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Knox In Disbelief At Murder Conviction; Family Of Slain Roommate Reacts To Verdict; Obama: I Believe Sochi Is Safe; Dow Makes Dramatic Slide At Open; Georgia Governor Accepts Blame For Storm Response; $4.5 Million For A 30-Second Super Bowl Ad

Aired January 31, 2014 - 10:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Man, you are in heaven. Don Lemon, many thanks. Bye. The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. This hour, three big interviews, three very different topics, remember Dennis Rodman's drunken rant here on CNN. Back from North Korea, a sober and serious Rodman sat down with Chris Cuomo.


DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: I want to come on just say this because I want people to understand this. I am not a traitor. I have never been a traitor. I've never been anything, but one thing, to make people happy in the world. That's my whole goal right now is to make people happy.


COSTELLO: Another CNN exclusive, President Obama, one-on-one with CNN's Jake Tapper. What he is going to do to confront the nation's weak job market. We'll get to that in a second, but first, let's turn to a murder case rippling across the ocean and thundering through the lack of a former exchange student.

Amanda Knox in the green cap said she watched in disbelief just hours ago when an Italian appeals court found her guilty in the stabbing death of her roommate more than six years ago. Since then, Italy's justice system found her guilty of the stabbing death and then overturned that conviction.

Knox, back in the United States says she watched online yesterday as the appeals court upheld that initial conviction and sentenced her to more than 28 years in prison. She tells "Good Morning America" that she will not return to Italy without a fight.


AMANDA KNOX, CONVICTED OF MURDER IN ITALIAN COURT: I need a lot of help. I can't do this on my own and I can't help people understand this on my own. There are people who know better than I do the way these systems work and the way that there was this entirely preventable thing that happened that was systematic. And I really hope that people try to understand that when you have overzealous prosecutors and when you have a biased investigation and coercive interrogations like these things happen. I am not crazy.


COSTELLO: Italian police tell CNN that Knox's former boyfriend who has also been convicted was stopped in the border to Austria Slovenia. By Italian law, he is not allowed to leave the country. Erin McLaughlin is in Florence, Italy. She's been following the proceedings. Do we know if this ex-boyfriend was trying to flee the country?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. Well, his lawyers say that he wasn't trying to flee the country. Raffaele Sollecito was convicted alongside Amanda Knox last night for the murder of Meredith Kercher. He was sentenced to 25 years in jail. Police telling us that overnight they detained him in Northern Italy. They found him at 1:00 a.m. in a hotel with his girlfriend, a hotel very near Italy's border with Austria and Slovenia.

They were looking for him in order to confiscate his travel documents, which was court ordered confiscation. The court here deemed him to be a flight risk. They brought him back to the police station. The entire ordeal ensued through the morning. We understand though now he has left the police station. Again, his lawyer is telling us that he did not try to flee the country -- Carol.

COSTELLO: We also heard from the family of the slain roommate. What did they say?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, Meredith Kercher's family speaking out today. Her brother and sister, Stephanie and Lyle, were present in court for the verdict last night. Speaking out for the first time this morning, talking about how Meredith Kercher, they will never get Meredith Kercher back and also saying that they would support Amanda Knox's extradition from the United States if that should happen. Take a listen to what they had to say.


LYLE KERCHER, BROTHER: No matter what the decision and whether it is finally upheld or not, you know, nothing is, of course, going to bring Meredith back. You know, nothing will ever take away the horror of what happened to her. The best we can hope for is, of course, finally bringing this case to a conclusion and a conviction and everybody can then move on with their lives.


MCLAUGHLIN: Their lawyer has long argued for a conviction in this case. He told CNN that he approves of the court's decision -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, Erin McLaughlin live from Florence, Italy this morning. Thank you. With the Sochi Olympics about a week away now, concerns about terror threats continue to overshadow the athletes. Now, in an exclusive interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, President Obama is speaking out saying that Russia is aware and capable of handling the danger that Americans who want to attend the Olympics should do so.


JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN'S "THE LEAD": A lot of members of Congress, not just fringe ones, the ones that are serious lawmakers have said to CNN they would not let their family members go to Sochi, that they are not confident it will be safe. You see all the intelligence. I know you are not going and Michelle and Sasha and Malia are not going. If close friends of yours or close friends of the girls said, we are thinking about going, what would you tell them?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I would tell them that I believe that Sochi is safe and that there are always some risks in these large international gatherings. I'm always going to feel even better if it is inside the United States because then we have full control over what happens. The Russian authorities understand the stakes here. They understand that there are potential threats that are out there.

We are coordinating with them. We have looked at their plans. I think we have a good sense of the security that they are putting in place to protect not only the athletes themselves, but also visitors there. So what I would say is, if you want to go to the Olympics, you should go to the Olympics. We are not discouraging in any ways Americans from participating in what is always an amazing, wonderful event.


COSTELLO: The president also opened up about his daughters and their life in the White House and his upcoming meeting with the pope.


