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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 31, 2013 11:00am-1:01pm PST

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>> and happy new year, everybody. that's it for me. "newsroom" continues right now with martin savage. >> hello, everyone. i'm martin savage. thanks very much for joining me for these time hours of 2013. it is the holiday that everyone, no matter their creed or country, celebrates. we're talking about the magic of new year's, of course. while it has yet to hit the united states, in much of the world it is already 2014. it arrived in style. >> happy new year! >> celebrations in hong kong and taiwan. at this moment, new year's is hitting the revelers in
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pakistan, the maldives, and amsterdam island in the indian ocean. back here stateside, we're less than ten hours away from the big event on the east coast. of course, that is all the focus. in case you're wondering, the times square ball says it is set, even tweeting today, quote, here we go again, we need to rehearse? seriously, 100-plus years, i got this. let's check in with cnn's margaret conley. she's live in times square. the entertainment doesn't begin for hours. how much of a crowd is there already? >> reporter: martin, there's a crowd already gathered here at 47th and broadway. there's a lot of energy despite how freezing cold it is. there are people from all over the world that are here today. there is daniel. daniel is here from mexico. daniel, why are you here today? you said you wanted to be here as part of your bucket list. >> yeah, this is definitely one of the things i wanted to do during my lifetime. i'm so excited to be here with
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everyone. with my family, with relatives all over the world. it's nice to be here. >> reporter: what time did you get here? >> basically around noon. we have been here for a couple hours. >> reporter: how are you doing with the cold? how hot is it in mexico? >> normally it would be 70 degrees. but yeah, we're staying tight together here with the crowd to be warm together. >> reporter: and you have your parents here. you also have your sister. karen karen, is it worth it? >> definitely. i'm really excited about the crowd, the atmosphere, of course the ball drop. i'll tell you something, margaret. i brought all my family. say hi! >> reporter: so as you can see, there is a lot of energy. there's also a lot of security. there's nypd all over the place. they are checking all the entrance ways. they're checking you don't bring in big bags. no alcohol will be allowed. but we wait for the countdown. >> happy new year to you, margaret. happy new year to all your friends as well. thank you very much. time's running out if you want to make plans for watching the clock strike at midnight.
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but if you don't have a problem spending some cash to party tonight, there's some, well, plenty of extravagant options. here's cnn's zain asher. >> if you're like me and still haven't made plans for the new year, i have a few parties you might want to jot down. the question is, how much are you willing to spend? well, if you want to ring in the new year at applebee's in times square tonight, that will cost you $375 a person. believe it or not, that's actually a pretty good deal with you compare it to some of the other prices. ripley's believe it or not in new york is charging $995 a head for new year's eve. r lounge in times square offers a better view of the ball drop, but that will set you back $8,500. the cameo nightclub in miami is offering 75 bottles of champagne and a meet and greet with lil' wayne for $100,000.
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if you are on a bit of a tighter budget, might i point out the ball drop in times square is completely free as long as you don't mind sharing the night with 1 million of your closest friends. zain asher, cnn, new york. >> zain, thanks very much. much of the nation will start the new year the same way it ended it. in the cold. the eastern half of the country will see temps mostly below normal as the first snow of the new year brings ten inches to new england. windchills in the midwest have dropped below 30 degrees. meteorologist alexander steele looking ahead to next year's forecast. >> hi, martin. let's start things off in new york city for times square. right now in new york, it feels like 20 degrees. tonight it will feel like 16. of course, we've got some strong winds out there. boston, of course, if you're out there, the big library light
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show will be beautiful. it will feel like 5. very cold there as well. atlanta, georgia, if you're out there at midnight tonight, temperatures in the 30s. certainly colder than average. to chicago we go. they've had 11 inches of snow thus far this season. from now through friday, they could double that. we could see 3 to 5 inches alone tonight in chicago. it's going to be cold. so new year's eve windchill, if you're going to stand outside, 21 in kc. 30 in dallas. 29 in washington. 7 in boston. all right. so here's the current temperature. we've seen this incredibly cold arctic air. very strong winds. it's felt anywhere between 40 and 50 below zero windchill. right now it feels like -- and this is the straight air temperature -- 15 below and 6 below in bismarck. the arctic air is in place. it's going to drop south and drop east, make its way to the eastern seaboard. it will modify in scope. friday will be the coldest day. temperatures in the teens. about 20 degrees colder from
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where we stand now. here there's a few scenarios. we're going to see a nor'easter develop. a shift 50 miles west or east could change the scenario completely. scenario number one, the low moves off the coast. you see the snow. the second scenario, the low is a little farther east, less snow. kind of an aggregate of the two. there will be snow. take a look at some of these numbers. in boston, kind of the biggest winner, 6 to 10. new york city, 4 to 8. this is the thursday to friday time period. new york state throughway, a foot of snow plus. this is the storm coming thursday to friday, martin. we're going to see it certainly from boston points north and even into new york. >> the new year starts off white up there. alexandra steele, thanks very much. well, you need to make sure you're with us at the top of the next hour. new year in dubai, that's in the united arab emirates. they're aiming to present the
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largest fireworks display ever. if this light show is any indication, well, it looks like that city is going to succeed. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> that's just the warm-up. they never do anything low-key in dubai. the big show is just a little less than an hour away. 3:00 p.m. eastern time here on cnn. don't go far. they're going for a record. meanwhile, coming up next, amazing new video. the ship from the passengers that are stranded in the arctic ice. you know this story. we're now getting word about when they could be rescued. plus, a judge decides to extend
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the deadline when a hospital can take away the ventilator of a girl who's been brain dead after tonsil surgery. the family says they have video showing the girl is still responsive. and we'll take you live inside a pot dispensary in colorado where tomorrow folks are expecting a high demand for legal marijuana. stay right here. [ female announcer ] it figures. on your busiest day, you see the gray. try root touch up by nice 'n easy. just brush our permanent color matching creme right where you need it. then rinse. in 10 minutes, zap those grays and get on with your day. nice 'n easy root touch up. in 10 minutes, zap those grays and get on with your day. explaining my moderate to severe so there i was again, chronic plaque psoriasis to another new stylist. it was a total embarrassment. and not the kind of attention i wanted. so i had a serious talk with my dermatologist about my treatment options. this time, she prescribed humira-adalimumab. humira helps to clear the surface of my skin by actually working inside my body. in clinical trials, most adults with moderate
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the obama administration has just announced a milestone of sorts. a december surge has pushed obamacare enrollment past 2 million. at this hour, health secretary kathleen sebelius is providing more detail in a conference call with reporters. updates as we get them. strong wind is delaying the rescue of dozens of scientists and tourists who remain stranded by the arctic ice. we're hearing it'll be at least another 24 hours before a helicopter can try to reach them. this morning the passengers and crew aboard that stuck ship locked arms and walked across the frozen antarctic, preparing a spot for the chopper to land. >> it's the 31st of december at 3:00 p.m. we've just heard the aurora can't reach us, so we're
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preparing the helipad by stomping down the snow and ice so they can reach us when the weather improves. >> good to see they're all in good spirits. when the chopper arrives, it'll air lift 12 people at a time and take them to a nearby chinese ice breaker. crews in north dakota are testing the air for toxic fumes after a fiery train crash forced hundreds to evacuate. two trains collide ed yesterday just outside of fargo. one train was carrying crude oil. nobody was injured fortunately. the fire was so hot, though, firefighters couldn't get close enough to battle it. they are basically letting it burn itself out. a rocket strike on a passenger bus killed at least 25 people in syria's capital city today. reports indicate that men, women, and children were aboard that bus, and the wreckage has made it difficult to know the full death toll. the opposition group says the strike came from a government-controlled military air base. it also says that a two-week
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offensive on aleppo by syrian military members killed more than 500 people before the attack of today. and this comes as syria missed today's critical deadline in the plan to eradicate its chemical weapons. bad weather and security problems are being blamed for the delay in the transport. despite that delay, progress remains strong. a countdown in colorado today. it's a countdown to the retail sale of legalized recreational marijuana. 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, anyone over 21 can buy up to an ounce of pot at several licensed dispensaries. sales taxes on the drug are projected to generate $33 million for the state this fiscal year alone. pot shops are expecting high demand, unintended, and long lines tomorrow.
