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Bannon Backs Off; North and South Korea to Meet for First Time in Two Years; Celebrities Wear Black in Protest at Golden Globes; Water Main Break Cripples JFK Airport Terminal. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired January 8, 2018 - 00:00   ET



[00:00:10] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A regretful Steve Bannon calls the U.S. President's son a patriot and a good man. This just days after quotes attributed to him in a new book on the Trump White House rocked Washington.

We're live from Seoul where it is just hours until North and South Korea meet to discuss the Olympics and perhaps more.

Plus Oprah steals the show at the Golden Globes calling for a time when no one else has to say "me, too".

These stories all ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for joining us. We're coming to you live from Atlanta.

I'm Natalie Allen.

Our top story: Steve Bannon says he regrets not coming out sooner against what he calls inaccurate comments attributed to him in a book. He is quoted extensively in the book, "Fire and Fury", in particular criticizing the President's son, Donald Trump Jr.

The book by Michael Wolff came out Friday but Bannon did not respond until Sunday producing two days of fire and fury between Mr. Trump and his former chief strategist.

We get more from CNN's Boris Sanchez. He's at the White House.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has now been five full days since we first got those excerpts from "Fire and Fury" that were explosive and drew into question not only the President's mental fitness for office but also his relationship with his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon.

Today Steve Bannon putting out a statement for the first time directly in response to those quotations of his in that book, specifically taking exception to a portion where he describes a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian nationals at Trump Tower back in June of 2016 as treasonous and unpatriotic. Bannon saying that those comments were not directed toward Donald Trump Jr. who he calls a patriot but rather toward former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Here's that specific section. He writes quote, "My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don, Jr."

Of course, we should point out that a trail of e-mails shows that it was Donald Trump, Jr. who brokered that meeting with Russian nationals and who then looked in not only Paul Manafort but also the President's son-in-law Jared Kushner and in a later e-mail said that he loved the idea of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton that was being offered to the Trump campaign by these Russian nationals.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of this statement though is the portion in Steve Bannon tries to put himself once again in the President's good graces by saying that Donald Trump was the only candidate that could have defeated Hillary Clinton.

And going then going a step further and touting his own abilities as a messenger for the President saying that he has taken the America First message as far as Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Steve Bannon here is in a bit of a predicament because over the past few days, we have seen not only Trump surrogates going after him but also the President himself calling him Sloppy Steve.

And earlier today CNN was actually able to confirm that the President has been making calls in recent days to friends and allies telling them that they either support Steve Bannon or they support the President.

So it seems as though Steve Bannon feels his influence shrinking and potentially is trying to salvage his political career by reaching out to the President in this way.

Boris Sanchez, CNN -- at the White House. >


ALLEN: Some members of the President's own Republican Party are not refuting what is in the book. In fact one congressman says the book puts in print what everyone in Washington already knows.


REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: The issues raised in that book do raise concerns for most of us because clearly the whole idea of impulse control, lack of focus -- and we've heard this before -- the book more or les just confirms what many of us had been hearing.

I'm going to leave it to the mental health professionals to determine his fitness, but I certainly think some of those comments and some of the behavior has called into question his fitness for sure.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: The President's senior policy adviser was on CNN Sunday to defend his boss and his mental health. Stephen Miller called Steve Bannon's comments in the book "grotesque".


STEPHEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR POLICY ADVISER: The book is best understood as a work of very poorly written fiction. And I also will say that the author is a garbage author of a garbage book.

And the tragic thing about this book -- and there are many things about it that are unfortunate -- but the portrayal of the President in the book is so contrary to reality, to the experience of those who work with him, to my own experience having spent the last two years with him.


[00:05:08] ALLEN: Senior political correspondent for the "Washington Examiner" David Drucker joins us from Washington, D.C. David -- thanks for being with us.


ALLEN: Well today, we saw Trump adviser Stephen Miller on CNN vehemently defend the President and rip Mr. Wolff's book a fiction. And he called Bannon's quotes in the book "grotesque". We also saw Steve Bannon apologize that he slammed Eric, Jr. (SIC) as treasonous -- oops, he meant that for Paul Manafort, he now says.

So where are we in this saga?

