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Obama Orders New Limits to U.S. Spying; Bridge to Florida; FBI Joins Search for Missing WSJ Reporter; Oscar Nominations: Surprises and Snubs; Study: Some Student-Athletes Can Barely Read

Aired January 18, 2014 - 07:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A "Wall Street Journal" reporter goes missing and a week later, investigators are still baffled. Now, some reports are suggesting his disappearance may have to do with his coverage of the oil industry.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And stores tracking every movement through your phone without you knowing it. Was it seemed far-fetched?

It's already happening.

Your NEW DAY starts now.


PAUL: So, grab some coffee or some orange juice, whatever you fancy in the morning. I'm Christi Paul. And just sit back and relax. We got you covered here.

BLACKWELL: A cup of tea. How about a cup of tea?

I'm Victor Blackwell, 7:00 here on the East Coast. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.A

And we're starting this hour in Philadelphia. That's where the second school shooting happened this week.

PAUL: Yes. This morning, police are searching for the suspected gunman, though. Police say he opened fire in a gymnasium at Delaware Valley Charter High School yesterday. Two teens were injured.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Nick Valencia joins us now.

We've just started 2013.


BLACKWELL: Already the second school shooting.

VALENCIA: Yes, and it's becoming -- you know, it should be outrageous, but it's sort of becoming a new standard here in the United States. People getting accustomed to waking up to these headlines. A 17-year-old was taken in custody briefly. He was questioned and later released. Police tell us that they expect a person of interest to turn himself in later this morning.


VALENCIA (voice-over): Police are on the hunt this morning for a young man who pulled a gun in a Philadelphia high school Friday afternoon, shooting two students in the arm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One student is a female, approximately 15 years of age. The other student is a male student, approximately 15 years of age. As I said, both students are in stable condition.

VALENCIA: The suspect is believed to have been in the gym with seven other students, at the Delaware Valley Charter High School. The school was placed on lockdown immediately following the shooting. And while one 17-year-old student was initially ID'd as the gunman, he's since been cleared and released.

Outside the school Friday, parents were anxiously awaiting word that their kids were OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just so flabbergasted about how a child or whoever was able to bring a gun to school. I just want to know that. Just tell me, if you can tell me how that happened, I'm good.

VALENCIA: The incident was captured on surveillance video and investigators are reviewing the tape. As of late Friday, police are still looking for the weapon. Now, they have one message for the shooter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come turn yourself in. Get it over with now. Come turn yourself in, because we're going to do the process we need to, looking at the video, interviewing witnesses and we're going to come and get you in custody.


VALENCIA: And an update on the two students who were shot -- they suffered nonlife-threatening injuries. They expected to survive -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: Good to know that, at least.

BLACKWELL: Nick Valencia, thank you.

VALENCIA: You bet.

PAUL: OK, now to your privacy.

President Obama seeming to draw some boundaries for how the federal government handles your phone and email records.

BLACKWELL: And we're getting mandates now after six months after Edward Snowden shocked the world with revelations of just how far U.S. spy operations reach into your life.

PAUL: So, now, the new rules are reigniting that fierce debate between the right balance between civil liberties and national security.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, how I wish you could sit in the seat of protecting the country. The president has a tough job. I want to help the president do his job protecting the country. The legislative branch acts for the future. Judges act by reflecting on the past. The president has to deal with the reality of today.

And I've watched presidents do that. I have confidence that they can do a good job. And this is a valuable tool for them to be able to protect the country.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Mr. Carter, the president --

GLENN GREENWALD, JOURNALIST: The oath that the president takes when they get inaugurated is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. One part of which is the Fourth Amendment that says that we are supposed to be safe from being searched and seized by the government without probable cause. Not having all of our communications data collected, monitored and analyzed, even though there's no evidence of wrongdoing. That's the responsibility and oath of the president, according to the Constitution.


BLACKWELL: National correspondent Sunlen Serfaty has the latest from Washington for us now.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The NSA reforms are meant to reassure.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States is not spying on ordinary people who don't threaten our national security.

SERFATY: Because there are people who do, the president says the surveillance program needs to stick around.

OBAMA: These efforts have prevented multiple attacks and saved innocent lives.

SERFATY: But to answer those weary of potential privacy abuses, the president proposed changing but not ending, NSA's controversial bulk collection of phone numbers, times and lengths of calls. Effective immediately, NSA analysts will now have to get court approval to tap into the data. And he's recommending moving storage of those records out of the government's hand and into a third party's control, potentially to phone companies.

OBAMA: This will not be simple, more work needs to be done to determine exactly how this system might work.

SERFATY: But he's punted hammering out the details to Congress.

