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More Snow; Media Reacts to Zimmerman Interview; Heeeere's Jimmy!

Aired February 18, 2014 - 06:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. A quick moving storm system is bringing another blast of wintry weather. This is a live look at the snow coming down in Cleveland. More ice and snow from the Midwest all the way to New York City. Some parts of the Northeast expected to get an additional three to six inches of snow. Leading the way to sleet, ice, freezing rain.

Meteorologist Indra Petersons is out testing the elements in a wintry NYC. What do you see.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I see snow again. Something we've been seeing all season long.

Temperatures are 30 degrees or just below. So a lot of this kind of melting on impact but still getting a little bit of accumulation out here. We are still going to be talking about, yes, several inches. Let's talk about the accumulation we're looking for, a good 2 to 5 inches possible towards New York City.

Boston, after a rough weekend, you're still looking anywhere for 3 to 5 inches and the system developing as it makes its way to the northeast. So maybe outside of Portland we're talking about 8 inches, guys. You can actually see the radar right there, very quick moving, already out of the Ohio Valley, really kind of exiting in towards the northeast.

You can see it strengthening; expected to exit out of New York City by about 10:00 a.m. or so, moving to Boston by noon, and then kind of move offshore tonight. But it is just one of several, guys, that are expected to make their way through. We are going to be talking about rain, yes, rain tomorrow. Why? because the temperatures are going up. This is a good thing.

We're talking about going from below normal to above normal. Just any keep in mind, that does mean any snow on the ground could melt. Sounds great, but that also has the potential for flooding concerns. Third system in the line, by the way, definitely want to give you a heads up, really want to be aware, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, guys, this next system could produce a squall line producing severe weather we'll be looking for towards the end of the week even making its way all the way out towards the Mid-Atlantic side Friday. Michaela.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. It's already coming down. Boy, you can really see it. Indra, thanks so much.

Let's take a look at more of your headlines at this hour. United Airlines says three crew members and several passengers were injured when their Denver to Billings, Montana, flight hit severe turbulence while landing Monday. Witnesses on board the flight say the turbulence came out of nowhere, shook the plane so violently that one woman apparently cracked an overhead panel with her head.

Breaking this morning, violent protests have once again broken out in the Ukraine for about -- for the first time, rather, in about two weeks. Police fire rubber bullets into the crowd. Demonstrators set fire to the head quarters of the ruling party in Kiev. At least seven police officers and several protesters have been injured in those clashes. This fresh wave of violence comes after opposition members failed to get a constitutional vote that would limit the president's powers.

This morning, a West Virginia elementary school is set to reopen after shutting down Monday because of a familiar licorice smell in the water. That is the very same smell as a chemical that spilled into the water supply last month. Now officials are insisting that the water is safe to drink. The National Guard, however, continues to retest it. But the school district says it will continue to use bottled water for now.

You may recall this story we showed you on NEW DAY. He raced through traffic at reckless speeds then posted a Facebook video inviting police to quote, "Catch me if you can." Well, cops in San Antonio did. They captured that reckless biker, identified now as Alberto Rodriguez, while searching for a stolen motorcycle. Police say Rodriguez was wanted on several outstanding felony and misdemeanor warrants. He could also face charges in connection with the stolen bike.

So they got him. Don't tease them.

CUOMO: Long arm of the law.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: He taunted them on Facebook.

CUOMO: All right. So we heard it from George Zimmerman and now we're hearing it from Michael Dunn. Both have said they were the victim and it's making people very angry. And while those claims were backed up by juries, at least in Zimmerman's trial, the man who killed Trayvon Martin also told us he was victimized by the process and politicians, including President Obama and the Attorney General of the United States. He says he used him as a scapegoat.

So is there any proof? Or is Zimmerman just looking to avoid responsibility to avoid his actions? Erin McPike did some digging.


ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): NEW DAY's interview with George Zimmerman is making headlines, not only for what he said, but what he implied. Mainstream press and bloggers criticizing Zimmerman for claiming he was a scapegoat and a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

CUOMO: What was the miscarriage of justice?

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: The fact that two law enforcement entities stated that I had acted within the laws of our nation in self defense.

CUOMO: You don't think it was about the law?

ZIMMERMAN: I know it wasn't, yes.

CUOMO: What does that make you?

ZIMMERMAN: Like a scapegoat.

CUOMO: A scapegoat for?

ZIMMERMAN: The government, the president, the attorney general.

MCPIKE: One Washington Post blog said that comment shows how delusional he is. And Daily Kos, a liberal blog, wrote, "Yes, yes, it's all a plot against him."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your story is not a sad story. You're not some sort of victim from what happened after the fact.

