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NEW DAY SATURDAY
NSA Changes; Shooting in Philadelphia; Weather Forecast; Retailers Warned; Wrong Airport Landing; Bleacher Report; Drought in California Threatens State's Agriculture, Water Supply; Mississippi Man Pleads Guilty to Sending Ricin-Laced Letters to President Obama; Two Small Planes Colliding on Runway in San Jose
Aired January 18, 2014 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just so flabbergasted by how a child or whoever was able to bring a gun to school.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Another school shooting leaves two students injured and the suspect still on the loose. This morning, a manhunt in Philadelphia.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Cities are rationing water, ranchers are selling their cattle, clerics (ph) are praying for rain. It is the worst drought California's seen in 100 years and all of us are likely going to feel its effects.
BLACKWELL: You know this one. It's "Kill Bill." There's also "Django Unchained." These are some of the goriest movies of modern film. But now the man who produced them wants to send a different message. Why Harvey Weinstein is taking on the NRA.
Your NEW DAY starts now.
PAUL: Hey, you are up early, aren't you, but we're glad to see you. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: It's a pleasure to be with you. I'm Victor Blackwell. 6:00 here on the East Coast. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.
And this morning, we're starting with a big, national conversation about privacy, your privacy, and President Obama setting limits and guidelines for how the federal government handles your phone and e- mail records.
PAUL: Yes, I mean more than six months after Edward Snowden shocked the world with revelations of just how far U.S. spy operations reach into your life, the president now calling for changes to the most controversial snooping programs, but he's hardly backing off the need for high-tech spying at home and across the globe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are expected to protect the American people. That requires us to have capabilities in this field.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Our chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto has the latest from Washington.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi and Victor, the president said, in effect, I hear your concerns about these programs, both here in the U.S. and around the world, and he acknowledged the U.S. needs to make changes to intelligence collection to build trust damaged in the wake of Edward Snowden's revelations. But he argued that many of these programs are necessary to keep us safe and so he's going to keep them in place with new safe guards, but in place.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): After months of spirited debates sparked by the explosive revelations of Edward Snowden, the president told American he'll rein in NSA surveillance, but only to a point.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The power of new technology means that there are fewer and fewer technical constraints on what we can do. That places a special obligation on us to ask tough questions what about we should do.
SCIUTTO: The most significant changes affect the most controversial surveillance programs. Bulk collection of America's phone records. Effectively immediately, the NSA will need judicial approval before searching the data. The president asked Congress to create a panel of public advocates to counter government search requests. And he ask the attorney general and intelligence committee to explore moving the data out of NSA control. But the bottom line, the program won't necessarily end. For the NSA's most ardent critics, that would be a glaring omission.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I didn't hear any lessening of the spying on Americans or collecting records of Americans. I heard that, trust me, I'm going to put some more safe guards in place, but I'm going to keep right on collecting every Americans' records.
SCIUTTO: The president argues that much of the surveillance is just too important to scrap altogether.
OBAMA: Not only because I felt that they made us more secure, but also because nothing in that initial review and nothing that I've learned since indicated that our intelligence community has sought to violate the law.
SCIUTTO: So, do any of the changes make us less safe? PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: If these programs were stopping huge terrorist attacks, you know, maybe there should be more, you know, there should be more concern. But the fact is that these programs are not.
SCIUTTO: You do have critics on both sides, of course, Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Dianne Feinstein, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, both strong supporters of NSA collection, called the president's speech strong, but echoing the concerns of other supporters, they raised questions about judicial review of NSA searches. Their statement said, if instituted, that approval process must be made faster in the future than it was in the past when it took up to nine days to gain approval for a single search. They encouraged the White House to send legislation with the president's proposed changes to Congress so they can be fully debated. So, really, the point has been made that this is not the end of the conversation. In fact, the debate's going to continue. The president's going to have to go to Congress, the Intelligence Committee, the Justice Department, and we're going to be seeing this play out over the next weeks and months.
Victor and Christi.
BLACKWELL: Some immediate changes, some possibly in the future. Chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, thank you so much.
The other big story this morning, a school shooting suspect is on the loose.
PAUL: Police say that he opened fire in the gymnasium at Delaware Valley Charter High School. This is in Philadelphia. It happened yesterday. Two teens were shot and injured. Now, police originally thought they nabbed the suspect. They tweeted out, quote, "a suspect is in custody." However, the 17-year-old in custody has since been cleared and released.
BLACKWELL: CNN's Nick Valencia joins us now.
Nick, so are they looking now for just one suspect or more than one?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is another school shooting, guys. Just three weeks into the year, a second school shooting in the United States. It's outrageous.
