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More Snow for the East Coast; Arrested In Sochi; Five Years Of Stimulus

Aired February 18, 2014 - 05:30   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, the East Coast slammed with another round of yes, snow, yes, more sleet and rain this time. Quickly becoming one of the snowiest winters ever for parts of the country. When will it end? Indra Petersons is tracking the storm.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: As the new late night -- a king of late night been crowned. Jimmy Fallon making his first appearance as the new host of the "Tonight Show." We'll take a look how it went.

ROMANS: While you were sleeping. We will give you the report.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

PEREIRA: And I'm Michaela Pereira in for John Berman in this half past the hour.

ROMANS: All right. Let's start with the weather. Why not? And it's the last thing you want to hear, if you live anywhere in the Midwest to the northeast, we've got more snow coming folks. And, it's here, right now, from the Midwest to Maine. Not a ton of it yet, but the snow and the ice are falling fast. They're piling up just in time to make it very tough to get to work this morning.

PEREIRA: It could not have happened at a worst time in Illinois. Here's pictures for you from Rockford where there were near whiteout conditions during the evening commute meaning lots of accidents in Chicago and elsewhere. The slick roads leading to slipping and sliding just as people were trying to get home from work.

ROMANS: The storm left roads looking like rivers of snow in Minnesota and led many cities there to declare a snow emergency. There are six of -- six snow emergencies in Hardy (ph), Minnesota so far this year.

PEREIRA: Meanwhile in Iowa, one of the many places to report thunder snow. Snow falling as fast as two inches an hour, but underneath the snow, a layer of ice. Meaning all sorts of accidents on very, very slippery roads. And this is what it looks like right now in Cleveland. Snow falling pretty strongly there. So, the whole Midwest, all the way to Maine, is getting hit by this system.

I keep watching to see when the schools are going to get closed. This is the time of morning you --

(CROSSTALK) ROMANS: -- schools are going to be delayed or close. It's snowing right now here in New York City. Indra Petersons is outside in the snow with the latest on this storm. Good morning, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Well, unbelievable. We're starting to see the snow again. Something I don't think anyone in New York City wants to see today, but regardless, it is here, and it looks like the snow now really starting to come down, meaning it's going to impact New Yorkers again during the morning commute.

Let's talk about how much we've already seen from just this system. We know it's been a rough winter in New York City, really coming about the eighth snowiest as we've been keeping records. So, from the last system, a good four to six inches, that's what we've kind of already seeing as it's made way from the Midwest all the way in through the Ohio Valley. Currently, exiting the Ohio Valley making its way in through the northeast as you can see.

And we're still expecting some good amounts today. New York City, good two to four inches, in towards Boston, another three to five inches after a rough weekend. And then, by the time it really kind of develops and makes its way up towards New England and then towards the northeast. We're talking about outskirts of Portland, Maine can see as much as eight inches, guys.

So, definitely a lot of snow still expected with the system. The timing of it, about 10:00 a.m. or so today in towards New York City, it should start to exit the area. By noon or so making its way in through Boston -- there kind of throughout the day and then exiting off the northeast by tonight. Those are just system one. behind it, again tomorrow, another system.

This one though, look at the difference, right? Hey now. Now snow but rain. So, a welcome site as it will hopefully wash out some of the snow off the ground. Of course, it does mean flooding potential and ice jams, but tomorrow a rain maker as temperatures are way pup. Instead of below normal, we're going to above normal. Just keep in mind that also means a threat for severe weather with a third system by the end of the week.

PEREIRA: Wow. This is a winter to talk about. That's for sure.

ROMANS: The five foot berm (ph) of dirty snow in my front yard. Will it melt into my basement?



PEREIRA (voice-over): All right. A frightening flight for more than a hundred people on board a United Jet. This morning, we're hearing from some of those passengers that were left shaken by what they experienced on board. It was a 737 flying from Denver to Billings, Montana. It was hit with turbulence so severe, several say were they thrown from their seats. One saw a baby pop right out of its parents' arms, land on a seat, apparently OK. This all apparently happened without any warning surprising the passengers and the crew alike.


GRANT LINDE, PASSENGER: I felt the plane kind of bank to the right a little bit. And then, it felt like we got hit from the bottom. I was scared. It was really scary.

BILL DAHLIN, PASSENGER: There was a lot of screaming and lot of hollering.

