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"Duck Dynasty" Star Ruffles Feathers Again; Skype, Snapchat Hit By Hackers; NHL Winter Classic; NFL Team In Wrongful Death Suit

Aired January 2, 2014 - 06:30   ET


JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: So this is the concern as we go through the late evening hours into the morning hours tomorrow, very, very heavy snow is expected, very gusty winds. We could see winds 35 to 45 miles per hour per hour. When you have snow like that, winds as strong as 30 and 40 miles an hour, that's where we could possibly see the whiteout conditions.

It is going to be very, very dangerous. Visibility could be down to less than quarter mile in places like Boston. There's blizzard warnings in effect for the cape as well as Long Island.

So temperatures now, you bet it is cold. Seven is what is feels like here in Boston, with the actual temperature about 19 degrees. And ass we go through the next 36 hours or so, we could see a foot of snow here in Boston, six to 10 inches of snow possible in New York City. Then, as you travel down to the South, around Washington, D.C. or so, we could pick up about one to three inches there.

Look at these wind chills for tomorrow morning. In Boston, could feel like 15 degrees below zero. That's the wind chill, actual temperatures will be in the single digits for the next couple of days across much of the Northeast.

We finally start to warm up. I use that term loosely. We're talking about the 20s by the end of the weekend.

So the winds will also be a problem as we mentioned tonight into early tomorrow morning is when we're expecting it to be the worst. We're going to see winds about 35 to 45 miles per hour and then gradually improving, guys, as we get into the afternoon hours tomorrow. It is going to be a major headache for folks trying to travel over the next couple of days. In fact, schools here in Boston, much of them already closed for Friday.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Make your plans to stay inside and do nothing right now. Think ahead.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, especially because she talks about the fact that it's only going to warm up to the 20s. So, that means the snow that falls is going to stay. So, it will make for a messy weekend to begin with, too.

BERMAN: And the snow so fine, like Michaela Pereira.

PEREIRA: Wow. He is too much. Our John Berman.

BERMAN: A lot of other news happening this morning.

So fine, Ana Cabrera is here with that as well.


ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: I have fine news, breaking news this morning but it is good news.

All of the passengers stranded on that ship in Antarctica have been rescued. A helicopter airlifted a dozen passengers at a time early this morning from that research vessel as they had a brief break in the weather. Fifty-two scientists and tourists dropped off on an ice floe next to an Australian ice breaker, and a small boat will take them to the bigger ship. The ice breaker will carry them to Tasmania, arriving by mid-January. So a journey still ahead.

Minneapolis firefighters hoping to get inside this now burnt-out apartment building today. There's a possibility they could find some bodies inside this building. It exploded. It caught fire yesterday. Look at the fireball. At least 14 were hurt, six of them critically. Officials say some people jumped from third floor windows to escape. The fire chief says it's still unclear how many tenants could be missing and there's no word yet on what caused the blast.

In North Dakota, federal investigators say they have found a broken axle at the scene of Monday's train crash but they're still not sure if it caused the derailment. Several cars loaded with oil caught fire, creating a huge, thick plume of black smoke, leading to evacuation of hundreds of people in that area because of fears of toxic fumes. No one was hurt. Investigators plan to overview an interview the train crews today.

A special delivery for a woman in Illinois. Listen to this, Elaine Church opened a Christmas package and then realized there was a second box enclosed that wasn't for her. When she went to see who it was from, you look closely, you can see the names Sasha and Malia Obama. It turns out the first daughters had sent photos of the first family to their god mother, but it got dropped off at the wrong home. Church says she will put it in the mail for the godmother today.

And a heartwarming story out of Maryland -- a mom and dad welcoming twins born a year apart. One was born in 2013, the other in 2014. Lorraine Begazo was born at 11:58 p.m. on New Year's Eve and her twin brother, Brandon was born three minutes later at 12:01, right after ringing in the New Year.

The couple already has an 18-year-old son. They say they're happy the big brother has a chance to be an uncle someday. A happy New Year for that family. How fun is it that the two kids who are twins have their own birthdays.

PEREIRA: And likely, the boy was the first baby of the New Year. too, at that hospital.

CABRERA: Oh, yes, 12:01. Most likely.

BERMAN: Welcome to the magical world of multiples, folks.

CABRERA: Yes, you have twins, that's right.

BERMAN: Good luck.

All right. The folks at "Duck Dynasty" say it is time to move on. Star Phil Robertson was suspended last month for his comments that a lot of people saw as anti-gay and racially insensitive. Last Friday his nine-day suspension was lifted and he missed a grand total of zero days of filming.

Now, in a new interview, his son says it's all in the past, even as some new comments have come to light that have raised a whole lot of eyebrows.

