Return to Transcripts main page


Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting; ISIS Bombed Baghdad Market; Gas Price Hikes In Mexico Spark Violence; Trump's Security Pick Plagiarized Book; Queen Elizabeth Attends Sunday Service; Trump To Meet U.K. Prime Minister; Pope Francis Baptizes Babies; The Golden Globes 2017; The Annual Harbin Ice Sculpture Competition Aired 6-7a ET

Aired January 8, 2017 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a planned attack. The suspected gunman is now facing federal charges and potentially the death penalty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Santiago walked into the Anchorage FBI office to report that his mind was being controlled by U.S. intelligence agencies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He himself went after them asked for help and they did nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There seems to be a host of mental health issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think that we should vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee who is well outside the mainstream.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: There is a new standard to not confirm a Supreme Court nominee at all.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Can you believe, it's Sunday already. We're so grateful to have you with us. I am Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I am Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

PAUL: Yes, let's talk about the man accused of killing five people in the Fort Lauderdale airport Friday. He will face federal charges and that's going to happen officially tomorrow.

BLACKWELL: And the death penalty is possible for each of those charges. Investigators say Esteban Santiago confessed to planning the assault and the murder weapon used in the shooting taking away from him after he admitted to hearing voices had been given back to him by police after he was released from a mental facility.

Now a woman who survived the shooting was understandably emotional as she described her brush with that man.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was standing right next to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the baggage claim.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I gave her a gift, and she turned around and I turned around and the pops started, and we hit the ground and I turn around and she was shot in the head and killed.


BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, we are learning more about those who did not survive. Here's CNN correspondent, Boris Sanchez.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Operations are returning to normal here at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport in the aftermath of a gunman opening fire at a baggage claim area Friday killing five people and wounding six others.

CNN has learned the names of two of those killed, Olga Woltering was a great grandmother from Georgia. She flew in to Fort Lauderdale with her husband so the two could go on a cruise. Terry Andres was also on vacation. He was a ship worker from Virginia, celebrating his 63rd birthday with his wife.

Of the six rushed to Broward Health Medical Center, three required surgery, two of them had been shot in the face.

GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: You know, unfortunately, we talked to a family that lost a loved one, you can imagine what they're going through right now, you know, waking up thinking it was going to be another wonderful day in their lives and then lose a loved one.

SANCHEZ: Following an interview with the suspected gunman, Esteban Santiago, investigators revealed that the 26-year-old allegedly came to Fort Lauderdale specifically to carry out this attack and they don't know why this airport was targeted.

Authorities say that in November, Santiago had a gun in his vehicle when he paid a visit to the FBI office Anchorage, Alaska. The former National Guardsman told agents there that he had been hearing voices that told him to watch ISIS videos.

CNN spoke with the Iraq war veteran's aunt in New Jersey over the phone who said, quote, "His mind was not right when he came back from Iraq. He talked about all the destruction and the killing of children. He had visions all the time."

Investigators in Florida tell us the investigation is still in the early stages. Santiago will likely appear before a judge on Monday. The second floor of terminal two has been re-opened to help process passengers.

And there's a bit of good news, one of the six injured being helped at Broward Health is expected to go home soon.


SANCHEZ: We also got the FBI to confirm that Esteban Santiago was armed when he went to visit their field office in Anchorage, Alaska. Apparently, he had a fully loaded weapon inside his car that agents retrieved.

Also inside that car his infant son, which his girlfriend had to go pick up. Important to point out that weapon was confiscated during his mental evaluation. They held it for about a month. It was returned to him ultimately on December 8th.

It turns out that weapon that was confiscated then was the same one used in Friday's attack here in Fort Lauderdale. Boris Sanchez, CNN, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

PAUL: Boris, thank you so much. We are going to address that very issue and more about how this gunman could apparently slip through so many cracks with Tom Fuentes, CNN senior law enforcement analyst. He is also a former assistant director of the FBI. Tom, thank you so much.

I want to play with you a little sound here of what his brother told CNN while in Puerto Rico. Listen to this.


BRYAN SANTIAGO, ACCUSED GUNMAN'S BROTHER (through translator): He himself went after them to ask for help and they did nothing. They had him hospitalized for four days and then they let him go. How are you going to let somebody leave a psychological center after four days when he is saying that he's hearing voices? That the CIA is telling him to join searching crews.


[06:05:10]PAUL: Now we've got a history of domestic abuse and then the man is saying he's hearing voices and having violent visions. What does it -- what does it take to get somebody declared mentally ill and to have something done to help?

TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think that's a question for mental health professionals, because, you know, Christi, in this case I feel so sorry for other family members of Santiago who are also in a way victims of this, but to say that he went for help and didn't get it isn't true.

He went to help, the FBI doesn't specialize in mental health assistance so they call the police who do have a closer dealing with these issues and the police took him for medical and mental evaluation. They took him to a facility for just that.

But unfortunately, the way our laws work, if four days later he decided to check himself out and that's what happens. There's nothing really that the FBI or the local Anchorage police could have done to make sure that he stayed.

And then once he gets out and he's not been judged mentally ill or convicted of a felony but does have pending charges for the alleged strangulation of his girlfriend, but once he is released, he has the right to his property back, which includes the firearm. So there's really nothing the police can do with this, Christi.

PAUL: Let's fast-forward to that one month later when that gun had been confiscated by police. They gave it back to him. That's the gun he used to commit this crime. If you say, Tom, if you had handed that gun back to him and then this happened, would you be questioning protocol? Do you think there is an area or a pocket of change that needs to be had?

FUENTES: Well, absolutely this needs to be looked at. The police have been screaming out for, you know, policy changes with regard to subjects that have mental health issues and also have firearms at the same time, and this has to be addressed by Congress, and it has not been, and that's the problem here.

So there's nothing. The police's hands are tied. They have to give an individual back his property, and you know, he has Second Amendment rights until there's a formal due process that takes a right away, which would be the Second Amendment right for the firearm.

So until he is judged by a mental health professional the police can't force that judgment nor can the family members. So, you know, family members are also equally helpless if not more so and privacy laws prevent other members of a family or the parents from getting any information from the mental health or medical personnel that treat him.

So they are not even allowed to know what the story is with his condition, and that's the situation we have gotten to that the privacy rights of a patient outweigh the general rights of family and law enforcement to address somebody that should not be loose on the street with a firearm.

PAUL: And certainly, highlights again, what our vets need and the fact that they don't seem to be getting it in some capacity, and how do we make that happen for them somehow?

FUENTES: Well, we've been talking about that that 22 veterans commit suicide every single day. They are not getting the treatment they need either, and in this case, it's kind of a very unusual in that instead of the veteran with mental health issues committing suicide, he shot a dozen other people and surrendered, but he still has the same issues that are not addressed.

PAUL: Absolutely. Tom Fuentes, so appreciate your expertise on this. Thank you for being with us.

Next hour, we are going to go to Santiago's last known address, by the way, in Alaska to get more on what happened there before he travelled to Florida.

BLACKWELL: A new warning from the Office of Government Ethics over some of Donald Trump's cabinet picks. The office's director is expressing concern that some nominees have not yet completed the ethics review process which includes disclosing financial reports.

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty joins us now from New York. Sunlen, this comes as the Senate is scheduled to hold confirmation hearings, five on one day alone starting in just a couple of days.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Victor. This is already set up to be a big and busy week on Capitol Hill with a whole slew of confirmation hearings scheduled and something that quite frankly Democrats had already been complaining about.

But this adds new fodder to the Democrats and their complaints about the break-neck schedule. On Wednesday alone, there are five confirmation hearings scheduled.

[06:10:00]The Office of Government Ethics here is basically accusing the Trump transition team of trying to jam through some un-vetted candidates here for cabinet positions saying things like tax returns and financial disclosures have not been thoroughly handed over to them yet.

Now the confirmation hearings in contention, the nominees in question are Trump's pick for the Department of Homeland Security, Education secretary, Commerce secretary, and Department of Housing and Urban Development, that from a Senate Democratic source.

And Democrats on Capitol Hill have been very quick to pick up on these warnings from the OEG, and really highlight that. We heard from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who basically said this amounts to collusion between the Senate Republicans and the Trump transition team.

Schumer is saying Senate Republicans should stop trying to jam through un-vetted nominees -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: And what do we know about the response from the transition team?

SERFATY: Well, the transition team says that they are disappointed by the Democrats push back on all of this. They came out with a statement saying, quote, "In the midst of a historic election where Americans voted to drain the swamp, it is disappointing.

Some have chosen to politicize the process in order to distract from these important issues facing our country. This is a disservice to the country and exactly why voters chose Donald J. Trump as their next president.

You know, the stage was already set here, Victor, for a contentious week on Capitol Hill, but this certainly adds a lot more fuel to that fire.

BLACKWELL: Certainly does. Sunlen Serfaty for us in New York, thank you so much.

