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Russia Still Preparing for Olympics; Cold Weather Hits Parts of U.S.; Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Dies; Seattle Seahawks Win Super Bowl; Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman

Aired February 3, 2014 - 07:00   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And now the man who signed off on the bridge closures publicly sparring with the governor, alleging there's evidence Christie knew about them.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, police are searching for a dangerous inmate who escaped from a Michigan prison on Sunday. After his escape 48-year-old Michael Elliott allegedly abducted a woman using a box cutter and had her drive him to Indiana. That woman was able to escape after they pulled over for gas. Elliott was serving a life sentence for multiple first degree murder convictions as well as arson and armed robbery.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Remember the Target hacking and people are like, I wonder if this is going to happen again. It has. Another massive security breach has exposed the personal information of thousands of people, guests at big brand name hotels like Marriott, Sheraton, Westin reportedly had debit and credit information stole last year through a hotel operator called White Lodging. Let's bring in CNN's chief business correspondent Christine Romans here with more. Help me understand this. They lost the information at the hotel but it was through another operator?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Another operator who manages the franchises. Here's the really interesting thing about this. It is more evidence, you guys, and it is the wild west out there with your financial information out there. As you said, Chris, travelers who stayed at Marriot, Sheraton, and Westin, thousands of those guests later found their credit and debit card information had been stolen and used.

The same security researchers that uncovered the Target hack brings attention to this one. Cities where the Marriots were hit, Chicago, L.A., Boston, Denver, Louisville, and Tampa, all of those managed by a chain called White Lodging and they say, yes, they can confirm the investigation is in progress. They'll provide more information as soon as it becomes available. Still a lot of questions. White Lodging manages 168 hotels in 21 states. Add this on top of Target, Neiman Marcus, and, again, you're information is out there in a lot of places. And we don't even know if these are all connected. Hackers finding ways to get them.

BOLDUAN: Christine, a lot to be learned on that one. Thank you so much. Right now the eastern half of the U.S. getting hit with yet another brutal snowstorm. This is a live look at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey where the Super Bowl was played last night. Snow is already on the ground and more is on the way. Plus already more than 800 flights have been cancelled today. And that number could be going up if the weather keeps getting worse. Meteorologist Chad Myers is tracking it all for us this morning. What should we be looking at, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: MetLife Stadium, they will have 6 eight inches of snow on the ground by 6:30 tonight. Can you imagine if it was a Monday Super Bowl? We knew a storm was close, but the timing, eight days ago, we thought maybe it could hit on Sunday. The good news is it did not. Newark, 132 nights cancelled already this morning. All of these people trying to get back from the Super Bowl, LaGuardia 82 flights cancelled and JFK 30. That's 250 flights. Multiply that by 120 people on every plane, you've got 30,000 and some people who aren't going anywhere today.

Winter storm warning all the way from New York City back even into northern Kentucky. New York City, eight inches of snow. You get to the western suburbs of New Jersey, could be more, long island, maybe a little bit less. And the streets of Manhattan right now are just wet, though that's going to change as the day goes on because temperatures are going down. It's been snowing now for about an hour, hour-and-a- half. By later on tonight there will be about an inch of ice on all the road and about seven inches of snow on the sidewalks. But I do love the city when it snows because it gets so quiet when the snow muffles all the sounds.

BOLDUAN: It certainly going to make it a mess to get home for those fans who traveled.

And an autopsy will be performed today on Oscar winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. The 46-year-old star was found dead inside his Manhattan apartment Sunday. Police found what they believe to be two bags of heroin at the scene. Alexandra Field is live from outside the actor's apartment in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Alexandra?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Michaela. To the world he was known as that critically acclaimed actor in Greenwich Village. He was known as another father seen often walking the street or riding his bicycle with his three young children. But he had spoken out publicly in the past about private struggles and addiction to drugs. Police are working on the theory he may have died of a heroin overdose.

According to law enforcement sources, Hoffman was found on the bathroom floor with a needle in his arm and two baggies filled with a substance which they believe to be heroin along with several other baggies. Those substances will be taken by police for further testing.

Hoffman's friends found him in that apartment after he failed to show up on Sunday morning for a previously scheduled meeting with his three young children. Neighbors here say that Hoffman had moved into the building last year following a stay in rehab. Before that he had lived with his long-time partner and their children also in this neighborhood. Michaela?

PEREIRA: Tragic end to what was an incredible career. Philip Seymour Hoffman's death has brought heroin abuse to the forefront, and issue that authorities say is on the rise in some parts of the country.


