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Murder Trial of Jordan Davis; Interview with Sage Kotsenburg; WSJ: Yahoo! To Partner With Yelp; "Flappy Bird" Grounded

Aired February 10, 2014 - 06:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Let's take a look at your headlines at half past the hour.

Breaking overnight, one of the country's best college football players has acknowledged publicly that he is gay. Michael Sam just graduated from the University of Missouri. He is an all-American defensive back and is on many NFL draft lists. He says he felt he had to tell his story now. He wants pro-football teams to think of him as just another talented athlete.

On Twitter, the NFL said it admires Sam's honesty and courage and looks forward to welcoming him in 2014.

An icy mix is heading for the southeast with advisories in several states. Atlanta already making storm preparations in hopes of avoiding another winter weather disaster. Streets are being salted ahead of the storm. Extra supplies are being brought in to avoid a repeat of last time.

You'll recall the city was gridlocked two weeks ago when two inches of snow froze and stranded thousands of drivers for miles.

This morning Virginia Police are investigating similarities in three bizarre murders. All three victims were shot inside their Alexandria homes. The latest last week, a beloved music teacher gunned down in broad daylight. In November a prominent local official was killed. And in 2003, a sheriff's wife.

Investigators released this sketch of the suspected gunman. Officials say there is no evidence yet to suggest that those crimes are linked.

Investigators looking into the Bridgegate scandal will meet today for a closed door session in New jersey. This as the largest newspaper in the state has a case of buyer's remorse, saying it was a big mistake to endorse Governor Chris Christie's reelection bid. The Newark-based "Star Ledger" saying, quote, "We blew it," in an op-ed Sunday.

Christie, for his part, denies any involvement in politically motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

And a star-studded salute to mark the 50th anniversary of the Beatles U.S. television debut. Many of the stars performed Beatles tunes. John Legend and Alicia Keys sang "Let It Be." Katy Performed "Yesterday." The highlight perhaps was when Paul McCartney and Ringo Star took the stage and performed together, leading the crowd in a sing-along to some of their greatest hits including "Hey, Jude."

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Can't get enough of that.

PEREIRA: Fifty years later.

BOLDUAN: So cool.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: It still sounds good.



CUOMO: Right?

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

CUOMO: All right. Testimony resumes today in the so-called loud music murder trial. The case sparking new debate about race and Florida's self-defense laws. Michael Dunn is the defendant. He admitted opening fire killing a 17-year-old after a dispute with these teens in a car over loud rap music. Now tearful testimony from Dunn's own fiancee could become a big problem for the defense.

CNN's Tory Dunnan reports.


TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After a rare and emotional weekend session in which the prosecution called defendant Michael Dunn's fiancee to testify. Rhonda Rouer was visibly shaken as surveillance video from November 23rd, 2012 played in court.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god. Somebody is shooting. Somebody is shooting on the their car.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you hear?


DUNNAN: Minutes earlier she and Dunn had stopped at a Jacksonville gas station and parked next to a red SUV with a group of teenagers inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what did the defendant say?

ROUER: I hate that thug music.

DUNNAN: What unfolded next while Rouer was inside the store is at the crux of the case. Dunn told investigators there was an argument over loud music, then said he heard threats, saw a weapon and took his gun out of the glove box and fired off shots in self-defense. 17-year-old Jordan Davis was shot and killed. MICHAEL DUNN, SUSPECTED SHOOTER: I went over this a million times, and what I should have done is put the car in reverse. But I -- a shotgun come up or whatever, it was fight or flight.

DUNNAN: Police say they never found a gun in the teen's red Dodge Durango.

CNN legal analyst and defense attorney Mark O'Mara says the jury will question why Dunn didn't just drive off.

MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: His lawyer's going to have to say to them, don't think that, don't believe that, don't say that to each other, and if one of you say that in the jury room, remind that juror that is not an issue for you to consider under Florida law.

DUNNAN: Rouer and Dunn left the scene, never calling police. They checked into a hotel and ordered a pizza. She testified they sat by the elevator truly believing police were coming.

Tory Dunnan, CNN, Jacksonville, Florida.


CUOMO: I'll tell you, they're talking about the girlfriend's testimony here, but what you heard in the interrogation, it was fight or flight. You heard that from the defendant.


CUOMO: That's going to be really damaging testimony because that's exactly the point of the prosecution, you could have left, and you didn't.

BOLDUAN: And we're going to talk much more about this during the show.

CUOMO: Absolutely. Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next, though, on NEW DAY, Sage Kotsenburg makes history at Sochi, becoming not only the first Olympian to win gold there but also the first ever to win gold in that event. We're going to hear from him in just a few minutes.

