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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Meningitis Outbreak At Princeton Puts Thousands At Risk; Stores Go To New Lengths To Draw In Black Friday Customers; Buying Marijuana At A Discount; Slew Of Jokes At Toronto Mayor's Expense; Thousands Fleeing Hard-Hit Tacloban After Super-Typhoon; Bill Circulating Congress Guts Obamacare

Aired November 16, 2013 - 07:00   ET

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


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: And new this morning, a meningitis outbreak in an Ivy League University. A rare strain putting thousands of students at risk. Now, the CDC is prepared to make an unprecedented move.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: You've saved the coins all year. Now, the deal is trickling out - the retailers are ready. Black Friday frenzy is upon us soon. And you may not believe what some stores are willing to do this year to get all your money.

SAMBOLIN: And buying marijuana at a discount. The Groupon of pot has arrived, seriously.

I can't believe I've just read this.

BLACKWELL: Everybody loves a discount.

SAMBOLIN: All right, good morning everyone. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, good to have you with us. Seven o'clock here at CNN World Headquarters. This is "New Day Saturday."

SAMBOLIN: And one of the top universities in the country is facing a major health scare. And now thousands of students at Princeton University could get an emergency vaccine even though it is not yet approved for use here in the United States. That's to stop a rare and dangerous strain of meningitis from spreading there. It's already struck six students and a visitor to the New Jersey campus as well. CNN's Alexandra Field joins us now from Princeton. Alexandra, tell us more about this emergency vaccine that they're talking about. How soon might students be able to get it?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zoraida, Princeton University trustees are meeting this weekend and they will have to decide whether or not to even make that vaccine available to students. So that decision needs to be made before the vaccine could be administered. It is designed to protect against meningitis B. That's a rare form of meningitis, much less common than the C-strain of meningitis, which is more typically found on college campuses.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FIELD: Princeton University officials are meeting this weekend to discuss possible vaccinations on campus. It's an effort to combat an ongoing outbreak of meningitis B which can cause life-threatening illness. The New Jersey Department of Health says the first case developed when a student returned from spring break in March. After additional cases were reported, an outbreak of the disease was declared in May. A total of six students and one visitor to Princeton are linked to the outbreak. The latest case was diagnosed last week. That student is still hospitalized this morning.

ADAM KROP, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY STUDENT: I remember it was pretty instant, you know, she went from feeling almost fine to the next minute, 103 fever.

FIELD: Bacterial meningitis is rare and the strain causing this outbreak is very rare in the United States. It's not included in currently-available vaccines. The bacteria can cause infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include headache, fever, vomiting, rashes and stiff neck. Those infected need to be treated right away and even those who recover can suffer serious complications such as hearing loss, brain damage and limb amputations.

MARK WHITMAN, DOCTOR AT CAPITAL HEALTH REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: Have to treat it quickly so a community that may have other cases has to be aware of the symptoms because the quicker you put someone on antibiotics, the more likely they are to recover.

FIELD: To combat the disease, the CDC has FDA approval to import the only vaccine for meningitis B as an experimental drug. It's called Bexsero and is approved in Australia and Europe but not yet in the United States. If university and health officials agree to offer the vaccine, it will be available on a voluntary basis, something students will likely consider.

KRISTIE SCHOTT, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY STUDENT: I think a lot of people are concerned for the fact that it didn't go away over the summer after everybody left.

FIELD: So, again, Victor and Zoraida, if the trustees decide to green-light the use of the vaccine, it would be made available to up to 8,000 students on Princeton's campus.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, but now you have to make the decision or, at that point, you'd have to make the decision whether or not you want to be vaccinated with something that is not approved in the United States. Alexandra Field, thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: So it's not been a good week for Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

BLACKWELL: Nope.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: And doctors in Canada are no longer allowed to give heroin to addicts going through withdrawal. Why, it's been a bad week for the mayor of Toronto, hadn't it? That's nothing but a bad -

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: It has been a very bad week for Mayor Ford. In an effort to push Toronto mayor Rob Ford out of office, the city council voted Friday to strip him of key powers, including his ability to govern during an emergency and appoint committee chairs.

SAMBOLIN: For the funny man of late night, Ford's refusal to step down is providing plenty to laugh about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, COMEDIAN: Up in the city of Toronto, Canada, this is the time of year they put up the giant crack pipe.

JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN: This is announced and this is true, he's going to start hosting a TV show with his brother in Canada. It raised a lot of questions, starting with, 'Where can I get Canadian TV?' I got to see this. I want cable. Give me a (inaudible). I want to see (inaudible). That's right. He says he doesn't really know if he'll be a good TV host, but he's willing to take a crack at it.

LETTERMAN: And Christmas got off to a bad start. Santa had to fire one of his elves for smoking crack.