GRANT LINDE, PASSENGER: Nobody was really expecting, and I do mean nobody. I think the flight crew probably was in the same boat we were.

GRANT LINDE: There was a guy in front of me actually who lifted up and hit the ceiling of the plane and came down on the other side on the lady across the aisle.


PEREIRA: There's word one person remains at intensive care at a hospital in Billings. At least five other passengers were hurt. A safety team from the airline is now looking into what happened there.

ROMANS (voice-over): Breaking news from Sochi where two famous activists, members of a Russian punk band, say they have been arrested. They each spent more than a year in prison before getting amnesty and they just returned to Russia from a trip to the U.S. and Europe. It's not clear what they were doing when police stopped them.

New details this morning of a White House plan to reportedly pull off a prisoner swap with the Taliban. According to the "Washington Post," the Obama administration wants to offer five Afghan Taliban members currently being held at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for U.S. army infantryman, Beau Bergdahl (ph). Bergdahl, as you know, was captured in Afghanistan in 2009. It is believed he's being held in Pakistan by the Haqqani network.

PEREIRA: To Venezuela now, more anti-government protester planned there today as the administration of President Nicolas Maduro battles it out with U.S. state department over who's behind the student demonstrations. Venezuela expelled three U.S. diplomats Sunday for allegedly meeting with students who are organizing the marches, but the state department insists it's not behind those protests.

ROMANS: Now underway in Vienna, Iran and six world powers are sitting down to start a new round of nuclear talks. The goal, to build on a temporary deal reached in November when the Iranians agreed to slow uranium enrichment in return for the easing of some economic sanctions. The two sides have until mid-July to reach a long-term agreement.

PEREIRA: Meanwhile, we're getting new details when a parent Iranian hack into a defense department computer system. Defense officials tell the "Wall Street Journal" says the hackers got so deep into the navy Marine Corps internet, it took about four months to completely kick them out. It's not clear what those hackers were looking for. At least one official called the attack significant and said it showed weakness in the system.

ROMANS: All right. Two markets now, overseas mixed this morning. A big jump in stocks in Japan helped lift Asian markets, but stock market in Europe have now turned lower. Investors there cautious they have a report (ph) on the state of Germany's economy. The U.S. stock market reopens today after that long President's Day weekend. A big run up in stocks last week. Futures flat right now. February, I mean look at the chart.

February has been a decent month for the stock market after what was an indecent month in January.


ROMANS (on-camera): The S&P 500 now down almost slightly for the year. The NASDAQ is up nearly two percent for the year.

Coca-Cola releases its corporate earnings in just a few hours. Coke's worldwide popularity helps give a snapshot into consumer spending around the world. We'll keep an eye on that.

PEREIRA (on-camera): Things certainly looking up for Jimmy Fallon after months of lead up. It's here. Jimmy time! Jimmy Fallon is the new host of the "Tonight Show" now coming from New York instead of beautiful downtown Burr Bank where they're still upset about the departure.

ROMANS: I bet.

PEREIRA: But it is here in New York for the first time in 42 years. Fallon began his first broadcast by thanking his predecessors.


JIMMY FALLON, HOST OF THE TONIGHT SHOW: I'm Jimmy Fallon and I'll be your host for now.


FALLON: Of course, I wouldn't be here tonight if it weren't for the previous "Tonight" show hosts. So, I want to say thank you to Steve Allen, Jack Parr, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno. Very, very nice.



PEREIRA: The first show featured a crazy amount of guests. Apparently, many of them were bearing cash paying up on a bet that he'd never become host of the "Tonight" show. So, bouya (ph) in your face --


PEREIRA: -- parading stars included Robert de Niro, Tina Fey, Lady Gaga, and even Stephen Colbert who show airs opposite at 11:30. The late night wars.


ROMANS: All right. There could be more trouble for Chris Christie. New questions this morning in the governor's ties to a bridge traffic scandal. We're breaking it all down for you live. There he is. Paul Steinhauser, after the break.


ROMANS: A bit of an anniversary this week. Five-year anniversary, five years of the economic stimulus. Monday marked that anniversary, the anniversary President Obama signing the law that was designed to prevent a depression. It costs $830 billion. The administration says its worked with remarkably few up to 1,200 fraud episodes, but it worked. Republicans say no. We're just pouring $830 billion down the drain.

