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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 28, 2013 8:00am-10:01am PST

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>> tried. >> thankfully, no one wgot hurt >> true. >> the bear's okay? >> a little indigestion. >> yeah, the oil will get you every time. you all, good to see you. thank you so much. >> all right, see ya. news for folks who may be headed to the malls, stores, a giant credit card breach at target just got worse, after denying it at first. now target says yes, hackers did get your p.i.n. data. what experts recommend that you do to protect yourself. and 74 people stranded in antarctica are anxiously awaiting help. their ship completely stuck in ice. now the rescue ship is also struggling in that ice. and an aboutface on duck dynasty. the reality star show is back in action after a very short suspension, too long say some, and the lgbt community is now reacting.
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all right. we start with a frightening new development in the target credit card breach. target now says hackers did steal the p.i.n.s that you punch in when you use your debit card, but the retail giant says they are heavily encrypted and impossible to decode. alexandra field is live for us now in new york. so is that the case? does that, i guess, allay any fears? >> well, fredricka, that is the message from the retailer target wants the shoppers to feel that that information is safe and secure. target says when the p.i.n. numbers left the store, they were encrypted and should still be encrypted. but some security experts are saying there are programs out there aim to break the codes, so there's no reason that consumers shouldn't be proactive about taking a few steps to protect themselves now. just a day after saying there was no evidence that personal identification numbers or p.i.n.s were accessed in a
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massive security breach, a turnaround from target. the retail giant saying debit card p.i.n. numbers were stolen, along with names and card numbers, as part of the recent hacking. still, target insists the p.i.n. code information is safe and secure, in a statement saying, quote, the p.i.n. information was fully encrypted at the keypad, remained encrypted within our system, and remained encrypted when it was removed from our systems. the company insists it would be unlikely that hackers would be able to unscramble the data, but some experts remain concerned. >> the encryption itself is an industry data standard, and it allows it to be protected. unfortunately, the p.i.n.s are only four characters, which means there are 10,000 different combinations you can do in order to get it. so altogether, it's not going to hold up, because hackers can do what's called brute forcing it. >> reporter: the security breach affecting 40 million customers who shopped at target between
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black friday and december 15th. if you're concerned about your account, experts say be vigilant. >> they should be talking to their bank. they should be looking for unusual transactions, any type of behavior they recognize as fraudulent, and contact the authorities and officials immediately. >> i know it's a pain, but contact your bank, get a new card. they have monitor detection they're putting in place, but as a peace of mind, change it so you don't have to deal with it. >> reporter: so target says that a dencryption key is needed to break the codes. security experts say we'll see how robust or strong the dekripgs key is moving forward. >> all right, alexandra field, thank you for that. coming up in 20 minutes, an expert in hacking joins me to explain how vulnerable the personal data really is, and
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what else you can do about it. we have new video this morning from the ship stuck in the frozen waters of antarctica. chris turney, the expedition's leader, gave an update on the crew's condition. >> it's 28 of december, 2013, and as you can see, the weather's closed in. we've got snow falling, but it's not too windy. unfortunately, the weather forecast is for these conditions to continue for the next few days. >> all right. he seems pretty optimistic about it all. it's been four days since that ship got stuck, and although a rescue vessel is within sight, it's not able to actually get close enough to the ship. our esa suarez is following the story from london. how far away is this chinese ship that is expected to be an icebreaker and expected to come with help? >> reporter: well, fredricka, so close yet so far. it's six nautical miles away, but i can tell you now it won't
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go any further. it just cannot push further through the ice, which is so thick. i was told this morning that it can cut through up to 1.3 -- one meter deep of ice. at the moment, we're hearing this is, like, two meters deep of ice, so that might be hard for the australian ship, which is making its way right now, and expected to arrive on sunday. so even that vessel may not be able to cut through and really help the stranded vessel. in the meantime, if that does not happen, the chinese vessel, which is come back, reversed its position through the channel it created, is in the vicinity, fredricka, and can really help out -- helicopter-equipped and really take people out of the ship if needs be. but that will be decided once the australian vessel arrives. and they're going to give it a try. they'll see if it can tackle the ice, although it can only go up to 1.35 meters deep, and if the ice is as deep as 2 meters, as some people say, it might be
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problematic. >> wow, a lot in play. you say the helicopter ability, the chinese vessel it has, if it comes to that, at what point would they make that determination? you know, if the australian ship has the same kind of journey as the chinese ship, then everyone will be stuck, all of the icebreakers. what point will they say, okay, time to get the choppers moving and try to pluck many of the 70 people off their research ship? >> reporter: well, the australian vessel is much, much stronger. it's much more powerful, i was told. i was speaking to the maritime safety authority of australia this morning, and they said that, you know, they're optimistic. they think it can achieve it. but they won't know until it gets there, because obviously, as you understand, it's dependent on the wind, on the wind factor and the layer upon layer of ice that the -- that comes with the wind, so that will be asessioned when the ship -- when the vessel arrives, the australian vessel arrives, but they have a backup. should shove -- should need come to shove, they'll have the
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chinese vessel there to really help out, to really try and see and assist in the operation. in the meantime, fredricka, as you heard there, they were all very optimistic, they seem pretty in good spirits, they have enough food to last, fresh food, in nafact, to last two weeks. after that, they'll have dried food. not as nice, but in the meantime, the spirits are quite high. >> it's something. >> reporter: exactly. >> esa, thank you so much. the researchers wanted an adventure, and they got it. all right. thank you so much. keep us posted. all right. meantime, the u.s. state department says it's still trying to piece together details in libya after four americans there were detained and then released late last night. the four military personnel were attached to a security detail for the u.s. embassy in tripoli. the white house says the president was briefed, but offered no further comment. from there. and this morning, we have new details on last year's horrific shooting rampage at
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sandy hook elementary. according to a heavily redacted report from the connecticut state police, 20-year-old adam lansa hated his mother. one unidentified witness said he believed his mother loved the students more than him. 20 first graders were among his victims. his mother was found shot to death in their home. all right. it didn't seem like he was even gone, but now "duck dynasty" star phil robertson is back after a&e network ends his suspension. there was a public outcry after robertson made homephobic and racist comments in a "gq" magazine interview. some said he should be fired while others said he should speak his mind. a&e says the show will resume, quote, with the entire robertson family. and if you haven't had a flu
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shot yet, well, you might cringe when you hear this -- this season promises to be a dangerous one. over the past week, widespread activity has leaped from four states to now ten. the most common strain is the h1n1 version, which is blamed in the deaths of at least four children over the last few months. h1n1 was known as swine flu during the 2009 pandemic that swept across the globe, and then killed nearly 300 people in the u.s. all right. a lot of americans don't know how they'll put food on the table, or even pay their bills after today. federal emergency unemployment benefits run out today for 1.3 million people. congress left town earlier this month for recess without including an extension in the budget deal. cnn national correspondent
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sunlynn is here with the latest on this. what are people to do? >> reporter: good morning, fredricka. this is a hard hit in the middle of the holiday season and it's the benefits that so many people out of work, relying, and now they'll just stop coming. this is what the last six months have been like for paul housy. >> i've answered over 500 want ads just on one website alone. >> reporter: at 52, he's been out of work in educational publishing, and now another blow -- he's one of 1.3 million americans losing unemployment benefits. on average, they've been getting $300 each week. housy's check wasn't nearly enough to cover the $1,100 rent on his new york apartment, and now, it will stop coming. >> i won't be able to buy food. i won't be able to pay my bills. >> reporter: extended unemployment benefits beyond the usual 26 weeks were started during the bush administration to help americans hit by the recession. since 2008, they've been renewed 11 times.