LENO: They're going to have a TV show - that's depressing, isn't it? This maniac'll have a TV show and I won't. I got to start -

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Seems like he just keeps walking into it.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, he gives a lot (inaudible).

BLACKWELL: He is wading into this, I mean the pressure of course mounting for him to step aside or at least take a break, but of course not everyone is calling for his resignation. His wife is one of those who is standing by his side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RENATA FORD, TORONTO MAYOR'S WIFE: I think my husband's said already enough. Please respect our privacy.

Female: What are your thoughts about what happened today? Why did he do that? Why does he stay (inaudible)?

R. FORD: We want some privacy for our family, thank you.

Females: (Inaudible)

R. FORD: No.

Female: Do you think he should (inaudible)?

R. FORD: That's why we have elections.

Female: Do you think he should at least take personal time? Should he at least take a little bit of personal time?

R. FORD: (Inaudible), no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: So you hear very clearly the wife saying that he should not step down, should not take any leave. Ford admitted last week to smoking crack cocaine. Other accusations against the mayor include prostitutes and abuse of power.

BLACKWELL: His brother on the other hand suggested he should take a break. The drama we know does not stop there. This week, Ford came under fire again when he made a really lewd remark on live television. But he later apologized and said he's been under tremendous amounts of stress.

SAMBOLIN: All right, that erratic behavior has many people asking whether Ford is fit to lead. Ford says the accusations against are outright lies and simply not true. BLACKWELL: Our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson joins us live from Toronto. Nick, this story continues to give, day after day. Where are we now in this drama?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And it continued to give on Friday. Do you know the only two people that didn't vote to strip powers from the mayor inside there -- the city hall here -- were him and his brother Councilman Doug Ford. That was the only place on the council floor chamber that we actually heard the mayor speaking, he was very tight-lipped.

But what he said on the floor of the council chamber in defense of trying to take these authorities and powers away from him, he began to question them, he threatened that he would take legal action and ultimately he said this would cost the tax payers money. But incredibly, having said that, he also went on to say, 'Well, if I was in your shoes' - talking to the council members - 'and the mayor did this to me, then I would be taking the same action as you.' All very contradictory. But it amounted at the end of the day to him losing powers and there'll be more votes expected Monday when more powers are likely to be stripped from him. Zoraida, Victor.

SAMBOLIN: And, Nic, I know that you spoke to Ford's brother who is also a member of the council. And early on, we spoke to him and he said that his brother should stay, that you know he's fine and he's taking care of whatever the problem is. Has he changed his mind about that?

ROBERTSON: Publicly, no he hasn't, although what is interesting - and I asked him about the legacy for the family - because they have a little respect for their father who was a politician, that what his brother - Rob - is doing in office and the statements he makes is going to be damaging to the family legacy, this is what he told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOUG FORD, TORONTO MAYOR ROB FORD'S BROTHER: I think our legacy's going to be pretty solid based on how Rob performs. They're going to look at a family that doesn't need to be doing this, that has actually sacrificed massive amounts of time, money, their business to serve the people.

ROBERTSON: Are you worried about his health with all this additional stress? Not just the public, not just the councilors - the family's name is riding here too.

D. FORD: Yes, well I'm confident that the people that actually know us understand what we've done for our community, but they -

ROBERTSON: But this is your brother's health.

D. FORD: That's right.

(CROSS TALK)

D. FORD: A priority - the priority obviously is health. Health comes first over anything. If you don't have your health, you have nothing, so we are confident Rob's going to move forward, and only time will tell. If I sit here and tell you 100 percent Rob Ford's going to be perfect, I can't tell you that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: And I think that's the key here, even his brother knows that he's got problems, admits that he has problems - that the mayor has problems - and isn't even sure whether or not he'll be able to stay on track and keep going. That was a very telling moment. Zoraida, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Nic Robertson in Toronto. Live for us this morning. Thank you. Republicans pushed through a fix for Obamacare but what they call a fix is not what it seems at all. Live in Washington for the explanation.

SAMBOLIN: Plus Alec Baldwin shoots off his mouth at a photographer again. That gets him and his cable talk show defending.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLACKWELL: One week out from one of the strongest storms ever recorded hit the Philippines. Thousands of people now are escaping the devastation in the hardest-hit city of Tacloban. And at the same time, the cleanup crews are moving in and they've now cleared the streets so supplies can finally flow in to the people who are still there. This morning a lot of survivors are seeking refuge in Cebu, that's the Philippine's second largest city.

SAMBOLIN: And the number of those killed sadly continues to rise. The storm is now blamed for more than 3,600 deaths, more than 12,000 others were injured and the search is on for 1,100 people. They are still reported missing.

BLACKWELL: Republicans called this a fix, but a new House bill essentially guts Obamacare. Dozens of Democrats actually abandoned the President and voted for the Republican bill.

SAMBOLIN: So, let's talk to CNN's Erin McPike in Washington. And Erin, at first glance, this still looks like the fix the President offered this week. But there is a distinction. What can you tell us?

