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FAA Orders Jet Inspections; Countdown To The Games

Aired January 27, 2014 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Dangerous, record-breaking cold temperatures moving across the country again, still! Planes grounded, roads closed. Indra Petersons tracking just how long this blast of winter will last.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): New developments this morning in a deadly shooting at a shopping mall. What we are now learning about the gunman who killed two people.

ROMANS: A big, big night at the Grammys. High-flying performances, blowout victories, and a historic moment that has social media buzzing this morning. You have to see this before you go to work so you know what everyone's talking about.


BERMAN (on-camera): Fantastic advice. Listen to Christine Romans. She knows what she's talking about.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS (on-camera): I'm Christine Romans. It's 30 minutes past the hour this Monday morning.

BERMAN: And this morning, cold does not even begin to describe it for the nation's midsection. Cold in the midsection is like ice in the national belly. America has been diagnosed with a frozen torso

ROMANS: Put on a shirt, America!

BERMAN: From the Dakotas to Chicago, it won't even get close to zero, and the cold is quickly moving east and south where it will hit even more of us even beyond the huge, national midsection.

ROMANS: All right. They call Chicago Chiberia (ph), and it's that way again today. High temperatures below zero. Fresh snow left two major interstate shut down for hours. The public schools in Chicago, no surprise, they are closed this morning. It's just too cold to get students and teachers to class. Hundreds of flights have been canceled at O'Hare and Midway. And you know, crews still trying to move all the snow that's left over from the last few weeks. So, look at the piles of snow at O'Hare. Unbelievable. BERMAN: Like on Minnesota, Minnesotaberia. Drivers in the twin cities were ordered to stay home. Major highways shut down because the wind was kicking up so much snow. These pictures are ridiculous. Drivers couldn't see a thing. Schools are shut down in Minnesota today where they're used to this cold. The high in Minneapolis is only negative six.

ROMANS: They're used to it, but they're also smart. They know not to try to send kids to school like that. The scene in North Dakota looks like something from a movie. Take a look at the snow blowing across the road in Grand Forks. The winds are real problem there, too, leading to major highways being closed. The wind just howls across the plains.

BERMAN: And Milwaukee is now in the middle of its coldest winter in 20 years. Snow falling again as the city marked 16 days with temperatures below zero. That is 16 too many as far as I'm concerned. Public schools are closed there today. Driving very difficult. The snow is just blowing everywhere.

ROMANS: And of course, scientifically speaking, that means it's going to be an awesome summer for everyone in America. Oh, wait, I don't think it actually goes like that. Indra Petersons tracking the deep freeze and the snow for us. Indra, what can we expect today?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'm still stuck on Minnesoberia --


PETERSONS: Mini-beria. It's like a mini Siberia, right? I mean, it is rough out there. Look at these temperatures this morning. Notice the current conditions. Minneapolis feels like it is actually 13 below. We haven't gotten the feels-like yet. It's going to feel a lot worse. Fargo 15 below, noticing only one right now towards Chicago, and pretty much freezing temperatures there into the northeast.

Now come the feels-like temperatures. It feels a lot worse, about 40 below in Minneapolis. Ouch! Fargo, 32 below right now. Chicago also 19 below. So, definitely a rough day for so many of you. Keep in mind, still clipper making its way across the lakes today, so even some of the cities like New York City, Boston, some light flurries are in the forecast. The bigger story's going to be that dome of high pressure going farther to the south.

This is the guy that is bringing all of that cold air. So, again, notice even in the southeast, temperatures well below normal by tomorrow. This is key, because by tomorrow, when that cold air is in place, it's the exact same time we get some moisture out of the gulf. So, that combination so atypical is going to bring winter weather to the deep south. This is something they haven't seen in years, guys.

So, definitely some chances for some freezing rain, sleet and even snow into the deep south tomorrow. Otherwise, temperature-wise, everyone wants to know, when are we going to recover? Yes, it is bad today. That cold air spreads into the northeast by tomorrow, but by Wednesday, we do recover. So, I feel like saying that's quickly recovering. It's quickly compared to the last run of this where it took almost an entire week.

ROMANS: It's crazy to see the swing in Minneapolis and Detroit over just a couple of days.

PETERSONS: Brutal. And the southeast too.

