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Ringing in 2014 in Dubai; Sochi Olympic Security Concerns; Stock Market Record Gains

Aired December 31, 2013 - 05:30   ET


ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Ball drops in Times Square tonight, the eastern half of the United States will be shivering in the new year with temperatures near zero in parts of the Midwest and well below freezing in the Big Apple.

Our meteorologist Jennifer Gray has our New Year's Eve forecast.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: On this New Year's Eve, temperatures we are starting out very, very cold in the northern plains. Temperatures, international falls 27 degrees below zero is what it feels like this morning. Twenty below zero in Minneapolis, even eight below zero in Chicago.

These temperatures are going to stay in the north the next couple of days but slowly working their way to the northeast. By the time we wake up or by the time -- in New York City on Thursday afternoon, temperatures will be around 32 degrees, but 17 on Friday.

So temperatures definitely taking a plunge. Already cold. It will just get colder. And that cold air that's already in place is going to definitely help with that setup of our next low. We've been talking about it the last couple of days. We have two different scenarios we are looking at, depending on which forecast model you're watching. One of them takes this low well offshore. That would mean most of the wintry precipitation would stay away. If the low tracks is a little bit closer to shore or more on the onshore path, then that would mean quite a bit of snow for the northeast and creating quite the mess.

Could be one of the strongest storms of the season. So we're going to be tracking this low. This is the scenario if we see this low continue to stay on that northeast track and you can see all of the snow anywhere from Virginia, including D.C., but they wouldn't be the hardest hit but it would be up in New York City for sure and then possibly the hardest hit around Boston and even in northern Maine.

And if we do see that scenario, we could see 10 to 12 inches in Maine, about 10 inches in Boston possibly and six to eight inches even in New York City. So we could see a mess play out Thursday night into Friday if that low does stay on shore. We'll continue to monitor it, of course.

These are your New Year's Eve temperatures at midnight. Very, very cold across the country.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Brr. And I've been out there in Times Square for new year's eve so it can be chilly wait and have care.

Let's take you to Australia. They are about to say so long to 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand, rather. Less than 30 minutes from now the clock strikes midnight there.

We'll bring you live on NEW DAY. Will bring that to you. It is followed by celebrations in Australia. And then later today the world will be watching Dubai where they are hoping to set a Guinness World Record for the largest fireworks show in history.

Our Sara Sidner is there live in Dubai this morning.

Fun assignment, Sara. Tell us about it.

SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I kind of feel bad. I was listening to the temperatures there in New York. Guess what? It's about 77 degrees here so we're really suffering here on the beach at the Palm.

We are on the manmade island that everyone talked about. You can only get on here with very specific access. They're not letting everybody on here. But thousands of people are expected to come to try and see Dubai beat the world record when it comes to the amount of fireworks blown off all at one time.

Behind me there is the Atlantis. Behind that there will be a massive display of fireworks but that is not the only place. As we told you a bit earlier it's going to be literally all the way around this entire area. And they're going to do crazy things like trying to make it look as though the sun is rising with fireworks.

So this is going to be quite an artistic display as well as an expensive one. You want to take any guess as to exactly how much this might cost a person? 400,000 fireworks in six minutes?

HARLOW: I would love to know. A, do you know how much it costs? I'm not surprised it's happening there at the Atlantis and I'm wondering what the current record is right now. Do we know?

SIDNER: We do. Kuwait holds the current record for their 50th anniversary. They had about 77,000 fireworks all blowing off at once. Over about 60 minutes. Here, they are going to trump that by more than a mile. 400,000 fireworks and we are talking massive professional fireworks all around Dubai.

And the cost? We actually couldn't get an exact number. They were a little iffy on that but they told us first they said millions then they said 10 million plus.


SIDNER: So it's not cheap but, they said, boy, it will be a good time and we are expecting to see something amazing tonight when it is New Year's Eve.

HARLOW: Wow. How amazing to be there. Enjoy it, Sara. And you know 10 million bucks and a shot at the Guinness Book of World Records, lucky folks there in the Dubai watching it all happened tonight. Thank you so much.

CABRERA: I want to be there.

HARLOW: I do too but we're going to be freezing here.

CABRERA: I know. And there are fun festivities, of course, planned as we gear up for New Year's eve here in the U.S. Lots of festivities that could kick in in the next few hours. It's not just going to be that crystal ball in Times Square dropping at the stroke of midnight.

Cities around the country will ring in the new year with some traditions of their own like pineapple falling in Hawaii. A moon pie drops in Alabama. A little behind you saw the peach for Georgia and then the country music capital, a music note will drop in Tennessee. Those are just a few of the odd objects set to drop during the countdown to the new year.

And then of course tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern we have another New Year's Even tradition continuing here on CNN. Our own Anderson Cooper joined by Kathy Griffin live on the platform there in Times Square. You never know what's going to happen.