In a recent drug threat assessment report, the DEA cited people switching from abusing drugs as a possible reason behind the uptick in overdose deaths. The agency warned that people addicted to certain kinds of prescription pills are finding pure heroin easier and cheaper to obtain.

CUOMO: We have a CNN exclusive for you this morning, a stunning development just ahead of the Sochi winter games. A web of potential black widows, as many as 100 women in Dagestan, have been ordered under a form of house arrest until after the Olympics. Authorities fear that they may become suicide bombers.

BOLDUAN: Also breaking overnight, a student gunman has shot and killed two people at a high school just outside of Moscow, Russia. He took 20 kids and a teacher hostage during the ordeal. That teacher and a police officer were killed. The rest of the students were evacuated.

CUOMO: You take these stories in combination and it raises the question is Russia ready for the Olympics? Violence in Moscow just four days before the games in Sochi underscoring the major concerns there for athletes and spectators alike. Some hotels we hear still are not also ready and there are also problems with processing tickets. Let's bring in senior international correspondent Ivan Watson who has more from Sochi.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. We're coming to you from one of the brand new villages that the Russians built for the Olympics to the tune of an estimated more than $50 billion. The excitement is building. There are more athletes every day, more volunteers, more tourists as well.

But we're also getting signs that some of the infrastructure just isn't ready. For instance, a five-star hotel we were supposed to be broadcasting from, the Sochi organizing committee just told us that we can't check in. They're having water problems. We're getting moved to another place. Take a look at this report.


WATSON: The Russians built all of this, the ski lift, the high speech train, this entire alpine city, within just the last seven years. But now four days before the opening of the winter games, it's clear that some of this massive development up in the mountains will not be ready in time for the Olympics.

The Associated Press reports three out of nine hotels reserved for journalists near the alpine sports venues are not yet ready. Even an international hotel operator admits construction is behind schedule. OLIVER KUHN, SOCHI OLYMPICS: It was slightly delayed. We planned to open last month but it's now a short testing time for us, but our team is quite strong, quite trained.

WATSON: The International Olympic Committee insists everything is OK.

THOMAS BACH, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: There are still some issues to be solved, as it is always just before the games. But also in this respect we're in contact with the organizing committee, and we hope that the situation will be solved in the next couple of days.

WATSON: Russia and the Olympic committee of gambling that even if you don't build it in time, the people will come.


WATSON: And we keep bumping into signs. The development, the scale of this, the stadiums, everything, it's really astounding. But we keep bumping into these little warning signs that, again, not everything is ready. For example, we were just at a Marriott hotel, a five star major international chain. And if you can believe it, their credit card machines don't work yet. You have to pay cash for the winter Olympics at a Marriott hotel.

PEREIRA: Those are some big kinks to be worked out. Several people will be unhappy with that. Keep us posted on that. Thanks so much.

In other news, new criticism leveled at Obamacare this morning by the "New York Times," especially at a $10 million research center under the Affordable Care Act that's supposed to find better ways to deliver health care. Researchers and economists criticizing it for not using randomized clinical trials, widely considered the gold standard in medical and social science research.

Thousands of people are discovering the Obamacare website is making pretty critical errors during the signup process, errors that cannot be fixed. "The Washington Post" is reporting about 22,000 people have already filed appeals with the government to try to get those mistakes corrected. Many of them involve being overcharged or being steered into the wrong policy. So far the Obama administration has not acknowledged that there is a problem.

BOLDUAN: Florida highway patrol is releasing new information on a horrific crash. They say a 79-year-old woman backed her SUV into seven people Sunday before running into a curb, hitting trees, and then plunging into a canal. Three people died in this whole ordeal, four others were injured. Investigators say alcohol was not a factor. They say the woman apparently thought she had the car in drive, not in reverse when she hit the gas.


Charges have not been filed.

CUOMO: So you had two weeks of nonstop hype, but it only took 12 second to set the tone for one of the most lopsided Super Bowls in history. Seattle's legion of boom defense living up to its name, shutting down Peyton Manning and the Denver offense in a 43-8 rout of the Broncos.

