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Propane Price Spike in Midst of Cold Front; Stocks have Rocky Start to Year; Justin Beiber Arrested; Russia Extends Snowden's Asylum; Article Stirs Clinton Buzz

Aired January 24, 2014 - 07:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It's very clear they can't do it. The situation is now in the hands of a judge. We have Ed Lavandera monitoring the situation for us. Ed, what do we know?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Here in Ft. Worth, Texas, later on today, lawyers for the hospital and lawyers for the family of Marlise Munoz will battle it out in court. And it will be up to a judge to decide what will happen with Marlise Munoz.


LAVANDERA: In an emergency court hearing scheduled for this afternoon, Erick Munoz could find out if a judge will grant his wish and force a Texas hospital to disconnect his pregnant wife from ventilators.

ERICK MUNOZ, HUSBAND: You reach the point where you wish that your wife's body would stop.

LAVANDERA: Marlise Munoz's family agrees and has said the pregnant mother is brain-dead. In new court filings Erick Munoz describes the sad scene inside the intensive care unit of John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth where Marlise Munoz has been kept since she collapsed of a lung clot on November 26th. Munoz says there's a soulless look in his wife's eyes, and that "when I move her hands her bones crack and her legs are nothing more than dead weight," adding that his wife is nothing more than an empty shell.

The case has sparked a passionate debate over end-of-life decisions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just don't want the hospital to forget that there is a child involved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't feel it's right for the state or the hospital to force this on her.

LAVANDERA: John Peter Smith Hospital officials say they're following Texas law by keeping Munoz on ventilators in hopes of saving the baby's life. The law overrides a woman's end of life wishes if she is pregnant. The fetus is now about 22 weeks old and doctors can still detect a heartbeat. But Erick Munoz's attorneys say the fetus is deformed and suffering from several abnormalities. Munoz's family has said the former paramedic never wanted to be kept on life-support. Two experts who helped write the Texas law also argue that if Munoz is brain-dead, as the family has said, then the hospital is wrong.

THOMAS MAYO, SMU LAW PROFESSOR: I don't see how we can use a provision of the law that talks about treating or not treating a patient in a case where we really don't have a patient.


LAVANDERA: And the judge that will be hearing this case we're told could very well make a decision today after hearing arguments for lawyers for the hospital and lawyers for the husband of Marlise Munoz. And those lawyers say they're hopeful that a final decision will be made today.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And now, of course, as you say, people beyond the Munoz family are now all very interested, all around the country, in how this turns out today. So this is a very big day for this case. We'll be watching it closely. Ed, thanks so much.

Now to another big story, the arctic blast is spreading. The freeze that has been affecting millions is now diving south into Texas. Houston, the country's fourth largest city, is in a bulls-eye of an ice storm that could make the morning commute something of a nightmare. And the Midwest is not in the clear yet. Take a look at this in Indiana. At least three people were killed in this massive 40-vehicle chain reaction crash. Let's go to Houston, though, where CNN's Nick Valencia is for us this morning. Good morning, Nick.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. It is especially cold for this part of the country. Houston, we've seen sleet on and off for the last couple hours, parts of west and central Texas waking to ice cycles this morning. Let's talk about those road conditions. The Texas department of transportation, they say they're ready for it. They've been out since yesterday prepping the roads with anti-freeze solutions just to make sure there's more traction on the roads.

Schools here in the Houston area, they are concerned about the weather, so they decided to stay closed today. They won't be having school here in Houston this morning. But also, one final note here, flight cancellations also a big concern here in Houston. They've been hit hard. At least 117 flights canceled at Bush Intercontinental Airport, another 42 at Hobby.

CUOMO: All right, thanks, Nick, appreciate the reporting. The bitter cold is not going anywhere any time soon. That's what meteorologist Indra Petersons knows all too well. What do we see?