Initially, they were looking for three persons of interest, Victor. One was detained briefly yesterday, he was interviewed, cleared and released. Now, one person is in custody, but they're waiting for a third person to turn themselves in later this morning. We spoke to the police. They said that was expected to happen last night. That didn't happen. They're waiting on that to happen this morning. Our local affiliate caught up with some eyewitnesses there that were just shocked by the chaos around them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, it was just chaos. It was real chaos. When I came down from the school, the girl, she was talking with her arm, looked like she got shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was like a floor with drops of blood on the floor. My friend got shot. I'm making sure he's all right. You don't expect stuff like this to really happen. It's amazing - it's crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VALENCIA: Now, there was surveillance video of the shooting, so you think that would sort of narrow it down who, in fact, police were looking for. Right now, though, they still want to talk to that teenage students. They're expecting him to turn himself in later this morning.
PAUL: OK. So we have to ask, how are the students that were shot?
VALENCIA: The good news in all of this is that they suffered non-life threatening injuries. So initially, a female student, she was shot in the arm. That same bullet traveled and hit the shoulder of another student. They are expected to survive their injuries. Police, they haven't released a motive, but they haven't ruled out that this may be accidental. So maybe this wasn't an intentional shooting. We'll find out more information later this morning when we expect that teenager to turn himself in.
BLACKWELL: You know, I look back to the late 90s I think with Columbine when this trend of school shootings started.
VALENCIA: 1999. Yes.
BLACKWELL: And it was so rare then. We're just a couple of weeks into the year and this is already the second.
VALENCIA: And this is becoming a new standard, a new norm. People are getting used to this sort of thing happening, waking up to news and headlines reading school shooting. We were talking a little while ago, Christi, a 12-year-old in New Mexico, the last school shooter. This one, again, you know we want to emphasize, it could have been accidental. This, you know, may not have been an intentional shooting. But as you mentioned, Victor, the outrage and this becoming sort of a standard in the United States.
PAUL: Well, and, yes, the fear. I mean you're just sending your kid to school for heaven's sake.
PAUL: Thank you, Nick, so much. We appreciate it.
VALENCIA: You got it. You got it.
BLACKWELL: The U.S. embassy in Kabul says two Americans were among the victims of yesterday's attack on a Lebanese restaurant. At least 21 people were killed in the bombing and the shoot-out there. And the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. It called the bombing payback for a strike in a province north of Kabul, it happened this week, that left several civilians dead.
PAUL: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie takes center stage in Florida today. He's headed south to help Governor Rick Scott raise money for his re-election campaign. Now it's going to be Christie's first political fund-raising trip since the New Jersey bridge scandal broke. And some of Christie's closest allies - advisors, I should say, among the 17 people issued subpoenas in the case this week. Officials are expected to comb through e-mails, text messages, voice mails that may be connected to last September's controversial bridge closing, as you remember it.
BLACKWELL: So many of us dealt with the cold of the last couple of weeks. We're all bundled up. Remember that scene in "A Christmas Story" where the kid's like, I can't put my arms down!
PAUL: I know.
BLACKWELL: Well, we can put on coats, but in Florida, it's been so cold that the manatees are looking for warmth.
PAUL: Yes. Yes, they found it in Jurassic Springs, apparently. Hundreds of manatee have flocked to that area and wildlife officials closed the springs yesterday to help the animals conserve energy. So this weekend, by the way, is the Manatee Festival in Crystal River. So glad that they're doing OK certainly.
How about the weekend? What's it going to look like for all of us? CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray is here with the forecast.
Please say something about warmth or temperatures going up. Something.
JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, man, it will, but just not this week. We're actually going to see another blast of arctic air and it is going to be cold across much of the country as we get into the middle part of the work week.
Right now, though, the focus is on the north. We have winter weather advisories stretched across the Northern Plains, the Ohio Valley, even a blizzard warning for northeastern portions of South Dakota. And we are going to see snow anywhere from Minneapolis, a little bit of snow possible through Chicago and then even in interior portions of the northeast. It looks like it's mainly going to be rain for New York City.
Snow amounts don't look all that impressive, but we are going to get two to four inches possibly around Chicago. Indianapolis, three to six inches around Minneapolis.
So look at these temperatures over the next couple of days. Not that far from normal over today. By tomorrow, we'll have a one-day warm-up and then temperatures go down. Minneapolis, 11 degrees. This is on Monday. And look at Tuesday, Chicago, Minneapolis, all in the single digits, guys.
BLACKWELL: Ouch (ph).
PAUL: All right, Jennifer Gray, thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Still to come on NEW DAY, it continues to unfold, this hack attack on American soil.
PAUL: Oh, my gosh, yes.
BLACKWELL: But now it could be linked to the Russian mob. We'll have details about that.
PAUL: That's like a movie it seems.
PAUL: Plus, could a deadly school shooting in Colorado have been prevented? We were just talking about all the school shootings with Nick. This would be the one we talked about. But a security guard in this case now saying he tried to warn school administrators but they wouldn't hear it, he says.
