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Judge: Take Pregnant Mom Off Ventilators; Dow Suffers Worst Week Since 2011; The Hunt for Russia's "Black Widows"; Other GOP Leaders Upset About Huckabee's "Libido" Comment; Elementary School Teacher Arrested After Potluck

Aired January 25, 2014 - 07:00   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Next hour of NEW DAY starts now.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tend to be more ruthless. They tend to be more focused.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): With Sochi on high alert for so-called "black widows", one former profiler explains why female terrorists could be the most deadly.

BLACKWELL (voice-over): A bad day on Wall Street. The Dow plummets more than 300 points to end its worst week since 2011. So, what is behind the free fall? That's ahead.

ROBIN MEADE, HLN ANCHOR: So what do you make about the whole thing where people tried to say, gosh, "Brave" and "Roar" sounds a whole lot alike?

PAUL: You've seen the Grammys but you've never seen them like this. Robin Meade dishes on her backstage access to some of music's biggest stars.

Your NEW DAY continues now.



PAUL: Good morning. Grab your coffee. Grab your juice. We're here to let you know what's happening in the world. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: And I'm Victor Blackwell. And it is a pleasure to have you with us. It's 7:00 here on the East Coast and it's NEW DAY SATURDAY.

PAUL: And we want to begin with a major development on a story that I know we and I have been following for weeks. A judge orders a hospital to remove a pregnant woman now from breathing machines. That's been a big fight up until now. BLACKWELL: This is the decision that relatives of Marlise Munoz have been waiting for. Attorneys for the hospital, though, are now publicly acknowledging what Munoz's family has been telling the world.

PAUL: That's she's been brain-dead, for one, since November 28th, and, two, that her fetus is not viable.

BLACKWELL: Hospital officials have kept Munoz alive, citing a state law that forbids removing life-sustaining treatment from a pregnant patient.

Nick Valencia is outside the hospital in Fort Worth.

Nick, good morning to you.

And even with this ruling, this case is not necessarily closed yet, right?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not over, no. It's going to be another agonizing weekend for Eric Munoz, the husband of Marlise Munoz, and her parents who will have to wait to see if the hospital will appeal the judge's decision made on Friday. As you mentioned, the judge ruled that Marlise Munoz should be taken off the ventilator and that the fetus is not viable.

Now, all along, the hospital here behind me, John Peter Smith Hospital, has maintained that their simply following state law. And that they had no legal precedent to go off of, and they felt this state law was applicable in the case of Marlise Munoz. Now, earlier, one of the professors, Southern Methodist University professor who helped co-write this law, he told CNN last week that the hospital was misinterpreting this law. It was applicable to a living person and because Marlise Munoz was legally brain dead, that this did not apply.

All of that was put to rest yesterday with the judge's decision when they agreed on crucial facts. Both the hospital and family of Munoz saying that the fetus is not viable and that Marlise Munoz has been legally brain-dead since November 28th. This has been months of wait and see for the family, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: So, Nick, let me ask you, what arguments specifically were raised in court?

VALENCIA: It was a very dramatic day in court yesterday. A lot of very gruesome details that were released, and some of them coming from the lawyer of the family. Eric Munoz, this is the husband of Marlise Munoz, saying he could smell his wife's decaying body. That every time he touched her that she cracked. That her organs were decomposing. That she has not been alive for some time.

So, as far as the Munoz family is concerned, she should have been taken off the ventilator a long time ago. As we mentioned Christi and Victor, is this a very agonizing case. A wait and see at this moment -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All right. Nick Valencia, thank you so much for giving us the latest. We appreciate it.

And we're going to talk more about the legal ramifications of this ruling, too, in our next hour. So, keep it here on NEW DAY SATURDAY with us.

BLACKWELL: You have so many angles and elements of this story.

Also Wall Street slammed this week.

PAUL: Ouch.

BLACKWELL: I mean, no market was safe. The Dow saw its biggest drop, or its worst week let's say, since 2011. While the S&P dropped by more than 2 1/2 percent. S&P plunge could mean a big hit your retirement account since it -- you know, most closely tracks your 401(k).

PAUL: And the thing is, those dramatic swings say some analysts say, mean that we could be looking at our first major correction since last year's record gain.

So, Alison Kosik has more on the drop itself.

Good morning, Alison.



Stocks ended with a huge thud on Friday. There was a sea of red arrows on the board. The Dow plunged almost 320 points or almost 2 percent. It was the culmination of an especially brutal week in which stocks fell every single day. In the end, the major averages lost 1 percent to 3 percent each.