ROMANS: Unbelievable.

PETERSONS: Unbelievable.

ROMANS: OK. Thanks, Indra.

All right. Police today are still trying to piece together a motive in a deadly shooting at a shopping mall.


ROMANS (voice-over): So far, they say there is no known relationship between this man, Darion Marcus Aguilar (ph), and the two people he killed at a mall in Columbia. Police say Aguilar showed up at the mall on Saturday.

He had a 12-gauge shotgun. He had crude explosives. He walked around the mall for about an hour, then went to a store on the second floor, a skate shop, a ski and skate shop, and he opened fire, killing 21- year-old Brianna Benlolo (ph) and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson (ph).


SYDNEY PETTY, TYLER JOHNSON'S AUNT: With Tyler, we have lost a kind, positive son, who reached out to help others in need, and he made a difference. This is so unbelievable. Our prayers are with him, the other victims, and all the people who have been touched by this senseless violence.


ROMANS: Aguilar died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and apparently, he left behind a journal describing his unhappiness. He apparently bought the gun legally back in December. That mall is set to reopen this afternoon.

BERMAN (voice-over): So sad.

BERMAN: Now to breaking news overnight that could seriously affect your next flight. Safety checks are being ordered for hundreds of Boeing 767 jets. The FAA says there could be problems with the planes' tail sections that could possibly cause the pilots to lose control of this aircraft.

It is important to note, though, there have not been any reported accidents because of tail section problems and no planes have been grounded, but the FAA is ordering new tests over this over the next four weeks and eventual replacement of parts on the jets to minimize the risk.

ROMANS: This morning security officials in Russia are downplaying, downplaying, the latest threat against the winter Olympics. An online posting from the same group suspected of last month's deadly attacks on nearby Volgograd. They're promising more violence, though they're not mentioning Sochi, that, as the athletes begin to arrive.

They're beginning to arrive for the games, and the Olympic torch takes a potentially dangerous trip through Dagestan. Nic Paton Walsh is in Dagestan for us this morning.

NIC PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The festive atmosphere here inside this stadium, that's not reflective by what we've seen in the town itself. The torch came here in a maximum security convoy from the airport, nobody there to film it as it came in. And inside this stadium is where the parades happen.

Outside, checkpoints, the police locking down the city for one simple reason, this is the hot bed of the Islamist insurgency in southern Russia and where the threats against the games have been made by militants. Today, we've seen an estimated 13,000 crowd gather inside here, but they were all bussed in on coaches as well from around the area. Tightly organized, tightly controlled, high security.

That gives you an idea of how seriously the threat is taken by the Russian government, itself. And ordinary people in the town around not involved, not the normal parade you would expect for an Olympic torch people lining the streets and waving it through. Everything inside here, everything under tight security.

That's what people are worried about in Sochi, the threat that emanates from here, even though, we're far to the east of Southern Russia, well away from where the games will actually be held.

Nic Paton Walsh, CNN, Makhachkala, Southern Russia.


BERMAN (on-camera): It's really interesting to see the anticipation and the joy rising at the same time the concerns do over security.

ROMANS (on-camera): And the careful choreography. This will be -- they always choreograph these games. This will be very careful.

BERMAN: Just a couple weeks to go.

This morning, it is still not clear the result of an air strike in Somalia.


BERMAN (voice-over): CNN has learned the target was a senior militant leader affiliated with al Qaeda and al Shabaab. That's according to the U.S. military. The military is not yet sure if the target was killed. ROMANS (voice-over): In Geneva this morning, talks have just begun, just getting under way again between the Bashar al-Assad government and the opposition groups who want him out of power. So far, this peace conference has only yielded very small movement on the issue of letting women and children out of the besieged city of Homs where some 500 families are said to be starving. Both sides could start talking today about the possibility for a transitional government.

BERMAN: That music means it must be serious. One of the biggest political speeches of the year. Today, President Obama plans to spend time getting ready for the state of the union address. It takes place Tuesday night. The speech is expected to lay out the president's plans for the next year, including reportedly programs to increase jobs and promote the economic recovery, with or without the help of Congress, the president's people are saying right now.

CNN will have complete coverage of the president's address and the Republican response and more music. It all begins 7:00 p.m. eastern time Tuesday night right here on CNN.