PAUL: Ahh, look at all of you waking up in New York City. Well, we're not looking at all of you.
PAUL: You're probably happy for that because I don't want you to see me waking up either.
BLACKWELL: Sure don't.
PAUL: But we're glad to have you with us. That's the hustle in Times Square right now. It is New York. So there's always some sort of a hustle somewhere, right?
BLACKWELL: Three people. But it's a little light this morning. Light hustle.
PAUL: Yes. Yes.
BLACKWELL: I don't know if that's a thing, we've got a light hustle in Times Square, New York.
PAUL: What does that look like? Feeling mild for you today, by the way. Partly cloudy in the big apple. A high of 46 degrees. Just so you can be prepared for your day.
BLACKWELL: So that company, the company in West Virginia blamed for a toxic spill that just fouled the drinking water for 300,000 people, that company is filing for bankruptcy.
PAUL: Already some people are saying, what, because this filing by Freedom Industries, of course, puts lawsuits against the company, you know it, on hold. Officials detected a 7,000 gallon leak last week.
BLACKWELL: Now, there is some good news. More than 220,000 people have been cleared to use their tap water, but an advisory is warning pregnant women to still avoid drinking that water.
PAUL: And listen to this. The U.S. government issuing a warning to retailers around the country that the hack attack on Target may only be the beginning of this whole thing.
BLACKWELL: And here's what's even more alarming. The software used in the attack could have links to the Russian mob. CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans has more on the investigation there.
Christine, good morning.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, much of what investigators know about the hack is kept under wraps right now as cyber forensic experts sift through clues. But what we do know is that homeland security is worried this isn't an isolated event.
ROMANS (voice-over): The U.S. government now warning retailers across the country to be on high alert. That massive attack on Target over the holidays may have compromised the personal information up to 110 million customers, it could be just the beginning. In a brand-new bulletin, the Department of Homeland Security now revealing that Target may not have been alone. That the malicious software has potentially infected a large number of retail operations. And for the first time, they're detailing just how those hackers pulled off one of the biggest data heists ever.
ROBERT SICILIANO, MCAFEE ONLINE SECURITY EXPERT: Now, with this new information, that many other retailers could potentially have been breached, that number could potentially double in the next couple of weeks.
ROMANS: Here's how they did it according to a cybersecurity firm called Eyesight, who has contributed to the investigation. They used highly sophisticated and nearly undetectable malware named karptoxa. That's a computer program that surreptitiously placed in a company's system to corrupt point of sale systems. That means at the register itself, your information was being grabbed.
Eyesight says "many retail organizations may not know they have been infected." The software infests retail processing systems, allowing the hackers to manipulate the malware from the outside. And most troubling of all, it's using new technology that makes it virtually undetectable by all security software.
SICILIANO: It's an unknown exploit. One that they haven't seen before. ROMANS: Just who are the hackers? There are clues. Part of the code is written in Russian. "The Wall Street Journal" cites an unnamed U.S. official who said these details "suggest the attack may have ties to organized crime from the former Soviet Union." Target's still dealing with the fallout this morning. In a new e-mail by Target to its customers, it said the cyber-attacks stole much more than pin numbers. Stole names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses as well.
SICILIANO: Consumers need to be aware right now, paying very close attention to their statements. You can check your statements online every single day.
ROMANS: Target will testify before Congress in early February. No federal laws exist that set out rules for when and how companies can report, or must report data breaches to customers and law enforcement. Officials say the objective of that hearing will be on how customers can protect themselves.
BLACKWELL: All right, Christine Romans, thank you.
PAUL: So pilot error is now blamed for a Southwest plane landing at the wrong airport in Missouri. Remember, it landed Sunday night at the airport about seven miles away from its scheduled destination. Now the airport's runway isn't designed for large planes, so that's why they were forced to slam on their brakes.
BLACKWELL: And this could have been disastrous because the plane wouldn't have ended up in some field. It was just short of a steep drop-off at the end of that runway. CNN's Rene Marsh has the latest for us.
Rene, good morning.
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, Victor, until now, the outstanding question has been, how in the world did Southwest Flight 4013 end up at the wrong airport in Missouri on a dangerously short runway. Well, now we know. The veteran pilots told NTSB investigators, they programmed the correct airport into their system. But when they were cleared to land, they saw an airport, believed it to be the right one and just landed. The problem is, it was the wrong airport. It was only after they landed that they realized their mistake. They were actually at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport. That's about seven miles away from the intended Branson Airport. The pilot said that the runway was lit and was in a similar direction as their intended destination.
Now, we should note, this was the captain's first flight to Branson and the first officer's second.
BLACKWELL: Rene Marsh, thank you.
PAUL: So, still to come on NEW DAY, stomach acres and nausea, not exactly how you'd want to end your dream vacation, right? So what exactly caused dozens of passengers to get sick on a Royal Caribbean Cruise?