DRUCKER: Well, it's just another day. And I don't think this is going to go away any time soon. When you think about it, we're almost one year into the Trump presidency and we've been dealing with this in some form or another since day one. And I expect this to continue far on into the future, at least on this first term.

ALLEN: When you say expect this to continue, you mean this kind of reported ground swell of chaos that we hear about from this man (ph), though?

DRUCKER: I just -- I just think the general chaotic nature of the White House itself. There's always a reason, either there's the President reacting and his staff reacting to certain events usually attacks on his fitness, or on his policies or on his behavior or events themselves.

One way or the other about every couple of weeks, there's some new event that causes an uproar from the President and the people closest to him. Sometimes it's of the President's own making, sometimes it is not. But one way or the other there's just no smooth sailing here.

I mean look, we just came off of the President's significant legislative victory in signing a federal tax overhaul. You may not like the bill. You may have issues with the bill. But it's something that had not been done in three decades. It was a considerable achievement.

And instead of enjoying that, the President is now obsessed with this book. Now granted, the book makes some very serious allegations, it's somewhat salacious. But as usual instead of leaving the undermining of the book to his allies and continuing on in a sort of presidential fashion dealing with policy and dealing with, you know, national security matters, things in which the President could look a lot better, he's been obsessed on Twitter with the book.

And even before the book came out, he was attacking his own Justice Department and raising a lot of the issues via Twitter that he's been obsessed about since entering the White House.

So it's just never a dull moment with this President.

ALLEN: I think pretty much everyone realizes now there's no quote- unquote, "acting in presidential fashion" when it comes to Donald Trump in the White House.

Did his own words though defending himself as highly educated, smart, genius, stable help or hurt his cause?

DRUCKER: Well, good question. I guess we'll find out. What I would say is that it keeps the issue alive.

This is where I think the President would be much better served allowing his allies to go after his adversaries and his opponents and make the case that the President is of sound mind and, of course, you know, look at all the things he's dealing with and all the things he's done well and all of that and go after the people making these charges.

That's totally understandable, in fact, you know, you could argue very necessary to have a counter message. I think it's when the President goes after his enemies or his opponents in this way that it really raises the issue because whenever the President talks about something it's news. Much more so than when other people talk about it.

ALLEN: Well, let's listen to the book's author, Mr. Wolff, talk about the references reportedly from White House about evoking the 25th amendment to the constitution vis-a-vis this President. Here he is.


MICHAEL WOLFF, AUTHOR, "FIRE AND FURY": That's not unreasonable to say this is 25th amendment kind of stuff. This is -- I mean anything --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- in the West Wing to you?

WOLFF: All the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 25th amendment? They would bring up the 25th amendment.

WOLFF: Yes. Actually they would say we're not -- in sort of the mid period we're not at a 25th amendment level yet. Or they would --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's alarming.

WOLFF: This is alarming in every way. And then this went on -- ok, this is a little 25th amendment. So 25th amendment is a concept that is alive every day in the White House.


ALLEN: You know, you can continue to hear questions thrown toward this President about his fit for the presidency. And if one is to believe Wolff, there is concern inside the White House about that.

DRUCKER: Well, look, I know from talking to people that have worked in the White House, there have been concerns about how the President communicates and how he responds to opponents and how he chooses to fight back.

They have really prayed for more discipline and for less of campaign Trump and more of a President Trump. And that has concerned them.

[00:09:58] I haven't talked to anybody that has ever felt like the President wasn't fit and wasn't, at least at a basic level, doing the job. And I would say that if you look at who the President has appointed and hired to work in his cabinet.

And if you look at the policies that have come out of the White House they've been a lot more traditional and a lot normal, if you will, than the President himself and his behavior. And I think what raises a lot of these questions and what pauses a lot of these questions is not so much what he does but how he acts.

And that's why I focus so much on the two because we haven't seen any action that has raised any eyebrows. We've seen a lot of behavior that has raised eyebrows. And that's where the President is really much more in control of this than I think a lot of his allies might realize.

So much of what is talked about is based o what the President says and how he says it. Sometimes, we -- you know, as reporters we wonder if the President is simply trolling us, simply throwing out something provocative because he knows that all we will do is spend the next several days talking about him and what he said. And he's much more comfortable that way.