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casey winan is live for us in one of those dispensaries. how are preparations going? >> reporter: well, martin, they're really very busy. we're at the 3d cannabis company in denver, colorado. they're scrambling to get ready for this deadline less than 28 hours away. you see on this plant here, they've got tags that they have just put on to these plants. they just arrived about an hour ago. these are rf, radio frequency, i.d. tags that are mandated by the state. the businesses were hoping to get them earlier this week. just like the u.p.s. situation that delays christmas presents, these were delayed by u.p.s. as well. most retailers have them. they're putting them on 1200 plants at this one retailer before 8:00 tomorrow morning. you can also look -- and we'll take another camera shot. you can see that the shelves are still empty.
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they have a lot of stacking they need to do to get ready for the beginning of recreational sales tomorrow morning. you can see over here why those shelves are empty. they're still packaging this marijuana in eight-ounce baggies, which is per state requirements. these are sealed, and they have child proof bags that they'll be putting them in. all of the recreational marijuana will be sold in prepackaged form. it's a little different than the way the medical marijuana business has been working. i can tell you, martin, long time ago back in college, i remember seeing guys doing this, but they didn't invite television cameras in to watch them. i'll tell you that. >> i bet they didn't. kudos to you and the crew, by the way. that is pretty fascinating to be able to see this live. what sort of demand are they anticipating tomorrow when they open the doors? >> reporter: they're expecting very significant demand. they're expecting long lines outside, even though it's new year's morning. they're expecting very long lines. here's why.
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because there's different distribution channels for recreational marijuana and medical marijuana. there are limited supplies of recreational marijuana. so they're expecting that at some point, they don't know if it's going to be tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, the supplies are going to run out and prices are going to go up. so they're expecting long lines outside of these stores tomorrow morning. >> all right. casey wian, fascinating look. thank you very much. coming up, the family of a 13-year-old child brain dead after complications from surgery gets a last-minute reprieve. but in situations like this, how does a family cope? that'll be coming up next. plus, billionaire home depot founder says wealthy people are upset by pope francis' position on capitalism. and he suggests donations may be at risk.
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the family of jahi mcmath can keep the 13-year-old girl breathing for one more week. just before a deadline last night that would have allowed her ventilator to be removed, a
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judge extended his order, keeping the brain dead child on life support. the last-minute reprieve brought jahi's mother to tears. >> it's all right. >> tears of joy. >> it's okay. >> thank you, jesus. >> oh, my god. >> i told you, it's okay. we're going to get her out of here, okay? >> the family is now trying to find another facility to care for jahi. she went in for a tonsillectomy and another procedure to try to treat her sleep apnea. her family says she hemorrhaged and went into cardiac arrest. according to the hospital, jahi died december 12th. this is what the documents say. ms. mcmath has received neurological examinations by two separate physicians on staff at children's, received two e-egs
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and examinations by outside physicians not associated with children's. all five practitioners have unanimously agreed that ms. mcmath is brain dead and her condition is irreversible. yet, jahi's uncle, who posted this photo online of his grasping her hand, told the san jose mercury news the family attorney has given a video to the hospital that shows jahi reacting to her mother's voice. >> this child is moving. there can be an argument about brain death or not, but her heart is beating, and today she was moving when her mother was talking. >> and of course our hearts go out to the mcmath family. joining me now is psychologist eric fisher. thank you very much for being with us. >> sure. thank you for having me. >> as we try to contemplate what this family is going through, and none of us can put ourselves really, truly in their shoes, what do you think they are trying to grapple with here? >> well, i think we have to look at grief is a very individual
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process that we all go through. there's no set pattern of the steps that people go through when they experience grief. we don't know other losses this family may have had and regrets they may have had about those losses. having the responsibility to say stop having my daughter on life support, i can't imagine having the responsibility. having lost a brother at an early age in my life. i know what it feels it like to lose a sibling and for my parents to go through the loss of a child. it's very difficult to contemplate. >> from that personal and professional perspective, what would you be advising or how do we handle -- how do we care for this family through this difficult time? >> the thing that's happened here is they've lost faith and trust in the hospital that was supposed to care for their child. they feel like the hospital has taken their child away from them and wants to continue to take that child away from them. what is important to do is find people they can trust who potentially aren't in that system. >> who would that be? >> well, it might be a clergy
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member if they're part of a church. it might be other physicians in other places. they're trying to move her to new york, reportedly, to another treatment center that would be willing to take her. it might be that once they get her settled in a place and they continue to see the evolution of her state or the de-evolution that they're able to make a decision. with all the emotion going on about them losing their daughter so unexpectedly, there is no plan for how you deal with something like this. it takes time to cope, and it takes time for everybody to come to a peace of loss, especially when you saw such a future. >> this family is hoping for a miracle. you seem to indicate what really is going to happen is reality will set in, in their own mind, and they'll come to a personal realization. is that what it is? >> in most cases, yes. miracles do happen. we've seen them happen before. the chances of a myrrh cairacle happening, according to what the medical doctors said, are very,
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very slim. for a family to be wanting to hold out hope, we need to give them part of that process to work through. i think unfortunately how a hospital looks at it as a life. it almost depersonalizes it in some ways. also, you have dollars that are going to this that are we look at a life in terms of how much money are we spending on life support. that's a difficult topic to really consider too. >> how far do you go as a parent? that's what it comes down to. all right. erik fisher, thank you very much for talking about what is truly very painful for the family. thanks. >> absolutely. thank you. coming up, pope francis, he may be "time's" man of the year, but he's getting some criticism for his comments about the wealthy. a billionaire founder of home depot says the pope's comments might discourage charitable giving to the catholic church. really? we're on that story next. plus, cnn's brooke baldwin has a special look at how they're ringing in 2014 from new orleans. >> i'm brooke baldwin. walk with me as we are in the middle of the spotted cat, the
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one of the nation's top catholics says pope francis, despite his concern for the poor, is not against the wealthy. >> the pope loves poor people. he also loves rich people. he loves people, all right. and he's not into the condemning game for anybody. >> cardinal timothy dolan, who says he's heard something disturbing from this man. he's leading a drive to raise nearly $200 million to restore new york's st. patrick's cathedral. he's told cardinal dolan that the pope's critique of capitalism so enraged one donor that the donor is holding back on a seven-figure contribution. of course, some in this country have gone so far as to call pope francis a marxist. >> the idolatry of money, urging politicians to attack the
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structural causes of inequality, and strive to provide work, health care, and education to all citizens. this is an unfettered, anti-capitalist dictate. >> that, of course, conservative talk show host rush limbaugh. joining us from washington, eric of cnn's belief blog. hello. would this count to be big enough as a backlash? >> look, any time you're talking about a seven-figure donation, that raises a lot of eyebrows, particularly there at st. patrick's cathedracathedral. i spoke to a lot of people around the cathedral today. a spokesman tells me fundraising is still on track and they've seen a bounce recently. it's the same thing you hear from a lot of catholic organizations. they're actually seeing a bounce in donations, an upward spike as a result of what we've been calling the pope francis effect. so, yeah, it raised some eyebrows. whether or not this anonymous donor is, in fact, going to withdraw that donation, nobody