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but not this time. congress failed to pass an extension in the budget deal, teeing up a nasty fight for the new year. >> it's going to be classic messy washington politics over an issue with the two parties don't have a united view. this is one of the issues that the right flank wants to fight on. >> reporter: some republicans say it's time to end the program altogether. they argue it's too expensive. a year's extension costs $25 billion. people have gotten dependent. and they say the economy is strong enough now without them. >> when you extend benefits to, you know, 73 weeks, or 99 weeks, it encourages some people to stay unemployed too long, and that makes it increasingly hard for them to get back into the workforce. >> reporter: democrats say benefit checks get spent right away, spending that's necessary to boost the economic recovery. >> this is what these people need in order just to get by, and it's what the economy needs
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in order to keep its momentum. removing this bare minimum safety net beyond just being cruel is not going to be productive in terms of getting them back in the labor force or getting them a job. >> reporter: but the political blame game doesn't help paul housy's new reality. >> it's extremely stressful. i mean, i've gotten physically sick. i haven't been able to sleep. >> reporter: and from his vacation in hawaii, president obama has started rallying senators. he's calling them personally to support this three-month extension of the benefits. now, in january, congress will take up this issue again, but a resolution, fred, if there is one, could be weeks away. >> all right, sunlen, not soon enough for the millions of people in desperate need of some assistance. thank you so much. all right. when we come back, we're going to talk more about that ship stranded in ice in antarctica. 74 people on board. they don't seem very worried, do they?
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well, after a break, we're going to actually talk to one of the people on board and find out really how are they holding up. [ male announcer ] this is george. the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪
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cold comfort on board a research vessel that's been stuck in the ice off antarctica since christmas eve. it's because the chinese icebreaker that came to un-stick them can't get to them. here's cnn's randi kaye. >> we just made it to antarct a antarctica! >> reporter: the team of 74 researchers and crew set out last month on board the academic ship. >> it's half past midnight and we're going past some fantastic-looking bergs. >> reporter: led by chris turney of new south wales in australia, they were looking forward to studying climate change in antarctica and retracing the steps of the great ant ar antar
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mossen, who studied the continent between 1911 and 1914. professor's team dug their way into his cabin from a century ago. >> taking the door away, and remains a cooking area. >> reporter: on christmas eve, just about 100 miles from where they started out, their adventure came to a halt -- quite literally. their ship stuck in a heap of ice. some of it as high as 13 feet. they haven't budged in days. it's a predicament that's even raised the curiosity of the locals here. the professor even tweeted about the penguins who have come to check out what's going on. >> the team's spirit has been fantastic. it really has. and we carefully chose the people we had together, we thought we'd get on well, we weren't expecting such a severe test of the community spirit. but everyone's kept really good morale. >> reporter: and if the ice
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wasn't enough of a test, there was a blizzard, too. >> it's boxing day 2013, and as you can see, we're actually in a blizzard at the moment. but the low pressure system sitting over our expedition vessel, the vessel hasn't moved for the last two days and we're surrounded by sea ice. we just can't get through. >> reporter: the winds were gusting up to 45 miles per hour. >> the ship was tilting because of the pressure of ice and we had to readjust the ballast, so even today, you can experience just quite frightening conditions at times. >> reporter: but help is on the way. >> on the rising crest. >> the icebreaker coming to rescue us, our luck? >> brilliant. >> reporter: they spotted the rescue ship "snow dragon" in the distance, but the excitement was short-lived. it got close, but not close enough. heavy winds and thick ice are making it impossible for even the rescue ship to move. just six nautical miles away from the trapped vessel.
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two other icebreakers are also on their way. one french and one australian. but it may be another day -- at least -- before anyone reaches professor turney and the others. >> how long it takes to actually extricate us, i don't know. it's a bit like lancing a wound, so you have to relieve the pressure around the vessel before we can get out. >> reporter: get out and get on their way again to retracing the footsteps of history. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> also, next, an adventure of a different sort. target now says that debit card p.i.n. numbers were not compromised in that massive breach, but now they're backtracking, and turns out p.i.n. data was stolen. so what does it mean for you? an expert in hacking tells us. [ sniffles, coughs ] shhhh!
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all right. if you did some christmas shopping at target this year, you might want to get on the phone with your bank today and change your debit card p.i.n. number. target is backtracking after telling shoppers that their p.i.n. numbers were not stolen during the massive security breach. 40 million credit and debit card accounts were compromised between black friday and december 15th. senator chuck schumer is calling for a federal investigation that reveals full details on what
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happened. >> if there's one silver lining in this mess, it's perhaps that we could use this troubling news as a lesson for the future. we could get to the bottom of how target's in-store payment security was compromised in order to make sure that target in the future, and all other stores, adequately protect consumers from this kind of devastating theft. >> a target spokeswoman says the p.i.n.s are strongly encrypted and that the numbers stayed encrypted even after they were stolen. but will that encryption be enough to protect compromised account numbers? david joins me now via skype from st. louis. so, david is the founder of parameter security. so, david, do you buy that, that these p.i.n.s are so encrypted that people are protected even if these hackers apparently lifted this information?
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>> well, there's a key piece of the information that they haven't released yet, and that is the type of encryption that they use is what we call a one-way encryption. however, if they did not ensure that that is a unique algorithm by adding what we call a salt to it, it would be very easy for a hacker to actually go through and re-create those p.i.n. numbers, and we're not hearing whether or not that's happened yet. so, i would say when we find out, you know, i wouldn't wait to find out before you change your p.i.n. numbers. >> so is there a feeling that if these hackers were smart enough, you know, to lift these 40 million customers' information by way of credit cards or, you know, cash cards, that they may have already anticipated that they would be able to try to encrypt or decrypt the p.i.n. numbers? >> one of the things to keep in mind, this is only affecting the
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debit cards. this he have the credit cards. and, you know, what congressman schumer was saying is, this helps us understand what's going on. but one thing to keep in mind is this is just a small sampling of what's really going on. target actually was table to detect it. however, 98% of all of attacks are not detected. so the hackers just say, you know, if i'm going to get this information, i'll be able to get it somewhere else. it's a one-sided war right now, and the hackers, they're like kids in candy stores. they know if they can't use this, they'll find it somewhere else. >> sow think target is really a drop in the bucket, that most retailers are vulnerable to this same kind of method? >> i would say all retailers are. you know, it really is a scary scenario out there, and once i got into this field, you start to go down that rabbit hole. >> so what's the difference -- what's the difference between certain retailers that will be infiltrated and others that have
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protections in place so that when i use my card, i'm safe? >> well, just because you don't detect the attack doesn't mean you haven't been attacked. >> hmm. >> you know, it's -- what we tell all of our clients is, it's not a matter of if you'll be attacked, it's a matter of when. and it's just -- it's just the way that we deal with -- i know with target, some people are starting to say, well, these p.i.n. numbers had to have been decrypted, because our p.i.n. was actually compromised. however, there's a very good chance they could have been hit somewhere else. >> so then, david, really quickly, what do i do with this information as a consumer? what do i do when i go shopping, if i can't count on the retailer to, you know, make sure that i'm protected? what can i do as a consumer when i use my card, or are you telling me don't use my card? >> well, yeah, there's a couple of things can you do. always use signature. don't ever put your p.i.n. number in. try to use credit cards and not debit cards.
