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Top 10 Stories of 2013; And...She's Down; Impact Your World; Miracle Dog Gets His Day

Aired December 31, 2013 - 08:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: The list of things she wants to buy here, in addition to the salad makings, French bread and ice cream, she has limes and lemons at the very tippy top of the list there.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN HOST: It might be for lemonade and limeade or not.

BERMAN: That's going to be some party.


Let's go to Antarctica. Looks like the 74 people stranded on a ship there will be ringing in the New Year there in Antarctica. This new video shows that they're trying to make the best of it, in a holiday tent. They're singing.

PEREIRA: A holiday tent, how festive.

BERMAN: It's a New Year's holiday tent.

Meanwhile, a planned helicopter airlift is on hold until the weather clears up. The Russian research vessel has been icebound, literally, since Christmas Eve. Three attempts on breaking through with Ice breaking ships have failed. Matthew Chance has been covering this for us in London.

Matthew, what's the latest?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: John, it looks like they're having a pretty good time down there, doesn't it? They might be sorry when it's all over. But that's OK because it's not quite over yet for them.

In fact, the rescue teams have abandoned all plans at this point to reach their vessel by sea, with ice breakers. The packed ice is simply too thick for them to cut through. Instead, they've got a new plan; the only plan that's going to work, they say, which is to airlift them off by helicopter. Of course, they have to wait for the weather conditions to change before they can do that.


CHANCE (voice-over): This morning, new video. Dozens of passengers walking arm in arm, doing what they can to speed their rescue. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've just learned the (INAUDIBLE) can't reach us. So we're (INAUDIBLE) preparing the helipad by getting the team to stomp down the snow and ice so the Chinese helicopter and snowjackers (ph) can reach us when the weather improves.

CHANCE (voice-over): Weather conditions are not expecting to get better until at least one more day. Meantime, the crew has marked the spot in the ice where the chopper can land.

Once it does, it will transport 12 people at a time to a Chinese ice breaker, then a barge will ferry them from the ice breaker to another ship from Australia. The stranded research ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy had set out to study climate change in Antarctica and retrace the steps of explorer Douglas Mawson, who studied life on the frozen continent a century ago. But they got stuck in thick ice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is big chunks of ice. Really thick. Lots of years' worth of growth. And you just notice for all we're in trouble here. This is not going to be easy to get through.

CHANCE (voice-over): Since Christmas, three separate ice breaker ships have tried and failed to cut a path to the research vessel. Once the rescue does happen, the skeleton crew will be left behind. But for most of the 74 people marooned, this Antarctic ordeal may soon be coming to an end.


CHANCE: All right, John. We're keeping a close eye on the weather conditions down there. At the moment, we're told the winds are far too high for the helicopter to operate safely. They're stuck still on board that boat.

BERMAN: Let's hope things calm down so those people can get out. Matthew Chance in London for us, thank you so much.

PEREIRA: Next up on NEW DAY, they are stories that made a difference, stories that touched us, they gave us hope. We're going to run down the top 10 stories of 2013 as ranked by you, our viewers.

BERMAN: And you have to look at this. A reporter passes out during a live interview. But it's what she does right after that, I have to tell you, is remarkable. She is OK and she will join us live this morning to talk about this. Stay with us.



PEREIRA: Speaking on behalf of the NEW DAY (INAUDIBLE), one of the things that we love so much about our viewers, the NEW DAY family, is that you are really engaged in the show. We asked you and you voted the top 10 stories of the year as ranked by you, our viewers, stories that impacted the world, stories that moved us all to tears, that maybe filled us with hope.

We have been following them all year long and we'll surely see many, many more in 2014. Alina Machado has the list.


ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Topping off your top 10 of 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act. The 5-4 vote paved the way for same-sex couples who were legally married to receive the same federal benefits given to heterosexual couples.

Number nine, we go to Cleveland, Ohio, and this unforgettable call for help.

AMANDA BERRY, KIDNAP SURVIVOR: I've been kidnapped. And I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here. I'm free now.

MACHADO (voice-over): Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight rescued after years of captivity inside this house of horrors. Ariel Castro, sentenced to life in prison, later killed himself.

The Syrian civil war sits at number eight. The use of chemical weapons during the conflict gets the world's attention. More than 100,000 have been killed since 2011.