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seems to know for sure. >> certainly bringing publicity. maybe that's part of the purpose here. this investor, he says he's warned cardinal dolan on more than one occasion about the pope's rhetoric. let me read you this quote. i've told the cardinal this is one more hurdle. i hope we don't have to deal with. he goes on to say, you get more with honey than with vinegar. my mom said the same thing. and you're hearing that from other wealthy catholics. this people's pope, as he is kno known, is pedaling vinegar to the wealthy. is this push back coming from conservatives? after all, the pope has had a remarkable year. >> it's hard to find a pope in recent memory that had a bigger coming out of the gate than pope francis did in terms of his popularity. universally beloved is what you hear most often from catholics from across the political spectrum, from across the theological spectrum. people really seem to be attracted to his draw to push the church more towards the
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poor, including those wealthy benefactors. remember, they want to give their money away if they're donating to the catholic church and giving to the poor is something they're perhaps most interested in when they do that. when the pope refocuses that energy and refocuses that, they seem to be agreeing with him and continue to donate. at least from the many, many people i spoke to about this today, who said, no, they haven't seen wealthy donors grumbling about this and haven't seen, most importantly for them, a drop off in those donations just yet. >> absolutely. hopefully they will not. eric, thanks very much. happy new year. >> you got it. speaking of which, all eyes on times square. almost a million people are expected to ring in the new year. of course, cnn will bring you live coverage. that'll start at 9:00 eastern. and cnn will also be live in the big easy, new orleans, as they celebrate 2014. brooke baldwin has the top task of hosting the assignment there. here she is with a preview. >> i'm brooke baldwin. i'm on franklin street. tough gig, i know.
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being sent, again, to new orleans for new year's eve. we're in the spotted cat. these two gentleman have agreed to talk a little bit about the soul of the city and how music is so much a part of that. why do you think that is? >> it's just the nature of the city, the history of the city. you know, that's just how we get down, down here. you're going to see. >> i'm going to see a little later. i have a feeling i'm not quite sure when i'm going to bed tonight. how long have you been playing music? why come down from new york where you're from to new orleans? >> i've been playing music my whole life pretty much, for about 20-some odd years. came down to new orleans because the soul of music just draws you down there. it's something different than anything you ever heard anywhere else. it's just like everybody's brought up with it and it's such a part of the culture. you can't deny it. the music is the culture. >> there is no denying it at all. you guys sounded amazing
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earlier. we'll play a little of the music for you in a bit. in terms of new year's eve, do you do the resolution thing? >> yes. >> yes? i saw the look on your face. you're not a believer in resolutions. >> i've never actually got through one of them, you know. i always promise and i never do it. >> okay. so not so much for him. >> giving up. >> just keep playing. >> keep practicing, yes. >> what do you think for 2014? >> i'm going to quit not drinking. >> i believe that is a double negative, my friend. ergo, drinking will be happening, it sounds like. what else about new orleans? for people who have never been down here. i just got off a plane. >> it's going to be crazy. definitely craziness. lots of pandemonium all around. >> describe -- the pandemonium i find in new orleans, and i've been here the last couple days soaking it in, as a good reporter would. i feel like there's a special
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kind of pandemonium in new orleans that's unique to the city. >> well, you know, this is like this every night. this is not special for new year's. it's like this every day. monday night, tuesday night, weird nights. it doesn't stop. it's always an excuse to party. >> can i get you to just play a little bit for me? >> sure. ♪ >> i love my job. i'm brooke baldwin in new
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orleans. new year's eve. ♪ >> what else would you play from new orleans? thanks very much, brooke. be sure to watch tonight, by the way, 9:00 eastern is when we kick things off. anderson cooper and kathy griffin with live coverage. more than three hours of festivities from times square. it will be live, and you will not want to miss a moment of it because it is guaranteed to have some unscripted events. it all starts 9:00 eastern here on cnn tonight. coming up next, queen of pop beyonce uses a sample from nasa's failed challenger mission. and the families of the astronauts who died on that day are not happy. well, now beyonce is responding. dry, itchy winter skin?
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plus moisturizers to help heal skin fast. at a company that's bringing media and technology together. next is every second of nbcuniversal's coverage 0f the 2014 olympic winter games. it's connecting over one million low-income americans to broadband internet at home. it's a place named one america's most veteran friendly employers. next is information and entertainment in ways you never thought possible. welcome to what's next. comcastnbcuniversal. what's in a song? if you ask mega-star beyonce about that, you'll hear the words love and tribute. ask the people at nasa and some families who lost loved ones in the space shuttle challenger disaster, and you'll hear something completely different. in fact, beyonce's new single is ruffling more than a few
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feathers. here's why. >> controllers, you're looking very carefully at the situation. obviously a major malfunction. ♪ ♪ your love is bright as ever >> "xo" is a love song from the grammy winning artist's self-titled album. it includes a sound bite from after the space shuttle exploded. it's been called disappointing. nasa released a statement expressing its displeasure. it says in part, the challenger accident is an important part of our history, a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized. beyonce released a statement of her own explaining that the song writers included the audio as a tribute to the memory of challenger's crew. she says in part, my heart goes out to the families of those lost in the challenger disaster. the song "xo" is recorded with
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the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen. so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you, unquote. well, we are talking about beyonce, one of the biggest musical stars out there. and should she have known better, or is she just being picked on because of her celebrity? joining us live is entertainment of pop culture expert john murray. he's also the editor of john, this is not the first time that artists have sampled audio from nasa missions. there have been samples from shuttle discovery's first mission and apollo 11. there's even an itunes ring taupe for apollo 13. did beyonce go too far with this particular selection given the challenger disaster? >> well, martin, you can't be the biggest pop star in the world and not get some criticism for some of the decisions you choose to make with your art. in the case of beyonce, who has
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worked with nasa in the past back in 2011. she actually recorded a wake-up greeting for astronauts were on a spaceship at the time. she's from houston, where nasa is headquartered. but beyonce would have never done this if she thought it was going to offend. i believe her statement really captures the essence of what she feels and the mindset that went into this song. it's a song about cherishing time with loved ones before it's too late, be ever you lose them, and before you could lose them in an instance. while the song writers may have chose to use this particular clip to emphasize this, you know, it always ruffles feathers, very much in the same way when "glee" chooses to re-enact a school shooting right after newtown or when "law & order" takes things out of the headlines. >> right. in this particular -- you hear that phrase. you hear that nasa line. it instantly brings back an event. as a member of the family, it's probably more painful. are entertainers, particularly those with high profiles like
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beyonce, held to a higher standard of accountability with their art here? >> oh, absolutely. if this was some independent artist out of utah, we wouldn't be having this discussion. i also think if beyonce used a song like this and had it on a song like maybe "bootylicious" that's less substance oriented, we've had reason to criticize it here. while i think her intent was go good, even though she's upset some. >> that's why we have you on the program. your insight is always appreciated. thank you very much. >> happy new year, martin. >> and to you. thanks. coming up, buzz feed picks its most important political pictures of the year. everything from first family selfies to vladimir putin expressions. we'll talk about that list. plus, as leonardo dicaprio responds to critics who say his new movie glorifies the obnoxious lifestyle of a con man. next, you'll meet the man he portrayed, the real life wolf of