PAUL: This is going to be a big conversation, a big topic of conversation, Democrats gearing up for this fight over Trump cabinet nominations. What is it going to look like with the Republicans holding power? We've got a panel of political experts that's here to break it down.

BLACKWELL: Plus, the snow, the rain, California also getting ready for some really bad weather. We have this coming up. Allison Chinchar in the Severe Weather Center.

PAUL: And Donald Trump's national security picks plagiarized multiple media outlets (inaudible). Trump's transition team standing by her. We'll have details on that ahead.


BLACKWELL: It's 14 minutes after the hour now. A big political fight is brewing this week for the incoming Trump administration after the Office of Government Ethics is raising new questions over some cabinet nominees.

Senate committees are holding hearings for several of the president-elect's election starting on Tuesday, you see there. When the attorney general pick, Senator Jeff Sessions, will face-off with his former colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Joining me now, CNN political commentator, Errol Louis and we also have with us the White House correspondent for "The Washington Examiner," Sarah Westwood. Good morning to both of you.

[06:15:07]Errol, I'm going to start with you. Let's put the slate up again. We have on Wednesday alone five picks who are going to be on Capitol Hill for those confirmation hearings including Rex Tillerson. Does it appear to be a rush through from the Trump campaign as we know that Chuck Schumer, the minority leader believes it is?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, Victor, it's only a rush, because these -- for the most part are people that have not served in government. When somebody comes up who is sort of a known quantity, somebody who spent years or even decades in public service, they have been vetted along the way.

And so you have a sense of what their past disclosures would lead you to look at, and in this case, especially with somebody like Rex Tillerson, somebody who has never served in government, somebody who's got an enormous amount of financial dealings and assets and income sources that you have to pick through, it gets to be a little bit more complicated.

So for what it is, these five who have never been vetted before for the most part, yes, that's a big task and the OGE, the Office of Government Ethics, is saying they have not even received preliminary disclosures from a lot of these folks.

BLACKWELL: Yes, saying this has created undo pressure on the office and potentially leaves unknown or unresolved ethics issues. Let's put up the response from the transition team. They write in part to CBS News, their statement, "In the midst of a historic election when Americans voted to drain the swamp, it's disappointing some have chosen to politicize the process in order to distract from important issues facing the country."

Sarah, this is not something that concerns Democrats alone because as it relates to Tillerson go in at the Department of State, there are Republicans who have questions about his connections to Russia.

SARAH WESTWOOD, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Right, and we can certainly expect those to come up in his confirmation hearing, but look the process by which the Senate will confirm these nominees this time around.

It's different than in previous years, because thanks to Harry Reid, Republicans only need 51 votes to get each of these nominees confirmed and they used to need 60, so otherwise, they would have needed help from their Democratic colleagues.

Now they know they don't need any input from Democrats so they have a lot more control over the process this time around than they have in previous years, and it's clear that they realize that and they are going to run the table the way they want to run the table.

If they want to schedule all the hearings on one day, the same day as Trump's press conference, a day after President Obama's farewell speech when they know that the hearings will get minimum coverage.

That's exactly what they are going to do because as much as Democrats and Chuck Schumer in particular wants to drag their feet, there's not much he can do procedurally to stop it.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about a confirmation fight that will further down the road and that's for the soon-to-be or eventual nominee from the president-elect for the Supreme Court. Here first is what the minority leader, Chuck Schumer, said about filling that vacancy, and play right after that Senator Coons, his comments about filling that vacancy and we'll talk.


SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: It's hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support, so you are right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so you will do your best to hold the seat open?

SCHUMER: Absolutely.

SENATOR CHRIS COONS (D), DELAWARE: The Republicans held the seat open for nearly a year by refusing to not have a hearing and not have a vote. I think we should have a hearing and I think we should have a vote because I don't think it's fair and responsible for us to do the same thing to them that they have done to us and continue to grind further downward any possibility of our respect and support for the Supreme Court.


BLACKWELL: So which senator is speaking for the majority of Democrats in the Senate? I mean, is there an appetite among Democrats to keep this fight going and keep that seat vacant for an entire term?

LOUIS: Well, Chuck Schumer is the elected leader of the Democratic conference so he speaks for that conference. I don't know that he would have just on his own just decided, well, what we are going to do is create a major obstruction because I personally feel like it.

There's a bit, I think, of payback, that you know, that the doings and the politics of the Senate they maybe feel like they owe a little delay to kind of settle some scores with their Republican colleagues.