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that way, the money's not taken out of your account. if you can use prepaid cards, those are even better, or just use good ole cash. unfortunately, until the credit card industry upgrades us from the account magnetic strip credit card to encrypted, it will be an everyday scenario we'll live through. >> all right, david, thank you so much. appreciate it. >> thanks. >> we'll talk again in the 3:00 hour to find out what other steps you might be able to take to protect yourself. all right. coming up next, the "dynasty" will continue. phil robertson is back on the hit show "duck dynasty," but was the controversy over his comments a pcomment s a ploy to snag even bigger ratings?
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bottom of the hour now. welcome back, i'm fredricka whitfield. here are the stop stories crossing the newsdesk right now. four americans held by the libyan government for several hours have been released. the four military personnel were attached to a security detail with the u.s. embassy in tripoli. it's not known why the four were initially taken in to custody. and bad news for 1.3 million americans out of work for more than 26 weeks.
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they're losing their jobless benefits starting today. this is the emergency federal program that picks up when state benefits run out. supporters say the move will motivate some people into accepting job offers. critics say there aren't enough jobs and argue cutting benefits will only hurt the economy. and score one for the embattled national security agency. the nsa finally getting a little win for its surveillance program, collecting americans' telephone and internet records. a federal judge says the nsa's collection of your communications is legal, and a critical weapon in the fight against terrorism. and "duck dynasty" fans might be happy, happy, happy, but not everyone is. phil robertson was suspended from the hit reality show for controversial comments he made about homosexuality and race, but now cable channel a&e has decided to lift the suspension. glaad reacted to the decision saying, this, quote, if dialogue with phil isn't part of next
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steps, then a&e has chosen profits over african-american and gay people, especially its employees and viewers. end quote. so joining us now, cnn's senior media correspondent and host of cnn's' "reliable sources," brian stealther. good to see, brian. >> you too. >> this is a big win, obviously, for "duck dynasty." is it also for a&e, which, likely, has a few thousand, if not million more viewers now? >> i do think this will end up fuelling the ratings for "duck dynasty." the show was already the most popular one on a&e. one of the most popular cable television programs of all time. but, you know, the numbers weren't as strong, say, a month ago as they were, say, six months ago. >> oh, yeah? >> one tv commentator even suggested maybe we had passed peak "duck." and if anything -- sorry for that, i couldn't resist. >> yeah, yeah. >> i wonder if this is going to help the show in some way in january when the next season premiers.
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definitely this whole controversy has increased the name recognition of the show, and it serves as a giant reminder that more episodes are on the way. of course, there could be backlash to the show. some viewers turned off by it now. i have a feeling there are more people who are curious about it than there are bothered by it, or discouraged to watch. >> indeed, it ruffled a lot of feathers. i couldn't resist either. >> there it is. >> but at the same time, this has become fodder for politics in the political world. >> it is. >> you have the louisiana governor, bobby jindal, saying he's glad folks at a&e, quoting him now, came to their senses and reinstated phil robertson. of course, you had other prominent conservatives who had comments about it, along the way including former alaska governor sarah palin, and most recently, you have texas senator ted cruz saying, you know, back on. >> yeah, the show's become
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politicized. i don't think that's going to go anymore. i think that's the new normal for this show, which may or may not be a good thing over the long term. we'll find out when we see the ratings in january. i think we have to separate what phil robertson said to "gq" from the show itself, because a lot of people can watch it and not agree with what he said to "gq." what we'll find out next year when the ratings come in is whether viewers hold the show accountable for the way phil robertson says, or not. because sometimes, in cases, let's say, paula deen, for example, the food network yanked paula deen's shows off the air after she was embroiled in controversy earlier this year. and in other cases, though, you know, there can be reality stars acting badly or speaking incendiary ways off camera, but it doesn't affect the show. so we'll see which way this ends up going. >> a&e claims it will run public
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service announcements to promote unity and tolerance. will this smooth things over in your view? >> it's a concession of sorts to some of the gay rights groups and civil rights groups that were understandably very bothered and very offended by some of what phil robertson said. you read part of the statement from glaad. their point is, here's phil robertson comparing gay people to terrorists. at least using those terms in the same sentence. and yet, a&e seems to be bringing him right back into the business where they were ten days ago. i think we'll continue to hear from those groups. they will continue to push for signs that phil robertson and the whole "duck dynasty" family is showing tolerance and supporting unity. i don't know if we'll actually see the family in those public service ads, though. a&e hasn't commented on whether phil robertson will film one of those, for example, but having the psas is definitely a way to signal to these groups that a&e understanding their concerns. it's a weird, delicate dance that television networks have to
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do. >> it is indeed. brian, thank you so much. of course, you're likely talking about this and a host of other things on "reliable sources" tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., yes? >> absolutely. we'll see you then. >> we'll be tuned in. thank you so much, brian. >> thanks. a big year for business news, as wreell. bad news at blackberry, bitcoin boom, and wall street records. but what was the biggest -- the biggest story of 2013? the answer straight ahead.
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a harsh new reality for 1.3 million americans today. we're talking about people who have not had a job for more than 26 weeks. well today, they're losing their jobless benefits. tom foreman joins us with a look at who will get hit the hardest. >> reporter: who will be most affected by this program? the long-term unemployed. this is people who have already used up all their regular unemployment benefits for 26 weeks, and now are getting these additional emergency benefits that congress has approved and reapproved several times over the past few years. that's those additional benefits that are being cut off. how much is it? about $300 per week to each of the recipients, and there are about 1.3 million people who will be immediately affected by this cutoff. they're spread around the country, but some areas are being hit more than others. in the northeast, you might look at new york, new jersey,
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pennsylvania. down here, florida, georgia. illinois, texas. california out here. those are the places hit the hardest, because they have the most people who have been unemployed for the longest period of time. and all of this brings up a lot of uncertainties. for those who support the idea of cutting these emergency benefits, they believe it will not only save the government $25 billion, $26 billion in the coming year, but, also, unemployed people may accept previously rejected jobs. their theory is that this pushes people out there to look a little bit harder for work. those who are against this cut saying nonsense. long-term unemployed people are less likely to find work, that's why they're having such a hard time. you're just punishing them. you won't encourage them anymore at all. and the biggest uncertainty? what is the impact of all of this on the economy. we don't really know right now if you take all of the spending out, but we'll have to say. >> all right. thanks so much, tom. billions of dollars spent on
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websites and smartphone apps and silicon valley companies grow bigger than ever. lots of big money stories in 2013, from bitcoins to amazon's drone delivery. richard quest and christine romans count down the top ten moments in money and business for 2013. >> reporter: number 10, jeff bezos, the amazon tech ceo is taking on print media, paying $250 million for the washington post, and investing in cutting-edge technology, too. pitching a plan to deliver your amazon purchases -- oh, yes! -- by drone. >> reporter: number 9, marissa may mayer, one full year on the job. so now, we can see what kind of leader she is at yahoo!. her goal? to make yahoo! cool again. her strategy, a shopping spree. $1.1 billion for the blogging website tumblr and mayer picked
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up katie couric and david poe. >> reporter: number 8, blackberry not dead yet, according to the company, at least. smartphone granddaddy's taken drastic measures to keep itself alive, and put itself up for sale, laid off around 40% of its workforce before cancelling plans to sell itself. and even that may not save the company. >> reporter: number 7, tech winners, a year and a half after facebook's face-plant ipo, the stock higher than where it started, and twitter once on the new york stock exchange, making co-founders very, very, very wealthy. but neither facebook nor twitter can match google when it comes to share price. google shares topped $1,000 a year, thanks in profits to the company's ad business. >> reporter: number six, in bitcoin we trust. now, bitcoin, which is the electronic cash, shows the world that it's real, at least for
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now. and some even are calling it the safe haven investment for the 21st century. despite massive volatility on the way, the little virtual currency that could surged. it was up $14 at the beginning of the year. it closes around $1,200 at the end of november. number five. american airlines, the merger that's taken off. the world's largest airline. the carrier has given off takeoff and landing slots at washington reagan and new york la guardia. the justice department says that will bring in low-cost carriers and help travelers, though with consumer tickets on the rise, the consumer may still lose out. >> reporter: number four, the shutdown. the shutdown lasted 16 days. the government offices, national
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parks closed, 800,000 workers sent home. >> this isn't some damn game. >> reporter: the final cost to the economy, around $24 billion. number three, the president initially called glitches, it quickly turned into a political catastrophe. the government called in outside experts for a tech surge to fix the site. the signups have picked up, but it's still too soon to predict whether the site will be a success. >> reporter: number two, jpmorgan, america's biggest bank, will pay $13 billion to settle charges it misled investors about the quality of the mortgages it sold leading up to the financial crisis. it is the biggest settlement to date. the justice democratic says it won't be the last. >> reporter: number one -- stock market record. [ bell sounds ] the federal reserve pumping so much money into the economy, stocks launched to new highs, home prices moving higher, but main street isn't feeling so good.