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about any history of mental-health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these, stop chantix and see your doctor right away, as some can be life-threatening. tell your doctor if you have a history of heart or blood-vessel problems or if you develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping, and unusual dreams. my quit date was my son's birthday, and that was my gift for him and me. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. now to some pretty funny, yet bizarre photos of world leaders and politicians in 2013. l.a. hall joins me to go through some of's 22 most important political photos of 2013. she is a reporter at buzz feed. she's going to, as i say, take us through some of these and what was really going on. the first one, pretty surprising. let's take a look. what we're going to see here is
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president obama, leader of the free world, doing a flamingo impression on the golf course. what was happening here? >> well, the photographer who took the photo in martha's vineyard in august said that the president was trying to sort of make a golf ball go into the hole using his body language, as we've all done. >> right. i get it. i see, yes. that body language, right. sticking with the president, he is kissing the first lady as his daughters take selfies. this is a priceless family moment, but of course we are talking the first family, right? >> right. and that's what's beautiful about this photo, i think. it makes it really interesting. obviously, they're trying to have a family moment, a special kiss on the inauguration day. then one of the sisters steps in and photo bombs it. you can see malia is sticking her tongue out at sasha's iphone. i thought it was just a wonderful photo to kind of show the first family as a family. >> it is very humanizing.
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let's face it, they get no privacy. let's talk about, you know, who can forget president obama and his umbrella attendant. >> what a great photo. that was during a press conference with the turkish prime minister. for some reason, they couldn't move it inside, even though it was raining. so two marines had to hold umbrellas. i think the expression the president is making in that photo is absolutely wonderful. >> it is. it's just this kind of, you know, peek behind the political curtain. moving on to another world leader, especially a man who doesn't necessarily get any short supply of attention. that's russian president vladimir putin's face when he's facing topless protesters who suddenly appear. what a classic moment. >> it's even better if you look down a little bit. he's making a thumbs up. his face -- no, it's true. this is during a state visit to germany. a bunch of topless protesters
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appeared. that photo was taken at the perfect split second where you can see what's exactly going through his mind. >> apparently doesn't have to worry about the opinions back home. another awkward photo op with putin and president obama. take a look at this one here. what is going on? it does not look comfortable. >> yeah, whatever is going on, it's really awkward. that's what makes the photo wonderful. this was at the g-8 summit. the reason for the tension was ongoing problems in syria. they both just look so miserable. they'd rather be anywhere but on that stage with photographers present. >> exactly. anywhere but here. okay. we have to put in some beyonce. here it is. especially the look on senator chuck schumer's face is priceless. look at that. >> no, it's wonderful. it's kind of hard to tell if he's impressed by her singi inir how beautiful she is in person. that's what makings the photo memorable. >> probably both. and finally, one that had us scratching our heads a bit. congresswoman nancy pelosi sitting on the floor watching
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television. what's she watching so intently? >> she was watching the final race in the america's cup, actually. she left a press conference early so that she could watch the final leg. as soon as it was over, she went on to the floor of congress and congratulated the winning united states team. she's apparently a huge sailing fan. >> understandably so. well, we appreciate it. ellie hall, who's from thanks very much. really wonderful to share those moments. >> thanks for having me. >> happy new year. >> thank you. actor leonardo dicaprio is responding to critics who say that his new movie "wolf of wall street" glorifies the lifestyle of a con man. in an interview with "variety," dicaprio says he and the film makers don't condone the wild and self-obsessed behavior of rich guys who con folks out of their money but wanted to show the dark side of greed. cnn takes a look at the real life stockbroker portrayed in the film who says the movie is
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not far off from what actually happened. >> my name is jordan bellford. the year i turned 26, i made $49 million, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week. ♪ >> i said he would reach new levels of productivity. we will look back and say the numbers four or five months ago were nothing. i make one more guarantee. six months from now, what you're doing right now is going to be nothing again. >> this is the greatest company in the world! >> when i made my first $600,000 in one trade, i went out and bought a white ferrari. not a yellow one. not a black one. a white one. you know why?
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it was the car that don johnson drove in "miami vice." >> what great life, huh? >> there's a lot of guys right now. in a few months, you could be making a lot of money. >> was all this legal? absolutely not. >> oh, yeah, i was greedy. the thousand-dollar suits and the gold watches and the drinking at lunch and the cocaine at the end of the day and all this. it was almost like adult disney land for dysfunctional people, basically. back then, i had a thousand best friends. everyone was my best friend because everyone wanted something from me. everyone could benefit from what i was doing. i was really generous with my money. yeah, sure. it didn't have any meaning to me. it was like monopoly money. >> oh, my god.
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>> it's made up of everybody here. you guys are part of it. you built it. without you, it doesn't run. if we all stick together, next year at this time we'll be double the size. we already are the most powerful firm. we'll be a legend on wall street, guys. that's all gold, all right? [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> up next, you might need a wall street salary to afford this television. a new samsung 110-inch tv. it goes for a cool $150,000. you'll see the picture. plus, live pictures out of dubai, where at any moment, the city will attempt to break the world record for fireworks. we will bring it to you live. avo: the volkswagen "sign then drive
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sales event is back. which means it's never been easier to get a new passat, awarded j.d. power's most appealing midsize car, two years in a row. and right now you can drive one home for practically just your signature. get zero due at signing, zero down, zero deposit, and zero first month's payment on any new 2014 volkswagen. hurry, this offer ends january 2nd. for details, visit today
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it took a lot of juggling to keep it all together.k. for some low-income families, having broadband internet is a faraway dream. so we created internet essentials, america's largest low-cost internet adoption program. having the internet at home means she has to go no further than the kitchen table to do her homework. now, more than one million americans have been connected at home. it makes it so much better to do homework, when you're at home. welcome to what's next. comcastnbcuniversal. more good news for homeowners. the home index was up 13.6% in october over last year. that is the largest 12-month gain for home prices since, oh, 2006. experts say home prices will continue to rise in the new
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year, but probably nothing like we've seen in 2013. and if you're planning to sit around tomorrow and stream a movie on netflix, you might want to make sure it's still there. they're deleting big hits like "titanic" along with about 80 other old favorites. meanwhile, the company's ceo is getting a raise. netflix shares up nearly 300% this year. hastings' salary will go up likewise and his stock options will both jump by about 50% to $3 million with an additional $3 million in the stock options. and the online shoe seller zappos got huge by going against the grain. now the company is trying something entirely new which could be the next big thing in business. or it could be a huge bust. cnn's alison kosik joining me now with more on this. what are they doing, alison? >> yeah, what are they doing? they're doing this system.