The fell also circled the globe, hitting major markets in Asia and Europe. Friday, the big issue was the selloff and currencies in emerging markets. Countries like Argentina and Turkey saw their currency plunge against the dollar, amid renewed concerns about the U.S. Federal Reserve ending its stimulus program. That stimulus has been giving economies around the world a boost.

And that's not all. Wall Street also got slammed by concerns about China's economy slowing down, an economy that has been growing at a really solid pace.

And then here at home, worries about corporate America added insult to injury. Big names like Verizon, IBM and Johnson & Johnson, reported earnings that disappointed the streak. The thinking is, if companies aren't doing well, they won't grow, hire and invest.

Roll it all together, and it's a perfect storm. Investors went running for the exits. And the pace of selling picked up as Friday's session wore on.

But, Victor and Christi, remember, the S&P 500 surged by 29 percent last year. So, there is still some wiggle room.


BLACKWELL: All right. Alison Kosik for us, thank you.

PAUL: So, Justin Bieber's road show in Miami, not so much a hit, at least not with everybody.

BLACKWELL: No. And it's not over.

We're now seeing video from what police say is the street race that landed Bieber in trouble. This was early Thursday. He was charged with DUI, along with resisting arrest.

PAUL: And look at that. Yes. Spending the night in jail didn't really hurt his popularity, it seems. Those are the fans screaming his name as he left his hotel last night. Left Miami, how else? Of course on a private jet.

And CNN's Alexandra Field is live in New York.

So, Bieber, Alexandra, he's a millionaire, and then some.

BLACKWELL: Few extra dollars.

PAUL: Could his business empire take a hit in any way because of this?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi and Paul, image consultants are saying all of this could go one of two ways, if he stays out of trouble from here on out, he could walk away with sort of a bad boy image which could actually just widen his appeal. That's probably the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is that the string of recent problems really just alienates that young fan base that actually propelled him into stardom in the first place.


FIELD (voice-over): We can all remember one time when Justin Bieber was the fresh-faced heartthrob who attracted millions of Belebers with that voice and that hair. But a string of recent run-ins have left the pop star with a bad rap and a rap sheet to go with it.

CARLOS GREER, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: He was arrested and he was crying because he got arrested. So this is real life. This isn't some pop star trying to rebrand himself.

FIELD: The 19-year-old is thought to be work more than $100 million. He's had five platinum album, a popular perfume and a slew of endorsement deals.

Adidas confirms they're sticking with Bieber. Their statement, quote, "Nothing has changed with our partnership at this time."

But beyond this week's arrest in Miami for drunken drive, the entertainer's legal troubles are mounting. GREER: Bieber is currently under investigation for allegedly egging his neighbor's home and he could be charged with vandalism.

FIELD: Industry watchers suggest the big business of being Bieber could take a hit.

BOBBY OWSINSKI, FORBES CONTRIBUTOR: His current movie has actually been pretty much a bomb. It earned about 6 million. Whereas his previous movie did about $74 million domestically. So, that's the big problem.

One of the tenets of branding is you have to be likable. So, he was very likable at one point. And now, he's not so much.

FIELD: Mugging for his mug shot, climbing on top of his jail getaway car. But could it just be part of a bigger plan for the Bieber brand?

HAYES ROTH, MARKETING EXECUTIVE, LANDOR: As an adult, I find that kind of appalling. As a parent, I find it appalling. But I betcha if I was a teenaged girl, I would probably find that kind of exciting. And maybe that's the intent.

FIELD: He has die-hard fans and a Twitter following that's 49 million strong. If anything, he's only attracting more attention.

GREER: I think we will be talking about him three years from now.


BLACKWELL: So, Alexandra, Bieber is Canadian, and could he actually be deported because of this?

FIELD: OK, well, Victor, legal analysts say that is unlikely, but it also perhaps a little too early to tell. First of all, Bieber has not been convicted of anything. He could still face additional charges as his investigation proceeds forward. But right now, he is charged with misdemeanors.

Our legalist points that under U.S. immigration law, people can be deported if they're convicted of what's called an aggravated felony or a crime of moral turpitude. DUI does not fall under those categories. Aggravated DUI in Florida can be considered a crime of moral turpitude.

And that's usually charged when an accident has occurred has occurred in a serious injury or in a death or when you're talking about the case of repeat offender.

So, it is not a charge that Bieber faces -- Victor.

PAUL: All right. Alexandra Field in New York for us -- Alexandra, good to see you this morning. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: The United States is moving warships into the Black Sea.

PAUL: Yes, they're not going to the Olympic Games. But they're there to evacuate Americans in case of emergency. And this move comes just as American athletes are hearing warnings -- isn't that right, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, being told not to wear their distinctive Ralph Lauren uniforms if they leave his ring of steel, where they're heavily protected behind me.