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fast-food workers across the country on strike, protesting what they call poverty wages. they're calling for a $15 minimum wage. that's a debate that won't end with a new year. >> well, remember the really huge business embarrassment for u.p.s., saying that it was unable to deliver all of the gifts and packages in time for christmas? well, now, u.p.s. says three days after christmas now, all of the packages have now been delivered. part of the big problem was, u.p.s. says, it didn't anticipate that huge volume of packages and demand. all right. so they were the crimes and the trials that stunned us. an olympic star charged with murder. the infamous jodi areas. and george zimmerman's emotionally charged trial. but which story will be number one? the top ten next. this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one.
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all right. several moments captured our attention this year and shook up our justice system. crimes also shocked us. and trials caused a lot of outrage. ashleigh banfield looks back >> reporter: number ten -- >> we have a report that shots have been fired at the washington navy yard. >> the u.s. navy is telling us three shots were fired. they tell us an active shooter is still inside that building. >> reporter: former navy reservist aaron alexis. a military contractor, gunned down 12 people before police shot and killed him. number 9 -- the mysterious death of 17-year-old kendrick johnson. >> i have questions about the kendrick johnson case. >> i won't discuss that with you. >> why not, sir? >> because our case is closed. >> his body found upside down in
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a rolled-unwrestling mat in the gym. local authorities ruled it an accident. kendrick's parents believe he was murdered. now federal authorities are investigating. >> that's my child and we're going to fight till it's all over. >> reporter: number 8 -- oscar pistorius. the blade runner. a couple amputee. beloved south african olympic athlete indicted on charges of murder in august for the shooting of his model girlfriend reeva steenkamp. he admits he shot her on valentine's day, but says it was an accident. his trial starts in march. number 7 -- hannah anderson, rescued after a week-long hunt for her abductor in august. family friend james dimaggio killed her mother and her brother and the family dog. their bodies found in his burned home. fbi agents killed him in a
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shoot-out. number 6 -- a woman who needs no introduction. >> put on your makeup jodi girl. ♪ >> reporter: her outrageous behavior in the interrogation room, the brutal murder of her ex-boyfriend travis alexander, and x-rated details of their sex life gripped the nation. jody arias convicted of first degree murder. but the jury could not decide if she should live or die for the crime. number 5 -- a gang of bikers taking on an suv driver on a highway in manhattan. his wife and 2-year-old daughter inside. it started with a bump. and moments later, this terrible scene. the driver runs over one biker. his wife says he was left paralyzed. 11 other bikers including an undercover cop are indicted.
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number 4 -- edward snowden, branded by some as a hero by others a traitor for exposing the nsa's spying programs in may. perhaps the biggest intelligence leak in u.s. history. charged with espionage. granted asylum in russia. number 3 -- george zimmerman. found not guilty in july of murdering trayvon martin. >> so i was screaming, help, help, as loud as i can. >> so you think he's yelling help? >> yes. >> reporter: a tragic case that ignited questions about race. >> trayvon martin put race in this. you don't think that creepy ass cracker is a racial comment? >> no. >> reporter: a 17-year-old in a hoodie with pack of skittles, enduring images from a case that's prompted cries for civil rights charges. and an emotional debate.
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even the president weighed in. >> if i had a son, he'd look like trayvon. >> reporter: since zimmerman's acquittal, he's had a few other run-ins with the law. number 2 -- inside a cleveland house of horrors, three girls kidnapped, raped and held captive for more than a decade. but on may 6th, amanda berry, gina dejesus and michelle knight finally broke free. >> i will not let the situation define who i am. i will live on. you will die a little every day. >> reporter: ariel castro sentenced to life in prison plus more than a thousand years. >> i am not a violent predator, a monster, i am not a monster. >> reporter: but ultimately he would do himself in, killing himself in his cell. that was ten through two. this is number 1. >> apparently there's been an
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explosion at the boston marathon, i'm told. >> a 26 mile 383 yard marathon and it was wrapping up when you look at these devastating pictures right at the finish line, these are pictures that were shot just moments ago. >> reporter: double bombings at the finish line of the boston marathon on april 15th. three people were killed, 264 others were wound ed. and days later a police officer would be killed. another wounded. within four days one suspect, tamerlan tsarnaev shot and killed by police. then the manhunt for his brother dzhokhar that shut down the city. >> we believe that the suspect is cornered in a boat. >> reporter: tsarnaev arrested april 19th and later charged. now the u.s. attorney is
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deciding if he'd face the death penalty. the attack knocked the city down, but it was far from defeated. >> i kind of feel like we're all boston. >> reporter: the whole country united with one resounding message. >> strong. not just strong. boston strong. >> cnn's top ten of 2013. we're koupting them all down with don lemon tomorrow night 6:30 eastern time. a lot of big crime and justice stories this year. our legal guys richard herman and avery freeman will be here to discuss the most intriguing in their view and they'll tackle yesterday's ruling on the nsa checked of phone records. all right. it's fight night in mma, but the biggest bout might not be in the main event. why everyone is talking about it being ladies' night inside the octag octagon. [ sneezes, coughs ]
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all right. let's talk sports now. a comeback win in a bowl game is the latest chapter in how syracuse' quarterback has overcome adversity. it's sad but also uplifting. >> it's been a very tough battle but terrell hunt has made this now at least into a great feel-good story. terrell hunt has never stopped fighting. while in high school, both hf his parns died one month apart. hunt's mother wanted him to go to syracuse.
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last monday he completed his first season as syracuse's starting quarterback. check out the poise. with a 12-yard touchdown to put the orange up 5-4, but minnesota had one last chance to win it. the gophers needed a touchdown. it looked like they would get a perfect pass, but the ball goes right through the receiver's arms. syracuse hangs on to win it and terrell hunt is named most valuable player of the texas bowl as syracuse wins. it's another spectacular dunk from lebron james. the nonchalant toss over his head and look who's waiting at the other end. lebron james can power an entire city with this wind mill. that was the good. the bad news, not only did the heat go on to lose the game, but lebron james strained his groin. and he is questionable for tonight's big matchup as miami takes on the best team in basketball as of tonight. and trending on
9:00 am, it is ladies night inside the octagon. mixed martial arts tonight in vegas. the champ ronda rousey takes on niche sha tate. roussy is undefeated with seven wins and all seven have come in the very first round. tate who is looking for some revenge. how good ronda rousey has been, regardless of sex or weight class, the ufc ranks her as the tenth best fighter overall. men and women. >> wow. and so this is vegas. >> yeah. >> full house for this kind of bout? >> at the mgm grand. >> whoa, that's nice. best of both to them. i'm not picking any sides. don't want to get into a brawl with anybody. >> neither do i. >> thanks, appreciate that. top of the hour, noon hour, let's go to a second hour in the newsroom this morning or afternoon. a giant credit card breach at target just got worse.