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it does away with formal job titles like manager. you know, the traditional hierarchy you'd have in a workplace. instead, it makes people responsible for several different roles that may overlap with their co-workers. so zappos is confirming this. they're full steam ahead on this. their goal is to increase accountability. so instead of it being you and all your colleagues answering to your boss, you're all answering to one another. there's a blogging service medium that's done pretty successfully with this. this is going to be interesting because we're going to see if this makes zappos' customer service better or worse. the company consistently is ranked as one of the best when it comes to satisfying customers. the opposite result would be, you know, a lord of the flies situation where there's a power grab going on. that's probably unlikely given zappos' track record. >> probably not. let's talk about something else. that's big-screen tvs. we understand you've got a whopper. >> this is really big. this is actually, in my opinion,
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the definition of excess. forget about tvs that cost, what, $4,000. that's nothing. how about a tv for $150,000? this isn't your ordinary tv. this tv has a 110-inch screen. samsung says it's as big as a king-size bed. outrageous tvs, though, not a first for samsung. earlier this year, samsung began selling a tv for $40,000. i'm really wondering who's going to buy this. actually, we're hearing that people are already lining up. samsung says it's already received ten orders, all from the mideast. i don't know. where does that -- i guess if you can afford this, you have a house that could fit it. >> i think it would look good above the fireplace, especially if you own something like the builtmore. >> if it's a really, really big fireplace. >> alison kosik, happy new year. thanks very much. >> happy new year to you.
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top of the hour. i'm martin savage. hello and welcome to the final hours of 2013. we get ready to welcome '14. right at this moment, the occasion is a daring attempt out of dubai. the city is trying to set a guinness world record for the largest fireworks display. it's going to be a great show of 77,000-plus fireworks. so let's listen and see how they're doing.
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[ cheers and applause ]
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>> showing you as the world celebrates new year's only as cnn can. you just saw dubai. what a spectacular show. they were going for a record. unfus unofficially, i would say it looks like they made it. we're less than nine hours away from the new year hitting on our shores. the crowd is coming into new york times square. about a million people are expected there this evening. in case you're wondering, the times square ball is all set, put out its own tweet saying, quote, here we go again. we need to rehearse, seriously? 100-plus years, i got this, unquote. margaret conley is live in times square with all of her friendly revelers. what are people doing while they're waiting for that ball to drop, margaret? >> reporter: martin, there are snow flurries now.
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i'm a california girl. i am not used to this. we have a lot of people out here that are all bundled up. they've been here since early this morning. this woman right here, she just got a pizza delivered right here to the middle of times square. very smart move. antonio, you're from texas. this is your first time in times square. is that right? >> i'm from amarillo, texas. first time with my brother and my buddy. >> reporter: what's your impression so far? >> it's cold. freezing out here. a lot more fast-paced than texas. >> reporter: and you got here at 9:00 this morning? you're going to stay here all the way through to the stroke of midnight? >> all the way until midnight. probably past after to experience everything. >> reporter: you were saying you have your friends here, but the people you've met in the crowds, they've become like your family in the last few hours. >> i met my buddy here. he's from cali. zach back here, he's the loud
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one out of the bunch. we just started the wave. we got it down to the light. >> reporter: let's see what you got. >> y'all ready? three, two, one! woo! >> reporter: all right. you got a few more hours to get that wave down. all right. martin, back to you. >> that is well choreographed. they did a great job. thanks very much for sharing that with us. enjoy the evening. nothing like times square. >> reporter: happy new year. >> thank you. and to you. it's going to be blistering cold for certain areas of the nation for the new year start. 2014 is just hours away. coming with it, below normal temperatures and some pretty chilling winds. meteorologist alexandra steele is in the cnn weather center with tonight's new year's eve temperatures. >> you got dit, martin. it's going to be chilly. in new york city, we will see snow showers, but should end by nighttime. if you're one of those 1 million in new york city, it will feel like 16 degrees when the ball
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drops. if you're watching the lights show at the library in boston, it will feel like 11. dry skies but cold conditions. atlanta, cold. well below average. the balance of the country will actually see temperatures below average. chicago will see 3 to 5 inches of snow tonight. it will feel like 1 below. across the country, wherever you're watching us from, it will feel like 20 below at midnight tonight in minneapolis. 21 in chicago. 30 in denver. 29 in washington, d.c. all right. so here's the scenario. we've got very cold air coming in place. as we head toward the next couple of days, that arctic air in the upper midwest drops south and east. it does moderate but still friday, look at highs, only in the teens. the cold air is set. look at these overnight temperatures. some of the coldest air we've seen in years here in the northeast. it will be 1 below zero, feeling much colder than that in boston. friday morning, saturday morning. only 6 in new york. the cold air is there, laying
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the ground work. the nor'easter begins to develop. two areas of low pressure phasing together. this is what kind of a compilation of these different models will show us. expecting 4 to 8 inches of snow in new york. 6 to 10 in boston. look at this. the new york state throughway. philadelphia and points out is, pretty clear conditions. maybe an inch, if that. thursday and friday is the timeline. the temperatures will be very cold. >> all right, alexandra. thank very much. see you next year, as we like to say. stay warm and watch the festivities from home. anderson cooper and kathy griffin ring in the new year starting at 9:00 eastern here on cnn. we showed you the amazing show from dubai live at the top of the program. they weren't the only cities that brought in 2014 in spectacular style. look. ♪
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we're aig. and we're here. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays.
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the people of colorado voted to legalize marijuana sales. in just a few hours that, law will go into effect. anyone over 21 years will be allowed to buy marijuana in specialized shops and smoke marijuana on private property. that is only in colorado where the state will watch over the marijuana business. but it's not the adult users that have some people concerned. anna cabrera reports the state of colorado has a pot problem in schools. >> reporter: how many people around your age do you know who have smoked marijuana?