CUOMO: And this was a big one, especially in the Cuomo household, "Flappy Bird" grounded. One of the most popular game apps suddenly gets pulled over by the developer. Why did he take the game down? We're going to go behind the mystery.

It's impossible.


CUOMO: One of the special things about the Olympics is when expected also ran becomes a star, right? This weekend snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg shocked the world, shot to stardom winning the first gold medal of the Sochi games for the U.S. and how he did it was epic. A jump so outrageous, he'd never even tried it before.

CNN's Rachel Nichols is live in Sochi where she spoke with the gold medalist -- Rachel.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN'S SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, Chris, I don't think there was anyone more surprised than Sage. After he made it out of the semifinals, he tweeted "Whoa, random, I just made the finals of the Olympics." But it's that laid-back, charming style that has made him the hit so far of the Olympic Games.

And he sat down to talk with us about everything from his very unusual night-before-race preparation to his resemblance to a certain Sean Penn character in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."


SAGE KOTSENBURG, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: There was a ton of people, like U.S., everything, like "Go, America," I was just like what? I felt like we were family. Just like, so you guys are here. I mean, I don't even know you but thanks.

NICHOLS: You were the first person to win a gold medal at this entire Olympics. But you're not the hard-core, athlete type that we're used to seeing. I mean, your routine the night before your biggest day of competition, you didn't go work out or visualize your run or anything. What did you do?

KOTSENBURG: I was -- I was eating snacks watching the opening ceremonies.

NICHOLS: Snacks, huh?

KOTSENBURG: Plus chocolate, onion rings and chips and stuff. Yes, I mean, that's the beauty of snowboarding. You don't have to be some mega athlete, like work out all the time.

NICHOLS: I do have to stop you about the onion rings as well because you made one of my favorite photos of the Olympic Games, which was the Olympic rings out of your onion rings.


NICHOLS: The night before your big day.

KOTSENBURG: It just made sense. You know?


It just made sense.

NICHOLS: And you've had great Twitter photos, this entire run. They had you in the Bolshevik hat. That was pretty good.


NICHOLS: And the language you've been dropping on Twitter, most people what gnarly means, they know what shredding means.


NICHOLS: I knew, right? But I need some more of the Sage dictionary.

KOTSENBURG: Yes. So we got -- first and foremost we have spice.

NICHOLS: OK. And what does that mean?

KOTSENBURG: It pretty much means anything you want it to mean.


You can just be like, oh, you're spice or, you know, that trick was spicy, man.

NICHOLS: Between the vocabulary and the hair, you get a lot of Jeff Spicoli comparisons going on.

KOTSENBURG: I got a lot of them. It's been pretty funny to see.

NICHOLS: You dig that?

KOTSENBURG: I'm down. I'm fully down. I do know the movie and I think it's pretty funny that people are comparing. "Fast Times at Sochi," you know?

NICHOLS: Why is it important for you to march to your own beat?

KOTSENBURG: It's just -- I mean, it's how I was raised. You know. Like I was never on a team really or had the coaches growing up. It's just me and my brother and my friends snowboarding and we just did whatever we wanted to. And that's how we learned, like all the tricks that we do now. I mean, that's just where I came from, just marching to my own tune.

NICHOLS: And you approached your event in a uniquely you way. You were saying, hey, maybe I'll just try this trick I've never tried before ever.

This is the Olympics. Were you worried that you weren't going to be able to land it? Did you think about that?

KOTSENBURG: I -- honestly I didn't think about landing it or even throwing it really.

NICHOLS: Most people plan what they're going to do in the Olympics.

KOTSENBURG: Yes. That's the beauty of snowboarding. You don't really have to have a set-out run, you know, you can really just go and be creative with your whole run and you can still take home a gold medal.

NICHOLS: All right. You want to show off the medal?

KOTSENBURG: Yes. I would love to. (LAUGHTER)

NICHOLS: How does it taste?

KOTSENBURG: It doesn't taste that good actually. News flash.


NICHOLS: Guys, Sage's family is not here with him because he says that he makes his mom too nervous, and then his mom in turn makes him too nervous and he just prefers to be mellow. But they're going to have a pretty big party when he gets back. I think so.

What do you think, Chris and Kate? Do you want to be part of that party?


BOLDUAN: That's the only thing I don't believe. I don't believe that guy can get nervous. He is so mellow. There's no way.

CUOMO: It's got to come from confidence, though. I mean, you know, I think that's one of his --

NICHOLS: Isn't that amazing, right?

CUOMO: Yes. You try a trick, you know, knowing that you're in a medal contention.