TAPPER: So the first lady just gave an interview. She said that your daughters, not so concerned with whether or not you had a bad 2013. More concerned about, OK, dad, that's great. Where is my allowance?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: When we sit down at the dinner table, they have some awareness of what's going on. We have great conversations. Although, mostly, it is more about history than it is about what's going on right now. It is true. They are teenagers. They are fully absorbed in their lives, what's going on in school.

TAPPER: They are not into your approval ratings.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: They really are not.

TAPPER: Are you bringing them when you go to the Vatican, when you meet the pope? Are they going to come?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: They met the previous pope the last time we went to Rome. I'm not sure they will have a chance to go this time. It was wonderful, great story. Sasha was still pretty young at the time. This was my first year in office. They see the Sistine Chapel and they are going through these various chambers. Each time, she would see somebody dressed up and she would say, is that the pope, is that the pope, how about that guy over there? No, no. You will know when it is finally the pope.


COSTELLO: The president will meet with Pope Francis during a trip to the Vatican in March. You can see more of Jake's exclusive interview with the president today at 4:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.


COSTELLO: A brutal day on Wall Street. The Dow skidded at the open and now it's down more than 173 points. Zain Asher is at the New York Stock Exchange to tell us why. Hi, Zain.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE/BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. Yes, you know, I have been down stairs talking to traders today. They are saying this drop is pretty much expected especially given the context of what's been going on this week. There have been fears stemming from emergent markets, also the slow down the China, which has been happening for quite some time.

The fed's decision. They were wondering whether the fed would hold their decision. Would they taper? Obviously, they chose to taper. But listen, this is the end of the month. So traders are taking this opportunity to sort of reposition themselves, get rid of some of the underperformance in their portfolios and start February afresh.

But the big question, people are asking, are we seeing the beginning of a possible market correction. I want to make this clear. On Wall Street terms, market correction is defined as when the market drops by 10 percent or more. Right now the S&P 500 is down 4 percent.

But when you take that into context of what we saw last year, when the S&P 500 and the Dow both rose between 25 percent and 30 percent, we saw all those record highs. Traders last year, in December, were telling me, listen, expect some volatility in January especially when earning season begins and that's exactly what we are seeing. So the bottom line is this year, buckle up. I would recommend it.

COSTELLO: I'll do it right now. Zain Asher, many thanks to you.

Also, this morning, Atlanta moves once again. The Deep South is now starting to thaw. With that melting ice, comes an apology, actually, more than one apology. Georgia's governor is now taking full blame for the state's botch response saying the buck stops with him, his apology now making front page headlines. This is the cover of today's "Atlanta Journal Constitution."

George Howell is standing on a highway outside of Atlanta to tell us more. Good morning, George. GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, good morning. A few days ago, it is was a game of finger pointing and blame-shifting, but now, the state's top politician, Governor Nathan Deal is taking full responsibility, apologizing and again, Governor Deal overseeing the state highways here saying next time, he will act sooner.


HOWELL (voice-over): This morning, the icy roads that froze Atlanta to a standstill continue to thaw out. This as Georgia's governor tries to alleviate criticism about his response to the South's snow- pocalypse.

GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL (R), GEORGIA: I accept responsibility for the fact that we did not make preparation early enough to avoid these consequences.

HOWELL: Governor Nathan Deal came out strong on Thursday.

DEAL: I'm not going to look for a scapegoat. I'm the governor. The buck stops with me.

HOWELL: A sharp contrast to his role in the blame game the morning after the storm.

DEAL: The National Weather Service had continually had their modeling showing that the city of Atlanta would not be the primary area where the storm would hit.

HOWELL: Governor Deal ordered an internal review for the state's delayed response to Tuesday's crisis. Take a look at this traffic map from that day showing the smooth flow of traffic in green quickly grinding to a halt in just an hour, turning deep red, the color of gridlock, throughout Thursday. People came back to claim their abandoned cars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, your vehicle was stole by S&W.

HOWELL: State troopers and the National Guard are helping transport people to the more than 2,000 vehicles strewn along roads and highways.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I give them an "A" in spite of all the "Fs." This is an "A."

HOWELL: Overnight state troopers scoured the roadways towing away any remaining cars not yet claimed. Today the cleanup is moving forward even though some neighborhood streets are still sheets of ice. A 14- year-old girl lost part of her leg Thursday on one such street after the abandoned car she was standing behind was struck by another car.

DEAL: I think it's been a big wakeup call. It is going to cause all of us to be more aggressive in terms of declaring states of emergency.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HOWELL: A live look here at Interstate 75, 85 connector, through the heart of downtown Atlanta. If you have ever traveled through the city, right around now, the rush-hour, this is no fun. Things are getting back to normal. People are back on the roads. I'm sure you do the same traveling there to the CNN Center. It is never the easiest. One other bit of important information, we do know that the state of emergency has been extended by the governor until Sunday. That is to help anyone that needs that extra help -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Yes. You are right. It is just nice to see traffic moving even if it is at 30 miles per hour. Who cares?

HOWELL: Slowly but surely, yet it's better than sliding around. So yes, things are getting back to normal.