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>> almost -- i want say nine out of ten students. >> reporter: really? that prevalent? >> yeah, definitely. >> reporter: colorado schools have a pot problem. where do people get it? >> i don't know exactly. just, like, i know kids smoke it a lot. >> now that it's legal, everybody's just getting it. >> reporter: while still illegal for anyone under the age of 21, younger people are finding ways to get their hands on marijuana, and we found they don't shy away from talking about it. >> i see people selling it, and i think it's size for people to get now. >> reporter: even for somebody who's underage? >> yeah. >> i know lots of people, most of my friends use it. >> reporter: why do they want to use it? >> i feel like that it's not typically classified as, like, a harmful drug like as meth or whatever. >> reporter: do you know of anybody who comes to school high or gets high during lunch break? >> yeah, definitely. >> reporter: not that uncommon? >> yeah, it's not uncommon at all. there's a bunch of people that
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come to school high. >> reporter: while some teens seem to think using marijuana is okay, schools are trying to send a message that it's not. pot is now the number one reason students are kicked out of colorado public schools. 230 expelled last year because of marijuana, according to the colorado department of education. pot proving to be a bigger problem than alcohol, disobedience or weapons violations. >> the message we'd like to get out from the school safety resource center is we really need parents to be talking to their children about the risks. >> that's where all my problems started, weed, i guess. >> reporter: 18-year-old chris collins knows about the risks all too well. he says he began experimenting with marijuana when he was just 10 years old. by age 14, he was hooked. what did you get out of it? >> bad grades and trouble pretty much. >> reporter: kicked out of school. he's been in and out of jail. >> when i was 14, i got my first drug paraphernalia ticket and
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possession of under an ounce. now i have, like, six drug paraphernalia tickets, five possession tickets. it slowly got worse. >> reporter: collins warns marijuana isn't as harmless as some may think. did you ever think you were going to become addicted to it? did you realize what was happening? >> i didn't think it was possible to, like, become addicted to marijuana, i guess. >> the evidence is very clear it's addictive. >> reporter: this adolescened ad addictive specialist says one of six will become addicted. compare to the 1960s, the marijuana sold today has a higher concentration of thc. riggs says a developing brain is most vulnerable. >> daily or near daily use can be associated with a six to eight-point reduction in their adult iq. you don't get that back. >> reporter: collins has a lot in life he wants to get back.
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now drug free for eight month, he's focusing on small goals. >> to graduate, get my license back. >> reporter: and he hopes sharing his story will help prevent others from going down the wrong path by using pot. anna cabrera, cnn, denver. up next, first on cnn, we're getting word that a gun from the infamous "fast & furious" operation has showed up at a shootout in mexico. wait until you hear this story. plus, a gay couple getting married on a float tomorrow during the rose parade. not surprising not everybody's happy about it. i'll speak live with the couple who respond to critics coming up.
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a number of stories coming into cnn we want to update you on. word is a threat has been made on a southwest airlines flight. we are told that a passenger on board a flight from albuquerque to houston became verbally abusive toward a member of the flight crew. the captain declared a threat and asked for police to meet them at the gate in houston. the plane has landed safely without incident. the passenger apparently is allowed to continue traveling.
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we have another story just coming in. one of the hundreds of guns that was sold to suspected smugglers in the u.s. government's fast and furious drug sting was apparently just used in a shootout. not that far from the u.s. border. we want to go to washington now and cnn's justice reporter evan perez. what can you tell us? >> a u.s. official tells me that there was this december 18th shootout in mexico. one gun that was recovered near the scene there has been traced back to fast and furious. fast and furious is the operation run by the atf back in 2010 that allowed about 2,000 firearms to be bought by suspected smugglers. most of those are believed to have ended up in mexico in the hands of cartels, most likely. some have turned up in crime scenes. we have some audio and video from a tourist who captured this
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shootout between mexican authorities and cartel gunmen. we'll let you listen to some of this. [ gunfire ] >> now, in the background of this audio, you can hear some helicopters, which we're told is mexican authorities using helicopter gun ships to fire on the suspected cartel gunmen who were trying to get away from this resort. in arizona and california it's a very popular tourist destination. it's also known as rocky point. five people were killed, including a senior leader of the
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cartel, we're told. at this point right now, authorities in the u.s. have traced back at least one firearm from the scene of this shootout back to this fast and furious operation. this is something obviously the atf knows has been going on and will probably keep going on for many, many years. they issued a statement to us, which i'll read right now. the atf has accepted responsibility for the mistakes made in the fast and furious investigation and at the attorney general's direction, we have taken appropriate and decisive action to ensure that these errors will not be repeated. we acknowledge that regrettably firearms related to the fast and furious investigation will likely continue to be recovered at future crime scenes. now, this is obviously something that was very controversial, as you member. the republicans voted to censure the attorney general in a fight over documents when this whole
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operation was exposed. but it's something that, you know, everyone knew for years that we were going to be dealing with. guns from this operation will be turning up in mexico and here in the u.s., martin. >> and the fallout continues. evan perez, thanks very much. tomorrow marks the 125th year of the rose parade in california. but this year it brings something that has never been done before. a same-sex marriage on a parade float. not everybody's happy about it. next, we're talking live to the cup. who's tying the knot to see how this came about and what their message to their critics may be. plus, today's the final trading day of 2013 after a record-breaking year on the stock market. the big question, will this trend continue next year? we'll break down the numbers next.
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all along the waterfront there in dubai where they've gone for a record. that's dubai. meanwhile, other countries such as the upcoming host of the olympic games that's less than six weeks away. russia brought in the new year in winning style a short time ago. here's how the skies lit up in moscow. [ cheering ].
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>> fabulous view there. well, you don't have to be a day trader to love last year. stocks kept going up, up, and up. if you have a 401(k), you probably already know that. the big question now is, can next year be just as good? cnn's alison kosik joins me from the new york stock exchange. tell us how good 2013 was, alison. >> how good was 2013, martin? record after record after record. repeat 51 times. in fact, you may have to repeat it 52 times. looks like the dow could close in yet record territory again. it's been quite the crazy year for the dow. look what happened a year ago today. we were on the verge of falling off the fiscal cliff. who could have seen this rally coming? what a rally it's been. the dow's up 26% for the year. the nasdaq's up 38%. it's been a great year for tech stocks. the s&p 500, which is what most of our retirement and mutual funds track, it's up 29%. in a typical year, you're looking at a gain of 8%.
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your 401(k) is probably looking pretty darn good at this point, even if this is not considered, quote, a normal year for stocks. >> as we tragically learned, what goes up can and has gone down. should we worry about a correction in 2014? >> you know, some traders on the floor that we talk with here, they really say they are waiting for a correction to come. you know, it is hard to say when that may happen. we don't have our crystal balls handy. many analysts do expect the stock momentum still to continue into early next year, at least until there's a clear reason not to continue. now, there is one head wind that we can see coming up next month. and that's retail earnings. a lot of the nation's stores, they had to offer big discounts during the holidays to lure shoppers in to get them to shop and spend. so we're going to see if that took a bite out of profits. if that showed that companies are having issues with their bottom line because of spending, that may pull back on the rally that we're seeing, martin. >> all right. alison kosik, thanks very much. happy new year. >> happy new year.
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in southern france now, doctors there treating michael s schumach schumacher. they say they removed a hematoma that was causing pressure to build inside his skull. the formula one legend is still in critical condition. we should guard you on that. over the weekend, he fell on a ski slope, hit his head on a rock, and suffered a serious brain injury. he was wearing a helmet. anyone who has skied knows that skiing accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. poppy harlow looks at some of the dangers and how to avoid injury, even death. >> well, it is ski season. special avalanched ed advisorie have been issued in colorado and wyoming. some skiers out west may be spending a little more time at the lodge than on the slopes after a series of scares. trails are closed at this utah resort after an avalanche temporarily buried several skiers monday morning. >> it's nothing to play with.
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it's serious stuff. you know, just glad everybody's okay. >> they do their best to control the environment, but we're in mother nature. you can't always predict what's going to happen. >> they were lucky to get out. near the border, two people died in the last week in two separate avalanches. and look at this unbelievable video captured as brothers edwin and davis were off trail skiing in colorado. >> is that an avalanche? that's an avalanche. >> davis rushed to his brother's side. he was buried up to his head in snow after being caught in a sudden avalanche. edwin survived with only a leg injury, lucky his brother was there to help. >> skiing within sight of a partner is always a good idea. making sure that others know where you're going.