INDRA PETERSONS, CNN AMS METEOROLOGIST: Right now, we know there's a series of clippers. And we know next week is going to be a difficult start to your workweek. Want to show you why. Notice the drop from Sunday to Monday for Minneapolis, 17 is your high to 11 below. Check out Chicago, 28 to zero, and especially towards Dallas, 73, back down to 42 degrees. This is going to be the story.

So what is going on? Huge arctic dome of high pressure making its way south, and here comes the snow makers farther to the north. We're just kind of stuck with this right now. Clipper after clipper is going to continue to bring showers to the upper Midwest and the northeast as you go through the weekend.

And take a look what happens. One, two, even three of these systems make their way through. It's that third one that is going to bring the coldest air of all of these systems. So that's going to be the concern.

What you need to know today, yes, wintery mix in Louisiana back through Texas. And of course those showers in the upper Midwest spreading into the Ohio Valley overnight tonight. It's just tough to think it's already cold and snowing, and the fact that it could get worse at the end of all of this as we start the week next week.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

Right along with this, the deep freeze is continuing, and that also means new developments in the propane shortage hitting half the country. Now the governor of Texas has declared an energy emergency. And Texas is now letting other states tap into their propane reserves. And that's not a day too soon for the 12 million Americans who use the gas to heat their homes. CNN's George Howell has been following the shortage for us and has more.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than 12 million Americans use propane to heat their homes. And with this particular winter, we're finding that the demand is up, the price is up as well, and the supply is limited. Want to take you on a tour of three different families to show you how they're trying to deal with it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they're going to gouge me this bad, yes. My propane will cost me more than my mortgage payment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I sure as hell don't want to pay $4,000 a month or so for propane.

HOWELL: Do you think homeowners are prepared for the price of propane right now? It's over $5.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not. Nobody would have thought this was going to happen.

HOWELL: Does this keep you warm?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I have blankets on the couches. Kids have double blankets on their beds. I don't know what else to do.

HOWELL: How much did it take to fill this up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I only got 500 gallons. That's all they give me yesterday. Natural gas ain't out here. It's propane or nothing. What do you do? You buy it and like it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's horrifying, you can't turn your thermostat much lower without freezing your pipes. All of our appliances run on propane.

SANDY BENCHIN, RESIDENT: How could it go up from yesterday at $2.69 a gallon to $5 today? How can that happen?

HOWELL: How are people going to deal with this if the price keeps going up?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They either have a choice. You pay for the propane or you pay for your house to live in. What are you going to do?

HOWELL: States are taking steps to provide some relief, easing restrictions on propane trucks. Ten Midwestern states, 14 on the east coast, and nine southern states are allowing more than 23 hours of service to get more propane to the places that need it. But help can't come soon enough with people dealing with temperatures that continue to drop and prices that keep shooting up.

George Howell, CNN, Creed, Illinois.


CUOMO: All right, now one story feeds into another. We're seeing a propane shortage. The prices there are sparking. A lot of people are now going to have to look to their savings. And that brings in the markets. We know they go up and down and with it goes fortunes and fates. We're seeing a sell-off right now. Let's bring in CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans. There is a smell of fear. Why?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Because last year was a great year. Stocks were up 30 percent. And now people are realizing they don't go straight up anymore. You're got concerns. This year is going to be harder than it was last year. And you have a lot of scare in the market, scare because the Fed is going to have to be pulling back the stimulus, Scare because the emerging markets are not going to fair as well with uneven growth this year, and concerns about lackluster earnings. Companies have been having good profits because they've been basically tightening the belt, tightening the belt, not hiring. Any kind of whiff that earnings are not going to be strong and you see the markets starts to tumble. We have futures down big. Another 125 points the Dow futures right now, so it could be another big red arrow on Wall Street today.

CUOMO: So the question becomes, is this just adjusting to what they see as data or is it a correction? And if so, what does that mean for 401(k) watchers?