But I think that the downside of that is that when he talks state about, for instance, a deep state with the Department of Justice and the CIA, it's very conspiratorial and it's just very unusual for a President to sound like a conspiracy theorist.

ALLEN: Well, it will be interesting to see now that Steve Bannon has been tossed aside perhaps how he moves with the Republican establishment as we press into 2018. We'll be watching for that. David Drucker -- we appreciate your comments. Thank you so much.

DRUCKER: Any time. Thank you.

ALLEN: Well, politics was out front during Hollywood's golden night. Celebrities arrived at the 75th Annual Golden Globes dressed in black to draw attention to sexual harassment and gender inequality in the business.

Many stars accessorized with a "time's up" pin. More than 1,000 women in entertainment launched a new initiative to fight sexual misconduct.

The Golden Globes honors the best in TV and film and throughout the night there were tributes to strong women including Oprah Winfrey, who gave a powerful speech condemning sexual predators.


OPRAH WINFREW, TELEVISION HOST: Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.

A new day is on the horizon when nobody ever has to say "me, too" again.


ALLEN: We'll have more from the Golden Globes later including who went home with the top award of the night.

That's a head.

Plus on Tuesday we'll see a rare display of cooperation on the Korean Peninsula. What to expect from the meeting between North and South. A live report next.


ALLEN: On Tuesday, two historic rivals and close neighbors will meet face to face for the first time in more than two years. High level delegates from North and South Korea will sit down together here in the so-called Peace House straddling the demilitarized zone.

Let's got to Will Ripley now live in Seoul. Will, having reported from both sides, North Korea and South Korea so many times, how important is this meeting? Or how important could it be.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's yet to be seen what comes out of these discussions -- Natalie. But just the simple fact that North and South Koreas ministerial level officials are sitting down and they're talking about officials from the Unification and Sports ministries, even though they're talking specifically about the Olympics and about getting a North Korean delegation to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

It's what these talks could potentially lead to that has some in this region feeling a sense of cautious optimism while also keeping an eye on history that has seen similar talks fall apart in the past.

All of these discussions will be happening in a place that I visited several times. It's one of the most tense flash point sin the world.


RIPLEY: The Korean Demilitarized Zone, a place where two worlds collide -- dictatorship and democracy staring each other down.

CHAD O'CONNELL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, KOREA RISK GROUP: It's a very, very vivid reminder of just what's at stake on the Peninsula.

RIPLEY: The first official talks in two years between North and South Korea will be held in Panmunjom, the so-called Truce Village, straddling the 38th parallel, the tense dividing line between two neighbors still technically at war.

Delegations from both sides of the DMZ will be sitting a stone's throw away from the path a North Korean soldier took in November in a dramatic defection, shot five times, running South.

The talks will take place in Peace House, one of the three buildings in the Truce Village built specifically for discussions like this -- two in the South, one in the North.

O'CONNELL: UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes the two Koreas have disagreements over which side the talks should be on (ph).

RIPLEY: This time, they're on the south side, North Korean officials will likely pass through the same blue huts I first visited in 2015, the year the last round of marathon talks took place lasting some 44 hours, nearly two days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In favor of armed intervention --

RIPLEY: To understand the DMZ we need to go back to the end of World War II. The Soviets and Americans divided Korea, just like they did Germany. Most historians say the communist North tried to get it all by invading the South. The North says it was the other way around.

Technically the war never ended. An armistice agreement put both Koreas back on their side of the dividing line, a stand off nearly 65 years and counting.

Today, North Korea is facing its toughest sanctions ever over leader Kim Jong-Un's rapidly advancing nuclear program.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the North Koreans the motivations so far in these talks is undoubtedly due to the pressure that is building up on the country.

RIPLEY: Pressure that only stands to increase in 2018 unless both sides find a diplomatic path, a path that begins here in Panmunjom, a painful reminder of the region's violent past, tense present and uncertain future.


[00:20:04] RIPLEY: Incidentally today is North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's birthday. He's believed to be in his early to mid 30s although his exact age is not publicly confirmed.

I remember I was in Pyongyang a couple of years ago when he ordered a nuclear test on his birthday week. This week -- peace talks, and that's what many are hoping will be the trend moving into 2018, a diplomatic path for this part of the world as opposed to the alternative -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Sounds encouraging, doesn't it?