Next Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines, the monster storm one of the most powerful to ever hit land anywhere in the world kills more than 6,000.

Your choice for number six, Obamacare.


MACHADO (voice-over): Administration officials responding to criticism after the launch of, which was plagued with problems and glitches.

Number five, the third longest government shutdown in U.S. history, 800,000 federal employees furloughed, federal museums and parks closed for 16 days.

One of the largest security breaches ever sits at four. Edward Snowden leaks documents showing the NSA was bulk collecting phone records and e-mail and Internet traffic of virtually all Americans.

He was born in South Africa, but belonged to the world. The death of Nelson Mandela is number three. The world comes together to mourn the 95-year old and remember his life, a symbol of the struggle against racial oppression.

The tragic end to the Boston Marathon is next. Three people killed, more than 260 wounded after two bombs explode near the finish line. The hunt for the two suspects gripped the nation for days.

And at number one, the rise of Pope Francis, the 266th pontiff, the first from Latin America, capturing the world's imagination with his stunning acts of compassion and his mission to transform the Catholic Church. His remarkable year also landing him the title of "Time" magazine's Person of the Year and your choice for the top story of 2013 -- Alina Machado, CNN, Atlanta.


PEREIRA: Remarkable how the stories aren't just stories that have been of tragedy and devastation, but also stories that are hopeful and forward thinking.

BERMAN: Well, I was glad to see that Pope Francis is number one.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, a good positive.

PEREIRA: Exactly.


PEREIRA: If you want to look at the stories more in-depth, you can go to They'll live there for a while.

BERMAN: Next up for us on NEW DAY, you can't keep a good reporter down. Brooke Graham was on the job when she fainted. This video has gone viral. So many people are talking about this. I got to say, it is a reporter's worst nightmare. The great news, she is OK. She got right back up; she went right back to work. And she is here to talk to us about the whole thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at her. Atta girl.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) when we come back.




BERMAN: This song will have deep meaning for you in one second. The show must go on, as they say. One Salt Lake City reporter took that phrase to heart Saturday when she encountered some, let's call them, difficulties during a live interview. You have to see this.


BROOKE GRAHAM, TV REPORTER: Hi, you guys. I'm here with Richard and Katie from the Utah Nordic Alliance of Utah and you guys are teaching me how to cross country ski. So give us some space.

OK. Yes.

Now I'm going to toss it back to you guys. I just slipped and fell but we'll have more but tell people the basics of coming up here and paying $7.


BERMAN: You can see it right there. Just after she faints, like a champ, Brooke Graham comes back, finishing the live interview while sitting in the snow. And you can see Brooke Graham joins us now live from Salt Lake City.

Thank you so much for being with us. And let me just make sure: promise us you're OK.

GRAHAM: I am great. Good morning, you guys.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What an attitude you had.

BERMAN: So what happened there? Explain to me what you were feeling and exactly what went on.

GRAHAM: OK. So, I could feel myself getting a little sick. I tried to warn the producer before they came to me. Hey, I'm not feeling so hot, but she didn't hear me. I heard them tossing to me and I just decided, OK, let's see if I can do this. Obviously, you saw how far I got. But I just went right down, like a tree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you feeling flu-like symptoms? Have you fainted before?

GRAHAM: Yes. So, I have passed out due to altitude before. When I've gone skiing downhill, I have, in the middle of the hill, passed out before. So I kind of felt those same kinds of things happening to me and I kind of knew what was coming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the things we've been talking about, Brooke, is just how amazingly you popped back up and just were able to continue on.

PEREIRA: And covered it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was going through your mind when you woke up?

GRAHAM: Well, thank you. When I woke up my first thought was, how did I end up on the ground and how did I get here?

My second thought I saw the camera pointed at my face and decided OK, I better keep going.

BERMAN: Go on with the interview here.

PEREIRA: It was incredible how quickly you recover.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we also want to know is how come your co- anchors were laughing at you.

(LAUGHTER) GRAHAM: OK. So if they actually didn't see any of it. They were outside. So they just heard me say oh, I just slipped and fell. So they were laughing at that. They didn't actually have a screen or monitor to watch. They're not as cold-hearted as you think.


BERMAN: You didn't skip a beat. You didn't skip a beat. You kept on going there. I can't believe how those questions kept popping into your mind there.