Rachel Nichols is with us this morning. The game just started off on that note. It did seem like some kind of indicator of tempo, and it just never changed.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let's me put it this way. There's been 48 Super Bowls. This is the fastest anyone has scored ever in any of them. And it only got worse from there. Seattle went up 36-0 before Denver even got on the board. Peyton Manning is still a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, but looked rattled, scared out there. That's largely due to Denver's (ph) defense. They are the number one defense in the league, and they showed it last night, fast aggressive. The secondary calls itself the legion of boom and they're certainly showed why. And they're led by their controversial quarterback Richard Sherman. I actually caught up to Richard after the game and he was a very grateful and reflective player.


NICHOLS: Since you and I talked two weeks ago you have had a crazy couple of weeks. What has the Super Bowl experience been like?

RICHARD SHERMAN, NFL PLAYER: It's been a lot of fun. It's been really humbling. You learn a lot about yourself and you learn a lot about the media and the way people perceive things. I've had a chance to grow. I thank you for the opportunity to do the interview because it was a tremendous opportunity for people to really get to know me and not judge a book by its cover.

NICHOLS: What are you going to do now?

SHERMAN: Disneyworld, if I can!



NICHOLS: He's joking. He's trying to pick them up as a sponsor. And he is emerging as the breakout star of this Super Bowl. His agency thinks he's going to end up with $5 million in endorsements this off season. Fifth round draft pick defensive player. That never happens, but he's the guy.

BOLDUAN: I don't know if we should call him a surprise. He is the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson, but he is a bit of a surprise. He's a smaller guy. He was really great at Wisconsin, but not much -- I don't know if people had as much hype around him when he started in the game.

NICHOLS: It is amazing, too, when you look at the two quarterbacks in this Super Bowl. Peyton Manning, son of an NFL quarterback, so typical, 6'4", throws exactly like all the traditional quarterback do, versus Russell Wilson, 5'10" and three-eighths. He was certainly told when he was drafted you will never start in this league. He didn't listen to any of them.

And this is a guy who has shown his whole life his ability to fight through. He did it again last night. And he credits a lot of it to his dad who died unfortunately when he was in college. And I asked him about that and his whole experience last night. Take a listen to this, too.


NICHOLS: You told me when you were a kid, your late father would quiz you in the car and say Russell Wilson, Super Bowl champion and give you interview tips. What does it feel like to go through all these interviews knowing that your dad was a part of this?

RUSSELL WILSON, NFL QUARTERBACK: Just standing up there on the stage and holding the Lombardi trophy and holding it up in front of all of Seattle and all the people that came in the game. Our first Super Bowl in franchise history, I think of all the special times I had with my dad, and my mom, too. I miss my dad so much, all the things he taught me.


NICHOLS: It is amazing. His dad never go to see him play football, but he said he feels like his dad is there every time he plays. He said my dad now has the best seat on the 50 yard line.

CUOMO: He takes that motivation, those lessons into his heat, I'm sure. We were both at the game watching him in the warm-ups. You can't teach two things, speed and poise. And he has both. His coach had said he'll handle his business, we'll move on. But the kid is cool under pressure.

NICHOLS: His leadership is something that all of his teammates have talked about. He was at Wisconsin. He was a transfer there. Within a month they voted him team captain. He's been drafted to play Major League Baseball twice, actually, as recently as December. The Texas Rangers said if you ever don't want to play football, or try the two sport thing, we're still here for you. I think he's doing OK right now.

CUOMO: He's got a lot of football in him. And a guy in all Steelers garb. He turned around and said 1974, that's this time. And if you remember your football history, the team, the Steelers great team that won four championships started off young just like these guys.

NICHOLS: I was going to say, none of the Seattle Seahawks had a lick of Super Bowl experience before they came into --

BOLDUAN: The stats are amazing about how young they are?

NICHOLS: It's all ahead of them.

BOLDUAN: I mean, all of the stats for the game, none of them have ever been in a Super Bowl game, largest margin of victory in a Super Bowl in 21 years. <07:15:00>

NICHOLS: Absolutely right. And the city of Seattle is celebrating. They call their fans the 12th Man. There is no team in the NFL that brings their fans into the process as much as Seattle. And they are going to be having a party there the next few days.

CUOMO: It's embarrassing. As local fan, I've never heard the stadium as loud was a it was last night.


CUOMO: It's the best I've ever seen green play on that field.


NICHOLS: That's your team, my friend.

CUOMO: See if they can keep all of those players with the money, because none of them have been paid yet either. Another stat of what hasn't happened. Rachel, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

The game was great, the halftime show was even more entertaining in a lot of ways. Singer Bruno Mars certainly brought the house down during his dazzling halftime performance at the Super Bow. Take a look and a listen.