And before the government is given permission to look at phone records, he's proposing a new panel of independent advocates to argue against the government in front of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court -- a public voice that could include the ACLU.

ANTHONY ROMERO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACLU: A panel of advocates. Privacy advocates would ensure that they kick the tires on those issues. To make sure that the government has to explain the reason why he wants that data.

SERFATY: But former NSA general counsel Stewart Baker says too many cooks in the intel kitchen will hurt.

STEWART BAKER, FORMER NSA GENERAL COUNSEL: It is another layer. It will slow things down. In many cases, it won't be needed.

SERFATY: Also scaled back, the president says unless there's a national security reason, the U.S. will longer eavesdrop on friendly heads of state and world leaders.

OBAMA: Our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to know what they think about on issue, I'll pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance.


SERFATY: He left out too many specifics. Congress will now have to work many of the details out for themselves.

And, Christi and Victor, Capitol Hill, they're still very divided over many parts of this issue.

PAUL: I bet.

National correspondent Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much for being with us. She's at the White House.

BLACKWELL: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will face his first big test this weekend since, of course, the New Jersey bridge scandal broke. The GOP star is headed south to help raise money for Florida Governor Rick Scott's reelection campaign.

Now, this is all happening as some of Christie's closest advisers are slapped with subpoenas over last September's controversial bridge closing.

CNN's Tory Dunnan joins us live from Orlando.

Tell us about what we're expecting today.

TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Well, Victor and Christi, this is actually the first time that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has left the state since the scandal blew wide open. Now, at his first news conference, he was asked about whether or not this controversy is going to affect his ability to do this job as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. At the time, Chris Christie said, no, it's not. And so, this weekend is really going to be a true test of that because Christie's here in Florida.

He has three stops today -- first one being in Orlando, and then Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. And at those stops, he's going to be fund-raising for the RGA, but also for Florida Governor Rick Scott, who has not shied away from the help, even amid this controversy.

Take a listen to what he had to say.


GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: I know with Chris, he did the right thing, he apologized. He went to the community and apologized. So I look forward to seeing him.


DUNNAN: All right, one thing to point out, Christi and Victor, these are closed-door fund-raisers. But really, it is going to be the first test of Christi's ability to fund raise and also his star power in light of everything that's happened over the past couple of weeks.

PAUL: So, Tory, let me ask you -- what's happening tomorrow? Because I understand that's going to be especially important in the bigger picture.

DUNNAN: Christi, you're exactly right. Tomorrow, all eyes are on what's happening because this may shed a little bit of light in terms of national politics, and even potentially 2016, because here's what's happening tomorrow. It's all happening in north Palm Beach. It's a donor outreach event.

And basically what that means, it's an opportunity for Chris Christie to meet with potential donors if he should decide to run in 2016. This event, though, is happening at the home of the Home Depot co- founder's house in North Palm Beach.

We've actually talked to him, CNN has. He says since the scandal happened, the interest has even gone up. He's gone from about 200 people interested, to 500 people. And now, he's been saying he doesn't even know if he's going to have the room to accommodate everyone.

So, this will be an opportunity for Chris Christie to answer questions from those people, who if he decides to run in 2016, would potentially support him.

BLACKWELL: Tory Dunnan, thank you so much.

We're going to actually have an expanded conversation with a bundler, a big money donor from the GOP later in the show, to see if this is making people nervous, 500 people have questions potentially, if they'll actually back Christie if he decides to run.

PAUL: All righty. Hey, you know, still to come -- there is a desperate search growing in New Jersey. Now, it has nothing to do with Chris Christie.

Family and officials are digging for clues in the disappearance of a "Wall Street Journal" reporter.

BLACKWELL: Plus, whether you realize it or not, some retailers are keeping records of your ever move. And you can thank your cell phone and some cutting edge technology.


PAUL: Good morning, Mr. President and first lady.

They're probably getting ready for their party already.

BLACKWELL: Putting their party shoes on.

PAUL: A live look at the White House this morning as you see a couple lights just coming on. It's going to be a bit chilly for all of you waking up in D.C. today -- 35 degrees, partly cloudy. Make it as good as you can, though.

BLACKWELL: Enjoy the weekend. The FBI and New Jersey state police are scouring an area of northern New Jersey because they're trying to find clues in the disappearance of a "Wall Street Journal" reporter.

PAUL: David Bird's family says the investigative reporter went out for a walk last Saturday and never came back.

Alexandra Field is following the story.

So, where does the search stand right now, Alexandra? What do we know?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, first and foremost, David Bird's colleagues at "The Wall Street Journal" are holding on to hope. So, as his family. That as search crews look for him in a marshy area near his New Jersey home. They're also looking on a river and trails where he liked to walk.

Police are looking for every tip including one that has come from much farther away.