ROMANS: That's such a good question. We haven't had a correction in this market since last summer. So it's just been going up. Some would argue you need a little bit of a pullback to refresh, to recalibrate your position. For our 401(k) that means it's not going to be as easy this year as it was last year. I think the average, consensus of Wall Street strategists is maybe six percent is the gain for the year, but it could be real choppy to get it. In your 401(k), remember, for the year, the NASDAQ is higher. The S&P is down one percent so far for the year. The Dow is down a little bit more. It's down 2.3 percent for the year. That's the perspective. This is -- that's yesterday's close. Today you're going to see some declines. That's the slow start to the year, but it isn't all that bad. The question is what happens next.

CUOMO: Christine, thank you very much. Got to watch this every day.

ROMANS: Oh, absolutely.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's take a look at the headlines that re making this hour. I want to show you some live pictures of a church fire burning out of control in Green Castle, Indiana. Firefighters are on the scene battling some pretty intense flames. We don't know the cause, we don't know if there are any injuries, but we will stay on top of the situation and bring you any more information as it becomes available.

Today, delegations from the Syrian government and the opposition are not expected to meet face to face during peach talks. Instead a U.N. mediator is speaking separately with the two sides in Geneva. Direct talks were shelves after the opposition demanded the government agree to the creation of a transitional government. More than a 100,000 people have died so far in Syria's three year old civil war.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordering an independent review of the military's nuclear force. This comes on the heels of a scandal at a nuclear base in Montana. Officials say 34 Air Force officers were involved in cheating on a proficiency test. A Pentagon spokesman says, quote, clearly we have issues, but insists the U.S. nuclear arsenal is secure.

Breaking news overnight out of Egypt. A series of explosions, three of them at last report, at or near police stations in Cairo. The first and largest one hit police headquarters there. At least four people killed, more than 50 others wounded. Two other explosions followed nearby at different police stations. One of those blasts wounding several people.

Surf is up today in Santa Cruz, California. Organizers of the Mavericks Invitation Surf contest given the go-ahead for the event. They are expecting massive waves 18 to 20 feet high. And 24 contestants from all around the globe are invited to compete. The prize, a $50,000 purse, and, you know, the bragging rights, no value.

BOLDUAN: Memories that will last forever.

CUOMO: It tests not just their ability to surf, but their ability to endure. A buddy of mine is a big wave surfer, and he says every time one of those waves puts you down, it can be up to two-and-a-half minutes where you just get tumbled and tumbled and turned.

BOLDUAN: I would watch from afar and admire.

PEREIRA: I love watching that from afar.

BOLDUAN: Something else we're watching from afar, Justin Bieber out of jail but not out of trouble this morning. The pop star paid $2,500 bail after his arrest early yesterday. Florida police say he and a friend were drag racing in the streets. And once in custody, he allegedly admitted he had been drinking, smoking marijuana, and taking prescription drugs. And that is just the last trouble for Bieber, already accused of egging a neighbor's home in California.

Tory Dunnan is in Miami following the latest developments of Justin Bieber. Good morning, Tory.

TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Kate. Well, the state attorney's office says that they're going to be taking a close look at all this, including the various social media accounts of this incident. They'll take a close look at then of course make a decision about charges. At this point they say it is just too early to tell where the case is going.


DUNNAN: Waving to fans, seemingly unfazed Justin Bieber emerged from a Miami jail after being arrested for a late night drag race on Miami Beach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Bieber, you are charged with the following --

DUNNAN: One of the world's richest teens had a sobering moment. Appearing before a judge, he was charged with driving under the influence, driving with an expired license, and resisting arrest. Prominent Miami Defense Attorney Roy Black doing all of the talking in court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been retained by his manager.

DUNNAN: Bieber was all smiles in his booking photo in a jail jumpsuit, instantly making headlines around the world. Miami Beach police say Bieber was driving this Lamborghini when he raced against a Ferrari on a quiet residential stretch of the beach, both vehicles nearly twice the speed limit, two black SUVs blocking the roadway. Just after 4:00 a.m., a Miami Beach police officer arrested the pop star who allegedly failed a sobriety test.