MCPIKE: Social media also erupting with angry comments some even directed at CNN for even running the interview, many directed at what Zimmerman had to say. "Miscarriage of justice? A kid died. That needed to be answered in court," one said.

Another reacted "Scapegoat? You killed someone."

Zimmerman also drew criticism for seeming to have an overall lack of remorse.

CUOMO: Do you regret that you killed Trayvon Martin?

ZIMMERMAN: Unfortunately the Department of Justice is conducting a civil rights investigation. So those are the types of questions that because of the investigation I have to tread lightly.

MCPIKE: We checked and the Department of Justice is investigating if any civil rights violations took praise, though no charges are expected to be filed. But in the interview, Zimmerman said he hoped he could change people's perception of him as the guy who got away with killing an African-American teen.

ZIMMERMAN: If it takes one person a day at a time to help them realize that that's not what this case was about, then that's what I'll do.

MCPIKE: The Washington Post had this comment. "Zimmerman fails on that hope every time he speaks.

Erin McPike. CNN, Washington.


CUOMO: Which is one of the important reasons he should speak, and Michael Dunn and people at the center of controversies, need to be heard. So it helps demystify them; it helps counter the argument.

There are two questions that come out of it. One will be easier to answer than another, I think, but it's important dialogue so use the hashtag #newday, let's keep the question going. I don't care if there are negative comments about CNN on all that; I invite them. Bring those in, because it's part of the discussion.

First question, if Zimmerman was found to be justified, which he was at his trial, remember that, he was acquitted, can he still be a victim? How about Michael Dunn? Is that why the jury deadlocked? What do you think about the answers to those questions?

And then the larger one is, when you demystify people like this, because they've been given a lot of power - Michael Dunn has been given power, that he knew how to game the system. George Zimmerman has been given this power that he knew how to kill and get away with it. Really? Or are we distracting ourselves from looking at a system that puts too low a bar on self defense? Are we wasting time and energy directing our arguments and our outrage at a man we don't want to hear from? And by doing that, silencing a bigger discussion that we need have.

Those are the questions. You give us the answers.

BOLDUAN: Part of that discussion yesterday for sure, but its' a discussion that needs to continue. It's not a one-day discussion.

CUOMO: We're going to bring in Trayvon Martin's - the family's lawyer, the Martin family lawyer, Ben Crump. He understands these issues very well. He's seen the pain of the family. He's been following it. A lot of intelligence on it. We'll talk to him about it as well.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, the video will make your heart skip a beat. But are thrill seekers going just way too far with these base jumping stunts? The search is now under way for one jumper and we'll show you why.

CUOMO: Plus is Jimmy Fallon as good as Jay Leno? That's going to be the ultimate test, right? His long awaited "Tonight" debut was last night. We're going to take a look at the highlights and see what the sayers are saying.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back. Let's go around the world now. Starting in Venezuela where security forces raided the headquarters of a major opposition party as three U.S. diplomats have been ordered to leave the country. CNN's Shasta Darlington has more on all this.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, Venezuela has given three American diplomats 48 hours to leave the country, accusing them of meeting with students to incite opposition protest. Now the U.S. State Department called those accusations false and baseless.

Meanwhile, the massive anti-government demonstrations showed no signs of letting up. In fact, the key opposition leader wanted by police said he himself will lead a new march on Tuesday. Back to you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Shasta, thank you very much. And in Britain, some never before heard interrogation tapes of Amanda Knox that's part of a new BBC documentary called "Is Amanda Knox Guilty?". CNN's Erin McLaughlin has that.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the first time we're hearing an audio recording of a panicked Amanda Knox explaining to prosecutors why she placed herself at the scene of the crime and wrongly implicated her former boss as the murderer of 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher. The recording was made in December 2007 and aired as part of a BBC documentary last night. Take a listen.


AMANDA KNOX: I was stressed. I was sacred. It was after long hours; it was in the middle of the night. I was innocent and they were telling me I was guilty.


MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the so-called confession remains one of the most controversial pieces of evidence in this case used to convict both Knox and her former boyfriend twice now. Convictions that the defense is planing to appeal to Italy's supreme court. Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: Erin, thank you very much. And it continues.

In Indonesia now, a dramatic rescue. Rescuers are still looking for two Japanese scuba divers missing off the coast of Bali since Friday. Here's CNN's Monita Rajpal.

MONITA RAJPAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Five Japanese divers have been rescued after drifting at the sea off the coast of Bali for three days. Two more are still unaccounted for. A fisherman spotted the five women clinging to a shallow reef 20 kilometers from their last- known dive site.

According to one report, the skipper of their dive boat said he lost track of the divers as the weather closed in. But the head of Bali's search and rescue said the skipper may have left the area to refuel before returning to the meeting point. The search for the missing two divers continues, but strong winds and driving rain have hampered the efforts in an area known of its strong currents. Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: Horrible. What a nightmare for anyone who scuba divers. That's exactly what you'd be afraid of.

