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New Day

Cold Weather Hits Parts of U.S.; New Footage of Plane Crash Released; Congress to Pass Budget; Book Searches For Lessons in Newtown Tragedy

Aired December 12, 2013 - 07:00   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: You can see it nearly flip over.

And new today, the government starts deciding if cellphone calls should be allowed on planes.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: The infamous sign language interpreter speaking out, defending his qualifications. What does he blame for his signing gibberish? And an expert joins us live to translate what exactly he was saying.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, Michaela Pereira, and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: Good morning, Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's 7:00 in the east. If the weather is this cold now and this snowy now, imagine what winter is going to be like.

BOLDUAN: That's right. Another premature cold snap is hitting more than half the country. The mercury sinking in places like Chicago and Boston, plus more snow could hit the northeast this weekend. Indra Petersons is out there in New York City, in the New York City cold with details. Good morning, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. I'm always the baby in the studio. It's a good 50, 60 in there. It's always freezing in there. Now I am taking that back. It feels like a whopping 14 degrees out here this morning. Oh, yes, we have a chill. We are not alone either. We're talking about a huge chunk of the country dealing with temperatures below freezing this morning, and that's not the only thing. Another storm headed our way.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody throughout the area is at the freezing mark.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you thought today was cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next few days will be cold.

PETERSONS: Frigid temps gripping the nation as another blast of arctic air has millions from the Great Lakes to the northeast waking up in a deep freeze. City after city experiencing temperatures 20 degrees or more below average, the coldest it's gotten in the taste of winter. Forecasters say the windy city already feeling like its earlier subzero temperatures since 1995. Earlier this week, morning temps plunged to six below zero. It's the same story in frozen Fargo. They've had single digit temps or below for a full week. New Yorkers bundling up for their morning commute with brutal wind chills that feel like the teens and 20s.

Bitter cold temps made fighting this apartment fire in Wisconsin challenging for the firefighters. It's so cold in Wisconsin that a reporter for CNN affiliate WAOW left this banana outside in negative two degree air for just 30 minutes.

EMILY NEUBAUER, REPORTER, WAOW: So when we come back, we find the banana completely frozen solid, so frozen in fact I can actually use it to hammer in this nail.

BOLDUAN: And in Minnesota, this is one of the coldest spots in America, hospitals preparing for an influx of hypothermia and frostbite cases, and doctors urging people to stay indoors.

DR. JON TUONINEN, ST. JOHN'S HOSPITAL: As you get colder and colder, your decision-making gets worse and worse. The longer you're out, the more damage is done, and it can be fatal.


PETERSONS: Good times, right? Let's take a look at the map here. We're going to talk about the temperatures and what they look like as many of us are waking up this morning. We're talking about a huge section of the country. Only in the southeast spared from these temperatures being below freezing. Let's throw the wind chill in there. Look at these temperatures. We're talking about a good negative 15. That's what it feels like in Chicago right now. Santa Fe, only three degrees.

This is where it gets really dangerous. You start talking about temperatures in the morning with the wind chill that feels like negative 20 to negative 25 degrees. That's where the danger is and that's the threat is today, especially out towards places like Minnesota. Here comes the next system. We are to the done with this yet. Dropping south out of Montana, going down to the central plains, it looks like tomorrow we'll be talking about Kansas and central Missouri we'll start to see some of the wintry mix.

As we go through the weekend, talk about bad timing other than the fact a lot of people can be indoors, we still have the next system affecting the northeast all the way back to the Midwest. My question to you guys, Chris, are you comfy in there? Are you nice and warm?

CUOMO: I am. You look great, though, Indra. So just take one for the team. It's so cold we're going to have you use a banana to drive in a railroad spike after the next system comes through.


CUOMO: That will be novel.

All right, so, it's been a long night in the U.S. Senate. Republicans are forcing an all-night session to protest Democrats changing the rules to limit filibuster power. They're still in session right now. The good news is, it looks like actual work is getting done. Many of you are attacking me for saying that, saying with no, no, no, this is vengeful play. But an appeals court judge was affirmed this morning and another vote is scheduled for later. Sounds like work to me.

Meanwhile, the House is poised for a rare show of bipartisanship. A vote on the budget deal is expected today, but it could prove tricky for some Republicans. Here to explain, CNN's Joe Johns. Joe?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, this is both to stop the government from lurching from crisis to crisis every few months, but it's also a public battle over the heart and soul of the Republican Party that's gotten much uglier recently. The speaker of the House has been caught in the middle, and now he's throwing punches, too.