On the other hand, they are much more likely to make sure that they, the Democrats, are not stuck with the label of breaking an institution that until now has been sort of outside of the partisan gridlock in Washington.

[06:20:00]I mean, the delay, the unprecedented delay of having no hearing whatsoever, and not no vote, but no hearing is at the core of all of this and we will see if they at least allow a hearing to take place.

BLACKWELL: Sarah, is it realistic that we could have for the next four years with just eight justices? Is it realistic that the Democrats could hold that seat vacant?

WESTWOOD: No, it's not realistic. I mean, it was unprecedented enough that the seat has been vacant since February and that no hearing was held in the run up to the election. So to delay for four more years would just be virtually unthinkable. I mean, the Democrats would be well within their political right to stall the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee a little bit.

But they raised so much criticism of the Republican decision to stall that hearing it would not make a lot of sense and they would not have a lot of creditability to stretch on the delays for four more years.

And also both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had a chance to layout their decision for who they thought should be nominated to the Supreme Court. That was the decision that voters went into the ballot box realizing they were making.

They were also selecting the next Supreme Court justice so that's understood among the voters that that was a consequence of the election outcome, and so I do suspect the senate will get to this year.

BLACKWELL: All right, Sarah Westwood, Errol Louis, thank you both.

LOUIS: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: And the president-elect starts his biggest week yet thus far, Trump is set to give his first press conference since July, and Trump presidential counselor, Kellyanne Conway, joins Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning at 9 a.m. Eastern.

PAUL: Also President-elect Trump's top national security pick plagiarized large sections of her 2012 book and Trump's transition team is calling the fallout, quote, "Nothing more than a political attack." We'll have details on that coming up.

Also California, it's going to get dicey for you weather-wise. CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar is watching that. Good morning, Allison.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. Yes, over 7 million people under some type of flood or flash flood threat out west including California. We'll tell you why this is not a good thing for drought-stricken California coming up.



BLACKWELL: Heavy rain and snow expected to slam California this week. Look at this. Cars are stuck already in the snow, and this is Truckee, California. Heavy rain expected to pound Northern California, bringing 15 to 20 inches of rain. Few areas are going to see that sometime next week.

PAUL: Now that looks gorgeous, we will put that out there. However, we are talking about 7 million people that right are under some sort of flood advisory out west.

CNN's Allison Chinchar live from the CNN Weather Center. How concerned are you about this?

CHINCHAR: Actually pretty concerned. This is a huge storm. In fact, this could end up being one of the biggest flooding events to hit California in 25 years, and we have been in drought conditions. So on one hand, the rain is very welcomed. They like to have this.

It's just not this much, and it's also for areas of Portland, they are getting a pretty ice storm, could see ice accumulations up to one inch total. Look at the overall rainfall accumulations, widespread in California, four to eight inches of rain.

But there will be some areas that pick up, 10, 15, even 20 inches and the snow pack is going to be incredible for the west, and we are talking accumulations widespread of 6 to 8 inches, and some areas in the Sierra that pick up over three feet.

And we have the winter side of the storm, and it's the winter weather advisories in effect for a lot of these areas, and the radar going forward, this is going to be a system that pulls in an atmospheric river.

Some of that moisture originating around Hawaii. So this again is going to bring in a ton of moisture to an area that on hand would like to see it. On the other hand, you don't want and part of that is the topography that's at play here.

So we kind of talked about what we have now in this particular area, you have the snow pack especially in the Sierra, Nevada, but the one thing to note too is that those snow pack, they are reliant upon in the spring, they need that melt.

So here's the problem, now you add in all this rain, that's actually going to cause a lot of the snow pack to melt and it flows down the mountains into the valleys and can cause flooding.

But you also have the rain that will be falling from above, 6, 8, 15 inches of it that can also cause flooding. So unfortunately, Victor and Christi, we are just looking at a widespread flood potential through at least Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and then that could trigger also some landslides as well.

PAUL: Allison Chinchar, nobody is off limits this weekend. Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: All right, the question here, terror or mental illness? Authorities now revealing the suspected gunman in the Florida airport rampage sought medical help for mental issues before the rampage. How that encounter led to police handing him the gun used in the attack.



PAUL: Welcome back. So good to have you with us. I am Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

Our big story this morning, a deadly plot, potentially months in the making. The FBI now confirming Esteban Santiago specifically targeted the Fort Lauderdale airport. He'll face federal charges tomorrow each carrying the death penalty. And law enforcement sources tell CNN the weapon, the Iraq war vet allegedly used to gun down five people, injured six others as well, was once confiscated during a mental evaluation but then returned to him after he was released.