BLACKWELL: Plus, this burger is a beast. And there's a side of Skittles.
BLACKWELL: That's an interesting pairing. Up next, we'll show you the outrageous burger that every Seahawks fan will want to have during tomorrow's game.
PAUL: All right, a big, big weekend in sports. Look at this, hundreds of fans getting together for a huge Broncos pep rally. That was in downtown Denver yesterday. Broncos take on the Patriots for the AFC Championship tomorrow, as I know you know.
BLACKWELL: And the Seahawks prepare for their NFC battle. Seattle players are practicing right up before their big game against the 49ers on Sunday, too.
Joe Carter is here with a look ahead. Big, big game.
JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: Good morning, guys.
Big game. Yes, they are brewing more than lattes up there in Seattle. We've got a good game this weekend. Obviously the 49ers travel to Seattle. A great NFC championship game. I know a lot of people want to make a big deal about the two young quarterbacks in this game, but I think this game is all about the defense. Seattle has, bottom line, the best defense in the NFL. The 49ers have the three best linebackers in the NFL. So I think this game really is going to be about the more defensive struggle. First team to win - or first team to get 21 points, in my opinion, is going to win this game.
But the edge, we talked about this last weekend, has to go to Seattle because of their fans. These people are downright loud. They're world record-breaking loud. I mean their cheers are drawn the same decibel levels as a jet engine and a rock concert. So no doubt when the 49ers played there the last two times, it's affected them because Seattle has not only beaten them, they've crushed them by a combined score of 71-16. But all bets are off come Sunday (INAUDIBLE).
PAUL: Right. Right.
CARTER: Hey, AFC championship game, a lot of people talking about that one being a great quarterback matchup. Obviously the two greatest quarterbacks of this generation. But I will tell you, when it comes to the playoffs, there's a big disparity here because Brady has been to eight championship games. Peyton has lost eight times in the first round. But Denver does have a lot of weapons this year, so you've got to give them a lot of credit there. But New England, I will say, this is a team that most people cannot really name their starting offensive weapons because they're no-namers essentially. So a lot of credit to New England because they've put themselves in position to possibly go to another Super Bowl without a lot of star players.
Trending this morning --
PAUL: They'll be stars if they go.
CARTER: You're right.
Hey, trending this morning on bleacherreport.com, this is a great story, Patriots Coach Bill Belichick reportedly told his team, hey, when you're in Denver, stay away from the legal Marijuana. He said, quote, don't go out there and be stupid. That's pretty simple advice. Of course, marijuana is legal for recreational use in Colorado, but it's still a banned substance in the league. Tom Brady was asked about it yesterday and, of course, he wanted no part of that question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Are you excited about that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm not going to be going for it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So -
BRADY: We haven't talk about that. So, this is a very important game for us and it's a business trip.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARTER: Brady's all business.
Hey, check out this sign. This is very cute.
PAUL: I love this.
CARTER: Clearly this church sign pulling for the Denver Broncos this weekend. It says, "God has no faves, but the sign guy does, go Broncos."
BLACKWELL: Go broncos.
CARTER: There's power with the sign guy, people.
CARTER: Here's the kicker. That sign is in Providence, Rhode Island, right smack dab in the middle of New England Patriots country.
PAUL: Ouch. CARTER: As a matter of fact that church is 22 miles from Patriots Stadium, 22 miles from Foxborough. So, obviously, Bronco nation goes all the way to the East Coast.
PAUL: Very expansive, yes.
CARTER: So a great weekend obviously for football. Sunday, two big games, starts at 3:00 between the Broncos and Patriots.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and -
PAUL: We know where you'll be.
CARTER: Yes. I'm going to be shopping --
PAUL: In front of the TV.
CARTER: No, I'm kidding.
BLACKWELL: In front of the TV.
You know, Joe, I want you to stick around for this because, you know, the team is getting ready, but so are the fans for the big Seahawks game.
PAUL: Oh, good heavens.
BLACKWELL: Look at this thing.
PAUL: Yes, if you haven't had breakfast yet, please just let me forewarn you. I don't know if this is your cup of tea first thing in the morning, but -
BLACKWELL: Yes. It's called a beast mode burger.
BLACKWELL: It's named after Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. OK, so we've got two beef patties, two pieces of bacon, two slices of cheddar, ham, onion rings and fries and Skittles on the side.
BLACKWELL: That's because it's Lynch's favorite.
CARTER: Yes, I've got a little back story behind those Skittles.
CARTER: When he was - when Marshawn Lynch, who's the running back for the Seattle Seahawks, when he was a little boy, when he was in (INAUDIBLE), his mother used to give him Skittles before the game, telling him those were power pellets. And the more he ate, the faster he would run, the better he'd play. Sugar high.
