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South Sudan's President Declares State of Emergency; Freeze and Snow Projected for Northeast; "The Economist" Predicts 2014; Funeral for Transgender; Russians Do Squats for Metro Ride

Aired January 2, 2014 - 12:30   ET


ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Tonight you can see it covers all of New Jersey, Long Island, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, overnight tonight and then in toward tomorrow morning, still in New Jersey, even a little bit of a dusting in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

But by tomorrow afternoon, even by noon, the snow is gone. But that's just the beginning of the trouble, because on the backside of the nor'easter, incredibly gusty winds, thus, those gusts gusting to 40 and 50. That's really where the problems will lie.

So here are the details of the totals, eight to 14 expected in Boston, six to eight in New York, Albany, points west, eight to 12, even in Washington and Philadelphia, four to seven for you.

So you can see, 22 states impacted with a hundred million people, but it's the blizzard warnings, and you can see where they are, on the Cape and Long Island.

That's where the very light, fluffy snow, Suzanne, that doesn't have a lot of water within it, will blow with gusts of 45-miles-per-hour, Visibility's so low. That's why blizzard warnings get put into effect, not so much the amount of snow, the snow falling, the wind and the visibilities.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: All right, get ready.

STEELE: Get ready.

MALVEAUX: We'll be tracking it, every hour. Thank you, Alexandra. Appreciate it.

There are other stories making news AROUND THE WORLD right now.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is in critical condition, after being in a coma for nearly eight years. A hospital spokesman is now saying his organs are failing and close family members are now by his bedside.

Sharon has long symbolized Israel's military might as a former general. He's hated by Arabs for his hard-line policies, which included promoting Jewish settlements in captured territory. But he was also known for his peace efforts, agreeing with the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat on a timeline to halt Israeli-Palestinian violence and resume peace talks.

The former president of Pakistan was supposed to be in court today, but his lawyer tells CNN that Pervez Musharraf is in the hospital now on doctor's orders. He reportedly is being treated for chest pains.

The trial is going to resume on Monday. Now, Musharraf, he is accused of treason for suspending Pakistan's constitution and imposing emergency rule, that back in 2007.

He says he was trying to stabilize the country. Musharraf could face the death penalty.

South Sudan's president has now declared a state of emergency in his country where the spiraling violence is really causing now a humanitarian crisis.

At the same time, there are peace talks that are about to happen between the warring factions.

U.N. peacekeepers, they are trying to protect 200,000 civilians forced from their homes because of all of this violence. They are now living in these makeshift camps. You see how tough it is for them.

Arwa Damon, she is joining us from Juba, South Sudan. What is it like? Tell us what people are going through now.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's an unimaginably difficult situation, Suzanne, for so many here, especially because right before this crisis broke out, by all accounts, things seemed to be going well.

Businesses were coming in, wanting to invest here. People thought that the worst was behind them. And then this violence just exploded, surprisingly, across the entire country.

You're talking about the refugees inside the U.N. camp. There are around 70,000 that are sheltering at various U.N. compounds throughout the entire country.

But the issue is that there are 200,000 internally displaced people, at least. And therefore, most of them have not actually been able to reach these various U.N. installations. That is of grave concern because tens of thousands of people have been living out in the bush, trying to stay safe.

But the U.N. and other international NGOs are saying that they are facing food shortages, a lack of clean water. And then, of course, there is great concern about their medical state, especially the children, diarrhea inside the U.N. camps very prevalent, and that can kill a child. Diarrhea and dehydration can kill a baby.

So great concerns about this growing humanitarian crisis at this stage, Suzanne. MALVEAUX: And, Arwa, you're on the ground. You're talking to people there inside of that country.

Do they believe that peace is possible? Do they believe in these talks that are happening? Do they think that this can turn around?

DAMON: Well, they don't really have a choice but to believe. That's what they're telling us. Because if they don't, if they accept this notion that South Sudan has effectively failed itself, failed its own population, then it would just make life utterly unimaginable.

And people are hoping that this situation is going to return to a certain degree of normalcy, but a lot is riding on the outcome of the peace talks.

A lot is riding on the various position that President Salva Kiir and his former vice president and rebel leader, Riek Machar, decide to take up.

I think a lot of people are really trying to come to grips with this violence, trying to make sense of it, because just so many here, it really just doesn't make sense for the country to have to go through this after all that it has been through at this stage.

MALVEAUX: All right, Arwa, thank you so much. We appreciate it. Please keep us posted, as well.

We have seen a lot of predictions for 2014, but it really is the ones at "The Economist" that got us talking.

The editors have a number of different predictions. They think that extinct animals, for instance, like the little deer on the left there, will be brought back to life.