FIELD (voice-over): David Bird, a married father of two, disappears without his cell phone or the medication he needs following a liver transplant nine years ago.

CHRIS FLEMING, SISTER-IN-LAW OF DAVID BIRD: He's a strong man. He has been through -- he's been through a lot before. Just think he's holding on. We just want him back. FIELD: For almost a week, authorities and hundreds of volunteers have scoured Long Hill, New Jersey, for any sign of "The Wall Street Journal's" 55-year-old energy reporter.

"The Journal" put out a statement saying, quote, "Mr. Bird is a long time member of the Dow Jones newsroom. Our thoughts are with his family."

Bird's family is desperate to find him. On Saturday, he said he was going for a quick walk but never came home.

JACQUIE PETRAS, BIRD FAMILY FRIEND: We have every reason to believe that he just wanted to go for a little stroll. There's no -- nothing pointing to anything else.

FIELD: A search party numbered as many as 200 is combing trails where Bird, a marathoner, likes to walk. And they're searching the nearby Passaic River.

But this week, a potential clue seemed to come all the way from Mexico. That's where some media outlets reported Bird's credit card had been used. A source close to the investigation tells CNN that prosecutors at this point have not confirmed whether the card was actually used in Mexico.

Those reports raised concerns that his disappearance could somehow be connected to his coverage of OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

FLEMING: That didn't come from us, so I don't know where that information came from and I -- that's -- doesn't make sense.

He went for a walk and that was all we know. We have no idea.

FIELD: Bird's sister in law says the family still doesn't have any answers for a disappearance that makes no sense.


FIELD: And Bird's family is clearly worried about his safety. They are also saying they are very concerned about his health without that medication. But they say there's absolutely nothing in his background that would suggest that he would willingly disappear -- Christi, Victor.


Alexandra Field, thank you.

PAUL: All right. Boy, I've got to tell you, this Target hack, if it wasn't enough to put you on edge where you're shopping, some brick and mortar stores have a way of tracking you now.

BLACKWELL: Yes, some cutting-edge technology is allowing them to get more invasive. Finding and keeping more information about you than you'd ever imagine. PAUL: Yes. I mean, we're talking about department stores like Home Depot, and Nordstrom, Macy's, American Eagle Outfitters, they're just some of the many retailers right now who've used new technology to learn more about, you know, your habits, while you shop, while -- yes, while you're shopping. So, you know, forget cookies, tracking you online, retailers follow you where you walk and shop on foot.

BLACKWELL: So, who do we call when we want to understand stuff like this?

CNN analyst, Brett Larson, host of "Tech Bites". He's with us.

This is beyond.


BLACKWELL: Good morning, Brett.

LARSON: This is crazy.

BLACKWELL: Explain to us, what is this and how does it work?

LARSON: Yes, George Orwell was about 20 years off in his book "1984."

It's a couple different things, our cell phones have -- I've got mine right, it's got a GPS inside it. It's got an accelerometer.

It has the ability to know where I am all the time. And with that about accelerometer, even when I don't have GPS coverage, it still knows where I'm moving throughout the store. So, now, what these stores are doing is they're installing these different pieces of equip, some as simple as just a Wi-Fi network that picks up the signal that your phone puts.

Other relatively new technology called iBeacon. They're about the size of a pack of gum that picks up a Bluetooth signal from your cell phone.

It sounds kind of creepy. The upside for shoppers with this thing like and these iBeacon technology, is -- since it knows where you are in the store, literally it knows what aisle you're on. What you're looking at in the store. It can make offers to you, like hey, did you know these pants are 30 percent off. But then when you leave the store it knows who you are and it knows where you go throughout the day. So, it's giving retailers some pretty personal information.

The companies say they're not tracking it back to you, to your individual person. Just to your demographic data. Your ages your gender, things like that, the neighborhood you live in.

But it's giving them a lot of really personal peek inside of our lives.

PAUL: Well, speaking of personal. I mean, I know this can expand beyond the stores. We're talking about monitoring you at doctors' appointments, and hospital visits. What's the point there? LARSON: Right. And that, to the average Joe, there seems like there's no point. Retailers like this information because they can say, well, after they come to our gym or to our restaurant, they go to this specific doctors' location.

And they know that maybe that doctor's location is a specialist. Maybe it's a dermatologist. Maybe it's -- you know, someone who treats something very specific. So they know where you're going. And specifically, what you're having done.

The upside for the end user, for the shopper, doesn't seem to be very -- it doesn't seem to be very clear here. The upside for the retailers and for people who want all of our personal information is they know more about us, so they have an easier way to target us and to sell us things.

BLACKWELL: I look at this in the context of this target hack that we've been talking about, and Neiman Marcus. And now possible involvement with the Russian mob.

