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Traveling to Olympics Amid Terror Threats; Russia Behind Bugged Calls?; Frantic Search After Boat Capsized; One-on-One With Vice President Biden; Thousands Without Power

Aired February 7, 2014 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The odds are higher that there will be an attack in this game than there have been to any of the other previous games in our memories.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Ready or not, the Olympics begin just hours from now. The anticipation of what will happen in the greatest demonstration of sport mixed with the anxiety about safety as the TSA puts new restrictions on what travelers can fly into Russia with. We have new details on the games and the latest threat.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: NEW DAY exclusive. Vice President Joe Biden one-on-one. Can the White House save immigration reform? And his strongest response yet on whether he plans to run for president.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: What a goodbye. Funny, tearful, truly memorable. A goodbye from Jay Leno overnight. The stars turn out to bid him farewell. We have all of the must-see moments.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.


JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: I want a quote from Johnny Carson. He said I bid you all a heart felt --


CUOMO: He gave a nod to who he says is the greatest, but truly the end of an era. Jay Leno right there showing why we all loved him so much, so real, so raw. We're going to give you a lot of what happened last night if you didn't get a chance to see him. We want to see it again. Let's be honest.

Good morning all to you. It's a happy Friday, I hope, in your house. It's February 7th, 6:00 in the east.

The Olympics a big story today. They are getting ready to begin. There are also multiple, credible new terror threats hanging over the game so just five hours from now, opening ceremonies is underway in Russia kicking off the most expensive and frankly the most frightening Olympics perhaps in history.

The latest is this, the TSA is now banning liquids, gels and aerosol cans in carry-on luggage on all flights between the U.S. and Russia. Let's check in right now. Let's get to Sochi. We have senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh, on the scene -- Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Chris, just so you know, we went around the Olympic venue earlier on today and we saw people actually being told to give up their liquids as they went in. You can only take substantial amounts of liquid inside those venues, inside one of the columns there if you have proper accreditation. Just one of a number of signs of heightened anxiety ahead of tonight's opening ceremony.


WALSH (voice-over): The competition in Sochi already underway. Snow boards, slope style qualifying runs and team figure skating making their debut on Thursday ahead of tonight's highly anticipated opening ceremony. While the eyes of the world will be on the games, terrorism fears have made many here on edge.

On Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration announced it is banning all liquids, gels, aerosols and powders in carry-on luggage in flights between the United States and Russia. These restrictions follow a warning from the Department of Homeland Security earlier this week that terrorists could targeting the Olympic games with explosive components hidden in toothpaste tubes, explosive material small enough to conceal, but powerful enough to blow a car door off like this.

REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: It was a legitimate source that gave the information. Now that doesn't mean it's going to happen. It's something to be taken very seriously by our country, by the Russians and a number of other countries who are also involved in this.

WALSH: President Obama reiterating Thursday night that the U.S. is in constant contact with Russia security forces.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think the Russians have an enormous stake obviously in preventing any kind of terrorist act or violence at these venues. And they have put a lot of resources into it.

WALSH: Russian officials say they have some 37,000 police and security officers on the streets in and around the Sochi venues.

SENATOR DIANE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I think people going to the Olympics should be careful. I think they should watch their backs. I think they should stay out of crowds if they can.

WALSH: U.S. Olympic athletes say they aren't letting the terror threats overshadow their dreams for a medal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our job here is to just focus on what we can control and what we can do and that's how we're going to perform at our first Olympics.


WALSH: Now, what impact is this having on American attendants, on the fans, there's not much bustle behind us. We went to the Olympic venue. It's still early, but we spoke to one American tour operator who said, look, you normally expect to have more fans than family members of athletes coming with them, but they have the reverse. They have more family members than they do have fans, only 50 fans, in fact.

The same tour operator saying I've got a thousand tickets to be allocated for Americans that I just haven't sold yet. That's worth $200,000 to him. That's one part of the picture. I spoke to one member of the U.S. Olympic delegation here. They said, look, we're not expecting actually much more than just the family members and limited numbers of fans.