JOHNS: Before the big vote, a family feud over the federal budget between establishment Republicans and the forces trying to steer the party further to the right.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: They're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals.

JOHNS: The House speaker himself with unusually personal push back against conservative critics of the bipartisan budget deal.

BOEHNER: This is ridiculous. Listen, if you're for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement.

JOHNS: Boehner was talking about groups like Heritage Action, Americans for Prosperity, the Club for Growth, and others denouncing the plan because they say it increases spending $63 billion over the next two years, does an end run around the budget control act, and uses gimmicks to raise revenue.

Heritage Action responding to Boehner said "Lawmakers will have to explain to their constituents, many of whom are our members, what they've achieved by increased spending, increasing taxes, and offering up another round of promises waiting to be broken. That will be a tough sell back home." A difficult spot for some Republican street fighters defending it while holding their noses.

REP. DARRELL ISSA, (R) CALIFORNIA: It's the best compromise you can get in divided government. It's that simple. It's nowhere close to what Republicans like to have.

JOHNS: Tough even for the congressional golden boy and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who co-authored the deal knowing his base will be watching if he ever runs for higher office again.

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) WISCONSIN: If I cloud my judgment by what is good for me politically or not, or how does this help me juxtaposed against somebody else, this is not right in my opinion.

JOHNS: But the conservative groups have their defenders on Capitol Hill.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR, (R) IDAHO: Anybody who thinks that my vote is for sale to Heritage Action is sadly mistaken. I would ask anybody who is attacking these outside groups, what is it these outside groups said yesterday about this deal that is false today?


JOHNS: Republicans have their issues with this deal, but so do many Democrats who wanted to see much more, including an extension of unemployment benefits. So there's something for everyone to hate in this, Chris.

BOLDUAN: I'll take it. Thanks so much, Joe. We'll check back in with you.

New details this morning in the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco International Airport. The NTSB just releasing never before seen surveillance footage showing the frightening moments when the massive jet hit the seawall and cartwheeled down the runway. We're also learning the pilot was concerned about landing without the help of a navigation system out of order at the time.

Let's talk more about this. Let's bring in the founder and editor of "Runway Girl Network," an aviation consultant, Mary Kirby. Mary, thanks so much for coming in.


BOLDUAN: So first, let's take a look at this video again, because I want to get your take on what you're learning, what more we're learning. What more do you see in this new surveillance video that we've never seen. Are you learning anything new is this just kind of confirming what you're seen before?

KIRBY: It is confirming a lot of what we know, that the aircraft was definitely descending too quickly, and they were coming in too low and too slow. And then the cartwheel, as you can see, absolutely happens when they hit that wall. So it has confirmed what we knew in that regard. The new information really is what we know now about the pilots.

BOLDUAN: What we're learning from the hearing. This is a hearing with the NTSB. The pilots of the plane saying he was very concerned about landing the plane without that airport navigation system that was out of order at the time, also saying it was very stressful and very difficult. I'll tell you, for anyone that flies, that is very disturbing to think that the pilot of your plane essentially doesn't know how to handle the plane without these controls.

KIRBY: Very, very disturbing. In fact, there seems to be a lot of confusion in that cockpit about the auto throttle, which is hugely concerning, because this is aviation 101, piloting 101.

BOLDUAN: Do you think this is a problem in that cockpit or do you think this is a bigger problem industry wide when we're talking about commercial airlines?

KIRBY: I think we definitely have a wider problem here. A recent report revealed by the FAA compiled by experts show that more and more pilots are relying on automation and not their manual skills. So what do we need to do about this? I think there's a real sense in the industry that we need to start looking at reintroducing more manual flying and also improving the training. Clearly training needs to be improved to this particular airline.

BOLDUAN: It does make you wonder why this pilot was behind the controls at all in the first place if he clearly wasn't comfortable landing this aircraft.

KIRBY: Why didn't he express his discomfort much earlier on? It's not unusual for a pilot that doesn't have that many hours in a new type to be where he's at. He's learning and the pilot to his right is the instructor pilot and would be and should be helping him. However, the fact that he didn't mention this, you know, his discomfort with this particular aircraft is highly concerning.