Well, Will -- you've come to know North Korean citizens during your extensive travels around the country. Putting Kim Jong-Un aside for a moment and just focusing on the people, what do you think many of the people you've interviewed, who seem to be very intrigued by you as you are of them, will think of this meeting? Or what hopes do you think they may have?

RIPLEY: You know, it's remarkable when you speak with North Korean citizens. And these are young people, older people and you ask them about the possibility of reunification -- both North and South Korea coming back together.

And everybody in North Korea says that that is something they would love to see it happen. They wish that they could travel here. They wish that they could see the scenery in this part of the country. And frankly many people who live here in South Korea wish that they could travel to the North, that they could see sights like Mt. Paektu which is really a symbolic -- and a symbol for the entire Korean people.

This is a nation that was divided after the end of the Korean War by two superpowers, the U.S. and Russia, and it's a real tragedy in the eyes of so many people who have sent he two countries drift farther apart.

So anytime there's a conversation about potential peace talks, the improvement of inter-Korean relations, it does spark a bit of hope. But what we've sadly seen happen in the past is that because the two sides are just so far apart.

And there's, of course, the nuclear issue really makes it even more of a difficult situation. It's sometimes difficult for Koreans to actually imagine unification ever happening. But every time there are talks like this, Natalie, maybe that spark of hope comes back yet again and we'll just have to wait and see.

ALLEN: Right.

I'll be talking with a South Korean analyst in just a few minutes. But we certainly appreciate your reporting for us -- Will. Thank you.

Well, the U.S. is not going to be at the Korean talks Tuesday but America's U.N. ambassador is laying down Washington's terms for any possible future discussions. U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday he would have no problem talking with Kim Jong-Un but not without conditions.

Nikki Haley of the U.N. explained what those are.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Yes. There could be a time where we talk to North Korea but a lot of things have to happen before that actually takes place.

They have to stop testing. They have to be willing to talk about banning their nuclear weapons. Those things have to happen. What we're trying to do is make sure we don't' repeat what's has happened in the last 25 years which is them starting to act like they're coming to the table then ask for a lot of money and then cheat their way through.

We're going to be smart this time. We're going to make sure that whatever happens, it makes the United States safer, and makes sure that we denuclearize the Peninsula.


ALLEN: Meantime, the Pentagon is putting the final touches on a plan that will guide its nuclear strategy over the next several years. It's expected to focus on deterrence and reflect the growing threat from North Korea which has stepped up its nuclear program over the past year.

It will also focus on Russia. The Pentagon's review may allow President Trump to put his mark on the U.S. program for decades to come and lead to trillions of dollars in spending over the next several decades.

Israel's Prime Minister appears to be backing a threat by U.S. President Trump to cut funding to Palestinians. Here's what Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday about support for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I completely agree with President Trump's harsh criticism of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem. It also enshrines the narrative of the so-called rate of return in a bid to eliminate the state of Israel. Therefore UNRWA should pass from the world.


ALLEN: Mr. Netanyahu's comments follow a Tuesday tweet by President Trump that threatened to cut U.S. funding for Palestinians. It said the Palestinians didn't respect the U.S. but didn't mention the U.N. Relief and Works Agency by name. Records show the U.S. spent more than $600 million on Palestinian aid in 2016. >

In Syria, government and Russian war planes are pummeling a rebel-held area near Damascus. There are reports airstrikes killed at least 17 civilians on Saturday in Eastern Ghouta (ph). The bombardment began more than a week ago after rebels and jihadists surrounded a Syrian military base.

Bu the violence in Syria was not limited to Eastern Ghouta over the weekend, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says an explosion killed at least 23 people in the north western city of Idlib on Sunday. It targeted the headquarters of a rebel group and may have been a car bomb or drone attack.

[00:25:09] Coming up here, the Hollywood foreign press honor the best in TV and film Sunday but the tribute really went to women. We'll explain.


ALLEN: And welcome back. We appreciate you watching. This is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen, live in Atlanta.

Here are our headlines this hour.