HARLOW: It is a great show.

CABRERA: And so it should be fun. It all starts at 9:00 Eastern tonight.

HARLOW: All right. On a more serious note, though. There are very serious concerns this morning for the safety of the athletes and tourists at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Take a look at this video just in to CNN but we want to warn you first it is very, very upsetting to watch. This captures a deadly explosion at a train station in the southern Russian city of Volgograd. It is one of two suicide bombings within 24 hours that killed at least 34 people. These terror attacks coming less than six weeks before the opening ceremonies of the Sochi games.

I want to bring in our Diana Magnay. She's live for us in Moscow this morning.

And, Diana, as we were talking earlier in the show you made a very good point that even if the security around Sochi is very, very tight, there are concerns about the entire country at this moment.

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. That is the thing. President Putin has made two very strong claims here. He said, first of all, that he wants these Olympics to be the safest Olympics ever. And that is based on the claim that he can keep the North Caucasus Region under control. And the North Caucasus is of course a republic. It's like Dagestan which is a hot bed of extremism.

Ingushetia, Chechnya, this is where Russia's militant problem comes from. This is where all the terrorist attacks that have taken place on Russian soil are like Beslan, the Moscow theater siege, the bombings in the Moscow subway, the attack in the airport here in Moscow in 2011, they've all come from that area.

So Volgograd, twin bombings in two days, a second bombing on a day when the city is already teaming with security personnel, goes to show that his second claim, that he has that North Caucasus under control is not the case. And of course you can keep Sochi very, very secure but what about transportation hubs where athletes and visitors will be passing through? Volgograd would have been one of them.

HARLOW: And when you look at what officials are saying -- I was just reading that the head of the organizing committee, the president, has said these are going to be the safest games ever just in line with what President Putin has said. But at the same time, are they being specific at all about what measures may change, how they may step up security in the wake of these two attacks?

MAGNAY: They are not. They have said that they don't need to step up security. And I don't think that should come as any surprise. They're very well aware of the terrorist threats that exist on the doorsteps of the Sochi games. You know, they decided to host the Olympics there 200 miles from the border. From the sort of western most border of North Caucasus even though you have mountains in between, knowing full well that the locations were close.

So I don't think we should be surprised that they are not changing their security measures. They are very, very tight. There is a huge security parameter. You won't be allowed in unless your vehicle is license to that region. There will be very, very stringent security checks. You will have a fan passport.

And the terrorists of course know all of this. That is perhaps why they would target softer targets such as transportation hubs, spreading an atmosphere of panic and fear ahead of the games, possibly to prevent people from coming. And secondly to humiliate the president at this moment which, you know, this is his pet project. He spent $50 billion on trying to make these Olympics good -- Ana.

HARLOW: We will keep a very close eye on it. Diana, appreciate it. Thank you.

CABRERA: Here are some other top stories this morning as we continue to monitor what is happening on that Russian research vessel stuck in the Antarctica and the 74 people on board waiting to be rescued. The ship has been trapped in ice since Christmas eve. So about a week now after three ice breaking ships failed to reach them, official are now calling in helicopters from China.

The expedition leader posted this video just this morning reacting to the news.


CHRIS TURNEY, EXPEDITION LEADER: It's the 31st of December at 3:00 p.m. We have just learned the Aurora can't reach us so we're preparing the helipad by getting the team to stomp down on this snow and ice so the Chinese helicopter from Snow Dragon can reach us when the weather improves.


CABRERA: All about that weather. Mother Nature, nobody can control the mood there on board that ship or off ship, as they are stomping down all that ice, described as unusually festive.

HARLOW: I would say so. What an attitude that they have given what they are going through.

Meantime, fiery explosions after a train crash. They are forcing evacuations this morning in a North Dakota town. The train carrying crude oil slammed into and derailed another train yesterday, setting off a series of explosions and causing a huge fireball. This happened just outside Castleton. That's about 25 miles west of Fargo.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's about three cars.



HARLOW: People living within a five-mile radius are being told to leave their homes because of a potential health hazard from all that smoke. So far, though, miraculously, no injuries have been reported.

CABRERA: Recreational pot sales becoming legal in Colorado in about 24 hours. Actually officially at the stroke of midnight about a dozen retailers will begin selling weed there in Denver with about 20 other stores now estimated to open all around the state.

You do have to be 21 to be a customer. You still cannot smoke in public. And if you're caught trying to take this pot across state lines, for example, if you're at the airport, you could face $999 fine.

HARLOW: Meantime, hundreds of gun owners in the state Connecticut lining up for hours to keep their firearms. That is because the state passed a new law in April requiring residents to register their assault weapons and high capacity magazines by midnight tonight and they have to prove that their weapons were purchased before that law was passed this spring.

