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Temps Plunge Dangerously; More Olympic Terrorist Threats; Shooter Left Behind Journal Expressing Unhappiness; Mystery Illness on Caribbean Cruise

Aired January 27, 2014 - 06:00   ET



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

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: 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 ANCHOR: 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.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. It's Monday, January 27th, six o'clock in the east. Are you doing a lot of this this morning? Of course you are because temperatures are plunging so low, we could be rewriting the history books in a bad way.

The coldest air of the winter, and possibly in decades, paralyzing the Midwest, now spreading East and as far south as Kentucky. For the next few days, every state in this system's path will experience sub- zero windchills, some as low as 40 below. This is not just about numbers, but numbness that can kill. Protectively, schools are shut down in Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Chicago, where hundreds of flights have been canceled. And today's high will be four below.

For more on the perspective on what is headed our way and already here, meteorologist Indra Petersons. What do we see? INDRA PETERSONS, METEOROLOGIST: Well, once again this morning, we're talking about dangerous windchills. I mean, just take a look right now this morning in Green Bay, it feels like 22 below. Minneapolis, almost 40 below this morning. Highs today in Chicago expected to only be one below. And all this cold air is only spreading father to the southeast today and into the northeast tomorrow.


PETERSONS, (voice-over): Another round of frigid arctic air is already gripping the Midwest. Today, it moves down the east coast, and by Tuesday, it flows into the deep South. A bitter cold system will bring another round of sub-zero temperatures.

This morning, schools in Chicago, Milwaukee and parts of Minnesota and Iowa closing their doors and asking parents to keep their kids home. Windchills of 30 below in Chicago are forcing officials to action.

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

PETERSONS: In northern Texas, mother nature is leaving many with weather whiplash. It was in the 70s on Sunday, and just 24 hours later temperatures expected to plummet around 30 degrees.

These cities saw subzero temperatures way below average this month. And the worst is yet to come, a mounting concern to families in the Midwest who rely on propane to heat their homes, shortages and price increases making it hard for 12 million Americans to stay warm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are people that are down to 5 percent, 10 percent and with this cold weather coming out, they're going to be out.

PETERSONS: In New Jersey, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are arriving in the area for Sunday's Super Bowl game. The menacing winter weather has officials anxiously monitoring the forecast. They need to decide by the end of the week whether to move up the date of the game or change its time. As of today, the forecast has chance of snow for the weekend, but just cloudy conditions during game time.


PETERSONS (on-camera): Well, let's take a look at the temperatures. A lot of people have been asking is this the coldest ever that we have ever seen? I actually took this morning's lows, and you know how frigid they are, and compared them to the record for just this day. And you can tell we're not even close. So no, it is not the coldest it has ever been.

But let's get some perspective here. Anchorage, Alaska's high today is 40 degrees; Chicago's high, one below. So definitely a big shift in the pattern here, very atypical compared to what we should be seeing. All of this cold air that is spreading is now going to be spreading even farther into the northeast by tomorrow. And even more unusual, is we're going to be talking about a threat for winter weather all the way down to the deep South overnight in through the morning. This is something so atypical, they haven't seen in this about three years. So I'm gonna get that and dive a little bit deeper coming up in a few minutes, guys.

BOLDUAN: Dangerous cold we're looking at, my God.

PETERSONS; Freezing rain in the South? They're not used to that.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much.


BOLDUAN: All right, we now know we are 10 days away from the Olympics, and this morning Olympic athletes are starting to arrive in Sochi just as new terrorist threats surface. Militants in Dagestan are vowing more violence.

Though the Olympic torch just made its way through the turbulent republic believed to have ties with Islamic militants, it made it through without incident, thankfully.

Senior international correspondent Ivan Watson is in Sochi for us this morning with the very latest. So how are things looking from the ground now, Ivan?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT Well, good morning from Sochi where the weather is in the high 50s in the future home of the 2014 winter Olympics, much warmer here than at your end.