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after denying it at first, target says, yes, hackers did get your p.i.n. data. what experts recommend to do to protect yourself. people stuck in antarctica are anxiously awaiting help, their ship stuck in ice. now the rescue ship is also struggling with the ice. and a combat veteran might be most popular employee at the pentagon. she also has a critical job there. we take you to washington for emmy's story. all right. we start with a frightening new development in that target credit card breach. target now says hackers did steal customers' p.i.n. data. but the retail giant says those p.i.n.s are heavily encrypted and impossible to decode. andrea field is live for us in new york. is that the case, impossible to
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decode? and are customers comforted by that? >> reporter: we're going to find out. for now the answer depends on who you ask. target is telling shoppers that that data is safe and secure, it's scrambled. it's encrypted at checkout and encrypted in the system and when it leaves the system. no reason to believe that data has been decrypted. but security experts say that certainly there will be attempts to do that. there will be programs in place that will try to decode that data. that's why some people may be concerned. >> the encryption itself is actually an industry grade standard, and they use something called triple-dez, but p.i.n. numbers, they're only four characters. which means there are only about 10,000 different combinations you can do to get it. altogether, it won't hold up. because hackers can do what's called brute forcing it to actually grab those p.i.n. numbers themselves. >> this security breach has raised concerns for a large number of shoppers.
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40 million according to target. initially target stores said that credit and debit card numbers had been stolen along with customers' names. they are now, of course, saying that the encrypted p.i.n. numbers were taken as well, fred. >> what's the recommendation to customers? >> okay, well, the best advice is to act quickly, even as all of this is investigating, first thing that everyone needs to do is replace your credit card or your debit card, change the p.i.n. number. take a look at your credit card statements and bank statements. we all notice those big charges oftentimes when it's too late. but the experts say you should look out for very small charges, a few cents, a few dollars. fraudsters will start with small amounts to see if an account is still active. and this new video this morning from that ship stuck in the frozen waters of antarctica. chris turny, the expedition leader gave an update on the crew's condition earlier.
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>> it's the 28th of december, 2013, as you can see, the weather's closed in. we've got some snow falling, but it's not too windy. unfortunately, the weather forecast is for these conditions to continue for the next few days. >> he seems content with it all. it has been four days since it got stuck. although a rescue vessel is within sight, it's not able to get close enough to that ship. we're following the story from london. is it inching any closer now? >> it's still quite far away, unfortunately, fred. the chinese vessel really can't get any further. it was six nautical miles away. it didn't have the capabilities to push any further. the ice was just so thick, unfortunately. so what he had to do, he had to reverse the line he took on the way to the russian vessel and it's now on the open water and just standing by in case the
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russian vessel does need any sort of help. it does have helicopter in there just in case there's some sort of emergency. in the meantime, we have an australian vessel making its way there. expected to get there by sunday night australia time. and we're hoping that that vessel will be able to pish through. but i can tell you having spoken to the maritime authority of australia this morning, they have their doubts. they told me that the ice at the moment is like two meters deep, fred. and that means that the vessel right now can only cut through about 1.35 meters compared to the 1 meter of the chinese vessel. so they're real concern that when it does get there and assesses the situation, it might try to force it, but if it doesn't, then they have a backup of the chinese vessel. >> oh, my goodness. are they leaning toward having to use that backup gishen the way things look? >> it may be, that's exactly how
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it may happen, but that also depends on the weather on the day. they face some blizzards. you heard there from the leader of the expedition say that they've had some snow. but it all depends on how the situation is, how thick the ice is, how strong the blizzards are. in the meantime, though, they seem pretty upbeat, the morale is high, they've got plenty of food, they've got plenty of food and they have visitors, they have penguins. i think for now they're happy. let's see whether the morale continues in the next couple of days. >> that is going to be the true test because they certainly look like they're in their element, so to speak. isa, thanks so much. look at those smiling faces. they're happy. usa department says it's still trying to piece together details in libya after four americans were detained and then released late last night. the four military personnel were working to strengthen security at the u.s. embassy in tripoli.
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the white house says the president was briefed but offered no further comments. and your phone and internet records are still fair game for the national security agency. a federal judge said the nsa's spying program that includes those records is constitutional. and a critical weapon in the fight against terrorism. and "duck dynasty" fans might be happy, happy, happy, but not everyone is. phil robertson was suspended from the hit reality show for controversial comments he made about homosexuality and race. but now a & e network has decided to reinstate him. glaad reacted to the decision saying, quote, if dialogue with phil isn't part of next steps, then a & e has chosen profits over african-american and gay people, especially its employees and viewers. end quote. if you haven't had your flu shot yet, you might cringe when you hear this. this season promises to be a very dangerous one.
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federal health officials say over the past week widespread activity has leaped from four states to ten. the most common strain, h1n1 which is blamed in the deaths of a few children over the last few months. it was known as swine flu during the 2009 pandemic that swept across the globe and killed nearly 300 people in the u.s. the new year will start out a lot tougher for many americans who rely on jobless benefits to pay the bills. federal emergency unemployment benefits run out today for 1.3 million people. and congress left town earlier this month for recess without including the extension in the budget deal. cnn national correspondent is with us now from washington with the very latest. are there any options for many of these americans to need these benefits? >> the options right now are
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what congress is going to do to help them. fred, the president is trying to drum up support. now, in a statement the white house said, quote, the president as well as the democratic congressional leadership has made clear the importance of extending the benefits immediately upon congress' retu return. this tees up a nasty fight for the new year. some republican ps say it's time to end the program altogether. they argue it's too expensive. a year's extension costs about $25 billion. people have gotten dependent. and they say the economy is strong enough now without them. now, here's a little preview of what the tough love argument will hear from some republicans. >> it's long been known that they're going to expire. people should have been making the tough decisions they needed to make to find a job. and the problem when the welfare state gets too expansive is that people tend to depend too much on government. the message for the future i
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think is that individuals need to save more, to put away money for possible recessions in the future. >> and political arguments aside, this is a very real problem for so many people. we spoke with one man in new york who is 52 and he's been out of work for six months. i asked him what would you say to congress. here's what he said. >> i would say that this is an emergency and people need these benefits just to eat and pay their bill. it's not even enough to do that really. but at least it's something. and, you know, if they don't have that, then we really have no income whatsoever. and i don't know how we're even supposed to eat and pay our bills let alone try to find another job. >> on average these benefits amount to about $300 each week. that's very real money to someone who doesn't have a job. and now, fred, those checks will just stop coming. >> all right. sunlen, tough times indeed.