LARSON: Right.

BLACKWELL: And so if they get that information -- and that was just credit card data.

LARSON: Right.

BLACKWELL: But all of this personal information, there's got to be some potential for them to take more from us if they get the information from these companies.

LARSON: Absolutely. And our credit card data says a lot about us. If you go through someone's credit card statement, you know where they spent their money. You know the location of where they spent their money. So, if they're able to get that data in this massive hack on Target, which we've already seen has expanded to other retailers, if the retailers are keeping this data and trying marry it to the data from our cell phones that says where we're going and what we're doing when we're not in their stores, this is potentially some pretty dangerous information that's just floating around out there.

PAUL: Good heavens.

All right. One last quick question, we only have a couple seconds. But what can we do, I mean, short of leaving our phone at home -- what's the point of that?

LARSON: Nobody wants to do.

A couple things you can do. I mean, you can turn off the Wi-Fi on your phone. That's the fastest, easiest way. You can shut off the Bluetooth when you walk into these establishments. We cannot activate these apps, these shop kick apps when you need to opt in on something, you need to read those term of service a little carefully.

And also in iOS 7, Apple has done a pretty good job about making it capable so that you can shut off these trackable -- these geolocation services.

PAUL: All right. Brett Larson, CNN analyst, we appreciate you so much. Great perspective. Thank you.

LARSON: Thank you. Thanks, guys.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, we're three weeks almost into the New Year. How's that resolution going? Trying to lay off the carbs? Can't give up the bagel, though?

Well, we might have a tasty solution you're going to want to try.

PAUL: And you know what, there's a new name in driverless cars. And this one's got, let's say, a little more luxury.



BLACKWELL: Good morning, New York.

A live look at the charging bull, of course, symbolic of a bull market.

PAUL: Yes.

You know that bell means it's "Money Time" on NEW DAY, getting a check of Wall Street.

Stock finished the week mixed the Dow ended Friday and the week slightly higher, while the S&P 500 which closely tracks your 401(k), down a little bit. Bad news from corporate earning helping to push that index lower.

BLACKWELL: So, not exactly a bull market.

PAUL: No, but we just keep looking at it, thinking maybe it will rub off.

BLACKWELL: Somewhere.

Hey, what's for breakfast this morning? Well, one company is open hoping you'll gravitate toward their new skinny bagels.

PAUL: Does that sound appetizing? They're actually thin-tastic bagels, that sounds just a smidge better.

BLACKWELL: Little fancy.

PAUL: -- as they're known at the Einstein Brothers Company.

So, here's the breakdown, folks -- a regular plain bagel with nothing on it, 260 calories, 56 grams of carbs, 460 milligrams of sodium. That's plain, bare bones, nothing but the bread there.

Einstein says their line of bagel has about 300 calories, with everything, from egg whites, Swiss, turkey sausage. Of course, not as much bread, but still.

BLACKWELL: And you're a bagel fan?

PAUL: Not so much.

BLACKWELL: No, no. I'm not a huge fan of bagels, but I really love Einstein Brothers maple walnut cream cheese. I don't know what I'd put it on, but it's tasty. I don't know. Just a spoon.

There's something else if you're not a fan of the maple walnut. You want to spread something else on your bagel. Hershey's is now in the business of spreadable chocolate.

The chocolatier announced a hazelnut spread, an almond spread and, of course, classic chocolate spread. Now, Nutella has competition.

PAUL: With my children, because they put Nutella on everything from bread to pancakes.

BLACKWELL: I can't bring it into my house because it doesn't last for two days. It's so good.

PAUL: Oh my gosh. Again, the spoon, the spoon.

BLACKWELL: It just -- I don't need anything. Nutella is so good on its own.

PAUL: So, you know, texting and driving is illegal in some cities.


PAUL: How about if you just text and you don't drive?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Access U.S. Army frame --



PAUL: All right. This clip from the futuristic movie "iRobot" starring Will Smith. But just how far in the future are we talking?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They call it pilot to driving. That means there is a driver, he can concentrate on something else if he doesn't want to actively drive.


PAUL: Apparently, not that bar. This prototype was at the consumer electronics show in Vegas last week. The state of California is taking aggressive steps to get driverless cars on the streets as early as this spring for testing. I don't know, it still makes me nervous.

BLACKWELL: Me, too. I was a little freaked out when I first saw it in that movie. To think there are states now lobbying to get these driverless -- get permission to have driverless automobiles on the roads. I'm not ready for that.

PAUL: We know how our computers mess up.

BLACKWELL: That's true.

PAUL: What happens when the car messes up? Although some people say, drivers aren't exactly the safest drivers.

BLACKWELL: That's true. Maybe we should depend on the computers. We'll see.