Donald Trump's former top strategist says he regrets not responding sooner to the new bombshell book about the Trump White House. Comments attributed to Steve Bannon are critical of the President and his family, notably his son Donald Trump Jr. But Bannon says the Trump Jr. quotes are inaccurate and that his support for the President is unwavering. >

A search and rescue mission is under way off China's east coast after an oil tanker and a freighter collided. China's ministry of transport says the tanker was carrying 136,000 tons of oil from Iran to South Korea. The tanker's 32 missing sailors are Iranian except for two Bangladeshi nationals. The crew on the freighter were rescued.

The leaders of North and South Korea are sending envoys to meet face- to-face Tuesday. They will discuss North Korea's desire to compete in the upcoming winter Olympics and how to improve relations between the two countries. It is the first time they've had direct contact in more than two years.

Well, for more on this landmark meeting, I'm joined now by Duyeon Kim. She's a visiting senior fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum. Thanks so much for talking with us.

[00:30:02] I want to ask you first. We know that the limited agenda is about the Olympics. What is on the line though with this meeting on Tuesday?

DUYEON KIM, SENIOR FELLOW, KOREAN PENINSULA FUTURE FORUM: Thanks, Natalie, for having me. Yes. South Korea will be walking into these talks trying to focus them primarily on the Olympics, North Korea's participation at the Olympics.

North Korea has said it's willing to discuss a broad range of issues as well. This, of course, is welcoming news to the South. However, because Seoul's most critical first objective is to get Pyongyang at the Olympics, Seoul will not want to hold those talks hostage to other inter-Korean relations discussions.

North Korea, for its part, would want to try in the process to extract as many concessions as it can, use the Olympics to perhaps try to raise its profile on the international stage, to show the world that it's a peace-loving country, not a dangerous one, to even throw China bone, saying look, here, we're cooperating, we're being peaceful this year.

But for South Korea, it would want to use the Olympics to try to secure an early inter-Korean summit and also use that as momentum to resume stalled or inter-Korean cooperation projects that have been dead for a few years.

ALLEN: It's be interesting to see how the South Koreans, the delegation, which is a high-level delegation, approaches those topics in these talks.

Has the Trump administration's tough stance and rhetoric towards the North helped or hurt getting to these talks?

This week President Trump has taken some of the credit for where we're at.

KIM: Well, the fact of the matter is I wouldn't say that Washington had any influence in these upcoming talks. It was clear that Kim Jong-un himself has the political will, he wants to send a delegation to the Olympics. He wants to, as he says, improve inter-Korean relations.

In order for that to happen he's going to have to prove it with actions that he's serious about improving across border nations (ph). Of course South Korea, we've seen South Korean president Moon Jae-in speak publicly, propose and invited the North publicly on several occasions to attend the Olympics.

We've heard news reports that the South has sat by the phone, waiting for the North to pick up the phone before the North reconnected the hotline.

So you know that both Koreas have an interest in resuming some sort of dialogue that leads to better relations of some sort. But I'm actually very cautiously optimistic. I hope for the best but I'm skeptical because we've seen this movie many times before. We've seen the movie where the North plays nice, plays cooperative, extracts concessions and ends up with everything it wants plus keeping its nuclear weapons.

And the U.S. and South Korea are virtually left with nothing.

ALLEN: Right. They've been derailed before, had hopes and nothing has come of it. Of course Japan feels threatened by North Korea. The United States, of course, has taken a tough stance against North Korea, which saw this past year's unprecedented advancement in its nuclear goals with all its missile tests.

But how important do you think the start of any opening with Kim Jong- un and his regime is just between the North and South here and no one else?

KIM: So far, if you look at Kim Jong-un's New Year's address, everything happening after -- everything points back to that address. He's laid out for this year to continue a hardline stance, a conditional approach toward the U.S. while maintaining or becoming more flexible towards South Korea.

He's even revived the old rhetoric of trying to rekindle those decades-old, centuries-old feelings of a one Korea, a one Korean people working together, unaffected, uninterrupted by outside big powers, working toward peace together between just the Koreas.

So you can see he's very much inward focused. For the South, especially under this administration and with the progressive constituents, President Moon will want to please his constituents just enough, achieve his presidential agenda as well but also show that the alliance with the United States is ironclad. So the South Korean president really does have his work cut out for him going forward. And really these talks --


KIM: -- starting talks is always a good step. He should have more of them, as many of them as he can at all levels and across all issues. But again, we can't help but be skeptical while hoping for the best.