What do Americans think? CNN political editor, Paul Steinhauser, is in Washington this morning. A twitch thinking that five years has passed so quickly.

PEREIRA: Isn't that crazy?

ROMANS: Remember the political furor over the stimulus? And of course, yesterday, there was furor again from the same quarters. You look at the numbers, what do they say?

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, here's what most recent polling, guys. Take a look at this. What do Americans think about the economy? CNN/ORC, I guess, the good news is up top. Thirty-six percent of Americans say that economic conditions today are pretty good, and that number is up from a couple of months ago.

The bad news, look at the bottom number, 64 percent still give a thumbs down to how economic conditions are in the country today. That's not an indicator of whether the stimulus worked or not, but it is a feeling of how Americans feel right now about the economy. As you mentioned, the president, five years ago, the economy was basically in a free fall. This was his first big act as president in the White House.

The stimulus passed with basically no Republican support. As you both mentioned, they're still arguing about it today whether it worked or not. One thing the stimulus did do, it stimulated the creation, I think, you could say along with the Wall Street bailouts and the auto bailouts of the Tea Party movement -- Michaela, Christine.

ROMANS: That's true. Absolutely true. You know, meanwhile, we've got Chris Christie. PEREIRA: Yes. Chris Christie, he's got a busy schedule today. I mean, he does pretty much all the time. He was supposed to have two events today, town hall on superstorm Sandy recovery. It's been cancelled due to the weather, and I think this is the second time that this town hall has been rescheduled.

ROMANS: You're right.

PEREIRA: Right. Not that I'm keeping track, but we kind of are. And then also tonight, an event without cameras in New York. He's out there working the line, shaking hands, talking to people. What does that say about him that he's still out there on behalf of the Republican Party?

STEINHAUSER: This is what Chris Christie is trying to do as the investigations go on both the state investigation and the federal investigation to Bridgegate as we call it and to some other things as well. Chris Christie is trying to show, hey, it's business as usual for me. I'm still governor of New Jersey. I'm still getting things done. That's what the Sandy event was about today.

Remember, superstorm Sandy and how Christie reacted to it was one of the reasons he became a political superstar, you could say. And he's still out there in behalf of the Republican Party. Today, it's not for governors. Today, it's for the senators as the U.S. -- as Republican senators try to recapture the U.S. Senate in the November elections. But again, Chris Christie is trying to show, forget about these investigations. It's business as usual for me.

ROMANS: You know, I want to ask you, was that former Senator Scott Brown on the stage with Cheap Trick this weekend in New Hampshire? What's up with that?

STEINHAUSER: And for those of us who are old enough to remember Cheap Trick, back in their heyday, I guess in the 1980s. All right. Well, let's go right to the videotape and then I'll talk. Let's take a listen.




STEINHAUSER: There you go. The former senator from Massachusetts who now lives in New Hampshire and who is flirting with a possible Republican challenge up there to the Democratic senator. Here he is on a YouTube video that he put out on his Facebook page the other day playing with Cheap Trick.

You know, after Scott Brown lost the 2012 election, he started playing guitar. And now, he's getting pretty good, I guess, you could say.


STEINHAUSER: We don't know if he's going to run for the U.S. senate or not in New Hampshire, but we do know he can definitely rock it out, guys.


PEREIRA: -- that rock star. Check it out.

ROMANS: All right. Thanks Paul. Paul Steinhauser this morning.

Let's take a look at what's coming up next on "NEW DAY." Kate Bolduan joins us this morning. Hi, Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Good morning, lovely ladies. Hope you're having good morning so far. So, of course, we're going to continue talking about the new blast of winter weather. Here we go again. I'm sure Indra will tell us yet again. We're going to cover that, but we're also going to be looking at the crisis in Syria. Peace talks have completely stalled, it appears, and the violence over there is only getting worse.

The question now, is the White House, is the president doing enough? We're going to talk with Mideast analysts as well as the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Orrin, to get his take on the situation over there as well as Rudy Giuliani to get his position on it.

Then, there's going to be and we're going to talk about more fallout to the Michael Dunn verdict. It's renewed the fierce debate over race and self-defense laws and continued to draw comparisons to the George Zimmerman trial. We're going to speak with the family attorney for the Trayvon Martin's family.

What does he think it needs to change and needs to be done in light of verdicts like this? And we're going to get reaction to "New Day's" revealing -- more reaction to "New Day's" revealing interview with George Zimmerman himself.