Let's talk about New Jersey where the heat is on because some of Governor Chris Christie's closest aides have now been issued subpoenas in the ongoing bridge scandal. So, coming up the latest as he heads to Florida for a big GOP fund-raiser.

PAUL: Plus, who's in and out? Up next, we're talking about this year's biggest Oscar surprises and snubs. What did (INAUDIBLE)? Tweet us.


PAUL: Well, mortgage rates dipped this week. Take a look.


PAUL: Seven-thirty right now, which means bottom of the hour. We're so grateful for your company. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Good to be with you. I'm Victor Blackwell.

Let's start with five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

First, police in Philadelphia, they're searching for a suspected gunman in a school shooting. Police say he opened fire in a high school gym yesterday. The two teenagers were shot and injured but officials say they do not have life-threatening injuries, fortunately, and police say the incident was caught on surveillance camera.

PAUL: Number two, James Everett Dutschke pled guilty to 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 toxin.

BLACKWELL: Number three, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie faces one of his first big test 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 re-election campaign. This week, some of Christi's closest advisers were issued subpoenas in that case. PAUL: Number four, a judge in South Carolina has struck down a law that requires women to have an ultrasound and see the image of the fetus before they get an abortion. Yesterday, the judge called the state's law unconstitutional. Supporters of the law, though, argued it would discourage women from having an abortion.

BLACKWELL: Number five, California's governor said the state is facing the worst drought in a century. The governor is asking Californians to cut back about 20 percent of their water use. The drought could take a toll on the state farming industry and lead to higher prices for all of us at the supermarket.

PAUL: You know, firefighters, man, could they use some rain, too, to help fight the Colby fire? Which yesterday it was only 30 percent contained, and today, it's the same number.

BLACKWELL: Maybe even if not rain, just humidity, something.

PAUL: Right. Something.

BLACKWELL: CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray can tell us if there's help on the way -- Jennifer.

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it doesn't look like there's going to be much. Yes, at least an onshore flow will help a little bit.

Winds are a little more southerly. So, hopefully, we'll get winds of the southwest before too long. Here's the jet stream, and because we've had this high ridge across the Pacific Northwest, this deep trough across the south, it's left the east very cold and wet, and has left the west very hot and dry.

Those persistent highs and those winds offshore, very dry winds have kept these conditions in place over the past several weeks and will continue to do so. So, the dry northeast winds that are pushing offshore, off of the mountains will definitely dry things out. It causes these fires. Relatively humidities have been in single digits.

Just last week, the state was about 25 percent under extreme drought. Now, it's up to roughly 60 percent. So, this is getting worse by the minute.

And if you look at the long range forecast out to three months or so, still forecasting above normal temperatures in southern California and also below normal rainfall. So, things don't look much better as we go into the next couple of months.

Meantime, we're looking at winter weather advisories across the Northern Plains. Even including placing like Chicago -- guys.

BLACKWELL: All right. Jennifer, thank you.

American University officials say that they are devastated by the news that two of their employees were killed in Friday's attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The two Americans were among 21 people killed in yesterday's bombing and shoot-out at a Lebanese restaurant. Out of respect for the families, the university is not releasing names at this time, but one recently joined the faculty of political science and the other had been a member of a student affairs staff.

Now, the Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack. It called the bombing payback for a strike in a province north of Kabul this week that left several civilians dead there.

PAUL: Well, President Obama just set new limits on U.S. spying not just at home but abroad as well.

BLACKWELL: And many of the changes including tightening the NSA's access to American's phone records were among 46 recommendations made by an intelligence review panel handpicked by the White House.

PAUL: So, we want to welcome Peter Swire. He's a professor of law and ethics at Georgia Tech. He's one of five experts on President Obama's NSA advisory panel.

So, thank you for being with us.

So, on the surface, Peter, give us your first assessment of this, the changes.

PETER SWIRE, LAW & ETHICS PROFESSOR, GEORGIA TECH: I thought -- I thought it was a great speech. We have to do national security, and we have to do privacy and civil liberties and we somewhere to have an Internet that works for commerce. And the president wove all of these things together in a speech yesterday.

BLACKWELL: So, let's break down some of the specifics here.

President Obama said some of the changes are going to happen. Let's put something up on the screen. NSA being required to get permission to access phone records, and the ends of spying on the heads of friendly states. But other recommendations are still up in the air -- having a third party maintain phone data.

Why was that issue important for the panel, one the hurdles here?

SWIRE: I think all are sitting in one government database, I think that's caused concern for a lot of people. It's not just your records, it's your kids' records. What's the government doing with that? So, we say having a database, holding it is not the right way to go. Let's find ways to do the searches we need to do, but not have that big database.