PAUL: Right. Right.
CARTER: You know these kids, you put them up on sugar. So there's a cute back story to it. And when he was in high school, he had a friend who used to give him Skittles. College, there was a person who gave him Skittles before the game.
PAUL: Oh, my gosh.
CARTER: And then you'll see him, even today in the NFL, eating Skittles on the sidelines in games.
PAUL: Well, if it works, you don't break it.
CARTER: It works.
BLACKWELL: Super strength, superstition is strong. It is.
CARTER: And (INAUDIBLE) -
PAUL: And they - they throw Skittles at him, don't they?
CARTER: They throw Skittles at him during the game, Seattle fans.
BLACKWELL: That's a bit much.
CARTER: And you'll notice, too, like they actually sell that burger during the games in Seattle. So fans are - try imagine - imagine carrying that thing to your seat.
BLACKWELL: Yes, I ate a three pound burger once for a story seven years ago.
PAUL: And have you ever done anything like it since?
BLACKWELL: No, I damn near died. I damn near died. I mean, you know, my carotid -- I thought it was going to jump out of my neck that night, but I made it.
PAUL: We're glad you made it.
Thank you, Joe.
BLACKWELL: I'm here.
CARTER: You bet, guys.
PAUL: Better you than me. That's all I can say. I wouldn't make it. There is no letup in California's epic drought. And I mean epic, sincerely. Wildfires are one problem, but there's another reason all of us may feel this state's pain.
PAUL: It's still early.
PAUL: Only 6:30 for heaven's sake. But we're glad that you are up already, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
BLACKWELL: Are the tails bushy this morning?
PAUL: I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: That's a loaded questions.
BLACKWELL: I can't believe I said that on television. Let's start this up with five things you need to know for your new day. Up first, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie faces one of his first big tests since news of the state's bridge scandal broke. Christie takes center stage in Florida this weekend to help raise money for Governor Rick Scott's reelection campaign. Well, this week, some of Christie's closest advisers were issued subpoenas in this case.
PAUL: Number two, James Everett Dutschke pled guilty in federal court for mailing ricin-laced letters to President Obama and others back in April. Now, the 41-year old Mississippi man is expected to face a sentence of 25 years in prison for producing and sending the deadly ...
BLACKWELL: Number three, two small planes collided on a runway at a San Jose, California airport. Now, according to the FAA, a single- engine piper Comanche lost power when taking off and then crashed into the similar-size Cessna 172. No injuries have been reported, that's the good news. And the NTSB is investigating this accident, of course.
PAUL: Number four, today the family of a man who police say was shot and killed because he was texting in a movie theater are holding a memorial service. The funeral for Chad Oulson will be held in Land O'Lakes, Florida, this afternoon. The man accused of killing him, Curtis Reeves is a former police officer and he has been charged with second degree murder.
BLACKWELL: Number five, flowers were laid on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in remembrance of Ruth Duccini. She was the last of the living female munchkins from the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz." Duccini died on Thursday in Las Vegas. She was 95. Only one of the Munchkin cast members is still alive.
PAUL: Wow, that's something to think about it, isn't it?
PAUL: Yesterday, California's governor declared his state is facing an historic crisis with this drought.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, it's the drought that is so huge that it's a threat to the state's $44 billion agriculture industry. The California's crisis is also our crisis. Because the state produces nearly half of all U.S.-grown fruits and nuts and vegetables and the drought could mean higher prices at the supermarket.
PAUL: And it's fueling blazes like the Colby fire. It's just 30 percent contained today as it was yesterday. So, it doesn't seem like they were able to make any progress. Kyung Lah has more on the drought and its consequences for all of us. Kyung.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, if you want to know about the power, the danger of California's drought, just look at this building behind me. This was a historic mansion, it was broken up into several different apartments, a two-story structure, the fire completely made it collapse. The record-low rain in the state, the winds, the low humidity made this right for fire. The drought, says the governor, has plunged California into a state of emergency.
LAH: This is what California's drought looks like. The driest year in a century met a flame-friendly canvas for the Colby fire. 1700 acres charred. Thousands evacuated, five homes gone in an instant. The drought, declared the governor, has plunged California into a state of emergency.
JERRY BROWN, (D) GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA: We are in an unprecedented very serious situation, and people should pause and reflect on how dependent we are on the rain, on nature, and one another.
LAH: In a state of emergency speech, the governor asked everyone to cut back water use by 20 percent. His declaration does lift some environmental restrictions to allow the state to move water to parch regions more easily. The challenge, there's not much to share among the state's 38 million residents. Reservoir levels are at record lows. Snow packs this season, 80 percent lower than normal. Los Angeles got just over three inches of rain in all of 2013. About a quarter of what's normal. More firefighters will be hired, and they're on alert for this dangerous drought. As for the Colby fire that's still burning, it started as an accident. Police say these three men set an illegal campfire. They and their attorneys couldn't be reached for comment. The fire rapidly exploded out of control. The challenge for firefighters, more dry winds and a forecast without any rain stretching on into the weekend.
