aaron Rodgers was back under center for Green Bay, and boy, did he come through in a clutch for the Packers. Down one late in the 4th quarter on fourth and eight, Rodgers finds Randall Cobb in stride for a 48-yard touchdown. An amazing play. The Packers win 33-28. They are now heading back to the playoffs.

With Tony Romo out for the year after back surgery, Kyle Orton getting a start in last night's winner-take-all again against the Eagles. Down late with Orton found Dez Bryant for a 32-yard touchdown. That cuts to Eagle's lead to two. The Cowboys will get the ball back with a chance to go win the game, but oh, man, this is definitely familiar for Cowboy's fans. Orton throws the interception. Jerry Jones is not happy. The Eagle, they run out the clock and get the 24-22 win.

All right. The Pittsburgh Steelers chances of making the playoffs were very slim. They needed to win and have the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers all lose. All of those scenarios were actually about to play out, but, the Chief's Ryan Succop miss a very makeable 41-yard field goal and the Chiefs actually should have got to re-kick this, because the Chargers had way too many players on one side of the ball, which is a penalty, but it was not flagged, and Chargers will go on to win the game in overtime to clinch the last playoff spot in the AFC, leaving the Steelers and their fans absolutely stunned.

All right. So, here's a look at your playoff schedule for next week. And on Saturday, the Colts are going to host the Chiefs followed by the Eagles, hosting the Saints. Then on Sunday, the Bengals will take on the Chargers, then Packers and 9ers are going to renew their rivalry at Lambeau Field. The Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks, and Panthers, they all get the bye next week.

Turning on this morning, Peyton Manning's amazing season. Manning threw for 266 yards yesterday against the Raiders, breaking Drew Brees' record for yards in a season. This year, guys, he set records for yards, touchdowns, and the Broncos actually scored more points than any team in NFL history. But, that's not always a good thing.

Of the previous ten high scoring teams, only three of them made it to the Super Bowl. And guys, only one of them actually won the Super Bowl. That was 1999 Rams. So, John, as you know, as the saying goes, defense wins championships. We'll have to see if the Broncos are able to buck that trend and go all the way this year.

BERMAN: I don't know. I mean, you know, he's good. He's good. He's just not Tom Brady, right?



BERMAN: Ana Cabrera and I decided we can no longer be friends.


ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: -- Broncos and Patriots -- playoffs together again.

BERMAN: All right. Andy Scholes, thank you. Thank you for creating all of these problems for us here this morning.


SCHOLES: Good luck with that.

PEREIRA: Oh, yes. Wishing you luck, indeed. All right. Andy, thanks so much.

Flu season, let's talk about that. It is literally upon us. If you don't know someone who has had the illness, consider yourself lucky. The number of states reporting widespread flu activity are climbing. And, to make matters worse, there are increased concerns this year that one strain of the illness may actually hit young adults harder. Jennifer Gray is taking a look at the very latest from where the flu has spread -- Jen.

GRAY: Oh, yes. The number of states reporting widespread cases of the flu jumped from four last week to ten. A large number of those earlier reported cases coming from the south, including Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. Over the weekend, CDC says the flu is now widespread in several northeast states, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. This as cold winter weather has been hitting much of the northeast.

Now, the biggest atypical thing about flu season has been the number of H1N1 cases of the swine flu cases in Texas. There are at least five reported deaths just from swine flu alone so far this year. So, why are doctors worried? Because H1N1 tends to hit the younger adults harder unlike typical flu which often is worse in the very young or elderly, but luckily, the H1N1 strain is part of this year's vaccine.

And the peak of flu season is January and February, and there are a lot of frigid air coming in as 2013 ends. So, put on some extra layers and keep your hands clean. And if you haven't already gotten a flu shot, it is not too late.

BERMAN: A great idea.

PEREIRA: That's a good thing to remember. It's not too late. Some people think that they've missed the boat but sure have not. All right. Jennifer, thanks so much for that.

Are you ready for a "Must-See Moment?"

BERMAN: All ready.

PEREIRA: Oh, this will put fear in your belly, I'm sure it will. File this one under a mother's worst nightmare. California mom, June Emerson (ph), out at the beach Friday with her twin boys --


PEREIRA (voice-over): -- and she snapped this photo of them frolicking the waves near Manhattan Beach. Oh, yes. Do you see that shadow? So, Berman, that what appears to be a shark lurking in the water just several feet away. Emerson says her kids completely unaware of the fish swimming in their surroundings.

She since told them it was a dolphin. Since they live close by and they visit the beach daily, she doesn't want them to become too afraid of it.


BERMAN (voice-over): They would never go in the water again.

PEREIRA: Back in November, you might recall a paddle boarder shot. A great video of a great white in those very same waters there in Manhattan Beach. BERMAN: That is amazing.

PEREIRA: I was just there over the weekend, but I did not go in the water.


PEREIRA (on-camera): It was terrifyingly freezing. That's also the breaking news that the kids screaming in the water to begin with. This was very cold water t. But the fact that they were that close and didn't even know --

BERMAN (on-camera): -- with a wave breaking right there --

PEREIRA: Very creepy. Very, very creepy.

BERMAN: I know or I'm not swimming.


BERMAN: All right. Five minutes before the hour right now.


BERMAN: Next up on NEW DAY, they have been stuck in the Antarctic ice for days, and the rescue efforts, so far, has not worked. So now, it may come down to helicopters to free dozens stuck on this ship. We're going to speak to the leader of the expedition coming up.

PEREIRA: Another deadly bomb attack in Russia just a few hundred miles from where the Olympics are going to take place. Dozens are now dead in two days of attacks. There are worries it could impact the games.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think if we don't see one, an attempt on the Olympics, I'd be very surprised.

PEREIRA: Breaking overnight. Olympic fears another suicide blast in Russia. A dozen more killed. The games now just weeks away in Sochi. How vulnerable are the Olympics?

BERMAN: Freeze out. 2013 going out with an arctic blast. A deep freeze sweeping across the east. Will your New Year's plans be put on ice? We are tracking this forecast.

PEREIRA: Trapped. The ship stranded at the bottom of the world. Another rescue ship turned back. The blizzard conditions in Antarctica now even worse. We speak to one of the passengers aboard.

Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It gives me the option to possibly finally move out of my parents' house at age 27.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's back, people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the -- my bear is back again.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


PEREIRA: I don't ever want to argue with James Earl Jones.


PEREIRA: I'm Michaela Pereira alongside John Berman and Ana Cabrera. So nice to have them both here. It is NEW DAY. It is Monday, December 30th. Only two days left in the year. 7:00 a.m. in the east. Kate and Chris both have the day off. It is great to have you, guys, with us.

BERMAN: Bring it.

PEREIRA: We are going to bring it. We're going to start actually with breaking news out of Russia. Another terrorism strike brings another bloody day. The latest hit claimed more than a dozen lives for the second straight day. At least 14 people are dead after suicide bombing on a bus in the very same city where 17 were killed in a railway station attack Sunday.

These attacks have many around the world asking if Russia is prepared to guarantee safety for the upcoming Olympic Games. They are just over a month away. And as you can see here on this map, the bombings and Sochi are separated by only about 400 miles. Diana Magnay is in Moscow with the very latest for us -- Diana.