He also had many others on other types, the Boeing 747 and the A-320. One wonders if in those crucial moments perhaps he reverted back to the training on a prior type, say, for example, the A-320 where the auto throttle is actually quite different than on the Boeing aircraft.

BOLDUAN: It's no solace for any of the families that lost loved ones, just the fact that one airport navigation system was out that led to the death of their loved ones. That's tough to stomach.

KIRBY: It is very tough to stomach. And they should have been able to do a visual approach without a doubt. And just very, very quickly, from the standpoint of what occurred in that cabin, it's also essential to look at the knowledge base that we now have with respect to premium passengers and economy class passengers. The premium passengers had a different seat belt than the economy class passengers. And the economy class passengers are the ones that have suffered mainly those spinal cord injuries. That's something else that the NTSB is looking at and that the FAA is going to have to study.

BOLDUAN: The only thing coming out of this is that the NTSB has not stopped. We might not be talking about it every day but they're continuing the investigation.

KIRBY: That's right.

BOLDUAN: Mary, thank you very much for coming in.

KIRBY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Great to see you. PEREIRA: All right, let's turn to our headlines at this hour. The Obama administration likely getting some breathing room on Iran after all. That's because Congress isn't expected to approve new sanctions against Iran until next month at the earliest. The House could vote on a nonbinding resolution that spells out terms for a final deal as early as tomorrow. The Senate will likely hold off a vote until January in order to not interfere with the passage of a defense bill before Christmas break.

Now to the newlywed murder trial unfolding in Montana. On Wednesday, the jury for the first time heard Jordan Graham admit to pushing her husband Cody Johnson off a cliff. Attorneys played two audio clips of Graham's admission. An FBI agent testified she finally cracked after he confronted her with the security camera image of her entering the park with Johnson. Graham's mother is expected to take the stand today.

In New York, police are investigating what they call the death -- the suspicious death of a Mexican diplomat's four-month-old son. That little boy was taken to the hospital Tuesday covered in bruises. He was declared dead about 30 minutes later. The identities of the parents have not yet been released. No arrests have been made. Police are awaiting autopsy results and cause of death.

One person was killed but eight others survived after a small plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the Hawaiian island of Molokai. Emergency officials say rescuers plucked most of the survivors out of the water and that none of their injuries are life-threatening. One person reportedly swam to shore. No word yet on why that plane went down.

And check this out, a fight breaking out in the parliament of Georgia, tensions coming to a boil over plans to support the Ukrainian opposition. Government officials tossed their papers in the air and went at it. Others tried to interfere to try to keep the hot-headed politicians from hurting one another. Fortunately, no one was injured during the scuffle.

CUOMO: They got it out of their systems, then had their vote and then you move on.

PEREIRA: Then you move on.

BOLDUAN: Seriously?

CUOMO: No. Not seriously and not in the Ukraine. Very serious situation there that we're following.

PEREIRA: Yes, we are.

CUOMO: They are real problems there.

PEREIRA: Real issues.

CUOMO: You know what it's time for?

BOLDUAN: Yes, I do.

CUOMO: Money time, your money. Tomorrow, Friday 13th. That's scary. No. Here's why it could be very lucky. The mega million prize has rolled over for the 20th time, leaving an estimated jackpot of $400 million. That's what's on the table. It's likely to rise even higher, the second largest mega millions jackpot ever, the fifth largest in North America. How do I know all of this? Chief business correspondent Christine Romans told it to me, and there she is at the magic wall.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: For millions of Americans this is their personal financial planning, Right? It's the lottery. An estimated jackpot of 400 million bucks likely to rise, and remember, if you asking for a lump sum, which you should do by the way. That's my recommendation when you win. The lump sum option will put you in at $216.4 million. That's before taxes. So let's pay Uncle Sam. Now you're looking at somewhere around $130 million. I'd take that.

So what could you buy with $130 million? Maybe you want a new car. Let's get something fancy like a Bugatti. You could buy 56 of them with your winnings. Maybe you're interested in something shiny, like maybe the Elizabeth Taylor diamond. I hope you have a lot of security, because you could have 14 of those.

But you really should know what the odds are. I hate to be the bearer of bad news. The odds of winning are about one in 259 million. That means you're 22 times more likely to be attacked by a shark. You are 42 times more likely to die from a bee sting and 345 times more likely to be struck by lightning in any given year. The good news, you have a one in 15 chance of any prize, any prize. So enjoy the two bucks.

