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CNN NEWSROOM

Wisconsin Asks For Help; Super Bowl Ticket Prices; Broker: Super Bowl Ticket Prices Down 20 Percent; Target: Hackers Stole Security Credentials; Beatle-Mania from the Inside; Bombing Suspects Detained Ahead of Olympics

Aired January 30, 2014 - 09:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: It all. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Good morning. Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Carol Costello.

The Dow looking at a higher open this morning after a new report shows the nation's GDP grew more than 3 percent in the last quarter. The Dow up a little over 85 points.

Checking our top stories now at 33 minutes past.

Nine people, all members of one family, have been killed after a fire ripped through a Greenville, Kentucky, home. Officials tell CNN six bodies have been recovered, three are missing and presumed dead. Two survivors, the father and an 11-year-old child, have been flown to a Nashville hospital with severe burns. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

The Royal Caribbean cruise ship plagued with a nasty stomach bug has set a new record for the most passengers sickened in the past 20 years. The CDC says at least 630 passengers and 54 crew members had symptoms consistent with norovirus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Got very ill, vomiting and diarrhea, and it was that way for about a good 24 hours plus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I was on the floor. I was just laying down, I was so sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: The ship returned from sea yesterday and some people were taken away on stretchers. The cruise line says it's sanitizing the ship and passengers will get a 50 percent refund and a 50 percent discount on a future cruise.

Today an Italian court could issue a new verdict in the case against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend. They're accused of murdering British exchange student Meredith Kercher in Italy back in 2007. The pair was convicted in 2009, then acquitted two years later. Knox is back home in Seattle and insists she is innocent.

Today, President Obama heads to Wisconsin, where he'll tour a GE plant as he continues his post-State of the Union push. And when the president arrives, he will be greeted by the Republican governor, Scott Walker, who has previously clashed with the president on everything from Obamacare to unions. But a propane shortage in Wisconsin prompted Governor Walker to write directly to President Obama, sending this letter, asking for federal help in dealing with the crisis. Our chief national correspondent, John King, joins us now.

Good morning, John.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.

This is pretty smart politics by Governor Walker. He is a Republican, as you noted. He's been a nemesis of the president on health care, on labor issues. National Democrats don't like him. He's up for re- election this year, thinking about if he wins that race, running for president in 2016. So why would he greet the Democratic president?

Well, as you noted, there is a crisis in a lot of parts of the country. This propane issue is being raised by a number of governors across the country. It gives Scott Walker a chance to look the president in the eye and say, sir, we could really use your help. That will help him in Wisconsin. That will help him with other governors in the Midwest who have this crisis. And, guess what, it also draws attention to a great political story right now.

His Democratic opponent, who is trailing in the race right now, Carol, is one of the Democrats who keep coming up with scheduling conflicts when the president wanders through town. The Democrat, Mary Burke, won't be there to see the president today. So Scott Walker gets to do some official business, gets to look the president in the eye, show him respect, greeting him when he comes to the state and every story about it will say the Republican governor showed up and the Democratic candidate ran away.

COSTELLO: So this is really strange because I'm sure you remember this, another Republican governor, Chris Christie, found himself smack in the middle of a controversy when photos like the one we're about to show you were taken with Christie and Obama at the Jersey shore. Now, Republicans were really angry at Chris Christie for, you know, seemingly being buddy buddy with President Obama.

KING: I'll bet you more than a dollar that you will not get a fist clasp (ph) like that. You'll get a polite, respectful handshake from Governor Walker today. You won't get the hug that former Florida Governor Charlie Crist gave President Obama when he went to Florida that time.

But to defend those two governors, Charlie Crist and Chris Christie at the moment, remember, yes, they knew they were taking a political risk, but they were applauding the president for helping their state at a time of the crisis, whether it was the BP oil spill in the case of Florida, whether it was Superstorm Sandy in the case of New Jersey. But you're right, among some Republican base voters, they'll look at this, they'll want to see the body language when Scott Walker greets the president today.

Again, watch the president come down the stairs. I think you'll see a respectful handshake, a brief conversation. Governor Walker knows he's trying to do some state business, but there will be a lot of Republican national eyes on him today.

COSTELLO: All right. John King, many thanks, we appreciate it.

KING: All right.

COSTELLO: And, keep this in mind. Tomorrow, CNN's Jake Tapper will sit down with President Obama for his first exclusive interview since the State of the Union. You can see that interview tomorrow morning on "New Day" and then, of course, on "The Lead" with Jake Tapper. It all begins at 6:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, Super Bowl seats now going for an average $3,000. Sounds high, right? But actually those prices have dropped. Don Lemon has our story, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Selling Super Bowl seats in a buyer's market. Brokers say the secondary ticket market has dropped 25 percent over the last week and a half. And you just can't lay the blame on the cold weather. CNN's Don Lemon is on Super Bowl Boulevard in New York.

Good morning, Don.