PEREIRA: We have a busy show. I'll join --




ROMANS: Coming up here, she claims she's killed nearly two dozen people, but this morning, well, some are now doubting that 19-year-old woman's story. We're going to have the latest next.


ROMANS: A live picture this morning from beautiful New Jersey. (INAUDIBLE) in the Philadelphia suburbs where you can see it is snowing this morning. It is going to be a very messy commute for a lot of people in the Midwest and the northeast. So, take it easy out there.

All right. New questions this morning about an admitted murderer and her claims that she killed nearly two dozen people in five states. Police this morning are combing through their case files trying to find any evidence that 19-year-old Miranda Barbour (ph) might be involved in any cold cases.

She's already in jail charged with murdering a man she met on Craigslist. She said she did it and she needed to get her story out. Also charged, her husband, who's not saying much.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miranda said she killed 22 people. Do you believe her?

FLYTTE BARBOUR, HUSBAND: I plead the fifth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think she's been honest?

BARBOUR: Who's to say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think she's lying that she killed 22 people?

BARBOUR: I didn't say that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think she's telling the truth?

BARBOUR: Well, don't put words in my mouth.


ROMANS: All right. The local prosecutor skeptical saying no one, so far, has corroborated Barbour's story.

An Oklahoma pharmacy is refusing this morning to provide drugs for an execution in Missouri. The apothecary shop in Tulsa said in court documents it won't provide pentobarbital (ph) so Missouri can execute Michael Taylor. Michael Taylor was convicted of abducting, raping, and murdering a 15-year-old girl in 1989. His lawyer is suing saying the pharmacy is not licensed to make the drug. The drug's manufacturer also refuses to provide it for use in execution.

In West Virginia, an elementary school near Charleston will be open again today after having to send students home on Monday after noticing a now familiar licorice-like odor coming from the water. The same smell as the chemical that spilled last month that left some 300,000 people without clean water for days.

Now, officials insist the water is safe and retesting is underway, but the district says it's going to use bottled water for now.

Frightening new video to show you this morning from the moment back in January when a public bus in Boise veered off course and crashed. It was all captured on the dash cam. Take a look.




ROMANS: One person on the bus had to go to the hospital for a back injury. The driver has now been charged with negligent driving. He said at the time the brakes failed. A police investigation found evidence the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

An artist from South Florida is facing charges after this act inside a museum caught on cell phone camera. You can see that. Yes, it's allegedly Maximo Caminero. You see him there, picking up a vase, a vase by a claimed Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, and then dropping it just like the artist famously did. You can see the photo of the artist dropping a vase right there, dropping vases behind the vase that was on display.

Caminero told the "Miami New Times" he was protesting how much attention museums have been giving to international artists not local ones. That vase that he dropped said to be worth a million dollars. Wow.

Coming up, want to get out of paying your taxes? It's easy. Just give up your citizenship. No joke. A growing number of Americans are revoking their citizenship to avoid their messy tax situation. The story in "Money Time" next.


ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back. It's "Money Time" this morning. And the U.S. stock market set to open lower. European stock markets down as well, but you know what, a big jump in stocks in Japan helped lift the Asian markets. This is the first day of trading after a three-day weekend for U.S. stocks. Huge run up in stocks last week. The S&P 500 trying to climb into positive territory for the year.

It's almost there. The Dow making a nice comeback this month, but still down 2.5 percent this year. The NASDAQ is up nearly two percent this year.

Workers in Detroit are braced for cuts to pension and retirement plans this morning. Any minute now, tens of thousands of current and retired city workers in Detroit expect word on cuts to their pensions and cuts to their retiree health care benefits. They would be part of the city's emergency management plan to bring Detroit out of bankruptcy if those cuts are made.

It would be the first municipal bankruptcy to ever make involuntary cuts to pension benefits. The announcement due by March 1st is expected early this week.

It is tax season. And apparently, the tax process in the U.S. is so complicate that more ex-pats would rather dump their citizenship than deal with the paperwork. Three thousand Americans, in fact. That's three times triple the average for the previous five years. That's according to CNNMoney analysis of government data. The increase follows the implementation of law approved in 2010 aimed at recouping hundreds of billions of dollars the government says it loses each year in unpaid taxes. Three thousand Americans say no thanks. You can keep my passport.

"NEW DAY" starts now.