A live report coming up on NEW DAY SATURDAY.


BLACKWELL: Happy Saturday, Russia.

A live look at the snow-covered Moscow where it's late afternoon right now. High temperature there today, 9 degrees. It sounds like a country where you'd want to hold Winter Olympics. But now, the State Department has a warning for American Palestinians heading to Sochi, Russia.

PAUL: It's telling them, basically, you know, don't look too American -- for your own safety, of course. In particular, it's urging the athletes to lay off wearing the red, white and blue Olympic uniforms outside of heavily secured Olympic Village and the so-called ring of steel that surrounds Sochi.

BLACKWELL: CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh joins us now from Sochi.

Nick, what is prompting this specific warning from the State Department? We've heard concerned leading up to this with, you know, those suicide bombers in Volgograd, but specifically, don't look too American outside his ring of steel.

WALSH: Well, I think in many ways, the State Department would like to put in a qualifier, they have issued this advice for other Olympics. One person was telling me, they did similar around London.

But let's not forget, this is one of the most volatile regions near Europe. It's been a 10-year long Islamic insurgency happening here. Not necessarily in Sochi or Adler, a beautiful day here where I have to say where the Olympics go going to be held, but across north Caucasus, where we have Chechnya, Dagestan (INAUDIBLE) where the insurgency has been thriving, warnings from militants there that they will create flames to engulf these games. More specific suicide bombings in nearby towns.

The State Department says the militants behind this aren't specifically targeting Americans, in many ways. That's the open advice they give to tourists, but they tell them to be careful as well. The chilling, though, is the seemingly more private State Department warning to American athletes, don't look too American when you leave the secured area here. That perhaps suggests that behind closed doors when the warning was originally given, they're a little more concerned than maybe seen publicly, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Nick Paton Walsh there for us in Sochi, thank you.

All right. So, we've got fewer than two weeks until the opening ceremonies. And authorities are hunting for three black widow bombers as they're called in Russia.

PAUL: Yes, Russian police say, this woman, I want you -- whatever you're doing, please take a look at your screen here. This woman might inside the city and ready to strike. Officials are also on the lookout for these two women. See them. They could be near or around Sochi.

BLACKWELL: The so-called "black widows" are a unique group of terrorists that has emerged from Russia's clashes with Chechen separatists.

PAUL: Here is the thing -- their goal is to avenge their husbands' deaths. So, that's just part of what makes them so dangerous. But else sets them apart from other criminals?

I want to bring in security and threat assessment expert Evy Poumpouras.

I know a lot, Evy, and thank you so much for being with us.

When we report terrorists, they are male. How does being female benefit their mission?

EVY POUMPOURAS, SECURITY AND THREAT ASSESSMENT EXPERT: Being female benefits their mission in that you don't see it coming because it's exactly what you said, you expect a male. So we've created a stereotype in our minds, law enforcement and military as well. They're expecting the terrorist to look a certain way, but they're not expecting this. That's what makes this unique and makes this more vulnerable.

BLACKWELL: Beyond the aesthetics, what psychologically sets these black widow bombers apart from other criminals?

POUMPOURAS: OK. First of all, when we're talking about terrorism, it's different from conventional crime. Conventional crime, as we understand it is usually for personal gain. Here when we're dealing with terrorism and black widows, they're serving a divine purpose, something greater than themselves.

And also in essence, they're seeking revenge. So, they feel justified in doing what they're doing, which is what makes them more lethal. They don't see anything wrong with it. They rationalize it and it justifies what they're doing, which is essentially martyring themselves as suicide bombers. And that's what making them lethal.

PAUL: OK. So authorities sit down and they try to profile a black widow, what kind of techniques will police use to do that? And what kind of characteristics or, you know, behaviors, will they be looking for that will stand out to them?

POUMPOURAS: You know, that's where are good what you said, you hit on a key element, behaviors. Everybody is looking for that physical look, that physical profile, and it's not about that. It's about the behaviors. So you want to look at that stare, a lot of times if somebody is right about to engage, they'll have that stare, they're fixated. They're kind of tuning out what's going on around them, because they're focused on their mission. You'll see them sweating profusely, obviously, because they're nervous. They don't want to get caught.

Bulky clothes is something else you want to look at. They can hide the explosive device either in a backpack or behind them, if they're hiding a suicide vest.

Also, you know, their mannerisms, what are they doing, how are they behaving? Are they communicating anything? Another thing you can think of is right before they're on to detonate, you may hear that person saying a prayer beforehand. These are all elements that you want to look out for, and especially those odd behaviors. Does this person fit into the environment? Do they look off? That's what you're looking for.