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Super Bowl Boulevard, better known as Times Square. That's where -- this doesn't feel like New York, Carol. It probably doesn't look like New York City. Folks usually have a lot to do in Times Square, like get to work this time of the morning. But they're out and about today. They're doing toboggan races. They're learning about how to throw a football, how to punt a football, how to do a field goal. That's what's happening in Times Square.

A lot of people are looking for tickets, too. The cheapest one you'll probably get is about $1,500, unless you want to do what the rich people are doing, unless you want to go for the ones that are close to a million dollars.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON (voice-over): Prices for the big game? Not for the faint of heart.

JESSE LAWRENCE, FOUNDER, TIQIQ: But at the end of the day it's really about, you know, seeing your favorite team.

LEMON: It's Jesse Lawrence's business to know. He's the founder of TiqIQ, a service that tracks and sells big event tickets. He says even those prices are low.

LAWRENCE: This is actually a trend of the zone that the ticket's in. This is the ticket itself. So we're, you know, over the last week, this zone has trended down 31 percent.

LEMON: The average ticket here is going for just over $3,000. TiqIQ says that's down about 25 percent from the end of the playoffs, the first day they went on sale. Why?

LAWRENCE: Distance is part of it. You know, Seattle fans and Denver fans have a long way to come, 4,600 miles. And weather.

LEMON: The country is in a deep freeze. But one man who's not letting that stop him, Seattle businessman, high-energy Seahawks super fan, John Chen.

JOHN CHEN, ENTERTAINER: Oh, dude (ph), Seahawks! Go Hawks!

LEMON: Chen is making what he hopes is a suite bet on luxury suites at Metlife Stadium, paying over a million bucks for three of them and then selling off 88 individual spots, hopefully for a profit.

CHEN: If you want to come to the Super Bowl, just show me $30,000 of value on my table (ph) and I will put you on the week dream of your life.

LEMON: A dream that includes accommodations, New York style fine dining, and a V.I.P. experience at the "Maxim" magazine party.

CHEN: Over half the seats are sold. I've got half left -- a little under half left. And the deal flow over my desk is mad.

LEMON (on camera): I can afford to give you $50 for a ticket. No?

CHEN: I told you, $29,950 of value and your $50. Because you know what -

LEMON: Yes.

CHEN: We're doing trades (ph).

LEMON: Yes.

CHEN: I have the weirdest, wackiest - we sold somebody two - four adventure passes. She paid with a combination of cash and chocolate.

LEMON: Do you think he's going to do it?

LAWRENCE: I think it's an uphill climb, but he could do it.

LEMON (voice-over): We'll see, with prices continuing to go south, like the weather.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: So he still has to sell about -- almost half of the suite tickets that he bought for over a million dollars, Carol.

COSTELLO: Wow. LEMON: But, Carol, if you can get off the interstate there in Atlanta, let's see, I can get you on a cruise ship that they're turning into the Bud Light Hotel. I can probably get you into the Maxim party and maybe the ESPN party and some other things. I'd love to come out - you to come here and have some fun with me. You know, bring $29,000.

COSTELLO: Well, when - when -- I will when I get a hold of the National Guard to get my car off the highway, I'll be there. I'm just kidding.

LEMON: Oh. Oh, sorry about that.

COSTELLO: I'm just kidding. I haven't -

LEMON: Stay warm down there.

COSTELLO: Thanks, Don Lemon.

LEMON: All right. Thanks, Carol.

COSTELLO: Plenty of moms can tell you when your baby is ready to be born, it's going to be born, even if you're stuck in traffic in the middle of a terrible storm. It happened to one Atlanta couple. A police officer drove by right at the right time and pitched in to help. We'll talk to him next in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: There are new details of the Target hack attack. The retailer now saying hackers were able to get into the system by using stolen credentials from a different company the store works with.

Alison Kosik is in New York to explain this further. Good morning.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Carol. So this winds up being kind of the a-ha moment for investigators. Because this giving everybody new clues on how the attack actually was carried out. So basically, hackers got to Target through one of its vendors.

All right so what does that mean? Target is a really big company. It works with a lot of supplier and other companies as well. And those companies have access to some of Target's data bases and systems. So, hackers got to those internal systems by stealing credentials from one of Target's partner companies.

Now, no word yet on which partner was breached. But, Target has clamped down on access to some of its systems while it tries to figure all this out, especially for these big companies. You have to remember Carol, it really isn't possible to act in a vacuum, because it shows that when these companies work with others, it's really, really hard to have 100 percent control over what's happening -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Ok so you say this is the a-ha moment. Does that mean we're closer to knowing who the hacker was? KOSIK: Well actually know there's been a lot of speculation, nothing confirms but still this a big fat mystery. The Secret Service is investigating. And at a Senate hearing yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder said they're committed to finding the perpetrator.

Meantime, you know if they can figure out the how, I'd say that would just as critical. Because we really need to know how the hacking was done to prevent it in the future. Many security experts are saying that Target likely wasn't the only one targeted. Pardon the pun -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Ok you had to do it. And we understand.

KOSIK: I do.