BLACKWELL: But in the conversation about hurdles, I mean, we just talked five minutes about hacking.


BLACKWELL: So now, this information goes to a third party, it just expands the number of people who can either pull a Snowden --

PAUL: Or have access. BLACKWELL: Or have access.

SWIRE: But a lot of this has to do with records that the phone companies already have. The phone companies already have phone records. That's not a new thing. So, if we're going to the phone companies that's not a new exposure. That's normal business.

BLACKWELL: Is that a third party?

SWIRE: That could be the phone companies. It could be a third party that's created. Congress is going to have to get involved in some of that. So, what the president said is what we've been doing hasn't been the right way to go, once we've really looked at this.

One reason we said, we didn't find this database essential for preventing any attacks so far. It wasn't like this was the magic thing that was keeping us safe. So, when you look at all our domestic phone records and it hasn't been essential, the judgment was that we should change it.

PAUL: OK. Let's look at another one of the recommendations separating offensive and defensive cyber security activities. I mean, how closely are those going to be handled -- how closely are they handled now, I guess I should say? And what kind of problems might this pose?

SWIRE: Well, so this is one where the president decided not to take our recommendation. Offense is how do you get into the other country, et cetera? Defense is we have to protect the government's computers. And the government talks with industry to try to make it work well.

We think that it's important to make sure that that defense works well for American companies, American industry, all the things. And we'd like to make sure when the government finds a new exploit that we get these patched.

So, we're going to find out more details from the president going forward. I think that they're not going to separate out the two agencies like we said. But I think they're going to try to make sure we get better patches for this stuff.

BLACKWELL: So, you've had conversations with the president. I mean, we have a constitutional lawyer who is now having this discussion.

SWIRE: Right.

BLACKWELL: Which many civil libertarians believe that the government is far overreaching what the Constitution allows and what made our Founding Fathers turn over in their graves. How does he talk about this issue?

SWIRE: Well, he is so well informed on the issues. He is a former constitutional law professor. He has been commander in chief. He deeply understands these two sides.

So, what he did have a fairly complicated here's where we need it and do things differently kind of approach. I think we should feel really good about his knowledge and about the way he pulls these different things together.

PAUL: All righty. Peter Swire, a member of President Obama's review group on intelligence, we're so glad you're here. Thank you very much.

SWIRE: Great to be here. OK. Have a good morning.

PAUL: You, too.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about something fun.

PAUL: Well, because, your security is not fun? Come on. I know. Nominations are in for this year's Oscars, as you know. We've got fan favorites, "Gravity," "American Hustle," "12 Years A Slave" topping the list.

BLACKWELL: Yes, but not everyone was fortunate. Up next, we'll talk about the Hollywood A-listers who were shutout by the Academy.


BLACKWELL: Nineteen minutes until the top of the hour. Good to be with you this morning.

We're in the E-block.

PAUL: Entertainment.

BLACKWELL: Yes, entertainment -- oh, she sings, too. All right. Thanks, Christi.

Oscar nominations are out. Everyone seems to be talking about who did not make the Oscar A-list, instead of who did.

PAUL: Yes, I mean -- let's talk with all of it with Kim Serafin. She's a senior editor of "In Touch Weekly". And editor of, Tom O'Neil.

Good morning, everybody.

Let's talk about Tom Hanks, shall we? I mean, he was considered a shoo-in when it comes to best actor performance in "Capital Phillips." Let's take a look a little bit.


UIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Maersk Alabama. We are an unarmed freighter. We have a potential privacy situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy, Alabama, you should alert your crew and get your fire hoses ready. Chances are it's just fishermen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not here to fish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen up, we've been boarded by armed pirates. We don't want any hostages.


PAUL: All right, Kim, were you surprised he didn't make the list?

KIM SERAFIN, IN TOUCH WEEKLY: Oh, my gosh, I was shocked about this. I mean, Tom Hanks who obviously has won Oscars before, he's someone who is loved at the Academy. And he's so great in this film. He really carries this film in so many ways. So, a real shock, especially that "Captain Phillips" did get attention from the Academy. It got nominated for best picture, so, it was not like it's a movie completely shut out.

I think a lot of people were expecting this. And this is I think a huge snub to a lot of people. He got snubbed, twice, by the way, too, for supporting actor in "Saving Mr. Banks."

PAUL: Banks, yes, I heard great things about that.

BLACKWELL: Hey, Tom, I want to come to you about this question about why some of these actor's we expect to get a nomination, like Robert Redford, for his performance in "All is Lost" not getting a nod. We can't say it's because Hollywood is looking for fresh faces. Judi Dench, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, they all have nominations.

What gives with Robert Redford?

