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Olympic Terror Threat; Man Shoots Wife In Hospital; Fire Fading Near Los Angeles; Bao Bao Debuts At National Zoo; Revealing Drama Interview; Jamaican Bobsled Team Qualifies

Aired January 20, 2014 - 07:30   ET



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Here are some of the stories making news an ominous new terror threat against the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, which are less than three weeks away. A video has surfaced with two men believed to be the bombers who killed 34 people last month in the city of Volgograd. In it they vowed to stage more attacks making specific mention of the Olympics and tourists who will come for the games.

Back here at home, an 88-year-old Nevada man is on a suicide watch this morning after investigators say he walked into Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center Sunday where his wife is a patient. He shot her in the chest. Her injuries are said to be life threatening. The motive is also unclear, but deputies say this man, William Dresser, is cooperating.

Fire crews are getting a handle on the wildfire in the hills east of Los Angeles. It is almost at 80 percent containment after charring about 19 acres. Five homes have been destroyed and 17 others were damaged. Officials say it should be fully contained by tomorrow. It is believe the flame was sparked when campers used papers to feed a camp fire. They are now in jail and facing charges.

On this day dedicated to honoring his legacy, we are hearing long lost audio recordings from Martin Luther King, Jr. He's heard discussing steps then Senator John F. Kennedy took to influence King's release from a Georgia prison back in 1960.


MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: It is true Senator Kennedy did take specific steps. He was in contact with officials in Georgia during my arrest. He called my wife, made a personal call and expressed he was working and trying to do something to make my release possible.


PEREIRA: That sound is from a tape found in a Tennessee attic a few years ago.

Extended hours today at the National Zoo in the Washington area for the huge crowds that are packing in to see Bao Bao, the panda cub. The 5-month old bouncing baby bear Bao Bao, whose name means precious in mandarin, was born in August. Don't worry, if you can't get there in person, you can always tune in to the panda cam, Chris, on the National Zoo's web site, knowing you're a big fan of baby pandas.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's very, very popular, Bao Bao. Check it out.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I find you both very Bao Bao, by the way.

BOLDUAN: I'm going to take that as a compliment. Thank you. Time for our political gut check, President Obama opens up on a new in- depth profile by "The New Yorker" magazine's editor in chief, who sat down for hours with the president both at the White House and also aboard Air Force One.

The piece covers everything from football to marijuana to candid reflections on the office of president. Here to break it all down for us is CNN's Chief National correspondent, John King. Good morning.


BOLDUAN: Quite a read, a different perspective coming from the president as he's in his second term. What did you find most revealing?

KING: I think at times the president is debating himself in this article. This is not a one cup of coffee article. It's a full pot of coffee article. But David Remnick is a wonderful writer. He's spent a lot of time studying the president. It's a very thoughtful article. The president seems to be debating himself at times, saying he still thinks he can

Still get some things done, though it's still a tough climate in Washington. He describes himself and the presidency as you're a relay two swimmer in a relay race. You get your one paragraph of what you're trying to write At times he's that aspirational. President who won in 2008 and at times he seems to have more modest aspiration.

BOLDUAN: We hear the pot is not any worse than alcohol. That will get some buzz. But I really was taken -- first of all, he's talking to the media and he knows the media is not his friend. But he seems beat down. Maybe that's just about interpretation. But where do you hear he is in terms of his enthusiasm for keeping the good fight up?

KING: Again, you get in fits and starts. You'll talk to some who see the president and they'll say he's energized for this fight. He'll give a "State of the Union address just around the corner, he'll talk about raising the minimum wage. If he can do one thing, it's to fight for those who have been knocked down and can he get that done in his final two years of his presidency, a beat down.

I think Washington has taken some of the zeal out of him. If you go back and compare Barack Obama 2007 and 2008 running, saying he would make things different, he would change Washington, it would be transformational, he was an aspirational candidate, he sounds at times in this article much more tactical, trying to get this or that done, not broad view. BOLDUAN: He's talking about Abraham Lincoln in that one section saying Lincoln's achievement acknowledges at the end of the day we're part of a long-running story, we just try to get our paragraph right. I find that striking between the Barack Obama we know from 2007 and 2008 to the Barack Obama we know now.

KING: Is it a humble take in the presidency that he's learned from his time in office, he spends a lot of time with presidential historians or is it a realistic take after living in a tough climate. He says all those pictures are in the wall and you see them all the time.

He says Ronald Reagan, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, he said they're among the president who is made a big difference, they actually impacted and changed society and he wants to be one of them. He has a challenge over these last three years to see what he can get done in a very, very difficult environment.