ROMANS: Congress doesn't get any music.

It's back to work today on Capitol Hill with a lot on the Congressional plate, including raising the debt ceiling, the debate over extending jobless benefits, whether to approve a new farm-food stamp bill. The House could vote as soon as today on a bill banning federal funding for abortions.

BERMAN: Bring some extra pennies if you need to buy a stamp today. The price of first class postage is going up to 49 cents. This is a three-cent jump. That's the largest postal rate hike in 11 years. Regulators say it should only be in effect for about two years. That's enough time for the postal service to recoup nearly $3 billion in recession-related losses.

The postal board rejected a request to make the increase permanent, but Christine Romans, how easy is it to roll back an increase like this once you make it?


ROMANS (on-camera): It's not -- no. Temporary is very difficult. Washington doesn't do things temporary very well.

Let's move to Wall Street, shall we? The S&P 500 could be opening at its lowest level since 2012. That's right. Futures are flat. That's showing some indecision, and indecision would be an improvement, because last week, it was decidedly terrible, a sell-off from last week circling the globe. The main indices in Asia were down about two percent each.

Europe -- I mean, a two percent move in markets is not good, folks. You have Europe down modestly. You know, it's 2013 was the year of the rally, 2014 is the year of volatility. What does volatility mean? Well, you know, if you're an investor because you're not having the straight line up that you did last year. You got weak quarterly earnings from corporate America, weak economic data from China, and economy that's been growing at a pretty solid pace in China suddenly showing some speed bumps, and there's some heavy turbulence in emerging markets. Just a few weeks ago, analysts have predicted U.S. stocks to rise 10 percent this year, six to 10 percent.

Now, that outlook is uncertain. Some say this could be the beginning of a correction. A correction is a 10 percent decline. Where are we right now, John Berman? About 4.2 percent. The Dow is down 4.2 percent this year. So, it's a long way to go before it's officially --

BERMAN (on-camera): This one is like three weeks old, by the way.

ROMANS: I know.

BERMAN: Four percent is a lot.

ROMANS: How long have I been saying? It's not going to be straight up like it was last year. Last year, all you had to do was sit there and your 401(k) did great. This year, it will not be like that.

BERMAN: All right. Forty minutes after the hour right now. What are we talking about? Daft Punk, not that smooth jazz, no. Daft punk, folks, they were big last night at the Grammy Awards. Those are the guys in space suits right there. The duo was the big winner, picking up four trophies, including Album of the Year for "Random Access Memories" and Record of the Year for their hit "Get Lucky."

ROMANS: And the good news for me is my grandma has a dog named Lucky. So, for my kids singing this song with the radio was not anything that was untoward.



BERMAN: Yes. I'm sure this was big in your --

ROMANS: That's all night to "get lucky."


BERMAN: -- for awards as well. I don't know if he had any dogs with names like that.


BERMAN: Lorde was the top female winner, earning two Grammys for her album "Royals." And Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won Best New Artist and Best Rap Album. The big moment that a lot of people are talking about came toward the end of the show when they performed their hit "Sane Love," and they did this as 33 couples said "I do" in a ceremony officiated by Queen Latifah. All kinds of different couples, you know, same-sex and otherwise, all ages. Madonna then serenaded the newlyweds. And after this, Pink performed her hit "Try" while spinning over the crowd, like we all, of course, can do. We got to see two Beatles also, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr.

ROMANS: That's cool.

BERMAN: They sang together on stage, a song off of Paul McCartney's album right there.

ROMANS: Very good.

BERMAN: I missed all this.

ROMANS: I know, but anybody listening wouldn't know it.

BERMAN: Because you were all asleep resting up for the big week ahead.

ROMANS: But now you know. Now you know and you can talk about it around the water --


ROMANS: -- have water coolers?

BERMAN: It's a good question.

ROMANS: I'm not sure.

All right. Coming up, did Chris Christie break the law? A big step today in the Bridgegate investigation.

BERMAN: And a huge pipeline explosion. Look at this. It leaves thousands without heat this morning. And what's worse? The temperatures there way, way below zero.


ROMANS: Happening today in New Jersey, lawmakers set to vote to streamline the investigation into Bridgegate, the allegations that Governor Chris Christie's top aides put pressure on elected officials as apparent political retribution. Both Houses of the state legislature are expected to vote to create a joint committee to look into the scandal. Right now, both the Senate and the assembly are conducting separate probes.