CHIEF RAYMOND MARTINEZ, MIAMI BEACH POLICE: Mr. Bieber made a statement that he had consumed some alcohol and had been smoking marijuana and consumed some prescription medication.

DUNNAN: Police say the teen heartthrob wreaked of alcohol and fired off numerous expletives to the officer at the scene.

KATHY FERNANDEZ RUNDLE, MIAMI DADE STATE ATTORNEY: The law is the law, the facts are the facts.

DUNNAN: After eight hours in jail, Bieber was released after posting $2,500 bond.

ROY BLACK: They have not asked for an increased because of his popularity or frame. DUNNAN: Police also arresting the driver of the Ferrari, R&B singer Khalil, who earlier in the day posted videos of Bieber skateboarding with him. Justin Beiber's rise from YouTube sensation to multi- millionaire pop star is nothing to joke about. His current album is on the top 10 iTunes downloads, and he's amassed nearly 50 million Twitter followers. If his run-in with the law bothered his legions of believers, it wasn't evident outside the court.


DUNNAN: And Chris and Kate, so far his reps have declined to comment about this latest incident. It's really raised a lot of questions from people about whether or not this star will be seeking help in the future.

BOLDUAN: The question is, what do you say? Right now it's all about damage control for them. Tory, thank you so much.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, some new information. A top Russian official shares his thoughts on Edward Snowden. What are the chances Russia returns the NSA leaker?

BOLDUAN: And a greyhound bus driver under attack. How that driver saved dozens of passengers when the bus crashes on the interstate. That story when NEW DAY returns.


CUOMO: Have some breaking news now. Russia will not be sending NSA leaker Edward Snowden back to the United States. Snowden was initially granted one year's asylum in Russian, but new this morning, a Russian official just announced he can stay put. This, as Snowden tells CNN's Jake Tapper in an online chat that he wants to come home, but doesn't believe he'd get a fair trial.

For more, we got to CNN's Joe Johns, live in Washington. Joe?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Chris, this morning that top Russian official, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Duma, Alexei Pushkov, just said Russia will not send Snowden back to the United States, will not end his asylum, and said it would be up to Snowden if he wants to go back. This would suggest on its face that the one-year asylum that was granted to Snowden is actually open-ended now. That there's no deadline for him to reach some resolution of his legal issues with the United States government.

The U.S. attorney general has tried to reach out to Russia in the recent past to give assurances, for example, that he would not be exposed to the death penalty if put on trial here, though he's not accused of any death penalty eligible violations. Snowden has been accused by some on Capitol Hill of engaging in spying for Russia, which Russia has denied. So, the new development this morning is that the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Duma has said Russia will not end Snowden's asylum and that returning to the U.S. would be up to Snowden. Chris?

BOLDUAN: I'll take it, Joe. Just another step in what's going to be a very long process here. Thank you so much for that update.

Also this morning, very high praise for a hero bus driver who managed to avert catastrophe even as he himself was under attack. Two dozen people were hospitalized Thursday in Arizona after a 25-year-old man allegedly assaulted the driver while the bus was traveling at more than 70 miles an hour. Now, passengers are hailing the quick-acting heroes who took charge. CNN's Miguel Marquez has more.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A nightmare on wheels: 1:45 a.m. just west of Phoenix, a passenger on this Greyhound bus attacked the driver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the bus driver was saying, get this guy off of me, get this guy off of me. And the guy said, I heard it with my own two ears, he said I'm going to flip this bus.

MARQUEZ: Police say 25-year-old Maguel Donyel Morris, 25 was high, under the influence of heavy drugs, when he began shouting incoherently that the U.S. was under attack and that he wanted to turn this F-ing bus over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I woke up to this commotion. And I remember hearing screaming, and when I realized it was real, I realized we were not on the road anymore. I thought we were all going to die.