CUOMO: I wonder which of the statements that he made in there will wind up leading to the motion action, legalizing pot, that's not going to change on the federal level. He already said that. The stuff about football, you know the federal government really has no reason to weigh in there. What do you think will wind up getting the most purchase, both of very interesting as a parent?

He said if he had a son, he wouldn't let them play football. He said he compares those who do to smokers saying it's all out is there now, they've seen the Chris being, if they want to do it, let them do it. He gives the green light. It wasn't that long ago his Justice Department was fighting the state effort to legalize or decriminalize marijuana.

He makes a point he thinks it's young black and Latino kids who get thrown in jail for smoking pot and more white kids don't and so he thinks it's an equalizer.

BOLDUAN: And you know he knows exactly what he's doing --

KING: He knows exactly what he's doing when he speaks about this. He's also not up for re-election remember that.

BOLDUAN: Yes, also good to point out. Thanks, John.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, we've been calling it the Target hack attack, but new this morning, we're learning that Target was not the only store that was hit. You could be a victim and not even know it. We are going to tell you to keep your information and your money safe.

BOLDUAN: And cool running, the biggest underdogs in bob sledding. Find out what stands between the Jamaican team and trying to compete at the Sochi Olympics.


CUOMO: All right, so, Indra says another polar vortex is on the way. I think this is really just an arctic blast both unrelated and distinct in its properties.

BOLDUAN: Really?

CUOMO: That's me. No, I kid. Indra's here, please tell me what a polar vortex is and why what's coming in isn't one drop some science.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: basics, guys. Polar vortex, it is always there, it's circulation at the poles. It goes round and round and round. If it weakens, like it did a month or so ago, this lobe comes down and you get that very cold air. The difference this time is the lobe is going down but not all the way. The very cold air stays up here. Arctic air, which is not as cold, is dipping down.

That is key, it's so important because everyone keeps saying it wrong. You do not have a polar vortex coming to your region. The polar vortex is always there. You are going to freeze. You are not going to like this. Minneapolis still talking about temperatures a good 30 below. They're still about 30 degrees warmer than the blast you saw last time.

New York City seeing about 16 with the windchill, last time they are about 14 below with the wind chill. So again still about 30 degrees warmer than last time regardless, by tomorrow that cold air spills all the way into the northeast. Temperatures in most place as good 20 degrees below normal.

Even some heavy snow in the latest forecast, New York City and D.C., as much as 8 inches in New York City and a good 5 inches out toward D.C., guys. A lot going on.

BOLDUAN: That's right.

PETERSONS: Not a polar vortex.

CUOMO: Now we know, Mich. Now we know.

PEREIRA: We sure do. That was incredible science. Thanks so much for that. We're going to talk about some new developments in the hack attacks. Something else a lot of folks have been concerned about. Remember the issue with Target? Upwards of 110 million customers may have had their information stolen.

Target may not have been the only store to have been targeted because the software behind the breach was undetectable. Our next guest is the chairman and CEO of I-Sight, an online security firm, which worked on the report about this malware with the Department of Homeland Security. John Waters joins us this morning. Talk to us about how the malware works.

JOHN WATTERS, CEO AND CHAIRMAN, ISIGHT PARTNERS: It's advanced and it has to achieve five objectives. You have to establish yourself on the system. You have to hide yourself so you can see the information on the magnetic data before it's encrypted, you have to leave the environment and then you need to cover your tracks. The malware effectively allows all five of those attacks to take place.

PEREIRA: How were they able to get around the existing security? Was the security that was there enough?

WATTERS, CEO AND CHAIRMAN, ISIGHT PARTNERS: The security in place today in most retailers is in compliance with PCI standard, which is the governmental regulations around how you can protect credit card data, which requires them to get the data encrypted, store it a certain way. All the bad guys know exactly what you're doing to try to protect against their efforts. So they craft strategies to specifically counter your defenses. In this case it looks like they've been pretty successful.

PEREIRA: So folks at home clearly our government standards aren't enough. Can't they do more? If the bad guys are more sophisticated than the good guy, we've got to step it up.

WATTERS: Yes, you know, the thing is, think of how long it takes the government to put out a standard and how long it takes to implement it and put all the controls in place. You're fighting a History Channel when you're really looking for new releases. In this case the adversary will continuously adapt their strategy until they're successful. Unless you can track and see how they're changing, see the new tools and techniques they're using and adapt as the adversary adapts, you're always going to be fighting yesterday's battles.

PEREIRA: Putting a band-air on him absolutely. Some reports are pointing to a Russian teenager as being the source of this malware. Is that what is happening here, that a 17-year-old Russian teenager is our worst fear?

WATTERS: No, not at all. He's just a part of the equation. If this is the guy potentially, what he he's done is create the weapon and sell the weapon. It doesn't mean he's the guy who used it. He's obviously a good coder and he created a piece of software that can be distributed among multiple criminal groups here and around the world.