We're talking more about that and many others, up next.


MALVEAUX: "The Economist" looked inside its crystal ball, come up with a long and fascinating list of global prediction for the year, some of them really surprising, as well.

I want you to take a look at this. This is what they're saying about China. It will be the world's top economy, it will own brand names that you love and we will even be celebrating China's holidays in the United States.

Tom Easton, he's the American finance editor, here to talk about all of these things.

Tom, this is my Dream-O-Vision here, so I've been obsessed over this magazine and these predictions for quite some time.

So let's go through all of the stuff. Let's talk about China first. And you say that China's economy's going to be number one, that that's the big change that we're going to see. How quickly is that going to happen?

TOM EASTON, AMERICAN FINANCE EDITOR, "THE ECONOMIST": We try look forward, and by doing that, next year when you hear from us again, maybe you've forgotten what we predict, so even if we're entirely wrong, we can just make predictions going forward for another year.

So, in fact, we don't set a time on the China piece. We have three, four China pieces and one piece says it will rule the world, but we have two others say it's falling apart. So we can't be wrong on this one.

Our piece that says China will rule the world has a lot of corollaries to it. So, for instance, the Olympics will time itself to the Chinese audience rather than ours, so you'll be up at 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning watching the big events rather than in the afternoon.

Primetime will be totally redesigned. People who want to find a rich husband or wife will go to China to marry somebody. And Chinese people will buy everything in America.

This is written by a British journalists and British journalists love to write incendiary things to alarm Americans about the future of the world.

MALVEAUX: And, Tom, we've got a report that a Chinese tycoon is interested in buying "The New York Times." He says it's not a stunt. He's offered a billion dollars for the paper. "New York Times" says, look, it's not for sale.

But we do know that, realistically, China does own a lot of U.S. brands. What do we expect for 2014?

EASTON: Yeah, so they own things like Geely. Geely own Volvo, which is a Swedish brand, and Lenovo bought IBM, IBM's PC unit.

But, realistically, there are just millions of things that are being created all the time. You know, Google came out of nowhere, and Apple came out of nowhere. And there's just no way another country is going to be able to do this sort of thing and dominate the world.

But it's a nice thing to think about. They will probably buy some name-brand things. We will be alarmed.

I would like to buy "The New York Times," too. My chances of buying it are about as likely as a Chinese billionaire.

But they've tried to make Xinhua, their news service, to be a global service. It hasn't really worked, but there's a lot of money there, a lot.

MALVEAUX: We've got to move ahead, because we've got a lot to talk about here.

You're talking about -- we've been talking about pot, weed, the whole thing here, Colorado making it legal. EASTON: Yeah. We're very optimistic.

MALVEAUX: Washington state, to follow. Then you've got Uruguay is getting involved. Perhaps Mexico will follow.

Do we think this is going to be a new wave across the globe?

EASTON: Yeah, we think this is huge.

For instance, we are predicting by Christmas 2014, you will be able to buy in New Zealand all sorts of synthetic drugs, including one called POW and another called Blueberry Crush.

And that's because, last year , the legislatures in New Zealand passed new laws concerning drugs and they're now doing safety testing. I can't imagine what the safety testing really involves.

But, anyway, there should be more stuff legal. In Uruguay, you can have six plants in your home. If you're in a cooperative -- and who knows how to define that -- you can have 99.

And in Colombia, you can actually create the raw material for cocaine.

So we think that narcotic legalization is going to become far more popular in the year ahead.

MALVEAUX: And this is one that was a little confusing here, the very notion that you can bring back extinct species, and so some of our producers are thinking, what, Jurassic Park?

Is this really real? You've got this picture of this little deer in the magazine and some people say, what, T-Rex next? What's the science behind this? How is it possible?

EASTON: It's a Spanish goat. It died tragically when a tree fell on top of it. It was the last of its species.

And its basic problem is that it avoided being killed in the past by leaping from boulder to boulder, but it liked to be proud when it got away from things and stand up straight at the end and that made it prey for hunters. So it was all wiped out.

So what they did was they took a lot of DNA from the last one and they packed it into another goat and actually there was a child born that died soon thereafter.

But they're pretty optimistic that they can bring this goat back. So for all the people in the world that miss this goat, it will return.

And it raises the idea of dodo birds and woolly mammoths and all the other things that we've missed terribly over the past thousand years, returning to our -- I guess the most optimistic thing is that, if we screw everything up, we can still re-create it in a lab and have a second chance.

MALVEAUX: Really is kind of amazing if you think about it that way. More on a serious note here, you've got countries that you say are ripe for rebellion, 65 different countries at risk or very high risk of social unrest.