BLACKWELL: And Nick Paton Walsh has reported from Sochi, of course there's this ring of steel, thousands of members of security. But also that quite possibly, one of these black widows has already gotten inside that ring, inside Sochi. So what you're telling us this morning is that the pictures we're seeing this morning of these three women, they're not going to look anything like that now that they're inside this Olympic village.

POUMPOURAS: Not if you're smart. That is not what you want to look like. You have to think like your opponent, your adversary, the terrorist. If I'm looking to successfully succeed, right, and detonate a suicide bomb, I'm not going to look like that.

I'm going to take the clothes off. I'm going to dress in normal clothing as everybody else in Western clothing. I'm going to dye my hair, cut my hair. I'm going to make my appearance that I can hide where, in plain sight. That's what you're looking for. You want to mix in with everyone else.

BLACKWELL: Then, of course, there's the question, as we wrap up with you, Evy Poumpouras, thank you so much for joining us, that question, is this a diversion? Everyone's looking at Sochi, and expecting something to happen there. Could they use that and then strike somewhere else? Hopefully, no strikes at all.

But I know security there in Sochi is watching out. And so is the State Department here in the U.S. Again, Evy, thank you.

PAUL: Evy, thank you.

POUMPOURAS: Thank you.

PAUL: OK, so switching it up here quite a bit. Almost $8,000. A lot of money.

BLACKWELL: That's a whole lot of money.

PAUL: That's how much Seattle Seahawks corner back Richard Sherman is getting fine for taunting.

BLACKWELL: Up next, we'll hear why Sherman says he regrets his actions.


BLACKWELL: Twenty-three minutes after the hour now.

Next week's Super Bowl, of course, is not the only thing that football fans are talking. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been hit with almost $8,000 in fines for taunting during Sunday's game.

PAUL: And he now told CNN that, you know what, he regrets his actions because it took away from his team's success.

CNN's Joe Carter is joining us live now.

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of opinions about this whole story. We've heard them all week. Some of the negative things in terms of racism, you know, very inappropriate. But here in the NFL, some people call it the "no fun league" for all its rules, the NFL has a lot of them and this is one you cannot do and that it's taunt. You cannot taunt another player.

So, this fine has nothing to do with what Richard Sherman said, it's what Richard Sherman what he did.

PAUL: It's not the rant.

CARTER: And to clarify what he did. I believe we have the video of it. Basically at the end of the game, Colin Kaepernick went to throw a pass to Michael Crabtree. That's when Sherman batted the pass down. He went over to Colin Kaepernick and he made a choking gesture. It's basically doing something like this to say, hey, you choked in that play, we ended up winning.

That's what the NFL is fining him nearly $8,000 for. Not so much for what he said, but for what he did.

And he said to Rachel Nichols last night, it was a great interview, sit-down interview with the two of them, that -- hey, he regrets the attention that he's getting is taking away from basically what his team's great success.


RICHARD SHERMAN, NFL PLAYER: Mostly I regret, I guess, the storm afterwards -- the way it was covered, the way it was perceived, and the attention that it took away from the fantastic performances from my teammates, you know? And that would be the only part of it I regret.


CARTER: One thing's clear, guys. I mean, Richard Sherman, whether you're on the side of oh, I like what he said, or I don't like what he said, one thing is very clear -- that this week, he has done everything possible to get out in front of this and to turn a negative into a positive. I mean, he clearly is a smart guy with a great back story. We've heard this -- a guy from Compton, going to Stanford, going to the NFL, a young player with so much of a bright future ahead of him.

The bottom line here is that he's trying to get the attention off of him and put it on his team because next week, the big spotlight, the media day, so much of what we've been talking about, hopefully, none of that will be what we've been talking about whole week which is the rant.

PAUL: All righty. Hey, Joe Carter, thank you very much.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Joe.

PAUL: I learned something from him, NFL, "no fun league."

BLACKWELL: Yes, that's going to be the hashtag this morning.

Hey, so, take a look at your screen. We'll show you this video. Would you believe a pair of tweezers and an eyebrow pencil started all of this? You got to see this high-speed chase and find out what happened here.

PAUL: Plus, surprise, surprise. Late-night comic has a field day with Justin Bieber's arrest. If you missed them, we got the best for you.


PAUL: Mortgage rates dipped this week. Take a look.


PAUL: All righty, 7:28. Just so you can be on time today. We're glad to have you with us here. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Five things you need to know for your NEW DAY now.