LAH: Looking now at the hillside, you can see that it is all brown. That's not typical. That's not burned land either. That is normally green this time of the year, but because of the drought, all of the earth here is brown. Firefighters here saying they have had a very difficult fire season. And they expect it to continue. Victor, Christi.
BLACKWELL: Getting worse. Kyung, thank you.
PAUL: So, you have to wonder, is the weather going to give them any relief?
BLACKWELL: Some humidity, some rain, let's check with the CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray with more for us. Anything coming for them?
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Oh, really, no. We are still under this ridge of high pressure. And that is what's fueling all the dry conditions, the fires. We have high pressure in place. It's pulling an offshore flow and it is definitely fueling those fires. The dry northeast winds. We also have relative humidities in the single digits. And that's really not going to change anytime soon. We don't see anything in the next one to two weeks that's really going to spell relief. We have shattered records all across southern California for the dry conditions. Only three inches of rain in 2013. Burbank, Los Angeles, UCLA, all the driest year on record in 2013. San Francisco is drier than they've ever been. And that is 165 years of record- keeping. And just last week, the state, about 20 percent an extreme drought. And look at this, this week already around 60 percent. So, guys, this is something we're going to be talking about for a long time. It's going to take much more than just a couple of days of rain, Christi, to get this reversed. So this is definitely something that's going to mean trouble possibly in the next couple of months.
PAUL: All right. Jen, thanks for the heads-up. We appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: A security guard at Arapahoe High School in Colorado says the school did not do enough to prevent a shooting. This was back in December. You remember this one? In a post on Facebook, Cameron Rust claims the alleged shooter Karl Pierson threatened teachers and looked up guns on the Internet while he was on campus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON RUST: One afternoon in the lunchroom, Karl was looking up guns on his computer. And after we noticed that, he quickly closed his computer. And we immediately told our supervisor what we saw. And we were told he would bring it up in their administration meeting. And then that following Monday after that administration meeting, we were told there was nothing that they could do about that. And it was his personal computer, and that he could look up what he wanted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, during that attack, Pierson shot 17-year-old Claire Davis. She later died of her injuries. And officials say Pierson took his own life at the school. And police say they are now looking into the security guard's statements.
PAUL: The son of famed evangelist Billy Graham is asking the world to pray for his dad. The Revered Franklin Graham spoke with CNN affiliate WBTV about his father's condition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKLIN GRAHAM: He's doing OK. Just OK. After he -- he was hospitalized right after his birthday in November. And his vitals are good. But he just does not have strength. So I know for those that are watching, my father would appreciate your prayers. Well, you know, my father's ready to go to heaven. And whenever that day comes, he's ready. He's worked hard all of his life. He's been faithful to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ his entire life. And, so, he's ready to go home. But I'm praying that the Lord will leave him a little longer. We need him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: He went on to say that his dad has started on another book, and he wants to be able to finish that. And Billy Graham, he says, hopes to film another online video message such as the one he released on his 95th birthday.
BLACKWELL: This is the worst way to end a dream vacation. Royal Caribbean says more than 60 passengers were infected with a stomach illness during a recent cruise. Yesterday, the "Majesty of the Seas" returned to Miami after a four-day getaway in the Bahamas. That was all good. More than 2500 people on board. The cruise officials expect norovirus. You've heard it. That's happened on other cruises. It's contagious. And it can also spread to the food, the water, contaminated surfaces. They think that is what made all those people so sick.
PAUL: OK, well, nothing sick but celebrations for Michelle Obama. Yesterday, the first lady turned 50. But she celebrates - I mean talk about making it last, she's celebrating tonight with a big "Saturday Night Fever" themed party at the White House.
BLACKWELL: People are being told to wear comfortable shoes, because they are dancing. Last night "Late Night" comedian Jimmy Fallon poked fun at the celebrations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY FALLON, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": That's the first lady's birthday. Happy birthday to Michelle Obama ... (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
FALLON: who turns 50 years old today.
FALLON: She had a great time at her party especially when she blew out the candles on her birthday kale.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: I think she's probably going to have some good stuff there. It's called sips and snacks and dancing and dessert. And, of course, those comfortable shoes will come in handy. It's expected to be a star-studded event. So, we'll see if there are any pictures that come out of this.
PAUL: Oh, you know there will be. There's a lot of pressure on the president because he's hosting.
BLACKWELL: Yeah. And that 50, that's the one you have to get right.
PAUL: That's a big one.
PAUL: All right, Britain's Prince Harry is getting a new job.
BLACKWELL: And he's trading in his wings. How this change could affect his love life. That's next.