Now most gun owners say they don't see how the measure will prevent tragedies like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.


ROB TOWNSEND, GUN OWNER: Well, the law, I don't really think is going to stop any crimes. How many criminals do you think are in line right now registering their weapons?


HARLOW: If assault weapons purchased before April are not registered by midnight tonight in Connecticut, owners will have to sell them to a gun dealer, turn them over or turn them over to police.

CABRERA: A 7-year-old girl remains hospitalized this morning after she was rescued from a well in Georgia yesterday afternoon. The girl identified as Megan Winters fell into this well outside her grandma's home in Carroll County. Firefighters had to be lowered down to attach the girl to a sort of rigging system before she could be pulled up. Winters suffered several broken bones. She has bleeding on her brain according to a Facebook post from her mother. But she is recovering this morning.

HARLOW: Meantime, the first gay wedding in 125-year history of the Rose Parade will go on tomorrow despite some protests. Aubrey Loots and Danny Leclair plan to wed on the AIDS Health Care Foundation float when it stops at the parade's reviewing stand, that is in Pasadena. The pair have been together for 12 years.

CABRERA: The "Price is Right's" biggest winner ever hit the jackpot by guessing the wrong prize. Don't you just love her reaction?

HARLOW: I love that reaction. Yes.

CABRERA: Just so raw and so passionate. That's Sheree Heil. She won a $157,000 Audi and a 10 grand prize on Monday show. Her reaction there just priceless.

HARLOW: I just wish you could see her.




CABRERA: Her reaction, we had to show it to you twice.

HARLOW: Exactly. You know, I always say that I wish we could see people's reaction when they win the lottery, too.

CABRERA: Probably be very similar to this.

HARLOW: Right.

CABRERA: So let's explain this. She was playing a game called Gas Money where she had to pick which price tags were actually wrong. One by one. And so that's what she did. She drives away now with the biggest prize in the show's 42-year history. You go, girl.

HARLOW: Good for you. What a way to ring in the new year.

CABRERA: I love it. HARLOW: Coming up here on EARLY START, an update to a story we brought you a few months back. One woman who fought to get her entire 36-character long last name to fit on her driver's license. Well, guess what, folks? She claiming victory. That's ahead.


HARLOW: Welcome back to EARLY START.

Doctors now say race car driver Michael Schumacher is showing slight signs of improvement this morning. He is still, though, fighting for his life in a medically induced coma.

The retired seven-time Formula 1 champ suffered severe head trauma in a ski accident on Sunday. He underwent emergency brain surgery after he was airlifted to a French hospital. He just underwent a second procedure, we're told, overnight. The driving champ would have certainly died, doctors say, without his helmet. According to his team of doctors it is too soon to tell, though, whether he will survive.

CABRERA: Switching gears. In Hawaii a woman whose last name is 36 characters long has finally gotten the whole thing to fit on her driver's license. The 54-year-old fought to change the state's rule that limited the names to 35 characters. Again, hers is 36. But they finally agreed. Now allowing 40 characters for last names.

It's actually her husband's name given to him by his grandfather who said it came to him in a dream. Next up is changing her Social Security card.

HARLOW: Now I want you to pronounce the name.

CABRERA: I was going to say I wonder what her name is.


Do you know?

HARLOW: Yes. You know what I read and I --

CABRERA: It's --

HARLOW: Wow. I am so impressed. I am so -- and that is true love.


CABRERA: It takes up two lines. Two lines.

HARLOW: That is true love if you can take that last name. It is beautiful but long, by the way, from your husband.

Hi, guys. Good morning.


HARLOW: How are you?

PEREIRA: We are so good. Happy new year.

CABRERA: Happy new year.

HARLOW: Happy new year.

PEREIRA: It is New Year's Eve here in this country. You wouldn't have noticed that at all by anything on our set at all. Really?


It is almost 2014 in some parts of the world. In fact in just a few minutes, New Zealand is going to mark the turning of the calendar. We're going to bring you the celebrations live from Auckland and Sydney, Australia, right here on "NEW DAY." Now you break in a smile.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: I'm going to take them off.

In the high altitudes one television reporter she fainted on live TV.

PEREIRA: Bless her heart.

BERMAN: I think we can all feel that. Look at that. The great news. She is OK. The so-so news, this video has gone viral but Brooke Graham will be here to talk to us about what happened. What it felt like and how she is doing this morning.

PEREIRA: And just to point out, this is before he's opened the champagne. OK? We're ready.

CABRERA: That's why people love you, John. You don't take yourself too seriously.

PEREIRA: He does not. He does not at all. We're going to try and at least wait until you get here on, OK?

CABRERA: I'll see you soon.

HARLOW: You guys get to pop the champagne. You guys, happy new year, have a great one and can't wait to hear from that reporter. I watched the video. She did an amazing job. Amazing recovery.