One American fan I did see here, they told me they could buy an opening ceremony ticket just five hours away online for 600 bucks. There does seem to be one still available for about $1,500. So definitely questions about what the security warnings have done for American attendance. I should say the games haven't even started yet. It is still early. There could be others elsewhere, but perhaps American attendance could have suffered -- Chris, back to you, Michaela.

PEREIRA: That's interesting to watch, Nick. We are just noting what a beautiful day it is there in Sochi. He is in short sleeves. Not what you think the typical weather for a winter games. Nick Paton Walsh reporting for us there. Thank you so much. We'll be watching.

Let's take a look at more of your headlines right now. The White House is implying it was the Russians who bugged a phone call between two U.S. diplomats in (inaudible) and posted it online.

During the conversation between State Department official, Victoria Nuland, and George -- Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Nuland said "f" the E.U., when discussing the European Union's relationship with the pro-Russian government in Ukraine.

Nuland has apologized to E.U. officials now. The State Department is calling the release of the phone call a new low for Russia. We'll bring you more details on that phone call later this morning.

Breaking overnight, the Obama administration is waving sanctions on Iran's state broadcaster for the next 180 days. Officials say the U.S. determined Iran was no longer interfering with satellites after alleging last year. The broadcaster was blocking foreign channels the government disagreed with. This move is seen as a confidence building measure ahead of future negotiations on Iran's nuclear program.

Developing this morning, the search is on for two people missing after their boat capsized off the Florida coast. Three people have already died. Seven others were pulled from the water by a Dutch naval vessel heading toward Key West. They've been handed over to the Coast Guard and taken to Florida. It is believed the people on that boat were migrants. It's unclear where exactly they were coming from.

Philip Seymour Hoffman will be laid to rest today in a private funeral service in New York City. Last night, his family and friends gathered at awake to remember the 46-year-old Oscar winner. Actress Amy Adams was among the visitors paying their respects as was actress, Cate Blanchett who is a close family friend. As you'll recall, Hoffman died last weekend of an apparent drug overdose. Police have charged three people in connection with the drugs were found in Hoffman's apartment.

Well, imagine this, celebrating the birth of Beatle mania. Fifty years ago, today, the Fab Four, Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, George Harrison and John Lennon landed in America. Pop culture would never be the same. Two days later, they made their TV debut on the Ed Sullivan show opening with "All My Loving." That theater is now the home of "The Late Show With David Letterman." They marked the anniversary with a special throw back marquee.

I'm always sort of blown away at the screams from the girls. They lost their minds when The Beatles would be around and yet we still do that.

BOLDUAN: Not much has changed.

PEREIRA: I know, 50 years ago today.

BOLDUAN: Let's get to a NEW DAY exclusive now. I interviewed Vice President Joe Biden in Philadelphia. He was there touring Amtrak's new electric locomotive, which he calls an engine of the economy that will save middle class jobs. We jumped on one of those trains and talked about everything from jobs to immigration reform. And his most definitive response yet, I would say, as to whether he would run for president and when he would decide. Take a look.


BOLDUAN: Vice President Biden, thank you so much for taking the time.


BOLDUAN: In a train nonetheless.

BIDEN: Like I'm home, 8,000 round trips. It adds up.

BOLDUAN: It sure does. Want to talk to you about the task force. The president asked you to lead the task force to review the federal jobs training programs. You know Americans are rightly skeptical to hear about another task force coming out of Washington. There really haven't been major changes that have come from it. How will this one be different?

BIDEN: Well, some of the stuff we did, major change came out it. The recovery act and a whole range of other things, but here's the deal. It's much more than task force. It's about how do we create wider avenues to the middle class. The income inequality y in this country is profound, the middle class is shrinking.

And start off with a couple of things. There are right now a hundred thousand high-tech manufacturing jobs in America that are going unfilled for lack of skills. There's another group of people who are long term unemployed, who are qualified, but we can't get them hired.