BLACKWELL: Good morning, London. They're approaching noon. I'm sure you're just getting out of bed, if you're not still in bed. Only a few more minutes, lasting the morning there across the pond, as we look live at the Tower Bridge in downtown London. All right, let's take a look now at some of the news making headlines around the world this morning. Christi.
PAUL: Yeah, we want to start in France, Victor with the growing controversy around the French president and his alleged affairs with an actress. CNN's Jim Bittermann reports from London. Good morning, Jim.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, as you can imagine, with a story like this, there is a lot of rumors have been folding around all week long. But we have been able to confirm a few things. One is that in fact the magazine that came out with the allegations about the affair between the French president and the movie actress in fact is being sued by the movie actress for 50,000 euros for invasion of privacy. The other thing we have been able to confirm is that President Hollande went to the hospital to visit the first lady of France, Valerie Trierweiler to - for what reason we don't know. But, in fact, he's visited her at the hospital earlier this week. And the magazine that made those allegations began with this - come out with another article saying that the affair between the president and the actress goes back for nearly two years, Christi.
PAUL: Jim, thank you very much. I want to get to Baghdad right now, new fears that Iraq is spiraling into war, with that, the absence of U.S. troops. CNN's Michael Holmes is there. Hi, Michael.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christi, after a bloody week in Baghdad, some measure relative quiet in the capital, but violence continues elsewhere. Clashes in the rest of Anbar Province, Sunnis there, but tribesmen and al Qaeda-linked militants fighting daily in, but mainly around the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah. The Iraqi army is staying away from a full-on assault of those cities for now, but this is a place on the edge. Fears still high that the country is one major bombing. One high profile assassination away from all-out sectarian conflict. Back to you, Christi.
PAUL: Michael, thank you so much. We want to go to Sochi, Russia, now the site of the Winter Olympics. Of course, officials scrambling to get everything ready for what could be the most expensive Olympics in history. CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is there. Good morning, Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, wherever you look here, preparations still under way for the Olympics. We're right down on the coastline here. They're moving rocks for the coastal defense. In the background, you can see the main Olympic stadium. Thousands of workers here over this whole Olympic village area trying to get it ready. Security very tight. Hundreds of policemen out on the streets. If you look in the sky up there, you might just be able to see the security blimp where the high-powered cameras are met. Desperate now here, less than three weeks to get these Olympics ready on time. Back to you, Christi.
PAUL: All right, Nic. Thank you.
And to London we go. The latest on Prince Harry's new job and how that could change his love life. CNN's Erin McLaughlin reports. Good morning, Erin. All right, we apologize. We can see her --
BLACKWELL: Huh? What?
PAUL: We can't hear her. We have some new info on his love life and they just don't want to tell us yet.
BLACKWELL: We're going to get there for you, though, because we teased it and people want to know what's going on ...
PAUL: Hey, I've got something incredible over here that you can see and I don't know if you can necessarily hear it. It's out of Brazil. Look at that, lightning striking the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that the tower is over Rio de Janeiro. This happened Thursday. Now, this is 130 feet tall. You could see it from everywhere in Rio. And understandably, it's a frequent target for lightning strikes. Because it's, you know, the highest point. It's a magnet. Officials say a strike in this particular storm chipped off a piece of a thumb, but a finger, a different finger was chipped in a storm last month.
Still to come on "NEW DAY," Harvey Weinstein, he's one of the biggest filmmakers in the business. But the man behind violent blockbusters like "Django Unchained," and "Rambo", "The Gangs of New York", "Kill Bill," and all of those, now says he's done making movies full of blood and guns. He'll explain why after this.
BLACKWELL: Yes, Los Angeles. Although some people are just finishing up their Friday night at a greasy spoon somewhere with a plate of pancakes for two bucks.
PAUL: Sounds good.
BLACKWELL: I know, right? Hollywood Boulevard live, of course. Big weekend in Hollywood. The Screen Actors Guild awards, the people know them as the SAG awards happen this evening. And CNN will be there form the red carpet live.
PAUL: Of course, speaking of films, by the way, take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're exactly the one I'm looking for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, stop talking to him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calm down, simply a customer trying to conduct a transaction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last chance, fancy pans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: That's the scene from the graphic film "Django Unchained." But Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul behind it and other hits, you know, full of guns and bloodshed like "Pulp Fiction," "Rambo," "Kill Bill," he's done, Victor.
BLACKWELL: He's done. And let's hear what he told CNN's Piers Morgan last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: The main allegation against you will be one of hypocrisy. You are a Hollywood mogul, you've produced some very violent movies, "Django Unchained" and "Pulp Fiction" and others. So, people say, come on, Harvey. What about you? When are you guys in the movies are going to stop glamorizing guns if you mean this so sincerely?