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, everyone who's had their plans canceled will be able to, under this Republican plan, extend those plans for another year but it also allows any new customer to buy any of those old plans that have been canceled for another year. And that in effect delays the Affordable Care Act and it changes, the White House says, all of the risk (rules) involved. Well, (Fred Upton) was a Republican who introduced this plan and here's what he had to say about this yesterday in the Situation Room.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED UPTON, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FOR MICHIGAN'S 6TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, REPUBLICAN: We're waiting to see what the - how the administration is going to do this. They told us it was going to work, it hasn't. They told the American public they'd be able to keep their plans that we know that for millions of folks - they cannot - that's not the case. We're trying to remedy some of these situations and not leave our constituents high and dry with nothing to show for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCPIKE: So, obviously what he's saying there is, it's more about a trust issue with President Obama than anything else. Zoraida and Victor.

BLACKWELL: Well, we're creeping up toward the end of the month, and the administration says that's when healthcare.gov will be fixed - all the problems will be fixed. But people are still calling for heads to roll over the rollout. What can you tell us about that?

MCPIKE: Well, we've heard time and time again Republicans calling for Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. They've been calling for her to be fired. But we're now starting to hear even some House Democrats talk about that, but here is the problem with that. If President Obama were to say fire Kathleen Sebelius, he would have to replace her with someone who would then have to go through Senate confirmation. And right now, the White House is in trouble, especially on Capitol Hill and trying to get someone new confirmed would be very difficult for them.

BLACKWELL: And they've already got people in the queue waiting for confirmation. Now Erin McPike in Washington for us this morning. Thank you.

MCPIKE: Of course.

SAMBOLIN: And MSNBC has the (inaudible) Alec Baldwin and his late night talk show off the air. That is happening for two weeks. Why? The actor shouted a gay slur at a photographer this week. He did apologize last night.

BLACKWELL: Yes, here's what he said, "What I said and did this week as I was trying to protect my family, was offensive . . . this undermines hard-fought rights that I vigorously support."

SAMBOLIN: So, Baldwin overheated Thursday right outside his New York apartment. He was struggling to get his wife and his baby into his Mercedes. GLAAD, which is a gay rights organization says Baldwin can't support equality on paper then degrade gay people in practice. BLACKWELL: All right, still to come on "New Day" - Thanksgiving just around the corner. Can you believe -

SAMBOLIN: Inaudible.

BLACKWELL: -- I was going to say the same thing.

SAMBOLIN: My favorite holiday ever.

BLACKWELL: Already - I love Christmas. I love Christmas. I like the whole season. OK, so we're coming up on the holidays, of course means that it's time to start the holiday shopping, right? Well, we're going to tell you where and when to find the absolute best deals.

SAMBOLIN: Have pen and paper ready.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: "Money Time." So these might look like lines for the latest iPhone, but these are actually gamers who lined up this week to buy the new PlayStation 4. Fans come out by the thousands to grab one of these new consoles. The new system focuses on the social element of game play and it features a redesigned controller that you can use with a touch pad. Do you see Victor in that line?

BLACKWELL: No, you sure don't.

SAMBOLIN: Just kidding.

BLACKWELL: Not going to see me out there. Hey, whether you fought your way to get the new PlayStation 4 or you're taking a different approach, there is one universal truth - everybody, everybody likes a good deal. SAMBOLIN: Amen, especially around the holidays, right. And one person who knows how to hunt down really good deals is this guy, Brad Wilson, he is the founder of Bradsdeals.com, a site chock full of money-saving deals. Brad is in my favorite city of Chicago this morning. Good morning to you, Brad. So, tell me -

BRAD WILSON, FOUNDER, BRADSDEALS.COM: Good morning.

SAMBOLIN: -- about something called guaranteed availability. Basically, if I wait in line at a certain time, am I guaranteed the product that I want?

WILSON: Yes, this is a big game changer this Black Friday. The 6 to 7 p.m. hours Thursday evening at Walmart has guaranteed availability. That means that even if they sell out of the item that you're trying to get, you will get a guarantee card that lets you have that item shipped to you prior to Christmas. It completely removes the risk that we're used to dealing with on Black Friday and I think is a big, big game changer for us as consumers.

BLACKWELL: I've been there where you wait in line -- because I do the Black Friday thing. You wait in line for the $7 55-inch television, and then you get in there and it's gone and then you just go home with a crockpot so you don't feel like you wasted your time.

SAMBOLIN: No more.

BLACKWELL: No more. So I get it. Let me ask you, let's stay with electronics for a moment. They're big during the holidays - who offers the best deals and how do we get the best brands for the cheapest price? Because sometimes you get there and you're like, 'Who's making this TV?'

SAMBOLIN: Right.