TOM O'NEIL, GOLDDERBY.COM: Well, in Robert Redford's case, I believe it's his own fault. He did very little promotion for his movie "All Is Lost". He didn't even do a press junket, which is routine there, did very few interviews.

And I was surprised. Soon after he's snubbed, he issued a statement at the press conference said it was the fault of the distributors of the film that didn't reach out wide.

No, no, no, Mr. Redford. It was your fault for not helping to promote this film. I was with him a few weeks ago at the film critics where he received best actor, and I was talking to his people right there, and they said, nope, he just sat down.

PAUL: Hmm.

OK. Well, let's talk about pictures, front runner is "Gravity," ""American Hustle", "12 Years a Slave", I mean, they dominate the field in terms of nominations.

Kim, let me ask you -- what do you think is going to grab the gold?

SERAFIN: This is a tough one. The best thing about this year's Oscar race is that really nobody knows. It's so close I think for those three pictures. I think definitely "American Hustle" is my favorite, personally. I have my eggs in that basket.

But you never know, I mean, "12 Years a Slave", "Gravity" also getting attention. The Golden Globes helped. We'll have a lot to say this weekend, because we have the SAG Awards tonight and you have the Producers Guild Awards tomorrow night. So, that could also shift a lot of the momentum either way to one of these films, for sure.

BLACKWELL: You know, Tom, I wonder, there are nine nominees for best picture this year. And just leaving that single spot open, it seems a little insulting to all the other movies like Lee Daniels' "The Butler" and other great films of the year, they're saying, well, you weren't even good enough to be in the conversation?

PAUL: Tom, that's for you.

O'NEIL: Reason for that the bizarre formula they have for determining nominations. You have to have at least 300 first place votes among 6,000 voters to get on the ballot. The reason for that is the Academy wants to be sure that you have at least that much passionate support, that in other words, the movie that is everybody's second or third choice isn't one that takes that slot.

But, you know, at this system, you'd only find it at the Oscars, you find it nowhere else in any other award. You don't even find it even in the accounting field. So, it's a bit ridiculous quite frankly.

PAUL: You know, Victor mentioned the best actress. I think one of the things that's interesting this year round is we always hear how women in Hollywood saying there's just not any good roles for women who are a little bit older.

But in the best actress category, Kim, everybody is 40-plus except Amy Adams. And I think she's 39. Are we seeing a whole new era here?

SERAFIN: You know, this is such great news. People have been talking about this. You're right, everyone says, in Hollywood, you get older, your career's over if you're a woman. This shows you there are actually great roles out there for women. I mean, look at this field that you have. These women nominated.

And, again, you know, you have the perennial Meryl Streep. Of course, she's going to be nominated. Her 18th nomination --

PAUL: Do you think she'll win?

SERAFIN: You have really good -- I think -- no, I think this is probably a toss between -- Cate Blanchett has the lead in this but it could be Amy Adams. There's a lot of buzz for "American Hustle" and Sandra bullock. People love her, too.

So, I think it's probably between the three of them. Cate Blanchett in the lead.

BLACKWELL: So, SAG Awards tonight. We watch the Golden Globes. And do the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, do they give an actor an edge at the Oscars, Tom?

O'NEIL: They do, that's primary because it's the same people voting. You know, there are 1,200 members of the acting branch and 6,000 at the Academy. That's the largest. When that peer group votes at the SAG Awards, it's a good indicator for what's ahead.

Last year, they got three out of the four correct one predicting the Oscars, but they missed Kristof Walsh. They didn't even nominate him at SAG. So, when he won at the Oscars, it was one of those rare times that the two awards were out of sink.

BLACKWELL: All right. Tom O'Neil, Kim Serafin, we'll be watching the SAG Awards tonight together and we'll talk next week. Thanks.

SERAFIN: Sounds good. Thanks.

PAUL: Thanks, guys.

BLACKWELL: For the first time in more than six years a black female cast member joins the cast of "Saturday Night Live" tonight.

PAUL: All eyes tonight on "SNL." Former upright citizens brigade star Sasheer Zamata making a big debut, along with two new writers who also happened to be black.

BLACKWELL: Now, the late night skit comedy show, which is typically famous for taking on controversies in the media, of course, politics, has been at the center of heated criticism since October. The snow's getting slammed by some critics for being what they call too white and too male.

PAUL: So, later this morning, we are talking to comedian Loni Love and former MAD TV star Debra Wilson about this controversy in diversity in comedy itself. If you have any questions that you want us to ask specifically, want to get it answered, so tweet us. We'll be having a conversation later.

BLACKWELL: This will be a great conversation.

So, stay tuned for that.

Also still to come on NEW DAY, a report that some University of North Carolina students can barely read is not just causing an uproar on campus.