PEREIRA: That's a consummate professional, darling.

BERMAN: The guy you were interviewing, who, by the way, he looked concern, he looked like he was there to help you.

What did he say afterwards?

GRAHAM: He did. He checked my pupils and made sure I was OK. He, Richard, who was with me that morning, handled the situation so gracefully. And I'm so glad he was the person that got to deal with everything. He was just great. He made sure I was doing well.

PEREIRA: You know you've gone viral, right?

GRAHAM: I do. I have to say it's a really weird feeling to be a viral video.


PEREIRA: On the other side of the news for once, right?

GRAHAM: I am. It's a different feeling, for sure.

BERMAN: Is it a triumphant feeling? We've now seen this, I have to say, about 20 times this morning. The thing that gets me is you hear the thump.

PEREIRA: I know.

BERMAN: Do you feel -- are you proud now that you made it through it or does this make you cringe?

GRAHAM: I think -- well, I can't stop laughing when I watch it myself. So I am just fine with people giggling a little bit when they see it. I think it just catches people off guard because that's the last thing you think you'll see when you turn on the TV is somebody just going straight down.

PEREIRA: Well, here is the deal. Brooke Graham. Remember that name. And news directors in larger markets that are at lower elevations.

BERMAN: That's right.

PEREIRA: Please hire this woman. She is a consummate professional. Gets right back up when she is down. Thanks for sharing your story with us today.

GRAHAM: Thanks, you guys. Good talking with you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Happy New Year to you, Brooke.

GRAHAM: You, too.

PEREIRA: She had to make a phone call to Mom and Dad, too, to let her -- if they were watching live (INAUDIBLE).


PEREIRA: Yes. Absolutely.

We want to turn now to a celebrity who is trying to help when she's not shooting her hit TV show "Elementary." Lucy Liu takes on another role, UNICEF ambassador. The actress recently visited Syrian refugee families in Lebanon and says there's much you can do to change their futures.


LUCY LIU, ACTOR AND UNICEF AMBASSADOR: Hi. I'm Lucy Liu. We can make an impact for Syrian children.

There's a civil war going on that is creating absolute pandemonium and people are fleeing into Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. These children are suffering. They have lice, scabies and they have lost family. They can't go to school. They're not getting the medical attention they need. They're not getting the nutrition they need. There will be a lost generation of children if this continues.

Children deserve to have a childhood. What happens on the other side of the world isn't just their business, it's our business, because we share the same water. We share the same environment.

If we understand that, we are actually one community. Then it makes the world so much smaller and much more tangible for people to understand.

UNICEF is currently desperate for donations for Syria. It's our duty as human beings to give back.

Join the movement. Impact your world.


PEREIRA: Great work.

BERMAN: So nice to see the smiles on the faces of the kids there. And I really hope we can see many, many more.

PEREIRA: Many more.

Good work, Lucy. Next up on NEW DAY, a miracle dog gets his due, earning a place of honor in a New Year's Day tradition after surviving really against the odds. He will join us with his owner live from Pasadena, next.




PEREIRA: Well, a very special thing happening tomorrow at the Rose Parade, an annual tradition in America. A miracle dog will finally get his day. There he is. That's a little beagle mix, only 6 months old when he was scheduled to be put down in Florence, Alabama, back in 2011, but he survived miraculously.

They named him Daniel, after the Biblical figure who survived in the lion's den. Daniel found a home with John Joe Dwyer, a motivational speaker from New Jersey. Tomorrow they both will ride on the Lucy Pet Foundation float in the Rose Parade for New Year's Day.

Joining us from beautiful and sunny and rose-filled Pasadena are Joe Dwyer and the miracle dog himself, Daniel.

Good to see you both. Hello, Daniel. Hello, Joe.

JOE DWYER, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER: Good morning. Thanks for having us here. We're thrilled to be here.

PEREIRA: We just heard of Daniel's amazing survival story, of surviving being put down.

And how did he get to be with you? How did you adopt him?

DWYER: Well, we were very fortunate to meet the criteria of 11th hour rescue, which was to have a home with other rescue dogs, and have ample time and ability for him to exercise and things like that.

We met their criteria and are happy to balance his life with being a dog, having a family and doing what we're doing, trying to spread the message for the Lucy Pet Foundation now.

BERMAN: I love looking at him right now, gazing off camera right now, looking for a snack.