WILSON: That's a very good point. I mean, even Walmart you know one of their best deals is a 32-inch flat screen TV for $98. But, you know, it's not a name brand. At the same time, a $98 flat screen TV is hard to pass up. You know Best Buy has an Amazon Kindle for $49 which I like, another great deal at Walmart, again, with guaranteed availability, is an iPad Mini for $299 with a $100 Walmart gift card. So it's basically under $200 net. Lowest price ever on an iPad.

SAMBOLIN: So, listen, I have two kids and they love all these electronics, so I want your advice here. PlayStation 4 or Xbox One - which one is your pick and why?

WILSON: Oh, boy, that's a - you know it's so personal in preference - but you know one thing on the deal front, they're going to be real hard to come by. I think your best bet to get a good deal is literally just getting free shipping and maybe paying no sales tax. You're going to have to wait several weeks at least I think until a good deal breaks. Even then, it'll probably just be something that you know comes with a gift card or a free game or something like that.

BLACKWELL: So, Brad, the holiday shopping season is a bridge, let's call it, because Thanksgiving's on the 28th and then we've only got maybe three and a half weeks until Christmas day. Is the best time to shop right after Thanksgiving or that week right before Christmas when they're trying to sell as much as they can? When's the best week to shop so we can save the most money?

WILSON: Yes, Victor, great question, so the weekend of Thanksgiving is an incredibly popular time. It's one of the most broad-based sales of the year. It's almost like shooting fish in a barrel as far as getting a good deal. Another time that's really popular with consumers at Brad's Deals is the few days right before Christmas and the last week of the year.

So, really the last ten days of the year. It's not yearly as broad- based, but there are great deals that are more a function - they're sort of inventory-driven deals which are some of my favorite. You can't always count on finding exactly what you're looking for, but you can count on getting incredibly-good prices. I don't like the heart of the holiday shopping season. So, it's really a shop early or shop late strategy.

SAMBOLIN: Shop late. I hate that. All right.

BLACKWELL: I'm good going early.

SAMBOLIN: Great advice - really appreciate it. Brad Wilson, founder of Bradsdeals.com. Thank you very much. You know they're open on Thanksgiving all day for shopping this year, so -

BLACKWELL: And you know there are some people who are angry at the stores who are open all day -

SAMBOLIN: I know.

BLACKWELL: Because they don't give time for their families -

SAMBOLIN: (Inaudible)

BLACKWELL: -- yes. So the employees can be with their families. Hey, this is something a lot of families are concerned about. It's happening at Princeton University. Students there - some of them say - they're scared. A potentially deadly disease has hit the campus and now school officials - they're scrambling to stop it.

SAMBOLIN: Plus we have dramatic new video of a mall shooting and how the shoppers made it out alive.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: It is the bottom of the hour, welcome back. I'm Zoradia Sambolin.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to have you with us. Let's start with five things you need to know for your "New Day." Up first, Princeton University is trying to stop the spread of a potentially deadly strain of meningitis on its campus. And right now it's considering whether to offer students a vaccine that's been so far only approved overseas. But since March, six students and another person visiting the campus, have become ill with this bacterial disease. The most recent case was diagnosed just last week.

SAMBOLIN: And number two on the list, a former LA teacher who took photos of students in bondage gear pleaded no contest in his trial. Mark Berndt was sentenced to 25 years in prison on 23 counts of committing lewd acts on children. His victims included 23 children, mostly girls, between the ages of seven and 10 years old. Berndt's lawyer says he is profoundly remorseful.

BLACKWELL: Look at your screen. This is new video. It's showing people running for their lives, a gunman dressed in all black, he's wearing a motorcycle helmet. He came into the mall and police in New Jersey - this happened in New Jersey - they released the video from this incident. It happened on November 4th. They say the gunman who is 20-year-old Richard Shoop, never intended to shoot or kill anyone but himself. He was found dead in a back room.

SAMBOLIN: And number four, J.P. Morgan reached a $4 and a half billion settlement with mortgage investors. The bank was accused of bundling together bad mortgages and then selling them with a top rating to other banks and investors, in the lead up to the financial crisis.

BLACKWELL: Number five now, construction workers are tearing down homes in Kansas City, Missouri because of the threat from a sinkhole. Look at this. Some of the homes were evacuated a couple of weeks ago, but tenants and others say their belongings are still in their homes, and now they have nowhere to go. The owners say they're trying their best to just help their neighbors.

SAMBOLIN: Gosh, seems like that's happening more and more often, right?

BLACKWELL: Yes, they had the one in Florida too.

SAMBOLIN: Terrible for the families.

BLACKWELL: Let's get more on that potentially dangerous meningitis outbreak. It's hit the Ivy League campus of Princeton University.

SAMBOLIN: Right, seven people at the school have fallen ill, and now the student body could get an emergency vaccine, we understand, to keep them in health. University trustees are deciding whether to green-light the vaccine this weekend.