ALLEN: All right. We appreciate your thoughts and your comments. We'll talk with you again perhaps after this meeting. Duyeon Kim, thank you.

KIM: Thank you.

ALLEN: The Golden Globes Sunday night was a reminder of the power of women. The show honors the best in TV and film. This year, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" -- that's the name of the film -- took home the big trophy of the night, winning Best Motion Picture Drama.

It's about a mother tirelessly working to find her daughter's killer. In the TV category, "The Handmaid's Tale" raked in the awards, a dystopian series won Best TV Drama and its star, Elisabeth Moss, took home the trophy for Best Actress.

But the glitz and glamor took a back seat to the actual awards. Celebrities dressed in all black to draw attention to sexual harassment and gender inequality and show support for the #MeToo movement.

Actor Michelle Williams brought the founder of #MeToo as her guest. They caught up with CNN's Stephanie Elam on the red carpet.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's humbling but it's also empowering. I just think this is just such a bold statement for women who work in Hollywood to make, in solidarity with women across the world. (INAUDIBLE) me, I stand and represent survivors. And so I know that so many women on this carpet are survivors.

And so it just really makes me feel wonderful.


MICHELLE WILLIAMS, ACTOR: It's amazing to see the women come up to her, though, with tears in their eyes because Toronto is really among the first. She started the #MeToo movement. So she was among the first to say I see you and you're not alone anymore.

ELAM: Do you think -- I'm going to ask you both this -- do you think that is this a true changing point, a real turning point here in Hollywood in these post-Harvey Weinstein days?

WILLIAMS: I don't think it's just a change in Hollywood. I think it's a change -- it's a worldwide change that we want to hand to all of our daughters.

BURKE: I agree. I think that the media pays a lot of attention to Hollywood because it's Hollywood. But these are people, these are women who are survivors just like the women survivors I represent in communities all across the country.

And I do think this is moment that is going to be lasting. We've never seen anything like this in our lifetimes. And I think this is not just a footnote. It's going to be the start of something major.



You got two movies that you're in that are nominated tonight.

How does that feel?



ELAM: What?


WILLIAMS: We've been very busy talking about other things. Look, it's wonderful. I'm proud of both of the films and I'm excited to be here. But never have I had such a big smile on my face and so many things that I'm excited to talk about and really just listened and learned.

I didn't step into my activism until the women's march and I'm standing with somebody who has been an activist for change for the last two decades. So when she speaks, I listen.


ALLEN: Next hour I'll talk with a Hollywood reporter about the women's movement and the awards and who won.

Parts of the U.S. are still slammed by freezing temps and icy rain. Find out what is in store for the next few days if you dare, right after this with Pedram.





ALLEN: If you can believe this, that travel nightmare at JFK International Airport New York just got worse. CNN's Polo Sandoval tells you why.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It certainly was an inconvenient weekend for passengers at New York's JFK International Airport. First, the aftermath of Thursday's wicked winter weather leading to what authorities here at JFK has described as a cascading series of issues, including a backlog of flights and stranded passengers and then on Sunday, an actual cascade of water inside terminal four, all of this caused by a pipe that burst.

That flooded the arrivals wing or at least a portion of the arrivals wing within terminal four. It prompted the shutdown of some international flights that are arriving in the terminal. Authorities now trying to get to bottom of what caused it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll thoroughly investigate why this pipe burst, we will thoroughly investigate why it was not adequately protected. And we'll examine carefully the contingency plans that were in place in order to recover from this event.

And we will determine the accountability and responsibility for the failure that did occur this afternoon.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): The international flights later resuming at just before 8:00 pm on Sunday night. This comes after officials here at JFK have been struggling to try to fully recover. They have been dealing with a series of issues here, for -- from anything from frozen equipment breakdowns to baggage handling complications, even staff shortages as well.

But now officials hoping that with new day, potentially slightly warmer temperatures, there will be an opportunity for operations here at one of the world's busiest airports to be back to normal -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


ALLEN: I'm back at the top of the hour with another hour of news. "WORLD SPORT" is next.