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thanks so much. 74 people are waiting to be rescued from that ship stuck in antarctica that we mentioned a while back. well, we're going to hear from some of the people on board. i'm nathan and i quit smoking with chantix. when my son was born, i remember, you know, picking him up and holding him against me. it wasn't just about me anymore. i had to quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. chantix didn't have nicotine in it, and that was important to me. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about
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all right, now back to antarctica where a russian ship with 74 people on board is stuck in the ice. it's understandable how most ships would get stuck but icebreakers? how does that happen? we have the answer. >> reporter: you'd think that because this is a glacial environment sea ice would move at a glashl pace. not the case. wraps of ice move quickly rushed over the sea by wind. they can expand and grow thicker, rise and fall with the waves beneath them. and blizzard conditions common to antarctica even in summer,
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don't help. you might remember this scene from minnesota where wind blew ice ashore cracking into doors and windows. think of this same principle in a frigid sea. you can see how a research ves got trapped how ernest shackleton were surrounded and how that ship was eventually crushed. like the trapped whales traumatized in the movie "big miracle" are vulnerable. >> did you see that? >> reporter: what does it take to get through the ice and rescue whales, cruise ships or anything else that gets stranded? wait, sea ice as thick as ten feet can be broken and the sloping holes of some ice breakers designed to actually wedge up on top of ice so the heavy ship can crush down on it. the bows are also designed to then move the cracked ice to the side, plowing a path that other
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ships can follow. a crusty road to open water out of a frozen maze. >> that was fascinating stuff. so expedition leader and scientist chris turney is on board that ship. and you know why he's so excited about all this. he and other passengers were thrilled to see the chinese rescue ship, even if it's from afar. >> what's that on the horizon, chris? >> that's the icebreaker coming to rescue us. >> brilliant. >> earlier my colleague bill weir spoke to three people on board that ship. >> i was with expedition leader greg mortimer when he first sighted the chinese icebreaker on the horizon, and he said to me that, psychologically, that was a really important moment because as soon as the chinese captain visibly saw us, the incentive to get to us was that much greater then suddenly. we were sudden len thi then a r
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thing than just a blip on a radar. >> it's crucial for all the people who are following us. we're in a bit of a bubble here. chris and i have been using social media to share what we're doing but it's very hard to see the reaction outside. yesterday, lawrence tweeted a tiny picture of the ship that was coming to rescue us. and within five minutes, it had been sent around the world 200 or 300 times. this is attention that we're not used to. maybe justin bieber is, but we're not. and they've gone viral, too. what do you think? >> they've been fantastic. wonderful, satellite technology we can use today just allowing us to chat to you now. it's just superb. in the old days, we'd be stuck off the edge of a map and no one would know where we are. today we can chat to you from one end of the planet to the
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other. >> a very enthusiastic trio. expedition leader chris turney also says that everyone on board is doing well, just like them. from the icy ocean to the heavens. it was the day after christmas and people in central iowa were looking up at the skies. they were trying to figure out what this was. security camera footage shows a fireball lighting up the sky over the town of north liberty thursday evening. was it a meteor? well, of course people on social media went crazy talking about it. the national weather service says it won't be able to confirm if it is actually a meteor because of the location in the sky. all right. a legal victory for the nsa. a federal judge ruled its spying program is lawful. but a week ago another judge said it's likely unconstitutional. so which is it? our legal guys weigh in. [ male announcer ] for every late night,
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she sounds hideous. well she's a guy, so... [ male announcer ] another reason more people stay with state farm. get to a better state. ♪ time for a big ruling on your privacy. the nsa getting a legal victory by a federal judge in new york on its surveillance program. the program collects the numbers culled from all of our phones. tracks when those calls are made and for how long and to whom you're speaking. judge william collie says he finds the program lawful. but just a week ago another
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federal judge in washington looking at the same facts had a different opinion. judge richard leon said the program violates our privacy and is likely unconstitutional. the extent of the nsa's program is revealed in classified leaks by former contractor edward snowden. so in the end, what does this all mean for you and who gets the ultimate say? my legal guys join me now to answer some of that. avery friedman joining us from cleveland. good to see you. >> hi, fredricka. >> and richard herman in new york joining us from hawaii. oh, aloha. just rub it in, why don't ya? all right. so avery, you first, does one federal judge's ruling kind of supersede what the other one said? >> no, it does not. the amazing thing about these decisions, this is a constitutional lollapalooza and so exciting. one federal judge in washington says it violates the
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constitution. >> right. >> a federal judge in new york says it doesn't. so where this is going is not straight to the supreme court. >> no? >> because there are very important issues about security verse ow privacy. what we're going to see here is an appeal to federal appeals court where there will be a multitude of judges deciding it. and if there's not a an agreement, it may never get to the supreme court. >> you're kidding. >> but we need to define privacy versus security. right now a free for all in the federal courts. >> so does this mean, richard, that the nsa can continue going about its business because of this latest judge's ruling, that it is lawful, until, like avery said, it finds its way to an appellate body? >> yes, fred, at this time the nsa will continue their activities. and you know the d.c. decision only referred to a small, select group of individuals who took that appeal. the decision in new york by the federal court judge -- just think, fred, his courtroom is a
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stone's throw away from where the world trade center stood. so if there's an argument, as was made beforehand, that this technology might have prevented a 9/11 episode, you know this judge or any judge sitting in that courtroom is going to rule in favor of this technology. that's the issue. could this have prevented it? that's where the arguments are coming in. some say it had nothing to do with it whether we collected all this data. others, nsa says, oh, yes, we could have prevented how we collected the data. this is the crux, this is the issue, avery's right. it will take another level of appeal, but i do believe this will be before the united states supreme court to ultimately rule. >> and why do you feel like it would make its way to the supreme court, contrary to what avery has to say? >> well, because i think it's going to be a split in the circuits on this, fred. any time there's a split in the circuits, the case is ripe for
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supreme court review. here there was a presidential commission also established by president obama who, in the end, said you know, probably it violates the fourth amendment, but we're not real sure. we don't want to go there quite yet. there's a split in the country and the supreme court is is going to ultimately have to decide abo decide. avery, does this case have all the criteria that would, you know, satisfy the supreme court to even want to tackle a case like this? >> well, i think there are great public policies involved. again, the balance between fourth amendment, personal privacy, and the power of congress to deal with terrorism, while, yes, i would agree with that, fredricka, we've got a long way to go. we don't know what the federal appeals courts are going to do in this case, but i think one way or the other it's going to be one of the top ten cases for 2014. there is no doubt about it because everybody's affected. >> all right, well, very perfect segue because we're going to
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have you back in a moment to talk about some of the top cases in you all's view for 2013. here's a hint. aerial castro, the house of horrors, among them. we'll find out what else you think is one of the top two cases of 2013. a subaru... ...are the hands that do good things for the whole community: the environment, seniors, kids, and animals.
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you'll recall it was one of the most highly anticipated verdicts of the year. in july, a florida jury acquitted george zimmerman of all charges in the shooting death of teen trayvon martin. well, shannon travis has a look at the verdict and the background in this controversial case. >> reporter: after two days and more than 16 hours of deliberations, the jury has reached a verdict. >> we the jury find george zimmerman not guilty. >> reporter: george zimmerman is now a free man. >> you have no further business with the court. >> reporter: it was the story that captured the nation's attention. on february 26, 2012, george zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer calls police to report a suspicious person in a sanford, florida, gated community. minutes later the unarmed 17-year-old trayvon martin is shot and killed. >> my heart hurts for my son.