CNN's Pamela Brown joins us now.


Yes, this is another controversy for the network and for the family to address, just a few days after A&E lifted its suspension of "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson, the star is ruffling feathers once again -- this time for an online video that shows Robertson suggesting it's a good idea to marry teenage girls.


BROWN (voice-over): Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E's hit show "Duck Dynasty" is starting out the New Year with a new controversy. A video has surfaced of Robertson from 2009 in which he advises men to marry women at a very young age.

PHIL ROBERTSON, DUCK DYNASTY: You wait until they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that's going to take place is your pocket. You have to marry these girls when they're 15 or 16, they'll pick your ducks.

BROWN: Robertson married his own wife Kaye when she was just 16 and he was 20.

MIKE PAUL, PR CONSULTANT: What is the tipping point to get it kicked off the air? The answer thus far is nothing. There are more and more people who are watching the show and more and more people who are buying their products to show support.

BROWN: The family has been the center of a media firestorm, since comments Robertson made in an interview with "G.Q." magazine in which he discussed his opinions on African-Americans and gays, describing homosexuality as against nature, saying, "It's not logical, my man. It's just not logical."

A&E suspended Robertson from filming and Robertson issued an apology. After a flurry of online support, the network reinstated him to the show, saying they decided to resume filming "Duck Dynasty" later this spring with the entire Robertson family.

Phil Robertson's son Willie addressed his father's initial comments on FOX News, during its New Year's Eve coverage.

WILLIE ROBERTSON, STAR, "DUCK DYNASTY: I think we all learned a lot. We're just ready to move on. The family is happy and we're ready to go.

BROWN: A lot of this may have come down to money. With 14 million viewers per episode, "Duck Dynasty" is A&E's top-rated show and "Forbes" magazine estimates their endorsements and merchandise brought in $400 million in 2013.

PAUL: Ultimately, it comes down to audience, because the advertisers and the interest groups are all going to follow what the audience says. What the audience has said thus far is we like the guy.


BROWN: And CNN's attempt for comment from A&E and the Robertson family about that latest video were unsuccessful. A lot of the show's fans say they're not surprised by the various videos that have emerged since the show from the start has been about Robertsons as a backwoods Louisiana family.

New episodes of the show, meantime, scheduled to air starting on January 15th.

PEREIRA: I predict it's not the last we've heard of it.

BERMAN: That's the thing -- are there more videos out there?

BROWN: Yes. We shall see.

PEREIRA: All right. Pamela, thank you so much.

BROWN: Thank you.

PEREIRA: We're going to take a short break here.

Up next, hacked. Two popular social media platforms have been targets of a massive security breach. Millions of users' personal information have been leaked online.

BERMAN: And the family of an NFL player who killed his girlfriend and himself has filed legal documents in a wrongful death suit. Hear why the family says the team -- the team -- is to blame for the killings.


BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone.

A massive security breach reportedly affecting millions of people at two popular social media sites. I'm talking about Snapchat and Skype.

Business correspondent Alison Kosik is here with what you need to know.

Alison, let's start with Snapchat here. What happened?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: OK. So, 4.6 million users accounts were hacked into, we found this out by the hacking group called Snapchat DB, meaning data base, dot-info. They put up this Web site saying, happy New Year. We hacked in and got your phone numbers and your usernames, and if anyone wants to download all this information, we've got it for you.

So, that's basically what was presented. Why are they doing this? Snapchat DB saying security and privacy should be of utmost important to Snapchat. This group feeling that's not happening.

So basically this group trying to raise awareness that Snapchat really needs to close these gaps in security. And this group even putting a statement saying, "The company was too reluctant at patching the exploit until they knew it was too late and companies that we trust with our information should be careful when dealing with it."

So more like a red flag saying, hey, this is what's going on, we're capable of hacking.

PEREIRA: Meanwhile over at Skype, a similar situation here or a different kind of hack that went on?

KOSIK: There was a different kind of hack. So, this was done by the Syrian electronic army. And it said it hacked into Skype's social media account. It hacked into Twitter and Facebook posting messages. And this is a group that's attacked -- cyber-attacked the BBC and "The New York Times" in the past.

And this was apparently linked to the revelations in the past year from Edward Snowden, that Skype was part of the NSA monitoring service, quote, "spying on Americans."

Now, Skype is owned by Microsoft. So, what this group wound up doing was posting information of Steve Ballmer. He's the retiring chief executive of Microsoft. So, it posted his contact information but then went ahead and went on Facebook and Twitter and said things like Skype is monitoring your accounts and selling the data to government.

Now, Skype came out about nine hours, releasing its own statement, saying the following in a tweet, "You may have noticed our social media properties were targeted today. No user information compromised. We're sorry for the inconvenience."