Another big speech today, not officially on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state, former senator, and former first lady is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention in New Orleans. Clinton reportedly gets a $200,000 speaking fee as she tours the country considering a 2016 presidential run.

Meanwhile, top Iowa Democrats met this weekend to build support for her in that early voting state.

BERMAN: A Texas Family is in mourning this morning after their months-long battle with a hospital over the health of a brain-dead pregnant woman. That battle is now over.


BERMAN (voice-over): Marlise Munoz (ph) has now been removed from a ventilator. She is the 33-year-old woman who was 14 weeks pregnant when she collapsed in November. The hospital in Ft. Worth spent nearly two months refusing the family's wishes, saying state law require the hospital to keep Munoz on a ventilator to keep her unborn fetus alive, but over the weekend, a judge disagreed, and now, a lawyer for the family says they're focused on grieving.


HEATHER KING, MUNOZ FAMILY ATTORNEY: This was a sad situation all the way around. We are relieved that Erick Munoz (ph) can now move forward with the process of burying his wife.



BERMAN: Protesters gathered outside the hospital Sunday to pray for the unborn fetus, saying the decision to take Munoz off a ventilator was wrong. The family and doctors both say, however, that the fetus was not viable.

ROMANS (voice-over): A dangerous situation for thousands of natural gas customers in Canada this morning. They are waking up without heat again in minus 18 temperatures after this incredible pipeline explosion in Manitoba. That explosion cut off gas service to more than 4,000 people who now can't heat their homes in minus 18-degree weather. It may be days before any repairs can be made.



BERMAN (on-camera): All right. Let's take a look at what's coming up on "New Day." Chris Cuomo with us here this morning. Hey, Chris.

ROMANS (on-camera): Happy Monday!

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Happy Monday, my brother and sister. How are you? We're going to be digging into Sochi this morning. Why? Well, you know, it's interesting. There's been some pushback from our friends down in Washington that the media's picked it up, but really, the issues have always existed. Have they? Have they?

We're going to talk to some people who are concerned citizens today, security experts, commentators on it, as well as people involved in the Olympics as competitors and family. What are their concerns about the Olympics? How much do we know about how secure it is? What will happen if something goes wrong? They're really important questions.

There are aspects about this Olympics that are different than any other we've ever seen, certainly, in the wintertime. So, we're going to take you through it.

Also, you'll remember video. It was all over the media of these young women parasailing and it goes wrong and they went of smashing into the apartment building and somehow, they survive. One of the girls is now coming forward, joining us to talk about this horrific ordeal and what was going through her mind in those moments and what it was like to survive such a horrible experience.

So, that will be right here for you as long as we also get to give you all the other relevant news of the morning, John and Christine.

BERMAN: Thank you, Chris. We look forward to it.

ROMANS: They usually do about four hours of news in three hours. So, it's impressive.


BERMAN: All right. Forty-eight minutes after the hour for us now.

When we come back, cruise ship crisis. What is making so many people sick? The emergency causing the vacation to be cut short for thousands on one U.S. cruise liner. That's coming up next.


BERMAN: A Caribbean cruise is being cut short this morning, thanks to an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness on board. Royal Caribbean says more than 560 passengers and dozens of crew members on "The Explorer of the Seas" have become sick on the ten-day journey from New Jersey to the Caribbean. So, they are coming home early.


VOICE OF JOSEPH ANGELILLO, SICK PASSENGER: They just said it was brought on by somebody, you know, and this and that, by they pushed the button on the elevator and then it spread because someone else touched the button, but I don't know. I don't buy that, because even a lot of the crew was sick. They even brought in extra help to sanitize the ship.

And now, when you go into line for your food, you're not allowed to touch anything, everything is handed to you, you know? They canceled shows because their entertainers have gotten sick.


BERMAN: A week in paradise. The ship is expected to return to New Jersey on Wednesday and the cruise line says it will thoroughly clean the vessel.

ROMANS: Practices get under way this morning for both the Broncos and the Seahawks now at their hotels ahead of the super bowl. The Super Bowl is this Sunday, in case you live in a cave. New York City is being transformed for the crowds. Broadway is becoming Super Bowl Boulevard, including a toboggan run, games and entertainment. I'm doing the toboggan run this week, by the way. You should come with me.