BLACKWELL: Dr. William Schaffner is an infectious disease expert and professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt. He's with us on the phone from Nashville. Good to have you with us. Our first question for you, meningitis B - this is a very unusual form of this disease, right?

WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, DOCTOR AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT AND PROFESSOR OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY: It is, Victor, yes. Usually when you see this kind of meningitis on a campus, it's meningitis C, so this is very, very unusual. And of course, meningitis B is not in the vaccine that we currently use. That's why they have to go abroad to get a vaccine that has been used in Europe and Australia.

SAMBOLIN: So do we know why this seems unusual? It has not affected the faculty at Princeton. It seems that it's only the college students that are becoming infected. Do we know why?

SCHAFFNER: We don't and isn't that curious, Zoraida?

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

SCHAFFNER: And you know this is also a disease that occasionally occurs more frequently just in the state of Oregon in the United States, and we've never understood that either. So, why this is occurring is not clear, but the trick that everybody's working on now - the CDC, the New Jersey Department of Health, the folks in Princeton - is how to stop it, how to prevent further cases.

BLACKWELL: So there's this possibility that they could bring in this vaccine that's only been approved abroad - what's the protocol for this? I mean, if you have something that you need to cure, you need to stop, but don't really have anything legal to stop it?

SCHAFFNER: Actually, we have mechanism so that can be done legally, but it's very elaborate. You have to bring it in, you have to educate everybody about this vaccine, then they have to sign disclaimers or forms that let everyone know that they've understood it, and only volunteers of course will receive the vaccine. So it would be done under very careful supervision and follow up.

SAMBOLIN: Well, Dr. Schaffner, that seems much like an experiment, doesn't it? And you know the parents who have children at the school, is there a reason to be concerned about this?

SCHAFFNER: I think not actually. This is going to be done in a very rigorous way and if I were a parent I would be very interested in getting the information and generally accepting, and if I were around that table with the board of trustees, I would be gently encouraging them to do this.

SAMBOLIN: How interesting. All right, I guess you know the alternative is you could die from meningitis., so I suppose you know -

BLACKWELL: Some people will choose to take it.

SAMBOLIN: -- could do something. Yes.

BLACKWELL: All right, Dr. William Schaffner, thank you so much for sharing your insight with us. Cleared up a lot of questions and actually created another one - Oregon.

SAMBOLIN: Right. Isn't that bizarre?

BLACKWELL: (Inaudible) we see it and -

SAMBOLIN: It's the why we don't understand.

BLACKWELL: Yes. A lot of those students will be heading home soon for Thanksgiving break.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Because Thanksgiving is just days away - I mean, that may be you know 14 days - but days away and it already feels like the dead of winter in some parts of the country. SAMBOLIN: It sure does. This is what it looked like outside of Portland Friday.

BLACKWELL: Look at this. I mean, let's go to Washington too.

SAMBOLIN: A winter wonderland I'll call it.

BLACKWELL: You call it a wonderland, they're probably calling it something else. Snow, slush here in Washington - is there more on the way?

SAMBOLIN: All right, meteorologist Samantha Mohr - she has the fine job of breaking it all down for us. Good morning.

SAMANTHA MOHR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. Like my dad used to say, that dirty white stuff. You'd get up in the morning and then have to get out the shovel But you have the snow coming down here at about a rate of an inch an hour or so, so really coming down in snow quantity (inaudible). Be careful if you're going to be traveling across Interstate 90 and you can see how unsettled it is all across Oregon, Washington, Idaho in the mountains and into Montana as well. So we're seeing the snow really come down here.

We have winter storm warnings still in place as we head through tonight and then into tomorrow once we get a little bit further to the east as this low pressure system - a very deep one - joins forces with another and we're going to see the potential for severe weather. That means strong, gusty winds, large hail, maybe even some tornados overnight and then tomorrow here, across much of Illinois, Indiana and into the Ohio Valley.

So this is going to be something we're going to have to stay on top of over the course of the weekend. Then the cold air moves in, so much cooler temperature. Temperatures dropping some 15 to 20 degrees - so get out the long johns, Zoraida and Victor, and -

SAMBOLIN: I'm ready.

MOHR: -- maybe keep those snow shovels handy.

BLACKWELL: You got your long johns ready? All right.

MOHR: I do.

BLACKWELL: Samantha Mohr, thank you.

MOHR: You bet.

SAMBOLIN: All right and up next, Lady Gaga hosting SNL tonight. She's also coming clean about her past drug use. Did you hear? Coming up, we're going to tell you what she's saying.

BLACKWELL: Plus, it's been almost 15 years since "The Best Man" hit the big screen. I have a lot of friends who went last night to see the sequel. So, is it a hit or is it a miss?

SAMBOLIN: What do they think?

BLACKWELL: They liked it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back, 39 minutes past the hour. I wish you could be here during the commercial breaks. It is so much fun.