Up first, a judge in Texas orders a hospital to remove a pregnant woman from breathing machines. This is the decision that relatives of Marlise Munoz has been waiting for. Attorneys for the hospital now acknowledge that Munoz is brain-dead and her fetus is not viable. Now, her husband must wait to see if the hospital files an appeal. The deadline for that set by the judge is Monday at 5:00 p.m.

Number two, the Dow plummets 300 points this week, dropping 3 1/2 percent, the worst week since 2011 for the first major correction in 2 1/2 years. Investors have been spooked by less than stellar corporate earnings, and worries that China may be slowing down its red hot growth.

Number three, watch as this truck burst into flames during a high- speed chase in Iowa. Police say they were shocked the truck could go so fast on flat tires and that may have been caused by the fire. Police say woman in a car stole tweezers and an eyebrow pencil from a store. But the driver fled because he thought he had a warrant out for his arrest, but police say he did not. Both now have been charged.

PAUL: In case you wonder what he did that he thought he had a warrant out.

OK Number four, George Zimmerman trying to sell another piece of art and this is it. The Associated Press and a freelance photographer has sent a cease and desist letter. The photographer's attorney says Zimmerman ripped off that AP photo on the left to make a portrait on the right. It shows Florida's state attorney Angela Corey obviously announcing murder charges against him.

And number five, the Supreme Court is siding with the little sisters of the poor. This is a catholic charity run by nuns who objected on religious grounds that Obamacare requirement they provide contraceptive coverage. The Supreme Court has now extended an emergency injunction, excusing them from that requirement while the case proceeds in a federal appeals court.

So, you've been paying attention, you know the Republican party is making big changes.

BLACKWELL: Yes. It's now moved its convention to nominate a presidential candidate to the earliest date since 1948. It's now going to be held in June of 2016. The change was unanimously approved at the RNC winter meeting. Officials say it will help curb some of the vicious infighting which actually have hurt Mitt Romney back if 2012.

PAUL: Now, that was a conversation they've been having a lot back in the day there. But it says that's not the only change. Republicans are also trying to change their tone on how they court female voters.

So CNN's Erin McPike has more for us from Washington. I know that, Erin, you have comments made about women maybe backfiring at this point.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN GENERAL ASSIGNMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, that's right. So, Democrats are seizing once again on what they're calling Republicans war on women and that thanks to a comment Mike Huckabee made on Thursday at that meeting of the Republican national committee in Washington. Take a listen to that.


MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS HOST: Our party stands for the recognition of quality of women and the capacity of women. That's not a war on them. It's a war for them. And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without uncle sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the federal government, then so be it.


MCPIKE: Well, plenty of high-profile Republicans were not too pleased about that, like Rick Santorum who was on "CROSSFIRE " just a few hours later.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you thing language like that helps the image with women?

RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Governor Huckabee by could have phrased that differently. Mike speaks off the cuff as some of us are known to do and probably would chosen different words.


MCPIKE: Now, other party leaders are even more upset about it especially because Republicans have gone to great lengths over the past year to promote the women in their ranks like tapping Cathy McMorris-Rodgers to deliver their state of the union response on Tuesday. And they have launched initiatives to reach women voters. So, this is the warning that RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, sent at that meeting.


REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: As we look to branch of our party, we must be conscious of tone and choice of words when we communicate those policies effectively. We should set the standard.


MCPIKE: Priebus also called for an RNC committeeman to step down from his post after he made some disparaging comments about gays and Muslims. So an effort to change the GOP image is under way, Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, CNN's Erin McPike, thank you. And we will have more about this RNC reboot throughout the morning.

PAUL: We also have to talk about so many of you who are getting hit with this brutal winter weather in the south. I mean, Texas and Louisiana battled a rare deep freeze yesterday. The question is, would you see warmth, people?

BLACKWELL: Please, some things do.

Let's bring in CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray. Something, please.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, something's got to give. And we actually are going to see a little bit of a warm up which is nice. But I'm from Louisiana and it's not every day you see cities in south Louisiana around southeast Texas with ice. So brutal conditions in south Louisiana. You are going to be getting a warm up as we go through the next couple of days. Good news there.

Also in Indiana, we had quite the pileup, look at that on the interstate. So, it was a dangerous situation in the north. We're going to continue to see the same as we go through the next couple of days in the north. Still snow expected in those northern cities.

But look at this warm up. New Orleans, you'll be at 63 degrees by Sunday. Memphis, you'll be at 58. But look at that cool down, once again. Just when we start to warm up, it gets cold again, 23 degrees by Tuesday. Atlanta, our high temperature on Tuesday will be at 34.

