Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Dangerous Storms, Tornadoes in Southeast; New Troubles for Boeing; Massive Toyota Recall; What's Next for Facebook?; BlackBerry 10 Unveiled Today; Tornado Touched Down in Georgia; South Korea Launches Rocket

Aired January 30, 2013 - 12:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: A possible tornado touching down in the Atlanta area, I want to bring in our Chad Myers.

Chad, what do we know?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, we know that north of the city of Atlanta, there is a suburb called Adairsville and it's right along I-75. And there is quite a bit of damage in that town.

We were on live with it when it was on the ground. We knew that it was going to be right through the city of Adairsville.

It seems like Poplar Springs may be a heavily damaged -- the most heavily damaged street there, maybe around Cherry. And, as it crossed Highway 41, this tornado eventually went all the way over I-75, knocked at least a tractor-trailer over.

We are hearing of other cars that were actually turned over and smashed right on down to the roof where there's almost no room for you. This is always the dangerous part of being in a car, if it gets flipped over and it gets smashed up on its roof.

We do know that there are still people being taken out of buildings that are damaged. They're injured. They are still setting up triage units. They are bringing in mutual aid, which means that areas around this area, towns can send their police and their special people to this area, the public safety people, to try to get all these other people rescued to make sure that everybody is OK.

It's going to be a long day in Georgia and even into eastern Alabama. More tornadoes are probably possible. Today, we have a tornado watch in effect.

This was an early tornado. This was 11:00 in the morning, Eastern time. As the day goes on, the air might warm with up a little bit from a little bit of sunshine and that could increase the potential for tornadoes. That is a very large funnel. That is on the ground. That's at least an F2.

MALVEAUX: Yeah, Chad, describe here for us what we're seeing, if you will, because, to me, that looks pretty big, but I'm not a tornado expert. Describe what we're seeing, how big you think it is. What are the conditions there?

MYERS: This is the video I was talking about 10 minutes ago and I said, I've seen it. It's impressive. We're just trying to get permission and this is from our affiliate WSB.

It's hard to say how big this tornado is because I don't know how far the photographer. He said he's a quarter mile away from this tornado. If that's true, then this is only an F1 or a -2 tornado.

It's kind of fat, but it may not have 140-mile-per-hour winds. And, if we were, let's say, eight miles from that tornado and that's how big it looked, then you would know it would be an F4 or F5. It would be a huge tornado.

But I don't believe that to be the fact because, in fact, we were looking right at it and listening to the reporter as this was happening on WSB, saying that this is only a quarter mile away. And, so, if that's only a quarter mile away, that storm is not a mile wide, obviously.

MALVEAUX: All right, Chad. We're going to get back to you because, obviously, if there are more tornadoes, this is going to be a really rough day for a lot of folks here in the Atlanta area, as well as around the country.

We are also keeping a close eye on the markets, as well. The Dow, slightly below 14,000. Yep, you see about 13,939. Last time, it closed at above 14,000 back in 2007. We're going to be watching that, as well.

And, if you drive a Toyota, you've got to listen to this. Toyota just announced a massive recall. It could affect more than a million cars on the road now. The company is concerned about air bag control problems. That is in 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars. They were sold between 2003 and 2004. Also, a problem with the windshield wipers, that is in the Lexus IS Models sold between 2006 and 2012.

Of course, now, if you want to travel, a note to those of you who are booking a flight. Boeing, the company that makes the Dreamliner 787, says it expects no big financial loss. This is after the entire fleet of Dreamliners was grounded because of battery problems. But there might be new trouble for Boeing, a Japanese carrier now reportedly talking about more battery problems than what we have initially reported.

Want to bring in our Richard Quest out of London. Richard, this is coming from "The New York Times," reporting battery problems, as well. Tell us what we know.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we know is that ANA, which is the largest user of the Dreamliner, has 17 of the aircraft, was also the launch customer.

ANA says that, in the previous months, it had replaced on the ground many of the batteries. I think it was about 10 or 12 batteries that they had replaced and sent back to the manufacturers because they had -- they weren't performing properly or they had malfunctioned.