The Russians have flooded the area with security forces, of course on edge after deadly twin bombings in the nearby city of Volgograd at the end of December killed more than 30 people. And over the weekend, a fresh threat coming out over Russian jihadi website from a group calling itself the Emirate of the Caucasus (ph) justifying that deadly bomb attack and threatening more violence in response to what the website claims is the infidel's crimes and war carried out on the soil of the Caucasus. Take a look.


WATSON (voice-over): Over the weekend, a new warning from terrorists in Dagestan, a region plagued by Islamist insurgents promising more attacks like this recent bombing in Russia. They're not specifically mentioning the Sochi games.

As Olympic athletes begin to arrive, the U.S. State Department issued another warning last week, urging American athletes not to wear their uniforms outside the game's ring of steel.

CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: If we need to extract our citizens, we will have appropriate arrangements with the Russians to do this.

WATSON: In the event of an attack, U.S. officials say they have contingency plans at the ready, helicopters on standby on two wars in the Black Sea. And c-17 transport aircraft in Germany could be on the scene in two hours. But Russian officials hope these emergency plans won't be needed, assuring their security forces will be vigilant.

SERGEY KISLYAK, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: I'm absolutely certain because we are doing everything that is needed in order to make sure it is going to be safe, and it will be as safe as any other Olympics that can be held currently in the world.

WATSON: But others, like U.S. Congressman Peter King said on ABC's "This Week" he can't give that same promise.

REP. PETER KING, CHAIRMAN OF HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: I cannot give them 100 percent guarantee. The fact is, that these are going to be very much threatened Olympics, probably more than any we've had in our past.

WATSON: The U.S. continues to offer counterterrorism expertise to Russia with IED detection software, jamming equipment, and war ships at the ready. All Russia needs is to give the green light.

HAGEL: Whatever we can do, we want to do to help, but right now there has been no request from the Russian government.


WATSON (on-camera): Locals tell me that one of the security measures the Russians have taken here, is that they've basically banned since January 7th any cars not registered here in Sochi. You're not allowed to bring them in. You're not allowed to take them out, which means some cars from out of the city have been stranded here since the seventh.


BOLDUAN: And that is just some of the security measures, I'm sure, that you're seeing on the ground there and will be more in the coming days. Ivan, thank you so much. We're going to check back in with you in a little bit.

As we well know, an estimated 15,000 Americans are expected to go to Sochi to watch the games, but many are still struggling with whether or not to make the trip amid these security concerns. Next hour, we're going to talk to some Olympic families about their very real concerns this morning.

CUOMO: And let's shift back over here this morning. Maryland police deal with an all-too familiar question these days: "Why did a young man decide to become a killer?" The shopping mall shooting there left three dead this weekend, including the suspected gunman. Police have identified him as 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar. Now they're digging into his background and investigating whether he knew the victims.

CNN's Erin McPike in Columbia, Maryland with more. Erin. ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, at a press conference last night, the police chief said that the shooter has no previous criminal record. And although they haven't yet been able to establish a connection between him and the victims, they're not ruling out that possibility.


MCPIKE (voice-over): Howard county police identified 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar as the shooter in the latest outbreak of gun violence to shock the country. Armed with a shotgun and what police say was a lot of ammunition, he terrorized Maryland's Columbia Mall, taking two other young lives before his own; 27-year-old Chris came face to face with the gunman and described the scene, but did not want to be identified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He shot her. Then, 10, 15, maybe not even 10 seconds later, I heard the second gunshot. I basically just like scrambled out of the store on my hands and knees right by the male employee who was down on the ground, still alive.

MCPIKE: Those two victims are 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo and 25- year-old Tyler Johnson. Aguilar fired six to eight shots, investigators said, killing them both. Police still haven't pinned down a possible motive, though they say Aguilar lived in the same College Park, Maryland's neighborhood as Benlolo. Investigators raided Aguilar's home, taking away more ammunition, computers, documents and a journal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He does express general unhappiness with his life. We have no known relationship between the victims and our shooters.