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>> reporter: zimmerman claimed martin attacked him and he was acting in self-defense. the martin family believed race was a driving factor. police arrested zimmerman in april 2012 and charged him with second degree murder. he has pleaded not guilty to that charge. >> i felt sorry that they lost their child, yes. >> reporter: the 14-day trial began in late june of this year. dozens have testified for both the prosecution and the defense. the prosecution argued zimmerman did not have to kill martin. >> the defendant didn't shoot trayvon martin because he had to. he shot him because he wanted to. >> reporter: the defense meanwhile said the case against zimmerman was weak. >> how many what ifs have you heard from the state in this case? >> reporter: from start to finish, this case has kept americans waiting for this verdict. in sanford, florida, i'm shannon travis. >> no doubt about it, it was
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indeed one of the most highly anticipated cases of the year. let's bring in our legal guy avery friedman, a civil rights lawyer in cleveland and richard herman, joining us from, i hate to say it, maui. lucky dog. anyway, all right, so avery, let's talk about this. unanimously this was the consensus, the big legal story of the year if not perhaps one of the most influential. what was it about this case that most enamored you? avery? >> well, as far as i'm concerned, i don't think we learned anything other than the racial divide and a lost life. the zimmerman case, yes, has to be one of the top three. but to me, fredricka, the number one case of the year has to involve three young women who were freed in the sun splash in may and catching ariel castro, making this case go forward may be one of the fastest criminal
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cases in american history, ultimately a thousand year sentence and he takes his own life. but the resiliency of these three women, that's what this case is about and the generosity of a community that backed auld three of them up with a future that hopefully will be as bright as the sun that came out the day they escaped. >> that really did, that case underscored that whole adage, if you see something, say something. and a man did see something odd and did something about it. and said something. and it led to really the rescue, the release of those young ladies. so you know, richard, in your view, these top two cases, they really both left indelible marks on everybody. and they really did tug at the heartstrings in so many different ways. what did you see about the real legal challenges as it pertains to these cases or what perhaps were the lasting lessons from either of those two cases? >> well, you said it, fred. if you see something, speak up. if something doesn't look right,
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you got speak up. but in the ariel castro case, it's inconceivable that this man could have abducted these three women and lived in the community among all the people. like the mark lundsford story in florida where the daughter was right next door. it's inconceivable. but for me, fred, the zimmerman/trayvon martin case was the most important case that we saw because in that particular case, it's a tragedy. it's a tragedy all around. it's a tragedy because a young man lost his life. it's a tragedy for zimmerman who will carry his baggage around for him the rest of his life. but for me the most tragic situation here aside from a young man losing his life are his parents because they were led astray by people with dreams of grandeur and self-promotion, dragged this couple all over the country, did not let them grieve for their own child, made them
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promises. this verdict had to be the verdict that came down, fred. it couldn't come any other way with the evidence that was presented in this case. it just could not. and the media coverage went crazy with it because nobody really sat and watched all of the evidence and analyzed all of the testimony. had you done that, you would have realized it had to be a not guilty verdict based on the evidence that they had. maybe the prosecution shouldn't have been brought, angela was brought in to rush this prosecution, the police were not ready to indict this case yet. and yet here you had it. it is just an overall tragedy, fred, naes the case that stands out in my mind for 2013. >> avery also, too, to that point that richard makes, the parents were really remarkable. even the mother even said, you know, as tragic as this was, she said she and the father were
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vehicles to help teach america some very painful lessons here. and that perhaps they thought maybe they could help save other young men, too, because they had made themselves so public and in such a painful way through this entire process. >> well, i agree on one level. their advocacy certainly raises a consciousness, but as i said earlier, fredricka, i don't know what lesson america learned other than a very serious racial divide in how different americans look at the criminal justice system. this was an awful case. and stand your ground, it was not. if there's anything that was wrong, it was for the police to wait over 46 days to effectuate an arrest. other than that, i'm actually in accord. i think the evidence supported the verdict. i don't like it. but to make it number one, we understand the tragedy.
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it is hopeful that we won't see something like this in the future. unfortunately, i think we will. >> all right. avery, richard, thanks so much for your input. and of course, thank you for all the incredible work that you do every weekend, all year long, with your insight, with your expertise, with your intelligence and opening our eyes to fascinating cases and opening our eyes to looking at cases different ways. thanks so much for all that you bring. >> thank you. >> better things coming up for 2014, fredricka. >> see you, fred. >> we look forward to that. thank you so much and mahalo, as well, to our hawaiian friends. thank you, gentlemen, appreciate it. it has been two years. count them, two years since osama bin laden was killed. some call his death a defeat for al qaeda. but the terror may be growing.
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and some lawmakers say we're less safe now than we were a year ago. i'm beth...
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so you can. the u.s. state department said this week it's giving weapons and drones to iraq to help the country fight a growing threat from al qaeda. the terror dprup may have taken a hit in 2011 when osama bin laden was killed but now experts
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say it's getting even stronger. pentagon correspondent barbara star has more. >> reporter: cnn has learned recent intercepts of messages from senior al qaeda operatives in yemen are renewing concern the group is planning new attacks. the intercepts don't indicate specific targets, but are described by one source as, quote, active plotting. >> there are multiple indications that al qaeda in the arian peninsula is plotting attacks both within yemen, against u.s. and other western structures as well as overseas. >> reporter: the group in yemen already well known for the failed underwear bomber attempt to bring down an airplane christmas day 2009. four years later the u.s. intelligence community believes it poses the greatest threat of an attack on the u.s. >> they're still capable of conducting attacks outside of yemen including plotting attacks
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against the united states in multiple locations including trying to conduct attacks against the u.s. homeland especially by taking down aircraft. >> reporter: analysts say the group rebounded in 2013 from battlefield losses. u.s. drone strikes have had mixed results. a drone attack this month failed to kill an al qaeda planner believed to be behind a plot to attack the u.s. embassy. yemen says more than a dozen members of a wedding party were killed in that attack. yemen's al qaeda leader also advising al qaeda fighters across the region. and those al qaeda affiliates from yemen to syria, iraq and libya are growing stronger. the threat they pose worries key members of congress. >> are we safer now than we were a year ago, two years ago? >> i don't think so. >> i absolutely agree that we're not safer today. >> reporter: in iraq, police are
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trying to crack down, but al qaeda openly operates training camps near the syrian border. and from there, al qaeda has moved into syria with weapons and tactics learned during the u.s. war in iraq. inside syria, a key al qaeda affiliate also stronger than a year ago. about 100 americans along with potentially hundreds from europe are fighting alongside thousands of militants. >> if they were able to return to europe and to get access to the united states or return directly to the united states, they were not put on any watch list, they would pose a very serious threat. they're well trained, irradicalized and they have the ability and the intent to strike the u.s. homeland. >> reporter: analysts say the rise of the new al qaeda affiliate is part of the price paid for years of attacks against the old core al qaeda. many of those leaders are long gone including osama bin laden.
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and now the new affiliates have much more autonomy, much more freedom to operate as they see fit. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. and then there's this. two airport breaches on christmas day. now raising a whole lot of questions. the breaches happened at two airports on opposite ends of the country. a newark airport in new jersey and in women's clothing scaled a fence and walked on to two runways. at sky harbor airport in phoenix, workers say they saw a man climb over barbed wire then run right on to the tarmac. >> reporter: $100 million have been spent on securing the perimeters of all new york area airports, about you it wasn't enough to stop one intruder from getting on the runway at newark liberty international. two officials say the suspect was coming from the new jersey turnpike and jumped the airport's security fence. he made his way across two
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runways before reaching gate 70 at terminal c where an airline employee stopped him. police arrested him and charged him with trespassing. they say the 24-year-old yers jersey city man was wearing women's clothes and he told them he'd been in someone's car when he got spooked and ran off. planes were never in danger but the whole episode raises questions about the airport's expensive security system. >> when the system is working and working effectively it becomes a good layer of security. an additional layer that goes above the regulatory standards. >> reporter: the multimillion dollar question, how did the suspect get all the way to a gate without getting stopped? the system includes radar, motion detecting cameras and technology. the same system came under fire in 2012 at new york's jfk airport when a jet skier who ran out of fuel was able to climb out of the water and on to the tarmac, again undetected.