BLACKWELL: So much fun.

SAMBOLIN: So we're in the "E Block," and that means that it's time for entertainment news.

BLACKWELL: Yes, let's start with Lady Gaga. She's hosting SNL tonight. You know she's got the new album, ARTPOP, coming out and she's also coming clean about her use of marijuana. Now I want you to listen to what she told Elvis Duran and Z100, the Morning Show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LADY GAGA, POP MUSIC STAR: Yes, I have been addicted to it and it's ultimately related to anxiety coping. And it's a form of self- medication and I was smoking up to 15 to 20 marijuana cigarettes a day with no tobacco.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a lot. (Inaudible)

GAGA: Yes, and I was living on a totally other psychedelic plain, numbing myself completely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: All right, so V103 entertainment correspondent Kendra G joins us now. I was listening to this interview. I had all sorts of judgments during that. How did other people react to it? That's a high quantity, don't you think? A large quantity.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KENDRA G, ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT, V-103: It's a large quantity but she is a rock star. But, why were you judgmental? I appreciated her honesty. I think that you know, I'm not saying that it's right, but I appreciate her going on the radio and talking about the fact that she was addicted to it and she was being real with it. I love that about her.

SAMBOLIN: Did you, I guess as a parent I was thinking 'oh, my gosh,' you know, their kids are watching this an you know -

BLACKWELL: Is she sending the wrong message?

SAMBOLIN: (Inaudible).

KENDRA G: But did you hear the whole interview? She's telling you that it's not a good thing.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, yes.

KENDRA G: And that she doesn't recommend it, and that's why she's speaking out about it, and as a parent, you should love that part the most because she's being vocal about this. Because most people think that you can't be addicted to marijuana, but you can be. And I thinks that's great that she's being honest with that.

BLACKWELL: You know, we have seen a lot from Lady Gaga. She talks about this. The last time you were here we talked about her confession of using Molly and you should be careful when using it.

KENDRA G: Yes.

BLACKWELL: I mean, what does this impact her - her decisions - the costumes, the performances? Do you think that those two things play together?

KENDRA G: Well, that's the thing about Lady Gaga. I am a Lady Gaga fan. I love the fact that she's pushing you know music forward with being creative in all types of ways. But you know, speaking of Molly, I said this the last time I was here, a lot of celebrities do partake in drugs. And they may not talk about it though. But Lady Gaga's being vocal and she's being honest and she's telling you about her experience. But she's also saying that she doesn't recommend for her monster fans to partake in it. And I just think it's - it all comes tighter with who Lady Gaga is. I really do.

SAMBOLIN: Fair enough that it's full circle like that.

KENDRA G: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: Don't do it.

KENDRA G: She is.

SAMBOLIN: All right, let's talk about SNL tonight - she's hosting. What's going to happen?

KENDRA G: Oh my God. Well, you know what, Kerry Washington did a great job -

BLACKWELL: Yes, yes.

KENDRA G: -- so she has a high level to live up to. But I'm looking forward to it. I mean, Lady Gaga she loves the costume change. I think she's always in character anyways. This is going to be fun to watch.

BLACKWELL: All right, we're looking forward to it. Let's talk about Mariah Carey.

KENDRA G: Oh, let's talk about her.

BLACKWELL: She opened up about her experience -

KENDRA G: She did.

BLACKWELL: As a judge on "American Idol."

KENDRA G: She did.

BLACKWELL: Let's listen to what she says.

KENDRA G: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIAH CAREY, SINGER AND FORMER "AMERICAN IDOL" JUDGE: It was like hell going to work every day in hell with Satan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really?

CAREY: No, I'm just playing. Well it didn't affect me that much. I was just like, I was disappointed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: OK, so clearly pretty candid.

KENDRA G: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Like going to work with Satan.

KENDRA G: Wow.

BLACKWELL: Are you surprised by that?

KENDRA G: I'm not surprised by that. First of all, let me say this, I love Mariah Carey. But Mariah Carey has to own up to how she was not that friendly to Nicki Minaj. Clearly she's talking about Nicki Minaj.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KENDRA G: They did not have the best friendship when they were the judges on American Idol. But I think Mariah Carey did not respect Nicki Minaj as a true artist - you know, Nicki Minaj achieved a lot of success in a short amount of time, and I think Mariah Carey didn't respect that. And that's why they bumped heads so much. But I respect Mariah Carey, but I'm not really feeling that comment at all to be honest with you.

SAMBOLIN: All right, I cannot let you go without talking about what you came in talking about.

KENDRA G: Let me tell you, this movie I've seen a few times - "The Best Man Holiday" - it's not a black movie - I want to get that out there. It's a movie for anyone who has a heart - if you have a (post), you will love this movie. I'm going to see it again today, I'm going to take Victor. I know you're squeaky -

BLACKWELL: Yes.

KENDRA G: -- but you're still going to the movies later on today.