Snow in the Ohio valley for today. That's really the only weather story going on besides the very warm condition and dry conditions out in the west. Even places like Nashville could pick up a few little peaks of snow. But we are continue, guys, to see the very cold temperatures in the north, actually a blizzard watch for the entire state of North Dakota.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jennifer Gray, we will watch out for it. Thank you.

PAUL: You know, the weather's been pretty nice in Miami, though.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the weather has been nice in Miami. But, Justin Bieber, he still skipped town last night.


BLACKWELL: The Believers.

PAUL: Good heavens.

BLACKWELL: They believe his arrest this week did not stop fans from mobbing him as he left his hotel. But for the late-night comics, the Biebs is less of a heartthrob and more of a target.


JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: Let's see what's going on with Justin Bieber or the police are calling him the weenie in the Lamborghini, ladies and gentlemen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Grammy awards right here on CBS, ladies and gentlemen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sunday night. Justin Bieber will be there. He's been nominated for best rap sheet.



PAUL: And there's more.


PAUL: Just wait. The Biebs was even in a slow jam bit with Jimmy Fallon and Mitt Romney.


MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course, the president will also be discussing his health care plan with many hoping to hear his solutions to some of the issues that have affected its rollout. Such as lower than expected enrollment and employees getting dropped from their existing plans. Not to mention an Obamacare Web site that has been riddled with technical problems and glitches.



FALLON: Got to listen to the mitt man. He had a program that works for the people of Massachusetts. Let's say it didn't suffer from any performance problem it's in hardware department, yes.


PAUL: I don't know how they keep a straight face. Sometimes, I feel like I see Jimmy Fallon kind of going, I don't know how I'm going to get through this.


PAUL: Stay with us this morning because we do have an interview, I know you don't want to miss.

BLACKWELL: Yes, rapper Vanilla Ice chats with us about the huge pressures on young stars. And how they can still end up in trouble. That's about 90 minutes on NEW DAY.

PAUL: And you know what, we're just about 36 hours away from the start of the 56th annual Grammy awards. But we've got a sneak peek for you.

BLACKWELL: We do, after the break. HLN's Robin Meade goes backstage with the hottest stars. \


PAUL: So big night tomorrow for the music world as artists come together to celebrate the 56th annual Grammy awards. And guess who already got a backstage pass, people. The host of HLN's "MORNING EXPRESS," our very own Robin Meade.

So, I know you spent, Robin, obviously, a lot of time with some of these folks, and these folks backstage and Sarah Bareilles. What did she say to you? Yes, what did she say to you that would stock out to you?

ROBIN MEADE, HLN HOST, MORNING EXPRESS: You know, the first thing I knew I had to ask her was about the song that is she's nominated for "Brave," but then, she is also nominated for the huge category, something as a dark horse because her sales do not compare to a lot of where people who are left off.

But that the thing that are a lot of people talked about on the Internet was, and twitter, was about her song "Brave" and Katy Perry's song, "war."

PAUL: I heard about this.

MEADE: So, I had to ask her, what's the deal with it? People say they're very similar that Katy may have copied off of you and he almost went -- with this.


MEADE: How are you?


MEADE: Good. It's nuts right now, right?

BAREILLES: A little crazy, yes.

MEADE: So, what do you make about the whole thing where people try to say, God, "brave" and "war" sound a whole lot alike and now you're nominated in the same category.

BAREILLES: To get her name in the same category as me is great for me. it is strange to watch two songs that are both powerful, empower messages and that somehow we're trying to pit us against each other against each other like Katy and I are friends. We've known each other for a very long time. And I wish her all the best and I know she feels the same for me.


MEADE: Wasn't that gracious of her? And was just like, come on, you know, we are strong women. And so, she said they've been friends for a long time, and they support each other. So, it feels like nothing much ado about that.

PAUL: She's got her head on straight.


PAUL: And I love to see that because I want to cheer for people that I know cheer for other people.

MEADE: Right. And she is like, here we are nominated together, but we're friends. So she -- it think people will look at her kind of something as a dark horse for the big award of the night which is the album of the year while I think artistically and creatively, she's astounding, a good writer. People will look at the stales of the album and the albums that got talked about this year and go. Sarah is nominated, God, but, Bruno Mars didn't get in there?

PAUL: I was going to ask you about that. When you saw the list, did you go, wait a minute, and did the name pop in the back of your head going why aren't they there?

MEADE: I love Sarah Bareilles, but I cannot get enough of Bruno Mars' album this year. And it was not in the biggest category. This one --

PAUL: Yes, everybody loves it. We do it here at the breaks.