That being said, here's how you really grow your money since your chances of winning are so very small. If we're gonna talk about personal finance, this is what I think you should do. Instead of getting stung by a bee, you should open up a 529 college savings plan, or you should max out your 401(k) or you should make sure you have three to six months savings. Because, guess what? You're probably not going to win. So this is a perfect time to start thinking about your money. I use this story as a Trojan horse, my friends.

BOLDUAN: That's what I was saying.

ROMANS: I give you my lecture early.

BOLDUAN: This story was totally misbilled.


CUOMO: Everybody hates a Trojan horse, by the way.

BOLDUAN: She gave us vegetables instead of chocolate. I love that you pulled that off.

CUOMO: Christine Romans!

(CROSSTALK) ROMANS: I have to give you a little spinach with your cupcake this morning.

CUOMO: One of the few people I thought it was impossible to dislike. And then just like that.

BOLDUAN: It happened.

CUOMO: Wow, that was terrible.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Christine.

CUOMO: I still want a lottery ticket, though, after all that. Why not?

BOLDUAN: Why not?

CUOMO: Live the dream.

BOLDUAN: We're gonna take a break.


BOLDUAN (voice-over): Coming up next on NEW DAY, just days away from the first anniversary of the Newtown massacre. We're gonna talk to an author who's pieced together new details on what happened and what led to that fateful day.

CUOMO (voice-over): OK, and watch this. I don't know how your sign language is, but mine's pretty good. Do you know what this means? Absolutely nothing. So the question is, why is this clearly confused interpreter, in quotes, defending his performance at Nelson Mandela's memorial?

Schizophrenia, does that have something to do with it? That's what he says. We'll give you the real deal when we come back.



CUOMO: Welcome back. Saturday marks one year since 20 young children and six educators lost their lives in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Matthew Lysiak covered the shooting for the Daily News. He then moved to the Newtown commune to the try to piece together what happened on that horrific day, to try to make some sense, to try to bring out some lessons. The book is called "Newtown, an American tragedy." It offers, certainly, new details about the events that led up to the tragedy, some context as well that is needed so, so much.

Matthew, thank you for joining us.

MATTHEW LYSIAK, AUTHOR OF "NEWTOWN, AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY": Thank you for having me. CUOMO: Good luck with the book. Few things need to be discussed more or am I wrong? Let's start there. There are those who say, "Leave them alone. Nothing can be learned. Don't obsess on the obvious." And yet you don't agree because you wrote the book. What do you make of that perspective, "Leave these people alone"?

LYSIAK: I live there. I understand its perspective. But let me tell you something. I know there's a tendency to act like what happened was a weather event. I'm convinced that this tragedy is something that could have been prevented.

And when I tracked through Adam's life -- and I was able to access years worth of Nancy Lanza, the mother's, e-mails -- you can see this deterioration of mental health over the course of many years. And this was a mother who identified that her son was mentally ill and sought professional help.

Still, Adam was not on medication. And the fact that we have a lot of dangerously mentally ill people around who are not being treated, to me says that you can expect this rising trend of mass shootings to continue unless we figure out a solution and that starts with the information and finding out why, which is what my book focuses on.

CUOMO: Fair disclosure. I certainly agree with what you're saying right now. I've written about it. I report about it a lot, but not everybody does. So let's take two steps back about other things in this book. And we'll get back to mental health.


CUOMO: Because there's a lot of reporting. You spent a lot of time on here.

First of all, the school, you reveal in the book that new safety measures had recently been put in place. Your best sense, could things have been done differently at the school that day? What does the record show?

LYSIAK: Chris, Sandy Hook Elementary was a school that did everything right. Their security was the kind with the camera. You have to be buzzed in, show I.D. If you have a gunman who's going to shoot their way through a window, there's no amount of security that will help.

CUOMO: Armed security guards?

LYSIAK: I don't think that you can just put -- look, that may or may not help. I really don't know. But my inclination and my conjecture would be that that's not the solution. The solution, again, comes back to mental health.

CUOMO: And the journalism of it would reveal that the community is now going in that direction as far as we know with the new school, right? What do we know about that? Anything?

LYSIAK: Right, I mean, no. They're going to keep high security standards but Newtown is on edge. I mean, you can't go anywhere near a school without being stopped by several police officers asking you for identification, and I think it's going to be the new normal there for a little bit.