MARQUEZ: Though some passengers were injured, it could have been much, much worse. The bus doing about 75 miles per hour when the attack began, swerved into the center divider and came to a stop only a few feet from oncoming traffic. The bus driver being hailed a hero for keeping the bus upright.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I knew once he hit that median that there was no way that we were going to come out of this, but he held it. Even with a guy hitting him. And without (ph) on the steering wheel, he held it real good.

MARQUEZ: Both Morris and a woman traveling with him fled into the desert and were arrested a short time later. Morris had to be hospitalized because not because of injury, but because he was babbling incoherently, just too high to communicate.

Miguel Marquez, CNN Los Angeles.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Miguel. Thanks for that.

CUOMO: Coming up on new day, Hillary Clinton. The woman in the moon. This "New York Times" magazine cover is weirding people out. What about what's in the piece itself? A look at the Hillary machine. Is it built to win?

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, Justin Bieber now out of jail, but his problems aren't going any where. He's only 19, we all know that, so where are the people that are supposed to be around him guiding him?


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Here are some of those stories making news at this hour. Happening today, a court hearing in Ft. Worth, Texas to decide the fate of a pregnant brain-dead woman who's being kept on life support by a hospital, against her family's wishes. This afternoon a district judge will be asked to order John Peter Smith Hospital to pull the plug on Marlise Munoz. Hospital officials have refused to shut off her ventilator because doctors can still detect a faint heartbeat in her fetus.

Bitterly cold deep in the heart of Texas. San Antonio, Austin, Houston, all dealing with freezing rain, sleet, and ice. And the icy conditions could make the morning commute dangerous. Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are affecting more than 10 million people from central Texas to western and central Louisiana.

A ceasefire in South Sudan. Fighting has rocked the newly formed east African nation for more than a month after rebels, loyal to the ousted prime minister, tried to stage a coup in December. The new agreement, brokered by an east African mediation group, calls for an immediate end to military operation and sets up a group of unnamed monitors. President Obama called it a first step toward building lasting peace.

Later today, conservative author and film maker Dinesh D'Souza will be arraigned on charges he violated federal campaign finance laws. Federal prosecutors say he persuaded others to give $20,000, then reimbursed them for the donations to a Senate candidate in 2012. D'Souza directed "2016 Obama's America," an anti-Obama documentary released during the final days of the president's reelection campaign.

Parents with babies, you know that bath time isn't easy. Imagine doing this, though. Polar bear cub having a bit of a blast having a bath. That clip is making waves on the internet. This little one is being raised at the Toronto zoo. He's actually the only surviving cub of a liter that his mom gave birth to back in November. After round-the- clock care, and very special formula, the yet to be named cub we're told is doing very well and is very clean.


BOLDUAN: Might need a bigger bath. Don't you agree?


CUOMO: Parents wish their kids were that good in the bath.

BOLDUAN: Let's move back to politics. New this morning, a cover story in "New York Times" magazine about Hillary Clinton is making waves online, even before the piece was released. We got a first read of the article, looking at Clinton's inner circle and kind of the circles beyond the inner circle, and how they play into her potential bid for president. It is also that cover itself that has a lot of people talking and cropping. Joining us now is the author of the piece, Amy Chozick, a political reporter for "New York Times," and of course our John King, CNN's chief national correspondent. Amy, good morning. John, good morning as always.


BOLDUAN: Let's talk about the cover in a second. First, let's talk about your piece. It looks at, and no pun intended, the universe that surrounds Hillary Clinton and the challenges in organizing that for a potential 2016 bid. What did you find?

AMY CHOZICK, POLITICAL REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I found that the Clintons are unlike any other political family in terms of how they have collected people. I mean literally since Bill Clinton's kindergarten class, they have been collecting friends, advisors, donors, people who feel a stake in, now, her future and want their voices heard.

You know, in 2008 we saw a lot of cooks in the kitchen because of this vast network. So I think the big question is, how do you make all these people feel involved and feel heard without creating that same chaos that destroyed her the last time?

BOLDUAN: And it seems also there's a struggle between the old guard and the new guard in Clinton Land.