We're working with major corporations saying change your HR policies instead of taking anybody that's been out for six months and throw them aside agree you'll hire a certain percentage of long-term unemployed. So that's what we're working on, what's the best way to get the most people to work in good jobs you can raise a middle class family.

BOLDUAN: Another thing that would have a big impact potentially on the economy is immigration reform.

BIDEN: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: I know you've been very optimistic saying you think immigration reform can be done and they can be done this year. Speaker Boehner is just now saying that he thinks any action on immigration reform is unlike this year. He says because House Republicans don't trust the president. He even said they don't trust the president to enforce our laws. Is this other?

BIDEN: No. The vast majority of American people support reform. The vast majority of Republicans support immigration reform. If you allowed a vote tomorrow on the Senate bill that passed, a significant portion of Republicans would vote for it and all the Democrats would vote for it. He's getting a great deal of pressure from the right. I still think we can get this done. It doesn't take much time.

BOLDUAN: If it doesn't take much time and if it does come your way, you could be looking at a bill that allows for legal status, but does not offer a path way to citizenship. The president did not say definitively one way or another in an interview with CNN. Would you support a bill that falls short of a pathway to citizenship if it came your way?

BIDEN: That is clearly not our preference. Any bill passed out of the House has to go through a conference committee in the Senate, which passed overwhelmingly path way to citizenship. Dual status in America legal but citizen is a bad idea.

BOLDUAN: I know you don't like to judge legislation before it's before you guys, of course, but --

BIDEN: Let's be straight as the president says, you see the way the hard right responds to anything the president says. So the president is being very smart. He's saying what passed, we support. See what you guys pass and then we'll respond because what you don't want to do is create more problems for John Boehner, and being able to bring this up.

BOLDUAN: It's going to change the dynamic, though. That was last year. This year's all the same. BIDEN: There's an election. The overwhelming majority of the American people, overwhelming majority of Republicans, overwhelming majority of the American business community saying this is essential, get it done.

BOLDUAN: Let me ask you about the election and this is important, you served 36 years in the Senate.

BIDEN: I did.

BOLDUAN: What do you say to your fellow Senate Democrats who have made it pretty clear that they don't want the president anywhere near their state this election cycle? But what do you say to them?

BIDEN: First of all, that's not universally true. In the states where we lost the presidential race, that may be the case. I've been invited to go into well over 128 races so far. And so there's some places the president is considerably more popular than I am. There are some places where I can go in.

So look, the reason why I am truly optimistic about this year's race, no matter what the polls say, one thing they say on every major issue, the public agrees between 51 and 70 percent with the president of the United States and the Democratic Party. You give me a chance to have all the issues my way or have popularity at the moment, I'll take the issues. That's what's going to win.

BOLDUAN: It's very likely you still have a divided Congress.

BIDEN: No, no. I'm not suggesting you won't have a divided Congress. In terms of the prospects of Democrats running for Congress, I think we are in the best shape we can be because the American public degrees us -- agrees with us on the issues.

BOLDUAN: Can I ask you one fun question about corvettes?

BIDEN: Sure you can.

BOLDUAN: You had a lot of fun earlier this week, talking about going from zero to 60.

BIDEN: There's one overwhelming reason not to run for president. I like to get that from zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds.

BOLDUAN: That was the one reason you said. Other than corvettes, give me another good reason why you shouldn't run.

BIDEN: I can't. There may be reasons I don't run, but there's no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run.

BOLDUAN: Can I have a timetable?

BIDEN: Probably the realistically a year this summer.

BOLDUAN: Is Dr. Biden on board? BIDEN: When I ran the first time, Jill didn't want to run again. Second time, she came to me and said, you got to run. She was convinced if I ran we'd end the war in Iraq. She's convinced if I ran I would work like hell to make sure the middle class got a fighting class. It's to determine whether I am the best qualified person to spend the time on the two things I've spent my whole life on.

Where we not only are known for the power of our military but the power of our example, I think there's future for this country. I know people think I'm too optimistic. But it is incredible. There's so much just within our grasp. Doesn't mean I'm the only guy that can do it. I think I can, then I'd run.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much, Mr. Vice President.