MCPIKE: Adding to the mystery, Aguilar was carrying a back pack with two homemade explosive devices, which required extra cautionary measures to examine the crime scene, including a robot.

Surveillance videos, police say, reveal that Aguilar arrived by taxi at this upper-level mall entrance around 10:15 Saturday morning, walking by a children's carousel. Over the next hour, they say he went downstairs and then back up into skateboard shop Zumiez, where the two victims worked. Before the rampage ended, the gunman injured another woman in the foot on the floor below.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Kids were running. You just ran. And you just run to the nearest place you could find.

MCPIKE: As witnesses tried to escape in the chaos, authorities say he then killed himself with a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a shotgun that police say he bought legally.


MCPIKE (on-camera): Now, the mall reopens today at 1:00. And when it does, there will be two memorial sites established for the victims, along with an increased security presence. Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, Erin live in Columbia, Maryland for us this morning. Thank you so much.

So in Washington, lawmakers are back there this morning as we learn new details of the president's State of the Union address tomorrow night. It's expected to help launch his second term reboot following a pretty rough 2013. Now, the president's advisers say he's willing to sidestep Congress in the coming year. CNN's Brianna Keilar is live at the White House for us with much more of a preview this morning.

Good morning, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Kate. This speech that will center very much around reducing income inequality has been months in the making. CNN has learned that top aides actually got started on this before Thanksgiving on what's really a monumental task for President Obama trying to salvage his second term.


KEILAR (voice-over): It's crunch time for President Obama, making final edits on a speech he hopes will be the start of a turn around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the public ended 2013 very frustrated.

KEILAR: Obama's approval rating is slowly recovering, but he's still more unpopular than at any of his past State of the Union addresses, due in part to the botched rollout of his healthcare law.

On Tuesday, he'll tout a new plan to narrow the gap between rich and poor, even if he has to go it alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not going to tell the American people that he's going to wait for Congress. He's going to move forward in areas like job training, education, manufacturing, on his own to try to restore opportunity for American families.

KEILAR: That means executive actions and public/private partnerships trying to get something done in a key mid-term election year facing an uncooperative Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's supposed to be a year of action.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R)-KY: It sounds vaguely like a threat.

KEILOR: The "go around Congress plan" already rejected by Republicans, who say Obama is abusing his executive power.

PAUL: I think it also has a certain amount of arrogance in the sense that one of the fundamental principles of our country were the checks and balances.

KEILAR: The one major legislative item Obama has his eye on is immigration reform, despite House Republican opposition to a comprehensive plan. It was one of Obama's big agenda items in last year's State of the Union, but it stalled, along with expanding background checks on gun sales and increasing the minimum wage, which he will push for again Tuesday night. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Presidential power is something that is fought out every day, and one speech isn't going to fundamentally change his position. But what he can do, potentially, is begin to lay out some themes and define the 2014 legislative and electoral battle.


KEILAR (on-camera): And that push will continue after the State of the Union with a road trip. Kate, President Obama will be going to Maryland, Pennsylvania, as well as Wisconsin and Tennessee.

BOLDUAN: All right, Brianna, thank you so much for that preview this morning. And be sure, of course, to tune in to CNN's coverage of the president's State of the Union address, our coverage beginning tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Eastern.


PEREIRA: All right, let's look at some of your headlines. Good morning to you at home.

New details on U.S. air strike in southern Somalia targeting a suspected militant leader. Officials say the target was a senior leader affiliated with al Quad and al Shabaab. U.S. military says it hasn't been determined if he was actually killed in the strike, which involved missiles and no U.S. troops on the ground. It comes after a raid last October when U.S. Navy Seal team six aborted a raid trying to capture another al Shabaab leader.

The Bridgegate investigation in New Jersey kicking into high gear today. Both houses of the state legislature are voting to create a joint committee to look into last September's George Washington bridge lane closing scandal. Up until now, both the Senate and assembly have been conducting separate investigations; 20 subpoenas served by the Assembly Committee will remain in force.