BOLDUAN: Right. Exactly.

CUOMO: In an Olympic event, you're a confident performer.

BOLDUAN: That's amazing.

CUOMO: You're eating onion rings, you're a confident performer so.


NICHOLS: And don't let his demeanor fool you, he is obviously highly skilled. He's spinning in the air four times, he's jumping off the heights of things you and I would never do, but he's got a laid-back attitude about that and you got to love it, right?

BOLDUAN: You absolutely got to love it. And -- I mean, definitely one thing is true here, he does march to his own beat. And I love that about him.

CUOMO: I love the way you got it out of him. That was like the definition of the "UNGUARDED" interview there, Rachel. Really, really perfect stuff. What an impressive guy.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Rachel. That was awesome. Congratulations to him.

CUOMO: Making Spicoli proud.


BOLDUAN: That was so good.

CUOMO: That was spicy, that interview.

BOLDUAN: Spicy, that was a spicy interview.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, a major -- a big mystery surrounding "Flappy Bird," folks. It's one of the most popular apps around, so why did the developer suddenly pull the game?

PEREIRA: And moments after this couple told the reporter that the cold is good for a brisk run, a harsh fumbling dose of reality hits. Wait, it's our must-see moment and it's ahead.


CUOMO: It's "Money Time." Business correspondent, Alison Kosik, is in our money center. How is the casino called Wall Street looking this week?


ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Take seatbelt fasten this week, Chris. Wall Street's bumpy ride is going to continue. U.S. markets look like they're going to start the week lower after Friday's gains. Overseas markets, though, posted nice gains today. Investors are going to be waiting to hear from the new Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen. She's testifying on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and Thursday.

Yahoo! is teaming up with Yelp. The "Wall Street Journal" reports said Yahoo! is going to be including Yelp's listings and reviews local business into result of its search engine. Yahoo! is trying to attract Google and Microsoft users with something different. It looks like the new feature is going to be made available in the coming weeks.

America's top donors gave $7.7 billion to charities last year. Topping the list as the most generous, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. According to the "Chronicle and Philanthropy," the 29-year-old and his wife gave $1 billion to charity. That's 13 percent of all money donated by the nation's top 50 donors last year. You know what that translation is? Big money. Back to you.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty-nine-years old.


Let's talk about other people in their 20s doing some crazy things. It's been described as the apocalypse, perfect, and the devil's bird. These terms are describing a game. It happens to be the number one smash hit, "Flappy Bird," a free downloadable game for your smart phone. Now, since it's released it's been downloaded 50 million times. But suddenly over the weekend, a 29-year-old creator pulled it from distribution. Here with more is CNN's technology analyst, Brett Larson. We have our anchors playing the game. They're already addicted.


CUOMO: I get nervous.

PEREIRA: I know. Right --

LARSON: The game lasts for like a second.

BOLDUAN: No, seriously.

PEREIRA: It's a simple game. It's very easy. People are addicted to it.


PEREIRA: And the guy is making hand over fist --

LARSON: Yes. $15,000 a day in ad revenue from the game.

PEREIRA: Then suddenly, he just pulled the game. Why?

LARSON: Yesterday, he pulls the plug on it. Do you guys want to join in on --



LARSON: No. So, there's a lot of speculation going on. One of the rumors is that -- because if you look at the game --

BOLDUAN: It does look a lot --

LARSON: It's right behind. It looks like Super Mario Brothers and Angry Birds at the same time.

CUOMO: Much harder.

LARSON: So, there's rumor that he may have gotten a letter from Nintendo that said, hey, that's actually a part of our game. So, maybe you can stop using that. I think the fame has shocked him a little bit.

PEREIRA: -- full shock. He released a bunch of tweets over the weekend sort of saying "I can't take this anymore.

LARSON: Right.

PEREIRA: "I'm taking it down."

LARSON: But is that real or is it -- here they are. You know, "please don't ask" in the 22-hour. And he was a man of his word. It disappears -- CUOMO: Is this like "Family Guy" when they killed Brian?

LARSON: Right.

BOLDUAN: -- I remember I told you, Brian's going to be back.


BOLDUAN: I think it will.

LARSON: It's a huge success, but there have been -- there is another gamer who stepped forward about a week ago who said, hey, this is a rip-off of my game from 2007. And so, I think he's taking the game down, getting a ton of publicity for it, and then he's probably going to push something else out that's just as simple but probably slightly different.

CUOMO: With all these apps, how does one wind up becoming so dominant for such a random reasons?