Our Rachel Crane is live in Fort Lauderdale for us this morning. Rachel, the FBI believes the suspected the gunman really reached out for help before the attack?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Victor. This -- new details immerging, surrounding the state of Santiago's mental health. We know that back in November he turned himself in to a FBI office in Anchorage, Alaska, claiming that he was hearing voices that a U.S. intelligence agency was telling him to watch ISIS videos. FBI agents found a loaded pistol in his car along with his child. The local authorities called Santiago's girlfriend. The child was picked up and that -- the pistol was turned over to local authorities. Now, Santiago did undergo a mental evaluation but it was less than 72 hours, and he was not deemed mentally unsound, so that pistol, that weapon was given back to him a month later and we know that that was the weapon that was used here to carry out this attack -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Rachel Crane for us there in the Fort Lauderdale airport. Thank you so much.

PAUL: New this morning, ISIS said it carried out a suicide car bombing at a Baghdad market that killed at least 11 and wounded so many more. The terror group has been intensifying attacks in the Iraqi capital recently as the U.S. backed defensive closes in on the northern city of Mosul. We should point out Mosul is ISIS' last major Iraqi stronghold.

BLACKWELL: Let me take you to western Mexico where the borders were temporarily shut down on Saturday because of violent protest over the rising price of gas.

Look at this. This is Rosarito near the border of California. Protesters threw rocks at police and blocked government owned petroleum facilities. At one point a protester in a pickup ran into riot police. Fifteen people were injured.

The government has hiked the price of gas between 14 and 20 percent as it tried to deregulate the industry but Mexicans are already battling rising inflation and a weakening currency.

PAUL: Well, a CNN investigation found president-elect Donald Trump's pick for national security Monica Crowley plagiarized hefty sections of her 2012 book "What the Bleep Just Happened" -- the title of the book there.

The conservative commentator and former "Fox News" contributor has nearly 50 examples of plagiarism in that publication where she lifts word for word phrases from various media outlets. This may not have been the first time she has done so as well.

I want to bring in CNN's Brian Stelter who has been looking into this. What are these findings, tell us?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: A big scoop. The KFile team here at CNN looking through her book from about five years ago. This was back when Crowley was a "FOX News" contributor and author. She published this book through HarperCollins, one of the biggest book publishers in the world. And until this KFile investigation it seems that plagiarism (INAUDIBLE) been found before. We can show some of the examples on the screen.

KFile found more than 50 examples of plagiarism some of them very obvious. Paragraphs that were lifted from other sources. (INAUDIBLE) a sentence or two here or there but altogether this is a clear cut case of extensive plagiarism inside her 2012 book. You can see a couple examples here on screen. She took from a variety of sources -- borrowing from "The Wall Street Journal," one of her own colleagues at "Fox News", random websites that are -- that are sort of funny, were it not for the ethical considerations here.

So this plagiarism is pretty visible. You can see all of it in through the KFile investigation.

PAUL: So you know the highlighted areas are what is verbatim. That's what you're looking at there. The transition team did come to her defense. They issued a statement. I want to read it in part.


Saying, "Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a political motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country." Is this about politics or is it plagiarism?

STELTER: When journalist are look into somebody's background they are not seeking to discredit the person but simply seeking to understand what they have done in their work, what they have done in their jobs in the past. So in this case, the transition team is trying to distract from what you see there on the screen, from those yellow passages.

You know when you borrow a word or two or if you quote someone and you make it clear who you are citing that's fine, but when you take their words and do not give credit and you do it extensively in this way that is plagiarism.

Crowley's job here -- Trump's director of communications for the White House National Security Council, that is an appointed that he made. He's very proud of. He celebrated a number of weeks ago. The transition team is standing by her but I think why this matters, I think why this is significant, Christi, is it speaks to the issue of vetting, something that you all were talking about earlier this hour.

PAUL: Yes.

STELTER: Some of these Senate confirmation hearings coming up. Now of course some of Trump's picks do not require Senate confirmation, but whether they do or not there are these questions about how extensively the background to some of these people have been vetted, and this example from KFile is the most recent.

PAUL: And real quickly if we could pull up the Crowley page 87 in the "Yahoo News" 2010 just to show another example so people have a really good idea of what we are talking about. You can find it on as well. But at the very bottom there it says, "A vault in Fort Worth, Texas," is part of it. And then the "Yahoo News" 2010 said, "A vault in Fort Worth, Texas, reports CNBC." So had she simply cited the sources...