COSTELLO: Thank you Alison Kosik.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, almost 50 years since Beatlemania came state side. Now we're hearing from someone who is very close to the band in its very early days.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Nearly 50 years ago the Beatles landed in the United States for the first time. Today we're getting a sneak peek of what Beatle mania was like on the inside from a woman who was there from the start. Freda Kelly was only 17 years old when she was hired as the secretary for the Beatles fan club when they were just a local act trying to make it in Liverpool.

Nischelle Turner has her story she is live in New York for us. I can't wait to hear it.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes she's great, Carol. And she has so many stories. You know Freda Kelly can claim to be part of the one of the wildest rides in all of music. She worked eight days a week as secretary for the Beatles fan club for ten years.

Now for over five decades she has cherished and she's really been pretty quiet about her relationship with the Fab Four when most would and could have boasted. I did have the chance to interview her via remote in Liverpool earlier this week. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Beatles.

TURNER: 50 years ago, America welcomed The Beatles when they made their ground breaking appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show". But Freda Kelly already knew them as John, Paul, George, and Richie. That's Ringo to you and me.

When she was just 17, she was hired to be the secretary of their fan club when they were a local band hoping to make it big in Liverpool. There's a couple of lyrics from a certain song, "She was just 17, you know I mean, the way she looked was way beyond compare." How many times have people asked you if that song is about you?

FREDA KELLY, SECRETARY OF THE BEATLES' FAN CLUB: Well, you know, that's about a lot of girls that were 17 that palled around with them at the time.

TURNER: Are you one of them?

KELLY: Well, I was 17 and I palled around with them at the time. I think it was for a lot of us.

TURNER: Anything go beyond a crush?

KELLY: Perhaps. Not really, no. But that's personal anyway, isn't it?

TURNER: Kelly worked with the Fab Four as they became international sensations and admits to playing favorites.

KELLY: I did have favorites. Of course I was in love with Paul, you know, for a week or two. And then if George gave me a lift home, you know what? I'd prefer George. And then Richie was so nice and asked about your family and your dogs and everything, I thought oh, no, I've got a soft spot for him.

TURNER: She says she had a playfully contentious relationship with John.

KELLY: You always knew where you were with John. When he came in the office, you knew what mood he was in and how far to push him and how far not to push him.

TURNER: You know, it's good to see your face when you talk about them, because at the end of the day, it just feels like you're still a fan, Freda.

KELLY: I am a fan. But you know what? I'm a Beatle fan. You know, I'll always be a Beatle fan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: Carol, she had so many great stories. I got kind of choked up for a second there. She has so many great stories. You heard her say she knew how far to go with John Lennon. John fired her at one point, she told me, because he thought she was paying more attention to the Moody Blues during a concert tour. So he told her she had to go.

And the other three said are you crazy? He had to come back to her and beg her to come back. She said he even got down on one knee. That was definitely a memory that she loved.

She also, you know, read all of the fan mail and tried to respond to it. She said, you know, some of the requests from the girls were just madness. She loved it. She has so many great memories of being with them for ten years.

COSTELLO: Just madness. I can only imagine what the requests were. I just find it fascinating that so many people are still interested in The Beatles this many years later.

TURNER: You know -- and I said that to her. I said, why do you think we still have this fascination five decades later for them? She said it's because it was about the music with them. They were -- she called them innovative because at that time, you know she met them when they were playing in a bar in Liverpool. She would go there to have her lunch.

She was a secretary. She saw them and she said they were just friendly. They would interact with the crowd. They had this wide eyed innocence. She thinks that's why everybody just really loved them. And hey, Carol, great melody, great song, four good looking young fellows -- come on.

COSTELLO: Yes, yes. How can you go wrong with that -- right?

TURNER: I did ask her if she ever, you know, went out on a date. And she is very tight-lipped. She says they may have given me a ride home a time or two. She would never say "yes, I dated". You know there were rumors at one point that her and Paul McCartney were engaged and that they got married which they didn't. But she never really would go there with me.

COSTELLO: She was a sweet lady.

TURNER: Yes.

COSTELLO: Nischelle Turner -- thanks for a great story. We appreciate it.

TURNER: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: "THE BRITISH INVASION" premieres tonight 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me.

It is just one week until the start of the Winter Olympics. This morning Russian officials have two terrorism suspects in custody who may be connected to a pair of bombings last month.

Police are now identifying the suicide bomber who carried out the attack on a train station in Volgograd. That bombing killed 18 people last month. As well as the suicide bomber who blew up the trolley the next day killing 16 people. Now remember, Volgograd is a major transportation hub a few hundred miles northeast of Sochi, the site of the Winter Olympics.

Phil Black is live in Moscow to tell us more. Hi Phil. PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey Carol. You know, authorities here say they identified formally those two bombers not long after the actually attacks but they kept that information secret because of security reasons, operational reasons they say. A key question is whether the two men they've identified are the same two men that appear in a Jihadi online video claiming responsibility to those attacks.