BLACKWELL: I don't go to movie theaters - I wait for it to come out on DVD.

SAMBOLIN: (Inaudible) this is the third time you went, right?

KENDRA G: Oh, yes, yes.

BLACKWELL: The third time.

KENDRA G: Oh, you have to go because you're paying. I didn't tell you that part?

BLACKWELL: Whoa, no.

KENDRA G: We're going to the movie theater. But on a serious note, it's such a good movie, you know. The Best Man - the first one - is a classic. This one lives up to that. It may even be even better.

(CROSS TALK)

SAMBOLIN: All right.

BLACKWELL: All right. Looking forward to it. Kendra G, it's always fun.

KENDRA G: Yes, we were ladies in red today. Where's your red, Victor.

BLACKWELL: I didn't get the memo.

KENDRA G: Get it together.

BLACKWELL: Take care, dear.

KENDRA G: Thank you.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Do potheads clip coupons?

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: Seriously, folks?

BLACKWELL: That's where we're going next. A new business in Colorado - well they hope so -

SAMBOLIN: Wow.

BLACKWELL: It's the latest way people are cashing on - what 'a being called the dream rush.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Coming up on 48 after the hour, so here's the question - are potheads savvy shoppers? I mean, do they like to save money? A web site, you know -

SAMBOLIN: Apparently they do.

BLACKWELL: --(inaudible). Yes, they do.

SAMBOLIN: Entrepreneurs are rushing to cash in on legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington. CNN's Ana Cabrera looks at the latest business opportunity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How popular is pot? Just ask Neal Bigelow.

NEAL BIGELOW, DISPENSARY MANAGER: Even with ourselves growing it in 10,000 square foot warehouses, it's hard to keep up with that demand.

CABRERA: He runs one of the 520 medical marijuana dispensaries with doors open in Colorado. His shop has 300 members, purchasing pot for upwards of $200 an ounce.

RYAN SHAPIRO, CANNA-SAVER.COM FOUNDER: The new green rush is what everybody is calling it.

CABRERA: Ryan Shapiro plans to capitalize on what's estimated to be a $1 and a half billion industry nationwide. This professional CPA doesn't use the drug himself, but believes the buds hold big business. He's the founder of Canna-Saver.com, a start-up cannabis coupon company.

SHAPIRO: People have been calling us the group out of marijuana.

CABRERA: Pot shops pay a monthly subscription fee to post deals on the site.

SHAPIRO: Here's 10 percent off concentrates.

CABRERA: In the past four months, since the site went live, Shapiro says he's seen 30 stores subscribe with 65 coupons up for grabs. Female: So what kind of deal is this? Two ounces for $300 including tax Sunday through Wednesday. Is that a pretty good deal.

DONALD CARSON, MEDICAL MARIJUANA USER: Yes, that's a very good deal. Yes. That's about $50 savings I think.

GROUP: Donald Carson says he uses marijuana daily for headaches. He hadn't heard of Canna-Saver before we showed it to him.

CARSON: That's actually pretty cool.

CABRERA: It's that kind of reaction that's turned dispensary manager Neal Bigelow into a believer. His shop was one of the first to subscribe. He has the coupons to prove people are finding the web site, where he's posted deals on everything from marijuana-infused apple crisp to the nitro torch. BIGELOW: With the Canna-Saver coupon we've actually - we had to reorder them and keep on selling them because it's - we do have a profit margin on them even with the deal.

CABRERA: It's too early to tell whether Canna-Saver has staying power, but its founder is optimistic, saying the site is already making $3,000 a month.. And that's before marijuana is legal to sell for recreational use. That starts in January here in Colorado. Researchers estimate more than $642,000 Coloradans will use the drug next year. That's more than the population of Denver. And with the trend of more and more states around the country legalizing some form of marijuana, Ryan Shapiro believes his marijuana coupon company could be his niche in the already bustling business world of online deals. Ana Cabrera, CNN Denver, Colorado.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Blooming business.

BLACKWELL: Yes, everybody likes a discount.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

BLACKWELL: OK, so this is a true story. I mean, they tell it here - I'm fairly new - but I've heard the story that Ted Turner would wander the halls of CNN in his bathrobe back in the day.

SAMBOLIN: No way.

BLACKWELL: Would wander the halls around the - and he'd quickly tell anyone who'd listen, he was cable before cable was cool.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, so this weekend CNN's Wolf Blitzer has a look at the man who created the cable news genre. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Who thought the world needed 24/7 news?

TED TURNER, FOUNDER OF CNN: I did.

BLITZER: He changed TV news forever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of my colleagues thought Ted was nuts.

JANE FONDA, FORMER WIFE OF TED TURNER: Sailing, media, environment, the United Nations.

TURNER: The billion's a good round number, you know.

BLITZER: You know you changed the world.

TURNER: Yes, I know.