PAUL: ... this may not be an issue? STELTER: That's right. Lots of books, lots of people who write books like this that are political books, that are partisan books they take from many different sources but cite those sources, make clear who they are referencing and why.

This is also an issue for HarperCollins, her publisher. The book came out five years ago but the publisher has not responded to request for comments from CNN. Normally when a book is published it's on the author to check the facts and to vet the sources. In this case, she may have to deal with HarperCollins on this, too.

PAUL: All right. Brian Stelter, appreciate it so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

PAUL: Thank you.

This Monday, by the way, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders takes question from a live studio audience as Donald Trump prepares to take office here. Host Chris Cuomo is going to be there in the Bernie Sanders town hall live tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. We hope you will be here. And also not to miss this week on CNN, Tuesday night, a special "ANDERSON COOPER 360" live coverage of President Obama's farewell address starting at 8:00 Eastern.

BLACKWELL: The queen is attending church again. Now typically this is not something we would cover but after that bad cold that kept her away from the Christmas and New Year services for the first time in decades, this is newsworthy. We will get to our Max Foster there at Buckingham Palace.



PAUL: Well, right now as we speak here, Queen Elizabeth is attending church in the U.K. The reason this is important is because she missed Christmas and New Year's services for the first time in decades that was due to her being sick with a heavy cold as it was characterized and it raised speculation among the public about her health.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Max Foster is live from Buckingham Palace. And, Max, the queen, 90 years old, and she had this heavy cold, which kept her inside for some time. What are you hearing about her health now?

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Well, we aren't getting anything from the palace. They are basically describing this as a private matter. It's not an official matter so they try not to view (ph) this (INAUDIBLE) commentary (ph) if (ph) you (ph) like (ph). So the only guidance I really got was, you know, you got your cameras there at the church, and see what happens, which is basically an indication that she would be turning up at church today.

She has just had a heavy cold. That's all that has happened here, but because of this absence she was missing these two sort of key church services, Christmas and the New Year as the supreme governor of the Church of England. And there was more of a worry really this was more serious than a heavy cold so a lot of people got concerned that she was very ill indeed. In the end she has attended other church days. She was walking unaided. She looked pretty well from the still pictures if you see them of her in the car as well.

So I think, you know, health scare over, but it does go to show how much the U.K. holds her dear and is so worried about her health as she goes into her 90s, as you say.

BLACKWELL: All right. Max, let me ask you about one of the element, political here. Donald Trump tweeting he will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May in the spring. How is the news being received there in the U.K.?

FOSTER: Well, it's getting a little attention simply because Britain's in this very uncomfortable position right now, it's leaving the European Union so it's not going to be as close to those European countries. And the assumption was always that Britain would be able to sort of increase trade with the U.S., for example, because it had this special relationship, as Brits like to call it with the United States, but we didn't know what Trump's attitude was to the United Kingdom. All we knew was the first politician he met was Nigel Farage who was involved in the Brexit campaign of course. He didn't call Theresa May as quickly as other presidents have though when they come into power. So we didn't know whether or not he would be open to working with Theresa May.

Now we know she's going over in the spring and he has tweeted that so it's seen as positive news here in the United Kingdom, and she has just given an interview to "Sky News" as well saying, you know, this special relationship is much bigger than the two leaders. But she has had two calls with Trump and they have been successful. So it looks pretty positive from this side of the Atlantic right now.

BLACKWELL: In (ph) there (ph) but a lot to talk about. Max Foster for us there. Thank you so much, Max.

PAUL: This morning Pope Francis is baptizing babies in the Sistine Chapel. Vatican City there. Marking the feast of Baptism of the Lord. He called faith a light during his homily and as children started to cry, he added, I like to think the first sermon Jesus gave in the stable was a cry. And this tradition of christening babies in the Sistine Chapel was started by Pope John Paul II.

BLACKWELL: All right. This is one of the biggest nights in Hollywood. The Golden Globes next. Who's nominated for one of these beautiful statues? And what this means for the Oscar race?



PAUL: All right. Anybody else out there a yogi? Well, when you replace a yoga mat with a hammock you can take fitness to new heights. Here is how aerial yoga can really help you stay well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you're going to roll down on to your back.

JANE DE ALBUQUERQUE, CO-OWNER, LAUNCH AWARENESS YOGA CENTER: Aerial yoga is using the hammock for support in aerial postures. When you are in the air and weightless you can work muscles without the compression on the joints. When you are in the fabric, you feel free and you can go upside down and float and swing and, you know, have a great time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Upper body comes up and out.