So once they have the core set they can configure it to target whatever retailers want to use whatever systems they want. You now have this unbounded set of attackers. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I think we'll see a lot of flattery in the coming months.

PEREIRA: Well, I think it's fair to say there is a great deal of customer and consumer frustration about this. Do the companies who have been named in this government report, do they not have an obligation to tell their customers that their information may have been compromised?

WATTERS: Well, I think once they have the clear data they have been compromised they certainly have an obligation to report. We've seen victims reporting. The key issue here is how you can inform potential victims that they may have been compromised already and they just doesn't know it temperature keep in mind the five steps, the last one is hide your tracks.

It's very hard to detect whether or not you've been compromised. The DHS and U.S. Secret Service work that they've done and we supported them with to put out a report to say here are the technical artifacts of the attack, that way potential victims can determine whether or not they've been attacked. This is all one phase.

One thing for sure is the criminal gains will pale in comparison. They harvest the credit cards. They have the information, you still have to monetize the cards and get the host back in the country. The flip side of that, on the victim side you clearly have to reissue all those cards that have been compromised at great cost, the brand damage, customer confidence damage has a real ripple effect.

PEREIRA: That's the issue. Customer confidence is a very real issue for so many of these retailers. John Watters, CEO and chairman of Isight Partners, thanks for joining us. We appreciate your perspective.

WATTERS: Your welcome, thank you.

PEREIRA: Kate, Chris.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Michaela. Coming up next on NEW DAY, they have made history before, but they'll need some real help to make it to the Olympics in Sochi this time around. What will keep the Jamaican bobsled team from competing in the games? We're going to talk about it.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It took 12 years but the Jamaican bobsled team is back. Olympic officials confirming that the two-man team has qualified for Sochi, but they might not get a chance to compete though with just 18 days left the team is racing to raise tens of thousands of dollars just to get to Sochi. "EARLY START" anchor, John Berman is looking into this.

JOHN BERMAN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "EARLY START": You would think the biggest obstacle to a bobsled team from Jamaica making it to the Olympics is the fact that they live in Jamaica, which is in the Caribbean without real snow, but cool weather is not the problem here. The big problem here is cold cash.


BERMAN (voice-over): For the first time in more than a decade the big just underdogs in bobsledding have defied the odds and qualified for the Olympic Games, but the Jamaican bobsled team isn't packing their bags just yet. The problem, they need a lot of money fast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why we're looking forward so we can fulfill the dream.

BERMAN: The team needs to raise as much as $80,000 to cover travel and equipment fees so they turned to fundraising web sites to try and make it happen. In just under 24 hours the team raised horse than $16,000 and donations continue to pour in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're Jamaican. It will happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not bobsledding yet. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes we are.

BERMAN: The Jamaicans are among the most famous team in the sport due to the movie "Cool Runnings" that chronicled the journey of the country's first Olympic bobsled team. After missing the last two Winter Olympics, the Jamaican bobsledders were determined to qualify for Sochi.

WINSTON WATTS, TEAM CAPTAIN: This is such a real, really great feeling.

BERMAN: The team who refers to themselves "Cool Runnings," the sequel knows the odds are stacked against them.

WATTS: A lot of people ask us if we're really crazy.

BERMAN: But they are hoping that with some help they will have another shot at Olympic glory.

WATTS: It's not many people can say they are from a tropical country and do a sport, which is winter sports and we're so good at it.


BERMAN: I think they are going to make it. I certainly hope they are. You saw Winston Watts here. He is the team captain. He is a great story himself. He's 46, which is pretty old for the Olympics and he's been retired from competition for ten years and he came back for one last push.

PEREIRA: I love it. That's so great.

BOLDUAN: I don't know if it's the camera angle or what. You two have no excuses.

CUOMO: I have ton of excuses.

BERMAN: I watch a lot of TV.

BOLDUAN: Your sleep schedule. That will be fun to watch. We have hope.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, terrifying new threats, new hype surrounding the Olympics we're talking about right now in Sochi. We'll sort through it with someone who knows terrorism and once had to figure out how to secure an Olympics, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am very concerned about the security status of the Olympics.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: New fears of an attack on the Olympic games, militants releasing this video vowing to strike at Sochi. We talk live to the man who helped keep the Utah Olympics secure after 9/11. Are the games safe this time?

BOLDUAN: Under fire, another Democratic mayor accusing Chris Christie of bullying. She's now talking to federal prosecutors. What her journal may reveal about what happened, and how Christie's team is fighting back today.

PEREIRA: Lighting up the debate. President Obama weighing in on legalizing pot saying it's no more dangerous than alcohol. Will he move to change federal law?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.