MEADE: Not to say that he's shut out entirely in the Grammys. That's not the case at all. But the big award of the night, the whole thing you put out, the album itself. He's not in there. Justin Timberlake is not in there. I think this is warmer, Kanye wasn't in there, too. So, some of the largest albums were not. But then again --

PAUL: What do you think that says about the state of what people choose?

MEADE: Well, sometimes, I think we think commercial success means artistic and creative success. And apparently, the Grammy voters, they don't always see it that way. But I was fascinated to get to talk to someone who's been to the Grammys for before. I didn't realize for Darius Rucker who is now country and a lot of viewers will recognize him from hootie and the blowfish. I think a lot of people still go, mistakenly, there's hootie.

What's funny to me is that stars look at other stars and they still get geek up, too, if you listen to what he says.

PAUL: I don't doubt it.

MEADE: OK. Listen in.


DARIUS DUCKER, SINGER: This is going to be a little crazy. You know, McCartney is going to be there. If I'm going to say, we are McCartney, that is going to be tough for me not to go all fan girl.

MEADE: Hey, who would you like to collaborate, other than Paul McCartney, maybe, that you haven't got around to or you're bashful to ask?

DUCKER: I'd love to work, of course, McCartney, I love to work with Reba McEntire (ph). I love to work with Miranda. I love to work with Jay-Z, you know. That's one of my bucket list things to sing a hook on a big rap song. That's just that I want to do so bad, but you know.

MEADE: Why can't you make this could happen?

DUCKER: I don't know. No one's ever called me.


PAUL: Not until now.

MEADE: He said he's too bashful to hit people to him them to collaborate.

PAUL: I understand that.

MEADE: Yes. Maybe, he will be on Kanye song.

PAUL: He crosses such borders, too. Because it wasn't -- he didn't come out with hootie as country. Now, he's county. Now, he's talking about doing rap. But, he has got that sound. I'm sure that he could do it.

MEADE: I hope people are able to watch this special. Because you'll also hear, we did ask him, will there be any more projects with hootie and the blowfish? I'm not going to tell you what the answer is.

PAUL: She knows how to change that.

MEADE: Yes, there was also my favorite part of the interview I want you to tune in and watch. And it was about how we got the idea to do the song "wagon wheel" as a cover on his album. And it had to do with his kid's talent show.

PAUL: I love it.

MEADE: Can you believe that?

PAUL: I can't wait to hear this. You've got kids -- that alone --.

OK, so you can watch more Robin Meade, by the way, with Sarah Brailles, Darius Rucker and more. It is tonight, Backstage express, 6:30 right here on CNN. You don't want to miss it.

Thank you, Robin.

MEADE: Thank you.

PAUL: Victor, back to you!

BLACKWELL: Those are good teases. We will be watching.

A woman goes a potluck, but the other guests are pot unlucky. That isn't oregano in that pot luck. Why she's now facing poisoning charges.


PAUL: So, this could be coming up, you know, because of super bowl. You are invited to a pot luck. You know, the kind where everybody brings a dish to the party.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Well, police in Benicia, California are accusing a guest at a recent pot luck dinner of, I don't know, adding one ingredient to the party, not salt, not pepper.

PAUL: And they see is, I mean, they say the food that this elementary school teacher brought was laced with pot and now she is facing charges.

BLACKWELL: Andrea Borbeau (ph) from CNN affiliate KTIX has more.


ANDREA BORBEAU, REPORTER, CNN AFFILIATE KTIX (voice-over): Benicia detective say the trouble began on November 21st at a party involving several teachers from Matthew Turner elementary. It was a potluck. After the party, several of the 20 people there began feeling ill, seriously ill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the party goers was rushed to the hospital with severe reactions. She was hospitalized. The very next morning, another party goer was taken to the hospital because she continued to feel like she was under the influence of something. She wasn't sure.

BORBEAU: Hospital blood tests confirmed the presence of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. And it wasn't just the holiday party goers who ate the allegedly laced food.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the attendees took some of the food home and their 15-year-old juvenile ingested this food and became ill.

BORBEAU: That is when the police investigation began and the person who brought the laced dish was identified 47-year-old Teresa Badger, an elementary school teacher. Witnesses told Benicia detectives after the party, Badger admitted to them that she put pot in the dish. Badgers' neighbors said the charges, three felony counts of poisoning don't fit the woman and mother they know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I'm hearing from you, guys, is totally out of character. Teresa is about as kind and she is a dedicated teacher. She is someone who keeps to herself.

BORBEAU: Badger was arrested Friday afternoon at her home. When our cameras were there, a light was on, but nobody answered. Benicia police department is not commenting on exactly what item badger may have brought to the party saying they have still people to interview in the investigation.

