tv Weekend Early Start CNN December 30, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PST
sued back claiming circus animals were abused. after a decade of litigation and tainted testimony from a former circus employee they decided to settle. in a statement, however, they do not admit to any "liability or wrongdoing." we have to show you one of the sweetest videos that we saw this weekend. look at this, he can't talk yet, but he's already turning heads on the slopes in cubeck. meet 18-month-old. he's blazon the trail on his snowboard except right there. he's bringing his pacifier in for the ride. it's not just him. his 3-year-old sister abigail is also on the hill. both following in the footsteps of their dad who is a big fan of the sport. i can't even imagine going on there. he's lifeless on there. just kind of chilling. that's amazing. i could stare at that most of the day. thanks for starting your morning with us. much more ahead on "cnn sunday
morning" which starts right now. good morning, i'm alison kosik. randi is off today. thanks for starting your morning with us. we begin this hour which may be the worst day of bloodshed syria has suffered in almost 200 days of war. and syria is bracing for more violence today. international efforts to restore peace are continuing, but are they having any success? let's go to cnn's mohammed jamjoom. yesterday was the deadliest day since january of last year. claims of a mass execution coming out. tell me more about it. >> that's right, alison, opposition activists reporting at least 397 people killed
yesterday. that's a staggering number, even by the standards in syria where these days routinely we're hearing that well over 100 people a day were killed because of the fighting there. what we're hearing, the reports that are emerging that in hums province that at least 200 people were killed after regime forces retook a city from the rebel free syrian army forces. now, one activist told us that they got some of their information from a captured syrian soldier that told them that many people had been rounded up. that they had been taking to a petro chemical plant there and executed. we're still trying to get more details about this. the syrian government for their part said they went in and that they captured and killed a lot of terrorists. terrorists is the term they use when they're referring to opposition fighters. this sounds like a horrific crime that happened yesterday. we're waiting for more details to emerge in the hours to come.
alison? >> it seems the rebels are gaining ground or a crackdown by syrian forces? >> essentially a war of attrition. it has been for quite a while. yes, the rebels have been gaining ground. that's according to most analysts and the members we speak with on the ground. they have been able to capture more in the north of the territory and even in and around the capital and the fact of the matter is the regime is cracking down. they continue to crack down and the regime still has the air power. very hard for the dynamic to shift dramatically why the regime has the warplanes. what we hear again and again when rebels capture a city or liberate a city and then the airplanes come in and warplanes start shelling and drive them out of those areas. >> we know the international envoy for syria he was in russia and today he's in egypt. what specifically is he trying to accomplish? >> well, he's in egypt today to
report back to the arab league and to the secretary-general of the arab league and his findings from his diplomatic trips these past few days. he was in syria meeting with other figures and then brahimi went to moscow where he met with the foreign minister. the foreign minister of russia as well as brahimi urged all sides to come to the table but the fighting still rages on in syria. now, today, we heard just in the last hour from brahimi. he actually said in cairo that the situation is so bad in syria that now we have close to 50,000 people killed there in the nearly two years of war. by next year, up to 100,000. there is an opportunity of parties to come together, but not going to last forever and the situation there is getting more and more dire every single day. alison? >> with it getting more dire, really any likelihood of a cease-fire or will syria's president step down?
>> it doesn't look as though syria's president is ready to step down. one of the key questions about this flurry of diplomatic activity even if transition aals agreed upon, the opposition in syria said they would try to work to make a transitional government possible, they're not going to work with anybody in the regime and they demand that he step aside and not be part of any government there right now. that complicates the effort. the fact of the matter, as much diplomatic activity there has been, even when brahimi has gone to syria and even when his predecessor as envoy to syria kofi annan went to syria to effect some sort of cease-fire. they have never taken hold and the fighting continues unabated and with all the international pressure the last few days look at the staggering death toll in the past week and you can see that it is really not making an
impact on the ground there in syria. >> thanks so much. back here at home, the big focus is on the fiscal cliff. washington has less than 48 hours to make a deal before billions in tax increases and spending cuts take effect. senate negotiators stayed late into the night trying to work out a plan that would pass a vote. both houses of congress would convene later this afternoon in a rare sunday session. in his weekly address, the president took his message directly to the public calling for congress to come together to pass a deal. >> for the past couple months, i have been working with people in both parties with the help of business leaders and ordinary americans to come together around a plan to grow the economy and shrink our deficits. it's a balance plan. one that would protect the middle class, cut spending in a responsible way and ask the wealthiest americans to pay a little more. and i'll keep working with anybody who's serious about getting a comprehensive plan like this done because it's the right thing to do for our economic growth.