The only issue, the game is across the river. The game is not on Broadway in New York City. It's in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The mayor there tells our Alexandra Field he feels left out, insisting he had to pay for his own sign to promote the game for East Rutherford, and he didn't even get a ticket.



ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you feel like you were left out in the cold here at all?


FIELD: That sounds like a little New York/New Jersey rivalry.

CASSELLA: You're kind of used to it. And you know, you accept it. Life goes on.

FIELD: Hey, is there a little New York/New Jersey rivalry playing in here? How would you answer that?

RON SIMONCINI, EVENT ORGANIZER: Well, my PR answer is I'm sure glad I'm next to the biggest city in the world because that's how I make my living, but my New Jersey answer is I'd like to kick them in the shins.



BERMAN: -- in the shin, right?

ROMANS: I mean, come on. Most people don't know I think that the Jets and the Giants live in New Jersey. The NFL insists there are more activities going on in New Jersey than in New York even if the mayor of East Rutherford says he feels his town was left out.

BERMAN: The teams are staying in Jersey City.

ROMANS: Come to the swamps of jersey, boys and girls. It's beautiful out there. Beautiful. You know, when you're in Jersey, you know what the light at the end of the tunnel is? New York.


BERMAN: Got more? OK. This is awesome.

(LAUGHTER) BERMAN: New Jersey's own Christine Romans, folks. She'll be here all week.


BERMAN: Coming up for us next, could 2014 be the year you finally get a raise? Some say yes. The economy is now that good. We'll have the story in "Money Time," next.

ROMANS: But not you, Berman. You're not getting a raise.

BERMAN: Ain't that the truth.


ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START. It's "Money Time." A brutal day for stock markets around the world, starting the week where we left off. Asia selling off hard. Tokyo's main index at a two-month low. Europe dropping as well. European stock markets falling, this, after a massive sell-off on Wall Street last week took the S&P 500 down to the lowest level since 2012.

Two days, you had the Dow shave almost 500 points off the average. Investors around the world are concerned about China's slowing economy. They're concerned about weak U.S. corporate earnings, and they're concerned about emerging markets. Some are wondering if the current stock market bull is coming to an end. This bull, look at this chart!

This bull has been running for about five years now. That's about a year longer than the average bull over the past 100 years. The S&P 500 has tripled, nearly tripled in value over the past five years. So, some are saying it's time for a pullback.

All right. Another big story we're following today. That raise you've been waiting for? This might be the year for a raise. That's according to a really interesting piece this morning in "USA Today." Why? Unemployment is falling. It's down more than one percentage point in the past year, and as that rate goes down, the tables may turn for workers who haven't had an increase in their paycheck in years.

Lower unemployment means more demand, especially, especially for high- skilled, high performing workers in cities nearing full employment cities like Minneapolis, Boston, and Dallas. And I'm telling you, when I talk to CEOs and corporate executives, they tell me over and over again, they need more high-skilled workers. In certain parts of the economy that are really moving, John, the worker has all the power right here. This could be the year for a raise --

BERMAN: But there is a split, because then there is the long-term unemployed, and they're not benefiting from this.

ROMANS: It is absolutely two Americas -- these folks who've been out of work for a really long time who are not finding their place back in the labor market and then there's this other part of the economy, smaller part that's morning, high-skilled manufacturing, doing very, very well for them. That's the year for a raise.

BERMAN: All right. It is 59 minutes after the hour. That is all for us. "New Day" starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's too much of a danger of them getting frostbite or hypothermia.

CUOMO: Not again. Are we making history for bad reason, the coldest winter ever? Another round of nose diving temperatures across the eastern half of the country. Parts of the south plummeting 50 degrees. Are we going to have a Super Bowl or an ice bowl? The latest info ahead.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Searching for a motive. Police identify the man who opened fire at that Maryland mall as we learn more about the explosives he brought with him. The big question, why did he do it?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Music's biggest night, Paul and Ringo, Jay-Z and Beyonce, and if those pairing weren't enough, Madonna helping to marry 33 couples live. The biggest winners accept a dress as robots.

CUOMO: Your "New Day" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is "New Day" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.