CUOMO: Absolutely. All right, let's head to Canada. That's where a hunt is on for a suspected base jumper. Take a look at the video now. Daring leap from a ski gondola. One person, an alleged accomplice, already facing charges.

But why are so many drawn to such a dangerous sport? Is that a silly question? Is it all about the danger? But why are authorities focused on stopping them so adamantly? CNN's Stephanie Elam has more.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What you are about to witness not only seems crazy, it's also a crime. Base jumping. It's the extreme of the extreme. Base is an acronym for Buildings, Antennas, Spans, and Earth. Basically find something tall and hurl your body off of it.

The base jumper in this video took flight off a gondola in Whistler, British Columbia, 1500 feet above ground.

Police are using the video posted on social media sites to track down this jumper. They say they know his identity and have already arrested a woman to allegedly helping him jump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: YouTube will become a vehicle for law enforcement to identify and prosecute individuals. The gondola, they're specific about stating that; it's used as a means of transportation, not as your platform to carry out a base jump.

ELAM: But the rush of base jumping glamorized by Holly wood pulls many thrill seekers back for more.

And beyond getting caught, there's a much greater concern.

MALE: It's dangerous. If something should happen where the -- the parachute failed to deploy, for example, you could have somebody killed.

ELAM: That was the case recently when the parachute didn't open for a 28-year-old newlywed who died base jumping in Utah. She and her husband of two weeks seen here base jumping at a different time, known as experienced base jumpers. Her husband was charged with a misdemeanor base jumping offense after her death, charges that were later dropped.

Veteran base jumpers say arrests may not deter thrill seekers from taking these dangerous, sometimes deadly, and, in this case, illegal plunges.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.


CUOMO: And then we show it on television which is of course --

BOLDUAN: That is scary stuff. And illegal. Worth pointing out yet again.

All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, a new host and a new era for "The Tonight Show". So how did Jimmy Fallon do? The reviews are in. We will have a look.



JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": We do have a great show tonight for you.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back. The Jimmy Fallon "Tonight Show" era is off to a flying start, it seems. Fallon made his debut as host Monday night, bringing NBC's late night flagship back to New York for the first time in four decades, and it was a star-studied affair with Will Smith, U2 and a parade of surprise guests on hand.

Entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner is here with more. So the reviews are in. What do we know?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, we just saw that video. And I love that parade of people that were coming out to pay up the hundred dollar bet that they lost when they bet that Jimmy Fallon would never host "The Tonight Show". I mean, you had icons like Robert de Niro. You had Joan Rivers who ended her almost 30-year "Tonight Show" ban.

But then you had people like Tina Fey, Lindsay Lohan, Seth Rogen, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey -- young, fresh, hip Hollywood. Exactly. I love Tracy Morgan.

But this is exactly what NBC wants Jimmy Fallon to be.


ANNOUCNER: Here's your host Jimmy Fallon!

FALLON: Welcome to "The Tonight Show". Please, welcome, thank you everybody.

TURNER (voiceover): Jimmy Fallon pulled out all the stops on his first night taking over the reins of "The Tonight Show" and it was one brimming with humble thank yous and star-studied surprises.

FALLON: I want to say thank you to all the fans for all their support. And to my buddy who said I would never be a star of "The Tonight Show," and you know who you are, you owe me $100 buddy.



TURNER: For the first time in nearly 42 years, New York City reclaimed the storied (ph) late night talk show four decades after legendary host, Johnny Carson, took it out west and where Jay Leno carried the "Tonight" torch for 22 years. Fallon's first guest, movie star powerhouse, Will Smith, has encouraging words of support for the venerable former late night host.

WILL SMITH, ACTOR: People are coming because of your heart.

TURNER: Ever the entertainer (ph), Fallon didn't disappoint. Twerking and whopping with Smith in an evolution of hip-hop dance skit. He stayed true to his roots.

FALLON: The roots in Philadelphia --


TURNER: And unveiled a new "Tonight Show" signature segment.

FALLON: American ice dancer, Charlie White, who's voted most likely to say, "fear not for I bring tidings of great joy."



TURNER: Musical guest, U2 wowed the crowd first with the dazzling performance overlooking New York City skyline as a top of the rock's sky deck and capping the night with a show-stopping acoustic rendition of their Oscar-nominated hit song.


FALLON: I just want to do the best I can and take care of this show for a while. If you guys let me stick around long enough, maybe I'll get the hang of it.


TURNER (on-camera): All right. I was up at midnight watching. I was taking notes. No, not at all. You know, it was a very new-looking "Tonight Show." First off, there was a hip-hop band, that's the house band, the roots. That's different. Spike Lee directed the open. Jimmy Fallon was really excited to say that his show with Spike Lee joint (ph).