CUOMO: Quick feet like Richard Sherman (ph). He started off with a drum solo, 12 minute display, he had the moves, the wardrobe, of course you can't forget his special guests, RHC, the Red Hot Chilipeppers rocked the stadium with their hit which became metaphor for the Broncos, give it away.


BOLDUAN: I guess so. Also this: Time Warner Cable customers in southern California experienced a bit of a blackout during the Super Bowl that probably made not a lot of people happy. Viewers from Los Angeles to Ventura County reported the outage on the SD channel just after 3:00 p.m. And it lasted for a couple of hours. Customers were able to view the game on the high-def channel. The company issued an apology but did not say what caused the blackout.

PEREIRA: Wouldn't that get you hot under the collar? Oh, my goodness!

And then there were the ads. Some might argue not the most impressive year but there were a few standouts like this heart tugger by Budweiser called puppy love. Let's take a look.



PEREIRA: The story of a pup that keeps coming back to his Clydesdale besty received top marks in "USA Today's" ad meter survey.

Another buzzworthy commercial, Godaddy. In it, machine engineer Gwen Deen (ph) used a puppet she made to tell her boss and about 100 million viewers she quit.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She just quit her job in front of 100 million people.


PEREIRA: Deen (ph) created a website for her puppet making business through Godaddy. We haven't heard yet how the response to her quitting on national television. I'm sure we'll be hearing about it.

BOLDUAN: And her poor boss probably wasn't watching the Super Bowl and hasn't even found out yet.

CUOMO: He knows now I'm sure.

BOLDUAN: Also trending this morning, Hillary Clinton taking a shot at Fox in a Super Bowl tweet, the tweet retweeted around the world. While the Seahawks were beating up the broncos, the former secretary of state decided to pile on tweeting this "it's so much fun to watch Fox when it's someone else being blitzed and sacked."

PEREIRA: I love when Hillary is funny on Twitter.

All right, want to show you some spectacular new video just released. Shows every second of Felix Baumgartner's mindblowing 24-mile plunge to Earth. Do you remember it back in 2012? Take a look, hold onto your tummies. The Austrian daredevil had two GoPro cameras attached to his suit and you are seeing the images from those cameras for the very first time. Baumgartner set three world records with that remarkable and unforgettable leap. He topped 800 miles an hour during the descent, becoming the first human to break the sound barrier without an aircraft. And I gotta tell you, the view is spectacular.

BOLDUAN: Repeat por favor? Topped 800 miles an hour?


CUOMO: And he was communicating the whole time. Wouldn't it be cool if he was actually listening to Cypress Hill, Insane in the Membrane, while he was falling to the ground?

BOLDUAN: He doesn't need to get more cool, I don't think. PEREIRA: Secretly I wanted him just to be screaming mommy!


BOLDUAN: All right, let's take another break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, more on the truly shocking death on the renowned actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hollywood insiders are going to be joining us to talk about his legacy.

CUOMO: And there's a lot of hype around Chris Christie. Guess what, he's firing back now. We're going to tell you his response to the man who claims to have hard evidence that Christie lied about Bridgegate.



CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. This morning. We remember the life and work of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. He is famous for his iconic roles in films like "Capote," and "The Master." Hoffman's friends and colleagues remember him as an immensely talented and prolific artist. How he died is also relevant, as a reminder of the power of addiction as a disease. We're going to talk about that this morning. But how the man lived is worthy of praise. Joining us now for more on the actor's legacy is president and editor in chief of, Bonnie Fuller (ph) along with Editor of "The Wall Street Journal's" arts and culture blog, Speakeasy, Mr. Christopher John Farley. It's good to have both of you with us.


CUOMO: Obviously this is going to be seen by sudden by family and those close to him. There is a history involved. But when you look at him as an artist, what makes this man stand out to you?

FULLER: He was just an incredibly talented actor and extremely versatile. The thing is is that the Hollywood community is so torn up because he was an actor of such stature and I don't think anyone is going to forget his Oscar winning performance in "Capote." He completely transformed. He's a big man. He had to become little. He had to change his voice. He did an amazing job.

BOLDUAN: And while I know that his addiction issue has been known, I feel like it wasn't often talked about and still seemed like a surprise. It was known that he went into rehab for ten days, but it didn't seem like it was something that he was on some kind of downward spiral.

CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLET, EDITOR, SPEAKEASY: That's exactly right. Not more than a week ago, I was at my son's basketball game in Harlem and Philip Seymour Hoffman was there, apparently with his son. I saw him on the sidelines and he was laughing and joking and smiling. He looked like Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was rumpled, he had, looked like he needed a shave, but he looked very healthy and happy. I remember texting my wife saying he is here, this is great, he's here with his kid, what a supportive dad. And then just yesterday I'm at the same venue watching my son play, and I get a text saying he's dead.

CUOMO: But as we know, there is an insidious side to addiction.


What you see is not always what's present. There is an entire dynamic of hiding and evasion that will probably wind up playing out into this story, but when we think about him as an artist, what do you think -- we were talking to Bonnie about his ability to transform and all that. You hear that about actors, but they seemed to come out and prize this man for versatility in a way you don't hear about very often. Why?

FARLEY: Well here's what makes him stand out. There are a lot of stars that want to become actors, and they're trying to prove they really have acting chops, not just about my looks. He was really an actor that didn't care about being a star, didn't care about his appearance on screen, didn't care that his gut was hanging out, didn't care if he appeared unshaven or was playing a character people just detested. It was all about communicating what was going on inside of the character. It was all about serving the story. When you have an actor like that, he's going to become beloved in the theater community. I remember seeing him early on, back in the 90s in a play called "Shopping And," and he was such an incredible presence even then when he was mostly unknown, I couldn't believe the kind of energy that was coming from the stage. I couldn't believe the kind of risk this guy was taking and he continued that throughout his career.

BOLDUAN: With all of that in mind and up when you know he changed himself for each of the roles, do you think there is one role that will stand out when people look at his legacy?

FULLER: I think everyone will talk about his performance of "Death of a Salesman" on Broadway because it was such a renowned performance. Also, he was very young for the role. He was only 44 at the time. It was just a couple years ago. Usually that's a role that's played by much older actors because it's a man who has been through his life and is past his prime. And again, he was able through his talent to transform into this older, very worn out character.

FARLEY: For me the role as Lester Bangs in "Almost Famous." Because then, he's doing what he does best, not caring about the outside, the guy who is a little bit out of control, a little bit crazy looking and yet you could see the sentiment there, the connection to the music and to the young reporter he's trying to mentor. That's really Philip Seymour Hoffman at his best. Not his movie, but it becomes his movie in the scenes he's in.

BOLDUAN: He steals those moments.

FARLEY: He definitely does. He steals the movie.

CUOMO: How much of the artistry wound up being a function of the character and personality? What is our degree of insight to know that which was conflict within him, which obviously motivated the disease, was also something he was also able to bring into his work. Do we know that? Sometimes flawed inside brings up genius outside. FARLEY: One of our reporters, Robert Shiack (ph), talked to him about his connection to his work. This is a guy that poured himself into his work. He told her that she was someone who really couldn't control his life when he was working on stage or in a movie. He wasn't that kind of person that could organize his life while he was managing his art. He had to separate the two. He had to focus on what really mattered to him, his art, and then go back to try to organize his life when this were over. Clearly that's something that, you know, might have gotten out of control here at the end of his life.

CUOMO: And I used the wrong word. It's not flawed, it's eccentricity. What makes him singular as a person. He had his troubles but also his triumphs. Longtime partnership, successful father with kids that we hear. So, he was able to accomplish a lot in life beyond his work. But obviously this is just hard news for a man who is gone way too soon in the thick of his career and thick of his life.

That's really where we have to leave it for now. As we learn more about this, we have to make sure to balance and not jade his legacy about what we learn about what took his life. Although, that's an important part of the analysis.

FARLEY: And still has movies coming out. So, we'll still see him in the last two movies of "The Hunger Games."

FULLER: Apparently he didn't finish all of his scenes so there's going to be a problem there. Apparently he finished all of them for the third movie but there's a fourth to come. I think it's really interesting at the end of his life, he finally had a huge blockbuster film and became known to younger and broader audiences.

CUOMO: He had already had the full pedigree. As an actor, he had a full life. Bonnie, Christopher thank you very much. Appreciate the insight this morning.

We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, it is a big day for Chris Christie. Why? Investigators are revealing thousands of pages of evidence in a political payback scandal that won't let up. But also hasn't produced the real proof yet either. How much damage could this new information cause the governor? We'll bring in John King to discuss.

And can't talk about the Super Bowl without the commercials, right? So, they're almost as important as the game. Take a look at some of the best and the worst. You weigh in and tweet us and it's all here on NEW DAY.