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staying in control, having the proper equipment. >> avalanches often take place after fresh powder piles on top of frozen-over snow. the sudden surge of snow can sometimes be triggered by the skier. this amazing video of a free skier in spain was meant to be part of a car commercial. when he got caught in an avalanche, he deployed an inflatable backpack that saved his life. the accident turned into an ad for the company instead. >> the common equipment you need to have with you, a beacon, a probe, a shovel, at a minimum. you should be prepared and educate yourself. know before you go. >> and of course experts say make sure you always wear a helmet. in addition to that inflatable backpack that you just saw on the story, there's a device called an avalong that allows you to breathe under the snow for up to 30 minutes if you get caught in an avalanche. that gives rescuers more time to
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find you. you also want to always check with the local avalanche center if you're going to ski off trail. ask them first about the conditions. martin? >> poppy harlow, thanks very much. they spent christmas in antarctica. now it looks like they're going to spend new year there as well. but the crew aboard a stuck cruise ship is in good spirits. they're even making funny videos to pass the time. we'll show you their production and update you on their rescue. plus, a gay couple getting married on a float tomorrow during the rose parade. but not everybody's happy about it. i'll speak live with the couple who respond to critics. that's coming up. hi, i'm terry and i have diabetic nerve pain.
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it's hard to describe, because you have a numbness, but yet you have the pain like thousands of needles sticking in your foot. it was progressively getting worse, and at that point i knew i had to do something. once i started taking the lyrica the pain started subsiding. [ male announcer ] it's known that diabetes damages nerves. lyrica is fda approved to treat diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is not for everyone. it may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, changes in eyesight including blurry vision, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or skin sores from diabetes. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you.
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those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. ask your doctor about lyrica today. it's specific treatment for diabetic nerve pain. 74 passengers and crew are bringing in 2014 stranded on a ship trapped in the arctic ice. they seem to be having a great time. this morning they ventured off that ship for a little fun. they linked arms and walked across the frozen antarctic. the crew even marked a spot where their rescue chopper can land. that's the big question, when will that air lift finally happen? the weather just is not cooperating. "the lead's" jake tapper is here. what were they doing there? >> they're actually there for a study on climate change and the effect of climate change on the formation and creation of
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icebergs and ice. so as one of the scientists there put it, they almost became a prisoner of their own experiment now that they are locked in suddenly by this ice, and the ice is keeping out all sorts of rescue attempts. >> so, you know, they've been through quite an ordeal. it's obviously gone on much longer than they thought. how are their spirits holding up? >> if you go by their vines and the other social media they are using, they are certainly putting on a brave and fun face. take a look. >> we're still here, stuck. any passing ships, do pay us a visit. >> brilliant! >> but martin, we're told that they are very eager to get off the ship, very anxious, as you might imagine. they have a week's worth of food left, but it is still quite disconcerting to be locked in ice at the bottom of the earth with all sorts of rescue attempts failing to get to you. hopefully they'll be able to get
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out soon. we're going to have one of the creators of the vines on our show "the lead" coming up at the hour. >> it's a fascinating story to watch. especially when we can see them almost on a daily basis. thanks, jake. >> thanks, martin. an msnbc is apologizing today. that move comes after comments that were made on her show about this photograph. it shows mitt romney with his family and holding his adopted black grandchild. hear the comments that spark the controversy. plus, a homeless man begging for money ends up giving envelopes to people who help him. hear the special message inside that shocked those who donated.
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we're aig. and we're here. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global.
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on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays.
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the first day of 2014 will bring a first for one of the oldest new year's day traditions in california. that's the rose parade. a gay couple will tie the knot on this float live as the parade moves through pasadena. that float belongs to the a.i.d.s. health care foundation, which offered to host the nuptials. you'll remember california began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples again in june after a long legal battle. joining me now, the married couple to be, danny and aubrey. congratulations to you both, by the way. >> thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> danny, let me start with you. what do you think your wedding says to all the people who will be obviously watching tomorrow?
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>> well, what i hope it says is that we are honoring the, you know, battle towards marriage equality and that we're doing them justice. i mean, so many people fought long and hard for gay men and women to be able to marry in the state of california, and hopefully one day all over the united states. we just hope that what they see up there is, you know, something that honors that and respects that. >> aubrey, there has been, of course, some backlash. the parade host, the pasadena tournament of rose, has received postings like this particular one on its facebook page that reads in part, so sad that for the first time our family will not be watching the parade. we do not wish to be slapped in the face with something so extremely offensive to us. you had to have expected this. do you think that this is a way to change minds? >> absolutely it's a way. it's a great platform for us to, you know, express our love, for people to get to know us, and
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for people to get educated. everyone's entitled to their opinion. so far for every one negative or hateful review or posting that we've seen, there's been, you know, two to three positive. we have never watched the rose bowl parade, we will now. so we're standing in -- we're on top of that float to express our love with the world. we're getting so much love and support from around the world, actually. it's very exciting. >> usually these moments, for all of us, are very kind of personal. we don't do them in parades, and we don't do them live on television. so the fact that certain people do take offense to it, does that surprise you? >> it doesn't surprise us because we certainly didn't think a supreme court ruling was going to come, you know, prekited with love, intolerance and acceptance from all the people who objected in the first place. the fact we're doing it publicly is only to show people there's nothing to fear. we are an emerging family. one day we will be raising children. we are showing up all over the
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country. so we are doing it publicly so as to remove some of that fear that seems to be still present in a lot of the rhetoric across this country. >> can i ask you how timing-wise this is going to work? of course, it's a long parade. there's only a certain segment that's actually televised. how is it going to work? >> we had a reception a few days ago that a.i.d.s. health care foundation threw for us and we signed our marriage license. the actual ceremony is going to be very quick. we have a corner to turn from orange drive to colorado, and our reverend will be officiating the wedding in a very small space of time. it's a quick do you, do you, i do, i do. you know, we will be sealing it with a kiss like every other marriage. >> well, it's going to be a famous moment, no doubt. danny, aubrey, congratulations to you both. best of luck.