BIDEN: Thank you. Appreciate it.


BOLDUAN: From that distance, you really got the sense that he hasn't made his decision, but he wants it. This is a man who's fired up. Right now today, he seemed like he really wanted it.

CUOMO: Yes, I think that, yes, you could even go a little farther. I think you've got him into a position. I've never heard him that way before. It'd be interesting to see how the Hillary people respond to it.

You know, how many people that are going to be picking up their phones, we better talk to Joe. I mean, he sounds like he's going to be out there. We have a primary. It's going to be a real problem.

BOLDUAN: And he's also in his I guess he could call it his happy place. He's talking about trains. I got him talking about Corvettes. I mean, this is like, this is Joe Biden at his happiest --

PEREIRA: Did you help him with his overhead luggage as well? While you're there.

BOLDUAN: Yes, exactly. Helped him with his overhead luggage. He showed me how to survive a train. He's taking like 8,000 --


BOLDUAN: He is Amtrak's best friend.

CUOMO: And, look, you know, the LaGuardia thing, we're here in New York. Obviously, that's where LaGuardia is. I got to tell you, I think it's one of the beautiful things about Joe Biden. is that airport does stink and all you have to do is just go there to know it. We haven't invested the right way.

He's right. Could he get it done? I don't know.

BOLDUAN: It's so interesting because he said it, right? When he said it, I looked around to New Yorkers around me I was like OK, these people are ooh --

CUOMO: Tried in LaGuardia, you know, come on.

BOLDUAN: And I joked with him afterward, I said you're going to take heat from New Yorkers about your LaGuardia comment. He goes, I think a lot of New Yorkers are going to agree with me.

I mean, that is vintage Joe Biden, the way he said to himself.

CUOMO: That was good interview.

PEREIRA: Well done, Kate Bolduan.

BOLDUAN: It's very nice for him to give us the time.

And I'm glad my voice survived for seven minutes.

PEREIRA: Right. Have another Halls.

BOLDUAN: Thank you very much.

CUOMO: We've got a lot to rest talking to him. That's for sure.

Coming up on NEW DAY, three days without power after two winter storms, talk about a nightmare. But that is reality for hundreds of thousands of people in the Northeast still shivering in the dark. The question: how long until they get the lights back on? We'll ask it and answer it.

BOLDUAN: And we're also going to take a look at Jay Leno's emotional last night at the tonight show.

First, here's just part of his heartfelt good bye.


LENO: And I got to work with producers and writers -- and just all kinds of talented people who make me look a lot smarter than I really am.



CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Too many of us know the bite of the cold right now, but imagine facing it with no heat for three days. Utility crews are scrambling to restore power to hundreds of thousands across the Northeast. In Pennsylvania, many are waking up without electricity or heat for the third day, just imagine that, as the temperatures this morning are going to drop way below freezing.

Let's bring in CNN's Margaret Conley. She's in Horsham, Pennsylvania.

Did I get that right, Margaret? Tell us what are people doing to cope up there?

MARGARET CONLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, you got it right. People are just trying to stay warm. It's been a long three days for many people. We're outside one of the warming centers in one of the counties. That's hardest hit.

Inside, people are still sleeping. They're all in their cots. Some people brought their pets, and the Red Cross said there were more people there last night than the night before.


CONLEY (voice-over): More than half a million people slammed my crippling ice storms freezing off a huge chunk of the Northeast and knocking out power in several states. From Maryland to New Jersey, to Maine, it's lights out for many, but it's especially bad in Pennsylvania.

DENNIS WILLIAMS, SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: I live outside of the district. I felt guilty when I come into work, over the last couple of days to see some of the devastation in the area.

CONLEY: It's been an unbearable three days without electricity or heat in the Philadelphia area, as temperatures stay frigid. The desperate city is now calling for help from utility crews, as far away as Canada.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They say stay until Sunday, there's no power, nothing.

CONLEY: With relief possibly still days away, the president Thursday declared Philadelphia and its four neighboring counties a disaster zone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are all done. These are all have to be thrown out.