but we're now at the point where in just a couple of days the law says that every american's tax rates are going up. every american's paycheck will get a lot smaller. and that would be the wrong thing to do for our economy. it would hurt middle class families and hurt the businesses that depend on your spending and congress can prevent it from happening, if they act now. leaders in congress are working on a way to prevent this tax hike on the middle class and i believe we may be able to reach an agreement that could pass both houses in time. >> the president will have another chance to deliver that message, again. this morning he will appear on nbc's "meet the press." his first sunday talk show appearance in three years. mr. obama is expected to call on a scale back plan that would only extend middle class tax breaks and unemployment benefits if the negotiations fail. republican senator mitch mcconnell is hoping there will be a plan to present today. some sad news from
hollywood. harry carey jr. has died. best known for his work in westerns appeared in almost 100 films including ten with john wane. but his career wasn't limited to the silver vene. he served in the u.s. navy during world war ii. he was 91. caught on tape, the terrifying moments when a russian plane hurdled past a runway and sent debris crashing on to a highway in moscow. another driver capturing the scene on his car's dashboard camera. four people onboard the russian red wings flight were killed and four others were injured. the cause of the crash is under investigation. and it's not just the fiscal cliff that could impact your wallet. we'll tell you why something called the dairy cliff could make your grocery bill soar if congress doesn't do something soon. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix.
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the former chairman of the fdic and she's been through some tough negotiatiions before. this is what she had to say about the chances of a deal and what might be included. >> this should have been resolved long ago and i do think, actually, they are going to get a deal, but i think more along the lines down the road. at least at this point that we'll get meaningful deficit reduction, certainly not meaningful tax reform. i do think, though, perhaps a permanent extension of the lower tax rates for those making at least under $500,000. the payroll tax cut on the other hand will go away, i think, is highly unlikely and that is going to impact a lot of workers. i think they will make some decisions this weekend and a good chance that it will pass and become law. that is the good news. the bad news i don't think we'll have meaningful deficit reduction and this is going to
keep dragging on and on. >> you advocate for raising the capital gains tax which could make main street owe a lot more money than it does now. that is being discussed as part of a fiscal cliff deal but money believe that will hurt the economy and giving a disincentive to invest money. is that just focused on the real wealthy? >> i hear that argument a lot. number one, i'm really tired of our tax policy decisions and everything being made by what the market is going to do in the next quarter. look, this is an aberration and the tax code and grossly unfair. you look at say they raise tax rates, the top tax rate to 39.6% for those making more than $500,000, that's going to mean a lot of small businesses are going to pay that nearly 40% marginal tax rate where you have billionaire private equity funds paying 15, 20 or even 24 depending on where they put it. not an issue of penalizing investment income but penalizing labor and those who make their
income through wages and they should both be taxed at the same rate. i do, again, fundam and at least raising the capital gains rate would help address this anomaly and susan collins and clara mccasical give legitimate -- you have billionaire equity managers paying 39%. i think this is a source of unfairness and inefficient and we should be taxing all income at the same rate. >> a fiscal cliff compromise likely won't happen without those special interests in having their say and their sway with these negotiations. i mean, how much do these lobbying groups really wind up turning the negotiations in a certain way to really make things sort of end up where we just started? >> again, capital gains and wall street is heavily involved in
trying to keep these rates as low as possible. the lower capital gains rate is a good example. i think the lobbying pressure is significant, also just the polarization, the political polarization we've seen in our country. >> want to watch the whole interview? you can see it online at cnn.com. and americans fearful of higher taxes as part of the january 1st fiscal cliff deadline may see another hit to their wallets, thanks to what is being called the dairy cliff. milk prices could double to a whopping $8 a gallon. if congress doesn't pass an extension to the u.s. farm bill and everything from your favorite treats at the grocery store to the nation's dairy farmers can be affected. our affiliate in nashville spoke to one farm about this. >> i'm 54 years old and i'm one of the youngest dairy farmers in the state. everything has to be washed, sterilized. >> reporter: to understand
that -- >> get up, come on. >> reporter: you must first understand this. >> i was born into it and grew up doing it. >> reporter: his grandfather once owned cumberland meadows daro. >> we are farmers and this is our family farm. >> reporter: bob is out here at 4:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. each day. >> they like the radio. that's why it's on. >> reporter: he works harder in a 12-hour span than most of us work in a lifetime. so, you can imagine why he thinks it's utterly ridiculous that congress can't work together to help him out. >> i don't have a lot of confidence in congress. >> reporter: the farm bill will expire. the price bob gets paid for his milk will double back to 1949 standards. good news for him, but that means a gallon of milk at the grocery store will cost around $8. >> i'd drink juice. and i'm loyal to milk. >> reporter: but it's not just
milk that is going to be affected by all of this. if there isn't an extension a block of brie imported from france will be half as much as a block of cheddar cheese from vermont. >> i wouldn't pay it. >> reporter: that's exactly what bob and hundreds of other farmers are worried about. >> we're the end of the line. >> and not to be left out, there is also a wind turbine cliff, a tax credit for wind powered production that is also set to expire. one energy security group says it does not expect the one-year credit extension which has been criticized as too costly to be part of any fiscal cliff deal. so many cliffs, so little time. do you watch abc's hit show "modern family" it has become a bit of a phenomenon. we sat down with one of the emmy winning producers and how they create nose crazy and hilarious story lines.