Now, the reason this wasn't elevated any higher was because that no flights were cancelled. The manufacturers say this is all part of the normal course of maintenance and these things happen. But bearing in mind, Suzanne, that the Dreamliner batteries are now very firmly the focus of the investigation, it does start to raise the eyebrows.

And, Suzanne, what we are now hearing is that the batteries, per se, seem to be OK. There haven't found any anomalies. There's no faults. They didn't overcharge or undercharge.

So, now, the attention has shifted to another country, this one that makes the monitoring equipment because lithium-ion batteries, which are known to be unstable, have to be carefully monitored. We do know that now that is the focus.

MALVEAUX: So, Richard, what does this mean for travelers here? If you're somebody who's booked a flight on ANA, are you in trouble?

QUEST: Oh, absolutely not. I mean, the airlines are well and truly canceling flights at one level, but they're using other equipment. They're using existing aircraft. They are bringing in. They are leasing. You know, there are only 50 Dreamliners in the fleet and Ana is probably the worst affected. And they could do other things by leasing and planes.

Boeing, at its earnings announcement today -- it's worth just talking for a second about Boeing -- says that they believe progress is being made. They have hundreds of experts working on it.

And I'm going to give you the quote from Boeing from the chairman and CEO who says, "We will get to the bottom of this."

MALVEAUX: All right, Richard. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Well, you might remember what happened last year when Facebook stock went public, right? It tanked. But, now, CEO Mark Zuckerberg might be turning that around, getting investors to "like" Facebook again.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Facebook started off on rocky footing, right, with the public launch, stock launch. Now, investors are starting to see what they like.

Yep, Dan Simon takes a look at Facebook's innovations and the emboldened leader, Mark Zuckerberg.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: Our mission is to make the world more open and connected.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expanded the mission when he recently unveiled the company's latest innovation called "Graph Search," a new tool to help users dig for what their friends have posted.

ZUCKERBERG: It's something that no other company has and it's the reason why we are able to build a product like this.

SIMON: Wall Street seems impressed with the company's focus, pushing the stock up in recent weeks to a five-month high after the tumultuous debut. It has been a wild ride since the company went public last May. The stock, which debuted at $38, briefly climbed to $45, then went spiraling, eventually tumbling to a low of $17.

Here at Facebook headquarters, the memory of that day quickly faded as the stock price took a nose dive. There were renewed questions about the company's ability to generate revenue and whether it can stay well ahead of the competition.

Google Plus, Twitter and now even Yahoo! with its promising photo app, Flickr, are each trying to slow Facebook's momentum.

GREG GRETSCH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SIGMA WEST: Mark Zuckerberg doesn't lay awake at night thinking about Google Plus. He lays awake at night thinking about the next Instagram.

SIMON: That was Silicon Valley venture capitalist Greg Gretsch prior to the IPO and shortly after a cautious Zuckerberg took rival Instagram off the table, buying it for a billion dollars. Questioned at the time, most Valley insiders see the large price tag as a worthy investment.

GRETSCH: I think it was definitely a smart acquisition. You know, the challenge is, in some sense, they were playing with funny money. You know, the value that the market was giving them for their company was so high that, you know, do you give up 1 percent to a small company that has the chance to take over your user base? It's an insurance policy and it's a small price.

SIMON: The jury is still out on Facebook's other moves, such as Gifts, the company's entry into e-commerce, as well as smartphone advertising, increasingly seen as the key to Facebook's growth.

GRETSCH: On mobile, they are doing a very good job now in putting a lot of focus on mobile, but they haven't really addressed the monetization challenge on mobile yet.

SIMON: No one is quite sure how smartphone ads will evolve on Facebook given the smaller real estate compared to a desktop or laptop.

What is clear is how its CEO has evolved. Zuckerberg appears more confident each time he steps in the public view. He's come a long way. This is one of his early interview with CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did the company start?

ZUCKERBERG: Well, it didn't start as a company. I was a sophomore at Harvard and we needed to -- I guess -- I've never really been asked how the company was started before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did Facebook start?