How is he doing? Do you know how he managed to survive? What did he go through?

DWYER: Well, he went through up to 30 minutes in a gas chamber with probably 17 other dogs and, miraculously, he survived. There have been many accounts of how that happened but at least from my perspective, this is a dog who is so upbeat and has such a great attitude. And now I think he knows his mission. That's how I believe he survived.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He obviously had a will to live. BERMAN: Now he's taking a rest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he, obviously, is a tough little guy.

Tell us more about Daniel. Obviously, he is a sweetheart, by the looks of things.

Has he got a funky personality or is he kind of Mr. Mellow?

DWYER: No, he has a great personality. He's just wonderful to be around. And, you know, I think one of the important things to realize is that there are 80,000 Daniels that take the form of loving dogs and cats in our country every week that lose their life. And we want to put a stop to that.

And the Lucy Pet Foundation is wonderful. We're here. We're hosted by them on their float in the Rose Parade. They are all about spay and neuter. They are all about trying to end the horrific gas chamber and we want to make sure that other Daniels -- like I said, those many every week that lose their life -- end up in loving families.

And the Lucy Pet Foundation and Daniel and I are ready to make that happen.

PEREIRA: Well, Joe, we see the beautiful, beautifully decorated float behind you. We know countless volunteers spent many, many hours decorating that beautiful float and others just like it, that we'll see on New Year's Day. Tell us about what will happen with you and Daniel aboard that float tomorrow.

What are people going to see?

DWYER: Well, we're really looking forward to it. It certainly will be an experience. The Lucy Pet Foundation float is absolutely spectacular, as you can see it behind me. It's taken an incredible turn over the last couple of days with many volunteers working on it.

We, along with other rescue dogs that will be performing here on the float, will be riding through the streets of Pasadena in the Tournament of Roses Parade. We'll be waving to the crowd and trying to bring an awareness to all the things I mentioned before. The theme of the Tournament of Roses parade is "Dreams Come True."

PEREIRA: Oh, wow!

DWYER: To make this happen for companion animals.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) that for sure.

Do you have any tricks? What's he going to do on that float? How are you getting ready?

DWYER: Well, Daniel has a couple of tricks. He's certainly not as accomplished as the dogs that you'll see on the float with him. They're wonderful, too. But he has two tricks that are very important. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you show us?

DWYER: He does a high five to keep his friends alive.

We can try.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's early in Pasadena this morning.


DWYER: Daniel, Daniel, high five. High five. High five. Good boy.



PEREIRA: I love it.

Well, Joe --

DWYER: He also does a happy dance for Lucy Pet, but --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like he may have to save that for tomorrow.


PEREIRA: Well, we want to say a big thank you to you, Joe Dwyer and Daniel. A real miracle story he has. A tremendous dog and tremendous story. We hope you guys have a great time tomorrow. It's an annual tradition for Pasadena and for America.

Thank you so much for joining us, Joe.

BERMAN: A big high five to both of you.

DWYER: Well, we -- oh, thank you very much. We appreciate being on today. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be well. Happy New Year.


PEREIRA: I have to tell you, I'm having just a twinge seeing that. I've been part of the Rose Parade for many, many years. Hello to all my California friends who are watching. It's a great tradition. So be sure to tune in tomorrow.


BERMAN: Happy New Year from all of us here at NEW DAY. Be safe, everyone. It is time now for NEWSROOM. (INAUDIBLE).


BERMAN: Kyra Phillips in for Carol Costello. Take it away.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: (INAUDIBLE) our old stomping grounds. Michaela, that's right. The Rose Bowl parade, covering it. Smelling those flowers in that warehouse.

OK, Berman. Unless you do the happy dance. OK?


PHILLIPS: Oh, I'm so jealous. Happy New Year, guys. NEWSROOM starts right now.


PHILLIPS: Here's what's happening right now in the NEWSROOM. Firefighters are battling flames after an explosive train crash in North Dakota. Thousands of people are urged to evacuate as smoke and fumes threaten that town right now.

And New Year's deep freeze.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've got lots of layers and we'll just keep together and we're going to have a good time.

PHILLIPS (voice-over): Temps plunging into the teens tonight and tomorrow? Well, the snow comes then. That's not stopping the New Year's celebrations though as we ring in 2014.