Why is that?

EASTON: You know, it's almost half of the world is at risk on social unrest.

And let me just say, among those countries are China, which is, you know, busy buying America, another one of our stories, also certain western European countries, including Spain and Portugal.

You know, the financial crisis took a huge toll. A lot of governments are having a lot of problems in a lot of different places.

America actually does not rate on our list as the most sanguine of all countries. It's at low risk, but not at really low risk like Denmark, so I think as we work our way through these financial problems, and also, there are a lot of big political questions on how governments should be run and what they should be doing, and it's resulted in about half of the world being in some sort of intellectual ferment.

And you're going to see protests all over the place.

MALVEAUX: And I'm going to put this up all at once here. I want you to pick out best one because we're running out of time here.

But these are more predictions -- that robots are going to become more a part of daily life, that you're going to see grand prix for electric cars. You're going to see more tunnels actually connecting the world, and economy seats getting even tighter on the planes. I don't know if they can get any tighter on the planes.

EASTON: Yeah, well, hardly a surprise, right, I mean --

MALVEAUX: That's not a surprise.

EASTON: -- flying is terrible. It will get worse, right?

MALVEAUX: Africa's going to continue to grow, economically, which is a good thing, and the -- and Asians are having fewer children, overseas.

Pick one of them. Pick one of them that you think is really going to --

EASTON: Tunnels, tunnels. We are creating about -- last year we created 650 miles worth of tunnels in the world. We're going to create larger numbers of tunnels going forward.

Austria's connecting with Italy. There's actually talk of China and Korea linking with Japan. This would be both technologically and politically inconceivable decades ago.

So at the time this is a world that's in foment and we're all fighting with each other and we don't know what government should be, we are creating new connections in ever more interesting ways, and it's really a product of just really evolving technology and how to put a hole in the ground.

London's got a ton going on. Who knows? Maybe even Manhattan will get one to New Jersey. The Port Authority was created a hundred years ago to do that and never did.

MALVEAUX: All right.

EASTON: Maybe we can take a lesson from the rest of the world, but it's happening all over the place.

MALVEAUX: All right. We got to leave it there. Tom, you made my dreamavision (ph) come true. I appreciate it.


MALVEAUX: Lots more to talk about. Lots more to think about and potentially see if it -- whether or not it comes to fruition for 2014.

This story, she was brutalized in life, but in death this homeless, drug addicted transgender woman was embraced by the pope's church. Many say it is an example of the emphasis on mercy under Pope Francis. That story up ahead.


MALVEAUX: The pope's church holds funeral services for a homeless, transgender, drug addicted woman. This has never been done before, at least not at the mother church of the Jesuit order, to which Pope Francis belongs, and many say this shows how the pope's emphasis on mercy is reshaping the Roman Catholic Church. Erin McLaughlin has the story.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Andrea Quintero was described as a gentle soul and a devout Catholic. Well-known to charity workers, Andrea gave this interview to local media, just days before she was brutally beaten to death. They have yet to find her killer. Four years ago, transgendered and homeless, Andrea left Colombia for Italy, looking for a society that would accept her for who she was, a man who felt like a woman.

VLADIMIR LUXURIA, TRANSGENDER ACTIVIST: She has been treated by life like the cigarette butt that she was picking up from the streets because she didn't have the money.

MCLAUGHLIN: But in Rome it was no different. In fact, it was worse. She was abused on a regular basis.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): On July 29th, here at Rome's main railway station where Andrea lived with other homeless people, her body was found beaten and stabbed.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): That very same day, on a plane ride from Brazil to the Vatican, Pope Francis uttered the five words that have come to define his papacy - "who am I to judge?," his response to a question about gays and the Catholic Church. And so on December 27th what was previously unthinkable happened, Andrea was honored here with a catholic funeral in a prestigious Jesuit church in Rome.

LUXURIA: I was surprised. We haven't been acknowledged by the Catholic Church. It is as if the Catholic Church say, we see you the way you feel you are.

MCLAUGHLIN: Months after her death, no one from her family has come forward to claim her body. Even so, government officials and activists, even the mayor of Rome, gathered to pay tribute to Andrea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The priest talking about her spoke using "she" I think is a very symbolic gesture of what happened today.

MCLAUGHLIN (on camera): What does that say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That everybody is equal.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Rome.


MALVEAUX: An extraordinary story. Real mercy.

British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, she is now speaking out on U.S. television for the first time since that trial revealed that she used cocaine. Lawson was not on trial, but her two former assistants, they actually were.