ZUCKERBERG: Now, I'm all embarrassed. You would think that I would have been asked that like a ton of times.

SIMON: The more seasoned executive also is getting more political, agreeing to host a fundraiser next month for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He's kept a low profile when it comes to partisan politics, supporting both Democrats and Republicans alike.

As for Facebook, while its stock has now apparently stabilized, questions remain whether it can truly be the cash cow so many investors were banking on.

Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Today, the new BlackBerry 10 was officially unveiled in New York. Here's the big change. There is no more keyboard. It's all touch screen. It's kind of like the iPhone.

Also, for folks who use the BlackBerry for work and have a different phone for home, you can actually combine them now. So, the phone allows the device to be split.

So the corporate side can adhere to company rules, things like that and, on the personal side, the company is going to not have access to your tweets and your personal photos.

Alicia Keys was introduced as BlackBerry's new global creative director at today's unveiling. The Grammy-winning singer says she's going to be working closely with app designers to create ideas for the phone's future. Pretty cool.

And the Taliban tried to kill her for speaking out for women's rights in Pakistan but Malala Yousufzai was proven a fighter. We're going to take a look at her next challenge.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: You might remember the Pakistani teen who was shot in the head last October for speaking out for girls rights to education. Well, there is some good news today. A series of surgeries on Malala Yousafzai will soon be over. Doctors say she only has two more to go. One will insert a titanium plate to cover an opening in her skull.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. DAVE ROSSER, QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL, BIRMINGHAM: Very simply speaking, this is putting a titanium plate, especially made, custom made titanium plate over the deficit in her skull, which is this sort of size in the left hand side of her skull. Clearly this is primarily to offer physical protection to her brain in the same way as a normal skull was -- would. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: We wish her the best in her recovery. She is only 15 years old.

All right, check it out. It's a monster wave. And I don't know if you can actually see him. There you do. OK. This wave, a hundred feet wide, and that is a surfer somehow staying on the board. There he is. You see him. This is legendary surfer Garrett McNamara. And if it is certified here, this could be the biggest wave that anybody has ever surfed. This happened on Monday off the coast of Portugal and McNamara talked to Anderson Cooper about it last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARRETT MCNAMARA, PRO SURFER: Oh, it was just this endless drop. And my feet were popping out of the straps. It felt -- it was like my whole body was chattering and it was really difficult. One of the longest, hardest drops I've ever dealt with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: That is so awesome. Just watching that. Can't keep your eyes off of it, really. Police -- people from the Guinness Book of World Records, they say that they are going over this video to see if, in fact, this is the biggest wave ever conquered. And, by the way, the old record, well, Garrett McNamara, he has got that one, too. Two years ago he set the record in the same spot.

Back in the '50s, '60s, the U.S. and Russia defined the space race. Well, now, North and South Korea, they are sending rockets up. It has less to do with space travel, more to do with weapons. We're going to explain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Got more severe weather, tornadoes touching down in Georgia. Got the very latest from Chad Myers.

Chad, I understand we've got new information now.

MYERS: Right. You know, two hours ago we had a tornado touching down in Adairsville, Georgia, and rolled right through that town. Now, two hours later, we still have another storm, but just a little bit farther to the south.

This system goes all the way from Pittsburgh, all the way down to the Gulf Coast. And there's Atlanta, Georgia, here. There's a town, a little suburb of Atlanta called Dallas, Georgia. And, Dallas, Georgia, you need to be taking cover right now. There is a tornado right there for your warning. I would suspect that this is probably on the ground as well for Dallas, Georgia, heading on up to be -- that would be Acworth or Kennesaw, Georgia, in the next 15 or 20 minutes.

This is pretty serious. This is about the same rotation that I saw with the Adairsville tornado. That was on the ground for sure. We've got video of that. This tornado is probably on the ground as well.

That is the tornado we had in Georgia just two hours ago rolling through a town up on I-75, about 30 or 40 miles north of the city of Atlanta. There are more storms developing southwest of Atlanta City Proper. So pay attention for the next few hours. This could get very interesting.