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>> thank you very much. >> happy new year. >> and to you both. thank you. the obama administration just announced a milestone of sorts. a december surge has pushed obamacare enrollment past 2 million. within the past hour, health secretary kathleen sebelius revealed more information about these signups during a conference call with reporters. senior white house correspondent jim acosta was on that call. what else did we learn? >> well, martin, the numbers are coming in. it is good news for this white house. good news for this program. but they're not out of the woods yet. that is the headline here. let's put the numbers up on screen. these are the numbers, the new enrollment numbers the administration put out in the last hour or so. basically what they're saying is that 2.1 million people have now signed up for insurance through obamacare. either through the federal or state insurance exchanges. 2.1 million on the federal exchange -- excuse me, 1.1 million on the federal exchange
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and 1 million through the state exchanges. in addition to that, martin, they're talking about 3.9 million people who have signed up for medicaid through the expansion of medicaid through the affordable care act and about 3 million other young adults have been allowed to stay on their parents' insurance plans as a result of the affordable care act. so they're putting out those numbers as an obamacare muscle flex at the end of the year. now, having said all of that, what we should point out, because january 1st is a very important turning point for the affordable care act because people who have signed up for insurance coverage, that insurance coverage is supposed to kick in. but there are a couple of catches here. people who have not paid for their coverage may find out they don't have coverage. so what the administration is doing is they are urging people to make sure that they call their insurance provider to make sure they have paid for coverage and they have coverage when they make these doctors appointments or go to their pharmacy. they may find out lo and behold they don't have insurance coverage. i did talk up to a high-up
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senior administration official in the last hour who said that the administration really doesn't have a way to confirm whether or not people have paid for their coverage. they can determine whether or not have enrolled, but they can't determine if they'd paid. that's between consumers and their insurers. at this point, they have not heard a lot of complaints from the insurers, according to this senior administration official, that people have not paid. but having said all of that, that's an acknowledgment they're sort of ready for a few bumps as we head into this new year and people start going out there and making doctors appointments or trying to get their prescriptions filled with this new coverage. the other thing they point out is the people by large have until january 10th to pay for this coverage they've signed up for. one other thing we should point out, that 2.1 million number is still way behind, 5 million people behind, the goal of 7 million people that the administration did set out. the congressional budget office first put out that estimate for the six-month enrollment period,
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october through the end of march. the administration has adopted it, although they've been sort of squishy as to whether or not that is their exact target of 7 million people. it is something they've said that they expect to see happen by the end of march. >> absolutely. jim acosta, thanks very much for the update. up next, you heard of the expression pay it forward? a businessman had a unique plan to do just that. it involved dressing up and then surprising people who were kind enough to help others. we'll show you what he did, next. [ man #1 ] we're now in the approach phase. everything looking good. ♪ velocity 1,200 feet per second. [ man #2 ] your looking great to us, eagle. ♪ 2,000 feet. still looking very good.
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there are christmas card photos you just don't make fun of. this picture is the one that started a controversy. mitt romney and his wife with their grandchildren, including his adopted black grandson, kiran. that led to this. >> everybody loves a baby picture and this was one that really a lot of people had emotions about this baby picture this year. this is the romney family, and of course, they're on governor romney's -- he has an adopted african-american child, kiran. any captions for this one? >> one of these things is not like the other. >> of course, the real caption
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should be just what an absolutely beautiful photograph. right wing pundits pounced on this, saying the liberals showed their true stripes when they made fun of romney's family. the host of the show, melissa harris-perry, eventually tweeted out an apology. joe concha joins me now from new york. i don't know where to begin on where is the biggest mistake on this. poking fun at his family, making an issue of a mixed race family. what was the real cardinal sin here, in your mind? >> i think hypocrisy for starters. if you look at the host, melissa harris-perry, she comes from a mixed mormon family. she has a black father and a white mother. you would think miss perry would applaud, would celebrate the romneys adopting an african-american child. instead, she and her panel sat there for five minutes ridiculed and mocked that act and if that's where we are in 2014, we're in trouble. >> i think others have said this is very true, where were the adults in this conversation
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because it certainly didn't seem like they were in front of the camera. the right did jump all over this in of course the same month they defended phil robertson from "duck dynasty" for his own offensive comments. a double standard? >> i don't think so here at all. there's a third rail here and that is that you're dealing with a young baby, a black child. i look at this and say all right, what was the objective. was it to mock the romneys for actually adopting an african-american child because i think that's unmockable. then i think about what the message is. is the message that only white folks should adopt white babies? should only black folks only adopt black babies. i don't think there's a double standard here at all. i think that this was just poor taste and to your point before, where are the adults here? where is msnbc's president to allow this editorial culture to put up a baby picture from a christmas card and say let's mock this for five minutes. i think again, we saw it with bashir, with baldwin and now perry. time and again in the past 30,
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45 days, there is an msnbc host doing something reckless and having to apologize for it the next day. it goes to the top. >> it's not so much a mistake as an insensitivity that seemed to be there, especially with a child and a family. do you think the viewers were really offended or were the pundits looking for an opening and seeing one, especially to bash msnbc, they took advantage of it? >> you mentioned the right was offended by this. anyone with a child would be offended by this. anybody who is racially tolerant would be offended by something like this. again, the romneys adopted, this wasn't mitt and his wife, obviously, but one of their children. what a great act to bring in a black child that, you know, is now obviously going to have a very good home and a very good life. that is something that should be celebrated in america today. instead, again, that panel by the way, i should mention, not one of them thought to step forward and say boy, this conversation is making me uncomfortable. this is wrong, guys, we shouldn't be saying that.
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it's not just ms. perry but everybody on that panel. somebody should have stepped up and said you know what, let's take some responsibility for this. this is the wrong segment to do and i'm not participating in it. instead you had four people, an echo chamber all having fun at the expense of a little baby. by the way, the twitter apology, pick up the phone if you want to apologize to the romneys. ms. perry did apologize that way. you can pick up a phone. that would be the better thing to do here. >> absolutely. thanks very much for joining us. appreciate it. happy new year. finally, on a freezing christmas eve in des moines, iowa, some thought they were giving money to a homeless man in need. but the man on the other side of the road ended up giving them something better in return. maureen nichols has this remarkable story. >> reporter: drive through this intersection and you'll likely spot a homeless person
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collecting donations. on christmas eve, it was this man, standing there shivering in the cold. >> it was obvious that he needed help. >> reporter: rob taylor was waiting in the left-hand turn lane when he handed the man some cash. >> he immediately handed me back a blank envelope or sealed envelope, and said god bless you. >> reporter: it wasn't until later when he opened up the envelope and inside found this letter. >> merry christmas and thank you so much for your very kind and thoughtful donation. i live in des moines but i'm not homeless or destitute or without a job. >> reporter: also tucked inside, a $10 bill. >> keep it, spend it, donate it, pay it forward, whatever your heart tells you to do. >> reporter: turns out the man wasn't homeless, but instead, a des moines businessman trying to do something good at christmas. >> i was blown away. >> this has been a bucket list thing for me for some time, and i have always known that i wanted to give back. >> reporter: in those few
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freezing hours, johnny wright gave away 50 letters and a total of nearly $1,000. he also donated the money he received and then some to bethel mission, an emergency shelter in des moines. >> i thought this was also a good way to acknowledge people who give who do so anonymously. >> reporter: his message is simple. it's better to give than receive and sometimes it takes a homeless man to remind us what the holiday season is all about. >> i just can't thank him enough. >> that was our affiliate kcci on that great story. before i go, how about this. a contestant on "the price is right" is getting her new year off to a very nice start by winning the most expensive prize ever on the game show. >> she says $152,000 is not the price of the car. good luck. come on over here. >> i'm so nervous. >> i'm so nervous, too. you got it!
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>> not bad. well, she won an audi r-8 spider. as if that isn't enough, she also picked up $10,000 in cash which may fill the gas tank. that makes her the biggest winner ever in the daygame game show's history. have a wonderful and safe happy new year. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. good-bye to 2013, the year you will still write on checks accidentally until march, if you still write checks. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the money lead. on wall street, they are partying like it's 1997. stocks are finishing 2013 with the best numbers in more than 15 years. will the party last into 2014 or are we in for one mother of a hangover? the world lead. what a way to begin the new year. it's already 2014 in that sea of ice where 74 people are marooned on a ship.