BLITZER: They called him Captain Outrageous and The Mouth of the South.

LARRY KING, TALK SHOW HOST: There's no cut off between the brain and the mouth with Ted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ted was a little unorthodox and a little unpredictable.

BLITZER: He built a media empire. He won the America's Cup. TURNER: Got to go fast as you can here.

BLITZER: The World Series.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He put the Atlanta Braves organization on the map.

BLITZER: And the heart of Jane Fonda.

FONDA: I will never love anyone like I loved him.

BLITZER: Before his world came crashing down.

TURNER: It's been a very painful experience obviously.

BLITZER: A journey like no other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact that he was taken off that focus allowed him to go to the next important phase of his life - the third act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Wolf joins us now with his take on Ted Turner, the Maverick Man.

BLITZER: Victor and Zoraida, it was really a pleasure for me to talk to Ted Turner, reminisce about what he has accomplished over his years, clearly changing the world in many respects creating the Cable News Network - CNN where we all work. It's a concept that's so familiar now to so many people. There are local, national, international news, television news organizations in dozens and dozens of language. Almost everyone has a 24/7 news organization on television nowadays. But you know, when he started that concept, he was the first. He saw that there was more. The world needed more than just a half-hour daily newscast that the three broadcast networks were doing then, and he went with it.

He didn't only put his mouth there, he put his money there as well. Whatever money he had he basically invested - he rolled the dice with CNN, created it, and all these years later, it's such a huge, huge success. And I like to think that you know what he did for TV news is something that - it really is breathtaking.. What Bill Gates or Steve Jobs did for the computers and for internet, Ted did it for TV news, and he really deserves a lot, a lot of credit. Back to guys, Victor, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Definitely revolutionary.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Wolf, we'll be watching and we hope you will be watching as well. See "Ted Turner, The Maverick Man" Sunday night at 7 eastern. It is only going to happen here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Really changed the way people look at news, and if there's big news, they know where to come -

SAMBOLIN: How they can (inaudible) it - that's right.

BLACKWELL: They know that the 24-hour network will have it as long as the story's big. So this is - this is - this is big, at least for a five-year-old. The five-year-old, he can strut his stuff.

SAMBOLIN: Great.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CHILD PERFORMING) SAMBOLIN: (Inaudible) the debut as a drum major was a big hit for the (inaudible) crowd. An even bigger deal on the Web.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Charles Barkley says an NBA player who tweeted the "N" word does not need to apologize.

SAMBOLIN: This started Wednesday during this scuffle when Matt Barnes, the Clippers player was ejected from a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder after he pushed a player in defense of his teammate

BLACKWELL: So, Barnes tweeted, "I love my teammates like family but I'm done standing up for these "N" words. All this expletive does is cost me money."

SAMBOLIN: And with racial slurs at the heart of an NFL bullying allegation, Charles Barkley addressed the "N" word in sports culture and CNN's sister network TNT.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES BARKLEY, HOST, TNT'S "INSIDE THE NBA" SHOW: Matt Barnes, there's no apology needed. I'm a black man. I use the "N" word. I'm going to continue to use the "N" word with my black friends, with my white friends. They are my friends. This debate is going on with the Miami Dolphin thing, about bullying and racial slurs. Hey, Ernie, in a locker room and when I'm with my friends, we use racial slurs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this was appropriate to tweet this out?

BARKLEY: No, no

(CROSS TALK)

BARKLEY: He should not have made it public. But this debate goes back the Paula Deen thing. 'Well, black people use it among themselves, it's in rap records - listen, what I do with my black friends is not up to white America to dictate to me what's appropriate and inappropriate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: How do you feel about this?

BLACKWELL: I am a black man who will not use the "N" word, especially with my white friends, and I have white friends who have used it - it creates an environment. Listen, if people want to use the word to define me, it is what I accept - it is what I answer to - but the - it is not what I'm going to answer to. But the idea that you say that you want to defense this word and the use with your black friends and your white friends to me is something I disagree with.

SAMBOLIN: Well if you think of the history of the word and how it was used -

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: That's what I consider offensive, and I just don't understand anybody - black, white, any color -

BLACKWELL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: -- could think that it's OK to use the world.

BLACKWELL: P.T. Barnum says 'it's not what they call you, it's what you answer to.' And if you answer to that word, that's your choice. Thanks for starting out with - your morning with us here.

SAMBOLIN: We've got much more ahead on "New Day Saturday" which continues right now.

BLACKWELL: Outbreak on campus. A meningitis scare at a major American University - a rare strain - putting thousands of students at risk. And an emergency vaccine could be the only thing to stop it.

SAMBOLIN: It is a crowded field, but only one stands above all the rest, so which car is going to get the top prize? "Automobile Magazine" unveils its pick exclusively here on "New Day."

BLACKWELL: And Batman for a day. How one big city made a little boy's super hero dreams come true.