In Benicia, Andrea Borbeau, KPIX 5.


BLACKWELL: While we're talking about pot.

PAUL: Let's transition.

BLACKWELL: Let's do it.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is used to a global stage now to weigh in on the marijuana debate. PAUL: Yes. He was speaking at the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland. And he talked about his state's drug diversion program.


GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Allow young people whose lives would be destroyed forever if they went into the prison system, an opportunity to expunge their records and after a period to walk -- actually stay in society.


PAUL: A spokeswoman for Perry later said the governor thinks the states should decide to legalize pot adding that Perry does not support making it legal in Texas.

BLACKWELL: You take a quick look at a grade school band, nothing really stands out.

PAUL: Not right away. When you take a closer look, you will not believe your eyes. We'll show you why.


PAUL: Go ahead. Time for "the good stuff" now.

BLACKWELL: Yes. This is you! This is your song!

PAUL: That's my song on iTunes.

BLACKWELL: Listen. That's Christi Paul.

PAUL: It's on iTunes. People, check it out. I hope you like it.

Time for other "good stuff." This is, you know, the part of the show where we say it is not all bad. I promise. It is like that guy on twitter who just said how do you not have a drink or two --?

BLACKWELL: With all the stories. How are you not drunk before the show? I say, I wait until lunch.

Let's start with this. Jameer Wallace. Jammer plays the trumpet in the band at Green Street elementary in Pennsylvania. OK, that's not out of the ordinary. What is though, is Jameer was born without arms. Doesn't faze him. He does everything with his feet. Play the trumpet with his feet. And his advice, whatever you do, keep on trying.


JAMMER WALLACE, BORN WITHOUT ARMS: Anybody out there that would like to try an instrument, go ahead and try it. You never know and whatever happens. If you like it, you like it. If you don't, you don't. Keep on trying.


PAUL: I love that kid.

BLACKWELL: He can play the trumpet with his feet. You know, we complain about so many things.

PAUL: They are the examples to us so many times. It is the truth.

Hey, you know, you pretty much know that something is up when the governor gives you a personal tour of the statehouse.

BLACKWELL: (INAUDIBLE) who are veteran, Andrew Pike. He shows up for the tour at Idaho statehouse and he is escorted by another, and governor Butch Otter. Well, pike's suspicion proved true that this was no ordinary tour when he rounded the rotunda and saw a new all- terrain track wheelchair waiting for him there. And means the hunting and the fishing enthusiast can now do more of what he loves.


ANDREW PIKE, VETERAN: This chair means independence. You know, areas I couldn't go before -- hills, sand, you know, even mud when going out shooting, can stop me from doing what I want to do.


BLACKWELL: $19,000 chair was made possible through donations. That's good.

You know, sometimes a gymnasium with a bunch of teenagers is not so much rowdy as it is respectable, should those be switched. Respectable as it is rowdy.

PAUL: Exactly. But look at this. Teenage boys at Trinity high school in Manchester, New Hampshire found out one of the classmates, Matt Lamier (ph) was diagnosed with cancer. So, he lost his hair because of the chemo. And here is what they did, look at these boys, gathering together to shave their heads to say to Matt, you're not alone, buddy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You always tell people f there is anything I can do, you know, let me know. And I think the kids at school got on board with this idea that hey, this is something we can do to help out a little bit. Maybe, if this just makes Matt feel a little bit better, let's all do it. And you know, that it just became contagious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's overwhelming. It's great. I like that feeling. Makes me feel special and makes me feel loved and everything. I feel good that I go to school here and I have all these friends to help me out.


PAUL: Those are a, some great kids and b, get this, just this past week, Matt learned he is cancer free. Congratulations to him! BLACKWELL: That's good news. I'm sure, when they see each other, they rub their heads in solidarity.

So this next story has gone viral. Look at this. It's a baby, of course you can tell it is a baby, still in diapers riding a skateboard. Watch.


PAUL: Are you kidding? He's riding down the street. Jumping over curbs. No problem. He's from Australia, apparently comes from a family of skateboarding enthusiasts, I would assume.

BLACKWELL: It must in the blood, according to the boy's family. He has been riding on wheels since he was 6-months-old. I guess it is safe to say he didn't have any trouble taking his first steps either. I have never been able to master that. I tried once. I almost broke something important and I'm not talking about the board.

PAUL: Something important. I broke my tooth. I had had like one of my teeth is not real.

BLACKWELL: Doing what?

PAUL: Skateboarding. Fell and face plant, baby.

BLACKWELL: We are learning so much about Christi Paul this morning.

PAUL: We are so glad that you are spending your morning with us for other reasons.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.