ALBUQUERQUE: And then on the mat we are grounded to our feet and hands, it strikes a great balance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take your feet into the hammock.

ALBUQUERQUE: One of the main things the hammock does is it supports you in inversions, which a lot of people can't get into in yoga. And so you can go upside down in the silk, it supports you and no compression on the spine. It doesn't matter, shape, size, skill level. The hammocks are rated to handle over 1,000 pounds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Straightening out your leg in front of me (ph) and then lifting up on to your toes, shifting your weight forward.

ALBUQUERQUE: When you have low back pain a lot of times that's caused from a weak core, and it can be the back that's week or it can be the abdominal muscles that are weak. And so in the hammock you're engaging those muscles all the time. So you're building that core strength and upper body strength just by hanging on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like I got a really good workout.


PAUL: I want to try it. If you are interested in trying out aerial yoga make sure that your instructor is certified, we're told, and you need to consult your doctor just to make sure that it's right for you.


BLACKWELL: That was dramatic.


PAUL: Well, we're talking Hollywood. We're talking movies.

BLACKWELL: We are. It's one Hollywood's biggest nights. The party honoring the best in film and television.

PAUL: The 74th Golden Globe award ceremony is tonight. Stephanie Elam has a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The glitz, the glamour, the Golden Globes. Hollywood's annual kickoff to awards season looks to honor the best in film and television. With seven nominations, "La La Land" leads the pack on the motion picture front.

MATTHEW BELLONI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: It takes a very traditional medium, the Hollywood musical, which has been around for a century, and it really does reinvent it for a modern audience.

ELAM: The Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling led movie is up for best motion picture musical or comedy alongside "20th Century Women," "Deadpool," "Florence Foster Jenkins," and "Sing Street."


ELAM: "Moonlight," a gritty coming of age film, has six nominations, including one for best motion picture drama along with "Hacksaw Ridge," "Hell or High Water," "Lion," and "Manchester by the Sea."

With five nods, "The People Versus O.J. Simpson, American Crime Story," dominates the T.V. categories including a nomination for best miniseries or television movie. For the fourth year, "Game of Thrones" is up for the best drama series. The epic fantasy will face off with newcomers "The Crown," "Stranger Things," This Is Us" and "Westworld."

Taking a stab at the master of ceremonies duties this year, Jimmy Fallon.

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": I am already practicing wearing it every single night and just handing out awards to random people.

ELAM: The late night host follows previous Golden Globe emcees Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

BELLONI: And what makes the golden globes fun is the sense that anything can happen, and that goes with the host as well.

ELAM: From first bottle to last trophy, the show should live up to its title as Hollywood's biggest party.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.


PAUL: So a lot to watch for tonight. The ceremony is traditionally an indicator of which films will have a chance, of course, at an Oscar.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk with entertainment journalist Holland Reid, and CNN senior media correspondent, host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" on later today, Brian Stelter.

Holland, first to you. So this is going to be a big night for one of these movies, two of them, actually. Give us an idea who do you think are the frontrunners here?

HOLLAND REID, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: For best movie for sure "Moonlight" and "Manchester" are neck and neck right now. Both phenomenal movies, have multiple nominations.

"Moonlight" was a gem. It was such an original piece and it was received so well by critics. It was screened and then people just (INAUDIBLE) over that. But "Manchester by the Sea" as well. Casey Affleck, a performance of his lifetime. So I think that Casey -- I'm sorry -- "Manchester by the Sea" might win but if "Moonlight" wins I think you're going to see a lot of cheers and hurrahs because it was a fantastic (INAUDIBLE).

BLACKWELL: I think the great thing about the Golden Globes too is that they separate the dramas and the comedies.

PAUL: Comedies, yes.

REID: Yes.

BLACKWELL: Because it takes a lot to do either of those well and they are really different skill sets for these actors and for the films.

PAUL: No doubt about it and it's not just those movies but then we're talking about series like the veteran -- in HBO. So, Brian, I want to bring you into the fray here. Talk to me about what is at stake for HBO.

STELTER: Stephanie mentioned "Game of Thrones" up for best drama. Also "Westworld" on HBO which I thought was amazing. But I am rooting for "This Is Us" on NBC. It's a brand new drama, a freshman series. I tear up on every episode, I have to admit to you.