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the new york/new jersey port authority put out a statement saying, quote, the preliminary investigation kates the airport's perimeter intrusion detection system worked properly during the incident. the statement goes on to say investigators are questioning employees, quote, to determine why it took an unacceptably long time to locate the suspect. >> it's very disturbing because you have this system that's been installed and tested over the last several years, and there continue to be different breaches at the different airports in the port authority jurisdiction. >> all right. and then there's some pretty extreme weather out there. ice, tornadoes, even typhoons. we've seen a lot of wicked weather this year. which one's made it to our top test list next. [ male announcer ] here's a question for you:
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a thousand year flood and nearly 300-mile-per-hour tornado and a typhoon that destroyed millions of homes. mind boggling numbers to go with some of the extreme weather stories that we've covered this
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year. chad myers counts down the top ten. >> reporter: 2013 was quite a year weather wise. let's go to the top ten weather stories right now. we'll start with number ten in mexico. twin hurricanes hitting that country, one from the gulf of mexico, the other from the pacific. $5 billion in damage, more than 100 people killed in that flooding. now, to south dakota. 12 days into autumn. we're looking at this, four feet of snow, 70-mile-per-hour winds. 20,000 cattle were killed in this storm as ranchers were caught off guard. now to the northeast. the nor'easter. a big storm back in february. 83-mile-per-hour winds at one point. but the pressure was equal to a category 2 hurricane. now to arizona, where the wildfires struck. lightning strike north of phoenix created this wildfire. it grew to 6,000 acres. the granite mountain hot shots were sent in, the wind shifted directions on them and blew the
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fire right back at those firefighters. 19 died that day. the largest loss in firefighters since 9/11. to east asia, very populated area here, shanghai into shemanto, japan. shemanto to 106 degrees. no european city has been that hot on any day any summer as long as they were keeping records. in oklahoma city, an ef-5 headed to moore, oklahoma. moore, oklahoma, right here. and it was coming right in from the west and we knew it was moving into a populated area. we watched it live on cnn from our local affiliates and broadcast it live to the world. and that school is plaza towers. it took a direct hit. seven children were killed in that school. but look at the damage that that school had. now on to el reno. i was there 11 days later. a 2.6-mile-wide tornado that
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moved to the southeast for a while, but when it got very strong almost 300 miles per hour with some mobile doppler radar units it turned to the left and caught a lot of stormchasers out of where they thought they should be, in a very bad position. that's where the storm should have gone in that white line. it didn't do that it. turned to the left and the storm chasers were right there. even the weather channel was right there. their stormchase vehicle was hit by this tornado. but sadly, sim semaris and two other chasers were killed in that vehicle right there as the tornado overtook them. colorado flash floods. this is once in a 1,000-year flood. 17 inches of rain in eight days, 9 inches in 24 hours. when you get that kind of rain in the mountains, it is going to run off. it won't all soak in. the rain came down and washed away towns, washed away bridges and roads and there was
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significant damage all tl way into boulder. also had very effective video. look at this. we watched this just for hours as they rescued people out of some of these creek ks and streams. now we go to india. 15 inches of rain in 24 hours. and look at what happened here. these towns were eaten alive by the water. washed away into the rivers here. one building after another. there were religious pilgrims in the area as well and more than 5,000 of them died. now on to europe. this isn't a flash flood like we've just seen the past two. this is a long-term rain event. and it rains in the mountains and the plains and it all gets down into the rivers. the rivers there in europe went up. the danube, the rhine, the elbe. it even broke those records, vienna, prague, budapest, all
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those ancient cities hit by this flood. now number 1, supertyphoon haiyan. a 200-mile-per-hour monster supertyphoon. we had 20-foot storm surge. anderson cooper was there. 6,000 people died as a 200-mile-per-hour wind rolled through tacloban all with that 20-foot storm surge. there's still 2,000 people missing, there are millions that don't have homes right now still in the philippines. all of this happened in a year that the ipcc put out their climate report. those are the climate gurus for the united nations. and they say we're going to have more heat waves in the future. we're going to have more floods and we're also going to have more drought because of climate change. so maybe what we thing of right now as extreme weather might just be the new normal. >> no, we don't want that. thanks so much, chad, though.
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cnn's top ten of 2013, we're counting them all down with don lemon tomorrow at 6:30 eastern time. for today's weather, let's check in with alexandra steel for the forecast. >> hi, fred. two big stories, the cold air moving from the midwest to the east and the rain train coming up and down the eastern seaboard. here's a look. these are high temperatures today in minneapolis. 38 degrees, chicago 41, up and down the eastern seaboard, 40s and 50s, the rain moving in certainly won't be snow. but then what happens on sunday. the cold air drops. minneapolis dropping 26 for a high of 4 below zero. chicago drops as well. east coast stays in the 30s, but then by the time we get to monday, those temperatures continue to drop as do these right along the eastern seaboard. so out of the 40s. that's why with this big moisture system moving in this weekend tomorrow morning it's here in washington and baltimore. just a rainmaker, though,
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certainly too warm for snow. then by sunday night it moves into the northeast. the only place we'll see snow, fred, here, in northern new england, they'll pick up a few inches in western new york. >> fair enough. thanks so much, alexandra. there's a new face in the pentagon police force, a face with floppy ears, a long snout and a nose for security. a little pep in the step there. and he's got some special training for this new job. i just love the new 2014 chevy malibu. yeah it offers stop/start technology and an epa-estimated 36 mpg highway. do you mind... oh, sure, i'm great with kids. yeah. we're next! great... [ both chuckle ] yeah. [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. time is running out to get this 2014 chevy malibu with a total cash allowance of $3,000. hurry, offer ends january 2nd.
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a canine combat vet who used to sniff out roadside bombs in afghanistan is now helping protect the pentagon. cnn's pentagon correspondent barbara starr has that story. >> reporter: when emmy comes to work at the department of defense alongside pentagon police officer eric harris, her nose is already on alert checking, pausing, sniffing. emmy is trained to detect explosives, but this 6-year-old lab is also a combat veteran, the first on the pentagon's canine force. what did you know about emmy before she came to you? >> she came to work for us, did two hours in afghanistan with a marine corps unit over there. she was an ied dog.
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her sole purpose was to find ieds along the roadside. >> reporter: when emmy arrived she brought her war zone work habits with her. >> she's nonstop working. i will say that. she's pretty much like any other marine or soldier, 24/7. >> reporter: emmy brought one habit she developed herself, to cope with the blistering heat in afghanistan. >> if it's really hot, she's dunk her face in a bowl of water and dip her front pads in water i'm assuming to cool them off. >> reporter: harris says emmy's partner in afghanistan andrew lindhstrom contacted the military when he came home. >> he was very concerned how she'd be treated once she retired as a marine corps dog. for him to go through all that trouble just to find out how emmy was doing, shows me what kind of bond those guys had over there. >> reporter: but even now, as she protects the pentagon, emmy likes to stop and visit. her special attention devoted to other marines. she makes sure there's time for officer harris to tell about her
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old unit. >> reserve unit out of hawaii, now we're going to keeper had here and keep her working. she's not ready to quit yet. >> reporter: but then right back to work, sniffing, searching, patrolling to make sure everyone stays safe. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. >> now that's a great co-worker. hello, everyone, i'm fredricka whitfield. people stranded in antarctica are anxiously awaiting help. now the rescue ship is also struggling in ice. a texas man has been charged with a hate crime in connection with the so-called knockout game. investigators say he punched a 79-year-old black man. the suspect's lawyer speaks out about his defense. and an about-face on "duck dynasty," the star is pack in action after a very short