PAUL: Now, death threats are being made against the researcher behind the study. The latest on the ongoing fallout, next.


BLACKWELL: Officials warn pregnant women in some parts of West Virginia that their tap water is still too toxic to drink. More than 220,000 people have been cleared to use the water after this toxic spill, but the warning for women who are expecting has left a lot of people nervous.

PAUL: And I bet people are nervous, anyway, if you're still not letting pregnant women drink, but I can.

At the same time, have you heard about the company blamed for the toxic spill, Freedom Industries? It's filing for bankruptcy, which as you know, could put lawsuits against the company on hold.

We want to tell you about these two small planes that collided on the runway at the San Jose airport. According to the FAA, a single engine Piper Comanche lost power while taking off and crashed into the similar size Cessna 172. No injuries thankfully reported. But the NTSB, of course, is investigating the accident.

BLACKWELL: The son of famed evangelist Billy Graham is asking the world to pray for prayers for his father. Reverend Franklin Graham spoke with CNN affiliate WVTV about his father's condition.


FRANKLIN GRAHAM, REVEREND: He's doing OK, just OK, after he was hospitalized right after his birthday in November. And his vitals are good, but he just does not have strength. For those that are watching, my father would appreciate your prayers.

Well, you know, my father is ready to go to heaven. Whenever that day comes, he's ready. He worked hard all of his life. He has been faithful to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ his entire life. So, he is ready to go home. I'm praying the Lord will leave him a little longer. We need him.


BLACKWELL: Franklin Graham said his dad started on another book and wants to be able to finish it. Now, he also said that Billy Graham hopes to film another online video message like the one he released on his 95th birthday.

PAUL: Well, not only is the University of North Carolina rejecting a claim that student athletes read at below third grade levels, but the whistleblower behind the study, Mary Willingham, is now receiving death threats for her work.

BLACKWELL: Our very own Sara Ganim has the latest on the fallout stemming from the controversial story first reported right here on CNN.


SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, since our story aired, UNC has insisted that it does not believe whistleblower Mary Willingham's research. You may recall her research showed that there have been athletes in the revenue sports, that's football and basketball, who were reading at elementary school levels.

In response, the university says they reviewed her findings and found several flaws. They said her conclusions are unfair to UNC students and they'll seek another independent review of her work.

In the meantime, the school has also released admission summaries that it believes makes the point that things are not as bad as Willingham says they are. So, we looked at those summaries too and we found that there were 34 football and basketball players admitted since 2004 with very low test scores, scores that experts consulted by CNN say indicates that these athletes would not be able to read a college textbook. That's about 10 percent, if they didn't play sports, would not have been admitted to the University of North Carolina.

Now, there is also been blowback for Mary Willingham. Her permission to do research was pulled. The university said she broke rules, basically, that she wasn't supposed to know the names of the students that she was studying, names that were published in her findings.

Willingham has also received death threats. So, it's not surprising that the people we talked to in the last few days have asked CNN not to use their names. But we did speak to the psychologist who administered that test that Willingham used in her research, and that psychologist backs up Mary Willingham's findings that many student athletes could barely read -- Victor and Christi.


BLACKWELL: All right. Sara Ganim, thanks for the update.

So, what you do if you found some money at a parking lot?

PAUL: OK. We're not just talking 20 or 40 bucks. We're talking big cash. Well, it happened to a guy in Oregon. Wait until you hear all about it.


PAUL: All right. Now for some good stuff -- part of the show where we feature stories about some of the good news out there. It is out there.

BLACKWELL: Yes. You just got to find it. And we have.

First up, a man in Oregon City, we all want this guy as a neighbor. Why? Because he found $40,000 on the ground in a parking lot and instead of running off with it, he called 911.

PAUL: And here's the thing, it turns out it belonged to a 71-year-old woman who needed it to buy a home. So, good for him. He's probably feeling good about himself.

BLACKWELL: Talk about weight loss success. A Georgia woman lost more than 350 pounds by doing it the old fashion way, indeed.

PAUL: She dropped the weight without surgery.

BLACKWELL: No surgery at all. She swapped fried foods for fruits and vegetables. Look at the pictures. She attended weekly weight watcher meetings for support. She said if she can do it, anyone can do it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VAL MCLEOD, DIETER: Release the resistance. Let go of the limitation, because it's a lie. You absolutely can do it.


BLACKWELL: Three hundred fifty pounds.

PAUL: My goodness.

BLACKWELL: Now, she says that she still wants to lose another 50 by next year. Her goal is to fit into a suit she bought 15 years ago.

PAUL: That's some motivation. Go, Val. Her name is Val. Go, Val. Good for you.

We are so glad that you are starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: And we're happy to be here with you.

The next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.