CABRERA: And she pops right back up. I know.

HARLOW: And she's going live.

All right. Coming up, want to ring in the new year with a bang? We're going to let you know how to put together a big bash in the heart of Times Square tonight. That is, folks, if you happen to have enough cash.


HARLOW: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It is "Money Time" and Zain Asher here with our business headlines. Good morning.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hey. Happy new year. We are about to close the books on the best year in stocks since 1997 and history tells us that today will be an up day on the market. The last day of trading of the year has been up 52 times in the last 85 years.

Yesterday actually marked the 51st record high of the year. Any gain today will be another record high. I'm guessing volume will be on the lighter side, though. So far this year the Dow is up 26 percent, the Nasdaq up 38 percent, and the S&P 500 up 29 percent. Pretty much three times what you'd see in a normal year.

Let's look at some of the biggest winners of the year. Electric car maker Tesla up 350 percent. Best Buy up 238 percent. Chip maker Micro Technology is up 236 percent. Netflix is up 296 percent. That kind of (INAUDIBLE) of course be rewarded and that's exactly what Netflix has done.

Reid Hasting, the company's CEO, will see his salary raised by 50 percent to $6 million next year. Nice work certainly if you can get it.

And if you're like me and you still haven't made plans for the new year's, I'm very much last minute, there are a few parties I can tell you about but it certainly is going to cost you. New Year's Even at Applebee's $375, that's what the Times Square location is charging per person to ring in 2014.


ASHER: It's actually a deal when you look at some of the other soirees scheduled for tonight. Ripley's Believe It or Not could cost you as much as $1,000, $995 actually. Who has this kind of money? Anyway, R Lounge in Times Square, better view of the ball drop, that will cost you $8,500, and if you want to jet down to Cameo Nightclub in Miami, they are offering 75 bottles of champagne and the meet-and- greet with Lil Wayne for $100,000.


HARLOW: Who needs 75 bottles of champagne?

ASHER: I know. This would be your kid's college tuition. But of course the ball drop in Times Square, it's free, for you and one million of your closest friends.

HARLOW: That is what I was going to say. Or you could just put on your winter coat and go to Times Square and take it in like --

ASHER: Or you could stay home.

HARLOW: -- the rest of the world or you could stay home which is what I might do.

Zain, thank you. Happy new year. ASHER: Of course. Happy new year.

HARLOW: All right. Coming up, you got to see this. A reporter faints on live television but wait until you see her reaction. That is straight ahead.


HARLOW: Welcome back to EARLY START.

Here is a story about getting the job done no matter what. Brooke Graham, a Salt Lake City reporter for CNN affiliate KUTV was doing a live interview on cross-country skis when she suddenly passed out cold with her skis still on. But guess what? Without missing a beat, she gets up, finishes the interview. Afterwards, she blogged about it and said she's known to faint in high altitudes, and when it gets too cold, said she is going to the doctor to get it checked out but what an amazing recovery, finishes the whole segment there.

Talking about getting the job done. We're going to have her live on "NEW DAY" at 8:30 a.m. Eastern so you want to stay tuned for that.

All right. That's it for me. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's freezing. I've learned layers so I'm all layered up.


MICHAEL PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: The big chill. An icy finish to 2013. The Midwest and northeast hitting brutal lows, millions set to celebrate outside in the vicious cold. But next, a possible nor'easter? We are live in a blustery Times Square.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now. Look at this. A massive fireball as a freight train explodes in North Dakota. Thousands being evacuated. The big question, is the air there now toxic?

PEREIRA: In dispute. Payton Manning broke the record Sunday for the most passing yards in a season or did he? What this video shows that may overturn the record.

Your NEW DAY starts right now.

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

PEREIRA: Welcome to NEW DAY. You're looking at Auckland, New Zealand, where it is about to be New Year's Day.

BERMAN: There it is.

PEREIRA: Happy New Year.


PEREIRA: Happy New Year, New Zealand. You could see that the fireworks came out of the top of that famous sky tower. They've got an LED clock around the countdown so people all around the city could participate in the countdown.

We wanted to just start out our show with a happy new year from the other side of the world. We thought it would be kind of fun and also gave John Berman a chance to wear his special glasses. 55 degrees we're told in Auckland.

BERMAN: It's a balmy 55 degrees in Auckland.

PEREIRA: It's a balmy.

BERMAN: You know, 4.4 million people in New Zealand. We don't know how many hobbits but some hobbits also. They're celebrating all over the shire this new year, 2014 for Frodo and Bilbo and friends. And as we all know, Gandalf is an expert with the fireworks so --

PEREIRA: He is. He's actually a bit of an expert for many years back, if you will.

BERMAN: He is.

PEREIRA: We're going to actually take a look at some of the celebrations throughout the morning because we thought this would be the best way to end 2013.