CUOMO: You take a look of time; you talk to a lot of people about the Lanza family, the mother, the son. And as you said earlier, you traced this pattern of this kid's dissent into illness, what seems like illness. What happened when Nancy Lanza, if your reporting is right, said, "Doctor, there's something wrong"? What did she hear from doctors? To the school, "Help him. He has special needs." What were the reactions?

LYSIAK: Her -- from the e-mail I had access to, she was very frustrated and didn't feel like Adam was getting the help that he needed. This is at a younger age. As he gets older, he gets called into this world of violence and surrounds himself -- isolates himself with these guns and he's searching these serial killer websites, clearly very disturbed and sick.

But now he's past the age of 18, and her options are limited. How she can keep these guns in the house knowing this is an answer that my book can't answer and I don't think --

CUOMO: No sense from friends, from those who knew her about why, even though she was so concerned, she kept encouraging him through this joint activity, this hobby of shooting. If she had such concerns, why?

LYSIAK: The impression I get she was asked about this by friends on occasion. And it was one of the rare ways the mother and son could bond. And, you know, it was clear in my research that Nancy loved her son dearly and why she let these guns in the house is something -- it's inexplicable.

CUOMO: Something else that you develop in here that does have an answer. There did seem to be a flash point. There was a teacher that seemed to be treating this kid the way Nancy wanted to and seemed to work for the kid. He leaves the school. How big was that?

LYSIAK: Richard Novia became friends with Nancy. He was Adam's high school counselor. And he related to Adam. He knew about the bullying. He that Adam was very different and would withdraw. And he worked with Adam and slowly (inaudible) he was kind of getting him out of his shell.

And for somebody as sick as Adam, getting him out of his shell meant Adam would respond to commands. Richard said that he was leaving the school. Nancy said she did not trust anybody in the school to protect her son and then pulled him out. And that began this -- right after that, Adam cuts off contact with his brother, cuts off contact with his dad, is barely speaking to his mom, isolates himself in his room and this spiral accelerates.

CUOMO: Now, that takes us to the seminal question, what could have been done differently? I believe, many experts suggest, well, that's where the problem lies because in how we deal with mental health. A portion of the proceeds from your book is going to a charity in the name of one of the young victims there. It goes to dealing with brain health. People dismiss this, Matt. They say, "No, no, no. Don't get away from the guns. This is about the guns. Don't distract me. Mentally ill are not inherently violent. There's no real factual correlative here. You can't really say this." And yet, almost every one of these mass shootings involves someone who has clear mental illness that hasn't been dealt with effectively. What do you believe the reality is?

LYSIAK: I know you've covered several of the mass shootings, too. And, yes -- look, if we don't do something to treat these violently ill people, then this trend will continue. You can talk about all these other issues and they all might be important in their own right. But nobody's ever explained to me a gun law that could have been passed that would have prevented this.

Nancy bought these guns legally. She broke the law and gave them to her son. So -- who is extremely disturbed. So moving forward, we have to do something to figure out what to do with these sick people, because in the '60s when we got rid of the mental institutions, they were supposed to be replaced with these community outreach programs, but that hasn't really happened.

And I've spent time in the book talking to mothers who feared their son or daughter could do something equally violent. And their recourse is to call the emergency room or the police. And neither one of these two are equipped to deal with severely mentally ill people.

CUOMO: One of the messages that comes through clearly here is that you understand the community very well and that the families, especially the families -- even the families that were worst affected want something better to come out of this situation, want it to be discussed in a way that doesn't just exploit what happens there but understands it going forward. Are you confident in that?

LYSIAK: I am. But it begins with the information being out. And it begins with people backing up at these very passionate debates and just clear-mindedly examining the facts of, look, you've seen the pictures of Jared Loughner, I mean, James Holmes. I've seen these people. I've worked on these stories, too. They're severely ill people. And this doesn't use what they're doing, but there's more out there. And that should be our focus to prevent the next one.

CUOMO: Matthew Lysiak, thank you very much. Good luck with the book.

LYSIAK: (inaudible)

CUOMO: Appreciate you coming on to talk about it. Very important issues here. Kate, over to you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris.


Coming up next on NEW DAY, the sign language interpreter who's accused of being a fraud is now speaking out and talking about his schizophrenia. Could that have something to do with what happened during the Mandela memorial? We'll also talk with an expert about what he was actually saying.

And later, a supermodel and a scandal. How Elle Macpherson is caught up in a huge lawsuit against her husband.