COSTELLO: Thanks, George Howell. We appreciate it. Still to come in the NEWSROOM, Super Bowl ads, we love them.


COSTELLO: You can admit it, sports fans, you watch the Super Bowl as much for the ads as much as for the games. You will be getting together talking about the odds that worked and the ones that did not. You will probably not be thinking about how much those ads cost and whether the megaprices actually lead to sales. That's OK because CNN's Christine Romans is thinking about that for you.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It could be the most expensive 30 seconds in sports and maybe in all of business. Super Bowl ads sold out for weeks, some hitting a record $4.5 million a pop this year for just 30 seconds of TV time. The number of eyeballs, that's what's priceless to advertisers.

Month are than 100 million viewers have tuned in for each of the past four years, compared that to 40 million for the Oscars, 28 million for the Grammy's, about 15 million for last year's World Series.

SAM THIELMAN, TELEVISION AND MEDIA WRITER, "ADWEEK": The Super Bowl is one of the very few television shows where you still get a lot of reach. You get people from all different walks of life with all different preferences watching it.

ROMANS: But are millions of viewers worth millions of dollars for just a few precious seconds. Market research firm, Communicates, find recently, only 1 in 5 Super Bowl ads actually motivates consumers to buy anything. But sales aren't the only goal for advertisers.

THIELMAN: It is also kind of a great badge to have. We were in the Super Bowl last year. That's how big our brand is. A lot of advertising is about self-congratulations as well.

ROMANS: Forty three advertisers bought ads this year ranging from the standard 30-second spot to 2 minutes. Some of the big spenders include Anheuser-Busch, Butterfinger, Doritos, Go Daddy, Jaguar, Dannon, Wonderful Pistachios and General Motors jumping back in the game after a brief hiatus in 2013.

The big trend this year, teaser ads, they help companies build hype and give fans a heads up on what to watch for, much of it driven through social media, which brings more buzz and gives advertisers a lot more than one little spot on TV.

COSTELLO: Don't you think it is time we all get our own places.

ROMANS: Super Bowl advertising becoming a game of its own, star players millions of do and an audience that likes to play favorites. Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


COSTELLO: Social media aspect is big business this year too. A survey this week from crowd tap shows about two-thirds of social media users plan to share Super Bowl ads. Companies are also getting creative online. Budlight and Volkswagen buying ad on Google to promote their teaser ads.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM, some of the top names in the business world are in Washington right now meeting with President Obama, on a plan to put a key segment of unemployed Americans back to work. A live report for you next.


COSTELLO: Good morning. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Carol Costello. Live from rehab, Dennis Rodman under fire for his support of North Korea sits down with Chris Cuomo and Rodman and promptly invites Chris to visit his dear friend, Kim Jong-Un. Rodman also said, I'm not a traitor then explains his bizarre outburst on CNN last month over this man, imprisoned American, Kenneth Bae. Listen.


RODMAN: I'm not an ambassador. I tried to strive and tell people, just because I know the marshal, that don't mean that I know the marshal like that. I don't know anything about the guy, Kenneth Bae, for people to think that I knew him.

CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, CNN'S "NEW DAY": You also suggested in the interview that he had done something wrong.

RODMAN: I apologize. I never said what he did.

CUOMO: You suggested like he did something wrong.

RODMAN: Then, I went back to the question. I said, do you know what he did? People responded so badly.

CUOMO: You don't think he did anything wrong?

RODMAN: To this day, I still don't know what he did. I never suggested I knew. He said, did you know what he did, do you know?

CUOMO: For any offense to the Bae family, you want to apologize.

RODMAN: I don't know the Bae family. I don't want anyone to go in any country and anywhere in the world to be hostage for something that maybe they did or did not do. I'm not in government. Dealing with the Bae family, you know, I feel for them. I feel for them deeply. I don't know. I would do anything literally, this is Dennis Rodman talking. If they said, we'll taken is Rodman and we'll take Kenneth Bae go.

CUOMO: That offer is very generous.

RODMAN: I would do that.

CUOMO: When I go to North Korea with you, don't say take him and let Kenneth Bae go.

RODMAN: If they said that, I would say, yes.

CUOMO: You would trade yourself for him. I have no problem with that.


COSTELLO: Rodman says, if you want to see just how nice North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong is, just how nice he is, you will have to meet him in person.


RODMAN: I would give you this opportunity now on national TV I will take you over there and introduce you to him. I would love for you to come back here and tell the world, is he a nice guy when you meet him?


COSTELLO: Rodman also insists, his visit to North Korea does not make him a trader. President Obama has vowed to make 2014 a year of action, a key issue on his list, immigration reform. In an inclusive interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, the president talks about that issue and how to move forward in a gridlock Washington.


TAPPER: Let's talk about areas where you might be able to make some progress. I know that a pathway to citizenship in immigration reform is very important to you. It is very important to Democrats and others. It's possible that you might be able to get an immigration reform bill on your desk that has legal status for the millions of undocumented workers in this country but not citizenship. Would you veto that?