CUOMO: -- but my kids just come up, all of a sudden. When "Angry Birds" was -- all of a sudden, they're just like, look at this. Who is putting this into their heads that --


LARSON: I think it's a couple things going on. For one is you have to think about where we play these games. And for most adults, we're doing it when we're in line at Starbucks, we're waiting for a cab --

PEREIRA: At an anchor desk.

LARSON: -- sitting here reading the news.



LARSON: Like this game is the best example of short attention span. You can play it for ten seconds. You can play it for ten minutes.

CUOMO: So, you see each other playing and it's just get competition (ph) with the kids. They all want to be doing the same thing.

LARSON: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: If this would be a PR stunt, it's a great PR stunt.

LARSON: Genius if it's a PR stunt.

PEREIRA: I know.


PEREIRA: didn't know about it before.

CUOMO: It's too hard.


LARSON: The thing I don't understand -- 50 million downloads like update the game to get around skirt any copyright infringement and keep going on the cha ching with the $50,000.

PEREIRA: I feel this is not the end of the "Flappy Bird" flap (ph).

LARSON: Oh, no.

PEREIRA: We will be seeing more of that.

LARSON: And if you want it, you can buy a phone on eBay for like $100,000 --


LARSON: I'll autograph the back. That will make it worth even less.

CUOMO: I'll give you my kids just to get --



PEREIRA: let's turn to our "Must-See Moment" before the whole Cuomo family is given away --


PEREIRA: -- for you on this Monday. First, Portland is seeing its share of snowfall over the weekend. A local KOYN 6 reporter covering it. It struck live interview gold when she spotted these brave or crazy pair of joggers who had the following to say about their run through the snow.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the perfect texture for running. Very low impact on its stress (ph) so your feet don't get wet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's too nice to not be out here.


PEREIRA: The couple that runs together. Too nice to not be out here and this happens.

BOLDUAN: Oh, no.

PEREIRA: You knew it was coming.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've seen a lot of people out here like running and --




PEREIRA: The jogger gave a thumbs up signaling that she was OK. I have a hunch, though, that she agrees with our second must-see clip. See what I did there? Check out an adorable child, what he had to say about all this cold and wacky winter weather.


UNIDENTIFIED KID: Jesus make it warm!


PEREIRA: Jesus make it warm. And you know, he did it (ph) was like a cry to the heavens.

BOLDUAN: I agree with you.


BOLDUAN: I agree with you.

CUOMO: Big man must be busy.


CUOMO: No, it's not warming up anytime soon.

PEREIRA: No, that's not actually --

BOLDUAN: Did you guy hear what --


BOLDUAN: That he thinks, though, that was a Carrie Underwood song.


LARSON: Take the wheel, make it warm, whatever you got to do.


BOLDUAN: Brett Larson, bring his A-game at 6:00 a.m.


BOLDUAN: Loving it!

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, the CEO of AOL in some hot water over the company's 401(k) policy. Did he really try to blame a change on distressed babies? You're going to hear from the woman who spoke out.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Monday, February 10th, seven o'clock in the east. We're going to start out with our news blast, the most news you can get anywhere. Let's go!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Michael Sam. I'm a football player and I'm gay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mixture of some ice and some snow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Widespread freezing rain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do know it's going to be significant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will never stop working to ensure equality under the law is protected by the law.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jamie Anderson defied gravity with baffling acrobatics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just felt so good.


CUOMO: Breaking overnight, the NFL has never had an openly gay player, key word there, but that may be about to change. Michael Sam, an all-American defensive end at the University of Missouri revealed he is gay in a television interview Sunday.


MICHAEL SAM, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: I told my teammates this past August that I came out to my teammates and they took it great. They rallied around me. They supported me and I couldn't ask for better teammates. This is something I've known for a while, but you know, this to me is just telling another person that, hey, I'm gay. And then, it shouldn't be a big problem.


CUOMO: Strong on the field and off. Sam said he felt he had to tell his story and wants pro-football teams to think of him as just another talented athlete. In a statement, the NFL said it admires Sam's honesty and courage and looks forward to welcoming him in 2014.

BOLDUAN: Also breaking overnight, threats have been made to Caribbean Airlines flight departing the South American country of Guyana bound to the United States. The U.S. embassy there saying it received unconfirmed threats. Americans are being advised to avoid the regional carrier through Wednesday and make alternate travel arrangements. Caribbean Airlines flies into New York, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, as well as Toronto.

PEREIRA: New video released this morning of American, Kenneth Bae, at a labor camp in North Korea. Bae, an American missionary who has been held there for 15 months, says he is worried about his health, says he was moved from a hospital to the camp, but that he is trying to stay strong both mentally and physically.