MALVEAUX: Chad, give us a sense of how big that is. Give a sense of the scale, the scope there. We are looking at these pictures. What does this mean for that community?

MYERS: You know, from what I understand, and I'm listening to the scanner of the type of damage that's occurring, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 to 140 miles per hour in the upper range of an F-2 tornado there. A fairly big wedge.

Now, this isn't as big as you would see in Oklahoma and Texas with wind speeds of 200 miles per hour. But a lot of damage here in Georgia with that tornado that was on the ground for quite some time. Quite a few minutes. Maybe as many as 15 as it moved up toward Calhoun, Georgia, as well.

MALVEAUX: Chad, do we have any sense of how many of these tornado that we might actually get this afternoon?

MYERS: I don't have a sense of that right now. I would say no less than 10.

MALVEAUX: Wow, that's a lot.

MYERS: Uh-huh.

MALVEAUX: That's a lot. All right, Chad, keep us updated.

MYERS: I will.

MALVEAUX: Keep us updated on all of this.

Third time is the charm now for South Korea as it blasts its way into the space race. Now, this launch today is being hailed as a success by officials in Seoul. It is the first time the country's home grown space industry has put a satellite now into orbit. Comes after two previous attempts that had failed just after weeks after its communist archrival North Korea launched a rocket of its own. Want to bring in Jim Clancy to talk about what is the significance now that South Korea has gotten into the space race. This is a very elite group of countries that are able to do this.

JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, you know, the people in the South have been looking on and they see the progress the North is making. The South Koreans have decided, we're going to go for it. We're going to spend it.

Significant to note that South Korea purchased the first stage, most important stage of that rocket from a Russian company in order to complete this. But that's what they've been doing in the past. They've been putting up satellites into orbit. They're pretty good at making satellites, but they have somebody else launch them. Now they've come toe to toe with the North Koreans.

The North Koreans, miffed today. Not a word about it on the North Korean website. They're not going to say anything. They're still railing at the U.S. But, you know, there's some significant differences here. The North will undoubtedly cry with anger when they see that the South doesn't get condemned, as they just got condemned, and more sanctions imposed.

MALVEAUX: So could that actually kind of egg on the North -- I mean North Korea to, again, decide that they're going to do something even more?

CLANCY: Well, I don't know whether it's going to egg them on because they were already egged on. You know, they were already so angry about all of this. It will produce, if you will, a little bit of the missile-measuring contest between the South and the North.

But remember something, the South builds televisions, cars and cell phones that are used by people all over the world. North Korea really only makes one great export product, missile technology that it buries underneath bags of cement and ships off to rogue nations around the world. That's where it makes its money. And that's why the U.S. and the U.N. and so many people are angry when North Korea launches missiles and tries to improve that technology.

MALVEAUX: So the fact that you've got what you call this kind of missile-measures competition between these two --

CLANCY: Yes. What --

MALVEAUX: Does this actually mean that it is a more dangerous situation when you've got these two powers that are competing with each other? This has upped the ante, has it not?

CLANCY: Yes, it has. It's largely, you know, between the publics of both of the Koreas. There's this sense of competitions. You know, the South Koreans know that they're technologically superior, so why is the North doing this? They're not spending enough money. And the South Koreans just decided, well, we're going to spend a whole lot more of our GDP in order to do this. But keep in mind -- and people up in the North, yes, they had a successful missile launch. It was all homemade, but we go home, it's 37 degrees right now, cloudy and raining in Pyongyang and nobody, nobody has hot water to take a shower.

MALVEAUX: Yes, and those people are starving, too.

CLANCY: Exactly.

MALVEAUX: I mean, there is no competition at all.

All right, Jim, thank you. Appreciate it.

CLANCY: Great to be with you.

MALVEAUX: We're going to have more after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

A deadly storm system now stretching 1,200 miles from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast. It is now hammering the southeast. This is what it looks like here. Take a look at these pictures. You've got tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, wind gusts stronger than 70 miles an hour. Take a look at that. Pictures of a tornado touching down. This is Adairsville, Georgia. Major damage in Georgia, several other southern states as well.