TURNER: And Kim Kardashian showed up on his show too last night. I mean, say what you want about her, but she's the only person to be on Jay's last show and Jimmy's first. Yes. The quick reviews, most people thought he had a really good show, really good start.

One review I did see, though, and I thought it was interesting. They said he does need to work on that interviewing skill because he's such a nice guy, but he -- you know, when he has a president on, you can't slow jam the news forever. So, you do need to be able to hone that skill.


CUOMO: There are plenty of us doing accountability interviews. I don't think anybody's going to him for that, but I will say this. I know people who know him. And, I think what makes him different in a phony, plastic, ugly world that entertainment can be is they say he's a genuinely good guy. He loves to entertainment. The smile is authentic and that is a refreshing thing in such an ugly business to have a guy --


BOLDUAN: And while the two -- very different comedians. I think maybe that's the similarity between Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon, because Jay Leno, I mean, that's what people loved about his farewell, so genuine, so heartfelt.

CUOMO: Don't have to be mean to be fun.


TURNER: And Jimmy's open was very heartfelt. I mean, he, you know, put his monologue aside for about ten minutes just to talk to the audience. And one of the things he said was, |I was that kid who begged my parents to stay up and watch the "Tonight Show" monologue. And now, there's some kid who's begging his parents --


TURNER: And it was great. It was great.


CUOMO: It really grabs the legacy of Johnny Carson because that's where the show was. It was in New York, obviously. Eventually, moved it out to L.A.

PEREIRA: The L.A. folks are still struggling with that a lot.

TURNER: He's going to go back once a year --


CUOMO: Johnny's magic. You know, growing up watching him. He was funny without being mean. And Jimmy Fallon is that, too. I think --

TURNER: I think we need to have the evolution of hip-hop dance on this show.

CUOMO: He can dance, too.


BOLDUAN: Anytime they want to come on.


CUOMO: He can dance, and his impersonations were amazing. So, impressions (ph), whatever you call.


CUOMO: I'm impersonating a newscaster.

Coming up on NEW DAY, amazing video of a bus completely losing control, barreling through trees and a parking lot, smashing into a building. Why did this happen? We'll tell you what the police say.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, the crisis is Syria is spiraling out of control. Does the White House need to change its policy and how can it change its policy at this point? We're going to talk with former presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani, live to get his take.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, February 18th, seven o'clock in the east. We're going to start out with our news blast. That's the most news you can get anywhere. Let's go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm the victim here. I was the one who was victimized.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Without warning, violently tossed in midair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a guy lifted up and hit the ceiling of the plane.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once again, the northeast is bracing for another snowy blast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have to stop. I cannot say where I am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside many areas of Syria, the most extreme militants now hold sway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The regime stone walled. They did nothing.


CUOMO: The world is watching as nuclear talks with Iran get underway in Vienna this morning. The Iranians facing out off with the U.S. and five other world powers. Here's the goal, hammer out a long-term agreement that gives Tehran relief from crippling economic sanctions in exchange for what, scaling back their nuclear programs. Both sides are sounding skeptical about a deal ahead of the negotiations never a good sign.

Now, breaking for more violence in Venezuela today. A major opposition protest as planned for Caracas. Recent demonstrations there have already led to three deaths. Meanwhile, the state department is denying accusations by the Venezuelan President Maduro that the U.S. is attempting to de stabilize this country. Maduro has expelled three U.S. diplomatic officials accusing them of conspiring with the opposition. PEREIRA: Breaking news overnight, ten people killed, more than a hundred more injured after a roof collapse in South Korea. Nearly 600 students from Pusan University of Foreign Studies had gathered for orientation in the auditorium of an ocean resort in the southeastern part of the nation when that ceiling caved in. Officials believe recent heavy snow and rain likely put too much pressure on the structure.

CUOMO: Bowe Bergdahl, you know that name. He is still a captive and he needs to come home. There is a new fresh push from the White House to bring home the American soldier held captive by the Taliban. The "Washington Post" reports the U.S. will offer to release five members of the Afghan Taliban together from Guantanamo Bay to (INAUDIBLE) in a swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

He was taken in 2009. A previous offer called for prisoners to be released over time. The administration is trying to get a deal before most troops leave Afghanistan at the end of the year. We will tell you what happens.

BOLDUAN: We're hearing now for the first time phone calls from the man who shot and killed a Florida teenager after an argument over loud music. Prosecutors just released the jailhouse calls made by Michael Dunn in the weeks after the fatal shooting of Jordan Davis. Dunn who has claimed self-defense in his trial is heard saying that he was the one who was victimized.