You know, these two things really bring to light just how easy it is to register on to sites like this and how easy it is for hackers to get in. So it makes you think twice.

PEREIRA: And can users trust that what they're saying, your information has not been compromised, can they trust that?

KOSIK: I don't know if they can really trust it. If these hackers have a way of getting in once, I think they can get in twice. BERMAN: Alison Kosik, thanks so much. A lot to think about.

PEREIRA: Let's do that over the break, shall we?

BERMAN: Think about it? Or Snapchat and each other?


PEREIRA: OK, there we go.

Coming up in the news, the family of an NFL player who went on a deadly rampage is now suing his team. Why they say the team is to blame for the killings.


BERMAN: All right. What a game it was. Michigan State capping off a dream season, winning the Rose Bowl yesterday. It happened late, beating Stanford in the 100th edition of the granddaddy of them all. Andy Scholes joins us now with the "Bleacher Report." Good morning, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey. Good morning, guys. You know, the Spartans, they surprised a lot of people this year. And with this win over fifth rank Stanford, they really proved that they belong among the elite college football programs in the country. At a 100th edition of the Rose Bowl, definitely lived all the hype. The game was tied in the fourth quarter until Connor Cook found Tony Lippett for a 25-yard touchdown.

That put Michigan State up by seven. And then, their top rated defense did the rest on fourth and one for Stanford, the Spartans come through with a huge stop. Check out Tyler Ellsworth flying in for the tackle. Michigan State win 24-20. Check out head coach, Mark Dantonio, he sniffed out that Gatorade bath that they have to avoid it(ph). He got to celebrate with some dry clothes on.

All right. In a lineup section of today, check out this highlight from the Fiesta Bowl, Baylor quarterback, Bryce Petty, running for the touchdown. He goes airborne and flips in for the score. The best part about it is the reaction from his mom in the stands. She looked a little scared. Petty would be fine, but his Bears (ph) would be upset by Central Florida 52-42.

More than 105,000 tickets were sold for yesterday's NHL winner classic at the big house in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Now, this could be a new world record. They have to actually count how many people went into the game before calling it a record. Either way, it's impressive considering the conditions.

The game time temperature was 13 degrees with a wind chill of negative 1. Play was actually stopped twice in the first period so crews could shovel snow off the ice. And fans to this one were actually treated to some extra hockey. The game would end up in a shoot-out. The Maple Leafs went into beating the Red Wings, 3-2. But how about that, guys? Nearly 105,000 people at a hockey game. I don't even know if you could see the clock where most people were sitting, but I guess, this was all about being at a game outside, 13 degrees, snowing.

PEREIRA: Reminds me growing up in Canada. You have to shovel the ice rink off before you can skate on it. Andy Scholes -- I didn't play. Trust me, you didn't want that.


PEREIRA: Thanks so much for that. Happy new year to you.


We have another sports story, serious one here. The mother of former Kansas City Chief's linebacker, Jovan Belcher, who shot his girlfriend and the took his own life last December, the mother has filed a wrongful death suit against the team on Tuesday claiming that Belcher was suffering from concussion-related brain injuries when he went on a rampage. We want to bring in HLN legal analyst, Joey Jackson right now.

And Joey, you know, we all know that concussions are serious health issue in the NFL. We know that it's a financial issue in the NFL with a big settlement right now.


BERMAN: The question is, is this now also a legal issue the way this mother is saying? What kind of case does she have?

JACKSON: It could be, John, but it's problematic for a number of reasons, and let's start here. In any wrongful death action, you're looking at four things, duty, breach, causation, damages. What does that mean? Did the team owe him a legal duty? Of course, they did. Did they breach that duty? That's going to be litigated and was their breach the cause of his death? That's damages to the last portion.

Now, here's the problem here, John. Even if you could establish that it's this CTE, right, this chronic traumatic brain injury that they're alleging, you know, that he may have had, they're going to exhume the body. They're going to make a determinations as to whether he had the CTE, but even if he did, could you say that that was the result and that's what caused him, right, to engage in this behavior which is, of course, to tragically kill his girlfriend and then himself.

Were there other alternatives that that would be likely? There were reports, of course, that he was arguing and that led up to this. There are reports that they had some domestic violence relationship. There are also reports that the autopsy established that he had the toxicology report, of course, said that he had over twice the legal limit in Missouri of alcohol in his system. So, whether the alternative reasons is to why he engaged in this behavior having nothing to do with the CTE. That's the issue. BERMAN: -- because she's going after the team, not the league. This is not a class -- she's going after that the team saying that the team did specific things, took specific actions forcing him on the field.