There's a lot of great choices in dramas. And then on the comedy side, on miniseries side, you heard Stephanie mentioned the "O.J." series from FX which is the clear favorite in the miniseries category.

BLACKWELL: Yes. "This Is Us" was a surprised to me (ph). The pilot -- that first episode where you realize they are siblings at the end. Yes.

PAUL: I have not seen it yet.


STELTER: But, you know, there is so much competition in TV. I know that the movie awards get a lot of attention, it's a real preview what's going to win in the Oscars. But on the TV side, the Globes are fascinating because you get those actors in the same room and on the TV side there's more great TV than ever.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, you know, what is really interesting is that this is not just about the films that are released in theaters, it's not just about broadcast television, it's about streaming.

REID: Yes. BLACKWELL: Amazon up with 11 nominations. Netflix with six nominations. This is the continued story of the shifting environment in entertainment.

REID: Yes. Absolutely. I mean, Amazon is a game changer. We know that the media platform with internet and streaming it gave these companies the opportunity to create their own content.

So you have Amazon with "Manchester by the Sea" -- again the nomination for best picture, we've got Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams nominated. We also have "Mozart in the Jungle" as well and "Transparent" to show -- so it's definitely a game changer. You are not seeing just ABC and NBC and HBO and the classics...


REID: ... you are seeing these online media outlets become huge players when it comes to creating content.

PAUL: Now, Brian --

STELTER: It's strange to go to the movies and see Amazon's name...

REID: Yes.

STELTER: ... when I went to see "Manchester by the Sea" but that's the world we're in now where they're financing movies.

And by the way, my personal favorite for best film/best drama is actually not "Manchester by the Sea" -- I loved "Lion," the Dev Patel film "Lion." And it's on iTunes already. So if you want to see a movie before tonight you can log on, you can watch it online without even going to the theater now.

PAUL: Brian, let me ask you about Mel Gibson. That is a name we have not heard a lot in Hollywood...


PAUL: ... after all of the drama and some of the issues with him. He was almost -- I don't know. I don't want to say excommunicated from Hollywood but certainly was not popular anymore. He is up for best director, I think, for the film "Hacksaw Ridge."

Do you think he has a shot? What is your take on this?

STELTER: Yes, even invoking his name remains controversial.


There are a lot of folks in Hollywood not ready to forgive him, but he is attempting a comeback. His movie "Hacksaw Ridge" which is up for best drama award and of course up for a number of other awards, you know, it is in contention. It is getting talked about. He does seem to be succeeding somewhat in attempting comeback.

He has got some other films now coming up as well in 2017 and 2018. So he is back and we may see him on stage tonight.

BLACKWELL: Any surprises you're looking for? Hoping for?

REID: You know, I do think Casey Affleck is going to take it. I would be surprised -- Denzel is going to be honored tonight as well. So Denzel might take it. I would love to see Viola Davis win. But I am rooting for Barry Jenkins for "Moonlight." I want to see "Moonlight" take home many, many Golden Globes so fingers crossed. It was a great film.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: Hey, Holland --


PAUL: It's so good to have you here.

REID: Thank you for always having me.

PAUL: And on a Sunday morning no less when it's so early.

REID: I'm here. Entertainment, I love it. I'm happy to talk about it.

PAUL: She's going to be -- she's on -- she on it from here until tonight.

REID: Yes.

PAUL: She's just watching it all. Holland Reid, Brian Stelter, we appreciate both of you.

REID: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you both. And speaking of tonight, CNN will be live at the Golden Globe Award ceremonies. Stephanie Elam will be on the red carpet starting at 8:00 Eastern.

PAUL: Ice sculpting in China. Yes. The annual international competition they have gotten underway. We're talking about 32 teams from around the world armed with ice, water and a few chainsaws.


BLACKWELL: So this is pretty cool. The 31st Harbin International Ice Sculpting Competition happening right now in Northeast China.

PAUL: Yes. This year 32 teams from 11 countries are competing here. They are carving a 6.5 foot tall block ice. Judges will assess the artworks in terms of creativity, theme, sculpting skills, overall design. Two member teams come from all over the world including Canada, Russian and Japan. Now the only materials you are allowed to us use a water and ice but the tools can range anywhere from ice scrappers to chainsaws.

I can (ph) chainsaw. You just crack right through it and mess it all up.


PAUL: What do I know (ph)?

BLACKWELL: One chip and it's over.


PAUL: Good luck to all of those folks there. And thank you so much for starting your morning with us.

We've got some news to tell you -- that coming up here.

BLACKWELL: All right. The next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.