Republican Senator Rand Paul slamming Bill Clinton for what he calls the former president's predatory sexual behavior. Paul made the comments in response to Democrats' claims that Republicans were waging a war on women. The Kentucky senator says if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president in 2016, her husband's behavior should be investigated.

The FAA ordering new safety checks on hundreds of Boeing 767s. "The Wall Street Journal" reports the checks concern a problem with the tail section that could cause pilots to lose control of the aircraft. No planes have been grounded so far. The FAA is ordering new tests and the eventual replacement of suspicious parts to minimize the risk.

New developments involving Justin Bieber. The pop star has been spotted on the beach in Panama, this as prosecutors in Los Angeles decide whether to charge him with felony vandalism over an alleged egging incident.

Meanwhile, a prosecutor in Miami has also awaiting lab test results to see if Bieber was driving high on marijuana before his arrest last week.

I know you're waiting to know the developments. So, there you are. Up-to-date on Monday.

CUOMO: That's a little surprising. Based on the allegations from the police, it seemed one way, get the results of the breathalyzer, the GPS out of the car, a little bit different picture. We'll have to see what develops. All deserve fairness, celebrity or not.

Coming up, we know people can get sick on cruises, right? You have so many people in one confined space. But what is this mystery illness on this Royal Caribbean cruise that's spread so long quickly. Health officials still aren't sure what they're dealing with.

BOLDUAN: And here's a question to ponder. Is Peyton Manning already looking past the Super Bowl? The Denver Broncos quarterback dropping hints he may be back for more football in the fall.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone.

New developments on a mystery illness that has sickened more than 600 people on a Royal Caribbean cruise. CDC inspectors are on board this morning as the ship heads home two days early. Also this morning, they're looking for clues as to what caused the outbreak and why it spread so quickly.

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is at the CNN Center and has been looking into these very serious questions.

It's quite a mystery, Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a mystery, Kate, but many suspect it will be solved pretty soon and that it's something called norovirus. So, you can have the cleanest ship in the world, but if the sick person walks on, well, those are pretty close quarters and bad things can happen.


COHEN (voice-over): Another cruise ship cutting short its planned Caribbean pretty soon and it's something called norovirus. Another cruise ship cutting short its planned Caribbean island hopping and a maritime version of the walk of shame.

This one, Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, now heading back to home port after hundreds of passengers and crew members early after guests fell ill due to a past spreading virus whose origins remain a mystery.

One passenger Arnee Dodd said her gastrointestinal symptoms came on suddenly.

ARNEE DODD, EXPLORER OF THE SEAS CRUISE PASSENGER: It was vomiting and diarrhea. It almost had no warning, high fever, chills, aches, dehydration.

COHEN: By the next morning she said the infirmary was packed with sick passenger.

DODD: As soon as I walked down there, the nurse said if you're not sick, you have to leave right now because this is spreading faster than we can contain it.

COHEN: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still investigating why so many passengers got sick but the typical cost is norovirus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have all those people in a confined space over a long period of time and this is an easily transmissible virus, person to person.

COHEN: Unfortunately, this cruise ship scenario has happened before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were here with them two years ago, same thing. Ship was overrun with this sickness.

COHEN: Last year, according to the CDC, nine cruise ships reported illnesses among passengers, the year before that, 16. Royal Caribbean said in a statement that once they do docked, the ship underwent an extensive and thorough sanitizing.

DODD: They were sanitizing the hallways, I mean, they ceiling to floor nonstop for about 24 hours.

COHEN: And infected passengers and crew were advised to stay in their cabins until they were well for at least 24 hours.


COHEN: Now, you can go on the CDC website and see the ratings, the scores for various health inspections that are done regularly on cruise ships and, actually, Explorer of the Seas did very, very well. It just goes to show you no matter how clean the ship is, if a sick passenger or crew member walks on, there's not much that can be done -- Chris, Kate.