JACKSON: Right. You know, that's always a question of fact. And in the event that they did, John, the other issue is you assume the risk to some degree when you play football. Everyone knows it's a very violent and dangerous sport. So as a result of that, people are compensate that these athletes, world-class athletes are compensated very well as a result of putting themselves in harm's way.

And so, "A," was the team on notice as to any injuries that he suffered? "BERMAN," if they were on notice, did they alert him to the fact there were any risks or dangers, and as a result of that, did he play nonetheless? So, there's a lot of questions here.

PEREIRA: We just saw the class action lawsuit in August through some of the former NFL players --

JACKSON: Oh, did you, Michaela? Sure.

PEREIRA: You know? Would that have any effect on this case?

JACKSON: You know, I think it has the effect to the extent that people on notice that the NFL, you know, there's this whole concussion-related issue, the issue of whether or not, you know what, when you're playing for the NFL, are there safety measures that are appropriately in place? And I think people are sensitive to that issue. Will it directly affect it and as much as they'll issue an award because of this, that's an open question. But I think --

PEREIRA: But the tone will be there, right?

JACKSON: Exactly. But it's a lawsuit that's fraught with difficulties because of this causation issue. Was it the CTE that led to Mr. Belcher engaging in the act of killing his girlfriend and then turning the gun on himself?

CABRERA: And the issue of concussions, of course, has been something we've been talking about for a long time. So perhaps, if nothing else, this helps to create a safer environment maybe in the long run.

JACKSON: You know, in the long run. That's always a very good issue, because there's always policy reasons behind lawsuits as well. It's not only about money, but it's about protecting the next person. But even here, you're hard pressed to know, if they do find, and of course, they're exhuming the body, they'll do the study and they'll say, remember, he shot himself in the head.

So was the brain appropriately preserved? Was it not? Could they detect the CTE? But if anything in the long run were unnoticed, that of course, brain and traumatic injuries repetitive, degenerative, you know, injuries are tough and maybe the NFL, Ana, takes appropriate measures, more so than they're doing now to protect their players.

BERMAN: Joey Jackson, thank you so much. An issue everyone is talking about.

JACKSON: Pleasure and privilege. Thank you.

PEREIRA: All right. Happy New Year.

JACKSON: Same to you.

PEREIRA: Time to our "Must-See Moment." Something a little lighter.


PEREIRA (voice-over): You know, we've been talking about some of the woes U.P.S. has been having lately. Oh, this may be why they've been having some issues. A few hospital workers got quite the show when a wild turkey, not the type in the bottle, but an actual one, stalked a UPS driver. The bird may have been venting some of his (INAUDIBLE).

It was actually FedEx. My bad. My bad. That's FedEx. Of course. The driver tried to get away from the bird by hiding behind a FedEx truck. No, it was a UPS driver hiding behind the FedEx truck. That's what it was. But the bird was pretty persistent and wasn't letting up easily. Another person actually came to the driver's rescue and chased the turkey away but not before the hospital workers got a good laugh.

BERMAN (voice-over): The turkey did not give up, by the way, chased the driver around and around. Obviously, a problem with overnight delivery for that turkey.


CABRERA: That turkey said payback.

PEREIRA: Payback, exactly.


BERMAN (on-camera): All right. Next up for us on NEW DAY, blizzard warning, snow emergencies. What a way to start the New Year. We will have the latest on the storm that millions of people are now facing.

PEREIRA: Plus, he was declared legally dead a year ago, but the FBI had a hunch, a banker wanted for fraud was still alive. Guess what, their hunch was right.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seems like it's been snowing since winter got here.

PEREIRA (on-camera): Happening now, a monster storm bearing down on the Midwest and northeast. 2,000 flights already canceled, more than a foot of snow in major cities. But the subzero temperatures that follow may be even worse. BERMAN: Breaking overnight, finally -- I mean finally -- rescue operations have begun in Antarctica. Passengers aboard that stranded ship now being helicoptered out. But their journey to safety is just beginning. We're live with the latest.

PEREIRA: Back from the dead? The bizarre story of an allegedly swindling banker who was thought to be dead but has now turned up alive. You will not believe how they got him.

Your NEW DAY starts right now.

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


PEREIRA: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It is the 2nd day of January, 2014. It is seven o'clock in the east. Chris and Kate are off, but John Berman and Ana Cabrera are here with us today. We are going to talk about weather. Mother Nature is back from her holiday. This New Year is already off to a bitterly cold start.

Look at these expected lows yourself for tonight. The cold is half the equation. It's the major snowstorm that is the rest.

BERMAN: Massachusetts, one of 18 states with some sort of winter weather advisory in effect. Boston has already declared a snow emergency, canceled school for tomorrow already.