HARVEY WEINSTEIN: Well, I think they have a point. You know, I mean. You have to look in the mirror, too. You know, and I have to just choose movies that are not violent, you mean or as violent as they used to be. And I know for me, personally, you know, I cannot continue to do that. So the chain starts here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: I wonder what those movies will look like. So, he's taken it a step further, though. Weinstein has also announced plans for a new movie that will be critical of the National Rifle Association. We'll see if that's one is a political thriller.
It's one of the most exciting times of the year for Hollywood. Everybody loves this season because it's the Oscar race.
PAUL: Yeah, everybody's talking about this year's nominees. The thing is there's even more buzz, it seems, about who didn't get nominated. Well, CNN entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner has a look at this year's surprises and snubs.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, good morning to you. You know, on "NEW DAY" Thursday morning, Barkhad Abdi said he couldn't sleep tonight before the nominations. He was so nervous, he was so excited. And I believe there were a lot of people in Hollywood feeling the exact same way of him. Now, some of them are very happy now, others not so much. Let's start to talk and talk about best picture, OK? There were nine films nominated, and in my opinion, all of them were worth it. But, you know, there were some movies that were shut out and has some people scratching their head this morning. Let's begin with "Lee Daniels' The Butler." When this movie came out there was so much positive buzz about it. But we saw it get shut out by the Golden Globes, we didn't know what would happen come Oscar nomination time, well, it was shut out once again. Along with the movie "Saving Mr. Banks." A lot of people love this film and thought it would get a nomination as well. Now, in the acting categories, we saw a lot of superstars getting nominations, big stars. People like Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, Leo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence. There's a long list of names, though, that many people expected to hear that did not, like the big "O." For Oprah, it turned into the big oh, no. No supporting nomination for her for "The Butler." The critics lauded this as her best work, but no love from the academy. And no nomination for Emma Thompson. This one is a shocker for me, she played P.L. Travers in "Saving Mr. Banks." And coming into award season, the general consensus was that the best actress race was between her and Cate Blanchett. Now, there is no chance of that head to head.
And the category that I believe is the most competitive, the best actor race, so I certainly wouldn't call these snubs because there were so many really good performances by actors this year. There was just no way they'd be able to fit them all in. You have Christian Bale who was nominated, Bruce Dern, Leo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey. On the outside looking in this year, Robert Redford, Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Hanks, and Forest Whitaker, all of them A-list phenomenal actors, but how are you going to fit all of them in this category? You just couldn't do it.
Now, "American Hustle" and "Gravity" lead the nominations with ten each, 12 years a slave, nine nominations, so much going on, and you know what, we've got a little time because the 86th Academy Awards are on March 2nd after the Olympics this year. Victor, Christi, back to you.
PAUL: Nischelle, thank you. I've got some work to do.
PAUL: I've got some movies to see. I've seen "Frozen." I have children. That's the only thing I've seen.
BLACKWELL: Good thing is a lot of these films are still in theaters.
BLACKWELL: So you can see it.
BLACKWELL: How much do you love -- we're talking about football -- your favorite sports team enough to get a tattoo of the team on your body?
BLACKWELL: No, no.
PAUL: We're about to introduce you to one guy, though. Oh, yeah, he's got a tattoo of his favorite team, all right. You're not going to believe what he just did, though.
BLACKWELL: Now, we had a little trouble hearing just a moment ago.
PAUL: We did.
BLACKWELL: But we've worked it out.
PAUL: We promised we would bring you the story.
BLACKWELL: Yes, the story of Britain's Prince Harry because he's got a new job now. He'll be taking a desk job with the British Army in London.
PAUL: And that takes him out of any potential combat flying of Apache helicopters. So, he spent 3 1/2 years as a pilot and gunner. He'd been deployed to Afghanistan, remember. So, this move will allow him to spend more time with his girlfriend. You see the bonus?
PAUL: She becomes the fiancee.
BLACKWELL: And a future princess? We'll see.
You know, we talked about this tattooing of a teen. And you have to be a straightup hardcore fan to get the football team's logo tattooed on your body, of course.
PAUL: Yeah, you have got to be psychic and daring, let's say, to proclaim your team the Super Bowl champ in a tattoo before they even play. But that's what Tim Connors did. Diehard Seahawks fan got a tattoo declaring his team the winner of Super Bowl 48. You know the problem here, they don't play in the NFC playoffs until tomorrow, Super Bowl isn't until next month. So, Tim, good luck with that.
BLACKWELL: That's a gamble. He should probably call the guy who has the Romney logo tattooed on the side of his head.
PAUL: Oh, no.
BLACKWELL: I'm just saying. They should probably have lunch or something.
PAUL: My goodness. We're so glad that you're waking up with us this morning.
BLACKWELL: Next hour of your "NEW DAY" starts right now.
Chris Christie is on the move and looking for money. Will a Florida fund-raising trip charm the big donors or alienate them?