BOLDUAN: That troubling reality of it, I guess. Thank you, Elizabeth.

CUOMO: All right. So, Super Bowl week is here finally, the Broncos and Seahawks have arrived in New Jersey. What will this week hold other than the cold? That's the question for Andy Scholes, in the studio, Super Bowl week treat for you.

BOLDUAN: We have to go more than negative temperatures to get you here, I see. I see what it takes you get you here.


You know, the big storyline for the Super Bowl, as you say, Chris, the cold, of course. You know, it's going to be freezing temperatures for the game. But the other big one that everyone is talking about Peyton Manning's quest for a second Super Bowl.

Peyton let the Broncos off the plane once they arrived in New Jersey yesterday. At age 37, there's been a lot of talk if he wins he might hang up the cleats and go out on top. Peyton says he hasn't made plans past the Super Bowl but does feel like he has plenty football left.


PEYTON MANNING, BRONCOS QUARTERBACK: I still enjoy playing football and I feel a little better than I thought I would coming off that surgery. As soon as I stop enjoying it, if I can't produce, if I can't help the team, that's when I'll stop playing. If that's next year, maybe it is but I certainly want to continue to keep playing.


SCHOLES: The Seahawks also arrived in New Jersey last night, all eyes on Richard Sherman. The Seahawks cornerback has been thrust into the spotlight after his epic rant after the NFC championship game. Sherman said all the craziness from that rant has helped his team prepare for the big game.


RICHARD SHERMAN, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: I definitely think it helped. I think, you know, everybody getting a chance to see the camera, see the tons of media in the press conferences and things like that has helped everybody kind of evolve and get to the next level of understanding the media and what they want to get and the messages they want to put across.


SCHOLES: Trending on, today is the pro bowl. New format this year, no more NFC versus AFC. Teams were picked by Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders. You had teammates going against each other.

Check out this play guys. The Chief's Derrick Johnson, he lights up his teammate Jamaal Charles hit by his teammate.

CUOMO: Did you like it better?

SCHOLES: I can't get into the pro bowl. I don't know what it is.

BOLDUAN: I love your candor, at least.

SCHOLES: It's probably the worst all-star game in sports. Everyone is just ready for the Super Bowl, right?


BOLDUAN: That's the thing. That's the anticipation is building for the Super Bowl, so, everything else is kind of wah, wah.

CUOMO: Maybe they should go back to the old competition they used to have who is the fastest in the league --

SCHOLES: I would totally be into that.

BOLDUAN: All right. Well, maybe they'll start listening to us.


CUOMO: The seas of change here on NEW DAY with Andy Scholes.

BOLDUAN: Andy Scholes is here. Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: You're welcome.

BOLDUAN: All right. We're going to break here on NEW Day.

Coming up next, the end of a heart breaking ordeal. A pregnant Texas woman who is left brain dead is finally taken off a ventilator after an agonizing two-month legal battle. Here family now able to grieve but not everybody is satisfied with the decision. We'll have the latest.

CUOMO: Take a look -- up in the air, it's a bird, no, it's pink! All the highlights from Last night's Grammys ahead. You got to give it to. She's really added a new facet to her performance.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Let's bring you up to date on the latest news.

Happening: historic, dangerously low temperatures spreading from the Midwest, to the Northwest, and as far south as Kentucky. Windchills plunging below zero, forcing many schools to shut down today in Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Chicago. Nationwide, hundreds of flights have already been canceled. So, of course, best to check with your carrier if you're planning on flying today.

PEREIRA: New this morning, Olympic athletes starting to arrive in Sochi just as new terrorist threats surface. The Olympic torch just made its way safely through the Dagestan republic, a region believed to be linked to Islamic militants. American coaches and athletes are being told not to wear their Olympic uniforms outside Sochi's protected ring of steel.

Today, North Carolina officials are taking a second crack at indicting a police office in a shooting death of a 24-year-old last fall.