Well, they were acquitted of defrauding her and her art dealer ex- husband. But during the trial, Lawson said that she was maliciously vilified by the defense when they chose to put her drug use on trial. Now she admitted taking cocaine several times, but not regularly, towards the end of her stormy 10-year marriage.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You went through a lot and the focus turned sharply on you at times. This was a criminal lawsuit against them, but at times did you feel like you were on trial?

NIGELLA LAWSON, CELEBRITY CHEF: Well, I did, but it's, you know, it's one of the niceties of the English legal system, that you're not allowed any counsel if you're a witness. But, you know, maybe it will change. Maybe that's good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What were those moments like on the witness stand for you?

LAWSON: You know, I can't really remember exactly because you're so focused on answering the questions to the best of your ability that actually you don't have an almost awareness of yourself. Maybe that's a good thing, to have not only your private life but distortions of your private life put on display is mortifying. But, you know, there are - there are people going through an awful lot worse and to dwell on it - dwell on any of it would be self-pity, and I'm - I don't like to do that.


MALVEAUX: Lawson has been nicknamed "the domestic goddess." She has appeared as a judge on the ABC cooking show "The Taste."

Rob Ford, he wants four more years as Toronto's mayor, but will Toronto want four more years of him? He was at the clerk's office first thing this morning filing his re-election papers. He told reporters he was the best mayor that the city's ever had. He didn't talk about the crack smoking or the ranting videos that put him in the headlines last year. The election is set for October 27th.

So, would you rather pay for a ride on the Metro or do this, a bunch of leg squats? That is the choice people have in Moscow right now. We're going to check on -- see how our own reporter did, up next.


MALVEAUX: All right, here is the challenge, 30 rubles or 30 squats? That's about a dollar, by the way. This is a fun experiment that's meant to get people excited about the Winter Olympics in Russia. So people riding Moscow's metro, they were asked to do squats instead of pay for the ride, if they could do it. Our own Phil Black, he tried. Let's check it out.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Beneath the freezing streets of Moscow is the city's underground train system, the metro. It was a source of great pride to the Soviet Union. Some of its stations and platforms are spectacular.

This is a recent attempt to build national pride with the metro. These people are buying tickets. With the Winter Olympics coming to the Russian city of Sochi next February, the government wants people to get excited and get moving. Instead of accepting 30 rubles for a ride, about one dollar, this machine allows people to pay with 30 squats.

We saw lots of enthusiasm, some big age differences, and interesting techniques. Sometimes there was even a lineup. But the numbers were still pretty small. There was only one squatting machine for the whole metro system, which moves as many as 9 million people a day.

The regular ticket booths were getting a lot more traffic. So I asked this woman, why you lazy? Apparently that's a rude question in Russia. She denied it and accepted the challenge. I held her handbag. She squeezed out a confident 30. Apparently you can't call other people lazy without having a go yourself.

BLACK (on camera): OK. It is a bitterly cold Moscow day. What could possibly go wrong? A very popular one, I've noticed, has been, here we go, the superman. It's not counting. There's also the squatting chicken. I've seen that a bit. That's popular. The dancing, Cossack, pretty easy, or so I thought. Fifty-nine, 60. (INAUDIBLE) said one more time.

BLACK (voice-over): Annoyingly, he was right.


BLACK (on camera): No, it said -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE). You need to do it all over again.

BLACK (voice-over): Everyone else seemed to be much happier with the experience. They told us they'd like to see more of the machines and think it's a great way to build Olympic spirit.

Phil Black, CNN, Moscow.


MALVEAUX: All right. Try again, Phil.

Twins actually can be born on different days but how often are they born in different years? That's pretty amazing. This actually happened near Toronto. Little Gabriela, she came into the world at 11:52 p.m. on December 31st. But her twin sister, Sophia, waited for 2014. She arrived about 30 seconds after midnight on January 1st. So the girls will actually have their very own birthdays and birth years. That's pretty cool.

Thanks for watching AROUND THE WORLD. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now. Have a good afternoon.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Right now, blizzard conditions and below zero windchills. You're looking at live pictures from Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh. We're watching the radar, we're watching the roads and the flights as this massive storm marches across the United States.

Right now, marijuana suppliers in Colorado are worried they won't be able to keep up with demand. Turnout at pot shops is so heavy they're having to turn customers away.

And right now, new questions about the future of the Democratic Party. Why Bill de Blasio's rise may make Hillary Clinton and the rest of the 2016 field veer to the left.

Hello, everyone. I'm John Berman. Wolf Blitzer is off today, hopefully somewhere warm because we begin with the first major snowstorm of the season. It is going to have a huge impact on about 100 million people, including all those holiday travelers.