>> i know, right. >> all i have to do is get 50 signatures, make my case and it's on. >> i am so proud of you. >> we all are. >> usually the minute any of us walks in the door, she gives us all something to do. >> do your homework. >> clean your room. >> put on pants. >> like the queen is coming over. >> i could really use your help getting these signatures. >> i'll do it as soon as i change those light bulbs you wanted. >> kids? >> i have a ton of homework. "modern family" ever see it? it is a huge hit on abc packed with 21st century dynamics that are becoming the new normal for the modern family.
nadia sat down with danny one of its executive producers for a real insider's tour of the show. cnn exclusive and today's arts & leisure. >> it's hard to know what makes "modern family" such a phenomenon. it's very relatable to like a wide sloth of the audience from my children's, their friends watch the show and their parents watch the show and someone described it as a friend of mine described it of kind of like a camp fire. there hadn't been anything like that on the air for a while that everybody sort of watched together. and i think it was an antidote to snarky television for a while. >> how do you find the stories? >> the stories come right from my family. something will happen in my family and my kids will watch me go it my phone and say, don't put that on the show. we purge, we have just told, we
have dug from the depths of our family, all the skeletons in our closet because we need stories and that comes first. we did an episode, this actually happened to me. the emts in my town of manhattan beach are famously attractive and i was doubled over in the middle of the night with gallstones and my wife called 911 because we didn't know what it was. she disappeared for a while and the doorbell rang and she comes out of the closet and she is completely dolled herself up for the firemen. and i told that story and we wound up doing that in an episode. >> now, eric stone played the partner to mitch. and, yet, in real life, he isn't. are people surprised by that? >> they are. eric is definitely the person on the show most playing a character, i think. they all are, but his transformation is, we watch him
get cam hair. his hair becomes that cam hair and you see him afterwards and he looks like a good old boy, which is basically what he is. >> sofia no one heard of her before "modern fapally". >> she was big in latin america. early on when we would go to restaurants or anywhere, and we would be in any place there were latino people, they would come up to her like they had known her. this was a breakout role. >> they resonate beyond entertainment, changing people's perception, for example, of gay marriage. does that put pressure on you as a writer? is that something you think about a lot? >> we do take pride after the fact in a changing opinions. our more conservative relatives and family members have come up to us and said, i never really looked at gay people in that way. >> you have, i think it is like over 150,000 twitter followers. you have to explain your love of
twitter. >> i love writing jokes. i just -- i saw this, i saw this forum as just this perfect place of writing jokes. i came up as a joke writer and originally, if you wanted to get your jokes heard, you'd have to go to this gatekeeper the writer of leno or letterman and now a joke occurs to you and you put it out there and you get feedback. i know comedy writers who have gotten hired off their twitter feeds. >> it has been a pleasure having you on @cnn. >> my pleasure. thank you so much. >> nadia joins me now. it's clear that "modern family" is a huge hit and it has really resonated. danny has worked on more shows than just this one. >> he certainly has. "roseanne" and i was curious about getting inside the head of a combi writer. one thing he really does is give great tribute to the creators of
"modern family" and he speaks about their genius in creating the show because he came on afterwards. but worked on many things, has an extraordinary mind and an extraordinary wit and i have to talk to you about his love of twitter. >> exactly, he mentioned he tweets a lot. i love to tweet. i'm very active on twitter. should i follow him? >> you have to follow @dannyzuker. the thing he wrote about his son. my son has the report card of a much better athlete. don't you like that one? >> it would be funny to see what goes on in his life. that's what makes this show great. we love laughing at ourselves and the average and everyday stuff that we do. that's where the collaboration comes in. you get everybody's real-life events in their life and so funny to laugh. >> one of things he said, cam, was a clown at some point in his life. he used that.
he gave a talk at syracuse university this last year and he spoke about being a comedy writer and he said one of the most important things, you might find this surprising. is be a nice person and danny zuker is very nice and very talented man. >> did he talk at all about how he sees the show moving forward or he's kind of mum about that? >> i think they're mum about that and the et ccreators have t to say about what's going to happen that we look and anticipate -- >> we will continue watching. thanks, nadia. coming up next hour, a football enthusiast becomes a youtube star and now the nfl is taking notice, but, first, let's check in with dr. sanjay gupta for a look at what's ahead on the bottom of the hour on "sanjay gupta md." good morning, sanjay. >> good morning. the leading cause of accidental deaths in this country isn't car accidents. instead, perfectly legal
prescription pain killers which kill more people than cocaine, heroin. we'll look at how disturbing easily it is to take a deadly dose and how warning labels don't paint a true picture. we have that ahead at 7:30 a.m. eastern. hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day
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