CONLEY: A Pennsylvania bakery owner surveys her inventory, all of it destroyed by the loss of power. Her business survived Hurricane Sandy only to be knocked out by this latest round of storms.

(on camera): How much money do you think you've lost?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've lost about $10,000.


CONLEY: Now, these are unfortunate circumstances for people. Here at this warming center, the Salvation Army, they're going to be here any minute and about 10 minutes or so to bring breakfast for people. And this school that we're in right now, they're expected to open after being closed for three days, but they're going to open to a two-hour delay -- Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Margaret, thank you so very much. You can see how cold those poor folks are. Doesn't look like getting better any time soon for them.

Let's get over to meteorologist Chad Myers, who's tracking the weekend forecast for us.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I don't have it warming up above 32 for a week. I mean, you know, so you get down to the 20s for morning lows and up to 30 for the afternoon high. That's not helpful. Twenty-three right now in Philadelphia, most of the delay.

The real bad power outages are northwest of Philly, and into parts of western New Jersey right through there. And even into Maryland still picking up power lines. Twenty-eight Atlanta, 24 Birmingham, 17 in Nashville. So, it's cold about everywhere, but certainly the coldest spots in the country out here in the west.

There is a major storm developing in the west. Big, big snows in the Rockies, and heavy rains across California, that storm is heading to the east, and that storm will get to the Northeast, but it will not combine with the moisture that we were so concerned about for the nor'easter. There's still will be a storm, there's still will be snow. You'll be brooming it instead of brushing it.

And you're certainly not going to have to use a snow blower on two to four inches coming up here Sunday into Monday. That's some good news. Let's get rid of those 30-inch totals because we don't want them anyway. Atlantic Canada still gets a lot of snow up there, but America, does not (ph) -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks so much, Chad.

Let's another -- let's take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, you just heard Vice President Joe Biden telling us that he can't think of a good reason that he shouldn't run for president in 2016, which, of course, leads to the next question, what will Democrats do if Hillary Clinton runs too?

CUOMO: That runs, too. That's a good way to put it. That's how much impact his interview had.

Also, you're looking at the scene of a growing controversy in California. Why is this firefighter at the scene of an accident trying to rescue people being handcuffed? All caught on camera, obviously. We'll tell you the story behind it.


PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's half past the hour.

Let's take a look at your headlines.

A new terror threat just hours before the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Winter Games. The TSA is now banning all liquids, gels and aerosol cans in carry-on bag on every flight between the U.S. and Russia. This follows yesterday's warning about potential explosives in toothpaste tubes. A retired police captain charged with murdering a man inside a Florida movie theater is back in court today. A judge will decide whether 71- year-old Curtis Reeves can be released on bail. He is accused of shooting and killing a new father after an alleged dispute over text messaging. Today, prosecutors are expected to play surveillance video taken from inside the theater on the night of the killing. Reeves has pleaded not guilty.

Breaking overnight, a huge drug bust. Look at your screen. Australian navy has seized $700 million worth of heroin from smugglers on a ship off the coast of Tanzania. The raid went down on Wednesday. The Australian Navy says that nearly 800-pound heroin haul has now been destroyed.

Police in southern California have reportedly asked for felony vandalism charges against Justin Bieber in the alleged egging of a neighbor's home. The L.A. County Sheriff's Office submitted its report to prosecutors Thursday. They'll now decide whether the 19- year-old singer will be charged with vandalism and if it will be considered a misdemeanor or a felony.

In the meantime, surveillance video of Bieber in jail in Florida has just been released. There it is. You recall he was busted after driving drunk in Miami Beach.

We've got to show you amazing view. Look at that from mars. It's a picture from home from NASA's Rover Curiosity. I mean, that's Earth. See? We're a speck in the sky. The pointer pointed out. That's Earth.

NASA tweeted this photo Thursday. The last time Curiosity was on earth was back in November of 2011. It's taking on Dingo Gap, a dune, which can be a big issue for a rover.